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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century  -                                       

Republic of Guinea-Bissau

One of the five poorest countries in the world, Guinea-Bissau depends mainly on farming and fishing. Cashew crops have increased remarkably in recent years, and the country now ranks fifth in cashew production. Guinea-Bissau exports fish and seafood along with small amounts of peanuts, palm kernels, and timber. Rice is the major crop and staple food.

The inequality of income distribution is one of the most extreme in the world. The government and international donors continue to work out plans to forward economic development from a lamentably low base.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Guinea-Bissau.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


ECPAT:  Guinea-Bissau

ECPAT International

[access information unavailable]]

Guinea-Bissau is facing an ever-increasing number of child laborers and street children. As one of the poorest countries in the world, the economic crisis is hitting the children the hardest as most of them lack adequate social services like shelter, clean water, access to education and health care facilities.


*** ARCHIVES ***

The Department of Labor’s 2004 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

U.S. Dept of Labor Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2005

[accessed 8 February 2011]

INCIDENCE AND NATURE OF CHILD LABOR - UNICEF estimated that 65.4 percent of children ages 5 to 14 years in Guinea-Bissau were working in 2000.  Children work in street trading, farming, and domestic labor.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 9 February 2020]

CHILDREN - The government allocated limited resources for children's welfare and education. Public schooling was universal, compulsory until seven years of age, and free through the fourth grade. A 2003 UN Development Program study indicated that 60 percent of school-age children did not attend school, in large part because schools were closed for most or all of 2003 as a result of the government's failure to pay teachers' salaries.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 7th June 2002

[accessed 8 February 2011]

[50] While noting the efforts underway to address this concern, the Committee is concerned that as noted in the State Party report, the economic exploitation of children is extremely serious and growing worse (paragraphs 250-253, SP report) and that, in particular (paragraph 142 SP report) the numbers of children working in the non-formal sector is increasing and that children are often compelled to perform the same work as adults and in highly difficult and dangerous conditions.

[52] The Committee is concerned at the number and situation of street children in urban regions of the State Party.

[54] The Committee is concerned by the lack of information regarding the activities of the very high proportion of children who do not go to school. There are indicators that these children may, in urban areas, be involved in prostitution or may spend much time on the street where they are vulnerable to many kinds of exploitation (for example, in drug-trafficking, sexual exploitation, drug abuse).

[56] Noting the State Party's efforts in this regard, the Committee is concerned that, as indicated in the State Party report, substance abuse by children is a major concern.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action [DOC]

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – GUINEA-BISSAUGuinea-Bissau has an ever-increasing number of child laborers and street children. The economic crisis and instability are hitting children the hardest, resulting in a rise in child prostitution and child trafficking, especially to neighboring Senegal. NGOs think that although the issue of child trafficking has received some attention and publicity recently in West and Central Africa, trafficking of children from Guinea-Bissau has been largely ignored. The local press has also reported incidents of child prostitution.

Mercy Trucks West Africa Project

Mercy Trucks

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 23 September 2011]

To truck medical aid and equipment 4,600 miles from the UK down through Europe, North Africa and across desert down to Guinea Bissau to set up Mercy Trucks West Africa

Projects concerning Orphans & Street children in GUINEA BISSAU

[access information unavailable]

1983-1999  Den Internationale Efterskole - Bustrup  (DIE-Bustrup)

1980-2000  SOS-Kinderdorf International

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