The Dynamics of Child Trafficking in West Africa


  • Samuel Okunade Institute for the Future of Knowledge, University of Johannesburg
  • Stella Shulika Institute for the Future of Knowledge, University of Johannesburg



The phenomenon of human trafficking remains a scourge in Africa as it consistently serves as a source and transit route for this illicit activity. In West Africa, child trafficking has gained so much attention as children are trafficked across borders of member states for the purpose of child labour within the sub-region and beyond for various forms of exploitation. While some of them are victims of kidnap garnered from rural areas close to the highways between Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, some are willing released by their parents and some are abused by relatives who they live with. This study through a documentary research design utilised a case study approach in examining the efforts of the West African states towards tackling this menace and expunged the lacuna making it easy for trafficking to take place across West African borders. The study's findings showed there is still a lacuna in the domestication of the UN Protocol on Human Trafficking by West African states. The study thus recommended that States should take the issues around trafficking of women and children more seriously such that women and children could be rightly empowered/ positioned to live a good life within the sub region.