Sunday, June 09, 2019

Togo and child slavery

Child labour is still widely accepted in Togo and the government is not doing enough to stop it, said the U.N. Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery in an interview on Friday. In a practice known as "confiage", parents send their children to live with relatives who promise to send them to school in exchange for helping with housework, she said. But this is rarely what happens. "It really results in extreme exploitation.
Many children in the West African country are forced into domestic servitude or hard labour at a young age, driven by poverty and cultural tradition, said Urmila Bhoola following a visit to Togo to assess the situation. "There is a complete lack of data, but it seems this practice mainly affects girls and some are sent abroad," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "It is very much entrenched in cultural practices and tradition." School is free in Togo but remains out of reach for families who cannot afford books and uniforms, said Bhoola.
The worst forms of child labour include slavery, trafficking, sexual exploitation and more, as defined by the International Labour Organization. The Modern Slavery Index published by the Walk Free Foundation, estimates that 50,000 people are slaves in the country of 7.4 million.

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