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Trafficking in Human beings, especially Women and Children in Africa. UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre (2003-2004)

This research covers 53 countries in Africa. It draws a preliminary map of trafficking patterns on the continent and points to emerging good practices in the areas of policy response and legislation. The research took place against a background of lack of reliable estimates and a dearth of trafficking research and methodology tools. However, these research challenges provided an opportunity to develop and test innovative methods for gathering and assessing data. The report is anchored in the commitment made by Heads of State at the EU-Africa Summit (Cairo, 2000) to identify democracy, human rights and good governance as elements in an agreed set of eight priority areas for political action.

The study analyzes national-level policy responses and programming interventions. It also promotes field-driven research. This process was formulated in partnership with regional and national key players and stimulated political discussions and government reflections for better responses in preventing and combating trafficking. The conclusions and recommendations from the research constitute a reference point for action on child trafficking globally regarding, in particular, the need to:

  • increase understanding of child trafficking
  • recognize child trafficking as a complex protection issue that involves the removal, transportation, illegal reception or sale, and placement of a child into an exploitative context
  • share a comprehensive understanding of child trafficking guided by the definition set out in the Palermo Protocol
  • develop national legislation that conforms with international standards and promotes bilateral and multilateral co-operation
  • develop research on child trafficking and ensure harmonized methodologies
  • enhance inter-agency collaboration
  • enhance monitoring capacity


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