Credits: Borgen Magazine


Africa is home to armed conflicts, government corruption and extreme poverty. Consequently, many people are living in or seeking to escape these conditions. By trying to get out of the continent to a better place, these people face a high risk of human trafficking. Large, profitable networks of human traffickers often go on uninterrupted because of the disunity between African countries. In the text below, the top 10 facts about human trafficking in Africa are presented.


Top 10 Facts About Human Trafficking in Africa

  1. There are 9.2 million Africans that are victims of modern slavery as of 2016, accounting for 23 percent of total global modern slavery. Africans are vulnerable to forced labor, sexual exploitation and forced marriages.
  2. Human trafficking in Africa is a $13.1 billion industry. Out of this number, $8.9 billion comes from sexual exploitation. Victims of sex trafficking yield $21,800 each due to high demand, so even while forced labor has three times more victims, sexual exploitation generates more than double the profits.
  3. No African country completely complies with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA), minimum standards for fighting human trafficking. Twenty-two African countries fall under Tier 2 that acknowledges that significant efforts are being made towards improvement and 19 other countries fall under Tier 2’s watch list, indicating that not enough progress has been made in the country. Nine countries, eight of which are not considered free, fall under Tier 3, where significant efforts have not yet been made.
  4. Forty percent of girls are married before they turn 18, with that number being even higher in some countries, like Nigeria and Chad. Forced marriage is, unfortunately, a cultural norm, leaving girls susceptible to domestic and sexual violence as well as serious health risks. These girls are also in the risk of being trafficked. Poverty and a lack of education perpetuate its cultural acceptance, making it harder for police to identify and help victims.
  5. Armed conflict throughout the continent makes children vulnerable to be trafficked and to becoming child soldiers. In the Central African Republic, for example, 6,000 children were forced into fighting. With many African countries sharing this reality, Africa accounts for 40 percent of all child soldiers in the world. The reckless and easily influenced nature of children makes them easy targets for traffickers, who view them as expendable.


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