18 Mar 2021

Human trafficking / Forced to beg: child trafficking from Guinea-Bissau to Senegal

The exploitation of children by organised trafficking syndicates is one of the fastest-growing criminal industries in West Africa.

Taking children from Guinea-Bissau to Senegal and forcing them to beg on the streets has become the most visible form of human trafficking in both countries. Many Quranic teachers and intermediaries prey on vulnerable families in Guinea-Bissau. Offering religious instruction in Senegal, they take advantage of families’ ignorance of the fate awaiting their children once they are handed over.

This criminal activity enables the teachers, who collect the money given to children as alms, to dispose of a large amount of illicit capital which they inject with impunity into important sectors of the economy such as real estate, trade and transport.

About the authors

Dr Mouhamadou Kane, Researcher, ENACT project, Institute for Security Studies. He has carried out policy research and published on a wide range of issues related to transnational organised crime in West Africa. He holds a PhD in International Relations from Jilin University, China.

Mamadou Abdoul Wane, Child protection specialist. He previously worked for UNICEF and has carried out extensive research on child begging in Senegal. He holds a post-graduate diploma in sociology from Paris VIII University, France.

Photo © Adobe Stock – panitan


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