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Laws against the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Togo do not lead to convictions

Posted on May 9, 2013

More than one third of Togolese people live below the international poverty line of USD 1.25 per day. A lack of socio-economic opportunities, combined with low secondary school enrollment, are major issues facing Togo today. In the last few years, these issues have contributed to an increase in the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC). As a result of poverty and high unemployment rates, more and more Togolese children are forced into prostitution. In the capital city Lome, offenders flock to “child markets” where children are exploited for as little as one US dollar. Most of these children are girls between the ages of nine and 15. Despite national laws in place against CSEC, the prosecution of offenders is rare. Reluctance on the part of victims to testify against their abusers, coupled with a lack of awareness about their rights, allows offenders to continue to go unpunished. Although several measures have been put in place to assist child victims of violence, there is very little assistance specifically for sexually exploited children. Prevention activities against CSEC are also fragmented because there isn’t a public institution responsible for coordinating the prevention of child sexual exploitation. To understand more about the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Togo, you can read the full report in French here.

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