374 children were rescued between January and March from being trafficked to neighbouring countries to work in agriculture or small-scale mines, Burkina Faso’s government released these figures on Monday.
“For some time now, this phenomenon affecting children has grown to worry proportions in our country,” Helene Marie Laurence Ilboudo, minister for humanitarian action said.
According to the Ministry of Humanitarian Action, 2,318 children were intercepted through checks on buses or through denunciation, in the year 2020.
Most of the children were under 16 and destined to work in plantations, artisanal mines, or for domestic work in countries neighbouring Burkina Faso.
Ivory Coast, the world’s largest cocoa producer, is a major destination for child trafficking and has also intercepted and repatriated minors used for work in the fields, the ministry said.
In addition, 58 children found by security forces during various operations were handed over to social services, Ilboudo said, also highlighting the scale of the problem of homeless children living on the streets.