Child trafficking in Guinea-Bissau An explorative study
The present study on child trafficking in Guinea-Bissau has been carried out at the request of UNICEF Iceland and UNICEF Guinea-Bissau. The aim is to describe the occurrences of and to identify determinants for child trafficking within Guinea-Bissau and across the borders to neighbouring countries. A further aim is to analyse the scope of the problem in the different regions and ethnic groups in the country, and the consequences for the children involved. Proposals and strategic approaches for the prevention of child trafficking are also suggested, in particular regarding family reunification of repatriated children.
The research team aimed to highlight customs and practices that negatively impact Bissau-Guinean children and that might be referred to as trafficking. In particular, they focused on the situation of boys, called almudus in Fula and talibés in Wolof, who can be found begging on the streets of Dakar, the capital of Senegal, and other larger towns in the country. These boys are Islamic students who study the Koran and beg on behalf of their teachers, called marabouts. International organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Guinea-Bissau and Senegal classify the phenomenon as child trafficking. To curb the movement of such children, anti-trafficking activities such as educating policemen and border police have been implemented, as well as repatriating Bissau-Guinean children found begging in Senegal.