Slavery in Benin




Benin is a source, transit, and destination country for women, children, and men subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. The majority of identified victims are Beninese girls subjected to domestic servitude or sex trafficking in Cotonou. The practice of vidomegon, which traditionally provides educational or vocational opportunities to children by placing them in the homes of wealthier families, is sometimes used to exploit children in domestic servitude.


Children are forced to labour on farms, in commercial agriculture - particularly in the cotton sector - in artisanal mines, at construction sites, or as street or market vendors. A recent study cited over 7,800 children subjected to labour exploitation in the markets of Cotonou, Porto-Novo, and Parakou. Children from neighbouring countries are also in forced labour in these sectors. Togolese girls are exploited in prostitution in Benin. Cases of child sex tourism, involving both boys and girls Benin have been reported.


In northern Benin, children in Koranic schools, known as talibe, are exploited in forced begging by Koranic teachers known as marabouts. The majority of child trafficking victims are from the northern regions, and many are recruited and transported to neighbouring countries, where they are forced to labour in homes, mines, quarries, restaurants, markets, and on cocoa farms. The majority of child victims intercepted in Benin, either from Benin or other West African countries, are exploited within the country.


Benin is the largest source country for trafficking victims in the Republic of the Congo. West African women are exploited in domestic servitude and forced prostitution in Benin, and Beninese women are victims of sex trafficking in Lebanon.



Slavery in Benin