The consequences of child trafficking for purposes of labour exploitation are such that they require concerted action by the major stakeholders involved, in particular theparliament, in order to combat this practice. It was from this perspective that the Inter-Parliamentary Union, in collaboration with the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC-OECD) and with the financial support of the Kingdom of Belgium, recently launched a two-year project aimed at coordinating parliamentary action with a view to harmonizing strategies to combat this scourge at the regional level.
The Cotonou Regional Conference is the first in a series of activities under this project. Its purpose is to heighten the awareness of parliamentarians to the consequences of trafficking in children, familiarize them with regional and international standards prohibiting this practice for purposes of labour exploitation and adopt a road map to guide their efforts to eliminate this practice.
Some 20 West and Central African parliaments and MPs from Belgium, France, Switzerland and the United States are expected to participate in this important event.