Benin, Alice rouses, West Africa, Cotonou, Dan Tokpa
Child Slaves in Benin West Africa : February 2007In a bleak shack beside the market, lit by the weak sunlight coming through the cracked tin roof, 12-year-old Alice rouses from her fitful sleep on a pile of rags and explains how she arrived here in Cotonou, Benin's largest city, after her parents sold her to a trafficker.Alice and 24 others spent eight days in a leaking canoe with nothing but dry flour to eat before arriving here at the Dan Tokpa market - to work for nothing. At nights she does her best to avoid the criminals and drug addicts who prowl the cluttered rat-runs. Tragically, most of the young girls are forced into prostitution.This is the bleak reality of West Africa's child-trafficking industry, 21st-century slavery that shames both Benin and its neighbours.
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