Guinea-Bissau: Children, youth victims of human trafficking

The executive secretary of AMIC – Association of Friends of Children, Laudolino Medina, said on Thursday that children and young people in Guinea-Bissau were victims of human trafficking due to the precarious context of the country.

According to him, instability, poverty, difficulties in access to education and social services, living conditions, the fragility of the state, incipient and inadequate policies and action plans, as well as the presence and activities of criminal organizations are “factors of vulnerability and risk for children and young people.

“Given this precarious context, many Guinean children and young people are caught in webs of human trafficking with strong connections to other organised transnational crimes, namely organ trafficking, drugs, terrorism,” said Laudolino Medina.

Since 2005, AMIC has managed to rescue 1,663 Guinean children victims of trafficking, who were in other countries, where they were being exploited.

The children have been reintegrated with a life project in their country.

“At the moment, we have in hand a demand with a list for the research of 77 families of Guinean children identified in a situation of vulnerability in Senegal,” he said.

The AMIC executive secretary was speaking at the launching ceremony of the “No Sumia Paz” (We Sow Peace) project launched in Bissau with the financial support of the European Union (EU), which aims to prevent violent extremism through the promotion of peace, citizenship and human rights.

“Some say that the way the situation is evolving in the country, terrorism in Guinea-Bissau is only a matter of time,” warned Laudolino Medina.

According to the official, the vulnerabilities of the region, West Africa, “make it a fertile field” and Guinea-Bissau is “not immune to the phenomenon of radicalization and violent extremism.”

“Holistic measures must be taken to prevent unpleasant situations in the future,” he stressed.