Abidjan - The first ladies of Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso
on Thursday sealed an agreement to fight the growing child trafficking trade
between the two west African nations.
Ivory Coast, the world's biggest cocoa producer, is a large
centre for regional child trafficking, with children from neighbouring
countries such as Burkina Faso and Mali ending up working on its plantations.
Burkinabe first lady Chantal Compaore said the number of
children who had fallen prey to this trafficking had tripled in the past three
years from 588 in 2010 to 1895 in 2012, without giving more details.
Her Ivorian counterpart Dominique Ouattara cited a 2011
study saying that 39% of Ivorian children between the ages of five and
14 worked in their country, which often comes under fire from NGOs for child
The two countries signed an accord to "elaborate and
put in place plans of action, programmes and regional projects to fight against
"Despite prevention measures, hundreds of children are
still being trafficked between our two countries. Burkina Faso child services
are constantly called upon for the repatriation of victims of this
trafficking," said Compaore.