Main Menu
Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                                   

Republic of Benin

The economy of Benin remains underdeveloped and dependent on subsistence agriculture, cotton production, and regional trade. Growth in real output has averaged around 5% in the past seven years, but rapid population growth has offset much of this increase. Inflation has subsided over the past several years.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Benin.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Information about Street Children - Benin [DOC]

This report was based on a paper submitted by Croix Rouge, Service pour le Developpement Integral de l’Homme, Centre Don Bosco and Association Francaise des Volontaires du Progres and is taken from “A Civil Society Forum for Francophone Africa on Promoting and Protecting the Rights of Street Children”, 2-5 June 2004, Senegal

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 21 September 2011]

FACTORS PUSHING CHILDREN ONTO THE STREETS - low income of families and general poverty of the social sphere; inadequate education and training opportunities (particularly for girls); traditional customs such as forced marriages, polygamy and female genital mutilation; the high number of children per family; the absence of leisure activities in rural areas and the attractions of city life; the high demand for child labor in the informal economy; the total impunity of those who exploit children both economically and sexually, and the difficulty of applying legislation that is either inadequate or non-existent.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 7 February 2020]

CHILDREN - There were numerous street children, most of whom did not attend school and had limited access to government resources. Some street children became prostitutes to support themselves.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) [DOC]

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 20 October 2006$FILE/G0644845.doc

[accessed 23 January 2011]

[73] The Committee expresses its concern at the increasing number of children living, working and begging in the streets (the talibés), especially in urban areas, who are also victims of economic and sexual exploitation and at risk of HIV/AIDS infections.  The Committee is also concerned at the lack of programmes to address the needs of these children and to protect them.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 4 June 1999

[accessed 23 January 2011]

[29] While recognizing the State party's openness to hosting refugees from neighboring States, the Committee remains concerned at the lack of adequate legal provisions, policies and programs to guarantee and protect the rights of refugee, asylum-seeking and unaccompanied children. The Committee recommends that the State party develop a legislative framework for the protection of refugee, asylum-seeking and unaccompanied children and implement policies and programs to guarantee their adequate access to health, education and social services

Street Children - The Facts

New Internationalist, April 1, 2005

[accessed 8 Aug  2013]

BENIN - An estimated 50,000 are trafficked to nearby countries where they often end up selling goods on the street.

Plan marks Global Campaign for Education Action Week

Plan International, Press Release, 19/04/2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 21 September 2011]

BENIN - Throughout the week 300 children, aged six to 14 from the Couffo area, in the south of Benin, will make life-size cardboard cut-outs to represent the shadows of their friends who do not go to school and send them to President of the Republic, Mathieu Kerekou.  They will also draw up maps showing the whereabouts of children who are not enrolled in school, and then each community will use the maps as the basis for making an action plan to increase school enrolment.

A Family For Homeless Children In Benin

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO – Grassroots story by Sebastien Agboton, President of the Committee for Literacy and Basic Education in Benin

[accessed 6 April 2011]

Benin: a small country (43,500 sq. mi.) with a big population (6 million), 47 per cent of which is under the age of 15. Literacy stagnates at around 60 per cent and 40 per cent of school-age children are not enrolled. Many of these live more and less in the streets. To help deal with the situation, the Comité des Activités en éducation au Bénin (CAEB) has set up a number of homes.

A Belgian Princess Opens A Home For Benin's Street Kids

Fernand Azonnanon in Cotonou Benin, The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), 15 May 2002

[accessed 6 April 2011]

With a 100-bed dormitory, a dining hall, a library and administrative blocks, street children of Segbeya district and other poor areas of Cotonou now have a place to call home.  Children will receive counseling, food and shelter and all efforts will be made to reunify them with their families. Those who can no longer be reunited with their families will receive vocational training to ensure self-sufficiency in their adulthood.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Benin",, [accessed <date>]