Ivory Coast frees 48 child slaves, arrests traffickers

Ivory Coast police have raided cocoa plantations and have arrested 48 child slaves and arrested the children smugglers involved

Ivory Coast frees 48 child slaves, arrests traffickers

World Bulletin / News Desk

Police in Ivory Coast freed 48 child slaves in raids on plantations in the country's Western cocoa belt and arrested 22 people accused of trafficking or exploiting children, Interpol said on Monday.

The children, aged 5 to 16, came from MaliGuinea and Burkina Faso as well as northern Ivory Coast and were liberated in an operation from June 1 to 6 in the country's western cocoa belt of San Pedro, the international police organisation said.

Some of them had been working in the fields for up to a year in extreme conditions that were "seriously jeopardising their health."

An official from the International Organization for Migration said that care centres had been set up in the area to give the children medical and psychological assistance.

The arrests were part of a series of planned operations against child trafficking and labour in West AfricaInterpolsaid.

"We're sending a very loud message to the plantation owners, and we're sending a very loud message to the traffickers themselves," said Michael MoranInterpol's Assistant Director of human trafficking and child exploitation services.

"If you traffic these children in, there will be a police response." 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Haziran 2015, 03:54