According to UNICEF, there are over 200,000 children trafficked annually in West Africa. Orphan Relief and Rescue operates the Anti-Trafficking Initiative in a province of Benin that is one of the primary hubs for the trafficking of children in all of Africa.
Local Trafficking Stats
Prior to the Anti-Trafficking Initiative, over half of women surveyed in the Empowerment program had at least one child in slavery.
In the regions Orphan Relief and Rescue works, our survey estimated that 19% of children will become victims of trafficking without intervention.
Within our program, 91% of women no longer traffic their children and approximately 50% were able to bring their children back to the village.
93% of Micro-Loans have been paid back or are on pace to be paid on time.
64% of the businesses developed from the program are selling food or agricultural products.
The average loan size is $13.
When Orphan Relief and Rescue set out to decipher the root causes of trafficking in Benin, what we found was a persistent problem in the perception of the value of a child’s life, which was then reinforced and perpetuated by a system of poverty, lack of opportunity, and education.
Our strategy is comprehensive and addresses the many aspects driving child exploitation and trafficking.
Orphan Relief and Rescue works diligently to identify and bring back children who have been sold into a life of slavery.
We create safe environments and work diligently to ensure the children in our care receive mental and emotional support to begin the healing process, necessary medical attention, education or vocational training, and the opportunity to live with hopes and dreams again.
In collaboration with local leaders, we identify children at a high risk of being trafficked and engage intentionally to prevent those children from being sold. Our Intervention project includes nutrition assistance, schooling, and monitoring that ensures a child’s safety.
Our community development programs seek to address the driving factors of child trafficking, including reducing poverty. Parents can participate in our Micro-Finance program to receive a micro-loan and business development training that enables them to create a future for their families.
Our goal is to end child slavery in West Africa. We have seen first hand that The Anti-Trafficking Initiative is transforming a system that treats children as commodities.