New Togolese law increases punishments for child traffickers

New Togolese law increases punishments for child traffickers

[JURIST] The Togo parliament [official website, in French] has unanimously passed a law that will increase prison time and fines for individuals convicted of child trafficking. The law comes in response to a reprimand by US State Department officials [JURIST report] two months ago telling the Togolese government and 13 other countries that they would face sanctions in 90 days if the problem was not addressed. Under the law, child traffickers will face up to ten years in prison and fines nearing 10 million CFA francs (US $18,875). Children's rights groups are praising the new law saying that previous violators were only detained for one or two days and then released. A UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) [official website] spokesperson said that the law was a step in the right direction but there is still work to be done including training individuals on the law, revising penal codes, and coordinating among ministries to put the law into effect. IRIN has more.