7 billion neighbors

Report in Togo: Fostering of children

Audio 48:30

The cultural practice of fostering often leads to the exploitation of these minors.

© RFI / Raphaëlle Constant

By: Raphaëlle Constant Follow |

Emmanuelle Bastide

1 min

Child fostering in Africa is a practice of placing your child with a family or community member.

This transfer of children is one of the traditional features of African family systems.

Most of the time, parents send their children to live with relatives who promise to send them to school in exchange for help with household chores.

Others are forced to entrust one of their children because of their situation of poverty.


But this cultural practice of fostering often leads to the exploitation of these minors.

Child labor is still a widespread practice in Togo and more widely in West Africa where many children are forced into domestic servitude in private homes or agricultural fields and child trafficking networks have seen the day to neighboring countries.

Sub-Saharan Africa is the region with the highest number of child victims of forced labour: 86.6 million children, or 1 child in 4, are affected. 

Yet Togo has pledged to end child labor by 2025 as part of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

So how does this practice translate today?

What are the consequences for these children?

What happens to them after being picked up by the authorities?

What is the Togolese government doing to prevent and solve the problem of child labor and ensure their protection? 

From Lomé to Sokodé,

Raphaëlle Constant

met foster children who were victims of violence;

families and guardians who recount the circumstances of fostering;

and civil society actors who carry out actions on the ground to protect vulnerable children. 

A report in Togo, on the occasion of the

International Day against Child Labor

which takes place on June 12.


Receive all the international news directly in your mailbox

I subscribe

Follow all the international news by downloading the RFI application


  • Company

  • Togo

  • Children's rights