Global Issues

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• Female genital mutilation practiced on girls and women from infancy up to 30 years of age. Majority of cases occurred before the age of 13, with half occurring before the age of five.

• Country of origin and transit for children, and possibly men and women, subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.

• Majority of victims are girls subjected to forced domestic service or sex trafficking in Cotonou.

• Majority of child trafficking victims are from the northern regions of Benin.

• Reports indicate children may be exploited in the sex trade near Pendjari National Park to meet the demand of foreign tourists.

• The law prohibits rape, but enforcement weak due to police ineffectiveness, victims’ unwillingness to take cases to the police for fear of social stigma, and corruption.

• Family code prohibits marriage under 18 years of age, the practice continued in rural areas. Underage (14 to 17 years of age) marriage permitted with parental consent. As part of forced marriage, there is a tradition in which a groom abducts and rapes his prospective child bride.



• Social Promotion Centers provide assistance to trafficking victims


Sources: U.S. Department of State 2010 Human Rights Report, U.S. Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2011