The Human Being as a Commodity: Responding to the Trafficking and Trading of Persons in West Africa

"This Policy Brief examines the trafficking and commoditization of humans in West Africa, focusing on its nature, risk and fueling factors. It further highlights various responses of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and its Member States to this cancer. The trafficking in persons (TIP) from Africa to Europe alone has a turnover in excess of $300 million per annum. Most of the people engaged in the trafficking business are also often part of other organized crime networks needing its lucrative returns to sustain other crimes such as illegal narcotics and arms trade. Despite the severity of the problem and the risk it poses, West Africa’s responses are often inadequate. This brief finally addresses some challenges in this regard and concludes with recommendations to bridge identified gaps."