Porous Borders and Increasing Human Trafficking in West Africa: Issues and Challenges

Omolara Akinyemi


The porous nature of West Africa’s borders, which owes its origin to the hasty way the colonialists carved up the African continent as well as the nature of their management by post-colonial states, has become serious issue in human trafficking, money laundering and other related crimes. Thus, one of the major consequences of porous borders in West Africa today is the rise of trans-border crimes. The problem lies in the complexity of these organizations and their activities, the global penetration and the threat they pose to democracy and legitimate economic development. Some of these trans-border crimes include: the narcotics trade and money laundering, illegal migration and people’s trafficking, smuggling (small and light weapons, food items, vehicles) among others. Nevertheless, the never-ending business of trafficking in humans across borders today is organized by individuals and groups, it is colluding with government officials and its devastating impact on exasperated individual victims is the major concern of this study. Data obtained from primary and secondary sources (literature review and content analysis) were deployed to carry out the study with an analytical and narrative historical method. The study concludes that human trafficking can be reduced to the barest minimum in the region, if West African human and material resources are combined together to expand regional capacity for border security.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5296/ijssr.v7i2.15537


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