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Wednesday, 26 September, 2001, 19:19 GMT 20:19 UK
Benin moves against child slavery

The authorities in Benin have taken new measures to stop children being sent to other countries in West Africa to work as child labourers.

The Minister of Family Affairs, Alassane Biga, told the BBC it was now mandatory to have a certificate in order to travel outside the country with children below the age of 15.

The certificate would be free but those who violated the requirement would face the full force of the law.

The measure comes amid growing concerning over the trafficking of young children in West Africa to work on cocoa and coffee plantations.

In April a ship carrying dozens of children from Benin became the focus of an international search effort amid suspicions that the minors were being sent to work on farms in the region.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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