Police rescue over 140 child labourers in Gabon: Interpol

20th December 2010, Comments 0 comments

Police rescued more than 140 children, some as young as six, who had been trafficked into forced labour in Gabon, cross-border agency Interpol said on Monday.

"Police in Gabon have rescued more than 140 children who had been trafficked from 10 different countries to work as forced labour in local markets," it said in a statement issued from its headquarters in Lyon, France.

"Teams of officials carried out checks at market stalls in the capital city Libreville, where children as young as six years old were working in a variety of roles, from carrying heavy goods, to selling products," it added.

"Forty-four people were arrested in the operation... the first operation of its kind in Central Africa," which took place on December 9 to 11, it said.

"Gabon's decision to continue this work will lead to hundreds more children being saved," said Jon Eyers, assistant director of Interpol's anti-human trafficking unit, in the statement.

It said the unit had run similar operations in Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast.

© 2010 AFP

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