Growth in Burkina Faso gold mining fuels human trafficking

SECACO, Burkina Faso (AP) — An AP investigation has found that the rapid growth in gold mining in Burkina Faso has also lead to an increase in human trafficking. In interviews, dozens of women describe being brought to Burkina Faso with the promise of good-paying jobs. Instead, their passports are taken and they are forced into prostitution in encampments near small-scale gold mines, where they are made to sleep with dozens of men per night to pay off their debts. Madams often threaten to kill them with juju, a form of witchcraft, if they try to escape. Burkina Faso’s security sector, already struggling to stem a violent jihadist insurgency, is undertrained and ill-equipped to disrupt the expansive network of recruiters, traffickers, and pimps.