Togo: Tough to Survive

Togolese children stuck between hard labour and human trafficking

Endemic poverty in the West African country of Togo is putting crushing pressure on families. Children as young as five toil long hours breaking stones, picking coffee beans, and other manual labor.

Their parents are aware of the hard and often dangerous conditions, but must send them to work to help the family survive.

Many children seek more promising opportunities abroad, but end up falling into slavery and prostitution.

Historically, Togo has been poverty stricken for a very long time. During the infamous Scramble for Africa in 1884, Germany took hold of Togo and the current Volta Region of Ghana as a protectorate collectively known as the German Togoland. Since then any form of riches in Togo was shipped off on the seas.

Togo since then changed hands from Germany to France after World War 1, still being exploited by a foreign superpower. It wasn’t until Togo’s independence from France in 1960 the country started to become self-governing.

Today, Togo is superficially known for its palm-lined beaches and hilltop villages. Few tourists know about Africa’s Togo, let alone want to travel there.

As illustrated in the documentary, real life in Togo is filled with starvation, poverty and political unrest. It is an unstable place for locals and tourists alike.

Togo: Tough to Survive
  • Info
  • Release date2018
  • Full runtime
  • Director(s)Artyom Somov
  • Production companyRT Documentary