The government maintained law enforcement efforts. Togolese laws criminalize all forms of trafficking, but not all prescribed penalties are sufficiently stringent or commensurate with other serious crimes. The penal code, revised in 2015, prohibits all forms of trafficking in articles 317 to 320 and prescribes penalties of 10 to 20 years imprisonment and fines between 10 and 50 million CFA franc (FCFA) ($16,000 and $79,980). Article 317 criminalizes the use of force, fraud or coercion for specific purposes, including sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, servitude and begging. Article 319 provides enhanced penalties in certain circumstances. Article 320 removes the requirement of proving force, fraud or coercion when the trafficking victim is a child. Penalties for child trafficking crimes are increased to 20-30 years imprisonment and a 20-50 million FCFA ($31,990-$79,980) fine; article 321 prescribes application of the maximum penalty and a fine of 25-100 million FCFA ($39,990-$159,960) in egregious circumstances. Article 326 makes trafficking victims acting under duress not responsible for crimes they commit as a result of being trafficking victims. Although article 317 makes forced labor a trafficking offense subject to the penalties set forth in article 318, article 338 also specifically prohibits forced labor prescribing penalties of five to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of 5-20 million FCFA ($8,000-$31,990). Articles 346-349 prohibit exploitative begging prescribing penalties of six months to 20 years and fines, depending on the age and vulnerability of the victim; these penalties are sufficiently stringent, and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Other laws that predate the 2015 penal code amendments also address trafficking offenses and impose significantly lower penalties. For example, article 4 of the 2006 labor code prohibits forced and compulsory labor, with prescribed penalties of three to six months imprisonment, which are not sufficiently stringent. The 2007 child code criminalizes all forms of child trafficking and prescribes penalties of two to five years imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The 2005 Law Related to Child Smuggling criminalizes abducting, transporting, or receiving children for the purposes of exploitation with prison sentences of three months to 10 years imprisonment; these penalties are not commensurate with other serious crimes. The government did not take action during the reporting period to enact draft comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, pending since 2009, that would include provisions for victim protection.
The government reported investigating 101 traffickers and convicting 60 traffickers in 2016, compared with 123 investigations and 59 convictions of traffickers in 2015. The government did not report details on the provisions under which it tried these suspects or provide sentencing data. The government did not provide any trafficking-specific training to its law enforcement officials. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in human trafficking offenses. Experts reported judges were often reluctant to convict or fine parents who subjected their children to trafficking, as they felt it would exacerbate the economic situation that drove a parent to commit the crime. The government cooperated with the governments of Benin, Ghana, and Nigeria under a joint agreement on the control and monitoring of borders to prevent child trafficking, repatriate victims, and extradite traffickers. Additionally, the government cooperated with all west African states under the West African Multilateral Accord and with all west and central African states under the Multilateral Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons in West and Central Africa.