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68 Youths Taken Home After Rescue From Ship

THE WORLD | IN BRIEF / TOGO

September 24, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

A group of 68 minors thought to be victims of child labor trafficking has flown back to the youths' native Togo after being rescued from a sinking ship, officials said.

Government officials said the group arrived in Togo's capital, Lome, on Saturday on a military plane sent by Cameroon, where the minors' boat capsized Aug. 29 en route to Gabon.

It is not known how many people were on the boat, though villagers in Cameroon said they rescued 131 people, many of them minors.

Togolese officials said the youths were being taken to Gabon, which, with a higher average income than many other African countries, is a prime destination for foreign minors prepared to work long hours on cash-crop plantations or as servants.

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