Arms Trafficking

ECOWAS and Free Movement of Persons: African Women as Cross-Border Victims


Aduloju, Ayodeji Anthony. 2017. "ECOWAS and Free Movement of Persons: African Women as Cross-Border Victims." Journal of International Women's Studies 18 (4): 89-105.

Author: Ayodeji Anthony Aduloju


Existing literature has investigated the challenges of interstate border dispute, border conflict and their security and developmental implications for the West African sub-region. ECOWAS Free Movement Protocol of Persons was instituted to enhance economic development of West Africa’s citizens. However, studies have shown that the protocol has relatively aided transborder trafficking in persons, drugs, Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW). However, vulnerability of trans-border women traders in the sub-region have received little attention. This study utilized both primary and secondary sources of data gathering in order to interrogate the provisions of ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons vis-à-vis its operationalization and incapacity to increase women’s economic opportunity and empowerment in West Africa. Through field survey, twenty (20) interviews were conducted at the Nigeria-Benin border. The interviews targeted 14 purposively selected women traders at the border, two officials each of the Nigerian Immigration Service, Nigerian Customs Service and the Nigeria Police Force. Moreover, observation method was employed to substantiate the interviews conducted. Data obtained were analyzed using descriptive analysis. Consequently, this study discovered that women constituted more of trans-border traders on Nigeria-Benin border, and precisely in West Africa. In addition, they are vulnerable to extortion, intimidation and sexual harassment by border officials, which has impinged on their rights contained in the ECOWAS Protocol on Free Movement of Persons. The study showed that the protocol does not fully protect women (mostly the ones with low economic characteristics who constitute larger population of women at the border) and thereby having implications for their livelihood and survival. The study then concluded that while the problem faced by women on the Nigeria-Benin border persists, it has a huge impact on the credibility of ECOWAS to properly integrate the sub-region for development and for the benefit of its significant population of women.

Keywords: ECOWAS Free Movement Protocol, Gender, Trans-Border Women Traders, West Africa, sub-regional integration

Topics: Development, Economies, Economic Inequality, Gender, Women, Livelihoods, Trafficking, Arms Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Weapons /Arms Regions: Africa, West Africa Countries: Benin, Nigeria

Year: 2017

Women, War and Peace: War Redefined

An Atlas of Trafficking in Southeast Asia the Illegal Trade in Arms, Drugs, People, Counterfeit Goods and Natural Resources in Mainland Southeast Asia


Chouvy, Pierre-Arnaud. 2012. An Atlas of Trafficking in Southeast Asia the Illegal Trade in Arms, Drugs, People, Counterfeit Goods and Natural Resources in Mainland Southeast Asia. London: I.B. Tauris.

Author: Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy


Mainland Southeast Asia is one of the world's key regions for trafficking of illegal goods. It is home to an international trade in small arms, nuclear smuggling rings, human trafficking, contraband and counterfeit goods, illicit currency and smuggled medicinal drugs. The scope and mechanisms of such trafficking, however, are far from understood. An Atlas of Trafficking in Southeast Asia brings together key researchers and cartographic specialists to provide a unique overview of the major forms of illegal trafficking in the region. Featuring 32 specially drawn full-colour maps detailing the trafficking hubs, counter-trafficking facilities and border status for each of the trafficking activities, together with political, historical, topographic, ecological and linguistic regional maps, the atlas provides an unparalleled reference resource that will be welcomed by professionals and academics across a wide range of disciplines. (I.B. Tauris)


Table of Contents:

1. Introduction: Illegal Trades Across National Borders
Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy
2. Drug Trafficking In and Out of the Golden Triangle
Pierre-Arnaud Chouvy
3. Trafficking, Trade and Migration: Mapping Human Trafficking in the Mekong Region
David A. Feingold
4. Arms Trafficking in Mainland Southeast Asia
David Capie
5. The Jagged Edge: Illegal Logging in Southeast Asia
Vanda Felbab-Brown
6. The Illegal Trade in Wildlife in Southeast Asia and Its Links to East Asian Markets
Vanda Felbab-Brown
7. The Trade in Counterfeit Goods and Contraband in Mainland Southeast Asia
Bertil Lintner


“Human trafficking feeds an extensive regional prostitution market with Thailand being infamous the world over for that reason; and in terms of drug trafficking, opium and heroin are produced in bulk within the similarly ill-famed Golden Triangle. Complexity arises from the fact that human trafficking and drug trafficking can be said to be linked in some places, and to some extent, from whether drug consumption by prostitutes – and by many of their clients – is concerned or whether economic havoc created by excessively brutal and rapid eradication of illegal crops pushes women into prostitution. However, as we will see, complexity is likewise increased by the fact that many other illegal trades feed off these two major trafficking activities and their sometimes congruous networks. Some of these trades may, at some point, contribute to one another; they may also proceed, to some extent, from propitious specific regional dynamics (trafficking in drugs and arms in the context of armed conflicts, for example). It is this great diversity and complexity of illegal trading across mainland Southeast Asia that this book addresses, focusing on five of its most pervasive phenomenon: drug trafficking, human trafficking, arms trafficking, wildlife and timber trafficking, and the trade in counterfeit goods and contraband.” (1-2)

“The most active illegal border trade between Burma and Thailand occurred and still occurs at three points: Mae Sai, Mae Sot and Ranong.” (12)

“The evolution of drug trafficking in the Golden Triangle has forged new transport routes in the region and has brought abandoned routes back into service, such as those previously used by communist guerrillas. Other pathways were never abandoned. Traditional caravaners such as the Haw of Thailand and the Hui (Panthay) of Burma are very active in the regional illicit drug trade, and still use routes today that their forebears used at the end of the nineteenth century.” (13)

“Trafficking of various illegal goods almost invariably occurs along a single route, in the same cargo or not.” (14)

“The number and diversity of drug trafficking routes enable other types of smuggling and/or trafficking activities, sometimes by notorious drug traffickers themselves.” (16)

Topics: Displacement & Migration, Gender, Women, Sexual Violence, Trafficking, Arms Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking, Labor Trafficking, Sex Trafficking Regions: Asia, Southeast Asia

Year: 2012

Terror-Crime Nexus? Terrorism and Arms, Drug, and Human Trafficking in Georgia


Traughber, Colleen M. 2007. “Terror-Crime Nexus? Terrorism and Arms, Drug, and Human Trafficking in Georgia.” Connections 6 (1): 47–64.

Author: Colleen M. Traughber

Topics: Terrorism, Trafficking, Arms Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking Regions: Central Asia, Europe Countries: Georgia

Year: 2007

Human Trafficking in Conflict Zones: The Role of Peacekeepers in the Formation of Networks


Smith, Charles A., and Brandon Miller-de la Cuesta. 2011. "Human Trafficking in Conflict Zones: The Role of Peacekeepers in the Formation of Networks." Human Rights Review 12 (3): 287-99.

Authors: Charles A. Smith, Brandon Miller-de la Cuesta


While the effect of humanitarian intervention on the recurrence and intensity of armed conflict in a crisis zone has received significant scholarly attention, there has been comparatively less work on the negative externalities of introducing peacekeeping forces into conflict regions. This article demonstrates that large foreign forces create one such externality, namely a previously non-existent demand for human trafficking. Using Kosovo, Haiti, and Sierra Leone as case studies, we suggest that the injection of comparatively wealthy soldiers incentivizes the creation of criminal networks by illicit actors. We theorize further that the magnitude of increase in trafficking should be directly proportional to the size of the foreign force, with larger forces producing larger increases. We find that both hypotheses hold with varying levels of confidence across our three case studies. Despite the benevolent intent of peacekeeping missions, the possibility that they may contribute to human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation runs counter to the spirit of such interventions. This is especially problematic given that trafficking rings, once established, may be adapted to provide weapons and narcotics, thereby planting the seed of further destabilization.

Keywords: military sexual assault, human trafficking, peacekeeping

Topics: Armed Conflict, Combatants, Economies, Humanitarian Assistance, Livelihoods, Military Forces & Armed Groups, Militaries, Peacekeeping, Sexual Violence, Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Trafficking, Arms Trafficking, Drug Trafficking, Human Trafficking Regions: Africa, West Africa, Americas, Caribbean countries, Europe, Balkans Countries: Haiti, Kosovo, Sierra Leone

Year: 2011

© 2024 CONSORTIUM ON GENDER, SECURITY & HUMAN RIGHTSLEGAL STATEMENT All photographs used on this site, and any materials posted on it, are the property of their respective owners, and are used by permission. Photographs: The images used on the site may not be downloaded, used, or reproduced in any way without the permission of the owner of the image. Materials: Visitors to the site are welcome to peruse the materials posted for their own research or for educational purposes. These materials, whether the property of the Consortium or of another, may only be reproduced with the permission of the owner of the material. This website contains copyrighted materials. The Consortium believes that any use of copyrighted material on this site is both permissive and in accordance with the Fair Use doctrine of 17 U.S.C. § 107. If, however, you believe that your intellectual property rights have been violated, please contact the Consortium at

Subscribe to RSS - Arms Trafficking