Investigative Journalism and Human Trafficking in West Africa

Veronika Gyuracz

Abstract


Investigative journalism that aims to prise out information that the state or certain businesses want to keep undisclosed has been unthinkable under many postcolonial African regimes. However, since the promulgation of democratic constitutions, a generation of ambitious investigative journalists has grown up in Africa. In order to show how journalism has changed, the paper brings Anas Aremeyaw Anas’s activities into focus. Anas’s single-minded mission to bring justice has targeted organisations involved in human trafficking, smuggling, and forced labour in West African countries since 2010. Although his team’s way of gathering information raises moral concerns about undercover journalism, their efforts illustrate that human trafficking is widespread among the countries of West and Central Africa. Therefore, the author suggests that both the AU and ECOWAS must create a more stable legal environment for investigative journalists, as their reports can help these institutions and national governments protect human rights.

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