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Adélaïde Sawadogo

Burkina Faso , Class of 2019

Adélaïde Sawadogo

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Adélaïde Sawadogo is a proven, unwavering force against human trafficking in Burkina Faso.

For the past 26 years, she has worked unrelentingly to protect vulnerable populations.  Sawadogo is a social worker at Keoogo, an NGO specializing in child protection and advocacy.  At the helm of Keoogo’s human trafficking efforts, Sawadogo has directly assisted more than 1,500 human trafficking victims, including those whom the government does not have the resources to support.  Serving on more than a dozen national and international committees, she has represented Keoogo’s rights-based model for victims and influenced government policy on human trafficking and child protection.  She has accompanied human trafficking victims back to their country of origin to ensure safe passage through insecure regions and across borders, liaising with border officials and police along the journey.  She has worked together with human trafficking survivors to design reintegration programs focused on income-generating skills that foster economic stability.  Sawadogo not only secured pro-bono legal counsel for survivors wishing to press charges against their traffickers, she also followed up with the Burkinabe government to ensure these cases progressed. 

Undaunted by discrimination and threats of violence, Sawadogo has challenged traditional norms and religious precepts to combat forced begging of children by corrupt Quranic teachers and worked to increase access to health care for children in some of Ouagadougou’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

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