TIP Award Year:
Chantal Sagbo Sasse has been at the forefront of Gabon’s anti-trafficking movement for more than two decades. She launched one of the country’s preeminent NGOs dedicated to combating child trafficking, Service International de la Formation des Enfants de la Rue (SIFOS), in 2000 and has led the organization since its founding. Under Sagbo Sasse’s courageous leadership and vision, SIFOS offers critical education to children who have experienced human trafficking, homelessness, or residential institutionalization. She has diligently worked with community members, law enforcement and government officials, and other NGOs to ensure the country is proactively identifying victims and referring them to care. Through her early work, Sagbo Sasse frequently interacted and established a deep connection with children who had survived human trafficking, many who were coming from Benin, her country of origin. She and her team have developed anti-trafficking monitoring cells throughout the country’s capital composed of community members, whom SIFOS has trained and empowered to identify human trafficking within vulnerable populations, and to safely report suspected cases to authorities. From 2000 to 2020, SIFOS helped identify 578 child trafficking victims and reintegrate 9,039 children into local society. Sagbo Sasse was also a crucial member of Gabon’s anti-trafficking inter-ministerial committee and remains the country’s foremost leader on this issue. In this committee, she played a major role in promoting victim identification and protections for child trafficking victims. While the government disbanded the committee in 2019 due to a lack of funding, Sagbo Sasse continued to give her time to be a key advisor to government officials, closely coordinating with relevant ministries on victim identification and referral efforts.