Not for trade

Tim Webster


Running time
1 minute

Country of production
Burkina Faso

Year of production

In the Sahel, a girl's future is given away at birth.

In the first few hours of a Burkinabé girl’s life, her remaining ones are decided.

Not for Trade envisages a future without child marriage.


In the Sahel region of Burkina Faso, underage marriage traps its girls in cycles of hardship and poverty. Education and aspiration are abandoned as girls, as young as 13, are coerced into arranged unions.

Unable to invest their skills in the local economy, their situation is responsible for stalling development and innovation in Burkina Faso.

"I felt like a good that could be traded, but I’m not a good. I’m a human being"

The story

Chalking answers onto the board, young student Amanita symbolises a clear alternative to child marriage. Having fled a forced union, she returned to the classroom with UNICEF support.

In Not for Trade, we document her success – as she rewrites the narrative for her country’s girls.

The World Bank estimates that the global economic cost of child marriage stands at $4 trillion.


The documentary was shot over two days with Aminata kindly welcoming us into her life and home.
Filming was assisted by UNICEF and local partners Homme de Terre.