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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

IV. Country Narratives: Africa


Trafficking in Persons Report
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
June 14, 2004
Report
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ANGOLA (TIER 2)

Map of AfricaAngola is a source country for women and children trafficked primarily within the country for the purposes of sexual exploitation and domestic and commercial labor. Angolan children are trafficked internally into forced labor situations, including work in commercial agriculture, as porters, and as street vendors; some children are reportedly trafficked to Namibia and South Africa to work as domestic servants and for sexual exploitation. There are anecdotal reports of Angolan women being trafficked to Europe and South Africa for sexual exploitation.

 

Samuel lived in Eastern Sierra Leone. In 1991, the Civil War started and rebel groups roamed the countryside raiding villages for food. Samuel's family fled to the jungle but the rebels pursued them, demanding food and money. Samuel was abducted by the rebels and trained as a fighter. He was only nine years old. He survived and was among thousands of child soldiers rescued and reintegrated following the conflict.

The Government of Angola does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government should increase its law enforcement efforts by vigorously investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases. It should also continue programs to reintegrate the approximately 11,000 former child soldiers that are at risk of becoming re-victimized by traffickers.

Prosecution
The Government of Angola has failed to bring traffickers to justice. There are no specific laws that prohibit trafficking in persons, but Angola's constitution and statutory laws criminalizing forced or bonded labor, prostitution, pornography, rape, and kidnapping could be used to prosecute trafficking cases. The government did not arrest or prosecute any traffickers during the year. In March 2004, government authorities opened their first trafficking investigation into the case of six girls who were lured to farms in Huila province with promises of employment and then sexually abused. To protect the rights of children and hear cases referred by police, the government established a Juvenile Court in 2003 that could be used to prosecute traffickers. To date, 354 cases have been tried in the court covering a wide variety of crimes against children, such as child abuse and kidnapping.

Protection
The government, in cooperation with the international community, is actively involved in initiatives to protect trafficking victims, particularly those resulting from the country's three decade-long civil war. In March 2003, the Ministry of Social Assistance and Reintegration (MINARS) hosted a roundtable to express the government's commitment to protect child victims who had been used as forced laborers, sex slaves and combatants during the conflict. MINARS created two separate programs to coordinate the reintegration efforts of international organizations, NGOs, and the national government. Under the National Government Special Program for Reintegration, the government is providing registration, family tracing assistance, transportation to home villages, and resettlement kits to demobilized rebel forces, including former child soldiers, "wives," and non-combatant children pressed into rebel service. A second program, the Program for Return and Resettlement of War-Affected Populations, provides similar services for escaped and freed child soldiers, "wives," and laborers who were living in internally displaced persons camps at the end of the conflict. These initiatives are partially funded with government money. Government officials work with international organizations to distribute food and other supplies to former victims. In addition, MINARS provides logistical support—transportation, customs clearance for supply shipments, and security—for a United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) program that provides former child soldiers with vocational training, social support, and access to education. The teachers and health care providers involved are government employees. In coordination with an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) program to promote family reunification, the government has provided airtime on TV Angola to allow those separated as a result of the war to make appeals for family members. The hour-long program airs weekly and includes recorded messages and images of those seeking lost family members. In January 2004, government ministries, provincial authorities, and UNICEF jointly conducted an advocacy and planning workshop in Cunene Province to raise local officials' awareness of child labor and cross-border trafficking.

Prevention
Recognizing that street children are at high risk of sexual abuse and forced child labor, the Luanda Provincial Government hosted a May 2003 conference on strategies to reunite children with their families and remove homeless children from the streets. To limit the recruitment of underage children by traffickers, the government concluded a child registration campaign that registered 2,182,902 children over a two-year period. In 2003, the government trained 539 activists in 10 provinces, and identified and registered 6,315 separated or unaccompanied children. The National Children's Institute relocated more than 45,000 orphans or children living alone, including some former child soldiers, to houses and family living situations.

 

BENIN (TIER 2)

Benin is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced domestic and commercial labor, including child prostitution. Estimates on the numbers of trafficking victims range between a few hundred and several thousand each year. Beninese children are trafficked to Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Cote d'Ivoire, and Cameroon into forced labor situations, including agricultural labor, quarries, domestic service, and prostitution. The traditional practice of poor, rural Beninese families placing children with wealthier urban relatives has become corrupted, resulting in many situations of forced domestic labor. Beninese children are internally trafficked for forced work in construction, commercial enterprises, the handicraft industry, and roadside vending. Children from Niger, Togo, and Burkina Faso are trafficked to Benin for domestic labor and vending. Previously trafficked children often play a role in the recruitment of new victims.

The Government of Benin does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Benin's movement from Tier 1 to Tier 2 reflects its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking, such as passing comprehensive trafficking legislation and prosecuting traffickers. Endemic corruption and the lack of government will to arrest and sentence traffickers have allowed trafficking to continue relatively unchecked. Benin needs to make a much stronger effort to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases, adopt a national plan to address trafficking, and enact specific legislation dealing with the protection of child trafficking victims. The government should also improve controls along its international borders to combat high rates of cross-border trafficking crimes.

Prosecution
Benin's law enforcement efforts are inadequate. There is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. Consequently, laws criminalizing prostitution, kidnapping, forced or bonded labor, and the employment of children under the age of 14 have been used to prosecute traffickers. Anti-trafficking legislation remains stalled in Benin's parliament for the second year with no clear indication of when it will be passed. Nine suspected traffickers were arrested but have not yet been charged following the repatriation of more than 200 child trafficking victims from Nigeria in September and October 2003. The government did not provide official statistics for the number of prosecutions in 2003. The government doubled the complement of the Brigade for the Protection of Minors from four to nine officers.

Protection
The government made modest progress toward improving protection services for trafficking victims in 2003. During the year, the government provided temporary housing for about 300 child trafficking victims until they could be transferred to facilities operated by various NGOs. Thorough medical screenings were provided, the children received vaccinations and food, and the government's "Brigade for the Protection of Minors" interviewed the victims. In March 2004, the government established a national child protection committee, comprised of child welfare organizations, government officials, and the police to oversee the fight against child trafficking and exploitation and the work of child protection organizations. The committee is expected to publish a directory of the country's child protection organizations and to evaluate their effectiveness in the fight against child trafficking.

Prevention
The Government of Benin continued modest efforts to prevent incidents of trafficking. Anti-trafficking education campaigns targeting vulnerable children and their families are conducted by NGOs with the support and collaboration of the government. As the result of an August 2003 summit on cross-border criminality, the Government of Benin has undertaken concerted efforts in conjunction with the Government of Nigeria to fight all types of illegal cross-border trafficking, including child trafficking.

 

BURKINA FASO (TIER 2)

Burkina Faso is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of domestic and commercial labor. Some Burkinabe women are forced into prostitution after they have arrived in Europe anticipating work as domestic servants. Burkinabe children are trafficked throughout the country and to Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali. Burkina Faso is a transit country for children trafficked from Mali and a destination country for children trafficked from Benin and Togo. Boys trafficked into and within Burkina are employed as forced agricultural laborers, domestics, metal workers, wood workers, and miners; girls typically work as domestics and vendors, though coerced or forced prostitution also occurs. Children trafficked to or within Burkina Faso are subject to violence, sexual abuse and forced prostitution, and are deprived of food, shelter, schooling, and medical care.

The Government of Burkina Faso does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government should intensify efforts to provide protection and assistance to trafficking victims. It should also increase the number of investigations and prosecutions of suspected traffickers.

Prosecution
The Burkinabe Government took modest steps in 2003 to improve its prosecution of traffickers. In May 2003, the National Assembly adopted anti-trafficking legislation that prohibits child trafficking and imposes substantial fines and prison sentences of up to 10 years. In 2003, 17 child traffickers were arrested and prosecuted under a previous law. Two received a six-month suspended sentence; the remaining defendants were released for lack of evidence. There have been no prosecutions under the new trafficking law. The Ministry of Social Action and National Solidarity reported that 644 trafficked children were intercepted by regional surveillance committees and security forces in 2003; 620 were Burkinabe and 24 were from other countries. A committee comprised of government ministries and NGOs has drafted a national trafficking action plan that remains under consideration. In January 2004, the Ministry of Social Action published a report on its trafficking efforts during the period 2000-2003. The government is negotiating with the Government of Mali to sign a cooperation agreement to address trans-border child trafficking.

Protection
The government's efforts to protect trafficking victims over the reporting period were inadequate. The government has established two centers to help with the social reintegration of at-risk children. Only one of the centers has adequate facilities and resources. Five transit centers for trafficked children were established in cooperation with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), serving 644 children in 2003. Vigilance and Surveillance Committees in 11 regions disbursed small amounts of micro-credit for mothers of trafficked children. The government negotiated an agreement with the IOM and UNICEF to repatriate children from other countries.

Prevention
Together with the United States, the government sponsored a 12-month project to train Burkinabe law enforcement officials in all 13 regions to identify and interdict trafficking in persons cases. In 2003, the Ministry of Social Action sponsored a program to establish Vigilance and Surveillance Committees to combat child trafficking in problem regions. Each committee is comprised of members from regional government, security forces, transportation companies, and the agricultural sector. Members receive training on the nature and risks of trafficking, and means to identify trafficking when it occurs. The government's media outlets broadcasted anti-trafficking and child labor programs, often in collaboration with NGOs.

 

BURUNDI (TIER 2)

Burundi is a source and transit country for children trafficked for the purpose of forced soldiering, and there are reports of coerced sexual exploitation of women by both government soldiers and rebel combatants. Armed groups have forcibly conscripted men, women, and children into combat.

Since the 1993 outbreak of the current civil conflict, the government and rebel groups have recruited or abducted about 14,000 children to serve in various capacities, including as porters, cooks, scouts, spies, and actual combatants. There were reports that some rebel groups forced girls into sexual slavery or to perform domestic duties. In conjunction with the UNICEF and the World Bank's Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program, the government initiated in late 2003 a program to demobilize child soldiers and reintegrate them into their communities, including those in the Burundian Army. Following issuance of an order from the Burundian Minister of Defense, the Burundian Army in early 2003 removed those under the age of 18 years from combat units, and relocated children associated with the armed forces from the front lines in preparation for demobilization. While the government no longer conscripts children into its ranks, rebel groups purportedly continue to recruit and use child soldiers. The government and UNICEF reported that prior to the commencement of the child soldiers' demobilization and reintegration program, there were approximately 1,000 child soldiers affiliated with the Burundian Armed Forces, 1,500 with a government paramilitary group, and 500 with two former rebel movements that signed cease-fire agreements in October 2002. An additional 3,000 to 4,000 child soldiers are associated with two other rebel groups, one of which joined the transitional government in November 2003.

The Government of Burundi does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Burundian Army has made commendable progress toward demobilizing all child soldiers within its ranks. There is no legislation specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. The government should continue its efforts to demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers, and enact specific anti-trafficking legislation.

Prosecution
A draft law awaits passage that specifically prohibits pornography, child sexual exploitation, and trafficking in persons. Existing laws criminalize trafficking-related activities such as rape, kidnapping, slavery, smuggling, and prostitution. Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation can be prosecuted under anti-slavery legislation and carries a penalty of up to life imprisonment or death, depending on the severity of the crime. Despite this legal framework, the government did not report any prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of traffickers during the year. However, the government is aggressively investigating cases of alleged trafficking in women that surfaced in late 2003. Air travel, the primary method by which individuals could be trafficked transnationally, is adequately monitored and law enforcement officials have identified some suspected traffickers.

Protection
In 2003, the government pledged to stop the recruitment of child soldiers and initiate demobilization programs. The government engaged local and international organizations to demobilize and reintegrate these children, including the provision of medical, educational, and psychological services. A ministerial committee has identified child soldiers within government forces and provides training for army officers on the illegality of their use. The committee has released reports on the plight of child soldiers and tracked efforts to demobilize and reintegrate them. Since the demobilization program began in December 2003, 524 child soldiers have been demobilized.

Prevention
During the last year, the government made appreciable progress in preventing new incidents of trafficking. From June to August 2003, the government conducted a public advocacy and awareness campaign via local radio stations. It held seminars throughout Burundi, targeting army officers, civil servants, church groups, and civil society. The government has also trained army and other officials on the illegality of the use of child soldiers, and on the prevention of sexual abuse.

 

CAMEROON (TIER 2)

Cameroon is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women are lured to Europe by fraudulent marriage proposals offered through Swiss and French prostitution networks or marriage brokers. In July 2003, British police uncovered an international child trafficking ring sending Cameroonian children to the United Kingdom to work in the sex industry. Girls are internally trafficked from the Francophone Grand North and from the Anglophone northwest to the Francophone cities of Douala and Yaounde to work as domestics, street vendors, or prostitutes. Children are also internally trafficked to work on cocoa bean plantations. Cameroon is a destination country for Nigerian and Beninese children trafficked to work in commercial agriculture, bars, auto parts shops, prostitution, or as street vendors. It is also a transit country for the movement of children between Nigeria and Gabon.

The Government of Cameroon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The country lacks a central repository for crime statistics and regional law enforcement bodies are not required to report cases to a central authority. It is believed that authorities prosecuted several trafficking cases during the year, but actual rates are difficult to determine since traffickers can be prosecuted under various sections of the penal code and there is no system for tracking outcomes. Cameroon should adopt specific anti-trafficking legislation and establish a repository of trafficking crime information.

Prosecution
Cameroon's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts are sporadic. A national action plan and legislation to fight child labor, including child trafficking, remains in draft form. Until this legislation is passed, courts prosecute traffickers using various provisions of the Penal Code that address related crimes, such as slavery, prostitution, and violations of minimum age requirements for workers. Four individuals were arrested for their involvement in trafficking a group of six children to Yaounde. One of these individuals was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. Police also intervened to protect a group of 12 victims of child trafficking, however no traffickers were arrested following this incident.

Protection
Non-governmental organizations provide most of the assistance and protection for trafficking victims. The government provides minimal victim assistance—such as temporary residency, shelter, and medical care—through nine centers for abandoned children funded and staffed by the Ministry of Social Affairs. The government engages with NGOs to locate victims' families.

Prevention
The Ministries of Social Affairs, Labor, and Women's Affairs; the General Delegation for National Security; and, the National Gendarmerie annually allocate funds to support anti-trafficking programs. In 2003, the government sponsored a three-day conference on sex tourism that was attended by hotel managers and travel agencies. The Ministry of Social Affairs conducted seminars in four provinces to discuss the sexual exploitation of children. Frontier police began requiring parental authorization for children traveling without their parents. The government, in conjunction with the ILO, launched a campaign to educate foreign tourists and law enforcement officers about the dangers of child trafficking. Anti-trafficking embarkation-disembarkation cards are now distributed to passengers on international flights leaving Yaounde. The government also supports the creation of anti-trafficking clubs in Cameroon's high schools.

 

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.) is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor, including soldiering. Uncontrolled armed groups continue to abduct and forcibly recruit Congolese men, women, and children to serve as laborers, porters, domestics, combatants, and sex slaves. The Congolese Armed Forces no longer actively conscript children, but still have child soldiers among their ranks despite express commitments to demobilize them. Credible estimates of the total number of child soldiers among all armed groups in the D.R.C. vary widely from 15,000 to 30,000. There are reports of armed groups in Ituri and Maniema forcing civilians, including children, to dig for minerals. There are confirmed reports of child prostitution involving female pimps.

Following several years of war, a unified transition government was formed in July 2003. Sporadic ethnic and political violence by uncontrolled armed groups continues in eastern Congo, and two-thirds of the national territory remains in former rebel hands.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so in those areas of the country under government control. Congo has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List pending a removal of child soldiers from government forces and issuance of official demobilization certificates. The government should enhance its anti-trafficking coordination, and, in close partnership with humanitarian agencies, work toward demobilizing the remaining child soldiers in its ranks and freeing child soldiers who are captive in armed militias in remote regions.

Prosecution
No law specifically prohibits trafficking in persons, although Congolese laws prohibiting slavery, rape, and child prostitution could be used to prosecute traffickers. Involvement in child prostitution is a crime, but these laws are rarely enforced. The reunified government has not investigated or prosecuted any cases against traffickers. The country's criminal justice system— police, courts, and prisons—is decimated following years of war. The justice system must be rebuilt and rule of law improved before trafficking cases can be adequately addressed.

Protection
The government has taken concrete steps to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate (DDR) child soldiers. In 2003, it established a DDR plan of action and an inter-ministerial coordinating committee, however this process has been seriously delayed by the failure of the Ministries of Defense and Interior to finalize procedures for the issuance of demobilization papers. Without this certification, child soldiers are at risk of re-enrollment, have difficulty obtaining assistance from humanitarian organizations, and usually cannot be reintegrated into their home communities. The DDR process is being implemented by international organizations and local NGOs, although the government actively coordinates, facilitates, and participates in the process. About 1,000 child soldiers were demobilized and reintegrated in 2003.

Prevention
In 2003, the government cooperated in a UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) assessment on violence against women and children, including trafficking victims, by providing information and assisting in the program design.

 

 

COTE D'IVOIRE (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Cote d'Ivoire is a source and destination country for children trafficked from Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, and Benin for the purposes of forced labor in commercial agriculture and domestic servitude. Young Ghanaian girls are trafficked to Abidjan to work in restaurants. Women are trafficked from Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, and Asian countries for sexual exploitation in Abidjan and other urban centers. Some of these women are forced to prostitute themselves to earn money to reimburse the traffickers, to buy their release, or so their traffickers can send them to final destinations, including Italy, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. Other victims originate in Cote d'Ivoire and are trafficked for forced domestic labor in Europe, North Africa, Lebanon and Syria. Some Ivoirian children are forced to beg at crossroads and give any proceeds to their traffickers. Ivoirian children are also forcibly conscripted into armed groups; some child soldiers in Cote d'Ivoire have also come from Liberia and Sierra Leone.

The government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite an ongoing political/military conflict and its limited resources and capabilities. Cote d'Ivoire is placed on Tier 2 Watch List in this report because there is a failure to demonstrate increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons. The government should pass an anti-trafficking law and document investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences of traffickers.

Prosecution
In February 2004, the Ministry of Family, Women and Children's Affairs met with National Assembly leaders to encourage quick passage of anti-trafficking legislation. The government currently prosecutes traffickers under laws addressing the kidnapping of children and forced labor. The government did not convict or intercept any traffickers during the reporting period.

Protection
The government does not operate shelters or programs for victims, but encourages the efforts of some 60 NGOs. The government worked with a German aid organization to repatriate several Malian children trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire for agricultural work.

Prevention
The Ministry of Family, Women and Children's Affairs conducted a seminar on the status of trafficking that was widely covered by the media. The government participates in a regional project to combat child trafficking in West and Central Africa.

 

EQUATORIAL GUINEA (TIER 3)

Equatorial Guinea is a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced commercial labor. Women and children are trafficked to Equatorial Guinea from West and Central Africa, principally Cameroon, Nigeria, and Benin. Trafficked women work as prostitutes in Equatorial Guinea's booming oil sector. Boys are trafficked to work in the agricultural and commercial sectors of Malabo and Bata while girls are trafficked for involuntary domestic servitude and prostitution.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government's failure to make significant efforts to reduce trafficking in persons, especially in the absence of resource constraints common to the rest of the sub-Saharan region, requires a Tier 3 raking. Owing to revenues from its petroleum sector, the government has sufficient funding to support prevention and protection programs, but it has failed to take action in these areas, largely due to lack of capacity in the public sector and civil service. The country's borders are porous, corruption is rife, and there is no systematic monitoring or reporting on trafficking. The government should take steps to prevent trafficking by vigorously patrolling its borders, building its law enforcement capacity, and increasing public awareness of trafficking. Efforts should also be made to provide for the needs of trafficking victims.

Prosecution
There is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. The Ministry of Justice drafted a new trafficking law in 2003, which awaits adoption. The Ministry of Justice has designated one of its lawyers as a trafficking specialist. In 2003, the government prosecuted its first trafficking case, convicting a woman of trafficking and enslaving a young girl from Benin. Corrupt law enforcement officials are known to facilitate trafficking in and through Equatorial Guinea.

Protection
The government has taken little action to protect or assist trafficking victims. In fact, victims have been deported. The First Lady, in conjunction with NGOs, has led the government's minimal effort to shelter and care for perhaps two dozen poor and abandoned children, some of who may be trafficking victims. The government provides funding to these shelters.

Prevention
The government sponsored an observance of the International Day of the African Child and staged a National Forum on the Rights of Children and Trafficking of Minors. National radio and television covered these events.

 

ETHIOPIA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Ethiopia is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic and commercial labor. Ethiopian children and adults are trafficked internally from rural areas to urban areas, principally for involuntary domestic servitude, and also for prostitution and forced labor, such as street vending. A small number of young women are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation to Lebanon. There are reports that women may be trafficked onward from Lebanon to Europe.

The Government of Ethiopia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. Victim protection is virtually non-existent, and the failure to obtain a single conviction in nearly 100 trafficking-related cases warrants Tier 2 Watch List status and sends a clear message to traffickers that they can operate with impunity. Ethiopia should take steps to enact comprehensive trafficking legislation, convict and punish alleged traffickers, and provide basic protection services to meet the needs of victims.

Prosecution
Ethiopia lacks comprehensive trafficking legislation. However, the government began the process of strengthening trafficking-related penal code provisions. The criminal code narrowly defines traffickers as those who seduce, entice, or otherwise induce women and children to engage in acts of prostitution. Ethiopian law falls particularly short in that it fails to address internal trafficking and trafficking for forced labor. Despite 80 to 100 trafficking-related arrests in previous years, the government has failed to win a single conviction. In October 2003, police arrested five men suspected of trafficking children from Ethiopia's southern region. These cases are pending. No government official has been implicated in trafficking, but allegations of official collusion in trafficking are reportedly under investigation. Through airport controls, the government monitors immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. In 2003, airport immigration officials rescued and repatriated several Burundians and Tanzanians being trafficked onward to the Middle East via the Addis Ababa airport.

Protection
Minimal government assistance is available to trafficking victims. In 2003, the Ethiopian Consulate in Beirut increased its efforts to dispense limited legal advice and provide temporary shelter to victims.

Prevention
In 2003, the IOM, with administrative support from the Ministry of Education, conducted about 400 anti-trafficking training and awareness sessions at schools and universities. A government committee is vested with authority to address trafficking issues. The government monitors the operations of five international labor migration firms, which are required to provide counter-trafficking training in their initial screening and pre-departure counseling programs.

 

GABON (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Gabon is a destination country for children trafficked from Benin, Nigeria, and Togo for the purposes of forced domestic servitude and commercial labor. The majority of the trafficked children are girls used for forced domestic work, market vending, and staffing roadside restaurants. Boys are forcibly employed in small workshops and as street hawkers. The victims are typically trafficked into the country by boat and deposited on one of many deserted beaches where the likelihood of detection by authorities is small. NGOs estimate that the number of trafficking victims is significant, but accurate statistics are unavailable.

The Government of Gabon does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Gabon is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for failing to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons, including investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases, and adopting measures to prevent trafficking. Gabon should strengthen its anti-trafficking efforts by improving its investigations, prosecuting traffickers, and undertaking regional cooperation to prevent children from being trafficked into the country.

Prosecution
Anti-trafficking legislation was adopted by the National Assembly in late 2003 and was under consideration by the Senate in March 2004. In the absence of an applicable law, the government has not actively investigated or prosecuted any cases of trafficking. In October 2003, UNICEF trained 22 security officials on anti-trafficking measures. Those officials trained an additional 43 security agents, including labor inspectors, in recognizing and preventing child trafficking and protecting its victims. At least one trafficking-related arrest was made following this training.

Protection
UNICEF estimates that more than 3,000 trafficked children have received assistance from the government and various NGOs in Gabon since 2002. In April 2003, the Ministry of Labor, with the help of UNICEF, set up a toll-free hotline for child trafficking victims. The call center provided child victims with 24-hour assistance and arranged free transport to a shelter. Of the 3,500 calls received in 2003, 100 calls were deemed actionable, 52 children were rescued, and 14 reunited with their families. No corresponding arrests were made.

Prevention
The government has made only minimal efforts to prevent trafficking into Gabon. An inter-ministerial committee is tasked with leading the government's anti-trafficking efforts, but it meets infrequently and has no budget or office. The government is involved in the preliminary stages of the development of regional cooperation to prevent trafficking.

 

THE GAMBIA (TIER 2)

The Gambia is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic and commercial labor. Sex tourists from the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Belgium exploit Gambian children and, in some cases, traffic them to Europe for prostitution and pornography. Children are internally trafficked from rural to urban areas for forced work, including begging, street vending, and domestic servitude. The Gambia is a transit point for West African women being trafficked to Europe, the Middle East, and the United States for sexual exploitation. It is also a destination country for West African children exploited as domestics, farm laborers, beggars, street vendors, and in the sex trade. Child prostitutes typically have "leaders" or pimps and operate from bars, hotels, and brothels with the approval of proprietors and managers.

The Government of The Gambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During 2003, the government made tremendous efforts to confront trafficking, including the passage of the Tourism Offenses Act, the drafting of a trafficking bill, and the formation of a trafficking task force. The government should discontinue the practice of returning trafficking victims to their captors and take immediate steps to protect future victims. The government should also enact and implement comprehensive trafficking legislation to ensure that the legal mechanisms are in place to enable the prosecution of traffickers.

Prosecution
No comprehensive law prohibits trafficking in persons, but the government began to draft a bill in late 2003. Provisions in the Gambian criminal code deal with kidnapping, abduction, buying, selling, and trafficking in persons for the purpose of exploitation. The penalty for trafficking is 10 years' imprisonment. The Tourism Offenses Act of 2003 criminalizes child prostitution and pornography engaged in by tourists, and carries severe punishments. A task force reviewed existing laws on child protection and is preparing to submit draft legislation to the National Assembly. No trafficking cases have been prosecuted in the Gambian court system.

Protection
In 2003, the government contributed to the construction of a shelter for trafficking victims. Authorities briefly rescued 100 Ghanaian children trafficked for commercial labor and sexual exploitation in February 2004. Due to an inability to provide protective services, the government returned the rescued Ghanaian children to their traffickers.

Prevention
In 2003, the government formed a trafficking taskforce. The Gambia attended the October 2003 ECOWAS regional meeting on trafficking in Abuja. Following that meeting, a trafficking office was created at the Department of State for Justice and charged with developing a national plan to implement the ECOWAS Action Plan. The Head of State publicly condemned child trafficking and vowed to take action to prevent it during the March 2004 opening of the National Assembly.

 

GHANA (TIER 1)

Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic and commercial labor. Ghanaian children are trafficked to work in fishing communities along Lake Volta, and to cities to work as domestic helpers, porters, and assistants to local traders. They are also trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria, and The Gambia for forced labor; some girls are trafficked to the Middle East for involuntary domestic servitude. Ghanaian expatriates return to Ghana under the guise of seeking to marry young girls, but then prostitute these girls upon arrival in Europe, mostly in Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands. International traffickers also target Ghanaian women by promising European jobs. Ghana is a transit country for Nigerian women trafficked to Western Europe and forced to work in the sex industry, and Burkinabe children bound for Cote d'Ivoire. Children from Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, and Nigeria are trafficked to Ghana for forced work as laborers, domestic servants, and prostitutes.

The Government of Ghana fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Ghana continued to excel at victim protection, particularly in regard to repatriating trafficked children and providing assistance to their families. It also demonstrated strength in trafficking prevention by mounting awareness-raising campaigns in source villages and training truck drivers to identify trafficking victims. However, Ghana's future law enforcement efforts depend heavily on the passage of pending trafficking legislation. The government should proactively seek the passage of this bill and its implementation.

Prosecution
There is no specific law prohibiting trafficking in persons, although there are laws against slavery, prostitution, rape, underage labor, child stealing, kidnapping, abduction, and the manufacture of fraudulent documents under which traffickers are prosecuted. Government officials assert that these laws are inadequate and constrain law enforcement efforts. In 2003, the government worked on drafting a human trafficking bill that, in addition to criminalizing trafficking, would establish a victims' fund for protection, rehabilitation, and prevention efforts. The Ministry of Manpower Development and Employment conducted several workshops during which the National Human Trafficking Task Force reviewed the draft legislation; the government intends to submit the bill to Parliament in 2004. In 2003, police arrested four persons for trafficking-related offenses, but none were convicted. Two individuals were sentenced to two-year jail terms and fined for attempting to sell a child; a woman arrested in 2001 on charges of child trafficking to The Gambia is being prosecuted. There is another trial underway involving several traffickers who were intercepted with 50 children in 2002.

Protection
More than 1000 children were repatriated to Ghana in 2003. The Ghana National Commission on Children has conducted community gatherings throughout the country to discuss the hazards of trafficking. These programs significantly raised the level of trafficking awareness and, in some cases, prompted women to withdraw their children from their traffickers. The Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs provided vocational training to girls engaged in portering. The Ministry also worked, through "Operation Bring Your Children Home," to encourage parents who had sold their children to bring them home in exchange for business assistance, vocational training, credit facilities, and assistance with school fees and uniforms. It established a Women's Development Fund, from which mothers of trafficked children received loans and business training to help them start small enterprises. The government used a World Bank loan to assist street children in major metropolitan areas, many of whom are targets of trafficking.

Prevention
Ghana has a National Plan to Combat Trafficking. In June 2003, in recognition of the World Day against Child Labor, Parliament debated the issue of child labor and child trafficking. The Women and Juvenile Unit (WAJU) of the Ghana Police Force implemented trafficking awareness campaigns involving community meetings in three coastal villages known for sending children to work along the Volta Lake. In addition, WAJU conducted informational meetings at two large truck stops in Accra to educate drivers and their union representatives on identification of trafficking victims. The government pays approximately 10% of the costs of ILO programs to combat trafficking and child labor. The Ghana Education Service has an extensive program to promote girls' education and includes child labor issues in its curriculum.

 

 

GUINEA (TIER 2)

Guinea is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic and commercial labor. Guinean children are internally trafficked to Conakry from rural areas; girls are trafficked for domestic servitude, and boys for shoe shining and street vending. Guinea is a source country for women and girls trafficked to Benin, Senegal, South Africa, and Spain for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. UNICEF estimates that 6,200 Guinean child soldiers await demobilization in the country's military garrisons, and an additional 2,000 are currently in Liberia. Guinea is a destination country for children trafficked from Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Senegal for forced domestic servitude and street vending.

The Government of Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. More complete information on trafficking in Guinea makes it possible to include it in this report for the first time. Instability and armed conflict in neighboring countries contribute to a recent increase in trafficking and made prevention activities more difficult. Large numbers of refugees significantly drain government resources. Guinea should step up efforts to foster interagency cooperation on trafficking issues, curtail trafficking through border posts, and provide assistance to victims.

Prosecution
Trafficking in persons carries a penalty of five to ten-years imprisonment and the confiscation of any money or property received for trafficking activities. Guinean law also prohibits forced labor and the exploitation of vulnerable persons for unpaid or underpaid labor. Government officials are known to issue false passports for trafficking purposes, and deliberately overlook trafficking at border crossings. No actions have been taken against officials involved in trafficking in persons. In November 2003, a network of Guinean women that trafficked girls from Bamako into Guinea for domestic servitude was discovered in the aftermath of a car crash. Guinean authorities worked with IOM to repatriate the five surviving children. It is not known whether any charges were filed against the traffickers. Guinean border police intercepted six boys en route to Mali and returned the victims to their homes. Police are investigating the case of a Greek citizen intercepted while trafficking 36 Indian men through Conakry's port in 2003. The government is working in conjunction with the Malian Government to strengthen trafficking surveillance at the border.

Protection
The government provides limited assistance to victims of trafficking due to severe resource constraints; the responsibility for victim care falls mainly to NGOs and missionary groups. The police assist victims in making contact with organizations that provide shelter and family reunification. Authorities also contact local embassies for non-Guinean victims and process necessary travel documents to permit trafficking victims to return home. The government provides limited assistance to families of returning children. The Guinean military includes training in child soldier identification, demobilization, and prevention as part of its curriculum. In 2003, a book entitled "Child Soldiers and Protection: Before, During, and After the War" became standard issue, and 862 military officers received training on the involvement of children in armed conflict.

Prevention
The government has developed a national plan of action to combat trafficking, consisting of education campaigns and child registration drives. However, in the past year, the plan was poorly publicized and largely ignored. An anti-trafficking workshop was held in Bamako in March 2004 to better coordinate regional action against trafficking. High-ranking Guinean delegates from the Ministry of Social Affairs and national police attended this meeting and presented the government's action plan for TIP issues. To better understand the local trafficking phenomenon, the Ministry of Social Affairs requested that UNICEF conduct a study of Guinean child trafficking in 2003. Completed with the assistance of numerous government personnel, the study provides limited statistics on the trafficking situation. In March 2004, government ministries met to discuss trafficking, including strategies to reduce the number of children being trafficked from Guinea. The meeting focused on ways to close off airports and ports, the major exit routes. To further reduce child trafficking, the government updated its passport technology; photos are now digitally scanned rather than pasted into passports.

KENYA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Kenya is a country of origin, destination, and transit for victims trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Victims are trafficked from South Asian and East Asian countries and the Middle East through Kenya to European destinations for sexual exploitation. Asian nationals, principally Indians, Bangladeshi, and Nepalese, are trafficked into Kenya and coerced into bonded labor in the construction and garment industries. Kenyan children are trafficked internally from rural areas to urban centers and coastal areas into involuntary servitude, including work as street vendors and day laborers, and into prostitution. Women and children are trafficked from Burundi and Rwanda to coastal areas in Kenya for sexual exploitation in the growing sex tourism industry.

The Government of Kenya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Kenya has been classified as Tier 2 Watch List because the absolute number of trafficking victims is significant and there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year. Kenyan officials should recognize that trafficking in persons is a national problem and engage forcefully on the issue. The government should develop a national action plan, step up border security, provide training to law enforcement officials, and conduct anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns. The government needs to enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and continue to combat official corruption.

Prosecution
Kenya lacks a specific anti-trafficking statute and has no comprehensive law enforcement programs targeting trafficking. Some trafficking offenses could be prosecuted under laws addressing child labor, forced detention for prostitution, and the commercial exploitation of children, but no trafficking-related offenses have been prosecuted. Kenyan Government officials are increasingly engaged with the United States to develop anti-trafficking programs. A human trafficking unit in the police force was created in 2003 with U.S. assistance. Kenyan police officials continue to deny that trafficking is a problem. Immigration officials receive brief training on human trafficking. Government corruption is rife, but there were no reports that officials are directly involved in trafficking. It is illegal in Kenya to live on the income generated through commercial sex work.

Protection
The government provides no assistance to trafficking victims in Kenya and does not train police officials in how to identify trafficking victims. Government assistance to NGOs is minimal due to resource constraints. The Ministry of Home Affairs established an office in Saudi Arabia to provide assistance to Kenyans who work there. It also implemented an employment program that targets orphaned and abandoned youth, which could be extended to trafficking victims. The fledgling program offers training and subsidized employment.

Prevention
The government permits NGOs and international organizations to conduct awareness campaigns and collect information, but conducts no prevention programs of its own. In response to reports of Kenyan nationals being victimized by fraudulent employment schemes in the Middle East, the Ministry of Labor operated a program of education, awareness, and inspection for agencies that facilitate the employment of Kenyans overseas. The program seeks to educate Kenyans as to their rights and to lessen the possibility they could become victims, and to prevent the use of illegal smuggling firms. Kenyans using legitimate employment agencies receive information on their legal rights and their contracts are filed with the government. The government recently began a registration program for coastal guesthouses, in part to deter sex tourism. The government lacks the resources to effectively monitor its borders.

 

MADAGASCAR (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Madagascar is a source country for children trafficked internally for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Child prostitutes from poor districts and surrounding rural areas are prevalent at tourist destinations. An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 minors are engaged in prostitution in the tourist areas of Nosy Be and Toamasina. Some child prostitutes are encouraged or facilitated by family members or third parties who, for a fee, locate clients, mediate disputes, or act as an interpreter.

The Government of Madagascar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Madagascar is included in this year's report based on newly available information indicating it has a significant trafficking problem. It is being placed on Tier 2 Watch List as a result of poor prosecution efforts and inadequate protection measures. The government lacks clear, comprehensive trafficking legislation, and has no national plan to combat trafficking in persons and sex tourism. Passage of anti-sex tourism and anti-trafficking laws would enhance Madagascar's law enforcement and prevention efforts. The government also needs to increase its investment in protection programs for victims, such as expanding shelter capacity and vocational skills training for victims.

Prosecution
Madagascar's law enforcement efforts against trafficking remain weak, though the government is initiating reforms. Early in 2004, the Ministry of Justice launched a comprehensive review of Malagasy law to bring it into conformity with commitments made under international conventions. Madagascar has no law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons. Domestic statutes on prostitution are inconsistent, particularly on the age of consent. A regulation bars minors from nightclubs and subjects offending owners to fines and jail terms, but it is not consistently enforced. Traffickers are liable for prosecution under several provisions of the Malagasy Penal and Labor Codes, including a provision prohibiting pedophilia or the procurement of minors for prostitution. In October 2003, a German national was arrested and charged with pedophilia and with hosting an Internet site promoting sex tourism in Madagascar. The court ordered the man deported in December, but his deportation is not confirmed. Also in 2003, five people were convicted of pimping and received prison terms ranging between two and 10 years. In 2003, the government failed to provide full statistics on trafficking-related prosecutions.

Protection
The government's protection efforts are inadequate. The Ministry of Labor established a "Welcome Center" in Antananarivo to provide shelter and professional sewing skills to approximately 40 street children, some of whom had been engaged in prostitution. Plans are being formulated to build a network of centers in all six provinces of the country.

Prevention
The government continued efforts to raise awareness of the sex tourism issue. In December 2003, the government, in conjunction with two international organizations, released its first report on child prostitution in Madagascar. The report included the results of a series of studies conducted by government ministries. The Ministry of Tourism established a committee to coordinate a strategy for combating sex tourism and the government established an inter-ministerial working group for children's issues. In addition, there are several small-scale initiatives supported by local government officials. These efforts offer after-school sports and craft opportunities to children, especially girls who are vulnerable to trafficking.

 

MALAWI (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Malawi is a source and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There are reports that small numbers of women and children are internally trafficked to locations along Lake Malawi for sexual exploitation in the sex tourism industry. Child prostitution is a growing problem in Malawi; due in part to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, child prostitutes are in greater demand. Women are reportedly trafficked for sexual exploitation from Malawi to South Africa and Europe, particularly the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands. There are also claims of Malawians being trafficked to Zambia and Tanzania for forced prostitution. Zambian women are reportedly trafficked for forced prostitution to brothels on the outskirts of Lilongwe and Blantyre.

The Government of Malawi does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Malawi has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List because of a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons, particularly evident in the complete lack of investigations and prosecutions during the year. The government should pass comprehensive legislation to criminalize all forms of trafficking and initiate broad victim protection programs that address the problem of child prostitution.

Prosecution
No law specifically prohibits trafficking in persons. Legislation to criminalize trafficking was introduced in 2002, but was subsequently withdrawn in 2003. Some traffickers can be prosecuted under the penal code, which criminalizes the transport of a woman from Malawi for purposes of prostitution. Malawian law also prohibits prostituting other persons, receiving money from such practices, and procuring any girl under the age of 21 for sexual relations. The constitution prohibits slavery and servitude. Malawian police worked with Interpol and the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Organization to identify and investigate potential traffickers, but the government did not actively investigate or prosecute any trafficking cases in 2003.

Protection
The government provides limited protection services to trafficking victims. In 2003, the government provided counseling, rehabilitation, and relocation assistance to teenage boys sexually exploited at Lake Malawi.

Prevention
The Ministry of Gender and Community Services periodically reviews trafficking cases, but was not presented with an opportunity to do so during the year. In 2003, the government worked with the ILO to study the magnitude of child labor, including child prostitution, in Malawi. The results of the study have not yet been released. The government began issuing machine-readable passports with anti-fraud protection to strengthen immigration controls, tighten border security, and decrease cross-border trafficking. Passport applicants must apply in person and provide supporting identity documents.

 

MALI (TIER 2)

Mali is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic and commercial labor. Children are trafficked to the rice fields of central Mali; boys are trafficked to mines in the southeast; and girls are trafficked for involuntary domestic servitude in Bamako. Malian children are also trafficked to Guinea for domestic servitude. Burkinabe children attending Koranic schools are sometimes forced to work on Mali's rice farms. Nigerian women and girls are trafficked to Mali for sexual exploitation. Traffickers are generally Malian, but include other West African nationals.

The Government of Mali does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Increased prevention efforts would help Mali's fight against trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
Malian law criminalizes trafficking in children, which is punishable by five to 20 years in prison. The Malian constitution prohibits forced or bonded labor, including by children. The government investigates trafficking cases and recently convicted and sentenced one trafficker. Three women are awaiting trial on trafficking charges and their 14 victims of child prostitution were encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution. In December 2003, Malian police arrested two suspected child traffickers convoying 112 Burkinabe children. Two Nigerian traffickers exploiting child prostitutes in Mali were arrested in March 2004. The government provided training for border police, customs officials, labor inspectors, and Ministry employees on recognizing and addressing trafficking. In an effort to coordinate regional efforts, Malian authorities signed a convention with Cote d'Ivoire to fight trafficking; agreements with Burkina Faso and Senegal are in preparation.

Protection
The government works closely with international organizations and NGOs to coordinate the repatriation and reintegration of trafficking victims. Between 2000 and 2003, more than 600 trafficked children, mostly from Cote d'Ivoire, were hosted by transit centers in four major cities before being returned to their families. Following the December 2003 rescue of more than 100 Burkinabe children from traffickers, the government placed the children with a local NGO until they could be returned home. The government also funded income generation projects to assist in the resettlement and integration of these children. The Ministry of Women, Children, and the Family hosted a sub-regional trafficking conference in March 2004 that focused on regional coordination of anti-trafficking efforts and reintegration of trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government has a national plan to prevent and address child trafficking. The Ministry of Women, Children, and the Family's anti-trafficking unit funds a trafficking awareness campaign. In 2003, Mali and Cote d'Ivoire established a commission to jointly study child trafficking.

 

 

MAURITANIA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Mauritania is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purpose of forced labor. Although slavery was officially outlawed in 1980, vestiges of slavery remain, particularly in remote areas of the country, flowing from ancestral master-slave relationships inherited from one generation to the next. This relationship, though one of unequal status, can be likened, at times, to that of family, with the physical needs of the slave provided for, even into old age, in exchange for work performed. Instances of traditional slavery—defined as not receiving payment for work performed and being prohibited from leaving one's situation—reportedly exist, but are becoming less frequent as the population becomes increasingly less nomadic and more urbanized. However, these relationships have long been engrained in the collective mindset and are difficult to transform. Former slaves, though legally free, cannot realistically leave their situation, as they are uneducated and have no personal assets or marketable skills. Without viable work options, there is little possibility of economic independence and the traditional interdependence is perpetuated.

An official Department visit to Mauritania was conducted in March 2004 to gain a better understanding of the social complexities surrounding alleged vestiges of slavery. This investigation neither conclusively confirmed nor denied the continued practice of traditional forms of slavery.

A relatively small number of Mauritanian boys, almost always from Pulaar and related tribes, are sent to cities to work and to receive Koranic instruction under the tutelage of a marabout for whom they are forced to beg, sometimes in excess of 12 hours a day. Such boys, known as talibe, also come from Senegal, Mali, and Niger. While some marabouts provide comprehensive Koranic instruction, others have taken advantage of the tradition to run networks of forced child beggars. There are unconfirmed reports of child prostitution networks.

The Government of Mauritania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Mauritania appears on the report this year as the result of newly available information indicating it has a significant trafficking problem. It has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List for failing to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking. The government should manifest its commitment to eliminating slavery by vigorously publicizing the new anti-trafficking law and any convictions stemming from the law, particularly in remote sections of the country and among vulnerable population groups such as illiterate adults, Black Moors, and the economically destitute. It should also provide education for civil society on labor rights, including forced labor and child prostitution. Economic and social programs must be developed to integrate former slaves into society, and a grassroots awareness-raising campaign should be launched to educate them on their rights, freedoms, and opportunities.

Prosecution
The government passed the Law Against Human Trafficking in July 2003 that prohibits non-remunerated work, forced labor, and exploitation for prostitution. Penalties include five to ten years of forced labor and a substantial fine. To publicize the new law, the government ran radio, television, and newspaper campaigns in French, Arabic, and Pulaar in both July and December 2003. A later campaign, which focused on the legal context of the trafficking law, ran in early September. The government has not prosecuted any cases against traffickers under the new law.

Protection
The government does not provide victim protection services. In 2003, the human rights commission provided a small number of descendents of former slaves, known as Haratines, with vocational training via mobile centers sent to remote areas.

Prevention
The government took no action in 2003 to prevent trafficking.

 

MAURITIUS (TIER 2)

Mauritius is a source and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Mauritian children are internally trafficked for exploitation in the sex tourism industry. Mauritius has an estimated 2,600 child prostitutes. There are reports that women from Madagascar are trafficked to Mauritius for forced prostitution through the abuse of tourist visas.

The Government of Mauritius does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government has acted proactively and demonstrated strong political will to combat trafficking in persons within the country. To further its efforts to fight trafficking, Mauritius should strengthen its law enforcement efforts, increase nationwide awareness of child trafficking, and amend existing laws to cover the cross-border dimension of child trafficking and the sale of children.

Prosecution
The government's performance in combating trafficking through law enforcement was weak in 2003. Mauritius continues to lack a law that specifically prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons. The Constitution provides protection against slavery and forced labor. The criminal code makes it an offense to procure, entice, and exploit prostitutes. While it is illegal to engage in sexual intercourse with children under the age of 16, Mauritian law fails to criminalize the prostitution of 16- and 17-year old children. In 2003, the government established a Tourism Police Force to monitor tourist sites for instances of trafficking, as well as victims of the sex tourism trade.

Protection
During 2003, the Government of Mauritius made efforts to improve its protection of trafficking victims. Late in the year, the Mauritius Family Planning Association, in collaboration with the Ministry of Women's Rights, Child Development, and Family Welfare, opened a "Drop-In Center" to rehabilitate children who are victims of sexual abuse and exploitation, including child prostitutes. Trained child welfare officers offer psychological, medical, and legal assistance as part of an effort to reintegrate the children into society. The Ministry of Women and the Family Protection Unit of the Mauritian Police Force jointly conducted a three-day training for NGOs on combating commercial sexual exploitation of children

Prevention
The government's efforts are strongest in the area of prevention. It has a National Plan of Action on the Protection of Children Against Sexual Abuse including Commercial Sexual Exploitation. In 2003, the Ministry of Women's Rights, Child Development and Family Welfare launched a Child Watch Network, which, through collaboration of social workers, medical practitioners, psychologists, teachers, NGOs and community leaders, conducts surveillance of children who are being abused, including child prostitutes. Under the Ombudsperson for Children Act of 2003, the President appointed an Ombudsman for Children's Issues who is responsible for promoting children's interests, protecting victims of exploitation, investigating complaints of violations, and presenting proposals for preventing trafficking. In 2003, the Ministry of Tourism developed a strategy to discourage child prostitution at tourist destinations. The government sponsored anti-trafficking television, radio, and newspaper advertisements that educated the public about the problems of child prostitution. In addition, the government ran a "training for trainers" program to educate 200 community and youth leaders on how to train others to identify and combat child sexual exploitation, of which child prostitution is a primary element in Mauritius.

 

MOZAMBIQUE (TIER 2)

Mozambique is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. South Africa is the principal receiving country for trafficked Mozambicans. Traffickers are principally Mozambican or South African, though Chinese and Russian syndicates reportedly facilitate trafficking as well. The IOM estimates that 1,000 Mozambican women and children are trafficked every year and sold to brothels, or as concubines to mine workers.

The Government of Mozambique does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Though trafficking is acknowledged as a serious problem at the highest levels of government, border controls remain inadequate and do not effectively monitor for evidence of trafficking. The government has difficulty investigating alleged trafficking cases due to untrained police officers, while equipment shortages limit its investigative capacity. The government should focus its efforts on strengthening border controls, bolstering investigative resources, and undertaking strong preventive measures.

Prosecution
Mozambican law does not specifically prohibit trafficking in persons. Traffickers could be prosecuted using laws on sexual assault, rape, abduction, and child abuse, but no such cases have been brought. The government has responded to trafficking-related allegations in the press by conducting follow-up investigations and issuing public awareness announcements. Two foreigners were detained in 2003 on allegations of child and organ trafficking; the investigation is ongoing. In September 2003, the government launched a program to enhance its child protection laws, including the development of legislation to specifically address trafficking in children. A pilot program of police stations dedicated to deal with trafficking victims was implemented in three provincial capitals and staffed with trained officers.

Protection
In 2003, the Ministry of Women and Social Action Coordination staffed hospitals in all provinces with persons trained specifically to work with trafficking victims. These personnel provide only short-term assistance to the victims; many provinces lack the funding to provide long-term assistance, shelter, or employment skills training. The Campaign against Trafficking in Children, in which the government actively participates, is establishing an assistance center at the border post of Ressano Garcia for repatriated victims of child trafficking.

Prevention
Prevention efforts on the part of the government are extremely weak. An individual from a local NGO has been seconded to the Ministry of the Interior to work on trafficking issues, but the level of resources devoted to prevention is not commensurate with the problem.

NIGER (TIER 2)

 

Niger is a source and transit country for men, women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and domestic and commercial labor. Niger is a transit country for persons trafficked between Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Mali; final destinations also include North African and European countries. Nigerien girls are internally trafficked for involuntary domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Young Nigerien boys are indentured to Koranic teachers, and vestiges of traditional slavery reportedly exist in parts of the country.

The Government of Niger does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government needs to prosecute trafficking crimes and take steps to provide for the protection of victims.

Prosecution
Due to severe resource constraints, Niger's ability to punish traffickers was weak in 2003. There is no law specifically outlawing trafficking, but a 2003 revision of the penal code criminalizes slavery, for which a conviction carries a 10 to 30-year prison sentence. No prosecutions occurred during the year, but Niger's Judicial Police arrested two Nigerians attempting to transit 14 males and 14 females from Nigeria to Mali. These individuals were released to the Government of Nigeria for prosecution. Anti-trafficking training was conducted for police and border officials who cooperate with Interpol.

Protection
The government does not offer any services for victims but it operates a general witness protection program that trafficking victims could potentially take advantage of. In addition, it supports the efforts of two NGOs that assist victims of trafficking.

Prevention
In 2003, the Ministry of Justice created a National Commission for the Coordination of the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons, and an action plan is slated for approval in mid-2004. The government has sponsored anti-trafficking information and education programs, including an ILO-IPEC campaign that involved outreach to traditional chiefs. In addition, Niger has signed the anti-trafficking declaration issued by ECOWAS.

 

NIGERIA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked women and children. Nigerians are trafficked to Europe, the Middle East, and other countries in Africa for the purposes of forced labor, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation. Nigerian girls and women are trafficked for forced prostitution to Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Cote d'Ivoire, and South Africa. Nigerian children are trafficked for involuntary domestic labor and street hawking within Nigeria and to countries in West and Central Africa. Nigeria is a destination country for Togolese, Beninese, Ghanaian, and Cameroonian children trafficked for forced labor.

The Government of Nigeria does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Nigeria is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List because of the continued significant complicity of Nigerian security personnel in trafficking and the lack of evidence of increasing efforts to address this complicity. Unlike other governments in the region, the Nigerian Government does not face severe resource constraints, yet it commits inadequate funding and personnel to the fight against Nigeria's serious trafficking problem. Nigeria is to be commended for its new anti-trafficking law and the new central government anti-trafficking in persons law enforcement unit created by that law. The government should move quickly to implement the new law through vigorous high court prosecutions of corrupt officials and traffickers; it should also give adequate support to the new anti-trafficking agency and improve protection facilities or funding for NGO protection activities.

Prosecution
The criminal provisions in the comprehensive anti-trafficking law passed in June 2003 remain untested, although the government created the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), as the law mandates, in August of the same year. However, Nigerian courts prosecuted no traffickers during the last year. The Nigerian Police reported 98 arrests of trafficking suspects, 44 of who remain under investigation. There were no known prosecutions during the last year and anti-trafficking efforts among the states appeared to diminish considerably over the reporting period. Reports indicated that government officials, particularly police and immigration and border officials, facilitate the trafficking of women and children; there is no discernible commitment to address this trafficking-related corruption. This corruption is reportedly very high, impeding the identification and prosecution of traffickers. In the one significant anti-trafficking enforcement action during the last year, Nigerian immigration authorities rescued and repatriated about 400 Beninese children enslaved in rock quarries in Ogun and Osun States. Authorities arrested six traffickers in this case, but later released the criminals after a traditional ruler in the area intervened. The government does not monitor its borders adequately. In November 2003, the Nigerian Attorney General signed an anti-trafficking law enforcement memorandum of understanding with the Italian government's Anti-Mafia Bureau.

Protection
The central government provides minimal funding for protection activities, but refers cases to IOM and local NGOs that operate shelters in Lagos, Abuja, and several southern states. The federal government has mounted no national effort to assist with the shelter and training of trafficking victims. Several state governments in the south of Nigeria continued strong efforts to protect victims. Imo State's government repatriated 29 victims from Gabon during the year. Edo and Abia States ran skills acquisition centers for trafficking victims. The Akwa Ibom state government worked with the Government of Cameroon to effect the repatriation of Nigerian children trafficked there. During the last year, Nigeria's immigration service assisted in the repatriation of 10,703 victims of trafficking and identified some girls and women trafficked to Saudi Arabia during the Hajj. Witness protections do not exist. Trafficking victims repatriated from abroad are usually provided shelter, but the police often house internal trafficking victims in jails. Sex trafficking victims returned from abroad are usually forcibly tested for HIV/AIDS; the results of these tests are not kept confidential.

Prevention
The central government made little effort to sponsor or coordinate efforts to prevent new incidents of trafficking during the last year, though the NAPTIP in 2003 established a Stakeholders Forum comprising various governmental ministries and UN agencies. State governments made significant prevention efforts during the last year; Imo, Abia, and Cross-Rivers States conducted awareness and sensitization campaigns among at-risk populations using documentary films and by working through women leaders in and outside of the government.

RWANDA (TIER 2)

Rwanda is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic labor, and soldiering. Small numbers of Rwandan women are trafficked internally or to Europe for prostitution. As a consequence of the 1994 genocide and the AIDS epidemic, children comprise 50% of the population; an estimated one million orphans are vulnerable to exploitation. A small number of child victims are trafficked to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.). UNICEF estimates that 2,100 child prostitutes are active in Rwanda. Many impoverished children enter prostitution as a means of survival. Former adult prostitutes prey on children from rural areas, recruiting them to work in cities, often under false pretenses. The Rwandan Government has demobilized more than 500 child soldiers returning from the Congo; upwards of 2,500 are expected to return by the end of the repatriation effort.

The Government of Rwanda does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government should vigorously investigate and prosecute alleged traffickers and begin to systematically monitor the trafficking problem.

Prosecution
Rwanda has no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. However, traffickers could be prosecuted under laws that criminalize slavery, coerced prostitution, kidnapping, and child labor. In 2003, the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Gender and Family Protection began a review of trafficking-related laws to identify gaps and to develop a strategy to improve the legal framework. No traffickers have been prosecuted, but the government, under direct presidential order, vigorously prosecutes cases involving sex crimes, particularly those committed against children. Rwanda prosecuted 581 persons accused of sexual crimes against children in 2003. The police assisted local authorities in identifying and destroying homes being used as brothels. In 2003, the Swedish police trained 24 Rwandan law enforcement officers to identify and investigate cases of trafficking. They also assisted Rwanda in the opening of a forensic lab in 2004 to aid police in building stronger cases against traffickers. The government monitors immigration and emigration patterns, as well as border areas that are accessible by road.

Protection
In January 2004, the government opened a residential demobilization center to prepare child soldiers returning from the D.R.C. for reintegration into their home communities. The children receive three months of rehabilitation, including counseling, medical screening, and schooling. This center is funded by the government and has received approximately 100 former child soldiers. The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission holds sensitization meetings to train the families of returning child soldiers to accept and avoid stigmatizing them. The Ministry of Local Government and Social Affairs supports these families financially, through the provision of school fees, uniforms, and supplies. In addition, the Demobilization Commission supports Centers for Youth Training, where older children not returning to school learn a vocation. Throughout the country, the National Police and the Ministry of Gender and Family Protection have set up a network of doctors on 24-hour call to treat victims of sexual assault. The doctors assist police in building stronger cases against accused perpetrators.

Prevention
In November 2003, the Ministry of Public Service hosted a conference to develop a strategy to address trafficking. The government conducted programs to prevent women and children from becoming victims of trafficking. During 2003, the Ministry for Gender and the World Food Program piloted a school lunch project in 200 schools to promote enrollment. The Ministry also ran solidarity camps to help street children reintegrate into their home communities and is studying the issue of child-headed households. Training on sex crimes and crimes against children is now a standard part of the police training curriculum, spurring officers to begin a program to educate primary school students on the common ploys used by traffickers. The Ministry of Labor deployed one inspector to each province to monitor hazardous child labor situations.

SENEGAL (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Senegal is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. A small number of children are trafficked to Senegal from Guinea-Bissau to secure Portuguese identification documents and further trafficked to Europe. Nigerian crime syndicates are known to be involved in the trafficking of Senegalese and other West African women from Senegal into Europe for purposes of sexual exploitation. Senegal is a destination country for women trafficked from the People's Republic of China.

The Government of Senegal does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. It has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List for failing to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking. Better government coordination is badly needed, including the gathering of accurate statistics on the extent of trafficking. The government should also amend its laws to incorporate definitions of trafficking and trafficking crimes, and conduct programs to raise public awareness of trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
Senegalese law does not specifically address trafficking in persons, which sometimes prevents trafficking victims from being identified as such and, in the past, has prevented convictions from being obtained. Recognizing this, the government has committed to strengthening the legal framework during 2004 by defining and criminalizing trafficking. Senegal has laws against hostage taking, abduction, the sale of persons, illegal prostitution, and the sexual exploitation of minors. There were no trafficking-related investigations or prosecutions. During 2003, a small number of Congolese, Nigerian, and Cameroonian women were intercepted at the airport with false documents. Although they were en route to Europe for purposes of prostitution and sexual exploitation, it is not confirmed that they were trafficking victims. In an effort to monitor the flow of people across Senegal's borders, the Ministries of Interior and Justice began to work with the International Organization for Migration to establish computer networks linking regional courts, border posts, and Senegal's foreign missions to a common data analysis center. Eighteen officers of the Senegalese Police and Gendarmerie have completed a 5-week training course on recognizing, investigating, prosecuting, and preventing trafficking.

Protection
Due to the lack of available funds, Senegal has no trafficking-specific protection or victim assistance programs. The government welcomes the work of NGOs.

Prevention
In 2003, the government made considerable progress in acknowledging trafficking as a problem in Senegal by establishing a National Committee for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons. This committee drafted a national plan to combat trafficking that is currently under review by several ministries.

 

SIERRA LEONE (TIER 3)
 
[*Please note: Sierra Leone was updated to Tier 2 Watch List per President George W. Bush, Presidential Determination No. 2004-46, September 10, 2004.]

 

Sierra Leone is a country of origin, destination, and transit for victims trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Victims are trafficked to Freetown internally and from neighboring countries for involuntary domestic servitude, street labor, and commercial sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked from rural areas to Freetown and to diamond mining areas for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Some victims are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation to areas where international peacekeepers are concentrated. Victims are trafficked from Sierra Leone to West African countries for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Some victims are trafficked to Lebanon, Europe, and the United States for these purposes. Some former abductees, including former child soldiers, remain with their captors due to a lack of viable options.

The Government of Sierra Leone does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Sierra Leone was assigned a Tier 2 ranking in 2003; its efforts are now reassessed as Tier 3 due to the lack of progress on law enforcement, protection, and prevention efforts. The government acknowledges that trafficking is a problem but has failed to take significant steps to address the problem. Sierra Leone should enact and implement a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, conduct a national awareness campaign, and train government officials in identifying and assisting victims.

Prosecution
The Special Court, which is a hybrid UN-Sierra Leonean body, indicted 13 prominent persons for grievous violations of international law, including trafficking offenses involving child soldiers, sex slavery, and forced labor. Six of the indictees are currently being prosecuted for forced labor and sex slavery during the civil war. Two judges on the Special Court are Sierra Leonean and the national police made the arrests. There is no anti-trafficking law in Sierra Leone. The Family Support Unit of the police is assigned responsibility for trafficking in persons and has received anti-trafficking training, but its time is spent on domestic abuse cases. Government agencies have considered but not adopted an MOU to combat abuses in passport issuance to minors. Official corruption is endemic and impedes anti-trafficking efforts. Law enforcement efforts are also hampered by a lack of resources, personnel, and trafficking awareness. Penalties for child rape vary from two to 15 years' imprisonment according to the age of the victim and the circumstances of the crime.

Protection
The government cooperated extensively with international organizations and NGOs involved in the reintegration of child soldiers. The activities of the National Commission for War Affected Children are limited by resource constraints. There are no screening or referral mechanisms for victims. The government has not conducted awareness campaigns. The Ministry of Social Welfare repatriated a 17-year-old girl from Nigeria and provided reintegration assistance.

Prevention
Sierra Leone has discussed but not established a committee to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts. The government has been focused on establishing security throughout the country and lacks resources to conduct prevention programs or to train officials to identify and assist victims. The Family Support Unit sponsored a seminar on sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation and officials have attended conferences addressing trafficking issues. The Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children's Affairs maintains a register of children separated from their families as a consequence of the war; many of these children are trafficking victims. The government lacks the capacity to effectively monitor its borders.

 

SOUTH AFRICA (TIER 2)

 

South Africa is a country of origin, destination, and transit for women, children, and men trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women and girls are trafficked to South Africa for forced prostitution, forced marriages, and forced labor. Mozambican women and street children from Lesotho, women from East Asia (Thailand and China) and South Asia (Pakistan), and women from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are all trafficked to South Africa for sexual exploitation. South Africans are trafficked internally for domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, and forced labor, and some are trafficked to Macau, Hong Kong, and the Middle East for similar purposes.

The Government of South Africa does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. South African officials should engage more forcefully to implement the National Plan of Action, step up border security, and conduct anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns. The government needs to enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and move vigorously to combat organized trafficking syndicates and lower-level government corruption.

Prosecution
South Africa lacks an anti-trafficking statute and has no comprehensive law enforcement programs targeting trafficking. Some government agencies have developed their own anti-trafficking programs. Traffickers are prosecuted under a variety of statutes, including the Child Care Act, the Sexual Offences Act, the Prevention of Organized Crime Act, and the general criminal law. Approximately 10 investigations and four prosecutions involving trafficking are underway. Government officials are moving expeditiously to address the trafficking problem on several fronts. The South African Law Commission is preparing comprehensive draft legislation on trafficking for consideration in 2004. The National Directorate for Public Prosecutions formed an inter-agency task force that drafted a national action plan on trafficking in persons. Police officials formed an anti-trafficking team at the Johannesburg airport. Police resources to address trafficking are limited in South Africa, which has among the highest crime rates in the world. The Department of Labor prepared a Child Labor Action Program that contains anti-trafficking components. Several provincial task forces address trafficking and this program is to be extended to every province. There is evidence of trafficking-related corruption among lower-level government and police officials. In 2003, six immigration officials, five police officers, and airport inspection officers were arrested for facilitation of illegal immigration into South Africa. The Department of Home Affairs, with U.S. Government assistance, is taking serious steps to improve border controls.

Prevention
The South African Government is not directly involved in trafficking prevention campaigns. International organizations and NGOs, often in agreement with the government, conduct regional anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns, research, and information collection. The government provided funding in this area, including one NGO that is addressing child prostitution. Government campaigns against violence towards women and children are expected to have some positive impact.

Protection
The government provides no assistance to trafficking victims per se, but operates a network of facilities to care for victims of sexual abuse. These facilities are networked with special Sexual Offences Courts. Foreign trafficking victims are often treated as illegal immigrants and deported. A few cooperating witnesses have been granted protection or immunity from prosecution.

 

SUDAN (TIER 3)

 

Sudan is a source and destination country for trafficked persons; it also has a significant internal slavery problem. Sudan remains embroiled in civil war, with heavy fighting continuing in the western region. Government-sponsored militias and rebel groups have abducted thousands of Sudanese and Ugandan men, women, and children for use as sex slaves, domestic workers, agricultural laborers, and child soldiers. Women and children are also subjected to intertribal abductions for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation in southern Sudan. An estimated 17,500 persons have been abducted since 1980. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel group, has conscripted many Sudanese children to serve as soldiers; 850 had been repatriated by December 2003. There are also reports of Sudanese boys trafficked to the Middle East as camel jockeys.

The Government of Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Government officials deny the existence of trafficking in Sudan; consequently, law enforcement and prevention efforts are non-existent. The government should expand its program to identify and return inter-tribal abductees and demobilize the thousands of child soldiers in Sudan.

Prosecution
No law specifically prohibits trafficking in persons, although criminal law (Shari'a law) and the current State of Emergency Law prohibit all forms of sexual and labor exploitation. No prosecutions took place under these laws during the past year.

Protection
The Committee for the Eradication of Abduction of Women and Children (CEAWC), a governmental organization and its 22 Joint Tribal Committees locate, identify, and facilitate the safe return of former abductees. Since 1999, approximately 3,500 persons have been released from bondage. CEAWC documented 764 abduction cases in 2003 and reunified 196 abductees with their families. CEAWC is working to return an additional 500 children to their families in rebel-controlled areas.

Prevention
The government does not conduct or support any trafficking prevention programs. In 2003, the government renewed a protocol allowing Ugandan armed forced to pursue the LRA within Sudanese borders.

 

TANZANIA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Tanzania is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Tanzanian girls are internally trafficked for forced domestic servitude and, to a lesser extent, for prostitution in the Middle East, South Africa, and Europe. Tanzania is a destination country for women and children from India, Kenya, Burundi, and Democratic Republic of the Congo who are trafficked for forced agricultural labor and forced prostitution.

The Government of Tanzania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Tanzania has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List for lack of evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking from the previous year. The government should increase efforts to investigate and prosecute cases of trafficking, including the provision of trafficking-related training to law enforcement officials. It should also take concrete steps to prevent trafficking from occurring.

Prosecution
In 2003, Tanzania showed few signs of significant anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Tanzanian law criminalizes trafficking for sexual purposes, but the country lacks a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that addresses trafficking for the purposes of forced labor. Forced labor is, however, prohibited by the Constitution. Tanzania produced no prosecutions or convictions of traffickers during the reporting period. A Tanzanian man and woman were arrested in October 2003 for trafficking young girls from the rural Iringa region to Dar es Salaam; the government offered no further information on whether the couple faces prosecution. A 2002 prosecution involving 12 individuals for operating a brothel that prostituted underage girls continued during the last year.

Protection
The government does not provide protection services for trafficking victims, but supports the work of NGOs. At the village and ward levels, local government, in conjunction with ILO's "Time Bound" Child Labor Program, utilizes child labor councils to report trafficking cases. No information is available regarding the specifics of this work. In 2003, the government created a children's welfare desk at police headquarters in Dar es Salaam to serve as a focal point for reporting trafficking cases. This desk is the intended destination to which trafficked children can go for help, as well as liaison with and referral to local NGOs. On the other hand, there are known cases of police officers colluding with bar owners and others involved in commercial sexual exploitation, engaging in questionable practices involving children, and accepting bribes to ignore instances of trafficking. The government supports anti-child labor efforts by providing public buildings for classrooms and community centers.

Prevention
The trafficking working group founded by the Ministry of Labor in 2001 remained inactive. During 2003, a local-language public service announcement on child trafficking was aired on the government-owned television.

 

TOGO (TIER 2)

Togo is principally a country of origin for children trafficked to Nigeria and Gabon for the purposes of forced domestic labor and forced prostitution. Some Togolese women are trafficked to Lebanon and Europe for sexual exploitation. Ghanaian children are trafficked to Togo to work in involuntary domestic servitude.

The government does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Anti-trafficking legislation has been stalled since December 2002; immediate efforts should be made to expedite its passage to the National Assembly. Clear lines of governmental authority to address trafficking should be established and efforts made to prosecute those arrested on trafficking-related charges.

Prosecution
Togo has no specific trafficking law, but the government can use existing criminal statutes against child labor and sexual exploitation to prosecute some aspects of trafficking crimes. The Criminal Justice Investigation Department reported 28 arrests for trafficking in children and 11 arrests for trafficking young women during 2003, but no information was reported on trafficking-related prosecutions or convictions. Specific anti-trafficking legislation was introduced in 2002 but has not passed. The government cooperates with Ghana, Benin, and Nigeria on the return of trafficked children, but no statistics were available.

Protection
No government-sponsored programs address the care of persons trafficked to Togo, but the government supports efforts of NGOs. With international help, the government established a small short-term care center for trafficked children in 2003, but this center does not provide medical care or rehabilitation, and trafficked children are quickly turned over to NGOs.

Prevention
The president has publicly acknowledged the presence of trafficking in Togo and government ministers have called on NGOs for help in combating the problem. Efforts by NGOs and the ILO to create local trafficking councils led to the government's formation of a national committee on rehabilitation and reinsertion. his committee began collecting statistics on trafficking in rural areas. In early 2004, the Ministry of Justice hosted a regional anti-trafficking workshop on strategies to fight trafficking in Benin, Nigeria, and Togo.

 

UGANDA (TIER 2)

 

Uganda is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. The rebel organization "Lord's Resistance Army" (LRA) abducts boys, girls, and adults in war-torn northern Uganda, a territory outside full government control. Children taken by the LRA are forced to work as cooks, porters, agricultural workers, and combat soldiers; girls are subjected to sex slavery under the guise of forced marriage. UNICEF estimates that not less than 10,000 children have been abducted since the June 2002 launch of military operations against LRA camps in southern Sudan.

The Government of Uganda does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To strengthen its current efforts to combat trafficking, the government should draft and enact anti-trafficking legislation, protect children from recruitment into armed groups, and take further action to demobilize child soldiers from all armed groups.

Prosecution
Uganda does not have a comprehensive law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. The Penal Code specifies penalties for several trafficking-related offenses, such as procurement of women for purposes of prostitution, detention with sexual intent, trading in slaves, and forced labor. There have been no prosecutions for trafficking-related offenses. When captured, LRA rebels are not charged with trafficking; instead almost all ex-combatants apply for and are granted amnesty. Those who do not seek amnesty are generally tried for crimes carrying greater penalties, such as treason and sedition.

Protection
The government collaborates with NGOs involved in rescuing street children, rehabilitating abducted children, and combating child labor. The government assists former LRA abductees, including children. The Uganda Peoples Defense Force has a trained Child Protection Unit that receives and shelters former child soldiers and transfers them to NGO-run reintegration centers. The government has provided resettlement packages to disarmed rebels, some of whom are former child soldiers. In addition, the government has had a program in place since 2000 that provides blanket amnesty to rebels or abductees, including immunity from criminal liability. Since January 2003, there have been two cases of treason charges filed against ex-LRA combatants for crimes committed while they were children. The charges were dropped when the two were granted amnesty and turned over to NGOs for reintegration into society.

Prevention
The Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development speaks out publicly against child abductions, has drafted a national plan to combat child labor, and is mounting public awareness campaigns on local radio stations against child labor and the exploitation of children as domestic servants.

 

ZAMBIA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

 

Zambia is a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Child prostitution exists in most urban centers and constitutes the country's most serious trafficking problem. Anecdotal reports suggest that small numbers of Zambian women, lured by fraudulent offers of employment or marriage, may be trafficked to South Africa for forced prostitution. Zambia is reportedly also a transit point for regional trafficking of women to South Africa. There have been few verified cases of trafficking involving Zambia and there are no reliable estimates of the number of women trafficked from or through Zambia.

The Government of the Zambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making efforts to do so. Zambia has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List for lack of evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking from the previous year, particularly in regard to protection of children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation. The government should institute assistance programs to meet the specific needs of child prostitutes, including vigorously addressing the root causes of this phenomenon and providing viable alternatives to victims.

Prosecution
The government does not have a comprehensive trafficking law. Several sections of the Zambian Penal Code criminalize various forms of sexual exploitation, particularly the abduction of women, procurement of women for prostitution, and engaging in sex with girls younger than 16. Slavery and forced labor are prohibited by the constitution, as is the trafficking of children under the age of 15. Child labor legislation is being drafted that would prohibit all forms of slavery and procuring or offering a child for illicit activities, including prostitution. An officer at the Zambia Police Service is responsible for human trafficking cases. In February 2003, Irish authorities found two refugee girls that had been trafficked from Zambia to Ireland. A criminal prosecution against the accused trafficker, a Congolese national, is underway in Zambia.

Protection
The government has made minimal efforts to protect trafficking victims. In 2003, through its social welfare agencies, the government provided counseling, shelter, and protection to two girls that had been trafficked to Ireland. It provides some building space for NGOs assisting child prostitutes and protective custody and security for trafficking victims and witnesses.

Prevention
In 2003, the Ministries of Labor and Information and Broadcasting presented public sensitization and awareness-raising programs on child labor laws and exploitative work. The government organized workshops on child labor and child prostitution for civil society that addressed removal and reintegration. It further publicized the problem of exploitative child labor through posters, billboards, drama, athletic competitions, television and radio programs, and celebrity publicity. In partnership with a local NGO, the government registered and repatriated 66 street children from Lusaka to their home villages.

 

ZIMBABWE (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Zimbabwe is a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There were reports that women and children were internally trafficked to southern border towns for commercial sexual exploitation, as well as to South Africa. There were unconfirmed reports that girls trafficked from Malawi to South Africa sometimes transited Zimbabwe.

The Government of Zimbabwe does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Zimbabwe has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List because of a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons, particularly evident in the minimal number of investigations and complete lack of prosecutions during the year. The government should take immediate steps to gather comprehensive trafficking data, implement a law enforcement action plan to combat trafficking crimes, and provide assistance to trafficking victims that are identified.

Prosecution
The government has no law specifically criminalizing trafficking in persons, but the common law prohibits abduction and forced labor, and the Constitution prohibits slavery or compulsory labor. Under the Sexual Offenses Act, it is a crime to transport persons across the border for sex. The Criminal Code forbids any person from allowing a child to reside in or frequent a brothel, or from causing the seduction, abduction, or prostitution of a child. The government has not prosecuted any trafficking cases to date. In September 2003, police investigated allegations that several women had been trafficked to Europe for sexual exploitation and concluded that these claims were unfounded. Police officials met quarterly with Interpol to, among other things, discuss anti-trafficking measures. The Department of Immigration monitored the borders for trafficking. In January 2004, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced the start of a program to combat corruption at border posts and has since prosecuted several border officials for violating immigration laws and accepting bribes.

Protection
The government funds no protection activities for victims. No NGOs have programs specifically designed to work with trafficking victims. No specific victims of trafficking were identified in 2003. "Victim Friendly Courts" were created in 1997 specifically for children and victims of sexual offenses, including trafficking. Though the government provided no information as to these courts' activities, one NGO reported that several perpetrators of child sexual abuse were prosecuted. "Victim Friendly Units" found within police stations throughout the country are staffed with officers trained to accommodate vulnerable victims, including trafficking victims.

Prevention
One hundred immigration and police officials attended trafficking awareness workshops and have requested training manuals to teach other officials to recognize and respond to trafficking.



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