The government increased efforts to identify potential trafficking victims but did not report information on government funding for victims services. With data from 40 of the country’s 45 provinces, the government reported identifying 1,407 potential trafficking victims in 2016, a three-fold increase from 400 potential victims identified and assisted the previous reporting period. Due to data collection constraints and lack of disaggregated trafficking and smuggling statistics, it is unclear how many of these were trafficking victims. The majority of these victims were children intercepted while being transported, sometimes in large numbers on trucks or buses, to destinations where they could have faced exploitation, typically in gold mines or in city centers as domestic servants or street beggars. The government did not report how many victims it referred to its 23 multipurpose transit centers in 2016 for psychological, social, and food assistance. These centers provided short-term care to both foreign and domestic victims of crime. The government did not report allocating any funding to its multipurpose centers in 2016, compared with 21.2 million FCFA ($33,912) allocated in the previous reporting period for health care, education, vocational training, family reunification, and social workers; the centers relied heavily on local NGOs and international organizations for support. Of the 1,407 victims, 102 received educational support and 99 received assistance to launch small businesses; it was unclear if this support came from the government or NGOs. An international organization identified and provided assistance to 17 additional trafficking victims from Sri Lanka, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, and Niger. There were no shelters or services for adults, and long-term care for all victims remained inadequate. The government acknowledged victim services were insufficient and service providers lacked the funding and resources to support victim protection, rehabilitation and reintegration, which resulted in many victims being subjected to re-trafficking. The 2015 law on the prevention and repression of violence against women and girls mandates measures for victim support, including the establishment of free emergency integrated support centers to offer comprehensive support services for women and girl victims of violence, including sexual slavery, and the creation of a government support fund for victims. The government did not provide information on the provision of such services during the reporting period.
The government and NGOs trained government employees, police, gendarmerie, and judicial officials on how to interact with and remove child trafficking victims from situations of exploitation. It also trained members of its anti-trafficking committees—including law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel—on proactive identification of trafficking victims. The government had standard victim identification and referral procedures, but authorities and front-line responders did not employ them uniformly. The government began drafting a new trafficking case management guide for law enforcement and social services personnel to facilitate the uniform referral of victims to care. The government did not have a formal policy to encourage victims to participate in trials against their traffickers. It was unclear if victims could legally file civil suits against their traffickers or otherwise obtain restitution. Foreign victims may apply for asylum if they fear they will face hardship or retribution in their country of origin; there were no reports trafficking victims applied for asylum during the reporting period. The government did not report assisting with the repatriation of Burkinabe victims identified abroad, but in practice the Ministry of Women, National Solidarity, and Family would help such victims upon return develop personalized plans for reintegration into local communities. There were no reports of trafficking victims penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being subjected to trafficking; however, without uniform implementation of victim identification measures, including among vulnerable populations, victims are likely to have been left unidentified in the law enforcement system.