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CHAD: Tier 2

The Government of Chad does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Chad was upgraded to Tier 2. The government investigated and prosecuted more suspected traffickers; identified more victims through the course of law enforcement activities; established an anti-trafficking coordinating body; and ratified its 2018 anti-trafficking law. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government did not report referring any victims to care; provide training for officials despite a lack of trafficking knowledge being an impediment to prosecuting and convicting criminals; disseminate or implement formal victim identification and referral procedures established in 2017; or implement its national action plan.

While respecting due process, vigorously investigate and prosecute suspected trafficking offenders according to Chad’s anti-trafficking Law 006/PR/18. • Regularly convene the Inter-Ministerial Committee Against Trafficking in Persons and include civil society and NGOs in the meetings. • Coordinate with international organizations to increase familiarity of trafficking in persons amongst working-level law enforcement and judicial officials. • Disseminate to security services, law enforcement, and civil society standard operating procedures for the identification and referral of trafficking victims to care. • Work with NGOs and international organizations to increase the provision of protective services to all trafficking victims. • Raise public awareness of trafficking issues, particularly at the local level among tribal leaders and other members of the traditional justice system.

The government increased law enforcement efforts. In June 2018, the National Assembly ratified Law 006/PR/2018 on Combatting Trafficking in Persons, which criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Article seven of Law 006/PR/2018 prescribed penalties of four to 30 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 250,000 to 5 million Central African CFA francs ($414 to $8,280); these penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with regard to sex trafficking, commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.

Although the government did not collect comprehensive law enforcement data, it reported investigating trafficking cases involving 82 suspects in 2018. Authorities released 80 of those suspects without charges and initiated prosecutions for two suspects. The government did not convict any traffickers in 2018. The government reported investigating one potential trafficking case and did not report prosecuting or convicting any traffickers in 2017. Authorities did not report investigating, prosecuting, or convicting government officials complicit in human trafficking offenses; however, experts noted officials were complicit in trafficking crimes during the reporting period, including reports of prison officials compelling inmates into labor on private projects, separate from the prisoners’ sentences.

The government increased efforts to identify victims but did not report referring victims to services and maintained overall weak protection efforts. Officials reported identifying 21 trafficking victims during the course of law enforcement activities in 2018, compared with zero victims the previous year. Authorities did not report referring any victims to shelters or care during the year and detained the 21 victims for one day during their traffickers’ hearing. The government did not disseminate or implement formal victim identification and referral procedures developed in 2017.

The Ministry of Women, Family, and National Solidarity, in partnership with an international organization and local NGOs operated transit centers that served as temporary shelters throughout the country. During the reporting period, these shelters provided temporary housing, food, and education to victims of gender-based violence and other crimes, including potential victims of trafficking. Officials did not report providing services to trafficking victims in these shelters during the reporting period; however, observers stated the government’s Child Protection Brigades provided shelter and psycho-social care to an unknown number of child victims of trafficking in 2018. Services were limited to urban areas and largely inaccessible to much of Chad’s rural population.

The government did not have a formal policy to offer temporary or permanent residency for foreign victims of trafficking and did not report identifying any foreign victims. While there were no reports the government penalized any trafficking victims for unlawful acts their traffickers compelled them to commit, authorities may have arrested some victims due to the limited use of the referral procedures and officials’ understanding of the crime. NGOs and local officials reported negotiating settlements outside of formal courts between families and employers who may have subjected child herders to forced labor.

The government maintained minimal efforts to prevent trafficking. In 2018, the government launched the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons to coordinate its anti-trafficking efforts; however, the Committee did not meet during the reporting period and was not fully staffed or resourced. The Ministry of Justice created an action plan to guide the government’s anti-trafficking efforts and apply the 2018 anti-trafficking law, but officials did not report executing any of the proposed actions during the reporting period.

The government made no discernible efforts to raise awareness on trafficking or reduce the demand for commercial sex or forced labor during the reporting period. A lack of identity documentation remained a risk factor for trafficking in Chad, and the government continued to implement the 2013 birth registration policy requiring universal issuances of uniform birth certificates; however, officials did not widely enforce the policy due to limited resources. The government did not provide anti-trafficking training or guidance for its diplomatic personnel.

As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Chad, and traffickers exploit Chadian victims abroad. The country’s trafficking problem is primarily internal and exacerbated by high levels of poverty across the country. Families frequently entrust their children to live with relatives or intermediaries to receive education, apprenticeship, goods, or money; some of those relatives or intermediaries subsequently subject the children to forced labor in domestic service or cattle herding. Traffickers exploit children in forced labor as beggars in urban areas, agricultural laborers on farms, gold mining in the north of the country, charcoal production, and as domestic workers. In the Lake Chad region, traffickers exploit children in catching, smoking, and selling fish. Some religious leaders subject children who leave their villages to attend traditional Quranic schools—known as mouhadjirin—into forced begging, street vending, or other forced labor.

Cattle herders subject some children to forced labor as they follow traditional routes for grazing cattle and, at times, cross ill-defined international borders into Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Sudan, and Nigeria. Traffickers in rural areas sell children in markets for use in cattle or camel herding. In some cases, military or local government officials exploit child herders in forced labor. Traffickers subject some rural Chadian girls who travel to larger towns in search of work to child sex trafficking or domestic servitude. Criminals may exploit refugees and internally displaced people in Chad to child sex trafficking. Experts reported prison officials used inmates as forced labor on private projects, separate from the prisoners’ sentences for their crimes. According to an international organization, Chad hosts more than 450,000 refugees and more than 130,000 internally displaced persons; populations vulnerable to trafficking based on their economic instability and lack of access to support systems. International organizations report the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram and its offshoot Islamic State-West Africa forcibly abducted minors to serve as child soldiers, suicide bombers, child brides, and as forced laborers. Community-based vigilante groups tasked with defending people and property in rural areas may recruit and use children in armed conflict.

U.S. Department of State

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