The government increased efforts to prevent human trafficking. The government continued implementing the 2018-2020 anti-trafficking national action plan, and it committed to funding the CNLTP for implementation of the plan. The government allocated 80 million FCFA ($140,680) to the CNLTP in 2018 and committed an additional 80 million FCFA ($140,680) in 2019, the same amount allocated in 2017. Funding for the CNLTP remained insufficient, and it had to seek additional donor funds to support many of its activities. The Ginddi Center continued to run a hotline for child trafficking in three languages. The hotline received 921 calls during the reporting period, leading to the identification of an unknown number of vulnerable children, many of whom were trafficking victims; three criminal investigations were initiated as a result of the calls. Staff responded to each call, despite the fact that the Ginddi Center did not have a vehicle, forcing it to rent one each time it followed up on a trafficking report. Due to limited funding, the hotline only operated from 7:30am-10:00pm. In collaboration with NGOs, the CNLTP continued awareness-raising programs on child forced begging and sex trafficking, including public forums, televised debates, newspaper articles, and television programs. With a coalition of children’s rights organizations, the MGGCP conducted roundtables on forced child begging in Tambacounda, Kolda, and Ziguinchor. The MGGCP also held a public photo exhibition to highlight the vulnerability of child beggars in June 2018. In November 2018, MGGCP held a workshop for reporters on issues related to child protection, including child sex and labor trafficking.
In 2016, the then-Ministry of Women, Families, and Childhood implemented the first phase of the president’s campaign to remove vulnerable children from the streets of Dakar, including child trafficking victims. In March 2018, the MGGCP began the second phase of the campaign with increased roles for the Ministries of Interior, Justice, and Health, as well as local officials. The second phase began to address earlier complaints about a lack of government coordination during the first phase of the campaign. While the lack of interagency coordination on trafficking among government structures remained a problem, reports indicated the MGGCP’s efforts began to improve coordination during the reporting period. The MGGCP also actively engaged with religious leaders from all of Senegal’s major religious brotherhoods and the national federation of Quranic teachers to secure their commitment in the campaign. However, most implicated individuals, including men posing as Quranic teacher, received administrative penalties rather than being criminally investigated or prosecuted. During the second phase, the government removed 541 children from the streets and referred them to the Ginddi Center for care.
In June 2018, the CNLTP held a workshop to share results of a study it commissioned with an international organization on trafficking of women in domestic servitude. The study noted the challenges to identifying domestic servitude victims and found some Senegalese women were exploited in domestic servitude abroad, particularly in Saudi Arabia, and often with the complicity of Saudi diplomats in Senegal; the government did not report any investigations into these allegations. The government regulated labor recruiters and brokers but did not report any investigations into fraudulent recruitment during the reporting period. Four local governments continued partnering with an international donor to provide funding and in-kind support to local communities in order to close daaras that practiced forced begging, repatriate child forced beggars to their homes, provide food, hygiene, and medical services to children in daaras, and decrease the incidence of forced begging; two of the local governments reported a drastic decrease in the incidence of forced begging in their communities, as well as a drastic decrease in local tolerance of the practice, as a result of this effort. To better understand the scope of child forced begging around the country, the MGGCP, with the support of a foreign NGO, continued the daara mapping project, and mapped all daaras in Dakar. In June 2018, the Council of Ministers approved the draft bill to modernize daaras; if passed, the bill would outline requirements that daaras must meet in order to be eligible for government subsidies. Furthermore, the draft law and the draft presidential decree that would operationalize the law specified standards that daaras would need to maintain; for the first time, the government would have the oversight and authority to approve or deny the opening of new daaras, and to close daaras that do not meet requirements. The bill and operational decree was pending National Assembly approval at the end of the reporting period. While reliable statistics are lacking, Senegal’s informal sector—where the majority of forced child labor occurred—likely accounted for between 60 and 90 percent of economic activity in the country. Although the government implemented some measures to encourage participants in the informal sector to formalize their businesses and respect labor regulations, progress was minimal and the government did not provide adequate protections for workers. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex or forced labor. The task force’s tourism police forces continued to monitor the resort areas of Saly and Cap Skirring for indicators of child sex tourism and other abuses, although they did not report identifying any cases of child sex tourism.