SUDAN: Tier 2 Watch List
The Government of Sudan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. Authorities prosecuted more suspected traffickers and launched programs to raise awareness for the first time in two years. The government also improved its ability to coordinate across ministries by streamlining its national anti-trafficking mechanism and focusing resources on the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking (NCCHT). During the reporting period, the government drafted, finalized, and approved a national action plan. Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) officials launched a unit to lead the government’s child protection efforts in conflict areas and provided training to more than 5,000 members of its military on child protection issues, including child soldiering. However, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period. A semi-autonomous paramilitary branch of the government’s security apparatus—the Rapid Support Forces (RSF)—allegedly recruited child soldiers in May 2019 under the former military-led government; officials did not report investigating the alleged recruitment, nor making efforts to identify, demobilize, and rehabilitate the potential victims. Additionally, officials’ conflation of trafficking, smuggling, and kidnapping for ransom impeded the country’s anti-trafficking efforts. Substantial personnel turnover related to the April 2019 formulation of the Transitional Military Council followed by the September 2019 establishment of the Civilian Led Transitional Government (CLTG) hindered Sudan’s ability to maintain consistent anti-trafficking efforts and accurately report on those efforts for this reporting period. Further, government-reported investigations and convictions decreased compared to the previous reporting period. Because the government has devoted sufficient resources to a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards, Sudan was granted a waiver per the Trafficking Victims Protection Act from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3. Therefore Sudan remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year.