The government maintained mixed anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Article 323 and 324 of the penal code criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking and prescribed penalties of three to seven years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both for trafficking offenses involving an adult victim, and five to 10 years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both for those involving a child victim. These penalties were sufficiently stringent; however, by allowing for a fine in lieu of imprisonment, the penalties for sex trafficking were not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Under Article 893 and 894 of the revised children’s code, which came into effect in March 2020, child trafficking crimes were prescribed penalties of five to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of 50 million to 100 million Guinean francs ($5,010-$10,010); these penalties were commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Article 343 of the penal code separately criminalized forced begging and prescribed penalties of one to three years’ imprisonment and a fine; these penalties were not sufficiently stringent.
The gendarmes and OPROGEM were the lead government entities responsible for investigating trafficking cases, and the General Secretary for Special Services, Counter-Narcotics, and Combating Organized Crime could investigate transnational trafficking cases. Designated magistrates in the Ministry of Justice prosecuted trafficking cases. The government did not report comprehensive law enforcement data, and due to poor record keeping and the conflation of trafficking with other crimes, law enforcement data on trafficking cases likely included smuggling or child labor cases. In 2020, with data from 33 prefectures and one special zone, the government reported at least one investigation, prosecutions of 45 defendants, and convictions of 20 defendants. Authorities also investigated seven pimping cases and 22 cases of soliciting a minor. This compared with three investigations, three prosecutions, and zero convictions reported in 2019 with data from five prefectures. Despite the prevalence of Guinean children exploited in forced begging in Quranic schools in Guinea and surrounding countries, the government has never prosecuted a corrupt Quranic teacher for child forced begging. An NGO reported magistrates, who did not understand the serious nature of trafficking, often refused to sentence convicted traffickers to prison terms.
The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government employees complicit in human trafficking crimes; however, corruption and official complicity in trafficking crimes remained significant concerns, inhibiting law enforcement action during the year. Although not explicitly reported as human trafficking, the UN initiated an investigation of one Guinean police officer serving in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) for alleged sexual exploitation in an incident from 2019 with trafficking indicators; the government did not report initiating an investigation or taking any actions regarding the incident during the reporting period. The government did not report whether it continued an investigation initiated in 2017 of three airport officials who were reportedly complicit in the sex trafficking of Guinean women in transit to Kuwait. The lack of extradition agreements with countries in Africa and the Middle East impeded prosecutions of traffickers from those countries.
The government did not provide sufficient resources to OPROGEM, thereby continuing to inhibit its ability to investigate potential trafficking crimes; the government has not dedicated a budget to OPROGEM since 2016. Officials reported a lack of general knowledge about trafficking and trafficking provisions under the 2016 penal code persisted among government officials, especially judges and prosecutors in lower courts. The government rarely provided anti-trafficking training to law enforcement and judicial officials working outside of the capital and did not report training incoming prosecutors or judges on trafficking. The CNLTPPA, in partnership with an international organization and a foreign donor, developed a training curriculum on victim identification for airport officers and trained 30 airport officials during the reporting period. The Ministry of Security included anti-trafficking training, developed in coordination with a foreign donor and an international organization, in the core curriculum of Guinea’s two national police academies.