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CHAD (Tier 3)

The Government of Chad does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, even considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore Chad was downgraded to Tier 3.  Despite the lack of significant efforts, the government took some steps to address trafficking, including prosecuting trafficking cases and launching an inter-ministerial committee to enhance protections for migrant workers and reduce vulnerabilities to trafficking.  However, the government did not identify any trafficking victims or convict any traffickers for the second consecutive year.  The government did not consistently implement its SOPs on victim identification to screen vulnerable populations for trafficking indicators.  The government did not operationalize its National Anti-Trafficking Commission and did not conduct anti-trafficking awareness campaigns.

  • Investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes, including complicit officials, and seek adequate penalties for convicted traffickers, which should include significant prison terms. 
  • Train officials to use the SOPs for victim identification and National Referral Mechanism (NRM) for referral to care to proactively identify and refer trafficking victims to services, including among vulnerable populations such as child laborers, Cuban healthcare professionals and People’s Republic of China (PRC) nationals employed at worksites affiliated with the PRC’s Belt and Road Initiative. 
  • Formally inaugurate and staff the National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons (NCCTIP) and include civil society in its activities. 
  • Increase efforts to train judicial and law enforcement officials on the anti-trafficking law, including case investigation and the distinctions between human trafficking and migrant smuggling. 
  • Establish a specialized anti-trafficking unit in the Judicial Police to ensure officers effectively investigate suspected trafficking crimes under the country’s 2018 trafficking law. 
  • Develop, adopt, and implement a new comprehensive National Action Plan (NAP). 
  • Include anti-trafficking training for all new magistrates and prosecutors attending the Ministry of Justice’s training college in N’Djamena. 
  • Create a mechanism to proactively screen for trafficking indicators in the labor recruitment process and consistently enforce strong regulations and oversight of labor recruitment companies and hold fraudulent labor recruiters criminally accountable. 
  • Beginning in N’Djamena, continue to use local community radio stations to raise public awareness of human trafficking, and incorporate the High Islamic Council, tribal leaders, and other members of the traditional justice system into sensitization campaigns. 
  • Develop national-level data collection on trafficking crimes.

The government maintained minimal law enforcement efforts.  Law 006/PR/2018 on Combating Trafficking in Persons 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 francs (CFA) ($407 to $8,150); these penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with regard to sex trafficking, commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.

The government did not systematically collect data on law enforcement efforts, including human trafficking.  The Ministry of Justice reported initiating investigation of 12 cases involving 16 alleged traffickers and continued 12 investigations involving 26 alleged traffickers initiated during the previous reporting period.  This compared with an unspecified number of cases investigated involving 41 alleged labor traffickers during the previous reporting period.  The government reported prosecuting two suspected traffickers compared with none in the previous reporting period.  The government did not convict any traffickers for the second consecutive reporting period.  NGOs noted magistrates were underfunded and often did not have access to the internet and electricity.  Observers noted some communities resolved issues – including alleged criminal offenses – outside of the constitutionally established judicial system.

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, hindering law enforcement efforts.  Observers reported some local government officials and security forces may cover up allegations of trafficking crimes, intimidate prosecutors, or not pursue cases to protect suspected traffickers; further reports indicated complicit officials intimidated victims from pursuing criminal cases.  The government, in partnership with an international organization, trained 48 judicial authorities and members of security forces in Tibesti and 51 front-line workers in Batha on the anti-trafficking law, victim identification, and referral procedures.

The government made negligible efforts to protect victims.  Authorities did not report identifying any trafficking victims for the second consecutive year.  NGOs and international organizations reported identifying 34 foreign victims.  The government had SOPs for victim identification and an NRM to refer victims to care; however, authorities did not consistently implement the SOPs to proactively screen vulnerable populations for trafficking indicators.

The Ministry of Women, Family, and National Solidarity, in partnership with an international organization and local NGOs, operated transit centers used as temporary shelters throughout the country.  These transit centers offered temporary housing, food, and education to vulnerable populations, including potential trafficking victims.  Officials did not report providing or referring services to any trafficking victims during the reporting period.  Services continued to be limited to urban areas and were 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 trafficking victims and did not report identifying any foreign victims.  Due to limited use of the SOPs for victim identification, authorities may have arrested and detained some unidentified trafficking victims.

The government made mixed efforts to prevent trafficking.  The government did not officially inaugurate or staff the NCCTIP, which is mandated to coordinate inter-ministerial anti-trafficking efforts.  The Multisectoral Technical Committee (MTC), launched in July 2021, continued to guide the government’s anti-trafficking activities in the interim; however, the MTC did not meet during the reporting period.  The government continued to implement its 2021-2022 anti-trafficking NAP and allocated resources to its implementation.  The pandemic continued to impact moderately the government’s efforts to fund and staff new institutions and committees.  The government did not report conducting or contributing in-kind resources for any awareness-raising activities.  National radio stations such as FM Liberté (FM Liberty) continued to raise awareness on human trafficking.  Observers reported high illiteracy rates among the population hindered the government’s ability to increase awareness of human trafficking.

The government had laws and regulations on labor recruitment; however, the government did not conduct inspections of recruitment agencies or screen labor migrants for trafficking indicators in the labor recruitment process.  The government established an inter-ministerial committee to draft legislation to protect migrant workers; however, the draft legislation remained pending by the end of the reporting period.  Officials met with the Governments of Niger and Egypt to develop a framework with best practices.  The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.  A lack of identity documentation remained a risk factor for trafficking in Chad, and the government did not report whether it continued to implement the 2013 birth registration policy requiring universal issuance of uniform birth certificates.  The government, in collaboration with a foreign donor, provided anti-trafficking training to some of its troops prior to their deployment as peacekeepers.  The government did not provide anti-trafficking training for its diplomatic personnel.  Although not explicitly reported as human trafficking, since 2015, four allegations of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse were made against three Chad peacekeepers; of these, the government has taken accountability measures in two cases and continued investigating two other cases.

As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Chad, and traffickers exploit Chadian victims abroad.  Families frequently entrust their children to relatives or intermediaries to receive education, apprenticeship, goods, or money; some relatives or intermediaries subsequently force or coerce children to work in domestic service or cattle herding.  Individuals associated with small- and medium-scale enterprises force children to beg in urban areas and exploit them as agricultural laborers on farms; in northern gold mines and charcoal production; and as domestic workers across the country.  Observers reported child labor trafficking in Chad is most serious in the mining sector, due to the distance of the mines from major cities, limited government presence, and the harsh climates of northern Chad.  In the Lake Chad region, community members exploit some children in catching, smoking, and selling fish.  Elders of some traditional Quranic schools known as mouhadjirin coerce children from small rural villages into begging, street vending, or other forms of labor trafficking throughout the country.  Human trafficking networks continue to target vulnerable populations using new trafficking routes from southern to northern Chad.

Cattle herders force some children to work along traditional routes for grazing cattle and, at times, cross ill-defined international borders into Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), Sudan, Niger, 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 with impunity child herders in forced labor.  Additionally, experts allege officials force prisoners to work on private enterprises separate from their legal sentences.  Criminal elements exploit some rural Chadian girls who travel to larger towns in search of work in child sex trafficking or domestic servitude.  Observers report traffickers use online platforms to lure, recruit, and exploit potential trafficking victims.  According to observers, Chadian mercenaries – often operating in Libya – facilitated human trafficking.

Chad hosts more than one million refugees, internally displaced persons, returned refugees, and asylum seekers as of December 2022; more than 101,551 Chadian returnees from CAR and the Lake Chad Basin region may be vulnerable to trafficking based on their economic instability and lack of access to support systems.  While many individuals migrating irregularly into Libya for economic reasons initially used the services of smugglers, traffickers exploit some of these undocumented migrants in sex or labor trafficking.  Community-based armed groups tasked with defending people and property in rural areas likely recruit and use children in armed conflict.  PRC nationals employed in Chad at worksites affiliated with the PRC’s Belt and Road Initiative may have been vulnerable to labor trafficking.  Cuban nationals working in Chad on medical missions may have been forced to work by the Cuban government.

U.S. Department of State

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