U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Algeria
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||3 June 2005|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Algeria, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d82c23.html [accessed 18 September 2014]|
Algeria (Tier 2)
Algeria is primarily a transit country for men, women, and children trafficked from Central and Western Africa en route to Europe for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Once in Algeria, some women find themselves exploited in prostitution, usually by a family member, when their financial situation becomes dire. African and Algerian human smugglers use deception and fraud to entice would-be victims from their countries by falsely promising victims easy passage through Algeria to destinations in Europe. They then abandon their victims after they cross over Algeria's vast and porous border in the south. In addition to instances of trafficking for prostitution cited above, desperate economic circumstances force some men to seek work as laborers in construction and other menial work. There are reportedly an estimated 200,000 illegal immigrants in Algeria, some of whom are believed to be trafficking victims.
The Government of Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has expressed willingness to address the problem through regional cooperation with similarly affected countries in the region. It needs to build on this initiative and develop appropriate policy mechanisms to more effectively tackle the problem. There is currently a plan underway to set up an office to combat trafficking, which will include appointing a national anti-trafficking coordinator to oversee and coordinate its anti-trafficking activities. This office should also develop and implement a national plan of action to combat trafficking, a mechanism for differentiating between trafficking victims and illegal immigrants, and a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that punishes traffickers, provides for the protection of victims, and facilitates prevention programs.
During the reporting period, Algeria has not done much to prosecute traffickers, largely because it does not systematically differentiate between trafficking victims and the thousands of illegal immigrants in the country. Although Algeria does not have specific anti-trafficking legislation, it has various criminal laws that could be applied to combat trafficking. However, there is no evidence the government has used these laws to prosecute traffickers, including those who reportedly subject victims into prostitution. Police and security officers regularly arrest illegal immigrants and deport them, but they do not systematically screen them to determine whether they are trafficking victims and subsequently accord them proper protection services.
The government did very little to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period, largely because its law enforcement officers do not have a procedure in place to positively identify victims.
There is no government-run shelter for the protection of victims, but the NGO International Committee for the Development of People (CISP) provides services for such victims in the Tamanrasset area. The government should increase its cooperation with NGOs and civil society members engaged in the provision of shelter and other services to victims.
Algeria's efforts to prevent trafficking improved over the last year. In 2004, several members of the Algerian Coast Guard attended anti-smuggling and anti-trafficking training in the United States. The government should work with CISP and other NGOs, which have anti-trafficking public campaigns in place, and continue working with sources and destination countries to combat trafficking.