U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Algeria
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||5 June 2006|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Algeria, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d87223.html [accessed 10 July 2014]|
Algeria (Tier 2 Watch List)
Algeria is a transit and destination country for men, women, and children from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Although many victims willingly migrate to Algeria en route to European countries such as Austria, Belgium, and Italy with the help of smugglers, they are often abandoned once they enter Algeria or are forced into prostitution, labor, and begging to pay off their smuggling debt. Armed militants also reportedly traffic Algerian women for sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude, and Algerian children may be trafficked for forced labor as domestic servants or street vendors.
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. Algeria is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its lack of evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking in persons over the last year. Algeria took no steps to assess the scope of trafficking in the country and reported no investigations or prosecutions for trafficking offenses this year. The government's plan to create an office to address human trafficking and appoint a national anti-trafficking coordinator, announced in 2004, has not been implemented. In addition, the government failed to institute a systematic screening procedure to differentiate trafficking victims from the large population of illegal migrants it arrests and deports every year. Algeria should fulfill its plans to create an anti-trafficking policy structure with the development and implementation of a national action plan against trafficking. It should also significantly increase investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenses, and screen and protect trafficking victims.
Over the year, Algeria made little discernable progress in its law enforcement efforts against traffickers. Algeria does not have a law specifically criminalizing trafficking in persons, but other sections of the criminal code can be used to prosecute trafficking offenses. Nonetheless, the government reported no investigations or prosecutions of traffickers this year. Algeria is also witnessing increasing activity by organized criminal networks that smuggle and traffic men, women, and children from parts of West Africa and Asia to Europe for sexual exploitation and forced labor, yet did not undertake any coordinated effort to investigate this trend and interdict trafficking rings. The government should significantly increase investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes, particularly those orchestrated by organized criminal syndicates.
Algeria did not take significant measures to improve its protection of trafficking victims since last year. Victims are generally treated as illegal immigrants and are not provided with protective services. The government utilizes no systematic procedure to screen trafficking victims to distinguish them from illegal migrants; as such, police officers regularly arrest those illegally in Algeria, including potential trafficking victims, holding them for several days in jail before deporting them. Algeria also does not refer trafficking victims to local NGOs or support NGOs who may offer protective services to victims. The government did, however, provide specialized training for government officials in recognizing trafficking and dealing with victims of trafficking. The government should improve its protection efforts by screening trafficking victims and providing them with appropriate medical, psychological, and legal care.
During the year, Algeria made uneven progress in preventing trafficking in persons. In September 2005, members of the Algerian coast guard attended training on smuggling and trafficking prevention, which will allow them to improve their efforts to monitor Algeria's long and porous borders and maritime ports. The government, however, did not take measures to raise public awareness of the dangers of trafficking and should consider establishing a broad public information campaign to do so. In March 2006, Algeria declined to participate in a Moroccan-sponsored conference on illegal migration that would bring Maghreb and European states together in July 2006 to discuss the issue. Algeria organized an African Union experts meeting on migration in April 2006, but did not invite Morocco to participate in or observe the conference. Algeria and Morocco share a common border along established trafficking and migration routes in the Sahara and would benefit from dialogue on the issue.