U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Gabon
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||11 June 2003|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Gabon, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7c51c.html [accessed 19 June 2013]|
Gabon (Tier 2)
Gabon is primarily a destination country for children trafficked from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, and Nigeria for domestic servitude, street hawking, and agricultural labor. Parents in originating countries are duped by traffickers with promises of good employment and wages; instead children are forced to work long hours, suffer physical abuse, and receive insufficient food, no wages, and no access to education. A growing number of children are sexually abused.
The Government of Gabon does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite limited resources. The government should step up efforts to prosecute traffickers.
The government continued a national anti-trafficking information campaign that includes billboards, television coverage, radio announcements, dramas, school curricula, and child rights pamphlets. Gabon participates in an international program that eliminates the worst forms of child labor and hosted regional workshops on cross-border child trafficking throughout the year.
There is no anti-trafficking law, although anti-trafficking legislation was introduced into the National Assembly in March 2003. In a January 2002 executive order, the President authorized law enforcement to prosecute individuals illegally employing minors. Trafficking cases may be prosecuted under laws prohibiting exploitation, abandonment, and mistreatment of children as well as organizing, facilitating, harboring, selling, or illegally employing trafficked or exploited children.
Victims are not jailed or detained; instead, the government turns them over to source country embassies for repatriation or existing shelters. Neighboring countries work closely with the government on repatriation and the government sometimes waives the $180 exit fee in the case of child trafficking victims. However, there are many victims who were trafficked to Gabon when they were younger, and as young adults have no proof of entry and cannot afford to pay the fee. The government supports two shelters run by NGOs that have assisted more than 100 victims. A government-NGO hotline for trafficking victims is planned but not yet operational.