Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 - Guinea
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||4 June 2008|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 - Guinea, 4 June 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/484f9a1a2f.html [accessed 23 May 2015]|
GUINEA (Tier 2 Watch List)
Guinea is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. The majority of victims are children, and internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking. Within the country, girls are trafficked primarily for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, while boys are trafficked for forced agricultural labor, and as forced beggars, street vendors, shoe shiners, and laborers in gold and diamond mines. Some Guinean men are also trafficked for agricultural labor within Guinea. Transnationally, girls from Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Guinea-Bissau are trafficked to Guinea for domestic servitude and likely also for sexual exploitation. Guinean women and girls are trafficked to Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Greece, and Spain for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Chinese women are trafficked to Guinea for commercial sexual exploitation by Chinese men living in Guinea. Networks also traffic women from Nigeria, India, and Greece through Guinea to the Maghreb countries to Europe, notably Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, and France.
The Government of Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. Nevertheless, Guinea is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking over the previous year. Guinea demonstrated minimal law enforcement efforts for a second year in a row, while protection efforts diminished over last year.
Recommendations for Guinea: increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers; toughen prescribed penalties for child and forced prostitution; develop a system for screening vulnerable populations, such as destitute children and females in prostitution, to identify trafficking victims; end the practice of placing victims in jails in lieu of accommodation in shelters; and include investigation of child domestic servitude in the Police Mondaine's mandate.
The Government of Guinea demonstrated minimal law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the last year. Guinea prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through separate statutes. Labor trafficking is criminalized through Article 337 of its 1998 Penal Code, which prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent. Forced prostitution and child prostitution are criminalized by Article 329 of its Penal Code, which prescribes six months' to two years' imprisonment if the trafficked victim is an adult, and two to five years' imprisonment if the victim is a child. These penalties for sex trafficking of adults are neither sufficiently stringent nor commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. The government reported 12 trafficking prosecutions in the last year. Several suspected traffickers were arrested, although their cases were later dismissed. The government did not report any convictions. The Police Mondaine, a vice-squad unit combating child prostitution, trafficking, and other abuses, did not investigate child domestic servitude, a prevalent form of trafficking in Guinea. In August 2007, border officials arrested four Sierra Leonean women suspected of trafficking 10 children into Sierra Leone. Guinean officials in Conakry, however, later released the four suspects, along with the children, into the custody of the Sierra Leonean Embassy in Conakry, and then dismissed the case. Guinean police continued to work with French authorities on an ongoing investigation of two women suspected of trafficking children from Guinea to France, but little progress has been made on the case.
The Government of Guinea demonstrated weak efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. Due to a lack of resources, the government does not provide shelter services for trafficking victims, but instead refers victims to NGOs and international organizations for care. The government estimated that it referred at least 30 child victims of trafficking for assistance. In cooperation with NGOs and international organizations, the government also provided limited assistance to victims who are repatriated nationals, especially children. Government assistance services included family identification, enrollment in schools or apprenticeships, job placement, and referrals to NGOs for specialized assistance. The Ministry of Social Affairs, through its Children at Risk division, continued to provide assistance to a few hundred children, some of whom are likely trafficking victims. Guinea lacks any system for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as destitute children or women in prostitution. In August 2007, the government intercepted 10 children suspected of being trafficked to Sierra Leone from Guinea, and placed them in an orphanage. In January 2008, the government transferred the children to the Sierra Leonean Embassy in Conakry; a Sierra Leonean diplomat later reported that the children had been returned to their families in Sierra Leone. During the year, the government estimates that it assisted at least 30 child trafficking victims to reunite with their families. The government continued to operate its free hotline for public reporting of trafficking cases or victims, receiving one to three calls weekly. The hotline, however, is staffed by only one individual, and is therefore not a 24-hour service. The government encourages victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions by interviewing them for testimonial evidence. In addition, the government refers victims to an association of lawyers who volunteer to work on trafficking cases pro bono. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Sometimes, when care alternatives are not available, the government places victims in jail in quarters separated from prisoners, where their victim status is recognized.
The Government of Guinea made steady efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. In June 2007, the government funded a $59,000 anti-trafficking radio campaign in Upper Guinea as part of International Children's Month. Guinea's Permanent Regional Monitoring System, which was formed as part of the 2005 West Africa multilateral agreement, issued a report in January 2008 detailing government and NGO anti-trafficking activities. The National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons failed to release its tri-annual reports on the implementation of the National Action Plan, but did meet during the year to discuss the implementation of its 2005 bilateral agreement with Mali. The government did not take measures to reduce demand for commercial sexual exploitation.