U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Guinea-Bissau
|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 - Guinea-Bissau, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d88e1f.html [accessed 18 December 2014]|
Guinea-Bissau (Tier 2)
Guinea-Bissau is a source country for children trafficked to neighboring countries – primarily Senegal and, to a lesser extent, Mali and Guinea – for the purposes of forced begging by religious teachers and forced agricultural labor. Key source areas for victims are the cities of Bafata and Gabu and primary points of departure out of the country are through the towns of Pirada and Sao Domingos.
The Government of Guinea-Bissau does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Guinea-Bissau is included this year on the Report because newly available information indicates a significant trafficking problem in the country. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should draft and enact anti-trafficking legislation, designate a national focal point responsible for overseeing anti-trafficking efforts, and conduct a formal assessment of the problem.
The Government of Guinea-Bissau started to use law enforcement as a tool to combat trafficking during the reporting period. Bissau-Guinean law does not prohibit trafficking, but prosecutors may use related laws, such as kidnapping and sexual exploitation statutes, against traffickers. A legislative committee persuaded the National Assembly to include the topic of trafficking in its 2006 legislative agenda. The government is investigating two trafficking cases, but has never prosecuted or convicted a trafficker. Border guards are aware of trafficking and cooperate with the leading local anti-trafficking NGO to interdict traffickers. Migration officials at the border with Senegal report prohibiting adults from leaving the country with a child unless the parent is present. The Ministry of Interior has designated an inspector responsible for anti-trafficking law enforcement and cooperation with UNICEF. With respect to combating the trafficking of children by religious leaders for begging, however, law enforcement efforts are sometimes handicapped by corruption and a lack of will to address this culturally sensitive practice.
The Government of Guinea-Bissau has demonstrated clear efforts to protect trafficking victims, despite limited resources. While the government lacks funds to provide direct victim care, it collaborates with UNICEF, local and international NGOs, and Senegalese authorities to provide victims with necessary services. Police worked with NGOs to intercept 24 victims from being trafficked out of the country last year and the government has repatriated 28 children since 2002. Bissau-Guinean police contacted Senegalese authorities in 2006 for assistance in identifying victims. The Bissau-Guinean Embassy in Senegal coordinates closely with Senegalese and international NGOs to provide food, shelter, and medical care to some victims. The government provides transportation for victims back to Guinea-Bissau from Senegal. Victims are not punished for crimes that are a direct result of their being trafficked.
The Government of Guinea-Bissau made significant efforts to prevent trafficking, despite limited resources. In collaboration with UNICEF and a local NGO, the government sponsored a four-day conference in April 2005 to identify the causes of trafficking and educate the public about it. The government also contributes $16,000 annually to this NGO to combat trafficking. The Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with UNICEF, registered and provided identity papers to 28,000 children in January 2006 as an anti-trafficking measure. The government provides funds to a local NGO that conducts anti-trafficking awareness campaigns. Guinea-Bissau lacks both a designated government anti-trafficking focal point and a national anti-trafficking strategy.