U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Madagascar
|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 - Madagascar, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d89c0.html [accessed 28 March 2015]|
Madagascar (Tier 2)
Madagascar is a source country for children trafficked internally for sexual exploitation and forced labor. A sex tourism problem exists in the coastal cities of Tamatave and Nosy Be, with a significant number of children, mostly girls between the ages of 13 and 18, engaged in prostitution; some were recruited in the capital under false pretenses of employment as waitresses and domestic servants before being forced into prostitution. A network also appears to traffic young girls to the capital for prostitution; cases of encouragement or facilitation by family, taxi and rickshaw drivers, friends, or traditional procurers were reported. Children may be trafficked from rural areas for forced work in salt and gemstone mining, loading fruit onto trucks, or as domestic servants.
The Government of Madagascar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Madagascar's efforts to prevent trafficking make it a leader among sub-Saharan African nations in this area. The government should improve its record keeping of criminal court cases to enable the compilation of specific anti-trafficking statistics and work toward the passage of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law.
The Government of Madagascar made little progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. There were no reported prosecutions or convictions of trafficking crimes. Existing laws prohibit forced labor and slavery, but domestic statutes on the subject of child commercial sexual exploitation are inconsistent, particularly with respect to age. In September, the president announced the development of a strict law against the sexual exploitation of minors and warned foreigners with "bad intentions" not to visit Madagascar. The Ministry of Justice began drafting a comprehensive anti-trafficking bill that it intends to present to parliament in 2006. Police in the capital continued to enforce existing laws barring minors from nightclubs, sending arrested minors to special children's courts and placing some in protective care; police outside of the capital continued to lack the vehicles needed to regularly undertake such operations. With assistance from UNICEF, the government offered specialized training for 60 police officers on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking. Police used this training to apprehend a number of foreign nationals suspected of trafficking crimes, including pimping minors. Malagasy authorities worked with a foreign embassy on collecting the evidence necessary to prosecute a foreign national engaged in child sex tourism. Parents and low-level police officers are suspected of accepting bribes from foreigners to ignore instances of child sex tourism.
The government continued its significant efforts to assist trafficking victims, rescuing over 70 victims of forced child labor and commercial sexual exploitation during the year. Children under 15 years of age were enrolled in school, and older children received vocational training and employment in export processing zones. In 2005, a second welcome center – where child victims receive shelter, counseling, and training – opened in Tamatave and ground was broken on a third in Tulear. With UNICEF assistance, the Ministry of Population provided technical assistance to nine child protection networks made up of government institutions, law enforcement officials, and NGOs that provided counseling and rehabilitation to children in prostitution and forced labor. For example, 20 children in prostitution received counseling and training in hotel management in Tamatave. There is little capacity, either within the government or civil society, to provide further services.
Awareness of human trafficking continued to increase in Madagascar through a series of aggressive information campaigns. The government continued to implement the national anti-trafficking action plan, and systematically monitored its efforts through the President's Inter-Ministerial Anti- Trafficking Committee. The Ministry of Education conducted 181 training sessions for middle school students on combating child sexual exploitation, labor, and trafficking. The Ministry of Tourism conducted anti-trafficking information campaigns at 16 festivals and tourist events throughout the year. The government placed 22 articles in the national press and continued to present dramas on the dangers of child prostitution in local dialects. The Ministry of Population hosted eight sexual awareness programs in public schools and distributed 2,000 brochures on child rights in Tamatave province, as well as 3,000 stickers on child sexual exploitation. In 2005, the Ministry of Labor hosted workshops in Tulear and Diego Suarez to define regional strategies for combating child labor; the strategies were published in October.