U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Senegal
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||3 June 2005|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Senegal, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d862c.html [accessed 31 July 2014]|
Senegal (Tier 2)
Senegal is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Senegalese boys are occasionally trafficked from rural villages to urban centers for exploitative begging at some Koranic schools; young boys are trafficked to Senegal from The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Guinea for the same purpose. Young girls are trafficked from rural villages to urban centers for forced domestic servitude. Young girls from both rural and urban areas are also involved in organized prostitution involving pimps, which is a form of trafficking. Senegal may be a transit point for women from surrounding African countries trafficked to Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
The Government of Senegal does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2004, the government demonstrated far greater political will and concrete efforts to combat trafficking. To sustain its anti-trafficking progress, the government should adopt the draft anti-trafficking bill and take steps to further sensitize the Senegalese population to what constitutes trafficking and how to avoid victimization.
The government's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts dramatically improved during the reporting period. Although there is no law that specifically criminalizes human trafficking, which makes it difficult for police to conduct investigations or make arrests, the president's cabinet approved a comprehensive draft anti-trafficking bill in March 2005 that awaits passage by the National Assembly. During the year, the government arrested and punished a small number of trafficking victims under a law against prostitution by children under the age of 21; 72 children exploited in prostitution were arrested in 2004, 68 of whom were Senegalese and some of whom had pimps and were therefore trafficking victims. Also convicted were 54 pimps who were given prison sentences of up to ten years. Two Koranic teachers were arrested during the year for abusing children they were exploiting as beggars. One was sentenced to one month in prison and a fine; the other remains in detention. In 2004, Senegal signed a bilateral accord with Mali to fight child trafficking and began negotiating with other neighboring countries to sign similar accords. The Interior Ministry established a Special Commissariat to fight sex tourism and child prostitution in Dakar and Mbour. The Commissariat's new chief was named and the unit began work in March 2005.
The government provided a full range of protective services to victims during the period. In 2003, the government established, and continues to finance, the Ginddi Center for at-risk children. The Center provides services to victims, including medical treatment, family mediation and reconciliation, education, shelter, and meals. The Center received 1,832 children between May 2003 and December 2004, including 107 students fleeing abusive Koranic teachers. Pursuant to the government's bilateral agreement with Mali, the Ginddi Center housed trafficked Malian children awaiting repatriation; 50 were repatriated during the period at government expense. The Center's services also include a 24-hour toll-free child protection hotline; the hotline received 35,672 calls during the period.
The government's efforts to prevent trafficking greatly improved during the last year. The President devoted a significant portion of his 2005 Independence Day address to trafficking and, in 2004, the Family Minister became the first government official to publicly call for tough measures against child traffickers. The Family Ministry held workshops and roundtables to fight child prostitution, begging and domestic work. In Mbour, for example, the government, with UNICEF and NGO assistance, held seminars to prevent young girls from entering prostitution. In 2004, this program sensitized 8,140 participants, 5,440 of them children, to the dangers of child involvement in prostitution. In a separate program, the Ministry collaborated with local religious leaders to improve conditions in 48 Koranic schools. The signing of the Senegal-Mali anti-trafficking accord received detailed press coverage and media reports of Koranic teachers arrested for abusing their students frequently appeared.