Last Updated: Thursday, 26 November 2015, 08:53 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sierra Leone

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 12 July 2001
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sierra Leone, 12 July 2001, available at: [accessed 26 November 2015]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Sierra Leone (Tier 2)

Internal trafficking in persons takes place in Sierra Leone. The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels abduct and hold men, women, and children against their will for the purpose of forced labor, forced military conscription, and sexual servitude.

The Government of Sierra Leone does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, the Government is making significant efforts to combat trafficking in persons despite severe resource constraints and the civil conflict with the RUF. The RUF controls approximately 60 percent of the country, and the Government is unable to investigate or prosecute traffickers in these areas. There are no reports of trafficking in persons in areas of Sierra Leone that are under the control of the Government. The Government hosts the largest UN peacekeeping mission in the world, which has a mandate to assist the Government to extend its authority. The Government cooperates with the international community in the investigation of trafficking in persons carried out by the RUF. The Government and the UN have reached agreement on the creation of a Special Court that is expected to vigorously investigate and prosecute those persons bearing the greatest responsibility for atrocities and violations of international humanitarian law. A number of RUF leaders are in detention and may be brought before the Special Court on charges that may potentially include trafficking in persons. The Government and NGO's interview victims of RUF abuses who manage to reach government-held areas and maintain records of cases that can be used for future prosecutions of perpetrators. The Government works closely with bilateral donors, NGO's, and UN agencies on programs to assist victims of RUF abuses. The Government and NGO's reintegrate ex-combatants into society, including victims of trafficking. Approximately 25,000 young adults have been through an educational and training program. The Government also works with international donors on media campaigns in support of this program. There are no reported cases in which trafficking victims have been detained, jailed, or deported by the Government, nor are there cases in which they were prosecuted for violations of other laws such as prostitution or illegal immigration.

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