U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sierra Leone
|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 - Sierra Leone, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d8ad2d.html [accessed 25 November 2015]|
Sierra Leone (Tier 2)
Sierra Leone is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Within the country, women and children are trafficked from rural areas to towns and diamond mining areas for work in mining, domestic servitude, petty trading, begging, agriculture, and the fishing industry and for sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked from Sierra Leone to Liberia, Guinea, Cote D'Ivoire, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, The Gambia, the Middle East, and Europe.
The Government of Sierra Leone does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Sierra Leone demonstrated increased efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement, despite limited resources. To improve its response to trafficking, the government should strengthen protection and prevention efforts, educate law enforcement about the new anti-trafficking law, and increase regional cooperation to eradicate trafficking.
The Government of Sierra Leone demonstrated modest efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement over the last year. In August 2005, the President signed into law the Anti-Human Trafficking Act. An Inter-Ministerial committee mandated by the Act held its inaugural meeting, but the committee has not yet directed the subordinate anti-trafficking Task Force to begin its work. In the interim, Sierra Leone's police continued to host meetings of an ad hoc anti-trafficking working group consisting of government officials, NGOs, and international organization representatives dedicated to fighting trafficking. The government is investigating three cases of suspected trafficking. The police Family Support Unit plans to add a specific field for trafficking to its crime database in 2006. Police and Ministry of Social Welfare officials countrywide attended NGO-sponsored anti-trafficking training, and law enforcement officials are seeking funding to implement a trafficking training module of their own. The government failed to prosecute a Ministry of Social Welfare official allegedly involved in stealing children for fraudulent adoptions. Government officials who falsified official identity documents were rarely investigated or disciplined.
The Government of Sierra Leone continued to provide inadequate protection to trafficking victims. While the government lacks the resources to operate its own shelters, it has not developed a formal victim screening and referral system, although it refers trafficking victims to NGOs or international organizations for care on an informal basis. The government trained social workers for placement in the police Family Support Units to assist victims, but many reportedly left to work for NGOs once they receive the training. Collaborating with NGOs and international organizations, the Ministry of Social Welfare agreed to host a trafficking forum for service providers to develop strategies to work together to help victims. The government works with UNICEF and NGOs to provide a service provider network for street children, some of whom may be trafficking victims.
The Government of Sierra Leone continued to make modest efforts to prevent trafficking. Sierra Leone's new trafficking statute established a Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Task Force to oversee all aspects of government anti-trafficking efforts and an Inter-Ministerial Committee responsible for governing the activities of the TIP Task Force. While the Task Force has not yet convened, the committee had its first meeting in 2006. The police regularly use allotted radio spots to discuss the dangers of trafficking. A radio interview about trafficking with a member of the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee has been periodically re-broadcast. A parliamentarian sponsored a one-day trafficking awareness workshop in her constituency.