Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Tunisia

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 - Tunisia, 5 June 2006, available at: [accessed 25 May 2016]
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.

Tunisia (Tier 2)

Tunisia is a transit country for North and sub-Saharan African men and women migrating to Europe, some of whom may be trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude or sexual exploitation. The Government of Tunisia does not systematically differentiate trafficking victims from illegal migrants traveling through the country. Tunisia may also be a source country for internal trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Tunisia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Tunisia worked closely with European neighbors to address the issue of smuggling and trafficking. The government also monitors its borders closely to interdict smuggling and trafficking rings. However, Tunisia should take measures to systematically screen illegal migrants to identify possible trafficking victims and devise an appropriate anti-trafficking response, including a means for according protection to victims of trafficking. The government should also utilize existing laws to identify and prosecute a greater number of traffickers.


The Government of Tunisia took some measures to punish trafficking crimes over the last year. Tunisia has a comprehensive anti-trafficking law criminalizing all forms of trafficking, but the government may have used other statutes to prosecute some persons involved in human smuggling to Europe and those involved in the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Nonetheless, the government failed to actively distinguish between persons smuggled and trafficking victims. Local NGOs report none of the illegal migrants they assist have identified themselves as victims of trafficking. Tunisia should ensure investigators have appropriate training to identify potential trafficking victims. It should also pursue training programs for police officers, attorneys, and judges on methods of investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes.


Tunisia made limited progress in its efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the year. The government has no formal system specifically to protect trafficking victims, but victims of trafficking have access to social services available for the abused and vulnerable. For instance, the government assigns a child protection delegate for each district to ensure that child sexual abuse victims receive adequate medical care and counseling. Tunisia also employs government workers, including social workers, to assist in three shelters operated by the Tunisian National Women's Union. Nonetheless, child victims of commercial sexual exploitation may be incarcerated for acts directly related to their having been trafficked. The government should grant funding to foreign or domestic NGOs to support identified trafficking victims. In addition, the government should provide specialized training programs for government or embassy officials to help them identify victims of trafficking.


The Government of Tunisia took positive steps to prevent trafficking in persons over the reporting period. Tunisia collaborated with European counterparts such as the Italian Government to interdict smuggling rings, some of which may include traffickers. The Tunisian and Italian Governments, for example, jointly implemented an immigration program designed to reduce illegal migration via Tunisia to Italy. To prevent the abuse of Tunisian workers abroad, the government deployed "social attachés" in countries with large Tunisian populations to inform those workers of their rights. The government should continue monitoring its borders to screen for potential victims of trafficking and develop anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns.

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