Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

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

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 - Yemen, 5 June 2006, available at: [accessed 29 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.

Yemen (Tier 2)

Yemen is a source country for children trafficked internally for sexual exploitation and to Saudi Arabia for forced begging, unskilled labor, or street vending, as well as a possible destination country for Iraqi women trafficked for sexual exploitation. Children are often lured by family members or trusted adults with promises of well-paying jobs in Saudi Arabia or in the Yemeni cities of Aden and Sanaa. Estimates reflect that the age of children trafficked for forced begging ranges from seven to 16 years of age, with the majority being between 12 and 14 years old. The number of child victims of sex trafficking is believed to be in the low hundreds.

The Government of Yemen does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Yemen expanded upon progress made last year by continuing to train security forces, working with UNICEF and IOM to raise awareness of trafficking among parents of small children in rural and border areas, and establishing a database to collect information on child trafficking. Yemen should, however, take steps to prevent the incarceration and prosecution of child victims of sex trafficking. Yemen should improve measures to effectively screen prostitutes and women entering the country for signs of sex trafficking.


The Government of Yemen improved its efforts to prosecute child labor trafficking cases, but should do more to increase prosecutions of corrupt officials and traffickers of women and girls for sexual exploitation. In addition to an absence of prosecutions against sex traffickers, Yemen reportedly detains and prosecutes child victims of commercial sexual exploitation under its prostitution laws. Although Yemen lacks a specific anti-trafficking law, it uses other provisions of its criminal code to prosecute traffickers. This year, the government reported 19 convictions for child trafficking, up from two prosecutions last year, with 14 more investigations pending. Despite reports of corruption among low-ranking government representatives, Yemen has not prosecuted any officials for involvement in trafficking.


Yemen continued progress in protecting child trafficking victims, particularly those repatriated from Saudi Arabia. The government opened one fully operational reception center in the Harath region, providing victims with social services, limited medical care, and family reunification services. This center has received over 300 children in its first six months. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs also operated four additional, smaller reception centers in northern regions of the country. In addition, the Ministry of Interior runs 10 specialized "rooms" to house repatriated children. Over the last year, Yemen trained 51 government officials on shelter management and trafficking victim assistance with the help of UNICEF and IOM. The government, however, provides no protection to victims of sex trafficking and should improve its efforts to screen the girls and women it arrests and prosecutes for prostitution to determine if any of them are trafficking victims.


With assistance from UNICEF and IOM, Yemen increased its trafficking prevention efforts over the last year. The government launched an information campaign to distribute printed materials, videos, and radio messages to educate parents and local leaders on the dangers of child trafficking. The Ministry of Human Rights also circulated information about a hotline it operates, particularly in areas where child trafficking is prevalent. In addition, the government, with equipment provided by UNICEF, created a database for information collected on child trafficking at border crossings, resulting in monthly reports from the Ministry of Interior. Yemen also continued to require visas for Iraqis entering the country to prevent the trafficking of Iraqi women and girls and to identify potential victims.

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