Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 - Algeria
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||4 June 2008|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report 2008 - Algeria, 4 June 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/484f99fe4c.html [accessed 19 September 2014]|
ALGERIA (Tier 3)
Algeria is a transit country for men and women trafficked from sub-Saharan Africa to Europe for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. These men and women often enter Algeria voluntarily, but illegally, with the assistance of smugglers. Once in Algeria, however, some women are coerced into commercial sexual exploitation to pay off smuggling debts, while some men may be forced into involuntary servitude in construction and other low-skilled work. According to one NGO, an estimated 9,000 sub-Saharan African migrants currently residing in Algeria are victims of trafficking. In addition, Algerian children are trafficked internally for the purpose of domestic servitude or street vending.
The Government of Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government did not report any serious law enforcement actions to punish traffickers who force women into commercial sexual exploitation or men into involuntary servitude. Moreover, the government again reported no investigations of trafficking of children for domestic servitude or improvements in protection services available to victims of trafficking. Algeria still lacks victim protection services, and its failure to distinguish between trafficking and illegal migration may result in the punishment of victims of trafficking.
Recommendations for Algeria: Reform the criminal code to specifically punish all forms of trafficking; significantly increase prosecutions and punishment of trafficking offenses; institute and apply a formal procedure to identify victims of trafficking among illegal migrants, and refer victims to protection services; and improve services available to trafficking victims, including children trafficked for forced labor, such as shelter, medical, psychological, and legal aid.
The Government of Algeria did not report any progress in punishing trafficking offenses during the reporting period. Algeria does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, but prohibits the trafficking of minors under 19 years old for commercial sexual exploitation and most forms of sex trafficking of adults through its prohibition on pimping in Articles 342-344 of its penal code. The prescribed penalty for trafficking minors into prostitution – five to 10 years' imprisonment – is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Despite the availability of laws against sex trafficking and other statutes prohibiting related acts such as kidnapping and assault, the government did not provide evidence of investigating, prosecuting, convicting, or punishing any individuals for trafficking offenses this year. Reform of Algeria's criminal code to specifically prohibit all forms of trafficking, including forced labor and acts such as recruiting and harboring victims of trafficking, is recommended.
The Government of Algeria's efforts to improve victim protection did not improve over the reporting period. The government continued to lack formal procedures to systematically identify trafficking victims among vulnerable people, such as foreign women arrested for prostitution or illegal migrants. As a result, trafficking victims may be deported or otherwise punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government neither encouraged victims to assist in investigations against their traffickers, nor provided them with shelter, medical, or psychological services. Algerian law does not provide for alternatives to the deportation of trafficking victims, even in cases in which such victims might face hardship or retribution as a result of the deportation. According to local NGOs, the government does not provide specialized training to government officials in recognizing trafficking or dealing with victims of trafficking. A formal mechanism to identify victims of trafficking within vulnerable groups, such as illegal migrants and women arrested for prostitution, would improve Algeria's ability to protect trafficking victims. Establishing victim protection services or providing funding or in-kind assistance to organizations offering such services to victims of trafficking is also needed.
Algeria did not make efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the year. Although the government continues to work closely with the governments of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and Malta to prevent the illegal migration and smuggling of people to Europe, Algeria did not report specific actions taken to prevent trafficking in persons. The government did not have any public awareness campaigns to raise awareness of trafficking or to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.