Cameroon (Tier 2)
Cameroon is a source, transit, and destination country for children who are trafficked for forced labor, to and from neighboring countries, such as Benin, Chad, Gabon, and Nigeria. A majority of the children are trafficked internally to urban centers for indentured or domestic servitude. Women are trafficked for prostitution to European countries, including France and Switzerland.
The Government of Cameroon does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Cameroon has a law that prohibits trafficking, and actively investigates trafficking cases, soliciting assistance from community members. Prosecutions and convictions on trafficking charges remain few and the government does not provide specialized training to law enforcement officials. Though it lacks the resources to fully institutionalize a protection program, the government has provided some assistance to victims, including temporary residence status, shelter, and medical care. Social programs also exist to remove children involved in the worst forms of child labor, and place them in public or private institutions where they receive specialized care and assistance. Cameroon also provides in-kind assistance to NGOs working to help trafficking victims, such as tax concessions, and duty free importation privileges. The government supports several programs aimed at prevention, such as the 2001 anti-trafficking education campaign, which increased vigilance by officials at entry points, as well as within the communities. Throughout the year, the public and private press have published numerous articles on this subject. Related preventive efforts on the part of the government include free public nursery and primary education, and a program to finance micro-projects managed by women and young girls. Cameroon is one of the West African countries involved in an international organization's program to reduce trafficking in children.