U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Guinea

Guinea (Tier 2)

Guinea is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic and commercial labor. Guinean children are internally trafficked to Conakry from rural areas; girls are trafficked for domestic servitude, and boys for shoe shining and street vending. Guinea is a source country for women and girls trafficked to Benin, Senegal, South Africa, and Spain for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. UNICEF estimates that 6,200 Guinean child soldiers await demobilization in the country's military garrisons, and an additional 2,000 are currently in Liberia. Guinea is a destination country for children trafficked from Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Senegal for forced domestic servitude and street vending.

The Government of Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. More complete information on trafficking in Guinea makes it possible to include it in this report for the first time. Instability and armed conflict in neighboring countries contribute to a recent increase in trafficking and made prevention activities more difficult. Large numbers of refugees significantly drain government resources. Guinea should step up efforts to foster interagency cooperation on trafficking issues, curtail trafficking through border posts, and provide assistance to victims.


Trafficking in persons carries a penalty of five to ten-years imprisonment and the confiscation of any money or property received for trafficking activities. Guinean law also prohibits forced labor and the exploitation of vulnerable persons for unpaid or underpaid labor. Government officials are known to issue false passports for trafficking purposes, and deliberately overlook trafficking at border crossings. No actions have been taken against officials involved in trafficking in persons. In November 2003, a network of Guinean women that trafficked girls from Bamako into Guinea for domestic servitude was discovered in the aftermath of a car crash. Guinean authorities worked with IOM to repatriate the five surviving children. It is not known whether any charges were filed against the traffickers. Guinean border police intercepted six boys en route to Mali and returned the victims to their homes. Police are investigating the case of a Greek citizen intercepted while trafficking 36 Indian men through Conakry's port in 2003. The government is working in conjunction with the Malian Government to strengthen trafficking surveillance at the border.


The government provides limited assistance to victims of trafficking due to severe resource constraints; the responsibility for victim care falls mainly to NGOs and missionary groups. The police assist victims in making contact with organizations that provide shelter and family reunification. Authorities also contact local embassies for non-Guinean victims and process necessary travel documents to permit trafficking victims to return home. The government provides limited assistance to families of returning children. The Guinean military includes training in child soldier identification, demobilization, and prevention as part of its curriculum. In 2003, a book entitled "Child Soldiers and Protection: Before, During, and After the War" became standard issue, and 862 military officers received training on the involvement of children in armed conflict.


The government has developed a national plan of action to combat trafficking, consisting of education campaigns and child registration drives. However, in the past year, the plan was poorly publicized and largely ignored. An anti-trafficking workshop was held in Bamako in March 2004 to better coordinate regional action against trafficking. High-ranking Guinean delegates from the Ministry of Social Affairs and national police attended this meeting and presented the government's action plan for TIP issues. To better understand the local trafficking phenomenon, the Ministry of Social Affairs requested that UNICEF conduct a study of Guinean child trafficking in 2003. Completed with the assistance of numerous government personnel, the study provides limited statistics on the trafficking situation. In March 2004, government ministries met to discuss trafficking, including strategies to reduce the number of children being trafficked from Guinea. The meeting focused on ways to close off airports and ports, the major exit routes. To further reduce child trafficking, the government updated its passport technology; photos are now digitally scanned rather than pasted into passports.


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