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

Equatorial Guinea (Tier 3)

Equatorial Guinea is a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced commercial labor. Women and children are trafficked to Equatorial Guinea from West and Central Africa, principally Cameroon, Nigeria, and Benin. Trafficked women work as prostitutes in Equatorial Guinea's booming oil sector. Boys are trafficked to work in the agricultural and commercial sectors of Malabo and Bata while girls are trafficked for involuntary domestic servitude and prostitution.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government's failure to make significant efforts to reduce trafficking in persons, especially in the absence of resource constraints common to the rest of the sub-Saharan region, requires a Tier 3 raking. Owing to revenues from its petroleum sector, the government has sufficient funding to support prevention and protection programs, but it has failed to take action in these areas, largely due to lack of capacity in the public sector and civil service. The country's borders are porous, corruption is rife, and there is no systematic monitoring or reporting on trafficking. The government should take steps to prevent trafficking by vigorously patrolling its borders, building its law enforcement capacity, and increasing public awareness of trafficking. Efforts should also be made to provide for the needs of trafficking victims.


There is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. The Ministry of Justice drafted a new trafficking law in 2003, which awaits adoption. The Ministry of Justice has designated one of its lawyers as a trafficking specialist. In 2003, the government prosecuted its first trafficking case, convicting a woman of trafficking and enslaving a young girl from Benin. Corrupt law enforcement officials are known to facilitate trafficking in and through Equatorial Guinea.


The government has taken little action to protect or assist trafficking victims. In fact, victims have been deported. The First Lady, in conjunction with NGOs, has led the government's minimal effort to shelter and care for perhaps two dozen poor and abandoned children, some of who may be trafficking victims. The government provides funding to these shelters.


The government sponsored an observance of the International Day of the African Child and staged a National Forum on the Rights of Children and Trafficking of Minors. National radio and television covered these events.


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