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

Senegal (Tier 2 Watch List)

Senegal is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. A small number of children are trafficked to Senegal from Guinea-Bissau to secure Portuguese identification documents and further trafficked to Europe. Nigerian crime syndicates are known to be involved in the trafficking of Senegalese and other West African women from Senegal into Europe for purposes of sexual exploitation. Senegal is a destination country for women trafficked from the People's Republic of China.

The Government of Senegal does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. It has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List for failing to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking. Better government coordination is badly needed, including the gathering of accurate statistics on the extent of trafficking. The government should also amend its laws to incorporate definitions of trafficking and trafficking crimes, and conduct programs to raise public awareness of trafficking in persons.


Senegalese law does not specifically address trafficking in persons, which sometimes prevents trafficking victims from being identified as such and, in the past, has prevented convictions from being obtained. Recognizing this, the government has committed to strengthening the legal framework during 2004 by defining and criminalizing trafficking. Senegal has laws against hostage taking, abduction, the sale of persons, illegal prostitution, and the sexual exploitation of minors. There were no trafficking-related investigations or prosecutions. During 2003, a small number of Congolese, Nigerian, and Cameroonian women were intercepted at the airport with false documents. Although they were en route to Europe for purposes of prostitution and sexual exploitation, it is not confirmed that they were trafficking victims. In an effort to monitor the flow of people across Senegal's borders, the Ministries of Interior and Justice began to work with the International Organization for Migration to establish computer networks linking regional courts, border posts, and Senegal's foreign missions to a common data analysis center. Eighteen officers of the Senegalese Police and Gendarmerie have completed a 5-week training course on recognizing, investigating, prosecuting, and preventing trafficking.


Due to the lack of available funds, Senegal has no trafficking-specific protection or victim assistance programs. The government welcomes the work of NGOs.


In 2003, the government made considerable progress in acknowledging trafficking as a problem in Senegal by establishing a National Committee for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons. This committee drafted a national plan to combat trafficking that is currently under review by several ministries.


This 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.