CHAD (Tier 2 Watch List)
Chad is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of children are trafficked within Chad for involuntary domestic servitude, forced cattle herding, forced begging, forced labor in petty commerce or the fishing industry, or for commercial sexual exploitation. To a lesser extent, Chadian children are also trafficked to Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria for cattle herding. Children may also be trafficked from Cameroon and the Central African Republic to Chad's oil producing regions for sexual exploitation. Chadian rebels recruit children into the armed forces. In the last year, the Chadian National Army (CNA) also conscripted children. While the government appeared to have discontinued this practice in May 2007, more recent reports indicate that soldiers from the CNA continue to recruit children, as well as men, by force. Due to the volatile security situation in the country, however, information to confirm these reports has been difficult to obtain. During the year, Sudanese children in refugee camps in eastern Chad were forcibly recruited into armed forces by rebel groups, some of which are backed by the Chadian government. A high profile case during the last year of French NGO personnel attempting to unlawfully fly 103 children of Chadian and Sudanese origin to France was most likely a fraudulent adoption scheme rather than child trafficking. Reports indicate that these children were likely destined for illegal adoption in France rather than for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation.
The Government of Chad does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. Nevertheless, Chad is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking over the previous year. Chad has been destabilized during the year by civil conflict leading to a declared state of emergency in February 2008, attacks from Chadian rebels backed by the Government of Sudan, and a steady influx of refugees fleeing Sudan and the Central African Republic. The government demonstrated insufficient overall efforts to combat trafficking.
Recommendations for Chad: Pass and enact its draft law prohibiting child trafficking; increase efforts to arrest, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders under related laws; investigate and punish official complicity in trafficking; ensure that children are not conscripted into the CNA; collaborate with NGOs and international organizations to care for victims and increase efforts to raise awareness about trafficking.
The Government of Chad demonstrated weak efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement means during the reporting period. Chadian law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though Title 5 of the Labor Code, however, criminalizes forced and bonded labor, prescribing an inadequate penalty of approximately $325-$665. A draft 2004 law against child trafficking has yet to be passed and enacted. A 2005 Ministry of Justice executive decree to conform Chadian law to international child labor norms awaits approval of the Council of Ministers and the Presidency. To combat parental involvement in the sexual exploitation of girls, the government has proposed increasing the penalty for prostitution of a minor by a relative or guardian to five to ten years' imprisonment and a fine of between $200 and $2,000 from no prison sentence and fines between approximately $295-$1,700. The government failed to report any trafficking arrests, prosecutions or convictions under trafficking-related laws, such as child abduction, child selling, or child labor. Judicial effectiveness in investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes is handicapped by the low number of judges in the country – only 150 – and the fact that they must write all court documents by hand. The government lacks the resources to employ more efficient procedures. Trafficking cases reported in 2005 and 2006 remained pending, with none of them moving to prosecution. Law enforcement officials and labor inspectors reported that they lack the basic means, such as transportation costs, to investigate trafficking cases. Although authorities receive reports of missing children alleged to have been taken to neighboring countries, the government reported that they usually do not investigate such cases. The government has also failed to investigate reports that some local officials use intermediaries to recruit child herders in Mandoul.
The Government of Chad demonstrated poor efforts to protect trafficking victims in the last year. Due to limited resources, the government does not operate shelters for trafficking victims. The government provided no data on the number of victims it assisted through such services and contributions. Chad failed to report any trafficking victim rescues or referrals to NGOs for care. In May 2007, Chad signed an accord with UNICEF to demobilize child soldiers. Subsequently, however, the government denied UNICEF access to military bases to identify additional children. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they faced hardship or retribution. Victims were not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked. However, the government may have conscripted street children, some of whom were likely to be trafficking victims, into its armed forces.
The Government of Chad demonstrated some efforts to raise awareness of trafficking during the last year. In November 2007, Chad participated in a UNICEF-sponsored conference attended by the governments of the Central African Republic and Sudan, as well as UN agencies to discuss increased collaboration within the sub-region to address trafficking. Government-operated television aired anti-trafficking documentaries, including a series on anti-trafficking programs in Burkina Faso and Benin. Government radio broadcast anti-trafficking messages, and continued its programming to educate the public about the dangers of child trafficking for cattle herding. The Chadian government did not take steps to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. Chad has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.