[ Human Trafficking, Country-by-Country ]

BENIN (Tier 2) Extracted in part  from the U.S. State Dept 2023 TIP Report - Benin

The Government of Benin does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.  The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity, if any; therefore Benin remained on Tier 2.  These efforts included prosecuting and convicting more traffickers and identifying significantly more trafficking victims and referring those victims to protection services.  However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas.  Authorities did not report identifying any foreign or adult trafficking victims.  Additionally, the government did not have adequate protection services for adults.

Prioritized Recommendations

Seek adequate penalties for convicted traffickers, which should involve significant prison terms. 

Develop and implement SOPs for proactive identification of adult trafficking victims and their subsequent referral to care or incorporate identification of adult trafficking victims into existing SOPs. 

Collaborate with NGOs and international organizations to increase the government’s capacity to provide shelter and services to more trafficking victims, including adults. 

Expand training for law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and judicial staff on the 2018 penal code articles 499-504 to increase their ability to investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers, including fraudulent labor recruiters. 

Develop an information management system for the Ministries of Justice, Interior, Labor, Foreign Affairs, and other relevant government agencies – in coordination with international organizations – to improve access and utilization of law enforcement and judicial statistics. 

Expand implementation of the 2011 bilateral anti-trafficking agreement with the Republic of the Congo as well as the multilateral agreement with Burkina Faso and Togo to increase law enforcement coordination and hold perpetrators of transnational trafficking cases criminally accountable. 

Finalize the multilateral agreement with Togo and Nigeria to increase information-sharing and cooperation on transnational investigations. 

Screen any North Korean workers for signs of trafficking and refer them to appropriate services, in a manner consistent with obligations under United Nations Security Council resolution 2397