[ Country-by-Country Reports ]

GUINEA (TIER 2 Watch List)   [Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009]

Guinea is a source, transit and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of victims are children, and internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking. Within the country, girls are trafficked primarily for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, while boys are trafficked as forced beggars, street vendors, shoe shiners, and laborers in gold and diamond mines as well as for forced agricultural labor. Some Guinean men are also trafficked for agricultural labor within Guinea. Smaller numbers of girls from Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Guinea-Bissau are trafficked transnationally to Guinea for domestic servitude and likely also for sexual exploitation. Guinean boys and girls are trafficked to Senegal, Mali, and possibly other African countries, for labor in gold mines. Guinean women and girls are trafficked to Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Greece, and Spain for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Chinese women are trafficked to Guinea for commercial sexual exploitation by Chinese traffickers. Networks also traffic women from Nigeria, India, and Greece through Guinea to the Maghreb countries to Europe, notably Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, and France for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude.

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, despite limited resources. Despite these overall efforts, the government did not show evidence of progress in prosecuting trafficking offenders or protecting victims; therefore, Guinea is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. Ensnared by internal instability that culminated in a December 2008 coup, Guinea’s efforts to combat trafficking remained weak. While Guinea has an adequate anti-trafficking legal framework, which it strengthened by enacting the Child Code, the government did not report any trafficking convictions for the fifth year in a row, and protection and prevention efforts remained weak.

Recommendations for Guinea: Increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers; finalize and adopt the implementing text for the new Child Code; increase prescribed penalties for the sex trafficking of adults and children; develop stronger partnerships with NGOs and international organizations to care for victims; and increase efforts to raise awareness about trafficking.

The Government of Guinea demonstrated minimal law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the last year. Guinea prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through separate statutes. In August 2008, Guinea enacted the Child Code, which includes provisions prohibiting all forms of child trafficking, specifically criminalizes child domestic servitude, and allows NGOs to bring cases to court on behalf of victims. The government, in collaboration with NGOs and international organizations, is still drafting the implementing text for this law, which will prescribe penalties that allow the law to be enforced. Article 337 of the 1998 Penal Code prohibits individuals from entering into agreements that deprive third parties of their liberty, prescribing penalties of five to 10 years’ imprisonment and confiscation of any resulting profits. Forced prostitution and child prostitution are criminalized by Article 329 of Guinea’s Penal Code, which prescribes six months’ to two years’ imprisonment if the trafficked victim is an adult, and two to five years’ imprisonment if the victim is a child. These penalties for sex trafficking of adults are neither sufficiently stringent nor commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. The government reported that 17 trafficking cases are awaiting prosecution, though it obtained no convictions of trafficking offenders during the year. Guinea’s government created a new Ministry of High Crimes and Anti-Drug Enforcement that will be responsible for anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. While the Police Mondaine, which is responsible for addressing trafficking cases, did not investigate the problem of the involuntary domestic servitude of children in the past, it has added this form of trafficking to its mandate. On February 3, the head of the military government issued a declaration giving security personnel blanket authority to shoot anyone caught committing child trafficking, raising significant human rights concerns. During the year, Guinean officials participated in joint trainings with Malian authorities at posts on the two countries’ borders to review a proposed agreement on protection of trafficking victims, which was later signed by both countries.

The Government of Guinea demonstrated weak efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. The government lacks shelters for trafficking victims due to limited resources. While Guinea lacks a formal procedure through which officials refer victims to NGOs and international organizations for care, authorities reported referring victims on an ad hoc basis. The government also reported providing limited assistance to victims in collaboration with NGOs and international organizations, but due to the lack of a database, the government could not provide the number of victims assisted. Through foster care services, the Ministry of Social Affairs provides care to destitute children, some of whom may be trafficking victims. The government did not follow procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as abandoned children, child victims of violence, and children in prostitution. Government officials from key ministries responsible for anti-trafficking initiatives held monthly meetings during the year to discuss multilateral and bilateral cooperation to reintegrate and rehabilitate victims. In collaboration with NGOs, the Guinean government continued to operate its free hotline for public reporting of trafficking cases or victims, but was unable to provide information regarding the number of calls received. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions. Guinea does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution.

The Government of Guinea demonstrated diminished efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. Guinea did not conduct any anti-trafficking awareness efforts during the year. The National Committee to Combat Trafficking met quarterly throughout the year. The Committee failed to submit required quarterly reports on the implementation of the National Action Plan. At a meeting in February 2009, however, the Committee evaluated the existing action plan and began developing a version for 2009-2010. The government did not take measures to reduce demand for forced labor and child labor in violation of international standards, as well as demand for commercial sex acts.