[ Country-by-Country Reports ]
SENEGAL (TIER 2 Watch List)
[Extracted from U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June 2009]
is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women
trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual
exploitation. Trafficking within the country is more prevalent than
trans-border trafficking and the majority of victims are children. Within
Senegal, religious teachers traffic boys, called talibe, by promising
to educate them, but subjecting them instead to forced begging and physical
abuse. A 2007 study done by UNICEF, the ILO and the World Bank found that
6,480 talibe were forced to beg in Dakar alone. Women and girls are
trafficked for domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation --
including exploitation by foreign sex tourists -- within Senegal. Children
are also trafficked for forced labor in gold mines within Senegal.
Transnationally, boys are trafficked to Senegal from The Gambia, Mali,
Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea for forced begging by religious teachers.
Senegalese children are trafficked to Mali, Guinea, and possibly other West
African countries for forced labor in gold mines. Senegalese women and girls
are trafficked to neighboring countries, the Middle East, and Europe for
domestic servitude and possibly for sexual exploitation. Women and girls from
other West African countries, particularly Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and
Nigeria may be trafficked to Senegal for sexual exploitation, including for
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, despite limited resources. The government continued to demonstrate a
strong commitment to protecting child trafficking victims during the year by
providing them with shelter, rehabilitation and reintegration services.
Despite these overall significant efforts, the government did not show
progress in prosecuting, convicting, and punishing trafficking offenders over
the last year; therefore, Senegal is placed on Tier 2 Watch List.
Recommendations for Senegal: Intensify efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking
offenders; ensure that the Ministry of Interior’s Special Commissariat
Against Sex Tourism and the Tourism Ministry’s sex tourism police unit
arrest suspected sex tourists and rescue their victims; and increase efforts
to raise awareness about trafficking.
Government of Senegal demonstrated insufficient anti-trafficking law
enforcement efforts during the year. Senegal prohibits all forms of
trafficking through its 2005 Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Related
Practices and to Protect Victims. The law’s prescribed penalties of
five to 10 years’ imprisonment for all forms of trafficking are
sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape.
The government reported that it arrested two religious teachers for abusing
boys they had trafficked for forced begging. The government did not report
any additional arrests, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking offenses.
During the year, the Ministry of Justice’s Center for Judicial Training
conducted a UNICEF-funded training for police, gendarmerie, and immigration
officials to educate them about trafficking. Although the government in 2007
activated two special police units to combat child sex tourism, one within
the Interior Ministry and the other within the Tourism Ministry, these units
did not report any law enforcement actions against foreign pedophiles. The
Ministry of the Interior, through its Bureau of Investigations, continued to
work with Interpol to monitor immigration and emigration patterns for
evidence of trafficking.
The Government of Senegal sustained solid efforts to protect trafficking
victims over the last year. The government continued to operate the Ginndi
Center, its shelter for destitute children, including trafficking victims.
While the Family Ministry, which funds and operates the Center with support
from international donors, began using a donor-funded computerized database
to track trafficking victims in 2006, the center recently stopped using the
database due to lack of funds. The center, which has the capacity to house 60
children at a time, assisted 949 foreign and Senegalese destitute children,
including trafficking victims, over the last year. With international
organization and NGO assistance, 807 children were reunited with their
families and 69 were trained in vocational centers located in the Ginndi
center. The government also continued to operate its free child protection
hotline out of the Ginndi Center. In the last year, the hotline received
17,501 calls, though it is not known how many of these calls related to human
trafficking. The government also sometimes referred trafficking victims to
NGOs for care on an ad hoc basis. The government espoused a policy of
encouraging victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions
in part by permitting closed door victim testimonies during trafficking
prosecutions. The government did not report, however, that it encouraged any
victims to assist in prosecutions during the last year. The government
provided legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries
where they faced hardship or retribution. Trafficking victims had the option
of remaining temporarily or permanently in Senegal under the status of
resident or refugee. Victims were not inappropriately incarcerated or fined
for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.
The Government of Senegal made modest efforts to raise awareness about
trafficking during the reporting period. As part of its program against the
worst forms of child labor, the Family Ministry continued to conduct
donor-funded workshops and roundtables in Mbour, Dakar and other areas of the
country to raise awareness about forced child begging, child domestic
servitude, and child prostitution. In 2008, the Family Ministry collaborated
with the ILO and the Governments of Mali, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau,
Guinea, and Burkina Faso to implement a 12-month regional anti-trafficking
project. The project collected information on the parameters of regional
trafficking and organized donor-funded anti-trafficking workshops for 60
police, gendarmerie, and customs officials from the participating countries.
In December 2008, project participants released a document listing 68 best
practices to combat trafficking in the region. The government did not take
steps to reduce demand for commercial sex acts in Senegal. The government did
not take measures to ensure that its nationals who are deployed abroad as
part of peacekeeping missions do not engage in or facilitate trafficking.