Cablegate: Senegal: Annual Tip Report


DE RUEHDK #0262/01 0641431
R 041431Z MAR 08





E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (SBU) As was the case in previous years Senegal continues to
devote, time, resources and attention to combat trafficking in
2. (U) responses are keyed to questions in reftel
Begin TIP report
A. Senegal is a source, transit, and destination country for
children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labor,
begging, and commercial sexual exploitation. While there are no
reliable statistics for the total extent of human trafficking in
Senegal, a joint November 2007 report by UNICEF, the ILO and the
World Bank said that there were 7,600 street children begging in
Dakar alone and that 90 percent of them were talibs. The report
also said that 95 percent of these children were from either from
out of Dakar or from outside the country. Trafficking within the
country is more prevalent than trans-border trafficking. Boys who
are students (talibe) at some Koranic schools are trafficked within
the country for forced begging by their religious teachers
(marabouts. Women and girls are trafficked for domestic servitude.
Girls, and possibly adult women, are also trafficked internally for
sexual exploitation. Trans-nationally, boys are trafficked to
Senegal from The Gambia, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea for forced
begging by unscrupulous religious teachers. Senegalese women and
girls are trafficked to neighboring countries, the Middle East, and
Europe for domestic servitude and possibly for sexual exploitation.
Reports over the last year of large numbers of Senegalese and
neighboring country nationals being transported from Senegal to
Spain appear to be cases of smuggling and illegal migration rather
than trafficking.

Senegal's trafficking problems are both internal and transnational
and no one group or gender is targeted.

Young Senegalese boys continued to be trafficked from rural villages
to urban centers for exploitive begging at some Koranic schools
(daaras). Young boys are trafficked to Senegal from The Gambia,
Guinea-Bissau, Mali and Guinea for the same purpose.

Young girls are trafficked from poor villages in the regions of
Diourbel, Fatick, Kaolack, Louga, Kolda, Saint Louis (Fouta), Thies
and Ziguinchor to urban centers to work as underage maids. Young
girls from both urban and rural areas are involved in illegal
prostitution, which NGOs claim always involves an adult pimp who
facilitates their commercial sex transactions or houses them.

The issue of trafficking of adult women remains a hazy one. Police
officials, international organizations and NGOs have indicated that
trafficking of women for use in prostitution occurs in Senegal, but
there is little concrete data to support this. NGOs working with
illegal prostitutes have provided anecdotal evidence. ENDA Sante, a
Senegalese NGO and FY05 TIP grantee, treats prostitutes for STIs
through a mobile clinic program. According to ENDA Sante's staff,
they continued to see many women from nearby African countries --
Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Guinea --
practicing illegal prostitution in Senegal.

Association AWA, an NGO providing health care and vocational
training to women in prostitution, reported that physically abused
women occasionally come in to be treated. They are sometimes
accompanied by another person to get tested for HIV/AIDS. AWA
believes some of these women may be trafficking victims, and the
persons accompanying them may be traffickers. AWA also said they
see many female prostitutes from Liberia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and
Nigeria. Last year's TIP Report discussed the organized nature of
foreign prostitutes' entry into Senegal, as residents from other
African countries can enter Senegal without a visa. Last year, AWA
assisted 619 sex workers in Dakar and 116 in the regions.

B. Children trafficked to Senegal are forced into exploitive
begging. Separated from their families and support systems,
children must choose between staying with their trafficker or a life
on the street as runaways. Many children are too young to remember
with any detail the village from which they came and, sadly, forget
their families. Newspapers have reported on cases of physical abuse
committed by (marabouts) against their students. Koranic teachers
who abuse their students have been prosecuted under TIP laws and
sent to prison. For child victims, parents who entrust young boys
into the care of a Koranic teacher, or send a female child to work
as a domestic, oftentimes know the trafficker. Therefore, parents
are as responsible as teachers in the trafficking of persons.

Marabouts frequently return to their home villages and receive
children from parents hoping to provide them a Koranic education.
This kind of education is more valued than a secular education by
the Senegalese, especially in the formative years of between 4-7
years. Generally, parents are not offered money to turn young boys

over to Koranic teachers, and young boys are never sold.

Girls sent away to work as maids often work in family members' or
family friends' homes. In such cases, poor rural families expect
money will be sent back to the home to help provide badly needed
income to buy food and clothes. In most cases money is sent back
when the trafficker returns. These relationships and a family's
expectation of income make it very difficult for young girls, who
are sometimes sexually abused, to leave their jobs.

Young prostitutes are either sent by rural parents to urban areas to
find work, or leave urban homes to work on the streets. While
parents do not send their daughters to become prostitutes, with rare
exceptions, NGOs working with underage prostitutes claim parents are
aware of the fact their daughters prostitute themselves because they
leave the house at night, and they have an otherwise unexplainable
source of income. Almost all underage prostitutes have Senegalese
pimps who entice their victims with promises of money and work. NGO
ENDA ECOPOLE has created a center where young domestic girls can get
vocational training after work, in tie dye and sewing, as well as a
basic education. These activities also prevent girls from wandering
the streets at night and being targeted as potential victims for

Weak civil administration, porous borders and the ease of obtaining
fake identity documents, the abundance of foreign tourists and
potential visa sponsors, freedom of movement between Economic
Community of West African States (ECOWAS) member states without the
need to present a passport, direct flights from Senegal to Europe
and national stability entice adult women from other African
countries to come to Senegal for sexual purposes. If these women
are trafficked, it is unclear who their traffickers are, or what
methods they use to approach victims. NGOs think that while some
Senegalese women could be trafficked to North Africa, Europe and the
Middle East for sexual purposes, as has been reported in the past,
most of them tend to remain in Senegal.

C. The GOS has continued to show significant political will to
combat human trafficking. The GOS-established Ginddi Center has
maintained its intake of at-risk children and continues to expand
its operations. The Ministry of Women, Family, Social Development
and Women's Entrepreneurship runs a program for daaras, in which
they provide teaching aids, submit language components, train
Koranic teachers, offer school supplies and run awareness campaigns.
In addition, the Direction for Child Protection organized a series
of training seminars for journalists and security forces based in
the regions of Kolda, Tambacounda, Ziguinchor, Matam, Saint Louis
and Kaolack. These training sessions were conducted by social and
labor workers, gendarmes, policemen, magistrates, and civil society.
This office is also working with Ministry of Justice and the French
Embassy to implement an action plan on child trafficking.

The relatively new Criminal Analysis Unit continues to add
trafficking-related offenses into its electronic database. However
personnel need more training to use the material more efficiently.
Unfortunately, though human trafficking is now an offense under
domestic law, few, if any, such cases have been included in the
database. The unit is associated with INTERPOL but lacks financial
and human resources to fully devote to trafficking issues. Although
specialized police squads have been posted in border regions, the
Commissioner of Police noted that police lack the financial
incentive and time to actively pursue trafficking cases and input
data into the database. Nonetheless, with assistance from Spain, the
GOS broke up at least two trafficking rings in the last year. Two
trucks full of children were stopped at the border between Senegal
and Guinea Bissau by Senegalese Police and Customs, while a third
truck was never found.

The Interior Ministry Special Commissariat to help fight sex tourism
has set up an office ("Brigade de Mineurs" - Under Age squads) in
Dakar and Mbour, two of Senegal's principal tourist destinations.
In the reported cases of pedophilia in Mbour the offending foreign
tourists were judged, sentenced to jail, and repatriated to serve
their prison sentences, along with an order banning them from Saly.
However, the police and gendarmerie say they need more cooperation
from local citizens who are the only ones that can identify the
houses where these pedophilic tourists live. They recommend more
awareness campaigns to inform populations about the dangers of
pedophilia and its consequences on children.

The Ministry of special tourism police unit (Direction of Regulation
and Control) has one office that is now operational in Dakar, but
the one in Mbour is still not active.

As part of a Time-Bound program with the ILO, Senegal works toward
the eradication of child begging, underage domestic work, and
underage prostitution as three of Senegal's worst forms of child

D. Senegal is one of the poorest countries in the
world, ranking 156th on the UN's Human Development
Index, and has limited ability to effectively prosecute, prevent
trafficking or protect trafficking victims. Police are underpaid
and lack adequate equipment and resources to effectively do their
jobs, while gendarmes guarding the borders are few and far between.
For example, during a 2007 trip to the border town of Kidira near
Mali, the brigade chief told Poloff that he had 8 men and 2 vehicles
to guard hundreds of miles of border. In addition to its public
revenue problems, the government's bureaucratic structure and
reliance on highly centralized decision-making stand in the way of
reform. Corruption exists throughout government, including law
enforcement. Trafficking represents only one of many vexing social
and economic problems with which the Government must contend. The
fact that recruiters of young boys exploit legitimate, socially
prevalent desire for a religious education provides "cover" within
local communities, and decreases the possibility of government

E. The GOS does not have a systematic means in place to monitor its
anti-trafficking efforts and does not submit reports. However, the
Ministry of Family and the Human Rights Commissioner in an
unprecedented move led a sustained and well-organized effort to
fight trafficking and child begging throughout 2006 and early 2007.
As a result, the Human Rights Commissioner is the focal point and
the coordination agency for all ministries involved in working
against trafficking in persons, and the Ministry of Family is the
executive and operational body to execute activities on trafficking.
All these ministries (Human Rights Commissary, Ministry of Family,
Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Tourism, the
Army, and Ministry of Education) meet on a monthly basis to discuss
on-going cases and discuss anti-trafficking strategies.

--------------------------------------------- ---------
A. On April 29, 2005, the National Assembly unanimously adopted a
comprehensive anti-TIP law. Under the law, those who recruit,
transport, transfer or harbor persons, whether by means of violence,
fraud, abuse of authority or otherwise for the purposes of sexual
exploitation, labor, forced servitude or slavery are subject to
punishment of 5 to 10 years' imprisonment and a fine of between USD
10,000 and 40,000 (5 to 20 million CFA francs (CFAF)). When the
violation involves torture, barbarism, the removal of human organs
or exposing the victim to a risk of death or injury, jail time can
range from 10 to 30 years imprisonment.

Though Senegal now has an effective legal tool for fighting human
trafficking, the new law has been used primarily to combat those who
smuggle illegal immigrants from Senegal to Spain. The anti-TIP law
has been also used to convict Koranic teachers who have abused

Other statutes have been used to prosecute and convict traffickers.
For instance, Senegal's constitution forbids slavery, the labor code
prohibits forced labor, and begging is illegal under the penal code.
Senegalese have not historically viewed exploitive begging as
slavery or forced labor, and the anti- begging law is not enforced
against any beggars, trafficking victims or otherwise.

A legal regime regulates prostitution. Pimping and soliciting
customers are illegal. Current laws regulating prostitution yield
arrests, including arrests of foreign illegal prostitutes, underage
prostitutes and pimps. NGOs working with prostitutes, however,
claim the problem is bigger than official statistics suggest.
Association AWA assisted a total of 735 sex workers last year.

A few Koranic teachers who physically abuse their students are
arrested and prosecuted each year. In year 2007, one marabout in
Diourbel (center) was arrested after beating a talibs to death. He
was prosecuted and sentenced to jail for four years and fined of
50,000 CFAF (USD 111). In most cases, students were beaten for
failing to meet their daily begging requirements. NGOs assisting
Koranic school students explain that Koranic teachers who violently
enforce daily begging requirements are usually the most exploitive
and most likely to be traffickers rather than bona fide Koranic
teachers. At the Ginddi Center, the Family Ministry received
students who had been beaten by their Koranic teachers. No cases
have been reported this year.

B. The law stipulates 5 to 10 years imprisonment for rape. Rapes
resulting in death qualify for life imprisonment. If a rape victim
is a minor, the penalty is 10 years imprisonment. The law punishes
sexual abuse of children (pedophilia) with 5 to 10 years
imprisonment. If the offender is a family member, the punishment is
10 years. Any offense against the decency of a child is punishable
by imprisonment for 2 to 5 years and in some aggravated cases up to
10 years. Procuring a minor for prostitution is punishable by
imprisonment for 2 to 5 years and a fine between USD 575 and 7,600
(300,000 and 4,000,000 CFAF). The penalties for sex trafficking

(whether for a minor or an adult) are more severe.

C. ILO's International Program on the Elimination of
Child Labor (IPEC) says there has not been a reported
case of child labor in Senegal during the reporting period. An IPEC
research study noted that 6,000 children were in the labor force
last year, and ILO was able to withdraw 3,000 children and send them
to schools or vocational training centers. IPEC has also conducted
training for magistrates and police on identification of the problem
and appropriate steps to take should it arise. IPEC and the
National Statistics Agency are currently conducting a study of the
extent of the problem in Senegal. As of early June 2007, ILO
reported that 8,000 children in Dakar, and 5,000 from the interior
and neighboring countries were working in Senegal.

D. The GOS prosecuted individuals responsible for rape, pedophilia,
prostitution and abuse of talibs children. In Malika (a suburb of
Dakar), a man accused of rape was released because there was no
proof to hold him, although the young girl he raped is now four
months pregnant. Penalties for rape vary between 5 to 10 years
imprisonment and a fine of USD 400 (200,000 CFAF) and 6,000 SUD
(3,000,000 CFAF). Penalties for violence against children can vary
form 5 to 10 years imprisonment and a fine between USD 11,000
(2,000,000 CFAF) to USD 44,000 (20,000,000 CFAF). Jail sentences
range between 10 to 30 years in cases of torture. People who
organizing child begging risk 5 years of prison and a fine between
USD 1,000 (500,000 CFAF) to USD 4,000 (2,000,000 CFAF). The
Population and Reproductive healthcare Institute of the University
of Dakar reported that among abused children, sixty five percent
have been raped. The same study discovered that violence against
children occur in different locations: forty five percent of child
sexual abuse occurs inside the family compound; seventeen percent in
the streets; ten percent at school; and six percent in the daara.
As said earlier, parents are more often than not complicit in
trafficking. In a recent case a group of fifteen girls were about to
be trafficked by Mauritanian traffickers from their remote village
in the Kaolack region. However, when confronted their parents
confirmed that they were sending them to work in order to bring
money back for the family. There are no further details on the

E. Prostitution is legal in Senegal. To legally practice
prostitution, a woman must be at least 21 years old, register with
the police, carry a valid sanitary card and test negative for STIs
and HIV/AIDS. Searching for clients and pimping are illegal.

F. Two truck drivers from Guinea Bissau, six traffickers and a
Senegalese man were arrested in early December 2007 at the southern
border for attempting to traffic 34 boys. They are in jail awaiting

G. GOS representatives attend NGO events on trafficking-related and
child protection themes, which helps generate greater turnout and
public awareness of Senegal's trafficking problems. The Ministry of
family, under the Department of Child Protection, had conducted many
training seminars funded by Save the Children-Senegal and hosted by
the Center for Judicial Training to educate policemen, gendarmes,
social and hospital workers, judges and lawyers, and civil society
organizations about the dangers of child trafficking and the actions
that need to be taken to stop it. The Ginndi center staff also
received training on the dissemination of the anti-TIP law, and has
created a watch and alert committee that continues to implement
citizen education programs. Meanwhile a database system called
Connexions Sans Frontiers which is supported by the Ministry of
Family includes a training module for the ten associations that are
utilizing this computerized system to keep track of trafficked

H. Senegalese and Malian authorities continued cooperation to
repatriate Malian children. The GOS works regularly with foreign
security services on clandestine immigration and human smuggling
cases. Last year, the Ginndi center, in conjunction with IOM
(International Organization for Migrations), repatriated 85 children
to Mali, 58 to Guinea Bissau, 19 to the Gambia, and 2 girls to
Guinea Conakry.

I. The GOS can extradite individuals but has not done
so for trafficking purposes.

J. There is some evidence of government tolerance of trafficking
for forced begging on a local or institutional level.

K. No GOS officials are known to have been involved in

L. No Senegalese have been implicated or involved in investigations
of trafficking by peacekeepers.

M. The Ministry of Tourism has created a police unit to fight

against sexual tourism in the principal tourist destinations of
Dakar, Mbour, Ziguinchor, Fatick, and Saint Louis.

A. The Ginddi Center provides various services
to assist trafficking victims regardless of their country of origin.
These services include medical treatment, family mediation and
reconciliation, education, shelter and meals, and repatriation of
children to their mother lands. Last year, the center's child
protection hotline received 1,920 calls from Koranic teachers alone
and a total of 66,823 calls. The center assisted 917 children of
which 329 received medical care. All 917 children were reunited with
their families in Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Mali, and the Gambia; 77
children were trained in vocational centers. A total of 409 street
interventions were conducted to convince children to join the

B. The Ginddi Center is used for trafficked and at-risk children.
While the Government funds most operations, international partners
provide some assistance. The U.S. renovated the dormitories and
built a wall around the center and provided medical equipment to the
health unit.

C. NGOS are not funded by the government. They receive funds from
international organizations and other donors such as embassies and

D. The Ministry of Family, under the association "Connexions Sans
Frontieres" is using a computerized database to track trafficked
children. GOS also works with IOM to help the return of children to
their countries of origin.

E. The international association "Enda Sant" provides health check
up and care to prostitutes.

F. According to the anti-TIP law, victims' rights are guaranteed
under Articles 12 and 17. Under the law, trafficking victims cannot
be prosecuted for acts taken as a result of their being trafficked.
The law also protects the identity of victims and permits closed
door testimony to encourage them to serve as witnesses. They also
are permitted to remain temporarily or permanently on national
territory under the status of resident or refugee. Victims have a
right to an attorney. If they cannot afford one, one will be
provided to them.

G. Victims' assistance in investigations are done behind close
doors. The rights of trafficked victims are generally respected.

H. The Government has provided basic shelter and
medical assistance to victims, usually in coordination with NGOs and
international organizations.

I. The government has not yet provided any specialized training to
government officials in identifying trafficking victims and to
assist trafficked children. The Ministry of Interior has applied
for and technically received approval from Department for ICITAP
funds that have yet to arrive to support such a program.

J. The government uses its Ginndi center to provide assistance to
trafficked victims: shelter, food, medical care, vocational training
and education, while waiting to repatriate victims to their hone

K. The following is a non-exhaustive list of NGOs working with
trafficking victims, their primary target group(s) and services:
TOSTAN (Koranic students, health, education and nutrition); Avenir
de l'Enfant (trafficked boys and underage prostitutes, shelter,
nutrition, education and reconciliation); ATT (Koranic students,
health and education); ENDA Sante (illegal prostitutes, health);
ONDH (Children in prisons); Enda Ecoplole (Abused Domestic maids);
and AWA (prostitutes, job training and health). RADDHO, which works
with Koranic students, underage prostitutes, and domestics, has a
program for the Socio-Professional Integration of Young Migrant
Victims of Trafficking, which is being funded by the Swiss
Foundation for International Social Service (SSI) and the American
Embassy (FY2005 TIP funds). Local authorities support NGO programs
through their attendance at public events, collaboration on program
strategies and activities and use of public spaces for activities.

International organizations include: the World Bank (street
children); UNICEF (underage domestics, underage prostitutes and
Koranic students, education, and job alternatives); IOM (trafficked
children, coordinates repatriation of Malian children); Save the
Children Sweden (Koranic students, education); and ILO (underage
domestics, underage prostitutes and Koranic students, education, and
job alternatives).


A. President Wade has spoken publicly against human trafficking.
The Ministry of Family has received grants from Italy, France, the
World Bank and UNICEF to follow through with initiatives to get
children off the streets. Privately, most GOS officials admit child
trafficking exists and the Government is now acting. Fewer
Senegalese see adult prostitutes as trafficking victims.
GOS officials recognize trafficking as a problem and Senegal as a
transit, destination and source country. When confronted with the
realities of today's exploitive begging relationships, for example,
many remain unconvinced Senegal's cultural and religious practices
constitute human trafficking when Senegalese children are involved.

B. Anti-TIP campaigns: The Ministry of Family, through the
Department of Child Protection, has conducted TIP awareness
campaigns to educate journalists, gendarmes, policemen, judges,
lawyers, social and hospital workers. In addition, NGO Radhho
(African Network for Human Rights) used FY2005 TIP funds to conduct
public awareness campaigns at national and community levels. Raddho
has specifically developed anti-trafficking press kits, interactive
radio programs, television documentaries, and dramatic sketches,
including publicizing child protection hotlines.

C. While there is no formal referral process between the GOS and
NGOs, close working relationships between local government officials
and NGOs active in their districts allow for information exchange
and intervention in particular cases. The Ministry of Family works
closely with many Senegalese NGOs, such as RADDHO, Avenir de
L'Enfant and La Lumiere. The Interior and Justice Ministries have a
program with IOM to monitor migration flows across Senegal's
borders. Justice Ministry officials worked with IOM staff in the
past to organize and analyze criminal statistics.

A number of NGOs, such as ENDA Ecopole, which works primarily with
women and children, and Avenir de l'Enfant report cooperative
relations with some Senegalese officials, such as the Minister of
Family, and the police, who often refer individual cases to such
NGOs. As part of its program against the worst forms of
child labor, the Family Ministry, along with its department of youth
protection, has held workshops and roundtables in Mbour, Dakar and
other areas to fight child begging, underage domestic work and
underage prostitution.

D. The Ministry of Interior, through its Bureau for Investigations,
works closely with Interpol to monitor immigration and emigration
patterns for evidence of trafficking. Organized clandestine
migration by any means is punished for 5 to 10 years of imprisonment
and a fine between USD 2,000 (1,000,000 CFAF)to USD 11,000
(5,000,000 CFAF).

E. International organizations include: the World Bank (street
children), UNICEF (underage domestics, prostitutes and talibes,
education and job alternatives), IOM (trafficked children,
coordination for repatriation of foreign children), Save the
Children (talibes, education), and ILO (underage domestics and
prostitutes, Koranic students, education and job alternatives).

F. The GOS drafted a national action plan against trafficking in
2002-03 that included input from the
Family, Justice and Interior Ministries as well as
from several NGOs, international organizations and the
High Commissioner for Human Rights. The GOS adopted the ECOWAS plan
on trafficking of persons in 2004. The Director of Child Protection
confirms that the Ministry of Family is working with the French
Cooperation on a national action plan on trafficking. A research
study has already started. Agencies involved will meet in April 2008
to review the findings, and an action plan is expected to be
finalized in May.

G. The government has little or no means to reduce demand for
commercial sex, as it has legalized it. With 700 km of beach and
more than 250 hotels, Senegal is a tourist country and this sector
represents six percent of the national GDP. Since colonial times,
the government has a health clinic in Dakar which now serves as a
center where sex workers can receive care for STDs and get tested
for HIV/AIDS. In addition, Association AWA is doing its best to
assist prostitutes in counseling, care, and vocational training for
alternative jobs.

H. N/A

I. No Senegalese peacekeeping forces were reported to have been
involved in trafficking.

31. HEROES: Embassy Dakar is pleased to nominate Maitre Ndiam GAYE
who is a magistrate working at the High Commissary of Human Rights.
His office is the GOS focal point on trafficking in persons and

monitors all other ministries dealing with the issue of trafficking:
Ministry of Family and Women, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of
Justice, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Tourism. Each month, Me
Gaye leads meetings to coordinate discussions and outlines the steps
that need to be followed to better disseminate the anti-TIP law
across the country and to urge GOS agencies to apply the law. He
works closely with national and international NGOs to find the best
solutions to this defeat this modern day slavery. Apart from his
job of coordinating this office, Me Gaye goes beyond the scope of
his assigned work to help and assist GOS agencies and other entities
to conduct successful TIP workshops. He is very well appreciated by
audiences because of the pertinence of his speeches. Last year, Me
Gaye held a video conference with Ambassador Miller, in order to
launch the Senegalese anti-TIP law.

6. Mission highlighted NGO AWA's work as a "best practice" in last
year's reporting cable, but it was not included in the TIP Report.
AWA is a Senegalese NGO that works with former and current
prostitutes to provide with medical care, vocational training and
other services to encourage them to find an alternative profession.
AWA has launched a new project to train large numbers of women in
cooking, sewing, tie-dye, and other skills to generate income. It
will also combine advocacy and awareness programs to teach women
about the dangers of prostitution. We are recommending this project
as a best practice, because it is unique in its attempt to not only
pull large numbers of vulnerable and probably trafficked women out
of the perilous field of prostitution but also provide them with
another way to earn an income and contribute not only to their
families but also to Senegalese society and economy.

3. (U) The Embassy'' TIP officer is Osman Tat. He can be reached by
phone at 221-823-4296, ext. 2420, and by e-mail at

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