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Cablegate: Cote D'ivoire: Tenth Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

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RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHAB #0069/01 0481500
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 171459Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY ABIDJAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0159
INFO ECOWAS COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 10 ABIDJAN 000069

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV KTIP KMCA ELAB IV
SUBJECT: COTE D'IVOIRE: TENTH ANNUAL TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT

REF: 10 STATE 2094

1. (SBU) Per reftel instructions, post submits the following
information on Cote d'Ivoire for the Tenth Annual Trafficking in
Persons (TIP) Report. POC for this report is Political Officer
(FS-04) Tanya Salseth, phone: (225) 22.49.45.70, fax: (225)
22.49.40.10. Poloff spent 30 hours in the preparation of this
report. Pol LES Specialist spent 5 hours.

2. (SBU) COTE D'IVOIRE'S TIP SITUATION

A. Sources of available information on TIP include local and
international NGOs, Interpol, the Ivoirian National Police, the
German Development Agency GTZ, the Ministry of Justice, the
Ministry of Family and Social Services, the Ministry of
Agriculture, the Ministry of Labor and Civil Service, UNICEF, and
the Human Rights Division of the United Nations Operation in Cote
d'Ivoire (UNOCI). All of the aforementioned organizations and
ministries have been working on the trafficking problem for several
years; however, trafficking statistics - particularly on arrests,
convictions and prosecutions of traffickers - are not regularly
compiled or shared by all government ministries. The National
Police keep some statistics on traffickers that it intercepts, and
the Ministry of Family keeps statistics on the number of children
who are repatriated to their home countries. International and
national NGOs working in Cote d'Ivoire are engaged on the issue,
but on a small scale, with projects that impact one city, a few
villages, or particular neighborhoods of Abidjan. Given the limited
range and focus of their projects, NGOs can only provide estimates
of the nationwide extent of the trafficking phenomenon.

As no hard statistics on trafficking currently exist, the
Government of Cote d'Ivoire's (GoCI) 2007 - 2009 National Action
Plan Against Trafficking and the Worst Forms of Child Labor planned
and budgeted for a series of six studies on child trafficking and
child labor to be carried out in different economic sectors,
including mining, industry, agriculture, commerce, transport, and
domestic/household work. However, because funds for the National
Action Plan have not yet been disbursed by the Ministry of Economy
and Finance, these studies have not yet been launched.

B. Cote d'Ivoire is primarily a country of destination for
international trafficking of women and children, though it also
serves as a country of transit and origin. Internal trafficking is
much more prevalent, with victims primarily trafficked from the
north of the country to the more economically-prosperous south.
Boys are trafficked from Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso to work in
the agricultural sector (primarily cocoa, coffee, pineapple, and
rubber plantations); from Guinea to work in the mining sector; from
Togo to work in construction; and from Benin to work in carpentry
and construction. Girls are trafficked from Ghana, Togo, and Benin
to work as domestic servants and street vendors. Women and girls
are also trafficked from Ghana and Nigeria to work as waitresses
and prostitutes in restaurants and bars.

C. Interpol's Abidjan Bureau reports that trafficked children are
often confronted with harsh treatment and extreme working
conditions. Trafficked children intercepted by police have suffered
from violence and abuse, as well as exhaustion from long hours of
labor.

D. The most vulnerable group for internal trafficking are children
from the poorest parts of the country who do not have birth
certificates, making it easier for traffickers to conceal their
identity. Women and children are more at risk of being trafficked,
with girls especially vulnerable to the phenomenon due to lower
rates of school attendance. Children who have never attended school
or who have dropped out of school are particularly at risk. Post
has no reports of adult men being trafficked to or within the
country.

E. Domestic trafficking is much more common than international
trafficking. A November 2009 study conducted by the International
Office of Migration (IOM) indicates that traffickers use three

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types of methods to traffic victims: family networks, organized
networks, and the internet. So-called "family" networks, in which
traffickers are often related to their victims by blood or ethnic
ties, are by far the most common. In these cases, traffickers can
be family members, distant relatives, or family "friends" who
exploit the West African traditional system of communal raising of
children for their own personal benefit. Traffickers take advantage
of familial or friendship-based ties and deceive parents with
promises of providing schooling, money, or an apprenticeship to
their children if they are entrusted to their care. These offers
are enticing to parents who have many mouths to feed and are
unaware of the trafficking phenomenon.

The IOM study also asserts that some organized trafficking networks
exist. IOM claims that these networks are usually run by a single
associate, who sets up a chain of personnel, each responsible for
handling one stage of the trafficking process, including
recruiting, transporting, lodging, document
production/falsification, employment placement, etc. The study
indicates that these types of trafficking networks use extremely
sophisticated methods of communication and may possibly be linked
to the trafficking of drugs and/or small arms.

The third method cited in the IOM study involves cybercriminality,
where traffickers advertise marriage or job offers through the
internet to initially attract victims and then traffic them for
other purposes. The IOM study claims that the internet has
assisted informal trafficking networks - most of which spring up in
relation to one-time events. For example, IOM believes a large
internet-based recruitment operation to hire approximately 1,000
laborers to work on large public works projects in Dubai was
actually a cover operation to traffic victims. IOM also said
similar reports surfaced during the year regarding small-scale
transport and employment operations. They promised transportation
to and jobs in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup, but were
actually a means to attract new victims. During the reporting
period, there was an increase in the number of reported cases of
traffickers promising girls and women employment, but then forcing
them into prostitution once they arrived in country (see Section
4.e.) None of these cases involved internet-based methods.

Traffickers continue to adapt their methods to avoid detection by
the police. Police usually apprehend trucks and mini-buses
transporting trafficked children at borders and at checkpoints in
the interior of the country. However, a transporter (driver paid to
transport people or goods), and not a trafficker, is usually behind
the wheel of the vehicle. When traffickers are directly involved in
transporting children or women, they move in much smaller groups in
order to avoid attention. Sometimes, traffickers make children
leave the vehicles and cross the border on foot in order to avoid
detection by security and defense forces. Once they have crossed
the borders, they re-board their buses. Police have also
intercepted traffickers at night, as they travel on secondary roads
which wind through dense forest.

3. (SBU) GOVERNMENT ANTI-TIP EFFORTS

A. The international press first drew the attention of Ivoirians to
the phenomenon of trafficking in Cote d'Ivoire with reports of
Malian boys working in slave-like conditions on cocoa farms.
Although the Ivoirian government initially dismissed these negative
reports as a way of "discrediting" Cote d'Ivoire, there has been a
significant change for the better in the government's attitude and
approach in recent years. Government officials - including
President Gbagbo and Prime Minister Soro - have publicly
acknowledged that a problem exists and must be dealt with. Although
many Ivoirian citizens are still grappling with the difference
between children helping their parents on family farms and child
trafficking involving the worst forms of child labor, they are
much less defensive about negative international reports on the
trafficking phenomenon.

B. There are nine ministries involved in anti-trafficking efforts,
with the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs officially
designated as the lead. In the recent past, the Ministry of Labor
has begun to share the lead on anti-TIP efforts. The Ministry of

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Family heads the National Committee for the Fight against
Trafficking and Child Exploitation (NCFTCE), which serves as a
coordinating body among the nine ministries. Several ministries
have created specific anti-trafficking units. In 2005, the Ministry
of Agriculture established the first governmental unit solely
dedicated to coordinating the fight against trafficking, child
labor and exploitation in the cocoa industry. In 2006, other
ministries followed suit, including the Ministry of Labor and the
Ministry of Family. The Ministry of Interior has also been key in
the fight against trafficking: in 2006, the National Police created
a Department for the Fight against Child Trafficking and Juvenile
Delinquency (DFCTJD) within the criminal division unit based in
Abidjan. In January 2007, DFCTJD took over the child protection
portfolio of the vice brigade unit, which focuses on cases of women
trafficked for sexual exploitation. During the reporting period,
the DFCTJD continued to work closely with the vice brigade on
sexual trafficking cases. Outside of Abidjan, prefects and
sub-prefects represent the government and take the lead on all
regional and local government anti-TIP initiatives. When the
Ministry of Education implements anti-trafficking and child labor
programs, they are handled by the Ministry's Autonomous Department
for Literacy. The Ministry of Justice handles matters related to
child trafficking through its Department for Child and Youth
Affairs.

C. The government's ability to address the problem of trafficking
is hampered by: the ongoing political crisis and absence of a
cohesive government; the absence of a comprehensive
anti-trafficking law; insufficient knowledge of the phenomenon on
the part of law enforcement officials and judges; little
collaboration and sharing of knowledge and statistics on anti-TIP
efforts by judges, police, and NGOs; and insufficient financial
resources to assist NGOs and police working on protection and
prevention efforts. The government also overemphasizes treating
the symptoms of trafficking (reinsertion and repatriation of
victims), rather than attacking the root causes (e.g., apprehending
traffickers through greater law enforcement efforts or training
judges to apply existing laws to convict traffickers). Corruption
remains a widespread phenomenon in Cote d'Ivoire: given the
depressed economic conditions exacerbated by the political crisis,
it remains relatively easy for transporters and traffickers to
bribe their way through security checkpoints and border crossings.

Because of the ongoing political crisis and its impact on the
Ivoirian economy, the Government of Cote d'Ivoire faces severe
budgetary problems and lacks the resources necessary to carry out
anti-trafficking programs. In 2009, organizations such as UNICEF,
GTZ, and the ICI (International Cocoa Initiative) continued to fund
the majority of anti-TIP programs. Despite the tight fiscal
situation, the government allocated resources to anti-trafficking
efforts; however, the Ministry of Finance has not yet made the
money available.

D. The government monitors its anti-trafficking efforts through the
following organs: 1) the National Committee for the Fight Against
Trafficking and Child Exploitation (NCFTCE); 2) the Ministry of
Interior's Criminal Police Anti-Trafficking Unit; 3) the follow-up
committee set up to monitor the Mali - Cote d'Ivoire
Anti-Trafficking Cooperation Agreement; 4) the National Commission
for Child Protection (CNPE), a think tank and an implementation
body created in 2005 to better protect children against abuse,
trafficking and economic and sexual exploitation; and 5) the
National Follow-Up Commission set up in July 2006 to monitor the
implementation of the July 2005 Multilateral Anti-Trafficking
Cooperation Agreement among ten West African countries. The
government shares information about its anti-trafficking efforts
through these five bodies and through regional and international
organizations. It also publicizes its efforts during events such as
the World Day against Child Labor on July 31.

E. Since the signing of the Ouagadougou Political Accord in 2007,
the government has taken extensive measures to establish the
identity of local populations, including the documenting of birth
registration, citizenship, and nationality. From September 2008 to
June 2009, the government implemented a massive, nationwide
identification process in which over 6.5 million residents
registered to receive identification documents. Identifications
cards for those who participated in the process had been printed,
but were awaiting distribution at the end of the reporting period.

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F. Key ministries working on the trafficking problem have few or
no resources for data collection. The Ministry of Justice, for
example, keeps no consistent statistics on court decisions and must
manually request court decisions from each of its 25 tribunals
throughout the country to determine how many cases of a certain
type occurred in a particular period. In many cases, if some data
are collected at a ministry trafficking office (as is the case for
the police Anti-Trafficking Unit), the data are not comprehensive
or exhaustive, as offices not only lack computers, but also trained
staff to collect and process data. Cote d'Ivoire's national think
tank, BNETD, and the country's Institute of National Statistics
(INS) employ technicians capable of creating a government database;
however, no funds have yet been allocated for this purpose.

4. (SBU) INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKERS

A. Cote d'Ivoire does not have a specific law prohibiting or
punishing trafficking in persons. There is no specific law against
slavery. The government drafted and submitted legislation against
trafficking in persons to the National Assembly in April 2002, but
it was not adopted before a rebellion split the country in half in
September 2002. No action had been taken when the mandate of the
legislature ended in December 2005. Legislative elections have not
yet been held.

The government can prosecute traffickers under the law prohibiting
kidnapping of children (Penal Code, Article 371).

The government can also use the law prohibiting the removal
(alienation) of a person's freedom (Article 376), receiving or
leaving a person as a financial security (Article 377), or imposing
labor or a service on a person (Article 378). Mistreatment,
torture, and starvation of minors are also punishable (Article
362). These laws are used in trafficking cases. Despite these
statutes and some arrests, the government acknowledges that an
anti-trafficking law is needed to adequately investigate and
prosecute trafficking.

- All forms of slavery or similar practices such as selling,
trafficking children, practicing indentured servitude, bondage,
forced labor or compulsory labor are punishable by the Ivoirian
penal code: Articles 376 to 378 on forced labor or pawning a child;

- Forced recruitment or compulsory recruitment of children with a
view to using them in armed conflicts is forbidden by the Military
Code;

- Using, recruiting or offering children for prostitution purposes,
for pornographic films, pictures or spectacles is punished by the
penal code, specifically articles 335 to 337 on pimping and
inciting minors to vice (sexual exploitation of children);

- Physical violence against minors, depriving minors of food and
care, attempts against children's freedom and life, and the
kidnapping of children are punished by the penal code. Articles
362, 370 and 371 of the penal ode and the law relating to
kidnapping are most frequently used in trafficking cases;

- Article 345 of the penal code punishes physical violence and
injury;

- Articles 354 to 360 of the penal code punish sexual violence.

B. There are currently no specific penalties for trafficking in

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persons for sexual exploitation. There is no law criminalizing
prostitution. Prostitution is legal between consenting adults and
in private. Soliciting a client is a crime, as is procuring
(pimping), even if the prostitute is an adult. Operating an
establishment whose main purpose is prostitution is a crime. The
police brigade charged with combating sexual exploitation uses
Articles 334 through 341 to arrest traffickers and pimps involved
in the sexual exploitation of girls and minors (attempts against
good public moral conduct). - Article 334 provides for one month to
two years of imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 CFA (60 USD) to
300,000 CFA (600 USD) to anyone who engages in commercial
pornographic activities; penalties are doubled if the offense is
committed against a minor.

- Article 335 makes pimping (whoever helps, assists and protects or
knowingly protects somebody else who commits prostitution, even if
the person is an adult) punishable by one to five years of
imprisonment and a fine of one million FCFA (2,000 USD) to 10
million FCFA (20,000 USD).

- Article 336 doubles these penalties if the crime is committed
against a person who is under 21; if the crime is carried out with
threats, constraint, blows, or abuse of authority; if the offense
is committed with a firearm; or committed by the father, mother, or
any other person having authority over the person.

- Article 337 provides for punishment of two to five years of
imprisonment and a fine of 500,000 CFA (1,000 USD) to five million
CFA (10,000 USD) for anyone who violates good moral conduct by
inciting, favoring, or facilitating vice and corruption among
minors of either sex.

- Article 338 provides for imprisonment for 15 days to three months
and a fine of 50,000 CFA (100 USD) to 500,000 CFA (1,000 USD) to
whomever, through gestures, words, written documents or any other
means, accosts or tries to accost persons of either sex in order to
incite them to vice.

- Article 339 provides for two to five years of imprisonment and a
fine of one million CFA (2,000 USD) to 10 million CFA (20,000 USD)
to whoever, owns, runs and finances a building used mainly for
prostitution.

- Article 340 provides for six months to two years of imprisonment
and a fine of 500,000 CFA (1,000 USD) to five million CFA (10,000
USD) to whomever knowingly puts private property at the disposal of
persons committing prostitution. Laws regarding pimping are not
well-enforced, and law enforcement generally tolerates
prostitution, as long as it does not involve minors.

C. There are currently no specific penalties for trafficking in
persons for labor exploitation although there are penalties for
forced labor. The government may prosecute traffickers under the
law prohibiting kidnapping of children (Penal Code, Article 371)
which states that anyone who, without fraud or violence, kidnaps or
tries to kidnap a minor can be punished with one to five years'
imprisonment and a fine of 50,000 CFA (100 USD) to 500,000 CFA
(1,000 USD).

The government may also use the law prohibiting the denial of a
person's freedom (Article 376), which provides for imprisonment for
five to 10 years and fines of 500,000 CFA (1,000 USD) to 5 million
CFA (10,000 USD) for anyone who enters into a contract in order to
alienate, either for free, or for money, the freedom of a third
person. The defendant receives the maximum sentence when the person
whose freedom has been denied is less than 15 years old.

The government can also use the law prohibiting treating a person

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as property (Article 377), which provides for six months to three
years imprisonment and fines of 30,000 CFA (60 USD) to 300,000 CFA
(600 USD) for anyone who treats a person as property, for whatever
reason. The prison sentence is five years when the victim is under
15. The government can also use the law prohibiting forced labor or
a service on a person (Article 378), which provides for
imprisonment from one to five years and fines between 360,000 CFA
(720 USD) and one million CFA (2,000 USD) for anyone who forces a
minor into a religious or traditional marriage or forces labor on
someone. The government can also use the law prohibiting
mistreatment, torture, or starvation of minors (Article 362), which
provides for imprisonment of one to five years and a fine of
between 10,000 CFA (20 USD) and 100,000 CFA (200 USD) against
anyone who commits violence against a minor or a person who is
unable to protect himself or herself because of his/her physical or
mental state, or voluntarily deprives that person of food or care
to such an extent as to endanger the person's health.

D. Rape is punishable by five to 20 years imprisonment (Penal Code
Article 354). The sentence becomes life imprisonment if the
perpetrator has one or more accomplices or is the father, an older
relative, or a person who has responsibility for the victim's
upbringing, or if the victim is under 15 years of age. The penalty
for statutory rape or attempted rape of either a girl or a boy
under the age of 15 is one to three years in prison and a fine of
75,000 CFA (150 USD) to 750,000 CFA (1,500 USD) (Penal Code Article
356).

E. During the 2009 reporting period, the police, GTZ, UNOCI, and
the Ministry of Family documented several cases of child
trafficking.

In February 2009, four Nigerian girls, ages 16, 17, 18, and 19,
were trafficked to the village of Vaou for purposes of sexual
exploitation. The girls had been promised a trip to Germany, where
they were told they would be given employment; however, they were
forced to work as prostitutes on their arrival in Vaou. Two known
Nigerian traffickers were suspected, but evaded capture and remain
at large.

In May 2009, Felicia Bygod, a 25-year-old Nigerian woman,
trafficked two girls, ages 15 and 19, from Nigeria to Vavoua for
purposes of sexual exploitation. The two girls were promised jobs
in the United States and the UK, but were instead held against
their will and used for prostitution. Police arrested and detained
Bygod and transferred her to the Daloa court for prosecution.
UNOCI confirmed that she was convicted on June 2 and sentenced to
three years imprisonment and a fine of 1 million CFA ($2,000). The
two victims were repatriated with assistance from the Nigerian
Embassy in Abidjan.

In June 2009, UNOCI reported that 15 Burkinabe children, ages 8 to
16, were trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire for the purposes of labor
exploitation. They were intercepted by local police in Soubre, and
then transferred to GTZ which reunited them with their parents.
Police claim they were not able to arrest the traffickers, as the
children were traveling in two buses without any adult supervision.
[Note: Statistics kept by the Anti-Trafficking Unit of the National
Police indicate that 20 children were intercepted, 15 of whom were
given to GTZ for care and 5 of whom were returned to their
parents.]

In September 2009, a female restaurant owner lured two girls, ages
13 and 17, from Loguale to Odienne with promises of employment.
Once the girls arrived in Odienne, however, they were forced into
sex work. The Odienne gendarmerie arrested the restaurant owner,
but later released her after she paid 50,000 CFA ($105) to the
girls' families.

F. During the reporting period, the government did not offer any
specialized training for law enforcement and immigration officials
on identifying and treating victims of trafficking. However, the

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Ministry of Family (with assistance from ILO) held a workshop for
25 families who volunteered to take in trafficking victims
intercepted in their communities. With assistance from ECOWAS, the
ministry also held an awareness campaign to sensitize 90 community
leaders in the Zanzan region about the fight against trafficking.
In total, ministry officials held awareness-raising campaigns in 38
communities throughout the reporting period and reached an
estimated 11,000 people.

G. In July 2005, Cote d'Ivoire signed the Multilateral
Anti-Trafficking Cooperation Agreement with nine other West African
countries. The agreement calls for cross-border cooperation in the
investigation of child trafficking networks and the prosecution of
traffickers. When resources were available, Ivoirian police
collaborated directly with law enforcement officials in other
countries on trafficking cases. During the reporting period, no
cross-border trafficking collaboration occurred; however, Ivoirian
law enforcement collaborated with their Ghanaian counterparts in a
June 18-19 raid in Cote d'Ivoire, in which 62 children were
intercepted and interviewed. Due to limited funds, Ghanaian police
were unable to take part in the actual operation.

H. Although the Multilateral Anti-Trafficking Cooperation Agreement
calls for extradition to signatory countries, to date, authorities
arrest, try, and require traffickers to serve their sentence in
Cote d'Ivoire before sending them out of the country. There is no
law prohibiting Ivoirians from being extradited.

I. Post has no evidence of government involvement in or tolerance
of trafficking on an institutional or local level. However, there
are allegations that many law enforcement agents and public
officials are open to bribery and other types of corruption, and it
is likely that some traffickers have managed to bribe their way
through checkpoints and border crossings. No government officials
have been directly implicated in trafficking cases.

J. N/A

K. Post does not know of any Ivoirian nationals involved in
international peacekeeping missions who have engaged in or
facilitated severe forms of trafficking or who exploited
trafficking victims.

L. Cote d'Ivoire is not known to be a source or destination country
for child sex tourism.

5. (SBU) PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS

A. There is no witness protection or restitution program for
trafficking victims, nor is special protection provided beyond what
is normally provided to witnesses in other criminal cases. The
government neither encourages nor discourages victims from
assisting in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking.
Usually traffickers are caught "red-handed," so victims do not need
to appear in court. In less clear-cut cases, the absence of a law
against trafficking complicates the legal procedure and limits the
tools available to victims, prosecutors and law enforcement
authorities.

B. The government has no care facilities for foreign or domestic
trafficking victims. The 2007 - 2009 National Action Plan allocated
300 million CFA (USD 600,000) to construct five new centers and
rehabilitate 10 existing structures to welcome victims of
trafficking and child labor; however, the government has not yet
made funds available to start work on these centers. During the
reporting period, the Ministry of Family identified some existing
government structures that could be converted into shelters and
worked with UNICEF on a plan to rehabilitate these facilities. In
the meantime, the Ministry of Family and the National Police
continue to refer victims to NGOs that have shelters and can

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provide assistance.

C. Both the Ministry of Family and National Police employ a small
number of social workers to assist trafficking victims after they
are intercepted. However, the government relies on the help of
local and international NGOs for medical and psychological
assistance to victims. The government provides no financial or
material assistance to these NGOs. The government also contacts
embassies and consulates in Cote d'Ivoire for assistance with
repatriating their nationals, though most of these diplomatic
missions cannot offer financial or material support to victims.

D. It is the responsibility of the Ministry of Family's Bureau of
Social Protection (and/or one of the other government ministries
involved in the fight against trafficking) to take responsibility
for filing the necessary paperwork so that foreign victims are
granted temporary resident status in Cote d'Ivoire. Trafficking
victims who do not wish to be repatriated are not deported. For
those victims who wish to return home, the government normally
coordinates repatriation with the appropriate embassy or consulate.


E. As detailed in Section B, the government does not operate any
shelters for trafficking victims.

F. In September 2008, the Ministry of Family (with the support of
UNICEF) published a procedural manual detailing the government's
formal procedures for identifying and caring for child labor and
trafficking victims. The government continued to work with NGOs
such as BICE, UNICEF, and IOM to increase coordination in the
victim referral process.

G. During the reporting period, the Ministry of Family reported
that it assisted in the repatriation of 20 child victims of
trafficking, including nine from Cote d'Ivoire, two from Burkina
Faso, three from Benin, three from Ghana, and three from Togo. All
of the children were trafficked to work in the informal sector.

H. The vice brigade police unit interviews prostitutes following
raids on brothels and bars and systematically asks women whether or
not they have been trafficked. Police interview procedures often
lack sophistication, however. Police are not allowed to interview
suspected child victims of trafficking without a Ministry of Family
case worker present.

I. Due to security and defense force training by the government and
anti-TIP NGOs, traffickers are increasingly arrested and detained
or jailed. Length of detention times varies widely and depends upon
the individual police unit, tribunal, and officers involved with
each case. Traffickers have been fined and prosecuted under
TIP-related laws, although more often, they settle cases directly
with victims families than through the justice system.

J. Child trafficking victims are assigned a Ministry of Family case
worker, who has the responsibility to inform victims about judicial
proceedings and information related to their case. Case workers let
children decide whether or not they wish to testify in court
against their alleged traffickers. Foreign victims who are material
witnesses in court cases against former employers must leave the
country if they cannot find other employment. If the victim is an
adult, he can file a complaint. If the victim is a child, the
police usually attempt to return him to his family or to a
community member.

K. The government did not provide specialized training to
government officials on identifying or providing assistance to
trafficking victims during the reporting period, nor did it provide
training to its embassies and consulates abroad on this issue. No
ministry keeps statistics on the number of trafficking victims
assisted by Ivoirian embassies and consulates.

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L. There was no formal government assistance for repatriated
nationals who were victims of trafficking.

M. Several international organizations and NGOs work on trafficking
issues in Cote d'Ivoire, including Save the Children UK and Sweden,
UNICEF, GTZ, BICE, IOM, and ILO. Local NGOs include Afrique Secours
Assistance (ASA), the Amigo Doume Foundation, Soleterre, and Cote
d'Ivoire Prosperite. As there are no government shelters in place
for trafficking victims, the government often refers victims to
NGOs after they are intercepted. The government provides little
material or financial support to NGOs due to a lack of funding.

6. (SBU) PREVENTION

A. The Ministry of Family continued to conduct sensitization and
education campaigns to inform prefects, sub-prefects, social
workers, community leaders, and members of the national anti-TIP
village committees about recognition and prevention of trafficking.
The Ministry estimates that it reached approximately 11,000 people
through its campaigns during the reporting period.

B. The Ministry of Interior has instructed police and gendarmes at
various border points to stop and investigate those attempting to
bring children into Cote d'Ivoire. In the past, both the Ministry
of Family and the Ministry of Interior have conducted training
sessions for security and defense forces manning these checkpoints,
as well as for transporters who often pass through them to drop off
goods and passengers. Cote d'Ivoire's borders with Mali, Burkina
Faso, and Guinea are controlled by the Forces Nouvelles (FN). In
the south, the government is unable to adequately patrol its long,
porous borders, and it does not maintain publicly available
statistics on border crossings. For this reason, it is difficult to
estimate the trafficking problem across borders, particularly in
the northern part of the country, which at the time of this report,
remained under de facto control of the FN.

C. The National Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking and
Child Exploitation (NCFTCE) serves as the mechanism of coordination
and communication among the various ministries and international
and local NGOs working on the trafficking problem in Cote d'Ivoire.
Although the committee usually meets at least twice a year, it did
not meet in 2009.

D. The 2007 - 2009 National Action Plan against Child Trafficking
was developed by the Ministry of Family and the Ministry of Labor
and Civil Service. The plan details a series of trafficking studies
to be conducted, as well as plans for the construction of shelters
for victims. Because the Ministry of Finance has not yet made funds
available for projects, the Ministry of Labor is still waiting to
implement the first steps of the National Action Plan.

E. The police continued their periodic raids on brothels and bars
suspected of employing minors for sexual exploitation. If minors
are discovered in these establishments, the police immediately
close them down until further notice.

F. Post is unaware of any government efforts to reduce the
participation of Ivoirian nationals in international child sex
tourism.

G. Post is unaware of any government training on trafficking or
sexual exploitation for Ivoirian nationals deployed abroad in
peacekeeping or other similar missions.

7. (U) PARTNERSHIPS

A. The government engages with other governments, civil society

ABIDJAN 00000069 010 OF 010


and multilateral organizations to focus attention and devote
resources to human trafficking. In a government report detailing
action on the TIP problem from 2000-2009, the government cited ILO,
ICI, UNICEF, GTZ, IOM, and the U.S. government as its principal
partners in the fight against trafficking.

B. As the government dedicates insufficient resources to address
the TIP problem within its own borders, it does not have the
capability to provide assistance to other countries on this issue.
NESBITT

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