The US State Department Trafficking In Persons Report 2017: Focus on Africa.


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This yearly report documents what efforts countries around the world are making to address human trafficking. Here, AFRUCA summarises what this year’s report reveals about African countries.

1. Most African countries are on “Tier 2”. This means they are not making enough efforts to address the problem of human trafficking. Countries like Morocco, Namibia, Malawi, Lesotho, Kenya, Sierra Leone, South Africa are on this list.

2. Some African countries are on a “Tier 2 Watchlist”. This means they have fallen way behind in efforts compared to previous years. Mali, Mozambique, Madagascar, Liberia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Algeria, Swaziland are in this category.

3. Some countries like Sudan, South Sudan, are not making any efforts at all to address human trafficking. Some states policies even enable trafficking and exploitation.

4. Not a single African country is on ” Tier 1. This means no African country is making adequate efforts to address human trafficking.

5. Libya, where Africans are being trafficked, exploited and openly sold as slaves does not appear at all in the report.

6. Most African countries do not seem to view human trafficking as a major problem to be tackled. Governments are not putting in the required resources to aid prevention, prosecution, protection and care of victims. Some countries view victims as criminals. Perpetrators are hardly punished or are left off with a slap on the wrist. Government agents in countries like Nigeria, Kenya, Niger are complicit and collude with traffickers.

7. African women, children, men are trafficked within their own countries, to neighbouring countries, sub-regionally, regionally and to other continents for sexual exploitation, domestic slavery, as soldiers, sex slaves to terrorists, for begging, manual labour and so on. Africans are used as slaves in Middle Eastern countries, North Africa, the U.K., Italy, Spain and many other European countries.

8. Corruption is fuelling human trafficking in Africa. Government agents look away once bribed, supply travel documents for a bribe, demand or force sex on victims before helping, or are a part of trafficking gangs.

9. The lack of efforts by African governments to address human trafficking means that many people are left to suffer. AFRUCA’s view is that the African Union must prioritise Anti Trafficking multi-lateral approaches. It must view human trafficking as an emergency matter requiring a continent-wide approach to prevent, protect victims and those at risk and prosecute offenders. It must set targets for member states, enabling collaborations, joint efforts and mutual assistance.

10. Efforts to address human trafficking in Africa must move out of conference rooms in posh hotels and really focus on direct work to end this terrible phenomenon.


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