Human trafficking in Chad

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Chad is a source and destination country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. The country's trafficking problem is primarily internal and frequently involves parents entrusting children to relatives or intermediaries in return for promises of education, apprenticeship, goods, or money; selling or bartering children into involuntary domestic servitude or herding is used as a means of survival by families seeking to reduce the number of mouths to feed. Child trafficking victims are primarily subjected to forced labor as herders, domestic servants, agricultural laborers, or beggars. Child cattle herders follow traditional routes for grazing cattle and at times cross ill-defined international borders into Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Nigeria. Underage Chadian girls travel to larger towns in search of work, where some are subsequently subjected to prostitution. Some girls are compelled to marry against their will, only to be forced by their husbands into involuntary domestic servitude or agricultural labor. In past reporting periods, traffickers transported children from Cameroon and the CAR to Chad's oil producing regions for commercial sexual exploitation; it is unknown whether this practice persisted in 2009. [1]


During the reporting period, the Government of Chad actively engaged in fighting with anti-government armed opposition groups. Each side unlawfully conscripted, including from refugee camps, and used children as combatants, guards, cooks, and look-outs. The government's conscription of children for military service, however, decreased by the end of the reporting period, and a government-led, UNICEF-coordinated process to identify and demobilize remaining child soldiers in military installations and rebel camps began in mid-2009. A significant, but unknown number of children remain within the ranks of the Chadian National Army (ANT). Sudanese children in refugee camps in eastern Chad were forcibly recruited by Sudanese rebel groups, some of which were backed by the Chadian government during the reporting period. [1]

The government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government took steps to investigate and address the problem of forced child labor in animal herding. It also initiated efforts to raise awareness about the illegality of conscripting child soldiers, to identify and remove children from the ranks of its national army, and to demobilize children captured from rebel groups. The government failed, however, to enact legislation prohibiting trafficking in persons and undertook minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and victim protection activities. The country faces severe constraints including lack of a strong judicial system, destabilizing civil conflicts, and a heavy influx of refugees from neighboring states. [1] U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed the country in "Tier 2 Watchlist" in 2017. [2]


The practice of slavery in Chad, as in the Sahel states in general, is an entrenched phenomenon with a long history, going back to the trans-Saharan slave trade, in the Sahelian kingdoms, and it continues today. As elsewhere in West Africa, the situation reflects an ethnic, racial and religious rift between black, Christian farmers and lighter-skinned, Muslim herdsmen, occasionally flaring up in eruptions of violence or civil unrest.

In the early 1890s, French military expeditions sent to Chad encountered the forces of Rabih az-Zubayr, who had been conducting slave raids (razzias) in southern Chad throughout the 1890s and had sacked the settlements of Bornu, Baguirmi, and Ouaddai. After years of indecisive engagements, French forces finally defeated Rabih az-Zubayr at the battle of Kousséri in 1900. The colonial authorities of French Chad officially suppressed slavery, but their de facto control over the region was limited. In the huge Borkou-Ennedi-Tibesti Region, the handful of French military administrators soon reached a tacit agreement with the inhabitants of the desert; as long as caravan trails remained relatively secure and minimal levels of law and order were met, the military administration (headquartered in Faya Largeau) usually left the people alone. In central Chad, French rule was only slightly more substantive. Slave raids continued in the 1920s, and it was reported in 1923 that a group of Senegalese Muslims on their way to Mecca had been seized and sold into slavery. Unwilling to expend the resources required for effective administration, the French government responded with sporadic coercion and a growing reliance on indirect rule through the sultanates.

Today, in the Republic of Chad, slavery persists, but it does not have the same ubiquity as in the western Sahel, e.g. in Mauritania where up to 20% of total population are estimated as living in slavery. Instead, contemporary slavery in Chad is mostly limited to child labour, and not to hereditary servitude. [3]

Child slavery

Child slaves, sold by their impoverished parents, are mostly held by Arab-Berber herdsmen. These often impose a new identity on them,

"The Arab herdsman change their name, forbid them to speak in their native dialect, ban them from conversing with people from their own ethnic group and make them adopt Islam as their religion." [4]


Chad's weak judicial system impeded its progress in undertaking anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. The government failed to prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders during the year. Existing laws do not specifically address human trafficking, though forced prostitution and many types of labor exploitation are prohibited. Title 5 of the Labor Code prohibits forced and bonded labor, prescribing fines of $100 to $1,000; these penalties, which are considered significant by Chadian standards, fail to prescribe a penalty of imprisonment and are not sufficiently stringent to deter trafficking crimes. Penal Code Articles 279 and 280 prohibit the prostitution of children, prescribing punishments of 5 to 10 years' imprisonment and fines up to $2,000 – penalties that are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Pimping and owning brothels are also prohibited under Penal Code Articles 281 and 282. The 1991 Chadian National Army Law prohibits the Army's recruitment of individuals below the age of 18. In 2009, the Ministry of Justice, with support from UNICEF, completed drafting revisions to the penal code; several new provisions will prohibit and prescribe punishments for child trafficking and provide protection for victims. The revisions are pending approval by the Supreme Court and the secretary general of the government. The government did not make anti-trafficking law enforcement statistics available, and there is no evidence to suggest the government prosecuted trafficking offenses during the reporting period. It did not provide information on the status of pending cases reported in the previous reporting period. In past reporting periods, the government prosecuted a small number of child trafficking cases using laws against kidnapping, the sale of children, and employing children under 14 years of age, though most magistrates lack understanding of how to apply existing laws to trafficking cases. During the year, police detained an unknown number of Chadian adults suspected of using forced child labor for herding, as well as intermediaries arranging herding jobs for children, but released all suspects after they paid small fines. Some cases were dealt with by traditional forms of justice which varied depending on the religion, ethnicity, and clan affiliation of all parties involved in or affected by the exploitation. The government did not prosecute military officials for conscripting child soldiers, though it notified the ANT during the year that future infractions would be punished with the full weight of the law. [1]


The Government of Chad did not take adequate steps to ensure that all victims of trafficking received access to protective services during the reporting period. It did, however, make progress in providing protection for child soldiers, some of whom may have been forcibly conscripted, identified within the country. In a June 2009 ceremony, the ANT transferred to UNICEF for care 84 child combatants captured from Chadian rebel groups in early May. In July 2009, representatives of the Ministries of Social Affairs, Defense, and Foreign Affairs led an inter-ministerial mission to the military camp in Moussoro, accompanied by staff from UNICEF and an international NGO, to identify child soldiers captured from rebel units; of the 88 presumed child soldiers, the team identified 51 as children and succeeded in removing 16 of them to UNICEF's care. By the end of 2009, the government and UNICEF identified and transferred to NGO-run rehabilitation and vocational training centers one child soldier from Chadian military ranks and 239 from Chadian rebel groups. The Ministry of Social Action operated a transit center located in Moussouro to screen and provide shelter to demobilized children after they are first released from armed groups. After spending between two days and two weeks at the center, the government transferred the children to rehabilitation centers operated by international NGOs. During the year, the Ministries of Social Affairs and Defense began maintaining files on rehabilitated child soldiers and other child victims of trafficking. [1]

The government provided few services for trafficking victims other than unlawfully conscripted child soldiers during the reporting period. In 2009, the government continued its efforts to provide minimal assistance to child trafficking victims through its six technical regional committees charged with addressing the worst forms of child labor. These committees – located in N'Djamena, Abeche, and southern towns, with representatives from the Ministries of Justice, Social Affairs and Family, Education, Public Works, Human Rights, and the Judicial Police – encouraged victims to file charges against and assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. They also referred cases of children forced to herd animals to the judiciary for action. The government sustained a formal system for officials to refer victims to NGOs or international organizations for care; judiciary police or other local authorities are to notify the Ministry of Justice's Child Protection Department, UNICEF, and local NGOs when there is a potential case of child trafficking. The government provided no information, however, on the number of victims it referred to such organizations during the year. Officials did not report encouraging victims to file charges or assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. The government did not arrest or detain trafficking victims, or prosecute or otherwise penalize identified child victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Due to weak state entities and a lack of capacity, the government did not allocate any resources for training its officials regarding the identification and treatment of trafficking victims during the reporting period. [1]


The Chadian government made modest efforts to prevent human trafficking during the year. The government continued to conduct its trafficking efforts according to two internal documents that are annually reviewed and revised – the "Guide for the Protection of Child Victims of Trafficking", and the "Integrated Action Plan to Fight the Worst Forms of Child Labor, Exploitation, and Trafficking (2008-1010)" – developed by the National Committee to Fight Trafficking and the Directorate of Children in the Ministry of Justice, respectively. While neither plan was formally adopted or launched as originally intended, all relevant government entities follow the work plans outlined in each. The government focused its prevention activities principally on addressing child labor trafficking, as children are the largest group of trafficking victims in Chad. Throughout 2009, an inter-ministerial team visited southern towns to investigate suspected cases of children forced to herd animals and provided a report with recommendations for future action to the Human Rights Ministry. During the year, the government, in partnership with UNICEF and UNFPA, launched several nationwide human rights campaigns that included sensitization for the population on the dangers of giving, renting, or selling one's children into animal herding; these campaigns involved public events, billboards, posters, and the distribution of informational materials. The government also drafted a plan to educate parents on the risks of selling their children; the plan awaits final approval from the Prime Minister and funding. In January 2010, the National School of Administration and Magistracy graduated its first class of 28 labor inspectors; they have not yet been deployed due to lack of funding. The country's 25 existing inspectors and 59 assistance inspectors lacked the resources to fulfill their mandate and the Ministry of Labor provided no information on the number of child labor inspections carried out or the number of children, if any, removed or assisted as the result of such inspections. Beginning in August 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affair's Military Coordinator led an awareness raising delegation composed of officers from the ANT, the Nomadic Guard, Directorate General of Security Services for National Institutions, and the Gendarmerie, along with civilian government officials and representatives of UNICEF, UNDP, the UN peacekeeping operation, and diplomatic missions, to the four headquarters locations of the government's armed forces in Abeche, N'Djamena, Moussoro, and Mongo. The Military Coordinator, a brigadier general, delivered a consistent message denouncing the use of child soldiers, outlining the government's intolerance of the practice, and stating that the government would investigate and prosecute anyone implicated in the use of child soldiers. The government made no effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor during the reporting period. In July 2009, the government ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. [1]

The Chad government has increased its efforts to eradicate trafficking in human beings through various efforts. However, according to the US report, government officials are not adequately trained to combat trafficking. According to the report, children also often suffer from forced labour and are sold in markets. [5]

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Sudan is a source country for men, women and children trafficked internally for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Sudan is also a transit and destination country for Ethiopian women trafficked abroad for domestic servitude. Sudanese women and girls are trafficked within the country, as well as possibly to Middle Eastern countries such as Qatar, for domestic servitude. U.S. State Department's Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed the country in "Tier 3" in 2017.

Uganda is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Ugandan children are trafficked within the country, as well as to Canada, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Karamojong women and children are sold in cattle markets or by intermediaries and forced into situations of domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, herding, and begging. Security companies in Kampala recruit Ugandans to serve as security guards in Iraq where, at times, their travel documents and pay have reportedly been withheld as a means to prevent their departure. These cases may constitute trafficking.

Angola is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution and forced labor. Internally, trafficking victims are forced to labor in agriculture, construction, domestic servitude, and reportedly in artisanal diamond mines. Angolan women and children more often become victims of internal rather than transnational sex trafficking. Women and children are trafficked to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Namibia, and European nations, primarily Portugal. Traffickers take boys to Namibia for forced labor in cattle herding. Children are also forced to act as couriers in illegal cross-border trade between Namibia and Angola as part of a scheme to skirt import fees. Illegal migrants from the DRC voluntarily enter Angola's diamond-mining districts, where some are later reportedly subjected to forced labor or prostitution in the mining camps.

Benin is a country of origin and transit for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. Until recently, analysts also considered Benin a destination country for foreign children brought to the country and subjected to forced labor, but new information from government and non-government sources indicates the total number of such children is not significant. The majority of victims are girls trafficked into domestic servitude or the commercial sex trade in Cotonou, the administrative capital. Some boys are forced to labor on farms, work in construction, produce handicrafts, or hawk items on the street. Many traffickers are relatives or acquaintances of their victims, exploiting the traditional system of vidomegon, in which parents allow their children to live with and work for richer relatives, usually in urban areas. There are reports that some tourists visiting Pendjari National Park in northern Benin exploit underage girls in prostitution, some of whom may be trafficking victims. Beninese children recruited for forced labor exploitation abroad are destined largely for Nigeria and Gabon, with some also going to Ivory Coast and other African countries, where they may be forced to work in mines, quarries, or the cocoa sector.

Botswana is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Parents in poor rural communities sometimes send their children to work for wealthier families as domestics in cities or as herders at remote cattle posts, where some of these children are vulnerable to forced labor. Batswana girls are exploited in prostitution within the country, including in bars and by truck drivers along major highways; it does not appear, however, that organized pimping of children occurs. In the past, women reported being forced into commercial sexual exploitation at some safari lodges, but there were no similar reports during this reporting period. Residents in Botswana most susceptible to trafficking are illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe, unemployed men and women, those living in rural poverty, agricultural workers, and children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Some women from Zimbabwe who voluntarily, but illegally, migrate to Botswana to seek employment are subsequently subjected by their employers to involuntary domestic servitude. Botswana families which employ Zimbabwean women as domestic workers at times do so without proper work permits, do not pay adequate wages, and restrict or control the movement of their employees by holding their passports or threatening to have them deported back to Zimbabwe.

Rwanda is a source and, to a lesser extent, destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Rwandan girls are exploited in involuntary domestic servitude within the country; some of these children experience physical or sexual abuse within their employer's household. Older females offer vulnerable younger girls room and board, eventually pushing them into prostitution to pay for their keep. In limited cases, this trafficking is facilitated by women who supply females to clients or by loosely organized prostitution networks, some operating in secondary schools and universities. Rwandan children are also trafficked to Uganda, Tanzania, and other countries in the region for forced agricultural labor, commercial sexual exploitation, and domestic servitude, sometimes after being recruited by peers. In Rwanda there have been reports of isolated cases involving child trafficking victims from neighboring countries. Unlike in past years, there was no indication in 2009 that the National Congress for the Defence of the People (CNDP) duped or recruited Congolese men and boys from Rwanda-based refugee camps, as well as Rwandans from nearby towns, into forced labor and soldiering in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Human trafficking in Papua New Guinea

Papua New Guinea is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Women and children are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude; trafficked men are forced to provide labor in logging and mining camps. Children, especially young girls from tribal areas, are most vulnerable to being pushed into commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor by members of their immediate family or tribe. Families traditionally sell girls into forced marriages to settle their debts, leaving them vulnerable to involuntary domestic servitude, and tribal leaders trade the exploitative labor and service of girls and women for guns and political advantage. Young girls sold into marriage are often forced into domestic servitude for the husband’s extended family. In more urban areas, some children from poorer families are prostituted by their parents or sold to brothels. Migrant women and teenage girls from Malaysia, Thailand, China, and the Philippines are subjected to forced prostitution, and men from China are transported to the country for forced labor.

Namibia is a country of origin, transit, and destination for foreign and Namibian women and children, and possibly for men subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. Traffickers exploit Namibian children, as well as children from Angola and Zambia, through forced labor in agriculture, cattle herding, involuntary domestic servitude, charcoal production, and commercial sexual exploitation. In some cases, Namibian parents unwittingly sell their children to traffickers. Reports indicate that vulnerable Namibian children are recruited for forced prostitution in Angola and South Africa, typically by truck drivers. There is also some evidence that traffickers move Namibian women to South Africa and South African women to Namibia to be exploited in forced prostitution. Namibian women and children, including orphans, from rural areas are the most vulnerable to trafficking. Victims are lured by traffickers to urban centers and commercial farms with promises of legitimate work for good wages they may never receive. Some adults subject children to whom they are distantly related to forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Small business owners and farmers may also participate in trafficking crimes against women or children. Victims are forced to work long hours to carry out hazardous tasks, and may be beaten or raped by traffickers or third parties.

Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Caste-based slavery practices, rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships, continue primarily in the northern part of the country. Children are trafficked within Niger for forced begging by religious instructors known as marabouts; forced labor in gold mines, agriculture, and stone quarries; as well as for involuntary domestic servitude and forced prostitution. The ILO estimates at least 10,000 children work in gold mines in Niger, many of whom may be forced to work. Nigerien children, primarily girls, are also subjected to commercial sexual exploitation along the border with Nigeria, particularly in the towns of Birni N'Konni and Zinder along the main highway, and boys are trafficked to Nigeria and Mali for forced begging and manual labor. There were reports Nigerien girls entered into "false marriages" with citizens of Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates: upon arrival in these countries, the girls are often forced into involuntary domestic servitude. Child marriage was a problem, especially in rural areas, and may have contributed to conditions of human trafficking. Niger is a transit country for women and children from Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Togo en route to Northern Africa and Western Europe; some may be subjected to forced labor in Niger as domestic servants, forced laborers in mines and on farms, and as mechanics and welders. To a lesser extent, Nigerien women and children are sometimes trafficked from Niger to North Africa the Middle East, and Europe for involuntary domestic servitude and forced commercial sexual exploitation."

Lesotho is a source and transit country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution, and for men in forced labor. Women and children are subjected within Lesotho to involuntary domestic servitude and children, to a lesser extent, to commercial sexual exploitation. Basotho victims of transnational trafficking are most often taken to South Africa. Long-distance truck drivers offer to transport women and girls looking for legitimate employment in South Africa. En route, some of these women and girls are raped by the truck drivers, then later prostituted by the driver or an associate. Many men who migrate voluntarily to South Africa to work illegally in agriculture and mining become victims of labor trafficking. Victims work for weeks or months for no pay; just before their promised "pay day" the employers turn them over to authorities to be deported for immigration violations. Women and children are exploited in South Africa in involuntary domestic servitude and commercial sex, and some girls may still be brought to South Africa for forced marriages in remote villages. Some Basotho women who voluntarily migrate to South Africa seeking work in domestic service become victims of traffickers, who detain them in prison-like conditions and force them to engage in prostitution. Most internal and transnational traffickers operate through informal, loose associations and acquire victims from their families and neighbors. Chinese and reportedly Nigerian organized crime units, however, acquire some Basotho victims while transporting foreign victims through Lesotho to Johannesburg, where they "distribute" victims locally or move them overseas. Bathoso children who have lost at least one parent to HIV/AIDS are more vulnerable to traffickers' manipulations; older children trying to feed their siblings are most likely to be lured by a trafficker's fraudulent job offer.

Guinea-Bissau is a source country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor, principally begging, and forced prostitution. Boys are sent to Senegal, and to a lesser extent Mali and Guinea, under the care of Koranic teachers called marabouts, or their intermediaries, to receive Islamic religious education. These teachers, however, routinely beat and subject the children, called talibé, to force them to beg, and subject them to other harsh treatment, sometimes separating them permanently from their families. UNICEF estimates that 200 children are taken from Guinea-Bissau each month for this purpose, and in 2008 a study found that 30 percent of the 8,000 religious students begging on the streets of Dakar are from Guinea-Bissau. Men, often former talibés from the regions of Bafata and Gabu, are the principal traffickers. In most cases they operate in the open, protected by their stature in the Muslim community. Some observers believe girls are also targets, and may be subjected to domestic labor in Guinea-Bissau or Senegal.

Madagascar is a source country for women and children subjected to human trafficking, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. An estimated 6,000 Malagasy women are currently employed as domestic workers in Lebanon, with a smaller number in Kuwait. Many of these women come from rural areas and are often illiterate or poorly educated, making them more vulnerable to deception and abuse at the hands of recruitment agencies and employers. Detailed information regarding situations of forced labor and other abuses experienced by Malagasy domestic workers in Lebanon came to light during the year. Numerous trafficking victims returning to Madagascar reported harsh working conditions, physical violence, sexual harassment and assault, confinement to the home, confiscation of travel documents, and withholding of salaries. Eight deaths were reported among this population in 2009.

Mali is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. Within Mali, women and girls are forced into domestic servitude and, to a limited extent, prostitution. Malian boys are found in conditions of forced begging and forced labor in gold mines and agricultural settings both within Mali and neighboring countries. Reports indicate that Malian children are trafficked to Senegal and Guinea for forced labor in gold mines and for forced labor on cotton and cocoa farms in Côte d'Ivoire. Boys from Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger and other countries are forced into begging and exploited for labor by religious instructors within Mali and across borders. Adult men and boys, primarily of Songhai ethnicity, are subjected to the longstanding practice of debt bondage in the salt mines of Taoudenni in northern Mali. Some members of Mali's black Tamachek community are subjected to traditional slavery-related practices rooted in hereditary master-slave relationships.

Burundi is a source country for children and possibly women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of involuntary domestic servitude and forced prostitution. Children and young adults may also be coerced into forced labor on plantations or small farms in southern Burundi, or to conduct informal commerce in the streets. Some traffickers are the victims’ family members or friends who, under the pretext of assisting underprivileged children with education or with false promises of lucrative jobs, subject them to forced labor, most commonly as domestic servants. While there is little evidence of large-scale child prostitution, “benevolent” older females offer vulnerable younger girls room and board within their homes, and in some cases eventually push them into prostitution to pay for living expenses; extended family members also financially profit from the commercial sexual exploitation of young relatives residing with them. Male tourists from Oman and the United Arab Emirates exploit Burundian girls in prostitution. Businessmen recruit Burundian girls for commercial sexual exploitation in Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda, and recruit boys and girls for exploitation in various types of forced labor in Tanzania. Unlike in past years, there were no reports of forced or voluntary recruitment of children into government armed forces or rebel groups during the reporting period.

The Central African Republic (CAR) is a source and destination country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically various forms of forced labor and forced prostitution. Most child victims are trafficked within the country, but a smaller number move back and forth from Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan. Trafficking offenders, including members of expatriate communities from Nigeria, Sudan, and Chad, as well as transient merchants and herders, subject children to involuntary domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, or forced labor in agriculture, diamond mines, and street vending. The groups most at risk for trafficking are children for forced labor, Ba’aka (Pygmy) minorities for forced agricultural work, and girls for the sex trade in urban centers. The Lord’s Resistance Army continues to abduct and harbor enslaved Sudanese, Congolese, Central African, and Ugandan children in the CAR for use as cooks, porters, and combatants; some of these children are also taken back and forth across borders into Sudan or the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. The majority of this trafficking is internal, and much of it is perpetrated by armed groups and government forces outside government control within the DRC's unstable eastern provinces.

The Republic of the Congo (ROC) is a destination and transit country for children subjected to trafficking in persons for the purposes of forced labor and forced prostitution. Most sources agree that up to 80 percent of all trafficked children originate from Benin, with girls comprising 90 percent of that group. Togo, Mali, Guinea, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Senegal are also sources of victims found in the Congolese Republic. Internally trafficked children represent 10 percent of all child victims, the majority of which originate from the Pool region. Many child victims are subjected to forced labor, including in domestic work, market vending and fishing; girls are also exploited in the sex trade. Child victims generally experience harsh treatment, long work hours, and almost no access to education or health services; they receive little or no remuneration for their work. Other village children, however, live voluntarily with extended relatives in cities, attend school, and do housework in exchange for food, in a traditional cultural and familial pattern that does not entail abuse.

Cuba is principally a source country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically commercial sexual exploitation within the country. The scope of trafficking within Cuba is difficult to gauge due to the closed nature of the government and sparse non-governmental or independent reporting.

Equatorial Guinea is principally a destination for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and possibly commercial sexual exploitation. Children are believed to be recruited and transported from nearby countries, primarily Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, and Gabon, and forced to work in domestic servitude, market labor, ambulant vending, and other forms of forced labor, such as carrying water and washing laundry. Most victims are believed to be exploited in Malabo and Bata, where a burgeoning oil industry creates demand for labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Women may also have been recruited and transported to Equatorial Guinea from Cameroon, Benin, other neighboring countries, and from China for forced labor or forced prostitution. In October 2009, the vessel Sharon was detained in Gabon with 285 immigrants aboard, including 34 children identified as trafficking victims destined for Equatorial Guinea. Reports that women of Equatoguinean extraction were trafficked to Iceland for commercial sexual exploitation during the last reporting period have not reappeared.

Ethiopia is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. Girls from Ethiopia's rural areas are forced into domestic servitude and, less frequently, commercial sexual exploitation, while boys are subjected to forced labor in traditional weaving, gold mining, agriculture, herding, and street vending. Small numbers of Ethiopian girls are forced into domestic servitude outside Ethiopia, primarily in Djibouti and Sudan. While Ethiopian boys are subjected to forced labor in Djibouti as shop assistants and errand boys.


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