CHAD: Tier 2
Chad is a source, transit, and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The country’s trafficking problem is primarily internal and frequently involves children being entrusted to relatives or intermediaries in return for promises of education, apprenticeship, goods, or money, and subsequently subjected to forced labor in domestic service or herding. Children are subjected to forced labor as beggars and agricultural laborers. Some children who leave their villages to attend traditional Koranic schools are forced into begging, street vending, or other labor. Child herders, some of whom are victims of forced labor, follow traditional routes for grazing cattle and, at times, cross ill-defined international borders into Cameroon, Central African Republic, and Nigeria. Some of these children are sold in markets for use in cattle or camel herding. In some cases, child herders are subjected to forced labor by military or local government officials. Chadian girls travel to larger towns in search of work, where some are subsequently subjected to prostitution or are abused in domestic servitude.
The Government of Chad 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 increase its capacity to combat trafficking and sustain its progress in the previous reporting period. It drafted legislation specifically prohibiting human trafficking, institutionalized anti-trafficking training at the national police academy, and prioritized and planned its future anti-trafficking efforts by incorporation of trafficking provisions in the Ministry of Justice’s broader action plan. It regularly convened the inter-ministerial committee on trafficking and identified at least 30 trafficking victims. Additionally, the government continued efforts to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers by providing training to military leaders. However, the government reported fewer prosecutions and convictions, did not provide services specifically tailored for trafficking victims, and did not systematically refer victims to NGOs and international organizations for care.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHAD:
Finalize and enact legislation prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons and prescribing sufficiently stringent punishments; increase efforts to enhance magistrates’ understanding of and capability to prosecute and punish trafficking offenses under existing laws; provide specialized anti-trafficking training to law enforcement officers; continue anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, including the investigation and prosecution of suspected trafficking offenders; continue collaborating with NGOs and international organizations to increase the provision of protective services to all types of trafficking victims, including children exploited in prostitution or forced into cattle herding or domestic service; allocate regular funding to support the activities of the inter-ministerial committee on trafficking in persons, including funding for victim protection efforts; continue to take steps to raise public awareness of trafficking issues, particularly at the local level among tribal leaders and other members of the traditional justice system; and draft and implement a national action plan to combat trafficking.
The government sustained modest anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Existing laws do not specifically prohibit trafficking, though they do prohibit forced prostitution and many types of labor exploitation. Title 5 of the labor code prohibits forced and bonded labor, prescribing fines of 50,000 to 500,000 Central African CFA francs (FCFA) ($93-$928), but not imprisonment; these penalties are not sufficiently stringent to deter this form of trafficking and do not reflect the serious nature of the crimes. Penal code Articles 279 and 280 prohibit the prostitution of children, prescribing punishments of five to 10 years’ imprisonment and fines up to FCFA 1,000,000 ($1,860); these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes. Pimping and owning brothels are prohibited under penal code Articles 281 and 282. The 1991 Chadian National Army Law prohibits recruitment of children younger than 18 years; punishment for those who violate this provision is at the discretion of military justice officials. Draft revisions to the penal code intended to prohibit child trafficking and provide protection for victims have not been enacted for the fifth consecutive year. The government drafted anti-trafficking legislation with the support of an international donor; the draft was pending final review by the Ministry of Justice at the close of the reporting period.
Although the government did not collect comprehensive law enforcement data, the government, NGOs, and international organizations reported at least five investigations, five prosecutions, and three convictions during the reporting period, a decrease from the 36 investigations, 23 prosecutions, and 11 convictions reported the previous year. During the reporting period, the Ministry of Social Action, with the support of international organizations, developed training modules on the protection of vulnerable populations, including trafficking victims; the modules were integrated into police training in April and May 2015. During the previous reporting period, the government commenced the prosecution of a senior military official for allegedly trafficking three boys for the purposes of forced labor. NGOs report military and local officials were complicit in trafficking offenses during the reporting period.
The government sustained minimal efforts to identify and provide protection to trafficking victims. It did not officially report the number of victims identified or referred to protection services, although it identified at least 33 victims as part of the aforementioned investigations. Regional committees, located in eight regions within Chad, identified and referred an unknown number of victims to protective services, but these bodies lacked adequate support and resources. The lack of formal victim identification procedures continued to be a problem. Inadequate human and financial resources severely limited the government’s ability to provide adequate services to victims of all crimes, including victims of trafficking. The government provided limited in-kind contributions and social services to victims of crime through a joint agreement with UNICEF, though these services were not tailored to the specific needs of trafficking victims. Through this joint agreement, the government provided facilities to UNICEF, which used the buildings as shelters for trafficking victims. During the reporting period, these multipurpose shelters were used to provide shelter and services to at least 26 children; the government ultimately reunited the children with their families. The government did not have a formal policy in place to offer temporary or permanent residency for foreign victims of trafficking. There were no reports the government detained, fined, or jailed any trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being subjected to human trafficking.
The government sustained modest efforts to prevent trafficking. The inter-ministerial committee responsible for coordinating government efforts to combat trafficking extended its membership to local and international NGOs and met regularly throughout the reporting period. The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights developed a national action plan for 2015 on human rights, which includes anti-trafficking efforts. The Ministry of Social Action concluded a mapping project aimed at tracking violations of children’s rights, including trafficking; the findings are meant to inform the development of a trafficking-specific national action plan. The government partnered with a local NGO to conduct a public awareness event for local leaders on human trafficking; 122 participants attended the event, which was also covered by two radio stations. In June 2014, the government partnered with an international organization to conduct training for military leaders on child soldier identification and children’s rights. Additionally, in February 2015, the government convened a meeting with local leaders and NGOs to disseminate the 2013 presidential directive which prohibits the recruitment or use of child soldiers and requires proof of age for all soldiers and recruits. The government made no discernible efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex during the reporting period. The government provided Chadian troops anti-trafficking training prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions, in collaboration with a foreign donor. The government did not provide anti-trafficking training or guidance for its diplomatic personnel.