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Reading: Sierra Leone Government Fails to Meet Minimum Standards On 2024 Human Trafficking Report
Reading: Sierra Leone Government Fails to Meet Minimum Standards On 2024 Human Trafficking Report

Sierra Leone Government Fails to Meet Minimum Standards On 2024 Human Trafficking Report

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Sierra Leone Government Fails to Meet Minimum Standards On 2024 Human Trafficking Report
Sierra Leone Government Fails to Meet Minimum Standards On 2024 Human Trafficking Report

The 2024 Trafficking in Persons Report has revealed that the Government of Sierra Leone does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so.

The report further revealed that the government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period; therefore Sierra Leone remained on Tier 2.Key among these efforts included referring all identified trafficking victims to care and providing in-kind and financial assistance to NGO-operated shelters. The government increased investigations and established two new coordination bodies to strengthen anti-trafficking efforts.

Below are the Prioritized Recommendations by the Report:

The Government of Sierra Leone should expand victim protection services for all trafficking victims, including shelter for male victims.

Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers and seek adequate penalties for convicted traffickers, which should include significant prison terms.

Increase training for police, prosecutors, and judges on investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases under the Anti-Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling Act of 2022.

However, the report emphasized that the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government prosecuted fewer traffickers and did not convict any traffickers for the second consecutive year. Victim services remained limited, especially for male victims, and the government’s national anti-trafficking hotline was inoperable.

Increase training for all officials on the SOPs for victim identification and the NRM to ensure trafficking victims receive appropriate and timely services.

Increase proactive screening for trafficking indicators among vulnerable populations, including Sierra Leonean women traveling abroad for domestic work, women in commercial sex, undocumented migrants, girls, and children in informal foster care arrangements.

Increase implementation of the Labor Migration Policy, including by providing predeparture education about human trafficking and labor rights, improving recruitment agency licensing procedures, and increasing the capacity of Sierra Leonean missions abroad to support victims.

Increase coordination with regional governments to prosecute transnational cases, coordinate victim protection, and prevent trafficking.

Improve data collection on anti-trafficking law enforcement and victim assistance efforts.

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