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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08LIBREVILLE139 2008-03-18 13:01:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Libreville
Cable title:  

SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE: TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

Tags:   PGOV PREL PREF PHUM KCRM KWMN SMIG KFRD ASEC 
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1. (U) Embassy POC for Trafficking in Persons (TIP) issues is
Poloff Leslie Doumbia, Tel: 241-76-20-03, Mobile:
241-07-91-02-21, Fax: 241-74-55-07. To prepare this report,
Political Officer Leslie Doumbia spent approximately 2 hours
and two Locally Engaged Staff (LES) in Sao Tome and Principe
spent approximately 5 hours.



2. (U) Responses below correspond to subject headings in
reftel: Overview, Investigation and Prosecution, Protection
and Assistance to Victims, and Prevention.



3. (SBU) TIP Report:



--------------------------


OVERVIEW


--------------------------



Sao Tome is not a destination, transit country, or point of
origin for trafficking in persons. The Sao Tomean Government
has found no evidence that trafficking occurs from, through,
or to Sao Tome and Principe, and no NGOs, law enforcement
agencies, or diplomatic missions report incidents of
trafficking. These sources are believed to be reliable.

Sao Tome is one of the poorest countries in the region, and
is the second smallest country in Africa, with a population
of 160,000. It concentrates its limited financial and human
resources on the immediate needs of education, health care
and poverty reduction; consequently, it has not implemented
any programs to address trafficking in persons. Its limited
economy makes Sao Tome an unattractive destination for
migrants and traffickers, and its relatively homogenous
Lusophone culture does not present traffickers with a viable
source for potential victims. There are rumors that
"foreigners" approach parents about buying their children,
but local authorities have not confirmed these rumors. It is
also not clear how the children would be able to leave the
country once "purchased."



--------------------------


INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION OF TRAFFICKING


--------------------------



A: Sao Tome has no laws specifically addressing trafficking
in persons.

B: N/A

C: There are no prescribed penalties specifically for
trafficking for labor exploitation, but the law prohibits
forced or compulsory labor, including children.

D: Penalties for rape range from 2-12 years in prison.

E: There are no laws specifically outlawing prostitution, but
activities that profit from prostitution, including pimping
and running brothels, are criminalized.

F: N/A

G: The government does not provide specialized training for
officials, but has encouraged NGOs and donor countries to
provide law enforcement training on numerous (not
specifically TIP) topics.

H-L: N/A

M: Sao Tome has not been identified as a child sex tourism
destination.



--------------------------


PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS


--------------------------




LIBREVILLE 00000139 002.2 OF 002


A-B: N/A

C: The government provides no material support to NGOs or
UNICEF to support victims; no victims have been identified.
However, a regional meeting on child protection took place in
Sao Tome and Principe in September 2007, at the invitation of
the Government of the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe and
the General Secretariat of the Economic Community of Central
African States (ECCAS), with the support of the UNICEF,
illustrating the government's interest in the issue of child
protection.

D-H.



I. The government does not provide specialized training for
officials in identifying trafficking victims and in the
provision of assistance to trafficked victims, but has
encouraged NGOs and donor countries to provide law
enforcement training on numerous (not specifically TIP)
topics.

J-K: N/A



--------------------------


PREVENTION


--------------------------



A: The government does not acknowledge that trafficking is a
problem in the country. A recent study suggests that there
may be the danger of trafficking of children due to the
increase of poverty in the former plantations; however, there
is not any current evidence to indicate that trafficking is a
problem.

Child labor is a problem. The government is addressing the
problem with several initiatives. The Ministry of Education
increased mandatory school attendance from fourth until sixth
grade, and the government provides some assistance to low
income families to keep their children in school. The
Ministry of Labor also conducts inspections at work sites.

B: There are, and have never been, any government-run
anti-trafficking campaigns.

C: Government officials and NGOs maintain positive relations
focused on economic development, poverty reduction, and other
related objectives.

D: Sao Tome does not specifically target traffickers and
their victims, but does maintain strict passport controls at
the airport, requiring visas obtained abroad of nearly all
visitors. Sao Tome lacks the capacity to enforce maritime
boundaries.

E: The Sao Tomean government currently has no mechanism to
coordinate actions against trafficking.

F: The government does not have a national plan of action to
address trafficking in persons.

G: The government has not taken any measures during the
reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex
acts.

H: N/A

I: N/A
REDDICK