|09OUAGADOUGOU608||2009-07-30 15:57:00||UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY||Embassy Ouagadougou|
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UNCLAS OUAGADOUGOU 000608
1. SUMMARY: During the last six months the Government of
Burkina Faso has made significant efforts to combat child
trafficking. The measures include massive information
campaigns, arrests and a new anti-trafficking law. END
2. Mrs. Somkinda Traore, Secretary General of the Ministry
of Labor and Social Affairs was the keynote speaker at a July
30th Child Trafficking Conference organized by the
International Labor Organization (IPEC/Lutrena programs).
She outlined the efforts and successes the Government of
Burkina Faso has untertaken since January 2009.
3. According to Traore, in the last six months the GOBF has
undertaken the following anti-TIP measures:
-- Decree Number 2009-365/PRES/PM/MTSS/MS/MASN of 28 May 2009
establishes a list of the worst and most dangerous forms of
child labor in Burkina Faso.
-- With the assistance of the Lutrena program (ILO), Burkina
Faso was able to mobilize and use NGOs and associations, the
trade union of road transporters, and media outlets as well
as government workers operating outside of Ouagadougou to
promote anti-child trafficking messages. As a result,
fourteen action programs were established to permit
prevention, protection and socio-economic rinsertion of
victims of trafficking and assistane to families where
children may be considered vlnerable to trafficking.
-- In addition, the GOB recorded the following results in
= 3,000 victims of child trafficking wer rescued and
returned to their families.
= 1,080 victims or highly vulnerable children were schooled
(either formally or as apprentices).
= 50 traffickers were arrested and 5 prosecuted.
= 76 suspected traffickers saw their networks dismantled.
= 32 provincial committees were set up to help sensitization
= 68 relay centers were established in 68 different villages.
= 8 school sensitization clubs were created.
= 600,000 people were impacted by information and
TV spot on child trafficking
-- The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs and the Lutrena
project also produced a short video on child trafficking and
the legal repercussions of engaging in it. The video was
broadcasted multiple times on local television channels. The
4.20 minute video shows a farmer negotiating the "purchase"
of five children to plow and maintain his field. The
trafficker convinces villagers to give him their children
whom he will in turn sell or lease to the farmer. He gives
one of the mothers 2,000 CFA (4 USD) in exchange for her son.
While the children are being transported by bus to the
farmer's village police intercept the vehicle and conduct
identity checks. The police quickly realize that the
trafficker is illegally transporting the children, arrest him
and send him to court. In court the trafficker is sentenced
to 10 years in jail and a monetary fine for child
trafficking. The video clip finishes by stating that
"Children are not merchandize. Those who engage in
trafficking -- traffickers or their accomplices are
criminals and will be punished". (Note: The video also thanks
the USG and the Government of Denmark for their financing of
the video. End Note.)
COMMENT: While the situation of child trafficking and child
labor remains a concern for Burkina Faso, the GOBF seems
eager to address the issue, even publicly, and has made
significant efforts to address child trafficking concerns.
The Secretary General was keen to share the successes with us
and said she hopes that this would be reflected in our annual
TIP report. She also expressed the hope that the USG would
continue to fund Lutrena projects so that Burkina Faso could
continue to combat child trafficking. END COMMENT.