The Government of Cameroon does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore Cameroon was upgraded to Tier 2. These efforts included identifying more trafficking victims and providing services to victims. The government increased training for government officials on anti-trafficking law enforcement techniques and victim identification, and it increased international cooperation on cross-border trafficking investigations. The government incorporated survivor input into the drafting process of a new NAP. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government investigated fewer trafficking crimes and prosecuted and convicted fewer traffickers. Protection services for victims remained limited. The government did not amend its anti-trafficking law to remove the requirement of force, fraud, or coercion for child sex trafficking and to clearly distinguish between trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling crimes. Despite serious and sustained concerns of official complicity in trafficking crimes, the government did not report any law enforcement action against allegedly complicit officials.
The government of Cameroon should :
- Vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes, including of complicit officials, and seek adequate penalties for convicted traffickers, which should involve significant prison terms.
- Amend the anti-trafficking law to remove the requirement of force, fraud, or coercion for child sex trafficking offenses and to make a clear distinction between human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
- Strengthen protection services for trafficking victims, including by providing specialized services to trafficking victims and providing funding or in-kind assistance to NGOs and international organizations providing services.
- Finalize an updated NAP and allocate resources devoted to its implementation.
- Implement a systemic victim-witness assistance program to increase protective services for victims participating in the criminal justice process and prevent re-traumatization.
- Train social workers, law enforcement, labor inspectors, and immigration officials on identifying trafficking cases, including the difference between human trafficking and migrant smuggling, as well as on victim identification and referral SOPs.
- Further expand training for law enforcement and judicial officials on the anti-trafficking section of the penal code to increase the effectiveness of investigations and prosecutions.
- Increase funding allocated for anti-trafficking activities, including inter-ministerial committee (IMC) operations.
- Expand the investigation of labor recruiters and agencies suspected of fraudulent recruitment, including unlicensed recruiters and intermediaries, and hold persons complicit in trafficking criminally accountable.
- Continue to develop a robust and comprehensive data collection system, disaggregating between sex and labor trafficking cases to capture government-wide anti-trafficking efforts.
from 2023 Trafficking in Persons Report – U.S. Department of State
2023 Trafficking in Persons Report – United States Department of State