Slavery in Chad

Overview

 

Chad is a source, transit, and destination country for children subjected to forced labour 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 labour in domestic service or herding. Children are subjected to forced labour as beggars and agricultural laborers.

 

Some children who leave their villages to attend traditional Quranic schools are forced into begging, street vending, or other labour. Child herders, some of whom are victims of forced labour, follow traditional routes for grazing cattle and, at times, cross ill-defined international borders into Cameroon, Central African Republic, Sudan, 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 labour by military or local government officials. Chadian girls travel to larger towns in search of work, where some are subsequently subjected to child sex trafficking or are abused in domestic servitude; child sex trafficking is also a concern among refugees and Internally Displaced Persons. In the Lake Chad area, since May 2015, attacks by Boko Haram and concurrent government military operations increased the number of IDPs. Vigilante groups in Chad may have recruited and used children in armed conflict.

 

The Government of Chad does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making some efforts to do so. It implemented some measures to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers by training members of the military and verifying the age of entrants at military centres. The government reported a decrease in the number of investigations, prosecutions, and convictions. It did not provide specialized services for trafficking victims.

 

Legislation

 

Existing laws do not specifically prohibit trafficking, though they do prohibit forced prostitution and many types of labour exploitation. Article 20 of the Constitution prohibits slavery and servitude.

 

Title 5 of the labour code prohibits forced and bonded labour, prescribing penalties ranging from six days to three months of imprisonment or a fine of up to US$473 or up to US$1,419 for repeat offenders. 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 US$1,608).

 

In December 2016, the National Assembly passed an updated penal code at the end of the reporting period that required presidential proclamation at the end of the reporting period before it could be enacted into law; it includes 16 articles specifically criminalizing trafficking in persons and is intended to align Chad’s law with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. It awaits presidential proclamation and action.

 

In July 2009, the government ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

 

 

Slavery in Chad