First Human Trafficking Case Law Database Launched in Senegal

Senegal is an origin, transit, and destination country for many migrants in West and Central Africa who may be subjected to trafficking in persons.

Forced begging is the most prevalent form of trafficking but traffickers also subject youth to domestic servitude, forced labour in gold mines, and sex trafficking. In 2018, 1,100 Senegalese migrants who intended to reach Europe were identified as vulnerable to trafficking in Libya.

Despite Senegal’s significant efforts to identify and assist trafficking survivors, the country’s taskforce against trafficking in persons (TiP) faces a lack of data on survivors, crimes, and traffickers. What’s more, weak networking and information sharing among local authorities and others means coordination of actions across Senegal is impaired.

In this context, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Senegal and the Ministry of Justice, through its National Unit for Combatting Trafficking in Persons (CNLTP) and the Directorate of Criminal Affairs and Amnesty (DACG), has endeavoured to promote the country’s first human trafficking case law database, the Système de suivi de la traite, known as Systraite.

The online system will collect data on trafficking survivors – such as the country or region of origin, age, gender – the types of abuse they faced, and other data including methods of referral procedure before courts and traffickers’ profiles.

This week (21/10), IOM together with CNLTP and DACG held a ceremony in Dakar to launch Systraite. Equipment including computers and internet modems was also handed to judicial personnel such as presidents of juvenile courts and prosecutors.

Prior to the launch, IOM joined the CNLTP and DACG to organized training sessions on the use of the system. Systraite will be deployed in five pilot regions: Dakar, Kedougou, St. Louis, Tambacounda and Thies, the most affected regions in Senegal.

“Collecting data is essential to fight human trafficking as it allows a better tracking of trafficking survivors and thus facilitate the investigation and prosecution of perpetrators,” said Clara Perez, Programme Officer at IOM Senegal.

Since August 2010, the CNLTP has been coordinating national efforts to address TiP, notably through the implementation of the three-year Action Plan (2018-2020) on the strategic axes of prevention, protection, and judicial prosecution of human trafficking.