Today, United States Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Jessica Davis Ba, First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire Dominique Ouattara, Deputy Director of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Bryan Marcus, the Minister of Employment and Social Protection Adama Kamara, and the Minister of Solidarity and the Fight Against Poverty Myss Belmonde Dogo provided opening remarks marking the official launch of activities under the U.S. – Côte d’Ivoire Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership. This Partnership is an historic non-binding multi-year initiative to address child sex trafficking and forced child labor in Côte d’Ivoire. Implementation of this jointly developed partnership will strengthen the efforts of the Ivoirian government as it works with national stakeholders and civil society organizations in a sustainable, coordinated fashion to combat child labor trafficking.
The CPC Partnership was signed by the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and the United States in December 2022. Two implementing partners were then selected to carry out activities to fulfill the agreed-upon objectives, including:
- better coordinating prevention efforts and targeting them across the country;
- providing protection services that are readily accessible to child trafficking victims using a trauma-informed and victim-centered approach;
- ensuring justice-sector actors utilize existing trafficking-specific legal frameworks to identify child trafficking victims, investigate cases, and prosecute and convict perpetrators of child trafficking in a child-friendly, victim-centered, and trauma-informed manner; and
- promoting coordination across relevant ministries, civil society, local communities, and foreign counterparts.
The TIP Office, which leads the Department’s global engagement to combat human trafficking, selected the University of Massachusetts Lowell (UML) and Save the Children to implement Partnership activities. UML is conducting a 12-month formative research study on child trafficking in Côte d’Ivoire, while Save the Children will build the capacity of Ivoirian justice-sector actors, improve case management, and strengthen anti-trafficking coordination over the next five years.
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