United States and Cote d’Ivoire Meetings Mark Start of Child Protection Compact Partnership Negotiations
Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, July 29, 2022 – Officials from the United States and Côte d’Ivoire will hold a series of meetings over the coming months to discuss the terms of a Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership, a non-binding multi-year plan to address child sex trafficking and forced child labor in Côte d’Ivoire. The partnership may include up to $10 million in targeted anti-child-trafficking U.S. foreign assistance to civil society organizations and/or international organizations to support implementation of a five-year plan and would be the seventh CPC Partnership in the world.
“The National Monitoring Committee on Actions to Combat Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labor (the CNS), chaired by First Lady Dominique Ouattara, takes note of the selection of Côte d’Ivoire as a beneficiary country of a Child Protection Compact, and welcomes this new opportunity that will help to intensify the fight against trafficking and the worst forms of child labor in our country. In this respect, the CNS would like to express its sincere gratitude to the U.S. Government for its continued commitment with Côte d’Ivoire in eliminating trafficking and the worst forms of child labor,” said Patricia Yao, Executive Secretary of the CNS.
“Reducing and eventually eliminating child trafficking will require collective efforts from like-minded governments and civil society organizations,” said U.S. Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire Richard Bell. “The United States is eager to embark on this partnership with Côte d’Ivoire and provide resources to combat the unjust and cruel practices of human trafficking.”
Ivoirian entities that have responsibility for anti-trafficking efforts will participate in the discussions, including the Office of the First Lady; the Ministry of Employment and Social Protection; the Ministry of Woman, Family, and Child; the Sub-Directorate to Combat Child Trafficking and Juvenile Delinquency; the Transnational Organized Crime Unit; the Ministry of Security and Interior; the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights; the National Committee for the Fight Against Human Trafficking; the Oversight Committee to Combat Child Trafficking and the Worst Forms of Child Labor; the Inter-Ministerial Committee in the Fight Against Child Trafficking, Child Exploitation, and Child Labor; and the Anti-Trafficking Committee Representatives of the U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Office) will lead for the United States.
The partnership would build on current efforts of the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and civil society to combat child trafficking. The TIP Office will look to the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to contribute resources that ensure fulfillment of the partnership and sustain improvements after the partnership ends.
Discussions between the two governments will include potential partnership objectives and implementation strategies that could improve the Ivorian government’s capacity to investigate and prosecute cases of child trafficking, identify, and respond to forced child labor and child sex trafficking, provide comprehensive services to protect child trafficking victims, and prevent future child trafficking crimes.
TIP Office Acting Director Kari Johnstone stated “Combating child trafficking is a priority for our two countries. We look forward to entering into a CPC Partnership with Cote d’Ivoire and seeing sustainable progress on fighting this crime for years to come.”
The TIP Office is responsible for leading the United States’ global engagement to combat human trafficking, including producing the annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report). The 2022 TIP Report noted the Government of Cote d’Ivoire did not fully meet the minimum standards for addressing human trafficking but was making significant efforts to do so.
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