On 6th July 2018, Defence for Children International – Sierra Leone (DCI-SL) and Sabou/DCI Guinea facilitated the signing of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) between Guinean and Sierra Leonean authorities to End Cross-Border Child Trafficking at Pamelap (Border between the Republic of Sierra Leone and the Republic of Guinea). These involved authorities of line ministries, frontline security officials, community leaders and civil society actors of both Guinea and Sierra Leone.
The purpose of the SOP is to provide a framework for cooperation, which can facilitate effective collaboration between border frontline security officials, community leaders and civil society actors in Guinea and Sierra Leone in order to address child trafficking on the basis of trust, adherence to regional and international obligations and service to protect their citizens, particularly vulnerable children against cross-border exploitation and abuse.
Furthermore, these SOP are particularly essential for Sierra Leone and Guinea, where children continue to be subjected to forced labour and sexual exploitation, both internally and externally. Additionally, both states continue to be sources, transit and/or destination for human trafficking . The SOP will urge state and non-state actors to put practical measures in place to implement and enforce regional and national laws and policies that prohibit child trafficking.
Moreover, both Guinea and Sierra Leone are parties to major international and regional instruments such as the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACRWC) and the ECOWAS Guidelines to end Human Trafficking, that commit these states to do everything possible to tackle child trafficking. These SOP can serve as a tool that helps frontline security officials, community leaders and the civil society actors at the border areas to become more sensitive and in readiness to stop child trafficking.
Finally, the SOP provide directories of service providers for victims of trafficking in both countries. The directory of services will help border security officials and community leaders locate and contact these service providers whenever victims need them. It can also help law enforcement officials in prosecuting alleged perpetrators of child trafficking.
Following the signing ceremony, a two days training was organised for the security officials, community leaders and CSOs to understand the content of the document and how to use it. The training led to the development of an implementation plan for the SOP, which symbolizes the zest among the trainees to immediately implement the SOP.
See US State Department, Trafficking in Persons, 2017 Report: http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2016/index.htm
To learn more about the Standard Operating Procedures, please contact DCI-Sierra Leone at: www.dcisierraleone.org or at: firstname.lastname@example.org