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Cote d'Ivoire

Cote d'Ivoire

Country Profile

Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons – Smuggling of Migrants

In Cote d’Ivoire there are two National Action Plans in response to Human trafficking, and one coordinated National Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking (CNLTP). The other PoA is coordinated by the National Monitoring Committee on Actions to Combat Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labor (CNS) and Inter-ministerial Committee on the Fight Against Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labor (CIM).

  • National Action Plan and Strategy Against Human Trafficking (2016–2020) coordinated by CNLTP.The National Action Plan against trafficking for the period 2016- 2020, aims to ensure the operationalization of the National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Persons, validated in February 2015 for the period 2016-2020.

The Plan has four strategic components:

  • Strategy 1: prevention of trafficking;

  • Strategy 2: protection and care for victims;

  • Strategy 3: repression and legal prosecution of acts of trafficking;

  • Strategy 4: promotion of coordination and cooperation in the fight against trafficking.

The CNLTP is in charge of its establishment, in particular the coordination and the execution of activities, the promotion of partnerships between actors, ensuring monitoring and evaluation, as well as the sustainability of the national response against the phenomenon.

  • National Action Plan for the Fight Against Trafficking, Exploitation, and Child Labor (2019–2021): Coordinated by CNS and CIM, approximately $243 million project aimed to significantly reduce the number of children engaged in the worst forms of child labor by building on best practices and improving upon lessons learn from earlier National Action Plan implementation. Priorities include increasing efforts to mobilize resources at the national level, reinforcing regional cooperation and public-private partnerships, incorporating worst forms of child labor considerations into national and sector-specific programming, and reinforcing the monitoring and evaluation of the national strategy for the fight against trafficking and the worst forms of child labor. More details available here: Action Plan 2019-2021 (French Only)

Related Action Plan

  • 2010 Declaration of Joint Action to Support the Implementation of the Harkin- Engel Protocol (2010 Declaration) and Its Accompanying Framework of Action: It is a joint declaration by the Governments of Ghana, Côte d’Ivoire, and the United States, and the International Cocoa and Chocolate Industry. It provides resources and coordinates with key stakeholders on efforts to reduce the worst forms of child labor in cocoa-producing areas. It ensures that all project efforts implemented under the Declaration and Framework align with Côte d’Ivoire’s national action plans to promote coherence and sustainability.

  • IOM is currently supporting the Ministry of African Integration and Ivorians Abroad (Ministère de l’Intégration Africaine et des Ivoiriens de l’Extérieur, MIAIE) to elaborate a national plan to assist the voluntary return and reintegration of migrants in distress.

Institutional Framework

National Structures Responsible for Identifying Traffickers and Victims of Trafficking (VOT)

The identification is generally done by various actors, such as:

  • The National Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking (CNLTP);

  • Police Anti-trafficking unit (ATU);

  • The Police’s transnational Organised Crime unit (UCT);

  • Police agencies (National Police and Gendarmerie, Brigade Mondaine);

  • Social workers, NGOs, and International organizations;

  • Civil society.

National Structures Responsible for Border Management

The institution responsible for border management in Cote d’Ivoire and control of entry and exit is the Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DST) of the General Directorate of the National Police (DGPN), which is itself placed under the supervision of the Ministry of Security and Civil Protection which was formed in 2019.

The Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DST) is responsible for the management of national borders, the regulations on the movement of people (entry, exit, visas, refugees, human trafficking, etc.).

National Structures Addressing Smuggling of Migrants

  • The National Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking (CNLTP) leads and coordinates government efforts, and monitors implementation of all projects related to human trafficking. The CNLTP is in charge of:

  • The development of policies facilitating the application of the 2018 law;

  • Development of a national action plan;

  • The training of agents;

  • Public information.

  • Ministry of Security and Civil Protection: Through its ATU, it leads efforts to enforce criminal laws against human trafficking. Through its Brigade Mondaine, it combats commercial sexual exploitation, including exploitation of children. Through its Unit for Combating Transnational Organised Crime, it supports UNODC’s West Africa Coast Initiative, which aims to improve cross-border cooperation to combat crimes, including human trafficking.

  • Under the Ministry of Defense, the National Gendarmes Force investigates TIP, including child labor violations in rural areas where there is no police presence.

  • Ministry of Justice (MOJ): Investigates and prosecutes crimes related to TIP and child labor, including its worst forms. Through its Directorate of Judicial Protection of Childhood and Youth, assists with investigations and implements the ministry’s child protection policy.

  • Ministry of Employment and Social Protection (MEPS): It develops, proposes, and enforces all labor laws, including those related to TIP and child labor. It collaborates with the Anti- Trafficking Unit (ATU) and Ministry of Women, Family, and Children to provide support to victims of child trafficking and other forms of child labor. It implements the child labor monitoring system, Système d’Observation et de Suivi du Travail des Enfants en Côte d’Ivoire (SOSTECI), which enables communities to collect and analyze statistical data on the worst forms of child labor.

  • Ministry of Women, Family, and Children (MFFE): Leads the government’s efforts to combat human trafficking and implements a National Policy on Child Protection. It maintains the “116 Allo hotline” for child labor issues and responds to complaints. It provides support to child labor victims in coordination with MEPS.

National Coordinating Bodies

Under the Decree 2017-227, the National Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking (CNLTP) continued to serve as the coordinating body for the government´s anti-trafficking efforts. The CNLTP was formed in support of the 2016 Anti- Trafficking Law and chaired by the Prime Minister, aiming to fight human trafficking throughout Côte d’Ivoire. It oversees the implementation of the National Action Plan and Strategy Against Human Trafficking, validates programs, coordinates government efforts, and monitors implementation of all projects related to human trafficking. It also includes representation at the local level through dedicated units charged with implementing the National Action Plan and Strategy Against Human Trafficking.

The Ministry of Solidarity and Social Cohesion and the Fight Against Poverty (MSCSLP) serves as the Executive Secretariat, and the Committee comprises 13 ministries:

  • Prime Minister (President)

  • Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (1st Vice-President)

  • Minister of Justice (2nd Vice-President)

  • Minister of Solidarity, Social Cohesion and the Fight Against Poverty (3rd Vice-President)

  • Minister of Security and Civil Protection (Member)

  • Minister of Foreign Affairs (Member)

  • Minister of African Integration and Ivorians Abroad (Member)

  • Minister of Economy and Finance (Member)

  • Minister of Budget and State Portfolio (Member)

  • Minister of Planning and Development (Member)

  • Minister of Employment and Social Protection (Member)

  • Minister of Health and Public Hygiene (Member)

  • Minister of National Education, Technical Education and Vocational Training (Member)

  • Minister of Transport (Member)

Specialized Units - Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM)

In addition to the National Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking (CNLTP):

  • Under the Ministry of Interior and Security, there is the Police’s anti-trafficking Unit (ATU) and the Mondaine Brigades, in charge for investigating prostitution and sex trafficking;

  • There is also the Police’s transnational Organised Crime unit (UCT) that aims to improve cross-border cooperation to combat crimes, including human trafficking and transnational crime.


General Information

Cote d’Ivoire is a source, transit and destination country for victims of trafficking. Traffickers exploit Ivoirian women and girls to forced labor in domestic service and in sex trafficking. Traffickers also exploit Ivoirian boys in forced labor in the agricultural sector. In 2018, authorities estimated there were more than 2,000 Ivoirian, Burkinabe, Malian, Nigerien, and Senegalese talibés (students in Quranic schools) in northern and central Cote d’Ivoire. Ghanaian and Nigerian traffickers recruit women and girls from their country of origin and some of these victims believe they are transiting Cote d’Ivoire en route to Europe. Officials also identified an increase of Ivoirian migrants going to Libya and Tunisia who may be vulnerable to trafficking. Ivorian migrants commonly depart from Daloa and proceed via airplane to Tunisia, or overland via Mali and Algeria to Libya, or, to a lesser extent, via Niger to Libya. International organizations and Ivoirian law enforcement agencies reported Ivoirian migrant smuggling networks based in Tunisia increasingly became involved in trafficking as European governments blocked migration inflows. Ivoirian irregular migrants in Algeria are vulnerable to trafficking due to their irregular status. In 2019, trafficked Ivoirian were identified in European countries as France, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom but also in other countries as Iraq, Israel, Cyprus and Morocco.

Main Trends and Figures

In 2019, the Ivorian Government identified 1,004 potential victims of trafficking and child exploitation This represents a significant increase compared with 98 victims of trafficking during 2018. Of the 1004 potential victims, 352 were children and 652 adults; 312 were Ivoirians and 692 foreign trafficking victims. Of the 692 foreign victims, 300 were Beninese, 32 Burkinabe, 56 Nigerians, and 184 Togolese, while the remaining 120 were from Mali, Senegal, Niger, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Morocco, France, Cameroon, and Liberia. In 2019, 137 children and 32 adults were identified in forced labor in the cocoa sector and 14 Ivoirian child forced labor victims in weaving. In 2019, The Tunisian government, NGOs, and international organizations identified approximately 1,470 Ivoirian potential victims of trafficking in Tunisia, approximately 80 percent of the total trafficking victims identified in Tunisia.

In 2019, IOM facilitate the repatriation of 77 Ivoirian trafficking victims (61 women and 16 men) from Tunisia, Morocco, Kuwait, Turkey, Madagascar, and Comoros. Between January 2012 and October 2019, 85 per cent of the 823 victims of trafficking identified in the North African country were Ivorians. Most of the 575 Ivorian victims – mainly women (including three minors) – were in situations of domestic servitude in the Tunisian cities of Sfax, Tunis, Sousse, and Gabes.

Cote d'Ivoire

Existing Mechanisms

Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrant (SOM) Hotlines

TIP/SOM National Police Emergency- 110* 

Others (Children protection/ assistance)- 116*

*The 110 is the Police Emergency hotline but not specially to TIP or SOM

**The 116 is the Hotline used to report to child protection in overall territory.

National Referral Mechanism and/or Standard Operating Procedures

To date, Cote d Ivoire has no National Referral Mechanism (NRM) in place. The Government did not have formal mechanisms to proactively identify adult trafficking victims or refer trafficking victims to care. As a result, it was unclear which Ministry was responsible for the different aspects of trafficking victim protection. Despite the lack of a formal referral mechanism, in practice officials referred trafficking victims to one of 90 government-run social centers for victims of abuse to receive psychological care and then to NGOs for shelter and further services. When necessary, the Government used orphanages or its 36 special education centers to shelter women and child trafficking victims.

In response, currently there is an NRM under development and it is supported by UNODC and Expertise France.

The Police Transnational Organised Crime (UCT) has also operational procedures to refer victims to care. In practice, UCI refers VoTs to CNLTP who then refers to the relevant agency.

Measures to Detect Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrants (SOM) Cases along the Borders

Some border posts that have benefited from IOM’s support and their officers received training in detecting cases of TIP and SOM.

Under the project “Enhance the capacities of Côte d’Ivoire’s Authorities to Comprehensively Address Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling – COCOTIP”, financed by the Federal Republic of Germany, IOM has delivered several trainings in detecting cases of TIP and SOM with more trainings planned for 2021. On 11 and 13 August 2020, training for security and health officers from four border posts (Laleraba, Nigouni, Tiéfinzo and Gbéléban) took place in the town of Odienné to strengthen officers’ capacities on TIP and SOM, as well as the standard operating procedures for front-line border officers at entry points in response to the COVID-19 epidemic. This training also took place on 18-20 August in Abengourou (covering Noé and Koguiénou border posts) and on 25- 27 August 2020 in Man (covering Prollo, Gbapleu, Gbeunta, Sipilou, Pékan and Daobly border posts); 10 individuals were trained in Abengourou and 28 individuals were trained in Man. 

Law Enforcement Agencies Responsible for Investigating Cases of Trafficking in Persons (TIP) and Smuggling of Migrant (SOM)

  • Police’s anti-trafficking Unit (ATU) have the mandate for child trafficking, and Brigade Mondaine covers sex trafficking.

  • The gendarmes under the Ministry of Defense were responsible for investigations in rural areas where ATU has no presence.

  • Police’s transnational Organised Crime unit (UCT) is responsible for transnational trafficking and national jurisdiction over transnational organiseorganised crime, it includes a specialized human trafficking department.

Identity and Travel Documentation/Investigation and Forensic Lab

(This is in views to support identity verification/establishment as for victims and traffickers)

  • The Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization: The Decree n ° 2001.103 of February 15, 2001, establishes the National Identification Office (ONI) which is replaced in May 2019 by the National Office of Civil Registry and Identification (l’Office National de l’Etat Civil et de l’Identification - ONECI). The ONECI is responsible for the implementation of civil registry policy in conjunction with officials, civil registry officers and the judicial authorities. It is also responsible for the identification of populations, Immigration and emigration of persons residing in Cote d’Ivoire. It includes issuing identity documents to foreign nationals (Art. 3), and it is within the Immigration and Emigration Department (DIE) which supervises the identification of foreign nationals, the issuance of entry visas to Côte d’Ivoire and the issuance of residence permits foreign nationals living in Côte d’Ivoire (art. 12). The ONECI has a biometric database and Automatic Fingerprint Information System (AFIS) than can carry out verification of ID documents.

  • The Directorate of Territorial Surveillance (DST) is responsible for the management of national borders, the regulations on the movement of people (entry, exit, visas, refugees, human trafficking, etc.) It is also responsible for the biometric passports and its database but does not have an AFIS to carry out multiple searches on their database.

  • The Government of Cote d’Ivoire is currently working to establish a new National Persons Registry (Registre National des Personnes Physiques, RNPP) that was launched in December 2019. It will serve to centralize all biography and biometric information of Ivoirians and foreign nationals residing or in transit in Côte d’Ivoire and assign a registration number to each individual. Therefore, it will be the database of reference in future to be used for all identity verification (For more information see ONECI website).

Technical Working Groups (TWG)

Not available

Agency Responsible for Data Collection and Processing

The Government does not have a mechanism to collect and share data between ministries, so it did not gather or report comprehensive data on anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. However, the CNLTP in his role of coordination is in charge to collect and centralize data related to TIP.

CNLTP is supported by several governmental entities that are collecting data, including the Ministry of the Interior and Security’s Sub Directorate of the Criminal Police for the Fight against Child Trafficking and Juvenile Delinquency (also known as the anti-trafficking unit or ATU), and transnational organised crime unit (UCT); Brigade Mondaine—the police unit charged with investigating prostitution and sex trafficking; the Ministry of Women, Families, and Children (MWFC); and the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights (MOJ).

At national level, the collection of statistical data on migration is carried out by the National Institute of Statistics (Institut National de la Statistique, INS), with regard to surveys (Standard of Living, Demographic and Health and Employment surveys) and population censuses. These data are disaggregated, by sex, age and education level regardless of the source. With the technical support of the National Institute of Statistics (Institut National de la Statistique, INS), the Directorate of Employment and Trades Observatory (Direction de l’Observatoire de l’Emploi et des Métiers ‐ DOEM) collects data disaggregated by sex, age and migration status on the labour market but not on TIP or SOM.

Protection and Assistance to Victims of Trafficking Agencies

Competent Authority and Mechanism to Identify Victims of Trafficking

  • The Government did not have formal mechanisms to proactively identify adult trafficking victims or refer trafficking victims to care.

Assistance Services and Contacts

There is no booklet available for the listing existing assistance services.

No formal mechanisms to identify adult trafficking victims or refer trafficking victims to care. NGOs provide victims with services/assistance. The government has funds from the National Solidarity Fund to provide short-term shelter and repatriation and in-kind support including clothing, food, and hygiene kits to NGOs.

Cross-Border Cooperation

International Cooperation Agreements - Cross Border and Extradition Treaties


  • United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and the Protocols

  • The Libreville Joint Platform for Action of 24 February 2000, on the development of strategies to combat trafficking in children for the purpose of exploiting their work in West and Central Africa. The Libreville Consultation is the result of a long process of collaboration and continuous exchange between UNICEF, ILO and the government of Gabon, which has facilitated the participation of 21 countries of the region of West and Central Africa

  • The Multilateral Regional Cooperation Agreement to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children in West and Central Africa signed in Abuja on July 6, 2006.

  • The Cooperation Agreement to combat child trafficking in West Africa, signed on July 27, 2005 in Abidjan between Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. 

  • As a Member State of the ECOWAS promoting the free movement of people and goods, Côte d’Ivoire regularly participates in consultations on migration and in ECOWAS‐led RCPs such as the Migration Dialogue for West Africa (MIDWA). In addition, Côte d’Ivoire has signed the Global Compact on Migration in Marrakech in 2018.

  • The Headquarters Agreement between Cote d’Ivoire and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) signed on June 2000, in Geneva.

Bilateral Cooperation

  • Côte d’Ivoire has concluded several bilateral agreements on free movement and labour, such as the agreement signed on 9 March 1960 with Burkina Faso, and bilateral agreements on the free movement of persons and goods with Cabo Verde, Angola, Gabon, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Guinea and Mali

  • Separate bilateral cooperation agreements with Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, to combat cross‐border child trafficking

  • Côte d’Ivoire signed bilateral agreements with France on the movement and residence of persons, allowing nationals of the States Parties to be granted more favorable provisions than those of common law

  • Côte d’Ivoire has movement facilitation arrangements with Maghreb countries, such as Morocco and Tunisia, with the provision that citizens of those countries are granted exemption from visa requirements for entry and can stay in Côte d’Ivoire for up to three months. For stays beyond three months, nationals of those countries are required to apply for a residence permit

  • Extradition agreements: Cote d’Ivoire has not a party of the 1994 ECOWAS agreements on extradition

  • The Cooperation agreement in justice between Cote d’Ivoire and France signed on 1961. Cote D ‘Ivoire has not signed either the ECOWAS Protocol on fight against corruption (2001) and Convention on Mutual assistance in criminal matters (1992)

  • The Convention on Mutual Legal Assistance and Extradition against Terrorism signed in Rabat in 2009

  • General convention in cooperation in justice between Cote d’Ivoire and Mali 1964

Transnational Referral Mechanism

A transnational referral mechanism (TRM) does not currently exist.

To learn more about TRMs, see IOM’s Transnational Referral Mechanism Model (TACT) project and tool. 

Additional International Instruments


  • Migrants in countries in Crisis - Côte d’Ivoire Case Study: Côte d’Ivoire at a Crossroads – Socio-economic Development Implications of Crisis-induced Returns to Burkina Faso, Ghana and Liberia. (English)

  • Cote D‘Ivoire Migration profile 2017.Study on Migration Routes in West and Central Africa. (Maastricht Graduate school) (English)

  • IOM Migration Governance Indicators / Cote d ‘Ivoire Profile.2019.(English) (French)

  • IOM Guide migration flows and borders in Cote d ‘Ivoire (2018) (French )

Relevant National Legislation and Policies

Entry requirements

All 15 ECOWAS Member States: ECOWAS Citizens are entitled to travel/enter the country with National ID card or ECOWAS Laisser-Passer. In Addition, G5 Sahel citizens in particular Mauritania and Chad.

Visa upon Arrival: European Union and Libya citizens (3-month duration)

Visa exemption: Tunisia and Morocco citizens. (3-month duration)

For more information: (Snedai - e-Visa website)

National Legislation

To respect its international and regional commitments, Côte d’Ivoire has ratified a number of international conventions and treaties on TIP and SoM and related offences. On 25 October 2012, the country ratified the UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. More recently, on 8 June 2017, the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air was also ratified. In October 2012, Côte d’Ivoire also ratified the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) but has not yet ratified the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families.

Nonetheless, national legislation has not yet fully integrated the measures set out by the above-mentioned international legal tools, particularly the measures in the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants and certain measures included in the Convention against Transnational Organised Crime. On the legal level, the following were adopted:

  • 2010 Law No. 2010-272: It pertains to the Prohibition of Child Trafficking and the Worst Forms of Child Labor. It remained the primary law used to prosecute child trafficking, and its criminalized child sex trafficking and labor trafficking with 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment (available in French).

  • 2016 Law No. 2016-1111: It related to the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons. The law includes tougher penalties and formalizes victim protection and assistance measures. The law criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking and prescribed penalties of five to 10 years’ imprisonment for adult trafficking and 20 to 30 years’ imprisonment and for child trafficking. These penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape (available in French). 

  • 2017 Amendment to the 1981 Penal Code: Particularly, Articles 335, 336, 376, 378. Articles 335 and 336 of the Ivoirian Criminal Code criminalized the pimping and exploitation of adults and children for the purpose of forced prostitution with penalties of one to five years’ imprisonment. The government used also penal code provisions on illegal mining. The Penal Code prescribed penalties of two to five years’ imprisonment for illegal mining. These penalties were significantly lower than those prescribed under the trafficking law (available in French).

Legislation regarding Smuggling of Migrants

  • Law No. 2016-1111: of 8 December 2016 on trafficking in persons (TiP). Article 4 in Chapter 3 on repressing trafficking in human beings also includes a definition of SOM. However, besides this Article, no other mention of smuggling is made throughout the document. Procedures to be followed, applicable sanctions and State protection for victims are not specified. Furthermore, the authors consider the smuggling of migrants to be an aggravating circumstance for TiP offences, disregarding the fact that TiP and SoM are two distinct – even if often concurrent – offences.

  • Law No. 2018‐571 of 13 June 2018: on combating the smuggling of migrants. The bill passed by the National Assembly transposes the provisions of the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants. The objectives of the draft law are to fight against the smuggling of migrants; protect the rights of migrants; and promote national and international cooperation in fighting against SOM. The law should also enable increased border management and control, regulate irregular migration flows and address the activities of the organised crime networks involved. Envisaged penal sanctions will range from one to five years in prison and a fine of FCFA five million to ten million (approx. EUR 7,500-15,000). Under certain aggravating circumstances, the sentence can be increased from 10 to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine of FCFA 10 million to 20 million (approx. EUR 15,000 – 30,000). (Available in French only)

  • Several provisions addressing offences connected to irregular migration and migrant smuggling exist in the national legal and institutional frameworks: Section 4 of the Penal Code contains measures for passive corruption (punishable by six months to two years in prison and by a FCFA 200,000 fine - Article 231 (approx. EUR 300)) and active corruption (punishable by two to ten years in prison and a fine ranging from FCFA 200,000 to 2,000,000 - Article 232 (approx. EUR 300 – 3,000).

Recent Modifications and New Decrees

Even if not recent, the following related policies are worth mentioning:

  • Law No. 2004-303 of 3 May 2004: Modifying the Law No. 2002-03 of 3 January 2002 Regarding Identification of Persons and Stay of Foreign nationals in Côte d’Ivoire. It distinguishes between foreign nationals (including those from ECOWAS member states) who need valid passport vs. visa to enter the country. For ECOWAS members, a permit of free circulation may also be used. Foreign nationals without the needed documentation are subject to imprisonment and, if a threat to public order, also deportation. Facilitation of irregular stay is also a criminal offence.

  • Ordinance No. 2007-604 of 8 November 2007: Regarding the Suppression of the Stay Permit. ECOWAS nationals no longer need to obtain a residence permit (must only maintain valid identification from the country of origin).

  • Regulation No. 64-21 of 15 June 2004: Modifying Regulation No. 1437 of 19 February 2004, and relating to the Regulation of Recruitment and Visa Fees for Work Contracts of Non- Nationals. It entails that employers must advertise the offer of employment publicly for one month to Ivorian nationals before recruiting foreign labour. The employment contract must be approved by the public employment service (AGEPE). Within three months of being hired, a foreign worker must request a work card.

  • Labour Code: Foreign workers must be treated equal to nationals under labour legislations. Foreign nationals are able to join trade unions but must be living in Ivory Coast for three years before assuming administration or leadership positions. The employer must pay for the worker’s cost of travel to and from Côte d’Ivoire.

  • Law No. 2018-570: on the protection of witnesses, victims, whistleblowers, experts and other persons concerned” was also ratified. The law guarantees the serenity, physical or mental integrity, the life of those who offer their assistance to justice and to anybody in charge of an extrajudicial procedure contributing to justice, as well as the guarantee of the serenity and integrity of the families or relatives of these persons, as well as the security of their property. Its objective is to secure any collaboration likely to contribute effectively to the manifestation of the truth. Thus, it creates a comprehensive and specific mechanism for the protection of any Ivorian or foreign person, witness, victim, whistleblower, expert and others, whose protection is necessary in the course of judicial or extrajudicial proceedings, whether it is a crime or a misdemeanor. A National Office for the Protection of Witnesses, Victims, Whistleblowers, Experts and others is set up under the Minister of Justice, whose mission is to coordinate, at the national level, actions for the protection and provision of assistance to persons in need of protection.

Existing Policies

  • Child Protection Policies: includes the National Policy on Child Protection (2014–2018), led by Ministry of Women, Family, and Children (MFFE), which seeks to reduce the incidence of violence, abuse, and exploitation of children; and the National Policy of Judicial Protection of Childhood and Youth (2016–2020), led by Ministry of Justice (MOJ), which aims to provide judicial protection to child victims of forced labor and has yet to be officially adopted by the Council of Ministers.

  • Decent Work Country Program (2017–2020): In collaboration with the ILO, it aims to improve working conditions, strengthen the Système d’Observation et de Suivi du Travail des Enfants en Côte d’Ivoire (SOSTECI), and combat the worst forms of child labor (pending adoption by the Council of Ministers). The Government is currently setting up an Alliance Task Force for Côte d’Ivoire (composed of governmental entities but also IOM, ILO, UNICEF, Interpol and Expertise France). Link of previous program 2008-2013 (French only)

Legal Instruments for Assistance and Compensation to Victims of Trafficking


  • The 2016-1111 Act: specifically regulates the protection of victims and witnesses in situations of trafficking. Chapter 4 contains special protection measures for minors who are victims of trafficking. 

  • Legal assistance is also available to Ivorian victims residing abroad, Article 24 of the 20016-1111 Act. Since 2000, under the authority of the Ministry of Solidarity, Family, Women and Children (MSFFE), there has been a National Committee to Combat Violence against Women and Children (CLCVFE) responsible for providing psycho-social and legal assistance to victims of violence. However, it appears generally that most of the judicial assistance services are concentrated in Abidjan. Some NGOs, including SOS Violences Sexuelles and the Ivorian Human Rights Movement, which provide victims with lawyers, also provide legal assistance to victims

In the case of a minor without a legal representative, Article 19 of the 2016-1111 Act provides that the public prosecutor may request the appropriate legal protection. However, the law does not clearly define the forms and mechanisms of implementation of this legal protection, and this only applies to victims of trafficking.

The 2008-571 act includes other possibilities for migrants’ victims of trafficking

  • The possibility of being granted a residence permit for the duration of the investigation and prosecution of the perpetrators (art. 21);

  • The right to emergency medical care (art 22);

  • The right to protection against all violence against one’s person (art 23);

  • The right to compensation for damages resulting from offenses punishable by law (art 24);

  • The right of the child on “best interests” is taken into account (art 25);

  • To be informed immediately of the right to communicate with the respective consular authorities, in the event of the imprisonment or preventive detention of a migrant who is the subject of trafficking (arts. 26 and 27).


Article 2 of the Code of Criminal Procedure: victims, including children, who have suffered damage directly caused by the offence are entitled to claim compensation for the damage suffered. This action can be exercised at the same time as the public action and before the same court (Article 3).

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