Abidjan – December 7, 2022 – The Chargée d’Affaires of the U.S. Embassy in Côte d’Ivoire Joann M. Lockard, the First Lady of Côte d’Ivoire Dominique Ouattara and the Minister of Employment and Social Protection Adama Camara have signed a Child Protection Compact (CPC) between the United States and Côte d’Ivoire. This is a multi-year, non-binding initiative to combat child sex trafficking and forced child labor in Côte d’Ivoire. The implementation of this jointly developed partnership will reinforce the Ivorian government’s efforts in working with national stakeholders and civil society organizations in a sustainable and coordinated manner to combat child sex trafficking and forced child labor.
The signing of the CPC partnership comes after several months of discussions between representatives of the Côte d’Ivoire government, the U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (TIP Bureau), which is responsible for leading the department’s global commitment to combat human trafficking, and the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan.
With the signing of this Child Protection Compact Partnership, the TIP Bureau, in collaboration with Congress, intends to provide up to $10 million in U.S. foreign assistance to be awarded to non-governmental and/or international organizations that will collaborate with relevant Ivorian ministries and the TIP Bureau to implement the action plan developed to achieve the CPC Partnership’s goals. These objectives include ensuring that prevention efforts are better coordinated and targeted throughout the country; providing easily accessible protection services to child victims of trafficking, using a trauma-informed and victim-centered approach; ensure that justice sector actors use specific existing legal frameworks to identify child victims of trafficking, investigate cases, prosecute and convict perpetrators in a child-friendly, victim-centered and trauma-informed manner; and promote coordination between relevant ministries, civil society, local communities as well as foreign counterparts.
Through the signing of this CPC Partnership, the TIP Bureau, in collaboration with the U.S. Congress, intends to provide up to $10 million in U.S. foreign assistance to be awarded to non-governmental and/or international organizations that will collaborate with relevant Ivorian ministries and the TIP Bureau to implement the action plan developed to achieve the CPC Partnership objectives.
The TIP Bureau will select implementing partners through a competitive solicitation process. Announcement of the funding opportunity will be posted on the TIP Bureau website: https://www.state.gov/trafficking-in-persons-funding-opportunities/
Kari Johnstone, Acting Director of the TIP Bureau, expressed her strong support for the CPC Partnership, noting: “The TIP Bureau is pleased to enter into this partnership with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire. This partnership reflects a shared commitment to the fight against child sex trafficking and forced child labor. The TIP Bureau looks forward to working together to protect trafficked children and support the valuable work that Ivorians have already undertaken to support victims and hold traffickers accountable.”
While acknowledging the importance of today’s signing, Chargé d’Affaires Lockard noted that the U.S. is proud to support Ivorian efforts to eliminate child sex trafficking and forced child labor, and will continue to stand with Côte d’Ivoire in a respectful partnership to advance the common interest by ensuring respect for human rights, particularly of the most vulnerable.
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