The government increased overall protection efforts. It increased efforts to identify and refer trafficking victims to care but failed to identify victims of sex trafficking. Due to a lack of consistent screening, officials likely penalized some victims for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit. In 2018, the MOI reported identifying approximately 1,400 potential trafficking victims, compared with 400 during the previous year. The UN reported the Criminal Investigation Department’s anti-trafficking unit referred 142 victims to a shelter run by an international organization; the government did not report referring any victims to care or directly providing such support in 2017. The majority of these potential victims were Eritrean, Ethiopian, and Somalian whose fraudulent labor recruiters lured to Sudan. In close partnership with an international organization and a foreign government, the government-funded Judicial and Legal Sciences Institute developed and disseminated standard operating procedures (SOPs) in 2018 to assist law enforcement, prosecutors, and the judiciary to identify child victims of trafficking. The SOPs were intended to standardize victim identification procedures; however, the government did not report the extent of dissemination or implementation. Officials discontinued the practice of detaining witnesses to secure their cooperation in trials with the establishment of safe houses in partnership with the UN.
COR officials partnered with UNHCR in eastern Sudan to establish identification and referral SOPs to proactively identify victims of trafficking within asylum-seeking and refugee populations, defining roles and processes for law enforcement, security personnel, and international organizations. In Khartoum, the National Council for Child Welfare (NCCW), Ministry of Social Welfare, and NGOs coordinated to provide care for child victims of trafficking. The effectiveness of coordination and quality of service provision varied widely from region to region and across government agencies. This inconsistency resulted in one case of law enforcement officials temporarily detaining children, although NCCW staff intervened and ensured government officials provided the victims shelter, food, medical care, and psycho-social support.
During the reporting year, the NCCW and the Ministry for Social Welfare continued efforts to prevent the use of child soldiers within the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and its auxiliaries through the implementation of the National Action Plan to Prevent the Recruitment and Use of Children in Armed Conflict. Unlike previous years, the government did not report identifying or reintegrating any child soldiers in 2018. Officials coordinated with the UN to conduct monitoring and verification visits, although observers reported security officials intermittently denied access to conflict areas in Darfur. In 2018, an international organization reported at least one case of child soldier recruitment and use by security forces in 2018. Media outlets reported government officials recruited children—particularly from Darfur—into combat roles in Yemen. In 2017, the government coordinated with international organizations to conduct monitoring and verification visits in eight conflict states, and officials from the NCCW facilitated the release of 21 child soldiers from non-governmental armed forces in the Darfur region.
The Secretariat of Sudanese Working Abroad coordinated with an international organization to provide medical services, shelter, counseling, reintegration support, and financial assistance for 730 Sudanese returning from Libya—many of whom were potential victims of trafficking. The Domestic Workers Act of 2008 provided a legal framework for employing and registering domestic workers with limited labor rights and protections; however, the government did not report registering or protecting any domestic workers under the law during the reporting period.
An international organization reported the government installed video and camera equipment in courthouses across the country allowing victims and witnesses to give testimony in separate rooms to prevent re-traumatization as a result of involvement in criminal proceedings. The government built a mock trial room with this technology at its Judicial and Legal Sciences Institute.