U.S.-Benin High Level Meetings to Mark Start of Child Protection Compact Partnership Negotiations

Cotonou, Benin, January 28, 2021 – Officials from the United States and Benin will hold a series of meetings over the coming months to negotiate the terms of a Child Protection Compact (CPC) Partnership, a multi-year plan to address child sex trafficking and forced child labor in Benin.  The partnership may include up to $10 million in U.S. assistance and would be the sixth CPC Partnership in the world. 

Beninese ministry executives who have responsibility for anti-trafficking efforts, including the Ministry of Planning and Development, Ministry of Social Affairs and Microfinance, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Labor, Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and other members of the Trafficking in Persons Inter-Ministerial Committee will participate in the discussions for Benin.  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 potential partnership would build on current efforts of the Government of Benin and civil society to combat child trafficking.  The TIP Office will look to the Government of Benin 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 Beninese government’s capacity to investigate and prosecute cases of human 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.

In a January 27th meeting with Minister of State in Charge of Planning and Development Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, U.S. Ambassador to Benin Patricia Mahoney stated, “The fight against human trafficking is a cause shared by our two countries, and it is an endeavor in which we have cooperated fruitfully. I know this partnership will help us achieve even more wonderful results together.”

The U.S. Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (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 2020 TIP Report noted the Government of Benin did not meet the minimum standards for addressing human trafficking, but it is making significant efforts to do so.