The government increased efforts to prevent trafficking. During the reporting period, the government convened its anti-trafficking inter-ministerial committee multiple times and coordinated with international organizations, foreign governments, and civil society to draft and approve a 2019-2021 national action plan to improve its ability to prosecute traffickers, proactively identify victims, and raise awareness in the capital and on the mainland; however, the government did not report allocating a budget to implement the action plan during the reporting period. The government convened its inter-ministerial committee once in the previous reporting period.
In 2018, officials launched an awareness raising campaign using multiple media platforms including radio, television, and social media to increase the population’s understanding of trafficking in persons; the government funded and provided official space for at least two week-long seminars on the mainland and in the capital to raise the public’s awareness about trafficking in persons. Prostitution was legal in the country and, in an attempt to decrease exploitation of vulnerable individuals and demand for commercial sex acts by increasing the cost of purchasing sex, the government continued implementing regulations requiring all commercial sex establishments to register and provide contracts to their workers.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Security continued to implement regulations for all companies to sign formal labor contracts with their employees, and created and advertised an anonymous reporting portal for labor violations, including forced and child labor. During the reporting period, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security continued to partner with the non-governmental General Director of the National Financial Research Organization to inspect businesses and ensure firms complied with labor laws, fining multiple Chinese companies in 2018; some of these fines may have been in response to trafficking violations. In February 2019, the government issued a public decree prohibiting children from working as street vendors, resulting in increased public awareness of forced child labor. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) instructed diplomats posted abroad to review visa applications for signs of trafficking, resulting in MFA officials denying multiple applications from Cameroonians and Nigerians based on potential trafficking indicators. The government did not report taking any further action on these visa denials. During the reporting period, the government funded $1.3 million for UN programming to advance human rights within Equatorial Guinea; some of these programs addressed human trafficking.