TIP Award Year:
Josiane Lina Bemaka-Soui has developed the Central African Republic’s national anti-trafficking response from the ground up. In her role as Presidential Advisor and the national Disarmament, Demobilization, and Repatriation program’s Strategic Focal Point for Children, Bemaka-Soui operationalized the government’s nascent anti-trafficking interagency committee and led the development and implementation of the country’s first national action plan on human trafficking. Bemaka-Soui’s tireless leadership and her efforts to forge these institutional frameworks resulted in the critical foundation for the government to steadily improve its efforts to combat human trafficking.
While facing pre- and post-election crises and an ongoing strain on resources, Bemaka-Soui has steadfastly made sure the interagency committee remains consistently engaged on the issue, and she has played a pivotal role in marshalling assistance from key partners and developing key training and outreach programs. In February 2021, Bemaka-Soui spearheaded and oversaw the launch of the government’s first radio campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking in the local language of Sango, thereby allowing the government to reach key communities.
Bemaka-Soui is also sensitive to the effects that human trafficking has on individuals and their communities. She has gone out of her way to meet with individuals in facilities for internally displaced persons, who may have been exploited, and made sure they were aware of their rights under the country’s laws. Equally notable, she has personally assisted former child soldiers released from prison and used her own money to help cover expenses for necessities.