Guinea flag

Safety and Security

There are many safety and security measures implemented by the Peace Corps to ensure the well-being of Volunteers serving in Guinea. However, we acknowledge the potential for crime and highlight our multi-pronged approach to mitigate risks. This includes Pre-Service Training and in-service training, site selection based on safety criteria, emergency communication systems, and detailed safety protocols. We also emphasize Volunteers' own responsibility in staying safe by integrating into the community, learning the language, and adhering to Peace Corps guidelines. Below outlines steps taken in case of a crime, including providing medical, emotional, and legal support to the victim, including the jurisdiction of local authorities in investigating crimes and resources available to victims, including the 24/7 Office of Victim Advocacy. We note that transportation issues and public demonstrations are common risks and provide training on how to navigate them safely. Finally, we outline preventative measures and support systems available to Volunteers in regards to sexual assault.

Crime happens both at home and abroad. One of our goals in preparing you to serve as a Volunteer is to help you adjust your United States-based understanding of crime risks to the realities of the country where you will serve.

Please take a moment to learn about crimes past Volunteers experienced while serving in Guinea [PDF].

The Peace Corps has a multi-pronged approach to help you stay safe. It includes training before and during service, site selection safety criteria, emergency communication systems, country-specific safety policies and procedures, a detailed emergency action plan, and staff trained on protocols for responding to crimes and other security incidents.

Read more on how the Peace Corps approaches safety and security.

As a Volunteer, you must also be prepared to assume a large degree of responsibility for your own safety. To reduce the likelihood that you will become a crime victim, you can take steps to make yourself a less likely target of crime such as integrating into your community, learning the local language, staying aware of what's going on around you, and abiding by Peace Corps policies and procedures.

Reducing Risk

Together, the Peace Corps and Volunteers can reduce the likelihood of crime but cannot truly eliminate all risk.

Our first priority after a crime occurs is to make sure the Volunteer is safe and receiving any necessary medical treatment. The faster an incident is reported, the faster the Peace Corps can provide support, including security, medical, emotional, and legal support. Peace Corps staff will also support Volunteers who choose to make a complaint with local law enforcement. It is important for Volunteers to report incidents to staff as soon as possible after they occur, so that Peace Corps can assess and determine if there is a lingering or ongoing safety and security concern for either the Volunteer victim or their peer Volunteers. The Peace Corps will train you to develop personal strategies to mitigate risk and how to respond if you are the victim of a crime, including how to get to a safe location quickly and contact your Peace Corps office.

Local jurisdictional authorities (as opposed to U.S. Government authorities), are usually responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes that occur abroad. All Volunteers who are victims of crime have access to the Office of Victim Advocacy, which is staffed by trained professionals who can provide information on the medical, emotional, and legal support options available, and will support you through the process. The Office of Victim Advocacy is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

One of the biggest risks in Guinea is transportation, due to poorly maintained roads, vehicles sharing the roadway with pedestrians and livestock, and aggressive driving. Volunteers will be trained on how to reduce the risks associated with local transport, including which forms of transport to take, which time of day is safest for travel, where to sit in a vehicle and how to negotiate the fare with a taxi driver.

Demonstrations are another risk in Guinea, with members of civil society voicing their grievances with the government and other entities. Most demonstrations occur in the capital or urban areas, and while many demonstrations are peaceful, they can turn violent. Peace Corps will provide information to Volunteers on how to keep themselves safe when demonstrations occur.

Common types of crimes

Property crimes (e.g., theft, robbery, burglary) are among the most common crimes Volunteers experience. Living and traveling in an unfamiliar environment, having a limited understanding of local language and culture, and being perceived as financially well-off may increase the risk of theft. These types of crimes are more likely to occur when a Volunteer is away from the community in which they live and work, in crowded locations (such as markets or on public transportation), and when items are left unattended, or doors unlocked.

Sexual assault is a global societal problem. For Peace Corps Volunteers, sexual assault most often takes the form of non-consensual sexual touching (e.g., attempts or acts of groping, being kissed without consent, etc.). The Peace Corps classifies these offenses as "non-aggravated sexual assault." The intensive training you will receive prior to service includes sexual assault awareness education, sexual assault reporting and response, information about the culture and specific risks in your host country, unwanted attention, and bystander intervention training.

Reducing risk possible to avoid sexual harassment or assault because, ultimately, the choice to commit such acts lies with the person committing them. Some things Volunteers do to mitigate the risks of these types of incidents are understanding and observing local norms, avoiding locations where incidents are more common, and using local phrases to preempt or respond.