Security Alert
May 17, 2024

Worldwide Caution

May 10, 2024

Information for U.S. Citizens in the Middle East

International Parental Child Abduction


Country Information

Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast)

Côte d'Ivoire
Republic of Côte d'Ivoire
Exercise increased caution due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health, and piracy. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Updated to reflect safety and security information on the Northern Border Region, and additional points for mariners who decide to travel to Côte d’Ivoire.

Exercise increased caution due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, health, and piracy.  Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do Not Travel To:

  • Northern border region due to terrorism.

Country Summary:  Crime continues to be a major public security concern in Côte d’Ivoire. Violent crime, such as carjacking, robbery, and home invasion, is common in some areas.  Local police often lack resources to respond to serious crimes.

Violent extremist activity occurs in Burkina Faso and Mali near the border with Côte d’Ivoire.  Terrorism concerns in the northern region remain due to its proximity to these countries.

Travelers should avoid demonstrations, protests, political rallies, and large crowds.  These events can become violent.  Demonstrators and security forces may clash suddenly.  Police may use tear gas or other force to break up crowds.

Piracy with armed robbery and kidnapping for ransom are significant threats to ships operating near Côte d’Ivoire.  U.S. citizens on ships in the Gulf of Guinea off the coast of West Africa should be cautious.  

Health care in rural areas is below U.S. standards.  There are often shortages of medicine and medical supplies in public and private health facilities.

The U.S. government is limited in its ability to provide emergency assistance to U.S. citizens outside Abidjan.  U.S. Embassy staff are not permitted to drive outside major cities at night.  Read the country information page for more information on travel to Côte d’Ivoire.

If you decide to travel to Côte d’Ivoire: 

  • Check local media for breaking events and adjust your plans.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Keep a low profile.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Stay alert in locations frequented by foreign travelers and foreign residents.
  • Be extra vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.
  • Carry a copy of your passport and visa (if applicable).  Leave originals in your hotel safe.
  • Have evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government help.
  • Avoid demonstrations and crowds.
  • Get full medical insurance.  It should include medical evacuation.
  • Mariners should check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts, U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and NGA broadcast warnings.  
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).  You will get safety alerts by email/text and it will help us find you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Country Security Report for Côte d’Ivoire.
  • Prepare a contingency plan for emergency situations.  Review the Traveler’s Checklist.
  • Visit the CDC page for the latest Travel Health Information related to your travel.

Northern Border Region – Level 4: Do Not Travel

The main terrorist threat to Côte d’Ivoire is from a group called Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin (JNIM). JNIM is linked to al-Qa’ida. JNIM mostly operates in the Sahel region, including Burkina Faso and Mali.  The threat from JNIM has in the past reached northern Côte d’Ivoire, near the border with Burkina Faso.  Attacks have happened in the Savanes and Zanzan Districts, including Comoé National Park.  These attacks have mainly targeted Ivoirian security forces, but civilians have also been targeted.  In 2021, Al-Qa’ida in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) carried out 17 small-scale attacks that killed approximately 20 people.  After these attacks, the Côte d’Ivoire government increased security in northern Côte d’Ivoire.  Since 2021, there have been no attacks.


Hague Convention Participation

Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?

What You Can Do

Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Abidjan

Cocody Riviera Golf,
01 BP 1712 Abidjan 01
Côte d’Ivoire
+(225) 27-22-49-40-00
Emergency After-HoursTelephone: +(225) 27-22-49-44-50
Fax: +(225) 27-22-49-42-02

General Information

For information concerning travel to Côte d’Ivoire, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Côte d’Ivoire.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Child Abduction. The report is located here

Hague Abduction Convention

Côte d’Ivoire is not a signatory to the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention), nor are there any bilateral agreements in force between Côte d’Ivoire and the United States concerning international parental child abduction.


Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country. The government of Côte d’Ivoire maintains information about custody, visitation, and family law on the Internet through a commercially produced site at  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Côte d’Ivoire and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances. 

The Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children’s Issues provides assistance in cases of international parental child abduction.  For U.S. citizen parents whose children have been wrongfully removed to or retained in countries that are not U.S. partners under the Hague Abduction Convention, the Office of Children’s Issues can provide information and resources about country-specific options for pursuing the return of or access to an abducted child.  The Office of Children’s Issues may also coordinate with appropriate foreign and U.S. government authorities about the welfare of abducted U.S. citizen children.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444

Parental child abduction may be treated as a misdemeanor or a criminal offense in Côte d’Ivoire under Articles 370 (4) through 372 of the New Law 2015-134 of March 08, 2015 governing child abduction. This law makes removal of a child from a person who has legal custody an offense with possible fines and imprisonment.

Parents may wish to consult with an attorney in the United States and in the country to which the child has been removed or retained to learn more about how filing criminal charges may impact a custody case in the foreign court.  Please see Pressing Criminal Charges for more information. 


Legal systems and laws pertaining to custody, divorce, and parental abduction vary widely from country to country.  Parents are encouraged to consult with an attorney who specializes in family law in Côte d’Ivoire and who can provide accurate legal guidance that is specific to their circumstances.

The Office of Children’s Issues may be able to assist parents seeking access to children who have been wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States.   Parents who are seeking access to children who were not wrongfully removed from or retained outside the United States should contact the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Côte d’Ivoire for information and possible assistance.

Retaining an Attorney

Neither the Office of Children’s Issues nor consular officials at the U.S. Embassy or Consulates in Côte d’Ivoire are authorized to provide legal advice.

The U.S. Embassy in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire posts list of attorneys, including those who specialize in family law.

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.


The Ivorian government does not provide mediation services and there are no private agencies that offer mediation services for civil disputes.  However, if there are reported cases of children mistreated and in danger, these cases will be referred for mediation to the Department of Social Welfare.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 


Last Updated: January 5, 2021

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Abidjan
Cocody Riviera Golf,
01 BP 1712 Abidjan 01
Côte d’Ivoire
+(225) 27-22-49-40-00
+(225) 27-22-49-44-50
+(225) 27-22-49-42-02

Côte d'Ivoire Map