Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Report

NAMIBIA (Tier 2)

Namibia is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women, children, and possibly men subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Victims are lured by traffickers to urban centers and commercial farms with promises of legitimate work for adequate wages, but instead are forced to work long hours and carry out hazardous tasks; victims may also be beaten or raped by traffickers or third parties. Traffickers exploit Namibian children, as well as children from Angola, Zambia, and possibly Zimbabwe, through exploitative, and in some cases, forced labor in agriculture, cattle herding, domestic service, charcoal production, and in prostitution in Namibia. In some cases, Namibian parents unwittingly sell their children to traffickers. Other adults subject the children of their distant relatives to forced labor or sex trafficking. Small business owners and farmers may also commit trafficking crimes against women or children. Unconfirmed reports indicate that truck drivers recruit and transport Namibian women and children to South Africa, who may later be subjected to forced prostitution. Among Namibia’s ethnic groups, San girls are particularly vulnerable to be trafficked for domestic servitude; during the reporting period, for example, a 22-year-old San girl – lured six years earlier with promises of education – was discovered in a situation of domestic servitude, suffering physical, sexual, and psychological abuse.

The Government of Namibia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government investigated cases of child and adult labor trafficking, and rescued child victims of labor trafficking. It prosecuted nine suspected traffickers though it did not convict any suspected traffickers. The government also opened two shelters and a one-stop shop for victim services and began renovating three other similar facilities, which will provide care for victims of gender-based violence, as well as trafficking, and raised public awareness via media campaigns and regional visits by a parliamentary delegation.

Recommendations for Namibia: Greatly increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders under the Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA); continue to train law enforcement officials on the anti-trafficking provisions of the POCA; improve the formal victim identification mechanism and train law enforcement and social service personnel on its application; continue to dedicate adequate time and resources to complete ongoing shelter and safe house renovations; conduct additional national anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns, particularly in the border areas; and collect data and maintain databases on trafficking cases, including forced labor cases.

Prosecution

The Government of Namibia increased its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year by investigating suspected human trafficking offenses and related labor violations. In May 2009, the government enacted the Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA) of 2004, which explicitly criminalizes all forms of trafficking. Under the POCA, persons who participate in trafficking offenses or aid and abet trafficking offenders may be imprisoned for up to 50 years and fined up to $133,000, penalties which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government, however, has not yet prosecuted or convicted a trafficking offender under the POCA. The Namibian Police Force’s Woman and Child Protection Unit (WACPU) investigated three trafficking cases in 2010, all involving females who were promised an education, though were instead subjected to domestic servitude and sexual abuse. Although one victim chose not to press charges against her employer, investigations remain ongoing in the other two cases. In 2010, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSW) investigated five cases of suspected child labor in violation of the 2007 Labor Act; in all instances, offenders were issued compliance orders in accordance with the Act, though otherwise not penalized. Labor inspectors also removed 10 children from cattle herding and domestic work in the Caprivi region, several of whom were reportedly trafficked from Zambia; offenders were issued compliance orders, though otherwise not penalized. During the reporting period, the MLSW followed-up on 111 cases of child labor discovered in 2009; police opened criminal investigations in nine instances where employers failed to obey compliance orders received in 2009, charging them with hazardous child labor for the trafficking of nine children for the purposes of cattle herding. The government cooperated with the Zimbabwean police in the investigation of one trafficking case identified during the reporting period. In partnership with IOM, the government provided training for 90 law enforcement, social services, customs, and immigration officials on the identification of trafficking victims and the management of trafficking cases. In June 2010, in partnership with a foreign government, the Namibian government trained 35 members of the Namibian police force, officials from the Office of the Prosecutor General, and representatives from other ministries on the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases. WACPU cooperates with police units nationally and locally, as well as with MLSW labor inspectors and Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare (MGECW) social workers as they investigate trafficking cases and refer victims; however, there is a need for better data sharing between these entities.

Protection

The government maintained modest efforts to protect victims and ensure their access to appropriate services offered by non-governmental entities. Police have been previously trained to contact WACPU if they discover a woman or child victim, and WACPU police are subsequently responsible for referring victims to temporary shelter and medical assistance provided by NGOs or other entities. The government identified 27 trafficking victims; one was referred to the care of an NGO. The MGECW provided social workers to assist police in counseling victims of violent crimes, including trafficking; 12 trafficking victims received this care during the reporting period. The Namibian government has begun to provide long-term shelter and services designed to meet the specific needs of trafficking victims. The government continued its renovation of buildings to be used as shelters for women and child victims of gender-based violence and human trafficking; two were renovated during the reporting period, in addition to several government-subsidized shelters that are already operational. In addition to two one-stop shops for trafficking victim protection in Windhoek and Oshakati, WACPU opened a third in Rundu in 2010, featuring overnight accommodation, a private room for medical examinations, and space for social workers to provide counseling and psychosocial support; however, this facility did not provide care to trafficking victims during the reporting period. The MGECW began use of a national database on gender-based violence, which includes statistics on trafficking and child labor victims.

The Namibian legal system provides protection to victims who wish to testify against their abusers, and, on a case by case basis, offers a legal alternative to foreign victims’ removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution; however, such benefits were not provided during the reporting period. Given the weaknesses in Namibia’s formal victim identification process, trafficking victims may have been jailed or prosecuted for violating laws related to immigration and prostitution before they were identified as victims; however, there were no reports that this occurred. During the reporting period, there were no reports of trafficking victims being fined or jailed for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. In 2010, Ministry of Home Affairs and Immigration officials began working with social workers and psychologists to interview illegal immigrants and screen them for human trafficking indicators. The government cooperated with Zambian authorities on the repatriation of several children. Following repatriation, Namibian victims were reunited with their families, entitled to counseling, and provided medical care – in some cases free of charge. During the reporting period, at least four Namibian victims were repatriated from other countries.

Prevention

The Namibian government increased efforts to raise awareness of human trafficking throughout the country during the reporting period. The deputy chairperson of the National Council advocated for the rights of gender-based violence and trafficking victims in nine of Namibia’s 13 regions by educating parents about the dangers of trafficking, particularly for young people sent abroad to study or work. The Inter-Ministerial Committee, which coordinates government activities on gender-based violence and trafficking, developed a national action plan, covering April 2010 through April 2011, for prevention of gender-based violence and trafficking and the protection of victims. The MGECW led a multi-stakeholder working group and began drafting a national action plan on gender-based violence and trafficking. The government also continued the Zero Tolerance Against Gender-Based Violence and Trafficking in Persons media campaign from July to December 2010, in which it encouraged victims and members of the public to report suspected trafficking offenders and assist in investigations and prosecutions. From May to December, the MGECW also participated in weekly radio shows to raise awareness on gender-based violence and trafficking. In August 2010, the MLSW organized a nationwide public awareness campaign on child labor and labor inspections, which featured television and radio spots. The government made no efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period.

NEPAL (Tier 2)

Nepal is mainly a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Some Nepali women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking in Nepal, India, and the Middle East, and also are subjected to forced labor in Nepal and India as domestic servants, beggars, factory workers, mine workers, and in the entertainment industry, including in circuses and in pornography. They are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor in other Asian destinations, including Malaysia, Hong Kong, and South Korea. Nepali boys also are exploited in domestic servitude and – in addition to some Indian boys – are subjected to forced labor in Nepal, especially in brick kilns and the embroidered textiles industry. One NGO is concerned that China is an emerging sex trafficking hub for Nepali girls. There were reports of traffickers in the remote Karnali region who deceive families into sending their children to urban areas with false promises of schooling. Many of these children, however, are never sent to schools and some end up in forced labor, including forced begging. Bonded labor exists in agriculture, brick kilns, and the stone-breaking industry. Particularly in agriculture, this is often based on caste lines, where traditional landlord castes use debt bondage to secure unpaid labor from Dalit laborers. Traffickers generally target uneducated people, especially from socially marginalized and traditionally excluded groups. However, a growing number of victims are relatively well-educated and from traditionally privileged groups.

Many Nepali migrants seek work in domestic service, construction, or other low-skilled sectors in Gulf countries, Malaysia, Israel, South Korea, Afghanistan, and Libya with the help of Nepal-based labor brokers and manpower agencies. They travel willingly but some subsequently face conditions indicative of forced labor such as withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, nonpayment of wages, threats, deprivation of food and sleep, and physical or sexual abuse. Some are deceived about their destination country, the terms of their contract, or are subjected to debt bondage, which can in some cases be facilitated by fraud and high recruitment fees charged by unscrupulous agents. Many workers migrate via India; this is illegal, due to the 2007 Foreign Employment Act that requires all workers to leave for overseas work via the Kathmandu airport. Many migrants leave by land because it is easier and cheaper than traveling by air, and to avoid legal migration registration requirements, the scrutiny of a labor migration desk in the airport, and bribes that some officials reportedly require at the airport to secure migration documents. A recent survey of returned migrants served by the NGO Maiti Nepal assessed that 67 percent of female Nepali workers who returned from the Gulf were unhealthy; most disorders were psychological illnesses. Nepali officials have reported a large increase of Bangladeshis transiting through Nepal in recent years due to increasing migration restrictions of Bangladeshis by foreign countries. Officials believe many Bangladeshis illegitimately obtain Nepali visas and work permits for employment in the Gulf, and noted, because these Nepali documents are often produced fraudulently, the Bangladeshis are at risk of being trafficked.

The Government of Nepal does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. During the year, the government established the Central Crime Investigative Bureau’s special unit to investigate trafficking and increased its direct financial support for protective services in Nepal and abroad. Incidents of trafficking-related complicity by government officials were not documented by the government, but reported by civil society. The lack of proactive victim identification remained a serious problem in Nepal.

Recommendations for Nepal: Increase law enforcement efforts against all types of trafficking, including labor trafficking, and against government officials who are found to be complicit in trafficking, while respecting the rights of victims and defendants; institute a formal procedure to identify victims of trafficking and refer them to protection services; ensure that sex trafficking victims are not punished for involvement in prostitution; improve protection services available for victims of all forms of trafficking; promote legal awareness programs to potential trafficking victims and government officials; work with Indian officials to establish a procedure to repatriate Nepali victims of trafficking in India; decentralize the system to file complaints under the Foreign Employment Promotion Board as a means to facilitate victims’ access to legal remedies; consider increasing avenues for female migrant workers to migrate legally and safely to the Gulf; and provide disaggregated data under the Human Trafficking and Transportation Control Act.

Prosecution

Nepal prohibits most forms of trafficking in persons, including the selling of human beings and forced prostitution, through its Human Trafficking and Transportation Control Act (2007) and Regulation (2008) (HTTCA). Prescribed penalties range from 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The Bonded Labor (Prohibition) Act (2002) prohibits bonded labor, but has no penalties. Defendants in trafficking cases are not assumed innocent, violating fair trial standards. According to the Office of Attorney General, 174 offenders were convicted in 119 cases tried in court under the HTTCA; 71 cases resulted in convictions and 47 cases resulted in acquittals in Nepal’s 2009-2010 fiscal year. This compares with 172 offenders convicted in 138 cases tried in court, with 82 cases resulting in convictions and 56 case acquittals, in the previous fiscal year. It is not known how many of these cases were for human trafficking, since the HTTCA also prohibits other offenses that do not constitute human trafficking, such as people smuggling. Government statistics did not include information about punishments and did not disaggregate whether convictions were for sex trafficking, labor trafficking, or non-trafficking offenses. The much lower number of convictions reported in the 2010 Report represented only convictions obtained from the Supreme Court, while the numbers offered above represent convictions obtained from district courts. Some Foreign Employment Tribunal case convictions under the Foreign Employment Act may have involved human trafficking. The tribunal is based in Kathmandu without branch offices, which restricts victims outside of the capital from filing cases. In 2010, the government established a special unit to investigate human trafficking within the Central Crime Investigative Bureau. One government source noted a decrease in victims’ confidence in the prospect of justice in Banke district – a western district of Nepal – because very few labor traffickers of migrant workers have been punished in the district. This is believed to have negatively affected the number of trafficking cases filed with police in the district.

The incidence of trafficking-related complicity by government officials remained a problem. Anecdotal evidence suggests that traffickers use ties to politicians, business persons, state officials, police, customs officials, and border police to facilitate trafficking. Although in the past it was reported that many dance bars, “cabin restaurants,” and massage parlors in Kathmandu that facilitate sex trafficking were co-owned by senior police and army officials, some security officials report that recently adopted police and army rules prohibit officials from running businesses without approval, and that this has decreased the practice; this has not yet been confirmed by civil society groups. Some Nepali officials may work with traffickers in providing false information in genuine Nepali passports. Politically-connected perpetrators enjoy impunity from punishment. There were no trafficking related investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials for complicity in trafficking during the reporting period. Between January and March 2010, according to official statistics, the Maoists discharged the 2,973 child soldiers they recruited during the 10-year conflict, some of whom may have been trafficking victims. However, no Maoist official has been charged in connection with the conscription of child soldiers. Government officials who participated in counter-trafficking training-of-trainers programs led workshops in their various districts.

Protection

The Government of Nepal does not have a formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom they come in contact. Some police officers made arrests during raids on commercial sex establishments but did not identify victims. As a result, child trafficking victims were arrested, jailed, and then charged “bail” which the police and court allowed traffickers to pay; this further indebted the girls before they were handed back to their traffickers. A 2009 Supreme Court ruling which ordered police to not arrest females in these establishments was largely unheeded, but some NGOs recently filed successful contempt of court cases which released some girls from detention. Police arrested some Bangladeshi migrant workers during raids in 2010 while they were allegedly trying to fly overseas with fake Nepali passports, and did not make attempts to identify whether they were trafficking victims.

During the last year, the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) fulfilled a commitment reported in the 2010 TIP Report to open and partially-fund five NGO-run shelter homes for female victims of trafficking, domestic violence, and sexual assault; a total of eight NGO shelters are now given some funding by the government. As of February 2011, 77 victims were in those shelters. During the year, the MWCSW fulfilled a second commitment to open 15 emergency shelters across the country for victims of trafficking and other forms of abuse. All facilities that assist trafficking victims were run by NGOs and most provided a range of services, including legal aid, medical services, psychosocial counseling, and economic rehabilitation. The Nepal Police Women’s Cells reportedly sustained partnerships with NGOs to ensure that victims were provided with available shelter; however, it is unknown how many survivors received assistance. There were not sufficient facilities to meet the needs of all survivors, nor were there any protective services for males. The Government of Nepal allocated approximately $7,000 for rescue efforts by the Nepal Embassy in India in the 2010 to 2011 fiscal year, a 55 percent increase compared to the previous fiscal year. The government continued to run emergency safehouses in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates. While the Foreign Employment Promotion Board collected fees from departing registered migrant workers for a welfare fund, most of the funds remain unused and are inaccessible to migrants who did not register with the Board; these irregular migrants may be most at risk to trafficking.

Limited protections for victims negatively affected law enforcement efforts. Victims were often intimidated in their communities not to pursue a case, and they did not want to prosecute due to concerns for personal and family safety, particularly as their traffickers may have been family members. Many victims were unaware that legal recourse was available against traffickers. The government did not encourage trafficking victims to participate in investigations against their traffickers. Judges reportedly often took an adversarial, rather than impartial, stance when dealing with trafficking victims.

Prevention

The Government of Nepal improved efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. The government organized rallies and distributed posters and pamphlets to mark the fourth annual National Anti-Trafficking Day. The National Human Trafficking Task Force was more active in the reporting period; it met more times than in previous years, secured more funds for rescue, and helped repatriate a Nepali victim from a rehabilitation home in Bangladesh. The MWCSW established District Committees on Controlling Human Trafficking in 49 districts this past year. While all districts are now covered, a number of those in rural areas are not active. According to the Foreign Employment Promotion Board, during the year the Board conducted safe migration radio programs on more than 50 stations throughout the country; this is twice as many stations as was reported in the previous year. In January 2011, the Ministry of Labor formed a Committee to Hear the Issue of Undocumented Workers. The committee met once during the reporting period, and includes an NGO. Chapter 9 of the 2007 Foreign Employment Act criminalizes the acts of an agency or individual sending workers abroad through fraudulent recruitment promises or without the proper documentation, prescribing penalties of three to seven years’ imprisonment for those convicted; fraudulent recruitment puts workers at significant risk of trafficking. Despite national registration drives and committees responsible for registering births, the Central Child Welfare Committee in 2008 reported that only 40 percent of children had birth registration certificates. All Nepali military troops and police assigned to international peacekeeping forces were provided some pre-deployment anti-trafficking training funded by a foreign government. Nepal is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

NETHERLANDS (Tier 1)

The Netherlands is primarily a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Women from the Netherlands, Nigeria, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, and Sierra Leone were the top six countries of origin for identified female victims of forced prostitution in 2010. Approximately 113 victims identified last year in the Netherlands were male; these men and boys were subjected to sex trafficking and various forms of forced labor, including in agriculture, horticulture, catering, food processing, cleaning, and illegal narcotics trafficking. These male victims were primarily from Nigeria, Slovakia, India, the Netherlands, and Ghana. Groups vulnerable to trafficking include unaccompanied children seeking asylum, women with dependent residence status obtained through fraudulent or forced marriages, women recruited in Africa, and East Asian women working in massage parlors. Criminal networks are often involved in forced prostitution and forced labor involving foreigners, while those involved in forced prostitution of Dutch residents work independently, often recruit through the Internet, and exploit one to two victims at a time. The head of the national police force reported in 2010 that human traffickers increasingly took their victims to customers staying in hotels.

The Government of the Netherlands fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government again showed regional and international leadership on anti-trafficking reforms. The Dutch national anti-trafficking rapporteur and other officials continued to take a pragmatic, self-critical approach to assessing its response to human trafficking, resulting in concrete improvements in its overall anti-trafficking efforts. The government sustained a strong effort to proactively identify and assist trafficking victims and improved its response to forced labor. Sentences for convicted traffickers, however, remained consistently low.

Recommendations for the Netherlands: Continue to improve capacity to investigate and prosecute forced labor and improve outreach to victims of this crime; ensure convicted trafficking offenders receive sentences commensurate with the gravity of the crime committed; continue to build capacity to improve identification of victims and prosecution of traffickers in the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Saint Eustatius, and Saba (BES islands); continue to self-monitor and critique anti-trafficking efforts to advance the government’s response; and expand the government’s international leadership role to share best practices with other countries, in particular on victim identification and assistance, protection of unaccompanied foreign minors, and establishment of a self-critical approach to enhance global anti-trafficking efforts.

Prosecution

The Dutch government continued to aggressively prosecute sex trafficking offenders and it increased prosecution of labor trafficking cases, however, the average sentences imposed on convicted traffickers continued to be less than two years. The Netherlands prohibits all forms of trafficking through Criminal Code Article 273, which prescribes maximum sentences ranging from eight to 18 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2009, the last year for which final trafficking statistics were available, police completed and referred for prosecution 141 human trafficking investigations, compared with 215 in 2008. In 2009, court verdicts were handed down in 91 cases, of which 69 were convictions, compared with 79 in 2008. There were 20 acquittals (33 acquittals in 2008), and nine trafficking offenders received community service or a fine as punishment. The average sentence for convicted trafficking offenders was approximately 21 months, the same average for sentences imposed in 2008 and 2007. In the period between October 2009 and June 2010, the National Rapporteur identified 18 labor exploitation cases, of which nine ended in a conviction. Before October 2009, Dutch courts handled 12 labor exploitation cases, of which four ended in a conviction. The National Rapporteur attributed this increase to an October 2009 Supreme Court precedent ruling which annulled a lower court decision that acquitted a Chinese restaurant owner of labor exploitation. The appellate decision rejected the lower court’s finding that the Chinese were working in the restaurant voluntarily, emphasizing the vulnerable position of the Chinese migrants.

In December 2010, an appeals court sentenced in absentia a leader of a major Turkish-German human trafficking organization, to seven years and nine months’ imprisonment for having forced at least 120 women into prostitution. The defense attorney filed an appeal to the Supreme Court; the appeal is still pending. Another court sentenced the same individual to an additional eight years’ imprisonment for his involvement in two other trafficking cases and attempted murder. This case is also in appeal; prosecutors subsequently demanded more than $3.9 million from him in a separate asset seizure trial. However, the defendant fled to Turkey in September 2009 after a Dutch court released him on temporary parole. In September 2010, the Dutch Human Trafficking Task Force publicly presented its second progress report and singled out Chinese massage parlors, nail studios, and restaurants as target areas for trafficking investigations in the coming year. In January 2011, the Judiciary Council adopted a taskforce proposal to limit litigation of trafficking cases to four specialized courts in the country in order to build necessary expertise among judges and to promote a uniform interpretation of the law. There are no reported cases of the involvement of government officials in or tolerance of trafficking at the national, local, or institutional level; there were no prosecutions for trafficking-related complicity in 2010.

Protection

The Government of the Netherlands made appreciable progress in its efforts to proactively identify and assist trafficking victims. In 2010, Comensha, the government-funded national victim registration center and assistance coordinator, registered 993 trafficking victims, an increase from 909 victims in 2009, and 826 victims in 2008. The majority of these 993 victims were identified by the police. The Government of the Netherlands has an extensive network of facilities providing a full range of trafficking-specialized services for children, women, and men; the government provided victims with legal, financial, and psychological assistance, shelter (in facilities that also serve victims of other crimes), medical care, social security benefits, and education financing. Victims in government shelters were not detained involuntarily. Dutch authorities provided temporary residence permits to allow foreign trafficking victims to stay in the Netherlands during a three-month reflection period, during which victims received immediate care and services while they considered whether to assist law enforcement. The government provided permanent residence status to some victims, based on particular conditions. In 2009, the government granted 280 out of 299 requests for temporary residency for trafficking victims. Since January 2008, the government has provided unaccompanied children seeking asylum with intensive counseling in secure shelters that protect them from traffickers; it extended this pilot project until the end of 2011 during the reporting period. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers; 39 percent of trafficking victims filed charges against their traffickers in 2010. Nevertheless, victims were often reluctant to assist law enforcement, personnel, due to fear of reprisals from traffickers, fear of law enforcement and lack of understanding of the criminal justice system in the Netherlands.

In June 2010, the Justice Minister officially launched a pilot project to house trafficking victims in three specialized shelters located in different parts of the country to determine whether doing so would increase victim cooperation; the pilot project provided assistance to 40 women, 10 male victims, and their children. There were no reports that any identified victims were punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. To facilitate safe and voluntary repatriation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has developed a system to evaluate victims’ safety in five countries of return.

Prevention

The government continued to take proactive steps to prevent trafficking and address demand for commercial sex acts and forced labor during the reporting period. In December 2010, the Rotterdam police launched an information campaign to warn girls at 25 high schools about the ongoing trend of young men of Moroccan and Turkish descent who seduce vulnerable women and girls, and force them into prostitution. In November 2010, national police closed the websites of two escort businesses due to possible involvement in trafficking, some of which involved illegal hotel prostitution. Police simultaneously sent out text messages to approximately 1,300 mobile phone users who had contacted the sites, urging potential clients to report possible human trafficking victims. The Justice Ministry continued to fund a multimedia awareness campaign about trafficking targeted at people in, and clients of, prostitution, as well as residents, shopkeepers, and taxi-drivers in areas where prostitution occurs. In December 2010, the City of Amsterdam re-launched a targeted campaign intended for tourists entitled, “Appearances Can be Deceptive;” the campaign was also put on special websites that are visited by clients of prostitution.

The government-funded, autonomous, Office of the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking monitored the government’s anti-trafficking efforts and, during the reporting period, published its eighth public report. In June 2010, the Social Affairs Ministry launched an awareness campaign informing citizens and certain target groups, including trade unions and work councils, about the existence of labor exploitation in the Netherlands. During the reporting period, the government subsidized a training film, called “Shockingly Forced,” to raise awareness among labor inspectors and other officials about labor exploitation and forced labor. The government continued efforts to undertake efforts to prevent and identify child sex tourism; estimating it convicts approximately 12 child sex tourists every year. The Dutch military provided training to all military personnel on the prevention of trafficking and additional training on recognizing trafficking victims for Dutch troops being deployed abroad on missions as international peacekeepers.

Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba

In October 2010, the Kingdom of the Netherlands obtained a new constitutional structure under which the “Netherlands Antilles” ceased to exist as an entity within the Kingdom. As of that date, Bonaire, St. Eustatius, and Saba (the BES islands) became part of the Netherlands. On September 27, 2010, the Criminal Code of the BES islands was adjusted to reflect the new structure. The Criminal Code thus includes an article prohibiting trafficking in persons, both for sexual and labor exploitation (Art 286f). The government reported this article is similar to the human trafficking article in the Dutch criminal code, although prescribed penalties are lower, ranging from six years’ imprisonment for a single offense to 15 years’ imprisonment in the case of a trafficking victims’ death. The BES islands are a transit and destination area for women and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and for men and women who are in conditions of forced labor. The women in prostitution in the BES islands’ regulated and illegal sex trades are highly vulnerable to human trafficking, as are unaccompanied children on the islands. Local authorities believe that men and women have also been subjected to domestic servitude and other forms of forced labor in the agriculture and construction sectors. Some migrants in restaurants and local businesses may be vulnerable to debt bondage.

Although formal interagency anti-trafficking working groups operated in the BES islands, neither local authorities nor the Government of the Netherlands reported the identification of any potential trafficking victims. Moreover, no trafficking prosecutions or convictions were initiated on these islands during the reporting period. The government continued to provide in-kind support for human trafficking hotlines in St. Maarten and Bonaire, though there were no awareness campaigns specifically targeting potential clients of the sex trade in the BES islands in an effort to reduce demand for commercial sex acts.

NEW ZEALAND (Tier 1)

New Zealand is a source country for underage girls subjected to sex trafficking within the country, and a destination country for foreign men and women in forced labor. New Zealand is reportedly a destination country for women from Asian countries, such as Hong Kong, Thailand, Taiwan, and China, and Eastern Europe trafficked into forced prostitution, though no new substantive information about such cases was discovered in the past year. According to a press report during the year, women, including some from Malaysia, are recruited by labor agents, but upon arrival in New Zealand, are handed over to brothel owners, who confiscate their passports and force them into prostitution for up to 18 hours a day to repay the “loan” of recruitment and transportation costs. Child trafficking victims are found engaging in prostitution illegally in brothels and off the street, some being closely controlled by local gangs. Asians and Pacific Islanders migrate to New Zealand voluntarily to work legally or illegally in the agricultural sector, and women from the Philippines migrate legally to work as nurses. Some foreign workers report being charged excessive and escalating recruitment fees, experiencing unjustified salary deductions, restrictions on their movement, confiscation of passports, and altered contracts or working conditions without their permission – all indicators of human trafficking. According to a press report and the United Nations Inter-Agency Project on human trafficking, there were concerns that some fishermen from Indonesia, Vietnam, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia are allegedly victims of forced labor in New Zealand waters; these men may have experienced conditions including passport confiscation, significant debts, physical violence and abuse, and are often forced to work a seven-day work week. No independent research has been conducted to determine the full extent of the trafficking problem in New Zealand.

The Government of New Zealand fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government has in the past prosecuted traffickers under a range of laws; however, the government did not prosecute or convict any offenders of trafficking during the year, nor did it identify or assist any trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government did, however, make efforts during the year to raise public awareness of human trafficking through an anti-trafficking website and trafficking brochures.

Recommendations for New Zealand: Make efforts to study sex and labor trafficking occurring in New Zealand; significantly increase efforts to investigate and prosecute both sex and labor trafficking offenders; make efforts to proactively screen vulnerable populations, including women in prostitution, foreign workers, and illegal migrants, in order to identify and assist trafficking victims, through the routine employment of formal victim identification measures; identify and assist child trafficking victims engaged in commercial sexual activity; make proactive efforts to identify victims of labor trafficking, particularly among populations of vulnerable foreign laborers; investigate and prosecute employment recruiting agencies or employers who subject foreign workers to involuntary servitude or debt bondage; and develop and implement a visible anti-trafficking awareness campaign directed at clients of the legal and illegal sex trades.

Prosecution

The Government of New Zealand continued efforts to train front-line officers on trafficking, but did not make overall progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the past year. Authorities did not arrest or prosecute any sex or labor trafficking offenders during the past year, nor did it cooperate on any international trafficking investigations. The police did not report any prosecutions of “sellers” of sex services who profited from the labor of children in prostitution. New Zealand does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law and the Government of New Zealand does not feel that such a law is necessary, relying instead on a definition of trafficking that focuses on the transnational movement of people in prostitution. Part 5 and various amendments of the Crimes Act of 1961 prohibit transnational sex and labor trafficking. Laws against sexual slavery, the receipt of financial gain from exploiting children in prostitution, and labor exploitation prohibit forms of internal trafficking. Such crimes are not specifically included within the anti-trafficking provisions of the Crimes Act and therefore cases of internal trafficking are not recognized or tracked by the government as trafficking crimes. A press report during the year described cases of Asian women who were victims of forced prostitution in New Zealand, including a case of a Malaysian woman reportedly forced into prostitution for 16 hours a day who had her passport confiscated by the brothel owner. Authorities reported an initial investigation but the woman departed the country immediately upon having her passport returned to her, after police intervention. The Department of Labor investigated this case and reported that the woman was interviewed and found to be working willingly. The government trained staff from Customs, Immigration, Labor, and Police on People Trafficking on identifying victims of trafficking and victim interview techniques. Compliance inspectors who inspect sex industry premises use interview templates to determine whether individuals are willingly and voluntarily in New Zealand’s legal sex industry; the template has questions related to trafficking indicators.

Protection

The Government of New Zealand offers an extensive network of protective services to both internal and transnational trafficking victims, regardless of whether they are officially recognized as trafficking victims. The government, however, did not report identifying or assisting any trafficking victims during the year, despite reports of children exploited in the commercial sex trade and foreign workers subjected to passport confiscation, debt bondage, threats of financial harm, and other internationally-recognized indicators of forced labor. The government did not have formal procedures for referring victims to NGOs and service providers. Authorities did not report the number of children under 18 found to be in prostitution during the year. Press reporting indicated authorities identified at least 13 girls under the age of 16 in prostitution in Auckland and put them in Child, Youth, and Family custody, but the government asserted that children under 18 identified in prostitution were not victims of trafficking, as they did not cross an international border and were not compelled into prostitution. There are currently no shelters specifically dedicated to trafficking victims. Authorities reported that were they to be identified, victims would receive food and shelter and would be informed of available physical and mental health services, legal services, and social welfare. The law allows foreign victims temporary legal residence and relief from prosecution for immigration offenses. However, as the government claims to have never identified a trafficking victim, this provision has never been offered. The Department of Labor developed a policy to allow police-certified trafficking victims, were they to be identified, to remain in New Zealand and work for up to one year on a temporary visa; however, this provision has never been utilized. It is possible that trafficking victims were deported as immigration violators instead of being investigated as possible trafficking victims.

Prevention

The Government of New Zealand made some efforts to increase public awareness of trafficking during the year. The Ministry of Social Development distributed brochures on trafficking indicators in six languages to regional departments, who distributed them to community groups around the country. In June 2010, the Department of Labor partnered with ECPAT to convene a forum on trafficking for representatives from government agencies and non-government organizations. Fraudulent employment and recruiting practices are prohibited under the Crimes Act of 1961 and the Wages Protection Act of 1983. New Zealand has never prosecuted trafficking offenders under these laws. Sufficiently stringent penalties of up to 20 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of $250,000 under the above statutes are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes. The Immigration Act prohibits retention or control of a person’s passport or any other travel or identity document, but there were no prosecutions for passport confiscation during the year. During the year, the Department of Labor launched an anti-trafficking Internet website to raise awareness of trafficking. The government’s Inter-Agency Working Group on trafficking, led by the Department of Labor, met once during the year. The government did not make efforts to address the demand for commercial sex acts in the decriminalized commercial sex industry. The government gave $22,800 to ECPAT to raise awareness about child sex trafficking. The Department of Labor reported over 1,500 labor inspection visits during the year – an increase over the previous year, including 424 compliance inspections of horticulture and viniculture businesses. It did not report the number of brothel compliance inspections conducted during the year. In August 2010, authorities arrested one New Zealand citizen for organizing and promoting child sex tours; his case remains pending. The government provided anti-trafficking training to military personnel prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

NICARAGUA (Tier 2)

Nicaragua is principally a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Nicaraguan women and children are subjected to sex trafficking within the country as well as in neighboring countries, most often to Guatemala, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, and the United States. Trafficking victims are recruited in rural areas for work in urban centers, particularly Managua, Granada, and San Juan del Sur, and subsequently coerced into prostitution. To a lesser extent, adults and children are subjected to conditions of forced labor in agriculture and domestic servitude within the country and in Costa Rica, Panama, and other countries in the region. Nicaragua is a destination country for a limited number of women and children recruited from neighboring countries for sex trafficking. Managua, Granada, Esteli, and San Juan del Sur are destinations for foreign child sex tourists from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, and some travel agencies are reportedly complicit in promoting child sex tourism. Nicaragua is a transit country for migrants from Africa and East Asia migrating to the United States; some may fall victim to human trafficking.

The Government of Nicaragua does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Over the last year the government increased its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, specifically through increased prosecutions, five convictions of trafficking offenders, and the establishment of dedicated anti-trafficking police units. The anti-trafficking coalition increased its training and prevention efforts and began to establish working groups at the regional level. While officials identified a location for a future shelter for trafficking victims, the Government of Nicaragua provided no specialized victim services and relied on civil society organizations to provide most victim care.

Recommendations for Nicaragua: Continue to investigate and prosecute all forms of human trafficking, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; institute clear, formal, and proactive procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations such as women and children in prostitution; increase training and resources for government officials in order to identify and provide services to victims of forced prostitution and forced labor; dedicate resources to specialized services for trafficking victims, including a shelter; provide increased services for adult trafficking victims; provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to deportation; strengthen mechanisms at the regional level to raise awareness and to identify and respond to trafficking cases; and continue to raise awareness of all forms of human trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Nicaragua increased its law enforcement efforts against human trafficking during the reporting period. Nicaragua criminalizes all forms of human trafficking through Article 182 of its penal code, which prohibits trafficking in persons for the purposes of slavery, sexual exploitation, and adoption, prescribing penalties of seven to 10 years’ imprisonment. A separate statute, Article 315, prohibits the submission, maintenance, or forced recruitment of another person into slavery, forced labor, servitude, or participation in an armed conflict; this offense carries penalties of five to eight years’ imprisonment. These prescribed punishments are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In September 2010, the Government of Nicaragua passed an organized crime law typifying human trafficking as a form of organized crime, allowing officials to employ enhanced investigation methods such as undercover agents, preventive detention, and the right to seize property and funds used or earned in trafficking crimes. Officials reported using these methods for all trafficking investigations conducted after the law went into effect. In October 2010, authorities announced the creation of anti-trafficking units within the intelligence and judicial police forces, as well as a trafficking department within the Women’s Police Commission.

During the reporting period, the government investigated 19 potential cases of sex trafficking and initiated five prosecutions, compared with nine investigations and three prosecutions initiated during the previous reporting period. The government achieved five convictions during the reporting period, with sentences ranging from seven to 37 years: this represents an increase from the two convictions secured during the previous reporting period. Nicaraguan authorities collaborated with the governments of neighboring countries and the United States to jointly investigate trafficking cases and repatriate returning trafficking victims from abroad. Authorities provided specialized training on trafficking to over 500 officials, including law enforcement officials, diplomats, and immigration agents along the border, often in partnership with NGOs. In 2010, the National Police Academy included a human trafficking component in their permanent curriculum. The government investigated three police officials in Granada for possible complicity in human trafficking, but the case was dismissed due to lack of sufficient evidence.

Protection

The Nicaraguan government made limited efforts to protect trafficking victims during the last year, and NGOs and international organizations continued to be the principal providers of victim services. There was no formal system for identifying trafficking victims among high-risk populations, such as adults and children in prostitution. Police reported identifying 18 trafficking victims in 2010, all but three of whom were children; an NGO reported working with 16 trafficking victims, five of whom were referred by government officials. The government could provide basic shelter and services to some child trafficking victims through its one temporary shelter for children who are victims of domestic or sexual abuse, although it was unclear if any trafficking victims were assisted at the shelter during the reporting period. There were no government-operated shelters for trafficking victims, though NGOs operated shelters for children subjected to commercial sexual exploitation and for female adult victims of domestic abuse, and officials referred trafficking victims to these shelters. Adult trafficking victims were largely unable to access any government-sponsored victim services, although the government provided limited legal, medical, and psychological services to some victims. During the reporting period the Government of Nicaragua identified a location to serve as a future shelter for victims of trafficking. The government encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, though many were reluctant to do so due to social stigma and fear of retribution from traffickers. The new anti-organized crime law contained provisions establishing protection services for those who testify against traffickers, but procedures to implement this law were still under development. While the rights of trafficking victims are generally upheld, some victims may not have been identified as victims of human trafficking by authorities. Although there is no legal alternative to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution, authorities and NGOs reported that victims were allowed to remain in the country temporarily before voluntary repatriation.

Prevention

The Nicaraguan government significantly increased its efforts to prevent trafficking during the last year. The government-run anti-trafficking coalition, which is composed of government and civil society actors, was responsible for coordinating anti-trafficking efforts, and conducted various awareness-raising events and launched a strategic plan for 2010-2012 during the reporting period. In 2010 the coalition began to organize regional working groups to address trafficking at the local level. The understaffed government hotline on child welfare, which takes calls on human trafficking, received 6,000 calls in 2010, 31 of which related to potential trafficking cases and were referred to the police. Transparency in the government’s anti-trafficking measures was limited; it did not publicly report on the effectiveness of its own efforts during the year, although it assessed its efforts internally. The government did, however, partner with civil society organizations on several prevention efforts, including an initiative to map which regions of the country are most vulnerable to trafficking. In collaboration with NGOs, the National Police estimated that its brochures, posters, and videos educated over 50,000 people about trafficking. Teachers who had been trained on trafficking by the Ministry of Education in 2009 trained other teachers during 2010. In conjunction with an NGO, the Government of Nicaragua began printing information about trafficking on the back of all entry and exit forms used by immigration at land borders. There were no reported investigations of child sex tourists during the reporting period. The government made limited efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts by working with an NGO to educate high school students in Managua. The government undertook no other initiatives to reduce demand for commercial sexual acts, and it did not report any efforts to reduce demand for forced labor.

NIGER (Tier 2 Watch List)

Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Caste-based slavery practices continue primarily in the northern part of the country. Nigerien children are subjected to forced begging within the country, as well as in Mali and Nigeria, by religious instructors known as marabouts. They also are subjected to domestic servitude, prostitution, and forced labor in gold mines, agriculture, and stone quarries within the country. Nigerien children, primarily girls, also are subjected to prostitution along the border with Nigeria, particularly along the main highway in the towns of Birni N’Konni and Zinder. Nigerien girls reportedly entered into “marriages” with citizens of Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, whereby they were forced into domestic servitude upon arrival in these countries. In the Tahoua region of Niger, girls born into slavery were reportedly forced to marry men who bought them and subsequently subjected them to forced labor and sexual servitude. Niger is a transit country for women and children from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Togo migrating en route to Algeria, Libya, and Western Europe; some may be subjected to forced labor in Niger as domestic servants, mechanics and welders, or laborers in mines and on farms. To a lesser extent, Nigerien women and children are recruited from Niger and transported to Nigeria, North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe for domestic servitude and sex trafficking.

The Government of Niger does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government did not demonstrate overall increased efforts to address human trafficking over the previous year; therefore Niger is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year. The government acknowledges that trafficking, including slavery, is a problem in the country. The country was led by a transition government during the reporting period; this regime, appointed following the February 2010 coup, lacked a budget and constitutional authority for much of the year. In December 2010, the transitional government enacted the country’s first specific law to address trafficking; however, the government’s few efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses during the year came only after receiving complaints from NGOs, and efforts to prosecute cases of traditional slavery and to provide assistance to victims remained weak.

Recommendations for Niger: While continuing to respond to legal complaints filed by NGOs, increase efforts to initiate investigations and prosecute and punish trafficking offenders, particularly those guilty of slavery offenses; prescribe adequate sentences for individuals convicted of committing trafficking crimes, and enforce the judgments of the court; in coordination with NGOs and international organizations, train law enforcement officials to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution or children in worksites, and refer them to protective services; increase efforts to rescue victims of traditional slavery practices; allocate sufficient funds to establish the National Agency to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the National Commission to Coordinate Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons, as mandated by the 2010 anti-trafficking law, and establish a clear division of responsibilities among the two bodies and the National Commission against Forced Labor and Discrimination; complete and adopt a National Action Plan to combat trafficking; and implement an initiative to raise public awareness about the new anti-trafficking law and encourage victims to exercise their rights under the law.

Prosecution

The Government of Niger demonstrated limited progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, seen largely through its enactment of a law prohibiting all forms of trafficking, including slavery and practices similar to slavery. The government demonstrated weak efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases using existing laws. In December 2010, the transitional government enacted Order No. 2010-86 on Combating Trafficking in Persons, a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that prohibits all forms of trafficking, including slavery and practices similar to slavery, and prescribes a punishment of five to 10 years’ imprisonment for committing trafficking crimes against adults. These prescribed penalties are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The law prescribes an increased penalty of 10 to 30 years’ imprisonment when the victim is a child. The law defines slavery and practices similar to slavery and includes a specific provision prohibiting exploitative begging. Existing statues prohibited some forms of trafficking: the country’s penal code prohibits slavery, procurement of a child for prostitution, and the encouragement or profiting from child begging in Articles 270 (as amended in 2003), 292-293, and 181, respectively, and its labor code outlaws forced and compulsory labor in Article 4. The penal code’s prescribed penalty of 10 to 30 years’ imprisonment for slavery offenses is sufficiently stringent. The penalties prescribed in the labor code for forced labor, fines ranging from $48 to $598 and from six days’ to one month’s imprisonment, are not sufficiently stringent. The government arrested three suspected trafficking offenders during the year — all of whom were brought to its attention through complaints filed by NGOs — and obtained two convictions. In June 2010, a court in Madaoua convicted two individuals under a statute prohibiting the corruption of minors for prostituting five girls under the age of 15; the traffickers each received a sentence of six months’ suspended imprisonment and a fine of approximately $100. In May 2010, a Nigerien man was arrested and detained for allegedly re-enslaving two of his former slaves; at the end of the reporting year, he remained in detention without a trial date. The same man is awaiting trial on both an appeal of a fine imposed upon him in the previous year and on charges filed by an NGO that this sentence was inadequate. The status of five other women whom he had allegedly enslaved is unknown. In July 2010, he was awarded custody of two children he fathered with one of his former slaves. Also during the year, a Nigerian man – arrested during the previous reporting period for allegedly trafficking his nephew in Nigeria – spent four months in pre-trial detention, but fled the country when he was granted provisional release. A man was convicted during the previous reporting year of holding a woman in slavery remained in prison, though he did not pay the $24,000 in fines ordered by the court. There were no reported developments in a slavery case that has been pending since 2006. Nigerien authorities collaborated with officials from Nigeria and, in April 2010, they provided information to the Nigerian National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons that led to the arrest of two Nigerien men suspected of trying to sell a 5-year-old Nigerien girl, possibly for the purposes of exploitation. The government did not provide specialized training to law enforcement officers on the investigation of trafficking cases, but in May 2010, the Ministry of Justice provided a one-day training for an unknown number of law enforcement officers on trafficking prevention and victim protection. In September 2010, representatives from the Ministries of Defense and Justice spoke at the opening and closing ceremonies of a capacity-building training held by an NGO for 30 officials from the police, gendarmerie, and National Guard, which included training on investigating trafficking offenses and protecting victims. There were no reports of government officials being investigated, prosecuted, or convicted for involvement in trafficking or trafficking-related criminal activities during the reporting period.

Protection

The transition government demonstrated limited efforts to protect child trafficking victims during the year, but did not provide the same care to adult trafficking victims or victims of traditional slavery practices. Authorities did not take proactive measures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution or children at worksites. NGOs reported rescuing 95 child trafficking victims without government involvement. The government did not have a system for referring victims to protective services, but it reportedly provided medical assistance and temporary shelter in social service facilities to an unknown number of child victims and referred them on an ad hoc basis to local NGOs for care. The government assisted in repatriating 89 children to Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Cameroon, and Liberia, as well as returning trafficked Nigerien children to their villages. The regional government of Agadez continued to operate a committee comprised of police and local officials to assist undocumented Nigerien migrants expelled from North Africa to return to their countries or communities of origin, though it did not make efforts to identify trafficking victims among this population. There were no reports that victims were detained, fined, or jailed for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; however, the government did not make adequate efforts to identify trafficking victims, which may have led to some victims being treated as law violators. The anti-trafficking law includes provisions allowing victims to file civil suits against trafficking offenders, though none exercised this right in 2010. Victims’ participation in the investigation of trafficking offenses was neither encouraged nor discouraged, but they were often reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement.

Prevention

The Transition Government of Niger sustained modest efforts to prevent human trafficking during the year, primarily through campaigns to educate the public about trafficking, though it did not make efforts to prevent traditional slavery. The multi-stakeholder National Commission against Forced Labor and Discrimination continued to meet sporadically during the year. In April 2010, the Ministry of Labor, with support from an international organization, held a workshop to educate 22 performing artists expected to play a role in future campaigns about the worst forms of child labor, including labor trafficking. In August, the government, with support from an international organization, held a town hall meeting to raise awareness about child trafficking among community members in Agadez. Subsequently, local authorities created vigilance committees assigned to track and report any cases of child trafficking to local law enforcement agencies, though they did not report identifying any cases during the year. In June 2010, during a regional conference in Chad, the government signed the N’Djamena Declaration denouncing the use of children in armed conflict, though there were no reports that the government used children in its armed services. By-laws governing Niger’s armed forces require troops to receive anti-trafficking training prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions, though the government did not confirm the implementation of this training.

NIGERIA (Tier 1)

Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Trafficked Nigerian women and children are recruited from rural, and to a lesser extent urban, areas within the country’s borders − women and girls for domestic servitude and sex trafficking, and boys for forced labor in street vending, domestic servitude, mining, stone quarries, agriculture, and begging. Nigerian women and children are taken from Nigeria to other West and Central African countries, including Gabon, Cameroon, Ghana, Chad, Benin, Togo, Niger, Burkina Faso, the Central African Republic, and The Gambia, as well as South Africa, for the same purposes. During the year, reports indicated significant numbers of Nigerian women are living in situations of forced prostitution in Mali and Cote d’Ivoire. Children from West African countries, primarily Benin, Togo, and Ghana, are forced to work in Nigeria, and many are subjected to hazardous labor in Nigeria’s granite mines. Nigerian women and girls, primarily from Benin City in Edo State, are taken to Italy for forced prostitution, and others are taken to Spain, the Netherlands, Germany, Turkey, Belgium, Denmark, France, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Ireland, Greece, and Russia for the same purposes. Nigerian women and children are recruited and transported to destinations in North Africa and the Middle East, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Lebanon, Egypt, Libya, and Morocco, where they are held captive in the sex trade or situations of forced labor. During the reporting period, traffickers decreasingly relied on air travel to transport trafficking victims, and more often utilized land and sea routes, for example by forcing victims to cross the desert on foot to reach Europe.

The Government of Nigeria fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Over the last year, the Nigerian government sustained a modest number of trafficking prosecutions as well as the provision of assistance to several hundred trafficking victims, but did not demonstrate an increase in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Although the government claimed to have increased its budget allocation to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and Other Related Matters (NAPTIP), which was forecasted to receive an estimated $7 million last year, the government did not disclose actual disbursements to NAPTIP. An apparent increase in referrals to NAPTIP of cases involving non-trafficking crimes against children – such as pedophilia and baby selling – appears to have burdened the organization. Longstanding plans to relocate NAPTIP’s flagship shelter for victims – in a Lagos building abandoned by the national security service – were not fulfilled. Other victims’ shelters operated below their full capacity, offered limited reintegration services, and were not always well maintained. Despite the documented magnitude of the problem of Nigerian trafficking victims in countries around the world, the government inconsistently employed measures to provide services to repatriated victims, and did not make public the number of victims it repatriated during the year. In September 2010, senior NAPTIP officials traveled to Mali where they investigated reports that 20,000 to 40,000 Nigerian women were being held there in forced prostitution; despite identifying a considerable number of such victims, officials took no apparent action to engage Malian government counterparts to rescue victims or arrest traffickers in the subsequent six months before the close of the reporting period. It is of concern that senior NAPTIP officials’ regular travel abroad during the year did not yield discernible results in terms of arrests of traffickers or rescues of victims.

Recommendations for Nigeria: Ensure that the activities of NAPTIP are adequately funded, particularly for protection of victims; increase investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of labor trafficking offenses; impose adequate sentences on convicted trafficking offenders, including imprisonment whenever appropriate; train police and immigration officials to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution and young females traveling with non-family members; ensure that NAPTIP officials’ foreign travel for fact-finding and training does not detract from the agency’s core mission of investigating and prosecuting trafficking offenders and protecting victims; vigorously pursue investigation of cases to ultimate prosecution; provide Nigerian-led specialized training to all NAPTIP counselors and make this training mandatory before assigning an individual to a position in a shelter; increase the provision of educational and vocational training services to victims at government shelters; complete the long-promised relocation of the shelter in Lagos; develop a formal system to track the number of victims repatriated from abroad; in cooperation with Malian officials, initiate an operation to rescue Nigerian trafficking victims in Mali, and prosecute their exploiters; and take proactive measures to investigate and prosecute government officials suspected of trafficking-related corruption and complicity in trafficking offenses.

Prosecution

The Government of Nigeria did not demonstrate progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the last year. The 2003 Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement and Administration Act, amended in 2005 to increase penalties for trafficking offenders, prohibits all forms of human trafficking. The law’s prescribed penalties of five years’ imprisonment, a $645 fine, or both for labor trafficking, are sufficiently stringent, but the law is written to allow convicted offenders to pay a fine in lieu of prison time for labor trafficking or attempted trafficking offenses, which is a penalty that is not proportionate to the crime committed. The law prescribes 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment for sex trafficking offenses; these penalties are sufficiently stringent, and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. NAPTIP reported initiating 262 new investigations—but did not specify how many of these were trafficking cases—which led to 12 prosecutions and convictions for trafficking crimes, all prosecuted under articles within the Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement and Administration Act. Only three of the successful prosecutions involved forced labor, although more than half of the victims identified during the year were victims of forced labor. Sentences that imposed prison time ranged from two months’ to 14 years’ imprisonment. Four offenders – three convicted of attempted sex trafficking and one convicted of forcing three children with disabilities to beg for money in Saudi Arabia—paid only fines and did not serve a prison sentence. Despite a reported government appropriation of more than $7 million in funding to NAPTIP, the organization’s inadequate operational capacity suggested a significant disparity between projected funds and actual disbursements to the agency. Throughout the year, investigators often were not provided funding for travel or access to a vehicle to investigate trafficking cases, and the agency relied almost entirely on foreign donor funding for training its staff.

Although NAPTIP demonstrated a sustained, strong ability to obtain convictions from the prosecutions it initiated, less than nine percent of investigations conducted during the year resulted in prosecutions, suggesting a need for increased specialized investigation skills among NAPTIP officials. The government did not provide specialized training to its officials on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute trafficking cases. Fact-finding trips did not result in investigations or prosecutions. International donors provided training to judges and shelter staff counselors during the year, with support from NAPTIP in the form of logistics, staff, and other in-kind contributions, but expressed concerns that the frequency with which officials were reassigned to positions outside their area of expertise undermined the effectiveness of this training. During the year, the government signed two memoranda of understanding – one with Italy’s chief organized crime prosecutor, and one with the Swiss justice system – to collaborate on investigations of trafficking cases, but did not report conducting any such collaborative investigations with foreign governments.

The government did not initiate any investigations, pursue prosecutions, or obtain convictions of government officials for involvement in trafficking-related corruption during the reporting period, although such corruption was known to have occurred in previous years.

Protection

The Government of Nigeria did not demonstrate appreciable progress in its efforts to protect trafficking victims during the year, despite the government’s considerable resources. The government continued to lack a formal system for identifying victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution, and authorities outside of NAPTIP – such as police and immigration officers assigned to other units – were not well-trained to identify victims. Furthermore, some police reportedly extorted women in prostitution for money. The government maintained a database of trafficking victims identified by the government and NGOs; it reported a total of 932 trafficking victims identified by NGOs and the government during the year. Of this total, 540 were victims of forced labor and 392 were victims of sex trafficking; approximately half were children. In September 2010, senior NAPTIP officials traveled to Mali to investigate reports that 20,000 to 40,000 Nigerian women were being held there in forced prostitution. Despite identifying significant numbers of such victims, and pledging a commitment to pursue action, Nigerian authorities have not taken steps to rescue these victims.

The government paid stipends to NGOs and other organizations that provided protective services to trafficking victims, but did not report its expenditures on shelter facilities and victim protection services. NAPTIP continued to operate eight shelters for victims, which reportedly assisted 1,047 women and children victims of trafficking during the year. Although NAPTIP shelters offered capacity for 470 victims at a time, observers reported most operated well under capacity during the year, and did not have the capability to respond to sizeable influxes of victims. The government did not have a formal procedure in place to repatriate and reintegrate Nigerian victims subjected to trafficking abroad, and it did not provide information on the number of such victims cared for during the year; it reportedly received all such victims at its inadequate facility on Ikoyi Island in Lagos, and undertook efforts to renovate a new facility, though this was not completed during the year. NGOs sometimes picked up repatriated victims from Lagos’ international airport when NAPTIP did not arrive to meet the victims. Since 2009, NAPTIP has regularly reported imminent plans to move this shelter to a more adequate structure in nearby Ikeja, and to the detriment of victims, has moved slowly to accomplish this plan. All victims in shelters received counseling, legal services, and basic medical treatment, and victims who required specialized care received treatment from hospitals and clinics through existing NAPTIP agreements with these institutions. The government did not always require individuals assigned to work in shelters to have previous professional experience or training for assisting victims, and it did not provide any such specialized training, though it made in-kind contributions to foreign donors who provided training to 38 NAPTIP counselors during the year. Observers reported shelters at times severely lacked resources, and staff members were sometimes forced to use personal funds to purchase food for victims or to pay for transportation to return victims to their families.

Victims were able to decide whether to remain in a shelter after undergoing initial counseling and an interview for their legal cases. Victims were allowed to stay in NAPTIP shelters for up to six weeks—a limit which was extended by up to four additional weeks in extenuating circumstances—during which time they received informal education or vocational training; after this time, those who needed long-term care were referred to a network of NGOs who could provide additional services, though few long-term options were available for adult victims. Victims were not allowed to leave shelter premises for the duration of their stay, unless they were escorted by an NGO or other organization on a supervised trip or to receive specialized medical treatment or testify in court. Government officials appeared to adhere to the explicit provision of the 2003 Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement and Administration Act which protects trafficking victims from punishment for offenses committed as a result of being trafficked. Trafficking suspects continued to be questioned in detention areas a considerable distance from victims’ quarters. Officials encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases, and NAPTIP reports that one victim served as a witness in each case of the 12 trafficking prosecutions that resulted in convictions during the year. However, cases took significantly longer to be prosecuted than the six weeks during which victims remained in government shelters, and victims had often returned to villages outside this jurisdiction before the conclusion of the trial. The government did not consistently provide adequate services to enable victims to return to participate in cases, such as transportation and lodging; this may have negatively affected investigators’ ability to build cases sufficient for initiating prosecutions. No victims obtained redress through civil court complaints during the year. All victims were eligible to receive funds from the Victims’ Trust Fund, which was financed primarily through confiscated assets of convicted traffickers; in February 2011, the first distributions were made from the fund in the amount of approximately $1,131 to each of 10 victims, proceeds of the seizure of brothels in the first quarter of 2010. The government provided a limited legal alternative to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The Government of Nigeria sustained its efforts to prevent human trafficking through campaigns to raise awareness and educate the public about the dangers of trafficking. NAPTIP’s Public Enlightenment Unit continued to conduct national and local programming, through radio and print media, in all regions of the country to raise awareness about trafficking, including the use of fraudulent recruitment for jobs abroad. The objective of these and several related programs was to sensitize vulnerable people, sharpen public awareness of trends and tricks traffickers used to lure victims, warn parents, and encourage community members to participate in efforts to prevent trafficking. The Stakeholder Forum, with participants from law enforcement agencies, government ministries, NGO groups, and other countries’ diplomatic missions, continued to meet quarterly to foster collaboration, share information, and update the National Plan of Action. NAPTIP’s budget and programming follows the National Plan of Action, which sets forth program priorities and cost estimates through 2012. The Nigerian Immigration Service did not systematically monitor emigration and immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking, but some officers who had received training reported suspected trafficking activity to NAPTIP; an unknown number of arrests resulted from this information. The government provided training to groups of citizens embarking on government-sponsored religious pilgrimages, to warn them against trafficking. In June 2010, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory made a declaration ordering women in prostitution to leave Abuja, the capital; officials subsequently initiated raids on brothels and arrested women in prostitution without screening for trafficking victims among them. The government took no discernible steps to decrease the demand for forced labor. The government, with foreign donor support, provided anti-trafficking training to Nigerian troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

NORWAY (Tier 1)

Norway is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a transit and source country for women and girls subjected to sex trafficking and for men and women subjected to forced labor in the domestic service and construction sectors. Foreign children are subjected to forced begging and forced criminal activity, such as shoplifting and drug sales. Most trafficking victims identified in Norway in 2010 originated in Nigeria, while others came from Algeria, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, China, the Philippines, Ghana, Eritrea, Cameroon, Kenya, Somalia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. These victims usually travel to Norway on Schengen visas issued by other European countries, and transit several countries, such as Italy, Spain, and Morocco. Approximately 25 percent of all trafficking victims in Norway in 2010 were children. Criminal organizations are often involved in human trafficking in Norway, and trafficking schemes varied by victims’ countries of origin. Children in Norwegian refugee centers and migrants who are denied asylum are vulnerable to human trafficking in the country; unofficial reports indicated that 47 children disappeared from refugee centers during the 2010 calendar year.

The Government of Norway fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government increased the number of trafficking convictions and lengthened the sentences imposed on convicted trafficking offenders, although Norwegian authorities did not prosecute any labor trafficking cases this year. The government approved a new permanent residency permit to trafficking victims who face retribution and hardship in their home country, even in the absence of court testimony, if the victim testifies to police. NGOs reported, however, that a child trafficking victim was deported in 2010 despite identification as a victim.

Recommendations for Norway: Continue efforts to vigorously prosecute and convict both sex and labor trafficking offenders, and analyze why some criminal investigations into suspected human trafficking offenses are dropped or downgraded to pimping; continue training efforts for immigration authorities and refugee reception centers to ensure that trafficking victims are identified and not punished or deported before investigation; consider establishing procedures by which deportation orders could be revoked once issued if it is discovered that trafficking occurred; ensure that male and child trafficking victims also receive adequate protection services and that all governmental anti-trafficking efforts are structured to address male as well as female victims of trafficking; improve partnerships among anti-trafficking authorities, local police, and child welfare officers; ensure that front-line responders understand the reflection period and offer it to identified victims; fund a national anti-trafficking awareness campaign; and establish a national anti-trafficking rapporteur to draft critical assessments of Norway’s anti-trafficking efforts.

Prosecution

The Norwegian government improved its law enforcement efforts during the reporting period, though many of its labor trafficking investigations failed to result in prosecutions. Norway prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through Criminal Code Section 224, which prescribes a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment in aggravated cases – a penalty sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. Norwegian authorities initiated 26 sex trafficking investigations and 11 labor trafficking investigations in 2010, compared with 31 sex trafficking and seven labor trafficking investigations initiated in 2009. The government prosecuted 11 trafficking offenders under Section 224 for sex trafficking, an increase from seven sex trafficking offenders in 2009. International organizations and the specialized police unit reported that forced labor victims were less likely to be identified than victims of sex trafficking and no investigations of forced labor this year resulted in prosecution. Eight trafficking offenders were convicted in 2010, compared with six offenders convicted in 2009. As during the prior year, all of the trafficking offenders received jail sentences; there were no suspended sentences. Seven of the eight trafficking offenders convicted in 2010 received terms of imprisonment between nine months and four years, with an average sentence of two years in prison. At least two of these cases involved the sex trafficking of children. One sex trafficking offender, who exploited two boys, received a sentence of 10 years. This was an increase in the terms of imposed sentences, as offenders convicted in 2009 received an average of 30 months’ imprisonment. The government also investigated labor crimes involving children. In 2010, the Bergen police placed in custody six Romanians on charges of trafficking five children from Romania to Norway to steal, beg, and peddle illegal drugs. In addition to the Government of Norway’s specialized anti-trafficking unit housed in the Police Directorate, the government operated specialized anti-trafficking investigators in its two largest cities, Oslo and Bergen. Norwegian authorities collaborated with several European governments to investigate trafficking cases, including the governments of Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Italy, and Spain.

Protection

The Government of Norway sustained strong victim protection efforts, although an NGO reported that a child trafficking victim was penalized and deported for crimes that he or she committed as a result of being trafficked. The government empowered and trained a diverse set of actors to proactively identify and refer victims of trafficking; municipalities, police, international organizations, NGOs, and other Norwegian authorities made 531 referrals of potential victims to the National Coordination Unit for official victim identification. In 2009, the government referred approximately 292 victims to care. In September 2010, the coordination unit for victims of human trafficking conducted a two-day national seminar on identifying trafficking victims. The 200 participants included representatives from the police, immigration authorities, asylum centers, child protective services, and NGOs. The government provided some services directly to victims and other services through an NGO-operated project. In 2010, the Norwegian government reported providing services for 319 trafficking victims, including 194 sex trafficking victims, 105 victims of labor trafficking, and 20 victims of both sex and labor trafficking. The government gave trafficking victims in Norway shelter in domestic violence centers, medical care, vocational training, stipends, Norwegian classes, and legal assistance. Although the formal mandate of the government’s anti-trafficking program covers only women, government-funded NGOs provided care to men as well during the reporting period. There were no state-funded shelters providing specialized services to child victims of trafficking. Victims were permitted to stay in Norway without conditions during a six-month reflection period, a time for them to receive immediate care and assistance while they consider whether to assist law enforcement. Under new regulations adopted in 2010, the Norwegian government approved a new permanent residency permit for victims facing retribution or hardship in their countries, on the condition that they give statements to the police outside of court. Any victim of trafficking, regardless of potential retribution or hardship at home, who made a formal complaint to the police, could remain in Norway for the duration of trial; victims who testified in court were entitled to permanent residency. Inter-governmental organizations observed that very few people outside of the active anti-trafficking circles were aware of the reflection period. A child victim of trafficking reportedly was detained and deported for criminal activity because the immigration authorities had not identified the child as a trafficking victim. When immigration authorities were informed of the child’s status as a victim of trafficking, they reportedly continued with the deportation.

Prevention

The Norwegian government improved its trafficking prevention efforts this reporting period. In December 2010, the government issued its new anti-trafficking action plan for 2011-2014, which focuses on the protection of children and the monitoring of illegal capital flows from human trafficking. Senior government officials visited asylum centers that care for unaccompanied foreign children to study this potential trafficking problem and raise its profile. The national action plan also set forth new strategies to prevent forced begging. The national coordinating unit for victims of human trafficking collected annual statistics on trafficking and published its results in public reports; the new national action plan required annual reports on trends, challenges, and research needs on trafficking. The government also commissioned two other major studies from research institutions on the reflection period and on collaboration with intergovernmental institutions. The coordination unit for victims of human trafficking operated a national trafficking hotline. The government did not, however, fund any national trafficking awareness campaigns targeting labor or sex trafficking. The government continued its leadership role as an international donor to anti-trafficking initiatives, providing approximately $12.8 million to international efforts and bilateral cooperation against human trafficking. This was a significant increase from the approximately $9.3 million awarded in foreign assistance for anti-trafficking efforts in 2009. The Norwegian government made efforts to combat the demand for prostitution by charging approximately 280 individuals with the crime of purchasing or attempting to purchase sexual services. In 2010, the government funded a small-scale education campaign carried out by an NGO and targeting 18-year old students to increase their awareness of prostitution issues. In February 2011, the government funded a project to reach out to prospective purchasers of sexual services and counsel against the illegal practice. The government provided anti-trafficking training to Norwegian troops before their deployment overseas on international peacekeeping missions.

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OMAN (Tier 2)

Oman is a destination and transit country for men and women, primarily from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia, some of whom are subjected to conditions indicative of forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. Most of these migrants travel willingly to Oman with the expectation of employment in domestic service or as low-skilled workers in the country’s construction, agriculture, or service sectors. Some of them subsequently face conditions indicative of forced labor, such as the withholding of passports and other restrictions on movement, nonpayment of wages, long working hours without food or rest, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Unscrupulous labor recruitment agencies and their sub-agents in migrants’ original communities in South Asia, as well as labor brokers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, and Iran, may deceive workers into accepting work that in some instances constitutes forced labor. Many of these agencies provide false contracts for employment either with fictitious employers or at fictitious wages and charge workers high recruitment fees (often exceeding $1,000) at usurious rates of interest, leaving workers vulnerable to trafficking. Oman is also a destination and transit country for women from China, India, Morocco, Eastern Europe, Uganda, Kenya, and other parts of South Asia who may be forced into commercial sexual exploitation, generally by nationals of their own countries. Male Pakistani laborers, and others from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and East Asia, transit Oman en route to the UAE; some of these migrant workers are exploited in situations of forced labor upon reaching their destination.

The Government of Oman does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to prosecute sex trafficking offenders and sentence convicted traffickers to imprisonment; the number of convictions, however, declined from the last reporting period and did not include any criminal punishment of labor trafficking offenses. The government improved its victim protection efforts by opening a permanent shelter for victims of trafficking and began assisting victims there. The government also created a criminal division within its court system specifically to address trafficking cases and appointed specialized judges and prosecutors to oversee these cases. During the reporting period, the Public Prosecution and Royal Oman Police received training in trafficking victim identification. Nonetheless, Omani authorities continued to lack comprehensive formal procedures to proactively identify trafficking victims among those detained for immigration violations. As a result, the government may not have adequately identified victims of forced labor or punished their traffickers.

Recommendations for Oman: Continue to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and sentence convicted traffickers to imprisonment; make greater efforts to investigate and prosecute forced labor offenses, including those perpetrated by recruitment agents and employers; institute formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among all vulnerable populations, such as illegal immigrants; enact and enforce penalties for employers who withhold their employees’ passports as a measure to prevent labor trafficking; increase and enforce legal protections for domestic servants, including coverage under the labor laws of Oman; continue training government officials in all relevant departments to recognize and respond appropriately to human trafficking crimes; and increase public awareness campaigns or other prevention programs to reduce the demand for forced labor and commercial sex acts.

Prosecution

Royal Decree No. 126/2008, the Law Combating Human Trafficking, prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes punishments of three to 15 years’ imprisonment, in addition to financial penalties. These punishments are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. A legally enforceable government circular prohibits employers’ withholding of migrant workers’ passports, a practice contributing to forced labor; the circular, however, does not specify penalties for noncompliance. The Government of Oman failed to adequately enforce its prohibition on the withholding of passports and this practice remains widespread among employers in Oman, including among government officials. The government reported that it resolved 202 cases of withholding workers’ passports through Ministry of Manpower mediation and referred 40 cases to courts for resolution; the government did not, however, report launching investigations for potential trafficking situations resulting from these complaints. During the reporting period, the Government of Oman convicted four individuals for sex trafficking offenses, a decrease from the nine convictions for sex trafficking reported last year. One trafficking offender received a sentence of imprisonment of one year and the other three were sentenced to three to 15 years’ imprisonment. These traffickers also paid fines ranging from $160 to $130,000; of these fines, $75,400 was used to provide restitution to their victims. The government reported resolving numerous labor complaints through mediation and its court system, but did not identify trafficking cases among these complaints and consequently did not report arresting, prosecuting, convicting, or sentencing any individuals for forced labor. In May 2010, an assistant public prosecutor specializing in trafficking trained judges, other public prosecutors, police officers, and officials from the Ministries of Manpower, and Social Development, and other security agencies on trafficking in persons. In October 2010, the Ministry of Manpower, in conjunction with ILO, hosted a training session for government officials on labor forms of trafficking. In addition, in January 2011, the Muscat Court of Appeals created a new criminal division consisting of two judges and two to three support staff to hear human trafficking cases. The government did not report any law enforcement efforts against the trafficking complicity of Omani public officials.

Protection

In January 2011, the Royal Oman Police officially opened a permanent shelter for victims of trafficking; this shelter can accommodate up to 50 men, women, and children who are victims of forced labor or sex trafficking. Victims in this shelter may not leave the premises unchaperoned, but can readily access shelter employees to accompany them offsite. During the reporting period, Omani authorities assisted 24 victims of trafficking with shelter, six of whom were in the permanent shelter; two women had been victims of sex trafficking and four were domestic servants who had been abused by their employers. Nonetheless, the government continued to lack formal procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking among all vulnerable groups, including migrants detained for immigration violations. Omani authorities reportedly made some efforts, however, to identify victims among particular groups and provided training to police officers on victim identification. For example, Ministry of Manpower representatives interviewed all employees who ran away from sponsors and immigration officials interviewed all departing migrant workers to determine if they experienced a labor violation; however, the government did not report any victims identified through this process. Government authorities also report that victims can be identified either through the government’s 24-hour hotline or during the course of prosecution by trained prosecutors and police. Due to a lack of comprehensive victim identification procedures, the Government of Oman may not have ensured expatriates subjected to forced labor were not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government reportedly encourages potential trafficking victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of crimes against them, but does not provide a standard legal alternative to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution; some victims may be permitted to stay in Oman on a case-by-case basis. Victims are not permitted to work pending trials, but they may leave the country or switch sponsors if their employer is found in violation of labor law provisions.

Prevention

The government sustained modest efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. In January 2011, the Ministry of Manpower issued regulations requiring Omani labor recruitment agencies to provide all workers with a copy of their contract and repatriate the worker at its own expense if, within six months, it is found that the work to be performed by the employee is different from the work specified in that contract. Oman continued to distribute brochures in numerous languages highlighting the rights and services to which workers are legally entitled to source country embassies and to new migrant laborers at airports, recruitment agencies, and in their places of work. The government continued to operate an anti-trafficking hotline, but did not report the number of calls it received during the reporting period. The government also continued its public awareness campaign, which included placement of at least one article or editorial each week in the press about trafficking issues, including forced labor. In addition, the government’s decision to segregate massage facilities not associated with hotels by gender resulted in the closure of 18 massage parlors, which may have been fronts for prostitution.

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PAKISTAN (Tier 2)

Pakistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The country’s largest human trafficking problem is bonded labor, concentrated in the Sindh and Punjab provinces in agriculture and brick making, and to a lesser extent in the mining, carpet-making, glass bangle, and fishing industries. Bonded labor also exists in the fisheries, mining, and agricultural sectors of Balochistan. Estimates of bonded labor victims, including men, women, and children, vary widely. The Asian Development Bank estimates that 1.8 million people – one percent of the population – are bonded laborers. In extreme scenarios, when bonded laborers attempt to seek legal redress, landowners have kidnapped them and their family members. Boys and girls are also bought, sold, rented, or kidnapped to work in organized, forced begging rings, domestic servitude, and prostitution. Recent press stories reported on the violence in child domestic servitude, including sexual abuse, torture, and death. Illegal labor agents charge high fees to parents with false promises of decent work for their children, who are later exploited and subject to forced labor in domestic servitude, unskilled labor, small shops, and other sectors. Disabled children and adults are forced to beg in Iran. Girls and women also are sold into forced marriages; in some cases their new “husbands” move them across Pakistani borders and force them into prostitution. NGOs and police reported markets in Pakistan where girls and women are bought and sold for sex and labor. Non-state militant groups kidnap children or coerce parents with fraudulent promises into giving away children as young as 12 to spy, fight, or die as suicide bombers in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The militants often sexually and physically abuse the children and use psychological coercion to convince the children that the acts they commit are justified. News organizations, NGOs, and international organizations reported that the 2010 floods contributed to increased trafficking in Pakistan.

Many Pakistani women and men migrate voluntarily to the Gulf States, Iran, Turkey, South Africa, Uganda, Greece, and other European countries for low-skilled employment such as domestic work, driving, or construction work; once abroad, some become victims of labor trafficking. False job offers and high fees charged by illegal labor agents or sub-agents of licensed Pakistani overseas employment promoters increase Pakistani laborers’ vulnerabilities and some laborers abroad find themselves in involuntary servitude or debt bondage. Employers abroad use practices including restrictions on movement, nonpayment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Moreover, traffickers use violence, psychological coercion, and isolation, often seizing travel and identification documents as a means to coerce Pakistani women and girls into prostitution in the Middle East. There are reports of child sex trafficking between Iran and Pakistan. Pakistan is a destination for men, women, and children from Afghanistan, Iran, and, to a lesser extent, Bangladesh, who are subjected to forced labor and prostitution. Many traffickers who force Pakistanis into prostitution or labor abroad know their victims personally.

The Government of Pakistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so, despite the severe floods the country experienced in 2010. The government continued its programs to prevent and combat bonded labor, but did not criminally convict any bonded labor offenders or officials who facilitated trafficking in persons. The government continued to lack adequate procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations and adequate protection for these victims.

Recommendations for Pakistan: Significantly increase law enforcement activities, including imposing adequate criminal punishment for labor and sex traffickers, as well as labor agents who engage in illegal activities; vigorously investigate and prosecute government officials suspected of being complicit in trafficking and convict public officials at all levels who participate in or facilitate human trafficking, including bonded labor; strengthen counter-trafficking legislation, including by amending the Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance (PACHTO) to include all forms of transnational and internal trafficking; raise awareness and increase enforcement of the provisions of the Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act (BLSA) among law enforcement officers; sensitize government officials to the differences between human trafficking and smuggling; improve methods for identifying victims of trafficking, especially among vulnerable persons; in light of the ongoing devolution process, strengthen provincial labor departments’ capacity to combat bonded labor through training, awareness-raising, improving communication between provincial and district offices, and improving transportation for inspectors in remote districts with high levels of bonded labor; in light of the devolution process, ensure that the federally-run Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Centers continue to be managed as places where victims can receive assistance; undertake local-language awareness campaigns on human trafficking, targeted to parents who sell their children; and improve efforts to collect, analyze, and accurately report counter-trafficking data.

Prosecution

The Government of Pakistan made less progress in law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking than in the previous year. On July 29, 2010, floods of unprecedented proportions began in Pakistan, affecting approximately 20 million people. During this period, most government officials focused their entire attention on disaster relief and recovery; as a result, the government’s ability to prosecute counter-trafficking crimes and provide data was hampered. Several sections in the Pakistan Penal Code, as well as provincial laws, criminalize forms of human trafficking such as slavery, selling a child for prostitution, and unlawful compulsory labor, prescribing punishments for these offenses that range from fines to life imprisonment. Pakistan prohibits all forms of transnational trafficking in persons, and appears to cover some non-trafficking offenses as well, through PACHTO; the penalties range from seven to 14 years’ imprisonment. Government officials and civil society reported that judges have difficulty applying PACHTO and awarding sufficiently stringent punishments, because of confusion over definitions and similar offenses in the Pakistan Penal Code. In addition, the BLSA prohibits bonded labor, with prescribed penalties ranging from two to five years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both. Pakistani officials have yet to record a single conviction under this law. Prescribed penalties for above offenses vary widely; some are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. Other penalties are not sufficiently stringent.

During 2010, the government reported that it convicted 310 offenders under PACHTO – 75 fewer than in 2009. The majority of these cases resulted in penalties of either no jail time or imprisonment of less than six months, which are far less than PACHTO’s prescribed minimum penalties. However, at least five cases resulted in six months’ to two years’ imprisonment; nine cases resulted in two to 10 years’ imprisonment, and one case resulted in 10 to 14 years’ imprisonment. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) reported that in 2010, a human trafficker who was wanted to stand trial in Pakistan for 30 cases filed under PACHTO was extradited from Italy. Government officials sometimes conflated human smuggling and human trafficking. Furthermore, the FIA’s anti-trafficking cells dealt with undocumented migration and smuggling, in addition to human trafficking. The government reported that it also took law enforcement actions against traffickers under the vagrancy ordinances. Under various sections in the penal code, the government prosecuted at least 68 traffickers in 2010: six for sex trafficking and 38 for labor trafficking, and 24 for either labor or sex trafficking. In a publicized case, an additional sessions judge in November 2010 acquitted the former Lahore Bar Association president and his two family members of torturing their 12-year-old maid to death, ruling that the girl’s death was the result of an infection.

Some feudal landlords are affiliated with political parties or are officials themselves and use their social, economic, and political influence to protect their involvement in bonded labor. Furthermore, police lacked the personnel, training, and equipment to confront landlords’ armed guards when freeing bonded labors. Additionally, media and NGOs reported that some police received bribes from brothel owners, landowners, and factory owners who subjected Pakistanis to forced labor or prostitution, to ignore these illegal human trafficking activities. In 2010, 70 officials were disciplined and 26 were given minor sentences, including: restrictions on conducting immigration work; compulsory retirement; removal from service; and demotion. Eight officials were either removed from the service or given compulsory retirement; some of these officials may have facilitated human trafficking.

In Sindh province, individuals had the opportunity to report labor problems to district vigilance committees (DVC) for resolution, though none did. Landlords and brick kiln owners often had seats on the DVCs, however, preventing the committees’ effectiveness in providing remedies. In other cases, DVCs were dormant. The FIA trained 214 officials to address transnational trafficking issues at the FIA Academy. The FIA also lectured on transnational trafficking at the police training colleges.

Protection

The Government of Pakistan made some limited progress in its efforts to protect victims of human trafficking. The government continued to lack adequate procedures and resources for proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable persons with whom they come in contact, especially child laborers, women and children in prostitution, and agricultural and brick kiln workers. According to the FIA, the majority of the 16,530 Pakistani nationals who were deported from other countries during 2010 were identified as victims of trafficking.

The FIA has a process to refer trafficking victims to protective services, although universal application of this process remains problematic. There is no coordinated process to refer victims of internal trafficking to protective services, and access to protective services varies within the country. There were reports that women were abused in some government-run shelters. Shelters faced resource challenges and were sometimes crowded and under-staffed. While female trafficking victims could access 26 government-run and funded Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Centers and the numerous provincial government “Dar-ul-Aman” centers offering medical treatment, vocational training, and legal assistance, the majority of the women assisted by these facilities were not trafficking victims. The quality of the Dar-ul-Aman facilities vary from district to district within the provinces. The quality and level of service in Punjab is stronger than in other provinces. Since 2009, the government, with the support of a local NGO, has operated a rehabilitation center for boys who have been recovered from militant or extremist groups in the Malakand district. As of March 2010, 150 boys were staying at the facility. In 2010, a second similar facility for girls was opened; as of March 2010, five girls were staying in that facility. In 2010, the FIA reported that in partnership with NGOs, it provided some medical support, transportation, shelter, and limited legal services to some Pakistani victims of trafficking who were deported to Pakistan.

The federal government, as part of its National Plan of Action for Abolition of Bonded Labor and Rehabilitation of Freed Bonded Laborers, continued to provide legal aid to bonded laborers in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and expanded services to Balochistan and Sindh provinces. The Sindh provincial government continued to implement its $116,000 project (launched in 2005), which provided state-owned land for housing camps and constructed 75 low-cost housing units for freed bonded laborer families. The government encouraged foreign victims to participate in investigations against their traffickers by giving them the option of early statement recording and repatriation or, if their presence was required for the trial, by permitting them to seek employment. The government did not provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. In some instances, trafficking victims were detained at police stations, borders, or in airport receiving facilities. Identified foreign victims of trafficking reportedly were not prosecuted or deported for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; however, not all trafficking victims were identified and adequately protected. Pakistani adults and children who were deported from other countries, some of whom may have been trafficking victims, were detained and fined up to $95, higher than one month’s minimum wages. Due to insufficient shelters, police sometimes placed freed bonded laborers in a police station for one night before presenting them to a judge. In July 2010, the Regional Police Office in Hyderabad and an NGO established Pakistan’s first anti-bonded labor cell in Mirpukhas, Sindh. The cell is in its nascent stage, but will permit bonded laborers to file police reports and obtain legal advice. In January 2011, the federal Ministry of Labor and Manpower hosted several provincial-level training seminars for local labor officers, designed to increase the effectiveness of labor officers in registering violations against landowners and brick kiln owners who use bonded, forced, or child labor.

Prevention

The Pakistani government made limited progress in its efforts to prevent human trafficking. The Punjab provincial government continued implementation of its project to eliminate bonded labor in brick kilns (launched in 2008). There were reports that this project helped 3,237 bonded laborers obtain identity cards and 1,906 bonded laborers obtain no-interest loans in the reporting period. The government also reported the establishment of 110 more on-site schools, for a total of 170. During the reporting period, the Sindh Department of Labour registered 710 brick kilns, a first step in guaranteeing that labor laws are applied to work sites, and a labor officer from district Larkana in Sindh registered 127 of these kilns. The government’s inter-agency task force on human trafficking met a few times in the reporting period. The FIA met with NGOs and international organizations during the year to discuss trafficking and smuggling prevention. Some FIA officials participated in NGO-run awareness campaigns, and the government donated radio air time for the FIA to broadcast public service announcements on human trafficking and human smuggling. In November 2010, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) designed a plan to monitor and track human trafficking cases, as well as to provide victims with identification and services. The MOI is in the process of rolling out the plan to the district level police officers and the FIA. According to UNICEF, only 27 percent of children are registered at birth, as of 2009. The National Database and Registration Authority continued campaigns to register women in rural areas and internally displaced people to receive ID cards. In 2010, all 250 Pakistani UN Peacekeeping Mission forces received training from various government training academies that included combating human trafficking. The government took measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts by prosecuting, but not convicting, 74 clients of prostitution. The FIA continued its quarterly meeting with civil society organizations and the anti-trafficking units to discuss best practices for trafficking victim identification and to increase the links between law enforcement and civil society organizations. Pakistan is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

PALAU (Tier 2)

Palau is a destination country for women from countries in the Asia-Pacific region who are subjected to forced prostitution and people from the Philippines, China, and Bangladesh who are subjected to conditions of forced labor. The foreign population including workers and dependents is an estimated 5,000 — more than one-third of the county’s population of 14,000 — with the majority from the Philippines, China, and Bangladesh. Some reports indicate that employers recruit foreign men and women to work in Palau through fraudulent representation of contract terms and conditions of employment. Some foreign workers pay thousands of dollars in recruitment fees and willingly migrate to Palau for jobs in domestic service, agriculture, or construction but are subsequently coerced to work in situations significantly different than what their contracts stipulated. Excessive hours without pay, threats of physical or financial harm, confiscation of their travel documents, and the withholding of salary payments are used as tools of coercion to obtain and maintain their compelled service. Some women from China and the Philippines migrate to Palau expecting to work as waitresses or clerks, but are subsequently forced into prostitution in karaoke bars and massage parlors. Non-citizens are officially excluded from the minimum wage law, and new regulations make it extremely difficult for foreign workers to change employers, consequently increasing their vulnerability to involuntary servitude and debt bondage.

The Government of Palau does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, though it did not investigate or prosecute any trafficking cases during the year, including neither of two reported trafficking cases brought to their attention, one for the forced labor of a Filipina domestic worker, and one for the forced prostitution of several Filipina women recruited for waitressing. In the past, the government worked with the local Catholic Church to offer victim protection services, but did not assist any victims through this mechanism during the reporting period year. The government made some efforts to raise awareness of or prevent trafficking during the year.

Recommendations for Palau: Continue publicly to highlight the issue and to recognize and condemn incidences of trafficking; significantly increase efforts to proactively investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders; increase resources devoted to address anti-trafficking efforts; prohibit the confiscation of identity documents of foreign workers; develop a national plan of action to combat human trafficking; continue to make vigorous efforts to combat corruption by officials involved in the exploitation of foreign workers; monitor employment agents recruiting foreign men and women for work in Palau for compliance with existing labor laws to prevent their facilitation of trafficking; establish formal procedures for front-line officers to identify and refer trafficking victims to protective services; forge effective partnerships with local or regional NGOs or international organizations to provide additional services to victims; and continue to develop and implement anti-trafficking information and education campaigns.

Prosecution

The Government of Palau did not report any efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Palau’s Anti-Smuggling and Trafficking Act of 2005 prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons, and prescribes sufficiently stringent penalties for these offenses, ranging from 10 to 50 years’ imprisonment and fines up to $500,000; these are commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government did not report investigating, prosecuting, or convicting any offenders of trafficking during the year, despite a case of forced prostitution that was brought to the attention of senior officials. The government again failed to investigate allegations of labor recruiters, facilitators, and employers involved in the recruitment and exploitation of foreign trafficking victims. The government did not train law enforcement officers to proactively identify and assist victims or to identify victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign workers or foreign women in prostitution.

There were reports of corruption among labor officials related to the regulation and permits of foreign workers. As cited during the previous reporting period, two government officials were charged with corruption in 2009. Both individuals allegedly participated in a scheme to assist irregular migrants in avoiding standard immigration procedures; these migrants were from populations which had been identified as trafficking victims in Palau in the past. In April 2011, one of these two officials, the former Chief of the Division of Labor, pled guilty to misconduct in office and a violation of the Code of Ethics; he was sentenced to three years’ probation for the charge of misconduct in office; the sentencing hearing on charges for the violation of the Code of Ethics had not yet taken place as of the date of publication. The prosecution of the other individual charged in 2009, the former Director of the Bureau of Immigration, is still before the court.

Protection

The Government of Palau made inadequate efforts to identify and protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government did not develop or implement a formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom they come in contact and referring victims to available services; they did not proactively identify any victims during the reporting period. The government worked with the local Catholic Church to offer victim protections including shelter, food, and housing to trafficking victims; however, no victims were assisted through this mechanism during the year. The government did not have any formal or informal arrangements or mechanisms in place to provide trafficking victims with access to legal or psychological services, and had no plans to develop the capacity to do so. Two Filipina victims who were recruited for waitressing and subsequently forced into prostitution came forward and were brought to the attention of authorities, who worked with the Philippines Embassy to repatriate the victims to the Philippines; the government provided health services to the victims, but did not provide shelter, counseling, legal, or any other assistance to the victims. The government did not encourage the victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, nor did it provide legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. The Palau government did not make efforts to identify international organizations or community groups to provide assistance to victims of trafficking.

Prevention

The government made some efforts to prevent human trafficking through public awareness efforts during the year. Palau’s president made public statements against human trafficking that were widely covered in the media. In April 2011, the President established an anti-trafficking task force to examine the trafficking problem, and develop recommendations for fighting trafficking in Palau. During the year, Palau hosted two human rights forums that included human trafficking. In response to public complaints of foreign workers changing employers, the government passed a new law to restrict foreign workers in Palau from changing employers, except under three circumstances – if their employer died, if the company they were employed at dissolved, or if the worker left Palau for a duration of five years and returned. This law, combined with a lack of labor rights for foreign workers, increased the vulnerability of foreign workers to involuntary servitude and debt bondage. A draft bill to end the restrictions on foreign labor movement is currently being considered for congressional approval. The government did not provide any training for government or law enforcement officials on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking. The government made no discernible efforts to address the demand for commercial sex acts or the demand for forced labor during the reporting period. Palau is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

PANAMA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Panama is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Although some Panamanian women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking in other countries in Latin America and in Europe, most Panamanian trafficking victims are exploited within the country. Both NGOs and government officials anecdotally reported that the commercial sexual exploitation of children was greater in rural areas, the Darien region, and in the city of Colon, than in Panama City, though NGOs report that some Panamanian children, mostly young girls, are subjected to domestic servitude. Most foreign trafficking victims are adult women from Colombia, neighboring Central American countries, and the Dominican Republic; some victims migrate voluntarily to Panama to work but are subsequently forced into prostitution or domestic servitude. During the reporting period, some Chinese citizens were smuggled into the country to work in grocery stores and laundries, apparently in situations of debt bondage. Weak controls along Panama’s borders make the nation a transit point for irregular migrants, from Latin America, East Africa, and Asia, some of whom may fall victim to human trafficking en route to the United States.

The Government of Panama does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period authorities established a commission which drafted comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation to bring anti-trafficking laws in line with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. Authorities identified at least 43 trafficking victims and prosecuted five sex trafficking offenders, and in partnership with civil society and foreign governments, provided training to Panamanian officials. However, Panama continued to lack prohibitions against forced labor in its penal code, and authorities did not convict any trafficking offenders during the year. Specialized victim services, particularly for adult victims, remained limited, and authorities did not report using proactive procedures to identify trafficking victims among detained migrants.

Recommendations for Panama: Enact anti-trafficking laws to prohibit forced labor, including domestic servitude; intensify law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and sentence trafficking offenders; enhance training for police officers, immigration officials, social workers, and other government officials in anti-trafficking laws and victim identification and care; dedicate additional resources for victim services, including specialized services for adult victims, which could include construction of a shelter; increase staff and funding for anti-trafficking police and prosecutors, and consider establishing a dedicated prosecutorial unit; strengthen interagency coordination and referral mechanisms; and develop a formal system for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, particularly women in prostitution and irregular migrants.

Prosecution

The Government of Panama maintained efforts against sex trafficking crimes during the reporting period; while authorities investigated a number of cases and prosecuted five trafficking offenders, they reported no convictions for trafficking crimes during the year. Article 178 of the Panamanian penal code prohibits the internal and transnational movement of persons for the purpose of sexual servitude. The prescribed penalties for convicted offenders of this crime is four to six years’ imprisonment, which is increased to six to nine years if offenders use deceit, coercion, or retention of identity documents, and further increased to 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment if the victim is under 14 years of age. Article 177 prohibits sexually exploiting another person for profit. Under aggravated circumstances of threat, force, or fraud, this constitutes human trafficking, and carries a sentence of eight to 10 years. Article 180 prohibits the internal and transnational trafficking of minors for sexual servitude, prescribing prison terms of eight to 10 years’ imprisonment, and Article 179 prohibits subjecting an individual to sexual servitude using threats or violence. Prosecutors may also use other statutes, such as anti-pimping laws, to prosecute sex trafficking crimes. Punishments are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for or other serious crimes, such as rape. Panamanian law, however, does not specifically prohibit forced labor, including forced domestic service. In September 2010, a presidential decree established an interagency commission to draft a law that would bring Panama’s anti-trafficking legislation in line with international standards and prohibit forced labor. The commission presented a draft law to the Minister of Security, who approved it and sent it onto the Cabinet in March 2011. The draft law would formalize the nascent national action committee, which has been working since September 2010, and contains a proposed budget for providing victim services and conducting trafficking investigations.

During the reporting period, authorities investigated a number of trafficking cases and initiated the prosecution of five trafficking offenders under sex trafficking and pimping statutes; the offenders remain incarcerated. Authorities did not report convicting any trafficking offenders during the year. In comparison, during the previous reporting period, authorities achieved one conviction under a statute prohibiting pimping. Authorities maintained a small law enforcement unit to investigate sex trafficking and related offenses, but the unit was reportedly understaffed. Authorities fired six immigration officials and initiated prosecutions for their role in smuggling Chinese citizens who were subsequently handed off to Chinese-run laundries and grocery stores to work in debt bondage, reflecting a notable commitment to address official complicity in human trafficking crimes. Officials participated in trafficking awareness training provided by NGOs, international organizations, and foreign governments in collaboration with Panamanian authorities. Additionally, in partnership with an international organization, the Foreign Ministry provided training for 30 consular officials on victim identification and assistance.

Protection

The Panamanian government maintained efforts to assist trafficking victims during the reporting period, though overall victim services remained inadequate, particularly for adult victims. Authorities did not employ systematic procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as detained undocumented migrants. Panamanian law requires the National Immigration Office’s trafficking victims unit to provide assistance to foreign trafficking victims. However, for the second year in a row the Immigration Office indicated that there were no foreign victims of trafficking over the past year, and the unit was reportedly not being used to identify victims. Law enforcement officials reported identifying at least 43 trafficking victims during the reporting period, including 27 Panamanian children in prostitution. The authorities collaborated with NGOs to provide victims with food, clothing, and shelter. The government continued to provide partial funding to an NGO-operated shelter with dedicated housing and social services for children subjected to commercial sexual exploitation. This shelter, another NGO shelter working with at-risk youth, and the government’s network of shelters for victims of abuse and violence were equipped to provide services to child victims of trafficking. There was no shelter care available exclusively for adult victims of trafficking. The government could house adult victims in hotels on an ad hoc basis. Victims identified by law enforcement officials received a psychological evaluation, as well as medical, psychological, and legal services. Authorities reported referring victims to NGOs and other institutions providing care services on an ad hoc basis. There were no long-term services available to trafficking victims. Panamanian authorities encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders, though officials reported difficulties in obtaining victim participation in investigations. There was no information on how many victims assisted with investigations during the year. The government reported that foreign sex trafficking victims could remain in the country by judicial order during investigations and judicial proceedings, but did not report if any foreign trafficking victims did so during the reporting period. Trafficking victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; however, due to the lack of victim identification strategies, not all foreign victims may have been identified before deportation.

Prevention

The Government of Panama maintained efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. Most of these efforts focused on the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The government is in the process of formalizing a permanent interagency mechanism to coordinate Panama’s anti-trafficking efforts. Transparency in the government’s anti-trafficking efforts was limited; it shared some information on anti-trafficking measures with the media and foreign governments, though it did not publish assessments of its own anti-trafficking policies or efforts during the year. In partnership with an international organization, the government launched a multimedia campaign raising awareness about the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Child sex tourism is prohibited by law, though there were no reported investigations of sex tourists during the reporting period. During the reporting period, various government agencies continued to implement the National Plan for Prevention and Elimination of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents, through working with the tourism sector to combat child sex tourism. The government undertook no initiatives to reduce demand for forced labor.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA (Tier 3)

Papua New Guinea is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Women and children are subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude; trafficked men are forced to labor in logging and mining camps. Children, especially young girls from tribal areas, are most vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation or subjected to forced labor by members of their immediate family or tribe. Families traditionally sell girls into forced marriages to settle their debts, leaving them vulnerable to forced domestic service, and tribal leaders trade the exploitative labor and service of girls and women for guns and political advantage. Young girls sold into marriage are often forced into domestic servitude for the husband’s extended family. In more urban areas, some children from poorer families are prostituted by their parents or sold to brothels. Migrant women and teenage girls from Malaysia, Thailand, China, and the Philippines are subjected to sex trafficking and men from China are transported to the country for forced labor.

Asian crime rings, foreign logging companies, and foreign businessmen arrange for some women to voluntarily enter Papua New Guinea with fraudulently issued tourist or business visas. Subsequent to their arrival, smugglers turn many of the women over to traffickers who transport them to logging and mining camps, fisheries, and entertainment sites where they are exploited in forced prostitution and domestic servitude. Foreign and local men are exploited for labor at mines and logging camps, where some receive almost no pay and are compelled to continue working for the company indefinitely through debt bondage schemes. Employers foster workers’ greater indebtedness to the company by paying the workers sub-standard wages while charging them artificially inflated prices at the company store; employees’ only option becomes to buy food and other necessities on credit. Government officials facilitate trafficking by accepting bribes to allow illegal migrants to enter the country or to ignore victims forced into prostitution or labor, by receiving female trafficking victims in return for political favors, and by providing female victims in return for votes.

The Government of Papua New Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Despite the government’s acknowledgement of trafficking as a problem in the country, the government did not investigate any suspected trafficking offenses, prosecute or convict any trafficking offenders under existing laws, address allegations of officials complicit in human trafficking crimes, or identify or assist any trafficking victims during the year.

Recommendations for Papua New Guinea: Complete drafting, passage, and enactment of legislation prohibiting and punishing all forms of trafficking; investigate, prosecute, and punish officials who facilitate or directly benefit from trafficking; develop and institute a formal procedure to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as children in prostitution and foreign women arriving for work in Papua New Guinea; train law enforcement officers to proactively identify and protect victims; ensure victims of trafficking are not arrested, deported, or otherwise punished for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; work with NGOs and international organizations to increase protective services to victims of trafficking; and increase collaboration with civil society, religious, and tribal leaders to raise awareness of and reduce demand for forced labor and commercial sex acts.

Prosecution

The Government of Papua New Guinea failed to show progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. Authorities did not report efforts to investigate any trafficking crimes or arrest or prosecute any trafficking offenders during the year. Furthermore, the government did not systematically monitor its anti-trafficking efforts. Papua New Guinea does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, and the penal code does not prohibit all forms of trafficking. Its criminal code prohibits forced labor and slavery, though the legal definition for “forced labor” may exclude victims who initially agreed to a particular job, only to be subsequently held through coercion. While it prohibits trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation and slavery, it does not prohibit the trafficking of adults. Penalties prescribed for the crime of child trafficking are up to life imprisonment, and are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The criminal code prescribes various penalties for the forced prostitution of women. Low fines or sentences of up to two years’ imprisonment for these offenses, including holding a woman in a brothel against her will, are not sufficiently stringent. Prescribed penalties of up to seven years’ imprisonment for perpetrators who use fraud, violence, threats, abuse of authority, or drugs to procure a person for purposes of forced prostitution are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes. There is no indication that any of these statutes have been used to prosecute trafficking cases. The Ministry of Justice continued deliberations on a comprehensive anti-trafficking law for another year. Trafficking-related crimes in rural areas were referred to village courts, which administered customary law, rather than criminal law, and adjudicated cases through restitution paid by the trafficking offender to the victim rather than criminal penalties assigned to the offender. Survivors of internal trafficking sometimes reportedly received customary compensation payments from the offender and were reluctant to notify police or bring additional criminal charges against their traffickers. The government did not train any police officers or front-line officials on trafficking during the year. Wealthy business people, politicians, and police officials who benefit financially from the operation of commercial sex establishments were not prosecuted. Most law enforcement and other government offices remained weak as the result of corruption, cronyism, a lack of accountability, and a promotion system based on patronage. While government officials made public statements recognizing corruption, such as border control officials allowing foreigners to enter the country without documentation and to conduct illegal activities, the government made no discernible efforts to investigate or prosecute trafficking-related complicity, and some provincial officials expressed frustration at the lack of efforts to address trafficking-related corruption.

Protection

The Government of Papua New Guinea did not make any efforts to identify or assist victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government did not proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, and did not regularly refer victims to NGO service providers. It did not operate any victim care facilities for trafficking victims. Due to resource constraints, the government relied on NGOs to assist victims of crime, though none of these organizations reported identifying or assisting any victims of trafficking during the year. The government has yet to provide funding to any international organizations or NGOs to work with trafficking victims. Due to poor victim identification by authorities, potential victims who came to the attention of police may have been punished for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked; this was especially true for victims of sex trafficking. While laws protect sex trafficking victims from being penalized for unlawful acts they might have committed as a direct consequence of their being trafficked, there are no such provisions for victims of forced labor. The government did not offer legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims of trafficking to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

During the past year, the Papua New Guinean government made no significant efforts to prevent human trafficking. In November 2010, the government participated in a foreign-funded workshop in the Solomon Islands to share information with the Solomon Islands government on human trafficking. Officials took modest steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts through public awareness campaigns against prostitution and the country’s growing HIV/ AIDS epidemic. The Papua New Guinean Department of Justice and Attorney General led the Interagency National Human Trafficking Committee with the support of IOM, and provided comments on the draft human trafficking law, though it reported doing little else during the year. While some government offices agreed to be members of the Committee, attendance was often poor. Papua New Guinea is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

PARAGUAY (Tier 2)

Paraguay is a source country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking, as well as a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor. Many Paraguayan trafficking victims are found in Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, and Spain; smaller numbers of victims are exploited in Brazil. In one case last year, 32 Paraguayan women were identified in forced prostitution in the Spanish province of Cuenca and, in two other cases, over 50 Paraguayan women were rescued from forced prostitution in brothels in Argentina. Domestic servitude and sex trafficking of adults and children within the country remain a serious problem. Indigenous persons are particularly at risk of being subjected to forced labor or forced prostitution, and during the reporting period the local media highlighted cases of indigenous girls in prostitution at the behest of family members. Poor children from rural areas are subjected to forced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude in urban centers such as Asuncion, Ciudad del Este, and Encarnacion, and a significant number of street children are trafficking victims. To a lesser extent foreign trafficking victims from Bolivia and Peru have been identified in situations of forced labor within Paraguay. Many undocumented migrants, some of whom could be trafficked, travel through the Tri-Border Area of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil.

The Government of Paraguay does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government sustained modest anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and significantly increased funding for victim services and awareness efforts during the year. However, the government did not convict any trafficking offenders during the reporting period. The current legal framework failed to adequately prohibit internal cases of forced labor or forced prostitution and authorities had no formal system to proactively identify trafficking victims.

Recommendations for Paraguay: Address deficiencies in anti-trafficking laws to prohibit forced labor and forced prostitution occurring within the country’s borders; intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, including forced labor crimes, as well as efforts to convict and punish trafficking offenders, including officials who are involved in or facilitate human trafficking; increase training for government officials, including law enforcement officials and judges, on how to identify and respond to trafficking cases; provide access to comprehensive assistance for victims of all forms of trafficking; and strengthen efforts to raise public awareness about human trafficking, particularly among those seeking work abroad.

Prosecution

The Paraguayan government’s anti-trafficking law enforcement actions diminished during the past year, as no convictions of trafficking offenders were reported, despite a significant number of prosecutions. Paraguay’s penal code does not sufficiently prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons. Articles 129(b) and (c) of the new penal code, which came into force in July 2009, prohibit transnational sex and labor trafficking that involve the use of force, threats, deception, or trickery, prescribing penalties up to 12 years’ imprisonment. All of these prescribed penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Although Paraguayan law does not specifically prohibit internal trafficking, prosecutors could draw on exploitation of prostitution and kidnapping statutes, as well as other penal code provisions, to prosecute internal trafficking crimes, and reported doing so in a few cases during the year. During 2010, police anti-trafficking units in Asuncion, Puerto Elisa, Colonel Oviedo, Encarnacion, Caaguazu, and Ciudad del Este investigated 136 potential trafficking cases, conducted 17 raids on establishments suspected of trafficking, and arrested 32 suspected trafficking offenders.

The dedicated anti-trafficking unit in the Attorney General’s Office had a total of two prosecutors and 10 assistants, and this unit worked with prosecutors at the local level to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases. In 2010, Paraguayan prosecutors opened investigations into at least 107 possible trafficking cases, compared with 138 possible cases opened in 2009, almost all of which involved sex trafficking. Authorities indicted 38 suspected trafficking offenders but reported no convictions for human trafficking in 2010, as compared with two convictions for trafficking crimes under other statutes in 2009. During the past year, some government officials, including police, border guards, judges, and elected officials, reportedly facilitated trafficking crimes by accepting payments from trafficking offenders. Prosecutors investigated and charged a police officer and a public registry employee in separate cases of possible trafficking-related complicity in 2010; these cases had not gone to trial by the end of the reporting period. Paraguayan officials continued to work closely with foreign governments in their law enforcement efforts, cooperating with Argentine, Bolivian, Brazilian, Chilean, and Spanish authorities on trafficking investigations, some of which resulted in convictions of trafficking offenders in Chile and Argentina. In February 2011, the police adopted a new mandatory training manual containing material on human trafficking.

Protection

The Government of Paraguay increased efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period, but victim assistance remained inadequate. Authorities did not employ a formal system for proactively identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations such as prostituted women, domestic servants, or street children, and did not employ a formalized process for referring any such victims to care services. The Women’s Secretariat (SMRP) ran one shelter for female trafficking victims in Asuncion that did not detain adult victims involuntarily. SMRP also funded other assistance programs, including three drop-in centers, for female victims of violence which could provide some short-term services, such as medical, psychological, and legal assistance. Anti-trafficking funds for SMRP increased almost five-fold during the reporting period to reach a total of approximately $110,000. In partnership with another government entity, the secretariat opened two businesses — a beauty shop and an agricultural plot — designed to provide trafficking victims with employment. The Paraguayan government did not offer shelter facilities for male victims. In 2010, the SMRP provided services to 27 trafficking victims in its shelter, 17 of whom were children, as well as to 11 trafficking victims who did not stay at the shelter. The interagency anti-trafficking roundtable reported identifying 80 international victims of trafficking, including six children. Government-funded care services for foreign and Paraguayan trafficking victims remained limited, however, especially outside of the capital, and most victim assistance is funded at least in part by NGOs and international donors. Paraguayan authorities encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, and some victims filed complaints to open investigations. Victims generally avoided the court system, however, due to social stigma, fear of retaliation, and the lengthy judicial process. Identified victims generally were not jailed, deported, or otherwise penalized for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The Government of Paraguay could offer temporary or permanent residency status for foreign trafficking victims through its liberal immigration system, but did not report doing so in the past year.

Prevention

The Paraguayan government increased prevention activities during the reporting period. Government agencies and civil society participated in a government-run anti-trafficking roundtable, which consisted of five sub-committees. The roundtable began drafting comprehensive legislation as well as a national anti-trafficking plan in 2010. A separate plan to combat forced and child labor went into effect last year. In partnership with NGOs and an international bank, the government launched an anti-trafficking awareness campaign targeted at educating at-risk populations with radio and television ads in Spanish and Guarani. The SMRP continued to conduct regional workshops focused on improving the local government response to human trafficking, with a total of over 1,500 participants during the year. The government reported no efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor. The government issued little public reporting on its anti-trafficking activities but collaborated significantly with NGOs in addressing human trafficking issues. Paraguay was not a known destination for child sex tourists, though foreign citizens from neighboring countries are reported to engage in commercial sexual exploitation of children in Ciudad del Este. The government provided human rights training, which included a human trafficking component, to troops deployed on international peacekeeping missions.

PERU (Tier 2)

Peru is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Several thousand persons are estimated to be subjected to conditions of forced labor within Peru, mainly in mining, logging, agriculture, brick making, and domestic service. Peruvian women and girls are recruited and coerced into prostitution in nightclubs, bars, and brothels in Peru’s urban areas and mining centers, often through false employment offers or promises of education. The Madre de Dios province, as well as the cities of Cuzco and Lima, were identified as some of the main destinations for Peruvian sex trafficking victims. Indigenous persons are particularly vulnerable to debt bondage. Forced child labor remains a problem, particularly in informal gold mines, among begging rings in urban areas, and in cocaine production and transportation. There are reports that the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso, or Shining Path, recruited children to serve as combatants and in the illicit narcotics trade. There were also reports that a smaller number of adolescents were serving in the Peruvian Armed Forces: however, while there were 150 complaints to the Human Rights Ombudsman about underage soldiers, authorities reported only 20 such complaints made in 2010. Most trafficking is carried out internally, but Peruvian women are also, to a lesser extent, subjected to forced prostitution in Ecuador, Spain, Italy, Japan, and the United States, and forced labor in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, and Brazil. Peru also is a destination country for some Ecuadorian, Bolivian, and Chinese women and girls subjected to sex trafficking, and some Bolivian nationals in conditions of forced labor. Child sex tourism is present in areas such as Cuzco and Lima. Traffickers reportedly operate with impunity in certain regions where there is little or no government presence.

The Government of Peru does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Authorities sustained law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking and maintained strong public awareness efforts, including launching the first national anti-trafficking campaign. However, the government again failed to make sufficient efforts to address the high incidence of forced labor in the country and has never reported successfully prosecuting a forced labor offense. Furthermore, authorities did not provide adequate victim services for victims of all forms of trafficking, and a draft national plan to combat trafficking created in 2006 has yet to be formalized.

Recommendations for Peru: Vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders, especially for forced labor crimes, including corrupt officials who may facilitate trafficking activity; initiate proactive investigations of forced labor crimes through enhanced partnerships between law enforcement officials and labor officials; fund shelters and specialized services for all victims of trafficking or fund NGOs with capacity to provide these services; create and implement formal mechanisms to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; offer enhanced anti-trafficking training for local prosecutors, judges, social workers, and law enforcement personnel; increase funding for specialized anti-trafficking police and prosecutorial units; enact and implement the draft national plan to combat trafficking; and continue to strengthen local government efforts to combat trafficking and to raise public awareness on all forms of human trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Peru continued to combat forced prostitution through law enforcement measures last year but again demonstrated weak efforts to investigate and prosecute forced labor offenses. Law 28950 of 2007 prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons, prescribing penalties of eight to 25 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. However, NGOs reported that law enforcement investigators, prosecutors, and judges often opt to classify human trafficking cases as less serious criminal offenses that prescribe lower penalties. During the reporting period, police investigated 83 potential trafficking cases; of these, two involved forced labor, and 25 involved sex trafficking. Authorities brought forth 18 trafficking cases to the judiciary and secured the convictions of 12 sex trafficking offenders, who received sentences of up to 30 years’ imprisonment, in addition to fines. Authorities did not report how many sentences were suspended. In comparison, Peruvian authorities prosecuted 78 cases and convicted nine sex trafficking offenders the previous year. For the fifth consecutive year, there were very few prosecutions and no convictions reported for forced labor offenses, despite an estimated high incidence of forced labor in the country, and previous efforts to proactively investigate forced labor at mining sites in the Amazon were discontinued.

The government’s dedicated anti-trafficking police unit consisted of 32 officers and was based in the capital. Police maintained and expanded the use of an electronic case tracking system for human trafficking investigations, although this system did not track judicial activity, such as prosecutions and convictions. Furthermore, NGOs reported that the system is not always used efficiently, as police in some areas do not enter investigations into the system in a timely fashion or at all. Prosecutors are supposed to accompany police on raids on brothels and other locations where trafficking is suspected; NGOs reported that sometimes poor coordination led to delayed action.

The government did not provide data on its investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of government employees complicit in human trafficking. Corruption among low-level officials enabled trafficking in certain instances, and individual police officers tolerated the operation of unlicensed brothels and the prostitution of children. In one case during the reporting period, NGOs and the media reported that local authorities protected the owner of a bar frequented by police officers and prosecutors where victims were subjected to forced prostitution. One of the main witnesses in this case died when she was run over by the accused trafficker, reflecting a need for better witness protection. In partnership with civil society, the government provided training on human trafficking to police officers, immigration officials, and social workers, among others. The government collaborated with the Argentine and Chilean government in several anti-trafficking investigations.

Protection

The government provided limited assistance to trafficking victims last year. The government did not employ a formal mechanism for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as adult women in prostitution or children in the informal mining sector. The government had no formal process for referring trafficking victims for treatment. Authorities reported referring child victims of trafficking to the network of 39 government-run children’s homes for at-risk youth. Some adult female victims received services through the government’s network of over 100 emergency centers, though these centers do not offer shelter services and none are specifically equipped or staffed to care for trafficking victims. The Peruvian national police maintained preventive centers for minors where some child victims of trafficking were temporarily housed before being referred to other shelters for services. NGOs provided care and shelters to sexually exploited women; however, specialized services and shelter for adult trafficking victims remained largely unavailable and there were no dedicated shelters for trafficking victims in the country. In at least one case during the reporting period, an adult victim was housed in police facilities as no other shelter was available, and in some cases victims housed in police facilities had to sleep on the floor and did not receive proper assistance, including food. Law enforcement officials reported identifying 191 potential trafficking victims, and Peruvian prosecutors reported providing 27 victims with legal, social, and psychological services. The government did not provide financial assistance to anti-trafficking NGOs and adequate victim services remained unavailable in many parts of the country. Military officials pledged to NGOs in 2009 and to the Interamerican Commission on Human Rights in 2010 to discharge 1,000 child soldiers – some of whom might be trafficking victims – though authorities did not publicly report on how many children were actually demobilized from the ranks of the military during the reporting period.

Victim participation in the investigation or prosecution of traffickers remained limited, although several victims under government protection chose to testify against their traffickers during the reporting period. As of 2010, victims are allowed to pursue civil suits against their traffickers free of charge, though no victims were offered assistance in doing so during the reporting period. The government did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Trafficking victims were eligible for temporary and permanent residency status under Peruvian refugee law, and at least one victim was granted such permanent residency, although victims generally preferred to return to their countries of origin. However, some NGOs noted that authorities did not adequately screen irregular migrants before deportation to verify if they were trafficking victims.

Prevention

The Government of Peru continued strong anti-trafficking prevention efforts. The government’s interagency committee continued to meet to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts and published an extensive annual report on government efforts over the past year. The government, however, has yet to formalize the draft national plan to combat trafficking that committee members drafted in 2006. During the reporting period, authorities launched the first national campaign against trafficking, in partnership with civil society and with financial support from a foreign government and an international organization. The government continued to advertise its anti-trafficking hotline, which received 31 reports of trafficking in 2010. The Madre de Dios region created a regional action plan against human trafficking, modeled on the draft national plan, with funding for implementation, and three other regions reported strengthened anti-trafficking networks during the reporting period. Some areas of the country are known child sex tourism destinations, and Peruvian laws prohibit this crime; during the reporting period, Peruvian authorities arrested an American tourist for pedophilia. The government provided training to 610 officials and tourism service providers about child sex tourism, conducted a public awareness campaign on the issue, and promoted codes of conduct for tour service providers; to date, 325 businesses have signed code of conduct agreements nationwide. The government provided Peruvian peacekeepers with human rights training, including human trafficking awareness, prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions. No efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor were reported.

PHILIPPINES (Tier 2)

The Philippines is a source country and, to a much lesser extent, a destination and transit country for men, women, and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. A significant number of Filipino men and women who migrate abroad for work are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude worldwide. Men, women, and children are subjected to conditions of forced labor in factories, at construction sites, on fishing vessels, on agricultural plantations, and as domestic workers in Asia and increasingly throughout the Middle East. A significant number of women in domestic servitude abroad also face rape and violent physical and sexual abuse. Skilled Filipino migrant workers, such as engineers and nurses, are also subjected to conditions of forced labor abroad. Women were subjected to sex trafficking in countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Japan and in various Middle Eastern countries. Internal trafficking of men, women, and children also remains a significant problem in the Philippines. People are trafficked from rural areas to urban centers including Manila, Cebu, the city of Angeles, and increasingly to cities in Mindanao, as well as within urban areas. Men are subjected to forced labor and debt bondage in the agriculture, fishing, and maritime industries. Women and children were trafficked within the country for forced labor as domestic workers and small-scale factory workers, for forced begging, and for exploitation in the commercial sex industry. Hundreds of victims are subjected to forced prostitution each day in well-known and highly visible business establishments that cater to both domestic and foreign demand for commercial sex acts. Filipino migrant workers, both domestically and abroad, who became trafficking victims were often subject to violence, threats, inhumane living conditions, nonpayment of salaries, and withholding of travel and identity documents.

Traffickers, in partnership with organized crime syndicates and complicit law enforcement officers, regularly operate through local recruiters sent to villages and urban neighborhoods to recruit family and friends, often masquerading as representatives of government-registered employment agencies. Fraudulent recruitment practices and the institutionalized practice of paying recruitment fees often left workers vulnerable to forced labor, debt bondage, and commercial sexual exploitation. There were reports that illicit recruiters increased their use of student, intern, and exchange program visas to circumvent the Philippines government and receiving countries’ regulatory frameworks for foreign workers. Recruiters took on new methods in attempts to get potential victims past immigration officers at airports and seaports. Traffickers utilized budget airlines, inter-island ferries and barges, buses, and even chartered flights to transport their victims domestically and internationally. Child sex tourism remained a serious problem in the Philippines, with sex tourists coming from Northeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and North America to engage in the commercial sexual exploitation of children. One NGO estimated that there are over 900,000 undocumented Filipinos in the country, mostly based in Mindanao; the lack of official documentation is widely recognized as contributing to a population’s vulnerability to trafficking. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a separatist group, and the New People’s Army (NPA) were identified by the United Nations as among the world’s persistent perpetrators of violations against children in armed conflict, including forcing children into service. During the year, there were continued reports to the United Nations that the Abu Sayyaf Group targeted children for conscription as both combatants and noncombatants.

The Government of the Philippines does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the Philippine Department of Justice and Supreme Court issued directives to expedite the disposition of backlogged trafficking cases. The government convicted 25 trafficking offenders – an increase from nine convictions in the previous year – including two convictions in cases involving forced labor, the Philippines’ first-ever labor trafficking convictions. Additionally, authorities made notable efforts to address trafficking-related corruption, and several criminal cases against Philippine officials were initiated and remain ongoing. The government enacted numerous measures and policies to improve institutional responses to human trafficking for this year and in future years, such as increased training of judicial, law enforcement, and diplomatic officials on trafficking issues; the creation and funding of anti-trafficking task forces in airports, seaports, regions, and localities; and an increase in dedicated staff to combating trafficking. Nevertheless, the government needs to further its efforts to address significant obstacles to anti-trafficking progress, including the remaining substantial backlog in trafficking cases pending in Philippine courts; the lack of vigorous efforts to pursue criminal prosecution of labor traffickers, including labor recruitment companies involved in the trafficking of migrant workers abroad; rampant corruption at all levels that enables traffickers and undermines efforts to combat trafficking; and uneven and insufficient efforts to identify and adequately protect victims of trafficking – particularly those who are assisting with prosecutions.

Recommendations for the Philippines: Sustain the intensified effort to investigate, prosecute, and convict effectively an increased number of both labor and sex trafficking offenders involved in the trafficking of Filipinos both within the country and abroad; continue to fund and strengthen the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking (IACAT) and provide full-time staffing and management for the IACAT Secretariat; increase funding for anti-trafficking programs within IACAT member agencies; address the significant backlog of trafficking cases by developing mechanisms to track and monitor the status of cases filed with the Department of Justice and those under trial in the courts; strictly enforce anti-corruption laws and expedite adjudication of cases filed by the Ombudsman’s anti-trafficking task force; conduct immediate and rigorous investigations of complaints of trafficking complicity by government officials and ensure accountability for leaders that fail to address trafficking-related corruption within their areas of jurisdiction; strengthen anti-trafficking training for police recruits, line officers, and police investigators; make efforts to improve collaboration between victim service organizations and law enforcement authorities with regards to law enforcement operations; make efforts to expand the use of victim processing centers to additional localities to improve identification of adult victims and allow for victims to be processed and assisted in a safe environment after a rescue operation; increase victim shelter resources to expand the government shelter system to assist a greater number of trafficking victims, including male victims of both sex and labor trafficking; increase funding for the Department of Justice’s program for the protection of witnesses and entry of trafficking victims into the program; increase efforts to identify trafficking victims in destination countries and to pursue criminal investigation and prosecution of their traffickers; develop and implement programs aimed at reducing demand for commercial sex acts; and assess and improve methods to measure and address domestic and international labor trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of the Philippines achieved its first ever conviction of a labor trafficking offender in February 2011. The Philippines criminally prohibits both sex and labor trafficking through its 2003 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, which prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. During the reporting period, the government convicted 25 trafficking offenders in 19 cases – compared with nine traffickers convicted in six cases during the previous year – including the conviction in February 2011 of a labor trafficker who sold two women into domestic servitude in Malaysia, where they were enslaved for nine months without pay. The labor trafficker was sentenced to 28 years’ imprisonment and fined over $28,000. Sentences for the other 24 convicted offenders ranged from six years’ to life imprisonment. Nevertheless, hundreds of victims continue to be trafficked each day in well-known, highly visible establishments, many of which have never been the target of anti-trafficking law enforcement action. Ten of the 25 convictions were results of cases filed and prosecuted by an NGO on behalf of victims in a system whereby the Philippine government allows private attorneys to prosecute cases under the direction and control of public prosecutors. Under this arrangement, NGO lawyers were responsible for much of the prosecution workload. In June 2010, the Department of Justice ordered prosecutors to make trafficking cases a priority, and in October, the Supreme Court issued a circular calling courts to expedite the disposition of trafficking cases and requiring that cases be decided within 180 days of arraignment. At the same time, widespread corruption and an inefficient judicial system continue to pose very serious challenges to the successful prosecution of trafficking cases. Philippine courts have 338 pending or ongoing trafficking cases.

In 2010, the Department of Justice designated 36 prosecutors in various national, regional, and airport task forces to work on anti-trafficking cases. In this task force model, for the first time, prosecutors are assigned to assist law enforcement in building cases against suspected trafficking offenders. The government ran a mandatory training session on trafficking at a judges’ conference attended by over 400 judges and also expanded anti-trafficking training efforts to several hundred police and law enforcement officers, in partnership with NGOs and foreign donors. Nevertheless, NGOs continue to report a lack of understanding of trafficking and the anti-trafficking law among many judges, prosecutors, social service workers, and law enforcement officials, and this remains an impediment to successful prosecutions. Prosecutors continue to have difficulty distinguishing labor trafficking crimes from labor contract violations, which may be one cause for the lack of a greater number of criminal forced labor cases filed.

Law enforcement officials’ complicity in human trafficking remains a pervasive problem in the Philippines, and corruption at all levels of government enables traffickers to prosper. There continued to be reports that officials in government units and agencies assigned to enforce laws against human trafficking permitted trafficking offenders to conduct illegal activities, including allowing traffickers to escape during raids, extorting bribes, accepting payments or sexual services from establishments known for trafficking women and children, and conducting fake raids on establishments known for trafficking women and children to extort money from their traffickers. Allegations continued that police officers at times conducted indiscriminate raids on commercial sex establishments to extort bribes from managers, clients, and women in the sex industry, sometimes threatening women with imprisonment for solicitation. During the last year, the government began to take steps to identify and prosecute officials complicit in trafficking and temporarily suspended officials suspected of involvement in trafficking, but no public officials were convicted for trafficking or trafficking-related corruption during the reporting period. The Department of Justice filed criminal cases against eight officials for trafficking-related offenses and administrative cases against an additional 21 officials, but none of the cases had been concluded as of the end of the reporting period. While the government began a partnership in 2009 with three NGOs to jointly prosecute corrupt officials and several investigations have resulted in this partnership, no criminal cases have been filed under this program.

Protection

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continued to operate 42 temporary shelters for victims of all types of abuse. There are no reliable statistics on the total number of trafficking victims identified or assisted by the government during the year. The government did not report identifying or assisting any foreign victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government referred victims to both government and private short- and long-term care facilities, though the government’s capacity to provide shelter and protection remained very limited, due to insufficient budgets for victim protection provided to shelters by the government. Government shelters did not detain victims against their will. The government, through the Philippines Overseas Labor Offices, provided emergency shelter, medical care, and legal assistance to Filipino trafficking victims in several countries abroad, including the UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Singapore, and Malaysia. Identification of adult trafficking victims remained inadequate, which left victims vulnerable to being charged, fined, and imprisoned for vagrancy. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, but the government’s serious lack of victim and witness protection, exacerbated by a lengthy trial process and fear of retaliation by traffickers, caused many victims to decline or withdraw cooperation. During the year, the Department of Justice’s program for the protection of witnesses assisted three trafficking victims. The lack of adequate witness protection and shelter remained a significant deficiency in the government’s response to victims’ need for protection and assistance. The government reported that it filed and tried civil and criminal cases on behalf of victims concurrently, unless the victims opted to pursue a civil case independently. The government sustained partnerships with local NGOs that provide shelter and assistance to trafficking victims. Local social welfare officers are not adequately trained on how properly to assist rescued trafficking victims, particularly children and male and female labor trafficking victims. The government allocated $1.84 million in its 2011 budget to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) for emergency assistance to Filipinos overseas, including trafficking victims, a decrease from $3.15 million allocated for the previous year. The Department of Labor and Employment continued to deploy 51 labor attachés who serve in 38 overseas labor offices around the world to assist Filipino migrant workers.

Prevention

Authorities increased training and public awareness efforts on trafficking, including for judicial officials, diplomats, civil society groups, and overseas foreign workers. The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) conducted 1,344 pre-deployment orientation seminars and 863 pre-employment seminars for over 100,000 prospective and outbound Filipino overseas workers. POEA and the Department of Labor and Employment also conducted anti-illegal recruitment and trafficking seminars in the country, attended by local prosecutors, law enforcement personnel, local government units, NGOs, recruitment agencies, and community members. The government conducted training seminars in Malaysia and Jordan for regional Philippine embassy personnel in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa on victim identification, reporting of trafficking cases, victim-centered interview techniques, and discussion of options for filing trafficking cases or related criminal charges against traffickers in the destination countries or in the Philippines. The DFA also continued to provide pre-deployment seminars on recognizing and responding to trafficking cases to government personnel before being assigned abroad. During the year, the IACAT significantly increased staffing to Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport Task Force Against Trafficking in Persons, which now operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week, is led by three senior airport officials, and includes 11 full-time airport police department officers, 10 Department of Justice prosecutors and staff members, and seven social workers from the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) also designated 14 agents to assist the task force in law enforcement operations. Four regional anti-trafficking task forces consisting of prosecutors, law enforcement agents, social workers, and NGOs were created in trafficking hotspots around the country; these task forces received funding and personnel support from the IACAT and the Department of Justice. On March 15, the IACAT launched a 24-hour nationwide anti-trafficking hotline designed to respond to crisis calls from human trafficking victims. Despite significant local demand in the country’s thriving commercial sex industry, the government’s efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts in the Philippines were limited, as were the government’s efforts to address the demand for forced labor. In December, the Philippine Congress appropriated $550,000 in the 2011 national budget to fund, for the first time, the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking and the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s anti-trafficking programs. The Department of Justice created dedicated office space for the IACAT and increased staffing for the IACAT Secretariat from four to eight personnel, though the majority of these staffers were not assigned on a full-time basis. The government also overhauled its screening of immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking during the year. In August 2010, the Bureau of Immigration instituted new screening guidelines for ports of exit, leading to the interception of over 28,000 passengers identified as potential victims of trafficking, due to their lack of proper documentation and indicators of high risk for illegal recruitment and trafficking. Over 900 cases were referred to the IACAT, NBI, POEA, and DFA for further investigation. Through trafficking prevention efforts at major seaports in partnership with an NGO, over 1,800 potential victims of trafficking were intercepted, resulting in the filing of 21 criminal anti-trafficking cases. The Philippine armed forces reportedly rescued eight child soldiers during the year, all of whom were allegedly conscripted by the NPA. The government provided training, including a module on human trafficking, to Philippine troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

POLAND (Tier 1)

Poland is a source, transit, and destination country for men and women subjected to conditions of forced labor and for women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Men and women from Poland are subjected to conditions of forced labor in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and the Scandinavian countries. Women and children from Poland are subjected to sex trafficking within Poland and also in the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Italy. Women and children from Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Belarus are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation in Poland. Polish men are forced under threat of violence to commit crimes, such as financial fraud, in Germany. In a more recently identified trend, Poland is a destination for migrant men and women from Azerbaijan, China, Nepal, the Philippines, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Thailand, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and West Africa who may be forced to work, in sectors such as agriculture, manufacturing, and food processing. Employers in Poland sometimes refuse to pay migrant workers and anonymously report them to the Border Guard for visa violation and potential deportation. Women and men are trafficked through Poland from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Belarus, Romania, and Moldova to Western Europe.

The Government of Poland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2010, the government revised its anti-trafficking laws to improve their clarity, their coverage of all forms of trafficking in persons, and ease of applicability. The government continued to fund victim protection mechanisms in all areas of the country. The government, however, continued to face challenges in identifying victims of trafficking, particularly those in forced labor, and ensuring that the victims’ rights were universally respected. Several identified victims were prosecuted by the government. NGOs reported concerns that the reflection period was rarely used in practice. A significant portion of convicted trafficking offenders were not sentenced to time in prison.

Recommendations for Poland: Fully implement the standard operating procedures for victim identification and adapt the referral mechanism to identify victims of labor trafficking better; ensure that all first-responders, including labor inspectors and border guards, have a clear mandate to identify and refer potential victims to care in accordance with standard operating procedures; enhance training of the lower-level police officers most likely to come into contact with trafficking victims; ensure that identified victims of trafficking are not penalized for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; take steps to ensure that the government’s reflection period is offered to all victims, and that victims are not deported for initially refusing to be interviewed; take steps to ensure that a majority of trafficking offenders serve time in prison; continue to increase the shelter system’s capacity to assist victims, including men and children; continue trafficking training for both prosecutors and judges; conduct additional awareness campaigns to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts; and organize training on human trafficking for peacekeepers preparing for deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

Prosecution

The Government of Poland made significant improvements in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, primarily by revising, in May 2010, its human trafficking laws to improve their clarity and to define specifically human trafficking offenses in the criminal code. Poland prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through the newly enacted Articles 115.22 and 115.23, and 189a, which replaced Article 253 and Article 204 Section 4, Article 204 Section 3, and Article 203 of the criminal code. Prescribed punishments under the revised statutes range from a minimum of three years’ up to 15 years’ imprisonment; sentences are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In January 2011, the government transferred the anti-trafficking unit of the Polish National Police to the Central Bureau of Investigation to facilitate coordination and supervision of trafficking cases in all 17 regional police anti-trafficking units. Although the prosecutor’s office does not have a specialized anti-trafficking unit, an anti-trafficking consultant was assigned to advise prosecutors responsible for trafficking cases.

In 2010, Polish police investigated 95 alleged trafficking offenses, down from 105 investigations in 2009. The government prosecuted 77 and convicted 28 trafficking offenders under Articles 203 and 253 in 2010 – convictions under the new statutes were not reported – in contrast to 79 prosecution and 52 convictions in 2009. Post-appeal sentences, which are considered final, are collected for trafficking offenses. In 2009, the most recent year for which post-appeal sentences were available, trafficking offenders received sentences ranging from three months to 10-15 years’ imprisonment, which is the highest possible punishment for trafficking under Poland’s criminal code. This was an increase from 2008, during which the highest sentence issued to a trafficking offender was five years in prison. Nevertheless, in 2009, approximately 52 percent of convicted offenders received suspended sentences, compared with 53 percent in 2008. During 2010, the government did not report the investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of any public officials complicit in human trafficking. The Polish government participated in several bilateral task forces to share law enforcement information on human trafficking and collaborate on active investigations with other government, including those of Italy, Belgium, and Germany.

During the year, the government provided training on victim identification and care, and trafficking investigation and prosecution to judges, labor inspectors, social workers, border guards, consular officers, and police. For example, in December 2010, the National School for Judges and Prosecutors organized two training sessions on legal and criminal aspects of human trafficking for 95 judges. In September, Polish authorities organized a multi-day workshop for police and Border Guard regional anti-trafficking coordinators. In November, the Labor Ministry conducted seminars on labor trafficking for 73 employees of municipal and provincial labor offices. The government continued to train social workers at crisis intervention centers to identify and care for trafficking victims.

Protection

The Government of Poland sustained its anti-trafficking victim protection efforts in 2010, despite continuing problems with victim identification. The government, NGOs, and academic experts on human trafficking recognized that victim identification remained a major challenge for Poland’s anti-trafficking program. During 2010, the government identified 85 victims of trafficking, a decrease from 206 trafficking victims it identified in 2009. Nevertheless, NGOs reported identifying and caring for an additional 253 victims of trafficking during 2010; approximately half of these were victims of labor trafficking and half were victims of sex trafficking. The government reportedly lacked the tools and expertise to identify labor trafficking victims and labor inspectors reported they did not have a clear mandate to investigate labor trafficking cases. International organizations reported that some government officials had insufficient understanding of established victim identification and protection procedures. The weakness in government identification translated to lapses in victim care. An international organization reported that in at least one case in 2010, labor trafficking victims were inappropriately detained and charged by authorities. In a case involving forced labor in illegal cigarette production, Azerbaijani victims’ salaries were withheld and their families were threatened. Despite initially identifying the men as potential trafficking victims, Polish authorities charged the workers as members of an organized crime group. In 2010, the government allocated approximately $250,000 for victim assistance in contrast to $298,000 in 2009. The government funded a National Intervention-Consultation Center for Victims of Trafficking to provide assistance to foreign and Polish victims of trafficking. The center hosted a trafficking hotline, provided victims with comprehensive assistance resources, and offered a shelter for adult female trafficking victims. Government-funded NGOs provided medical, psychological, legal assistance, protective services, food, clothing, and crisis intervention. The government designated and partially funded 18 other crisis centers across the country as shelters for trafficking victims. There were no shelters designated specifically for male trafficking victims, although the government housed male victims of trafficking in co-ed crisis centers, with supervision from anti-trafficking NGOs. Adult victims of trafficking were allowed to leave the shelters unchaperoned and at will.

Foreign victims of trafficking, whether third country nationals or EU citizens, are entitled to receive the same social welfare benefits provided to Polish citizens, including crisis intervention assistance, shelter, food, clothing, and a living allowance. The government reported offering foreign victims a three-month reflection period to deliberate whether to cooperate with the criminal process. However, in 2010, no trafficking victims accepted the reflection period; international organizations raised concerns that foreign victims who declined to participate in law enforcement investigations were not classified as trafficking victims or offered the reflection period and attendant services. In 2010, the Government of Poland set up its first regional inter-agency anti-trafficking team, bringing together representatives of national and local governments, law enforcement, social workers, and NGOs, to enhance coordinated efforts and victim centered responses during investigations. The government encouraged victims to participate in criminal proceedings, including through the use of videoconference technology to secure testimony from victims no longer in Poland.

Prevention

The government sustained its anti-trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. The Ministry of Interior pursued partnerships with NGOs to educate schoolchildren on trafficking, training teachers from four regions to discuss human trafficking with their students. The government also provided guidance to potential Polish emigrants on the dangers of human trafficking through an advisory guide. The government focused on regions vulnerable to trafficking to fund broader information campaigns including billboards, posters, opinion polls, and conferences. The Polish government hosted an annual national conference for combating and preventing human trafficking in observance of the EU’s Anti-Trafficking Day. The government organized its anti-trafficking activities through its Inter-Ministerial Work Group and its National Action Plan for Combating and Preventing Human Trafficking and gathered statistical data on cases of trafficking and victims identified. However, the government did not have an independent national rapporteur on trafficking and the comprehensive governmental report on trafficking that was published in 2009 has not been updated. The government did not organize specific human trafficking training to Polish troops being deployed abroad on international peacekeeping missions, although human trafficking was included as part of the Standard Generic Training Module, under which all military personnel were trained. The government did not conduct a specific campaign to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts targeted at potential clients of prostitution, nor did it organize any programs to reduce any participation of Polish nationals in child sex tourism.

PORTUGAL (Tier 1)

Portugal is a destination, transit, and source country for women, men, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Trafficking victims found in Portugal are from Brazil, Eastern Europe, and Africa. According to the government, an increased number of Portuguese girls are subjected to forced prostitution within the country. Men from Eastern European countries and Brazil are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, construction, hotels, and restaurants. According to local observers and media reports, Portuguese men and women are subjected to forced labor or forced prostitution after migrating to other destinations in Europe. Children from Eastern Europe, including Roma, are subjected to forced begging, sometimes by their families. Two-thirds of the 21 trafficking victims identified by the government in 2010 were male.

The Government of Portugal fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2010, the government demonstrated increased victim assistance by granting more residency permits to trafficking victims and it continued to provide subsidies to NGOs providing comprehensive care and assistance to victims. While the majority of traffickers convicted under the government’s anti-trafficking law received significant jail time, it was unclear how many other offenders convicted under anti-pimping statutes were actual traffickers. The government used anti-pimping statutes to secure other convictions for offenders who may have been involved in human trafficking; these convictions significantly outnumbered the number of identified trafficking victims, suggesting a lack of adequate efforts to identify and assist victims.

Recommendations for Portugal: Vigorously prosecute and convict trafficking offenders to obtain sentences that reflect the gravity of the crime committed; improve law enforcement training to increase use of Article 160 to prosecute and convict traffickers; consider raising the mandatory minimum sentence under Article 160 to ensure that convicted traffickers do not receive suspended sentences; continue to improve outreach to locate more potential trafficking victims in Portugal and explore more holistic, victim-centered methods to identify them; develop specialized assistance and shelter for trafficked children and men; expand shelter capacity to provide comprehensive assistance to victims throughout Portugal; include NGOs to help stabilize potential victims in a post-raid environment and ensure trafficking victims are referred for care and assistance to allow them sufficient time to recover from their trafficking experiences; enhance the collection of trafficking-specific data, considering the use of a case-based approach to distinguish between convictions for trafficking offenders under Article 160 and trafficking offenders convicted under anti-pimping statutes; ensure adequate funding for all NGOs providing critical assistance to victims; undertake a comprehensive, nation-wide awareness program to educate government officials, front-line responders, and the public about all forms of trafficking in Portugal.

Prosecution

The Government of Portugal continued to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes, including suspected cases of forced labor, during the reporting period. Portugal prohibits both forced labor and forced prostitution through Article 160 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties of three to 12 years’ imprisonment – penalties sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government reported its prosecution of 179 trafficking suspects in 2009, the most recent year complete data was available. The government, however, follows an overly-broad definition of trafficking; a review of these cases indicated that only eight of the resulting convictions would be considered trafficking involving force, fraud, or coercion. Seven out of a total of eight sex trafficking offenders convicted under Article 160 received an average sentence of 12 years in prison each; this is a significant penalty for trafficking in Europe. The government reported, however, that it used anti-pimping and pandering statutes to prosecute other trafficking-related offenders in 2009.

Under Portugal’s penal code, courts can opt for non-detention as punishment for any sentence that is less than five years’ imprisonment “if this punishment will satisfy the objectives of the criminal law.” Courts appear to interpret this guidance generously for pimping crimes. In February 2011, the government launched “Operation Roadbook,” and coordinated proactive law enforcement raids in two regions in Portugal, resulting in the rescue of 30 trafficking victims. The government reported in March 2011 that five of the 12 arrested suspects were held in pre-trial detention, with the remainder required to check in regularly with authorities. According to a recent OSCE Report describing a case of forced labor of a domestic worker from Mozambique in Portugal, prosecutors charged the offender with the lesser crime of “recruitment for illegal work,” citing a lack of evidence that the offender recruited the victim with an intention to exploit the victim, although the forced labor started immediately upon her arrival in Portugal. Law enforcement officials continued to receive periodic specialized anti-trafficking training. The government reported that there were no prosecutions, convictions or sentences for trafficking-related complicity in 2010.

Protection

The Government of Portugal continued to provide subsidies to NGOs that in turn provided comprehensive care and reintegration assistance to trafficking victims in 2010. The government identified 21 official trafficking victims in 2010, an increase from the 17 officially certified in 2009, although this figure is low in relation to other countries in the region. During the reporting period, the government continued to employ procedures for identifying trafficking victims using key indicators; local experts reported that very few NGOs use the guide as a way of identifying victims. According to this system, law enforcement and NGOs are required to submit reports of suspected victims to a central government observatory; this form is then reviewed by the judicial police or the national coordinator to verify a victim’s status. According to a recent NGO report, a presumed trafficked person will only be identified as such if characteristics of trafficking indicators are present on this form. The bureaucratic inflexibility of this process resulted in a victim identification process that lacked the nuance or flexibility required to identify victims of this inherently complex crime. In February 2011, the government reported that it rescued 30 trafficking victims, several of them children, in conjunction with previously mentioned Operation Roadblock. According to media reports, the police issued a statement reporting that the traffickers used “physical coercion and psychological violence” including the forced administration of drugs as tools of coercion and control to force these victims into prostitution. Despite this, the government reported that these victims were taken to a police station and questioned immediately after the raid rather than referred to the NGO shelter for care and assistance, leaving them vulnerable to re-trafficking. The government continued to subsidize an NGO shelter, which housed four victims during 2010. Victims were permitted to leave the shelter after undergoing a security assessment by shelter staff. Local experts noted limited protection measures for trafficking victims in Portugal, noting this shelter as the only designated shelter for trafficking victims. The government continued to provide a per-victim stipend to other NGOs assisting victims, one of which reported assisting 30 trafficking victims in 2010, the same number that it assisted in 2009. The government encouraged victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders; 10 victims assisted in the investigation against their traffickers in 2010, compared to six in 2009. The government reported that all identified victims are permitted a 30- to 60-day reflection period to decide whether they wished to participate in a criminal investigation. The government provided foreign victims of trafficking with short-term legal alternatives to their removal; victims cooperating with law enforcement are eligible for a one-year residency permit, which can be renewed. Trafficking victims can be eligible to obtain permanent residency in Portugal under Article 109 of Immigration Law No. 23 of July 4, 2007 and under Decree-law 368 of November 5, 2007. The government increased the number of residence permits it granted in 2010, granting 14 residence permits to potential trafficking victims, compared to three in 2009. The government reported that police made proactive efforts to identify sex trafficking victims within the legal prostitution sector; however, victims who were not so identified were likely deported or faced continued exploitation. According to local experts, a lack of awareness among law enforcement authorities regarding child trafficking hindered the government’s ability to identify and protect these children.

Prevention

The Government of Portugal sustained modest trafficking prevention efforts during the year. It organized a three-day conference in October in recognition of Europe’s anti-trafficking awareness month, marking the occasion by unveiling its 2011-2013 National Action Plan on trafficking. The government contributed some funding to screen an anti-trafficking film about forced prostitution and the sexual exploitation of children during this conference. Furthermore, the government promoted the film throughout the year through government-funded TV spots, billboards, and radio announcements and included warnings on the dangers of trafficking. The government however, did not conduct a comprehensive national-level awareness campaign to raise general awareness about trafficking in Portugal or address demand for forced labor and forced prostitution. During the reporting period, the government publicly released its first annual report on trafficking and maintained a website about its anti-trafficking efforts. The government’s existing hotline for immigrants is not specifically designed for trafficking victims; local experts speculate the costs with using the hotline and various numbers associated with it contributed to lack of use by potential trafficking victims. The government continued to broadcast a daily program on state television to raise awareness among migrants in Portugal on a wide range of issues, including trafficking. It conducted anti-trafficking awareness training to troops before their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

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QATAR (Tier 2 Watch List)

Qatar is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution. Men and women from Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, Sudan, Thailand, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, and China voluntarily migrate to Qatar as low-skilled laborers and domestic servants, but some subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude. These conditions include: threats of serious physical or financial harm; the withholding of pay; charging workers for benefits for which the employer is responsible; restrictions on freedom of movement, including the confiscation of passports and travel documents and the withholding of exit permits; arbitrary detention; threats of legal action and deportation; threats of filing false charges against the worker; and physical, mental, and sexual abuse. In some cases, arriving migrant workers have found that the terms of employment in Qatar are different from those they agreed to in their home countries. One NGO reported, however, that the Qatari National Human Rights Committee handles approximately 700-800 labor-related cases per year, most of which indicate forced labor, but does not generally identify them as such. Many migrant workers arriving for work in Qatar have paid exorbitant fees to recruiters in their home countries – a practice that makes workers highly vulnerable to forced labor once in Qatar. Under the provisions of Qatar’s sponsorship law, sponsors have the unilateral power to cancel workers’ residency permits, deny workers’ ability to change employers, report a worker as “absconded” to police authorities, and deny permission to leave the country. As a result, sponsors may restrict workers’ movements and workers may be afraid to report abuses or claim their rights, which contribute to their forced labor situation. In addition, domestic servants are particularly vulnerable to trafficking since they are isolated inside homes and are not covered under the provisions of the labor law. Qatar is also a destination for women who migrate for legitimate purposes and subsequently become involved in prostitution, but the extent to which these women are subjected to forced prostitution is unknown. Some of these victims may be runaway domestic workers who have fallen prey to forced prostitution by individuals who exploit their illegal status.

The Government of Qatar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government did not demonstrate evidence of significant efforts to punish traffickers or proactively identify victims; therefore, Qatar is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year. Qatar was not placed on Tier 3 per Section 107 of the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, however, as the government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan. In March 2011, the Qatari Cabinet approved an anti-trafficking law that has been pending since 2006; at the end of the reporting period, this law was awaiting approval by the Emir. The Qatari government also published its “National Plan for Combating Human Trafficking for 2010-2015.” Nonetheless, the government has yet to take increased action to investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenses for forced labor and forced prostitution. The Qatari government also continues to inadequately protect victims of trafficking, particularly by failing to proactively identify victims among vulnerable populations, leading to their sometimes lengthy detentions or other punishments.

Recommendations for Qatar: Enact the draft comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; institute and consistently apply formal procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as those arrested for immigration violations or prostitution; enforce the sponsorship law’s criminalization of passport-withholding and mandate that employees receive residence cards within one week as a means of preventing trafficking abuses; abolish or significantly amend provisions of Qatar’s sponsorship law to prevent the forced labor of migrant workers or implement other provisions that make up for the law’s shortcomings; collect, disaggregate, analyze, and disseminate counter-trafficking law enforcement data; and implement the National Plan for Combating Human Trafficking for 2010-2015.

Prosecution

The Government of Qatar made minimal efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses during the reporting period. In March, the Qatari Cabinet approved an anti-trafficking law that prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties of at least three years’ imprisonment and fines, with prescribed penalties of at least 15 years’ imprisonment under aggravating circumstances. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with other serious crimes, such as kidnapping. For the majority of the reporting period, however, Qatar did not prohibit all acts of trafficking, but it criminalized transnational slavery under Section 321 and forced labor under Section 322 of its Criminal Law. The prescribed penalty for forced labor – up to six months’ imprisonment – is not sufficiently stringent. Article 297 can be used to punish forced or coerced prostitution, and the prostitution of a child below age 15, even if there was no compulsion or redress; the prescribed penalty is up to 15 years’ imprisonment, which is commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Despite the availability of the statutes above for the majority of the reporting period, the government did not report any clear efforts to investigate, prosecute, or punish trafficking offenses during the reporting period. In addition, prohibitions against common practices that contribute to forced labor, such as passport withholding, were not fully enforced. In May and December, the Qatar Foundation to Combat Human Trafficking (QFCHT) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) conducted anti-trafficking workshops that targeted law enforcement personnel from the Ministry of Interior and the Public Prosecutor’s office. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of government personnel for complicity in trafficking offenses.

Protection

Qatar made minimal progress in protecting victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government acknowledges the existence of a labor trafficking problem in the country, however some officials do not equate labor exploitation with human trafficking. Government personnel continued to lack systematic procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, such as foreign workers awaiting deportation and women arrested for prostitution; victims of trafficking were sometimes punished for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Specifically, Qatar commonly detained and deported potential trafficking victims for immigration violations and running away from their sponsors without determining whether the individuals were victims of trafficking or offering them protection. Victims may also languish in detention centers for up to six months if their employers either fail to return their passports or purchase a plane ticket for them to return to their home countries or if they file false charges of theft against them in retaliation for complaining of abuses or nonpayment of wages; the costs of legal representation under these circumstances are borne by the worker. In January, the QFCHT conducted training for medical workers who are in direct contact with migrant workers, including the general, health, and mental health indicators of trafficking victims in order to facilitate their identification. In March, police, prosecutors, and judges attended a workshop on victim identification. The government’s trafficking shelter reported assisting 147 individuals in 2010 with medical, psychological, and legal care. However, as in previous years, it remains unclear whether all of these were victims of trafficking and whether trafficking victims could access the shelter if their employers had filed charges against them. While identified victims can receive legal assistance from shelter authorities, some employers and sponsors threatened victims in an attempt to keep them from seeking legal redress. Since the 500,000 foreign workers in domestic service in Qatar are not protected by the labor law, they are not permitted to file civil suits against their employers under the labor law’s provisions. Civil suits can only be filed for failure to meet the financial obligations of the sponsor toward domestic help; in practice, however, civil suits are rare. Qatar sometimes offered temporary relief from deportation to enable identified victims to testify as witnesses against their employers and has the ability to transfer the identified victim’s sponsorship to another employer pending the case. However, the government did not consistently offer victims alternatives to removal to countries where they may face retribution or hardship.

Prevention

Qatar made limited progress in preventing trafficking in persons during the reporting period. In March, the government outlined a national plan of action to combat trafficking in persons for the years 2010-2015. The government did not reform the sponsorship law, which contributes to conditions of forced labor in the country by allowing sponsors to restrict workers’ movements. For example, sponsors may threaten to withhold exit permits required by the sponsorship laws to force workers into servitude or prevent them from reporting abuses. The government reported four cases where workers who were not granted an exit permit due to a sponsor’s refusal or other circumstances received an exit permit by other means. While the government enforced prohibitions on sponsors withholding workers’ passports by responding to reported abuses through administrative means, it did not proactively or systematically investigate companies to prevent passport withholding, exacerbating migrants’ vulnerability to trafficking; employers often made their employees sign waivers allowing them to hold passports. Although the sponsorship law requires an employer to secure a residence card for laborers within seven days, reports indicated that this sometimes does not happen; this restricts migrant workers’ mobility and impedes their ability to access health care or lodge complaints at the labor department. The government worked with labor attachés from South Asian countries to resolve cases of labor disputes via conflict mediation. In isolated cases, Qatar restricted foreign government access to its nationals after labor concerns were raised. The government enforced strict laws of morality in accordance with Islamic principles in an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts and targeted Qataris traveling to known child sex tourism destinations abroad.

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ROMANIA (Tier 2)

Romania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Romanian men, women, and children are subjected to forced labor in agriculture and manufacturing, as well as some forced begging in Spain, Italy, the Czech Republic, Greece, Finland, Israel, Germany, Slovenia, the United Kingdom (UK), Cyprus, Australia, France, Belgium, and the United States. A large proportion of the children forced to beg in Western European countries were Romanian victims of Roma ethnicity. Men, women, and children from Romania are victims of forced prostitution in Italy, Sweden, Spain, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Greece, Germany, Cyprus, Austria, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Brazil, Norway, Hungary, Slovenia, and France. Forced labor and sex trafficking within the country claim Romanian men, women, and children as victims; this includes forced begging and forced petty theft. There were reports that ethnic Roma criminal groups in Romania exploited Romanians throughout Europe. Romania is a destination country for a small number of women from Moldova, Colombia, and France who are forced into prostitution and for Honduran men subjected to forced labor. The majority of identified Romanian victims are victims of forced labor, including forced begging. The number of Romanian boys subjected to sex trafficking increased.

The Government of Romania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Over the reporting period, the government increased the number of victims identified and assisted and amended its human trafficking law to explicitly prohibit forced begging. Despite evidence of a large number of Romanian labor trafficking victims, the government did not indicate whether it investigated, prosecuted, or convicted any labor trafficking offenders. Additionally, there were reports that prosecutors brought prostitution charges against trafficking victims.

Recommendations for Romania: Restore government funding for trafficking victim assistance programs, including grants for service-providing NGOs; take measures to identify trafficking victims prior to arrest to ensure that no victims are punished for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; improve the reporting of data on trafficking crimes prosecuted under Law No. 678/2001 and other relevant laws by disaggregating sex and labor trafficking offenses; collect data on sentences imposed on convicted trafficking offenders; vigorously investigate and prosecute acts of trafficking-related complicity allegedly committed by government officials, and punish officials convicted of such crimes with prison sentences; demonstrate efforts to investigate and punish acts of labor trafficking and efforts to assist victims of labor trafficking; reduce delays in trials; improve efforts to identify potential victims among vulnerable populations such as undocumented migrants, foreign workers, Roma populations, and children in begging; continue to provide victim sensitivity training for judges; continue to increase victim referrals to NGO service providers by government officials; improve inter-ministerial communication and coordination on trafficking; and improve the capacity of local governments to assist victims through training of local officials and increased communication and guidance from the National Association Against Trafficking in Persons (NAATIP).

Prosecution

The Romanian government demonstrated mixed law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Romania prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through Law No. 678/2001, which prescribes penalties of three to 15 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes such as rape. The Romanian authorities amended this trafficking law in 2010 to specifically prohibit forced begging. In 2010, Romanian authorities investigated 717 human trafficking cases, in contrast to 759 cases investigated in 2009. The government prosecuted 407 and convicted 203 trafficking offenders in 2010, compared with 303 offenders prosecuted and 302 convicted in 2009. The government reported that 145 of the 203 offenders convicted in 2010 were sentenced to terms in prison, whereas 58 trafficking offenders received sentences without jail terms. The government did not report the sentences imposed on convicted traffickers and did not report the number of labor trafficking cases investigated or prosecuted. Some observers noted that many judges had a low understanding of trafficking in persons, perhaps contributing to the slow pace of trafficking trials with some cases still pending from 2005. Romanian authorities reported investigating and detaining a police officer for recruiting female children for forced prostitution. The officer was held in protective custody as the investigation continued. The government also investigated two members of a major political party for sex trafficking; these members did not hold public office. The government did not report any prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of government officials complicit in human trafficking crimes. In a UK trial of Romanian traffickers, lawyers claimed that Romanian police had been aware of child trafficking for years, but did not take action to suppress the trade until forced to do so by law enforcement in the UK. During the year, Romanian officials pursued joint trafficking investigations in partnership with counterparts in Norway, Switzerland, France, and Sweden.

Protection

The Government of Romania demonstrated mixed efforts to protect and assist victims of trafficking during the reporting period. For a second consecutive year, the government failed to provide funding to NGOs providing victim protection services. The lack of government funding jeopardized victim care. The hiatus in funding forced the closure of several trafficking shelters across the country, leaving many victims vulnerable and without services. Nevertheless, the government reported the identification of 1,154 victims in 2010, a substantial increase from the 780 victims reportedly identified in 2009. The government continued to operate its National Identification and Referral Mechanism, which provided a formal protocol for referrals between law enforcement and other institutions. Out of the 1,154 victims identified, 544 received victim services; 451 victims received government-funded care, whereas 93 victims received care from independently funded NGOs. This was an increase from 2009, in which 365 victims reportedly received government-funded care, and 32 victims received care from NGOs not funded by the government. Observers noted that the government had difficulty identifying victims of labor trafficking, including Roma victims of trafficking, some of whom did not approach police out of fear of traffickers’ reprisals. Law enforcement officials sometimes coerced victims to participate in prosecutions. In 2010, 1,277 victims participated in prosecutions of trafficking offenders. This was a significant increase from the 158 trafficking victims who reportedly participated in prosecutions in 2009. The government reported that this increase in participation may be due to greater trust in the system by victims, the success of prevention campaigns, and better coordination with NGOs and other partners during the criminal proceedings. NGOs reported that at least one victim was jailed for a prostitution offense, though she was formally identified as a victim of trafficking during court hearings, released, and referred to NGO assistance. Foreign victims were permitted a 90-day reflection period to remain in the country; however, neither of the two foreign victims used this reflection period. Also, no victims applied for or were granted a temporary residence permit to remain in the country until completion of law enforcement investigations and prosecutions. The government did not offer foreign trafficking victims long-term alternatives to their removal to countries where they faced retribution or hardship.

Prevention

The Government of Romania improved its anti-trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. It contributed modest funding for several joint NGO public awareness campaigns on human trafficking. In coordination with the governments of Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, and the European Commission, Romania co-financed a prevention campaign to raise awareness about human trafficking among Romanian citizens considering working abroad. This regional campaign included radio and television broadcasts, press articles, and school training activities. The government also carried out awareness-raising activities in coordination with the European Union’s Anti-Trafficking Day in October, including distributing leaflets on trafficking, organizing round tables, and conducting activities in elementary and high schools. The government coordinated its anti-trafficking efforts through NAATIP; its activities included overseeing prevention and protection efforts and publishing a quarterly report on Romania’s anti-trafficking efforts. The government did not report specific efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

RUSSIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The Migration Research Center estimates that one million people in Russia are exposed to “exploitative” labor conditions that are characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of documents, nonpayment for services, physical abuse, or extremely poor living conditions. People from Russia and other countries including, Belarus, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Russia. Instances of labor trafficking were reported in the construction, manufacturing, agriculture, and domestic services industries. There are reports of many men and women from North Korea subjected to conditions of forced labor in the logging industry in the Russian Far East. There are also reports of exploitation of children, including child prostitution in large Russian cities and forced begging. Reports of Russian women being subjected to forced prostitution abroad continued to be received in 2010. Russian women were reported to be victims of sex trafficking in many countries, including in Northeast Asia, Europe, and throughout the Middle East.

The Government of the Russian Federation does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, however, the government failed to demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous reporting period. Therefore, Russia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the eighth consecutive year. Russia was not placed on Tier 3 per Section 107 of the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, however, as the government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; Russia is devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan.

Victim protections in Russia during the reporting year remained very weak, as the government allocated scant funding for victim shelters and little funding for anti-trafficking efforts by governmental or non-governmental organizations. In addition, the government did not make discernible efforts to fund a national awareness campaign, although some local efforts were assisted by local government funding. In recognition of these shortcomings, however, in December 2010 President Medvedev signed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Program to Combat Human Trafficking for 2011-2013, which outlines commitments to form a national anti-trafficking structure and fund NGOs to provide victim protections. The Ministry of Health and Social Development formed an interagency coordinating committee that specifically addresses human trafficking in December 2010 and included anti-trafficking NGOs in the committee and its working groups. This is the first known coordinated effort to address human trafficking at the national level. When implemented, these efforts have the potential to achieve significant progress in combating human trafficking.

Recommendations for Russia: Develop formal, national procedures to guide law enforcement with trafficking cases and victim assistance; produce guidance for labor inspectors and health officials in identification of trafficking victims and referral of victims to service providers; allocate funding to anti-trafficking NGOs that provide victim assistance and rehabilitative care; increase efforts to identify and assist both sex and labor trafficking victims; implement a formal policy to ensure identified victims of trafficking are not punished or detained in deportation centers for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; ensure that victims have access to legal alternatives to deportation to countries in which they face hardship or retribution; increase the number of investigations, prosecutions, and convictions for trafficking offenses and investigate and criminally punish government officials complicit in trafficking; create a central repository for investigation, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing data for trafficking cases; increase efforts to raise public awareness of both sex and labor trafficking; and take steps to prevent the use of forced labor in construction projects for the 2012 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vladivostok and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Prosecution

The Government of the Russian Federation demonstrated important law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Article 127 of the Russian Criminal Code prohibits both trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Other criminal statutes are also used to prosecute trafficking offenders, such as Articles 240 and 241 for involvement in or organizing prostitution. Article 127 prescribes punishments of up to five years’ imprisonment for trafficking crimes; aggravating circumstances may extend penalties up to 15 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The Ministry of Internal Affairs claimed 118 human trafficking investigations and 62 prosecutions for trafficking in 2010 (compared with 99 prosecutions in 2009). At least 15 investigations involved slave labor. The government reported that prosecutions in 2010 reportedly involved larger and more transnational trafficking rings. Russian authorities convicted 42 trafficking offenders and issued 31 sentences in 2010, a decrease from 76 trafficking offenders convicted in 2009. Sentences for the reported trafficking convictions ranged from several months to 12 years’ imprisonment.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs Training Institute reportedly provides regular courses on human trafficking awareness, and anti-trafficking training is included in the national curriculum for criminology courses at public higher education facilities. Numerous organizations and researchers have suggested that enhanced training and direction on handling suspected trafficking cases for a broader group of Russian officials would improve law enforcement officials’ ability to achieve anti-trafficking results. Officials continued to cooperate with other governments on human trafficking cases during the reporting period.

The Government of the Russian Federation demonstrated some progress in combating government complicity in human trafficking during the reporting period. In April 2011, a Moscow military court convicted and sentenced a senior military officer and 10 of his accomplices to 12 years’ imprisonment for sex trafficking. Also, in December 2010, authorities arrested a police colonel in St. Petersburg for involvement in organizing prostitution that involved trafficking-like characteristics; the investigation into the case is ongoing and charges have not been finalized. The government did not report progress on any of the open complicity cases reported in the 2010, 2009, and 2008 TIP Reports, including allegations covered in the media in February 2010 that a high level official in the Ministry of Internal Affairs and other officials were involved in a forced labor trafficking ring. Reportedly, the government convicted a government hospital director for the use of slave labor in 2010, though the government did not provide information about a sentence in this case. The North Korean government continued to recruit workers for bilateral contracts with Russia and other foreign governments. Despite media allegations of slave-like conditions in North Korean-operated timber camps in Russia, the Russian government has not reported any investigations into this situation.

Protection

The Russian government demonstrated minimal progress in efforts to protect and assist victims during the reporting period. The government does not employ a formal system to guide officials in proactive identification of victims or referral of victims to available services, and there were no available statistics on the number of trafficking victims identified or assisted by the government or NGOs. An IOM shelter in Moscow, which in the past assisted hundreds of trafficking victims, remained closed due to lack of funding. A trafficking shelter in Vladivostok assisted eight victims during the reporting period despite inconsistent government funding. There were 22 crisis centers across Russia where trafficking victims received assistance, though the government did not confirm how many trafficking victims were assisted in these centers. The national government did not provide funding or programs for specific assistance to trafficking victims. International donors continued to support the majority of aid to organizations providing victim assistance, though the Ministry of Internal Affairs used budgetary funds to provide victim assistance in cases where the victim was a witness in a criminal case.

There was evidence that some law enforcement officers encouraged victims to participate in anti-trafficking investigations. Police placed at least one victim in Vladivostok‘s trafficking shelter in witness protection. There were no formal legal alternatives to deportation for foreign victims. Russia did not demonstrate a systematic approach to ensure that trafficking victims were neither punished nor detained for crimes committed as a direct result of their trafficking experience. In practice, most foreign victims were neither deported nor supported as witnesses in a prosecution; they were often released to make their own way home or stay in Russia to look for work.

Prevention

Russia’s national government demonstrated limited efforts to raise awareness and prevent trafficking over the reporting period. During the reporting period, there were no nationwide campaigns to raise awareness of human trafficking in Russia or efforts to develop a labor trafficking awareness campaign in advance of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. In March 2010, the St. Petersburg city government funded a conference dedicated to issues related to trafficking in persons that was attended by city officials, law enforcement, social services, NGOs, and foreign government representatives. The Ministry of Internal Affairs held a press conference in September 2010 to raise awareness of human trafficking. In the city of Yekaterinburg, the local government continued to run a labor migration center that provided legal, employment, and shelter services to labor migrants that reportedly decreased migrants’ vulnerability to becoming victims of trafficking. In December 2010 President Medvedev signed the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Program to Combat Human Trafficking for 2011-2013, which outlines commitments to form a national trafficking structure and fund NGOs to provide victim protections. In December 2010, the Ministry of Health and Social Development formed an interagency coordinating committee that specifically addressed trafficking in persons and included anti-trafficking NGOs in the committee and its working groups. This is the first known coordinated effort to address human trafficking at the national level. If implemented, these efforts have the potential to achieve significant progress in combating human trafficking.

The government does not have a body to monitor its anti-trafficking activities and make periodic assessments measuring its performance. The government did not take specific steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. According to the UN and IOM, Russian troops were required to receive anti-trafficking training prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions. Although experts reported that child sex tourism among Russian tourists exists, there were no specific reports of prosecutions of Russian citizens in foreign countries.

RWANDA (Tier 2)

Rwanda is a source and, to a lesser extent, destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Rwandan girls and, to a lesser extent, boys are exploited in domestic servitude within the country; some of these children experience nonpayment of wages or physical or sexual abuse within their employer’s household. Older females offer vulnerable younger girls room and board, eventually pushing them into prostitution to pay for their keep. In limited cases, trafficking is facilitated by women who supply other women or girls to clients or by loosely organized prostitution networks, some operating in secondary schools and universities. Brothel owners reportedly supply girls and young women in prostitution to clients staying at hotels for conferences. Rwandan children also are recruited and transported to Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, where they are subjected to forced agricultural labor, domestic servitude, and child prostitution, sometimes after being recruited by peers. In 2010, a female Rwandan trafficking victim was identified in Israel. Small numbers of children from neighboring countries are victimized in prostitution and forced labor after being lured to Rwanda.

The Government of Rwanda does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government referred sex trafficking victims for protective services, successfully repatriated several foreign victims, and continued its provision of short-term care and rehabilitative services to child ex-combatants. Rwanda remains the only African country in which the government is undertaking virtually all activities related to the demobilization and reintegration of former child soldiers, some of whom are trafficking victims. While government officials are quick to recognize and respond to suspected cases of transnational child trafficking, some officials reflect a lack of awareness of internal trafficking and do not believe it is possible, based on the country’s small size and its effective security measures; however, the government continues to make the promotion and protection of women’s and children’s rights a priority. Additional training is needed to increase officials’ awareness of the nature of human trafficking and to provide practical skills for responding to it.

Recommendations for Rwanda: Enforce the trafficking provisions in the 2009 Labor Law through increased investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders; enact and enforce trafficking provisions in the draft penal code, thereby creating an easily understandable legal regime with clear definitions of human trafficking; launch a nationwide anti-trafficking public awareness campaign; and establish mechanisms for providing increased protective services to victims, possibly through the forging of partnerships with NGOs or international organizations.

Prosecution

The government demonstrated inadequate anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period, as it failed to bring any trafficking offenders to justice. Law No. 58/2008 outlaws, but does not define sex trafficking and prescribes sufficiently stringent punishments of 15 to 20 years’ imprisonment, penalties that are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. Article 8 of the “Law Regulating Labor in Rwanda” (13/2009) prohibits forced labor and Article 167 prescribes sufficiently stringent punishments of three to five years’ imprisonment; Article 72 prohibits subjecting children to slavery, child trafficking, debt bondage, forced labor, armed conflict, and child prostitution and Article 168 prescribes punishment of six months to 20 years’ imprisonment for these offenses. In May 2010, the government completed the official revisions to the penal code that contain articles defining and prohibiting all forms of human trafficking; the entire draft code remained under consideration by the Senate at the end of the reporting period.

Although the Rwandan National Police’s (RNP) three-officer anti-trafficking unit investigated several potential trafficking cases during the reporting period, the government did not prosecute or convict any trafficking offenders. Two cases referred to the National Public Prosecution Authority during the previous reporting period were dropped due to lack of evidence. In July 2010, on a tip from a victim’s parent, police investigated a car dealer suspected of luring young Burundian girls with promises of money to Rwanda for the purposes of prostitution. Officers rescued four victims from a house where they were being held and transferred them to the national police hospital for counseling and medical care. Although the suspect continues to elude capture, authorities worked with Burundi’s Interpol office to investigate the case further and reunite the girls with their families. While labor inspectors issued warnings and levied fines against those illegally employing children, no cases of forced labor were criminally investigated or prosecuted during the year. In January 2011, the RNP provided a criminal law and investigation course to 50 officers that included sessions on human trafficking; it conducted a second offering of this course in March 2011. During the year, it also sent officers to specialized anti-trafficking training courses in Egypt and India, as well as provided a training facility for a three-day course on investigating trafficking cases conducted by a foreign government in January 2011.

Protection

While the government continued to offer unparalleled care for former child combatants some of whom are trafficking victims, it provided inconsistent protective services to victims of sex or labor trafficking. The Rwandan Demobilization and Reintegration Commission (RDRC), with government and World Bank funding, continued operation of a center for child ex-combatants in Muhazi, which provided three months of care, including psycho-social counseling, to children returned from the DRC by the UN Mission to the Congo. Forty-seven children arrived at the center in 2010, followed by an additional six in January 2011. The RDRC worked with local authorities and an NGO to locate the children’s families, and social workers sensitized families to their acceptance of the child’s return; in January 2011, RDRC staff reunited 19 children with relatives, with 29 still residing at the center at the close of the reporting period. During the year, police identified and referred at least four sex trafficking victims to the Isange Center, a one-stop holistic facility within the National Police Hospital that provided medical exams, counseling, short-term shelter, and police assistance to victims of gender-based violence (GBV), including child domestic workers and children in prostitution. The center, however, did not specifically screen for trafficking indicators among its clients. The RNP, in cooperation with Burundian law enforcement, repatriated the four victims to Burundi. The police headquarters in Kigali continued operating a hotline for reporting GBV crimes; while the hotline reportedly received information related to trafficking cases during the year, police indicated that the majority of actionable information was obtained through complaints made by relatives of child trafficking victims. The RNP’s fully-equipped examination rooms in Kigali, Gasabo, and Rwamagana provided police assistance and counseling to victims of GBV; it is unknown whether any of these rooms provided services to trafficking victims during the year. The checklist used by police when working with victims requires securing social, medical, and counseling services; the presence of a victim’s advocate during investigations; and referrals of victims to NGOs, religious entities, or community groups for further assistance.

The government operated two transit centers in the south and west of the country for screening and referring street children, some of whom were victims of domestic servitude or prostitution, to longer-term care facilities. In 2010, the government provided approximately $150,000 to support eight private or NGO-run centers that afforded 1,988 street children with shelter, basic needs, and rehabilitative services. During the year, however, police arrested girls in prostitution and detained them at Kigali City’s Gikondo transit center; some girls were kept there for days or months without being charged with a crime or interviewed in conjunction with a law enforcement investigation. Other children in prostitution, however, were screened by the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion and referred to care centers for street children or returned to their families. The government has neither developed a system for proactively identifying human trafficking victims among vulnerable populations nor created a systematic referral process to transfer such victims – including those detained at Gikondo – to service providers for care. The government encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes. Beyond providing a stay of one month, the government did not provide foreign trafficking victims with legal alternatives to their removal to a country where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

While the government maintained its anti-trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period, there continues to be a lack of understanding among the government and Rwandan society of the full scope of the country’s human trafficking problem. Some government officials do not respond to internal trafficking with the same seriousness as cases of transnational trafficking. In March 2011, senior police officers appeared on a televised talk show to warn the population about the dangers of human trafficking. The RNP also sensitized school children, local leaders, and members of community policing committees regarding transnational human trafficking crimes during the year, providing warnings on the danger of engaging in prostitution and being lured through promises of education and a better life abroad. Police and immigration officials maintained strict border control measures as part of a strategy to prevent transnational child trafficking, preventing eight children from leaving the country with non-relative adults, 72 from crossing borders without proper documentation, and five from traveling alone in 2010. The Ministry of Youth and the National AIDS Control Commission continued a campaign against the commercial sexual exploitation of children by people identified by the government as “sugar daddies” and “sugar mommies”; the campaign, entitled SINIGURISHA (“I am not for sale!”), included TV and radio spots, print materials, and billboards. During the reporting period, local observers reported a decrease in the use of child domestic workers in some areas of the country, resulting from vigorous police enforcement of a recent law mandating children attend nine years of basic education and local communities’ enforcement of bylaws against child labor. The Ministry of Public Service and Labor’s (MIFOTRA) 30 district labor inspectors – a number inadequate to fulfill their monitoring mandate – held monthly sensitization activities and quarterly trainings for employers and local authorities on child labor regulations and issued warnings to those who violated such statutes. The government, however, did not provide these inspectors with adequate resources, including transport, to identify and prevent the use of exploitative child labor effectively. In January 2011, MIFOTRA, the Ministry of Education, an NGO, and foreign government officials provided a half-day training on child labor and trafficking to 28 labor inspectors. The government trained Rwandan troops on gender sensitivity and sexual exploitation prior to their deployment to UN peacekeeping missions in Darfur.

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ST. LUCIA (Tier 2)

St. Lucia is a destination country for persons subjected to forced prostitution and forced labor. In a welcomed move, government officials acknowledge the existence of forced prostitution and forced labor, including domestic servitude, in St. Lucia. Legal and illegal immigrants from Haiti, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Guyana reportedly are the groups most vulnerable to human trafficking. Foreign women in prostitution are at particularly high risk. According to the police and NGOs, the most likely traffickers in the country are pimps, strip club operators, and brothel owners; during the past years there were allegations that some underground strip clubs were fronts for prostitution and reportedly were owned or protected by complicit former police officers. Crime and gang violence present a significant risk to children in St. Lucia, and children involved in the drug trade or engaging in sex with men for basics such as food, transportation, or material goods are vulnerable to human trafficking.

The Government of St. Lucia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made progress in its anti-trafficking efforts over the past year by passing legislation prohibiting human trafficking and providing victim protection provisions. The government helped at least one victim during the reporting period, but it did not report any prosecutions of trafficking offenders or officials complicit in human trafficking.

Recommendations for St. Lucia: Provide adequate funding to implement the new Counter-Trafficking Act 2010; increase training for law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges on addressing forced prostitution and forced labor; vigorously prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders, including officials complicit in human trafficking; develop a plan to appropriately assist child victims; continue identifying and assisting victims of forced labor and forced prostitution; and work with IOM to provide safe repatriation procedures for foreign victims who would like to return home.

Prosecution

The government made progress by enacting anti-trafficking legislation but did not report prosecuting and punishing any trafficking offenders during the reporting period. St. Lucia passed and enacted the Counter-Trafficking Act 2010 in February 2010. The Act prohibits forced prostitution and forced labor and prescribes punishment of five to 10 years’ imprisonment with fines. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of trafficking offenders or public officials complicit in human trafficking under this new law or other statutes during the reporting period. The government did not offer formal training for police, immigration authorities, health workers, or child protection officials in identifying human trafficking, but the government provided in kind assistance for an OAS human trafficking awareness training during the reporting period.

Protection

The government made modest efforts to protect victims of human trafficking during the reporting period, despite resource and capacity restraints. The police and Division of Gender Relations rescued at least one foreign adult victim of forced labor during the reporting period and provided her with shelter for about 10 days before she left voluntarily for her home country. The government employed a system of informal shelters where adult victims’ locations could be hidden; however, there were inadequate facilities for child victims as magistrates were forced to choose between the prison or a mental institution to place children needing protection. Through the Division of Gender Relations, victims of trafficking could be referred to various organizations that provide access to legal aid, medical assistance, and crisis services. The government encouraged victims to participate in the prosecution of trafficking offenders. Although the new anti-trafficking law has explicit provisions to protect foreign victims from deportation and from prosecution for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked, there were no reports of the government offering victims immigration relief during the last year.

Prevention

The government made efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. While there was no national campaign to raise awareness about forced labor and forced prostitution, officials distributed IOM human trafficking awareness brochures at anti-violence outreach activities. The Division of Gender Relations chaired a working level, inter-ministerial, anti-trafficking coalition that met regularly to discuss suspected cases, formulate strategies to address them, and follow up with law enforcement to conduct investigations. The coalition has included NGOs in the development of a national anti-trafficking action plan. The government did not have a campaign to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government has not identified a problem with child sex tourism in St. Lucia or involving its nationals. St. Lucia is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines (Tier 2 Watch List)

St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a likely source, transit, and destination country for some children and adults subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Sufficient information on human trafficking in St. Vincent and the Grenadines is lacking, as there are no formal government structures to identify it or NGOs to address human trafficking specifically. According to NGOs and officials, there exists a social taboo of discussing the matter openly. Nevertheless, a consensus has developed between officials and NGOs that a population of persons at high risk of trafficking exists, notably children and adults working in agriculture including marijuana fields, women in prostitution, and children engaging in sex with men for basics such as food, transportation, or material goods. Vincentian officials have raised concerns regarding foreign women in prostitution transiting through the country without possession of their passports. One local observer expressed concern regarding harsh working conditions endured by some foreign workers, including one group from Nepal, in the past.

The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While capacity to address human trafficking is limited due to the country’s small size, the government demonstrated hardly any evidence of efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes and to ensure that victims of trafficking receive access to protective services; therefore, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is placed on Tier 2 Watch list for a third consecutive year. St. Vincent and the Grenadines was not placed on Tier 3 per Section 107 of the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, however, as the government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan.

Recommendations for St. Vincent and the Grenadines: Draft, enact, and implement a comprehensive anti-trafficking law; investigate and prosecute possible sex or labor trafficking cases under existing, relevant legislation until a comprehensive anti-trafficking law is in place; implement formal policies to guide officials in how to identify and assist suspected victims of forced prostitution and forced labor; identify and assist suspected trafficking victims; and educate the public about forced prostitution and forced labor by conducting a high-profile public awareness campaign.

Prosecution

The Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines made minimal progress in anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. The government has no specific or comprehensive laws prohibiting trafficking in persons, though slavery and forced labor are both constitutionally prohibited. Officials have acknowledged the need for legislation criminalizing all forms of human trafficking in order to effectively prosecute such crimes, and the Governor General announced on January 2011 that the government plans to draft legislation in line with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. The government reported no forced labor or forced prostitution investigations, prosecutions, or convictions during the reporting period. Local observers have suggested that human trafficking official complicity may be a problem, but resource constraints and capacity, given the country’s small population size, were also obstacles to law enforcement results. The government does not provide specialized training for government officials in how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking, and no local NGO provides training to government officials at this time. In May 2010 the government provided in-kind contributions to an OAS human trafficking awareness training.

Protection

The Vincentian government did not show tangible progress in ensuring that victims of trafficking are identified and provided access to necessary services. The government did not proactively identify any suspected victims of human trafficking during the reporting period. The government did not have formal procedures in place to guide authorities in how to identify possible victims of human trafficking and refer them to available services. The government did not fund any trafficking-specific assistance programs, but the Ministry of Mobilization and Social Development reported it would be able to assist trafficking victims. The government provided some funding and building space to some local NGOs whose shelter, counseling, and other services for crime victims would also be available to trafficking victims. Under current laws, the government did not encourage victims’ assistance in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking or other crimes, nor did it provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. St. Vincent and the Grenadines had no law or official procedures in place to ensure that victims would not be inappropriately punished for unlawful offenses committed solely as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention

The government made some efforts to prevent trafficking and to increase the public’s awareness of human trafficking in St. Vincent and the Grenadines during the last year. In February 2011, the government drafted a collaborative national action plan to combat human trafficking that included input from the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Social Mobilization, the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, the Commissioner of Police, the Director of Immigration, and a local NGO. The plan assigns responsibility to specific government agencies, commits some of their resources to anti-trafficking efforts, and contains action items that address many of the deficiencies identified by the TIP Report. The government did not conduct anti-trafficking information or education campaigns during the reporting period. The government made no efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government has not identified a problem with child sex tourists. St. Vincent and the Grenadines is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

SAUDI ARABIA (Tier 3)

Saudi Arabia is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution. Men and women from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Indonesia, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, and many other countries voluntarily travel to Saudi Arabia as domestic servants or other low-skilled laborers, but some subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude, including nonpayment of wages, long working hours without rest, deprivation of food, threats, physical or sexual abuse, and restrictions on movement, such as the withholding of passports or confinement to the workplace. Recent reports of abuse include the driving of nails into a domestic worker’s body. Although many migrant workers sign contracts delineating their rights, some report work conditions that are substantially different from those described in the contract while others never see the contract at all, leaving them vulnerable to forced labor, including debt bondage. Due to Saudi Arabia’s requirement that foreign workers receive permission from their employer to get an “exit visa” before they are able to leave the country, some migrant workers report that they were forced to work for months or years beyond their contract term because their employer would not grant them the exit permit. Local and international media reported in May and June that some Nepalese domestic workers had been recruited to work in Kuwait and then illegally transported to work in Saudi Arabia against their will.

Women, primarily from Asian and African countries, were believed to have been forced into prostitution in Saudi Arabia; others were reportedly kidnapped and forced into prostitution after running away from abusive employers. Yemeni, Nigerian, Pakistani, Afghan, Chadian, and Sudanese children were subjected to forced labor as beggars and street vendors in Saudi Arabia, facilitated by criminal gangs. Saudi authorities reported fewer Yemeni children may have been forced to work in Saudi Arabia during the reporting period. Some Saudi nationals travel to destinations including Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh to solicit prostitution. Some Saudi men used legally contracted “temporary marriages” in countries such as Egypt, India, Mauritania, Yemen, and Indonesia as a means by which to sexually exploit young girls and women overseas.

The Government of Saudi Arabia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. In a positive development, the government undertook some efforts to improve its response to the vast human trafficking problem in Saudi Arabia, including training government officials on its 2009 anti-trafficking law and conducting surprise visits to places where victims may be found. The government also achieved its first conviction under its human trafficking law. Nonetheless, the government did not prosecute and punish a significant number of trafficking offenders or significantly improve victim protection services during the year. The government’s policy of allowing Saudi citizens and residents to sponsor migrant workers and restrict their freedoms, including exit from the country, continued to obstruct significant progress in dealing with human trafficking. While Saudi Arabia continued to discuss alternatives to its sponsorship law, the government did not implement any new system. Domestic workers – the population most vulnerable to forced labor – remained excluded from general labor law protections, and employers continued to regularly withhold workers’ passports as a means of keeping them in forced labor.

Recommendations for Saudi Arabia: Significantly increase efforts to prosecute, punish, and stringently sentence traffickers, including abusive employers and those culpable of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, under the 2009 anti-trafficking law; enforce laws prohibiting employers from withholding migrants’ passports and arbitrarily denying permission for exit visas as a means of preventing trafficking abuses; reform the structure of the sponsorship system to discourage employers from withholding workers’ passports and restricting workers’ movements; institute a formal victim identification mechanism to distinguish trafficking victims among the thousands of workers deported each year for immigration violations and other crimes; ensure that victims of trafficking are not punished for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as running away from abusive employers; ensure trafficking victims in practice are able to pursue criminal cases against their employers; improve victim protection at the Riyadh shelter by transforming it into an open shelter where victims are not locked in; enforce labor laws and expand full labor protections to domestic workers; and continue and expand judicial training and public awareness campaigns on recognizing cases of human trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Saudi Arabia made limited law enforcement efforts against human trafficking during the reporting period. The “Suppression of the Trafficking in Persons Act,” promulgated by Royal Decree number M/40 of 2009 defines and prohibits all forms of human trafficking, prescribing punishments of up to 15 years and fines of up to $266,667. Penalties may be increased under certain circumstances, including trafficking committed by an organized criminal group or committed against a woman, child, or person with special needs. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes. Since the law includes some concepts unrelated to human trafficking, the government must disaggregate law enforcement activity under this law to indicate which prosecutions and convictions are for trafficking. Although the 2009 anti-trafficking law does not address withholding passports and exit visas as a means of obtaining or maintaining a person’s forced labor or service, Council of Ministers decision 166 of 2000 prohibits the common practice of withholding workers’ passports. The Council of Ministers statement accompanying the 2009 anti-trafficking law secures the right of victims to remain in Saudi Arabia during the investigation and court proceedings, incentivizing their assistance in prosecutions. The government’s Permanent Committee on Trafficking funded and organized regional trainings for 48 judges, lawyers, recruitment officers, social workers, and police officers on the 2009 anti-trafficking law and the definition of trafficking. During the reporting period, the government reported receiving 23 accusations of trafficking, resulting in 13 ongoing investigations and 10 prosecutions. One of these cases resulted in a successful conviction. On January 9, 2011, the Medina Summary Court sentenced a 54-year old Saudi woman accused of abusing and severely injuring her Indonesian maid to three years in prison, but denied the victim any monetary compensation associated with the criminal case. The victim is, however, entitled to monetary compensation in the ongoing civil trial. According to the Permanent Committee on Trafficking, government authorities also arrested individuals in at least nine other trafficking cases. The government neither reported any arrests, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences for forced prostitution, nor did it report efforts to enforce the Council of Ministers decision prohibiting the confiscation of foreign workers’ passports; this practice continued to be widespread. The government also did not report any investigations, arrests, prosecutions, or sentences of government officials for trafficking-related complicity.

Protection

Saudi Arabia made limited progress in protecting victims, but its overall efforts remained inadequate during the reporting period. Despite unannounced visits by the Permanent Committee on Trafficking to deportation centers, prisons, shelters, juvenile detention centers, equestrian clubs, and camel races to identify victims, procedures were not implemented to systematically identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations and the Committee did not report any victims identified during their visits. As a result, many victims of trafficking are likely punished for acts committed as a result of being trafficked. Under Saudi law, foreign workers may be detained, deported, or in some cases, corporally punished for running away from their employers. Council of Ministers decision 244 authorizes the Permanent Committee on Trafficking to exempt trafficking victims from these punishments, but victims are often detained or deported without being identified. Women arrested for prostitution offenses face prosecution and, if convicted, imprisonment or corporal punishment, even if they are victims of trafficking.

The 2009 anti-trafficking law affords victims explanation of their legal rights in a language they understand, physical and psychological care, shelter, security, and the ability to stay in Saudi Arabia to testify in court proceedings. However, many victims sought refuge at their embassies instead; source countries report handling thousands of complaints of unpaid wages, physical or sexual abuse, or poor working conditions each year. One victim received medical and legal assistance from the Government of Saudi Arabia for injuries inflicted by her trafficker, including services for reconstructive surgery. It remains unclear, however, whether these rights are afforded in regular practice. No shelter or services are available to victims of sex trafficking. The government operated a short-term shelter for female runaway domestic workers in Riyadh, some of whom were likely subjected to physical or sexual abuse by their employers. In previous years, victims of physical and psychological abuse at these shelters reported that they were unlikely to receive assistance and some reported long waiting periods before the conclusion of their cases. The women were not free to leave and experienced restrictions on communication with family or consular contacts. In smaller cities in Saudi Arabia with poor access to the government shelter, victims of trafficking were kept in jails until their cases were resolved. Updated information on the conditions at these shelters was not available at the end of the reporting period. The government did not operate any long-term shelters or facilities to assist male victims of trafficking.

Saudi Arabia offered temporary relief from deportation to two victims who identified themselves to authorities. However, victims who have run away from their employers, overstayed their visas, or otherwise violated the legal terms of their visas were frequently jailed without being identified as victims. Some Saudi employers prevented foreign workers from leaving the country by refusing permission for them to get exit visas; this resulted in workers working beyond their contract terms against their will, languishing in detention centers indefinitely, or paying money to their employers or immigration officials to let them leave. Some police officers assisted victims by referring them to the government shelter. Other police officials, however, returned foreigners to their employers, pressured them to drop cases, or persuaded victims to take monetary compensation in lieu of filing criminal charges against their employers. Some employers file false counter-claims against foreign workers for theft, witchcraft, and adultery in retaliation for workers’ claims of abuse; as a result, in many cases, the workers rather than the employers are punished, which discourages workers from reporting abuse. The government provided some legal assistance to victims of trafficking, including the victim whose employer was sentenced under the 2009 anti-trafficking law. Nonetheless, few migrants successfully pursue criminal cases against abusive employers due to lengthy delays in the immigration and justice system.

Prevention

The government has made nominal progress in preventing human trafficking during the reporting period, but systemic problems resulting from sponsorship system regulations persisted. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs continued to encourage imams to regularly include anti-trafficking messages in their Friday sermons. To increase workers’ awareness of their rights, the Ministry of Labor continued to produce a guidebook for migrant workers in Arabic, English, and some source country languages. The government failed, however, to significantly reform the sponsorship structure to discourage employers from withholding workers’ passports and restricting workers’ movements. The structure of the sponsorship system, which holds employers responsible for the foreign workers they employ, enables employers to withhold foreign workers’ passports and restrict workers’ movements. Saudi Arabian law enforcement authorities had previously taken an administrative or civil approach in addressing cases of exploitation of workers, such as assessing fines, blacklisting or shutting down employment firms, issuing orders for employers to return withheld passports, or requiring employers to pay back wages. Despite efforts by the Permanent Committee on Trafficking to train law enforcement officials on the criminal punishments that can be levied in worker abuse cases, these punishments are not yet widely applied. In addition, domestic workers remain excluded from general labor law protections. In the reporting period, Saudi Arabia did not take actions to reduce the demand for prostitution or child sex tourism by Saudi nationals or acknowledge that trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation was a problem affecting
the Kingdom.

SENEGAL (Tier 2)

Senegal is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women subjected to forced labor, forced begging, and sex trafficking. NGOs estimate that at least 50,000 children in the country, most of whom are talibes – students attending daaras (Koranic schools) run by teachers known as marabouts − are forced to beg, and that in Dakar alone there are 8,000 of these children begging in the streets. In addition to forced begging, Senegalese boys and girls are subjected to domestic servitude, forced labor in gold mines, and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking within the country is more prevalent than transnational trafficking, though children from neighboring countries have been found in forced begging and other forms of forced labor in Senegal. Unscrupulous marabouts in Senegal force boys from The Gambia, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea to beg and boys from Guinea also are forced to work in gold mines. Senegalese women and girls are transported to neighboring countries, Europe, and the Middle East for domestic servitude. NGO observers believe most women and girls in forced prostitution, however, remain in Senegal. Women and girls from other West African countries, particularly Liberia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria, may be subjected to domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation in Senegal, including for international sex tourism.

The Government of Senegal does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government renewed its efforts to prosecute and convict abusive marabouts for forcing talibe boys to beg; sustained its commitment to provide shelter, rehabilitation, and reintegration services to talibe boys; and increased efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of the culturally entrenched practice of child begging connected with religious education. The government did not take steps, however, to raise awareness of the dangers of other forms of trafficking, nor did it proactively identify and provide assistance to victims in other trafficking situations, such as boys forced to work in mines or women and girls forced into commercial sexual exploitation.

Recommendations for Senegal: Increase efforts to prosecute, convict, and appropriately punish trafficking offenders for subjecting victims to involuntary servitude; train police and magistrates to recognize indicators of trafficking and investigate trafficking crimes under Senegal’s anti-trafficking law; consider amending the law to address the crime of migrant smuggling in a separate statute, to minimize confusion between human smuggling and trafficking; continue to ensure that talibes taken into police custody for forced begging are not held in detention, but are referred to the Ginndi Center or other shelters to receive protective care, and that these victims are not punished for crimes they have committed as a result of being trafficked; while continuing to proactively identify and care for talibes victimized by forced begging, increase identification efforts of and provision of protective services to other types of trafficking victims in and outside Dakar, including women in forced prostitution, girls subject to prostitution, and boys forced to work in mines; coordinate data collection across police departments on trafficking investigations and prosecutions; and allocate funding to the national task force for the implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Senegal made progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Senegal’s 2005 Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons and Related Practices and to Protect Victims outlaws all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties of five to 10 years’ imprisonment, which are both sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. During the year, the government renewed its efforts to use this law to prosecute and convict abusive marabouts who force talibes to beg, but did not use this law to convict other types of trafficking offenders. Many law enforcement and judicial personnel remained unaware of the anti-trafficking law’s existence, and may have used other statutes to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases; this lack of awareness hindered efforts to collect data on human trafficking prosecutions. In August 2010, the Ministry of Justice took a step to correct this by sending a memo to Senegalese prosecutors emphasizing the need to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes under the 2005 law and tasking prosecutors with submitting a monthly report on all law enforcement and judicial efforts regarding human trafficking.

Statistics provided through prosecutors’ monthly reporting revealed that the government prosecuted 10 cases of trafficking and obtained nine convictions during the year. In September, nine marabouts were convicted for forcing children to beg for money, and received sentences ranging from six months’ imprisonment – the imposition of which was suspended – along with five years’ probation and a fine to one month’s imprisonment, five years’ probation, and a fine. Only two of the nine trafficking offenders spent any time in prison – for the period of one month – which is inadequate and represents a decrease in penalty from the sentences of two years’ imprisonment that were prescribed to marabouts accused of trafficking in previous years. In November 2010, a court in Tambacounda prosecuted, under Senegal’s anti-trafficking law, a Nigerian man for bringing Nigerian women to Senegal and forcing them into prostitution. The court convicted the man for pimping and prescribed a sentence of six months’ imprisonment, but acquitted him on the more serious charge of trafficking in persons. The government is appealing the acquittal. A case from 2008, in which a Lebanese man was arrested for attempting to transport Senegalese women to Lebanon and subsequently to force them into labor or service, was still pending at the Court of Appeal at the end of the reporting year. The alleged trafficker, having served the maximum pre-trial detention, is now free under court supervision while the case is pending. No information was available regarding the arrests of three alleged traffickers pending from previous reporting years. The government did not provide any specialized training on human trafficking investigations to law enforcement and judicial officials, though the Ministry of Family, through its Department of Child Protection, provided training to approximately 120 officials from across the government on the 2005 anti-trafficking law. There were no investigations of government officials’ involvement in human trafficking, but corruption is known to be pervasive throughout the government, notably in law enforcement.

Protection

The Government of Senegal increased its efforts to identify trafficking victims and provide them with protective services over the last year. In August 2010 in Dakar, authorities took custody of a significant number of individuals accused of begging for money, a crime punishable by law in Senegal; they referred 112 children from among this population, suspected to be trafficking victims, to the government-run Ginndi Center for care. During the year, the Ginndi Center’s child protection hotline received 7,115 calls concerning children in distress or requesting information; an unknown number of these calls concerned cases of human trafficking. In February 2011, the center shortened the hotline number to a three-digit code to facilitate greater ease of use. The government dedicated approximately $118,000 to the Ginndi Center to provide child victims of trafficking and other abuses with shelter, food, education, medical and psychological care, family mediation and reconciliation services, and vocational training. Police cooperated with travel agencies to identify suspected trafficking victims; during the year, police investigated one case referred to them by a travel agent involving a group of young women traveling to Morocco, but this did not result in a prosecution. All 795 of the suspected child trafficking victims identified by law enforcement officials — 787 boys and 8 girls — were referred to the Ginndi Center; the government did not identify any victims outside of Dakar, nor did it identify any victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Of the 795 child victims identified last year, 387 were from other countries in the region. The government repatriated all of these victims, with the exception of some Bissau-Guinean children who were determined to be at risk of being re-trafficked by their families; they were allowed to remain at the Ginndi Center. The government did not repatriate any Senegalese nationals who had been victims of trafficking in other countries. Members of the interior ministry’s vice squads, accompanied by a child psychologist, social workers, and medical professionals, conducted trainings for police officers around the country on handling child sex trafficking victims, although none were identified during the year. In November 2010, the Senegalese first lady opened an NGO-run shelter in Dakar, capable of housing 25 street children, who may include victims of trafficking. The facility was built on land donated by the district mayor and funded in part with money from the Senegalese government. Victims were permitted to remain temporarily or permanently in Senegal with resident refugee status; during the year, the government granted citizenship to one rescued talibe who could not provide information about his family or country of origin. The 2005 anti-trafficking law specified that victims cannot be prosecuted for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked, and there were no reports that this occurred. The law also permitted closed-door testimony to encourage victims to serve as witnesses, and several children participated in the trials of the trafficking offenders who had exploited them.

Prevention

The Government of Senegal increased its efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period. In August 2010, the prime minister chaired an inter-ministerial meeting to implement the country’s National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons and create a national task force to coordinate and report on trafficking in Senegal. The task force formally came into existence in February 2011 with the appointment of a magistrate as its head; it was not noted to have taken additional action. In August 2010, the government funded an NGO to implement a three-month awareness campaign using billboards in Dakar and radio broadcasts to project an awareness message on the plight of talibes. The Ministry of Family funded a twice-weekly television program called “Women at Home,” which sometimes featured community leaders addressing issues related to the dangers of child trafficking. In July 2010, the government created a Ministry of Human Rights, a junior ministry within the Ministry of Justice, tasked with preventing and monitoring all forms of human rights violations, including trafficking and violence against women and children.

Recognizing the high demand for religious education among Senegalese parents, and the potential this creates for exploitation of talibes by abusive marabouts, the government continued steps to create new options in publicly funded, regulated religious education. In 2010, the government completed construction of four new public Islamic schools and continued construction of four additional public Islamic schools, which did not allow children enrolled to beg for money. The government did not take steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor in Senegal, and no foreign pedophiles were arrested in 2010 for commercial sexual exploitation of children. The government did not provide specific anti-trafficking training to Senegalese troops before their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions, although troops did receive training in general human rights, gender violence, and international rule of law.

SERBIA (Tier 2)

Serbia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Foreign victims found in Serbia originate primarily from neighboring countries and elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Children, including ethnic Roma, continue to be exploited in the commercial sex trade, subjected to involuntary servitude while in forced marriage, or forced to engage in street begging. Based on recent anecdotal evidence, Serbian citizens remain vulnerable to forced labor in third countries, and foreign victims also may be subjected to forced labor in Serbia. Authorities reported an increase in the number of Serbian victims identified in the southwestern region of the country and an increase in the number of male children identified for forced begging. Serbian nationals continued to comprise the majority of identified victims in 2010.

The Government of Serbia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Serbian government took significant steps to improve and institutionalize its response to trafficking during the reporting period. In February 2011, the government secured yearly funding for the care of foreign and domestic trafficking victims – a long-standing deficiency. Although the Serbian government was a leader in the region in the number of victims it identified in 2010, this overall number declined from 2009. Insufficient funding for victim services hampered the government’s ability to provide comprehensive assistance to victims. A lack of specialized shelter and services for trafficked children left some victims vulnerable to continued exploitation and re-trafficking.

Recommendations for Serbia: Improve implementation of victim identification procedures to ensure that potential trafficking victims are proactively identified by front-line responders throughout Serbia; vigorously prosecute, convict, and punish sex and labor trafficking offenders including complicit officials who facilitate trafficking; ensure institutionalized funding for comprehensive assistance and rehabilitation, and increase capacity to assist domestic and foreign trafficking victims; increase personnel and resources allocated to the government’s victim protection agency to improve outreach and victim identification efforts for potential victims; increase training for social workers, police, and other front-line responders to continue to improve identification and referral of trafficking victims; and improve the delivery of specialized services and shelter for children and adult male victims of trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Serbia sustained vigorous anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2010. The criminal code for Serbia prohibits both sex trafficking and non-sexual exploitation through article 388; this criminal code does not specifically distinguish between commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Prescribed penalties under article 388 range from three to 15 years’ imprisonment; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. Article 390 of the criminal code prescribes penalties for “slavery or a relationship similar to slavery” with penalties of one to 10 years’ imprisonment. In 2010, the government reported prosecuting 47 criminal charges against 99 suspected trafficking offenders. Courts convicted 36 offenders in 2010, convicting 27 under Article 388 and nine under Article 390; this compares to a total of 40 trafficking offenders convicted in 2009. Four traffickers received sentences of 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment; seven received a sentence of five to 10 years; 10 received a sentence of three to five years; seven received a sentence of one to three years; and eight received six months to one year. The government improved its sentencing for convicted traffickers in 2010 after changes to the criminal code; in 2009, the majority of sentences imposed on trafficking offenders ranged from two to four years’ imprisonment. The government did not confirm how many of the convicted traffickers were in jail pending appeal, as this is determined by individual courts based on a variety of factors. According to NGOs that track the cases, however, suspected traffickers in the vast majority of ongoing first instance trials and appeals were jailed during the proceedings. By law individuals convicted for trafficking are only detained during the appeals process if their sentence was greater than five years’ imprisonment. A few trafficking suspects and offenders accused or convicted of violent crimes may be freed during the pre-trial and post-conviction appeal process. NGOs reported increased sensitization of police to trafficking victims and improvements in the prosecution of other forms of trafficking in Serbia, including forced labor, forced begging, and forced marriage. The government did not prosecute trafficking-related complicity during the reporting period; officials convicted in previous years received suspended sentences for trafficking-related complicity. The government’s refusal to cooperate directly with the Republic of Kosovo government continued to hamper Serbia’s efforts to investigate and prosecute some transnational trafficking.

Protection

The Government of Serbia made significant progress by improving its capacity to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period. In March 2011, the government remedied a long-standing deficiency by securing yearly flexible funding for victim assistance in the amount of $50,000. Serbia is a leader in the Balkan region in victim identification – a critical prerequisite for victim protection. The government’s Agency for the Coordination and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Belgrade identified 89 trafficking victims in 2010; police referred 74 of these victims. This represents a decline from 127 total victims identified and assisted in 2009. The government previously issued an order for police to aid in the proactive identification of trafficking victims, though success in identification of actual victims remained uneven. Adequate and uniform data collection and information-sharing among domestic agencies and NGOs dealing with trafficking victims remains a challenge. The government’s protection agency, mandated to provide for victims’ identification, protection, and referral for assistance to state institutions or NGOs, remained understaffed and underfunded in 2010. The government continued to rely on a staff of two for the official identification of all victims in Serbia. In a notable development, the government provided $25,000 to an NGO providing open shelter and rehabilitative and reintegration assistance for Serbian adult female victims. This shelter accommodated 22 victims (20 adults and two of their children) and assisted two male victims on an outreach basis during the reporting period. The government provided some funding from the remaining proceeds of a special anti-trafficking stamp for victim services, but most local and international NGOs continue to rely on outside donors to provide support and assistance to victims. In October 2010, a domestic violence shelter accommodating foreign victims ceased accepting them. In March 2011, the Belgrade municipal government remedied these deficiencies by transferring $50,000 to the protection agency in an annual grant to provide customized direct assistance and re-integration services, including accommodation for foreign trafficking victims. Further, in March 2011 the government passed comprehensive social welfare legislation, which for the first time defines trafficking victims as a separate category of beneficiaries, to help ensure consistent service delivery for victims.

The government does not have the capacity to adequately shelter and protect trafficked children who continued to be placed in orphanages or were detained in youth rehabilitation centers in Belgrade or Novi Sad. Some of these children were placed with foster families. Children placed in orphanages or youth detention centers were highly vulnerable to re-trafficking and re-victimization. Social welfare centers continue to lack the capacity to provide the necessary specialized assistance these children require; one NGO reported a social welfare center in Novi Sad returning 15-year-olds to the streets, potentially back into prostitution.

NGOs continued to report that authorities fail to recognize some victims of trafficking, which could result in victims being detained, jailed, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. In July 2010, after a formal inquiry, a Serbian court dismissed perjury and defamation charges against a trafficking victim accused of giving false testimony before the court in 2008. The trafficking victim and her daughter were allegedly threatened in court by the victim’s trafficker. The trafficking suspect in the case was taken into custody by police in April 2011 pending further investigation.

Prevention

The government took significant new steps to raise awareness and continued to forge partnerships with civil society to prevent trafficking in Serbia during the reporting period. In 2011, the government co-financed a Serbian film production dramatizing the actual experiences of Serbian trafficking victims aimed at awareness-raising among Serbian youth vulnerable to exploitation. The film premiered in Belgrade in April 2011, with multiple government and non-governmental stakeholders, including the Prime Minister, in attendance. In October 2010, the Office of the National Coordinator, police, and other officials participated in a number of roundtables, public debates and radio and television shows, as well as educational programs for children and young people in Serbia. Also in October, the Government Council for Combating Trafficking in Persons and international and regional experts held a discussion in the Serbian National Assembly to raise awareness among legislators and decision makers on Serbia’s international obligations on trafficking. The Minister of Interior, who leads the ministerial-level, policymaking council, continued to demonstrate strong leadership and personal commitment by citing areas of needed improvement in the government’s anti-trafficking efforts during public appearances. The National Coordinator and other key stakeholders continued to energetically pursue practical approaches to address challenges for Serbia’s anti-trafficking efforts; however, this National Coordinator is not funded as a full-time position. The Coordinator continued to maintain an anti-trafficking website and social media site, and publicized Serbia’s anti-trafficking hotline.

SEYCHELLES (Tier 2)

Seychelles is a source and possibly destination country for Seychellois children and foreign women and girls subjected to sex trafficking. In January 2011, a local NGO released a qualitative report on the perception of prostitution in Seychelles. Though the findings were anecdotal, respondents agreed that child prostitution exists – particularly on Mahe, the main island – and appears to be increasing. While the magnitude of the problem is unknown, local observers indicate that girls and, to a lesser extent, boys between 13 and 18 years of age are induced into prostitution, including by peers, family members, or pimps. Young drug addicts are at particular risk of being forced into prostitution. Seychellois children are exploited in prostitution in nightclubs, bars, guest houses, hotels, brothels, and on the street. Foreign tourists reportedly contribute to the demand for commercial sex acts in Seychelles. Foreign part-time residents in Seychelles reportedly have created a demand for the import of young women from Eastern Europe and Australia to serve as “party hostesses” in resort hotels and provide sexual services; it is possible that some of these women experience conditions indicative of forced prostitution. In March 2010, a Seychellois man was arrested in Madagascar for allegedly engaging in child sex tourism.

The Government of Seychelles does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government acknowledged that child prostitution was a problem in the country and took initial steps to better understand and raise awareness of the phenomenon. It also established district task forces comprised of government and civil society stakeholders to prevent and respond to, in part, child prostitution; drafted amendments to strengthen existing penal code provisions on child prostitution; and produced proposals for the creation of organizations and processes to combat child prostitution. The government, however, made no efforts during the year to take legal action against the exploiters of children in prostitution or to provide victims with protective services.

Recommendations for Seychelles: Expand existing campaigns to educate government officials and the general public about the nature and dangers of human trafficking; finalize amendments strengthening the penal code’s provisions regarding child prostitution; increase prescribed penalties for forced labor offenses in Section 251 of the Penal Code Act; over the longer-term, consider the feasibility of drafting comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation that clearly defines human trafficking offenses and prescribes sufficiently stringent punishments; utilize existing legislation to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; strengthen penal code penalties prescribed for forced labor and forced prostitution offenses; employ the existing district task force structure to increase the identification and referral of victims of child prostitution to protective services, particularly to safe shelters and counseling; and designate an official coordinating body or mechanism to facilitate anti-trafficking communication and coordination among the relevant ministries, law enforcement entities, working groups, and NGOs.

Prosecution

The government made no known efforts to address trafficking crimes through law enforcement action during the reporting period. Seychelles law does not specifically prohibit human trafficking, though existing penal and labor code statutes prohibit slavery, forced labor, pimping, and brothel keeping, under which traffickers could be prosecuted. Section 251 of the Penal Code Act prohibits and prescribes a punishment of three years’ imprisonment for forced labor, penalties which are not sufficiently stringent. Section 249 of the penal code outlaws slavery and prescribes sufficiently stringent penalties of 10 years’ imprisonment. Sections 155, 156, and 138 of the penal code outlaw brothel-keeping, pimping, and procuring women or girls to engage in prostitution within Seychelles or abroad, prescribing punishments of three years’, five years’, and two years’ imprisonment, respectively. None of these penalties are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2010, the Attorney General’s Office conducted a review of the penal code’s sections relating to child prostitution and drafted amendments to strengthen these provisions. To date, police have not investigated suspected situations of child prostitution, forced prostitution, or forced labor – either proactively or on the basis of complaints. This is attributed to the likelihood that awareness of human trafficking is extremely low. Laws against exploiting women and girls in prostitution do not appear to be enforced unless accompanied by other criminal acts. The government did not provide any specialized training for its officials in how to recognize, investigate, or prosecute instances of trafficking. In October 2010, two police officers and two attorneys from the Public Prosecution Office attended a foreign government-funded anti-trafficking training in Botswana.

Protection

The government made few efforts to identify trafficking victims or provide them with protective services during the reporting period. Although there are no organizations working to specifically combat trafficking in Seychelles, in 2010 the government provided an unknown amount of funding to NGOs that would care for victims of prostitution or labor exploitation; there is no indication that any NGOs cared for children in prostitution during the reporting period. The government has neither developed a system for proactively identifying human trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, nor created a referral process to systematically transfer such victims to service providers for care. Social workers and police – both members of the district task forces – are responsible for conducting home visits to the families of vulnerable children. The government did not encourage victims’ assistance in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes. There were no reports that victims were inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized solely for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention

The government made initial efforts to prevent the exploitation of individuals in prostitution during the year, particularly through the implementation of its national action plan against social ills. There exists no main coordinating body for collaboration and communication between government agencies or any other organizations on trafficking matters. The Immigration Division of the Ministry for Home Affairs, Environment, and Transport serves as the government’s lead on addressing human trafficking, and the Department of Social Development (DSD), part of the Ministry of Social Development and Culture, is responsible for implementing policies to address child prostitution. In 2009, a multi-sectoral task force, chaired by the DSD, drafted a “Plan of Action to Tackle Social Ills in Seychelles (2009 – 2010)” to address the country’s increasingly visible sex and drug trades, that called for, among other things, conducting research, reviewing existing legal statutes for sufficiency, creating a police Minor’s Brigade to respond to crimes against children, launching public awareness campaigns, and establishing rehabilitative services for victims. This plan was endorsed by the cabinet in late 2009 and, in December 2009, the National Assembly earmarked funds for its implementation. In 2010, the DSD established 25 district task forces on social ills – comprised of social workers, police, community nurses, youth workers, school counselors, NGOs, religious organizations, and other civil society groups – throughout the country to respond to specific situations of concern in each locality; it is unknown whether any of these task forces intervened in known cases of child prostitution during the reporting period. In May 2010, the DSD commissioned a study to assess the root causes, extent, and nature of prostitution in the country – as called for by the plan – and dedicated $8,656 to the completion of this research, which was made public in January 2011. During the reporting period, the DSD also spent $1,739 to conduct two sensitization campaigns on three islands targeting high school youth at risk of exploitation in prostitution and drug abuse. The government drafted a proposal for the creation of a “Minor’s Brigade,” but a lead agency has yet to be selected to implement the proposal. In February 2010, during the State of the Nation address, the president appealed to all stakeholders to intensify efforts to protect children and called for harsher sentences for crimes against children. The government neither made efforts to discourage its citizens from participating in international child sex tourism, nor took law enforcement action against foreign nationals suspected of perpetrating such crimes in Seychelles.

SIERRA LEONE (Tier 2)

Sierra Leone is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Victims originate largely from rural provinces and refugee communities within the country, and are recruited to urban and mining centers for the purposes of exploitation in prostitution, domestic servitude, and forced service or labor in petty trading, portering, rock-breaking, street crime, and begging. Trafficking victims may also be found in the fishing and agricultural sectors or are subjected to forced prostitution or forced labor through customary practices such as forced and arranged marriages. Sierra Leoneans voluntarily migrate to other West African countries, including Mauritania and Guinea, the Middle East, and Europe, where they are subsequently subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Sierra Leone may also be a destination country for children trafficked from Nigeria, and possibly from Liberia and Guinea, for forced begging, forced labor, and prostitution.

The Government of Sierra Leone does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government convicted six persons for trafficking-related crimes and imposed adequate sentences in each case, though it did not provide sufficient details to determine whether these cases constituted trafficking. Awareness of existing anti-trafficking legislation remained weak, and trafficking cases may have been prosecuted under other legal statutes or settled out of court. While the government acknowledged that trafficking is a problem in the country, it did not allocate adequate financial or human resources to provide protective services to victims or to educate the population about the dangers of trafficking. The National Trafficking in Persons Task Force submitted a budget request in late 2010, but it had not been approved by the end of the reporting period.

Recommendations for Sierra Leone: Increase penalties prescribed under law for sex trafficking offenses; strengthen efforts to prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders using the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2005; in collaboration with civil society organizations, train police and prosecutors to identify, investigate, and prosecute trafficking cases; ensure that draft anti-trafficking legislation provides a clear definition of trafficking and does not conflate it with the separate crime of migrant smuggling; include funding for anti-trafficking activities in the national budget and begin allocating funds accordingly through the appropriate government structure, such as the National Trafficking in Persons Task Force; ratify the 2000 UN TIP Protocol; train law enforcement officers and social workers to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution, unaccompanied minors, or undocumented migrants, and provide them protective services; identify and donate a suitable government structure to an NGO to operate a shelter for trafficking victims; improve efforts to collect data on anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and victim assistance; and in collaboration with civil society organizations, increase efforts to raise public awareness about the dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Sierra Leone demonstrated limited anti-trafficking law enforcement progress over the last year, primarily by convicting six individuals for crimes related to human trafficking, compared with two such convictions during the previous year, and by drafting new legislation to replace its current anti-trafficking act. Sierra-Leone’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2005 prohibits all forms of human trafficking and prescribes a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine of approximately $4,650 for both sex and labor trafficking offenses. These penalties are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape. During the year, the National Trafficking in Persons Task Force drafted new anti-trafficking legislation, and submitted it to the Cabinet for review in November 2010. Members of the Task Force reported the bill’s primary purpose is to establish a national anti-trafficking agency and guarantee dedicated government funding for its activities; the draft bill reportedly also increases prescribed penalties for trafficking offenses, requires the provision of protective services for victims, and may expand the definition of trafficking to include non-trafficking crimes. The government reportedly investigated 35 cases related to trafficking, but did not provide adequate details to determine which, if any, involved actual human trafficking offenses. Of these cases, 12 were dismissed due to lack of evidence or out-of-court settlement, six resulted in convictions, and 17 remained pending at the end of the reporting period. The government did not provide information about the status of three cases left pending at the close of the previous reporting year. Sentences prescribed for convicted offenders were sufficiently stringent and ranged from six to 22 years’ imprisonment. The government did not provide specialized training on investigating or prosecuting human trafficking offenses, but the Sierra Leone police used manuals produced by an NGO to train all of its approximately 500 new recruits to identify trafficking victims. There were no reports of government officials investigated, prosecuted, or convicted for involvement in trafficking or trafficking-related criminal activities during the reporting period.

Protection

During the year, the Sierra Leonean government sustained limited efforts to protect child trafficking victims, the most significant population of victims in the country, though it did not protect adult victims. It did not undertake proactive measures to identify victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution, unaccompanied minors, or undocumented migrants. The government relies on its close partnerships with NGOs and international organizations to provide services for trafficking victims. The government reported knowledge of 35 victims identified by NGOs during the reporting period, including 24 children and 11 adults. Identified victims were referred to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children’s Affairs (MSWGCA), and this ministry and NGOs referred an unknown number of child victims to NGO-run orphanages, reformatory schools, or schools for street children, as no dedicated facility for trafficking victims existed. During the year, the government offered to donate a building to an international organization for use as a shelter, but the organization determined the building was inadequate and opted to seek its own funding to build a shelter. In 2010, the government repatriated seven children and 11 adults from Mauritania, all of whom had been fraudulently recruited to study in Koranic schools, but were instead subjected to conditions of forced labor. It also assisted in the repatriation of eight Sierra Leonean child trafficking victims from Guinea and identified four victims of cross-border trafficking inside Sierra Leone. There were no reports that victims were detained, fined, or jailed for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; however, the government did not make adequate efforts to identify trafficking victims, which may have led to some victims being treated as offenders. Victims were not encouraged to participate in the investigation of cases, and police cited victims’ failure to appear in court as a common reason for the dismissal of cases.

Prevention

The government displayed limited progress to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The inter-ministerial National Trafficking in Persons Task Force, comprised of representatives from government ministries, NGOs, international organizations, and diplomatic missions to Sierra Leone, met bi-monthly during the year and reportedly began creating an anti-trafficking law enforcement database within the MSWGCA and updating the National Action Plan for 2011. The government took no discernible efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor. The government did not provide Sierra Leonean troops anti-trafficking training prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions, though such training was provided by a foreign donor. Sierra Leone is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

SINGAPORE (Tier 2)

Singapore is a destination country for men, women and girls subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. There are over 1.1 million foreign workers in Singapore, who make up over one-third of Singapore’s total labor force. Migrating from Thailand, Burma, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, China, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and elsewhere in Asia, the majority of foreign workers are unskilled and semi-skilled laborers employed in construction, domestic households, and the hospitality and service industries. During the year, there was greater reporting on victims of forced labor identified by NGOs and foreign missions on long-haul fishing boats that dock in Southeast Asian ports, including Singapore. Workers reported severe abuse by fishing boat captains, the inability to disembark from their vessels, the inability to terminate their contracts, and the nonpayment of wages. Many foreign workers face deception and fraud by recruiters about the ultimate nature of their employment or salary. Foreign workers also reported confiscation of their passports, restrictions on their movements, illegal withholding of their pay, threats of forced repatriation without pay, or physical or sexual abuse – all potential indicators of trafficking.

There were reports of employers hiring Singaporean repatriation companies to seize, confine, and escort, including through the use of assaults, threats, and coercion, to the airport foreign workers, sometimes in order to prevent workers from complaining of abuses, including conditions of forced labor, or seeking redress through the Ministry of Manpower. There have been some reports of employers who tried to get their workers deported by canceling their work permits and later alerting the police of their expired immigration status.

Many migrant workers, including those in domestic service, in Singapore face debts to recruitment agencies in both Singapore and their home countries associated with their employment, which makes them vulnerable to forced labor. A 2010 report produced by NGOs found that, on average, Indian, Bangladeshi, and Chinese migrant workers in Singapore paid fees to employment agencies that constitute at least 10 months of their potential earnings such debt makes migrants vulnerable to forced labor, including debt bondage. Exorbitant fees are sometimes the result of multiple layers of sub-contracting to smaller agencies and individual recruiters, commissions paid to Singaporean agencies, and sometimes, kickbacks to Singaporean employers. To hide illegal fees, agencies and employers sometimes mask them as payments from the worker for personal loans or as other payments. The practice of arbitrary fines, fees, and other deductions from salary made it difficult for workers to understand how their wages were calculated, particularly as many workers did not possess a copy of their contract, and could be used by traffickers to keep workers in a situation of debt bondage. Many foreign workers have credible fears of losing their work visas and being deported, since employers have the ability to repatriate workers at anytime during their contracts. Additionally, low-skilled workers are prohibited or severely restricted from seeking alternative employment and transferring employers, and Singaporean employers have unilateral rights to cancel their employees’ work permits and can submit complaints about worker behavior to have future employment bans placed on them.

Some women from Thailand, the Philippines, China, Vietnam, India, Sri Lanka, and Nepal are recruited in their home countries with offers of legitimate employment but upon arrival in Singapore, are deceived or forced into prostitution. Some women from these countries enter Singapore with the intention of engaging in prostitution but upon arrival are subjected to forced prostitution under the threat of serious harm, including financial harm. Sex trafficking victims often enter Singapore on tourist visas arranged by their recruiters, though there were reports that victims enter Singapore on six-month entertainment visas. Some foreign women in “forest brothels” located on public lands near migrant worker dormitories are reportedly victims of trafficking. It is believed substantial recruitment networks, including organized crime syndicates, are involved in international sex trafficking of women and girls to Singapore. Singaporean men have reportedly been a source of demand for child sex tourism in Southeast Asia. The Government of Singapore does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government reversed its longstanding approach of denying a significant labor trafficking problem in the country and acknowledged its need to take more robust efforts to tackle problems of both forced labor and forced prostitution among Singapore’s foreign migrant population. Authorities formed an interagency committee to combat trafficking, and announced that Singapore would adopt the 2000 UN TIP Protocol’s definition of trafficking as the government’s working definition, though the government has not yet ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

The government made initial efforts to adopt proactive trafficking victim identification procedures among foreign women arrested for prostitution, though it has yet to make similar efforts among foreign laborers. The government reported six sex trafficking convictions; these offenders were convicted of living off the earnings of prostitution and other related offenses, as Singapore does not have a specific anti-trafficking law. Some imposed sentences were below one year’s imprisonment and as such, were inadequate punishments for this serious crime. Despite ongoing reports of forced labor in Singapore, the government did not prosecute or convict any offenders of labor trafficking during the reporting period. Despite its financial resources and capacity, the government should have been more successful in proactively identifying and assisting victims of both sex and labor trafficking.

Recommendations for Singapore: Investigate and prosecute an increased number of both sex and labor trafficking cases; prosecute employers and employment agencies who unlawfully confiscate workers’ passports as a means of holding them in a state of involuntary servitude, or who use other means to extract forced labor; make efforts to prosecute and punish repatriation companies which forcefully and illegally restrain and repatriate migrant workers who would otherwise complain about forced labor conditions; improve procedures to screen foreign women arrested for prostitution-related offenses and identify potential trafficking victims; develop robust procedures to identify potential traffickers and trafficking victims by immigration officers at ports of entry and other law enforcement personnel; cease the practice of restricting the movement of trafficking victims; make greater efforts to assist victims assisting in the investigation process in obtaining employment; dedicate exclusive resources to address the country’s human trafficking problem through greater assistance to foreign trafficking victims; extend the government’s legal aid scheme to cover foreign trafficking victims to ensure that all employees have equal access to judicial redress; reduce the demand for commercial sex acts in Singapore by vigorously enforcing existing laws against importing women for purposes of prostitution, trafficking in women and girls, importing women or girls by false pretenses, living on or trading in prostitution, and keeping brothels; increase the cooperative exchange of information about potential trafficking issues and allegations of trafficking offenses with NGOs and foreign diplomatic missions in Singapore in order to improve anti-trafficking responses in Singapore; make greater efforts to educate and inform migrant workers of the legal recourse available to victims of trafficking, and how to seek remedies against traffickers; work with sending country governments to improve transparency on the fees payable by foreign workers for job placement in Singapore to render them less vulnerable to debt bondage; devote resources to researching the phenomenon of both sex and labor trafficking within and across national borders; conduct public awareness campaigns to inform citizens and residents of the penalties for involvement in trafficking for sexual exploitation or forced labor; and ratify the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

Prosecution

The Government of Singapore demonstrated limited law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking in persons during the year. Singaporean law criminalizes some forms of trafficking through its Penal Code and Women’s Charter. Singaporean law does not prohibit the forced prostitution of men, although there is no evidence of this occurring in Singapore. Article 140 of the Women’s Charter does not prohibit non-physical forms of coercion, such as debt bondage or threat of abuse of the legal process, and Article 141 only prohibits the movement of women and girls for trafficking, and does not define the term “trafficking.” Penalties prescribed for sex trafficking offenses in the Women’s Charter include a maximum of five years’ imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. During the year, the government convicted six sex trafficking offenders for prostitution-related offenses. Convicted offenders were given low penalties ranging from fines to up to 15 months’ imprisonment. Authorities did not prosecute or convict any offenders of labor trafficking during the reporting period. The government noted that eight cases of trafficking reported to them were found to be false or unverified, 36 are pending further information, and one case was undergoing investigation.

According to observers, Singaporean law enforcement authorities continued to display a reactive posture toward human trafficking crimes, typically waiting for victims to come forward and file complaints before investigating trafficking offenses. While the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) maintained responsibility for investigating all labor abuses, the police were responsible for investigating any criminal offenses under the Penal Code’s forced labor statute. MOM interviewed several fishermen who claimed abuses suggesting human trafficking but reported that they could not further investigate due to lack of jurisdiction over the suspected offenses. The basis for this lack of jurisdiction was unclear, as Singaporean courts have jurisdiction over criminal acts of recruitment that are a part of trafficking crimes, such as the recruitment of workers subjected to forced labor. While there were increased reports during the year of forced labor on fishing vessels that originated in Singapore, the government did not report any prosecutions or convictions in such cases. Nongovernmental sources continued to express concern about the lack of willingness and ability of Singaporean police and immigration officers to identify potential sex trafficking victims, mount thorough investigations, and prosecute cases. The lack of a mandatory day off provided under Singaporean law to domestic workers restricts their opportunities to seek help when faced with abuses, including forced labor conditions; this created a challenge for Singaporean police in identifying forced labor victims among domestic workers, and for the government and NGOs in their outreach efforts. Some Singaporean employment agencies reportedly advise employers to confiscate the passports of their foreign employees – a practice that is well-documented in facilitating forced labor. Although the Ministry of Manpower responded to complaints regarding passport confiscation and illegal detention of individuals by repatriation companies, the government did not report referrals to the police for investigation of possible trafficking in these cases. There were no criminal prosecutions or convictions of employers or employment agencies who withheld passports of foreign workers as a means of holding employees in compelled service.

While the Employment Agencies Act prohibited employment agencies from charging job seekers more than 10 percent of their first month’s salary, many agencies continue to charge migrant workers thousands of dollars in recruitment fees, making them vulnerable to forced labor. During the year, although the Ministry of Manpower, acting in response to two NGO referrals, secured the release of foreign workers detained at repatriation companies, the government did not pursue any criminal investigations or prosecutions for potential trafficking in such cases. The government facilitated anti-trafficking training opportunities for its police force, and began to distribute a trafficking indicator card to assist front-line law enforcement officers with identifying trafficking cases. The Singapore Police Force began compiling a new handbook for law enforcement officers, drawing on best practices shared by international partners.

Protection

The government showed minimal progress in identifying and protecting trafficking victims, despite ample financial resources. The government reported that it provided funding to three general purpose shelters and dormitories that could be used to house trafficking victims; however, it did not operate any trafficking-specific shelters. The government did not fund NGOs that provide shelter and other services addressing the specific needs of foreign victims of trafficking. Non-governmental actors in Singapore reported identifying at least 146 male and female victims of forced prostitution and forced labor during the year. Authorities reported offering assistance to 15 victims from Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, and Singapore in five sex trafficking cases, only one of which was the result of a proactive investigation by officials. The government offered shelter to the victims, and one child victim remained in government custody; another child victim left the shelter and all adult victims chose to reside with acquaintances in Singapore. Some of the victims were reportedly provided with initial counseling and medical assistance. The government reported that it could not provide information on any labor trafficking victims identified during the reporting period. Non-government actors reported a significant increase in the number of fishermen, 54 in 2010, who were victims of forced labor identified during the year. In early 2011, the Government of Singapore adopted a set of human trafficking indicators, shared by a foreign government, for use by law enforcement personnel to identify victims. Authorities reported that efforts to proactively identify sex trafficking victims among the high-risk population of 4,500 foreign females arrested in 7,083 arrests for prostitution violations identified only 81 trafficking victims, 23 of whom were children in prostitution. During the year, authorities reported identifying one Singaporean child sex trafficking victim. Non-government observers expressed doubts about the effectiveness of the government’s victim identification protocols during anti-vice sweeps, believing instead that the focus is on efforts to identify immigration violators. In the arrests of 4,500 women for prostitution offenses, authorities ordered the foreign women to leave the country without adequately screening for trafficking indicators. According to NGOs and foreign embassies, women and girls in prostitution may be detained by police in a vice operation; due to inadequate victim identification, trafficking victims may still be subjected to penalties for immigration violations or for soliciting. The government provided temporary shelter services for victims of forced labor during the year. The Ministry of Manpower funded the Migrant Workers Centre, which served as a short-term shelter for workers in distress, as well as a facility for foreign domestic workers involved in employment disputes, though the government did not report whether either facility assisted any trafficking victims during the year. Embassies of labor source countries operated shelters for their nationals, primarily for female domestic workers involved in employment disputes – some of whom suffered abuse by employers – and women engaged in prostitution, some of whom the embassies determined were trafficking victims. The Singaporean government could dedicate exclusive resources to address the country’s human trafficking problem, including through greater assistance to foreign trafficking victims, rather than having the response to the issue subsumed into general social welfare programs.

The Singaporean government did not provide victims of sex or labor trafficking with legal alternatives to removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. The government did not provide incentives, such as legal aid for the pursuit of civil suits, for foreign victims of trafficking to participate voluntarily in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenses. The MOM reported that some trafficking victims who assisted the government as prosecution witnesses received Singaporean work passes. Authorities made legal aid available to Singaporean citizens and permanent residents found to be trafficking victims. While authorities reported that identified victims had freedom of movement in government shelters, non-government sources continued to report that victims residing in government shelters sometimes have their movements restricted while assisting authorities with investigation and prosecution of their traffickers; in some cases, this effectively served as a disincentive to victims coming forward and cooperating with authorities. In addition to threats of deportation, there are reports that victims of trafficking often do not wish to file official complaints to Singaporean authorities, due to the lack of adequate social, legal, and other support made available from authorities. The government reported that identified victims were generally given access to medical, counseling, and translation services, and were able to obtain work authorization while assisting with the prosecution of their traffickers; however, there were no known victims who were afforded this opportunity during the reporting period. When cases were being investigated or prosecuted, the government generally held the victims’ passports and declined their requests for repatriation. Victims are legally entitled to pursue civil cases against their traffickers, and the government reported that it provides information on legal aid available from NGOs; however, the government did not provide financial resources to NGOs in order to provide legal assistance to victims, such as support to file civil suits against their traffickers. Domestic workers in Singapore, the vast majority of whom are foreigners, are excluded from the Employment Act, which specifies minimum terms and conditions of employment for rest days, hours of work, and other rights. This lack of legislation combined with the isolated workplace heightens the vulnerability of migrant domestic workers to trafficking. Many foreign workers face significant difficulties when attempting to seek redress for their problems, such as unpaid wages and wage deductions, which contribute to their vulnerability to trafficking. The MOM provides case workers to assist foreign workers who encounter problems in these areas. In addition, foreign fishermen on vessels that dock in Singapore have faced significant difficulties seeking redress when exploited, as Singaporean authorities believe that such trafficking crimes are committed outside the scope of the country’s labor laws.

Prevention

The government demonstrated limited efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the year. Although the government took some steps to prevent conditions of forced labor, the government did not conduct any anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns or make public any information concerning the extent of the problem. In March 2011, the government established an Inter-Agency Task Force on Human Trafficking. The government did not sponsor or conduct any research or assessment of the problem of human trafficking in Singapore during the reporting period; authorities reportedly delayed the publication of independent research conducted on sex trafficking in the country during the year. Authorities continued compulsory courses on employment rights and responsibilities for all incoming foreign domestic workers and their employers. The government provided foreign workers with written materials explaining their rights in their native languages and providing contact information for reporting complaints to labor authorities, and warned employers that it is an offense to confiscate any of these materials. In 2010, the MOM “sternly warned” 24 employment agencies and revoked the licenses of three agencies for withholding passports of foreign workers, but authorities did not investigate these agencies for potential involvement in forced labor. The MOM also investigated five cases of fraudulent recruitment that resulted in perpetrators sentenced to three to 10 months’ imprisonment. The MOM trained NGO workers on Singaporean labor law to assist them in answering calls to 24-hour hotlines. During the year, the government instituted a new cap on fees for foreign workers coming to work in Singapore, though NGOs and the government acknowledged difficulties in enforcing this cap on source-country labor recruiters who often charge Singapore-bound migrants excessive fees that become debt. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts in Singapore’s commercial sex industry. Government-linked Singapore media reported on trafficking conferences held at universities. The government continued to partner with an NGO to distribute hotline information to encourage reporting of child sex tourists to the Singaporean police at Singapore’s major public travel fair, but it did not have a means to verify whether the campaign generated any leads. Although Singaporean law provides for extraterritorial jurisdiction over Singaporean citizens and permanent residents who sexually exploit children in other countries, the government has never investigated, prosecuted, or convicted a national or permanent resident for child sex tourism. There were no reports of Singaporeans engaging in child sex tourism during 2010. Singapore is not party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

SLOVAK REPUBLIC (Tier 1)

The Slovak Republic (or Slovakia) is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. The forced labor of Slovak men and women is exploited in the agricultural and construction sectors in Western Europe, primarily the United Kingdom. Slovak women are subjected to sex trafficking in the Netherlands, Germany, and other areas of Europe. Ukrainian and Romanian men and women were allegedly forced to work in the Slovak Republic. Victims are reportedly transported through the Slovak Republic from the former Soviet Union and forced into prostitution within the country and throughout Europe. Roma children, women, and men are subjected to forced begging in Switzerland and other countries in Western Europe. Roma individuals from socially segregated rural settlements were disproportionately vulnerable to human trafficking from the Slovak Republic, as they were under-employed, under-educated through segregated specialized schools, and subject to discrimination from law enforcement. Traffickers found victims through family and village networks, preying on individuals with large debts from usurers or individuals with disabilities.

The Government of the Slovak Republic fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. This year, the government achieved significant anti-trafficking successes, including increasing the percentage of trafficking cases in which convicted offenders received time in prison. The government also established a human trafficking information center in an effort to lead the region in data collection and analysis on the issue. It also instituted anti-trafficking training in the basic course for all judges and prosecutors. Nevertheless, the government’s poor relations with the Roma community resulted in significant problems in victim identification and prosecutions, including a government estimate that only one-third of all trafficking cases involving Roma are investigated.

Recommendations for the Slovak Republic: Increase efforts to identify trafficking victims among Roma communities, including through greater outreach by law enforcement personnel; provide socially inclusive social work support to highly vulnerable communities to reduce the incidence of trafficking; continue training and capacity building for investigators, prosecutors and judges, to ensure trafficking crimes are vigorously investigated and prosecuted and offenders are convicted and punished with time in prison; ensure that all judicial trainings and law enforcement trainings address labor trafficking; adopt procedures to permit trafficking prosecutions in cases in which the victim has not filed a complaint or withdraws a complaint; ensure the provision of adequate specialized shelter for male victims of trafficking; expand victim identification efforts for potential foreign victims among other vulnerable populations such as women in the commercial sex sector, foreign workers, detained illegal migrants, and asylum seekers, including through NGO partnerships and labor inspections; and conduct a demand-reduction awareness campaign to educate Slovaks and clients visiting the Slovak Republic about the potential links between prostitution, exploitation, and trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Slovakia increased its efforts to investigate and prosecute human trafficking during the reporting period, including by adopting routine anti-trafficking training for all new prosecutors and judges in the country, and by improving its sentencing rate for convicted trafficking offenders. Nevertheless, challenges persisted in investigating cases of trafficking that involved Roma victims. The Slovak Republic prohibits all forms of trafficking through Sections 179, 180, and 181 of its criminal code, which prescribe penalties between four years’ and life imprisonment in aggravated cases. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2010, Slovak officials investigated approximately 15 cases of trafficking in persons, including 13 sex trafficking cases, one of which involved the commercial sexual exploitation of a child. This was an increase from the nine trafficking cases investigated in 2009. The Slovak police investigated a significant case of forced labor involving 340 victims from Ukraine and Romania. Although the police did not initially classify the case as human trafficking, the prosecutor’s office later designated the cases as human trafficking and returned it to the police for reinvestigation under the trafficking statute. The Slovak authorities initiated prosecutions of five alleged trafficking offenders in 2010, an increase from three offenders prosecuted in 2009. Six trafficking offenders were convicted in 2010, down from 10 trafficking offenders convicted in 2009. Although the number of convictions dropped, the percentage of offenders sentenced to non-suspended terms in jail rose to 50 percent in 2010. Three out of the six trafficking offenders were sentenced to time in jail, in contrast to two trafficking offenders in 2009. The three offenders sentenced to jail terms received 24, 60, and 103 months in prison. Two of the three offenders given suspended sentences agreed to trafficking convictions in plea deals. The Slovak police continued to operate a specialized anti-trafficking unit at the police headquarters and four specialized officers throughout the country. The Office of the Special Prosecutor continued its designation of a specialized prosecutor for trafficking within the anti-corruption unit.

Cooperation with and outreach to the Roma population was reportedly a major weakness in the Slovak government’s anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Fewer than a third of trafficking cases involving Roma victims are estimated to be investigated by the police, because victims were afraid to file a complaint upon return to the Slovak Republic. Sources reported that trafficking victims, particularly those of Roma origin, were influenced or threatened by trafficking offenders to change testimony when cases reached the trial stage.

The government demonstrated clear improvement in judicial training. With direct involvement of the state secretary, the Slovak Judicial Academy incorporated trafficking in persons into the curriculum of basic prosecutorial and judicial trainings at the Slovak Judicial Academy in 2010. The first class of 12 prosecutors and judges completed the course in December 2010. In April and May 2010, the Government of Slovakia also funded the training of police, asylum workers, teachers, diplomats, and social workers on trafficking victim identification and care, reaching 292 trainees in 2010. The government collaborated in six international investigations on trafficking during the reporting period, involving the governments of the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany, and Slovenia. In April 2010, Slovak authorities charged a former mayor of a village in Eastern Slovakia with sex trafficking of young Roma women from his settlement. The case is still pending, though there were reports that the mayor applied inappropriate pressure to the two victims testifying in the case.

Protection

The government sustained its protection efforts during the reporting period, despite continuing problems with victim identification in minority communities and among labor trafficking victims. In 2010, the Slovak government provided $298,000 to NGOs for anti-trafficking activities, an increase from $275,000 provided in 2009. Three NGOs provided specialized shelter for trafficking victims. These victims were allowed to leave the shelters unchaperoned and at will. Although these shelters were designed for the care of women, one NGO secured apartments for male victims of trafficking. The government designated an NGO for specialized care of child victims of trafficking. The Slovak government continued to fund NGOs providing comprehensive assistance to victims who elected to participate in the government’s National Program; these victims received financial support for a minimum of 180 days, although social support is provided throughout the duration of the criminal process. The government assisted 26 trafficking victims, in contrast to 27 in 2009. NGOs reported assisting 29 additional trafficking victims with non-government funding in 2009. These victims declined to participate in the government’s program. Of the 26 participants in the national program, 15 were victims of forced labor, nine were victims of sexual exploitation, and two were victims of forced begging. Fifteen of the victims were men, 10 were women, and one was a child. It is unclear the extent to which law enforcement employed systematic efforts to proactively identify potential trafficking victims among women and girls in commercial sex sectors, including women engaged in street prostitution, erotic massage salons, escort services, or strip bars fronting for brothels in Bratislava. Victim identification in the Roma community also remains a challenge for the police. The government encouraged victims to participate in prosecutions; this year, 12 victims participated in prosecutions. The government offers foreign victims, upon their identification, a renewable 40-day legal status in Slovakia to receive assistance and shelter and to consider whether to assist law enforcement. The Slovak government reported that the National Coordinator had the authority to grant permanent residence to a victim of trafficking who would face hardship or retribution if returned to the country of origin; no permanent residence permits have ever been granted under this provision. Although the government had its first foreign victim identification, there are strong indications that the government failed to identify several other victims in the country. In January 2011, a foreign victim was initially identified under the national referral mechanism and was afforded these rights. However, the woman left the shelter after several days; law enforcement ultimately uncovered that the woman’s story had likely been fabricated. In the case involving 340 alleged victims of trafficking, the police failed to identify the victims of trafficking before they were returned to their home countries, impeding care and investigation. There were no reports that the government penalized identified victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked this year, although NGOs reported that several victims were reluctant to participate in the national program out of fears of other prosecutions or abuse by the police or because they were active drug users.

Prevention

The government enhanced its activities on preventing trafficking, focusing on developing new strategies to prevent trafficking in the Roma communities. In September 2010, the Government of Slovakia opened its trafficking information center in Eastern Slovakia, designed to improve information collection and strategic analysis on trafficking in persons. In part through the work of the information center, the Slovak government increased its focus on preventing trafficking among the Roma. The Ministry of Interior conducted a survey of Roma communities to determine the best methods of conducting anti-trafficking prevention activities. In total, the government allocated approximately $39,000 to perform anti-trafficking outreach to the Roma communities. The government also held 11 outreach sessions on forced labor at Roma community centers and at schools. The government funded Roma-specific posters, folders, brochures, and DVDs on trafficking. In 2010, the government of Slovakia co-produced and distributed 4,500 copies of a pamphlet targeting potential foreign victims in Slovakia. The government continued to distribute brochures to advise Slovak citizens travelling abroad on human trafficking. The government also continued to fund a trafficking hotline operated by IOM. The National Coordinator at the Ministry of Interior coordinated intra-governmental activities on human trafficking and convened meetings of the Expert Group on Trafficking. It released a national action plan in 2011, incorporating efforts to reduce trafficking among the Roma. The government did not conduct any activities to reduce the demand for commercial sex this year. All Slovak forces received basic trafficking awareness training prior to deployment.

SLOVENIA (Tier 1)

Slovenia is a transit and destination country, and to a lesser extent, a source country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Women and children are subjected to sex trafficking and men, women, and children to forced labor in Slovenia. Victims of labor exploitation in Slovenia come from Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, and Bosnia and Herzegovina; sometimes these persons migrate through Slovenia to Italy and Germany, where they are subsequently subjected to forced labor. Women and children from Slovenia, as well as Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Iran, Ghana, Morocco, Afghanistan, and Cuba are subjected to forced prostitution in Slovenia and also transit through Slovenia to Western Europe (mainly Italy and Germany), where they face the same form of exploitation.

The Government of Slovenia fully complies with the minimum standards for combating trafficking in persons. The government demonstrated strong prevention efforts, producing excellent analysis of the country’s anti-trafficking weaknesses and developing new work plans to address those challenges. The government sustained its law enforcement efforts from the prior year. The Slovenian government again sustained the funding allocated for victim protection this year, although the number of victims identified by government authorities again decreased. There were also allegations that the protection for child victims of trafficking was inadequate and left children at risk of being re-trafficked.

Recommendations for Slovenia: Vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including complicit public officials and those involved in forced labor; increase efforts to identify victims of both sex and labor trafficking; increase the number of victims referred for assistance; ensure that proper and safe facilities exist to assist child victims of trafficking; continue prevention outreach to vulnerable populations, such as Roma children; continue to ensure that a majority of convicted traffickers serve some time in prison; continue to provide trafficking awareness training for judges and prosecutors; and continue efforts to raise awareness of forced labor and forced prostitution among the general public.

Prosecution

The Government of Slovenia sustained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2010. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through Article 113 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties ranging from six months’ to 15 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government conducted 12 trafficking investigations in 2010, compared with 28 in 2009. Authorities prosecuted 12 cases and convicted eight trafficking offenders in 2010, compared with four prosecutions and two offenders convicted in 2009. The majority of the 2010 prosecutions were sex trafficking offenses, although one case involved a victim of labor trafficking; convicted offenders were sentenced to terms between 16 months to 36 months in prison, compared with the sentences of 24 to 38 months given in 2009. Nevertheless, there were some reports that Slovenian judges were not sufficiently aware of the complexity of the crime of trafficking and that prosecutors, facing difficult trafficking cases, would occasionally reclassify criminal cases as less serious criminal offences. The Ministry of Interior’s Inter-Departmental Working Group conducted a variety of anti-trafficking trainings for key actors in Slovenia, including training for police officers on labor exploitation, prosecutors, and judges on prosecuting trafficking in persons, and consular officials on early detection of trafficking victims among foreign citizens. The Slovenian government participated in several cross-border trafficking investigations, including joint investigations with Interpol, Europol, and the governments of Moldova and Slovakia. During the reporting period, the government investigated and charged a policeman with providing information to a trafficking offender in furtherance of a trafficking offense.

Protection

The Government of Slovenia sustained its efforts to protect victims of trafficking in 2010, although there were reports that care and housing for child victims of trafficking were inadequate. The government funded victim protection through two NGOs that provided comprehensive assistance including health care, psychological care, accommodation, and physical security. Assistance was available to both male and female victims of trafficking and for both foreign and domestic victims. Following a three-month reflection period, foreign victims of trafficking were allowed to receive victim protection if they participated in criminal proceedings. In 2010, the government allocated approximately $120,000 for victim protection, the same amount it provided in 2009. The government identified 10 victims of trafficking in 2010, in contrast to 23 victims identified in 2009. NGOs reported identifying a further 12 victims of trafficking. Altogether, the government assisted 12 female victims of sex trafficking in 2010, compared to 12 victims in 2009. Victims housed in government-funded shelters were permitted to leave unchaperoned and at will. There were reports, however, of some systematic problems in the government’s response to trafficking victims’ needs. There were anecdotal reports that Roma children were vulnerable to trafficking by family members and the government made inadequate outreach efforts to this group. Although the government reported that child victims of trafficking in general were cared for in emergency centers, there were reports that these facilities for housing and assistance were inadequate and presented risks that the minors would be re-trafficked. There were no identified victims punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention

The government demonstrated strong prevention efforts during the reporting period, particularly with its intra-governmental activities. The government coordinated its anti-trafficking efforts through the Ministry of Interior’s Inter-Departmental Working Group against Trafficking, which brings together representatives of the relevant ministries, the National Assembly, the State Prosecutor, and NGOs to develop national policy. The working group prepared an annual plan to combat trafficking in persons, identifying key problem areas, assigning responsibility to actors, allocating appropriate funding, and establishing deadlines for completion of tasks. The Slovenian government encouraged regional efforts to combat trafficking in persons through its annual regional ministerial conference on law enforcement cooperation. The Slovenian government engaged in awareness raising through its website and through a large awareness raising event on October 18, EU Anti-trafficking Day, including media publications and expert roundtables. The government also targeted identified vulnerable groups for publications on trafficking and distributed these publications through state authorities and non-governmental organizations. The Slovenian government funded near weekly anti-trafficking awareness raising presentations to students in secondary and elementary schools. The government also targeted trafficking outreach to migrants at border crossings, focusing on those working in at-risk populations.

SOLOMON ISLANDS (Tier 2 Watch List)

The Solomon Islands is a destination country for local and Southeast Asian men and women subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Local children, many under the age of 15, are subjected to sex trafficking, particularly near foreign logging camps and on foreign and local commercial fishing vessels, but also at hotels and entertainment establishments. Some girls are hired under the guise of domestic labor in logging and fishing areas, but subsequently coerced into commercial sex. Some local girls are put up for “informal adoption” by their family members in order to pay off debts, and subsequently subjected to sexual servitude and forced labor as domestic servants. Local boys are also put up for “informal adoption” and subjected to the same type of forced labor. Local girls as young as 12 years old were sold by their parents for marriage to foreigners working for logging and mining companies. Some local girls married to foreign workers who leave the Solomon Islands are forced into domestic servitude by their husbands’ wife and family in their husband’s country. Some Asian women from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines may have been recruited from their home countries for legitimate work, paying large sums of money in recruitment fees, and upon arrival, forced into prostitution, including near logging camps. Men from Indonesia and Malaysia are recruited to work in the Solomon Islands’ logging and mining industries, and may be subsequently subjected to forced labor in industrial camps. The Solomon Islands is a destination country for child sex tourists.

The Government of the Solomon Islands does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these modest efforts, the government failed to report any efforts to investigate or prosecute any trafficking offenders, or identify or assist any trafficking victims; therefore, the Solomon Islands is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. Several public studies have identified sex trafficking as a problem in the Solomon Islands, though the government has never investigated or prosecuted a trafficking case, nor proactively identified a trafficking victim. While two victims came forward to authorities during the year, the government did not make efforts to prosecute their alleged traffickers. There is little awareness of human trafficking in the Solomon Islands, and the government did not conduct any public awareness campaigns on trafficking.

Recommendations for the Solomon Islands: Draft and enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, criminalizing all forms of trafficking in persons; publicly recognize and condemn incidences of trafficking; make greater efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders, such as suspected offenders of child prostitution occurring in or near logging camps; investigate the forced prostitution of foreign women and prosecute their traffickers and clients; work with NGOs or international organizations to ensure that identified victims of trafficking are provided access services and protection; adopt proactive procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as foreign workers in the fishing industry and women and children in prostitution; and institute a visible campaign to raise public awareness of human trafficking in the country.

Prosecution

The Government of the Solomon Islands made no discernible anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Although the Solomon Islands Constitution provides protection against slavery, the country has no specific laws addressing trafficking in persons and very few laws, such as the penal code and the Islanders Marriage Act, can be used to prosecute trafficking offenses. Unlawful compulsory labor is considered a misdemeanor, punishable by up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine, or a combination of both. The penalties prescribed under these non-trafficking-specific statutes are not sufficiently stringent or commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. The lack of a legal definition of sex or labor trafficking which identifies the essential elements of a trafficking crime prevents law enforcement officers from rescuing victims or arresting trafficking offenders on trafficking charges. Government authorities continued to deny that trafficking was a concern that merited attention in the country. Although two Indonesian men identified themselves to authorities as labor trafficking victims, the government did not prosecute the alleged traffickers in this case and was unable to indicate the status of the case or whereabouts of the Indonesian victims. Furthermore, despite public studies on the existence of child prostitution and forced adult prostitution in the country, the government did not report prosecuting or convicting any other trafficking offenders during the year. The government provided no training to law enforcement and court personnel on identifying trafficking victims and prosecuting trafficking offenders.

Protection

The Government of the Solomon Islands made no discernible efforts to identify or assist victims of trafficking during the year. Law enforcement and social services personnel do not have a formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom they come in contact; they did not proactively identify any victims during the reporting period. Although the government continued to arrest Chinese women for prostitution during the year, it has never identified a victim of trafficking among this vulnerable population. Some foreign female trafficking victims were likely punished by authorities through imprisonment, due to lack of victim identification efforts. In response to the aforementioned two self-identified male labor trafficking victims, the government did not offer protection or assistance to these victims. There are no procedures in place to refer identified trafficking victims to service organizations for protection and assistance. The government relied largely on civil society or religious organizations to provide limited services to victims of crime. The Family Support Center, operated by the government and funded by an NGO, is reportedly available to provide consultations to victims of gender-based violence and government-identified trafficking victims, but it has never assisted a trafficking victim. There are no legal, medical, or psychological services available to trafficking victims in the Solomon Islands. The government did not make efforts to identify or reach out to international organizations or community groups to provide assistance to victims of trafficking. The government did not offer any legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The government made few discernible efforts to prevent trafficking or raise public awareness of the crime. There is little awareness of human trafficking in the Solomon Islands, and the government did not conduct any public awareness campaigns on trafficking. In November 2010, the government partnered with an NGO and a foreign donor to conduct a training for government officials and local organizations on human trafficking awareness. While authorities reportedly monitored immigration and emigration patterns for human smuggling, particularly with respect to the rising number of Southeast Asians entering the country, it did not monitor such patterns for human trafficking. It took no action to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. The Solomon Islands is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

SOUTH AFRICA (Tier 2)

South Africa is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Children are trafficked mainly within the country, from poor rural areas to urban centers such as Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and Bloemfontein. Girls are subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude; boys are forced to work in street vending, food service, begging, criminal activities, and agriculture. The tradition of ukuthwala, the forced marriage of girls as young as 12 to adult men, is still practiced in some remote villages in the Eastern Cape and Western Cape, leaving these girls vulnerable to forced labor and prostitution. Local criminal rings and street gangs organize child prostitution in a number of South Africa’s cities. To a lesser extent, syndicates recruit and transport South African women to Europe and the Middle East, where they are forced to labor in domestic service and forced into prostitution. Nigerian syndicates dominate the commercial sex trade within the country, and send South African women to the United States for exploitation in domestic servitude. South African men recruited by local employment agencies to drive taxis in Abu Dhabi are subjected to forced labor subsequent to their arrival in the United Arab Emirates. Traffickers control victims through intimidation and threats, use of force, confiscation of travel documents, demands to pay “debts,” and forced use of drugs and alcohol. During the reporting period, South African trafficking victims were discovered in Macau. Women and girls from Thailand, Cambodia, the Congo, India, Russia, Ukraine, China, Taiwan, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe are recruited for legitimate work in South Africa then subjected to prostitution, domestic servitude, and forced labor in the service sector. Some of these women also are transported to Europe for forced prostitution.

Thai women are subjected to prostitution in South Africa’s illegal brothels, while Eastern European organized crime units forced some women from Russia, Ukraine, and Bulgaria into debt-bonded prostitution in exclusive private men’s clubs. Chinese traffickers bring victims from Lesotho, Mozambique, and Swaziland to Johannesburg or other cities for prostitution. Migrant men from China and Taiwan are forced to work in mobile sweatshop factories in Chinese urban enclaves in South Africa, which evade labor inspectors by moving in and out of Lesotho and Swaziland. Young men and boys from Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe voluntarily migrate to South Africa for farm work, sometimes laboring for months in South Africa with little or no pay and in conditions of involuntary servitude before unscrupulous employers have them arrested and deported as illegal immigrants. Taxi drivers or thugs at the border transport Zimbabwean migrants, including children, into South Africa and may subject them to sex or labor trafficking upon arrival.

The Government of South Africa does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increased efforts to address human trafficking, led by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), through the conviction and prosecution of an increased number of offenders and the formation of new task forces. The government’s promised comprehensive anti-trafficking bill – first drafted in 2003 – remained under review, however, and was not passed or enacted. Although the number of new trafficking investigations and prosecutions under other legal provisions increased, few of these resulted in convictions and many cases remained pending from previous reporting periods. All those convicted received suspended sentences or fines, which are inadequate penalties to deter the commission of trafficking crimes. Despite its considerable resources, the government did not dedicate specific funding to combat human trafficking and instead relied on existing budgets for stakeholder departments and foreign donors for its efforts made. The government did not provide direct care or accommodation to trafficking victims, and funding given to NGOs for the care of trafficking victims remained insufficient. Although South Africa is a major migrant destination country in Africa, the government failed to identify and address forced labor among migrant workers, as well as foreign and South African children. Significant gaps remain in South Africa’s overall victim protection process, specifically the lack of formal procedures for screening for and identifying trafficking victims amongst vulnerable groups, including illegal migrants and women in prostitution.

Recommendations for South Africa: Enact and begin implementing the draft comprehensive anti-trafficking law; utilize the Children’s Amendment Act of 2007 to prosecute and convict child trafficking offenders; continue to increase awareness among all levels of relevant government officials as to their responsibilities under the anti-trafficking provisions of the Sexual Offenses and Children’s Amendment Acts; criminally prosecute employers who utilize forced labor, and ensure that labor trafficking victims are not charged for immigration violations by screening all deportees for victimization; ensure officials adequately screen for victimization amongst other vulnerable groups, including women in prostitution; develop a mechanism to refer all victims to protective services; establish facilities to provide for accommodation and medical and psychological services for victims or provide sufficient funding to NGOs to do so; ensure that translators are available to assist victims in obtaining care, cooperating with law enforcement, and testifying in court; continue to support prevention strategies developed by NGOs to address demand for commercial sex acts and protect children from commercial sexual exploitation; support the adoption of measures to protect children from sexual exploitation by tourists; investigate and prosecute officials complicit in trafficking; and institute formal procedures to compile on a regular basis national statistics on the number of trafficking cases prosecuted and victims assisted, as is done for other crimes.

Prosecution

The Government of South Africa increased law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking. Several cases from previous years remained pending trial or sentencing and the few convictions achieved during the reporting period resulted in inadequate prison sentences or fines. The government investigated and prosecuted additional trafficking cases, all but one of which involved sex trafficking. This reveals the imbalance in the government’s anti-trafficking efforts, which largely ignored forced labor. South African law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking. Comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, drafting of which began in 2003, remains pending in parliament for a third consecutive year. Throughout 2010, parliament’s Justice Portfolio Committee, charged with deliberating the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill, held public comment sessions and numerous hearings as review of the legislation continued. The lack of a comprehensive law that fully defines trafficking, empowers police and prosecutors, and outlines provisions and allocates funding for victim care is the greatest hindrance to anti-trafficking efforts in South Africa.

The Sexual Offenses Act (SOA) prohibits sex trafficking of children and adults and the Basic Conditions of Labor Act of 1997 prohibits forced labor. The SOA prescribes punishments of up to 20 years’ imprisonment for sex trafficking offenses, penalties which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. Penalties of up to three years’ imprisonment for forced labor are not sufficiently stringent. The Prevention of Organized Crime Act (POCA) of 1998, however, was the law most often used to punish traffickers, partly due to its extensive list of charges, including money laundering, racketeering, and criminal gang activity. Signed into law in 2008, the Children’s Amendment Act came into full force in 2011, allowing it to be used. The act prescribes penalties of between five years’ to life imprisonment or fines for the use, procurement or offer of a child for slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, or to commit crimes; the act has not yet been used to charge a child trafficking offense.

The government convicted nine offenders during the reporting period. All offenders convicted received suspended sentences or paid fines. These are inadequate punishments to deter the commission of trafficking crimes. The government used existing legislation to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking cases, though most prosecutions opened between 2006 and 2010 remained pending, including the trial of “Diana,” a Mozambican woman charged in early 2008 with child trafficking and forced labor for allegedly exploiting three Mozambican girls in prostitution and domestic servitude. In the country’s only successful prosecution under a trafficking statute to date, in which a court in Durban convicted a husband and wife in the previous reporting period on 17 counts under the POCA, the SOA, and Immigration Act, the offenders have yet to be sentenced. In 2010, the government charged three suspected offenders for the alleged labor trafficking of 106 Indian nationals; two await trial and the third pled guilty and was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, with three years suspended. In 2010, in two cases involving at least three Thai victims, the Durban Magistrate’s Court charged six Thai offenders under the trafficking provisions of the SOA; all pled guilty and received fines of approximately $300 and suspended sentences. In 2010, the Welkom Magistrate’s Court charged a mother and daughter under the trafficking provisions of the SOA for subjecting six South African women to forced prostitution; they reached a plea agreement, where one offender received house arrest and rehabilitation as part of a suspended sentence and another was sentenced to 16 years’ imprisonment with 14 years suspended. In addition, as of March 2011, the NPA reported 22 human trafficking prosecutions initiated across five provinces, an increase from zero in 2009; five cases remain under investigation in three provinces, including a case of nine Nigerian men charged under the SOA in March 2010 in the Ermelo Magistrate’s Court for subjecting 12 South African women to forced prostitution. Most cases prosecuted and convicted involved sex trafficking, showing a lack of attention to the forced labor problem in the country. However, the South African Police Service (SAPS) Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, known as the Hawks, reported charging three South African nationals for labor trafficking in two cases involving 13 South African nationals in the Western Cape. Five additional labor trafficking cases remain under investigation in the Western Cape.

Some police officers received bribes from crime syndicates, failed to pursue criminals out of fear of reprisals, or preferred to deport victims, as a shortcut, instead of opening a trafficking investigation. Police report investigation plans were often leaked, thereby tipping off traffickers and giving them a chance to elude capture.

In 2010, the South African Police Service (SAPS), responsible for case investigation, identified nine provincial coordinators to monitor and track all leads and investigations, reporting to the national human trafficking coordinator on their anti-trafficking efforts. The NPA’s Sexual Offenses and Community Affairs Unit (SOCA) launched three new provincial TIP task teams in Gauteng, the Eastern Cape, and the Western Cape; there are now task teams in six of the nine provinces. In preparation for the launch of each task team, NPA SOCA organized a variety of workshops to determine the roles of stakeholders, establish sub-structures of the task team, and develop the provincial strategies for prevention, response, and support. The NPA, in cooperation with international partners, developed an accredited trafficking training manual for use by all government departments. The NPA trained and accredited 249 trainers from SAPS, Department of Social Development (DSD), Department of Home Affairs (DHA), and Department of Justice to train in their respective offices on the definition of trafficking, victim identification, as well as case investigation and management. SAPS cooperated with the U.S. government on the rescue and repatriation of a potential South African victim of sex trafficking; the investigation concluded that the victim had not in fact been trafficked. In addition, during the reporting period, the government assisted in the rescue of potential trafficking victims from Lesotho and Swaziland.

Protection

The South African government sustained its efforts to ensure trafficking victims’ access to protective services during the reporting period, but gaps remained in screening amongst vulnerable groups, leading to the arrest and summary deportation of potential victims. The government did not develop formal procedures for the identification of trafficking victims and their referral to appropriate care; however, the National Prosecuting Authority, DSD, and IOM developed training manuals for law enforcement and immigration officials, prosecutors, social workers, health care providers, and NGO representatives to recognize and address trafficking cases. In addition, the NPA reached an agreement with a local NGO trafficking hotline to refer cases to NPA’s Sexual Offenses and Community Affairs and the provincial task teams. DSD and the SAPS notified each other of trafficking cases to enable rapid access to care and effective gathering of evidence and testimony. The government did not specifically dedicate funding to anti-trafficking activities, relying instead on the existing budgets of the affected departments. With some all-purpose funding from the DSD, NGOs, faith-based organizations, and community charities provided care to both identified and suspected trafficking victims in overtaxed, multi-purpose facilities that helped victims of domestic abuse, gender-based violence, rape, and sexual assault. Such funding is inadequate to support the anti-trafficking work of these organizations. The government failed to provide any direct care or accommodation for trafficking victims.

As the only body authorized by judicial authorities to refer crime victims to private shelters, the DSD was involved in referring each case. There were few facilities for men, however, and victims of forced labor on farms near the borders with Lesotho and Mozambique were routinely denied care and summarily deported. In 2010, the DSD reviewed its “shelter strategy,” and identified 13 shelters in need of upgrades to accommodate trafficking victims. DSD received funding to begin the upgrades and begin training staff at these facilities. The DSD trained 270 social workers on identification of trafficking victims and the role of stakeholders in assisting victims. During the reporting period, DSD also developed a nine-week rehabilitation program for the psycho-social well-being of victims. The program will not be available to support victims until passage of the long-delayed draft anti-trafficking law.

The government did not offer long-term care to non-foreign trafficking victims assisting with investigations. During the reporting period, the government provided witness protection to at least four suspected trafficking victims. Officials encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders. Almost all foreign victims, though, preferred to return home without pressing charges. NGOs reported that the police’s longstanding focus on deportation of undocumented migrants caused them to overlook potential foreign trafficking victims. The SOA stipulates that sex trafficking victims not be charged with crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked, yet some victims were still arrested. Some organizations report that the screening of women in prostitution who were arrested following brothel raids may be done too hastily to assess accurately trafficking victimization. With the lack of a formal identification process, trafficking victims were most likely detained, jailed, or fined for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked. The law did not provide all trafficking victims with legal alternatives to deportation to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The government made efforts to prevent human trafficking. The NPA continued to chair the national Trafficking in Persons Inter-Sectoral Task Team (ISTT), which met quarterly to coordinate all government counter trafficking efforts. Prevention campaigns launched in early 2010, in advance of, during and immediately after the World Cup, by both government and NGOs were effective in raising awareness. The government jointly sponsored, with a foreign donor, the fifth annual Human Trafficking Awareness Week in October 2010, which spread awareness of trafficking and the appropriate responses to it. These activities were coordinated by the Department of Home Affairs, at the ports of entry, several police stations in Johannesburg, at nearby shopping centers, and by the Department of Social Development at its Pretoria headquarters. The KwaZulu-Natal Task Team also sponsored a coloring competition in IsiZulu and English for students from Grade 3 to Grade 7, with active participation from SAPS, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the Department of Arts and Culture, as well as the Local Victim Empowerment Forums.

In cooperation with the NPA, members of the Kaizer Chiefs soccer team addressed their supporters and wore T-shirts encouraging the public to report suspected cases or find out more information about human trafficking. The NPA continued to lead the donor-funded Tsireledzani program, which developed a national action plan to combat trafficking in persons during the reporting period, now under review by the cabinet. During the reporting period, the NPA developed low cost high impact awareness tools, such as peer education worksheets and a radio drama, which targeted vulnerable groups and the general public. The Mpumalanga Task Team conducted public awareness activities with traditional leaders and the Gauteng Task Team handed out pamphlets and posters in Johannesburg’s central business district. Members of the Durban Task Team rode aboard a float in the Durban Float Parade, bound and gagged to represent the concept of human trafficking. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development visited the Eastern Cape to look into the practice of ukuthwala among certain communities. The NPA conducted “road shows” during the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children, in which presenters educated communities about the ways in which ukuthwala violated children’s rights and could be criminally prosecuted. The NPA also pursued investigations into cases of forced marriage, charging perpetrators with kidnapping and statutory rape.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has neither recognized nor acted to address the labor trafficking abuses occurring within the country. Suspected instances of labor trafficking involving foreigners have been deemed episodes of localized migrant abuse. Additionally, the DOL has never identified a case of forced child labor and investigated instances are determined to involve “children in need,” not victims. Labor inspectors are not adequately trained to identify cases of trafficking, including those involving children. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex. The government, through the South African National Defense Forces’ Peace Mission Training Centre, provided anti-trafficking training to South African troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

SPAIN (Tier 1)

Spain is a destination and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Victims originate from Eastern Europe, Latin America, East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Men and women reportedly are subjected to forced labor in the domestic service, agriculture, construction, and tourism sectors. According to the government and NGOs, Spanish nationals are also vulnerable to trafficking. Media reports indicate there are between 200,000 and 400,000 women engaged in prostitution in Spain, with over 3,000 entertainment establishments dedicated to prostitution. According to media reports and government officials, approximately 90 percent of those engaged in prostitution in Spain are victims of forced prostitution, controlled by organized networks operating throughout the country. Unaccompanied foreign children in Spain may be vulnerable to sex trafficking and forced begging.

The Government of Spain fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During 2010, the government improved its capacity to vigorously prosecute trafficking by enacting an amendment to its criminal code to explicitly criminalize trafficking as distinct from illegal immigration. The government referred some trafficking victims to an NGO for specialized anti-trafficking assistance, an improvement from previous years. The government reported, however, that it referred the majority of potential trafficking victims to a non-specialized government agency for basic care, rather than NGOs for comprehensive care and assistance. A lack of formalized procedures for victim identification continued to result in some victims being penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government has not yet developed specialized services for trafficked children and victims of forced labor, despite continued calls by local experts to do so.

Recommendations for Spain: Expand formal partnerships with NGOs to entrust them with the specialized care of trafficking victims to move towards a more holistic, victim-centered approach to trafficking in Spain; consider allowing NGOs in detention centers to locate potential trafficking victims who may have been reluctant to disclose elements of their exploitation to law enforcement; refer potential trafficking victims to NGO specialized care providers and consider lowering the standard for granting victims the reflection period and temporary residency; improve and develop formal procedures to guide front-line responders in the proactive identification and referral of trafficked victims independent of their immediate cooperation with law enforcement; improve outreach to locate more child trafficking victims and victims of forced labor and ensure all potential trafficking victims, including children and men, are provided with access to specialized anti-trafficking services; provide comprehensive data on trafficking specific prosecutions and convictions, and ensure their disaggregation from smuggling and other prostitution offenses; and vigorously prosecute and punish all government officials complicit in trafficking offenses.

Prosecution

The Government of Spain took an important step to improve its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2010. Spain amended its criminal code to legally distinguish between trafficking and illegal immigration, and explicitly prohibited internal trafficking through Article 177. This article entered into force in December 2010; the government has yet to use this article to secure the conviction of any traffickers in Spain. Article 177 prescribes penalties from five to 10 years’ imprisonment; these penalties are sufficiently stringent, and the penalties prescribed for sex trafficking are commensurate with the prescribed penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape. Spain prohibits sexual exploitation through Article 318 and labor exploitation though Articles 313 of its criminal code, and the Organic Law 11/2003. According to preliminary information, the Spanish government prosecuted 202 suspects and convicted 80 possible trafficking offenders in 2010, sentencing them to two to nine years’ imprisonment. Weaknesses in the government’s data, however, prevent confirming the number of human trafficking cases prosecuted as all offenders were prosecuted under Spain’s previous anti-trafficking law, which conflates trafficking with people smuggling. The government, however, provided some individual case data to demonstrate it vigorously prosecuted sex traffickers under Article 318 in 2010. In October 2010, courts convicted and sentenced each of seven trafficking offenders to five to nine years’ imprisonment for subjecting women from Brazil to forced prostitution; the traffickers used physical intimidation, debt bondage, violence, and threats to prevent the victims from going to the police. Also, in May 2010, the Supreme Court upheld the conviction of six sex traffickers for subjecting women from Venezuela to forced prostitution in various cities in Spain; sentences ranged from two to four years’ imprisonment. Finally, in June 2010, a court in Castellon sentenced a married couple to five years’ imprisonment for subjecting Brazilian women to debt bondage and forced prostitution. The government reported it continued its investigation of a March 2009 complicity case in which a law enforcement officer reportedly solicited a bribe from a brothel owner in exchange for ignoring alleged forced prostitution in the brothel. A subsequent investigation revealed the alleged involvement of 15 other suspects, including police, former police, business owners, and lawyers.

Protection

The Spanish government demonstrated some progress in providing concrete protections to some trafficking victims in 2010, an improvement over the previous year. A continued lack of formalized procedures for proactive identification increased the likelihood that unidentified victims were treated like illegal migrants and deported. In 2010, the government issued official instructions to guide implementation of Article 59, approved in December 2009, which established a 30-day reflection period and a legal mechanism for victims to obtain work and residency permits, conditioned on their cooperation with law enforcement investigations and prosecutions. In 2010, the government reported 46 trafficking victims benefitted from the reflection period and it provided temporary residency permits to 37 trafficking victims who were cooperating with law enforcement personnel. Spanish law permitted trafficking victims to remain in Spain beyond the 30-day reflection period only if they agreed to testify against trafficking offenders. Victims who assisted law enforcement officials by testifying in court, received a one-year residency permit, renewable for two years if the victim obtained employment in Spain during his or her first year. Permanent residency was available to victims who had earlier secured a second renewal for a total of at least five years. According to local experts, in practice, the issuance of such permits depended on the level of victims’ cooperation and how much useful assistance they were able to provide to authorities. NGOs reported that many victims were interviewed immediately after a law enforcement operation, alongside members of organized crime; these potential victims often do not understand the local language and are thus not inclined to disclose elements of their exploitation. As a result, the potential trafficking victims are subject to penal action, detained, or deported. Furthermore, NGOs report that despite identification reports from authorized, specialized NGOs, confirmed trafficking victims continued to be detained and deported by authorities. Local observers also question whether the lead agency charged with enforcing illegal immigration laws can adequately carry out its responsibility for the identification and protection of trafficking victims in Spain.

The government reported it exercised discretion in referring victims to NGOs for care and assistance, and reported that it referred all potential trafficking victims to the social-sanitary service of the Spanish public administration, rather than to any NGOs providing specialized, victim-centered comprehensive care to victims. A recent report noted that NGO lawyers and other stakeholders with specialized expertise on trafficking provided the most appropriate assistance to victims. The report further stated that in most cases, victims did not receive adequate information about their rights, even in cases when they decided to cooperate with law enforcement. NGOs continued to report serious concerns with a lack of formal cooperation with the immigration authorities responsible for identification and referral of victims in Spain.

The government reported that it continued to subsidize a network of NGOs providing specialized care and assistance to trafficking victims in 2010. One NGO reported it assisted a total of 94 trafficking victims in 2010, 57 of which were newly identified cases; 30 of these victims were referred by Spanish authorities. In another instance, an NGO reported it proved assistance to 34 trafficking victims in 2010. IOM reported it assisted in the repatriation of 22 victims to their home countries in 2010.

Prevention

The national government, along with regional and local authorities, continued to implement multiple prevention campaigns to raise awareness and discourage demand for prostitution in Spain. All awareness efforts focused on the commercial sexual exploitation of women. In June 2010, in conjunction with UNODC, the Ministry of Equality launched the regional three-week “Blue Heart” campaign to raise awareness about trafficking in relation to sexual exploitation. Further in 2010, the Ministry of Equality sponsored an exhibit in Madrid entitled “Slaves of the 21st Century,” portraying the causes and consequences of trafficking. One NGO reported that many of the government’s awareness campaigns conflate prostitution with trafficking. The national government continued to implement its National Action Plan for Sexual Exploitation in 2010. A draft action plan on forced labor has yet to be finalized. According to the Spanish military, Spanish troops received trafficking awareness training before they were deployed abroad for international peacekeeping missions.

SRI LANKA (Tier 2)

Sri Lanka is primarily a source and, to a much lesser extent, a destination for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Sri Lankan men, women, and some children (between 16 and 17 years old) migrate consensually to Kuwait, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Oman, Bahrain, and Singapore to work as construction workers, domestic servants, or garment factory workers. Some of these workers, however, subsequently find themselves in conditions of forced labor through practices such as restrictions on movement, withholding of passports, threats, physical or sexual abuse, and threats of detention and deportation for immigration violations. Many of these migrants pay high recruitment fees – usually about $1,500 – imposed by unscrupulous licensed labor recruitment agencies and their unlicensed sub-agents and assume debt in order to satisfy these costs. This indebtedness contributes to debt bondage in destination countries. A recent Human Rights Watch report noted that over one-third of Sri Lankan domestic workers in Jordan are physically abused by their employers, 11 percent were sexually assaulted, 60 percent were not paid wages, over 60 percent had their passports confiscated, and 80 percent experienced forced confinement – these are abuses that indicate forced labor. In the past year, there were high-profile reports of Sri Lankan domestic workers who were subjected to forced labor and physical abuse in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan, including having more than 20 nails hammered in their bodies, or being forced to swallow nine nails. There were also reports of cases in which some Sri Lankan recruitment agencies committed fraud by engaging in contract-switching: promising one type of job and conditions but then changing the job, employer, conditions or salary after arrival, which are documented risk factors for forced labor and debt bondage. Sri Lanka is reported to be a transit country for men, some of whom may be trafficking victims, traveling from Pakistan and Bangladesh to Dubai, UAE. In several cases, men were stranded in Sri Lanka by the employment agent. Some Sri Lankan women were promised jobs as domestic workers in other countries, but after arriving were instead forced to work in brothels, mainly in Singapore. A small number of Sri Lankan women are forced into prostitution in the Maldives.

Within the country, women and children are subjected to sex trafficking in brothels, especially in the Anuradhapura area, which was a major transit point for members of the Sri Lankan Armed Forces heading north. Boys are more likely than girls to be forced into prostitution – this is generally in coastal areas for domestic child sex tourism. In 2009, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) estimated that approximately 1,000 children were subjected to commercial sexual exploitation within Sri Lanka although some NGOs believed the actual number was between 10,000 and 15,000. NGOs expressed concern that the recent increase in tourism in the very poor post-conflict areas on the east coast may increase demand for child sex tourism. There are reports of children being subjected to bonded labor and forced labor in dry-zone farming areas on plantations, and in the fireworks and fish-drying industries. Some child domestic workers in Colombo, generally from the Tamil tea-estate sector of the country, are subjected to physical, sexual, and mental abuse, nonpayment of wages, and restrictions of their movement. Some women and children were promised garment industry work by agents and were instead forced into prostitution. A small number of women from Thailand, China, and countries in South Asia, Europe, and the former Soviet Union may be subjected to forced prostitution in Sri Lanka.

Sri Lanka does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government convicted three traffickers, in the first case under its anti-trafficking legislation, and rejuvenated its inter-agency
task force. However, serious problems remain unaddressed, such as the detention of identified trafficking victims (including those who provided evidence to support the three convictions), the failure to achieve criminal convictions for fraudulent recruitment agencies involved in trafficking in persons, and official complicity in human trafficking.

Recommendations for Sri Lanka: Vigorously investigate and prosecute suspected trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders, particularly those responsible for recruiting victims with fraudulent offers of employment and excessive commission fees for the purpose of subjecting them to forced labor; ensure that victims of trafficking found within Sri Lanka are not detained or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, such as visa violations or prostitution; establish law enforcement capacity at shelters in embassies abroad; develop and implement formal victim referral procedures; train local law enforcement and judicial officials on investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes; facilitate the speedy repatriation of foreign trafficking victims by providing airfare and not obligating them to remain in the country if they choose to initiate law enforcement proceedings; provide witness protection and incentives for victims to cooperate with law enforcement to enable prosecutions; stop the practice of forcing foreign trafficking victims to remain in Sri Lanka if they are witnesses in a case; improve services, including quality of shelters, legal aid, availability of counseling, and numbers of trained staff at embassies and consular offices in destination countries; promote safe tourism campaigns to ensure that child sex tourism does not increase with expected rapid growth of tourism; and improve regulation and monitoring of recruitment agencies and village-level brokers, with an emphasis on ensuring provision of accurate and enforceable employment contracts and working to ending the charging of illegal and excessive fees.

Prosecution

The Sri Lankan government increased law enforcement efforts in addressing human trafficking cases over the reporting period. Sri Lanka prohibits all forms of trafficking through an April 2006 amendment to its penal code, which prescribes punishments of up to 20 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. Amendments passed in 2009 to the Foreign Employment Act expanded the powers of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) to prosecute recruitment agents who engage in fraudulent recruitment, prescribing a maximum penalty of four years’ imprisonment and fines of $1,000, and restricting the amount that employment agents can charge. In March 2011, three traffickers were convicted and sentenced to nine years each for forcing women into prostitution, in one case. This is the first recorded convicted case under Sri Lanka’s counter-trafficking amendment. However, the Uzbek sex trafficking victims in the case were detained in an immigration detention facility in Sri Lanka for over a year until their testimony was complete. The Attorney General’s Department claimed two additional convictions in 2010 for violations of the penal code’s statute on child sexual exploitation; both convictions may have involved human trafficking crimes. Both convictions resulted in suspended jail sentences. Each trafficker had to pay a fine of approximately $900, and one had to pay compensation of $450 to the victim. In January 2011, the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) completed an investigation and could not determine the whereabouts of the remaining boys allegedly in armed service with the Tamil Makkal Viduthalai Pulikal (TMVP)/Karuna Faction; some of these boys may be trafficking victims. There were no prosecutions against persons allegedly responsible for conscription of child soldiers.

During the year, there was some evidence of government officials’ complicity in trafficking. There were allegations that police and other officials accepted bribes to permit brothels to operate; some of the brothels exploited trafficking victims. Many recruitment agencies were run by politicians or were politically connected. Some sub-agents cooperated with Sri Lankan officials to procure forged or modified documents, or real documents with false data, to facilitate travel abroad. There were no reported law enforcement actions taken against officials complicit in human trafficking. The Sri Lankan Police continued to teach a counter-trafficking module to all police recruits during their basic trainings. Additionally, police officers who were previously trained in IOM training-of-trainers courses conducted 16 training workshops at local police stations on counter-trafficking in the reporting period.

Protection

The government made limited progress in protecting victims of trafficking during the year. The government placed two Uzbek women who were found in forced prostitution in late 2009 in a detention center, which they were allowed to leave during the day but were locked up at night. The government did not permit them to leave Sri Lanka for over a year until they had the opportunity to provide testimony against their alleged traffickers, instead of allowing the Uzbeks to leave the country while their cases were pending or to remain in the country with protections such as immigration relief, freedom of movement, and the right to work. They were then given permission to leave the country, and with the assistance of IOM, departed Sri Lanka in December 2010. The government forces foreign trafficking victims to remain in Sri Lanka if they are witnesses in a case until evidence has been given. The government continued to provide some counseling and day care for abused children through the operation of six resource centers, although it is not known how many trafficked children, if any, were assisted in the reporting period. The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) operated nine short-term shelters in 2010 in Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates as well as an overnight shelter in Sri Lanka’s international airport for returning female migrant workers who encountered abuse abroad. It is unknown how many trafficking victims were assisted in these shelters in the reporting period. While the missions provide shelter and legal aid, domestic workers seeking assistance complained of long waiting periods with little information about their cases. In addition, there were complaints that the shelters were grossly overcrowded with unhygienic conditions. In a news report of female Sri Lankan workers who fled their employers in Jordan due to lack of paid wages and abuse, one worker noted that the Sri Lankan embassy shelter was no better than a prison, as it did not permit the domestic workers to leave the premises. There have been some reports of abuse by Sri Lankan embassy officials in shelters abroad.

A Workers’ Welfare Fund is maintained by the SLBFE, also funded by fees charged to workers upon migration. Through this fund, the widely reported case of the female in domestic servitude in Saudi Arabia who returned with 24 nails in her body received approximately $4,500 to build a house, with the assistance of the National Housing Authority. Neither the government nor NGOs or international organizations provided protection facilities for men. The Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Affairs (MOCDWA) has a memorandum of understanding with IOM to establish a shelter which can house 10 to 15 women and child victims of trafficking and abuse. When the building is renovated and prepared – with a tentative deadline of later this year – the ministry will take over operation and management of the shelter.

Government personnel did not employ formal procedures for proactively identifying victims. The National Counter Human Trafficking Resource Center of the Sri Lanka Department of Immigration and Emigration trained 10 immigration officers on the identification of trafficking victims, in partnership with IOM, in 2010; 50 officers were trained in 2009. The government pursued a partnership with the Salvation Army to transfer women and child victims of abuse to protection facilities, though it is unknown how many trafficking victims, if any, were referred in the reporting period. Foreign trafficking victims could not seek employment in Sri Lanka. The government permitted foreign trafficking victims to leave the country unless they were witnesses in a case, in which case the government forced them to remain until evidence had been given. IOM reported several cases of victims who chose to leave the country rather than file a complaint. The Commissioner General for Rehabilitation, with the assistance of the NCPA, continued to operate two rehabilitation centers specifically for children involved in armed conflict, some of whom may be trafficking victims, in partnership with UNICEF. The Commission also continued to run a vocational training center with donor support. These facilities served approximately 700 former child soldiers in the reporting period. The Sri Lankan government has reported that all former Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) child soldiers completed rehabilitation and were released in May 2010. However, at least 250 children formerly associated with armed groups faced a number of security issues, and some were arrested by police.

The government did not encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases; instead, they sometimes forced victims to testify if they chose to file charges. While Sri Lankan trafficking victims in theory could file administrative cases to seek financial restitution, this did not happen in practice due to victim embarrassment and the slow pace of the Sri Lankan legal system. In addition, prosecutors were prevented under Sri Lankan law from meeting with witnesses outside of formal court proceedings. Thus, they had to rely on police to convince a witness to testify. The government penalized adult victims of trafficking through detention for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Most commonly, these acts were violations of their visa status or prostitution. All detainees who were awaiting deportation for visa violations, including trafficking victims, remained in detention facilities until they raised enough money to pay for their plane ticket home, which in some cases has taken years. The government provided no legal alternatives for the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. The SLBFE continued to provide training on protection and assistance to its staff members who worked at embassies and consulates in foreign countries, although many of the labor attaches working in labor-receiving countries are political appointees who do not receive any training.

Prevention

The Sri Lankan government made some progress in its efforts to prevent trafficking during the last year. The government formed an inter-ministerial anti-trafficking task force in October 2010, led by a coordinator from the Ministry of Justice, and developed a terms of reference on how government agencies will work together to combat trafficking. This task force took over the monthly meetings previously held by the MOCDWA, and met six times in the reporting period. While it does not include civil society, the coordinator of the task force recently announced it would soon open up quarterly meetings to NGOs and community organizations. The government limits the recruitment fees to $70 for jobs paying less than $200 per month and $100 for jobs paying over $200. The SLBFE requires migrant domestic workers with no experience working in the Middle East to complete a free 12-day pre-departure training course. It is not known how many migrant workers completed this course in the reporting period. The SLBFE and the Department of Labor conducted awareness programs on safe migration. In measures that could prevent transnational labor trafficking of Sri Lankans, the SLBFE reported that it filed 727 charges against recruitment agencies in 2010 under Sections 398 (cheating) and 457 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), conducted 84 raids against employment agents, and fined recruitment agencies found to be guilty of fraudulent practices over $40,000. The Criminal Investigation Division of the police, in cooperation with Interpol and the Royal Malaysian Police, investigated four fraudulent recruitment agents who may have been responsible for the forced labor of Sri Lankans in Malaysia.

While most Sri Lankans have birth certificates and (after the age of 16) national identity cards, many of the 250,000 to 350,000 internally displaced people – a group very vulnerable to trafficking – did not have these documents. The Government of Sri Lanka continued to provide personnel time to conduct mobile documentation clinics for conflict-affected people with UNDP. The Government of Sri Lanka did not report any efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. The Ministry of Defense provided training to all Sri Lankan peacekeepers prior to their deployments for international peacekeeping missions relating to human rights, including trafficking. Sri Lanka is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

SUDAN (Tier 3)

Sudan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Sudanese women and girls, particularly those from rural areas or who are internally displaced, are vulnerable to forced labor as domestic workers in homes throughout the country; most are believed to be working without contracts or government-enforced labor protections. Some of these women and girls are subsequently sexually abused by male occupants of the household or forced to engage in commercial sex acts. Sudanese girls engage in prostitution within the country – including in restaurants and brothels – at times with the assistance of third parties, including law enforcement officials. Khartoum, Juba, Nyala, and Port Sudan have reportedly seen a significant rise in child prostitution in recent years, as well as in numbers of street children and child laborers – two groups which are highly vulnerable to labor and sexual exploitation. During the year, Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) forces in Lul Payam (Upper Nile State) reportedly forced men and women to perform heavy manual labor without remuneration, while subjecting them to physical abuse.

Sudanese women and girls are subjected to domestic servitude in Middle Eastern countries, such as Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and to forced sex trafficking in European countries. Some Sudanese men who voluntarily migrate to the Middle East as low-skilled laborers face conditions indicative of forced labor. Sudanese children transit Yemen en route to Saudi Arabia, where they are used in forced begging and street vending, and reportedly work in exploitative labor situations for Sudanese traders in the Central African Republic. Sudanese gang members reportedly coerce other young Sudanese refugees into prostitution in nightclubs in Egypt. Sudanese refugees in Israel reported being brutalized by Rashaida smugglers operating in the Sinai, including being chained together, whipped and beaten regularly, deprived of food, and forced to do construction work at gunpoint at smugglers’ personal homes.

Sudan is a transit and destination country for Ethiopian and Eritrean women subjected to domestic servitude in Sudan and Middle Eastern countries. Filipina migrant domestic workers may also be victimized by situations of forced labor in Khartoum. Sudan is a destination for Ethiopian, Somali, and possibly Thai women subjected to forced prostitution. Agents recruit young women from Ethiopia’s Oromia region with promises of high-paying employment as domestic workers in Sudan, only to collect their salaries or force them into prostitution in brothels in Khartoum or near Sudan’s oil fields and mining camps. Some Ugandan girls in Juba’s prostitution trade may be controlled by a third party.

Thousands of Dinka women and children, and a lesser number of children from the Nuba tribe, were abducted and subsequently enslaved by members of the Missiriya and Rizeigat tribes during the concluded north-south civil war. Some of those enslaved remain with their captors. While there have been no known new abductions of Dinka by members of Baggara tribes in a number of years, inter-tribal abductions continue between tribes in southern Sudan, especially in Jonglei and Eastern Equatoria States. Hundreds of children were abducted in 2010 during cattle raids and conflicts between rival tribes, some of whom were subsequently subjected to conditions of domestic servitude or animal herding. As part of the Darfur conflict, government-supported militia, like the Janjaweed and the Popular Defense Forces (PDFs), and elements of the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) abducted civilians between 2003 and 2007, mostly from the Fur, Massalit, and Zaghawa ethnic groups. Abducted women and girls are subjected to sexual exploitation and forced domestic and agricultural labor, while men and boys are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, herding, portering goods, and domestic servitude; some of these individuals likely remained captive at the end of the reporting period.

Forcible recruitment of adults and particularly children, by virtually all armed groups, including government forces involved in Sudan’s concluded north-south civil war was previously commonplace. Since the war formally ended with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in 2005, the Government of Southern Sudan’s army, the SPLA, committed to releasing all children from its ranks, including through the signing of an action plan with the UN in November 2009. During the year, UN personnel continued to observe children wearing SPLA uniforms, carrying weapons, and serving at SPLA checkpoints or as bodyguards for senior commanders. For example, in October 2010, UN personnel near Abeyi town witnessed two children ages 10 to 12 years atop a truck wearing SPLA uniforms and carrying AK-47 rifles. In late 2010, there were confirmed reports of unlawful SPLA recruitment of five street children from the SPLA guesthouse in Kadugli town (South Kordofan State), after which they were sent for military training at the SPLA barracks in White Lake/Jaw area. An unknown number of children remained with the SPLA at the end of 2010. Unlike the previous reporting period, the UN Mission to Sudan (UNMIS) reported demobilized child soldiers are no longer being re-recruited in Blue Nile State.

In Darfur, Sudanese children were conscripted, at times through abduction, and used by armed groups during the reporting period, including the Sudan Liberation Army (SLA)/Minni Minawi, SLA/Abdul Wahid, SLA Historical Leadership, Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), government-supported Janjaweed militia, and Chadian opposition forces. Elsewhere in northern Sudan, government security forces used child soldiers; at least two children were verified as being associated with the Border Intelligence Forces and seven with the PDF during the year.

The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) continued to abduct Sudanese children and harbor enslaved Sudanese, Congolese, Central African, and Ugandan children in southern Sudan’s Western Equatoria and Western Bahr el-Ghazal States for use as cooks, porters, concubines, and combatants; some of these children are also taken back and forth across borders into Central African Republic or the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Government of National Unity (GNU) of Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. While the government took some steps to identify, demobilize, and reintegrate child soldiers during the reporting period, combating human trafficking through law enforcement, protection, or prevention measures was not a priority. The GNU did not acknowledge that forced labor, forced prostitution, or child prostitution exists within the country, and did not publish data regarding its efforts to combat human trafficking during the year nor respond to requests to provide information for this report. Though the Government of Southern Sudan’s ability to monitor human trafficking in its jurisdiction or to provide accurate or comprehensive information regarding its limited anti-trafficking efforts remained weak, it demonstrated some willingness to engage on and work with the international community to address such issues – particularly those related to child soldiering – during the reporting period.

Recommendations for Sudan: Acknowledge the existence of a multi-faceted human trafficking problem; enact a comprehensive legal regime to define and address human trafficking crimes and harmonize various existing legal statutes; increase efforts to investigate suspected human trafficking cases, prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; launch a public awareness campaign to educate government officials and the general public on the nature and dangers of human trafficking; institute regular trafficking awareness training for Sudanese diplomats posted overseas, as well as officials who validate migrant workers’ employment contracts or regulate employment agencies to enable proactive identification and provision of services to trafficked migrant workers; establish an official process for law enforcement officials to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups and refer them for assistance; allow unimpeded access to military barracks for monitoring missions to identify and remove any child soldiers; demobilize all remaining child soldiers from the ranks of governmental armed forces, as well as those of aligned militias; amend the Law of 1955 Regarding Domestic Servants to provide additional rights and protections for domestic workers, such as mandatory written employment contracts, a limit on the number of hours worked each day, and a basic minimum wage; develop, publicize, and enforce a clear, easily navigable process for employers to officially register their domestic workers and employment contracts, as required by the Law of 1955 Regarding Domestic Servants, as well as regularize illegally-present foreign domestic workers; take steps to identify and provide protective services to all types of trafficking victims found within the country, particularly those exploited in domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation; and make a much stronger effort through a comprehensive policy approach that involves all vested parties to identify, retrieve, and reintegrate abductees who remain in situations of enslavement.

Prosecution

The government’s anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts were negligible during the reporting period; it did not investigate or prosecute any suspected trafficking cases. Both the GNU and Government of Southern Sudan lacked the ability to establish authority or a law enforcement presence in some regions. The GNU and the Government of Southern Sudan neither documented their anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, if any, nor provided specialized anti-trafficking training to police, military, prosecutorial, or judicial personnel during the year. The Criminal Act of 1991 does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though its Articles 156 and 163 prohibit inducing or abducting someone to engage in prostitution (seduction) and forced labor, respectively. Prescribed penalties of up to five years’ imprisonment for seduction are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Article 156 prescribes penalties of up to seven years’ imprisonment for aggravated seduction of a child. Prescribed penalties for forced labor of up to one year’s imprisonment or a fine are not sufficiently stringent. Nevertheless, no trafficker has ever been prosecuted under these articles, and it was unclear whether the National Security and Intelligence Service – the entity responsible for investigating cases of human trafficking – did so during the reporting period.

The GNU’s Child Act of 2008, enacted in January 2010, prohibits, but does not prescribe, punishments for forced child labor, child prostitution, sex trafficking, and the recruitment of children under the age of 18 into armed forces or groups. It includes provisions, however, for the rehabilitation and reintegration of children victimized by such crimes. The GNU has never used this statute to prosecute any person in its armed forces suspected of such crimes. Some states, such as Southern Kordofan, subsequently enacted their own Child Acts based on the national law. The Sudan Armed Forces Act of 2007 prohibits members of the armed forces from recruiting children under 18 years of age, enslaving civilians, or coercing civilians into prostitution; the act prescribes penalties of up to five years’ imprisonment for child recruitment and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for enslavement or forced prostitution. The Law of 1955 Regarding Domestic Servants outlines a process for employing and registering domestic workers, and provides limited labor rights and protections for such workers. Local observers, however, indicate that attempting to officially register domestic workers, as required by the law, entailed a long and complicated process fraught with bureaucratic impediments, including high fees and officials’ expectation of receiving bribes. As a result, it appears that few, if any, employers register their domestic workers, and the law is not enforced.

The Southern Sudan Penal Code Act of 2008 prohibits and prescribes punishments of up to seven years’ imprisonment for abduction (Article 278) or transfer of control over a person (Article 279) for the purpose of unlawful compulsory labor; the prescribed punishment of up to two years’ imprisonment for compulsory labor without such aggravating circumstances is not sufficiently stringent. Article 276 criminalizes buying or selling a minor for the purpose of prostitution and prescribes a punishment of up to 14 years’ imprisonment – a penalty that is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Punishments prescribed in Article 254 for procuring a child (up to 10 years’ imprisonment) or an adult (up to two years’ imprisonment) for the purposes of prostitution are not commensurate with those for rape. The Southern Sudan Child Act of 2008 prohibits the recruitment and use of children for military or paramilitary activities, and prescribes punishments of up to 10 years’ imprisonment for such crimes. The Government of Southern Sudan did not investigate or prosecute any trafficking offenses using these or other articles during the reporting period. The omnibus Labor Act, which was drafted by the Southern Sudan Ministry of Labor in 2009 and would provide further protections against forced and child labor, was not passed during the most recent legislative session. Throughout the reporting period, Government of Southern Sudan senior officials deployed newly-formed rapid response police and military units to respond to inter-tribal fighting and free abductees; these law enforcement efforts did not result in prosecutions or convictions of trafficking offenders.

Protection

The GNU made only minimal efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the past year, and these efforts focused primarily on the demobilization of child soldiers. The government did not publicly acknowledge that women and children are exploited in prostitution or domestic servitude in Sudan, nor did it take steps to identify and provide protective services to such victims. Sudan has few victim care facilities readily accessible to trafficking victims, and the government did not provide access to legal, medical, or psychological services. Police child and family protection units in Khartoum, Western Darfur, Northern Darfur, Southern Kordofan, Northern Kordofan, and Gedaref States offered legal aid and psychosocial support to some victims of abuse and sexual violence during the year; these units were not fully operational due to lack of staff and equipment, and it is unknown whether they provided services to trafficking victims. The government did not employ a system for proactively identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations or a referral process to transfer victims to organizations providing care. It did not encourage victims’ assistance in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes or provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. No reliable data exists regarding the detention or punishment of trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked, though NGOs believed that such detentions occurred in 2010. According to their lawyers, the government sentenced to death eight individuals believed to be child soldiers in 2009 for participating in JEM’s May 2008 attack on Omdurman; four reportedly remain in detention, though there is no independent access to the detention centers to verify their presence or ages at the time of the attack. In November 2010, the government sentenced to death three individuals believed to be child soldiers, while a fourth received a lesser sentence for their participation in a May 2010 JEM attack on a fuel convoy; their case was under appeal at the close of the reporting period.

In January 2011, the North Sudan Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Commission (NSDDRC), the UN-African Union Mission in Darfur, the UNICEF, and a local NGO screened 93 boys associated with the Sudan Liberation Movement Army and Good Will Movements in El Fasher, North Darfur, providing medical exams and education on the dangers of HIV/AIDS; 84 were registered and demobilized as part of the process. It is unknown whether children were demobilized from the SAF or associated militias during the year.

Implementation of the SPLA’s November 2009 UN-sponsored one-year action plan to end its use of child soldiers is behind schedule; local observers estimate the required activities will not be completed until the end of 2012, partially due to the fact that some SPLA barracks where child soldiers have been documented are nearly inaccessible due to the poor road conditions or insecurity. In August 2010, the SPLA officially launched, with UNICEF funding, its year-old central Child Protection Unit (CPU) in Juba to oversee implementation of the plan, compliance with child protection standards at major SPLA bases, and removal of children from SPLA payrolls. It also began establishing CPUs at SPLA division headquarters in all 10 southern states. To date, CPUs have been established in Mapel, Wunyiik, Duar, Panpandiar, and Mongiri.

The SSDDRC did not provide consolidated information regarding its efforts in 2010; the following data, compiled from various UN sources, may not account for all relevant activities. In March 2010, the SSDDRC and the SPLA CPU, with UNICEF support, identified and registered 20 child soldiers in the SPLA second division training center in New Kush (Eastern Equatoria State) and 27 in the Pakur SPLA barracks (Unity State). In May 2010, in Unity State, a team composed of the SSDDRC, the Ministry of Social Development (MoSD), and several UN entities carried out a demobilization exercise for 43 children at Buoth SPLA Division Four Assembly Area in Mayoum County. The SSDDRC and MoSD joined efforts to reunify 37 of these children with their families in nine towns throughout Mayoum County. In July and October 2010, a similarly-comprised team identified, registered, and demobilized a total of 77 boys in two separate SPLA Divisions in Mapel and Wunyik (Greater Bahr el Ghazal); an interim care center in Malualkon, rehabilitated by the SSDDRC, UNICEF, and an international NGO in 2009, provided accommodation to an unknown number of these demobilized children. In Blue Nile State, 140 of 220 known children associated with the SPLA were demobilized in December 2010; efforts continue to secure release of the remaining child soldiers in Blue Nile State, as well as to assess the presence of children in an additional five SPLA divisions. In Lakes State, the MoSD, with UNICEF funding, supported the enrollment into schools of 11 demobilized children, followed by the enrollment of four children in Eastern Equatoria State.

The MoSD in Western Equatoria State, with UNICEF’s support, provided care, repatriation, family tracing, and reunification at a reintegration center in Yambio to 58 children – 27 Congolese, two Central African, and 29 Sudanese – rescued from LRA captivity in 2010. In February 2011, SPLA soldiers worked with Murle elders in Pibor Country to secure the release of six children abducted and sold by Murle tribesmen approximately one year earlier. Local, county, and state officials forged partnerships with UNMIS, UNICEF, and an international NGO to return the children to Bor County and reunite them with their families.

The Committee for the Eradication of Abduction of Women and Children (CEAWC), established in 1999 to facilitate the safe return of abducted and enslaved individuals to their families, was not operational for the majority of the reporting period, as was the case during the two preceding reporting periods. Its most recent retrieval and transport missions took place in March 2008 with Government of Southern Sudan funding; since that time, the GNU has not provided CEAWC with funding for the transport and reunification of previously identified abductees with their families, and made no efforts to assist victims of abduction and enslavement in the country. The Southern Sudan Human Rights Commission reportedly gave the organization $39,546 in 2010 to identify enslaved people in Nyala; this amount was inadequate to fund returns to southern Sudan.

Prevention

The government made limited efforts during the reporting period aimed at the prevention of trafficking. Neither the GNU nor the Government of Southern Sudan conducted any anti-trafficking information or education campaigns, or has a plan of action to address trafficking or an anti-trafficking committee to coordinate national efforts. In June 2010, however, IOM, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Ministry of Interior, and the Sudan Center for Migration, Development, and Population Studies organized an inter-governmental forum in Khartoum to discuss human trafficking in Sudan. Participants at this forum, which brought together senior government officials from both the GNU and the Government of Southern Sudan, agreed to establish an interagency task force to coordinate the government’s efforts to combat trafficking; to date, this entity does not appear to have been formed. In November 2010, the South Sudan Human Rights Commission announced the start of a campaign against human trafficking and gender-based violence that, in early 2011, included workshops, radio broadcasts, and posters to educate and discourage the public from engaging in gender-based violence.

The Secretariat of Sudanese Working Abroad, the national government agency responsible for collecting fees and taxes from migrant workers before their departure and protecting their rights and interests while abroad, reportedly established an anti-trafficking section to work on the repatriation of abused workers from the Middle East. Neither this section’s existence nor any of its efforts could be verified. The Ministries of Labor and Foreign Affairs and the National Council for Child Welfare have responsibility for addressing specific aspects of Sudan’s human trafficking problem; it is unknown what efforts, if any, these entities made during the reporting period to address the labor exploitation of Sudanese nationals working abroad, or foreign nationals within Sudan. The Ministry of Social Welfare for Women and Children is responsible for providing legal protection, housing, shelter, and medical and psychosocial support to women and children vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation and other forms of human trafficking within Sudan; it is unknown whether this ministry did so in 2010.

It is unknown what efforts, if any, authorities in Southern Sudan – particularly the Ministries of Labor and Internal Affairs made during the reporting period to address the labor exploitation of Sudanese nationals working abroad or foreign nationals within Sudan.

During the year, high-ranking SAF officials met several times with UN entities to discuss the preparation of, and commitment to, an action plan to end the use of child soldiers, including in proxy groups; an initial draft of the action plan was submitted to the Ministry of Defense for review, but was not finalized by the close of the reporting period. In June 2010, a technical working committee – comprised of the SPLA CPU, SSDDRC, UNICEF, and UNMIS – was established to oversee the implementation of the UN-SPLA action plan to end the use of child soldiers. The committee finalized a joint plan to verify the presence of child soldiers across the SPLA barracks in Southern Sudan, with separate plans later created for Blue Nile and Southern Kordofan States; joint SPLA-UNICEF teams began inspections in early 2011 to implement these plans. It also undertook awareness campaigns against child recruitment and use in five divisions of the SPLA, reaching more than 5,000 troops. Key messages, developed by SSDDRC and UNICEF, were aired by UNMIS radio. In June 2010, the government signed the N’Djamena Declaration, a binding document that outlines commitments to, and reinforces international standards on, recruitment and use of child soldiers. The government did not take any known measures during the reporting period to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts. Sudan is not a party
to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

SURINAME (Tier 2)

Suriname is a destination, source, and transit country for women, men, and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Women and girls from Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic are subjected to sex trafficking in the country, many of them lured with false promises of employment. Forced labor victims are often men and arrive from Vietnam, Indonesia, China, and Haiti in search of employment in Suriname; however, upon arrival, they are subjected to forced labor in factories, the fishing industry, and agriculture. NGOs and the government suggest that some Brazilian women could be subjected to prostitution in Suriname’s interior around mining camps, although the remote and illegal nature of these camps makes the scope of the problem unknown. NGOs report that some prostitution of children occurs in the capital of Paramaribo. Children working in informal urban sectors and gold mines were also vulnerable to forced labor.

The Government of Suriname does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, authorities maintained law enforcement efforts by convicting two trafficking offenders, assisted three sex trafficking victims, and launched a new trafficking hotline. However, victim identification and assistance mechanisms remained weak, the government conducted few awareness-raising efforts, and the government did not offer foreign victims legal alternatives to their deportation, resulting in the deportation of two suspected forced labor victims.

Recommendations for Suriname: Vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking cases and convict trafficking offenders; establish provisions for legal alternatives to victims’ removal to countries where they would face retribution or hardship; provide training to law enforcement, immigration, and judicial officials regarding the identification of trafficking cases and the treatment of trafficking victims using a victim-centered approach; ensure that victims receive specialized services through partnering with and funding NGOs that provide these services; implement a national anti-trafficking plan; and continue to raise awareness about trafficking, targeting the general public, victims, potential clients of the sex trade, and consumers of products made and services provided through forced labor.

Prosecution

The Government of Suriname maintained modest law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders over the last year. Suriname prohibits all forms of human trafficking through a 2006 amendment to its criminal code, which prescribes sufficiently stringent penalties of five to 20 years’ imprisonment – penalties that are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Authorities reported investigating three cases of sex trafficking and one case of labor trafficking in 2010. Two sex trafficking offenders were prosecuted and convicted under the anti-trafficking statute; sentences ranged from two to two and half years and were not suspended. These sentences are less than the statutory minimum of five years’ imprisonment prescribed for this offense. In comparison, authorities convicted three sex trafficking and three labor trafficking offenders during the previous year, with sentences averaging 19 months’ imprisonment. The police continued to operate a four-person specialized anti-trafficking unit that investigated cases nationwide. However, authorities did not have the resources to conduct investigations into trafficking allegations linked to illegal gold mining sites in the country’s interior. Government training for officials on how to identify and assist trafficking victims remained limited. The government reported no data on government officials investigated, prosecuted, convicted, or sentenced for trafficking-related complicity.

Protection

The Government of Suriname provided limited protections to trafficking victims, relying on NGOs to provide most victim care. Authorities did not employ a formal system to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution. The government was not able to provide support for a shelter for trafficking victims. Three NGOs provided basic shelter services, and the government ran a shelter for victims of domestic violence that also offered services to trafficking victims, though the government did not report any victims receiving care at this shelter during the reporting period. Government funds for victim assistance were limited to reimbursing NGOs for the basic shelter, clothing, food, and medical care for the two Guyanese and one Surinamese sex trafficking victims identified during the year. The government identified two Chinese men as labor trafficking victims, but they were deported as undocumented migrants after they refused to assist law enforcement authorities in prosecuting their trafficking offenders. Although the government did not have a formalized referral process of identified trafficking victims to NGOs that provide services, authorities reported doing so on an ad hoc basis. To date, there have been no formal mechanisms established to provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to remain permanently in Suriname. The government claimed that it encouraged victims to assist with the prosecution of trafficking offenders; however, the legal system conditions immigration relief on victims’ assistance to the government’s prosecution. Throughout the year, victims were not given temporary legal status.

Prevention

The Government of Suriname increased trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government’s inter-agency anti-trafficking working group, which met on a monthly basis, continued to coordinate the government’s anti-trafficking efforts. The working group drafted an anti-trafficking plan of action for 2011 that was not yet approved during the reporting period. In 2010, authorities launched a trafficking hotline, with funding from a foreign government, but the hotline received few calls due to limited public awareness of its existence. However, in March 2011 the government launched a television publicity campaign with the support of an international organization in order to raise awareness of the hotline in three major languages. There were no reported measures against child sex tourism during the year, but authorities investigated a French diplomat for sexually exploiting a trafficking victim in Suriname: he was not prosecuted due to his diplomatic immunity. The government made no discernible efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor.

SWAZILAND (Tier 2)

Swaziland is a source, destination, and transit country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking, domestic servitude, and forced labor in agriculture. Swazi girls, particularly orphans, are subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude in the cities of Mbabane and Manzini, as well as in South Africa and Mozambique. Swazi boys are exploited within the country through forced labor in commercial agriculture and market vending. Some Swazi women are forced into prostitution in South Africa and Mozambique after voluntarily migrating to these countries in search of work. Traffickers reportedly force Mozambican women into prostitution in Swaziland, or transit Swaziland with their victims en route to South Africa. Mozambican boys migrate to Swaziland for work washing cars, herding livestock, and portering; some of these boys subsequently become victims of forced labor.

The Government of Swaziland does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Over the last year, the government displayed steady progress in its investigation and prosecution of suspected trafficking offenses, formation and training of trafficking-specific emergency response teams, and effective utilization of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force to coordinate interagency efforts. Despite these recent improvements, anti-trafficking training is needed to ensure the proper interpretation and effective implementation of the 2009 anti-trafficking law and sustain continued progress.

Recommendations for Swaziland: Complete and disseminate regulations to fully implement the 2010 anti-trafficking legislation; complete and begin implementing the draft national anti-trafficking action plan; investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups; institute a formal system to refer victims for assistance; institute a unified system for documenting and collecting data on human trafficking cases for use by law enforcement, immigration, labor, and social welfare officials; and continue to conduct visible campaigns to educate the public about the dangers and risks of trafficking in Swaziland and neighboring countries.

Prosecution

The Government of Swaziland increased its law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the reporting period. Although no trafficking offenders were convicted, authorities prosecuted three suspected trafficking offenders. In December 2009, the king signed “The People Trafficking and People Smuggling (Prohibition) Act, 2009;” this comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation became effective in March 2010, after its publication in the government’s official gazette. The act prescribes penalties of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, plus a fine to compensate the victim for losses, under Section 12 for the trafficking of adults and up to 25 years’ imprisonment under Section 13 for the trafficking of children; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with other serious crimes. The government has not yet started drafting implementing regulations for the law. As a result of the government’s establishment of a trafficking-specific hotline in June 2010, law enforcement authorities investigated seven suspected child trafficking cases based on tips received. Five of these cases involved Swazi victims subjected to sex trafficking in South Africa who ultimately filed charges in South African courts. Upon learning of the five cases, the Royal Swazi Police collaborated with NGOs and law enforcement counterparts in South Africa to effect the safe return of the victims. In the sixth case, the police arrested a suspected trafficking offender on kidnapping charges for the trafficking of a foreign boy for the purposes of cattle herding; the offender was released on bail and the case remains pending before the Swazi courts. In 2010, a Swazi prosecutor withdrew the case of two Swazi women who allegedly trafficked a teenage girl to South Africa due to insufficient evidence.

Protection

The Government of Swaziland demonstrated increased capacity in protecting trafficking victims and identified seven victims during the reporting period. The government assisted multi-purpose shelters run by NGOs by providing professional services, including health care and counseling at the government’s expense. During the reporting period, the government’s interagency Task Force established and trained emergency response teams in Swaziland’s four regions, intending to coordinate the government and NGO response to trafficking cases at the local level. Between March and September 2010, the Task Force organized three workshops for members of emergency response teams; the workshops – one funded by a foreign donor and two jointly funded and organized by IOM and the Swaziland government – focused on identifying and working with victims, cooperating with NGOs, investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases, and trial preparation. The government continued to draft a formal referral process to guide officials in transferring trafficking victims from detention to shelters. Some cases of trafficking were not adequately investigated, leading to victims being charged with immigration violations and placed in detention facilities. The teams also trained staff of the 55 tinkhundla centers throughout the country to proactively identify instances of trafficking within their routine case work. The government did not offer foreign victims alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face retribution or hardship.

Prevention

The government increased its efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. In March 2010, the prime minister officially launched the Task Force for the Prevention of People Trafficking and People Smuggling that had been created in July 2009. In October 2010, he announced the formation of a Secretariat to coordinate the work of the task force and serve as the lead for the government’s anti-trafficking efforts. The task force met monthly to share information and served as a forum for the collection of law enforcement and victim assistance data. It continued to draft a National Plan of Action and led several events to raise public awareness. The task force conducted public awareness activities at the Swaziland International Trade Fair in Manzini in August and September 2010 and the Day of the African Child in June 2010, targeting traditional leaders, students, young women, and parents with messaging on preventing child trafficking and how and where to report suspected cases. The anti-trafficking hotline — funded and managed by the government — officially launched in June 2010, and received more than 5,000 calls between June 2010 and January 2011, including from seven trafficking victims. In November 2010, the government passed a law to allow domestic workers to unionize. Some domestic workers brought civil suits against their employers, often regarding underpayment of wages or dismissal issues. The government did not undertake efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. Swaziland is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

SWEDEN (Tier 1)

Sweden is a destination, source, and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Women, men, and children are also subjected to forced labor and forced criminal behavior, including begging and stealing. Swedish police have estimated that 400 to 600 persons are subjected to human trafficking, primarily in sex trafficking, in Sweden annually. Foreign victims of sex trafficking originate from Romania, Russia, Bulgaria, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Albania, Estonia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Kenya, Thailand, China, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia; in 2010, one third of identified victims were children. Among Swedish nationals, some mentally or physically handicapped individuals reportedly were exploited in sexual servitude. According to a government report, 12 percent of Swedish girls and four percent of Swedish boys placed in state-run youth care homes sold sex for drugs or money. Although sex trafficking has been the dominant type of human trafficking in Sweden, forced labor and forced criminal behavior also increased this year. Victims of forced labor originated from Romania, Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Latvia, and Estonia. Government officials and NGOs report that forced labor occurs in domestic service, the hospitality industry, and in the gardening, construction, and seasonal agriculture sectors. Some foreign migrants recruited for berry-picking reportedly experience conditions indicative of forced labor, including substandard working and living conditions, low or withheld pay, confiscation of passports, and imposition of large debts by labor intermediaries. Eastern Europeans, many of Roma origin, have been subjected to forced begging and stealing in Sweden. The approximately 2,400 unaccompanied foreign children who arrived in Sweden in 2010, primarily from Afghanistan and Somalia, were vulnerable to human trafficking; some have gone missing since their arrival in Sweden. Child sex tourism offenses committed by Swedish nationals traveling abroad remain a problem; Swedish citizens traveling abroad commit an estimated 4,000-5,000 acts of child sexual exploitation annually.

The Government of Sweden fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. It produced new guidelines for combating trafficking, produced awareness raising campaigns, made new efforts to stem labor trafficking, and developed specialized trainings responsive to trafficking trends in the country. The government proactively identified more trafficking victims. It also funded studies of its own anti-trafficking policies and activities and produced reports on labor trafficking. Nevertheless, the judiciary continued to award light sentences for trafficking in persons offenses, including in cases involving very aggravated circumstances. Furthermore, the government’s anti-trafficking program remains overwhelmingly oriented toward the combating of sex trafficking to the exclusion of the growing trend of individuals exploited for labor in the country.

Recommendations for Sweden: Vigorously prosecute, convict, and punish labor and sex trafficking offenders using Sweden’s anti-trafficking statute; ensure that trafficking offenders receive sentences commensurate with the gravity of this serious crime; continue training judges, particularly appellate judges, on the application of the anti-trafficking law; continue efforts to identify and provide trafficking-specific assistance to child trafficking victims in Sweden, including Swedish victims of trafficking; implement measures to improve the protections for children in state-run youth homes who are vulnerable to trafficking in persons; consider proactive measures to prevent unaccompanied foreign minors from being subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; formalize victim identification mechanisms; ensure that labor trafficking is explicitly included in the mandate of the National Coordinator and any national action plan; ensure that victims of labor trafficking are provided with full information about their rights and that they are empowered to testify against their exploiters; provide longer term residency options for victims who may face retribution or hardship in their country of origin; consider a national anti-trafficking awareness campaign to address forced labor in addition to forced prostitution; continue to provide human trafficking awareness training to all Swedish peacekeepers; continue regular, self-critical assessments of Sweden’s anti-trafficking efforts.

Prosecution

Sweden demonstrated mixed anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period, increasing its investigations, but reversing convictions upon appeal. Sweden’s 2002 anti-trafficking law prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor and prescribes penalties of two to 10 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2010, the government revised its anti-trafficking law to clarify that evidence of a victim’s initial consent does not override evidence of subsequent coercion in the context of trafficking prosecutions.

In 2010, the government investigated 32 sex trafficking cases, one more than in 2009, and nearly doubled its investigations of labor trafficking cases from 28 in 2009 to 52 in 2010. Twenty-nine of all trafficking cases investigated involved the exploitation of children. Authorities prosecuted 37 suspected trafficking offenders under Sweden’s trafficking statute and related statutes, an increase from 2009, in which approximately 24 offenders were prosecuted. The courts dismissed 10 of those cases, and convicted 27 offenders, including three for sex trafficking, five for trafficking for other purposes, one for assisting trafficking, four for aggravated procurement, and 14 for procurement. This compared with at least four sex trafficking offenders convicted under the trafficking statute and 20 sex trafficking offenders convicted under the procurement law in 2009. The sentences for sex trafficking ranged from three to six years’ imprisonment, averaging four years. The sentences for trafficking for other purposes ranged from three months’ to one year’s imprisonment. Nevertheless, these convictions were often reversed or the sentences were reduced by the appellate courts. In one high-profile case, involving the drugging and aggravated sex trafficking of a 14-year-old mentally handicapped girl residing in a state-run youth home in Malmo, the appellate court reversed the sentences of several offenders and reduced the sentence of the ringleader to only three months in prison, ruling that the exploitation was not a sufficient invasion of the victim’s integrity to warrant damages. The Swedish government funded training for police officers, border officials, judges, and prosecutors on trafficking in persons, including offering advanced training courses for police officers. For example, selected police officers received special training on interacting with victims under the psychological coercion of voodoo. The government also facilitated the extradition of a trafficking offender from Bulgaria to Sweden. The government did not report the investigation, prosecution, or conviction of any government officials complicit in trafficking.

Protection

The government demonstrated strong victim protection efforts during the reporting period, identifying a greater number of victims during the reporting period. The government identified 84 victims of trafficking in 2010, an increase from 59 victims identified in 2009. Thirty-two victims were sex trafficking victims; 52 were victims of labor trafficking. In progress from prior years, the government identified a Swedish citizen who was a victim of trafficking. The government funded victim care through NGOs both in Sweden and abroad to provide female and male victims with rehabilitation, health care, vocational training, and legal assistance. In 2010, the National Support Operations team published a handbook on human trafficking in Sweden and developed national guidelines for combating prostitution and human trafficking. The government provided temporary residence permits to trafficking victims who cooperate in the criminal investigation of trafficking offenders. The prosecutor also had the discretion to file for permanent residency after the conclusion of the criminal case. A provision of the Swedish Alien’s Act allowed trafficking victims to apply for permanent residency as a person in need of protection in their home country, which could offer a legal alternative to removal of victims facing retribution or hardship at home. The Swedish government issued 40 temporary residence permits this year, an increase from 19 permits issued in 2009; in at least one of these cases, the prosecutor succeeded in obtaining a permanent residency permit for a victim in a case in which there was no conviction. The government offered incentives to trafficking victims to participate in prosecutions by appointing legal counsel to victims of trafficking during the course of criminal proceedings. The government inconsistently provided counsel in human trafficking offenses that were charged as pimping, rather than under the trafficking statute. Although there is no formal victim restitution program, the Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority sometimes awarded compensation to trafficking victims. There were no reports of the government punishing identified victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention

The Swedish government improved its prevention efforts during the reporting period. It began to incorporate labor trafficking into anti-trafficking programs, while still continuing work on sex trafficking. In an extension of the 2008-2010 National Action Plan, the Government of Sweden designated the Stockholm County Administration as the coordinating body of the government’s anti-trafficking activities. Under the official mandate of the Action Plan, the Stockholm County Administration only addressed sex trafficking, not labor trafficking, although the coordinator has voluntarily chosen to incorporate labor trafficking into its activities. In 2010, Sweden launched an awareness raising campaign, “Safe Trip,” to distribute information on human trafficking for sexual exploitation through posters and brochures in transfer places. It also continued other information campaigns on sex trafficking such as television ads, and targeted campaigns to hotels and taxi drivers. There was no equivalent awareness raising program for forced labor, and an expert report concluded that there was a general lack of awareness on labor trafficking in Sweden. However, the government funded a study on labor trafficking and labor exploitation in Sweden, which illuminated several systemic problems: the under-reporting of forced labor as human trafficking, poor controls over the registration of abusive labor recruiting companies, and a lack of a clear mandate to investigate labor trafficking cases. The National Police published an annual report on trafficking in persons, analyzing trafficking statistics, trafficking legislation, and trends in the crime. The Government of Sweden made efforts to improve data collection on trafficking by developing a standard data collection form for authorities to use when they come into contact with potential victims of trafficking. The Swedish government gave significant funds in foreign aid to support anti-trafficking activities throughout the world. For example, it allocated approximately $143,000 to start a transnational project to counter labor trafficking in the Baltic Sea Region. The Government of Sweden also funded regional study visits on anti-trafficking activities to representatives of 11 countries in North Africa and the Middle East. The government continued to conduct robust activities to reduce the demand for commercial sex, including by establishing a social services group that addresses individuals arrested for purchasing commercial sex under the 1998 Act Prohibiting the Purchase of Sexual Services. The appellate court in the Malmo case, however, overturned the sentences for at least two men who had been convicted of purchasing sexual services or the aggravated pimping of a child. A former senior police officer and principal of Sweden’s police training college, who was regarded as an expert on gender equity and the 1998 Act Prohibiting the Purchase of Sexual Services, was investigated and charged with multiple sex offenses, including rape of a minor and pimping. Swedish authorities convicted him on several charges and sentenced him to six years in prison. Sweden also has strong policies against child sex tourism, including facilitating anonymous reporting of sexual abuse of children abroad, designating a special police unit to investigate charges of child sex tourism, and collaborating in the prosecutions of three Swedish citizens engaged in child sex tourism in Cambodia and Thailand. The government provided anti-trafficking training to Swedish troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

SWITZERLAND (Tier 2)

Switzerland is primarily a destination and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and children forced into begging and theft. The majority of identified trafficking victims were forced into nude dancing and prostitution and originated from Eastern Europe, including Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. Victims from Latin America, Asia, and Africa are also exploited in Switzerland. In 2010, officials and NGOs reported an increase in the number of women in prostitution and children forced into begging from other parts of Europe, especially Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, many of whom were ethnic Roma. During the reporting period, officials took steps to address concerns that Swiss law does not prohibit prostitution by children aged 16 and 17 under all circumstances. While the majority of trafficking victims are found in Swiss urban areas, police and NGOs have encountered small numbers of victims in bars in rural areas in recent years. There reportedly is forced labor in the domestic service sector, particularly in foreign diplomatic households. Swiss federal police assessed the total number of potential trafficking victims residing in Switzerland as between 1,500 and 3,000.

The Government of Switzerland does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Swiss government took important steps this year to prohibit the prostitution of children aged 16 and 17, including a formal commitment at the federal level to pass a law against the practice. Although the process of enacting this legislation is underway, it remains legal in several cantons to benefit financially from the prostitution of children between 16 and 18 years of age. During the reporting period, Swiss authorities nearly doubled the number of convicted trafficking offenders. However, the percent of convicted trafficking offenders who were sentenced to prison terms was low; 83 percent of convicted offenders were not sentenced to time in prison.

Recommendations for Switzerland: Ensure the prohibition of the prostitution of all persons under 18 years old nationwide; explore ways to increase the number of convicted traffickers who receive sentences commensurate with the gravity of this serious crime; increase the number of convicted traffickers serving time in prison; provide adequate funding for trafficking victim service providers and ensure there are trafficking-specific services for children and male victims; conduct a nationwide awareness campaign that addresses labor and sex trafficking and targets potential victims, the general public, as well as potential clients of the sex trade and consumers of products made and services provided through forced labor.

Prosecution

The Government of Switzerland improved its law enforcement efforts this reporting period, taking significant steps to correct a critical gap in its legal prohibition of trafficking in persons. Switzerland prohibits trafficking for most forms of sexual and labor exploitation under Article 182 and Article 195 of the Swiss penal code. Prescribed penalties – up to 20 years’ imprisonment – are commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes. However, Swiss law does not expressly prohibit prostitution by children aged 16 and 17 under all circumstances throughout the country, leaving these children vulnerable to sex trafficking, such as cases in which a third party profits from a child in prostitution. The Swiss federal government and several cantons took significant steps to outlaw the practice this year. After signing the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse in June 2010, the Swiss government committed to amending its criminal code in order to prohibit child prostitution. The law is currently under review by cantonal authorities. During the reporting period, the Canton of Geneva implemented a law criminalizing child prostitution; the Canton of St. Gallen passed a similar law prohibiting the practice. While Swiss civil law and social services guidelines provide opportunities for dissuasion and redress with regard to the problem of sexual exploitation of children, existing arrangements do not appear to address fully this systemic vulnerability.

The Federal Office of Statistics reported that police forces conducted 159 investigations into human trafficking and forced prostitution in 2010, up from 154 investigations in 2009. According to the Federal Office of Statistics, during 2010, 56 offenders were prosecuted for sex and labor trafficking and 103 for forced prostitution, compared to 53 prosecutions for sex and labor trafficking and 90 for forced prostitution in 2009. Swiss authorities confirmed that there were at least two prosecutions for labor trafficking in 2010. Swiss authorities convicted 31 sex trafficking offenders in 2009, the last year for which comprehensive conviction statistics were available, an increase from the 16 offenders convicted in 2008. The majority of convicted offenders, however, were not sentenced to time in prison: of the 31 convicted trafficking offenders, 26 offenders received suspended sentences, while nine were sentenced to time in prison. The maximum prison sentence awarded in 2010 was 10 years.

In May and June 2010, the Swiss Police Institute conducted a five-day training on identifying trafficking victims for members of the cantonal and municipal police forces, the Federal Criminal Police, border guards, and migration officers. The government incorporated anti-trafficking training into the basic course for border guards. During the reporting period, Swiss authorities cooperated with several countries, including Romania, Germany, Hungary, and Austria, in 645 investigative inquiries, up from 425 instances during 2009. The government did not report the investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of any public officials for human trafficking complicity.

Protection

The Government of Switzerland improved its victim protection efforts during the reporting period. Several of Switzerland’s cantons have formal procedures for the identification of victims and their referral to protective services. During 2010, Swiss government authorities referred approximately 53 percent of the trafficking victims identified by NGOs to assistance centers. Cantonal assistance centers identified at least 90 victims in 2010, compared with 93 victims in 2009. The country’s lead anti-trafficking NGO, which received some government funding, reported assisting 179 sex trafficking victims, 69 of whom were newly identified victims, and seven labor trafficking victims, compared with 172 sex trafficking victims and 12 labor trafficking victims in 2009. The NGO provided assistance for at least one victim under 18. Victims identified during the reporting period were offered shelter, a living allowance, medical assistance, psychotherapy, protection, translation, and legal assistance in coordination with cantonal government and NGO victim assistance centers, per the provisions of Switzerland’s Victim Assistance Law. Several cantons enhanced their victim assistance programs this year. During the reporting period, the government designated an NGO to provide specialized counseling to trafficking victims in French-speaking areas of Switzerland.

The government encouraged victims of trafficking to participate in prosecutions; at least 20 victims of trafficking cooperated in the prosecution of traffickers in 2010. During the reporting period, the government adopted new measures to protect victims’ identities during trial, including allowing closed procedures and obscuring victims’ identities in cases of threats to safety. The Swiss government facilitated the voluntary return of nine trafficking victims to their countries of origin under a victim assistance and repatriation project that was formalized this year. Cantonal immigration offices granted 30-day stays of deportation to 34 trafficking victims in 2010 and issued 51 short-term residency permits to victims for the duration of legal proceedings against their traffickers. The government also provided long-term legal alternatives to removal to victims of trafficking facing hardship or retribution in their countries of origin. In 2010, Swiss authorities granted four trafficking victims long-term residency permits on personal hardship grounds, up from three victims in 2009. In September and October 2010, the trafficking specialist unit of the Federal Criminal Police organized a pilot training course for operators of victim assistance centers. Although there were no reports of victims being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, some victims not identified may have been treated as immigration violators.

Prevention

The government made limited progress in the prevention of trafficking during the reporting period. It did not carry out any nationwide anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns, though Swiss authorities funded an anti-trafficking NGO to participate in discussions of anti-trafficking best practices during the year. Swiss authorities developed an online teaching model translated in Switzerland’s official languages for all teachers at the secondary and vocational level to educate students on the problem of human trafficking. In an effort to prevent sex trafficking, four cantons stopped issuing artistic visas to cabaret dancers. The government continued to operate an interdepartmental body to coordinate and monitor anti-trafficking efforts chaired by the federal police at the directorate level, and sustained significant financial support of anti-trafficking programs in countries such as Georgia, Armenia, Russia, Moldova, and Lebanon. In November, the government launched a public awareness campaign to protect children from sexual exploitation in tourism, including video clips, an Internet campaign, and flyers. The government continued to host an Internet forum to facilitate reporting of suspected incidents of child sex tourism. The government cooperated with the prosecutions of four Swiss child sex tourists in Thailand, Cambodia, and Italy. The government did not otherwise make any discernible efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex. The government provided specific anti-trafficking training for all Swiss military personnel prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

SYRIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Syria is principally a destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor or sex trafficking. Thousands of women – the majority from Indonesia, the Philippines, Somalia, and Ethiopia – are recruited by employment agencies to work in Syria as domestic servants, but are subsequently subjected to conditions of forced labor by their employers. Some of these women are confined to the private residences in which they work, and most have their passports confiscated, contrary to Syrian law, by their employer or the labor recruitment agency. Contracts signed in the employee’s country of origin are often changed upon arrival in Syria, contributing to the employee’s vulnerability to forced labor. The Government of Ethiopia’s ban on its citizens accepting employment in Syria has not stopped the flow of workers into the country. Some Iraqi refugees reportedly contract their daughters to work as maids in Syrian households, where they may be subsequently expected to perform sexual acts and are vulnerable to forced labor.

Women from Eastern Europe – particularly Ukraine – Somalia, and Morocco are recruited legally as cabaret dancers in Syria; some “entertainers” are subsequently forced into prostitution after their employers confiscate their passports and confine them to their hotels. Due to the economic desperation of Syria’s large Iraqi refugee population, some women and girls suffer trafficking at the hands of their families or by criminal gangs; victims are placed to work in nightclubs, for temporary “marriages” to men for the sole purpose of prostitution, or to be sold to pimps who rent them out for longer periods of time. Some Iraqi parents have reportedly abandoned their daughters at the Iraqi side of the border with Syria with the expectation that traffickers will arrange for them forged documents to enter Syria and employment in a nightclub. In other instances, refugees’ children remain in Syria while their parents leave the country in search of improved economic circumstances, leaving the children vulnerable to trafficking. Iraqi women deported from Syria on prostitution charges are vulnerable to re-trafficking by criminal gangs operating along the border. Syria is a transit country for Iraqi women and girls, as well as Southeast Asians and East Africans, subjected to conditions of forced prostitution in Europe, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, and Lebanon.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that some economically desperate Syrian children are subjected to conditions of forced labor within the country, particularly by organized street begging rings. Some Syrian women in Lebanon may be forced to engage in street prostitution and small numbers of Syrian girls are reportedly brought to Lebanon for the purpose of prostitution, including through the guise of early marriage. Small numbers of Syrian adults are reportedly subjected to forced labor as low-skilled workers in Qatar and Kuwait.

The Government of Syria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government made modest anti-trafficking efforts, with the Ministry of Interior launching a 200-person anti-trafficking directorate and the government hosting an international conference on human trafficking. Despite these efforts, the government did not demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to investigate and punish trafficking offenses, inform the public about the practice of human trafficking, or provide much needed anti-trafficking training to law enforcement and social welfare officials over the past year. Therefore, Syria is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. The government did not respond to requests to provide information on its victim protection efforts for inclusion in this report.

Recommendations for Syria: Enforce the comprehensive anti-trafficking law through increased investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders; finalize the Executive Order required to implement Legislative Decree No. 3 of 2010, which specifically criminalizes trafficking in persons; provide training on human trafficking to police, immigration officials, labor, and social welfare officials, including those assigned to the anti-trafficking directorate; consider assigning a significant number of female police officers to the anti-trafficking directorate and provide specific training on the sensitive receiving of cases and interviewing of potential trafficking victims; launch a nationwide anti-trafficking public awareness campaign, particularly highlighting the appropriate treatment of domestic workers under Syrian law; establish policies and procedures for government officials to proactively identify and interview potential trafficking victims and transfer them to the care, when appropriate, of relevant organizations; and designate an official coordinating body or mechanism to facilitate anti-trafficking communication and coordination among the relevant ministries, law enforcement entities, international organizations, and NGOs.

Prosecution

The government made limited progress in implementing its anti-trafficking statute during the reporting period. Inadequate law enforcement training remained a significant impediment to identifying and prosecuting trafficking crimes in Syria. Syria’s comprehensive anti-trafficking law, Legislative Decree No. 3, which was published in January 2010 and took effect in April of the same year, provides a legal foundation for prosecuting trafficking offenses and protecting victims, but does not lay out a clear definition of human trafficking. This law prescribes a minimum punishment of seven years’ imprisonment, a penalty that is sufficiently stringent though not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Following the passage of this statute, the Ministry of Interior dedicated significant resources to launching a specialized anti-trafficking directorate in June 2010, which is tasked with investigating cases, raising public awareness, cooperating with foreign entities, training law enforcement, and tracking and annually reporting on the government’s anti-trafficking efforts. The directorate opened an office in Damascus, hired over 200 staff members, and established working relationships with Interpol and IOM; the nature of its day-to-day activities is unknown. The directorate’s effectiveness in investigating and charging trafficking crimes, as well as officially identifying victims, was hindered by the government’s delay in issuing the Executive Order containing implementing procedures for Legislative Decree No. 3; prosecutions and victim protection were unable to proceed without this formal step.

The government provided limited information on its investigation or prosecution of suspected trafficking offenses. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the government prosecuted 45 cases under Legislative Decree No. 3 in 2010: 11 in Damascus, 20 in the Damascus countryside, five in Aleppo, one in Deir al-Zour, three in Hama, one in Edlib, and four in Hassakeh. It is unknown whether these cases constitute human trafficking or reached conclusion by the end of the reporting period. Local observers, however, knew of only three investigated trafficking cases in Aleppo during the reporting period, which they claim cannot be effectively prosecuted until the release of the Executive Order. There were reports of collusion between low-level police officers and traffickers, particularly regarding the trafficking of women in prostitution; the government provided no information on its efforts to address this problem.

Protection

During the year, the government made modest progress in protecting trafficking victims, while continuing its partnerships with NGOs and international organizations to identify and provide services to victimized women and children. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor and other government ministries continued support of two shelters for trafficking victims, one in Damascus and the other in Aleppo, by sharing some staffing costs and dedicating funds to the creation of a database to track cases. These shelters, operated by local NGOs in buildings and on land donated by the government, offered legal, medical, and psychological counseling services to 160 women and three girls in 2010, some of whom were trafficking victims; at least 12 of these cases were Iraqi victims of forced labor or prostitution. The government failed to institute a systematic identification, interview, and referral process to address the protection needs of trafficking victims; the lack of an Executive Order providing a clear definition of a victim of trafficking continued to hinder official identification of victims, including by the government-supported shelters. As a result, victims of trafficking may have been arrested and charged with prostitution or violating immigration laws before being deported or punished. There were reports that some women arrested on such charges and subsequently identified as victims of trafficking by NGOs were referred to shelters, though such releases from detention remained ad hoc, inconsistent, and at times required lobbying from NGOs or international organizations. Male-dominated police units continued to be insensitive to issues such as rape and sexual abuse – practices to which trafficking victims are typically subjected – discouraging many victims from coming forward. The government neither encouraged victims to assist in investigations or prosecutions of their traffickers nor provided foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

During the past year, the government made modest efforts to prevent trafficking. It conducted few campaigns to educate government officials and the general public about trafficking; most of the population has little or no awareness of human trafficking and the issue remains taboo to discuss. In June 2010, the government hosted an Interpol Global Trafficking in Human Beings Conference in Damascus, under the patronage of the prime minister. The status of the government’s national plan of action against trafficking, which was drafted in early 2010, is unknown. The government monitored public- and private-sector industries through surprise inspections to ensure no children under the age of 15 were employed, but did not release statistics on the results of these inspections. In August 2010, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor reportedly instituted a new provision to address child begging that requires beggars to be fined between $500 and $1,000; it remains unclear if the child beggar is responsible for paying the fine or if an investigation is undertaken to determine and punish the party responsible for encouraging or forcing the child to work. While the work of domestic servants is not covered under Syria’s labor law, Decree 27 of March 2009 and Decree 108 of December 2009 provide regulations concerning domestic worker recruitment agencies and guidelines for employment contracts; their enforcement could prevent forced labor. However, there were no signs that these laws were enforced. Syria is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

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TAIWAN (Tier 1)

Taiwan is a destination, and to a much lesser extent, source and transit territory for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Most trafficking victims in Taiwan are migrant workers from Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, mainland China, Cambodia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and India employed through recruitment agencies and brokers to perform low-skilled work in Taiwan’s manufacturing and fishing industries and as home caregivers and domestic workers. Many of these workers fall victim to labor trafficking by unscrupulous brokers and employers, who force workers to perform work outside the scope of their contract and often under exploitative conditions. Some employers of domestic workers and home caregivers forbid their employees from leaving their residences, except on days off, making them extremely vulnerable to labor trafficking and other abuses and unable to seek help. Some women and girls from China and Southeast Asian countries are lured to Taiwan through fraudulent marriages and deceptive employment offers for purposes of sex trafficking and forced labor. Migrant workers are reportedly charged up to $7,700 in recruitment fees typically in their home countries, resulting in substantial debt that may be used by brokers or employers as a coercive tool to subject the workers to forced labor. Labor brokers often assist employers to deport “problematic” employees forcibly, thus allowing the broker to fill the empty quota with new foreign workers who must pay brokerage fees, which may be used to maintain them in a situation of forced labor. Brokers used threats and the confiscation of travel documents as a means to control workers. Some women from Taiwan are recruited through classified ads for employment in Japan, Australia, the UK, and the United States, where they are forced into prostitution. Taiwan is a transit territory for Chinese citizens who enter the United States illegally and may become victims of debt bondage and forced prostitution in the United States.

Taiwan authorities fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the reporting period, Taiwan authorities continued to prosecute and punish trafficking offenses, including both forced labor and forced prostitution. In addition, the government sustained strong victim protection efforts, continued to train law enforcement and other government officials, and raised public awareness on trafficking offenses.

Recommendations for Taiwan: Extend labor protections to all categories of workers including workers in the domestic service sector and caregivers to prevent labor trafficking; sustain and improve on efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders using the anti-trafficking law enacted in June 2009; ensure that convicted trafficking offenders receive sufficiently stringent sentences; continue to train law enforcement personnel, officials in the Council of Labor Affairs (CLA), labor inspectors, prosecutors, and judges on victim identification measures and the anti-trafficking law; continue to raise awareness among victims of the option to assist in prosecutions and ensure that they understand the implications of their participation; increase coordination between prosecutors and NGOs sheltering victims to keep victims informed of the status of their cases; identify and fund foreign language translators for shelters and hotline staff; make greater efforts to investigate and prosecute child sex tourism offenses committed by Taiwan nationals; and continue efforts to increase public awareness about all forms of trafficking.

Prosecution

Taiwan authorities made clear progress in anti-trafficking law enforcement during the reporting period. Taiwan’s Human Trafficking Prevention and Control Act (HTPCA) of 2009, combined with portions of the Criminal Code, prohibits both forced prostitution and forced labor; prescribed penalties of up to seven years’ imprisonment are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes. The Labor Standards Law, which also prohibits forced labor, does not apply to an unknown number of Taiwan nationals and the nearly 160,000 foreign workers employed as private nursing caregivers and domestic workers – approximately half of Taiwan’s migrant workforce. During the reporting period, the government charged 264 individuals for trafficking crimes under the HTPCA and other articles of the Criminal Code. Specifically, Taiwan authorities prosecuted 87 people under its anti-trafficking law, including 44 for sex trafficking and 43 for labor trafficking. An additional 177 defendants were prosecuted for trafficking offenses under related laws, including 23 defendants accused of commercial sexual exploitation of children. The government did not, however, provide information on the conviction or sentencing of any trafficking offenders. To improve their capacity to address trafficking crimes, Taiwan authorities also robustly trained government officials on trafficking issues; in 2010, Taiwan authorities reported training more than 68,000 officials and NGO staff members, covering a wide range of subjects such as victim identification and protection, trafficking prosecutions and case development, victim-witness coordination, and advanced investigative techniques. Taiwan authorities did not report any investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of government officials’ complicity in trafficking offenses during the reporting period.

Protection

During the reporting period, authorities made significant efforts to protect victims of trafficking. Authorities reported using formal procedures to identify proactively and assist victims of trafficking, including by publishing and distributing to government officials reference indicators with specific questions and a standardized evaluation form for use with potential victims of trafficking. In 2010, Taiwan authorities identified and assisted 324 trafficking victims, including 45 victims of sex trafficking and 279 victims of labor trafficking. Of these victims, 58 were Taiwan nationals. There were 19 shelters dedicated to victims of trafficking in Taiwan under the administration of various government agencies, some of which were run by NGOs with government funds. These shelters provided victims of trafficking – both men and women – with medical and psychological services, legal counseling, vocational training, small stipends, and repatriation assistance. Taiwan authorities also reported providing social workers and interpreters to accompany victims during court proceedings. Victims of trafficking filed 32 civil cases for compensation against their traffickers during the reporting period with the assistance of government and NGO counselors. In addition, NIA distributed more than 2,000 multilingual handbooks on the rights of trafficking victims and to explain support services available to them. Some sources reported, however, that Taiwan faced a shortage of skilled counselors and social workers fluent in the victims’ native languages. Although the NIA earmarked $1.2 million in 2010 for victim protection, it reported spending nearly $1.83 million for victim services during the year. Taiwan authorities encouraged victims to participate in investigations against their traffickers by offering residency and temporary work permits; in 2010, authorities issued 188 new work permits for trafficking victims and renewed existing work permits for other victims of trafficking. In addition, Taiwan officials assisted in the repatriation of 95 victims after judicial investigations concluded. Victims who faced threats upon return to their home countries had the opportunity to obtain permanent residency in Taiwan, though no victims have yet received this benefit. During the reporting period, Taiwan authorities issued a circular to courts to stress legal provisions ensuring victims’ confidentiality and providing other protections for victims of trafficking during the trial process. CLA continued to provide a 24-hour hotline for migrant workers; in 2010, this hotline received over 146,000 calls and operators assisted migrant workers in resolving wage disputes involving close to $3 million. Taiwan also continued operation of an island-wide hotline for foreign spouses seeking assistance on a broad range of issues. The hotline received 14,136 calls in 2010, but it is unclear how many of these related to trafficking situations.

Prevention

Taiwan authorities made progress in efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period. The CLA continued to operate 25 Foreign Worker Service Stations and International Airport Service Counters around Taiwan to assist migrant workers and educate them on their rights. Authorities also distributed handbooks detailing relevant laws and regulations on foreign workers to more than 190,000 employers and aired television commercials highlighting the rights of migrant workers. Officials also funded TV, radio, and newspaper advertisements and education programs raising awareness of the perils of trafficking. In addition, authorities undertook widespread campaigns to raise public awareness of sexual exploitation in the commercial sex industry to reduce the demand for prostitution. Taiwan agencies also continued to distribute an online game, Internet advertisements, TV commercials, posters, and luggage tags to warn against child sex tourism. Nonetheless, while Taiwan has a law with extraterritorial application criminalizing the sexual exploitation of children by Taiwan passport holders traveling abroad, authorities have not prosecuted anyone for child sex tourism abroad since 2006. Taiwan also failed to provide full labor protections to the estimated 160,000 foreign workers in the domestic service sector; domestic workers currently do not have defined working hours or minimum wages, which may have contributed to some situations of forced labor among this vulnerable group of migrants.

TAJIKISTAN (Tier 2)

Tajikistan is a source country for women and children subjected to forced prostitution and for men, women, and children subjected to conditions of forced labor. Women from Tajikistan are subjected to forced prostitution in the United Arab Emirates, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, and within Tajikistan. These women often transit through Russia and Kyrgyzstan en route to their destination country. IOM estimates that a significant percentage of Tajikistan’s estimated one million labor migrants are victims of forced labor, sometimes after voluntarily migrating to Russia in search of work. Men from Tajikistan are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Russia’s agricultural and construction sectors and, to a lesser extent, the same sectors in Kazakhstan and Afghanistan. Tajik children have been subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor, including forced begging, within Tajikistan. There were limited reports that Tajik children were exploited within Tajikistan during the annual cotton harvest; NGOs report a significant reduction of this practice compared to previous years.

The Government of Tajikistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made important progress over the past year in addressing the use of forced labor in the annual cotton harvest. During the fall 2010 cotton harvest, the government disseminated a directive that ordered enforcement of existing prohibitions against forced labor. The government also accredited and assisted NGOs to monitor the cotton harvest. Government officials, with IOM and Tajik NGO representatives, met with local government and school officials to reiterate the government’s prohibition against forced child labor. The government prosecuted and convicted trafficking offenders for the first time under its anti-trafficking statute and protected victims threatened by traffickers during criminal proceedings. The government also instituted quarterly meetings to coordinate anti-trafficking activities with government partners.

Recommendations for Tajikistan: Continue to enforce the prohibition against forced labor of children and adults in the annual cotton harvest by monitoring school and university attendance and inspecting cotton fields during the harvest; vigorously investigate and prosecute suspected trafficking offenses, especially those involving forced labor, and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including local officials who force individuals to participate in the cotton harvest; continue to educate school administrators about Tajik laws against forced labor; continue to increase resources available to the anti-trafficking police unit; continue to build partnerships with foreign counterparts in order to conduct joint law enforcement investigations and repatriate Tajik victims from abroad; develop a formal victim identification and referral mechanism; continue to provide victim identification and victim sensitivity training to border guard and law enforcement authorities; encourage NGO care providers to be present during victim interviews with law enforcement; provide financial or in-kind assistance to existing trafficking shelters; encourage victims of trafficking to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; make efforts to improve trafficking data collection and analysis; expand trafficking awareness campaigns targeting both rural and urban parts of the country, including raising awareness in rural villages about how offers of marriage may be used to deceive women and lure them into forced prostitution; continue efforts to improve enforcement of anti-trafficking legislation; and involve wider mass-media in awareness campaigns.

Prosecution

The Government of Tajikistan demonstrated increased anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Article 130.1 of the criminal code prohibits both forced sexual exploitation and forced labor, and prescribes penalties of five to 15 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. The government successfully used Article 130.1 of the criminal code to prosecute, convict, and sentence trafficking offenders for the first time in 2010. The government reported investigating and prosecuting 28 individuals suspected of trafficking in 2010 under Article 130.1 and other statutes, compared with at least nine individuals investigated and prosecuted for trafficking offenses in 2009. Courts convicted four trafficking offenders, including two under Article 130.1, in 2010, compared with three convictions reported in 2009. The government reported that the four offenders convicted in 2010 were sentenced to terms of six to 10 years’ imprisonment for trafficking offenses in 2010. The Government of Tajikistan cooperated with Russian law enforcement on the investigation of a forced labor case. As a part of an IOM study tour, the government also exchanged best practices with counterparts in Moldova and Turkey to facilitate international cooperation in combating human trafficking. In partnership with international organizations, the Government of Tajikistan introduced a 26-hour anti-trafficking course into the curriculum at the Ministry of Interior Academy in December 2010. Eighty police academy students completed the training. Four hundred government officials participated in specialized anti-trafficking training sessions conducted by IOM. In an effort to encourage quality officers to seek out anti-trafficking assignments, the government increased the salaries of officials in the police anti-trafficking unit by 10 percent.

Local observers reported that government efforts contributed to a significant reduction in the use of forced labor in the 2010 cotton harvest. These efforts did not involve the prosecution of labor trafficking offenders. At the start of the 2010 cotton harvest, the Inter-Ministerial Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Ministry of Education disseminated a directive to local officials that reiterated existing laws prohibiting the use of forced child labor in the cotton harvest. Local officials met with school administrators, teachers, and farmers throughout Tajikistan’s cotton-growing regions to reinforce the directive and to educate them about forced labor laws. The government accredited 15 Tajik NGOs working with IOM to monitor the fall cotton harvest in 25 cotton-picking districts in Tajikistan from September 15 until December 15. A small number of reports continued that school-aged children in remote areas were compelled to pick cotton by school administrators during the harvest. When presented with these reports during the harvest, government officials reprimanded, but did not prosecute, the teachers and farmers involved. The government received additional reports several months after the cotton harvest ended; officials reported that they were unable to investigate
these cases because of the delayed notification.

Protection

The government demonstrated some efforts to identify and assist trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government does not have a systematic procedure for identifying and referring victims for assistance; however, the government established a working group to formalize victim referral procedures in 2010. During the reporting period, the government identified 32 victims of trafficking and referred 18 victims to IOM. In total, IOM and the government identified 104 victims of trafficking in 2010, compared with 63 victims of trafficking identified in 2009. Foreign-funded NGO shelters remained the primary source of victim services available in Tajikistan. Victims in these shelters were not detained involuntarily. Although the national government did not provide financial assistance to any NGOs or organization that provided specialized assistance to trafficking victims in 2010, the Khujand city government provided in-kind assistance to a shelter that assisted eight child trafficking victims. The national government also donated a building and free utilities for a shelter for women and girls, including victims of child prostitution. Victims were encouraged to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and police officials provided protection for two victims of trafficking who were threatened during a trafficking investigation and prosecution. Tajik consulate officials abroad assisted victims and referred them for repatriation. There were no reports of victims penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention

Tajikistan made efforts to raise awareness of trafficking during the reporting period. Local governments provided meeting space for, transportation to, and local publicity for awareness-raising events around the country conducted by NGOs and international organizations. Additionally, the Committee on Women and Families held information sessions to inform women and girls about the dangers of trafficking and state media outlets published information on trafficking that included warnings about common trafficking scenarios. The government provided in-kind assistance for a joint training of 300 Tajik and 40 Afghan border guards in an immigration education program, which included training on trafficking issues. The government did not undertake efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government has an action plan to combat human trafficking for 2011-2013.

TANZANIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The incidence of internal trafficking is higher than that of transnational trafficking, and is usually facilitated by family members’, friends’, and intermediaries’ offers of assistance with education or finding lucrative employment in urban areas. The use of young girls for forced domestic service continues to be Tanzania’s largest human trafficking problem. Girls from rural areas of Iringa, Singida, Dodoma, Mbeya, Morogoro, and Bukoba regions are taken to urban centers and Zanzibar for domestic service; some domestic workers fleeing abusive employers fall prey to sex trafficking. Boys are subjected primarily to forced labor on farms, but also in mines, in the informal sector, and possibly on small fishing boats. In the Arusha region, unscrupulous agricultural subcontractors reportedly trafficked women and men to work on coffee plantations. Smaller numbers of Tanzanian children and adults are subjected to conditions of forced domestic service and sex trafficking in surrounding countries, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, France, and possibly other European countries. Trafficking victims, primarily children, from neighboring countries, such as Burundi and Kenya, are sometimes forced to work in Tanzania’s agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors. Some also are forced into prostitution in brothels. Citizens of neighboring countries may voluntarily migrate through Tanzania before being forced into domestic servitude and prostitution in South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East

The Government of Tanzania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these significant efforts, particularly the conviction of three trafficking offenders during the reporting period, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous reporting period; therefore, Tanzania is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year. The government made limited progress towards implementation of its Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, in part due to poor inter-ministerial coordination and lack of understanding of what constitutes human trafficking; most government officials remain unfamiliar with the Act’s provisions or their responsibility to address trafficking under it. Moreover, the ministries involved in anti-trafficking efforts had no budgetary resources allocated to combating the crime.

Recommendations for Tanzania: Enforce the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act by prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders; following the formation of the Anti-Trafficking Secretariat by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the presidential naming of a secretary to coordinate inter-ministerial efforts as required by the Act, begin implementation of the law’s victim protection and prevention provisions; establish policies and procedures for government officials to identify and interview potential trafficking victims proactively and transfer them, as appropriate, to local organizations providing care; establish an anti-trafficking fund to support victims, as required under the law; begin compiling trafficking-specific law enforcement and victim protection data at the national level; and provide additional training to law enforcement authorities on the detection of human trafficking crimes and methods of investigating these crimes.

Prosecution

The Tanzanian government made modest anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period, achieving its first three prosecutions and convictions under the country’s anti-trafficking statute. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2008, which came into effect in February 2009, outlaws all forms of trafficking and prescribes punishments of one to 10 years’ imprisonment, punishments that are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Under aggravated circumstances, such as the victimization of a child or trafficking crimes perpetrated by a law enforcement official, prescribed penalties are 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment.

In September 2010, the District Court in Kasulu convicted a Burundian man under Section 4(1)(a) of the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act and sentenced him to four years’ imprisonment for forcing 15 Burundian refugee children to work on tobacco farms in Urambo-Tabora; the trial proceedings of four co-conspirators on identical charges had not concluded at the close of the reporting period. In August 2010, a court in Mwanza used both the anti-trafficking act and the penal code to convict a Kenyan trader of human trafficking and abduction after he attempted to sell a Kenyan man with albinism, to whom he had promised employment, to a Tanzanian businessman for $263,300 for the purpose of exploitation. This conviction resulted in a combined sentence of 17 years’ imprisonment or a fine of $119,600; the trafficker is currently serving his prison sentence. In September 2010, a separate court in Mwanza region convicted a man of human trafficking for abducting two children from Isebania, Kenya and attempting to sell them at a mining site in Nyamongo area (Tarime District); he was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment. Nonetheless, most police and immigration officials continued to find it difficult to distinguish human trafficking from smuggling. The two-person police trafficking desk, established in June 2010 to work with counterparts in other law enforcement agencies to respond to trafficking crimes, reportedly received few complaints of internal trafficking, which was likely attributable to the public’s low level of understanding about the crime, victims’ general reluctance to report incidents of forced labor, and limited awareness of the desk’s existence. Although the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Youth Development reportedly conducted inspections and issued warnings to violators of child labor statutes, there were no forced child labor cases brought to court in during the year. Likewise, Zanzibar’s Ministry of Labor, Economic Empowerment, and Co-Operatives did not take legal action against any alleged crimes of forced child labor. The government made no progress in compiling trafficking-specific law enforcement and victim protection data at the national level. Newly-hired law enforcement and immigration officials reportedly received anti-trafficking training as part of their introductory coursework.

Protection

The Tanzanian government’s efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period were modest and suffered from a lack of resources. The government continued to rely on NGOs to provide care for victims of trafficking; however, NGO facilities for shelter and specialized services were limited to urban areas. The government lacked systematic victim referral procedures; any referrals that occurred were ad hoc and dependent on the particular official’s recognition of the crime and familiarity with service providers. According to NGOs, Tanzanian police referred six trafficking victims to their organizations for protective services in 2010, and no referrals were reported from social welfare or community development officers. Government officials also occasionally provided food, counseling, and assistance with family reunification; IOM and the Department of Social Welfare reunified 63 victims with their families in 2010 and an additional 27 in the first two months of 2011. The government operated a 24-hour crime hotline, staffed by police officers, which was available for citizens to make reports about suspected trafficking victims; however, the hotline received no trafficking tips in 2010. The government did not provide information on the participation of Tanzanian victims in anti-trafficking investigations and prosecutions, but one Kenyan victim who testified during the trial of his trafficker was provided protection and repatriation by police at the conclusion of the proceedings.

In August 2010, the Department of Social Welfare trained 84 social welfare officers on the Anti-Trafficking Act and community support mechanisms available to victims during its annual National Forum; it also included information on human trafficking in its revised Community Justice Facilitation Manual. The lack of national procedures for victim identification may have led foreign victims to be detained in prisons and deported before they were identified or able to give evidence in court. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act provides foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where their safety or the safety of their families may be endangered; the government did not encounter a case that necessitated utilizing these provisions during the reporting period. Key victim protection provisions of the Anti-Trafficking Act, such as the establishment of a fund to support trafficking victims, have yet to be implemented due to funding constraints and because the Anti-Trafficking Committee and Secretariat, which would take the lead on drafting and implementing the regulations related to the Act, had not been formed.

Prevention

The government made moderate efforts to prevent human trafficking during the year. Understanding of what constitutes trafficking remained low among government officials and no government ministries launched formal anti-trafficking outreach or awareness raising activities. In June 2010, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs formally transferred the chairmanship of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Human Trafficking, which met twice during the year, to the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare’s Department of Social Welfare; this committee has, since its establishment in 2006, been an ineffective mechanism for information sharing or coordination of national anti-trafficking efforts. At a meeting of the Committee, the Ministry of Home Affairs, the lead ministry for implementation of the anti-trafficking legislation, agreed to draft the regulations required to fully implement the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. It reportedly cannot begin this work, however, until a the president appoints a secretary to lead an Anti-Trafficking Secretariat as required by the Act. Although the relevant ministries have forwarded the names of their representatives to the Anti-Trafficking Committee – also required by the Act – to the Ministry of Home Affairs for approval, the body has not been officially convened. It remains unclear whether the Inter-Ministerial Committee will be disbanded after the formation of the Anti-Trafficking Committee and Secretariat.

The mainland Ministry of Labor’s Child Labor Unit, which received only $32,000 from the 2010 national budget, could not provide data on the number of child labor complaints made or the number of exploited child laborers identified and withdrawn by its 90 labor officers; inspectors continued to face myriad challenges, including chronic understaffing and lack of transportation to inspection sites. During the year, the Zanzibar Ministry of Labor withdrew 600 children from exploitative labor in the fishing, seaweed farming, and quarrying industries on the islands. While the Tanzania Employment Services Agency is responsible for licensing recruitment agencies, it did little to monitor their activities, did not maintain data on the exploitation of Tanzanian migrant workers abroad, and generally lacked capacity to perform such functions. The government did not make any efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts during the reporting period. All Tanzanian soldiers completed a module on human rights and anti-trafficking interventions as part of their basic curriculum. The government provided additional human rights training, including sessions on women’s rights, human trafficking, the protection of civilians, and international humanitarian law, to Tanzanian troops prior to their deployments abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

THAILAND (Tier 2 Watch List)

Thailand is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Individuals from neighboring countries, as well as from further away such as Uzbekistan and Fiji, migrate to Thailand for reasons including to flee conditions of poverty. Migrants from Burma, who make up the bulk of migrants in Thailand, seek economic opportunity and escape from military repression. The majority of the trafficking victims identified within Thailand are migrants from Thailand’s neighboring countries who are forced, coerced, or defrauded into labor or commercial sexual exploitation; conservative estimates have this population numbering in the tens of thousands of victims. Trafficking victims within Thailand were found employed in maritime fishing, seafood processing, low-end garment production, and domestic work. Evidence suggests that the trafficking of men, women, and children in labor sectors such as commercial fisheries, fishing-related industries, and domestic work was a significant portion of all labor trafficking in Thailand.

UN-affiliated NGO research made available during the year reported a significant population of trafficking victims in the country. An estimated 23 percent of all Cambodians deported by Thai authorities at the Poipet border were trafficking victims. The UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) estimated that Thai authorities deport over 23,000 Cambodian trafficking victims a year. Similarly, Lao authorities reported during the year that groups of 50 to 100 Lao trafficking victims were among the thousands of Lao nationals deported by Thai authorities. An assessment of the cumulative risk of labor trafficking among Burmese migrant workers in the seafood industry in Samut Sakhon, Thailand found that 57 percent of these workers experience conditions of forced labor. An IOM report released in May 2011 noted prevalent forced labor conditions, including debt bondage, among Cambodian and Burmese individuals recruited – some forcefully or through fraud – for work in the Thai fishing industry. According to the report, Burmese, Cambodian, and Thai men were trafficked onto Thai fishing boats that traveled throughout Southeast Asia and beyond, and who remained at sea for up to several years, did not receive pay, were forced to work 18 to 20 hours per day for seven days a week, and were threatened and physically beaten. Similarly, an earlier UNIAP study found 29 of 49 (58 percent) surveyed migrant fishermen trafficked aboard Thai fishing boats had witnessed a fellow fishermen killed by boat captains in instances when they were too weak or sick to work. Fishermen typically did not have written employment contracts with their employer. Observers noted that traffickers (including labor brokers) who bring foreign victims into Thailand generally work as individuals or in unorganized groups, while those who enslave Thai victims abroad tend to be more organized. Informed observers also reported that labor brokers, some of whom facilitate or engage in trafficking, are of both Thai and foreign origin and work in networks, collaborating with employers and, at times, with law enforcement officials.

Migrants, ethnic minorities, and stateless people in Thailand are at a greater risk of being trafficked than Thai nationals, and experience withholding of travel documents, migrant registration cards, and work permits by employers. Undocumented migrants remain particularly vulnerable to trafficking, due to their economic status, education level, language barriers, and lack of knowledge of Thai law. The greatest risk factor for highland women and girls to being trafficked was their lack of citizenship. Some children from neighboring countries are forced to sell flowers, beg, or work in domestic service in urban areas. During the year, Vietnamese women were found to have been confined and forced to act as surrogate mothers after being recruited for work in Bangkok. Most Thai trafficking victims abroad who were repatriated back to Thailand during the year had been exploited in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, and China. Thai victims were also repatriated from Russia, South Africa, Yemen, Vietnam, the United States, the United Kingdom (UK), and Singapore. Thai nationals are also known to be trafficked to Australia, Canada, Germany, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and Timor-Leste. Some Thai men who migrate for low-skilled contract work and agricultural labor are subjected to conditions of forced labor and debt bondage. Sex trafficking generally involves victims who are women and girls. Sex tourism continues to be a problem in Thailand, and this demand likely fuels trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. Thailand is a transit country for victims from North Korea, China, Vietnam, Pakistan, and Burma destined for third countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Russia, Western Europe, South Korea, and the United States. There were reports that separatist groups recruited teenaged children to carry out attacks.

The Government of Thailand does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued implementation of its human trafficking law and conducted awareness-raising activities on human trafficking. The government continued work on its implementation of regulations that will allow trafficking victims to temporarily live and work within Thailand, though victims generally continue to be detained in government shelters. The Thai prime minister chaired meetings with labor and civil society organizations to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts, which led to the development of the Thai government’s second six-year National Policy Strategy on human trafficking for 2011-2016. In July 2010, the prime minister publicly acknowledged the need to improve the government’s weak interagency coordination in addressing human trafficking. The Thai government reported increases in trafficking prosecutions and convictions, but as of May 2011 there was insufficient data available to determine whether each of these could be categorized as human trafficking convictions. Despite these significant efforts, the government has not shown sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous year, particularly in the areas of prosecuting and convicting both sex and labor trafficking offenders, combating trafficking complicity of public officials, and trafficking victim protection; therefore, Thailand is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year. Given the significant scope and magnitude of trafficking in Thailand, there continued to be a low number of convictions for both sex and labor trafficking, and of victims identified among vulnerable populations. Direct involvement in and facilitation of human trafficking by law enforcement officials reportedly remained a significant problem in Thailand; authorities reported investigating two cases of complicity involving four officials, including at the police colonel level, though there were no convictions or sentences of complicit officials during the year. The government did not respond to multiple reports of widespread corruption involving the extortion and trafficking of Burmese deportees from Thailand. NGOs reported that problems hindering the government’s anti-trafficking efforts included local police corruption, biases against migrant laborers, the lack of a comprehensive monitoring system of the government’s efforts, lack of understanding among local officials of trafficking, the courts’ lack of a human rights-based approach to labor abuse cases, and systematic disincentives for trafficking victims to be identified. Authorities continued efforts to prevent human trafficking with assistance from international organizations and NGOs, but have not yet adequately addressed structural vulnerabilities to trafficking created by its migrant labor policies. The government should continue to increase its efforts given the significant scope and magnitude of trafficking in Thailand.

Recommendations for Thailand: Enhance ongoing efforts to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, in particular undocumented migrants and deportees; increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict both sex and labor trafficking offenders; improve efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict officials engaged in trafficking-related corruption; ensure that offenders of fraudulent labor recruitment and of forced labor receive stringent criminal penalties; improve labor inspection standards and procedures to better detect workplace violations, including instances of trafficking; improve implementation of procedures to allow all adult trafficking victims to travel, work, and reside outside of shelters; provide legal alternatives to the removal of trafficking victims to countries in which they would face retribution or hardship; implement mechanisms to allow adult foreign trafficking victims to reside in Thailand; make greater efforts to educate migrant workers on their rights, their employers’ obligations to them, legal recourse available to victims of trafficking, and how to seek remedies against traffickers; improve efforts to regulate fees and brokers associated with the process to legalize migrant workers in order to reduce the vulnerability of migrants to human trafficking; and increase anti-trafficking awareness efforts directed at employers and clients of the sex trade.

Prosecution

The Thai government made mixed progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Thailand’s 2008 anti-trafficking law criminally prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties from four to 10 years’ imprisonment – penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave offenses, such as rape. The Thai government reported 18 convictions in trafficking-related cases in 2010 – an increase from eight known convictions during the previous year; as of May 2011, only five of the 18 convictions reported by the government could be confirmed to be for trafficking offenses. The government also reported initiating 79 prosecutions in 2010, up from 17 prosecutions during the previous year. The police reported investigating 70 trafficking-related cases in 2010, including at least 49 cases of forced prostitution and 11 for forced labor. This compares to the 95 trafficking-related investigations reported in 2009. Very few cross-border labor exploitation investigations led to arrests of alleged traffickers, and even those arrested rarely found themselves prosecuted in court. A study released during the year on the trafficking of fishermen in Thailand found that investigations of alleged human trafficking on Thai fishing boats, as well as inspections of these boats, were practically nonexistent, according to surveyed fisherman, NGOs, and government officials. The justice system remained slow in its handling of criminal cases, including trafficking cases. Additionally, frequent personnel changes hampered the government’s ability to make greater progress on anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. In December 2010, the police anti-trafficking unit, with assistance from NGOs, raided an apartment in Bangkok and removed 12 Uzbek trafficking victims, successfully identifying some of the victims; others who were likely also victims were returned to the streets or taken to Thai immigration for deportation, depending on their visa status. The alleged trafficker, an Uzbek woman, was initially jailed during a police investigation, but in February obtained bail and has reportedly resumed her involvement in Bangkok’s sex industry. In January 2011, a senior police anti-trafficking officer involved in the investigation of the Uzbek trafficking ring, along with two subordinates, were placed on temporary suspension for allegations of corrupt practices.

The Court of Justice reported that the number of cases it adjudicated involving violations of the 2008 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act has gradually increased since the law came into force. Sentences for convicted offenders in confirmed trafficking cases ranged from four to 20 years’ imprisonment. In December, a Thai court convicted three defendants in the 2006 Ranya Paew case involving forced labor of Burmese workers in a shrimp processing factory and sentenced them each to 20 years in prison, the maximum penalty under the relevant Thai law; the offenders remain released pending the results of their appeal. In October, a Thai court sentenced a Thai woman to four years’ imprisonment for operating a fraudulent employment agency involved in the trafficking of Thai workers abroad. Media outlets highlighted several arrests in sex trafficking cases. Thai law enforcement authorities cooperated with counterparts from around the world, leading to arrests and convictions of traffickers. Some observers believe that more needs to be done to arrest traffickers within Thailand through cross-border investigations.

Corruption remained widespread among Thai law enforcement personnel, creating an enabling environment for human trafficking to prosper. Allegations of trafficking-related corruption persisted during the year, including in cases of forced prostitution and forced labor of migrants. There were credible reports that officials protected brothels, other commercial sex venues, and seafood and sweatshop facilities from raids and inspections. In addition to well-known corruption of local-level police officers, there were also protective relationships between central-level specialist police officers and the trafficking hot-spot regions to which they were assigned. There was no information indicating tolerance for trafficking at an institutional level. The Department of Special Investigations reported investigating four policemen, undertaking some disciplinary action, for trafficking-related complicity during the year; these investigations were ongoing. The government did not respond to reports that Thai officials were involved in the trafficking of Burmese men, women, and children deported to the hands of the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA). Authorities also have not responded to reports that Thai police and immigration officials extort money or sex from Burmese citizens detained in Thailand for immigration violations, and sell Burmese unable to pay to labor brokers and sex traffickers. The government continued efforts to train thousands of police, labor, prosecutors, social workers, and immigration officials on victim identification.

Protection

The Thai government demonstrated limited efforts to identify and protect foreign and Thai victims of trafficking during the year. The Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS) reported that 381 foreign victims were classified as trafficking victims in Thailand and received assistance at government shelters during the year, a decrease from the 530 foreign victims assisted in 2009. More than half of the victims assisted during the year were from Laos, and one fourth from Burma. The government continued to repatriate foreign victims of trafficking, including through regular coordination with Lao and Burmese authorities. MSDHS reported that in 2010, 88 Thai nationals were classified as trafficking victims abroad and were repatriated to Thailand with assistance from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from the UAE, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, China, Russia, South Africa, Yemen, Vietnam, the U.S., the UK, and Singapore. This represented a significant decrease from the 309 Thai trafficking victims repatriated from abroad in 2009. The government reported increasing efforts to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations through screening checkpoints at airports and border crossings. However, given the reportedly significant population of trafficking victims in Thailand out of which only 52 trafficking victims were reported identified in immigration detention centers, the government should continue to improve these efforts.

The government provided limited incentives for victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. The Thai government continued to refer victims to one of nine regional shelters run by MSDHS, where they receive counseling, limited legal assistance, and medical care. Foreign adult victims of trafficking identified by authorities continued to be detained in government shelters and typically cannot opt to reside outside of a shelter or leave before Thai authorities are prepared to repatriate them. The 2008 law contains a provision for granting foreign victims the right to seek employment while awaiting conclusion of legal processes, and the Thai government passed a new regulation in May 2011 to implement this provision. The government passed new regulations that will allow foreign victims to temporarily live and work within Thailand. As a result of this detention practice, foreign victims of trafficking are not afforded the same opportunities as other foreign nationals who seek and receive permission to work in Thailand. There were regular reports during the year of foreign trafficking victims who fled shelters, likely due to slow legal and repatriation processes, the inability to earn income during trial proceedings, language barriers, and distrust of government officials. There were reported instances in which victims opted not to seek designation as trafficking victims due to systemic disincentives, such as long stays in shelters during lengthy repatriation and court processes. NGOs reported that some individuals were trained by labor brokers on how to lie to government officials to prevent being identified as victims. Thai law protects victims from being prosecuted for acts committed as a result of being trafficked. However, some victims were likely punished due to the lack of effective victim identification procedures and authorities’ efforts to arrest and deport immigration violators.

The government generally encourages victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking, though some victims opt not to do so. There was no evidence during the reporting period that the government offered legal aid to encourage workers to avail themselves of the opportunity to obtain compensatory damages from employers in cases of forced labor. High legal costs, language, bureaucratic, and immigration barriers, fear of retribution by traffickers, distrust of Thai officials, slow legal processes, and the financial needs of victims effectively prevented most victims from participating in the Thai legal process. While in the past, authorities have assisted trafficking victims receive financial compensation from their trafficking offenders in a few cases, there were no such reported cases during the year. The lack of labor law coverage for fishermen in Thailand under the Labor Protection Act of 1998 makes this population particularly vulnerable to exploitation. Despite a 2005 cabinet resolution that established that foreign trafficking victims in Thailand who are stateless residents can be given residency status on a case-by-case basis, the Thai government has yet to report granting residency status to a foreign trafficking victim.

Prevention

The Thai government made notable efforts to prevent human trafficking, including through collaboration with international organizations and NGOs. Some prevention efforts included the involvement of the prime minister and members of his cabinet. While some activities aimed to raise awareness on trafficking within Thai society as a whole, others attempted to raise awareness among targeted high-risk industries. The government reported that throughout 2010 and early 2011, it reached more than 3,000 people from high-risk groups to raise awareness on trafficking, as well as approximately 2,000 employers to raise awareness on labor rights and trafficking. NGOs noted that awareness of human trafficking and labor rights grew, both among high-risk populations and government officials. The government made increased efforts to educate migrant workers on their rights and their employers’ obligations to them. The government’s Nationality Verification and Granting an Amnesty to Remain in the Kingdom of Thailand to Alien Workers Program offered inadequate legal rights to Burmese and other migrant workers and bound their immigration status to Thai employers, effectively leaving workers without legal recourse or protection from forced labor. Observers remained concerned that the process to legalize migrant workers with its associated fees, as well as costs imposed by poorly regulated and unlicensed labor brokers, increased the vulnerability of migrant workers to trafficking and debt bondage. In some cases, workers reportedly incurred debts imposed by their employers amounting to one year’s wages for the required processing of their registration. During the past year, the government worked with the Government of Burma to open a Burmese government office in Thailand, reducing the need for some undocumented Burmese workers to return to Burma, and thus making them less at risk to being exploited. The government in 2010 announced plans to collect additional funds from migrant workers undergoing nationality verification in order to underwrite the cost of deporting undocumented migrants; if enacted, this could further increase workers’ debt. In October 2010, the prime minister announced the creation of a “Centre to Suppress, Arrest and Prosecute Alien Workers Working Underground and Human Trafficking Processes.” Authorities reported partnering with NGOs and international organizations that fund interpreters to assist the government in responding to foreign language queries reposted to the hotline that receives calls regarding trafficking cases; however, the government’s decentralized call system made it difficult to ensure that localities systematically and adequately responded to calls that were diverted to them - particularly calls that came in from non-Thai callers. The government reportedly disbursed $200,000 from its fund to assist trafficking victims and finance anti-trafficking activities - only a small portion of the government’s overall fund to assist trafficking victims. In April 2010, the Thai government published its own report on the trafficking situation, its efforts to address it, trafficking statistical data, and recommendations on how to improve its operations. The government reported random interviews with Thai migrants at overland border-crossing checkpoints prevented 171 potential victims of trafficking or other exploitation from traveling. Authorities also reported “labor checkpoints” at international airports through which the Labor Ministry works with immigration authorities to randomly interview travelers who may be potential trafficking victims, though the government did not report identifying any potential or confirmed trafficking cases through these efforts. The government conducted awareness-raising campaigns targeting tourists’ demand for child sex tourism, but did not make any other efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sexual acts or forced labor. Thailand is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

TIMOR-LESTE (Tier 2)

Timor-Leste is a destination country for women from Indonesia and China subjected to forced prostitution. In addition, men and boys from Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand are subjected to forced labor, including on fishing boats operating in Timorese waters; they occasionally escape their traffickers and swim ashore to seek refuge in Timor-Leste. The placement of children in bonded labor by family members in order to pay off family debts was also a problem. Timor-Leste may also be a source country for women or girls sent to Singapore and elsewhere in Southeast Asia for forced domestic work. Some migrant women recruited for work in Dili report being locked up upon arrival, and forced by brothel ‘bosses’ and clients to use drugs or alcohol while providing sexual services. Some women kept in brothels were allowed to leave the brothel only if they paid 20 dollars an hour. Traffickers regularly retained the passports of victims, and reportedly rotate sex trafficking victims in and out of the country every few months. Male victims from Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand who were forced to labor on fishing boats with little space, no medical care, and poor food, sometimes escaped and swam ashore while in Timorese waters to flee the fishing boats. Traffickers used debt bondage through repayment of fees and loans acquired during their recruitment and/or transport to Timorese waters to achieve consent of some of the men laboring on the fishing vessels. Traffickers subjected victims to threats, beatings, chronic sleep deprivation, insufficient food and fresh water, and total restrictions on freedom of movement - victims on fishing vessels rarely or never went ashore during their time on board. Transnational traffickers may be members of Indonesian or Chinese organized crime syndicates, and the trafficking offenders who use male victims on fishing boats are reportedly Thai nationals.

The Government of Timor-Leste does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government increased efforts to raise public awareness of human trafficking. There was, however, a decrease in the number of trafficking cases the government investigated and the number of victims referred to international organizations and NGOs for assistance, and victim identification efforts were inadequate. Authorities continued to refer identified trafficking victims to protection services provided by NGOs and international organizations, as a serious lack of resources and personnel continued to limit the Timorese government’s ability to provide services directly. The government did not investigate reports of trafficking-related complicity, including lower-level police and immigrations officials accepting bribes from traffickers.

Recommendations for Timor-Leste: Enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation; increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders; make efforts to investigate and prosecute officials complicit in human trafficking; implement procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations; train front-line law enforcement officers on proper victim identification procedures and referral mechanisms, including recognition of trafficking victims who may have possession of their own travel documents; increase the quality and types of assistance to trafficking victims; finish developing and institute formal national procedures for referring victims to service providers; and develop and conduct anti-trafficking information and education campaigns.

Prosecution

The Government of Timor-Leste did not make discernible progress in anti-trafficking prosecution efforts during the reporting period. The government reported investigating only two cases of trafficking during the year, both of which are ongoing, but did not prosecute or convict any trafficking offenders. During the previous reporting period, the government reported arresting nine suspected trafficking offenders; there were no reported efforts to prosecute these suspected offenders during the last year. The revised Penal Code defines and punishes the crime of trafficking and provides protection to witnesses and victims. Articles 163, 164, and 165 of the Penal Code specifically prohibit trafficking, and Articles 162 and 166 prohibit slavery and the sale of persons. The articles prescribe sufficiently stringent penalties ranging from four to 25 years’ imprisonment, which are commensurate with punishments prescribed under law for other serious crimes, such as rape. Specific provisions prohibit trafficking offenses committed against a “particularly vulnerable” person or a minor, which it defines as a person under 17 years of age. During the year, the government cooperated with an international organization in the planning and implementation of anti-trafficking training provided to law enforcement and immigration officers with the funding support of foreign donors. The government did not report any efforts to investigate suspected trafficking complicity of public officials, despite some reports that immigration officials allegedly accept bribes to facilitate the illegal entry of Chinese victims into the country. There were also reports that some police officers in Dili accepted bribes to allow brothels – where potential trafficking victims may be identified – to continue operating. Some international and local NGOs alleged that some lower-level members of the police frequent these establishments. Although two brothels were shut down during the year, the government did not report any investigations to explore reports of police bribes or involvement in brothel-based
sex trafficking.

Protection

During the past year, the government made limited efforts to identify and assist trafficking victims, but these efforts were inadequate. The number of suspected and confirmed trafficking cases referred by the government to NGOs and foreign embassies for victim assistance significantly decreased to just three confirmed victims in the last year. Authorities identified these three trafficking victims as a Timorese girl in domestic servitude, a Burmese boy in forced labor on a fishing boat, and a Chinese child in forced prostitution. An international organization reported assisting an additional six male victims of forced labor on board fishing vessels during the year; the government did not provide these victims with assistance. In operations conducted during the year by the Timor-Leste National Police and the UN Police and reported as anti-trafficking efforts, authorities apprehended 59 Chinese and Indonesian foreign nationals for prostitution, immigration violations and related activities. During these raids, police identified one trafficking victim among this group and arrested two potential traffickers who remain in detention on trafficking charges while investigations are ongoing. The government referred three victims to a shelter run by IOM and local NGOs for services, including medical assistance, food, shelter, medical assistance, and return and repatriation services. The government did not provide any funding or in-kind assistance to the shelter during the reporting period, though it coordinated with service providers and foreign embassies in the repatriation of foreign victims. Victims were given limited access to legal assistance, mental health care, and translation services. Shelter services were reportedly sufficient to meet the current level of demand for victim shelter and assistance. Although the police and Migration Service were reportedly more active on conducting proactive trafficking investigations, efforts to identify victims of trafficking were inadequate; authorities relied on the possession of passports as the determining indicator of whether or not an individual was a trafficking victim. Potential victims who had possession of their own documents were not referred to IOM or NGOs for assistance; this may also have contributed to the decrease in the number of confirmed and potential trafficking cases referred to IOM and NGOs during the reporting period. It is possible that potential trafficking victims were deported by authorities during the reporting period for immigration violations, due to poor procedures to identify trafficking victims. The government did not provide temporary or extended work visas to trafficking victims during this review period. The government sometimes provided victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The Government of Timor-Leste improved efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. Using newly acquired patrol boats, the government began patrolling its territorial waters to combat criminality, including forced labor on fishing vessels, though these efforts did not result in the identification of any trafficking cases during the reporting period. The government provided material support for two music concerts sponsored by MTV to raise public awareness on human trafficking. Subsequently, the government repeatedly broadcast a video compilation of the public awareness campaign and concert on state television station throughout the country. Government radio continued to broadcast a nation-wide weekly radio program on issues related to trafficking. The President of the Republic spoke out on anti-trafficking issues and posters of him delivering this message were posted throughout the country. The government’s Inter-Agency Trafficking Working Group drafted a national action plan on trafficking and held government, community, and civil society consultations, though the plan has yet to be finalized. Authorities took no action to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. The government’s Inter-Agency Trafficking Working Group drafted anti-trafficking legislation, which has been presented to parliament for approval.

TOGO (Tier 2)

Togo is a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The majority of Togolese victims are exploited within the country; children from rural areas are brought to the capital, Lome, and forced to work as domestic servants, roadside vendors, and porters, or are exploited in prostitution. Togolese girls and, to a lesser extent, boys are transported to Benin, Gabon, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and subsequently forced to work in agricultural labor. An NGO shelter in Cote d’Ivoire reported caring for three Togolese children during the year. Children from Benin and Ghana are recruited and transported to Togo for forced labor. Trafficking offenders are both women and men, and are often Togolese, Beninese, or Nigerian. Some reports indicate Togolese women are fraudulently recruited for employment in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the United States, and Europe, where they are subsequently subjected to domestic servitude and forced prostitution.

The Government of Togo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government sustained moderate efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenders and protect trafficking victims. However, it did not make progress in completing and enacting legislation to prohibit trafficking crimes committed against adults, and limited resources restricted the government’s ability to accurately track prosecution and protection data and disseminate it throughout government ministries.

Recommendations for Togo: Increase efforts to convict and punish trafficking offenders, including using existing statutes to prosecute trafficking crimes committed against adults; complete and enact the draft law prohibiting the forced labor and forced prostitution of adults; train law enforcement officials to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution and children in workplaces, and refer them to protective services; develop a system within the Ministry of Social Affairs to track the number of victims referred to NGOs or returned to their families; ensure that the plan of action to establish a commission to coordinate anti-trafficking activities sets forth a clear division of responsibilities and budget allocations between the new committee and the National Committee for the Reception and Social Reinsertion of Trafficked Children (CNARSEVT); in coordination with NGOs, complete the transfer of the Oasis Center to the government and ensure sufficient funds are allocated to operate it; and increase efforts to raise public awareness about the dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Togo sustained modest anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. Togolese law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, such as the sex trafficking of adults, and laws against forced labor are inadequate with regard to definitions and prescribed penalties. The 2007 Child Code prohibits all forms of child trafficking and prescribes penalties of two to five years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Unlike the country’s 2005 Law Related to Child Smuggling, the 2007 Child Code provides a strong definition of trafficking and prohibits child prostitution and forced labor. The child smuggling law prescribes sentences of three months’ to 10 years’ imprisonment for abducting, transporting, or receiving children for the purposes of exploitation. Article 4 of the 2006 Labor Code prohibits forced and compulsory labor, but its prescribed penalties of three to six months’ imprisonment are not sufficiently stringent, and its definition of forced or compulsory labor includes broad exceptions which may allow some forced labor offences to be excluded. No action was taken during the year to enact revisions of the Penal Code that would include provisions prohibiting all forms of trafficking of adults. During the reporting period, 14 trafficking offenders were arrested for allegedly forcing children to work in agricultural labor and domestic service, including three women who were apprehended while transporting 24 girls into Benin to force them into domestic service. Five trafficking offenders were prosecuted and convicted under the 2005 Law Related to Child Trafficking; these five traffickers, and 10 others who were convicted during the previous year, remained in prison awaiting sentencing at the close of the reporting period. Nine suspected trafficking offenders awaited trial. During the year, the government instituted a new policy of prosecuting trafficking offenses in the region in which the suspect was apprehended, rather than transferring the case to Lome, but courts have not yet implement this practice. In March 2010, the Ministry of Social Action and National Security (MSA) provided training on the country’s Child Code, including how to differentiate trafficking crimes from other forms of child exploitation, to law enforcement and judicial personnel in two regions. Although there were reports that traffickers bribed border guards to avoid immigration controls, no government officials were investigated, prosecuted, or convicted for trafficking-related complicity during the reporting period.

Protection

During the past year, the government sustained its efforts to provide modest protection to child victims, but it did nothing to protect adult victims. The government did not put in place measures to identify trafficking victims among individuals in prostitution, but it took steps to proactively identify child victims of forced labor, and in November 2010, the MSA provided training to police, gendarmes, lawyers, and customs officials on how to identify trafficking victims. Although the government did not have specialized resources for trafficking victims, the MSA continued to run both a toll-free helpline, Allo 111, which received 380 trafficking-related calls during the year, and the Tokoin Community Center, which provided immediate shelter to child victims before they were referred to NGO shelters for additional care. Forty-eight victims identified through Allo 111 were referred by the Ministry of Social Affairs to the Tokoin Community Center during the year, but as there was no formal referral system, the Director for the Protection of Children sometimes had to respond to calls personally or solicit funding from NGOs to transport the children to the shelter on an ad hoc basis. In 2010, the government provided $45,000 to an NGO which cared for 24 trafficking victims, referred by the government, and the MSA reported reuniting 24 girls with their families. The government did not offer temporary or permanent residency status to foreign victims who faced hardship or retribution in their native country. According to NGOs, trafficking victims were not detained, fined, or jailed for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked. There was no formal process, however, to encourage victims to assist in the prosecution of trafficking offenders, and it is not known whether any did so during the year.

Prevention

The Government of Togo increased its efforts to prevent trafficking during the year. In August 2010, the Ministry of Social Affairs, in partnership with a local NGO, conducted a weeklong radio awareness campaign in targeted regions about the dangers of child trafficking. CNARSEVT, a national anti-trafficking committee comprised of government and NGO representatives that focuses on the reintegration of child victims, received a budget allocation of approximately $20,000 for the year, which it used to fund administrative costs and victim protection efforts. In December 2010, the government hosted a Gabonese delegation to discuss establishing a bilateral agreement to extradite suspected traffickers and repatriate victims; however, no action was taken as a result of this meeting. The government reported that it began to take steps to establish a new commission to coordinate anti-trafficking activities and that it plans to take over supervision of an NGO-run shelter; however, these initiatives were not completed during the reporting year. During the reporting period, the government increased the number of labor inspectors whose responsibilities included identifying trafficking victims from 26 to 62, but this did not result in any arrests, and it took no discernible measures to decrease the demand for commercial sex acts. The government provided anti-trafficking training to Togolese troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

TONGA (Tier 2)

Tonga is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking within the country and a source country for women subjected to forced labor abroad. Foreign women and local children are prostituted in bars and entertainment establishments; some East Asian women are recruited from their home countries for legitimate work in Tonga, paying large sums of money in recruitment fees, and upon arrival are forced into prostitution. Crew members on foreign fishing vessels in Tonga or in its territorial waters exploit prostituted children on board their vessels. There were suspected cases of Tongan nationals who were recruited for domestic work abroad, but subsequently had their passports confiscated and were forced to work with no pay.

The Government of Tonga does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government investigated and prosecuted its first case of trafficking involving two Chinese victims of forced prostitution, and provided these victims with some limited services. Nevertheless, the government did not take steps to proactively identify other victims of trafficking or educate the public about human trafficking.

Recommendations for Tonga: Publicly recognize, investigate, prosecute, and punish incidences of child sex trafficking; enact a law or establish a policy that provides for explicit protections for victims of trafficking, such as restitution, benefits, and immigration relief; criminalize the confiscation of travel documents as a means of obtaining or maintaining someone in compelled service; train officials on human trafficking and how to identify and assist trafficking victims; continue efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders; work with NGOs or international organizations to provide legal assistance to victims of trafficking and greater victim protection resources; adopt proactive procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups; and develop and conduct anti-trafficking information and education campaigns.

Prosecution

The Government of Tonga made limited efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Tonga prohibits all forms of human trafficking through its Revised Transnational Crimes Act of 2007, which defines human trafficking as including forced labor and forced prostitution and which prescribes penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for these offenses. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government acknowledged that trafficking occurs in Tonga and reported investigating and prosecuting its first ever trafficking case during the year. In early 2011, the government prosecuted a Chinese national for forcing two other Chinese nationals into prostitution after recruiting them from China to work in her bar and restaurant business in Tonga in 2009. The victims paid their trafficker $6,000 in recruitment and transportation costs. The government funded Chinese interpreters for the case. Sentencing of the convicted offender was expected in April 2011. Corruption is a known problem in Tonga, though the government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or punishments of officials for complicity in human trafficking through corrupt practices during the reporting period. The government did not provide training to law enforcement and court personnel on trafficking awareness or how to identify trafficking victims or investigate trafficking cases.

Protection

The Government of Tonga made modest efforts to ensure trafficking victims’ access to protective services during the year despite limited resources. Law enforcement and social services personnel did not demonstrate efforts to proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, but reported their use of a referral form used to direct general victims of crime to NGO assistance-providers. Authorities did not proactively identify any victims during the reporting period. Two victims identified themselves to authorities and were subsequently provided with medical assistance and police protection during their trafficker’s trial. The victims were forced into prostitution in Tonga, and also were forced into labor at the trafficker’s restaurant. Although the victims expressed a desire to pursue civil charges against their trafficker, they were not provided access to legal assistance to do so. The government offered to refer identified victims to NGO shelter and counseling services. Authorities did not punish identified victims for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as immigration offenses. The Immigration Department assisted one victim who had overstayed her visa, and did not penalize her. However, the victim was not offered a work visa that would allow her to work for the duration of the trial or longer. The government did not yet provide victims with longer-term shelter or residency benefits in Tonga. The government did not offer legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The government of Tonga made no discernible efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period, such as through raising public awareness of the dangers of trafficking. The government did not provide any training for government or law enforcement officials on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking. It did not take action to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor during the reporting period. Tonga is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO (Tier 2)

Trinidad and Tobago is a destination, source, and transit country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and adults subjected to forced labor. Some women and girls from South America and the Dominican Republic are subjected to sex trafficking in Trinbagonian brothels and clubs. Trinbagonian teenagers enticed into providing sex acts for shelter or material goods by local men are a high risk group for sex trafficking. Economic migrants from the region and from Asia may be vulnerable to forced labor. Some companies operating in Trinidad and Tobago reportedly hold the passports of foreign employees, a common indicator of human trafficking, until departure. Trafficking victims from Trinidad and Tobago have in the past been identified in the United Kingdom and the United States. As a hub for regional travel, Trinidad and Tobago also is a potential transit point for trafficking victims traveling to Caribbean and South American destinations.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated some progress during the reporting period, most notably by formalizing and implementing victim identification procedures, training numerous officials, and identifying more potential victims. Legislation that would criminalize all forms of human trafficking and provide extensive protections to trafficking victims was introduced to parliament in April 2011. The absence of such legislation and related policies or laws on victim protection, however, limited the government’s ability to prosecute trafficking offenders and provide comprehensive assistance for trafficking victims during the reporting period.

Recommendations for Trinidad and Tobago: Enact draft legislation that prohibits all forms of human trafficking and includes victim protection measures; encourage victims’ assistance in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses, including by offering legal alternatives to foreign victims’ removal to countries in which they would face retribution or hardship and by ensuring that identified victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized solely for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and sentence trafficking offenders; implement a national public awareness campaign in multiple languages that addresses all forms of trafficking, including forced domestic service and other forms of forced labor.

Prosecution

The government made limited progress in its prosecution and punishment of sex and labor trafficking offenders during the reporting period. The lack of comprehensive legislation that would make human trafficking a crime and would ensure protection of trafficking victims was a significant limitation in the government’s ability to prosecute trafficking offenders and address human trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago. Nevertheless, the government’s anti-trafficking task force, which was established in November 2009, drafted comprehensive legislation during the year that reportedly criminalizes all forms of trafficking and provides for victim protection; the legislation progressed to final stages of executive branch review before introduction to Parliament. Debate on the legislation began on April 8, 2011. The government claimed to have investigated trafficking offences during the reporting period, but did not provide the number of investigations, nor did it provide data on any prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of trafficking offenders or any officials guilty of trafficking complicity under any statute. In partnership with IOM, the government co-funded a series of trainings for over 100 government officials, including police, immigration authorities, school guidance counselors, and labor inspectors, in responding to human trafficking.

Protection

The government made progress in victim protection during the reporting period. It reportedly identified at least two potential sex trafficking victims during the reporting period; this is an improvement over the lack of any victims identified during the previous year. An NGO reportedly identified at least five additional sex trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government’s trafficking task force developed a formal system to identify trafficking victims, which officials used on an ad hoc basis between June and October 2010 and then consistently since October. It is now part of the standard operating procedure for all brothel raids. The Ministry of Labor reported it has hired translators to assist during labor inspections at job sites where there are Chinese laborers to better screen for unfair labor practices and human trafficking. During the reporting period, the government provided shelter and protection for at least one victim. The government offered human trafficking victims some social services directly and through NGOs that received government funding, but there was no specific budget dedicated toward trafficking victim protection.

Trinbagonian authorities encouraged crime victims in general to assist with the investigation and prosecution of offenders, though without legislation prohibiting human trafficking or providing formal protections for trafficking victims, few incentives existed for trafficking victims to assist in practice. During the reporting period, at least five victims reportedly were detained for immigration violations and deported.

Prevention

The government made some progress in the prevention of human trafficking during the reporting period. On occasion throughout 2010, both the newly elected prime minister and the new minister of national security spoke out publicly to raise awareness about human trafficking. An NGO that received government funding launched a human trafficking awareness day in March 2011 that involved a national teaching campaign for NGOs, government officials, and the general public, and explicitly addressed the demand for commercial sex acts. The government anti-trafficking task force included four NGO members, met monthly throughout the reporting period, and made final recommendations to the cabinet in October 2010 regarding legislative reform, government training, and public awareness. The government has no formal system for monitoring its anti-trafficking efforts. The government has dedicated a number for a future trafficking hotline, but the number is not yet functional. NGOs that operate existing hotlines with government funding for child abuse and domestic violence have participated in trafficking awareness training. Authorities did not consider child sex tourism to be a problem in Trinidad and Tobago during the reporting period and reported no cases of it identified, investigated, or prosecuted.

TUNISIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Tunisia is a source, destination, and possible transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Some Tunisian girls in domestic work in Tunis and other governorates are trafficking victims. In northwest Tunisia, a network of brokers and hiring agencies facilitates child domestic work and domestic servitude, sometimes via weekly markets. One study and information from an NGO indicate that 30 percent of the girls enter domestic work before the age of 14; some enter as early as ages 6 or 7. The majority has no vacation, no work contracts, and the ones who live in their employers’ homes have neither set hours of work nor freedom of movement. Almost all of the girls in the study admitted ill-treatment, including forced starvation and physical abuse; approximately one-fifth of the girls surveyed have been sexually abused as well. Thirty percent were forced to leave school, two-thirds want to change jobs, and almost all were unaware of labor laws. Fathers take and have control of the salary until the girls reach about 16 or 17. These are indicators of potential forced labor.

In 2010 and 2009, seven Tunisian females were rescued from forced prostitution in Lebanon and a female from Cote D’Ivoire was forced into domestic servitude by a senior staff member of the African Development Bank in Tunis. In that same period, an online magazine alleged that dozens of children under 16 were victims of forced labor and prostitution for Libyan tourists. In 2008, two women were rescued from forced prostitution in Jordan and three men from forced labor in Italy.

The Government of Tunisia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the last three consecutive years. Tunisia was not placed on Tier 3 per Section 107 of the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, however, as the government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan. Under the leadership of former Tunisian President Ben Ali, the government did not show evidence of progress in prosecuting and convicting trafficking offenders, proactively identifying or protecting trafficking victims, or raising public awareness of human trafficking over the last year. Victims of trafficking likely remain undetected because of a lack of the previous government’s effort to identify them among vulnerable groups. However, in January 2011, Ben Ali was removed from power after 24 years of rule as the result of a popular revolution. The interim Government of Tunisia that replaced the Ben Ali regime has indicated their commitment to fight human trafficking through important initial steps. Most notably, the current government has established a National Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons and is drafting comprehensive counter-trafficking legislation.

Recommendations for Tunisia: Pass and enact comprehensive counter-trafficking legislation that prohibits and adequately punishes all forms of human trafficking; use existing criminal statutes on forced labor and forced prostitution to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders; undertake a baseline assessment to better understand the scope and magnitude of the human trafficking problem; and institute a formal victim identification mechanism to identify victims among undocumented migrants and offer them access to protection services.

Prosecution

Under the Ben Ali regime, the government made no discernible anti-trafficking law enforcement progress over the reporting period. Tunisia’s Penal Code prohibits some forms of human trafficking. The Penal Code prescribes punishments of 10 years’ imprisonment for capturing, detaining, or sequestering a person for forced labor, and up to five years’ imprisonment for forced prostitution of women and children. The Penal Code also criminalizes child prostitution. The prescribed penalties for forced labor are sufficiently stringent. The penalty for forced prostitution – five years’ imprisonment – is sufficiently stringent, though not commensurate with penalties prescribed under Tunisian law for other serious offenses, such as rape. In addition to these laws the Penal Code prescribes one to two years’ imprisonment for forced child begging. There were no reported investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenses, or convictions of trafficking offenders, during the year. There was no information on prosecutions or convictions about the reported investigation of child sex tourism by Libyans, noted in the 2010 TIP Report. There is no evidence that the previous government provided anti-trafficking training to law enforcement officials in the reporting period, but neither is there evidence of official complicity in trafficking in persons. The current government is drafting legislation to prohibit and punish trafficking in persons, protect trafficking victims, and prevent human trafficking.

Protection

Under the Ben Ali regime, the government did not offer trafficking victims access to shelters or other services during the reporting period. During that time, the government lacked formal procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups, such as undocumented migrants and those persons detained for prostitution offenses. As a result, persons whose trafficking victim status was not recognized by Tunisian authorities were vulnerable to imprisonment and deportation if caught engaging in illegal activities under Tunisian law. Some sources indicate that the previous government left undocumented migrants to fend for themselves in either the Tunisian or Libyan deserts. It neither undertook efforts to identify trafficking victims among the undocumented migrants in its detention centers, nor did it allow outside parties to screen these detained migrants to determine if any were victims of abuse. Under the former regime, the government detained some child sex trafficking victims in the reporting period. The government’s social workers provided direct assistance to abused migrant women and children – including possible trafficking victims – in two shelters operated by a local NGO. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Family, Children, and Elderly Persons continued to assign a child protection delegate to each of Tunisia’s 24 districts to intervene in cases of sexual, economic, or criminal exploitation of children; these delegates worked to ensure that child sex abuse victims received adequate medical care and counseling. The previous government did not offer trafficking victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

Under the Ben Ali regime, the government made no discernible efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period; there were no government campaigns to raise public awareness of trafficking. Tunisia took steps to reduce demand for commercial sex acts by enforcing laws against prostitution and arresting “clients” soliciting commercial sex, although these measures also resulted in the detention of women in prostitution, including possible trafficking victims. The current government, however, has established a National Commission to Combat Trafficking in Persons, composed of representatives of the Ministries of Justice, Interior, Foreign Affairs, Social Affairs, Health, Finance, and Women’s Affairs, as well as members of civil society.

TURKEY (Tier 2)

Turkey is a source, destination, and transit country for women, men, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Women and child sex trafficking victims found in Turkey originate predominately from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Turkish women are also subjected to forced prostitution within the country. According to regional experts, men and women from Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and Mongolia are subjected to forced labor in Turkey. A recent report claimed that children involved in the drug trade, prostitution, and pick pocketing in Turkey are vulnerable to exploitation by criminal groups. According to a recent report by ECPAT, some Turkish children may be subjected to human trafficking through forced marriage.

The Government of Turkey does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but it is making significant efforts to do so. The government improved its recognition of forced labor and domestic trafficking during the reporting period and provided funding to the IOM-run anti-trafficking hotline. The government did not follow through on correcting its long-standing deficiency of inconsistent protection of victims in Turkey, resulting in significant gaps in protection and assistance for victims. Further, the number of victims the police identified dropped by almost half compared to the previous year. While it prosecuted and convicted trafficking offenders in 2010, the government did not provide sentencing information to demonstrate that they received adequate jail sentences.

Recommendations for Turkey: Finalize and enact anti-trafficking legislation to prohibit internal trafficking in Turkey; vigorously prosecute and convict trafficking offenders; conduct a study to determine why a significant number of prosecuted trafficking cases result in acquittals; commit sustained funding for the three specialized NGO shelters in the country and consider establishing a victim assistance fund from fines levied against convicted traffickers for this purpose; allow potential victims some time to recover from their trafficking experiences and to make informed decisions about their options for protection and possible cooperation with law enforcement; expand the best practice of allowing NGOs access to detention centers; increase efforts to proactively identify potential victims of forced prostitution and forced labor; continue to improve witness protection measures to provide victims with more incentives to cooperate with law enforcement; and develop specialized assistance for children who are subjected to trafficking, as well as men who are subjected to forced labor.

Prosecution

The Government of Turkey proactively investigated and prosecuted cases of trafficking in 2010. Article 80 of Turkey’s Penal Code prohibits both sex trafficking and forced labor, and prescribes penalties of eight to 12 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. This statute, however, places emphasis on the movement, rather than the exploitation, of victims and does not explicitly prohibit trafficking occurring within Turkey’s borders. Notably, the government revisited a case of alleged prostitution and trafficking involving children on a yacht discovered on October 28, 2010, which included the alleged involvement of a senior third country national official; authorities had initially determined that this case did not involve human trafficking, but have now begun the prosecution of 10 suspects. The government reported that it prosecuted 430 trafficking suspects under Article 80 during January through September 2010, of which 150 suspects were acquitted. Of the remaining 280 convicted offenders, 26 were sentenced to time in prison. Twenty-eight of these offenders were convicted under Article 80 with sentences ranging from two to 24 years’ imprisonment. The government convicted other offenders under non-trafficking statutes. Further, the government reported it reached a verdict in 31 cases at the appellate level, which resulted in “severe punishment” for traffickers, but did not provide further information on the sentences. Turkish law allows for the suspension of prison sentences of two years or less under certain conditions. The government continued its institutionalized and comprehensive anti-trafficking law enforcement training in 2010. Complicity in trafficking by law enforcement personnel continued to be a problem. The government did not take any additional action stemming from a 2009 prosecution involving three police officers under Article 80. Furthermore, the government did not report any follow-up to its 2008 investigation of 25 security officials for trafficking-related complicity.

Protection

The Government of Turkey demonstrated some limited progress in protecting trafficking victims in 2010; however, it did not address critically needed improvements to achieve a more victim-centered approach. While it improved identification of internal trafficking victims and some foreign victims of forced labor, its overall identification of foreign trafficking victims continued to decline in 2010. It did not provide sufficient funding or resources to its three anti-trafficking shelters, forcing one to shut down for eight months in 2010. During the reporting period, the government identified 58 trafficking victims; this represents a sharp decline from the previous year when it identified 102 victims. In partnership with the Istanbul trafficking shelter, the police continued the good practice of allowing shelter staff into the immigration detention facility to interview foreign women who may have been too afraid to disclose elements of their trafficking experience to police. However, police continued to detain and interview victims in a detention setting, inadvertently deporting some foreign trafficking victims. According to regional experts, Turkish authorities continued to arrest and deport women in prostitution without adequate efforts to identify trafficking victims among them; NGOs report that some of these women were subsequently identified as trafficking victims in Armenia. On October 28, 2010, police raided a yacht that functioned as a hotel, but was also discovered to be offering prostitution services from Ukrainian and Russian women, some of whom were as young as 17 years old. These women and child trafficking victims were deported after being detained and brought before a prosecutor for questioning. Authorities, however, subsequently indicted 10 suspects in this case on trafficking charges and began prosecuting them for human trafficking in December 2010. The fate of the deported victims in this case is unknown.

According to the police, 32 trafficking victims were referred to one of the three NGO-run anti-trafficking shelters in the country. The government’s lack of consistent funding, however, continued to cause unpredictability in these shelters’ ability to operate and assist victims, forcing one shelter to close down in 2010 for eight months. While the government encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, most victims chose to return to their country of origin and declined to participate in prosecutions of traffickers, most often due to victims’ perceived fear of authorities, retribution from their traffickers, and slow court procedures. IOM facilitated the repatriation of 21 victims in 2010. The government offered victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they would face retribution or hardship. Foreign victims may apply for humanitarian visas and remain in Turkey for up to six months with permission to work, with the option to extend for an additional six months. The government granted two such permits to trafficking victims in 2010, an increase from previous years when no such permits were issued. According to a Turkish media report in 2010, some children were tried in court for prostitution-related offenses, although due to a new law passed in July, juveniles may now be tried in juvenile courts. This report noted that these children were “vulnerable to manipulation” by criminal or political groups, thus indicating possible third party involvement in their prostitution.

Prevention

The Turkish government took an important step to improve its anti-trafficking prevention efforts in 2010 by providing $150,000 for the operation of its national IOM-run anti-trafficking (“157”) hotline. IOM continued to report that the highest percentage of calls came from clients of women in prostitution. The Turkish government provided anti-trafficking training to its military personnel prior to their deployment abroad for international peacekeeping missions. The government did not demonstrate efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor within Turkey. Prostitution by women who are Turkish citizens is legal under restricted conditions in Turkey, though the government reported efforts to screen both brothels and women involved in street prostitution to identify potential trafficking victims. The government did not take any discernible steps to prevent child sex tourism by Turkish nationals traveling abroad.

TURKMENISTAN (Tier 3)

Turkmenistan is a source country for men and women subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Women from Turkmenistan are subjected to forced prostitution in Turkey, and men and women from Turkmenistan are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Turkey, including in textile sweatshops, construction sites, and in domestic servitude. Turkmen trafficking victims were also identified for the first time in Russia, the United Kingdom, and within Turkmenistan.

The Government of Turkmenistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to do so. Although the government continued discussions with IOM on providing shelter space, it did not fulfill its commitment to allocate financial or in-kind assistance to anti-trafficking organizations. Moreover, it did not work with IOM to carry out a human trafficking awareness program for students in the country’s five provinces, as anticipated in the 2010 TIP Report. Furthermore, the government did not show any significant efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes or to identify and protect victims of trafficking during the last year.

Recommendations for Turkmenistan: Improve implementation of the 2007 Law on Combating Trafficking in Persons; use Article 129(1) to investigate and prosecute suspected trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders; continue to provide training for prosecutors and other relevant government authorities on the proper application of Article 129(1); develop systematic victim identification and referral procedures and train border guards, police, and other relevant government officials to use these procedures; provide financial or in-kind assistance to anti-trafficking organizations assisting victims; establish safeguards and training procedures to ensure victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as migration violations; conduct a trafficking awareness campaign to inform the general public about the dangers of trafficking; and develop a national action plan for countering trafficking in persons.

Prosecution

The Government of Turkmenistan demonstrated no significant law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking in persons during the reporting period. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through Article 129(1) of its criminal code, which was adopted in May 2010 and went into effect July 2010. It prescribes penalties ranging from four to 25 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government did not report whether it investigated or prosecuted suspected traffickers or convicted or punished any trafficking offenders during the reporting period. However, there were reports from other sources of one trafficking investigation and one unrelated conviction of a trafficking offender under a non-trafficking statute. During the previous reporting period, the government also had not reported efforts to investigate or prosecute suspected traffickers or convict or punish any trafficking offenders. The General Prosecutor’s Office conducted trainings for law enforcement officials on implementing Article 129(1). Various international organizations provided anti-trafficking training for more than 100 prosecutors, customs officers, police, migration officers, and judges. Five law enforcement officials participated in an IOM study tour in Turkey designed to improve anti-trafficking efforts and collaboration. Prosecutors also shared information about trafficking with Turkish counterparts. There were no reports of government officials complicit in human trafficking.

Protection

The Government of Turkmenistan demonstrated no efforts to protect or assist victims during the reporting period, despite provisions in the 2007 trafficking law for victim care facilities and protection and assistance for victims of trafficking. The government did not provide counseling, shelter, legal assistance, or rehabilitative services to victims of trafficking, nor did it supply funding to international organizations or NGOs to provide such services to victims. In 2010, 38 victims were assisted by organizations that did not receive government funding, compared with 25 victims assisted by such organizations in 2009. The government did not refer any victims to NGOs or IOM for assistance in 2010. Government personnel employed no formal victim identification procedures and did not provide victim identification, victim referral, or victim sensitivity training to border guards or police. There was one report of a victim assisting in an investigation and receiving protection in return, although the government did not report encouraging victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions. Anecdotal information suggested, however, that many victims did not turn to the authorities for assistance. There were reports that the government fined trafficking victims upon return to Turkmenistan for visa violations.

Prevention

The Government of Turkmenistan demonstrated limited efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. The government did not fund or conduct any anti-trafficking awareness campaigns in 2010. Efforts to raise public awareness were made by NGOs; the government permitted NGOs to place advertisements about an NGO-operated trafficking hotline in a nationwide state-run newspaper. The government provided reduced rent to one anti-trafficking NGO and meeting space for other anti-trafficking NGOs. Transparency in anti-trafficking efforts was lacking, as the government did not report publicly on its anti-trafficking policies or activities, and it did not collaborate significantly with civil society organizations to address human trafficking issues.

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UGANDA (Tier 2)

Uganda is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Ugandan children are exploited in forced labor within the country in fishing, agriculture, mining, stone quarrying, brick making, road construction, car washing, scrap collection, bars and restaurants, and the domestic service sector, and are exploited in prostitution. Ugandan children are taken to other East African countries for similar purposes, and are also forced to participate in illegal border smuggling of various goods, including counterfeit items and illicit drugs. Karamojong women and children are subjected to domestic servitude and forced cattle herding in Karamoja, and are transported to Kampala and other urban areas by traffickers who force them to beg in the streets, or engage in prostitution or domestic servitude. During the reporting period, Ugandan sex trafficking victims were discovered in Denmark, Oman, and Malaysia. Security companies and employment agencies in Kampala continued to recruit Ugandans to work as security guards, laborers, and drivers in the Middle East; some workers reported conditions indicative of forced labor, including passport withholding, nonpayment of wages and lack of food. South Asian and Chinese migrant workers are subjected to forced labor in Uganda in construction, transportation, trade, and service activities, and South Asian crime networks transport South Asian children to the country for prostitution. Children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and Sudan are subjected to forced agricultural labor and prostitution in Uganda. Until August 2006, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) abducted children and adults in northern Uganda to serve as soldiers, sex slaves, and porters. While there have been no LRA attacks in Uganda since that time, some Ugandan children remain captive with LRA elements currently located in the DRC, Central African Republic, and southern Sudan.

The Government of Uganda does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While the government began two prosecutions of four suspected trafficking offenders, among the first to be charged under Uganda’s 2009 anti-trafficking law, there were no convictions during the reporting period and no action taken in 16 trafficking investigations outstanding since 2009. While the protection and prevention provisions of the 2009 anti-trafficking act have not been fully implemented or funded, the government referred over 150 trafficking victims to government and NGO care centers. The government monitored the activities of the 20 licensed external labor recruiting agencies and barred them from sending Ugandans to work as domestic employees abroad due to the high risk of exploitation; however the government also reissued a license to a recruiting agency connected to a past alleged trafficking case of domestic workers to Iraq.

Recommendations for Uganda: Increase efforts to prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders; investigate and punish labor recruiters responsible for knowingly sending Ugandans into situations of forced labor abroad; finalize regulations to fully implement the protection and prevention provisions of the 2009 anti-trafficking act; institute a unified system for documenting and collecting data on human trafficking cases for use by law enforcement, labor, and social welfare officials; establish formal procedures for government officials to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations and refer them to care; and launch a nationwide anti-trafficking public awareness campaign.

Prosecution

The Government of Uganda maintained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, reporting two pending prosecutions under the anti-trafficking law during the reporting period; however, there were no convictions. The 2009 Prevention of Trafficking in Persons Act prohibits all forms of trafficking, prescribing punishments of 15 years’ to life imprisonment, penalties which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The Ugandan Police Force’s (UPF) Child and Family Protection Unit (CFPU) did not report an aggregate number of investigations, prosecutions, or convictions for the reporting period; none of the 16 alleged child trafficking cases reported in the UPF’s 2009 Crime Report resulted in prosecutions or convictions. In November 2010, a Kampala court charged two pastors and an alleged accomplice under the anti-trafficking law for transporting a 17-year-old girl from Soroti District to Kampala and fraudulently obtaining a passport in her name with the intent of taking her to the United Arab Emirates; the suspects were granted bail pending prosecution. In February 2011, a Kampala court charged two suspects with trafficking for allegedly misrepresenting employment opportunities when recruiting and sending two Ugandan women to Malaysia, where they were forced into prostitution to pay off large debts; the suspects remain in prison pending a decision in this case. Other suspected trafficking cases were settled by local police who facilitated mediation between trafficking offenders and victims, with some suspects being released after they returned the victim to his or her family and paid lost wages – an insufficient penalty to deter trafficking crimes. During the year, police intercepted at least three buses, one containing 38 children, from the Karamoja region bound for Kampala; authorities believe the suspects intended to use the children for forced begging or domestic servitude. Since 2009, trainers from the UPF’s CFPU have provided anti-trafficking training to over 3,500 police recruits and more comprehensive training to 800 officers in criminal investigation courses. The government cooperated with the Governments of Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, DRC, Nigeria, and Malaysia on several potential human trafficking cases; for example, in September 2010, Ugandan police rescued three Tanzanian children and returned them to authorities in Tanzania. The police continued to operate a hotline for reporting trafficking cases that received trafficking-related tips
during the year. Ugandan People’s Defense Force operations against the LRA in neighboring countries led to the recovery and repatriation of an unknown number of Ugandan child trafficking victims. During the reporting period, there were no allegations of complicity among the police or Ugandan peacekeepers abroad.

Protection

The government sustained its moderate levels of protection for child victims during the reporting period. It failed, however, to draft implementing regulations or allocate funding for the application of the anti-trafficking law’s victim protection provisions. Local police continued to provide short-term shelter, food, and medical care at police stations, while referring victims on an ad hoc basis to NGOs for long-term care and additional services. The government has not developed procedures for the systematic identification of victims among high risk groups; as a result, potential victims were sometimes prosecuted for immigration or prostitution violations and children in prostitution detained during police sweeps were released without care. During the reporting period, the government identified 245 potential trafficking victims, including 83 children recovered from LRA captivity in neighboring countries, 156 internal cases, 12 Ugandans trafficked abroad, and 22 foreigners trafficked into Uganda. The government assisted in the repatriation of six Ugandan victims from abroad, including three from Iraq, two from Malaysia, and one from Oman. During the year, the UPF referred 77 of the internal child trafficking victims it identified to a local NGO’s shelter in Kampala. Its memorandum of understanding with the same NGO sustained the presence of the NGO’s social workers in three police stations, where they assisted trafficking victims with legal, medical, psychological, and family tracing services. During the reporting period, the Ugandan military’s Child Protection Unit in Gulu received and debriefed 83 returned children who had been abducted by the LRA, before referring them to NGO-run rehabilitation centers for six weeks of care.

The Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development (MGLSD) continued to remove Karamojong children in possible trafficking situations from Kampala’s streets and transferred several hundred to two MGLSD-operated shelters in Karamoja that provided food, medical treatment, counseling, and family tracing. The ministry also operated a facility in Kampala for the initial intake of street children; however, it is unknown whether trafficking victims received services here, as the facility did not screen for trafficking victimization. There were, however, no similar government-funded or –operated facilities or services for adult trafficking victims. While the Ministry of Internal Affairs can permit foreign victims to remain in Uganda during investigation of their cases and provide residency and work permits, such benefits were not granted during the year. The government encouraged trafficking victims to testify against their exploiters and at least one victim did so during the reporting period.

Prevention

The Ugandan government made minimal efforts to prevent human trafficking during the year. The Ministry of Labor barred labor recruitment agencies from recruiting Ugandans to work as domestic servants in the Middle East, but continued to allow them to recruit guards, drivers, and laborers. The government did not conduct anti-trafficking educational campaigns during the year and remains without a national action plan to guide its efforts to combat trafficking. The interagency Task Force for the Elimination of Human Sacrifice, which is also responsible for coordinating anti-trafficking activities, met during the reporting period to continue to strategize on actions to address human sacrifice and trafficking. In February 2011, the High Court in Masindi sentenced a man to 50 years’ imprisonment under the anti-trafficking law for abducting a 7-year-old boy and removing his genitals. Two additional suspects were exonerated, while a third suspect was lynched by the community.

In the previous reporting period, the External Labor Unit (ELU) of the MGLSD suspended the license of an employment agency pending investigation into allegations that it fraudulently recruited women for work in Iraq; however, in December 2010, the MGLSD renewed its license, with the government taking no civil or criminal action against this agency. MGLSD officials reported that there was insufficient evidence that the agency fraudulently recruited the women or knowingly sent them into situations of forced labor abroad. In March 2011, five women repatriated from Iraq in 2009 filed a lawsuit against the Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), and the labor recruiting agency, alleging that the agency trafficked them and approximately 150 other women to Iraq, that the IGP knew they were being abused and failed to carry out his constitutional duty to protect them, and that the DPP subsequently failed to prosecute the recruiting agency; hearing of the case remains pending. During the reporting period, the MGLSD’s labor inspectors conducted no inspections of exploitative or forced child labor and initiated no criminal cases involving such crimes. The small number of labor inspectors and limited resources precluded inspections in the rural areas or the informal sector. In late 2010, the MGLSD’s Child Labor Unit received $6,087, in addition to its usual budget, to finalize the National Action Plan on the Worst Forms of Child Labor, which has been in draft form since 2007. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government provided anti-trafficking training to members of the Ugandan armed forces prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions. Uganda is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

UKRAINE (Tier 2)

Ukraine is a source, transit, and increasingly destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Ukrainian victims are subjected to trafficking in Russia, Poland, Turkey, Italy, Austria, Spain, Germany, Portugal, the Czech Republic, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, the United Kingdom, Israel, Greece, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Ireland, Lebanon, Benin, Tunisia, Cyprus, Aruba, Equatorial Guinea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Moldova, Slovakia, Syria, Switzerland, the United States, Canada, and Belarus. Women continued to be forced into prostitution or subjected to domestic servitude or forced labor in service industries and textile or light manufacturing sectors. The majority of Ukrainian male labor trafficking victims were subjected to forced labor in Russia, but also in other countries, primarily as construction laborers, factory and agricultural workers, or sailors. Children were most often forced into prostitution or forced to beg. The number of Ukrainian victims subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution within the country continued to increase. Homeless children or children in orphanages continued to be particularly vulnerable to trafficking in Ukraine. Men, women, and children from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Moldova, Uzbekistan, the Czech Republic, and Pakistan are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking in Ukraine.

The Government of Ukraine does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, a higher proportion of trafficking offenders were sentenced to time in prison compared with last year and prosecutors continued appealing low sentences given to trafficking offenders. The government also increased the number of victims identified and referred to NGOs for assistance. However, the government did not take sufficient steps to investigate, prosecute, and convict government officials complicit in human trafficking crimes and did not develop and implement a national victim referral mechanism.

Recommendations for Ukraine: Vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict government officials complicit in trafficking crimes and ensure that guilty officials receive time in prison; continue to seek sentences for convicted trafficking offenders that require them to serve appropriate jail time; continue to monitor human trafficking trial procedures and encourage prosecutors to give more serious attention to human trafficking cases by appealing non-custodial sentences; continue to take steps to establish formal mechanisms for the proactive identification and referral of trafficking victims to services; expand services provided by the government to victims of trafficking and provide funding for NGOs providing critical care to victims; consider establishing a fund derived from assets seized from convicted traffickers for this purpose; provide specialized assistance to child trafficking victims; further expand prevention efforts in coordination with civil society; increase interagency coordination to combat human trafficking; adopt national counter-trafficking legislation and a national action plan; and continue trafficking-specific training for prosecutors and judges.

Prosecution

The Government of Ukraine demonstrated some increased law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking through Article 149 of its Criminal Code. Penalties prescribed range from three to 15 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. However, courts in various regions throughout Ukraine have interpreted Article 149’s applicability to labor trafficking cases differently, causing some convicted labor trafficking offenders to receive light sentences. The government reported initiating 145 investigations into trafficking offenses in 2010. The government prosecuted 110 trafficking cases under Article 149 in 2010, compared with 80 trafficking cases prosecuted in 2009. The government reported that it convicted 120 trafficking offenders in 2010, compared with 110 the previous year. Sixty convicted trafficking offenders were sentenced to time in prison in 2010, compared with 33 in 2009. Sentences ranged from less than two years’ to 15 years’ imprisonment. Thirty-three convicted traffickers were placed on probation, a decrease from 41 convicted traffickers placed on probation in 2009. Additionally, 25 convicted traffickers remained free on appeal in 2010, compared with 36 convicted traffickers free on appeal in 2009. The government did not, however, disaggregate its law enforcement data to demonstrate whether it had investigated, prosecuted, or convicted any forced labor offenders in 2010. Government prosecutors continued to appeal low sentences imposed on convicted trafficking offenders, appealing 36 such sentences in 2010. Judges were often unwilling to acknowledge trafficking victims, hindering the prosecution of trafficking offenses. The government provided anti-trafficking training to investigators, prosecutors, and members of the judiciary, including 108 judges.

Government officials’ complicity in human trafficking offenses continued to be a serious problem in 2010. As in previous years, NGOs reported that official trafficking-related corruption was a problem, including complicity of prosecutors, judges, and border guards. Local and oblast-level corruption interfered with the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases. The government reported investigating only two cases related to corruption in local police counter-trafficking units, and did not report any new prosecutions or convictions of government officials complicit in human trafficking offenses. During 2011, three anti-trafficking officers who solicited bribes from women engaged in prostitution were convicted and sentenced to 3.5 years’ imprisonment; their appeal was pending at the end of the reporting period.

Protection

The government sustained its efforts to protect and assist victims of trafficking during the reporting period. However, the government did not adopt or implement a law drafted in 2009 that would codify its anti-trafficking protection policies, establish a mechanism for referral of victims, and formalize cooperation between the government and NGOs. The government continued its pilot project, in partnership with the OSCE, to develop a referral mechanism in two oblasts; 20 victims were identified and assisted within the pilot project framework. In 2010, the government identified and referred to NGOs 449 new victims of trafficking, including 123 children, compared with 335 victims, including 42 children, identified in 2009. The government did not provide any funding to NGOs providing assistance to victims of trafficking, although it did provide some in-kind assistance to NGOs assisting victims, including administrative expenses and facility space. Government-supported shelters reported providing assistance to 39 trafficking victims in 2010 and NGO shelters assisted 31 victims of trafficking. The government, however, continued to rely on international donors to provide the majority of victim assistance. In 2010, IOM, working with its local partners, provided assistance to 1,085 victims, including 106 victims of internal trafficking, an increase from 773 victims, including 32 internal trafficking victims, assisted in 2009. The government continued to place child trafficking victims in temporary shelters for homeless children that do not offer specialized services for trafficking victims; some child trafficking victims were housed in juvenile detention centers. The government encouraged victims to cooperate with law enforcement in the prosecution of their traffickers and 214 victims assisted in trafficking investigations or prosecutions in 2010; however, NGOs noted serious deficiencies in the protection of victims during the trial process. There were no reports of victims being punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; however, some victims were detained because there was no mechanism to release them from deportation proceedings. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The Government of Ukraine continued its limited trafficking prevention activities during 2010. The government provided in-kind and limited financial assistance to NGOs for trafficking-prevention activities. In cooperation with foreign funders, the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine developed a secondary school lesson, “Prevention of Human Trafficking,” and facilitated a series of workshops to help teachers discuss human trafficking issues with children. Local authorities provided modest financial and in-kind assistance to NGOs to carry out prevention campaigns, including television and radio announcements and leaflet distribution. Together with IOM, the government conducted six counter-trafficking training sessions for Ukrainian troops prior to deployment for international peacekeeping duties in 2010; these trainings are mandatory for Ukrainian peacekeepers. It remains unclear, following the government’s re-organization in 2010, which agency has the primary responsibility for anti-trafficking efforts, and whether that entity will receive sufficient resources and political support to carry out trafficking prevention. The Government of Ukraine’s National Plan on Combating Human Trafficking expired in mid-2010. Together with IOM, the government implemented a pilot program in 2010 to prevent child sex tourism, which included the distribution of anti-trafficking posters and information cards.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (Tier 2)

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a destination for men and women, predominantly from South and Southeast Asia, who are subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Migrant workers, who comprise more than 90 percent of the UAE’s private sector workforce, are recruited from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, China, Thailand, Korea, Afghanistan, Iran, and the Philippines. Women from some of these countries travel willingly to the UAE to work as domestic servants, secretaries, and hotel cleaners, but some are subjected to conditions indicative of forced labor, including unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, nonpayment of wages, threats, or physical or sexual abuse. Restrictive sponsorship laws for foreign domestic workers often give employers power to control their movements, threaten them with abuse of legal processes, and make them vulnerable to exploitation. Men from India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan are drawn to the UAE for work in the construction sector, but are often subjected to conditions of forced labor, including debt bondage as they struggle to pay off debts for recruitment fees. Migrant workers were vulnerable to forced labor, particularly in the construction sector, as some employers declared bankruptcy and fled the country, effectively abandoning their employees. Women from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Far East, East Africa, Iraq, Iran, and Morocco are subjected to forced prostitution in the UAE.

The Government of the United Arab Emirates does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. This year, the government established a special court to hear human trafficking cases in Dubai and opened two new shelters for victims of trafficking. The government continued to prosecute and punish sex trafficking offenders, though its efforts to combat forced labor remained extremely weak. Although the government acknowledges the need to address forced labor, there continued to be no discernible anti-trafficking efforts against the forced labor of temporary migrant workers and domestic servants. These victims remained largely unprotected and, due to the lack of systematic procedures to identify victims of forced labor among vulnerable populations, they may be punished for immigration and other violations.

Recommendations for the United Arab Emirates: Significantly increase efforts to investigate and prosecute labor trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including recruitment agents and employers who subject workers to forced labor; institute formal procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups such as workers subjected to labor abuses, those apprehended for violations of immigration laws, domestic workers who have fled their employers, and foreign females in prostitution; provide protection services to all victims of trafficking, including by extending protection to victims of forced labor on par with victims of forced prostitution; ensure trafficking victims are not incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, including victims of forced labor; enforce prohibitions on withholding of workers’ passports; extend labor law protections to domestic workers; and reform the sponsorship system so it does not provide excessive power to sponsors or employers in granting and sustaining the legal status of workers.

Prosecution

The UAE government sustained law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking during the reporting period, but again failed to take any discernible measures to investigate or punish forced labor offenses. The UAE prohibits all forms of trafficking under its federal law Number 51 of 2006, which prescribes penalties ranging from one year to life imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In November 2010, the Dubai authorities established a special court to hear human trafficking cases; this court is aimed at expediting trafficking prosecutions in Dubai. During the reporting period, the government continued to make efforts to address trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. According to the government, the UAE prosecuted 58 sex trafficking cases during the reporting period involving 169 defendants, an increase from the 43 cases reported in the previous reporting period. The government did not, however, provide information on convictions or sentences for trafficking offenders. Despite the UAE’s prohibition against labor forms of trafficking, the government again failed to report any criminal prosecutions, convictions, or punishments for forced labor during the reporting period. Prohibitions against practices that greatly contribute to forced labor, such as widespread withholding of workers’ passports, remained unenforced. While the government took steps to respond to workers’ complaints of unpaid wages, the authorities’ response was limited to administrative penalties such as fines or mediation to recover the wages and did not involve the criminal investigation or punishment of any employer. The government’s persistent failure to address labor forms of trafficking continues to be a major gap in the Emirates’ law enforcement efforts against trafficking. The government’s National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking and Dubai authorities continued to train judicial and law enforcement officials, in coordination with social services agency staff, on trafficking. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions for government complicity in trafficking offenses.

Protection

The UAE government made uneven progress in protecting victims of trafficking during the reporting period. Although it sustained progress in protecting victims of sex trafficking, it demonstrated no efforts to improve protective services for victims of forced labor. The government opened shelters for female and child victims of trafficking and abuse in Ras al Khaimah and Sharjah in January and continued to operate existing shelters in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. These facilities provide medical, psychological, legal, and vocational assistance to female and child victims of trafficking. In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, police conducted interviews in civilian clothes at shelters. Authorities report that government officials, houses of worship, and community centers refer victims to these shelters. In 2010, the Dubai shelter assisted 49 victims of trafficking and the Abu Dhabi shelter assisted 71. These identified victims reportedly were not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as prostitution offenses. The government’s lack of formal victim identification procedures, however, may have lead to victims of sex trafficking remaining unidentified. As a result, victims of sex trafficking whom the government did not identify may have been punished through incarceration, fines, or deportation for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government encouraged identified victims of sex trafficking to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers by providing victims with housing and sometimes employment. Nonetheless, the UAE continues not to recognize people forced into labor as trafficking victims, particularly if they are over the age of 18 and enter the country voluntarily. While victims of trafficking were exempted from paying fines accrued for overstaying their visas, victims of labor trafficking – likely the most prevalent form of trafficking in the UAE – were not offered shelter, counseling, or immigration relief by the government. Domestic workers who ran away from their sponsors often accessed limited assistance at their embassies, but largely were presumed to be violators of the law by UAE authorities. The UAE government did not actively encourage victims of labor trafficking to participate in investigations or prosecutions and it did not initiate proactive investigations of forced labor offenses committed against these victims. The government continues to lack protection services for male victims of trafficking; these victims must also appeal to their embassies for assistance. In addition, although trainings for law enforcement officials included focus on victim identification, the government does not have formal procedures for proactively identifying victims of trafficking among high risk persons with whom they come in contact. As a result, victims of forced labor may have been punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as immigration violations. The government did not provide long-term legal alternatives to the removal of trafficking victims to countries where they face retribution or hardship.

Prevention

The UAE government continued its efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The government conducted anti-trafficking information and education campaigns within the UAE and with source country embassies, including an advertisement campaign in the Abu Dhabi and Al Ain international airports. The government launched a website in Dubai to raise awareness of trafficking and established a toll-free hotline to report labor abuses. The government was transparent about its anti-trafficking efforts, as it continued to publish an annual public report on anti-trafficking measures taken. Government authorities also produced and translated into source country languages pamphlets on workers’ rights and resources for assistance for distribution to migrant workers. The government, however, did not take any measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts in the UAE or child sex tourism by UAE nationals.

UNITED KINGDOM (Tier 1)

The United Kingdom (UK) is a destination country for men, women, and children primarily from Africa, Asia, and Eastern Europe who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor, including forced domestic service. Unaccompanied children in the UK represent an especially vulnerable group for trafficking. Some UK children are subjected to sex trafficking within the country, and some foreign unaccompanied children continue to be forced to beg or steal. Some migrant workers are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, construction, food processing, domestic service, and food services. Some domestic workers reportedly are subjected to forced labor by diplomats in the UK; there are concerns that these diplomatic employers are often immune from prosecution. Some children, mostly from Vietnam and China, continued to be subjected to debt bondage by Vietnamese organized crime gangs for forced work on cannabis farms. NGOs providing assistance to trafficked women reported a considerable increase in referrals of Ugandan nationals in 2010; Nigerian nationals remain one of the highest percentages of referrals. A recent study conducted by the Association of Chief Police Officers found that a large percentage of women forced into prostitution in England and Wales come from China.

The Government of the United Kingdom fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government demonstrated vigorous prosecutions and convictions of sex trafficking offenders in England, obtaining during the reporting period the highest sentence on record for trafficking in the United Kingdom. The UK government improved its prosecution of forced labor offenses and continued to implement its National Referral Mechanism (NRM). NGOs, however, continued to report inadequate and inconsistent protection efforts for trafficking victims in the UK. Some potential and confirmed trafficking victims, including children, were prosecuted and imprisoned for committing offenses as a direct result of being trafficked. Due to devolution of law enforcement powers to Northern Ireland, Wales, and especially Scotland, each region has its own human trafficking laws and anti-trafficking enforcement powers. Inadequate protection measures for victims in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales could result in their re-trafficking throughout the Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

Recommendations for the United Kingdom: Standardize anti-trafficking responses across the UK insofar as possible given devolution of law enforcement powers; train law enforcement and the legal community on the slavery-based approach of the 2009 Act; examine sentencing structures to determine if they appropriately respond to domestic servitude or other labor trafficking situations; improve outreach and training to all front-line responders to ensure potential trafficking victims, including children, are identified as such to prevent their inadvertent punishment or deportation; appoint a victim coordinator in each region to ensure victims identified through the NRM are provided with specialized services and can fully access their rights; take further steps to ensure that confirmed trafficking victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; increase capacity to ensure all trafficking victims are provided access to specialized services and safe accommodation; improve protections for UK-resident child trafficking victims, as well as unaccompanied child asylum seekers who are victims of trafficking; conduct an assessment of forced labor and domestic servitude in the UK and its territories; share technical expertise and training to raise awareness and improve the law enforcement and victim protection response in UK overseas territories; and appoint a rapporteur in each region to make critical assessments and improve the UK’s overall anti-trafficking response.

Prosecution

The Government of the United Kingdom continued to vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders. The majority of prosecutions and convictions of trafficking offenders took place in England in 2010; authorities have not convicted an offender for human trafficking in Northern Ireland, Wales, or Scotland. The UK prohibits all forms of trafficking through its 2009 Coroners and Justice Act, 2003 Sexual Offenses Act, and its 2004 Asylum and Immigration Act, which prescribe penalties of a maximum of 14, 14, and 10 years’ imprisonment, respectively. Sentences for sex trafficking differ from those prescribed for rape as the maximum penalty for rape or forcible sexual assault is life imprisonment. The 2009 Coroners and Justice Act explicitly criminalizes slavery without a precondition of smuggling into the UK; according to an NGO, judicial and practitioner interpretations of other anti-trafficking laws in the last decade have gradually modernized away from old notions of cross-border movement in favor of a modern approach that focuses upon the condition of involuntary servitude. The government has not yet prosecuted a trafficking offender using its December 2009 slavery law. According to the Home Office, the British government prosecuted and convicted a total of 35 trafficking offenders between April 2010 and December 2010; this compares with 32 trafficking offenders convicted in 2009. The government convicted a total of 24 sex trafficking offenders under its Sexual Offenses Act or other trafficking-related laws. Traffickers convicted under its Sexual Offenses Act resulted in an average sentence of three years’ and eight months imprisonment; sex traffickers convicted under other laws received average sentences of two years and six months’. The government convicted eight traffickers for labor exploitation, two of whom were convicted under its Asylum and Immigration Act; this compares with two offenders convicted for labor exploitation in 2009. Data on sentences given to convicted forced labor offenders were not available.

In January 2011, in a case in which six Romanian women were subjected to forced prostitution in the UK, the government handed down its longest sex trafficking sentence on record of 21 years; the women had been beaten, starved and sexually assaulted, and testified at the trial. In another case, two British nationals were sentenced in January 2011 for a total of 19 years’ imprisonment for reportedly forcing approximately 100 children, some as young as 12, into prostitution. In 2011, a retired doctor was convicted under the Asylum and Immigration Act for subjecting her Tanzanian domestic worker to conditions of slavery. She received a two year suspended sentence and served no time in jail; she was ordered to pay her victim $25,000 in compensation.

Protection

The UK government sustained and augmented funding for its efforts to identify and protect victims over the last year. NGOs continued to cite serious concerns over inadequate and inconsistent protection efforts that resulted in unidentified victims being detained, punished, or deported. In 2010, the government identified and referred trafficking victims through its National Referral Mechanism (NRM), which included a 45-day reflection period for potential trafficking victims. The government reported it identified 379 potential victims of sexual and labor exploitation between April 2009 and September 2010; 89 of these potential victims were children. The UK Border Agency and police identified the majority of victims. Authorities rescued 15 trafficking victims in 2010 in Northern Ireland, including three male victims. An Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Group noted in a June 2010 report that many victims are not referred through the NRM, as victims either do not view any benefits of referral, are afraid of retribution by their traffickers, or are fearful of the consequences of being brought to the attention of authorities because of their immigration status. The Group’s report also faulted the NRM for failure to ensure that identified victims were truly referred to special care providers. Furthermore, the NGO report concludes that UK authorities focused on the credibility of a potential victim too early in the identification process, noting that most victims who have only recently escaped control of their traffickers do not always reveal the truth about their experiences when first questioned. According to an NGO that has assisted victims of domestic servitude in the residences of diplomats from Africa and the Middle East, UK immigration law does not allow diplomatic domestic workers to change their employer in the UK.

Between April and December 2010, the government granted a “reasonable grounds” decision for 225 presumed victims and referred them to NGO or government-funded accommodations. NGOs reported that dedicated accommodations for female trafficking victims were not always available due to limited space. Services available for male victims of trafficking were limited. The UK government provided approximately $1.5 million to civil society organizations to accommodate and support adult victims of trafficking in 2010. The government continued to fund an NGO to provide specialized shelter and outreach support for adult women trafficking victims, awarding it $1.45 million for 2010. Overall, the shelter assisted 162 trafficking victims between March and August 2010; these women were provided with shelter or supported on an outreach basis. The government’s strict criteria for admission meant that some victims were not accommodated at the shelter. For admission, victims must be over 18 years of age; involved in prostitution or domestic slavery in the UK within three months of referral; willing to cooperate in the prosecution of their traffickers; and must have been trafficked into the UK from abroad. Furthermore, victims in transit who escape their traffickers before actual exploitation occurs cannot receive accommodation.

Local authorities and experts continue to cite significant concerns with the level of protection for child trafficking victims throughout the UK. A number of rescued children placed in the care of local authorities continued to go missing, increasing their vulnerability to being re-trafficked or becoming victims of trafficking. Notably in 2010, Scotland began piloting a model of guardianship for unaccompanied children to help reduce their vulnerability to trafficking. Further, there are continued NGO reports of trafficked children in the prostitution sector, cannabis cultivation, or petty crimes; such children are subjected to criminal proceedings instead of recovery and care. In one particular case, NGOs asserted in a 2010 report that a girl in Scotland was convicted for cannabis cultivation, despite disclosing details of her exploitation to her attorney and an expert report presented during court proceedings about her trafficking experience.

The government encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions by offering renewable one-year residence permits to foreign victims who decide to cooperate with law enforcement. While the UK government has a policy of not penalizing victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, there are reports of identified trafficking victims being prosecuted for offenses they committed while under coercion of their traffickers. The UK government continued to provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they face hardship or retribution through established asylum procedures; some NGOs criticized the process for such alternatives as cumbersome and inconsistent. According to a February 2010 Human Rights Watch Report, some trafficking victims applying for asylum are routed through a “fast track” asylum system, which the report noted is not equipped to deal with complex trafficking cases and does not allow adequate time for a victim to recover and to explain case circumstances to an immigration official before adjudication and possible deportation.

Prevention

The UK government sustained partnerships with civil society to improve its anti-trafficking efforts in 2010. The transparent nature of the UK government and the significant level of information available on the UK allowed NGOs to make comprehensive, candid assessments of the UK’s anti-trafficking efforts during the year. During the year, the government conducted a review to assess and revise its overall anti-trafficking strategy; as a result of this review, the government opted in to the 2010 EU directive on trafficking in March 2011. The United Kingdom Human Trafficking Center (UKHTC), now under the direction of the Serious Organized Crime Agency (SOCA) continued to serve as a multi-agency, centralized point for the development of expertise among governmental, inter-governmental, and non-governmental stakeholders involved in anti-trafficking. Operation Golf, a joint investigation team involving 26 Metropolitan Police officers working with over 320 Romanian police to target Romanian organized gangs trafficking children in the UK, concluded in December 2010. The operation resulted in the sharing of best practices between the UK and Romania, and resulted in raids in both countries and the arrest of Romanian child traffickers thought to be responsible for the child prostitution and forced labor – including forced begging – of approximately 168 Romanian children in the UK. Cooperation with other law enforcement agencies also extended to the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI), which participated in a “Train the Trainers” Blue Blindfold course held for the Republic of Ireland law enforcement agency, Garda Síochána. Members of the UK Border Agency, London Metropolitan Police, and Romanian police officers also participated in this training. The government transparently reported on its anti-trafficking efforts and commissioned studies to enhance its understanding of its trafficking problem. In November 2010, the Northern Ireland Assembly voted to improve its law enforcement response to trafficking by expanding law enforcement cooperation and anti-trafficking prevention campaigns. This prompted the launch of the Organized Crime Task Force (OCTF) Annual Report and Threat Assessment as a tool to research and assess human trafficking in Northern Ireland. Notably, in March 2011, authorities appointed an anti-trafficking coordinator in Wales to monitor anti-trafficking efforts and make recommendations for improvement. The government provided anti-trafficking training to UK troops prior to their deployment abroad as part of international peacekeeping missions in 2010.

Overseas Territories of the United Kingdom

Turks and Caicos

Turks and Caicos reportedly was a destination country for women and girls subjected to sex trafficking. In 2010, some stakeholders reported sex trafficking of Dominican females on the island, some of who may be children. Stakeholders also reported some trafficking for forced labor among the Haitian and Chinese communities. There were no reported cases of forced labor involving children in 2010. Island contacts reported that trafficking-related complicity by some local government officials was a problem. In August 2009, the UK government suspended the territory’s self-rule amid widespread allegations of corruption.

During the reporting period, the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) government initiated anti-trafficking legislation that included measures to improve identification of and assistance for trafficking victims. TCI authorities also made progress on a multi-agency action plan to support the new legislation.

Bermuda

Migrant workers are employed in Bermuda under a strict system of government work permits obtained by employers on behalf of the foreign workers. The system may render migrant workers vulnerable to exploitation and trafficking in the construction, hospitality, and domestic service sectors. Some cases reportedly involved employers confiscating passports and threatening complaining migrant workers with having to repay the entire cost or the return portion of their airline tickets, which may be beyond their means and render them highly vulnerable to debt bondage. Bermuda authorities and NGOs reported victims rarely lodge a formal complaint out of fear of deportation. The Bermuda Industrial Union in 2009 began offering union protection to some migrant workers.

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (Tier 1)

The United States is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, debt bondage, document servitude, and sex trafficking. Trafficking occurs for commercial sexual exploitation in street prostitution, massage parlors, and brothels, and for labor in domestic service, agriculture, manufacturing, janitorial services, hotel services, hospitality industries, construction, health and elder care, and strip club dancing. Vulnerabilities are increasingly found in visa programs for legally documented students and temporary workers who typically fill labor needs in the hospitality, landscaping, construction, food service, and agricultural industries. There are allegations of domestic workers, foreign nationals on A-3 and G-5 visas, subjected to forced labor by foreign diplomatic or consular personnel posted to the United States. Combined federal and state human trafficking information indicates more sex trafficking than labor trafficking investigations and prosecutions, but law enforcement identified a comparatively higher number of labor trafficking victims as such cases uncovered recently have involved more victims. U.S. citizen victims, both adults and children, are predominantly found in sex trafficking; U.S. citizen child victims are often runaways, troubled, and homeless youth. Foreign victims are more often found in labor trafficking than sex trafficking. In 2010, the number of female foreign victims of labor trafficking served through victim services programs increased compared with 2009. The top countries of origin for foreign victims in FY 2010 were Thailand, India, Mexico, Philippines, Haiti, Honduras, El Salvador, and the Dominican Republic.

The U.S. government fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government sustained strong federal law enforcement efforts, strengthening support for federal task forces and initiating efforts to improve coordination and proactively identify cases. The government continued to provide funding to NGOs for services to victims and identified an increased number of victims. Immigration relief, which may lead to residency and eventual citizenship, is offered to qualified victims and immediate family members. The government sustained its prevention efforts, continuing to examine federal procurement and specific visa categories for vulnerabilities as well as to undertake public awareness efforts. The U.S. government annually reports on its activities to combat human trafficking in a report compiled by the Department of Justice available at www.justice.gov/ag/publications.htm including detailed information on funding and suggestions for improved performance.

Recommendations for the United States: Improve data collection on human trafficking cases at the federal, state and local levels; continue federal partnerships with state and local law enforcement agencies to encourage training, protocols, and dedicated and incentivized personnel at the state and local level; train field reporting collectors to recognize and report on human trafficking; mandate training in the detection of human trafficking for Department of Labor and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigators; increase the incorporation of anti-trafficking efforts into existing structures such as labor, child protection, education, housing, victim services, immigration courts, runaway/homeless youth, and juvenile justice programs; provide victim identification training for immigration detention and removal officers and conduct screening in immigration detention centers; increase funding for victim services, including legal services; offer comprehensive services to identified, eligible victims regardless of type of immigration relief sought, if any; increase training for consular officers to reduce vulnerabilities in visa programs; examine guestworker programs to reduce vulnerabilities; conduct briefings for domestic workers of foreign diplomats to ensure that they know their rights; improve oversight and enforcement of employment-based visas to forestall vulnerability and abuse; increase cooperation between the private and public sectors to encourage business practices that rid supply chains of human trafficking; and expand anti-trafficking outreach, services, and training in the insular areas.

Prosecution

The U.S. government demonstrated significant and sustained progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts through 2010. The United States prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through criminal statutes that were enacted almost 150 years ago in the wake of the U.S. Civil War to effectuate the Constitutional prohibition of slavery and involuntary servitude. These statutes were updated and modernized by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and subsequent legislation. Enforcement of the involuntary servitude and slavery efforts has since been carried out under the umbrella term “trafficking in persons.” U.S. law prohibits peonage, involuntary servitude, forced labor, sex trafficking, and servitude as well as confiscation or withholding of documents, such as passports. U.S. criminal law also prohibits conspiracy and attempt to violate these provisions, as well as obstructing enforcement of these provisions. Sex trafficking prosecutions involving minors do not require a showing of force, fraud, or coercion. Additional federal laws can also be utilized in trafficking prosecutions and traffickers may be convicted under those statutes instead of specific trafficking offenses.

Penalties prescribed under these statutes range from five to 20 years’ imprisonment for peonage, involuntary servitude, forced labor, and domestic servitude, and up to life imprisonment for aggravating circumstances. Penalties for sex trafficking range up to life imprisonment with a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years for sex trafficking of minors and 15 years for sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion or sex trafficking of minors under age 14. There is also a five-year maximum penalty for the related offense of fraud in foreign labor contracting under a related statute, 18 U.S.C. § 1351, which can be used in trafficking prosecutions. Under federal law, those who financially benefit through participation in a trafficking venture with knowledge or in reckless disregard of the trafficking conduct are subject to sentences equivalent to the underlying trafficking statutes. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed under U.S. law for other serious offenses, such as rape, kidnapping, or if death results from the trafficking situation.

Federal trafficking offenses are investigated by federal law enforcement agencies and prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). The federal government tracks its activities by Fiscal Year (FY) which runs from October 1 through September 30. In FY 2010, collectively federal law enforcement charged 181 individuals, and obtained 141 convictions in 103 human trafficking prosecutions (32 labor trafficking and 71 sex trafficking). These numbers do not reflect prosecutions of cases involving the commercial sexual exploitation of children that were brought under statutes other than the TVPA’s sex trafficking provision. This represents the largest number of federal human trafficking prosecutions initiated in a single year, including large-scale, complex cases. In FY 2010, the average prison sentence imposed for federal trafficking crimes was 11.8 years and prison terms imposed ranged from three months to 54 years. In the past year, notable federal prosecutions included the longest sentence returned in a single-victim forced labor case - a 20-year sentence for holding a woman in domestic servitude for eight years; the initiation of the largest trafficking case to date involving the exploitation of over 600 Thai agricultural workers which is pending trial; multiple cases involving the systematic nonviolent coercion of groups of documented guestworkers; a life sentence in a sex trafficking case; convictions of 10 defendants in a multinational organized criminal conspiracy that exploited guestworkers in 14 states; and a bilateral enforcement initiative with Mexico resulting in indictments of sex trafficking networks under both U.S. and Mexican law.

Traffickers were also prosecuted under a myriad of state laws, but no comprehensive data is available on state prosecutions and convictions. All 50 states prohibit the prostitution of minors under state and local laws that predate the enactment of the TVPA. By the end of the reporting period, forty-five states had enacted specific anti-trafficking statutes using varying definitions and a range of penalties. Over the last decade, human trafficking cases under state statutes were initiated in 18 states. The majority of state cases involved child sex trafficking; at least three states used their state statutes for forced labor prosecutions. State laws are enforced by approximately 16,000 local, county and state agencies. While state prosecutions continue to increase, one study found that less than 10 percent of state and local law enforcement agencies surveyed had protocols or policies on human trafficking, and recommended augmented training, standard operational protocols, and dedicated personnel within police agencies.

The lack of uniform nationwide data collection remained an impediment to compiling fully accurate statistics. Activities were undertaken during the reporting period to address this issue, but differing data systems used by the diverse array of enforcement agencies now partnering on human trafficking issues remain difficult to integrate. Amendments to the TVPA in 2008 tasked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to incorporate human trafficking offenses in the annual statistics collected from police forces nationwide; development of technology to implement this mandate was underway during the reporting period and it is expected that collection will begin in early 2013. The Department of Defense (DoD) undertook a similar effort to amend its criminal data systems, but did not collect information during the reporting period. As part of their responsibilities under their federal grants, 39 task forces reported 750 investigations during the reporting period, although it is unknown how many were state versus federal investigations, how many convictions resulted, or to what extent the data included investigations that required stabilization of potential victims but that did not ultimately culminate in the official identification of victims under the TVPA.

DOJ continued to fund 39 anti-trafficking task forces nationwide, each comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement investigators and prosecutors, labor enforcement, and a nongovernmental victim service provider. DOJ implemented a number of new measures to address critiques that state law enforcement participation mainly continued pre-existing programs to combat commercial vice and that the success of the task forces had varied widely. To further develop best practices, DOJ funded three Enhanced Collaboration Model Task Forces in Illinois, California, and Texas, in which state and federal law enforcement agencies and service providers addressed sex and labor trafficking whether victims were citizen or noncitizen, adult or child. DOJ, in cooperation with the Departments of Homeland Security and Labor, also announced the creation of Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams to bring together federal investigators and prosecutors to develop and implement coordinated, proactive federal interagency investigations and prosecutions in select areas nationwide. The Department of State announced the creation of a dedicated anti-trafficking unit within the headquarters staff of the Diplomatic Security Service.

Efforts continued to incorporate civil enforcement in the anti-trafficking response. The Department of Labor (DOL) carries out civil law enforcement in the nation’s workplaces and its field investigators are often the first government authorities to detect exploitative labor practices; the investigators then coordinate with other law enforcement agencies to ensure restitution on behalf of trafficking victims. DOL investigators have not yet been funded, trained, or given the mandate to focus on human trafficking cases and did not receive mandatory trafficking-specific training during the reporting period. Anti-trafficking activities have not been funded or disseminated to labor and employment agencies within state and territorial governments. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), which investigates discrimination charges against employers, held a public hearing devoted to human trafficking, taking testimony on identification and remediation of trafficking cases and identifying possible future actions. DOJ began partnering with the EEOC to strengthen referrals and protocols and to develop victim identification training for EEOC attorneys and investigators. During the reporting period, the EEOC completed two investigations and filed civil actions against the alleged traffickers; two other investigations were ongoing at the close of the reporting period.

There were no reports of official complicity in human trafficking during the reporting period.

The U.S. government undertook considerable law enforcement training efforts during the reporting period. In collaboration with NGOs, DOJ launched an online task force resource guide, and conducted a national training for 700 task force members and law enforcement, governmental, and nongovernmental partners, which included advanced training to identify, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking cases and assist human trafficking victims. The national training conference was followed by a series of regional conferences to build upon the exchanges of expertise at the national conference. The DOJ task forces trained over 24,278 law enforcement officers and other persons likely to come into contact with human trafficking victims. The FBI provided comprehensive anti-trafficking training to over 1,000 new agents and support personnel and specialized training for agents assigned to the FBI Civil Rights squads in field offices around the country as well as training 960 state and local law enforcement officers. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provided advanced training to 72 veteran U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Special Agents and overview training to all agents attending the ICE Training Academy, and updated mandatory training for more than 40,000 Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers and agents. DHS launched web-based training and continued in-person trainings that reached more than 14,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement officials during the reporting period. Information about services for human trafficking victims is included in the training offered to participating agencies in cooperative agreements following section 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, which authorizes state and local law enforcement agencies to carry out enforcement of certain immigration authorities related to the investigation, apprehension, and detention of unauthorized immigrants in the United States. NGOs reported instances in which noncitizen trafficking victims in 287(g) locations were fearful to report crimes. DoD continued mandatory training to its law enforcement personnel on identification, investigation, and information sharing with civilian and host nation law enforcement agencies.

Protection

The U.S. government demonstrated sustained protection efforts, increased numbers of victims assisted, and continued efforts to address challenges to increase identification and service provision. The U.S. government has formal procedures to guide officials in victim identification and referrals to victim services provided by NGOs, and funds an NGO-operated national hotline and referral service.

The U.S. government and its federally funded trafficking victim service providers encouraged foreign national and U.S. citizen victims to assist with investigations and prosecutions. The TVPA provides two principal types of immigration relief to foreign trafficking victims: 1) continued presence, which allows temporary immigration relief and may allow work authorization for victims who are also potential witnesses in an investigation or prosecution; and 2) T nonimmigrant status or “T visas,” which allow for legal immigration status for up to four years for victims who cooperate with reasonable law enforcement requests for assistance with an investigation or prosecution. Testimony against the trafficker, conviction of the trafficker, or formal denunciation of the trafficker is not required, nor is sponsorship or approval by an investigating agency. Victims may also apply for T visas on behalf of certain family members, including spouses and unmarried children under 21, parents and minor unmarried siblings of victims under 21, and parents and minor unmarried siblings of victims 21 and over if the relative faces danger as a result of the victim’s escape from the trafficker or cooperation with law enforcement. T visa holders and their family members are authorized to work and after three years are then eligible for permanent residence status and eventual citizenship.

Also available is U nonimmigrant status or a “U visa,” which allows for legal immigration status for up to four years for victims of certain crimes, including trafficking, who cooperate or are willing to cooperate with reasonable law enforcement requests in the investigation or prosecution of the qualifying criminal activity. An arrest, prosecution, or conviction is not required. Victims may also apply for U visas on behalf of certain family members, including spouses and minor children, and parents and minor siblings of victims under 21. U visa holders and their family members are authorized to work, and after three years are then eligible for permanent residence status and eventual citizenship.

In FY 2010, continued presence was issued to 186 potential victim-witnesses, a decrease from 299 last year. T visas were granted to 447 victims and 349 immediate family members of victims, representing an increase from 313 and 273, respectively, last year. Five hundred and eighteen T visa holders, including 309 victims and 209 family members, became lawful permanent residents in FY 2010, which puts them on a path to obtaining U.S. citizenship.

Unlike T visas, the number of U visas granted to trafficking victims is not tracked.

Foreign nationals in the United States without a lawful immigration status generally are not eligible for federal public benefits such as food assistance and health care programs; there are exceptions, including services provided by homeless shelters and emergency medical assistance. When continued presence is granted or a potential victim has made a bona fide application for a T visa, HHS can issue a certification letter. That enables the victim to receive public benefits and services to the same extent as a refugee, which includes targeted assistance with income, health care, and employment searches as well as access to all assistance programs available to citizens. In FY 2010, 449 such certifications were issued to foreign adults and 92 eligibility letters were issued to foreign children, an increase from 330 for adults and 50 for children in FY 2009. Certified victims came from 47 countries. Primary countries of origin for foreign victims were Thailand, India, Mexico, Honduras, Philippines, Haiti, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. Fifty-five percent of foreign adult victims were labor trafficking victims, of which 70 percent were men and 30 percent were women; 12 percent were adult sex trafficking victims, all of whom were women; and 10 percent were victims of both sex and labor trafficking. Sixty-two percent of foreign child victims were labor trafficking victims, of which half were boys and half were girls; 29 percent were sex trafficking victims, of which 30 percent were boys; and nine percent were victims of both labor and sex trafficking.

From July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010, DOJ and HHS provided trafficking victim assistance funding to NGOs that served at least 1,472 potential victims (foreign nationals and citizens), more than double the number served in 2009; the exact number is unknown because some victims were assisted with funding from both agencies but an unduplicated count is not available. Adult victims who were citizens, including Native Americans, are not included in the number of victims served. In 2010, DOJ released a new funding opportunity that includes a focus on adult U.S. citizen victims that can also serve Native Americans. DOJ took steps to gauge the need and the type of culturally competent services required to assist trafficked Native Americans with the hope that a pilot project can be developed in the future, and provided specialized training to law enforcement and service providers in jurisdictions serving Native American communities.

Federally funded victim assistance included services coordination and referrals, medical care, dental care, mental health treatment, sustenance and shelter, translation and interpretation, immigration and legal assistance, and transportation. In FY 2010, DOJ provided grant funding to 34 NGO service providers to assist foreign nationals and six to assist U.S. citizen and lawful permanent resident victims, and HHS provided funding for services that were delivered by more than 100 NGO service providers.

DOJ used an increase in victim services funding to create the Enhanced Collaborative Model Task Forces, with half of the funding applicable for services. The other half supported law enforcement investigations and coordination aimed at identifying victims. As increasing numbers of victims have been identified and assisted, HHS has directed an increasing percentage of available funding toward services for victims, their family members, and potential victims. The NGO contractor of the HHS services program reports having contributed non-government funds to support this effort.

Under the HHS services program, there is a maximum reimbursement amount allowed per month for each victim and a maximum number of months during which a victim may be assisted, with some exceptions allowed. NGOs reported cases in which the limits have been reached and they are no longer providing services to the victim before a case came to trial. However, once a victim is certified by HHS or, in the case of a minor, receives an eligibility letter from HHS, that individual is eligible for services, including income supports, health care, and social services, through the provider network that assists refugees resettle in the United States. While legal services are often crucial to access civil and immigration remedies and undertake the advocacy necessary to navigate the complex federal system of benefits and the justice system, the HHS services program does not allow reimbursement for immigration legal assistance. In 2010, DOJ extended its program to offer this assistance. Should a foreign national victim decide not to report the crime or comply with reasonable law enforcement requests, DOJ and HHS funded services must in most cases be terminated; approval for continuation on a case-by-case basis is sometimes granted, and the law provides an exception to the cooperation requirement where physical or psychological trauma renders a victim unable to participate in an investigation or prosecution. Services under the HHS services program must be discontinued if an adult victim pursues long-term immigration relief other than the T visa.

NGOs reported isolated incidents of officers citing victims risking withdrawal of benefits when faced with reluctant victims; NGOs also reported continued challenges in getting law enforcement to recognize reluctant victims for protection purposes. Law enforcement continued to face challenges in identifying child victims of sex trafficking, particularly because the victims are often provided false identification by their traffickers and at least initially self-identified as adults. There was no targeted federal funding to support state child welfare agencies’ anti-trafficking efforts. In some states, state child welfare agencies’ missions did not formally extend to human trafficking, focusing instead on children who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected by caretakers and have not been expanded to reflect the anti-trafficking policy developments of the last decade. NGOs reported that these programs generally did not assist children over 14 years of age. State and local law enforcement, in some jurisdictions, was hampered by a lack of mandates, protocols, and training to identify and respond to child trafficking victims. The challenge of incorporating modern anti-trafficking concepts into these existing institutions has resulted in misidentification and referrals to juvenile justice or immigration systems rather than protective services. During the reporting period, the states of Illinois, Georgia, New York, Connecticut, and Florida created new procedures to increase identification or conducted initiatives to train child protection workers on human trafficking.

When an unaccompanied child (UAC) comes to the attention of federal authorities, those children are usually put into the care and custody of HHS, Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), Division of Unaccompanied Children’s Services (DUCS). DUCS screens UACs to identify potential victims of trafficking. UACs who may be trafficking victims are referred to the ORR Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division (ATIP) for an eligibility determination. If the UAC is found to be a trafficking victim by ORR/ATIP, they are eligible for federal long-term foster care through the same program that cares for unaccompanied refugee minors who come to the United States. UACs who are not determined to be victims of trafficking by ORR/ATIP remain in the ORR/DUCS program until they reunify with a sponsor in the United States, age-out of care, return to their home country, or adjust their legal immigration status. Children may also be referred directly to ORR/ATIP for assistance without being placed in the ORR/DUCS program. Sometimes service providers believe a child may be a trafficking victim but HHS cannot substantiate the claim.

A study of UACs in immigration proceedings, a population vulnerable to trafficking, indicated a substantial gap between the number of children service providers identified as victims and the number of children who received federal benefits. For those unaccompanied children who may be trafficking victims and in deportation proceedings, the 2008 amendment of the TVPA allows for procedural protections such as access to counsel and child advocates. HHS funds projects to coordinate pro bono legal assistance and child advocates. Funding of direct counsel is not permitted, and not all of these children are matched with a pro bono attorney that is willing to volunteer their time to represent the child. In practice, child advocates are not always provided for these children as child advocate programs are only available in few areas due to funding constraints.

While federal, state and local grant programs exist for vulnerable children, including those who are on the streets, NGOs reported that identified child trafficking victims faced difficulties accessing needed services. HHS-funded short-term shelter programs served 44,000 homeless and runaway youth and more than 800,000 youth received contact from an HHS-funded street outreach worker, but these programs require training and specialized services to be able to identify and assist child trafficking victims. HHS conducted training for runaway and homeless youth services in an effort to fill this gap. Additionally, the executive branch proposed additional funding for training within the runaway and homeless youth system to identify, prevent and address sex trafficking of minors. DOJ continued grants for services coordination, technical assistance, and comprehensive services to U.S. citizen child victims of both sex and labor trafficking; 45 citizen child victims received services through this program.

In 2010, the United States’ Return, Reintegration, and Family Reunification Program for Victims of Trafficking reunited 165 family members with trafficked persons in the United States and assisted three victims in returning to their country of origin. In September, 2010, due to lack of funding, the program was suspended; approximately 89 individuals are on a waiting list for assistance, unable to reunify with their family members in the United States.

While the TVPA sets forth a federal victim protection framework and principles that covers victims in all 50 states and territories, such protections were not also codified in most state laws. Nine of 50 states, as well as Washington, DC, offered state-funded public benefits to trafficking victims; 18 permitted victims to bring civil lawsuits; seven encouraged law enforcement to provide supporting documentation for T visa applications; 21 instituted mandatory restitution; and nine required that victims’ names and/or locations be kept confidential. DOJ took positive steps to eliminate barriers, educate administrators, and encourage the states to use the federal Crime Victims Fund to fund mainstream crime victim service providers to assist trafficking victims.

The TVPA provides that victims should not be inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. NGOs reported identifying increased numbers of potential victims in deportation proceedings and immigration detention. The prostitution of children has traditionally been handled by some state governments as a vice crime or a juvenile justice issue, and the anti-trafficking approach of the TVPA has been slow to fully permeate the state juvenile justice system. DOJ made efforts to engage state juvenile justice professionals in order to increase identification of minor trafficking victims and has trained state prosecutors. In 2009, the most recent year for which data is available, 235 males and 844 females under 18 years of age were reported to the FBI as having been arrested for prostitution and commercialized vice, an increase from 206 males and 643 females in 2008. Jurisdictions continued to formulate varying responses to help decrease arrests and view trafficked persons as victims; several states passed laws decriminalizing children found in prostitution, diverting arrested children into shelters and services, or allowing prostitution convictions to be expunged.

DHS hired six additional Victim Assistance Specialists nationwide, bringing the total to 18 human trafficking specialists and 250 generalists who are trained on the issue. All asylum field offices conducted training on identifying trafficking victims in the context of affirmative asylum adjudications, and this training is required for all incoming asylum officers. CBP has mandatory training and protocols in place to screen unaccompanied children for trafficking victimization. A study reported that the screenings are not effective because they are not conducted in a child appropriate manner by child welfare specialists in appropriate facilities. As in the last reporting period, detention and removal officers did not receive training on victim identification and did not conduct screenings in immigration detention centers. HHS conducted online trainings on identification, outreach and services and the HHS hotline center conducted general awareness and identification trainings nationwide. The Department of Education increased efforts to provide educational resources to school districts to help them prevent, identify and respond to human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children, training chiefs of school police forces and surveying school districts for promising practices that can be disseminated nationwide. States have not yet created programs to increase awareness or identification within schools.

Prevention

The U.S. government made significant progress on addressing prevention throughout the reporting period, continuing efforts to ensure government procurement is free from forced labor, examine visa categories for vulnerabilities, and conduct public awareness activities. The Cabinet-level President’s Interagency Task Force (PITF) is statutorily directed to coordinate federal efforts to combat trafficking in persons. The Senior Policy Operating Group, which meets quarterly and consists of senior officials designated as representatives by PITF members, coordinates interagency policy, grants, research, and planning issues involving international trafficking and the implementation of the TVPA.

The U.S. government undertook multiple efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex and forced labor. The Departments of Agriculture, Labor, and State completed recommendations to Congress on how to reduce the likelihood that imported agricultural products and commodities are produced with the use of forced labor and child labor. The Departments of State and Defense were part of a multi-stakeholder process that led to 60 private security companies signing on to an International Code of Conduct for Private Security Service Providers. These companies pledged to uphold a number of principles in their company policies and in the conduct of their personnel, including not engaging in human trafficking, sexual exploitation, or prostitution. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a code of conduct that prohibits USAID contractors, subcontractors, grantees, and sub-grantees during the period of performance of their contracts or awards from engaging in trafficking in persons, procuring commercial sex acts, or using forced labor. DOL published an updated list of 128 goods from 70 countries that DOL had reason to believe were produced by child labor or forced labor in violation of international standards, and released the ninth annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor and a revised list of products produced by forced or indentured child labor. DHS continued to enforce the prohibition against importing such products under the relevant statute, the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930. New legislation was proposed but not passed to increase enforcement capabilities in this area. DoD continued its demand reduction campaign to help make contractors, government personnel, and military members aware of common signs of human trafficking and hotline numbers to report suspected incidents. Enforcement of the zero-tolerance policy involved two service members who were punished for prostitution offenses, which included withholding promotions, reducing grades, levying fines, and restricting movement to the base.

State and local jurisdictions also engaged in a number of efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex. Some jurisdictions tested various combinations of arrests, shaming, and education of apprehended purchasers of prostitution. NGOs devoted to ending demand for commercial sex developed school curricula, conducted outreach campaigns, and worked with law enforcement. Reports continued to reflect significant numbers of arrests for commercial sexual activity. Data continued to reflect the arrests of more women than men for such activity; state and local law enforcement arrested 38,593 women versus 16,968 men for prostitution offenses and commercialized vice in 2009, the year for which the most recent data is available.

Allegations against federal contractors engaged in commercial sex and labor exploitation continued to surface in the media. During the reporting period, allegations were investigated and one employee was dismissed by a DoD contractor. The Inspectors General at the Departments of State and Defense and USAID continued their audits of federal contracts to monitor vulnerability to human trafficking and issued public reports of their findings and reparations. USAID also created an entity dedicated to proactively tracking contractor compliance with the authority to suspend contracts and debar contracting firms, a positive step toward increasing enforcement in this area. No prosecutions occurred and no contracts were terminated.

The U.S. government continued prevention efforts within its temporary worker and student programs. The A-3 and G-5 visa categories allow persons to enter the United States as domestic workers of foreign diplomatic or consular personnel (“foreign mission personnel”) or foreign employees of international organizations. The Department of State continued its ongoing work to help protect these visa holders, including implementing a system to track the visa application process of A-3 and G-5 visa holders, to require their payment into bank accounts, and to track allegations of abuse. During the reporting period, there were more than a dozen allegations of various forms of abuse and domestic servitude, including civil lawsuits against, and criminal investigations of, foreign mission personnel. The Department of State put procedures in place to closely review and, where appropriate, to deny A-3 and G-5 visas for workers of foreign mission personnel in the United States against whom serious allegations of abuse had been lodged. Under U.S. law, a foreign mission will lose the ability to sponsor additional domestic workers if the Secretary determines that there is credible evidence that a domestic worker was abused and that the mission tolerated the abuse; no suspensions occurred within the reporting period. However, the threat of suspension has been effective in alerting missions to the importance the Department places on the treatment of domestic workers and the need for missions to ensure that domestic workers are treated in accordance with Department guidance. The Department also issued new guidelines on prevailing wages for domestic workers employed by foreign mission personnel, including a prohibition against lodging deductions for live-in workers, and capping the percentage of salary that can be assessed for three meals per day at 20 percent. A-3 and G-5 visa holders who filed civil lawsuits against their former employers were eligible for temporary immigration relief and work authorization.

DOJ and DHS led several investigations and prosecutions for trafficking of temporary agricultural workers on H-2A visas and temporary hospitality, food service, and construction workers on H-2B visas. Employers who have committed certain violations of the temporary worker programs may be barred from filing future applications for a three-year period; five H-2B employers – the first ever – and three H-2A employers were barred during the reporting period, for a total of eight debarred employers. A DOL regulation came into effect during the reporting period that strengthened protections for agricultural guestworkers by prohibiting foreign recruiters from charging workers certain fees. Reports indicate that recruiters adjusted their practices by charging fees after the workers had obtained their visas and levying charges under the guise of “service fees,” which are permitted under the regulation; indebtedness prior to arrival in the United States is a common mechanism of making victims vulnerable to control and compelled work. Recruiters discouraged former workers from reporting labor violations, claiming that U.S. embassies or consulates would not grant future visas for those who complain – assertions that are false and contrary to U.S. law. Workers also feared seeking assistance because of blacklisting and other retaliation against workers who complain about their conditions. The new regulation addresses these issues by imposing on employers an affirmative obligation against retaliation, the failure of which can result in removal from program participation.

During the reporting period, the Department of State received a significant increase in the number of complaints regarding the J-1 Summer Work Travel program, which provides foreign students an opportunity to live and work in the United States during their summer vacation from college or university. Complaints were reported from foreign governments, program participants, their families, concerned American citizens, the media, law enforcement agencies, other federal and local agencies, and the Congress. These included reports of fraudulent job offers, inappropriate jobs, job cancellations on arrival, insufficient number of work hours, and housing and transportation problems. To minimize the risk that J-1 Summer Work Travel program participants may become victims of crime, the Department adopted new program-wide regulations and undertook a pilot program requiring verified employment prior to arrival in the United States, prohibiting the use of third party staffing agencies, and enhanced oversight by the Department of State.

The U.S. government continued measures to inform and educate the public, including potential victims, about the causes and consequences of human trafficking. HHS distributed public multi-lingual awareness materials, including brochures, fact sheets and posters, as part of an extensive nationwide campaign that began in 2004 and funded an NGO to operate a national hotline. In FY 2010, the hotline received a total of 11,381 phone calls, an increase of more than 4,000 from the previous year. The hotline received a broad range of calls, from information requests and wage disputes to exploitation and abuse. Of all legally documented foreign nationals, the national human trafficking hotline received the highest number of calls from J-1, H-2A, H-2B, A-3 and G-5 visa holders. HHS also funded 18 projects to conduct outreach, public awareness, and identification efforts. Embassies and consulates worldwide continued distribution of a “know your rights” pamphlet and oral briefings for approved student or work-based visa applicants – efforts which resulted in 624 calls to the national hotline in FY 2010. DHS launched the “Blue Campaign,” an initiative to coordinate and enhance the Department’s anti-human trafficking activities. International and domestic awareness campaigns included multi-lingual television and radio announcements, billboards, newspaper advertisements, victim assistance materials, and indicator cards for law enforcement. DHS also expanded online resources, including social media, and distributed a virtual toolkit to employers in the lodging, transportation, entertainment, agricultural, manufacturing and construction industries. DOL launched a nationwide campaign to inform low-wage workers in such industries as construction, janitorial work, hotel services, food services and home health care about their rights and how to recover wages owed; the campaign did not include specific anti-trafficking information.

The United States does not directly participate in UN peacekeeping and has only a minimal presence within those operations. Nevertheless, pre-deployment anti-trafficking training takes place for all military personnel. DoD updated its mandatory general human trafficking awareness training, with the potential to reach 3.5 million military members and civilian employees.

U.S. laws provide extraterritorial jurisdiction over child sex tourism offenses perpetrated overseas by U.S. citizens. DHS made seven criminal arrests resulting in five indictments and six convictions in child sex tourism cases in FY 2010.

U.S. Insular Areas

The U.S. insular areas consist of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Federal authority over these areas resides in the Department of the Interior (DOI), which participated in the President’s Interagency Task Force in 2010. While the U.S. government has compacts of free association with Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, they are independent of the United States and thus discussed and ranked in separate narratives. The insular areas are a destination for men and women subjected to forced labor, debt bondage, and forced prostitution.

In the Territory of American Samoa, there were no new reported human trafficking cases. The legislature did not pass a bill, introduced in October 2009, which would have criminalized human trafficking as a felony offense.

In CNMI, there were six reported human trafficking cases involving multiple victims held in clubs, restaurants and massage parlors. A trend was observed involving the cancellation of victims’ return airplane tickets upon admission, stranding them with no financial means to return and rendering them wholly dependent on their employers. During the reporting period, the Federal Labor Ombudsman identified 71 victims of trafficking or fraud in labor contracting, of whom about 20 percent were sex trafficking victims. In 2010, the NGO working on the local anti-trafficking task force assisted 36 human trafficking victims and 40 fraud in labor contracting victims; an additional 31 victims qualified for services but could not be assisted due to insufficient funds.

In the Territory of Guam, DOJ prosecuted a multi-victim sex trafficking case, convicting a karaoke bar owner who forced multiple young women from Chu’uk in the Federated States of Micronesia and one juvenile girl into prostitution. The Guam legislature did not address a draft bill that would have closed loopholes that allow massage parlors to conduct illicit activities. There continued to be concern that a military build-up on Guam could involve labor exploitation and trafficking of the thousands of guestworkers expected; efforts were made by federal actors to have this considered in the planning stages. DOJ led a coordinated effort to identify human trafficking cases, provide services to victims, and bring the traffickers to justice in Guam and the CNMI. Uniquely, this effort included participation of foreign consulates from source countries and cross-training with investigators and other government officials from other Pacific jurisdictions.

In the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico there were no reported trafficking cases. NGOs worked to bring the issue to the attention of the legislature, law enforcement, service providers and the public at large. Puerto Rico had no local anti-trafficking law; there is an outstanding proposal to revise the penal code to include trafficking. There were no local government efforts or coordination with federal authorities to address human trafficking.

There were no documented cases of human trafficking in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, ICE officers in the U.S. Virgin Islands were placed on alert for potential human trafficking, but no victims were identified.

URUGUAY (Tier 2)

Uruguay is a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Most victims are women and girls trafficked within the country to border and tourist areas for commercial sexual exploitation; some boys are also trafficked for the same purpose. Lured by fraudulent recruitment offers, some Uruguayan women migrated to Spain and Italy, and were subsequently forced into prostitution. During the reporting period, there were specific cases of Uruguayan children subjected to sex trafficking in Brazil. Although there have been few confirmed cases of forced labor in Uruguay, there are reports of exploitation of foreign workers in the agricultural sector, including fisheries. There is anecdotal evidence that some cases of human trafficking were linked to local and international crime rings that smuggle narcotics and other contraband and which operate in industrial areas.

The Government of Uruguay does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government increased its prevention efforts and convicted and sentenced two trafficking offenders under laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation of children. The government, however, continues to lag in employing its anti-trafficking law to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders and in proactively investigating potential forced labor cases. The Government of Uruguay also lacked a formal system for identifying trafficking victims, as well as specialized staff and services focused on the needs of victims.

Recommendations for Uruguay: Intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and sentence trafficking offenders using the 2008 trafficking law; enact legislation that would establish victim protections; proactively investigate potential cases of forced labor; increase anti-trafficking training for law enforcement officials, prosecutors, judges, and social workers; establish a formal mechanism to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, including prostituted women and girls; and expand specialized services for trafficking victims, particularly outside the capital.

Prosecution

The Government of Uruguay maintained law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Article 78 of the immigration law, enacted in 2008, prohibits all transnational forms of trafficking, prescribing penalties of four to 16 years’ imprisonment; these penalties are increased if the victim is a child or if the trafficker used violence, intimidation, or deceit, and are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. For internal cases of forced labor, authorities can employ Article 280 of the penal code, which prohibits reducing a person to slavery and authorizes sentences between two and six years’ imprisonment, or Article 281, which prohibits imprisonment for the purposes of profiting from the coercive use of the victim’s services, with sentences of six to 12 years’ imprisonment. More often, Uruguayan courts convict trafficking offenders under statutes relating to sexual violence against children or the exploitation of people in prostitution; however, these statutes carry lesser sentences and some can be commuted to community service or fines.

Uruguayan officials investigated several possible trafficking cases in 2010, most of which involved Uruguayan children and all but one of which involved sex trafficking. There have been no reported convictions achieved under the Article 78, or any reported prosecutions or convictions under Article 280 and 281 during the reporting period. As two judges in the specialized court on organized crime in Montevideo are the country’s only authorities with jurisdiction over trafficking cases, it is possible that many trafficking cases are not delegated to these officials and are investigated and tried under other statutes. The government sentenced four convicted trafficking offenders under statutes prohibiting the sexual exploitation of children: sentences ranged from three years and six months’ to four years and six months’ imprisonment. Authorities also convicted another trafficking offender of pimping a child. In comparison, during the previous reporting period, the Government of Uruguay prosecuted two trafficking offenders and reported no convictions or sentences for human trafficking. The government maintained training on identifying and assisting trafficking victims for members of its diplomatic service. The government coordinated several trafficking investigations with Argentine and Brazilian authorities. The government did not report the investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of any public officials for trafficking-related offenses.

Protection

The Uruguayan government continued to provide limited protection to trafficking victims, with international donors providing significant funding for these services and few specialized services available. The government does not have a formal system for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as adults in prostitution or undocumented migrants. During the reporting period, one NGO reported providing services to between five and 15 trafficking victims: there were no government estimates of victims identified or assisted. Uruguayan authorities reported referring child victims of trafficking to government institutions for care. The government operated shelters accessible to adult female victims of abuse, including trafficking victims, and sought to provide them with legal, medical, and psychological care, although it is unclear how many adult trafficking victims, if any, received services at these shelters. Victim care services were uneven outside the capital and could not accommodate the demand for services. Government operated shelters did not detain adult trafficking victims involuntarily. Adult male trafficking victims remain ineligible for services. The government did not provide funding to anti-trafficking NGOs and budgetary constraints limited the government’s ability to comply with victim assistance mandates. The government encouraged, but did not require, victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. During the year, there were no reports of identified trafficking victims being jailed, deported, or otherwise penalized for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government offered no specific alternatives to trafficking victims’ removal to countries where they face retribution or hardship beyond asylum.

Prevention

The Uruguayan government increased its efforts to raise public awareness of the dangers of sex trafficking during the reporting period. The Ministry of Social Development chaired an interagency roundtable that coordinated government anti-trafficking efforts and met six times in 2010. A committee that addressed cases of commercial and noncommercial sexual exploitation of children met on a more regular basis. The Ministry of Tourism (MOT) conducted “train the trainer” courses in Montevideo for over 250 government officials who work in tourist locales and continued a campaign launched last reporting period to raise awareness about the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The MOT also continued an awareness campaign on commercial sexual exploitation of children and solicited hotels and service providers to sign on to an anti-trafficking code of conduct; 30 new service providers signed during the reporting period for a total of 148 signatories. Transparency in the government’s anti-trafficking measures was minimal; it did not publicly report on the effectiveness of its own efforts during the year, though it reported doing so internally. However, the government financed a study on the trafficking of minors in the border region with Brazil; the findings reportedly will be published later in 2011. Authorities provided anti-trafficking training to Uruguayan troops being deployed on international peacekeeping missions during the year. The government continued to distribute pamphlets on human trafficking to women in prostitution at their mandatory medical checkups. There were no known efforts to address the demand for forced labor.

UZBEKISTAN (Tier 2 Watch List)

Uzbekistan is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to conditions of forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Uzbek men who have emigrated in search of work are forced to labor in Kazakhstan and Russia in the construction, cotton, and tobacco industries. Women and children are subjected to sex trafficking, often through fraudulent offers of employment, in the United Arab Emirates, India, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Thailand, Israel, Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, China, Indonesia, and also within Uzbekistan. Men and women from Uzbekistan are subjected to domestic servitude and forced labor in the agricultural and construction industries in Russia. Domestic forced labor remains prevalent during the annual cotton harvest, when many school-age children, college students, and adults are forced to pick cotton.

The Government of Uzbekistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Uzbek government demonstrated negligible progress in ceasing forced labor, including forced child labor, in the annual cotton harvest and did not make efforts to investigate or prosecute government officials suspected to be complicit in forced labor; therefore, Uzbekistan is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a fourth consecutive year. Uzbekistan was not placed on Tier 3 per Section 107 of the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, however, as the government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan. As in previous years, the government set a quota for national cotton production and paid farmers artificially low prices for the cotton produced, making it almost impossible for Uzbek farmers to pay wages that would attract a consenting workforce. Provincial governors were held personally responsible for ensuring that the quota was met; they in turn passed along this pressure to local officials, who organized and forced school children, university students, faculty, and other government employees to pick cotton. The government permitted UNICEF to assess child labor in all 12 regions of the country. The government did not conduct any awareness campaigns regarding forced labor in the annual cotton harvest or other internal trafficking, but did continue its previous awareness campaigns about the dangers of transnational trafficking.

Recommendations for Uzbekistan: Take substantive action to end the use of forced labor during the annual cotton harvest; investigate and prosecute government officials suspected to be complicit in trafficking, particularly those who force children and adults to pick cotton during the annual harvest, and convict and punish complicit officials; allow international experts, such as the ILO, to conduct an independent assessment of the use of forced labor during the annual cotton harvest; provide financial support and continue to provide in-kind support to anti-trafficking NGOs to assist and shelter victims; take steps to establish additional shelters outside of Tashkent; continue efforts to investigate and prosecute suspected trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders; require officials from the Ministry of Labor and Social Responsibility or the Ministry of Education to monitor school attendance and ensure that schools are not closed during the harvest; work to ensure that identified victims are not punished for acts committed as a result of being trafficked; and continue efforts to improve the collection of law enforcement trafficking data.

Prosecution

The Government of Uzbekistan demonstrated mixed law enforcement efforts, including sustained efforts to combat sex and international labor trafficking and a lack of efforts to address forced labor in the cotton harvest during the reporting period. The Government of Uzbekistan did not demonstrate efforts to investigate or prosecute government officials suspected to be complicit in the use of forced adult and forced child labor during the 2010 cotton harvest, nor did they convict or punish any complicit government officials involved in transnational trafficking. Article 135 of the criminal code prohibits both forced prostitution and forced labor, and prescribes penalties of three to 12 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2010, law enforcement agencies reported conducting 529 trafficking investigations, including 399 labor trafficking and 123 sex trafficking investigations, compared with 1,978 investigations in 2009. Authorities reported prosecuting 632 trafficking cases involving 801 individuals in 2010, compared with 815 trafficking cases in 2009. Authorities reported convicting 736 trafficking offenders in 2010, compared with 1,198 in 2009. The government reported that 476 convicted trafficking offenders were sentenced to time in prison, compared with approximately 960 convicted offenders sentenced to some time in prison in 2009. The government provided in-kind support to NGOs and international organizations for training of government officials including law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and government employees in education, health, border control, and labor and social protection agencies. The government continued its partnership with UNODC to maintain a centralized database of anti-trafficking law enforcement activities and reported increased success working with law enforcement in the UAE, though bureaucratic hurdles frequently prevented the data from being easily shared with other countries in a timely manner.

Although the government did not report investigations or prosecutions of any incidents of official complicity in trafficking or trafficking-related activities, media reports indicated that there were some convictions of Ministry of Labor officials accepting bribes in exchange for coordinating illegal employment overseas. The government did not, however, investigate or prosecute any government officials suspected of forcing children and adults to work the fields during the annual cotton harvest, nor did it convict or punish any officials complicit in such forced labor. Local government officials in regions where cotton is grown closed rural schools and forced children to go to the fields to pick cotton. There were some reports of government officials threatening students with retaliation if they did not work or achieve designated quotas. Teachers were often held accountable by local officials for student cotton quotas; there were reports of repercussions if public employees or students refused to work in the fields, including reports of beatings, expulsion, and threats of employment termination. There were reports that government officials withheld social benefit payments to mothers and the elderly until they picked a designated amount of cotton. Additionally, there were reports of border guards and low-level police officers involved in the fraudulent issuance of exit visas, as well as allegations of individual police officers accepting bribes from traffickers. The government did not report investigation or prosecution of acts of public officials’ suspected complicity in trafficking during the reporting period.

Protection

The Government of Uzbekistan demonstrated mixed efforts to identify, assist, and protect victims of trafficking, including sustained efforts to assist victims of sex and international labor trafficking, but no efforts to assist victims of forced labor in the cotton harvest. The government operates a shelter for male, female, and child trafficking victims that assisted 225 victims in 2010, including 101 victims of sexual exploitation and 124 victims of forced labor. In 2010, the shelter expanded available psychological services, legal assistance, and vocational training opportunities to victims of trafficking. Victims are not detained in the shelter; they may freely enter and leave, including to pursue employment outside the shelter. Privately-funded NGOs ran two additional shelters in the country that provided assistance to 148 female trafficking victims in 2010; these shelters received some in-kind assistance from the government and victims were eligible for medical assistance from the government. The government identified 2,325 victims, a decrease from 4,660 victims identified in 2009. The leading NGO identified and assisted 612 victims in 2010. Officials did not provide information on a national referral mechanism. NGOs provided repatriation assistance to 261 Uzbek victims of trafficking in 2010; the government provided child victims of trafficking with a small amount of money upon repatriation. The national government reported providing local governments with financial assistance for the long-term reintegration of victims. NGOs report that victims who cooperate with law enforcement receive some protection during the trial process; however, the government does not have a formal program to provide protections for witnesses. Though the law prohibits victims of trafficking from being punished for acts committed as a result of being trafficked; these laws were not uniformly enforced during the period. NGOs reported that when they appealed immigration charges against victims, these charges were often dropped; however these charges were less likely to be dropped if the victim refused to cooperate with a trafficking investigation.

Prevention

The government continued its transnational labor and sex trafficking awareness efforts; however, it did not make efforts to prevent the use of forced labor of adults and children during the annual cotton harvest. Although the government did not respond to the international community’s calls for an independent assessment of the use of both forced adult and forced child labor during the 2010 cotton harvest, it again permitted UNICEF to conduct some monitoring of forced child labor during the harvest. The Ministry of Labor reported distributing 10,000 trafficking-awareness brochures in 2010. The Ministry of Labor also sponsored 26 radio broadcasts, 16 articles in the mass media, and six television programs to raise awareness on trafficking in persons. The government ran an awareness campaign entitled “Don’t be Deceived,” which included a radio program and poster distribution. The government reports that over 85 percent of Uzbeks are aware of the threat of transnational sex and labor trafficking. The government also provided venues for NGO training programs and awareness-raising activities and granted permission for an anti-trafficking NGO to expand its awareness campaign to include child labor.

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VENEZUELA (Tier 3)

Venezuela is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Venezuelan women and girls are found in conditions of sex trafficking within the country, lured from poor interior regions to urban and tourist centers, such as Caracas, Maracaibo, and Margarita Island. Victims are often recruited through false job offers. To a lesser extent, Brazilian women and Colombian women are subjected to forced prostitution in Venezuela. Some Venezuelan children are forced to work as street beggars or as domestic servants. Some Venezuelan women are transported from coastal areas by small boats to Caribbean islands, particularly Aruba, Curacao and Trinidad & Tobago, where they are subjected to forced prostitution. Organized crime is widely believed to be involved in sex trafficking in Venezuela. Venezuela is a transit country for men, women, and children from neighboring countries, such as Colombia, as well as a destination for migrants from China, who may be subjected to commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor in Venezuela.

The Government of Venezuela does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and has been placed on Tier 2 Watch for the last four consecutive years. Therefore, pursuant to Section 107 of the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, Venezuela is deemed not to be making significant efforts to comply with the minimum standards and is placed on Tier 3. According to the public ministry’s website, the government investigated potential cases of suspected human trafficking and arrested at least 12 people for trafficking crimes during the reporting period; however, there was no further publicly available information regarding those cases. Authorities maintained public awareness initiatives but did not implement formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims or provide victims with specialized care or services. The government drafted a comprehensive bill that would prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, but did not enhance its interagency efforts to combat trafficking. The Government of Venezuela did not provide information on its efforts to combat human trafficking for this report, and there were no official statistics or comprehensive data on the extent and nature of the trafficking problem in Venezuela.

Recommendations for Venezuela: Amend existing trafficking laws to prohibit and adequately punish all forms of human trafficking; intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute cases of forced prostitution and forced labor, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; provide greater assistance and specialized services to trafficking victims; implement formal and proactive procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; strengthen government anti-trafficking framework by developing and implementing a national plan or strategy to combat trafficking; enhance interagency cooperation; and improve data collection for trafficking crimes.

Prosecution

The Government of Venezuela maintained limited anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Venezuelan law prohibits most forms of human trafficking through its 2007 Organic Law on the Right of Women to a Violence-Free Life. Article 56 of this law prohibits the trafficking of women and girls for the purposes of sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, irregular adoption, or organ extraction, prescribing punishments of 15 to 20 years’ imprisonment. Articles 46 and 47 prohibit forced prostitution and sexual slavery, and carry penalties of 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment. Article 16 of the Organic Law Against Organized Crime, enacted in 2005, prohibits trafficking across international borders for labor or sexual exploitation, and prescribes penalties of 10 to 18 years’ imprisonment. The above penalties are sufficiently stringent, and commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. These anti-trafficking provisions, however, do not address the internal trafficking of men or boys. Prosecutors also could use Venezuela’s Child Protection Act and various articles of the penal code to prosecute the internal trafficking of children, though there were no publicly available reports of convictions for this crime during the reporting period and many of these statutes prescribe inadequate penalties – typically a maximum of three months in jail or fines. In November 2010 the government presented a draft Organic Law against Trafficking in Persons to the National Assembly, written in consultation with civil society organizations. The draft law would increase the penalties for trafficking to 15-25 years’ imprisonment, impose a penalty of 10-12 years’ imprisonment on collaborators, and extend the prohibition against trafficking in women and girls to all persons, which would include men and boys, for cases of internal trafficking, in addition to establishing provisions for victim protection and interagency coordination.

The government investigated and arrested individuals in a small number of trafficking cases, most of which involved the forced prostitution of women and children. During the reporting period, there were no publicly available reports of convictions of human trafficking offenders; in comparison, authorities reported achieving one trafficking conviction and one conviction for child prostitution during the previous year. There was no public information regarding joint trafficking investigations between the Government of Venezuela and other foreign governments. There were no public allegations that Venezuelan government officials were complicit in human trafficking, and the Venezuelan government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentencing of public officials. There were continued media reports of corruption among public officials related to the issuance of false identity documents.

Protection

The government sustained limited efforts to assist trafficking victims during the reporting period. According to NGOs, the government did not employ a formal mechanism for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution. The government did not operate shelters specifically for trafficking victims, but its shelters for victims of domestic violence or at-risk youth were open to trafficking victims. One NGO operated two shelters that provided specialized services for female sex trafficking victims as well as services for victims of domestic violence. In February 2011, local media reported that law enforcement officials took 11 girls who were forced into prostitution in Caracas to a government shelter for victims of sexual abuse after arresting their alleged traffickers. Government-provided psychological and medical examinations were available to trafficking victims, but additional victim services, such as follow-up medical aid, legal assistance with filing a complaint, job training, and reintegration assistance, remained lacking. In May 2010, the Government of Venezuela established Women Help Units to provide legal, psychological and medical assistance to female victims of gender-based violence; it is unclear whether these units have assisted any trafficking victims.

There was no information publicly available about whether the government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Also, there were no reports of victims being jailed or penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Foreign victims who faced retribution if returned to their country of origin could apply for refugee status; however, the government did not report whether any trafficking victims applied for or received this status over the past year. There were no publicly available reports of government assistance to repatriated trafficking victims during the reporting period.

Prevention

The Venezuelan government maintained efforts to prevent human trafficking over the year by raising public awareness through anti-trafficking campaigns and by training public officials. The government continued to operate a national 24-hour hotline through which it received trafficking complaints; however, NGOs reported it functioned only sporadically. The government aired public service announcements and distributed materials to raise awareness about commercial sexual exploitation. The extent of anti-trafficking training provided by government officials was unclear; however, the Ministry of Interior and Justice reported holding training sessions for law enforcement agencies, community organizations, and schools during the reporting period. The lack of a central coordinating body for the government’s anti-trafficking efforts led to difficulties in obtaining comprehensive information about the government’s efforts. Overall transparency in the government’s anti-trafficking efforts was low, and the government did not report publicly on the extent of the problem or its policy or measures to combat human trafficking. In December 2010, local media reported that Venezuelan authorities arrested two individuals who allegedly operated an online network offering child sex tourism packages to Spanish citizens visiting Venezuela. No specific activities to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor were reported during the year.

VIETNAM (Tier 2 Watch List)

Vietnam is a source and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and conditions of forced labor. Vietnam is a source country for men and women who migrate abroad for work through predominantly state-affiliated and private labor export companies in the construction, fishing, agriculture, mining, logging, and manufacturing sectors, primarily in Taiwan, Malaysia, South Korea, Laos, the United Arab Emirates, and Japan, as well as in China, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, Libya, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago, Costa Rica, Russia, and elsewhere in the Middle East, and some of these workers subsequently face conditions of forced labor. Vietnamese women and children subjected to forced prostitution throughout Asia are often misled by fraudulent labor opportunities and sold to brothels on the borders of Cambodia, China, and Laos, with some eventually sent to third countries, including Thailand and Malaysia. Some Vietnamese women are forced into prostitution in Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, and in Europe.

Vietnam’s labor export companies, most of which are affiliated with the state, as well as unlicensed middlemen brokers, may charge workers in excess of the fees allowed by law, sometimes as much as $10,000, for the opportunity to work abroad. This forces them to incur some of the highest debts among Asian expatriate workers, making them highly vulnerable to debt bondage and forced labor. Upon arrival in destination countries, some workers find themselves compelled to work in substandard conditions for little or no pay despite large debts and no credible avenues of legal recourse. Some of Vietnam’s recruitment companies reportedly did not allow workers to read their contracts until the day before they were scheduled to depart the country, after the workers had already paid significant recruitment fees, often incurring debt. Some workers even reported signing contracts in languages they could not read. There also have been documented cases of recruitment companies being unresponsive to workers’ requests for assistance in situations of exploitation.

Vietnamese and Chinese organized crime groups are involved in the forced labor of Vietnamese children on cannabis farms in the United Kingdom, where they were subject to debts of up to $32,000. According to a UK government report released during the year, many of these Vietnamese victims flew with an agent to Russia, transported via trucks through the Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, and then to the UK. During the year, 15 Vietnamese men who were victims of forced labor on a Taiwan-owned fishing vessel were freed in Costa Rica, and Vietnamese women in Thailand were reportedly forced to be surrogate birth mothers for foreigners. There are also reports of some Vietnamese children trafficked within the country as well as abroad for forced labor. In both sex trafficking and labor trafficking, debt bondage, confiscation of identity and travel documents, and threats of deportation are commonly utilized to intimidate victims. Some Vietnamese women moving to China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, and increasingly to South Korea as part of internationally brokered marriages are subsequently subjected to conditions of forced labor (including as domestic servants), forced prostitution, or both. There are reports of trafficking of Vietnamese, particularly women and girls, from poor, rural provinces to urban areas, including Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and newly developed urban zones, such as Binh Duong. While some individuals migrate willingly, they may be subsequently sold into forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Vietnamese children from rural areas are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation. Children also are subjected to forced street hawking and forced begging in the major urban centers of Vietnam, though some sources report the problem is less severe than in years past. Some Vietnamese children are victims of forced and bonded labor in urban family-run house factories and gold mines. There continued to be evidence of forced labor in drug treatment centers in which drug offenders, sentenced administratively, are required to perform low-skilled labor, though this practice is reportedly declining. While the number of persons sent to such centers is approximately one-third of what it was three years ago, there are reports that individuals who failed to meet work quotas were punished through beatings and other physical abuse. Vietnam is a destination for child sex tourism with perpetrators reportedly coming from Japan, South Korea, China, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Australia, Europe, and the United States, though the problem is not believed to be widespread.

The Government of Vietnam does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government passed new anti-trafficking legislation and a new five-year national action plan on trafficking. Nevertheless, while a number of structural reforms were carried out during the year, there remained a lack of tangible progress in the prosecution of trafficking offenders and protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period. In March 2011, the government passed an Anti-Trafficking Statute that provides a comprehensive list of prohibited acts, including some forms of trafficking not previously prohibited by other statutes, and also provides for trafficking prevention efforts. While the government states that most trafficking acts, including labor trafficking, are already covered under Vietnam’s Criminal Code, other acts of trafficking require additional legislation and implementing regulations before Vietnam’s laws have criminal penalties for all forms of trafficking. The government did not provide information to substantiate reports that authorities criminally prosecuted and criminally punished labor trafficking offenders during the year. Vietnam, therefore, is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year. Vietnam continued to promote increased labor exports as a way of addressing unemployment and alleviating poverty through foreign exchange remittances, though further measures are required to protect the rights of Vietnamese migrant workers and to prevent new incidents of labor trafficking, such as the implementation of adequate laws to regulate labor recruitment companies. The government also did not take steps to increase its efforts to address the problem of internal trafficking in Vietnam.

Recommendations for Vietnam: Supplement Vietnam’s new anti-trafficking law with additional legislation, implementing regulations, or other appropriate mechanism to ensure that the criminal code prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons and prescribes stringent criminal penalties for these prohibited acts; criminally prosecute those involved in forced labor, the recruitment of persons for the purpose of forced labor, or fraudulent labor recruitment; identify Vietnamese migrant workers who have been subjected to forced labor and ensure that they are provided with victim services; develop formal procedures to this end, and train relevant officials in the use of such procedures, including internationally recognized indicators of forced labor such as the confiscation of travel documents by employers or labor brokers; increase efforts to protect Vietnamese workers going abroad through memoranda of understanding and agreements with destination countries that include measures to protect Vietnamese workers; criminally prosecute and punish state-licensed recruitment agencies and unlicensed brokers that engage in fraud or charge illegal commissions for overseas employment; take measures to protect victims of labor trafficking to ensure that workers are not threatened or otherwise punished for protesting labor conditions or for leaving their place of employment; increase efforts to assist male victims of trafficking and victims of labor trafficking; increase the ability of workers to have effective legal redress from labor trafficking; report on greater efforts to work closely with destination governments to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases, including in particular labor trafficking cases; improve interagency cooperation on anti-trafficking efforts; improve data collection and data sharing on trafficking prosecutions, particularly labor-related prosecutions; and implement and support a visible anti-trafficking awareness campaign directed at clients of the
sex trade.

Prosecution

While the Vietnamese government demonstrated some efforts in addressing transnational sex trafficking, it demonstrated overall inadequate law enforcement efforts to combat all forms of human trafficking during the reporting period, including in particular labor trafficking. Authorities did not report any investigations or prosecutions of cases of internal trafficking and did not provide information to substantiate reports that it had prosecuted 14 cases of labor trafficking. In March 2011, the National Assembly passed a new Anti-Trafficking Statute, which provided further definitions on trafficking in persons, as well as victim care and trafficking prevention, but did not assign criminal penalties to the additional prohibited trafficking offenses enumerated in the law. The government acknowledged that there must be further implementing regulations, agency guidelines, or amendments to the Criminal Code to ensure that perpetrators are held criminally accountable for all trafficking crimes. During the year, the government reported that the majority of traffickers were prosecuted under Articles 119 and 120 of the Penal Code, which can be used to prosecute a variety of trafficking and related crimes. Authorities reported that Article 119 can be used to prosecute some forms of trafficking, including labor trafficking, and prescribes punishments of two to seven years’ imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. It does not cover, however, all forms of trafficking, including some provisions enumerated in the new Anti-Trafficking Statute. Vietnamese law still does not include provisions that would specifically punish attempts to commit a trafficking offense. During the year, the government reported that it prosecuted most labor trafficking cases not under Article 119, but rather under criminal fraud statutes and under Vietnamese labor laws, the latter of which do not provide criminal penalties for labor trafficking.

Contract disputes between Vietnamese workers and their Vietnam-based export labor recruitment companies or companies overseas – including for fraudulent recruitment and conditions that are indicative of forced labor – are left largely to the export labor recruiting company to resolve. Although workers have the legal right to take cases to court, in practice few have the resources to do so, and there is no known record of a Vietnamese labor trafficking victim successfully achieving compensation in court; thus in practice, workers are left without reasonable legal recourse. Vietnam’s National Supreme Court reported that between January and December of 2010, authorities prosecuted 153 cases of sex trafficking and convicted 274 individuals for sex trafficking offenses; however, these statistics were based on Articles 119 and 120 of the Vietnamese Penal Code, which include crimes other than trafficking, such as human smuggling and child abduction for adoption, and thus cannot be disaggregated. Most individuals convicted were sentenced to prison terms ranging from seven to 15 years’ imprisonment. The government did not report any prosecutions or convictions of internal trafficking in Vietnam. The government continued to work with international organizations during the year to train law enforcement officials, border guard officials, and social workers on trafficking.

Many NGOs suggested trafficking-related corruption continued to occur at the local level, where officials at border crossings and checkpoints took bribes to look the other way. During the reporting period, police arrested a local official in Can Tho for accepting bribes to help register marriages between Vietnamese women and foreign men, though it is unclear whether these women had been trafficked. The government did not report any criminal prosecutions or convictions of officials for trafficking-related complicity during the year. Government and NGO sources report that lack of financial resources, inadequately trained personnel, cumbersome mechanisms for interagency cooperation, poorly coordinated enforcement of existing legal instruments across the country, and the current legal structure that is ill-suited to supporting the identification and prosecution of trafficking cases remain obstacles to greater progress in the country’s anti-trafficking efforts.

Protection

The Vietnamese government sustained some efforts to protect victims of transnational sex trafficking and outlined additional victim protection plans in its new anti-trafficking law, though it did not make sufficient efforts during the year to identify or protect victims of labor trafficking or internal trafficking. The government has yet to employ systematic procedures nationwide to proactively and effectively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, such as women arrested for prostitution and migrant workers returning from abroad, and victim identification efforts remained poor across all identified migration and trafficking streams. Border guards and police at the district and provincial levels received limited training about identification of trafficking victims and handling of cases, which in some cases improved some officers’ ability to monitor and investigate trafficking cases, but the lack of adequate training reportedly led to poor investigations and techniques that were harmful to some victims. Vietnam’s National Steering Committee on Trafficking in Persons reported that 250 Vietnamese trafficking victims were identified by Vietnamese and foreign police, and 500 victims were identified and repatriated by foreign governments, 100 of whom were trafficked to South Korea, Malaysia, and Singapore. Vietnamese statistics, however, include some cases in which children were abducted and sold for adoption; it is not clear if any of these cases constituted trafficking. While authorities have formal procedures for receiving victims and referring them to care, there is wide recognition that the referral system has significant deficiencies and remains inadequate, including because of challenges of identifying victims who do not return via official border crossings and victims who do not want to be identified by authorities due to social stigma and other reasons.

The government did not provide adequate legal protection or assistance in Vietnam or abroad from conditions of forced labor. During the year, more than 85,000 Vietnamese workers travelled abroad to work, and the total number of Vietnamese working overseas in 40 countries and territories is estimated to be around 500,000. Though no new agreements were signed during the reporting period, the government continued to seek agreements with countries to facilitate the employment of Vietnamese laborers abroad; it is unclear whether agreements signed with governments of demand countries had provisions to prevent human trafficking and protect trafficking victims. Vietnam maintains labor attaches in nine countries receiving the largest number of Vietnamese migrant workers, but it does not maintain embassies in some countries where there are reports of trafficking and in some cases responded weakly to protect migrant workers. Diplomats were reportedly unresponsive to complaints of exploitation, abuse, and trafficking by migrant workers in some cases. One Vietnamese embassy abroad reportedly intervened in an identified labor trafficking case to support the Vietnamese labor export company involved in the trafficking of Vietnamese workers. Government regulations also do not prohibit labor export companies from withholding the passports of workers in destination countries and companies were known to withhold workers’ travel documents, a known contributor to trafficking. The Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) announced increased efforts to monitor labor conditions for Vietnamese workers in destination countries and to look for signs of trafficking, though the government did not publish data about individual cases where it identified or assisted Vietnamese migrant workers subjected to forced labor. Vietnamese workers do not have adequate legal recourse to file complaints in court against labor recruitment companies in cases where they may have been the victim of trafficking. Although workers have the right in principle to sue labor export companies, the cost of pursuing legal action in civil cases remains in effect prohibitively expensive, and there has been no indication of victims receiving legal redress in Vietnamese courts.

The government’s Vietnamese Women’s Union (VWU), in partnership with NGOs, continued to operate three trafficking shelters in Vietnam’s largest urban areas, which provided counseling and vocational training to female sex trafficking victims. The VWU and border guards also operate smaller shelters that provide temporary assistance to migrants in need of assistance at some of the most heavily used crossing points. The government, however, lacks the resources and technical expertise to adequately support shelters, and as a result, in many areas shelters are rudimentary, underfunded, and lack appropriately trained personnel. Trafficking victims also are inappropriately housed at times in MOLISA shelters co-located with those of drug users’ rehabilitation and reintegration of individuals leaving prostitution. There are no shelters or services specifically dedicated to assisting male victims of trafficking or victims of labor trafficking. The government reportedly encourages victims to assist in the prosecution of their traffickers, though Vietnam generally does not provide police-assisted witness protection to victims of crime. There were no data on the number of victims involved in prosecutions during the reporting period. Victims are often reluctant to participate in investigations or trials due to social stigma, particularly as it relates to prostitution, fear of retribution in their local communities, and lack of incentives for participation. Vietnamese law does have provisions to protect trafficking victims from facing criminal charges for actions taken as a direct consequence of being trafficked. There are no legal alternatives for the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face retribution or hardship.

Prevention

With assistance and cooperation from international organizations, NGOs, and foreign donors, the Vietnamese government continued some efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. In April 2011, the government passed a new five-year National Plan of Action on Human Trafficking, which at the time of publication was awaiting final approval from the prime minister. However, as the government continued to support an increased number of laborers going overseas to work, including travel to countries where abuses of migrant workers are rife, the Vietnamese government has not made sufficient efforts to prevent labor trafficking by requiring destination governments to provide adequate safeguards against forced labor of its migrant workers. Government regulations of labor and marriage brokers remained in general weakly enforced. MOLISA reported that in 2010, the government investigated 34 labor recruitment companies, issued fines to nine companies for insufficient pre-departure trainings, charging excessive recruiting fees, failing to properly register work contracts, and sending abroad more workers than were officially reported to MOLISA, and suspended two companies’ operations for six months for underreporting the number of workers sent abroad and failing to follow regulations governing employee contracts. These two firms were fined $1,250 and $4,750, respectively, but were not criminally prosecuted.

The Vietnamese Women’s Union and the Youth Union continued anti-trafficking education campaigns, including in border areas, on the dangers of sex trafficking, and the VWU began public awareness efforts on safe migration. The VWU continued to cooperate with its South Korean counterpart in pre-marriage counseling to prevent trafficking of Vietnamese women through international marriage. The government distributed leaflets aimed at both foreign and domestic tourists to combat child sex tourism. Authorities did not report any other efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex or forced labor. During the year, the government signed memoranda of understanding to cooperate on human trafficking with China and Laos. In July 2010, MOLISA promulgated an optional code of conduct for labor export companies, developed with the assistance of an international organization, and reported that 96 of 171 licensed labor recruiting companies have signed the agreement. During the year, authorities worked to evacuate over 10,000 Vietnamese workers, some of whom may have been trafficking victims, displaced by the conflict in Libya. Each returnee was provided with safe passage home and $95 towards short-term resettlement expenses, and the government is working to connect returnees with new employment opportunities in Vietnam and abroad. Nevertheless, the government has yet to reach adequate agreements with all destination governments on safeguards against forced labor. Vietnam is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

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YEMEN (Tier 3)

Yemen is a country of origin and, to a much lesser extent, a transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Yemeni children, mostly boys, migrate to the Yemeni cities of Aden and Sana’a or travel across the northern border with Saudi Arabia or, to a lesser extent, to Oman and are forced to work in domestic service, small shops, or as beggars. Some of these children are subjected to prostitution by traffickers, border patrols, other security officials, and their employers in transit or once they arrive in Saudi Arabia. The government and local NGOs estimate there are hundreds of thousands of children in forced labor in Yemen. An unconfirmed government report indicates that fewer Yemeni children may have been forced to work in Saudi Arabia in the reporting period due to a combination of awareness campaigns, collaboration between Yemeni and Saudi authorities, and the outbreak of civil war in northern Yemen. Some parents may have refrained from sending their children to Saudi Arabia for fear of them encountering violence in northern Yemen, while other Yemeni children attempting to reach Saudi Arabia were abducted by rebel groups to serve as combatants. In addition, some sources report that the practice of chattel slavery still exists in Yemen; although no official statistics exist detailing this practice, sources report that there could be 300 to 500 men, women, and children sold or inherited as slaves in Yemen, including in the Al-Zohrah district of Al-Hudaydah Governorate, west of Sana’a, and the Kuaidinah and Khairan Al-Muharraq districts of the Hajjah Governorate, north of the capital.

To a lesser extent, Yemen is also a source country for girls subjected to sex trafficking within the country and in Saudi Arabia. Girls as young as 15 are exploited for commercial sex in hotels and clubs in the governorates of Sana’a, Aden, and Taiz. The majority of child sex tourists in Yemen originate from Saudi Arabia, with a smaller number possibly coming from other Gulf nations. Yemeni girls who marry Saudi tourists often do not realize the temporary and exploitative nature of these agreements and some are subjected to sex trafficking or abandoned on the streets after reaching Saudi Arabia. Yemen is a transit and destination country for women and children from the Horn of Africa; Ethiopian and Somali women and children travel voluntarily to Yemen with the hope of working in other Gulf countries, but once they reach Yemen, they are subject to sex trafficking or domestic servitude. Others migrate voluntarily based on false promises of comfortable employment as domestic servants in Yemen, but upon arrival are subject to sex trafficking or domestic servitude. Female Somali refugees are forced into prostitution in Aden and Lahj governorates and Yemeni and Saudi gangs traffic African children to Saudi Arabia. Somali pirates capitalize on the instability in the Horn of Africa to subject Africans to forced labor and prostitution in Yemen, in addition to their piracy and human smuggling crimes.

Despite a 1991 law that stipulates that recruits to the armed forces must be at least 18 years of age, and assertions by the government that the military is in compliance with these laws, credible reports exist that children have been conscripted into official government armed forces – as well as into government-allied tribal militias and militias of the Houthi rebels – since the sixth round of the intermittent war in Sa’ada began in August 2009. A local NGO estimated that children under the age of 18 may make up more than half of some tribes’ armed forces, both those fighting with the government and those allied with the Houthi rebels.

The Government of Yemen does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year. Pursuant to Section 107 of the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, therefore, Yemen is deemed not to be making significant efforts to comply with the minimum standards and is placed on Tier 3. Due to political unrest, the Government of Yemen was unable to provide data to contribute to this report. In November 2010, the Yemeni cabinet approved the country’s accession to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. In addition, the government reportedly prosecuted and convicted traffickers during the reporting period. Despite these efforts, the Yemeni government did not take steps to address trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation or to institute formal procedures to identify and protect victims of trafficking.

Recommendations for Yemen: Increase law enforcement efforts against trafficking in persons, including trafficking of women, men, and children for sex trafficking and forced labor; take measures to investigate and eradicate the practice of chattel slavery in Yemen, including by enforcing the prohibition against slavery against slave “owners;” expand victim protection services to rehabilitate victims of forced prostitution; make greater efforts to stop the forcible recruitment of child soldiers and provide protection services to demobilized children; institute a formal victim identification mechanism to identify and refer trafficking victims to protection services; expand educational campaigns on trafficking to include information on the sex trafficking of children and adults; and adopt and dedicate resources to a national plan of action to combat trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Yemen made some progress in enforcing laws against trafficking during the reporting period. Article 248 of the penal code prescribes up to 10 years’ imprisonment for anyone who “buys, sells, or gives as a present, or deals in human beings; and anyone who brings into the country or exports from it a human being with the intent of taking advantage of him.” Although the prescribed penalty under this provision is commensurate with that prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape, this transaction- and movement-based statute does not prohibit debt bondage or many forms of forced labor and forced prostitution. Article 161 of the Child Rights Law specifically criminalizes the prostitution of children. The government did not report official statistics on its efforts to arrest, prosecute, convict, or sentence trafficking offenders. Media reports, however, indicate the government prosecuted five trafficking cases, resulting in the conviction of at least three defendants who received sentences ranging from six to 10 years’ imprisonment and fines. It is unclear whether these trafficking cases involved forced prostitution or forced labor. In addition, the Ministry of Interior continues to operate women’s and children’s units that could be used to investigate trafficking offenses; it is unclear, however, whether these units investigated trafficking cases during the reporting period. The government made no known efforts to investigate or punish the practice of chattel slavery, and in one case, a judge in Hajja sanctioned the transfer of the title deed of a slave from one master to another. There was no evidence of prosecutions or punishments of government officials for complicity in trafficking during the reporting period.

Protection

The government made no progress in protecting victims during the reporting period. The government continues to lack formal victim identification procedures to proactively identify and assist victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as women arrested for prostitution or those detained for illegal immigration. As a result, Yemen did not ensure that victims of trafficking are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Although the government, in partnership with UNICEF and NGOs, continued operation of two reception centers in Sana’a and Harath to rehabilitate child labor trafficking victims and maintained contact with the Government of Saudi Arabia on cross-border trafficking issues, it did not report how many children were assisted in these centers. In addition, the government did not expand these reception centers to protect child victims of sex trafficking. The government does not provide protection services to adult victims of either forced prostitution or forced labor. The government did not encourage victims to assist in investigations or prosecutions of their traffickers. The government did not provide assistance to its nationals who are repatriated as victims of trafficking, although NGOs provided limited assistance and helped reunite some victims with their families. There were no legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The Yemeni government made limited efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The government maintained an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate anti-trafficking initiatives among relevant agencies; it is unclear, however, whether this committee met during the reporting period. The government reportedly expanded public awareness campaigns to include information on trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. In 2010, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor hosted a workshop attended by Ministry of Education and local NGO representatives to discuss combating the prostitution of children. Nonetheless, the government did not take any significant measures during the reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, address the problem of child sex tourism, or ensure its nationals deployed to international peacekeeping missions do not facilitate or engage in human trafficking. The government did not make efforts to prevent sex trafficking of children or adults and remained reticent about addressing these issues. The government has not yet developed a universal birth registration system and many children, especially in rural areas, were never registered or registered only after several years, depriving them of a key identity document and therefore increasing their vulnerability to trafficking. It is unclear whether the government enforced its 2009 decree aimed at reducing trafficking via “temporary marriages.” Yemen is not yet a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

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ZAMBIA (Tier 2)

Zambia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Most trafficking occurred within the country’s borders and involved women and children from rural areas exploited in cities in domestic servitude or other types of forced labor in the agricultural, textile, and construction sectors. Zambian trafficking victims have also been identified in South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Namibia. While orphans and street children are the most vulnerable, children of more affluent village families are also vulnerable to trafficking, as sending children to the city for work is perceived as a status symbol. Some child domestic workers receive adequate room and board, but others are starved, beaten, deprived of sleep, or overworked to the point of exhaustion – practices indicative of forced labor. To a lesser extent, Zambia is a destination for migrants from Malawi and Mozambique who are exploited in forced labor or forced prostitution after arrival in Zambia. Asian and South Asian males continue to be trafficked to and through Zambia for forced labor in the mining and construction industries in Zambia or South Africa. An increasing number of Chinese and Indian men recruited to work in Chinese- or Indian-owned mines in Zambia’s Copperbelt region are reportedly kept in conditions of forced labor by the mining companies. Officials believe transnational labor trafficking of South Asians through Zambia is becoming increasingly organized and linked to criminal groups based largely in South Africa. Zambia’s geographic location and numerous porous borders make it a nexus for trafficking from the Great Lakes Region to South Africa. While the movement of Congolese children to and through Zambia remains a concern, the destination of these children remains unclear; some may be trafficking victims.

The Government of Zambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government increased law enforcement efforts by convicting one trafficking offender under its 2008 anti-trafficking law and investigating and prosecuting three additional suspected trafficking cases. Government-provided protection for victims remained weak; though the government continued to provide services to victims through partnerships with international organizations and NGOs, the continued lack of shelters significantly hindered appropriate victim care, as victims were, at times, detained in jails alongside trafficking offenders.

Recommendations for Zambia: Train police, immigration officials, prosecutors, and judges on effectively investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes; formalize and implement victim identification and referral procedures; improve government services for human trafficking victims as provided for in the new law, including the establishment of victim shelters; increase officials’ awareness on the application of the specific provisions of the new anti-trafficking law, particularly among labor officials and magistrates; investigate and prosecute mining company personnel who operate mines using forced labor; institute a unified system for documenting and collecting data on human trafficking cases for use by law enforcement, immigration, and social welfare officials; and continue to conduct public awareness campaigns.

Prosecution

The Government of Zambia demonstrated increased anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period, convicting one trafficking offender under the 2008 anti-trafficking law and investigating and prosecuting additional suspected trafficking cases. Zambia’s comprehensive Anti-Human Trafficking Act of 2008 criminalizes all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties that range from 20 years’ to life imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2010, the government amended its Immigration Act, adding additional prohibitions against human trafficking. During the reporting period, the government convicted one trafficking offender, acquitted two suspected traffickers, and detained two suspects who are awaiting trial or sentencing; two investigations were ongoing at the end of the year. In December 2010, a Zambian court convicted a Zambian man under the anti-trafficking law, and sentenced him to 10 years’ imprisonment for confining seven Indian nationals in a Zambian home with the intention of forcing them to labor in construction in South Africa. The sentence for this conviction was below the minimum prescribed penalty of the anti-trafficking law. Additional cases were investigated as trafficking offenses; however, with insufficient evidence on the intentions of the suspects to exploit the potential victims, the courts dropped the human trafficking charges and tried these as smuggling cases or dismissed them. One such case involved seven Congolese children who were traveling with individuals who were not their legal guardians, were locked in a small room, and were unaware of why they left the Congo or where they were going; though originally charged as a trafficking case, with insufficient evidence on the intent to exploit these children, this case is pending trial as a smuggling case. In partnership with IOM, the government provided anti-trafficking training for law enforcement and immigration officials. In addition, during the reporting period, the Director of the Research, Planning and Information Department of the Ministry of Home Affairs led trafficking awareness briefings for new police recruits and immigration officers at the Police Training Academy. An immigration official, charged with trafficking in 2010, was dismissed from his job and convicted of smuggling, as the court lacked sufficient evidence to support a conviction under the anti-trafficking law; he was given a suspended sentence in September 2010. The government reported no other investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of public officials complicit in human trafficking. The government did not take action to criminally prosecute mining company personnel who reportedly operated their mines through the use of forced labor; however, the government did not receive any new reports of trafficked labor in the mining sector during the reporting period.

Protection

The government continued to ensure victim care through partnerships with international organizations and local NGOs during the reporting period. These efforts remained lacking in critical areas, however, including the establishment of victim shelters, though such initiatives are mandated in the 2008 anti-trafficking law. The government did not develop or implement systematic procedures for the identification of trafficking victims, nor did it demonstrate use of a formal mechanism for referring victims to NGOs for protective services. Due to limited secure shelter space in certain parts of the country and limited means for transporting victims, foreign victims were jailed alongside traffickers for extended periods. The government acknowledged this shortcoming and, through a partnership with an international NGO, began to plan the construction of Zambia’s first dedicated human trafficking shelter. While existing NGO shelters offered limited accommodation for women and children, no services were available for men. The Department of Immigration and the National Secretariat identified 37 potential trafficking victims and informally referred 18 of these to IOM for care; IOM independently identified and assisted four additional victims with psychological counseling, medical treatment, and skills training during the reporting period. The government also sustained a partnership with IOM on the repatriation of victims; during the reporting period, 18 Congolese and one Zimbabwean were repatriated to their home countries. The government offers temporary residency and legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution; during the reporting period, the government granted temporary residency to at least 19 victims. Without proper procedures for the identification of victims and with the unavailability of shelters, the government likely arrested, jailed, and penalized victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Officials encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers; during the reporting period, one trafficking offender was convicted based on testimony provided by victims.

Prevention

The Zambian government maintained its efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. In 2010, the government worked with partners to prioritize and implement key components of the 2009 National Anti-Trafficking Plan, including multi-media outreach, employer workshops, and the formation of child coalitions to raise awareness on human trafficking. During the year, the government developed the 2011-2012 National Anti-Trafficking Plan, which prioritizes the development of victim referral procedures. It also selected representatives of government ministries to serve on the national anti-trafficking Secretariat, created in 2009; however, they remain overburdened by their primary functions due to understaffing in their respective ministries. The six members of the Secretariat met monthly and, in addition, held several ad hoc meetings as necessary in response to specific cases. The government continued its “Break the Chain of Human Trafficking” campaign, with support from the UN Joint Programme and local NGOs. Beginning in October 2010, the government helped plan and participated in a UN Joint Programme-funded outreach campaign on gender-based violence and human trafficking, including forced labor, and involving school debates, cycle races, marathons, dramatic performances, with traditional leaders and community radio taking part. As a result of this campaign, child coalitions were formed in 10 districts to continue awareness-raising efforts. Throughout 2010, the Ministry of Community Development and Social Services spearheaded a 13-episode English language television program on human trafficking, as well as an interactive radio program in seven local languages. In 2010, a Zambian court sentenced a Zambian man to 18 years’ imprisonment for selling his 7-year-old daughter for the purpose of harvesting her organs for use in ritual practices in Tanzania. Action to combat labor trafficking was hampered by an inadequate number of labor inspectors; during the reporting period, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security (MLSS) conducted 15 child labor inspections, none of which resulted in prosecutions. In December 2010, the MLSS, in partnership with the UN Joint Programme, conducted a workshop for employers and trade unions on the demand for forced labor, working towards the development of employer guidelines, and both entities partnered to begin a study on internal trafficking to be completed in 2011. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. The Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Defense provided anti-trafficking training to Zambian troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

ZIMBABWE (Tier 3)

Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Women and girls from Zimbabwean towns bordering South Africa and Zambia are subjected to sex trafficking in brothels that cater to long-distance truck drivers. Recent reports indicate that young women from rural areas are recruited into forced prostitution through the guise of beauty pageants held in cities. Some victims of forced prostitution are subsequently transported across the border to South Africa where they suffer continued exploitation. Zimbabwean men, women, and children are subjected to forced labor in agriculture and domestic service in rural areas, as well as domestic servitude and sex trafficking in cities and towns. Children are also utilized in the commission of illegal activities, including gambling and drug smuggling. Although security forces still maintain control of Marange district, sources indicate that forced labor abuses, including Zimbabwean security services forcing young men and boys to mine for diamonds, have ended.

Zimbabwean men and boys migrate illegally to South Africa, where some are forced to labor for months on farms, in mines, or in construction without pay before their employers report them to authorities for deportation. Many Zimbabwean women and some children willingly migrate to South Africa, often with the assistance of taxi drivers who transport them to the border at Beitbridge or nearby; some of the migrants are given to thugs, who subject them to violent attacks, rape, deception, and, in some cases, sex trafficking in Musina, Pretoria, Johannesburg, or Durban. Zimbabwean women and men are lured into exploitative labor situations in Angola, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, Nigeria, and South Africa with false offers of employment in agriculture, construction, information technology, and hospitality, and some subsequently become victims of forced labor. Young women and girls are also lured to China, Egypt, the United Kingdom, and Canada under false pretenses, and then subjected to prostitution. Men, women, and children from Bangladesh, Somalia, India, Pakistan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia are trafficked through Zimbabwe en route to South Africa. Women and children from border communities in neighboring countries are trafficked to Zimbabwe for forced labor and prostitution. A small number of South African girls are exploited in Zimbabwe in domestic servitude.

The Government of Zimbabwe does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. While high-level officials showed an increased interest in trafficking issues, others denied the existence of a trafficking problem in Zimbabwe. The government did not report investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking cases. The government continued to rely on an international organization to provide law enforcement training, coordinate victim care and repatriation, and lead prevention efforts. During the year, draft anti-trafficking legislation was finalized and introduced to the Council of Ministers for debate; at the time of this report, the draft legislation had not yet reached Parliament for consideration. Reports indicate that the exploitation of children and adults in forced labor in the Marange diamond fields has ceased.

Recommendations for Zimbabwe: Prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders; finalize and pass draft anti-trafficking legislation; formalize procedures for interviewing victims and transferring them to the care of appropriate governmental or non-governmental service providers; incorporate trafficking crimes into police procedures for recording and reporting crime data; and launch a broad awareness-raising campaign on the nature of trafficking and the availability of assistance for victims.

Prosecution

The Government of Zimbabwe did not record or release information on the number of trafficking investigations, prosecutions, or convictions it pursued over the year and the country remained without a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. Zimbabwean law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though existing statutes prohibit forced labor and sex trafficking. The Labor Relations Amendment Act prohibits forced labor and prescribes punishments of up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine of between $5 and $400, or both; these penalties are not sufficiently stringent. The Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act also prohibits procuring a person for unlawful sexual conduct, inside or outside of Zimbabwe, prescribing insufficiently stringent penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine up to $5,000, or both; if the victim is under 16, the sentence is increased to up to 10 years’ imprisonment. The Act also prohibits coercing or inducing another person to engage in unlawful sexual conduct with another person by threat or intimidation, prescribing sufficiently stringent penalties of one to five years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both. Pledging a female for forced marriage or to compensate for the death of a relative or any debt or obligations, is punishable under the Act, prescribing penalties of up to two years’ imprisonment, a fine up to $5,000, or both. None of these penalties are commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2010, the attorney general and the Ministry of Home Affairs finalized draft anti-trafficking legislation and, in September 2010, it was introduced in the Council of Ministers for debate; however, neither the Ministry of Home Affairs or the Council of Ministers have transferred the bill to the Cabinet, which is the first step in introducing it for parliamentary consideration. The Prime Minister’s Office, however, identified the draft anti-trafficking bill as priority legislation and it was included on the 2010-2011 legislative agenda. Despite these legislative plans, high level officials in the Ministry of Justice, including the minister, publicly denied the existence of the trafficking problem in Zimbabwe.

The government did not prosecute forced labor or forced prostitution offenses during the reporting period. The Zimbabwe Republic Police’s (ZRP) Victim Friendly Unit (VFU) has responsibility for investigating cases involving women and children, which may include trafficking victims, and the referral of victims to support services. Although NGOs referred several trafficking victims to the Department of Social Welfare for assistance, the VFU did not report investigating any of these cases. In August 2010, the Zimbabwean Labor Court ruled in favor of seven Zimbabweans, recruited in Zimbabwe by a Chinese national for forced labor in construction in Angola. The employers refused to pay the back wages, and filed an appeal to the High Court in January 2011. The government did not pursue criminal charges against the recruiters in this case. In 2010, there were no investigations or prosecutions of cases involving forced child labor. In February 2010, the newly formed Border Control Unit within the Criminal Investigating Department (CID) of the Zimbabwe police organized a number of trainings for its officers on human trafficking to raise awareness ahead of the 2010 World Cup; the training was provided and funded by an international organization. Overall corruption in law enforcement and the judiciary remained serious problems. Victims refused to report or pursue cases of trafficking because they feared that their traffickers would bribe police or judges; there was anecdotal evidence of limited government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking on a local level and at border crossing points. There are no reports of trafficking among Zimbabwean peacekeepers deployed abroad.

Protection

The Zimbabwean government provided trafficking victims with some protection and continued to ensure victims’ access to shelter and care services provided by NGOs and international organizations. Although the government sustained its employment of a formal process for referring some types of trafficking victims to international organizations and NGOs for services, it continued to rely on these organizations to identify most trafficking victims. During the reporting period, IOM and local NGO partners identified and assisted at least eight Zimbabwean trafficking victims during the reporting period with safe shelter, psycho-social support, family tracing, and reunification; in contrast to 2009, the Zimbabwean police and Department of Social Services did not refer any victims to these organizations for care in 2010. IOM and NGO partners referred six alleged child trafficking victims to the Department of Social Welfare for care and case evaluation. Government-run shelters are in place to assist vulnerable and orphaned children, including trafficking victims, through their provision of longer-term shelter; it is unknown whether they provided such services to trafficking victims during the year. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare operates programs in three districts to provide orphans and vulnerable children with counseling, as well as other services; it is unknown whether they provided such services to trafficking victims during the year. During the reporting period, partnerships between the police and NGOs and international organizations enabled the establishment of one new one-stop drop-in center for victims of gender-based violence, where victims can receive examinations, file police reports, and receive psycho-social counseling; it is unknown if any victims of sex trafficking were assisted by these centers. At its centers at Beitbridge and Plumtree border crossings, trained Department of Social Welfare staff referred identified victims to safe houses where short-, medium-, and long-term assistance could be provided, and worked closely with IOM and other NGOs at these centers to ensure the protection of vulnerable children. The government encouraged child and adult victims of exploitation, including trafficking, to testify in court and established Victim Friendly Courts specifically to support such testimony; however, due to resource constraints, their ability to operate as intended is limited. The Department of Immigration continued to require all deportees from South Africa and Botswana to attend an IOM briefing on safe migration, which includes a discussion of trafficking. With the exception of deportees from South Africa and Botswana, the government’s law enforcement, immigration, and social services authorities did not have formal procedures with which to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution and irregular migrants. The lack of formal identification procedures impaired the government’s ability to ensure that trafficking victims were not inappropriately incarcerated or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Victims could have received relief from deportation while their cases are being investigated, though none were known to have received such temporary residency.

Prevention

The government demonstrated minimal efforts to prevent trafficking. The inter-ministerial task force on trafficking, made up of senior government officials, met at least once during the reporting period, did not execute any anti-trafficking programming, and continued to lack a national plan of action. The government did not conduct any anti-trafficking awareness campaigns during the reporting period; however, NGOs and international organizations developed and aired an anti-trafficking information campaign around the World Cup in South Africa on state-run television and radio. State-run media continued to print and air stories about the dangers of illegal migration, false employment scams, underage and forced marriages, engaging in prostitution, and exploitative labor conditions. Information regarding any potential measures adopted by the government to ensure its nationals deployed to peacekeeping missions did not facilitate or engage in trafficking was unavailable. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Zimbabwe is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

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[This is a mobile copy of Country Narratives: Countries N Through Z]