Trafficking in Persons Report
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
June 11, 2003
Report

ALBANIA (Tier 2)

Albania is a source and transit country primarily for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and begging, respectively. Female victims are trafficked to Italy and Greece, and on to other EU countries, such as Belgium, France, the U.K, and The Netherlands. Victims transiting Albania mostly come from Romania and Moldova, with smaller numbers from Bulgaria and Ukraine. Children are also reportedly trafficked from Albania to work as beggars in Italy and Greece. The Government of Albania does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In the past year, the government improved its law enforcement efforts, particularly in cooperation with Italy; police significantly reduced clandestine speedboat traffic across the Adriatic, and the number of foreign women transited through Albania for Western destinations decreased measurably. Nevertheless, corruption and lack of protection for vulnerable children remained problematic.

Prevention
The government's Inter-Ministerial Commission on Human Trafficking coordinates its National Action Plan, now in its second phase of completion. Part of this plan included the appointment of a Minister of State who serves as the country's anti-trafficking coordinator. In this role, the Minister works with various ministries, NGOs and the international community to address trafficking in Albania. The Ministry of Education participated with NGOs to train teachers and to produce and disseminate information in schools on the dangers and mechanics of human trafficking. A series of 12 programs on public awareness was broadcast on television in 2002. The Ministry of Public Order completed a significant study indicating that more than 5,000 Albanian women and girls were trafficked into prostitution in the last decade.

Prosecution
The government criminalized trafficking in women and children in 2001. The Chief of the Ministry of Public Order's (MOPO) Anti-Trafficking Sector coordinates the government's anti-trafficking law enforcement activities. The MOPO has a unit in each prefecture, and recently created a delta force to enhance operations. Prosecutions of traffickers increased in the past year, as did efforts to punish or arrest corrupt government officials for involvement in trafficking; however, corruption is a major problem with little follow-through on most investigations. The government continues to show inadequate conviction and sentencing rates, with most defendants released for lack of evidence or ultimately charged with lesser crimes. The Organized Crime Sector and the Office of Internal Control also conduct specific anti-trafficking actions. In 2002, 144 trafficking cases were sent to trial by the General Prosecutor's office and 17 people were convicted. The MOPO investigated 31 cases of police involvement in trafficking during 2002, with at least one officer convicted but given a minimal sentence. The government showed increased effectiveness in coordinated law enforcement efforts with the government of Italy and with the SECI Center in Bucharest. Its new Three Port Strategy increased its ability to monitor its porous borders and its overall interdiction capabilities. Albanian police also improved their investigative and operational capabilities. In April 2003, the National Police conducted a three-day, cross-country sweep targeting traffickers, and the Organized Crime Unit, working with Italian police, disabled a sophisticated child-trafficking network, arresting high-ranking local customs and law enforcement officials.

Protection
Through its nation-wide anti-trafficking units, police refer victims to victim assistance and protection centers throughout Albania, including the Linza shelter, which the government opened in March 2003. The centers provide reintegration and education for domestic victims and repatriation for foreign victims. Phase two of the National Action Plan mandates creation of a witness protection program that currently is lacking. In the absence of a witness protection system, the government has taken limited measures to protect witnesses, mostly ad hoc and relying on NGOs and foreign governments. With funding by IOM, six police commissariats opened temporary witness protection shelters in 2003. The government hosted the Third Regional Ministerial Forum that produced a regional government declaration on the legalization of victims' status in destination countries.

ANGOLA (Tier 2)

Angola is a country of origin for persons trafficked primarily to Europe and South Africa for labor and sexual exploitation. Angola also has an internal trafficking problem, fueled by the large numbers of displaced persons, orphans, and former combatants and trafficking victims of the country's civil war, which ended in the April 2002 cease fire.

During the civil war, thousands of men, women, and children were abducted by the UNITA rebel movement for use as forced laborers and as sex slaves and combatants.

The Government of Angola does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. The government needs to step up efforts aimed at preventing the country's growing numbers of street children from becoming trafficking victims and enhance law enforcement efforts, especially prosecutions and arrests.

Prevention
Over the past year, the Ministry of Social Reinsertion, in its efforts to resettle displaced persons and rehabilitate victims, trained 1,070 child monitors who identified approximately 43,000 children who had been separated from their families. With several international organizations and NGOs, the government set in motion its national plan of action against commercial sexual exploitation of children. The government also works with various international organizations to raise school attendance and to publicize the plight of the estimated 24,000 children living in the streets.

Prosecution
There are no specific laws that prohibit trafficking in persons. Angola's 1992 constitution bans slavery, and would be the basic statute to prosecute trafficking cases. Laws against kidnapping, rape, assault, and prostitution also could be applied in a trafficking case. We have no information on prosecutions.

Protection
The government is resettling previously abducted Angolan citizens and reuniting displaced persons with their families. It has launched a campaign to register and identify about five million minors; as of November 2002, more than 1.5 million had been registered. The government does not treat trafficking victims as criminals. They are entitled to emergency residence status for humanitarian reasons and receive some services from a handful of government programs. The government operates orphanages throughout the country for abducted children.

ARMENIA (Tier 2)

Armenia is a country of origin for international trafficking of girls and women for the purposes of prostitution, to destination countries such as Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Additional suspected destinations are Germany, Greece, the United States and various Western European countries. Experts are concerned by trafficking from orphanages and by individual families who allegedly press their daughters to sell themselves into prostitution.

The Government of Armenia does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government increased its focus on trafficking as a domestic and international issue, and focused more law enforcement resources on the problem. Protection remains weak.

Prevention
In the past year, the Armenian government acknowledged trafficking and the need for increased action. A new inter-agency task force coordinated public awareness efforts throughout the country, including pamphlet distribution at the borders. The government's Refugee and Migration Service included information on trafficking in an edition of its journal on legal migration and houses an IOM-funded Migration Service Point with a hotline, allowing people to call in or come in to ask about migration issues, including trafficking. The Office advertises the hotline in newspapers.

Prosecution
In April 2003, Armenia amended its criminal code to include a specific criminal prohibition against trafficking for sexual exploitation. Before then, traffickers could be prosecuted under such articles as illicit seizure, falsification and selling of personal documents, extortion, bogus marriages and divorces, and coercion into sexual intercourse. The government instituted anti-corruption efforts in the Customs Committee and upgraded the technology at the borders to combat trafficking. In 2002, 26 criminal cases were brought against pimps, including four charges against traffickers involved in organizing illegal border crossings with false documents; these four suspects reside in the UAE. The government is currently investigating several other suspected traffickers, three of whom trafficked women to the UAE. The government cooperates with the UAE in the above investigations, and cooperated with the Government of Germany regarding a criminal gang trafficking women from NIS Countries to Germany. Long-term sentences were secured against defendants in both countries. The government has mutual legal assistance agreements with the UAE, other countries of the former Soviet Union, Bulgaria and Romania. An investigation from 2001 against two police officers asserting control over a group of traffickers was completed in the past year and the suspects are in detention.

Protection
No shelters or other reintegration services exist for victims and many police still do not recognize trafficking victims as such. Preliminary steps toward protection measures began, such as establishment of an anti-trafficking sub-commission of the National Commission on Women's Issues focusing on social, rehabilitative and health issues of trafficking victims, but the government does not have any effective witness protection program. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not have specific training programs for its staff, but it directed its consular officers in 2002 to follow any reported trafficking cases and report them to the MFA. In 2002, some victims reported to Armenia's consulate in Abu Dhabi, and the government took limited steps to assist them in returning.

AUSTRIA (Tier 1)

Austria is a transit and destination country primarily for trafficking of women from Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, and countries of the former Soviet Union for the purposes of prostitution. The final destinations for most women transiting through Austria are other EU countries, especially Italy. Police noted increased trafficking of Romanian boys and Bulgarian girls to engage in begging, stealing, and possible sexual exploitation. The Government of Austria fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government was particularly strong with respect to law enforcement and victim protection through referral to government-supported shelters.

Prevention
The government worked actively with international organizations and regional organizations (EU, Interpol, OSCE, and UN) to carry out preventive programs throughout the region. The government provides annual funding to Austria's primary NGO dealing with trafficking issues, for prevention programs. The government is funding IOM projects to conduct research and awareness campaigns on trafficking in Slovakia.

Prosecution
Several articles in the criminal and alien codes specifically prohibit trafficking. However, articles prohibiting facilitation of illegal entry and exploitation of aliens are more often used to prosecute traffickers. Penalties for trafficking in persons are commensurate with other grave crimes, with trafficking crimes involving death and extreme violence receiving more severe penalties. In 2002, over 2,000 charges were filed under the two main anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling criminal articles. Most recent conviction statistics, from 2001, indicate over 500 persons were sentenced under various anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling articles. Local and national level governments cooperate with authorities from other countries to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases. The government cooperated with Eastern European countries in particular to dismantle a number of trafficking rings. The Interior Ministry's Federal Bureau of Criminal Affairs has a division dedicated solely to combating human trafficking and smuggling. The government supports and funds NGO and government sensitivity training for police and other public authorities both inside Austria and in other countries. In December 2002 the government held a training seminar for police officers of Stability Pact countries.

Protection
The government funds efforts of an NGO to provide direct services to trafficking victims, including shelter, legal assistance, health and medical services. That NGO also assists victims transiting through Vienna during repatriations from other destination countries. Victims outside of Vienna have access to government-funded services, including women's shelters located in each province. The Austrian government provides temporary resident status for trafficked victims. Officials may also issue a delay in repatriation proceedings pending completion of a court case. Victims of trafficking also have the possibility of continued residence.

BAHRAIN (Tier 2)

Bahrain is a destination country for trafficked persons in search of work who are put into situations of coerced labor, where they endure physical abuse or other extreme working conditions. Victims come primarily from the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, and Sri Lanka to work as domestic servants and in the construction industry. Female domestic servants also may be sexually or physically abused. Many low-skilled foreign workers in Bahrain have their passports withheld, their contracts altered, and suffer non-payment of salaries of varying degree and duration.

The Government of Bahrain 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 made great progress in the areas of prevention and prosecution, but it should expand services provided to victims, and needs to continue to expand prosecution efforts.

Prevention
A newly created interministerial task force drafted and distributed a manual on the rights and duties of expatriate workers in Bahrain to local embassies, Bahraini embassies abroad, and manpower recruitment agencies in Bahrain. It also drafted a simpler brochure for distribution to workers in their languages. A media campaign raised awareness nationwide about the manual and brochures. In order to certify that employers need the number of foreign workers for whom they are requesting visas and to inspect working conditions, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs increased the number of labor inspectors from 9 to 40. The government reformed work sponsorship rules to allow foreign workers to change sponsors or jobs without a "no objection" letter from their current sponsor. This allows foreign workers to legally remove themselves from potentially abusive situations.

Prosecution
The Penal Code outlaws forced labor and prostitution. Bahraini law enforcement actively investigates allegations of abuse. In addition to criminal remedies, through administrative measure and mediation under labor laws, the government allows and assists domestic servants and foreign workers to seek redress against traffickers. There are no indications that government officials condone or facilitate trafficking.

Protection
The government does not regularly provide assistance to victims but does provide shelter in extreme cases. There is no established system for providing legal or psychological services, but emergency medical treatment is available to anyone in Bahrain. In cases where mediation does not succeed, government officials assist workers in finding lawyers to pursue legal action. The government often allows temporary residency during disputes and permits a foreigner to work while he or she seeks settlement or legal redress.

BANGLADESH (Tier 2)

Bangladesh is a country of origin and transit for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and bonded labor. Women and girls are trafficked to India, Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work. A small number of women and girls are transited through Bangladesh from Burma to India. Boys are also trafficked to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar and forced to work as camel jockeys and beggars. Internal trafficking of women and children from rural areas to the larger cities for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic work also occurs.

The Government of Bangladesh does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. Bangladesh needs to curb corruption among law enforcement officials, better monitor its borders, increase prosecutions of traffickers, and invest in more protection programs such as increasing the shelter capacity for victims.

Prevention
Under its National Plan of Action, which is a comprehensive plan to combat child sexual exploitation, the government supported awareness raising and community mobilization efforts in educating the community about trafficking. Other activities include police sensitization efforts, working with school populations to educate them about the problem, and improving laws. Government officials actively participated in donor-funded workshops, meetings and public awareness campaigns. The public awareness campaigns focused on showing the most vulnerable populations the harmful affects of trafficking and how the community can help in the reintegration and acceptance of victims. These campaigns were made through the radio, printed material, and speeches. The Ministry of Women's and Children's Affairs, the Ministry of Information, NGOs, and international organizations sponsored a month-long "Road March and Campaign Against Human Trafficking, Violence Against Women and Acid Throwing," making stops in 18 districts, educating the community about various forms of abuse against women including trafficking. The government supports "food for education" programs to encourage parents to send their children to school and provides stipends to girls attending secondary schools in rural areas. The government has initiated an anti-exploitation public information campaign for citizens going abroad to work.

Prosecution
The country prohibits various forms of trafficking. The government does investigate trafficking cases; however, the court system is backlogged by approximately one million cases, severely hampering the ability to bring criminal cases to closure quickly. The government has arrested and prosecuted some traffickers, and courts have handed down tough sentences. During the year, the government arrested 60 alleged traffickers and convicted 30, an increase from four last year. For those convicted, the sentences ranged from 20 years to life. Police and government officials received specialized training from international organizations and NGOs in investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases. The anti-trafficking program office under the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs, established in 2000, has developed relationships with both donors and NGOs and has helped in the prosecution of cases over the past year. However, corruption is widespread at lower levels of the government; police, customs, immigration officials and border guards reportedly are susceptible to bribery. If caught, prosecuted and convicted, corrupt officials may receive a reprimand, but their employment is rarely terminated.

Protection
Victims are not detained, jailed, or prosecuted for violations of immigration or prostitution laws. The government works closely with and refers victims to NGOs that provide shelter and access to legal, medical and psychological services. The government provided specialized training to its officials in assisting victims but has yet to provide training on protection and assistance to its embassies and consulates in foreign countries that are destination or transit countries for its citizens.

BELARUS (Tier 2)

Belarus is a country of origin and transit for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation in Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Germany, Israel, Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary, and Serbia and Montenegro. Victims are trafficked mostly from more economically depressed areas, where traffickers recruit through employment, marriage, and travel agencies and have links to organized crime and narcotics trafficking.

The Government of Belarus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government showed increased action with respect to prevention and prosecution efforts, even in light of limited resources. Commitment to protection of victims, however, remains very weak.

Prevention
The government better acknowledges the trafficking problem, but resources and expertise are inadequate and hinder successful prevention efforts. The government expanded outreach in the regions and cooperates with NGOs in giving educational presentations at schools. The government implemented a state program to combat trafficking in persons and prostitution, which outlines a 5-year strategy to focus on prevention and other vital areas of response. The government sponsors a modest TV ad campaign on state television for young women to prepare against the dangers of trafficking through pre-departure information and contingency plans in the event of dangerous situations. The state passport offices in Belarus display informational leaflets, created by NGOs, advertising hotline numbers to call for travel advice.

Prosecution
Belarus' criminal code includes specific penalties for trafficking for the purposes of sexual or other kinds of exploitation, but the government continues to group trafficking crimes with sexual assault or rape. Investigations are hampered by lack of expertise, but improved due to training by the NGO community and foreign governments. The Interior Ministry opened 90 cases of trafficking women abroad for prostitution and 20 cases of recruitment for sexual exploitation and abduction of minors. A total of 35 defendants reportedly were convicted for trafficking in persons. Belarusian police participated with German police in a criminal investigation involving the trafficking of more than 160 Belarusian women and terminated the operations of 10 organized criminal groups operating in Belarus. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare works to regulate and monitor newspaper ads to ensure each entity is licensed. Belarus has law enforcement agreements with Turkey, Israel, Bulgaria, Romania, Germany, Russia, Poland, Lithuania, Estonia, Moldova, Vietnam, and China, which include a focus on human trafficking. Official corruption, including bribery of law enforcement and border officials, continues to be widespread; and some corrupt government officials reportedly facilitate trafficking by turning a blind eye to traffickers.

Protection
The Government of Belarus provides limited assistance to returning victims through state clinics and labor and welfare offices. The lack of trafficking-specific expertise prevents most victims from receiving comprehensive care. Victims deported from destination countries for visa violations return to verbal harassment by police who treat them as criminals. The Criminal Code outlines procedures for victim statements and confidentiality, and authorizes police protection; however, there are no secure shelters or police escorts. There is no information regarding government assistance for foreign victims in Belarus.

BELGIUM (Tier 1)

Belgium is a destination and transit country for trafficked persons, primarily young women from Sub-Saharan Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and Asia, destined for Belgium's larger cities or other European countries, for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Chinese victims are often young men destined for manual labor in restaurants and sweatshops.

The Government of Belgium fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government showed particularly strong efforts with respect to international law enforcement cooperation and preventive campaigns in source countries.

Prevention
The government's interdepartmental committee coordinates anti-trafficking efforts in Belgium's three distinct regions, as well as with its counterparts in France, the Netherlands, UK, Germany and Luxembourg. The government supports information campaigns in countries of origin, such as Russia, to warn young people of the dangers of trafficking. The government works closely with local and national NGOs and international organizations in the fight against trafficking. The government posts anti-trafficking liaison officers in Belgian embassies in several source countries, including Albania, Ivory Coast, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine.

Prosecution
Belgium has a broad anti-trafficking law and punishment for trafficking is commensurate with other grave crimes, with particularly severe penalties for trafficking children. The government arrested 80 people in 2002 for trafficking crimes, and 71 investigations are pending. Trafficking-related sentences average from two to six years imprisonment with a range of fines; however, trafficking convictions are less frequent than prostitution-related convictions and observers note that cases involving illegal sweatshops which may relate to trafficking are rarely pursued. Belgium's Office of the Federal Prosecutor coordinates investigations and prosecutions of traffickers and a special unit of the Federal Police is responsible for anti-trafficking enforcement. The government appointed special anti-trafficking magistrates on the national and district levels, and the Center For Equal Opportunity and the Fight Against Racism provides specialized training to police officers and prosecutors involved in anti-trafficking activities.

Protection
Three regional centers, funded by the Belgian government and managed by NGOs, provide victim assistance. Trafficking victims who agree to testify against traffickers may obtain temporary residence and work permits. At the conclusion of a trial, victims who cooperate with the investigation may be granted permanent residence status and unrestricted work permits. The government also provides financial assistance to facilitate the repatriation of victims who wish to return home. Some shelter managers claim that witness protection remains inadequate due to lack of sufficient resources.

BELIZE (Tier 3)

[*Please note: Belize was updated to Tier 2 per President George W. Bush, Presidential Determination No. 2003-35, September 9, 2003.]

Belize is a destination country for trafficking for sexual exploitation. Victims are mainly women and girls from Central American countries lured by traffickers into prostitution and nude dancing. Young Belizean women and girls also are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation. There are reports of labor trafficking among the migrant agricultural worker community.

The Government of Belize does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Trafficking is not acknowledged as a serious problem, nor publicly discussed by senior officials of the government and members of law enforcement agencies.

Prevention
The government does not implement any direct anti-trafficking prevention efforts. In the context of general public welfare, the government does support some activities that contribute to wider social development. For example, the Ministry of Human Development, Women and Children and Civil Society has a number of programs designed to advance the rights and well being of women and children. Belize has high participation rates for primary education and high literacy rates for both men and women.

Prosecution
In 1997, the government amended its Immigration Act to criminalize the offense of trafficking in illegal immigrants. There are no laws that specifically prohibit trafficking in persons, although general immigration laws could be applied to illegal trafficking entry into Belize. The government has not prosecuted any traffickers, nor has it investigated any trafficking cases. The government does not adequately control its borders, nor does it monitor immigration and emigration patterns to find evidence of trafficking. The constitution prohibits slavery and forced labor, and there are statutes outlawing activities surrounding procuring and prostitution, but these laws are rarely enforced.

Protection
The government does not assist victims of trafficking, although two NGOs operate shelters for women. Foreign trafficking victims are generally treated as immigration violators and are deported, fined, or jailed.

BENIN (Tier 1)

Benin is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for domestic and commercial labor. Beninese children are trafficked to Ghana, Gabon, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, and Cameroon, while children from neighboring Niger, Togo, and Burkina Faso are trafficked to Benin. Trafficking in persons also occurs within Benin, where the traditional practice of placing poor rural children with wealthier urban households is increasingly corrupted, and many children end up in situations of forced labor. To a lesser extent, Benin is a source country for women trafficked to Europe and the Middle East for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Benin fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons despite severe resource constraints. Streamlining the prosecution process for traffickers will further improve the government's anti-trafficking process.

Prevention
Government-supported grassroots anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns have been ongoing since the early 1990s, reaching rural villages with speakers, posters, films, radio messages, and presentations by children. A 2-week anti-child labor campaign for unions and a series of meetings with transporters, taxi drivers and motorcycle operators on trafficking were conducted in 2002. The government established and supports local, volunteer vigilance committees to act as watchdogs in high-risk areas for trafficking. Free primary education for girls, rural economic diversification, micro-credit programs, and employment opportunities in road construction are key prevention programs. In September 2002, a leading labor union organized a 2-week "sensitization campaign" against child labor. Benin is one of the West African countries participating in an international program to reduce trafficking in children and a regional plan of action to combat trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
Benin does not prohibit trafficking in persons, although anti-trafficking legislation is in the legislative process. The government actively investigates trafficking cases. In 2002, 27 traffickers were arrested, and 102 children were rescued. From January to April 2003, the government arrested five traffickers and rescued 48 children. The government works closely with nearby countries, particularly Nigeria, Togo, and Gabon, to intercept children being trafficked across borders.

Protection
The government cooperates closely with NGOs to provide shelter, medical care, and legal assistance to trafficking victims. It has provided in-kind assistance to NGOs. The government and NGOs trained local leaders, truck drivers and dock workers on trafficking during 2002. Trafficked children are not arrested, but treated as victims.

BOLIVIA (Tier 2)

Bolivia is a source country for trafficking in men, women and children for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Bolivians are trafficked to Chile, Peru, Argentina, Brazil and Spain. Faced with extreme poverty, many Bolivians are economic migrants, and some are victimized by traffickers as they move from rural areas to cities and then abroad. In particular, Bolivian children are trafficked internally, often exploited in slave-like labor conditions in mines, in domestic servitude, and in agriculture. Because of its weak controls along its extensive five borders, Bolivia is also a transit country for third country illegal migrants, some of who may be trafficked.

The Government of Bolivia 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. Some officials are aware that trafficking occurs, and the Government of Bolivia has taken modest steps within its limited capacity to address the problem despite political unrest that has hindered its effectiveness. Expanded measures by the government to lessen the vulnerability of children to trafficking and the continued removal of officials who are suspected of facilitating the illegal movement of persons will help strengthen Bolivia's anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
The government does not promote educational measures that address trafficking, but there is an ombudsman who conducts informational campaigns on the rights of children and women. The government has an interagency committee to address the trafficking of adolescents, but it has yet to produce a plan of action, although Congress is considering legislation. The government, in conjunction with UNICEF, has begun a program to provide free birth and identity documents to thousands of undocumented citizens, a measure that should reduce their vulnerability to being trafficked.

Prosecution
There is a law prohibiting trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation, and some arrests have been carried out under this statute; however, there is no information available on convictions of traffickers. Corruption of public officials is a serious problem. The government removed a number of immigration officials on suspicions of corruption, but further government action will be necessary to curb this practice. Officials throughout the government are known to take bribes to facilitate smuggling and the illegal movement of people. The government has taken measures to reduce corruption among judicial officials who authorize the travel of children; this is a positive step.

Protection
The government and international donors have programs designed to empower women economically and help keep children in school. The government recognizes that ongoing child labor problems may include trafficking abuses and is seeking foreign donors to help finance a national 10-year plan to eliminate child labor, but the plan so far has received little funding. The government provides no shelters for victims.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (Tier 3)

[*Please note: Bosnia and Herzegovina was updated to Tier 2 per President George W. Bush, Presidential Determination No. 2003-35, September 9, 2003.]

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a destination and transit country for women and girls trafficked into sexual exploitation, mostly from Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine, and to a lesser extent, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Serbia and Montenegro. Although the presence of international civilian and military personnel has contributed to the trafficking problem in BiH, the local population actively sustains it. Trafficking in persons is a subset of the organized crime problem in BiH and the region.

The Government of BiH does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. While it has taken steps to address structural and legislative weaknesses, corruption at the local level was the major factor limiting the effect of these positive initiatives and requiring a Tier 3 ranking. Reports continued throughout the reporting period that government officials facilitated, condoned or were otherwise complicit in trafficking at the local level. The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina's capacity to combat trafficking is hampered by weak state-level authorities and institutions created by the 1995 Dayton Peace Accords, which ended the 1992-95 Bosnia war. The international community continues to play an extraordinary role in Bosnia, most notably through the NATO-led Stabilization Force (SFOR) and the Office of the High Representative (OHR), which respectively oversee military and civilian implementation of the Dayton Accords. Government expenditures remain dependent on international assistance and are increasingly unsustainable, with spending on new programs constrained by IMF and World Bank limitations. Despite this, the government made some progress to better cooperation between government agencies and NGOs regarding victim protection, enhance anti-trafficking laws and regulations, and provide leadership by the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees (MHRR). A comprehensive effort to strengthen the rule of law through judicial and criminal legislative reform is underway; however, anti-trafficking efforts were neither systematic nor comprehensive, with poor coordination among agencies.

Prevention
A new State Commission was established to implement the 2001 National Action Plan, but did not report significant progress. Border monitoring improved as the State Border Service (SBS) took control of all major border crossings and installed a data network at all airports. Illegal immigration through Sarajevo International Airport decreased by nearly 90%. Although the government did not train border guards on human trafficking prevention and identification, in some cases NGOs stepped in to do so. New labor regulations require the MHRR to review all applications for work permits and reject those suspected to be related to trafficking. International organizations instituted preventive codes of conduct for their personnel, but reports of internationals contributing to trafficking continued. The Federation Interior Ministry issued a directive forbidding Federation police officers from visiting nightclubs linked to prostitution. No information is available on compliance with or enforcement of this directive.

Prosecution
A new criminal code came into effect in March 2003 specifically criminalizing human trafficking, including provisions for witness protection, special investigative methods and asset forfeiture. Trafficking offenses were previously prosecuted under related criminal prohibitions. Until its mandate expired December 31, 2002, the UN International Police Task Force's (IPTF) anti-trafficking "STOP" unit led the majority of Bosnian police actions against human traffickers. However, IPTF efforts were hampered by corrupt local police and government officials who often tipped-off suspects. The Federation Interior Ministry took disciplinary action against some corrupt police officers, resulting in administrative sanctions, some dismissals and one case of criminal prosecution. The Federation has an anti-trafficking unit that coordinates intelligence-gathering and investigations within each canton, and brings information to a state-level interagency "Strike Force" is in charge of coordinating high-level operations against traffickers. The Strike Force made progress in uncovering local trafficking networks. The Republika Srpska designated personnel for investigating trafficking in all ten police district headquarters. Bosnian law enforcement personnel participate in several regional cooperative initiatives, including one specifically devoted to counter-trafficking. UN officials in STOP reported a higher conviction rate than in past years, but courts still impose relatively minor penalties. In the Republika Srpska, 5 of the 12 defendants convicted for trafficking are serving prison time. In the Federation, 4 of the 41 persons convicted of promoting prostitution received a sentence greater than 2 years. Out of 5 cases in Brcko, 4 defendants received sentences for less than six months. The new criminal code, which entered into force in March 2003, increases the penalties that are available to BiH authorities for punishing trafficking-related offenses.

Protection
The government does not have an institutionalized system to prevent deportation of victims or to assist them formally, although efforts are underway to amend relevant laws. In the meantime, the Government issued a temporary instruction which stipulates that victims should not be charged with crimes nor subject to deportation. Victim protection efforts are hampered by corrupt local police who frequent brothels and consort with traffickers. At the state level, the Government developed a joint initiative on shelters with IOM, through which both sides signed a protocol to set up a central unit to establish and coordinate the network. The central office has not been established yet. The Government developed instructions for police and victim assistance agencies on the proper treatment of trafficking victims. Federation police provide 24-hour police protection to both IOM shelters in Sarajevo.

BRAZIL (Tier 2)

Brazil is a major source country for women and children trafficked into prostitution primarily in Europe, but also in Japan and some border countries. There is a significant internal problem with trafficking of men and children into forced labor in agriculture, mines, and charcoal production facilities. A small percentage of tourists to Brazil, primarily from Europe and the United States, go in search of sex with children, some of whom are trafficked.

The Government of Brazil 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 made notable efforts to free slaves and fight sex tourism. Since his inauguration in January 2003, President Lula issued two important executive orders: a government-wide initiative to combat sexual exploitation of minors, and a proposal for tougher punishments of those who use forced labor. These efforts are a good first step toward needed improvements on enforcement.

Prevention
The Ministry of Tourism ran an international public awareness campaign to combat sex tourism, which included pamphlet placement on flights into Brazil that explained the country's laws against sexual exploitation of minors to every traveler that gets a visa, and public service announcements in Brazil. The National Human Rights Secretariat conducted a national campaign against sexual exploitation of children. The government coordinates with NGOs and the private sector to combat forced labor through the Executive Group to Reduce Forced Labor (GERTRAF).

Prosecution
Brazil does not have a comprehensive trafficking law, but has a collection of laws that may be used to prosecute some traffickers. The Federal Police, which has primary responsibility for investigating international sex trafficking crimes, managed to make about 100 arrests last year even though it is understaffed and underfunded. However, weak efforts at prosecution yielded only a few convictions. Mobile inspection units from the Ministry of Labor and Employment freed more than 1,740 laborers from forced work camps, but there were few, if any, criminal proceedings.

Protection
Brazil has a variety of assistance programs, but most are underfunded. The most extensive is the Sentinel Program, which counts more than 400 centers to assist child and adolescent victims of sexual abuse. The National Coordinator's Office to Combat Sex Trafficking under the Ministry of Justice is foundering and so far has done little to coordinate governmental efforts or marshal sufficient resources. Seven regional reference centers for victims of sex trafficking throughout the country are staffed with dedicated professional psychologists, social workers, medical doctors, lawyers, and police liaisons. But they are unpaid volunteers operating with little or no budgets. The government works with NGOs to provide assistance to victims and operate the small scale witness protection program. Government officials who may come in contact with victims, both domestically and abroad, receive training on how to best protect and assist.

BRUNEI (Tier 2)

Brunei is a destination country for persons trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Most trafficking occurs in the labor context, as foreign workers are recruited from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh for work in the garment industries, agriculture and in homes as servants. There are also a small number of cases of trafficking in women for purposes of sexual exploitation.

The Government of Brunei does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government should be more aggressive in investigating trafficking of foreigners and, in particular, should increase measures to sanction foreign labor traffickers within its borders. The government also needs to foster basic understanding of trafficking among operational-level officials and implement uniform policies in prevention, protection and prosecution.

Prevention
While there is awareness among senior officials of the criminal aspects of labor and prostitution trafficking, there is little understanding of these issues at the operational and enforcement level of government. There are no awareness programs to educate the public or specific training for government officials on trafficking. In broad preventive measures not specific to trafficking, the government provides a wide range of social and educational services to Brunei citizens, which reduces their vulnerability to trafficking.

Prosecution
Brunei has immigration, labor, and religious regulations that should deter most trafficking, but they are unevenly implemented. A specific statute outlaws sexual exploitation and trafficking of women and girls, and there is also a wide range of other laws, mostly related to prostitution and the protection of minors, which could be applied against sex traffickers. However, authorities only rarely investigate and prosecute sex traffickers, particularly when the victims are foreigners. Sanctions against labor traffickers are rarely invoked. Currently government mediation is most commonly used to resolve labor disputes, including those involving severe forms of trafficking, although abusive employers may also face criminal and civil penalties. The government rigorously monitors its borders and migration patterns.

Protection
The government has a weak record in protecting foreign trafficking victims, whom it often prosecutes or deports for violations of immigration and labor codes. There are government protective measures for foreign workers, although they are not uniformly carried out. They include arrival briefings for workers, inspections of facilities, and a telephone hotline for worker complaints. When a grievance cannot be resolved, repatriation of foreign workers is at the expense of the employer, and all outstanding wages must be paid. The government provides funds for shelters that service only Brunei citizens and residents, who are rarely the victims of trafficking. No foreign NGOs exist in Brunei and NGOs that do exist are not oriented towards assisting foreigners. Some embassies provide protection services, including temporary shelter, for workers involved in disputes with employers.

BULGARIA (Tier 2)

Bulgaria is a source and transit country, and to a lesser but increasing extent, a destination country for the purposes of trafficking in women and girls for sexual exploitation. Bulgarian victims are trafficked to fifteen countries across Western, Southern and Eastern Europe, as well as to South Africa. Women and girls of the Roma minority are disproportionately represented among Bulgarian-origin victims. Victims are trafficked to Bulgaria from Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Russia and the Caucasus countries. Traffickers use threats of or actual violence, false imprisonment, rape, and withholding of documents and earnings to ensure victim compliance. Risk factors for Bulgarian victims of trafficking include poverty, under-education and lack of employment, particularly among the Roma. The Government of Bulgaria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The GOB passed anti-trafficking legislation in the past year, and showed some improvements in international law enforcement cooperation. However, overall improvements from the previous year were limited.

Prevention
While the government did not fund prevention programs, it instituted a specialized module on trafficking prevention in the Schools' Liaison Program of the National Police and members of the government's Interagency Task Force on Trafficking participated in training activities organized by foreign governments and international organizations. The government conducted some initiatives to improve education and job opportunities for the Roma - a particularly vulnerable group. While not trafficking-specific, such initiatives could prevent further vulnerability.

Prosecution
Parliament recently passed amendments to the Criminal Code penalizing trafficking in persons and prescribing penalties from one to 10 years in prison, plus fines. The government Task Force on Trafficking arrested approximately 40 individuals, freed over 200 women and girls, but there were no reports of any convictions as the government has no mechanism for collecting conviction data once a case is passed to the prosecutor. Additionally, because of Bulgaria's weak judicial system and cumbersome criminal procedure code, trafficking cases were not successfully completed. The government cooperates with other countries on trafficking and concluded bilateral agreements on law enforcement with all bordering countries except Serbia and Montenegro. The government conducted joint operations with The Netherlands, Czech Republic, France, Germany and Italy, it has on-going cooperation with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Romania, and participates in regional law enforcement initiatives such as the Southeastern Cooperative Initiative (SECI). The government does not yet offer specialized investigative anti-trafficking training, though some NGOs offered training at the National Police Academy. Two regional prosecutors work with the Interagency Task Force on Trafficking. Low wages, inadequate resources and government corruption at many levels are significant obstacles. Methods for investigating corruption or misconduct in the police ranks are ineffective.

Protection
The Interagency Task Force on Trafficking works closely with international and non-governmental organizations when victims are rescued, but the government provides no victim assistance. Victims are not provided temporary or permanent residence status, or relief from deportation. Victims are not jailed or prosecuted for prostitution or individual immigration law violations. However, they are deported if they do not cooperate with the police or refuse voluntary NGO-assisted repatriation. The government has a law on implementation of witness protection, but it is rarely used and few in law enforcement know of the law's existence. Victim restitution programs do not exist and given the relative inefficiency of the judicial system, civil lawsuits are not considered an effective recourse. The government is expanding the number of Bulgarian liaison officers in Western Europe, but there is no specialized anti-trafficking training for consular officers abroad.

BURKINA FASO (Tier 2)

Burkina Faso is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for forced labor within West Africa and, to a much lesser extent, a source and transit country for women trafficked to Europe for sexual exploitation. There are traditional regional patterns of poverty-driven mass migration of children for work in the mining, crafts, and agricultural sectors and as domestics. Intermediaries often take advantage of these patterns to trick parents into selling their children, who are then subjected to harsh labor conditions and sometimes abuse. Instability in neighboring Cote d'Ivoire is changing migration patterns, but the degree and direction of those changes are unclear as of now.

The Government of Burkina Faso does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. The government should impose stiffer penalties on traffickers and take steps to curb corruption among border officials.

Prevention
In 2002 the government's national task force established rural vigilance and surveillance committees in five regions. In conjunction with NGOs, the government continues to support public awareness campaigns, holding training seminars for soldiers and customs agents on trafficking in persons. The government allots one quarter of its budget to education, and makes a particular effort to educate girls. Burkina Faso is one of the West African countries participating in an international program to reduce trafficking in children and a regional action plan to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
Burkina Faso currently has no law against trafficking. An anti-child-trafficking bill is before the National Assembly and was developed in cooperation with international organizations and NGOs. Labor laws and laws against slavery, kidnapping, and violence against children are used to prosecute traffickers. In 2002, two traffickers from Benin were convicted using the kidnapping laws, and sentenced to six months in prison. The government has worked with Cote d'Ivoire on 30 trafficking cases. In 2001, according to the most currently available statistics, the government investigated 23 cases of commercial sexual exploitation of children. It trained border control personnel on trafficking issues and negotiated cross-border agreements with neighboring countries, such as Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Togo, and Niger, to combat trans-border trafficking through tighter documentation of minors.

Protection
The Ministry of Social Action and Solidarity assists regularly in the repatriation and re-integration of victims, and maintains two shelters and five transit centers for trafficking victims, mainly children, with staff trained to identify trafficking situations and assist victims. In conjunction with an international organization, the government's shelters assisted 299 children in 2002. In January 2003, the government established a project to provide trafficked children and their parents with micro-credit loans and apprenticeships.

BURMA (Tier 3)

Burma is a source country for persons trafficked for labor and sexual exploitation. Although the government has taken steps to combat trafficking for sexual exploitation, significant use of internal forced labor continues, especially by the military. Burmese are trafficked mainly to Thailand, but also to China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Japan for sexual exploitation, as well as domestic and factory work. Internally, trafficking of women and girls for prostitution occurs from villages to urban centers and other areas, such as trucking crossroads, fishing villages, border towns, and mining and military camps.

The Government of Burma does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The military is directly involved in forced labor trafficking. The ILO's attempts to work with the government to address forced labor abuses have had only limited success. Burma's failure to make progress on forced labor more than offsets the government's improving, but still inadequate, record of combating trafficking for sexual exploitation. The government has allowed some limited but important NGO and international organization activity to educate officials and vulnerable populations, and to assist trafficking victims returning from abroad.

Prevention
Governmental measures to prevent trafficking for sexual exploitation include publicizing the dangers in border areas via government-sponsored discussion groups, distribution of printed materials, and media programming. The government has worked with the UN to educate officials and potential victims on the nature of trafficking for sexual exploitation. The results are uneven and their effectiveness is often undercut by the repressive political climate in Burma and constrained by the government's limited financial resources. Government involvement in forced labor continues. Forced labor prevention efforts are limited to posting directives prohibiting such practices. The government has not publicly acknowledged that forced labor is a widespread problem and has rebuffed recommendations on prevention made by the ILO, which maintains an office in Rangoon.

Prosecution
Burma lacks a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, but a combination of statutes against kidnapping and prostitution is used to arrest and prosecute offenders who traffick in persons for sexual exploitation. According to official government data, Burma prosecuted about 100 such traffickers over the last year. Although information on convictions is incomplete, sentences reportedly ranged from 5 to 12 years, with most carrying a prison sentence of seven years. Corruption is a problem as some local and regional officials are suspected of turning a blind eye to trafficking. The Burmese military has generally not implemented directives prohibiting forced labor trafficking, while continuing to carry out abuses including forced portering, road construction, and military conscription (including of children). There have been no arrests or prosecutions of corrupt officials related to trafficking.

Protection
The government provides limited programming to provide women with income-generating skills and to assist returning victims of trafficking, but there is no specific budget for such activities, which are largely "self-financing." It allows two foreign NGOs and the UN to provide some services and support for repatriation of victims trafficked for sexual exploitation. The government provides no assistance to victims trafficked for forced labor.

BURUNDI (Tier 2)

Burundi is a source and destination country for trafficking in persons, primarily children conscripted to serve as porters, cooks, and some as combatants in both government and rebel forces, many of whom were forcibly recruited. Other children join the military using false documents, and many orphans and children separated from their parents work as porters and cooks at government military camps. Rebel forces also reportedly recruit among growing numbers of street children and orphans, among Burundian refugees in camps in Tanzania, and from other neighboring countries.

The Government of Burundi does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. The government, inaugurated in early May 2003, needs to continue its efforts to demobilize and assist child soldiers, take action against those using them, and provide protection for demobilized child soldiers.

Prevention
Government policy prohibits child combatants, but many suspected children join the military with false documents. Beginning in May 2002, the Ministry of Defense began investigating the extent of the child soldier problem, holding discussions at three army camps and among senior officers, and began a series of awareness raising seminars for senior officers in June and November 2002. In August 2002, the government conducted a survey of families to determine how many children had left to join the government or rebel forces. The Army then conducted a census of minors in the military in October 2002. As a result, the Army Chief of Staff ordered that commanders cease the use of children as combatants in January 2003. The government is working with an international organization to demobilize child soldiers and participating in another international program to prevent children, particularly street children, from becoming involved in armed conflict. The government facilitated the travel of former child soldiers to the Department of Labor conference on child soldiers.

Prosecution
Although there is no specific anti-trafficking law, forcing others into prostitution is prohibited. Bonded labor is also prohibited. The Ministry of Defense prepared a package of laws, including a new minimum age requirement for recruitment, and the government is reviewing laws to strengthen punishments for sexual exploitation of children. The new Council of Ministers is considering these reforms over the next three months. The government broke up a prostitution ring in which four persons were imprisoned.

Protection
The government established a body to demobilize and reintegrate child soldiers that includes the military, government, and non-governmental and international organizations. The government, in partnership with an international organization, is reuniting children with parents and providing alternative education. The government is releasing child soldiers who have been detained or imprisoned.

CAMBODIA (Tier 2)

Cambodia is a source and destination country for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Cambodian men, women, and children who cross into Thailand, often as illegal migrants, are forced into labor or prostitution by traffickers. Cambodian children are trafficked into Vietnam and forced to work as street beggars. Vietnamese women and girls are trafficked into Cambodia for prostitution. Cambodian women and children are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Cambodia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Faced with limited resources, government officials have recognized that trafficking is a major problem confronting the country and have put in place new measures - particularly in prosecution and law enforcement - to address the challenge. Much remains to be done to build upon this modest start. Government action should concentrate on removing corrupt officials linked to trafficking, ensuring that procedures to protect victims function uniformly, and expanding bilateral cooperation, particularly with Vietnam. Future government action should also include enacting an anti-trafficking law, as well as increasing the number of prosecutions and convictions of traffickers.

Prevention
The government works with a wide-reaching array of NGOs and international organizations on prevention. Both the Ministry of Women's and Veterans' Affairs (MOWVA) and the Ministry of Social Affairs, Labor, Vocational Training and Youth Rehabilitation (MOSALVY) have worked with NGOs and international organizations to build up community-based networks in high-risk provinces to inform potential victims of the risks of trafficking. The MOWVA carried out information campaigns, including grassroots meetings in key provinces. The Ministry of Tourism works with NGOs to produce workshops and pamphlets to combat trafficking dangers associated with sex tourism.

Prosecutions
The Government of Cambodia has no comprehensive anti-trafficking law. Law enforcement against traffickers is possible under existing statutes. The Ministry of Interior runs a hotline to gain tips on cases of child sexual exploitation. The hotline has helped officials to identify and rescue victims at risk. According to available data, there were at least 75 convictions of sexual exploiters under the Law on the Suppression of the Kidnapping, Trafficking, and Exploitation of Human Beings. The number of convictions under the law specifically related to trafficking in persons is not available, but NGOs reported at least nine criminal convictions, with six defendants receiving sentences ranging from 10 to 20 years imprisonment. Victims were also awarded financial compensation. Prosecution of traffickers was hampered, however, because the judicial system is backlogged and burdened by corrupt practices, a subject of continuing concern. While authorities have arrested public officials on charges of corruption related to trafficking, no complete information was available on these efforts. The government needs to take aggressive steps to address the involvement of public officials and their families in trafficking.

Protection
The government has procedures to assist victims but they are limited and not uniformly implemented. MOSALVY runs two temporary shelters for victims and attempts to place victims with NGOs for long-term sheltering. However, victims are at risk of being taken out of these shelters and re-trafficked. MOSALVY's efforts are hampered by a lack of resources. Officials have pushed a much-needed memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Thailand, which when implemented will regularize Cambodian repatriations. Government officials recognize the need for regularized repatriation of Vietnamese, and the MOWVA has begun discussions with Hanoi to promote an MOU.

CAMEROON (Tier 2)

Cameroon is a source, transit, and destination country for children who are trafficked for forced labor to and from neighboring countries such as Benin, Chad, Gabon, Niger, Mali, and Nigeria. A majority of the children are trafficked internally to urban centers for indentured or domestic servitude. Women are trafficked for prostitution to European countries, including France and Switzerland.

The Government of Cameroon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severely limited resources. Cameroon could step up its prevention efforts and more vigorously prosecute traffickers to conviction.

Prevention
The government's anti-child labor action plan was finalized in 2002. The inter-agency anti-trafficking group, comprised of 10 ministerial agencies, supported public awareness raising programs throughout the year. The government provides free public education, micro-credit projects for vulnerable portions of the population such as women and young girls, and outreach to parents in rural areas at high risk for trafficking. Cameroon is part of a regional effort to reduce trafficking in children and participates in an international program to reduce the worst forms of child labor, including trafficking. This program lays out a timeline with set goals.

Prosecution
Although it has no trafficking law, Cameroon has laws prohibiting slavery and trafficking into prostitution, and the government investigates trafficking cases. The Penal Code "prohibits reducing a person to or maintaining a person in slavery, or engaging, even occasionally, in trafficking in human beings." Forced or compulsory labor is also prohibited. Several cases are currently under investigation, and a few are in court. Penalties for trafficking include a prison sentence ranging from 15-20 years and asset forfeiture. The police plan to implement an anti-trafficking training in late 2003, and are in the process of creating a minors' unit. Border officials are giving more scrutiny to unaccompanied minors. Cameroon is working with Equatorial Guinea, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Chad, and Congo-Brazzaville to develop a sub-regional instrument to govern anti-trafficking actions on border control, extradition, and penalties. Corruption remains a problem.

Protection
The government provides temporary residence status, shelter, and medical care to trafficking victims, and works closely with NGOs, opening a home for distressed child victims in December 2002. Children are placed in public or private institutions where they receive education, medical care, and counseling assistance. Cameroon also provides in-kind assistance to NGOs working to help trafficking victims, such as tax concessions, and duty-free importation privileges.

CANADA (Tier 2)

Canada is a destination for persons trafficked into prostitution, and to a lesser extent forced labor, with victims coming primarily from China, Thailand, Cambodia, Philippines, Russia, Korea, and Eastern Europe. Traffickers also use Canada as a transit point for moving victims from these countries to the United States.

The Government of Canada does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Canada has a broad social safety net, comprehensive legal structure, and coordinated enforcement. Implementation of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, which took effect in June 2002, should enhance the government's uneven efforts to prosecute traffickers and impose tough sentences.

Prevention
Canada attempts to prevent trafficking before victims reach Canadian shores. The Canadian International Development Agency contributes anti-trafficking funds to several developing countries. Immigration officers are stationed in key source countries to identify illicit migration and stop traffickers before they depart for Canada. A new policy requiring that Canadian minors be issued their own passports, rather than being included in a parent's passport, is intended to protect children from traffickers posing as parents.

Prosecution
The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act prohibits trafficking and prescribes tough punishments for traffickers. Task forces comprised of federal, provincial, and municipal law enforcement officials have investigated illegal prostitution and smuggling rings and freed some trafficking victims, but there have been few convictions of traffickers, due in part to deportation of witnesses. Canadian and US law enforcement have excellent cooperation on migration and border control with several successes in breaking up illicit migration operations.

Protection
Provincial governments provide protection and basic services such as shelters, health care, and legal aid for all victims of violence and sexual abuse, including trafficking victims; however, there are no specific efforts to work with and rehabilitate trafficking victims. Some provinces have recently enacted legislation allowing victims to sue pimps and sex abusers for the costs of treating the victims. Foreign trafficking victims are eligible to apply for refugee status under gender-related persecution guidelines, but often they are deported.

PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA (Tier 2)

The People's Republic of China (PRC) is a source, transit and destination country for trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation. There is also internal trafficking of young women and girls sold as brides. Victims trafficked into the PRC originate from Thailand, Burma, Mongolia, Laos, North Korea, Vietnam and Russia; they are most often young women and girls trafficked for prostitution or sold as brides. Political prisoners in the PRC, including Tibetans, are occasionally forced to work in prison and detention facilities. Chinese are trafficked to Taiwan, Singapore, Australia, Japan, Malaysia, the Hong Kong or Macau Special Administrative Regions, South Korea, North America, and Europe. Many Chinese migrants who are smuggled to North America are trapped in forced labor to repay traffickers.

The Government of the People's Republic of China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Senior officials have expressed their determination to combat trafficking, and policies are in place to do so. Although the implementation of those policies is uneven, the PRC's continued high-level engagement on fighting trafficking is vital to address the worldwide problem. The PRC can sharpen its effectiveness by widening its international cooperation on law enforcement. The government should continue to fight corruption along its lengthy borders.

Prevention
The PRC continued public awareness campaigns against trafficking in women and children, including warning messages about domestic bride abuses. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) announced its four-year "Elimination of Trafficking: Zero Tolerance Plan" with UNICEF targeting rural farmers via promotional awareness and educational activities. MPS drafted an anti-trafficking action plan that established a national committee to oversee its development. Other campaigns were aimed to keep children in school ("Spring Bud Plan") and women's empowerment ("Rural Women Know All") through vocational training and rights awareness. The ILO-IPEC Mekong Sub-Regional Project continues to prevent trafficking through cooperation between government officials and local communities.

Prosecution
Trafficking in women is specifically outlawed in the PRC. The government recognizes trafficking as a priority law enforcement issue and has an anti-trafficking unit within the MPS. No government figures were released on prosecutions for the past year, although press releases note that there were 469 arrests of suspected human traffickers in the Fujian province alone. Inter-government cooperation and exchanges between law enforcement officials took place with Vietnam and Thailand.

Protection
PRC assistance is primarily focused on Chinese trafficking victims. Women are reintegrated into their communities through resettlement centers offering legal, medical, and psychological help. The PRC collaborated with UNICEF on three pilot "transit centers" offering victims temporary lodging, counseling, and vocational training, as well as training hundreds of MPS officers on victims' needs.

COLOMBIA (Tier 1)

Colombia is a major source of women and girls trafficked into prostitution. Victims are primarily sent to Europe, especially Spain and The Netherlands, as well as Japan. There also is internal trafficking in Colombia for prostitution and forced conscription in terrorist and guerrilla groups, often with children as victims.

The Government of Colombia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The widespread internal armed conflict, the existence of well-organized drug trafficking groups, and economic pressures combine to make Colombia one of the major source countries for trafficking victims in Latin America. However, despite these factors, the government continues to make serious and sustained efforts toward the elimination of trafficking in persons, both at home and abroad.

Prevention
An interagency committee coordinates a variety of anti-trafficking prevention measures, including the creation of a hotline, public awareness campaigns, and improved coordination with Interpol. Police and immigration officials, with the help of NGOs, closely monitor airports and have prevented dozens of Colombians from being trafficked by identifying would-be victims and educating them on the dangers that lay ahead.

Prosecution
In 2002, improved anti-trafficking legislation broadened the definition of trafficking and toughened the penalties - almost doubling prison sentences and raising the maximum fine by a factor of 10. Colombia is one of the leading countries engaged in international law enforcement cooperation against trafficking. Police have conducted numerous international operations in coordination with other governments, particularly Spain, The Netherlands, and Japan, which have led to the rescue of hundreds of trafficking victims and over 100 arrests. For example, in November 2002, information provided by Colombian law enforcement authorities through Colombia's diplomatic mission in Tokyo led Japanese officials to arrest a major organized crime leader who had trafficked at least 400 Colombian women into Japan. Several Colombian collaborators in the trafficking ring were deported to Colombia, where they are under indictment and in custody. Domestically, police are proactive, attempting to break up trafficking rings before women are victimized. In the last 18 months, government authorities have arrested 44 persons on trafficking charges, indicted 30, and convicted 16. The government encourages victims to testify against traffickers, but the witness protection program is underfunded, and successful intimidation by traffickers has limited the number of successful prosecutions.

Protection
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs assists Colombian victims abroad by providing basic services and facilitating repatriation. The government cooperates with a network of NGOs and IOM to provide support and assistance to victims once they return to Colombia. The government works with IOM to train diplomats and consular officials on how to assist victims. IOM also works closely with other governmental officials, training more than 500 officials last year on the implementation of the new trafficking law.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (Tier 2)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a source country for trafficked persons. Rebel forces and militias continue to abduct and forcibly recruit Congolese men, women, and children to serve as forced laborers, porters, combatants, and sex slaves in areas of the country under their control. Internal trafficking for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation also occurs. To a lesser extent, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is a source country for women trafficked to France and Belgium on "entertainment visas" but then forced into commercial sexual exploitation to pay off debts.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government should increase its commitment to raising public awareness, providing better protection and assistance to victims, and step up law enforcement efforts, especially prosecutions, in areas under its control.

Prevention
The government participates in an international program to prevent children from becoming child soldiers and to combat child labor. It also conducts information campaigns on local radio and in local community meetings. Over the past year, the government held workshops to assist the reintegration of former child soldiers and other combatants into their home communities as part of its ongoing demobilization program currently enforced by the National Bureau for Demobilization and Reintegration. With NGOs, the government implements education programs for child soldiers, street children, and orphans and tries to improve educational opportunities for girls, a highly vulnerable group for trafficking. The Ministry of Family Affairs and Labor now implements its action plan against sexual exploitation in conjunction with an international organization.

Prosecution
The initial draft of the new constitution prohibits forced labor. In the meantime, the government uses statutes prohibiting slavery, forced labor, debauchery, and rape to prosecute traffickers. We have no information on prosecutions. In May 2002, the government filed a case in the International Court of Justice against Rwanda for forced conscription, abduction, and rape of Congolese citizens. The government is actively gathering testimonies from escaped abductees and former child soldiers to try war criminals.

Protection
Due to a lack of resources, the government conducts few victim protection efforts, instead relying heavily on non-governmental and international organizations. The government provides family tracing services, medical assistance, psychological rehabilitation, reintegration, and counseling for families accepting child soldiers. The government is willing to assist the repatriation of victims trafficked to Europe for commercial sexual exploitation, but no requests have been made.

COSTA RICA (Tier 2)

Costa Rica has internal trafficking and is primarily a destination country for women and children trafficked into prostitution. Costa Rica is also a source and transit country for illegal migration, which includes trafficking. Women and girls are trafficked to Costa Rica from Colombia, Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Panama, and to a lesser extent, Russia, Philippines, Romania and Bulgaria. The vibrant tourism industry attracts a small but growing percentage of sex tourists primarily from the United States, Canada, and Germany who prey on children.

The Government of Costa Rica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Costa Rica has continued to improve efforts to investigate and prosecute child sex abusers. There is significant political will to fight trafficking in persons which hopefully will translate into further actions to assist victims and prevent trafficking.

Prevention
The government implemented some public awareness activities, including a radio campaign on the plight of street children who remain at high risk of being trafficked. In October 2002, the government placed stricter controls on the emigration of minors by requiring an exit document if the child was not traveling with a parent. Programs to raise school attendance and provide vocational opportunities to young women have been carried out but could be expanded.

Prosecution
The Special Prosecutor on Sex Crimes reported hundreds of investigations launched in 2002, which led to a handful of convictions. The government expanded training of police and government officials on investigation methods and appropriate treatment of victims by the United States, UNICEF and IOM. In late 2002, each of the nation's 10 police districts established delegations of two investigators and two prosecutors to focus solely on sexual exploitation. Several anti-corruption cases are ongoing, some related to migration offenses. Increased prosecutions are expected to follow as training increases.

Protection
Most victim assistance is provided through well-established NGOs and not through the government. The Child Welfare Ministry has created various community boards to assist in the protection of children. The government should continue plans to provide shelters for child victims of sexual exploitation as well as improve basic services. Medium and long-term care for victims is appropriate and benefits judicial proceedings against traffickers.

COTE D' IVOIRE (Tier 2)

Cote d'Ivoire is primarily a destination country for children trafficked from Burkina Faso, Mali, Benin, Togo, and Ghana for domestic and farm labor and a destination for women and girls trafficked from Nigeria, Liberia, and Asia for commercial sexual exploitation. It is also a country of origin for girls trafficked internally and to Europe and the Middle East for domestic servitude. An armed rebellion in September 2002 resulted in closure of the borders with neighboring countries, changing trafficking patterns and creating larger displaced and vulnerable populations.

The Government of Cote d'Ivoire does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severely limited resources and instability. Passage of the anti-trafficking law and implementation of stiff sentences for traffickers will enhance Cote d'Ivoire's anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
The national task force to combat trafficking has high-level government support and significant resource commitment from several agencies, including 20 Ministry of Women, Family, and Children's Affairs personnel working on child trafficking. Over the past year, the government worked closely with international organizations to regulate child labor on cocoa farms. The International Institute for Tropical Agriculture and government-supported national researchers conducted a survey on child labor to assess the scope and magnitude of the problem. The government supported public awareness campaigns focused on the exploitation of children for labor, trafficking of girls as domestics, and warning Ivorians about the dangers of private employment agencies. Cote d'Ivoire participates in an international program to eliminate the worst forms of child labor in the cocoa industry, which withdraws children from hazardous work and provides income-generating activities, economic alternatives, and education. Cote d'Ivoire also participates in a regional plan of action to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
There is no anti-trafficking law, although one is pending in the National Assembly, but the government used other statutes, such as those against kidnapping and forced labor, to prosecute traffickers. At least nine traffickers from Cote d'Ivoire and neighboring countries were arrested and 100 children rescued in 2002. In 2001, approximately 550 Malian and Burkinabe children were rescued and 29 traffickers were arrested; those convicted received sentences ranging from 5 to 10 years in prison. There is no evidence of government complicity in trafficking, but there is corruption among low-level border officials and police. Border officials deny entry to children not traveling with their parents because there is a high likelihood they are being trafficked. Anecdotal evidence suggests the Ivorian-Malian border agreement is leading to improved border controls and a decline in child trafficking. Investigators and prosecutors participated in anti-trafficking training with INTERPOL, NGOs, and neighboring countries.

Protection
The government facilitates the repatriation of trafficking victims. Rescued children are accommodated with host families and at reception centers, receiving health and psychological counseling until source country embassies can receive them.

CROATIA (Tier 2)

Croatia is primarily a transit country to Bosnia and Herzegovina and Western Europe, and to a lesser extent a source and destination country, for trafficking of women for the purposes of forced prostitution. The extent of the problem in Croatia has been difficult to establish. In the past year, more information emerged regarding trafficking routes through Croatia.

The Government of Croatia 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 shown an enhanced willingness to establish preventive mechanisms, including cooperation with non-governmental organizations and neighboring countries.

Prevention
The government created the National Commission for the Suppression of Trafficking in Persons, chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister. The Commission does not meet regularly, but members represent all relevant ministries, NGOs, international organizations, and the media; and it is responsible for implementing the new National Action Plan. The Head of the Government Office for Human Rights was appointed the government's anti-trafficking coordinator. In the spring, the Commission endorsed an IOM awareness campaign, which includes free spots on Croatian National TV and 20 local radio stations nationwide. Campaign materials are concentrated in border crossings, public transport, schools and employment agencies. The government signed memoranda of understanding with two international organizations assisting victims, and continued to cooperate with regional governments through regional ministerial declarations and Stability Pact capacity-building activities. Despite limited resources, the government funded a survey to be conducted among high school students regarding awareness of human trafficking.

Prosecution
The Croatian criminal code contains a number of trafficking-related crimes, such as slavery, international prostitution and illegal human transport across a state boundary; however, there have been few convictions on trafficking-related crimes. The government forwarded to the Parliament proposed amendments to the penal code to specifically criminalize TIP. Croatia participates in the Southeastern European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) on law enforcement and is part of the regional agreement on police cooperation in suppression of illegal migration and organized crime. Croatia participated in SECI's "Operation Mirage" which resulted in 14 arrests.

Protection
Civil society projects are underway to raise the government's capacity to identify victims of trafficking. The government provided some assistance to a shelter for victims and cooperates with the International Organization for Migration, which is providing additional protective services. The government also assisted an NGO network to establish and operate an SOS "800" number for victims of trafficking to call for assistance. The Ministries of Interior and Labor and Social Welfare began training their officers to identify victims, leading to successful victim identification within a group of detained illegal migrants. The officers contacted IOM, which assisted the victims.

CUBA (Tier 3)

Cuba is a country of internal trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Minors are victimized in sexual exploitation connected to the state-run tourism industry. Despite occasional measures by the Government of Cuba to crack down on prostitution, state-controlled tourism establishments and independent operators facilitate and even encourage the sexual exploitation of minors by foreign tourists. Government authorities turn a blind eye to this exploitation because such activity helps to win hard currency for state-run enterprises. Opponents of the Cuban government, often arrested under the crime of "dangerousness," are forced to carry out state-run construction and agricultural labor that profit the state. Laborers are coerced to work on foreign investment or government priority projects without adequate compensation, which is retained by the state. Children are coerced to perform agricultural work.

The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government does not acknowledge that its tourism institutions are involved in the sexual trafficking of minors; it does not acknowledge that it participates in forced labor trafficking.

Prevention
The government does not acknowledge a trafficking problem per se, but does acknowledge the existence of prostitution. The government carries out no public awareness campaigns to warn of the dangers of trafficking, but it does endorse women's participation in economic decision-making and children staying in school.

Prosecution
The Cuban penal code makes it illegal to promote or organize the movement of persons in or out of the country for prostitution. The code outlaws pimping, and the selling of and trafficking in minors. Criminal penalties are imposed under the law, but the government makes no data available on the number of prosecutions and convictions of traffickers it has carried out. Over the years, the Cuban government has reversed its position regarding its condemnation of the prostitution that feeds sex tourism. There is no known law enforcement against traffickers who make available state-controlled public facilities for the sexual exploitation of minors.

Protection
Government assistance to trafficking victims is inadequate. Social workers and state-controlled "mass" organizations have provided some assistance to women in prostitution. Suspected prostitutes are known to be detained by the police and sent to rehabilitation or "reeducation" centers. Such centers provide legal and medical help, but have been criticized for violating the rights of the internees.

CZECH REPUBLIC (Tier 1)

The Czech Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for women trafficked from the former Soviet Union (in particular, Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova), Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Asia into the Czech Republic and onward to Western Europe and the United States for prostitution. Small numbers of Czech men are trafficked to the United States for coerced labor. There is some evidence of internal trafficking of Czech women and children from areas of low unemployment near border regions with Germany and Austria. Additionally, foreign minors are believed to be exploited in the commercial sex trade either in the Czech Republic or other European countries.

The Government of the Czech Republic fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government focused its resources on all three areas, especially prioritizing regional law enforcement cooperation. Information on court convictions was uneven and lack of resources hampered some overall efforts.

Prevention
The Crime Prevention Division of the Interior Ministry implemented a national media campaign on the dangers of trafficking, as well as an informational program in Czech schools targeting 13 and 14 year-olds. The government created a National Plan for Combating Commercial Sexual Abuse, including trafficking in women and children for sexual purposes, for which the Interior Ministry has the leading role.

Prosecution
The government amended the criminal code to include a broader definition of trafficking victims, and to raise the penalty from five to 12 years for traffickers who cause grave bodily harm to their victims. In 2002, the Czech Republic investigated 19 cases under the trafficking in persons statute, yielding 14 indictments. While none of the cases was concluded during the year, eight individuals were held in pre-trial detention pending final resolution. Police recorded 139 trafficking-related arrests during 2002. The Anti-Organized Crime Police has a special unit specifically trained in human trafficking, and the Interior Ministry cooperates closely with NGOs to train police and investigators handling trafficking cases. The government cooperates with regional governments to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases. The Foreigner and Border Police work closely with their counterparts in Germany and Austria, and in June 2002, Czech authorities conducted a series of raids on suspected traffickers with counterparts in Germany, Austria, Bulgaria, and Romania. Border monitoring is relatively weaker regarding the Polish and Slovak border, but the government is using EU assistance to improve its border control.

Protection
The government refers trafficking victims to NGOs, which provide shelter and medical treatment; the government also provides partial funding for these services. The Interior Ministry funds an NGO which assists foreign victims with repatriation and Czech victims with reintegration services. Victims willing to testify against a trafficker may be offered temporary residence, a work permit, access to social assistance, and in extreme cases, police protection. The government continues to detain some possible victims, followed by removal either immediately or after a thirty-day stay of deportation.

DENMARK (Tier 1)

Denmark is both a destination and transit country for women and children trafficked from the former Soviet Union countries, Eastern Europe, and the Baltics, as well as Thailand, for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Denmark as a transit for trafficked victims from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union on their way to other European and Nordic countries may be exacerbated by implementation of the Schengen Agreement and resulting relaxation of many border controls

The Government of Denmark fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking with regard to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. The government showed a particularly strong focus on prevention in the past year, both domestically and internationally, and on protection activities in-country, but efforts should be made to avoid immediate deportation of trafficked victims, some of which have been minors. With the passage of the new anti-trafficking legislation, it is hoped that the government will maintain vigorous law enforcement while improving its screening mechanism to prevent deporting victims in the coming year.

Prevention
The Government of Denmark established teams of fieldworkers that assessed the problem through direct contact with victims, and facilitated dialogue between public authorities and NGOs. The government earmarked nearly $1.5 million for a three-year strategy to combat human trafficking. In conjunction with the release of Denmark's National Action Plan in 2002, the Ministries of Social Affairs and Gender Equality conducted an anti-trafficking ad campaign in all major newspapers. In addition, the Ministries of Social Affairs and Gender Equality subsidize a hotline and website.

Prosecution
New anti-trafficking legislation went into effect in late 2002 but its overall effectiveness is still uncertain, as no cases were brought to trial. Previously, Danish authorities prosecuted trafficking under other provisions of the criminal law, such as those against human smuggling. Three foreigners and five Danish nationals were convicted for smuggling prostitutes, but all the convictions were overturned on appeal. The Danish National Commissioner of Police maintains its own internal task force on trafficking in persons, assists local police constabularies with investigations and trains its officers to recognize and investigate instances of trafficking. The government monitors trafficking largely through information-sharing between the national police and immigration authorities of countries with common borders and shared concerns. The government cooperates in international investigations, exchanges information with other Scandinavian countries, and works with Europol to track trafficking victims across borders.

Protection
The Danish Aliens Act allows a 15-day legal stay for trafficking victims prior to their repatriation in order to provide services to victims and ensure their safe return. During this time, victims cannot be employed, but are provided medical assistance, counseling and safe housing. The repatriation procedure applies to persons without visas, but may be extended to victims with valid visas only. However, the government normally deports those found to be in the country illegally. This may occur at the conclusion of a trafficking cases or much sooner. In some cases minors have been immediately deported. Trafficked legal workers appear to have greater rights than trafficked women illegally present in Denmark, but the law and social policy currently favors deportation in both situations. The government has no formal witness protection program, but guarantees safe surroundings with access to professional social, medical and psychological support to those waiting to testify in court. The government also funds an NGO that provides legal services to trafficking victims. The government funds several NGO hotlines to support victims, prevent trafficking, and gather empirical data on the problem. The Ministries of Social Affairs and Gender Equality disseminate information to victims and provide confidential counseling.

THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Tier 3)

[*Please note: Dominican Republic was updated to Tier 2 per President George W. Bush, Presidential Determination No. 2003-35, September 9, 2003.]

The Dominican Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Dominicans are trafficked internally, particularly poor children who work as domestics. Some of the Dominican women and girls who are smuggled to Europe, the United States and elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere end up in trafficked situations. Some are trafficked to these destinations for sexual exploitation. Haitian children are trafficked into the Dominican Republic. In addition, some of the many Haitians who enter the Dominican Republic as illegal migrants become subject to trafficking abuses. Illegal migrants from a number of countries transit through the Dominican Republic; some may be trafficking victims.

The Government of the Dominican Republic 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 recognizes trafficking as a problem, the effectiveness of these measures is diminished by the government's incomplete efforts to convict traffickers and deal with public corruption. The Dominican Republic remains one of the largest victim source countries in the Western Hemisphere. In response, the government has not undertaken any notable prosecutions of traffickers. The government should enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, which is under consideration in Congress.

Prevention
A committee of several government offices, known as CIPROM, works on prevention matters. The committee has worked with IOM to continue the distribution of printed materials that informs potential victims, particularly young women, of the dangers of trafficking. The government cooperates with the country's leading NGO fighting trafficking to distribute printed materials and run a telephone hotline. The government has been involved in a number of seminars and public activities, including hosting an assembly of the OAS's Inter-American Commission of Women that addressed trafficking.

Prosecution
The Dominican Republic has no comprehensive anti-trafficking statute but has used existing laws that apply to smuggling, domestic violence, and kidnapping to prosecute traffickers. Senior government officials have spoken out in general terms about the need to combat trafficking and acknowledge that trafficking is a problem, but law enforcement efforts have been lacking. Some arrests have been made, usually in the context of smuggling. However, penalties are lenient and rarely imposed, and kingpin traffickers are not prosecuted. Efforts by the government to work with victims to prosecute traffickers have been hampered by the victims' fear of the traffickers and the government's inability to protect victims. Several officials in the diplomatic and immigration services implicated in facilitating or even participating in trafficking activities have not faced sanctions. In the Foreign Affairs Ministry, internal procedures and practices in the context of visa issuance continue to be open to misuse.

Protection
The Secretariat of Women through CIPROM takes the lead on protection issues for the government. Working with NGOs and international organizations, the government opened a center to assist returning migrant women in 2003. IOM worked with the government to assist Dominican women trafficked to Argentina to return home. The Secretariat of Labor, working with ILO, has become more involved in protecting children at risk, a continuing area of concern.
In a positive development, the Foreign Affairs Ministry is training diplomatic personnel on trafficking issues and specifically how to assist victims overseas.

EL SALVADOR (Tier 2)

El Salvador is a source, transit and destination country for trafficking for sexual exploitation. Salvadorans are trafficked to other Central American countries, Mexico, and the United States. Nicaraguans, Hondurans and South American nationals are trafficked to or through El Salvador. Women and children are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation.

The Government of El Salvador 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. The government recognizes that trafficking in persons is a problem. It fights trafficking by enforcing its anti-migrant smuggling law, cooperating with NGOs and attempting to enforce child labor standards.

Prevention
Government agencies and NGOs have worked together on information campaigns against trafficking. For instance, the government has sponsored television public service messages to discourage illegal migration and warn potential victims, as well as newspaper advertisements condemning the sexual exploitation of children. Labor ministry officials cooperate with the ILO to formulate policies that address the worst forms of child labor.

Prosecution
Two laws prohibit trafficking. Although there have been no arrests for trafficking per se, the authorities have prosecuted migrant smugglers who might have been involved in trafficking.

There is no evidence that the government is involved in or tolerates trafficking, and no officials have been charged for violating trafficking statutes. However, individual police officers, migration officials and politicians are under investigation in migrant smuggling cases. The anti-migrant smuggling unit is also responsible for combating trafficking. Although airport controls are adequate, the government is not able to adequately control or monitor its land and maritime borders.

Protection
The government provides legal, medical, and psychological assistance to detained illegal migrants, including those who might be trafficking victims. However, the government does not determine who among the detained might be a trafficking victim, and does not encourage foreign trafficking victims to assist in investigations. Although foreign victims are not treated as criminals, the quick deportation process prevents them from filing a civil suit or pursuing legal action against traffickers. The government funds foreign and domestic NGOs that provide services to illegal migrants who might also be trafficking victims. A government agency provides protection, counseling, and legal assistance to abused, homeless, and neglected children, including those who might also be trafficking victims. Repatriated Salvadorans, including those who may have been trafficking victims, receive government assistance. Salvadoran diplomats are provided with instructional materials to alert them to the problems of migrants; some of these migrants might also be trafficking victims.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA (Tier 2)

Equatorial Guinea is a country of destination and, to a lesser extent, transit for women and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Recent growth in the country's oil industry has fueled demand for women trafficked from Benin, Cameroon, and Nigeria. Children are trafficked in from West and Central Africa and into exploitative work situations as farmhands, domestic servants, and street hawkers. Equatorial Guinea is a transit country for women being trafficked from other African countries to Europe, particularly Spain.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea does not fully meet the minimum standards to eliminate trafficking in persons; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severely limited resources. Aggressive enforcement of current statutes in the absence of anti-trafficking legislation and curbing of corruption are needed.

Prevention
The government, in conjunction with NGOs, sponsored a public-awareness campaign which reduced young girls' vulnerability to trafficking and the flow of children trafficked from Benin to Equatorial Guinea for forced labor. The government is working with local community leaders to raise public awareness about trafficking. Equatorial Guinea actively participates in regional conferences and a regional plan of action to combat trafficking in persons. The government has identified poverty and lack of education as root causes of trafficking and has made education free and compulsory until age 14.

Prosecution
Equatorial Guinea does not have an anti-trafficking law but is in the process of drafting legislation. In 2002, the Foreign Minister issued a public announcement threatening stiff penalties for the crimes of sex trafficking and pedophilia, which drove prostitution underground. Equatorial Guinea is an island nation and borders are inadequately monitored. The law prohibits forced labor.

Protection
The government is currently constructing two shelters for trafficked and disadvantaged children, which are scheduled to open in late 2003. The government also assists abandoned children and cooperates with NGOs that provide services to victims and at-risk women and children. In 2001, the government offered to care for and repatriate trafficked children found aboard a captured boat in transit from Benin to Gabon, but ceded to an international organization to manage the repatriation. There are no reports of victims being deported or otherwise punished. In 2000, a young Beninese trafficking victim was found in Equatorial Guinea; the government allowed her to stay and aided her integration into the community.

ESTONIA (Tier 2)

Estonia is a source country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation both internally and abroad. Victims are usually trafficked to Finland, Sweden and the other Nordic countries, as well as Germany and Italy. There are also indications of internal trafficking typically from the northeast border region to the capital for prostitution. Those most at risk for being trafficked are unemployed Russian-speaking non-citizens with little or no high school education.

The Government of Estonia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Within the last year, the government passed anti-trafficking legislation and participated in regional anti-trafficking efforts; however, protection efforts were relatively weak and it did not engage in concrete preventive efforts in Estonia.

Prevention
Estonia was active in regional cooperation efforts on prevention, including the Nordic Baltic Council of Ministers anti-trafficking campaign; however, the government did not recognize the full extent of the trafficking problem within the last year, nor did it provide specific resources to prevention efforts.

Prosecution
The Government of Estonia passed new amendments to its Penal Code to criminalize trafficking in persons and enslavement, with a maximum penalty of 12 years imprisonment. Eight people were arrested under the new legislation, and 12 other cases were under investigation; but no cases proceeded to prosecution. Police and government officials participate in NGO-sponsored trainings, and trafficking issues are part of the curricula for the Police and Border Guard Schools, and in the Public Service academy. Estonia has a cooperative agreement with Finland to focus on border security and mutual assistance in prosecution, which may provide a framework for anti-trafficking cooperation, although currently the agreement is used to combat drug trafficking and prostitution. Two persons were extradited to Finland for procurement of prostitutes, but the relevance to trafficking was not determined

Protection
The government does not provide assistance for programs specifically focused on trafficking victims, but it provides limited funds to centers that provide shelter and volunteer training to assist victims of all crimes. Victims may apply for financial assistance under the 2001 State Compensation of Victims of Crime Act, although education and awareness campaigns about the services were not reported. The Ministry of Social Affairs is introducing a new general victim support system with the Evangelical Lutheran Church, which may be utilized for victims of trafficking. Victims may file civil suits or seek legal action against traffickers, but victim restitution is lacking. The government has no special programs or shelters specifically for trafficking victims and the government relies on assistance by international organizations, NGOs, and foreign governments for trafficking victim assistance programs.

ETHIOPIA (Tier 2)

Ethiopia is primarily a source country for women, and to a lesser extent, children trafficked to Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates for domestic labor. Some women, lured by the prospect of employment abroad, are subjected to domestic servitude and sexual abuse. There is internal trafficking of children for forced labor. Large numbers of displaced persons in camps are increasingly vulnerable to trafficking, particularly the exchange of sexual services for food.

The Government of Ethiopia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints and a widespread food emergency. Enhanced law enforcement efforts, especially follow-through on cases, witness protection, prosecution of cases to conviction, and curbing corruption are needed.

Prevention
The government and an international organization conducted a public awareness campaign and inserted anti-trafficking messages into the school curriculum. Local government authorities, trade unions, and children are being mobilized to prevent trafficking and identify traffickers to authorities. Community task forces of barkeepers, police, health providers, and local politicians are involved in anti-trafficking activities. The government provides anonymous complaint forms in local areas to help identify traffickers and those who abuse children's rights. Additionally, an inter-ministerial committee on trafficking meets monthly to coordinate government activities. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs monitors and keeps statistics on the numbers of Ethiopians trafficked abroad. In concert with an international organization, the government launched a project for pre-departure briefings of labor migrants to explain their rights in the destination countries. The government supports an ongoing awareness-raising campaign about abuse and exploitation during humanitarian crises.

Prosecution
The Criminal Code prohibits trafficking in women, infants, and young persons. More than 100 traffickers have been arrested in Ethiopia under other statutes, but lack of cooperation from witnesses makes convictions difficult to obtain. Employment agencies, which are a key recruitment mechanism for traffickers, are required to register with the government, but this regulation is not fully enforced. Ethiopians traveling abroad must have a valid work permit; however, false documents are easily obtained and low-level collusion between traffickers and government officials has led to weak enforcement. Allegations of official collusion are being investigated.

Protection
The government works with destination countries to provide assistance to victims abroad and opened a consulate in Lebanon to address the needs of trafficking victims. The consulate, which provides shelter and legal advice, is currently handling 710 cases. Victims are not detained or jailed, and the government sometimes assists with transportation costs for returning victims to travel from the capital to home areas. The government works with NGOs to help street children, victims of child prostitution, and child laborers. Child Protection Units at police stations educate law enforcement officials on the rights of children.

FINLAND (Tier 2)

Finland is a destination and transit country for women and girls trafficked by organized crime syndicates into sexual exploitation, including into enclosed prostitution camps in the northern part of the country. Traffickers bring women in the country on surreptitious marriage contracts and then force them into prostitution. Victims are mainly from Eastern Europe and the Baltic States (Russia, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine and Moldova), but also Southeast Asia (Thailand and the Philippines). Once in Finland, many victims are trafficked throughout the country and on to other Nordic countries and Western Europe.

The Government of Finland does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government dedicated resources to prevention efforts in neighboring source countries; however, law enforcement efforts lacked focus on internal and labor trafficking. Moreover, the government should increase efforts to distinguish trafficking from illegal immigration to ensure implementation of victim protection mechanisms.

Prevention
The Government of Finland did not conduct significant prevention campaigns within Finland, but it focused efforts regionally and internationally. The government participated in the 2002 Nordic Baltic Campaign Against Trafficking in Women, which calls upon governments to dedicate significant resources to combat and monitor trafficking in the region. The government funded prevention activities in other countries, and allocated human resources for some Stability Pact training events. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health compiles information on international commercial prostitution to combat its negative consequences and on June 1-3, 2003, Finland co-hosted with the U.S., Canadian, and Swedish Embassies in Helsinki, a regional conference on best practices in combating trafficking in minors.

Prosecution
Presently, the law does not specifically prohibit trafficking in persons, nor does the penal code reference trafficking in persons. Many related crimes are absent from the Penal Code as well, such as restricting another's freedom of movement; trafficking in persons for transit purposes; restriction of will, choice and movement of prostitutes via debt bondage; and passport confiscation. The government is developing draft legislation that provides a legal definition for trafficking and provides penalties commensurate with other grave crimes. The government instituted strict border controls and benefited from positive law enforcement cooperation between the EU and Nordic countries. Near the end of 2002, the Helsinki Police ended the most notorious organized prostitution ring in the Helsinki area, but made no arrests. High-ranking police officials believe that the absence of anti-trafficking legislation resulted in insufficient police funding for combating trafficking.

Protection
Cooperation between police and victim assistance organizations exists. The anti-trafficking working group of the Police, Border and Immigration authorities consults with social and health care authorities, and one NGO that works with trafficking victims receives funding from national ministries and local sources. Space at most shelters is limited, and some shelters are unwilling to provide short or long-term assistance due to safety concerns. Although there is no formal witness protection program, the defendants that intimidate witnesses during trials are punished and victims are provided legal support and a representative upon request. Authorities are unable to effectively follow information flows and trends pertaining to trafficking as police are not trained on victim identification and they deport foreign prostitutes in almost all cases, trafficked or voluntary. In general, those facing trafficking situations do not report out of fear of deportation or of retribution. In addition, the police report that some women applying for visas at the Finnish consulate in St. Petersburg quietly requested that the visa officer refuse their application, alerting to a potential trafficking situation from that area.

FRANCE (Tier 1)

France is a destination country for victims, primarily women, trafficked from Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union for the purposes of prostitution and domestic servitude. French police estimate that 90% of the 15,000 prostitutes working in France are trafficking victims, and that 3,000 to 8,000 children are forced into prostitution and labor, including begging. To a lesser extent, France is also a transit country for women trafficked from Africa, South America, and Eastern and Southern Europe to other European countries, and sometimes traffickers "rotate" victims in and out of France and neighboring countries to avoid violating visa regulations and evade the police. There are also reports of Chinese and Colombian men trafficked into bonded or forced labor in France.The Government of France fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2003, France passed a comprehensive law to combat trafficking and slavery and improve victim assistance, and developed an innovative preventive program through Air France. The law and its related protections are still very new and while no information on implementation of the criminal and protective mechanisms is available as of now, these will be important elements for fulfillment of the minimum standards in coming years.

Prevention
In an effort to prevent trafficking of would-be legal migrants, the government conducted focused bilateral efforts with source country governments. For example, the government provided financial assistance to trafficking victims from Mali to prevent them from falling into traffickers' hands, and France and Romania concluded a bilateral agreement to reduce child-beggar and child-prostitute trafficking networks. Air France, a government enterprise, began a poster and in-flight video campaign on sex tourism. The government provided financial support to organizations in France conducting prevention activities.

Prosecution
In February 2003, France passed an anti-trafficking and slavery law, including a provision against trafficking of children for begging, with penalties of imprisonment or high fines. The law enhances existing criminal provisions, including a 2002 law against child prostitution and trafficking. Cases progressed to court, including an indictment against 11 defendants charged with prostitution of a minor. The Central Office for the Repression of Trafficking in Persons (OCRTEH) under the central criminal investigation directorate of the judicial police coordinates operations among the law enforcement agencies and with NGOs, and keeps statistics on victims and arrests. OCRTEH arrested 643 people for pimping, and assisted 875 victims. OCRTEH succeeded in dismantling 20 Eastern European trafficking networks, four Nigerian networks, and arrested and sentenced the organizers of a West African prostitution ring. French police placed liaison officers in Romania and Bulgaria, and finalized a two-year joint Russian-French investigation of an international trafficking network run by the Russian mafia. Two notorious gang leaders were indicted and two more are in custody.

Protection
According to the new interior security law, the government assists victims of trafficking by opening its safe houses to victims, providing social assistance, and granting temporary residence while victims apply for asylum or pursue cases against former employers. The government's "ad hoc" administrator is responsible for protecting unaccompanied minors through social care services, legal representation and asylum procedures. The government opened a special center for children who are victims of sexual exploitation. French legislation passed in October 2002 allows for the repatriation of trafficking victims and the government has worked with notable source countries to ensure reintegration assistance. Foreign victims who collaborate with the French judiciary are granted a temporary residence card, and a permanent one if the person who trafficked them is convicted. Those who do not participate in court proceedings are immediately sent back to their home countries, also with reintegration assistance.

GABON (Tier 2)

Gabon is primarily a destination country for children trafficked from Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Togo, and Nigeria for domestic servitude, street hawking, and agricultural labor. Parents in originating countries are duped by traffickers with promises of good employment and wages; instead children are forced to work long hours, suffer physical abuse, and receive insufficient food, no wages, and no access to education. A growing number of children are sexually abused.

The Government of Gabon does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite limited resources. The government should step up efforts to prosecute traffickers.

Prevention
The government continued a national anti-trafficking information campaign that includes billboards, television coverage, radio announcements, dramas, school curricula, and child rights pamphlets. Gabon participates in an international program that eliminates the worst forms of child labor and hosted regional workshops on cross-border child trafficking throughout the year.

Prosecution
There is no anti-trafficking law, although anti-trafficking legislation was introduced into the National Assembly in March 2003. In a January 2002 executive order, the President authorized law enforcement to prosecute individuals illegally employing minors. Trafficking cases may be prosecuted under laws prohibiting exploitation, abandonment, and mistreatment of children as well as organizing, facilitating, harboring, selling, or illegally employing trafficked or exploited children.

Protection
Victims are not jailed or detained; instead, the government turns them over to source country embassies for repatriation or existing shelters. Neighboring countries work closely with the government on repatriation and the government sometimes waives the $180 exit fee in the case of child trafficking victims. However, there are many victims who were trafficked to Gabon when they were younger, and as young adults have no proof of entry and cannot afford to pay the fee. The government supports two shelters run by NGOs that have assisted more than 100 victims. A government-NGO hotline for trafficking victims is planned but not yet operational.

THE GAMBIA (Tier 2)

The Gambia is a country of origin, transit, and destination for trafficked persons. Sex tourists from The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Norway, Germany, and Belgium exploit Gambian children and, in some cases, traffick them to Europe for prostitution and pornography. Internal trafficking for domestic servitude also occurs. To a lesser extent, The Gambia is a destination for children trafficked from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea for sexual exploitation. The Gambia also serves as a transit point for criminal groups trafficking West African women to Europe.

The Government of The Gambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. The Gambia's passage of sex tourism and anti-trafficking legislation will enhance its law enforcement efforts.

Prevention
The government supported a study conducted by an NGO and the Gambian Child Protection Alliance (CPA), a consortium of non-governmental organizations, on the country's large-scale sex tourism problem. The country is completing its own survey with an international organization. Meanwhile, the National Task Force is undertaking a three-pronged plan of action with international organizations, NGOs, and the CPA that includes prevention campaigns focused on pedophiles and prostitution. The government held a two-day workshop to sensitize journalists on reporting child exploitation stories in a victim-friendly way. The Gambian Tourist Authority warns incoming tourists about youths offering assistance and sexual services. The Gambia participates in a regional plan of action against trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
The government is in the process of harmonizing its laws with the U.N. Trafficking in Persons Protocol, which it has ratified, and is already in compliance with the Child Rights Convention. Trafficking nets a 10-year sentence and rapists receive life in prison, but this will increase to the death penalty under the new amendments. Law enforcement arrested and deported five foreigners for trafficking young girls out of The Gambia and in March 2003 broke up a pedophile ring. The government cooperates with the Dutch police to monitor and investigate Dutch pedophiles. The Tourism Bill is being amended to include protective measures for victims and stiffer penalties for abuses committed by tourists. Government enforcement efforts, however, remain weak, particularly against local hotel operators. Foreign applicants for temporary residence permits are required to submit fingerprints for a police check for criminal records. The police have a mechanism by which they receive information on tourists. A special Tourism Force was established with the National Guard. The government issues photo-digitized passports and provides additional training for immigration officers to reduce cross-border trafficking. Police received "After Arrest Procedure" training for dealing with juveniles.

Protection
The government provides limited temporary shelter, medical care, and psychological services to victims, but relies primarily on NGOs to provide these services. The Child Welfare Unit of the Police is always commanded by a mother to ensure extra sensitivity to protection issues. The Department of Social Welfare screens all children under 17 prior to travel to Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Sweden, and Norway.

GEORGIA (Tier 3)

[*Please note: Georgia was updated to Tier 2 per President George W. Bush, Presidential Determination No. 2003-35, September 9, 2003.]

Georgia is a source country for women trafficked primarily to Turkey, Greece, and the UAE, with smaller numbers trafficked to Israel, Spain, Portugal and the United States for purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude and forced labor. Thousands of children living in the streets and in orphanages are vulnerable to trafficking.The Government of Georgia does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and it is not making significant efforts to do so. Georgia is a country with limited resources, exacerbated by 300,000 displaced persons and three breakaway republics outside government control. While the government made some efforts to strengthen law enforcement coordination, and advanced closer to amending its criminal legislation, its efforts were unorganized and lagged behind those of NGOs.

Prevention
The government conducted few preventive efforts. The National Action Plan issued by the President in 2003 envisages a number of preventive activities yet to be implemented. The Ombudsperson's office created a working group with NGOs active on trafficking in persons but did not implement specific programs. The Government Passport Office agreed to distribute prevention pamphlets produced by local NGOs, but after review, some NGOs complained that those pamphlets were not actually distributed at all. The government did not actively respond to the potential threat of child trafficking.

Prosecution
Georgian criminal law addresses some elements of trafficking but lacks specific trafficking crimes, and has no articles related to victim protection. The Ministry of Justice led a legislative drafting group that presented a set of amendments to the criminal law to Parliament in early 2003, but as of April 2003, Parliament had not yet passed the draft amendments. The government did not report information on the number of trafficking-related arrests or convictions in the past year, although the Minister of the Interior appointed a six-person anti-trafficking unit currently conducting investigations. The new unit lacks resources, but its officers are cooperating with NGOs and participating in capacity-building trainings. The unit is conducting two international investigations with destination countries. Official corruption remains a problem and hinders effective responses to the problem.

Protection
The government does not have a system for victim assistance nor does it provide witness protection. There are no active referral mechanisms, nor methods to screen potential victims. The National Commission on Violence Against Women and Children logged one call to its hotline related to child trafficking. The government indicated its political will to respond to trafficking last year, which may lead to concrete actions in the future based on Presidential Decree 15 which recognized the link between trafficking and organized crime, and which approved the National Action Plan. Victim advocacy organizations will have a role in assisting the government to implement the plan, but they were excluded largely from the process of drafting. The Ministry of Interior began investigating establishment of a safe location for repatriated victims, and while a potential facility was located, no donors or funds were identified to implement the program.

GERMANY (Tier 1)

Germany is both a transit and destination for internationally trafficked persons, primarily women from the former Soviet Union and Central Europe (especially Belarus, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, and Latvia), for prostitution. Some victims also come from Africa (particularly Nigeria), and Asia (particularly Thailand). In 2001, the most recent year for which statistics are available, the Federal Office for Criminal Investigation officially counted and registered 987 victims of sex trafficking that year, representing a 6.6% increase from the previous year.

The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government's response was particularly effective in preventive engagement with source countries and increased training and awareness programs for consular officers abroad. One cause for concern is the growing number of victims from Eastern Europe and Africa. This will bear watching in coming years.

Prevention
Germany's federal government focused on reaching potentially trafficked victims before they enter the country. German embassies and consulates abroad distribute an official brochure available in thirteen languages that provides information on residency and work permit requirements, counseling centers for women, health care, and warnings about trafficking. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides funds for German embassies to organize or sponsor anti-trafficking projects in foreign countries and conducted sensitivity training for consular officers from several embassies of countries of origin.

Prosecution
Germany's Federal Criminal and Labor Codes cover the full scope of trafficking, including specific provisions regarding trafficking for sexual exploitation. Related laws, including sexual coercion/rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, and crimes against personal freedom allow penalties similar to trafficking crimes. Germany actively investigates cases of trafficking at both the state and federal level. The Federal Office for Criminal Investigation has a special trafficking-in-persons team that, inter alia, coordinates international operations, offers special training, and publishes the annual trafficking in persons report. Latest available figures list 273 pre-trial investigations for trafficking for sexual exploitation, and 148 convictions. Law enforcement authorities also cite other crimes such as smuggling and pimping that are easier to prove and provide for the similar penalties. The Federal Interagency Working Group facilitates coordination among the relevant agencies, NGOs, and law enforcement agencies.

Protection
The government partially funds various NGO victim counseling centers, including the approximately 38 centers countrywide, although the funding base for these centers is not firm. The Interagency Working Group has developed a cooperation program between local counseling centers and various state police offices for protection of and assistance to trafficked victims who agree to testify against their traffickers. The police are required to inform an NGO if they encounter a trafficking victim. Some temporary immigration benefits, such as a four-week grace period and a status of "temporary toleration" are granted for witnesses who remain for the duration of a trial. The government covers the costs of repatriation of victims. Victims of violence also are entitled to the federal victims' compensation, which now includes trafficked victims with a status of "toleration" (see above), for the duration of the trial.

GHANA (Tier 1)

Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons and has an internal trafficking problem. Most victims are children trafficked internally for forced labor, such as in the fishing industry or for street hawking. Ghanaian adults and children are trafficked to neighboring countries for labor and prostitution. Some women are trafficked to Europe and forced into prostitution, and Ghana has become a transit point for Nigerian women trafficked to Italy, Germany, and The Netherlands for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Ghana fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government could further improve by passing an anti-trafficking legislation to help expedite prosecutions through to final conviction and give momentum to the national anti-trafficking task force.

Prevention
The national task force used the African Union Day of the Child and National Children's Day to highlight the dangers of child trafficking and child labor. Elected government officials are actively involved with efforts to raise awareness of trafficking and have organized sensitization meetings on trafficking with opinion leaders, chiefs, and village elders. The government funds ten percent of an international program to eliminate the worst forms of child labor. It also sponsors radio and television public service announcements against trafficking and distributes handbills on trafficking to transport owners and local officials. The Ghana National Drama Company uses nationally recognized stars in a television drama to further sensitization on cultural practices that encourage trafficking. The government uses a World Bank loan package to directly assist street children. The government has established a Needy Child Fund to reach 50 children in each of 110 districts. The government is using the Red Card Against Child Labor campaign at national and local soccer matches. Ghana participates in regional efforts to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
Ghana lacks an anti-trafficking law. However, law enforcement efforts are moving forward while the trafficking law moves slowly through the legislative system. The Inspector General of Police has issued letters directing local police commanders to assist NGOs working on trafficking cases. The government has banned ritual servitude, indentured servitude, indecent assault, and forced marriages and has increased the penalties for defilement and child prostitution. Statistics for trafficking are not kept separately. The government investigated 1,620 cases of defilement, which mandate 5 to 15 year sentences, in 2002 and 429 from January to March 2003. There were 729 kidnapping and abduction cases and 34 child-stealing cases in 2002. Five child-stealing cases have been reported from January to March 2003. Several recent trafficking cases were the result of a tip-off system for local residents. Immigration officers are trained in detecting fraudulent documentation and identifying TIP victims, including training arranged by the Chief of Immigration.

Protection
The government rescues street children and closely cooperates with NGOs that provide shelter and rehabilitation and has provided a government building for use as a project office and transit camp for children. The government uses World Bank funds to return street children to their homes in the north. The Ministry of Manpower is attempting to provide more counseling services. In partnership with international organizations, the government is currently returning 571 children trafficked into the fishing industry and offering fishermen incentives to release a total of 1,200 children. The Women and Juvenile Unit of the Police has an outreach program for communities on trafficking and domestic violence.

GREECE (Tier 3)

[*Please note: Greece was updated to Tier 2 per President George W. Bush, Presidential Determination No. 2003-35, September 9, 2003.]

Greece is a destination and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. According to a government source, as many as 18,000 people were trafficked to Greece in 2002. Major countries of origin include Albania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Romania, Russia, and Ukraine. Women from Asia, Africa and other countries are also trafficked to Greece, and in some cases are reportedly trafficked on to Cyprus, Turkey, and the Middle East. Child trafficking is a problem. While sources in Greece find that child trafficking has decreased, the problem persists and Albanian children are known to make up the majority of children trafficked for forced labor, begging, and stealing. Children from the Greek Roma community are also trafficked for labor.

The Government of Greece does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government showed a shift in political will to address trafficking through its recent comprehensive legislation on sex trafficking. However, the government has not yet effectively enforced the law. Victim assistance mechanisms have not yet been implemented and NGO cooperation remains weak. Moreover, trafficked children are reportedly treated by Greek authorities as either criminals or illegal aliens. One report claims that trafficked children are summarily arrested, deported and then dropped off and abandoned along the Albania-Greece border.

Prevention
The Government of Greece did not conduct widespread prevention campaigns. It did allow public space for a six week-long anti-slavery poster exhibition to raise awareness, and an anti-trafficking campaign on state-owned television. The government also funded a public service announcement which ran on seven Greek radio stations to educate the public about the problem, and funded one NGO in the amount of US $125,000 to create an anti-TIP campaign. The government did not sponsor prevention activities in source countries during the reporting period. The government's new anti-trafficking legislation offers preventive strategies, but they are broad and at present, neither developed nor implemented. The government increased the number of border control agents.

Prosecution
In October of 2002, the government passed new anti-trafficking legislation to criminalize and punish traffickers, as well as develop victim support, but there is no provision for labor trafficking. There have not been any prosecutions or convictions under the law's criminal provisions, which became immediately effective upon passage last October. There were approximately 140 trafficking-related arrests under the new law, but there is no data yet on convictions. Lack of progress on arrests limits the ability to measure overall effectiveness of the new law. Prosecution of traffickers is limited due to a slow and inefficient judicial system. A training module on trafficking is given to new police recruits as part of their introductory training, while more senior police attend a five-day seminar on trafficking issues. Some NGOs report that local police are still often complicit and bribed by sex club owners. The Pan Hellenic Confederation of Police Officers publicly acknowledged the involvement of the police in networks that traffick women. To date, there are no convictions of police officers complicit in human trafficking. With the exception of regional working groups, bilateral engagement to date is poor with source countries such as Bulgaria, Albania and Moldova.

Protection
The provisions of the new anti-trafficking law outlining victim protection and assistance await a presidential decree, which is expected to be signed by the necessary ministers and published in June 2003. Minors trafficked into Greece for the purpose of forced labor and sexual exploitation are often detained by police as criminals. Those under 12 years old are placed in reception centers, while those as young as 13 have been put in jail for begging or illegal immigration. According to one NGO, the Greek government detains and deports children in groups and returns them to the Albanian border without ensuring their reception by Albanian authorities, nor their protection from re-trafficking. Child authorities in Thessaloniki reported the assisted repatriation of 191 trafficked children - between the ages of 5-17 years; however, few cases were reportedly conducted with advance notice to prepare the families and transport them safely. Some reports say that children were deported with less than 24 hours notice and without sufficient coordination on both sides of the border. To date, there are neither referral systems for victim assistance nor shelters for trafficked victims. The government reported that 62 victims were liberated from traffickers, and some of them were placed in battered women's shelters. In general, temporary residence is legally allowed to victims who agree to testify against their traffickers, but only at the discretion of the prosecutor. Illegal aliens are deported, regardless of trafficking victim status. The government's financial commitment to develop and implement the provisions of the new anti-trafficking law on victim support, such as shelters, medical and psychological assistance and protections from police detention and immediate deportation, awaits the presidential decree.

GUATEMALA (Tier 2)

Guatemala is a source, transit, and — to a lesser extent — a destination country for trafficking of persons. Most often, Guatemalan victims are young women and minors who are trafficked abroad for sexual exploitation. There is also internal trafficking involving the forced labor and sexual exploitation of children. Foreign victims are mainly Central and South Americans, including Ecuadorians, often being smuggled through Guatemala to Mexico and the United States, who are pushed into sexual and other exploitation by traffickers. Guatemala is also a transit country for illegal migrants, some of whom may be trafficked.

The Government of Guatemala does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Officials in the government are aware of the trafficking challenge, but have made only limited progress in implementing policies to combat the problem. Further cooperation between the governments of Guatemala and Mexico is needed to address trafficking abuses on their common border.

Prevention
The government's Action Plan against Sexual Exploitation of Minors and Adolescents, approved in July 2001, is a comprehensive plan but so far has demonstrated minimal results. The Human Rights Ombudsman's office conducts the government's prevention efforts. The office sponsored public information campaigns on the dangers of trafficking found in illegal migration. Other governmental offices are dedicated to assisting indigenous women abused in domestic violence. The Presidential Secretariat of Social Welfare coordinated government cooperation with civil society groups under the plan to combat sexual exploitation of minors. The government provides office space to many NGOs that work to gather information and prevent trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Guatemala has shown some resolution to combat trafficking, but law enforcement does not receive the priority it should be given. Guatemala has several laws against trafficking in its immigration and criminal statutes, but the prosecutions and convictions of traffickers have been few. Officials in the Human Rights Ombudsman's office, Labor Ministry, and State prosecutors investigate trafficking cases. According to government figures, during the reporting period some 50 prosecutions dealing with possible cross-border trafficking abuses were initiated. There was at least one conviction, but information on convictions is incomplete. In 2003, in a positive move, police arrested several likely child traffickers. Under the applicable statutes, penalties for traffickers are generally too lenient. Mid-level and senior immigration officials have been accused of corrupt practices, and there have been allegations that former military officers have been involved in migrant smuggling rings. The government named a new anti-corruption commission in 2002 to address its serious corruption problem. During the reporting period, about 130 officials were dismissed for corruption, according to the government. The government does not fully monitor and control its borders; and efforts particularly along the Mexican border, a region of much international trafficking, have been inadequate.

Protection
The government does not assist trafficking victims specifically, but it does provide limited general assistance to crime victims in centers in provincial capitals. Trafficking victims can use any of these centers, but there is no information available on the number of victims who have done so. Foreign victims are not treated as criminals; however, some are subject to quick deportation, but many stay in Guatemala. Trafficking victims are not encouraged to act as witnesses against their traffickers. The government provides specialized training for police and other officials for dealing with victims of crime.

Countries H through P

[This is a mobile copy of Country Narratives -- Countries A through G]