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

HAITI (Tier 3)

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

Haiti is mainly a source country for trafficking of children for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Haitian children are trafficked internally by poor parents who place their children as servants ("restaveks") in households of better-off families. Although not all children are victimized in this process, significant numbers are sexually exploited and otherwise abused in sometimes slave-like conditions. The Government of Haiti states that from 90,000 to 120,000 children are restaveks (UNICEF's estimate is 250,000 to 300,000). Haitian children also are trafficked into the Dominican Republic where some are similarly exploited. Large numbers of Haitian economic migrants illegally enter the Dominican Republic where some become trafficking victims. On a smaller scale, Haiti is a transit and destination country. Victims are third country illegal migrants, often Chinese, transiting through Haiti on the way to North America, where they encounter forced labor exploitation to repay traffickers. Women from the Dominican Republic are trafficked into Haiti for prostitution. Reports indicate that many of these women travel voluntarily, but some are victims of trafficking.

The Government of Haiti does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Although faced with a wide array of national challenges, the Government of Haiti needs to undertake significant steps even in the context of its limited capacity to address trafficking.

Prevention
The government is attempting to educate the public with national television and radio messages on the mistreatment of children, including restaveks. Officials, including the First Lady, have spoken out against the use of restaveks. However, more needs to be done. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, charged with redressing the restaveks abuse, is one of the least-funded in the government. In 2003, the government planned a series of seminars to target parents, educators, and children to discourage them from taking part in the restaveks practice.

Prosecution
The Government of Haiti has recently passed a law prohibiting the trafficking of children and held an inter-ministerial conference to plan its implementation; however, the government to date does not arrest or prosecute traffickers. There are national statutes regulating child domestic labor, but these laws are not enforced. Governmental measures to address the problems associated with restaveks are in their infancy. The government does not adequately monitor and control its border.

Protection
Government efforts to address abuses of restaveks have been frustrated due to continuing severe financial limitations. The Haitian Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs finances four monitors (four others are financed by donors) to oversee the welfare of the tens of thousands of restaveks children. The government sponsors a hotline where abuses can be reported. Monitors investigate and respond to calls for assistance, but given the magnitude of the restaveks problem, these efforts are minimal. The number of children rescued from trafficking has declined in the past three years (in 2002 it was about 100). Government officials work with local NGOs to resettle children or find their natural families.

HONDURAS (Tier 2)

Honduras is a source and transit country for trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation. Most Honduran victims are young women and girls, who are trafficked to Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Women and children are trafficked internally, most often from rural to urban settings.

The Government of Honduras does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making efforts to do so despite limited resources. It acknowledges that trafficking is a problem, is aware that Honduran children are particularly vulnerable, and has a national plan to combat the sexual exploitation of children. Many of the government's anti-trafficking measures are conducted in the context of combating the illegal movement of migrants. Honduras has been open to NGO engagement and international cooperation. The government worked with Mexico to identify and repatriate more than 200 Honduran minors working as prostitutes in southern Mexico. Honduran officials have also cooperated with American authorities on U.S. trafficking investigations in 2002. Further attention to issues of corruption and rule of law will strengthen the government's anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
The government has not undertaken public information measures against trafficking, but it has tried to raise awareness of children and women's rights and risks associated with illegal migration. A national commission attempts to combat child labor abuses and seeks to reincorporate working minors into educational programs. Several government agencies, international organizations and NGOs have nearly completed developing a national plan against the sexual exploitation of children, which is an important first step in developing an overall anti-trafficking national plan. Finalization and implementation of this plan will be among the important indicators of the government's progress in eliminating trafficking.

Prosecution
Government law enforcement efforts are inadequate. Honduras has no comprehensive anti-trafficking law, but assorted penal, child exploitation and immigration statutes criminalize trafficking and would enable the state to prosecute traffickers. Officials, however, have prosecuted very few traffickers. In 2002, the government arrested and prosecuted eight "coyotes," some of whom were smuggling minors. It is unclear if any of these cases involved trafficking. Corruption is a serious problem and renders obtaining court convictions difficult. Some officials have been investigated and dismissed for corruption. The Immigration Director fired 35-40 officers for corruption in 2002, but further efforts to address corruption are needed. Honduran Frontier Police have worked with U.S. officials to construct a border control inspection facility that can be used against traffickers, but more steps need to be taken to control the country's borders.

Protection
The government does not provide any assistance to foreign victims of trafficking, nor does it provide funding for NGOs helping victims; however, while constrained by a lack of financial resources, government officials are open to cooperating with NGOs where they can. Officials work closely with a local NGO, for example, to help Honduran children. Honduran consular officials are aware of trafficking issues when abroad. Foreign trafficking victims in Honduras are subject to arrest for residency violations.

HONG KONG (Tier 1)

Hong Kong is a point of transit and destination for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Although primarily a transit region for illegal migrants, Hong Kong is a destination for women from the People's Republic of China (PRC) and Southeast Asian countries trafficked for sexual exploitation. Victims transit Hong Kong, originating from the PRC and Southeast Asia, en route to North America and Australia.

The Government of Hong Kong fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Hong Kong authorities implement anti-trafficking measures in the context of combating migrant smuggling. The government carries out effective border and immigration controls, information campaigns designed to educate shipping industry officials about smuggling patterns, and has a tight web of criminal ordinances designed to punish traffickers.

Prevention
Hong Kong maintains effective border and immigration control as its first line of prevention. There is inter-agency coordination among the police, immigration, customs, private industry, and the NGO community. Multi-lingual pamphlets are also distributed in key public areas to inform foreign women of their worker rights. Hong Kong's human smuggling police unit publishes a biannual report that gives updates on tactics used by traffickers, and regularly shares this information with foreign governments. Officials have taken steps to curb the use of shipping containers for the clandestine movement of persons.

Prosecution
Hong Kong has no specific anti-trafficking law, but related criminal ordinances are used to prosecute traffickers. According to available data, law enforcement efforts resulted in at least six convictions against traffickers. Sentences ranged from one- to five-year prison-terms. Over 1,500 officers are deployed to monitor security, borders, airports, flights and shipping, and also monitor for potential trafficking. In the past year, there has been increased sharing of intelligence with friendly governments and more international cooperation on prosecutions. Although regularly published reports and general statistics are made available by law enforcement to keep the public informed, the government needs to take steps to keep better statistics on trafficking victims.

Protection
Trafficking victims have access to a breadth of general protective services provided in Hong Kong. Regardless of legal status or charge of offense committed, trafficking victims have access to temporary lodging in women's refugee centers, basic necessities, medical services, and a victim support center. Women who provide testimony against their traffickers are granted immunity and allowed to return home without penalty. Foreign domestic helpers are given the same access to services as local workers in labor suits, such as free legal aid, against employers.

HUNGARY (Tier 2)

Hungary is primarily a transit, and secondarily a source and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Foreign victims from Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria may be subject to exploitation in Hungary before being transited to Austria, Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, and the United States. Men from Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan reportedly are trafficked through Hungary to European Union countries and the United States for forced labor.

The Government of Hungary does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government is increasingly engaged with trafficking issues at its upper levels; however, lack of consistent prioritization within government ranks and insufficient cooperation between NGOs and government officials remained weaknesses in the past year.

Prevention
The government provides some financial assistance to prevention programs. With the assistance of IOM, the Ministry of Education implemented a national preventive education program in secondary school curricula; and the Ministry of the Interior posted information brochures on victim protection in every police station. The government consulted with NGOs to provide anti-trafficking sensitivity training to police, border guards, and consular officials.

Prosecution
Trafficking is specifically criminalized in Hungary with penalties commensurate with other grave crimes, including more severe penalties in cases involving minors and organized crime. The Ministry of Interior and the Hungarian Office of Interpol report 34 arrests in 2002, and Prosecutors brought legal proceedings in 30 cases related to trafficking. In many instances, police and immigration officials refuse to investigate reports of missing women. Border guard corruption remains a problem, but police have arrested border guards for assisting human smugglers or traffickers. The government established the International Center for Co-operation in Criminal Affairs, signed a bilateral cooperation agreement with Europol, and participates in organizations contributing to cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe, including the Southeastern Cooperative Initiative (SECI), the Stability Pact, and the Council of Europe.

Protection
The Victim Protection Office, recently established by the Ministry of Interior, operates in 46 localities, where they provide psychological support services and legal advocacy for victims, and safeguard victims' rights. In theory, assistance with temporary residence status, short-term relief from deportation, and shelter assistance are available to trafficking victims who cooperate with police and prosecutors. However, in practice, the government only provides limited assistance to trafficking victims either directly or through assistance to NGOs. In many instances, potential victims are not accorded special rights or privileges, and may even be criminalized. There are no safe houses or other assistance programs to aid Hungarian victims of trafficking, although Hungarian victims would have access to the Hungarian social system.

INDIA (Tier 2)

India is a country of origin, transit, and destination for thousands of trafficked persons. Internal trafficking of women, men, and children for purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, bonded labor, and indentured servitude is widespread. Indian men and women also are put into situations of coerced labor and sometimes slave-like conditions in countries in the Middle East and the West. India is a destination for sex tourists from Europe and the United States. Bangladeshi women and children are trafficked to India or transited through India en route to Pakistan and the Middle East for purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced labor. Nepalese women and girls are trafficked to India for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of India does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite limited resources. It is strongest in the areas of prevention and protection. Significant progress was made in prosecution this past year but much more needs to be done. The government should speed up the prosecution of trafficking cases, increase training on trafficking for low-level police officers throughout the country, and increase prosecutions of corrupt officials. A major concern is the high number of child victims forced into commercial sexual exploitation in the mega-cities of India. Prosecutions of those involved in perpetrating the commercial sexual exploitation of children should substantially increase over the next year to combat this dreadful scourge.

Prevention
Both the central and state governments support prevention campaigns. They partner with international organizations, foreign governments, and faith-based groups in programs aimed at preventing trafficking and alleviating poverty. The central government's Poverty Alleviation Project reserves forty percent of its budget for women's projects and spent $3 million over the last year for micro-credit programs in key source areas for trafficking. In an effort to reduce the number of those vulnerable to trafficking, the project supports an educational scholarship program for girls and young women in 2000 of India's poorest regions, and a Women's Empowerment Scheme, covering 7,300 villages in 51 districts of several states. The Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment established a child helpline that covers 40 cities. The central government and an international organization signed a $400 million agreement for a five-year program to prevent trafficking and to assist at-risk children. Together with another international organization, the government is conducting the world's largest child labor elimination program, which includes providing primary education for 250 million children.

The state of Goa, together with NGOs, is supporting public awareness campaigns about pedophilia and sex tourism on the beaches. The State Transport Network in the state of Maharashtra conducts training programs for drivers and bus conductors to spot girls in distress and has prominently displayed anti-trafficking help line numbers at major bus stations. The state of Tamil Nadu established village level "watchdog" committees to prevent trafficking in women and children. These committees include representatives from the village council, school officials, representatives from police stations, and members of NGOs. The Chennai Central Railway Station set up a "Childline" to rescue and keep a record of children being taken out of the state for labor and to watch for runaways and other at-risk children. Stree Shakti (Women Power) is the state government of Karnataka's movement to empower rural women below the poverty line to achieve financial independence through income-generating activities such as agriculture and farming. The plan has over 7,500 self-help groups with savings amounting to $1.8 million. In an effort to bring children back to school, the Karnataka State Education Department launched a massive public awareness campaign called "From Labor to Learning" to raise awareness about the legal implications of child labor among employers and parents. In Bihar and West Bengal, NGOs and representatives from village governments and police have developed community-level watch groups to monitor the movements of women and children from, to and through the area.

Prosecution
Prosecution of traffickers, brothel owners, and others associated with trafficking, once rare, has increased significantly over the past year. Three special courts in New Delhi have been designated to hear trafficking cases. A total of 48 cases against traffickers and brothel owners are in the queue to be prosecuted and 14 people have been convicted and sentenced in New Delhi so far. In Mumbai, a Swiss couple was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for kidnapping and molesting a child, and making child pornography films for distribution on the Internet. The three minor victims were allowed to testify in camera to avoid trauma. Forty-two trafficking cases involving hundreds of traffickers were booked in the Krishna district in the state of Andhra Pradesh alone. In two other districts of Andhra Pradesh, local police arrested 14 traffickers and rescued 70 victims. Ten cases are presently in court facing trial and investigations are pending for two cases. In Karnataka, the police and an NGO rescued 29 girls in the Mysore district and arrested 20 traffickers. All of these cases are proceeding to trial, and many of the traffickers are being held in jail awaiting trial. Bangalore city Police busted a prostitution ring involving women from Africa and the Middle East and arrested six people. Railway police at the Chennai Central Railway rescued five boys from Tamil Nadu being trafficked to Hyderabad to work as laborers and arrested the five traffickers. District administration officers in Tamil Nadu rescued 55 child laborers and 17 bonded laborers from brick kiln factories and charged the factory owners under the Bonded Laborers Act.

India has numerous federal laws criminalizing trafficking for sexual exploitation and labor. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA) prohibits trafficking in persons, criminalizes sexual exploitation, and provides enhanced penalties for offences involving minors. During investigations, police frequently do not utilize all provisions of the ITPA and, as a result, may minimize potential criminal penalties against traffickers and brothel owners for exploiting minors. Officials used numerous provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Juvenile Justice Act to prosecute traffickers. Legislation also exists in numerous states to prohibit the dedication to religious shrines of girls for exploitation. Forced, bonded, or indentured child labor is illegal in India. Penalties for trafficking are commensurate with penalties for rape or forcible assault.

India's central government is handicapped in the fight against trafficking by the lack of federal laws to establish jurisdiction over inter-state crimes for central agencies to investigate. Although the anti-trafficking laws are national laws, their enforcement is a state government responsibility. The execution of the law is further complicated when it involves cross-border trafficking due to varying degrees of coordination and networking between state police forces. The government has significantly increased the number of arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of traffickers and brothel owners over the past year, but backlogged courts slow criminal justice proceedings.

Low-level border guards have taken bribes or turned a blind eye to trafficking across borders. In addition, some law enforcement officials have been implicated in "tipping off" brothels to raids. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), charged with investigating allegations of corruption, bribe taking, or collusion of public officials and law enforcement in trafficking, has prosecuted numerous police officers, public defenders, and prosecutors; those corrupt officials have been found guilty of receiving bribes and have been punished with fines and jail sentences. The CBI, in cooperation with law enforcement in Goa, investigated a foreign racket, in which a trafficker, a citizen of New Zealand, under the guise of running an orphanage for destitute children, sexually abused the children and supplied them to foreign tourists for sexual abuse and pornography. The ringleader was sentenced to life imprisonment. The CBI requested extradition of six other foreign nationals (of Sweden, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Thailand/UK, and France) in this case.

Trafficking and brothel-keeping are now crimes under an amended state of Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act, which means that those accused of these offenses are unable to receive bail. The Maharashtra police organized a course on preventing trafficking as a mandatory part of its training for direct-hire police officers. The state government of Andhra Pradesh instituted new anti-trafficking performance indicators for police officers that require they be evaluated on the number of arrests made of traffickers and brothel owners, not women for solicitation. Calcutta City Police and West Bengal State Police have agreed to permit NGOs to accompany them on brothel rescues.

The borders are patrolled and monitored but the levels of monitoring vary and there are many incidents of unchecked border crossing. The border between India and Pakistan is closely monitored. Passports and visas are not required for Nepalese to enter India, and thus the border between Nepal and India is very open. The Governments of Nepal and India have agreed to form a Joint Cross Border Committee against Trafficking in order to collaborate on investigations and more efficiently share information about traffickers. The border between Bangladesh and India is monitored, and passports and visas are required for entry; however, there continues to be a regular influx of migrants searching for work and women trafficked to India.

Protection
A recent Supreme Court of India decision held that victims of trafficking may testify in camera. The Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) helps NGOs finance the repatriation of women and children trafficked to India from other countries. Over the past two years, state governments have established eighty Protective Homes that provide custodial care, education, vocational training, and rehabilitation. The DWCD and the Juvenile Justice Act sponsor a network of 350 short stay homes for the protection and rehabilitation of victims. The DWCD launched a project in 2001 called "Swadahar" to provide services for women in difficult circumstances, including trafficking victims, that includes shelter, food, clothing, counseling, medical and legal assistance, vocational training, and education. Thirty programs in several states are in various stages of development. The central government supports rehabilitation projects in 11 states for 200,000 children removed from hazardous work conditions. The state government of Andhra Pradesh created a statewide rescue and rehabilitation policy, which requires every district to form anti-trafficking committees. Together with NGOs, the Calcutta City Police have opened support service centers in every police station that has a female police officer to help victims of trafficking or rape. Indian embassy officials in key destination countries help citizens trafficked into exploitative labor situations.

INDONESIA (Tier 2)

Indonesia is a source, transit and destination country for persons trafficked for sexual and forced labor. Indonesian victims are trafficked to Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Brunei, Persian Gulf countries, and Australia. Extensive trafficking also occurs within Indonesia's borders for labor and sexual exploitation; and the country is a destination for some victims trafficked for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Indonesia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the last year, the government approved key legislation to protect children from trafficking and established an anti-corruption commission and court. The government has also completed amendments to its criminal code and increased law enforcement efforts against traffickers. Indonesia is open to multilateral cooperation to combat trafficking — the Bali ministerial process on trafficking is a noteworthy example of this — but much remains to be done, particularly within the country. A major challenge facing the government is to end the direct participation of its own public officials in trafficking. Progress is needed in reducing trafficking-related public corruption.

Prevention
Through a presidential decree, Indonesia has adopted a national plan to combat both sexual and labor trafficking, but its implementation is hindered given the country's overall lack of capacity and resources. Government efforts have increased the awareness of public officials at all levels, but overall public awareness of trafficking remains inadequate. The government works with NGOs, conducting sporadic information campaigns aimed at the public using television, radio, and printed materials in some areas. In conjunction with NGOs, the government has conducted some training of state employees in crisis centers, but officials, particularly at the operational level among police, military and immigration authorities, are not sufficiently educated on how to prevent trafficking.

Prosecution
The government has not yet passed a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, but a bill is currently in the legislature. The legislature has amended the criminal code to include tougher penalties for traffickers and passed a Child Protection Act, which should help to protect minors from trafficking. The lack of a comprehensive statute against trafficking, however, hampers law enforcement. Officials have used existing statutes to carry out an increasing number of arrests, but no comprehensive nation-wide data on convictions are available. Corruption remains a major obstacle, but some arrests against public officials linked to traffickers have been carried out. More needs to be done. Much-needed international law enforcement cooperation, particularly with Malaysia, has begun freeing victims and arresting traffickers.

Protection
The national plan calls for proper treatment of trafficking victims, but implementation varies widely. Some local officials continue to treat victims as criminals and abuse them. Although overall government victim assistance has increased, it remained small in comparison with the scope of the problem. The government worked with NGOs and civil society organizations to establish some general shelters and provide limited counseling. Ministry of Foreign Affairs consular officials and Manpower Ministry have increased efforts to assist trafficking victims abroad.

ISRAEL (Tier 2)

Israel is a destination country for trafficked persons. Women from Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and other countries in the former Soviet Union are trafficked to Israel for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Persons in search of work are trafficked into situations of coerced labor, where they endure physical abuse or other extreme working conditions. Many low-skilled foreign workers in Israel have their passports withheld, their contracts altered, and suffer non-payment of salaries of varying degree and duration. Construction firms and other businesses have brought male laborers from China and Bulgaria into Israel to work under conditions equivalent to debt bondage or involuntary servitude.

The Government of Israel does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Although the government has pursued numerous cases of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, it must continue taking steps to combat trafficking for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Labor trafficking is a relatively new phenomenon in Israel and the government should increase its efforts to prosecute those involved in perpetrating labor trafficking over the next year. The government should ensure that employers comply with labor regulations, protect the rights of migrant workers, and curb fraud associated with issuance of work permits.

Prevention
The government, in conjunction with NGOs, has undertaken public awareness campaigns that include the development and distribution in Israel of flyers and other information in Russian on trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. It also is using its consulates and embassies in source countries to provide information to potential victims of sex trafficking.

Prosecution
Israeli law criminalizes trafficking in persons for purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Other charges such as rape, false imprisonment, retaining a passport, forced labor, prostitution by means of coercion or fraud, and kidnapping for the purpose of prostitution may also be brought. The maximum penalty for aggravated trafficking or trafficking of a minor is 20 years in prison and the penalties proscribed by law are commensurate with those for rape and assault; however, the majority of cases are resolved through plea bargains that result, on the average, in sentences of about two years. Law enforcement actively investigates allegations of trafficking for sexual exploitation and last year opened 67 investigations of 138 people and arrested 92 suspects. The government prosecuted some 30 cases resulting in 28 plea bargains, many of which carried sentences ranging from six months to nine years and fines. The government also is investigating individual policemen for taking bribes or tipping off brothels of raids, but these instances of corruption are not widespread; a small cadre of dedicated officials works to combat trafficking, but low staffing and funding hamper the officials' efforts. The Ministry of Justice held anti-trafficking seminars for prosecutors and police. To combat labor trafficking, the Immigration Authority was established in September 2002 to coordinate government activity related to foreign nationals, including the investigation of offenses against migrant workers. Labor laws determining minimum wage, guaranteed pay and annual leave apply to all workers in Israel but enforcement measures are mainly directed against migrant workers and not against the employers who may openly breach the law. The Immigration Authority has an investigation unit that has uncovered several networks of criminals involved in document forgery and fraud. Prosecutors filed an indictment against four suspects allegedly involved in abusing workers from Bulgaria. Israel exercises strict control and supervision of its borders.

Protection
Victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation who are willing to testify against their traffickers are housed in police-funded hostels, and are provided full board, pocket money, and access to medical care. Victims unwilling to testify are deported. Victims are not prosecuted or fined for offenses material to their trafficking, such as illegal entry or forged documentation. Police actively encourage victims to file complaints against traffickers. The government partially funds a hotline. Regulations stipulate that migrant workers who report a criminal offense are not detained, are allowed access to an interpreter, and may stay in Israel as witnesses during a criminal trial; some NGOs allege that these regulations are sometimes violated.

ITALY (Tier 1)

Italy is a country of destination and transit to other EU countries for sex and labor trafficking. Italian authorities estimate 70,000 victims of sex trafficking are reported in the country, originating from Nigeria, Albania, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, China and South America (Ecuador, Peru and Colombia). Albanian gangs control the majority of street prostitution with the cooperation of Italian mafia.

The Government of Italy fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Italian government has a strong legal framework that criminalizes trafficking and prioritizes human rights. Italian anti-trafficking law enforcement continued to be strong both domestically and internationally. Advocates are concerned that pending laws on immigration and prostitution may conflict with the currently strong legal protections for trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government focused its prevention efforts on bilateral activities with source countries, such as Nigeria, Albania, Ukraine, and Romania, to diminish trafficking. With Nigeria in particular, Italy has provided financial resources, equipment and training to Nigerian police and NGOs working on trafficking prevention. The government also entered a regional agreement with neighboring countries to strengthen border controls, cooperation, and visa requirements. The Ministry of Equal Opportunity sponsors information campaigns and a hotline for potential victims in both Italian and English. The police sponsored law enforcement sensitivity training on general trafficking, including increased efforts on labor trafficking awareness.

Prosecution
The government vigorously enforces its anti-trafficking criminal legislation, especially through coordinated international operations. Italian police have a special anti-trafficking unit trained and directed to enforce anti-trafficking criminal laws, dedicating 85 Italian law enforcement officers to trafficking cases. In conjunction with Europol, Italian police executed "Operation Sunflower Two" through which they apprehended 80 traffickers in several Western European countries. Through "Operation Kanun", a joint operation with the Government of Albania, Italian police sentenced 104 Albanian traffickers to prison for trafficking-related mafia activities. According to public sources, Italian authorities arrested and prosecuted over 100 other suspected traffickers in the territory of Italy.

Protection
Over 2,500 temporary residency and work permits were given to trafficking victims in 2002, granting access to legal and medical assistance, work, education, and witness protection via an established network of government-recognized NGOs working on trafficking. Provisions for trafficking victims' protection are outlined under Article 18 and administered by the Ministry of Equal Opportunity. The Ministry introduced the "Exit Door" publicity campaign to help prostitutes know their rights and exit the trade. While the government's 2002 budget reduced the majority of all financial allocations for social services, including anti-trafficking expenditures, seventy projects out of eighty submitted last year were approved, representing a net increase of 10% compared to 2001.

JAMAICA (Tier 2)

Jamaica is a country of internal trafficking of minors for sexual exploitation, particularly connected to the domestic tourism industry. Jamaica is also a transit country for illegal migrants; some of those migrants may be trafficked.

The Government of Jamaica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government acknowledges that sexual exploitation of children is taking place on the island, but officials have been hampered in addressing the problem due to legal restrictions in convincing minors to testify. The government is in the beginning stages of devising a plan of action, much of which is tied to the "Child Care and Protection Act," legislation currently being considered in the Parliament. The Jamaican Government is working with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to develop an efficient entry/exit system that should reduce the unauthorized movement of persons. The government is also working with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to develop a strategy to address child labor issues (including underage prostitution).

Prevention
The government is aware that children are at risk and has begun to implement prevention measures. A newly established national steering committee for the protection of children is mapping out a strategy to deal with all issues of child labor in the country. The Ministry of Health inspects sex clubs and facilities where minors are suspected of working, but current law makes it difficult for officials to establish whether persons found there are minors. In an effort to address the root causes of trafficking, the Ministry of Labor provides microcredit lending and small loan programs to at-risk populations.

Prosecution
Law enforcement efforts need to be improved. There is no comprehensive anti-trafficking law, but criminal statutes prohibit procuring minors for prostitution. Currently, no information is available on the number of traffickers prosecuted. Officials conducted a raid in 2001 on an area in Sa La Mar where children were being "auctioned" off to clubs that promoted sexual exploitation of children. Arrests were made, driving the "auction" activity underground. More needs to be done. Prosecutions have been frustrated, however, due to criminal law procedures that require minors to act as witnesses against defendants. The Child Care and Protection Act, currently under consideration by the Parliament, will provide the cornerstone for a more aggressive approach to prosecuting traffickers. Immigration officials are working with their U.S. and British counterparts on improving procedures in Jamaica's international airports. A new U.S. Government-funded project to create an efficient entry/exit system for Jamaica's airports and seaports should augment the government's efforts to deal with corrupt officials who facilitate the illegal movement of persons through Jamaica.

Protection
Appropriately, Jamaica does not arrest child prostitution victims. They are put in places of safety. Minors typically leave such protective custody and return to the sexually exploitative work. A number of NGOs are active in Jamaica, working with the government to rehabilitate street children and offer assistance services. The government is partnering with a range of organizations to remove minors from child labor and the street.

JAPAN (Tier 2)

Japan is a country of destination for men, women, and children trafficked for sexual exploitation. Victims come mainly from China, South Korea, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Colombia, and Eastern Europe. Some victims are lured to Japan under false pretenses; others come aware that they will work in the lucrative Japanese sex trade and are abused after their arrival. Trafficking also occurs within Japan as victims are "resold" between traffickers.

The Government of Japan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government is providing international funding for anti-trafficking efforts in Southeast Asia and conducting symposiums that help focus other governments. At home, however, measures are less advanced. The government has no national plan of action. Japan's law enforcement and immigration response is seriously hindered because government officials, unclear on the nature of trafficking, tend to define the crime too narrowly and disagree among themselves about who is a trafficking victim.

Prevention
Japan is active internationally, conducting training seminars for immigration officials in source countries throughout Southeast Asia to help them prevent trafficking. Domestically, the government holds information campaigns against the abuse of foreign workers. The government sponsored a seminar in 2003 with UNICEF to raise awareness of child trafficking, but needs to take further legislative efforts to address the issue of commercial sex tourism where some citizens travel abroad with the express purpose of having sex with minors.

Prosecution
Japan has no law specifically prohibiting trafficking, although in practice it applies mainly the immigration and labor laws against traffickers. The government does investigate traffickers, but the number of prosecutions has been too few and the penalties too weak to act as an effective deterrent against the professional syndicates involved in trafficking. The 2003 arrest and conviction of kingpin trafficker Koichi "Sony" Hagiwara were significant. His criminal sentence, like many violent crime sentences in Japan, was light by U.S. standards (less than two years for a repeat offender who operated a criminal trafficking organization which moved hundreds of victims from Colombia) indicating a weakness in Japan's punishment of traffickers. The government does not aggressively prosecute and punish the criminal organizations involved in trafficking.

Protection
The Japanese Government does not adequately protect victims. The government's authority to provide temporary residency status to foreigners in an emergency is rarely invoked for foreign trafficking victims. Japanese officials are trained to deal with the extenuating circumstances of foreign victims; however, in practice, they tend to treat them as illegal migrants and quickly deport them. Victims who are suspected of attempting to avoid deportation may be held in detention centers, a treatment inappropriate to their status as crime victims. Facing deportation, victims have few options to seek legal remedies against traffickers in civil courts. Japan is active internationally making generous donations to UNDP and IOM to aid victims in Vietnam and Cambodia.

KAZAKHSTAN (Tier 3)

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

Kazakhstan is a source, transit and destination country for women and men trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. Victims are trafficked to and through Kazakhstan from the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and are trafficked from Kazakhstan to the United Arab Emirates, Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, South Korea, Turkey, Israel, and Albania. Some internal trafficking has been reported from rural areas to the cities.

The Government of Kazakhstan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government's anti-trafficking focus and activity dropped significantly last year and it failed to follow through on plans devised in the previous year. However, it presented to Parliament long-awaited draft anti-trafficking legislation, which passed the lower house of Parliament on May 15.

Prevention
The government's anti-trafficking prevention campaigns were limited to activities conducted in varying degrees at the regional level. With the departure of the former head of the President's Commission on Women and Family from the position of government anti-trafficking coordinator, the Commission's focus on trafficking weakened. However, the Commission, in conjunction with the Gender Crimes unit of the Ministry of Interior, conducted research on trafficking victimization, although the results were not yet released by April 2003. Representatives of the Commission conducted varying preventive activities, such as circulating NGO-produced anti-trafficking information in schools, in all 16 of Kazakhstan's administrative districts. The government began implementing a bilateral labor agreement with the Kyrgyz Republic that allows a quota of legally protected Kyrgyz workers in Kazakhstan.

Prosecution
The operative anti-trafficking article in Kazakhstan, Article 330, criminalizes organization of illicit migration, which includes trafficking across international borders and trafficking of minors. Some trafficking cases may be prosecuted under related crimes, such as recruitment for sexual or other exploitation and organization of brothels. While there were many reported investigations, officials reported no cases for any of the above-mentioned crimes which had proceeded to court. The police currently are investigating a case against a North Korean accused of trafficking women from Uzbekistan to Kazakhstan, as well as cases in Akmolinsk, Northern Kazakhstan, Southern Kazakhstan, and Zhambul oblasts. The government also cooperated with the governments of South Korea, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey on trafficking cases. The Financial Police arrested the owner of a suspect travel agency after Almaty police dropped a criminal case against the same company. The civil case has been ongoing for two years, as have advocates' attempts to see prosecution. The suspect is now in custody. A working group led by the Ministry of Justice completed a set of anti-trafficking amendments to the criminal code and forwarded them to Parliament for a vote on May 15. The government appointed the Prosecutor General to take the lead as the focal point for trafficking efforts, and the Law Enforcement Coordinating Council is working on anti-trafficking strategies. The government included a three-hour anti-trafficking training module in the prosecutors' mandatory re-certification training program.

Protection
The government does not have a system for identifying potential victims amongst vulnerable groups, which puts possible victims at risk for summary deportation and criminalization during police street sweeps. The government provides some protection in individual cases brought to its attention, but it does not actively screen for victims in order to offer protection. The criminal procedure code allows for certain protections in and out of court for witnesses; however, lack of resources prevents protection for witnesses in trafficking cases. Government officials refer victims to NGOs for services at the local level, although no reports were provided regarding actual victims assisted during the reporting period.

KENYA (Tier 2)

Kenya is country of origin and transit for trafficked persons, primarily women and children. Internal trafficking occurs in the form of forced child labor and child prostitution. There are an estimated 200,000 street children in Kenya, a significant number of whom are engaged in illegal activities, including prostitution. Women are trafficked to Lebanon and other Middle Eastern countries for labor, while children are often trafficked to Uganda for work. Women from Eastern Europe and Asia are trafficked through Kenya en route to western countries.

The Government of Kenya 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 prosecute traffickers vigorously, provide training to law enforcement on the distinction between trafficking and smuggling, step up public awareness on child trafficking and the worst forms of child labor, and act against corruption among the police and immigration officials.

Prevention
The Constitution prohibits slavery, servitude, and forced labor. The Children's Act of 2001 prohibits all forms of child labor that would prevent children under 16 from going to school or that is exploitative and hazardous. The Children's Act also prohibits child sexual exploitation. The Ministry of Home Affairs and an international organization have set up community-based District Advisory Committees to monitor child labor issues at the district and local levels, including school attendance and assistance provided to children. These committees have assisted 2,803 children; including 1,252 working in hazardous conditions and 297 working in forced labor conditions. The government is removing street children, placing them in youth homes and in social halls, and providing them with meals and shelter to prevent them from being victimized. The government participates in an international program seeking to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and is undertaking a survey of the extent of the problem. The government also works with the child labor unit of the labor unions to assist children working in the agricultural sector, by providing training and education for employers about child labor. The government cooperates with international and non-governmental organizations to raise awareness about child domestics. Free primary education has been reinstated as a means to assist vulnerable populations and prevent trafficking.

Prosecution
Although there are no laws that specifically prohibit trafficking, there is a law that prohibits child labor, the transportation of children for sale, and the commercial sexual exploitation of children; and the Penal Code prohibits detaining females against their will for the purposes of prostitution. Child labor laws are enforced by the Ministry of Labor's Child Labor Unit, which has 10 full-time inspectors who also coordinate enforcement with other government agencies. A Human Trafficking Unit within the police was established in 2002, but its focus has been on immigration fraud. Government officials were implicated in identification fraud to facilitate illegal smuggling and six foreign nationals were deported for suspected smuggling of citizens to the Middle East.

Protection
The government provides programs to place street children in shelters. The government provides some support to international organizations and NGOs to assist children in domestic service that includes education, skills training, counseling, legal advice, and a shelter for girls abused by their employers.

KUWAIT (Tier 2)

Kuwait is a destination country for women from who are put into situations of coerced labor, where they may endure physical abuse or other extreme working conditions. Victims come primarily from Bangladesh, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan. They may have their passports withheld, contracts altered, and suffer non-payment of salaries. Some male foreign laborers kidnap runaway maids and force them into prostitution. Boys reportedly are trafficked from Bangladesh and Pakistan to be camel jockeys.

The Government of Kuwait does not meet the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking in persons; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government is strongest in preventing abuse of domestic servants and prosecuting those involved in trafficking. The government needs to take additional steps to ensure that children are not used in camel races and protect victims of trafficking.

Prevention
The government established an interministerial task force to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts. The government works actively with labor attaches from source country embassies to resolve cases of labor contract disputes and cases involving the abuse of domestic servants. Foreign workers' contracts are based on standardized contracts provided by the Ministry of Interior that clearly explain the rights and responsibilities of the employer and the employee. A foreign worker may not obtain a visa to Kuwait without presenting a contract signed by the employer and employee. The Camel Racing Club mandates that all camel jockeys must be 18 years of age or older to minimize the chances that children would be involved in these races.

Prosecution
The government does not have a law specifically criminalizing trafficking in persons. There are laws against slavery, forced labor, coercion, rape, assault, kidnapping, prostitution, inducing or assisting others to commit prostitution, pandering and/or operating a brothel, and the exploitation of prostitution by means of coercion or fraud. Law enforcement investigates cases of mistreatment of foreign workers and allegations of abuse. In addition to criminal remedies, through administrative measures and mediation under labor law, the government allows and assists domestic servants and foreign workers to seek redress against traffickers. It is illegal to withhold a foreign worker's passport; however, enforcement of this is mixed. The government has taken individual employers and companies to court for non-payment of wages and blacklists employers who do not fulfill their responsibilities. Over 4,000 Kuwaiti sponsors have been blacklisted from sponsoring domestic workers due to their failure to provide prescribed benefits. Persons convicted of heading prostitution rings or forcing women into prostitution face long jail sentences, deportation, and, in severe cases, death. Last year the Criminal Court sentenced a Bangladeshi man to death for kidnapping, raping, and forcing two women into prostitution. Police also arrested a Bangladeshi pimp for running several brothels. He admitted to kidnapping several Asian women, mostly runaway maids, and forcing them into prostitution. The penalties for rape or forcible sexual assault range from five years to life imprisonment, or, in severe cases, death. Victims of trafficking may file a criminal complaint or a civil suit against their employers. There is no evidence of government involvement in trafficking. The government adequately monitors its borders, but does not monitor immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking.

Protection
The government sponsors a center that assists domestics who have complaints against their employer that is staffed by female lawyers who help resolve labor dispute and ensure that employers meet contractual obligations. Disputes arise frequently, and the vast majority of problems are resolved through mediation. In addition, the government opened a conciliation center attached to a police station so that runaway domestics can file complaints against their employer. Many source country embassies harbor runaway domestics. The government works with foreign governments on trafficking when cases are brought to their attention. Victims of trafficking may be treated as criminals and are detained, jailed, or deported if they are violating other laws, such as those governing immigration or prostitution.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (Tier 2)

The Kyrgyz Republic is a country of origin, transit and, to a lesser extent, destination for trafficked women, men and children. Women are trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China, Germany, and Greece for prostitution. Men and women are trafficked to Kazakhstan for forced labor. Women who are either destined for or transiting through the country usually come from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Overcoming a lack of available resources, the government showed increased political will to respond to trafficking, maximized its cooperation with IOM, and improved its collaboration with local NGOs to institute preventive and protective mechanisms.

Prevention
The government's preventive efforts were weak, but it took some concrete steps, with the assistance of IOM. The National Action Plan on trafficking in persons was approved by Presidential Decree and the inter-agency task force charged with implementing the plan approved distribution of IOM educational materials in schools, public awareness materials on buses and in bus stations, free airtime on television and radio for anti-trafficking announcements, and directed hundreds of law enforcement officials at central and local levels to participate in IOM anti-trafficking lectures. The government's Southern Regional Migration Service conducted a study of migration patterns and vulnerability to trafficking from that region to Russia and Kazakhstan. The Border Police are improving their border monitoring capabilities with assistance from IOM, including improving the security of its passports and visas, which are notoriously easy to fabricate. The government instituted stringent licensing procedures for firms sending would-be laborers abroad.

Prosecution
The current criminal code lacks sufficient provisions to prosecute the full range of trafficking activity. Before the draft anti-trafficking law, which was introduced to Parliament, enters into force, traffickers may be prosecuted under other laws. Although local law enforcement officers need greater support from the central level in order to prioritize trafficking investigations and cases, the government secured three convictions on recruitment of persons for exploitation and four convictions on trafficking in children. The government is investigating recruitment and employment agencies and in a recent review, the Migration Service found that two out of nine such companies lack appropriate licenses. A criminal investigation is underway against the founders of one of those companies. The Parliament approved mutual legal assistance treaties with five known trafficking destination countries to improve international cooperation. Endemic bribery and corruption prevents victims from seeking assistance from police.

Protection
The government does not have a method for screening trafficking victims nor for referring them to NGOs for assistance. NGOs active on the issue report good cooperation with local police and prosecutors in the few cases they refer for investigation. The government began implementing its bilateral labor agreement with Kazakhstan and will monitor the treatment of Kyrgyz workers through representatives there. The government is setting up labor offices in destination areas in Russia to better serve Kyrgyz nationals working in Russia who may be exploited. At least one of those offices will have consular representation.

LAOS (Tier 2)

Laos is a source of large numbers of economic migrants, some of whom are trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most victims are trafficked to Thailand, where they may end up in involuntary servitude or, in the case of girls and young women, into prostitution.

The Government of Laos 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. The government recognizes trafficking as a problem and supports anti-trafficking endeavors, chiefly by cooperating with NGOs operating in its territory and providing some in-kind support such as office space and air time for public service announcements.

Prevention
The government does not directly fund any anti-trafficking prevention measures, and it does not control its long and porous borders well. However, it does utilize government-controlled party organizations to alert Lao citizens to the dangers of potential trafficking abuses in connection with international travel. Most anti-trafficking projects are carried out by international organizations and NGOs, and include consciousness raising and skills development for at-risk groups. State-controlled television and radio have broadcast anti-trafficking spots funded by NGOs and the government. The government cooperates with UN agencies, particularly the UN Interagency Project, to monitor, document, and suggest remedies for trafficking-related problems and has provided salaried government employees to work on an IOM project to gather data on prevention and protection statistics.

Prosecution
There is no specific anti-trafficking law in Laos, but there are laws against kidnapping and prostitution. The central government keeps no data on efforts of local officials to prosecute traffickers. Almost all government action to address trafficking is concentrated in the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MOLSW). As a first step, the ministry has provided some limited training to law enforcement officials, although police sensitivity to victims remains inadequate. Overall, judicial and law enforcement institutions are extremely weak, and the government is far short of developing a program to arrest and prosecute traffickers. Corruption remains a serious problem, as some local officials reportedly profit from activities involving the illegal movement of persons.

Protection
The Government of Laos signed a border control and labor memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Thailand that addresses the repatriation of Lao trafficking victims. This agreement is the first of its kind in the Mekong region and commits governments to regularize the return of victims. Depending on how the MOU is implemented, the agreement may be a significant step forward. MOLSW has begun a program for repatriation of girls returning from prostitution or forced labor.

LATVIA (Tier 2)

Latvia is a source and transit country for women and an increasing number of girls trafficked to Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Spain, Germany, and Portugal for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There has also been an increase in boys trafficked to Spain for both labor and sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation also occurs within Latvia, from rural areas of high unemployment to the capital.

The Government of Latvia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Improvements from the previous year are limited and include only a few new efforts.

Prevention
The government addresses trafficking through the national plan on organized crime, resulting in limited government resources for trafficking-specific programs. The roles and responsibilities of different ministries and law enforcement agencies are still undefined and central government coordination is lacking. The Ministry of Labor offers some free training for unemployed women and very often, local municipalities assist the government to fund trafficking prevention programs, sometimes with foreign funding, such as small prevention campaigns.

Prosecution
The Government of Latvia has legislation in place to prosecute trafficking crimes, impose stiff penalties and seize assets of traffickers. Trafficking in minors brings a prison sentence with a maximum of fifteen years. The government acknowledges that trafficking is a problem and has tasked the Latvian National Police Vice Squad, Border Guards of the Ministry of Interior, Department of Social Policy Development of the Ministry of Welfare, and Consular Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to prepare annual reports on their progress with combating trafficking in persons. The professionalism of the Vice Squad of the Latvia State Police, the principal anti-trafficking law enforcement institution, improved and the number of investigations increased. Eight people were convicted for trafficking related crimes, and six of them were sentenced to four years in prison and one sentenced to seven years. The most important trafficking case in Latvia was the conviction and sentencing of a trafficker to thirteen years in prison. However, some prosecutors and judges still do not view human trafficking as a serious crime and have reduced some of the sentences on appeal to higher courts. Cooperation between the Border Guards, Latvian Police and NGOs increased and contributes to the effective control of the border areas. International cooperation in investigations and prosecutions is well established with Denmark and Germany, but continues to be difficult with Spain. The Border Guard Service manages an information database used to reveal several trafficking trends in Latvia.

Protection
Law enforcement improved its relationship with NGOs, publicly recognizing and cooperating with specialists in witness protection and rehabilitation programs. Law enforcement officials do not treat victims as criminals, although some officials continue to blame the victim. The government provides a witness protection center, managed by the Latvia Criminal Authorities in cooperation with NGOs and encourages trafficking victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Most victims, however, do not cooperate due to fears of retribution and social stigma. The government also mandates training for consular officers from NGOs on victim identification, while Latvian missions abroad provide travel documents for trafficking victims.

LEBANON (Tier 2)

Lebanon is a destination country for persons, primarily women from Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, trafficked to work as domestics. Many trafficking victims voluntarily and legally travel to Lebanon in search of work, but are put into situations of coerced labor. In such situations, they often endure extreme working conditions or physical abuse. Employers sometimes physically or sexually abuse domestics. To a lesser extent, women who travel from Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria to Lebanon are forced into commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Lebanon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government's strengths in combating trafficking are in the area of prevention. The areas of protection and prosecution, including law enforcement coordination with source countries, need to be expanded.

Prevention
The Ministry of Labor meets regularly with source country embassies to ensure that workers are aware of new employment agency regulations and the "complaint line" for reporting violations. Lebanon and Sri Lanka established a training program for Sri Lankan domestics bound for Lebanon. Two offices are open (and three more are planned). The Labor Ministry is working with Ethiopia to develop a similar program, which once established might be a worthy prevention measure. The Prime Minister engaged two human rights lawyers to draft a pamphlet defining trafficking, outlining the complaint process, providing contact information for government agencies, law enforcement, and non-governmental organizations. Officials will distribute it to migrant workers upon their arrival at the airport.

Prosecution
Lebanon does not have a law criminalizing trafficking in persons. However, the Penal Code criminalizes the deprivation of personal freedom of others by abduction or other means. The Ministry of Labor refers cases of abuse reported to its complaint line to law enforcement for investigation and prosecution. It also enacted regulations prohibiting employment agencies from withholding foreign workers' passports for any reason and specifically defining sponsors' responsibilities with regard to the treatment of domestics. In 2002, 18 employment agencies were closed for non-compliance with these new regulations. The Surete Generale actively investigates adult clubs employing "artistes" from Eastern Europe and issues warnings to those who do not comply with regulations. Last year it issued 20 warnings and closed one club. There are no indications that government officials condone or facilitate trafficking.

Protection
The government does not provide protection to victims, but does cooperate with non-governmental organizations that provide victim services. The Surete General allows NGOs access to the Retention Center for Foreign Persons to provide legal assistance, counseling and medical care to foreign workers. Victims may file civil suits or seek legal action. The government signed agreements with intergovernmental organizations to assist in repatriating illegal workers. Employers must show proof of health insurance for their employees every year to renew work permits. In addition, prospective employers of domestics must pay a deposit to the government that can be used for repatriation.

LIBERIA (Tier 3)

Liberia is a source and destination country for trafficked persons, and also has a significant internal trafficking problem. The government and rebel forces in Liberia forcibly conscript men, women, and children to serve as porters, forced laborers, combatants, and sex slaves. The use of child soldiers is widespread, and many are sent into conflicts in neighboring countries, such as Cote d'Ivoire. The government forcibly recruits conscripts from displaced persons' camps. Anecdotal evidence indicates that Liberian rebel forces may traffick men, women, and children into Liberia from displaced persons' camps in Guinea. Government officials reportedly use forced labor on their farms and reportedly force children to work in mines and on farms.

The Government of Liberia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government must stop forced conscription and the use of child soldiers, punish those—including government officials-- responsible for trafficking, and provide protection programs for trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government does not take action to prevent trafficking.

Prosecution
Although there is no specific anti-trafficking law, the law prohibits procuring a woman or a girl under the age of 16 years for prostitution or immoral purposes. However, the government does not arrest and prosecute traffickers.

Protection
The government provides no protection to trafficking victims. International and non-governmental organizations provide some protection and have created separate and secure areas for children in displaced persons camps.

LITHUANIA (Tier 1)

Lithuania is a source, transit and destination country for trafficking in women and children, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Lithuanian women are increasingly trafficked to Spain, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Sweden. Women are trafficked through and within Lithuania from Ukraine, Russia (including Kaliningrad), and Belarus.

The Government of Lithuania fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government showed strong preventive campaigns and increasingly vigorous law enforcement efforts, including against government officials complicit in trafficking.

Prevention
The government continues to earmark significant funds in its national budget to implement its two-year Program on the Control and Prevention of Trafficking in Humans and Prostitution. This program addresses the causes of human trafficking in order to design better preventive measures. The government conducted two vigorous preventive information and education campaigns with international and non-governmental organizations, and the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Education Ministry uses its regional network to focus on prevention among potential victims of sexual abuse and trafficking. Trafficking issues are presented during ethics and religion classes in schools and a toll-free hotline for students and their parents provides information on sexual abuse and trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
Trafficking in persons into or out of Lithuania for purposes of sexual abuse, material or personal gain, and prostitution, is criminally prohibited. Penalties range from four to eight years of imprisonment, with more severe penalties for aggravating circumstances, including trafficking in children. The law also provides for asset forfeiture and confiscation, with new penalties for trafficking in minors, operating a brothel and possession of child pornography. The government successfully employed electronic and undercover surveillance, as well as videoconference technology in the courts, in investigations and proceedings against traffickers suspected of forcing several hundred women from Lithuania into European brothels. The government initiated 22 criminal cases against traffickers mostly concerning international trafficking, with six convictions handed down in 2002, and the government made its first arrests for internal trafficking. The government monitors its own police and six former police officers received sentences from three to seven years' imprisonment for involvement in trafficking, extortion and pimping. The government has bilateral agreements with the Interior Ministries of more than 20 countries, including cooperation in the area of trafficking. The government coordinates with law enforcement from several regional and European countries via trilateral and bilateral agreements, Interpol and EU liaison officers stationed in Lithuania. Enhanced border control led to a decrease in trafficking victims from Ukraine, Russia and Belarus, transiting through Lithuania, and the police have been working to create a national database to monitor traffickers through other related crimes. Trafficking increasingly falls under the mandate of the organized crime police.

Protection
Police provide temporary shelter, access to medical services, and some legal and counseling services to victims who need protection, and the government provides temporary to permanent residence status. Legally, victims should not be punished for prostitution or illegal immigration into Lithuania; however, relief from deportation in trafficking cases is not always provided in practice. The Ministry of Social Security and Labor trained social workers assisting trafficking victims and the government trains Lithuanian consular and embassy staff in destination or transit countries, which may fund assistance to victims. Government agencies and NGOs also encourage victims to file civil suits or to seek legal action against their traffickers, but find that fear of retribution discourages this practice.

MACEDONIA (FORMER YUGOSLAV REPUBLIC OF) (Tier 1)

Macedonia is a country of transit and destination for women and children trafficked for prostitution from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, notably Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria. Some victims remain in Macedonia, while others are trafficked to Albania, Kosovo or Italy.

The Government of Macedonia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government showed increasingly effective law enforcement activities in ethnic-Albanian areas not under government control during the 2001 conflict, and in areas where trafficking activity is prevalent. As a post-conflict country with limited resources, it focused significant efforts on combating trafficking. The low conviction rate relative to arrests emerged as an area of concern and numerous press and public reports were published questioning the integrity of members of the judiciary. Efforts should continue in the next year to strengthen the judiciary's capacity to enforce rule of law.

Prevention
The government co-sponsored with IOM and local NGOs several preventive events, including a public awareness campaign for the public at large, and a focused campaign in the country's third largest city. The inter-ministerial National Anti-Trafficking Committee, headed by the Ministry of Interior State Secretary, oversees implementation of the National Action Plan. The government instituted a new policy on issuance of work permits, whereby a centralized policy review board approves all work permit requests. Requests for permits for dancers and waitresses are given strict review and most are denied. The government continues to participate actively in Stability Pact regional ministerial meetings and capacity-building programs.

Prosecution
Criminal articles on organized and forced prostitution are used to prohibit and punish trafficking in persons. During the reporting period, courts handed down 11 convictions, ranging from six months to seven years. Police increased the ability to investigate and arrest traffickers in areas of previously limited government control, and the government filed over 70 trafficking-related charges against over 100 perpetrators. The government arrested and prosecuted notorious trafficking kingpin Dilaver Bojku and two associates. For activities conducted before enactment of the current anti-trafficking legislation, the applicable criminal article held only a maximum penalty of one year; the court handed Bojku a six-month sentence in Ohrid Jail, He was transferred to a prison halfway house, during which time the Ministry of Interior secured additional trafficking charges against him and extended his detention, pending trial. The government routinely cooperates with neighboring countries through its Southeastern Cooperative Initiative (SECI) liaison and through its bilateral cooperation agreements with UN authorities in Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro and Bulgaria. Government efforts to crack down on corruption continued, and several internal investigations are ongoing. In 2003, charges were brought against a local police official on trafficking and other charges, and the case is proceeding through the court system.

Protection
Police routinely place victims found during anti-trafficking raids in the government's transit shelter for trafficking victims. Once the victims are in the transitional shelter, a local NGO conducts interviews, and they are offered repatriation, counseling, medical and other support services through IOM. During the reporting period, 292 foreign female victims were processed through the shelter, of whom 23 were under 18. Victims of trafficking in Macedonia do not receive temporary residency status. While the government was working to enact a witness protection law and program, the police and IOM provided ad hoc witness protection for some witnesses willing to testify. Police and prosecutors receive training on trafficking.

MALAWI (Tier 2)

Malawi is a source country for women and children trafficked to South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and Europe for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Nigerian traffickers are increasingly active in Malawi, trafficking women and girls to Europe. Malawi also is a transit for persons trafficked to The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Belgium. Internal trafficking for forced labor and commercial exploitation also occurs. Sex tourism is an increasing problem. The HIV/AIDS epidemic has resulted in 2 million orphans and an increasing number of child-headed households, thereby drastically increasing the vulnerability of this population to traffickers.

The Government of Malawi does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. The government should increase its efforts to protect victims and follow through on its review of anti-trafficking statutes to enhance law enforcement efforts.

Prevention
The inter-ministerial committee on children implemented a child rights awareness program, an HIV/AIDS awareness program, domestic violence campaigns, workshops, and training sessions. Also, the committee disseminated the Convention on the Rights of the Child in local languages. In addition, the government has targeted local customs, such as girl-child initiation rights at puberty and early marriage, as putting children at risk for trafficking and launched campaigns against such practices. The government established an ombudsman on children's issues and abolished school fees to encourage school attendance. The government provides assistance to the growing numbers of families caring for HIV/AIDS orphans and child-headed households, to minimize those increasingly at risk for trafficking. It also supports a multitude of youth associations working on children's issues. The government is implementing programs to eliminate the worst forms of child labor and is withdrawing 1,500 children from hazardous work and providing them with alternative job skills training.

Prosecution
There is currently no anti-trafficking law in Malawi. The National Task Force on Child Labor and the Law Review Commission are reviewing child labor and trafficking statutes. The Penal Code prohibits commercial sexual exploitation of children. Laws against promoting, managing, or transporting any person for prostitution mandate a 14 year sentence, which is appropriately severe. Since 2001, police have prosecuted seven cases of trafficking and closed down at least two nightclubs during an international conference because of the presence of minor prostitutes. Malawian police are working with INTERPOL to investigate brothel rings controlled by organized crime.

Protection
The government provides repatriation assistance for victims, including health care. Juvenile-friendly courts handle cases involving minors.

MALAYSIA (Tier 2)

Malaysia is a destination and to a lesser extent a source and transit country for trafficking for sexual exploitation. Foreign trafficking victims come from Indonesia, Thailand, China, the Philippines, and Uzbekistan. On a smaller scale, Malaysian women (mostly ethnic Chinese) are trafficked to Japan, Canada, the United States, Australia and Taiwan for sexual exploitation. Some clandestine transiting may take place through the country's international airports.

The Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government acknowledges that trafficking is a problem and enacts most of its anti-trafficking measures in the context of its fight against illegal migration. Malaysia needs to pass a comprehensive anti-trafficking law to enable officials to deal with the problem. Malaysia recognizes that anti-trafficking measures require a multilateral approach, and its growing cooperation with Indonesia is an important step. Officials are only slowly recognizing the importance of foreign victim protection.

Prevention
The government provides funding to NGOs, which inform Malaysian women of the dangers of sex trafficking. Government ministries provide direct job training assistance in rehabilitation centers to young Malaysian women considered at risk of falling into prostitution.

Prosecution
Malaysia has not passed a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. Existing criminal and security statutes can be applied against traffickers, but most traffickers are prosecuted as smugglers under the immigration statute and as a result receive only fines or light sentences. Immigration officials have stepped up border security measures and are scrutinizing foreign visa applicants more closely to look for potential trafficking victims. Petty corruption is a problem, but the government is engaged in removing corrupt officials and police officers. The Home Affairs Ministry established an inter-agency task force to crack down on criminal offenses involving vice, including trafficking. Malaysia signed an agreement with the Philippines and Indonesia to cooperate on transnational crimes, including trafficking in persons, and will initiate law enforcement contact with its neighbors. Special cooperation is underway between the states of Sabah and Sarawak and the Indonesian state of Kalimantan.

Protection
The government provides extensive funding for NGOs in Malaysia working generally to assist Malaysian women; however, because the scope of the trafficking problem is small, relatively few of these women are trafficking victims. Overseas, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides assistance to Malaysian victims trafficked abroad. In Malaysia, the government applies a lower standard of protection for foreign trafficking victims who are generally treated as immigration offenders, often detained and held for up to several months before deportation. They are released to the care of shelters or foreign consulates in the minority of cases when the government clearly identifies them as bona fide trafficking victims and not economic migrants. Malaysian officials are not trained in assisting foreign trafficking victims; operationally, officials continue to define trafficking narrowly and treat victims as accessories.

MALI (Tier 2)

Mali is primarily a source country for children trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire for farm labor. It has also become a transit country for children and women being trafficked to and from neighboring countries and to Europe; anecdotal evidence also suggests that it is a destination country for women from Nigeria. Some Malian children are trafficked internally to urban centers for forced labor.

The Government of Mali 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. Mali should strengthen its anti-trafficking efforts through enhanced prosecution of traffickers.

Prevention
As part of Mali's comprehensive plan to combat trafficking in children, the government has participated in several media campaigns including the "Red Card to Child Labor" program, introduced during the 2002 African Cup of Nations soccer tournament in Bamako. Since February 2002, minors are required to have written parental permission to cross borders; this program is believed to have been moderately successful in decreasing trafficking in its first year. The government is targeting high trafficking areas with public awareness campaigns. Mali is one of the West African countries participating in an international organization's program to reduce trafficking in children and a regional effort to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
Trafficking in children is illegal in Mali and carries severe penalties under the law. Trafficking in adults can also be prosecuted under laws against slavery, kidnapping, and prostitution. We have no information on prosecutions. The government is investigating organized trafficking rings in Mali. The government has announced plans to train border officials in spotting and investigating traffickers. Mali's cooperative agreement with Cote d'Ivoire appears to be working to combat trafficking. Cooperation with border authorities from Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso has also gained momentum. As a result of both the agreement and the instability in Cote d'Ivoire, the number of children trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire appears to be declining.

Protection
The government has established "welcome centers" which provide shelter and medical and psychological services to victims; more than 600 children have been repatriated through the centers since 2000. Victims are not treated as criminals, and the government encourages them to assist in investigation and prosecution of traffickers. Victims also have the right to seek legal action against their traffickers on their own.

MAURITIUS (Tier 1)

Mauritius is a source country for women and children trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation. Sex tourism is a serious concern and is being addressed through a broad coalition of government and civic service institutions.

The Government of Mauritius fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Mauritius could further enhance its anti-trafficking efforts by increasing the number of prosecutions.

Prevention
The government is aggressively implementing its 5-year plan to protect children against exploitation. The Ministry of Women's Rights, Child Development, and Family Welfare, in conjunction with the University of Mauritius, conducted a survey of exploited children and is establishing a database to track commercial sexual exploitation. During the year, the government undertook anti-trafficking campaigns targeting child prostitution, created "Police de Proximite" to encourage community members to report information, educated children on their rights, and worked through women's and youth centers, factories, and parent-teacher associations to explain trafficking and sexual abuse. Other actions included hiring a full-time consultant to work on pamphlets, television ads, radio spots, and booklets on child prostitution; a train-the-trainer program for 200 community and youth leaders; and establishment of mechanisms to use the 53 social welfare centers, 109 community centers, and 12 women and youth centers and village information councils as resources on commercial sexual exploitation. To decrease school absenteeism - identified as a primary cause of trafficking - the government assigns a social worker to truant children and their families. The government also provides income generating and micro-credit programs for poor families and educates parents about child prostitution. Sex Area Protection Committees and Child-Watch networks are being established in high-risk areas. An omsbudsman for children's issues is being created. The government trains and funds NGOs.

Prosecution
The government is reviewing existing legislation to increase protection for victims and the penalties for trafficking. Trafficking is prosecuted under statutes prohibiting brothel keeping, debauchery, sex with a minor, and causing a child to be abused. Police at the Grand Bay Police Station report about 6 child prostitution cases per year. Thirty law enforcement officials are being trained in investigation and prosecution and a training manual for police is being developed. The government monitors and reports sex offenders to INTERPOL. Family courts are reviewing procedures for dealing with the commercial sexual exploitation of children. A Family Protection Unit of the police has been trained on child exploitation and an information technology unit has been established to monitor Internet solicitation of minors.

Protection
The Ministry's Child Development Unit carries out intervention, treatment, and protection services 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Victims are sheltered in government-supported, NGO-run facilities and the government mandates compensation from exploiters. The government also offers free medical, psychological, and legal assistance and has established a drop-in center for victims of sexual abuse.

MEXICO (Tier 2)

Mexico is a major source of and transit point for primarily Mexican and Central American migrants traveling to the United States, some of who are trafficked or at risk of being trafficked for labor or sexual exploitation. Others from Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe transit Mexico to the United States. Those who do not succeed in passing through are often forced into prostitution in Mexico, including a high number of children in the border area with Guatemala. In addition to international trafficking, Mexico has internal trafficking, especially for the sexual exploitation of children.

The Government of Mexico 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 launched a national campaign against the sexual exploitation of children and achieved a high level of success in interdicting illicit migration, including trafficking; however, efforts to assist victims and punish traffickers, especially those that sexually exploit minors, are still limited.

Prevention
The national campaign against sexual exploitation of children, which urges people to report the crime, has begun to show positive results. Continued and increased efforts to raise awareness under this initiative will help identify and assist a greater number of victims.

Prosecution
Mexico's record on law enforcement against trafficking is uneven. There have been great successes, including the significant reduction of illicit migration and trafficking in persons between Baja California and the United States thanks to excellent cooperation between Mexican and U.S. officials. However, in other areas, such as Ciudad Juarez, which reports a high incidence of child prostitution and pornography, investigation was weak. Enforcement may improve in Ciudad Juarez as the federal social welfare agency recently contributed to a study of the problem and NGOs have begun sensitivity training for police. In Tapachula, near the Guatemala border, brothel owners have trafficked hundreds of Central American minors into prostitution with almost complete impunity. Mexico continues to improve its efforts to monitor its borders well in many places. In 2001, border officials turned back 15,000 undocumented aliens and hundreds of migrant smugglers and in 2002, federal police arrested the head of an international alien smuggling network. Some of these were traffickers and victims, but no data is available on the scope of the crime for two main reasons: Mexico is primarily a transit country, so the extent of trafficking may not be evident until the victim reaches the destination; and Mexican officials do not attempt to distinguish victims or traffickers, they simply deport all. Corruption and poor enforcement against exploiters of children weaken Mexico's prosecution efforts.

Protection
The government's social welfare agency assists trafficking victims repatriated from the United States by providing them with shelters and health care, and by returning victims to their families. The availability and quality of these programs varies widely by region. The federal government occasionally funds NGOs to assist victims, but overall the level of services should be expanded to meet the current need. Foreign victims of trafficking who are in Mexico illegally are generally deported instead of receiving public assistance while helping prosecutors to develop a case against the trafficker.

MOLDOVA (Republic of) (Tier 2)

Moldova is primarily a source country for women and children trafficked to the Balkans (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Albania, Serbia-Montenegro and Kosovo); other European countries (Italy, France, Portugal, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Greece, Cyprus and Turkey); and the Middle East (Lebanon, Israel, United Arab Emirates, Pakistan and Afghanistan). There has been an increase in Moldovans trafficked to Israel, via Moscow and Egypt, and a recently discovered case of Moldovans trafficked to Japan. Moldovan men have been trafficked to Russia and neighboring countries for forced labor and begging. Moldova is also a transit country for victims trafficked from Ukraine to Romania. The border region of Transnistria, not under the central government's control, also serves as a source and transit point for trafficking victims.

The Government of Moldova does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government established a National Working Group, which developed a multi-year strategic plan for combating trafficking. However, improvements from the previous year are limited, as the problems of endemic corruption, lack of resources and inadequate protection hinder the government's comprehensive and effective response.

Prevention
The government acknowledges that Moldova is one of the most significant source countries for trafficked persons around the world, but does not yet treat it as a top priority. Most activities are initiated by international organizations, subsidized by foreign institutions, and implemented by NGOs, without any support from the government. The State Migration Service (SMS) increased its anti-trafficking efforts through maintenance of a database of legally licensed agencies that it can match with people interested in working abroad. The SMS works closely with international organizations to educate people about the potential dangers of working abroad. In addition, over 60 representatives from the Ministry of Labor serve as trainers in a regional women's economic empowerment initiative.

Prosecution
Trafficking in persons is criminally prohibited in Moldova. During the reporting period, two people were convicted and sentenced to 15 and 10 years, respectively, for trafficking children to Russia for the purpose of begging. Of the 42 other trafficking criminal cases initiated, eight were referred to court, 19 are pending, two were suspended, and 13 were dismissed. Trafficking-related offenses are also prosecuted under laws on pimping, fraud, forgery and maintaining brothels. The government's Counter-Trafficking Division actively employs special investigative techniques, such as electronic surveillance and undercover operations. The Government of Moldova also works with other countries under the Stability Pact and with international organizations to enhance anti-trafficking law enforcement skills and programs. Moldovan officials cooperate with their counterparts in other countries and shared data were incorporated into the majority of trafficking investigations in Moldova. Several human trafficking routes were closed due to international cooperation. Most recently, officials stopped a woman who trafficked other women to Japan. This was the first registered case of trafficking in Moldovan women to Japan. Widespread corruption and lack of resources prevent adequate border control and monitoring of traffickers, especially in the Transnistria region. The Moldovan Police Academy cooperated with an NGO to develop a new curriculum and implement an anti-trafficking module for the police academy training program. The government is investigating trafficking-related crimes involving government officials, such as a mayor who was arrested for taking a bribe for issuing false documents..

Protection
The Government of Moldova fails to protect victims adequately. While it does not treat victims as criminals it does not provide residency status, relief from deportation, shelter, or access to legal, medical, or psychological services for victims. The government encourages victims to assist in investigations and prosecutions. Moldovan law provides for witness protection, including change of identity and residence, but in practice this is not always provided due to lack of resources. There are no standard operating procedures for the identification of victims of trafficking, nor are victims provided compensation. Victims can obtain employment while the trafficker is prosecuted, but job opportunities are scarce in Moldova. The Ministries of Interior and Foreign Affairs improved victim identification and support strategies for Moldovan consular staff abroad.

MOROCCO (Tier 1)

Morocco is a country of origin and transit for trafficked persons. Internal trafficking of girls from rural areas to cities for domestic servitude as child maids is widespread. Internal trafficking of women for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation takes place on a smaller scale. Some Moroccan men and women seeking work in Europe and the Middle East as domestic servants or in the hotel or construction industry have been forced into situations of coerced labor, narcotics trafficking, or commercial sexual exploitation. There are also unsubstantiated reports that some who transit from West African countries through Morocco to Europe may be trafficked.

The Government of Morocco fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

Prevention
The Government of Morocco participated in several high-level meetings with the European Union and the Governments of Italy and Spain to strengthen migration policies and procedures to Europe. Moroccan diplomats in both transit and destination countries are trained to assist Moroccan victims, and Moroccan consular officers are trained to provide counsel to unattended at-risk adolescents in Spain and Italy. Working with non-governmental organizations, the government has supported numerous anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns that warn young people about the dangers of migration to Europe and citizens against using child maids.

Prosecution
Morocco has no law that specifically prohibits trafficking; however, the government utilizes a number of statutes covering kidnapping, forced prostitution, and coercion against traffickers. Law enforcement agencies actively investigate, prosecute and convict traffickers. A former Belgian consul general was arrested in Morocco for recruiting Moroccan women to work in Belgian nightclubs. An accomplice working in the Moroccan Secretariat of the Royal Palace Guards was arrested and charged with deceit and forgery for drafting bogus letters of reference for the women. The police worked together with law enforcement from Saudi Arabia to break up a Moroccan trafficking ring consisting of 40 family members. Law enforcement officers participate in training and seminars about trafficking that are held by other countries. The Moroccan Council of Ministers announced that it had adopted a law that will increase punishments against traffickers. There is no evidence of official government involvement in trafficking, but some border officials and police have taken bribes to turn a blind eye to trafficking or smuggling. A government crackdown on all types of corruption within the public sector has investigated approximately 10,000 officials for allegations of corruption, including corruption related to trafficking in persons.

Protection
The government provides modest funds to non-governmental organizations, participates in anti-trafficking and anti-child labor campaigns with international organizations, repatriates former child maids to their families, and has created a Center for Immigration that provides counseling services including explanation of legal and civil rights to migrants. The Secretary of State for Family has taken custody of abused child maids.

MOZAMBIQUE (Tier 2)

Mozambique is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked to South Africa for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking of children for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation occurs within the country.

The Government of Mozambique 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. Mozambique's monitoring of borders remains weak, and corruption hampers cooperation with neighboring law enforcement officials.

Prevention
A multi-sectoral anti-trafficking "Campaign Against Trafficking in Children," kicked off by the Prime Minister, includes public figures, well-known musicians, and Catholic Church dignitaries. The campaign continues with a massive public awareness effort on radio and television, training for journalists, workshops for children, and training for police officers. Children participate in nationwide debates, festivals, dances, dramas, and in the creation of leaflets to educate other children about prostitution. Lack of funds hampers the implementation of the national plan on abuse and exploitation of children.

Prosecution
There is no law against trafficking, and the government lacks investigative capacity; but prosecutions of cases of sexual assault and rape, some of which are trafficking-related, are on the increase. In 2002, there were seven cases in which exploiters were charged with indecent assault of a minor with penalties ranging from two to eight years. A training seminar was held to teach police officers how to recognize and investigate trafficking cases. Three pilot stations staffed with special officers trained to assist trafficking victims were set up in provincial capitals. Children are prohibited from going in nightclubs and cabarets. Two violations led to closure of the businesses.

Protection
Government assistance is available for victims on a short-term basis, but long-term care is limited by lack of funds. Victims are not mistreated when seeking assistance but are often asked to pay for medical tests. Government hospitals work with NGOs that provide victim assistance in Maputo, Beira, and Nampula. Maputo Central Hospital runs a youth psychological rehabilitation center to assist children traumatized by abduction and for victims of sexual abuse.

NEPAL (Tier 2)

Nepal is a source country of women and girls trafficked primarily to India for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and debt bondage. Nepali women traveling to the Middle East in search of work have been put into situations of coerced labor and other slave-like conditions. Internal trafficking also takes place in Nepal. Women are trafficked from rural areas to cities for commercial sexual exploitation and children are placed into debt bondage or other exploitative child labor by their impoverished parents. An ongoing Maoist insurgency has used violence to wrest control of remote areas from the government; many trafficking victims originate from those areas. The insurgents have forcibly conscripted girls and boys.

The Government of Nepal does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severe resource constraints. Pioneering efforts have been undertaken in preventing trafficking. More vigorous efforts to prosecute all forms of trafficking, stronger coordination of law enforcement efforts, and serious efforts to curb corruption will improve Nepal's anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
The Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare (MWCSW) supported local, regional, and national information campaigns on trafficking including radio and audio-visual programs, booklets, pamphlets, and signboards. As a pilot program, the government established "Village Vigilance Committees" in some districts to train local residents to recognize trafficking and alert authorities. The MWCSW publishes a newsletter and operates a program in 47 districts to emphasize the importance of sending children to school, a key component of the government's campaign to eliminate child labor. The Ministry of Labor requires all workers traveling overseas to attend an orientation session explaining worker rights and safety issues. Government-initiated income generating projects have been introduced in 3900 villages; those projects include providing micro credit loans, introducing savings programs, and encouraging female entrepreneurs.

Prosecution
The Human Trafficking Control Act of 1986 prohibits selling persons and provides for penalties of up to twenty years imprisonment for traffickers. However, this legislation does not criminalize the separation of minors from their legal guardians with the intent of trafficking. Thus, trafficking children out of Nepal may not be prosecutable as a crime until it is too late. Last year 92 cases against traffickers were taken to court; prosecution and sentencing statistics are not yet available. Nepal's open land border with India does not allow for stringent monitoring. Border officials receive training from non-governmental and international organizations on how to recognize potential trafficking victims. Former trafficking victims patrol along side border officials and help them spot potential trafficking situations. The Governments of Nepal and India have agreed to form a Joint Cross Border Committee against Trafficking in order to collaborate on investigations and more efficiently share information about traffickers.

Protection
The Government of Nepal provides limited resources to non-governmental organizations to provide victim assistance for rehabilitation, counseling, and medical care. Victims are not jailed, detained, or deported. Once a victim files a civil suit or makes a criminal complaint against a trafficker, the government will prosecute the case at no cost to the victim.

THE NETHERLANDS (Tier 1)

The Netherlands is both a significant destination and transit country for trafficking, most notably for the purposes of sexual exploitation, although there is also labor trafficking. Most victims originate from Central and Eastern Europe, primarily Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and Moldova, and from African countries, primarily Nigeria. According to some experts, the number of reported trafficking victims, almost all foreign, has more than quadrupled over the past decade, rising from 70 to 341.

The Government of The Netherlands fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Government of The Netherlands has numerous and sophisticated prevention, prosecution and protection programs. However, the lack of a specific law and punishment against forced labor trafficking, lack of punishment for sex traffickingof equal severity to that for other grave sex crimes, and limited outreach by the government to the large number of foreign victims of sex trafficking warrant concern.

Prevention
The Government of The Netherlands does not conduct prevention campaigns targeting the demand within the public at large, but it subsidizes numerous NGO information campaigns in Dutch schools and youth clubs. Dutch NGOs complain of insufficient efforts to target source countries, but the government engages in bilateral assistance to many countries to sponsor preventative education programs. Most impressive, the government funds a National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings, who investigates trafficking and publishes in-depth reports.

Prosecution
Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation is specifically prohibited and subject to punishment in The Netherlands. But while the punishment for rape is twelve years, the punishment for trafficking for sexual exploitation is six years with more severe penalties for aggravating circumstances, such as trafficking of a minor. The average sentence for trafficking for sexual exploitation alone is even lower: eighteen months. A law to prohibit and punish other forms of trafficking, such as forced labor and protection of victims of forced labor was introduced but was not adopted as of April 2003. There is a national public prosecutor for sex trafficking and an anti-trafficking coordinator in each district court. Sex trafficking is reportedly a high priority for police in many regions of the country. Approximately 217 cases were prosecuted last year, showing an increase from the previous year. While there were no reported convictions, the proportion of cases resulting in sentences was quite high in previous years. According to the Dutch Rapporteur, the majority of foreign victims do not usually avail themselves of the government's B-9 immigration law, which allows the victim to remain in the country three months while pursuing prosecution. This is due to the lack of knowledge, unequal access to legal counsel, fear of retribution and restrictions on employment during this period.

Protection
The government subsidizes various Dutch and foreign NGOs working with victims trafficked for sexual exploitation and the Dutch government cooperates with source country governments. Most shelters are designed for Dutch victims of domestic violence, but seek to address the needs of all victims. The Health Ministry assisted in publishing a manual that instructs relief workers about the rights of foreign victims. Special shelters have been set up for underage foreign victims, but victim organizations have called for additional measures.

NICARAGUA (Tier 2)

Nicaragua is source and transit country for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation. Many of the victims are minors trafficked within the country, including children in prostitution and girls who dance in nightclubs. Some Nicaraguan women and children are trafficked to other parts of Central America for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Nicaragua is also a transit country for illegal migrants; some of those migrants may be trafficked.

The Government of Nicaragua does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Aware of the problem, the government does not tolerate trafficking in persons. The government carries out measures against cross-border trafficking in the context of combating migrant smuggling. Government efforts to address internal trafficking, which most often involves the exploitation of children, are complicated by a lack of resources and politicization of the issue.

Prevention
A government national council headed by the First Lady has developed strategies to protect children against forced labor and sexual exploitation. These measures focus on raising awareness of public officials. The police work with schools to warn at-risk teenagers about trafficking. The government works with a number of international organizations and NGOs that promote children's welfare, but the government does not conduct any public awareness campaigns.

Prosecution
Nicaragua has a law prohibiting trafficking for sexual exploitation, and authorities have made some arrests under this law, but there have been very few prosecutions. A joint Nicaraguan-U.S. task force coordinates strategy and law enforcement on the illegal international movement of persons. A special police unit combats trafficking as a part of migrant smuggling. Enforcement of child labor rules is spotty. Corruption is an overall problem, although there is no evidence that Nicaraguan officials are engaged in trafficking-related corruption. The government does not adequately monitor its borders, but officials are taking steps to improve technology and methodology.

Protection
The government does not provide special services to Nicaraguan trafficking victims beyond general limited assistance to victims of violent crime. The government does not provide assistance to foreign victims of trafficking. Police are not trained to recognize trafficking victims other than minors in nightclubs. Government efforts to inspect working conditions of children are limited.

NIGER (Tier 2)

Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons. Workers from Benin, Togo, Nigeria, and Ghana are promised well-paying employment in Niger but often find themselves exploited in poorly paid domestic work or prostitution. Internal trafficking of children for labor occurs which often leads to indentured servitude or debt bondage. Child prostitution is on the rise. Some religious leaders exploit children sent to them for education by forcing them to beg in the streets. Niger is a transit country for women being trafficked from West Africa to Europe through North Africa, primarily by Nigerian traffickers. Some children from Niger are trafficked within West Africa for forced labor.

The Government of Niger does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. A survey of migration and trafficking patterns would help the country assess needs, and Niger should undertake additional efforts to reach rural populations, implement newly passed anti-trafficking legislation, and prosecute traffickers.

Prevention
The President and Prime Minister discussed publicly the dangers of child trafficking. The government and international organizations conducted anti-trafficking information campaigns. The government's Child Protection and Survival of Children division publicizes the rights of children through seminars, workshops, broadcasts, and other media. The division also actively reaches out to at-risk children about the dangers of prostitution, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted diseases. The government hosted a regional meeting of five countries that resulted in the introduction of an Authorization Certificate for children traveling with people other than their parents. The Ministry of Justice, Association of Traditional Chiefs, and an international organization have joined forces to prevent early marriages and forced child labor. The government identified poverty alleviation schemes as a critical component to providing alternatives to families who allow children to work in exploitative conditions and offers short and long-term training programs for girls and micro-credit loans to families as a means to address some of the root causes of trafficking. The government participates in an international program to end the worst forms of child labor and a regional plan of action to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
There is no anti-trafficking law in Niger, but the abduction, harboring, or concealment of others is a criminal offense. The proposed anti-trafficking law will carry a sentence of five to10 years. We have no information on trafficking arrests in 2002, but in 2001, a trafficker from Nigeria was arrested escorting eight women on their way to Italy. The government provides training to police and border officials on trafficking.

Protection
The government supports the efforts of NGOs, primarily through in-kind support, to improve the living conditions of girls who are sexually exploited and is working with an international organization to assist street children and other children working in the gold mines. This includes providing education, medical care, support groups, and other activities for child prostitutes. The government has a witness protection program.

NIGERIA (Tier 2)

Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for trafficked persons, predominantly women and children. Nigerians are trafficked to Europe, the Middle East, and other parts of Africa for forced labor, domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation. Nigerian women are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, particularly to Italy, France, Spain, The Netherlands, Cote d'Ivoire, and South Africa. Nigerian children are trafficked primarily for domestic labor within Nigeria and throughout West and Central Africa. Children from neighboring Togo, Benin, Ghana, and Cameroon are trafficked to Nigeria for forced labor.

The Government of Nigeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. More vigorous law enforcement response to all forms of trafficking, better protection efforts including a systematic repatriation network for trafficked children, and serious efforts against any officials found complicit would improve Nigeria's anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
Nigeria is withdrawing children from the worst forms of child labor through international and regional programs to eliminate child labor and combat trafficking in persons. Several ministries sponsor information campaigns on child rights and child labor. Federal, state, and local government support active child rights clubs in schools. Several state governments are implementing aggressive public awareness campaigns about the dangers of child trafficking and trafficking to Europe. These campaigns include radio and television announcements, talk shows, documentaries, dramas, leaflets, briefings in local government areas, and augmented school curricula. The Nigerian Immigration Service's newly created human trafficking unit carried out a sensitization campaign throughout the year that included meetings with governors, legislators, traditional rulers, religious leaders, and educators in trafficking-prone states.

Prosecution
The Senate passed a comprehensive anti-trafficking law in March 2003. Anti-trafficking police units were created in 11 trafficking-afflicted states. The federal police anti-trafficking unit in Edo State, the primary source state for women trafficked to Italy, is actively investigating 100 cases, with 30 being prosecuted. One case involved a high chief, who was subsequently stripped of his title pending trial. The State Security Service intercepts victims and arrests traffickers. A 12-person trafficking syndicate was caught processing false documents and subsequently dismantled. A former customs officer and two others suspected of child trafficking are under investigation. A high-profile break-up of a Nigerian trafficking ring operating in Guinea fell apart after witnesses failed to testify without protection. Immigration authorities record 20 cases of child trafficking each month, but lack of equipment, logistical problems, and corruption hamper their effectiveness in processing cases to conclusion. Progress in monitoring child labor has been slow but noticeable and is overseen by a child labor office in the Ministry of Employment, Productivity, and Labor.

Protection
The government provides support to international and NGOs, which protect victims. Nigerian embassies in destination countries, particularly Gabon, provide assistance to victims, and the foreign ministry created a high-level position to facilitate victim repatriation. Regional centers to monitor child rights violations have been established. Witness protection remains weak; family involvement in trafficking also makes it difficult to protect victims.

NORTH KOREA (Tier 3)

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) is primarily a source country for persons trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Economic and political conditions in North Korea drive large numbers of Koreans to seek a way out of the country, putting them at risk of victimization by traffickers. Women who enter Northern China may be sold as brides and exploited into prostitution. The Government of North Korea carries out widespread forced labor abuses within the country. North Koreans are transported to work in isolated regions in Russia, under circumstances of forced labor exploitation, in order to pay down the North Korean government's foreign debt to Moscow.

The Government of North Korea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. North Korea does not recognize that trafficking in persons is a problem; in fact, the government profits from the labor of trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government does not take measures to prevent trafficking.

Prosecutions
There are no reports of government efforts to prosecute traffickers.

Protection
There are no reports that the Government of North Korea takes measures to protect victims of trafficking. In fact, North Koreans who were victimized by traffickers and later returned to their country may face detention and interrogation from government authorities.

NORWAY (Tier 1)

Norway is a destination country for a small but growing number of trafficked women and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Children may be trafficked to Norway from the Balkans for sexual exploitation under the guise of adoption and refugee placement. There are also occasional instances involving household servants and youth from Eastern Europe forced to participate in petty theft rings.

The Government of Norway fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Although trafficking-specific reports or statistics are limited, the government of Norway acknowledges that there is sufficient information to intensify anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
The government's National Action Plan classifies trafficking as a modern form of slavery, promotes cooperation between government authorities and NGOs, and allocates $15 million over three years to prevent and prosecute trafficking and protect victims. In 2002, during its Chairmanship of the Nordic Council, Norway initiated a Nordic-Baltic Campaign against Trafficking in Women and Children. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Norwegian Barents Secretariat of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council fund various prevention projects in the Baltics and Russia. The government launched a prevention campaign for all government employees, prohibiting the purchase of sexual services on official travel and reminding all Norwegian travelers that they will be prosecuted for engaging in child sexual abuse and/or trafficking, even if these acts take place in a foreign country. Under the National Action Plan, the MFA initiated projects targeting at-risk populations in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, Russia, the Caucasus, and Central and South Asia. The Norwegian Development Agency allocates funding to organizations working to prevent trafficking and assist victims in developing countries.

Prosecution
Trafficking is not a separate criminal offense, but laws regarding, for example, labor, anti-slavery, indentured servitude, immigration, sexual assault, and prostitution were used to investigate trafficking cases. Although there is reason to believe there have been many prosecutions and convictions, the police force keeps information on trafficking investigations confidential to protect the victims, rendering it impossible to ascertain the exact number of actions against traffickers. The government earmarks significant resources to its organized crime divisions for investigation and prosecution of human trafficking. The government monitors its borders and immigration patterns for human trafficking. It works closely with EU countries and made an agreement with Finland and Russia on border control and surveillance.

Protection
Victims of trafficking have the same legal rights as other foreigners to apply for residency, asylum, welfare and social assistance, and emergency health care. The government introduced a reflection period, during which expulsion decisions may be suspended up to 45 days for trafficking victims. Most NGOs in Norway that provide victim assistance receive funding from the government. The Ministry of Health funds an NGO that manages a center staffed with social workers to provide legal assistance, counseling, harm reduction and health services for both domestic and foreign prostitutes. Other government agencies fund NGOs for training and/or seminars on victim assistance for public servants such as social workers and the police. The government is also assessing the needs of women and children who cooperate with investigators to improve current protection assistance, such as considering granting refugee status to trafficking victims.

PAKISTAN (Tier 2)

Pakistan is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and bonded labor. Internal trafficking of women and girls from rural areas to cities for purposes of sexual exploitation and labor also occurs. Pakistan is a source country for young boys who are trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, and Qatar as camel jockeys. Pakistani men and women travel to the Middle East in search of work and are put into situations of coerced labor, slave-like conditions, and physical abuse. Pakistan is a destination for women and children trafficked from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, and Central Asia for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and labor. Women trafficked from East Asian countries and Bangladesh to the Middle East transit through Pakistan.

The Government of Pakistan does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite severely limited resources and the fact that some of its territory is beyond the control of the government. The Government of Pakistan is strongest in prevention and protection. The government should increase training for low-level police officers, prosecutors, and judges throughout the country. Prosecution and conviction of those involved in perpetrating trafficking should increase over the next year.

Prevention
The government does not support specific anti-trafficking prevention programs. The government supports targeted prevention programs such as poverty alleviation, the eradication of child labor, promotion of girls' education, and women's income generation projects, aimed at eradicating the root causes of trafficking. A government child labor initiative to keep children in school also targets those children and families most susceptible to trafficking. The government started a new program with benchmarks and target dates to eliminate child labor. At the provincial level, the Punjab Ministry of Social Welfare established women's workshops and training centers offering instruction in income generating activities. The Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) Academy in Islamabad provides trafficking awareness training.

Prosecution
In October 2002, the government passed a law that criminalizes all aspects of trafficking, from recruitment and transporting to receiving a person. If rape or forced prostitution cases are prosecuted under the Islamic law-oriented Hudood ordinances, victims are reluctant to testify since, the woman's testimony is tantamount to an admission of adultery if prosecutors conclude that her testimony does not meet the burden of proof. Law enforcement investigates trafficking cases. The Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) reports that 11 people have been arrested for trafficking under the new statute and that prosecutions of those individuals are pending. Backlogged courts slow legal proceedings. Pakistan and Iran signed an agreement to conduct joint investigations on trafficking in persons and narcotics. The country worked with Iranian authorities on cases involving the trafficking of camel jockeys. The government is improving its ability to patrol its borders through training and equipment, but large areas of uncontrollable borders allow traffickers to bring women and children into Pakistan. Despite the establishment of a National Accountability Bureau and some noteworthy prosecutions of corruption cases, corruption remains a problem throughout Pakistan.

Protection
The government sponsors a variety of shelters and training programs throughout Pakistan that provide medical treatment, limited legal representation, and vocational training. The government provides temporary residence status to foreign trafficking victims, as well as a lawyer on demand. However, without the advocacy of an NGO, victims may be treated as criminals and detained on the basis of their illegal immigration status. Many victims languish in jail for months or years without having their cases heard. On the provincial and local level, the Punjab Ministry for Social Welfare collaborates with approximately 400 NGOs in providing women's shelters, orphanages, and rehabilitation programs for women and children. In destination countries for Pakistani laborers, embassy officials assist those who have been trafficked or placed in abusive working conditions.

THE PHILIPPINES (Tier 2)

The Philippines are a source, transit and, to a lesser extent, destination country for persons trafficked for labor and sexual exploitation. A strong tradition in the country of seeking economic opportunity outside the Philippines puts many Filipinos at risk of trafficking. Filipino women are trafficked for sexual exploitation to destinations throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe and North America. Traffickers lure such victims abroad with false promises of legitimate employment. International organized crime gangs traffick persons from Mainland China through the Philippines. Less frequently, the Philippines are the final destination point for victims from China. There is internal trafficking from rural to urban metropolitan areas. The sexual exploitation of children in the Philippines through pornography, the Internet, and sex tourism is a growing concern.

The Government of the Philippines does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government recognizes that trafficking is a problem and has been engaged internationally for a number of years to combat it. The Philippine president ordered a senior-level task force headed by the Department of Foreign Affairs to address trafficking. The 2002 agreement between the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia to work cooperatively on transnational crime matters, specifically to include trafficking in persons police work, has the potential to be a significant step forward. Despite economic fluctuations that affect its ability to provide consistent funding, the government still engages in good measures in the areas of prevention and protection. An area for improvement, however, is in criminal prosecution against traffickers.

Prevention
Fourteen government agencies are involved in anti-trafficking efforts, much of which is prevention-oriented. Officials oversee pre-departure sessions with overseas contract workers to warn them about trafficking. Officials have made commendable efforts to control "mail-order bride" businesses through increased monitoring. Government offices conduct information campaigns on child labor and sexual exploitation for the hotel industry and other tourism businesses.

Prosecution
The Philippines in March 2003, enacted a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. The government carries out some arrests and prosecutions of traffickers, but those efforts are small in comparison to the scope of the problem. The number of convictions is a serious shortcoming. Available data on prosecutions is incomplete, but reports indicate that there were 18 arrests, one conviction and 29 trafficking establishments closed in the reporting period. There also were 13 arrests of child pornography producers. The government is addressing malfeasance in the issuance of official documents that certify women as "entertainers" eligible for foreign visas. Corruption remains a problem that requires further attention.

Protection
Given years of experience with trafficking cases, many Filipino officials have developed an understanding of the issue and how to assist trafficking victims. The government's "Half-Way Home" program works with NGOs to repatriate victims and provide them temporary shelter, transportation, counseling and financial assistance. The government trains law enforcement officials on dealing with trafficking victims. Philippine embassies take steps to assist victims abroad. Consular officials in embassies receive awareness training on dealing with trafficking victims.

POLAND (Tier 1)

Poland is a country of origin, transit, and destination for trafficking in persons, primarily women and girls, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Some internal trafficking occurs. Individuals are trafficked to and through Poland primarily from Ukraine, Bulgaria, Romania, Belarus, and Russia. Polish nationals are trafficked to Western Europe, including Germany, Italy, Belgium, and The Netherlands.

The Government of Poland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In the past year, the government continued its law enforcement activities and increased its support to NGO shelter projects, but it showed weaker progress in offering status in country to victims in need of protection or willing to testify in proceedings. As a country with relatively few resources and which is confronting serious economic difficulties, the government's consistent efforts are commendable. Continual improvement in its efforts to identify and treat victims as victims will be vital in years to come.

Prevention
In the reporting period, the government cooperated with NGOs to publish educational materials on trafficking in persons and to organize training and workshops on the issue. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs conducts education campaigns for young girls regarding how to identify potential traffickers and the Ministry of Education offers programs aimed at decreasing the teenage dropout rate.

Prosecution
Polish law prohibits forcing individuals into prostitution, trafficking, and pimping. The government actively investigates trafficking and while it is hampered by lack of resources, during the reporting period, police conducted 149 trafficking investigations leading to 47 arrests, 18 prosecutions and eight convictions. In all, these investigations uncovered 167 victims of trafficking. The government instituted a training course for police cadets on investigation of trafficking cases and treatment of victims. While there are reports of corruption among some police officials, no evidence of high-level governmental complicity in trafficking has emerged. Recognizing the gravity of the problem, the government approved an inter-ministerial plan to combat corruption. The government cooperates with other countries and regional security organizations in trafficking cases and the repatriation of victims. It also devotes considerable resources to monitoring its border. The Polish National Police participate in bilateral task forces with Czech, German, and Swedish police forces and a multilateral Baltic law enforcement task force.

Protection
The government provided a public building to an NGO to use as a shelter for trafficking victims, and gave another organization a grant to build a similar shelter. The number of shelters remains inadequate, however, for the number of victims. Legislation allows foreign victims with illegal status to remain in Poland during the investigation and trial of their traffickers, but resources are not available to support them financially. In many cases, victims are deported as soon as possible, preventing the government from providing assistance. In the past year, the government provided full assistance to three victims who cooperated in prosecutions. NGOs and police cooperate on police sensitivity training to improve treatment of victims during investigations. The government developed a pamphlet for police officers on treatment and resources for trafficking victims. There is no specific assistance set aside for repatriated victims to Poland, although they are eligible for unemployment and welfare benefits. Poland cooperates fully with other countries in anti-trafficking efforts and the repatriation of victims.

PORTUGAL (Tier 1)

Portugal is primarily a destination country for trafficked persons from Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Romania, Lithuania, and Belarus, as well as Brazil, Angola and Cape Verde, for the purposes of forced and exploited labor of men and to a lesser extent, sexual exploitation of women. There is some evidence of internal trafficking of children from boarding schools and orphanages by an organized pedophilia ring, currently under investigation. Other trafficked persons transit mainland Portugal en route to the United Kingdom and other European countries.

The Government of Portugal fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Efforts were especially strong in the areas of prosecution and protection, with some additional prevention action taken since last year's report.

Prevention
All government efforts were conducted in the absence of a central, governmental task force on trafficking, and without a constant and clear distinction between migrant smuggling and trafficking. The Portuguese Ministry of Labor continued to disseminate a "welcome guide" to teach new immigrants the basics of living and working in Portugal and prevent exploitation by traffickers. The government also helped to coordinate efforts of various non-governmental and international organization programs, including toll free hotlines and awareness-raising activities.

Prosecution
A new immigration act criminalizes new categories of trafficking and increases penalties for traffickers, but laws on false documentation, extortion, fraud and other criminal activities were also used to prosecute and convict traffickers. According to the Border and Foreigner Service (SEF), 329 trafficking-related investigations were undertaken in 2002-03. Of these, four Ukranians were sentenced from two and a half to nine years for related crimes; 3 Portuguese citizens were sentenced between seven and 15 years for involvement in a human trafficking network of 3,000 victims; and 16 defendants were charged with forced labor, trafficking and kidnapping of more than 300 Brazilian and Moldovan women forced into prostitution. The government trains its law enforcement officers on trafficking, coordinates well with Interpol and Europol and participates in occasional joint trainings; however, overall law enforcement efforts were hindered by jurisdictional rivalries. The government increased its border monitoring at the airport, but control over the land border - where the vast majority of traffickers and their victims enter the country - was weaker. The government is currently working with the governments of Germany, Italy and Spain to develop an organized crime database under Europol that will better track cross-country movement of human traffickers and other criminals, mostly from Ukraine and Moldova. The government employs special investigative techniques to investigate trafficking cases, and offers legal residency as an incentive for victim participation. The government investigates its officials where it has evidence of their involvement in trafficking persons. Judges instituted longer sentences of traffickers amid public pressure to address the spread of organized crime.

Protection
The rights of victims are respected, and the government provides legal residence status to victims who cooperate with authorities, and provides trafficking victim assistance. While most illegal immigrants are either quickly deported or asked to leave the country, new legal provisions allow the government to bypass residency visa requirements for victims who assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. The government provided witness protection and relocation for involvement in trafficking cases and offered some temporary shelter to victims. The Portuguese Border Authority subsidizes the voluntary repatriation and reintegration assistance of an international organization. The government introduced stronger child protection measures as a result of extensive media attention and public outrage at the recent discovery of an organized pedophilia ring trafficking children from boarding schools and orphanages. The government also supports NGOs via its Health, Education and Labor Ministries, including informing trafficking victims of their legal rights and assisting in their integration into Portuguese society.

Countries Q through Z

[This is a mobile copy of Country Narratives -- Countries H through P]