Trafficking in Persons Report
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
June 12, 2007
Report

HONDURAS (Tier 2 Watch List)

Honduras is a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Many victims are Honduran children trafficked from rural areas to urban and tourist centers such as San Pedro Sula, the North Caribbean coast, and the Bay Islands. Child sex tourism is growing in the country. Honduran women and children also are trafficked to Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States. Most foreign victims trafficked into Honduras for commercial sexual exploitation come from neighboring countries; some victims are economic migrants en route to the United States who are victimized by traffickers.

The Government of Honduras does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Honduras is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of providing increased assistance to victims. In addition, the absolute number of trafficking victims in the country is very significant. According to the government and NGOs, an estimated 10,000 victims have been trafficked in Honduras, mostly internally. Many victims are children subject to commercial sexual exploitation. Tourism in the country also is likely to grow, with an increased number of cruise ships arriving at the country's Bay Islands; reliable sources project a concomitant growth in the local sex trade, particularly child sex tourism. In light of this situation, and because Honduras' new anti-trafficking law is not yet fully enforced, the country's lack of a stronger law enforcement response to trafficking crimes is of concern. In the coming year, the government should intensify efforts to initiate prosecutions under its new anti-trafficking law to achieve more convictions and increased sentences against suspected traffickers. It should also make greater efforts to increase shelter and victim services.

Prosecution
The Honduran government sustained efforts to investigate human trafficking during the reporting year. Honduras prohibits trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation through Article 149 of its penal code and a separate anti-trafficking statute enacted in February 2006, but does not prohibit all forms of trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation. Honduras' anti-trafficking statutes prescribe penalties of up to 13 years' imprisonment, punishments that are commensurate with those for rape and other serious crimes and are sufficiently stringent. However, the government has not prosecuted any cases under its new anti-trafficking law to date. Last year, the government initiated 24 trafficking-related investigations and 17 prosecutions under old statutes, obtaining eight convictions; this compares with 37 investigations, 17 prosecutions, and 10 convictions in 2005. Of the eight traffickers convicted in 2006, four were sentenced to prison terms, which range from more than 7 to 27 years' imprisonment. The government conducted 27 anti-trafficking training sessions for its civilian police force last year. The government should take steps to prevent accused offenders from fleeing the country while awaiting trial. Under current law, defendants over age 60 are subject to house arrest while awaiting trial; many of these accused offenders, including American citizens, flee or bribe their way out of the country and avoid prosecution. The government also must strengthen efforts to root out any official complicity with human trafficking, which has been reported among lower-level immigration officials and in other sectors.

Protection
The Honduran government made limited progress in its efforts to assist trafficking victims during the reporting year. It operated no shelters, but referred trafficking victims to NGOs for services. Honduran consular officials in neighboring countries are trained to identify trafficking victims, and assisted Honduran victims by referring them to NGOs for assistance and coordinating their repatriation. Honduran authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Victims' rights are generally respected, and there were no reports of victims being penalized for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked. Honduras does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government made modest progress in prevention activities during the period. The police conducted 10 anti-trafficking training sessions that reached thousands of Hondurans in 2006. The government relied on NGOs and international organizations for the bulk of its awareness-raising campaigns. Honduras has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

HONG KONG (Tier 1)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People's Republic of China is a transit and destination territory for men and women trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Hong Kong is primarily a transit point for illegal migrants, some of whom are subject to conditions of debt bondage, sexual exploitation, and forced labor. To a lesser extent, Hong Kong is a destination for women from the Chinese mainland, Philippines, Indonesia, and Colombia who travel to Hong Kong voluntarily for prostitution or jobs in restaurants or hotels but are deceived or coerced into sexual servitude. Some of the foreign women involved in Hong Kong's commercial sex trade are believed to be trafficking victims. Estimates of international trafficking victims are modest; there have been many reports of debt bondage and confiscation of documents among women in prostitution - consistent with international definitions of trafficking. A small minority of women from the Philippines and Indonesia who go to Hong Kong to work as domestic servants are subjected to exploitation and conditions of involuntary servitude.

The Government of Hong Kong fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to implement strong anti-trafficking measures including training law enforcement officials, collecting information on suspected cases of trafficking, and conducting undercover operations in establishments with suspected trafficking victims. The government should consider closer collaboration with source countries of women trafficked for prostitution as well as conducting a public awareness campaign aimed at customers.

Prosecution
The Hong Kong government demonstrated continued law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking in 2006. Hong Kong prohibits all forms of trafficking. Sex trafficking is criminalized through the Immigration Ordinance, the Crimes Ordinance, and the Stowaways Ordinance of 1997. Labor trafficking is criminalized through the Employment Ordinance. Penalties for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape, and penalties for all forms of trafficking are sufficiently stringent. There were no prosecutions of trafficking offenses during the reporting period. Ten suspected traffickers were arrested in three different trafficking cases over the last year. Of those involving women forced into prostitution, one individual was formally charged under the Crimes Ordinance specifically for trafficking women to Hong Kong, five were charged with related offenses, and the rest were released as the criminal cases against the traffickers collapsed following the victims' repatriation. During the year, authorities identified an 11-year-old mainland girl who had been sold by her parents to a Hong Kong employer as an unpaid domestic servant. The girl was sent back to her parents, under monitoring of an international agency, and the employer was prosecuted. There was only one report of Filipinos being lured to transit the HKSAR for jobs on the mainland, only to find that recruiters were unable to find jobs for the majority of them. The Labor and Immigration departments were called on to investigate this report. There have been several cases of domestic workers successfully bringing charges against employers for maltreatment, including physical and sexual abuse that resulted in the employer receiving prison sentences. There is no evidence of law enforcement officials' complicity in trafficking in Hong Kong.

Protection
The Government of Hong Kong demonstrated continued efforts to provide protection and assistance to victims of trafficking. Given the low number of documented trafficking victims, Hong Kong's authorities generally refer them to existing social service programs at three government subsidized NGO shelters and one shelter run by the Social Welfare Department. The government encourages victims to assist in the investigation of traffickers and to provide evidence; however many victims were reluctant to do so. Child victims may provide evidence through live television link in court under provision of the Criminal Procedure Ordinance. The Hong Kong government provides legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Victims may also initiate civil proceedings for damages or compensation arising from injuries sustained as a result of being trafficked. Hong Kong does not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. In past cases, women who agreed to act as a witness for the prosecution were as a rule granted immunity and allowed to return to their home country without being charged for any crimes committed as a result of being trafficked. The Hong Kong police have special units to provide for the protection of victims and witnesses of all crimes, including trafficking.

Prevention
Hong Kong increased efforts to raise awareness in 2006. The government launched a publicity campaign to alert visitors to Hong Kong about the dangers of human trafficking through the web pages of the Security Bureau, law enforcement agencies, the Social Welfare Department and Labor Department. To prevent trafficking among foreign workers, particularly domestics, the Labor Department published "guidebooks" in several languages that explain workers' rights, the role of employment agencies, and services provided by the government. These guidebooks are handed out when workers apply for identity documents and are distributed at the airport, district offices, consulates, offices of labor and migrant groups, post offices, and banks. In March 2007, the Social Welfare Department established a 24-hour crisis hotline that improves coordination among various government departments to deal with reports of sexual violence. In December 2006, the Hong Kong authorities participated in the Asian Organized Crime (AOC) Expert Group Meeting, organized by Interpol, which addressed the issue of trafficking from Southeast Asian countries to Western Europe.

HUNGARY (Tier 1)

Hungary is primarily a transit, and to a lesser extent a source and destination country for women from Slovakia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, the Balkans, and China trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation to Austria, Slovenia, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, France, and the United States. Hungarian women are trafficked primarily to Western and Northern Europe and to North America.

The Government of Hungary fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Hungary demonstrated a sustained commitment to fighting trafficking; it significantly improved its victim assistance and protection efforts. Police improved efforts to identify and care for victims. In July 2006, the Hungarian Border Guard was granted the authority to investigate trafficking cases; seven new trafficking investigations were launched as a result. Although the government did not establish a national action plan nor create a central office to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts, it did draft a national anti-trafficking strategy and is expected to present it to Parliament in 2007. The government should continue to provide training for police, prosecutors, and judicial officers and take steps to ensure more convicted traffickers serve time in prison. Police should continue to utilize established victim identification and referral procedures. The government should work to establish a systematic method to document victims. Hungary should consider measures to reduce the domestic demand for commercial sex acts.

Prosecution
The Hungarian government sustained strong law enforcement efforts over the year. Hungary prohibits all forms of trafficking through Paragraph 175/b of its criminal code, though prosecutors rely on trafficking-related statutes to prosecute most trafficking cases. Penalties prescribed under 175/b range from one to 15 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. During the reporting period, police and border guards conducted a total of 22 trafficking investigations, down from 28 investigations in 2005. Authorities prosecuted 23 traffickers in 2006, compared with 27 in 2005. Convictions were obtained against 21 traffickers in 2006; conviction data was unavailable for 2005. Only nine convicted traffickers served sentences ranging from one to five years, while the remaining 12 served no time in prison; this is an inadequate deterrent to trafficking.

Protection
Hungary demonstrated improved victim assistance efforts during the reporting period. Authorities continued to implement the government's victim referral process, established in 2005; 23 victims were referred for assistance, compared with 12 in 2005. The government allocated more than $50,000 to NGOs for victim protection during the year. Police received sensitivity training throughout the year and in January 2006, the Hungarian National Police issued a directive to all precincts providing guidance on the identification and treatment of victims and potential victims to police officers at all levels; several NGOs reported a noticeable improvement in the police's treatment and referral of victims as a result. Historically, poor victim treatment or failure to identify potential victims of trafficking has been an issue among street and low-level police. Victims are not penalized for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. There were no reported cases of abuse of trafficking victims by authorities. Although authorities encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, few victims choose to participate due to lack of information provided to victims, language barriers, and fear of retribution by traffickers. Victims are granted a reflection period and subsequently can apply for a six-month temporary residency permit if they choose to cooperate with law enforcement.

Prevention
The government implemented trafficking prevention efforts throughout the year in partnerships with NGOs and IOM. It continued to fund trafficking awareness programs for police, border guards, prosecutors, consular officers, and judicial officials. The government provided partial funding for anti-trafficking education programs in 100 schools, reaching more than 8,000 students.

INDIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

India is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. India's trafficking in persons problem is estimated to be in the millions. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) estimates that 90 percent of India's sex trafficking is internal. Women and girls are trafficked internally for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriage. Children are subject to involuntary servitude as factory workers, domestic servants, beggars, and agriculture workers. Men, women, and children are held in debt bondage and face involuntary servitude working in brick kilns, rice mills, agriculture, and embroidery factories. India is also a destination for women and girls from Nepal and Bangladesh trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Bangladeshi women reportedly are trafficked through India for sexual exploitation in Pakistan. Although Indians migrate willingly to the Gulf for work as domestic servants and low-skilled laborers, some later find themselves in situations of involuntary servitude, including extended working hours, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement by withholding of passports or confinement to the workplace, and physical or sexual abuse. Bangladeshi and Nepali men and women are trafficked through India for involuntary servitude in the Middle East.

The Government of India does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking however; it is making significant efforts to do so. India is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a fourth consecutive year for its failure to show increasing efforts to tackle India's large and multidimensional problem. India's anti-trafficking laws, policies, and programs focused largely on trafficking for sexual exploitation and the Indian government did not recognize the country's huge population of bonded laborers, which NGOs estimate to range from 20 million to 65 million laborers, as a significant problem. Overall, the lack of any significant federal government action to address bonded labor, the reported complicity of law enforcement officials in trafficking and related criminal activity, and the critical need for an effective national-level law enforcement authority impede India's ability to effectively combat its trafficking in persons problem.

In September 2006, the central government responded to the need for a central anti-trafficking law enforcement effort by establishing a two-person federal "nodal cell," responsible for collecting and analyzing data of state-level law enforcement efforts, identifying problem areas and analyzing the circumstances creating these areas, monitoring action taken by state governments, and organizing meetings with state-level "nodal" anti-trafficking police officers. However, this nodal cell does not have the authority to investigate and initiate prosecutions of trafficking crimes across the country, as recommended by India's Human Rights Commission and Indian NGOs.

This year, three state governments established, with substantial U.S. Government and UNODC assistance, the first state-level anti-trafficking police units in the country, which has led to an increase in rescues of sex trafficking victims and arrests of traffickers. The central government passed a law in October 2006 banning the employment of children in domestic work and the hospitality industry. In a July 2006 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that the Maharashtra government could proceed with its plan to seal brothels under the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA).

Despite India's huge bonded labor problem, there were no substantial efforts this year to investigate, prosecute, or convict those who exploit bonded labor. Nor did the Indian government take significant measures to prosecute or punish government officials involved in trafficking-related corruption, though it arrested three government officers complicit in trafficking. The government should increase prosecutions and punishments for trafficking offenses, including bonded labor, forced child labor, deceptive recruitment of Indians trafficked abroad, and sex trafficking.

Prosecution
Efforts throughout India to investigate and punish trafficking crimes during the past year were uneven and largely inadequate. The government reported only 27 convictions for trafficking offenses throughout the entire country for 2006. While the government took measures to increase law enforcement against sex trafficking and forced child labor, efforts to combat bonded labor and trafficking-related corruption remained inadequate. The government prohibits some forms of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation through the ITPA. Prescribed penalties under the ITPA - ranging from seven years' to life imprisonment - are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. A parliamentary committee has completed its review of amendments to the ITPA that afford greater protections to sex trafficking victims and provide stricter penalties for their traffickers and for clients of prostitution. While the Indian government has not yet passed and enacted these amendments which were drafted in 2004, some jurisdictions reportedly have stopped using the ITPA to arrest women in prostitution. India also prohibits bonded and forced labor through the Bonded Labor Abolition Act, the Child Labor Act, and the Juvenile Justice Act. These laws are ineffectually enforced and their prescribed penalties - a maximum of three years' in prison - do not meet international standards.

This year, the government did not make significant progress in investigating, prosecuting, convicting, and sentencing those exploiting bonded labor. Despite the millions of bonded laborers in India, the government reported arresting only three offenders and confirmed rescuing only 26 adult victims this year. India similarly did not report any criminal investigations or prosecutions of labor recruiters using deceptive practices and debt bondage to compel Indians into involuntary servitude abroad; the unchecked behavior of these recruiters contributes to the forced labor of some Indians working abroad.

Efforts to combat forced child labor remained uneven throughout the country, varying greatly from state to state. In October 2006, the government enacted a ban on the employment of children in domestic work or in the hospitality industry, with penalties ranging from three months' to two years' imprisonment and fines - penalties that are not sufficiently stringent. As of December 2006, state governments had identified 1,672 violations of this ban, based on the 23,166 inspections they had conducted. However, the government has not yet reported criminal prosecutions or convictions produced from these administrative measures. The Ministry of Labour and Employment (MOLE) began public campaigns to raise awareness and prevent child labor, and conducted videoconferences with states to coordinate efforts. Some state and local governments also rescued children from forced labor situations. For example, in New Delhi, police rescued 234 children from embroidery factories and rice mills, although they did not report making any arrests. India did not provide any evidence of convictions for forced child labor, in spite of the hundreds of thousands of children between the ages of 5 and 14 that have been removed from workplaces.

The government conducted at least 43 rescue operations that released 275 victims of commercial sex trafficking from their exploiters; however, these operations were not accompanied with vigorous prosecution of traffickers. The Government of India provided significant in-kind contributions to a two-year U.S. government-funded UNODC project in Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, and Andhra Pradesh states, focused on raising the awareness of police and prosecutors on the problem of trafficking, and building the capacity of these police and prosecutors to investigate and prosecute persons involved with trafficking. In contrast to previous years, the government did not arrest potential trafficking victims on solicitation charges during these raids. During the reporting period, India arrested 685 suspected sex traffickers, but there were no reported prosecutions or convictions. The government succeeded in convicting only 27 traffickers across the major trafficking hubs of Andhra Pradesh, New Delhi, Maharashtra, and Tamil Nadu.

According to a study produced by the National Human Rights Commission a majority of traffickers surveyed claimed to rely on corrupt police officers for the protection of their trafficking activities. These officers reportedly continued to facilitate the movement of sex trafficking victims, protect brothels that exploit victims, and protect traffickers and brothel keepers from arrest or other threats of enforcement. In Jammu and Kashmir, authorities charged a deputy inspector-general of the Border Security Force, a former advocate general, a deputy superintendent of police, and two former state ministers with trafficking. In January, an official with the Central Bureau of Investigation was also arrested for complicity in trafficking. While those arrested were awaiting trial, there were no reported prosecutions or convictions of public officials for complicity in trafficking during the reporting period.

Due to the intra-state nature of most of India's sex trafficking, the uneven response from state-level governments, and the lack of effective coordination among state police authorities, India should strongly consider expanding the central MHA office to coordinate law enforcement efforts to investigate and arrest traffickers who cross state and national lines. India should also significantly increase prosecutions of those arrested for trafficking, including employers who exploit forced labor, deceptive labor recruiters, and sex traffickers; and impose strict sentences on those convicted. Similarly, the government should significantly increase its efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence public officials who participate in or facilitate severe forms of trafficking in persons.

Protection
India's efforts to protect victims of trafficking remained uneven and, in many cases, inadequate. Victims of bonded labor are entitled to 10,000 rupees ($225) from the central government for rehabilitation, but this program is unevenly executed across the country because state governments are responsible for implementing the program. The government does not proactively identify and rescue bonded laborers, so few victims receive this assistance. Though children trafficked for forced labor may be housed in government shelters and are entitled to 20,000 rupees ($450), the quality of many of these homes remains poor and the disbursement of rehabilitation funds is sporadic. Some states provide services to victims of bonded labor, but NGOs provide the majority of protection services to these victims. The central government reported no protection services offered to Indian victims trafficked abroad for involuntary servitude or commercial sexual exploitation, and it does not provide funding to repatriate these victims. The Government of Kerala, however, appointed nodal officers to coordinate with Indian embassies in destination countries to assist victims from Kerala state. Foreign victims are not offered legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Many victims decline to testify against their traffickers due to the length of proceedings and fear of retribution by traffickers without adequate witness protection from the government.

The Government of India relied heavily on NGOs to assist sex trafficking victims, though it offered funding to these NGOs to build shelters under its Swadhar Scheme. In April 2007, however, India's parliament released a report concluding that the Ministry of Women and Child Development had failed to adequately implement the Swadhar program and another program specifically focused on services for trafficking victims across the country. Government shelters are found in all major cites, but the quality of care they offer varies widely. In Maharashtra, state authorities converted one government shelter into a home exclusively for minor victims of sex trafficking this year, and issued a policy permitting trafficking victims to access any of the 600 government homes throughout the state. The Governments of West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, and Andhra Pradesh also operate similar homes. Though states have made some improvements to their shelter care, victims sheltered in these facilities still do not receive comprehensive protection services, such as psychological assistance from trained counselors, and many victims are not assisted with long term alternatives to remaining in the shelter. The Government of Andhra Pradesh - the state with the largest number of trafficking victims in the country - now provides 10,000 rupees to sex trafficking victims.

The government should improve its protection efforts by enhancing the quality of rehabilitation services available in government run shelters, increasing protection services for bonded labor victims, and encouraging victims to assist in investigations of their traffickers. India should similarly improve its repatriation procedures to ensure that victims are not re-trafficked or further victimized. To protect Indian nationals trafficked abroad, the government should consider training overseas diplomatic officials in identifying and assisting trafficking victims caught in involuntary servitude, and should extend rehabilitation services to these victims upon their return.

Prevention
India's efforts to prevent trafficking in persons were limited this year. To address the issue of bride trafficking, the government instituted public awareness programs to educate parents on the laws against sex-selective abortions and infanticide, and the negative effect that gender imbalance is causing in parts of India. While the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs instituted a system requiring women under the age of 35 going to the Gulf as domestic workers to obtain authorization to leave India, the government failed to provide those traveling overseas with information on common trafficking perils or resources for assistance in destination countries.

The central government did not effectively guard its long, porous borders with Bangladesh and Nepal through which trafficking victims easily enter the country. India also did not take adequate measures to prevent internal trafficking for sexual exploitation or involuntary servitude despite the prevalence of such trafficking to major cities, and increasingly in smaller cities and suburbs. The lack of effective coordination between source and destination states contributed to this problem, underscoring the necessity for a centralized law enforcement authority with intrastate jurisdiction.

INDONESIA (Tier 2)

Indonesia is a source, transit, and destination country for women, children, and men trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor.

The number of women trafficked to Japan under the guise of "cultural performers" decreased over the past year. Women from West Kalimantan who migrate to Taiwan and Hong Kong as contract brides are often forced into prostitution or debt bondage. A significant number of Indonesian women who go overseas each year to work as domestic servants are subjected to exploitation and conditions of involuntary servitude in Malaysia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Syria, Kuwait, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.

Some of Indonesia's licensed and unlicensed migrant labor recruiting agencies operated in ways similar to trafficking rings, leading both male and female workers into debt bondage and abusive labor situations. Internal sex and labor trafficking is rampant throughout Indonesia from rural to urban areas. The Riau Islands continued as transit and destination points for Indonesian women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Young women and girls are trafficked from the Riau Islands to Malaysia and Singapore by pimps for short trips. Malaysians and Singaporeans constitute the largest number of sex tourists, and the Riau Islands and surrounding areas operate a "prostitution economy." An alarming number of Indonesians trafficked to Malaysia and Saudi Arabia are subjected to severe physical and sexual abuse. Trafficking of "brides" to Taiwan for sexual exploitation persists. Women from the People's Republic of China, Thailand, Hong Kong, Uzbekistan, the Netherlands, Poland, Venezuela, Spain, and Ukraine are trafficked to Indonesia for sexual exploitation, although the numbers are small compared with the number of Indonesians trafficked for this purpose.

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. In April 2007, Indonesia's president signed into law a comprehensive anti-trafficking bill that provides law enforcement authorities the power to investigate all forms of trafficking. The anti-trafficking law provides a powerful tool in efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers and have them face stiff prison sentences and fines. Success will depend on the political will of senior law enforcement officials to use the law and on the quick drafting of the law's implementing regulations. The new law incorporates all major elements suggested by civil society and the international community, including definitions of debt bondage, labor exploitation, sexual exploitation, and transnational and internal trafficking.

Despite the recent passage of this comprehensive anti-trafficking law, the extent of Indonesia's non-compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking remains considerable. It has the region's largest trafficking problem, with hundreds of thousands of trafficking victims, and it has a huge and largely unchecked problem of trafficking-related complicity by public officials. Law enforcement efforts improved over the last year, but remain insufficient, and there has been scant political will shown to provide greater protection to migrant workers at risk of trafficking.

A memorandum of understanding with Malaysia signed in May 2006 ceded basic worker rights to employers making it easier for Indonesians to be trapped in slave-like conditions. The agreement allows Malaysian employers to hold workers' passports, restrict their freedom to return home, deduct up to 50 percent of their negotiated monthly wages to repay loans, and provide no time off. While the Ministry of Manpower conducted crackdowns on illegal activities of migrant manpower agencies, there was no official recognition that Indonesia's migrant worker system lacks measures to protect workers from exploitation or debt bondage. The government should make greater efforts to prosecute and convict public officials who profit from or are involved in trafficking. It is essential that the government implement a migrant manpower recruitment and placement system that incorporates measures to protect workers, rather than benefiting exploitative manpower agencies and employers. The government should also greatly increase its budget for the prevention of trafficking as well as the repatriation, treatment and rehabilitation of victims, relying less on international donors.

Prosecution
The Indonesian government demonstrated improved efforts to combat trafficking in persons in 2006, although the lack of a comprehensive law stymied the effectiveness of these efforts. With the passage and enactment in April 2007 of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, Indonesia now prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons; the law prescribes penalties of 3 to 15 years' imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. The new anti-trafficking law contains provisions for the prosecution of corporate entities which could be applied to job placement agencies involved in trafficking. Another provision specifically criminalizes trafficking by government officials. The new law will also facilitate anti-trafficking data collection, a chronic problem in Indonesia.

Law enforcement against traffickers increased in 2006 over 2005, with arrests up 29 percent, from 110 to 142; prosecutions up 87 percent, from 30 to 56; and convictions up 112 percent, from 17 to 36. The average sentence in these cases was 54 months. The longest trafficking sentence in 2006 was 15 years, imposed pursuant to the Child Protection Act. The number of women's police desks helping victims increased to 280 in 2006, while national trafficking police investigators nearly doubled to 20, still an inadequate number given the huge size of Indonesia's trafficking problem. Prosecutors with the Transnational Crime Center, which was established in July 2006 to handle high-priority cases of trafficking and terrorism, prosecuted 10 trafficking cases in its first six months of operation. A number of provincial and local laws were also passed to protect women and children against trafficking.

Indonesia posted police liaison officers in Indonesian embassies in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Australia, and Thailand to aid in trafficking investigations. Complicity in trafficking of individual security force members and corrupt officials involved in prostitution and sex trafficking remained unchecked. Individual members of the security forces were complicit in trafficking, providing protection to brothels and prostitution fronts or by receiving bribes. The former Indonesian Consul General in Penang, Malaysia, was sentenced to 20 months' imprisonment and fined 100 million rupiah for collecting illegal charges from Indonesian laborers in Malaysia. A former Consul General in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, was arrested for inflating fees for services and abusing authority.

Protection
The Indonesian government increased efforts, at the national and local levels, to protect victims of trafficking in Indonesia and abroad; however, available victim services are overwhelmed by the large number of trafficking victims. The government's policy is to encourage victim participation in investigations against traffickers and not to detain or imprison trafficking victims; however, local government and police practices varied. In some cases police officers treated victims as criminals, subjected them to detention, and demanded bribes from them. Authorities continued to round up and deport a small number of foreign women and girls in prostitution without attempting to identify trafficking victims among them. The government operates four medical centers that treat trafficking victims. The Foreign Ministry operated shelters for trafficking victims and migrant workers at its embassies and consulates in Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Singapore. The Indonesian Embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, established a medical clinic in its shelter. The National Agency for the Placement and Protection of Overseas Workers, which began operating in March 2007, is responsible for providing legal protection for Indonesian migrant workers. Headed by a former labor leader, the agency showed promise in its first month by partnering with a local NGO to monitor treatment of migrant workers at Jakarta's international airport. Regulation and monitoring of the hundreds of migrant labor recruiting agencies has been inadequate, with many of these recruiting agencies defrauding and confining workers prior to their departure abroad. A new witness protection law enacted in August 2006 should give prosecutors more leeway in obtaining testimony against traffickers while protecting victims through the use of videotaped testimony. The government began funding the psychological rehabilitation of trafficking victims, a third or more of the cost of medical treatment, and health services in Malaysia. Manpower and national police took initial steps to cooperate in providing protection of trafficked migrant workers by signing a memorandum of understanding which provides for joint enforcement at all transit airports and ports. The government provided an anti-trafficking budget for the first time in 2007, allocating $4.8 million.

Prevention
The Indonesian government continued efforts to promote awareness and prevent trafficking in persons in 2006. The government collaborated with numerous NGO and international organization efforts to raise awareness and prevent trafficking in persons. The Women's Ministry conducted awareness-raising efforts in 16 provinces and sponsored a televised public service announcement on private national television stations. Many local task force partnerships of government and civil society organizations contributed greatly to anti-trafficking efforts at the grass-roots level. Limited public education material aimed at stopping child sex tourism was distributed in Bali and Batam. Indonesia has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

IRAN (Tier 3)

Iran is a source, transit, and destination country for women trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude.

Iranian women are trafficked internally for the purpose of forced prostitution and forced marriages to settle debts. Children are trafficked internally and from Afghanistan for the purpose of forced marriages, commercial sexual exploitation, and involuntary servitude as beggars or laborers. According to non-governmental sources, Iranian women and girls are also trafficked to Pakistan, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom for commercial sexual exploitation. Media sources reported that 54 Iranian females between the ages of 16 and 25 are sold into commercial sexual exploitation in Pakistan every day.

The Government of Iran does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Credible reports indicate that Iranian authorities commonly punish victims of trafficking with beatings, imprisonment, and execution. Lack of access to Iran by U.S. government officials prohibits the collection of full data on the country's human trafficking problem and the government's efforts to curb it. Nonetheless, sources report that the Iranian government fails to meet the minimum standards for protection of victims of trafficking by prosecuting and, in some cases, executing victims for morality-based offenses as a direct result of being trafficked. The government should take steps to prevent the punishment of trafficking victims, and should articulate a plan of action to punish traffickers and prevent trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
Iran did not make significant progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking crimes over the reporting period. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through its 2004 Law on Combating Human Trafficking. Penalties assigned under this law are generally severe, often involving death sentences for convicted traffickers. During the reporting period, however, the government did not report any prosecutions or convictions for trafficking crimes. Iran similarly did not provide any evidence of law enforcement efforts taken against government officials believed to facilitate trafficking. The government should take steps to significantly increase investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes, and to achieve convictions and meaningful sentences in the trafficking prosecutions it initiates.

Protection
The Government of Iran did not improve its protection of trafficking victims this year. The government reportedly punishes victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; for instance, victims reportedly are arrested and punished for violations of morality standards such as adultery, defined as sexual relations outside of marriage. Although it is unclear how many victims are subjected to punishment for acts committed as a result of their trafficking experience, there were reports that child victims of sex trafficking have been executed for their purported crime of prostitution or adultery. Moreover, the government does not offer trafficking victims legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Similarly, the government does not encourage victims to assist law enforcement authorities in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking cases. The government runs 28 "health houses" set up by the state-operated Welfare Association to provide assistance to unmarried girls who have run away from their homes and who are at risk of being trafficked. However, girls reportedly are abused in these shelters, even by shelter staff and other government officials. The Government of Iran should take immediate and significant steps to prevent the punishment of trafficking victims and should improve the protection services available to victims.

Prevention
During the year, Iran did not report any advances in its trafficking prevention measures. Iran should improve its efforts to prevent trafficking in persons by significantly improving border security with Pakistan and other neighboring countries to which Iranian women and children are trafficked. Authorities should also improve efforts to monitor travel of Iranian women and girls to Middle Eastern countries where they are commonly trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Finally, the government should institute a public awareness campaign to warn women and children of the dangers of trafficking. Iran has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

ISRAEL (Tier 2)

Israel is a destination country for low-skilled workers from People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), Romania, Jordan, Turkey, Thailand, the Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India who migrate voluntarily for contract labor in the construction, agriculture, and health care industries. Some are subsequently subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude, such as withholding of passports and other restrictions on movement, threats, and physical intimidation. According to the Government of Israel, women working in the health care field are particularly vulnerable to trafficking for involuntary servitude. Many labor recruitment agencies in source countries and in Israel require workers to pay up-front fees ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 - a practice that may contribute to debt bondage and makes these workers highly vulnerable to forced labor once in Israel. Israel is also a destination country for women trafficked from Eastern Europe - primarily Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Belarus and Russia - for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

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. This year, the government passed crucial amendments to its anti-trafficking law that comprehensively prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, including involuntary servitude and slavery. In addition, the government extended legal assistance to victims of trafficking for involuntary servitude, and passed a national action plan to combat trafficking for forced labor. Nevertheless, the government still does not provide forced labor victims with adequate protection services, such as shelter, medical, and psychological aid. Israel has not yet reported any criminal prosecutions under its new law for labor trafficking crimes. The government continued, however, to address the issue of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation by investigating and prosecuting traffickers, and providing victims with shelter and protective services.

Prosecution
The Government of Israel moderately improved its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. Israel prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through its Anti-Trafficking Law that came into force on October 29, 2006. Prescribed penalties under this law range from 16 to 20 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent to deter and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. During the reporting period, the government conducted 352 criminal investigations of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, filed 34 cases in court, and convicted 13 individuals; an additional 43 sex trafficking prosecutions are currently pending. Penalties imposed, some of which resulted from negotiated plea arrangements, ranged from 6 months' to 13 years' imprisonment. In March 2007, the government filed charges against a police officer suspected of complicity in trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. In addition, Israel cooperated with Ukrainian, Belarusian, Moldovan, and Czech law enforcement authorities to extradite traffickers and break up organized sex trafficking rings.

Prior to passing the new anti-trafficking law criminalizing labor forms of trafficking, the Government of Israel continued to use existing statutes to combat trafficking for involuntary servitude. During the reporting period, the Crime Unit of the Immigration Administration opened 708 criminal cases for fraud and deceit of foreign workers, 77 cases of withholding the passports of foreign workers, and five cases of labor exploitation. Of these, the government filed charges in 10 cases for withholding passports and 43 cases involving fraud by manpower agencies and private recruiters against foreign workers. It is unclear, however, how many of these cases specifically involved trafficking in persons for the purpose of involuntary servitude. The government reported no convictions for involuntary servitude this year, nor did it provide evidence of conducting criminal investigations of manpower agencies for illegally charging recruitment fees, a factor that may contribute to a situation of debt bondage for many foreign workers.

In cooperation with local NGOs, Israel provided anti-trafficking training to judges; government employees who potentially encounter trafficking victims, such as passport control officers and employees in the visa department; and government officials in relevant ministries. The government also specifically trained legal aid officers and other government officials on provisions in the new anti-trafficking law pertaining to trafficking for involuntary servitude.

Protection
Although the Government of Israel made some improvements in its protection of sex trafficking victims over the reporting period, protection of victims of involuntary servitude remained relatively weak. Victims of commercial sexual exploitation are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked. The Ministry of Social Affairs and local NGOs jointly operate a shelter for victims of sex trafficking. During the reporting period, police, immigration authorities, and NGOs referred 46 victims to the shelter. Victims in this shelter receive medical treatment, psychiatric and social services, stipends, and temporary residency and work permits. Although the government encourages victims of sex trafficking to assist in investigations and prosecutions of traffickers, it now also allows victims to remain in the shelter even if they are not willing or able to testify. Victims are permitted to apply for a one-year extension to their temporary residency permits on humanitarian grounds.

Victims of trafficking for involuntary servitude, however, remain largely unprotected. The government does not offer shelter, medical, or psychological services to these victims, but does assist them in obtaining new employment. Migrant workers who file criminal complaints are not arrested, but they are also not encouraged to assist in investigations against their traffickers. This year, the government's anti-trafficking national coordinator prepared a tool kit for law enforcement authorities to assist them in identifying victims of involuntary servitude. Israel's new anti-trafficking law mandates legal aid for all victims of trafficking to file civil suits against their traffickers; for victims of involuntary servitude, a pilot project will be in place until September 2008. The law also includes broad forfeiture provisions that permit the government to seize traffickers' assets for use in rehabilitation of victims and compensation.

Prevention
The Israeli government sustained its modest efforts to prevent trafficking in persons over the reporting period. The government published brochures informing incoming foreign workers of their rights. These brochures were printed in the workers' native language and outlined their rights and resources for assistance. Israel also continued to monitor its southern border with Egypt for signs of trafficking; reporting period, the Ramon Border Unit prevented the trafficking of 15 women for commercial sexual exploitation through proactive screening of incoming illegal migrants. Israel has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

ITALY (Tier 1)

Italy is a transit and destination country for women, children and men trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most victims are women and children from Nigeria, Romania, Moldova, Albania, and Ukraine though in smaller numbers there are also victims from Russia, Bulgaria, Latin America, North and East Africa, the Middle East, and China. Children constitute 7 to 10 percent of victims. There has been an increase in Romanian minors trafficked to Italy for sexual exploitation, an unintended consequence of a EU-mandated closure of Romanian orphanages. The number of Roma children trafficked for forced begging has also risen. Men from Poland and the P.R.C. are trafficked to Italy for forced labor, mostly in the agricultural sector.

The Government of Italy fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Italy has taken aggressive steps to enforce its anti-trafficking laws and to provide protection to victims. To further strengthen further its response to trafficking, Italy should take steps to ensure that Article 18 benefits are administered equally to labor trafficking victims, ensure that victims are not penalized for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked, and launch demand reduction campaigns.

Prosecution
The Government of Italy demonstrated sustained, strong law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking throughout the reporting period. Italy prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through its 2003 Measures Against Trafficking in Persons law. The prescribed penalty of 8 to 20 years' imprisonment for all forms of trafficking is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with the nation's maximum 12-year prison sentence for forcible sexual assault. In 2006, the government raised the legal minimum age for engaging in prostitution from 15 to 18 years old. In an effort to highlight its concern about forced labor, in November 2006 the government proposed legislation to introduce new penalties for job recruiters who exploit workers. Between October 2006 and January 2007, the government conducted a large-scale anti-trafficking crackdown, "Operation Spartacus," which yielded the arrests of 784 suspected traffickers and led to the opening of investigations of 1,311 persons which are still ongoing. Trafficking investigations in 2005 - the last year for which complete data was available - increased to 2,045 from 1,861 in 2004. One hundred-two trafficking cases were prosecuted in 2005 resulting in the conviction of 125 traffickers and the acquittal of 48 defendants.

Protection
The Italian government sustained strong efforts to protect trafficking victims during reporting period. The government spent 4.3 million euros ($5.82 million) on victim assistance in 2006, financing 77 NGO projects to provide legal services, health care, and counseling to 7,300 women trafficking victims. In 2006, government-funded NGOs also provided literacy courses for 340 victims, vocational training for 430 victims, and employment assistance to 1189 victims. The government funded the repatriation and reintegration of 69 foreign victims and issued temporary residence visas to 927 victims in 2006. Article 18 of the anti-trafficking law allows authorities to grant residence permits and provide protection and job training services to victims of all forms of trafficking, including victims of forced labor, but benefits to date have primarily been given to sex trafficking victims. In 2007, the government extended Article 18 benefits to victims from EU countries. The government encourages victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions by offering temporary residency permits, though a victim need not assist law enforcement efforts in order to receive a temporary residency permit. In addition, a victim who is a material witness in a court case against a former employer may obtain other employment. Despite the government's efforts to identify all victims of trafficking, some, such as Nigerian women in commercial sexual exploitation, are still deported. The government is investigating allegations by an independent commission that its victim identification measures for immigrants arriving in boats from North Africa are not fully effective. Victims who file complaints against traffickers usually do not face prosecution.

Prevention
The Government of Italy demonstrated strong efforts to educate the Italian public about trafficking during the reporting period. NGOs continued to raise awareness using government-funded materials, including brochures, posters, and TV and radio ads about trafficking. The Minister for Equal Opportunities began implementing a new system at national and regional levels to track national anti-trafficking efforts.

JAMAICA (Tier 2)

Jamaica is principally a source country for women and children trafficked within the country for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. The majority of victims are Jamaican women and girls, and increasingly boys, who are trafficked from rural to urban and tourist areas for sexual exploitation. Some children are subjected to conditions of forced labor as domestic servants.

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. During the reporting period, the government enacted comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and intensified law enforcement and prevention efforts. In the coming year, the government should increase efforts to identify and investigate acts of human trafficking, convict and punish traffickers for their crimes, and improve services for trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Jamaica increased its law enforcement efforts against human trafficking during the reporting period. In February, the government passed and enacted the Trafficking in Persons Act of 2007, comprehensive legislation that prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons and related offenses such as withholding a victim's passport or receiving financial benefits from trafficking crimes. The new law became effective on March 1, 2007, and prescribes penalties of up to 10 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for other grave crimes. During the reporting period, the government initiated six trafficking prosecutions under older laws; these prosecutions are ongoing. Police also conducted high-profile raids on hotels and 37 suspected sites of sex trafficking; nine trafficking victims were found.

In November 2006, the government launched a comprehensive study of human trafficking, focusing on vulnerable persons and communities, to gain a better understanding of the problem and to set up a system for collection of trafficking data. The government conducted widespread anti-trafficking training of police, prosecutors, and immigration and consular officials during the reporting period. A police Airport Interdiction Task Force, created through a memorandum of understanding between Jamaica and the United States, actively investigates cases of drug trafficking and human trafficking at ports of entry. No reports of public officials' complicity in human trafficking were received in 2006.

Protection
The government's efforts to protect trafficking victims remained limited during the reporting period. Child trafficking victims are referred to government-run shelters, but there are no shelters serving adults. Nonetheless, the government provides medical, psychological, and legal services for all trafficking victims and occasionally places adult victims in hotels or other temporary facilities. Pursuant to the Trafficking in Persons Act of 2007, Jamaican authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Victims are not penalized for immigration violations or other unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Jamaica provides temporary residency for foreign trafficking victims and other legal alternatives to deportation or removal.

Prevention
The government stepped up prevention efforts during the reporting period. High-level government officials condemned human trafficking in public statements. In preparation for the Cricket World Cup, the government requested anti-trafficking training and materials from IOM, and pledged to erect anti-trafficking billboards at all ports of entry. Posters advertise 24-hour hotlines to report suspected human trafficking cases. The government also partnered with Air Jamaica to include anti-trafficking information on all flights. The government sponsored two anti-trafficking education events that reached nearly 800 people, and the Bureau of Women's Affairs conducted 21 anti-trafficking workshops for approximately 2,100 people.

JAPAN (Tier 2)

Japan is primarily a destination, and to a lesser extent a transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of identified trafficking victims are foreign women who migrate to Japan seeking work, but who are deceived or coerced into debt bondage or sexual servitude. Some migrant workers are reportedly subjected to conditions of forced labor through a "foreign trainee" program. Women and children are trafficked to Japan for commercial sexual exploitation from the People's Republic of China, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia, and, to a lesser extent, Latin America. Internal trafficking of Japanese minor girls and women for sexual exploitation is also a problem. Over the past year, exploiters of women in Japan's booming sex trade appear to have modified their methods of controlling victims to limit their opportunity to escape or seek help. Many female victims will not step forward to seek help for fear of reprisals by their traffickers, who are usually members or associates of Japanese organized crime syndicates (the Yakuza). Japanese men are involved in child sex tourism in Southeast Asia.

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. Japan showed modest progress in advancing anti-trafficking reforms over the past year. The Japanese government continued implementing reforms initiated in 2005 through its national plan of action and its inter-ministerial committee on trafficking in persons, though progress appeared to slow during the reporting period.

While prosecutions and convictions under Japan's 2005 trafficking in persons statute increased significantly this year, fewer victims of trafficking were identified and assisted by Japanese authorities. The 58 victims found by the government in 2006 were less than half the number identified in 2005. NGOs and researchers agreed that the number of actual victims probably greatly exceeded government statistics. Some observers attribute this drop in part to a move of more exploitative sex businesses underground. The government should direct a more proactive law enforcement campaign to investigate suspected sites of commercial sexual exploitation in order to identify and assist a far greater number of trafficking victims and sustain progress in punishing trafficking offenders. The government should make greater efforts to investigate the possible forced labor conditions of workers in the "foreign trainee" program, the domestic sexual exploitation of Japanese women and children, and the use of fraudulent marriage as a mechanism for human trafficking. The government should also cooperate more closely with specialized NGO shelters to provide counseling services to victims of trafficking, and focus additional resources on preventing child sex tourism by male Japanese travelers.

Prosecution
The Government of Japan's efforts to punish acts of trafficking increased over the last year. Japan's 2005 amendment to its criminal code and a variety of other criminal code articles and laws, including the Labor Standards Law, the Prostitution Prevention Law, the Child Welfare Law, and the Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography criminalize trafficking and a wide range of related activities. However, it is unclear if the existing legal framework is sufficiently comprehensive to criminalize all severe forms of trafficking in persons. The 2005 criminal code amendment prescribes penalties of up to seven years' imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent. Application of these statutes, however, has been hindered by the difficulty of establishing the level of documentary evidence required for proving a trafficking crime. In 2006, 78 trafficking suspects were arrested; 17 cases prosecuted; and 15 trafficking offenders convicted under the 2005 statute. This is a significant increase from the few prosecutions and one conviction obtained in 2005. Of the 15 convictions in 2006, 12 offenders received prison sentences ranging from one to seven years; three offenders received suspended sentences. Two prosecutions were initiated for labor trafficking in 2006 and are ongoing. The government should take more initiative in investigating businesses suspected of human trafficking and in building cases against traffickers. The government should also revise the child pornography law to criminalize the access, purchase, and possession of child pornography. The fact that it is legal to purchase and possess child pornography in Japan contributes to the global demand for these images, which often depict the brutal sexual abuse of children.

Protection
In spite of increased government efforts, the effectiveness of victim protection declined during the reporting period. Law enforcement authorities only identified 58 victims in 2006, down from 117 identified in 2005. This small number is significantly disproportionate to the suspected magnitude of Japan's trafficking problem, which is estimated to greatly exceed government statistics. This may be due, in part, to traffickers moving their activities underground, but NGOs working with trafficking victims claim that the government is not proactive in searching for victims among vulnerable populations such as foreign women in the sex trade.

Victims in Japan are provided temporary residency and encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers but are not offered longer-term legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. The Japanese government funded the IOM-assisted repatriations of 50 victims last year. The government relied on domestic violence shelters - Women's Consultative Centers - in each of Japan's 47 prefectures to provide shelter for identified victims; the government referred few victims to dedicated trafficking shelters run by NGOs - a change since 2005, when many victims were referred to these NGO facilities. The Women's Consultative Centers have been criticized as inadequate for the care of foreign trafficking victims, offering in-house counseling only in the Japanese language and offering no special services to address the unique trauma of trafficking and the cultures of the victims. Some victims were not appropriately identified by Japanese authorities and, as a consequence, were treated as violators of Japanese immigration or prostitution statutes and penalized instead of being protected as victims of human trafficking.

Prevention
The Japanese government increased its efforts to prevent trafficking in persons, both at home and in source countries, over the reporting period. The government's inter-ministerial committee oversaw the expanded dissemination of 500,000 copies of a brochure that provides victims and potential victims with information on seeking help from the government or NGOs in the languages of all the nationalities of identified victims. Tightened visa restrictions significantly reduced the number of identified victims who enter Japan with "entertainment" visas, from 68 in 2005, to 18 in 2006. The government also expanded a public awareness campaign started in 2005 aimed at the demand for commercial sexual exploitation; 25,000 posters highlighting the link between prostitution and sex trafficking were circulated nationwide. The government donated $200,000 to UNICEF for a child trafficking prevention campaign in Central Asia, as well as $2 million to an ILO project for anti-trafficking efforts in Thailand and the Philippines. Because Japan's Diet has not ratified the umbrella UN Transnational Organized Crime Convention, Japan has not officially ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

JORDAN (Tier 2)

Jordan is a destination and transit country for women and men from South and Southeast Asia trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation. Women from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines migrate willingly to work as domestic servants, but some are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude, including withholding of passports and other restrictions on movement, extended working hours, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. In addition, Chinese, Indian, Sri Lankan, and Bangladeshi men and women face conditions of involuntary servitude in factories in Jordan's Qualified Industrial Zones (QIZs); these workers encounter similar conditions of forced labor, including withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, extended working hours, lack of access to food, water, and medical care, and physical or sexual abuse. Jordan may serve as a transit country for South and Southeast Asian men deceptively recruited with fraudulent job offers in Jordan but instead trafficked to work involuntarily in Iraq.

The Government of Jordan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Though the government made noticeable efforts under its labor laws to investigate trafficking offenses, Jordan failed to criminally punish recruitment agents or factory managers who induced workers into involuntary servitude. In May, the Ministry of Labor established a Directorate for Foreign Domestic Workers, and in November, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs appointed an anti-trafficking in persons coordinator in the Human Rights Directorate. The government should continue to enforce existing laws that address trafficking-related offenses. The government should ensure that victims are adequately protected and not deported, detained or otherwise punished as a result of being trafficked or having reported a crime committed against them.

Prosecution
During the reporting period, Jordan took insufficient steps to criminally punish trafficking offenses. Jordan does not specifically prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, but the government prohibits slavery through its Anti-Slavery Law of 1929. Prescribed penalties of up to three years' imprisonment under this statute, however, are not sufficiently stringent or adequately reflective of the heinous nature of the crime. The government can use statutes against kidnapping, assault, and rape to prosecute abuses committed against foreign workers. The penalties that perpetrators are subject to under all the laws can be sufficiently deterrent if properly enforced.

This past year, the government reported receiving 40 complaints filed by foreign domestic workers for physical or sexual abuse by their employers, but of these cases, only two employers were convicted; the sentences imposed were only two to three months' imprisonment. Seven employers were found innocent, one case was dropped, and another 24 cases are still pending in courts. Despite well-documented evidence of serious cases of forced labor or involuntary servitude in the QIZs, the government responded primarily administrative penalties; labor inspectors cited 1,113 violations, issued 338 warnings, and closed eight factories permanently. Only three factory managers were criminally prosecuted for abusing workers, and none were adequately punished. Twenty police officers were trained this year in anti-trafficking techniques. Jordan should significantly increase criminal prosecutions for trafficking offenses.

Protection
Jordan made modest efforts to protect trafficking victims this year. The government neither encourages victims to assist in investigations against their traffickers nor provides them with legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Foreign domestic workers who run away from their employers are sometimes falsely charged by their employers. In addition, victims of sexual assault, including foreign domestic workers, may be put into "protective custody" that often amounts to detention. Jordan does not operate a shelter for trafficking victims. In the QIZs, the government moved 3,000 workers who were identified as trafficking victims into better working conditions; nonetheless, none of these victims were provided with medical or psychological assistance.

Prevention
Jordan made notable progress in preventing trafficking in persons this year. The Ministry of Labor, in collaboration with UNIFEM and the Adaleh Center for Human Rights, launched a media campaign to increase awareness of trafficking of foreign domestic workers. In addition, Jordan and UNIFEM established standardized contracts for domestic workers that delineate their rights and which are enforceable in Jordan. The Ministry of Labor also distributes UNIFEM-produced literature on the rights of foreign domestic workers in its offices and requires recruitment agencies to provide these booklets to workers in their own language upon their arrival. The government did not pursue similar measures for workers in the QIZ factories, but the Ministry of Labor commissioned an independent third party audit team to assess the situation in the factories so that it could respond appropriately. Jordan has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

KAZAKHSTAN (Tier 2 Watch List)

Kazakhstan is a source, transit, and destination country for men and women from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Ukraine trafficked to Russia and the U.A.E. for purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Kazakhstani men and women are trafficked internally and to the U.A.E., Turkey, Israel, Greece, Russia, and Germany for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor.

The Government of Kazakhstan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Kazakhstan is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because it failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking from the previous year, specifically efforts to convict and sentence traffickers to time in prison and efforts to provide adequate victim assistance and protection. Kazakhstan convicted only one trafficker in 2006, a significant decrease from 13 convictions in 2005. Legislative amendments enacted in March 2006 were expected to improve the government's ability to convict traffickers and increase the amount of resources devoted to victim protection. Despite implementation of the Law on Social Assistance, passed in April 2005, which provided a mechanism to allow the government to provide grants to NGOs, government funding for anti-trafficking NGOs remained nominal. Government resources devoted to victim protection remain insufficient. The government should: improve efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence government officials complicit in trafficking; increase the number of trafficking convictions and ensure convicted traffickers serve some time in prison; continue to provide labor trafficking and victim identification training to law enforcement officers; ensure trafficking victims are not punished; and provide some financial assistance for trafficking shelters.

Prosecution
Kazakhstan prohibits trafficking in persons for both labor and sexual exploitation through Articles 128 and 133 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties of up to 15 years' imprisonment, and which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. Police conducted 13 trafficking investigations in 2006, down from 29 in 2005. In 2006, authorities initiated seven trafficking prosecutions, up from five cases prosecuted in 2005. A conviction was obtained against only one trafficker in 2006, compared with 13 convictions obtained in 2005. Sentencing data was unavailable for 2006. The Ministry of Internal Affairs conducted 80 training events for police officers, primarily through the Anti-Trafficking Training Center, and for prosecutors and judges on techniques for detecting, investigating, prosecuting, and adjudicating trafficking cases. Kazakhstan conducted several joint trafficking investigations with various governments. There was evidence of complicity in trafficking by individual border guards, migration police, prosecutors, and police. The government should increase efforts to investigate and prosecute the officials suspected of complicity. The government investigated 32 police officers for issuing fraudulent documents in 2006; it did not make the results of these investigations public. No officials were prosecuted, convicted, or sentenced to time in prison for trafficking complicity in 2006.

Protection
Government efforts to assist and protect victims improved over the reporting period, however, additional resources should be devoted to assisting trafficking victims. The comprehensive anti-trafficking law passed in March 2006 provides identified victims with temporary residency and relief from deportation. The law also ensures that victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Some unidentified victims were detained in jail and prevented from leaving the country for periods ranging from a few days to several months while their claims were examined. Some unidentified victims may have been fined or deported. The government permitted identified victims to remain in Kazakhstan for the duration of the criminal investigation. Many victims refuse to testify for fear of retribution. Kazakhstan has not devoted sufficient resources to effectively provide protection to identified trafficking victims. Local law enforcement has a mechanism to refer victims to crisis centers and NGOs for assistance and shelter. Upon return to the country, border police referred and repatriated Kazakhstani victims to NGOs. In 2006, the government provided financial assistance to victims trafficked abroad. Some local governments provided some in-kind assistance to NGO trafficking shelters.

Prevention
The government conducted active public awareness efforts. In 2006, more than 1,900 articles on trafficking were published in state-run national and regional newspapers and 800 segments were broadcast on radio and television. Surveys show significant public awareness of the dangers of trafficking. Law enforcement officials met with community groups to discuss trafficking. Law enforcement regularly inspected labor recruitment and tourism agencies to verify their legitimacy. Kazakhstan has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

KENYA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Kenyan children are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude, street vending, agricultural labor, and commercial sexual exploitation, including involvement in the coastal sex tourism industry. Kenyan men, women, and girls are trafficked to the Middle East, other African nations, Europe, and North America for domestic servitude, enslavement in massage parlors and brothels, and forced manual labor. Foreign employment agencies facilitate and profit from the trafficking of Kenyan nationals to Middle Eastern nations, notably Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., and Lebanon, as well as Germany. Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani women reportedly transit Nairobi en route to exploitation in Europe's commercial sex trade. Brothels and massage parlors in Nairobi employ foreign women, some of whom are likely trafficked.

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. Kenya is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year due to the lack of evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking over the last year. The government should sensitize law enforcement officials throughout the country to trafficking crimes, and it should push for greater investigations and prosecutions of traffickers. It should also pass and implement comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation; institute trafficking awareness training for diplomats posted overseas; and continue its positive and expanding efforts to address child sex tourism on the coast.

Prosecution
The government failed to punish acts of trafficking during the reporting period, but showed increased law enforcement activity in the beginning of 2007. Kenya does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though it criminalizes the trafficking of children and adults for sexual exploitation through its Sexual Offenses Act, enacted in July 2006. This law prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for rape. However, Kenya lacks laws against labor trafficking. The Attorney General's Office is reviewing a draft comprehensive anti-trafficking bill. The Kenya Police Service's Human Trafficking Unit conducted no investigations into trafficking cases during the reporting period. There were no trafficking prosecutions or convictions reported over the last year. A newly created community policing and child protection police unit, however, in February 2007 obtained indictments - its first indictments - of two men for allegedly trafficking two Ethiopian minors to Kenya for domestic servitude. Corruption among law enforcement authorities and other public officials hampered efforts to bring traffickers to justice. In August 2006, two police officers in Trans-Nzoia were suspended from duty for complicity in trafficking, but were reinstated without further disciplinary action. In June 2006, the Tourism Minister led police and other officials on a raid of a resort hotel suspected of hosting children in prostitution; two young girls were removed from the premises. Police reportedly also investigated trafficking cases in the coastal and Rift Valley regions, but further information on resulting arrests or prosecutions was not provided.

Protection
While the government did not provide trafficking victims shelter or access to medical or social services, it did improve its assistance to children facing labor exploitation. Victims are encouraged to assist with investigations and prosecutions, but are usually deported before the investigation concludes due to budget constraints, insufficient capacity, and the absence of legal statutes under which to prosecute traffickers. Police also treat some sexually exploited children as criminals rather than victims. In 2006, City Council social services departments in Nairobi, Mombasa, and Kisumu established shelters to rehabilitate street children vulnerable to forced labor and sexual abuse; shelter staff need training in recognizing and documenting trafficking cases. In 2006, 5,026 children were removed from labor and 4,178 at-risk children were kept in school through the involvement of labor inspectors, police, and district child labor committees in two programs to combat the worst forms of child labor conducted by international partners; some of these children were victims of trafficking. During the reporting period, the Kenyan embassy in Riyadh turned away and failed to properly assist Kenyan domestic servants who reported cases of mistreatment; the government, however, did assist with the repatriation of these women.

Prevention
The Ministry of Home Affairs and UNICEF conducted joint research on child sex tourism and commercial sexual exploitation of children on the coast that underpinned a Kenyan government report in December 2006. In response to the study's findings, steps to address human trafficking were incorporated into the Ministry's annual work plan. In early December, government ministries formed a National Trafficking Task Force to draft a National Plan of Action. The Tourism Ministry in early 2006 began requiring owners of private villas in tourist beach areas to register their properties as hotels and submit to inspections; by August, 1,200 villas were registered. Officials from the Ministries of Home Affairs, Tourism, and Labor participated in 20 trainings for hotels that are already signatories to the code. The Ministry of Labor reviewed the contracts of approximately 600 Kenyans traveling to work abroad and provided workers' rights counseling to those appearing for approval in person. As a result of the increased training opportunities, the Kenyan media, especially the government-owned Kenya Broadcasting Corporation, noticeably improved the quantity and quality of coverage of human trafficking cases.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA (Tier 1)

The Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) is primarily a source country for the trafficking of women and girls internally and to the United States (often through Canada and Mexico), Japan, Hong Kong, Guam, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and Western Europe for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), the Philippines, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries are trafficked for sexual exploitation to South Korea. A growing number of these foreign victims were trafficked to the R.O.K. for sexual or labor exploitation through brokered international marriages to South Korean men. South Korean men are a significant source of demand for child sex tourism in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands.

The Government of the Republic of Korea fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Over the last year, the government continued vigorous law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation, and expanded protections offered to victims of sex trafficking. The government demonstrated appreciation for the perceived increase in transnational sex trafficking of South Korean women to the United States by increasing cooperative efforts with U.S. law enforcement investigators. These advances, however, were not adequately matched by an awareness of potential labor trafficking among South Korea's large foreign labor force. The South Korean government should take steps to ensure that the new Employment Placement System of labor recruitment offers greater protections to foreign workers by investigating and prosecuting cases of forced labor among migrant workers.

Prosecution
The R.O.K. government sustained progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. The R.O.K. prohibits trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation through its 2004 "Act on the Punishment of Intermediating in the Sex Trade and Associated Acts," which prescribes penalties of up to 10 years' imprisonment - penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape. Trafficking for forced labor is criminalized under the Labor Standards Act, which prescribes penalties of up to five years' imprisonment. In 2006, R.O.K. authorities conducted 190 trafficking investigations and prosecuted 36 cases. Convictions were obtained against 25 trafficking offenders, of whom 21 received prison sentences (although 10 of these were suspended). Prison sentences imposed on 11 traffickers ranged from 15 months to 6 years. In response to reports of increased sex trafficking of South Korean women to the United States, the South Korean police sent a delegation to the United States to improve joint cooperation in investigating the organized crime groups behind this trans-Pacific trafficking.

Protection
The Government of the Republic of Korea further strengthened its efforts to protect victims of trafficking over the last year. It spent $19 million in support of an expanded protection network of 47 shelters - including 16 shelters for teenage victims and 3 shelters for foreign victims - 5 long-term group homes, and 27 counseling center programs, providing a wide range of services to South Korean and foreign victims of sex trafficking. Most of the shelters are run by NGOs that the government funds fully or in part. The government's Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MOGEF) continued running a 24-hour hotline for South Korean and foreign victims of trafficking that referred victims to government or NGO-run shelters and counseling centers. The government encourages sex trafficking victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, and provides legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution; this is done primarily through the Ministry of Justice's issuance of G-1 visas or an order of suspension of the victim's departure. The R.O.K. government does not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. Recognizing the potential for increased trafficking through brokered international marriages, MOGEF in April 2006 released a comprehensive plan to address the needs of foreign brides in the R.O.K. that included recommendations for better regulating marriage brokers.

Although the Ministry of Labor increased its number of inspections of labor conditions at work sites by 18 percent (to 17,700), there were no reported prosecutions or convictions of labor trafficking offenders. Some employers were noted continuing to withhold the passports of foreign workers, a factor that may contribute to forced labor. In February 2007, the government completed a two-year phase-in period of the Employment Placement System (EPS), which is now in full effect. The EPS is a system of recruiting foreign workers through government-to-government channels that eliminates the role of private labor agencies and recruiters, many of which had been found to employ highly exploitative practices - including practices that facilitated debt bondage and forced labor. By March 2007, the R.O.K. government had signed 10 Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with governments of labor source countries that contained provisions guaranteeing basic rights of workers. Complementing the EPS, the Ministry of Labor in December 2006 opened a second Migrant Workers Center to support the needs of foreign contract laborers in the R.O.K. The full effect of the nascent EPS has not yet been assessed.

Prevention
The R.O.K. government sustained strong anti-trafficking prevention efforts through awareness raising campaigns. The Ministry of Justice expanded a "John's School" created to educate male "clients" of prostitution. In 2006, 11,000 male first-time offenders, who were arrested by R.O.K. police, participated in the program, which included testimony from trafficking victims. The MOGEF conducted four anti-trafficking seminars with NGOs to improve awareness, and it carried out a public awareness campaign against prostitution, placing 6,380 posters in public places of major cities. An inter-agency task force, with 14 ministries participating, met twice during the year to improve the government's coordination of anti-trafficking efforts.

Child Sex Tourism
NGOs cite a growing concern over R.O.K. men traveling to the P.R.C., the Philippines, Cambodia, Thailand, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia to engage in sex with children. Although the R.O.K. has a law with extraterritorial application that allows the prosecution of R.O.K. citizens who sexually exploit children while traveling abroad, there were no prosecutions under this statute during the reporting period. The Republic of Korea has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

KUWAIT (Tier 3)

Kuwait is a destination country for men and women who migrate willingly from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, and the Philippines to work, some of whom are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude by employers in Kuwait. Victims suffer conditions including physical and sexual abuse, non-payment of wages, threats, confinement to the home, and withholding of passports to restrict their freedom of movement. In addition, some female domestic workers are forced into prostitution after running away from abusive employers or after being deceived with promises of jobs in different sectors. Kuwait reportedly is also a transit country for South and East Asian workers recruited by Kuwaiti labor recruitment agencies for low-skilled work in Iraq; some of these workers are deceived as to the true location and nature of this work, while others willingly transit to Iraq through Kuwait, but subsequently endure conditions of involuntary servitude in Iraq. Although children were previously trafficked from South Asia and East Africa as child camel jockeys, no indications of this trafficking appeared this year.

The Government of Kuwait does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The Kuwaiti government created a public awareness program to prevent trafficking of domestic workers for involuntary servitude and instituted a standardized contract detailing workers' rights. Nonetheless, Kuwait showed insufficient efforts to criminally prosecute and adequately punish abusive employers and those who traffic women for commercial sexual exploitation. The government has promised for several years to pass a new labor law that would strengthen criminal penalties for the exploitation of foreign workers, but there was no tangible progress on this legislation this year. In addition, the government failed for a third year in a row to live up to promises to provide a shelter or adequate protection services to victims of involuntary domestic servitude and other forms of trafficking. Kuwait should enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that criminalizes all forms of trafficking in persons, assigning penalties that will be stringent enough to act as a deterrent and to reflect the heinous nature of the crime. The government should also institute formal victim identification procedures to ensure that victims of trafficking are not punished, but rather are referred to protection services. Kuwait should intensify its efforts to raise public awareness of trafficking, and should improve enforcement of the terms of the standardized contract for foreign domestic workers.

Prosecution
The Government of Kuwait demonstrated minimal progress in punishing trafficking offenses during the reporting period. Kuwait does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though it prohibits transnational slavery through Article 185 of its criminal code, an offense punishable by five years' imprisonment and a fine. Article 201 of Kuwait's criminal code prohibits forced prostitution: penalties include imprisonment of up to five years or a fine for the forced prostitution of adults, and imprisonment of up to seven years and a fine for the forced prostitution of minors. The government does not keep statistics on trafficking in persons crimes. It confirmed initiating two prosecutions for the murder and extreme abuse of domestic workers. In addition, Kuwait reported imposing five jail sentences and 15 fines for illegal trading in residence permits, as well as 12 criminal fines for recruiting workers and then not providing them with work, both of which contribute to the vulnerability of foreign workers to trafficking. These measures, however, were insufficient in the light of credible reports from multiple sources of widespread exploitation of foreign domestic workers in Kuwait. In most cases, Kuwaiti law enforcement efforts focused on administrative measures such as shutting down companies in violation of labor laws or issuing orders to return withheld passports or to pay back-wages owed rather than criminal punishments of abusive employers.

The government also did not provide sufficient evidence of prosecuting and adequately punishing trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation despite numerous raids of brothels reported by the government. In addition, unscrupulous Kuwaiti labor agencies continued to recruit South and East Asian laborers, reportedly using deceptive and fraudulent offers and coercive techniques, to meet demand in Iraq for cheap third-country national labor. The government did not report any efforts to regulate this lucrative trade of workers through Kuwait. Kuwait should increase criminal investigations, prosecutions, and prison sentences for trafficking for domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation, and for deceptive recruiting practices that facilitate labor trafficking.

Protection
During the year, Kuwaiti efforts to improve its protection of victims of trafficking had little effect. The government lacks formal procedures for the systematic identification and protection of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign workers arrested without proper identity documents and women arrested for prostitution. As such, victims of trafficking are sometimes detained, prosecuted, or deported for acts committed as a result of being trafficked, such as running away from their sponsors in violation of immigration laws and prostitution. Trafficking victims who are deported are not offered legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they may face retribution. Kuwait also continues to lack protective services for trafficking victims, including a shelter offering medical and psychological care. Furthermore, the government does not fund any NGOs providing these services to victims. The police do not encourage victims to assist in investigations of their traffickers; there are cases where police either do not take the complaints of potential victims seriously or treat them as criminals for leaving their sponsors. The government should open a shelter available to all trafficking victims, including victims of involuntary domestic servitude and forced prostitution. The government should institute a formal victim identification mechanism to systematically identify and refer victims to protection services. Kuwait should refrain from deporting victims, particularly before they are given the opportunity to file criminal charges against their traffickers and assist in investigations.

Prevention
Kuwait made modest progress in preventing trafficking in persons this year. In October, the government implemented a standardized contract for domestic workers outlining their rights, including work hours, wages, and their right to retain their passports. Kuwait says that foreign workers will not be issued a visa to enter Kuwait for domestic work until the Kuwaiti embassy in their country validates this standardized contract. Some Kuwaiti embassies have implemented this new policy effectively and some have not been able to do so. It remains unclear, however, how the terms of the contract will be enforced once workers are in Kuwait. The Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs launched a public awareness campaign to inform workers, sponsors, and recruitment agencies of their respective rights and obligations.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (Tier 2)

The Kyrgyz Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for men and women from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, South Asian countries, and from within the Kyrgyz Republic, trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Men and women are trafficked to Kazakhstan for forced labor in the agricultural sector and as domestic servants, to Russia for forced work in construction, and to the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) for bonded labor. Kyrgyz and foreign women are trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, P.R.C., Kazakhstan, South Korea, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Thailand, Germany, and Syria for sexual exploitation.

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. Concerns remained that corruption among law enforcement and judicial bodies protected traffickers from punishment. In September 2006, the president signed a witness protection law that is expected to increase victims' incentives to testify against their traffickers. The government should increase the amount of trafficking sensitivity training provided to police, prosecutors, and judges; improve methods for consulates and domestic law enforcement centers to verify citizenship of Kyrgyz nationals to ensure the fast repatriation of Kyrgyz victims trafficked abroad; and increase cooperation with key destination countries in order to provide adequate treatment of identified Kyrgyz victims. The government should also make efforts to improve its statistics and data collection system.

Prosecution
The Kyrgyz government demonstrated limited law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. A 2005 law on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Persons criminalizes both sexual exploitation and forced labor; prescribed penalties range from three to 20 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with prescribed penalties for other grave crimes, such as rape. In 2006, the government conducted 39 investigations, up from 24 in 2005. The government provided no data on trafficking prosecutions and convictions or the sentences given to convicted traffickers in 2006.

Protection
The government again demonstrated limited progress in its victim assistance efforts during the reporting period. The government continued to provide space for three shelters run by anti-trafficking NGOs, although it provided no direct funding for services and medical assistance. Law enforcement continued to increase victim referrals to IOM and NGOs in 2006. While Kyrgyz consulates assisted 56 Kyrgyz victims trafficked abroad with identification and travel documents, limited resources and infrastructure often unnecessarily prolonged the repatriation process. Victims are encouraged to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. The government amended its law in 2006 to ensure that victims who cooperate with law enforcement are not penalized. Law enforcement officials in several regions of the country received NGO training on the proper treatment of victims.

Prevention
Kyrgyzstan demonstrated limited progress in its trafficking prevention efforts. In April 2006, the government provided space in a government buildings for seven regional offices of the "189" hotline, an information source for Kyrgyz citizens to determine the legitimacy of job offers from abroad. State-controlled television and print media showcased trafficking issues throughout the reporting period. The government displayed NGO-produced posters in public spaces, including local bus and transportation centers.

LAOS (Tier 2)

Laos is primarily a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Some Lao migrate to neighboring countries in search of better economic opportunities but are subjected to conditions of forced or bonded labor or forced prostitution after arrival in these countries. Some of these trafficking victims are deceived by recruiters or employers about the terms and conditions of their employment in the destination country. Lao women and children become victims of trafficking in Thailand, in domestic servitude, forced labor in factories, and for commercial sexual exploitation, while men more often fall victim to forced labor in factories or in the fishing industry. There is some internal sex trafficking in Laos, primarily of women and girls from rural areas to large cities or border areas. To a lesser extent, Laos is a destination country for women trafficked from Vietnam and the People's Republic of China, for sexual exploitation. Laos serves as a transit country in a small number of cases with Chinese and Burmese women and girls transiting Laos to Thailand.

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. The Government of Laos is placed on Tier 2 because of its improved efforts over the past year and its greater transparency in regard to its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. The government expanded training for law enforcement and immigration authorities as well as public awareness on trafficking and the 2004 Law on Women. Laos increased its efforts to arrest and prosecute traffickers and cooperated on joint law enforcement activities with some neighboring countries. The government should pass and enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, eliminate the practice of fining returning trafficking victims, increase efforts to combat internal trafficking, and make greater efforts to prosecute and convict public officials who profit from or are involved in trafficking.

Prosecution
The Lao government demonstrated progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and willingness to collaborate with other countries as well as NGOs and international organizations. Laos prohibits most forms of trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation through the 2004 Law on Women and other provisions of its criminal code, as well as the new Law on the Protection of Children that was passed in December 2006. Penalties for trafficking are sufficiently stringent, and those prescribed for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape. In 2006, the government reported 27 trafficking investigations that resulted in the arrests of 15 suspected traffickers, 12 of whom were prosecuted. The remaining three suspects were not prosecuted, but were "re-educated" and released. Among the 12 prosecutions, three traffickers were convicted and sentenced to an average of six years' imprisonment, five remain incarcerated pending court action, and four are in pretrial detention pending the results of investigations. Two convictions involved investigative cooperation between Lao and Thai police. The government was not as active in investigating some internal trafficking cases. There are reports that some local government and law enforcement officials profit from trafficking, but there were no reported investigations or prosecutions of officials for complicity in trafficking.

Protection
The Lao government demonstrated progress in improving protection for victims of trafficking during the year. The government does not actively seek the participation of victims in investigations and prosecutions of traffickers. Some returnees from Thailand, including trafficking victims, have in the past been incarcerated after returning to Laos and held for periods ranging from days to weeks in immigration detention facilities, although there is no evidence of this practice occurring during the reporting period. Some returnees have been subjected to re-education to warn them of the dangers of traveling to Thailand. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSW) maintains a small transit center and assisted 259 returning victims of trafficking in 2006 and 15 in the first months of 2007. The government collaborates with IOM on return and reintegration efforts and to protect and counsel victims processed through the transit center. The Lao government signed an MOU with IOM in February 2007 that will allow IOM to open an office in Laos to more closely monitor return and reintegration activities. The Lao Women's Union runs a shelter providing legal, medical, and counseling assistance; it assisted 17 victims during the year. Victims of trafficking returning to Laos may still be subject to fines or reeducation in Laos pending the complete dissemination and enforcement of the Law on Women, although there is evidence that this practice has diminished. In 2006, the government passed the Law on the Protection of Children, which includes an anti-trafficking component that should fill gaps within the legal structure.

Prevention
The Lao government increased efforts to prevent trafficking in persons through the use of print, radio, and television media. The Lao Women's Union made significant efforts to disseminate the 2004 Law on Women and provided training to officials in several provinces. The MLSW, with funding from an NGO and UNICEF, produced a drama program on trafficking in the Lao, Hmong, and Khmu languages and also set up billboards near border checkpoints and larger cities. The Lao Women's Union organized meetings and training sessions to disseminate the Law on Women and raise awareness among officials and the public regarding the dangers of human trafficking and the need to combat trafficking activities. The most significant government prevention effort was the development of a draft National Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking in late 2006.

LATVIA (Tier 2)

Latvia is a source and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation to Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Portugal, Cyprus, and Norway. Latvian women and teenage girls are trafficked internally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Men and women from Latvia are trafficked to Ireland and the United Kingdom for the purpose of forced labor.

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. In 2006, the government implemented the Social Services and Social Assistance Law that requires the state to provide social and rehabilitation services to registered trafficking victims. During the reporting period, the government expanded the authority of an organization to identify and certify trafficking victims for government funded assistance. Nevertheless, the government should do more to proactively identify and assist those victims trafficked abroad by allocating at least nominal funding for repatriation. Authorities should make greater efforts to ensure that the majority of convicted traffickers serve some time in prison.

Prosecution
Section 154 of Latvia's criminal code prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor. Penalties prescribed for trafficking range from 3 to 15 years' imprisonment and are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties for other grave crimes, such as rape. Latvia also uses non-trafficking specific laws to prosecute traffickers. In 2006, police conducted 22 investigations, compared to 24 in 2005. In 2006, 36 traffickers were prosecuted and convicted under another statute of the criminal code. Of the 36 convicted traffickers, prison sentences were imposed on only 10, with sentences ranging from 1 to 10 years' imprisonment. The remaining 26 convicted traffickers were given fines or placed on probation, punishments that are inadequate.

Protection
The government made modest efforts to improve its victim assistance and protection. Latvian Embassies in the United Kingdom and Spain identified and assisted three victims in 2006. At least 20 victims were identified in Latvia during the reporting period. All 20 received NGO- or IOM-provided assistance, and the six victims who cooperated with law enforcement qualified for government funded rehabilitation services. Although the government allocated $37,000 for victim assistance in 2006, it spent only $10,000 because it assisted only the six victims who cooperated with law enforcement. In early 2007, service providers were permitted for the first time to certify victims as eligible for government assistance; previously, only law enforcement officials were authorized to identify victims. In 2006, the government funded victim assistance and sensitivity training for 1,200 rehabilitation providers and social workers. The government encouraged victims to participate in law enforcement investigations; foreign victims may apply for temporary work and residency permits if they remain in Latvia to testify against their traffickers. In 2006, one trafficking victim was assisted by Latvia's witness protection program. The government did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The Welfare Ministry provided anti-trafficking awareness training for 1,200 social workers in 2006. Local police were also very active in prevention; during the reporting period, police inspectors visited 94 percent of Latvia's schools and spoke with students on the dangers of trafficking. The government did not fund a nation-wide awareness campaign during the reporting period.

LEBANON (Tier 2)

Lebanon is a destination country for the trafficking of Asians and Africans for the purpose of domestic servitude and for Eastern European and Syrian women trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Lebanese children are trafficked within the country for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women from Sri Lanka, the Philippines and Ethiopia migrate to Lebanon legally, but often find themselves subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude as domestic servants. Many suffer physical and sexual abuse, non-payment of wages, threats, and withholding of passports. Eastern European and Syrian women come to Lebanon on "artiste" visas, but some become victims of forced prostitution.

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. In January 2006, the government established an inter-ministerial committee to address the rights of migrant workers. Nonetheless, Lebanon continues to lack a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, and its record of criminal prosecutions of abusive employers and sex traffickers remained inadequate.

Prosecution
Lebanon did not significantly improve its record of trafficking prosecutions over the last year. Lebanon does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though it criminalizes trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation through Articles 523, 526, and 527 of its Penal Code. Lebanese law does not, however, prohibit trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation. The penalties for sex trafficking are not commensurate with those for other grave crimes; while the crime of rape has a minimum penalty of five years' imprisonment, forcing a female into commercial sexual exploitation only carries a minimum prison sentence of one year. The government reported no prosecutions under Articles 523, 526, and 527. Seventeen prosecutions began in cases of abuse against migrant workers. Under its administrative laws, the Ministry of Labor closed 15 agencies for violations of workers' rights, including physical abuse, but often the perpetrators of the physical abuses were not criminally prosecuted due to the victims' refusal to press charges or due to a lack of evidence. In addition to increasing criminal prosecutions, the government should revise the punishments for trafficking violations under its laws to make them consistent with international standards.

Protection
The Lebanese government did not significantly improve protection of trafficking victims in the country over the last year. The government signed a memorandum of understanding with a local NGO to identify and refer potential trafficking victims to a safe house operated by the NGO. Nonetheless, the government failed to fully ensure that victims of trafficking are not inappropriately punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; for instance, many victims are still held in detention centers for the immigration violation of running away from their sponsors, and are deported before receiving protection. Victims are neither encouraged to participate in trials, nor offered legal alternatives to deportation to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. Lebanon should also permit workers to change employers without requiring permission from abusive sponsors.

Prevention
Lebanon made little progress in the prevention of trafficking in persons. The government, in partnership with a local NGO, continues to distribute brochures highlighting workers' rights and remedies. Lebanon, however, continues to struggle with border management and the control of trafficking in persons and illegal migration.

LIBERIA (Tier 2)

Liberia is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Most victims are trafficked within the country from rural areas to urban areas for domestic servitude or other forms of child labor. Displaced children in Liberia were subjected to sexual exploitation by members of international organizations, NGO personnel, and Liberian citizens. There have been reports of children trafficked to Liberia from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Cote d'Ivoire and from Liberia to The Gambia, Guinea, and Nigeria for domestic servitude, street vending, sexual exploitation, and agricultural labor. Awareness of trafficking in Liberia is nascent and no concrete data exists. While there have been reports of orphanages and adoption agencies involved in child trafficking, most appear to be cases of fraudulent adoption rather than trafficking.

The Government of Liberia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. A 14-year civil war has crippled the country's infrastructure and destroyed government institutions, including the judiciary. In January 2006, a new government was installed after more than two years of transitional rule with heavy oversight by the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL). To strengthen its trafficking response, Liberia should increase prosecution efforts, establish a formal system of victim referral to NGOs and international organizations for care, and adopt and begin to implement its draft national action plan to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Liberia has initiated modest efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement during the past year. Liberia prohibits all forms of trafficking through its June 2005 Act to Ban Trafficking in Persons. The Women's and Children's Protection Section (WCPS) of the Liberian National Police (LNP) works with the UN Police (UNPOL) to respond to trafficking cases. Of four trafficking cases investigated by police during the year, only one suspected trafficker was charged. The government did not report whether this case was prosecuted. In March 2007, the LNP arrested three men and charged them for attempting to steal and sell a 12-year-old boy in what may be a case of child trafficking. Police lack vehicles to transport suspects and often rely on UNPOL to assist them. The LNP participates in UNMIL- and UNPOL-sponsored anti-trafficking training events. WCPS recruits receive additional, more specialized international organization-sponsored training. The Ministry of Labor, the IRC and a local NGO organized a three-day workshop for labor inspectors and other government officials to increase their capacity to combat exploitative child labor.

Protection
The Government of Liberia made limited efforts to protect trafficking victims during the year. The government lacks the resources to provide assistance to victims, but an informal referral process is in place between the LNP and a few NGOs who provide short-term victim care. In December 2006, the government cooperated with Guinean officials to rescue a young Guinean girl trafficked to Liberia. The government does not encourage victims, all of whom are children, to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions. Liberia does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. In the few reported trafficking cases since the 2005 law was passed, the government ensured that identified victims were not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized solely for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Liberia took some steps to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. In October 2006, the president appointed members of a government Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force that has met twice and appointed a secretariat. The task force is responsible for developing and implementing a national action plan to combat trafficking and is reviewing a draft action plan developed by a prior, informal ad-hoc anti-trafficking task force. The Ministry of Gender, with support from the international community, launched a national campaign to raise awareness about sexual exploitation and abuse.

LIBYA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Libya is a transit and destination country for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. While most foreigners in Libya are economic migrants, some are forced into prostitution, or forced to work as laborers and beggars to pay off their $500-$2,000 smuggling debts. In previous years, there were isolated reports that women from sub-Saharan Africa were trafficked to Libya for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Although precise figures are unavailable, an estimated one to two percent of Libya's 1.5 to 2 million foreigners may be trafficking victims.

The Government of Libya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so. Libya is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its lack of evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking in persons over the last year, particularly in the area of investigating and punishing trafficking offenses. This year, Libyan law enforcement officials participated in training aimed at awareness-raising and building capacity to combat trafficking challenges. However, the government continues to summarily deport those it considers to be illegal economic migrants without adequate screening to determine whether any are victims of trafficking. Libya also did not adequately investigate or punish trafficking offenses. Libya should take steps to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law criminalizing all forms of trafficking, formalize identification procedures to identify victims of trafficking among illegal migrants, and protect identified victims. In addition, Libya should continue training for law enforcement officials to identify trafficking victims and refer them to available protection services.

Prosecution
The Government of Libya demonstrated no law enforcement efforts to punish trafficking in persons during the reporting period. Libya's laws do not prohibit trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation or involuntary servitude. The government provided no date on criminal investigations, prosecutions, convictions or sentences for trafficking offenses this year. According to news sources, in March, the government brought charges against an individual who attempted to deceive 20 Indians into involuntary servitude; this person, however, was not adequately punished. In addition, widespread corruption in the country may facilitate trafficking, but the government did not investigate the extent of this practice. The government should take steps to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, and continue to train and sensitize law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges on anti-trafficking measures. Libya should also investigate any allegations of trafficking and criminally prosecute the traffickers, including employers that withhold workers' passports or physically abuse employees.

Protection
Libya did not provide protection to victims of trafficking over the past year. In conjunction with IOM, the government provided in-kind support to a program that trained 90 mid-level border police along the Libya-Niger border in victim identification. Nonetheless, trafficking victims were susceptible to punishment for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked during the reporting period. For instance, victims, intermingled with illegal migrants, may have been deported without receiving medical, psychological or legal aid. Women found engaging in prostitution, including victims of sex trafficking, may be deported along with other illegal immigrants. Since Libya does not actively investigate traffickers, the government did not encourage victims to assist in investigations of their traffickers. Summary deportations of illegal immigrants could leave trafficking victims open to removal to a country where they would face hardship or retribution. Though Libya has taken initial steps to train border officials on identifying trafficking victims and referring them to any available protection services, Libya should institute a formal victim identification mechanism and referral system. The government should also refrain from punishing victims, and should significantly improve the protective services offered to them, including medical, psychological, and repatriation assistance.

Prevention
During the year, Libya took minimal action to prevent trafficking in persons. Given the connection between human smuggling and trafficking, the Ministry of Interior formed a task force to combat passport and document fraud, thereby asserting greater control over Libya's porous southern borders. Libya continued to cooperate with European governments to stem the smuggling of illegal migrants, though few projects are specifically intended to prevent trafficking. The government should consider establishing a broad public education program to raise awareness on the dangers of trafficking.

LITHUANIA (Tier 1)

Lithuania is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Approximately one-third of trafficking victims in Lithuania are children. Lithuanian women were trafficked to the United Kingdom, Germany, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands. Women from Belarus, Russia (Kaliningrad region), and Ukraine are trafficked to and through Lithuania for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

The Government of Lithuania fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the last year, the government again increased funding for victim assistance; it also funded the country's first nation-wide trafficking-awareness campaign. In December 2006, Lithuania's Parliament amended its criminal code to formally prohibit the punishment of trafficking victims for acts relating to prostitution or illegal migration, and to allow for temporary residency permits for victims who participate in court proceedings. Lithuania should work to formalize a victim identification and referral process, do more to educate victims or suspected victims about protections offered to victims of trafficking, take measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, and continue to ensure that more than half of convicted traffickers serve time in prison.

Prosecution
The Government of Lithuania sustained its adequate law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. Lithuania prohibits all forms of trafficking through Article 147 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties ranging from probation to 15 years' imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes. In 2006, authorities initiated 26 trafficking investigations, down from 32 in 2005. Authorities prosecuted 21 cases involving 23 defendants, compared with 18 prosecutions involving 43 defendants in 2005. Only 10 traffickers were convicted in 2006, a decrease from 20 convictions in 2005. In 2006, eight traffickers received sentences ranging from three to six years' imprisonment, while two traffickers served no time in prison. Lithuania maintained good law enforcement cooperation with British authorities during the reporting period. During the year, 60 law enforcement officers received trafficking training.

Protection
The Lithuanian Government continued to improve efforts to protect and assist victims of trafficking. In 2006, the government provided more than $170,000 to 13 anti-trafficking NGOs to conduct victim assistance and rehabilitation, including vocational training and job placement for victims; this was an increase in funding from $137,000 provided to 11 NGOs in 2005. Lithuania funded approximately 70 percent of anti-trafficking NGOs' programs, which assisted approximately 263 victims in 2006. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs assisted in the repatriation of 14 victims during the reporting period. Police continued to identify and refer victims to NGOs for assistance, although this was done on an informal basis. The government encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; victims who participate in court proceedings were eligible for temporary residency permits. No victims received temporary residency permits in 2006. Identified victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
Lithuania showed significant progress in its trafficking prevention efforts. In 2006, the Ministry of Interior funded Lithuania's first nation-wide trafficking awareness campaign called "Don't be a commodity: separate life from illusions," which included seminars, posters, and television and radio public service announcements. The Ministry of Education distributed 13,000 NGO produced anti-trafficking brochures and 220 videos to schools during the reporting period.

LUXEMBOURG (TIER 1)

Luxembourg is a destination country for women trafficked transnationally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2006, Luxembourg officials identified a total of five victims from Brazil and Romania. In previous years, over 100 victims have been identified from other East European countries. In part due to its small size, Luxembourg has a modest trafficking challenge.

The Government of Luxembourg fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2006, the government improved its law enforcement efforts with the creation of a special unit within the police charged with investigating trafficking in persons crimes. The government should consider passing comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and ensure that punishments imposed on traffickers reflect the heinous nature of the crime. The government should consider launching a demand-oriented campaign to educate potential clients about prostitution and its links to trafficking.

Prosecution
In 2006, the government improved its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts with the creation of a specialized police unit responsible for investigating trafficking cases. Luxembourg prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons though various trafficking-related provisions of its penal code. In addition, Article 379 of its penal code specifically criminalizes trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and is also used for trafficking for the purpose of forced labor. Penalties are sufficiently stringent, and those for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with penalties for rape. In 2006, the government obtained the conviction of a Kosovo-Albanian for trafficking a Romanian woman into commercial sexual exploitation; he was sentenced to three years' imprisonment and a 2,500 Euro fine. There was no evidence of trafficking-related corruption among Luxembourg public officials.

Protection
The Government of Luxembourg increased its efforts to protect trafficking victims in 2006. The government encourages victims to participate in the criminal investigation and, through its funding of NGOs, provides shelter, protection, and repatriation assistance to victims. In addition, victims can seek legal action against their traffickers. When a Romanian victim agreed to serve as a witness in a trafficking prosecution, the government funded her transportation and hotel costs in Luxembourg. Victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The government provides full operational funding for two NGOs and 11 shelters for women where victims of trafficking are referred. In 2006, the government granted the new anti-trafficking police unit a substantial budget. The government set up a working group charged with creating a network that would coordinate providing care for victims of trafficking.

Prevention
In 2006, the Ministry for Equal Opportunities, Amnesty International, and the Luxembourg Red Cross co-produced and screened a preview of a film about a young woman trafficked for sexual exploitation. The Ministry of Justice launched a training program aimed at educating police, immigration department officials, and other relevant government officials as well as NGO employees on how to identify victims of trafficking. The Ministry for Equal Opportunities, in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice and police, conducted a specialized training session on trafficking for all staff workers at shelters. Luxembourg has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

MACAU (Tier 2 Watch List)

Macau is a destination territory for the trafficking of women and girls from the Chinese mainland, Mongolia, Russia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and Central Asia for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Foreign and mainland Chinese women and girls, many of whom are independent operators, are sometimes deceived into migrating voluntarily to the Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) for employment opportunities and then induced into sexual servitude through debt bondage, coercion, or force. Mongolian authorities and NGOs cite Macau as the primary destination for Mongolian girls and women trafficked for sexual exploitation. These women are often confined in massage parlors and illegal brothels operating under the control or protection of Macau-based organized crime syndicates.

Macau does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Macau is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year because the determination that it has made significant efforts to eliminate trafficking is based on its commitment of future action over the coming year, namely the review of current anti-trafficking laws with the intent to address existing gaps and more vigorous anti-trafficking law enforcement action. Macau authorities have not yet recognized the full extent of the significant trafficking problem in the MSAR, although they took steps to review existing laws in order to identify gaps dealing with trafficking and to criminalize and adequately punish all forms of trafficking, while offering legal protections for victims of trafficking. Macau authorities continue to view migrant girls and women involved in the commercial sex trade as "willing participants," despite regular reports from other governments and NGOs indicating that a significant share of these females are in the sex trade under conditions of debt bondage, coercion, or force.

Prosecution
Macau authorities demonstrated marginal efforts to identify and punish crimes of trafficking in the MSAR over the reporting period. Macau does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though trafficking of persons from Macau to outside destinations is criminalized by Article 7 of its Law on Organized Crime, which is rarely used as there have been no identified cases of outbound trafficking from Macau. Article 153 of Macau's Criminal Code criminalizes the sale or purchase of a person with the intent of placing that person in a state of slavery, for which punishment is sufficiently stringent - 10 to 20 years' imprisonment - but which also has rarely been used. Kidnapping and rape statutes could be used to punish sex trafficking crimes, and they prescribe sufficiently stringent punishments of 3 to 12 years' imprisonment, though these too are rarely used for trafficking crimes. There were no reported investigations of trafficking crimes, or prosecutions or convictions of trafficking offenders during the reporting period. During the year, Macau authorities reported 10 cases involving 17 women, who complained of being brought to the MSAR under false pretenses and forced into prostitution, although no one was prosecuted. A separate case of trafficking was reported by a newspaper in Macau - the prostitution of a 15-year-old mainland Chinese girl in a brothel - but it is not known if the exploiter in the case was ever punished. Regarding labor trafficking, in March 2007, one mainland woman was arrested for allegedly deceiving three friends out of approximately $9,000 for import-labor jobs in Macau. The case was transferred to the Public Prosecutor's Office for further investigation. During the year, outside NGOs and foreign governments reported on specific cases of women trafficked to Macau from Russia, Mongolia, and the Philippines.

Protection
Macau did not make significant progress in protecting victims of trafficking over the reporting period. Macau authorities neither offered victims dedicated services nor implemented systematic efforts to identify and refer for assistance victims among vulnerable populations, such as the 1,800 women arrested for prostitution violations in 2006, of which 1,600 were from the mainland and the remaining 200 were foreigners. The Macau authorities do not encourage victims to participate in investigations or prosecutions. While women from the mainland who are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude in the commercial sex trade occasionally escape with the help of Macau police or service agencies, most foreign women, such as those from Mongolia, Russia, Thailand and the Philippines, find it extremely difficult to escape given the lack of services in their respective languages and the lack of their governments' diplomatic representation in Macau. Moreover, the control of organized crime organizations over Macau's lucrative sex trade prevents MSAR efforts to provide victims with witness protection should they wish to participate in a prosecution of the trafficking offender. Victims are not offered legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims detained for immigration violations were usually deported.

Prevention
Macau authorities did not make any discernable efforts to raise public awareness of the dangers of trafficking or to encourage the public to report suspected trafficking crimes. MSAR officials continued to maintain the position that Macau does not have a significant trafficking problem and that the vast majority of females in prostitution in Macau are adult women who are willing participants in the sex trade.

MACEDONIA (Tier 2)

Macedonia is a source, transit, and, to a lesser extent, destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Macedonian women and girls are trafficked within the country, from eastern rural areas to western Macedonia for sexual exploitation. Victims originated from Moldova, Albania, and to a lesser extent other Eastern European countries. Victims transited Macedonia en route to Serbia, Montenegro, Albania, and Western Europe.

The Government of Macedonia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increasing progress in its anti-trafficking efforts in 2006, particularly through joint law enforcement cooperation with neighboring countries. The government should increase efforts to educate law enforcement on the difference between trafficking and smuggling, take steps to ensure that traffickers receive sentences consistent with the heinous nature of the offense, and make greater efforts to prosecute and convict public officials who profit from, or are involved in, trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Macedonia's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts showed positive results in the last year. The Government of Macedonia prohibits sex and labor trafficking through its 2004 criminal code article 418 on trafficking in persons, article 418c on organizing a group for trafficking, and article 191 covering forced prostitution. Article 418b is included in the anti-trafficking legislation and includes criminal sanctions for smuggling. Penalties prescribed for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape. The laws prescribe penalties that are sufficiently stringent. Occasionally, however, relatively light sentences were imposed on convicted offenders. The government in 2006 prosecuted 48 cases related to trafficking, a significant increase from the 35 cases prosecuted in the previous reporting period.

Using special investigative measures, and in cooperation with the Albanian and Greek governments, the Government of Macedonia prosecuted and obtained convictions and jail sentences in three major trafficking cases. Those three cases involved 7, 26, and 21 defendants, respectively. Sentences ranged from 8 months to 13 years' imprisonment, and included provisions for victim restitution and confiscation of property. Despite these relative successes, the judiciary remained the weakest link in the fight against trafficking in persons, with significant instances of procedural errors and delays extending the duration of proceedings. Conviction rates for trafficking prosecutions remained low. Concerns over instances of judicial corruption continued in 2006. Two police officers were found guilty of trafficking-related crimes and received sentences of 18 months in one case, and two years in the other.

Protection
The Government of Macedonia made significant efforts to improve its protection of trafficking victims. The government encourages victims to participate in investigations and trials. Victims can institute civil proceedings against their traffickers to claim damages and compensation. Trafficking victims may be granted refugee or asylum status if they fear hardship or retribution upon return to their country of origin. Victims of trafficking usually were not penalized by authorities for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The Ministry of Interior, with support from IOM, operates a shelter transit center that provides safe housing for victims at the pre-trial, trial, and post-trial stages until repatriation. During the reporting period, 17 trafficking victims were assisted at the shelter transit center. Four Ministry of Interior (MOI) officers are assigned to the shelter to provide protection. The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (MLSP) opened an office that improved coordination of assistance and protection services provided by state and civil society through a victim referral system established in 2005. In February 2007, the MOI and the MLSP signed a long-awaited Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that establishes special provisions for the protection of child trafficking victims and provides for the presence of social workers during police raids. The Ministry of Interior also signed an MOU for improved cooperation with an NGO that operates a shelter for internally trafficked victims.

Prevention
The Government of Macedonia made significant trafficking prevention efforts over the last year. Posters with the hotline telephone number were prominently displayed at the Skopje airport and other locations associated with travel. The border police worked in association with a local NGO to distribute trafficking awareness materials at all border crossings. The Ministry of Interior launched a joint information campaign with IOM that targeted the public in rural and urban areas and distributed over 4,500 scratch cards with anti-trafficking messages. The anti-trafficking song and video "Open Your Eyes," performed by seven of Macedonia's top pop stars and translated into Macedonian and Albanian, was the highlight of the project. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs requires its consular officers to receive training on recognizing potential victims of trafficking.

MADAGASCAR (Tier 2)

Madagascar is a source country for children trafficked internally for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Trafficking of rural children is suspected for forced mining, domestic servitude, prostitution, and forced labor for traveling fruit vendors. A child sex tourism problem exists in coastal cities, namely Tamatave, Nosy Be, and Diego Suarez, with a significant number of children prostituted; some were recruited in Antananarivo, the capital, under false pretenses of employment as waitresses and maids before being exploited in the commercial sex trade on the coast. Child sex trafficking with the complicity of family members, taxi and rickshaw drivers, friends, tour guides, and hotel workers was reported.

The Government of Madagascar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made advances in legislative reforms that protect children from sex trafficking while punishing their exploiters and took steps to punish foreign tourists who allegedly exploited children in Madagascar. To further enhance its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should pass and enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, institute an official process for law enforcement officials to refer trafficking victims for assistance, and investigate and prosecute public officials suspected of colluding with traffickers or accepting bribes to overlook trafficking crimes.

Prosecution
Madagascar's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts improved during the reporting period. Madagascar's laws do not prohibit trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, but traffickers are currently prosecuted under various provisions prohibiting procurement of minors for prostitution, pedophilia, pimping, and deceptive labor practices. In 2006, the Ministry of Justice finalized, and a government committee vetted, a draft law that, when enacted, would protect child victims of sexual exploitation and criminally punish the adult exploiters of children in prostitution. The Ministry also wrote a decree listing prohibited forms of child labor, including prostitution, domestic slavery, and forced labor. A commission began working on a bill to bring domestic laws into line with the UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime, including stiff penalties and extradition provisions that would apply to traffickers. In Nosy Be, two French sex tourists were charged with statutory rape of children during the reporting period; they were convicted and subsequently deported. In late 2006, a Swiss tourist was sentenced to five years in prison for pedophilia. To enforce a regulation barring minors from nightclubs, the police in major cities conducted an average of one round-up of youth in these clubs per month and counseled detained minors before returning them to their parents. Whether because of corruption often rooted in economic hardship, pressure from the local community, or fear of an international incident, local police and magistrates in tourist areas often hesitated to prosecute foreign pedophiles; officials reported significant pressure from parents who used profits from their children's sexual exploitation to support the family. The Ministry of Justice conducted training sessions for 100 magistrates on legal instruments to address trafficking. The State Secretary of Public Security (SSPS) trained 744 law enforcement officials on the rights and protection of minors.

Protection
The government sustained its adequate efforts to assist trafficking victims, rescuing 90 victims of forced child labor and commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) during the year. Of the 50 victims placed at its Welcome Centers in Antananarivo and Tamatave, 36 children were reintegrated into the educational system. Another 20 children were selected for remedial education, while 20 older children were selected for vocational training and job placement with export companies. The centers' physicians provided medical and counseling services to victims, while labor inspectors taught job search skills. In September, a third center opened in Tulear. The government did not penalize trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked and encouraged them to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their exploiters. The Ministries of Justice and Population collaborated to establish two counseling centers for child exploitation victims. The Ministry of Population and UNICEF provided joint technical assistance to 11 child protection networks comprised of government institutions, law enforcement officials, and NGOs that provided counseling and rehabilitation to children in prostitution and forced labor. A network in Diego Suarez, for example, handled cases of child prostitution from the initial complaint through the trial, including medical assistance and legal advice for victims.

Prevention
Awareness of trafficking continued to increase through a number of aggressive information campaigns. In August, the Ministry of Justice screened films on CSEC in the capital, including the trafficking of rural children to urban centers. The Ministry of Tourism conducted awareness training at cultural events for 250 tourism industry personnel, as well as for women and children at risk of being trafficked in seven different locations throughout the country. The Ministry of Communication distributed posters carrying messages against sex tourism to 150 post offices and a film on the dangers of child prostitution to schools throughout the country. The SSPS conducted programs on child exploitation and prostitution for 17,700 students, 75 administrators, 22 teachers, and 100 parents. It also educated 35 hotel managers and 24 "red zone" neighborhoods in Antananarivo on child protection legislation. The Ministry of Education conducted workshops on the worst forms of child labor at 152 schools and 87 parent associations, and produced newspaper articles, radio programs, and television spots. The Ministry of Youth and Sports distributed fliers, posters, and banners on delaying early sexual initiation and available counseling that reached over 78,000 young people.

MALAWI (Tier 1)

Malawi is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Children are primarily trafficked internally for agricultural labor, but also for cattle herding, domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, and to perform forced menial tasks for small businesses. Anecdotal reports indicate that child sex tourism may be occurring along Malawi's lakeshore. Trafficking victims, both adults and children, are lured by fraudulent job offers into situations of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation within Malawi and in South Africa.

The Government of Malawi fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Malawi continued to make noteworthy progress in tackling trafficking in persons, despite its limited human and financial resources. To further its efforts against trafficking, the government should strengthen its legal and victim support frameworks through the passage and enactment of comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation.

Prosecution
The government maintained its vigorous anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts throughout the year. Malawi prohibits all forms of trafficking through existing laws, including Articles 135 through 147 and 257 through 269 of the Penal Code, though a lack of specific anti-trafficking legislation makes prosecution more challenging and allows for a large range of punishments meted out to convicted traffickers. The punishment prescribed for trafficking under existing laws is commensurate with that for other grave crimes and is sufficiently stringent. The Child Care, Protection and Justice Bill, which defines child trafficking and sets a penalty of life imprisonment for convicted traffickers, was approved by the cabinet and is expected to be tabled by Parliament in 2007. The Malawi Law Commission also began drafting comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation. In 2006, child labor and kidnapping laws were used to convict 10 child traffickers, one of whom was sentenced to six years in prison with hard labor for attempting to sell two children to a businessman. The remainder of the cases involved trafficking of children for agricultural labor and cattle herding. Some traffickers were required to pay fines, compensation, and the cost of repatriating the children to their home villages; however, others who claimed ignorance of the law were merely warned and released. During the year, Malawian police worked with Zimbabwe's Interpol office and IOM to investigate a case of a Zimbabwean victim trafficked to Malawi. Forty additional labor inspectors were hired and trained in 2006 to inspect agricultural estates and investigate cases of child labor trafficking. Between August and October, the Malawi Law Commission trained 250 prosecutors and investigators from the police and immigration services on prosecuting trafficking cases using existing laws. In March 2007, the Malawi Police Service trained 74 police officers nationwide to provide therapeutic services to traumatized and sexually abused children, including victims of trafficking. In August, it conducted a child protection orientation for district police commanders and a two-week training of instructors for 16 police child protection officers.

Protection
The government made appreciable progress in caring for trafficking victims and provided assistance commensurate with its limited resources and capacity. The government's Lilongwe drop-in center for victims of trafficking and gender-based violence served approximately 50 victims during the year with counseling, medical care, legal assistance, shelter, and vocational training. In partnership with NGOs and UNICEF, the government's rehabilitation center in the southern region provided counseling, rehabilitation, and reintegration services for abused and exploited children, including those involved in prostitution. Community-based services were also provided using volunteers organized by the Ministry of Women and Child Development. After IOM repatriated a Malawian trafficking victim from Dublin, the Ministry provided counseling and facilitated her return to her home village. The government encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers and did not punish them for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The Ministry of Labor established 60 additional community child labor committees in six districts that monitored their villages for suspicious behavior and reported suspected trafficking cases to police. The Ministry of Labor conducted sensitization workshops for district labor officers, training them on the roles of the judiciary, NGOs, and police in confronting child trafficking; these officers conduct inspections, enforce labor laws, and put on educational programs on harmful labor practices. The Ministry of Women and Child Development trained 140 new child protection workers who worked as volunteers, as the government was unable to compensate them.

Prevention
The government made significant efforts during the reporting period to raise awareness among civil society, legislators, and law enforcement. The Ministry of Labor continued its distribution of the 2004 National Code of Conduct on Child Labor to farm owners, as well as posters and pamphlets on exploitative child labor and sex trafficking to schools, district social welfare agencies, hospitals, and youth clubs. The Ministry of Labor conducted six sensitization workshops in 2006 for school teachers and estate owners on Malawi's Labor Code as it relates to child labor, as well as "open days," sensitization events in rural areas with plays and speakers on child labor, trafficking, and other harmful practices. The Malawi Human Rights Commission conducted awareness raising campaigns targeted at potential victims of trafficking and sexual violence.

MALAYSIA (Tier 3)

Malaysia is a destination country, and to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; it is also a destination for men, women, and children who migrate voluntarily to Malaysia seeking employment, but who are later subjected to conditions of forced labor as domestic workers, or in the agricultural, construction, or industrial sectors. Foreign victims of sex trafficking in Malaysia, mainly women and girls, from Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Cambodia, Vietnam, Burma, and the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) are frequently recruited with the promise of a job as a domestic worker, food service or factory worker. Some economic migrants, including children, from countries in the region as well as India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan who work as domestic servants and as laborers in the construction and agricultural sectors face exploitative conditions that rise to the level of involuntary servitude. Some Malaysian women, primarily of Chinese ethnicity, are trafficked abroad for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Malaysia is placed on Tier 3 for its failure to show satisfactory progress in combating trafficking in persons, particularly in the areas of punishing acts of trafficking, providing adequate shelters and social services to victims, protecting its migrant workers from involuntary servitude, and for not prosecuting traffickers who were arrested and detained under preventive laws. The Malaysian government needs to demonstrate stronger political will to tackle Malaysia's significant forced labor and sex trafficking problems. The government did not establish a government-run shelter for foreign trafficking victims that the Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development announced publicly in December 2004 and again in August 2006. Without procedures for the identification of victims, the government continued to treat some trafficking victims as illegal immigrants, and arrest, incarcerate, and deport them. As a regional economic leader approaching developed nation status, Malaysia has the resources and government infrastructure to do far more in addressing the issue of trafficking in persons. Malaysia's House of Representatives passed the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act on May 10, 2007, which, if enacted, gives Malaysia a significant potential tool with which to effect anti-trafficking reforms. The government needs to show a serious increase in efforts to punish trafficking crimes and to identify and protect trafficking victims over the coming year.

A 2006 Memorandum of Understanding between the Governments of Indonesia and Malaysia regarding the employment of Indonesian women as domestic servants in Malaysia authorizes Malaysian employers to confiscate and hold the passport of the domestic employee throughout the term of employment; this practice has been recognized by many in the international anti-trafficking community as facilitating the involuntary servitude of domestic workers.

Prosecution
The Malaysian government showed no improvement in efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases in 2006. Malaysian law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking. Malaysia criminally prohibits some forms of sex trafficking through its Penal Code, Section 372 and the Constitution prohibits slavery and forced labor. The government does not criminalize debt-bondage nor current labor practices that promote involuntary servitude conditions. Penalties for sex trafficking are commensurate with those for rape. In 2006, the government did not identify any judicial cases against traffickers, but did prosecute 35 persons for procuring minors for the purpose of prostitution. Malaysia, particularly in accordance with the above-mentioned MOU with Indonesia signed in 2006, does not prosecute employers who confiscate passports of migrant workers and who confine them to the workplace. Confiscation of passports, though technically in violation of the Passports Act, is the government's prescribed method of controlling contract laborers. There were no prosecutions of employers who refuse to pay employees and hold their wages in "escrow" until completion of a contract. Immigration and local police authorities overlook or actively ignore trafficking situations involving prostitution. In 2006, there were no government officials implicated, arrested, or tried for involvement in trafficking of persons.

Protection
The Malaysian government provided minimal assistance to victims of trafficking and does not provide shelter or protective services to victims. The police responded to requests by foreign embassies to rescue their nationals who were trapped in prostitution. In these cases, police turned over the victims to their respective embassies. Malaysia encourages victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking, though as noted above, there were no identified prosecutions of traffickers last year. The government does not make a systematic effort to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable migrant groups, such as girls and women detained for involvement in prostitution or the thousands of undocumented migrant workers rounded up by government-commissioned volunteer security forces in mid-2006. Despite Malaysia's relative wealth, foreign donors provide greater funding for the protection of girls and women victimized in Malaysia than does the Government of Malaysia. The government provides no legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims detained by immigration authorities, including children, are routinely processed as illegal migrants and held in prisons or illegal migrant detention facilities prior to deportation. Victims identified by the police are usually released into the custody of a home country consular official and sent to a shelter operated by an embassy, if such exists. The Indonesian Government houses approximately 1,100 women and children at its embassy and consular shelters in Malaysia each year, with no assistance from the Malaysian government; the large majority are believed to be victims of trafficking.

Prevention
The Malaysian government rarely sponsored any anti-trafficking information or education campaigns during 2006. The Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development sponsored a conference for police, immigration, and community development professions to build awareness of trafficking and victim identification. The Royal Malaysian Police co-sponsored a one-day workshop with an NGO and the Malaysia Crime Prevention Foundation to develop a national strategy on combating trafficking. The government has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

MALI (Tier 2)

Mali is a source, transit and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Victims are trafficked from rural to urban areas within Mali and between Mali and other West African countries, most notably Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire, Guinea, Senegal, and Mauritania. Women and girls are trafficked primarily for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Boys are trafficked primarily for forced labor in agriculture and gold mines and for forced begging. Mali has also acknowledged that slavery-related practices, rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships, exist in sparsely populated and remote areas of northern Mali.

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 limited resources. To improve its response to trafficking, Mali should: draft and pass a law prohibiting the trafficking of adults; increase efforts to investigate, arrest, prosecute, and convict traffickers; strengthen its crime data collection system; establish a national committee against trafficking as called for in its national action plan; and increase efforts to raise public awareness about trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Mali demonstrated minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the last year. Mali does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though its 2002 criminal code's Article 229 criminalizes child trafficking. Trafficking of adults is not criminalized. Article 229's prescribed penalty of 5 to 25 years' imprisonment for all forms of child trafficking is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape. Criminal Code Article 242, passed in 1973, prohibits slavery, prescribing a penalty of 5 to 10 years' imprisonment for slave-holders, and up to 20 years' imprisonment if the victim is younger than 15. The government investigated at least four trafficking cases and arrested three suspected traffickers, two of whom are in custody, but it did not report any trafficking prosecutions or convictions during the year. Although the press reported additional arrests, the government could not confirm them due to lack of a crime data collection system. Government personnel conducted UNICEF-funded anti-trafficking training for judges and labor inspectors. In September 2006, government personnel assisted UNICEF and the ILO in establishing 58 Regional Trafficking Committees, for a total of 344 throughout the country. These regional committees coordinate the activities of an existing network of local surveillance committees that train local community leaders to identify traffickers and report them to local law enforcement authorities.

Protection
The Government of Mali demonstrated steady efforts to provide care for trafficking victims during the year. While the government lacked the resources to operate shelters, it referred victims to three NGO shelters providing temporary care. The government did not report data on the number of victims it assisted during the year. The government is currently working with the ILO to implement a project to assist 9,000 children at risk of being trafficked or subjected to exploitative child labor. In December 2006, government personnel assisted IOM and an NGO to repatriate 27 Ivorian child victims. In October 2006, the government identified 27 victims in Niono, including 12 child victims whom the government repatriated to Burkina Faso in coordination with IOM. In January 2007, security forces rescued 11 trafficked Malian children and returned them to their homes. In March 2007, the government coordinated with IOM and NGOs to repatriate 34 Ivorian boys trafficked to Mali. The government dedicated three or four officials in each of Mali's nine provinces to work with an NGO to facilitate the repatriation or return of victims. Such officials return victims to their home communities in Mali by chaperoning them on one to three-day journeys back home. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions, though the majority of victims are children. The government does not provide victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Mali made minimal efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. Mali's 2002 National Action Plan Against Trafficking calls for a national anti-trafficking committee, which the government has yet to form, despite financial support from an international NGO. Government personnel implemented donor-funded civic education programs to increase public awareness of trafficking.

MALTA (Tier 2)

Malta is a destination country for men and women trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Malta is also a source country for minors trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation. There is anecdotal evidence that women from Serbia, Russia, Ukraine, Romania, and other Eastern European countries may be trafficked to Malta for forced prostitution. Between 1,500 to 1,800 African illegal immigrants arrive in Malta each year; it is unclear whether any are trafficked to or through Malta for labor or sexual exploitation.

The Government of Malta does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Malta arrested suspected traffickers and offered protection services to trafficking victims. Criminal investigations of trafficking offenses were low over the reporting period, and Malta did not carry out any anti-trafficking awareness raising campaigns. Malta should significantly increase investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes, and should also institute a formal victim identification procedure to ensure that trafficking victims are not punished.

Prosecution
Malta made modest efforts to prosecute trafficking in persons offenses during the reporting period. Malta's criminal code prohibits trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude, punishable by two to nine years' imprisonment. The White Slave Traffic Suppression Ordinance, as amended in 1994, prohibits the prostitution of minors under 21 years old, with prescribed penalties of up to four years' imprisonment. Prescribed penalties for trafficking offenses are thus sufficiently stringent to deter, but penalties for prostitution of minors are not commensurate with those for other grave crimes; conviction for rape carries a penalty of up to 10 years' imprisonment. This year, the government arrested five individuals for trafficking a Romanian woman into prostitution; their prosecutions are pending. The trafficked woman was offered protection by the police, gave court testimony, and was returned to her country of origin, which was her request. Another prosecution resulted in the conviction of a man for trafficking two women for prostitution; in January, the Court of Appeals confirmed a suspended sentence for the man. A police officer convicted for complicity in trafficking in 2005 remains out of jail on bail pending his appeal. Another police officer was convicted for a similar offense and sentenced to three years' imprisonment. The government should provide trafficking-related training to law enforcement and judicial officials, and it should significantly increase investigations for trafficking offenses, particularly when evidence of such offenses results from raids, brothels, or arrests of illegal migrants.

Protection
Malta took some steps to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government provides victim protection services through a primary social service agency that is directly funded and supervised by the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity. Despite reports that police attempt to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups, the government did not provide sufficient evidence that the 203 women arrested this year for prostitution were formally screened for evidence of trafficking prior to being charged with criminal offenses. As a result, some victims of trafficking may have been treated as offenders rather than victims, and punished accordingly. In the case of minors used in commercial sexual exploitation, specially trained police officers interview and refer them to Child Protection Services for assistance in reintegration. The police are trained to screen those arrested for prostitution for their vulnerability to exploitation. Immigration officials screen at the border and when visas are renewed for possible situations of sexual or labor exploitation.

Prevention
The government made limited efforts to prevent trafficking in persons this year. Maltese authorities responsible for issuing visas and patrolling borders are reportedly trained in identifying potential victims of trafficking to prevent trafficking into Malta. The government did not conduct any anti-trafficking awareness campaigns.

MAURITANIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Mauritania is a source and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Mauritanian boys called talibe are trafficked within the country by religious teachers for forced begging and by street gang leaders for forced stealing, begging, and selling drugs. Girls are trafficked internally for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Senegalese and Malian boys are trafficked to Mauritania for forced begging by religious teachers. Senegalese and Malian girls are trafficked to Mauritania for domestic servitude. Senegalese, Malian, Ghanaian, and Nigerian women and girls may be trafficked to Mauritania for sexual exploitation. Slavery-related practices, rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships, exist in isolated parts of the country. Reports during the year of large numbers of nationals from neighboring countries transported to Mauritania by boat en route to Spain appear to be cases of smuggling and illegal migration rather than trafficking.

The Government of Mauritania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. Mauritania is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking over the past year. To strengthen its response to trafficking, Mauritania should apply its law against trafficking in persons, strengthen its anti-slavery law, and increase protection and awareness-raising efforts.

Prosecution
The Government of Mauritania demonstrated weak law enforcement efforts during the year. Mauritania prohibits all forms of trafficking through its 2003 Law Against Trafficking in Persons and slavery through its 1981 Abolition of Slavery Ordinance. The prescribed penalty of five to 10 years for all forms of trafficking is adequate and exceeds the nation's prescribed penalty for forcible sexual assault. The slavery ordinance, however, neither prescribes a penalty nor defines slavery. Mauritania failed to report any trafficking or slavery prosecutions or convictions during the year. Lacking exact data, Mauritania estimated that it investigated five cases of trafficking or slavery, most of which were reported to officials by civil society activists. In each case, authorities concluded that slavery did not exist, but failed to apply the trafficking statute. Reports indicate that some local officials may have covered up slavery cases by intimidating or providing clothing and other goods to individuals in servitude so they would testify to satisfactory living conditions. In response to the repatriation to Mauritania in 2006 of 21 children who had been trafficked to the United Arab Emirates as camel jockeys, the head prosecutor spoke at donor-organized public education sessions about penalties prescribed under Mauritanian law against traffickers. The government is in the process of establishing a children's police brigade to enforce a January 2006 ordinance against child prostitution and exploitative child labor.

Protection
Mauritania demonstrated modest efforts to protect trafficking and slavery victims during the reporting period. With financing from the African Development Bank, the government provided six months of literacy training for 5,000 women, most of them domestic servants of an ethnic group historically victimized by slavery. The government continued to contribute personnel and a building to a collaborative project with UNICEF and a private bank to provide micro-credit programs for domestic workers and former slaves. Mauritania continued to fund six centers in Nouakchott providing care for indigents, many of whom were talibe boys. The centers, however, are operating below capacity despite apparent need. The government also created a welcome center for 21 victims repatriated to Mauritania in 2006 after having been trafficked to the United Arab Emirates as camel jockeys. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking or slavery investigations or prosecutions. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims are inappropriately incarcerated, fined or penalized for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked. The government places children in jail for stealing or engaging in sexual activity (including for being raped), although many of them are likely trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Government of Mauritania made limited efforts to raise awareness about trafficking and slavery during the reporting period. The inter-ministerial working group on trafficking adopted a national action plan against trafficking during the reporting period. In March 2006, the government held a "Day of Reflection" for development partners, the media, civil society and political parties to discuss strategies for eradicating the vestiges of slavery.

MAURITIUS (Tier 2)

Mauritius is a source country for female children trafficked within the country for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. This commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) largely consists of school girls engaging in the practice, often with the encouragement and support of their peers or family members. Taxi drivers are known to provide transportation and introductions to both the girls and the clients.

The Government of Mauritius does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government openly acknowledges that child prostitution occurs within the country and is actively working to curb the problem. To further its efforts, the government should complete the prosecution of suspected traffickers apprehended in 2006 and expand the provision of anti-trafficking training to law enforcement officials force-wide.

Prosecution
The government vigorously investigated cases of human trafficking throughout the year. Mauritius prohibits all forms of trafficking found in the country through its Child Protection Bill of 2005, which prescribes punishment of up to 15 years' imprisonment for convicted offenders. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. The government does not have laws prohibiting the trafficking of adults, though existing statutes covering crimes such as forced labor could be used to prosecute cases. To rectify this situation, the Attorney General's Office has announced plans to draft a comprehensive anti-trafficking statute. During the reporting period, police arrested three pimps and six clients caught exploiting children in prostitution. This included the identification and dismantling of a network operating near the capital; three victims were identified and assisted as a result. Prosecution of these alleged traffickers has not yet commenced. Police also began investigation of a high profile case involving a woman suspected of pimping her granddaughter to neighborhood men. Continued raids in tourist areas where child sex tourism is rumored to be prevalent did not uncover any children in prostitution. In November, police trainers presented a one-week anti-trafficking training program to 32 officers at the national police training school. Forty-one Minor's Brigade officers and recruits received anti-trafficking training in May, and 28 officers in the Police Family Protection Unit were trained in August. Although the government allocated funds to increase the capacity of the Minor's Brigade in 2005, the recruited officers and vehicles have not come into service, limiting the unit's operations to six officers and one vehicle.

Protection
Despite an increase in both anti-trafficking awareness and law enforcement efforts over the reporting period, both social service providers and law enforcement officials continued to experience difficulty locating and assisting victims. The government provided funding to NGOs offering protection to victims of trafficking. The government-run drop-in center for children engaged in prostitution actively advertised its counseling services through bumper stickers, a toll-free number, and community outreach; its social worker continued to promote the services in schools and local communities. The center assisted 13 girls engaged in prostitution during the year. Mauritius has a formal protocol on the provision of assistance to victims of sexual abuse; CSEC victims are accompanied to the hospital by a child welfare officer and police work in conjunction with this officer to obtain a statement. However, the government occasionally punishes victims of trafficking for offenses committed as a result of their trafficking situation; during the period, one child engaged in prostitution was arrested and placed in a juvenile detention center.

Prevention
The government made notable efforts to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children during the year. Law enforcement officials conducted surveillance at bus stops, night clubs, gaming houses, and other places frequented by children to identify and interact with students who are at a high risk of commercial sexual exploitation. The Police Family Protection Unit and the Minor's Brigade also conducted a widespread child abuse awareness campaign at 34 schools and community centers that contained a segment on the dangers and consequences of CSEC. Minister-level officials and the Ombudsperson for Children publicly supported NGO programs that provided additional education to schoolchildren on CSEC. Throughout the year, the media publicized the arrest of suspected pimps.

MEXICO (Tier 2 Watch List)

Mexico is a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. The majority of victims trafficked into the country come from Central America, destined for Mexico or the United States. A lesser number of victims come from South America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, and Asia. A significant number of Mexican women, girls, and boys are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation, often lured from poor rural regions to urban, border, and tourist areas through false offers of employment; many are beaten, threatened, and forced into prostitution. Sex tourism, including child sex tourism, appears to be growing, especially in tourist areas such as Acapulco and Cancun, and border towns like Tijuana; foreign pedophiles arrive most often from Western Europe and the United States. Organized criminal networks traffic women and girls from Mexico into the United States for commercial sexual exploitation. In a new trend, the trafficking of U.S.-resident children into Mexico for commercial sexual exploitation was reported during the last year. Trafficking in Mexico is frequently conflated with alien smuggling, although the same criminal networks are often involved.

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 of Mexico remains on Tier 2 Watch List for the fourth consecutive year based on future commitments of the government to undertake additional efforts in prosecution, protection, and prevention of trafficking in persons over the coming year. While solid efforts have been made in dedicating resources to anti-trafficking efforts and in investigating trafficking crimes, progress remains lacking in key areas such as indicting, convicting, and sentencing trafficking offenders and passing and enacting much-needed federal and state anti-trafficking legislation. A comprehensive federal anti-trafficking law is moving forward, however, and differing versions have been passed by each house of Mexico's Congress. The Mexican Senate is expected to vote later this year on the version approved by the Chamber of Deputies on April 26, 2007. In addition, the number of trafficking victims in Mexico is significant, and there are indications that it is increasing steadily. The phenomenon of child sex tourism also is on the rise. Mexico can advance its efforts to combat human trafficking by focusing additional resources on the problem, aggressively prosecuting traffickers, enhancing victim protection, confronting trafficking complicity by public officials, and improving anti-trafficking cooperation with neighboring countries.

Prosecution
The Government of Mexico increased efforts to investigate and prosecute human traffickers during the reporting period, but needs to pursue traffickers more vigorously by securing more convictions and sentences against them. Although final passage of federal anti-trafficking legislation is pending in the Mexican Senate, Mexican federal law does not currently prohibit the trafficking of adults for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, though disparate federal and state statutes are used to prosecute a variety of trafficking crimes. Article 201 of Mexico's federal penal code criminalizes the corruption of minors, child prostitution, and child pornography, prescribing penalties of up to 10 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and exceed penalties prescribed for other grave crimes. Article 365 criminalizes labor exploitation or servitude, prescribing a penalty of up to one year of imprisonment, which is not sufficiently stringent to deter acts of forced labor. While enacting a comprehensive federal law is critical for strengthening government capacity to combat human trafficking, state governments have played a significant role in advancing overall anti-trafficking efforts in Mexico. Federal jurisdiction is typically invoked in organized-crime cases; thus, state anti-trafficking laws are necessary for prosecuting cases on the local level. Mexico's 31 states and its federal district criminally prohibit different aspects of trafficking in persons. Three states - Michoacan (limited), Chihuahua, and Guerrero - passed specific anti-trafficking laws in 2006.

Last year, federal authorities initiated at least 13 trafficking investigations and secured one conviction and sentence in a major case where the defendant was extradited to the United States to stand trial for trafficking Mexican women and girls into prostitution in New York. While the number of trafficking convictions obtained last year in Mexico remained level with 2005, the government's efforts to investigate trafficking crimes increased from eight cases in 2005 to at least 13 cases in 2006. However, the government continues to experience difficulties and delay with pushing cases through the judicial system, and securing convictions and sentences against human traffickers. In one major case, six defendants - including a Mexican immigration official - were granted stays or released pending final sentencing, only to become fugitives from justice. Other trafficking investigations remain open despite years of examination, and other cases are not pursued because victims fear retribution from their traffickers, or are discouraged from pressing charges by police or family members. In 2006, the government investigated one case involving forced labor of Chinese nationals; however, no formal indictments have been issued to date. But the government increased investigations of foreign pedophiles and international and internet-based sex trafficking rings, and the federal police improved data collection on trafficking cases.

During the reporting period, the Mexican government cooperated with the United States government on a number of cross-border trafficking cases, some involving prosecutions in both countries. The Mexican government also requested and received extradition of a U.S. resident accused of operating a child prostitution ring in Cancun; he remains in a Mexican jail. Nonetheless, competing law-enforcement priorities and security concerns in the country, along with scarce government resources, have hampered criminal investigations against traffickers. Corruption among public officials, especially local law enforcement and immigration personnel, also continues to be a serious concern; some officials reportedly accept or extort bribes, discourage victim reporting, or turn a blind eye to human trafficking activity in brothels and other locales. The Government of Mexico can improve enforcement efforts by vigorously addressing complicity in trafficking by public officials.

Protection
The Mexican government sustained but did not improve on its modest level of victim protection over the last year. While there are no government-run shelters or services dedicated specifically to trafficking victims, Mexico's social welfare agency operates shelters that assist trafficking victims along with other victims of violence. The government also provides limited funding to anti-trafficking NGOs. Most foreign trafficking victims in Mexico continued to be deported, although the government in September 2006 authorized the issuance of renewable one-year humanitarian visas to victims who assist with the prosecution of their traffickers. So far, 11 trafficking victims have been given these visas. However, many victims in Mexico are reluctant to press their cases due to fear of retribution from their traffickers, many of whom are members of organized criminal networks. While government resources in this area may be limited, setting up a secure witness-protection program in human trafficking cases would help law enforcement to ensure the physical safety of trafficking victims, and guarantee their testimony at trial. Funding anti-trafficking NGOs with specific capacity would accomplish the same goal. In 2005, there were no reports of victims being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. However, some child victims of commercial sexual exploitation in Cancun reportedly were further sexually exploited by police upon detention. The government lacks procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as persons detained for prostitution or immigration violations. In addition, no formal mechanism exists for referring identified trafficking victims to specialized NGOs for care. Efforts to implement memoranda of understanding with Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador to repatriate undocumented migrants, including children and trafficking victims, continued to be incomplete.

Prevention
The government increased prevention efforts during the reporting period. High-level government officials continued to stress the need to fight trafficking. The government produced anti-trafficking literature, and sponsored seminars to raise public awareness about human trafficking. The Mexican Senate and the federal police launched anti-trafficking commercials and media campaigns. The government does not have a national action plan to combat human trafficking, although some government agencies have drafted their own. Some NGOs reported government resistance to collaborating on anti-trafficking initiatives and projects, especially on the federal level. Better collaboration is reported on the state level.

MOLDOVA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Moldova is a major source, and to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Moldovan women are trafficked to Turkey, Israel, the U.A.E., Ukraine, Russia, Cyprus, Greece, Albania, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Italy, France, Portugal, and Austria. Girls and young women are trafficked internally from rural areas to Chisinau. The small breakaway region of Transnistria in eastern Moldova is outside the central government's control and remained a significant source and transit area for trafficking in persons.

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. Moldova is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because it did not provide evidence that the government is addressing complicity in severe forms of trafficking by government officials. Trafficking corruption at all levels throughout the government continued unchecked during most of the reporting period. Throughout the year, specific reports surfaced of officials' complicity in trafficking, involving senior government officials, as well as border guards and police officers, though the government made no significant efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, or sentence these complicit officials. In August 2006, several government investigators, prosecutors and senior officials - including the deputy director of the Center to Combat Trafficking in Persons (CCTIP) - were dismissed from their jobs for assisting a prominent trafficker and his syndicate, but have not been prosecuted. The Government of Moldova should: vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence all public officials complicit in trafficking; fund the implementation of a new National Action Plan through its national committee on trafficking; increase resources devoted to victim assistance and protection; and boost proactive efforts to identify trafficking victims and investigate trafficking crimes.

Prosecution
The Government of Moldova showed modest improvement in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, with an increased number of trafficking investigations during the reporting period. Moldova prohibits trafficking for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor through Articles 165 and 206 of its criminal code, respectively. Penalties prescribed range from seven years to life imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those for other grave crimes. In 2006, authorities investigated 466 trafficking cases, up from 386 in 2005. The Government of Moldova did not provide prosecution data for 2006, however. Convictions were obtained against 71 traffickers in 2006, up from 58 convictions in 2005. Sentencing data for 2006 was inconclusive.

Protection
The government made no real efforts to improve victim assistance and protection in 2006, in part because of its limited resources. Despite implementation of a referral mechanism in five counties, most government officials were not proactive in identifying victims or potential victims, even when allegations were made. Police did refer some underage victims who were repatriated from Russia to NGOs for assistance. All victim assistance and protection continued to be provided by NGOs and international organizations and funded by foreign donors, although the government did provide limited in-kind support to some NGOs. The government in 2006 provided a new building for the IOM-managed and funded rehabilitation center for trafficking victims. Victims are granted a 30-day reflection period. Victims generally do not assist law enforcement with investigations or prosecutions because the government is largely unable to protect victims from retaliation by traffickers. Despite a 2005 law to the contrary, victims continued to be penalized for prostitution or illegal border crossing.

Prevention
Moldova's efforts to prevent trafficking remained weak in 2006. The government continued to rely on NGOs and international organizations to provide the majority of public awareness and education campaigns. Officers from CCTIP met with students and teachers at several schools in Chisinau and provided interviews to local media during the reporting period. Some government officials participated in radio programs discussing trafficking.

MONGOLIA (Tier 2)

Mongolia is a source country for women and men trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Trafficking reportedly has increased in Mongolia over the last few years but remains difficult to quantify. Most victims do not file police reports or approach NGOs. Mongolian girls and women are trafficked to People's Republic of China, Macau, and South Korea for commercial sexual exploitation. A significant number of North Koreans contract laborers in Mongolia are not free to leave their employment, raising strong concerns that their labor is compulsory. Some Mongolian women who enter into marriages with foreign husbands - mainly South Koreans - discovered conditions of involuntary servitude after moving to their husbands' homeland. Underage girls are trafficked internally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Mongolia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Mongolia should increase its efforts to combat trafficking in persons, particularly through law enforcement means. The government should ensure that it has the legal tools to prosecute all trafficking offenses, including those which occur through fraud or coercion.

Prosecution
The Government of Mongolia's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts did not improve over the reporting period. Mongolia appears to prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons through Section 113 of its criminal code, with prescribed penalties of 10 to 15 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. Over the last year, the government did not prosecute any trafficking offenses or convict any trafficking offenders, a decline from five cases prosecuted and one trafficker convicted during the previous year. Twelve cases of trafficking involving 25 victims were investigated by police during the year. Prosecution efforts are hampered by the paucity of victims filing police complaints, as well as by the fact that State prosecutors do not pursue some cases presented to them by the police. Legal changes are under consideration that would help ensure the effective prosecution of trafficking crimes. While there were reports that some law enforcement officials may have facilitated trafficking crimes, there were no documented cases of such facilitation and no investigations or prosecutions of officials for complicity in trafficking.

Protection
The Mongolian government sustained efforts to protect victims of trafficking over the last year. Although the government does not run or fund shelters for victims of trafficking, Mongolian authorities refer identified victims to protection services provided by NGOs. Victims are encouraged to participate in the investigation of traffickers. The government ensures that identified victims of trafficking are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government continued to provide assistance to child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, through a police program that encourages their re-entry into school. In 2006, the government announced plans to open a consulate in Macau in order to provide services to Mongolian nationals, including those who have become victims of trafficking in the Macau Special Administrative Region. The government began cooperation with the IOM on a program to assist with repatriation of victims and to provide counseling and other services.

Prevention
The Mongolian government continued efforts to raise public awareness of trafficking by conducting an anti-trafficking campaign throughout the year. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued its distribution of information on trafficking to consular officers serving overseas. Mongolia has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

MONTENEGRO (Tier 2)

Montenegro is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls trafficked within the country and transnationally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women and girls from Ukraine, Lithuania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Russia, and Serbia were trafficked to Montenegro for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Montenegro does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Montenegro became independent in 2006, dissolving the former State Union of Serbia and Montenegro. In past years, Montenegro's activities were reported separately from that of Serbia, but the State Union was ranked as a whole on the aggregate level of its efforts to combat trafficking. The government should make additional efforts to identify, arrest, and prosecute traffickers and police officers who protect trafficking operations. The government should continue educating law enforcement officers on recognizing trafficking cases, since the special anti-trafficking team was eliminated in early 2007 as part of an overall plan to reorganize the police. The government plans to name a senior police officer to assume responsibility for coordinating anti-trafficking activities. The government should make greater efforts to prosecute and convict police officials who are involved in trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Montenegro demonstrated some discernable progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Montenegro prohibits sex and labor trafficking through Article 444 of its criminal code. Penalties for trafficking are sufficiently stringent, and penalties for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape. The government routinely provided data on arrests, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences in trafficking cases in 2006, both periodically (including press releases) as monthly reports, and as an annual summary. Eight persons, in two cases, were convicted of trafficking in persons offenses in 2006. Three persons were convicted of attempting to traffic Bangladeshi nationals to Western Europe through Montenegro for labor exploitation. Sentences imposed on the three were: three years' imprisonment; two years and eight months' imprisonment; and two years and six months' imprisonment. Law enforcement officials currently are investigating other suspected trafficking cases. The government provides extensive training to police, prosecutors, judges, and other officials on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute trafficking. In cooperation with the Italian government, the Government of Montenegro drafted a Manual for Training Judges and Prosecutors. The government provided training on trafficking to police of all ranks. In 2007, as part of a reorganization effort, Montenegro eliminated the police special anti-trafficking team and its officers were assigned other duties. Low-level corruption among police and customs officials who unofficially provide security to nightclubs or bars that serve as trafficking outlets allows some traffickers to evade law enforcement efforts.

Protection
The Government of Montenegro demonstrated increased efforts to protect and assist victims of trafficking. The Montenegrin government did not demonstrate use of a systematic effort to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, such as foreigners found in prostitution or detained for immigration violations. It did, however, encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes, though few cases were actually developed in the last year. Occasionally this encouragement may amount to excessive pressure on victims. Victims may file civil suits against traffickers, but this has not yet occurred. Montenegro issues temporary residence permits for foreign victims of trafficking for up to one year at a time; if necessary, victims are resettled to third countries. Victims are not detained, prosecuted, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The Government provides adequate protection, shelter, and care for victims. There are two shelters for victims of trafficking, one run by an NGO and the second by IOM. The Government of Montenegro fully funds the NGO shelter and provides police security.

Prevention
The Government of Montenegro continued support activities aimed at the prevention of trafficking in persons. The government maintains an informative Web site on its anti-trafficking efforts. A government-funded NGO maintains a hotline for potential victims of trafficking. Montenegro collaborates with international organizations in raising awareness of trafficking. The government also supports anti-trafficking educational programs in the public schools.

MOROCCO (Tier 1)

Morocco is a source country for children trafficked internally for the purposes of domestic servitude and, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation. Morocco is also a source, transit and destination country for women and men trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Young Moroccan girls from rural areas are recruited to work as child maids in cities, but often face conditions of involuntary servitude, including restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Moroccan boys and girls are exploited in prostitution within the country and are increasingly victims of a growing child sex tourism problem. Moroccan girls and women are trafficked internally and to Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Syria, the U.A.E., Cyprus, and European countries for commercial sexual exploitation. In addition, men and women from sub-Saharan Africa, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Pakistan often enter Morocco voluntarily, but illegally, with the assistance of smugglers. Once in Morocco, some women are coerced into commercial sexual exploitation to pay off smuggling debts, while men may be forced into involuntary servitude.

The Government of Morocco fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Morocco continues to prosecute child sex trafficking crimes, and in January 2007 it initiated a public awareness campaign to educate Moroccans about the consequences of employing child maids. The Secretary of State for Family, Solidarity, and the Handicapped announced a National Plan of Action for Children for 2006-2015 to protect children from mistreatment, violence, and exploitation by creating child protection units around the country. The government, however, did not investigate or prosecute any abusive employers for forced child domestic labor. In addition, the government did not take serious steps to increase law enforcement efforts against the commercial sexual exploitation of adults and foreign women. The government should utilize existing laws to increase prosecutions of those who traffic both adults and minors for forced prostitution and involuntary servitude and should increase law enforcement efforts against the commercial sexual exploitation of children and foreign women.

Prosecution
The Government of Morocco made uneven progress in its prosecution of traffickers and corrupt officials over the last year. While Morocco does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, its penal code prohibits forced child labor through Article 467, forced labor through Article 10, and forced prostitution and prostitution of a minor through Articles 497-499. The Moroccan government reports that it also employs the Immigration Law of 2003 and other statutes, such as those prohibiting kidnapping, fraud, and coercion, to prosecute trafficking offenses. Penalties under these various statutes appear to be sufficiently stringent, and those for sex trafficking are commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. In 2006, the government prosecuted 170 cases of inciting a minor into prostitution and convicted 134 traffickers; Morocco did not provide data regarding the sentences imposed on the convicted traffickers. The government did not report prosecuting any cases concerning the involuntary domestic servitude of children or the forced prostitution of adults. Morocco reported dismantling more than 350 "trafficking rings;" however, the government makes no distinction between migrant smuggling and trafficking, so it is difficult to determine how many of these rights were actually engaged in trafficking. The government convicted three police officers for trafficking offenses in northern Morocco. Sentences for these convicted officers ranged from a two months' suspended prison sentence with a fine to four years' imprisonment. In addition, two Casablanca port police officers were charged with organizing a criminal gang to facilitate trafficking.

Protection
Morocco made some progress in its overall efforts to protect victims of trafficking over the last year. Some victims are encouraged to assist in the investigation of their traffickers, but the government does not offer foreign victims legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Moreover, Morocco does not attempt to identify systematically trafficking victims among vulnerable people, such as foreign women arrested for prostitution and illegal migrants; as a result, potential victims may be detained, jailed or deported without being offered protection. The government continues to work with international agencies to train officials posted in destination or transit countries on trafficking victim identification and victim sensitivity.

Prevention
Morocco improved its efforts to prevent trafficking over the reporting period. In January, the government, working closely with NGOs, initiated a public awareness campaign to educate Moroccans about the rights of child domestic servants through TV, radio, and brochures. The government also continued to collaborate with the governments of Spain and Italy, as well as other EU countries, to prevent the illegal migration and trafficking of sub-Saharan Africans, Asians, and Moroccans to Europe. The government did not, however, show significant efforts to raise public awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation of children and women in major cities, especially tourist areas. Morocco has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

MOZAMBIQUE (Tier 2 Watch List)

Mozambique is a source and possibly a destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. The use of forced and bonded child laborers is a common practice in Mozambique's rural areas, often with the complicity of family members. Women and girls are trafficked from rural to urban areas of Mozambique, as well as to South Africa, for domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation in brothels; young men and boys are trafficked to South Africa for farm work and mining. Trafficked Mozambicans often labor for months in South Africa without pay before "employers" have them arrested and deported as illegal immigrants. Traffickers are typically part of small networks of Mozambican and/or South African citizens; however, involvement of larger Chinese and Nigerian syndicates has been reported. Zimbabwean women and girls are likely trafficked to Mozambique for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude.

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. Mozambique is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons over the last year. To further its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should prosecute and convict arrested traffickers; ensure the passage of anti-trafficking legislation; launch a public awareness campaign; and investigate and prosecute public officials suspected of accepting bribes to overlook trafficking crimes or free traffickers.

Prosecution
While Mozambique took steps toward the passage of anti-trafficking legislation during the reporting period, concrete law enforcement efforts decreased. Mozambique does not prohibit any form of trafficking in persons, though its penal code includes at least 13 articles under which trafficking cases can be charged. Nevertheless, there were no prosecutions or convictions of traffickers in 2006. In March 2007, the Ministry of Justice presented to Parliament a framework law on child protection that provides comprehensive guidelines for future laws concerning the sale and trafficking of children. The Ministry also finished drafting a comprehensive law against human trafficking that contains specific provisions on prevention, prosecution, and protection. In early 2007, the Ministry and a local NGO conducted a series of three forums in the northern, central, and southern parts of the country that allowed for public debate of the draft law. Many lower-ranking police and border control agents are believed to accept bribes from traffickers, severely hindering Mozambique's prosecution efforts. Police reported breaking up several trafficking schemes, arresting several drivers and facilitators, but not the traffickers behind the operations. For example, in February 2007, police stopped a bus driver in Manica attempting to transport 24 undocumented Mozambicans across the border into South Africa; the distinction between smuggling and trafficking could not be made at that point in the transport process. The Ministry of Interior, with support from UNICEF, conducted anti-trafficking training for more than 70 police officers in Gaza, Tete, and Zambezia provinces.

Protection
The government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking continued to suffer from a lack of resources; government officials regularly relied on NGOs to provide shelter, food, counseling, and rehabilitation for victims of trafficking. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, and it did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked. During the reporting period, the Kulaya Healing Center in the government-run Maputo Central Hospital assisted trafficking victims with medical care and counseling. In 2006, the Ministry of Interior expanded from 96 to 151 the number of police stations with offices dedicated to women and children victimized by violence; these offices registered complaints and filed reports of trafficking crimes before turning victims over to NGOs for care. During the year, these offices received 47 human trafficking cases, some involving multiple victims, from NGOs and, occasionally, from police. Police officers reportedly returned victims to their homes. In May, a local NGO opened the country's first permanent shelter for child trafficking victims, which was constructed on land donated by the Moamba District government.

Prevention
The government's prevention efforts remained weak. Most anti-trafficking educational workshops were run by NGOs with government participation. During the year, law enforcement officials publicized several trafficking cases and government-owned media outlets covered such stories.

NEPAL (Tier 2)

Nepal is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Children are trafficked internally and to India and the Middle East for commercial sexual exploitation or forced marriage, as well as to India and within the country for involuntary servitude as child soldiers, domestic servants, and circus entertainment or factory workers. Nepalese women are trafficked to India and to countries of the Middle East for commercial sexual exploitation. They also migrate willingly - though sometimes illegally - to Malaysia, Israel, South Korea, the United States, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and other Gulf states to work as domestic servants, but some subsequently face conditions of involuntary servitude such as withholding of passports and other restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Despite the Government of Nepal's ban on traveling to Iraq for work, some Nepalese who believe they are being offered jobs in Jordan or Kuwait travel there, and then are later deceived and trafficked into involuntary servitude in Iraq.

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. Effective implementation of anti-trafficking policies is hampered by political instability and limited resources. The absence of local government in rural areas as a result of the decade-long insurgency has increased the risk of trafficking while constraining the government's efficiency. Despite these limitations, Nepal maintained its efforts to prosecute sex trafficking offenses and expanded local Women's Police Cells to 24 stations. The government, however, was not able to adequately fund or staff the Women's Cells, limiting their effectiveness. Nepal also did not demonstrate a concerted effort to criminally prosecute and adequately punish labor recruiters who use deceptive practices to force workers into involuntary servitude abroad.

Prosecution
Nepal made significant efforts to prosecute cases of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation this year, but made inadequate progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking for involuntary servitude. Nepal does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, but prohibits slavery, the selling of human beings, and forced prostitution through its Human Trafficking Control Act of 1986. Prescribed punishments under this law - 5 to 20 years' imprisonment - are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. Fraudulent or deceptive labor recruitment is punishable by three to five years' imprisonment or a fine or both. From July 15, 2005 through July 14, 2006, Nepal filed a total of 393 sex trafficking cases at the district, appellate and Supreme Court levels. Of these cases, 87 were prosecuted to conviction, 60 persons were acquitted, and 246 cases are pending. The government does not keep records on sentences and fines, but NGO lawyers report that, in over half of the cases the government prosecuted, traffickers received the maximum prison sentence. Nepal did not report any cases filed against corrupt government officials who may have facilitated trafficking by taking bribes at the India-Nepal border or engaging in document fraud.

The government demonstrated only slight progress in adequately punishing labor recruiters who use deceptive recruitment practices to coerce Nepali workers abroad for labor exploitation. This reporting period, the government reported receiving 786 complaints against agencies and individual recruiters, canceling licenses for 116 manpower agencies, and ordering compensation to workers totaling $450,000. However, Nepal did not report any prison sentences imposed on agency owners or employees found to be engaging in labor trafficking through the use of deceptive or fraudulent recruitment practices. Nepal should expand efforts to vigorously investigate and adequately punish recruitment agency owners and employees believed to be involved in trafficking, and should improve its law enforcement efforts against corrupt officials facilitating trafficking.

Protection
Nepal made modest improvements in its efforts to protect victims of trafficking. The government expanded the number of Women's Police Cells operating throughout the country from 20 to 24 in 22 districts to assist trafficking victims. Although the government does not directly provide legal aid, limited funding is provided to local NGOs to provide trafficking victims assistance with rehabilitation, medical care, and other services. Victims are not punished, but foreign victims are not offered legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Though Nepal encourages victims to assist in investigations against their traffickers, lack of government resources and measures to ensure witness safety against threats by traffickers, as well as discrimination in court and in society, often discourage victims from pursuing legal recourse. The government does not provide victim protection services for men and women trafficked abroad for involuntary servitude. NGOs indicate that Nepalese embassies overseas lack personnel and other resources to help trafficking victims who face involuntary servitude in foreign countries. The government should increase protection efforts for victims of involuntary servitude by assisting in their repatriation, and adequately training government officials posted in destination countries on methods of identifying and protecting trafficking victims.

Prevention
Nepal's measures to prevent trafficking improved only slightly since last year. The government continued to implement anti-trafficking information campaigns in conjunction with local NGOs, and maintained orientation sessions for all workers traveling overseas. The effectiveness of these orientation sessions, however, is limited since this requirement is only enforced on workers going abroad legally through registered agencies, some of whom chose not to receive the training. The government should put in place a more effective education program and develop mechanisms to prevent trafficking of women and girls across the porous Indo-Nepal border. Nepal has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

THE NETHERLANDS (Tier 1)

The Netherlands is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and girls trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is more prevalent than labor trafficking. Internally, women and girls are trafficked by "lover boys," young men who seduce young women and girls and force them into prostitution. Women and girls are trafficked to the Netherlands from Nigeria, Bulgaria, People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), Poland, and Romania for sexual exploitation. To a smaller extent, men are trafficked to the Netherlands from India, P.R.C., Bangladesh and Turkey for forced labor in ports, factories, restaurants, and as domestic workers.

The Government of the Netherlands fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued strong efforts to address trafficking through law enforcement efforts, while reinforcing legal protections for victims and carrying out aggressive prevention campaigns. To further strengthen its anti-trafficking response, the government should reinforce its efforts to prosecute labor trafficking cases, provide specialized care to male trafficking victims, and conduct systematic screenings of the legalized prostitution sector for potential trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Government of the Netherlands continued to show substantial law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking. Since January 2005, the Netherlands has prohibited all forms of trafficking through Criminal Code Article 273. This statute prescribes penalties for any form of trafficking of 6 to 15 years' imprisonment and a fine of up to $45,000; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for forcible sexual assault. In 2005, the last year for which statistics are available, police investigated and referred 135 trafficking cases for prosecution. The government prosecuted 146 trafficking cases in 2005, obtaining convictions in 98 of the cases. However, the average prison sentence imposed was 25 months. The government failed to prosecute any labor trafficking cases in 2005, but is currently prosecuting four. In February 2007, the government dismantled two sex trafficking networks - a major international Turkish ring and a Romanian operation.

Protection
The government demonstrated increased efforts to protect trafficking victims. The Dutch Foundation against Trafficking in Women (STV), the national reporting center for registration of and assistance to trafficking victims, registered 333 trafficking victims in the first eight months of 2006, compared to 261 victims in the same period of 2005. Local governments continued to fund the majority of private organizations and NGOs providing services to trafficking victims. However, neither the government nor NGOs provided shelters for male victims. The Netherlands encourages victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. The government subsidizes the STV and funds NGOs to operate 15 regional and local networks through which civil society and the police provide care for victims. In early 2007, the government implemented new regulations to facilitate legal permanent residence for trafficking victims who assist with prosecutions. Trafficking victims who choose not to assist with a prosecution are eligible for a residence permit if they believe they will face hardship or retribution upon return to their country. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or penalized for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Netherlands demonstrated strong trafficking awareness-raising efforts during the year. The government continued to fund a national awareness campaign to reduce sex trafficking, launched in January 2006. Administered by the country's anonymous crime reporting hotline, the campaign is largely responsible for the increase to 152 tips on sex trafficking cases received by the hotline in 2006 compared with 42 received in 2005. Throughout 2006, the government continued to fund information and education campaigns at schools to prevent youth prostitution. In 2007, the government launched a national campaign that warned female high school students about "lover boy" practices. The Ministry of Justice initiated a national assessment of the prostitution sector, including the extent of trafficking, as part of a report to Parliament on the impact of the lifting of the ban on brothels. It is due in April 2007.

NEW ZEALAND (Tier 1)

New Zealand is a source country for the internal trafficking of a small number of women within the country for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Additionally, New Zealand is a destination country for a significant number of foreign women from Malaysia, Hong Kong, People's Republic of China, and other countries in Asia, who are illegally in the commercial sex trade. Some of these women may be trafficking victims. Estimates of international trafficking victims are modest; there have been reports of debt bondage and confiscation of documents among women in prostitution.

The Government of New Zealand fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government actively works to investigate and prevent illegal migration and trafficking through the work of its overseas missions, as well as border screening and police enforcement at home. It has also initiated a process to develop a National Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons and is currently working to finalize the plan and solicit input from NGOs. That plan will build public understanding and support for the investigative, prevention, and enforcement activities undertaken by the New Zealand government. The government continued to ensure that short-term shelter, witness protection, medical services, and repatriation assistance would be available to victims of trafficking. The government also demonstrated sustained efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. The government should expeditiously adopt and enact the National Plan of Action. In addition, law enforcement should seek through the Action Plan increased collaboration with civil society groups to gather information on brothels employing foreign women and to conduct investigations to determine if they include victims of trafficking. The government should increase efforts to measure the extent to which foreign women and children under the age of 18 may fall victim to sex trafficking, aggressively prosecute cases and ensure that traffickers receive sentences consistent with the heinous nature of the offense, and increase efforts to prosecute and convict those who profit from this trade or exploit minors.

Prosecution
The Government of New Zealand continued law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking in persons. New Zealand prohibits sex trafficking and labor trafficking through Part 5 of the 1961 Crimes Act. The 2003 Prostitution Reform Act legalized prostitution for those over the age of 18 and also decriminalized solicitation. Other laws criminalize receiving financial gain from an act involving children exploited in prostitution and prohibit child sex tourism. Penalties prescribed for trafficking are sufficiently stringent, and penalties for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, ranging up to 20 years' imprisonment, are commensurate with those for rape. While there have been no prosecutions under New Zealand's anti-trafficking law, which requires movement across an international border, instances of internal trafficking can be prosecuted under New Zealand's laws on forced labor, slavery, other forms of abuse, and the Prostitution Reform Act. In 2006, eight people were prosecuted and convicted on charges under the Prostitution Reform Act for offenses relating to prostitution of persons less than 18 years of age. In addition, three brothel operators and one client were prosecuted and convicted for the use of persons under age 18 in prostitution. One brothel owner was sentenced to 21 months' imprisonment; another brothel owner was sentenced to 300 hours of community service, and his secretary to 180 hours of community service; the client was sentenced to one to two years' imprisonment. These penalties were inadequate. There is no evidence of public officials' complicity in trafficking in New Zealand.

Protection
The Government of New Zealand continues to ensure that short-term shelter, witness protection, medical services, and repatriation assistance are available to victims of trafficking. The government solicits the cooperation of victims as long as it does not jeopardize the success of proceedings. The government reports that a system is in place to evaluate victim status on a case-by-case basis. Temporary permits, including limited purpose permits, can be provided to victims of trafficking in individual cases. There were no reports of trafficked victims who were jailed, fined, or deported. There are several services available for minors involved in or at risk of commercial sexual exploitation. New Zealand funds protection programs in Indonesia, the Philippines, and the UN Inter-Agency Project (UNIAP) on trafficking in the Mekong Sub-region.

Prevention
The Government of New Zealand demonstrated sustained efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. The government remained active in several regional and international efforts to prevent, monitor, and control trafficking. The government assists with initiatives undertaken by ECPAT to educate travel agents about legislation and awareness of child sex tourism. The government's foreign assistance agency, NZAID, continued providing substantial resources to source countries and international organizations for capacity building, prevention, and services for victims of trafficking.

NICARAGUA (Tier 2)

Nicaragua is principally a source country for women and children trafficked internally and across borders for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Exploitation of minors in prostitution is believed to be the most prevalent form of internal trafficking. Some Nicaraguan victims are trafficked to neighboring countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica, Mexico, and the United States; El Salvador and Guatemala are the primary foreign destinations for young Nicaraguan women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation. Young men from border areas in southern Nicaragua also are trafficked to Costa Rica for labor exploitation; some Nicaraguan children are trafficked internally for forced labor as domestic servants. The government acknowledges that human trafficking for sexual exploitation and child sex tourism are significant problems; both phenomena appear to be growing in Nicaragua, especially in border towns and tourist destinations.

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. During the reporting period, the government took strong steps to prevent human trafficking by sponsoring high-profile media and education campaigns, and expanding anti-trafficking training for police personnel nationwide. In the coming year, Nicaragua should intensify its law enforcement efforts to prosecute, convict, and sentence human traffickers, especially in light of an increasing number of victims trafficked within the country. The government should also make every effort to bring its new anti-trafficking law into force, and continue to work closely with NGOs to improve victim services. Any identified acts of public complicity with human trafficking should be vigorously investigated, and any such corrupt officials should be prosecuted and punished to the full extent of the law.

Prosecution
The Government of Nicaragua increased efforts to investigate human trafficking during the reporting period, although its progress in bringing traffickers to justice remained uneven. Nicaragua does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though it criminalizes trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation through Article 203 of its criminal code, which prescribes punishments of three to five years' imprisonment, penalties which are sufficiently stringent. In April 2006, the National Assembly passed a bill, which will be codified as Article 182 of the Nicaraguan penal code, to prohibit trafficking in persons for the purpose of sexual exploitation, in addition to other sex-related crimes such as child pornography and the sexual exploitation of minors younger than 18. However, these new laws are not yet in force because they must be passed by the Legislature as part of a larger package of penal code reforms. Nicaragua's proposed anti-trafficking law, Article 182, prescribes penalties of 7 to 10 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent, and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. However, current and proposed laws do not adequately prohibit the trafficking of adults or children for forced labor. During the reporting period, the government investigated 24 trafficking cases, all involving sexual exploitation - a three-fold increase from seven known investigations reported in 2005. Of these, the government prosecuted four cases, obtaining convictions of five defendants who were sentenced to a range of 4 to 10 years' imprisonment. However, the government experienced difficulties in other cases. For example, in a prosecution in Bluefields, a judge convicted two of three defendants for trafficking a 15-year-old girl, but the defendants fled before their jail sentences were imposed. Additional training for judges and prosecutors would likely aid prosecution efforts.

In 2006, the government rescued seven Nicaraguan children from trafficking situations in Guatemala and El Salvador. Police also raided 22 nightclubs and other establishments catering to Nicaragua's sex trade in an effort to rescue exploited children. However, there were reports that some police turned a blind eye to potential trafficking activity. Known corruption in the court system and lack of witness protection may deter some trafficking victims from seeking justice. Credible evidence also indicates that sensitive sex trafficking cases involving senior government officials may not be investigated or pursued. In 2006, Nicaraguan authorities made concerted efforts to extend anti-trafficking training to more than 700 law-enforcement officials across the country. However, the recent resignation of Nicaragua's director of anti-trafficking programs is of concern; her strong commitment to combating human trafficking led the government's actions on this issue.

Protection
The government's protection efforts remained inadequate during the reporting period. Nicaraguan authorities continued to rely on NGOs and international organizations for the bulk of victim services, although the Ministry of the Family operates a shelter for child victims of abuse and commercial sexual exploitation. There are no government-run or -financed shelters for adult victims of trafficking. Social stigma and anti-victim bias may be discouraging some victims from assisting in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, although Nicaraguan authorities do not prevent victims from doing so. Greater support services for victims and sensitization campaigns (especially for judges, police, and prosecutors) would help in this area. There were no reports of victims being jailed or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked Nicaragua has no formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as persons detained for immigration violations. The government does not provide temporary or permanent residency or other relief from deportation for foreign adult victims of trafficking.

Prevention
The government increased efforts to raise public awareness during the reporting period. High-level government officials, including the newly-elected vice president, have condemned human trafficking; the vice president was a key player in moving anti-trafficking legislation before the National Assembly. The government also worked closely with international organizations and the Ricky Martin Foundation to launch a broad anti-trafficking education campaign and a 24-hour anti-trafficking hotline in November 2006; the government provides resources and personnel to operate the hotline. Within two months of operation, 690 calls related to child trafficking were received. The government continued to sponsor an anti-child trafficking education program in Granada, a suspected site of child sex tourism. The government also installed closed-circuit televisions to show anti-trafficking videos at immigration centers in Managua; the government estimates these videos reach 1,000 travelers per day during peak periods.

NIGER (Tier 2)

Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked within Niger for forced begging, domestic servitude, mine labor, sexual exploitation, and possibly for agricultural labor. Nigerien children are also subjected to commercial sexual exploitation along the border with Nigeria and are trafficked to Nigeria and Mali for forced begging and manual labor. Women and children from Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Togo are trafficked to and through Niger for domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, and forced labor in mines, on farms, and as mechanics and welders. Nigerien women and children are trafficked from Niger to North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Caste-based slavery practices rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships continue in isolated areas of the country. At least 8,800 Nigeriens live in conditions of traditional slavery.

The Government of Niger does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. The Nigerien government increased its modest anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and drafted an improved trafficking law. To strengthen its response to trafficking, Niger should pass its draft legislation against trafficking, strengthen efforts to prosecute traffickers and slaveholders, provide increased care to former slaves, and adopt its draft national action plans to combat slavery and trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Niger increased its law enforcement efforts against trafficking and slavery in the last year. Niger prohibits slavery through its 2003 Article 270 Penal Code amendment, but does not prohibit other forms of trafficking. The prescribed penalty of 10-30 years' imprisonment for slavery is sufficiently stringent. The government in 2006 drafted a law against trafficking, which awaits submission to the Council of Ministers. Although Niger convicted two individuals for enslavement, their imposed sentences, 18 months and one year respectively, were insufficient, although a significant fine of $2,800 was also imposed on one of them. Two slavery prosecutions are pending, one of which has been stalled since 2005. Police arrested nine individuals in Agadez for trafficking 38 children. Six were charged with enslavement, four of whom were later released due to lack of grounds for prosecution. The remaining two are in custody awaiting trial. Police arrested nine additional individuals in Agadez for trafficking of 17 children, but released them after they made a statement of repentance.

Protection
The government demonstrated increased efforts to provide care for trafficking victims during the year, but provided weak protection to former slaves. Local authorities rescued 38 victims and referred them to UNICEF and NGOs to ensure that they received rehabilitation and intercepted an additional 17 foreign victims whom they referred to NGOs and UNICEF for repatration. The Education Ministry provided and paid education inspectors and teachers to participate in a foreign-funded community school project for trafficking victims and the Labor Ministry paid labor inspectors to provide counseling to employers, children and parents. No government programs targeted the needs of former slaves. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking or slavery investigations or prosecutions. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Niger made solid efforts to raise awareness about trafficking and slavery during the reporting period. The government conducted a public awareness campaign against child abuse, which included anti-trafficking elements. Niger continued to collaborate with a foreign donor to air an educational radio soap opera about trafficking. Several government ministries advised on the cultural content of the soap opera to most effectively communicate the message to a Nigerien audience and the Ministry of Communications publicized the soap opera on community radio. Local officials denounced the practice of trafficking in press interviews. The government established a National Commission Against Forced Labor and Discrimination in November 2006. In December 2006, Nigeria and Niger drafted a bilateral agreement to combat trafficking to be signed in 2007. Niger drafted a national action plan against trafficking and, in conjunction with ILO and a foreign donor, drafted a plan to combat forced labor linked to slavery, though the government has yet to formally adopt either plan.

NIGERIA (Tier 2)

Nigeria is a source, transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Within Nigeria, women and girls are primarily trafficked for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation and boys for forced begging by religious teachers, forced street hawking, and labor exploitation in agriculture, mining, stone quarries, and as domestic labor. Transnationally, women, girls, and boys are trafficked to Nigeria from other West and Central African countries and from Nigeria to neighboring countries for the same purposes listed above. Nigerian women and girls are also trafficked to North Africa, Saudi Arabia, and Europe, most notably Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, and Norway, and in small numbers to the United States, for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation.

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. The Nigerian government continues to show a clear commitment to anti-trafficking reforms. To improve its response to trafficking, Nigeria should: increase convictions of trafficking offenders; provide improved care for trafficking victims; offer expanded legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution; and ensure that the rights of foreign victims are respected.

Prosecution
The Government of Nigeria continued to combat trafficking through modest law enforcement efforts during the last year. Nigeria prohibits all forms of trafficking through its 2003 Trafficking in Persons Law Enforcement and Administration Act, which was amended in 2005 to increase penalties for traffickers, and its 2003 Child Rights Act. Prescribed penalties of five years' imprisonment for labor trafficking, 10 years' imprisonment for trafficking children for forced begging or hawking, and a maximum of life imprisonment for sex trafficking are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape. During the last year, the government reported 81 trafficking investigations, 23 prosecutions, and three convictions. Sentences imposed on traffickers were inadequate, however. Two convicted traffickers received two years' imprisonment, while the third was sentenced to only one year in prison. Two of the convictions were for sex trafficking, while the third was for child trafficking for forced begging. Responding to reports of authorities issuing fraudulent travel documentation, the government in September 2006 replaced its documentation staff and is prosecuting the suspects for fraud.

Protection
The Government of Nigeria demonstrated steady efforts to protect trafficking victims during the year. NAPTIP continued to provide victims with short-term care in shelters in Lagos, Abuja, Benin City, Sokoto, Kano and Uyo, assisting 352 victims during the year. Although the government doubled its funding for anti-trafficking efforts in the last year, NAPTIP shelters are often short on food supplies and provide insufficient victim reintegration assistance. NAPTIP sometimes refers victims to UNICEF, IOM, or NGOs for reintegration assistance. The government encourages victims to assist in trafficking investigations by providing foreign victims with short-term residency and care and by routinely requesting victims' testimony against traffickers. Nigeria provides a limited legal alternative to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution - short-term residency that cannot be extended. Although victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, the government places foreign victims in shelters under guard until they are repatriated.

Prevention
The Government of Nigeria demonstrated solid efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. NAPTIP continued to host quarterly trafficking stakeholder forums for government, NGO, international organization and donor representatives. The government continued to raise awareness about trafficking through posters, public forums, and radio and television spots. One campaign, for example, included billboards outside major airports and radio jingles. In 2006, Nigeria developed a national action plan against trafficking, which awaits presidential approval.

NORTH KOREA (Tier 3)

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K. or North Korea) is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Many North Koreans seeking to escape the dire conditions in country attempt to leave by crossing the border into Northeast China, where tens of thousands of North Koreans may reside illegally, more than half of whom are women. The illegal status of North Koreans in the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) and other Southeast Asian countries increases their vulnerability to trafficking schemes and sexual and physical abuse. In the most common form of trafficking, North Korean women and children who voluntarily cross the border into P.R.C. are picked up by trafficking rings and sold as brides to P.R.C. nationals, usually of Korean ethnicity, or placed in forced labor. In a less common form of trafficking, North Korean women and girls are lured out of North Korea by the promise of food, jobs, and freedom, only to be forced into prostitution, marriage, or exploitative labor arrangements once in P.R.C. The D.P.R.K.'s system of political repression includes forced labor in a network of prison camps, where an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 persons are incarcerated and subjected to reeducation through labor by logging, mining, and tending crops. Critics of the regime and some North Koreans forcibly returned from abroad may be subjected to hard labor in prison camps operated by the government.

The D.P.R.K. regime recruits an unknown number of its citizens to fill highly sought-after jobs overseas for D.P.R.K. entities and foreign firms. While there is no evidence of force, fraud, or coercion in the recruiting process, some reports indicate that some North Koreans may be employed in harsh conditions, with their freedom of movement and communication restricted, and their salaries deposited into accounts controlled by the D.P.R.K. government. Countries in which North Koreans work through such arrangements reportedly included Russia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Romania, Libya, Bulgaria, Saudi Arabia, Angola, Mongolia, Kuwait, Yemen, Iraq, and the P.R.C. In January 2007, the Czech Ministry of Interior announced the elimination of its program for North Korean workers. All North Koreans will have left the Czech Republic by the end of 2007, when their work visas expire.

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. The government does not acknowledge the existence of human rights abuses in the country or recognize trafficking, either within the country or transnationally. The D.P.R.K. does not differentiate between trafficking and other forms of illegal border crossing. The government directly contributes to the problem through the operation of forced labor prison camps, where thousands of North Koreans continued to live in slave-like conditions, receiving little food and no medical assistance. There are concerns that North Korea's contract labor arrangements may be exploitative, with the D.P.R.K. government keeping most or all of the foreign exchange paid and then paying workers in local, nonconvertible currency.

Prosecution
The D.P.R.K. made no discernable efforts to combat trafficking in persons through law enforcement efforts. Little information is available on North Korea's legal system, and there are no known laws that specifically address trafficking of adults. Article 50 of the Penal Code criminalizes the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children. However, there were no reported prosecutions or convictions during the reporting period. The Penal Code criminalizes crossing the border without permission and defections; these laws are used against both traffickers and trafficking victims. There are no known laws that specifically address trafficking for labor exploitation. The government sends political prisoners and criminals to detention camps where they are forced to engage in labor. Fair and transparent trials do not occur in the D.P.R.K. It is therefore unclear under what provisions of the law, if any, traffickers are prosecuted. Defector reports include instances of the government punishing traffickers; however, NGO reports indicate that these cases may include activists or "professional border crossers" who assist North Koreans voluntarily cross the border into the P.R.C. It appears that crackdowns on trafficking networks occur as a result of the government's desire to control all activity within its borders rather than to combat trafficking in persons.

Protection
The D.P.R.K. government does not recognize trafficking victims and made no efforts to provide protection or assistance to victims. There is no evidence that the government attempts to seek out evidence of trafficking, nor does the government appear to differentiate between trafficking, smuggling, illegal economic migration, or defection. North Koreans forcibly repatriated from P.R.C., some of whom may be trafficking victims, may be jailed and forced into prison labor camps. One of the government's top priorities is to control all activities within its borders and prevent people from leaving the country without permission; protecting individuals from mistreatment, exploitation, and retribution are not government priorities.

Prevention
The North Korean government does not acknowledge the existence of human rights problems, including trafficking in persons. There was no information available indicating that the government operated, administered, or promoted any public awareness campaigns related to trafficking in the country. Although a few international NGOs, staffed by both national and international employees, are permitted to operate in the country under close government scrutiny, there are no known indigenous NGOs in the country. North Korea has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

NORWAY (Tier 1)

Norway is a destination country for women from Nigeria, Russia, Albania, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women from these countries are sometimes trafficked through Italy, Sweden, and Denmark to Norway.

The Government of Norway fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Norway provided more than $650,000 to UNODC's anti-trafficking programs around the world in 2006. The government also adopted a new anti-trafficking national action plan in December 2006. Norway should continue to focus efforts on increasing the number of trafficking prosecutions and convictions conducted under its trafficking law, and seeking longer sentences for convicted traffickers. Norway should also take steps to reduce the domestic demand for commercial sexual exploitation.

Prosecutions
The Norwegian government showed sustained law enforcement efforts in addressing trafficking crimes over the last year. Norway prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through its Crimes Against Personal Freedom Law of 2004. The maximum penalty prescribed for trafficking under this law is five years' imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments for sexual assault or rape. Norway conducted 29 investigations during the reporting period and prosecuted two cases in 2006, compared to eight cases prosecuted in 2005. Five traffickers were convicted in 2006. Four traffickers were convicted under a pimping statute; two of them were sentenced to six months' imprisonment, and the other two sentenced to four months' imprisonment. One trafficker was convicted under the 2004 trafficking statute and was sentenced to 2.5 years' imprisonment. No traffickers received suspended sentences in 2006. The police worked closely with counterparts in Albania, Spain, and Romania during several transnational investigations. The Norwegian police continued giving a two-day training seminar for police officers working on trafficking issues. The police also offered separate two-day awareness training seminars for immigration officials.

Protection
The government continued its strong efforts to provide assistance and protection to victims of trafficking. The government established the "Oslo Pilot" that connects the police, NGOs, healthcare providers, and other ministries and developed a set of indicators to assist in identifying victims. The government funds an NGO that provides a 24-hour hotline for victims of trafficking. Victims are permitted to stay in Norway during a six-month reflection period in order to receive assistance and counseling. In 2006, the government expanded the free legal aid system and now permits victims of trafficking to have up to five hours of legal aid; such legal aid is helpful for victims when determining whether or not to make an official report with authorities. This is expected to increase the number of trafficking investigations. The government encourages victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions and does not penalize victims for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
Norway continued its trafficking prevention efforts both domestically and abroad. In 2006, Norway funded anti-trafficking programs in the Balkan states, Russia, South Africa, and Vietnam. Authorities monitor immigration patterns for trafficking and coordinate with police when trafficking is suspected. Norway's anti-trafficking task-force is required to provide a written report to a steering committee every six months to assess both the scope of the problem in Norway and government efforts to combat it, although these reports are not distributed publicly.

OMAN (Tier 3)

Oman is a destination and transit country for men and women primarily from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia, most of whom migrate willingly as low-skilled workers or domestic servants. Some of them subsequently face conditions of involuntary servitude, such as withholding of passports and other restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, long working hours without food or rest, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Oman may also be a destination country for women from People's Republic of China, the Philippines, Morocco, and Eastern Europe for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Oman does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Oman did not report any law enforcement efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenses this year, including involuntary servitude or trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. The government also continues to lack victim protection services or a systematic procedure to identify victims of trafficking from among vulnerable populations, such as illegal migrants and women arrested for prostitution. Oman should significantly increase prosecutions of trafficking crimes, institute a formal victim identification and referral mechanism, and cease deporting possible victims of trafficking.

Prosecution
Oman did not report any progress in prosecuting or punishing trafficking offenses over the last year. Although Oman does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, it prohibits slavery under Article 260-261 of its penal code and coerced prostitution through Article 220. Prescribed punishment for both crimes are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes. In July 2006, the Sultan issued Royal Decree 74 prohibiting forced labor and increasing the applicable penalties , but those penalties - up to one month in prison or fines - are not sufficiently stringent to deter this serious offense. In November 2006, the Ministry of Manpower issued a legally-enforceable circular prohibiting employers from withholidng workers' passports; the circular does not specify penalties for non-compliance, and the practice continues to be widespread. The government did not report any prosecutions for trafficking offenses under these laws in the last year and has taken no active measures to investigate trafficking in persons offenses. Oman should significantly increase criminal investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenses. The government should also follow through with its plans to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that criminalizes all forms of trafficking, and assigns penalties both sufficiently stringent to deter the offense and reflective of the heinous nature of the crime.

Protection
During the reporting period, Oman made no significant efforts to improve protections or services for victims of trafficking. The government continues to lack a systematic procedure to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as illegal migrants and women arrested for prostitution. In May and June 2006, the government conducted sweeps to find, detain and deport illegal migrant workers; Omani authorities did not, however, systematically identify trafficking victims from among the group of deportees. As a result, victims may have been detained and deported without adequate protection. Oman does not offer foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. The government reports that it encourages victims to assist in investigations, but authorities often have not investigated cases of foreign workers who have escaped exploitative conditions and may have returned them to their abusive employers or recruiting agencies.

Prevention
Oman made insufficient efforts to prevent trafficking in persons this year. Oman's military and police continued to monitor Oman's borders to prevent illegal entry and human smuggling. The government also developed, in partnership with the Indian embassy, a pamphlet that will inform Indian workers of their rights and resources; as of the writing of this report, however, these pamphlets have not been distributed.

PAKISTAN (Tier 2)

Pakistan is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Pakistani women and men migrate voluntarily to the Gulf, Iran, Turkey, and Greece for work as domestic servants or construction workers. Once abroad, however, some find themselves in situations of involuntary servitude when faced with overwhelming recruitment and transportation fees, restrictions on their movement, and physical or sexual abuse. There were no new confirmed reports of the trafficking of Pakistani boys to the Middle East to serve as camel jockeys, but some NGOs contend that Pakistani children are trafficked to the Gulf for sexual exploitation. Pakistan faces a significant internal trafficking problem reportedly involving thousands of women and children trafficked to settle debts and disputes or forced into sexual exploitation or domestic servitude. Unconfirmed estimates of Pakistani victims of bonded labor are in the millions. Women and children from Bangladesh, India, Burma, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgz Republic, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan are also trafficked to Pakistan for sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. In addition, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepali, and Burmese women are trafficked through Pakistan.

The Government of Pakistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government prosecuted traffickers, including government officials facilitating trafficking, and continued to refer victims to available protection services. Pakistan did not, however, demonstrate efforts to address the serious issues of bonded labor and other forms of involuntary servitude. Over the next year, Pakistan should continue to increase its anti-trafficking efforts, particularly in the areas of bonded labor, forced child labor, and internal trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Prosecution
The Government of Pakistan made uneven progress in prosecuting trafficking this year. Pakistan prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through its 2002 Prevention and Control of Human Trafficking Ordinance. During the reporting period, the government convicted 65 traffickers under the Human Trafficking Ordinance. The government began an anti-trafficking investigation of 20 major traffickers and also requested that Interpol issue arrest warrants for 22 of its nationals accused of trafficking. In addition, Pakistan filed cases against 21 government officials for complicity in trafficking. Notably, in February 2007, the Federal Investigations Agency (FIA) began investigating a trafficking case involving a current Federal Minister. Nonetheless, Pakistan did not demonstrate increasing law enforcement efforts against bonded labor or other labor forms of trafficking. Although Pakistan has a significant bonded labor problem - estimated at over 1 million victims - the government did not provide evidence of any investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences for bonded labor or involuntary servitude. The government should strengthen law enforcement efforts against such forms of trafficking, as well as against the internal trafficking of boys and girls for commercial sexual exploitation.

Protection
This year, the government took modest steps to improve victim protection. The government requires victims to assist in the investigation of trafficking cases and permits foreign victims to work pending the trial of their trafficker. Foreign victims reportedly are not prosecuted or deported for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, but some victims may still be subjected to prosecution for fornication, even as victims of sex trafficking. The government does not provide victims with legal alternatives to removal to a country where they might face hardship or retribution. Government officials routinely refer foreign victims to a shelter operated by IOM; and, Pakistani victims can access any of 276 government centers offering medical treatment, vocational training, and legal assistance to women and children. The government, however, lacks protection services for male victims who can neither access the IOM shelter nor the government centers. The government does not provide assistance to male or female victims of bonded and other forms of forced labor. Pakistan should: ensure that victims of trafficking are not punished; rescue and protect an increased number of victims of sex and labor forms of trafficking; and make available protection services to all victims of trafficking.

Prevention
Pakistan made some progress in preventing trafficking over the last year. In March 2006, law enforcement officers from India and Pakistan formed a working group to cooperate on cross-border trafficking. Pakistan joined in a similar agreement with Iran in June 2006. The government continues to use technology to monitor airports for trafficking patterns and victims. Pakistan has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

PANAMA (Tier 2)

Panama is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Colombian women and children are trafficked to or through Panama; some become victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation after arriving in Panama voluntarily. Some Panamanian women have been trafficked to Jamaica for sexual exploitation. Rural children in Panama may be trafficked internally to urban areas for labor exploitation.

The Government of Panama does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government intensified its efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers, and stepped up public awareness campaigns and prevention efforts. The government should commit more resources to law-enforcement activities and victim protection, and consider ending its "alternadora" visa program which facilitates the migration to Panama of women in prostitution, some of whom fall victim to traffickers.

Prosecution
The Government of Panama made modest progress in investigating and prosecuting sex trafficking crimes during the reporting period. Panama does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, although its Law 16 criminalizes trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, which prescribes punishments of 3 to 10 years' imprisonment; these punishments are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. In early 2007, the government obtained its first conviction under Law 16, resulting in a five-year sentence for the owner of a nightclub. A second sexual-exploitation prosecution is underway, and the government investigated five other sex trafficking cases in 2006. In addition to assigning three prosecutors in the Attorney General's Office to work on anti-trafficking cases, the government provides anti-trafficking training to all key criminal justice personnel: police and public forces, judges, and prosecutors. The government also works with other governments and Interpol on international trafficking cases and extradited four alleged pedophiles to the United States during the reporting period.

Protection
The Panamanian government sustained its efforts to assist trafficking victims during the reporting period. Most services are concentrated in or near Panama City. The government operates one shelter and funds an NGO to provide additional shelter and treatment services to victims. The government also sponsored training and workshops to educate key officials about methods for identifying and assisting trafficking victims. Panamanian authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Victims' rights are generally respected, and there were no reports of victims being penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Panama provides legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government made additional progress in prevention activities during the reporting period. CONAPREDES, the anti-trafficking coordinating agency, launched the printing of an anti-trafficking message on lottery tickets nationwide. Together with ILO-IPEC, CONAPREDES also developed anti-trafficking brochures and guides to victim assistance, which were distributed to schools across the country. Other anti-trafficking media campaigns featured posters, radio, and television ads. Trafficking prosecutors also spoke at schools about the dangers of human trafficking.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Papua New Guinea is a destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude occurs. Children are held in indentured servitude as domestic workers. Women are trafficked from Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, and the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) for sexual exploitation in brothels in the capital and at isolated logging and mining camps. Children are held in indentured servitude either as a means of paying a family debt or because the natural parents cannot afford to support the child. Some children are given to another family of greater wealth to serve as a housekeeper or nanny - a practice that can lead to trafficking in persons. There were isolated cases of Thai women transiting Papua New Guinea from Singapore on their way to Japan.

The Government of Papua New Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Papua New Guinea has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List because of its significantly increasing problem of trafficking in persons. The government should pass and enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and collaborate with civil society, religious and tribal leaders to raise awareness about trafficking, including the demand aspect. The government should make efforts to prosecute and convict complicit officials and exploitative employers.

Prosecution
The Government of Papua New Guinea demonstrated minimal efforts to combat trafficking in persons. Papua New Guinea does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though its criminal code prohibits the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation. Trafficking for labor exploitation, however, is not criminalized and law enforcement officials do not actively investigate suspected cases due to a lack of officers within any branch of the government who are capable of dealing with trafficking crimes. There were no reported prosecutions or convictions of trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Police arrested a cult leader known as "Black Jesus" for killing and eating three young women he recruited as sex slaves. The police, through the assistance of immigration officers, stopped six Thai women transiting Papua New Guinea from Singapore on their way to Japan and deported them to Thailand on the next flight. Trafficking-related corruption is a serious problem and no public officials were investigated or prosecuted for trafficking-related crimes.

Protection
The Government of Papua New Guinea demonstrated limited efforts to protect or assist victims of trafficking. Due to severe resource constraints, the government relies on services provided by international organizations or NGOs. The government does not actively investigate trafficking crimes, and it does not implement procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreigners detained for prostitution or immigration violations. No victims presented themselves to police during the year. The government would encourage victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers if they came forward. There is no legal alternative to removal for victims that may face hardship or retribution in a source country. There are a few shelters in Port Moresby, Lae, and other major cities, but they are not specifically for victims of trafficking.

Prevention
The Government of Papua New Guinea relied on international organizations and NGOs to conduct prevention and awareness campaigns. A YWCA HIV and AIDS prevention program targeted women and girls in prostitution and provided literacy and skills training. Papua New Guinea has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

PARAGUAY (Tier 2)

Paraguay is principally a source and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Paraguayan victims are trafficked mainly to Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Spain; this transnational trafficking trend appears to be growing. Poor children are also trafficked within the country from rural to urban centers for sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Trafficking of Paraguayan and Brazilian women and girls, mainly for sexual exploitation, remains a problem in the Brazil-Paraguay-Argentina tri-border area.

The Government of Paraguay does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued a modest level of law enforcement activity. In the coming year, the government should intensify its efforts to identify, prosecute, and punish traffickers, especially in light of the country's increasing trafficking problem. It also should commit more resources for victim protection and anti-trafficking training for key government personnel. The government also should examine whether existing laws are sufficient to combat all forms of trafficking, including internal trafficking.

Prosecution
The Paraguayan government sustained its past record of modest law-enforcement actions against traffickers during the year. Paraguay prohibits most, but not all forms of trafficking through provisions of the country's 1997 Penal Code; these carry penalties of up to 10 years' imprisonment, which is commensurate with penalties for grave crimes such as rape and is sufficiently stringent. The government cooperated with neighboring and destination countries to disrupt trafficking networks, investigating 18 international trafficking cases last year. In 2006, authorities prosecuted and secured convictions in two cases against traffickers. No cases of official complicity with human trafficking were substantiated during the reporting period.

Protection
The government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking remained modest and inadequate. It does not directly operate or fund centers that provide shelter or other services to trafficking victims. Instead, the government relied heavily on NGOs and outside sources to provide shelter and other services to trafficking victims, particularly outside the capital. The government did show evidence, however, of its implementation of procedures to identify and refer victims of trafficking to NGOs that provide victim services. Paraguayan authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. There were no reports of victims jailed, deported, or otherwise penalized. Paraguay does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government conducted trafficking prevention activities during the reporting period, but efforts remain inadequate for a source country with a growing trafficking problem. The Secretariat of Women's Affairs led seminars to warn potential victims about the dangers of trafficking and conducted courses for law enforcement personnel. Posters distributed by government authorities also raised public awareness. The government relies on NGOs and other sources for the bulk of its prevention efforts.

PERU (Tier 2)

Peru is primarily a source country for women and children trafficked within the country for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Most victims are girls and young women recruited from rural areas and lured or coerced into prostitution in urban nightclubs, bars, and brothels. Peruvians also are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Spain, Italy, Japan, and the United States. The government acknowledges that child sex tourism exists, particularly in the Amazon region of the country. Children and adults also are trafficked into conditions of forced labor in Peru's mining, logging, and brick-making sectors, and as domestic servants.

The Government of Peru does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In early 2007, the government passed a comprehensive law which prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons. The government also made solid progress in law enforcement actions against traffickers and conducted widespread anti-trafficking training for key officials. In the coming year, the government should intensify its efforts to expedite and prosecute trafficking cases and increase protection services for victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Peru demonstrated solid progress in investigating and prosecuting traffickers over the last year. In January 2007, the Peruvian Congress passed Law 28950, which criminally prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes tougher penalties against traffickers, while authorizing undercover and covert police operations and providing greater protection for trafficking victims and witnesses. The government now is drafting implementing regulations for the new law. It prescribes penalties of 8 to 15 years' imprisonment for convicted trafficking offenders, with increased penalties of 20 to 25 years' imprisonment in cases with aggravated circumstances. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. In 2006 and early 2007, the government opened 11 trafficking cases, which represents a solid increase over 2005, when it opened four cases. A total of 13 trafficking cases are now pending before Peruvian courts. In December 2006, a Peruvian judge sentenced a trafficker to 10 years in prison. The government also launched a computerized case-tracking system, and conducted more than 2,750 raids of brothels, finding and removing almost 400 minors from commercial sexual exploitation. The government, with NGO assistance, also conducted anti-trafficking training for 1,389 law-enforcement and social-service officials across the country. There were no confirmed reports of official complicity with trafficking.

Protection
The government made limited progress in its efforts to protect victims during the reporting period. It did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The government showed modest efforts in identifying victims and referring them to government-funded domestic-violence shelters, although these facilities lack specialized services for trafficking victims. In March 2006, the government, with NGO assistance, initiated a toll-free hotline for potential trafficking victims and for referring cases to police. Peru provides similar legal rights to foreign victims as it does to its citizens, and also allows foreign victims to remain in Peru to escape hardship or retribution in their own countries. Although Peru encourages victims to assist in the prosecution of traffickers, the uneven application of witness-protection laws continues to prevent some victims from doing so.

Prevention
The government took strong steps to expand its anti-trafficking training and prevention efforts during the reporting period. The Women's Ministry conducted all-day anti-trafficking workshops for more than 2,000 municipal officials and community leaders across the country. The government also trained more than 700 teachers and school directors on how to prevent trafficking and incorporated anti-trafficking instruction into school programs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows anti-trafficking videos to passport applicants and disseminates videos and brochures to embassies and consulates worldwide. The Ministry of Tourism initiated a campaign for hotels to sign a "code of conduct" against child-sex tourism, which is prevalent in tourist destinations such as Iquitos and Cuzco.

PHILIPPINES (Tier 2)

The Philippines is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. A significant number of Filipino men and women who migrate abroad for work are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan, South Africa, North America, and Europe. Women and children are also trafficked within the Philippines, primarily from rural areas, such as the Visayas and Mindanao, to urban areas for forced labor as domestic workers, and factory workers, and in the drug trade, and for sexual exploitation. A smaller number of women are occasionally trafficked from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), South Korea, Japan, and Russia to the Philippines for sexual exploitation. Foreign tourists, particularly other Asians, sexually exploit women and children in the Philippines.

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 Philippines government demonstrated exemplary efforts to prevent the trafficking of migrant workers and to protect those who were exploited abroad. However, the government demonstrated weaker efforts to combat internal sex and labor trafficking. There was only one conviction under the 2003 anti-trafficking law during the reporting period. The Philippines government should make greater efforts to combat internal trafficking by increasing public awareness activities and vigorously prosecuting those exploiting victims as well as making greater efforts to prosecute and convict public officials who profit from or are involved in trafficking.

Prosecution
The Philippine government showed some improvement in arresting, prosecuting, and convicting traffickers. The Philippines criminally prohibits trafficking for both sexual and labor exploitation through its 2003 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act. Penalties prescribed for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape, and overall penalties prescribed for trafficking offenses are sufficiently stringent. There was only one conviction under the country's trafficking law during the reporting period. A court in Zamboanga City sentenced a member of a trafficking syndicate to life imprisonment in March 2007 for having recruited six victims and peddled them to a brothel in Sandakan, Malaysia. The case is the fifth conviction under the 2003 Philippines anti-trafficking law that has resulted in a jail sentence.

In 2006, law enforcement agencies filed 60 new trafficking cases with the Department of Justice. In addition, Philippines law permits private prosecutors to prosecute cases under the direction and control of a public prosecutor. The government has used this provision effectively, allowing and supporting an NGO to file 23 cases. In total, the government is currently engaged in 107 prosecutions of trafficking crimes, with more being investigated. The government has 17 dedicated anti-trafficking prosecutors in the Department of Justice (DOJ), and 72 additional prosecutors in regional DOJ offices. The Secretary of Justice issued a DOJ Circular instructing that all trafficking cases should receive preferential attention for initiating prosecutions in the courts.

The Philippines Coast Guard, under the Department of Transportation and Communication, searched several ferries in order to identify trafficking victims and recruiters. Although there was no evidence of government complicity in trafficking at an institutional level, individual and groups of customs officials, border guards, local police, and immigration officers reportedly received bribes from traffickers or otherwise assisted in their operations. Corruption in the government and the general ineffectiveness of the judicial system impeded the government's ability to effectively prosecute trafficking cases. In 2005, police and the DOJ charged a police officer for allegedly trafficking minors for sexual exploitation at his Manila nightclub. Trial hearings continued in 2006, and a decision is expected in 2007. In December 2006, a top executive of the National Labor Relations Commission was suspended for three months for allegedly accepting a bribe from a labor recruiter, applying for a license to operate a recruitment agency.

Child Sex Tourism
In 2006, five foreign tourists were arrested by Filipino police for sexually exploiting Filipino children. The Philippines continued to assist U.S. law enforcement authorities in the transfer to U.S. custody of Americans who sexually exploited children.

Protection
The Philippine government demonstrated increased efforts to protect victims of trafficking in 2006, though it continued to rely heavily on NGOs and international organizations to provide services to victims. The government actively encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking and related crimes. Victims can file civil suits against traffickers. The government does not penalize victims for any crimes committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The implementing rules of the 2003 anti-trafficking law outline identification and referral procedures. The government assisted victims by providing temporary residency status, relief from deportation, shelter, and access to legal, medical, and psychological services. The Department of Social Welfare and Development operated 42 temporary shelters for victims throughout the country. Thirteen of these shelters were supported by a non-profit charity organization.

The government deployed eight social workers to Philippine diplomatic missions to provide psychosocial counseling to overseas foreign workers in distress. A social welfare attach´┐Ż stationed in Malaysia coordinated with the Malaysian government in rescuing and repatriating Filipino victims of trafficking. The Department of Foreign Affairs assisted victims trafficked abroad and oversaw voluntary repatriation of victims. The Philippine Ports Authority provided the building and amenities for halfway houses in Manila, Davao, Batangas, and Sorsogon, which were managed by an NGO; the Ports Authority, police, and the Coast Guard referred victims to the halfway houses. In March 2007, the Department of Labor and Employment opened the first reintegration center where returning overseas Filipino workers may seek services such as skills training, psycho-social counseling, and business development assistance.

Prevention
The Philippine government demonstrated continued efforts to raise awareness and prevent trafficking in persons. In 2007, the government's Interagency Council Against Trafficking established its first anti-trafficking task force at Manila's international airport to share information on traffickers and assist victims. In 2006 the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) issued new employment requirements for overseas Filipino household workers to protect them from widespread employer abuse and trafficking. The new requirements increased the minimum monthly wage from $200 to $400 and raised the minimum age from 18 to 23. In addition, prospective domestic workers must obtain a certificate of competency from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority and the Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration to attest to their skills and employers are required to submit employment contracts for verification.

POEA conducted nearly 1,000 pre-employment orientation seminars for more than 60,000 departing overseas Filipino workers in 2006. POEA also trained diplomatic staff and overseas labor and social welfare officers in methods for assisting trafficking victims abroad. To protect overseas Filipino domestic workers from illegal recruitment, foreign employers are required to undergo pre-qualification screening by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office and submit a written statement committing themselves to the fair and humane treatment of their domestic workers. The government produced an anti-trafficking infomercial that aired on local TV networks throughout the country in 2006. The government also created the Task Force Against Illegal Recruitment to develop strategies against illegal recruitment activities.

POLAND (Tier 1)

Poland is a source, transit, and destination country for women from Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Belarus, Lithuania, Russia, Bulgaria, Cameroon, Somalia, Uganda, and Vietnam trafficked to and through Poland to Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden, and Japan for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Polish men and women are trafficked to Italy, Austria, Germany, Belgium, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Japan, and Israel for purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Boys from Vietnam were trafficked to Poland for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In May, police dismantled a trafficking ring that trafficked more than 350 Polish women to Austria for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In July 2006, a labor trafficking ring in Italy was found to have trafficked more than 300 Polish men and women for the purpose of forced agricultural labor.

The Government of Poland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Poland continued to show progress in some areas, including an increase in international law enforcement cooperation. In March 2006, Poland created a Central Anti-Trafficking Unit in the National Police, which assisted in the breakup of several large-scale trafficking rings. The government also allocated more than $2 million to implement its national action plan and fund victim assistance and prevention programs. The government should continue training for prosecutors and judges, take steps to increase the number of trafficking convictions and the number of convicted offenders who serve time in prison, and make efforts to increase the number of identified victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Poland demonstrated mixed progress in its overall law enforcement efforts. Poland prohibits all forms of trafficking; Article 204, Section 4 and Article 253 are used to prosecute sex trafficking and forced labor cases. Prosecutors rely on trafficking definitions in the 2000 UN TIP Protocol when pursuing cases against traffickers, although some NGOs and government officials expressed concern that the lack of a trafficking definition in Poland's penal code limits effective prosecutions. Penalties under Article 253 range from 3 to 15 years' imprisonment, and Article 204, Section 4 provides for up to ten years' imprisonment; these sentences are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes, such as sexual assault. Police conducted 21 new investigations in 2006, down slightly from 22 in 2005. The government conducted 36 prosecutions, up from 18 in 2005. Sixteen traffickers were convicted in Polish Courts of First Instance in 2006, down from 37 such convictions in 2005. Data on convictions handed down by appellate courts were unavailable for 2006; however, in 2005 only nine of the 37 trafficking convictions were upheld on appeal. Of these, four traffickers served some time in prison; this is a significant decrease from 2004 when 13 of 16 convicted traffickers served time in prison. In 2006, Polish authorities worked closely with foreign counterparts on several high-profile international trafficking cases. In May 2006, Austrian authorities arrested two Polish policemen who were involved in a group suspected of having trafficked 440 Polish and Romanian women to Austria. To date, there have been no cases of law enforcement officials punished for trafficking-related corruption in Poland.

Protection
The Polish government continued to provide quality assistance to trafficking victims. It increased its funding to victim support and sustained implementation of its victim referral mechanism governing cooperation among police, border guards, and victim assistance organizations. Once identified, victims were typically referred to the nearest victim assistance location. Although the government has invested significant resources in victim identification training, the number of identified victims in the country remained low. Concerns exist that a two-month victim reflection period for victims, available starting in 2005, was not properly implemented; at least one foreign victim identified herself to law enforcement but was still deported without being offered the reflection period. The government encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; 11 victims assisted authorities in 2006.

Prevention
The government continued to improve its trafficking prevention efforts. During the reporting period, the government funded several NGOs to conduct workshops at orphanages and childcare centers to raise awareness of the dangers of trafficking. A government-funded NGO also conducted an awareness campaign on the Polish-Ukrainian border. Anti-trafficking awareness guidebooks targeting both Poles traveling abroad for work and foreign women migrating to Poland for work were produced and disseminated among these two groups.

PORTUGAL (Tier 2)

Portugal is primarily a destination and transit country for women, men, and children trafficked from Brazil, Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, Romania, and to a lesser extent Africa. The majority of Brazilian female victims are trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Male victims from Eastern European countries are trafficked for forced labor in the construction industry. Some trafficking victims transit through Portugal to other European countries.

The Government of Portugal does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2006, a multi-agency government center responsible for gathering trafficking-related data opened and required that police fill out a standard detailed form with case information. The parliament should pass the new anti-trafficking penal code reforms currently before it and the government should actively implement those reforms.

Prosecution
The Government of Portugal demonstrated weak efforts to prosecute trafficking in 2006, although it has established a system to facilitate the compiling of comprehensive law enforcement data under the category of trafficking. Portugal prohibits labor trafficking and most forms of sex trafficking through various trafficking-related provisions of its penal code. In addition, sex trafficking of Portuguese citizens across international borders is specifically prohibited. To bolster its efforts to combat trafficking, the government submitted to parliament reforms that will standardize the penal code as it relates to trafficking. The reforms explicitly criminalize labor trafficking, broaden the definition of sex trafficking, and increase penalties for both types of trafficking offenses. Current penalties prescribed by law for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape, and the laws generally prescribe penalties that are sufficiently stringent. However, sentences imposed on convicted offenders are often suspended. In 2006, a bar owner accused of sex trafficking was convicted for related crimes of pimping, aiding illegal immigration, kidnapping, and illegal possession of weapons. He was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment for recruiting and exploiting Brazilian women. There is no evidence of government officials complicit in trafficking.

Protection
The Government of Portugal expanded its efforts to provide protection assistance to victims of trafficking in 2006 and encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. Victims may file civil suits against their traffickers. Victims are allowed a 30 to 60 day reflection period to decide whether or not they will press charges against the traffickers and regardless of their decision, have the right to a one-year residency permit. Victims who are initially detained are transferred to shelter facilities and do not face penalties for unlawful acts committed as a direct part of their being trafficked. In the last year, Portugal opened the first government-funded and operated assistance center for trafficking victims and passed a new immigration law that facilitates issuance of residency permits to trafficking victims. The Government of Portugal provides funding and other in-kind forms of support to foreign and domestic NGOs providing victim services.

Prevention
The Government of Portugal continued to sponsor anti-trafficking information campaigns and public service announcements throughout the year. The Government created a Web site with comprehensive information about trafficking, its National Action Plan, and links to NGOs providing victim assistance. State-run channels broadcast programs on trafficking to educate the general public, potential trafficking victims, and immigrants. The Government sponsored public service ads warning against trafficking on television, radio, and newspapers. Through the posting of liaison officers abroad, staffs of Portugal's overseas embassies and consulates are trained on how to protect and assist trafficking victims.

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