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Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment


Report
Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
April 24, 2012

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2011 Trafficking in Persons Report

Pursuant to section 110(b)(3)(B) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Div. A. of Public Law 106-386), as amended, the Secretary of State is required to submit to the Congress an Interim Assessment of the progress made in combating trafficking in persons (TIP) by those countries placed on the Special Watch List in September 2011. The evaluation period covers the six months since the drafting of the June 2011 annual report. Readers are requested to refer to the annual TIP Report for an analysis of large-scale efforts and a description of the trafficking problem in each particular country or territory.

In the 2011 TIP Report, 44 countries were placed on the Special Watch List. These countries either (1) had moved up a tier from the 2010 TIP Report; or (2) were ranked on the Tier 2 Watch List because while they were making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards, but they also (a) had a very significant or significantly increasing number of trafficking victims, (b) had failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat TIP from the previous year, or (c) made commitments to carry out future actions over the coming year. 41 of the 44 countries on the Special Watch List are in the second category. The Interim Assessment includes an overview of the tier process.

Tier Process

The Department placed each of the countries or territories included in the 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report into one of the three lists, described here as tiers, mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as amended (TVPA). This placement reflects an evaluation of a government’s actions to combat trafficking. The Department first evaluates whether the government fully complies with the TVPA’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Countries whose governments do so are placed in Tier 1. For other countries, the Department considers whether their governments made significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance. Countries whose governments are making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards are placed in Tier 2. Those countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so are placed in Tier 3. Finally, the Special Watch List criteria are considered and, if applicable, Tier 2 countries are placed on the Tier 2 Watch List.

The Tiers

Tier 1: Countries and territories whose governments fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards.

Tier 2: Countries and territories whose governments do not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

Tier 2 Special Watch List: Countries and territories whose governments do not fully comply with the Act’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards, and:

a) The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is increasing significantly; or

b) There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or

c) The determination that a country or territory is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country or territory to take additional future steps over the next year.

Tier 3: Countries and territories whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.

As required by the TVPA, in making tier determinations between Tiers 2 and 3, the Department considers the overall extent of human trafficking in the country; the extent of government noncompliance with the minimum standards, particularly the extent to which government officials have participated in, facilitated, condoned, or are otherwise complicit in trafficking; and what reasonable measures the government would have to take to come into compliance with the minimum standards within the government’s resources and capabilities.

AFRICA

Angola
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government reported one pending prosecution of a trafficking offender and the rescue of 58 victims of trafficking. However, there is need for further legislative action – through amendments to the penal code or a comprehensive law, increased protection of victims, and awareness raising.

Burundi
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the National Assembly ratified the Palermo Protocol and the government arrested several trafficking offenders. There is need for further legislative action – through amendments or a comprehensive law, increased protection of victims, and awareness raising.

Cameroon
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government initiated several prosecutions of suspected trafficking offenders, resulting in the convictions and sentencing of two child traffickers to 20 years’ imprisonment and passed a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. Detailed information on convictions remains difficult to obtain.

Chad
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government made some efforts to educate the public on trafficking and develop needed anti-trafficking legislation, and signed an action plan on child soldiers. Chad still lacks a written national plan of action to combat trafficking.

Comoros
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government, in partnership with the ILO and foreign donors, drafted a comprehensive Labor Law, which includes an anti-trafficking provision; the bill was debated in the National Assembly in December 2011. The government did not report increased efforts to prosecute trafficking offenders or protect trafficking victims.

Congo, Republic of
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government finalized a 2011-2013 national plan of action against human trafficking and signed a bilateral agreement with Benin for the protection of child trafficking victims. The government needs to strengthen current efforts in anti-trafficking law enforcement and victim protection.

The Gambia
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government prosecuted and convicted a Nigerian trafficking offender, who paid a fine in lieu of serving the sentence of five years’ imprisonment with hard labor. The government claimed to monitor boys in street vending and unaccompanied girls in resorts known to be destinations of sex tourists, but it did not identify any as victims of trafficking during the reporting period.

Guinea
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government has investigated new suspected trafficking offenses, although it has not yet demonstrated increased efforts to protect victims of trafficking.

Liberia
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government investigated new trafficking cases, although it has not yet successfully carried out any prosecutions.

Mali
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, authorities in late 2011 initiated prosecutions against 13 arrested suspected trafficking offenders and identified and assisted in the repatriation of 104 Nigerian women who had been subjected to prostitution in Mali. The Government of Mali did not pass its draft anti-trafficking legislation.

Niger
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the Ministry of Justice has drafted an anti-trafficking Action Plan and the implementing decree for its 2010 Trafficking in Persons law, although it has not yet passed the implementing decree.

Tanzania
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, Tanzanian authorities arrested four suspected trafficking offenders and established an inter-ministerial secretariat and national committee that drafted an anti-trafficking Action Plan identifying steps for implementing Tanzania's anti-trafficking legislation. Proposed victim referral procedures between the police and government anti-trafficking officials have yet to be fully implemented.

WESTERN HEMISPHERE

The Bahamas
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the Government appointed a senior anti-trafficking coordinator in late 2011. The government did not identify any victims of trafficking.

Barbados
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government established an inter-ministerial group to coordinate its anti-trafficking activities. The government did not identify any victims of trafficking.

Costa Rica
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government convicted a trafficker under the 2009 TIP law. While there continued to be no specialized shelter for trafficking victims, the government increased funds for victim services.

Curacao
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government enacted comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation. It is unknown whether the government identified any victims of trafficking.

Dominican Republic
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government made efforts to identify victims and conduct anti-trafficking law enforcement operations. It is unknown if the government established formal legal alternatives to removal for foreign victims to countries where they would face retribution or hardship.

Ecuador
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government created an anti-trafficking unit and increased law enforcement efforts but decreased funding for NGOs providing victim services.

Panama
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government enacted a new legislation prohibiting forced labor, but victim services, particularly specialized services for adults, remained weak.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, in January 2012, the government enacted anti-trafficking legislation and formed an anti-trafficking task force to coordinate the government’s response in addressing trafficking. The government did not identify any victims of trafficking.

EUROPE AND EURASIA

Azerbaijan
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the Anti-Trafficking Department reported two labor trafficking investigations and 10 sex trafficking convictions. Many officials in the national coordinating body for fighting human trafficking appear to be focused on sex trafficking and to have a limited understanding of labor trafficking indicators.

Belarus
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government adopted a new action plan for victim assistance and began providing in-kind assistance to an NGO for support of adolescent TIP victims. It is not clear if the Government of Belarus improved its identification of trafficking victims in 2011.

Cyprus
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government convicted one trafficking offender. The government did not yet provide a guide for all frontline responders outlining identification, referral, and protection procedures for potential trafficking victims.

Estonia
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government collaborated with NGOs in drafting a comprehensive, criminal anti-trafficking law. This legislation was passed in March 2012.

Macedonia
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, two trafficking offenders were convicted, and the government undertook other anti-trafficking efforts but experienced budget shortfalls in funding for its domestic trafficking shelter.

Malta
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government developed and began implementing a comprehensive national anti-trafficking plan and identified its first trafficking victims in several years. The government did not make efforts to coordinate the Romanian victims’ repatriation with NGOs in their home country, to avoid the victims being returned to the control of traffickers.

Portugal
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government increased its outreach to vulnerable communities and its efforts to identify trafficking victims. The government did not, however, provide information on the prosecution, conviction or sentencing of trafficking offenders.

Slovak Republic
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government convicted a mayor for trafficking offenses and trained law enforcement and judicial authorities on trafficking. Although the government continues to provide shelter to trafficking victims, the availability of shelter for male victims of trafficking is limited and not specialized to care for trafficking victims.

Russia
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government has not reported efforts regarding victim protection and anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts; however, the government is increasingly acknowledging TIP as a major concern and is beginning to take steps to address it.

SOUTH AND CENTRAL ASIA

Afghanistan
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government has been working to implement its 2008 trafficking law by creating an anti-trafficking commission as mandated in the law to oversee its implementation. However, victim protection remains a serious issue and no prosecutions have been recorded to date.

Bangladesh
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government passed an anti-trafficking law in February 2012. Adequate protection services for male trafficking victims continue to be inadequate.

Maldives
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government continued to develop its draft counter-trafficking law and conducted several anti-trafficking trainings for government officials. Little progress was evidenced, however, in prosecuting human trafficking offenders or protecting and assisting trafficking victims.

Uzbekistan
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government continued to make efforts against sex trafficking, but did not permit the ILO to monitor the cotton harvest.

NEAR EAST

Qatar
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government enacted anti-trafficking legislation in October 2011 and made efforts to implement its 2010-2015 plan of action on human trafficking, including by providing training for law enforcement officials on implementation of the new anti-TIP law and victim identification and protection procedures. Senior Qatari officials have publicly called for a review of Qatar’s sponsorship system; however, significant reforms to the system require additional government action.

Iraq
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the Iraqi Parliament passed a Trafficking in Person law in February 2012; the bill must be signed by the president and posted in the official Gazette to take effect. Until this law is implemented, the government continues to lack a formal procedure to identify and protect trafficking victims.

Syria
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government issued the Executive Order requiring the implementation of Legislative Decree No. 3, which criminalizes human trafficking. The current political situation in the country makes it unlikely that the government has undertaken additional anti-trafficking efforts.

Tunisia
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, in late 2011 the government established an inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee, drafted an anti-trafficking bill, and conducted training sessions for police, customs officials, social welfare workers, and truancy officers in conjunction with IOM. Law enforcement officers continue to conflate trafficking in persons with human smuggling.

EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC

Brunei
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the Government of Brunei launched a public awareness campaign, established a specialized anti-trafficking unit within the Royal Brunei Police Force, and investigated eight suspected trafficking cases, though no proactive identification mechanisms for trafficking victims have been developed or implemented for use at border checkpoints.

China
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government has not released a revised action plan; the official release date is scheduled for November 2012. The government has investigated several large, high-profile cases of reported trafficking.

Kiribati
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, in September 2011, the Kiribati Commissioner of Police publicly highlighted his government’s commitment to fighting domestic child sex trafficking and investigated three cases of suspected trafficking, though the government did not initiate any prosecutions under its anti-trafficking legislation.

Malaysia
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government made reforms in the provision of shelter assistance for foreign victims of trafficking and reported a number of investigations and prosecutions, including the first prosecution of a trafficking case initiated by the Labor Department. Foreign trafficking victims, however, are still not permitted to leave government facilities to pursue employment opportunities.

Solomon Islands
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government passed the 2012 Immigration Bill that encompass the relevant provisions of the draft Smuggling and Trafficking law. It did not, however, provide anti-trafficking in persons training for government officials.

Thailand
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the Government of Thailand implemented a new regulation providing some protection to victims, by granting 30 foreign trafficking victims the legal right to temporarily live and work in the country. The government has not yet passed a draft ministerial amendment to protect workers in the fishing industry under the Labor Protection Act.

Vietnam
Since the release of the June 2011 Report, the government finalized a five-year national plan of action on human trafficking and provided an estimated $12 million in funding for anti-trafficking activities. Although Vietnam’s comprehensive anti-trafficking law enacted in March 2011 came into effect in January 2012, the government has yet to complete its implementation by issuing all related decrees and circulars.

2011 SPECIAL WATCH LIST COUNTRIES

Country

Angola

Afghanistan

Azerbaijan**

The Bahamas

Bangladesh ++

Barbados

Belarus

Brunei

Burundi

Cameroon**

Chad

China ##

Comoros

Congo, Republic of**

Costa Rica

Curacao

Cyprus

Dominican Republic

Ecuador

Estonia

The Gambia

Guinea**

Iraq++

Kiribati

Liberia

Macedonia

Malaysia

Maldives

Mali++

Malta

Niger

Panama

Portugal

Qatar ++

Russia##

St. Vincent and the Grenadines++

Slovak Republic

Solomon Islands

Syria

Tanzania

Thailand

Tunisia++

Uzbekistan**

Vietnam

Reason for Watch List Status

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Moved from Tier 2 in 2010 to Tier 1 in 2011

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Moved from Tier 2 in 2010 to Tier 1 in 2011

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Moved from Tier 2 in 2010 to Tier 1 in 2011

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

Tier 2 Watch List

++Countries that have been on the Tier 2 Watch List for three consecutive years

**Countries that have been on the Tier 2 Watch List for four consecutive years

##Countries that have been on the Tier 2 Watch List for five years or longer



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