|A trafficker recruited Nina, a 19-year-old from southeastern Europe, to work as a waitress, but then raped, beat, and drugged her, forcing her into prostitution. After a daring escape, her trafficker hunted her down and kidnapped her. Taken into custody during a police raid, Nina agreed to be a witness against her trafficker. The police officer assigned to protect her gave away her location and her trafficker threatened her life. At the trial, she was forced to sit next to her traffickers and was insulted and humiliated by the judge and defense counsel. Her pimps were found guilty but released on appeal. For her own survival, Nina has fled to another country and assumed a new identity.|
Human trafficking not only continues but appears to be on the rise worldwide. Many nations are touched by it in some way, serving as source, transit, and destination countries where human beings are procured, transported, and enslaved through forced labor or forced sexual exploitation. Traffickers exploit the aspirations of those living in poverty and those seeking better lives. They use dramatic improvements in transportation and communications to sell men, women, and children into situations of forced labor and sexual slavery with virtually no risk of prosecution. The traffickers also exploit lack of political will by governments to tackle trafficking and its root causes. Corruption, weak inter-agency coordination, and low funding levels for ministries tasked with prosecuting traffickers, preventing trafficking, and protecting victims also enable traffickers to continue their operations. The transnational criminal nature of trafficking also overwhelms many countries' law enforcement agencies, which are not equipped to fight organized criminal networks that operate across national boundaries with impunity.
Uzma was trafficked from South Asia to a Middle Eastern country to work as a domestic. Her employer took her papers, beat her regularly, and gave her little food. Male relatives began sexually abusing her and then took her to hotels, forcing her to have sex with up to ten men over the course of a few days. She was locked in the house and never paid. She escaped when a young boy opened the door. She was picked up by police, who ordered her employers to send her back to her country. The employers sent her back, but only after three more days of prostituting her. Mercy escaped her slavers last year. Like many West African women smuggled or lured into Italy with the promise of jobs, Mercy was forced into prostitution to earn her freedom. She was able to escape with the assistance of a religious order. Escape did not end her nightmare. Three weeks after speaking publicly to human rights groups about her experience, her sister was reported dead in Florence, true to the threats made by her former captors.
What Is the Scope and Magnitude of the Problem? No country is immune from trafficking. A recent U.S. Government estimate indicates that approximately 800,000- 900,000 people annually are trafficked across international borders worldwide and between 18,000 and 20,000 of those victims are trafficked into the United States. This estimate includes men, women, and children trafficked into forced labor and sexual exploitation as defined in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. This estimate does not include internal trafficking. The new figures were generated from a database that examined reports of specific trafficking incidents, counts of repatriated victims, estimates for victims worldwide, and victim demographics derived from analysis of information from press, governments, non-governmental and international organizations, and academic reports from 2000 to the present.
[AP Photo/Bangladesh Women Lawyers Association]
Why Is Trafficking Flourishing?
Poverty and Desire for a Better Life. Traffickers exploit impoverished and vulnerable individuals seeking a better life. In countries with chronic unemployment, widespread poverty or a lack of economic opportunities, traffickers use promises of higher wages and good working conditions in foreign countries to lure individuals into their schemes. Many times the individuals have jobs or advanced degrees but believe the traffickers' promises because they want better lives.
The rebels came to Jonah's village in Sierra Leone when he was 10 years old. Jonah's mother refused to go with the rebels and was raped and killed. Jonah and the other children were forced to walk days without food while carrying heavy supplies. When they reached the rebel camp, they were trained to kill and taught to loot villages. His friend tried to escape but the rebels killed him. Jonah is now fourteen, the civil war is over, and he lives in the streets hawking goods because he has nowhere else to go.
Disruption of Societal Values. Greed and the widespread subjugation of women in much of the world facilitate trafficking. Poor countries have been flooded with images of wealth and prosperity beamed in through television or radio and lavish displays of wealth send powerful messages to impoverished citizens about the benefits of material acquisition. More often than not, an "ends justifies the means" rationale has taken root within communities to legitimize the source of the wealth, regardless of how acquired. The low status of women and girls in some societies contributes to the growing trafficking industry since female lives are not as highly valued as those of men and boys. Often, ethnic minorities or lower class groups are more vulnerable to trafficking. In some societies, the practice of entrusting poor children to more affluent relatives may lead to abusive and exploitative situations.
[AP Photo/Andy Eames]
Political and Economic Instability.Areas of conflict and post-conflict as well as transitioning states are easy targets for those interested in plundering a country's resources, including exploitation of its people. Sudden political change, economic collapse, civil unrest, internal armed conflict, and natural disasters greatly increase the likelihood that a country will become a source of trafficking victims as displaced populations are highly vulnerable to exploitation, abuse, and trafficking. In these environments, the victims may be one of the few resources of marketable wealth. Hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children have been exploited in armed conflict zones, where government militaries and rebel commanders profit from the services of child soldiers, porters, and sex slaves, and in post-conflict and transitioning states where organized criminal groups often fill power vacuums created by war, political change, and economic upheaval.
An employment agency helped Sutinah migrate within Southeast Asia to work as a domestic. Upon arrival, her documents were seized and she was told by the recruiting agency she had to work off a severely inflated debt. Her employer beat her, burned her with a hot iron, and refused to pay her. Unaware of her rights, fearful she would never get paid if she complained, and knowing that if she left her employer she would have only two weeks to find another job before being deported, Sutinah endured the situation for three years. She eventually escaped this exploitation with the assistance of a workers union.
High Profits. Modern-day slavery also thrives because of its profitability. United Nations estimates indicate that trafficking in persons generates $7 to 10 billion annually for traffickers. Human cargo can often be moved across borders and past immigration officials easier than narcotics or weapons caches, which are often seized when found. Trafficking victims, even if caught, can be re-trafficked. Traffickers can make additional money off victims by re-selling them to another employer after their often-inflated debt is paid. Traffickers may earn a few hundred to thousands of dollars for a trafficked child laborer and brothel owners may make a few thousand to tens of thousands of dollars for each woman forced into prostitution.
[AP Photo/Tomas VanHoutryve]
The Toll of Trafficking
Populations vulnerable to trafficking are growing with potentially disastrous effects on the entire world community. The number of orphans in many developing countries is rising dramatically, thanks to civil conflicts and HIV/AIDS. The rapid rise of child-headed households is creating fertile ground for traffickers.
Trafficking is a Human Rights Violation and a Crime. Traffickers violate the universal rights of all persons to life, liberty, and freedom from slavery in all its forms. Trafficking undermines the basic need of a child to grow up in a protective environment and human right of children to be free from sexual abuse and exploitation. Hundreds of men, women, and children die in transit or upon arrival at their destination. Thousands of victims are killed for refusing to submit to forced labor or sexual slavery, or for trying to escape. Others die from contracting diseases or suffering abuse during their enslavement.
Trafficking Increases Social Breakdown and Promotes Crime. The loss of family support networks makes the trafficking victim more vulnerable to the traffickers' demands and threats and contributes to the breakdown of societies. For families and communities, trafficking weakens parental authority, undermines extended family relationships, and eliminates the family's nurture and moral development of children. Trafficking interrupts the passage of knowledge and cultural values from parent to child and from generation to generation, weakening a core pillar of society. Victims who do return to their communities may be more likely to become involved in criminal activity.
[AP Photo/Jaime Puebla]
Trafficking Deprives Countries of Human Capital. Trafficking has a negative impact on the labor market in countries, according to the ILO, contributing to an irretrievable loss of human resources for developing countries. Long-term effects of trafficking include depressed wages for all workers, a lower number of individuals left to care for an increasing number of elderly persons, social imbalances in the proportion of males to females, and an undereducated generation. Forcing children to work at an early age and subjecting them to 10 to 18 hours of work per day denies them access to the education necessary to break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy that makes conditions ripe for trafficking. At-risk individuals cannot acquire the skills necessary to compete in their country's labor market, leaving national labor forces ill-equipped to compete in the global economy, where success is based on skilled workers.
[AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac]
Trafficking Subverts Government Authority. Many governments do not exercise control over the entire national territory. Trafficking operations thwart government attempts to exert that authority while undermining public safety, particularly the security of vulnerable populations. Some governments are unable to protect women and children, who have been kidnapped from their homes, schools, or refugee camps. Moreover, the bribes traffickers pay challenge a government's ability to combat corruption among law enforcement, immigration, and judicial officials.
[AP Photo/Suzanne Plunkett]
Trafficking Funds Illicit Activities and Can Feed Organized Crime Activities. The profits from human trafficking may strengthen criminal groups by funding other illicit activities while weakening government attempts to establish rule of law. Organized criminal groups, gangs, document forgers, brothel owners, and corrupt police or immigration officials funnel trafficking profits into both legitimate and criminal activities. Human traffickers are often highly successful because of links with other transnational criminal groups, such as arms dealers, drug traffickers, and car theft rings, which provide them with safe and tested routes, access to cash, forged documents, and officials to bribe.
Definition of "Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons"
The Act defines "severe form of trafficking in persons" as
Definition of Terms Used in the Term "Severe Forms of Trafficking in Persons":
"Sex trafficking" means the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for the purpose of a commercial sex act.
"Commercial sex act" means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person.
"Involuntary servitude" includes a condition of servitude induced by means of (a) any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that, if the person did not enter into or continue in such condition that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint; or (b) the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process.
"Debt bondage" means the status or condition of a debtor arising from a pledge by the debtor of his or her personal services or of those of a person under his or her control as a security for debt, if the value of those services as reasonably assessed is not applied toward the liquidation of the debt or the length and nature of those services are not respectively limited and defined.
"Coercion" means (a) threats of serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; (b) any scheme, plan or pattern intended to cause a person to believe that failure to perform an act would result in serious harm to or physical restraint against any person; or (c) the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process.
ABOUT THE REPORT
The third annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) is the most comprehensive worldwide report on the efforts of governments to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons. The State Department issues the report to Congress as required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (Division A of Public Law 106-386)(the "Act"). The law was enacted in October 2000 to combat human trafficking by ensuring the effective punishment of traffickers, enhancing protection for victims, and creating significant mandates for the Departments of State, Justice, Labor, Health and Human Services and the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Department of Justice expects to issue a progress report on the U.S. Government's domestic anti-trafficking efforts later this year.
The Act requires the State Department to submit an annual report to Congress on the status of severe forms of trafficking in persons. The Act's definition of "severe forms of trafficking in persons" and related terms are reprinted in the previous box. In this report, "trafficking" and "trafficking in persons" are used to describe "severe forms of trafficking in persons" as defined in the Act.
What the Report Is and Is Not. The annual trafficking report includes those countries1 determined to have a significant number of victims of severe forms of trafficking. The narratives provide an overview of the trafficking situation in the country and the government's efforts to combat trafficking. The first paragraph of each narrative describes the scope and nature of the trafficking problem in the country, and thus indicates the reasons the country has been included in the report. The second paragraph indicates the extent of the government's compliance with minimum standards and includes some suggestions for efforts to combat trafficking. The succeeding paragraphs describe some of the government's efforts to prevent trafficking, prosecute traffickers, and protect victims, and thus illustrate the reasons the country has been placed in Tier 1, 2 or 3 of the report. The narratives do not include extensive details, comprehensive information about the countries or their governments, or the extent of anti-trafficking activities undertaken by non-governmental entities. The TIP Report covers the time period of April 2002 through March 2003.
Establishing task forces and action plans are methods that some countries have successfully used to create goals and benchmarks for their anti-trafficking efforts. However, these plans and task forces, on their own, are not weighted heavily in assessing country placements. Rather, the report focuses on concrete efforts that governments have undertaken to combat trafficking. Similarly, the report does not weigh heavily laws that are in draft form or that have not been enacted, because they cannot yet be used to combat trafficking. In some cases, task forces, action plans or draft laws have been mentioned in a country narrative as examples of a positive attitude, or preliminary steps that the government is beginning to take to combat trafficking.
Why This Year's Report Is Different. This year, for the first time, governments that are not making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with the minimum standards-those listed on Tier 3-face potential sanctions that include loss of certain types of U.S. assistance; such sanctions would be effective October 1 and subject to possible waiver. In this year's report, several countries have moved from their placement in last year's report. Thirty countries are included for the first time in the TIP report due to increased information on the scope and magnitude of trafficking.
How the Report Is Used.This report is a diplomatic tool for the U.S. Government as an instrument for continued dialogue, encouragement for the current work of some governments, and a guide to help focus resources on prosecution, protection, and prevention programs and policies. After the release of this year's TIP Report, as in past years, the Department will continue to engage governments about the content of the report to help strengthen cooperative efforts to eradicate trafficking. In the next year, and particularly in the months before a determination is made regarding sanctions for Tier 3 countries, the Department will use the information gained in the compilation of this year's report to target assistance programs more effectively and to work with countries that need help in combating trafficking. Finally, the Department hopes the report will be a catalyst for government and non-government efforts to combat trafficking in persons around the world.
The State Department obtained information for this report from U.S. embassies and consulates around the world, foreign embassies in Washington, and non-governmental and international organizations working on human rights and trafficking issues. Our diplomatic posts reported on the trafficking situations and governmental efforts based on thorough research, including meetings with a wide variety of government officials, local and international NGO representatives, international organizations, officials, journalists, academics, and victims. The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons (Trafficking Office) compiled an initial draft of the report using information from numerous meetings with foreign government officials, NGOs and international organizations, published reports, research trips to every region, and the information submitted to the e-mail address,
Step One: Significant Numbers of Victims. First, the Department determined whether or not a country is "a country of origin, transit, or destination for a significant number of victims of severe forms of trafficking". In making this determination, the Department required credible reporting that the country was a country of origin, transit or destination for a number of victims on the order of one hundred or more, the same threshold that was generally applied in the 2001 and 2002 reports. Only those countries that reach this threshold are included in the report. In some cases information was not available and countries were not included.
Step Two: Tier Placement. As a next step, the Department placed each of the countries included on the 2003 TIP Report into one of the three lists, described here as tiers, mandated by the Act. This placement is based on governments' efforts to combat trafficking. The Department first evaluated whether governments fully comply with the Act's minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Governments that do so were placed in Tier 1. For other governments, the Department discussed whether their governments made significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance. Those countries making significant efforts were placed in Tier 2. Finally, those countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance were placed in Tier 3.
Tier 1: Countries whose governments fully comply with the Act's minimum standards.
Tier 2 : Countries 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 3:Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.
The "minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking" are summarized as follows. Governments should:
The Act also sets out seven criteria that "should be considered" as indicia of the fourth point above, "serious and sustained efforts to eliminate trafficking." Summarized, they are:
If a government is not in compliance with the minimum standards, the Department's determination of whether that government is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with these minimum standards dictates its placement in Tier 2 or 3. The Act sets out three mitigating factors which the Department is to consider in making such determinations. Summarized, they are as follows:
According to the Act, the governments of countries in Tier 3 in the report for this and subsequent years could be subject to certain sanctions, notably withholding of non-humanitarian, non-trade-related assistance. (Countries that receive no such assistance would be subject to withholding of funding for participation in educational and cultural exchange programs). Consistent with the Act, such governments also would face U.S. opposition to assistance (except for humanitarian, trade-related, and certain development-related assistance) from international financial institutions, specifically the International Monetary Fund and multilateral development banks such as the World Bank. These potential consequences regarding bilateral and multilateral assistance sanctions would take effect at the beginning of the next fiscal year, or October 1, 2003 for countries in Tier 3 of this report.
All or part of the Act's sanctions can be waived upon a determination by the President that the provision of such assistance to the government would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States. The Act also provides its sanctions shall be waived when necessary to avoid significant adverse effects on vulnerable populations, including women and children. Possible reasons for which a waiver may be considered would include that a country is being placed on Tier 3 for the first time this year. These sanctions also would not apply if the Department finds that, after this report and before the imposition of sanctions, a government no longer qualifies for Tier 3, i.e., it has come into compliance with the minimum standards or is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance.
Several governments increased their efforts to combat trafficking since issuance of the Department's 2002 report. In some cases, the increased efforts justified moving the country to a higher tier. As an admirable example, the United Arab Emirates has demonstrated a clear commitment to eradicate trafficking and made great strides to strengthen its efforts throughout the year. Since the government now fully complies with the minimum standards, it moved from Tier 3 to Tier 1. Countries that moved from Tier 3 in 2002 to Tier 2 in 2003 are Armenia, Bahrain, Belarus, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lebanon, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Tajikistan. Although they do not yet fully comply with the minimum standards, each was determined this year to be making significant efforts to do so.
Several other governments that were placed in Tier 2 on the 2002 report improved to the degree that they now fully comply with the minimum standards, and they are in Tier 1 of this year's report. These countries are Benin, Ghana, and Morocco. Some governments, whose efforts disappointingly lagged over the last year, dropped from Tier 2 in 2002 to Tier 3 this year or from Tier 1 to Tier 2. In some cases the shifts occurred because of new information not available in prior years. For others, new information or information not available in prior years indicated that there were countries with significant numbers of victims of severe forms of trafficking. Many are included on the report for the first time, some in Tier 3.
Regardless of tier placement, there is more that every country can do. No country placement is permanent. All countries must maintain and increase their efforts to combat trafficking. Toward its goal of eradicating trafficking globally, the United States will continue to monitor progress throughout the world and work with partners to strengthen international efforts to end this scourge.
Areas for Improvement
The Trafficking Office continues to welcome suggestions to strengthen the annual report and our engagement with foreign governments throughout the year. The Trafficking Office received constructive criticism on last year's report in several areas in which we strove to improve this year.
Lack of Specific Information About Law Enforcement Efforts. The TIP Report was criticized last year because data on arrests, prosecutions, and convictions was lacking. This year's report has more such information, but we can do better. Over the next year, the Department will be working directly with governments, our diplomatic posts, and NGOs to gather these statistics. While it is difficult in some instances to gather this information, in order for more accurate assessments to be made regarding a country's efforts on arrests, prosecutions, and convictions, in the end, national governments must supply such information.
Omission of Countries From List. Many countries were not included in last year's report. A country's absence from any of the three lists does not necessarily mean that it does not have a trafficking problem, but rather it may be a reflection of the Department's inability to find credible information indicating a significant trafficking problem as defined above. For many countries, particularly closed societies or those wracked by civil conflict, it is difficult to collect information or to hold a government accountable. Over the past year, the Department targeted its collection activities and as a result, 30 additional countries were added to the lists. We continue to seek credible information in those countries that are not included in this year's report but that we suspect have a trafficking problem.
Smuggling Versus Trafficking. There is often confusion on the differences between migrant smuggling and human trafficking. This confusion can make it difficult to obtain information, especially from transit countries. The mere facilitation of illegal entry into or through a country is not, on its own, trafficking in persons, although such migrant smuggling may be part of a trafficking operation or turn into a trafficking situation. Trafficking victims, as they are being moved through transit countries, may not know that they will be forced into prostitution or labor when they arrive in the destination country. Similarly, border patrol or migration officials may recognize illegal entry into or transit through a country but not have information alerting them of a trafficking situation.
Demand. The Trafficking Office was able to gather additional information on the demand side of trafficking, particularly on sex tourism from studies in destination countries. We seek more information on the relationship between demand and trafficking and on long-term societal trends that encourage trafficking.
A number of innovative anti-trafficking efforts came to light during the preparation of the TIP Report and through the Trafficking Office's engagement with foreign governments and international and non-governmental organizations throughout the year. Many of these efforts are particularly notable because they demonstrate low or no-cost anti-trafficking measures that are sustainable. Many developing countries have high percentages of working children and a problem with trafficking for forced labor or forced commercial sexual exploitation. In response, several have established local vigilance or watchdog committees to assist authorities in rescuing children, catching traffickers, and preventing trafficking. Some cash-poor governments are educating residents in trafficking-prone areas of the dangers of trafficking through meetings with local traditional, religious, ethnic, or community leaders; establishing child rights clubs in schools; running nationwide public awareness campaigns that include radio and television spots, cartoons, talk shows, dramas, and debates; and reaching bilateral and regional agreements to combat trafficking in persons. After listening to victims and then mobilizing community participation, many are now strengthening partnerships with non-governmental and international organizations, which are well placed to assist victims.
"Red Card Against Child Labor". African governments, the ILO, and the Federation for International Football Associations teamed up with airlines, popular African soccer players, music personalities, and television and radio stations throughout Africa to launch a continent-wide anti-child labor campaign during the Africa Cup of Nations Soccer tournament. Television and radio stations broadcast songs and public service announcements throughout the month-long tournament. In this campaign, airlines gave "red cards" to fans traveling to these matches indicating their support to "eject" or end the worst forms of child labor. This campaign is being replicated for other regions of the world and will be included in the next World Cup tournament. Some African countries, such as Cote d'Ivoire and Ghana, continue to use these anti-child labor broadcasting spots during national and local soccer matches.
Targeting Transporters. The Government of Benin educated transporters and the transport unions as well as taxi and lorry drivers on the dangers of trafficking through meetings, briefings, and road signs. In addition, local vigilance committees use chiefs and respected local women to help legitimize the importance of enforcing penalties against traffickers.
Discouraging Sex Tourism. The Government of Brazil is fighting sex tourism by asking hotels to be active in discouraging child prostitution on their premises. Hotels participating in the program receive an extra "star" in their quality rating. Brazil also distributes brochures to visiting tourists making them aware of the penalties associated with exploiting minors. The Government of The Gambia asks visitors to give information to the police about sex tourists and the sexual exploitation of children through a special tip system. The government requires fingerprints before residence permits are issued to foreigners in order to check criminal records to prevent known exploiters from operating in the country. The Tourism Bill before the National Assembly provides protective measures for children against sex tourists. The Gambian Government and the Government of The Netherlands set up a special police unit to monitor and track Dutch pedophiles in The Gambia.
Public Awareness. The Government of Mozambique has joined forces with non-governmental and international organizations to creatively utilize festivals, nationwide youth debates, dances, dramas, and posters to raise public awareness about child prostitution. They have saturated radio and television with key anti-child exploitation messages. The government also has conducted seminars for police emphasizing their role in protecting children.
Mass Mobilization. The Government of Bangladesh and international donors organized a month-long road march campaign throughout the country to highlight trafficking in persons and other crimes against women. Bangladeshis and government officials participated in the marches that educated communities about how to reintegrate, assist, and accept trafficking victims back into their home communities.
Mobilizing Children. The Government of Tanzania is educating children on the importance of watching out for one another. When children see one of their friends being abused or about to be trafficked, they blow wooden whistles that they have been taught to make, to identify the child in need. Community members, hearing the distress whistles being blown, then come to the child's rescue.
Listening to Exploited Children. The Government of Sierra Leone provides broadcast time for a "Voice of the Children" radio program run for and by children to assist in the psychological recovery process from the civil war.
Ban on Child Camel Jockeys. The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the first to enforce a ban on the use of underage, underweight camel jockeys. DNA testing is used to determine the parentage of children coming into UAE for work as camel jockeys and hand-bone x-rays are used to determine the age of camel jockey applicants. These practices prevent reliance on potentially fraudulent identity documents.
Source-Destination Cooperation. UAE police and Uzbek non-governmental organizations are working together on the rescue and repatriation of victims. The UAE also is working with the Government of Bangladesh to sensitively repatriate child camel jockeys. The Government of Saudi Arabia has opened an information center in Sri Lanka, a major source country for foreign labor, to provide briefings for foreign workers on their rights and responsibilities and on cultural mores in Saudi Arabia. This is done in an attempt to better acquaint potential workers-especially women-with the lifestyle they will be expected to lead in the Kingdom and helps prevent misunderstandings with employers. Separate entry lines for foreign workers at airports in Saudi Arabia are used to give workers information on rights and responsibilities and points-of-contact should they need assistance. The United Kingdom has appointed prosecutors as liaison magistrates in source countries as well as in Spain, Italy, and France.
Rewarding Law Enforcement. In Andhra Pradesh, India, a law enforcement officer's performance appraisal is linked to his or her efforts to apprehend and investigate human traffickers.
Victim Assistance. The Government of Morocco provides social workers to facilitate the repatriation of child maids to families. Moroccan diplomats in destination countries are trained about trafficking and actively go into Moroccan expatriate communities to look for victims. The Government of Sri Lanka assigns welfare officers to its embassies in countries in the Middle East to assist trafficking victims. The Kyrgyz Republic has labor offices to identify vulnerable nationals working in Russia. Police officers in Ukraine work closely with an active network of non-governmental organizations to assist victims.
Border Monitoring. In Nepal, former victims work alongside Nepalese border officials to identify traffickers and victims at key crossing points. The former victims are able to spot potential victims and provide assistance. The Government of Colombia has sent officials to the airports to identify and talk with likely trafficking victims as they are sitting and waiting to fly out. In many cases, they have succeeded in educating women about the dangers of traffickers and many potential victims elected not to leave. The Government of Romania facilitates cross-border law enforcement cooperation and assists in the coordinated anti-trafficking, joint law enforcement operation throughout the region.
Witness Protection. The Government of Sri Lanka encourages the use of video-taped testimony from children and other victims as evidence in trials of traffickers to decrease the trauma of the victims.
Government-NGO Cooperation on Law Enforcement. The Government of Thailand brings together government and NGO officials in an interagency working group to develop and implement comprehensive anti-TIP strategies. NGOs work to identify victims, pass that information along to the government, which can raid brothels, then refers victims' names and addresses to the NGOs for shelter and assistance. NGOs uncover information, such as the traffickers' names and addresses, from the victims and then pass that information back to the government to assist police work. The process makes for a regular exchange of information at a tactical level. A similar law enforcement Task Force exists in Edo State, Nigeria.
Shining A Light on Patrons. In addition to closing brothels that employ trafficking victims, South Korean police have threatened to publish the names of brothel owners and patrons. Many of the owners are prominent citizens and this strategy has proven to be a real deterrent.
|Benin||Hong Kong||The Netherlands||Taiwan|
|Colombia||Italy||Norway||United Arab Emirates|
|Czech Republic||Korea, Rep. of||Poland||United Kingdom|
|Armenia||Equatorial Guinea||Lebanon||Serbia & Montenegro|
|Brazil||The Gambia||Moldova, Rep.||Sri Lanka|
|China, People's Rep. of||Japan||Qatar||Vietnam|
|Congo, Dem. Rep. of||Kenya||Romania||Zambia|
|Cote d'Ivoire||Kyrgyz Rep.||Rwanda|
|Bosnia & Herzegovnia||Georgia||Liberia||Turkey|
The Department was unable to place the following countries in tiers because of extenuating circumstances in transitioning states, and information that is incomplete, unclear, contradictory, or difficult to corroborate. These cases merit special mention because there are indications of trafficking in each of these countries.
The first set of special cases involves countries where there is no effective central government or the central government does not exercise control over the country. These transitional governments cannot be fairly evaluated on actions by previous governments.
Afghanistan. A country in transition after more than twenty years of war, the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA) has condemned trafficking. The TISA is scheduled to hold a Constitutional Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) in October 2003 to adopt a new constitution, followed by nationwide elections for a permanent Afghan government is scheduled to take place in June 2004.
Scope and Magnitude. Press and refugee reports assert Afghanistan is a country of origin and transit for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. These reports indicate that women and children have been trafficked internally or sold by impoverished families to Pakistan, Iran, and the Middle East. There are also reports of the involvement of warlords in trafficking in areas outside the central government's control.
Government Efforts. The government established a commission to combat human trafficking in April 2003 that is collecting information on the causes of trafficking, developing victim-friendly repatriation strategies, identifying governmental capacity, and potential international and non-governmental partners. With the assistance of international donors, the government is establishing 14 women's resource centers throughout the country and has enrolled more than one million girls in school, an important prevention effort to assist vulnerable populations. The government is reviving old anti-slavery statutes as it prepares its new legislative framework. Some state-run orphanages take in trafficking victims and children from families that cannot afford to keep them as an alternative to selling them.
Areas for Improvement. The government, in collaboration with internal donors and non-governmental organizations, could undertake low or no-cost anti-trafficking measures such as conduct awareness-raising campaigns with free radio air-time for public service announcements, sensitize local assemblies and community leaders on trafficking, seek ways to shelter and protect victims, and collaborate with destination countries such as Pakistan and Iran to curb cross-border trafficking, protect victims, and arrest traffickers. Once international donors and the government form and train national and border police and re-establish a functional legal, court, and prison system, law enforcement should investigate and prosecute traffickers operating within Afghanistan.
Iraq. Another country in flux, Iraq is showing signs that a trafficking problem could emerge. The existence of displaced persons, widows and other vulnerable women, separated children or orphans dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive could gravitate toward peacekeepers and humanitarian workers as sources of potential income and safety only to be exploited for labor or sex. In many post-conflict situations, criminal elements have exploited the breakdown of rule of law and the desperation of vulnerable families, and abducted, forced, or tricked individuals into prostitution. Traffickers also flourish in situations with weak law enforcement. There is a lack of infrastructure for victims services and protection. This lack of medical services, counseling, and shelters are likely to discourage trafficking victims from coming forward. As we have seen elsewhere, the demand for prostitution often increases with the presence of military troops, expatriates, and international personnel who have access to disposable income.
Somalia. Somalia has been without a central government since its last president, dictator Mohammed Siad Barre, fled the country in 1991, but is a country with a significant number of victims. Somalia is a source country for trafficking victims, primarily women and children trafficked internally for forced labor by local militias. An increasing number of Somali children are smuggled to Europe by international criminal rings, many of which are trafficked into situations of forced labor and prostitution. Family members, smugglers, and traffickers use deception, pressure, and force to make Somali children accept false identities, use fraudulent documents, and exploit the social security systems in destination countries. In Somalia, children, some as young as 11 years old, are forcibly conscripted into militias to serve as combatants and servants. An international organization's pilot demobilization project is underway in Mogadishu for 120 children, including 20 girls. A small number of women may be trafficked to the Middle East for commercial sexual exploitation.
Areas for Improvement. All of the major factions in Somalia, including the Transitional National Government, need to stop the use of forced labor and conscripts, especially children. In addition, all groups should take measures to rein in smuggling and trafficking rings.
The following special cases are based on lack of information or information that is fragmentary or difficult to assess and corroborate.
Algeria, Tunisia, and Egypt. These countries may be transit countries for trafficking but the prevalence of smuggling makes it difficult for host governments to distinguish between migrant smuggling and human trafficking. In Algeria, transiting illegal immigrants from West and Central Africa travel through the country to destinations in Europe. It appears that some may be forced into prostitution while awaiting onward travel. Tunisia is increasingly concerned about trafficking as it has become a key transit country for smugglers. Anecdotal evidence suggests Egypt is a transit country for persons being trafficked from East Africa and South Asia to Europe and from the former Soviet Union to Israel. Hard data on the number of trafficking victims is lacking for these countries. The Department will, over the next year, engage these governments on trafficking in an effort to educate government and law enforcement officials on the issue and effective measures to combat trafficking.
Iran. Without a diplomatic presence in Iran, the Department has found it difficult to corroborate information.
Scope and Magnitude. Press reports and reporting from destination countries indicate that Iran is a country of origin and transit for women and girls trafficked to the Gulf States, Turkey, France, Britain, and Pakistan for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Boys are trafficked through Iran to the United Arab Emirates where some are forced to work as camel jockeys. Internal trafficking of women and girls for purposes of sexual exploitation occurs, fueled by the increasing number of runaways. Many of these victims are lured with the promise of good jobs, rich husbands, or exciting lives abroad.
Government Efforts. The Government of Iran is arresting, investigating, and prosecuting a significant number of cases involving prostitution and/or trafficking and working with Pakistan to increase border patrols to prevent cross-border trafficking of drugs and persons. Iranian law does not specifically prohibit trafficking; however, there are other statutes that are used to prosecute traffickers, including prohibiting procurement for the purpose of fornication. Over 7 months in 2002, police closed down 70 brothels. During the year, the government arrested hundreds of people for involvement in either "corruption networks" related to prostitution where young girls were trafficked abroad. No consolidated information on the total number of convictions is available, but there are cases where facilitators of prostitution rings have received sentences from 3 years to death. There have been unconfirmed reports of victims being arrested and jailed, as well as a past case in which a girl was arrested and later referred to a rehabilitation center. There were also reports in November that 20 girls were rescued with cooperation from the Pakistani government from a brothel in Pakistan. Although there are not any shelters or rehabilitation centers specifically for victims of trafficking, there are homes and shelters for street children (boys) and a shelter for troubled girls. According to press reports, the shelter for boys, called the "Green House," is a subsidiary body of the Tehran Municipality's Social Affairs Department where 4,271 boys were looked after and returned to their families or either assigned to welfare homes. News articles claim the "Reyhaneh House" for girls provides various services and assistance, including shelter, to runaway girls or other girls in need. There are 20 social workers at the shelter that provide counseling and assistance. Press reports say that out of the 450 girls who found shelter at the center, at least 149 girls were treated and returned to their families. It is impossible to determine if all victims are treated this way or if victims are punished.
Areas for Improvement. The Government needs to ensure that those who are being punished for trafficking are not the victims and are sheltered appropriately. More public awareness campaigns and attention need to be focused on the issue of trafficking, especially as it relates to the problem of runaways, as well as the training of police officers in dealing with victims of trafficking. Iran needs to curb corruption among law enforcement officials and judges and better monitor its borders.
Mauritania. A relatively closed society, information to gauge the scope and magnitude of trafficking in Mauritania is difficult to obtain and available information is dated, unclear, incomplete, and difficult to corroborate. There are only a few documented cases related to the vestiges of slavery reported by human rights groups and non-governmental organizations over the past several years. The Department will visit Mauritania this coming year to attempt to gain a better understanding of the social complexities surrounding alleged vestiges of slavery and other forms of trafficking.
Scope and Magnitude. The problem in Mauritania deals with reports of internal trafficking in persons, primarily for forced labor. Slavery was prohibited in 1981, but some former slaves reportedly work without remuneration to retain access to the land they traditionally farmed. We have no hard data on the numbers of individuals in forced labor situations. Lack of economic alternatives and deeply embedded psychological and tribal bonds make it difficult for many individuals who had ancestors who were slaves to leave their former masters. Adult females reportedly often find it difficult to leave servitude because former masters may claim to be the father of the children and refuse to allow the children to leave. Trafficking of children occurs for domestic servitude and forced labor. Some children are trafficked to the Middle East as camel jockeys.
Government Efforts. The government's primary mechanism for eradicating the vestiges of slavery and preventing trafficking is enhancing education, literacy, and access to health care. Many national and local government officials, including Ministers, Parliamentarians, and mayors are descendents of former slaves. The government is using debt relief packages to build schools and improve education. It has also hosted nation-wide workshops on the slavery prohibition and its impact on certain individuals. Efforts to eradicate child labor include a law prohibiting children selling goods in the streets of the capital, government-funded public service announcements against the worst forms of child labor, and a training program targeting street children. Trafficking is not prohibited, but the use of fraud or violence to abduct minors is a criminal offense with a 5 to 10 year sentence. Forced and bonded labor is prohibited, but the government's enforcement of this prohibition is weak. Typical judicial cases on slavery issues revolve around child custody and inheritance disputes. In 2002, judges resolved at least three child custody cases in favor of women. In May 2002, the government arrested two traffickers who were recruiting young boys to take to the Middle East as camel jockeys. They were convicted for falsification of documents and corruption of minors. According to human rights organizations, the government does respond to cases involving the vestiges of slavery, but is often slow in reacting. The government trains police and border officials on trafficking and protection of human rights. With NGOs, the government, including judges handling juvenile issues, provides assistance to orphans, unaccompanied or separated minors, and street children until they can be reunited with family members.
Areas for Improvement. The Government should strengthen and vigorously enforce the legal regime prohibiting forced labor, provide adequate protection for workers reporting exploitation and slavery, punish government officials who do not respond effectively to these cases, reward officials for taking positive actions, and broaden education efforts on worker exploitation, rights, and recourse for the public and government officials.
The U.S. Government condemns trafficking in persons and remains firmly committed to fighting this scourge and protecting victims who fall prey to traffickers. In addition to mandating the annual Trafficking in Persons report, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act established the following mechanisms to facilitate U.S. Government efforts to combat trafficking in persons:
President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.President Bush established the President's Interagency Task Force to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in February 2002. This Task Force is chaired by the Secretary of State and is made up of the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, the Secretary of Health and Human Services, The Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of Central Intelligence, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development. The Task Force's responsibilities include coordination of the implementation of the Act. The Task Force and the Senior Operating Group efforts are guided by a National Security Presidential Directive Against Trafficking in Persons, which President Bush signed in December 2002. This Directive instructs federal agencies to strengthen their collective efforts, capabilities, and coordination to support the policy to combat trafficking in persons.
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Department of State. Established in October 2001, the Trafficking Office leads the development and implementation of our international engagement on trafficking in persons and provides assistance to the Task Force. It also prepares reports and analyses on trafficking, coordinates international anti-trafficking programs, and conducts outreach with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations. Pursuant to a 2003 law, the office coordinates agency policies, including grants, concerning international trafficking of persons. In addition, other federal agencies represented on the Task Force provide detailees to the Trafficking Office in order to strengthen interagency coordination and assist with Task Force activities. More information about the Trafficking Office can be found on its website at www.state.gov/j/tip.
The efforts of the Trafficking Office are guided by a legislative mandate to combat and eradicate human trafficking; focus worldwide attention on the international slave trade; assist countries with the elimination of trafficking; promote regional and bilateral cooperation for trafficking eradication; support service providers and NGOs in their trafficking prevention and victim protection efforts; coordinate US agency grant policies on trafficking; assist other governments to draft or strengthen anti-trafficking laws as well as provide enforcement training to ensure traffickers are fully investigated and prosecuted to final conviction. The Trafficking Office is structured to accommodate these mandates:
The Trafficking In Persons Report Section. This section of the Trafficking Office is responsible for collecting information and engaging governments throughout the year to assess the progress of governments in combating trafficking. This report, addressing 116 countries that were found to have a significant number of victims of severe forms of trafficking, is the most comprehensive international anti-trafficking review issued by any single government.
International Programs Section. The Trafficking Office program section coordinated U.S. Government anti-trafficking efforts covering over 240 anti-trafficking programs in over 75 countries in fiscal year 2002. The types of assistance include the following: economic alternative programs for vulnerable groups; education programs; training for government officials and medical personnel; development or improvement of anti-trafficking laws; provision of equipment for law enforcement; establishment or renovation of shelters, crisis centers, or safe houses for victims; support for voluntary and humane return and reintegration assistance for victims; and support for psychological, legal, medical and counseling services for victims provided by NGOs, international organizations and governments. The State Department's priority is to help the governments of countries in Tiers 2 and 3 and some less developed countries in Tier 1 that are eligible for assistance and committed to combating trafficking.
Public Diplomacy and Outreach Section. In February 2003, the State Department and the War Against Trafficking Alliance held a successful conference "Pathbreaking Strategies in the Global Fight Against Sex Trafficking" which brought together some 400 activists and government officials from 110 countries around the world to share innovative approaches to preventing trafficking, prosecuting traffickers, and protecting victims. The State Department values partnership with NGOs and has actively sought out their crucial expertise and practical experience to wage an international campaign to combat trafficking. Within this last year, the Trafficking Office has hosted numerous meetings and briefings with NGOs to solicit their expertise and recommendations. The Trafficking Office asked over 200 NGOs to provide information on trafficking practices and programs throughout the world to help prepare this report.
Other U.S. Agency Activities
Department of Justice. The Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecuted 79 traffickers in FY 2001 and 2002, three times as many as the previous two years, opened 127 investigations of trafficking cases, and conducted the largest ever training for federal prosecutors and agents in October 2002. During the first six months of FY 2003, the Department has prosecuted 11 additional traffickers, despite increased strain on law enforcement resources in the wake of the September 11, 2001 attacks. Prosecutors stepped up their international efforts, working to build anti-trafficking capabilities and to share best practices with police and prosecutors in Eastern Europe and Latin America. The Department also held the first DOJ summit on protecting children from prostitution, launched a community response program, and worked with the Department of Health and Human Services to certify hundreds of trafficking victims so that they can receive federal and state benefits and services. The Department funded a number of non-governmental organizations to provide services to victims immediately upon liberation. The Department of Justice will write an assessment of U.S. Government anti-trafficking efforts.
Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland Security's Bureau for Citizen and Immigration Services issues a "T Visa" to enable certain trafficking victims to live and work legally in the United States for three years while their cases are being investigated and prosecuted.
Department of Health and Human Services. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has certified 392 victims of severe forms of trafficking, enabling them to receive a wide range of services to help them recover and gain self-sufficiency. HHS has provided $8.4 million in grant funding to 37 non-profit organizations that provide community education, outreach, and direct assistance to victims of trafficking. In addition, HHS is undertaking a public awareness campaign to inform victims of trafficking and those who might encounter a victim of trafficking of the programs to assist victims, and will be initiating a hotline for persons seeking information on how victims can obtain support services.
U.S. Agency for International Development. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has increased its programs for anti-trafficking activities in developing and transitioning countries, spending more than $10 million in over 30 countries in FY 2002. USAID's anti-trafficking strategy focuses on trafficking prevention, protection of victims, and implementation of anti-trafficking legislation targeted to specific countries and/or regions. These efforts are reinforced by USAID's platform of economic development, good governance, education, health and human rights programs. These programs address issues such as girls' education, reduction of violence against women and promotion of their rights, poverty reduction, administration of justice, and refugee assistance.
Department of Labor. The Department of Labor (DOL) supports programs through the International Organization's International Program on the Elimination of Child Labor as well as through non-governmental and faith-based organizations that address child trafficking in 20 countries around the world, either as the central focus of the project or as a component of a broader project. These projects rescue children from trafficking and exploitative work situations and provide them with rehabilitation services and educational opportunities in addition to undertaking prevention campaigns. Programs funded under DOL's Child Labor Education Initiative promote school attendance and provide educational opportunities for victims of child trafficking and children at risk of being trafficked. In the United States, DOL's Employment and Training Administration also assists victims with job training regardless of immigration status. This training includes job search assistance, career counseling, and occupational skills training.
1Under Section 4 (b) of the Taiwan Relations Act, "[whenever] the laws of the United States refer to foreign countries, nations, states, governments, or similar entities, such terms shall include and such terms shall apply with respect to Taiwan."