The Republic of Korea (R.O.K.): Cracking Down on Prostitution and Trafficking. In response to a petition by a million Korean women, the R.O.K. passed two significant anti-prostitution and anti-trafficking laws in 2004 aimed at combating the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls. The laws not only stiffened penalties for trafficking and prostitution, established support mechanisms and facilities for victims, and provided for public awareness and education campaigns, but also reflected the input of the NGO community and the government agencies charged with responsibility for enforcement. The Government of the Republic of Korea backed its new laws with both political will and resources. The new legislation has resulted in the rescue of over 200 victims and the arrests of over 500 traffickers and sex-buyers. The government's efforts have also produced a visible reduction in the commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls and markedly raised public awareness of trafficking and prostitution.
Mali/Senegal/Burkina Faso: Implementing Bilateral Anti-Trafficking Accords. In 2004, the Government of Mali signed bilateral accords with the Governments of Senegal and Burkina Faso to fight child trafficking. As a result, Senegal repatriated 54 Malian children and Mali repatriated 20 children to Burkina Faso.
Malawi: Creatively Combating the Prostitution of Children. People Serving Girls at Risk (PSGR), a local Malawian NGO, takes an innovative approach to help girls leave prostitution through social reintegration and building support networks. Male and female staff, "peer educators," go undercover where girls solicit customers and pretend to be prostitutes or clients to establish relationships of trust. The girls in prostitution are offered social and medical services and legal advice. PSGR helps form "watchdog groups" that are vigilant against girls joining or being lured into the commercial sex industry. These groups visit families and offer counseling to vulnerable girls.
Indonesia: Involving Local Muslim Leaders. Many young girls from impoverished families are educated in Islamic boarding schools (pesantren). The Asia Foundation supports the Fahmina Institute to provided anti-trafficking training materials to pesantren teachers, and to male and female preachers. In January 2005, The Asia Foundation helped organize a meeting of pesantren leaders, resulting in 32 schools forming the Pesantren-Based Alliance for Eliminating Trafficking in Persons in East Java.
Philippines: Public-Private Partnership. NGO Visayan Forum Foundation (VFF) operates four shelters for victims at major Philippine ports, including Manila and Davao. The Philippine Port Authority, police, and shipping companies, including the country's largest passenger shipping company, identify victims, mainly children, transiting the port and turn them over to VFF, which provides housing and protection. VFF then works with police to facilitate investigations and with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) to repatriate and counsel victims. At the Davao shelter alone, VFF serves up to 45 victims a week.
Portugal: Raising Public Awareness. In October and November 2004, an anti -trafficking movie, Dark Night was released for commercial viewing in Portuguese theaters. With a popular, well-known Portuguese cast, it ran alongside first-run American movies at mainstream cinemas. Dark Night, which was awarded the Portuguese 2005 Best Film and Best Actress awards, raised public awareness. Portuguese filmmaker Joao Canijo collaborated with police and NGOs to better understand trafficking and to portray it as distinct from illegal immigration in the film.
Czech Republic: Establishing Screening and Identification Procedures. In cooperation with NGOs, the Government of the Czech Republic has formalized its victim screening process by creating a list of ten questions for police to use. Detailed questions are often essential for law enforcement to discover a human trafficking case. With EU support, the Czech Government also established an intranet site for police on how to identify and assist victims. The site, used on a daily basis, includes definitions of human trafficking, ways to identify trafficking victims, how to proceed with trafficking cases, and which NGOs to contact for victim assistance. A portion of the site is under development and will allow officers to refresh training independently.
Estonia: Raising Awareness. To raise public awareness about trafficking in persons among students, the Estonian Government sponsored two essay competitions in spring 2004 for young people to write on the issues of prostitution and human trafficking. The subject was, "How could I fall into the hands of traffickers?"
GLOBAL LAW ENFORCEMENT DATA
The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2003 added to the original law a new requirement that foreign governments provide the Department of State with data on trafficking-related investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences in order to be considered in full compliance with the TVPA's minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking (Tier 1). Last year's TIP Report collected this data for the first time. The chart below compares data collected for this and last year's Reports:
Although reported prosecution totals decreased, the number of convictions increased, and more countries now have legal tools with which to combat trafficking. Data collection on prosecutions is not easy. Many sources commingle trafficking and alien smuggling data while others omit trafficking-related data because it is captured in other categories such as kidnapping.
Starting this year, for reporting in the 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report, governments must collect and provide full law enforcement data in order to qualify for Tier 1.
Slovenia: Protecting The Most Vulnerable. The Project Against Trafficking and Sex and Gender Based Violence (PATS) provides trafficking awareness information and assistance to asylum-seekers most at risk, especially single females and children separated from their parents. Key elements of the project include: One-on-one information sessions with a social worker for those at risk; information on warning signs and the dangers of falling victim; information about where potential victims can access assistance; access to specialized assistance and protection for victims identified in the asylum procedures; and access to asylum procedures for identified trafficking victims. All at-risk asylum-seekers receive a small book, the purpose of which is disguised, that contains trafficking information and assistance contacts throughout Europe. The project is jointly administered by the Ministry of Interior's Asylum Section, two local NGOs (Kljuc and Slovenksa Filantropija), and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Slovenia. Slovenia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs actively promotes the project regionally with other governments.
Global: Fighting International Child Sex Tourism. The World Tourism Organization, End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography, and Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes (ECPAT), and Nordic tour operators created a global Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism in 1999 (www.thecode.org). This code requires signatories to: 1) Establish a corporate ethical policy repudiating the commercial sexual exploitation of children and introduce such clauses in suppliers' contracts; 2) Train tourism personnel; 3) Provide information to travelers; and 4) Report annually on their progress. As of March 2005, 100 travel companies from 18 countries had signed the Code. The world's largest tour operator, JTB, along with the Japanese Association of Travel Agents, signed this spring.
Several governments, including Sweden, Italy, Brazil, and Thailand, deserve special credit. Queen Silvia of Sweden has been an especially committed, effective advocate. Italian law requires tour operators to highlight Italy's laws against child sex tourism in advertising materials. The Italian tourism institute and ECPAT-Italy established a training program for travel industry teachers, students, and law enforcement officers. Brazil has been a leader on the Code's International Steering Committee. The Tourism Authority of Thailand distributes literature on the issue at their tourism offices and airports.
Singapore: Preventing Abuse of Foreign Domestic Workers. During 2004, the newly created Foreign Manpower Management Division (FMMD) of Singapore's Ministry of Manpower sought to address abusive conditions faced by foreign domestic workers in Singapore, including conditions of involuntary servitude. It expanded educational programs for Singaporean employers, increased investigative resources and mediation services to address complaints of foreign workers, and mounted public awareness campaigns to sensitize the public on the problem of exploitation facing some foreign workers. FMMD carried out these efforts through a network of partnerships within the government and with local NGOs, unions, and civic groups. The Ministry of Manpower's efforts have led to a substantial drop in abuse cases, a rise in prosecutions, and what one activist called "an awakening in Singapore society." Prosecutions have been made more effective because Singapore applies one and a half times the normal penalty in cases where the victim is a foreign domestic worker.
PUNISHING TRAFFICKERS—WHAT IS SUFFICIENT?
As the Department of State collects and examines global law enforcement statistics in greater detail, a disturbing trend has emerged. In many countries, particularly in Europe, governments are imposing suspended or conditional sentences for serious trafficking crimes. This practice can mean that an individual who was involved, in some way, with a crime as serious as violent rape is sometimes released from police custody at the end of his or her trial and placed on probation. Can such weak punishment be sufficiently intimidating to deter human trafficking? Do suspended or conditional sentences adequately match the magnitude of the crime as required in the TVPA's minimum standards? Three of four minimum standards in the TVPA deal with punishing traffickers. (See page 252 excerpting the law.)
In most of the countries exhibiting this trend, higher penalties are available to judges under the criminal code, but judicial systems often have guidelines that favor the use of low sentences for first-time offenders. Beginning with the 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report, U.S. law will require countries placed in Tier 1 to submit law enforcement statistics covering: investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences imposed (including suspended and non-suspended sentences). Many governments are already sharing this level of detail. Others still struggle with tabulating trafficking in persons conviction and sentencing data. We will be looking specifically this coming year at what convictions actually result in punishment.
Morocco: Addressing Trafficking-related Crimes of International Peacekeeping Forces. Following allegations that Moroccan peacekeepers abused civilians under their protection as part of the UN peacekeeping mission to the Congo, the Government of Morocco took quick and vigorous action. It strongly condemned the act, quickly launched an investigation, and arrested six implicated peacekeepers, announcing that they would be court-martialed. Press reports indicate that Morocco dismissed the commander of its peacekeeping contingent in the Congo and his assistant. Four additional perpetrators were also arrested and are expected to face justice. The UN welcomed Morocco's decisive response. It should serve as a positive example for other troop-contributing countries.
Brazil: Outreach to Passport Applicants. To alert potential victims to the dangers of international trafficking, the Brazilian Government launched an information campaign for women traveling abroad. Each female Brazilian passport applicant between the ages of 18 and 35 receives a leaflet with her new passport stating, "First they take your passport, then your freedom." The leaflet includes a list of key human trafficking indicators and provides a national federal police contact number for filing complaints. The campaign was launched in October 2004 by the Ministry of Justice's Secretariat for Human Rights with the assistance of the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime. It is part of a larger public awareness campaign using leaflets, posters, and radio spots to prevent women from falling victim to international trafficking for sexual exploitation.
India: NGO's Annual TIP Report. The NGO Shakti Vahini, based in India's Haryana State, pioneered the concept of government responsibility on the human trafficking issue by publishing its own version of an Indian Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which rates in one of five "tiers" the anti-trafficking performance of each Indian state. Started last year, the Shakti Vahini TIP Report parallels and complements the U.S. Government's TIP Report from a uniquely Indian perspective. Shakti Vahini is currently working on its 2005 TIP Report and promises it will be an annual feature. Last year's edition gained attention within India and beyond.
IRREGULAR MIGRATION — TRAFFICKING VULNERABILITY
The country assessments in this Report show a clear link between migration and involuntary servitude or "trafficking." When people travel from their home communities, usually in search of better economic opportunities, they become more vulnerable to possible servitude. Lack of familiarity with customs, laws, and practices in a destination country or community can make them vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers or others they would trust. Documented migrants are less vulnerable than undocumented or "irregular" migrants, as they can avail themselves of legal aid in the community without fear of legal action taken against them. Irregular migrants, however, are extremely vulnerable to exploitation that constitutes involuntary servitude. Employers or others who seek to exploit irregular migrants for their labor or services can coerce the migrant into a form of servitude, by threatening to turn the worker over to immigration authorities for punishment of his or her irregular status. Using such a threat of "giving up" a migrant to immigration authorities for arrest and deportation is one of the elements in the U.S. Criminal Code's definition of forced labor — "the abuse or threatened abuse of the legal process." This element, which was added by the TVPA, is increasingly being used in prosecutions of trafficking crimes committed in the United States.
Withholding of Travel Documents
HEROES ACTING TO END MODERN-DAY SLAVERY
Angelina Atyam, Co-Founder of Concerned Parents' Association, Uganda
Angelina Atyam co-founded the Concerned Parents' Association (CPA) in 1996 after the terror-ist-insurgent organization Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) abducted her 14-year-old daughter. Since then, Mrs. Atyam has worked tirelessly to provide support and assistance to child victims and their families who have suffered from LRA atrocities, including rape, mutilation, forced labor, and forced soldiering. The CPA serves as a support network for more than 2,000 parents of abducted children and operates a reception center where former LRA captives are provided medical support. In 2004, Mrs. Atyam was reunited with her daughter, Charlotte, and two grandchildren, who risked their lives to escape from the LRA. Mrs. Atyam continues her work on behalf of abducted children, citing the CPA motto "every child is my child."
Nancy Kassebaum, Former U.S. Senator and Wife of Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Howard Baker, United States of America
Senator Nancy Kassebaum has been a longtime activist against human trafficking. In Japan, she visited NGO shelters that assist trafficking victims and worked with Embassy officers to determine how to significantly increase the public profile of trafficking crimes in Japan. She convened a conference that brought regional law enforcement, NGOs, and government officials together for the first time and applied her Senate experience and civil society savvy to help make the combating of human trafficking in Japan a priority. She has been a force behind the dramatic increase in public awareness of the human trafficking tragedy in Japan and has contributed to a national debate with lasting implications. Senator Kassebaum's contributions have had both an immediate and a long-term impact.
Ansar Burney, Chairman, Ansar Burney Welfare Trust International, Pakistan
A noted Pakistani human rights activist, Ansar Burney has worked relentlessly to bring to light the plight of thousands of South Asian and African children trafficked to Arabian Gulf countries for exploitation as camel jockeys. These abused children, some as young as two years of age, are purposely malnourished (to keep them lightweight) and denied education. As a result of Mr. Burney's efforts, the Government of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) established its first-ever shelter for rescued child camel jockeys, and rescued 68 such children and repatriated 43 through the shelter. Mr. Burney oversees this shelter. He is quick to point out, however, that much more needs to be done to rescue, rehabilitate, and repatriate thousands of trafficked children throughout the Gulf region. (See www.ansarburney.org )
Amod Kanth, Inspector General of Police, Indian Police Service (IPS) and Founder of NGO "Prayas," New Delhi, India
Inspector General Kanth is a model of public service to the vulnerable children of India. In 1988, as Deputy Commissioner of Police in New Delhi, he founded Prayas as an NGO dedicated to caring for children in distress, including child trafficking victims. With assistance from various donors, he has built up an impressive network of shelters and drop-in care and education centers for vulnerable children. Working with the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Prayas led the effort to create a nationwide system of child-help emergency phone lines called "Child Line." Now any child in distress in any of India's 56 largest cities can call "1-0-9-8" toll-free and receive help.
Somaly Mam and Pierre Legros (not shown), Co-Founders, Acting for At-Risk Women (Agir Pour Les Femmes En Situation Precaire-AFESIP), Southeast Asia
Pierre Legros and Somaly Mam founded AFESIP (www.afesip.org) in 1996 to combat human trafficking and advocate against trafficking in children and women for sex slavery. Ms. Mam is a former trafficking victim who suffered firsthand the misery of sexual slavery. Mr. Legros' and Ms. Mam's organization has evolved into one of the leading—and most courageous—anti-trafficking NGOs in Southeast Asia. AFESIP has assisted over 3,000 women and girls through counseling, training, rehabilitation, and reintegration. The organization currently operates five centers in Cambodia with 137 staff in Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. AFESIP has repeatedly taken on contentious and politically sensitive cases despite risk. It provided police leads that led to the December 7, 2004 raid on a notorious brothel promising virgins, and the rescue of 83 women and girls—a huge undertaking. Mr. Legros' and Ms. Mam's tireless efforts have endangered their family's life and brought numerous death threats from pimps and brothel owners.
Ricky Martin, Founder of the Ricky Martin Foundation, United States of America
International Superstar Ricky Martin has devoted his time, resources, and energy to improving the lives of children around the world. Mr. Martin founded The Ricky Martin Foundation, an international organization that funds programs assisting exploited children and families, especially victims of human trafficking. Immediately following the devastating tsunami in Thailand, Mr. Martin traveled to the region to warn people of the dangers of human trafficking and to show his concern for the country and its people. Recently, Mr. Martin joined with Habitat for Humanity to build and restore 224 houses in Pang Nga, Thailand. Lending a powerful voice to vulnerable children who are unable to speak for themselves, he's reaching tens of millions of people around the world. www.rickymartinfoundation.com
Aida Mbodj, Family Minister, Senegal
Minister Aida Mbodj has publicly taken a tough stand against exploitative child begging in Senegal, despite receiving death threats for her controversial position. As a leading government official and the wife of a well-respected religious figure, Minister Mbodj has worked to eliminate the abusive use of children to generate income for some religious scholars—a practice that qualifies as child trafficking under the TVPA. Minister Mbodj has enlisted the help of religious leaders to explain that exploitative begging is inconsistent with Islam's teachings. The Family Ministry now provides subsidies to Koranic schools that do not exploit their students. Minister Mbodj also laid the groundwork for, and signed, a 2004 bilateral anti-trafficking agreement between Senegal and Mali, which has already led to the repatriation of 54 trafficked Malian children.
Sisters of Adoration, Slaves of the Blessed Sacrament and of Charity, Lima, Peru
Saint Maria Micaela of the Blessed Sacrament founded this Roman Catholic religious order in Spain after she witnessed the abuse, alienation, and social exclusion suffered by many women used in prostitution in mid-19th century Madrid. Today, the Sisters support missions worldwide assisting trafficking victims by providing education, medical attention, counseling, and job training for girls and women liberated from prostitution. Members of the order regularly search dangerous city streets at night seeking girls and women who are trapped in prostitution and offer them opportunities for a better life. The Sisters of Adoration run education and assistance centers in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Japan, India, and other countries.
Adiba Umarova, Journalist, Tajikistan
As a result of a U.S. Government-funded program for media professionals in Tajikistan, reporter Adiba Umarova investigated a labor migration trafficking scam that had been dismissed from court. Her investigation led to the re-opening of the case and the re-arrest of the ringleader of the trafficking syndicate. The scam involved a group of men from Charku Village, who were deceived by an advertisement in a local newspaper promising work in Russia. After arriving in Moscow, the workers' passports were taken. They were forced to work in a landfill site to repay debts incurred for transportation. Several managed to escape and return to Tajikistan where they pushed for the arrest of the local scam leader. When the suspect was quickly released from custody without a satisfactory investigation, Ms. Umarova pursued the case beyond local officials to the regional prosecutor's office, which took an interest in the case and reopened the investigation. A short documentary was produced to highlight this story, which emphasizes important themes of forced labor abuse and local corruption.
Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden
Queen Silvia has been a leader in fighting child sex trafficking. In 1994, she agreed to become the patron of the First World Congress against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, which was held in Stockholm in 1996. Inspired by the World Congress' Agenda for Action, the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism was developed by ECPAT Sweden. One hundred major travel businesses in 18 countries around the world have adopted the Code, are informing their travelers, and giving employees training in combating child sex tourism. Today through the World Childhood Foundation, which she founded, the Queen supports child anti-trafficking and other efforts to combat commercial sexual exploitation of children in Brazil, Russia, Thailand, and many other countries.
Dewi Hughes, Media Celebrity, Indonesia
In 2003, the Women's Empowerment Minister appointed popular television personality Dewi Hughes as Indonesia's national ambassador and spokesperson for the Campaign to Eliminate Trafficking in Women and Children. Indonesia's National Anti-Trafficking Conference, supported by U.S. funding, publicly launched Ms. Hughes' role in July 2003. Since then, Hughes has committed herself fully and selflessly to raising public awareness of this crime, and has been a strong advocate for change. Known as "Indonesia's Oprah," Ms. Hughes has used her celebrity status to speak out to millions of Indonesians about trafficking through television, radio, and print media. On a volunteer basis, she has worked countless hours to conduct interviews, speak at conferences, meet policymakers, and provide narration for training videos on trafficking. Ms. Hughes initiates many of her own media engagements, and she has devoted many of her talk shows to the subject of trafficking. In recent months, Ms. Hughes has traveled to Aceh to highlight the needs of women and children left vulnerable by the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami, and she has spoken out in support of Indonesia's draft anti-trafficking bill.