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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

V. Country Narratives -- Countries A through G


Trafficking in Persons Report
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
June 3, 2005
Report
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AFGHANISTAN (TIER 2)

 Sign reads: Abuse a child in this country, go to jail in yours. Stop child sexual exploitation. 24 hr hotline: 023-720-555, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, WorldVision. [AP/WWP photo] Afghanistan is a country of origin for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. Children are trafficked to Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia for forced begging, labor, and sexual exploitation. Some parents pay smugglers to take their children into Iran and Saudi Arabia, hoping their children will find work and send remittances; once there, the children become subject to coercive arrangements that constitute involuntary servitude. Children are also "loaned" by their parents to perform agricultural and domestic work within Afghanistan in return for wages paid to the parents; these arrangements often develop into involuntary servitude. Women and girls are kidnapped, lured by fraudulent marriage proposals, or sold into forced marriage and commercial sexual exploitation in Pakistan. Women and girls are also trafficked internally as a part of the settlement of disputes or debts as well as for forced marriage and labor and sexual exploitation.

Afghanistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Afghanistan has a taskforce and national action plan focusing exclusively on child trafficking. It now needs to implement its comprehensive national plan of action against all forms of trafficking. Afghanistan needs to establish a shelter for women victims of trafficking as it has done for child victims. It should also deal with corruption within its police forces, as many perpetrators are not brought to justice. Implementation of these reforms is complicated by the fact that Afghanistan still faces resource limitations and daunting challenges in exerting control over some of its provinces.

Prosecution

Afghanistan's law enforcement actions against trafficking are hard to quantify and evaluate, as the government does not compile and keep central data on its prosecution activities. Reports indicate that out of a possible 20 suspected cases of child trafficking, two resulted in convictions, three resulted in acquittals, and six are still being prosecuted. Afghanistan does not have anti-trafficking legislation; however, it can use its other laws to prosecute trafficking and related crimes. The government should implement a comprehensive anti-trafficking law to combat all forms of trafficking. It should also aggressively investigate and prosecute elements within its police force that are complicit in trafficking.

Protection

Afghanistan improved its victim protection activities in 2004. It continued operating a transit center in Kabul to assist children deported from destination countries. It also used innovative family tracing and reunification systems to facilitate the return and reintegration of children. In addition, Afghanistan has a procedure by which parents/guardians are required to certify their children's safe return to them - a procedure meant to reduce the re-trafficking of child victims. In 2004, Afghanistan, with the assistance of UNICEF and IOM, started reintegration projects in the Baghlan and Takhar provinces for deported children from Saudi Arabia and Iran. Afghanistan, in collaboration with UNICEF, provided anti-trafficking training for officials in frontline agencies. NGOs provided clothing and temporary shelter to victims.

Prevention

The Government of Afghanistan improved its efforts to combat trafficking through prevention activities over the reporting period, due largely to improved security in certain provinces, increased access to education, cessation of war and conflict, improved border control, and improvement in people's standard of living. In 2004, Afghanistan completed a study on child trafficking and approved, translated, and distributed an action plan to combat this form of trafficking to all provinces. Afghanistan should conduct a similar study for all forms of human trafficking and adopt a plan of action to combat it.

ALBANIA (TIER 2)

Albania is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor, largely to Greece and Italy, where many victims are then further transited to the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands. Albanian children, especially ethnic Roma and Egyptian, continue to be trafficked externally for forced begging. Regional and international experts consider Albania to have significantly decreased as a transit country for trafficking in Western Europe.

The Government of Albania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government remained committed to monitoring and preventing trafficking at the country's main ports and produced successful interdictions. However, implementation of Albania's anti-trafficking tools remained inadequate and a critical area of concern. Greater, proactive steps in the areas of protection and reintegration are needed to ensure the safety of victims. The government must apply available laws and programs, in addition to improving prevention for vulnerable groups. Trafficking-related corruption must also be addressed.

Prosecution

In 2004, the Government of Albania continued to arrest, prosecute, and convict traffickers. Its courts prosecuted 132 traffickers and handed down 121 convictions. Commendably, over half of the sentences during the reporting period were over five years in length and 30 traffickers were sentenced to more than ten years' imprisonment. In September 2004, the government adopted legislation that includes broad civil asset forfeiture provisions, requiring the accused trafficker to prove the legitimacy of sources of wealth. Prosecutors, however, had yet to employ the forfeiture provisions. Serious resource constraints and corruption among government officials continued to hamper anti-trafficking efforts. The government continued to investigate police involvement in trafficking; in 2004, four police officers were investigated for offenses related to trafficking. The government did not prosecute or convict any officials for trafficking complicity during the reporting period.

Protection

The government provided some facilities and personnel to assist trafficking victims, and operates its own National Reception Center; NGOs have two additional shelters. The government has begun work on a national referral mechanism involving law enforcement, social services, and NGO partners to improve the initial identification, reception, protection, and reintegration procedures for returnee victims. Police slightly increased the number of ad hoc referrals made to shelters in Albania via IOM and NGOs. Police referred 274 victims to the Vatra Center, a leading NGO in Albania providing shelter and reintegration services to victims. Notably, a number of police directorates opened their own temporary shelters to accommodate trafficking victims. However, regulations necessary for the implementation of witness-protection measures adopted in 2003 have yet to be finalized. In 2004, the Government of Albania established a witness relocation program and adopted special witness protection provisions allowing for endangered witnesses in trafficking cases to testify via remote video link. The program remains unfunded.

Prevention

In 2004, the government conducted few prevention programs, and continued to reply primarily on NGOs and international organizations to carry out such activities. The Ministry of Education began to incorporate prevention activities into school curricula. In 2004, the government adopted a newly improved Strategic Framework and National Action Plan that outlines a comprehensive and targeted approach to trafficking. However, few aspects of the plan have been funded or initiated. In February 2005, the government also finalized its Child Trafficking Strategy and Action Plan.

ALGERIA (TIER 2)

Algeria is primarily a transit country for men, women, and children trafficked from Central and Western Africa en route to Europe for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Once in Algeria, some women find themselves exploited in prostitution, usually by a family member, when their financial situation becomes dire. African and Algerian human smugglers use deception and fraud to entice would-be victims from their countries by falsely promising victims easy passage through Algeria to destinations in Europe. They then abandon their victims after they cross over Algeria's vast and porous border in the south. In addition to instances of trafficking for prostitution cited above, desperate economic circumstances force some men to seek work as laborers in construction and other menial work. There are reportedly an estimated 200,000 illegal immigrants in Algeria, some of whom are believed to be trafficking victims.

The Government of Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has expressed willingness to address the problem through regional cooperation with similarly affected countries in the region. It needs to build on this initiative and develop appropriate policy mechanisms to more effectively tackle the problem. There is currently a plan underway to set up an office to combat trafficking, which will include appointing a national anti-trafficking coordinator to oversee and coordinate its anti-trafficking activities. This office should also develop and implement a national plan of action to combat trafficking, a mechanism for differentiating between trafficking victims and illegal immigrants, and a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that punishes traffickers, provides for the protection of victims, and facilitates prevention programs.

Prosecution

During the reporting period, Algeria has not done much to prosecute traffickers, largely because it does not systematically differentiate between trafficking victims and the thousands of illegal immigrants in the country. Although Algeria does not have specific anti-trafficking legislation, it has various criminal laws that could be applied to combat trafficking. However, there is no evidence the government has used these laws to prosecute traffickers, including those who reportedly subject victims into prostitution. Police and security officers regularly arrest illegal immigrants and deport them, but they do not systematically screen them to determine whether they are trafficking victims and subsequently accord them proper protection services.

Protection

The government did very little to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period, largely because its law enforcement officers do not have a procedure in place to positively identify victims.

There is no government-run shelter for the protection of victims, but the NGO International Committee for the Development of People (CISP) provides services for such victims in the Tamanrasset area. The government should increase its cooperation with NGOs and civil society members engaged in the provision of shelter and other services to victims.

Prevention

Algeria's efforts to prevent trafficking improved over the last year. In 2004, several members of the Algerian Coast Guard attended anti-smuggling and anti-trafficking training in the United States. The government should work with CISP and other NGOs, which have anti-trafficking public campaigns in place, and continue working with sources and destination countries to combat trafficking.

ANGOLA (TIER 2)

Angola is a source country for children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Angolan girls move back and forth across Angola's border with Namibia to engage in prostitution with truck drivers. There are unconfirmed anecdotal reports of trafficking for the purpose of child commercial sexual exploitation in Angola's cities. Small numbers of children may also be trafficked for forced agricultural labor.

The Government of Angola does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To further its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should launch a trafficking-specific public education and awareness campaign in trafficking-prone communities and expand programs that provide direct protective assistance to children in prostitution.

Prosecution

The government's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts improved during the year. Angola does not have a law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons. However, constitutional and statutory laws criminalizing forced or bonded labor, prostitution, kidnapping, and illegal entry are used to prosecute trafficking cases. In March 2004, government authorities opened their first specific trafficking investigation into a case of six girls who were lured to farms in Huila province with promises of employment and then sexually exploited. While it is regrettable that there was no conviction or sentence, the case was ultimately settled out of court, with the trafficker making restitution to the victims' families. Statistics were unavailable on other trafficking-related cases investigated and prosecuted by the government during the year. In December 2004, UNICEF conducted a train-the-trainers session on the enforcement of trafficking-related laws and immigration standards at the borders; 28 individuals, mostly Directors of Provincial Border Posts, attended this session. In March 2005, the border post directors in Bunguela province used this training to conduct a week-long training session for 25 immigration officials on combating child trafficking.

Protection

Government efforts to protect trafficking victims continued during the reporting period. The government funds 20 percent of its anti-trafficking programs, and provides in-kind human resources and facilities. Through its social welfare agencies, the government provided basic assistance to seven trafficking victims in Luanda; an unknown number of victims were assisted in other regions of the country. In 2004, the government started a program with the Catholic Church near the Namibian border to assist child victims of trafficking with reintegration into the community. The program's initial focus was on providing basic literacy and skills training, such as locksmith skills, tinsmith skills, or carpentry, to give trafficking victims viable future opportunities. The government, assisted by UNICEF, continued implementation of the post-conflict child soldier protection strategy, specifically targeting registered child soldiers. Former child soldiers were provided skills training, psychological services, temporary housing, and assistance with civil registration. To date, 3,750 of the 4,000 registered child soldiers have been assisted by these programs.

Prevention

During the period, the government made progress in preventing trafficking from occurring. The Immigration Service began enforcing a law requiring documentation for international air travel of children unaccompanied by their parents. Airport immigration officials prevented 78 children from departing Angola for lack of required documentation in 2004. The Ministry of Justice's child registration program registered approximately four million children during its three-year nation-wide campaign that ended in late 2004. The registration of these children limits the number of undocumented and therefore vulnerable children. The Ministry of Assistance and Social Reintegration helped approximately 4,500 separated children reintegrate into their families and communities of origin. The National Commission to Combat Child Labor and Trafficking in Minors began drafting a national plan of action to combat child trafficking. Government statements against children in prostitution and abuse of children's rights appeared frequently in local media.

ARGENTINA (TIER 2)

Argentina is primarily a destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Most victims are trafficked internally, from rural to urban areas, for exploitation in the commercial sex trade. Some Argentine women and girls are trafficked abroad, mainly for sexual exploitation in Brazil, Paraguay, or Spain. Women and children are trafficked from Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil for commercial sexual exploitation, and migrants from neighboring countries are sometimes trafficked to Argentina for other types of forced labor. Traffickers often threaten or inflict physical violence, restrict victims' movements, and forge documents to conceal the nationality and age of victims.

The Government of Argentina does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Officials investigated and prosecuted cases related to commercial sexual exploitation rings, and the government named a national coordinator on trafficking issues. Future government actions should address the slowness of the judicial process and ensure that any official involved in or facilitating trafficking is prosecuted. The government should also implement national policies to protect victims, prevent trafficking, and strengthen efforts to prosecute traffickers and collect data on trafficking crimes and prosecutions.

Prosecution

Law enforcement investigated and prosecuted some trafficking-related cases, but heavy case loads for prosecutors, Argentina's slow judicial process, and, in some instances, police officer complicity in trafficking activities hampered efforts to combat trafficking during the reporting period. The government lacked a coordinated law enforcement strategy and a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. The government used other laws to address trafficking-related crimes, with penalties ranging from one to 20 years in prison. During the reporting period, authorities investigated at least two new cases of trafficking for sexual exploitation involving more than four traffickers. Two other investigations of alleged trafficking-related disappearances remained pending, with some suspects in detention. Argentine courts convicted three traffickers who sexually exploited women and girls from Paraguay; defendants received four to 12 years in prison. There were no allegations of national government officials involved in trafficking, but prosecutors launched new investigations of police involved in trafficking women for commercial sexual exploitation, and a case implicating 19 officials in trafficking-related offenses remained pending in the courts.

Protection

Individual provinces provided some assistance to trafficking victims, but resources were insufficient for comprehensive care and protection. Prosecutors encouraged victims to support prosecutions and referred them to victims of crime centers, but no government services met specific trafficking victim needs and few NGOs worked directly with victims. A bill with provisions to assist and protect trafficking victims remained pending in Congress. The project "Luz de Infancia," which is aimed at combating commercial sexual exploitation of minors, assisted 18 children. Identified trafficking victims were not detained or forcibly deported, but not all officials understood the difference between trafficking and illegal migration or prostitution that was not trafficking-related. IOM repatriated nine women victims and dependents to their home countries; government agencies consulted IOM about additional cases involving approximately 20 women.

Prevention

Government prevention efforts during the reporting period were localized and failed to educate the wider public. The Luz de Infancia program in Puerto Iguazu and Buenos Aires municipal programs offered public awareness and education outreach. Buenos Aires authorities ran a telephone hotline, a poster campaign, and education for secondary school and public health officials on identifying and assisting victims of child sexual exploitation. The Foreign Ministry trained consular officers to assist victims. The government organized or participated in workshops and meetings on trafficking throughout the year. In late 2004, it appointed a national anti-trafficking coordinator to improve coordination of government and civil society efforts.

ARMENIA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Armenia is a source and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation largely to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Turkey. Some evidence indicates that Armenian victims were trafficked to other European countries as well. According to UN estimates, up to 1,000 Armenian women work as prostitutes in the U.A.E. and Turkey, most of whom are victims of trafficking.

The Government of Armenia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Armenia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List this year because of its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking over the past year. Specifically, the government failed to disseminate or implement any elements of its January 2004 National Action Plan. The government should take proactive steps to officially distribute, publicly support, and implement this plan as soon as possible. Notably, trafficking-related prosecutions and convictions increased; however, reluctance to apply the new anti-trafficking statute produced insufficient penalties. The government adopted an anti-corruption program and created a task force in 2004; however, it failed to take any measures beyond issuing a rhetorical pledge to address trafficking-related complicity.

Prosecution

Article 132 of the criminal code prohibits trafficking in persons and provides for a maximum penalty of four to eight years' imprisonment. However, the government overwhelmingly applied Article 262 of the criminal code — a lighter pimping charge. Out of 16 convictions in 2004, the government applied the 2003 anti-trafficking statute (Article 132) only once; the remaining 15 convictions under Article 262 produced much weaker penalties. While the government increased the overall number of trafficking-related convictions, the cases produced outcomes ranging from six-month to two-year sentences, suspended sentences, corrective labor and fines. These penalties are not commensurate with Armenian penalties for other grave crimes, such as rape. Indications of official collusion and complicity among government officials hampered the government's efforts to adequately tackle Armenia's trafficking problem. Members of the Procuracy allegedly assisted traffickers and border guards accepted bribes facilitating traffickers' movements across the border. The government failed to investigate or prosecute government officials complicit in trafficking.

Protection

Armenia's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts remained anemic over the last year. While Armenia's law provides trafficking victims with protection, the government largely failed to provide this assistance during the reporting period. NGOs and international organizations continued to provide the majority of victim protection and widely reported good cooperation with the government. The government did not issue any formalized or standard operating procedures for police to follow when encountering possible victims of trafficking. In the absence of a formalized referral mechanism, police informally referred victims to local NGOs. Police also referred potential victims of sexual exploitation for medical screening and treatment as necessary. The rights of victims were generally respected. The police often failed, however, to treat victims' identities with confidentiality. Victim assistance programs reported sheltering 15 victims in 2004.

Prevention

Cooperation between the government and NGOs continued to help raise awareness about trafficking in Armenia. The government sustained its program of providing housing to vulnerable children released from Armenian orphanages. The Department of Migration and Refugees initiated anti-trafficking discussions on several local talk shows. Lack of official recognition of the problem within many sectors of the government, however, contributed to the overall lack of progress. In a recent interview, the Minister of Justice declared that "trafficking does not exist as a phenomenon in Armenia." Informally, the government made a preliminary effort to engage bilaterally with Georgia, but did not develop any pro-active programs to assist Armenian victims in transit or destination countries.

AUSTRALIA (TIER 1)

Australia is a destination country for women from Southeast Asia, South Korea, and the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) who are trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Some of these women travel to Australia voluntarily to work in both legal and illegal brothels but are deceived or coerced into debt bondage or sexual servitude.

The Government of Australia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Commonwealth's Action Plan to Eradicate Trafficking in Persons provided substantial financial and personnel resources to combat the problem both domestically and internationally. Over the last year, the government further refined its anti-trafficking program. In 2004, the government made significant and greater efforts to combat trafficking, including developing further legislation to criminalize aspects of trafficking and increase penalties for trafficking-related offenses, increasing prosecutions, and enhancing victim assistance. The government should consider expanding its protection efforts to cover victims who cooperate with the police but are not part of a viable investigation.

Prosecution

The Australian Government made progress in its efforts to prosecute trafficking-related offenses. Trafficking cases were prosecuted under various statutes including provisions in the Commonwealth Criminal Code, the Crimes Act, and the Migration Act. During the reporting period, the Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigated 38 trafficking cases that led to the prosecution of 14 traffickers in five cases involving 24 victims. There were no trafficking convictions during the reporting period. The AFP's Transnational Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Team, a 23-person unit dedicated to investigating trafficking cases, was charged with determining whether a person is a trafficking victim, often after an initial referral from Australia's immigration agency. In addition to improving law enforcement efforts, the government has been developing further legislation to criminalize aspects of trafficking and increase the penalties for trafficking-related offenses. The government also used the Crimes Act to convict Australian citizens and residents who traveled abroad to engage in sex with minors less than 16 years of age. Since 1994, 13 pedophiles have been convicted under this law, which carries a maximum sentence of 17 years.

Protection

In 2004, the government took significant steps to improve efforts by police and immigration authorities to distinguish trafficking victims from illegal migrants. The Australian Government also made progress in identifying and eliciting the cooperation of trafficking victims in providing criminal evidence for the prosecution of traffickers. The government provided all suspected trafficking victims with short-term temporary shelter, medical care, and counseling. If these victims were determined by police to be able and willing to aid in a criminal investigation, they were given social security benefits, housing, medical treatment, legal assistance, social support, and vocational training. Australia's streamlined police investigation and immigration referral procedures resulted in an increase in the number of suspected trafficking victims referred for visa determinations. During the reporting period, immigration authorities granted 29 bridging visas to trafficking victims. In 2004, the Government also introduced a new witness protection visa exclusively for trafficking victims.

Prevention

The Australian Government continued to expand its efforts to prevent new incidents of trafficking. The government coordinated closely with neighboring countries to investigate trafficking and funded awareness campaigns in source countries. Australian Government funding helped to establish specialized anti-trafficking law enforcement units and to develop prosecutorial capabilities in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Burma. The government demonstrated regional leadership by providing foreign aid to strengthen the capacity of regional police forces to investigate trafficking cases, supported legal education programs to assist lawmakers in improving their capacity to prosecute traffickers, and funded reintegration programs for trafficking victims. Within Australia, the government continued its multi-year community awareness project on trafficking. The Australian Government also widely publicized criminal cases against traffickers. Australia continued its cooperation with foreign governments in the local prosecution of Australian pedophiles or their extradition or deportation to Australia so they could be tried for the extra-territorial offense of sexual exploitation of a minor.

AUSTRIA (TIER 1)

Austria is a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked from Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, particularly Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Belarus, and Ukraine, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Those victims transiting are bound for other EU countries, especially Italy, France, Spain, and Germany. Trafficking in Romanian children decreased dramatically in 2004, mainly due to cooperation between Austrian and Romanian law enforcement authorities. Trafficking of Bulgarian children for the purposes of forced begging and stealing remains a problem.

The Government of Austria fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In November 2004, Austria upgraded its working group on trafficking, renaming it a "Task Force" and giving it official status and a mandate. While convictions decreased, the number of trafficking investigations and cases filed under Austria's amended criminal code increased. The Austrian Government should consider giving greater funding to NGOs that assist larger numbers of trafficking victims each year, and expanding its prevention program to include domestic demand-reduction programs. It should also increase its ability to provide police protection to victims willing to testify and focus more efforts on convicting and sentencing traffickers.

Prosecution

Austrian authorities filed trafficking cases against 348 suspects in 2004, 106 of whom were charged under Austria's May 2004 article against trafficking. Convictions of traffickers dropped, however, from 27 in 2002 to 11 in 2003 - the most recent conviction statistics available. Each of the 11 convicted served a prison sentence; sentences ranged from six months to three years. The police academy provided police cadets with a one-day training course on trafficking. In January 2005, the Ministry of Justice held a training conference on trafficking for approximately 75 Austrian judges, public prosecutors, police, and officials from the Ministries of Interior and Justice. During the reporting period, there was no evidence that government authorities were complicit in the trafficking of persons. Austrian law enforcement authorities worked closely with police authorities in several source countries where trafficking victims originated. In particular, intense cooperation to stem trafficking in persons continued with Romanian authorities and with the Hungarian border police.

Protection

The Austrian Government maintained its strong trafficking victim protection efforts, and increased the number of victims reached over the last year. The Interior Ministry and the Ministry of Health and Women funded Austria's primary anti-trafficking NGO, which assisted 167 trafficking victims in 2004, up from 142 victims in 2003. Of those 167 victims, 37 stayed in the NGO's shelter, with the median stay being 11 to 20 weeks. The government did not keep statistics on the number of temporary residence permits issued to trafficking victims. However, the primary anti-trafficking NGO noted that 14 out of the 17 trafficking victims that requested temporary residence permits received them. Continued residence for trafficking victims is possible in certain cases. Trafficking victims identified by trained police officers, or with the help of an NGO if police suspect trafficking, received full rights under Austrian law and access to the Austrian social system for the duration of the case. Austria's principal shelter provided secure housing for trafficking victims while in Austria. No trafficking victims were under witness protection status in 2004.

Prevention

In early 2005, Austria initiated a domestic anti-trafficking campaign; the State television broadcaster began airing UN public service announcements to raise trafficking awareness and reach out to trafficking victims. The Foreign Ministry continued to distribute information packets through Austrian embassies in Eastern Europe to potential trafficking victims to inform them of where to go to get help in Austria. The Austrian Government did not include domestic demand-reduction programs as part of its overall prevention efforts. During the reporting period, the Austrian Government worked with the Romanian Government to train victim assistance personnel through an exchange between shelters in Vienna and Bucharest. Austria has no national action plan or public planning document to fight trafficking.

AZERBAIJAN (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Azerbaijan is primarily a country of origin and transit for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Azerbaijani, Russian, Ukrainian, and Central Asian women and girls were trafficked from or through the country to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Turkey, Pakistan, and India. Internal trafficking of women and girls appeared to be an increasing problem. There were some reports of men trafficked to neighboring countries (e.g., Turkey and Russia) for forced labor.

The Government of Azerbaijan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Government of Azerbaijan is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year because of its inability to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking over the reporting period. The government's efforts remained in preliminary stages of implementation. However, government recognition and acknowledgement of the problem increased and progress was made in a few notable areas, particularly in the drafting of anti-trafficking legislation and amendments to the criminal code. In addition, the government increased the number of its trafficking investigations and established an anti-trafficking police unit. The Government of Azerbaijan should ensure full implementation of its national action plan, formalize a victim referral and protection system, provide adequate anti-trafficking training for police, and properly vet officers on the anti trafficking unit.

Prosecution

Anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in Azerbaijan remained anemic during the last year. The government drafted anti-trafficking legislation and amendments to the criminal code, but did not officially adopt them during 2004. The government continued its use of trafficking-related charges of slavery, rape, coercion into prostitution and inducing a minor into prostitution to investigate trafficking crimes. The government in 2004 reported 106 trafficking-related investigations, ten of which resulted in convictions - a decrease from 20 convictions in 2003. Eight perpetrators received one-year prison sentences and two female offenders were reportedly released because they had children. The government created a special anti-trafficking police unit and developed operational guidelines for the unit, though the unit's members were not vetted according to international standards. Reports of official complicity continued during the reporting period, yet the government failed to investigate or prosecute any new cases of official corruption during the year. In January 2005, a new anti-corruption law adopted by the Government of Azerbaijan came into force; it aims to reduce corruption and increase professionalism, particularly among police and customs officials.

Protection

During the reporting period, the government did not show evidence of employing a formal referral mechanism or specialized protections for trafficking victims but did informally refer victims to state healthcare facilities, international organizations, and some local NGOs for assistance. The government continued to provide mandatory health screening and treatment to women in prostitution, many of whom the government believes fit the trafficking profile. As previously recommended, the government did not provide these individuals with information on trafficking. The Cabinet of Ministers identified property that will be used to house a shelter for trafficking victims.

Prevention

In May 2004, the President issued an official decree ordering all government bodies to implement Azerbaijan's National Action Plan and named the Deputy Minister of Internal Affairs as National Coordinator for Trafficking. International organizations and NGOs conducted the bulk of anti-trafficking prevention activities; however, cooperation and participation from local government officials increased slightly. A local NGO provided some anti-trafficking training to police. For the first time in 2004, Azerbaijani consular officers began to report potential trafficking cases to international organizations. The government targeted prevention efforts at populations vulnerable to being trafficked and funded the construction of permanent housing for internally displaced persons. The government continued its communication with neighboring governments on transnational crime issues, including trafficking in persons.

BAHRAIN (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Bahrain is a destination country for women and men who migrate legally from South Asia and the Philippines and — to a lesser extent — from China, Indonesia, the former Soviet Union, Morocco, and Ethiopia, but fall victim to conditions of sexual servitude, debt bondage, and other exploitative conditions that constitute involuntary servitude.

The Government of Bahrain does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Bahrain is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because of the lack of evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year. Although Bahrain has developed a national plan of action and created an inter-ministerial taskforce on trafficking, these efforts were not accompanied by concrete actions to address the substantial trafficking problem it faces. During the reporting period, the government did not prosecute any person on trafficking charges, despite continued reports of foreign workers in conditions of involuntary servitude. A promised government-run shelter for trafficking victims has not opened and some prominent Bahrainis reportedly continue to illegally sell "free visas" to workers, thereby indirectly facilitating the trafficking of victims. Bahrain should develop and implement appropriate anti-trafficking measures to address these concerns.

Prosecution

The Government of Bahrain did not improve its prosecution record during the reporting period. Although Bahrain lacks anti-trafficking laws to prosecute traffickers, it has ruled in favor of workers in numerous cases of abuses and non-payment of wages. The Ministry of Labor provides mediation services to resolve labor disputes. In 2004, the Ministry of Labor mediated and resolved 624 complaints and it referred 1,926 complaints to courts, though it is unknown how many, if any, of these cases are trafficking-related. Bahrain reported that it is investigating 43 employers for offenses related to abuse of "free visa" privileges to bring in foreign workers. Press reports indicate that the government arrested and deported foreign women for engaging in prostitution during the year; however, there is no evidence that the government attempted to identify potential trafficking victims among the arrested women. During the reporting period, the government shut down some manpower agencies engaged in trafficking-related offenses. Bahrain's court system is overburdened with cases; many labor complaints languish in courts.

Protection

The Government of Bahrain took some steps to protect victims of trafficking over the last year. It registered the Migrant Workers Group (MWG) — an NGO working to protect vulnerable foreign laborers — and gave it permission to open a shelter for trafficking victims. Bahrain's inter-ministerial taskforce on trafficking announced the establishment of a safe house for victims. The government does not, however, take adequate measures to identify trafficking victims and accord them with sufficient protections. In most cases, victims are detained and deported, though the government encourages them to pursue their cases through their embassies. The government's telephone hotline to assist victims of abuse continues to encounter operational problems and is staffed by people with inadequate training.

Prevention

In 2004, the Government of Bahrain took a few positive steps to prevent trafficking. Despite prior agreement with IOM to conduct a trafficking survey, the project did not materialize, as the government did not grant the necessary permission for IOM to operate in the country. The government announced a plan for conducting public awareness campaigns on the issue of labor exploitation and potential trafficking. It continued to meet with local embassies on a monthly basis to address trafficking-related concerns and distributed pamphlets in Arabic, Bengali, English, Singhalese, Tagalog, Thai, and Urdu to foreign workers. In 2004, Bahrain launched a campaign to educate employers on the country's labor laws and announced plans to tighten the issuance of visitor visas in response to reports of increased abuses of foreign workers.

BANGLADESH (TIER 2)

Bangladesh is a country of origin and transit for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation, involuntary domestic servitude, and debt bondage. Bangladeshi women and girls are trafficked to India, Pakistan, Bahrain, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). A small number of women and girls are trafficked from Burma to India through the country.

Bangladeshi boys are also trafficked to the U.A.E., Qatar, and Kuwait for forced work as camel jockeys and beggars. Women and children from rural areas in Bangladesh are trafficked to urban centers for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. Young boys are lured into forced servitude in the fishing industry in Dublar Char and other islands in the Bay of Bengal region.

The Government of Bangladesh does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Over the last year, Bangladesh showed commendable progress in all areas of anti-trafficking efforts. Bangladesh established an inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee to oversee its national efforts to combat trafficking, created a national anti-trafficking police monitoring unit with presence in all 64 districts, prosecuted an increased number of trafficking and trafficking-related corruption cases, rescued over 161 boys from servitude in the fishing industry, devised and launched a multi-faceted anti-trafficking public awareness campaign, and increased its cooperation with NGOs involved in the fight against trafficking. Despite these achievements, Bangladesh continues to face a huge trafficking problem, which is compounded by pervasive poverty, weak government structures, and generalized corruption. Bangladesh should expand its anti-corruption efforts to reduce the witting and unwitting complicity of officials in trafficking.

Prosecution

Over the reporting period, the Government of Bangladesh made marked improvements in investigating, prosecuting, and punishing traffickers. Through dedicated district-level anti-trafficking magistrates, the government prosecuted 70 cases of trafficking, resulting in 42 convictions — more than double the 17 convictions from the previous year. Twenty-one cases initiated are in the investigation stage. Bangladesh has also charged 11 officials for trafficking-related corruption; those prosecutions are underway. Although an improvement from the previous year, this anti-corruption effort remains weak compared to the large scale of trafficking in Bangladesh. The government appointed a Deputy Attorney General to coordinate the prosecution of trafficking cases throughout the country, and it created an anti-trafficking police cell to compile statistics and data on trafficking cases and victims and to produce witnesses for trial. Although the government rescued over 161 boys trapped in servitude in the fishing industry, none of their traffickers and exploiters was brought to justice.

Protection

The government primarily relies on NGOs such as the Bangladesh National Women Lawyers Association for shelter, medical care, counseling, repatriation, and reintegration services. However, it also runs safe houses, which can shelter trafficking victims. During 2004, the government returned 123 victims to their guardians; it also turned over 21 victims to NGO-run shelters and 11 to government-run safe homes. The government cooperates with NGOs and foreign governments in the repatriation and reintegration of victims. Various NGOs provide training to government officials on victim assistance and protection techniques. Although Bangladesh does not provide training to its overseas diplomats on detecting and caring for victims of trafficking, it has plans to collaborate with an NGO to provide such training to its diplomats.

Prevention

During the reporting period, Bangladesh made progress in implementing anti-trafficking preventive measures. Bangladesh's efforts include launching broad and extensive public awareness campaigns through its national television and radio, conducting anti-trafficking training for religious teachers, and integrating anti-trafficking training material in Bangladesh's Rifles (Border Patrol) training curriculum. In addition, the Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs continued its campaign of "Road Marches" to raise awareness of the dangers of trafficking.

BELARUS (TIER 2)

Belarus is primarily a source country for women and children trafficked to Europe, North America, the Middle East, and Japan for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Approximately one-fifth of the victims IOM assisted in 2004 were trafficked for labor exploitation. Organizations reported an increase in men trafficked for forced labor to Russia during the reporting period. Belarus' borders with Russia and Ukraine remained porous, allowing for the easy movement of people.

The Government of Belarus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In early March 2005, President Lukashenko signed a presidential decree to combat trafficking in persons; the lower house of parliament approved the decree in early April. Belarus continued to increase its law enforcement efforts, but it lacked adequate funding for victim protection and trafficking prevention. To advance anti-trafficking efforts, Belarus should adopt amendments to strengthen anti-trafficking legislation including defining victims' rights. The interagency task force should meet regularly. Also, as a major source country, Belarus should provide the training and funding its overseas personnel need to assist trafficking victims.

Prosecution

Belarusian anti-trafficking enforcement efforts increased during the reporting period. Law enforcement authorities prosecuted 290 trafficking cases in 2004, up from 191 in 2003. To detect victims and trafficking schemes, the State Border Guards worked with former trafficking victims. Existing 2001 anti-trafficking legislation prohibits trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation with sufficiently severe penalties. Prosecutors and judges improved their use of this law in 2004; the government secured the first conviction under it in July. The government deals with trafficking for labor exploitation under a separate article with sentences of up to three years' imprisonment. In total, Belarusian courts convicted 26 individuals for trafficking and recruiting for sexual exploitation. In 2004, the courts imposed penalties for trafficking of three to eight years' imprisonment. In 2004, Belarusian authorities cooperated on trafficking cases with their counterparts from Germany, Austria, Israel, Turkey, the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom, and Poland. While reports continued of bribes to law enforcement and border officials for ignoring trafficking activities, in 2004 the government made strong statements condemning such inducements. In February 2005, the courts found a Ministry of Culture official guilty of complicity in trafficking for sexual exploitation from January 2001 to April 2003. The court sentenced him to eight years' imprisonment and confiscated his personal property.

Protection

The Belarusian Government did not directly fund victim assistance during the reporting period, though it gave some in-kind support to NGOs. In July 2004, the Minsk city government provided building space for an EU/UNDP-funded shelter. The government integrated into its law enforcement training academy an IOM-produced anti-trafficking operations manual that provides guidance on victim detection methods and approaches to working with and assisting victims. According to the Ministry of Interior, it did not arrest, fine, or charge victims with prostitution or immigration violations in 2004; it made 110 direct referrals to IOM during the reporting period. Witness protection of trafficking victims remained inadequate. Overall, Belarusian law and society continued to consider women "victims" only if they were unaware prior to their trafficking ordeal that they would be involved in prostitution; even then, they often suffered as social outcasts.

Prevention

While the government did not conduct independent anti-trafficking information campaigns in 2004, it actively supported those of international organizations. The government aired anti-trafficking public service announcements produced by international organizations on State television channels free of charge. In January 2005, a State-owned television channel aired the UNDP documentary film, Ally's Dream, which is about Belarusian girls trafficked to Germany and Russia for sexual exploitation. The documentary also ran in selected theaters with strong advertising to students. The government's Task Force to Combat Trafficking did not convene during the reporting period.

BELGIUM (TIER 1)

Belgium is a destination and transit country for trafficked persons. The majority of trafficking victims in Belgium are young women primarily from Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Europe, and Asia. Particularly prominent source countries are Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, and China. Victims are destined for Belgium's larger cities or other European countries, usually for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Male victims are typically trafficked for exploitative labor in restaurants and sweatshops.

The Government of Belgium fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to show a well-coordinated system of protection and law enforcement, leading to increased convictions in 2004. The government took important measures to improve penalties for traffickers and streamline anti-trafficking coordination among relevant governmental entities. Expanding public awareness campaigns to target domestic demand would further strengthen Belgium's anti-trafficking efforts.

Prosecution

In 2004, the Government of Belgium continued its proactive and sophisticated approach to anti-trafficking law enforcement. In 2003, Belgium courts convicted 170 suspects on trafficking-related charges, an increase from 130 in 2002. The government continued to post liaison officers in source countries to assist in case development. In April 2004, it issued a directive to magistrates to prioritize cases involving violations of human dignity, violence, and young victims. In an effort to increase sentences for traffickers, the government submitted a draft bill that will strengthen and align Belgium's penalties with prevailing international practice. In 2004, the Ministry of Justice established an intranet site for use by prosecutors in pursuing traffickers. A special police unit continued to be responsible for anti-trafficking enforcement. In 2004, Belgian law enforcement teams mounted several joint operations with other counterparts in the region.

Protection

In 2004, Belgium devoted significant resources to victim-assistance programs, and police increased the number of victims referred to three specialized trafficking shelters. The 2004 Custody Act upgraded victim protection by assigning a custodian to minors who are trafficking victims and offered shelter options ranging from specialized centers to placement with individual families. Relocation services were available to victims under threats by their traffickers. NGOs reported excellent cooperation with law enforcement, and in 2004 the three shelters cared for 893 victims. The government continued to provide victims a 45-day "reflection" period of care, during which they can consider whether to assist in the investigation of their traffickers; subsequent government protection is linked to a victim's willingness to testify. The government continued to repatriate those who choose not to cooperate. The government generally approved long-term residency and work permits for cooperating victims. In extraordinary cases of proven hardship, victims may qualify for a residence permit on humanitarian grounds.

Prevention

The government continued to take innovative and proactive measures to monitor and improve its legislative and institutional response to trafficking. In May 2004, the government restructured its anti-trafficking efforts, instituting coordination cells composed of representatives from all relevant ministerial departments. During the reporting period, the government issued a report reviewing measures it took to prevent the recurrence of fraudulent visa issuance by a Belgian Embassy and consulate as happened in the 1990's. In September 2004, the government co-sponsored an aware-ness-raising campaign to warn and educate Belgian travelers about child sex tourism. Belgium continued to fund regional and global anti-trafficking prevention campaigns in source countries.

BELIZE (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Belize is a transit and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked to Belize, mainly from Central America, to work in Belize's growing sex industry. Girls are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation, sometimes with the consent and encouragement of their parents. There are also reports of sexual and labor exploitation of men and women in Belize's banana, sugarcane, and citrus industries. Some Chinese and Indians are trafficked to Belize for debt bondage. Exact numbers of trafficking victims are unknown, particularly the number of transnational trafficking victims, given Belize's lengthy and porous borders.

The Government of Belize does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Belize is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to fight trafficking over the last year, particularly in the area of victim protection and prosecution of trafficking-related corruption. The government still struggles to investigate trafficking within Belize's growing sex trade. To augment its trafficking efforts, the government should increase law enforcement efforts under the anti-trafficking law, make appreciable progress in protecting victims, devote resources to preventing trafficking, and take action against reports that officials are profiting and facilitating trafficking in persons.

Prosecution

The government made modest anti-trafficking law enforcement gains over the last year through enforcement of the anti-trafficking statute enacted in 2003. Over the reporting period, there were 18 prosecutions and two convictions of traffickers. However, police and prosecutors lack resources to adequately address trafficking-related matters and struggle to recognize and investigate trafficking-related offenses that may be taking place in Belize's sex trade. Officials maintain that all prostitution is voluntary, despite some reports to the contrary, and this impedes any further investigation or action. The government has provided some limited training on investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases; additional training is badly needed. There are unconfirmed reports of law enforcement officials' facilitation of trafficking, including some reports of officials patronizing brothels with trafficking victims and also some who are profiting from illegal migration. There were no known investigations or prosecutions of public officials for trafficking complicity over the last year.

Protection

The government was unable to provide adequate protection to trafficking victims during the reporting period. The anti-trafficking law lays out victim protection policies, but it is impossible for the country to implement those measures because it does not have the capacity or the means to do so. There are very few shelters in the country that have the ability to work with trafficking victims; however, victims are not treated as criminals and services are provided whenever possible. In general, victims are turned over to NGOs that offer protections for women in domestic violence. There is a special residency status for foreign victims, but in reality most foreign victims are deported. Officials maintain that none of the deported women in prostitution are trafficking victims.

Prevention

The government failed to sustain an anti-trafficking prevention campaign over the last year due to lack of resources and poor public understanding of trafficking in persons. Occasionally, the government will run radio public service announcements and newspaper ads about trafficking and the commercial exploitation of children. With little resources and few NGOs and international organizations, Belize struggles to implement any long-term policies to combat and prevent trafficking. The government recognizes this problem and is dedicated to doing more. The government has an anti-trafficking task force and is in the process of developing a national plan of action.

BENIN (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Benin is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Beninese children are trafficked to Nigeria, Ghana, Gabon, Cote d'Ivoire, and Cameroon for forced labor and prostitution. Beninese children are trafficked within the country for forced labor in construction, commercial enterprises, the handicraft industry, and roadside vending. Children from Niger, Togo, and Burkina Faso are trafficked to Benin for domestic labor and vending. The traditional practice of "vidomegon," whereby poor children are placed with wealthy families, has resulted in some labor and sexual exploitation. Children trafficked outside Benin are trafficked to cocoa plantations in Cote d'Ivoire, rock quarries in Nigeria, and involuntary domestic servitude in Gabon.

The Government of Benin does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Benin is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts in combating trafficking since last year. Anti-trafficking legislation, though now under debate in the National Assembly, has not yet been enacted and endemic corruption inhibits the government's ability to confront traffickers effectively. To increase its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should increase law enforcement efforts, finalize the much-needed national strategy to address trafficking, and enact specific anti-trafficking legislation.

Prosecution

Benin continued to lack an adequate law enforcement strategy to combat trafficking over the reporting period. At least one civil society organization reported interventions by low-ranking officials to attempt to secure release of traffickers, which may interfere with judicial proceedings and impede prosecutions. A local village chief who claims to be fighting trafficking reportedly was facilitating the trafficking of children. He was arrested and is currently facing charges for his activities. There is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking; however, there are scattered civil and criminal laws that may be used. Anti-trafficking legislation has been stalled in Benin's parliament for the past three years. Beninese law criminalizes prostitution, kidnapping, forced or bonded labor, and the employment of children under the age of 14; however no data on prosecutions under these laws was provided during the last year. Nonetheless, the Minors' Brigade reported 37 trafficking-related investigations. The government constructed a new building for the Minors' Brigade, which may house up to 160 victims of child trafficking and other abuses. The Minors' Brigade and the Judicial Police received training on how to detect and protect trafficking victims.

Protection

Due to the lack of resources in the country, the government's protections for trafficking victims continued to be inadequate in 2004. The government, in collaboration with NGOs and donors, worked to draft a national strategy to protect and aid child trafficking victims. However, the process is in its nascent stages. Generally, the government refers victims to NGOs for temporary housing, food, and medical care, but the process is ad hoc and inconsistent. The government cooperates with Nigeria, Togo, and Gabon to repatriate trafficked children. Benin repatriates approximately 20 children a month to Gabon.

Prevention

The majority of anti-trafficking prevention efforts in Benin are undertaken by NGOs, due largely to the paucity of government resources. In 2004, the government initiated sensitization campaigns urging local populations to establish anti-trafficking committees. The government provided some members of the committees with equipment, such as flashlights and bicycles, to aid in the detection of trafficking victims and has provided training and some logistical support for the committees. The campaigns highlighted the dangers of child trafficking and educated the public on legal anti-trafficking provisions.

BOLIVIA (TIER 3)

Bolivia is a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation to neighboring South American countries, through Spain to Western Europe, and to Japan and the United States. Children are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation, and forced mining and agricultural labor. Poverty forces thousands of Bolivians to migrate or work in sub-standard conditions, thus placing large numbers at risk of being trafficked. Thousands of children travel from poor rural to urban areas and fall victim to trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Bolivian workers have been trafficked to sweatshops in Argentina and Brazil, and to Chile for involuntary servitude. Illegal migrants from countries outside the region transit Bolivia; some may be trafficking victims. Unregulated land borders facilitate land-based trafficking between Bolivia and neighboring countries.

The Government of Bolivia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Bolivia failed to pass key anti-traffick-ing laws or to enforce existing laws sanctioning trafficking-related crimes. Even in the context of its political crises and resource limitations, the government accomplished little.

Prosecution

The government made little effort to investigate potential trafficking cases and lacked an anti-traf-ficking law enforcement strategy during the reporting period. The government prosecuted no trafficking cases in 2004. At the end of 2004, the National Police created an anti-trafficking unit, although it has yet to produce concrete results. Laws prohibiting slavery and trafficking for exploitation exist, but the government was not able to report any instances when these laws were applied during the reporting period. Budgetary limitations and pervasive corruption in public institutions severely limited the government's ability to apply laws related to trafficking.

Protection

The national government offered no protection services to trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government's scarce resources resulted in severely limited funding for social welfare programs in general. Over 200 municipalities provided various services to minors who were victims of crime but few local governments had the capacity to care for trafficking victims. NGOs attempting to fill the gap provided some care and rehabilitation services, principally to assist child victims. Individual officials occasionally paid personally to send victims home. The government lacked a policy for rescuing victims and officials were not trained to identify them.

Prevention

The government's trafficking prevention efforts fell short in educating officials and the public. The Vice Ministry of Children's Affairs partnered with the Organization of American States and IOM in late 2004 to conduct public seminars to highlight the urgency of the trafficking problem. Interagency efforts to coordinate government actions and public awareness regarding child exploitation included anti-trafficking elements but were largely focused on other child welfare issues. Officials demonstrated a lack of understanding regarding the differences between illegal migration, illegal adoption, and trafficking. Public awareness campaigns focused on eradication of child labor and illegal adoption.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (TIER 2)

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Trafficked children, often ethnic Roma, are victims of forced labor. Victims most commonly come from Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Romania and, increasingly, Serbia and Montenegro. Victims often transit en route to Slovenia, Croatia, and Western Europe. Many of the victims from BiH and Serbia and Montenegro are trafficked throughout the former Yugoslav republics and then back again in a seasonal, rotating pattern.

The Government of BiH does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to strengthen its law enforcement response and anti-corruption efforts in relation to trafficking. The government should accelerate its efforts to formalize a victim referral mechanism and ensure implementation so that victims are afforded proper protections as soon as possible. The government should also encourage increased identification of victims, facilitate and encourage the aggressive and efficient prosecution of trafficking crimes, and deliver sufficient punishments. BiH should ensure the speedy drafting and adoption of appropriate legislation regarding assistance to domestic victims of trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of BiH continued steady application of its anti-trafficking statute in 2004. The police investigated and submitted to prosecutors a total of 47 cases. Of this number, the courts handed down a total of 18 verdicts, 12 of which resulted in convictions. Length of sentences imposed by the courts improved somewhat, but many continued to be one year or less. The BiH criminal code provides for penalties of up to ten years' imprisonment. Four major anti-trafficking strike force investigations resulted in three convictions and one prosecution, which is ongoing. The government increased its capacity to prevent and respond to incidents of corruption and continued to investigate cases of official complicity in trafficking. In October 2004, the government arrested a police officer attempting to traffic two victims at the border with Serbia and Montenegro; he was suspended from duty, indicted, and currently awaits trial. The anti-trafficking strike force expanded a major investigation, begun in 2003, into the involvement of BiH consular officials in visa irregularities; criminal charges have been filed against a consular section chief, and the case is ongoing. In 2004, the State Coordinator's Office provided four training seminars addressing trafficking-related investigation and prosecutions for judges, prosecutors, and police. The State Border Service (SBS) trained its officers on victim identification, interviewing techniques, and referral procedures. In January 2005, the SBS introduced a 24-hour hotline available to the general public to make anonymous reports of all crime and register complaints about unprofessional behavior by border agents.

Protection

Government of BiH protection measures for victims of trafficking remained inadequate during the reporting period. The government did not formalize victim referral procedures, but development of such procedures was underway. The government developed a new rulebook and bylaws on the protection of foreign victims of trafficking to allow for issuance of humanitarian visas to victims. BiH prosecutors may request protected status for victims, and protected victims may be housed in shelters or in private residences. The government did not implement a systematic screening system. As a result, some victims were not identified and were thus denied proper protections and subject to potential deportation. In practice, however, deportation orders were rarely enforced. Regrettably, some victims fell back into the hands of their traffickers. The government in 2005 provided funding for six NGO-run shelters throughout BiH. The State Coordinator developed and signed memoranda of understanding to unify shelter standards in cooperation with local NGOs, and local police provided security. In 2004, IOM and local NGOs assisted 114 victims, but they reported that shelters were underutilized.

Prevention

In 2004, the government partnered with the EU police mission and several NGOs and international organizations to implement and plan two public awareness and educational campaigns targeting potential victims, customers, and school children. The government also aired public service announcements and talk shows regarding trafficking on state-owned television stations. The Foreign Ministry continued to conduct training for consular officers to increase recognition of potential victims and, in 2004, began requiring personal interviews for all visa applicants.

BRAZIL (TIER 2)

Brazil is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women and girls are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation and to neighboring countries in South America, the Caribbean, Europe, Japan, and the Middle East. The ILO estimated in 2002 that 450,000 children, mostly girls, are employed as domestic servants and vulnerable to abuse. Approximately 70,000 Brazilians, mostly women, are engaged in prostitution in foreign countries and many are trafficking victims; their major destinations are countries in Europe, particularly Spain, and South America and Japan. Sex tourists target young Brazilians, particularly in the resort areas and cities of Brazil's northeast. Trafficking for forced agricultural labor remains a major problem, with most of the more than 25,000 victims recruited from small towns in Brazil's northeast. Authorities have uncovered cases of Bolivian men, women, and children trafficked to work in sweatshops; Chinese and Koreans have been trafficked to Brazil for similar exploitation.

The Government of Brazil does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Brazil needs to strengthen law enforcement efforts against traffickers and update anti-trafficking legislation to impose tough sanctions against internal and transnational trafficking of humans of all ages and both genders. Of particular concern are the government's insufficient efforts to confront widespread trafficking for the purpose of forced labor.

Prosecution

The government's law enforcement efforts remained inadequate and hampered by antiquated trafficking statutes during the reporting period. The country's existing anti-trafficking law addresses only transnational trafficking of women for sexual exploitation; it lacks strong criminal penalties for labor trafficking, which is a significant problem in Brazil. Brazilian courts handed down only three convictions for transnational trafficking for sexual exploitation in 2004; prison sentences imposed ranged from eight to 30 years. Government teams investigated approximately 250 complaints regarding forced labor and rescued 2,743 victims of forced labor in 2004; employers generally paid fines and compensation to rescued victims and risked losing access to government financial aid programs, but did not face criminal prosecution. The Federal Police worked with counterparts in Spain, Italy, Canada, Portugal, and Switzerland on combating trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, including some child sex tourism cases.

Protection

The government geared most of its protective efforts toward domestic victims, particularly children, and provided some funding to NGOs active in victim assistance. Service providers assisted a wide range of victims of exploitation, not just trafficking victims. The Sentinela program provided more than 400 screening centers throughout the country to evaluate and refer at-risk children. Two newly established state-level anti-trafficking offices began screening victims, and referred cases to NGOs and federal police. Brazilians trafficked abroad received significantly less assistance, though the government initiated training for diplomats working in destination countries. Seven reference centers throughout the country worked with victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and the State of Sao Paulo opened an office at Sao Paulo's international airport to assist repatriated Brazilian trafficking victims.

Prevention

Brazil's President has raised the profile of human trafficking as a problem and has declared the fight against trafficking a national priority. The federal government established a Comprehensive Program for the Prevention and Fight Against Trafficking and funded national public information campaigns to combat child sex tourism and trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Information campaigns also raise awareness of the dangers of trafficking for sexual exploitation through brochures distributed with newly issued Brazilian passports, radio spots, and poster campaigns at Brazil's major airports. The State Governments of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Ceara, and Goias established anti-trafficking offices in 2004 to improve coordination and implementation of public awareness campaigns and cooperation and training for civil society, including businesses and workers in the travel industry. The Ministry of Justice continued training judges, police, social workers, and psychologists on recognizing and combating trafficking.

BULGARIA (TIER 2)

Bulgaria is a transit country and, to a lesser extent, a country of origin and destination for young women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Bulgarian citizens are also internally trafficked for sexual exploitation. Victims are primarily trafficked from Ukraine, Romania, Moldova, Russia, and Central Asia through Bulgaria into Western, Southern, and Eastern Europe. Roma children continue to be disproportionately represented among victims.

The Government of Bulgaria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2004, the government adopted a more active role in prevention and protection, stepped up its enforcement efforts, and took important preliminary steps to implement its anti-trafficking legislation, including the adoption of a national strategy and passage of comprehensive victim witness protection legislation. However, the government should take concrete measures to build victim protection capacity by ensuring that the local-level anti-trafficking commissions are established and supported. Moreover, it should ensure the consolidation of comprehensive trafficking data to segregate alien smuggling and human trafficking statistics. In 2004, the Government of Bulgaria commendably expanded an anti-corruption campaign and heightened its focus on high-level corruption; however, it should proactively demonstrate the will to counter all trafficking-related complicity through vigorous prosecutions and convictions.

Prosecution

In 2004, Bulgaria made considerable progress in implementing its 2003 anti-trafficking legislation, with an increase in convictions and indictments for trafficking-related offenses. The government reported seven convictions and 27 indictments for suspected trafficking cases under the new trafficking provisions of the criminal code. During the reporting period, the National Investigation Service developed a methodology for investigating trafficking cases, which was also distributed to police. Further, the government reported almost 900 sentences in 2004 for trafficking-related offenses, including forced prostitution, inducement to prostitution, and people smuggling. While high-level government officials publicly spoke out against trafficking and there is no evidence of government involvement in trafficking on an institutional level, there have been reports of law enforcement officials' involvement in trafficking-related corruption. Notably, the Prosecution Service and the Military Prosecution Service in 2004 made a number of anti-corruption indictments resulting in over 100 convictions for official malfeasance.

Protection

In November 2004, the Government of Bulgaria adopted witness protection legislation that includes coverage for victims of trafficking. This legislation will provide special protection measures for victims and their families who are cooperating with investigations and prosecutions of traffickers. The Bulgarian government also created a special provision that allows for residency and employment of trafficking victims while they participate in criminal proceedings. The government reported one instance of the use of these protections. The Ministry of Interior reportedly identified and assisted 474 victims of trafficking in 2004.

Prevention

In February 2005, the Bulgarian Government adopted a National Anti-Trafficking Strategy and dedicated funding to support the work of the National Anti-Trafficking Commission. Notably, the commission subsequently appointed a secretary general to manage the day-to-day implementation of the national strategy. The government continued its strong cooperation with NGOs to conduct prevention and awareness programs for law enforcement personnel, as well as a new program for consular officers posted at Bulgarian embassies abroad. The government sustained its prevention efforts aimed at vulnerable groups, including providing street children with educational and psychological services by placing them in protective custody.

BURKINA FASO (TIER 2)

Burkina Faso is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. To a lesser extent, Burkinabe women are trafficked to Europe for prostitution. Burkinabe children are trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, and Mali. Burkinabe boys are trafficked within the country for exploitation as agricultural laborers, domestics, metal workers, wood workers, and miners. Burkinabe girls are trafficked internally for exploitation as domestic servants, beggars, and prostitutes. Burkina Faso is a transit country for trafficked Malian children bound for other West African countries. Children from Benin and Togo are trafficked into Burkina Faso for forced labor.

The Government of Burkina Faso does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made minimal gains over the past year to combat trafficking, including an agreement with the Government of Mali to cooperate on trans-border child trafficking. A 2003 anti-trafficking law has yet to be used. The government should boost its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, and regional cooperation on fighting cross-border trafficking in children. It should also initiate improved prevention campaigns.

Prosecution

The government made modest gains in the area of law enforcement over the reporting period. However, the 2003 anti-trafficking law on child trafficking, which carries strong penalties, has never been used. In 2004, 41 child traffickers were arrested, 16 convicted, and 15 are currently imprisoned and awaiting trial. Additionally, four child trafficking networks were dismantled. The government forged an agreement with the Government of Mali to address trans-border child trafficking.

Protection

Due to resource constraints, the government struggles to implement a sufficient protection plan for trafficking victims. Minimal support is provided for Burkinabe children; foreign victims are deported. There is one center in Ouagadougou to aid with the social reintegration of at-risk children. In collaboration with UNICEF, the government has also established 19 transit centers for trafficked children throughout the country. These centers served over 900 children in 2004. Victims are not treated as criminals and their rights are generally respected. The government is unable, due to lack of resources, to directly fund NGOs; however it does collaborate with NGOs and international organizations for the reintegration of trafficked children. Twenty Burkinabe child trafficking victims were repatriated as a result of the agreement with Mali in 2004.

Prevention

The government recognizes that trafficking is a problem, and has implemented some degree of prevention efforts in the country. However, lack of resources inhibits its ability to carryout any long-term anti-trafficking prevention campaign. The government supported Vigilance and Surveillance Committees, which are in place in 12 of the 13 regions of the country. The government provided training on how to identify and aid trafficking victims to the committees, which now exist in 39 of the country's 45 provinces.

BURMA (TIER 3)

Burma is a source country for women and men trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Burmese men, women, and children (primarily from the country's ethnic minority populations) are trafficked to Thailand, China, Bangladesh, Taiwan, India, Malaysia, Korea, Macau, and Japan for forced labor — including commercial labor — involuntary domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation. To a lesser extent, Burma is a destination for women from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) who are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation occurs from villages to urban centers and other areas, such as truck stops, fishing villages, border towns, and mining and military camps. The junta's policy of using forced labor is a driving factor behind Burma's large trafficking problem.

The Government of Burma does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. While Burma has made improved efforts to combat trafficking for sexual exploitation, significant state-sanctioned use (especially by the military) of forced labor continued. The Burmese armed forces continued to force ethnic minorities to serve as porters during military operations in ethnic areas. There also are continuing reports that some children were forced to join the Burmese Army. Although eight local officials were convicted in January 2005 on charges of forced labor, the Burmese Government supported or tolerated the use of forced labor for large infrastructure projects. The government sentenced three individuals to death for communicating with the ILO on the subject of forced labor. Because of the Burmese Government's failure to end forced labor, the ILO postponed implementation of a plan of action to address such practices. During the reporting period, the government took some steps to combat trafficking for sexual exploitation, including drafting anti-trafficking legislation and improving cooperation with UN agencies, neighboring countries, and NGOs.

Prosecution

Over the past year, the Burmese Government made progress in addressing trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, including establishing a police task force to combat trafficking, enhancing cooperation with Burma's neighbors, and beginning to draft anti-trafficking legislation. The Burmese Government made only minimal progress in prosecuting cases involving trafficking for forced labor. Since July 2002, the government claims it prosecuted 474 cases related to trafficking for sexual exploitation and smuggling; an indeterminate number of these cases actually involved severe forms of trafficking in persons. Authorities also convicted eight local officials for using forced labor in a road construction project, sentencing the offenders to six to eight months' imprisonment. The government created a police anti-trafficking unit in 2004 and stationed the unit's teams in border towns to monitor and interdict trafficking. The Burmese Government is developing an anti-trafficking law, but currently uses kidnapping and prostitution statutes to arrest and prosecute traffickers. Corruption continued to be a major problem. Although local and regional officials were suspected of complicity in trafficking, the Burmese Government reported no prosecutions of corrupt government officials related to trafficking. The Burmese military continued to carry out trafficking abuses including forced portering and other forced labor.

Protection

During the reporting period, the Burmese Government provided minimal assistance to victims. Burma's protection included a repatriation center on the Thailand-Burma border, but its overall efforts were hampered by a lack of adequate funding. The government continued to refer victims to NGOs and international organizations that provide protection for victims of trafficking. The Burmese Government also coordinated the repatriation of a limited number of victims from Thailand with international NGOs and provided limited counseling and job training for returning victims trafficked for sexual exploitation. The government did not provide assistance to victims trafficked internally for forced labor, nor did it fund international or domestic NGOs that provide protective services to victims. The Ministry of Home Affairs' Anti-Trafficking Unit received training on various aspects of investigating and handling trafficking cases.

Prevention

The Burmese Government's efforts to prevent trafficking remained inadequate. Governmental measures to prevent trafficking for sexual exploitation include publicizing the dangers in border areas through government-sponsored discussion groups, distribution of printed materials, and media programming. However, these efforts remained under-funded. The government also conducted awareness workshops at the local level on the dangers of trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

BURUNDI (TIER 2)

Burundi is a source country for children trafficked for the purpose of forced child soldiering. The country is emerging from a 12-year civil war in which government and rebel forces used approximately 3,200 children in a variety of capacities, including as cooks, porters, spies, sex slaves, and combatants. There are reports that the government army and two former rebel groups — the CNDDFDD (Nkurunziza) and the CNDD (Nyangoma) — still have a small number of children in their ranks. While there were unconfirmed reports that these two rebel groups recruited boys in 2004, there were no reports that the army recruited child soldiers. The one rebel faction that remains outside the peace process, the PALOPEHUTU-FNL, continued to recruit and use child soldiers.

The Government of Burundi does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government continued to demobilize large numbers of child soldiers and launched extensive public awareness campaigns to ease their reintegration into local communities. To further its efforts to combat trafficking, the gov-ernment should continue cooperating fully with the international community to demobilize all remaining child soldiers from its military ranks and reintegrate them into their home communities. It should also continue to educate local communities to encourage acceptance of returning combatants, and take steps to bring to justice those who continue to forcibly conscript and utilize child soldiers.

Prosecution

Burundi has no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons, but laws against kidnapping, slavery, smuggling, and prostitution effectively outlaw trafficking in persons. Trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation can be prosecuted under anti-slavery legislation and carries a penalty of up to life imprisonment or death. During the year, the government investigated and prosecuted one case of alleged trafficking of Congolese refugee women to Lebanon. Although the investigation and subsequent court proceedings ultimately determined it to be a case of smuggling for domestic work, the government demonstrated commitment to vigorous anti-trafficking law enforcement by working closely with Lebanese authorities to investigate and bring this case to trial.

Protection

During the year, the National Structure for Child Soldiers (SNES) continued the implementation of its national plan for ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers. In 2004, the government and each of the six former rebel factions that have joined the peace process pledged to demobilize child soldiers from their ranks and began to do so. The Burundian Minister of Defense signed a decree committing the armed forces to demobilizing all children. As of February 2005, 2,920 child soldiers, including 33 girls, had been officially demobilized from the military, the Guardians of the Peace (GP) militia, and the six former rebel groups. The government, in cooperation with international organizations and NGOs, provided medical, psycho-social, educational, and other material support to demobilized child soldiers and facilitated their reintegration into civilian society. The SNES worked with the army, the GP, and the former rebel groups to compile information on the numbers of child soldiers by location and force affiliation.

Prevention

The depth and scope of preventative measures increased substantially over the reporting period. In 2004, the SNES, with assistance from UNICEF, the World Bank, and NGOs, conducted numerous public awareness campaigns to combat the recruitment and use of child soldiers. At the national level, the SNES aired media campaigns on public and private radio stations, and held public seminars to raise awareness of the issue of child soldiers among military and government officials, church groups, youth associations, civil society groups, and students. At the local level, it provided comprehensive training to leaders in each of Burundi's communes, who in turn advocated locally against the recruitment of child soldiers and held public seminars on children's rights and reintegrating child soldiers into local communities. The government also supported a program to assist internally displaced children in attending school; these children are particularly vulnerable to conscription as child soldiers. International financial and technical support was a key element to the success of all of these programs.

CAMBODIA (TIER 3)

Cambodia is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. A significant number of Cambodian women and children are trafficked to Thailand and Malaysia for labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Cambodian men are primarily trafficked to Thailand for labor exploitation in the construction and agricultural sectors, particularly the fishing industry. Cambodian children are trafficked to Vietnam and Thailand to work as street beggars. Cambodia is a transit and destination point for women from Vietnam who are trafficked for prostitution.

The Government of Cambodia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Cambodia is placed on Tier 3 for its lack of progress in combating severe forms of trafficking, particularly its failure to convict traffickers and public officials involved in trafficking. During the last year, the Cambodian Government failed to take effective action to ensure that those responsible for the raid on an NGO shelter for trafficking victims were held accountable and brought to justice. The Cambodian Government's failure to act calls into question Cambodia's commitment to combating human trafficking. Cambodia's anti-trafficking efforts remained hampered by systemic corruption and an ineffectual judicial system. The government must take aggressive measures to prosecute and convict traffickers and public officials found to be involved in trafficking, and confront the corruption in its judicial system that hampers prosecutions of traffickers.

Prosecution

During the reporting period, the Cambodian Government made no significant progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Prosecutions of suspected traffickers dropped significantly, despite a small increase in the number of arrests. The Cambodian Government's response to an attack on an NGO shelter for trafficking victims and removal of suspected trafficking victims was unsatisfactory. Moreover, the government did not adequately investigate or hold accountable those who were responsible for the attack. Cambodia does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law but it used existing statutes to prosecute traffickers. Penalties for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation carry sentences of up to 20 years' imprisonment. The National Assembly has not yet acted on a draft anti-trafficking bill that would provide law enforcement and judicial officials with more powers to arrest and prosecute traffickers. In 2004, the Cambodian police reported 165 arrests but only 24 successful prosecutions. Despite the number of arrests, there were few actual convictions of traffickers. There was no available information on the length of sentences for trafficking-related cases. Systemic corruption and a weak judiciary remain the most serious impediments to the effective prosecution of traffickers. Senior Cambodian Government officials and their family members are reportedly involved in or profit from trafficking activities but there were no trafficking-related prosecutions of corrupt officials.

Protection

The Cambodian Government continued to refer victims to NGOs and international organizations with victim protection programs. The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation operated two temporary shelters for victims, but the government relied primarily on foreign and domestic NGOs to provide shelter to victims. The Cambodian Government also supported an NGO that places trafficking victims in long-term shelters. Victims in Cambodia are not treated as criminals and have the right to seek legal action against traffickers, but seldom do.

Prevention

The government continued its efforts to raise awareness of trafficking by cooperating with numerous NGOs and international organizations. The Ministry of Women's Affairs (MWA) continued to carry out information campaigns, including grassroots meetings in key provinces. The MWA worked with IOM to expand a nationwide anti-trafficking information and advocacy campaign that included district-level meetings with government officials and the distribution of educational materials and videos. During the reporting period, the Anti-Trafficking Police Unit conducted an outreach program to warn high school students of the dangers of trafficking. The Ministry of Tourism produced pamphlets and advertisements warning tourists of the penalties for engaging in sex with minors, and conducted workshops for hospitality staff on how to identify and intervene in cases of trafficking or sexual exploitation of children.

CAMEROON (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Cameroon is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most trafficking is internal and children are at greatest risk. Traffickers use fraudulent marriage proposals to lure women to Europe, principally France and Switzerland, for exploitation in prostitution. Children are trafficked to the United Kingdom for commercial sexual exploitation. Girls are trafficked internally from Anglophone areas to Francophone cities such as Douala and Yaounde to work in exploitative conditions as domestics, street vendors, or prostitutes. Children are also trafficked for forced labor on cocoa plantations. Children trafficked between Nigeria and Gabon transit Cameroon. Cameroon is a destination country for Nigerian children trafficked and exploited in commercial agriculture, prostitution, and street vending, or in small shops.

The Government of Cameroon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Cameroon is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to fight trafficking, particularly in the area of law enforcement. The government lacks an approved national strategy for combating trafficking and has no system for collecting data on trafficking-related or any other type of crime. Without case information, it is difficult to gauge national efforts to combat trafficking and prosecute traffickers. Cameroon should coordinate national efforts, develop a system to collect case data, and educate officials and communities about the signs and dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution

The government was unable to provide information regarding investigations, prosecutions, and convictions specifically related to trafficking during the reporting period. Law enforcement operations lacked central monitoring or coordination. Cameroon had no comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation but penal code provisions prohibit slavery, sexual assault, pimping, and use of persons to secure loans, with sentences ranging from six months to 20 years in prison. The government provided no specialized anti-trafficking training to officials, due in large part to a lack of resources. Corruption is a problem throughout Cameroon but the government made efforts to combat this through anti-corruption agencies in most ministries.

Protection

Over the last year, government assistance was available to identified trafficking victims, both citizens and foreign nationals, and included temporary residency status, shelter, and medical care. The government worked with the ILO to remove 450 children from cocoa plantations and educate another 100 children at risk of forced labor on the plantations as part of a project targeting education and retraining assistance to child cocoa workers and their parents. The government lacked the resources to fund NGO assistance to trafficking victims; child victims were referred to government centers sponsored by the Ministry of Social Affairs, to local NGO centers, or to shelter in orphanages until they could be reunited with their families. Officials did not treat victims as criminals and families of victims could file civil suits against traffickers.

Prevention

The government's prevention efforts during the reporting period were inadequate, though it worked well with NGOs and international organizations that funded and implemented some prevention programs. The Ministry of Social Affairs, with UNICEF funding, completed a study in April 2004 on child trafficking in the Adamaoua, Far North, North, and South Provinces. The study pointed to the urgent need for anti-trafficking measures to prevent the development of organized trafficking in the regions surveyed. The Government of Cameroon signed a partnership agreement with ILO in October 2004 to further build trafficking awareness among the public and coordinated with ILO on a program focused on street children vulnerable to trafficking. The Ministry of Education continued to collaborate with the ILO to work with high school students on trafficking prevention.

CANADA (TIER 1)

Canada is primarily a destination and transit country for women trafficked for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked from Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia for sexual exploitation. To a lesser extent, men, women, and children are trafficked for forced labor. There is internal trafficking of Canadians for the sex trade. The majority of foreign victims transiting Canada are bound for the United States. Numbers are hard to gauge, but in February 2004, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) estimated that 800 persons are trafficked into Canada annually and that an additional 1,500-2,200 persons are trafficked through Canada into the United States. Some estimate that this number is much higher.

The Government of Canada fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Government of Canada has comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and has dedicated resources to combat trafficking in persons. Over the year, Canada increased efforts to prosecute and conviction traffickers. However, law enforcement efforts in key provinces like British Columbia — through which a significant number of Korean and other female victims are trafficked to the United States — were weak in 2004. Canada struggles to identify trafficking victims inside clandestine migrant smuggling operations. There are growing concerns that South Koreans and others may be abusing the lack of a visa requirement to enter Canada to facilitate the trafficking of men and women, mainly to the United States. To enhance its anti-trafficking efforts, Canada needs to use its anti-trafficking law to vigorously increase investigations, arrests, prosecutions, and convictions of traffickers, especially those who may be abusing visa waivers and entertainment visas.

Prosecution

The Government of Canada has comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, but this law has produced few results to date. Nonetheless, Canada recently brought charges against a major trafficker under its law in April 2005 - the first charges ever brought since its enactment. Canada also made progress in prosecuting traffickers under other existing laws. Over the reporting period, there have been 19 convictions. Additionally, there are 12 pending cases and seven open investigations. Canada's federal system and diversity of criminal codes complicate data collection; there are likely additional trafficking-related cases that are not reflected in this report. However, in British Columbia, a transit zone for trafficking to the United States, there have been few convictions. The government revised its immigration policy to discontinue a blanket employment waiver (begun in 1998) that had permitted adult entertainment establishments to hire foreign women as exotic dancers — a type of program that has been abused and exploited by traffickers in many other countries. Officials acknowledge that some women may have been forced into prostitution. The visa program has not been entirely suspended. According to the Government of Canada's official tally, 46 "exotic dancer" visas were issued in 2004, none to Romanians. While over 600 women reportedly were granted an "exotic dancer" visa in 2003, only 239 visas were issued. The majority of the visas were issued to Romanians.

Additionally, there continues to be anecdotal reports of large numbers of South Korean women trafficked through Canada to the United States. The lack of a visa requirement to enter Canada, lack of prosecutions, and an inability to determine the scope of the problem has made Canada, particularly British Columbia, an attractive trafficking hub for East Asian traffickers. Airline passenger analysis shows that the number of Koreans returning to Korea on flights from Vancouver Canada is 25 percent less than the number arriving on flights from Korea, but the ties to trafficking are not known. Observers believe that several hundred South Koreans have been trafficked through Canada to the U.S. since 2000,but they state that this estimate is modest.

Protection

Canada provides reasonable care to Canadian trafficking victims, but some critics claim that support for foreign victims is inadequate. Under Canadian law, undocumented aliens are allowed to claim refugee status, which would permit them to remain in Canada with limited benefits while their cases are adjudicated. In general, the rights of trafficking victims are respected and victims are not incarcerated. The government has pledged $4 million per year to support initiatives designed to increase the confidence of victims in the criminal justice system. Canada has a variety of other victim assistance programs on the federal and provincial levels to protect and care for victims.

Prevention

The government of Canada has strong public awareness campaigns aimed to prevent trafficking. The government supports a 17-agency anti-trafficking working group (IWGTIP), which coordinates all policies on trafficking-related matters. The IWGTIP produced an information booklet in 14 languages that warns potential victims in source countries of the dangers of falling prey to traffickers. The government has also hosted numerous conferences and conducted a number of public outreach campaigns aimed to prevent and warn of the dangers of trafficking. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) continues to fund anti-trafficking programs all over the world. The Prime Minister has spoken out strongly on the issue, including in an address before the UN General Assembly last September. Additionally, the U.S. and Canada have pledged to do a joint assessment on trafficking, which will enhance cross-border cooperation on trafficking-related matters. The government has provided training to the RCMP and other government agencies on trafficking-related matters.

CHAD (TIER 2)

Chad is a country of origin for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Chadian boys are trafficked internally for use as herders in the south; girls are trafficked for exploitation as prostitutes in the oil-producing area of Doba and into involuntary domestic servitude in urban areas. Most trafficked children are trafficked by their families for economic reasons.

The Government of Chad does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To further its progress in combating trafficking, the government should launch concrete efforts to rescue and provide care for all exploited children.

Prosecution

Chad's Penal Code prohibits trafficking in persons and the government made modest efforts to prosecute trafficking crimes over the reporting period. To punish child trafficking, prosecutors also use a labor code article that prohibits the employment of children less than 14 years of age. In 2004, the Ministry of Justice's Child Protection Department presented new legislation on crimes against children, including trafficking and prostitution, which was subsequently passed into law. As a response to parental involvement in the prostitution of young girls, the government increased the penalty for prostitution of a minor by a relative or guardian. The Ministry of Justice trained parliamentarians on the new law in December 2004 and held a public sensitization conference in January 2005. Chadian courts handled three trafficking-related prosecutions during the year, one of which resulted in a conviction that is being appealed to the Supreme Court. A case involving the sale of a ten year-old girl by her parents is ongoing, and a third was dropped when the prosecutor died.

Protection

Chad's efforts to protect victims of trafficking were limited over the last year. In an effort to determine the level of government intervention needed to address problems faced by child trafficking victims, the Ministry of Social Action completed and released a nationwide survey of 7,000 at-risk children in 2004. Though the government lacks the resources to provide facilities for victim protection, it made in-kind contributions of land, buildings, and the services of government personnel. When trafficking victims were found, local authorities typically referred them to NGOs or religious organizations for care. The Governor of Moyen Chari personally provided temporary care for child trafficking victims during the year. In 2004, 256 children exploited as forced cattle herders were rescued, rehabilitated, and reintegrated into their families through the efforts of local authorities, religious leaders, and NGOs. The Ministry of Labor and the Mayor of N'Djamena began surveying households in the capital to determine the extent of trafficking of children for involuntary domestic servitude. Local authorities in Kome and the State of Doba began taking steps to address the commercial sexual exploitation of children in communities surrounding oil-producing facilities.

Prevention

During the reporting period, the central and state governments took a number of measures to prevent trafficking. As part of a "Plan of Communication on the Exploitation of Herder Children," local authorities, Ministry of Labor officials, and UNICEF embarked on a two-week tour of trafficking-prone villages in southern Chad in late 2004. The team held meetings with governors, prefects, traditional and religious leaders, and village associations, discussing the difference between acceptable child work and child exploitation. Explanations of these events were conveyed nationwide through government-run media outlets. The Governor of Moyen Chari issued numerous public statements warning parents of the dangers of using child herders, and in November 2004 and March 2005 he raised public awareness of the child herder issue through radio coverage of public meetings. The Ministry of Social Action sponsored a week-long campaign in May 2004 to sensitize Muslim leaders and parents to the problem of forced child begging. The Ministries of Labor and Justice conducted awareness campaigns on the worst forms of child labor and launched training seminars targeting religious leaders, traditional chiefs, and parliamentarians. The government has a national action plan to combat child sexual exploitation.

CHILE (TIER 2)

Chile is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most victims are Chilean minors trafficked internally for sexual exploitation. According to a 2003 study conducted by the Chilean National Department of Children's Affairs (SENAME), at least 3,700 children were victims of commercial sexual exploitation. Traffickers are known to contact victims and their families directly or through advertisements offering jobs as domestic help, models, or product promoters. Chileans have been trafficked to Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, the United States, Europe, and Asia for sexual exploitation. Foreign victims are brought to Chile for sexual exploitation or involuntary domestic servitude from Peru, Argentina, Colombia, and Bolivia, though authorities find it difficult to distinguish trafficking victims from economic migrants.

The Government of Chile does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made resources available to child victims of sexual exploitation and their families, and law enforcement investigated a number of cases involving the sexual exploitation of minors. However, the government considered trafficking a localized problem and had no national strategy to identify trafficking situations or track and coordinate law enforcement efforts. Chile should develop a national plan that addresses trafficking victims of all ages, including forced labor trafficking, and coordinate efforts to train officials, inform the public, and prosecute traffickers.

Prosecution

Authorities took action against some traffickers during the reporting period, but lack of a nationally coordinated enforcement strategy made it difficult to gather relevant data about trafficking-related cases. The trafficking law addresses only transborder activities related to prostitution; other laws can be used to address trafficking crimes within Chile and the government enacted additional laws that targeted sexual exploitation of children. Authorities indicted a senator for sexual misconduct with minors; a prominent businessman and at least 13 associates were indicted on charges related to the prostitution of 25 minors. Some of the 37 investigations initiated in 2003-2004 regarding reports of sexual exploitation of minors, which included child pornography, were related to trafficking. Law enforcement launched at least three additional investigations involving 12 suspects during the reporting period; one resulted in nine convictions for prostitution of minors. There was no evidence that the government promoted or condoned trafficking and government corruption was minimal.

Protection

The Chilean Government provided some protection to victims of trafficking. Most assistance was focused on children. Help for child victims included placement in protective custody with SENAME, counseling, and psychological assistance. Names of child victims were not released to the public and judicial reforms instituted throughout most of the country included provisions for victims to bring legal action against their traffickers and seek restitution. The government worked with the Government of Japan to repatriate a Chilean trafficking victim who had been trafficked for sexual exploitation, and assisted in the repatriation of four Bolivian minors who had been trafficked to Chile.

The government increased funding for programs targeting at-risk children and their families and ran facilities for street children and abused children. The government also provided financial support for civil society activities, although funded NGOs largely worked on broader social programs.

Prevention

The government lacked a national plan of action to coordinate anti-trafficking activities. Government education campaigns focused on keeping children in school and reducing violence against women and children. Most training for government workers related to sexual abuse and sexual exploitation of minors. The University of Chile worked with IOM to provide anti-trafficking training to government personnel and NGOs in three major cities in August 2004, and 20 regional prosecutors received training during the reporting period.

CHINA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

The Peoples' Republic of China is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. A significant number of Chinese women and children are trafficked internally for forced marriage and forced labor. Chinese women are at times lured abroad with false promises of legitimate employment and then trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation to destinations throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America, while Chinese men have been trafficked for forced labor to Europe, South America, and the Middle East. A large number of Chinese men and women are smuggled abroad at enormous personal financial cost and, upon arrival in the destination country, are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation or other forms of exploitative labor to repay their debts. They often face exploitative conditions that meet the definition of involuntary servitude. Women from Burma, North Korea, Russia, Vietnam, and Mongolia are trafficked to China for labor and commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriage.

The Government of the People's Republic of China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. China's placement on Tier 2 Watch List is due to its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking, specifically its inadequate protection for trafficking victims, particularly foreign women and P.R.C. women identified from Taiwan. There are reports of the involuntary return of North Koreans from China to North Korea, as these returnees often face serious abuses. The Chinese Government does not, as a matter of policy, fine identified trafficking victims, but it reportedly and unintentionally does fine some victims — particularly P.R.C. women and girls returning from Taiwan — who are among illegal migrants. China needs to identify these trafficking victims, and provide them with protection, rather than levying fines or other punishment on them. The government should also vigorously investigate allegations of coercive labor practices, including alleged situations of involuntary servitude and forced labor.

Prosecution

The Chinese Government continued its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2004, actively arresting and prosecuting traffickers. China has a law that specifically outlaws the trafficking or kidnapping of women and coercion into prostitution. Penalties for trafficking carry sentences of up to ten years' imprisonment. "Snakeheads" or traffickers who smuggle victims overseas can be fined, have their property confiscated, be imprisoned for terms up to life, or be executed. China's criminal code imposes the death penalty for traffickers who coerce girls under 14 into prostitution. Over the past year, the police reportedly investigated 309 trafficking gangs and arrested 5,043 suspected traffickers, referring 3,144 for prosecution. While the Chinese Government did not provide statistics on the number of convictions, media reports indicated that 36 members of a child trafficking ring were given sentences ranging from two years' imprisonment to the death penalty. There do not appear to be adequate efforts to focus law enforcement resources on the problem of forced or coercive labor that meet the definition of involuntary servitude. Several police officials, including those that reportedly profited from trafficking, were convicted of commercial sexual exploitation and issuing visas to facilitate trafficking.

Protection

During the reporting period, the Chinese Government provided an inadequate level of protection for victims of trafficking. China does not fine repatriated trafficking victims once identified, and generally categorizes them separately from illegal migrants. However, there have been reports that police have levied fines for immigration violations on trafficking victims, particularly women and girls repatriated from Taiwan. The Chinese Government also did not take measures to protect foreign women who were trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriages with Chinese men. Over the past year, the Chinese Government funded programs operated by an NGO to reintegrate trafficked women into their local communities and relieve the stigma attached to trafficking victims. The Chinese Government reportedly allocated funds to provincial and local police departments to use in returning trafficking victims to their hometowns. Some government agencies also provided basic living necessities and return assistance. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) continued to train police officers on how to handle trafficking-related crimes. The MPS reportedly eliminated special anti-trafficking police units and subsumed their duties into general law enforcement units but its national office for trafficking crimes remains in place.

Prevention

The Chinese Government expanded its efforts to raise awareness of trafficking in 2004. The government cooperated with the Vietnamese Government and UNICEF on a mass communications effort to educate people and local government leaders on trafficking. Through its law enforcement agencies and its school systems, the government continued its awareness campaigns to warn of the potential dangers of trafficking. Posters, videos and pamphlets are distributed throughout the country.

COLOMBIA (TIER 1)

Colombia is a major source and transit country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The Colombian Government estimates that 45,000-50,000 Colombian nationals engage in prostitution overseas; many of them are trafficking victims. Most traffickers are linked to narcotics trafficking or other criminal organizations; trafficking operations include both Colombians and criminals from countries of destination. Young Colombian women and girls are principally trafficked to Spain, Japan, Hong Kong, Panama, Chile, and Ecuador. Some Colombian men are trafficked for forced labor. Internal trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation from rural to urban areas remains a serious problem. Insurgent and paramilitary groups have forcibly conscripted and exploited as many as 14,000 children in Colombia and from bordering areas of Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panama. Victims transit Colombia from other South American countries, on their way to Europe and the United States.

The Government of Colombia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Although the Government of Colombia did not provide full data on investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, the Secretary of State has determined that it has made a good faith effort to do so. The government continues to show political will to address one of the largest national outflows of trafficking victims in the Western Hemisphere. Although courts reported no convictions of traffickers in 2004, the Colombian Government investigated and prosecuted numerous cases, improved laws, and coordinated government agency efforts to target traffickers. The government should move to increase trafficking prosecutions and improve its ability to centrally monitor and collect data on the status of cases brought against traffickers.

Prosecution

Colombia's comprehensive anti-trafficking law makes adequate provision to punish traffickers and the government continued to work with other countries to disrupt trafficking networks. Although Colombian courts convicted no traffickers in 2004, Colombian law enforcement initiated 20 new cases during the reporting period and captured a Spanish trafficker who was returned to Spain for prosecution. Authorities prosecuted at least 16 cases. Most of the more than 300 cases pending from previous years remained in various stages of investigation. The government made significant efforts to work additional trafficking investigations with Spain, Japan, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Panama. Amendments to the trafficking law increased penalties to 13 to 23 years in prison, with even higher penalties for aggravated circumstances or in cases with victims under 12 years of age. Late in 2004, the government created a unit in the Prosecutor General's Office dedicated entirely to the investigation and prosecution of crimes related to trafficking in persons.

Protection

The government made a good faith effort to assist Colombians trafficked abroad and child victims at home. Colombian missions abroad referred nine cases to IOM for repatriation assistance. Colombian missions in some countries with large Colombian expatriate communities — such as Japan— worked aggressively to assist trafficking victims and referred repatriated victims to IOM and NGOs for assistance. Victims frequently faced intimidation and threats of reprisal from traffickers. In the face of such threats and inadequate witness protection programs, many victims chose not to assist in prosecutions. The government's Institute of Family Welfare supported programs for some child victims of internal trafficking for sexual exploitation and former child soldiers that provided counseling, educational information, and social support, but resources available proved insufficient to keep pace with the demand for services.

Prevention

The government's interagency committee led strong national prevention efforts by preparing information campaigns, promoting training, and coordinating information exchange. Immigration officials worked with NGOs at airports to identify and warn potential outbound trafficking victims. The government also made efforts to involve businesses, particularly in the travel industry, in the fight against trafficking. Government entities relied heavily on NGOs and international organizations to educate officials and the public about trafficking.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (TIER 2)

Democratic Republic of the Congo is a source country for men, women and children internally trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. The vast majority of the trafficking occurs in

northeastern and eastern Congo, regions that are mostly outside effective transitional government control. Armed groups continued to abduct and forcibly recruit Congolese men, women, and children to serve as laborers, porters, domestics, combatants, and sex slaves. The government estimated that 30,000 children were associated with armed groups within the country. Civilians were forced to provide labor for armed groups and the Congolese military (FARDC). There were confirmed reports of children in prostitution in brothels across the country. During the year, a number of personnel from the UN peacekeeping mission to the Congo (MONUC), were accused of sexually exploiting women and girls.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made substantial progress in combating trafficking in 2004, particularly in the area of prosecution and law enforcement. To further its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should continue demobilizing child soldiers and sustain momentum in prosecuting perpetrators of human rights abuses, including trafficking, in the eastern part of the country.

Prosecution

During the year, the government demonstrated increased commitment and attention to undertaking trafficking-related law enforcement activities. The country's criminal justice system — police, courts, and prisons — was decimated following years of war and remains extremely weak. Although there is not a specific law prohibiting trafficking in persons, existing laws prohibit slavery, forced labor, rape, and prostitution of children under the age of 14. In 2004, the government investigated and/or prosecuted a number of traffickers for recruiting soldiers, operating forced labor camps, and committing rape. In May, FARDC arrested former Mundundu-40 Commander Biyoyo for unauthorized recruitment of soldiers, including minors. Biyoyo, however, was granted provisional release and is thought to have fled the country. The government and MONUC worked to break up known forced labor camps in Ituri. The judicial team in Ituri District collected 31 testimonies of victims that confirmed repeated, systematic and massive human rights violations by Ngiti militia, including slavery and sexual servitude. The government, with MONUC's assistance, arrested Ituri militants accused of such violations. By October 2004, over 50 persons were in government custody awaiting trial; however, 31 escaped with the help of prison guards. Courts in South Kivu reached convictions in 57 of 60 cases of sexual violence over the last year and a half, with sentences ranging between ten months and 20 years imprisonment and included reparations to victims and their families.

Protection

The Ministry of Defense and the national demobilization commission, CONADER, worked closely with NGOs, international organizations, and civil society entities to demobilize and reintegrate children associated with armed groups. Services provided included identification and separation from adult militia members, discharge, relocation to temporary transition centers, and family reunification or placement in foster homes. The FARDC made significant efforts to demobilize and reintegrate back into their communities children associated with armed groups. An estimated 5,000 children have been released from the FARDC and armed groups since October 2003. However, many former rebel groups only nominally affiliated with the FARDC still contain large numbers of children. Moreover, some rebel groups forcibly recruited and re-recruited previously demobilized child soldiers. The Ministry of Social Affairs chairs CONADER's technical steering group on issues related to child soldiers. The government has no resources to provide relief to other types of trafficking victims.

Prevention

Prevention efforts remained the weakest facet of the government's anti-trafficking efforts. CONADER participated with a number of other organizations in the development of a national public awareness campaign regarding the use of child soldiers. The government supports such programs, but is not in a position to provide resources or execute them on its own. There is no formal coordination or communication between various government agencies on trafficking in persons.

COSTA RICA (TIER 2)

Costa Rica is a country of source, transit, and destination for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation. Women and children from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, China, Colombia, Nicaragua, Peru, Russia, Romania, the Philippines, Ecuador, and Guatemala are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Costa Rica also serves as a transit point for individuals trafficked to the United States, Mexico, Canada, Japan, and Europe for sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked within the country for sexual exploitation. Men, women, and children are trafficked internally for forced labor as domestics, agriculture workers, and workers in the fishing industry. Child sex tourism is a major problem in the country.

The Government of Costa Rica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Costa Rica continues to lack a comprehensive law enforcement strategy, thereby limiting its ability to effectively investigate, arrest, prosecute, and convict traffickers. Costa Rica needs to amend its laws to address trafficking offenses, increase efforts to protect victims, and work regionally to detect trafficking that is occurring as part of transnational illegal migration. Costa Rica also needs to appoint a single coordinating authority on trafficking and task it with drafting a national plan.

Prosecution

Despite the continued absence of a cogent law enforcement strategy, the government was able to make modest law enforcement gains over the last year. The Judicial Investigative Police (OIJ) created a new investigative unit dedicated solely to trafficking and smuggling. Costa Rica lacks an anti-trafficking law, which greatly inhibits its ability to prosecute and convict traffickers. Scattered criminal statutes may be used against traffickers, and prosecutors use these sporadically. The government secured ten convictions among the different prosecutors' offices for trafficking-related offenses over the last year. Although hundreds of investigations into the commercial sexual exploitation of children have been initiated, few have resulted in successful prosecution because of the government's inefficiency and inability to protect victims. There are several offices in Costa Rica responsible for trafficking offenses, but little coordination among them frustrates law enforcement efforts. There have also been reports of corruption along the borders among immigration officials.

Protection

The government's efforts to protect trafficking victims remained inadequate over the last year, partly as a result of resource constraints. The government's victim protection policy is ad hoc and unevenly applied; it provides some assistance to Costa Rican victims, but shelter space is very limited and does not accommodate the large number of victims in the country. The government does allow foreign victims to stay in the country to testify against traffickers, but this does not happen often due to the lack of government assistance for victims. Instead, foreign victims (excluding children) are often deported.

Prevention

Recognizing that trafficking is a serious problem, senior government officials spoke out on the dangers of trafficking and the need to do more. The government, in collaboration with international organizations, conducted a large-scale information campaign designed to warn tourists of the penalties for sexually exploiting children. The campaign included inserts in immigration documents and posted billboards. The government is in the process of printing a booklet for foreign diplomats that explains trafficking and how to assist trafficking victims. Additionally, there are a number of other prevention efforts under way, including a 911-system to report sexual exploitation of minors. However, border monitoring remains poor and there are reports of complicity of immigration officials who are facilitating the cross-border movement of people, including trafficking victims.

COTE D'IVOIRE (TIER 2)

Cote d'Ivoire is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Available information indicates that the overall magnitude of trafficking in Cote d'Ivoire has diminished in the past few years. Ivoirian girls are trafficked within the country for exploitation as domestic servants, street vendors, and prostitutes, and occasionally are lured to Europe where they are forced into commercial sexual exploitation after being deceived by false marriage proposals. Children from Mali, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, and Benin are trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire for agricultural and domestic labor exploitation. Nigerian and Ghanaian women and children, as well as some females from Algeria, Morocco, China, and the Philippines, are trafficked to Abidjan and other large towns for sexual exploitation. Some of these women also transit Cote d'Ivoire destined for Western Europe.

The Government of Cote d'Ivoire does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Since civil war broke out in September 2002, the country has been divided, with the government maintaining control of the south and the ex-rebel New Forces controlling the north. The government's focus is ending the conflict, reunifying the country, and reversing the deterioration of the economy. Despite these challenges, the government demonstrated political will and dedicated some resources to combating trafficking. To further its efforts, the government should continue establishing watch groups to rescue child trafficking victims, pass the comprehensive anti-trafficking law, and investigate commercial sexual exploitation in the cities.

Prosecution

Despite ongoing conflict, the government made progress in bringing traffickers to justice over the last year. A much-needed comprehensive law against trafficking in persons remained in draft form, though under consideration by the National Assembly. The existing penal code prohibits abduction, receiving a person as a financial security, and forced labor. Many courts in the north have ceased to function as most judges and administrative officials have fled the conflict. In the south, the public prosecutor received eight trafficking cases during the year; five people were convicted. The police also presented five pimps to a judge for prosecution in 2004. In March 2004, the Ministry of Family Affairs and the National Committee Against Trafficking (NCFTCE) trained 22 trainers (security forces, judges, and social workers) to identify and handle cases of trafficking. The Ministry of Security instructed border officials to arrest those bringing others' children into the country. Buses carrying Ghanaian children suspected of being trafficked were routinely denied entry in the south.

Protection

Though it relied on NGO-run centers for primary care of most trafficking victims, the government, at all levels, was actively engaged in victim protection activities during the year. In 2004, police repatriated 30 female Nigerian trafficking victims with the help of the Nigerian Embassy in Abidjan. The Governor of Abidjan provided $10,200 to an NGO to further its shelter, medical, and psychological assistance to 37 foreign trafficking victims, eight of whom were repatriated. The government also assigned a civil servant to help the Abel Community of Grand Bassam establish ten neighborhood watch groups in villages between Abidjan and Ghana. In Bonoua, the mayor and his deputy assigned their assistants to work with these groups; they also provided offices and temporary shelter for 85 child trafficking victims. The government also assisted an NGO in creating ten similar watch groups in the southwest of the country. In 2004, 65 children were rescued and 60,000 people were sensitized to this program.

Prevention

During the year, the government took limited steps to prevent trafficking. The Ministry of Family employed 20 staff dedicated to working on child trafficking issues. In March 2004, the government finalized its national action plan against trafficking in persons and submitted it to UNICEF and ILO; the major activities have been approved for funding. The NCFTCE adopted a national training plan in October 2004 that addresses the training of judges, defense forces, NGOs, bus drivers, journalists, and radio personalities in the southern part of the country. However, implementation was put on hold due to increased instability. Several ministries continued implementation of a program to keep forced child labor out of the country's cocoa plantations by sensitizing farmers in 64 field schools.

CROATIA (TIER 2)

Croatia is a country of transit, and to a lesser extent, source and destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Victims generally originate in Russia, Serbia and Montenegro, Romania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other parts of Eastern Europe, and are trafficked into Western Europe.

The Government of Croatia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, Croatia began to intensify efforts to combat trafficking in persons and took nascent steps to improve its response to trafficking. The government implemented targeted law enforcement training and increased its capacity to identify and assist victims. It adopted a national action plan, appointed an anti-trafficking coordinator, and provided direct funds to implement the plan. The government should now produce tangible enforcement results through increased investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of traffickers. The government, via the national anti-trafficking committee and anti-trafficking coordinator, should capitalize on gains made with NGOs and demonstrate more proactive victim identification, protection, and public awareness efforts. Finally, it should further institutionalize support by adequately staffing anti-trafficking programs and improving coordination.

Prosecution

In October 2004, the Government of Croatia enacted legislation that specifically prohibits and punishes trafficking in persons offenses, providing for penalties from one to ten years' imprisonment. When the victim is a minor, the minimum sentence is five years. Penalties are commensurate with that of rape. The government reported 17 investigations and four convictions in 2004, two of which are not subject to appeal; sentences ranged from seven months to nine years. In partnership with IOM, the police continued to actively implement an intensive 'train the trainers' program aimed initially at 26 core police officers throughout Croatia. The program will ultimately reach 1,600 officers and has been selected by the Council of Europe as a model for similar training efforts in the region. In 2004, the government incorporated anti-trafficking training into the police academy curriculum and 283 officers received specialized anti-trafficking training. In addition, the police designated an anti-trafficking officer in every police district in Croatia. In February 2005, the Judicial Academy held a case-study seminar for approximately 15 judges and prosecutors. A general environment of corruption remains a problem in combating trafficking. There were no reports of official complicity in trafficking.

Protection

In 2004, the government improved cooperation with NGOs, which resulted in greater and more consistent victim assistance. The government reported helping 19 victims, an increase of eight from the previous year. The Croatian Parliament amended the Law on Foreigners to increase the length of time victims can apply for temporary residency status -- from 90 days to one year -- with a possible one-year extension. The government reported issuing three such permits during the reporting period. In 2004, the government passed a Witness Protection Act that provides protection to witnesses participating in criminal proceedings; however, witness protection mechanisms continue to be underutilized. The Ministry of Interior developed instructions that included guidelines on identification and treatment for law enforcement officials who come into contact with potential trafficking victims, and distributed all instructions and guidelines to officers.

Prevention

In 2004, the Government of Croatia increased its support of prevention efforts by funding new anti-trafficking awareness campaigns. The government co-funded with NGOs several prevention programs, a shelter, a hotline, a public awareness campaign, and law enforcement training. The Ministry of Education, in partnership with IOM, trained 272 teachers on how to present trafficking to students. The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare trained 30 physicians on providing specialized medical assistance to trafficking victims. NGOs and IOM are represented on mobile anti-trafficking teams that assist in victim identification and assistance. In November 2004, the Croatian Government launched a public awareness campaign using the popular media and billboards to educate the general public about trafficking and the anti-trafficking hotline. In February 2005, the Foreign Ministry trained 15 consular staff in the region on identification of potential trafficking victims. Border guards monitored Croatia's borders and immigration and emigration patterns for trafficking, and have a formal framework for regional cooperation.

CUBA (TIER 3)

Cuba is a source country for children trafficked internally for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced child labor. Trafficking victims from all over Cuba are exploited in major cities and tourist

resorts. There are no reliable estimates available on the extent of trafficking in the country; however, children in prostitution is widely apparent, even to casual observers. These children are sometimes trafficked into prostitution by their families and exploited by foreign tourists. Anecdotal evidence suggests that workers at state-run hotels, travel company employees, taxicab drivers, bar and restaurant workers, and law enforcement personnel are complicit in the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. Cuban forced labor victims include children coerced into working in conditions of involuntary servitude in commercial agriculture.

The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. In 2001, Cuban officials outlined an extensive plan to address the prevention and prosecution of trafficking victims on a national scale, but there has been no evidence to show that the plan has been implemented. As in previous years, Cuban officials over the past year dismissed as politically motivated any criticisms of the government's failure to address trafficking in the country. Cuba has no strategy to address its trafficking problem and growing child sex tourism industry. To improve its efforts to combat trafficking in the country, the government needs to publicly acknowledge that trafficking occurs, implement a national plan to prevent teenagers from becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation, and end its forced labor practices.

Prosecution

The government has no anti-trafficking law enforcement policy and there was no observed progress in punishing traffickers during the last year. Adult prostitution is not illegal in Cuba, though the prostitution of children and the activities of brothel owners, clients, and pimps are all criminalized and carry penalties of from four to ten years in prison. Occasionally, the government will institute a crackdown against prostitution and related activities; however, these efforts are ad hoc and generally result in the widespread arrest of women in prostitution. Recently, the government released previously unknown statistics covering the period 2000-2004 on convictions for pimping and procuring prostitutes, including 881 trials for procuring prostitutes and 1,377 convictions. However, no data was provided on the investigation, arrest, prosecution, and conviction of any traffickers who are luring children into the trade and profiting from the sexual exploitation of minors. There has been some cooperation with U.S. law enforcement on specific commercial sexual exploitation investigations, but as a matter of policy Cuban authorities do not admit to the existence of a problem.

Protection

The government does not provide protection services to trafficking victims and there has been no progress in this area during the reporting period. Victims, including children in prostitution, are generally treated as criminals — detained in police sweeps, held for several hours or days, fined, and released. The government, on occasion, rounds up women in prostitution and forces them into rehabilitation centers (as it did prior to the Pope's visit in 1998). Prevention efforts are not serious or sustained, but rather superficial at best. The government describes its use of forced child labor as a "voluntary" arrangement and does not acknowledge that it constitutes trafficking.

Prevention

The government undertakes no information campaigns to prevent trafficking for sexual exploitation, and does not officially admit that Cuba has a trafficking problem. The government fails to publicize the incidence and dangers of child prostitution; however, it did for the first time publish the U.S. Government's trafficking-related sanctions in the government-run newspaper on June 16, 2004. But since the media is government run, it rarely reports on trafficking or any other social ills. NGOs and international organizations operating in the country are restricted in what they may state publicly on the subject, limiting their ability to aid or encourage the government to undertake any kind of prevention campaign.

CYPRUS (TIER 2)

Cyprus is a destination country for women trafficked from Eastern and Central Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Traffickers who forced women into prostitution continued to fraudulently recruit victims for work as dancers in cabarets and nightclubs on short-term "artiste" visas, for work in pubs and bars on employment visas, or for illegal work on tourist or student visas. There was increasing evidence of Chinese women being trafficked for sexual exploitation in Cyprus.

The Government of Cyprus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Cyprus made some progress in its anti-trafficking efforts over the past year. The new police anti-trafficking unit produced successful results and showed vigilance in combating the problem. Government recognition of the problem improved, and there was a perceptible shift in awareness among officials, the press, and the public. Nevertheless, the government did little to generate public awareness about the role customers play in contributing to trafficking in Cyprus. The Government of Cyprus should immediately formalize its recently completed National Action Plan and proactively enforce its implementation. Moreover, the government should work to improve cooperation with civil society on victim protection and assistance.

Prosecution

In 2004, the Government of Cyprus significantly increased its anti-trafficking enforcement efforts, particularly in the area of investigations and arrests. Under its newly created Office of Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, police made 194 arrests in 91 trafficking-related cases. Additionally, police charged 20 persons with trafficking in persons and sexual exploitation. There were no trafficking-related convictions reported during the reporting period. Police conducted regular visits to cabarets and interviewed women in private, away from their places of work. In 2004, the government closed ten cabarets for operating without a license. The Government of Cyprus signed a number of anti-trafficking cooperation agreements with source countries during the reporting period.

Protection

The Government of Cyprus' efforts in the area of protection improved in 2004. The Welfare Department of the Ministry of Labor routinely ensured that victims received temporary shelter, received legal and financial assistance, and issued residence and employment permits in cases where victims cooperated in an investigation. The police identified 66 victims willing to testify against their traffickers, 47 of whom requested police protection. In 2004, the government set aside several rooms for trafficking victims in government-subsidized housing and solicited bids for the operation and construction of a permanent shelter. Notably, the government has stopped issuance of new cabaret licenses and now prohibits hiring replacements for women on artiste visas who are identified as victims and removed from cabarets. Although the government established a screening and referral process, it has yet to fully standardize it by completing its proposed handbook for handling victims.

Prevention

In March 2005, the Ministry of Interior held a major press conference to publicize the release and routine distribution of a revised information pamphlet for all newly arriving female foreign workers. This pamphlet contains anti-trafficking information in an effort to prevent the exploitation of artistes. Although the anti-trafficking unit held a number of press conferences and appeared in popular media to promote its anti-trafficking activities, the government did not conduct any large-scale demand-oriented awareness campaigns. Police reported receiving an estimated 20 trafficking-related calls per week via their crime prevention hotline.

AREA ADMINISTERED BY TURKISH CYPRIOTS

The Republic of Cyprus exercises control over the southern two-thirds of the island. The northern part of Cyprus is governed by a Turkish Cypriot administration that has declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" (TRNC); it is not recognized by the United States or any other country, except Turkey. The area administered by Turkish Cypriots is a destination for women trafficked from Eastern and Central Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There are indications that it is also used as a transit point for persons trafficked into forced labor into the EU. In 2004, Turkish Cypriot authorities demonstrated an increased recognition of the trafficking problem. Police reportedly investigated all complaints made by victims, and they continued their policy of holding the passports and airplane tickets of nightclub employees to prevent exploitation by employers. In 2004, 22 individuals were arrested on the grounds of living off the proceeds of prostitution, and of those, 18 cases are pending trial, while 4 were convicted. In February 2005, a social worker began interviewing newly arrived nightclub employees to verify whether their employment is voluntary or not. The police and other officials conducted regular inspections of nightclubs and bars. In 2004, 1,033 visas were issued to women working in bars and nightclubs. Notably, in 2004 the police reportedly repatriated 191 women who wished to terminate their nightclub contracts — a possible sign of trafficking. Turkish Cypriot authorities should take immediate action to strengthen prosecution efforts and stiffen penalties for perpetrators.

CZECH REPUBLIC (TIER 1)

The Czech Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked from Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria, Slovakia, China, and Vietnam into and through the Czech Republic mainly for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Czech victims and those transiting the country are trafficked to Western Europe and the United States, sometimes via third countries. Internal trafficking occurs from low employment areas to Prague and regions bordering Germany and Austria. Ethnic Roma women are at the highest risk for internal trafficking, and almost always are trafficked by a relative or someone known to them previously.

The Government of the Czech Republic fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2004, the Czech Government strengthened its anti-trafficking legislation and turned its pilot victim assistance program into a nationwide government-funded program. While enforcement statistics improved during the reporting period, sentences imposed on traffickers remained low.

Prosecution

The Czech police increased its capacity to investigate and convict traffickers over the reporting period, although the overall numbers of cases prosecuted pursuant to anti-trafficking legislation remained low and sentences imposed remained weak. Amendments to the Czech Penal Code went into effect in November 2004, making all forms of trafficking illegal, including labor exploitation and internal traffick-ing. Maximum trafficking penalties were increased from 12 to 15 years, with a minimum penalty of two years. In 2004, Czech authorities investigated 30 individuals and prosecuted 19 under the trafficking statutes. The courts convicted 12 traffickers under those statutes, an increase from five in 2003. Of the 12 convicted, three received unconditional prison sentences of three to five years, and nine received conditional or suspended sentences. Police training curricula included segments on trafficking, and a new internal website for police provided trafficking awareness information. While no government officials were indicted or convicted for complicity in trafficking, allegations continued about the involvement of individual border police officers facilitating illegal border crossings. Czech law enforcement conducted joint anti-trafficking investigations with Germany, Slovakia, Austria, Poland, and Ukraine in 2004.

Protection

The Czech Government continued to improve trafficking protection and assistance over the last year. In November 2004, the Model of Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Persons was expanded to a permanent, government-funded program that is open to all foreign and Czech victims. This program involves close cooperation between the government and NGOs, and allows the victims a 30day reflection period to receive assistance and consider whether to assist in prosecuting their traffickers. From January 2004 to January 2005, 14 trafficking victims — including one forced labor victim — took part in the program. Many victims chose to apply for asylum, which allows them legal status in the Czech Republic until their cases are decided — a process involving months to years. The government houses victims and potential victims applying for asylum with other at-risk groups in guarded asylum centers to prevent unwanted contact with traffickers. The government funded several NGOs and international organizations for sheltering and care of victims; two of the Czech Republic's principal organizations provided shelter to 68 trafficking victims in 2004.

Prevention

The Ministry of Interior is currently collaborating with IOM to produce a demand-reduction campaign targeting clients of commercial sex outlets along the Czech-German border area. A government-fund-ed NGO conducted awareness campaigns among potential trafficking victims at schools and asylum centers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued to provide trafficking information to applicants for Czech visas from identified trafficking source countries. The Crime Prevention Department continued awareness programs at schools. In addition to the Czech National Action Plan on trafficking adopted in 2003, the government in July 2004 adopted a plan to combat commercial sexual abuse of children.

DENMARK (TIER 1)

Denmark is primarily a destination and transit country for women and children trafficked from Central and Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, and the former Soviet Union (particularly Ukraine, Moldova, and Russia) for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Victims are transported through Denmark to other European countries. An international organization identified ethnic Roma children from Romania as having likely been trafficked to Denmark for involuntary servitude in the form of forced begging and petty crimes. Police reported an increased number of Nigerian women in prostitution in Denmark, some of whom are believed to have been trafficked.

The Government of Denmark fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government made significant strides in enforcement during the reporting period, achieving convictions in two major trafficking cases under Denmark's 2002 anti-trafficking legislation. Additionally, law enforcement officials hired a full-time social worker to act as a liaison between the police and NGOs in trafficking investigations. The Danish Government should consider expanding its prevention efforts to include domestic demand-reduction programs.

Prosecution

Denmark advanced law enforcement efforts against trafficking in two major prosecutions during the reporting period. Danish courts convicted eight individuals of trafficking, compared to none in 2003. Sentences ranged from one to three and a half years. In February 2005, police arrested three individuals for trafficking women from the Baltic countries to Denmark for the purpose of sexual exploitation; the investigation is ongoing. Denmark's 2002 anti-trafficking law criminalizes trafficking for both sexual and non-sexual exploitation. Danish law penalizes trafficking in persons (i.e., recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring, receiving) with up to eight years in prison; it also penalizes the deprivation of liberty under a separate section with up to 12 years' imprisonment if aggravated circumstances are identified. The 54 police districts now each have a designated contact person for trafficking investigations. There is no evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking. The Danish police regularly conduct joint trafficking investigations with law enforcement authorities from other countries; in 2004, Danish law enforcement officials joined a Nordic law enforcement operation targeting traffickers of Nigerian women.

Protection

The Danish Government enhanced communications and relations between police and NGOs in 2004 by hiring a full-time social worker at the police's organized crime unit. In 2004, NGOs continued to receive government funds to provide victim services. During the reporting period, the lead government-funded NGO provided assistance to 29 trafficking victims. All police districts received guidance about how to identify cases of trafficking, how to address these cases, and how to provide aid to victims. Danish authorities did not jail or fine trafficking victims. The government offered victims a 15-day stay in Denmark to receive healthcare, counseling, and shelter (including guaranteed security) prior to repatriation; victims are barred from re-entry for one year following repatriation. To encourage best practices and develop contacts, the government in 2004 funded five anti-trafficking study tours for Danish NGOs to Sweden, Norway, the Netherlands, Italy, and the Czech Republic.

Prevention

The Danish Government increased its prevention efforts and continued to implement its National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking, which is publicly available in Danish and English on the Internet. Since October 2004, the government's inter-ministerial working group on trafficking held regular meetings with NGO involvement. In spring 2005, a Danish research center under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Gender Equality created an informational pamphlet explaining trafficking victims' legal rights in several languages. The government continued to fund Save the Children Denmark, which combats child sex tourism. Denmark's organized crime unit developed national databases designed to enhance information sharing on trafficking cases between police departments throughout Denmark.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

The Dominican Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Dominican women and children are trafficked to destinations in Latin America and Europe, including Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, the Netherlands Antilles, Argentina, Costa Rica, and Brazil. There are indications that Peruvian women have been trafficked through the Dominican Republic to Italy. Additionally, Haitians are trafficked into the Dominican Republic for forced labor and sexual exploitation. There are reports of an estimated 2,000 Haitian children trafficked into the Dominican Republic annually to work on the street (such as shoe shining), to work in agriculture, or to be exploited in the sex trade. The ILO estimates that 48,000 children are engaged in child labor nationwide.

The Government of the Dominican Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, is making significant efforts to do so. The Dominican Republic is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking over the past year. Trafficking-related law enforcement efforts generally remained weak, though the current government made modest efforts to combat trafficking in some areas, including the successful prosecution of a high-level official complicit in trafficking-related offenses. The government, which took office last year, has newly appointed individuals in place to combat trafficking and has pledged to do more.

Prosecution

The Dominican Republic's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts remained limited during the reporting period. Existing anti-trafficking units remain poorly deployed and coordination between agencies is ineffective. The government has not provided comprehensive anti-trafficking law enforcement data, but did report that only two new trafficking arrests were made over the last year. The government was finally able to convict and sentence to 18 months in prison Congressman Guillermo Radhames Ramos Garcia on charges of alien smuggling and trafficking-related offenses while a consul in Haiti, following a two-year legal battle. The Attorney General and other prosecutors have also made strong public statements about the need to prosecute and investigate trafficking cases, but this has yet to translate into a substantial number of active cases. A few commercial establishments involved in sexually exploiting children have been closed. Efforts to address trafficking-related corruption have improved modestly, as evidenced by the conviction of the Congressmen noted above. The government has yet to prosecute accused child trafficker Maria Martinez Nunez, who has been imprisoned awaiting trial since 2002. Official corruption still remains endemic and continues to impede anti-trafficking efforts. Law enforcement efforts are also hampered by a lack of resources, personnel, and trafficking awareness. Potential trafficking cases are rarely fully prosecuted or brought to conclusion.

Protection

The Dominican Government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking remained inadequate over the last year, hampered by a lack of resources. There are no shelters in the country specifically aimed to assist trafficking victims. Limited services are available to trafficking victims through NGOs. The government has made efforts to work with these NGOs to refer and assist trafficking victims, but efforts are uneven and should be increased. In general, the government lacks a comprehensive victim protection policy, which also affects the government's ability to identify traffickers. Control of the Haitian border remains weak, and the government continues to deny birth certificates to Haitians born in the Dominican Republic, which leaves them more vulnerable to traffickers and also leaves them without access to certain services in the Dominican Republic. The process for the identification and responsible repatriation of Haitian trafficking victims living illegally in the Dominican Republic needs to be improved.

Prevention

The government recognizes that trafficking is a problem, but has failed to implement sustainable prevention campaigns, in part because of its resource constraints. There have been campaigns in the country warning about the dangers of trafficking and the government has increased efforts to train officials on trafficking-related matters. There have been several public awareness campaigns, including several town-hall meetings in Boca Chica, a known site of child trafficking. High government officials continue to speak out about the dangers of trafficking and have committed to do more.

EAST TIMOR (TIER 2)

East Timor is a destination country for women trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The majority of trafficking victims in East Timor are women from Thailand, Indonesia, and the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) who had been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of East Timor does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government shows the political will to address the problem but lacks the resources to combat trafficking effectively. While the East Timorese Government actively engages with NGOs and regional and international bodies, it continues to have difficulty distinguishing trafficking victims from illegal migrants. Government action should concentrate on adopting a strong and comprehensive anti-trafficking law, arresting and prosecuting traffickers, and improving victim protection measures. The government and the United Nations should also continue to address credible reports that UN peacekeepers are clients of brothels that have trafficked women.

Prosecution

The Government of East Timor's law enforcement efforts against trafficking were modest during the reporting period. The government has not developed the capacity to compile full information on trafficking-related arrests, prosecutions, and convictions. East Timorese authorities conducted sporadic investigations and raids but did not prosecute any trafficking-related cases over the last year. The Immigration and Asylum Act of 2003 criminalizes trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and for non-sexual purposes but penalties are less severe than penalties for rape and forcible sexual assault. The Ministry of Justice is finalizing a new penal code that will criminalize the activities of pimps and brothel owners/operators. There is a lack of coordination between prosecutors and the police, and law enforcement officials generally lack training.

Protection

Due to a lack of resources, the East Timorese Government provided only sporadic protection and assistance to trafficking victims during the reporting period. Some trafficking victims were repatriated with the help of the government, their embassies, and international organizations. While the government assisted a few victims in finding shelter and protection from NGOs it appears that some victims may have been charged and deported for prostitution and/or immigration violations. The government did not fund foreign and domestic NGOs that provided shelter and access to services for victims.

Prevention

There have been no anti-trafficking campaigns conducted in East Timor, in part because East Timor has not been a country of origin for trafficking victims. While the government continued to recognize that trafficking is a problem, it did not place a priority on trafficking prevention programs. The government has been considering a national action plan.

ECUADOR (TIER 3)

Ecuador is a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Many victims are children trafficked for sexual exploitation; in 2003, the ILO estimated that over 5,000 minors in Ecuador were being exploited in prostitution. Poverty drives some poor rural families to send children to work on banana plantations or in small-scale mines and to urban areas where traffickers exploit them. Ecuadorians are trafficked to Western Europe, particularly Spain and Italy, and to other countries in Latin America. Colombians cross the border into Ecuador to engage in prostitution and many are believed to have been trafficked. Ecuador's lax border controls make it a point of origin and transit for illegal migrants; the use of alien smuggling operations by migrants increases their vulnerability to being trafficked.

The Government of Ecuador does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. President Gutierrez issued a decree in August 2004 that recognized the trafficking problem, established an interinstitutional committee, and assigned the Minister of Government responsibility to head efforts to combat trafficking, but no discernable progress was made during the reporting period in identifying victims and prosecuting those who exploit them. The government should develop, publicize, and implement a comprehensive anti-trafficking policy; strengthen laws to prohibit trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation of minors; and formulate a law enforcement strategy for identifying victims and prosecuting traffickers.

Prosecution

The Government of Ecuador failed to make significant law enforcement efforts against trafficking over the last year. DINAPEN, the national police agency charged with protecting children, received anti-trafficking training and conducted raids of bars, nightclubs, and brothels suspected of exploiting children, but DINAPEN officers failed to confirm whether children removed from premises had been sexually exploited. The National Congress passed few laws during the reporting period, and changes to the penal code that include provisions against trafficking and to raise the age of consent remained pending in Congress at the end of the reporting period. The constitution specifically prohibits slavery and trafficking in all forms, but no traffickers were prosecuted or convicted. Law enforcement focused considerable efforts on dismantling alien smuggling operations, but did not apply the same effort toward identifying and rescuing migrant trafficking victims. There was no confirmed evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking, but corruption is a pervasive problem.

Protection

The national government had only limited ability to support social programs and did not fund programs to assist trafficking victims during the reporting period. No minors engaging in prostitution were detained. Minors picked up in raids were typically returned to their families and only referred to NGOs when returning home was not possible. Due to resource constraints, the government afforded little protection to witnesses of crimes, including trafficking victims, and no assistance to repatriated trafficking victims.

Prevention

The Government of Ecuador lacked policies or programs to prevent trafficking. The interinstitutional committee on trafficking started drafting a national plan to address trafficking, child sexual exploitation, and child labor, but the draft plan was incomplete and not ready to implement. The government continued work with donors and international organizations like the ILO on programs to keep children in school and assist those at risk of child labor, but it undertook no prevention measures focused on trafficking.

EGYPT (TIER 2)

Egypt is a transit country for women and girls trafficked from Eastern Europe and Russia into Israel for sexual exploitation. Some victims, primarily from sub-Saharan Africa, may also transit Egypt en route to Europe. Various sources indicate that unspecified numbers of women, particularly from Moldova, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, are smuggled or trafficked through the Sinai desert into Israel. Some women who seek economic opportunity in Israel willingly chose to make this journey. Others are deceived or compelled to make the journey. Bedouin smugglers appear to play a key role in their travel. Once in Israel, they are sexually exploited in prostitution. According to the Government of Egypt, 154 persons, including 93 women who entered Egypt in 2004 on tourist visas, remain unaccounted for. Some Egyptian males are smuggled into Europe and are reportedly subjected to involuntary servitude.

The Government of Egypt does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Following the October 2004 terrorist attacks in the Sinai, the government increased its security vigilance in the region. The government signed a "pledge document" with Bedouin tribal leaders in the Sinai, which, among other things, elicits their cooperation to report on trafficking-related activities. The government should appoint a national coordinator to oversee its overall anti-trafficking efforts; conduct an assessment of the trafficking situation and develop a national plan of action to combat it; adopt and implement comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation; train its law enforcement personnel to identify trafficking crimes, prosecute more traffickers, and care for victims; and develop effective protection and prevention programs.

Prosecution

During the reporting period, the Government of Egypt made modest efforts to prosecute trafficking cases. Egypt does not have specific anti-trafficking legislation; nonetheless, it uses other criminal codes to punish traffickers. In 2004, a criminal court in the Sinai sentenced one person to three and a half years in prison for attempting to traffic five Russian and Moldavian women into Israel. Press reports indicate that in September 2004, 13 Eastern European women were rescued after a gun battle between security forces and Bedouin traffickers. In early 2005, the Ministry of Interior established an Office of Organized Crime within the Ministry, to serve as a coordinating body for narcotics and human trafficking. The government should enhance its law enforcement collaborations with source, destination, and other transit countries in order to identify and dismantle any trafficking networks and prosecute the criminals behind them.

Protection

The Government of Egypt does not have a trafficking victim protection program. However, in instances where victims are identified, the government turns them over to their embassies for assistance. Repatriation of trafficking victims continues to be conducted on an ad hoc basis. Egypt should consider collaborating with IOM to repatriate victims. It should also develop and implement a uniform protection policy.

Prevention

The Egyptian Government does not have an anti-trafficking prevention program. However, its consular and immigration officials, at home and abroad, are instructed to be on alert for instances of illegal migration and fraudulent travel. As previously mentioned, the government signed a "pledge document" with tribal leaders in the Sinai, to elicit their cooperation in monitoring trafficking routes. Egypt should develop and implement a public awareness campaign to sensitize the general public, vulnerable groups, and government officials.

EL SALVADOR (TIER 2)

El Salvador is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. El Salvador is also a source country for forced labor. There are no firm estimates on the size and scope of trafficking in El Salvador. However, there are reports of Salvadorans trafficked to the United States, Canada, Mexico, and other countries in Central America. Salvadoran women and children are trafficked internally for prostitution from the rural and eastern part of the country to urban areas. The vast majority of foreign victims are women and children from Nicaragua and Honduras. There have been past reports of Salvadorans being trafficked to the United States for agricultural labor exploitation.

The Government of El Salvador does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In October 2004, El Salvador passed new anti-trafficking legislation to make trafficking in persons and conspiracy to traffic a felony. That same month, the Border Patrol of the National Civilian Police (PNC) created a special anti-trafficking unit dedicated to investigating trafficking cases. This new unit has stepped up efforts to rescue victims and arrest traffickers. To further its efforts to combat trafficking, the government should establish mechanisms to provide victim protection and services, including assistance for foreign victims. Additionally, increased regional cooperation would enable the government to further investigate trafficking cases that are occurring as part of cross-border migration.

Prosecution

Aided by a new anti-trafficking law, the Government of El Salvador increased its efforts to investigate, arrest, and convict traffickers during the reporting period. From October 2004 to February 2005, the newly created Police Anti-trafficking Unit arrested 15 traffickers and charged them under the new, more stringent, anti-trafficking law. Prior to the October passage of the new anti-trafficking law in 2004, the government brought cases under existing statutes against 19 traffickers. However, only three convictions were obtained among the 34 trafficking-related arrests. The passage of the new anti-trafficking law gives the government better tools to go after traffickers, and the Attorney General's office should use it to more aggressively to investigate, prosecute, and convict brothel owners, especially those involved in the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Protection

The government provides reasonable protections for Salvadorans, particularly children, but foreign trafficking victims remained relatively excluded from these protections during the reporting period. The government is in the process of amending its immigration laws to comply with treaty obligations respecting the protection of foreign trafficking victims. At the present time, though, illegal adult immigrants, some of whom may be victims of trafficking, face quick deportation as a matter of policy. Despite limited resources, the government's child welfare agency (ISNA) does provide protection, counseling, shelter, and legal assistance to at-risk Salvadoran children, including underage trafficking victims. The newly created anti-trafficking Police unit rescued and turned over to ISNA's care 19 minors between October 2004 and February 2005. The government plans to open a temporary shelter for trafficking victims, but efforts have been slow. Finally, the government is exploring legislation to create a witness protection program that would foster better victim participation in the prosecution of traffickers.

Prevention

Resource constraints hampered the government's efforts to produce a sustainable anti-trafficking prevention effort over the last year, but the government has in the past aggressively used the media to warn the public about trafficking. The government sponsors programs to promote the participation of women in social, economic, cultural, and educational venues. The government is also supporting after-school activities for children to bind them to their communities and prevent them from falling prey to traffickers, gangs, drugs, and violence.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA (TIER 2)

Equatorial Guinea is a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation, involuntary domestic servitude, and other forced labor. Women and children are trafficked to Equatorial Guinea from West and Central Africa, principally Cameroon, Nigeria, and Benin. Women are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation in Malabo, where demand is high due to the booming oil sector. Cameroonian and Beninese children are trafficked to Malabo for exploitation as street and market hawkers; Nigerian boys are trafficked to Rio Muni (the mainland) for exploitation as agricultural workers.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Over the past year the government has made a number of efforts that attest to its commitment to address Equatorial Guinea's small but significant trafficking problem. Most notably, the government passed a comprehensive trafficking law, committed $3-4 million in funding for UNICEF anti-trafficking projects, began drafting a national plan of action, and started law enforcement efforts to rescue child trafficking victims in Malabo.

Prosecution

The Government of Equatorial Guinea made significant progress in addressing trafficking through law enforcement measures during the reporting period. The government in September 2004 enacted a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, which was drafted by an inter-ministerial commission on trafficking that had been created in July 2004. The government did not provide comprehensive law enforcement statistics on anti-trafficking activities. However, during the year, the government enforced its law against forced labor and convicted a Beninese woman for holding a 14 year-old Beninese girl in involuntary servitude. The Ministry of Interior in early 2005 embarked on a campaign to rescue foreign children forced to sell products in the Malabo market and on the streets. A draft national plan of action, which will provide implementation guidelines for the new law, plans to empower dedicated police officers, "fiscales de menores," to fight child trafficking. There are reports of low-level law enforcement officials' facilitation of trafficking at the country's entry points, though there are no known investigations or prosecutions of official complicity in trafficking.

Protection

The government continued an inadequate level of protection and aid for victims of trafficking over the last year, though it made plans for an improved and systematic approach to victim care. A technical working group that drafted the national plan of action is preparing specific measures for protection of victims, including referrals to existing shelters run by the Catholic Church and possible government-established shelters. Equatoguinean officials recognize the government's responsibility for caring for the victims of trafficking, whether foreign or indigenous. The government has committed $3-4 million in funding for UNICEF projects that will protect child trafficking victims and other children in distress.

Prevention

Equatoguinean government efforts to raise public awareness about trafficking increased significantly over the last year. The government-run radio station in late 2004 conducted a campaign to publicize the new anti-trafficking law and raise awareness of the trafficking issue in general. In June, the government observed the International Day of the African Child by staging the National Forum on the Rights of the Child and Trafficking of Minors, covered by national television and radio. The government in mid-2004 created the country's Inter-Institutional Commission on Illegal Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking of Persons, headed by the Second Vice Prime Minister, which coordinates the government's anti-trafficking efforts.

ESTONIA (TIER 2)

Estonia is primarily a source and transit country for a small number of women and children trafficked internally and abroad — to surrounding Nordic and EU countries for the purpose of sexual exploitation. New information shows that Estonian victims include both ethnic Estonians and those that are Russian-speaking natives from the country's northeast. Victims transiting through Estonia are mainly from neighboring countries, such as Russia and Latvia.

The Government of Estonia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The deputy under secretaries of four principal ministries met regularly during the reporting period to coordinate Estonia's efforts to combat trafficking in persons. In 2004, police raided and closed 28 of an estimated 45 brothels in Estonia. Still, the number of trafficking victims assisted remained low, as did the sentences imposed on convicted traffickers.

Prosecution

Estonia's enforcement record improved over the reporting period, from no convictions in 2003 to nine trafficking-related convictions during the reporting period. While this is a significant improvement, only two of the nine convicted are currently serving time in prison. Trafficking in persons is prohibited in Estonia under related criminal articles on enslavement and abduction with maximum penalties of 12 years' imprisonment. In February 2005, the Government of Estonia prosecuted its first anti-trafficking case under the enslavement statute, convicting four traffickers and sentencing two of those to four years' imprisonment each and two to sentences of only two years and four months of probation. The courts convicted five remaining persons involved in the case under other statutes such as forcing minors into prostitution and pimping, and sentenced them to conditional probation. Estonian law enforcement investigated an additional ten trafficking-related cases during the reporting period. The Estonian Government incorporated trafficking-specific training at the Police Academy, the Border Guard School, and the Public Service Academy in 2004. Law enforcement officials attended prevention, recognition, and prosecution training events, at which some trained social workers and police to work together.

Protection

During the reporting period, the Estonian Government continued to increase its funding of crime victim assistance programs that apply to trafficking victims. Each Estonian county has been assigned a Victim Assistant who is able to provide trafficking and other victims access to the public assistance system. Victim Assistants are paired with police and provided space in police prefectures to better assist victims. During the reporting period, one trafficking victim received shelter and three received counseling. Law enforcement officials did not provide clear information on how they deal with foreign trafficking victims, particularly from Russia. In accordance with a Baltic States agreement on witness protection, Estonia provided witness protection to a trafficking victim of a neighboring country in 2004. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized consular officer training in April 2004 specifically tailored to teach consuls how to assist trafficking victims.

Prevention

In its efforts to raise public awareness about trafficking in persons, the Estonian Government in spring 2004 sponsored two essay competitions for young people to write on the issues of prostitution and trafficking. The Ministry of Social Affairs and the Nordic Council of Ministers initiated in May 2004 a public awareness project called, "Drugs, Prostitution, and Trafficking from a Gender Perspective," which demonstrated the correlation of these issues. The government completed its first draft of a national action plan against trafficking in December 2004. In January 2005, the government appointed the Ministry of Justice to lead and coordinate Estonia's anti-trafficking efforts. Estonia's National Roundtable on Trafficking continued to meet, though it was supplanted to some extent by a high-level interagency group comprised of the Ministries of Justice, Interior, Foreign Affairs, and Social Affairs that met on several occasions at the deputy under secretary level.

ETHIOPIA (TIER 2)

Ethiopia is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Young Ethiopian women are trafficked to Djibouti and the Middle East, particularly Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, for involuntary domestic labor. A small percentage are trafficked for sexual exploitation, with some women reportedly trafficked onward from Lebanon to Europe. Small numbers of men are trafficked to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states for exploitation as low-skilled laborers. Both children and adults are trafficked internally from rural to urban areas for domestic labor and, to a lesser extent, for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, such as street vending.

The Government of Ethiopia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To further its efforts to combat trafficking, the government should put in place laws that prohibit all forms of trafficking, begin compiling comprehensive law enforcement statistics, and launch a nationwide public awareness campaign.

Prosecution

The government made progress in furthering its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. Ethiopia's criminal code narrowly defines trafficking as inducing women or children to engage in prostitution, and cannot be invoked against traffickers for forced labor. Labor traffickers are often charged with enslavement, but this does not cover deceptive or fraudulent work claims made to voluntary migrants. A penal code revision containing provisions that address these loopholes was debated and passed by the Parliament in early 2005. The new provisions will become law in May 2005. During the year, police apprehended 31 traffickers; 30 cases remain under investigation. Prosecutions are pending in 48 prior cases, and Ethiopia reached its first conviction in March 2004, sentencing a man to six months' imprisonment for trafficking two children. In December 2004, police arrested 19 people attempting to traffic more than 200 Ethiopians through Somalia to Saudi Arabia. The victims were returned to their homes and the case is under investigation. The Ministry of Justice introduced new statistical methods to track the outcome of arrests; comprehensive statistics have not yet been produced.

Protection

Protective services for victims greatly increased over the last year. Staff of Ethiopia's consulate in Beirut increased from two to six persons, all primarily devoted to supporting Ethiopians trafficked to Lebanon. In 2004, the government opened a consulate in Dubai for the same purpose. During the year, the Child Protection Units in each of Addis Ababa's ten police stations monitored for situations of trafficking in persons. Police officers and counselors stationed at the Central Bus Terminal — a known transit point for children trafficked from rural areas — rescued 210 child trafficking victims in 2004. Police officials transferred these children to local NGOs for care; 197 were reunited with their families. The Ministry of Labor provided bus transportation to home villages to 27 trafficked women returning from Yemen.

Prevention

Ethiopia's anti-trafficking prevention efforts improved during the reporting period. In 2004, the government formed an inter-agency anti-trafficking task force that began developing a national plan for combating trafficking. The task force also formed three subcommittees for legal issues, data collection, and public awareness that analyzed existing studies on the issue and publicized relevant messages through local media. The Ministry of Education, in coordination with IOM, organized group discussions on the topic of trafficking in 200 secondary schools. The government continued its supervision of five legal labor migration firms that are required to provide pre-departure counseling on the trafficking-related risks of overseas employment. During the year, immigration officials began fully enforcing the requirement that workers traveling to the Middle East present a Ministry of Labor-certified work contract before departing.

FINLAND (TIER 2)

Finland is a destination and transit country for women and girls trafficked primarily from Russia for the purpose of sexual exploitation. A smaller number of victims are trafficked from other former Soviet states including Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, and Georgia. Finnish authorities in 2004 reported Asian women trafficked to and through Finland by Chinese crime syndicates, facilitated by the advent of direct air routes with several major Asian cities. Finland is used as a transit point to other EU countries.

The Government of Finland does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government's awareness of trafficking increased greatly in 2004, and Finland laid the groundwork for success with its new National Action Plan to combat trafficking. Unveiled on March 31, 2005, it incorporates comprehensive support services and protection for trafficking victims. To further its anti-trafficking efforts, Finland should convict and penalize traffickers under the August 2004 anti-trafficking law and consider new legislation to clearly define trafficking victims' rights.

Prosecution

Finland's efforts to improve its law enforcement response to trafficking increased in 2004. Finland enacted legislation in August 2004 criminalizing trafficking in persons. The law covers internal and external trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. It carries a maximum penalty of ten years and allows the Finnish police to use electronic surveillance techniques during investigations. While the Finnish courts had no trafficking prosecutions or convictions under the new anti-trafficking law, the police reported three investigations underway. The Finnish police maintained liaison officers in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia that assisted in trafficking investigations as needed. In 2004, the government extradited a Finnish national to Latvia who was convicted and sentenced to prison for trafficking.

Protection

While Finland continued to lack adequate trafficking victim assistance and protection during the reporting period, the Finnish Government's March 2005 National Action Plan to combat trafficking in persons takes a victim-centered approach; it creates a national assistance coordinator for trafficking victims and guarantees assistance to include temporary residence for victims, a witness protection program for victims and their families, legal and psychological counseling, health and education services, and the right to be employed and earn income while in Finland. The Finnish Government continued to offer in 2004 only limited assistance to trafficking victims. In certain instances potential victims received temporary residency permits in exchange for cooperation with law enforcement, but no system of referring victims to government or NGO shelters existed during the reporting period. Generally, in 2004, Finnish authorities continued to release Baltic nationals without assistance and to deport victims who are Russian nationals. In early 2005, prior to the Plan's public release, the government took action in a suspected case of trafficking involving a busload of several dozen women seeking entry into the Schengen area via Finland. Government agencies sheltered the women at a reception area while authorities interviewed the women and investigated the case.

Prevention

The Finnish Government improved its trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. Finland announced its National Action Plan on trafficking; formal adoption is expected with no objections. Finland officially established its inter-ministerial anti-trafficking working group, and it met regularly. Finland provided a major grant to IOM in 2004 for a counter-trafficking project in Kosovo and Macedonia — one of the largest single grants to a nongovernmental organization ever made by Finland. Through a regional demand-reduction campaign, the government continued to distribute leaflets and posters in airports, harbors, and other ports-of-entry to raise trafficking awareness on the part of Finnish nationals going to red-light districts in other countries, such as Estonia. The government continued to conduct trafficking awareness campaigns in Finnish secondary schools. In 2004, the government co-hosted two major anti-trafficking conferences for NATO and the OSCE that generated increased media coverage of trafficking.

FRANCE (TIER 1)

France is a destination country for women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude, primarily from Eastern and Central Europe and Africa. The number of Chinese women trafficked to France for sexual exploitation increased in 2004. The government estimates that there are 10,000 to 12,000 trafficking victims in France, 3,000-8,000 of whom are children forced into prostitution and labor. Nigerian trafficking networks continued to expand their activities in France. Trafficking of Brazilian women and girls for sexual exploitation to French Guiana — a French possession — remained a serious problem.

The Government of France fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Although the government did not provide full data on investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, the Secretary of State has determined that it has made a good faith effort to do so. The government took important steps to prevent child sex tourism and continued to fund support services for victims. The government must ensure that implementation of the 2003 Domestic Security Law does not result in re-victimizing, punishing, and deporting trafficking victims by improving the screening of foreign prostitutes so that trafficking victims are properly identified and protected from their traffickers.

Prosecution

In 2004 the government continued implementation of the 2003 Domestic Security Law that called for arresting, jailing, and fining trafficking victims as a means of discouraging the operation of trafficking networks and to gain information to pursue cases against traffickers. However, in practice, the law has yet to prove itself an effective addition to French anti-trafficking efforts. It harms trafficking victims and allows for the deportation of foreign victims, regardless of possible threats they face in the country to which they return. Some NGOs voiced concern that the 24-hour period that victims are detained was inadequate to encourage them to assist in investigations and prosecutions. In 2004, the government arrested 3,290 suspected prostitutes and reported that the majority were released; some were administered fines. According to the Justice Ministry, authorities arrested 940 individuals for pimping in 2004, a 33 percent increase over the number in 2003. In 2004, the Government of France continued its bilateral police cooperation on trafficking and took a leadership role in a commission that brings together 13 European countries in an effort to encourage regional cooperation among police, NGOs, and international organizations. There was no indication of trafficking-related complicity among French Government officials.

Protection

The government and city of Paris continued to fund comprehensive services for trafficking victims through the Accompaniment Places of Welcome (ALC), a private association that provided long-term shelter services for victims in metropolitan France and Corsica. An ALC network of 33 shelters across France agreed to provide space for trafficking victims. In 2004, the long-term shelter reported assisting 44 victims across France. All shelters provide judicial, administrative, health, and psychiatric assistance; help in finding a job or training; repatriation assistance; and food and lodging. The government continued to offer victims three to nine months' temporary residency based on police assessment of needs and victim cooperation. If cooperation led to a conviction, the victim became eligible for permanent residency status. French authorities estimated that 200 trafficking victims were granted temporary residency in 2004.

Prevention

In 2004, the government continued its efforts to prevent French citizens from engaging in child sex tourism abroad. In September 2004, an inter-ministerial commission, which included NGOs and tourism firms, produced a report containing recommendations on the prevention of child sex tourism. The government continued to fund the NGO-run anti-child-sex-tourism campaign on all Air France flights, warning French tourists against engaging in sex with minors and alerting them that engaging in child sex tourism is a violation of French law. The fight against sexual tourism involving children was a mandatory training component for students enrolled in French tourism schools. During the reporting period, the government developed and produced a public awareness campaign aimed at reducing domestic demand. One component of the campaign included a poster emphasizing that those who engage prostitutes may also be exploiting trafficked victims.

GABON (TIER 2)

Gabon is a destination country for children trafficked from Benin, Nigeria, Togo, and Guinea for the purposes of forced labor. Girls are employed in forced domestic servitude, market vending, and roadside restaurants. Boys are forcibly employed in small workshops and as street venders. Most trafficked children are employed in Libreville, but some are also found in smaller towns in the interior. Victims are typically trafficked into the country by boat and deposited on one of the many deserted beaches where the likelihood of detection is small.

The Government of Gabon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. For the first time, the government publicly recognized its responsibility to care for foreign trafficking victims found within its borders. As a result, it took unprecedented action to combat child trafficking, evident in the passage of comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and arrests of alleged traffickers. Gabon is an emerging leader in the fight against human trafficking on the African sub-continent. To strengthen its current efforts to address trafficking, the government should continue to proactively investigate allegations of trafficking in persons, prosecute to conviction alleged traffickers, and equip the stalled inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee to coordinate the government's activities.

Prosecution

Law enforcement efforts increased considerably during the year, though no convictions for trafficking offenses were reported. In September 2004, Gabon's anti-trafficking law was ratified by the National Assembly, signed by President Bongo, and promulgated. The law protects children under 18 against all forms of trafficking and provides for prison sentences of five to 15 years and stiff fines. Forced labor, slavery, abduction, and pimping are outlawed by the penal code. During the reporting period, the government actively investigated trafficking cases. In a January 2005 market sweep, the Gendarmes arrested 22 alleged child traffickers, the first trafficking in persons arrests in Gabon. Evidence in eight cases was determined strong enough to require the accused to stand trial and the suspects have been indicted and remain in custody awaiting prosecution. Four people were arrested in March 2005 on similar charges. In 2004, the National Police and Gendarmes began implementing strict visa and passport policies at the airport, resulting in the denial of entry to many children attempting to enter Gabon by air without the proper visa. The government initiated the creation of a regional law enforcement information-sharing hub on trafficking in persons and allocated to it office space, furniture, and several staff.

Protection

Gabon's trafficking victim protection services improved during the reporting period. The government fully funds the Agondje reception center for trafficking victims, which provides educational, medical, and psychological services. Children reside in the center until their repatriation is arranged and families are notified. Over 100 victims transited the center in 2004; most returned to their home country within six months. Security forces screened victims based on age; those 16 and under were placed in the government's center and older victims were transferred to a religious charity. The government regularly coordinated with the Nigerian Embassy to house and feed Nigerian victims. During the year, a 16-year-old trafficking victim identified herself to police in a remote part of Gabon; police coordinated her air travel to Libreville and placement in the center. In addition, the government provided office space and paid all operating expenses for the joint UNICEF-government trafficking hotline. The 24-hour hotline received 50 calls each day; an estimated ten per week were trafficking-related and police and UNICEF officials rescued an average of one or two child trafficking victims each week.

Prevention

The government made appreciable progress in preventing trafficking in 2004. The president publicly led the fight against trafficking, making it a top issue in a number of cabinet meetings. Employees of the Ministry of Justice, through a group of women jurists, organized "town hall" meetings in each Libreville district to publicize Gabon's new anti-trafficking law. Both government and neighborhood leaders participated in these meetings. The government-controlled media — radio, television, and newspapers — extensively covered anti-trafficking stories, including the broadcasting of interviews with high-ranking officials. The Ministry of Education worked with UNICEF to prominently place anti-trafficking posters in government-run schools and other public venues.

THE GAMBIA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

The Gambia is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic and commercial labor. Sex tourists from European countries such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Belgium exploit Gambian children. Children are trafficked from other countries in the region, mainly Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, and Nigeria, and internally from rural to urban areas, for forced work, including sexual exploitation, begging, street vending, and involuntary domestic servitude. Women are trafficked into The Gambia across its land borders and exploited in prostitution or involuntary domestic servitude. Ghanaian children are also trafficked to The Gambia for forced labor in the fishing industry. Children engage in prostitution in bars, hotels, and brothels with the knowledge of business proprietors and managers.

The Government of The Gambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Gambia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List due to the government's lack of appreciable efforts to identify trafficking situations and prosecute traffickers. The government has made little progress in educating the Gambian public about the dangers of trafficking, particularly the country's internal trafficking problem. The government should develop and implement a national strategy to use available resources to educate its citizens about trafficking, prosecute traffickers, and assist trafficking victims.

Prosecution

The Gambia continued to lack a comprehensive law prohibiting trafficking and law enforcement mechanisms remained inadequate to address the trafficking problem over the reporting period. Draft anti-trafficking legislation remained pending; existing criminal provisions dealt principally with kidnapping, abduction, child sex tourism, and sexual exploitation of children. Authorities closed their investigation of an early 2004 case involving Ghanaian child victims after claiming they lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute. No information was available to confirm whether police actively investigated complaints of sexual exploitation of minors in prostitution or forced labor over the last year; no new cases or prosecutions were reported. Law enforcement lacked training and resources, and the government had no strategy to collect data. There was no evidence that government authorities or individual members of government forces were involved in, facilitated, or condoned trafficking.

Protection

Over the last year, the government lacked resources and was unable to provide adequate protection and assistance specifically for trafficking victims. It ran no shelters for trafficking victims and the country had no victim protection in law or practice. The government obtained funding to build a shelter, which, once built, will likely be used for trafficking victims and others in need. Updated information on the February 2004 trafficking case involving dozens of Ghanaian child victims indicated that authorities reunited eight victims with their families and returned 12 to their country of origin.

Prevention

The government in 2004 conducted some anti-trafficking campaigns that focused on preventing child sex tourism. Leaflets distributed at Banjul's international airport warned foreign visitors against sexually exploiting Gambian children. The government encouraged businesses to train their staffs and sign on to a code of conduct to combat child sex tourism. Other prevention efforts focused on programs to send girls to school and government participation in regional meetings on trafficking. The pending Children's Bill that would specifically outlaw trafficking of children was featured in the Head of State's speech at the National Assembly's opening in March 2005.

GEORGIA (TIER 2)

Georgia is a source and transit country for women and men trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Victims are trafficked through Georgia from Ukraine, Russia, and other former Soviet republics to destinations such as Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Western Europe, and the United States. Evidence suggests there is some internal trafficking within Georgia, though only one case has been confirmed in the last two years.

The Government of Georgia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government took steps to implement several of its commitments, yet some important pledges remain unfulfilled. The government established and adequately supported a new police anti-trafficking unit, replacing the previous administration's dysfunctional anti-trafficking unit under the Ministry of Interior. In addition, the government revised and publicly endorsed a comprehensive National Action Plan, appointed a primary point of contact for trafficking, and established an interagency commission. The government identified few victims for protection and assistance. The government should take proactive steps to fully implement its action plan, implement and formalize a victim referral mechanism with NGO assistance, ensure increased victim identification, and continue special law enforcement training programs. In addition, the government should ensure that up-to-date, comprehensive law enforcement statistics are collected and disseminated, perhaps via the interagency commission on trafficking.

Prosecution

In January 2005, the government established and adequately funded a new anti-trafficking unit with a staff of 49 operating in Tbilisi and throughout Georgia. In its first few months the unit investigated 13 cases and arrested 30 traffickers. In one case, the unit arrested some members of an international ring operating in Georgia, Turkey, and Azerbaijan and shared information with law enforcement counterparts in Azerbaijan and Turkey to identify and arrest the Azeri and Turkish traffickers. In 2004, three traffickers were convicted and sentenced to eight to 12 years' imprisonment. The Ministry of Justice has also drafted a new law in collaboration with a legal NGO to address deficiencies in the current legislation, particularly to release victims from criminal liability and assure the right to refuse to give evidence or testimony. Furthermore, the government increased its recognition of trafficking-related corruption and took some action against complicit officials. In August 2004 and February 2005, the government arrested and charged three passport officials with facilitating trafficking.

Protection

Georgia continued to offer an inadequate level of protection for victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government maintains no shelters for trafficking victims; however a domestic violence NGO provided temporary shelter for some victims. Although the government failed to create a formalized system for referring trafficking victims to the NGO shelter, police made a number of informal referrals to NGOs and international organizations over the last year. The government established and successfully implemented a policy to protect the identity of trafficking victims. In one case early in the reporting period, police investigators verbally mistreated victims during initial interrogations. The Police Academy has since instituted formal trafficking awareness and sensitivity training for all new officers. Since January 2005, the new anti-trafficking unit successfully identified 15 victims and informally referred them to temporary shelter and other resources.

Prevention

In 2004, the government initiated some anti-trafficking public awareness efforts and continued to participate in prevention programs including the airing of public service announcements with NGOs and international organizations. Senior government officials spoke out about trafficking and the government's new action plan. Although the government has not yet allocated specific funds to implement the new action plan, several ministries redirected funds from their budgets to underwrite anti-trafficking efforts. The government upgraded and enhanced the security features of Georgian passports to render passport fraud more difficult. After the discovery of four trafficking victims recruited from a specific area, the anti-trafficking unit proactively disseminated information in the neighborhood and in local colleges and schools to educate and prevent possible further victims.

GERMANY (TIER 1)

Germany is a transit and destination country for persons, primarily women, trafficked mainly from Central and Eastern Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Russia alone accounted for one-quarter of the 1,235 identified victims reported in 2003, the latest year for which statistics are available. For the first time, Germany's statistics included German nationals who numbered 127.

The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Germany improved victim assistance and launched information campaigns against child sex tourism and demand for trafficking victims. Changes to the German Penal Code enacted in February 2005 broadened the definition of exploitation and toughened penalties for those convicted of trafficking-related offenses; there has been insufficient time to gauge the full effects of these legislative reforms.

Prosecution

Although the German Government increased funding of anti-trafficking investigative efforts, a significant number of sentences imposed on traffickers remained light. Trafficking investigations rose from 289 in 2002 to 431 in 2003, the latest year for which law enforcement data are available. Of the 145 adults convicted in 2003, only 51 received a non-suspended prison sentence. Changes to the German Penal Code in February 2005 implemented UN and EU guidelines. These amendments criminalized forced labor trafficking, and aiding and abetting trafficking. The Federal Office for Criminal Investigation conducted special training programs for police officers in 2004 in anticipation of the new anti-trafficking legislation, and the Federal Justice Ministry provided trafficking awareness training for judges and prosecutors. The government closed legislative loopholes concerning sexual abuse and rape of children and increased the maximum penalty for aggravated sexual abuse of children from ten years to 15 years in prison. While Germany can prosecute German child sex tourists under its extraterritorial child sexual exploitation laws, the government did not separately track data on those crimes. The German Government and an international NGO concluded a cooperative agreement in February 2004 to strengthen its pursuit of child sex tourism cases. Germany's parliament initiated investigations in 2004 into visa irregularities at the German embassies and overall German visa issuance policy and practices from the late 1990s to 2004.

Protection

Germany improved its victim assistance efforts in 2004 by amending immigration and victims' rights legislation. Following a four-week "reflection period," trafficking victims who agree to testify against their traffickers may now obtain a temporary residence permit. The Victims' Rights Reform Law, enacted in September 2004, expanded the rights of crime victims in criminal proceedings, including trafficking victims. The legislation entitles victims to interpreters and allows third parties to be present during police questioning. State governments funded approximately 25 counseling centers to provide assistance and facilitate protection for trafficking victims. In 2003, 1,108 non-German trafficking victims were granted a four-week reflection period and received assistance from specialized NGOs, with another 227 receiving shelter and extended assistance beyond that period. The number of German states with formal agreements among law enforcement and NGOs to improve victim service delivery increased from seven to eight of Germany's 16 states.

Prevention

During the reporting period, Germany devoted substantial resources to raising anti-trafficking aware-ness both within Germany and overseas. The German international aid agency launched new initiatives abroad to assist returnees, to raise awareness among potential victims, and to combat child sex tourism. The Lutheran church, in coordination with the German Family Ministry, held a workshop on demand reduction and distributed leaflets on the responsibility of everyone to fight trafficking. The Family Ministry and an NGO in 2004 produced a film spot against child sex tourism entitled Words, which was shown in approximately 200 cinemas and on television. German embassies and consulates continued anti-trafficking outreach activities, such as the distribution of brochures warning about the risks of trafficking in 13 languages.

GHANA (TIER 2)

Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic and commercial labor. Ghanaian children are trafficked internally for forced labor in fishing villages and cocoa plantations, and to urban areas in the south to work in exploitative conditions as domestic servants, street vendors, and porters. Ghanaian children are also trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria, and The Gambia for exploitation as laborers or domestic servants. Recruiters typically target poor children who are removed from the home community with their parents' consent. Ghanaian women and girls are trafficked to Western Europe

— principally Germany, Italy, and the Netherlands — for sexual exploitation. Some young Ghanaian women are trafficked for involuntary domestic servitude in the Middle East. Nigerian females moved to Western Europe for sexual exploitation transit Ghana, as do Burkinabe victims on their way to Cote d'Ivoire. Foreign victims include children brought to Ghana from Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria for forced labor, involuntary domestic servitude, and sexual exploitation.

The Government of Ghana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Ghana continued educating the public and providing assistance to trafficked children and their families, but law enforcement efforts were disjointed and hampered by the lack of a comprehensive national trafficking law. The government should proactively seek the passage and implementation of trafficking legislation planned since 2002, support law enforcement training and resources, and improve victim support services.

Prosecution

The government did not make significant progress in identifying and prosecuting trafficking cases. Anti-trafficking legislation proposed since 2002 did not reach parliament. Laws prohibiting slavery, prostitution, use of underage labor, and manufacture of fraudulent documents exist, but officials did not keep data on internal cases related to trafficking, and could not determine how many of the approximately 250 reported cases of abduction, child stealing, and child abuse involved trafficking. Only Accra district kept conviction data on such cases, and authorities could not confirm which of the six cases prosecuted in the district involved trafficking. Officials investigated six cases through Interpol involving 18 children and eight adults; four of the cases remained pending at year's end and none resulted in a conviction. A prominent Ghanaian official was indicted by a U.S. court in 2002 for trafficking a Ghanaian woman to the United States for forced domestic servitude; a U.S. request for the official's extradition remained pending with Ghanaian authorities. Immigration officers received some training and police sent anti-trafficking notices to border checkpoints, but the government lacked the resources to adequately train law enforcement officials attempting to combat trafficking. Ghana coordinates with its neighbors, but some officials and NGOs noted gaps in cross-border coordination with neighboring countries.

Protection

The Government of Ghana provided modest resources for child victims and reunited child victims with their families during the reporting period, but victim needs outstripped resources. The government worked with the IOM to assist 544 child victims rescued from Volta Region fishing villages, and one government-run facility in Accra provided temporary shelter for 35 victims during the reporting period. The government provided some counseling and worked with IOM to offer start-up assistance for resettlement of repatriated children in their home communities. Few officials were trained in recognizing trafficking and providing assistance to victims.

Prevention

Though resources were scarce, the Government of Ghana remains a leader in Africa for its continued innovative efforts to educate the public. Agencies like the Women and Juvenile Unit of the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Child Labor Unit, and the Department of Social Welfare held community meetings, distributed handbills in local languages, targeted selected schools for direct outreach, met with parents in source communities, launched a joint program with ILO-IPEC to train parents of former child victims in marketable skills, and tested use of a puppet show to reach illiterate members of the public. In the Upper East Region, the Bawku municipal government coordinated with community watch groups and security services to track child traffickers. Despite these initiatives, many families remain unaware of the exploitation and abuse children risk when lured by promises of work or study away from home.

GREECE (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Greece is a destination country for women, men, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most victims come from Eastern Europe and the Balkans, some transit to other EU countries. Although the number of identified Roma and Albanian child victims decreased, they continued to be trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Various sources noted a possible new trend of African women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

The Government of Greece does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Greece is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking, particularly in the area of victim protection and assistance. The government failed to complete an agreement with Albania on child protection and its results on increasing the number of convicted traffickers were inadequate during the reporting period. The government, however, demonstrated commitment to address trafficking by appointing a new coordinator, implementing a new action plan, and allocating significant resources for victim assistance. The government must develop an effective screening and referral process to prevent the involuntary detention and deportation of victims and consider the important role NGOs could play in this process. As previously suggested, a large-scale targeted demand reduction campaign would strengthen domestic anti-trafficking efforts.

Prosecution

In 2004, the Greek Government showed limited progress in the enforcement of its anti-trafficking laws. The government conducted a number of anti-trafficking raids, charged 352 perpetrators, and successfully dismantled several criminal rings operating in Greece. During 2004, the government appointed two special anti-trafficking prosecutors and reported 94 prosecutions under the 2002 anti-trafficking law. Conviction rates, however, remained disproportionally low - the government reported a few convictions during the year. Notably, the courts handed down significant sentences in many of those cases and convicted the first traffickers under the government's 2002 law. Some local police continued to participate in and facilitate trafficking. In 2004, the government took some punitive action against police complicity in trafficking.

Protection

The government made some progress in protecting victims of trafficking in 2004. The government took important preliminary steps to improve protection by allowing foreign victims the opportunity to obtain residence and work permits- at least 24 permits were issued in 2004. However, potential trafficking victims without legal status continued to be inappropriately arrested and deported; many potential victims possessing legal status were not screened or recognized as having been trafficked. The government allowed only limited NGO access to potential victims in detention facilities. Notably, in 2004, Greece provided over three million Euros to NGOs to provide assistance to trafficked victims, opened three new government shelters and contributed to the operation of four NGO shelters. As of February 2005, the new Athens shelter had not received any referrals, however victims continued to be assisted in NGO shelters. Police were issued instructions to reinforce techniques of identification and assistance, but lack of a adequate referral mechanism continued to result in widely inconsistent, ad hoc referrals. The government also failed to conclude the long-awaited protocol with Albania on the return of child victims. In 2004, the government identified 181 victims of trafficking; 46 of the 181 victims received state and NGO assistance and protection. A special prosecutor issued an order to suspend deportation for 25 victims. NGOs reported that a lack of victim witness protection resulted in harm to some victims while trials were pending.

Prevention

In 2004, the Greek Government launched a national victim's hotline and in 2005 co-sponsored anti-trafficking trainings on implementation of its trafficking law. In November 2004, the government sponsored a conference that brought together law enforcement officers from throughout Greece and Eastern Europe to share best practices. It continued to fund anti-trafficking awareness campaigns via NGOs in 2004, some aspects of which targeted clients. As part of its preparations for the 2004 Olympic games, the government readied for a possible increased in trafficking through extensive police patrols, training, and established a legal aid program. Further, the government provided resources to NGOs to conduct street assessments, which led to the identification and repatriation of six trafficked children.

GUATEMALA (TIER 2)

Guatemala is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children from Guatemala and other Central American countries trafficked internally and to the United States for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Estimates of the total number of victims are difficult to assess; however, the Government of Guatemala acknowledges that trafficking is a significant and growing problem in the country as well as in the region. Past estimates by reliable sources cite large numbers of minors engaged in underage prostitution (2,000 in Guatemala City alone) throughout the country, with particular concern in the border area between Guatemala and Mexico. There are also anecdotal reports of forced labor trafficking in the country involving children used in begging rings in Guatemala City. Guatemala is a significant transit country for illegal migration, and many of these individuals may be trafficking victims.

The Government of Guatemala does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Over the reporting period, Guatemala has stepped up its efforts to rescue minors from commercial sexual exploitation in bars, brothels, and other establishments where traffickers are known to operate. On February 22, 2004, the Governments of Guatemala and Mexico formally initiated implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) they signed last year to address the cross-border trafficking issues that currently plague that region. Efforts should be increased to rescue minors that are trafficked for sexual exploitation along the border region and also to prevent such minors from being trafficked into other countries where Guatemalan minors are being found, including Mexico, Belize, and El Salvador.

Prosecution

The Government of Guatemala has mobilized prosecutors and police to implement a new aggressive policy to arrest and prosecute traffickers. Both the National Civilian Police (PNC) and the Attorney General's Office have set up specialized units aimed at combating trafficking throughout the country. Guatemalan authorities, assisted by an NGO, have conducted hundreds of raids of bars, brothels, and other establishments where traffickers are known to be operating. The raids have resulted in 40 arrests and six convictions, an increase in overall law enforcement action seen in the previous reporting period. Additionally, the Guatemalan Congress recently passed legislation that improves the legal framework in the country to increase penalties for traffickers. While progress clearly has been made, long-term sustainable steps should be undertaken to arrest and prosecute traffickers under the new law. Strong efforts should also be taken to fight trafficking-related corruption, including instances of law enforcement officials facilitating cross-border movement and reports of law enforcement officials patronizing brothels. Cross-border cooperation with Belize and Mexico to investigate and arrest traffickers should also be improved.

Protection

The government continued to refer identified child trafficking victims to NGO shelters and such efforts were expanded during the reporting period. The Secretariat of Social Welfare currently runs one temporary shelter and pledged last year to open a new one in Coatepeque in San Marcos province. Efforts should be made to open this shelter quickly so victims may be assisted. The government still struggles to identify and assist adult trafficking victims, hampering its ability to complete criminal investigations of traffickers. It remains the case that all undocumented foreigners, including trafficking victims, are subject to deportation and given 72 hours to depart; the reality, though, is that many stay in Guatemala. Resource constraints have hampered the Government of Guatemala's ability to assist and repatriate individuals deported from Mexico, many of whom are not Guatemalan, and may be trafficking victims.

Prevention

The Government of Guatemala continues to struggle (due in large part to lack of resources) to conduct a long-term sustainable prevention campaign. However, the government has undertaken some limited campaigns aimed at warning individuals of the risks of trafficking. Serious and sustainable efforts should be undertaken to implement the MOU signed with Mexico to work on the broad multitude of trafficking problems along the joint border.

GUINEA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Guinea is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Guinean girls are trafficked internally for forced labor as domestic servants and boys for shoe shining and street vending. Some children are also trafficked for forced labor in agriculture and diamond mining camps. Women and girls are trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, and Greece for sexual exploitation. On a smaller scale, men are trafficked for forced labor in agriculture. Guinea is a destination country for forced child labor from Mali, Guinea-Bissau, Sierra Leone, and Senegal.

The Government of Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Guinea is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons over the past year. To enhance its trafficking efforts, Guinea needs to work regionally to detect and prevent trafficking from occurring along its borders, increase law enforcement efforts, and implement its national plan to address trafficking in the country, which should include prevention and outreach campaigns.

Prosecution

The Government of Guinea showed only minimal law enforcement efforts over the past year. It did not produce any trafficking-related prosecutions or convictions and it continued to lack a clear law enforcement strategy to address trafficking in the country. Efforts to adopt more stringent legal reforms on trafficking-related matters are pending. Currently, Guinean law prohibits forced labor and the exploitation of vulnerable persons for unpaid or underpaid labor. Trafficking in persons carries a penalty of five to ten years' imprisonment and the confiscation of any money or property received for trafficking activities. While law enforcement efforts under these and other laws remained weak, the police dismantled a trafficking ring in 2004 that resulted in the arrest and deportation of 100 individuals. Limited training was also provided to 15 police officers on trafficking-related matters. In an effort to track individuals and hotels suspected of trafficking, the government undertook an effort to register all small hotels. The government is currently negotiating terms of agreements with neighboring countries to facilitate the return of trafficking victims. Corruption remains a problem and impedes cross-border trafficking investigations, yet the government reported no investigations or prosecutions of corrupt officials.

Protection

The government, hampered by resource constraints, did not provide adequate protection for victims of trafficking during the reporting period. Victims are usually transferred to NGOs and missionary groups for care and assistance. In a few cases, however, the government was able to provide limited assistance to victims of trafficking, mainly in the form of rescue and referrals to NGOs. The government, in collaboration with an NGO, assisted in the rescue of over 600 children from cocoa and coffee fields.

Prevention

The government's prevention efforts remained ad hoc and lacked clear focus during the last year, in large part due to its paucity of resources. Nonetheless, the government did carry out some limited prevention campaigns. The government appointed an official to serve as the anti-trafficking coordinator and drafted a national plan of action on trafficking, which remains largely unimplemented. During the reporting period, the government broadcast a program related to trafficking in women and children and the rights of the child on a state-run television station.

GUYANA (TIER 2)

Guyana is a country of origin, transit, and destination for young women and children trafficked primarily for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Much of the trafficking takes place in remote areas of the country's interior, or involves Amerindian girls from the interior trafficked to coastal areas to engage in prostitution and involuntary domestic servitude. Girls promised employment as domestics, waitresses, and bar attendants are trafficked into prostitution; young Amerindian men are exploited under forced labor conditions in timber camps. Guyanese girls and young women are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Suriname and other countries in the region such as Barbados, Trinidad & Tobago, and Venezuela. Most foreign victims come from bordering regions of Brazil, and may be trafficked through Guyana to Suriname.

The Government of Guyana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Guyana showed appreciable progress over the last year, particularly through its enactment of anti-trafficking legislation, improvements in government coordination, and aggressive public awareness campaigns. Guyana should work with NGOs to improve services for victims; it should also more aggressively investigate and prosecute traffickers.

Prosecution

Government law enforcement actions against traffickers remained inadequate despite some progress during the reporting period. The government worked with NGOs and international organizations to draft a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that the National Assembly passed in December 2004. Trafficking convictions now carry sentences ranging from three years to life imprisonment and include confiscation of assets related to trafficking activity. In 2004, authorities arrested and released on bail one suspected trafficker pending indictment; no traffickers were prosecuted or convicted. The government pursued several investigations involving more than a dozen trafficking victims in 2004. Guyanese and Barbadian law enforcement officials worked together on a trafficking case; cooperation with authorities in Suriname resulted in the arrest of a Surinamese public official for trafficking Guyanese nationals for sexual exploitation. There was no direct evidence of official government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking.

Protection

The Government of Guyana made good faith efforts to assist trafficking victims over the last year, though protection of victims remained inadequate. Police initially jailed and fined four victims under immigration laws. The Ministry of Labor, Human Services, and Social Security secured their release after determining the four were victims and not traffickers, and arranged for their repatriation. As a result of this case, the Commissioner of Police and Ministry officials stated that they would coordinate more closely and ensure that victims are referred to the Ministry for assistance. For two Guyanese victims rescued from a remote mining community, the government provided medical attention, housing, and funds to return them to their home communities. Few local NGOs worked directly with trafficking victims and none reported receiving government financial support for anti-trafficking programs during the reporting period.

Prevention

The Government of Guyana made significant progress in public education and awareness during 2004. Senior government officials acknowledged human trafficking as a serious problem. The President appointed a cabinet-level official to coordinate national anti-trafficking efforts. The government launched a National Plan of Action, developed with the participation of local NGOs, that included a nationwide public awareness campaign with town hall meetings reaching over 3,000 citizens in Guyana's ten regions and anti-trafficking public service messages aired during widely viewed cricket match broadcasts. The government sought international and NGO support for training officials and community leaders due to its inability to financially support such programs.

[Countries H through P]



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