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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

V. Country Narratives -- Countries Q through Z


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

Qatar is a destination country for men and women trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation and young boys trafficked for the purpose of exploitation as camel jockeys. Women and men who work as domestic servants, some of whom fall victim to involuntary servitude, come largely from Bangladesh, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Sri Lanka. Male laborers, some of whom become trafficking victims, come from Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Jordan, and Syria. Children trafficked to Qatar for exploitation as camel jockeys come primarily from South Asia and Sudan. Some foreign workers suffer conditions of exploitation — such as excessive hours, late or nonpayment of wages, physical and sexual abuse, and withholding of passports — that constitute involuntary servitude, a severe form of trafficking. Child camel jockeys are overworked, malnourished, and physically abused. Some have been thrown from the camels they rode and suffered serious neurological damages. Most no longer remember where they came from.

The Government of Qatar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. During the rating period, the government failed to show evidence of significant efforts to combat identified severe forms of trafficking on the three fronts of prosecution, protection, and prevention. A 2003 National Action Plan remains unimplemented. The Government of Qatar does not collect statistics on persons trafficked into the country, making it difficult to assess its efforts to combat the problem. According to official diplomatic sources and NGOs, there have been no rescues of the estimated 75-250 child camel jockeys, nor have there been any prosecutions of the traffickers behind the trafficking of camel jockeys. Some government officials own the camels participating in the races in which young boys are used as camel jockeys. The government provides no shelter for trafficking victims; instead, it detains and punishes trafficking victims for immigration violations. The government needs to enact and enforce a comprehensive trafficking law that criminalizes all forms of trafficking and provides for protection of trafficking victims. The government should institute a formal system to identify, care for, and repatriate these victims, including domestic workers and child camel jockeys. The government should also take much stronger steps to investigate, prosecute, and convict those responsible for trafficking crimes.

Prosecution

During the reporting period, the Government of Qatar took negligible steps to investigate, prosecute, and punish traffickers. There is no law banning the trafficking and exploitation of children as camel jockeys. Although other laws, such as the criminal law that makes employment of children under age 16 illegal, could be used to prosecute trafficking-related crimes, Qatar has not used them effectively. The Government of Qatar handled two criminal cases against trafficking in 2004. In the first case, an Indonesian housemaid was beaten by her sponsors; the sponsors admitted guilt and are now in detention while the case remains under investigation. In the second case, a Qatari employer was convicted of burning an Indian housemaid to death, sentenced to three years' imprisonment, and fined the equivalent of $17 — inadequate penalties for a serious trafficking-related crime. Qatar's anti-trafficking Implementation Committee reportedly sponsored training for judges on prosecution of trafficking-related offenses.

Protection

The Government of Qatar provides minimal protection to victims of trafficking. There are no shelters to help victims. The government incarcerates runaway foreign trafficking victims at its detention facilities and attempts to resolve labor-related disputes through mediation. In cases where abuses are proven, the government allows victims to change employers. However, no measure is taken to investigate, prosecute, and punish physical and sexual abuse of victims. In one instance, a Philippine housemaid was arrested while filing a complaint against her employer for non-payment of five years of wages, after the employer charged that she had absconded and was working for another employer.

Prevention

In 2004, the Government of Qatar did little to prevent trafficking and trafficking-related offenses. The government cooperated with the quasi-independent National Human Rights Committee and the Qatari Foundation for Women and Children Protection (QFWCP), which did some work to promote the rights of victims. In 2003, the government established a National Plan to address trafficking in persons, including increasing public awareness of trafficking, providing information on trafficking at national entry points, establishing an effective hotline for filing complaints, and ending the camel jockey problem. The plan also called for the training of judges on trafficking issues; the government held a workshop to that end. Most elements of the plan, however, have not been implemented. For example, the position of prosecutor for trafficking issues was created, but no appointment was made. The QFWCP advertised through local papers the establishment of a hotline for filing complaints; however, reports indicate that calls to the hotline are not answered.

ROMANIA (TIER 2)

Romania is a source and transit country for persons trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor, including in organized begging rings, to Balkan countries and the EU - particularly Spain, France, and Italy. Persons trafficked through Romania generally originate in Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia. In 2004, a number of Romanian women traveled to Canada on temporary employment visas to work as exotic dancers; anecdotal evidence suggests that organized crime figures forced some of these women into prostitution after their arrival in Canada. Concerns remained about Romanian street children and their vulnerability to exploitation and trafficking.

The Government of Romania 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 progress in establishing shelters for trafficking victims and convicting traffickers. Corruption among law enforcement authorities remained a serious problem; the government took actions to address it. With continued improvement in the area of victim protection, Romania has laid the groundwork for greater success in its efforts to combat trafficking.

Prosecution

The Romanian Government significantly increased trafficking convictions and sentences in 2004. Authorities convicted 103 traffickers, up from 49 in 2003. Of those convicted in 2004, 34 received prison sentences of five to ten years, and 49 received sentences of one to five years. Romania's anti-trafficking legislation specifically covers trafficking for the purposes of both sexual and non-sexual exploitation and provides for appropriate penalties. The government created a national network of 52 judges specialized in trafficking cases, one for each tribunal and court of appeal. In December 2004, the government reorganized the border police and established special units for fighting trafficking and illegal migration. In 2004, Romania's lead police anti-corruption agency investigated 81 police officials implicated in trafficking-related corruption; authorities imposed administrative sanctions on 31 officials, dismissed ten officials, and sent 40 cases forward for prosecution. Additionally, the Anti-Corruption National Prosecutor's Office reviewed a total of ten cases of suspected trafficking-related corruption in 2004. The Romanian Government continued to host the headquarters for the Southeast European Cooperative Initiative (SECI) and actively participate in SECI anti-trafficking operations, to include "Mirage 2004", and conducted joint anti-trafficking investigations with Spain and the Czech Republic.

Protection

The government's victim protection efforts improved in 2004. The government opened five of nine trafficking shelters required by law, compared with two opened in 2003. Additionally, the government funded a local NGO's opening of ten shelters for unaccompanied repatriated children which have already assisted 32 trafficked children. The Ministry of Administration and Interior provided security at Bucharest's nongovernment-run shelter that assisted 100 victims throughout 2004. While victims are entitled to shelter, legal, psychological, and social assistance by law, overall Romanian funding for NGOs that assist trafficking victims remained low. NGOs reported good cooperation with law enforcement, although Romania's new victim referral system did not comprehensively identify and refer all returning trafficking victims. Romanian embassies abroad assisted in the repatriation of 350 trafficking victims.

Prevention

The Ministry of Education and Research initiated a new course in 2004 as part of the national curriculum for primary and secondary school students that contained trafficking themes; it reached a total of 200 teachers and 6,000 students. The Romanian police and a local NGO jointly produced a television campaign entitled, "Watch Out for the Traps of Traffickers." In 2004, the government monitored employment agency advertisements for any fraudulent or deceptive offers that might lead to trafficking. Legislation adopted in 2004 improves anti-trafficking protection of minors and provides protections for victims of all crimes, including trafficking. In 2004, the government approved a National Action Plan to prevent and combat trafficking in children. The police opened in June 2004 the Trafficking Resources Center to centralize the collection of country-wide trafficking data.

RUSSIA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Russia is a major source of women trafficked globally for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Russia is also a significant destination and transit country for persons trafficked for sexual and labor exploitation from regional and neighboring countries into Russia, and on to the Gulf states, Europe, Asia, and North America. The ILO estimates that 20 percent of the five million illegal immigrants in Russia are victims of forced labor, which is a form of trafficking. There were reports of trafficking of children and of child sex tourism in Russia. Internal trafficking from rural to urban areas remained a problem.

The Government of Russia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Russia 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. A new general witness protection program may improve care of trafficking victims who participate in an investigation or protection. While the central government sustained its commitment and recognition to address trafficking, more remains to be done. The government made particular progress in the area of enforcement, increasing investigations and prosecutions under the new amendments to the Criminal Code. It took important preliminary steps to raise awareness among law enforcement and the public through a national training program and development of a training manual. However, the government must develop mechanisms to protect Russian and foreign trafficking victims immediately, administer its new witness protection legislation, and target public awareness programs at potential victims, particularly regarding recruitment scams inherent in employment ads throughout Russia. Moreover, the government should intensify its efforts to work with the NGO community in Russia. The government should continue to actively prosecute and sentence traffickers. It should also identify and address trafficking complicity of public officials. Specialized targeted training for law enforcement is essential to ensure that police are armed with the proper investigative tools to implement anti-trafficking statutes and the new witness protection legislation.

Prosecution

The central government took visible efforts to improve Russia's law enforcement response to trafficking over the last year with its implementation of the 2003 anti-trafficking amendments to the criminal code. In January 2005, President Putin signed additional legislative amendments to the criminal code punishing the organization of illegal entry and transit of aliens into and through Russia. Investigators increased their application of new anti-trafficking tools, but few convictions were reported. In 2004, the government investigated 26 cases under the new anti-trafficking provisions of the criminal code, eight of which were cases of labor trafficking. A total of 11 cases were successfully referred for prosecution. The government continued to bring charges against traffickers using older code provisions. In May 2004, the government convicted and sentenced two Ukrainian men to eight and ten years for trafficking in girls for sexual exploitation. Official corruption continued to facilitate and protect the operation of criminal trafficking networks. The government reported two trafficking-related corruption cases pending before the Russian courts.

In September 2004, the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) co-sponsored a regional anti-trafficking coordination conference for specialized anti-trafficking units of law enforcement agencies of neighboring countries. The government developed an anti-trafficking training manual analyzing current laws and procedures; a field manual was under development and was shared with Russian law enforcement and neighboring countries.

The government actively cooperated in transnational law enforcement investigations with other countries. In June 2004, the Interior Minister announced the arrest of five individuals involved in a ring trafficking young women to the United States and Asia. The MVD rescued 72 victims and confiscated a large amount of criminal proceeds from the ring. In January 2005, the MVD publicly announced the creation of specialized anti-trafficking units throughout Russia. These units cooperated with Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, and numerous other countries on trafficking investigations and prosecutions.

Protection

The Russian Government's protection and assistance for victims of trafficking remained weak throughout the reporting period; however, in August 2004, it supplemented its 2003 anti-trafficking amendments with the passage of witness protection legislation, which became effective in January 2005. This well-funded legislation could potentially allow shelter and protection for trafficking victims who are witnesses in an investigation or prosecution. The statute includes rights to employment and collection of damages. Regrettably, the Duma failed to pass comprehensive victim protection, and assistance legislation needed to address the broader issues of prevention, protection and rehabilitation for foreign victims and victims not party to an investigation. As a result, the government has yet to support or establish shelters specifically for trafficking victims. While the central government did not institute a formalized screening referral process, IOM reported that the MVD solicited repatriation assistance for illegal migrants, including some trafficking victims. In addition, one regional government collaborated with an anti-trafficking NGO to develop a referral procedure for victims in Yaroslavl. While a prosecutor or investigator in a trafficking case may permit a foreign victim to remain in Russia during a pending criminal case, Russian law afforded no specific status to assist or protect foreign victims of trafficking; their involuntary deportation remained a problem. Currently, additional legislation is pending to address some of these critical deficiencies; future passage of the law, however, remained uncertain. The need to assist victims and provide them with legal status remained paramount.

Prevention

Senior government officials continued to highlight the trafficking issue in the media during the last year; they also participated in anti-trafficking seminars. In November 2004, in front of the Russian Duma and again in February 2005, the central government hosted two regional anti-trafficking conferences to develop public awareness, consider draft legislation, and encourage closer cooperation between the MVD and NGOs. The events received widespread media attention. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs placed detailed warnings on its consular affairs website for potential victims. The government did not have a formal trafficking coordination body, but coordination of anti-trafficking policies and programs took place primarily through the Duma Legislative Working Group. The Duma began drafting a comprehensive report on the nature and scope of trafficking in Russia and the means to address it.

NGOs and international organizations continued to conduct virtually all targeted prevention programs for victims; however, they reported increasingly good relations with the government and actively participated in the Duma anti-trafficking working group. Some local NGOs reported they received operational support from local officials, and many reported they provided anti-trafficking training to local government and police.

RWANDA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Rwanda is a source country for children internally trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Small numbers of impoverished Rwandan children, typically between the ages of 14 and 18, are exploited by loosely organized prostitution networks. In addition, some children of Rwandan background have been trafficked over the past decade for forced labor and child soldiering within Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.). In the mid-1990s, many Rwandan children living in refugee camps in D.R.C. became separated from their families after these camps were destroyed. Some of these children, surviving on their own in conflict-prone, militia-controlled territories, fell prey to recruitment, both forcible and voluntary, by various armed rebel groups. Over 200 former child soldiers have been returned to Rwanda from D.R.C. and demobilized; the government expects more to be repatriated in the future. The Rwanda Defense Forces do not recruit child soldiers, and explicitly condemn this practice.

The Government of Rwanda does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Rwanda has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List for not providing evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year. The government should take further steps to provide care for children exploited in prostitution, as well as vigorously investigate and prosecute traffickers.

Prosecution

The government's trafficking-related law enforcement efforts were minimal during the reporting period. Rwanda has no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons, but traffickers could be prosecuted under laws against slavery, forced prostitution, kidnapping, and child labor. Government prosecutors did not provide statistics on individuals prosecuted under these laws during the reporting period. The parliament adopted significant judicial reforms in July 2004, and restructured Rwandan courts began functioning in September 2004. These reforms created "child issues courts," but they are not yet operational. During the year, the Rwandan National Police offered specialized training in recognizing trafficking, particularly trafficking involving children, to 185 police cadets.

Protection

The government provided limited protective services to victims of trafficking over the last year. In January 2004, the government's National Demobilization Commission opened a residential demobilization center to prepare child soldiers returning from Rwandan rebel groups in D.R.C. for reintegration into their home communities. During the year, 122 boys received three months of rehabilitation, including counseling, medical screening, mediation with their families, clothing, and schooling, and were returned to their families in May 2004. A second group of 87 children has been provided the same services and is scheduled for graduation in May 2005. The government financed no protective services for children exploited in prostitution, but 50 children in prostitution received health care and vocational training through the government's partnership with a local NGO. The Ministry of Gender also provided expertise and trainers to the NGO to assist in developing educational materials on responding to children in prostitution.

Prevention

There are no government-run information campaigns specifically on trafficking, although the government ran campaigns to educate people about sexual violence against children, including condemnations of those individuals that solicit prostitutes. In January 2005, the Ministry of Labor held the first meeting of the Child Labor Forum, which includes relevant government ministries and donors, and seeks to address the serious problems of child labor faced by the country, including children engaged in prostitution. The Ministry of Education's program for street children returned 900 children to primary school and provided 45 children with job skill training. The Ministry of Gender conducted a variety of public education programs (including workshops, seminars, and radio broadcasts) related to the protection of women and children from sexual and gender-based discrimination and violence; government officials trained an estimated 24,000 women and children in Rwanda's provinces. Approximately 250 judges and 200 police officers received training from the Ministry of Gender on the new judicial reforms.

SAUDI ARABIA (TIER 3)

Saudi Arabia is a destination for men and women from South and East Asia and East Africa trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation, and for children from Yemen, Afghanistan, and Africa trafficking for forced begging. Hundreds of thousands of low-skilled workers from India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, and Kenya migrate voluntarily to Saudi Arabia; some fall into conditions of involuntary servitude, suffering from physical and sexual abuse, non-payment or delayed payment of wages, the withholding of travel documents, restrictions on their freedom of movement and non-consensual contract alterations

The Government of Saudi Arabia does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Saudi Arabia has moved from Tier 2 to Tier 3 because of its lack of progress in anti-trafficking efforts, particularly its failure to protect victims and prosecute those guilty of involuntary servitude. Despite reports of trafficking and abuses of domestic and other unskilled workers and children, there is evidence of only one Saudi Government prosecution of a Saudi employer for a trafficking-related offense during the reporting period. Some victims of abuse, due to procedural hurdles, choose to leave the country rather than confront their abusers in court. They are required first to file a complaint with the police before they are allowed access to shelters. The government offers no legal aid to foreign victims and does not otherwise assist them in using the Saudi criminal justice system to bring their exploiters to justice. If a victim chooses to file a complaint, he or she is not allowed to work. The Saudi Government does, however, provide food and shelter for female workers who file complaints or run away from their employers. Criminal cases are adjudicated under Sharia law, and there is no evidence trafficking victims are accorded legal assistance before and during Sharia legal proceedings. The government should consider adopting comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation that would punish traffickers, provide for the protection of victims, and facilitate prevention programs. It should also collect and disseminate data on prosecution and mediation efforts, prosecute aggressively cases of physical and sexual abuse using available criminal laws, and increase its efforts to prevent and investigate the trafficking of children for forced begging.

Prosecution

There is limited evidence indicating that the government has this year improved its prosecution efforts over last year. Saudi Arabia lacks laws criminalizing most trafficking offenses. Most abuses involving foreign workers are dealt with by Islamic law, royal decrees, and ministerial resolutions; few are submitted to criminal prosecution. Domestic workers, which comprise a significant portion of the foreign workforce, are excluded from protection under Saudi labor laws. Most cases involving trafficking or abuse of foreign workers are settled out of court through mediation. In 2004, there were reports of Philippine female domestic workers raped; however, there were no reports of prosecutions. In 2004, the Ministry of Labor issued resolutions, among other things, prohibiting trading in work visas, employing and exploiting children, and recruiting for begging. It investigated some cases of abusive employers and instituted a tracking system. To date, 30 abusive employers have been barred from hiring workers. The government provides training for police officers to recognize and handle cases of foreign worker abuse.

Protection

The Saudi Government has not improved its efforts to protect victims of trafficking but continues to operate three shelters for abused female expatriate workers in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Dammam. It also operates facilities for abandoned children, including trafficking victims, in Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina. However, the government does not provide shelter to adult male workers. There are no NGOs working with trafficking victims. The government mediates disputes and alleged abuses of foreign workers — including complaints of a criminal nature — and seeks to return victims to their home countries without adequately investigating and prosecuting crimes committed against them.

Prevention

Saudi Arabia's limited efforts to prevent trafficking include: distributing information at embassies abroad, licensing and regulating the activities of recruitment agencies, monitoring immigration patterns and visa issuance, and promoting awareness through the media and religious authorities. The government has begun working with UNICEF and the Yemeni Government to prevent trafficking of children for begging. A plan envisioned several years ago to distribute information to foreign workers at Saudi Arabian airports upon arrival has not been implemented. Religious leaders have preached in mosques sermons about the evil of abusing employees.

SENEGAL (TIER 2)

Senegal is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Senegalese boys are occasionally trafficked from rural villages to urban centers for exploitative begging at some Koranic schools; young boys are trafficked to Senegal from The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, and Guinea for the same purpose. Young girls are trafficked from rural villages to urban centers for forced domestic servitude. Young girls from both rural and urban areas are also involved in organized prostitution involving pimps, which is a form of trafficking. Senegal may be a transit point for women from surrounding African countries trafficked to Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

The Government of Senegal 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 demonstrated far greater political will and concrete efforts to combat trafficking. To sustain its anti-trafficking progress, the government should adopt the draft anti-trafficking bill and take steps to further sensitize the Senegalese population to what constitutes trafficking and how to avoid victimization.

Prosecution

The government's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts dramatically improved during the reporting period. Although there is no law that specifically criminalizes human trafficking, which makes it difficult for police to conduct investigations or make arrests, the president's cabinet approved a comprehensive draft anti-trafficking bill in March 2005 that awaits passage by the National Assembly. During the year, the government arrested and punished a small number of trafficking victims under a law against prostitution by children under the age of 21; 72 children exploited in prostitution were arrested in 2004, 68 of whom were Senegalese and some of whom had pimps and were therefore trafficking victims. Also convicted were 54 pimps who were given prison sentences of up to ten years. Two Koranic teachers were arrested during the year for abusing children they were exploiting as beggars. One was sentenced to one month in prison and a fine; the other remains in detention. In 2004, Senegal signed a bilateral accord with Mali to fight child trafficking and began negotiating with other neighboring countries to sign similar accords. The Interior Ministry established a Special Commissariat to fight sex tourism and child prostitution in Dakar and Mbour. The Commissariat's new chief was named and the unit began work in March 2005.

Protection

The government provided a full range of protective services to victims during the period. In 2003, the government established, and continues to finance, the Ginddi Center for at-risk children. The Center provides services to victims, including medical treatment, family mediation and reconciliation, education, shelter, and meals. The Center received 1,832 children between May 2003 and December 2004, including 107 students fleeing abusive Koranic teachers. Pursuant to the government's bilateral agreement with Mali, the Ginddi Center housed trafficked Malian children awaiting repatriation; 50 were repatriated during the period at government expense. The Center's services also include a 24-hour toll-free child protection hotline; the hotline received 35,672 calls during the period.

Prevention

The government's efforts to prevent trafficking greatly improved during the last year. The President devoted a significant portion of his 2005 Independence Day address to trafficking and, in 2004, the Family Minister became the first government official to publicly call for tough measures against child traffickers. The Family Ministry held workshops and roundtables to fight child prostitution, begging and domestic work. In Mbour, for example, the government, with UNICEF and NGO assistance, held seminars to prevent young girls from entering prostitution. In 2004, this program sensitized 8,140 participants, 5,440 of them children, to the dangers of child involvement in prostitution. In a separate program, the Ministry collaborated with local religious leaders to improve conditions in 48 Koranic schools. The signing of the Senegal-Mali anti-trafficking accord received detailed press coverage and media reports of Koranic teachers arrested for abusing their students frequently appeared.

SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO (TIER 2)

The union of Serbia and Montenegro is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls trafficked internally and internationally for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking of ethnic Roma children for forced begging continues to be a problem. Victims identified in Serbia and Montenegro came from Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Moldova, Georgia, and from the former Yugoslavia. In Serbia, more than half of victims that are trafficked internally originate in the northern province of Vojvodina. Foreign destinations for victims from Serbia and Montenegro include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, and Western Europe (principally Italy), as well as the UN-administered province of Kosovo.

The Governments of constituent republics Serbia and Montenegro, to which most authority has devolved, do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, they are making significant efforts to do so. The two republics do not have joint counter-trafficking institutions, but do conduct joint counter-trafficking activities occasionally on an ad hoc basis; this report consequently provides a separate analysis for each. The Tier 2 designation is based on the weighted aggregate of their efforts, which showed considerable, but unbalanced, progress.

The Government of the Republic of Serbia made significant progress in providing anti-trafficking resources for law enforcement and created a new humanitarian visa for victims. However, the weak adjudication of trafficking cases, inefficiency of the judiciary, and inadequate victim protection hampered its anti-trafficking efforts. The government should pass witness protection legislation currently before parliament to formalize the current ad hoc victim safety efforts in court proceedings.

The Republic of Montenegro made good faith efforts to improve its overall anti-trafficking performance from the previous year, increasing its anti-trafficking enforcement efforts and devoting more resources to combat the problem. The government should demonstrate increased implementation of its anti-trafficking laws and ensure full implementation of the recent memorandum of understanding between the government and NGOs governing the treatment and referral of possible victims. Because inconsistency in the administration of justice in trafficking cases continued, largely due to the individual discretion of judges and prosecutors, the government should conduct outreach with the judiciary to stress the importance of improving its record on trafficking prosecutions and convictions.

THE REPUBLIC OF SERBIA

Prosecution

In 2004, Serbia took important steps to increase its law enforcement capacity to combat trafficking. Serbia established two full-time police anti-trafficking units consisting of six officers within the organized crime police and nine officers within the border police. Over the reporting period, the police units increased trafficking investigations and victim identification. Police filed criminal charges for 24 investigations involving 51 suspects in 2004. Five trials were concluded during the reporting period and resulted in convictions of all 25 defendants. The majority of defendants continued to be released pending appeal, following standard judicial practice in Serbia. As of the end of the reporting period, the government was prosecuting one case involving ten defendants. The National Anti-trafficking Coordinator took proactive steps to counter poor statistics-keeping by the judiciary by ordering regional police secretariats to follow up with local prosecutors on all trafficking cases filed during the year. Overall, the judiciary failed to treat trafficking cases with the seriousness they deserved and in some cases did not demonstrate sufficient sensitivity to trafficking victims. There were no reports of official complicity in trafficking.

Protection

The Serbian Government increased its institutional ability to coordinate and provide victim protection during the reporting period. The Agency for the Coordination of Protection to Victims of Trafficking, established in March 2004, coordinated NGO and international organization provision of assistance and protection. Some NGOs indicated better cooperation with police on victim protection matters. Notably, in 2004 the Interior Minister established temporary residence permits for trafficking victims. Victims are allowed unconditional three-month recovery and reflection period, and given six months to one-year residency if they participate in an investigation or prosecution. A victim may also be granted one year's residency with no requirement for cooperation if returning to his or her home country would put the victim's life at risk. In some instances, victims were questioned by police and judges in front of their traffickers, who threatened them. Due to fear of traffickers and the government's informal, ad hoc approach to witness protection, many victims refuse to participate or cooperate in judicial proceedings.

Prevention

The government's anti-trafficking prevention activities remained weak in 2004; NGOs continued to organize and fund the majority of Serbia's public information campaigns on the issue. The National Coordinator initiated and created a documentary on the government's anti-trafficking efforts that enjoyed wide viewership. In 2004, the Foreign Ministry of Serbia and Montenegro hosted a meeting for diplomats in source and destination countries to present protection mechanisms available for victims. The police participated in debates in schools as part of a joint NGO/IOM public awareness campaign that included spots in the media. The government adopted a plan for children in 2004 targeted at decreasing their vulnerability to trafficking.

THE REPUBLIC OF MONTENEGRO

Prosecution

The Government of the Republic of Montenegro improved its support of police and enhanced its ability to conduct anti-trafficking operations in 2004. The police anti-trafficking team was re-established in April 2004 and subsequently submitted six cases to the judiciary resulting in charges against 18 perpetrators. At the end of the reporting period, five prosecutions involving 14 people were underway. The government increased its 2005 funding for the Office of the National Coordinator, who now works on trafficking full time. In April 2004, the Montenegrin Government adopted a new criminal procedure code that allows for enhanced surveillance techniques and mitigated punishment for cooperating suspects. While the government actively investigated cases of trafficking, Montenegro's judiciary remained weak; judges exhibited insufficient understanding of trafficking cases, allowed long delays in trafficking prosecutions, and imposed inadequate sentences upon conviction. There were no reports of official complicity in trafficking.

Protection

In October 2004, the Republic of Montenegro passed a witness protection law applicable to trafficking victims. The government provided space for a new trafficking shelter and allocated funding for the next year. The predominant anti-trafficking NGO reported good relations and coordination with the National Coordinator. A government commission investigating a controversial 2002 trafficking prosecution released its report in 2004. The report questioned the character of the trafficking victim who served as the prosecution's key witness, giving rise to allegations that the report was a cover-up of high-level corruption in the case. OSCE and Amnesty International sharply criticized the 2004 report. Montenegrin courts continued to show insensitivity to the needs of trafficking victims. Victims who were not identified by the police or prosecutor as victims could potentially be charged with prostitution or, if they were foreign nationals, be deported. The government did not report any deportations, but NGOs suggested that in many cases potential trafficking victims not properly identified were deported.

Prevention

The Montenegrin Government conducted some public awareness campaigns, mainly in schools, but efforts were constrained by limited funding; the government also participated in NGO sponsored programs. The Ministry of Interior Affairs worked to ensure local media coverage when the Minister spoke publicly about trafficking. Montenegro improved its coordination mechanisms in 2004 and established a subgroup on trafficking in children under the National Project Board. Moreover, the National Coordinator chaired a working group that was developing detailed action plans for each ministry to implement Montenegro's national strategy adopted in 2003.

KOSOVO

Kosovo, while technically a part of Serbia and Montenegro, continued to be administered under the authority of the United Nations Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK). Since June 1999, UNMIK has provided transitional administration for Kosovo, and retains ultimate authority over anti-trafficking actors such as police and justice. UNMIK is aware of the trafficking problem in Kosovo and continued to conduct anti-trafficking efforts with the OSCE, the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government (PISG), and local and international NGOs. Responsibility for social support to victims of trafficking is shared by UNMIK, PISG, and international organizations.

Kosovo is a source, transit, and destination point, primarily for women and children trafficked for sexual exploitation and, to a lesser degree, domestic servitude. Internal trafficking continued to be an increasingly serious problem. In 2004, UNMIK's Trafficking and Prostitution Investigation Unit (TPIU) made 77 arrests, conducted 2,386 raids, and assisted 48 victims, 17 percent of whom were minors. The number of victims assisted in Kosovo consistently declined; this is believed to be due to increasingly sophisticated criminal networks reacting to anti-trafficking enforcement efforts and shifting the commercial sex trade out of public bars and into private homes. There are three shelters for trafficking victims in Kosovo. Weak sentencing for convicted traffickers and lack of adequate witness protection continued to be serious problems. Anti-trafficking awareness campaigns in 2004 were largely carried out by NGOs. In 2004, the Ministry of Education worked with one NGO to train teachers to incorporate trafficking into civics education curricula. UNMIK established a helpline for trafficking victims in 2004. The PISG is leading the effort to create a Kosovo Action Plan and standard operating procedures (SOPs) for assisting internal trafficking victims. SOPs for assisting foreign trafficking victims were implemented in 2004.

SIERRA LEONE (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Sierra Leone is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. There are no reliable estimates of the scope and magnitude of trafficking in the country; however, anecdotal evidence indicates that women and children are trafficked internally to Freetown and from neighboring countries for involuntary domestic servitude, street labor, and commercial sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked from rural areas to Freetown with false promises that they will be sent to school, but instead are forced to work on the streets. There have also been reports of trafficking for debt bondage and sexual exploitation in the diamond mines in the interior of the country. Sierra Leonean victims are also trafficked to West Africa, the Middle East, and Europe.

The Government of Sierra Leone does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government is severely challenged by the lack of resources in the country to address trafficking and is still grappling with many competing needs since coming out of an 11-year civil war in 2002. However, despite lack of resources, the government has made meaningful efforts during the reporting period to address trafficking in the country. Sierra Leone is placed on Tier 2 Watch List based on the government's commitments to undertake future steps over the coming year. To further enhance its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should increase efforts to investigate and prosecute cases of trafficking, pass the anti-trafficking legislation currently pending in the Parliament, take strong action against corruption in the country, and continue prevention efforts currently underway.

Prosecution

During the year, the government's efforts to investigate, arrest, prosecute, and convict traffickers increased. The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) now host biweekly meetings of a newly created anti-traffick-ing task force and are working to better coordinate anti-trafficking measures throughout the country. Additionally, in 2004 the government convened a legislative working group and has drafted comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation. Legislative reforms and passage of the anti-trafficking law will increase the government's ability to arrest and convict traffickers, but law enforcement efforts will likely remain hampered by a lack of resources, personnel, and equipment. Despite the absence of an anti-trafficking law, the government opened trafficking-related investigations using other criminal ordinances and is currently working to convict one individual suspected of trafficking at least 47 children. The Office of National Security started compiling statistics of suspected human trafficking cases identified at the international airport; it identified 18 such cases in 2004. Sierra Leone lacks the capacity to sufficiently monitor its borders and official corruption is endemic and continues to impede anti-trafficking efforts.

Protection

The government remained unable to provide adequate protection and assistance to victims of trafficking during the reporting period. Efforts to protect victims were ad hoc amidst an absence of a formal policy for protecting trafficking victims. Limited care is available through the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children's Affairs. However, there are no shelters in the country that specifically assist trafficking victims. Nonetheless, the government has good cooperation and coordination with international organizations and NGOs and has worked considerably in the reintegration of child soldiers. Recently, 50 SLP officers received anti-trafficking training from an NGO, which included instruction on actions to be taken when encountering victims. Other law enforcement officials have benefited from training for trauma healing and sexual and gender-based violence conducted by NGOs and international organizations.

Prevention

The government is aware of the need to prevent trafficking and has made modest efforts to devise a national strategy, but much work still needs to be done, particularly in training government officials. The Sierra Leone Police (SLP) now hosts a joint anti-trafficking action committee consisting of government and nongovernmental members. The committee has developed an anti-trafficking national plan, which will include a public awareness campaign. The government also, in cooperation with NGOs, sponsored an art exhibit, created by trafficking victims in a library and exhibition space in Freetown, which highlighted the issue. The SLP routinely uses the radio to speak out about the dangers of trafficking. Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children's Affairs officials periodically travel throughout the country to educate women on trafficking. The government created a National Education Plan that will expand access to primary education, especially for girls and the rural poor.

SINGAPORE (TIER 2)

Singapore is a destination country for a limited number of women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Some of the women and girls from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Vietnam who travel to Singapore voluntarily for prostitution or non-sexual work are deceived or coerced into sexual servitude in the city-state. A small minority of foreign domestic workers in Singapore face seriously abusive labor conditions that amount to involuntary servitude, a severe form of trafficking.

The Government of Singapore does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While Singapore has made improvements to its labor laws and regulations to address abuse of foreign domestic workers, it made limited progress in its efforts to combat trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. Authorities in Singapore generally tolerate prostitution, which largely involves foreign women, a few of whom are trafficked. The government authorizes the operation of brothels in "traditional redlight districts" and does not criminalize the prostitution of adults and of 16 and 17 year-old minors. Pursuant to international protocols, the government should consider reforming its laws to criminalize the prostitution of 16 and 17 year-old children as a trafficking offense. The government should address child sex tourism by Singaporeans in foreign destinations, and do more to publicize the problem of trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation in these destinations, particularly Batam, Indonesia. Singapore should also consider adopting a comprehensive law, containing victim protection measures, for all forms of trafficking.

Prosecution

During the reporting period, the Singapore Government increased its efforts to curb abuses of foreign domestic workers. A small but significant number of Singapore's estimated 140,000 foreign domestic workers continued to experience abusive employment conditions that may amount to involuntary servitude, and the government vigorously prosecuted cases involving such allegations. Singapore does not have a consolidated anti-trafficking law, but its criminal code criminalizes all activities that fall under the UN definition of trafficking. Involuntary servitude is punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine, or both; wrongful confinement is punishable by up to nine years in prison, a fine, or both; slavery is punishable with up to ten years in prison, a fine, and caning. Laws against forced or coerced prostitution carry sentences of up to ten years' imprisonment. In 2004, there were no prosecutions reported for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation; violators are often prosecuted under other statutes, such as those prohibiting third parties from living off the earnings of a prostitute. The government maintains effective border and immigration controls and there is no evidence that government officials are complicit in trafficking.

Protection

The government provided minimal assistance to trafficking victims in 2004. The government continued to lack a systematic procedure to identify trafficking victims among the foreign women detained for immigration or vice violations; there was no evidence of proactive screening during the detentions of over 4,600 foreign women for prostitution in 2004. The few victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation that are identified by authorities are generally referred to NGO shelters that offer counseling; foreign domestic workers who are victims of involuntary servitude or other abuse are referred to shelters run by their embassies or local NGOs, some of which provide legal assistance. The Singaporean Government, through the Ministry of Community Development, Youth, and Sports, provided counseling and health care for abused foreign domestic workers and victims of commercial sexual exploitation. There are no NGOs in Singapore that focus exclusively on trafficking, but there is one NGO devoted exclusively to helping women in prostitution, and victims often receive assistance from groups dedicated to helping abused women and children. There are several NGOs that assist foreign workers and seek the enactment of enhanced labor protections. The Ministry of Manpower continued to promote the welfare of foreign domestic workers by educating employees and employers on acceptable employment practices, establishing a hotline for foreign domestic workers, enhancing regulations, and undertaking a public outreach campaign on the rights and responsibilities of employers and foreign domestic workers.

Prevention

The Singaporean Government made efforts to raise awareness of trafficking. The government sought to improve awareness of the regulations protecting foreign domestic workers and the consequences of violating those laws, and has taken some steps to raise societal awareness of sex tourism by Singaporeans in an effort to curb demand. There were no specific anti-trafficking campaigns directed at the use of fraud or coercion to recruit foreign women as prostitutes. Singapore has no national action plan to address trafficking.

SLOVAK REPUBLIC (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

The Slovak Republic is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a source country for women and girls trafficked primarily to western and central European countries, as well as Japan, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Victims from the former Soviet states (especially Moldova and Ukraine) and the Balkan region are trafficked through the Slovak Republic. A recent NGO study reported that Slovak Roma women are trafficked to Prague and Czech border towns.

The Government of the Slovak Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Slovak Republic is placed on Tier 2 Watch List due to a lack of evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking compared to the previous year. Government victim assistance and protection efforts as well as trafficking prevention programs remained inadequate. The Slovak Government formed an inter-ministerial expert working group on March 31, 2005, to develop a coordinated national action plan to combat trafficking; however, there has been insufficient time to gauge the working group's effectiveness.

Prosecution

Slovakia's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2004 were similar to those in 2003. The Slovak Government amended its criminal code to conform to international legal instruments by extending coverage to internal trafficking, as well as cross-border trafficking, for the purposes of both sexual and labor exploitation with sufficiently severe penalties. The government reported 27 trafficking-related investigations, 19 prosecutions, and six convictions of traffickers during 2004; it did not report on trafficking-related sentences imposed. The police academy included trafficking awareness training in its curriculum. In 2004, Slovak law enforcement officials cooperated principally with German, Austrian, Czech, and Hungarian law enforcement authorities on trafficking investigations. Slovakia's specialized anti-trafficking unit noted that a lack of English-language ability among Slovak police officials somewhat limited joint investigations. The government reported no convictions of government officials for crimes related to trafficking in persons. Allegations persisted during the reporting period of corrupt activity among customs and border guards that may have facilitated trafficking.

Protection

The Slovak Republic continued to lag considerably in the area of victim protection, in part because of financial constraints. While Slovak legislation commendably provides for temporary residency status to victims who are willing to assist police prosecutions and enter a witness protection program, the government did not track whether any trafficking victims received this status. The government provided small grants to local organizations to assist and shelter trafficking victims, but overall, NGOs continued to report difficulties in obtaining funding to provide services to trafficking victims. As of July 2004, amendments to the Victim Assistance Law require police to give victims of crimes a list of NGOs in the region that provide assistance; however, few local police had any direct contact with these organizations. Slovakia lacked procedures for distinguishing trafficking victims from illegal immigrants. When a trafficking victim was identified, law enforcement officials respected the victim's rights. NGOs expressed concern that some of the thousands of asylum applicants no longer present at Slovak refugee facilities, especially Ukrainian and Moldovan women, may have been recruited by traffickers.

Prevention

The government continued to devote few resources to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The Ministry of Labor provided a small grant to a local NGO to operate a trafficking awareness campaign in Roma settlements. The Ministry of Interior helped fund an NGO that operates Slovakia's crisis hotline, which worked with trafficking victims and fielded calls from Slovaks interested in working in foreign countries and wanting to avoid trafficking situations. In 2004, Slovakia had no coordinated national action plan to combat trafficking, although the government formed an inter-ministerial expert working group on March 31, 2005 to develop one. The Ministry of Interior was the only governmental entity that listed the prevention of trafficking within its mission goals.

SLOVENIA (TIER 2)

Slovenia is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a source and destination country for women and girls trafficked to or through Slovenia mainly from eastern and southeastern Europe (Ukraine, Slovakia, Romania, Moldova, and Bulgaria) for the purpose of sexual exploitation. A small number of persons are trafficked from Slovenia to Western Europe, particularly Italy and the Netherlands.

The Government of Slovenia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While the government adopted a detailed National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, it has struggled to implement it due to budgetary pressures. Slovenian Government efforts to address trafficking have improved during the reporting period, but consistent budget support remains in flux. The government should continue to implement the National Action Plan and focus enforcement efforts on convicting traffickers under its new anti-trafficking legislation. Slovenian authorities should also continue to increase scrutiny of work permits and club licenses and conduct unannounced inspections of worksites where trafficking victims are believed present.

Prosecution

Slovenia's law enforcement efforts to prosecute traffickers during the last year appeared modest. The new anti-trafficking legislation that came into effect in May 2004 allows police to use methods of investigation, such as surveillance, due to the seriousness of the crime. Arresting officers had not been fully aware of the new law, but the Ministry of Interior has begun working with police to educate officers about the legislation. Slovenia's Penal Code specifically criminalizes trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced labor with sufficiently severe penalties. Slovenian authorities reported nine trafficking-related investigations, one ongoing prosecution, and no convictions during the reporting period. The low number of cases reflects a relatively modest trafficking problem and law enforcement's adjustment to the new legislation. In January 2005, prosecutors received a three-day training session on trafficking. Slovenia actively participated in the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe, the Southeastern European Cooperative Initiative (SECI), and Interpol efforts in fighting against trafficking in persons.

Protection

Slovenia improved its assistance to trafficking victims in 2004. Government funding sustained Slovenia's one shelter, run by an NGO. While the government planned to underwrite the shelter's operating costs in out years, budgetary constraints and a change of government have delayed future commitments. During 2004, the government-funded NGO assisted 25 trafficking victims, nine of whom received assistance at the shelter. Police referred trafficking victims rescued during raids or investigations to the shelter. Law enforcement did not treat victims as criminals, and the government provided victims protection from prosecution, temporary residency status, and social services. During the reporting period, Slovenia began a project to formalize mechanisms to provide information to those asylum-seekers in reception centers most at risk to falling prey to human traffickers. The project is jointly administered by the Ministry of Interior, local NGOs, and UNHCR; the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working to expand and regionalize the project. During the reporting period, police drafted a law on witness protection, which is currently with the Ministry of Justice.

Prevention

The Government of Slovenia's prevention efforts improved over the last year. The interdepartmental working group to combat trafficking continued to meet on a regular basis and adopted a detailed National Action Plan in July 2004. Government officials and activists collaborated in the working group on anti-trafficking policies and programs. The government issues a publicly available report detailing its anti-trafficking efforts annually. During the reporting period, the Ministry of Labor and the Slovenian Institute for Employment agreed on stricter criteria for issuing work permits to dancers and waitresses. The government funded the Slovenian translation of a comprehensive survey on trafficking in the country. The government partially funded preventative workshops by a local NGO in raising trafficking awareness in elementary and secondary schools. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs sponsored a project "Are we aware?" for Slovene politicians and government employees, a part of which included viewing the anti-trafficking film "Lilya 4-Ever".

SOUTH AFRICA (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

South Africa is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. An unknown but substantial number of South African women and girls are trafficked internally, and occasionally to other countries, for sexual exploitation. Women from other African countries, particularly Mozambique, are trafficked to South Africa and, at times, onward to Europe for sexual exploitation. There are anecdotal reports of men and boys trafficked from neighboring countries for forced agricultural work. East Asians, mainly Thai and Chinese women trafficked for sexual exploitation, transit South Africa on their way to South America.

The Government of South Africa does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. South Africa has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List due to a lack of evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons over the last year. To further its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should pass a comprehensive law that prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons, launch a specific anti-trafficking public awareness campaign, and prosecute to conviction an increased number of traffickers.

Prosecution

The government carried out a number of concrete law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. South Africa remains without a specific anti-trafficking law or explicit penalties for traffickers, though the South African Law Reform Commission made initial progress in its process of drafting a comprehensive anti-trafficking bill. Though 12 additional Sexual Offenses Courts were established in the country during the year, it is unknown whether such courts heard any trafficking-related cases. The government prosecuted at least two traffickers, though not exclusively on trafficking charges; no statistics were provided on the number of cases investigated or prosecuted during the year. In 2004, a South African man received two 20-year sentences for brothel-keeping and kidnapping 17 girls for the purpose of prostitution, and the prosecution of a nightclub owner who paid to import Romanian women continued. In November 2004, police arrested 79 Nigerian nationals and liberated 15 children being exploited in prostitution by an alleged Nigerian criminal organization. Police also freed 18 Thai and Chinese women suspected to be trafficking victims from commercial sexual exploitation in March 2005. Approximately 200 new border officials and police officers received training on recognizing trafficking cases during the reporting period. Between April and October 2004, at least 28 immigration officials were charged with trafficking-related fraud and malfeasance.

Protection

The government took steps to protect trafficking victims during the year. Police and social workers referred approximately 60 trafficking victims to private shelters for victims of abuse. In 2004, the government provided funding to shelters for victims of abuse, including approximately $450,000 for government-run Thuthuzela shelters and over $1.3 million for other centers. As part of this funding, it provided shelters a flat rate of $52 per victim each week to offset the costs of housing, medical care, and counseling. In addition, the government contributed an estimated $25,000 to IOM's Southern African Counter Trafficking Assistance Program in 2004. The government implemented new standards for the treatment of crime victims and provided six training seminars on their use in 2004; there is no evidence that these standards were applied to victims of trafficking.

Prevention

The government's trafficking prevention measures were modest during the reporting period. In March 2004, a national plan of action on human trafficking was adopted. The strategy was shared with stakeholders, but not widely disseminated. Trafficking issues were included in a December 2004 campaign against violence toward women and children that targeted prosecutors, investigators, and police. Government officials also participated in televised roundtables and other awareness raising programs on trafficking in persons. The government assisted in organizing an NGO-hosted conference on sex trafficking and the police were actively involved in a conference on forced child labor.

SPAIN (TIER 1)

Spain is a destination and transit country for persons trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and, to a lesser degree, forced labor. Victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation come primarily from Romania, Russia, Brazil, Colombia, Nigeria, Ecuador, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Bulgaria, and Ukraine. Spain is a transit country for victims destined for Portugal, France, and Germany. Victims trafficked into forced labor are primarily found in the agricultural, construction and domestic sectors.

The Government of Spain fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government has continued its aggressive campaign of tracking and dismantling trafficking networks. Victims received quality assistance, protection, and rehabilitation services. The city of Madrid launched a demand reduction initiative with an emphasis on the responsibility of the clients and the rights of victims. The government began to implement new anti-trafficking legislation. Police and the courts have begun to make full use of a 2003 law to impose tougher sentences on traffickers and deter additional potential trafficking crimes. Although the government was not able as yet to 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's segregation of smuggling and trafficking statistics is commendable.

Prosecution

During the reporting period, the Spanish Government continued its vigorous efforts to investigate trafficking crimes and arrest traffickers. The government handed down longer sentences using the new 2003 law, though use of an older law with attendant weaker sentences continued for offenses committed before the new law was enacted. The average sentence imposed using the new law was approximately 5.7 years, while convictions under the older law resulted in an average sentence of approximately 2.4 years. In February 2005, the government modified its Aliens Law to include specific guidelines for providing assistance to victims. The Spanish National Police continued its proactive investigation of criminal networks and reported 194 networks for sexual exploitation dismantled, with 731 traffickers arrested in 2004. Additionally, the police reported 91 networks for forced labor dismantled, with 233 traffickers arrested during the year. The police also reported dismantling 62 false document and 45 fraud networks related to trafficking. Productive bilateral cooperation with other governments continued.

Protection

Police identified 1,717 victims of sexual exploitation and 797 victims of forced labor trafficking during 2004. The police continued to refer victims to government-financed NGOs for counseling, shelter, rehabilitation, and reintegration. In February 2005, the government modified its Aliens Law, making it easier for trafficking victims to obtain residency permits. Reported increased cooperation between the government and NGOs resulted in more effective training and information exchanges.

Spain continued to provide specialized training to law enforcement agencies via an NGO; specialized training became mandatory for police candidates to become inspectors.

Prevention

In 2004, the government successfully initiated two anti-trafficking awareness programs. In March 2004, the Madrid city government began enforcement of its anti-prostitution and anti-trafficking campaign through increased police presence in targeted zones. In July 2004, the city of Madrid launched an extensive publicity campaign to prevent trafficking and discourage potential clients with posters and advertisements in the media and on city buses. The government continued its efforts to improve interagency coordination. The Ministry of Interior coordinated anti-trafficking programs and managed workgroups on trafficking. Regional police conducted quarterly reviews of their anti-trafficking efforts and a police intelligence unit continued to monitor trafficking trends.

SRI LANKA (TIER 2)

Sri Lanka is a source country for women and children who are trafficked internally and to the Middle East, Singapore, Hong Kong, and South Korea for the purposes of coerced labor and sexual exploitation. Small numbers of women from Thailand, China, Russia, and other former Soviet states are trafficked to Sri Lanka for sexual exploitation. Boys and girls are victims of sexual exploitation by pedophiles in the sex tourism industry. Trafficking takes place in areas controlled by both the government and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). The LTTE continued to traffic children into forced labor and military service, taking at least 100 children after the tsunami in December.

The Government of Sri Lanka does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In LTTE-controlled northern and eastern Sri Lanka, the government was unable to enforce anti-trafficking measures during the reporting period. Sri Lankan officials have taken strong measures in the wake of the December 2004 tsunami to prevent the trafficking of children made vulnerable by this natural disaster. Reports indicate that certain airline officials and NGO representatives have been allegedly involved in trafficking. The government should develop a comprehensive national plan of action to combat trafficking and appoint a national coordinator to oversee implementation of the plan.

Prosecution

Sri Lanka continued to make progress over the reporting period. The government uses various means to monitor and apprehend traffickers, including making effective use of its CyberWatch Project, which relies on a "watch list" database of suspected sex offenders. However, the government achieved no prosecutions or convictions related to trafficking during the reporting period. It encourages victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases. The government, however, has not provided any specialized training to its officials responsible for combating trafficking. The government should stop imposing fines on women trafficked for sexual exploitation.

Protection

Over the reporting period, the government made commendable progress in protecting victims of trafficking, considering its limited resources. Sri Lanka provides child victims with monthly food supplements and uses various means to shelter victims. It runs rehabilitation camps that offer medical and counseling services to victims of internal trafficking, and places victims in shelters run by NGOs. Sri Lankan diplomatic missions abroad operate shelters for its nationals who have fallen into trafficking situations. Sri Lanka established a new Child Protection Unit within the Attorney Generals' Office in 2004 to combat child trafficking, allocated additional funds and resources to the anti-Human Smuggling and Investigation Bureau, and continued to assign welfare officers to assist victims in destination countries. The government provides some compensation for victims of sexual or labor exploitation who register with the Sri Lankan Foreign Employment Bureau.

Prevention

The government improved its prevention measures by creating and empowering a new Child Protection Unit within the Attorney General's Office. It made commendable effort in the aftermath of the December 2004 tsunami to prevent increased trafficking. The government arrested a U.S. national and an Australian for allegedly engaging in pedophilia; both await trial. Sri Lanka works well with the ILO, IOM, and local NGOs that endeavor to promote prevention programs. It has instructed its welfare officers in embassies abroad to educate Sri Lankan nationals about their rights and responsibilities while working in those countries, in an effort to prevent them from falling into involuntary servitude or exploitative situations.

SUDAN (TIER 3)

Sudan is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Sudanese boys are trafficked to the Middle East, particularly the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait, for use as camel jockeys. The Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), a Ugandan rebel group, continued to abduct children in war-torn northern Uganda for use as cooks, porters, sex slaves, and combat soldiers. Although Ugandan military offensives during the year significantly reduced LRA numbers, the group continued to conduct operations involving forced child soldiers from camps in southern Sudan. The vast majority of the trafficking within Sudan, however, has involved abductions of largely women in the western and southern regions of the country, territories outside the central government's complete control because of ongoing political, cultural, and civil conflict. In the Sudanese context, inter-tribal abductions are a by-product of various, complex civil wars waged over the past two decades.

Abduction, a traditional but dormant cultural practice, was revived with the resurgence of the north/south civil war in 1983. The Dinka Chiefs' Committee estimates that, during these years of civil war and resulting inter-tribal warfare, 14,000 Dinka women and children were abducted by two other tribes (Missiriya and Rezeigat). An additional 3,500 abductions reportedly occurred in SPLA-held regions. Victims frequently became part of the abductor's tribal family, with many women marrying into the new tribe; however, some victims of abduction were used for forced domestic labor and/or sexual exploitation. Due to the ongoing peace process and the cessation of conflict in the south, abductions in the region have significantly decreased; during the year, there were no known cases of new abductions in the south.

The regions of Southern Darfur and Western Kordofan remained embroiled in a separate bitter conflict, in which numerous rapes, atrocities, and abductions were reported to have taken place during the year. During the reporting period, janjaweed militias that have been supported by the Government of Sudan subjected civilians to grievous human rights and alleged trafficking-related abuses. The lack of security in the Darfur region impeded the ability to gather further information on these reports, which is of grave concern. Women, after being raped, were sometimes mutilated or abducted for further sexual exploitation. Some children may also have been abducted, mostly to care for looted livestock.

The Government of Sudan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and, despite some progress in other areas of the country, is not making sufficient efforts to do so in regard to alleged trafficking-related abuses, violence, and atrocities in Darfur. The government made progress on identifying victims of abduction and reuniting them with their families. The government took over funding of the Committee for the Eradication of Abduction of Women and Children (CEAWC) in 2004. Given the conditions within which it operates, CEAWC is making a notable effort to seriously address trafficking, particularly through its efforts to identify victims of abduction and reunite them with their families. Of the 7,328 cases of abduction documented, 2,708 of those identified were returned to their families. To further its efforts to combat trafficking, the government should work to end the violence in Darfur and bring to justice those responsible for abuses, closely with NGOs and international organizations to adequately verify and document cases of abduction, and coordinate the movement of affected populations to their home areas in an organized and safe manner. It should also seek to strengthen its fledgling anti-trafficking public awareness campaign and demonstrate concrete enforcement of its existing relevant legal codes.

Prosecution

The government's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts throughout Sudan were limited in 2004, and ineffective in Darfur. Articles 162 through 165 of the Sudanese Criminal Code outlaw all forms of trafficking in persons, including abduction, luring, forced labor, and illegal detention. Sudanese law prohibits prostitution, owning brothels, and pimping women or children. In early 2005, the Ministry of Interior outlawed the trafficking of children outside of the country for camel jockeying; the law was implemented by the Department of Passports and Immigration on March 1, 2005, leading to interrogations of adults attempting to board outbound airplanes or boats without the proper exit visa for accompanying children. Although Sudan's laws appear adequate to cover the full scope of trafficking in persons, the official court system handled no trafficking-related prosecutions during the year. Based on an agreement with the Dinka Chief's Committee to allow opportunity for amicable tribal return and reconciliation efforts to occur, the government is not pursuing legal action against abductors who cooperate with CEAWC and voluntarily return their abductees. If, however, an abductor refuses to comply, the government has committed to prosecuting such an individual as a trafficker. In 2004, all identified abductors reportedly cooperated to the extent of surrendering their abductees to CEAWC.

During the year, the government increased border cooperation and surveillance with the neighboring Government of Uganda to combat the LRA and its continuing terrorist operations in southern Sudan, including trafficking in children. The government permitted the Ugandan military to take action against the LRA on Sudanese territory along the Ugandan border. Sudanese security forces and SPLA elements also engaged LRA forces that had raided further north into Sudan.

Protection

The government did not provide protection to civilians against abuses in the Darfur region in 2004, or take action to stop them. However, it made stronger efforts to protect Sudan's largest population of trafficking victims — abducted women and children — during the reporting period. The CEAWC — comprised of representatives from a variety of central and state government ministries, civil society organizations, and tribal representatives of the Dinka, Missiriya and Rezeigat tribes — was established in 1999 to facilitate the safe return of abducted women and children to their families. CEAWC also includes 22 Joint Tribal Committees (JTCs) located in the affected regions, whose members consist of individuals selected from affected tribes and who receive a small subsidy for food and expenses incurred while working. There are six CEAWC field centers in Bahar El Gazal and 10 spread through West Kordofan and South Darfur that are maintained by Dinka chiefs. Since March 2004, CEAWC has received funding from the Government of Sudan through the Ministry of Finance totaling more than $1.8 million. The organization's three co-chairmen report directly to the First Vice President.

During the year, CEAWC continued its efforts to document the extent of abductions in the country. Through an interview process involving representatives from the tribes of both the abductor and the abducted victim, the JTCs identified and documented 7,240 cases of abduction during the year, compared to a total of 1,842 documented cases in the five previous years since its establishment. Of those persons identified, 2,708 were reunited with their families during six separate field missions. Plans are underway to return the remainder of those who have been documented but still remain with their abductors. CEAWC provided free transportation over long distances for victims returning to their home areas. Returned abductees were also provided with limited amounts of shelter, medical attention, food, and clothing at destination sites, often through in-kind contributions from NGOs and international organizations. Tribal chiefs arranged for the care of returned children whose families could not be immediately found.

During the year, various NGOs and international organizations expressed concerns regarding CEAWC's methodology for verifying victims of abduction, as well as lack of coordination with the international community for the organized and safe return of abductees to their home areas. CEAWC leadership acknowledged these logistical and communications breakdowns, as well as other systemic weaknesses, and demonstrated commitment to improving communications and documentation as requested by international organizations.

Prevention

The government did not take actions to prevent abuses in the Darfur region in 2004. During the year, CEAWC completed six field missions to identify and retrieve abducted people, each of which included an awareness raising component before the actual work of documenting abductees began. All members of the community, including the tribal leaders, were assembled to discuss the reunification work of CEAWC and the imperative to end inter-tribal abductions. In addition, CEAWC worked with the tribal leaders and UNICEF to conduct awareness raising discussions and other activities during market days in different regions. During March and April 2004, CEAWC produced a documentary-style film chronicling the operation of the field missions and the activities involved with identifying and returning victims of abduction. Though the footage requires further editing before being aired on television, the film was used to demonstrate to national government and SPLA officials the progress that has been made to rectify past abductions and prevent new ones from occurring. In addition, CEAWC worked with local media sources to raise awareness of its campaign to end inter-tribal abductions. For instance, the July 2004 issue of monthly news magazine "Sudan Today" included a substantial article featuring CEAWC's retrieval of abducted persons, as well as its efforts to transition from a signed political peace to a reality of peaceful tribal co-existence.

SURINAME (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Suriname is principally a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Men, women, and children are also trafficked internally for forced domestic and commercial labor and sexual exploitation. Most women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation come from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Colombia; they either remain in Suriname or continue to Europe for additional sexual exploitation. Girls from rural areas are promised work in cities and then trapped in situations of domestic servitude or sexual exploitation; other children are trafficked for sexual exploitation to mining camps in Suriname's remote interior. Chinese nationals transiting Suriname risk debt bondage to migrant smugglers who place them into forced labor.

The Government of Suriname does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government remains on Tier 2 Watch List for a second year for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking, particularly in its lack of progress in law enforcement action against traffickers. The government should investigate illegal migration, which often veils trafficking operations, and avoid summary deportations of victims who could assist in building cases against their traffickers. Government leaders should publicly support a "no tolerance" policy for officials implicated in trafficking, and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

Prosecution

Suriname still lacks a comprehensive law to combat trafficking. Existing statutes prohibited slavery, migrant smuggling, and pimping but were not adequately enforced and they treated forced labor as a misdemeanor offense. Authorities failed to screen foreign women who were possible victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation before deporting them for immigration violations. Prosecutors and police received anti-trafficking training and created operations manuals to assist officers in identifying and investigating cases. Late in 2004, the government created a special police anti-trafficking unit. The police cooperated with Curacao officials in a case that resulted in convictions for trafficking of children to the Netherlands Antilles. Cooperation with Guyanese officials led to the arrest in December 2004 of a Surinamese official for trafficking young Guyanese girls for sexual exploitation. The government created a special section in the police fraud unit to investigate public corruption. No other investigations, prosecutions, or convictions related to trafficking were reported.

Protection

The government lacked resources and efforts to assist victims were inadequate over the last year. It provided no assistance specifically for trafficking victims. The government provided police with some training on identifying victims but more training is necessary. Potential trafficking victims typically faced detention and deportation for migration violations. Mechanisms for coordinating assistance with a foreign victim's embassy were only available to victims with legal immigration status. Victims could file suit against traffickers. In May 2004, the government established a special victims unit and telephone hotline to handle reports of trafficking and complaints from victims.

Prevention

The government made a good faith effort to educate the public and prevent trafficking during the reporting period. Radio and television spots in early 2004 and newspaper articles including quotes from senior public officials late in the year brought the issue to the public's attention. The government supported public awareness campaigns to prevent internal trafficking of children. It funded campaigns about the worst forms of child labor, including prostitution, conducted by the Surinamese Labor College, and educated teachers, families, and community leaders about the detrimental effects of child exploitation. The government also finalized its National Plan of Action in November 2004 and provided logistical support for IOM workshops on preventing trafficking and identifying and working with victims.

SWEDEN (TIER 1)

Sweden is primarily a destination country for women and children trafficked from eastern and southeastern European countries, the Baltics, and Russia for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Police cited Thailand as another, less significant, source country. Sweden is also a transit country for a limited number of victims trafficked from the same source countries to destinations including Denmark, Norway, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

The Government of Sweden fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons. In 2004, the fight against trafficking in persons remained among the government's highest priorities. During the reporting period, Sweden broadened its anti-trafficking legislation and improved victim assistance. The government also commendably funded anti-trafficking information campaigns throughout Europe focusing on, among other aspects, curbing demand for trafficking victims. Sweden is in the process of establishing a special investigator to review aspects of its anti-trafficking law in an effort to make it more usable for prosecutors.

Prosecution

The Swedish Government is a leader in targeting demand for sexual exploitation with laws prosecuting sex buyers and protecting victims. Sweden continued its efforts to prosecute traffickers throughout the reporting period. While Sweden broadened its anti-trafficking legislation in July 2004 to cover labor exploitation and internal trafficking, prosecutors continued to use primarily procurement laws to obtain convictions of traffickers. Sweden's anti-trafficking legislation requires that prosecutors prove traffickers used "improper means" in order to secure a conviction. Judges commonly rule that "improper means" were absent in cases involving victims who consented at some point during their trafficking ordeal. Although initial consent would appear to be irrelevant under the anti-trafficking law, in practice, judicial interpretation of the "improper means" criteria makes it difficult to obtain convictions under the law. The July 2004 amendments called for the establishment of a special investigator to review the "improper means" criteria. In February 2005, the government prosecuted and convicted two traffickers under Sweden's anti-trafficking law. Both traffickers received sentences of four to five years' imprisonment. Additionally, the government prosecuted and convicted 20 persons for trafficking-related crimes under other statutes. Eleven of those 20 received sentences of one year or more imprisonment. The government trains police and prosecutors on proper handling of trafficking cases and victims. In February 2004, the National Police Academy began providing anti-trafficking training to new recruits. Police reported that ongoing training programs throughout the country are improving the responsiveness and effectiveness of local police anti-trafficking efforts. The government routinely cooperates with other governments and regional law enforcement organizations on trafficking investigations.

Protection

Sweden's efforts to protect victims of trafficking improved during the reporting period as amendments to Sweden's Aliens Act enacted in October 2004 helped to redress a gap in Sweden's assistance to these victims. Now prosecutors may obtain time-limited residence permits for trafficking victims who cooperate in the criminal investigation of traffickers. Police reported a decrease in rapid deportations following enactment of the amendments. Procedures are in place for police to contact NGOs and shelters in order to assist victims. Under Swedish law, municipal authorities bear responsibility for providing victims with health care and social services, and may obtain reimbursement from the government. Municipalities operate women's shelters throughout the country that admit and care for trafficking victims. During the reporting period, approximately 20 trafficking victims involved in legal investigations received government assistance through municipalities.

Prevention

The Government of Sweden funded major anti-trafficking information campaigns in Europe during 2004, including a project with MTV Europe Foundation that featured a 30-minute anti-trafficking film estimated to have reached 146 million households. The government also initiated and participated in a project in the Barents region (Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden) specifically aimed at reducing trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Sweden's foreign assistance agency continued to support several on-going projects directed against trafficking in Southeast Asian and southeastern European countries.

SWITZERLAND (TIER 2)

Switzerland is primarily a destination country, and secondarily a transit country, for women trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation from Central Europe (Hungary, Slovakia, Romania), the former Soviet Union (Ukraine, Lithuania, Moldova), Latin America (Brazil, Dominican Republic), Asia (Thailand, Cambodia) and, to a lesser extent, Africa. Both police and NGOs noted increased trafficking from Brazil over the last year, though overall numbers of trafficking victims appeared to stay level.

The Government of Switzerland does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Draft legislation that will encompass trafficking for labor exploitation and strengthen penalties awaits Parliament's approval. The federal government instructed cantonal authorities to grant trafficking victims a 30-day stay of deportation, which has decreased the practice of rapid deportation of potential trafficking victims. The Swiss Government should consider expanding its prevention efforts to domestic trafficking awareness, anti-demand campaigns. Sentences imposed on traffickers remained low.

Prosecution

The Swiss Government sustained its anti-trafficking enforcement efforts during the reporting period. According to the most recent enforcement statistics, from 2003, authorities convicted 12 individuals for trafficking and forced prostitution. Five of those convicted received suspended prison sentences of less than a year. The Swiss Penal Code has two articles that prohibit trafficking in persons with sufficiently severe penalties, both of which focus on sexual exploitation and forced prostitution. In 2003, the Swiss Government drafted a revision to the penal code to explicitly prohibit forced labor and strengthen trafficking penalties; the draft legislation was submitted to parliament in March 2005. Swiss authorities are active in international law enforcement activities and took the lead in coordinating 21 international trafficking investigations. Swiss Government officials did not facilitate or condone trafficking.

Protection

Switzerland's efforts to protect and assist trafficking victims improved in 2004. Under federal guidelines sent to cantonal immigration authorities in August 2004, authorities must grant trafficking victims a 30-day minimum stay of deportation. They may also provide victims willing to cooperate with judicial authorities stays of deportation up to three months, or short-term residency permits if the criminal investigation takes longer. Preliminary statistics show that between August and December of 2004, cantonal authorities granted at least 26 trafficking victims stays of deportation and granted an additional 18 victims short-term residency permits, seven of which included a permit to work. Swiss law entitles trafficking victims to secure shelter as well as medical, psychological, social, and legal assistance, regardless of their residency status. During 2003, the most recent statistics available, 64 trafficking victims received assistance from publicly funded victim assistance centers. The government continued to partially fund Zurich's leading anti-trafficking NGO. Zurich formalized its victim referral mechanism in a letter of intent between the NGO and local law enforcement officials. Other urban centers have started to follow this lead by instituting roundtable meetings between NGOs and law enforcement.

Prevention

Switzerland's anti-trafficking coordination unit (KSMM), located within the Federal Office of Police, continued to coordinate and monitor Switzerland's anti-trafficking efforts. While KSMM provided three trafficking awareness programs to local officials during the reporting period, specialized training at the cantonal level remained uneven. The Government of Switzerland funded several anti-trafficking information and education campaigns around the world. It organized and financed a Ukrainian anti-trafficking delegation to Bern for an information exchange. In 2004, the Swiss Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided specialized training to its consular staff and distributed trafficking awareness information to visa applicants in local languages, directed especially at those applying for entertainer visas. The Swiss Government did not conduct domestic demand-reduction programs.

SYRIA (TIER 2)

Syria is a destination country for women trafficked from South and East Asia and Ethiopia for the purpose of labor exploitation and from Eastern Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There are no statistics available on the scope and type of trafficking that may exist and very little insight on the part of the government, the general public, and the diplomatic community on the issue. There have been some reports that indicate Iraqi women may be subjected to sexual exploitation in prostitution in Syria at the hands of Iraqi criminal networks, but those reports have not been confirmed. Some individuals brought into the country to work as domestic workers have suffered conditions that constitute involuntary servitude, including physical and sexual abuse, threats of expulsion, denial or delayed payment of wages, withholding of passports, and restriction of movement. Manpower agencies may lure some victims to Syria through fraudulent or deceptive offers of employment in the Gulf.

The Government of Syria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Syria does not have a legal framework governing relations between domestic workers and their employers. It also does not regulate the illegal manpower agencies that bring in and, in some cases, facilitate victims' exploitation. The Governments of Indonesia and the Philippines banned their citizens from taking employment in Syria because of abuses and the lack of a mechanism to protect the rights of their citizens. The government should appoint a national anti-trafficking coordinator, develop comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, investigate and prosecute traffickers and manpower agencies that facilitate trafficking, tighten its entertainment visa issuance regime to prevent its exploitation for trafficking, and launch a broad anti-trafficking campaign to educate the general public.

Prosecution

The Government of Syria took minimal steps to investigate and/or prosecute trafficking and trafficking-related cases during the reporting period. Syria does not have an anti-trafficking law, though most forms of trafficking are criminalized under other statutes. Foreign domestic workers are excluded from protection under Syrian labor laws. Syrian law enforcement officials need to be trained in victim identification and protection methods. The Syrian Government did not provide any data on investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences for trafficking-related offenses during the last year.

Protection

Over the last year, the Syrian Government did not improve its efforts to provide shelter, dispute settlement, or other protection services to victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation or involuntary servitude. It does, however, cooperate with source-country representatives and NGOs working with victims in these areas. It should put in place a procedure for distinguishing trafficking victims from illegal immigrants and provide them appropriate protection measures, including shelter, legal, medical, and psychological services, as well as repatriation and reintegration assistance.

Prevention

Syria continued to make strong efforts to prevent illegal entry into the country by monitoring its borders closely and screening passengers at arrival points. There were no trafficking-specific prevention efforts, however. The government cooperates with source-country embassies and IOM in the repatriation of victims. A consortium of source-country embassies has established an Anti-fraud Taskforce that works with the government to train immigration and customs officials to combat illegal immigration, which would likely benefit anti-trafficking efforts as well.

TAIWAN (TIER 2)

Taiwan is primarily a destination for women and girls, mainly from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), who are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Some trafficking victims from the P.R.C., Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are forced or coerced into the commercial sex trade or lured to Taiwan by fraudulent offers of employment or marriage. Some Taiwan women are also trafficked to Japan for sexual exploitation.

Taiwan authorities do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, they are making significant efforts to do so. Taiwan authorities have increased efforts to provide protection for trafficking victims. Despite prosecutions of traffickers, there is insufficient protection for trafficking victims, particularly for women and girls from the P.R.C. While illegal immigrants from other countries are generally quickly repatriated, the P.R.C. often delays Taiwan efforts to assist P.R.C. victims to return home. Taiwan authorities and NGOs have collaborated in ongoing efforts to develop a plan of action on trafficking. Some law enforcement officials conflate trafficking with smuggling. Taiwan laws criminalize most forms of trafficking but do not address prevention of trafficking or victim protection, which the authorities nonetheless provide on an ad hoc basis.

Prosecution

Taiwan lacks a comprehensive trafficking law providing for preventive measures and victim protection, though most forms of human trafficking are criminalized through a number of different statutes. Trafficking of Taiwan residents abroad or children of any nationality is prohibited by the 1995 Statute for Prevention of Child and Juvenile Sexual Trafficking and provisions in Taiwan's Criminal Code. Article 296 criminalizes a broad range of forms of trafficking and servitude. Article 296-1 provides for stronger penalties when the crimes are committed by officials. Taiwan authorities report that they indicted 241 and convicted 150 persons under these statutes in 2004. Taiwan authorities took steps in 2004 to address the growing number of Vietnamese women lured to Taiwan as brides and then forced into prostitution. A more stringent law enacted in January 2004 and aimed at cross-Strait trafficking stipulates that any person found guilty of smuggling Mainland Chinese into Taiwan shall be punished with a prison term of three to ten years and fined up to $150,000. Authorities in late March 2005 broke up a trafficking ring run by two Taiwan Army officers and their wives. A year-long investigation into the ring produced a number of arrests for trafficking of P.R.C. women to Taiwan for exploitation in the sex industry. Taiwan authorities have increased training for law enforcement officials on trafficking issues and how to best assist a victim. In early 2005, Taiwan executed a local trafficker convicted of killing P.R.C. victims.

Protection

Foreign victims of trafficking who are not of P.R.C. origin are provided with shelter and counseling and are generally quickly repatriated. Current Taiwan law provides no legal alternative to the return to the P.R.C. of all unlawfully present P.R.C. citizens, including trafficking victims. Taiwan has recently increased efforts to provide protection to P.R.C. trafficking victims. Taiwan law enforcement authorities and NGO social workers interview all illegal immigrants in detention centers in order to identify possible trafficking victims. Women and girls identified as trafficking victims are housed in a separate wing, where they are provided with access to social workers, health care, vocational activities, and counseling. Women with children have an additional, separate area within the facility. Identified trafficking victims are exempt from rules that apply to criminal detainees. There is no policy or law that requires the authorities to evaluate whether victims would face persecution or retribution upon returning to the P.R.C. Authorities have established an island-wide toll-free "113 Women's and Children's Protection" hotline.

Prevention

Taiwan law enforcement authorities are working to intercept criminal syndicates that smuggle P.R.C. migrants, including trafficking victims, to Taiwan. Taiwan continued its support of NGO anti-trafficking prevention programs, with government funding for public awareness programs targeting minors and awareness campaigns targeting Southeast Asian women who marry Taiwan men, including publicity campaigns funded by Taiwan in source countries. Taiwan officials have raised public awareness of the dangers of pornography and the use of the Internet to lure children into the sex trade. Social workers automatically visit high-school students with unexcused school absences to provide counseling and to ensure that the children do not fall into the sex trade or other illicit activities.

TAJIKISTAN (TIER 2)

Tajikistan is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked to Russia, Kazakhstan, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Iran for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor.

The Government of Tajikistan 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 adopted a comprehensive trafficking in persons law, established a specialized anti-trafficking police unit, and created an interagency commission to coordinate anti-trafficking activities and draft a national action plan. While victim assistance and protection remained inadequate, in large part due to a lack of resources, Tajikistan's new law provides a useful framework for the protection of victims. The government should make strong efforts to meet trafficking victims' needs and increase convictions.

Prosecution

The Government of Tajikistan adopted a comprehensive Law on Combating Trafficking in Persons in August 2004. Tajikistan's Criminal Code criminalized trafficking in persons for both sexual and labor exploitation. Penalties include imprisonment of five to 15 years and confiscation of property. Traffickers may also be prosecuted under other laws such as those prohibiting exploitation of prostitution, rape, kidnapping, and buying and selling of minors. In 2004, law enforcement officials investigated 14 trafficking cases. A Dushanbe court in late 2004 handed down the first conviction under Tajikistan's new anti-trafficking law, sentencing a trafficker to 14 years' imprisonment and confiscating her property. In May 2004, the government established a dedicated police unit with five officers directly involved in trafficking investigations. The Ministry of Interior added a special trafficking training course to its academy curriculum. The government arrested 14 low-level law enforcement officers who engaged in sexually exploiting underage girls. Defendants charged with trafficking have received reduced charges allegedly due to bribes accepted by judges.

Protection

Assistance for trafficking victims in Tajikistan remained inadequate during the reporting period. In theory, victims are protected under the new anti-trafficking law, but in practice the government offers no protection or reintegration programs for victims, citing limited resources. The Ministry of Interior and a local NGO signed an agreement on cooperation in December 2004, in part, as an effort to try to locate space to interview victims in a secure, confidential environment. Enforcement officials did not jail, fine, detain, or otherwise punish victims.

Prevention

In January 2005, the government established an interagency commission on combating human trafficking, a product of its new anti-trafficking law. The commission began meeting monthly in February and is charged with producing a national plan to combat human trafficking. The commission consists of representatives from the Ministries of Interior, Security, Labor, Foreign Affairs, Education, Health, and Economy and Trade, as well as the State Border Protection Committee, the Prosecutor General's Office, and the President's Administration. The government continued to cooperate with local NGOs and international groups on prevention, and may include them in future meetings of the commission. On May 5, 2004, the Ministry of Interior and IOM signed a Memorandum of Cooperation in the Sphere of Combating Trafficking in Persons, leading to a formal cooperative relationship between IOM and the anti-trafficking unit on prosecution and protection activities.

TANZANIA (TIER 2)

Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Most victims are trafficked internally; boys are trafficked for exploitative work on farms, in mines, and in the large informal sector, while girls from rural areas, particularly the Iringa Region, are trafficked to the towns for involuntary domestic labor. Many of these domestic workers flee abusive employers and turn to prostitution for survival. Tanzanian girls are also reportedly trafficked to South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, and possibly other European countries for forced domestic labor. Indian women, legally entering the country to work as musicians, singers, and dancers in restaurants and nightclubs, are at times exploited in prostitution after arrival.

The Government of Tanzania 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 take steps to provide expanded protective services to victims and launch a nationwide awareness raising campaign on the definition of human trafficking and the forms it takes in Tanzania.

Prosecution

The government's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts progressed over the reporting period. Tanzanian law prohibits internal and cross-border trafficking for sexual exploitation and the constitution prohibits forced labor. During 2004, three trafficking-related cases were pending in court, while investigations into two additional cases continued. In April 2004, a Tanzanian man was arrested for bringing Indian dancers to Tanzania on artist visas and exploiting them in prostitution; the women were deported and the court case was withdrawn for lack of evidence. Immigration officials working with police uncovered an alleged international trafficking ring in October 2004, arresting 31 suspected traffickers and charging them with violating immigration law. Charges were dropped against a woman accused of trafficking children from Iringa to the capital because authorities were unable to locate the child witnesses after numerous attempts. In October 2004, eight mid-level Tanzanian police officers received training in conducting trafficking investigations. In February 2005, nine immigration officials, with assistance from IOM, began drafting standard operating procedures for identifying traffickers at border posts.

Protection

During the year, the government took steps to protect trafficking victims, within the limits of its resources. Local police and officials from the Social Welfare Department identified and informally referred child trafficking victims to NGOs that work with street children and child prostitutes, provided small donations of food and other goods to these NGOs, and identified land available for building new shelters. Local government officials participated in district committees that identified children vulnerable to or involved in the worst forms of child labor, including prostitution and forced domestic labor. In 2004, 3,844 children were prevented from entering exploitative domestic labor situations, and 3,483 children were withdrawn from exploitative domestic labor. These children were referred for protection services offered by the ILO, including rehabilitation, education, and alternative training. During the year, 60 out of 90 labor officers nationwide received intensive three-month training on the new labor laws and application of child labor provisions, as well as recognizing the worst forms of child labor, including children in prostitution and forced labor.

Prevention

The government made limited progress in preventing trafficking over the reporting period. In July 2004, it convened the first-ever meeting of senior government officials to discuss trafficking in Tanzania, investigations into trafficking cases, and existing legal statutes. In addition, the Ministry of Home Affairs compiled and released its first report on investigations, prosecutions, and arrests related to human trafficking. Though the government did not launch a specific anti-trafficking information campaign, it continued its nationwide awareness campaign on the worst forms of child labor, including forced domestic labor and prostitution. In addition, after a trafficking-related arrest was made in October 2004, the Regional Immigration Officer made public statements condemning the use of Tanzania as a transit country for human trafficking.

THAILAND (TIER 2)

Thailand is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Thai women are trafficked to Australia, Bahrain, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, Europe, and North America for commercial sexual exploitation. A significant number of men, women, and children from Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) are economic migrants who wind up in forced or bonded labor and commercial sexual exploitation in Thailand. Regional economic disparities drive significant illegal migration into Thailand, presenting traffickers opportunities to move victims into labor or sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking also occurs in Thailand, involving victims from Northern Thailand, especially ethnic hill tribe women and girls. Widespread sex tourism in Thailand encourages trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Thailand does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Thailand showed clear progress in applying greater law enforcement efforts to fighting trafficking and systematically screening hundreds of thousands of undocumented illegal migrants to identify and provide care for trafficking victims in their midst. The government also made modest progress in addressing widespread trafficking-related corruption within the ranks of the police, immigration services, and judiciary. In November 2004, the Thai Government began a new, intensified effort to improve the vetting procedure used by the police and immigration authorities to identify trafficking victims. While reports suggest increased efforts by police and immigration officials to provide protection to trafficking victims, international organizations and NGOs continue to play an important role in screening of trafficking victims, especially underage victims found in street work. There are reports that child trafficking victims continued to be incarcerated in and deported from Thailand without proper victim care or any attempt to investigate the trafficking crimes committed against these children.

Prosecution

During the reporting period, the Thai Government increased its law enforcement efforts against trafficking. Thailand has a law specifically prohibiting trafficking. In 2004, the government reported 307 trafficking-related arrests, 66 prosecutions, and 12 convictions - an increase in arrests over the previous year's performance. Sentences handed down for trafficking cases remained light, with an average sentence of three years' imprisonment. However, a number of sentences in trafficking cases were severe, with imprisonment of up to 50 years. In early March 2005, a Thai court convicted a Cambodian woman for trafficking eight Cambodian girls to Thailand and Malaysia; the trafficker was sentenced to 85 years' imprisonment. As in previous years, the Thai Government made minimal progress in reducing trafficking-related corruption in the police, immigration services, and judiciary. Law enforcement officials continued to be implicated in facilitating trafficking, but only one police officer was convicted and sentenced to ten years' imprisonment over the past year; prosecutions of 18 others fired in 2003 for complicity in trafficking continues. Thailand is not able to adequately control its long land borders.

Protection

In 2004, the Thai Government continued to provide commendable protection to trafficking victims. The government continued to operate 97 shelters throughout the country for abused women and children, six regional shelters for foreign trafficking victims, and a central shelter outside of Bangkok with capacity for over 500 foreign trafficking victims. The government reportedly identified and provided protection to 108 women and children since the November 2004 institution of the new screening mechanism. Thailand's overseas missions continued to provide support to Thai victims who wish to return home, but limited funding is available to assist their repatriation. The government also provided police and consular officials with training on trafficking issues and dealing with victims.

Prevention

The Thai Government continued its efforts to raise awareness of trafficking. In 2004, the Thai police began an information campaign, which included the distribution of pamphlets and creation of a hotline for reporting suspected cases. The government also continued to support the work of NGOs and international organizations to carry out public awareness campaigns and provide victim support services.

TOGO (TIER 3)

Togo is a country of origin and transit for children trafficked for the purposes of forced domestic labor and sexual exploitation. There are no exact numbers on the trafficking situation in Togo; however, experts believe that Togo is a major country of destination for children trafficked from rural towns to Lome for exploitation as domestic servants, produce porters, roadside sellers, and prostitutes.

The government does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and it is not making significant efforts to do so. Togo does not have a law specifically preventing trafficking, and badly needed anti-trafficking legislation has remained stalled in Togo's Executive Branch since 2002. Togo adopted a national plan in 2001 for the fight against child trafficking, which called for establishment of anti-trafficking legislation, training, and border control. However, little has been done in the actual implementation of this plan, and law enforcement efforts seem to have been stymied over the past year. In order to increase its anti-trafficking efforts, the Government of Togo should recognize trafficking as a problem in the country, establish it as a federal offense, and prosecute it accordingly. The government should also increase regional cooperation on trafficking-related matters and continue efforts with regional committees to combat trafficking in the country.

Prosecution

Togo displayed little discernable anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The government reported no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking-related crimes over the last year. As a draft anti-trafficking law continues to lag in the Executive Branch, Togo has no specific anti-trafficking law. However, the government could use existing criminal statutes against child labor and sexual exploitation to prosecute some aspects of trafficking crimes. The police reportedly established an anti-trafficking task force to coordinate and respond to trafficking-related matters, but has made no reported progress to prosecute and convict traffickers. For instance, the police made 61 trafficking-related arrests, but none resulted in a prosecution or conviction. The government signed bilateral and multilateral agreements with Ghana, Benin, and Nigeria to monitor, control, and prevent trafficking in persons, and it cooperates with these countries on the return of trafficked children. There were no statistics available on the number of extraditions of traffickers; however, the government's National Committee for the Reception and Social Reinsertion of Trafficked Children reported 2,458 repatriated children between 2002 and 2004. Corruption remains a problem in the country, though there were no reported investigations or prosecutions of public officials for complicity in trafficking.

Protection

The government does not provide any significant protection or aid to victims of trafficking, due in large part to the serious lack of resources in the country. Thus, the government does not fund specific trafficking-related shelters or centers that may aid victims; however, it does closely coordinate and collaborate with NGOs for victim care and assistance. In some limited cases, the government is able to provide temporary shelter, and access to legal, medical, and psychological services before turning victims over to NGOs. The government relies heavily on international aid and works to find areas where it may collaborate on trafficking-related protection services. Victims are not treated as criminals. A degree of police and customs training on how and where to refer trafficking victims to appropriate NGOs has been provided through regional and local committees.

Prevention

Senior government officials have publicly acknowledged the presence of trafficking in Togo; however, lack of resources severely inhibits the government's ability to carry out a long-term sustainable prevention campaign. The government established five regional committees to coordinate with local and international organizations on trafficking-related matters. These regional and local committees organized tours in their respective region to sensitize the populations on child trafficking and the dangers of trafficking, targeting taxi drivers, student-parent associations, and school inspectors. To date, there have been 234 such campaigns. Village Development Committees and other Local Committees working on anti-trafficking measures received some limited training on the rights of children. The Ministry of Interior and Security organized awareness campaigns for district governors and security forces, which included information on the methods used by traffickers.

TURKEY (TIER 2)

Turkey is a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked primarily for sexual exploitation. Some men, women, and children are also trafficked for forced labor. There has been increasing evidence of internal trafficking of Turkish citizens for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Most victims come from Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, including Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Georgia, Romania, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Belarus.

The Government of Turkey 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, the government stepped up its training of law enforcement personnel to increase victim identification and end the automatic deportation and removal of victims. As a result, Turkish officials have improved their screening and identification of victims. However, the government needs to take more preemptive steps to ensure that there is a corresponding increase in convictions and sentences for traffickers. Despite the government's increased efforts to raise understanding of the trafficking phenomenon, the level of awareness among some members of the judiciary and the general public remains low. The Turkish Government should continue to strengthen its efforts to actively pursue a focused public awareness campaign reaching out to victims, law enforcement, and customers.

Prosecution

The Government of Turkey has taken substantial measures over the past year to improve its enforcement efforts. In October and December 2004, Turkey made significant revisions to its penal code and code of criminal procedures, including expanding investigative tools in trafficking cases and increasing punishments for traffickers. The government funded domestic and international anti-trafficking operations, specifically for training. In 2004, this covered more than 400 police, 120 Jandarma, and 160 judges. The government reportedly initiated 142 prosecutions for suspected trafficking crimes during 2004, a large increase over 2003 figures. Five cases for which information was provided produced convictions. The government failed to provide detailed follow-up information on the remaining cases. There were some reports of law enforcement officials receiving bribes that facilitated illegal prostitution. No officials were arrested or prosecuted for involvement in trafficking in 2004, though two police officers in Istanbul were charged with trafficking in March 2005. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Turkish Government and Belarus came into effect in September 2004 to allow for anti-trafficking joint investigations and cooperation. The MOU facilitated a successful operation leading to arrests in both countries.

Protection

The Government of Turkey has taken significant steps to halt past practices of automatic deportation of victims. The police and Jandarma are actively cooperating with an NGO shelter and implementing a protocol for victim referrals. As a result of training and awareness campaigns, law enforcement successfully identified 265 victims in 2004, an exponential increase over the handful identified in 2003. Furthermore, IOM repatriated 62 foreign victims in 2004, up from only two the previous year. The government has implemented a new policy to provide full medical assistance to victims of trafficking. In addition, the government issued humanitarian visas to 13 victims, allowing them to stay in Turkey and receive government services.

Prevention

The Turkish Jandarma printed and distributed 9,000 anti-trafficking brochures to police precincts and citizens throughout Turkey. Although the government established a hotline for trafficking victims in 2004, it has not yet implemented a large-scale, targeted information campaign. Most recently, the government publicly launched its 2005 counter-trafficking campaign, which is too recent to show results.

UGANDA (TIER 2)

Uganda is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. The rebel organization, Lord's Resistance Army (LRA), operates a campaign of terror in northern Uganda and southern Sudan, a territory outside of the gov-ernment's full control. Rebels abduct Ugandan adults and children to be used as soldiers, cooks, porters, and sex slaves. UNICEF estimates that more than 12,000 children have been abducted since 2002. Thousands of Ugandan children engaged in commercial sex, some of whom were trafficked by a third party. There were reports that Uganda was also a destination for Indian women trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Uganda does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To strengthen its efforts to combat trafficking, the government should seek additional training for officials responsible for investigating and prosecuting traffickers, and offer protection services for victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Prosecution

During the year, the government aggressively engaged in anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Uganda does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law; however, the penal code specifies penalties for trafficking-related offenses, including procuring a woman for prostitution, detention with sexual intent, sex with a minor under 18, dealing in slaves, and compelling unlawful labor. Taken together, these laws cover the full scope of trafficking in persons. The government actively enforced its law against engaging in sex with minors, arresting 3,094 people, some of whom were involved with trafficked children. Of these, 440 were prosecuted and 336 were convicted. The Child and Family Protection Unit of the national police, with NGO assistance, trained over 200 police officers on the proper investigation of these complaints. Police also conducted "sweeps" of areas frequented by children in prostitution. One person was arrested when police raided a bar where six women trafficked from India were being exploited.

Military operations against the LRA significantly increased in both northern Uganda and southern Sudan in 2004. Military cooperation between the Governments of Sudan and Uganda to deprive the LRA of bases in southern Sudan also increased. President Museveni supported attempts to negotiate a peaceful end to LRA abductions through two cease-fires, offering an agreement for the cessation of hostilities and return of abductees. To date, the LRA has refused to sign such an agreement or begin returning abductees. The government also granted blanket amnesty, through a law passed in 2000, which absolves returnees, including abductees, from criminal liability if they renounce rebellion. As a result of this policy, however, the government has not prosecuted or convicted LRA rebels (most of whom were also victims of abduction) for trafficking-related offenses.

Protection

The government provided assistance to former LRA abductees, including children. The Uganda Peoples Defense Force's Child Protection Unit operated two centers that facilitated receiving, debriefing, processing, and assessing the medical needs of former child soldiers, as well as their subsequent transfer to NGO-run reintegration centers. Child soldiers who surrendered or were captured were provided with shelter and food during the short period before they were transferred to NGO custody. In the past two years, 7,329 former abductees have been rescued. The Amnesty Commission gave orientation and training to Ugandan officials working to assist former abductees in Sudan. The Ministry of Gender, Labor, and Social Development and ILO-IPEC conducted a joint study on Ugandan children engaged in commercial sexual exploitation in four districts.

Prevention

The Ugandan military is deployed in an extensive effort to defeat the LRA, which would prevent future abductions. The Amnesty Commission, the Office of the President, and the Ministry for Internal Affairs are concurrently involved in seeking a peaceful resolution to the conflict, which would also end abductions. In northern Uganda, the government made extensive use of local-language radio broadcasts to persuade abducted children and their captors to accept amnesty and return from the bush. In March 2005, a national anti-trafficking working group was established.

UKRAINE (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Ukraine is primarily a source country for men, women, and children trafficked to Europe, the Middle East, and Russia for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Recent studies indicate an increase in internal trafficking for all forms of exploitation and a growing problem of trafficking in minors. Ukraine continued to serve as a significant transit country for Asian and Moldovan victims trafficked to Western destinations.

The Government of Ukraine does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Ukraine has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List because of its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts and its commitment to take additional future steps over the next year, particularly in the area of victim protection and prosecution of trafficking-related complicity. Ukraine's new government, which assumed power in late 2004, is expected to respond more effectively to institutional weaknesses and corruption, which hindered the previous government's anti-trafficking efforts. The government should create a special witness protection program for trafficking victims, expand the legal definition of trafficking to conform with international requirements, ensure the appropriation of consistent resources for the anti-trafficking unit, and conduct sensitivity training to reduce victim blaming and breaches of victim confidentiality.

Prosecution

Ukraine's Criminal Code remained inadequate to address the full range of trafficking in Ukraine over the reporting period. The Ministry of Interior initiated 269 new cases, completed 72 investigations, and charged 138 persons with trafficking crimes. A total of 68 trafficking prosecutions were started. The courts convicted traffickers in 67 cases, an increase from the previous year. Regrettably, only 22 persons were sentenced to time in prison, the rest receiving probation. During the reporting period, the government successfully dismantled 17 organized crime groups involved in trafficking cases. Trafficking-related complicity and official involvement continued to be a problem; there were persistent reports of high-level official intervention, which may have resulted in significant sentence reductions. The government did not investigate or prosecute any cases of trafficking-related corruption during the year.

Protection

The Government of Ukraine failed to provide adequate protection and rehabilitation services to victims of trafficking in 2004. The lack of a credible victim witness protection program impaired the government's ability to protect victims, and as a result few victims were willing to cooperate in prosecutions. Ukrainian courts showed a lack of sensitivity to victims during court proceedings; trafficking victims were characterized as prostitutes, rather than victims of a serious crime. The Ministry of Family and Youth Affairs coordinated some rehabilitation services, but the majority of funding for these programs came from international donors. Commendably, the government screened all victims repatriated or deported from abroad to the port of Odesa and referred them to a local NGO for services. The government instructed all diplomatic officials abroad to accelerate procedures for identifying Ukrainian victims and providing them with appropriate travel documents.

Prevention

Ukraine's trafficking prevention efforts were woefully inadequate over the last year. The country's Comprehensive Program for Combating Trafficking was not implemented well in 2004, as it lacked both financing and practical measures needed for its effective implementation. As a result, internal trafficking was not addressed. In December 2004, the government established an advisory anti-trafficking working group to improve coordination of the largely ineffectual Inter-Ministerial Group. The government continued to rely on NGOs and international organizations to conduct the bulk of prevention programs. However, it provided minor support for their activities, primarily by distributing literature throughout the government and in public schools. In 2004, the Ministry of Family and Youth Affairs conducted outreach to some rural youth and provided mortgage assistance to young families.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES (TIER 3)

The United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) is a destination country for women trafficked primarily from South, Southeast, and East Asia, the former Soviet Union, Iran and other Middle Eastern countries, and East Africa, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. A far smaller number of men, women, and teenage children were trafficked to the U.A.E. to work as forced laborers. Some South Asian and East African boys were trafficked into the country and forced to work as camel jockeys. Some were sold by their parents to traffickers, and others were brought into the U.A.E. by their parents. A large number of foreign women were lured into the U.A.E. under false pretenses and subsequently forced into sexual servitude, primarily by criminals of their own countries. Personal observations by U.S. Government officials and video and photographic evidence indicated the continued use of trafficked children as camel jockeys. There were instances of child camel jockey victims who were reportedly starved to make them light, abused physically and sexually, denied education and health care, and subjected to harsh living and working conditions. Some boys as young as 6 months old were reportedly kidnapped or sold to traffickers and raised to become camel jockeys. Some were injured seriously during races and training sessions, and one child died after being trampled by the camel he was riding. Some victims trafficked for labor exploitation endured harsh living and working conditions and were subjected to debt bondage, passport withholding, and physical and sexual abuse.

The U.A.E. Government does not collect statistics on persons trafficked into the country, making it difficult to assess its efforts to combat the problem. Widely varying reports, mostly from NGOs, international organizations, and source countries, estimated the number of trafficking victims in the U.A.E. to be from a few thousand to tens of thousands. Regarding foreign child camel jockeys, the U.A.E. Government estimated there were from 1,200 to 2,700 such children in the U.A.E., while a respected Pakistani human rights NGO active in the U.A.E. estimated 5,000 to 6,000. The U.A.E. Government has taken several steps that may lead to potentially positive outcomes, such as requiring children from source countries to have their own passports, and collaborating with UNICEF and source-country governments to develop a plan for documenting and safely repatriating all underage camel jockeys.

The Government of the U.A.E. does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Despite sustained engagement from the U.S. Government, NGOs, and international organizations over the last two years, the U.A.E. Government has failed to take significant action to address its trafficking problems and to protect victims. The U.A.E. Government needs to enact and enforce a comprehensive trafficking law that criminalizes all forms of trafficking and provides for protection of trafficking victims. The government should also institute systematic screening measures to identify trafficking victims among the thousands of foreign women arrested and deported each year for involvement in prostitution. The government should take immediate steps to rescue and care for the many foreign children trafficked to the U.A.E. as camel jockeys, repatriating them through responsible channels if appropriate. The government should also take much stronger steps to investigate, prosecute, and convict those responsible for trafficking these children to the U.A.E.

Prosecution

During the reporting period, the U.A.E. made minimal efforts to prosecute traffickers. Despite the ongoing trafficking and exploitation of thousands of children as camel jockeys and women in sexual servitude, the government made insufficient efforts in 2004 to criminally prosecute and punish anyone behind these forms of trafficking. The U.A.E. Government announced in April 2005 that it would soon enact a new law banning underage camel jockeys. Currently, the U.A.E. does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. The government can use various laws under its criminal codes to prosecute trafficking-related crimes effectively, but there have been only a few such cases prosecuted. In 2004, U.A.E. officials declared that the 2002 Presidential Decree against the exploitation of children as camel jockeys was legally unenforceable — effectively asserting that the U.A.E. had no legal mechanism to address this serious crime. The U.A.E.'s new law, when enacted and implemented, is expected to enable enforcement of the Decree.

In 2004, according to an NGO, immigration authorities worked with source-country NGOs, embassies, and consulates to rescue and repatriate 400 trafficked former camel jockeys to Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sudan. The government transferred the anti-trafficking portfolio from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Ministry of Interior — a ministry with a law enforcement authority — and created a designated anti-child trafficking unit within the Ministry of Interior. In December 2004, the government opened a rehabilitation center for the care of rescued child camel jockeys, and from December 2004 to April 2005, rescued approximately 68 children and repatriated 43 of them to their countries of origin, primarily Pakistan. However, the number of rescued and repatriated children through these efforts is insignificant compared to the huge number (estimated in the thousands) openly exploited at camel racetracks throughout the country. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the government investigated, prosecuted, and punished anyone for trafficking, abusing, and exploiting children as camel jockeys.

The U.A.E. Government's efforts to prosecute crimes relating to trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation were equally disappointing. Despite a few arrests and prosecutions of those involved in such crimes, including travel and employment agencies that reportedly facilitate the trafficking of victims, U.A.E. law enforcement efforts during the year focused largely on the arrest, incarceration, and deportation of over 5,000 foreign women in prostitution, many of whom are likely trafficking victims. The police do not make concerted, proactive efforts to distinguish trafficking victims among women arrested for prostitution and illegal immigration; as a result, victims are punished with incarceration and deportation. Although the U.A.E. criminalized the withholding of employees' passports by employers, there is inconsistent enforcement of the law, and the practice continues to be widespread in both the private and public sectors. The government claims to have taken civil and administrative actions against hundred of employers who abused or failed to pay their domestic employees. The government does not keep data on trafficking and related investigations, arrests, and prosecutions.

Protection

The U.A.E. Government's efforts to provide protection and assistance to victims of trafficking were minimal during the reporting period. Its efforts to protect child camel jockeys were limited to the opening of one shelter in Abu Dhabi in December 2004 and the repatriation of approximately 443 rescued child camel jockeys. Given the estimated thousands of boys being openly exploited in the country, the total number rescued and repatriated so far is small. Following increased public attention to the camel jockey situation and rescue efforts by the government, an international NGO alleged that some camel owners are hiding a large number of child victims in the desert and in neighboring countries. However, there is no evidence the government has taken action to investigate and prevent this crime. The government is also working with the Governments of Bangladesh and Pakistan to establish U.A.E. Government-funded shelters in those countries to receive and care for rescued and repatriated children.

The government's efforts to protect and assist victims of trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation have also been minimal. U.A.E. police continue to arrest and punish trafficking victims along with others engaged in prostitution, unless the victims identify themselves as having been trafficked. The U.A.E.'s numerous foreign domestic and agricultural workers are excluded from protection under

U.A.E. labor laws and, as such, many are vulnerable to serious exploitation that constitutes involuntary servitude, a severe form of trafficking. The government does not have a shelter facility for foreign workers who are victims of involuntary servitude, but relies on housing provided by embassies, source-country NGOs, and concerned U.A.E. residents. The U.A.E. Government states it offers housing, work permits, counseling, medical care, and other necessary support for those labor victims who agree to testify against their traffickers. However, few victims reportedly benefited from these government-provided services. In 2004, the Dubai Police Human Rights Department reported assisting such victims in 18 trafficking cases. The Dubai Police also assigns Victim Assistant Coordinators to police stations to advise victims of their rights, encourage victims to testify, and provide other essential services to victims.

Prevention

The U.A.E. slightly increased its trafficking prevention efforts over the past year, particularly efforts to prevent the trafficking of children to work as camel jockeys. Prevention measures reportedly included closer screening of visa applications by U.A.E. embassies in source countries, distributing informational material directly to newly arrived foreign workers, supplying brochures to source-country embassies and consulates to warn potential victims, conducting specific anti-trafficking training for police and various government personnel, and conducting training for immigration inspectors in document fraud detection methods.

In March and April 2005, the U.A.E. Government announced a variety of measures to begin to address the country's serious trafficking problems more effectively. The government announced in April that a new law, similar to the Presidential ban already in place but not enforced since September 2002, would be enacted soon. The law reportedly would ban jockeys under age 16 from participating in camel races and stipulate that a jockey's weight must exceed 45 kilograms (99 pounds). At the time of this writing, the law had not been enacted. The U.A.E. Government also announced in April new procedures to facilitate the repatriation of those underage foreign camel jockeys already in the country and to prevent new ones from entering. Beginning on March 31, 2005, camel farm owners would have two months to repatriate all underage foreign camel jockeys working on their farms. After this grace period, the government would begin levying fines against anyone harboring underage camel jockeys. The government stated in March 2005 that it would enforce a new requirement that all source-country expatriate residents, including children, have their own passports. The government reportedly instructed ports of entry to ensure that no underage children enter the country for the purpose of being used as a camel jockey. It also stated that a medical committee would begin conducting tests on all jockeys as part of the pre-race handicapping. The government reported that it had identified adequate shelters in Pakistan and Bangladesh to assist underage camel jockeys who had been repatriated to those countries, and that it would provide financing to source country organizations to handle such repatriations. From October 2002 to January 2005, the U.A.E., through the use of iris recognition technology and document fraud detecting methods, prevented 26,000 potential illegal immigrants from coming into the country, some of whom were likely trafficking victims.

UNITED KINGDOM (TIER 1)

The United Kingdom is primarily a country of destination for trafficked women, children, and men from Eastern Europe, East Asia, and West Africa. Women are trafficked primarily for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude, while men are trafficked for the purpose of forced labor in agriculture and sweatshop industries. The United Kingdom may also play a role as a transit country for foreign victims trafficked to other Western European countries.

The Government of the United Kingdom fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The United Kingdom handed down significant anti-trafficking prosecutions and sentences during 2004. The first prosecution under recent legislation that specifically criminalized trafficking for sexual exploitation resulted in a sentence of 18 years for the main offender. The parliament enacted new legislation to criminalize labor trafficking. The government continued to fund assistance to adult victims; however, its inability to accommodate the number of victim referrals was problematic. The government should prioritize establishment of a more stable mechanism to regularize victims' status to ensure consistent delivery of services and protection. Moreover, differentiation of trafficking and smuggling statistics is recommended to better gauge year-to-year improvements.

Prosecution

In July 2004, the Government of the United Kingdom enacted legislation to criminalize human trafficking for exploitation, including labor exploitation. This law, taken together with the Sexual Offenses Act of 2003, strengthens and broadens the coverage of the United Kingdom's anti-trafficking laws. To underscore the seriousness of trafficking crimes, the Crown Prosecution Service successfully sought heavy penalties in cases of both sexual exploitation and forced labor. In 2004, the government reported 60 law enforcement operations resulting in 572 arrests and 66 convictions. Prosecution and conviction data from 2003 showed 340 prosecutions and 98 convictions. Both sets of data, however, include both alien smuggling and human trafficking. In 2004, the government launched a trafficking prosecution toolkit, which now serves as a compilation of U.K. laws that can be used to prosecute traffickers and seize their assets. During 2004, the government continued to engage in and support a number of bilateral and multilateral anti-trafficking efforts.

Protection

In 2004, a newly established shelter for child trafficking victims was closed after only two months because it received no referrals. The government continued to fund and evaluate a specialized project that provided space in shelters for adult trafficking victims. However, the project only supports 25 victims at a time and, as a result, could not accommodate all incoming referrals. Victims' lack of status reduced the effectiveness of victim protection efforts. NGOs indicated the problem resulted from the government's inability to provide long-term residency status for victims. As a result, victims are forced to apply to remain as asylees — a long process that may ultimately not be successful for many victims. Furthermore, while applying for asylum status, victims cannot work. A governmental review of the victim care situation continued late in the reporting period. Some victims continued to receive assistance from other social service agencies; NGOs advocated the need to better track child victims in care of Social Services.

Prevention

In 2004, the government took important steps to improve the collection of comprehensive trafficking statistics by consolidating regional and national level data. The government continued to provide specialized programs to police, social services, and other government communities via the revised and updated anti-trafficking toolkit on the Home Office website. Police and immigration authorities continued to screen passengers at Heathrow Airport to systematically identify children entering the U.K. who may be at risk. In early 2005, the Solicitor General initiated a new focus to target men who solicit sexual services of trafficked women, but it is too early to detect whether this has had an effect in preventing trafficking.

URUGUAY (TIER 2)

Uruguay increasingly is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation and a destination and transit country for some forced labor. Traffickers target young women and minors for commercial sexual exploitation in urban areas and popular tourist destinations. Children from poor rural families are sent by their parents, sometimes involuntarily, to work at ranches in conditions of involuntary servitude. Organized groups force some children to beg. Uruguayan women are also trafficked to Europe, Brazil, and Argentina for sexual exploitation. Uruguay serves as a transit point for trafficking routes in the region and women and children from Argentina, Brazil, and other countries are trafficked across Uruguay's poorly controlled borders for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Chinese migrants have been trafficked into forced labor in Uruguay. Newly available information indicating a growing concern over the number of minors in the country who fall victim to trafficking, and particularly trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, has made it possible to include Uruguay in this report for the first time.

The Government of Uruguay does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government does not consider trafficking to be widespread in Uruguay but has acknowledged increasing concern. During the reporting period it enacted laws against commercial sexual exploitation of minors and joined neighboring countries in efforts to identify and take remedial steps against commercial sexual exploitation of children. The government should update national laws to address all forms of trafficking, and increase efforts to educate the public, prevent child sex tourism, and protect trafficking victims.

Prosecution

The government's law enforcement efforts against traffickers were limited during the reporting period. Two laws enacted in 2004 strengthened provisions and penalties related to commercial sexual exploitation of children. Uruguay's anti-trafficking laws do not address trafficking of adults, but most trafficking-related crimes fall under existing fraud and slavery statutes. Businesses employing forced laborers are fined or closed - sanctions that could not be applied against groups that forced children to beg. During the reporting period, courts convicted two traffickers for prostitution of minors. In January 2005, police arrested five and issued warrants for two more suspected traffickers who smuggled Chinese migrants and exploited them for forced agricultural labor. The government extradites suspected traffickers and cooperated with Interpol and foreign governments on transnational cases during the reporting period. The government investigated suspected public corruption; in the January 2005 Chinese forced labor case, the government indicted eight and removed four immigration and police officials.

Protection

The Government of Uruguay lacked programs for assisting trafficking victims during the last year. The government funded programs and NGOs that targeted assistance to street children, victims of abuse, and at-risk children in general, but none focused on trafficking victims. Courts did not prosecute victims and victims could bring suit against traffickers. The government provided no victim-oriented training for police, but some officials received NGO training on proper techniques for interviewing children.

Prevention

The government ran no education campaigns focused on trafficking; officials need to learn more about the trafficking problem in Uruguay and work with civil society to educate the public. The government funded an ILO program to keep children in school, and supported NGOs and ran hotline and leaflet campaigns regarding child abuse and exploitation in general. In 2004, the Ministry of Interior created a special office to address child trafficking. In August 2004, the Crime Prevention Office started a database to track trafficking-related cases.

UZBEKISTAN (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Uzbekistan is primarily a source, and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for people trafficked to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Israel, Turkey, Egypt, South Korea, Bahrain, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Western Europe, and other former Soviet states. Typically women are trafficked to those countries for the purpose of sexual exploitation; men end up trafficked in Kazakhstan and Russia for labor exploitation in construction, agriculture, and the service sector. IOM reported an increase of trafficked victims from the Fergana Valley in 2004. Internal trafficking occurred from rural to urban areas primarily for labor exploitation.

The Government of Uzbekistan 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 been placed on Tier 2 Watch List based on commitments by the country to take additional steps over the next year, including the adoption of comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, criminal code amendments to raise anti-trafficking penalties, support to the country's first trafficking shelter, and approval of a national action plan. During 2004, the government created an anti-trafficking unit, improved Uzbek consulate efforts to free trafficked victims abroad, and increased trafficking convictions.

Prosecution

While the Government of Uzbekistan increased trafficking convictions to 251 in 2004 (up from 80 in 2003), a majority of convicted traffickers were amnestied. The government extended a general amnesty to anyone convicted of crimes with prison terms of less than ten years. Uzbekistan's law on trafficking prescribes prison sentences of five to eight years, which meant that most traffickers qualified for general amnesty during 2004 and thus served little to no jail time, unless they were convicted for additional offenses or were repeat offenders. The government amnestied in December 2004 two women convicted earlier in the Fall for their role in trafficking 14 women to Georgia for onward movement to the U.A.E. Proposed legislation that would comprehensively address trafficking and raise penalties for cross-border trafficking to ten to 15 years' imprisonment remained pending during the reporting period. In 2004, the Uzbek Government established contacts with anti-trafficking counterparts in the U.A.E., the top destination for Uzbek women trafficked for sexual exploitation. Still, the government acknowledged that it needed more cooperative relationships with destination countries for effective trafficking prosecutions. Ministry of Internal Affairs participants in a May 2004 anti-trafficking training course used their skills to train an additional 1,500 officers throughout Uzbekistan. Allegations of local officials falsifying or selling travel documents continued, although the government reported no actions taken against this corruption in 2004.

Protection

The Uzbek Government provided no direct support to trafficking victims, due in part to limited resources. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assisted some with obtaining the necessary identification documents to return to Uzbekistan. Following an Uzbek delegation's visit in December 2004 to the U.A.E. — where it interviewed 119 women in five prisons — and an ensuing consular officers' training in January 2005, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs changed the identification policy for trafficking victims, compressing the process into weeks as opposed to months. Airport police continued to refer identified trafficking victims to an NGO in Tashkent. The state-run Uzbekistan Airways issued tickets at a 50 percent discount to destitute citizens abroad, including trafficking victims. Authorities did not jail or prosecute trafficking victims in 2004. The government encouraged victims to assist with investigations, but no formal programs existed to protect victims of any crime who served as witnesses in criminal prosecutions.

Prevention

The government continued to support anti-trafficking educational programming via state-controlled mass media and informational posters in public and government spaces. It paid to translate trafficking awareness posters into the Karakalpak language for those in western Uzbekistan. The Uzbek Government allowed free advertising on local television stations of seven regional anti-trafficking hotlines, run by IOM's partner organizations. Members of the anti-trafficking unit traveled to each region of Uzbekistan during the summer of 2004 to assess regional anti-trafficking measures; consequently, regional units were formed to better coordinate local anti-trafficking measures. At the end of 2004, Uzbekistan reconstituted its anti-trafficking working group in which three government agencies participated.

VENEZUELA (TIER 3)

Venezuela is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women and children from countries in the region such as Colombia, Guyana, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic are trafficked to and through Venezuela and subjected to commercial sexual exploitation. Venezuelans are trafficked internally — typically moving from rural to urban areas — and to Western Europe, particularly Spain, and countries such as Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago, for commercial sexual exploitation. Traffickers lure victims with promises of lucrative jobs or educational opportunities and take advantage of lax border controls or move victims using illegally obtained Venezuelan or false travel documents. Venezuelan children in border areas risk trafficking to mining camps in Guyana for sexual exploitation, or forced soldiering or sexual exploitation by Colombian armed insurgent groups. Venezuela is a transit country for illegal migrants, including Chinese nationals; some are believed to be trafficking victims.

The Government of Venezuela does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government has devoted insufficient attention and resources to combating human trafficking. It should strengthen law enforcement efforts, educate the public, and develop protection mechanisms for trafficking victims.

Prosecution

Efforts to address trafficking-related crime remained inadequate during the past year. The Naturalization and Immigration Law passed in 2004 contained provisions that could be used to prosecute transnational trafficking crimes. Other laws, such as the Child Protection Act and various articles of the penal code, could also be used to prosecute traffickers. However, there were no reported arrests related to commercial sexual exploitation of minors and no trafficking cases were prosecuted during the reporting period. The Criminal Investigative Police (CICPC) worked with Interpol on three cases of trafficking of women and girls for commercial sexual exploitation to Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Spain. Police and intelligence forces arrested two suspected alien smugglers in a case with possible trafficking implications. Although there was no evidence that the government participated in or condoned human trafficking, corruption among immigration, identification, and border patrol officials is widespread and could facilitate trafficking.

Protection

The government provided no specialized assistance for trafficking victims during the reporting period and funded no NGO programs geared toward victims of trafficking. Authorities assisted in the repatriation of four Venezuelan victims. In theory, victims could seek civil action against their traffickers, but laws made no provision for victim restitution.

Prevention

The government launched no anti-trafficking public awareness campaign and prevention efforts were inadequate throughout the year. There were no attempts to study the extent of trafficking within the country. In the absence of government action to educate the public about the dangers of trafficking, most of Venezuelan society remained uninformed about the issue. Some government officials were aware of trafficking as an international problem and acknowledged the problem in Venezuela. The government activated an interdepartmental anti-trafficking working group, led by the Ministry of Interior and Justice, that designed a National Plan of Action and tasked each agency in the working group with creating its own anti-trafficking training and programs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted IOM and the Organization of American States for anti-trafficking workshops in January 2005 to raise public officials' and NGOs' awareness of the problem. Consulates were tasked to report on Venezuelan trafficking victims but had received no previous training regarding the issue.

VIETNAM (TIER 2)

Vietnam is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Vietnamese women and girls are trafficked to Cambodia, the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Czech Republic for commercial sexual exploitation. A large percentage of the Vietnamese women who are trafficked to Taiwan are lured by fraudulent offers of employment or marriage to Taiwanese men. Labor export companies recruit and send workers abroad. Although there were no confirmed reports during the rating period, some of these laborers were victims of abuses that constitute "involuntary servitude," a severe form of trafficking. To a lesser extent, Vietnam is a destination country for Cambodian children who are trafficked for forced work as beggars. There is also internal trafficking from rural to urban areas.

The Government of Vietnam does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In July 2004, the government issued a national action plan to combat trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, as well as a five-year national program for addressing all aspects of Vietnam's anti-trafficking efforts including prevention, prosecution, and protection. In addition to implementing strategies to address trafficking for sexual exploitation, the government took steps to provide greater protection for Vietnamese workers sent abroad by labor export companies. It continued to engage neighboring governments to combat trafficking and cooperated on the repatriation of victims and other cross-border issues.

Prosecution

In 2004, the government continued its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, actively investigating trafficking cases, and prosecuting and convicting traffickers. Vietnam has a statute that prohibits commercial sexual exploitation and the trafficking of women and children with penalties ranging up to 20 years' imprisonment. Trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation is covered under Vietnam's Penal Code. Over the past year, the government's crime statistics office reported 142 prosecutions and 110 convictions specifically related to trafficking in women and children. While some local government officials reportedly profited from trafficking, there were no reported prosecutions of officials for complicity in trafficking. The government does not effectively control its long and porous borders.

Protection

The Vietnamese Government improved its efforts to provide protection to victims during the reporting period by strengthening protections for Vietnamese workers sent abroad by labor export companies. It stationed labor attaches in the nine top labor export receiving countries to look after the welfare of workers and to assist in resolving workplace disputes. The government also increased its oversight of labor export companies, and imposed penalties and sanctions against companies that violated labor laws or regulations. Vietnam's revised labor code has provisions that allow workers to negotiate settlements from labor export companies in cases of fraud or abuse, although precise statistics on these actions were not provided. Trafficking victims in Vietnam are usually not detained, arrested or otherwise punished. However, the government routinely sends women who engage in prostitution within the country to "rehabilitation" detention centers that provide medical treatment, vocational training, and counseling, and seek to deter the women's return to prostitution. The government's rehabilitation efforts lack adequate financial resources and usually take place at the provincial and local levels.

Prevention

While the Vietnamese Government did not implement specific anti-trafficking awareness campaigns in 2004, it raised the issue of trafficking in combination with other information and education programs. In 2004, it cooperated with the Chinese Government and UNICEF on a mass communications effort to educate the public and local government leaders on trafficking. The yearlong campaign included workshops on local laws regarding the commercial sexual exploitation of women and children and training on how to counsel trafficking victims.

YEMEN (TIER 2)

Yemen is a country of origin for internationally trafficked children, and reportedly a destination for foreign women trafficked into Yemen for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Yemeni children, primarily boys, are trafficked to Saudi Arabia for exploitation as beggars, street vendors, and unskilled laborers. Some Iraqi women are reportedly trafficked into Yemen for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There were some reports of Yemeni women and underage girls being trafficked internally from rural areas to cities for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

The Government of the Republic of Yemen does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Trafficking in persons is a new issue in Yemen, and the government has few resources to devote to combating trafficking. Nevertheless, in 2004 it made positive progress, including working with UNICEF to produce a report that assesses child trafficking and utilizing a new entry visa requirement for Iraqis traveling into Yemen. Yemen should build on these positive achievements by taking similar steps against trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation and appointing a national coordinator to oversee its overall anti-trafficking efforts, including the development of a national plan of action against trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Yemen made some efforts to prosecute trafficking cases during the reporting period. Yemen does not have an anti-trafficking law; however, it has provisions in its criminal code to prosecute and punish traffickers. It investigated 12 trafficking cases, prosecuted two alleged traffickers, and produced one trafficking-related conviction over the last year. Yemeni security forces interdicted and curtailed several child trafficking attempts and conducted sweeps in Sanaa and Aden. As a result of the sweeps, the government deported several foreign women in prostitution, though they may have been trafficking victims. Yemen should craft and implement a screening procedure to identify trafficking victims.

Protection

The Government of Yemen provided limited assistance to trafficking victims over the reporting period. It trained some police officers on techniques to recognize and properly handle trafficking cases. It res-cued and returned child victims to their families and repatriated women suspected of involvement in prostitution, some of whom may have been trafficking victims. It worked closely with UNICEF to establish a reception center for trafficked children in the Harath region, and operated four additional centers in the north. There were reports that some child victims were arrested and possibly abused while in the government's custody. If true, authorities should take steps to investigate the incidents, prosecute offenders, and prevent future abuses. The government should build on existing programs that attempt to prevent the re-trafficking of repatriated or rescued child victims.

Prevention

During the reporting period, the Government of Yemen took positive steps to prevent trafficking, including conducting, together with UNICEF, a study on the problem of child trafficking; hosting a high-profile two-day conference to highlight the study's findings; instituting an entry visa requirement for Iraqis to prevent the trafficking of Iraqi women into Yemen; increasing the monitoring of its border with Saudi Arabia and agreeing with Saudi Arabia to establish a bilateral committee to combat child trafficking; sponsoring limited anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns; and conducting anti-trafficking training for its security officials.

ZAMBIA (TIER 2)

Zambia is a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Driven by homelessness and poverty, indigenous children in prostitution are found in most cities and constitute the country's most significant trafficking problem. Anecdotal reports suggest that Zambian women are trafficked to South Africa for sexual exploitation. It is likely that Zambia is also a transit point for regional trafficking of women to South Africa.

The Government of Zambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the past year, Zambia has demonstrated significant progress in its efforts to combat trafficking in persons. While Zambia's existing laws are adequate to criminalize the full scope of trafficking in persons offenses, prevention and detection of trafficking by law enforcement officials would likely improve if trafficking were specifically defined as a crime. To further strengthen its anti-trafficking efforts, the government's inter-ministerial human trafficking committee should take concrete steps to prevent trafficking, including the institution of a broad public awareness campaign.

Prosecution

Zambia has made substantial progress in furthering its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. While there is no specific anti-trafficking law, the country's laws criminalize the full scope of trafficking in persons, including trafficking for sexual exploitation and fraudulent labor recruitment. In November 2004, the Zambian Parliament passed comprehensive child protection legislation that prohibits all forms of slavery, as well as procuring or offering a child for illicit activities, including prostitution. The government actively investigated reports of trafficking in persons and police and the courts successfully intervened in several cases. In July 2004, police arrested a man who offered to sell two children to a local businessman. In October, police intercepted 14 Congolese girls between the ages of five and 17 bound for South Africa, where they were promised jobs. The Congolese woman accompanying the children was arrested for trafficking the girls. The government continued its ongoing prosecution of two Congolese nationals accused of trafficking two girls to Ireland in 2003 and commenced prosecution in two local child abduction cases that involved child prostitution. The Victim Support Unit of the Zambian Police now monitors reports of trafficking and is able to report on its anti-trafficking efforts. The government is currently working with IOM to implement a program to train police and immigration officers in border areas to recognize and investigate trafficking in persons.

Protection

The government took significant steps to implement a strategy for providing shelter and protection to vulnerable children, including trafficking of children into prostitution. Through its social welfare agencies, the government provided counseling, shelter, and protection to approximately 20 victims of trafficking for prostitution or referred victims to NGO service providers. It provided premises for NGOs assisting such victims and civil servants actively assisted these organizations with their work. The government also funded numerous NGOs and faith-based organizations across the country to provide temporary accommodation for at-risk children. Based on the results of needs assessments, the youth are reintegrated with their families, provided long-term shelter and education by civil society organizations, or relocated to a Zambia National Service camp for skills training.

Prevention

Zambia lacks a public information and awareness program to prevent trafficking in persons. In September 2004, the government announced the formation of an inter-ministerial human trafficking committee designed to focus attention, strategies, and resources to combat the practice. The committee is comprised of representatives from the Drug Enforcement Commission, the Zambia Police Service, and the Ministries of Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and Sports, Youth, and Child Development. A coordinator of all anti-trafficking in persons activities has been designated. During the year, the government began drafting a national action plan to address trafficking in persons.

ZIMBABWE (TIER 2 - WATCH LIST)

Zimbabwe is a source and transit country for small numbers of women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Women and children were reportedly sexually exploited in towns on the Zimbabwe border with South Africa. There were also reports of Zimbabweans being lured by false job promises to other countries, particularly the United Kingdom, where, upon arrival, they were debt-bonded, had their passports confiscated and movement restricted, and were exploited in sweatshops or brothels. There was also evidence of trafficking of Zimbabwean children into exploitative labor conditions, including children forced to work long hours in Zimbabwe and bordering countries as unpaid domestic or agricultural laborers without access to schooling. There were unconfirmed reports that trafficking victims from other African nations transited Zimbabwe on their way to South Africa.

The Government of Zimbabwe does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Zimbabwe is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year reflecting the need for additional progress in its efforts to eliminate trafficking. To further its efforts to combat trafficking, the government should continue taking steps to gather comprehensive trafficking data, including prosecution statistics, and establish additional mechanisms for providing victim services.

Prosecution

The government made modest progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. While there is no law specifically criminalizing trafficking in persons, existing codes criminalize transporting people across borders for sex, procuring a person for prostitution, allowing children to frequent brothels, abduction, and forgery of travel documents. The constitution prohibits slavery, servitude, and forced labor. During the year, the Attorney General's office began developing an anti-trafficking education and training program for prosecutors and judges to equip them to better utilize existing law to address trafficking-related issues in prosecutions. Statistics were unavailable on the prosecution of trafficking-related cases; however, the government actively investigated false employment scams that led to trafficking, a crime syndicate producing fake passports, and multiple cases of Asian girls transported to Zimbabwe and exploited for pornography. In November 2004, the government co-hosted a regional working meeting on trafficking in persons in Harare that focused on regional cooperation between law enforcement and NGOs to conduct investigations and identify and provide care for victims. The government is also collaborating with international organizations and the governments of neighboring countries to develop a regional plan of action that will focus on assessing the scope of the problem and formulating anti-trafficking legislation.

Protection

The government made modest progress in protecting trafficking victims during the reporting period. The Ministry of Public Service, Social Welfare, and Labor began construction of a transit center at the border town of Beitbridge to assist deportees from South Africa in returning to their homes, including temporary shelter and counseling for those who are victims of sexual exploitation. Victims of sexual abuse and exploitation have the option to have their cases heard in the Victim Friendly Courts, which were created in 1997 to accommodate children and victims of sexual offenses.

Prevention

The government demonstrated a commitment to prevent trafficking during the last year, and officials publicly expressed the government's determination to work on the issue. The state-run media prominently featured articles about trafficking in persons, describing employment scams and other types of trafficking. A national police point of contact was established to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts. The government, though the Ministries of Education, Home Affairs, and Public Service, Labor, and Social Welfare, worked with a children's home to provide schooling and vocational training to orphans at risk of child labor and trafficking in persons. In 2004, the government opened new birth registration centers around the country to make it easier for parents to obtain birth certificates for their children, who are less vulnerable to exploitation because they can then access social services more easily.



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