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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

VI. Country Narratives -- Countries A through G


Trafficking in Persons Report
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
June 5, 2006
Report
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Challenged by corruption, limited resources, and, in some places, tolerance for the commercial sex trade, Southeast Asia is one of the world's top destinations for pedophiles seeking sex with children.

AFGHANISTAN (TIER 2)

Afghanistan is a source country for women and children trafficked internally and to Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked internally for forced labor as beggars or into debt bondage in the brick kiln and carpet-making industries. Afghan women and girls are kidnapped, lured by fraudulent marriage or job proposals, or sold into marriage or commercial sexual exploitation within the country and in Iran, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. Women are also exchanged to settle debts or resolve conflicts. The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission reported 150 cases of child trafficking this year, though many suspect the actual level of trafficking is higher.

The Government of Afghanistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Although the government has had an interagency working group on trafficking for two years, little discernable action has resulted due in large part to limited resources and lack of capacity. Afghanistan did not enact a trafficking law in 2005, though it continued to rely on kidnapping and other criminal laws to prosecute trafficking offenses. Afghanistan also has not taken sufficient action to address the reportedly high degree of corruption among police and border guards. Police officers, prosecutors, and judges often lack training and sensitivity to trafficking issues. As a result, the government's prosecution level is low and many cases are never heard. Afghanistan should enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, increase prosecutions of traffickers including corrupt government officers, and provide technical and sensitivity training for government officials.

Prosecution
Over the year, Afghanistan made some progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Afghanistan does not have a specific anti-trafficking law, and relies primarily on kidnapping statutes to charge trafficking offenses. Despite reports last year that the Ministry of Justice was in the process of drafting an anti-trafficking law, none has been released or enacted. This year, Afghanistan reported 40-70 arrests of child traffickers. Four prosecutions resulted in 15 convictions, with six traffickers sentenced to jail terms ranging from eight months to 20 years and seven traffickers sentenced to death. However, the government did not report significant measures taken to investigate prosecute or otherwise curb government corruption, particularly among border guards who are widely believed to facilitate trafficking. Afghanistan should enact an anti-trafficking law, increase law enforcement action against corrupt government officials, and expand training programs for police and members of the judiciary investigating and prosecuting these cases.

Protection
The Government of Afghanistan, with limited resources, made modest improvements in its protection efforts, but deficiencies remain. The government cooperated with Saudi Arabia to repatriate children trafficked for forced begging. While the Government of Afghanistan still lacks a shelter providing medical, psychological, and legal aid to trafficking victims, there are shelters operated by NGOs. Adult victims are sometimes jailed. The government also does not encourage victims to participate in trials of their traffickers. Afghanistan should offer basic shelter services and protection for victims, and prevent the arrest and incarceration of suspected trafficking victims. The government should also ensure that victims have the opportunity to participate in the trials of their traffickers if they choose.

Prevention
During the year, Afghanistan took minimal action to prevent trafficking in persons. The government's national anti-trafficking task force met, but was not active. The government disseminated information about missing children through the media and mosques and conducted limited police training to raise awareness of trafficking. Afghanistan failed to consistently and adequately screen emigrants and immigrants at the border in order to identify trafficking victims or to undertake a broad public awareness campaign on trafficking.

ALBANIA (TIER 2)

Albania is primarily a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Victims are trafficked to Greece and Italy, with many of these victims trafficked onward to the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands. Internal trafficking within Albania and re-trafficking of Albanian victims to other countries remained a problem in 2005. Reports of Roma and Egyptian children trafficked for forced labor or begging continued.

The Government of Albania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to produce successful prosecutions and convictions of traffickers, appointed a new fulltime national anti-trafficking coordinator with staff, began to implement its witness protection law for trafficking victims, and signed a bilateral anti-child-trafficking agreement with Greece. While the government demonstrated strong law enforcement efforts, overall implementation of the government's protection and prevention programs remained weak. The government should fully implement its witness protection program, encourage a greater number of victims to testify against their traffickers and make efforts to guarantee victims' safety. Comprehensive reintegration and rehabilitation services are critical to prevent the re-trafficking of Albanian citizens. The government as a whole should assume a greater leadership role in the country's anti-trafficking efforts, actively implement its National Action Plan, and vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking-related corruption at all levels of law enforcement.

Prosecution
In 2005, the Government of Albania actively continued to investigate and prosecute trafficking; it investigated 49 cases, prosecuted 51 traffickers, and convicted 54 traffickers. Albanian courts sentenced more than half of the convicted traffickers to five to 10 years, with some sentences over 10 years -- significant penalties for the region. In February 2005, the government established a specialized asset forfeiture unit and thus far has obtained final judgments of forfeiture for two trafficking cases, with additional cases pending. The government failed to conduct its own specialized anti-trafficking training for police, prosecutors, judges, and other relevant law enforcement officials in 2005, but continued to cooperate closely with NGOs and international organizations on border control and various trainings. Reports of trafficking-related corruption in Albania involving government and police officials continued. The government increased its investigations of police officers for involvement in illegal border crossings, but did not find any government officials complicit in trafficking.

Protection
The government sustained its modest efforts to protect and reintegrate trafficking victims during 2005. NGOs and international organizations administered and funded the majority of services for victims; however, the government provided some facilities and personnel. In 2006, the government began using in one case a witness protection program for trafficking victims. While the government approved a national victim referral mechanism in 2005, it did not employ it during the reporting period. In 2005, Albanian police continued to informally refer victims to shelters and re-integration assistance. Police identified and referred 28 victims within the country and referred 214 victims, who were either repatriated or deported back to Albania to the Vatra Center, a leading NGO in Albania providing shelter and services to victims. The Vatra Center reported assisting 238 victims in 2005, more than half of which had been trafficked at least on one other occasion. In addition, another reintegration shelter, Different and Equal, reported assisting 23 women and girls in 2005. The government-run National Victim Referral Center temporarily housed 32 victims in 2005; many were transferred to other shelters for reintegration. In February 2006, the government signed a bilateral agreement with Greece to address child trafficking, which should assist with the return of child trafficking victims to Albania from Greece.

Prevention
The government made some progress in anti-trafficking prevention during the reporting period. In
2005, the government appointed a new, full-time, national coordinator with a dedicated staff of five. It publicly endorsed the previous government's National Action Plan for 2005-2007, though it failed to implement most of the Plan's objectives, including implementing a referral mechanism, improving witness protection, vocational training and other key reintegration efforts, specialized law enforcement training, and a targeted awareness campaign. The government took steps to increase the level of coordination with NGOs and international organizations, but relied primarily on these groups for anti-trafficking prevention and outreach to vulnerable populations and potential victims. The Ministry of Education continued to implement with IOM a project targeting 36 schools in at-risk regions, and in 2005 expanded the project to another 10 schools.

ALGERIA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Algeria is a transit and destination country for men, women, and children from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Although many victims willingly migrate to Algeria en route to European countries such as Austria, Belgium, and Italy with the help of smugglers, they are often abandoned once they enter Algeria or are forced into prostitution, labor, and begging to pay off their smuggling debt. Armed militants also reportedly traffic Algerian women for sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude, and Algerian children may be trafficked for forced labor as domestic servants or street vendors.

The Government of Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Algeria is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its lack of evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking in persons over the last year. Algeria took no steps to assess the scope of trafficking in the country and reported no investigations or prosecutions for trafficking offenses this year. The government's plan to create an office to address human trafficking and appoint a national anti-trafficking coordinator, announced in 2004, has not been implemented. In addition, the government failed to institute a systematic screening procedure to differentiate trafficking victims from the large population of illegal migrants it arrests and deports every year. Algeria should fulfill its plans to create an anti-trafficking policy structure with the development and implementation of a national action plan against trafficking. It should also significantly increase investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenses, and screen and protect trafficking victims.

Prosecution
Over the year, Algeria made little discernable progress in its law enforcement efforts against traffickers. Algeria does not have a law specifically criminalizing trafficking in persons, but other sections of the criminal code can be used to prosecute trafficking offenses. Nonetheless, the government reported no investigations or prosecutions of traffickers this year. Algeria is also witnessing increasing activity by organized criminal networks that smuggle and traffic men, women, and children from parts of West Africa and Asia to Europe for sexual exploitation and forced labor, yet did not undertake any coordinated effort to investigate this trend and interdict trafficking rings. The government should significantly increase investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes, particularly those orchestrated by organized criminal syndicates.

Protection
Algeria did not take significant measures to improve its protection of trafficking victims since last year. Victims are generally treated as illegal immigrants and are not provided with protective services. The government utilizes no systematic procedure to screen trafficking victims to distinguish them from illegal migrants; as such, police officers regularly arrest those illegally in Algeria, including potential trafficking victims, holding them for several days in jail before deporting them. Algeria also does not refer trafficking victims to local NGOs or support NGOs who may offer protective services to victims. The government did, however, provide specialized training for government officials in recognizing trafficking and dealing with victims of trafficking. The government should improve its protection efforts by screening trafficking victims and providing them with appropriate medical, psychological, and legal care.

Prevention
During the year, Algeria made uneven progress in preventing trafficking in persons. In September 2005, members of the Algerian coast guard attended training on smuggling and trafficking prevention, which will allow them to improve their efforts to monitor Algeria's long and porous borders and maritime ports. The government, however, did not take measures to raise public awareness of the dangers of trafficking and should consider establishing a broad public information campaign to do so. In March 2006, Algeria declined to participate in a Moroccan-sponsored conference on illegal migration that would bring Maghreb and European states together in July 2006 to discuss the issue. Algeria organized an African Union experts meeting on migration in April 2006, but did not invite Morocco to participate in or observe the conference. Algeria and Morocco share a common border along established trafficking and migration routes in the Sahara and would benefit from dialogue on the issue.

ANGOLA (TIER 2)

Angola is a source country for small numbers of women and children trafficked, primarily internally, for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Angolan children are trafficked internally for commercial agriculture, porting, street vending, and forced prostitution; some children are trafficked to Namibia and South Africa for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation.

The Government of Angola does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Future government actions should focus on: proactively investigating suspected human trafficking cases; utilizing existing legal statutes to prosecute cases of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation; and providing protective services for children rescued from prostitution and forced labor.

Prosecution
Angola's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts were modest during the reporting period. There are no specific laws that prohibit trafficking in persons, but elements of Angola's constitution and statutory laws, including those criminalizing forced or bonded labor, could be used to prosecute trafficking cases. No human trafficking cases were investigated or prosecuted during the year. National Police became more professional in the past year, but are still unable to properly document and investigate crimes. During the period, the National Institute for Children (INAC) provided several hundred police officers with training on the nature of human trafficking and how to respond to children found on the street. In 2005, 110 officials at border posts in 10 provinces received UNICEF training that addressed international trafficking laws and the collection of immigration and emigration data through new UNICEF-provided computer hardware and software. During the year, over 800 child travelers were screened at the international airport as part of the implementation of a new law requiring documentation for the international travel of unaccompanied minors; no cases of children traveling illegally outside of the country were found.

Protection
The government sustained the provision of significant but unevenly distributed protections for victims of trafficking during the reporting period. Its Institute for Social and Professional Reintegration of Ex-Combatants continued to collaborate with UNICEF and the World Bank to implement protection programs targeting war-affected children, including child soldiers. During the year, former child soldiers, as well as populations that were not initially registered as child soldiers, were provided with primary education, vocational skills training, psychological services, and assistance with civil registration. Since 2003, these programs have been made available to 4,700 adolescents. The Ministry of Assistance and Social Reintegration continued programs that in 2005 reunified 526 separated children with their families. The government provides basic assistance, including shelter in orphanages or with foster families, for trafficking victims on an as-needed basis; it provided no examples of this assistance being utilized during the reporting period.

Prevention
The government made progress in preventing new incidents of trafficking over the last year. The National Commission to Combat Child Labor and Trafficking in Minors met monthly and began, without outside assistance, research on the extent of trafficking in persons and the government's response to the phenomenon in four border provinces. INAC's educational campaign on child commercial sexual exploitation and child abuse increased public awareness through newspaper ads, radio public service announcements, and speeches and interviews by government officials; this campaign reached approximately 60 percent of the Angolan population. To strengthen local support for vulnerable children during the reporting period, the government established between 15 and 20 community-level "child networks" to promote dialogue between families, religious sects, local police, tribal authorities, provincial government officials, and prominent community members. These networks raised awareness of child protection issues and reduced the rate of child abandonment. The draft national plan of action to combat child trafficking remained under review. The Ministry of Education increased the number of students enrolled in all grade levels by hiring and training new teachers; 10,000 war-affected children residing in areas of heavy demobilization also benefited from the government's 2005 construction of new schools.

ARGENTINA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Argentina is primarily a destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Most victims are trafficked internally, from rural to urban areas, for exploitation in prostitution. Argentine women and girls are trafficked to neighboring countries for sexual exploitation. Foreign women and children are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, primarily from Paraguay, but also from Bolivia, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Chile; and Bolivians are trafficked for forced labor.

The Government of Argentina does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Argentina is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking over the previous year, particularly in the key area of prosecutions. Government efforts to improve interagency anti-trafficking coordination did not achieve significant progress in moving cases against traffickers through the judicial system. However, the government made progress in other areas, by submitting anti-trafficking legislation to Congress in August 2005 and sensitizing provincial and municipal government officials to the trafficking problem. Looking to the coming year, the government should work with Congress to achieve passage of anti-trafficking legislation; increase efforts to prosecute traffickers; expand training for court and law enforcement officials; and work with NGOs to heighten public awareness of the problem.

Prosecution
The government made limited progress in its actions against traffickers during the reporting period. Argentina lacks anti-trafficking statutes; law enforcement used other laws that prescribe penalties of up to 20 years in prison against traffickers. In the absence of anti-trafficking laws, officials were unable to provide accurate information regarding the extent of government actions against traffickers. The data available indicate that authorities launched at least 10 investigations relating to trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation, and arrested more than 33 suspects, including two provincial officials. However, there were no reports of investigations leading to convictions during the reporting period. A special prosecutor's unit for crimes against sexual integrity, child prostitution, and trafficking in persons was created in June 2005; the unit had begun receiving cases, but was not yet fully operational by March 2006.

Protection
The government made modest efforts to assist victims during the reporting period. The Attorney General's Office and provincial Victims Assistance Offices coordinated victim assistance policy through the Federal Council of Victims Assistance Offices and offered a variety of services
including medical and psychological treatment, legal counseling, referrals to other sources of assistance, and repatriation. The government did not operate victim shelter and health care facilities dedicated for trafficking, but Victims Assistance Offices worked with social services agencies to ensure that trafficking victims received safe shelter and appropriate care. The government encouraged victims to support prosecutions and worked with source countries directly or referred repatriation requests to IOM. IOM repatriated approximately 40 foreign victims from six countries in the region. Identified trafficking victims were not detained, jailed, or forcibly deported, but more officials require training regarding how to identify and work with victims.

Prevention
The government made notable advances in prevention activities during the reporting period. Comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation was submitted to Congress in August 2005. The legislation defines trafficking according to the standards of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking Persons, Especially Women and Children, and addresses protection and prevention programs. Government agencies trained provincial and municipal officials and launched a national awareness campaign on radio and television regarding violence against women and trafficking in persons.

ARMENIA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Armenia is a major source and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation largely to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Turkey. Traffickers, many of them women, route victims directly into Dubai or through Moscow. Traffickers also route victims to Turkey through Georgia via bus. Profits derived from the trafficking of Armenian victims reportedly increased dramatically from the previous year.

The Government of Armenia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Armenia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year because of its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts over the past year, particularly in the areas of enforcement, trafficking-related corruption, and victim protection. While the government increased implementation of its anti-trafficking law, it failed to impose significant penalties for convicted traffickers. The government failed to vigorously investigate and prosecute ongoing and widespread allegations of public officials' complicity in trafficking. Victim protection efforts remained in early, formative stages. Victim-blaming and lack of sensitivity for victims remain a problem among Armenian officials, particularly in the judiciary.

Prosecution
In 2005, the Government of Armenia increased the use of the 2003 anti-trafficking statute under Article 132, which prohibits trafficking in persons for forced labor and sexual exploitation. However, many courts overturned convictions handed down under Article 132, and reduced sentences by converting the charges into lesser pimping charges. The government continued to apply other criminal codes to about half of its trafficking cases in 2005. During the reporting period, the government investigated 30 trafficking cases, resulting in 14 prosecutions and 17 convictions. While Article 132 provides for longer sentences, penalties actually imposed continue to be insufficient and not commensurate with those for other equally grave crimes in Armenia. During the reporting period, only a few convictions resulted in actual imprisonment; the remaining offenders received suspended sentences, corrective labor and fines. Lack of public confidence and allegations of official complicity continued to hurt the credibility of the government's anti-trafficking efforts. The government established a special task force in February 2006 to investigate widespread allegations against an official within the Prosecutor General's anti-trafficking unit. However, after a cursory investigation, this task force found no evidence of any wrongdoing. The government failed to provide direct training to educate prosecutors and judges on its new trafficking law, although it distributed to police practical guidelines on methods to investigate trafficking cases.

Protection
The Armenian Government continued to rely on international organizations and NGOs to provide protection and assistance to trafficking victims; these non-governmental groups cited good cooperation with government officials. Victim assistance programs reportedly sheltered 16 victims in 2005, the majority referred by Armenian officials. Notably, the police took the initiative to invite NGOs to screen and interview four suspected trafficking victims. A formalized screening and referral mechanism has yet to be developed or implemented among law enforcement officials. Some victims continue to receive poor treatment during court cases, reducing the likelihood of future victims willing to come forward to testify against their traffickers.

Prevention
In 2005, official recognition and acknowledgment of trafficking in Armenia improved and the
government began to implement its January 2004 National Action Plan (NAP). Government officials made public appeals to help raise awareness about trafficking. The government joined UNDP in raising awareness about trafficking. The Department for Migration and Refugees (DMR) included trafficking information in its outreach activities through the distribution of brochures and visits to rural regions in Armenia. The DMR also developed a draft law on regulating labor migration, to include licensing for employment agencies that recruit people for jobs abroad. The government continued to provide housing to vulnerable children released from Armenian orphanages.

AUSTRALIA (TIER 1)

Australia is a destination country for women from Southeast Asia, South Korea, and the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. The majority of trafficking victims are women who travel to Australia voluntarily to work in both legal and illegal brothels but are deceived or coerced into debt bondage or sexual servitude. The Australian Crime Commission reports that deceptive practices in contract terms and conditions, which often mask debt bondage, appear to be increasing among women in prostitution, while deceptive recruiting practices appear to be decreasing. There were also some reports of internal trafficking in Australia.

The Government of the Australia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Over the reporting period, Australia passed important criminal code reforms that strengthened its domestic trafficking laws, namely defining the crime of debt bondage. Additionally, the government continues to be a regional leader in the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons, and Related Transnational Organized Crime. The government provides adequate resources to anti-trafficking efforts and works regionally to train officials and law enforcement on prevention and detection of trafficking-related crimes. Despite important gains, over the past three years there have been no convictions or punishment of traffickers, a key deterrent to trafficking crimes.

Prosecution
The Government of Australia continued to pursue trafficking prosecutions during the year. Government law enforcement agencies consolidated their trafficking detection and prosecution efforts during the year, despite setbacks in the courts. Five prosecutions are underway in the country, one of which commenced during the reporting period. Two other cases were dismissed because the juries could not reach verdicts. The government plans to retry one case; the main government witness in the other case declined to make herself available for a re-trial. Nonetheless, the Australian Federal Police's Transnational Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking (TSET) team reported 14 trafficking investigations during the last year. Australian authorities investigated 11 child sex tourism cases: three persons were prosecuted and convicted and five are still under investigation. Of the three convicted pedophiles, two received short custodial sentences -- one of three years -- and one was released on conditional court order.

Protection
The Government of Australia provides a comprehensive package of care for trafficking victims, their immediate family members or witnesses who are able and willing to aid in a criminal investigation, though application of this program has been criticized by anti-trafficking NGOs in the country. There are three types of visas available to trafficking victims: Bridging F Visas; Criminal Justice Stay Visas; and Witness Protection Visas (temporary) and (permanent). Bridging F Visas permit a person otherwise ineligible to remain in Australia for up to 30 days as long as the person is deemed by law enforcement authorities as important to a criminal investigation. Criminal Justice Stay Visas are granted to victims for longer terms of residency if police decide that their presence is required for an investigation or prosecution; however, in practice, this means they must make themselves available to serve as a witness in a prosecution. Witness Protection Visas (temporary) and (permanent) are granted if a victim provides a "significant contribution" to a criminal investigation or prosecution, and in order to qualify for a permanent Witness Protection Visa a person must have held a Witness Protection (temporary) Visa for at least two years. The Witness Protection (permanent) Visa is designed to protect victims from retribution they would face if they had to return to their country of origin. To date, no Witness Protection (Trafficking) Visas have been issued to victims of trafficking; however, four victims are currently under consideration. Individuals granted status under these special visa classes are entitled to a package of benefits, including shelter, counseling, and food and living allowances. The benefit program is administered by the government's trafficking care program (VOTCare). Thirteen new persons, including eight recipients of bridging F visas, received assistance during the reporting period and a total of 54 potential victims, including 42 holders of Bridging F Visas have received assistance since the VOTC are program began on January 1, 2004. No witness protection visas have thus far been granted in cases where victims have participated in a criminal prosecution. The result is that some victims may be asked to participate in a criminal prosecution of their trafficker without assurances of their immigration status at the end of the case.

Prevention
Australia supports strong prevention efforts in the country as well as in source countries. Australia is a prominent leader in many regional projects aimed to detect, prevent, and raise awareness on matters relating to trafficking in persons. The government provides regular, systematic, and specialized training for law enforcement officials on the identification of trafficking. It continues to work through its interdepartmental committee to implement its 2003 action plan to eradicate trafficking in persons, which received substantial funding for its implementation. Additionally, the government regularly provides funding to NGOs and service providers to care for and assist trafficking victims.

AUSTRIA (TIER 1)

Austria is a transit and destination country for women from Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, and some African countries trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation. The IOM estimates there are 7,000 foreign victims in Vienna alone. Victims are transited through Austria to Italy, France, and Spain. In 2005, 700 Roma girls from Bulgaria were identified in Vienna; these children were trafficked for purposes of forced petty theft and commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Austria fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Austria in January 2006 eliminated a "dancer" visa that had been used to traffic women into the country. The government's Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings worked to develop a National Action Plan. Although Austria has a commendable record on anti-trafficking efforts, the government should consider strengthening trafficking sentences and ensure that traffickers serve their prescribed time in prison. Police should also devote more resources to combat human trafficking. The government should consider expanding its prevention campaign to include demand reduction programs.

Prosecution
The Austrian Government increased its law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. In 2005, police filed 168 trafficking cases with the public prosecutor. Authorities conducted a total of 192 trafficking prosecutions utilizing several trafficking-related statutes. Conviction data for 2005 was unavailable at the time of this Report; however, Austrian courts in 2004 convicted 49 traffickers, an increase from 11 convictions in 2003. Fourteen traffickers received prison sentences ranging from one to 12 months, seven traffickers received sentences of one to three years, while only two traffickers received sentences of three to five years in prison. Twenty-four traffickers received partially suspended sentences and served an unspecified amount of time in prison. Two traffickers received a fine and served no prison time. The recent prosecution of serial trafficker and former Olympic figure skater Wolfgang Schwartz highlighted serious concerns about Austria's willingness to enforce prescribed prison sentences for convicted traffickers. Schwartz was convicted in 2002 of trafficking women for sexual exploitation, but was never forced to serve his one and one-half year prison sentence. Police launched investigations against clients of a trafficking ring that victimized underage girls; this case remains ongoing and police had made no arrests at the time of this Report. Cooperation between Austrian and Bulgarian law enforcement authorities improved on the matter of child trafficking during the reporting period; in March 2006, two Bulgarian liaison officers were posted to Vienna for one month. Their presence significantly reduced the number of Bulgarian child victims arrested for pick-pocketing, according to Austrian police.

Protection
Austria continued to provide a high level of assistance and protection to victims of trafficking over the last year. Victims qualify for temporary residence visas. The government fully funds a key anti-trafficking NGO in Austria; in 2005, the government approved a five-year funding commitment for the NGO that improved the NGO's stability and its ability to plan and execute the delivery of its services. Victims had full access to the Austrian social system.

Prevention
Austria focused much of its prevention effort in source countries. In September 2005, Austrian embassies and consulates in Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine began issuing special information about the dangers of forced prostitution to women who applied for visas and declared their intention to work as exotic dancers or in a similar profession considered at-risk for trafficking. These embassies and consulates also now require these women to apply for visas in person in order to exercise more control over such potential victim cases. The city of Vienna subsidized five projects in Moldova, Hungary, Albania, Macedonia, and Bulgaria.

AZERBAIJAN (TIER 2)

Azerbaijan is primarily a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most Azerbaijani victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation to Turkey and the Persian Gulf. Other destinations include Russia, Germany, and Greece. Reports of internal trafficking also continued, as did reports of men trafficked to Turkey and Russia for forced labor.

The Government of Azerbaijan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government undertook important steps to prevent and combat trafficking during the reporting period. In 2005, the government passed anti-trafficking legislation, appointed a new national anti-trafficking coordinator, fully vetted the staff of an anti-trafficking police unit, nearly completed renovations of a trafficking shelter, and created two new trafficking hotlines. The government should take immediate and tangible steps to improve victim rehabilitation by opening, adequately staffing, and fully funding its shelter for trafficking victims. It should also implement a nation-wide victim referral mechanism so that law enforcement personnel improve identification and protection of trafficking victims.

Prosecution
In 2005, the Government of Azerbaijan adopted its Law on the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons and adopted corresponding amendments to the criminal code. The law covers trafficking for both forced labor and sexual exploitation and carries a maximum penalty of 10 to 12 years. Due to the late passage of the criminal code amendments, however, the government continued to use older trafficking-related laws to prosecute traffickers in 2005. During the reporting period, the government opened 160 trafficking investigations and prosecuted 153 cases, resulting in 93 convictions. By the end of the reporting period, 37 traffickers were in prison. The government gave fines to 26 convicted traffickers and gave suspended sentences to 10 convicted traffickers in 2005. During the reporting period, the government completed a thorough vetting process, including conducting exams and background investigations, for its anti-trafficking police unit to ensure the unit meets international standards. The Ministry of Interior worked with customs and border officials to monitor and identify potential trafficking victims at airports, seaports, and land crossings and in January 2006 announced the disruption of a transnational trafficking ring. The Azerbaijani Government cooperated with U.S. counterparts to provide critical information for the prosecution of a U.S. trafficking case involving Azerbaijani victims in 2005. Reports of border guards and law enforcement officials receiving bribes to facilitate trafficking continued. The government established an anti-corruption commission last year to address pervasive corruption.

Protection
The Government of Azerbaijan continued to provide an inadequate level of assistance and support to victims in 2005. During the reporting period, the government failed to develop or implement a formal screening and referral mechanism to identify and assist victims. Although officials informally referred victims to state healthcare facilities, these facilities lack the capacity to provide the required specialized treatment or information for victims of trafficking. Some police referred victims to NGOs; however, a lack of adequate shelters in Azerbaijan forced NGO workers to use their own homes to shelter victims. The government made significant progress constructing and renovating a new trafficking shelter during the reporting period; the shelter is expected to open in spring 2006.

Prevention
The Government of Azerbaijan established two nation-wide trafficking hotlines in 2005. During the reporting period, the government conducted joint seminars with NGOs on trafficking throughout Azerbaijan, demonstrating increased interaction with civil society on trafficking. The State Committee on Women, Children and Families incorporated trafficking prevention into its education and trainings that targeted women from all sectors of society. The anti-trafficking coordinator led the government's inter-agency task force in coordinating communication among agencies.

BAHRAIN (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Bahrain is a destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude and sexual exploitation. Men and women from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines migrate willingly to Bahrain to work as laborers or domestic servants, but may be subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude when faced with exorbitant recruitment and transportation fees, withholding of their passports, restrictions on their movement, non-payment of wages, and physical or sexual abuse. Women from Thailand and Eastern Europe are also believed to be trafficked to Bahrain for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. For instance, the Thai Ministry of Foreign Affairs reports that it assisted 154 Thai women return to Thailand, many of whom are believed to be victims of trafficking.

The Government of Bahrain does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Bahrain is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because its significant efforts to address trafficking in persons, as assessed by this Report, are based largely on pledges of future efforts over the coming six months. Specifically, the government did not enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law extending labor protection to domestic workers; however, a draft comprehensive anti-trafficking and labor law has been submitted for cabinet approval and should be passed in the near future. Moreover, although the government still has not opened a shelter to house victims of trafficking, the government has taken steps forward, such as allocating a budget and approving a site; the Government of Bahrain should take active measures to ensure that this shelter is opened soon. The government inter-agency committee coordinated the efforts of various ministries to help foreign workers. Bahrain should take measures to enact and enforce the anti-trafficking legislation it has drafted, explore new and additional ways to protect domestic workers, and follow through on commitments to open a shelter for victims of trafficking in the imminent future. Bahrain should also ensure that trafficking victims are not detained and deported.

Prosecution
During the year, Bahrain made some progress in investigating and prosecuting traffickers. Bahrain does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, and did not enact draft legislation that criminalizes all forms of trafficking, although this legislation may be enacted soon. Other sections of the criminal code can be used to prosecute trafficking offenses, but Bahrain did not report any prosecutions or convictions this year. Despite reports that the Public Prosecutor's office received 92 cases this year, the government did not provide evidence that these cases were ever prosecuted. The Ministry of Labor employs mediation practices to resolve complaints before they rise to the level of legal action. The government has supported anti-trafficking training of law enforcement, judges, prosecutors, lawyers, NGO representatives, and employers through workshops. In addition, labor inspectors closed three recruitment agencies for labor violations and placed one on probation. The government should enact its draft legislation and increase investigations and criminal prosecutions of traffickers and recruitment agencies complicit in trafficking.

Protection
Bahrain took some significant measures to improve its protection of trafficking victims since last year. Although Bahrain allocated a budget and land for a shelter, the shelter has yet to be opened. The government does not otherwise provide shelter, medical or psychological care, or legal aid to victims of trafficking. Some illegal foreign workers are detained and deported without adequate protection. Hotlines are available to register complaints from foreign workers, but currently operate only during working hours. The government has instructed police not to return foreign workers to their employers if there is a risk of violence against the worker. Bahrain should significantly improve its protection efforts by extending the hours of hotline operations, and should refrain from deporting victims of trafficking.

Prevention
Bahrain made some progress in its efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. The government distributed multi-lingual brochures detailing workers' rights and assistance resources at airports, health centers, and foreign embassies. The Ministry of Labor also advertised two hotlines in the English-language newspaper. In 2005, the Ministry of Labor conducted seminars, in which both management and laborers participated, at 13 companies at which problems had been reported. The government should take measures to inform employers of the rights of foreign workers and the consequences for violation of these rights. To prevent the non-payment of wages, the Ministry of Labor is working with the banking sector to establish bank accounts for foreign workers so that employers can electronically transfer the workers' paychecks.

BANGLADESH (TIER 2)

Bangladesh is a source and transit country for men, women, and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation, involuntary domestic servitude, child camel jockeying, and debt bondage. Women and children from Bangladesh are trafficked to India and Pakistan for sexual exploitation. Bangladeshi women migrate legally to Gulf states--Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, the U.A.E., and Saudi Arabia--for work as domestic servants, but often find themselves in situations of involuntary servitude. In addition, Bangladeshi boys are trafficked to the Gulf to serve as camel jockeys and internally as bonded laborers in the fishing industry. Women and girls from rural areas are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. Burmese women trafficked to India for sexual exploitation transit Bangladesh.

The Government of Bangladesh does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Bangladesh continued to make progress on efforts initiated two years ago. The government repatriated 166 child camel jockeys from the U.A.E., rescued 160 children from bonded labor in the fishing industry, launched a broad public awareness campaign, and provided anti-trafficking training to border guards and diplomats. Despite these achievements, Bangladesh continues to face a significant internal and international trafficking problem. Bangladesh should assign greater priority and resources to its law enforcement response to trafficking. It should also institute programs to protect witnesses.

Prosecution
The Government of Bangladesh sustained efforts to punish traffickers in 2005, prosecuting 87 cases and convicting 36 traffickers -- 27 of whom received life sentences. Although the number of
prosecutions increased over 2004, the number of convictions declined. Police also arrested 150
alleged traffickers. Notably, Bangladesh began prosecutions against child camel jockey traffickers. Although a lack of resources hinders investigations, Bangladesh expanded anti-trafficking police units to every district to encourage victims to testify against their traffickers and to compile data on trafficking. In response to inadequately trained police and prosecutors, the government worked with legal experts to provide specialized training to prosecutors and with IOM to develop a trafficking course for the National Police Academy. Despite persistent reports of security personnel complicity in trafficking, the government has investigated only three such cases since June 2004, charging eight officials with trafficking complicity.

Protection
The Government of Bangladesh continued to provide an inadequate level of protection to victims of trafficking over the reporting period. With limited resources, the government supported crisis
centers in hospitals that are open to trafficking victims, but it also relied heavily on NGOs to provide legal, medical, and psychological care to victims. Of the 166 child camel jockeys repatriated from the U.A.E., 144 have returned to their families, 16 are preparing for reunification, and authorities are searching for relatives of the remaining six. Bangladesh should institute a system to protect witnesses from retribution and to encourage more to testify at trials against traffickers.

Prevention
Bangladesh made significant progress in its trafficking prevention efforts throughout the year through broad public awareness campaigns and specialized training. A campaign of public service announcements aired 3,152 television spots and 305 radio announcements warning the public of the dangers of trafficking. The Ministry of Social Welfare also provided anti-trafficking information to micro-credit borrowers, reaching over 400,000 at-risk women. Bangladesh noticeably improved its training efforts, providing entry-level diplomats and over 20,000 border guards with specialized anti-trafficking training. Over 2,100 imams received training on the risks, threats, and modalities of trafficking and 100 imams received training as trainers. As a result, 2,667 imams delivered specific anti-trafficking messages during Friday prayer services in 2005, reaching millions of people.

BELARUS (TIER 2)

Belarus is primarily a source country for women and children trafficked to Europe, North America, the Middle East, Japan, and South Korea for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Reports of men trafficked for forced labor to Russia increased significantly in 2005. IOM assisted an increased number of Belarusian men and women trafficked for sexual exploitation and forced labor over the last year. Traffickers continued to utilize the open border between Russia and Belarus to move victims both eastward and westward.

The Government of Belarus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government adopted amendments to its criminal code to enhance its anti-trafficking enforcement framework and improve victim protection in 2005. Lack of adequate funding for victim protection, however, hampered the government's ability to deliver consistent assistance to victims and undertake new anti-trafficking responsibilities. The government should provide additional training to officials to raise general awareness and improve victim identification throughout Belarus. The government's inter-agency task force on trafficking should meet more regularly to increase coordination and communication among relevant agencies and NGOs and to streamline its anti-trafficking response.

Prosecution
The Government of Belarus continued to strengthen its law enforcement response to trafficking in
2005. The government increased the maximum penalty for convicted traffickers to 15 years and
amended the law to protect trafficking victims from criminal prosecution, but only for victims who cooperated in an investigation and prosecution. During the reporting period, the government stepped up its enforcement efforts by investigating 359 suspected traffickers -- a 56 percent increase from the previous year -- and securing 173 convictions. Sentences ranged from fines to 15 years in prison. In March 2005, the government convicted four individuals for trafficking more than 30 Belarusian women to Europe and Canada via Ukraine; the prosecutor appealed the case to increase their sentences. Reports of law enforcement and border officials' complicity in trafficking continued in 2005. Although the government reportedly pursued a crack-down on all types of border-related corruption, particularly among customs officials, the government failed to report any efforts to investigate or prosecute acts of corruption.

Protection
In August 2005, the government issued an edict that defines the status of trafficking victims and provides protection and medical care for trafficking victims. However, the government did not provide any specific funding to implement these mandated reintegration and rehabilitation services. The Belarus Government relied primarily on NGOs to provide victim assistance, although the government continued to provide some in-kind logistical support. Law enforcement officials significantly increased the number of victim referrals to NGOs and IOM; a total of 563 victims received reintegration assistance from IOM in 2005.

Prevention
In 2005, the government continued to rely primarily on international organizations to disseminate anti-trafficking information. The Ministry of Interior did, however, help raise public awareness by referring appropriate callers to its general information hotline or to an anti-trafficking NGO hotline. In addition, the government periodically ran anti-trafficking awareness advertisements in state media. High-level public officials spoke out against trafficking and acknowledged the seriousness of the problem in Belarus, helping to raise official awareness at the local level. Through a Presidential decree, the government increased regulation of employment, modeling, and marriage agencies to prevent traffickers from fraudulently recruiting victims in 2005. In addition, the government now requires those seeking work or study abroad to obtain permission from the government. Some outside observers noted that the government's recent anti-trafficking actions might negatively affect Belarus citizens traveling for legitimate purposes.

BELGIUM (TIER 1)

Belgium is a destination and transit country for women and children from Central Europe, Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa, primarily trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Men are trafficked for exploitive labor in restaurants and sweatshops. Reportedly, trafficking for forced labor and forced begging increased from past low levels. There were reportedly eight domestic servants who were brought to Belgium by diplomatic personnel and then subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude. Six of these cases are in advanced stages of investigation.

The Government of Belgium fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Belgium made appreciable progress to combat trafficking in 2005 by strengthening its anti-trafficking laws to both meet international standards and prohibit child sex tourism, as well as by improving victim protection and raising awareness of the problem. The government continued to vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking and provided victims with specialized protection and assistance. A more tailored reintegration assistance program for victims would further strengthen the government's response to the trauma suffered by victims. The government should publish full statistical evidence illustrating that traffickers receive substantial punishments commensurate with the heinous nature of the crime to deter traffickers. To supplement existing anti-trafficking efforts, the government should also implement a focused and highly visible demand reduction campaign aimed at potential clients to emphasize the link between prostitution and sex trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Belgium continued to improve its law enforcement response to trafficking during the reporting period. In 2004, the government investigated 276 cases of trafficking and convicted at least 50 traffickers, but was unable at the time of this Report to provide full data on sentences for 2004. In 2005, the government amended its trafficking law to harmonize it with prevailing international standards on trafficking. Penalties for trafficking carry a maximum penalty of 10 to 20 years' imprisonment. In a landmark case in October 2005, a Pakistani national received eight years' imprisonment and a 55,000 Euro fine for running a trafficking network in Belgium. In addition in 2005, for the first time the government prosecuted a sex tourist, sentencing a Belgian national to 10 years in prison for sexually abusing over 200 children in Thailand over a 20-year period. Although forced or bonded labor within Belgium's diplomatic community was reported to be a problem, there were delays with the government's investigation and prosecution of these reported cases. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs actively issued 10 sanctions, and 20 letters of intent to sanction to accredited diplomats over the past two years. During the reporting period, the government provided protection and residence to the victims involved in these cases in exchange for their cooperation in ongoing investigations. In 2005, the Ministry of Justice conducted/organized specialized training for magistrates handling trafficking cases. There were no reports of officials' complicity in trafficking over the last year.

Protection
The Belgian Government in 2005 continued to subsidize three specialized trafficking shelters
providing assistance to victims of trafficking, and NGOs continued to report excellent cooperation and coordination with law enforcement. NGOs praised Belgium's family reunification efforts for trafficking victims; in 2005, the government reunited a Romanian mother with her two children, providing them with significant support. During 2005, the three shelters cared for 198 trafficking victims. The government continued to provide victims a 45-day "reflection" period of care during which they could consider whether to assist in the investigation of their traffickers; subsequent government protection was linked to a victim's willingness to testify. In practice, the Belgian government granted permanent residency to many victims who assisted in prosecutions. Over a third of the current residents in Belgium's shelters have been granted indefinite residence status and thus qualify for the full social benefits available to Belgian citizens, including access to job training, rehabilitation, and medical treatment.

Prevention
Belgium sustained strong efforts to prevent new incidents of trafficking. In 2005, the government established a new smuggling and trafficking analysis center to coordinate its anti-trafficking response. In 2005, the government launched a public awareness campaign on the exploitation of children using billboards in public transit and other areas of public space. The government continued to co-sponsor an awareness raising campaign to warn and educate Belgian travelers about child sex tourism. The Ministry of Labor continued to conduct periodic workplace raids in high trafficking exploitation industries. Belgium continued to fund regional and global anti-trafficking prevention campaigns in source countries.

BELIZE (TIER 3)

Belize is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation. Women and girls are trafficked to Belize, mainly from Central America, and exploited in prostitution. Children are trafficked to Belize for labor exploitation. Belize's largely unmonitored borders with Guatemala, Honduras, and Mexico facilitate the movement of illegal migrants who are vulnerable to traffickers. Girls are trafficked within the country for sexual exploitation, sometimes with the consent and complicity of their close relatives. There are also unconfirmed reports that Indian and Chinese migrants are trafficked for involuntary servitude in homes and shops.

The Government of Belize does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Belize failed to show evidence of significant law enforcement or victim protection efforts over the last year. Laws against trafficking remained weak and largely unenforced, adult victims received no attention or assistance, and the government made no significant effort to raise public awareness and work with vulnerable populations.

Prosecution
Anti-trafficking laws remained weak and the government made negligible progress in identifying and punishing traffickers during the reporting period. Law enforcement officials investigated five trafficking cases, prosecuted three, and convicted two traffickers. The country's anti-trafficking statute provides for a $5,000 fine or imprisonment for one to five years. In practice, recent convictions have resulted in one-year sentences. Penalties for sex crimes are significantly greater and prosecutors could use the more serious charges, when appropriate, against traffickers, but no such instances were confirmed during the reporting period. The National Assembly considered revisions to the Liquor Licensing Act that would bar convicted traffickers from receiving liquor licenses. However, police and prosecutors generally lack the resources needed to pursue anti-trafficking investigations and bring traffickers to trial. Although there are allegations of general corruption in Belize, there were no specific allegations of trafficking complicity; there were no known investigations or prosecutions of public officials for trafficking complicity.

Protection
The Government of Belize's protection services throughout the last year were minimal and did not meet victim needs. The anti-trafficking law provides specific victim protection policies, including temporary legal residence and protection from prosecution for victims willing to testify. However, the government operates no witness protection programs and there were no known attempts to identify foreign victims who might have requested such services. The government offered no programs for shelter or health care services to victims; normally, these costs are only covered if the victim's trafficker is convicted and ordered to pay restitution. Most of the few identified trafficking victims were referred to battered women's shelters or, in the case of minors, a children's home that offers care until the children can be returned to their homes. The government provided full assistance (shelter, medical aid, and financial help) to one Belizean child victim returned from El Salvador.

Prevention
The government failed to carry out any significant trafficking prevention efforts during the period. Prevention awareness and sensitivity training fall almost exclusively to organizations outside the government, such as IOM, the Organization of American States, ECPAT, and some public media outlets. The anti-trafficking committee completed a first draft of a National Plan of Action and submitted the plan to the Cabinet in December 2005. The government cites lack of resources as a primary factor in its failure to do more.

BENIN (TIER 2)

Benin is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. According to the ILO, the vast majority of Beninese victims are trafficked within Benin, while most of the remaining victims are trafficked to Nigeria, Gabon, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, and Niger. A much smaller number of victims are trafficked to Benin from Niger, Togo, and Burkina Faso. Children are trafficked as domestic servants, plantation laborers, and street vendors, and for work in commercial enterprises, the handicraft industry, and construction.

The Government of Benin does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should promulgate and enforce its anti-trafficking legislation and increase protection and prevention efforts.

Prosecution
The Government of Benin has demonstrated increased efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement in the last year. The National Assembly passed a law prohibiting child trafficking in January 2006, though the government still needs to promulgate the law before it can be enforced. The Ministry of Justice established a new statistical unit that has begun to collect trafficking crime statistics. From January to October 2005, the government used older statutes to prosecute 83 trafficking cases, 20 of which have resulted in convictions and prison terms of three months to one year. The government is working with UNICEF to form a steering committee responsible for overseeing the drafting of a Children's Code to provide increased legal protection to children. Benin signed a bilateral agreement with Nigeria in June 2005 and a multilateral agreement with eight other West African nations in July 2005. The Police Minors' Protection Brigade (BPM) actively investigates trafficking, but is handicapped by a lack of resources. While the government has not initiated trafficking training for law enforcement, the BPM participated in a UNICEF-sponsored training.

Protection
The Government of Benin continued to provide minimal protection to trafficking victims over the last year. Although the government does not operate its own shelter, police and ministry officials work with NGOs and international organizations to provide victims with care. Most victims are first taken into custody by the BPM, where they are interviewed before being referred to NGO shelters for care. These interviews are conducted by law enforcement officials without the involvement of skilled counselors. Law enforcement authorities intercepted 140 victims in 2005 and repatriated 15 victims to Togo and Nigeria. The Ministry of the Family also cooperates with international organizations, NGOs, and a network of 1,141 local anti-trafficking committees throughout the country to provide victim care. For example, the Ministry works with UNICEF to help reintegrate repatriated Beninese victims at a vocational training center. However, a shelter built in Benin by a foreign donor over a year ago with the capacity to hold 160 victims remains unused. Victims are not punished for crimes directly related to being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Benin continued to make limited efforts to raise public awareness about trafficking. The government has collaborated with UNICEF to hire a consultant to assist with drafting a national action plan to combat child trafficking. While the inter-ministerial committee to combat trafficking has not met regularly, the government plans to restructure and strengthen this committee in 2006. The government has collaborated with NGOs and international organizations to raise awareness about trafficking. For example, the Ministry of Labor, together with ILO-IPEC and seven domestic union organizations, sponsored campaigns to educate employers to respect child labor laws.

BOLIVIA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Bolivia is a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation. Victims are primarily trafficked within the country, but a significant number are also trafficked to neighboring South American countries and to Spain. Many victims are minors trafficked internally for sexual exploitation, forced mining, and agricultural labor. Bolivian workers have been trafficked to sweatshops in Argentina and Brazil, and to Chile for involuntary servitude. Illegal migrants from Asia transit Bolivia; some may be trafficking victims.

The Government of Bolivia 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 clear progress in several key areas over the last year and, as a result, moved up from Tier 3. Bolivia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in the areas of trafficking prosecutions and victim protection. Nevertheless, during the reporting period, government officials demonstrated increased resolve to combat trafficking and a heightened understanding of the problem. The government enacted anti-trafficking laws, raised public awareness, and increased trafficking investigations. The government should intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers, work with NGOs and local governments to raise public awareness, and increase victim assistance.

Prosecution
The Government of Bolivia made modest but increasing efforts to strengthen and enforce laws against trafficking during the reporting period. It enacted penal code reforms against commercial sexual exploitation of minors and criminalized all forms of trafficking, setting trafficking penalties of eight to 12 years' imprisonment. Special anti-trafficking police and prosecutor units in La Paz investigated 25 new cases against traffickers from June to December 2005, prosecuted seven, and obtained one conviction. Law enforcement used statutes against trafficking, corruption of minors, kidnapping, and pimping pending enactment of the new anti-trafficking legislation. The government also established anti-trafficking police units in the cities of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba. Authorities relied on outside sources to provide anti-trafficking training for police, prosecutors, and judges. A severe lack of resources hampered the government's ability to combat trafficking more effectively. Corruption, otherwise endemic in Bolivia, was not identified as a major factor in trafficking; there were no reports of officials involved in trafficking.

Protection
The government slightly increased protection efforts during the reporting year, but services were inadequate overall and unavailable to many trafficking victims. Severely limited funding for social welfare programs resulted in the absence of government operated or supported shelters for trafficking victims. The government relied upon municipal authorities to furnish legal services, emergency shelter, counseling, and health care to trafficking victims. The city of La Paz opened an emergency shelter and a local hotline that served hundreds of victims of abuse and commercial sexual exploitation. Law enforcement referred victims to the emergency shelter or NGOs for assistance. Family Protection Brigade Units in cities like Cochabamba provided short-term care and shelter to some trafficking victims; such units were constrained by an acute lack of resources.

Prevention
The government made limited progress in trafficking prevention activities during the reporting
period. National leaders, including acting President Rodriguez, spoke out against trafficking. They also created an inter-ministerial commission to coordinate anti-trafficking policies and worked with municipal authorities and schools to increase public awareness of the dangers of trafficking. Most prevention activities were left to NGOs and international organizations.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (TIER 2)

Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women and girls trafficked internationally and domestically for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There were some reports of trafficking of Roma children within BiH for forced labor. Victims primarily originate from Moldova, Ukraine, and Romania; other source countries include Russia and Serbia and Montenegro. As in most countries in the region, traffickers targeted younger victims and trafficking occurred increasingly underground, from cafes and gas stations to private apartments and homes.

The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increased efforts to address trafficking during the reporting period, particularly in the area of victim protection. In 2005, the BiH Government actively investigated trafficking cases and improved law enforcement capacity through specialized training on recognition and investigation. The government successfully implemented a formal victim screening and referral process. The government increased the number of trafficking investigations; however, sentences for trafficking remained low or suspended. While it achieved a high rate of convictions, the BiH Government should be more proactive in aggressively prosecuting trafficking crimes by ensuring penalties are sufficient to deter traffickers. The government should also increase efforts to address trafficking related complicity of public officials. Overall, the government demonstrated significant progress and has laid the groundwork for greater future success.

Prosecution
The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina significantly increased its law enforcement efforts in
2005 by conducting 70 investigations, up from 47 the previous year; the 70 new investigations
involved 118 defendants. The government prosecuted 22 cases, of which 19 resulted in convictions; 12 convicted traffickers received suspended sentences. Three cases resulted in acquittals. Length of sentences imposed by the courts increased slightly; in February 2006, courts handed down a five and a half year sentence, the second-longest sentence for trafficking in Bosnia. However, judges continued to use suspended sentences in the majority of trafficking cases, often a result of plea agreements. In a September 2005 case that resulted in the death of a Ukrainian victim in 2004, the government failed to ensure punishment that adequately reflected the heinous nature of the offense; the primary traffickers were sentenced to less than three years, far below the maximum available penalty for trafficking. Active coordination of the anti-trafficking strike force with police and prosecutors resulted in four successful raids in 2005. The State Border Service (SBS) trained its officers at airports and border crossings on victim identification, interviewing techniques, and referral procedures. All officers consulted a screening questionnaire to assist them in evaluating victims. There were isolated instances over the reporting period of low-level officers taking bribes and facilitating trafficking. The government launched three new investigations into official complicity in trafficking; two investigations involving three officers from the previous reporting period remained ongoing. The government has yet to issue an indictment or officially charge any officials for their involvement in trafficking.

Protection
The BiH Government took concrete steps to improve its victim protection efforts over the last year. The government implemented a victim referral agreement with NGOs for screening, identifying, and assisting foreign victims. The government increased funding for victim protection and signed an memorandum of understanding with five NGOs to provide victims with shelter and counseling. NGOs and IOM reported assisting a total of 88 victims in 2005. Trafficking victims identified and referred by the government automatically qualify for three month temporary residency, making BiH one of the few countries in Europe to allow some form of residency for trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Office of the State Coordinator assisted in the development and implementation of public awareness and prevention campaigns in 2005. This included a major national campaign targeting both potential consumers and young victims. In 2005, the State Coordinator participated in local capacity building to respond to trafficking and helped raise awareness about child begging and forced labor of Roma children. The government, with substantive input from NGOs and other relevant stakeholders, developed, disseminated, and began implementation of its 2005-2007 National Action Plan, and approved a 2006 Plan in February 2006. NGOs and international organizations cite excellent cooperation with the State Coordinator, who chairs a regular working group of NGOs and international organizations to assess implementation of victim protection and prevention efforts. The State Coordinator continued to publish an annual report on trafficking, which includes data collected from law enforcement and NGOs throughout BiH.

BRAZIL (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Brazil is a source and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and for men trafficked for forced labor. Women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation within Brazil and to destinations in South America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Japan, the U.S., and the Middle East. Approximately 70,000 Brazilians, mostly women, are engaged in prostitution in foreign countries; some are trafficking victims. Child sex tourism is a problem within the country, particularly in the resort areas and coastal cities of Brazil's northeast. An estimated 25,000 Brazilian victims, mostly men, are trafficked within the country for forced agricultural labor. Some foreign victims from Bolivia, Peru, China, and Korea are trafficked to Brazil for labor exploitation in factories but the number of foreign victims is much smaller than the number of Brazilians trafficked from or within the country.

The Government of Brazil does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Brazil is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to fight trafficking, specifically for its failure to apply effective criminal penalties against traffickers who exploit forced labor. However, the government did enact reforms to modernize and strengthen laws against some types of trafficking and continued to work with destination countries to disrupt international trafficking networks. The government should make appreciable progress in increasing prosecutions and convictions of traffickers, and institute and implement more effective criminal penalties for forced labor trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Brazil made marginal progress in bringing traffickers to justice during the reporting period. The government increased trafficking-related arrests and investigations, in cooperation with foreign governments, which led to convictions of foreign nationals by their host governments. There was only one reported prosecution in Brazil that resulted in a conviction at the national level for a trafficking-related crime during the reporting period -- a decrease from three convictions obtained in 2004. Although the government increased personnel dedicated to investigations of forced labor operations and rescued 4,113 forced labor victims in 2005, violators of forced labor laws enjoyed virtual impunity from criminal prosecution. However, there were some unconfirmed reports that traffickers were convicted at the state level and in state labor courts for trafficking-related crimes. The government enacted criminal code reforms that broaden the definition of trafficking to cover victims of both sexes, and provide the same penalties for both internal and international trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. The crime of trafficking for sexual exploitation now carries a three- to eight-year penalty that increases in aggravated circumstances, such as acts involving young victims, abuse of authority, violence, or serious injury. Criminal code reforms did not add trafficking for forced labor to Brazilian law's definition of trafficking. Criminal statutes against slavery that can be used against traffickers for forced labor carry a possible prison term of one to three years and a fine, but forced labor cases are rarely prosecuted. Federal authorities arrested 180 trafficking suspects and investigated five cases in 2005. Borders agents began to screen for potential victims. The Federal Police continued to work with counterparts in Portugal, Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden, Mexico, and the United States on trafficking cases that involved the exploitation of Brazilian victims abroad and arrested 56 suspects in Brazil as a result of these joint investigations. There was no evidence of institutional complicity in trafficking, but isolated instances of officials employing slave labor were reported. In the only confirmed prosecution during the period, a senator was convicted and fined for exploiting workers in slave-like conditions.

Protection
The Brazilian government made significant efforts to protect victims during the reporting period. The government cooperated with a number of shelters or health care facilities specifically dedicated to trafficking victims and workers at more than 600 victim assistance centers throughout the country were trained to assist trafficking victims, in addition to victims of other crimes such as domestic violence. Referral centers with multidisciplinary staff offered psychological and social assistance and referred victims to appropriate health and legal services. An additional network of over 400 centers evaluated and referred at-risk children, including child victims of commercial sexual exploitation and sex tourism. The State of Sao Paulo continued working with an NGO to provide victim support to Brazilian women and girls returning through Sao Paulo from trafficking situations abroad. Several other state offices also referred trafficking victims to NGOs, although NGOs noted problems in some of these referral systems. The government also continued training its diplomatic personnel to recognize and assist trafficking victims. In general, the rights of victims were respected and foreign victims who were material witnesses in their trafficker's prosecution could obtain other employment or leave the country.

Prevention
The government sustained progress through strong efforts to raise public awareness and train officials. It continued major awareness campaigns to combat sex tourism, forced labor, and commercial sexual exploitation, and high level government officials spoke out against trafficking. In new initiatives, the government trained 360 law enforcement officials, including highway patrol officers, and civil servants to identify and assist trafficking victims. The government worked with the University of Brasilia to introduce a correspondence course that focused on trafficking and trained 600 professionals. Authorities also worked closely with NGOs, the ILO, and the UN on prevention, capacity building, and protection projects.

BULGARIA (TIER 2)

Bulgaria is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls trafficked from Romania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Lebanon, and Central Asia to and through Bulgaria to Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Kosovo, and Macedonia for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Roma children were trafficked within Bulgaria and abroad for purposes of forced begging and petty theft. In 2005, Austrian authorities identified 700 Roma children trafficked from Bulgaria to Austria for forced begging and commercial sexual exploitation. The Ministry of Interior noted an increase of men and boys trafficked for purpose of labor exploitation.

The Government of Bulgaria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Bulgaria took several steps to improve its law enforcement efforts in 2005. The government amended its Constitution to allow for the extradition of Bulgarian citizens for crimes committed abroad, including human trafficking; the government also adopted asset forfeiture legislation to serve as a further trafficking deterrent. Although Bulgaria partially implemented its witness protection legislation and protected some trafficking victims in 2005, a number of victims that cooperate with police still received only partial protection. Bulgaria continued to make progress in its anti-trafficking efforts, although corruption and a failure to fully separate human trafficking from human smuggling continued to be challenges. The government should continue to strengthen its statistics collection system and segregate trafficking data from trafficking-related statistics. Police should vigorously investigate, trafficking related corruption among government officials.

Prosecution
The Government of Bulgaria made considerable progress in its law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking. Authorities conducted 134 sexual exploitation investigations and seven labor exploitation investigations in 2005. Sixty-three traffickers were formally indicted in 2005, up from 27 in 2004. In 2005, courts convicted 34 traffickers, an increase from seven in 2004. Convicted traffickers generally served the full sentences mandated by the court; the punishment for trafficking in Bulgaria ranges from one to 10 years in prison. In 2005, the Bulgarian Border Police cooperated in 20 investigations with law enforcement authorities of several destination countries. Corruption among border guards and customs officials remains a concern; one police officer was indicted for forced prostitution.

Protection
The Bulgarian Government continued to provide a high level of victim assistance and protection during the reporting period. All victims in Bulgaria are eligible for free medical and psychological care provided through public hospitals and NGOs. Foreign victims who choose to cooperate with trafficking investigations are provided with full residency and employment rights until the end of the criminal proceedings. Foreign victims who choose not to cooperate in trafficking investigations are permitted to stay in Bulgaria for one month plus 10 days before repatriation to their country of origin. The government does not offer legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they face retribution or hardship. Although the government does not provide funding to NGOs and international organizations, it collaborated with them on identification, referral, and assistance to trafficking victims. Police routinely refer victims to NGOs for assistance.

Prevention
The government and local authorities provided support to the IOM and Bulgarian Red Cross to conduct the "Open Eyes" campaign that aimed to increase awareness of trafficking among high-risk communities using posters, brochures, and commercials on television. Materials were also distributed in more than 950 schools, at major youth events, at all border check points, labor bureaus, and government embassies and consulates. Local education officials allowed NGOs to screen trafficking awareness films in schools and distributed anti-trafficking materials to students. The government adopted a National Strategy for Combating Human Trafficking in 2005.

BURKINA FASO (TIER 2)

Burkina Faso is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Burkinabe children are trafficked within Burkina Faso as well as to Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. Nigerian and Malian children are trafficked to Burkina Faso. To a lesser extent, Burkinabe women are trafficked to Europe for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Burkina Faso does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To strengthen its efforts to combat trafficking, Burkina Faso should educate law enforcement officials about its trafficking law, increase efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers, and strengthen efforts to educate the public about trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Burkina Faso continued modest efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement throughout the last year. Burkinabe law prohibits child trafficking, but there is no law against the trafficking of adults. Out of 44 traffickers detained by police, local vigilance committees, and other security forces in 2005, six were prosecuted and convicted. Most traffickers were released after a short stay in custody. Police failed to follow-up on a case of a Nigerian girl who escaped from forced prostitution in Burkina Faso. The girl was repatriated to Nigeria, but security forces did not attempt to find her traffickers. In a December 2005 public report, the Ministry of Social Action, the lead government agency in combating child trafficking, criticized the Ministry of Justice's lack of progress in addressing trafficking. The government has failed to train Burkinabe prosecutors or security forces on the child trafficking law since its passage in 2003. Burkina Faso signed a multilateral agreement with eight other West African countries to combat trafficking. Under Burkinabe law, while the government may extradite foreign traffickers for prosecution, it is barred from extraditing its own nationals.

Protection
The Government of Burkina Faso continued to make limited efforts to protect trafficking victims, despite limited resources. Police, local vigilance committees, and other security forces intercepted approximately 860 trafficked children in 2005. The government continued to operate 19 transit centers for destitute children, including trafficking victims, in collaboration with UNICEF as well as its own center in Ouagadougou. The government continued to help repatriate foreign nationals to their country of origin after a stay of a few days in transit centers and continued to assist with the repatriation of Burkinabe children from Mali and Burkina Faso. The government attempts to return Burkinabe victims to their families soon after placing them in transit centers. While the government generally does not offer services to repatriated Burkinabe child victims, some families of victims receive micro-credit loans to provide an income alternative to their child's labor. The government did not punish victims for unlawful acts that were a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The government continued to make limited efforts to raise awareness about trafficking, despite the lack of resources to launch an aggressive education campaign. During the year, government officials regularly spoke out against trafficking in persons. The government has undertaken campaigns to educate parents and children about the dangers of trafficking. Although a committee of government and international organization officials drafted a national action plan against trafficking in 2002, it has yet to be adopted by the Cabinet.

BURMA (TIER 3)

Burma is a source country for women and men trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Burmese men, women, and children are trafficked to Thailand, the People's Republic of China (the P.R.C.), Bangladesh, Malaysia, Korea, and Macau for sexual exploitation, domestic service, and forced labor -- including commercial labor. A significant number of men, women, and children from Burma are economic migrants who wind up in forced or bonded labor and forced prostitution. To a lesser extent, Burma is a country of transit and destination for women trafficked from the P.R.C. for sexual exploitation. There are some cases of persons trafficked from Bangladesh to Malaysia and from the P.R.C. to Thailand through Burma. Internal trafficking of persons occurs primarily for labor in industrial zones and agricultural estates. Internal trafficking of women and girls for sexual exploitation occurs from villages to urban centers and other areas, such as truck stops, fishing villages, border towns, and mining and military camps. The military junta's economic mismanagement, human rights abuses, and its policy of using forced labor are driving factors behind Burma's large trafficking problem.

The Government of Burma does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Significant state use of internal forced labor -- a form of trafficking -- continued, especially by the military. The Burmese military is directly involved in trafficking for forced labor and there are reports that some children were forcibly enlisted into the Burmese Army. Local civil authorities and military forces continued to use forced labor in their areas of control. Beginning in November 2005, the government also ordered civil servants to relocate without their families to the country's new capital. The Burmese Government charged 10 officials with forced labor violations in 2005 but allowed officials to counter sue their accusers, in some cases resulting in harsher penalties for the complainants of forced labor than for the culpable officials. Because of these governmental actions, the ILO stopped accepting new cases documenting forced labor abuses in Burma. Since April 2005, there has been no evidence that the Burmese Government is willing to take steps to investigate and prosecute cases of forced labor. In the last year, the government took some steps to combat trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation, including passing a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, holding a national seminar, and conducting training for law enforcement officers.

Prosecution
The Burmese Government made minimal progress in prosecuting trafficking-related cases, especially cases involving trafficking for sexual or labor exploitation. In September 2005, Burma passed an anti-trafficking in persons law that covers sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, servitude, and debt bondage. The anti-trafficking law applies to internal and external trafficking and carries penalties of 10 years' minimum to life imprisonment. Penalties for sexual and labor exploitation are the same. This law is not used effectively, however, because the Burmese judiciary is corrupt and lacks resources and independence. In 2005, the Burmese Government claims it prosecuted 426 traffickers in 203 cases under the new law and identified 844 victims; an indeterminate number of these cases actually involved severe forms of trafficking in persons. The government did not take action, however, against military or civilian officials who engaged in forced labor, and the ILO stopped submitting cases for investigations in April 2005. During the reporting period, the government expanded the Police Anti-Trafficking Unit from 40 to 65 officers stationed in Rangoon and in border towns to monitor trafficking. Corruption continued to be a major problem. Although local and regional officials, primarily along the borders, were suspected of complicity in trafficking, the government reported no prosecutions of corrupt officials related to trafficking. The Burmese military continued to carry out forced labor, including forced portering.

Protection
The Burmese Government provided basic reintegration assistance to victims. The government continued to refer victims to the few NGOs and international organizations providing protection for victims of trafficking, including a repatriation center on the Thai-Burmese border. The government in 2005 proposed new restrictions on all NGOs and international organizations, thereby risking the ability of these organizations to care for repatriated victims. The Burmese Government coordinated with international NGOs a limited number of government-to government repatriations of victims from Thailand, China, and Malaysia. The government provided compensation to victims trafficked internally for forced labor in one case only, and did not fund international or domestic NGOs providing victim protective services. In forced labor cases, the law does not protect victims seeking justice from counter suit filed by accused officials. Successful counter-suits result in criminal penalties for the victims. The Central Police Training Institute developed a teaching curriculum on trafficking.

Prevention
Burma's efforts to prevent trafficking remained inadequate. Governmental measures to prevent
trafficking for sexual exploitation include publicizing the dangers in border areas via governments sponsored discussion groups, distribution of printed materials, and media programming. The government conducted training for law enforcement officers on the new anti-trafficking law and awareness workshops at the national and local levels on the dangers of trafficking for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation.

BURUNDI (TIER 2)

Burundi is a source country for children trafficked for the purposes of child soldiering and forced
labor. The country is emerging from a 12-year civil war in which government and rebel forces used approximately 7,000 children in a variety of capacities, including as cooks, porters, spies, sex slaves, and combatants. In contrast with past years, there were no reports over the last year that the Burundian security services used children as soldiers or sex slaves, although there were infrequent reports that some soldiers continued to force children to perform menial tasks. The one rebel faction that remains outside the peace process, the PALIPEHUTU-FNL, continued to recruit children from the four provinces in which it operates and used them as child soldiers in Burundi's ongoing internal civil conflict. Burundian children may be trafficked internally, as well as to neighboring countries, for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Burundi does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To improve its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should take steps to bring to justice those who continue to forcibly conscript and utilize child soldiers, and investigate the nature of child commercial sexual exploitation within the country. Government forces should immediately cease using children to perform any sort of military function or menial tasks and swiftly punish soldiers who do so.

Prosecution
The government's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2005 focused on sensitizing public officials against the use of child soldiers; there were no investigations or prosecutions of trafficking cases. Burundi has no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons, but laws against kidnapping, slavery, smuggling, and prostitution outlaw most forms of trafficking. In 2005, the National Structure for Child Soldiers (SNES) provided training on child soldier demobilization and reintegration to newly elected local government officials and over 750 new military officers from former rebel groups. The military also received training on respecting human rights from the UN Mission in Burundi and human rights organizations. During the year, the Ministry of Defense instructed military officers to punish soldiers found to be forcing children and other civilians to perform menial tasks; punishments meted out included the performance of extra duties, docking of pay, and confinement to quarters or the brig for up to one week. The Ministry of Defense confirmed that soldiers with such discipline problems would be among the first to leave during "downsizing" of the security services over the next year.

Protection
Ongoing combat between government security services and PALIPEHUTU-FNL limited the government's ability to demobilize and rehabilitate child soldiers; however, the government provided significant assistance to child soldiers in regions under its control. The government and the six former rebel groups that are part of the Burundian peace process, together with the World Bank, UNICEF, the UN Mission in Burundi, and local and international NGOs, demobilized an additional 108 children during the reporting period, bringing the total of demobilized children to 3,028 since December 2004. The government, with financial and technical assistance from these partners, provided 18 months of family-based medical, psycho-social, educational, and other material support to 3,013 demobilized child soldiers. In addition, more than 1,300 of these children were provided with vocational skills training, including carpentry, auto mechanics, animal husbandry, and farming techniques, as possessing viable productive skills deters children from rejoining rebel groups. Other demobilized children were given loans to open small shops or build houses.

Prevention
During the reporting period, the SNES, working with its international partners, significantly expanded its public awareness programming to combat the recruitment and use of child soldiers. While the first year of these campaigns provided the public with a broad overview of the child soldier issue, their focus was refined in 2005 to center on the prevention of re-recruitment of children by rebels; HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness raising among former child soldiers; and helping former child soldiers adjust to civilian life. The SNES employed 133 full-time trainers who conducted at least three seminars a week in each province on these topics. The government also ran media campaigns on public and private radio stations. At the local level, the SNES continued to use trained civil society organizations, churches, and local associations to advocate in their communes against the recruitment of child soldiers and conduct public seminars on children's rights and the reintegration of former child soldiers into local communities.

CAMBODIA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Cambodia is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. A significant number of Cambodian women and children are trafficked to Thailand and Malaysia for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Cambodian men are trafficked primarily to Thailand for forced labor in the construction and agricultural sectors -- particularly the fishing industry -- while Cambodian women and girls are trafficked for factory and domestic work. A significant number of Cambodian children are trafficked to Vietnam and Thailand for the purpose of forced begging. Cambodia is a transit and destination point for women from Vietnam trafficked for sexual exploitation. Trafficking for sexual exploitation also occurs within Cambodia's borders, from rural areas to the country's capital, Phnom Penh, and other secondary cities in the country.

The Government of Cambodia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Cambodia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because the determination that it is making significant efforts is based in part on commitments to sustain progress over the coming year. During the last year, the Cambodian Government stepped up efforts to arrest, prosecute, and convict traffickers. Police actions increased over the last year, resulting in a raid and subsequent shutdown of a notorious hotel/brothel where trafficking victims were found. The owner of the brothel was later prosecuted and convicted. Although Cambodia's anti-trafficking efforts remained hampered by corruption at all levels of government and an ineffectual judicial system, the Cambodian Government made efforts to address trafficking-related official corruption by arresting and initiating prosecutions of two anti-trafficking unit police officials and two provincial police officials. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) also developed a National Action Plan to eradicate trafficking in persons and is in the process of creating a memorandum of understanding with NGOs to regulate the handling of trafficking victims. The Cambodian Government should make greater efforts to prosecute and convict public officials who profit from or are involved in trafficking and should also pass and enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation.

Prosecution
During the reporting period, the Cambodian Government made clear progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Cambodia does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law but it used existing statutes to prosecute traffickers. A comprehensive anti-trafficking bill that provides law enforcement and judicial officials with enhanced powers to arrest and prosecute traffickers is nearing final government approval in 2006. Penalties for trafficking of persons over the age of 15 for sexual exploitation carry sentences of up to 15 years' imprisonment, while penalties for trafficking of persons under 15 years of age for sexual exploitation carry sentences of up to 20 years' imprisonment. In 2005, the Cambodian police reported conducting 67 operations, resulting in the arrest of 111 perpetrators and the rescue of 164 victims. The Ministry of Justice reported the prosecution and conviction of at least 45 traffickers during the year, double the number in 2004. Cases, for the most part, were generated by the efforts of NGOs. Corruption, lack of training and funding for law enforcement, and a weak judiciary remain the most serious impediments to the effective prosecution of traffickers. There are reports that corrupt police officials continue to leak information to brothel/karaoke operators about upcoming police raids. Responding to reports of complicity of public officials in trafficking, the government initiated action against four officials in mid-2005 for trafficking-related corruption. The government, in cooperation with international organizations and NGOs, conducted training for police officers on investigation techniques, surveillance, and case preparation and management of trafficking cases. Despite past U.S. funding for training of the Police Anti-Trafficking Department, it has conducted only a limited number of proactive investigations over the last year.

Protection
The Cambodian Government in 2005 continued to provide limited assistance to victims. The government referred victims to NGOs and international organizations, and operated two temporary shelters for victims through the Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation (MOSAVY). The Cambodian Government relied primarily on foreign and domestic NGOs to provide protective services to victims although on occasion, it provided in-kind support to NGOs, such as land, office space, and staff. The government continued to support an NGO that has primary responsibility for placement of trafficking victims in long-term shelters.

Prevention
The government made modest efforts to promote awareness of trafficking during the reporting period. Working with NGOs and international organizations, the Cambodian government implemented a campaign in most parts of the country to raise public awareness regarding the dangers of trafficking through public meetings, posters, television and radio campaigns, and the use of traditional Cambodian theater. The Ministry of Women's Affairs collaborated with IOM to expand a nationwide anti-trafficking information and advocacy campaign that included district-level meetings with government officials and the distribution of educational materials and videos. The MOI's Anti-Trafficking Police Unit also conducted intervention programs to teach students about the risks of trafficking and their rights under the law.

CAMEROON (TIER 2 )

Cameroon is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for labor and sexual exploitation. The majority of child victims are trafficked within the country, although some are also trafficked from Cameroon to Nigeria, Gabon, and the Central African Republic and to Cameroon from Nigeria, Cameroon, Chad, Gabon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, Benin, and Niger. Children are trafficked for domestic servitude and street vending; as forced laborers on tea, cocoa, banana, and rubber plantations; for forced work in spare-parts shops; and for commercial sexual exploitation. A smaller number of women and girls are trafficked to Equatorial Guinea and Europe for sexual exploitation, often lured away by fraudulent marriage proposals.

The Government of Cameroon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should educate law enforcement officials and the public about its new anti-trafficking law and increase efforts to prevent trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Cameroon demonstrated increased progress in combating trafficking through law enforcement means over the past year. In December 2005, the government enacted a statute prohibiting child trafficking. The government expects to present a draft law against adult trafficking to the National Assembly in 2006. The government has also begun drafting a Child Protection Code and is finalizing a Family Code that will increase the minimum marriage age for girls to 18. Authorities arrested 12 traffickers during the year. Eight are awaiting trial, including one who is in police custody. One trafficker was deported to the U.S. where she was convicted for a trafficking offense. The General Delegate for National Security in December 2005 signed an order creating an anti-trafficking vice squad within the National Office of Interpol. The government does not provide specialized anti-trafficking training to law enforcement officials.

Protection
The Government of Cameroon demonstrated significant efforts to protect trafficking victims over
the reporting period. The Ministry of Social Affairs continued operating temporary shelters in all 10 provincial capitals of the country that provided repatriated child victims with care while officials located their families. The government also referred victims to local NGOs and orphanages for assistance. In 2005, the government collaborated with the ILO on a U.S. Government-funded project to remove 1,200 children from cocoa plantations and provide them with schooling or skills training. In May 2005 the government collaborated with the Gabonese Government in repatriating 11 Cameroonian trafficking victims from Gabon. The government has identified three provinces with high concentrations of trafficking victims where it will begin training law enforcement and government officials to better identify and provide protection to victims. The government does not punish victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The Cameroonian Government demonstrated modest efforts to prevent trafficking. In partnership with the ILO, the government established village child labor committees to educate communities about the dangers of child labor. In November 2005, the Minister of Labor signed an order creating a National Committee for the Implementation of the International Program for the Elimination of Child Labor (IPEC) responsible for integrating IPEC activities into national efforts against child labor. The government began drafting a National Strategic Plan Against Child Trafficking, which it plans to present to the National Assembly for adoption in 2006.

CANADA (TIER 1)

Canada is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of labor and sexual exploitation. In 2004, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) estimated that 600-800 persons are trafficked into Canada annually and that additional 1,500-2,200 persons are trafficked through Canada into the United States. Women and children are trafficked from Africa, Central and South America, Eastern Europe, and Asia for sexual exploitation. Most trafficking victims have been identified from source countries in Asia including South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. On a much lower scale, men, women, and children are trafficked for forced labor. Some Canadian girls and women are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Canada fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Over the last year, two new Canadian laws were passed to strengthen anti-trafficking and sexual exploitation legislation. Victim protection and services for victims are primarily the responsibility of provinces and territories, and protection and services for trafficking victims vary by province or territory. As such, some international organizations and NGOs have criticized the Government of Canada for lack of social services and refugee or immigration protection specifically tailored for trafficking victims; however, they have only been able to cite a few specific examples of these alleged problems. Although a government agency provides posters and pamphlets on trafficking, efforts should be made to increase public awareness campaigns in communities vulnerable to trafficking to inform potential victims of their rights or immigration options. In British Columbia--a key area for trafficking-related crimes--the RCMP, in collaboration with the Public Safety Ministry, is implementing a pilot project for victims of trafficking. Efforts should be made to expand this type of program.

Prosecution
The first prosecution under the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA) anti-trafficking provision began in March 2006. There are 17 open investigations under the section of the IRPA that relates specifically to trafficking in persons. In 2005, six trafficking convictions under Canada's criminal codes were reported, with nine other trafficking prosecutions underway. There were also a number of prosecutions in Adult Criminal Court in Canada for individuals procuring children in prostitution. There were a number of legislative changes in 2005. Law C-49, which went into effect in November 2005, improved upon the IRPA by creating three new offenses explicitly relating to trafficking in Canada's criminal code. C-49 specifically criminalizes trafficking, prohibits the receipt of financial or material benefit from trafficking, and prohibits the withholding or destroying of documents, such as identification or travel documents, for the purpose of committing or facilitating a trafficking offense. Provincial and local authorities may be authorized to prosecute trafficking cases under the IRPA, and with the C-49 law, are able to specifically prosecute trafficking cases under Canada's criminal code. Law C-2, which came into effect on January 2, 2006, included significant reforms to facilitate the testimony of all child victims and witnesses, as well as adult victims and witnesses, of sexual assault and trafficking. This law also increases penalties for commercial sexual exploitation of children, from five to 10 years' imprisonment. Canada has a law against child sex tourism with extraterritorial application. In late 2004, Canada tightened the issuance of temporary work status for foreign exotic dancers under its temporary worker program1, and this has resulted in a significant decrease in the number granted. The government will also soon distribute information to individuals working in Canada under this program to inform them of their rights in hopes of preventing any abuses that may occur. Visa officers are trained to detect fraud or abuse, and adult entertainment establishments that wish to employ foreign workers as "exotic dancers" are required to follow certain regulatory mandates, including providing employment contracts and paying for travel expenses. The majority of "exotic dancer" residency permits were issued to Romanians. The presence of a visa waiver for South Korean nationals visiting Canada may be facilitating trafficking of South Koreans to the United States. However, U.S. law enforcement officials have noted that increased scrutiny by U.S. and Canadian officials at the border and airports has led to a decrease in the trafficking and smuggling of South Koreans through Canada, with some opting to go through Mexico.

Protection
There is no national victim protection services program. In general, victim protection is administered on the provincial or territorial level. While each province or territory provides services for victims of crimes, and this may include trafficking victims, they do not all follow the same model, leading to uneven services across the country. Canadian immigration is working to finalize a document for immigration officers that may aid with detection and referral of victims of trafficking. Canada's Justice Department has a "Victim's Fund" program to which NGOs may apply for funds to fill gaps in service delivery to victims, which could include trafficking victims. The government has pledged $5 million to support this initiative. Additionally, Canada has a witness protection program. The IRPA allows for visas to enable trafficking victims, among others, to remain in Canada on a temporary basis. Other types of visas exist to allow permanent residency. While some NGOs state that immigration relief is difficult to access, the government insists that all persons who have been identified as victims of trafficking and have asked to remain in Canada have received the appropriate legal immigration status to do so. Nonetheless, NGOs report anecdotal evidence that some victims of trafficking were arrested and deported.

Prevention
The government continues to coordinate anti-trafficking policies through its 17-member Inter-departmental Working Group. There has been some training of federal law enforcement officials on trafficking and the implementation of Canada's criminal offenses against trafficking. The RCMP recently published the law enforcement guidebook "Human Trafficking Reference Guide for Canadian Law Enforcement." Several roundtables and conferences have been held in Vancouver regarding trafficking in persons. Over the years, Canada has funded international anti-trafficking programs and established in September 2005 a Human Trafficking National Coordination Center, which is staffed by two RCMP officers and one analyst. The government has committed to add more staff to the center. In addition to the center, there are six regional RCMP human trafficking regional coordinators. On the demand side, Ontario courts reported sending each month at least men convicted for soliciting prostitution to a Toronto "John School."
Under Canada's Temporary Worker Program, foreign workers may qualify to come to Canada, including individuals who come to Canada to work as "exotic dancers." Dancer and entertainment type visas have been abused and exploited by traffickers in many other countries.

THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

The Central African Republic is a source and destination country for children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. While the majority of child victims are trafficked within the country, some are also trafficked to and from Cameroon and Nigeria. Children are trafficked for domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, and forced labor in shops and commercial labor activities.

The Government of the Central African Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Central African Republic is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons over the last year, specifically its inadequate law enforcement response to trafficking crimes. To improve its response to trafficking, the government should pass legislation prohibiting trafficking and reach out to NGOs and the international community to form partnerships for initiatives to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and educate the public about trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of the Central African Republic demonstrated weak efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement over the reporting period. The Central African Republic does not have legislation prohibiting trafficking, though it does have laws against forced child labor and sexual assault. In collaboration with the UN, the government will revise its labor code in 2006 to better conform to international child protection conventions. Judicial officials have only a nascent awareness of trafficking in persons. The government provides no trafficking training for law enforcement officials. The government does not actively investigate trafficking cases and has not prosecuted any traffickers. Government officials plan to initiate the process of drafting anti-trafficking legislation.

Protection
The Government of the Central African Republic demonstrated insufficient efforts to protect trafficking victims over the reporting period. The Central African Republic does not provide services to trafficking victims or assist them through referrals to NGOs, very few of which themselves have adequate resources or a strong awareness of trafficking. No government agencies have been designated to address victim protection. The Ministry of Social Affairs expressed a willingness to conduct protection programs but lacks the resources to do so.

Prevention
The Government of the Central African Republic demonstrated some modest efforts to prevent trafficking. The government does not conduct campaigns to educate the public about trafficking or liaise with NGOs or international organizations to do so. The government collaborated with UNICEF, however, to conduct one study published in 2005 on child abuse, sexual exploitation, and sex trafficking in the Central African Republic, and a second study that will be published in 2006 on violence associated with child labor. In partnership with UNICEF, the government also plans to draft a national action plan against child sexual exploitation in 2006. There are no dedicated ministries or government structures in place to address trafficking.

CHAD (TIER 2)

Chad is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. The majority of victims are trafficked within Chad to work in involuntary domestic servitude, herding, or as beggars. Minors are also trafficked from Cameroon and the Central African Republic for commercial sexual exploitation to Chad's oil-producing regions. Chadian children are trafficked to Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Nigeria, and possibly Saudi Arabia.

The Government of Chad does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To further its progress in combating trafficking, Chad should pass anti-trafficking legislation and provide increased victim care.

Prosecution
During the reporting period, the Government of Chad continued to make modest efforts to
investigate, arrest, and prosecute traffickers. Chadian law does not specifically prohibit trafficking in persons. Prosecutors use related laws, however, such as kidnapping, sale of children, and statutes against child labor, to charge traffickers. Legal code revisions outlawing trafficking are pending approval by the Council of Ministers. In 2005, Chadian authorities arrested three child traffickers who are awaiting trial. The Ministry of Justice is cooperating with Saudi Arabian officials to investigate cases of Chadian children working there as beggars. The government in 2005 closed a Koranic school for forcing children to beg.

Protection
Chad continued to make modest efforts, within its limited capacity, to provide victim protection during the reporting period. The government lacks sufficient resources to provide its own shelters but it contributes funding and in-kind support to UNICEF's protection efforts. When police or other authorities find a trafficking victim, they regularly notify the Ministry of Justice's Child Protection Department, UNICEF, or local NGOs to arrange for victim assistance. On an ad hoc basis, government ministries also provide temporary shelter and parental counseling to victims before returning them to their families.

Prevention
The Government of Chad continued to make significant efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The government television station broadcast several anti-trafficking documentaries and the government radio station broadcast a discussion on child exploitation by religious leaders. The government daily newspaper covered stories of child trafficking and the exploitation of children by religious leaders. The Ministries of Justice and Social Action educated key parliamentarians on legal code provisions pertaining to child trafficking and prostitution. Government officials and the High Islamic Council held meetings with religious leaders about forced child labor. The government also conducted several public awareness meetings in southern Chad for local communities on the dangers faced by child herders and domestics. The Ministry of Labor held meetings with local communities in Goundi, Toulala, Doboti, and Koumra, the key source areas for children trafficked into the capital for labor exploitation.

CHILE (TIER 2)

Chile is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Most victims are Chilean minors trafficked internally for sexual exploitation. Chileans are also trafficked to Argentina, Peru, Bolivia, the United States, Europe, and Asia for sexual and labor exploitation. Foreign victims are brought to Chile for commercial sexual exploitation or involuntary domestic servitude from Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, and China.

The Government of Chile does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made strong efforts to identify child victims and to support NGO programs that assisted trafficking victims. The government designated an agency to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts, began central collection of case data, and investigated a number of cases involving the trafficking of minors and women for sexual exploitation. The government should criminalize all forms of trafficking and increase efforts to train officials, raise public awareness, and prosecute traffickers.

Prosecution
The Government of Chile made modest progress on improving law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. After ratifying the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime in November 2004, the government began reforms to bring Chile's laws into compliance with Protocol standards. Existing laws against trafficking, focused on movement of persons across borders for prostitution, were supplemented by laws against acts of violence and the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. Chile lacked statutes against internal trafficking, making it difficult to gather trafficking case data, but the government designated an anti-trafficking coordinator in the Interior Ministry who worked with the Public Ministry to start gathering information on new cases investigated and prosecuted. From May 2005 through March 2006, 83 new cases were opened, with 50 pending active investigations, and 14 prosecutions were initiated by the period's end. All but six of the new trafficking-related cases dealt with commercial sexual exploitation of minors. No information was available regarding the status of cases initiated, in previous years. There were no reports of government officials investigated or prosecuted for complicity in trafficking.

Protection
The Chilean Government made substantial efforts to assist trafficking victims during the reporting year. Child victims trafficked into sexual exploitation received counseling, psychological and health care, and educational courses in NGO-operated centers for abused and exploited children. The government gave $2 million to 16 NGOs that implement victim-assistance programs in 12 districts of the country. Police officials who identified child trafficking victims referred them to family courts for placement in protective custody with foster families, relatives, or shelters and put victims in contact with NGOs. The government worked with Bolivian and Argentine authorities to coordinate the safe repatriation of foreign victims. There were no reports that the government punished victims for unlawful acts that were a direct result of their being trafficked. Trafficking victims may remain in Chile during legal proceedings against their traffickers. Victims can also bring legal action against traffickers and seek restitution. The government had no residence visa program for foreign trafficking victims, but granted temporary residence to at least one victim to avoid returning her to potential re-victimization in her home country. Once their traffickers have been prosecuted, victims must apply for residency or risk deportation.

Prevention
The government made modest but increased prevention efforts during the reporting year. The Public Ministry trained hundreds of law enforcement agents to recognize and investigate potential trafficking and trained prosecutors to more effectively prosecute cases. The National Women's Service raised trafficking awareness and provided information on victim's rights and the prosecution of traffickers to 100 officials and 160 civic activists in the cities of Iquique and Arica.

CHINA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

The People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) is a source, transit, and destination country for women, men, and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. The majority of trafficking in China is internal, but there is also international trafficking of Chinese citizens to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America. Women are lured through false promises of legitimate employment only to be forced into commercial sexual exploitation largely in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan. There also are cases involving Chinese men and women smuggled into destination countries throughout the world at an enormous personal financial cost and then forced into commercial sexual exploitation or exploitative labor to repay debts to traffickers. Women and children are trafficked into China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and sexual slavery. Most North Koreans seeking to leave North Korea enter northeastern China voluntarily but some are forced into sexual servitude or forced labor after arriving in China. Others reportedly are trafficked into China from North Korea. Domestic trafficking remains the most significant problem in China, with an estimated minimum of 10,000-20,000 victims trafficked internally each year; the actual number of victims could be much greater. International organizations report that 90 percent are women and children, trafficked primarily from Anhui, Henan, Hunan, Sichuan, and Yunnan and Guizhou Provinces to prosperous provinces along China's east coast for sexual exploitation. Some experts believe that the serious and prolonged imbalance in the male-female birth ratio may now be contributing to Chinese and foreign girls and women being trafficked as potential brides.

The Government of China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Accessing information on China's anti-trafficking efforts is difficult due to the closed nature of the government and the lack of many independent NGOs; however, based on the information currently available, China is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to address transnational trafficking. The Government of China provides reasonable protections to internal victims of trafficking; however, protections for Chinese and foreign victims of transnational trafficking remain inadequate and victims are sometimes punished for unlawful acts that were a direct result of their being trafficked -- e.g., violations of prostitution or immigration/emigration controls. However, the government began drafting a national anti-trafficking action plan, expected to be finalized later in 2006, that will formally designate anti-trafficking responsibilities to relevant state ministries and NGOs.

China should adopt comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation that includes a full definition of trafficking in persons in line with the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. It should recognize debt bondage and child commercial sexual exploitation--with "child" defined as a person below the age of 18--as forms of trafficking.

Prosecution
China vigorously investigates and prosecutes crimes of trafficking, although the P.R.C. Government's definition of trafficking in persons does not match U.S. and UN definitions. For example, the government considers fraudulent adoptions to be a form of trafficking in persons, but it does not consider debt bondage or involuntary servitude to be trafficking in persons crimes. A number of related criminal statutes address various aspects of trafficking in persons, including laws against trafficking or kidnapping for coercive prostitution, and laws aimed at individuals who traffic in girls under the age of 14 for commercial sexual exploitation. These laws carry substantial penalties, including execution. During the first 10 months of 2005, the Ministry for Public Security (MPS) reported 1,949 cases of trafficking of women and children, though the MPS acknowledges that cases of trafficking and smuggling are both included in this number. China does not provide statistics on convictions or sentences; however, given the nature of the criminal system in China (lack of an independent judiciary and rule of law), most cases likely resulted in convictions with substantial sentences or execution. As with past years, sex trafficking has been the center of the government's law enforcement efforts, not coercive labor practices, such as involuntary servitude and forced labor. The MPS plans to establish an anti-trafficking police unit, and its mandate should include these types of cases. The government conducted some anti-trafficking training for law enforcement officials during the past year. There were no known reports of action taken against trafficking-related corruption.

Protection
The focal point of China's protection policy is the All China Women's Federation (ACWF), which provides some assistance to trafficked Chinese women and girls and also coordinates with other government agencies and international organizations for victim care and assistance. The ACWF, however, has no clear and formal mandate to assume responsibility for the care of trafficking victims who, as victims of a serious crime, technically are part of the MPS mandate on crime. The MPS, however, has no resources or training with which to provide the necessary shelter and counseling for victims. This lack of coordination is expected to be addressed by a National Action Plan on Trafficking in Persons, now being drafted. The government reported that 3,574 women and children were rescued from trafficking situations during the first 10 months of 2005. The MPS, working with the Ministry of Civil Affairs, also provides some shelter, medical care, and psychological services for victims. The MPS, ACWF, and the Ministry of Civil Affairs collaborated in opening shelters and rehabilitation centers in Jiangsu, Yunnan, and Sichuan Provinces, areas with large numbers of reported trafficking victims. The government reported that 2,000 women have received help in these facilities. Another facility in Dongxing, Guangxi Province aids Vietnamese trafficking victims. However, none of these efforts is coordinated and there is no national referral mechanism for victims of trafficking. As such, protection measures vary widely from province to province. Despite providing some reasonable care to identified Chinese victims, efforts to protect foreign victims and P.R.C. women returning from Taiwan remain inadequate. Chinese officials do not adequately differentiate between trafficking victims and illegal migrants seeking to avoid criminal penalties. During the reporting period, there were reports that P.R.C. citizens who were subjected to conditions of trafficking in Taiwan faced fines or other punishment upon their return to the mainland; P.R.C. officials state that this practice is no longer occurring. Burmese and Vietnamese trafficking victims may also face punishment and summary deportation to their countries of origin. MPS officials do not offer foreign victims of trafficking legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they face retribution or hardship. This is particularly the case with regards to North Korean trafficking victims in China, as all North Koreans in China are presumed to be economic migrants.

Prevention
The government recognizes that trafficking is an issue that should be addressed and has significantly stepped up efforts to work with international organizations. The government is working with UNICEF on a National Plan of Action to combat trafficking in persons, but the plan has been languishing for a number of years. Nonetheless, the government does show signs of addressing forced labor conditions among informal and formal sector laborers, which continue to be reported throughout China, and it is actively working with the ILO to address such concerns. A country program to fight trafficking was coordinated by the ACWF, MPS, and UNICEF and resulted in the development of a training manual, video, and other materials designed to educate youth about the dangers of trafficking. ACWF also conducts a number of other anti-trafficking outreach efforts.

COLOMBIA (TIER 1)

Colombia is one of the Western Hemisphere's major source countries for women and girls trafficked abroad for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The government estimates that 45,000-50,000 Colombian nationals engage in prostitution overseas and that many of them have been trafficked. Colombian women and girls are trafficked to South, Central, and North America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, and the Middle East. Within the country, although some Colombian men are trafficked for forced labor, trafficking by organized crime networks--some related to terrorist organizations--of women and children from rural to urban areas for sexual exploitation remains a much larger problem. Internal armed violence in Colombia has displaced many rural communities, making them more vulnerable to trafficking, and insurgent and paramilitary groups have forcibly recruited and exploited an estimated 6,000 to 11,000 children as soldiers, or in forced labor and prostitution. Child sex tourism is a problem in Cartagena and resort areas on the Caribbean coast. Some reports also suggest that Colombia is a transit point for movement of victims from other Andean countries on their way to Europe and the United States.

The Government of Colombia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and has demonstrated the political will to improve its efforts to combat trafficking. The government demonstrated enough progress during the reporting period to meet the minimum standards, but must show appreciable progress during the next year. Prosecutions and new investigations increased and courts convicted at least two traffickers during the reporting period. The government in August 2005 enacted additional legislation to strengthen anti-trafficking efforts, particularly in respect to victim protection and prevention. The government should vigorously pursue actions that bring traffickers to justice, expand support for victim assistance, and raise awareness in vulnerable populations regarding the dangers of trafficking. It should also develop and implement the national strategy against trafficking called for in the August 2005 law.

Prosecution
The Government of Colombia's enforcement efforts improved in comparison with the previous
reporting period. Colombia's anti-trafficking laws prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons. Penalties of up to 23 years' imprisonment are adequate to deter trafficking and equivalent to those for other serious crimes. Authorities arrested 49 trafficking suspects and prosecuted 25 trafficking cases during the reporting period. Courts confirmed two trafficking convictions during the reporting period; both traffickers received nine-year prison terms. In January 2006, police first used asset forfeiture provisions/laws to seize trafficker assets. Law 985, enacted in August 2005, strengthened anti-trafficking statutes by making a victim's consent to his or her movement irrelevant in proving whether trafficking has occurred. The government continued international cooperation efforts, working with Venezuela, El Salvador, Panama, and Japan in the investigation of trafficking networks. There were no reports of officials prosecuted for trafficking but two consular employees were investigated for arranging documents to move Chinese nationals into Colombia in a case that may have involved trafficking.

Protection
The government made modest progress in addressing victims' needs during the reporting period, but resources proved insufficient to keep pace with the demand for services. Colombian missions abroad referred 33 cases to IOM for repatriation assistance and assisted Colombian victims abroad in gaining access to host country protection and services. Police investigators set up interview facilities in Bogota's international airport to meet with returning victims, debrief them, and inform them of their rights and procedures for pressing charges. In various law enforcement operations within the country, authorities rescued more than 61 trafficking victims. There were no reports of the government arresting, deporting, or otherwise punishing foreign victims. In both domestic and international cases, the Ministry of Interior and Justice was the agency responsible for providing lodging, medical and psychological care, access to financial and employment assistance, legal support throughout the judicial case against the trafficker, and safe passage for victims returning to their home communities. However, services were insufficient to meet demand, particularly with respect to medium-term rehabilitative requirements. The government did not operate specially designated trafficking victim care or victim health care facilities. Government authorities worked closely with NGOs and international organizations that also provided services to victims. The government encouraged victims to help build cases against traffickers; however, most victims feared retaliation from trafficking networks and were reluctant to assist in prosecutions. No trafficking victims participated in the witness protection program administered by prosecutors.

Prevention
The government made modest progress during the reporting year in raising public awareness, but continued to rely heavily on NGOs and international organizations to create and conduct prevention campaigns. The Ministry of Communication ran televised public service announcements to raise public awareness. Law 985 of 2005 formally charged the Inter-institutional Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons, headed by the Minister of Interior and Justice, with coordinating anti-trafficking policies and developing a comprehensive national action plan.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (TIER 2)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. The vast majority of trafficking occurs within the country's unstable eastern provinces, where transitional government control is nominal and members of armed groups continue to perpetrate violent acts with impunity. Indigenous and foreign armed rebels continue to abduct and forcibly recruit Congolese men, women, and children to serve as laborers, porters, domestics, combatants, and sex slaves, albeit at a much reduced rate from previous years. Many people abducted in past years, including a limited number of Ugandan nationals being detained by Ugandan militia operating in Congolese territory, are still being held by these armed groups. There were reports of Congolese children in prostitution in brothels in the country. There were also numerous reports indicating that some local authorities attempted to recruit child soldiers for armed groups. During the year, there was one known case of Congolese children trafficked to Zambia.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Given the transitional government's financial, military, and political inability to deal with armed rebel groups, its capacity to effectively address trafficking is limited. To further its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should continue demobilizing child soldiers, demonstrate progress toward the passage of anti-trafficking legislation, and arrest and prosecute traffickers. It should also continue military action against armed groups that recruit children for military service or abduct civilians for forced labor or sexual slavery.

Prosecution
Although the country's criminal justice system -- police, courts, and prisons -- was decimated by years of war and remains extremely weak, military tribunals sentenced commanders of armed groups to prison for illegally detaining children during the reporting period. There is no law specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons, but existing laws prohibit slavery, forced labor, the prostitution of children under the age of 14, and the activities of brothel owners, clients, and pimps. The Ministry of Justice, with French Government assistance, worked to revise the penal code to include specific laws against trafficking in persons; completed draft legislation is expected in September. The government lacks the funds to print and distribute copies of the current penal code to the country's 2,500 magistrates. In May 2005, the head of the Congolese armed forces (FARDC) instructed all brigade commanders not to recruit children and explained the severe punishments that would be meted out against anyone responsible for such conscription. FARDC's Auditor General also instructed all military courts to legally pursue anyone who continued to recruit children for military participation. As a result, in early 2006, Kanyanga Biyoyo, Commandant of rebel army Mundundu-40, was sentenced to five years in prison for war crimes, including the recruitment and use of child soldiers. In March 2006, the government arrested and turned over Thomas Lubanga, leader of the UPC rebel movement, to the International Criminal Court for recruiting and using children under the age of 15 in armed conflict. Local law enforcement authorities were rarely able to enforce existing laws due to lack of personnel, funding, and the inaccessibility of eastern areas of the country. However, local police in the east used laws barring underage persons from drinking establishments to close down suspected or known brothels; no one was arrested during these operations. In 2005, the Congolese embassy in Lusaka fully cooperated with the Zambian Government to repatriate Congolese child trafficking victims. At the national level, FARDC, with United Nations Mission to the Congo (MONUC) support, conducted dozens of operations in the eastern provinces to neutralize foreign armed groups, the primary perpetrators of human trafficking in the country.

Protection
Through its national demobilization commission, CONADER, the Ministry of Defense worked closely during the year with NGOs and international organizations to demobilize and reintegrate into society children associated with armed groups. When such groups disarm and are integrated into FARDC, CONADER identifies and separates out children and transports them to camps for temporary housing and vocational training. In 2005, 14,315 children were removed from armed groups. Of the 16,809 children demobilized since 2004, 8,663 were reunified with their families, 7,044 returned to academic schooling, and 4,609 received vocational training. As the government lacked funding to fully respond to the large numbers of demobilized children, NGOs provided legal, medical, and psychological services. The government lacks the resources not only to aid other categories of trafficking victims, but also to provide security and basic services to its citizens.

Prevention
The government's efforts to prevent trafficking increased during the reporting period. In 2005, CONADER and MONUC sensitized newly integrated FARDC troops -- both commanders and rank and file soldiers -- on the illegality of using child soldiers. There was no formal coordination or communication between various agencies on trafficking in persons; however, the expansion of FARDC and MONUC presence and operations in the eastern provinces reduced militia activity, effectively preventing additional forcible recruitment of child soldiers by foreign armed groups.

COSTA RICA (TIER 2)

Costa Rica is principally a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Women and girls from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Guatemala, Ecuador, Cuba, Peru, China, Russia, and the Philippines are trafficked to the country for sexual exploitation; Costa Rican women and children are trafficked within the country for the same purpose. The government acknowledges that child sex tourism is a serious problem. Costa Rica serves as a transit point for victims trafficked to the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Men, women, and children are also trafficked, usually within the country, for forced labor as domestic servants, agricultural workers, and workers in the fishing industry.

The Government of Costa Rica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Authorities investigated numerous reports of minors trafficked for sexual exploitation, cooperated on international trafficking investigations, and initiated a new public awareness campaign that targeted girls and young women vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. The government should work with the legislature to pass necessary anti-trafficking laws. It should also improve services for victims and increase investigations and prosecutions of traffickers. When complaints are filed against officials allegedly involved in trafficking, they should be vigorously investigated. The government should also develop a national plan of action and designate an official to lead inter-agency cooperation.

Prosecution
The Government of Costa Rica showed only limited success in enforcement efforts against traffickers during the reporting year, and laws remained inadequate to address all forms of trafficking. Costa Rica lacks an anti-trafficking law; consequently, crimes that involve trafficking are difficult to track. A variety of criminal statutes were used against traffickers but the slow judicial system and the lack of trafficking-specific statutes prevented officials from confirming how many cases involving trafficking resulted in convictions in 2005. In practice, law enforcement anti-trafficking efforts focused on commercial sexual exploitation of minors, for which officials reported 37 new investigations during the reporting period. Authorities cooperated with Nicaraguan and U.S. counterparts in trafficking investigations, but lack of Costa Rican internal government coordination generally hampered enforcement efforts. Although there were indications that some border officials have been involved in trafficking, no reported complaints of trafficking-related corruption were filed during the reporting period.

Protection
The Costa Rican Government's efforts to protect trafficking victims remained extremely limited during the reporting year, largely due to the lack of resources. The government continued to punish some victims for unlawful acts they committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. Identified trafficking victims did not face jail, but officials treated some adult victims as illegal migrants and deported them. Foreign nationals identified as trafficking victims could seek repatriation; alternatively, they could apply for work permits or refugee status. Most protective services were severely lacking. The government operated no shelters or health care facilities designated for trafficking victims and lacked the ability to provide even temporary shelter or services. Officials used no standard referral process to transfer trafficking victims to NGOs and the government lacked the capacity to fund NGOs that assisted trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government made some progress on prevention during the year. An existing campaign against child sex tourism continued and a new campaign was launched using television, radio, and billboard notices to warn young women of the dangers of commercial sexual exploitation. The government relied heavily on third parties to raise awareness and provide anti-trafficking training.

COTE D'IVOIRE (TIER 2)

Cote d'Ivoire is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for
forced labor and sexual exploitation. Women and girls are trafficked for domestic servitude and
used in prostitution. Boys are trafficked for agricultural labor on cocoa and palm oil plantations, in mines and for combat. Internal trafficking is prevalent, with children in refugee zones increasingly vulnerable to being trafficked. Internationally, Ivoirian women and children are trafficked to Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, Syria and Libya. Other victims are trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire from Burkina Faso, Ghana, Liberia, North Africa, Ukraine, China, and the Philippines.

The Government of Cote d'Ivoire does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Nearly four years of civil conflict has left the nation paralyzed by in-fighting among political factions and with an extreme budget shortfall. Despite these challenges, the government has demonstrated some political will to combat trafficking. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should pass its draft anti-trafficking legislation, increase law enforcement and victim protection efforts within its capabilities, and ensure that police are not complicit in trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Cote d'Ivoire demonstrated minimal efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement during the reporting period. A law prohibiting trafficking drafted in 2002 still awaits adoption at the National Assembly. The government arrested two traffickers and prosecuted one trafficking case using a kidnapping statute. The government rarely investigates trafficking cases. Police report being unable to investigate brothels exploiting alleged trafficking victims because of a lack of vehicles. NGOs report, however, that Ivoirian police are themselves often the exploiters of women used in prostitution. In 2005 Cote d'Ivoire's National Committee for the Fight Against Trafficking and Child Exploitation (NCFTCE) took the lead in drafting a regional multi-lateral anti-trafficking agreement it entered into with eight other countries.

Protection
During the reporting period, the Government of Cote d'Ivoire made significant efforts to protect trafficking victims. Though lacking its own shelters, the government contributed a building and utilities to a local NGO for a shelter, as well as nine civil servants to staff the shelter. In addition, the government provided modest funding to a local NGO that provides reintegration services to trafficking victims. The government rescued 17 Burkinabe children trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire and cooperated with UN and Burkinabe authorities to repatriate them to Burkina Faso. In addition, the Minister of Labor, in collaboration with the West African Project Against Abusive Child Labor in Commercial Agriculture (WACAP), withdrew 6,270 children from hazardous work on farms, enrolled another 1,224 children vulnerable to becoming victims of hazardous labor in alternative education programs, and provided income-generating activities to parents. While officials often refer victims to indigenous NGOs for assistance, on several occasions victims were treated as criminal violators and kept in juvenile detention centers. Moreover, some trafficking victims have been punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked -- prosecuted for offenses such as prostitution or document fraud.

Prevention
Cote d'Ivoire made significant efforts to prevent trafficking over the last year. The Minister of Labor signed a National Action Plan to combat the worst forms of child labor with strategies for providing education, shelter, and repatriation services to trafficking and child labor victims. In addition, the Ministry of Labor collaborated with WACAP to educate 21,000 farmers about child labor exploitation and started a data bank to track the number of children in worst forms of labor. In June 2005, the government organized an ILO-funded trafficking awareness seminar for local communities in Bondoukou, a source region for trafficking victims. In 2006, the government reinstated a Child Labor Task Force that had disbanded during civil conflict.

CROATIA (TIER 2)

Croatia is a country of transit, and increasingly a source and destination, for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Female victims from Romania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), and other parts of Eastern Europe are trafficked through BiH and Serbia and Montenegro to Croatia. Due to Croatia's border with the EU, many victims are trafficked into Western Europe. There was one reported case of trafficking for forced labor in 2005.

The Government of Croatia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Although the government increased its law enforcement investigations in 2005, follow-through on law enforcement efforts remained inadequate and, due to an enormous judicial case backlog, no traffickers were convicted or sentenced in 2005. The government continued to employ a systematic screening process to identify and assist trafficking victims and implemented comprehensive awareness and prevention programs in 2005. The government should vigorously prosecute trafficking cases with the purpose of obtaining convictions and adequate sentences for traffickers. The government should continue to work to ensure the institutionalized screening process already in place reaches all potential victims transiting Croatia, including illegal migrants and, increasingly, migrants who transit the country legally.

Prosecution
In 2005, the Government of Croatia increased implementation of its 2004 trafficking law. The government conducted over 44 trafficking investigations, an increase from 17 the previous year. While the government prosecuted seven trafficking cases, no convictions were reported. Croatia's laws criminalize all forms of trafficking; during the reporting period, the government drafted legislation that would allow for prosecution of clients who knowingly use the services of trafficking victims. In 2005, in cooperation with IOM, the government completed its comprehensive train-the trainer program for law enforcement and trained an additional 250 border police on victim identification and 20 officers on specific techniques for interviewing foreign trafficking victims. The government collaborated with other governments in the region to assist victims and arrest traffickers. While there were no specific reports of trafficking-related complicity, corruption and organized crime continued to hinder Croatia's anti-trafficking efforts.

Protection
In 2005, the government continued to provide all identified victims with shelter, and legal, medical, and psychological services as well as educational and vocational training; government assistance was not conditioned on victim cooperation in a trafficking case. The government continued to implement a national referral system, employing joint NGO-IOM-police "mobile teams" through which victims are identified and referred for assistance. Border police continued to follow a specific protocol outlining aggressive investigative techniques to identify trafficking victims transiting through Croatia, and referred cases involving potential trafficking victims to the Criminal Police Directorate for Organized Crime within the Ministry of Interior. Despite the government's efforts to train police and other front-line responders on victim identification, the number of trafficking victims identified in Croatia overall remains inadequate. As a result, only five victims were identified during the reporting period, a decrease from 18 identified the previous year. The government provided two victims with one-year residency permits in 2005. Victims have adequate protection if they choose to testify.

Prevention
In 2004, the government continued to monitor its anti-trafficking efforts via its anti-trafficking coordinator, and a working group that includes NGOs met regularly to discuss specific trafficking cases and programs. In 2005, the Government of Croatia funded two public awareness campaigns targeting potential victims among the general public and children. Law enforcement officials, specially trained in trafficking, participated in the comprehensive awareness campaigns, which included roundtables, local TV and radio spots, and print ads at train stops and billboards, all of which advertised the government's anti-trafficking hotline. In 2005, the Ministry of Interior developed a flyer, translated it into four languages, and distributed it at border crossings to potential trafficking victims. In December 2005, the government organized a series of seminars to educate journalists on trafficking issues, with a special emphasis on protection of victims' identity. During the reporting period, the government adopted a National Plan for Trafficking in Children.

CUBA (TIER 3)

Cuba is a source country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced child labor. The nature and extent of trafficking in the country is hard to gauge due to the closed nature of the government and a lack of non-governmental reporting.1 However, Cuba is a major destination for sex tourism, which largely caters to hundreds of thousands of European, Canadian, and Latin American tourists. Cuba's thriving sex trade involves large numbers of minors and there is anecdotal evidence that state-run hotel workers, travel company employees, taxicab drivers, bar and restaurant workers, and law enforcement personnel are complicit in the commercial sexual exploitation of these children. There are also reports that Cuban women have been trafficked to Mexico for sexual exploitation, in addition to unconfirmed reports that Cubans are forced to work as deckhands on smuggling trips in order to pay off large smuggling debts. Cuban forced labor victims also include children coerced into working in commercial agriculture.

The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Information related to trafficking in Cuba is difficult to obtain because the Government of Cuba will not publicly release information and any attempt to engage the Government of Cuba is rebuffed as politically motivated. To improve its efforts to combat trafficking, the government should publicly acknowledge that trafficking occurs and make efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict those who are abusing women and children in the sex trade.

Prosecution
The government has no anti-trafficking law enforcement policy and there were no investigations, arrests, prosecutions, or convictions of traffickers over the period covered by this report. The Cuban penal code provides penalties for trafficking-related crimes; however, the Cuban Government does not provide information on the actual enforcement of these laws. Article 302 of the Cuban penal code provides for penalties ranging between four and 20 years for inducing or promoting prostitution. Penalties are increased to 20 to 30 years if the act involves facilitating a person's entry to or exit from the country. Article 316 provides penalties of seven to 15 years' imprisonment for the trafficking of minors. Cuba also has laws against forced labor and sexual exploitation. Despite the presence of laws that may be used to prosecute traffickers, it is not known if any such laws resulted in a prosecution or a conviction during the reporting period. There were no known investigations or prosecutions of public officials for complicity in trafficking during the reporting period.

Protection
Cuban Government efforts to aid trafficking victims were not seen or reported over the last year. Victims are punished for unlawful acts committed as part of their being trafficked; women and children in prostitution are occasionally sent to "reeducation" programs, and most are sentenced to several years in prison. Furthermore, "rehabilitation centers" for women and children engaged in prostitution (some of whom may be trafficking victims) are not staffed with personnel who are trained or equipped to adequately care for potential trafficking victims. Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that such rehabilitation centers are in fact the equivalent of prisons and do not provide any necessary services to the women and children housed there. There is no coordination on trafficking-related matters with international organizations or NGOs operating in the country.

Prevention
The government undertakes no information campaigns to prevent trafficking for sexual exploitation, and does not officially admit that Cuba has a trafficking problem. There are passing references to trafficking-related issues in a National Action Plan for Youth and Adolescents, but nothing specific regarding the prevention of trafficking or how to address the growing numbers of children engaged in prostitution in the country. The Cuban Government does not tolerate independent NGOs and most are in fact operating under the direction of the Cuban government.

CYPRUS (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Cyprus is primarily a destination country for a large number of women trafficked from Eastern and Central Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Other countries of origin include the Philippines and the Dominican Republic. Traffickers continued to fraudulently recruit victims for work as dancers in cabarets and nightclubs on short-term "artiste" visas, for work in pubs and bars on employment visas, or for illegal work on tourist or student visas. Traffickers often rotated victims between different cabarets in cities throughout Cyprus. There were credible reports of female domestic workers from India, Sri Lanka and the Philippines forced to work excessively long hours and denied proper compensation.

The Government of Cyprus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Cyprus has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List because of its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to address its serious trafficking for sexual exploitation problem. While there were seven convictions using prostitution and sexual exploitation laws, the government failed to utilize its anti-trafficking legislation during the reporting period. The government did not proactively implement its National Action Plan, nor did it formally open a trafficking shelter. The government slightly decreased the number of "artiste" visas issued in 2005, but failed to fulfill its commitment to abolish this visa category. The government should assign a clear political priority to fighting trafficking immediately. It should start prosecuting trafficking crimes. As promised in the National Action Plan, the government should significantly reduce the number of "artiste" visas and abolish this visa category to prevent further exploitation of trafficking victims in Cyprus. It should produce and launch a national public awareness campaign to reduce demand for trafficking victims in Cyprus. The Cypriot Government should complete, proactively implement, and distribute its standardized handbook for screening and referral of victims and ensure its wide distribution to all foreign workers entering Cyprus.

Prosecution
In 2005, the Government of Cyprus failed to sustain the anti-trafficking law enforcement momentum started in the previous year. The government finalized its proposed laws on trafficking but has not yet introduced them to Parliament; this proposed legislation would abolish the "artiste" visa and expand Cypriot law to include other forms of trafficking. In 2005, the Cypriot police arrested an increased number of traffickers. While the government convicted seven suspects on charges related to prostitution, it was unable to confirm whether a trafficking element was involved. In March 2006, the Council of Ministers introduced amendments to its current immigration law to the House of Representatives, which would harmonize it with EU directives to combat human trafficking. During the reporting period, the government cooperated in five international trafficking investigations and responded to requests for assistance from source countries. During the year the press reported that at least 19 officers have been implicated in corruption cases, at least two of which were related to prostitution or possible trafficking. To combat police corruption, the Council of Ministers appointed an independent body to investigate police corruption in April, 2006, but failed to investigate reports of trafficking-related corruption.

Protection
The Government of Cyprus did not demonstrate tangible progress in providing protection and assistance to victims of trafficking in 2005. It fell short of targets established by the government's own National Action Plan. Although the government procured funding, obtained permits and signed a lease for a shelter for trafficking victims, it failed to open it during the reporting period. The anti-trafficking unit informally referred victims to an NGO shelter in Limassol, but the government did not establish a formalized screening and referral process. The government's Welfare Services provided financial aid, counseling and temporary shelter to 36 victims for up to three weeks in subsidized homes for the elderly. Although the planned 2004 standardized internal guidelines on victim identification and referral were completed and sent to all ministries for final review, they have yet to be printed or distributed. The government cooperated with NGOs in preparing the new immigration legislation and handbook. During the reporting period, the police identified 55 victims of trafficking, 42 of whom testified or pressed charges against their traffickers. Identified victims were offered legal alternatives to their removal and were allowed to remain in the country in order to testify. In the absence of a formal screening process, some unidentified victims continued to be at risk of deportation.

Prevention
The Government of Cyprus made some limited progress in implementing prevention elements of its National Action Plan in 2005. The government printed 60,000 trafficking prevention leaflets in four languages for those entering Cyprus on "artiste" visas, and began distributing these at immigration police offices and at airports. Although the government funded a promised demand oriented public awareness campaign, it has yet to conduct any large scale campaigns to generate public awareness about the role customers play in contributing to trafficking in Cyprus. The government drafted a pamphlet in Greek for all foreign workers entering Cyprus on other work visas, but has yet to print or distribute it. It issued 4,000 new "artiste" visas in 2005, a 13 percent decrease from the previous year.

Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots:
The northern part of Cyprus is governed by a Turkish Cypriot administration that has declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"). The United States does not recognize it, nor does any other country, except Turkey.

The area administered by Turkish Cypriots is a destination for women trafficked from Eastern and Central Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Reportedly, men were trafficked to work in the construction industry. There are continued indications that it is also used as a transit point for persons trafficked into forced labor into the EU.

The area administered by Turkish Cypriots does not have a law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons. In 2005, all potential trafficking cases were tried on the charge of "living off the earnings of prostitution." Persons convicted under this law can receive a maximum sentence of two years in prison. This is not commensurate with the penalties for other similar crimes in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, such as rape. Police arrested 25 suspects, prosecuted 16 cases and convicted nine suspects, all of whom paid minor fines. In 2005, 1,031 "artiste" visas were issued to women working in 46 nightclubs, and as of January 2006, 378 foreign women were working in this area. In 2005, immigration police repatriated 150 women who wished to curtail their nightclub contracts. Police corruption remained a problem; in May 2005, two police officers were questioned on suspicion of involvement in a false visa ring but no arrests were made. In 2006, Turkish Cypriots established an anti-trafficking hotline, but have not publicized it. Turkish Cypriots should take proactive steps to train law enforcement and other front-line responders on victim identification techniques, including the key difference between trafficking and smuggling -- exploitation.

CZECH REPUBLIC (TIER 2)

The Czech Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for women from the former Soviet Union, China, and Vietnam trafficked to and through the Czech Republic for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Czech women are trafficked to Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Scandinavia. The Czech Republic is a transit and destination country for men and women trafficked from Ukraine, Belarus, China, Vietnam, India, and North Korea for the purposes of labor exploitation. IOM reported in 2005 that labor trafficking is a growing problem in the Czech Republic. Ethnic Roma women remain at the highest risk for trafficking within the country.

The Government of the Czech Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Czech Republic is placed on Tier 2 because of inadequate sentences for traffickers and concerns over forced labor. The North Korean (D.P.R.K.) regime provides contract labor for private industry in the Czech Republic. There are allegations that this labor is exploitative, specifically that the D.P.R.K. government keeps most of the wages paid to the North Korean workers and that workers' movement is controlled by D.P.R.K. government "minders." The Czech Government has conducted four investigations since 2004 and continues to investigate the North Korean workers' presence in the Czech Republic. To date, however, it has not confirmed that they enjoy freedom of movement away from D.P.R.K. government "minders" and are not subject to other coercive practices, such as the collection of a majority of the workers' salaries by D.P.R.K. officials. While concerns remain over efforts to combat forced labor and trafficking sentences, the government continued to provide excellent victim protection and assistance services as well as funding to all local NGOs with trafficking assistance programs. Law enforcement efforts also showed steady improvement. Several hundred police were trained in trafficking awareness and victim identification. The government should ensure that more convicted traffickers serve time in prison, and establish clear internal guidelines for police and prosecutors to successfully investigate and prosecute labor trafficking cases. The government should vigorously investigate all reports of suspected labor trafficking and regulate the practice of labor brokers that recruit guest workers to work in the Czech Republic. To this end, the government should implement recommendations made under the National Strategy to increase the number of police in the Organized Crime Unit. More labor inspectors should be given mandatory training on trafficking and on identifying labor trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The government demonstrated some progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the past year. During the reporting period, police conducted 18 trafficking investigations, down from 30 in 2004. There were 12 trafficking prosecutions resulting in 20 convictions. This total is up from 12 convictions in 2004. Additionally, 52 traffickers were prosecuted and convicted of offenses relating to but not specifically for trafficking in 2005. Although the number of prosecutions increased, the majority of convicted traffickers continued to receive suspended sentences. During the reporting period, only eight traffickers received prison sentences; twelve convicted traffickers received suspended sentences. The government sponsored several trainings for prosecutors and judges to improve prosecutions and increase prescribed sentences during the reporting period. Although there were no reports of institutional involvement in trafficking by Czech Government agencies, NGOs reported allegations of individual cases of corruption within the Czech Alien and Border police. There were 90 convictions of police and border officers for corruption in 2005, though the Czech government could not confirm any cases related to trafficking.

Protection
The government demonstrated significant efforts to protect and assist victims. The government permanently funds a victim assistance program that provides comprehensive victim protection. Victims choosing to cooperate with authorities may receive temporary-stay visas and are provided with health care, financial support, housing, additional counseling, job-placement assistance for foreign victims, and vocational training for repatriated Czech victims. Upon completion of legal proceedings, victims may choose to apply for permanent residency in the Czech Republic. Two victims were granted permanent residency during the reporting period. Beginning in 2005, victims granted a temporary stay visa were allowed to receive work permits. During the reporting period, 17 victims enrolled in the victim assistance program. The government also funds an IOM repatriation program for victims from Georgia and Moldova.

Prevention
Prevention efforts were adequate during the reporting period. As part of its demand reduction program, the government funded a study of prostitution clients and the demand for sexual services in the country. The Foreign Ministry continued its anti-trafficking education programs and provided trafficking information to persons applying for Czech visas in countries identified as sources of trafficking. In addition, consular officers received a new instructional manual on trafficking and some consular officers were provided training to identify potential victims. The government carefully monitored migration patterns for evidence of trafficking.

DENMARK (TIER 1)

Denmark is primarily a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked from Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, the Baltic States, Thailand, and Nigeria for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2005, there was one reported case of internal trafficking. Most cases of child trafficking involved the commercial sexual exploitation of young women aged 14 to 18. The government recognizes that trafficking is a problem in Denmark.

The Government of Denmark fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Denmark has shown considerable progress in addressing the problem of trafficking both internally and abroad. The government collaborates well with civil society organizations in addressing trafficking issues. In September 2005, the government amended its National Action Plan to bring greater attention to the trafficking of children. Government services offered to victims immediately upon their identification are sufficient. In order to provide more protection to victims who are returned to source countries, the Danish government should consider extending the 15-day stay currently offered to victims, as well as adopt legal alternatives to the removal of victims who may face retribution or hardship upon repatriation. The government should also centrally compile and maintain more comprehensive data regarding investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences.

Prosecution
The Government of Denmark showed continued progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Danish police conducted more than 30 trafficking investigations. In 2005, the government prosecuted four trafficking cases using its anti-trafficking law and 26 trafficking cases using its procurement law. Three people were convicted under the anti-trafficking law and 57 traffickers were convicted under the sexual procurement law. There was no comprehensive data provided on the specific sentences prescribed to traffickers; however, Danish law provides that all traffickers serve time in prison. No traffickers received suspended sentences. The government provided specialized training for authorities on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking. The National Police maintained a website with up-to-date information on trafficking that is accessible by the police. The government regularly cooperated with neighboring countries on joint investigations. While victims were encouraged to assist in investigations and prosecutions, few victims were willing to testify for fear of retribution upon their repatriation or against their family members in their home country.

Protection
The Danish Government's efforts to provide care for victims of trafficking improved during the reporting period. The government continued to fully fund three organizations that provided services for actual and potential victims. In 2005, one organization provided support for 60 trafficking victims, an increase from 29 in 2004. When police raided brothels or suspected trafficking rings, they often included social workers to assist victims onsite. Victims received immediate medical care and counseling. The newly introduced trafficking in children appendix to the National Action Plan provides for greater NGO support to minors, including the appointment of a guardian for each minor. Victims found in violation of immigration law are neither jailed nor fined and are offered a 15-day stay before repatriation during which they receive health care, counseling, and shelter. If these victims do not voluntarily return to their countries of origin, they are barred from re-entry to Denmark for one year. The government is aware that some victims may face hardship or retribution upon repatriation. Danish organizations attempt to arrange NGO care for these victims upon re-entry in their country of origin; however, the government is often unable to make such arrangements due to the underdeveloped NGO systems in many source countries.

Prevention
Denmark continued its progress in trafficking prevention. The government adequately monitored its borders and cooperated with other EU member states to prevent suspected criminals from entering Denmark. The government allocated $162,000 for an information campaign that targets the demand for trafficking and increases public awareness; the campaign will be launched in fall 2006. The government funds social organizations that regularly held information and outreach campaigns in local regions for both child and adult trafficking.

DJIBOUTI (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Djibouti is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and possibly forced labor. Small numbers of girls are trafficked to Djibouti from Ethiopia, Somalia, and the self-proclaimed Republic of Somaliland for sexual exploitation; economic migrants from these countries also at times fall victim to trafficking upon reaching Djibouti City or the Ethiopia-Djibouti trucking corridor. A small number of girls from impoverished Djiboutian families also engage in prostitution as a means of income, and they may be victims of trafficking. Children in prostitution are found on the streets or in brothels. Individuals acting as pimps or protectors are frequently used to set up transactions; older children reportedly force younger children to engage in prostitution and then collect their earnings. Women and children from neighboring countries reportedly transit Djibouti for Arab countries, Somalia, and Somaliland for ultimate use in forced labor or sexual exploitation.

The Government of Djibouti does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Djibouti is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because the determination that it is making significant efforts is based partly on the government's commitments to undertake future steps over the coming year, particularly in regard to drafting and passing a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. To begin combating trafficking in Djibouti, the government should initiate anti-trafficking legal reform, begin to educate government officials and the general public on the issue of trafficking in persons, and establish a mechanism for providing protective services to trafficking victims, particularly through the forging of dynamic partnerships with NGOs and associations already engaged in child protection activities.

Prosecution
The Government of Djibouti showed negligible efforts to punish acts of trafficking during the reporting period. Djibouti does not have a specific law prohibiting trafficking in persons, though laws against pimping and unpaid labor could potentially be used to prosecute trafficking cases. There were no prosecutions of traffickers during the year. The Brigade des Moeurs (Vice Police) is responsible for confronting the problem of children in prostitution; the brigade conducts nightly patrols of the bars in Djibouti City for persons under 18 years of age. In 2004, the brigade arrested 412 children in prostitution; 255 of these children were Ethiopian and 152 were Somali. Children under the age of 18 arrested for prostitution are typically charged with a misdemeanor crime as opposed to the full criminal charge prostitution normally carries; these girls are usually released. Police stations were, at times, used as temporary shelters for children while they waited for expedited court hearings. The government did not provide any specialized training for government officials in trafficking recognition or in the provision of assistance to trafficking victims.

Protection
There were no government efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period. Victims could, in theory, receive the same medical care available to victims of other crimes, but there were no known cases of this happening. The government punishes trafficking victims for unlawful acts they have committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The government also failed to offer legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries where they could face hardship or retribution. Undocumented foreign trafficking victims are deported by truck to their country of origin. Djiboutian victims are returned to their families. During the year, the police reportedly turned some street children over to two child protection NGOs for care; no further information on these activities is known.

Prevention
There is minimal understanding within the Djiboutian political hierarchy of what constitutes trafficking in persons. The government did not conduct anti-trafficking public education campaigns during the reporting period. The Labor Inspector's Bureau, which consists of one Inspector and six Controllers, lacks funding and has limited reach; the current state of labor inspection makes it nearly impossible to accurately assess labor conditions, including those potentially involving trafficking for forced labor, throughout the country. Both vulnerable Djiboutian women and Djiboutian trafficking victims could potentially take advantage of available micro-credit loans that assist poor women in starting income-generating activities.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (TIER 2)

The Dominican Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. IOM estimates that 50,000 Dominican women work in prostitution around the world and that an estimated one-third of these women are trafficking victims. Other international organizations estimate that between 30,000 and 50,000 Dominicans are victims of trafficking. Dominican women are often recruited through acquaintances or family networks, and by means of false promises and misleading employment advertisements. Many are unaware of the true nature of the work, the coercive demands that later will be made of them, or the amount of money they will receive. The primary destinations include Argentina, Australia, the Netherlands, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Netherlands Antilles, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Panama, Suriname, and Switzerland. There is also significant internal trafficking of women and children from rural areas to cities and tourist districts. Haitians are trafficked to the Dominican Republic to work in the sugarcane industry in shantytowns, referred to as "bateys." The conditions in the bateys are substandard; in some bateys, armed guards reportedly kept workers' clothes and documents.

The Government of the Dominican Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Dominican Republic has undertaken modest improvements to combat trafficking throughout the country, but much more should be done to address corruption, which often impedes investigations and law enforcement efforts in the country. Additionally, more attention should be given to identifying and aiding potential Haitian victims of trafficking. Increased efforts in victim protection are also necessary, and the government should work to increase funding to those agencies and organizations that are providing shelters and social services to trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Dominican Republic's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts increased over the reporting period, and the government made significant efforts to provide trafficking-related law enforcement data. The Dominican Republic has an anti-trafficking law, enacted in 2003. The law addresses both alien smuggling and trafficking in persons, and provides for penalties from 15-20 years' imprisonment and fines of 175 times the minimum wage. This law was used to convict seven individuals over the reporting period. There are also a number of related criminal laws that may be used against traffickers. During the reporting period, the government closed several brothels where children were being exploited, and convicted one of the brothel owners, sentencing him to five years' imprisonment. The government also secured convictions of four other trafficking defendants under its anti-trafficking law. These convictions resulted in 15-year prison terms for each defendant and 24 children were rescued from a brothel as a result. Child trafficker Maria Martinez Nunez, who had been awaiting trial since 2002, was also convicted. According to the Attorney General's Office, there are an additional 10 prosecutions underway. There were no reported investigations or prosecutions of public officials for complicity in trafficking despite widespread reporting of such corruption.

Protection
The government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking continued to be hampered by a lack of resources. Under the anti-trafficking law, victims are entitled to housing, medical care, and access to educational and other services. There are no shelters in the country specifically aimed at assisting trafficking victims; resource constraints make it difficult to fulfill this aspect of the law. The government's social services agency (CONANI) runs seven shelters in the country that may aid child trafficking victims. In addition, the government provides some funding to the Adoratrices Center, a religious organization that is coordinating with IOM to rehabilitate trafficking victims and provide them with vocational training. Adult trafficking victims are generally referred to IOM or to anti-trafficking NGOs. An important aspect of anti-trafficking efforts is the government's professional development institute (INFOTEP), which provides job training to trafficking victims. The government has also stepped up efforts to control the Haitian border, and some advocates believe this has lowered the number of Haitians trafficked into the country. The government continues to deny birth certificates to Haitians born in the Dominican Republic, which leaves them more vulnerable to traffickers and also leaves them without access to certain services in the Dominican Republic.

Prevention
The government acknowledges that trafficking is a problem and has established anti-trafficking units in the Attorney General's office, the National Police, the Migration Directorate, and the Secretariat of Foreign Relations. The government sponsored several education and prevention campaigns, including "La Ley Pega Fuerte" ("The Law Strikes Hard"), with posters and brochures that highlight the legal consequences of trafficking in persons. The government also held and participated in international seminars aimed at preventing trafficking, including a program designed to provide job training for youth at risk of trafficking. An October program in Boca Chica, a known hotspot for sex tourism, reached 400 adolescents.

EAST TIMOR (TIER 2)

East Timor is a destination country for women trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There are also unverified reports of men trafficked for forced labor. The majority of women trafficked to East Timor are from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the P.R.C. Within the country, there is internal trafficking of women and girls from rural areas to the capital, Dili, for commercial sexual exploitation. There are reports indicating that the decline in the international peacekeepers' presence has resulted in a decrease in the number of foreign trafficking victims.

The Government of East Timor does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The East Timorese government collaborated with NGOs and regional and international bodies, but it continued to have difficulty distinguishing trafficking victims from illegal migrants. While the government suffers from a lack of adequate financial resources, it also lacks political will to combat trafficking. The Government of East Timor should concentrate on arresting and prosecuting traffickers, improving victim protection measures, and raising awareness of trafficking. The government should also adopt a strong and comprehensive anti-trafficking law.

Prosecution
The Government of East Timor's law enforcement efforts against trafficking were minimal over the last year. There were no arrests or prosecutions of traffickers; the government did not compile information on law enforcement efforts. East Timorese authorities did not conduct investigations or raids over the last year. East Timor has basic legislation that criminalizes internal and external trafficking and is in the process of finalizing a new penal code that will criminalize the activities of pimps and brothel owners/operators. The Immigration and Asylum Act of 2003 criminalizes all forms of trafficking but penalties are less severe than penalties for rape and forcible sexual assault. There is a lack of coordination between prosecutors and the police, and law enforcement officials generally lack training. Despite rumors of law enforcement officials' complicity in trafficking, there were no reported prosecutions of corrupt officials related to trafficking.

Protection
The East Timorese government, lacking adequate resources, did not provide protection and assistance to trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government has a working group to focus on trafficking and coordinate with NGOs and international organizations. While some trafficking victims were repatriated through the help of their embassies and international organizations, most victims were charged and deported for prostitution and immigration violations. The Ministry of Labor and Community Reinsertion has informally collaborated with a local NGO, "Organization of Timorese Women," which has worked to identify and help potential domestic trafficking victims free themselves and find work outside of the sex industry. The government did not fund foreign and domestic NGOs but continued to refer victims to international organizations and NGOs that run programs providing protection for victims of trafficking.

Prevention
The Ministry of Labor, in collaboration with IOM, hosted a pre-departure training program for a group of Timorese nationals going to South Korea as part of a bilateral labor agreement; the training included a session aimed at raising the participants' awareness of the threat of trafficking. The government has considered, but not developed, a national action plan to address trafficking. The East Timorese government did not place a priority on trafficking prevention programs although it continued to recognize that trafficking is a problem.

ECUADOR (TIER 2)

Ecuador is a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Many victims are children trafficked for sexual exploitation. Ecuadorians are trafficked to Western Europe, particularly Spain and Italy, and Colombia and Venezuela. Traffickers also move Colombian women and girls to Ecuador for exploitation in prostitution. However, most victims are trafficked within the country's borders. Child sex tourism is also a problem.

The Government of Ecuador does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Ecuador moved from Tier 3 to Tier 2 as a result of clear progress in several key areas. The government enacted anti-trafficking legislation and took steps to identify trafficking situations, arrest and prosecute traffickers, assist victims, and raise public awareness. The government should provide sufficient staff, training, and resources to ensure that traffickers face prompt prosecution, and it should continue working with civil society to train officials, raise public awareness, and improve protection for victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Ecuador made significant progress in identifying and punishing acts of trafficking during the reporting period. A trafficking law passed in June 2005 prohibits all forms of trafficking, raises the legal age for prostitution to 18, and establishes sentences of up to 35 years in prison. Since enactment of the law, trafficking investigations have increased. A 10-member investigative unit in DINAPEN, the national police agency charged with protecting children, and a special police intelligence unit dedicated to actions against trafficking and alien smuggling, actively pursue trafficking investigations. The Attorney General's office reported 41 arrests and 15 trafficking cases involving adolescent Ecuadorian and foreign girls and women trafficked for sexual exploitation that reached some stage of prosecution during the reporting period. One trafficker was sentenced to nine years' imprisonment in June 2005. An official has been tasked with tracking data on trafficking cases, and the Attorney General appointed special prosecutors in Quito and Guayaquil to handle trafficking cases. Although corruption is a problem in general, there were no reports of government officials involved in or prosecuted for trafficking.

Protection
The Ecuadorian Government stepped up efforts to identify and assist trafficking victims during the reporting year. The Victim and Witness Protection Program, administered by the Public Ministry, assisted 32 trafficking victims. Although the Program is not uniquely designed for trafficking victims, it works with government agencies and NGOs to provide shelter, police protection, psychological and medical care, economic assistance, employment assistance, and educational support for children to victims willing to assist in investigations and prosecutions. The Program provided funds to, and had contractual agreements with, NGOs and other service providers. There were no reports of victims jailed or deported. The government assisted in the repatriation of one victim from the United States.

Prevention
The government launched a national public awareness campaign in January 2006 and made significant efforts to prevent trafficking in the latest months of the reporting period. Government leaders, including the President, the First Lady, and cabinet members brought national attention to the country's trafficking problem. The National Institute for Children and Family, headed by the First Lady, led initiatives that spread awareness through radio, television, skits, information booths at concerts and fairs, buttons, shirts, and billboards. The government also reached agreements with several private companies to include anti-trafficking messages at public theaters, through fliers distributed with bank and credit card statements, and on board local air flights. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs trained key officials in Machala and Quito, and provided guidance to Ecuador's embassies on trafficking and how to assist Ecuadorian victims. The government worked closely with NGOs and international organizations to provide training to officials throughout the country regarding new national laws against trafficking.

EGYPT (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Egypt is a transit country for women trafficked from Eastern Europe -- primarily Uzbekistan, Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia -- to Israel for the purpose of sexual exploitation. These women generally arrive in Egypt through air and seaports as tourists and are subsequently trafficked through the Sinai Desert by Bedouin tribes. Men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia are similarly believed to be trafficked through the Sinai Desert to Israel and Europe for labor exploitation. Bedouins, who are very knowledgeable of desert routes and methods of avoiding detection, routinely rape and abuse victims during journeys that can take up to two months to complete. In addition, some Egyptian children from rural areas are trafficked within the country to work as domestic servants or laborers in the agriculture industry.

The Government of Egypt does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Egypt is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking over the past year, particularly in the area of law enforcement. The government failed to conduct an assessment of the trafficking situation, or to draft a planned comprehensive anti-trafficking law, and had few trafficking prosecutions during the year. In 2005, however, Egypt improved training for border security officials to prevent smuggling and trafficking, and incorporated innovative tools to interdict traffickers as they travel through the Sinai Desert. Egypt should take proactive measures to investigate trafficking and increase prosecutions of Egyptians involved in trafficking rings. The government should also improve its cooperation and communication with source and destination country governments.

Prosecution
Over the year, Egypt made modest progress in its law enforcement efforts against traffickers. Egypt does not have a law specifically criminalizing human trafficking, and despite reports in 2004 that an anti-trafficking law was forthcoming, none has yet been presented to the Parliament for ratification. While other sections of the criminal code can be used to prosecute trafficking offenses, there were no reported prosecutions in 2005. According to State Security officials, the government has reportedly increased prosecutions against travel agencies complicit in the trafficking of women through Egypt. In a possible trafficking case, a criminal court in South Sinai in February 2005 convicted an Egyptian man of attempting to smuggle five Russian and Moldovan women to Israel. He was sentenced to 3.5 years in prison. Egypt should increase its investigations against Bedouin tribes involved in human smuggling and trafficking and should improve communication with source and destination countries to provide information relevant to interdicting trafficking rings. The government should also assess the level of trafficking of children for domestic or agricultural servitude and prosecute their traffickers.

Protection
Egypt took some modest measures to protect victims of trafficking this year. The government does not have a systematic mechanism to connect trafficking victims with organizations providing assistance, but does generally refer victims to IOM and their embassies to aid in their care and repatriation. Egypt also provides food, health care, and lodging to some victims on an ad hoc basis through the Ministry of Health. The government should improve its screening system at the border to ensure that trafficking victims are not detained with illegal migrants or deported without receiving victim assistance. The government does not offer legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they face retribution or hardship.

Prevention
During the year, Egypt made significant progress in preventing trafficking through the Sinai Desert to other destinations. In particular, in response to terror bombings in Sinai, the government made a concerted effort to increase security in the Sinai, especially with regard to alleged illegal activities by Sinai Bedouin tribes, which include trafficking of persons. Border officials participated in training aimed to improve their skills in interdicting traffickers. They also employed Bedouin trackers and sophisticated technology such as night-vision goggles to enhance their ability to capture Bedouin traffickers in the desert. In addition, the government increased scrutiny at major airports in Cairo and Sharm el Sheikh to prevent traffickers from entering the country. The government should institute a public awareness campaign to educate employers on the rights of children working in their homes or in the agriculture industry.

EL SALVADOR (TIER 2)

El Salvador is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. El Salvador is also a source country for forced labor. Salvadorans are trafficked to Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States. Salvadoran women and children are also trafficked internally from rural to urban areas for exploitation in prostitution. The vast majority of foreign victims are women and children from Nicaragua and Honduras trafficked for sexual exploitation.

The Government of El Salvador does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Authorities maintained momentum in implementing anti-trafficking laws and improving efforts to protect victims and work with countries of origin to achieve safe and orderly repatriations. The government should expand victim protection, improve cooperation between police and prosecutors to achieve better success against traffickers, and work with NGOs and the media to sustain public awareness of the trafficking problem.

Prosecution
The Government of El Salvador made modest law enforcement progress against traffickers during the reporting period. Salvadoran law criminalizes all forms of trafficking in accordance with international standards and specifies penalties of up to eight years' imprisonment that are increased by one-third in aggravated circumstances. During the reporting year, police arrested 17 individuals for trafficking and prosecutors obtained four convictions with sentences ranging from three to eight years in prison. The government also demonstrated its commitment to cooperate in international trafficking investigations by working with the Governments of Belize, Guatemala, and Nicaragua on trafficking cases throughout the year.

Protection
The government made notable improvements in victim protection, particularly in the treatment of foreign victims, during the reporting period. Victims' rights were generally respected; all victims had access to medical and psychological care; and foreign victims were not deported. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with its counterparts in countries of origin to effect orderly repatriations, or offered refugee status to foreign victims with a credible fear for their life should they return home. The Government of El Salvador signed memoranda of understanding with Mexico and Guatemala to facilitate repatriation of trafficking victims. A lack of resources prevented the government from funding NGOs that work with victims. Child victims were placed with child protective services and offered shelter, counseling, and medical assistance. The social services unit of the police service operated a provisional shelter and returning Salvadoran victims received temporary shelter through a program that assists recently deported Salvadorans. The government still needs to address the lack of both adequate witness protection and long-term shelter for victims.

Prevention
The government made little progress in its prevention efforts during the reporting period. New efforts focused on training consular officials. In early 2006, the government hosted a regional trafficking conference to train consular officials on identifying and assisting trafficking victims. The government also developed a trafficking handbook for its consular officers. The government relies heavily on NGOs, the ILO, and IOM for anti-trafficking initiatives but usually funds a small portion of project costs.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Equatorial Guinea is a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for forced labor, involuntary domestic servitude, and commercial sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked from surrounding countries -- primarily Benin, Nigeria, Mali, and Cameroon -- to work in the agricultural and commercial sectors of Malabo and Bata, where demand is high due to a booming oil sector. Children work as farmhands, street vendors, and household servants. Girls and women are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation from Cameroon, Togo, Nigeria, and China to Malabo and Bata.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Equatorial Guinea is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide adequate evidence of concrete measures to address trafficking over the past year. The government's initial progress made in the prior year appears to have stalled. Specifically, the government made insufficient law enforcement and victim protection efforts, despite having substantial resources. The government, however, conducted some anti-trafficking awareness campaigns and adopted a national anti-trafficking action plan. Additionally, the government launched a campaign to shut down unlicensed foreign shopkeepers in Equatorial Guinea intended, in part, to reduce the incidence of child trafficking. To strengthen its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should educate law enforcement and government officials about its trafficking legislation and increase victim protection efforts.

Prosecution
The Government of Equatorial Guinea made minimal law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the reporting period. Although Equatorial Guinea enacted an anti-trafficking law in 2004, the government was unable to report any trafficking arrests or prosecutions during the reporting period. The President of the Supreme Court held a weeklong workshop for all the judges in the country on family law that included seminars on trafficking. The government also passed decrees stating that parents of children working at night would be arrested. The government does not provide law enforcement officials with training on trafficking and has not been active in investigating trafficking cases. Equatorial Guinea has no system of monitoring immigration or emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking or for collecting trafficking crime statistics. The government did not report any investigations or prosecutions of public officials complicit in trafficking.

Protection
Equatorial Guinea provided insufficient protection and care to trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government currently has no facilities for providing care to victims, although the new anti-trafficking action plan calls for the creation of shelters. Equatorial Guinea lacks a screening and referral system to identify and transfer victims found by government officials to NGOs providing victim care. While the government has expressed willingness to support a local NGO shelter, the shelter has not yet received assistance. The government reports that it supports two additional NGO shelters, but has not released details about the extent of its contribution. The government, however, does assist in the repatriation of foreign victims to their home countries.

Prevention
Equatorial Guinea continued to make modest efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The government conducted several awareness-raising campaigns, including a radio campaign about the anti-trafficking law. Equatorial Guinea adopted a national anti-trafficking action plan in February 2006.

ESTONIA (TIER 2)

Estonia is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Estonian women and girls are trafficked to Finland, Sweden, Norway, and, to a lesser extent, other EU countries. Women from Russia, Latvia, and Ukraine are trafficked through Estonia to Nordic countries and some victims are believed to be transited to China. Women from Russia, Latvia, and Ukraine are also trafficked to Estonia primarily for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Estonia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government showed clear political will during the reporting period to improve anti-trafficking efforts. In January 2006, the government adopted a National Action Plan to fight trafficking; the plan defines each ministry's responsibilities and allocates $13,000 to be spent on government and NGO anti-trafficking efforts in 2006. The plan also created a national database that will provide reliable statistics and assist the government to more efficiently assess the trafficking problem in Estonia. In compliance with EU legislation, the government is expected to amend its law to no longer treat trafficking victims who are in Estonia illegally as immigrant cases and will provide temporary residence permits to such victims. The government should expand its public awareness campaigns to address demand; these campaigns should be targeted at foreign tourists.

Prosecution
While Estonia does not have any trafficking-specific laws, the criminal code prohibits enslavement, abduction, pimping, and offering or engaging minors for prostitution and sexual acts. The penalties for such acts range from five to 12 years' imprisonment. Estonia has successfully employed these statutes to prosecute traffickers. However, in a 2005 report IOM noted that courts find it relatively difficult to convict solely on the basis of enslavement because of the difficulty in proving that the victim had no opportunity to flee from the conditions of sexual exploitation or seek assistance from law enforcement agencies. Estonia increased its total number of trafficking convictions from nine in 2004 to 22 in 2005. The government used the anti-enslavement statute in two cases and successfully convicted seven traffickers. Five criminal cases for child prostitution were initiated, resulting in the conviction and sentencing of 15 traffickers with sentences ranging from three months to two years and three months. Estonia cooperates with neighboring countries, the United States, EUROPOL, and INTERPOL in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. In January 2006, the Ministry of Justice developed a registry of criminal procedures that provides an overview of all crimes related to trafficking; this will serve to aggregate and analyze trafficking-related cases and may aid authorities in improving their fight against trafficking.

Protection
The Government of Estonia continued to make progress in assisting and protecting trafficking victims. Victims are offered medical, psychological, legal, police, and social assistance. The Ministry of Social Affairs worked closely with local authorities and NGOs to provide victim assistance services. In 2005, the Ministry trained 35 victim assistance volunteers that operate in 16 towns across Estonia; they are paired with police and given workspace within police stations to facilitate victim identification and assistance. There are no trafficking-specific shelters, but there are three shelters for domestic violence victims that provide assistance to both adult and child trafficking victims. The government continued to work closely with NGOs that provide victim assistance and protection and provided some funding to IOM for the production of a victim assistance manual distributed to social workers.

Prevention
The government was active in raising trafficking awareness among government officials and institutions; during the reporting period, trafficking curricula were introduced at the Police Academy, Border Guard School, and Public Service Academy. Two law enforcement training activities were conducted. The government also held some training sessions in cooperation with NGOs for teachers, social workers, school psychologists, victim support specialists, counselors, and police. In 2005, five training sessions were held for soldiers serving in the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq to enable them to better understand, recognize, and address trafficking while deployed abroad.

ETHIOPIA (TIER 2)

Ethiopia is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Children and adults are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude and, to a lesser extent, for commercial sexual exploitation and labor, such as street vending. Small numbers of men are trafficked to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States for low-skilled forced labor. Ethiopian women are trafficked to the Middle East, particularly Lebanon, for domestic servitude; other destinations include Egypt, South Africa, Sudan, and Djibouti. Small percentages of these women are trafficked for sexual exploitation. Transit countries for trafficked Ethiopians reportedly include Djibouti, Egypt, Kenya, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan.

The Government of Ethiopia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While Ethiopia's ongoing efforts to educate migrating workers about the dangers of trafficking and detect cases of child trafficking within the country are notable, its small number of prosecutions compared to the large number of investigations is a continued cause for concern. To further its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should improve the investigative capacity of police and enhance judicial understanding of trafficking to enable a greater number of successful prosecutions, and launch a broad anti-trafficking public awareness and education campaign.

Prosecution
The Ethiopian Government's law enforcement response to trafficking improved in 2005. In May, the government enacted a new penal code with improved anti-trafficking language that criminalizes most forms of human trafficking. Working with a local NGO, police monitored five key towns for possible trafficking. At security checkpoints throughout the country, the Immigration Authority verified the legality of migrants' travel documents. Border guards on the Bossasso route reported mass movements toward Somalia; the guards stopped travelers without proper documentation and issued warnings about the dangers of irregular migration. In 2005, 520 cases of child trafficking were reported, eight of which remained under investigation at year's end. Police referred 38 cases to the prosecutor's office: by the close of the reporting period, two resulted in conviction, 18 were pending prosecution, and 18 were closed for lack of evidence or because the defendant absconded. The low conviction rate for trafficking cases serves as a poor deterrent to traffickers, who can operate with relative impunity. In late 2005, police officers assigned to anti-child trafficking units in Addis Ababa were transferred from those duties to deal with recurring street disturbances. The Ministry of Labor (MOLSA), in cooperation with the Airport Immigration Authority, prevented an unspecified number of labor migrants without valid employment contracts from departing for the Middle East.

Protection
The government provided limited assistance to trafficking victims over the last year. The child protection unit in each Addis Ababa police station collected information on rescued trafficked children to facilitate their return to their families; it also referred 262 girls to an NGO for care pending transport home. The Ethiopian consulates in Beirut and Dubai dispensed limited legal advice to trafficking victims and provided temporary shelter for victims awaiting funds to pay off abusive employers for their freedom. In 2005, MOSLA investigated 52 complaints filed by returnees and families of aggrieved employees by verifying employment agencies' reporting through the Ethiopian missions abroad: 45 complaints were determined to be unfounded, four were amicably resolved, and legal proceedings for contract violations began against labor migration agencies in three cases. Government authorities made no effort to interview returned victims about their experiences in the Middle East.

Prevention
Ethiopia's efforts to prevent international trafficking increased, but measures to increase awareness of internal trafficking were lacking. During the past year, the government tightened its implementation of foreign employment regulations, resulting in a trafficking route shift; more Ethiopian victims are reportedly transiting neighboring countries rather than flying directly out of the main airport. The Immigration Authority continued to provide printed information on trafficking to those applying for passports and required applicants to view a video on the dangers of human trafficking. MOLSA supervised the work of legal labor migration agencies through surprise inspections and required biweekly reports. In 2005, the number of registered agencies rose from five to 17, facilitating the travel of 6,200 workers to six countries. MOSLA, in conjunction with Ethiopian consulates in the Middle East, approved foreign labor contracts for an additional 1,345 workers; many Ethiopians still continue to seek international employment through black market channels. The inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee convened regularly, but its activities were not disclosed. The counter-trafficking task force, chaired by the Ministry of Justice, was inactive for most of the reporting period.

FINLAND (TIER 1)

Finland is a transit and destination country for women and girls trafficked from Russia, China, and to a lesser extent from Moldova, the Caucuses, and Thailand, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Victims are trafficked through Finland to other Nordic and Western European countries and to the United States. Finland is also a destination country for men and women trafficked from Russia, Estonia, Turkey, and Asia for the purpose of forced labor. Most victims are exploited in the construction industry, restaurants, and as domestic servants. In April 2005, authorities intercepted a bus of potential labor trafficking victims from Georgia; authorities believe these women were possibly being trafficked to Italy for the purpose of domestic servitude.

The Government of Finland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government has made significant strides in its over-all anti-trafficking efforts. Finland implemented its comprehensive victim protection program under its 2005 national action plan, established a victim referral mechanism to ensure victims are referred to NGO-run shelters, intensified its prevention efforts both domestically and in source countries, and ceased its deportation of trafficking victims. The government could further improve victim care by providing trafficking-specific training to victim counselors and finalizing plans to issue temporary residence permits to victims. Finland should also consider creating a formal witness protection program and providing additional training for prosecutors and judges on how to effectively utilize the new anti-trafficking laws in addition to strengthening the penalties assessed to convicted traffickers.

Prosecution
The government improved its law enforcement efforts. During the reporting period, police conducted five trafficking investigations resulting in four prosecutions. Although prosecutors did not use Finland's new anti-trafficking law in 2005, four traffickers were convicted using other criminal statutes. The four convicted traffickers, including two Korean nationals, one Chinese national, and one Russian national were involved in transit cases. Sentences for convicted traffickers ranged from 10 months to 17 months in prison. Finland actively cooperates with other governments in investigations and prosecutions. The National Bureau of Investigation has anti-trafficking officers in nine Finnish Embassies and Consulates in key source countries in Europe and Asia. In December 2005, the police began an awareness and victim identification training program for its officers. A training session was held in December 2005 for prosecutors to improve their ability to successfully prosecute transit cases.

Protection
Finland demonstrated significant progress in assisting victims throughout the year. A national action plan against trafficking, which provides a victim-centered approach, was formally adopted in April 2005. Upon their identification, victims are taken to reception centers. Fifteen victims were housed in the reception centers during the reporting period. In response to NGO requests, the government recently began referring victims to NGO-run shelters whenever possible as housing alternatives to the reception centers. Great progress was made on the issue of victim deportation. In the past, trafficking victims were frequently deported without receiving any victim assistance. Now, police have a screening process in place to identify victims and ensure they are referred for assistance. Beginning in 2005, the government began systematically screening for victims and identified 15 probable victims. Victims receive legal counseling, medical and psychological services, and monthly stipends.

Prevention
The government continued to improve its trafficking prevention efforts. Finland conducted a domestic prevention program focused on demand reduction; the government displayed posters and other media at ports-of-entry, post offices, and other locations to target clients and to challenge the view that prostitution and sex tourism is a "victimless crime." In late 2005, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs designed a training program to teach Finnish consular officers to better detect trafficking situations as well as how to follow up when trafficking is suspected. Since April 2005, 400 border guards have received victim identification training; during the reporting period, authorities at Vantaa airport intercepted a group of three adults and seven minors being trafficked from Asia to Western Europe.

FRANCE (TIER 1)

France is a destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation, primarily from Romania and Bulgaria. Other countries of origin include Albania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon. Reports continued of women and children trafficked into involuntary domestic servitude, the majority from Africa. The government estimates that there are 10,000 to 12,000 likely trafficking victims in France. Trafficking of Brazilian women and girls for sexual exploitation to French Guiana -- a French possession -- remained a serious problem.

The Government of France fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to fund support services for victims and actively investigated and convicted traffickers. To increase identification of potential trafficking victims detained by police, the government should institutionalize a screening and referral procedure to ensure potential trafficking victims are identified and assisted.

Prosecution
In 2005, the French Government continued implementation of the 2003 Domestic Security law that allowed for arrest and fining of potential victims for "passive solicitation." As such, some victims of trafficking are processed through the French criminal justice system for unlawful acts that are a direct result of their being trafficked. French anti-trafficking officials contend that arresting potential victims allows officials to bring them into police custody, away from their pimps, in order to gain information on their trafficking networks and to seek to get them to denounce their traffickers. NGOs criticize the government's lack of a proactive approach to identifying trafficking victims; the reactive approach requires that potential victims identify themselves and denounce their traffickers within 24 hours of detention following arrest, offering victims no time to develop assurances against retribution. The government reported prosecuting and convicting a minimum of 43 traffickers in 2004; sentencing data for 25 of these convictions indicate an average of 28 months. While the government was unable to provide statistical evidence of additional convictions, an undetermined number of traffickers were likely prosecuted under the government's anti-pimping provisions. The government continued its bilateral cooperation, particularly with Bulgaria and Romania, to investigate and prosecute traffickers and to provide for reintegration for those victims who want to return to their countries of origin. In 2005, French authorities dismantled 41 international trafficking networks. During the reporting period, the government implemented its law with extraterritorial application to prosecute a French national who participated in child sex tourism abroad; following a French arrest request, Indonesian authorities arrested a French national in March 2005 and sentenced him in October to 30 months' imprisonment for sexual aggression against three Balinese children. There was no indication of trafficking-related complicity among French Government officials.

Protection
In 2005, the national government and city of Paris continued to fund comprehensive services and long-term shelter for trafficking victims through the Accompaniment Places of Welcome (ALC). The ALC network of 33 associations provides places in 44 shelters for trafficking victims. In 2005, ALC reported assisting 44 victims. The government continued to offer victims three to nine months' temporary residency if they filed a complaint or testified against their traffickers. In 2005, the government reported issuing in Paris alone 306 temporary residence permits, of which 197 were renewable. Some NGOs reported difficulties in securing residence permits for victims and a lack of protection and secure accommodations for victims, even for those who cooperated with law enforcement and denounced their traffickers. In October 2005, the Ministry of Interior issued a circular to encourage police and other officials to broaden the application of temporary residence permits. This circular urges that permits be given to victims on humanitarian grounds -- if there is reason to believe they face retribution or hardship if repatriated. NGOs criticized the French government for not implementing a victim-centered approach to trafficking, claiming that the Domestic Security law was aimed more at public disorder than combating trafficking. While the government reported 500 deportation orders issued for illegal migrants in 2005, it could not confirm If all were executed; some trafficking victims are likely included in that number. The government continued to deny legal alternatives to the removal of some trafficking victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
In 2005, the government continued to fund an NGO-run anti-child sex tourism campaign on all Air France flights, warning French tourists against engaging in sex with minors and alerting them that engaging in child sex tourism is a violation of French law. Cooperation among NGOs assisting trafficking victims and French officials varied across France. The government continued to coordinate its trafficking efforts via an inter-ministerial commission on trafficking, chaired by the lead operational and political focal point on trafficking in France, OCRETH. In March 2006, the French Government announced the creation of positions in six French embassies overseas in countries considered most susceptible to child sex tourism -- French officials will educate the country about how to combat child sex tourism, assist in prosecutions of French nationals, and help victims approach authorities. In 2005, the Government of France continued its 2004 poster campaign to raise awareness about the existence of trafficking and exploitation among women in prostitution.

GABON (TIER 2)

Gabon is a destination country for children trafficked from Benin, Togo, Nigeria, and Guinea, with smaller numbers coming from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Burkina Faso, and Cameroon, for the purpose of labor exploitation. Girls work in domestic servitude, market vending, and restaurants, while boys work in small workshops and street vending. Victims are typically trafficked into the country by boat, arriving on deserted beaches where their likelihood of detection is small.

The Government of Gabon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should increase efforts to prosecute traffickers and assist in repatriating foreign victims.

Prosecution
The government continued strong law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking over the last year. Gabonese law has prohibited child trafficking for labor exploitation since 2004; this law, however, does not specifically proscribe trafficking for sexual exploitation. The government has not reported any convictions under the trafficking law; however, between March 2005 and January 2006, the police arrested 22 traffickers. After their investigation, 15 of these cases were dropped, some due to difficulties in obtaining victim testimonies. Five of the arrested traffickers remain in police custody under investigation and two are being prosecuted. To combat maritime child trafficking into Gabon, the government in January 2006 purchased 10 patrol boats for its gendarmerie and navy. During the reporting period, active law enforcement measures reduced the number of child victims forced to sell products in the marketplace. The government has not provided any specialized training on recognizing, investigating, or prosecuting trafficking, but officials participated in trafficking law enforcement training provided by NGOs and international organizations.

Protection
The Government of Gabon continued making significant efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. In July 2005, police sweeps targeting children who worked illegally resulted in the rescue of approximately 100 children, many of whom are believed to be trafficking victims. The government continued to fund a victim reception center providing educational, medical, and psychological services. Victims stay in the center until their families are located and arrangements are made for their repatriation. Twenty-one trafficking victims passed through the reception center in 2005. Security forces continued to screen victims based on age, placing victims 16 years old and under in the government's center; older victims with a Catholic charity; and Nigerian victims with the Nigerian Embassy. On occasion, victims were housed in jails overnight, but they were not confined in cells and were separated from criminal detainees. The government continues to fully fund and staff a 24-hour hotline it operates in cooperation with UNICEF. The government has no budget for victim repatriation. The government did not punish victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Gabon continued an aggressive campaign to raise awareness of trafficking. The Ministry of Justice continued to organize "town hall" meetings throughout the country to publicize Gabon's anti-trafficking law. Government-controlled media covered trafficking issues extensively and broadcasted U.S.-funded anti-trafficking messages. The government worked with UNICEF in ongoing efforts to place anti-trafficking posters in schools and other public venues. Government officials cooperated with NGOs and diplomatic missions to share information and develop programs to combat trafficking.

THE GAMBIA (TIER 2)

The Gambia is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Trafficking occurs within the country and internationally. Women and girls are trafficked for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, while boys are trafficked for street vending, sexual exploitation, work in the fishing industry, and by religious leaders for begging. Women and children are trafficked to The Gambia from Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, and Nigeria. Frequent tourists to The Gambia from the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, and Belgium have created a demand for child sex tourism. Children are trafficked from The Gambia to Senegal and Europe.

The Government of The Gambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Gambia was reassessed this year to Tier 2 from Tier 2 Watch List for demonstrating increased law enforcement and victim protection efforts. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should better monitor the transport of minors out of the country, strengthen efforts to care for repatriated Gambian victims, and educate law enforcement officials to better identify sex trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Government of The Gambia made noticeable progress in combating trafficking through law enforcement over the past year. In June 2005, the National Assembly passed the Children's Act, which prohibits child trafficking. In accordance with the Act, the first Children's Court was established. During the reporting period, the government began drafting a law against the trafficking of adults. While no traffickers were convicted, the government investigated nine trafficking cases, two of which were prosecuted. Police also arrested a British national under the Tourism Offenses Act for child trafficking prior to the passage of the Children's Act, though the case was dismissed for lack of evidence. In cooperation with UNICEF, Ghanaian and Gambian officials met to negotiate a bilateral anti-trafficking agreement. The government failed, however, to train police to identify potential trafficking victims during brothel raids to enforce laws against prostitution. There were no reports of public officials investigated or prosecuted for complicity in trafficking.

Protection
The Government of The Gambia demonstrated increased progress in protecting trafficking victims over the last year. In collaboration with an NGO and a private bank, the government established a 24-hour hotline and opened a child victim shelter in Banjul with a capacity for 48 victims. The government has also announced plans to open an additional victim shelter outside Banjul. While the government does not employ a formal screening or referral process for victims, it commonly refers them to NGOs and international organizations for assistance. The government, however, has few services to assist repatriated Gambian victims and has not been involved in their care during the reporting period.

Prevention
The government made modest efforts to educate the public about trafficking during the year. The Child Protection Alliance (CPA), a consortium of over 60 government agencies and NGOs, conducted several awareness campaigns, including a workshop to educate hotel personnel about child sexual tourism. With leadership from the government's Department of State for Justice, the CPA will launch a U.S. Government-funded trafficking education campaign in 2006. In collaboration with UNICEF, the Gambian Tourism Authority printed a flyer about trafficking that is given to tourists arriving by air. Regular editorials about the trafficking of boys by religious teachers ran in a government-aligned newspaper. The government issued a press release urging the public to report suspected traffickers.

GEORGIA (TIER 2)

Georgia is a source and transit country for women, children, and men trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Many Georgian victims are trafficked to Turkey, mostly attributed to the lack of a visa regime between the two countries. Victims from Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, and other former Soviet states are trafficked through Georgia to Turkey, the U.A.E., Greece, and Western Europe. According to IOM, at least 500 Georgian women are trafficked abroad every year. Reports of internal trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor continued. Victims are reportedly trafficked for the purpose of forced labor in the breakaway region of Abkhazia and traffickers may be using South Ossetia to traffic victims from Russia into Georgia and onwards.

The Government of Georgia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Notably, the government increased both arrests and investigations of traffickers in 2005. The President appointed the Prosecutor General's Office, a senior government Ministry, to lead its anti-trafficking efforts, which showed increased momentum late in the reporting period. However, the government failed to vigorously prosecute traffickers, and it did not achieve tangible progress in the protection and rehabilitation of trafficking victims. The government should implement a national victim referral, increase its convictions and sentences, ensure adequate shelter for trafficking victims, and establish witness protection so victims feel secure to testify against their exploiters. A public awareness campaign is needed to encourage victims to seek care and help reduce the stigma of trafficking victims in Georgia.

Prosecution
The Government of Georgia's law enforcement response to trafficking was mixed in 2005. The government increased its arrests and investigations but failed to show progress in convicting and sentencing traffickers. The Georgian Government investigated 27 cases and prosecuted nine cases of trafficking during the reporting period. Three of these cases resulted in convictions of nine traffickers. Only two are serving sentences of five years. Four traffickers were released with time served, and the remaining three received conditional or suspended sentences. The anti-trafficking unit continued to operate throughout Georgia with 29 dedicated officers in Tbilisi and 12 regions, with one unit stationed at the airport 24 hours a day. NGOs and international organizations reported good collaboration with the unit. The government made progress on its draft anti-trafficking law, bringing in international organizations for guidance on best practices. This legislation passed its second reading in the Parliament early in 2006. While IOM continued to collaborate with Georgia's border police to distribute anti-trafficking information pamphlets at the border with Turkey, only a few hundred had been distributed as of March 2006. Reports of trafficking-related corruption and direct law enforcement involvement in trafficking continued. One case from February 2005 involving an official for trafficking-related complicity resulted in a plea bargain and led to the release of the individual with time already served. The government continued its investigation of another passport official for facilitating trafficking in 2004, transferring the case to the General Prosecutor in March 2006.

Protection
The Government of Georgia failed to provide adequate protection and assistance to trafficking victims in 2005. It did not establish a shelter for victims of trafficking; most victims return to Georgia without receiving sufficient rehabilitation and assistance. This lack of victim protection translated into few to no victims willing to serve as witnesses in police investigations or court prosecutions of traffickers. Although law enforcement and border officials do not formally screen for potential trafficking victims, the government identified a slightly greater number of trafficking victims in 2005, 18, up from 15 identified during the previous year. The government failed to formalize a mechanism for referring victims to NGOs for care, though in 2005, police in Adjara signed a memorandum of understanding with a local NGO to implement a pilot project for identification and referral. Border police, with the assistance of an NGO, established a waiting room on the border with Turkey to facilitate better identification of potential victims.

Prevention
The government continued to rely on NGOs and international organizations to conduct anti-trafficking prevention programs over the last year. In December 2005, the government assigned lead anti-trafficking responsibilities to the Prosecutor General's Office, and appointed the Prosecutor General to chair its anti-trafficking Inter-agency Commission. The Commission subsequently improved the transparency of its enforcement efforts by collecting and disseminating up-to-date statistics on a bi-monthly basis, in accordance with its action plan. The Government's National Action Plan, adopted in December 2004, however, remains largely unimplemented. Although several ministries reportedly redirected funds from their budgets for anti-trafficking efforts last year, the government has yet to dedicate funding to implement the plan.

GERMANY1 (TIER 1)

Germany is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Victims come primarily from Central and Eastern Europe as well as Africa (mainly Nigeria), Asia (mainly Thailand), and to a lesser extent from North and South America. The government identified 972 victims in Germany in 2004, the latest year for which statistics are available; of the 972 victims, 127 were German nationals.

The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The coalition partners in the new German Government identified human trafficking as a high priority in their coalition agreement. The German Society for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) used federal government funds to implement a three-year $2.4 million program to counter human trafficking world-wide; projects include information campaigns in several Eastern European countries, awareness training for police officials in source countries, prevention and protection for victims, and the establishment of networks among various NGOs. Additionally, the government provided over $3 million to GTZ and other NGOs to conduct programs to combat child sex tourism during the period 2004-2006. The upcoming World Cup Soccer championship has generated widespread concern among some NGOs and governments over the potential for increased human trafficking in Germany surrounding the games. German federal and state governments report that they have taken steps to prevent trafficking during the championship by improving victim-screening mechanisms and police safeguards, sponsoring seminars, expanding print and video outreach, and strengthening inter-agency coordination. The federal government has partnered with NGOs and the German Soccer Association to launch a number of trafficking awareness campaigns. Other NGOs, several with government funding, are also conducting prevention and demand-reduction programs. Nevertheless, due to the sheer size of the event, the potential for increased human trafficking surrounding the games remains a concern. Germany should continue to focus attention on domestic demand-reduction efforts, implement the 2005 penal code amendments, and consider releasing more detailed statistics that include the full range of charges -- including non-trafficking charges -- that traffickers are prosecuted for and the sentences they receive.

Prosecution
The German Government demonstrated adequate law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Police conducted 370 investigations into trafficking for purposes of sexual exploitation involving 777 suspected traffickers in 2004. Courts convicted 137 traffickers in 2004 compared to 145 convictions in 2003. Of the 137 convicted traffickers in 2004, only 47 received a nonsuspended prison sentence. German law enforcement authorities took measures to implement new legislation that came into effect in February 2005, including inter-agency studies on labor exploitation and child-trafficking, specialized police training, and enhanced inter-agency cooperation. The new legislation resulted in a dozen labor trafficking prosecutions since August 2005 that the previous law would not have allowed. German authorities conducted a number of high profile trafficking raids and legal proceedings that broke-up several trafficking rings. Germany used its extraterritorial child sex tourism law; police conducted several investigations involving German pedophiles and extradited one German national from Thailand to Germany in late 2005.

Protection
The German Government continued to provide adequate victim assistance and protection over the last year. National and local government offices provided funding to more than 30 NGOs that operated counseling centers for trafficking victims; these centers assisted victims in their dealings with German authorities, escorted them to trials, and provided them with shelter, legal counsel, and interpreters. Victims who serve as witnesses in trafficking prosecutions are entitled to financial support for basic living expenses and basic health care. Under the EU's anti-trafficking EQUAL program, the Ministry of Labor and IOM awarded eight German NGOs more than $700,000 to conduct reintegration programs, including job placement assistance and vocational training, for trafficking victims. The project is jointly funded by the EU and Germany.

Prevention
The German Government promoted anti-trafficking awareness in 2005 through government-sponsored conferences, posters, television ads, websites, and public statements by government officials and parliamentarians. The Federal Family Ministry funded numerous public awareness, demand reduction, and education campaigns that were implemented by NGOs. These include in-flight videos on child sex tourism shown on flights to popular holiday destinations, trafficking awareness videos to be shown on giant TV screens during the World Cup games, and government-supported websites, public service announcements, and posters. German embassies and consulates conducted outreach activities, including the continued distribution of brochures in 13 languages that warn about trafficking.

1Germany has legalized prostitution. The U.S. Government opposes prostitution and any related activities, including pimping, pandering, and/or maintaining brothels as contributing to the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. These activities are inherently harmful and dehumanizing. The U.S. Government's position is that these activities should not be regulated as a legitimate form of work for any human being.

GHANA (TIER 2)

Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked within the country as domestic servants, cocoa plantation laborers, street vendors, porters, for work in the fishing industry, and for use in sexual exploitation. IOM estimates that the number of trafficked children working in fishing villages along the Volta Lake is in the thousands. Children are also trafficked to and from Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria, and The Gambia as domestic servants, laborers, and in the fishing industry. Children and women are trafficked for sexual exploitation from Ghana to Europe, from Nigeria through Ghana to Europe, and from Burkina Faso through Ghana to Cote d'Ivoire.

The Government of Ghana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To strengthen its anti-trafficking efforts, Ghana should enforce its new anti-trafficking statute and increase protection and prosecution efforts.

Prosecution
The Government of Ghana demonstrated strong efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement over the last year. In December 2005, after conducting a rigorous and transparent legislative drafting process, the government enacted a law prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons; however, the government has yet to prosecute any traffickers under the new law. The Ghana Immigration Service extended its traveler screening technology from the international airport to stations at the borders with Togo and Cote d'Ivoire and plans to create a trafficking border monitoring unit. One hundred police participated in U.S. Government-funded police training, which included a trafficking component, and Ghana's police academy included a trafficking module in its curriculum. In cooperation with UNICEF, Ghanaian and Gambian officials met to negotiate a bilateral anti-trafficking agreement. Although IOM rescued 39 child victims from the fishing industry in 2006, the government has not taken legal action against the victims' traffickers. A member of Ghana's parliament was indicted by a U.S. court in 2002 for trafficking a Ghanaian woman to the United States for forced domestic servitude; Ghanaian authorities have yet to honor the U.S. request for the official's extradition, despite repeated U.S. efforts to secure the extradition. There were no reported investigations or prosecutions of official complicity in trafficking.

Protection
The Government of Ghana continued to demonstrate a commitment to protecting child trafficking victims. The government continued to operate two victim care facilities, though they are stretched beyond capacity. In 2006, the government signed a memorandum of understanding with IOM to establish a new victim rehabilitation center. The government continued providing in-kind assistance to an IOM victim rehabilitation center, providing the shelter building, all the furniture, social workers, and cooks. Fifty children were rehabilitated at this center in the last year. Ghana's new anti-trafficking law mandates the establishment of a Human Trafficking Fund to support protection efforts.

Prevention
The Ghanaian Government made modest efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. In 2006, the
government held a two-day meeting for NGOs and donor agencies to improve coordination on anti-trafficking initiatives. As mandated under the new trafficking statute, the government is forming a 17-member Human Trafficking Management Board to help create and implement a national anti-trafficking action plan. The Board will replace Ghana's national trafficking task force. The government collaborated with the World Cocoa Foundation to draft a five-year national strategy to address child labor. The Ghana Education Service continued efforts to conduct programs to expand the access of children, in particular girls, to education. The government is also planning a nationwide public awareness campaign on the new trafficking law in 2006, but is still seeking funding for this program.

GREECE (TIER 2)

Greece is a destination and, to a lesser extent, transit country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Some men are trafficked for forced labor. Most victims are trafficked from Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Africa, especially Nigeria. Although NGOs reported a decrease in the number of Albanian children trafficked to Greece in 2005, there were reports that Albanian Roma children continued to be trafficked for forced begging and stealing.

The Government of Greece does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Government of Greece increased its capacity to protect and assist victims in 2005. It improved cooperation with NGOs with the completion of a Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) to allow Greek authorities to work more directly with NGOs. After several years of negotiations, the government signed a child repatriation agreement with Albania. In 2006, it implemented a national public awareness campaign that targeted victims, clients, and the Greek public. The Government of Greece should now provide available protections to trafficking victims and ensure that NGOs have an operational role in victim identification. While the government increased convictions of trafficking crimes in 2005, most traffickers were released awaiting appeal, including traffickers already sentenced. The Government of Greece should demonstrate the political will to punish traffickers sufficiently over the next year. Trafficking-related complicity by government officials should be vigorously prosecuted.

Prosecution
The Government of Greece continued to investigate cases of trafficking and secured convictions for increased numbers of traffickers in 2005. In January 2006, the government established 12 additional anti-trafficking task forces throughout the country and funded specialized training for over one thousand police officers throughout Greece. In 2005, the Greek Government investigated 60 trafficking cases and arrested 202 suspected traffickers. The number of trafficking convictions increased to nine, and sentences for these convicted traffickers ranged from one to 12 years. The government could not, however, confirm whether any traffickers were actually serving the time sentenced. While the government reported that over 100 defendants were awaiting prosecution on 2005 trafficking charges, Greek courts released the majority of defendants. The Greek Government demonstrated leadership in promoting regional law enforcement cooperation during the reporting period. The government has not responded adequately to allegations that some Greek diplomats abroad facilitated trafficking by issuing visas with little documentary evidence and no personal interviews to women subsequently identified as trafficking victims. There were numerous reports of trafficking complicity among local police. Three police officers -- two of them senior --currently face charges relating to trafficking complicity.

Protection
The Government of Greece took modest steps to improve protection for victims of trafficking over the last year; however, many aspects of the government's protection framework remained unimplemented. In November 2005, the government signed a Memorandum of Cooperation with 12 NGOs and IOM to improve government-NGO coordination in a screening and referral process for trafficking victims; police had since referred 19 victims to NGO shelters by March 1, 2006. Some anti-trafficking NGOs chose not to sign the Memorandum and others were not invited to sign it. The screening and referral process does not yet adequately identify and protect most potential victims in the country. In February 2006, the government concluded a long-awaited protocol with Albania on the repatriation of Albanian child trafficking victims. The government granted 22 new and seven renewed residence permits for trafficking victims in 2005. In 2005, the government identified 137 trafficking victims, 57 of whom accepted assistance and protection. Greek law does not yet exclude trafficking victims from punishment for unlawful acts that are a result of their trafficking. Nevertheless, the government reported that Greek prosecutors exercised their power to waive prosecution of all 137 victims. NGOs reported cases in which the government failed to protect victims' identities. In 2005, the Greek parliament passed a law that provides for a one month "reflection period" for suspected victims and central issuance and renewal of residence permits. Although the majority of identified trafficking victims possess legal visas, potential trafficking victims without legal status continued to be at risk of deportation.

Prevention
In 2005, the Greek Government continued to provide significant funding to NGOs and international organizations that provide programs, shelters, and legal aid to victims of trafficking. In 2006, the Secretariat General for Gender Equality implemented a national awareness campaign targeting commercial sex procurers, trafficking victims, and citizens. The campaign encourages the public to report incidents of trafficking. The government's anti-trafficking inter-ministerial committee met regularly and, in November 2005, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs established a working group between origin, transit, and destination country diplomats, NGOs, and working level government officials.

GUATEMALA (TIER 2)

Guatemala is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children from Guatemala and other Central American countries trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Guatemalan and foreign women and children are exploited in Guatemala, and they are also trafficked for exploitation in other Central American countries, Mexico, and the United States. Exploitation of minors and illegal foreign migrants may be decreasing in the capital and moving to outlying areas due to law enforcement efforts in Guatemala City. The border with Mexico remains an area of heightened concern due to a steady flow of illegal migrants, many of whom fall victim to traffickers.

The Government of Guatemala does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Over the last year, the government showed clear progress in key areas by increasing efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers, launching a victim-targeted public awareness campaign in border areas, and continuing anti-trafficking cooperation with neighboring countries. The government should correct deficiencies in current laws and procedures so that traffickers face more serious punishment. It should also increase its efforts to raise public awareness and work with NGOs to improve trafficking-appropriate victim assistance for all trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Guatemala increased trafficking investigations and prosecutions, but achieved only limited progress in punishing traffickers over the last year. Cooperation and information sharing with regional neighbors continued. Police, immigration, and prosecutors carried out joint operations, often with NGO participation, that led to 86 trafficking arrests, including at least 35 for the commercial sexual exploitation of minors, resulting in 50 prosecutions and 15 convictions. Prosecutors encountered problems when attempting to apply anti-trafficking statutes, which were amended in early 2005 to expand the definition of trafficking and allow for more stringent seven to 16-year prison terms. Judges often threw out trafficking charges in favor of more familiar, but less serious offenses carrying less stringent punishments that could be commuted to fines. Efforts to further reform the penal code and develop broader anti-trafficking legislation must address this problem to ensure that traffickers face serious jail sentences. The government did not prosecute or convict any public officials for complicity in trafficking despite credible reports of such corruption.

Protection
The government's protection efforts over the last year remained inadequate. Assistance focused on minors and was not trafficking-specific. Minors received basic necessities at seven government-run centers for abandoned and "special needs" children. The government cooperated with and relied upon NGOs for most victim assistance but did not fund NGO programs. While victims were not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, foreign adult victims were not provided legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they could face hardship or retribution. Resource constraints also limited government services for large numbers of individuals deported from Mexico, many of whom were foreign and possibly trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government made some progress, though in general prevention efforts remained deficient
during the reporting period. A campaign launched in early 2006 targeted victims at major crossings on the border with El Salvador. The government should work with NGOs, community groups, and the media to expand campaigns and reach more potential victims.

GUINEA (TIER 2)

Guinea is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Most trafficking occurs within the country, with girls subjected to domestic servitude, forced hawking, and sexual exploitation. Boys work as shoe shiners and street vendors, on plantations, in mines, and are forced to beg by religious leaders. Children and women are also trafficked from Guinea to Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, Senegal, Nigeria, Mali, South Africa, Spain, and Greece for domestic servitude, restaurant work, and sexual exploitation. Children and women are trafficked to Guinea from Niger, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Mali, and China.

The Government of Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To better combat trafficking, the government should increase its prosecution and protection efforts, enforce laws against forced labor and child sexual exploitation, and investigate trafficking-related corruption.

Prosecution
The Government of Guinea increased law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking over the last year. Guinean law prohibits most forms of trafficking in persons. The government drafted an additional law against child trafficking with increased penalties that is expected to be adopted in 2006. The government investigated four trafficking cases; one case is currently being prosecuted. The military created an 11-member unit to focus on child protection and trafficking. In partnership with an NGO, the government trained security forces, customs agents, judges, and prosecutors about trafficking. The government signed a bilateral agreement against trafficking with Mali and a multilateral agreement with eight other West African nations. The government failed to investigate reports of child prostitution and trafficking-related corruption, both of which were prevalent over the last year.

Protection
The government made progress in providing care to trafficking victims during the reporting period. Though lacking resources to operate shelters, the government commonly refers victims to NGOs, international organizations, and foreign embassies. The government referred 28 children in distress, some of them trafficking victims, to foster homes, orphanages, NGOs, and international organizations during the year. In partnership with the ILO and an international NGO, the government continued to provide schooling to at-risk children, many of them trafficking victims or vulnerable to becoming victims. The government sometimes incarcerates victims if no care alternatives are available, but they are separated from criminal detainees, provided with care, and recognized as victims.

Prevention
The government made significant efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the year, despite limited resources. The National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons expanded its membership to include 16 ministries and invited international organizations, labor unions, and NGOs to join. The Committee worked with NGOs to develop a guide to trafficking laws and victim protection services. The government provided community awareness campaigns, in one instance training 70 individuals from all sectors of a community to form a network to screen for potential trafficking victims. With support from UNICEF and other donors, the government launched a national anti-trafficking public information campaign.

GUINEA-BISSAU (TIER 2)

Guinea-Bissau is a source country for children trafficked to neighboring countries -- primarily Senegal and, to a lesser extent, Mali and Guinea -- for the purposes of forced begging by religious teachers and forced agricultural labor. Key source areas for victims are the cities of Bafata and Gabu and primary points of departure out of the country are through the towns of Pirada and Sao Domingos.

The Government of Guinea-Bissau does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Guinea-Bissau is included this year on the Report because newly available information indicates a significant trafficking problem in the country. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should draft and enact anti-trafficking legislation, designate a national focal point responsible for overseeing anti-trafficking efforts, and conduct a formal assessment of the problem.

Prosecution
The Government of Guinea-Bissau started to use law enforcement as a tool to combat trafficking during the reporting period. Bissau-Guinean law does not prohibit trafficking, but prosecutors may use related laws, such as kidnapping and sexual exploitation statutes, against traffickers. A legislative committee persuaded the National Assembly to include the topic of trafficking in its 2006 legislative agenda. The government is investigating two trafficking cases, but has never prosecuted or convicted a trafficker. Border guards are aware of trafficking and cooperate with the leading local anti-trafficking NGO to interdict traffickers. Migration officials at the border with Senegal report prohibiting adults from leaving the country with a child unless the parent is present. The Ministry of Interior has designated an inspector responsible for anti-trafficking law enforcement and cooperation with UNICEF. With respect to combating the trafficking of children by religious leaders for begging, however, law enforcement efforts are sometimes handicapped by corruption and a lack of will to address this culturally sensitive practice.

Protection
The Government of Guinea-Bissau has demonstrated clear efforts to protect trafficking victims, despite limited resources. While the government lacks funds to provide direct victim care, it collaborates with UNICEF, local and international NGOs, and Senegalese authorities to provide victims with necessary services. Police worked with NGOs to intercept 24 victims from being trafficked out of the country last year and the government has repatriated 28 children since 2002. Bissau-Guinean police contacted Senegalese authorities in 2006 for assistance in identifying victims. The Bissau-Guinean Embassy in Senegal coordinates closely with Senegalese and international NGOs to provide food, shelter, and medical care to some victims. The government provides transportation for victims back to Guinea-Bissau from Senegal. Victims are not punished for crimes that are a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Guinea-Bissau made significant efforts to prevent trafficking, despite limited resources. In collaboration with UNICEF and a local NGO, the government sponsored a four-day conference in April 2005 to identify the causes of trafficking and educate the public about it. The government also contributes $16,000 annually to this NGO to combat trafficking. The Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with UNICEF, registered and provided identity papers to 28,000 children in January 2006 as an anti-trafficking measure. The government provides funds to a local NGO that conducts anti-trafficking awareness campaigns. Guinea-Bissau lacks both a designated government anti-trafficking focal point and a national anti-trafficking strategy.

GUYANA (TIER 2)

Guyana is a country of origin, transit, and destination for young women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Most reported cases involve internal trafficking of adolescent girls. Much of this trafficking takes place in remote areas of the interior, or involves Amerindian girls from the interior trafficked to coastal areas to engage in prostitution and involuntary domestic servitude. Girls promised employment as domestics, waitresses, and bar attendants are trafficked into prostitution; young Amerindian men are exploited under forced labor conditions in timber camps. In some instances, victims are forcibly abducted. Guyanese girls and young women are trafficked for sexual exploitation to neighboring countries such as Suriname and Barbados.

The Government of Guyana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government was one of the first in the Hemisphere to publish a review and self-assessment of its anti-trafficking efforts. The Government of Guyana also increased financial support for NGOs that provide victim assistance, expanded the reach of prevention activities, and began applying new laws to investigate and arrest suspected traffickers. The government should expand training efforts to include more rural officials, aggressively prosecute traffickers, and continue working with NGOs to assist victims.

Prosecution
Law enforcement efforts to identify cases improved, but no traffickers were convicted in 2005. The country's slow judicial process contributed to the lack of progress in convicting traffickers. Law enforcement authorities applied Guyana's newly enacted Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act and arrested at least 10 suspects under the Act. The Act requires sentences ranging from three years to life imprisonment and the confiscation of trafficking-related assets. Fifteen investigations of cases initiated in 2005 and previous years remained pending in pre-trial status. Rural court and law enforcement officers lacked adequate training to identify and deal effectively with trafficking. Technical training and sensitization efforts should be expanded to reach officials in rural areas where most trafficking occurs. Law enforcement officials worked with source and destination countries such as Brazil, Suriname, and Barbados to share information on potential trafficking and assist victims. There was no evidence of government officials complicit in trafficking.

Protection
The Government of Guyana made modest progress in victim assistance. It funded $30,000 of repairs for an NGO-run shelter to supplement the government's limited shelter capabilities, and included NGO funding assistance in its 2006 budget. There were no reports of victims jailed or mistreated by officials. Law enforcement officers referred victims to social workers and a local NGO for assistance. The government provided medical attention, housing, and funds to return victims to their homes.

Prevention
The government expanded on prior prevention efforts. It trained social workers, launched a new awareness campaign via print and radio media, and met with key religious, business, mining, and local government stakeholders. Ten trafficking detection training sessions reached 361 community facilitators around the country. In January 2006, the government released a review of its counter-trafficking activities for 2004-2005, which recognized that better policing of and outreach to rural communities is still needed.



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