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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

VI. Country Narratives -- Countries H through P


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.

HONDURAS (TIER 2)

Honduras is a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Many victims are Honduran children trafficked from rural areas to urban and tourist centers such as San Pedro Sula, the North Caribbean coast, and the Bay Islands. Honduran women and children are trafficked to Mexico, the United States, and Guatemala. Most foreign victims trafficked into Honduras for commercial sexual exploitation come from neighboring countries. Honduras is also a transit country for illegal migration originating outside the region, including China, and there are unconfirmed reports that some of these migrants are forced into debt bondage in Honduras to pay off their smuggling fees.

The Government of Honduras 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 increased law enforcement efforts, passed anti-trafficking legislation, and educated officials and the tourist industry regarding anti-trafficking reforms. The government should sustain efforts to investigate trafficking within the country and cooperate with destination countries. It should also work with NGOs and civil society on public awareness programs targeting victims and improve protection for victims.

Prosecution
The Honduran Government increased its efforts to punish acts of trafficking during the reporting year. The government enacted reforms late in the reporting period to strengthen laws prohibiting commercial sexual exploitation. Law enforcement authorities initiated at least 37 new investigations and prosecuted 17 suspects for trafficking-related offenses, convicting 10 traffickers. Police raids rescued at least four underage victims of commercial sexual exploitation which led to four of the year's prosecutions. Authorities cooperated with Guatemala and the United States in joint anti-trafficking investigations. Border officials screened potential victims but had little success in preventing cross-border trafficking. There were no confirmed reports of officials prosecuted for complicity in trafficking, although corruption is a widespread problem and there were reports of lower-ranking immigration officials linked to alien smuggling and trafficking.

Protection
The Honduran Government made minimal progress in its efforts to assist trafficking victims during the reporting year. It operated no shelters for trafficking victims, but referred victims of trafficking to NGOs for services. The government supported several shelters that received and assisted minors deported or repatriated from abroad, though these shelters were not equipped to adequately care for trafficking victims. In September 2005, the government assigned a prosecutor to work with one of these shelters to identify trafficking victims and seek their assistance in building trafficking cases. Honduran consular officials in neighboring countries assisted Honduran trafficking victims by referring them to NGOs and coordinating their repatriation. Greater efforts should be made to direct trafficking victims to shelters and victim services in the country. The government should also increase efforts to aid adult trafficking victims and prevent the summary deportation of foreign trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government made modest progress in prevention activities during the period. It trained 740 officials and over 100 key tourism representatives regarding the new laws against commercial sexual exploitation. A senior migration official used IOM training she had received to train her staff to recognize and investigate trafficking. The Honduran Government relied on NGOs and international organizations like UNICEF and IOM to implement most awareness campaigns that targeted victims.

HONG KONG (TIER 1)

Hong Kong is a transit and destination territory for men and women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Hong Kong is primarily a transit point for illegal migrants, some of whom are subject to conditions of debt bondage, sexual exploitation, and forced labor upon arrival in a destination country. To a lesser extent, Hong Kong is a destination for women from the P.R.C. and Southeast Asian countries trafficked for sexual exploitation. There are credible reports that women are recruited in their home country to work in Hong Kong as entertainers, waitresses, or musicians, but are subsequently forced into prostitution through the coercive use of debts imposed on them. While there are reports that foreign domestics are abused in the territory, Hong Kong's continuing efforts to regulate the thousands of domestics currently working in Hong Kong appear to have greatly reduced abuses.

The Government of Hong Kong fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to implement strong anti-trafficking measures. The government devotes significant resources to combating trafficking, including training frontline law enforcement officials to identify trafficking victims, collecting and reporting detailed information on suspected cases of trafficking, conducting undercover operations in establishments thought to be centers for trafficking in women, and providing sufficient protections to trafficking victims through already-established mechanisms. However, the government's anti-trafficking efforts would benefit from a comprehensive plan of action on trafficking-related matters and an outreach campaign to women in prostitution designed to educate them about trafficking issues. The Hong Kong authorities should also collaborate more closely with the Philippines Government to investigate cases of sex trafficking involving Philippine women.

Prosecution
The Hong Kong Government continued significant efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement means. Hong Kong does not have specific anti-trafficking laws, but uses its Immigration Ordinance, Crimes Ordinance, and other related laws to prosecute traffickers. These laws carry significant penalties, including up to 10 years' imprisonment and substantial fines. Over the last few years, Hong Kong has made efforts to provide better law enforcement data. This year, Hong Kong reported five suspected cases of trafficking, though none resulted in a prosecution or conviction. Hong Kong provides training for police and immigration officials on how to identify trafficking victims. Hong Kong's Anti-Illegal Migration Agency is staffed by highly professional and sophisticated individuals and it maintains tight control at Hong Kong's International Airport.

Protection
Since the number of known trafficking victims in Hong Kong is small, the government generally refers them to existing social service programs. The Social Welfare Department and local and international NGOs offer an array of social service programs to individuals in need. The government also provides a general 24-hour crisis hotline, though no trafficking victims used this line in the last year. Additionally, the government trains police officers on how to handle vulnerable witnesses and victims, and a special unit within the police force provides for their protection. Potential trafficking victims may be granted immunity from prosecution if they agree to be witnesses in a criminal prosecution. Individuals who do not agree to act as witnesses may be charged with criminal offenses - including breaching conditions of their stay or document fraud - though the government's general practice has been to repatriate trafficking victims to their country of origin without charging them with an offense.

Prevention
Hong Kong has indicated a strong willingness to combat trafficking in persons, and is working to raise awareness among police and immigration officials. Given the small number of identified trafficking victims, there are no specific campaigns aimed at women who may be trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation; there are significant outreach programs to foreign domestics. The government has taken strong efforts to ensure that foreign domestics are aware of their rights through multi-lingual guidebooks and public advertisements. Authorities work closely with P.R.C. and other law enforcement entities to share information on emerging patterns of alien smuggling and trafficking.

HUNGARY (TIER 2)

Hungary is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls trafficked from Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, the Balkans, and the P.R.C. to Austria, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland, Japan, the United States, the U.K., and several countries in Scandinavia and Central America for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Hungarian women are trafficked primarily to Western and Northern Europe and to North America. There is also evidence that men and boys as young as 12 are trafficked from Romania to Budapest for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The majority of victims of sexual exploitation within Hungary are minors.

The Government of Hungary does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Hungarian Government has shown considerable commitment over the last year to increase its efforts in combating human trafficking. The government signed an inter-agency memorandum of understanding that put into place an official policy of referring identified trafficking victims to NGOs for care. Parliament passed the Victims' Compensation Act to provide government-issued payments as well as medical, legal, and social assistance to victims of all crimes, including trafficking. Parliament also passed an act granting authority to the Border Guard to investigate trafficking cases; this will greatly increase the government's ability to conduct anti-trafficking investigations. Despite the past year's considerable progress, more remains to be done. Evidence suggests that local police patrols do not vigorously investigate trafficking activity; police reportedly are aware that traffickers control many women in prostitution in Hungary, but do not attempt to arrest these traffickers due to apathy, fear of retribution, or bribes. Police should receive more sensitivity training and prosecutors should receive additional training to make the judicial process more effective. The government should establish a central office and a national action plan to better coordinate anti-trafficking efforts.

Prosecution
The Hungarian Government showed modest progress in its law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking during the reporting period. Police conducted 28 trafficking investigations, and prosecutions of suspected traffickers increased from 21 in 2004 to 27 in 2005. Data on convictions of traffickers were unavailable for 2005. Of the 42 reported convictions in 2004, 26 traffickers were sentenced to time in prison, five were given fines or ancillary punishments, and 11 traffickers received suspended sentences. The government provided training for its officials in how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute traffickers. In addition, government officials attended several NGO conferences. Hungary cooperated regularly with other governments in trafficking investigations; one notable investigation involved cooperation with Swiss and French law enforcement agencies and resulted in the arrest of several French traffickers in March 2006. The government also extradited two suspected Romanian traffickers to Romania, one suspected Romanian trafficker to Austria, and one suspected Hungarian trafficker to Hungary from Switzerland.

Protection
The Hungarian Government showed mixed progress in its efforts to protect and assist trafficking victims over the reporting period. The government provided only limited assistance to anti-trafficking NGOs in 2005, though it did donate several buildings for the creation of an NGO trafficking shelter in Hungary, and in early 2006, it granted $47,000 to a victim protection NGO. Police referred 12 victims to the new trafficking shelter that opened in 2005, and a formal victim referral process with an emphasis on victim protection was enacted in November 2005. However, concerns remained that the cumbersome nature of the process and lack of communication between ministries will challenge the effectiveness of the new referral process. The lack of effort among low-level officials to properly identify victims remained a problem. Although it is not the policy of the government to jail, detain, or deport trafficking victims, the lack of adequate victim screening or identification efforts resulted in victims occasionally being punished for unlawful acts that were a direct result of their being trafficked. Some victims were also denied legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they faced hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government continued to work closely with NGOs and IOM to promote public awareness over the last year. The government in early 2006 committed formally to $36,000 in funding for three IOM public awareness programs. Anti-trafficking materials prepared by NGOs continued to be included in different state-run university programs. The government cooperated with IOM to conduct trafficking prevention and awareness programs for potential victims as well as trafficking awareness training for police, border guards, prosecutors, consular officers, and judicial officials. The government did not sponsor any demand reduction programs in 2005.

INDIA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

India is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced or bonded labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The large population of men, women, and children — numbering in the millions — in debt bondage face involuntary servitude in brick kilns, rice mills, and zari embroidery factories. Some children endure involuntary servitude as domestic servants. Internal trafficking of women and girls for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriage also occurs. The Ministry of Home Affairs estimates that 90 percent of India's sex trafficking is internal. India is also a destination for women and girls from Nepal and Bangladesh trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. In addition, boys from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are trafficked through India to the Gulf states for involuntary servitude as child camel jockeys. Reportedly, Bangladeshi women are trafficked through India for sexual exploitation in Pakistan. Moreover, Indian men and women migrate willingly to the Gulf for work as domestic servants and low-skilled laborers, but some later find themselves in situations of involuntary servitude including extended working hours, nonpayment of wages, restrictions on their movement by withholding of their passports or confinement to the home, and physical or sexual abuse.

The Government of India does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. India is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year due to its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking in persons. India lacks a national law enforcement response to any form of trafficking, but took some preliminary measures to create a central law enforcement unit to do so. However, India did not take steps to address the huge issue of bonded labor and other forms of involuntary servitude. The Indian Government also did not take meaningful steps to address its sizeable trafficking-related corruption problem. The government drafted, but had not yet introduced to parliament, amendments to the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA) that would afford greater protection to sex trafficking victims and stricter penalties for their traffickers and for clients of prostitution. The central government also further empowered the coordination office for anti-trafficking, elevating the stature of the Department of Women and Child Development (DWCD) by creating a Minister of State for Women and Child Development (MWCD). India should consider designating and empowering a national law enforcement agency with investigative and prosecutorial jurisdiction throughout the country to address its interstate and international trafficking problem. The government should similarly consider taking greater measures to rescue and protect victims of bonded labor and to prosecute their traffickers or employers, giving them punishments sufficiently stringent to deter and that adequately reflect the nature of the heinous crime of trafficking. It is particularly important to strengthen and enforce sentences applied to individuals convicted of exploiting bonded laborers. India should also improve its long-term protection of trafficking victims and institute nation-wide public awareness programs to educate all segments of the population on the dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of India over the last year sustained modest efforts to punish trafficking crimes; however, there were no significant improvements. The government's laws criminalizing labor forms of trafficking such as bonded labor or forced child labor prescribe no more than three years' imprisonment. The government, at all relevant levels, neither vigorously investigated nor prosecuted acts of any form of trafficking found in India, nor did it report a significant number of convictions or sentences for these acts of trafficking. Moreover, there were no reports of government efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, or sentence public officials who participated in or facilitated trafficking in persons crimes. Although India's Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA) adequately criminalizes and prescribes punishment for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, this law was generally not used for effective prosecutions of trafficking in most of the country. The central government has moved forward, however, with amendments to the ITPA aimed at increasing penalties for repeat traffickers and clients of prostitution and eliminating provisions used to punish victims of trafficking. In 2004, the central government reported 6,341 persons convicted under the ITPA, but it did not provide data as to how many of these were convictions of women in prostitution for the offense of solicitation. The Government of India did not provide comprehensive statistics for the number of investigations, arrests, prosecutions, or convictions achieved during 2005 to punish traffickers for commercial sexual exploitation. Separately, independent sources report that the municipal government of Mumbai — India's largest city and largest concentration of victims of commercial sexual exploitation — arrested 13 suspected sex traffickers in 2005, but did not prosecute or convict any traffickers. Similarly, the city governments of Calcutta and Chennai registered 25 and 109 arrests of sex traffickers respectively, but provided no indication that these cases were ever prosecuted. The state of Maharashtra reported 82 prosecutions of trafficking offenses and the conviction of eight traffickers in 2004. During the year, little progress was made in combating trafficking of persons for the purpose of labor exploitation. Despite estimates that millions of men, women, and children are victims of forced labor and bonded labor, the government provided no indication that the perpetrators of these crimes were seriously punished. The Bonded Labor Abolition Act of 1976 criminalizes the use of the bonded labor system with penalties including up to three years in jail and 2,000 rupees ($45) in fines. International NGOs and the ILO estimate that there are 10 to 40 million bonded laborers in India; the Government of India did not provide an estimate. Moreover, it did not provide any data on prosecutions or convictions for bonded labor offenses for the reporting period. Independent sources report some prosecutions and convictions in Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh, with punishments limited to fines. The Child Labor and Juvenile Justice Acts prohibit the labor exploitation of children. Under the Child Labor Act, employers are subject to imprisonment of up to one year and a fine of at least 10,000 rupees ($227) for forced child labor. The Juvenile Justice Act mandates imprisonment of three years or less for forced or bonded labor of children. In November, the Delhi police rescued 694 children caught in forced labor in zari embroidery factories and over 16,000 children were reportedly rescued from workshops in Mumbai between June and September 2005. These local governments, however, provided no information regarding arrests or prosecutions of the factory owners exploiting these children.

In the last year, the Government of India took steps to implement a nationwide police training program on trafficking. The Bureau of Police Research and Development began preparing a national anti-trafficking training module for investigative officers, and it conducted seven training workshops around the country in 2005. This nascent training program, aimed to sensitize law enforcement officers to trafficking for sexual or labor exploitation, will assist state and national level law enforcement authorities in preventing corruption and improving their capacity to combat trafficking. In addition, India should consider instituting a comprehensive database to compile state level statistics related to the rescue of victims of sex trafficking and forced or bonded labor, as well as the arrest and prosecution of their traffickers or exploiters.

Endemic corruption among law enforcement officials impedes India's ability to effectively combat trafficking in persons. In terms of trafficking for sexual exploitation, corrupt law enforcement authorities reportedly continue to facilitate the movement of trafficking victims, protect brothels that exploit victims, and protect traffickers and brothel keepers from arrest or other threats of enforcement. In the area of bonded labor and forced child labor, some corrupt police officials continued to protect businesses and managers who rely on forced labor, and take bribes to stop enforcement or judicial action. During the reporting period, there were no reports concerning the Government of India's steps to address official complicity in trafficking in persons.

Protection
The Government of India continues to provide inadequate and uneven assistance to the vast majority of trafficking victims. Existing national programs to provide protection and rehabilitation to victims of sex trafficking, forced child labor, or bonded labor were not implemented effectively in some areas. Some of India's 28 states, however, showed resolve in addressing victims' needs. For example, the state of Tamil Nadu operates five shelters for women and girls, including victims of trafficking, and the government of Andhra Pradesh state runs six similar homes. The state government of Maharashtra is expanding the capacity of its existing Mumbai shelter. Government shelters are found in all major cites, but the quality of care they offer varies widely; allegations of victims further exploited in government shelters have been reported. The Government of India relies heavily on NGOs to provide certain services to assist victims. Child Welfare Committees operate in each district of each state to protect child victims of trafficking; they often refer such victims to local NGOs for care. The Government of India continues to provide funding to NGOs to build shelters for victims of trafficking under its Swadhar Scheme, although some NGOs have charged that the implementation of this program has been marked by inefficiency and corruption. Overall, protection for victims of trafficking is weak with regard to comprehensive care. Many shelters do not have the capacity to provide protection to trafficking victims for more than a few months, leaving some victims vulnerable to re-trafficking once they leave the shelters. In addition, victim witnesses rarely receive adequate protection to prevent retribution from their traffickers. For those trafficked from other countries, repatriation assistance is sparse. Anecdotal information suggests that victims are accompanied to the border without sufficient reintegration aid, rendering them susceptible to re-trafficking. Victims of bonded labor are provided 20,000 rupees ($450) co-funded by the national and state governments upon their rescue, but this program of rehabilitation is unevenly implemented across the country; it is unclear whether state or local governments afford other services to bonded labor victims. The government can improve its protection efforts by instituting short- or long-term care as appropriate for trafficking victims, as well as shelter facilities to assist them. The repatriation process should be improved to ensure that victims are sufficiently reintegrated and programs to protect witnesses are established that will adequately safeguard victims from retribution. To protect Indian nationals trafficked abroad, the government should consider training overseas diplomatic officials in identifying and assisting trafficking victims caught in involuntary servitude.

Prevention
India's efforts to prevent trafficking in persons were limited this year. To address the issue of bride trafficking, the government instituted public awareness programs to educate parents on the laws against sex-selective abortions and infanticide causing gender imbalance in parts of India and driving the demand for purchased brides. The newly created MWCD has continued the past work of the DCWD in hosting quarterly meetings with other government agencies and local NGOs to share anti-trafficking ideas and facilitate cooperation on preventing trafficking in persons. The government also aimed to prevent child labor by offering financial incentives to parents to keep their children in school. Nevertheless, the central government was unable to guard its long, porous borders with Bangladesh and Nepal through which several thousand trafficking victims reportedly enter India each year. The government did not take adequate measures to prevent internal trafficking for sexual exploitation or involuntary servitude despite the prevalence of such trafficking to major cities, and increasingly in smaller cities and suburbs. The Government of India also did not institute a broad public awareness campaign to notify the public of the consequences of engaging in trafficking crimes. India should increase awareness of trafficking issues in rural areas where there is a high risk of trafficking. India should also better monitor its borders to interdict trafficking victims and trafficking rings. In addition, the government should also consider offering training for men and women traveling overseas for employment, to avoid situations of involuntary servitude abroad.

INDONESIA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Indonesia is a source, transit, and destination country for women, children and men trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Indonesian victims are trafficked to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea, and Singapore. A significant number of Indonesian women who go overseas each year to work as domestic servants are subjected to exploitation and conditions of involuntary servitude. An unknown number of child domestic workers also face conditions of forced child labor, a severe form of trafficking in persons. Some Indonesian women who travel legally to Japan as "cultural performers" are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. To a minimal extent, Indonesia is a destination for women from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), Thailand, Taiwan, Uzbekistan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Venezuela, Spain, and Ukraine who are trafficked for sexual exploitation. There is extensive trafficking within Indonesia from rural to urban metropolitan areas particularly for sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude. Endemic poverty, a high unemployment rate, corruption and a weak rule-of-law environment all contribute to Indonesia's trafficking problem.

The Government of Indonesia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Indonesia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking. The Indonesian Government has not passed a much-need anti-trafficking law that has been under consideration for three years; Indonesia lacks a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that has a clear legal definition of trafficking. While the government launched an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign, widespread corrupt practices continued to contribute to trafficking. The government took new steps to remove children from prostitution, but did not effectively address children in forced domestic servitude, a severe form of trafficking. Police and officials often did not recognize the relationship of debt bondage and trafficking of women and girls for prostitution. Over the last year, Indonesia did not reverse the pervasive problem of debt bondage in the migrant worker system, which subjects many women to confinement by recruiting agencies before they leave Indonesia for overseas employment. Government action should concentrate on passing the comprehensive anti-trafficking bill; further addressing internal trafficking, particularly of children exploited in the sex trade or as forced domestic servants; and stopping corrupt practices and prosecuting officials involved in or facilitating trafficking.

Prosecution
The Indonesian Government did not increase its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2005. The government arrested 110 suspected traffickers, prosecuting 37 and convicting at least 16 defendants in the year. The Indonesian police also arrested two individuals for trafficking dozens of Indonesian women as "cultural performers" into prostitution in Japan. In contrast to previous years, Indonesian law enforcement actions focused more on internal trafficking. Police launched new investigative units in certain cities focused on crimes against women and children, including trafficking. Indonesian law enforcement also conducted raids on illegal or abusive migrant holding centers and freed over one thousand women in 2005, while arresting and charging a few business owners under the Migrant Worker Protection Act. Beginning in January 2006, police launched operations to free children in prostitution in Jakarta, Surabaya and elsewhere. The government, however, did not address debt bondage in the migrant worker system. Indonesian law criminalizes trafficking, but lacks a comprehensive definition of the crime, including debt bondage. Convictions for trafficking offenses are often accompanied by light sentences, with an average sentence of less than five years' imprisonment. The Indonesian Government has recognized that action must be taken to stop corrupt officials' facilitation of trafficking, such as the issuance of false identification cards, but it has not reported any trafficking-related investigations or prosecutions of corrupt officials. Over the last year, clashes between the police and military highlighted the continued involvement of individual security force members in prostitution.

Protection
National and local level efforts to protect victims of trafficking in Indonesia increased over the past year, but remained inadequate. Services to victims expanded, but still remained inadequate. The president spoke out on the need to protect Indonesia's female migrant workers. The Indonesian police increased the number of integrated service centers providing health services to trafficking and other victims of crime, and with international assistance established one of the world's largest medical recovery units dedicated to trafficking victims in the Jakarta police hospital. Although Indonesia's national action plan calls for proper treatment of trafficking victims, implementation varied widely at the local level and often appeared ad hoc. The Indonesian Government continued to operate shelters at its embassies and consulates in Singapore, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait which housed thousands of overseas workers who were subjected to exploitation and conditions of involuntary servitude. At home, however, licensed and unlicensed migrant worker recruitment agencies (PJTKI) often imposed debt bondage and confinement on aspiring migrant workers and the government made no discernable progress to reform this system that contributed to trafficking. The government at various levels operated crisis centers and provided some support to domestic NGOs and civil society organizations that provide services for victims. Various Indonesian Government offices and diplomatic missions continued to receive limited training on trafficking victim recognition and assistance.

Prevention
The Indonesian Government continued efforts to promote public awareness of trafficking in 2005, and continued to prevent trafficking out of areas devastated by the December 2004 tsunami. The government launched the first televised public service announcements to raise awareness of trafficking and engaged in other limited public education campaigns. Government-sponsored public awareness campaigns often featured senior officials and included television, radio, and print media. Indonesia's national anti-trafficking spokesperson continued to engage the public to raise awareness of trafficking. The government opened new migrant worker service centers that provided information on safe migration and avoidance of traffickers. More Muslim organizations in West Java, East Java and Aceh became aware of and took actions to warn the public about trafficking. Over the last year, the Indonesian Government continued its collaboration with NGOs on anti-trafficking and education initiatives. Most education campaigns focused on warning potential victims about trafficking. There were few prevention activities focused on reducing demand.

IRAN (TIER 3)

Iran is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. According to foreign observers, women and girls are trafficked to Pakistan, Turkey, the Gulf, and Europe for sexual exploitation. Boys from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are trafficked through Iran en route to the Gulf states where they are ultimately forced to work as camel jockeys, beggars, or laborers. Afghan women and girls are trafficked to the country for forced marriages and sexual exploitation. Similarly, women and children are trafficked internally for the purposes of forced marriage, sexual exploitation, and involuntary servitude.

The Government of Iran does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Iran is downgraded to Tier 3 after persistent, credible reports of Iranian authorities punishing victims of trafficking with beatings, imprisonment, and execution. The United States Government's lack of access to Iran prohibits the collection of full and accurate data on the country's human trafficking problem and its efforts to curb it. Nonetheless, sources report that the Iranian Government fails to meet the minimum standards for protection of victims of trafficking by prosecuting and, in some cases, executing victims for morality-based offenses resulting from their trafficking experience. Iran has taken steps, however, to improve its collaboration with source and destination countries to prevent human trafficking. The government should take steps to prevent the punishment of trafficking victims. Iran should also articulate a plan of action to punish traffickers and prevent trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
Over the year, Iran reportedly made some efforts to punish trafficking in persons crimes. In April, a number of government officials, including members of the State Security Forces and Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, were arrested for engaging in the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Despite this effort to address trafficking-related government corruption, Iran did not provide any evidence that these officials were officially charged, prosecuted, or convicted for trafficking offenses. The child victims of these raids-some as young as 13 years old-were also arrested pending their judicial sentencing, presumably for engaging in prostitution. The government should continue to conduct raids to identify and punish traffickers, but should subsequently prosecute the traffickers and assign strict penalties for their actions. Iran should also consider providing training to government officials on methods of investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes.

Protection
The Government of Iran did not improve its protection of trafficking victims this year. Although government bodies provide some victims with legal, health, and counseling services, reports have also emerged that victims are arrested and punished for violations of morality standards such as adultery, defined as sexual relations outside of marriage. Although it is unclear how many victims are subjected to punishment for acts committed as a result of their trafficking experience, child
victims of commercial sexual exploitation reportedly have been executed for their purported crime of prostitution or adultery. For instance, one 16-year-old sex trafficking victim was hanged publicly by religious authorities who accused her of engaging in "acts incompatible with chastity." The governor of the town later congratulated the religious leader for his "firm approach." The Government of Iran should take significant steps to prevent the punishment of trafficking victims, and should improve the protective services available to victims.

Prevention
During the year, Iran may have made modest advances in its trafficking prevention measures. The government reportedly improved its monitoring of the border with Afghanistan, but provided no details regarding this effort. Iran should improve its efforts to prevent trafficking in persons by significantly improving border patrol with Pakistan and other neighboring countries to which Iranian women and children are trafficked. The government should also institute a public awareness campaign to warn women and children in rural areas of the dangers of trafficking.

IRELAND (TIER 1)

There are reports, which the Government of Ireland is investigating, which suggest that Ireland is a transit and destination country for a significant number of trafficking victims from Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, or Asia. While Ireland has a growing population of migrants, there is not yet evidence of a large number of trafficking victims. Unaccompanied minors from various source countries, particularly in Africa, represent a vulnerable group in Ireland that is susceptible to trafficking and exploitation.

The Government of Ireland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Ireland's recent influx of immigrants suggests a vulnerable population among refugees, asylum-seekers, and economic migrants susceptible to force, fraud, and coercion by exploiters in Ireland. The Government of Ireland, newly aware of the trafficking problem, has shown openness and leadership in tackling this crime. Current law, however, does not clearly define trafficking but rather merges it with smuggling, complicating efforts to count and verify the extent of trafficking in the country. In 2005, the government began drafting and updating anti-trafficking legislation that promises to be more comprehensive. If passed, the laws will differentiate between smuggling and trafficking; criminalize trafficking of children into or out of Ireland for both sexual exploitation and forced labor; and focus on the liability of carriers in their transport of such victims. Law enforcement personnel should continue training on victim identification techniques, including key elements defining the difference between trafficking and smuggling.

Prosecution
The Government of Ireland demonstrated strong leadership and initiative in addressing trafficking through law enforcement means in 2005. The government vigorously investigated cases of suspected trafficking reported by NGOs, potential victims themselves, and those reported in the media. Since August 2005, police conducted a number of raids of brothels in Ireland; the government reportedly is preparing cases for prosecution. As a result, in September 2005, authorities conducted a series of raids based on allegations of trafficking in exotic dance clubs, though interviews of suspected victims did not produce evidence of trafficking. In February 2006, police launched an investigation and raided a farm suspected of managing a series of brothels via a call center operation, though again, no evidence of trafficking was found. Ireland's legislative framework includes a Child Trafficking and Pornography Act, which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The Government of Ireland demonstrated strong engagement with international organizations, NGOs, and potential source countries on trafficking. In 2005, the government launched Operation Hotel to improve nationwide law enforcement coordination on trafficking. There was no evidence of official complicity in trafficking during the reporting period.

Protection
The Irish Government offered adequate protections to presumed victims of trafficking during the reporting period. While the government lacks a formal referral mechanism, police and immigration officials referred potential trafficking victims to NGOs throughout the year. Due to a lack of dedicated anti-trafficking protections and services, potential victims, especially unaccompanied children, were at risk for being trafficked. NGOs and law enforcement authorities who have contact with potential victims of trafficking estimate a range of 14 to 200 victims of trafficking in Ireland since 2001. However, there are no agreed-upon figures on the number of trafficking cases in 2005. The current number of cases under police investigation is in the single digits, while NGOs estimate that the actual number of cases may range from 14 to 35 per year.

Prevention
In October 2005, the government established an inter-ministerial anti-trafficking working group composed of officials from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and the police. NGOs reported excellent cooperation with government and police officials, particularly at the operational level. Ireland en Route, a loose network of government agencies, NGOs, academics, and other experts met three times in 2005 to coordinate trainings and discuss legislation, best practices, and other relevant trafficking issues in Ireland. In February 2006, the government joined the U.K. Government's "Operation Pentameter." Part of this operation includes an awareness campaign aimed at potential victims and a hotline. In 2005, the government provided $24,000 to an NGO for victim support services, specifically earmarked as funds to cover expenses while victims await court appearances. The government also dedicated $420,000 per year to assist this NGO in reforming women in prostitution.

ISRAEL (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Israel is a destination country for low-skilled workers from the P.R.C., Romania, Jordan, Turkey, Thailand, the Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and India who migrate voluntarily for contract labor in the construction, agriculture and health care industries. Some are subsequently subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude. Many labor recruitment agencies in source countries and in Israel require workers to pay up-front fees ranging from $1,000-10,000 - a practice that often leads to debt bondage and makes these workers highly vulnerable to forced labor once in Israel. 144 Israel is also a destination country for women trafficked from Eastern Europe - primarily Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Belarus, and Russia - for the purpose of sexual exploitation. NGOs estimate that in 2005 between 1,000-3,000 women were trafficked into Israel for sexual servitude and 16,000-20,000 foreign workers faced involuntary servitude, though NGOs do not provide evidence to support their claim.

The Government of Israel does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Israel is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking, namely the conditions of involuntary servitude allegedly facing thousands of foreign migrant workers. The government did not pass a much-needed law criminalizing all forms of trafficking, including labor trafficking, drafted in 2003, though it took more steps than in previous years to criminally investigate and prosecute employers allegedly keeping foreign workers in conditions of involuntary servitude. The estimated thousands of victims of forced labor were not provided with protection. The government continued to build upon progress made in previous years to combat trafficking of women for sexual exploitation, such as prosecuting traffickers and providing victims with shelter and protective services, including legal aid. Israel should extend the scope of its anti-trafficking law to criminalize labor trafficking and establish a shelter for such victims. Israel should immediately take steps to adequately punish, using its criminal justice system, the perpetrators of labor trafficking crimes occurring in Israel. The government should also more vigorously enforce existing bans against charging recruitment fees and withholding passports, factors that contribute to the trafficking of workers.

Prosecution
The Government of Israel's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts were uneven and inadequate over the last year. While the government made noticeable improvement in its law enforcement efforts against traffickers for sexual exploitation, it did little to address the much larger problem of involuntary servitude among foreign migrant workers. The government convicted 31 sex traffickers with sentences ranging from eight to 18 years in prison. The police also investigated 327 cases of trafficking for sexual exploitation and arrested 78 suspected sex traffickers. In addition, Israel cooperated with Russian, American, Ukrainian, and Belarussian law enforcement authorities to extradite traffickers and break up organized sex trafficking rings. The government's efforts to investigate and prosecute labor trafficking cases, however, were inadequate in light of the scope of this problem. Israel's anti-trafficking law does not cover labor forms of trafficking, though other criminal statutes could be used to punish exploiters of foreign laborers. The government did not enact a long-awaited draft law that would specifically cover labor trafficking. Israel pursued administrative actions against employers for labor exploitation, including investigating 198 manpower agencies for suspected fraud against foreign workers, and revoking the hiring licenses of 227 Israeli employers and 12 manpower agencies. The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor filed 208 criminal indictments against employers for violations of the labor laws governing foreign workers, and the Immigration Authority registered 133 indictments against manpower companies for violations of the Israeli Penal Code. Few of these indicted employers or managers of manpower companies, however, faced jail time as a punishment; most were punished with fines. In one case, a judge sentenced four employees of a manpower agency to seven to 13 months' imprisonment for aggravated assault of foreign workers; such prison sentences, however, proved far too rare. The scope of labor trafficking in Israel merits a higher number of investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and manpower agency closures. Israel also failed to enforce bans on charging recruitment fees for employment and withholding workers' passports.

Protection
Although Israel made some improvements in its protection of sex trafficking victims, it did not demonstrate significant efforts to improve its protection of labor trafficking victims this year. The government solicited input from NGOs to design a questionnaire to screen detained illegal immigrants for evidence of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, but many victims are believed not to respond to either these questionnaires nor to Israeli police interviews for fear of retribution. As such, many victims are not adequately screened before being deported, despite other indications that they are trafficking victims. For identified victims of trafficking, the government provides shelter, medical, psychological, legal, and repatriation assistance. Women referred to the shelter are also granted temporary residency permits pending their testimony against traffickers, and a limited number of victims may receive one-year humanitarian visas allowing them to remain beyond the conclusion of their cases. Victims of labor trafficking, however, do not receive adequate protection services. The government does not operate a shelter for their rehabilitation, housing them in detention facilities instead. Such victims are also frequently arrested and deported for violation of immigration regulations before they have an opportunity to testify against their employers. The government does not provide state funded legal aid to foreign workers, and often fails to include interpreters in judicial and deportation hearings. Israel has been proactive, however, in revising the foreign employment system to allow changes of employers for workers in the construction industry, and in establishing an ombudswoman in the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor with whom foreign workers can lodge complaints. The government also published brochures and signs at detention centers advising foreign workers of their rights and allows NGOs access to detained workers to provide legal aid and translation services during deportation hearings. Israel should improve protections available to victims of labor trafficking, including access to a shelter and legal aid, and should adequately support the ombudswoman with a sufficient budget and increased staff.

Prevention
This year, Israel improved its efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. The government ran several programs to address demand for prostitution and is working to incorporate an anti-trafficking in women message into the high school curriculum. Israel also published brochures in 14 languages outlining the rights of foreign workers to be distributed at airports, manpower agencies, and on construction sites. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs included information on trafficking in persons in training programs for Israeli diplomats, and the Ministry of Justice trained police officers, border patrols, interrogators, judges, and soldiers on identifying trafficking victims. Finally, the government provided additional resources to the border patrol policing the boundary between Israel and Egypt to prevent the smuggling and trafficking of people.

ITALY (TIER 1)

Italy is a destination and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. The number of victims originating from Albania and Nigeria decreased in 2005, while the number of victims from Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and Moldova increased. Other countries of origin included Russia, East and North Africa, China, and South America. The percentage of minors who are trafficking victims increased slightly. Eastern European and Nigerian traffickers routinely moved victims within Italy and Europe. The Italian social research institute PARSEC estimated 2,500 new trafficking victims in 2005. Both NGO and government sources reported an overall decline in the number of identified trafficking victims and women in prostitution in Italy.

The Government of Italy fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2005, Italy continued implementation of its comprehensive victim-centered approach to trafficking through its assistance and protection programs. The government sustained funding for outreach to potential trafficking victims abroad and conducted bilateral law enforcement cooperation with source countries. Italy's significant influx of illegal immigrants continues to challenge the government's ability to adequately screen for potential trafficking victims; some deportation occurs, especially of Nigerian women in prostitution. Focused and highly visible demand reduction campaigns aimed at customers are greatly needed to effectively tackle the huge demand for trafficking victims within Italy.

Prosecution
In 2004, the Government of Italy continued to demonstrate its proactive anti-trafficking efforts, investigating 1,861 cases and prosecuting 120 cases involving trafficking; incomplete data for 2005 shows Italy conducted 2,045 investigations. The number of convictions in 2004 increased from 32 to 77; incomplete data for 2005 shows there were 50 convictions. The courts reportedly denied 95 percent of convictions appealed. Italy's 2003 anti-trafficking law covers both trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced labor; however, some trafficking-related cases filed under the old laws continue to work their way through the courts. While the government failed to produce any sentencing data for 2004, sentences reported for 2005 averaged four years and five months. Convicted traffickers reportedly can receive reduced sentences if they cooperate in prosecutions. There continued to be some isolated reports of local and border officials accepting bribes and facilitating trafficking; the government failed to investigate these reports.

Protection
In 2005, the Ministry of Equal Opportunity spent over $3.5 million on 72 projects to provide comprehensive assistance to 7,400 victims. The government issued 922 temporary residence permits to trafficking victims who cooperated with law enforcement authorities. Government funded NGOs provided literacy courses for 428 victims and vocational training for 462; they helped 265 victims find temporary employment and another 840 find permanent jobs. Although some NGOs continue to express concern about improper screening leading to automatic deportation of trafficking victims, the Ministry of Interior reported that it properly screened illegal immigrants for trafficking victims. In 2004, the government provided repatriation and reintegration assistance to 78 victims, up from 66 the previous year.

Prevention
In 2005, NGOs continued to implement anti-trafficking awareness initiatives funded by the government from the previous year. This included brochures and TV/radio ads, one of which emphasized the link between trafficking and prostitution. The Ministry of Equal Opportunity's hotline for trafficking victims received calls from over 6,500 trafficking victims during 2005. The Ministry of Interior provided specialized training on trafficking laws and best practices for victim care to law enforcement officers. The inter-ministerial committee continued to coordinate the government's anti-trafficking efforts.

JAMAICA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Jamaica is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. Information from international organizations and embassies working in Jamaica suggests that women from the Dominican Republic and Eastern Europe are trafficked to Jamaica for sexual exploitation. Women and children are also internally trafficked from rural to urban and tourist areas for sexual exploitation. In a 2005 exploratory assessment, IOM stated that trafficking is occurring in the country, primarily for sexual exploitation. The report also states there may be trafficking for domestic servitude and forced labor.

The Government of Jamaica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Although Jamaica demonstrated some initial progress in combating trafficking shortly after the last Report, Jamaica is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because the determination that it is making significant efforts is based in part on its commitments to take additional future steps over the coming year. Over the past year, the Jamaican Government made modest efforts to address trafficking in the country after being placed in Tier 3 in the 2005 Report. There has been greater public debate, led by the government, on trafficking issues, resulting in a significant increase in public awareness of the dangers of trafficking. The government also launched a public awareness campaign, created an inter-agency task force to coordinate anti-trafficking matters, and appointed police officers to handle trafficking-related investigations. The government has committed to advancing these initiatives over the coming year. However, very few investigations have led to prosecutions. The government should increase law enforcement efforts and take strong action against corruption that may impede progress in this area.

Prosecution
The Government of Jamaica increased efforts to investigate trafficking crimes over the past year, resulting in limited progress. Jamaica has specific laws against trafficking in children, such as the "Child Care and Protection Act of 2004," but no laws that specifically address trafficking of adults. Related criminal statutes, however, may be used to prosecute individuals for trafficking, including the "Offenses Against the Person Act," which prohibits certain aspects of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. During the reporting period, the government created a police unit, staffed by six officers in the Jamaica Constabulary Force to enforce Jamaica's anti-trafficking and related laws. To date, there have been a number of raids and arrests, but no convictions under the Child Care and Protection Act. There have been some related convictions under other laws, including the Spirit Licensing Act and also some reported immigration code violations. There are at least six cases currently under investigation. The government also temporarily suspended work permits for foreign exotic dancers, some of whom are victims of trafficking. The Ministry of Labor is currently working on procedures to monitor individuals granted an exotic dancer permit, to ensure they are not being abused. However, despite some progress on law enforcement, official corruption remains endemic. Law enforcement efforts are also hampered by a lack of resources, personnel, and trafficking awareness.

Protection
The government's efforts to protect trafficking victims remained inadequate, affected in part by resource constraints. Child trafficking victims may be referred to shelters operating throughout the island. However, there are no shelters specifically for adult trafficking victims. Nevertheless, the government has occasionally placed adult trafficking victims in hotels and other temporary facilities. Overall victim protection efforts are ad hoc and there is no formalized referral system for victims once they are identified. Most foreign trafficking victims, when arrested for immigration offenses, are not identified as victims and are sometimes punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. They are not provided with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government continued modest prevention efforts. In August 2005, the government's anti-trafficking task force launched a year-long awareness and education campaign. High-level officials, including the Minister of National Security, attended the launch of the campaign. The government is also seeking to award a project to an organization to provide a more concrete assessment of the trafficking problem on the island. There have been a number of training sessions and sensitivity workshops for police and community representatives related to trafficking in persons.

JAPAN (TIER 2)

Japan is a destination and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of trafficking victims are foreign women who migrate to Japan seeking legal work, but are deceived or coerced into debt bondage or sexual servitude. There are also anecdotal reports of forced labor exploitation of Chinese and Thai migrants. Women and children are primarily trafficked to Japan from Thailand, the Philippines, Russia, and Eastern Europe for commercial sexual exploitation. On a smaller scale, women and children are trafficked from Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, South Korea, Malaysia, Burma, and Indonesia for sexual servitude. Internal trafficking of Japanese minor girls for sexual exploitation is an ongoing problem. There are no clear estimates on the number of trafficking victims in Japan, but most agree the number is significant and many women will not come forward for fear of reprisal by their traffickers. Japanese organized criminal syndicates (yakuza) operate internationally and are thought to be involved in trafficking.

The Government of Japan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Japan showed additional progress in advancing anti-trafficking reforms over the past year. The Japanese Government showed a more aggressive stance against trafficking and committed greater resources to victim care and protection. There has also been remarkable progress in the government's efforts to tighten the issuance of "entertainer visas" to Philippine nationals, which has resulted in a sizeable reduction in the trafficking of Philippine women to Japan. However, improved law enforcement efforts often conclude with suspended sentences against traffickers. Greater efforts to investigate and prosecute criminal syndicates thought to be involved in trafficking, legal reforms to deter such organizations from employing foreign dancers or singers, and longer sentences for those convicted of involvement in trafficking of persons would help reduce trafficking in Japan.

Prosecution
The Government of Japan's efforts to punish acts of trafficking improved over the last year. In June 2005, the government passed significant penal code reforms to specifically criminalize trafficking and provide for substantial penalties. Application of this statute, however, has been hindered by the difficulty of establishing the level of documentary evidence required for proving a trafficking crime. An amendment to the Immigration Control and Refugee Recognition Act (ICRRA) also addressed trafficking and allowed the government to issue temporary special residency status for trafficking victims. There are also a number of related criminal statutes that may be used to go after traffickers and are often used in cases of underage victims of trafficking. Future possible amendments to Japan's law against organized crime would allow for broader use by prosecutors of "conspiracy" statutes for trafficking in persons, expand punishment, and authorize asset forfeiture. The "Law on Control and Improvement of Amusement Businesses" amendments went into effect in April 2006, and mandate that adult entertainment establishments confirm and verify a worker's immigration status. Over the past two years, there has been a steady increase in law enforcement efforts against trafficking-related crime; however, few prosecutions have resulted in the incarceration of traffickers. In 2005, the government reported 75 trafficking prosecutions; 64 of these concluded with convictions and 11 are ongoing. The government obtained one conviction (currently under appeal) under the revised penal code provisions on trafficking since this law went into effect in mid-2005. There are several ongoing investigations for trafficking under the revised penal code. Three of the 64 offenders convicted for trafficking-related offenses served prison sentences, ranging from four to five years' imprisonment and significant fines. In line with Japanese judicial practice, most other offenders were given suspended sentences, which generally entailed a fine and no jail sentence as long as the offender refrains from committing another crime during a set period of time. The government actively cooperated with a number of other countries, including Indonesia, Thailand, and Colombia, on trafficking cases throughout the year. The National Police Agency (NPA) continues to train its investigators and local police on trafficking, using a documentary film it developed with an NGO in 2003. However, establishing evidentiary links to organized crime is a major obstacle for law enforcement in the country.

Protection
The government continued significant efforts to shelter and protect victims of trafficking and allocated $100,000 for this purpose. The Diet is also currently discussing a separate allocation for the medical care of victims. In 2005, the government reported that 109 victims were identified and received services in Japan. Victims are generally protected and aided by one of the Women's Consultative Centers (WCC), which are located in all 47 of Japan's prefectures. The WCC either provides direct services or refers victims to a private facility or, if the person is under 18 years of age, to a Child Guidance Center. Japan's 2005 budget calls for 10 million yen for victim treatment, including funds for shelters, psychological services, and medical assistance. NGO shelters in Tokyo and Kanagawa also receive local government resources to work with trafficking victims. Last year, Japan funded the IOM ($160,000) to aid with repatriation of foreign trafficking victims and this resulted in the safe return of 66 victims. Temporary residency status was granted to 47 other foreign trafficking victims. New screening processes implemented over the year resulted in an increase of the number of trafficking victims identified, although most agree the number identified is still relatively low. Despite these gains, the government recognizes the need to provide better protection for women who agree to assist in the investigation or prosecution of a trafficking crime; many still feel endangered and are unwilling to testify against their brokers. More coordinated referral mechanisms and a dedicated trafficking shelter would improve the services available to victims.

Prevention
The government recognizes that trafficking is a significant problem in the country, and established an Inter-ministerial Liaison Committee to coordinate anti-trafficking activities. The government is also implementing a 2004 national plan of action against trafficking in persons. There have been a number of public outreach campaigns, including the production of one million pamphlets in seven languages informing potential victims where to seek help. Japan has been very active in reaching out to source countries, and has funded programs in both Colombia and Thailand aimed at reducing trafficking in persons. Government funding has also been provided to UNICEF ($650,000) and ILO ($2 million) for anti-trafficking campaigns in these countries. The government began efforts to address demand for trafficking by including trafficking information in a foreign affairs magazine distributed in Japanese secondary schools and initiating a research project on how to address trafficking in schools' curricula. Although prostitution is illegal, there have been no efforts to criminalize demand.

JORDAN (TIER 2)

Jordan is a destination and transit country for women and men from South and Southeast Asia trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation. Women from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines travel legally to Jordan to work as domestic servants, but are sometimes subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude, including restrictions on movement, and physical and sexual abuse. Chinese and South Asian men and women sometimes face similar conditions of restricted movement, non-payment of wages, long hours, and withholding of passports while working in factories in Jordan. Additionally, late in the reporting period credible but unverified information was received alleging lack of access to food, water, and medical care, and physical and sexual abuse of foreign workers in some textile and apparel factories. In addition, Jordan is a transit country for South Asian men who are deceived with fraudulent job offers in Jordan, but are instead trafficked to work involuntarily in Iraq.

The Government of Jordan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2005, the government took measures to stem the flow of trafficking victims through Jordan by banning the transit of workers unless accompanied by their sponsors. Jordan also signed separate memoranda of understanding with Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines to streamline the process by which workers gain employment in Jordan and to guarantee their rights. Jordan should increase its trafficking prosecutions, seriously investigate allegations of trafficking of workers through Jordan to Iraq, and build a shelter for trafficking victims with adequate protective services. The government should also improve enforcement and monitoring of its labor laws in factories employing foreign guest workers and investigate allegations of involuntary servitude within these factories.

Prosecution
During the year, Jordan took minimal steps to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses. Jordanian law prohibits the trafficking of children, but does not specifically criminalize all forms of trafficking in persons. Although other sections of the criminal code can be used to prosecute trafficking offenses, the government failed to charge anyone with trafficking this year. Eight recruitment agencies received warnings for violations of workers' rights and another eight were closed in 2005, but five of those reopened within six months. Jordan supplied no evidence, however, that it is investigating cases of trafficking of workers through Jordan to Iraq for involuntary servitude. Jordanian police received training in identifying physical and sexual assault and anti-trafficking measures. Jordan should consider drafting a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, and should increase prosecutions of abusive employers and recruitment agencies, particularly those using fraud to traffic men into Iraq.

Protection
Jordan provided limited protection to victims of trafficking during the last year. The government neither operated a shelter for trafficking victims nor offered rehabilitative services to them. The government did, however, fund the operational expenses of the National Center for Human Rights-a quasi-independent organization-and gave in-kind support to UNIFEM and IOM for trafficking victim assistance. The government should build a shelter for trafficking victims that provides medical, psychological, and legal aid, and should ensure that victims are not detained as a result of reporting sexual assault.

Prevention
In 2005, Jordan took modest measures to prevent trafficking in persons. With help from UNIFEM, the government produced a booklet for distribution to all foreign workers enumerating their rights and offering hotline numbers to call, but few copies were distributed. The government should also consider establishing a broad public awareness campaign to educate employers and recruitment agencies of the rights of foreign workers.

KAZAKHSTAN (TIER 2)

Kazakhstan is a source, transit, and destination country for people trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Kazakhstani men, women, and children are trafficked to the U.A.E., Turkey, Israel, South Korea, Greece, Russia, and Western Europe. Last year saw a slight decrease in the number of cases of Kazakhstani victims being trafficked abroad and an increase in the number of labor trafficking victims into and within Kazakhstan. Men, women, and children from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, and Tajikistan are trafficked through or to Kazakhstan primarily for forced labor in construction and agriculture. Women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation. International experts estimate that the number of trafficking victims is in the low thousands.

The Government of Kazakhstan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In March 2006, Kazakhstan enacted a comprehensive set of legislative amendments that strengthened the government's ability to investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers. These amendments also included provisions to increase the amount of resources devoted to victim protection and prevention. In February 2006, Parliament passed legislation that will provide identified victims with temporary residence status to ensure their safe repatriation or participation in trafficking prosecutions. In April 2005, the Law on Social Assistance was passed, providing a mechanism that allows the government to provide grants to NGOs. The government should continue its progress by developing a plan to track, analyze, and prepare regular reports on trafficking statistics. The government should also devote more resources to training for law enforcement, prosecutors and judges with the goal of increasing convictions of traffickers and imposing sentences that are actually served. The government should also increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking-specific government corruption.

Prosecution
The Government of Kazakhstan demonstrated modest progress in its law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking over the last year. Police conducted 29 trafficking investigations in 2005, up from 27 in 2004. Authorities prosecuted five trafficking cases in 2005, down from 14 in 2004. Courts convicted 13 traffickers in 2005, an increase from 12 in 2004. Although penalties prescribed by the law are sufficiently stringent, convicted traffickers regularly received suspended sentences and did not serve any time in prison. The Border Guard Service trained passport control officers to screen for potential victims entering the country at Kazakhstan's 150 official points of entry. Systemic corruption remained a problem that affected anti-trafficking efforts; reports of individual border guards and migration officers accepting bribes from traffickers were common. However, there were no reports of new investigations and no reports of prosecutions for official complicity in trafficking. Furthermore, the two investigations of higher-level officials assisting trafficking rings reported in the 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report remained unresolved; the first investigation was dropped for lack of evidence while the second remained under investigation at the time of this Report.

Protection
Kazakhstan increased its efforts to provide victim protection and assistance during the reporting period. Some local governments provided in-kind assistance to NGO trafficking crisis centers and shelters; in the city of Ust-Kamenogorsk, the local government provided room, board, and protection for trafficking victims in conjunction with NGOs. Crisis centers and shelters reported effective coordination with local law enforcement. The government assisted in the repatriation of Kazakhstani victims. The government worked with NGOs and international organizations to provide protection to 22 foreign citizens trafficked to or through Kazakhstan, pending their repatriation. Victims' rights were generally respected and there were no reports of victims being jailed in 2005; however, victims were sometimes punished for unlawful acts committed as adirect result of their being trafficked. While law enforcement awareness of sexual exploitation continued to increase, authorities at the local level had difficulty distinguishing illegal labor migration from labor trafficking; police identified only 25 labor trafficking victims in 2005, though international observers believe the numbers to be far greater.

Prevention
The government and IOM continued a joint anti-trafficking information campaign targeted at potential victims over the last year. The Ministry of Justice produced a short booklet entitled, "Working Overseas," which offered advice to Kazakhstanis looking to work abroad on whether their overseas employment offers were legitimate; the booklet also provided information for victims on where they could receive help and assistance, within Kazakhstan and at embassies and consulates abroad. The booklet was printed in Kazakh and Russian and was widely distributed throughout the country. In Kostanay, the local government helped fund anti-trafficking public service announcements produced by a local NGO.

KENYA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Kenyan children are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude, street vending, agricultural labor, and sexual exploitation, including the coastal sex tourism industry. Kenyan men, women, and girls are trafficked to the Middle East, other African nations, Western Europe, and North America for domestic servitude, enslavement in massage parlors and brothels, and manual labor. Chinese women trafficked for sexual exploitation reportedly transit Nairobi and Bangladeshis may transit Kenya for forced labor in other countries. Burundian and Rwandan nationals engaged in coastal sex tourism may have been trafficked for this purpose.

The Government of Kenya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Kenya is placed on Tier 2 Watch List due to a lack of evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking over the last year. Despite positive steps in 2005 to assess the human trafficking threat to Kenyan nationals in the Middle East and support the establishment of a code of conduct against child sex tourism, an almost complete lack of law enforcement efforts severely impeded the government's ability to effectively combat trafficking in persons. The government should sensitize law enforcement officials throughout the country to trafficking crimes and push for greater trafficking investigations and prosecutions. It should also improve its ability to monitor and collect data on anti-trafficking interventions.

Prosecution
The Kenyan Government made weak efforts to punish acts of trafficking during the year. Its law enforcement agencies reported no investigations, prosecutions or convictions of trafficking crimes. The Ministry of Immigration developed draft legislation to criminalize the cross-border elements of human trafficking, and the Attorney General's Office collaborated with civil society and other ministries to develop draft comprehensive legislation; several procedural stages remain before presentation of the bills to parliament. Rather than investigating foreigners suspected of involvement in trafficking, law enforcement officials typically detained and deported them. Immigration officials reported several cases of suspected trafficking, but charged suspects with other offenses in the absence of specific legislation. For example, a French national found transporting Chinese nationals was convicted of harboring aliens and deported. Despite U.S. Government financial and training assistance, the Police's Human Trafficking Unit conducted no investigations into trafficking cases during the period; however, a Kenyan victim successfully filed and won a civil suit against traffickers who forced her into unpaid domestic servitude. This is the first known civil case brought against traffickers in sub-Saharan Africa. The Kenyan Police Service reportedly incorporated human trafficking awareness into its community policing training program, and 25 officials received a training-of-trainers seminar from outside partners.

Protection
The government provided minimal victim protection services during the year. Foreign trafficking victims were frequently deported without questioning and may also face immigration charges resulting in prosecution or fines. In mid-2005, Ministry of Labor officials met with employment agencies and diplomatic missions in five Middle Eastern nations, where an estimated 20-30,000 Kenyans are employed, to assess the human trafficking threat to Kenyan nationals. The government provided consular services to one Kenyan trafficking victim seeking repatriation from Germany. The government provided an unknown number of street children victimized by trafficking with shelter and medical services. It established District Advisory Children's Centers throughout the nation that provided psycho-social services, medical and educational assistance, and foster programs for vulnerable, orphaned, or abandoned children who are at risk of trafficking. In June, the Central Bureau of Statistics began a nationwide household survey of exploitative child labor.

Prevention
The government's public acknowledgement of Kenya's sex tourism problem led to greater awareness of human trafficking; during the year, numerous national and local-level officials spoke out against trafficking and sex tourism. The Ministries of Tourism and Home Affairs were involved in the development of a code of conduct to protect children from tourism-related sexual exploitation; 30 hoteliers and caterers signed onto the code in February. The Ministries of Labor, Home Affairs, and Foreign Affairs reportedly registered additional foreign employment agencies in 2005 and continued a program of trafficking education, awareness, and inspection for all 68 agencies. The Ministry of Labor provided workers' rights counseling for an unspecified number of Kenyan nationals leaving to work abroad. In November, the government established a task team to develop a national plan of action and facilitate government and civil society anti-trafficking efforts.

REPUBLIC OF KOREA (TIER 1)

The Republic of Korea (R.O.K.) is a source, transit, and destination country for women who are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Women from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), the Philippines, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries are trafficked for sexual exploitation to the R.O.K. Korean women are trafficked to Japan and to the United States, sometimes via Canada or Mexico, for forced prostitution.

The Government of the Republic of Korea fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During 2005, the government continued to provide substantial resources for victim care, and remains a pioneer and global leader on anti-trafficking education and demand reduction measures. The government sustained an aggressive law enforcement campaign aimed at curbing trafficking and exploitation of women. The government also continues to make significant progress to strengthen victim support mechanisms and improve the treatment of women in Korean society. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MOGEF) and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) play leading roles in the effort to curb trafficking and exploitation.

Prosecution
The Republic of Korea's 2004 "Act on the Punishment of Intermediating in the Sex Trade and Associated Acts" specifically prohibits trafficking in persons, including debt bondage, and related activities. The anti-trafficking law also carries stiff penalties, including up to 10 years' imprisonment, up to $86,000 in fines, and seizure of assets and property acquired as a result of trafficking. There are also a number of related criminal laws that may be used to prosecute trafficking-related crime. In 2005, police arrested 28 people for trafficking-related crimes under the 2004 Act. The government prosecuted 27 suspected traffickers and convicted 26 of them. Twenty-two received prison terms of between eight months and seven years. The law sends a clear message that the government is serious about taking action against a crime that went largely unpunished in the past. The Korean Government is cooperating with the United States on trafficking-related investigations.

Protection
The Republic of Korea showed considerable efforts to protect victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking over the last year. The government's anti-trafficking law authorized the establishment of assistance facilities, counseling centers, and shelters for victims. Additionally, the law established a solid structure of care, including social, legal, and medical assistance available to both foreign and domestic victims of trafficking. Currently, there are 23 general shelters, 16 shelters dedicated to children, two shelters dedicated to foreign victims, two rehabilitation centers, four group homes, and 29 counseling centers. In 2005, the government provided approximately $22 million in funding for victim care, including funding for a key program for vocational training for victims. As a result of this training, 24 victims started their own businesses and another 239 found other employment or enrolled in school. The MOGEF also established a Center for Women's Human Rights to provide overall assistance to trafficking prevention facilities. The Crime Victims Support Division, which is present in 50 prosecutors' offices across the country, provided support to victims/witnesses by facilitating and guiding these individuals through the legal process with personal protection and counseling services. Foreign victims were eligible to remain in the Republic of Korea under temporary status (through G-1 visas) in order to redress harms that occurred as a result of their being trafficked and to receive benefits.

Prevention
The government acknowledges that trafficking is a problem and has undertaken a number of significant prevention measures, including efforts aimed at demand reduction. The government continues to operate a "John School," which is designed to educate men about trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation. To date, over 1,000 men have participated in this program. Also, during 2005, over 74 regional government officials were trained to detect, investigate, and prevent trafficking in persons. The government continued to work through its anti-trafficking planning unit to implement its master plan on preventing prostitution. Finally, the government continued its cooperation with United States Forces Korea (USFK) to address sexual exploitation surrounding USFK bases in the country. As a result, sources suggest a significant decline in the number of foreign women working near U.S. bases.

KUWAIT (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Kuwait is a destination country for men and women who migrate legally from Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, and the Philippines for domestic or low-skilled labor, but are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude by employers in Kuwait. Victims suffer conditions including physical and sexual abuse, non-payment of wages, confinement to the home, and withholding of passports to restrict their freedom of movement. Kuwait is reportedly a transit point for South and East Asian workers recruited by Kuwaiti labor recruitment agencies for low-skilled work in Iraq; some of these workers are deceived as to the true location and nature of this work, and others are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude in Iraq. In past years, Kuwait was also a destination country for children from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sudan, Yemen, and Eritrea exploited as camel jockeys; this form of trafficking appears to have ceased.

The Government of Kuwait does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Kuwait is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because its significant efforts, as assessed by this Report, are based largely on pledges of future efforts over the coming year. The government plans to enforce a decree for standardized contracts that provide some security for domestic workers and has publicly announced that passing a draft labor law through parliament that would criminalize the exploitation of foreign workers is a top priority. This year, the government identified the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor as the central agency coordinating the government's anti-trafficking activities, and the inter-ministerial committee on expatriate labor issued recommendations regarding minimum wages, reducing visa trading, and establishing a standard contract for domestic workers. The government enforced compliance with a ban on child camel jockeys enacted last year and replaced children with robot jockeys. The government convicted some employers for labor rights abuses, but it is unclear whether any of these convictions resulted in prison sentences. The government also did not extend labor law protection to foreign domestic workers. Although a local employment recruitment agency took steps to build a shelter for abused foreign workers, the local municipality closed down the site of this private shelter on a zoning violation that has yet to be resolved.

Prosecution
The Government of Kuwait took inadequate measures to punish trafficking crimes over the last year. Kuwait lacks a specific anti-trafficking law, but used other sections of its criminal code to prosecute trafficking-related offenses. The government obtained 451 convictions for failure to provide official documents for the hiring of foreign workers and 258 convictions for hiring workers from abroad and then not providing them with work. However, the Government of Kuwait does not report assigning jail sentences to any of those convicted. Less scrupulous Kuwaiti labor agencies continued to recruit South and East Asian laborers, reportedly using deceptive and fraudulent offers and coercive techniques to meet demand in Iraq for cheap third-country national (TCN) labor. The government did not attempt to regulate this lucrative trade of workers through Kuwait. The government provided no specific law enforcement training on trafficking in persons, although one police station has responsibility for investigating trafficking crimes. Kuwait should increase investigations and prosecutions for foreign domestic worker abuse, including cases involving physical and sexual abuse, under its criminal laws, assign criminal penalties sufficient to deter future acts, such as jail sentences, and train its law enforcement officers and prosecutors on methods of investigating and prosecuting trafficking offenses.

Protection
During the year, Kuwait did not noticeably improve its protection of victims of trafficking and trafficking-related abuses. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOSAL) has established a labor dispute center (for non-domestic workers) to assist workers in salary disputes. In addition, labor source countries report that the government provided increased numbers of Kuwaiti mediators to help foreign workers resolve domestic workplace disputes with their Kuwaiti employers. Moreover, the government gave a greater role to diplomats of labor source countries in advocating for workers in the dispute process. Foreign workers are permitted to file civil suits against their employers and, though cases move slowly through the courts, these suits are often settled in favor of the workers. The Ministry of Interior suspended in the past year 163 domestic labor agencies for illegal practices, such as selling visa or residence permits or both to workers, who arrive in Kuwait to find there is no work or even that the company does not really exist. The government does not otherwise provide medical, psychological, or legal aid to victims of trafficking, preferring to rely primarily on source country embassies to assist their nationals. Kuwait does not have a screening system to distinguish trafficking victims from illegal immigrants, again depending on embassies to perform this service. The government enforces laws that only allow incoming domestic workers to be picked up from the airport by government licensed agencies that have already agreed to a contract with the worker. These agencies are then responsible for the workers' welfare for six months. In July, the Ministry of Interior issued a decree requiring a tripartite contract for domestic workers to be signed by the recruitment agency, employer, and employee, outlining the rights of the domestic employee. The Ministry has set August 2006 as the implementation date for the decree in order to allow Kuwaiti embassies abroad time to establish the necessary administrative procedures. The government is in the process of issuing a license to KUDLO to establish a privately-run shelter. In early February, however, the Kuwait Municipality closed down KUDLO headquarters on a zoning violation that has yet to be resolved. The government should take immediate steps to establish and support a shelter that provides a range of protective services to trafficking victims, institute a screening mechanism to identify victims, and formally extend protection to domestic workers.

Prevention
Kuwait's efforts at preventing trafficking in persons improved. With U.S. assistance, the government is launching a public awareness campaign featuring a wallet-sized card with information on the dangers of trafficking. The cards were distributed at airports, health clinics, and in source countries targeting East and South Asian workers in Kuwait.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (TIER 2)

The Kyrgyz Republic is a source, transit, and growing destination country for men, women, and boys trafficked from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, South Asia, and the Kyrgyz Republic itself for purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Victims of forced labor are trafficked to Kazakhstan for work in the agricultural sector, to Russia for work in construction, and to China for bonded labor. Kyrgyz and foreign women are trafficked to the U.A.E, China, South Korea, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Thailand, Germany, and Syria for sexual exploitation. Kyrgyz boys are trafficked to Russia and Kazakhstan for sexual exploitation. Kyrgyzstan is a growing destination for women trafficked from Uzbekistan for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In February 2006, the government took steps to prevent government complicity in trafficking by strengthening punishments for government officials that violate the rules of visa issuance to foreigners; this measure was aimed at preventing the trafficking of foreign citizens to Kyrgyzstan. The new punishment is a fine of up to 50 times the minimum monthly salary of the official or dismissal from his or her position, or both. Although the government continued to strengthen overall efforts to combat human trafficking, more remains to be done. The government should make efforts to improve its statistics and data collection system. It should also increase the number of judges and prosecutors that receive trafficking training, as well as increase funding for NGOs providing victim protection.

Prosecution
The Kyrgyz Government showed mixed progress in its law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking; although police demonstrated a clear commitment to investigate and arrest suspected traffickers, the courts handed down very few trafficking convictions. Police conducted 34 trafficking investigations and authorities conducted 15 prosecutions in 2005. There were three trafficking convictions during the reporting period, a considerable decrease from 17 convictions in 2004. There were six on-going investigations at the time this Report was written. Sentencing data was unavailable. In February 2006, the National Security Service prevented the trafficking of six women from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan to the U.A.E. for purposes of sexual exploitation; the women reported that their traffickers deceived them by offering lucrative jobs in Dubai and did not tell them they would be forced into prostitution. Authorities arrested four traffickers in connection with this case. Forty-eight judges were trained on how to apply domestic and international trafficking laws. During the reporting period, 70 officers from the National Border Service received victim identification training. The government closed 15 unlicensed labor-recruiting companies in 2005, a significant step given traffickers' use of labor companies to recruit victims in Kyrgyzstan; last year the government closed seven such agencies.

Protection
The Kyrgyz Government showed limited progress in its protection efforts during the reporting period. Although the government passed a new law that prohibits victims from being punished for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, the government did not provide direct funding for victim assistance and protection. Some local governments did provide office space for anti-trafficking NGOs. One shelter was forced to close for part of 2005 due to a lack of funding. Police increased the number of victim referrals to NGOs in 2005.

Prevention
The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic demonstrated good prevention efforts during the reporting period. In fall 2005, a theatrical performance about trafficking was shown in 28 villages and towns where a high percentage of victims originate; local governments provided the performance space and provided free advertising. Throughout the year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Border Service, and NGOs distributed 5,000 copies of a brochure educating migrant workers about the dangers of trafficking and their legal rights. The government also released a booklet entitled "Information for Kyrgyz Citizens Going Abroad to Work in CIS Countries;" the information from the booklet was also published in several newspapers during 2005. State-run television and radio stations aired programs on trafficking throughout the year.

LAOS (TIER 3)

Laos is a source country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. A significant number of men, women, and children from Laos are economic migrants who are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation or conditions of forced or bonded labor in Thailand. To a much lesser extent, Laos is a transit and destination country for women who are trafficked for sexual exploitation. A small number of victims from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) and Vietnam are trafficked to Laos to work as street vendors and for sexual exploitation in prostitution.

The Government of Laos does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government has not taken sufficient steps to ensure the protection of returning victims and prosecution of persons complicit in trafficking. The government's September 2004 Law on Women provides for the protection of victims and prohibits the fining of trafficking victims upon their return to Laos; however, the government has yet to fully implement these provisions. Government officials at the local level continued to punish rescued trafficking victims for unlawful acts that were a direct result of their being trafficked. The Lao Government's efforts to prosecute traffickers remained weak and uncoordinated. The government should take measures to better implement the Law on Women effectively at the local level. Government action should concentrate on prosecuting and convicting traffickers and public officials involved in trafficking, establishing an official mechanism to identify trafficking victims among returnees to the country, and taking measures to ensure that victims are not subjected to fines or re-education by local authorities.

Prosecution
There was no discernable increase in Lao Government prosecutions of trafficking-related cases during the reporting period. However, Lao law enforcement is decentralized and the central government does not keep data on efforts of local officials to prosecute traffickers. Data is limited and the Lao Government provided no data on its law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking. Laos lacks a specific anti-trafficking law but used various other laws, including kidnapping and prostitution statutes, to arrest and prosecute traffickers. In 2005, the government amended the penal code to address transnational child trafficking, with penalties of 20 years' imprisonment. The Immigration Department's anti-trafficking unit confirmed one conviction in 2005, but had no information on convictions by courts outside of Vientiane, reflecting the country's inadequate record-keeping on court cases. The Law on Women contains provisions recognizing and guaranteeing the rights of trafficking victims and prohibits authorities from punishing trafficking victims for immigration violations, but the law has not been fully disseminated and enforced. Overall, judicial and law enforcement institutions are extremely weak and corruption is widespread in Laos. There are reports that some local government officials profit from trafficking, but there were no reported investigations or prosecutions of officials for complicity in trafficking.

Protection
The Lao Government made minimal progress in improving its severely inadequate protection for victims over the last year. While the 2004 Law on Women prohibits authorities from punishing trafficking victims for immigration violations, Lao police and local officials on occasion arrested and fined Lao citizens returning from Thailand in spite of official pronouncements to end this practice. The central government made minimal efforts to distinguish trafficking victims from returning illegal migrants, although it made limited efforts to educate provincial and district-level officials on the need to protect these victims. The Lao Government continued to refer victims to NGOs and international organizations that run programs providing more thorough protection for victims of trafficking. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSW) also continued its program to repatriate women returning from prostitution or forced labor and operated a processing center for victims. With heavy donor assistance, the Lao Women's Union opened a shelter for victims of trafficking and domestic violence in early 2006.

Prevention
The Lao Government, in cooperation with NGOs, continued to raise awareness in the state-controlled media on the dangers of trafficking. The government does not fund any anti-trafficking prevention measures, in part because of a lack of resources. The MLSW, with NGO funding, has run television and radio educational campaigns warning of the dangers of trafficking. The MLSW also continued to conduct a radio project designed to raise awareness of trafficking and HIV/AIDS among ethnic minorities in conjunction with an international organization. The Ministry of Education integrated some anti-trafficking information into school curricula, but the effort was not widespread or sustained.

LATVIA (TIER 2)

Latvia is a source and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and some children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Latvian women are trafficked to Germany, Spain, the U.K., and Norway. Women from Lithuania are transited through Latvia to Western Europe. In one instance, seven possible trafficking victims from Somalia were intercepted en route to a Nordic country. The government acknowledged reports that the number of trafficking victims in Latvia continued to increase over the last year.

The Government of Latvia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While the government has continued to implement the provisions of its National Action Plan, a lack of political support from several ministries has constrained Latvia's overall progress in addressing trafficking. Convicted traffickers continued to receive low sentences, and assistance provided to victims by government institutions was inadequate. Latvia should train more judges and prosecutors on trafficking awareness. The government should also consider formalizing a mechanism for trafficking victims to request and receive social services and rehabilitation from government ministries.

Prosecution
Latvian law prohibits both sexual exploitation and non-sexual exploitation, although the law does not specifically criminalize labor exploitation. Internal trafficking is also criminalized. In 2005, law enforcement authorities investigated 23 trafficking cases, a decrease from 30 investigations in 2004. The Government of Latvia does not have centralized data on prosecutions separate from convictions. The courts increased trafficking convictions in 2005; one person was convicted of trafficking and 28 people were convicted of recruiting victims of trafficking for sexual exploitation abroad. Although the law provides for sufficient penalties to deter trafficking, the courts continued to administer relatively low prison sentences. During the reporting period, one person was sentenced to eight years in prison, five people were sentenced to less than five years in prison, and 14 people had property confiscated as a penalty. Approximately 160 judges and prosecutors participated in a five-part training course on trafficking to raise awareness and improve their understanding of the severe nature of human trafficking.

Protection
The government made some efforts to improve victim assistance and protection over the past year. Police and municipal social workers referred victims to NGO shelters. Although cooperation among NGOs in Riga improved during the reporting period, more should be done to encourage authorities in other cities to enhance their collaboration with NGOs, which provide the majority of victim assistance and rehabilitation. The police had no requests for witness protection from trafficking victims. The Ministry of Interior worked closely with local NGOs and international organizations to develop and implement the anti-trafficking project "Open Labor Market for Women." In accordance with the project, the ministry monitors all government institutions involved in victim assistance in an effort to improve the victim referral process and quality of victim care. The Ministry of Welfare has allocated funding in the 2006 budget to train more than 100 government and NGO specialists in providing victim rehabilitation services.

Prevention
Although the government failed to establish an independent anti-trafficking information and education campaign, government officials supported NGOs working on trafficking prevention by attending NGO trainings and speaking at trafficking events. High school teachers participated in several trafficking prevention training sessions. The Riga City Police created a new anti-child prostitution taskforce mandated to prevent the involvement of minors in prostitution. The Border Guard is scheduled to begin a new operation in April 2006 that will trace unusual travel patterns of foreign nationals across Latvian borders; it is believed this will help detect trafficking routes and identify potential victims.

LEBANON (TIER 2)

Lebanon is a destination country for the trafficking of Asians and Africans-primarily women-for domestic servitude, and possibly for Eastern European women trafficked for sexual exploitation. Women from Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Somalia, and Ethiopia enter Lebanon legally, but often find themselves subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude as domestic servants. An undetermined number of the domestic servants suffer physical and sexual abuse, nonpayment of wages, and withholding of passports that confines them to the employer's home. In 2005, the government and NGOs who work in this area reported less than 100 cases of abused foreign workers; experts, however, estimate that the true incidents of migrant worker abuse are considerably higher. Eastern European women come to Lebanon on "artiste" visas to work as adult entertainers, but may become victims of involuntary sexual servitude.

The Government of Lebanon 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 refer abused domestic workers to a shelter run by a local NGO. In 2005, the government closed 10 employment recruitment agencies for violations of workers' rights, including physical abuse. Lebanon should enact a comprehensive law to specifically criminalize trafficking offenses and significantly increase criminal prosecutions of abusive employers and sex traffickers.

Prosecution
Over the last year, the Government of Lebanon did not significantly improve its inadequate record of prosecution of traffickers for domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation. Lebanon lacks a specific anti-trafficking law, although it can use other sections of the criminal code to prosecute traffickers. The government reported no prosecutions or convictions for trafficking offenses, despite numerous complaints of abuse of foreign workers. Expatriate workers are not encouraged to participate in trials, and often return to their countries of origin prior to completion of trials. Under administrative laws, the Ministry of Labor closed down 10 recruitment agencies for violations of workers' rights, including physical assault. In addition to enacting a comprehensive anti-trafficking law and increasing prosecutions of traffickers, Lebanon should also better regulate employment agencies that knowingly provide false information regarding wages and conditions to prospective employees.

Protection
During the year, the Government of Lebanon took several steps to improve protection of trafficking victims. Lebanon signed a memorandum of understanding with a local NGO to operate a shelter for trafficking victims, which provides medical, psychological, and legal services. The government has also permitted social workers from this NGO to screen trafficking victims in the government holding center for illegal workers and to provide legal aid during judicial interviews. Additionally, the Ministry of Justice and Surete Generale, the Lebanese security service responsible for migrant workers, conducted a two-week course, in conjunction with the International Organization of Migration, to train 32 officers in the most effective means to combat trafficking. Due to mistreatment of foreign workers who are unable to leave abusive employers under the sponsorship system - which makes a worker very dependent on his or her Lebanese sponsor or employer - the government began allowing workers to change their employers; this change, however, is contingent upon the worker obtaining a release paper from the current employer, a step many employers may be unwilling to take. Although the officers of Surete Generale in some cases convinced suspect employers to grant this release, Lebanon should consider reforming the system to allow migrant employees the flexibility to switch employers without this requirement. The government should also assist those migrant workers who wish to file charges against abusive employers and provide them the means to remain in Lebanon until the legal process has run its course.

Prevention
Lebanon made modest progress to prevent trafficking in persons over the year. Notably, the government signed a Protocol of Understanding with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Labor to establish education centers for domestic workers destined for Lebanon. The government also distributed booklets and brochures on workers' rights and recourses under Lebanese law, although some NGOs claim that these public awareness materials are not sufficiently disseminated. Lebanon should continue to work with IOM to expand the anti-trafficking training for law enforcement officials.

LIBYA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Libya is a transit and destination country for men, women, and children from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Many victims willingly migrate to Libya en route to Europe with the help of smugglers, but may be forced into prostitution or to work as laborers and beggars to pay off their $800-$1,200 smuggling debt. Laborers from Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia are also reportedly trafficked to Libya for the purpose of labor exploitation. Although precise figures are unavailable, trafficking victims are believed to be among the nearly 1.5 million illegal migrants in Libya.

The Government of Libya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Libya is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for its lack of evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking in persons over the last year. Libya provided no evidence of any investigations or prosecutions for trafficking offenses. In addition, the government continues to summarily deport illegal migrants without adequate screening to determine whether any are victims of trafficking. Libya should take steps to articulate a national anti-trafficking plan of action, increase investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes, institute an effective screening mechanism to distinguish trafficking victims from illegal migrants, and provide protection services to victims of trafficking.

Prosecution
Over the year, Libya demonstrated limited law enforcement initiatives to combat trafficking in persons. The government provided no data on investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences for trafficking offenses in 2005. In 2006, Libyan border patrol cooperated with Italian police to interdict a 33-person gang accused of trafficking and smuggling illegal immigrants, but reported no trafficking prosecutions resulting from these arrests. Authorities also prevented over 40,000 illegal migrants from entering Libya or traveling from Libya to Europe, although it is unclear how many of these men, women, and children are victims of trafficking. In August 2005, Libya reportedly signed an agreement with IOM to formulate a counter-smuggling plan of action, with future initiatives to include training of government officials and police on anti-trafficking measures. The government should take steps to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, significantly increase prosecutions of traffickers, and institute a screening mechanism to adequately distinguish trafficking victims from the large population of illegal migrants deported every year.

Protection
Libya did not report providing protection to victims of trafficking this year. Trafficking victims, often intermingled with illegal migrants, are deported without receiving medical, psychological, or legal aid. Women found engaging in prostitution, including victims of sex trafficking, are imprisoned, prosecuted, and if foreign, deported. Women who file claims of sexual assault are generally taken into protective custody, which often amounts to detention; as such, victims of sex trafficking are deterred from making complaints for fear of imprisonment. Libya should refrain from punishing victims of trafficking for acts committed as a result of their being trafficked and should significantly improve the protective services offered to them, including providing repatriation aid and alternatives to deportation to countries where they may face retribution.

Prevention
During the year, Libya took minimal action to prevent trafficking in persons. The government cooperated with Italian authorities to stem the smuggling of illegal migrants into Italy and other parts of Europe, but no efforts focused specifically on preventing human trafficking. The government should consider establishing a broad public education program to raise awareness on the dangers of trafficking.

LITHUANIA (TIER 1)

Lithuania is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Commercial sexual exploitation of children is a significant problem. Official and NGO sources estimate that between 10 and 20 percent of persons working in prostitution are under the age of 18. Data collected by Europol indicates that more than 1,200 Lithuanian women are trafficked abroad annually, although NGOs claim higher estimates. One-third of Lithuanian victims are trafficked to the United Kingdom. Lithuania also serves as a transit point and destination for victims trafficked from Belarus, Russia (Kaliningrad region), and Ukraine.

The Government of Lithuania fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the reporting period, the government significantly increased trafficking convictions, increased financial support to NGOs, strengthened its criminal code on trafficking, and established a specialized anti-trafficking police unit. Despite government efforts, sex trafficking remains a serious problem in Lithuania. The IOM also documented an increase in child trafficking following Lithuania's accession to the European Union, based on the number of victims under the age of 18 that it assisted. To sustain and build on its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should increase the number of trainings for law enforcement officials and prosecutors so they may possess the necessary skills to successfully convict traffickers. In addition, an official victim screening and referral mechanism should be put in place to assist in the transfer of victims from the police to NGOs. Judges should also be given trafficking awareness training in order to prevent traffickers from receiving low or suspended sentences.

Prosecution
The Government of Lithuania continued to improve its law enforcement efforts. In 2005, authorities initiated 32 trafficking investigations, an increase from 22 in 2004. Authorities conducted 18 prosecutions involving 43 defendants, up from 16 prosecutions in 2004. Twenty traffickers were convicted in 2005, an increase from 14 convictions in 2004. Despite this progress, the number of convicted traffickers serving time in prison remained low; nine traffickers served time in prison, seven convicted traffickers received suspended sentences, two traffickers received amnesty, and two received fines. In 2005, law enforcement officials cooperated in 172 international trafficking investigations. Lithuania amended its criminal code to expand the definition of human trafficking and strengthen statutory penalties.

Protection
The Lithuanian Government continued to improve its efforts to protect victims of trafficking. It increased its total funding to NGOs working to provide victim assistance from $90,000 in 2004 to $137,000 in 2005; it provided funding to 11 NGOs that assisted more than 300 trafficking victims during the reporting period. Local municipalities provide social, psychological, and legal assistance to victims. The witness protection program assisted a small number of trafficking victims, but officials agreed that more funding for the program is needed.

Prevention
Lithuania continued to make progress in trafficking prevention. The government cooperated with NGOs and IOM on trafficking outreach and information programs directed toward at-risk groups, potential trafficking victims, and the procurers of prostitution. Posters and billboards about the dangers of trafficking were displayed in public areas and some schools conducted class discussions about trafficking. Although not part of the formal school curriculum, more than 3,800 at-risk youths attended government and NGO-organized trafficking prevention events including lectures, school discussions, and film viewings. Parliament also passed new legislation that addresses demand by criminalizing the buying of sex.

LUXEMBOURG (TIER 1)

Luxembourg is a destination country for women trafficked transnationally for the purpose of sexual exploitation. In 2005, Luxembourg officials uncovered a trafficking network moving victims from Brazil to France, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. In part due to its small size, Luxembourg has a modest trafficking challenge.

The Government of Luxembourg fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government improved its law enforcement awareness and inter-agency cooperation in response to trafficking cases in 2005. The government should develop and institutionalize a screening mechanism to increase identification of trafficking victims among women found in prostitution in Luxembourg. The government should consider launching a demand-oriented campaign to educate potential clients about trafficking and its links to prostitution. Aggressive prosecution and sentencing is needed to deter future acts of trafficking in Luxembourg.

Prosecution
The Government of Luxembourg took steps to improve its anti-trafficking law enforcement response in 2005 and launched two new trafficking investigations. Although the government charged five suspects in 2004 for trafficking women using "artiste" visas, the case has yet to be prosecuted. In 2005, the government conducted specialized training to educate police, immigration officials, and NGOs on recognition and identification of trafficking victims. The government drafted comprehensive legislation to cover all forms of trafficking during the reporting period. In 2005, it continued to utilize laws against sexual exploitation and organized crime to investigate and charge traffickers. In 2005, the government created a police unit to address drug trafficking and potential related human trafficking among West African asylum seekers. There was no evidence of trafficking-related corruption among Luxembourg public officials.

Protection
The Government of Luxembourg increased its efforts to protect trafficking victims in 2005. The government continued to fund two local NGOs that provided shelter and assistance to vulnerable women, including trafficking victims, in 2005. During the reporting period, police identified and referred 11 victims of trafficking to the government-funded NGO shelters. Ten Brazilian women, initially arrested as illegal migrants, were later identified by police as trafficking victims and referred to an NGO for shelter and assistance. The government did not, however, develop a formal screening and referral mechanism during the reporting period. Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials reportedly considered the warning signs of trafficking when interviewing and investigating asylum seekers. The government did not punish victims of trafficking for unlawful acts that were a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
In 2005, the government increased its official awareness and recognition of trafficking. Officials monitored Luxembourg's commercial sex establishments for illegal activity and trafficking during the reporting period. While the government did not have an institutionalized working group to address trafficking, relevant agencies and NGOs continued to meet on an ad-hoc basis, and a Ministry of Justice official continued to serve as principal point of contact on trafficking cases.

MACAU (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Macau is a transit and destination territory for women trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. While there have been few documented cases of trafficking in Macau in recent years, evidence suggests there may be other victims who are afraid, unable, or unwilling to come forward. Most females in Macau's sizeable sex industry come from the interior regions of the P.R.C or Mongolia, though a significant number also come from Russia, Eastern Europe, Thailand, and Vietnam. The majority of women in Macau's prostitution trade appear to have entered Macau and the sex trade voluntarily, though there is evidence that some are deceived or coerced into sexual servitude, often through the use of debt bondage. Press reports and NGOs state that some women live in poor conditions under threats of violence and coercion. The Russian Consulate in Hong Kong estimates that up to 200 Russian women are in Macau on tourist visas at any given time engaging in prostitution, and NGOs in Russia have information that some of these women are trafficking victims. Similarly, an estimated 200-300 Mongolian women are estimated to be in prostitution in Macau at any given time. Organized criminal syndicates are reportedly involved in bringing women to Macau. Fear of reprisals from these groups may prevent some women from seeking help.

Macau does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Macau is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking over the past year. The government has undertaken steps to combat potential trafficking. Despite the government's belief that trafficking is not a significant problem in the territory, the presence of large numbers of prostituted women from the P.R.C., Russia, Mongolia, Eastern Europe, Thailand, and Vietnam raises concerns that a significant number of them are victims of trafficking and in need of assistance. To this end, the government should undertake greater efforts to investigate and identify trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Macau Government's efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement means over the past year were inadequate. Macau has no law that specifically addresses trafficking of persons into Macau, though it does have other statutes that are used to prosecute traffickers. The government convicted several people over the past year for violations of Macau's "procurement" statutes involving low-level trafficking-related crimes. However, despite press reports of trafficking during the year, law enforcement officials did not aggressively investigate accusations of trafficking in Macau's many brothels and casinos. Officials generally maintain that trafficking is not a significant problem in Macau and, therefore, do not see the need to devote greater resources to investigating the problem.

Protection
There are no separate government assistance programs for victims of trafficking and no NGOs focused specifically on trafficking-related issues. Government officials believe that existing programs are sufficient to aid potential victims given the small scope of the problem. The government operates social service programs for abused women and there are also a small number of NGOs in Macau that provide assistance to any individual in need, including trafficking victims. Macau does require labor contracts for migrant workers. Although government officials maintain that these contracts sufficiently spell out the terms and conditions of employment and they have received no complaints that these contracts have been breached, they also recognize that many may be too frightened to complain to police for fear of retribution.

Prevention
There are no prevention campaigns in place to inform women in prostitution of trafficking issues and to advise them on where to obtain help if they are victims of trafficking.

MACEDONIA (TIER 2)

Macedonia is a source, transit, and, to a lesser extent, destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Some Macedonian victims are trafficked internally within the country. Victims also originated from Moldova, Albania, and to a lesser extent Romania and Bulgaria. Traffickers moved victims through the country en route to Serbia and Montenegro and Kosovo, Albania, and Western Europe.

The Government of Macedonia 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 increasing progress in its anti-trafficking efforts in 2005. In March 2006, the government formally adopted a National Action Plan and Strategy to combat trafficking in persons and adopted important witness protection legislation. While the government took some steps to provide legal safeguards for victims and witnesses, it must fully implement the law on witness protection to reduce threats and acts of intimidation made to victims in courtroom settings. The government should increase funding and logistical support to NGOs providing protection and assistance to trafficking victims throughout the country, and ensure that traffickers receive sentences that are consistent with the heinous nature of the offense and sufficiently strong to serve as a deterrent to future crimes.

Prosecution
While the government did not vigorously enforce its anti-trafficking laws in all cases in 2005, it showed improvement in its overall prosecution record. Although the government and NGOs reported a downward trend in trafficking in 2005, the government significantly increased the number of cases prosecuted. In 2005, the courts prosecuted 35 cases involving 80 defendants, compared to 22 cases in 2004. The government secured the convictions of 22 traffickers, with sentences ranging from three to nine years; eight prosecutions ended in acquittals, although the government appealed the acquittals in several of these cases. Notably, in 2005, the government removed the presiding judge in the case of convicted trafficker Dilaver Bojku-Leku, for failing to impose a sentence. A new judge sentenced Bojku to one year and two months for "mediation in prostitution." This, along with his original three year and eight month sentence from another case, increased his total sentence to four years and 10 months. Some trafficking suspects continued to be acquitted, despite overwhelming evidence of their involvement in trafficking. Serious concerns over instances of judicial corruption continued in 2005.

In 2005, the government imposed sanctions on some officials for trafficking-related complicity. A Macedonian court sentenced a police officer in Gostivar, previously discharged from the Ministry of Interior in 2003 after allegations of involvement in trafficking, to two months in prison for misuse of official position and "mediation in prostitution." In addition, during the reporting period, the government arrested a police chief in Gevgelija for complicity in smuggling illegal migrants, including suspected trafficking victims. In 2005, the government created a Special Prosecutor's Office (SPO) in the Office of Organized Crime in the Ministry of Justice to improve its overall trafficking enforcement. The SPO actively assisted law enforcement counterparts to prosecute a case in Ukraine during the reporting period.

Protection
The Government of Macedonia improved protections for victims of trafficking during the reporting period. In May 2005, the government passed important witness protection legislation to provide resources and improve safeguards for victims who agree to serve as government witnesses. While it did not provide funding to NGOs providing assistance to victims, the government continued to support its shelter transit center run by IOM. A second shelter run by a local NGO also is operational and provides services to victims of Macedonian origin. Police continued to provide 24-hour protection to the IOM-run trafficking shelter; the other shelter uses private security services. Victims who did not meet IOM criteria for placement in the IOM-run transit shelter were given alternate shelter arrangements in the second shelter. The two shelters provided protection and assistance to 12 trafficking victims during 2005. The Interior Ministry provided support and protection to 15 victims who returned to Macedonia to testify in trafficking cases in 2005. The government created a centralized national referral system for trafficking victims in 2005 to coordinate the identification and assistance for victims and to create a national referral network throughout Macedonia.

Under Macedonian law, trafficking victims may be granted refugee or asylum status. The government identified eight victims in 2005, a significant decrease from the previous year. The Border Police cooperated with the government's anti-trafficking unit on trafficking cases identified at the border, informally referring victims. However, according to a 2005 report by IOM, foreign victims generally did not cross at legal border crossings, but instead crossed undetected into Macedonia. The new centralized referral system may improve identification and protection of foreign victims, but they remain vulnerable to deportation.

Prevention
While the National Commission for Combating Trafficking, established in 2001, did not provide strong leadership for the government's anti-trafficking efforts in 2005, adoption of a National Action Plan and Strategy in early 2006 provided a concrete road map to fight trafficking and demonstrated commitment to improve prevention and awareness activities. The government continued to rely on NGOs to carry out most prevention and awareness programs, providing only minimal, non financial support. Throughout 2005, the government conducted or supported specialized training programs for judges, prosecutors, police, and social workers, many of them focusing on prevention of trafficking and identification of actual or potential victims. The Ministry of Labor and Social Policy organized a series of training sessions for social workers from all 27 social centers in the country. To date, the Ministry has trained 58 professionals.

MADAGASCAR (TIER 2)

Madagascar is a source country for children trafficked internally for sexual exploitation and forced labor. A sex tourism problem exists in the coastal cities of Tamatave and Nosy Be, with a significant number of children, mostly girls between the ages of 13 and 18, engaged in prostitution; some were recruited in the capital under false pretenses of employment as waitresses and domestic servants before being forced into prostitution. A network also appears to traffic young girls to the capital for prostitution; cases of encouragement or facilitation by family, taxi and rickshaw drivers, friends, or traditional procurers were reported. Children may be trafficked from rural areas for forced work in salt and gemstone mining, loading fruit onto trucks, or as domestic servants.

The Government of Madagascar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Madagascar's efforts to prevent trafficking make it a leader among sub-Saharan African nations in this area. The government should improve its record keeping of criminal court cases to enable the compilation of specific anti-trafficking statistics and work toward the passage of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law.

Prosecution
The Government of Madagascar made little progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. There were no reported prosecutions or convictions of trafficking crimes. Existing laws prohibit forced labor and slavery, but domestic statutes on the subject of child commercial sexual exploitation are inconsistent, particularly with respect to age. In September, the president announced the development of a strict law against the sexual exploitation of minors and warned foreigners with "bad intentions" not to visit Madagascar. The Ministry of Justice began drafting a comprehensive anti-trafficking bill that it intends to present to parliament in 2006. Police in the capital continued to enforce existing laws barring minors from nightclubs, sending arrested minors to special children's courts and placing some in protective care; police outside of the capital continued to lack the vehicles needed to regularly undertake such operations. With assistance from UNICEF, the government offered specialized training for 60 police officers on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking. Police used this training to apprehend a number of foreign nationals suspected of trafficking crimes, including pimping minors. Malagasy authorities worked with a foreign embassy on collecting the evidence necessary to prosecute a foreign national engaged in child sex tourism. Parents and low-level police officers are suspected of accepting bribes from foreigners to ignore instances of child sex tourism.

Protection
The government continued its significant efforts to assist trafficking victims, rescuing over 70 victims of forced child labor and commercial sexual exploitation during the year. Children under 15 years of age were enrolled in school, and older children received vocational training and employment in export processing zones. In 2005, a second welcome center — where child victims receive shelter, counseling, and training — opened in Tamatave and ground was broken on a third in Tulear. With UNICEF assistance, the Ministry of Population provided technical assistance to nine child protection networks made up of government institutions, law enforcement officials, and NGOs that provided counseling and rehabilitation to children in prostitution and forced labor. For example, 20 children in prostitution received counseling and training in hotel management in Tamatave. There is little capacity, either within the government or civil society, to provide further services.

Prevention
Awareness of human trafficking continued to increase in Madagascar through a series of aggressive information campaigns. The government continued to implement the national anti-trafficking action plan, and systematically monitored its efforts through the President's Inter-Ministerial Anti- Trafficking Committee. The Ministry of Education conducted 181 training sessions for middle school students on combating child sexual exploitation, labor, and trafficking. The Ministry of Tourism conducted anti-trafficking information campaigns at 16 festivals and tourist events throughout the year. The government placed 22 articles in the national press and continued to present dramas on the dangers of child prostitution in local dialects. The Ministry of Population hosted eight sexual awareness programs in public schools and distributed 2,000 brochures on child rights in Tamatave province, as well as 3,000 stickers on child sexual exploitation. In 2005, the Ministry of Labor hosted workshops in Tulear and Diego Suarez to define regional strategies for combating child labor; the strategies were published in October.

MALAWI (TIER 1)

Malawi is a country of origin and transit for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Trafficking victims, both children and adults, are lured into exploitative situations by offers of lucrative jobs within Malawi or in South Africa. Children are trafficked within the country for forced agricultural labor. Women in prostitution reportedly draw underage children into prostitution. Anecdotal reports indicate that child sex tourism may be occurring along Malawi's lakeshore.

The Government of Malawi fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Despite limited resources, Malawi made significant progress in 2005, particularly in the areas of prosecuting traffickers and educating the public to recognize human trafficking. To further enhance its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should take steps toward the passage of comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, and expand the provision of training offered to local law enforcement officials in recognizing and investigating trafficking.

Prosecution
Malawi's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts significantly increased during the reporting period. Existing laws cover the full scope of trafficking in persons, though specific criminal statutes covering forms of trafficking are not well understood by prosecutors and judges, presenting a significant challenge to effective prosecutions. The Malawi Law Commission submitted to the Ministry of Justice a draft law that specifically criminalizes child trafficking and, in February 2006, trained judges on child trafficking and highlighted existing laws to be used to effectively prosecute such cases. During the year, the government prosecuted and convicted 13 traffickers under applicable kidnapping and labor laws. In August, a Zambian man found guilty of trafficking 10 minors to work on a tobacco farm was required to compensate the victims and cover the cost of returning them to their home villages; the lack of a stiff prison sentence generated significant public outrage. This outcry, accompanied by effective interministerial cooperation, led to the September 2005 arrest, conviction, and sentencing to seven years of hard labor of three child traffickers apprehended along the Malawi-Zambia border. The Ministry of Labor reported nine additional cases in which employers, mostly farm owners, were convicted of forced child labor and required to pay fines. Labor inspectors conducted inspections and compliance certifications of tea and tobacco estates, the most common violators of child labor laws. In 2005, border patrol and police officials throughout the country received anti-trafficking training from government and NGO trainers, based on a manual developed by the Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare.

Protection
The government made appreciable progress in caring for trafficking victims and provided assistance commensurate with its limited resources and capacity. In March 2006, the government opened a drop-in center in Lilongwe to provide victims of trafficking and sexual violence with counseling, medical care, legal assistance, shelter, food, and vocational training. During the reporting period, the government conducted district-level meetings to educate 240 child protection officers, as well as social welfare workers, law enforcement, immigration officers, prosecutors, and judges, on how best to respond to trafficking and effectively prosecute cases using existing laws. Effective interministerial cooperation produced the return of internal trafficking victims to their home districts. This process involved the Ministry of Gender's community-based volunteers in providing reintegration assistance, including medical care and business training. In partnership with NGOs and UNICEF, a government center provided counseling, rehabilitation, and reintegration services for abused and exploited children, including those involved in prostitution, in the southern region.

Prevention
Malawi expanded its information campaign to prevent trafficking and raise public awareness. With support from international donors, the government produced and distributed 10,000 posters and 20,000 pamphlets to schools, district social welfare agencies, hospitals, and youth clubs to educate the public on various forms of child trafficking and abuse. The government published its new National Code of Conduct on Child Labor in newspapers and distributed it to farm owners. The government also conducted awareness campaigns to address the root causes of trafficking. During the reporting period, the Ministry of Gender launched a long-term national action plan for the protection of orphans and vulnerable children that includes elements of anti-trafficking awareness and prevention.

MALAYSIA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Malaysia is a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Foreign trafficking victims, mostly women and girls from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam are trafficked to Malaysia for commercial sexual exploitation. Some economic migrants from countries in the region who work as domestic servants and as laborers in the construction and agricultural sectors face exploitative conditions in Malaysia that meet the definition of involuntary servitude. Some Malaysian women, primarily of Chinese ethnicity, are trafficked abroad for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Malaysia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking, particularly its failure to provide protection for victims of trafficking. The Malaysian Government needs to demonstrate clearer political will to tackle Malaysia's significant sex and labor trafficking problems; its leaders have yet to articulate publicly a comprehensive policy for addressing trafficking. Some commitments made by Malaysian officials in 2004 and 2005 went unfulfilled. Although Malaysia has criminal statutes that allow it to punish elements of trafficking, Malaysia lacks comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation that would enable officials to identify and shelter victims and to prosecute traffickers under a single criminal statute. The Government did not establish a government-run shelter for foreign trafficking victims that the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development announced publicly in December 2004. The government continued to arrest, incarcerate, and deport foreign trafficking victims. A national action plan on trafficking drafted by the National Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) and published in early 2005 has not been adopted. The Malaysian Government must take measures to enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, strengthen its law enforcement efforts against traffickers and any public officials who may be involved in trafficking, implement policies and practices that recognize trafficked men and women as victims, and provide protection for trafficking victims. The government should provide training to law enforcement officials who come into contact with at-risk populations — such as undocumented migrant laborers and foreign women in prostitution — to enable them to identify and care for victims of trafficking.

Prosecution
The Malaysian Government made limited efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases in 2005. Malaysia does not have a law that specifically addresses trafficking in persons. The Malaysian Government uses existing laws, including the Penal Code to prosecute traffickers. Malaysian law criminalizes most of the acts involved in severe forms of trafficking and carries penalties of up to 15 years' imprisonment. During 2005, 15 individuals were convicted under the Penal Code. During the first nine months of 2005, Malaysian law enforcement arrested over 4,600 foreign females for prostitution. According to interviews conducted by Suhakam in previous years, a significant number of these are women who were probable trafficking victims; hundreds of minor girls were also found in detention. Malaysia does not have a witness protection program that would encourage victims to testify against the criminal syndicates that are responsible for much of the trafficking. There were no reported investigations or prosecutions of officials for trafficking-related corruption.

Protection
During the reporting period, the Malaysian Government provided minimal assistance to victims of trafficking. The government provides no shelter, care, counseling, or rehabilitation specifically for victims of trafficking. The government does not fund NGOs specifically to provide services to trafficking victims, although it does fund NGOs that provide services to trafficking victims as part of a broader mandate. The government has not fulfilled its December 2004 commitment to open a dedicated shelter for foreign trafficking victims. Malaysian law does not codify the difference between trafficking victims, illegal migrants, and asylum seekers. Because Malaysian law enforcement officials often lack the training and language skills required to screen trafficking victims from illegal migrants, foreign trafficking victims are often not recognized as victims and are treated as immigration offenders. Foreign trafficking victims, including those who agreed to cooperate in prosecutions, were placed in overpopulated and unsanitary conditions in immigration detention centers to await deportation. The Malaysian Government has not yet implemented a formal screening process to identify trafficking victims. The government provided training for some of its higher-ranking officials but there was no systematic training program to sensitize front-line police and immigration officers on trafficking.

Prevention
Malaysia supports some trafficking prevention programs. Efforts to prevent trafficking through public awareness or education campaigns were conducted primarily by the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), a political party in the governing coalition. The MCA continued to publish warnings about trafficking in its Chinese language publications, make public statements to caution potential victims about overly lucrative job offers abroad, and hold periodic press conferences highlighting the plight of returned Malaysian trafficking victims.

MALI (TIER 2)

Mali is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Women and girls are trafficked for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, and boys are trafficked for work in rice fields, gold mines, and for begging. The majority of victims are trafficked internally, often from central regions to southeast and urban zones. Available information indicates a recent increase in trafficking between Mali and Burkina Faso, Guinea, Senegal, and Mauritania and a decrease in trafficking from Mali to Cote d'Ivoire. Malians are also trafficked to Libya and Europe.

The Government of Mali 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, Mali should expand its trafficking statute to prohibit the trafficking of adults as well as children. Mali should also increase efforts to arrest and prosecute traffickers.

Prosecution
Mali continued to make limited law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the reporting period. While child trafficking is punishable by five to 20 years' imprisonment under Malian law, there is no law prohibiting the trafficking of adults. The government prosecuted two trafficking cases during the reporting period. One of these cases involved the trafficking of five children by two Congolese nationals and one Malian in 2004. While one of the Congolese suspects escaped, the other received a two-year suspended sentence. Charges against the Malian suspect were dropped. Most trafficking investigations begun in 2004 still remain open. Mali signed a bilateral anti-trafficking agreement with Guinea in June 2005 and a multilateral regional agreement with eight other West African nations in July 2005.

Protection
The Government of Mali continued modest efforts to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period, despite limited resources. While the government does not operate its own victim shelters, it does provide some assistance to NGO shelters in Sikasso and Mopti. During the year, the government worked closely with international organizations and local NGOs to repatriate 17 child victims to Mali from Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire. Between 2002 and 2005, 682 rescued children received temporary care in transit centers before being returned to their families.

Prevention
Mali continued to make significant efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period, despite limited resources. The anti-trafficking department of the Ministry of the Advancement of Women, Children and the Family (MPFEF) conducted an assessment of the role and impact of the 286 community surveillance committees the government established in prior years. Based on the results of this assessment, the MPFEF organized workshops in Sikasso, Mopti, and Bamako to increase the capacity of these committees to identify cases of trafficking. The MPFEF also completed a project to translate the Malian Child Protection Code into seven local languages and drafted an action plan to address the sexual exploitation of minors. The Ministry of Territorial Administration and Local Collectivities organized a workshop promoting birth registration as a means of combating trafficking. The National Committee for the Fight Against Transnational Child Trafficking held its first meeting since its creation in 2000. The committee is drafting a work plan for 2006.

MALTA (TIER 2)

Malta is primarily a destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. There is evidence that at least one person was trafficked to Malta from Serbia in 2005, and there were 30 to 40 victims of trafficking in 2004. Although there is not yet clear evidence that the number of identified trafficking victims exceeds 100, any number of victims is a cause for concern given Malta's relatively small size. Women are trafficked from Ukraine, Russia, and other countries in Eastern Europe to Malta for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Malta does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, Malta suffered from an influx of illegal immigrants who arrive in Malta on boats intending to reach Italy; however, the vast majority of these smuggled immigrants are either economic migrants or political refugees. Most seek asylum status upon arrival in Malta. There is no concrete evidence of trafficking victims among this group; however, some of those who are granted protected status are vulnerable to forced labor and other forms of exploitation in Malta, especially in fields like construction. However, because the government does not systematically differentiate trafficking victims from illegal migrants, potential trafficking victims in Malta are not identified. The government should focus specifically on understanding better the nature of the trafficking problem and its inter-relationship with irregular migration. It should also consider taking proactive steps to train law enforcement personnel on victim identification techniques, including the key difference between trafficking and smuggling: exploitation. The misconception about force and consent, and smuggling and trafficking among government and law enforcement officials continued to hinder official recognition of the problem in Malta. The government should also take stronger measures to enforce the existing legal protections afforded protected migrants who enter the Maltese labor market.

Prosecution
The Government of Malta prosecuted two trafficking cases in 2005. In 2004 Maltese police arrested 13 Maltese men arrested for trafficking 30 to 40 women from Eastern Europe. During the reporting period, the government prosecuted all 13 traffickers. Some have been convicted and are appealing; judgment is pending on the others. Maltese law enforcement personnel conducted regular raids of commercial sexual exploitation sites in Malta, but potential trafficking victims found at these sites were not screened explicitly for trafficking. Only seven of the 239 individuals arrested on prostitution-related charges in 2005 were foreign nationals, a possible indication that the 2004 crackdown had a deterrent effect. In 2005, the government of Malta cooperated with Russian law enforcement to investigate and arrest an agent procuring women to work in prostitution in Malta. In 2005, the government sentenced one police officer to three years in prison following a 2004 conviction for trafficking-related corruption. The government has yet to convict and sentence a former police officer in a 2004 case involving trafficking-related corruption; the investigation is ongoing.

Protection
The government of Malta did not screen for potential trafficking victims within its significant population of incoming illegal migrants in 2005. The government houses these migrants in refugee camps while addressing their asylum claims; the government's focus is primarily to provide sustenance. With regard to women in prostitution, NGOs and women's organizations which did not have actual contact with any victims reported the problem as more widespread and believe that some women in prostitution were in situations involving force, fraud, or coercion. The government did not report that it provided any assistance or protection to new trafficking victims in 2005.

Prevention
The government did not conduct any anti-trafficking awareness campaigns in 2005. However, it continued to maintain a 24-hour hotline for many types of victims, including possible victims of trafficking. Malta's NGO community reported the likelihood of trafficking within the refugee community and reported an overall lack of attention and resources to try to uncover the problem.

MAURITANIA (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Mauritania is a source and destination country for children trafficked for the purpose of forced labor. Mauritanian boys are trafficked within the country by religious leaders, called marabouts, for forced begging. These boys, called talibes, often work for up to 12 hours or more a day. Mauritanian girls are trafficked within Mauritania and to Mali for domestic servitude. Both adults and children are subjected to slavery-related practices rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships in isolated parts of the country where a barter economy exists.

The Government of Mauritania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Mauritania is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increased efforts to combat trafficking, particularly in the area of law enforcement, over the last year. Mauritania failed to adequately identify and pursue cases of child domestic servitude and apply its anti-trafficking statute to such cases. To improve its anti-trafficking response, Mauritania should strengthen efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases and provide protection for victims of involuntary domestic servitude.

Prosecution
The Government of Mauritania showed minimal progress in its law enforcement efforts, with only two investigations of child domestic servitude during the year. Mauritanian law prohibits slavery and trafficking in persons. In December 2005, the Ministry of Justice created a technical commission charged with implementing these laws. The Military Council also issued a decree reinforcing the protection of children. The government hosted two workshops to train officials on how to identify, investigate, and prosecute trafficking cases. Despite these advances, during the reporting period the government conducted a weak investigation into allegations of two girls subjected to forced domestic labor and sexual abuse. Notwithstanding several reports that the girls were restricted from going to school, were not paid, and were abused, the government failed to consider them victims under the nation's anti-trafficking law.

Protection
The Government of Mauritania's efforts to care for victims of trafficking were mixed. It continued to demonstrate a solid commitment to protecting talibe trafficking victims and providing economic programs for former slaves, but it demonstrated insufficient efforts to protect trafficking victims in domestic servitude. In 2005, the government continued operating six centers in Nouakchott established in 2004, providing shelter, food, limited medical care, and job training for 1,037 indigent people, many of whom were talibes. The government continued providing economic development programs to vulnerable communities, specifically targeting regions with high concentrations of former slaves.

Prevention
The Government of Mauritania demonstrated significant efforts to raise awareness about trafficking over the last year. The government sponsored several informational fora to increase awareness of anti-trafficking laws and the rights of women and children working in large urban households. The government created a National Commission for Human Rights tasked with coordinating government efforts to prevent trafficking and formed a migration unit to address refugee trafficking. The government hosted two workshops for government officials and civil society representatives to publicize the anti-trafficking and labor law.

MAURITIUS (TIER 2)

Mauritius is a source country for children internally trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The scope of the trafficking problem is limited to children engaged in prostitution, though numbers of these child trafficking victims are estimated to be in the hundreds. Increases in prostitution are likely the result of school girls engaging in prostitution, possibly with the support of their peers. Other children may be introduced into prostitution through older female family members. Taxi drivers are reported to provide transportation and introductions to both the girls and the clients.

The Government of Mauritius does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To enhance its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should advance comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, provide additional police training in detecting and responding to instances of trafficking in persons, and expand public awareness-raising efforts on the dangers of children engaging in prostitution.

Prosecution
Mauritius' anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts increased dramatically over the reporting period. In December, the National Assembly passed the 2005 Child Protection Bill which contained comprehensive anti-child trafficking provisions. Funding was granted to increase the manpower and mobility of the Minors Brigade—the police unit responsible for investigating cases of children in prostitution—from five to 25 officers and from one to five vehicles. Despite these additional resources and more vigorous investigations, law enforcement experienced difficulty arresting traffickers. Police conducted numerous raids on clubs and bungalows in Grand Baie, a tourist area where children in prostitution are rumored to be present. During the arrests of females in prostitution, no children were found to be involved. Through other efforts, though, at least six individual perpetrators of child prostitution were arrested and prosecuted during 2005. However, in the absence of an anti-trafficking law at the time of their court appearances, they were prosecuted under lesser criminal offenses; the outcomes of these prosecutions are unknown. In late 2005, a prostitution and child pornography ring was uncovered; the police were unable to find any links to child prostitution. There were no reported investigations or prosecutions of public officials for complicity in trafficking during the reporting period.

Protection
Mauritius improved the publicizing of its available victim services. Although victim protection services are readily available in Mauritius, the government has been hindered, despite increased public awareness and notable law enforcement efforts, in actually providing services to significant numbers of victims by an inability to locate children in prostitution. During the period, it assisted 19 victims of child commercial sexual exploitation by providing counseling at a government-operated child drop-in center, and referred victims in need of housing to government-funded NGO shelters for abused children. The center promoted its services through bumper stickers, a toll-free number, and community outreach. To provide even greater protection for trafficking victims, a fulltime social worker was hired in mid-2005 and placed at the drop-in center. The social worker conducted outreach in the community and in schools, as well as provided counseling to troubled youth. Without a substantial number of identified trafficking victims, the government cannot justify opening a dedicated shelter.

Prevention
The government continued implementation of a national plan of action against child commercial sexual exploitation that included outreach in schools, economic programs to assist impoverished women and children, and training for law enforcement and community leaders. It also funded local NGOs to provide education and public awareness programs on the subject of child commercial sexual exploitation. For instance, one NGO launched anti-prostitution programs in schools, targeting girls who may be exploited in prostitution as a result of their desire for extra spending money rather than as a result of poverty. During the period, collaboration meetings were held between the government, civil society, and NGOs on the problem of child commercial sexual exploitation.

MEXICO (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Mexico is a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked for sexual exploitation and labor. The vast majority of trafficking in the country involves Central Americans who are trafficked along Mexico's southern border. Trafficking to Mexico also occurs from South America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. Women and children are trafficked from Mexico's poorest rural regions to urban centers and tourist areas for sexual exploitation, often through fraudulent offers of employment or through threats of physical violence. Child sex tourism in Mexico remains a problem, mainly in the border and tourist areas. Women are also trafficked into Mexico's sex trade as well as trafficked via Mexico into the United States' illegal sex trade under false pretenses by organized criminal networks. The Mexican trafficking problem is often conflated with alien smuggling, although frequently the same criminal networks are involved. Pervasive corruption among state and local law enforcement often impedes investigations.

The Government of Mexico 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 Mexico remains on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year based on future commitments of the government to undertake additional efforts in prosecution, protection, and prevention of trafficking in persons. Further, the placement is due to the failure of the government to provide critical law enforcement data. Even though there were some key deficiencies in the government's efforts over the reporting period, some progress was made, and implementation will be important over the coming year. The Mexican Senate unanimously passed comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation; the Chamber of Deputies has yet to vote on the bill. Nonetheless, the Inter-institutional Working Group on Trafficking is now under the control of the Preventive Federal Police (PFP) which will dedicate 140 agents to investigating trafficking cases and it will create a database to track future cases. While Mexico does not yet have a national action plan, the Inter-institutional Working Group has established six target cities for joint investigative and victim relief operations. Mexico has established a cooperative framework with NGOs working on victim protection, and is working on its own and with NGOs on public awareness campaigns against trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Mexico did not keep law enforcement statistics on trafficking investigations, arrests, prosecutions, or convictions over the reporting period, in part because it does not have a trafficking specific law and many of the cases are prosecuted under other laws. It is likely that states and other local jurisdictions have some trafficking-related prosecutions and convictions, but it is difficult to keep statistics on those types of cases. Thus, it is unknown whether Mexico made progress in this area, which is critical to its evaluation. However, from January 2005- August 2005 law enforcement authorities reported criminal proceedings for trafficking-related offenses in 1,336 cases (57 federal and 1,279 state) and imposed sentences in 531 cases. The government's information was difficult to analyze, and the number of these cases that involve trafficking in persons is not clear. Two of the reported convictions were clearly for offenses that are trafficking-related. Mexican authorities provided details on a series of eight ongoing investigations that were also clearly trafficking-related; Mexican authorities have identified 126 gangs involved in trafficking.

Prostitution is essentially legal in Mexico, and pimping and prostitution are widely practiced without arrest or prosecution. Although Mexico lacks comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, it has a number of related laws that may be used against trafficking-related crimes, including laws against organized crime, corruption of minors, and forced prostitution. Mexico's constitution prohibits slavery. Varying state-level laws also prohibit and provide criminal punishment for trafficking-related crimes. The Mexican government has cooperated with the U.S. on a number of trafficking cases, some involving prosecutions in both countries. The Mexican government has both requested extradition of persons accused of trafficking-related offenses and surrendered such criminals requested for extradition by other countries, including the U.S. Corruption remains endemic among Mexican security personnel. Through "Operation Secure Mexico" and other initiatives, federal authorities have sought to help local municipalities remove corrupt police officials, including over half the police in Nuevo Laredo. However, the arrest of a journalist in Puebla this year for reporting on official collusion with traffickers (she was quickly released) demonstrated that corruption of law enforcement and judicial and political figures presents a major obstacle to improved anti-trafficking efforts.

Protection
Victim protection provided by the Mexican government over the last year improved, due to new facilities, training and cooperation with NGOs, but remained inadequate. There are no shelters or related services that specifically aid trafficking victims, but the government's social welfare agency (DIF) operates shelters that assist trafficking victims along with other victims of violence. A new migrant facility opened in Chiapas in March 2006 provides office space for Central American officials to expand assistance to their nationals who may be victims of trafficking. In 2005, DIF rescued and sheltered over 270 children engaged in commercial sexual exploitation.

Additionally, the government has increased efforts to work with NGOs and international organizations for the protection of trafficking victims, including working with IOM. Since June 2005, six NGOs and international organizations have offered training to governmental organizations to build capacity in victim services. Mexico's immigration authority (INM) issued a directive last year permitting trafficking victims to reside in Mexico as long as they agree to cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers; already at least four victims have taken advantage of the program. There is no formalized mechanism or protocol to refer victims of trafficking to NGOs for care once the victims have been identified. Law enforcement and migration officials from Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize met to establish mechanisms to combat a range of mutual concerns including trafficking.

Prevention
High-level government officials, including the First Lady of Mexico, the Secretary of Government, and the Foreign Secretary have stressed the need to fight trafficking. The vast majority of Mexico's prevention efforts are through its social welfare agency (DIF), which runs public awareness campaigns throughout the country, concentrating in cities considered most vulnerable to trafficking. DIF is also working with NGOs and international organizations to prevent the growing sex tourism problem in Mexico. The government recently began working with IOM on trafficking-related matters on its southern border. Other NGOs and human rights organizations are working with the government on future prevention campaigns. In August 2005, Mexico hosted an Anti-Trafficking Workshop for the media and entertainment industry in Mexico.

In March 2006, Mexico hosted the Inter-American Network of Parliamentarian Women's Conference on Trafficking in Persons and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Minors. Some NGOs have been granted limited permission to enter detention facilities to interview possible trafficking victims, although access remains a problem.

MOLDOVA (TIER 2)

Moldova is a major source country for trafficking in women and girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Victims are trafficked throughout Europe and the Middle East, increasingly to Turkey, Israel, the U.A.E., and Russia. To a lesser extent, Moldova serves as a transit country to European destinations for victims trafficked from other former Soviet states. Reports of internal trafficking of girls from rural areas to Chisinau continued. The small breakaway region of Transnistria in eastern Moldova is outside the central government's control and remained a significant source and transit area for trafficking in persons.

The Government of Moldova does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2005, the government continued to improve its law enforcement response, increasing trafficking investigations and convicting more traffickers. It passed comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and updated and improved its National Action Plan. However, the government showed a lack of anti-trafficking leadership by depending almost exclusively on NGOs to carry out its work on prevention and protection. The government, through its National Committee on Trafficking in Persons, should implement the new National Action Plan, devote increased resources to prevention, and provide victims with protection and assistance.

Prosecution
The Government of Moldova made modest progress in its efforts to punish acts of trafficking over the last year. Although the Moldovan criminal code contains specific penalties for trafficking, some prosecutors continued to use lighter pimping charges. In December 2005, the government passed comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, criminalizing both sexual exploitation and forced labor trafficking. However, successful implementation of the law remains unclear without a commitment of resources from the government. The government increased its law enforcement efforts, investigating 386 cases of trafficking in 2005. Of the 314 cases referred for prosecution, 58 traffickers were convicted, an increase from 23 convictions in 2004. Only 36 traffickers received actual imprisonment; the rest paid fines or were granted amnesty. Unfortunately, the government increased its use of suspended sentences in 2005. Although some suspended sentences resulted from inadequate investigations, others continued to be related to judicial corruption. During the reporting period, the government disbanded the Ministry of Interior's Anti-Trafficking Unit and replaced it with a new inter-agency Center to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Allegations of trafficking related corruption among some law enforcement officials continued, although the government did not take action. In 2005, the government sentenced a police officer accused of collaborating with a Turkish trafficker to 10 years in prison. A former Moldovan policeman charged with trafficking women to the U.A.E. remains free on bail pending completion of his trial after deportation from the Emirates.

Protection
The Government of Moldova's efforts to protect and reintegrate trafficking victims remained weak throughout the reporting period. The government did not fund NGOs providing shelter and assistance to trafficking victims, but it continued to cooperate with them on a limited basis. In June 2005, the Moldovan Parliament amended a law on employment and social protection to allow trafficking victims and other vulnerable populations to receive government benefits; however, the government did not report providing any benefits to trafficking victims. Contrary to what was stated in last year's Report, the government did not provide space in state buildings for a rehabilitation center run by IOM. The government's witness protection law remained inadequately implemented and thus, while in some cases police posted guards outside witnesses' homes, many victims did not feel secure enough to testify against their traffickers. No progress was made in the development of a formal referral system; however, the police informally referred 88 victims to IOM during the reporting period. Overall, IOM reported assisting 464 victims during the reporting period. In January 2006, the government, in partnership with IOM, launched a program to build the capacity of Moldovan consular officers abroad to assist potential and actual victims of trafficking.

Prevention
NGOs and international organizations continued to conduct the bulk of anti-trafficking prevention and education campaigns in 2005, with periodic participation from the government. NGO prevention efforts included outreach to potential victims of trafficking in the mass media and in rural areas as well as education efforts in schools. The National Committee on Trafficking in Persons continued to meet to review the government's anti-trafficking efforts, but met less often during the reporting period. In August 2005, the government approved a new National Action Plan based on regional best practices, developed with the active guidance of a local NGO.

MONGOLIA (TIER 2)

Mongolia is a source country for women and men trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Mongolian women are trafficked to China, Macau, and South Korea; a small number of Mongolian women were also trafficked to Turkey and Israel. Up to 200 North Korean contract laborers in Mongolia are not free to leave their employment, raising strong concerns that their labor is compulsory. There are reports that Mongolian women have been trafficked to Hungary, Poland, and other East European countries, as well as France and Germany. Some Mongolian men working overseas face exploitative conditions that meet the definition of involuntary servitude — a severe form of trafficking. Mongolia also faces a problem of children trafficked internally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2005, the government documented over 150 Mongolian children exploited as prostitutes.

The Government of Mongolia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Acknowledging its trafficking problem, the Mongolian Government in November 2005 adopted a National Action Plan against trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children. While the government lacked the resources to combat trafficking effectively on its own, it continued to cooperate with NGOs and regional and international organizations on anti-trafficking measures. Government action should concentrate on adopting a strong and comprehensive anti-trafficking law, arresting and prosecuting traffickers, and providing victim assistance and protection measures.

Prosecution
The Government of Mongolia's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts were modest but improving in 2005. During the reporting period, the government prosecuted five trafficking cases, leading to one conviction under an anti-trafficking statute adopted in 2002. Mongolian authorities have not developed the capacity to compile full information on trafficking-related arrests, prosecutions, and convictions. Mongolia's criminal code and criminal procedure code contain provisions against trafficking and prostitution, with penalties of up to 15 years' imprisonment for trafficking. The Mongolian Government is currently reviewing the anti-trafficking provisions of the criminal code in an effort to strengthen the law and make it easier to prosecute traffickers. Corruption is widespread and growing in Mongolia. While there are reports that some individual local government officials reportedly profit from trafficking, there were no reported investigations or prosecutions of officials complicit in trafficking.

Protection
The Mongolian Government in 2005 provided limited protection and direct assistance to trafficking victims, given its modest resources. The government provided assistance to children in prostitution through a police program to encourage their re-entry into school or training. Because of resource constraints, the government did not fund foreign and domestic NGOs that provided support for victims.

Prevention
The Mongolian Government increased its efforts to raise awareness of trafficking, conducting an anti-trafficking campaign in late 2005. Mongolia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs distributed information on trafficking to consular officials serving overseas. The Mongolian Government also continued collaboration with travel industry representatives and UNICEF to implement a voluntary code of conduct to prevent the sexual exploitation of children in the travel and tourism industry.

MOROCCO (TIER 1)

Morocco is a source, transit, and destination country for girls, women, and men trafficked from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Internal trafficking involves young girls from rural areas recruited to work as child maids in major cities. Morocco is also a source country for men, women, and children trafficked to Italy, Spain, and other parts of Europe for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Moroccan women are similarly trafficked to Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the U.A.E. for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Men and women from Nigeria, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan are increasingly trafficked through Morocco to Europe or Middle Eastern countries for forced labor. In 2005, the Government of Morocco, international organizations, and numerous NGOs claimed that the number of Moroccans trafficked into Spain, Italy, and elsewhere in Europe has increased significantly.

The Government of Morocco fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Its international anti-trafficking cooperation, including initiatives taken to discipline United Nations peacekeepers, reflects the government's strong commitment to addressing the trafficking problem. According to Ministry of Interior reports, the government disbanded more than 300 criminal rings in 2005, some of which may have included traffickers, and took steps to address official corruption. Morocco should strengthen the sentences assigned to convicted traffickers and should consider instituting a more effective system of screening trafficking victims from the numerous smuggled migrants interdicted each year.

Prosecution
The Government of Morocco made additional progress in its prosecution of traffickers and corrupt officials over the last year. Morocco's anti-trafficking statutes punish traffickers and complicit public officials with penalties ranging from six months to 20 years' imprisonment and the forfeiture of assets. Morocco convicted two policemen for trafficking and initiated prosecution of eight members of the Force Auxiliaries, including one army officer, three policemen, and one senior police officer. The government also convicted four Moroccan soldiers serving as United Nations peacekeepers for engaging in trafficking, although their sentences were only from three months to one year. In February 2006, Moroccan officials dismantled a large international network trafficking and smuggling migrants from India, arresting 70 suspects including a police officer. The government also convicted three French citizens for engaging in child sex tourism and 10 other foreigners for trafficking in children in Morocco. According to the Ministry of Justice, Morocco works with the Governments of Spain, France, Italy, and Egypt on investigating and prosecuting traffickers. The government should continue its efforts to prosecute traffickers, but should also raise the sentences of those convicted for trafficking offenses to reflect the heinous nature of the crime. Morocco should additionally institute a mechanism to systematically distinguish between smugglers and traffickers.

Protection
The Government of Morocco made modest progress in its protection efforts over the last year, although more needs to be done to screen trafficking victims from those voluntarily smuggled into the country. The Center for Migrant Rights offers counseling to victims and the government grants modest funds to local NGOs providing shelter and other services. Morocco also works with NGOs in Spain and Italy to establish shelters and assist minor victims of trafficking. The government offers sensitivity training for its officials and has begun training diplomats in prime destination or transit countries on victim identification.

Prevention
Morocco has continued to advance in its trafficking prevention efforts. The government established an anti-trafficking task force to formulate policy and monitor progress in combating trafficking. Working with the governments of Spain and other EU countries, Morocco increased patrols along the waterway between the Western Sahara and the Canary Islands and improved monitoring of its land borders, airports, and train stations. Government officials also meet with UNICEF regularly to discuss programs aimed to keep rural children at risk of trafficking in school.

MOZAMBIQUE (TIER 2)

Mozambique is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. The use of forced and bonded child laborers is a common and increasing practice in rural areas, often with the complicity of family members. Women and girls are trafficked internally and to South Africa for forced labor and sexual exploitation; young men and boys are similarly trafficked for farm work or domestic servitude. Trafficked Mozambicans often labor for months in South Africa without pay before the "employer" reports them as illegal immigrants or trespassers; they are then arrested and deported. Traffickers are typically part of small networks of Mozambican and/or South African citizens; however, involvement of larger Chinese and Nigerian syndicates in the trafficking of Mozambicans has also been reported.

The Government of Mozambique does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Mozambique's anti-trafficking law enforcement initiatives dramatically improved over the reporting period. To further its efforts in fighting trafficking, the government should prosecute and convict arrested traffickers, demonstrate progress towards the passage of anti-trafficking legislation, launch a comprehensive public awareness campaign, and increase its assistance to trafficking victims.

Prosecution
Mozambique's law enforcement efforts increased dramatically over the previous year, though a paucity of training resources hindered greater efforts. While there is no law specifically prohibiting human trafficking, Mozambique's penal code includes at least 13 related articles under which trafficking cases can be charged; Mozambique's first trafficking case was prosecuted in March 2006, resulting in the conviction of two men for kidnapping and attempting to sell a 13- year-old boy. In March 2006, the Ministry of Justice signed an agreement with an NGO to jointly draft anti-trafficking legislation. Over the past year, Mozambican police broke up several trafficking schemes, apprehending at least nine traffickers and rescuing more than 90 victims. For example, in November 2005, a man in Manica province was arrested for selling 35 children as farm laborers; 18 of the children have been recovered and police continue to investigate the case. In February 2006, police arrested six men attempting to traffic 43 people across the South African border. The Interior Ministry conducted anti-trafficking training for almost 90 police officers in three provinces, after which the officers conducted public awareness campaigns for community police and school leaders; however, such training has not been extended force-wide. Many lower-ranking police and border control agents are suspected of accepting bribes from traffickers.

Protection
The government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking continued to suffer from a lack of resources; government officials regularly call on NGOs for assistance in the provision of shelter, food, counseling, and rehabilitation. During the reporting period, the Kulaya Healing Center in the Maputo Central Hospital assisted a small number of trafficking victims with medical care and counseling for up to three months each. In 2005, the Ministry of Interior expanded the number of Offices for Attending to Women and Child Victims of Violence from 84 to 96, and provided victims' assistance training for police officers who deal with such cases; some of these offices provided emergency shelter and food for trafficking victims. The small, beleaguered Joint Committee for the Reception and Screening of Mozambicans Repatriated from South Africa located at the Ressano Garcia border crossing is overwhelmed by the thousands of Mozambicans deported each month, and not able to adequately screen these deportees in order to identify victims of trafficking. This problem is exacerbated by indifference shown to the deportees by the national immigration authorities.

Prevention
Mozambique's prevention efforts remained weak. During the year, law enforcement officials publicized trafficking cases more widely and government-owned media outlets consistently covered such stories. The government does not have a plan of action to combat trafficking, or a single person designated to coordinate the government's anti-trafficking efforts.

NEPAL (TIER 2)

Nepal is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. An estimated 12,000 Nepali women and children are trafficked every year into sexual exploitation in Indian brothels, and an unspecified number are victims of internal sex trafficking. Women also migrate willingly to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other Gulf states to work as domestic servants, but some subsequently face conditions of involuntary servitude because their passports and wages are withheld and they are physically and sexually abused by their employers. Despite the Government of Nepal's ban on traveling to Iraq for work, some Nepalis are reportedly trafficked into Iraq after being offered jobs in Jordan and Kuwait.

The Government of Nepal does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Nepal expanded local Women and Children Service Centers to 20 stations, but the government has not yet adequately funded and staffed the Police Women's Cell. In addition, Nepal must improve its anti-corruption efforts in order to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In response to allegations that Nepalis are trafficked to Iraq for involuntary servitude, the government should ensure that agencies involved in such trafficking are adequately punished and prevented from doing so again.

Prosecution
The Government of Nepal made significant efforts to prosecute trafficking offenses this year. From July 15, 2004 through July 15, 2005, the government reported prosecuting 347 cases at the district, appellate, and Supreme Court levels, and filing 73 new trafficking cases for prosecution. Of those cases, the government convicted 78 traffickers and 220 cases are still pending. Nepal failed to provide any evidence of investigations or prosecutions of corrupt government officials who may have facilitated trafficking by taking bribes at the India-Nepal border or engaging in document fraud. Although the government investigated 484 complaints against employment agencies and canceled 109 agencies' operating licenses as a result of those investigations, Nepal did not report any criminal prosecutions or jail sentences for any agencies found to be complicit in trafficking. The National Judicial Academy, an annex of the Supreme Court, provided training to judges, government attorneys, and other court staff on proper prosecution of trafficking cases. Nepal should improve its law enforcement efforts against corrupt officials, and continue and expand efforts to vigorously investigate recruitment agencies believed to be involved in trafficking.

Protection
Nepal made modest improvements in its efforts to protect victims of trafficking. The government expanded the number of Women and Children Service Centers operating throughout the country from 15 to 20, in 18 districts. It also granted limited funding to local NGOs providing victim assistance. The police reportedly provided legal aid to approximately 700 victims in 2005. Although the government budgeted funds for travel and lodging expenses for trafficking victims testifying against their traffickers, funding was rarely made available. Nepal did, however, cooperate with destination country governments to repatriate Nepali victims of trafficking, including two victims repatriated from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia in February 2006. The government should increase support given to NGOs providing victim assistance and should improve training of diplomats sent to destination countries on methods of identifying and protecting trafficking victims.

Prevention
Nepal's measures to prevent trafficking did not improve significantly since last year. The government continued to implement anti-trafficking information campaigns started in 2004 and it maintained orientation sessions for all workers traveling overseas, sensitizing them to warning indicators of possible trafficking. Nepal should improve the dissemination of information to potential victims of trafficking on the dangers of trafficking and should expand public information campaigns to prevent trafficking.

THE NETHERLANDS1 (TIER 1)

The Netherlands is a destination and transit country for the trafficking of women and girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation; some trafficking for labor exploitation occurs. Victims continued to be trafficked from Central and Eastern Europe, Nigeria and Brazil. Reportedly, a significant percentage of the 25,000 individuals engaged in prostitution are trafficking victims. Internal trafficking of young, mostly foreign girls by Moroccan and Turkish pimps into sexual exploitation continued. The Netherlands Antilles, where the Netherlands exercises responsibility over visa issuance according to guidelines issued by the Netherlands Antilles, continued to be a concern as a transit region and destination for illegal migrants, some of whom may have been trafficked.

The Government of the Netherlands fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2005, the government significantly stepped up its law enforcement and prevention efforts to address trafficking in persons. The Dutch government investigated, prosecuted, and convicted more traffickers, and increased its outreach efforts to potential trafficking victims in regulated prostitution sectors. The Dutch government continued to provide comprehensive protection and assistance to victims and increased resources and tools available to NGOs. International scrutiny continued to focus on the legalized commercial sex industry in the Netherlands. The government should ensure its assessment of trafficking in the legalized sector includes a systematic and sensitive screening of all potential trafficking victims, including in the red light district.

Prosecution
The Government of the Netherlands vigorously investigated and prosecuted cases of trafficking during the reporting period. Dutch police investigated 220 suspects of trafficking in 2004. The government prosecuted 253 traffickers, a significant increase from 174 in 2003. Dutch courts convicted 136 traffickers; the majority of sentences ranged from three months' to four years' imprisonment. In 2005 a district court handed down a 14-year sentence for one trafficker in a case involving three African victims; four other traffickers in the case received sentences of five to 10 years. In May 2005, a national expertise center, overseen by the national trafficking prosecutor, began carrying out its mandate to bring together various Dutch investigatory bodies on trafficking cases and to serve as a national resource on investigations and prosecutions. The government, through the expertise center and other forums, continued to conduct specialized training for police, attorneys, inspectors, and other government officials. In 2005, five Dutch men were convicted in a local district court for organizing child sex tours to Tunisia for sex with minors; the men received sentences between one and three and a half years. There was no evidence of official corruption or trafficking-related complicity.

The government reported that strict controls and licensing requirements for brothels were employed as a means of combating trafficking. The Amsterdam police reported that routine checks of brothels did not show evidence of exploitation; during the reporting period these checks did not result in the identification of any trafficking victims, although there are continued reports of victims in legal red light zones. The police also reported difficulty in carrying out effective controls in the unregulated sectors, such as escort services.

Protection
The Dutch government in 2005 continued its leadership, capacity building and funding for service providers and NGOs assisting trafficking victims throughout the Netherlands. Local governments independently funded trafficking shelters and regional networks of NGOs while law enforcement officials coordinated the provision of comprehensive services and protection to victims who assisted in prosecutions. The Dutch Foundation Against Trafficking in Persons (STV), the national reporting center for registration and assistance for trafficking victims, registered 424 trafficking victims in 2005, a modest increase from the 405 registered in 2004. It launched a website and distributed a manual as a practical tool for service providers providing victims with support. The government funded training and reintegration programs implemented by NGOs to assist victims with B-9 status — temporary residency granted for trafficking victims — to develop skills needed to find employment. One program reported that 45 B-9 recipients participated in its training program; 10 have found jobs since the regulation permitting B-9 victims to work went into effect in April 2005.

Prevention
In January 2006, the Dutch government launched a national outreach campaign to reduce trafficking in the prostitution sector. The campaign, managed by the Dutch anonymous crime reporting hotline, primarily targets the clients of women in prostitution and potential victims of trafficking, as well as members of the general public. The campaign reportedly promotes awareness of the warning signs of trafficking and encourages individuals to report potential victims to police or call the hotline. In June 2005, the Justice Ministry distributed victim identification and reintegration guidelines to government officials, including to Dutch consular officers abroad, and NGOs, to encourage increased identification of and assistance to trafficking victims. In 2005, as required by the 2000 law that lifted the ban on brothels, the Ministry began its second assessment of the prostitution sector, including the number of women trafficked into prostitution. As part of the study, women in prostitution in Amsterdam's red light district and other prostitution sectors will be interviewed away from brothels and their possible traffickers. In September 2005, the Justice Ministry signed a covenant with Dutch newspaper associations committing parties to prevent advertising by unregistered escort services, an industry increasingly exploited by traffickers. The Dutch government committed $21.3 million dollars between 2004 and 2006 to fund anti-trafficking programs in other countries, particularly source countries for trafficking victims in the Netherlands.

THE DUTCH CARRIBEAN AUTONOMOUS REGIONS

Anecdotal reporting suggests that the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba, autonomous regions within the Kingdom of the Netherlands, are transit and destination regions for trafficking of men, women, and children for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, as well as forced labor in the construction and agriculture sectors. Curacao, Aruba, and Saint Maarten are destination islands for women trafficked for the sex trade from Peru, Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti, according to local observers. At least 500 foreign women reportedly are in prostitution throughout the five islands of the Antilles, some of whom have been trafficked. While in the past women in prostitution could enter the Netherlands Antilles as tourists and engage in prostitution legally for up to three months, special work visas must now be obtained prior to their arrival in the autonomous regions; these permits are not transferable. There are also reports of children being trafficked for sexual exploitation, particularly from the Dominican Republic. Visas for Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles are issued by Dutch Embassies following review by Aruban or Netherlands Antilles' authorities. In 2005, allegations of corruption were made against Aruban and Antillean authorities in both immigration and issuance of work permits. The Antilles government, however, aggressively prosecuted general corruption. In 2005, the Netherlands and Aruba signed a protocol to restrict the admission of women traveling to work as dancers, after allegations emerged that over 400 women in prostitution were issued work permits by the Aruba government illegally. Officials conducted some awareness raising about trafficking during the reporting period. Visa controls were reportedly tightened in 2005. The Dutch government increased funding for an ongoing IOM trafficking prevention and capacity building program in the Antilles, providing $165,000 in 2005. The governments of the Netherlands, Aruba, and the Netherlands Antilles should collaborate more effectively to detect trafficking to the Antilles and investigate and prosecute those behind this trade.

1The Netherlands 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.

NEW ZEALAND (TIER 1)

New Zealand has a sizable number of children engaged in prostitution who may be victims of internal trafficking; it is a destination country for women from Thailand and other countries in Asia trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There are a significant number of foreign women in the country engaged, both legally and illegally, in the commercial sex trade. Some of these women may be trafficking victims. The majority of these women are from Thailand and Southeast Asia, but over the past year there have been anecdotal reports of women coming to New Zealand from Brazil and the Czech Republic. Children are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation. Estimates of international trafficking victims are modest; there have been reports of debt bondage and confiscation of documents among women in prostitution.

The Government of New Zealand fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Law enforcement efforts were generally commensurate with the available information on the modest extent of trafficking in the country. The government continues to work on a national plan of action to combat trafficking in persons and is committed to take action to increase prevention and protection efforts among women and children in the legalized sex trade, some of whom may be trafficking victims. The government also provides substantial support to organizations working with vulnerable populations, including organizations that work with potential trafficking victims. However, law enforcement should be trained to better identify and refer trafficking victims. Efforts should also be made to measure the extent to which foreign women and children under the age of 18 may fall victim to trafficking for sexual exploitation.

Prosecution
The Government of New Zealand has laws against human smuggling and trafficking, which impose penalties of up to 20 years' imprisonment and substantial fines. New Zealand's laws also criminalize slavery and child commercial sexual exploitation. The 2003 Prostitution Reform Act legalized prostitution for those over the age of 18 and also decriminalized solicitation. Additional laws make it a crime to receive financial gain from an act involving children exploited in prostitution and prohibit sex tourism. The government reported four prosecutions and three convictions of three brothel operators and a client for employing children in prostitution under the Prostitution Reform Act. Another brothel owner is awaiting trial. There have been no convictions under New Zealand's anti-trafficking law, which requires movement across an international border. Instances of internal trafficking can be prosecuted under New Zealand's laws on forced labor, slavery, and other forms of abuse. New Zealand took steps in the reporting period to enhance the effectiveness of these laws in combating trafficking. The Police Department in Auckland - an area where there is believed to be a large number of children in prostitution - operates the country's only "Child Exploitation Team," which includes a section specifically aimed at children in prostitution.

Protection
The government provides short-term sanctuary, witness protection, access to medical services, and safe repatriation to trafficking victims. The government also supports a wide-range of NGOs that provide services to women in prostitution and some trafficking victims. The Human Rights Commission at one time operated a "safe house" program, which was set up to assist Thai women in prostitution, and resources are available to allow it to do so again should a number of trafficking victims be identified. Child victims are placed in foster care or in a child and protective unit operated by the Department of Child, Youth, and Family Services. There is strong coordination on anti-trafficking matters between NGOs and the government, and there were no reports of trafficking victims being arrested or detained during the reporting period.

Prevention
The government acknowledged that trafficking is a problem and in February 2005 developed a National Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons, naming the Department of Labor as the coordinator of this plan. The government also operates programs to reintegrate children out of prostitution through vocational training and educational opportunities. The government also actively participates in many regional and international efforts to prevent, monitor, and control trafficking, including participation in the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons, and Related Transnational Organized Crime. The government's foreign assistance agency, NZAID, provides substantial resources to source countries and international organizations for detection, prevention, and services for trafficking victims.

NICARAGUA (TIER 2)

Nicaragua is a source country for women and children trafficked internally and across borders for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Exploitation of minors in prostitution is believed to be the most prevalent form of internal trafficking. Nicaraguan victims were detected by law enforcement in neighboring countries such as Guatemala, El Salvador, and Costa Rica, with Guatemala remaining the primary foreign destination for young women and girls trafficked for sexual exploitation. Recent reports suggest that young men from border areas in southern Nicaragua are also trafficked to Costa Rica for the purpose of labor exploitation. The government acknowledges that trafficking and child sex tourism are significant problems.

The Government of Nicaragua does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Senior officials have expressed support for anti-trafficking efforts, and law enforcement officials stepped up efforts to prosecute traffickers and work with foreign governments and NGOs to assist victims. Despite modest progress, efforts to pursue enforcement actions against traffickers remain weak. The government should increase investigations, improve victim services, and work with the National Assembly to pass reforms that bring the penal code up to international anti-trafficking standards.

Prosecution
The Government of Nicaragua's progress in bringing traffickers to justice was uneven over the last year. Two investigations led to prosecutions; four of the five suspects prosecuted in one case were convicted and received four- to eight-year prison terms. In the second case, the defendants were acquitted, but the verdict was thrown out due to jury irregularities. An attempted retrial could not proceed, however, because the defendants had been released and remained at large. The government initiated at least seven investigations and closed down some businesses where minors were sexually exploited, but many victims were unwilling to assist in investigations or prosecutions. Border officials received training to identify trafficking situations. Widespread corruption in the court system and lack of witness protection may deter victims from seeking justice. Labor trafficking is not criminalized and laws against commercial sexual exploitation of minors do not protect all adolescents under 18 years of age. No government officials were linked to trafficking in the reporting period.

Protection
The government's protection efforts improved during the reporting period but remained inadequate. The Ministry of the Family opened a new shelter for minor victims of abuse and commercial sexual exploitation and activated a national hotline for abuse and commercial sexual exploitation victims of all ages. Twenty-four police sub-stations throughout the country assisted female victims of violent crime, including trafficking, but in general, government agencies lacked resources and relied on NGOs to shelter and assist victims. The government negotiated an agreement with a regional NGO for the NGO to assist Nicaraguan victims in neighboring countries. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs instructed missions to be proactive in assisting Nicaraguan trafficking victims, and embassies helped repatriate at least 21 victims from El Salvador and Guatemala during the reporting period.

Prevention
The government made good faith efforts to raise public awareness during the reporting period. Government agencies such as the Women's Division of the National Police and the Ministries of Government and Education worked with students, teachers, the press, and the tourism industry to reach a wider audience about potential victimization by traffickers and sex tourists.

NIGER (TIER 2)

Niger is a source, transit, and destination country for children, women, and men trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Children are trafficked within Niger for forced begging by religious teachers, manual labor, domestic servitude, work in mines, and sexual exploitation. Internationally, children are trafficked to Niger for labor exploitation from Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, and Togo. Women and girls are also trafficked from Niger to North Africa, the Middle East, and Europe for forced domestic labor and sexual exploitation. Men are also trafficked through Niger to North Africa for forced labor. Traditional forms of caste-based servitude, rooted in ancestral masterslave relationships, also continue in isolated areas of the country. Between 10,000 and 43,000 Nigeriens are estimated to live in conditions of traditional servitude, which range in practice from societal discrimination to outright slavery.

The Government of Niger does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Later in the reporting period, Niger demonstrated an increased willingness to acknowledge its problem with caste-based servitude. To strengthen its response to trafficking, Niger should increase efforts to educate the public about the continuing problem of caste-based servitude and the law prohibiting it, continue to enforce this legislation, draft and pass specific anti-trafficking legislation, and strengthen victim protection efforts.

Prosecution
The Government of Niger made modest efforts to punish trafficking crimes during the reporting period. Niger lacks specific anti-trafficking legislation and the government did not report any convictions during the last year. A Nigerien law enacted in 2004 prohibits slavery and related practices. The government is prosecuting two slavery cases and two additional cases are under investigation. Another slavery case was dismissed in court due to a procedural technicality. The Ministry of Justice organized a three-day seminar to launch the drafting of a trafficking statute. In partnership with NGOs, the government trained 209 law enforcement officers about trafficking. Border police barred from entry into Niger several religious leaders traveling with children but without parental consent documents. Officials also barred 32 children from leaving Niger for planned travel to Ghana without parental consent forms. Niger entered into a multi-lateral agreement to combat trafficking with eight other West African nations, and the Ministry of Justice sought and obtained UN assistance in drafting an anti-trafficking law.

Protection
The government showed modest progress in providing protection to trafficking victims, despite its limited resources. The government also collaborated with the UNFPA on a program designed in part to reduce child trafficking. In partnership with IOM, the government began the initial stage of a victim assistance project. While the government has no formal screening and referral process to transfer victims to NGOs for care, police commonly refer trafficking victims to local and international NGOs. A local anti-slavery NGO reported that police who find escaped slaves regularly bring them to the NGO for assistance.

Prevention
The government made limited efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. In February 2006, the government established by presidential decree a National Commission for the Control of Trafficking in Persons comprised of key government ministries and seven NGOs, including the nation's leading anti-slavery organization. The government also designated the Ministry of Justice as the lead agency on trafficking. The government collaborated with NGOs to launch a U.S. Government-funded radio soap opera about child trafficking; it also partnered with Dutch affiliates to organize a public education session on trafficking. Several times during the year the government publicly denied the problem of slavery and related practices. It also obstructed a large-scale NGO effort to raise awareness about slavery by canceling a public celebration of the release of 7,000 slaves in March 2005. At the release of a book on slavery by an anti-slavery activist in January 2006, however, the Minister of Culture gave a televised address acknowledging the existence of slavery and praising the activist for drawing attention to it.

NIGERIA (TIER 2)

Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Victims are trafficked for domestic servitude, street hawking, agricultural labor, and sexual exploitation. Within Nigeria, women and children are trafficked from rural areas to urban zones. Internationally, they are trafficked to the Central African Republic, Mali, Gabon, Sudan, North Africa, Saudi Arabia, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Austria. Women and children are also trafficked to Nigeria from Togo, Benin, Chad, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Niger, and Ghana.

The Government of Nigeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to strengthen and institutionalize Nigeria's response to human trafficking over the last year, showing substantial commitment to the issue. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should increase prosecutions and convictions of traffickers and strengthen protection efforts.

Prosecution
The Government of Nigeria demonstrated increased efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement during the last year. In December 2005, the government amended its 2003 federal statute prohibiting trafficking to allow for forfeiture and seizure of traffickers' assets. The government investigated 85 trafficking cases, opened 21 prosecutions, and convicted six traffickers. Nigeria's 60 dedicated anti-trafficking investigators continued to actively investigate cases, though coordination between these investigators and other law enforcement officials was weak. In collaboration with UNICEF, the government has established an anti-child trafficking network covering 11 states, with additional expansion planned. Throughout the year, the government conducted trafficking training sessions for investigators and prosecutors and maintained a computerized trafficking crime database. There are regular reports of trafficking-related corruption. Authorities arrested a police officer for child trafficking and are investigating the case.

Protection
The government made modest efforts to protect trafficking victims over the reporting period. The government continued to operate two shelters and established a victim rehabilitation center, though these facilities operated below capacity. Authorities also referred victims to NGO shelters for assistance through an established screening and referral system. The government provided vocational skills training to 12 victims and helped eight victims return to school. Incidents of re-trafficking, however, remain high. The government amended its trafficking law to include Victim Trust Funds through which assets seized from traffickers will fund victim reintegration. The government in the last year began to educate Nigerian missions abroad about techniques for rescuing and counseling trafficking victims. Nigerian authorities cooperated with Beninese and Ghanaian officials to repatriate victims. Victims are not prosecuted for crimes directly related to being trafficked.

Prevention
The government continued to demonstrate strong efforts to educate the public about trafficking during the year. The Public Enlightenment Division of Nigeria's 200-employee National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) continued to broadcast anti-trafficking television spots and conduct awareness events in motor parks, markets, schools, and concert halls. NAPTIP also continued to host quarterly anti-trafficking stakeholder meetings. During these meetings, which were attended by government, NGO, and international organization representatives, NAPTIP shared data on government anti-trafficking efforts and worked with partners to develop anti-trafficking strategies.

NORTH KOREA (TIER 3)

The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (D.P.R.K. or North Korea) is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. The D.P.R.K.'s own system of political repression includes forced labor in a network of prison camps where an estimated 150,000 to 200,000 persons are incarcerated. Many North Koreans seeking to escape the dire conditions in the country attempt to leave by crossing the border into northeast China, where an estimated tens of thousands of North Koreans may reside illegally. There are no completely reliable estimates on the number of these North Koreans, more than half of whom appear to be women victims of trafficking. The illegal status of North Koreans in China and other countries increases their vulnerability to trafficking schemes and sexual and physical abuse. In the most common form of trafficking, North Korean women and children already in China are picked up by trafficking rings and sold as brides to Korean-Chinese men or placed in forced labor. In a less common form of trafficking, some North Koreans are lured from the D.P.R.K. into China with promises of freedom and employment, only to be forced into prostitution, marriage, or exploitative labor arrangements. The scale of the problem is blurred by the operation of "professional border crossers" who help North Koreans voluntarily enter China. North Koreans forcibly returned from China may be subject to hard labor in prison camps operated by the government.

There are also reports of North Koreans sent abroad by the D.P.R.K. government as low-skilled contract laborers to countries such as Mongolia, Russia, and the Czech Republic. While such overseas work may be perceived as prestigious among impoverished North Korean workers facing extremely limited employment freedoms at home, there are reports in some of these countries that movements of North Koreans are controlled by North Korean "minders" — giving rise to allegations that their work is forced or coerced.

The Government of North Korea does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government does not acknowledge that trafficking is occurring, either within the country or transnationally. The government also contributes to the problem through forced labor prison camps, where thousands of North Koreans live in slave-like conditions, receiving very little food and no medical assistance. Over the last year, the government summarily executed several persons who were sentenced on charges of trafficking in persons; however, international media and NGO reports allege that the men were accused of helping refugees cross the border to China. The D.R.P.K. regime reportedly provides workers for foreign investors operating in North Korean industrial parks. There are concerns that this labor may be exploitative, with the D.P.R.K. government keeping most or all of the foreign exchange paid and then paying workers in local, nonconvertible currency.

Prosecution
Little information is available on the D.P.R.K.'s legal system and there are no known laws that specifically address trafficking in persons. It is difficult to separate the regime's clear state sponsorship of forced labor from criminal statutes it purportedly upholds on trafficking-related crimes. Furthermore, aside from the reported executions of accused traffickers, there were no reports of any law enforcement activities on trafficking during the reporting period. The Penal Code criminalizes crossing the border without permission (Article 233) and defection (Article 62). These laws are used against both traffickers and trafficking victims, as well as against voluntary border crossers and those who aid them. The Penal Code criminalizes the abduction, sale, or trafficking in children (Article 150). The Constitution prohibits exploitation of children (Article 76). There are likely other criminal statutes related to border crossing, but no information exists about such statutes at this time. Fair trials, due process, and other rights for the accused are not the norm in the D.P.R.K.; law enforcement efforts against all crimes, including trafficking, generally take place without regard to international human rights standards. Summary executions, detentions, and imprisonment are reported to have occurred without trial.

Protection
The Government of North Korea does not recognize trafficking victims and provides no reasonable care for them. North Koreans forcibly repatriated from China, some of whom may be trafficking victims, may be jailed and forced into prison labor camps, where some may face torture. The government's priority is to control all activities occurring within its borders; protecting individuals from mistreatment, exploitation, and retribution are not government priorities.

Prevention
The Government of North Korea does not acknowledge the existence of human rights problems, including trafficking in persons. Thus, it does not operate, administer, or promote any public awareness campaigns related to trafficking in the country.

NORWAY (TIER 1)

Norway is a destination country for women trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation, primarily from Nigeria, Albania, Russia, and the Baltic countries. There is no evidence of trafficking for other purposes. The government acknowledges that trafficking is a problem in Norway.

The Government of Norway fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons. Norway continues to take a prominent role in the international campaign against trafficking. The government has been a leader in pressing NATO to adopt anti-trafficking policies and is active on trafficking issues at Interpol and Europol. Norway also funds NGOs working on anti-trafficking programs throughout the world. The government should continue efforts to reduce the domestic demand for sexual exploitation and should focus on increasing the number of prosecutions and convictions.

Prosecution
The government continued its law enforcement efforts. During the reporting period, police conducted four trafficking investigations. The government prosecuted eight cases of trafficking in 2005, up from two cases in 2004. One trafficker was convicted. The maximum sentence for a trafficking conviction is five years in prison. If aggravated circumstances are involved, a trafficker may be sentenced up to 10 years. A trafficker convicted of slavery faces a maximum sentence of 21 years. The Norwegian police have formalized cooperation with Europol and Interpol and cooperate with other Nordic countries. The police conduct a two-day training session for all officers working on trafficking issues.

Protection
Norway continued to provide significant protection to trafficking victims. The government funds a number of NGOs that provide medical and practical assistance to victims. In 2005, police, prosecutors, and NGOs referred 75 victims to a state-funded center dedicated to assisting trafficking victims. The center's hotline received 645 trafficking calls in 2005 and assisted 20 victims. Eighteen women were placed in long-term shelters funded by the government and run by NGOs. In June 2005, Norway implemented its second National Action Plan to combat trafficking. It focuses on improving coordination between authorities and calls for police to develop witness protection guidelines specific to victims and witnesses in trafficking cases. Norway has a 45-day reflection period during which foreign victims cannot be deported; this is meant to ensure that adequate time is provided for victims to receive assistance and counseling. One victim benefited from the reflection period. Victims may also be granted relief from deportation by applying for asylum. This is a lengthy process and may take a year or more.

Prevention
The government continued to fund NGO and regional and international organization projects in source countries that focus on public awareness and prevention campaigns to potential victims. The government also has trafficking awareness and educational programs in source countries. Norway is a significant contributor to UNODC's anti-trafficking program. The national action plan calls for specific anti-trafficking initiatives to strengthen prevention efforts and a demand reduction program that provides counseling to the buyers of sexual services, and educates them about the harm they cause. Immigration authorities actively monitor immigration patterns for trafficking and cooperate with police.

OMAN (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Oman is a destination country for men and women primarily from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India who migrate willingly, but may subsequently become victims of trafficking when subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude as domestic workers and laborers. There have been occasional reports from foreign entities that expatriate children engaged in camel racing may transit or reside in Omani territory.

The Government of Oman does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Oman is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because of a lack of evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons over the last year. The government does not have a national coordinator to oversee anti trafficking efforts, although it has formed an inter-agency legal committee to review language for new trafficking in persons legislation. Oman did not develop a national plan of action to combat trafficking. Over the last year, Oman did not prosecute any trafficking cases and it failed to conduct anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns. The government lacks an adequate screening procedure to differentiate trafficking victims from the large number of foreigners it deports annually, but it has requested international assistance in developing a comprehensive screening program. Oman should make serious efforts to coordinate a national anti-trafficking policy that includes increased prosecutions, systematic screening and protection of trafficking victims, and a concerted public awareness campaign to prevent trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
The Government of Oman failed to improve its prosecution record over the last year, despite possible instances of trafficking in persons. Although Oman lacks a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, it has other criminal laws that can be used to prosecute trafficking crimes, including sections of its penal code assigning penalties of five to 15 years' imprisonment for slavery. Nonetheless, the Omani government did not report any prosecutions in the last 12 months and has taken no active measures to investigate trafficking in persons. The Ministry of Manpower is also tasked with investigating any reports of labor abuse, though it lacks authority to file criminal charges for prosecution and has not been proactive in investigating trafficking in persons. All persons who serve as camel jockeys are now required to register in person with the Omani Camel Racing Federation and submit a passport, photographs, and a birth certificate showing them to be at least 15 years of age.

Protection
During the reporting period, the Omani government did not improve its minimal efforts to provide protection to expatriate workers who may fall victim to involuntary servitude. Foreigners illegally in Oman are housed in detention facilities and immigration officials have no screening procedure to distinguish illegal migrants from trafficking victims. The government has sought assistance to learn about techniques of processing illegal immigrants, including screening trafficking victims. Although the government pays for illegal migrants' repatriation, it has not established a system of protective services for victims of trafficking. Rather, it relies primarily on foreign embassies and charitable groups to tend to foreign nationals requiring assistance. The embassies of the Philippines and Sri Lanka, for instance, manage halfway houses for domestic workers. No formal referral mechanism exists to transfer potential trafficking victims to such organizations. The Government of Oman should develop a comprehensive screening procedure and adequate protection services such as shelter and medical care, or establish a referral system to connect trafficking victims with NGOs providing such assistance.

Prevention
While the Government of Oman does not have a formal trafficking prevention program, Oman's military and police took action to patrol the borders to prevent illegal entry into the country in the last year. The government has invested resources to improve monitoring of the maritime and land borders with modern patrol vessels, aircraft, and sensor equipment. As a preventive measure, Oman introduced special visa regimes applicable to certain countries to thwart the international sex trade. Oman has not conducted any anti-trafficking public information campaigns to raise general awareness about trafficking in persons or specific rights of migrant workers.

PAKISTAN (TIER 2)

Pakistan is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children for the purposes of sexual exploitation, involuntary servitude, and servitude as child camel jockeys. Pakistani women and men migrate voluntarily to Gulf states, Iran, Turkey, and Greece for work as domestic servants or construction workers; men are recruited for work in Iraq. Some of these men and women, however, may find themselves in situations of involuntary servitude when faced with overwhelming recruitment and transportation fees, restrictions on their movement, non-payment of wages, and physical or sexual abuse. Pakistani girls are also reportedly trafficked to the Gulf for sexual exploitation and Pakistani boys are trafficked primarily to the U.A.E. and Qatar to serve as camel jockeys. Pakistan faces a significant internal trafficking problem reportedly involving thousands of women and children trafficked from rural areas and sold to settle debts and disputes or forced into sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, or marriage. Unconfirmed estimates of Pakistani victims of bonded labor in the brick, glass, carpet, and fishing industries are in the millions. Women and children from Bangladesh, India, Burma, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan are also trafficked to Pakistan for sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. In addition, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Nepalese, and Burmese women are trafficked through Pakistan en route to the Gulf or Greece.

The Government of Pakistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. This year, the government established a national plan of action to combat trafficking in persons; approved a special cell within the Ministry of Interior to coordinate its anti-trafficking response; trained police officers, attorneys and judges on anti-trafficking measures; and made progress in investigating trafficking cases. The Ministry of Interior, with the assistance of IOM, also opened a shelter for trafficking victims. Nonetheless, NGOs report that local governments in Pakistan often prosecute and punish victims of trafficking for prostitution, immigration violations, and adultery under Islamic Hudood Ordinances rather than providing them with protection. The government similarly failed to curb internal trafficking for sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Pakistan should stop punishing trafficking victims, institute measure to address internal trafficking, and broaden public awareness campaigns to reach more at-risk populations.

Prosecution
The Government of Pakistan improved its efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases this year. The government reported investigating 765 cases of trafficking, of which 448 were filed for prosecution, but some NGOs report concern that smuggling rings are confused for trafficking at the provincial level. During the year, 92 traffickers were convicted for trafficking offenses, but the majority received light sentences ranging from fines to less than six months in jail. Pakistan, in cooperation with IOM, instituted training programs for police officers, attorneys, and judges on methods of investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases. In addition, the government introduced a bill in the National Assembly to expedite trafficking cases through the judicial system.

Despite the establishment of provincial anti-trafficking units, the government did not provide sufficient evidence of serious efforts to investigate and prosecute cases of internal trafficking, including instances of bonded and forced child labor, which are not specifically criminalized by Pakistan's Human Trafficking Ordinance of 2002. The Bonded Labor System Abolition Act outlaws bonded labor, cancels all existing bonded debts, and forbids lawsuits for the recovery of such debts. The Act establishes penalties of up to five years' imprisonment and fines of $833 for violating its provisions. Nevertheless, this and other laws criminalizing bonded and child labor were rarely used to sentence violators to jail. Most convicted offenders received fines less than $20. The government similarly failed to vigorously investigate and prosecute government officials facilitating trafficking, arresting only two officials for corruption this year. Sentences given to sex and labor traffickers should be increased so that they are commensurate with the severity of the crime, and law enforcement efforts against internal trafficking and corruption involving trafficking should be improved.

Protection
This year, the government took some noticeable steps to improve its protection efforts for victims of trafficking. Pakistan cooperated with IOM to open a model shelter for trafficking victims in Islamabad providing medical, psychological, and legal care. Since its opening, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) referred 12 trafficking victims to this shelter for protection. For victims not located in Islamabad, the government provided victim assistance in 276 temporary shelters where victims received medical treatment, limited legal representation, and vocational training. Pakistan also provided training for investigators on methods of identifying and protecting victims of trafficking, although some NGOs report the need for greater sensitivity training at the local level. In Lahore, the Child Protection Welfare Bureau assisted in the repatriation and reintegration of 325 child camel jockeys returned from the U.A.E.

Despite these improvements, the practice of punishing victims of trafficking for prostitution and other charges under Hudood Ordinances remains a problem that warrants investigation and action by the Government of Pakistan. Although data regarding the extent of the practice are unavailable, NGOs allege the frequent prosecution of trafficking victims under Pakistan's law prohibiting sex outside of marriage. According to NGOs, trafficking victims may also face prosecution for adultery or rendering false accusations if their rape cases under the Hudood Ordinances fail. The government should take immediate steps to prevent such prosecutions and punishment of trafficking victims and investigate allegations that victims of trafficking are exploited by guards and other government employees in the temporary shelters. To prevent further victimization, the Government of Pakistan should also increase its efforts to protect the privacy and identity of victims. On more than one occasion, after large trafficking arrests, police have released the names of trafficking victims to the media.

Prevention
The Government of Pakistan made some progress in its anti-trafficking prevention initiatives over the year. Following the October 2005 earthquake, the government sent federal Anti- Trafficking Units to earthquake-affected areas of the country to prevent the trafficking of orphaned or otherwise vulnerable children. The government also established an identification system used at airports to monitor immigration patterns for signs of trafficking. Prominent radio and television appearances by the Minister of Overseas Pakistanis raised awareness of the trafficking of Pakistani nationals abroad, and the government, with assistance from IOM and foreign donors, undertook a targeted information campaign to educate people living in the rural areas affected by the earthquake on the dangers of trafficking.

PANAMA (TIER 2)

Panama is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Women and children are trafficked primarily within Panama for sexual exploitation. There are also credible reports of women and children trafficked from Colombia and the Dominican Republic to and through Panama for sexual exploitation. Panamanian women have been trafficked from Panama to Jamaica, Guatemala, and Mexico. Child domestic laborers who may be trafficking victims are transported from the western provinces to Panama City.

The Government of Panama does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting year, the government intensified public awareness campaigns and stepped up efforts to work with NGOs to improve services for trafficking victims. The government made some progress in its efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes, though there were no convictions reported during the reporting period. The government should allocate additional resources for law enforcement to receive training and more vigorously conduct trafficking investigations and prosecutions in the capital and other parts of the country. It should also ensure that foreign workers are informed of their rights and the services available to assist and protect trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Panama made some progress in investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes over the reporting period. New investigations of the trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation increased from three in 2004 to seven in 2005. Panama's 2004 anti-trafficking law focuses on commercial sexual exploitation and assigns penalties of five to 10 years in prison. This law has not yet resulted in any trafficking convictions, but three prosecutors in the Attorney General's Office have been designated to handle trafficking cases and four cases have moved to various stages of prosecution. Eight Panamanian National Police officers in Darien Province remained under investigation subsequent to their arrest in March 2005 for rape, commercial sexual exploitation, and corruption of minors. The police anti-trafficking unit in the capital operated with a staff of three officers and inadequate resources. Police officers in other parts of the country had insufficient training to conduct trafficking investigations.

Protection
The Panamanian government made modest efforts to assist trafficking victims. Most services were concentrated in or near Panama City. Anti-trafficking laws require the government to provide legal, medical, and psychological services for victims. The government operated a police hotline for victims of crime and a Ministry of Social Development hotline for reporting abuse. A unit at police headquarters in Panama City provided medical, psychological, social, legal, and translation services to assist victims of crime. The government also referred victims to NGOs and provided limited financial support for NGOs working with at-risk children and victims of abuse and violence, including trafficking victims. The government operated shelters, but they were not designated for trafficking victims. Juvenile trafficking victims were placed with foster families or referred to a government or NGO shelter. Local businesses use the "alternadora" visa system to bring in mostly Colombian women for Panama's legalized sex trade. Panamanian authorities failed to confirm how many "alternadora" permits were issued or renewed or whether any applicants were interviewed to provide information to them about laws against trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation or to identify indications of trafficking. The National Migration Service contended that illegal migrants who were found in Panama's commercial sex trade were screened and determined not to be trafficking victims before they were deported. However, authorities were not able to confirm how many women were deported or how many of them were interviewed by officials trained to detect trafficking.

Prevention
The government made additional progress in prevention activities during the reporting period. CONAPREDES, the anti-trafficking coordinating agency, launched a poster, radio, and television campaign against commercial sexual exploitation that included some warnings directed at adult males who seek commercial sex with minors. CONAPREDES also produced and distributed handouts on commercial sexual exploitation and worked with the National Council of Reporters to educate journalists about trafficking issues and enlist their support in raising public awareness.

PARAGUAY (TIER 2)

Paraguay is a source and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Paraguayan victims are primarily trafficked to Argentina, Spain, and Brazil. This transnational trafficking appears to be increasing; authorities in Spain have identified a growing number of Paraguayan victims exploited in prostitution and forced labor. Poor children are also trafficked within the country, from rural to urban areas for sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude. Recruiters of all types of trafficking are typically Paraguayan. Trafficking of Paraguayan and Brazilian women and girls, principally for sexual exploitation, remains an ongoing problem in the tri-border area of the Brazil-Paraguay- Argentina border.

The Government of Paraguay does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government worked with governments of destination countries to disrupt trafficking networks, conducted local investigations related to the movement of Paraguayan victims abroad, extradited one trafficking suspect, and raised trafficking awareness. The government should increase activity focused on investigating and prosecuting traffickers, commit more resources for key agencies leading the fight against trafficking, and expand services to victims, particularly outside the capital.

Prosecution
The government made modest law enforcement progress against traffickers over the past year but needs to do more in the face of the country's growing trafficking problem. Authorities prosecuted one case resulting in the upholding of convictions against two of three traffickers convicted in 2004. Three additional first-time prosecutions were pending at the end of the reporting period. Officials identified 20 new international trafficking cases and extradited one suspect from Spain. Several agencies tracked transnational cases, but no agency tracked actions against internal trafficking. Paraguay's basic anti-trafficking statute prescribes up to 10 years' imprisonment for trafficking offenses. Laws are adequate to address most forms of trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors, but more aggressive enforcement efforts are required. No substantiated case of officials complicit in trafficking was reported over the last year.

Protection
The government's modest investment in victim assistance remained inadequate over the reporting period, failing to assist victims outside the capital. The government provided victims with legal, medical, and psychological services in Asuncion; such assistance ended once they returned to their home communities. The government did not operate any shelters, and NGOs were the principal source of assistance outside the capital. The Secretariat for Repatriations facilitated the return of 64 Paraguayan victims of transnational trafficking, largely through identifying non-governmental funding sources. Local authorities in Asuncion and Ciudad del Este screened potential victims and referred them to NGOs.

Prevention
The government initiated national trafficking prevention activities but efforts were inadequate for a source country with a growing trafficking problem. Seminars were conducted by the Secretariat of Women's Affairs in five cities for judges, prosecutors, police, and community activists to improve victim detection. Posters distributed by government authorities also raised public awareness. The government should train more officials to identify trafficking and work with local communities to protect victims and deter their recruitment.

PERU (TIER 2 WATCH LIST)

Peru is primarily a source country for women and children trafficked internally for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic labor. Most victims are girls and young women moved internally from rural to urban areas or from city to city, and lured or coerced into prostitution in nightclubs, bars, and brothels. Peruvians have also been trafficked for sexual exploitation to Spain, Japan, the United States, and Venezuela for the purpose of labor exploitation. The government also acknowledges that sex tourism occurs, particularly in the Amazon region of the country.

The Government of Peru does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Peru is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking over the previous year. The government failed to achieve progress in key areas such as the prosecution of traffickers and the provision of protective services for trafficking victims. Despite these deficiencies, the government demonstrated progress in other areas: it trained officials and key community stakeholders regarding new laws against commercial sexual exploitation and sex tourism; conducted a demand reduction campaign to combat sex tourism in the Amazon; published a comprehensive review of its anti-trafficking efforts; and sent to Congress new anti-trafficking legislation. The government should prosecute trafficking cases more promptly and increase protection for victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Peru demonstrated no significant progress in investigating and prosecuting traffickers over the last year. The Peruvian National Police Investigative Section on Trafficking in Persons Crimes, a six-person section responsible for investigating trafficking throughout the country, opened four new investigations and continued work on two older cases. The Public Ministry, which prosecutes cases, reported that 11 individuals were under investigation or prosecution for trafficking crimes, but no traffickers were convicted. Police raids targeting clandestine brothels suspected of exploiting minors in prostitution decreased in comparison with the previous reporting year. Peru's criminal code contains a number of articles that can be used against trafficking activities, but anti-trafficking statutes only address commercial sexual exploitation. The government recognized this deficiency and sent new legislation to Congress to broaden the scope of anti-trafficking laws. There were no confirmed reports of government officials involved in trafficking. However, in light of corruption problems endemic throughout Peru, the government should investigate possible trafficking complicity among security personnel.

Protection
The government made minimal progress in its efforts to protect victims during the reporting period. Victims were not treated as criminals and could seek help at government domestic violence shelters, but these facilities lacked the long-term care and rehabilitation services trafficking victims require. The government provided modest support, usually in the form of in-kind contributions, for some NGOs providing services to victims. A government hotline for domestic violence victims was expanded to also serve trafficking victims. Authorities typically interviewed and released adult victims; underage victims were returned to their families or referred to NGOs. Legal assistance and witness protection for victims were sorely lacking.

Prevention
The government significantly expanded its own efforts to educate the public and train officials during the reporting period and worked productively with NGOs and international organizations that conducted outreach programs. The government published its first annual comprehensive review of anti-trafficking efforts in Peru in late 2005. The government also worked with the tourist industry to launch an information campaign targeting potential sex tourists visiting the Amazon, and the Ministry of Women and Social Development trained 1,350 key officials and activists throughout Peru on new laws that address trafficking and sex tourism.

THE PHILIPPINES (TIER 2)

The Philippines is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. A significant share of the over one million Philippine men and women who go overseas each year to work as domestic servants or in the construction and garment industries are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude. Women are often lured abroad with false promises of legitimate employment and are trafficked to destinations throughout Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and North America. A large percentage of the Philippine women who migrate legally to Japan as overseas performing artists are believed to have been trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. To a lesser extent, the Philippines is a transit point and destination for women from the P.R.C. who are trafficked for sexual exploitation. There is substantial internal trafficking within the Philippines, primarily from rural to urban metropolitan areas, and sexual exploitation of children. Endemic poverty, a high unemployment rate, a cultural propensity toward migration, a weak rule-of-law environment, and sex tourism all contribute to significant trafficking activity in the Philippines.

The Government of the Philippines 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 Philippine Government stepped up efforts to implement its anti-trafficking law and made initial progress in implementing strategies to combat trafficking in persons, particularly in prosecuting human traffickers. Following the imposition by the Japanese government of stricter requirements for entertainer visas, the number of Japanese entertainer visas given to Philippine women has dropped by almost half in 2005 as compared to 2004. Government action should focus on prosecuting and convicting traffickers and public officials involved in trafficking.

Prosecution
The Philippine Government made discernible progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2005. In particular, the government made progress in prosecuting human traffickers. During the last year, 67 cases were under preliminary investigation and another 31 cases were filed for prosecution under the 2003 anti-trafficking law. Of those, two cases resulted in the conviction of four individuals for trafficking offenses, with courts handing down life imprisonment sentences to the traffickers and awarding compensation to the victims. There were two additional cases that led to convictions under the 2003 anti-trafficking law, but the alleged traffickers pled guilty to a lesser offense under that law - an offense that does not constitute trafficking - and were sentenced to six months of community service and a fine instead of imprisonment. The Philippine Department of Justice tripled the number of prosecutors at the national level handling trafficking cases and assigned additional prosecutors at the regional level to focus on trafficking cases, resulting in a four-fold increase in the number of investigative cases presented for prosecution under the 2003 anti-trafficking law. The Philippine Secretary of Justice also issued a directive ordering all prosecutors to give preferential attention to trafficking cases and to oppose and object to any motions for dismissal due to lack of testimony by witnesses in trafficking cases or where the defendant had made a financial settlement with the victim or other family members. Corruption and a weak judiciary remain serious impediments to the effective prosecution of traffickers. Despite widespread reports of law enforcement officials' complicity in trafficking, the government prosecuted only one such official. The Philippine Government continued to sponsor training programs for police and prosecutors to help them pursue cases more effectively under the 2003 anti-trafficking law.

Protection
During the reporting period, the Philippine Government continued to sponsor impressive protection efforts for trafficking victims. The government's witness protection program, however, lacks the budget to accommodate the large number of trafficking victims. The anti-trafficking law passed in 2003 affords trafficked persons rights as victims and protects them from legal punishment. The government established arrangements with NGOs and Philippines embassies in destination countries to provide overseas workers who had been exploited with temporary shelter, counseling, and medical assistance. It also continued to provide a range of protective services to trafficking victims, including temporary residency status, relief from deportation, shelter, and access to legal, medical, and counseling services. The Philippine Government continued to promote training programs for law enforcement and immigration officials on methods of dealing with victims.

Prevention
Efforts to raise awareness of trafficking continued in the Philippines with senior government officials frequently speaking out about the dangers of trafficking. Fourteen government agencies also coordinate the Philippine Government's anti-trafficking efforts, much of which is prevention-oriented. The Philippines has a national action plan to address trafficking in persons.

POLAND (TIER 1)

Poland is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children from Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Bulgaria trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There were isolated reports of Vietnamese nationals trafficked to Poland for labor exploitation. Polish women are trafficked to Germany, Italy, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Japan, and Israel for purposes of sexual exploitation. The reported number of victims forced to work in the agricultural industry, sweatshops, and begging rings continued to increase in 2005.

The Government of Poland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Poland continued to improve its anti-trafficking efforts over the last year by enacting its second national action plan, approving its first-ever national budget allocation for foreign trafficking victims' assistance, and commendably created a two-month reflection period for foreign victims, providing them with temporary residence and assistance. The government should increase victim sensitivity training for law enforcement officers and continue to look into reports of trafficking related government corruption.

Prosecution
The Government of Poland sustained its efforts to prosecute trafficking crimes over the last year. Police initiated 22 new trafficking investigations and continued work on 22 previous investigations. Authorities prosecuted 43 individuals for trafficking crimes, resulting in 37 convictions. Sentencing data was not available for 2005; however in 2004, of the 16 traffickers convicted, one trafficker will serve a sentence of one to two years in prison, eight traffickers will serve sentences of three years, and four traffickers will serve three to five years; three traffickers received suspended sentences and will not serve prison time. The Polish National Police participated in several bilateral task forces with other governments through which they exchanged information, tracked the movement of traffickers and victims across borders, and coordinated repatriation of victims. In 2005, Polish police trained counterparts from Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus on how to detect, prevent, and assist trafficking victims. Although there were no reports of government involvement or complicity in trafficking, there were reports of victim harassment and other abuses by police officers. There were also unconfirmed reports that local police have taken bribes to ignore known trafficking activity.

Protection
The Government of Poland continued to make progress in protecting and assisting victims. In 2005, the government amended its Law on Aliens to include a provision that offers foreign trafficking victims a two-month reflection period during which they are given residency in Poland while they decide whether or not to participate in the prosecution of their trafficker. During this reflection period, foreign victims are provided with assistance and support administered through an NGO. Thirty-seven foreign victims assisted law enforcement efforts in 2005. Under Polish law, foreign victims are not eligible for various state-provided services that Polish victims may receive; to remedy this, the government allocated $80,000 to an NGO to provide assistance to foreign victims. This NGO assisted 79 foreign victims in 2005. Local governments also provided funding to other anti-trafficking NGOs and shelters. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs cooperated with NGOs and funded the repatriation of victims to Poland.

Prevention
Poland continued to improve its anti-trafficking public awareness efforts over the last year. NGOs and various ministries cooperated on four separate educational campaigns during 2005. An NGO generated educational materials, and school officials disseminated them to public secondary school pupils in four large cities. The same NGO distributed guidebooks on finding safe work abroad to state-run employment offices throughout Poland. Another NGO worked with the Border Guards on a "safe travel" campaign that distributed information, primarily in Russian, to potential victims on employment laws and included contact information for anti-trafficking NGOs and other helpful authorities. This same NGO received a grant from the Ministry of Education to produce educational leaflets to distribute to at-risk groups throughout Poland.

PORTUGAL (TIER 2)

Portugal is primarily a destination and transit country for women, men, and children trafficked from Brazil, Eastern Europe, and, to a lesser extent, Africa. Some victims are trafficked for forced labor. The majority of victims trafficked from Brazil are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

The Government of Portugal 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 Portugal did not provide full statistical evidence of its law enforcement efforts, and it failed to prescribe punishment sufficiently stringent to deter trafficking in Portugal; virtually all convictions for trafficking resulted in suspended sentences in 2004. The Portuguese Government, through NGOs, provided trafficking victims with protection, support, and reintegration services. The government should aggressively prosecute trafficking cases and seek stronger penalties for traffickers that adequately reflect the heinous nature of the offense. The government should also consider additional focused and highly visible demand reduction campaigns aimed at consumers in Portugal.

Prosecution
The Government of Portugal made inadequate efforts to punish acts of trafficking in 2004, the latest period for which data was available. While the government prosecuted 45 traffickers during the reporting period, only two of 27 traffickers convicted served prison time; the remaining 25 received suspended sentences. The government reported that it actively dismantled trafficking networks in 2005, reducing their overall presence in Portugal. Increased law enforcement coordination led to well-targeted, smart anti-trafficking raids of commercial sexual exploitation sites that ensured the safety of all involved and provided post-rescue care for trafficking victims. During the reporting period, the government continued mandatory anti-trafficking training for its new immigration officers. The training includes a screening of "Lilya 4ever," a movie depicting a sex trafficking victim's ordeal, and presentation of methods of identifying trafficking victims among illegal migrants. In 2005, the Government of Portugal drafted legislation to increase penalties for traffickers and explicitly define trafficking as a crime. The government continued to cooperate with other European law enforcement agencies in trafficking investigations. In November 2005, it signed an agreement with Spanish police to strengthen border control, which includes a joint police team to address trafficking and smuggling. There were no reports of trafficking complicity among Portuguese public officials during the reporting period.

Protection
The Portuguese Government continued to provide adequate protection to victims of trafficking over the last year. This protection included subsidies for victims to receive shelter, employment, education, and access to medical services, including family reunification. One NGO reported housing and assisting 45 trafficking victims in 2005. The government provided legal residency to many trafficking victims, though most victims in Portugal are repatriated after a three-week stay at government-sponsored shelters. Although there is no national referral mechanism in place, some NGOs have signed memoranda of understanding with the government in order to track, assist, and reintegrate trafficking victims. Victims who are initially detained are later transferred to NGOs for protection and assistance. The government continued to operate 20 National Immigrant Support Centers throughout Portugal to provide immigrants, including trafficking victims, with multi-lingual information and assistance. In 2005, the government renewed funding for an NGO to provide shelter and assistance to trafficking victims and victims of other crimes.

Prevention
The government continued to sponsor anti-trafficking information campaigns and public service announcements throughout the year. It aired various programs on state-run channels to educate and inform the general public, including potential trafficking victims and consumers. In 2005, the Portuguese Government developed and disseminated a national anti-trafficking action plan. The plan includes the establishment of a multi-disciplinary working group, which brings together all relevant stakeholders to more systematically address trafficking in Portugal. This effort also includes the establishment of a statistics-gathering unit within the Ministry of Interior, which should enable the government to more effectively monitor and adjust its approach to combating trafficking.



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