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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Country Narratives -- Countries A through G


Trafficking in Persons Report
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
June 12, 2007
Report
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AFGHANISTAN (Tier 2)  

Afghanistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Afghan children are trafficked internally and to Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and Zimbabwe for commercial sexual exploitation, forced marriage to settle debts or disputes, forced begging, debt bondage, service as child soldiers, or other forms of involuntary servitude. Afghan women are trafficked internally and to Pakistan and Iran for commercial sexual exploitation, and men are trafficked to Iran for forced labor. Afghanistan is also a destination for women and girls from China, Iran, and Tajikistan trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Tajik women and children are also believed to be trafficked through Afghanistan to Pakistan and Iran for commercial sexual exploitation. 

The Government of Afghanistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government provided land to IOM for the construction of a shelter for trafficking victims. The government should take additional steps to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law and increase law enforcement efforts against internal trafficking, particularly trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation, forced marriage, and involuntary servitude. Afghanistan also should institute a formal mechanism to refer trafficking victims to NGO protection services and should not punish sex trafficking victims for crimes committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prosecution
Over the year, Afghanistan made no clear progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Afghanistan does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, but the government relies on kidnapping and other statutes to charge some trafficking offenses. This year, Afghanistan did not provide sufficient evidence of arresting, prosecuting, or convicting traffickers. Both the Ministry of Interior and the Attorney General's Office reported data indicating that traffickers had been arrested, prosecuted, and convicted, but they were unable to provide disaggregated trafficking data from other related law enforcement data. The government did not demonstrate any efforts to investigate, arrest, or prosecute government officials facilitating trafficking offenses despite reports of widespread complicity among border and highway police. The government should enact an anti-trafficking law without further delay and increase law enforcement action against complicit government officials. Officials should also take law enforcement measures to curb internal trafficking of minors for commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude, including bonded labor.

Protection
The Government of Afghanistan made modest improvements in its efforts to protect victims of trafficking, but deficiencies in its overall efforts remained. In March 2007, the government provided land for IOM to build a shelter specifically designed for child victims of trafficking. The government also assisted in supporting 400 child victims of trafficking repatriated from Saudi Arabia, Oman, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe by facilitating family reunification and providing the children shelter in existing juvenile centers or orphanages, as well as medical care and educational services. Due to cultural mores, some victims of trafficking, however, continue to be arrested or otherwise punished for prostitution and morality crimes. The government does not encourage victims to assist in investigations of their traffickers, nor does it provide them with legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Afghanistan should take immediate steps to end the arrest and incarceration of trafficking victims, and should work with NGOs to establish a formal victim identification and referral mechanism. The government should also improve protection of victims of involuntary servitude, including bonded laborers and forced child beggars.

Prevention
During the year, Afghanistan made limited progress in preventing trafficking in persons. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, with the assistance of UNICEF, conducted a broad public awareness campaign to educate the public on the dangers of trafficking and resources for assistance. Afghanistan does not adequately monitor its borders, but has developed a pilot program to begin monitoring for evidence of trafficking into or out of the country at two sites along the Afghan-Pakistan and Afghan-Iran borders. Afghanistan has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

ALBANIA (Tier 2)

Albania is a country of origin for women and girls trafficked transnationally and internally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation; it is no longer considered a major country of transit, and it is not a significant country of destination. Albanian victims are trafficked to Greece and Italy, with many trafficked onward to the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Norway, Germany and the Netherlands. Internal sex trafficking of women and children is on the rise.

The Government of Albania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to show a significant effort to prosecute and convict traffickers, created a nationwide toll-free help line, and ratified a bilateral anti-child trafficking agreement with Greece. The government has not instituted a victim case-tracking database that should form the core of its national referral mechanism, which would greatly improve care for trafficking victims. Reintegration and rehabilitation services remain critical to prevent the re-trafficking of Albanian citizens. The government should continue implementation of its national action, and vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking-related corruption at all levels of law enforcement.

Prosecution
The Government of Albania continued to vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking in 2006. Albania criminally prohibits sex and labor trafficking through its penal code. Penalties prescribed for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation exceed those for rape. The laws prescribe penalties for both labor and sex trafficking that are sufficiently stringent. The police referred 51 new trafficking cases to the General Prosecutor's Office, which investigated 65 people on charges related to trafficking. Forty-three cases were referred to the Serious Crimes Court, where there were 62 prosecutions and 57 convictions for trafficking. Four offenders were sentenced to up to two years' imprisonment; 10 were sentenced to between two and five years' imprisonment; 26 were sentenced to between 5 and 10 years' imprisonment; and 25 were sentenced to over 10 years' imprisonment. In 2006, the British operator of an orphanage was arrested on charges of child molestation and trafficking for offering Albanian children for sexual exploitation to foreign pedophiles visiting Albania specifically for sex with children. Some police officers, customs officials, and border police facilitated trafficking by accepting bribes, tipping off traffickers, and furnishing travel documents to traffickers. Lawyers and judges allegedly are bribed, permitting traffickers to buy their way out of punishment if arrested. One police official was arrested for helping an arrested trafficker go free. Four border police officers were arrested for corruption and abuse of power.

Protection
The Government of Albania continued its modest efforts to protect and reintegrate victims of trafficking during 2006. Albania encourages victims to testify against traffickers, but they often refuse as a result of intimidation by traffickers. In 2006, only 20 out of 227 suspected or identified trafficking victims offered testimony against their traffickers. Albanian law allows victims to file civil lawsuits; victims generally do not initiate these due to their distrust of the police and judiciary. The government does not penalize victims of trafficking for unlawful acts committed as part of their being trafficked. There is currently no legal provision for granting temporary or permanent residency to third-country victims of trafficking; victims could apply for asylum. The government in 2006 drafted legislation as part of its Law on Foreigners that will address this issue. NGOs and international organizations administered and funded the majority of victim services; however, the government provided facilities and staff and helped refer victims. The government's National Victim Referral Center provided assistance to 46 Albanian and third-country national trafficking victims; many were transferred to other shelters for reintegration. Albania ratified a bilateral agreement with Greece to assist with the return of child trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Government of Albania made progress in anti-trafficking prevention and awareness activities during 2006, but relied primarily on NGOs and international organizations for financial support. The government, with support from IOM and UNODC, carried out a limited campaign to help launch the opening of an anti-trafficking hotline to publicize the hotline's number and raise awareness among potential victims. In the first two months of operations, the hotline received 11 actionable calls pertaining to trafficking. With support of the ILO, the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities implemented a micro-loan program for female trafficking victims to assist them in starting small businesses, foster reintegration, and prevent re-trafficking.

ALGERIA (Tier 3)

Algeria is a transit country for men and women trafficked from sub-Saharan Africa en route to Europe for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. These men and women often enter Algeria voluntarily, but illegally, with the assistance of smugglers. Once in Algeria, however, some women are coerced into commercial sexual exploitation to pay off smuggling debts, while some men may be forced into involuntary servitude in construction and other low-skilled work. According to one NGO, an estimated 15,000 illegal sub-Saharan African migrants currently reside in Algeria, of which approximately 9,000 are victims of trafficking. In addition, one NGO maintains that children are trafficked from Niger and Mali. Some Algerian children reportedly are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude.

The Government of Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government does not prohibit and punish all crimes of trafficking in persons. It does not draw a distinction between trafficking in persons and illegal immigration and, as such, has not developed policies and programs to address the specific needs of trafficking victims. Algeria does not adequately identify trafficking victims among illegal immigrants. The government did not take serious law enforcement actions to punish traffickers who force women into commercial sexual exploitation or men into involuntary servitude in other sectors. Moreover, the government reported no investigations of trafficking of children for domestic servitude or improvements in protection services available to victims of trafficking.

Prosecution
During the reporting period, Algeria did not report discernible progress in prosecuting trafficking offenses and punishing offenders. Algeria does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, but prohibits the trafficking of minors for commercial sexual exploitation through Article 342 and most forms of sex trafficking of adults through its prohibition on pimping in Article 343 of its penal code. The government did not report any confirmed trafficking investigations, arrests, prosecutions, or convictions this year. The government should criminalize all forms of trafficking, consistent with the 2000 U.N. TIP Protocol, which Algeria ratified in 2003, and significantly increase law enforcement efforts against traffickers, including those who traffic migrants and force children into domestic servitude.

Protection
Algeria did not improve its efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government does not systematically attempt to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable people, such as foreign women arrested for prostitution or illegal migrants. As a result, trafficking victims reportedly are deported or otherwise punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Because victims are not identified as such, the government neither encourages them to assist in investigations against their traffickers, nor provides them with shelter, medical or psychological services, or alternatives to removal to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. Algeria should institute a formal mechanism to identify victims of trafficking, refrain from punishing them, and provide them with comprehensive victim protection assistance.

Prevention
Algeria's efforts to prevent trafficking did not improve significantly over the reporting period. The government continues to show a firm commitment to fighting illegal immigration, and works closely with the European governments of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and Malta to prevent the illegal migration and smuggling of people to Europe. Although the Algerian government did not report specific actions taken to prevent trafficking in persons within or through its territory, according to press reports, at least one person was arrested and one trafficking network dismantled during the year. Border officials are not trained in identifying possible trafficking victims, and the government did not pursue public awareness campaigns on trafficking in persons.

ANGOLA (Tier 2)

Angola is a source country for a small but significant number of women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Angolan women and girls are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation. In an attempt to avoid fees for the importation of goods across the border between Namibia and Angola, children are forced to be couriers by truck drivers to hand-carry goods across that border, for example at remote border crossings such as Katwitwi, in Kuando Kubango Province. Anecdotal reports point to South Africa as a destination point for trafficked Angolan women.

The Government of Angola does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Government media increased attention to the issue of human trafficking over the reporting period. To further its efforts against trafficking, the government should strengthen its legal and victim support frameworks by drafting and enacting comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, increasing the capacity of law enforcement officials to recognize and respond to instances of trafficking, and increasing awareness of human trafficking at the provincial and community levels.

Prosecution
The government's anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts were modest during the reporting period. Angolan law does not prohibit trafficking in persons, although elements of its constitution and statutory laws, including those criminalizing forced and bonded labor, could be used to prosecute trafficking cases. The government did not report trafficking investigations or prosecutions other than through articles in government print media. During the year, there were no publicly reported convictions, but the National Department of Criminal Investigation reported three arrests of suspected traffickers. The first case resulted from the trafficking of a woman from Cabinda to Lunda Sul for commercial sexual exploitation, while the other two cases involved international trafficking of Angolans to Portugal and Zimbabwe. The Immigration Service operated checkpoints at the international airport, border posts, and select internal locations, such as the trafficking hotspot of Santa Clara in Cunene Province, which screened well over 1,000 minors for proper travel documentation in 2006.

Protection
During the reporting period, the government's focus shifted from caring for former child soldiers and other war-affected children to protecting victims of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The National Institute for the Child's (INAC) six mobile provincial teams conducted spot checks of suspected child trafficking routes by stopping vehicles containing children to check for identity cards and proof of relationship to the children and parental permission for the child to travel; data obtained from these spot checks were unavailable. INAC and UNICEF continued their joint development of Child Protection Networks that bring together government and civil society at the municipal and provincial levels to coordinate social policy and protective assistance to children. Active in six provinces, these networks served as "SOS Centers" through which crime victims between the ages of 9 and 16, including trafficking victims, accessed a variety of services provided by various government ministries. Victims over 16 were referred to shelters and social services provided by a quasi-governmental organization. Local police reportedly transferred five Ivorian and Nigerian women found in forced prostitution to an NGO shelter after detaining them in Luanda. During the reporting period, INAC and UNICEF began development of an assistance strategy for child victims.

Prevention
Angola made limited progress in 2006 in preventing new incidents of trafficking. The government's Inter-Ministerial Commission to Combat Kidnapping, Child Labor, Abuse, Sexual Exploitation, and Trafficking of Children met quarterly to coordinate and plan the government's ongoing efforts to fight child exploitation. The commission drafted a national action plan assigning anti-trafficking responsibilities to each ministry, but it has yet to be publicly released. Members of the commission also participated in conferences and news interviews on the subject of child trafficking throughout the year; government statements against child prostitution appeared frequently in the media. Angola has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

ARGENTINA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Argentina is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most victims are trafficked within the country, from rural to urban areas, for exploitation in prostitution. Argentine women and girls also are trafficked to neighboring countries and Western Europe for sexual exploitation. Foreign women and children, primarily from Paraguay and Brazil, are trafficked to Argentina and Western Europe for commercial sexual exploitation. Bolivians and Peruvians are trafficked into the country for forced labor in sweatshops and agriculture. Reported cases of human trafficking have increased in Argentina, which may be due to growing public awareness of the issue, as well as a higher number of migrants in the country, some of whom are vulnerable to being trafficked.

The Government of Argentina does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Argentina remains on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of providing greater assistance to victims and curbing official complicity in trafficking. Although there has been momentum over the last two years to pass comprehensive anti-trafficking reforms, draft legislation is still pending in the Argentine Congress. Argentina's overtaxed criminal justice system also slows down the government's efforts to prosecute human traffickers. In the coming year, the Argentine government should: enact and implement its much-needed comprehensive anti-trafficking bill; intensify and expedite prosecution efforts against traffickers; increase anti-trafficking training for judges and police; provide greater victim assistance; and make stronger efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict public officials who facilitate human trafficking.

Prosecution
The government demonstrated modest but uneven progress in its law-enforcement efforts against traffickers during the reporting period. Argentina does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though related offenses are criminalized by a variety of criminal and immigration statutes, which prescribe penalties of up to 20 years' imprisonment. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties for other grave crimes. Enactment of comprehensive federal anti-trafficking legislation would allow the government to move more aggressively against human traffickers. Bills are pending in both houses of the Argentine Congress, and approaching final passage. As a temporary measure until the legislation is passed, the Attorney General's Office of Victims' Assistance (OFAVI) in early 2006 drafted an executive decree to create a national program for anti-trafficking prevention and victim assistance, but the government elected not to sign the interim decree at that time, preferring to push for passage of a national law through the Argentine Congress instead.

Government officials were not able to provide complete data or information about prosecutions against traffickers in 2006; lack of a federal anti-trafficking law impedes the collection of nationwide data and statistics and makes analysis of Argentina's anti-trafficking efforts difficult to gauge. Anecdotal data indicate that 15 trafficking-related arrests took place during the reporting period, down from 33 arrests in 2005. However, the government showed progress by securing sentences against two convicted traffickers in separate cases for crimes involving minors: one defendant in Cordoba province, a former police officer, was sentenced to 14 years in prison; and a second defendant was sentenced to four years of incarceration. Other trafficking-related investigations and cases remain open, including several criminal actions against brothel owners. In one case, 37 women were forced into prostitution at a brothel in Chubut province were rescued. Formal charges have been filed against the brothel owners, who paid bribes to municipal officials. Prosecutors also are investigating police involvement in the case. But, in a notorious labor trafficking case involving Bolivians working in sweatshops in Buenos Aires, charges were dismissed against two suspected traffickers on technical grounds. Credible reports indicate that local law enforcement officials intimidated some of the witnesses or offered them bribes to change their testimony. Widespread corruption and collusion with traffickers at provincial and local levels has been reported and is considered to be a serious impediment to prosecuting cases. The government increased anti-trafficking training for judicial and law enforcement officials, including in the critical tri-border area with Brazil and Paraguay. Additional training for judges and police is sorely needed.

Protection
Despite limited resources, the government made some efforts to assist victims during the reporting period. The government did not systematically and pro-actively identify victims among vulnerable populations, such as persons detained for prostitution or immigration violations. OFAVI coordinated victim-assistance policy and offered a limited number of victims access to medical and psychological treatment, legal counseling, referrals to other sources of assistance, and repatriation. The government does not operate victim shelters dedicated to trafficking, but victim-assistance offices worked with social-services agencies to ensure that trafficking victims received shelter and appropriate care. The government began to provide funding to anti-trafficking NGOs in 2006. There are unconfirmed reports of victims being jailed for crimes committed, such as prostitution, as a direct result of being trafficked. Argentine authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Victims are rarely deported, and Argentine immigration law provides that citizens of Mercosur member or associate states can obtain temporary residency in Argentina.

Prevention
The government made modest progress in prevention activities during the reporting period. The government lent strong political support to IOM anti-trafficking campaigns featuring a popular Uruguayan singer in video and TV spots. The government also has taken the lead within Mercosur for a regional anti-trafficking prevention campaign. In October 2006, the government conducted a nationwide campaign against child labor. Through greater press coverage and NGO and government efforts, public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking in Argentina appears to be growing.

ARMENIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Armenia is a source country and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and girls trafficked to the United Arab Emirates and Turkey for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Armenian men and women are trafficked to Russia for the purpose of forced labor. Women and girls also transit through Moscow to the U.A.E.

The Government of Armenia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Armenia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year because of its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts over the past year, particularly in the areas of fighting trafficking-related corruption and providing victim assistance. Although Armenia increased the use of its anti-trafficking law, increased the number of convicted traffickers serving time in prison, and prosecuted its first labor trafficking case in December 2006 - marking the first time trafficking victims were awarded financial restitution - the government failed to make progress in victim identification and referral or in combating official complicity in trafficking.

In the first of two notable cases of official corruption during the reporting period, the government conducted an inadequate investigation of a senior investigator in the Prosecutor General's anti-trafficking unit, formally concluded that he did nothing wrong, eventually transferred him out of the unit, and demoted him. The second case involved a convicted trafficker who was released from prison temporarily under a provision of Armenian law, allegedly obtained her expired passport from government officials, and then fled the country. Although the government made limited efforts to locate the trafficker, she remained at large at the conclusion of the reporting period. No government officials were prosecuted for acts related to the trafficker's escape, although the three top officials of the prison were removed and remain under investigation. In order to improve anti-trafficking efforts, Armenia must vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence corrupt government officials complicit in trafficking. The government should implement a formal, nation-wide trafficking identification and referral system and refer more victims to NGO protection services. Armenia should also increase its public awareness and prevention efforts.

Prosecution
The Armenian government demonstrated moderate improvements in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. Armenia prohibits trafficking in persons for both labor and sexual exploitation through Article 132 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties of 3 to 15 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. In 2006, the government investigated 16 trafficking cases, up from 14 cases in 2005. Authorities prosecuted 13 people for trafficking, compared to 16 prosecutions in 2005. All 13 traffickers prosecuted in 2006 were convicted. Of the 13 traffickers convicted in 2006, 4 were given 5-year prison sentences, 1 received a 4.5-year sentence, 4 received 4-year sentences, 1 received a 3.5-year sentence, 2 received 2-year sentences, and 1 received a 2-year conditional sentence. During the reporting period, a new law was implemented that significantly increased the penalties for trafficking in persons and distinguished the crime of trafficking from that of organized prostitution or pimping.

Protection
The government demonstrated inadequate efforts to protect trafficking victims in 2006. NGOs provided most victim assistance, rehabilitative counseling, and shelter, although the border guards ran a short-term victim shelter at the border crossing point with Georgia and referred victims to NGOs. The government provided no financial or in-kind assistance for anti-trafficking NGOs. Armenia failed to implement formal procedures for the identification of victims and their referral to NGOs that provide protection services. Police referred 8 of the 24 victims assisted by NGOs in 2006; this number is down from the number of victims referred in 2005. Victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Although victims were not prohibited from filing charges against traffickers, they were not encouraged to participate in investigations and prosecutions. NGOs noted some positive changes in judicial treatment of victims.

Prevention
The government continued to rely on NGOs and international organizations to supplement its own public awareness efforts. The government's Migration Agency worked with the civil aviation authority and a NGO to publish and distribute leaflets on the dangers of trafficking to people flying to Turkey and the U.A.E. The government also worked with the Russian Migration Agency to publish and distribute a brochure for laborers traveling to Russia. During the reporting period, a NGO trained 71 border guards to recognize trafficking indicators. NGOs also held seminars on trafficking for students and teachers in four schools.

AUSTRALIA (Tier 1)

Australia is a destination country for some women from East Asia and Eastern Europe trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of trafficking victims were women who traveled to Australia voluntarily to work in both legal and illegal brothels, but were subject to conditions of debt bondage or involuntary servitude. There were several reports of men and women from India, the People's Republic of China, and South Korea migrating to Australia temporarily for work whose labor conditions amounted to slavery, debt bondage, and involuntary servitude.

The Government of Australia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the reporting period, the government strengthened its domestic trafficking laws to cover offenses involving deception, exploitative employment, conditions and contracts, or debt bondage. The government also ensured that each person in a trafficking network could be prosecuted in cases involving internal trafficking. It also increased penalties for trafficking in children and for employers who exploit workers in conditions of forced labor, sexual servitude, or slavery. The government provides significant resources to support anti-trafficking efforts throughout Southeast Asia, law enforcement training, victim assistance, and prevention activities. The Australian government should devote more attention and resources to addressing allegations of labor trafficking, including in connection with its 457 worker visa program.

Prosecution
The Government of Australia demonstrated increased efforts to prosecute trafficking in persons cases during 2006. Australia prohibits sex and labor trafficking and trafficking-related offenses in Divisions 270 and 271 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code. Prescribed penalties for these offenses are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. During the reporting period, there were four convictions for sex trafficking. One defendant was sentenced to six years' imprisonment; the three other convictions are on appeal. Six sex trafficking and two labor trafficking cases are currently before the courts involving 16 defendants. The Transnational Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Teams (TSETT) within the Australian Federal Police investigated 14 possible trafficking cases in 2006. Australian citizens were returned to Australia to face prosecution for sexually exploiting children in other countries under Australia's extraterritorial child sex tourism law. During the reporting period, the Australian Federal Police conducted 10 investigations for violations under child sex tourism law, and there were four convictions under that law. There were no reports of government or law enforcement involvement in trafficking. In late 2006, a Bangladeshi domestic worker filed a complaint against a United Arab Emirates diplomat in Australia, alleging work conditions that amounted to involuntary servitude.

Protection
The Government of Australia continued to provide comprehensive assistance for victims of trafficking, their family members, or witnesses willing to aid in criminal prosecutions. The government encourages victims and witnesses to participate in the investigation of traffickers, but directly links continued assistance to victims' role in a viable prosecution. An enhanced visa regime enables victims or witnesses assisting in an investigation to remain lawfully in Australia. A total of 58 visas have been granted under this regime since its inception in January 2004. One of the visas available is designed to protect victims from retribution they would face if they had to return to their country of origin. Due to the requirement that permanent visas will be granted only to those who have held a temporary visa for two years, no one has yet been in the program long enough to qualify for a permanent visa.

Individuals granted status under this visa regime are entitled to a package of benefits, including shelter, counseling, and food and living allowances. The benefit program is administered by the government's Support for Victims of People Trafficking and was assisting 35 victims as of January 2007. Australia funds two return and reintegration activities in the Asia region. The first is for return and reintegration of trafficked women and children, and the second solely supports Thai victims. The Australian Federal police trained 25 special TSETT investigators in interviewing suspected trafficking victims. The government implemented a formal referral protocol and interviewing procedure for trafficking cases.

Prevention
Australian government agencies, including specialized Australian Federal Police investigation teams, worked closely with regional counterparts on trafficking matters. Cooperation extended to training, supporting investigations in neighboring countries, and securing prosecutions in Australia and overseas. Australia, as co-chair and co-founder of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons, and Related Transnational Crime, continues to play a prominent leadership role in several regional projects aimed at building awareness of trafficking, increasing law enforcement capacity, and enhancing victim support. The government supported a public awareness campaign with advertisements in daily and suburban newspapers encouraging victims and concerned members of the community to call the police hotline.

AUSTRIA (Tier 1)

Austria is a transit and destination country for women from Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Croatia, Macedonia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, the Dominican Republic, and Nigeria trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women from Africa are trafficked through Spain and Italy to Austria for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Women from Eastern Europe are trafficked through Austria to Italy, France, and Spain for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Roma girls are trafficked from Bulgaria for purposes of forced petty theft and commercial sexual exploitation. Approximately one-third of victims assisted were trafficked for forced labor, and two-thirds were trafficked for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Austria fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2006, Austria provided quality care to identified victims who cooperate with law enforcement and provided generous funding to prevention programs in source countries. In 2006, the government's Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings developed a National Action Plan, but has yet to implement it. It also provided special training for law enforcement and judicial personnel. Austria should continue to ensure a majority of convicted traffickers serve time in prison. The government should consider implementing a reflection period for victims. The government should also consider conducting a demand reduction campaign.

Prosecution
The Austrian government continued to show anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. Article 104(a) of the Austrian Criminal Code prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor. Prosecutors typically use Articles 104(a) and 217 of the criminal code and Article 114 of the Aliens Police Act to prosecute traffickers. Penalties prescribed in Article 104(a) and Article 114 range up to 10 years' imprisonment, while penalties in Article 217 range from 6 months' to 10 years' imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. In 2006, police conducted 93 trafficking investigations, a decrease from 168 investigations conducted in 2005. Authorities conducted 137 prosecutions in 2006, down from 192 the previous year. Conviction data for 2006 was unavailable at the time of this report; however, in 2005, 25 traffickers were convicted, a decrease from 49 convictions in 2004. Twenty of the 25 convicted traffickers served some time in prison. Two traffickers served six to 12 months in prison, eight traffickers were sentenced to a minimum of one year's imprisonment, and 10 traffickers served an unspecified amount of time in prison. Five traffickers received suspended sentences and thus served no time in prison. A high-ranking police official was convicted and sentenced to a three-month suspended sentence under Article 310 for disclosing to a brothel owner the details of a planned police raid. At the time of this report, the official was suspended from office, pending the outcome of an appeal of the conviction.

Protection
Austria provided adequate assistance to victims during the reporting period. Police effectively referred 90 victims to trafficking victim assistance centers. The Austrian government encourages victims to assist with investigations and prosecutions of traffickers; victims who agree to cooperate with law enforcement qualify for temporary residence visas, although there is no reflection period granted to victims to consider whether they want to testify. Victims who are not identified by authorities are sometimes deported. The government continues to fully fund a key anti-trafficking NGO that provides shelter and assistance to victims; this NGO also assists in the safe repatriation of victims. Victims have access to the Austrian social system including health insurance and payment of a monthly stipend.

Prevention
Austria continued to focus much of its prevention efforts in source countries. During the reporting period, the government sponsored an awareness project in Bulgaria targeting young women and girls at risk of being trafficked. Austria adequately monitors its borders for signs of trafficking and border officials screen for potential trafficking victims.

AZERBAIJAN (Tier 2)

Azerbaijan is primarily a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women from Azerbaijan are trafficked to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) for purposes of sexual exploitation. Men are trafficked to Russia for the purpose of forced labor. Men and women are also trafficked to Iran, Pakistan, and India for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Azerbaijani children are trafficked to Turkey for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and to Russia for the purpose of forced labor. Reports of internal trafficking also continued, including that of women for sexual exploitation, men for forced labor in the construction industry, and children for the purpose of child begging. Azerbaijan serves as a transit country for victims from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Moldova trafficked to Turkey and the U.A.E. for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Azerbaijan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In October 2006, the government opened and fully funded a shelter for trafficking victims, and increased investigative and victim identification training for law enforcement officials. In 2006, the government also increased investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of traffickers, and removed its anti-trafficking unit from within the Ministry of Internal Affairs' Organized Crime Unit to become a new, stand-alone unit. The government should develop and implement a nation-wide victim referral mechanism and ensure that a nationwide toll-free victims' assistance hotline becomes operational. The government should increase its trafficking prevention efforts, as well as its efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence government officials complicit in trafficking.

Prosecution
The government demonstrated improvement in its law enforcement efforts. Azerbaijan's 2005 Law on the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons prohibits both sexual exploitation and forced labor; punishment prescribed by the law ranges from 5 to 15 years' imprisonment and is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties for other grave crimes, such as sexual assault. For the first time, in 2006 the Government of Azerbaijan prosecuted and convicted traffickers under its new trafficking in persons law. During 2006, authorities conducted 192 trafficking investigations, up from 160 investigations conducted in 2005. Azerbaijan prosecuted 164 traffickers, up from 153 prosecutions in 2005. In 2006, 155 traffickers were convicted, up from 93 convictions in 2005. Forty-eight of the 155 convicted traffickers were sentenced to time in prison. The remaining 107 traffickers were sentenced to hard labor or community service, or received administrative charges, fines, or suspended sentences. The Special Anti-Trafficking Police Unit showed progress, although the government should increase its capacity to launch more aggressive trafficking investigations. Concerns remain that low-level civil servants and local law enforcement may be receiving bribes to facilitate trafficking.

Protection
The Government of Azerbaijan demonstrated progress in its efforts to protect and assist victims. In October 2006, the government opened a long-anticipated shelter, which provides victims of trafficking with short-term care and access to legal, medical, and psychological services. Although all identified victims were referred to the shelter, its effectiveness was hampered by the lack of a formal nationwide victim identification mechanism and a nationwide toll-free trafficking in persons hotline; from October 11 to the end of 2006, only four victims were identified. The government should develop and implement formal nation-wide victim identification procedures, and ensure that the nationwide toll-free hotline becomes functional. In 2006, the Ministry of Interior conducted victim identification and assistance training for NGOs, employees of the Police Academy, the Ministry of Justice's Legal Education Center, and the Education Center of the Prosecutor General's Office. Victims may apply for temporary residency permits for up to one year, and are permitted to apply for permanent residency status. If victims cooperate with law enforcement, they are entitled to stay in Azerbaijan until the completion of their court case. There is concern that identified child trafficking victims may not have received adequate assistance or care.

Prevention
Azerbaijan's anti-trafficking prevention efforts remained modest. The government periodically monitors its anti-trafficking efforts and makes the results public. In 2006, the government paid for the printing and distribution of anti-trafficking pamphlets. In 2006, the Ministry of Education supported school information programs run by domestic NGOs.

BAHRAIN (Tier 3)

Bahrain is a destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of involuntary servitude and commercial sexual exploitation. Men and women from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and Eritrea migrate voluntarily to Bahrain to work as laborers or domestic servants, but some are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude when forced to pay off large recruitment and transportation fees, and faced with the withholding of passports and other restrictions on their movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Women from Thailand, Morocco, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia are trafficked to Bahrain for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. The Thai government reported repatriating 256 Thai women who had been deceived or forced into prostitution in Bahrain.

The Government of Bahrain does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Bahrain took the positive step of opening a shelter for female trafficking victims in November 2006, but failed to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. The government also did not report any prosecutions or convictions for trafficking offenses during the year, despite reports of a substantial problem of involuntary servitude and sex trafficking. The government should enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that criminalizes all forms of trafficking in persons and assigns penalties both sufficiently stringent to deter the crime and adequately reflective of the heinous nature of the crime. Bahrain should also ensure that victims are not punished or deported for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked, and should offer protective services to all victims of trafficking, including women coerced into prostitution and both female and male victims of forced labor.

Prosecution
During the year, Bahrain made no discernable progress in criminally investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes. Bahraini law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though its penal code of 1976 criminalizes forced prostitution through its Article 325 and forced labor through a 1993 amendment to its Article 302. Penalties prescribed under Article 302 are up to two years' imprisonment, which are not sufficiently stringent. Penalties for forced prostitution (Article 325), however, are from two to seven years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent. Despite indications that the trafficking problem in Bahrain is significant, the government did not provide evidence of prosecuting any cases of trafficking for involuntary servitude or forced prostitution. Laws against withholding workers' passports - a common practice that restricts the mobility of migrant workers - were not effectively enforced, and the practice remained widespread. A module devoted to trafficking was included in a training course for newly appointed public prosecutors. The government should significantly increase investigations and criminal prosecutions of labor traffickers, sex traffickers, and recruitment agencies complicit in trafficking.

Protection
Bahrain took some measures to protect trafficking victims over the past year. In November 2006, the government opened a shelter that offers medical, psychological and legal care, and is capable of accommodating at least 60 female victims of labor trafficking. Victims can only enter the facility by referral, however; to date, 14 victims have been assisted. Foreign victims of sex trafficking receive no protection from the government, but are directly processed for deportation. Local NGOs supporting trafficking victims in informal shelters did not receive any government funding. The government has not instituted a formal victim identification procedure to identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as runaway domestic workers or women arrested for prostitution. As a result, some victims are detained and deported without adequate protection. The government does not encourage victims to assist in the prosecution of their traffickers. The government should institute formal victim identification procedures, allow victims to refer themselves to the shelter, and also permit victims of sex trafficking access to the facility for protection.

Prevention
Bahrain made no discernible progress in preventing trafficking this year. The government initiated no new campaigns to prevent trafficking, but continued to distribute multilingual brochures on workers' rights and resources to incoming workers. The government should ensure that recruitment agencies and employers are aware of the rights of foreign workers to prevent their abuse.

BANGLADESH (Tier 2)

Bangladesh is a source and transit country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. It is also a source country for children - both girls and boys - trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, bonded labor, and other forms of involuntary servitude. Women and children from Bangladesh are trafficked to India and Pakistan for sexual exploitation. Bangladeshi women also migrate legally to the Gulf for work as domestic servants, but often find themselves in situations of involuntary servitude when faced with restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, and physical or sexual abuse. In addition, Bangladeshi men and women migrate to Malaysia, the Gulf, and Jordan to work in the construction or garment industry, but sometimes face conditions of involuntary servitude, including fraudulent recruitment offers; debt bondage may be facilitated by large pre-departure fees imposed by Bangladeshi recruitment agents. Internally, Bangladeshis are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and bonded labor. Some Burmese women who are trafficked to India transit through Bangladesh.

The Government of Bangladesh does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Bangladesh continued to raise awareness of trafficking and criminally prosecute and punish sex traffickers over the reporting period. The government also took steps to shut down labor recruitment agencies believed to be using deceptive recruiting practices and opened cases for forced child labor. Bangladesh did not, however, report any criminal convictions or prison sentences for acts of involuntary servitude. Bangladesh should prosecute labor trafficking offenses and seek the imposition of criminal penalties for deceptive recruitment practices that facilitate trafficking, and should increase efforts to combat internal trafficking for forced labor and sexual exploitation. Bangladesh should also provide more protection services for adult male trafficking victims and victims of labor forms of trafficking.

Prosecution
Bangladesh made some progress in prosecuting trafficking cases and began taking some action to address trafficking for involuntary servitude. The government prohibits the trafficking of women and children for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation or involuntary servitude under the Repression of Women and Children Act of 2000 (amended in 2003), and prohibits the selling and buying of a minor under age 18 for prostitution in Articles 372 and 373 of the penal code. Article 374 of Bangladesh's penal code prohibits involuntary servitude, but the prescribed penalties of imprisonment for up to one year or a fine are not sufficiently stringent to deter the offense. Bangladesh lacks laws criminalizing the trafficking of adult males for commercial sexual exploitation. In 2006, the government prosecuted 70 trafficking cases and obtained convictions for 43 individuals, with 4 receiving death sentences and 32 receiving life sentences. Bangladesh also arrested five immigration officers and one former police officer on suspicion of complicity in trafficking; their prosecutions are pending.

In 2006, the Ministry for Expatriate Welfare, the Bangladesh Agency for Manpower, Employment, and Training, and the main labor recruitment agency organization agreed to enforce caps on recruitment fees of approximately $1,200. Enforcement of this cap is difficult because of deceptive practices by some agencies, side-costs levied on workers illegally, and general corruption. The government also adopted an Expatriate Labor Policy identifying principles for the protection of migrant workers abroad and expressing commitment to taking legal actions against illegal recruiters. The government opened investigations against three Bangladeshi recruitment agencies allegedly using deceptive recruitment practices and raided five similar agencies in 2006, closing and de-licensing them. During the reporting period, one owner of a labor recruitment agency was arrested on allegations of overcharging recruitment fees. The government also reported filing 117 cases for forced child labor. Nonetheless, the government did not report any convictions of traffickers for involuntary servitude during the reporting period. Bangladesh should continue to prosecute and punish sex trafficking and should increase law enforcement efforts against labor forms of trafficking, including seeking criminal penalties against any convicted traffickers.

Protection
Bangladesh did not make discernible progress in protecting victims of trafficking this reporting period, but continued efforts from previous years. Police anti-trafficking units encourage victims to assist in the investigation of cases against their traffickers. Victims reportedly are not jailed or punished, but the government does not offer victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. The government supported crisis centers in hospitals that are open to trafficking victims, but relied on NGOs to provide medical and psychological care to victims. The government also provided a building to a local NGO for use as a shelter for at-risk children. Bangladesh developed a witness protection protocol permitting victims to submit testimony in writing or to testify in front of a judge only. Nonetheless, the government reported no efforts to protect adult male victims or victims of forced labor. Bangladesh should continue to support protection services for victims of sex trafficking, and should increase assistance to victims of involuntary servitude, including Bangladeshis repatriated after being trafficked abroad.

Prevention
Bangladesh continued to make progress in its prevention efforts. A campaign of 650 television and radio public service announcements warned the public of the dangers of trafficking. The government continued to provide anti-trafficking information to micro-credit borrowers, reaching over 380,000 at-risk women. Bangladesh has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

BELARUS (Tier 2 Watch List)

Belarus is a source and transit country for women trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and the United States for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Men and women from Belarus are trafficked internally and to Russia for forced labor; 38 percent of all victims assisted by IOM in Belarus in 2006 were male victims of forced labor. Victims are trafficked from Belarus through Ukraine, Lithuania, and Poland to Western Europe, the Middle East, and East Asia. A small number of Moldovan victims were trafficked to Belarus for purposes of forced labor. A recent IOM study estimates that an average of 930 Belarusians are trafficked annually.

The Government of Belarus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Belarus is placed on Tier 2 Watch List because of its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking; specifically, the government did not show improved efforts to protect and assist victims. Although police identified and referred most victims to NGOs for assistance, the Belarusian government did not demonstrate any tangible victim protection improvements. It did not provide funding to implement protections mandated under a 2005 law and it continued to rely almost exclusively on NGOs and international organizations to provide victim assistance. Furthermore, the government overtly pressured victims to assist law enforcement with investigations and prosecutions. Belarus must take steps to improve its efforts to protect and assist victims by providing funding for victim assistance programs promised and codified into law in 2005. The government should continue efforts to improve relations with anti-trafficking NGOs and international organizations providing victim assistance and public awareness programs. Belarus should also make use of its recently announced trafficking training center to provide law enforcement officials with additional victim identification and victim referral training.

Prosecution
The Government of Belarus demonstrated aggressive law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. Belarusian law prohibits trafficking in persons for the purposes of both sexual exploitation and forced labor through Article 181 of its criminal code. Penalties prescribed under Article 181 range from 5 to 15 years' imprisonment; those penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. The government continued to devote significant resources toward the detection and investigation of trafficking during the reporting period. During 2006, the government conducted 95 trafficking prosecutions under Articles 181 and 187. Twenty traffickers were convicted under Article 181 in 2006; 11 of the 20 convicted traffickers were sentenced to more than eight year's imprisonment. Sixteen persons were convicted under Article 187. Government law enforcement statistics cited in the previous Report mistakenly included data on crimes related to trafficking but not trafficking-specific and thus were artificially high.

Protection
The Government of Belarus demonstrated inadequate efforts to protect and assist victims during the reporting period. The government continued to rely almost exclusively on NGOs and international organizations to carry out its anti-trafficking protection work; state institutions did not provide financial or material help to victims. While the government provided $20,000 to UNODC for the creation of an interagency anti-trafficking coordination group, it did little to improve protection and assistance for the significant number of Belarusian victims repatriated back home. Some ministries and local governments provided modest in-kind support to non-governmental victim assistance efforts in 2006, but did not formally coordinate with or officially enlist NGOs as partners. Police referrals of victims to NGO shelters and international organizations increased in 2006. During the reporting period, law enforcement pressured victims to provide information for investigations and prosecutions; pursuant to Belarusian law, if government assistance were provided to a victim, it would be immediately terminated if that victim did not assist law enforcement in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. The government does not punish victims for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Belarus continued its efforts to raise public awareness and prevent trafficking in 2006. While government officials spoke out against trafficking in international fora and state-run media continued to run anti-trafficking programs, the government continued to rely most heavily on NGOs and international organizations to carry out its prevention activities.

BELGIUM (Tier 1)

Belgium is a transit and destination country for men, women and girls trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking for sexual exploitation is more prevalent than labor trafficking and the majority of victims are young women. Women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Belgium primarily from Nigeria, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and People's Republic of China, and through Belgium to other European countries, such as the United Kingdom. Male victims are trafficked to Belgium for exploitative labor in restaurants, bars, sweatshops and construction sites. Increasingly, traffickers also force victims to beg in Belgium. In 2006, victim shelters in Belgium reported an increase in male victims and victims trafficked for forced labor.

The Government of Belgium fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued its aggressive law enforcement approach and financed NGOs to provide victim assistance. Belgium expanded legal protections for victims in 2006. To further strengthen its response to trafficking, Belgium should consider allowing all victims who assist with law enforcement efforts against their traffickers to obtain residency status, regardless of the outcome of the prosecution. The government should also increase awareness-raising initiatives and improve efforts to collect precise trafficking law enforcement data.

Prosecution
The Belgian government continued to make substantial efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement. Belgium prohibits all forms of trafficking through its 2005 amendment to its 1995 Act Containing Measures to Repress Trafficking in Persons. The law was strengthened in 2005 to meet international standards, to prohibit child sex tourism and forced begging, and to improve victim protection. The law's maximum prescribed sentence for all forms of trafficking, five years' imprisonment, is sufficiently stringent but less severe than penalties prescribed for rape. In 2006, authorities investigated 451 trafficking cases, prosecuting and convicting at least 45 traffickers, who received sentences from 1 to 10 years' imprisonment, with an average of 3 to 5 years. Belgian authorities enforce strict regulations on the employment of foreigners as au pairs, entertainers, and interns to combat labor violations. To combat trafficking, special ID cards are issued to diplomatic household personnel, whose employers can be tried in Belgium's system of Labor Courts.

Protection
The government continued to demonstrate strong efforts to provide care for trafficking victims during the year. Three local NGOs that rely largely on federal and regional government funding continued to provide victims with care. In 2006, these three NGOs assisted a combined 445 victims. However, the overall number of assisted victims decreased in 2006, with many victims of labor trafficking opting to find new jobs instead of accepting public assistance. The government also provides specific shelters for juveniles and victims at particular risk of harm by their traffickers. Police and customs officials continued to monitor motorways, airports, and seaports for trafficking victims. In 2006, lawmakers revised the 1980 Immigration Act to encourage victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions by providing short-term resident status to trafficking victims who assist authorities. Such victims may also obtain permanent residency after their traffickers are sentenced. If the trafficker is not convicted, however, Belgian law provides that victims may have to return to their countries of origin under certain limited circumstances, and only after rigorous review by immigration authorities. In practice, no one has ever been forced to return after a failure to convict a trafficker. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or penalized for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
Belgium demonstrated modest efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the year. Government agencies continued to maintain agency Web sites providing information on trafficking and directing victims toward relief centers. A new awareness campaign funded by federal and regional authorities and sponsored by Child Focus and other activist organizations was started in February 2007.

BELIZE (Tier 2)

Belize is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Central American women and children are trafficked to Belize for exploitation in prostitution. Girls are trafficked within the country for sexual exploitation, sometimes with the consent of close relatives.

The Government of Belize does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Government of Belize made substantial improvement in combating human trafficking since release of the 2006 Report. In February 2007, the government took a critical step to confront official trafficking-related corruption by arresting two police officers for human smuggling; a third police officer was arrested for allegedly exploiting a trafficking victim. More steps must be taken in this key area for the government to advance its anti-trafficking goals. The government also should consider increasing penalties for sex trafficking, and increasing law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers.

Prosecution
The Government of Belize made solid progress overall in the past year. The Government of Belize prohibits all forms of trafficking through its Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Act, which prescribes punishment of up to five years' imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. These penalties are sufficiently stringent but are not commensurate with higher prescribed penalties for other grave crimes such as rape. An interagency trafficking-in-persons committee leads government efforts to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and raise community awareness about human trafficking. The government reported two trafficking prosecutions, but no convictions for trafficking in 2006. Four foreign tourists were prosecuted for child sexual exploitation offenses and a fifth was expelled from the country. The government conducted raids of brothels and increased anti-trafficking training for police, magistrates, and immigration officials. The government also cooperates with foreign governments on international trafficking cases, and joined the Latin American Network for Missing Persons in 2006. Complicity in trafficking by law-enforcement officials appears to be a significant impediment to prosecution efforts.

Protection
The government improved protection services for victims in 2006. The government opened two shelters for trafficking victims in mid-2006, and provides limited funding to local NGOs for additional services. Authorities in Belize encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. There were no reports of victims being jailed or penalized for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked. Belize also provides temporary residency for foreign trafficking victims, and other legal alternatives to deportation or removal to countries in which they would face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government stepped up efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. Ministers and other high-level government officials repeatedly condemned trafficking in speeches and public statements. Since June 2006, the government has sponsored anti-trafficking campaigns and messages on television, radio, and in newspapers. In July 2006, the government's trafficking-in-persons committee met with members of Belize's Indian community to discuss human trafficking and involuntary domestic servitude. The government also worked with Belize's tourism industry to draft a code of conduct to prevent child sex tourism. The government funds local NGOs to promote other prevention efforts.

BENIN (Tier 2)

Benin is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The ILO estimates that 90 percent of all victims are trafficked within Benin, with girls trafficked primarily for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation while boys are trafficked for forced labor as plantation laborers, street hawkers, and construction workers. According to the ILO, the majority of Beninese children trafficked transnationally are destined for Nigeria, though they are also trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire, Ghana, Niger, Mali, and Togo for the purposes listed above, as well as for labor in mines and stone quarries. Beninese girls may be trafficked to Europe for domestic servitude and possibly sexual exploitation. A small number of Togolese, Nigerien, and Burkinabe children are trafficked to Benin for the same purposes listed above.

The Government of Benin does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. To improve its response to trafficking, Benin should pass the necessary legislation to enforce its 2006 law against child trafficking, draft and pass a law prohibiting adult trafficking, impose increased sentences on convicted traffickers, make its government victim shelter operational, and finalize and adopt its draft national strategy for child protection and national action plan to combat child labor.

Prosecution
The Government of Benin made solid efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement efforts during the last year. Benin does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though its 2006 Act Relating to the Transport of Minors and the Suppression of Child Trafficking criminalizes child trafficking. However, additional legislation currently in draft form must be passed before this 2006 law can be enforced. The law's maximum 20-year sentence for all forms of child trafficking is sufficient and exceeds penalties prescribed for rape. From October 2005 to August 2006, the government, using provisions of the existing penal code such as those on kidnapping and contributing to the delinquency of a minor, pursued 35 child trafficking cases. Eight of these cases resulted in convictions, but sentences imposed on the offenders ranged from only three months on bail to one year's imprisonment. Fourteen cases are awaiting trial, and an additional eight remain under investigation. From January to February 2007, the Minors Protection Brigade (MPB) arrested nine suspected traffickers, and in March 2007, Beninese police worked with Nigerian authorities to arrest a further five suspected traffickers. All fourteen of these individuals are in custody in Benin awaiting further legal action. In 2006, Benin's Police Academy, with financial support from UNICEF, trained 560 law enforcement officers, including border patrol authorities, about trafficking.

Protection
The Government of Benin demonstrated sustained efforts to care for trafficking victims during the reporting period. The MPB continued to implement proactive procedures to identify child trafficking victims and refer those identified to a network of local NGOs and international donors for care and reintegration services. The government also provides basic social services to trafficking victims through its national network of "Social Promotion Centers." In 2006, the MPB reported that it rescued and received 88 trafficked children. Six of these victims were Beninese being trafficked to Nigeria and 19 were Ivorian children trafficked to Benin. Twelve Beninese child victims were repatriated from Gabon, 50 from Nigeria, and 1 from Mali. These victims were placed in shelters and reunited with their families following investigations. In January and February 2007, the MPB rescued 38 children. In March 2007, the government rescued 17 female child victims in Cotonou and coordinated with Nigerian authorities to repatriate 21 Beninese victims from Nigeria. Beninese authorities have placed the victims in shelters for care. The government's shelter for trafficking victims, built over two years ago, remains unused. Because all of Benin's identified victims have been children, the government does not encourage them to actively assist in investigations or prosecutions for fear of causing them further trauma. The government cooperates with NGOs to ensure that it does not repatriate foreign victims until a safe return and reintegration plan has been established in the country of origin. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Benin made steady efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. In January 2007, the Nigeria-Benin Joint Committee to Combat Child Trafficking, with financial support from UNICEF, met in Benin and drafted an action plan to combat the trafficking of Beninese children to Nigeria's stone quarries, a significant problem. With ILO and UNICEF assistance, the government is drafting a national action plan against child labor and a national strategy for child protection, both of which still need to be finalized and implemented by the government. Both include steps to combat trafficking. The government, in coordination with Togolese authorities and with funding from UNICEF and the European Union, launched child trafficking awareness campaigns along the Benin-Togo border.

BOLIVIA (Tier 2)

Bolivia is principally a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Members of indigenous communities are particularly at risk for labor exploitation. Many victims are children trafficked internally for forced labor in mining and agriculture and suffer harsh conditions. Other victims are trafficked within the country and to neighboring South American countries and Europe, particularly Spain. Bolivian workers have been trafficked to sweatshops in Argentina and Brazil, and to Chile and Peru for involuntary servitude. Illegal migrants from Asia transit Bolivia; some may be trafficking victims.

The Government of Bolivia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. The government made modest but steady progress in key areas over the last year, and government officials demonstrated a heightened commitment to fight trafficking through enhanced law enforcement actions, expanded victim protection services, and increasing prevention efforts. The government should intensify work in all these areas, and endeavor to pass amendments to its anti-trafficking laws, currently under consideration in Bolivia's Congress, to provide greater services and legal protections for victims. The government also should focus more attention on cases of trafficking for labor exploitation in mining and construction sectors. It should continue to root out any official complicity with trafficking, and review suspected cases of labor exploitation.

Prosecution
The Government of Bolivia increased law enforcement efforts against trafficking crimes over the last year. Pursuant to a comprehensive law passed in 2006, the government prohibits all forms of trafficking, and prescribes penalties of up to 12 years' imprisonment, which are commensurate with that for rape and sufficiently stringent. Special anti-trafficking police and prosecutors opened 36 trafficking prosecutions across the country in 2006, and rescued more than 70 teenage victims from trafficking situations. In a landmark case in Cochabamba, the regional Attorney's Office secured the convictions of two traffickers for enslaving an 11-year-old child, resulting in jail sentences of three and six years each. The government also took important steps to confront suspected official involvement with trafficking by opening a criminal investigation of 18 public employees, including four members of the Bolivian Congress. Bolivian authorities cooperated in joint investigations of international trafficking cases with police from Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, and Spain. The government relies on outside sources for training and materials for key anti-trafficking personnel.

Protection
The Bolivian government committed more resources to assist trafficking victims, but services remain inadequate overall and unavailable to many victims, especially outside the capital. Nonetheless, the Prefecture of the Department of La Paz in June 2006 opened a shelter for victims of sexual exploitation that now provides care for 36 teenage girls. La Paz's city government also operates an emergency shelter which assists trafficking victims. The government does not encourage victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Although the government generally respects the rights of trafficking victims, some are jailed or penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The government increased prevention and public awareness efforts in 2006 by enacting a decree requiring international airports to air a television segment on the risks of trafficking. The Bolivian National Police launched a campaign to warn parents, school children, and municipal authorities about the twin dangers of human trafficking and drug use. The government also worked closely on prevention activities with NGOs and international organizations.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (Tier 2)

Bosnia and Herzegovina is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women and girls trafficked internationally and internally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Over the last year, an increased number of Bosnian victims were trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation within the country. There were some reports of trafficking of Roma children within Bosnia and Herzegovina for forced labor. Foreign victims originated primarily from Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Russia. Some victims are trafficked through Bosnia and Herzegovina to Western Europe for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increased efforts to address trafficking during the reporting period, particularly in the area of victim assistance. The government continued to actively investigate trafficking cases; however, sentences imposed on convicted trafficking offenders remained low or suspended. The government should be more proactive in aggressively prosecuting trafficking crimes by ensuring that penalties are sufficient to deter traffickers; it should also increase efforts to address trafficking-related complicity of public officials.

Prosecution
The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina significantly increased its law enforcement efforts over the last year. The government prohibits trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation through Article 186 of its criminal code. Penalties for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape. The law prescribes penalties for trafficking that are sufficiently stringent; however, some traffickers receive sentences that are light or suspended. The government reported 90 ongoing trafficking investigations in 2006, up from 70 the previous year. One convicted trafficker was sentenced to eight years' imprisonment for trafficking and six years for money laundering. This was the longest sentence ever imposed for trafficking offenses in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The judge also ordered seizure of the trafficker's apartment and payment of compensation to the victim in the amount of $62,500. A second defendant in the same case was convicted and was sentenced to five and a half years' imprisonment, and a third defendant was acquitted for lack of evidence. In the past year, 31 cases were prosecuted. In 2006, the strike force raided three well-known bars in central Bosnia, resulting in four arrests and criminal charges filed against 11 people suspected of involvement in trafficking. Although there were reports of official involvement in trafficking, there were no reported prosecutions or convictions of public officials complicit in trafficking.

Protection
The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina demonstrated increased efforts to protect victims of trafficking in 2006. The government encouraged victims to assist in the prosecution of traffickers. Victims also have the opportunity to file civil suits against their exploiters. The government provides legal alternatives to the removal of trafficking victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution through the provision of short- and long-term humanitarian visas. In 2006, 11 trafficking victims received residence permits on humanitarian grounds. Prosecutors can offer victims protected status through the government's witness protection program, if they determine a victim's safety is in jeopardy. There have been at least six reported cases of trafficking victims entering the program as protected witnesses. In some cases, victims and witnesses have been relocated to third countries. Victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked. The government and NGOs developed and signed a formal referral mechanism for screening, identifying, and assisting foreign victims. Police and border officers use a screening questionnaire to evaluate potential victims. The State Coordinator for Trafficking delegates victim assistance to five local anti-trafficking NGOs that provide shelter and care to victims, but oversees shelter management and adherence to standards. One NGO provides pro bono legal assistance to victims housed in NGO shelters.

Prevention
The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina demonstrated increased public awareness and prevention activities. The State Coordinator partnered with IOM to run a major national public awareness campaign, which included leaflets, billboards, television spots, and a 30-minute documentary aired on public and private television channels. The State Coordinator for Trafficking also participated in a number of local public awareness campaigns conducted by NGOs and spoke to groups of mayors, local police, social workers, and municipal court judges as part of a capacity-building program. In collaboration with Roma community leaders and an NGO, the State Coordinator for Trafficking raised awareness of child begging and forced labor of Romani children. Posters with anti-trafficking information and hotline numbers are placed along border crossings and at the Sarajevo International Airport.

BRAZIL (Tier 2)

Brazil is a source country primarily for women and children trafficked within the country for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, and for men trafficked internally for the purpose of forced labor. NGOs estimate that 500,000 children are in prostitution in Brazil. Brazilian women and girls are also trafficked for sexual exploitation to destinations in South America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Japan, the United States, and the Middle East. To a lesser extent, Brazil is a destination country for some men and women who migrate voluntarily from Bolivia, Peru, and China, but are subjected to conditions of forced labor in factories in major cities in Brazil. Child sex tourism is a serious problem within the country, particularly in the resort areas and coastal cities of Brazil's northeast. An estimated 25,000 Brazilian victims, mostly men, are trafficked within the country for forced agricultural labor, mostly to areas of the Amazon and the central state of Mato Grosso.

The Government of Brazil does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Over the last year, the government increased efforts to punish internal and transnational sex trafficking and took several measures to address forced labor, though prosecutions for forced labor remained lacking. In October 2006, President Lula directed the creation of a national plan of action against trafficking for all forms of exploitation, the coordination of governmental anti-trafficking efforts through the Secretariat of Justice, and the dedication of funding for the government's multi-sectoral anti-trafficking efforts. Prosecutions and convictions of trafficking offenders appeared to increase, and the Supreme Court strengthened the hand of the federal government in punishing slave labor through a November 2006 ruling. The government should increase prosecutions and convictions of traffickers, and institute more effective criminal penalties for forced labor trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Brazil made clear progress through law enforcement efforts against transnational and internal sex trafficking, though progress in efforts to punish acts of forced labor was less evident during the reporting period. Brazil does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though transnational and internal trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation is criminalized under Section 231 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties of 6 to 10 years' imprisonment, penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for rape. Brazil's laws do not criminalize all aspects of trafficking for labor exploitation, though forced labor is criminalized under statutes against slavery that prescribe penalties of one to three years' imprisonment, penalties that are not sufficiently stringent.

Brazil lacks a centralized collection and reporting system for anti-trafficking law enforcement data; therefore, no comprehensive data on trafficking investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences were available for the reporting period. Limited data, however, collected from several states showed an increase in anti-trafficking efforts. A trafficking prosecution in the state of Rio Grande do Norte in 2006 resulted in the conviction of 14 traffickers, an increase over the one conviction reported for the country in 2005. The police reportedly initiated at least 35 trafficking investigations in 2006. Also during the year, federal police launched six operations to curb international trafficking, which resulted in the arrest of 38 people for international trafficking in persons. After receiving anti-trafficking training earlier in the year, federal highway patrol officers in November 2006 arrested a woman in the state of Sao Paulo for internal sex trafficking, marking the first recorded arrest for internal trafficking since it became a federal offense.

The Ministry of Labor's Special Mobile Enforcement Groups continued aggressive efforts to curb slave labor in the remote Amazon, conducting 106 operations on 206 suspected sites of slave labor in 2006. Although there were no known convictions of slave labor offenders, the number of civil actions against practitioners of slave labor rose in 2006. Moreover, in December 2006, the Brazilian Supreme Court ruled that crimes related to the use of forced labor fell under federal jurisdiction and that all forced labor cases must henceforth be prosecuted in the federal court system, settling an issue of jurisdiction that had previously hampered prosecutions and shielding these cases from pressure in state and local courts. This new ruling has not yet been tested, however. In March 2007, President Lula vetoed a bill, passed by Brazil's parliament, which would have reduced the power of the Ministry of Labor inspectors to determine culpability at worksites and impose fines where slave labor has been found.

There were scattered reports of law enforcement officials' involvement in or facilitation of trafficking in persons, though there were no reports of investigations or prosecutions of official complicity. In a high profile case of slave labor, involving the 2005 conviction of Federal Senator Joao Ribeiro for forcing 38 workers to live in slave-like conditions, the $341,000 fine imposed by the court in February 2005 was reduced by an appellate court in October 2006 to $35,500.

In 2006, Brazil issued a new regulation that requires state financial institutions to bar financial services to entities on the Ministry of Labor's "dirty list," a public listing of persons and companies that have been documented by the government as exploiters of forced labor. The Ministry of Labor in August 2006 updated the "dirty list," which contains 178 names of companies and individuals, including Senator Joao Ribeiro. Slave labor, which is used in the production of charcoal in primitive Amazon camps, was the focus of a late 2006 international news report, which alleged that this slavery is linked to the production of Brazilian pig iron, a majority of which is exported to the United States. Indeed, several of the pig iron companies mentioned are already on the Ministry of Labor's "dirty list" for documented slave labor practices.

Child Sex Tourism
Although comprehensive data is not available, limited reporting indicates that police in various tourist centers conducted a number of investigations into the sexual exploitation of Brazilian children by foreign pedophiles, who largely come from Europe and North America. Sex tourism was prevalent in 398 of 1,514 tourist destinations along the northeast coast of Brazil, according to a study by the University of Brasilia. The government in 2006 released a "code of conduct to combat sex tourism and sexual exploitation," and the local governments of the states of Pernambuco, Espirito Santo, Amazonas, Parana, and the Federal District enacted laws requiring businesses to display public warnings of the criminal punishments for sexually exploiting children. Rio de Janeiro and Bahia had previously enacted similar legislation.

Protection
The Government of Brazil made improved efforts to protect victims of sex trafficking during the reporting period. Several government programs assisted victims of trafficking, although efforts often were inconsistent and under-funded. Government officials encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, although foreign victims are not offered legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Brazil's federal government funded the "Sentinela" shelter network throughout the country, which expanded from 400 to 1,104 shelters in 2006. The Brazilian Ministry of Justice and the UNODC continued to fund victim assistance centers in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janiero, Goias, and Ceara states in partnership with the respective state governments. The Ministry of Social Development and the Fight against Hunger provided emergency care for children and adolescent victims of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation. During surprise inspections of labor sites in remote areas of the Amazon, the Ministry of Labor's Special Mobile Enforcement Groups rescued a total of 3,390 victims of forced labor in 2006; victims were provided with immediate medical care, counseling, and limited compensation. Identified victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The government made greater efforts to prevent trafficking throughout the reporting period. At the direction of President Lula, the Ministry of Justice's Secretariat was tasked in October 2006 with forming a national committee on trafficking represented by 14 ministries and producing by the end of August 2007 a comprehensive national plan of action against trafficking, including budgeted allocations for funding of anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and victim protection. The National Secretariat for Justice, which coordinates the government's anti-trafficking efforts, continued to lead a governmental public-awareness campaign to deter international traffickers and increase awareness among potential victim populations. In conjunction with the UNODC, the Secretariat conducted a campaign which included radio ads and large posters stating "first they take your passport, then your freedom" in airports around the country. The second phase of the campaign, which included the creation of a separate database and police and prosecutor training, began in late 2006.

BULGARIA (Tier 2)

Bulgaria is a source, transit, and destination country for men and women trafficked from Moldova, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, and Armenia to Bulgaria and through Bulgaria to Spain, Austria, Germany, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Macedonia for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Men and women from Bulgaria are trafficked to Cyprus, Greece, and Turkey for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Roma children are trafficked within Bulgaria and to Austria, Italy, and other West European countries for purposes of forced begging and petty theft. Approximately 20 percent of identified trafficking victims in Bulgaria are children.

The Government of Bulgaria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Bulgaria improved its victim assistance infrastructure by opening a government-run child trafficking shelter and continued to demonstrate increased law enforcement efforts. However, Bulgaria's National Anti-Trafficking Commission could not effectively monitor and improve national and local efforts due to inadequate staffing. Bulgaria should improve support for the Executive Secretary of the Commission and ensure implementation of the National Anti-Trafficking Strategy, which was adopted in February 2005. The government should focus serious and sustained efforts to develop its crime statistics database. Bulgaria should also take steps to reduce the domestic demand for commercial sexual exploitation.

Prosecution
The Bulgarian government significantly improved its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Bulgaria prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor through Section 159 of its criminal code. Penalties prescribed for trafficking under Section 159 range from 1 to 15 years' imprisonment, are sufficiently stringent, and are commensurate with punishments for other grave crimes, such as rape. In 2006, police conducted 202 sex trafficking and 6 labor trafficking investigations, a significant increase from 134 sex trafficking and 7 labor trafficking investigations in 2005. In 2006, 129 persons were prosecuted, an increase from 63 in 2005. Convicted traffickers numbered 71, up from 34 convictions in 2005. During the reporting period, Bulgaria extradited 33 persons on trafficking charges at the request of other countries. There were reports of low-level law enforcement officials involved in trafficking; one police officer was convicted for trafficking in 2006.

Protection
Bulgaria made adequate victim assistance and protection efforts during the reporting period. In September 2006, the government opened two crisis centers that provide rehabilitative, psychological, and medical assistance specifically tailored to address the needs of child trafficking victims; each shelter has capacity for 10 children. These centers assisted approximately 20 children from September 2006 through March 2007. The government referred repatriated Bulgarian trafficking victims and foreign victims trafficked to Bulgaria to NGOs for legal, medical, and psychological assistance. All victims in Bulgaria are eligible for free medical and psychological care provided through public hospitals and NGOs. In 2006, 11 victims gave testimony in support of trafficking prosecutions, but none was protected under the full witness protection program. Victims are encouraged to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; victims who choose to cooperate with law enforcement investigators are provided with full residency and employment rights for the duration of the criminal proceedings. Foreign victims who choose not to cooperate in trafficking investigations are permitted to stay in Bulgaria for 1 month and 10 days before they are repatriated. Victims generally were not detained, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
Bulgaria demonstrated diminished efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The government relied exclusively on NGOs and the international community to fund and execute public awareness campaigns about the dangers of trafficking. The National Border Police actively monitored airports and land border crossings for evidence of trafficking in persons.

BURKINA FASO (Tier 2)

Burkina Faso is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation, with most victims being children. Within the country, children are trafficked for domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, forced agricultural labor, and forced labor in gold mines and stone quarries. Burkinabe children are trafficked to other West African countries for the same purposes listed above, with the majority likely trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire, and others trafficked to Mali, Benin, Nigeria, and Togo. Children are also trafficked from these West African countries to Burkina Faso for the same purposes listed above. To a lesser extent, Burkinabe women are trafficked to Europe for sexual exploitation. Women may be trafficked to Burkina Faso from Nigeria, Togo, Benin, and Niger for domestic servitude, forced labor in restaurants, and sexual exploitation.

The Government of Burkina Faso does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should draft and pass a law prohibiting trafficking of adults, impose more severe sentences on convicted traffickers, train border officials to identify traffickers and victims, and update and adopt its draft national action plan to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Burkina Faso demonstrated steady law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking over the last year. Burkina Faso does not prohibit all forms of trafficking. Through its 2003 Law No. 038-2003 Concerning the Definition of Child Trafficking in Burkina Faso, it criminalizes all forms of child trafficking. The prescribed maximum penalty of 10 years' imprisonment for this offense is sufficient but not commensurate with the higher penalties for rape. In 2006, local vigilance committees, police, and other security forces arrested 31 suspected traffickers. Eleven traffickers were convicted, 15 prosecutions are still open, and five persons were released due to lack of evidence. Sentences imposed on convicted traffickers were inadequate, however, with three receiving 1 to 12 months' imprisonment, and eight receiving suspended sentences. In October and December 2006, the government trained law enforcement officials in several provinces about trafficking with financial help and cooperation from its NGO partners. However, the government has yet to provide border officials with such training.

Protection
The Government of Burkina Faso continued to make progress in protecting trafficking victims during the past year. The government continued to operate a center in Ouagadougou for the rehabilitation and reintegration of at-risk children, including trafficking victims. With assistance from UNICEF, the government also continued to provide land grants and personnel to operate 21 trafficking victim transit centers. During the year, these centers assisted approximately 1,043 victims, who were rescued by police, security forces, or local vigilance committees. In 2006, Burkinabe officials cooperated with Malian authorities to intercept and repatriate 39 Burkinabe children trafficked to Mali and 22 Malian children trafficked to Burkina Faso. The government does not encourage victims to participate in trafficking investigations or prosecutions. The government contributes funds to help repatriate foreign victims to their countries of origin after a short stay in transit centers, but it does not provide legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims are not penalized for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Burkina Faso made solid efforts to combat trafficking during the reporting period. Government-run media broadcast anti-trafficking and child labor radio and television programs and debates, often in collaboration with NGOs. Burkina Faso and the Dutch government jointly financed the film "Golden Ransom," which addresses child labor in gold mines, holding discussions after screenings throughout the country. The government's anti-trafficking committee, established in 2002, continued to meet quarterly. A national action plan to combat trafficking, drafted in 2004, was adopted by the Cabinet in April 2007.

BURMA (Tier 3)

Burma is a source country for women, children, and men trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Burmese women and children are trafficked to Thailand, the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), Bangladesh, Malaysia, South Korea, and Macau for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced labor. Some Burmese migrating abroad for better economic opportunities wind up in situations of forced or bonded labor or forced prostitution. Burmese children are trafficked to Thailand as forced street hawkers and beggars, unlawfully used internally as child soldiers and trafficked to work in shops, agriculture, and small-scale industries. Reports indicate some trafficking of Bangladeshi persons to Malaysia and P.R.C. nationals to Thailand through Burma. Internal sex trafficking of women and girls occurs primarily from villages to urban centers and transportation and economic hubs, such as truck stops, fishing villages, border towns, and mining and military camps. The military junta's gross economic mismanagement, human rights abuses, and its policy of using forced labor are the top causal factors for Burma's significant trafficking problem. The official ban on overland emigration of most young women drives some seeking to leave the country into the hands of "travel facilitators," who may have ties with traffickers.

The Government of Burma does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Military and civilian officials are directly involved in trafficking for forced labor and the unlawful conscription of child soldiers. During 2006, the Burmese government did not take action against military or civilian officials who engaged in forced labor. Relations with the ILO, which are focused on addressing forced labor in Burma, improved in 2006 with the halt of death threats directed at the ILO Liaison Officer in Rangoon and government threats to withdraw from the organization. The ruling junta implemented a moratorium on prosecution of forced labor complainants and released two prisoners who were jailed for supporting forced labor complaints. The government acknowledged that forced labor is a problem, and began negotiations with ILO on a mechanism to address forced labor, but did not otherwise take actions to stop it. The government continued to deny UNICEF permission to make unannounced visits to military recruitment centers. Over the past year, the government took steps to combat trafficking for sexual exploitation by increasing law enforcement efforts at border crossings, raising the number of trafficking arrests, prosecutions, and convictions, and conducting training for law enforcement officers.

Prosecution
The Burmese government demonstrated progress to combat sex trafficking throughout the past year, but continued to take no law enforcement action against official or military-sanctioned forced labor. Burma criminally prohibits sex and labor trafficking through its 2005 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law. Penalties for sex trafficking are commensurate with those for rape. The law prescribes penalties for trafficking that are sufficiently stringent. The lack of a functioning independent judiciary, however, results in military trials lacking transparency, accountability, and due process. The ruling junta claims that its police identified over 400 traffickers in 191 cases in 2006, and information sharing with international organizations improved, but government statistics cannot be independently verified. Similarly, the regime reports that 65 trafficking offenders were convicted under the new law with offenders receiving sentences ranging from under five years to life imprisonment. Past data provided by the regime conflated smuggling and trafficking crimes. Recently, police units that have received anti-trafficking training have provided separate smuggling and trafficking statistics, while other officials do not differentiate. Authorities report having exposed a trafficking ring based in Ruili that reportedly sold over 90 women into the P.R.C. as forced brides, arrested 34 suspects, and rescued 17 victims. In January 2007, police reportedly arrested an additional 47 suspected traffickers. Although pervasive corruption is present along the borders, there were no reports of actions taken against officials complicit in profiting from or involved in trafficking.

Protection
The Burmese government requires a 30-day program of "rehabilitation" for most victims of external trafficking. It provides much more limited assistance to female victims of internal sex trafficking, forced child labor, or male victims of forced labor. The Department of Social Welfare provides temporary shelter to repatriated trafficking victims at eight vocational training centers. In 2006, over 80 victims spent time in these shelters. The government encourages internationally trafficked victims to assist in investigations. Victims have a right to file civil suits and seek legal action against the traffickers, though no such civil suits have been documented. Victims are penalized through the aforementioned "rehabilitation" program that does not respect victims' privacy and does not allow them to choose their future actions upon removal from a trafficking situation. The government has no formal procedures to identify victims of trafficking among the many Burmese who are deported from neighboring countries. The government refers victims to the few NGOs and international organizations providing reintegration assistance.

Prevention
The Burmese government marginally increased its efforts to prevent international trafficking in persons. The Women's Affairs Federation and National Committee for Women's Affairs conducted almost 8,000 educational sessions for women around the country that included information about the risks of trafficking. The government also distributed pamphlets and newsletters by an international organization, published press articles, and aired television and radio plays on trafficking. The Central Police Training Institute includes trafficking in its curriculum for incoming cadets and in-service police training.

BURUNDI (Tier 2 Watch List)

Burundi is a source country for children trafficked within the country for the purposes of child soldiering, domestic servitude, and commercial sexual exploitation. The country continues to emerge from civil war in which government and rebel forces unlawfully used approximately 7,000 children in a variety of capacities, including as cooks, porters, spies, sex slaves, and combatants. The one rebel faction that remained outside the peace process until signing a cease-fire in September 2006, the PALIPEHUTU-FNL (Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People-National Liberation Force-also known as the FNL), continued to recruit and use hundreds of young children as fighters, manual laborers, and logistical support. There are infrequent reports that some government soldiers unlawfully force children to perform menial tasks. Burundian children are trafficked internally for domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation; there were reports of destitute parents selling their daughters into domestic servitude or encouraging them to enter prostitution.

The Government of Burundi does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Burundi is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons over the last year, as well as complicity in trafficking in persons through its military's continued practice of forcing children into servitude, performing work in support of the armed forces. To improve its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should investigate the nature of child commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude within the country and take steps to remove affected children from these situations. Government forces should immediately cease the unlawful practice of using children to perform menial tasks or act as informants and release detained children suspected of association with the FNL.

Prosecution
The government failed to undertake any discernable anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. Burundi's laws do not prohibit trafficking in persons, but its criminal code prohibits forced labor, kidnapping, brothel keeping, and pimping. There were no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions under these statutes during the reporting period. In late 2006, a committee comprised of the Second Vice President of the National Assembly, the Minister of Justice's Director of Legislation, NGOs, and civil society completed a preliminary draft of a code outlawing crimes against humanity; the draft was introduced and debated in the National Assembly in November 2006. The proposed statutes contain mandatory sentences of five to 10 years' imprisonment for human trafficking, including such offenses as sexual slavery and forced prostitution. This new legislation will also allow any act of trafficking during times of future conflict or unrest to be considered a war crime. Although official policy prohibits such practices, soldiers reportedly forced children to carry wood and water; police stated that, in at least one case, the soldiers involved faced disciplinary action. The Ministry of Defense confirmed that soldiers with such disciplinary problems would be the first to leave the military during downsizing; however, there are no known cases of such soldiers being encouraged to leave or decommissioned.

Protection
The government does not have a formalized system for identifying victims of trafficking or referring them to organizations that provide protective services. It did not encourage victims to participate in investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenders; nor did it ensure that victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. In mid-April, the government reopened the Randa "Welcome Center," a demobilization camp in Bubanza Province, to house captured or surrendered FNL combatants until the completion of peace negotiations. Without a peace agreement between the government and the rebel group, FNL child combatants could not be demobilized or receive the benefits package afforded to the country's other former child soldiers. By August, the camp housed more than 450 detainees, of which 26 were children; a number of these child victims needed, but did not receive, medical and psychosocial care. Detained children were not separated from adult combatants, placed in school, or provided with constructive activities. During the year, the government also detained more than 100 minors, who were under suspicion of association with the FNL, in prisons and police holding cells across the country; some of them were used by the police and military as informants, thus further jeopardizing their security and prospects for successful reintegration. Twenty-two of these minors remained in detention as of March 2007.

In August, the Ministry of Defense's National Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) Commission assumed responsibility for child soldier demobilization from the National Structure for Child Soldiers; the commission turned over day-to-day care of demobilized children to four local NGOs. In November, the commission transferred the 26 children at Randa camp to the government's demobilization center in Gitega, where NGOs provided counseling and family tracing. Though the September 2006 cease-fire agreement between the government and the PALIPEHUTU-FNL requires the rebel group to document the number and location of child soldiers within their ranks, hundreds of children remain with the FNL awaiting identification and demobilization. The government did not provide protective services to any other categories of trafficking victims during the reporting period.

Prevention
The government did not initiate a vigorous public awareness campaign. Nevertheless, in 2006, the Ministry of National Solidarity and Human Rights, in conjunction with the National DDR Commission, began sponsoring weekly radio spots in the major cites and provinces to better educate the population about the perils, consequences, and inhumanity surrounding the recruitment, participation, and forced labor of child soldiers, as well as to dispel the negative stigmas families impose on former child soldiers. Burundi has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CAMBODIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Cambodia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Cambodian women and children are trafficked to Thailand and Malaysia for sexual exploitation and forced labor in factories or as domestic servants, while Cambodian men are trafficked for forced labor in the agriculture, fishing, and construction sectors in these countries. Cambodian children are trafficked to Vietnam and Thailand for forced begging. Cambodia is a transit and destination country for the trafficking of Vietnamese and Chinese women and children for sexual exploitation. Sex trafficking of women and children occurs within Cambodia's borders, from rural areas to cities such as Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville.

The Government of Cambodia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Cambodia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year because it failed to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, particularly in addressing reports of public officials' complicity in trafficking. Although senior level government officials are committed to anti-trafficking efforts, there are reports that public officials' complicity in trafficking limited the government's success in combating trafficking. The government also failed to pass a much-needed comprehensive anti-trafficking law that has been in the drafting process for the past seven years. Cambodia should pass and enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation and make greater efforts to prosecute and convict public officials who profit from or are involved in trafficking.

Prosecution
The Cambodian government demonstrated minimal progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Cambodia prohibits most, but not all forms of trafficking through its 1996 Law on the Suppression of the Kidnapping, Trafficking and Exploitation of Humans, and its 1997 Labor Law which covers debt bondage, slavery, and forced child labor. Penalties for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape. The laws prescribe penalties for trafficking that are sufficiently stringent. Cambodia's police investigated 49 cases of human trafficking involving 65 perpetrators, of which 10 convictions were handed down over the past year, with penalties ranging from 1 to 18 years' imprisonment. In 2006, 37 cases were tried in the Phnom Penh Municipal Court, resulting in the conviction of 53 perpetrators, with penalties ranging from 5 to 24 years' imprisonment. An anti-trafficking NGO reported the arrests of 21 suspected traffickers and convictions of 28 traffickers in 2006, with penalties ranging between 1 and 19 years' imprisonment, and civil compensation to the victims of between 3 million and 10 million riels ($750-2,500). It is possible that some of these statistics overlap as there is no consolidated data collection in Cambodia. During the year, the government prosecuted several police officials for trafficking-related corruption charges. The former Deputy Director of the Police Anti-Human Trafficking and Juvenile Protection Department was convicted for complicity in trafficking and sentenced to five years' imprisonment; two officials under his supervision were also convicted and sentenced to seven years' imprisonment. Police arrested two military officers and one member of the military police for running brothels and trafficking; one was sentenced to a five-year suspended sentence and fined five million riels ($1,250). In late 2006, an Appeals Court released the owner and manager, of a notorious brothel known for trafficking of young girls and women. The brothel re-opened under a new name and in early 2007, police conducted a raid and re-arrested the owner, manager and two others. The Prime Minister urged the Supreme Council of the Magistrate to investigate the Appeals Court decision. Svay Pak, a notorious brothel area in Phnom Penh that had been shut down in 2005 by police anti-trafficking operations, began operating again in early 2007.

Child Sex Tourism
In 2006, 13 foreign child sex tourists were arrested by Cambodian police and three were prosecuted to conviction, with sentences ranging from 1 to 18 years' imprisonment. One American citizen charged with pedophilia was released on bail in Sihanoukville under questionable circumstances. Cambodia continued to assist U.S. law enforcement authorities in the transfer to U.S. custody of Americans who have sexually exploited children in Cambodia. During the past year, Cambodia coordinated the deportation of one American national who was accused of child sex tourism for prosecution in the United States under the extraterritorial provisions of the U.S. Government's PROTECT Act. Additionally, Cambodia assisted in the deportation of two other American nationals with outstanding U.S. charges for child sexual exploitation and child pornography.

Protection
The Government of Cambodia continued to provide limited assistance to victims, while relying on NGOs and international organizations for the bulk of victim protective services. The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation (MOSAVY) operates two temporary shelters and collaborates with NGOs to assist initial reintegration of victims. Victims are encouraged by police to provide testimony, but credible fears of retaliation from traffickers continue to prevent many victims or witnesses from collaborating with law enforcement. Victims may file civil suits and pursue legal action against traffickers. The rights of victims are respected and they are not detained, jailed, fined, or deported. Law enforcement and immigration officials implement formal procedures to identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as girls in prostitution, and to refer them to provincial and municipal Departments of Social Affairs, where they are interviewed and referred to short- or long-term NGO shelters depending on their needs. In 2006, 252 Cambodian victims who had been trafficked to Thailand were repatriated by the Thai government in coordination with MOSAVY and Cambodian NGOs. The Ministry of Tourism provided workshops to hospitality industry owners and staff on how to identify and intervene in cases of trafficking or sexual exploitation of children.

Prevention
The Cambodian government demonstrated modest efforts to prevent trafficking. The Ministry of Interior's Anti-Trafficking Police Unit conducted education campaigns targeting school children about the risks of trafficking and their rights. During 2006, the police campaign reached approximately 20,000 students in Siem Reap and 3,000 students in Phnom Penh. Working with NGOs and international organizations, the government implemented a national public awareness campaign through posters, television, radio, and use of traditional Cambodian theater. Cambodia has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CAMEROON (Tier 2)

Cameroon is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Most victims are children trafficked within the country, with girls trafficked for domestic servitude, to work as nannies, or for sexual exploitation. Both boys and girls are trafficked within Cameroon for forced labor in sweatshops, bars, restaurants, and on tea plantations. Children are trafficked to Cameroon from Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic, Congo, Benin, and Niger for forced labor in agriculture, street vending and spare-parts shops. Cameroonian children are trafficked to Gabon and Equatorial Guinea for domestic servitude, and forced market and agricultural labor. Cameroon is a transit country for children trafficked between Gabon and Nigeria, and from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia. Cameroonian women are sent by sex trafficking rings to Europe, primarily France, Germany, and Switzerland. There are also reports that a religious leader in Cameroon's Northern Province holds slaves within his locked compound.

The Government of Cameroon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should pass its draft law prohibiting trafficking of adults, increase its law enforcement efforts and develop a system for collecting trafficking crime data, investigate reports of slavery, strengthen efforts to rescue and care for victims, increase trafficking awareness-raising initiatives, and adopt its draft national action plan to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Cameroon made weak law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the last year. Cameroon does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though it criminalizes child trafficking and slavery through its 2005 anti-child trafficking law, which prescribes a penalty of 20 years' imprisonment - a punishment sufficiently stringent and more severe than that for rape. The government continued to draft a law prohibiting trafficking of adult women. In November 2006, police arrested nine individuals for trafficking 16 Nigerian children from Nigeria through Cameroon en route to Saudi Arabia. According to NGOs, the government may have prosecuted or convicted traffickers during the year; however, it did not report this due to its lack of a crime data collection system. Eight traffickers whose cases have been pending since 2005 are still awaiting trial. The government does not provide trafficking training to law enforcement officials.

Protection
The Government of Cameroon demonstrated minimal efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. The government continued operating temporary shelters in all 10 provincial capitals of the country. These shelters provided care to victims while officials located their families. The government also continued to refer victims to NGOs and private orphanages for assistance. In 2006, the government began recruiting 60 social workers it plans to train by 2008 to work in its trafficking victim centers. In November 2006, police rescued 16 Nigerian children being trafficked through Cameroon to Saudi Arabia, referred them to a Cameroonian NGO, and are conducting investigations to locate the children's families in Nigeria. The government does not encourage victims, most of whom are children, to participate in investigations or prosecutions. Cameroon provides short term residency, a limited legal alternative to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Cameroon made insufficient efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. With NGOs and the ILO, the government in June 2006 jointly organized a conference, concert and exhibit commemorating the World Day Against Child Labor. In September 2006, the Ministry of Social Affairs launched a radio campaign on 18 stations throughout the country to educate the public about the dangers of child labor exploitation.

CANADA (Tier 1)

Canada is principally a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked mostly from Asia and Eastern Europe for sexual exploitation, but victims from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East also have been identified in Canada. Many trafficking victims are from Asian countries such as South Korea, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam, but some victims are trafficked from Romania, Hungary, and Russia. Asian victims are trafficked more frequently to Vancouver and Western Canada, while Eastern European and Latin American victims are more often trafficked to Toronto and Eastern Canada. A significant number of victims, particularly South Korean females, transit Canada before being trafficked into the United States. Some Canadian girls and women are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Canada fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Over the last year, Canada strengthened victim protections by providing foreign trafficking victims with temporary residency status and immediate access to health benefits and services. In the coming year, the government should intensify efforts to make effective use of its recently-enacted anti-trafficking laws to increase investigations and prosecutions of suspected traffickers. The government also may wish to direct more anti-trafficking training to local law enforcement personnel, who are more likely to come in contact with trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Canada sustained law-enforcement efforts against human traffickers during the reporting year. Canada prohibits all forms of human trafficking through Law C-49, which was enacted in late 2005, and which prescribes a maximum penalty of 14 years' imprisonment, a penalty that is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. Transnational human trafficking is specifically prohibited by Section 118 of Canada's Immigration and Refugee Protection Act (IRPA), which carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $1 million fine. Law C-49 also prohibits a defendant from receiving a financial or material benefit from trafficking; this offense is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. Withholding or destroying a victim's identification or travel documents to facilitate human trafficking is punishable by up to five years in prison. Canada also prohibits child sex tourism through a law with extraterritorial application. During the reporting period, the government opened 10 trafficking investigations under the IRPA and Law C-49, reflecting a decrease overall from 2005. The government in 2006 secured five trafficking-related convictions, resulting in sentences of up to eight years in prison. Nine trafficking prosecutions are ongoing. Most trafficking cases are prosecuted on the provincial level.

In November 2006, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) organized anti-trafficking training in Eastern Canada for law enforcement, victim service providers, and NGOs. The RCMP also has developed anti-trafficking videos, pamphlets, and posters, which are distributed widely. Canada works closely with foreign governments, particularly the United States and Mexico, on international trafficking cases. There have been no reports of official complicity with human trafficking.

Protection
The government expanded protections for trafficking victims during the reporting period. In May 2006, Canada authorized issuance of renewable temporary residency permits for foreign trafficking victims, in addition to guaranteed access to essential and emergency medical care, dental care, and trauma counseling. Trafficking victims are not required to testify against their traffickers to maintain their temporary immigration status. Victims' rights are generally respected, and victims are not penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government encourages victims to assist in the investigation or prosecution of their traffickers. Canadian law provides for formal victim assistance in court and other services, and victims may submit a victim impact statement for the court to consider when sentencing an offender. Canada has a witness protection program, although no trafficking victims have utilized this service yet. Canadian officials, especially border agents, pro-actively screen for trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as persons detained for immigration violations.

In general, victim support services are administered on the provincial or territorial level. While each province or territory provides services for crime victims, including trafficking victims, they do not all follow the same model, sometimes leading to uneven services across the country. However, most jurisdictions provide access to shelter services, short-term counseling, court assistance, and specialized services, such as child victim witness assistance and rape counseling. Canada funds NGOs through a Victim's Fund, which makes monies available to fill gaps in victim services. In 2006, the government provided $5 million to support this initiative. Canada also supports a number of domestic and international programs for trafficking victims. Law-enforcement and social service officials receive specialized training to identify trafficking victims and attend to their needs. Consular officials at Canadian embassies, especially in source and transit countries, receive training on protections and assistance to potential trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government increased anti-trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. Canada coordinates anti-trafficking policies through its Interdepartmental Working Group and the Human Trafficking National Coordination Center, which received increased staffing and resources in 2006. The government continued awareness-raising campaigns, such as supporting an anti-trafficking Web site and distributing posters and materials, including anti-trafficking pamphlets printed in 14 languages. High-level government officials, including Canadian ambassadors posted abroad, condemned human trafficking in public speeches. Canada annually funds anti-trafficking programs domestically and around the world, and contributes funds to international organizations such as UNODC. Canada hosts and participates in international anti-trafficking conferences, sharing "best practices" and other information.

During the reporting period, Canada took steps to distribute anti-trafficking information to recipients of "exotic dancer" visas - which have been used to facilitate trafficking in the past - to inform them of their rights, and to prevent potential abuses. Visa officers are trained to detect fraud or abuse, and adult entertainment establishments that wish to employ foreign workers as "exotic dancers" are required to follow certain regulatory mandates. In addressing the demand for sexual exploitation, Ontario courts reported sending defendants convicted for soliciting prostitution to a Toronto "John School," to educate them on the exploitation of prostitution.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (Tier 2 Watch List)

The Central African Republic (C.A.R.) is a source, transit and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. While the majority of child victims are trafficked internally, some are also trafficked to and from Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Children may also be trafficked from Rwanda to the C.A.R. Children are trafficked for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, forced labor in diamond mines, shops and other forced commercial labor activities, such as ambulant vending. Awareness of trafficking in the C.A.R. is underdeveloped. No comprehensive trafficking studies have been conducted and little concrete data exists. A 2005 UNICEF study on child sexual exploitation, however, found over 40 sex trafficking cases in Bangui and four provinces. Indigenous pygmies may also be subjected to forced labor or labor in slave-like conditions within the C.A.R.

The Government of the C.A.R. does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. The C.A.R. is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons over the previous year. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the C.A.R. should pass its draft law prohibiting all forms of trafficking, investigate whether its significant population of street and other destitute children are victims of trafficking, liaise with NGOs to provide specific assistance to trafficking victims, and educate law enforcement officials and the public about trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of the Central African Republic made some efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement during the reporting period. The country's laws do not prohibit any form of trafficking in persons. The government failed to report any trafficking arrests, prosecutions or convictions. The government in mid-2006 drafted a law prohibiting all forms of trafficking, and the Ministry of Justice hosted a series of technical committee meetings to make final comments on the legislation. In August 2006, the Central African Republic entered into a bilateral agreement with Cameroon to combat transnational crime, including trafficking. The government does not provide any specialized training to law enforcement officials about trafficking.

Protection
The C.A.R. government demonstrated modest efforts to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period. Because awareness of trafficking in the C.A.R. began only recently, neither the government nor NGOs operate shelters providing specific care to trafficking victims. However, the government has a shelter for orphans and destitute children, some of whom may be trafficking victims. In addition, the government also refers destitute children to NGOs for care. The Minister of Social Affairs has begun to organize an NGO network to improve government and civil society cooperation in providing care to children in distress, including trafficking victims. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. The government does not arrest or detain victims.

Prevention
The Government of the C.A.R. took some steps to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The government created an inter-ministerial committee to combat child trafficking, composed of nine ministry representatives. The Ministry of Social Affairs worked with UNICEF to develop a National Action Plan to prevent child sexual abuse, including child sex trafficking. The Inter-Ministerial Committee adopted this plan in September 2006. The government is planning a trafficking awareness event in 2007 on African Children's Day.

CHAD (Tier 2 Watch List)

Chad is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. The majority of children are trafficked within Chad for involuntary domestic servitude, herding, forced begging, or sexual exploitation. Chadian children are also trafficked to Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria for cattle herding. Minors may also be trafficked from Cameroon and the Central African Republic to Chad's oil producing regions for sexual exploitation. Reports indicate that Chadian rebels and the Chadian National Army unlawfully recruit minors into the armed forces. UNHCR reported that Sudanese rebels recruit Sudanese minors into armed forces from refugee camps in Chad.

The Government of Chad does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. Chad is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking over the past year. To strengthen its response to trafficking, Chad should pass its draft law prohibiting child trafficking, closely monitor its armed forces to ensure minors are not unlawfully recruited, enforce trafficking-related laws to arrest and prosecute traffickers, liaise with NGOs and international organizations to care for victims, and increase efforts to raise awareness about trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Chad made minimal efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement during the reporting period. Chadian law does not prohibit trafficking in persons. A draft 2004 law against child trafficking has yet to be passed. A 2005 Ministry of Justice-sponsored executive decree to harmonize Chadian law with international standards against child labor exploitation has yet to be submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval. The government did not provide data on trafficking prosecutions or convictions during the year. The government arrested traffickers of a 16-year-old child, but failed to prosecute them due to lack of child-specific provisions in the penal code. A local NGO reported that after much urging from civil society, police arrested a child sex trafficker under kidnapping laws, placing him in jail from May to July, 2006, but he escaped before the government could take further legal action. Police arrested another suspected child sex trafficker in August 2006 under kidnapping laws, but released the suspect without taking further legal action. NGOs report that local officials use intermediaries to recruit child cattle herders. While the government has conducted some investigations, no officials have been penalized for involvement in trafficking children for herding.

Protection
The government demonstrated weak efforts to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period. In August, Chadian officials rescued a 16-year-old victim who was reunited with her parents and helped return a trafficked child rescued by Nigerian authorities to his home village. Police also rescued two victims of sex trafficking in February 2007. The government lacks shelters specifically for trafficking victims, but operates a shelter that provides some care to male street children, some of whom may be trafficking victims. Government authorities have not established strong ties with NGOs to provide care for victims. Authorities do not regularly conduct investigations of trafficking cases to identify and rescue victims. Despite requests to do so by international organization officials, Chadian authorities have failed to take measures to protect Sudanese children in refugee camps in Chad from being recruited by Sudanese rebels for armed conflict. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Chad continued modest efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. The government, in collaboration with UNICEF and other partners, staged two public awareness-raising rallies on the exploitation of children as herders and domestics workers in Metekaga and Nderguigui; 6,000 people were present. Government-controlled television aired anti-trafficking documentaries and government radio broadcast programs for parents about how to protect children from traffickers. The government denied reports that the Chadian National Army recruits minors. However, it agreed to cooperate with UNICEF to conduct a survey on child soldiers in Chad in 2007. Chad has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CHILE (Tier 2)

Chile is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Most victims of sex trafficking are Chilean women and girls who are trafficked within the country. Chileans are trafficked to neighboring countries, the United States, Spain, and Japan for sexual and labor exploitation. Foreign victims are brought to Chile for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor from Peru, Argentina, Colombia, Bolivia, and China. Chinese nationals transit Chile en route to Mexico, the United States, and Canada.

The Government of Chile does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made solid efforts to raise public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking, to coordinate government efforts to combat trafficking, and to support NGO victim-assistance programs. In the coming year, the government should enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation to criminalize all forms of trafficking and increase training for judges, police, and key criminal-justice personnel.

Prosecution
The Government of Chile continued to improve its law enforcement efforts against traffickers. Chile does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though it criminalizes transnational trafficking for sexual exploitation through Article 367 of its penal code. Penalties under this statute range from three to 20 years' imprisonment, depending on whether aggravated circumstances exist. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties for rape and other grave crimes. However, the government does not prohibit labor trafficking and some forms of internal trafficking. A draft anti-trafficking law is now pending before Chile's Chamber of Deputies; it should be passed so that all forms of trafficking are clearly prohibited and punished. During the reporting period, the government opened 13 trafficking investigations, completed two prosecutions, and obtained one conviction, which resulted in a six-year sentence. The government also opened 94 investigations into the promotion and facilitation of child prostitution, obtaining nine convictions. Chilean authorities reported difficulties, however, in obtaining convictions in trafficking cases where witnesses had not been physically victimized or injured. Chilean police engaged in covert anti-trafficking operations and stings and incorporated trafficking into police training programs in 2006. The government works closely with neighboring governments and the United States on international trafficking cases. No government officials were investigated or prosecuted for complicity with trafficking during the reporting period.

Protection
The Chilean government made solid efforts to assist trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government systematically identifies and refers trafficking victims to NGOs and shelters, where they receive psychological counseling and support. The government also funds victim-assistance programs and projects. Chilean authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. There were no reports that victims were punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Trafficking victims may remain in Chile during legal proceedings against their traffickers, and may apply for legal residency. The government works with foreign governments to facilitate the safe return of Chilean victims trafficked abroad.

Prevention
The government continued prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government conducted regular education and outreach campaigns, which were geared to prevent the sexual exploitation of minors. The government also continued to conduct joint public awareness-raising projects with NGOs and international organizations, and it funded anti-trafficking training programs and projects.

CHINA (Tier 2 Watch List)

The People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) is a source, transit, and destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Children are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of trafficking in P.R.C. is internal, but there is also considerable international trafficking of P.R.C. citizens to Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and North America, which often occurs within a larger flow of human smuggling. Women are lured through false promises of legitimate employment only to be forced into commercial sexual exploitation largely in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan. There also are cases involving P.R.C. men and women smuggled into destination countries throughout the world at an enormous personal financial cost and then forced into commercial sexual exploitation or exploitative labor in order to repay debts to traffickers. Women and children are trafficked into China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and prostitution. Most North Koreans seeking to leave North Korea enter northeastern China voluntarily, but some of these individuals, after they enter P.R.C. in a vulnerable, undocumented status, are then sold into prostitution, marriage, or forced labor.

Domestic trafficking remains the most significant problem in China, with an estimated minimum of 10,000 to 20,000 victims trafficked internally each year. International organizations report that 90 percent are women and children, trafficked primarily from Anhui, Henan, Hunan, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou Provinces to prosperous provinces along P.R.C.'s east coast for sexual exploitation. While it is difficult to determine if P.R.C.'s male-female birth ratio imbalance, with more males than females, is currently affecting trafficking of women for brides, some experts believe that it has already or may become a contributing factor.

The Government of P.R.C. does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. China is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to improve comprehensive victim protection services and address trafficking for involuntary servitude. China made improvements in some areas, such as by sustaining efforts to enforce its laws against trafficking and showing some improvements in victim care in key geographic locations by building shelters to provide trafficking victims with short-term care. It failed, however, to improve comprehensive victim assistance in a number of locations and continued to treat North Korean victims of trafficking as economic migrants, routinely deporting them back to horrendous conditions in North Korea. China improved its cross-border anti-trafficking cooperation with Vietnam and at times cooperated with the United States law enforcement agencies on select human smuggling cases. The two sides established a working group on human smuggling under the framework of the U.S.-China Joint Liaison Group on law enforcement cooperation. China's efforts to combat trafficking for forced labor remained inadequate. China should take significant measures to improve in these areas; revise its anti-trafficking provisions to align with its international obligations, including prohibiting the commercial sexual exploitation of children under age 18 and all forms of forced labor; and proceed with its plans to finalize and adopt the National Action Plan.

Prosecution
China sustained its record of criminal law enforcement against traffickers over the reporting period, though government data is difficult to verify and appears to conflate trafficking with human smuggling and illegal adoptions. P.R.C. law criminalizes forced prostitution, abduction, and the commercial sexual exploitation of girls under 14 through its criminal code. Prescribed penalties under these provisions, including life imprisonment and the death penalty, are sufficiently stringent to deter and commensurate with those prescribed for grave crimes. China does not prohibit commercial sexual exploitation involving coercion or fraud, nor does it prohibit all forms of trafficking, such as debt bondage. While Article 244 of its criminal code bans forced labor by employers, the prescribed penalties of up to three years' imprisonment and/or a fine under this law are not sufficiently stringent, though serious cases can draw harsher penalties. During the reporting period, China reported investigating 3,371 cases of trafficking of women and children. These figures, however, may include cases of child abduction for adoption, which is not considered a trafficking offense for Report evaluation purposes, or human smuggling. Throughout the country, provincial governments rescued 371 victims and arrested 415 suspected traffickers. Between June and September 2006, China improved cooperation with Vietnamese authorities, jointly disrupting 13 trafficking networks and rescuing 193 victims. The government reportedly launched similar operations with Thailand and Burma in late 2006. China did not provide data for its overall conviction record; at least six traffickers were convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in December 2006 in Anhui Province.

Involuntary servitude of Chinese nationals within China and abroad persisted, though the extent of the problem is undocumented. The government did not report any investigations, arrests, or prosecutions for this offense. According to reports in China's official media, in at least four cases, China imposed prison sentences and fines against employers who restricted the freedom of migrant workers. Over the reporting period, the Ministry of Labor increased its force of full- and part-time labor inspectors to strengthen efforts to address coercive work practices. Although the Chinese Government has cracked down on general corruption, it did not demonstrate concerted efforts to investigate and punish government officials specifically for complicity in trafficking.

Protection
China made modest progress during the reporting period to protect victims of trafficking, focusing particular attention to its vulnerable southern border provinces. The Ministry of Public Security (MPS) reported opening two Border Liaison Offices (BLO) along the border with Burma and Vietnam in the fall of 2006. The BLOs provide short-term shelter and can provide medical care. With assistance from the All-China Women's Federation (ACWF), a government-funded and directed nationwide social organization, victims are then assisted with repatriation. MPS officers in these BLOs have reportedly received training to help them better identify trafficking victims. Additionally, the ACWF reports to have opened shelters in Guangxi, Jiangsu, Yunnan, and Sichuan Provinces. Provincial authorities in Guangxi also established a Border Trafficking Aid Center in February 2006 that provides shelter, medical care, and short-term rehabilitation for up to 30 victims. The Women's Federation and NGOs have set up national and regional hotlines that can help women obtain legal advice and assistance.

Protection services remain temporary and inadequate to address victims' needs; for example, in Yunnan Province, victims of commercial sexual exploitation are not offered psychological assistance and are generally sent home after a few days. The government relies on organizations such as Save the Children to safely repatriate victims. China has taken steps to improve intra-governmental coordination and cooperation with organizations outside of government in the most vulnerable provinces.

China has taken some steps to better identify and protect some foreign and domestic trafficking victims, particularly through enhanced cross-border cooperation. Nevertheless, some trafficking victims, including some mainland Chinese victims repatriated from Taiwan and trafficking victims from North Korea, have faced punishments; or, in the case of North Koreans whom China considers economic migrants, systematic deportation. The government does not provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Women found in prostitution are, in many instances, automatically treated as criminals without adequate efforts to identify whether any are victims of trafficking. The MPS states that Chinese trafficking victims returning from abroad were not punished or fined, but the ACWF reports that protection from punishment is only on an ad hoc basis with intervention from ACWF staff.

Prevention
China increased efforts to prevent trafficking in persons this year. The government cooperated with neighboring countries to dismantle several cross-border trafficking networks trafficking women and children. Yunnan Province authorities held a media outreach seminar to raise awareness among journalists of anti-trafficking strategies, victim protection, and relevant legislation. Other public awareness programs included: a campaign by the Sichuan authorities targeting major labor markets with informational posters, public service announcements on large television screens in the markets; and the distribution of pamphlets explaining legal protections, resource information, and hotline numbers for migrant workers who are at risk of being trafficked. Though it took some steps forward, China still has not adopted its draft national action plan to combat trafficking in persons. China has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

COLOMBIA (Tier 1)

Colombia is one of the Western Hemisphere's major source countries for women and girls trafficked abroad for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Colombian women and girls are trafficked throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, and the United States. Within the country, some Colombian men are trafficked for forced labor, but trafficking of women and children from rural to urban areas for sexual exploitation remains a larger problem. Internal armed violence in Colombia has displaced many communities, making them vulnerable to trafficking, and insurgent and paramilitary groups have forcibly recruited and exploited thousands of children as soldiers. Organized criminal networks - some connected to terrorist organizations - and local gangs also force displaced men, women, and children into conditions of commercial sexual exploitation and compulsory labor.

The Government of Colombia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government intensified law enforcement actions against traffickers during the reporting period, and sustained solid prevention and protection efforts. In the coming year, the government should continue to work with civil society to raise public awareness and improve protection services for victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Colombia made strong progress in identifying and prosecuting criminal acts of trafficking during the reporting period. Colombian law prohibits all forms of human trafficking through a comprehensive anti-trafficking statute, Law 985, which was enacted in 2005 and prescribes penalties of up to 23 years' imprisonment - penalties sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. In 2006, authorities opened 49 investigations against traffickers. The government also initiated 75 trafficking prosecutions, which represents more than a doubling of cases since 2005. The government also achieved 10 convictions against traffickers in 2006, a five-fold increase since 2005. Eight of these convictions were against a large band of traffickers in Pereira. Six women and two men were sentenced to 48 months' imprisonment for their roles in trafficking persons to Panama, Japan, and Spain. The remaining two convictions came from a case in the city of Armenia, in which the defendants were each sentenced to six and a half years' imprisonment. The government worked with international organizations to increase training for judges and prosecutors, and cooperated with foreign governments in Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, Italy, and Spain on international trafficking cases. The government is currently investigating one U.S. citizen in connection with child pornography. There were no reports of public officials' complicity in trafficking.

Protection
The government sustained its efforts to address victims' needs during the reporting period. The Colombian government provides limited funding to NGOs to provide shelter and other services to trafficking victims, and it relied on NGOs and international organizations to provide the bulk of victim assistance. The government provides specialized training to consular officials to help them recognize potential trafficking victims, and Colombian missions abroad assist Colombian victims. Police investigators have set up special interview facilities in Bogota's international airport to debrief returning victims and investigate their cases. The government also has approved plans to open an anti-trafficking operations center in the coming year. It will serve as a central repository of anti-trafficking information for victims, and will include a national call center. The government operates a witness-protection program for trafficking victims participating in court proceedings. Colombian authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. There were no reports of victims being jailed or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. Because Colombia is not a significant destination country for trafficking, there is no demand for temporary residency status for foreign victims.

Prevention
The government made modest progress during the reporting year in raising public awareness, but continued to rely heavily on NGOs and international organizations to conduct trafficking-prevention campaigns. The government completed its national action plan on trafficking in persons; implementation of the plan is pending. The government worked closely with IOM to develop a national hotline to report trafficking crimes. The government also worked with NGOs to distribute a comprehensive guide to victim assistance and other awareness-raising materials such as posters, radio, and television spots. The government sponsors assistance programs targeted to populations vulnerable to trafficking, such as micro-lending for women and anti-child labor programs.

COSTA RICA (Tier 2)

Costa Rica is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women and girls from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Panama, Russia, Bulgaria, and the Philippines are trafficked into the country for sexual exploitation. Young men from Nicaragua are trafficked to Costa Rica for labor exploitation. Costa Rican women and children are trafficked internally and to El Salvador, Guatemala, Japan, and the United States for sexual exploitation. The government identifies child sex tourism as a serious problem. Costa Rica serves as a transit point for victims trafficked to the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. Men, women, and children also are trafficked within the country for forced labor in agriculture and fishing, and as domestic servants. Chinese nationals have been trafficked to Costa Rica for forced labor.

The Government of Costa Rica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2006, the government took important steps to confront public complicity with human trafficking in a high-profile case, and increased trafficking prevention efforts nationwide. In the coming year, the government should intensify its efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and to convict and sentence trafficking offenders. The government also should work with the legislature to pass necessary amendments to prohibit all forms of trafficking, and provide greater protection for victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Costa Rica showed limited success in enforcement efforts against traffickers during the reporting year. Costa Rica does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, although Article 172 of its criminal code criminalizes transnational trafficking and prescribes a punishment of three to six years' imprisonment for this offense. Trafficking in minors is prohibited by Article 376, and carries penalties of two to four years' imprisonment. However, Costa Rican law does not adequately address the internal trafficking of adults, and while current penalties are sufficiently stringent, they are not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. However, the government has proposed legislative reforms to its anti-trafficking laws; the Costa Rican legislature should make every effort to pass such changes this year. During the reporting period, a variety of criminal statutes were used against traffickers, but data on trafficking convictions will not be available until later this year. However, since August 2006, the judicial police opened five investigations into international trafficking organizations, and continued a number of earlier investigations. In January 2007, authorities arrested eight people in connection with a Chinese organization suspected of trafficking people to Costa Rica for labor exploitation; importantly, immigration officials rebuffed attempts by this ring to bribe them, instead cooperating with police in an undercover sting operation to arrest the traffickers. Authorities cooperated with neighboring countries, Interpol, and U.S. counterparts on international trafficking investigations. No complaints of trafficking-related corruption were filed during the reporting period.

Protection
The Costa Rican government's efforts to protect trafficking victims remained limited during the reporting year. There are no specialized shelters for trafficking victims, although the government did fund an NGO working with victims of sexual exploitation. Protective services overall are severely lacking, and there are no formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as persons detained for prostitution or immigration violations. The government did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. However officials treated some adult victims as illegal migrants and deported them without taking steps to determine if they were victims. Foreign nationals identified as trafficking victims could be repatriated, or apply for work permits or refugee status. Costa Rican authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers.

Prevention
The government made additional progress on prevention activities during the reporting year. President Arias condemned human trafficking in public statements, and the government acknowledges the serious nature of the problem. Campaigns against child sex tourism continued, in addition to television, radio, and billboard notices designed to warn young women of the dangers of commercial sexual exploitation. With international assistance, the government launched a national hotline in February 2007 for potential victims to receive information about trafficking. The hotline project is accompanied by a widespread TV and radio campaign featuring Puerto Rican singer Ricky Martin.

COTE D'IVOIRE (Tier 2)

Cote d'Ivoire is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking within the country is more prevalent than international trafficking. Women and girls are trafficked from northern rebel-controlled areas to southern cities for domestic servitude, restaurant labor, and sexual exploitation. Boys are trafficked internally for agricultural and manual labor. Transnationally, boys are trafficked from Ghana, Mali and Burkina Faso for forced agricultural labor; from Guinea for forced mining, from Togo for forced construction labor, from Benin for forced carpentry work, and from Ghana and Togo for forced labor in the fishing industry. During the year, Ivorian boys were also trafficked to Mali through false promises of jobs in Europe as soccer players. Women and girls are trafficked to and from other West and Central African countries for domestic servitude and forced street vending. Women and girls from Ghana, Nigeria, the People's Republic of China, Ukraine, the Philippines, and North Africa are trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire for sexual exploitation. A local NGO estimated that, in 2006, 58 percent of females in prostitution in Abidjan were not citizens. Women are also trafficked from and through Cote d'Ivoire to Europe for sexual exploitation. Refugee and displaced children in Cote d'Ivoire are likely also trafficked within the region. Ivorian children are also conscripted into armed forces by rebel and militia groups.

The Government of Cote d'Ivoire does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. To strengthen its response to trafficking, the government should enact its draft statute against child trafficking, draft and enact a law against trafficking of adults, investigate reports of security forces exploiting women in prostitution, ensure that victims are not arrested or prosecuted, reach out to NGOs and the international community to develop a system of care for adult trafficking victims, and adopt the national action plan to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Cote d'Ivoire demonstrated modest efforts to address trafficking though law enforcement during the reporting period. Ivorian law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, but laws against child abuse, forced labor, and pimping are used to prosecute traffickers. In January 2007, the government drafted a new bill prohibiting child trafficking and child labor. The bill has yet to receive cabinet approval. In March 2007, an Ivorian court convicted a Taiwanese man and Philippine woman for trafficking four Philippine women to Abidjan for sexual exploitation, and the government closed down the bar in which the victims were exploited. The penalty imposed on the traffickers, however - six months' imprisonment, a fine of $1,000, and restitution of $10,000 to each of the victims - is inadequate. In June 2006, a judge convicted a man for charges relating to trafficking 13 children to Cote d'Ivoire from Togo, but imposed a sentence of only one year in prison. The government arrested nine additional suspected traffickers and released two, but failed to follow up law enforcement information about the others. NGOs report that security forces often use their position to sexually exploit women in prostitution. The government trained four judges and 15 security and defense officers about trafficking.

Protection
The government demonstrated steady efforts to protect trafficking victims in the last year. The government does not operate victim shelters, but continued to provide offices and personnel to an NGO and a foreign aid organization assisting victims. The government provided personnel to assist the ILO in establishing 13 village-level, and five regional, anti-trafficking and child protection committees. Police rescued at least 57 foreign child victims, referring 42 of them to NGOs or foreign aid organizations for repatriation. The police brought 13 of these children to a government social center for a night, but by morning the victims had fled. The police handed two Beninese victims to a Beninese chief in Cote d'Ivoire for further referral to the Beninese Embassy. The government does not encourage victims to assist in investigations and prosecutions of their traffickers. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Some trafficking victims are penalized for prostitution or document fraud, unlawful activities they committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Cote d'Ivoire made sustained efforts to prevent trafficking. The government held trafficking public awareness campaigns targeting potential victims, traditional chiefs, religious leaders, local government officials, school inspectors and headmasters, and business leaders. The government finalized its national action plan against trafficking, which awaits cabinet approval. Cote d'Ivoire has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CROATIA (Tier 2)

Croatia is primarily a country of transit, and increasingly source and destination, for women and girls trafficked from Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other parts of Eastern Europe for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Victims transiting Croatia are trafficked into Western Europe for commercial sexual exploitation, given Croatia's land and maritime borders with three EU countries.

The Government of Croatia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to improve its cooperation with NGOs to identify and assist victims of trafficking, increased its efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes, and increased training of government officials, particularly police and border control officers. The government should vigorously prosecute trafficking cases and impose adequate sentences for traffickers. It should also ensure that the institutionalized victim identification process already in place reaches all potential victims transiting Croatia, including illegal migrants and migrants who transit the country legally.

Prosecution
The Government of Croatia demonstrated continued law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases and arrest offenders. Croatia criminally prohibits trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation through Criminal Provision 175 in its penal code. Penalties prescribed for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape, and penalties for trafficking are sufficiently stringent. Traffickers, however, may receive light punishment or suspended sentences. In 2006, 10 investigations were initiated against 17 individuals, an increase from 10 individuals in 2005. The National Coordinator for Trafficking reported one conviction and two related convictions for international prostitution, slavery, and illegal capture. As two of the cases occurred prior to the 2005 enactment of Criminal Provision 175, they were prosecuted and convicted under the criminal provisions in existence at the time. In one conviction, two defendants were sentenced each to one year's imprisonment. In another conviction, two defendants were each sentenced to one year's imprisonment, but the sentences were suspended. In the third conviction, one defendant was sentenced to 15 months' imprisonment, but this sentence also was suspended. Six joint investigations with law enforcement authorities in other Southeastern European countries resulted in criminal charges. An anti-trafficking curriculum continued to be taught at Croatia's Police Academy. There were no reports of trafficking-related complicity, but organized crime continued to hinder Croatia's anti-trafficking efforts.

Protection
The Government of Croatia, in cooperation with civil society, continued to provide identified victims with shelter, legal, medical, and psychological services as well as educational and vocational training. The government encourages victim participation in trafficking cases; assistance was not conditioned on victim cooperation with law enforcement investigators. Victims are entitled to file both civil and criminal lawsuits and have the right to press charges themselves, even in cases that are dropped by the State Prosecutor. The government made efforts to ensure that trafficking victims were not detained, deported, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked.

The government provides foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Victims facing threats of retribution are eligible for temporary residence permits issued for a maximum of two years. Upon the temporary permit's expiration, a victim may request a permanent permit to remain in Croatia.

The government continued implementation of a national referral system that employs mobile teams assisting NGOs in victim identification. Last year the government provided approximately $100,000 to NGOs that assist victims of trafficking and promote anti-trafficking efforts.

Prevention
The Government of Croatia increased its efforts to prevent trafficking in persons in 2006. The government continued two public awareness campaigns begun in 2005. One campaign included television spots, ads placed on trams and at train stations, and billboards advertising the government-sponsored help line. The other featured a prominent Croatian celebrity in a televised public service announcement. The government implemented educational workshops for its officials, including social workers, diplomatic and consular staff, judges, prosecutors, police, students, and members of the Roma community. The Ministry of Interior, in cooperation with IOM, distributed fliers and posters targeting potential trafficking victims in receiving centers for asylum seekers and unaccompanied minors. The Ministry of Interior also posted anti-trafficking fliers and posters in Croatian, Macedonian, Romanian, and Ukrainian on roads and at maritime border crossings, airports, and police departments.

CUBA (Tier 3)

Cuba is a source country for women and children trafficked internally for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Cuban adults and children also are exploited for forced labor, mostly in commercial agriculture; some are reportedly trafficked to the United States under circumstances of debt bondage. The extent of trafficking within Cuba is hard to gauge due to the closed nature of the government and sparse non-governmental or independent reporting. However, by all accounts, the country is a major destination for sex tourism, including child sex tourism. Cuba's thriving sex trade caters to thousands of European, Canadian, and Latin American tourists every year, and involves large numbers of Cuban girls and boys, some as young as 12. State-run hotel workers, travel employees, cab drivers, hospitality staff, and police steer tourists to prostituted women and children and facilitate the commercial sexual exploitation of these women and children. Sex trafficking of Cuban women to Mexico and Western Europe also has been reported.

The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and it is not making significant efforts to do so. Information about trafficking in Cuba is difficult to obtain because the government does not publicly release information, and attempts to engage public officials are regarded as politically motivated. To improve its efforts to combat trafficking, the government should publicly acknowledge that human trafficking is a problem, and make efforts to prosecute and punish traffickers, especially for sex crimes. Providing greater protection for trafficking victims is vital.

Prosecution
The Government of Cuba prohibits some forms of sex and labor trafficking through various provisions of its penal code. Article 302 prohibits the inducement or promotion of prostitution and provides penalties of up to 20 years in prison; if the crime is committed across international boundaries, penalties may be increased up to 30 years. Article 316 bans trafficking in minors and carries penalties of up to 15 years' imprisonment. Cuba also has laws against forced labor and sexual exploitation. Despite these laws, which are sufficiently stringent, it is not known if any prosecutions or convictions of traffickers took place in Cuba during the reporting period. Nonetheless, the Government of Cuba worked with a European country to identify foreign pedophiles and assist with their prosecution. Some foreign pedophiles were prosecuted in Cuba for pedophilia or child pornography; other suspected pedophiles were "kicked out" of the country. There were no known investigations or prosecutions of public officials for complicity with trafficking.

Protection
Efforts by the Government of Cuba to aid trafficking victims were not officially reported over the last year, but appeared weak. Strong evidence suggests that victims are punished for unlawful acts committed due to being trafficked. The government did not show evidence of employing procedures for the identification of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as persons detained for prostitution violations. Moreover, women and children in Cuba's sex trade are occasionally sent to "reeducation" programs; many are sentenced to years in prison for vagrancy crimes. "Detention and rehabilitation centers" for women and children in prostitution, some of whom may be trafficking victims, are not staffed with personnel who can provide adequate care, and conditions at these detention centers are reported to be harsh. It is not known if Cuban authorities encourage trafficking victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Cuba does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government sponsors no known information campaigns to prevent sex or labor trafficking. The government does not acknowledge or condemn human trafficking as a problem in Cuba. Cuba has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CYPRUS (Tier 2 Watch List)

Cyprus is a destination country for a large number of women trafficked from countries in Eastern and Central Europe, including Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Russia, for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women are also trafficked from the Philippines, the People's Republic of China, and Morocco. Traffickers continued to recruit victims under fraudulent terms for work as dancers in nightclubs with three-month "artiste" category employment permits and more limited numbers of foreign women for work in pubs under the "barmaid" employment category. According to some reports, many of the women who work in nightclubs in Cyprus are victims trafficked for sexual exploitation. There were also reports of some Chinese women on student visas who may have been forced into prostitution. Reports continued of female domestic workers from India, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines forced to work excessively long hours and denied proper compensation and possibly subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude.

The Government of Cyprus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Government of Cyprus has been placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year because it again failed to pass revised anti-trafficking legislation and did not open a long-promised trafficking shelter. If passed, this legislation would define and criminalize all severe forms of trafficking. The government demonstrated a strong willingness to increase its efforts by launching a number of public awareness campaigns. It also developed and distributed a victim assistance and referral handbook for all relevant government departments. However, more remains to be done. The Government of Cyprus must continue to demonstrate a credible political commitment to address trafficking by increasing serious law enforcement efforts and increasing the number of traffickers convicted and sentenced to time in prison. Moreover, Cyprus must pass its pending new comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation; abolish or greatly restrict use of the "artiste" category work permit; and provide more dedicated resources for the protection of trafficking victims, including a government-provided shelter. The government should also continue to develop and implement a more comprehensive demand reduction public awareness campaign.

Prosecution
The Government of Cyprus showed some progress in its law enforcement efforts. Cyprus' 2000 anti-trafficking law criminalizes trafficking for sexual exploitation; a separate law enacted in 2003 prohibits forced labor. Prosecutors utilize the anti-trafficking law and trafficking-related statues to prosecute traffickers for sexual exploitation. Penalties prescribed for both sexual exploitation and forced labor range up to 20 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. Police increased the number of trafficking investigations from 47 cases in 2005 to 60 cases in 2006. Authorities prosecuted 40 cases for trafficking and obtained convictions of 20 traffickers. Courts imposed penalties ranging from nominal fines to two years' imprisonment to these 20 convicted traffickers. These punishments, however, should be strengthened to more effectively deter trafficking in persons. During the year, the police investigated at least three police officers for possible trafficking-related corruption; one official was prosecuted, convicted, and sentenced to 14 months' imprisonment.

Protection
The Government of Cyprus demonstrated limited improvements in its efforts to protect and assist victims; however, overall efforts remained inadequate. Although the government made ready its long-promised, government-run victim shelter, the facility was not opened due to delays in hiring qualified staff. However, the Anti-TIP Police Unit actively referred victims to an NGO-run shelter. These referral mechanisms are based on procedures outlined in a handbook on victim identification and referral procedures distributed to relevant government agencies and NGOs in February 2007. The Social Welfare Department provided 99 foreign victims with short-term shelter and other forms of assistance. The Ministry of Justice and Public Order provided approximately $22,700 to an NGO-run shelter during the reporting period. Fifty-nine of the 79 trafficking victims identified in 2006 assisted in investigations and prosecutions. Some foreign women who do not cooperate with authorities may be deported with no legal alternatives to removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Cyprus does not have a reflection period for victims; pending comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation will establish a reflection period. The rights of trafficking victims were generally observed; however, police initially attempted to arrest some later-identified victims in order to keep them in the country to testify against their traffickers.

Prevention
The government demonstrated increased efforts to prevent trafficking and raise awareness during the reporting period. Although the government did not abolish the "artiste" work permit category, it continued to reduce the number of "artiste" permits issued in 2006. The Ministry of Labor and Social Insurance distributed Greek and English-language brochures to all non-EU temporary workers entering Cyprus. Police printed and distributed 10,000 trafficking awareness fliers during community policing activities. A government-funded NGO public awareness campaign distributed 15,000 fliers and 1,000 posters on streets, college campuses, and in government offices. The Ministry of Interior also distributed 50,000 anti-trafficking fliers and 800 posters across the island and aired UN public service announcements on trafficking on the state-run television station, beginning in March 2007.

Area Administered by Turkish Cypriots
The northern area of Cyprus is administered by Turkish Cypriots; the area has declared itself the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" ("TRNC"). The United States does not recognize the "TRNC," nor does any other country except Turkey.

The area administered by Turkish Cypriots is a destination for women trafficked from countries in Eastern and Central Europe, including Moldova, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Georgia, and Belarus, for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

The area administered by Turkish Cypriots does not have a law that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons, and authorities continue to confuse trafficking with smuggling. All potential trafficking cases were tried on the charges of "living off the earnings of prostitution" or "encouraging prostitution." Persons convicted under these laws can receive up to two years' imprisonment. This is not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, such as rape. The authorities did not provide trafficking-specific law enforcement data for the reporting period. In 2006, 961 "artiste" and 15 "barmaid" work permits were issued to women working in 41 nightclubs and 9 pubs, and as of February 2007, 381 foreign women were working in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. In 2006, authorities repatriated 235 women who wished to curtail their nightclub contracts. Police corruption remained a concern. The anti-trafficking hotline established in 2005 does not adequately refer victims for assistance. Turkish Cypriot authorities should take proactive steps to train law enforcement and other front-line responders on victim identification techniques, including the key exploitative difference between trafficking and smuggling. Authorities should draft legislation that specifically prohibits all severe forms of trafficking.

CZECH REPUBLIC (TIER 1)

The Czech Republic is a transit and destination country for women from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Slovakia, Bulgaria, People's Republic of China (P.R.C.), and Vietnam trafficked to and through the Czech Republic for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. It is also a source of Czech women trafficked to Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark for sexual exploitation. The Czech Republic is a destination country for men and women trafficked from Ukraine, Moldova, the P.R.C., Vietnam, Belarus, India, and North Korea for the purpose of labor exploitation. Ethnic Roma women remain at the highest risk for trafficking internally and abroad for sexual exploitation.

The Government of the Czech Republic fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Czech Republic made several positive efforts over the reporting period, including: the creation of a new forced labor police unit; the elimination of a program of exploitative North Korean contract labor for private industry in the Czech Republic; and the funding of a demand reduction campaign in several regions of the country and in Ukraine. The government should: vigorously prosecute and convict traffickers and increase the number of convicted traffickers serving time in prison; continue to provide training for prosecutors and judges; and continue to train labor inspectors on how to identify victims of labor trafficking.

Prosecution
The Czech Republic demonstrated increased law enforcement efforts over the last year. The Czech Republic prohibits trafficking both for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and for forced labor through Sections 232a, 216, and 204 of its criminal code, respectively. Punishments prescribed in these statutes range from 2 to 15 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent, and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. In 2006, police conducted 16 investigations, compared to 18 investigations in 2005. In 2006, the government prosecuted 151 persons, compared to 12 in 2005. The government obtained the convictions of 72 traffickers during the reporting period, compared to 72 convictions in 2005; most traffickers were prosecuted and convicted under the pimping statute. The government provided training sessions for prosecutors and judges that focused on the need for stronger sentences to be given to convicted traffickers. Czech law enforcement officials continued to cooperate with counterparts in other countries in joint trafficking investigations throughout 2006. Three Israeli nationals hiding in the Czech Republic were extradited to Israel for trafficking Ukrainian women. There were no confirmed cases of government officials involved in trafficking; however, concerns remained that individual officers of the border police facilitate border crossing for traffickers.

Protection
The government sustained its efforts to protect and assist victims. The government continued to fund IOM and three NGOs to provide victim assistance, rehabilitation services, and shelter. NGOs provided at least 67 victims with government-funded, comprehensive assistance. The government provides a 30-day reflection period for victims to decide whether or not to cooperate with law enforcement. Victims are encouraged to assist in investigations and prosecutions; victims who assist law enforcement are granted temporary residence and work visas for the duration of the criminal proceedings. Upon conclusion of the trial, qualifying victims may apply for permanent residency; one victim was granted permanent residency in 2006, compared to two victims in 2005. During the reporting period, police actively used the formal victim identification and referral system to refer victims to NGOs. Because of the stigma attached to trafficking, victims were frequently hesitant to return to their families or seek social service providers. The government also produced a 90-page book for health care practitioners to assist in victim identification. The Czech Republic continued to fund an IOM repatriation program for victims from Georgia, Moldova, and Armenia.

Prevention
The government improved its trafficking awareness efforts during the reporting period. In 2006, the government funded a demand reduction campaign that informed potential clients of prostitution about trafficking and provided methods for anonymously reporting suspected trafficking situations. The government also took pro-active steps to combat labor trafficking by funding two NGOs to provide information to Ukrainian citizens in ten Ukrainian cities who are looking to work in the Czech Republic.

The government monitors migration and immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. The Czech Republic has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO (Tier 2)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. The majority of known trafficking occurs within the country's unstable eastern provinces, by armed groups outside government control. Indigenous and foreign armed groups, notably the FDLR (Rwandan Hutus), continue to abduct and forcibly recruit Congolese men, women, and children to serve as laborers (including in mines), porters, domestics, combatants, and sex slaves, although at a much reduced rate from previous years. In 2006 and early 2007, troops loyal to a renegade Congolese general reportedly recruited an unknown number of Congolese children for soldiering from refugee camps in Rwanda. There were reports of Congolese children prostituted in brothels or by loosely organized networks, some of whom were exploited by Congolese national army (FARDC) forces. An unknown number of unlicensed miners remain in debt bondage to dealers for tools, food, and supplies. Congolese women and children are reportedly trafficked to South Africa for sexual exploitation.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Replacing a transitional government that had been in place since June 2003, an elected government took office following 2006-07 presidential, parliamentary, and provincial elections. To further actions against trafficking, the government should continue efforts to demobilize all remaining child soldiers; enact anti-trafficking laws; and arrest and prosecute traffickers, particularly those who use child soldiers or utilize forced labor. Kanyanga Biyoyo, a rebel commander convicted of unlawfully recruiting child soldiers, escaped from jail shortly after his early 2006 conviction; he should also be rearrested and incarcerated for his full prison sentence.

Prosecution
The country's criminal and military justice systems - including the police, courts, and prisons - remain decimated from years of war and there are few functioning courts or secure prisons in the country. Existing laws do not prohibit all forms of labor trafficking. In July 2006, the transitional government enacted a sexual violence statute (Law 6/018) that specifically prohibits and provides penalties of 10 to 20 years' imprisonment for child and forced prostitution, pimping, and trafficking for sexual exploitation; most judicial and law enforcement authorities have yet to receive copies of this statute. In addition, the new constitution, promulgated in February 2006, forbids involuntary servitude and child soldiering. Despite these advances, there were no reported investigations or prosecutions of traffickers during the year. After an NGO investigation revealed brothels in South Kivu, the government subsequently ordered them closed. During the reporting period, the transitional government, in coordination with the UN Mission to the Congo (MONUC), reached integration agreements with Ituri District militias, renegade General Laurent Nkunda in North Kivu, and local defense groups in North Kivu, South Kivu, and Katanga that included provisions for the demobilization of child soldiers; some of these groups failed to fulfill their signed commitments and continued recruiting children, but FARDC lacks the capacity to forcibly demobilize or repatriate them. The government and MONUC provided numerous training sessions during the year to police and military personnel on sexual violence and child soldiering prohibitions.

Protection
The national demobilization agency, CONADER, and the Ministry of Defense worked closely during the year with NGOs to demobilize and reintegrate children associated with armed groups. When such groups disarm and are integrated into the FARDC, CONADER identifies and separates out children and transports them to NGO-run centers for temporary housing and vocational training. Over 13,000 child soldiers were demobilized in 2006; fewer than 4,000 remain with armed groups out of an estimated total of 33,000 in 2004. As the 2006 budget included no appropriation for social services of any kind in the country, NGOs provided legal, medical, and psychological services to trafficking victims, including child soldiers and children in prostitution. The government does not generally penalize victims of trafficking for unlawful acts committed as part of their being trafficked, but does not encourage victims of trafficking to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their exploiters.

Prevention
The majority of the government prevention efforts during the reporting period focused on disseminating messages against child soldiering. Using radio and television messages, posters, flyers, and t-shirts, in 2006, CONADER conducted extensive public education campaigns that informed the military that child soldiering is illegal, and attempted to dissuade children from joining armed groups and convince families and communities to reintegrate demobilized children. Working with NGO partners, the Ministry of Justice began designing a campaign to educate the public about the new law against sexual violence. In June, the transitional government created the National Committee to Combat the Worst Forms of Child Labor; though the committee held several meetings, it did not begin to fulfill its mandate.

DENMARK (Tier 1)

Denmark is primarily a transit and destination country for women and girls trafficked from Ukraine, the Baltic states, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania, Thailand, Ghana, and Nigeria for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Denmark fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In December 2006, the government adopted its second anti-trafficking national action plan and extended the period of reflection it grants foreign trafficking victims from 15 to 100 days. Denmark spent approximately $178,000 on a domestic national awareness campaign during the year. The government should consider granting identified trafficking victims temporary residency and work permits in order to increase victim participation in trafficking investigations. Denmark should develop legal alternatives to deportation for victims who face retribution or hardship upon repatriation. Although the government has invested considerable resources to improve law enforcement efforts, more should be done to improve the collection of trafficking statistics.

Prosecution
The Government of Denmark sustained law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. Denmark prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor through Section 262 of its criminal code, although prosecutors often use the procurement law to prosecute traffickers. Punishments prescribed for trafficking under section 262 extend to eight years' imprisonment, are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Police conducted a total of 21 trafficking investigations during the reporting period, down from 30 investigations in 2005. Initial information shows that in 2006, authorities prosecuted at least 14 trafficking cases, compared to 30 cases in 2005. Convictions were obtained against 33 traffickers in 2006, including three under the anti-trafficking statute and 30 under the procurement law; in 2005, seven traffickers were convicted under the anti-trafficking statute and 20 were convicted under the procurement law. All 33 traffickers convicted under the two laws served some time in prison; no convicted traffickers received suspended sentences in 2006.

Protection
Denmark continued to provide adequate assistance and protection for victims of trafficking. The government continued to fully fund three regional NGOs in Denmark that provide victim outreach and identification, rehabilitative counseling, shelter, and public awareness. The government trained police personnel to effectively use the "Next Stop" trafficking hotline to refer victims to appropriate anti-trafficking NGOs for assistance. Police encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations, but the government did not prevent the punishment of trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked, such as detention for immigration violations. Consequently, few foreign victims assisted authorities in investigations. The government did not provide victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they could face hardship or retribution. Although some government-funded NGOs did attempt to contact NGOs in source countries to facilitate safe repatriation of victims, deficiencies in the infrastructures of some source countries resulted in victims returning to face hardship, retribution, or re-trafficking upon their return.

Prevention
Denmark demonstrated progress in its trafficking prevention efforts. In October 2006, the government launched "You Have a Choice, She Doesn't," a nation-wide information campaign that focused on domestic demand reduction and increased general public awareness of trafficking. The campaign included television and film advertisements, billboards, fliers, and leaflets. The government continued to adequately monitor its borders. Denmark continued to fund NGOs to conduct regional awareness campaigns.

DJIBOUTI (Tier 2 Watch List)

Djibouti is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and possibly for forced domestic labor. Ethiopian and Somali girls reportedly are trafficked to Djibouti for sexual exploitation; economic migrants from these countries may also at times fall victim to involuntary servitude after reaching Djibouti City or the Ethiopia-Djibouti trucking corridor. A small number of girls from impoverished Djiboutian families may also engage in prostitution as a means of income, and they may be victims of trafficking. Ethiopian women and girls may be trafficked to Djibouti for domestic servitude. Women and children from neighboring countries reportedly transit Djibouti en route to Middle Eastern countries or Somalia for ultimate use in forced labor or sexual exploitation.

The Government of Djibouti does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Djibouti is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons over the last year. To further its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should pass, enact, and enforce a comprehensive anti-trafficking statute; improve documentation of cases of detained minors; further educate all levels of government and the general public on the issue of trafficking in persons; and, in partnership with local NGOs, establish a mechanism for providing protective services to trafficking victims.

Prosecution
During the year, the government slightly improved its law enforcement efforts against the commercial sexual exploitation of children, although no traffickers were punished. Djiboutian authorities conducted increased patrols for children at risk of involvement in prostitution and closed down establishments facilitating prostitution. Djibouti does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, though its laws explicitly criminalizing pimping, employing minors, forced labor, and debauching of a minor could be used to prosecute traffickers. During the reporting period, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Justice and the National Assembly formed a working group to begin drafting a national anti-trafficking law. In 2006, Djibouti's Brigade des Meurs (Vice Police) conducted nightly sweeps of the capital city after dark and preventatively detained 192 Ethiopian and Somali minors who they identified as at risk of prostitution; most were held briefly and released or deported. There were no prosecutions of traffickers during the year; however, observing a flagrant case of child prostitution, the police arrested and charged the foreign client, who then fled the jurisdiction after he was released pending trial. Djiboutian police monitored bars in Djibouti City, enforcing alcohol permits and detaining suspected pimps and females in prostitution; specific information regarding the punishment of pimps was unavailable. Police reportedly closed down bars where child prostitution was occurring; detailed information was not provided about such closures. The government did not provide any specialized training for government officials in trafficking recognition or in the provision of assistance to trafficking victims.

Protection
With few resources itself and a very small pool of local NGOs, the government has few options for meeting the needs of children used in prostitution. In 2006, the government established two shelters for at-risk Djiboutian and foreign women and children that distributed food and clothing and provided health care; educational opportunities are also provided. During the reporting period, three boys victimized by sexual exploitation were rescued from a foreign pedophile and provided with psychological counseling. After preventative detention of street children believed to be at risk of prostitution, police reportedly transferred some of them to the care of NGOs. Other non-Djiboutian children were deported to their country of origin, while Djiboutian children were returned to the care of extended family members. The government does not offer legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Moreover, the government occasionally punishes victims of trafficking for offenses committed as a result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
There is growing understanding of human trafficking within the Djiboutian political hierarchy. In March 2007, the Ministry of Information began its first anti-trafficking public awareness campaign by prominently publishing in the nation's most important newspaper an article calling for awareness of and action against trafficking, specifically involving children prostitution. In addition, the President and First Lady hosted a large event to educate the public on violence against women, including explicitly stopping the trafficking of women and children. Police verbally warned bar and night club owners that permitting child prostitution on their premises would be punished.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Tier 2 Watch List)

The Dominican Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Dominican women and children are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Western Europe, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, the Caribbean, Panama, and Suriname. A significant number of women and children also are trafficked within the country for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Some Dominican-born children are trafficked into forced labor and organized begging rings. Some Haitians, including children, are trafficked to the Dominican Republic for forced labor in agriculture and construction sectors; many live in squalid shantytowns known as "bateyes." Venezuelans and Colombians also are reportedly trafficked to the country for sexual exploitation and forced labor. Some Chinese nationals have been smuggled to the Dominican Republic, allegedly with the assistance of high-level Dominican consular and immigration officials, and subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude while waiting to make their way to the United States.

The Government of the Dominican Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Dominican Republic is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of providing increased assistance to victims and undertaking vigorous actions to counter official complicity with trafficking activity. Although the Office of the Public Prosecutor made strong efforts to prosecute trafficking offenders last year, the government should increase anti-trafficking law enforcement personnel and capacity, and step up efforts to root out aggressively any official complicity with human trafficking, especially among senior-level officials. The Dominican Republic should provide greater legal protections for trafficking victims, and increase anti-trafficking prevention efforts and resources for agencies and organizations providing shelters and social services. More attention should be directed to identifying and assisting Haitian trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Government of the Dominican Republic made efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes during the reporting period. The Dominican Republic prohibits all forms of trafficking through its comprehensive anti-trafficking law, Law 137-03, which prescribes penalties of up to 20 years' imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave offenses. The government initiated 120 trafficking and alien-smuggling prosecutions under the law last year, obtaining three trafficking-specific convictions; defendants received sentences ranging from 15 to 20 years' imprisonment. While the government's efforts to convict traffickers remained level with last year, more than 30 prosecutions during the reporting period arose from arrests of military and other public officials for involvement with trafficking; of this number, three officials have been convicted. While this represents important progress in an extremely difficult area, the Dominican Republic should do much more to tackle the critical issue of official complicity with human trafficking at all levels of government. Press reports allege that high-level consular and immigration officials were directly involved with the smuggling of Chinese nationals, some of them trafficking victims, to the Dominican Republic. Any individuals found to be implicated in alien smuggling or trafficking should be brought to justice. The Director of the Office of the Public Prosecutor's Anti-Trafficking Unit had made some progress in addressing these and other areas; however, he remained suspended from his duties at the end of the reporting period for unspecified reasons.

Protection
The government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking remained inadequate, as it continued to rely heavily on NGOs and international organizations to provide the bulk of protection services. While the government maintains shelters and programs for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, these services are not generally accessible to trafficking victims. The government has not developed formal procedures for identifying victims among vulnerable populations, such as undocumented migrants or persons detained for prostitution offenses. The government continued, however, to train officials posted abroad on recognizing and assisting trafficking victims overseas. Victims' rights are generally respected, and there were no reports of victims being jailed or penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. However, there were reports that some officials conspired with employers to repatriate trafficked persons of Haitian descent if they attempted to leave exploitative work environments, forcing them to leave behind their pay and belongings. Dominican authorities generally encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, though undocumented persons of Haitian descent were often neglected. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. The government should assure protection to Haitians and undocumented persons of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic, many of whom fall victim to human trafficking.

Prevention
The government carried out limited prevention efforts by conducting anti-trafficking seminars at schools across the country, reaching more than 5,000 students. The government relies on NGOs and international organizations for all other prevention activities.

EAST TIMOR (Tier 2)

East Timor is a destination country for women from Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, and the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking of Timorese women and girls from rural areas to Dili for sexual exploitation is a problem and there are concerns that it could increase due to long-term internal displacement and increased presence of international peacekeepers. An attempt to traffic Timorese women to Syria was thwarted, but points to the possibility of East Timor becoming a source country. There are unverified reports of men trafficked for forced labor in East Timor.

The Government of East Timor does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has not enacted a draft penal code that defines and punishes the crime of trafficking because of concerns regarding other unrelated provisions and delays related to the political crisis in the country. The political crisis disrupted the work of the country's Trafficking Working Group; it has not met in over a year. As the East Timor legal system develops in the coming years and takes over functions handled by international officials, the government should focus on law enforcement efforts against trafficking, including specialized training of officials in investigating, prosecuting, and obtaining convictions of traffickers. The government should devote considerably more resources to prevention, rescue, treatment and rehabilitation of trafficking victims, as government finance and project management capabilities develop in the coming years and as reliance on international organizations diminishes.

Prosecution
The Government of East Timor showed minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the past year. Currently East Timor's law enforcement system depends on international police, prosecutors, and judges, with expectations that Timorese officials will gradually accept more responsibility. East Timor prohibits all forms of sex and labor trafficking through its 2003 Immigration and Asylum Act and prescribes penalties for trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation that, while not commensurate with those for rape, are sufficiently stringent. The government has not prosecuted any cases against traffickers. In March 2006 national police conducted a raid against an establishment in Dili in which a Philippine victim was forced into sexual exploitation. Eight additional victims from the P.R.C. and Indonesia were rescued, and suspected traffickers were arrested. The Office of the Prosecutor General dismissed the case without any indictments and no further action was taken. There were allegations that the establishment owner had powerful business connections. A new penal code based on the Portuguese penal code was approved by the Council of Ministers in late 2005. However, due to controversy regarding other, unrelated provisions, the code was not promulgated and remains in limbo. Pending the promulgation of a penal code, East Timor's judicial system continues to rely on the Indonesian penal code. In January 2007, UN police arrested two men suspected of attempting to traffic East Timorese women to Syria. There is limited evidence of a tolerance for trafficking by border officials and police who may take bribes to allow victims into the country or turn a blind eye to brothel operations.

Protection
The East Timorese Government began providing limited but still insufficient victim protection during the reporting period, relying largely on international organizations and NGOs to provide this care for victims. Authorities encouraged victims to participate in the investigation of traffickers and to file civil suits against traffickers; however, the country's dysfunctional court system prevented most legal action. Foreign victims can request refugee status; victims were repatriated through a process known as "voluntary abandonment." Under this arrangement, individuals present in East Timor illegally, but thought to be trafficking victims, are given 10 days to depart the country and are provided assistance with travel documents. There is no threat of prosecution involved in the voluntary abandonment process, and there were no reports of voluntary abandonment being forced or involuntary. Several other victims were repatriated through the help of their embassies or an international organization. Trafficking victims are generally not treated as criminals. The Ministry of Labor works with international organizations to arrange assistance and shelter for victims on an ad hoc basis.

Prevention
The Government of East Timor continued to rely on international organizations and NGOs to raise awareness and prevent trafficking in persons. The Ministry of Labor collaborated with NGOs and international organizations to support public information campaigns. The Trafficking Working Group is chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and includes other government ministries, international organizations and NGOs, but it has not met in over a year because of the political crisis throughout 2006. East Timor has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

ECUADOR (Tier 2)

Ecuador is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Ecuadorian children are trafficked from coastal and border areas to urban centers for sexual exploitation; some are trafficked to neighboring countries and to Spain. Ecuadorian women are trafficked to Western Europe, particularly Spain and Italy, as well as Colombia, Peru, and Venezuela for sexual exploitation. In addition, Colombian women and adolescent girls are trafficked to Ecuador for sexual exploitation. However, most victims are trafficked within the country's borders.

The Government of Ecuador does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2006, the government passed legislation to close a major legal loophole in the 2005 anti-trafficking law, which had hindered trafficking prosecutions. The government also stepped up prosecutions and investigations of traffickers and intensified training for police, prosecutors, and official personnel. It expanded efforts to raise public awareness and improve protection for victims. The Ecuadorian government committed to combat human trafficking when the former President signed the National Anti-Trafficking in Persons plan in August 2006. The government should strengthen efforts to investigate and convict traffickers, especially in the areas of commercial sexual exploitation of children and child labor. It should continue to work with civil society to train government personnel, raise public awareness, and improve protection for victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Ecuador made significant progress in identifying and punishing acts of trafficking during the reporting period. Its anti-trafficking statute prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes punishments of up to 35 years' imprisonment. Since enactment of the law in 2005, trafficking investigations have increased, with more than 100 active investigations now underway. Two separate trafficking prosecutions in 2006, one involving child prostitution and another involving child pornography, resulted in convictions and sentences of 12 years each. Complementing an existing eight-member anti-trafficking police unit in Quito, the government in September 2006 set up a sex-crimes police unit with trafficking responsibilities in Guayas, the most populated province in Ecuador.

Protection
The Ecuadorian government committed more resources to identifying and assisting trafficking victims during the last year. The Victim and Witness Protection Program, administered by the Public Ministry, assisted 27 trafficking victims. Although the Program is not exclusively for trafficking victims, it coordinates government agencies and NGOs in providing victims with shelter, police protection, psychological and medical care, economic and employment assistance, and other services. The government doubled the Program's budget in 2006, and has proposed more funding for 2007. The government also launched a second sheltering project for trafficking victims through a national agency, the Institute for Children and Family (INNFA). Ecuadorian authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. In August 2006, the government established a 36-member police unit to provide greater protection for trafficking victims and witnesses across the country. There were no reports of victims jailed, deported, or otherwise penalized. Ecuador does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government demonstrated significant prevention and public awareness efforts in 2006. High-level government leaders and politicians, including the former President and First Lady, focused national attention on the country's trafficking problem, raising it often in national and international speeches. In early 2007, officials from the administration of President Rafael Correa publicly expressed their commitment to fighting human trafficking. In November 2006, the national agency, INNFA, launched a nationwide $1 million anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling education campaign geared toward vulnerable populations across Ecuador. Postcards, stickers, and informational materials have been distributed to schools in every province. The government also produced anti-trafficking billboards, posters, and radio spots over the last year. The Ministry of Tourism launched a national anti-sex tourism campaign in October 2006 that includes 11 government agencies that signed an agreement to eradicate child sex tourism.

EGYPT (Tier 2 Watch List)

Egypt is a transit country for women trafficked from Uzbekistan, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, and other Eastern European countries to Israel for the purpose of sexual exploitation, and may be a source for children trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. Reports indicate that some of Cairo's estimated 1 million street children - both girls and boys - are exploited in prostitution. In addition, wealthy men from the Gulf reportedly travel to Egypt to purchase "temporary marriages" with Egyptian women, including in some cases girls who are under age 18, often apparently as a front for commercial sexual exploitation facilitated by the females' parents and marriage brokers. Some Egyptian cities may also be destinations for sex tourism. Children were also recruited from rural areas for domestic service in cities; some of these children may face conditions of involuntary servitude, such as restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse.

The Government of Egypt does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Egypt is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, particularly in the area of law enforcement. The government also does not provide rehabilitation aid or other protection services to trafficking victims. Egypt typically returns foreign trafficking victims to their embassies for assistance. Egypt should make a serious effort to increase law enforcement activity against the trafficking of minors, institute formal victim identification procedures to ensure that trafficking victims are not punished or otherwise treated as criminals, and provide protection services for victims.

Prosecution
Egypt made no discernible efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking crimes this year. The Egyptian penal code does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, but the constitution does prohibit forced labor through its Article 13. Other laws, including those against rape and abduction, could be used to prosecute trafficking offenses, but are not. Child domestic workers are not protected by Egypt's labor laws as other child laborers are. The government provided no evidence of investigations, arrests, or prosecutions for trafficking offenses, including involuntary servitude of child domestic servants.

According to media reports, security forces in Sinai rescued four Russian women who may have been victims of trafficking, and returned them to the custody of the Russian embassy pending their deportation. In late April, police in Mahallah el-Kobra arrested 16 individuals in connection with an alleged trafficking ring that obtained women for exploitation in prostitution in the Gulf states. Egypt should significantly increase investigations, prosecutions, and punishments for trafficking offenses, including investigations of allegations of trafficking in children for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, and the trafficking of foreigners through Egypt. For a third year in a row, the government failed to take any steps to draft a comprehensive anti-trafficking law.

Protection
Egypt made no efforts to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government does not offer protection services to victims of involuntary domestic servitude, though it operates a hotline for children to report complaints of abuse. There are reports of police arresting street children for prostitution and treating them as criminals rather than victims. In prisons or detention centers, law enforcement officers may further mistreat these victims through verbal, physical, and sexual abuse. Egypt does not have formal victim identification procedures, so foreign victims of trafficking are detained as illegal immigrants; the government usually delivers possible trafficking victims to their embassies for repatriation. These victims are not offered legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. The government does not actively encourage victims to assist in investigations against their traffickers. Egypt should institute a formal mechanism to identify victims and refer them to protection services offered by local NGOs. The government should also cease arresting child victims of commercial sexual exploitation and should support protection services with financial or in-kind assistance.

Prevention
During the year, Egypt made insignificant progress in preventing trafficking in persons. The government did not pursue any anti-trafficking information campaigns or train border police and other law enforcement officials on identifying potential victims of trafficking. The government should institute a public awareness campaign to educate employers on the rights of children working in their homes, and should also educate parents on the consequences of selling their children for domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation through temporary marriages.

EL SALVADOR (Tier 2)

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

The Government of El Salvador does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government took steps to improve victim assistance, and demonstrated more vigorous and better coordinated law enforcement efforts against traffickers. In the coming year, the government should intensify its efforts to convict and punish traffickers for their crimes. It also should provide more victim assistance and promote greater awareness of the trafficking problem, especially among judges and law enforcement personnel.

Prosecution
The Government of El Salvador made strong efforts to prosecute traffickers during the reporting period, but did not secure many convictions over the past year. Article 367B of the Salvadoran Penal Code prohibits all forms of human trafficking and provides for penalties of up to eight years' imprisonment, which are commensurate with those prescribed for rape and other serious offenses. Sentences may be increased by one-third in aggravated circumstances, such as when the victim is a child. The government prosecuted 67 individuals for trafficking in 2006, a nearly four-fold increase from the number prosecuted during the previous year. Prosecutors obtained four convictions with sentences ranging from three to eight years' imprisonment. The police conducted undercover trafficking investigations and secured search warrants to raid brothels and other establishments. In 2006, 74 victims, mostly children, were rescued from trafficking situations. The government should dedicate more resources to such operations. The government should also intensify its efforts to assist and prepare trafficking victims for trial and increase training for judges and other criminal-justice officials on human trafficking. No credible reports of government complicity with trafficking were received during the reporting period.

Protection
The Salvadoran government committed more resources to assisting trafficking victims during the last year. A local NGO, which receives assistance from the government and IOM, sheltered 82 trafficking victims in 2006; this shelter is guarded continuously by police. Children who have been trafficked are referred to ISNA, a national agency that runs a shelter for minors. Both shelters are staffed with doctors, psychologists, and other victim services. Salvadoran authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. There were no reports of victims being charged, jailed, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked. Foreign victims are not deported; they face voluntary repatriation with government assistance, though the government provides no legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The Salvadoran government sustained prevention efforts during the reporting period. The National Committee Against Trafficking in Persons, an inter-agency task force, sponsored information campaigns, press conferences, and trafficking awareness training across the country. Police and other government officials spoke in schools and other forums about the dangers of human trafficking.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA (Tier 3)

Equatorial Guinea is primarily a destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and possibly for commercial sexual exploitation, though some children may also be trafficked within the country from rural areas to Malabo and Bata for these same purposes. Children are trafficked from Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, and Gabon for domestic, farm and commercial labor to Malabo and Bata, where demand is high due to a thriving oil industry and a growing expatriate business community. Reports indicate that there are girls in prostitution in Equatorial Guinea from Cameroon, Benin, Togo, other neighboring countries, and the People's Republic of China, who may be victims of trafficking.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and it is not making significant efforts to do so. Despite its significant resources, the government failed to investigate and prosecute traffickers and protect victims. However, it did take steps to raise awareness of trafficking. The government has not shown a political commitment to addressing the country's trafficking in persons problem. To demonstrate a credible response to trafficking, the government should: create a specialized anti-trafficking police unit to investigate trafficking complaints; increase efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers; support local NGO efforts to shelter victims; develop a system for referring victims to NGOs; and create mechanisms for collecting trafficking crime and victim data.

Prosecution
The Government of Equatorial Guinea demonstrated insufficient law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the reporting period. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking through its 2004 Law on the Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons, which carries sufficiently stringent penalties of 10 to 15 years' imprisonment for labor and sex trafficking. However, no one has been prosecuted under this law. The government failed to report any trafficking arrests during the year and did not effectively investigate cases, failing to respond adequately to at least 11 cases reported by civil society activists, foreign embassy officials, and religious orders. If police determined a reported case to be valid, they paid the trafficker a visit, but lacked training and awareness to identify trafficking suspects or victims. The government also failed to investigate allegations that Chinese employers may be recruiting Chinese laborers for construction and confiscating their travel documents to keep them in involuntary servitude. The government funded two 5-day workshops at which 210 law enforcement officers were trained about trafficking. The government also reached out to the international community to request additional law enforcement training.

Protection
The government demonstrated weak and inadequate efforts to provide care for trafficking victims during the year. The Equatoguinean government neither operates victim shelters nor funds the protection efforts of local NGOs, despite its considerable resources. The government also has no system in place for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations and referring victims to NGOs for care. The government failed to provide data on any services it provided to victims. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking or slavery investigations or prosecutions. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. However, victims are not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Equatorial Guinea made progress in raising awareness about trafficking during the year. The government disseminated its 2006 National Action Plan through workshops for over 500 representatives from local, provincial and national government agencies, foreign government and international organization representatives, NGOs, and the media. The government collaborated with UNICEF to educate the public about trafficking. It provided public service time for radio and television announcements, paying for the staff time and production materials for these broadcasts.

ESTONIA (Tier 2)

Estonia is a source, transit, and destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Estonian women and girls are trafficked to Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Spain, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands for purposes of sexual exploitation. Men and women were trafficked from Estonia to the United Kingdom for the purpose of forced labor.

The Government of Estonia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Although the number of trafficking investigations, prosecutions, and convictions declined in 2006, Estonia demonstrated continued political will to combat trafficking by implementing its national action plan and increasing its anti-trafficking budget from $14,000 to $96,000; the majority of this money was allocated for victim assistance and trafficking prevention programs. Estonia should boost its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and continue to improve coordination efforts with regional counterparts on victim identification and repatriation. Estonia should also consider drafting a trafficking-specific law that incorporates a broader definition of trafficking in persons and is consistent with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

Prosecution
Estonian law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, although the criminal code does prohibit enslavement, abduction, pimping, and a number of other trafficking-related crimes. The penalties for such acts range from five to 15 years' imprisonment, and are commensurate with those for other grave crimes such as sexual assault. In 2006, police conducted three trafficking investigations. Authorities prosecuted one confirmed trafficking case and convicted one trafficker for aiding in the prostitution of minors over the reporting period. The trafficker was sentenced to six months' imprisonment. Nevertheless, the lack of a trafficking-specific law in Estonia created difficulties in accurately quantifying the government's efforts to combat trafficking. For example, foreign governments identified 49 Estonians as trafficking victims in 2006. Although Estonia recognized all 49 as victims of trafficking crimes, the government reported only five of them as trafficking victims in Estonian government statistics.

Protection
Although Estonia significantly improved its victim assistance policies, no victims received state assistance during the reporting period. In accordance with the 2006 National Action Plan, Estonia systemized its support services and increased cooperation between NGOs and national victim support services. During the reporting period, state social workers and victims' assistants provided victim identification and referral training to law enforcement. Estonian authorities do not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. Estonia encourages trafficking victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. In 2006, Estonia amended its law to allow foreign trafficking victims to obtain temporary residency permits during the duration of the criminal investigation and prosecution of their case.

Prevention
The government continued to increase its trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. In October, the government provided funding to an NGO operating Estonia's only trafficking dedicated hotline. The government had planned to begin funding the hotline in January 2007, but it stepped in earlier because the hotline ran out of funds in late 2006. The Ministry of Social Affairs conducted 19 lectures to educate the public and government officials on the realities of trafficking; in total, more than 800 people including high school and university students, consular officers, Estonian soldiers deploying abroad, social workers, police, members of women's organizations, prosecutors, and judges attended these lectures. In total, the Ministry of Social Affairs spent $25,000 on awareness raising and victim identification training in 2006.

ETHIOPIA (Tier 2)

Ethiopia is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Rural children and adults are trafficked internally to urban areas for domestic servitude and, to a lesser extent, for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, such as in street vending, traditional weaving, or agriculture. Ethiopian women are trafficked primarily to Lebanon and Saudi Arabia for domestic servitude; other destinations include Bahrain, Djibouti, Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, the U.A.E., and Yemen. Small percentages of these women are trafficked into the sex trade after arriving at their destinations. Small numbers of men are trafficked to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States for low-skilled forced labor. Some Ethiopian women have been trafficked onward from Lebanon to Turkey and Greece.

The Government of Ethiopia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While Ethiopia's ongoing efforts to detect cases of child trafficking within the country are notable, its weak record of prosecuting these crimes is a continued cause for concern. To further its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should improve the investigative capacity of police and enhance judicial understanding of trafficking to allow for more convictions of traffickers.

Prosecution
While the government's efforts to investigate trafficking cases significantly increased during the reporting period, prosecution of cases referred to the prosecutor's office remained inadequate. Ethiopia's penal code prohibits all forms of trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation; those violating these statutes face from 5 to 20 years' imprisonment, punishments that are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for other grave crimes. Proclamation 104/98, which governs the work of international employment agencies, was revised in 2006 and awaits parliamentary ratification. During the year, 925 cases of child trafficking were reported to the police, a significant increase over the previous year. Of these, 67 cases were referred to the prosecutor's office. In September, one trafficker was convicted and sentenced to 13 years in prison and a $596 fine for forcing two children into domestic servitude. Twenty-three cases are pending prosecution, and the remaining 43 were closed for lack of evidence or absconded defendants. During the year, police in Awassa and Shashemene apprehended at least 10 traffickers traveling with children intended for sale to farmers in the Oromiya region. Some local police and border control agents are believed to accept bribes to overlook trafficking.

Protection
Though the government lacks the resources to provide material assistance to trafficking victims, a joint police-NGO child victim identification and referral mechanism operates in the capital. The Child Protection Units (CPUs) in each Addis Ababa police station rescued and collected information on trafficked children that facilitated their return to their families; the CPUs referred 240 trafficked children to IOM and local NGOs for care in 2006. Local police and administrators assisted in the repatriation of trafficked children to their home regions. The government did not provide financial or other support to NGOs that cared for victims. Ethiopian officials abroad received no training on recognizing or responding to human trafficking and remain largely uninformed of the issue. Ethiopia's consulate in Beirut, for example, dispensed limited legal advice to victims and referred them to church and NGO partners for assistance. While authorities did not detain or prosecute repatriated trafficking victims, they made no effort to interview returned victims about their experiences in the Middle East.

Prevention
Ethiopia's efforts to prevent international trafficking increased, but measures to increase awareness of internal trafficking were lacking. In 2006, the Ministry of Labor (MOLSA) licensed 19 additional employment agencies to send workers to the Middle East. In mid-2006, its counselors began offering a pre-departure orientation, providing 8,359 prospective migrants with information on the risks of irregular migration. MOLSA, in conjunction with the Ethiopian consulate in Lebanon, verified and approved labor contracts for 8,200 workers; some of these contracts reportedly originated from black market brokers rather than legitimate migrants independently securing employment. In late 2006 and early 2007, police apprehended several illegal "employment agents" attempting to deceive potential migrants with fraudulent job offers from the Middle East; the cases are under investigation. The inter-ministerial counter-trafficking task force met monthly during the second half of the year and, in November 2006 and January 2007, conducted two three-day training workshops in Addis Ababa and Nazareth for 105 participants, including high court judges, national labor bureau personnel, and police commissioners. It also gave three 25-minute awareness-raising interviews on national radio. National radio aired IOM's weekly anti-trafficking program and, in December, national television aired a documentary highlighting the problem of trafficking. Ethiopia has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

FIJI (Tier 2 Watch List)

Fiji is a source country for the internal trafficking of children for sexual exploitation and a destination country for women from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) and India trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women from the P.R.C. and India who migrate to Fiji with promises of work in the textile industry are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude and commercial sexual exploitation. In addition, some Fijian boys and girls are victims of commercial sexual exploitation by Fijian citizens and foreign visitors. Local hotels procure underage girls in prostitution at the request of foreign guests. Taxi drivers and relatives also act as facilitators. Some Fijian children are informally adopted or given to other families to raise - a tradition of child placement that can facilitate trafficking in persons.

The Government of Fiji does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Fiji is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its significantly increasing problem of trafficking in persons. New data provided over the last year suggests that Fiji is seeing a rise in the trafficking of children for sexual exploitation. Although transnational trafficking is infrequent, it occurs in the context of promised employment in textile factories and subsequent coerced sexual exploitation. The Fijian government should consider increasing its and the Fijian public's understanding of trafficking through focused public awareness and demand reduction campaigns together with civil society. The government should increase efforts to educate law enforcement and immigration officials about trafficking to increase investigations against traffickers, sex tourists, and exploitative employers.

Prosecution
The Government of Fiji demonstrated some efforts to combat trafficking in persons; however, a lack of training and resources limited law enforcement efficacy. Fiji prohibits sex and labor trafficking through its Immigration Act of 2003, which prescribes punishments that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape. However, there were no prosecutions or convictions during the reporting period. The current interim government began a crackdown on prostitution as part of a "clean-up" campaign and detained several minors and women in prostitution. Law enforcement officials did not recognize minors used in prostitution as victims, nor was there evidence that officials increased investigations or arrests of brothel owners or facilitators or clients of child prostitution. Immigration officials intervened in several cases of P.R.C. citizens who were lured to Fiji with job offers and then forced into sexual exploitation, but officials did not arrest the traffickers and the women were deported. Immigration authorities are beginning to monitor migration patterns for evidence of trafficking. There were no reports of public officials' complicity in trafficking, and there were no reported arrests or convictions of complicit officials.

Protection
The Government of Fiji demonstrated limited efforts to protect or assist victims of trafficking. Due to severe resource constraints, the government relies on services provided by international organizations or NGOs. The government showed no sign of having a policy or procedures for the identification of victims of trafficking and their referral to protection services. The Government of Fiji did not actively encourage victim participation in the investigation of traffickers, sex tourists, or exploitative employers during the year. There is no legal alternative to removal for victims that may face hardship or retribution in a source country. The interim government quickly deported P.R.C. women in prostitution without attempting to identify them as victims of trafficking. Foreigners who may have been trafficked are detained and deported for unlawful acts such as prostitution or immigration violations. As part of a "clean up" campaign, the current interim government arrested women and children in prostitution. There is no government referral program for victims or training for law enforcement or immigration officials to recognize trafficking or how to treat victims.

Prevention
The Government of Fiji demonstrated few efforts to raise awareness and prevent trafficking in persons in 2006. Prior to the late 2006 coup, the Ministry of Tourism conducted a child protection workshop for hotel workers that included information about underage prostitution. A formal committee, chaired by the Ministry of Justice and including representatives from the police, the Reserve Bank, security agencies, customs, and immigration, has among its responsibilities the coordination of anti-trafficking efforts. However, the committee has not met since the coup. Fiji has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

FINLAND (Tier 1)

Finland is a transit and destination country for women and girls trafficked from Russia for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Women from China, Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, and Thailand are also trafficked to and through Finland to Nordic and Western European countries for purposes of sexual exploitation. Finland is a destination country for men and women trafficked from the People's Republic of China, Vietnam, and India for purposes of forced labor; victims are exploited in the construction industry, restaurants, and as domestic servants. In 2006, South Asian men were trafficked through Finland to Western Europe for purposes of forced labor.

The Government of Finland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government made appreciable progress over the last year, specifically through increased law enforcement efforts and continued victim identification and referrals to assistance programs. The inter-agency working group held its annual review of government anti-trafficking efforts. In June 2006, Finland amended its criminal code to hold clients criminally liable if they purchase sexual services from a person they know to be a trafficking victim. The government should provide specialized training to reception center psychologists and staff who have contact with victims. Finland should consider creating a formal witness protection program; in July, a victim was abducted prior to her scheduled testimony during her traffickers' trial. The government should also work more closely with source country governments when repatriating victims.

Prosecution
Finland continued to demonstrate vigorous law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Section 1899-39 of Finland's penal code prohibits all forms of trafficking. Related criminal statutes, such as kidnapping, pimping, and child rape, are also used to prosecute traffickers. The maximum penalty prescribed under Section 1899-39 is seven years' imprisonment; this is sufficiently stringent to deter trafficking and is commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes. During the reporting period, police conducted six trafficking investigations, up from five in 2005. Prosecutors successfully used Section 1899-39 for the first time to prosecute and convict seven traffickers for the sexual exploitation of 15 women from Estonia. In 2006, 10 traffickers were prosecuted - nine for sex trafficking and one for labor trafficking - a significant increase from four prosecutions in 2005. Moreover, 10 traffickers were convicted in 2006, up from four in 2005. Sentences imposed on convicted traffickers ranged from one to five years. No sentences were suspended. Finland worked closely with Estonian and Russian authorities to investigate and prosecute two trafficking cases.

Protection
Finland continued to improve its victim assistance over the last year. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases and allowed victims to apply for temporary residency. The government provided the majority of funding for anti-trafficking NGOs. In 2006, the government began encouraging trafficking victims to stay in NGO shelters rather than government-run reception refugee centers. Law enforcement and social workers have mechanisms to identify and refer trafficking victims for necessary care. Victims identified by government authorities were not inappropriately penalized.

Prevention
Finland maintained its strong trafficking prevention efforts both domestically and abroad. The government sustained its domestic demand reduction campaign targeted at Finns who travel abroad for sex tourism. Finland continued to provide extensive funding to NGO's and international organization's awareness-raising and prevention programs in five source countries. Authorities monitored immigration patterns and screened applicants at ports-of-entry for trafficking; during the reporting period, authorities concentrated efforts on the detection of Asian trafficking routes. This effort resulted in the successful conviction of a Bangladeshi who was convicted under Section 1899-39 for trafficking eight Bangladeshi nationals through Finland.

FRANCE (Tier 1)

France is a destination country for women and girls trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Cameroon are the primary source countries for women trafficked for sexual exploitation, although increasing numbers of mainland Chinese women and girls are trafficked to France. A majority of the estimated 18,000 women in France's commercial sex trade are probably victims of trafficking. Some women who migrate to France voluntarily for work are deceived or coerced into sexual servitude or debt bondage. During 2006, the ratio of Eastern European sex trafficking victims fell, while the percentages of African, South American, and Asian women trafficked to France increased. The Committee Against Modern Slavery (CCEM) estimated that one-fifth of involuntary domestic servitude cases in France involve abusive employers who are diplomats with diplomatic immunity.

The Government of France fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. France works closely and proactively with Eastern European countries to combat trafficking. During the reporting period, the French government initiated contacts with some African countries, with the aim of reducing trafficking. The government should enhance training to encourage the vigorous investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases with the anti-trafficking statute when appropriate. The government should continue to aggressively prosecute trafficking cases and ensure that traffickers receive sentences consistent with the heinous nature of the offense.

Prosecution
The Government of France continued progress in combating trafficking in persons during 2006. France prohibits trafficking for both sexual and labor exploitation through Article 225 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and exceed those for rape. Prosecutors continued to apply the anti-pimping laws in lieu of the anti-trafficking provision in sex trafficking cases because the prosecutors are accustomed to using them, and because the penalties for both (including cases involving aggravating circumstances) are basically identical. The government reported high numbers of pimping arrests and prosecutions in 2006, but it is unclear how many of these are trafficking cases, since the government does not disaggregate sentencing data by crime. Of 55 persons convicted of "aggravated pimping involving a minor," only eight were convicted solely on this count; seven of those received a prison term, serving an average of little more than 25 months each. The CCEM is currently working on cases for 89 victims of involuntary domestic servitude in various stages of the judicial process, 39 of these cases were new in 2006. In February 2007, 10 traffickers and 41 French "buyers" were convicted and sentenced for "trade in human beings." In April 2007, five members of an extended family network involved in forcing up to 60 homeless people to work under inhumane conditions in Paris and Marseille were sentenced to terms of four years and 1.5 million euro in fines under the anti-trafficking law. There were also two convictions in 2006 of French citizens for sex tourism abroad; they resulted in prison sentences of eight and 10 years. The government increased law enforcement cooperation with Bulgaria and Romania. There was no indication of trafficking-related complicity among French government officials.

Protection
The Government of France continued to protect and assist victims of trafficking in 2006. The government encourages victim participation in the investigation of traffickers, and victims may file civil complaints against traffickers. A trafficking victim who files a complaint against a trafficker or testifies against him or her is eligible for a temporary three-month residency card and a work permit. The temporary card can be renewed for another three months and again for a period of six months. Moreover, an Interior Ministry circular of 2005 authorized authorities not to return trafficking victims to countries where they will suffer mistreatment. The government does not provide information on how many of these permits it issues, as they are provided through mayor's offices and not tabulated nationally. However, the figure in 2005 was over 300 permits issued in Paris alone. If the trafficker is convicted, the victim is eligible for a permanent residency card. Occasionally women in prostitution are arrested and fined for solicitation without being screened to determine whether they are victims. The government and City of Paris fund comprehensive services and long-term shelter facilities for trafficking victims through the Accompaniment Places of Welcome (ALC). The ALC network of 33 NGOs provides victim services in 36 shelters across France. In 2006, the ALC received notifications on 58 trafficking victims in need of shelter and placed 52 victims in 25 shelters with six victims returned to their country of origin.

Prevention
France continued to demonstrate efforts to raise awareness and prevent trafficking in persons in 2006. In early 2007, the government sponsored its first-ever nationwide conference that brought together enforcement officials, magistrates, and NGOs to discuss how better to improve communication and cooperation in protecting victims and preventing trafficking. The government continued its participation in an anti-trafficking awareness campaign that used posters calling attention to the reality that women in prostitution in France may be victims of trafficking. The government also funded television ad campaigns on all the major channels on child prostitution and sex tourism. The government continued funding an NGO-run anti-child sex tourism campaign on Air France flights. In 2006, the Ministry of Tourism instituted a program to combat sex tourism by French citizens and residents. All tourism students in France must do course work on sex tourism. In September 2006, anti-trafficking police officials were assigned to 12 French embassies in countries with well-known sex tourism trades in an attempt to prosecute offenders, raise official awareness of the problem, and increase cooperation with those countries.

GABON (Tier 2)

Gabon is a destination country for children trafficked for the purpose of forced labor. Children are trafficked primarily by boat to Gabon from Benin, Nigeria, Togo, and Guinea, with smaller numbers coming from Sierra Leone, Burkina Faso and Cameroon. Girls are trafficked for domestic servitude, forced market vending, and forced restaurant labor, while boys are trafficked for forced street hawking and forced labor in small workshops.

The Government of Gabon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Progress initiated in 2004 to prosecute traffickers has stalled. To strengthen its response to trafficking, Gabon should increase efforts to prosecute traffickers, develop a system for collecting trafficking crime and victim statistics, and further strengthen victim protection and awareness-raising efforts.

Prosecution
The Government of Gabon demonstrated weak anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Gabon prohibits child labor trafficking through its 2004 Law Preventing and Combating Child Trafficking, which prescribes penalties of 5 to 15 years' imprisonment and a $20,000-40,000 fine. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. Gabon also prohibits child trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. The government did not report any trafficking convictions during the year. Authorities in Gabon report that 12 to 20 trafficking cases are currently at different stages within the judicial system, but specific data on arrests and investigations is lacking. Judges are poorly educated about, and lack access to, Gabon's anti-trafficking law. The government failed to provide law enforcement officials with trafficking training, but encouraged security officials to participate in NGO and international organization training opportunities. The government purchased 10 patrol boats in 2006 to help combat maritime child trafficking into the country; the boats perform regular patrols.

Protection
The government continued to take steps to provide care for trafficking victims during the year. Gabon continued to operate three residential reception centers for trafficking victims. In Gabon's main center, 27 children were received during 2006, though not all were trafficking victims. Of these, eight children remain in the center. In July 2006, acting on a recommendation from UNICEF, the government announced that neighborhood social services centers would be mandated to provide a full range of services for trafficking victims. The government continued to fund and staff a toll-free trafficking hotline, assisted by UNICEF. While the government does not fund the repatriation of foreign victims, it coordinates and organizes repatriations with NGOs, international organizations and foreign embassies. The government actively negotiated bilateral and regional agreements to facilitate repatriation and ensure that repatriated victims are appropriately treated in their home countries. Children are not repatriated if there is no cooperation from the government of the country of origin. The Gabonese government encourages victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. The government requires victim testimony for trafficking prosecutions and provides victim care until the prosecution's case is prepared. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined or penalized for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Gabon made moderate efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the year. Its Inter-ministerial committee to Combat Child Trafficking conducted a trafficking awareness campaign, targeting a fishing neighborhood in Libreville aimed at the employers of child victims. Public media continued to broadcast messages to combat child trafficking and child labor. The cumulative impact of public awareness efforts has been substantial, and, as a consequence, observers report that it is now unusual to see a child engaged in labor in a public market or on the streets. In early 2007 the government drafted an implementation plan for a regional accord against trafficking it had entered into in July 2006. The government contributed some financing and administrative support to international organizations to assist in planning a sub-regional anti-trafficking conference.

THE GAMBIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

The Gambia is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Within The Gambia, women and girls are mostly trafficked for sexual exploitation, in particular to meet the demand for European sex tourism, and for domestic servitude. Boys are trafficked primarily for forced street vending and by religious teachers for forced begging. Transnationally, women, girls, and boys from neighboring countries are trafficked to The Gambia for the same purposes listed above. Primary source countries are Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, and Benin. Gambian women and girls are trafficked to Senegal for domestic servitude and possibly for sexual exploitation; Gambian boys are trafficked to Senegal for forced begging. Women and children may be trafficked to Europe. Reports during the year of large numbers of Gambian, Senegalese, and other neighboring country nationals being transported from The Gambia to Spain by boat appear to be predominantly cases of smuggling rather than trafficking.

The Government of The Gambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. The Gambia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking over the previous year. To strengthen its response to trafficking, The Gambia should: increase enforcement of its law against child trafficking; pass its draft law against all forms of trafficking; increase efforts to identify and care for victims, ensuring that trafficking victims are not incarcerated; and adopt its national action plan against trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of The Gambia made minimal efforts in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the last year. The Gambia does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though it prohibits child trafficking through its 2005 Children's Act, which prescribes a sentence of up to life imprisonment - a penalty that is sufficiently stringent. No trafficking offenders, however, have yet been prosecuted under this law. The Department of State for Justice has completed drafting a Human Trafficking Bill, prohibiting all forms of trafficking, that is slated to go before the National Assembly for approval. The government contributed personnel to assist in an NGO-funded child trafficking training for security officials in December 2006 and in a February 2007 NGO-financed training to educate the government's Tourism Security Unit about child trafficking. A senior government official chairs the National Anti-TIP Task Force and was the principal speaker and lead panelist at the February seminar.

The government does not systematically collect trafficking crime data, and consequently did not report any trafficking arrests or prosecutions, though it investigated at least one trafficking case during the year. Border officials continued to ensure that adults bringing children who are not their own into The Gambia have documents showing parental consent. However, when authorities discovered potential traffickers at borders or in The Gambia, they barred them from entry or deported them without taking follow-up action. The government collaborated with NGOs in November 2006 to train child welfare officers about juvenile justice and the Children's Act.

Protection
The Gambian government made modest efforts to provide care for trafficking victims during the year. The Gambia continued to operate the children's shelter it opened in February 2006, and it plans to open a second shelter in the Upper River Region. The government continued to operate its hotline established in 2005. However, because funds available to publicize it are limited, public awareness of the hotline is low and, consequently, few calls have been received. In February 2007, at the Tourism Security Unit training, motorcycles granted to the unit were painted with the hotline number as an advertisement. Once provisions have been made for the hotline to handle urgent requests, the Department plans to publicize it more widely. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions, and it does not provide legal alternatives to victims' removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Victims may be inappropriately incarcerated, fined or penalized for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked. During periodic enforcement raids, police arrest women and children in prostitution without screening them to identify trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Government of The Gambia made modest efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. During the last year, the government contributed personnel and limited resources to NGO-funded public sensitization campaigns on children's rights and topics such as trafficking through radio and television broadcasts, and sessions with children as well as with religious and community leaders. In July 2006, an NGO-sponsored child trafficking forum in Serrekunda featured a lawyer from the Department of State for Justice as the keynote speaker. Although the government established an anti-trafficking task force, it has not met since August 2006. The government has not yet adopted its draft national action plan against trafficking, which was developed in 2004.

GEORGIA (Tier 1)

Georgia is a source and transit country for women and girls trafficked primarily to Turkey and the U.A.E. for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women and girls from Ukraine, Moldova, Russia, and other former Soviet states are trafficked through Georgia to Turkey, Greece, the U.A.E., and Western Europe. Men are trafficked for the purpose of forced labor; victims are trafficked for the purpose of forced labor in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The Government of Georgia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Over the past year, the government made considerable progress in the prosecution and punishment of traffickers, protection and assistance for victims, and prevention of trafficking. Georgia developed and implemented a victim-centered national referral mechanism, provided a building for the country's first trafficking victims' shelter, dedicated on-going funding for victim assistance, passed comprehensive trafficking legislation, aggressively prosecuted and toughened penalties for traffickers, and initiated multiple proactive prevention programs. The government should ensure proactive identification of all potential and returning trafficking victims and ensure consistent implementation of its national referral mechanism.

Prosecution
The Government of Georgia made appreciable progress in its law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Georgia prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through its Law on the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons, adopted in April 2006, which prescribes penalties ranging from 7 to 20 years' imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those for other grave crimes. The government investigated 28 cases in 2006, compared with 27 in 2005. Authorities prosecuted 16 cases, up from nine cases in 2005. There were 19 convictions of traffickers in 2006, up from nine convictions in 2005. The government eliminated its use of suspended sentences and toughened sentences imposed on traffickers in 2006. Traffickers received sentences ranging from 4 to 15 years' imprisonment, with an average of 10 years. In response to allegations of forced labor in Kodori Gorge, the government assembled a response team to determine the scope of the problem and launched a criminal investigation into seven cases. Although there were no specific cases of officials complicit in trafficking, the government tackled trafficking-related corruption by investigating and prosecuting 12 cases of passport fraud, convicting five officials with an average sentence of two years.

Protection
Georgia made considerable progress in improving victim protections over the reporting period. The government encouraged victims' assistance in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, and provided victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. Victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked. In 2006, the government developed and established a national victim referral and assistance mechanism to guide and facilitate cooperation among state agencies and NGOs from the identification phase to repatriation or rehabilitation. The mechanism offers protection and assistance to trafficking victims regardless of whether they assist law enforcement authorities. The government identified a greater number of victims during the reporting period: 29 compared with 18 in 2005. In June 2006, Georgia provided $57,000 to a state program for victim protection and assistance, which includes a victim allowance, as well as counseling, legal assistance, and rehabilitation and reintegration services. In July 2006, the government donated a building in Batumi to be used as a trafficking shelter and funded 70 percent of the shelter's operating costs.

Prevention
In September 2006, the Government of Georgia established the Permanent Anti-Trafficking Coordination Council, replacing the temporary council established in 2005. The new Council drafted a comprehensive 2007-2008 National Action Plan, which was approved by the President in January 2007. During the reporting period, the government conducted targeted training for government officials, journalists, and high school teachers, trained hotline operators to respond to trafficking-related calls, and launched a comprehensive public awareness campaign utilizing mass media and interactive meetings with target groups. In December 2006, it developed and implemented a unified database to increase interagency coordination and consolidate existing information on traffickers. During 2006, the government printed and distributed 200,000 anti-trafficking brochures at Georgia's main ports of entry.

GERMANY (TIER 1)

Germany is a transit and destination country for men and women trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Victims are trafficked primarily from Central and Eastern Europe (mainly Romania, Russia, and Bulgaria) as well as Africa and, to a lesser extent, Asia. A significant number of victims - almost 18 percent in 2005 - are trafficked internally. In 2005, 51 of the 642 victims identified were children trafficked to Germany for the purpose of sexual exploitation; 28 of those children were German nationals.

The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In May 2006, Germany established a new inter-agency illegal migration analysis and strategy center, in part to coordinate law enforcement efforts against trafficking in persons. Government efforts to prevent sex trafficking during the World Cup Soccer Championship included state-federal law enforcement information sharing, increased police presence in red light districts, additional police inspections and raids, efforts to raise awareness among hotels, and enhanced cooperation with social institutions and counseling centers. The IOM concluded there was no significant increase in trafficking to Germany during the World Cup, crediting extensive prevention campaigns inside and outside of Germany and an increased police focus. Germany should consider amending its victim protection legislation to include psychological counseling and treatment. Germany should also explore ways, within the parameters of its judicial system, to increase prison sentences for convicted traffickers.

Prosecution
The German government demonstrated adequate law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Germany prohibits all forms of trafficking; trafficking for sexual exploitation is criminalized in Section 232 of its Penal Code and forced labor is criminalized under Section 233. Other laws are also used to prosecute trafficking cases. Penalties prescribed for trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor range from six months to ten years' imprisonment and are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties for other grave crimes, such as rape. It is common practice for judges to suspend sentences of two years or less for all crimes, including trafficking. In 2005, the most recent year for which data is available, police concluded 317 trafficking investigations. German police launched 370 trafficking investigations in 2004. German authorities prosecuted 183 individuals for trafficking in 2005, compared to 189 prosecutions in 2004. In 2005, 136 traffickers were convicted, including nine under the juvenile justice system. In comparison, 137 adult and four juvenile traffickers were convicted in 2004. Only 42 of the 136 traffickers convicted in 2005 received prison sentences that were not suspended; in 2004, 47 of the 141 convicted traffickers' sentences were not suspended.

Protection
Germany continued to provide good victim assistance and protection over the reporting period. Approximately 25 counseling centers in Germany provided assistance and facilitated victim protection, including shelter. Police continued to effectively implement procedures for identifying victims and referred them to protective services. In 2005, authorities identified a total of 642 victims, of which 527 were from foreign countries. Foreign victims that are illegally present in Germany are granted a four-week reflection period; victims who assist law enforcement with investigations and prosecutions are eligible to stay in Germany for the duration of the trial. The government may grant permanent residence permits to those victims who face hardship or retribution upon return to their home country. Victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
Germany continued to demonstrate progress in its trafficking prevention efforts. During 2006, the government continued to fund a number of NGOs performing public awareness both in Germany and abroad. German embassies and consulates in certain source countries conducted outreach, including advocacy for strengthening laws against child sex tourism. The government funded child sex tourism identification training for Guatemalan law enforcement and migration officers. Germany also continued to co-fund an NGO that conducted domestic awareness programs on child sex tourism. Most public awareness campaigns associated with the World Cup received funding from federal, state, or local governments.

GHANA (Tier 2)

Ghana is a source, transit and destination country for children and women trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking within the country is more prevalent than transnational trafficking and the majority of victims are children. Both boys and girls are trafficked within Ghana for forced labor in the fishing industry, agriculture, mines, quarries, and as porters, street hawkers and truck pushers. Girls are also trafficked within Ghana for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Children are also trafficked to and from other West African countries, most notably Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea, and The Gambia, to work as farm workers, laborers, divers, street hawkers, or domestics. Women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation from Ghana to Western Europe, from Nigeria through Ghana to Western Europe, and from Burkina Faso through Ghana to Cote d'Ivoire.

The Government of Ghana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. To improve its response to trafficking, Ghana should: strengthen law enforcement efforts against traffickers; increase efforts to provide assistance to victims; ensuring in particular that foreign victims rescued at Ghana's borders are not turned away without assistance; establish the Human Trafficking Board and Fund mandated by its 2005 anti-trafficking law; and adopt its national action plan to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Ghana increased its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the last year. Ghana prohibits all forms of trafficking through its 2005 Human Trafficking Act, which prescribes a minimum penalty of five years' imprisonment, but no maximum penalty, for all forms of trafficking; this is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape. In February 2007, the government obtained its first conviction of a trafficker under the 2005 law; the trafficker received a sentence of six years' imprisonment. The government arrested three additional traffickers during the year, releasing two for lack of evidence and prosecuting one. The government launched a nationwide campaign to educate the public about the new anti-trafficking law. In February 2007, the government contributed personnel, venues, transport and other logistical support to a four-day ILO-sponsored workshop on trafficking for military personnel, police, Prisons Service, and Customs, Excise and Preventive Service officers. The government also provided a venue for UNODC-sponsored trafficking training for law enforcement officials. In October 2006, the Ghana Immigration Service created and staffed a position for a trafficking desk officer dedicated to overseeing anti-trafficking operations. A member of Ghana's parliament was indicted by a U.S. court in 2002 for trafficking a Ghanaian woman to the United States for forced domestic servitude; Ghanaian authorities have yet to respond to the U.S. request for the official's extradition, despite repeated U.S. efforts to secure the extradition of the official, who was re-elected to Parliament in 2004.

Protection
The Government of Ghana demonstrated sustained but inadequate efforts to provide care for trafficking victims during the year. The government does not have formal procedures for the identification of victims among vulnerable populations such as persons detained for prostitution or immigration violations, and for their referral to protection services. It continued to contribute utilities and personnel to the private Madina shelter for child trafficking victims. However, this facility, which assisted approximately 75 victims in the last year is too small to meet the full demand for care. The government also operates two children's homes in Accra, where victims can be housed temporarily until they are repatriated, but these homes are stretched beyond capacity. The government plans to improve its protection services once it establishes the Human Trafficking Fund to provide victim assistance. In August 2006, police rescued 46 child victims trafficked within Ghana and officials returned them to their home communities. Government efforts to encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions are hampered by a lack of coordination between agencies responsible for anti-trafficking activities. While Ghana's anti-trafficking law allows for victims to remain in Ghana if it is in their best interest after their trafficking has been prosecuted, this provision has never been implemented. Most victims of trafficking are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, but foreign victims rescued on Ghana's borders are frequently turned away rather than provided with care.

Prevention
The Government of Ghana demonstrated strong efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. The government conducted anti-trafficking media sensitization campaigns and organized workshops. For example, in December 2006, the government held a one-day workshop in Tema to build capacity for community anti-trafficking surveillance teams. In November 2006, MOWAC and the Attorney General's Office held a two-day anti-trafficking workshop in Accra for religious organizations. Although the government has identified a coordinator for the 17-member Human Trafficking Board, the President has not yet signed the order required to establish this body. In June 2006, government officials participated in an ILO-funded workshop to create a national action plan to combat trafficking. Once established, the Human Trafficking Board will approve and implement the plan. Ghana has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

GREECE (Tier 2)

Greece is a transit and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women are trafficked mostly from Russia, the Balkans, Romania, Bulgaria, and Nigeria for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women are also trafficked from Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus. Some Albanian men are trafficked to Greece for forced labor. Most children trafficked from Albania to Greece are trafficked for forced labor, including forced begging and petty crimes; some are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The number of identified trafficked Albanian children declined in 2006.

The Government of Greece does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In 2006, Greece allocated more than $1 million for victim assistance and trafficking prevention programs both domestically and in source countries. The government also significantly increased trafficking investigations, prosecutions, and convictions. Despite these improvements, serious concerns remain with regard to current victim identification and protection. Some victims were reportedly prosecuted and incarcerated in detention centers. NGOs should be permitted greater access to all deportation centers to screen for trafficking victims. Authorities should forge stronger collaborative relationships with NGOs, drawing on NGOs' expertise in identifying victims. The government should continue to provide trafficking sensitivity training for judicial authorities to improve the treatment victims receive in court, and it should take steps to ensure that traffickers receive increased sentences. The Memorandum of Cooperation, signed by the government and NGOs in 2005, should be expanded to include more anti-trafficking NGOs and should clarify the role of NGOs and the services available to victims. The government should also increase efforts to compile reliable trafficking statistics.

Prosecution
Greece significantly increased its law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Greek law 3064, adopted in 2002, prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor. Penalties prescribed for trafficking include imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine of $13,000 to $65,000. These penalties are commensurate with those for other grave crimes, such as sexual assault, and are sufficiently stringent. In 2006, police conducted 70 trafficking investigations, up from 60 in 2005, and arrested 206 suspected traffickers, up from 202 arrests in 2005. Authorities conducted 49 prosecutions and obtained convictions of 78 traffickers in 2006, a marked increase from the 9 convictions obtained in 2005. However, sentences imposed on convicted traffickers remained weak; moreover, the majority of convicted traffickers remain free on bail for five to six years while their convictions are appealed. During the reporting period, at least three traffickers were given sentences ranging from 12 to 19 years' imprisonment.

Protection
Greece demonstrated modest progress in its overall efforts to protect trafficking victims. Victim identification continued to be a problem; only 83 trafficking victims were identified by government authorities in 2006, a significant decrease from 137 victims identified in 2005. According to NGO estimates, 13,000 to 14,000 victims are in Greece at any given time. The government continued to implement formal procedures for the identification of victims among vulnerable populations. Based on their November 2005 Memorandum of Cooperation with NGOs, police referred 39 victims to state-run shelters. Some of these eventually moved to NGO-run shelters, where, in 2006, a total of 37 victims received aid, compared to 19 victims in 2005. However, shelters remain underutilized. Concerns remain that victims not officially identified by prosecutors or police remain vulnerable to deportation; in 2006, only 34 of the 83 victims identified received full victim status and 15 victims were granted residence permits. Although the government allocated and dispersed funding to approximately 13 NGOs for victim assistance and rehabilitation, some NGOs reported difficulty in actually receiving the full funding promised. While there were reports of victims being penalized or prosecuted during the reporting period for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, some Greek prosecutors waived prosecution of trafficking victims. This year all 83 identified victims assisted in investigations, an improvement over last year.

Prevention
The Government of Greece continued its significant efforts to prevent trafficking and raise awareness. The Secretariat General for Gender Equality completed a national awareness campaign targeting commercial sex procurers, trafficking victims, and citizens. The government distributed IOM and government-produced information cards at ports of entry to alert potential victims about available law enforcement resources; the cards were printed in Greek, English, Russian, and Romanian. The government allocated approximately $600,000 for a prevention project in Albania that will be conducted for the next three years. The government also continued to support NGOs in source countries that conduct trafficking prevention work. Greece has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

GUATEMALA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Guatemala is a source, transit, and destination country for Guatemalans and Central Americans trafficked for the purposes of labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Human trafficking is a significant and growing problem in the country. Guatemalans and women and children trafficked through Guatemala from El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua are subject to commercial sexual exploitation in Mexico, Belize, and the United States. In the Mexican border area, Guatemalan children are exploited for forced labor and begging; Guatemalan men and women are exploited for labor in commercial agriculture. Border areas with Mexico and Belize remain a top concern due to the heavy flow of undocumented migrants, many of whom fall victim to traffickers.

The Government of Guatemala does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Guatemala is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, particularly in terms of convicting and sentencing human traffickers for their crimes. The government demonstrated its commitment to combating human trafficking by sponsoring victim-targeted public awareness campaigns, promoting much-needed penal-code reforms, leading anti-trafficking cooperation with neighboring countries, and fostering anti-trafficking awareness among government officials through an inter-agency working group. However, the government failed to convict and punish trafficking offenders during the year. It should make every effort to carry out the legislative reforms necessary to effectively address trafficking crimes. The government also should consider providing greater legal protections for foreign trafficking victims, and continue work with NGOs and civil society to improve victim services, especially for adults. Providing additional anti-trafficking training for judges and police, and devoting more resources to anti-trafficking police and prosecutors, are additional goals.

Prosecution
Government efforts to punish traffickers dropped precipitously during the reporting period. Thirty-two trafficking-related cases were filed with the Public Ministry; 28 investigations remain open; no convictions were reported. This represents a significant decrease from last year, when 50 prosecutions and 15 convictions were achieved. Prosecutors continue to face problems in court with the application of Guatemala's anti-trafficking laws, which were amended in 2005 to expand the definition of trafficking and allow for 7- to 16-year prison terms. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. Many judges threw out charges under the new statute in favor of better-defined and more familiar offenses, which carry far lighter penalties, mostly fines not accompanying prison terms. Efforts to reform the penal code and develop broader anti-trafficking legislation must address these concerns to ensure that traffickers are convicted and serve serious sentences. The government remained an anti-trafficking leader by cooperating and sharing information with neighboring countries, advocating a regional approach for combating trafficking in persons. But credible reports also indicate that some local officials have facilitated acts of human trafficking by compromising police investigations and raids of brothels, accepting bribes, and falsifying identity documents. The government should take additional steps to identify these corrupt officials and punish them.

Protection
The government's protection efforts remained inadequate. The government does not offer assistance dedicated to victims of trafficking. Child victims received basic care at seven government-run shelters. The government refers most victims to NGOs for services. Guatemalan authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. While victims' rights are generally respected, foreign adult victims are not provided legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they face hardship or retribution. Last year, 564 aliens, mostly from Central America, were rescued from brothels but then were deported; many were potential trafficking victims. The government also rescued 300 children, who were transferred to NGOs. Due to resource constraints and the volume of migrants in the country, many aliens are simply left at the border; some are potential trafficking victims who fall back into the hands of their traffickers. No meaningful government mechanism for screening potential trafficking victims exists.

Prevention
The government took solid steps to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. It launched several nationwide public-awareness campaigns to warn potential victims of the dangers of trafficking, featuring posters, brochures, radio broadcasts, and bus advertising. One campaign targeted the country's southern borders with El Salvador and Honduras. The government also supports scholarship programs to keep poor children in school.

GUINEA (Tier 2)

Guinea is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Guinean children are trafficked within the country mainly from impoverished rural areas of Upper and Middle Guinea; girls are trafficked for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation and boys are trafficked for forced labor as street vendors, shoe shiners, beggars, and for forced mine and agricultural labor. Guinean women and girls are trafficked abroad to Cote d'Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, and Greece for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Girls are trafficked to Guinea from Nigeria, Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. Guinean men are occasionally trafficked within Guinea for agricultural labor. Some from the People's Republic of China (P.R.C.) women and girls are trafficked to Guinea for sexual exploitation. Organized trafficking networks from Nigeria, China, India, and Greece use Guinea as a point of transit, moving female victims through the Maghreb countries to Europe, notably Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, and France.

The Government of Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. To strengthen its response to trafficking, Guinea should pass legislation prohibiting all forms of trafficking, increase efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers and rescue victims, with a focus on children subjected to sexual exploitation.

Prosecution
The Government of Guinea made minimal efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement in the last year. Guinea prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through separate statutes. Labor trafficking is criminalized through Article 337 of its 1998 Penal Code, which prescribes penalties of six months' to 10 years' imprisonment - penalties that are sufficiently stringent. Forced prostitution and child prostitution are criminalized by Article 329 of its Penal Code, which prescribes penalties of six months' to two years' imprisonment if the trafficked victim is an adult, and two to five years' imprisonment if the victim is a child. These penalties for sex trafficking of adults are not sufficiently stringent and not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. The government arrested and jailed a suspected trafficker for attempting to sell his daughter. The police arrested two individuals for trafficking a minor to Liberia for domestic servitude, but the case could not be pursued because the victim denied the charges and asked that the suspects be released. The police are currently investigating two transnational trafficking cases. During the last year, the government continued drafting a law prohibiting all forms of trafficking and a separate law against child trafficking as part of a new child legal code. The government failed to investigate reports that higher level government officials might be protecting some traffickers. Guinea also failed to respond to a report of child commercial sexual exploitation.

Protection
The Government of Guinea continued to make progress in providing care to trafficking victims during the reporting period. Although the government does not operate or fund victim shelters, it liaised with NGOs to place 22 child trafficking victims in foster homes. A government case manager monitored each child's care to ensure that medical and legal services were provided. The government continued to provide free phone service for an NGO-operated 24-hour victim hotline. The government requires that victims participate in trafficking prosecutions before a case may go to trial. Guinea does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. Due to lack of crime data, it is unclear whether Guinea inappropriately incarcerates, fines, or penalizes victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Guinea continued solid efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. The government contributed funding for some costs associated with an ILO study on the number of children in domestic labor, mining, and street vending, or who are associated with drug or arms sales. The National Committee to Combat Trafficking hosted a workshop in July 2006 to evaluate whether Guinea's national action plan is in compliance with ECOWAS' trafficking guidelines, concluding that it does comply. The government has integrated trafficking-relatede issues into the primary school curriculum. The Ministry of Defense, through its own child protection office, has developed a 2007 plan to combat child trafficking. The government continued to contribute personnel, vehicles and other travel resources to an intensive national media campaign against trafficking that it launched jointly with UNICEF in 2005.

GUINEA-BISSAU (Tier 2)

Guinea-Bissau is a source country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced begging and agricultural labor. Most victims are boys (talibe) trafficked to West African countries, primarily Senegal, by Koranic school instructors (marabouts) or their intermediaries. The eastern cities of Bafata and Gabu are key source areas and the primary route to Senegal is overland. Parents often agree to send their child with an instructor, falsely believing the child will receive a religious education. However, many instructors offer no education and instead compel children to beg in urban areas for up to 12 hours at a time. If children fail to earn about one dollar per day, they are subjected to physical abuse. Children are also sometimes forced into seasonal agricultural labor on some instructors' plantations.

The Government of Guinea-Bissau does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. To improve its response to trafficking, Guinea-Bissau should: draft and pass a law prohibiting trafficking in persons; increase efforts to prosecute traffickers; develop a national action plan to combat trafficking; and strengthen efforts to raise public awareness.

Prosecution
The Government of Guinea-Bissau has demonstrated weak anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the last year. Guinea-Bissau does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons. During the year, the government detained one marabout and some intermediaries who assisted marabouts to traffic children, but failed to prosecute them under existing statutes, such as those on kidnapping and child abuse. To combat trafficking, migration officials in Pirada blocked children not accompanied by a parent from leaving the country. Effective law enforcement is hampered by faulty phone service between border police and central police headquarters, lack of vehicles for police who must travel by public bus, lack of payment of police salaries, lack of prisons, and lack of training. Traffickers who are detained by border police and successfully referred to the central police for further action are usually released. Law enforcement efforts against traffickers are also obstructed by cultural and political pressures; politicians have admitted that prosecuting religious instructors who traffic children could be misperceived by a major voting block as action against religious instruction.

Protection
The Government of Guinea-Bissau made significant efforts to provide care for trafficking victims during the year. While the government does not operate victim shelters, it continued to contribute $16,000 per year to an anti-trafficking NGO (AMIC), providing care to trafficking victims. Police and border officials continued to identify and refer victims to AMIC for care. In 2006, police and the Bissau-Guinean embassy in Senegal coordinated with NGOs and IOM to repatriate 92 Bissau-Guinean victims from Senegal and two victims from Guinea-Bissau to Guinea and Senegal respectively. Police and border officials assisted AMIC in locating the parents of repatriated victims. These child victims sometimes lived with the Gabu police commissioner until their parents could be found. Guinea-Bissau's Ambassador to Senegal also housed children who were awaiting repatriation from Senegal, when no alternative could be found. In February 2007, Bissau-Guinean immigration officials on the border with Guinea coordinated with police to rescue 29 Guinean boys. The government does not encourage victims, all of whom are children, to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. Victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Guinea-Bissau made solid efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. The government helps to fund radio trafficking awareness campaigns conducted by AMIC, and Guinea-Bissau's Ambassador to Senegal has delivered radio messages warning Muslim communities about trafficking. The government also assists IOM and NGOs to educate repatriated Bissau-Guinean victims and their families about trafficking to avoid re-victimization. The government lacks a national action plan to combat trafficking. Guinea-Bissau has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

GUYANA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Guyana is principally a source country for men, women, and children trafficked within the country for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most trafficking takes place in remote mining camps in the country's interior. Amerindian girls from the interior also are trafficked to coastal areas for sexual exploitation, and young Amerindian men are exploited under forced labor conditions in timber camps. In some instances, victims are abducted. Guyanese women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation to neighboring countries such as Suriname, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Venezuela, Brazil, and the United States.

The Government of Guyana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Guyana is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons over the past year, particularly in terms of convicting and sentencing human traffickers for their crimes. In the coming year, the government should aggressively investigate and arrest suspected traffickers, and make every effort to move their cases through the criminal justice system. The government also should expand training for judges and magistrates who handle trafficking cases, especially in remote areas, where the bulk of trafficking occurs.

Prosecution
The government made limited law-enforcement progress against traffickers over the last year. The Government of Guyana prohibits all forms of trafficking through its comprehensive Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, which became law in 2005. This law prescribes punishment ranging from three years to life imprisonment, penalties which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for rape and other grave crimes. However, the government has yet to obtain an anti-trafficking conviction. Six criminal cases were opened against alleged traffickers in 2006: two cases were dismissed, and four are pending. This represents a modest increase from 2005, when three prosecutions were initiated. Prosecutors report that rural magistrates remain unfamiliar with the new trafficking law, and cases tried in the capital move at a slow pace due to the judicial backlog. In the coming year, the government should intensify its efforts to expedite cases against traffickers, as recently emphasized by Guyana's newly appointed Minister of Human Services and Social Security; she has called for speedy trials in trafficking cases, and urged police to do more to encourage reporting of trafficking crimes. Technical training should be expanded to reach officials in rural areas. Guyanese law enforcement officials worked with counterparts in neighboring countries to share information on international trafficking cases and to assist victims. There was reliable evidence of some public complicity in trafficking by lower-level officials, and a conspiracy charge was filed against a police officer for such an offense in 2006.

Protection
The Government of Guyana made modest progress in providing victim assistance during the reporting period. It included limited NGO funding assistance in its 2007 budget and provided training for police and public officials on identifying trafficking victims. In June 2006, six police officers and two officers from the Counter-Trafficking Unit participated in an anti-trafficking training program organized by IOM. Victims' rights are generally respected, and there were no reports of victims being penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Guyanese authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers.

Prevention
The government sustained prevention efforts during the reporting period. It continued awareness campaigns via print and radio media and launched a widespread anti-trafficking education effort before the Cricket World Cup in April 2007.



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