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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Special Cases


Trafficking in Persons Report
Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
June 12, 2007
Report
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THE BAHAMAS

Limited data suggest a possible labor trafficking problem in The Bahamas. The Bahamas remains a special case for a second consecutive year, because the presence of large numbers of undocumented migrants in the country continues to raise concerns that there may be a significant number of trafficking victims in need of assistance. To be more proactive, the government should consider enacting laws to prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, particularly forced labor of adults, and expand training for officials to identify and investigate potential trafficking situations. Providing greater assistance and legal protections for trafficking victims is an additional goal.

Scope and Magnitude. The Bahamas may be a destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purpose of labor exploitation. Approximately 25 percent of the country's population consists of Haitian nationals, who are mostly in the country illegally. Of the 20,000 to 50,000 undocumented Haitian immigrants in The Bahamas, some may be subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude. Although these migrants arrive voluntarily in The Bahamas to work as domestic servants, gardeners, and in construction, local sources indicate that labor exploitation of these workers may be widespread; employers coerce them to work long hours for no pay or below the minimum wage by withholding documents or threatening arrest and deportation. Some commercial sexual exploitation of women and minors also has been identified in the country.

Government Efforts. The government has established an interagency Trafficking-in-Persons Task Force, which participates in public conferences and anti-trafficking training. While reports of human trafficking in The Bahamas may be limited, the government has taken solid steps to prevent child labor and the commercial sexual exploitation of children by conducting outreach campaigns and establishing a national hotline for reporting abuse.

To further advance its anti-trafficking efforts, the government should acknowledge and investigate the potential scope of the problem and work with its legislature to pass a comprehensive law criminalizing all forms of human trafficking. Under current Bahamian law, Title X of its Statute Law can be used to prosecute traffickers for sexual-exploitation offenses. These provisions carry penalties up to eight years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties for rape and other serious offenses. While The Bahamas has well-developed civil labor laws that guarantee workers a minimum wage, maximum working hours, and other legal protections, it does not criminalize slavery or forced labor practices. Moreover, migrant workers usually do not have access to labor protections under Bahamian law. During the reporting period, the government did not actively investigate or prosecute any alleged trafficking cases. However, Bahamian judges and prosecutors participated in anti-trafficking training, and the government works closely with U.S. authorities on international law enforcement efforts.

Victim protection efforts in The Bahamas are extremely limited. The country has no specialized shelters for trafficking victims, although domestic violence services could be expanded to trafficking victims. NGOs and faith-based organizations working with undocumented migrants have expressed a strong desire to help trafficking victims. The government also has no formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as persons detained for immigration violations. The Bahamas has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Report.

BARBADOS

Limited available data suggest the possible existence of a trafficking in persons problem in Barbados. Although there remains a lack of reliable statistical information from either the government or international organizations, the government has been proactive with both the prevention of trafficking and prosecution of traffickers. To be more effective, however, the government should consider drafting and enacting laws to prohibit all forms of human trafficking and developing national procedures for victim protection, including pre-deportation screening of undocumented immigrants for signs of victimization.

Scope and Magnitude. Anecdotal information suggests that Barbados may be a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation, but there is no evidence yet of a significant number of trafficking victims. Some trafficking of minors into prostitution is allegedly facilitated by victims' families. Uncorroborated reports indicate that women and girls from Guyana, the Dominican Republic, and other Caribbean islands are trafficked to Barbados for sexual exploitation in strip clubs and brothels, as well as for domestic servitude. According to the IOM, some economic migrants may have been deceived by fraudulent offers of legitimate jobs and placed in debt-bonded prostitution after their travel documents were confiscated.

Government Efforts. While Barbados has no law specifically prohibiting human trafficking, existing statutes against crimes such as pimping, pandering, illegal immigration, and forced labor could be used to prosecute trafficking. The government has investigated and initiated prosecutions against a small number of alleged traffickers, but there have been no convictions to date. In December, a Barbadian race car driver was charged with "exercising control of movement" of two Ukrainian women in prostitution and withholding their passports, as well as pimping and living off the proceeds of prostitution. The magistrate responsible for the case dropped the charges because the two victims had already been deported. However, the government continued to prosecute a 2005 case against a local construction company for allegedly trafficking 14 Indian laborers to work on infrastructure improvements.

Anti-trafficking training would assist government officials and law enforcement personnel to identify victims and to provide support. The government is also taking steps to increase public awareness of human trafficking. The Office of Gender Affairs broadcast several public service announcements to prevent trafficking during the reporting period.

Immigration officials do not formally screen undocumented foreigners before deporting them, but there is no substantiated evidence that any deportees were trafficked. Barbados provides no legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution, but there is no evidence that any trafficking victims were deported to such countries during the reporting period. Barbados has not yet ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

BRUNEI

Brunei remains a special case for a second consecutive year because the lack of reliable data makes it unclear whether there is a significant number of victims in the country. The presence of large numbers of legal migrant laborers in the country that may face conditions of involuntary servitude raises concerns that there may be a significant number of trafficking victims.

Scope and Magnitude. Brunei is a destination country for men and women who migrate legally from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Bangladesh, and Thailand for domestic or low-skilled labor. A small but unknown number may be subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude after arrival. Victims may suffer conditions including non-payment of wages, confinement to the home and contract switching. In part due to its small size and vigorous enforcement, Brunei has a small trafficking challenge.

Government Efforts. The Government of Brunei vigorously enforces immigration and labor codes. The government demonstrated some efforts to combat trafficking in persons; however, it often relied on administrative rather than criminal penalties. The Government of Brunei prohibits sex and labor trafficking in its Trafficking and Smuggling Persons Order of 2004; however, there have never been any prosecutions under this order. Labor cases, such as contract switching and non-payment of salaries, are usually tried under the Labor Act. Penalties for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape. The 2004 Trafficking and Smuggling Order prescribes sentences of up to 30 years' imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent. The Labor Act prescribes penalties for labor trafficking of up to three years' imprisonment, which is not sufficiently stringent. The enforcement section of the Department of Labor recorded 72 complaints by domestic helpers and 288 complaints by corporate and garment workers against employers who failed to pay salaries. The majority of these complaints were resolved through mediation. Local media has published reports of Brunei employers receiving administrative penalties - largely fines - for failure to pay wages. It is not clear whether any of these were investigated as trafficking cases. There were no reports of government or law enforcement complicity in trafficking during the year.

The Government of Brunei made some small efforts to protect trafficking victims. It offers shelter and other services for foreign victims when identified. While there are no foreign NGOs or international organizations in Brunei to provide victim support, the embassies of several labor source countries provide shelter, mediation, and immigration support services to their nationals. The government encourages victims to assist in investigations as witnesses. In one case that the government recognized as trafficking during the reporting period, the government encouraged the victims to participate in the investigation of the trafficker, but they refused. Under Brunei's anti-trafficking order, the government may provide temporary residence and work permits to persons identified as trafficking victims. Police and prosecutors have an ongoing, if limited, program to improve their skills in identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations.

The Government of Brunei has not conducted public awareness campaign programs on trafficking, although it did conduct training for law enforcement officials on its anti-trafficking legislation. Brunei has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Report.

HAITI

Haiti has been in transition since widespread violence and political instability led to the resignation of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. Since release of the 2006 Report, the country has undergone three rounds of national and local elections: presidential and parliamentary elections took place in spring 2006, and follow-up parliamentary and municipal elections were completed in December 2006. During the reporting period, Haiti struggled to establish a newly elected government and control rampant violence and crime in its capital, Port-au-Prince. Haiti remains the least developed nation in the Western Hemisphere, and is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an average per capita income of less than $500 per year, and an unemployment rate of nearly 40 percent. The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti currently has more than 6,500 troops and 1,600 UN police on the ground to reduce gang violence and kidnappings. Due to the absence of government institutions and a well-trained and equipped national police force, Haiti has been inhibited from addressing its significant human-trafficking challenges. Haiti remains a special case for a second consecutive year in recognition of its transitional status: Its government must be in place and secure before trafficking can be meaningfully addressed. However, the U.S. government anticipates that trafficking in Haiti can be assessed in next year's Report. The following background and recommendations are provided to help guide officials of the new government.

Scope and Magnitude. Haiti is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. The majority of trafficking in Haiti stems from poor rural families giving custody of their children to more affluent families, in the hope that they will receive an education and economic opportunities. The practice of trafficking such children, who are called restaveks, is widespread and often involves sexual exploitation, physical abuse, and youths being subjected to involuntary domestic servitude, a severe form of trafficking in persons. Some of these children are sent to the Dominican Republic, where they live in miserable conditions. Haitian children are also recruited or coerced into joining violent criminal gangs as fighters or thieves. Dominican women and girls are trafficked into Haiti for commercial sexual exploitation. There are reports that Dominican women are trafficked into Haitian brothels serving UN peacekeepers. Haitians also are trafficked to the Dominican Republic where they are exploited for labor on sugarcane plantations and in agriculture.

Areas for Attention for the New Government of Haiti. Haitian officials recognize that human trafficking is a serious problem in the country. The government should make every effort to pass comprehensive legislation to define and criminalize all forms of trafficking, in addition to strengthening the capacity of the Haitian National Police and the Minors Protection Brigade to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases. The government should continue to work with NGOs and social-welfare agencies to improve their ability to identify, refer, and provide services to restaveks and other Haitian children exploited as domestic servants. The government also should provide anti-trafficking training for judges, police, and prosecutors. Working with the Dominican Republic to improve security and aid trafficking victims along the border is an additional goal. Haiti has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Report.

IRAQ

Iraq was in political transition during the reporting period and is therefore not ranked in this Report.

Scope and Magnitude. Iraq is a source and destination country for men and women trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Children are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation; criminal gangs may have targeted young boys and staff of private orphanages and may have trafficked young girls for forced prostitution within Iraq and abroad. Iraqi women are trafficked to Syria, Jordan, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Iran for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Iraq is also a destination country for men and women trafficked from South and Southeast Asia for involuntary servitude as construction workers, cleaners, and domestic servants. Some of these workers are offered fraudulent jobs in safe environments in Kuwait or Jordan, but are then forced into involuntary servitude in Iraq instead; others go to Iraq voluntarily, but are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude after arrival. Although the governments of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and the Philippines have official bans prohibiting their nationals from working in Iraq, workers from these countries are increasingly coerced into positions in Iraq with threats of abandonment in Kuwait or Jordan, starvation, or force.

Government Efforts. Throughout the reporting period Iraq has had an elected and functioning government. However, the ongoing insurgency and terrorism severely handicapped the government's ability to combat trafficking. In light of the serious security situation, Iraq remains a special case for a fifth consecutive year. The government did not prosecute any trafficking cases this year; nor did it convict any trafficking offenders. Furthermore, the government could not offer protection services to victims of trafficking, and it reported no efforts to prevent trafficking. Iraq should significantly increase criminal investigations of internal and transnational trafficking for both commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. The government should also provide victims of trafficking with protection services, and should ensure that they are not detained, punished, or discriminated against as criminals.

The Government of Iraq does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, but criminalizes the trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation through Article 399 of its penal code. This statute prescribes penalties of up to 10 years' imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent to deter, but are not commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. Iraq should train its law enforcement and judicial officers, and should take measures to curb the complicity of public officials in the trafficking of Iraqi women. Furthermore, the government should monitor recruitment agencies and contractors importing foreign workers to ensure that no workers are being deceived or forced to work in Iraq involuntarily.

The Iraqi government did not provide any protection services to victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government did not operate shelters for trafficking victims, nor offer legal, medical, or psychological services. Iraq continued to lack formal procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as women arrested for prostitution. As a result, trafficking victims were sometimes jailed for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government provided no assistance to Iraqi victims repatriated from abroad, and some were criminally punished; for example, some victims who were trafficked abroad using false documents were arrested and prosecuted upon their return to Iraq. Iraq neither encouraged victims to assist in investigations against their traffickers, nor offered foreign victims legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution.

Iraq did not take measures to prevent trafficking in persons this year, despite reports of a growing labor trafficking problem among women and foreign nationals in the country. The government does not sponsor any anti-trafficking campaigns, and did not monitor immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. Iraq has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

IRELAND

The Government and civil society have identified sex trafficking in Ireland as a potential problem. The presence of foreign women in prostitution and a growing migrant labor population in Ireland raise concerns about a potential trafficking problem in Ireland. The Government has drafted new legislation that will increase the penalty for trafficking to help prevent trafficking from becoming a significant issue in the country.

Scope and Magnitude. Ireland is a potential destination country for women and girls trafficked transnationally from Eastern Europe, Africa, Latin America, or Asia for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Unaccompanied minors from various source countries, particularly in Africa, represent a vulnerable group in Ireland that is susceptible to trafficking and exploitation.

Government Efforts. Though the police are currently investigating a small number of possible trafficking cases, the Government of Ireland did not report any trafficking prosecutions or convictions in 2006. Under current Irish law, trafficking encompasses both smuggling and trafficking. In July 2006, the government authorized the Department of Justice to draft a criminal law that will separate trafficking offenses from smuggling and increase the penalties for trafficking. Ireland's draft criminal law, when passed, will specifically define and prohibit all trafficking in persons offenses. Penalties for commercial sexual exploitation of minors are commensurate with those of rape, and penalties under existing legislation for all other forms of trafficking are up to 10 years' imprisonment.

The Government of Ireland continued to demonstrate strong efforts to protect and assist victims of trafficking in 2006. The government encourages victim participation in the investigation of traffickers, but does not pressure them to do so. Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service authorities can provide potential victims with permission to remain in Ireland. The government has a witness protection program available for trafficking victims, but no one has been protected to date by this program. The current assistance program for trafficking victims relies on NGO facilities and programs that are partially funded by the government. The Department of Justice provided over $580,000 to a local NGO to fund victim care and living expenses while victims await court appearances. The government funds IOM to assist with return and reintegration of victims.

Ireland continued to demonstrate efforts to raise awareness and prevent trafficking in persons in 2006. The Minister of Justice launched an awareness campaign in May 2006 as part of Ireland's participation in the UK's Operation Pentameter, a law enforcement effort that targets organized criminal gangs involved in trafficking. The Sexual Violence Center in Cork, which is partially funded by the government, launched a sex trafficking awareness campaign in June 2006 aimed at raising public awareness of trafficking. Ireland funds ILO programs in Albania, Moldova, and Ukraine to promote employment, vocational training, and prevent trafficking. The government's foreign assistance agency, Irish Aid, provided a total of $4.7 million for international anti-trafficking prevention and capacity-building programs in 2006. Ireland has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

KIRIBATI

A trafficking in persons problem in Kiribati is suspected; however, there is insufficient information to determine if there is a significant number of victims in the country.

Scope and Magnitude. International organizations and NGOs expressed concerns that internal trafficking of underage girls for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation among crews of foreign and local fishing vessels takes place in Kiribati. Hotels, bars, boat owners, and occasionally family members, who provide or arrange transportation out to the fishing vessels profit by facilitating child prostitution. Foreign fishing vessels from Taiwan and Korea were highlighted as frequently taking young girls on board for sexual exploitation.

Government Efforts. The Government of Kiribati made insufficient efforts to combat the trafficking of children for prostitution. However, in 2005, Kiribati enacted legislation outlawing trafficking in persons in general and trafficking in children in particular, making it an offense punishable by 14 to 20 years' imprisonment. The 2005 law also provides protection from prosecution for victims of trafficking. This law is not consistently enforced. There were no reported trafficking investigations, arrests, prosecutions, convictions or sentences during the reporting period. Korean National Youth Commission representatives participated in a 2007 fact-finding mission to Kiribati and found that Korean fishing vessel crew members continued to exploit Kiribati minors. A Kiribati inter-agency transnational crime task force, which includes representatives of the police, the office of the Attorney General, immigration, customs, and finance, addresses trafficking and met monthly. A recent report alleged that, in exchange for food, alcohol, and cigarettes, some police officers assigned to prevent people from illegally boarding fishing vessels permitted women and girls who may have been underage, to board vessels to engage in commercial sexual activities.

The Government of Kiribati has a limited capacity to protect victims of trafficking and relies on civil society or international organizations to provide victim services. The government does not show evidence of a systematic effort to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, such as girls detained for prostitution violations, and it does not encourage victims to assist in the investigation or prosecution of traffickers. Law enforcement authorities have occasionally arrested young girls involved in prostitution, but have not arrested facilitators or foreign fisherman. Some victims are penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked. In 2006, Kiribati's HIV/AIDS task force requested the South Korean government's assistance in helping local girls who have been sexually exploited by South Korean fishermen.
The Broadcasting and Publications Authority broadcast programs on children's rights and occasionally covers related issues including commercial sexual exploitation of children. A multi-stakeholder national advisory committee formulated a plan of action in 2003 to address commercial sexual exploitation of children, however the plan has only been marginally effective in reducing the incidence of underage prostitution.

LESOTHO

Limited available data suggests the existence of a significant trafficking in persons problem in Lesotho, although this is yet to be substantiated. Lesotho remains a special case for a second consecutive year, due to the lack of reliable statistical information - from either the government or international organizations - regarding trafficking incidents to date. To combat trafficking, the government should consider drafting and enacting laws to prohibit all forms of human trafficking, as well as launching a public awareness campaign to educate all Basotho, but particularly women, children, and traditional leaders, on the nature and dangers of irregular migration and trafficking in persons.

Scope and Magnitude. Anecdotal but uncorroborated reports indicate that Lesotho may be a source and transit country for small numbers of women and children trafficked for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking within Lesotho does not appear to be organized by rings or criminal syndicates, and some anecdotal information suggests trafficking may be practiced with the sanction of a victim's family, especially in the case of children. Basotho boys may be internally trafficked for use in cattle herding and street vending, while girls may be trafficked for cattle herding, domestic servitude, or commercial sexual exploitation. There are unconfirmed reports that groups of women in some towns operate as pimps, exploiting young girls in return for food and other basic needs. After migrating to neighboring South Africa in search of work, some vulnerable Basotho women and girls may become victims of trafficking for domestic labor or commercial sexual exploitation. There is also anecdotal evidence to suggest that Chinese trafficking victims may transit Lesotho to avoid South African immigration controls.

Government Efforts. The absence of a law criminalizing trafficking limits the government's ability to address the problem. The government has not yet passed or enacted the draft Child Protection and Welfare Bill, which includes a provision prohibiting trafficking of children under the age of 18. Existing statutes prohibiting abduction, kidnapping, and the procurement of women and girls for prostitution could be used to prosecute trafficking, but were not used during the reporting period.

Unlike the previous year, the government did not investigate or prosecute any cases of human trafficking. Police and immigration authorities screen for potential smuggling, kidnapping, or fraudulent documentation, but have had no training that would allow for the accurate identification of trafficking victims. Monitoring of Lesotho's borders is inadequate; criminal elements often take advantage of the porous borders to carry out illegal activities.

Government officials are generally unaware of how to recognize victims of trafficking and, as such, do not provide specific assistance to them. Victims of abduction or kidnapping are provided with access to medical services and counseling, as well as transportation to home areas within the borders of Lesotho. In 2006, the Superintendent of Police for the Maseru Rural District distributed several hundred human trafficking brochures in his district. The Ministry of Home Affairs and the police's Child and Gender Protection Unit cooperate with the local UNICEF office to address the problem of children in prostitution. The government's ongoing incremental implementation of tuition-free primary level education is expanding school enrollment and attendance, which reduces the opportunities for child trafficking.

SOLOMON ISLANDS

The Solomon Islands is not ranked in the Report this year because available information is not of sufficient quantity or reliability to determine that there is a significant number of trafficking victims in the country. Yet there are indications that the Solomon Islands may have a trafficking problem.

Scope and Magnitude. There is anecdotal evidence that young women from Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia, the People's Republic of China, the Philippines, and Malaysia are trafficked to the Solomon Islands for the purpose of sexual exploitation on foreign ships and in logging camps.
Anecdotal reports indicate that girls and women are trafficked internally for sexual exploitation to logging camps. Sex tourism appears to be a small problem with citizens from the U.K., Australia, and France exploiting local children. There are reports that boys and girls are taken out to foreign and local fishing vessels by their parents for commercial sexual exploitation with fishermen in exchange for fish. Children are sold for commercial sexual exploitation to pay bills or to earn school fees.

Government Efforts. In the last three and a half years, the Solomon Islands has benefited from a large-scale intervention led by Australia to enhance stability after civil unrest. The Solomon Islands criminally prohibits sex and labor trafficking in chapter 26 of its updated 1978 penal code. Penalties for commercial sexual exploitation are commensurate with those for rape. The laws prescribe penalties that are sufficiently stringent. The government may have prosecuted some cases of trafficking, but was unable to provide statistics.

The Government of the Solomon Islands has a limited capacity to protect victims of trafficking and should rely on civil society or religious organizations to provide services. Victims should be urged to participate in the investigation of traffickers or exploitative employers.

The Government of the Solomon Islands has not conducted public awareness or prevention programs on trafficking. The government does participate in public awareness programs supported by international organizations and NGOs. The Solomon Islands has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

SOMALIA

Somalia remains a special case for a fifth consecutive year, due to the lack of a viable central government since 1991. Its geographic area is divided among the self-styled independent Republic of Somaliland, the Autonomous Puntland Administration, and the remainder of the country, which is nominally under the control of the Transitional Federal Government (TFG). In February 2006, TFG ministers, businessmen, and faction leaders formed the Alliance for Restoration of Peace and Counter-Terrorism (ARPCT) to stabilize the country. Fighting between warlords associated with the ARPCT and the Islamic Courts Union escalated until June, when the Islamic Courts succeeded in their military takeover of Mogadishu, followed by other cities across the territory. In December, Ethiopian forces supporting the TFG entered the country, resulting in the withdrawal of the Islamic Courts from Mogadishu and disintegration of the union. Despite its recent extension of nominal control over most of southern Somalia, the TFG currently lacks the necessary means to identify, investigate, or address systematic issues in Somalia, including those related to trafficking in persons. The TFG's capacity to address human trafficking will not increase without tangible progress in reestablishing governance and stability in Somalia.

Scope and Magnitude. Information regarding trafficking in Somalia remains extremely difficult to obtain or verify; however, the Somali territory is believed to be a source, transit, and perhaps destination country for trafficked women and children. During the year, warlord militias, the Islamic Courts Union, and the TFG conscripted and recruited child soldiers for armed conflict. In September, for example, the Islamic Courts Union summoned headmasters from Mogadishu's schools and required them to each commit a quota of school children to attend a military training program. In early 2007, the TFG reportedly recruited children unlawfully in central Somalia to supplement its army in Mogadishu. Armed militias purportedly traffic Somali women and children for sexual exploitation and forced labor internally. There are anecdotal reports of children engaged in prostitution, but the practice is culturally proscribed and not publicly acknowledged. Somali women are trafficked to the United Arab Emriates, and perhaps other destinations in the Middle East, for commercial sexual exploitation. Somali children are reportedly trafficked to Djibouti for commercial sexual exploitation. Ethiopian women are trafficked to and through Somalia to the Middle East for forced labor and sexual exploitation. In past years, trafficking networks were also reported to be involved in transporting child victims to South Africa for sexual exploitation; continuation of this practice could not be confirmed.

Government Efforts. There are laws in the Republic of Somaliland explicitly prohibiting forced labor, involuntary servitude, and slavery, but no specific laws exist against these practices in other parts of Somalia. Trafficking for sexual exploitation may be prohibited under the most widespread interpretations of Shari'a and customary law, but there is neither a unified police force in the territory to enforce these laws, nor any authoritative legal system through which traffickers could be prosecuted. Government officials are not trained to identify or assist trafficking victims and took no known action against the practice. In the absence of effective systems of revenue generation, as well as any legal means to collect resources and then distribute them for some common good, no resources are devoted to preventing trafficking or to victim protection across the majority of the Somali territory. Somalia has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

SWAZILAND

The existence of a significant human trafficking problem in Swaziland is suspected but unsubstantiated by reliable reporting. NGOs and law enforcement in South Africa identified a small number of trafficking cases involving Swazi women and children over the last year. Government officials lack understanding of what constitutes trafficking in persons, but have publicly acknowledged that it may be a problem. To combat trafficking, the government should consider launching a public awareness campaign to educate the Swazi population on the nature and dangers of human trafficking, investigating well-known "hot spots" of child prostitution for situations of trafficking, and enacting appropriate laws to prohibit all forms of human trafficking.

Scope and Magnitude. Swaziland may be a source and transit country for women and children trafficked for forced labor and sexual exploitation, but the existence of a significant number of trafficking victims is unconfirmed. Anecdotal evidence indicates that Swazi children are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation in cities, for domestic servitude in the homes of wealthy families, and for forced labor in commercial agriculture, as well as to South Africa for domestic servitude, and possibly for commercial sexual exploitation. The country's estimated 120,000 orphans are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Some Swazi women are forced into prostitution in South Africa, possibly after migrating to the country in search of work. Small numbers of Mozambican women may be trafficked to Swaziland for sexual exploitation, and perhaps transit through the country en route to South Africa.

Government Efforts. While Swaziland has no law specifically prohibiting trafficking, existing statutes against crimes such as kidnapping, forced and compulsory labor, aiding and abetting "prohibited immigrants" to enter the country, brothel keeping, and procurement for prostitution could be used to prosecute traffickers. However, a draft law - the Sexual Offenses and Domestic Violence Bill - which specifically criminalizes sex trafficking and mandates psychological services for victims, is scheduled to be presented to Parliament in 2007. Penalties under this bill are severe and include death if the trafficking victim is under 16 years of age or the trafficker belongs to a "syndicate." No case of child labor or trafficking has ever been presented to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution for action, nor has any official report of trafficking been made to the Royal Swaziland Police Service's Domestic Violence, Child Protection, and Sexual Offenses Unit. While this police unit is under-trained in regard to identifying and combating trafficking, its staff has shown keen interest in the issue. The unit distributed a handout on trafficking at the annual Senior Police Officers Conference. As a result of urging by NGOs, reducing the vulnerability of orphaned children to abuse and exploitation is becoming a key concern of the government. In 2006, the government provided approximately $6.7 million for orphaned children to attend school. Swaziland has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

TUNISIA

Tunisia is not listed in the Report this year because available information is insufficient to substantiate a significant number of trafficking victims in the country. Tunisia is listed as a special case due to lack of credible information of a significant number of trafficking incidents this year.

Scope and Magnitude. Tunisia is a transit country for North and sub-Saharan African men and women migrating to Europe, some of whom may be trafficked for the purpose of involuntary servitude or sexual exploitation. The Government of Tunisia does not systematically differentiate trafficking victims from illegal migrants traveling through the country. Tunisia may also be a source country for internal trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation.

Government Efforts. Tunisia does not prohibit all severe forms of trafficking in persons, but does prohibit forced prostitution through Article 233 of its penal code; prescribed punishment under this statute is three to five years' imprisonment. The government pursued no trafficking prosecutions under that law this year. Though government officials have a general understanding of trafficking issues, Tunisia should ensure that law enforcement officers and prosecutors are formally trained in identifying potential trafficking victims and are prosecuting trafficking cases when they arise. Tunisia should also enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that criminalizes all forms of trafficking in persons, assigning penalties both sufficiently stringent to deter the crime and adequately reflective of the heinous nature of the crime.

The government monitors its borders closely to interdict smuggling and trafficking rings. However, Tunisia does not employ a formal mechanism to systematically identify trafficking victims among illegal migrants and those arrested for prostitution. Victims of trafficking, if identified, have access to social services available for the abused and vulnerable. The government assigns a child protection delegate to each district to ensure that child sexual abuse victims receive adequate medical care and counseling. Tunisia also employs government workers, including social workers, to assist in three shelters for abused women and children operated by the Tunisian National Women's Union. Nonetheless, some child victims of commercial sexual exploitation may be incarcerated for prostitution. The government should institute a formal victim identification mechanism to ensure that victims of trafficking are not deported or jailed. The government should also offer victims legal alternatives to removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

To prevent the abuse of Tunisian workers abroad, the government continued to deploy "social attach´┐Żs" in countries with large Tunisian populations to inform those workers of their rights. The government should continue monitoring its borders to screen for potential victims of trafficking as they enter the country, and should develop anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns.

TURKMENISTAN

Turkmenistan is not listed in the Report this year because available information is insufficient to substantiate a significant number of victims in the country.

Scope and Magnitude. Turkmenistan appears to be a source country for women trafficked to Turkey, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Iran, Israel, and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women may be trafficked internally for purposes of sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. According to IOM, there were six confirmed Turkmen victims trafficked to Turkey in 2006. One potential victim of sexual exploitation was intercepted in Kazakhstan while en route to the U.A.E.

Government Efforts. The Government of Turkmenistan does not publicly acknowledge trafficking as a problem and does not actively investigate cases of trafficking. There are no laws prohibiting trafficking in persons, however, traffickers could be prosecuted under various articles of the penal code. Although the government does not provide specialized training for government officials in how to recognize, investigate and prosecute instances of trafficking, 40 government officials from various ministries attended a May 2006 anti-trafficking training seminar conducted by IOM. Corruption remained a serious problem throughout society and within the government, although there were no reports of government officials directly involved in human trafficking.

The Government of Turkmenistan does not monitor the trafficking situation within its borders, nor does it have a strategy to do so. There is no formal victim identification system in Turkmenistan. The government does not provide medical assistance, counseling, shelter, or rehabilitative services to victims of trafficking and does not provide funding to foreign or domestic anti-trafficking NGOs to provide services to victims; however, the government does allow IOM to provide services. In December 2005, the State Service for Registration of Foreigners formally signed an agreement with IOM to help foster greater cooperation and assistance in combating trafficking; this agreement facilitated the May 2006 anti-trafficking training seminar conducted by IOM. The government conducted no trafficking awareness campaigns or prevention efforts during the reporting period.



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