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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 4, 2008
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 forced labor. Afghan children are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation, forced marriage to settle debts or disputes, forced begging, debt bondage, service as child soldiers, and other forms of forced labor. Afghan women and girls are also trafficked internally and to Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman, and elsewhere in the Gulf for commercial sexual exploitation. Afghan 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. Anti-trafficking offices are now established within the Attorney General’s office in all provinces. In addition, Afghan law enforcement officials received training in anti-trafficking investigations. The government also worked with IOM to implement a public awareness program to address trafficking of women and girls in the most vulnerable provinces. The Government of Afghanistan works with non-governmental organizations by providing in-kind contributions such as land for shelters. Nonetheless, despite a significant problem, the government did not provide sufficient evidence that it adequately punishes acts of trafficking. In addition, Afghanistan punishes some victims of sex trafficking with imprisonment for adultery or prostitution, acts committed as a result of being trafficked. Although the government lacks resources to provide comprehensive victim protection services, it fails to ensure that victims receive access to care available from NGOs.

Recommendations for Afghanistan: Increase law enforcement activities against trafficking, including prosecutions, convictions, and imprisonment for acts of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; ensure that victims of trafficking are not punished for acts committed as a result of being trafficked, such as prostitution or adultery violations; institute a formal procedure to identify victims of trafficking and refer them to available protection services; to the extent possible, provide in-kind assistance to NGOs offering protection services to victims of trafficking; and undertake initiatives to prevent trafficking, such as instituting a public awareness campaign to warn at-risk populations of the dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Afghanistan did not provide sufficient evidence of efforts to punish trafficking over the reporting period. Afghanistan does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, but relies on kidnapping and other statutes to charge some trafficking offenses. These statutes do not specify prescribed penalties, so it is unclear whether penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes, such as rape. Despite the availability of some statutes, Afghanistan did not provide adequate evidence of arresting, prosecuting, or convicting traffickers. The government reported data indicating traffickers had been prosecuted and convicted, but was unable to provide disaggregated data. There was no evidence that the government made any efforts to investigate, arrest, or prosecute government officials facilitating trafficking offenses despite reports of widespread complicity among border and highway police.

Protection
The Government of Afghanistan made inadequate efforts to protect victims of trafficking. Afghanistan lacks resources to provide victims with comprehensive rehabilitation care; NGOs provided the bulk of assistance to victims. Law enforcement authorities do not employ formal procedures to identify victims of trafficking and refer them to protection services provided by NGOs. At the same time, serious concerns regarding the government’s punishment of victims of trafficking for acts committed as a result of being trafficked remain. Some victims of trafficking continue to be arrested or otherwise punished for prostitution and morality crimes, which under the law could incur possible penalties of life imprisonment or death. The government does not encourage victims to assist in investigations of their traffickers, nor does it provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Four women’s shelters nationwide provide protection to female victims of abuse, including victims of trafficking, but they have limited capacity and lack adequate funding; the government did not report referring or assisting any victims of trafficking in these centers during the reporting period. Child trafficking victims are sometimes placed in orphanages until reunited with their parents.

Prevention
During the reporting period, Afghanistan made no reported efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. The government did not institute a public awareness campaign to warn at-risk populations of the dangers of trafficking or potential traffickers of the consequences of trafficking. The government also did not take steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Afghanistan has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

ALBANIA (Tier 2 Watch List)
Albania is a source country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; it is no longer considered a major country of transit. Albanian victims are trafficked to Greece, Italy, Macedonia, and Kosovo, with many trafficked onward to Western European countries such as the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Norway, Germany, and the Netherlands. Children were also trafficked to Greece for begging and other forms of child labor. Approximately half of all Albanian trafficking victims are under age 18. 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 of Albania 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 the area of victim protection. The government did not appropriately identify trafficking victims during 2007. It also has not demonstrated that it is vigorously investigating or prosecuting complicit officials.

Recommendation for Albania: Vigorously investigate and prosecute human trafficking offenses as well as law enforcement officials’ complicity in trafficking, and convict and sentence persons responsible for such acts; enhance training of law enforcement officials within the anti-trafficking sector; ensure full implementation of the national mechanism for referring victims to service providers; increase funding for victim assistance and protection services; draft and implement a new national action plan with participation from local anti-trafficking NGOs; provide anti-trafficking training for peacekeeping troops.

Prosecution
The Government of Albania did not provide convincing evidence of progress in law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking during 2007. Albania criminally prohibits sex and labor trafficking through its penal code, which prescribes penalties of five to 15 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for rape. In 2007, Albania prosecuted 49 alleged traffickers and convicted seven human trafficking offenders. Seven of the prosecutions were for child labor trafficking. The sentences for convicted traffickers were appropriately severe, ranging from five years’ imprisonment with fines to 16 years’ imprisonment with fines. It is unknown if the government prosecuted and convicted additional traffickers under other statutes because the government does not separate crime statistics by trafficking offences. During the reporting period, regional anti-trafficking police units remained poorly trained and ill-equipped to effectively address human trafficking due to inadequate resources, the influence of corruption, and high turnover of police recruits. The government discontinued anti-trafficking training for new and continuing police officers, although training for judges and magistrates continued. Between June and July 2007, the government fired approximately 20 percent of its specialized and highly trained anti-trafficking police officers as part of an overall police restructuring effort. In three separate cases, the Ministry of Interior arrested 12 police officers accused of human trafficking in 2007, including six officers with direct responsibility for anti-trafficking at the border. Prosecutions of these cases and several other cases from the last reporting period remain ongoing.

Protection
The Government of Albania failed to consistently sustain efforts to identify, refer, protect, and reintegrate victims of trafficking during 2007. The government’s ability to fund protection and assistance services was limited; however, it operated one victim care shelter in Tirana. The government provided sporadic in-kind assistance to four additional NGO-managed shelters, such as the use of government buildings and land. In July 2007, all five shelters signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen cooperation and coordination among the shelters. In a change during this reporting period, there was an overall decline in the number of victims identified due to inappropriate application of the national referral mechanism for several months by anti-trafficking police. In 2007, the government identified only 13 women and seven children as victims of trafficking during the reporting period, a 25 percent decline from the 25 victims of trafficking reported by the government in the 2006 reporting period. According to the government and other observers, authorities identified as victims only those who proactively identified themselves as such. At the same time, however, NGO shelters reported 146 victims of trafficking during the reporting year. Victims are not jailed or fined for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The Albanian witness protection program is available for victims of trafficking who participate in prosecutions; however, evidence suggests that the system is ineffective for victims of trafficking. In 2007, one young woman was re-trafficked to Greece by her trafficker’s brothers following her testimony that put him in prison. Child victims, many of whom were trafficked by their parents, were more often returned to their parents than placed in protective custody.

Prevention
The Government of Albania implemented several anti-trafficking prevention activities but allowed its national anti-trafficking action plan to expire. The Ministry of Interior took over funding of the national toll-free, 24-hour hotline for victims and potential victims of trafficking from the UN Office for Drugs and Crime and IOM in November 2007. The Ministry of Education includes in its high school curriculum awareness of the dangers of trafficking. The government continued implementation of an anti-speedboat law, outlawing virtually all water crafts along the Albanian coast and leading to a significant drop in trafficking in persons to Italy, most of which has been accomplished in the past by boat. During the reporting period, communication between the government and NGOs improved following a period of strained relations. The national anti-trafficking coordinator and the police director-general held meetings with NGOs that led to improved communication between government and NGOs by January 2008, particularly at the border crossing points. As of March 2008, the government had not distributed a draft 2008-2010 national anti-trafficking action plan for comment to international partners and NGOs. The government did not provide evidence that it makes efforts to prevent its peacekeeping troops deployed abroad from engaging in trafficking or exploiting trafficking victims. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism produced banners that are being posted at 15 border crossing points to discourage child sex tourism and alert border-crossers that sexual relations with children is a crime in Albania.

ALGERIA (Tier 3)
Algeria is a transit country for men and women trafficked from sub-Saharan Africa 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 9,000 sub-Saharan African migrants currently residing in Algeria are victims of trafficking. In addition, Algerian children are trafficked internally for the purpose of domestic servitude or street vending.

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 did not report any serious law enforcement actions to punish traffickers who force women into commercial sexual exploitation or men into involuntary servitude. Moreover, the government again reported no investigations of trafficking of children for domestic servitude or improvements in protection services available to victims of trafficking. Algeria still lacks victim protection services, and its failure to distinguish between trafficking and illegal migration may result in the punishment of victims of trafficking.

Recommendations for Algeria: Reform the criminal code to specifically punish all forms of trafficking; significantly increase prosecutions and punishment of trafficking offenses; institute and apply a formal procedure to identify victims of trafficking among illegal migrants, and refer victims to protection services; and improve services available to trafficking victims, including children trafficked for forced labor, such as shelter, medical, psychological, and legal aid.

Prosecution
The Government of Algeria did not report any progress in punishing trafficking offenses during the reporting period. Algeria does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, but prohibits the trafficking of minors under 19 years old for commercial sexual exploitation and most forms of sex trafficking of adults through its prohibition on pimping in Articles 342-344 of its penal code. The prescribed penalty for trafficking minors into prostitution— five to 10 years’ imprisonment— is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Despite the availability of laws against sex trafficking and other statutes prohibiting related acts such as kidnapping and assault, the government did not provide evidence of investigating, prosecuting, convicting, or punishing any individuals for trafficking offenses this year. Reform of Algeria’s criminal code to specifically prohibit all forms of trafficking, including forced labor and acts such as recruiting and harboring victims of trafficking, is recommended.

Protection
The Government of Algeria’s efforts to improve victim protection did not improve over the reporting period. The government continued to lack formal procedures to systematically identify trafficking victims among vulnerable people, such as foreign women arrested for prostitution or illegal migrants. As a result, trafficking victims may be deported or otherwise punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government neither encouraged victims to assist in investigations against their traffickers, nor provided them with shelter, medical, or psychological services. Algerian law does not provide for alternatives to the deportation of trafficking victims, even in cases in which such victims might face hardship or retribution as a result of the deportation. According to local NGOs, the government does not provide specialized training to government officials in recognizing trafficking or dealing with victims of trafficking. A formal mechanism to identify victims of trafficking within vulnerable groups, such as illegal migrants and women arrested for prostitution, would improve Algeria’s ability to protect trafficking victims. Establishing victim protection services or providing funding or in-kind assistance to organizations offering such services to victims of trafficking is also needed.

Prevention
Algeria did not make efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the year. Although the government continues to work closely with the governments of Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, and Malta to prevent the illegal migration and smuggling of people to Europe, Algeria did not report specific actions taken to prevent trafficking in persons. The government did not have any public awareness campaigns to raise awareness of trafficking or to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

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, while young men are trafficked internally for agricultural or unskilled labor. Anecdotal reports point to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (D.R.C.), Namibia, and Portugal as the primary destination points for Angolans who are trafficked transnationally. Government officials report that trafficking is on the rise as more border posts open with neighboring countries. Small numbers of young Angolan men are trafficked through Zambia into debt-bonded agricultural work in Namibia. Congolese children are trafficked to Angola. International organizations describe conflicting anecdotal reports that children were trafficked into the country to work in diamond mines, but were unable to confirm or deny the reports.
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.

Recommendations for Angola: Strengthen legal and victim support frameworks by drafting and enacting anti-trafficking legislation that prohibits all forms of trafficking and provides for victim protections; increase the capacity of law enforcement officials to recognize, respond to, and document instances of trafficking; and launch a campaign to increase public 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. Penal code revisions that will criminalize human trafficking are pending parliamentary approval. Statistics on the government’s criminal prosecutions and convictions during the last year were not publicly available, reflecting a general lack of transparency in conducting judicial proceedings. A suspected trafficker stopped at a border post between Angola and the D.R.C was arrested while transporting two children across the border without parental authorization. The man was charged with illegal transport of children across national boundaries and awaits prosecution. The Children’s Affairs court system has jurisdiction to adjudicate child labor and trafficking violations, but only functions in the capital province of Luanda. In 2007, 15 children being trafficked from Luanda to the D.R.C. were found by immigration officials and the government’s National Institute for the Child (INAC) in Zaire province near the Congolese border; police arrested two suspected traffickers. In other known cases, police were unable to identify the traffickers. The government began investigating one trafficking case in 2007, but records of this case were lost when the Department of Criminal Investigation’s building collapsed in April 2008. The Ministry of the Interior (MOI) collaborated with IOM to provide anti-trafficking training to police, immigration agents, investigators, and representatives from the Ministries of Justice, Foreign Affairs, and Social Assistance and Reintegration (MINARS) during the reporting period. In March 2008, the MOI conducted a two-day internal workshop on human trafficking to discuss victim assistance, migration management, and border control; IOM provided trafficking-specific training to workshop participants.

Protection
The government provided basic assistance for trafficking victims on a limited, ad hoc basis, relying heavily on partnerships with religious organizations and civil society for the delivery of most social assistance in the country over the last year. The Ministry of Women and Family Affairs and MINARS each operate a limited number of shelters that are used to accommodate trafficking victims. During the reporting period, INAC and UNICEF continued their joint development of Child Protection Networks that bring together government officials and civil society at the municipal and provincial levels to coordinate social policy and protective assistance to children. Active in all 18 provinces, these networks served as “SOS Centers” through which crime victims between the ages of nine and 16, including trafficking victims, accessed a variety of services provided by various government ministries. The network in Huila Province, for instance, was able to detect and prevent several instances of trafficking and exploitative child labor over the reporting period; no mechanism exists to track cases or provide statistics on numbers assisted. Victims over the age of 16 were referred to shelters and social services provided by a quasigovernmental organization.

Prevention
The government’s efforts to prevent trafficking improved incrementally over the reporting period. During the year, the MOI was designated as the lead agency for the development and implementation of an anti-trafficking strategy, the first time a single ministry has been so tasked. To prevent child trafficking, 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 minors for proper travel documentation. INAC’s six mobile provincial teams also conducted spot checks of suspected child trafficking routes by stopping vehicles transporting children to check for identity cards, proof of relationship to the children, and parental permission for the child’s travel. In July 2007, the government hosted the Third African Association of State Attorney Generals to discuss the fight against human trafficking and domestic violence. In June 2007, the government conducted a public awareness campaign for Children’s Month designed to raise awareness that all forms of violence against children, including child trafficking, are criminal acts. The campaign included pamphlets on children’s rights, banners, newspaper articles, and radio and television spots. Government statements against prostitution of children appeared frequently in national media. The government did not undertake efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. 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. Child sex tourism is a problem, particularly in the tri-border area. Argentine women and girls also are trafficked to neighboring countries, Mexico, and Western Europe for sexual exploitation. Foreign women and children, primarily from Paraguay, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic, are trafficked to Argentina for commercial sexual exploitation. Argentina also is a transit point for foreign women and girls trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, and Western Europe. A significant number of Bolivians, Peruvians, and Paraguayans are trafficked into the country for forced labor in sweatshops, agriculture, and as domestic servants. Anecdotal reporting suggests that an increasing number of Chinese migrants may be trafficked for labor exploitation into Chinese-owned supermarkets. Reports of human trafficking have increased in Argentina, which may be due to growing public awareness, 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. Despite some progress, Argentina remains on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of providing adequate assistance to victims and curbing official complicity with trafficking activity, especially on the provincial and local levels. While the Argentine Congress demonstrated progress by enacting much-needed and first-ever federal anti-trafficking legislation, a number of NGOs have expressed concern that the new law may be limited in terms of providing appropriate legal protection for adult trafficking victims and adequately punishing trafficking offenders. Government officials, however, indicate that they have the statutory tools they need to confront human trafficking crimes on the federal level. Immediately implementing and dedicating resources for the new anti-trafficking law should assist the government’s efforts.

Recommendations for Argentina: Vigorously enforce all provisions of the new federal anti-trafficking law; increase and expedite prosecution efforts against traffickers; increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict public officials who facilitate human trafficking activity; provide greater assistance and protection to victims; and improve data collection for trafficking crimes. In order to address criticism of the new federal law, it is recommended that Argentina implement it in a manner that clarifies that prosecutors do not have to prove lack of “assent” or “consent” on the part of adult trafficking victims in addition to the legal elements of trafficking, or, if that proves impossible, revise the law accordingly, consistent with the requirements of the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

Prosecution
The government demonstrated progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. In April 2008, the Argentine Congress enacted first-ever federal legislation to prohibit all forms of trafficking, prescribing penalties of three to 15 years’ imprisonment. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. However, a number of NGO advocates have raised questions as to whether the new law is sufficient to meet Argentina’s obligations under the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, particularly with respect to criminalizing trafficking offenses against adult victims. Of specific concern are provisions which distinguish between offenses committed against victims 18 years old or younger and those committed against adult victims, which are read by some to imply that in the latter case, prosecutors must provide proof that adult victims did not “consent” to their trafficking. During the reporting period, however, as there was no federal law in place, most trafficking-related cases were prosecuted at the provincial level, yet jurisdictional disputes among federal and local authorities hampered Argentina’s ability to convict and punish some trafficking offenders. In September 2007, the city of Buenos Aires criminalized trafficking in minors to prosecute such cases on the local level, and specialized anti-trafficking police units were established in Tucuman and Santa Fe provinces. An anti-trafficking program launched by the Ministry of Justice in July 2007 was dissolved in December 2007; it will be replaced by a new national program to combat trafficking in persons, which will become effective with final implementation of Argentina’s new federal anti-trafficking law.

Government officials were not able to provide complete data or information about prosecutions against traffickers in 2007; lack of an enacted federal anti-trafficking law impeded the collection of nationwide data and statistics, making analysis of Argentina’s anti-trafficking efforts difficult to gauge. However, anecdotal data gleaned from media reports and interviews with provincial officials indicate that provincial governments secured at least 10 trafficking-related convictions during the reporting period, with sentences ranging from four to 17 years’ imprisonment; this represents an increase in efforts when compared to information gathered last year. In June 2007, Cordoba courts convicted three men and two women on charges of indentured servitude, promotion of prostitution, and sexual abuse. The defendants were sentenced to prison. In December 2007, Misiones courts convicted five defendants for promoting prostitution of children as part of a family-run business; the defendants were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to six years. Provincial governments and the city of Buenos Aires also continued a number of anti-trafficking investigations, and formal charges are pending in several cases. In Buenos Aires, prosecutors continued to investigate an international case involving eight Dominican women who had been trafficked into a brothel after being promised jobs as waitresses; police raided the brothel in February 2007 after one of the women was hospitalized and reported her exploitation. In October 2007, police investigated an accusation from a young victim, and arrested six men and three women in the province of Buenos Aires on charges of sexual abuse and prostituting children between the ages of four and 17. The individuals arrested were relatives of the children, including parents, aunts, and uncles. One victim accused the suspects of filming her while being sexually exploited and then distributing the material; she also claimed that her parents hosted “sexual parties” where the children were sexually exploited by family members and other “clients.”

In December 2007, Argentine police and prosecutors cooperated with Bolivian law enforcement by arresting a sweatshop owner for raping a 12-year-old girl and forcing her to work; charges remain pending. In February 2008, judicial authorities opened a prosecution against eight defendants alleged to have operated a child prostitution ring; the case involved the death of a 12-year-old boy. Prosecutors also continued to investigate police and official complicity in a case in which 37 women were rescued from a brothel in Chubut province. Two former police officers, four former public officials, and two brothel owners have been charged in the case, but only the brothel owners remain in pretrial detention. According to NGOs and international organizations, some elements of the country’s security forces are complicit in human trafficking activity. The vast majority of these allegations are made against provincial rather than federal forces. Police officers are reported to own brothels, or to provide traffickers with protection in exchange for bribes, sexual services, food, and alcohol. During regular police inspections of cabarets and bars, some officials ignore potential trafficking situations and victims or tip off brothel owners of impending police raids. Other local law enforcement officials have intimidated witnesses or offered them bribes to change their testimony. Due to the reported level of corruption within many provincial police forces, some judges have ordered bar inspections to be carried out by federal forces instead of local police.

Protection
The government exhibited inadequate efforts to assist victims during the reporting period, and relied on NGOs and international organizations to provide the bulk of assistance to trafficking victims. The government does not operate victim shelters dedicated to trafficking victims, and a small trafficking shelter which had existed in Puerto Iguazu closed due to diminished government funding. Trafficking victims are referred by government offices to other shelters, space permitting. The quality and level of victim care varies by province. On the federal level, the attorney general’s office coordinated victim-assistance policy and offered victims willing to prosecute their traffickers with access to medical and psychological treatment, legal counseling, and referrals to other sources of assistance. In April 2007, the government expanded an existing violence hotline to assist trafficking victims, and more then 100 complaints were referred to the federal attorney general’s office. Argentine authorities encourage victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, but some victims were reluctant to do so because of shame or fear of reprisals from their traffickers. Additional training for police and prosecutors on sensitive victim interviewing techniques, in addition to providing victims with greater government or NGO support during court proceedings, should assist with encouraging victims to confront and prosecute their traffickers. Similarly, establishment of a secure witness protection program, as provided in Argentina’s new anti-trafficking law, would assist prosecution efforts. During the reporting period, the federal government provided a small amount of assistance to anti-trafficking NGOs. The government did not systematically and proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as prostituted women in brothels or criminal detainees. There were reports of victims jailed or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. Although the government does not have a formal visa for foreign trafficking victims, foreign victims are not typically deported. In addition, citizens of Mercosur member or associate states can obtain temporary residency in Argentina under Argentine immigration law.

Prevention
The government maintained prevention activities during the reporting period. In October 2007, an interim executive decree was issued to coordinate federal governmental and NGO anti-trafficking efforts, provide victim assistance, and establish a national hotline, among other measures. These executive reforms should become effective once the national anti-trafficking law is implemented. The government lent support to an IOM-sponsored anti-trafficking media campaign featured on public television and on closed-circuit TVs in Buenos Aires’ subway system warning citizens about the dangers of sexual and labor exploitation. One media spot explained how brothel “clients” can report suspected human trafficking activity. In an effort to reduce demand for commercial sex acts, the city of Buenos Aires and IOM continued a billboard campaign entitled: “Without Clients There is No Prostitution.” The government also provided materials to local chambers of tourism, particularly in the tri-border area, to prevent child sex tourism. The city of Buenos Aires continued a prevention campaign against labor exploitation entitled: “Slavery Kills People.” The campaign features a website and hotline through which citizens can report information on suspected sweatshops. Through greater media coverage and NGO and government efforts, public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking in Argentina appears to be increasing.

ARMENIA (Tier 2 Watch List)
Armenia is a primarily a source country for women and girls trafficked to the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) and Turkey for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Armenian men and women are trafficked to Turkey and Russia for the purpose of forced labor. According to the OSCE, there has been one documented case of Ukrainian and Russian women trafficked to Armenia for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Victims trafficked to the U.A.E. usually fly to Dubai from Yerevan or via Moscow; the trafficking route to Turkey is generally via bus through Georgia. Armenian law enforcement reports indicate that destination countries now also include Qatar, Bahrain, and Kuwait; however, no official cases involving these countries as destinations have surfaced.
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 fourth consecutive year because its efforts to increase compliance with the minimum standards were assessed based on its commitments to undertake future actions over the coming year, particularly in the areas of improving victim protection and assistance. While the government elevated anti-trafficking responsibilities to the ministerial level, adopted a new National Action Plan, and drafted a National Referral Mechanism, it has yet to show tangible progress in identifying and protecting victims or in tackling trafficking complicity of government officials.

Recommendations for Armenia: Seriously address trafficking-related corruption through the vigorous investigation and prosecution of complicit officials; ensure convicted traffickers receive and serve adequate jail sentences; proactively implement the new national victim referral mechanism at all border points in Armenia, incorporating the expertise of NGOs and the international community; allocate funding to government institutions and NGOs that provide care for trafficking victims; train border guards to better recognize trafficking victims; and increase awareness raising efforts to tackle the pervasive negative attitude about trafficking victims among law enforcement and the general public throughout Armenia.

Prosecution
The Armenian government made some notable improvements in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, but it failed to demonstrate evidence of investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences of officials complicit in trafficking. Armenia prohibits trafficking in persons for both labor and sexual exploitation through Article 132 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties of three to 15 years’ imprisonment—penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. The government investigated 14 cases of trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation in 2007. It prosecuted eight suspects and convicted a total of 11 trafficking offenders, with sentences ranging from one to eight years’ imprisonment and fines. Traffickers are eligible for release from prison after serving half of their sentences, and early release is routinely granted. According to a 2007 OSCE Assessment, only a small number of convicted Armenian traffickers receive serious sentences. Although trafficking victims are entitled to seek restitution based on their cases, or in a separate civil suit, Armenian courts continued to reject these claims. In November 2007, an Armenian court denied $1,110 sought by the victim seeking civil damages from her convicted trafficker, who beat and tortured her to deter her escape; she contracted tuberculosis as a result of being forced into prostitution. Although the court sentenced one trafficker in the case, it failed to charge the other known accomplice.

A lack of diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey hampered Armenia’s ability to investigate the trafficking of Armenian nationals to Turkey. The government actively cooperated with Interpol in attempts to investigate trafficking crimes involving both countries. The government located one Armenian trafficker in Turkey in 2007; Armenian government efforts to return the trafficker to Armenia for prosecution are underway. Although the government has bilateral anti-trafficking agreements with the U.A.E., these instruments are rarely used to investigate trafficking cases with ties to the U.A.E. The government has yet to provide information into the circumstances surrounding the escape of a convicted trafficker, nor has it provided information on any disciplinary measures taken to punish personnel involved in the affair.

Protection
In 2007, the Government of Armenia demonstrated some progress in the protection of trafficking victims; overall tangible improvements have yet to be realized. The government failed to provide financial or in-kind assistance for anti-trafficking NGOs. Although the government achieved a significant breakthrough by developing a long-promised draft national referral mechanism, it has yet to be implemented. Although the government identified 147 persons as victims of trafficking in 2007, this figure is likely conflated with figures for smuggling and prostitution crimes. The government’s efforts to protect victims continue to be hampered by the absence of uniform criteria to facilitate adequate identification; law enforcement officials referred only 17 victims to NGOs in 2007, though this is an increase from the eight it referred in 2006. In 2007, one victim received state-provided housing under a program run by the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MLSA); the MLSA provided a one-time poverty allowance to two trafficking victims, assisted some victims in finding jobs, and helped settle one victim into an elderly home. In May 2007, the government actively worked with an NGO to secure the release and return of two Armenian trafficking victims from Georgia.

Armenian law does not explicitly prevent victims from being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, but in practice they are not penalized. Lack of appropriate victim witness protection hampers Armenia’s prosecution efforts; many observers noted that most trafficking victims are not willing to provide testimony to police given the lack of government incentives to undertake that risk. Furthermore, victims were not encouraged to participate in investigations and prosecutions. According to an April 2007 OSCE assessment, Armenian law provides for protection for victims who testify against their trafficker; however, this assistance is rarely implemented.

Prevention
Armenia improved its anti-trafficking prevention efforts in 2007. The government approved its second National Plan of Action on Trafficking for 2007-2009 and revamped its interagency structure, elevating its anti-trafficking commission to the ministerial level. It allocated $33,000 for prevention efforts in the coming year to include the filming of a documentary on labor trafficking and the production of two public service announcements. In 2007, the Ministry of Health organized discussions with Armenian physicians to raise awareness about the special needs of trafficking victims. The MLSA provided apartments to 20 graduates of orphanages, a group that is extremely vulnerable to recruitment by traffickers.

AUSTRALIA (Tier 1)
Australia is a destination country for women from Southeast Asia, South Korea, Taiwan, and the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Prostitution is legal except for in the states of Western Australia and South Australia. Many 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 reports of several men and women from India, the P.R.C., South Korea, the Philippines, and Ireland migrating to Australia temporarily for work, but subsequently subjected to conditions of forced labor, including fraudulent recruitment, confiscation of travel documents, confinement, and debt bondage.
The Government of Australia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. After holding several hearings, Australia’s parliament issued 25 recommendations to address allegations that some employers abused the 457 Temporary Worker Visa Program to subject migrant workers to conditions of forced labor and debt bondage. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) subsequently instituted a series of reforms to improve monitoring of this migrant worker visa program, resulting in a greater number of trafficking cases found in the program. There were no visible measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts in the legalized commercial sex industry in Australia. The government provides substantial funding to support anti-trafficking efforts throughout the Southeast Asia region, including law enforcement training, victim assistance programs, and prevention activities.

Recommendations for Australia: Continue to conduct systematic efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims in the legalized sex trade; continue to criminally prosecute exploitative employers for debt bondage and involuntary servitude of migrant workers, and ensure that those convicted receive sufficient criminal punishments; and implement the Parliamentary recommendations on the 457 Temporary Worker Visa Program.

Prosecution
The Government of Australia continued to demonstrate efforts to address trafficking in persons through law enforcement means. Australia prohibits sex and labor trafficking and trafficking-related offenses in Divisions 270 and 271 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, which prescribe penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. In August 2007, the Migration Amendment (Employer Sanctions) Act went into force, prescribing penalties of two to five years’ imprisonment for persons convicted of exploiting others for forced labor, sexual servitude, or slavery in Australia. During the reporting period, the Transnational Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Teams within the Australian Federal Police (AFP) conducted 27 investigations, of which approximately 80 percent were related to sex trafficking. As of February 2008, there were seven trafficking-related cases before the courts involving 15 defendants, with three of the seven cases in the appeal phase. During the reporting period, there were four convictions for trafficking; one defendant was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment.

In March 2008, a joint operation between the AFP and DIAC broke up a syndicate in Sydney that allegedly trafficked South Korean women to a legal brothel and was earning more than $2.3 million a year. Police allege the syndicate recruited Korean women through deception about the conditions under which they would be employed, organized their entry into Australia under false pretenses, confiscated their travel documents, and forced them to work up to 20 hours a day in a legal Sydney brothel owned by the syndicate. In January 2008, police uncovered an alleged labor trafficking situation in which Indian nationals who arrived in Australia on tourist visas were sent to a tomato farm in Jerilderie, New South Wales where they were held in virtual confinement and forced labor. There are eight administrative and criminal cases pending in this case. While some companies and persons were fined by Australian courts for violations that may have constituted forced labor offenses, there were no criminal penalties handed down to employers involved in forced labor. During 2007, 123 employers have been temporarily barred from employing migrant laborers under the 457 visa scheme and an additional 273 received warnings for failing to pay laborers a minimum salary. DIAC, Unions, and the Workplace Ombudsman continue to discover instances in which migrant workers are in situations of debt bondage, and other conditions leading to labor trafficking. There were no reports of government or law enforcement involvement in trafficking. There were no cases of sexual exploitation involving Australian troops or peacekeeping officers deployed abroad. Australia continued to play a prominent leadership role in several regional projects aimed at building awareness of trafficking, increasing law enforcement capacity, and enhancing victim support. In 2007, the Australian government announced a $27 million anti-trafficking funding package that will support specialist investigative teams within the AFP to proactively investigate trafficking; a National Policing Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Women for Sexual Servitude; new visa arrangements to support victims; anti-trafficking law enforcement liaison officers in Thailand, China, and the Philippines; research into regional trafficking activities by the Australian Institute of Criminology; and additional training on prosecutions.

Protection
The Government of Australia continued to provide comprehensive assistance for victims of trafficking and their family members, if they were willing to aid in criminal prosecutions. The government encourages victims and witnesses to participate in the investigation of trafficking, but directly links continued assistance to victims’ role in a viable prosecution. A total of 89 victims of labor and sex trafficking received assistance since 2004 through the Office of Women’s “Support for Victims of People Trafficking Program.” Other victims who do not qualify for this program may be eligible for a protection visa as a refugee, but the government does not generally assist with such applications. Individuals granted status under this visa regime are entitled to a package of benefits, including shelter, counseling, food and a living allowance. Australia funds two return and reintegration activities in the region. The first is for return and reintegration of trafficked women and children, and the second solely supports Thai victims. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or penalized for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Australia demonstrated efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the year. The Australian Agency for International Development (AUSAID) introduced a comprehensive child protection policy, covering all aspects of the agency’s operations and applying both to AUSAID staff and all contractors and non-governmental organizations funded by the agency. The government also implemented a Communication Awareness Strategy to increase awareness about trafficking within the sex industry. The Australian government, however, did not implement public awareness campaigns to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts in the legalized commercial sex industry in Australia. The government continued to support a public awareness campaign with advertisements in daily and suburban newspapers encouraging victims and concerned members of the community to call the police hotline. Australian soldiers and AFP Officers deployed abroad are subject to the extraterritorial application of Australia’s trafficking and child exploitation laws. The government provides extensive training, including discussion of human rights, sexual exploitation and trafficking in persons, to its troops being deployed abroad as international peacekeepers. Australia’s extra-territorial law on child sex tourism provides penalties of up to 17 years’ imprisonment for Australians convicted of sexually exploiting children under the age 16 while outside of Australia. Thirty prosecutions since the introduction of Australia’s child sex tourism laws have led to 19 convictions. Australian citizens were returned to Australia to face prosecution for sexually exploiting children in other countries under Australia’s extraterritorial child sex tourism law. The Australian Government offers travelers a travel bulletin warning against child sex tourism through a government website. The Australian Government also produces a brochure “Travel Smart: Hints for Australian Travelers,” that includes information on child sex crimes, existing legislation, and details on how to report a possible violation of Australia’s child sex tourism laws to the AFP. Travel Smart is distributed with every passport renewal by the Australian Passports Office; during the reporting period 855,055 were distributed.

AUSTRIA (Tier 1)
Austria is a transit and destination country for women trafficked from Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Moldova, Belarus, Ukraine, Slovakia, and Nigeria for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Some of these women are trafficked through Austria to Italy, France, and Spain. Women from Africa are trafficked through Spain and Italy to Austria for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Authorities report a decrease in the number of children from Bulgaria and Romania trafficked to Austria for the purposes of forced petty theft and sexual exploitation. The Government of Austria fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2007, Austria provided generous funding to prevention programs in source countries. Austrian Police conducted several investigations with other European governments, resulting in the successful disruption of several large-scale human trafficking networks.

Recommendations for Austria: Continue to ensure a majority of convicted traffickers serve adequate time in prison; continue to improve victim identification by further sensitizing law enforcement and judicial personnel to the indicators of human trafficking; continue to collect comprehensive national law enforcement trafficking statistics; and continue to take measures to reduce domestic demand for commercial sex acts.

Prosecution
The Austrian government continued to demonstrate 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 as well as 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 six months’ to 10 years’ imprisonment. These sentences are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. In 2007, police conducted 89 trafficking investigations, compared to 93 investigations conducted in 2006. Authorities conducted 222 prosecutions in 2007, up from 137 the previous year. Conviction data for 2007 was unavailable at the time of this report; however, in 2006, Austrian courts convicted 18 trafficking offenders, down from 25 convictions in 2005. In 2006, 13 out of 18 convicted traffickers served some time in prison; six traffickers served one to six months’ imprisonment, six traffickers served six to 12 months’ imprisonment, and one trafficker served one to three years’ imprisonment

Protection
Austria sustained its victim assistance efforts during the reporting period. The government continued to fund a key anti-trafficking NGO that provided shelter and assistance to victims in Vienna; federal and local governments also funded seven immigration and domestic abuse centers that assisted victims outside of Vienna. Victims have access to the Austrian social system including health insurance. Police referred many of the 170 victims assisted by NGOs in 2007, compared to 90 victim referrals in 2006. Thirty-three victims were provided with government-provided shelter in 2007. The government encourages victims to assist with investigations and prosecutions of traffickers. Austria provides victims with a 30-day reflection period, a time for victims to receive immediate care and assistance while they consider whether to assist law enforcement. Victims who agree to cooperate with law enforcement qualify for temporary residence visas, although the number of trafficking victims granted temporary visas in 2007 was unknown. Victims who are not identified by authorities are sometimes involuntarily repatriated.

Prevention
Austria improved efforts to raise general domestic awareness of trafficking. Domestic awareness efforts were directed at victims of trafficking rather than “clients” of Austria’s legal and regulated sex trade. There were approximately 2,800 legal and illegal brothels operating in Austria during the reporting period. In 2007, the government subsidized a movie, which was shown in Austrian movie theaters entitled “Shortly Before it Happened,” a semi-documentary based on narratives of real women who were trafficked into prostitution in Europe, as a means of raising awareness of human trafficking. In February 2008, Austria hosted a UN anti-trafficking conference which received high-level attention in the Austrian media. The government funds an NGO-run course to sensitize Austrian troops on human trafficking before they are deployed on international peacekeeping missions. Austria adequately monitors its borders for signs of trafficking and border officials screen for potential trafficking victims. In 2007, the Ministry of Economics launched a campaign encouraging Austrian tourists and travel agencies to report suspected cases of child sex tourism involving Austrian nationals abroad. Austrian law allows the extraterritorial prosecution of Austrian nationals who travel abroad to engage in child commercial sexual exploitation. In December 2007, one Austrian man was sentenced to two years for traveling to India and purchasing commercial sex acts from children ranging from six to nine years of age.

AZERBAIJAN (Tier 2 Watch List)
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 and some children from Azerbaijan are trafficked to Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Men and boys are trafficked to Russia for the purpose of forced labor. Men and women are also trafficked to Iran, Pakistan, the U.A.E., and India for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Azerbaijan serves as a transit country for victims from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Moldova trafficked to Turkey and the U.A.E. for sexual exploitation. The Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan serves as a transit point for women trafficked to Turkey.

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. Azerbaijan is placed on Tier Two Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, particularly efforts to investigate, prosecute and punish traffickers, to address complicity among law enforcement personnel, and to adequately identify and protect victims in Azerbaijan. Although the government-funded shelter housed an increased number of trafficking victims in 2007, Azerbaijan has yet to develop a much-needed mechanism to identify potential trafficking victims and refer them to safety and care. Poor treatment of trafficking victims in courtrooms continues to be a problem.

Recommendations for Azerbaijan: Immediately implement a national mechanism for identifying victims and referring them to service providers; increase law enforcement efforts to prosecute traffickers and ensure that they receive sufficient punishment to deter trafficking; conduct training to improve treatment of victims by law enforcement; and vigorously investigate and prosecute the complicity of law enforcement personnel in trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Azerbaijan’s law enforcement efforts declined in 2007. Azerbaijan’s 2005 Law on the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor, and prescribes five to 15 years’ imprisonment, punishments which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as sexual assault. According to the government, it prosecuted 75 cases and convicted 85 trafficking offenders during the year. However, the government’s data on prosecutions appear to conflate trafficking with prostitution and smuggling charges. Moreover, over half of the convicted traffickers received house arrest or delayed or suspended sentences. The remaining traffickers received imposed sentences of one to 10 years’ imprisonment. According to most civil society groups in Azerbaijan, corruption and lack of training among low-level law enforcement impedes overall anti-trafficking efforts. Although some judges handed down sufficient sentences during the reporting period, the judiciary remains one of the weakest anti-trafficking actors in Azerbaijan, due to inadequate training and corruption.

In February 2008, the Cabinet of Ministers approved an order that requires all Azerbaijani law enforcement personnel to refer trafficking cases to the anti-trafficking unit. The government, however, has yet to vet members in its anti-trafficking unit for human rights violations, a recommendation since the 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report. Unconfirmed reports of low-level civil servants, local law enforcement officers, and border guards accepting bribes to facilitate trafficking continued unabated. The government failed to vigorously investigate or take any official action to address trafficking-related corruption. The government provided no evidence of any further action taken in a September 2007 case involving the arrest of several airport officials for facilitating trafficking in persons.

Protection
The Government of Azerbaijan did not improve protections for trafficking victims in 2007. The government again failed to take concrete steps to develop or implement a national mechanism to identify trafficking victims and refer them to providers of protective services, a recommendation since 2005. Although it now regularly shares law enforcement data with some NGOs, the government has yet to make tangible improvements in relationships with the NGO community in Azerbaijan; lack of communication and cooperation hamper real reform in establishing an adequate protection program. Although the government reportedly identified over 100 victims in 2007, only 29 received care and assistance at the government’s shelter. Local NGOs report that many victims, due to mistrust of law enforcement, prefer to seek shelter from friends or other NGOs that are viewed as more independent from the government. While the government shelter shares an agreement with a local hospital to provide medical services to victims, most medical staff members are ill-equipped to assist with their unique needs. Relocation assistance is limited, but victims received a one-time payment of $40 from the government. According to the government, 11 victims also received compensation from traffickers as part of a victim restitution program.

Azerbaijan failed to protect victims in courtroom settings, as victims were subjected to verbal abuse and stigmatization by judges. Victims are often treated as criminals, and penalized solely for unlawful acts they committed as a direct result of being trafficked. In one documented case a judge insulted a victim both during and after the proceedings. As a result, few victims elect to testify against their traffickers.

Prevention
The government’s anti-trafficking prevention efforts remained anemic during the reporting period. Despite the government’s relatively significant resources, it has yet to allocate sufficient funding and priority to trafficking efforts in its national budget. It has failed to cooperate with NGOs in raising awareness about trafficking among potential trafficking victims in Azerbaijan. Although it opened a long-anticipated national anti-trafficking hotline, it lacks standard operating procedures and is understaffed, with insufficient salaries and technical problems. As of February 2008, its existence has not been publicized to the general public. Although the government appointed a national anti-trafficking coordinator in 2004, the individual is a known human rights violator, a problematic obstacle to it achieving a truly victim-centered approach to its anti-trafficking efforts.

BAHRAIN (Tier 2 Watch List)
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. Some, however, face conditions of involuntary servitude such as unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movements, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. In addition, women from Thailand, Morocco, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia are trafficked to Bahrain for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. The Thai government reported repatriating 368 Thai women who reported that they 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, but is making significant efforts to do so. Nonetheless, Bahrain is placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for failing to show evidence of increased efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly efforts to enforce laws against trafficking in persons, and prevent the punishment of victims of trafficking. During this reporting period, Bahrain passed a comprehensive law prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons. The government also established a specialized anti-trafficking unit within the Ministry of Interior to investigate trafficking crimes. The government, however, 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.

Recommendations for Bahrain: Significantly increase law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenses, including arrest, prosecution, conviction, and punishment of traffickers; institute and apply formal procedures to identify and refer victims of trafficking to protective services; and ensure that victims of trafficking are not punished for acts committed as a result of being trafficked, such as illegal migration or prostitution.

Prosecution
During the year, Bahrain made progress in law enforcement against trafficking crimes. In January, Bahrain enacted a comprehensive law prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons and prescribing standard penalties ranging from three to 15 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. A finding of aggravating circumstances, such as victimization of a minor or a female, may result in a sentence up to and including life imprisonment. The government also established a specialized unit within the Ministry of Interior to investigate trafficking crimes – particularly sex trafficking – in November. Nonetheless, the government did not report any arrests, prosecutions, convictions, or punishments for trafficking offenses under the anti-trafficking law or other available statutes. The law against withholding workers’ passports – a common practice that restricts the mobility of migrant workers – was not enforced effectively, and the practice remained widespread.

Protection
Bahrain took limited measures to improve protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period. Between April 2007 and February 2008, the government-run shelter for victims of trafficking offered legal assistance to 45 foreign workers, the majority of whom made allegations of physical abuse by their employers. In July, two female victims of sex trafficking, one Ukrainian and one Russian, received shelter and repatriation services from the government. The majority of victims, however, continued to seek shelter at their embassies or through NGOs providing victim protection services. Local NGOs supporting trafficking victims in informal shelters did not receive any government funding. Though police and prosecutors received training on identification and protection of trafficking victims, the government continued to lack a formal procedure to identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as runaway domestic workers or women arrested for prostitution. As a result, some victims were detained and deported without adequate protection. In cases of physical, sexual, or psychological abuse, authorities reportedly referred victims to the government shelter; however, if there was an indication of misconduct on the part of the foreign worker, the worker was deported. Because employers often filed false police reports against their runaway workers, some victims of trafficking may have been punished rather than protected. The government did not discourage victims to assist in the prosecution of their traffickers; however, long and indefinite delays in legal cases, as well as a perceived bias against foreign workers by judges and prosecutors, discouraged workers from participating in prosecutions against their traffickers.

Prevention
Bahrain made some efforts to prevent trafficking in persons this year. The government initiated a campaign to prevent the selling of blank work permits —a practice which makes migrant workers vulnerable to trafficking—by allowing employers only to request non-transferable worker visas for pre-identified employees in connection with specific jobs. The government also continued to distribute multilingual brochures on workers’ rights and resources to incoming workers. Nonetheless, the government did not take any steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Similarly, the government did not institute a public awareness campaign targeting citizens traveling to known child sex tourism destinations.

BANGLADESH (Tier 2)
Bangladesh is a source and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Children – both girls and boys – are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation, bonded labor, and other forms of forced labor. Estimates from UNICEF and other sources since 2004 suggest that between 10,000 and 29,000 children are exploited in prostitution in Bangladesh. Some children are sold into bondage by their parents, while others are coerced into labor or commercial sexual exploitation through fraud and physical coercion. The Center for Women and Child Studies reports that trafficked boys are generally under 10 years old and trafficked girls are between 11 and 16 years old. Women and children from Bangladesh are also trafficked to India and Pakistan for sexual exploitation. Bangladeshi men and women migrate willingly to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, and Malaysia for work.

Women typically work as domestic servants; some find themselves in situations of forced labor when faced with restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Similarly, Bangladeshi men and women migrate to Malaysia, the Gulf, Jordan, and Finland to work in the construction sector or garment industry; they are sometimes induced into forced labor through fraudulent job offers, or after arrival in the destination country. Illegal fees imposed formally by Bangladeshi recruitment agents sometimes serve to facilitate debt bondage situations. Some Bangladeshi women working abroad are subsequently trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. Bangladeshi adults are also trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and bonded labor. Some Burmese women who are trafficked to India transit through Bangladesh.

Bangladesh does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The number of criminal prosecutions for sex trafficking offenses increased significantly from last year, and convicted traffickers received significant jail sentences; at the same time, however, there was a notable decrease in the number of convictions achieved. The government shut down some labor recruitment agencies, and initiated criminal enforcement of laws overseeing migrant labor recruitment. However, no prosecutions for these arrests were completed in 2007. Areas of continued concern include the need for increased measures to protect expatriate laborers against forced labor, and increased action against internal bonded labor and forced child labor. In addition, the absolute number of victims of trafficking is large.

Recommendations for Bangladesh: Significantly increase criminal prosecutions and punishments for all forms of labor trafficking, including those that involve fraudulent recruiting and forced child labor; improve criminal law enforcement efforts against and punishment of government complicity in trafficking; and provide protection services for adult male trafficking victims and victims of forced labor.

Prosecution
The Government of Bangladesh made uneven efforts to punish trafficking offenses during the reporting period. 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 forced labor, but the prescribed penalties of imprisonment for up to one year or a fine are not sufficiently stringent to deter the offense. Prescribed penalties for sex trafficking are commensurate with those for other grave crimes, such as rape. Bangladesh lacks laws criminalizing the trafficking of adult males for commercial sexual exploitation. Government efforts to criminally address labor forms of trafficking improved in some areas, but remained poor in the areas of bonded labor and forced child labor. Bangladesh shut down five recruitment agencies and initiated four criminal prosecutions against labor recruitment firms. The government arrested 76 individuals, started 19 investigations, and initiated 34 prosecutions for recruitment fraud. These cases are still under investigation or trial; thus, there were no related convictions during the reporting year. The Government of Bangladesh did not report specific information on any arrests, prosecutions, convictions, or punishments for forced child labor or bonded labor.

During the reporting period, the government opened 123 investigations, made 106 arrests, and initiated 101 prosecutions of sex trafficking offenses. Nonetheless, the government reported 20 trafficking convictions this year – 23 fewer than last year. Due to the length of court cases, many are resolved through illegal out-of-court settlements between victims and traffickers. Life imprisonment sentences were imposed on 18 of the convicted traffickers and the remaining two convicted traffickers received sentences of 14 and 10 years’ imprisonment. Authorities conducted 20 investigations into government complicity in trafficking; no government officials, however, were prosecuted, convicted, or punished for complicity in trafficking due to a lack of sufficient evidence. There was no evidence that Bangladeshi peacekeeping officers were complicit in sexual exploitation.

Protection
The Government of Bangladesh made some efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs distributed guidelines to all Bangladeshi diplomatic missions on the treatment of expatriate workers. These guidelines emphasize the importance of identifying and prosecuting perpetrators of trafficking, as well as assisting Bangladeshi trafficking victims regardless of whether they entered the destination country legally. Previous diplomatic efforts to assist Bangladeshi trafficking victims have reportedly been focused on negotiation with employers rather than assisting victims in filing criminal complaints against their traffickers. Bangladeshi embassies continue to operate safe houses in key destination countries. Within Bangladesh, police anti-trafficking units encourage victims to assist in the investigation of cases against their traffickers, and victims are not jailed or punished. Although Bangladesh is not a destination country for trafficking, the government does not systematically offer foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries of origin. A continuing concern is the government’s continued lack of efforts to protect victims of forced labor —who constitute a large proportion of trafficking victims in Bangladesh—as well as adult male victims of trafficking.

Prevention
Bangladesh made efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. The government reported efforts to prevent trafficking through memoranda of understanding with destination countries addressing destination countries’ labor laws, requirements for labor contracts, and mechanisms for labor flows, although such agreements are not yet publicly available and they do not appear to comprehensively address trafficking issues. Domestically, the government continued to air a broad public awareness campaign warning potential victims of the risks of sex trafficking through various media. In addition, airport authorities screen travelers to identify and interdict potential victims and traffickers before they leave the country. Following Cyclone Sidr, police proactively looked out for women and children who were vulnerable to trafficking due to displacement. The Government of Bangladesh trains peacekeepers on trafficking prior to deployment. Bangladesh did not report any actions taken to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts over the year. Bangladesh has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

BELARUS (Tier 2)
Belarus is a source and transit country for women trafficked from Belarus and neighboring countries to Russia, the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), Israel, Bahrain, Turkey, Ukraine, Japan, and European Union countries, including Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, Finland, Lithuania, and Cyprus for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Belarusian men and women continue to be trafficked to Russia for forced labor. A small number of Belarusian victims were trafficked within the country.
The Government of Belarus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however it is making significant efforts to do so. The Belarusian government has demonstrated a noticeable increase in political will to combat trafficking during the reporting period; however, funding for victim assistance programs codified into law in 2005 remained insufficient. In the past, anti-trafficking NGOs voiced frustration about lack of inter-ministerial communication and coordination, but during 2007 they reported improvement in this area.

Recommendations for Belarus: Increase resources devoted to victim assistance and protection within Belarus, including witness support; continue streamlining administrative processes related to victim protection; improve relations with anti-trafficking NGOs; provide specialized training for government officials in victim identification, protection, and referral to relevant social services; and develop results-oriented prevention programs targeting vulnerable Belarusian citizens.

Prosecution
The Government of Belarus demonstrated efforts to improve law enforcement effectiveness in addressing human trafficking in 2007. Belarusian law prohibits trafficking in persons for the purposes of both sexual exploitation and forced labor through Article 181 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties ranging from five to 15 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and are 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. According to Ministry of Justice statistics, Belarusian authorities investigated 84 trafficking in persons crimes in 2007. Of those, 65 cases were prosecuted, resulting in 39 convictions. All convictions resulted in jail time. The cases involved 378 victims (including 22 minors) of sexual exploitation and 40 victims (including one minor) of labor exploitation. In 2007, the government established an anti-trafficking training center in its national police academy, which is training at least one trafficking specialist for each of the 156 police districts throughout Belarus as well as officers from several neighboring countries, in anti-trafficking law enforcement and victim assistance and protection. The Ministry of Interior funded 90 percent of the facility’s startup costs and developed training materials in conjunction with a local NGO that provides victim assistance.

Protection
The Government of Belarus demonstrated inadequate efforts to protect and assist victims during the reporting period. While the government has given modest in-kind assistance to NGOs combating trafficking—such as the provision of a building for use as a victim shelter—it still has not provided funding for victim assistance programs codified into law in 2005. Most victims decline to seek medical assistance from government facilities due to reluctance to divulge information to clinic and hospital staff. NGOs continued to face an overly burdensome government approval process for projects, as part of the overall environment NGOs face in Belarus, although NGOs noted improvements in some bureaucratic processes. IOM reported that securing permission for its projects has become much easier during the past year, with approval times and bureaucratic hassles greatly reduced. The 2005 anti-trafficking decree requires convicted traffickers to reimburse the government for all costs of helping trafficking victims; however, the court procedure for enforcing this provision is complicated and burdensome. Belarusian law allows for authorities to grant temporary residency status to foreign victims. In January 2008, immigration officials granted a Ukrainian child temporary residency status and shelter in Belarus. NGOs report that the legal rights of victims are respected. Trafficking victims are not held responsible for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. Several NGOs have reported fewer cases of government officials coercing victims to serve as court witnesses, though there were continued reports that some victims are pressured to cooperate with investigations. Local NGOs report that victims sometimes encounter prejudiced and hostile attitudes from some law enforcement personnel, particularly in smaller cities, and that efforts to assist witnesses continue to be hampered by a lack of funding.

Prevention
The Government of Belarus demonstrated increased public awareness and prevention activities in 2007. The Ministry of Interior held a conference in Minsk on international anti-trafficking law enforcement cooperation in April 2007 and attended by representatives from 30 countries. The government adopted a 2008-2010 State action plan to increase protection and rehabilitation of trafficking victims, enhance the efficiency of government prevention efforts, further improve trafficking-related legislation, and decrease prostitution. During 2007, officials conducted 14 press conferences and 13 briefings to increase awareness of human trafficking. The Government of Belarus also sponsored 61 television and 108 radio spots. In addition, the Ministry of Interior monitored advertising media for potential trafficking recruitment messages. IOM reports that its public awareness billboard messages throughout Minsk have been provided free of charge by the authorities. The Ministry of Interior continued to run an information hotline for potential victims, although its purpose is limited to offering information regarding the legitimacy of overseas work and study recruitment agencies. The Ministry acknowledged that NGO-run hotlines are more effective at providing a broader range of services, and they refer callers to those hotlines. There were reports that some policies described by the Belarusian government as anti-trafficking measures, such as the enforcement of foreign travel controls on students and others groups, were unduly restricting Belarusian citizens’ ability to travel abroad for legitimate purposes.

BELGIUM (Tier 1)
Belgium is a destination and transit country for men, women, and girls trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Women and girls are trafficked to Belgium for sexual exploitation primarily from Nigeria, Russia, Albania, Bulgaria, Romania and the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.), and through Belgium to other European countries, such as the United Kingdom. Male victims are trafficked to Belgium for labor exploitation in restaurants, bars, sweatshops and construction sites. NGOs reported an alarming increase in unaccompanied minors entering the country who easily become trafficking victims.
The Government of Belgium fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to proactively investigate trafficking and financed NGOs to provide victim assistance, though the government reported that many victims chose not to receive government assistance and protection. Belgium did not undertake a demand reduction campaign focusing on commercial sex acts in its legal commercial sex industry; however, it developed an anti-trafficking national action plan during the reporting period.

Recommendations for Belgium: Increase awareness- raising efforts regarding domestic demand for commercial sex acts and child sex tourism committed by Belgian nationals; improve the collection of law enforcement and victim assistance data, including numbers of residence permits issued and government-assisted repatriations; increase protection for unaccompanied minors vulnerable to traffickers in Belgium; formalize and systemize screening procedures to identify potential victims in the commercial sex trade; and consider formally allowing all victims who assist with law enforcement efforts to obtain residency status, regardless of the outcome of the prosecution.

Prosecution
The Government of Belgium demonstrated sustained law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking in 2007. Belgium prohibits all forms of trafficking through a 2005 amendment to its 1995 Act Containing Measures to Repress Trafficking in Persons. As amended, the law’s maximum prescribed sentence for all forms of trafficking, 30 years’ imprisonment, is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape. In 2007, the government reported over 500 trafficking investigations; official data on the number of cases prosecuted has not yet been released. In 2006, the most recent year for which comprehensive prosecution statistics are available, the government prosecuted 451 trafficking cases. In 2005, the most recent year for which comprehensive conviction statistics are available, the government convicted 282 traffickers. Sentences ranged from one to 10 years’ imprisonment. 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 fund three NGOs that sheltered and protected trafficking victims in 2007. During 2007, the three specialized shelter centers registered 619 victims; however the government reported that only 176 accepted assistance. The gap between the number of identified victims and those who receive protection in Belgium was documented in a study by a Belgian University released in 2007. This study found that between 1999 and 2005, most of the trafficking victims referred to the three trafficking shelters disappeared after registering, with only 2.2 percent ultimately qualifying for victim status. Authorities in large cities took measures to limit the growth of legal red light districts, and occasionally closed brothels. The government did not employ formal procedures for victim identification among women in prostitution or other vulnerable groups, but police in several districts reported they used the 2005 anti-trafficking legislation to screen for possible victims and refer them to shelters. The government encouraged 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. All identified victims in 2007 were able to remain in Belgium. Identified victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or penalized for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
In 2007, the government continued to fund the activities of two NGOs that raise awareness about prostitution of children and run ongoing trafficking prevention campaigns. A governmental executive board developed an anti-trafficking National Action Plan in 2007. Belgian troops are educated about trafficking prior to their deployment on peacekeeping missions abroad. Belgium did not conduct prevention campaigns targeted at reducing domestic demand for commercial sex acts in its legal and regulated sex trade. It conducted an information campaign on responsible tourism by means of posters at the airport and train stations. The government identifies child sex tourism as a significant problem and has an extraterritorial law that allows for prosecution of its nationals for child abuse crimes committed abroad.

BELIZE (Tier 2)
Belize is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Internal trafficking for sexual exploitation is a problem, particularly in the form of poor families who push their school-aged daughters— some as young as 12—to provide sex to wealthy men in exchange for school fees, money, and gifts. This “sugar daddy” phenomenon is practiced in Belize and other Caribbean countries, and often is not recognized as a form of human trafficking by community members or government officials. Some Central American men, women, and children who migrate to Belize in search of work are subsequently subjected to conditions of forced agricultural labor or prostitution.

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 increased efforts to raise awareness and to protect trafficking victims, but it failed to punish any trafficking offenders during the reporting period.

Recommendations for Belize: Intensify law enforcement efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders; continue to confront trafficking-related corruption; strengthen victim protection efforts; and amend anti-trafficking laws to include more effective penalties against trafficking crimes.

Prosecution
The Government of Belize made limited progress in applying law enforcement measures against trafficking offenders during 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 penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. An interagency anti-trafficking in persons committee leads the government’s efforts to prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and raise community awareness. The interagency committee coordinated government investigations using a tripartite approach involving police, immigration officials, and social workers. The government investigated four new cases and prosecuted three during the reporting period, but secured no trafficking convictions in 2007. The cases involving two foreign victims resulted in one dismissal and one victim returning to her country of origin. In October 2007, an interagency team organized a raid on a brothel and rescued a teenage trafficking victim; trafficking charges against the bar owner are pending. The case against two police officers accused of trafficking in February 2007 was dismissed in March 2008, but re-opened for further prosecution by the Director of Public Prosecutions in April 2008. In January 2008, the government opened a labor trafficking investigation after Nepalese construction workers complained that their passports were being withheld by their employer. Some international organizations have described the country’s judicial system as dysfunctional, and cases involving sexual exploitation are seldom prosecuted to conviction. The government increased anti-trafficking training for police, magistrates, and immigration officials, and cooperates with foreign governments on trafficking investigations, working with Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico during the reporting period. Complicity in trafficking by law enforcement officials appears to be a significant impediment to prosecution efforts.

Protection
The Belizean government improved protection services for victims last year. It operated two shelters for adult trafficking victims, and provided victims with limited access to medical and counseling services. Last year, the government improved physical conditions at both shelters, refurbishing its shelter in Belmopan with U.S. assistance. To assist child trafficking victims, the government funded local NGOs to provide shelter aid and services. Authorities in Belize encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Prosecutors note difficulty with the willingness of victim witnesses to assist with the prosecutions of their traffickers; some fear further mistreatment, and others do not view themselves as victims. Additional training for police and prosecutors on victim interviewing and preparing witnesses for trial, in addition to providing them with greater government or NGO support during court proceedings, should assist with encouraging victims to confront and prosecute their traffickers. There were no reports of victims being jailed or penalized for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked. Belize also provided temporary residency for foreign trafficking victims, and other legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries in which they would face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government strengthened efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. Senior government officials spoke out publicly on the gravity of the human trafficking problem, and the government sponsored a nationwide anti-trafficking public awareness campaign in two languages, including the dissemination of 3,000 posters in English and Spanish to government offices, border points, and bus stations. However, some NGOs noted that the posters were not distributed in areas with the highest potential for trafficking activity and were unlikely to be seen by victims. The government’s anti-trafficking in persons committee sponsored anti-trafficking public service announcements aired via radio and television, and airport and border police received training on recognizing potential trafficking situations. The government also continued to work with Belize’s tourism industry to promote a code of conduct to prevent child sex tourism. The government undertook no specific efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the year.

BENIN (Tier 2) Benin is a source, transit and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. A 2006 UNICEF study found that 93 percent of victims were Beninese and 92 percent were trafficked within the country. Of those trafficked internally, 86 percent were underage girls. Within the country, girls are trafficked primarily for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, while boys are subjected to plantation and construction labor, street hawking, and handicraft activities. There is anecdotal evidence that child sex tourism may be developing in northern Benin. Children are trafficked from Benin to other African countries for the aforementioned purposes as well as for forced labor in mines and stone quarries. The majority of victims trafficked transnationally from Benin are taken to Nigeria and Gabon, though some are also trafficked to Cameroon, Togo, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Congo, and Guinea- Bissau. A small number of children are trafficked to Benin from other African countries, primarily Togo, Niger, and Burkina Faso.

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. While Benin strengthened its overall law enforcement and victim protection efforts in the last year, sentences imposed on convicted traffickers were inadequate and the Government of Benin failed to implement procedures to identify trafficking victims among females in prostitution.

Recommendations for Benin: Increase penalties imposed on convicted traffickers; screen females in prostitution to identify trafficking victims; investigate whether child sex tourism occurs in northern Benin; and pass a law prohibiting the trafficking of adults.

Prosecution
The Government of Benin took increased steps to combat trafficking through law enforcement efforts during the last year. Benin does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though its 2006 Act Relating to the Transportation of Minors and the Suppression of Child Trafficking criminalizes all forms of child trafficking and prescribes a penalty for this crime of up to 20 years’ imprisonment—a penalty that is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape. In 2007 and early 2008, the government arrested 31 traffickers. Between April 2007 and March 2008, Benin reported 39 prosecutions and 18 convictions of trafficking offenders, an increase from 35 prosecutions and eight convictions obtained during the previous year. Penalties imposed on convicted trafficking offenders, however, were inadequate, ranging from three months on bail to one year’s imprisonment. In April 2007, the government contributed trainers to a UNODC anti-trafficking “training-of-trainers” program for police officers and court employees.

Protection
The Beninese government intensified efforts to protect trafficking victims during the last year. The Minors Protection Brigade (MPB) reported rescuing 190 victims, 25 of whom were repatriated from Nigeria, a substantial increase from 88 victims rescued during the previous reporting period. In January and February 2008, Beninese and Nigerian authorities worked together, pursuant to the terms of their joint anti-trafficking plan of action, to repatriate 47 Beninese children trafficked to work in Nigeria’s stone quarries. The MPB continued to systematically refer rescued victims to a network of NGO shelters. In addition, the government’s victim shelter became operational in May 2007. The government provides food to victims at the shelter, which is attached to the MPB headquarters and staffed with NGO personnel. The shelter provides temporary care to victims before they are referred to NGOs. The Ministry of the Family continued to work with NGOs to reunite victims with their families. The government will not return victims to their home communities until a reinsertion program such as schooling, vocational training, or an apprenticeship, has been arranged for each child. The government continued to use its Social Promotion Centers located in each of Benin’s 77 municipalities to provide basic social services to children, including trafficking victims. The government interviews victims to gather evidence to prosecute traffickers, but, in order to protect child victims from additional trauma, it does not encourage them to participate in trials unless a judge orders so. Government officials do not follow procedures for identifying trafficking victims among females in prostitution. Benin provides legal alternatives to the removal of foreign child victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution by refraining from repatriating such victims unless they are able to live safely in the country of origin. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Benin made solid efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. From August 12 to 17, 2007, Beninese officials worked with Nigerian authorities and UNICEF to educate law enforcement and local communities in six villages along the Benin- Nigeria border about trafficking. In addition, the joint committee to combat child trafficking met twice in 2007 to discuss anti-trafficking coordination. The government completed its UNICEF-sponsored National Policy and Strategy for Child Protection in October 2007 and approved in September 2007 an ILO-sponsored five year national action plan to combat trafficking. In April 2007, the National Child Protection and Monitoring Working Group submitted draft decrees to the Ministry of Justice that will activate provisions in the 2006 law regulating the movement of children. The provisions require children entering Benin to possess identity documents and children exiting with guardians other than their parents to have parental authorization documents. Agents of the MPB monitor borders to identify traffickers and victims. Beninese troops deployed abroad as part of peacekeeping missions receive trafficking awareness training through a donor-funded program. The Government of Benin has not taken steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts within Benin.

BOLIVIA (Tier 2)
Bolivia is principally a source country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual and labor exploitation. Bolivians are trafficked mainly to Argentina, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Spain, and the United States for forced labor in sweatshops, factories, and agriculture. Young Bolivian women and girls are trafficked within the country from rural to urban areas for commercial sexual exploitation. Members of indigenous communities are at risk for domestic labor exploitation, particularly on sugar cane and Brazil nut plantations. Bolivian children are trafficked internally for forced labor in mining, agriculture, and as domestic servants. Some reports indicate that parents have sold or rented their children into farm labor exploitation near border areas with Peru. Undocumented migrants from Asia reportedly 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 demonstrated significant anti-trafficking progress last year by increasing law enforcement actions against trafficking offenders, expanding victim services, and sustaining prevention efforts.

Recommendations for Bolivia: Continue to intensify anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts; commence investigations of corrupt officials suspected of trafficking activity; increase victim services across the country; dedicate resources to investigating and preventing forced labor; develop procedures for identifying victims among potential trafficking populations; and amend anti-trafficking laws to provide greater legal protections for victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Bolivia significantly increased law enforcement efforts against trafficking crimes over the last year. The government prohibits all forms of human trafficking through its comprehensive anti-trafficking law enacted in 2006, which prescribes penalties of up to 12 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape. In 2007, the Bolivian National Police opened 118 anti-trafficking investigations, a marked increase over 2006. Special anti-trafficking police and prosecutors filed seven trafficking prosecutions in court and achieved five convictions, with sentences imposed on convicted trafficking offenders ranging from three to seven years of imprisonment. Such results demonstrate increased efforts from 2006, when the government secured two convictions and sentences against trafficking offenders. With U.S. assistance, the prosecutor’s office in Santa Cruz formed an integrated victims’ unit of police investigators, prosecutors, medical, and psychological personnel to investigate trafficking and sexual abuse crimes and provide direct aid to victims. Bolivian police also significantly stepped up use of proactive techniques such as raids of brothels and other sites, and rescued a total of 129 children exploited in prostitution – almost double the number of victims rescued in 2006. The government worked with international organizations and the United States to train prosecutors and anti-trafficking personnel. There were reports of some government officials tolerating trafficking activity, particularly involving labor exploitation on large plantations, and in border areas. However, no investigations or prosecutions of such suspected corrupt activity have been initiated by the government.

Protection
The Bolivian government increased resources and strengthened collaboration with municipal authorities and NGOs for the protection of trafficking victims over the last year. Nevertheless, services for victims remain unavailable in many parts of the country, especially outside larger cities such as La Paz and Santa Cruz. However, in 2007, the prosecutor’s office in Santa Cruz created a temporary shelter capable of caring for 120 trafficking victims. The Prefecture of the Department of La Paz also operates a shelter with capacity for 40 victims of commercial sexual exploitation, and La Paz’s city government operates an emergency shelter that assists trafficking victims, in addition to other victims of domestic and sexual violence. The government makes efforts to encourage victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Although the government generally provides appropriate legal protection to trafficking victims, some are jailed or penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government lacks effective procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations such as criminal detainees, prostituted women, and migrant and child workers.

Prevention
The government sustained its prevention and public awareness efforts by conducting 75 anti-trafficking seminars and education campaigns, reaching approximately 2,800 persons. The government also worked closely with NGOs and international organizations on prevention activities. The government reported no efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the year. Moreover, no information was available on measures the government may have taken to prevent Bolivian troops from engaging in trafficking-related activity when deployed abroad as part of a peacekeeping operation.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (Tier 2)
Bosnia and Herzegovina is primarily a country of origin for domestic trafficking, but also is a destination and transit country for women and girls trafficked to Western Europe for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. The number of Bosnian victims, many of them minors, trafficked within the country dramatically increased over the past year. Reports of Romani children being trafficked for forced labor continued. Victims from Serbia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, and Russia are generally trafficked into Bosnia and Herzegovina via Serbia or Montenegro for commercial sexual exploitation. Most traffickers held victims in private homes and safe-houses to avoid law enforcement detection and there were reports that some forced foreign victims to apply for asylum to keep them in the country.

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. Available data indicates an increase in law enforcement efforts at the state level in 2007. Sentences imposed on convicted trafficking offenders remained low or suspended during the reporting period.

Recommendations for Bosnia and Herzegovina:
Aggressively prosecute trafficking cases to ensure convicted traffickers receive adequate punishment to deter trafficking; and aggressively investigate and prosecute trafficking-related complicity.

Prosecution
The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s anti-trafficking law enforcement response increased slightly over the last year at the state level. Statistics to assess the local law enforcement response were unavailable at the time of this report. The Government prohibits trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation through Article 186 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. In 2007, the State Investigative and Protection Agency investigated 37 federal cases, a noted increase from 25 in 2006. The State Prosecutor’s office investigated 26 cases in 2007, a marginal increase from 23 cases in 2006. Out of the 47 traffickers prosecuted to conviction, State and entity-level courts imposed prison sentences on 14 offenders. Sentences ranged from 11 months’ to 10 years’ imprisonment. The remaining 33 convicted traffickers received suspended sentences.

There were reports of police and other official involvement in trafficking, with victims’ groups alleging that local police ignored or actively protected traffickers or exploiters of trafficking victims in return for payoffs. There are currently two open investigations of official complicity in trafficking. A February 2006 case involving two State Border Police employees is ongoing. A December 2007 case involving alleged involvement of three local officials in the forced prostitution of three minors is under investigation. The officials accused of involvement were immediately suspended and the case was elevated from the local level to the State Prosecutor’s office.

Protection
The government improved previous efforts to protect victims of trafficking in 2007. The government significantly increased its contribution to victim assistance programs from $39,700 to $79,400. The government identified and cared for 50 victims through its referral mechanism in 2007, a decline from 71 victims cared for in 2006. However, in 2007, the government adopted a systematic referral mechanism tailored to improve screening and identification of domestic trafficking victims within Bosnia and Herzegovina in addition to new rules on victim and witness protection. The government encouraged victims to assist in the prosecution of traffickers. In 2007, approximately one-fourth of victims actually testified. 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 2007, eight trafficking victims received residence permits on humanitarian grounds. Police and border officers use a screening questionnaire to evaluate potential victims. Identified victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina continued to assist NGOs to raise awareness about trafficking in Bosnia. In 2007, it assisted in the distribution of materials to consular missions, border police officers, universities, shopping centers, and schools specifically targeting young people seeking employment abroad. In 2007, the State Coordinator’s office continued to implement several comprehensive anti-trafficking prevention campaigns aimed at reducing both demand and supply. The State Coordinator’s office also developed a new five-year National Action Plan for 2008-2012. The government also continued to assist IOM in a nation-wide awareness campaign initiated in 2005 and concluded in 2007. In partnership with an international NGO, the government developed a manual for law enforcement and social and health care institutions on prevention of trafficking. The government continued to train its consular officials abroad to identify potential trafficking victims applying for Bosnian visas. Bosnian participants in international peacekeeping missions continued to receive specialized trafficking awareness training before deployment.

BRAZIL (Tier 2)
Brazil is a source country for women and children trafficked within the country and transnationally for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation, as well as a source country for men trafficked internally for forced labor. The Brazilian Federal Police estimate that 250,000 children are exploited for prostitution, although NGOs put the number as high as 500,000. Between 25,000 to 100,000 men are subjected to slave labor within the country. Approximately half of the nearly 6,000 men freed from slave labor in 2007 were found exploited on plantations growing sugar cane for the production of ethanol, a growing trend. A large number of Brazilian women and girls are 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 for the trafficking of men, women, and children from Bolivia, Peru, and the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) for forced labor into factories in major urban areas of Brazil. Child sex tourism remains a serious problem, particularly in the resort areas and coastal areas of Brazil’s northeast, and mostly involves tourists from Europe and the United States.

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 past year, the government significantly increased efforts to rescue victims of slave labor through mobile inspection operations in the Amazon and remote locations, and also increased efforts to provide greater services for victims. At the same time, however, the government did not report any criminal investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or punishments of forced labor crimes and only limited investigations of sex trafficking crimes. A lack of government resources and dedicated personnel impeded Brazil’s ability to combat its trafficking problem, although the government committed to allocate more funding to anti-trafficking efforts in its recently instituted national work plan to combat trafficking in persons and forced labor.

Recommendations for Brazil: Enact federal legislation to criminalize and sufficiently punish all severe forms of trafficking in persons, including forced labor, consistent with the requirements of the 2000 UN TIP Protocol; continue and increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence trafficking offenders, especially those who exploit victims for slave labor; commence investigations and prosecutions of corrupt officials who are alleged to facilitate or participate in human trafficking activity; increase cooperation with the United States to investigate allegations of forced labor linked to U.S. imports of Brazilian pig iron; improve victim assistance and protection, especially for victims of slave labor who are vulnerable to being re-trafficked; improve data collection for all trafficking crimes; and dedicate more government resources for anti-trafficking activities.

Prosecution
The Brazilian government demonstrated modest law enforcement efforts to confront human trafficking crimes during the last year. Brazil does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, although transnational and internal trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation is prohibited under Section 231 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties of three to 10 years’ imprisonment – penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Some aspects of labor trafficking are criminalized under Brazilian law, including debt bondage, for which a sufficiently stringent penalty of two to eight years’ imprisonment is prescribed. Forced labor is prohibited by Section 148 of the penal code—trabalho escravo (“slave labor”)—prescribing penalties of one to three years’ imprisonment. Fraudulent recruitment for the purpose of labor exploitation is also prohibited, with penalties of two months, to one year’s imprisonment plus fines. The penalties for these labor trafficking offenses are not sufficiently stringent to deter these crimes. An October 2006 Presidential decree on human trafficking included a stated goal to amend the law so that penalties applied to labor trafficking crimes would be made commensurate with those applied to sex trafficking crimes; such amendments, while unrealized as of this writing, would assist the government’s efforts to punish and deter exploiters of slave labor.

Brazil continued to lack a centralized system to collect, analyze, and report data on anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts throughout the country. Therefore, no comprehensive data on trafficking investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences were available. Nevertheless, the government appeared to sustain its efforts to investigate sex trafficking crimes. The Federal Police in 2007 reported approximately 200 complaints relating to the alleged sex trafficking of Brazilian women to Europe and seven ongoing investigations into cases of alleged transnational sex trafficking. Brazilian press reporting indicated that at least 59 suspected trafficking offenders were arrested by Federal Police during the reporting period. The Federal Highway Police, which is responsible for a substantial portion of Brazil’s anti-trafficking law enforcement activity, continued to conduct training for its officers on detecting trafficking victims and investigating trafficking crimes. Brazilian and other Mercosul law enforcement officials studied the feasibility of exchanging information of crossborder trafficking investigations.

The government did not report any criminal investigations or prosecutions of forced labor crimes, although 751 civil investigations are under way, and 890 cases have been filed for prosecution in civil labor courts. Such actions typically result in back pay and fines levied against landowners and other offenders – penalties that are inadequate. A Supreme Court ruling of November 2006, which requires that all criminal complaints of “slave labor” be heard by a federal criminal court, appears to remain unimplemented. The Ministry of Labor’s anti-slave labor mobile units increased their operations during the year, as the unit’s labor inspectors freed victims, forced those responsible for forced labor to pay often substantial amounts in fines and restitution to the victims, and then moved on to others locations to inspect. Mobile unit inspectors did not, however, seize evidence or attempt to interview witnesses with the goal of developing a criminal investigation or prosecution because inspectors and the labor court prosecutors who accompany them have only civil jurisdiction. Because their exploiters are rarely punished, many of the rescued victims are ultimately re-trafficked. The Ministry of Labor’s “dirty list” which publicly identifies individuals and corporate entities the government has determined to have been responsible for slave labor, continued to provide a modicum of punishment to those engaged in this serious crime, largely through public shame and the barring of these entities’ access to loans from state financial institutions. During the year, however, a number of individuals and corporate entities were able to remove their names from the “dirty list” through court action. Throughout the year, there were reports of government officials’ complicity in sex trafficking or slave labor, particularly with regards to police – directly or indirectly involved in sex trafficking rings – notably in the Amazon and northern states. Furthermore, numerous credible reports indicated that state police officials were involved in the killing or intimidation of witnesses involved in testifying against police officials in labor exploitation or forced labor hearings. There were also numerous killings of rural labor activists and labor union organizations, some of whom were active in fighting forced labor practices; some of these killings reportedly occurred with the participation or knowledge of state law enforcement officials.

Protection
The Brazilian government modestly improved efforts to provide trafficking victims with protection during the year through a network of 931 Specialized Social Assistance Reference Centers (CREAS) located in 1,107 Brazilian municipalities. The Ministry of Social Development provided shelter, counseling, and medical aid to adult and child victims of sex trafficking, along with other victims of sexual violence and exploitation. In 2007, the government provided $2.5 million in funding for this program, which in 2006 – the last year for which data is available – assisted 6,820 child victims of sex trafficking or sexual exploitation. A national hotline for reporting incidents of child sexual abuse and exploitation, which includes child sex trafficking, registered 23,368 reports of such abuse in 2007. Brazilian police continued to employ victim referral procedures when they identified child sex trafficking victims, referring the child victims to government-run CREAS for care. Labor inspectors and police officers who were members of the Ministry of Labor’s anti-slave labor mobile units, which are tasked with conducting surprise inspections of remote labor sites suspected of slave labor, employed formal procedures in identifying victims of forced labor, and provided these victims with immediate care.

During the year, the Ministry of Labor’s mobile units identified and freed 5,963 victims of forced labor through 114 operations targeting 203 properties. This is a significant increase from 3,390 forced labor victims freed in 2006 through 103 operations targeting 186 properties. Approximately half of the victims freed in 2007 were found on plantations growing sugar cane for Brazil’s booming production and export of ethanol, a biofuels, marking a growing trafficking phenomenon. In one operation alone, a Ministry of Labor mobile unit found 1,108 slave labor victims on a sugar plantation during an inspection in Pará state in July 2007. The Ministry of Labor awarded slave labor victims with compensation totaling $5.4 million as a result of these 2007 operations, funds which were derived from fines levied against the landowners or employers identified during the operations.

The government encouraged victims of sex trafficking to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking, though often victims proved reluctant to serve as a state witness due to fear of reprisals from traffickers and corrupt law enforcement officials. The government did not, however, encourage victims of forced labor to participate in criminal investigations or prosecutions, although judges and prosecutors have begun to use victims’ testimony recorded by NGOs. The government did not detain, fine, or otherwise penalize identified victims of trafficking for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. Some victims of sex trafficking were offered protection under a witness protection program on a limited basis, though a lack of resources limited this program’s effectiveness. The government did not provide foreign victims of trafficking with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The Brazilian government sustained its efforts to prevent trafficking through public awareness campaigns during the reporting period. A national plan of action on trafficking in persons, which covers all forms of trafficking, was produced by the government’s Justice Secretariat and released publicly in January 2008. Concurrently, an interagency committee on trafficking, chaired by the Justice Secretariat, was formed and began meeting during the year. The development of the national action plan and interagency committee were tasked by President Lula’s anti-trafficking decree of October 2006, which also called for a dedicated budget for anti-trafficking activities; such a budget has not yet been realized. The Ministry of External Relations continued to train its diplomats on identifying victims overseas and referring them to local NGOs in host countries. Although Brazil deploys a substantial number of troops abroad as part of international peacekeeping missions, the government did not provide them with training on human trafficking before deployment during the past year. The Brazilian government cooperated with a number of foreign governments in punishing or removing foreign visitors who were charged with child sex tourism offenses in Brazil, though the exact number of cases is not known. The Ministry of Tourism continued its radio and television public campaign of “Quem ama, protégé” (protect those you love) aimed at addressing child sexual exploitation in the country’s tourism centers and expanded this to neighboring countries, with versions in English, Spanish, and Dutch. The government took measures to reduce demand for commercial sex acts by conducting a national media campaign against commercial sexual exploitation during the 2008 Carnival holiday period.

BULGARIA (Tier2)
Bulgaria is a source, transit, and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children from Moldova, Romania, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Lebanon, and Uzbekistan trafficked to and through Bulgaria to Germany, Switzerland, Norway, Italy, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Belgium, France, Spain, Austria, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Macedonia for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Approximately, one-third of the trafficking victims identified are Roma women and children. Roma children are trafficked within Bulgaria and to Austria, Italy, and other West European countries for purposes of forced begging and petty theft.

Around 20 percent of identified trafficking victims in Bulgaria are children. Officials reported an increase in the number of Bulgarian victims trafficked internally, primarily to resort areas along the Black Sea coast, and in border towns with Greece, for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Bulgaria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Government of Bulgaria made substantial progress during the reporting period. In June 2007, the government appointed a new secretariat to the National Anti-Trafficking Commission, boosting the ability of the country’s anti-trafficking coordinating agency to develop and implement a transnational victim referral mechanism; to maintain and analyze victim data for use in policy development; and to implement the annual National Anti-Trafficking Strategy. In early 2008, local commissions were established in three towns identified as ‘high-risk’ for victims of trafficking. The Commission also launched a public awareness campaign targeted at potential victims and customers of sex tourism. The Minister of Interior and Prosecutor General publicly rejected efforts to legalize prostitution in Bulgaria, a strong effort to reduce the domestic demand for commercial sex acts.

Recommendations for Bulgaria: Continue to improve data collection and methods for assessing trafficking law enforcement statistics; provide funding to service providers for victim assistance efforts; sustain efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence trafficking offenders; and vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence government officials complicit in trafficking.

Prosecution
The Bulgarian government demonstrated strong 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, which prescribes penalties of between one and 15 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. In 2007, police conducted 179 sex trafficking and 22 labor trafficking investigations, compared to 202 sex trafficking and six labor trafficking investigations in 2006. In 2007, authorities prosecuted 78 offenders on trafficking charges, a decrease from 129 in 2006. Courts convicted a total of 73 trafficking offenders in 2007—71 convicted for sex trafficking offenses and two for labor trafficking offenses—compared to 71 convictions obtained in 2006. In 2007, five traffickers were sentenced to 5 to 10 years’ imprisonment and 33 traffickers were sentenced to 1 to 5 years’ imprisonment; 48 percent—35 of 73 convicted traffickers— received suspended sentences or had their sentences reduced to less than one year. During the reporting period, Bulgaria extradited 29 persons requested by other countries for prosecution on trafficking charges. Bulgarian police worked closely with law enforcement counterparts in Italy and Greece, investigating cases of Bulgarian victims trafficked for labor exploitation. There were continued reports of generalized corruption; during the reporting period, the government investigated one border police official allegedly involved in trafficking.

Protection
Bulgaria sustained its significant victim assistance and protection efforts during the reporting period. The government provided rehabilitative, psychological, and medical assistance to child trafficking victims in three child-trafficking crises centers located throughout the country. In 2007, the Commission began implementing a revised national referral mechanism for victims of transnational trafficking, building on already strong referral efforts. In 2007, the government identified 288 victims of trafficking; 124 victims received assistance from IOM or NGOs. All victims in Bulgaria are eligible for free medical and psychological care provided through public hospitals and NGOs. 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 with trafficking investigations are permitted to stay in Bulgaria for one month and 10 days before they are repatriated. Victims were not detained, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
Bulgaria demonstrated increased efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. In October 2007, the Commission organized a national awareness campaign, which included funding the production of more than 1,000 posters to advertise the campaign, and distribution of the posters throughout the country—mostly in schools and other public buildings. The Commission also published and began distribution of 1,000 posters and 5,000 brochures for an NGO-run awareness campaign focused on child trafficking. The National Border Police continued to actively monitor airports and land border crossings for evidence of trafficking in persons; however Bulgaria’s accession into the European Union in 2007 and subsequent visa free travel within the EU has challenged border officials’ ability to identify potential victims. The Commission adopted Bulgaria’s current National Strategy for Combating Human Trafficking in June 2007. In 2007, the Commission made efforts to reduce domestic demand by launching an awareness campaign targeting consumers purchasing commercial sex acts. The law provides that Bulgarian citizens who participate in certain crimes abroad, including child sex tourism, can be prosecuted and convicted in Bulgaria.

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, most children are trafficked from rural areas to urban centers such as Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso, for domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, forced agricultural labor, and forced labor in gold mines and stone quarries. Burkinabe children are also trafficked to other West African countries for the same purposes listed above, most notably to Cote d’Ivoire, but also to Mali, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, and Togo. Children from these West African countries are trafficked to Burkina Faso for the same purposes listed above. To a lesser extent, Burkina Faso is a source country for women lured to Europe with promises of jobs as maids, but who are forced into prostitution after arrival. Women from Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Ghana, and Niger reportedly are trafficked to Burkina Faso for forced labor in bars or for commercial 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. Burkina Faso’s law enforcement and protection efforts remained steady over the past year, but sentences imposed on convicted traffickers were inadequate and the government failed to implement procedures to identify trafficking victims among women in prostitution.

Recommendations for Burkina Faso: Pass legislation prohibiting the trafficking of adults; increase penalties imposed on convicted traffickers; train police and government social workers to identify trafficking victims among females in prostitution; ensure that sex trafficking victims are not penalized as criminals for acts committed as a result of being trafficked; and increase efforts to raise awareness about trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Burkina Faso demonstrated solid law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking over the last year. Burkina Faso does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though its 2003 Law No. 038-2003 concerning the Definition of Child Trafficking in Burkina criminalizes all forms of child trafficking and prescribes a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent but is not commensurate with higher penalties prescribed for rape. The government reported arresting 23 suspected child traffickers during the year. Eleven of these suspects were convicted for trafficking under either child trafficking or kidnapping laws; four remain in detention awaiting trial, and eight were released due to lack of evidence. Sentences imposed on convicted traffickers were inadequate, however, with five receiving two to 24 months’ imprisonment and six receiving suspended sentences of six to 24 months’ imprisonment. On February 7, 2008, the Mayor of Ouagadougou ordered that all brothels be closed by May 2008, threatening the use of existing laws to seize any properties used for prostitution after that date. However, during the reporting period, police did not investigate existing brothels to identify traffickers or trafficking victims. The Ministry of Social Action contributed a training site as well as personnel to conduct trafficking training for a UNICEF-sponsored group of 120 national and local law enforcement authorities.

Protection
The Government of Burkina Faso continued to protect trafficking victims over the last year. The government continued to contribute building facilities and personnel to a privately funded center in Ouagadougou for the rehabilitation and reintegration of at-risk children, including trafficking victims. The government also continued to contribute land grants and personnel to 21 UNICEF-funded trafficking victim transit centers throughout the country. In 2007, these centers provided care to 312 child trafficking victims who were intercepted by security forces and regional anti-trafficking surveillance committees. On average, children stayed in these centers for only a few days before being returned to their families. After their stay at the centers, foreign victims were repatriated to appropriate officials in their countries of origin. Approximately 312 trafficked children, including 34 who had been internationally trafficked, received care in transit centers before being returned to their respective families, or repatriated to their countries of origin. Burkina Faso cooperated with IOM and the Governments of Mali and Cote d’Ivoire to repatriate 21 Burkinabe children trafficked to Mali and Cote d’Ivoire. The government identified the victims’ families and helped provide psychological counseling for the children and sensitization about trafficking to their home communities. Women in prostitution are subject to arrest and detention for public solicitation, but police do not attempt to identify trafficking victims among those arrested for prostitution violations. Government officials encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions by interviewing them for evidence to prosecute traffickers.

Prevention
The Government of Burkina Faso made modest efforts to raise awareness about trafficking in the last year. During the year, the government used its own media outlets to broadcast documentaries and theater productions against trafficking as well as anti-trafficking statements by government officials, traditional chiefs, and religious leaders. The government’s anti-trafficking committee did not hold its quarterly meetings during the last year due to a restructuring. By ordering the closure of all brothels, the government took steps to reduce demand for commercial sex acts in Burkina Faso, but failed to implement procedures to identify trafficking victims among females in prostitution.

BURMA (Tier 3)
Burma is a source country for women, children, and men trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Burmese women and children are trafficked to Thailand, People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.), Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, South Korea, and Macau for commercial 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 subjected to conditions of forced labor in Thailand as hawkers, beggars, and for work in shops, agriculture, fish processing, and small-scale industries. Women are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation to Malaysia and the P.R.C.; some women are trafficked to the P.R.C. as forced brides. Some trafficking victims transit Burma from Bangladesh to Malaysia and from P.R.C. to Thailand. Internal trafficking occurs primarily from villages to urban centers and economic hubs for labor in industrial zones, agricultural estates, and commercial sexual exploitation. Forced labor and trafficking may also occur in ethnic border areas outside the central government’s control. Military and civilian officials continue to use a significant amount of forced labor. Poor villagers in rural regions must provide corvee labor on demand as a tax imposed by authorities. Urban poor and street children in Rangoon and Mandalay are at growing risk of involuntary conscription as child soldiers by the Burmese junta, as desertions of men in the Burmese army rises. Ethnic insurgent groups also used compulsory labor of adults and unlawful recruitment of children. 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 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 remained directly involved in significant acts of forced labor and unlawful conscription of child soldiers. The government, however, made modest improvements in its collaboration with the ILO on forced labor complaints, implementing the 2007 Supplementary Understanding on Forced Labor, though its criminal punishment of these trafficking crimes remained weak. Over the past year, the government took some steps to combat cross-border trafficking by increasing law enforcement efforts at border crossings and collaboration with the P.R.C.

Recommendations for Burma: Criminally prosecute military or civilian officials responsible for forced labor and the conscription of children into armed forces; increase prosecutions and convictions for internal trafficking; collaborate with international NGOs and international organizations in a transparent and accountable manner; and focus more attention on internal trafficking of females for commercial sexual exploitation.

Prosecution
The Burmese junta demonstrated modest progress to combat cross-border trafficking throughout the past year, though it continued to conflate illegal emigration with trafficking and it took limited law enforcement action against military or civilian officials who engaged in forced labor. Burma criminally prohibits sex and labor trafficking through its 2005 Anti- Trafficking in Persons Law, which prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape. Military recruitment of children under 18 is prohibited by Armed Forces Notification number 13/73 from 1974. The Burmese junta rules arbitrarily through its unilaterally imposed laws but rule of law is absent, as is an independent judiciary that would respect trafficking victims’ rights and provide fair justice. The Burmese government stated that it investigated 236 cases of trafficking, identifying 237 suspected traffickers, in 2007. The regime also reported it arrested 174 traffickers, prosecuted 18 trafficking cases, and convicted 31 traffickers. In the past, data claimed to represent trafficking in persons issues often included individuals caught trying to leave Burma without permission. In cases where persons are internally trafficked for labor by a high-level official or well-connected individual, the police can be expected to self-limit their investigations, even if no political pressure has been overtly employed. Burmese law enforcement officers worked with Chinese counterparts in joint investigations of 11 cross-border trafficking cases, which resulted in the rescue of 57 Burmese victims. Labor traffickers found guilty under the law are subject to imprisonment and a fine. The Ministry of Labor in 2007 issued licenses to 122 companies to recruit workers for overseas jobs. Since 2005, the Ministry of Labor cancelled the licenses of 53 companies for legal violations. In 2007, the ILO Liaison Officer accepted 53 complaints and submitted 37 to the Burmese Government for action during the February 2007-2008 period. The government prosecuted four perpetrators of forced labor, dismissed seven civilian administrative perpetrators, and reprimanded 11 military perpetrators – inadequate punishments. In 2007, two government officials were prosecuted and found guilty of violating Section 30 of the Trafficking Law, involving official corruption. No details were made public and this conviction is currently under appeal. During the year, the government conducted training related to trafficking in persons for 60 instructors and 45 other law enforcement officials.

Protection
The Burmese regime showed modest efforts to protect repatriated victims of cross-border sex trafficking. There were no discernable efforts to protect the far larger number of victims of forced labor and borders. In the past, victims of forced labor could be penalized for making accusations against the officials who impressed them unlawfully into forced labor. The government also, at times, filed charges against those who assist claimants of forced labor, including their legal counsel and witnesses. The government took steps to resolve these issues by extending the 2007 Supplementary Understanding on Forced Labor for an additional year in February 2008. This established a mechanism for forced labor complaints and provided protections for those who reported cases to the ILO, and harassment of complainants dropped in 2007. The government provides no legal assistance to victims. The government encourages internationally trafficked victims to assist in investigations and prosecutions. Victims have the right to refuse to cooperate with law enforcement. In 2007, officials improved the level of victim protection from inappropriate media attention during the repatriation and reintegration process. Victims are not jailed, fined, or prosecuted for acts committed as a result of being trafficked. Over the last year, the Ministry of Home Affairs reported assisting 137 victims, the Ministry of Social Welfare stated it helped 79 victims, and Women’s Affairs Federation reportedly assisted 110 returned victims. In October 2007, the Anti-Trafficking Task Force in Tachilek rescued eight female P.R.C. victims being trafficked from Yunnan Province to Thailand. The Department of Social Welfare (DSW) and Police provided care to the victims for two months, after which they were repatriated to the P.R.C. The DSW provided temporary shelter to repatriated victims at eight vocational training centers as well as a reintegration package which includes counseling, vocational training, and health care. In 2007, the government showed limited cooperation with international organizations on the issue of the military’s conscription of children, resulting in the return of 11 children to their families, though it did not adequately punish those responsible for these child trafficking offenses.

Prevention
The government increased its efforts to prevent international trafficking in persons. The government also established a Bilateral Liaison Office (BLO) in Muse, along the China border, which shares information about trafficking with Chinese counterparts. Although the government improved its activities, addressing international trafficking issues, it made little effort to address far more prevalent trafficking issues inside the country’s borders. The government has an interagency Working Committee on Prevention chaired by the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare. The National Police conducted 306 awareness campaigns reaching over 28,000 people. The Ministry of Home Affairs in collaboration with an international organization conducted awareness raising campaigns at bus terminals, targeting drivers, merchants, ticket sellers, and local police. The government posted billboards and notices at hotels aimed at tourists to warn about trafficking.

BURUNDI (Tier 2 Watch List)
Burundi is a source country for children trafficked for the purposes of child soldiering, domestic servitude, and commercial sexual exploitation. The rebel faction PALIPEHUTU-FNL (Party for the Liberation of the Hutu People-National Liberation Force – also known as the FNL) remains the only armed group not to have signed a peace agreement with the government, and continues to unlawfully recruit and use children as fighters, manual laborers, and logistical support. A small number of Burundian children may be trafficked internally for domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation, although there is little evidence of organized child prostitution. In early 2008, Burundian children were allegedly trafficked to Uganda via Rwanda for agricultural labor and commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Burundi does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Nevertheless, Burundi is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year for its failure to provide sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons over the last year. While the arrest of suspected FNL recruiting agents and the government’s rejection of a request to export Burundian workers to the Middle East are notable, its inability to provide adequate protective services to children accused of association with armed groups and to conduct anti-trafficking law enforcement activities continue to be causes for concern.

Recommendations for Burundi: Ensure all former child combatants detained in demobilization camps and prisons are provided with appropriate protective services; pass and implement anti-trafficking provisions contained in the draft criminal code amendment; and investigate the nature of child commercial sexual exploitation and any possible domestic servitude within the country; and take steps to remove affected children from these situations.

Prosecution
The government’s anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts were limited during the reporting period. Burundi’s laws do not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though Article 241 of the Burundi Constitution prohibits all forms of slavery and its criminal code outlaws forced labor and kidnapping. Sex trafficking crimes can also be punished using statutes on brothel-keeping and pimping. Nevertheless, there were no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions under these statutes during the reporting period. In 2007, an amendment to Burundi’s Criminal Code, drafted in a joint effort between the Ministry of Justice and members of civil society, was debated by Parliament and prepared for a vote. Among other provisions, the amendment prohibits defined acts of forced prostitution, sexual slavery, and human trafficking, and delineates the methods of prosecution and punishment for such crimes. However, a mid-2007 legislative impasse delayed passage of most bills, including the criminal code amendments, and a number of other bills addressing the protection of children. In June 2007, two alleged FNL recruiting agents were arrested by Internal Security Police officers in Butezi commune and detained in Butezi prison before being transferred to the judicial police prison in Ruyigi; they were subsequently released for lack of evidence.

Protection
The government provided minimal assistance to trafficking victims in 2007. Potential child trafficking victims, who were suspected of association with an armed group, remained in demobilization camps and prisons, where protective services were lacking. Following months with no communication between the Government of Burundi and the FNL, peace negotiations were scheduled to resume in April 2008. According to the cease-fire accords, in the absence of a peace agreement, children remaining with the FNL cannot be formally recognized by the government, demobilized, or provided the benefits package afforded to the country’s other former child soldiers. Moreover, efforts to demobilize additional children from within the FNL’s forces cannot progress as rebel leaders refuse to claim suspected child soldiers as members of their units. Until completion of the negotiations, the government’s Randa and Buramata demobilization camps in Bubanza Province continue to house FNL members who wish to be demobilized, including former child soldiers. In December 2007, UNICEF verified that over 200 of those detained in these facilities are children who are not separated from adult combatants, placed in school, or provided with constructive activities. During the reporting period, the government’s Demobilization Department provided a limited amount of medical assistance and counseling to former child soldiers suffering from physical and psychological trauma, including victims of trafficking. It also made available facilities and other logistical support to an international NGO that provided vocational training, conflict resolution counseling, and income-generating projects to 538 demobilized child soldiers to assist with their reintegration into civilian life. The government did not, however, provide protective services to any other categories of trafficking victims during the reporting period, nor did it show evidence of implementing procedures to identify victims of trafficking or referring them to organizations that provide protective services. However, the Burundian Embassy in Kampala began an investigation of the recent trafficking of a small number of Burundian children to Uganda and provided these children with medical care. The government did not encourage victims to participate in investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenders, nor did it ensure that victims were not inappropriately incarcerated or otherwise penalized solely for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The government’s efforts to prevent trafficking improved slightly during the year, but remained nascent. In December 2007, the Ministry of National Solidarity and Human Rights enacted and the President endorsed a decree that excludes from customs duties all goods imported by private and local associations involved in the fight against human trafficking, as well as other human rights issues. In April 2007, the Ministry of Labor met with an official Lebanese delegation that sought to recruit Burundian women for the Lebanese labor market, but ultimately denied the Lebanese government’s request for fear that the proposal would facilitate trafficking or other forms of labor exploitation. Although government officials and Burundian security forces, including the Brigade for the Protection of Women and Children, are aware of a few centers for prostitution in the vicinity of Bujumbura, a survey into the conditions of females and children in prostitution has not taken place. In 2007, the government organized meetings and seminars with NGOs addressing the issue of trafficking within Burundi’s borders. The government did not undertake efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. In December 2007 and January 2008, Burundi deployed its first battalion of peacekeepers to the African Union’s Mission to Somalia. The predeployment training of the peacekeepers, provided by two foreign governments, included a curriculum that created awareness and discouraged acts of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Burundi has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CAMBODIA (Tier 2)
Cambodia is a source and destination country for trafficked persons. Women and girls are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation to Thailand and Malaysia. Some Cambodian men who migrate willingly to Thailand for work are subjected to conditions of forced labor in the Thai fishing, construction, and agricultural industries; women and girls are trafficked to Thailand for exploitative labor as domestics and some may be forced into prostitution. Some Cambodian male migrant workers returning from India, South Korea, and Malaysia reported being subjected to conditions of forced labor and debt bondage. Children are trafficked to Thailand and Vietnam to beg or work on the streets selling candy or flowers or shining shoes. Some Cambodian women who migrated to Taiwan as the result of brokered international marriages were subsequently trafficked for prostitution. Sex trafficking of women and girls, including ethnic Vietnamese, occurs within the country, from rural areas to the urban areas of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville. Cambodia is a destination for Vietnamese women and girls trafficked for prostitution. Cambodia is also a destination country for foreign child sex tourists, with increasing reports of Asian men traveling to Cambodia in order to have sex with underage virgin girls.

The Royal 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 for the first time since 2004 due to the government’s increased engagement in combating trafficking in persons over the previous year. The government created a national anti-trafficking task force to improve the interagency response to trafficking and coordination with civil society, increased law enforcement action against traffickers and complicit officials, and undertook prevention activities. In February 2008, Cambodia’s new Law on the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation was promulgated and went into effect immediately. This legislation provides law enforcement authorities the power to investigate all forms of trafficking and is a powerful tool in efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers and have them face stringent punishments. High-level government officials have spoken publicly about a “zero-tolerance” policy for officials profiting from or colluding in trafficking in persons.

Recommendations for Cambodia: Continue implementation of the comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation; provide training for law enforcement and government officials on the new law; significantly improve the number of prosecutions, convictions, and punishments of trafficking offenders, particularly in areas outside the capital; make greater efforts to prosecute, convict, and criminally punish public officials complicit in trafficking; hold labor recruiting agencies criminally responsible for labor trafficking by means of fraudulent recruitment; continue to enhance interagency cooperation and collaboration with civil society; create concrete benchmarks for the provincial working groups under the direction of the National Task Force; and increase efforts to prosecute sex tourists and those facilitating commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Prosecution
The Royal Government of Cambodia continued law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the last year. In February 2008, Cambodia’s new Law on the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation was promulgated and went into effect. The comprehensive law criminalizes all forms of trafficking, including debt bondage, prescribing penalties for these offenses that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Due to resource constraints, the government has not provided reliable statistics on prosecution. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) reported receiving complaints of 53 trafficking cases from April 2007 to March 2008; thirty-five cases were sex trafficking involving 60 victims and 11 were labor trafficking cases involving 106 victims. Police took action on 43 cases. The MOI reported that 65 traffickers were arrested during the reporting period. The Phnom Penh Municipal Court convicted 52 trafficking offenders. The MOI Department of Anti-Trafficking and Juvenile Protection reported 52 cases, involving 65 trafficking offenders that resulted in eight convictions. NGOs reported 19 labor trafficking cases involving legal migrants who ended up in conditions of involuntary servitude in Malaysia, but Cambodian labor recruitment companies usually paid compensation and were not prosecuted for criminal offenses. There were no cases of labor agents being held responsible for the trafficking of migrant workers, or being prosecuted. In February 2008, Prime Minister Hun Sen ordered the Ministry of Commerce to annul business licenses for marriage agencies, calling the business a form of human trafficking. Corruption is pervasive in Cambodia, and it is widely believed that some individuals, including police and judicial officials, are involved in trafficking. In an important move that sent a signal that corruption will not be tolerated by senior government officials, an investigation into the Chhay Hour II brothel case resulted in the removal of the President of the Appeals Court for trafficking-related corruption. The same investigation resulted in three other judges and one deputy prosecutor of the Appeals Court receiving official letters of reprimand. The MOI Anti-Human Trafficking Juvenile Protection Department Director administratively transferred two police officers who were convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison in 2006 by the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for trafficking-related corruption. While these anti-corruption efforts are laudable, officials involved in trafficking must ultimately be punished with jail time, not merely administrative penalties.

Protection
The Royal Government of Cambodia improved its efforts to provide protection to victims of trafficking, while continuing to rely on NGOs and international organizations. Victims are not treated as criminals or otherwise penalized for acts committed as a result of being trafficked. Law enforcement and immigration officials implemented formal procedures to identify victims among vulnerable groups and refer them to provincial and municipal Departments of Social Affairs. Foreign victims are provided temporary residence in shelters providing legal, educational, and counseling services while awaiting repatriation. There are a limited number of shelters, however, with the ability to provide complete services for foreign victims due to lack of foreign language capabilities. Victims are encouraged by police to participate in investigations and prosecutions of traffickers, but credible fear of retaliation from traffickers still hinders their testimony. Victims may file civil suits and seek legal action against traffickers. Traffickers frequently attempt to pay off victims or their families to cease cooperation with law enforcement or NGOs. The Ministry of Social Affairs, Veterans, and Youth Rehabilitation (MOSAVY) continued to staff an IOM-run Transit Center in Poipet that offers preliminary assessments, family tracing, and reintegration assistance for victims repatriated from Thailand. In 2007, 160 victims trafficked to Thailand were identified by IOM, MOSAVY, and NGOs and referred to the transit center. MOSAVY reported that 188 victims of sex trafficking were referred to them by local police and the MOI reported that 158 victims were rescued in 2007. In December 2007, the Council for Legal and Judicial Reform published a Legal Aid Services Directory for trafficking and other social and legal services on a province-by-province basis.

Prevention
The Royal Government of Cambodia demonstrated solid efforts to prevent trafficking. In April 2007, the government established a National Task Force (NTF) comprising 11 government ministries, three government agencies, and more than 200 international and local NGOs. The NTF has an oversight mechanism known as the “High Level Working Group,” chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior. This initiative marks the first time the government has coordinated anti-trafficking efforts across government ministries and agencies, and also formally includes civil society. In September, municipalities and provinces began forming their own anti-trafficking working groups led by governors and deputy governors. The provincial working groups are expected to report their activities to the NTF on a bi-weekly basis. In collaboration with civil society, the NTF launched a nationwide anti-trafficking campaign using positive messages incorporating Khmer values and cultural traditions to inspire Cambodians to take action against human trafficking. The campaign emphasized trafficking as a national priority and launched a national dialogue on trafficking via public forums in five provinces across Cambodia. Government authorities arrested 12 foreigners suspected of child sex tourism (two Americans, one Austrian, two Germans, one Italian, one Briton, two Russians, and three Singaporeans) and charged them with debauchery. Eight were convicted with sentences ranging from 10 to 28 years’ imprisonment. In October, Sihanoukville police arrested a wealthy Russian citizen for alleged sexual abuse of underage girls who were trafficked from Phnom Penh. In March 2008, the Phnom Penh court convicted and sentenced him to 13 years in prison. The Cambodian government deported the Americans to the U.S. for subsequent U.S. prosecution under the PROTECT Act. In other efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts, the Ministry of Tourism (MOT) collaborated with an NGO to produce and distribute pamphlets and advertisements in tourist brochures warning of the penalties for engaging in child sex tourism. The MOT also held several workshops for hospitality industry owners and staff on how to identify and intervene in cases of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children by tourists. The MOT also supported the ChildSafe Program, which builds a network of people to protect at-risk children in the main tourist centers of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville.

CAMEROON (Tier 2 Watch List)
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 primarily trafficked for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Both boys and girls are also trafficked within Cameroon for forced labor in sweatshops, bars, restaurants, and on tea and cocoa plantations. Children are trafficked to Cameroon from Nigeria, Chad, the Central African Republic, Congo, Benin, and Niger for forced labor in agriculture, fishing, street vending, and spare-parts shops. Cameroon is a transit country for children trafficked between Gabon and Nigeria, and from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia. It is a source country for women transported by sex trafficking rings to Europe, primarily France, Germany, and Switzerland.

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. Nevertheless, Cameroon is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking over the previous year, particularly in terms of efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders. While Cameroon reported some arrests of traffickers, none of them was prosecuted or punished. The government refers victims to NGOs, but does not identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations or monitor the number of victims it intercepts.

Recommendations for Cameroon: Broaden the scope of its draft law against the trafficking of adults to include men, and pass and enact the draft law; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and develop a system for collecting relevant law enforcement data; educate police, judges, and lawyers about the law against child trafficking; develop a formal system for collecting data on the number of victims rescued and assisted; and adopt the draft national action plan to combat trafficking.1

Prosecution
The Government of Cameroon made modest but inadequate efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement means during the last year. Cameroon does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though it criminalizes child trafficking and slavery through its 2005 Law Combating Child Trafficking and Slavery, which prescribes a penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment—a punishment sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape. Government and NGO representatives report, however, that many judges and lawyers in the provinces are not aware of the 2005 law against child trafficking. Article 2 (3) of Cameroon’s Labor Code prohibits compulsory labor, but prescribes only a penalty of the equivalent of $100 to $3000 in fines, which is not sufficiently stringent. The government’s 2006 draft law prohibiting trafficking of adult women still awaits passage by the National Assembly. In January 2008, gendarmerie in the North West Province arrested three traffickers transporting seven children between the ages of 12 and 17 to the Center Province for the purpose of labor exploitation. Police brought the suspects to the Bamenda Prosecutor’s Office, where the case is pending. In December 2007, Bamenda gendarmerie arrested a child trafficker in a case in which one of his victims was ill and died due to lack of medical attention. The suspect was released on bail, pending charges and a trial. In 2007, the Yaounde court held hearings on six child trafficking cases that are still pending Although Cameroon has a police Brigade de Moeurs responsible for investigating child trafficking cases, it reported handling only one case of child labor exploitation in 2007. The government lacks any mechanism for systematic collection of data concerning arrests, investigations, or prosecutions of trafficking offenses. The government does not provide specialized trafficking training for law enforcement officials.

Protection
The Government of Cameroon demonstrated minimal efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. The government does not operate trafficking victim shelters, but does refer victims to NGOs. In December 2007, one NGO in Yaounde reported that most of the 840 vulnerable and trafficked children it assisted since its creation in February 1987 were referred by the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSA). The government reported that it operated nine centers for vulnerable children, some of whom were trafficking victims. Government officials do not follow procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups, such as street children. The government interviews victims for evidence to assist with 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 may be inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Cameroon made solid efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. To commemorate World Day Against Child Labor on June 12, 2007, the Minister of Social Affairs made a public address on the importance of protecting children from labor exploitation, with a particular focus on children in agricultural labor. To mark the Day of the African Child, on June 16, 2007, Cameroon organized a children’s National Assembly session under the theme of “Let’s Say No to Child Trafficking.” The child Parliamentarians passed a number of resolutions calling to protect children from trafficking. Government-operated radio and television aired anti-trafficking messages. While an inter-ministerial anti-trafficking group exists, it did not meet on a regular basis. Cameroon took measures to ensure that its nationals who are deployed abroad as part of peacekeeping missions do not engage in or facilitate trafficking by briefing troops before deployment on international norms governing peacekeeping missions. In collaboration with the ICRC, the government also organizes seminars for military and police leadership to keep them updated on these norms. Cameroon has not finalized or adopted its draft national plan of action against trafficking.

CANADA (Tier 1)
Canada is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women and children are trafficked primarily from Asia and Eastern Europe for sexual exploitation, but victims from Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean also have been identified in Canada. Many trafficking victims are from Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Vietnam, and South Korea, in addition to Russia and Ukraine. Asian victims tend to be trafficked more frequently to Vancouver and Western Canada, while Eastern European and Latin American victims are trafficked more often to Toronto and Eastern Canada. A significant number of victims, particularly South Korean females, are trafficked through Canada to the United States. Canada is a source country for sex tourism, and NGOs report that Canada is also a destination country, particularly for sex tourists from the United States. Canadian girls and women, many of whom are aboriginal, are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation. NGOs report that Canada is a destination for foreign victims trafficked for labor exploitation; many of these victims enter Canada legally but then are unlawfully exploited in agriculture and domestic servitude.

The Government of Canada fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Over the last year, Canada increased victim protection and prevention efforts, but demonstrated limited progress on law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders.

Recommendations for Canada: Intensify efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders, including those suspected of trafficking for labor exploitation; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute, as appropriate, Canadians suspected of committing child sex tourism crimes abroad; increase use of proactive police techniques such as brothel raids; provide greater protection and services for foreign trafficking victims; and improve coordination among national and provincial governments on law enforcement, victim services, and data collection.

Prosecution
The Government of Canada demonstrated limited progress in law enforcement actions against human traffickers during the reporting year. Canada prohibits all forms of human trafficking through its Criminal Code, which was amended in 2005 to include specific offenses to combat trafficking in persons, and which prescribes a penalty of up to 14 years’ imprisonment. If the crime is committed under aggravated circumstances, the penalty increases to a maximum of life imprisonment. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes, such as sexual assault. In addition, 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. The Criminal Code also prohibits a defendant from receiving a financial or material benefit from trafficking; this offense is punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Withholding or destroying a victim’s identification or travel documents to facilitate human trafficking is punishable by up to five years in prison. During the reporting period, provincial governments laid 17 trafficking charges under the Criminal Code, of which it laid 13 under Section 279.01 (trafficking) and four under Section 279.03 (withholding or destroying documents). These charges are the first filed under Canada’s specific anti-trafficking provisions. Provincial governments secured three trafficking- related convictions during the reporting period, as compared to last year when provincial governments convicted five trafficking-related offenders. In June 2007, a British Columbia court dismissed trafficking charges in a landmark IRPA case filed against a massage parlor owner, although the defendant was convicted of related crimes such as managing a “bawdy house” and pimping; he was sentenced to 15 months in jail. Other cases remain open, including investigation of a suspected Eastern European prostitution ring in Toronto. In 2007, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) increased anti-trafficking training for front-line officers and prosecutors, organizing regional events across the country. The government also provided anti-trafficking training to RCMP recruits, border and immigration officers. The Government of Canada works closely with foreign governments, particularly the United States and Mexico, on international trafficking cases, and with other foreign governments through RCMP liaison officers stationed worldwide. There were no reports of trafficking-related complicity by Canadian officials last year.

Protection
The government increased protections for trafficking victims during the reporting period. In June 2007, Canada increased the length of temporary resident permits (TRPs) for foreign trafficking victims from 120 to 180 days. During this 180-day reflection period, immigration officials determine whether a longer residency period of up to three years should be granted. Victims also may apply for fee-exempt work permits, an option previously unavailable under Canadian law. TRP holders have access to essential and emergency medical care, dental care, and trauma counseling. However, NGOs reported difficulties with foreign trafficking victims securing TRPs and gaining access to services for victims without legal status. Four trafficking victims received TRPs during the reporting period. Victim support services in Canada are generally administered at the provincial 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 domestic NGOs, in addition to a national Victim’s Fund, which makes monies available to NGOs to fill in gaps in services for crime victims, including trafficking victims. Last year the government provided approximately $5 million in funding to support this initiative, the same amount funded in 2006. However, the government also appropriated approximately $50 million in additional funds for the Victim’s Fund over the next four years. NGOs and faith-based organizations have urged greater government support for trafficking victims, arguing that they have provided most victims, especially foreign trafficking victims, with shelter and services without government assistance. In July 2007, British Columbia’s provincial government opened a human trafficking office to provide better services to victims, and to improve coordination with NGOs and federal and provincial ministries.

Victims’ rights are generally respected in Canada, and victims are not penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked, although NGOs have reported that some foreign trafficking victims have been arrested and deported without first being identified as victims. Canadian authorities encouraged trafficking victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders, but did not require victims to assist with the investigations of their traffickers as a condition of their TRPs. The government provided formal court assistance, in addition to the use of closed circuit television testimony and other victim-sensitive approaches to facilitate victims furnishing evidence. Victims also may submit a “victim impact statement” for the court to consider when sentencing an offender. Canada has a witness protection program, but no trafficking victims have utilized this service. Law enforcement and immigration officials receive specialized training to identify trafficking victims. Consular officials at Canadian embassies, especially in source and transit countries, receive training on protections and assistance available to potential trafficking victims. Canada funds international programs for trafficking victims, targeting assistance to Eastern Europe, West Africa, and Southeast Asia.

Prevention
The government significantly increased anti-trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. In January 2008, the government provided funding of approximately $6 million to strengthen existing initiatives to prevent the sexual exploitation and trafficking of children. The initiative includes a national awareness campaign and a 24-hour hotline to encourage the reporting of cases and for the public to receive information. The government also provided an additional $2 million to the Canadian Center for Child Protection, a national charitable organization, to pursue public leads about suspected child predators on the Internet. The Center operates an online tip line through its website, works with law enforcement, and promulgates educational and other materials to raise public awareness, including against child sex tourism. Last year, Justice Canada funded wide distribution of an anti-trafficking booklet to increase public awareness of human trafficking and materials available through the government’s anti-trafficking website. The Canadian immigration agency provided pamphlets and information to temporary foreign workers, including live-in caregivers, to let them know where to seek assistance in case of exploitation or abuse. Immigration officials distributed 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. Canada annually funds anti-trafficking prevention programs overseas, concentrated in Latin America, the Caribbean, West Africa, and Southeast Asia, and contributes funds to international organizations such as UNODC for law enforcement training and developing model anti-trafficking legislation.

Canada is a source country for child sex tourism, and the country prohibits its nationals from engaging in child sex tourism through Section 7(4.1) of its Criminal Code. This law has extraterritorial application, and carries penalties of up to 14 years in prison, although it is limited to cases where the defendant has not been prosecuted in the country where the offense was allegedly committed. According to the government, there are more than 100 cases pending in other countries involving Canadians charged with child exploitation. Two cases are currently being prosecuted before Canadian courts. Canada’s department of foreign affairs distributes a publication entitled “Bon Voyage, But…” to warn Canadians traveling abroad about Canada’s child sex tourism law, and that the sexual exploitation of children is a serious, punishable crime. The Canadian government also partners with the private sector to fight human trafficking, in particular collaborating on development of a child exploitation tracking system designed to help law enforcement apprehend internet-based sexual predators. The government contributed three years of funding to equip and train police services to use the software.

Canadian federal officials are collaborating with provincial British Columbia officials and the Vancouver Police to establish measures to prevent human trafficking at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Federal officials are also working with the RCMP and the Vancouver Olympic Committee to incorporate anti-trafficking measures into the Olympics’ broader security plan. To address consumer demand for commercial sex acts, provincial courts continued to send defendants convicted of soliciting prostitution to “Johns Schools” to educate them on the potential exploitation involved with the offense. Canada’s Department of National Defense follows NATO policy on combating trafficking in persons, and provides anti-trafficking information to Canadian military forces and to civilian contractors prior to deployment on international peacekeeping missions. Last year the government funded a peacekeeper training program through the OAS to strengthen the capacity of Latin American and Caribbean peacekeeping forces to recognize and prevent human trafficking.

THE CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (Tier 2 Watch List)
The Central African Republic (C.A.R.) is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. The majority of victims are children trafficked within the country for sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, ambulant vending, and forced agricultural, mine, market and restaurant labor. To a lesser extent, children are trafficked from the C.A.R. to Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, for the same purposes listed above. Children may also be trafficked from Rwanda to the C.A.R. In addition, rebels conscript children into armed forces within the country. In February and March 2007, a rebel group, possibly the Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army, attacked villages in southeastern C.A.R. and abducted men, women, and children for forced labor as porters, soldiers, and sexual slaves. Men and women Pygmies, unable to survive as hunters and gatherers because of depleted forests, are subjected to forced agricultural labor by Central African villagers. Authorities in the C.A.R. have a limited awareness of trafficking, and none of the nation’s young, but developing, civil society organizations has an anti-trafficking focus. No comprehensive trafficking studies have been conducted and little concrete data exists. However, preliminary findings of a 2007 UNICEF-Government of the C.A.R. study on violence linked to child labor reveal that abusive child labor practices are widespread. In addition, a 2005 UNICEF study on child sexual exploitation found over 40 sex trafficking cases in Bangui and four provinces.

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. Nevertheless, the C.A.R. is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons over the previous year. Efforts to address trafficking through vigorous law enforcement measures and victim protection efforts were minimal, though awareness about trafficking appeared to be increasing in the country. The government does not actively investigate cases, work to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, or rescue and provide care to victims.

Recommendations for the C.A.R.: Enact the 2006 draft anti-trafficking law; develop procedures through which police and social workers may identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as females in prostitution and abandoned street children; train police and social workers to follow such procedures; reach out to the international community for collaboration in providing care to children in commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; and increase overall efforts to educate the public about the dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of the C.A.R. demonstrated weak law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the last year. Central African law does not prohibit trafficking in persons. A 2006 draft comprehensive anti-trafficking law has yet to be passed. Using laws prohibiting kidnapping, the government is prosecuting three suspected traffickers for allegedly selling a three year-old Guinean girl. In February 2008, trial proceedings against these suspects began. In 2007, the Ministry of Justice incorporated a trafficking training into the National School for Administration and Magistrates that it had first developed in 2005. The government does not monitor immigration or emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking.

Protection
The Central African government demonstrated weak efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. The government reported that during the year it intercepted one trafficking victim, a three-year-old girl who was returned to her family. Government officials have also traveled with UNICEF into the interior of the country to identify, rescue, and demobilize child soldiers conscripted by rebels. Due to a paucity of resources, the government does not operate a trafficking victim shelter. While the government collaborates with NGOs and international organizations on child protection issues, it did not refer any trafficking victims to these organizations for care during the year. Two NGOs reported that the Ministry of Social Affairs sometimes provided training on general youth issues, but could not confirm that this included trafficking. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims were inappropriately incarcerated for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked; in some cases, police arrested and jailed children in prostitution rather than providing them with rehabilitation and reintegration care. The government does not implement formal procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as abandoned children, street children, or females in prostitution. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions.

Prevention
The Government of the C.A.R. made modest efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. With partial funding from UNICEF, as part of its African Children’s Day celebration, the Ministry of the Family and Social Affairs conducted a trafficking awareness campaign through both government and private radio stations in June 2007, reaching more than 1.5 million listeners. The Ministries of Labor and Statistics collaborated with UNICEF during the last year to conduct a study of violence associated with child labor. A Ministry of Justice official worked with UNICEF consultants to conduct focus groups and surveys in local communities to gather data for the study. While the government in 2006 adopted a national action plan to prevent child sexual abuse, including child trafficking, the government lacks funds to implement it. The government has not taken measures to reduce demand for commercial sex acts.

CHAD (Tier 2 Watch List)
Chad is a source, transit, and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. The majority of children are trafficked within Chad for involuntary domestic servitude, forced cattle herding, forced begging, forced labor in petty commerce or the fishing industry, or for commercial sexual exploitation. To a lesser extent, Chadian children are also trafficked to Cameroon, the Central African Republic, and Nigeria for cattle herding. Children may also be trafficked from Cameroon and the Central African Republic to Chad’s oil producing regions for sexual exploitation. Chadian rebels recruit children into the armed forces. In the last year, the Chadian National Army (CNA) also conscripted children. While the government appeared to have discontinued this practice in May 2007, more recent reports indicate that soldiers from the CNA continue to recruit children, as well as men, by force. Due to the volatile security situation in the country, however, information to confirm these reports has been difficult to obtain. During the year, Sudanese children in refugee camps in eastern Chad were forcibly recruited into armed forces by rebel groups, some of which are backed by the Chadian government. A high profile case during the last year of French NGO personnel attempting to unlawfully fly 103 children of Chadian and Sudanese origin to France was most likely a fraudulent adoption scheme rather than child trafficking. Reports indicate that these children were likely destined for illegal adoption in France rather than for forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation.

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. Nevertheless, Chad is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking over the previous year. Chad has been destabilized during the year by civil conflict leading to a declared state of emergency in February 2008, attacks from Chadian rebels backed by the Government of Sudan, and a steady influx of refugees fleeing Sudan and the Central African Republic. The government demonstrated insufficient overall efforts to combat trafficking.

Recommendations for Chad: Pass and enact its draft law prohibiting child trafficking; increase efforts to arrest, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders under related laws; investigate and punish official complicity in trafficking; ensure that children are not conscripted into the CNA; collaborate with NGOs and international organizations to care for victims and increase efforts to raise awareness about trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Chad demonstrated weak efforts to combat trafficking through law enforcement means during the reporting period. Chadian law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though Title 5 of the Labor Code, however, criminalizes forced and bonded labor, prescribing an inadequate penalty of approximately $325-$665. A draft 2004 law against child trafficking has yet to be passed and enacted. A 2005 Ministry of Justice executive decree to conform Chadian law to international child labor norms awaits approval of the Council of Ministers and the Presidency. To combat parental involvement in the sexual exploitation of girls, the government has proposed increasing the penalty for prostitution of a minor by a relative or guardian to five to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine of between $200 and $2,000 from no prison sentence and fines between approximately $295-$1,700. The government failed to report any trafficking arrests, prosecutions or convictions under trafficking-related laws, such as child abduction, child selling, or child labor. Judicial effectiveness in investigating and prosecuting trafficking crimes is handicapped by the low number of judges in the country—only 150—and the fact that they must write all court documents by hand. The government lacks the resources to employ more efficient procedures. Trafficking cases reported in 2005 and 2006 remained pending, with none of them moving to prosecution. Law enforcement officials and labor inspectors reported that they lack the basic means, such as transportation costs, to investigate trafficking cases. Although authorities receive reports of missing children alleged to have been taken to neighboring countries, the government reported that they usually do not investigate such cases. The government has also failed to investigate reports that some local officials use intermediaries to recruit child herders in Mandoul.

Protection
The Government of Chad demonstrated poor efforts to protect trafficking victims in the last year. Due to limited resources, the government does not operate shelters for trafficking victims. The government provided no data on the number of victims it assisted through such services and contributions. Chad failed to report any trafficking victim rescues or referrals to NGOs for care. In May 2007, Chad signed an accord with UNICEF to demobilize child soldiers. Subsequently, however, the government denied UNICEF access to military bases to identify additional children. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they faced hardship or retribution. Victims were not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked. However, the government may have conscripted street children, some of whom were likely to be trafficking victims, into its armed forces.

Prevention
The Government of Chad demonstrated some efforts to raise awareness of trafficking during the last year. In November 2007, Chad participated in a UNICEF-sponsored conference attended by the governments of the Central African Republic and Sudan, as well as UN agencies to discuss increased collaboration within the sub-region to address trafficking. Government-operated television aired anti-trafficking documentaries, including a series on anti-trafficking programs in Burkina Faso and Benin. Government radio broadcast anti-trafficking messages, and continued its programming to educate the public about the dangers of child trafficking for cattle herding. The Chadian government did not take steps to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. Chad has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CHILE (Tier 2)
Chile is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and labor exploitation. Most victims of sex trafficking are Chilean women and girls who are trafficked within the country. Chileans also are trafficked for sexual and labor exploitation to neighboring countries such as Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia, in addition to Europe, Japan, and the United States. Foreign victims from neighboring countries and Asian countries such as the P.R.C. are lured to Chile with false job offers and subsequently coerced into prostitution. Migrants from Peru and Bolivia, including children, may be subjected to involuntary servitude in agriculture in northern Chile. Chinese nationals are reportedly smuggled through Chile en route to Mexico, Brazil, and the United States; some may be trafficking victims.

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. Throughout the last year, the government strengthened victim-protection efforts and made solid law enforcement and prevention efforts to combat trafficking crimes. At the same time, however, Chilean authorities report difficulties with obtaining sufficient sentences against trafficking offenders in court.

Recommendations for Chile: Enact anti-trafficking legislation that prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons, in conformity with the UN TIP Protocol; increase law enforcement and judicial training in preparation for implementing the new legislation; and encourage investigation and prosecution of human trafficking crimes.

Prosecution
The Government of Chile sustained law enforcement efforts against traffickers during the reporting period. Chile does not prohibit all forms of human trafficking, though it criminalizes transnational trafficking for sexual exploitation through Article 367 of its penal code. Penalties prescribed under this statute range from three to 20 years’ imprisonment, depending on whether aggravated circumstances exist. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes, such as rape. In practice, however, because sentences of less than five years are often suspended in Chile, and the minimum penalty for rape is five years and a day, individuals convicted of rape typically receive jail time whereas trafficking offenders do not. The government’s statutory framework does not specifically prohibit labor trafficking. Anti-trafficking legislation has been drafted and passed the Chamber of Deputies in April 2007, and is now pending before the Chilean Senate. During the reporting period, the government opened 138 trafficking investigations, initiated 51 prosecutions, and obtained 22 convictions for commercial sexual exploitation of minors and one conviction for cross-border trafficking for sexual exploitation which resulted in a three-year sentence. The cross-border conviction was noteworthy because it involved the recruitment of Peruvian women into forced prostitution through an employment agency that the police exposed through an undercover investigation. Of the government’s 138 investigations, 95 investigations related to child prostitution, and the government obtained six convictions and sentences ranging from 300 days’ to five years’ imprisonment. Sixty-six investigations remained open as of March 2008. The government increased anti-trafficking training of government officials across the country, and also worked closely with neighboring governments, Spain, and Interpol on international trafficking cases. There were no reported investigations of government officials for complicity with trafficking during the reporting period.

Protection
The Chilean government strengthened its efforts to assist trafficking victims over the last year. The government systematically identified and referred trafficking victims to NGOs and shelters, where they received housing, medical care, psychological counseling, and support. Interpreter services and legal assistance also are available. In October 2007, the government launched a program to assist child victims of all forms of abuse, including child trafficking victims, across the country. The government allocated $1.5 million to NGOs to establish the program last year, which anticipates serving 1,800 child victims in 2008. Police also instituted more victim-sensitive interviewing techniques: for example, establishing a special room for interviewing trafficking victims, use of two-way mirrors so victims could identify a suspected exploiter without fear of retribution, and minimizing multiple victim interviews through use of video-recording equipment. Chilean authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. There were no confirmed 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. The government works with foreign governments and IOM to facilitate the safe return of Chileans trafficked abroad, and of foreign victims trafficked into Chile.

Prevention
The government increased prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government conducted widespread education and media campaigns, targeting some to young Chileans seeking work abroad. The government also continued joint awareness-raising projects with NGOs and international organizations. The government made solid efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts through its law enforcement efforts targeting clients of child prostitution. In separate prosecutions, six men were convicted of purchasing sex with a minor – two cases involved use of children in pornography – resulting in sentences ranging from 61 days’ to six years’ imprisonment. Chilean troops departing for international peacekeeping duties attended mandatory pre-deployment training on trafficking in persons, human rights, and compliance with international laws. Chilean troops in Haiti are required to comply with rules of conduct enforced by UN police and the UN Force Commander.

CHINA (Tier 2 Watch List)
The People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. The majority of trafficking in China occurs within the country’s borders, 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. Chinese women are lured abroad through false promises of legitimate employment, only to be forced into commercial sexual exploitation, largely in Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan. There are also many cases involving Chinese men and women who are smuggled into destination countries throughout the world at an enormous personal financial cost and whose indebtedness to traffickers is then used as a means to coerce them into commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor. Women and children are trafficked to China from Mongolia, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and Vietnam for forced labor, marriage, and prostitution. North Korean women and children seeking to leave their country voluntarily cross the border into China, but some of these individuals, after they enter the P.R.C. in a vulnerable, undocumented status, are then sold into prostitution, marriage, or forced labor. While it is difficult to determine if the 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.

Forced labor, including forced child labor, remains a significant problem in China. Children as young as 12 were reportedly subjected to forced labor under the guise of “Work and Study” programs over the past year. Conditions in this program include excessive hours with mandatory overtime, dangerous conditions, low pay, and involuntary pay deductions. In June 2007, a Guangdong factory licensed to produce products bearing the 2008 Olympics logo admitted to employing children as young as 12 years old under similar conditions. Some children, particularly Uighur youth from Xinjiang Province, have been abducted for forced begging and thievery in large cities. Overseas human rights organizations allege that government-sponsored labor programs forced Uighur girls and young women to work in factories in eastern China on false pretenses and without regular wages. Involuntary servitude of Chinese nationals abroad also persisted, although the extent of the problem is unclear. Experts believe that the number of Chinese labor and sex trafficking victims in Europe is growing in countries such as Britain, Italy, and France.

The government of the 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. Nevertheless, China is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the fourth consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking from the previous year, particularly in terms of punishment of trafficking crimes and the protection of Chinese and foreign victims of trafficking. Victims are sometimes punished for unlawful acts that were committed as a direct result of their being trafficked—such as violations of prostitution or immigration/emigration controls. The Chinese government continued to treat North Korean victims of trafficking solely as economic migrants, routinely deporting them back to horrendous conditions in North Korea. Additional challenges facing the P.R.C. government include the enormous size of its trafficking problem and the significant level of corruption and complicity in trafficking by some local government officials. Factors impeding progress in anti-trafficking efforts include tight controls over civil society organizations, restricted access of foreign anti-trafficking organizations, and the government’s systematic lack of transparency.

During the reporting period, the Chinese government established a new Office for Preventing and Combating Crimes of Trafficking in Women and Children and released its long-awaited National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in December 2007, which details anti-trafficking responsibilities implemented by 28 ministries and appoints the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) as coordinator of the Chinese government’s anti-trafficking efforts. However, there are no plans for resources to be allocated to local and provincial governments for the implementation of the plan. Additionally, the action plan covers only sex trafficking of females, and does not address labor trafficking or male victims of sex trafficking. As host to the Second Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking (COMMIT) Summit in December 2007, China joined other ministers in signing a Joint Declaration to work together to implement the Sub-regional Plan of Action.

Recommendations for China: Provide adequate funding to local and provincial governments to implement the new National Action Plan; increase efforts to address labor trafficking, including prosecuting and punishing recruiters and employers who facilitate forced labor and debt bondage, and providing protection services to victims of forced labor; revise anti-trafficking laws to criminalize all forms of labor and sex trafficking, in a manner consistent with international standards; establish formal victim identification procedures; increase efforts to protect and rehabilitate trafficking victims; actively investigate, prosecute, and convict government officials complicit in trafficking crimes; conduct a broad public awareness campaign to inform the public of the risks and dangers of trafficking; provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution; and adhere to its obligations as party to the 1951 Refugee Convention and its 1967 Protocol, including by not expelling North Koreans protected under those treaties and by cooperating with UNHCR in the exercise of its functions.

Prosecution
China sustained its record of criminal law enforcement against traffickers over the reporting period, though government statistics are difficult to verify. P.R.C. law criminalizes forced prostitution, abduction, and the commercial sexual exploitation of girls under 14 through Article 244 of its Criminal Code. Article 41 of China’s revised Law on the Protection of Minors, in effect since June 2007, now prohibits the trafficking, kidnapping, and sexual exploitation of minors under the age of 18. Prescribed penalties under these criminal statutes are sufficiently stringent and include life imprisonment and the death penalty. However, Chinese law does not prohibit commercial sexual exploitation involving coercion or fraud, nor does it prohibit all forms of trafficking. The law prohibits the employment of children under the age of 16, but the government had not adopted a comprehensive policy to combat child labor. While Article 244 of its Criminal Code bans forced labor by employers, the prescribed penalties of up to three years’ imprisonment or a fine under this law are not sufficiently stringent. Additionally, Chinese law does not recognize forms of coercion other than abduction as constituting a means of trafficking. MPS reported investigating 2,375 cases of trafficking of women and children in 2007, which is significantly lower than the 3,371 cases it cited in 2006. These statistics are likely based on China’s definition of the term “trafficking,” which does not include acts of forced labor, debt bondage, coercion, or involuntary servitude, or offenses committed against male victims. In September 2007, an MPS official indicated that the number of reported cases of sexual exploitation and forced labor increased from 2006 to 2007. Chinese law enforcement authorities arrested and punished some traffickers involved in forced labor practices and commercial sexual exploitation, but did not provide data on prosecutions, convictions, or sentences.

Forced labor remains a significant problem for Chinese at home and abroad. During the reporting period, there were numerous confirmed reports of involuntary servitude of migrant workers and abductees in China. In November 2007, police in Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, discovered six migrant workers who were victims of forced labor. Police found and arrested the trafficker several months after the case was opened. In March 2008, 33 slave laborers from seven provinces, many of whom were mentally challenged, were discovered locked up in a 30-square-meter room of a residential building in Harbin. Police continued to search for the trafficker responsible in this case. In May and June 2007, several cases of forced labor in brick kilns in China’s Henan and Shanxi Provinces were revealed, involving over 1,000 farmers, teenagers, and children being held in confinement, subject to physical abuse and non-payment of wages. According to news reports, brick kiln operators claim to have paid off local officials and there are uncon- firmed press reports that some local authorities have resold rescued children to factories elsewhere. The Chinese government has not demonstrated concerted efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish government officials for complicity in trafficking.

Protection
China made incremental progress in victim protection during the reporting period. The government, with the assistance of UNICEF, built a new shelter to provide trafficking victims in Yunnan Province with short-term care, but there remain overall an inadequate number of shelters for victims of trafficking. There continue to be no dedicated government assistance programs for victims of trafficking. China continues to lack systematic victim identification procedures to identify victims of sex trafficking among those it arrests for prostitution and to refer them to organizations providing services. It does not have a comprehensive nationwide victim protection service, but has taken some steps to improve intra-governmental coordination and cooperation in vulnerable southern border provinces. While both the MPS and Ministry of Civil Affairs run shelters, the two ministries do not share information or coordinate their efforts.

While China has made increased efforts to better identify and protect trafficking victims through enhanced cross-border cooperation, protection services and victim identification procedures remain inadequate to address victims’ needs. Women found in prostitution are, in many instances, treated as criminals for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Although the MPS has provided expanded border and police training to help border officials spot potential trafficking victims and assist in their repatriation, the quasi-governmental All-China Women’s Federation reported that ongoing problems require NGO intervention to protect trafficking victims from unjust punishment. The MPS runs three Border Liaison Offices along the border with Vietnam, which has led to an increase in some cross-border cooperation in victim repatriation, and opened one new Border Liaison Office along the border with Burma during the reporting period. Local governments in southern border provinces often rely upon NGOs to identify victims and provide victim protection services due to the lack of resources. Trafficking victims are generally returned to their homes without extensive rehabilitation. All of the victims of forced labor discovered in brick kilns were repatriated to their homes without access to counseling or psychological care, and three victims suspected of being mentally disabled were lost by authorities during the repatriation process.

The government does not provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Some trafficking victims have faced punishments in the form of fines for leaving China without proper authorization. China continues to treat North Korean trafficking victims solely as illegal economic migrants and reportedly deports a few hundred of them each month to North Korea, where they may face severe punishment. China continues to bar UNHCR from access to the vulnerable North Korean population in Northeast China.

Prevention
China made efforts to prevent trafficking in persons this year. In July 2007, the ACWF co-sponsored a Children’s Forum that brought together children from across the country to discuss ways to prevent the trafficking of vulnerable youth. The government did not conduct any broad public awareness program to inform the public of the dangers of trafficking. With the assistance of NGOs, the Ministry of Education undertook outreach efforts to some villages and schools, providing information on what trafficking is, how to avoid being trafficked, and providing emergency hotline numbers. The Chinese government, through the ACWF, has also conducted training for law enforcement agencies and border entry-exit officials to raise awareness of trafficking. Though it took some steps forward, China still has not taken adequate measures to prevent internal trafficking for sexual exploitation or forced labor, nor did it take measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or child sex tourism. 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 purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Colombian women and girls are trafficked throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, East Asia, the Middle East, and North America, including the United States. Within Colombia, some men are trafficked for forced labor, but trafficking of women and children from rural to urban areas for sexual exploitation remains a larger problem. Groups at high risk for trafficking include displaced persons and relatives of members of criminal organizations. Internal armed violence in Colombia has displaced many communities, making them vulnerable to trafficking, and insurgent and paramilitary groups forcibly recruit and exploit children as combatants. Gangs and organized criminal networks—some connected to terrorist organizations—force relatives, acquaintances, and displaced persons, typically women and children, into conditions of commercial sexual exploitation and compulsory labor, including forced begging and servitude in the illegal drug trade. Migrants from South America and China transit Colombia en route to Europe and the United States; some are reported to be trafficking victims. Colombia also is a limited destination for sex tourism, particularly in coastal cities such as Cartagena and Barranquilla.
The Government of Colombia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons. During the reporting period, the government dedicated more resources for victim assistance, and maintained significant law enforcement actions against trafficking offenders.

Recommendations for Colombia: Dedicate more resources for victim services; strengthen existing victim protection measures, including the government’s witness protection program; continue consular efforts to assist and repatriate the large number of Colombians trafficked overseas; formalize procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; and intensify efforts to raise public awareness about human trafficking, particularly among youth seeking jobs abroad.

Prosecution
The Government of Colombia sustained effective law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Colombia prohibits all forms of trafficking through its comprehensive anti-trafficking statute, Law 985, which prescribes a minimum of 13 to 23 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes such as rape. In 2007, authorities initiated 182 anti-trafficking investigations (83 under the former legal system, and 99 under the new oral accusatory system), which represents a steep increase from 2006, when the government opened 49 investigations. The government also initiated 44 trafficking prosecutions and achieved six convictions, compared to 75 prosecutions and 10 convictions reported for 2006. Three trafficking offenders received sentences ranging from four to 12 years in prison, and the other three convicted traffickers are awaiting sentencing. The government also instituted a database to track and monitor statistics on trafficking cases, including victim information to help determine areas where Colombians are vulnerable to being trafficked.
The government should consider broader use of proactive police techniques to rescue victims from trafficking situations. The government cooperated on international trafficking investigations with governments in Peru, Costa Rica, Panama, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, China, and Vietnam. Although in the past, some NGOs have reported that corruption of government officials was a problem, particularly in providing fraudulent travel documents, investigating authorities received no specific complaints during the reporting period.

Protection
The government improved victim protection efforts during the reporting period. The Colombian government increased funding to NGOs to provide shelter and other services to child trafficking victims. The government collaborated closely with NGOs and international organizations that provided the bulk of trafficking victim assistance. The government is finalizing plans to open an anti-trafficking operations center, which will serve as a central repository of anti-trafficking information for victims. The government also operates a witness protection program, which only partially meets the need to provide secure shelter for victims who choose to participate in prosecutions of traffickers, due to the organized nature of criminal trafficking networks in Colombia. The government does not have a formal mechanism for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as displaced persons or women in prostitution. In conjunction with IOM, the government trains consular officials on recognizing potential trafficking victims abroad, and providing Colombian trafficking victims with appropriate legal and social services in coordination with local authorities. However, victim services offered by the government overseas are limited to Colombian consular districts with at least 10,000 Colombian residents, and are not likely to be available to victims trafficked to remote locations in Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. 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 being trafficked.

Prevention
The government improved prevention efforts against human trafficking during the reporting year, but continued to rely heavily on NGOs and international organizations for the bulk of activities. In early 2007, the government assumed responsibility for operating a national call center, a pilot program which had been launched by IOM. The call center received more than 947 trafficking-related calls during the reporting period, and the government continued to use the center to provide information to persons vulnerable to being trafficked. The government also operates a comprehensive anti-trafficking website that features a campaign entitled: “The Fight against Trafficking in Persons: the next victim could be you!” As a demand-reduction effort, Colombia penalizes individuals who organize or facilitate sex tourism into the country through article 219 of its criminal code, prescribing penalties of three to eight years’ imprisonment. No investigations or prosecutions under this statute have been reported. No other government campaigns to reduce demand for commercial sex acts were visible during the reporting period, although the Colombian Congress is debating criminal legislation related to this issue.

CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE (Tier 2 Watch List)
The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Much of this trafficking occurs within the country’s unstable eastern provinces and is perpetrated by armed groups outside government control. Indigenous and foreign armed militia groups, notably, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the National Congress for the Defense of the People (CNDP) and various local militia (Mai-Mai), continue to abduct and forcibly recruit Congolese men, women, and children, as well as smaller numbers of Rwandan and Ugandan children, to serve as laborers (including in mines), porters, domestics, combatants, and sex slaves. CNDP troops, dressed in civilian clothes and fraudulently promising civilian employment, conscripted an unknown number of Congolese men and boys from Rwanda-based refugee camps, as well as dozens of Rwandan children from towns in western Rwanda, for forced labor and soldiering in the DRC. The failed “mixed” brigade experiment, which attempted to combine full CNDP battalions into single brigades with other battalions answering to FARDC command and control, ended in September 2007. This process abruptly brought into the FARDC ranks an estimated 200 children, including girls, who were not demobilized during the reporting period. In December 2007, the terrorist rebel organization, Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), intensified its operations in the DRC’s Dungu Territory, abducting civilians. An estimated 300 women and children remained with the LRA in DRC’s Garamba National Park. More than 1,000 Congolese women remained in Uganda after being forcibly transported there as sex slaves or domestics by departing Ugandan troops in 2004. An unknown number of unlicensed Congolese miners remain in debt bondage to supplies dealers for tools, food, and other provisions. Some reports suggest that Congolese children were prostituted in brothels or in camps by loosely organized networks. Congolese women and children were reportedly also trafficked by road to South Africa for sexual exploitation. Congolese girls were also believed to be trafficked to the Republic of the Congo for commercial sexual exploitation. A small number of Congolese children are also reportedly trafficked to Uganda via Rwanda for agricultural labor and sexual exploitation. Reports suggest some members of Batwa, or pygmy groups, were subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude.

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. Nevertheless, DRC 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. Some significant initial advances were noted, particularly regarding the arrest of at least three suspected traffickers. However, a number of other arrest warrants were not carried out, and no convictions of traffickers were obtained. Under the national Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) plan, the government demobilized 3,563 child soldiers found largely in the ranks of rebel militias; at the same time, however, it did not take efforts to identify or protect victims of trafficking among 200 child soldiers in its own army, the FARDC. The government lacks sufficient financial, technical, and human resources to effectively address not only trafficking crimes, but also to provide basic levels of security in some parts of the country. The military lacked the capacity to forcibly demobilize armed groups. The country’s criminal and military justice systems, including the police, courts, and prisons, were practically nonexistent from years of war; there are few functioning courts or secure prisons in the country.

Recommendations for the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Work with international partners to ensure that all children in government custody, some of whom may be trafficking victims, receive appropriate protective services; step up efforts to arrest and prosecute traffickers, particularly those who unlawfully conscript child soldiers or utilize forced labor; and develop legislative proposals to more comprehensively address human trafficking.

Prosecution
The government’s efforts in prosecuting trafficking crimes were limited during the reporting period. Existing laws do not prohibit all forms of labor trafficking; however, the July 2006 sexual violence statute, Law 6/018, specifically prohibits and prescribes penalties of 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment for sex trafficking, child and forced prostitution, and pimping. In addition, the constitution forbids involuntary servitude and child soldiering. During the reporting period, the government made modest efforts to address trafficking crimes committed by armed groups. In February 2008, it arrested Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui, the commander of the MRC militia, and transferred him to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for prosecution on charges including conscription of children, sexual enslavement, and murder, allegedly committed while serving as a senior commander of the FNI rebel group. In September 2007, the government initiated prosecution of former Mai-Mai commander Kynugu Mutanga, known as Gédéon, on charges including illegal child recruitment. That same month, it detained Bedi Mubuli Engangela Mabolongo, another former Mai-Mai commander known as Colonel 106, suspected of insurrection and war crimes, including the illegal recruitment of children; he was transferred to a prison in Kinshasa, but has yet to be formally charged. In October 2007, the government transferred to the ICC Germain Katanga, a former leader of the FRPI militia, for prosecution on charges of war crimes, including unlawful recruitment of child soldiers and sexual slavery.

These efforts notwithstanding, the government’s capacity to apprehend, convict, or imprison traffickers remained weak. In March 2007, Commander Jean-Pierre Biyoyo, formerly of the Mudundu-40 armed group and the only person ever convicted by Congolese courts of conscripting children (and who escaped prison in June 2006), resurfaced in Bukavu in a delegation of mixed brigade officers; he has not been re-apprehended. In January 2007, the FARDC Chief of Staff issued a warrant for the arrest of “Captain Gaston,” an armed group commander allegedly responsible for the mid-2006 murder of an NGO child protection advocate; he remained at large during the reporting period. In May 2007, military authorities issued an arrest warrant for FARDC soldiers of the 6th Integrated Brigade in Bunia alleged to have abducted four girls to use as “wives,” but these soldiers too remained at large.

Protection
NGOs provided legal, medical, and psychological services to trafficking victims and potential trafficking victims, including child soldiers and children in prostitution. Under the National DDR Plan, all ex-combatants pass through a common process during which they disarm and receive information about military and civilian reintegration options. During this process, the Ministry of Defense’s disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration implementation unit, UEPN-DDR, identifies, separates out, and transports any children identified to NGO-run centers for temporary housing and vocational training; 3,653 child soldiers were demobilized from armed groups through this process in 2007, mainly in Ituri District of Orientale Province. The FARDC’s lack of command and control over CNDP battalions integrated into its short-lived mixed brigades in North Kivu hindered efforts by NGOs to separate child soldiers from these battalions. For example, in March 2007, Colonel Sultani Makenga, commander of a mixed brigade and a CNDP officer, attempted to forcibly prevent child protection workers from removing eight children from the military camp at Kitchanga by pulling six of them from an NGO vehicle and violently threatening three child protection staff. Anecdotal evidence suggests some commanders of North Kivu armed groups who were part of the mixed brigades recognized the effectiveness of FARDC integration processes in identifying, separating out, and protecting child soldiers in their ranks and hid large numbers of children to prevent them from traveling to integration sites.

The government had little capacity to encourage victims to participate in investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenders. Some FARDC elements essentially outside government control continued during the reporting period to harass, arrest, and physically mistreat children formerly associated with armed groups, including potential trafficking victims, and local authorities occasionally charged demobilized child soldiers with being members of illegal armed groups. Minors detained for child soldiering were generally released quickly if discovered by MONUC or NGOs. However, 31 Congolese, Rwandan and Burundian child soldiers were detained, interrogated, and mistreated for several months to obtain information on their former armed groups, and then transferred to a prison in Kinshasa for further questioning. The government released these children to UNICEF in March 2008.

Prevention
During the reporting period, a working group comprised of the Ministries of Interior and Justice, the national police, the European Police Mission, international donors, and civil society organizations drafted, and continued to review, text for legislation addressing respect for and protection of human rights by police, as well as the prosecution of military deserters. As part of the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) campaign in Ituri and the Kivus, SMI, UEPN-DDR, FARDC, and MONUC staff took information about DDR directly to active combatants in the bush, explaining the demobilization process, benefits, available choices, and the services provided to child soldiers, some of whom are potential trafficking victims. In February 2008, UEPN-DDR launched a campaign on zero tolerance for child soldiers in the DRC; an interview on this subject with the head of UEPNDDR was widely carried by local radio stations. At least 20 additional radio programs were broadcast during the year on the issue of child soldiers. The government did not conduct other public awareness campaigns related to trafficking during the reporting period. During the reporting period, the government’s Military Integration Structure (SMI) and the UN Mission to the DRC (MONUC) conducted joint training on child protection, respect of human rights, and gender-based violence as part of the retraining of FARDC soldiers and officers at brassage centers.

CONGO, REPUBLIC OF THE (Tier 2 Watch List)
The Republic of the Congo (R.O.C.) is a source and destination country for children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Girls are trafficked from rural areas within the country primarily to Brazzaville, but also to Pointe Noire, for commercial sexual exploitation. Boys and girls are trafficked from rural areas, with higher numbers coming from the Pool Region, to Point Noire and Brazzaville for forced street vending and domestic servitude. Transnationally, children are trafficked from other African countries to Pointe Noire for domestic servitude, forced market vending, and forced labor in the fishing industry. The majority of these victims are girls from Benin, although they are also trafficked from Mali, Senegal, Guinea, Togo, Senegal, and Cameroon. Lured by promises of jobs in the R.O.C. or onward voyages to France, Canada, and South Africa, girls are trafficked from the Democratic Republic of Congo (D.R.C.) to Brazzaville for organized prostitution. Children may also be trafficked to the R.O.C. from the D.R.C. for forced commercial activities, such as street vending, domestic servitude, tailoring, hairdressing, and food service.

The Government of the 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, despite limited resources. Nevertheless, the R.O.C. is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons over previous years. Awareness of trafficking in the R.O.C. is nascent. Struggling to recover from six years of civil conflict that ended in 2003, the R.O.C.’s capacity to address trafficking is handicapped. As the nation rebuilds, establishing a solid anti-trafficking legal and social services structure will be necessary to safeguard children from abuses by traffickers.

Recommendations for the R.O.C.: Finalize and enact the draft Child Protection Code prohibiting child trafficking; train law enforcement officials to identify traffickers and arrest them under laws against forced labor and child prostitution; train law enforcement officials and social workers to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as street children, child market vendors, and girls in prostitution, and to refer them to NGOs for care; develop a national action plan to combat trafficking; and take steps to raise public awareness about trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of the R.O.C. demonstrated weak law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the last year. The R.O.C. does not prohibit all forms of trafficking. However, Penal Code Articles 344 criminalizes the pimping of children, prescribing penalties of six months’ to two years’ imprisonment and a fine, which are insufficient and not commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape. A draft Child Protection Code that has been submitted to the National Assembly for passage includes provisions prohibiting child trafficking. The government reported no trafficking prosecutions or convictions under related laws in the last year. Since awareness of trafficking is nascent, the government neither monitors its borders for trafficking activity nor provides specialized anti-trafficking training for law enforcement officials.

Protection
The R.O.C. government demonstrated poor efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. The government does not operate any trafficking victim shelters. Although several NGOs provide assistance to trafficking victims, the government does not collaborate with these organizations to intercept victims or provide them with food, shelter, counseling or medical care. However, during the year, the government collaborated with UNICEF and NGOs to repatriate West African children trafficked to Point Noire. Since 2006, the R.O.C. has been working with a foreign donor to execute its National Program for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration of child combatants, some of whom are trafficking victims. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. There have been no reports of victims inappropriately incarcerated for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked. The government does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions.

Prevention
The Government of the R.O.C. made insufficient efforts to prevent incidents of trafficking during the reporting period. The government reported no anti-trafficking public awareness initiatives during the last year. The Ministries of Health, Social Affairs and the Family participated in a UNICEF study on child trafficking in the R.O.C. published in June 2007. In July 2007, the government signed an agreement with UNICEF and the Peace Diocesan Commission to work together to combat child trafficking in the country. The government has not taken measures to reduce demand for commercial sex acts in the Republic of the Congo.

COSTA RICA (Tier 2 Watch List)
Costa Rica is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women and girls from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Panama, Russia, Uzbekistan, and the Philippines are trafficked into the country for sexual exploitation. Costa Rica also serves as a transit point for victims trafficked to the United States, Mexico, Canada, and Europe. 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. Men, women, and children are trafficked within the country for forced labor in fishing and construction, and as domestic servants. Young men from Nicaragua, as well as Chinese nationals, are trafficked to Costa Rica for labor exploitation, mostly in agriculture and construction.

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. Costa Rica is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking, particularly in terms of its failure to improve its inadequate assistance to victims. While Costa Rican officials recognize human trafficking as a serious problem, the lack of a stronger response by the government is of concern, especially due to the significant number of victims present in the country.

Recommendations for Costa Rica: Amend laws to prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons; intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and ensure that offenders are convicted and sentenced appropriately; provide greater legal protections and assistance for victims; increase training for law enforcement; and improve data collection for trafficking crimes.

Prosecution
The Government of Costa Rica demonstrated some law enforcement efforts against traffickers. Costa Rica does not prohibit all forms of human trafficking, although Article 172 of its criminal code criminalizes transnational trafficking for the purposes of sexual or labor servitude, prescribing punishments of three to six years’ imprisonment. Trafficking of children is prohibited by Article 376, and carries penalties of two to four years’ imprisonment. Costa Rican law also prohibits the commercial sexual exploitation of children through Article 161 of its penal code, which carries penalties of up to 10 years in prison. While these penalties are sufficiently stringent, they are not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes such as rape. Moreover, Costa Rican law does not prohibit the trafficking of adults within the country. In March 2007, the government proposed legislative reforms to better define the offense of trafficking in persons and to provide more assistance to trafficking victims; the Costa Rican legislature should make every effort to pass such changes this year. In July 2007, the government enacted criminal-code reforms to strengthen legal protections for children. During 2006, the latest period for which official statistics are available, the government opened 11 trafficking-in-persons investigations, but secured no convictions or sentences against perpetrators. Although statistics from earlier years are difficult to compare due to the lack of trafficking-specific data, law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders appear to have remained static or have declined during the past three years. In 2007, the judicial police also opened six investigations into international trafficking organizations, and cooperated with neighboring countries, Interpol, and U.S. law enforcement counterparts. The government significantly increased anti-trafficking training for law enforcement, and collaborated with NGOs and international organizations on additional training. No prosecutions for trafficking-related corruption were opened in 2007, although one investigation was underway at year’s end.

Protection
The Costa Rican government made inadequate efforts to provide protection for trafficking victims in 2007, and relies on NGOs and international organizations to provide the bulk of assistance. There are no specialized shelters or services for trafficking victims, although the government did fund an NGO working with victims of sexual exploitation. Overall, protective services remain lacking, although trafficking victims may be able to access services provided for adult and minor victims of violent crime. There is no formalized mechanism for referring trafficking victims to NGOs, and the government employed no formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as persons detained for prostitution or immigration violations. The government generally did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. However, officials treated some foreign adults as illegal migrants and deported them without taking steps to determine if they were trafficking victims. The law does not provide temporary residency status for foreign trafficking victims, although foreign nationals may be able to apply for work permits or refugee status. Costa Rican authorities encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. There are no programs to assist trafficking victims repatriated from other countries, although the government collaborated with IOM on an ad hoc basis last year to provide psychological assistance for two victims who had been trafficked to Japan. The government published a manual for law enforcement on identifying trafficking cases involving children.

Prevention
The government improved prevention efforts during the reporting year. The President condemned human trafficking in public statements, and the government acknowledges the serious nature of the problem. The government also prosecuted 77 cases relating to the commercial sexual exploitation of minors, which reflected solid government efforts to reduce consumer demand for sexual acts with children. The government achieved six convictions against offenders, with sentences ranging from two to 50 years in prison. Public campaigns against child sex tourism continued, in addition to widespread media and billboard notices designed to warn young women of the dangers of commercial sexual exploitation. The government continued to support a national hotline project publicized through a nationwide media campaign featuring U.S. pop singer Ricky Martin. The government improved coordination with NGOs and international organizations on prevention activities, and sponsored campaigns to reduce demand for commercial sex acts with minors by warning potential exploiters that they will be prosecuted in Costa Rica. Approximately 200 tour companies in Costa Rica in 2007 signed a conduct code as part of a global initiative against the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

COTE D’IVOIRE (Tier 2 Watch List)
Cote d’Ivoire is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking within the country is more prevalent than international trafficking and the majority of victims are children. Women and girls are trafficked from northern areas to southern cities for domestic servitude, restaurant labor, and sexual exploitation. A 2007 study by the German government’s foreign aid organization on child sex trafficking in two Ivoirian districts found that 85 percent of females in prostitution are children. Boys are trafficked internally for agricultural and service labor. Transnationally, boys are trafficked from Ghana, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Benin to Cote d’Ivoire 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. 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 and Nigeria are trafficked to urban centers in Cote d’Ivoire for sexual exploitation. To a lesser extent, women are trafficked from China, Ukraine, the Philippines, and North Africa to Cote d’Ivoire for the same purpose. Women are trafficked from and through Cote d’Ivoire to Europe for sexual exploitation. Reports indicate that Ivoirian children conscripted by rebel and militia groups during the civil conflict remain with these groups and are still exploited for purposes of forced labor in a non-combat capacity.

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. Cote d’Ivoire is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking over the previous year, particularly with regard to its law enforcement efforts and protection of sex trafficking victims. Although a 2007 study indicated that sex trafficking, particularly of minors, is widespread, the government did not allocate sufficient resources to address it. Authorities did not take adequate steps to identify and protect adult victims of trafficking, and reports that security officials have engaged in harassment and exploitation of some victims have not been investigated.

Recommendations for Cote d’Ivoire: Finalize its draft statute against child trafficking; draft and enact a law against trafficking of adults; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; provide resources, such as vehicles, to police to enable them to respond to reports of trafficking; develop formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among women and girls in prostitution; ensure that trafficking victims are not penalized as criminals for acts committed as a result of being trafficked; collaborate with NGOs and the international community in providing care for adult trafficking victims; and fulfill commitments to the international community to work with private cocoa companies to survey 50 percent of all cocoa-producing regions to measure the incidence of worst forms of child labor and forced adult labor by July 2008.

Prosecution
The Government of Cote d’Ivoire demonstrated inadequate efforts to address trafficking though law enforcement during the reporting period. Ivoirian law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking. However, Penal Code Article 378 prohibits forced labor, prescribing sufficiently stringent penalties of one to five years’ imprisonment and a fine. Penal Code Articles 335 to 337 prohibit recruiting or offering children for prostitution, prescribing penalties of one to 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine, which are sufficiently stringent and appear not to be commensurate with the penalties prescribed for rape. Ivoirian law does not criminalize the trafficking of adults for labor or sexual exploitation. In January 2007, the government drafted a new bill prohibiting child trafficking and child labor which, once approved by the cabinet, could be enacted by signature of the President, but some officials advocate for its passage instead by the National Assembly. Due to delayed legislative elections, however, Cote d’Ivoire has lacked a National Assembly since 2005, when its mandate expired. Police records indicate that from April 2007 to January 2008, officials arrested 12 suspected traffickers. Authorities indicated that several were detained, but could not provide further information. The government failed to report any trafficking prosecutions and convictions during the year. In 2007, police arrested the president of the Beninese community in Daloa for trafficking 25 Beninese children for work on Ivoirian plantations. As a general matter, however, the government rarely investigates trafficking cases, in part due to lack of resources. Police reported that they occasionally execute raids on brothels, but provided no statistics on the number of raids in the last year or evidence that such raids are targeted at trafficking. At the same time, NGOs and others reporting specific instances of women and children being trafficked in brothels are often told that police are unable to respond due to lack of vehicles. The National School for Civil Servants, with the help of the ILO, continues to include a course on child labor as part of the curriculum for Workplace Inspectors.

Protection
The Ivoirian government made steady efforts to provide care to victims of child labor trafficking, but insufficient efforts to protect adult and sex trafficking victims during the year. Due to lack of resources, the government does not operate its own shelter, but instead refers victims to NGOs and international organizations for care. The government also assigns civil servant social workers with government-paid salaries to work at NGOs assisting victims. In Bonoua, the mayor and deputy mayor have assigned their assistants to work with local anti-trafficking watch groups and provided an office and a room to accommodate child victims until they are picked up by NGOs. An international NGO also continues to use a building donated by the government as a shelter for child victims. However, the organization reports that the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights has been trying to reclaim the building. The government repatriates foreign victims with assistance from IOM and UNICEF. There is no formal government assistance for Ivoirian nationals repatriated to Cote d’Ivoire. Official police records indicate that from April 2007 to January 2008, 135 Ivoirian trafficking victims were intercepted and either repatriated or returned to their home communities in Cote d’Ivoire. The majority of these victims were labor trafficking victims. The government continued to support Community Education Centers (CECs) established in 2005 to receive and educate children removed from the worst forms of child labor, particularly in the cocoa sector. The government provides some teachers to the CECs, while Ivoirian families contribute funds to pay the rest of the teachers. The Ivoirian police lack systematic procedures to employ in identifying trafficking victims among females found in prostitution, making it likely that sex trafficking victims were detained and penalized for unlawful acts directly related to being trafficked, such as prostitution or immigration offenses. Of particular concern, NGOs report that security officials exploit women in prostitution, including trafficking victims, sometimes threatening to arrest foreign women without documentation if they refuse to engage in sex. The government failed to investigate such NGO reports. The government provides legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution through temporary residency permits, though it does not encourage victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions.

Prevention
The Government of Cote d’Ivoire demonstrated sustained efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. In November 2007, the government approved a national plan of action to eliminate child trafficking and the worst forms of child labor in 50 percent of all industries. Cote d’Ivoire’s 2008 budget allocates $4.3 million toward implementing the action plan. The government continued to work with private cocoa companies to collect data to measure the incidence of the worst forms of child labor and forced adult labor in the cocoa sector. The police reported that they took steps to reduce demand for commercial sex acts by executing raids on brothels, but could not provide details as to how many raids were conducted. Cote d’Ivoire has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CROATIA (Tier 1)
Croatia is a source, transit, and increasingly a destination country, for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Croatian females are trafficked within the country and women and girls from Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other parts of Eastern Europe are trafficked to and through Croatia for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Croatian men are occasionally trafficked for forced labor. Victims transiting Croatia from Southeastern Europe are trafficked into Western Europe for commercial sexual exploitation. IOM reported continued seasonal rotation of international women in prostitution to and from the Dalmatian coast during high tourist seasons, raising concerns about trafficking.

The Government of Croatia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to pursue a comprehensive victim-centered approach in response to trafficking in 2007. It doubled the number of trafficking convictions, significantly reduced its use of suspended sentences for convicted traffickers, continued its proactive law enforcement training, and initiated new public awareness raising projects during the reporting period.

Recommendations for Croatia: Seek to toughen sentences imposed on convicted traffickers, and continue efforts to enhance proactive identification of women in prostitution and of migrants who transit the country legally.

Prosecution
The Government of Croatia made significant improvements in prosecuting and convicting traffickers in 2007. Croatia criminally prohibits trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation through Criminal Provision 175 of its penal code. Prescribed penalties for sex trafficking are commensurate with those for rape, and penalties for all forms of trafficking are sufficiently stringent. In 2007, the government investigated 20 suspected trafficking offenders, an increase from 17 in 2006. It convicted 10 traffickers, two of which are pending final appeal. Out of the remaining eight traffickers, one received a three-year sentence, three received a sentence of one year and four months, and two received one-year sentences. Two traffickers’ sentences of four and three years were suspended. In February 2008, the government conducted anti-trafficking training for ten officers to instruct future Croatian peacekeepers prior to their deployment. There were no specific reports of trafficking-related complicity.

Protection
The Government of Croatia in 2007 further institutionalized a victim-centered approach for trafficking victims. The government provides foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. In January 2008, a new Law on Foreigners mandates a 30-day reflection period for potential adult victims and a 90-day reflection period for children who are potential victims. The government continued its proactive cooperation with civil society, providing identified victims with shelter, legal, medical, and psychological services, as well as educational and vocational training. Out of 15 identified victims in 2007, five accepted accommodation in shelters. The government facilitated the responsible return of the remaining 10 who chose not to stay at a shelter. Croatia continued to implement, through the use of mobile teams, its national mechanism to proactively identify potential trafficking victims and refer them to service providers. The government actively encourages victim participation in trafficking cases; assistance was not conditional upon 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, penalized, or deported for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked. Last year the government provided approximately $82,000 in specific funding for shelters for trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Government of Croatia contributed generously to its anti-trafficking efforts, allocating almost $2 million to its anti-trafficking regime in 2007. It demonstrated its leadership and commitment by conducting numerous high profile educational campaigns about trafficking. The government earmarked over $37,000 for and developed a nation-wide demand reduction campaign as part of an EU Cards Twining Project with Austria and Germany to air in May 2008 prior to the Euro- Soccer Cup. In 2007, it sponsored an anti-trafficking movie night at Zagreb based cinemas with free admission to the public, and produced and distributed an anti-trafficking documentary nationwide, with over 54 showings across the country.

CUBA (Tier 3)
Cuba is principally a source country for women and children trafficked within the country for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Some families push child victims to prostitute themselves as a means of increasing family income. Cuban children and adults also may be exploited for forced labor. The full scope of trafficking within Cuba is difficult 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 destination for sex tourism, including child sex tourism, which is a problem in many areas of the country. Cuba’s thriving sex trade caters to numerous European, Canadian, and Latin American tourists every year. State-run hotel workers, travel employees, cab drivers, and police steer tourists to prostituted women and children and facilitate their commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes extorting money or pay-offs from victims. Limited sex trafficking of Cuban women to Mexico, The Bahamas, and Western Europe has been reported. Some Cuban nationals willingly migrate to the United States, but are subsequently exploited for forced labor by their smugglers. Cuba also is a transit point for the smuggling of migrants from China, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Lebanon, and other nations to the United States and Canada. Some of these migrants may be trafficking victims, who are subject to forced labor, sexual exploitation, and abuse.

The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Exact information about trafficking in Cuba is difficult to obtain because the government does not publicly release information, and U.S. attempts to engage officials are viewed as politically motivated. Nonetheless, the Government of Cuba does not appear to have made tangible efforts to prosecute offenders, protect victims, or prevent human trafficking activity during the reporting period.

Recommendations for Cuba: Acknowledge the nature and extent of human trafficking in Cuba; amend anti-trafficking laws to prohibit all forms of trafficking; increase law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders; provide greater legal protections and assistance for victims; develop procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; increase anti-trafficking training for law enforcement; take greater steps to prevent child prostitution and child sex tourism; and rescue children from the commercial sex trade.

Prosecution
The Government of Cuba prohibits some forms of trafficking activity through various provisions of its penal code. Prostitution for persons over the age of 16 is legal. Article 316 bans transnational trafficking in minors or persons younger than 16 for the purposes of forced labor, prostitution, and pornography, prescribing penalties of seven to 15 years’ imprisonment. Article 302 prohibits a defendant from inducing, promoting, or benefiting from prostitution. Such an offense carries penalties of up to 20 years in prison; if the crime is committed across international boundaries, penalties may be increased to 30 years. A second statute, Article 17 of Law Number 87, similarly prohibits the promotion or inducement of prostitution, and carries penalties of four to 10 years in prison; penalties increase to 10 to 20 years if the defendant uses force or threats against the victim. All the above penalties are sufficiently stringent, and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. However, trafficking of adults for forced labor is not currently prohibited under Cuban law. No official data relating to Cuban investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of trafficking offenders in 2007 has been made available, and Cuban law enforcement actions may be more focused on disrupting alien smuggling networks, rather than curbing human trafficking activity. However, reporting from other sources indicates that some foreign nationals, including two American citizens, were convicted in Cuba last year for trafficking-related crimes. At least one sentence of ten years was imposed for the sexual exploitation of a minor. The government also assisted the U.S. Coast Guard with investigating potential human trafficking and alien smuggling activity, particularly cases of migrants compelled to work for smugglers or drug gangs. No investigations or prosecutions of public officials for complicity with human trafficking were noted, although some police officers reportedly accept and solicit bribes in connection with Cuba’s sex trade.

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 as a direct result of being trafficked. Although prostitution for persons over age 16 is legal in Cuba, women and children in Cuba’s sex trade, including those who may be trafficking victims, are occasionally rounded up and sent to “reeducation” programs; many are sentenced to lengthy prison terms for “dangerousness” or other 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. Trafficking victims who are not detained have access to services available through Cuba’s health system, although these services may not be adequate to deal with trafficking-related trauma. According to the British government, however, Cuba and the United Kingdom jointly fund and operate a center for sexually abused and exploited children that is accessible to child trafficking victims. The center works closely with a British NGO run by a former policeman and utilizes updated treatment techniques. It also helps children to prepare for court testimony against perpetrators through use of video technology and other victim-sensitive approaches. The government did not show evidence of employing formal procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as criminal detainees or people exploited in prostitution. 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. NGOs report that Cuban diplomatic missions do not provide assistance to Cuban women who state they were forced to travel overseas and coerced into prostitution.

Prevention
The government does not acknowledge or condemn human trafficking as a problem in Cuba, and therefore made no significant efforts to prevent incidents of trafficking throughout the year. There were no known information campaigns to prevent sex or labor trafficking, although the government ran newspaper campaigns against prostitution. In addition, police have reportedly cracked down on prostitution in tourist areas during the past year. As noted earlier, the government may have taken steps to reduce demand for commercial sex acts by prosecuting individuals engaging in sexual acts with children. In general, however, the government’s efforts appear more focused on arresting women in prostitution rather than punishing clients or consumers. 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 the Philippines, Russia, Moldova, Hungary, Ukraine, Greece, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, and the Dominican Republic for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Women are also trafficked from Colombia, Romania, Belarus, Bulgaria, and the United Kingdom. Most victims of trafficking are fraudulently recruited to Cyprus on three-month “artiste” work permits to work in the cabaret industry or on tourist visas to work in massage parlors disguised as private apartments. More limited numbers of foreign women work in pubs under the “barmaid” employment category. Police report that trafficking in Cyprus has become more hidden, with women increasingly exploited in massage parlors and private apartments.

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 third consecutive year for failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking during the reporting period. Although it passed a new trafficking law and opened a government trafficking shelter, these efforts are outweighed by its failure to show tangible and critically needed progress in the areas of law enforcement, victim protection and the prevention of trafficking.

Recommendations for Cyprus: Follow through with plans to abolish, or greatly restrict use of the artiste work permit—a well-known conduit for trafficking; establish standard operating procedures to protect and assist victims in its new trafficking shelter; develop and launch a comprehensive demand reduction campaign specifically aimed at clients and the larger public to reduce wide-spread misconceptions about trafficking and the cabaret industry; dedicate more resources to its anti-trafficking unit; and improve the quality of trafficking prosecutions to secure convictions and appropriate punishments for traffickers.

Prosecution
The Government of Cyprus improved its legislative tools to combat trafficking during the year, though its overall anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts declined. On July 13, 2007, the government passed comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation that criminalizes all forms of trafficking; the law also contains protection and support measures for victims. Although the penalties prescribed for sexual exploitation can range up to 20 years’ imprisonment, these penalties are not commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes such as rape, for which the maximum sentence is life in prison. The government’s anti-trafficking unit— with a staff of three—remains under-equipped and under-funded and unable to adequately investigate trafficking offenses. In April 2008, the police chief appointed 20 investigators to partner with the anti-trafficking unit. During the reporting period, there was an overall decline in the number of cases investigated, police raids, undercover investigations, and traffickers convicted. Investigations significantly declined during the reporting period; police launched only 27 investigations in 2007, compared to 60 in 2006. Of the 27, eight of the cases are still under investigation, one was dropped, one was otherwise disposed of, and 17 were sent to court. Of the 17 cases, 11 are still pending trial, four were suspended, and two were dismissed. Of the 36 prosecutions pending at the end of 2006, eight of the cases resulted in convictions, 14 in acquittals, three were dismissed by the courts, one was withdrawn, one was otherwise disposed of, and nine are still pending trial. Eleven traffickers were convicted with sentences ranging from four months imprisonment to three and a half years. Nine traffickers are still awaiting trial; the government acquitted 14 suspects, dismissed three, and the two remaining cases were withdrawn. NGOs charge that trafficking- related corruption among law enforcement officials continued to hinder the government’s anti-trafficking efforts. During the year, the government prosecuted seven police officers for their involvement in two separate trafficking-related cases.

Protection
The Government of Cyprus demonstrated improvements in its infrastructure to protect and assist victims; however, much remains to be done to ensure that more victims in Cyprus receive assistance and protection. In November 2007, it officially opened its first state-owned trafficking shelter; the shelter assisted 27 victims from November 2007 through April 2008. In 2007, authorities provided a total of 87 victims with short-term shelter and other forms of assistance. However, efforts to identify victims in Cyprus remained inadequate; the number of identified victims declined from 79 in 2006 to 40 in 2007. Operational issues in its trafficking shelter must be addressed to ensure quality care for victims. All 40 of the victims identified by the government assisted law enforcement in the investigation or prosecution of their traffickers; nine left the country without testifying.

Prevention
The government failed to take adequate responsibility for its significant trafficking problem and implement steps to prevent incidents of trafficking during the year. Despite promises in its 2005 National Action Plan to abolish the “artiste” work permit, it has not taken steps to eliminate this employment category; Cyprus remains the only member of the European Union to have such a permit, a well-known tool used to traffic foreign victims. Although it reduced by 23 percent the overall number of artiste work permits issued, this figure does not account for potential trafficking victims arriving from EU countries who do not require such permits to work in an EU member state. No “barmaid” permits were issued in the reporting period, a 100 percent decline from the previous year. While the government allotted over $60,000 for a demand reduction campaign, no campaign was carried out in the reporting period. During the reporting period, the head of the police anti-trafficking unit made one television appearance to discuss the problem of trafficking, spoke at a trafficking film festival, and conducted police training.

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. During the reporting period, women from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, the Philippines, Kenya, Romania, and Nigeria received “artiste” work permits in the “TRNC.”

The area administered by Turkish Cypriots in 2007 drafted a bill that specifically prohibits trafficking in persons. Awareness of trafficking somewhat increased, but authorities continued to confuse trafficking with smuggling throughout the reporting period. 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. “TRNC” authorities reported arresting 55 people for 40 prostitution related cases, and three people received prison sentences.

In 2007, 1,308 “artiste” and nine “barmaid” work permits were issued to foreign women working in 39 nightclubs and three pubs, and as of March 2008, 352 foreign women were working in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots. In 2007, authorities deported 316 women who wished to curtail their nightclub contracts. Reportedly, authorities hold the travel documents for foreign women in the cabaret industry in the “TRNC” and police corruption remained a concern. The anti-trafficking hotline established in 2005 does not adequately refer victims for assistance.

Recommendations for Turkish Cypriot authorities: Pass the draft legislation that specifically prohibits all severe forms of trafficking; provide training for law enforcement and other front-line responders on victim identification techniques, including the key exploitative difference between trafficking and smuggling; and educate the larger public about trafficking occurring within the cabaret industry.

CZECH REPUBLIC (Tier 1)
The Czech Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for women from Russia, Ukraine, Romania, Belarus, Moldova, Slovakia, Bulgaria, China, and Vietnam trafficked to Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, and Denmark for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. The Czech Republic is a destination country for men and women trafficked from Ukraine, China, Vietnam, Moldova, and Belarus for the purpose of labor exploitation. Roma women are trafficked within the country and abroad for sexual exploitation.

The Government of the Czech Republic fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the reporting period, the government increased the number of convicted traffickers serving time in prison and conducted aggressive trafficking investigations, leading to the arrest of dozens of suspected traffickers and freeing more than 100 victims including nearly 50 victims of forced labor.

Recommendations for the Czech Republic: Continue anti-trafficking training for judges and prosecutors to ensure sustaining the trend of increasing the number of convicted traffickers serving time in prison; increase use of Section 232a of the criminal code to ensure higher penalties for sex and labor trafficking; and continue efforts to investigate and prosecute labor trafficking cases.

Prosecution
The Government of the Czech Republic demonstrated increased law enforcement efforts over the previous year. The Czech Republic prohibits trafficking for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor through Sections 232a, 216, and 204 of its Criminal Code, and prescribes punishments ranging from two to 15 years’ imprisonment. These punishments are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. In 2007, police conducted 11 investigations and prosecuted 121 persons for trafficking offenses, compared to 16 investigations and 151 persons reported prosecuted in 2006. The government convicted 78 traffickers during the reporting period, compared to 72 convictions in 2006. In 2007, 29 percent—23 out of 78 convicted traffickers— were sentenced to serve time in prison. This was an increase over 2006, when 17 percent—12 out of 72 convicted traffickers—were sentenced to serve time in prison. In 2007, 20 traffickers were sentenced to one to five years’ imprisonment, and three traffickers were sentenced to five to 15 years’ imprisonment. This was an increase from 2006, when 10 traffickers were sentenced to prison terms of one to five years, and no traffickers were sentenced to more than five years in prison. In 2007, the government extradited one trafficking suspect.

During the reporting period, anti-trafficking courses became required for new judges at the Czech judicial academy; approximately 60 judges and prosecutors received the training during 2007. In July 2007, the country’s forced labor unit of the Police dismantled a labor trafficking ring, rescuing approximately 50 mostly Ukrainian and Bulgarian victims. The government subsequently initiated prosecutions of three Ukrainian leaders of the trafficking ring. Several other large-scale raids resulted in dozens of trafficking arrests and prosecutions. There were no confirmed cases of government officials involved in trafficking. The government provided labor inspectors and representatives of the Work Registration Offices with training in identifying cases of labor trafficking.

Protection
The government sustained strong efforts to protect and assist victims. In December 2007, the government increased the reflection period granted to identified victims from 30 to 60 days; during this time, victims can decide whether to cooperate with law enforcement. NGOs in 2007 provided approximately 75 victims with government-funded comprehensive assistance and shelter, compared to 67 victims in 2006. The government also funded NGOs to assist both foreign and Czech victims with repatriation and reintegration. Victims were encouraged to assist in investigations and prosecutions; victims who cooperated with investigators were granted temporary residence and work visas for the duration of the legal proceedings. Upon conclusion of the prosecutions, qualifying victims had the opportunity to apply for permanent residency; three victims were granted permanent residency in 2007, compared to one victim in 2006. NGOs stated the majority of victims referred to them during the reporting period made initial contact through the police, demonstrating the continued effectiveness of police training. Victims were not fined or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The government sustained its trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government continued funding a demand reduction campaign that informed foreign tourists visiting the Czech Republic for the purpose of adult sex tourism about human trafficking and provided guidance for anonymously reporting suspected trafficking cases. In April 2007, the government provided trafficking awareness training to 65 senior military officers prior to their deployment on international peacekeeping missions. The government monitors migration and immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. The Czech Republic has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

DENMARK (Tier 1)
Denmark is primarily a transit and destination country for women and girls trafficked from Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Thailand, Nigeria, and other West African countries for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. In 2007, authorities noted an increase in the number of women trafficked from Romania and Bulgaria to Denmark for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Denmark fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2007, the government made considerable efforts to combat child sex tourism committed by Danish citizens traveling abroad by targeting sexual predators of children, assisting child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, and raising domestic awareness of the problem. In 2008, the government also contributed $800,000 to assist and rehabilitate child victims of commercial sexual abuse in Thailand, Cambodia, and Burma.

Recommendations for Denmark: Consider whether additional measures are necessary to ensure that foreign victims of trafficking are provided with legal alternatives to deportation to countries where they may face retribution or hardship upon return to their countries of origin; consider granting temporary residency and work permits to identified trafficking victims for humanitarian reasons and in order to increase their participation in trafficking investigations; and continue to work closely with source countries to ensure safe victim repatriation and access to adequate care after repatriation.

Prosecution
The Government of Denmark demonstrated increased 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 a procurement law to prosecute traffickers. Punishments prescribed for trafficking under Section 262 extend up to eight years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Police conducted a total of 34 trafficking investigations during the reporting period, up from 21 in 2006. Authorities prosecuted 52 trafficking cases, a significant increase from 14 cases prosecuted in 2006. Courts convicted 31 trafficking offenders in 2007, including 10 under the anti-trafficking statute and 21 under the procurement law; 33 trafficking offenders were convicted in 2006, including three under the anti-trafficking statute and 30 under the procurement law. All 33 convicted traffickers served some time in prison; no convicted traffickers received suspended sentences in 2007. Sentences for trafficking convictions ranged from two to six years’ imprisonment; sentences for traffickers convicted under the procurement law ranged from six months’ to three years’ imprisonment. The National Police have a trafficking coordinator stationed in each police district to improve the trafficking knowledge of local police districts. In September 2007, the National Police provided a trafficking reference manual to local districts.

Protection
Denmark took further steps to improve its assistance and protection for victims of trafficking. In 2007, the government opened the National Anti-Trafficking Center to monitor and coordinate victim assistance nationwide. During the reporting period, 148 victims received social, medical, and rehabilitative assistance from the government, including 40 victims who were sheltered at the Center. In addition, the government continued to fund regional NGOs in Denmark that provide victim outreach and identification, rehabilitative counseling, shelter, and public awareness. Denmark also provided approximately $2 million for various victim assistance, prevention, and law enforcement anti-trafficking projects in Belarus, Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania in 2007. Danish police employ formal procedures for victim identification among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution; during brothel inspections, Danish social workers and the police anthropologist interview women to help police identify potential victims of trafficking. Although police encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations, only three foreign victims assisted authorities in a trafficking investigation in 2007. Some victims faced detention and deportation for immigration violations, and only two trafficking victims obtained refugee status to remain in Denmark and serve as witnesses in their trafficking cases. In source countries with limited social services, such as Nigeria, Denmark sent government officials to improve cooperation with NGOs and government agencies as well as check the quality of follow-up services for victims repatriated from Denmark.

Prevention
Denmark demonstrated progress in its trafficking prevention efforts. In 2007, the government increased the annual budget for its national anti-trafficking action plan to $16 million. The Danish government continued a nationwide information campaign that focused on domestic demand reduction for commercial sex acts. The campaign received a budget increase to approximately $300,000 in 2007; outreach included television and film public service advertisements, billboards, fliers, and leaflets. The government continued to adequately monitor its borders. There are 700 licensed brothels operating in Denmark and approximately 6,000 women in prostitution through out the country. During the reporting period, Denmark amended its child sexual abuse laws to allow for the extraterritorial prosecution of Danish nationals who commit acts of child sex tourism abroad; in January 2008, the government funded a public service campaign alerting Danish nationals about the new law prohibiting sexual abuse of children overseas. Danish nationals have traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, and other countries in Southeast Asia to engage in child commercial sexual exploitation. The Danish Embassy in Thailand referred one child sex tourism case to Danish police during the last year; however authorities had not taken steps to prosecute the suspect at the time of this report. Danish police also investigated tourism agencies suspected of promoting child sex tourism packages.

DJIBOUTI (Tier 2)
Djibouti is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. Large numbers of voluntary economic migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia pass illegally through Djibouti en route to the Middle East; among this group, a small number of women and girls fall victim to domestic servitude or commercial sexual exploitation after reaching Djibouti City or the Ethiopia-Djibouti trucking corridor. A small number of girls from impoverished Djiboutian families may also be exploited in prostitution as a means of income, in some instances under the auspices of traffickers. Prostitution in Djibouti occurs in apartments, brothels, and on the streets; members of foreign militaries stationed in Djibouti reportedly contribute to the demand for women and girls in prostitution.

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. In 2007, Djibouti demonstrated commitment to addressing human trafficking through the drafting and passage of a comprehensive anti-trafficking statute.

Recommendations for Djibouti: Enforce the newly enacted anti-trafficking statute through the successful prosecution of traffickers; further educate all levels of government officials and the general public on the issue of human trafficking; and establish mechanisms for providing increased protective services to trafficking victims, possibly through the forging of partnerships with NGOs or civil society organizations.

Prosecution
During the reporting period, the Government of Djibouti paved the way for the future prosecution of traffickers through the passage of an anti-trafficking statute, though no prosecutions or punishment of traffickers occurred during the last year. In October 2007, the President of Djibouti and the Council of Ministers approved a Ministry of Justice-drafted comprehensive anti-trafficking law and presented it to the National Assembly for debate and adoption. The law was passed by the National Assembly in early December and the President signed it into force later that month. Law 210 “Regarding the Fight Against Human Trafficking” covers both internal and transnational trafficking and prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons. It protects victims regardless of ethnicity, gender, or nationality, and prescribes penalties of up to 30 years’ imprisonment for traffickers. At the conclusion of the reporting period, the provisions of Law 210 had only been in force for three months and have not yet been used. However, the government throughout the reporting period continued to punish child sexual exploitation by charging the accused as sexual offenders. A French national, who fled Djibouti after being convicted of sexually exploiting two boys, was recaptured by police upon returning to the country and sent to prison. In addition, the Attorney General’s office announced the opening of an investigation into a child sexual exploitation network dating back to the 1990s. Throughout the year, Djibouti’s Brigade des Moeurs (Vice Police) conducted regular sweeps of the capital city after dark and preventatively detained 178 Ethiopian and Somali minors suspected to be exploited in prostitution. Djiboutian police monitored bars and neighborhoods in Djibouti City, detaining suspected pimps and children in prostitution; specific information regarding the punishment of pimps was not provided, although the police indicated that most prostitution occurred without the involvement of a pimp. 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 exploited in prostitution. Past alleged incidents of involvement of international NGO staff members in child sexual abuse have hampered the government’s cooperation with international NGOs. Minors detained by police on suspicion of involvement in prostitution were generally held in custody for several days in quarters at the Police Academy set aside for this purpose. Police doctors provided these girls’ medical care, and the Director General of the Police personally spoke with each detained minor to determine the origin of the child. During this time, police attempted to locate parents or other family members in Djibouti or the home country, and minors were generally released to family members or deported without charge. No specific data on detained Djiboutian minors was provided, but police reported that such children were released to family members. The government does not offer legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Authorities do not encourage victims to participate in investigations or prosecutions of traffickers.

Prevention
There is nascent and growing understanding of human trafficking within the Djiboutian political hierarchy. The Council of Ministers’ approval of the anti-trafficking draft law was heavily publicized, and dominated the entire front page of the country’s only daily newspaper, which is government-run, sending a clear message to both security forces and citizens of the government’s intent to combat human trafficking. NGOs and the government-run orphanage for girls reported greater levels of government collaboration in providing assistance to street women and children, most of whom are foreign nationals and at risk of trafficking. Police verbally warned bar and night club owners that permitting child prostitution on their premises would be punished. In an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, in April 2008, the government issued international arrest warrants for five French nationals based on allegations of child sexual abuse.

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. A large number of Dominican women are trafficked into prostitution and sexual exploitation in Western Europe, Australia, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, Haiti, and other Caribbean destinations. A significant number of women, boys, and girls are trafficked within the country for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. In some cases, poor parents push children into prostitution to increase the family’s income. Sex tourism and child sex tourism are problems, particularly in coastal resort areas. Sex tourists, including child predators, typically arrive from Western Europe (i.e., Spain, Italy, and Germany), though some Canadian and U.S. citizens may be offenders as well. Some Haitian nationals who migrate voluntary to the Dominican Republic are subsequently subjected to forced labor in the service, construction, and agricultural sectors; in some cases, the irregular status of these migrants, which places them at risk for deportation, leaves them vulnerable to trafficking by unscrupulous employers. Many of these victims live in bateyes—which can resemble shantytowns— or other squalid living conditions. Some Haitian children, known as restaveks, are reportedly trafficked into conditions of domestic servitude.

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 a second consecutive year 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.

Recommendations for the Dominican Republic: Increase efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenders, especially public officials complicit with human trafficking activity; increase investigations into potential labor trafficking activity; increase victim assistance and shelter services; provide greater legal protections for foreign and undocumented trafficking victims; increase efforts to identify and care for Haitian trafficking victims; increase prevention and demand-reduction efforts; and increase anti-trafficking training for government and judicial officials.

Prosecution
The Government of the Dominican Republic increased law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders, but did not adequately investigate and prosecute public officials who may be complicit with trafficking activity. 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. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave offenses, such as rape. During the reporting period, the government opened 25 sex trafficking investigations, most involving child victims; this represents improved efforts over last year. One pending investigation involves allegations against a German national for trafficking 12 Haitian women into the Dominican Republic for exploitation through internet-based pornography. The German national is currently imprisoned, another foreigner involved in the scheme was deported, and a third dual Dominican-Israeli citizen was released. Seven additional trafficking cases were submitted for formal prosecution, and five trials are ongoing. No convictions or sentences were secured during the reporting period, and no criminal investigations of public officials have been initiated, despite reported complicity among many lower-level police, border, and military officials with trafficking activity. In early 2007, press reports alleged 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. While prosecutors conducted informal interviews to investigate these allegations, they reported difficulty in gaining access to additional information which other government agencies may possess; an in-depth and formal probe, including the use of Chinese interpreters to interview alleged victims, has not been conducted. During the reporting period, the government cooperated on international cases involving the trafficking of Dominican women to Argentina, Switzerland, and Turkey. Expanded anti-trafficking training for public officials, particularly relating to distinctions between alien smuggling and human trafficking offenses, would assist the government’s law enforcement efforts.

Protection
The government’s efforts to protect trafficking victims remained inadequate over the year, and it continued to rely heavily on NGOs and international organizations to provide the bulk of shelter and protection services. While the government maintains shelters and programs for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, specialized assistance for trafficking victims is not available. Moreover, government services are generally not accessible to victims who are undocumented foreign migrants. The government made no concerted effort to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, although it trained consular officials posted abroad on recognizing and assisting Dominican nationals trafficked overseas. Victims are not typically jailed or penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. However, there were reports that some prostituted children were briefly detained during police sweeps, and may not be recognized as trafficking victims by police and community members. Dominican authorities generally encourage victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, though some victims of Haitian descent have been deported prior to trial. In some cases, undocumented victims were deported after providing witness statements, and were thus unavailable to provide live testimony at the trials of their traffickers. However, last year the government instituted a new mechanism for referring foreign trafficking victims to IOM for repatriation instead of detaining and deporting victims for immigration violations; these victims may return to the Dominican Republic to assist with prosecution efforts. Many victims of sex trafficking reported being reluctant to assist in the prosecution of traffickers out of shame and embarrassment. Providing victims with access to psychological counseling, in addition to increased NGO or government support during court proceedings, should assist the government’s prosecution efforts. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Greater efforts to assure protection to Haitians and undocumented persons of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic would increase the government’s ability to assist trafficking victims.

Prevention
The government increased prevention efforts by widely publicizing an anti-trafficking hotline sponsored by the Attorney General’s Office and the Ricky Martin Foundation. Senior officials such as the First Lady publicly condemned human trafficking during the reporting period. The government formalized an interagency anti-trafficking working group with the goal of developing a national strategy to combat trafficking and improving victim protection. The government continued a prevention campaign against child sex tourism at ports of entry, as well as numerous youth awareness sessions at schools across the country. The government also took measures to reduce demand for commercial sex acts with children through criminal prosecutions; during the reporting year, there were two trials involving Spanish and German tourists engaged in the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

ECUADOR (Tier 2)
Ecuador is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. The majority of trafficking victims are believed to be children trafficked from coastal and border areas to urban centers for sexual exploitation. Ecuadorian children are trafficked into hazardous forms of labor, domestic servitude, forced to beg on the streets, work in the hospitality and commercial sectors, and perform hard labor in mines. Some children are trafficked to neighboring countries and to European countries, including Spain and Italy. Women are trafficked to Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, and Western Europe, particularly Spain and Italy, for sexual exploitation. Although most trafficking occurs within the country, Colombian women and adolescent girls are trafficked into Ecuador for sexual exploitation.

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. The government continued to increase the number of convictions of sex traffickers and continued to cooperate closely with civil society organizations on anti-trafficking prevention and public awareness efforts. This year, the government designated a single point of contact within the Ministry of Government for trafficking issues. However, trafficking-related complicity of some government officials, particularly at the local level, remained a problem and an impediment to achieving greater anti-trafficking progress. The government also needs to take a greater interest in protecting adult and minor trafficking victims who may be held against their will in the country’s brothels and forced into prostitution.

Recommendations for Ecuador: Continue to vigorously investigate and convict traffickers, including labor traffickers; train law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges to better identify, investigate, and prosecute trafficking cases; investigate and prosecute government officials complicit in trafficking activities; provide temporary resident visas for undocumented foreign trafficking victims; and increase raids on the brothels that house underage trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The government demonstrated clear progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Ecuador prohibits all forms of trafficking through a 2005 comprehensive anti-trafficking law, which prescribes punishments of up to 35 years’ imprisonment— penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. During the reporting period, Ecuadorian authorities opened approximately 76 cases across the country. Although none of the indictments have resulted in convictions thus far, prosecutors were able to complete prosecutions in five previously opened cases, which resulted in the conviction of 12 child sex traffickers. All were sentenced to prison terms ranging from six to 12 years in prison. Most of the cases involved the inducement of minor children into prostitution through fraudulent employment offers. During the reporting period, the government identified several more specialized trafficking prosecutors in Manabi province, bringing the total number of provinces with specialized prosecutors to five. During the year, there were no convictions obtained for the offense of trafficking adults for sexual exploitation or the trafficking of any persons for labor exploitation. The government provided numerous training opportunities for officials dealing with trafficking in persons, including border police, government prosecutors, and judges. Despite reports of trafficking-related corruption, particularly related to civil registry officials issuing false identity documents to Colombian adults and minors, no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of potentially complicit officials took place last year. According to Ecuadorian police, brothel owners commonly use false identity documents to exploit foreign minors and adults in prostitution, and to avoid criminal liability for immigration and trafficking violations in the event of a police raid.

Protection
The Ecuadorian government committed additional resources to assist victims of trafficking over the last year. Through its Victim and Witness Protection Program, the Public Ministry coordinates government efforts to provide funding and support to NGOs that serve trafficking victims, as well as coordinating the referral of victims to appropriate service providers. Domestic and foreign trafficking victims have access to legal, medical, and psychological services in victim care facilities, although there remains a lack of available shelters for trafficking victims in many areas of the country. During the reporting period, the government committed $260,000 to support shelters and victim assistance in the provinces of Pichincha, El Oro, and Sucumbios. In 2007, the government increased the number of police officers who work with the program from 36 to 88, resulting in several hundred trafficking victims helped throughout the year. The Public Ministry also assigned 20 female lawyers to work as program coordinators in 20 provinces. Through the Victim and Witness Protection Program, the government encourages victims to assist in the investigation of their traffickers. Law enforcement and social services personnel have a formal system of identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom they come in contact. Authorities did not penalize trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The Ecuadorian government does not, however, provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution, although authorities may award refugee status on an ad hoc basis.

Prevention
The Government of Ecuador made significant trafficking prevention efforts over the last year, particularly in the area of public awareness. Senior government officials spoke publicly to raise awareness and understanding of the country’s trafficking problems. The National Institute for Child and Family (INNFA) continued its nationwide anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling education campaign geared towards vulnerable populations, which included the distribution of postcards, stickers, and informational materials across the country. In January 2008, INNFA also launched a Plan to Eradicate Child Trafficking in the Andean Corridor for labor exploitation and begging. The Ministry of Tourism spent $36,000 on efforts to prevent commercial sex tourism during the reporting period. It also worked closely with UNICEF and numerous NGOs on a continuing campaign against child sex tourism, which began in 2006. The government, however, did not take other steps to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period.

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 sexual exploitation, and is a source for children trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude, although the extent to which children are trafficked internally is unknown. Some of Cairo’s estimated one million street children—both boys and girls—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 facilitated by the females’ parents and marriage brokers. Some Egyptian cities may also be destinations for sex tourism. Children were also recruited for domestic and agricultural work; some of these children 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 minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so. Egypt is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the third year in a row because it has not provided evidence of increasing efforts to investigate and prosecute traffickers over the last year. However, in July 2007, the government established the “National Coordinating Committee to Combat and Prevent Trafficking in Persons,” which improved inter-governmental coordination on anti-trafficking initiatives. Also, the committee charged the National Center for Criminological and Social Research to undertake a comprehensive study of the trafficking situation in Egypt, and the National Committee for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) formed a special anti-trafficking unit. Nonetheless, the government did not report prosecuting any confirmed cases of trafficking, and continued to lack a formal victim identification procedure to identify and protect trafficking victims.

Recommendations for Egypt: Increase law enforcement activity against trafficking; institute and apply a formal victim identification procedure to ensure that trafficking victims are not punished or otherwise treated as criminals for acts committed as a result of being trafficked; provide in-kind or financial support to NGOs providing protection services to victims; and implement a comprehensive public information campaign to educate the public on the definition and dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution
Egypt made no discernible efforts to punish trafficking crimes during this reporting period. The Egyptian penal code does not prohibit all forms of trafficking. The Anti-Prostitution Law of 1961 prohibits commercial sexual exploitation of those under 21 years old and the use of coercion, threats, or abuse to induce a person into prostitution. Penalties prescribed for these crimes range from one to seven years’ imprisonment; these are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. Child domestic workers are not protected by labor laws as other child laborers are, but the constitution prohibits forced labor through Article 13. The government reported that it investigated acts of trafficking under current laws, but did not report any prosecutions, convictions, or punishments for confirmed trafficking offenses. Authorities arrested only one person during the reporting period for forcing children to beg. It is important for Egypt to use its existing laws to investigate, prosecute, and punish those who facilitate trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation or forced child labor.

Protection
Egypt did not increase its services to trafficking victims during the reporting period. However, the NCCM established an anti-trafficking unit as a framework to provide these services in the future, and to provide training on how to treat victims of trafficking. Due to resource constraints, the government does not offer protection services to victims of domestic servitude, though it operates a hotline for children to report complaints of abuse. Egypt continues to lack a formal victim identification procedure, so victims of trafficking may be punished for acts committed as a result of being trafficked. For example, credible reports indicate that police sometimes arrest street children for prostitution or forced begging, and treat 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. Foreign 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. It is recommended that Egypt institute and apply a formal mechanism to identify victims, and refer them to protection services offered by local NGOs. It is particularly important that the government ensure that victims, especially minors, are not punished for acts committed as a result of being trafficked, such as prostitution or vagrancy.

Prevention
During the year, Egypt made modest progress in preventing trafficking in persons. In July, state-owned television channels began airing United Nations-produced public service announcements on trafficking for forced labor. The Ministry of Social Solidarity also operated drop-in shelters for street children; these shelters may have prevented some street children from being exploited for prostitution or forced labor. The government, however, did not take measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts in Egypt. Similarly, Egypt did not undertake any public awareness campaigns targeting citizens traveling to known child sex tourism destinations.

EL SALVADOR (Tier 2)
El Salvador is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Most victims are Salvadoran women and girls trafficked within the country from rural to urban areas for sexual exploitation. The majority of foreign victims are women and children from Nicaragua and Honduras who travel to El Salvador in response to job offers, but are subsequently forced into prostitution or domestic servitude. Some Salvadorans are trafficked to Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States for commercial sexual exploitation. There are reports of men and children from neighboring countries who are subject to forced agricultural labor in El Salvador.

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. During the reporting period, the government sustained law enforcement and victim protection efforts, and made strong progress on prevention activities. The government also took strong steps to address trafficking-related corruption by sentencing a former police officer to seven years in jail.

Recommendations for El Salvador: Strengthen law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders; investigate and prosecute, as appropriate, reports of labor exploitation; increase victim services and assistance, particularly for adults; increase anti-trafficking training for judicial officials; and consider increasing penalties for trafficking-in-persons crimes.

Prosecution
The Government of El Salvador sustained solid law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Article 367B of the Salvadoran Penal Code prohibits all forms of human trafficking and prescribes penalties of four to eight years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape and other serious offenses. Some prosecutors elected to charge trafficking-related crimes under rape statutes in order to secure heavier sentences against offenders. In 2007, the government prosecuted 46 human trafficking cases, down from 67 cases prosecuted in 2006. However, in 2007 prosecutors obtained five trafficking convictions with sentences ranging from six to eight years’ imprisonment, compared to four convictions obtained in 2006. Throughout the last year, police conducted undercover trafficking investigations and acted on tips to raid brothels and other commercial sex sites. More than 70 trafficking victims, mostly children, were rescued from trafficking situations. Children found in brothels or in other dangerous circumstances were routinely taken into government protective custody. The government focused law enforcement efforts on sexual exploitation cases; complaints of labor exploitation and domestic servitude were, however, generally not investigated. The government cooperated with the governments of Guatemala, Nicaragua, Belize, and the United States on transnational trafficking cases during the reporting period. In February 2008, the government took strong steps to address official complicity by securing a seven-year prison term against a former police officer convicted of trafficking-related activity.

Protection
The Salvadoran government sustained victim assistance efforts during the reporting period. ISNA, a national agency for children and adolescents, operated a national network of 11 shelters which provide secure housing, 24-hour medical attention, psychological counseling, and vocational workshops to minor trafficking victims and other victims of abuse. An additional shelter for trafficking victims, which was previously operated by an NGO with government support, is being administered by the government, but was not re-opened during the reporting period. Moreover, government shelters and services were directed toward minor girls, and not readily accessible to adult or boy trafficking victims. Greater reintegration assistance may prevent some victims from being re-trafficked. Adult female trafficking victims had limited access to a small shelter run by the Institute of Women in which they could stay for up to 15 days. The government trained personnel on identifying trafficking victims and providing assistance, including for consular officials posted in likely destination and transit countries for Salvadoran victims. The government also maintained “protection consulates” along major human smuggling and trafficking routes between El Salvador and the United States. These consulates arranged immediate medical care for injured Salvadorans, including trafficking victims, and assisted with repatriation efforts. Domestically, Salvadoran authorities encouraged victims to assist with 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 being trafficked. Foreign victims were not deported; they faced voluntary repatriation with government assistance, though the government provided no legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The Salvadoran government significantly increased prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government ran anti-trafficking information and education campaigns, and operated an anti-trafficking hotline. In conjunction with ILO, the government in June 2007 implemented a large anti-trafficking pilot project, training more than 700 teachers and 28,000 students about the risks of commercial sexual exploitation. An additional awareness campaign focused on the risks of illegal migration and human trafficking. With assistance from IOM, the government conducted widespread training of law enforcement personnel, reaching more than 1,500 police officers nationwide. Border agents also received training to detect trafficking activity and irregular migration, such as minors traveling across borders. No government efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts were reported over the last year.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA (Tier 2 Watch List)
Equatorial Guinea is primarily a destination country for children trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and possibly for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Children have been trafficked from nearby countries, primarily Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, and Gabon for domestic servitude, market labor, ambulant vending, and possibly sexual exploitation. Most victims are trafficked to the cities of Malabo and Bata. Women may also be trafficked to Equatorial Guinea from Cameroon, Benin, other neighboring countries, and China for sexual exploitation.

The Government of Equatorial Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Nevertheless, Equatorial Guinea is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking over the previous year, particularly in the areas of prosecuting and convicting trafficking offenders and failing to formalize mechanisms to provide assistance to victims. Although the government made some effort to enforce laws against child labor exploitation, it failed to report any trafficking prosecutions or convictions. Despite its substantial resources, the government continued to lack shelters or formal procedures for providing care to victims.

Recommendations for Equatorial Guinea: Increase efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders; implement its new formal procedures through which police routinely identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations such as foreign or displaced children, child laborers, and females in prostitution; establish shelters or a formal system though which the government can provide systematic care for trafficking victims; consider establishing relationships with civil society groups or international organizations to provide victims with appropriate services; ensure that minors vulnerable to sexual exploitation are not arrested but are provided with victim services.

Prosecution
The Government of Equatorial Guinea demonstrated modest 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 prescribes sufficiently stringent penalties of 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment. However, there have been no reports of individuals convicted under the trafficking provisions of this law. Police stationed at posts within open-air markets conduct regular market patrols, fining any vendors who exploit child labor and closing down the stalls of repeat offenders. In August 2007, in an effort to enforce anti-prostitution laws, the government closed down clubs in Malabo and Bata suspected of facilitating prostitution. A total of eight clubs in Malabo were closed, two of which reopened after improving conditions. Suspected females in prostitution identified during the crackdown were questioned to determine whether they might have been victims of trafficking. In 2007, Equatorial Guinea began funding specific trafficking training seminars for its police and navy officers provided by a foreign contractor. Since November, the contractor has trained 160 officers. In February 2008, the government began distributing a set of formal procedures for identifying and detaining traffickers and providing care to victims to all police stations and military outposts in the country. The government also printed the procedures on wallet-size cards for each security officer.

Protection
The Government of Equatorial Guinea demonstrated limited efforts to protect trafficking victims in the last year. In February 2008, the government distributed a set of procedures for identifying and providing care to trafficking victims to all police stations and military outposts in the country. These procedures instruct officers to provide for safe transport of a victim to “the designated shelter” for care. However, no trafficking shelters yet exist in Equatorial Guinea, and the government has not provided social workers with training on how to care for trafficking victims. Officials provide limited care to victims on an ad hoc basis, but were unable to provide statistics for the number of victims provided with care. In one case involving a 17-year-old Togolese market worker, a foster home provided shelter. In another case, a Nigerian victim was referred to the Nigerian Embassy in Malabo. When police enforced child labor laws by raiding markets, they did not follow formal procedures to identify trafficking victims among child laborers. Similarly, when the government closed down suspected brothels, officials did not consistently make efforts to identify trafficking victims among females found in prostitution. Equatoguinean authorities rarely referred victims of child labor exploitation to government or civil society authorities able to help provide victim assistance. When security officials find foreign child laborers without legal documentation, they sometimes deport them without first taking steps to determine whether they are trafficking victims. In some cases, authorities refer these laborers to their own country’s diplomatic mission in Equatorial Guinea. Equatoguinean officials do not collaborate with civil society groups or international organizations to provide care to victims. Equatorial Guinea does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims may be inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Equatorial Guinea continued to make progress in raising awareness of trafficking during the last year. In collaboration with UNICEF, Equatorial Guinea continued to fund and conduct sensitization workshops for local officials in both Malabo and Bata during the reporting period. The government took steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts by closing down brothels.

ESTONIA (Tier 2)
Estonia is a source, and to a lesser extent a transit destination country for men, women, and children from Russia trafficked for the purposes of commercial 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 the purpose of sexual exploitation.

The Government of Estonia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, Estonia demonstrated improved law enforcement efforts by increasing the number of traffickers convicted and the length of time each trafficker served in prison. The government also significantly increased its anti-trafficking budget from $96,000 to $181,000, concentrating 75 percent of funding on victim assistance.

Recommendations for Estonia: Improve coordination efforts with regional counterparts on victim identification and repatriation; consider drafting a trafficking-specific statute that incorporates a definition of trafficking in persons in conformity with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol; and continue efforts to train police to identify potential victims and refer them for assistance.

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, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with other grave crimes such as sexual assault. In 2007, police conducted two trafficking investigations, compared to three investigations in 2006. Authorities prosecuted three trafficking cases and convicted three traffickers in 2007, compared to one confirmed trafficking prosecution and one trafficker convicted in 2006. One of the three traffickers convicted in 2007 was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment; the other two traffickers were each sentenced to one year in prison. In 2007, Estonia spent $15,000 on 15 trafficking identification and prosecution seminars for government officials. Law enforcement officials regularly exchanged information with counterparts from Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Belgium.

Protection
Estonia improved its victim assistance efforts during the reporting period. The government allocated approximately $135,750 for victim assistance programs. Three trafficking shelters established by the Nordic-Baltic Anti-Trafficking Task Force opened in various cities around the country; the Ministry of Finance contributed some funding for this project. Six Estonian victims were repatriated and assisted by these shelters; none were exploited or identified in Estonia. The government provided $4,000 for IOM-produced brochures for social workers and other professionals to help with practical assistance to victims. Estonian authorities did 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; foreign victims are eligible to apply for temporary residency for the duration of criminal investigations and legal proceedings. Estonian authorities lack formal procedures for identifying victims among vulnerable populations, such as women arrested for prostitution violations.

Prevention
The government continued to increase its trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government conducted a media campaign on the dangers of prostitution and conducted prostitution prevention programs in school. The government allocated approximately $42,000 for trafficking awareness and prevention, including $18,000 given to an NGO for the continued operation of the country’s only anti-trafficking hotline.

ETHIOPIA (Tier 2)
Ethiopia is a source country for men, women, and children trafficked primarily for the purpose of forced labor and, to a lesser extent, for commercial sexual exploitation. Rural Ethiopian children and adults are trafficked to urban areas for domestic servitude and, less frequently, for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, such as in street vending, begging, traditional weaving, or agriculture; situations of debt bondage have been reported. Ethiopian women are trafficked transnationally for domestic servitude primarily to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the U.A.E., but also to Bahrain, Djibouti, Kuwait, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. Some of these women are trafficked into the sex trade after arriving at their destinations, while others have been trafficked onward from Lebanon to Turkey, Italy, and Greece. Small numbers of men are trafficked to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States for low-skilled forced labor.

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 the Ethiopian government’s ongoing efforts to provide pre-departure orientation to Ethiopian migrant workers and partner with a local NGO to detect cases of child trafficking within the country are notable, its limited capacity to prosecute these crimes is a continued cause for concern. Police investigators remain unable to properly distinguish trafficking cases from those of other crimes or to conduct solid, well-documented investigations, and the judicial system routinely fails to appropriately track the status of trafficking cases moving through the courts.

Recommendations for Ethiopia: Improve the investigative capacity of police and enhance judicial understanding of trafficking to allow for more convictions of traffickers; institute trafficking awareness training for diplomats posted overseas; partner with local NGOs to increase the level of services available to trafficking victims returning from abroad; and launch a campaign to increase awareness of internal trafficking at the local and regional levels.

Prosecution
While the government sustained its efforts to initiate trafficking investigations during the reporting period, prosecution of cases referred to the prosecutor’s office remained inadequate, with only three specific convictions reported in the last year. In addition, law enforcement entities continued to lack the institutional capacity to separate data on trafficking cases from broader fraud cases. Ethiopia’s Penal Code prohibits all forms of trafficking for labor and sexual exploitation. These statutes prescribe punishments of five to 20 years’ imprisonment, punishments that are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. During the year, the Ministry of Labor (MOLSA) completed its revision of Proclamation 104/98, which governs the work of international employment agencies, in a manner that improves coordination, supervision, and control mechanisms designed to protect Ethiopian migrant workers from fraudulent recruitment and debt bondage situations. In 2007, the Child ProtectionUnit at the central bus terminal reported 694 cases of child trafficking to the police, a decrease over the previous year. Of these, 50 cases were referred to the prosecutor’s office; 30 were subsequently closed for lack of evidence or the escape of defendants and the remaining 20 cases are pending prosecution. Law enforcement data was not reported for areas outside of the capital. Of the 23 child trafficking cases pending prosecution at the end of 2006, 12 were dropped in 2007 and eight remained under investigation; the status of the other three cases was not reported. In regard to justice for trafficked migrant laborers, the Addis Ababa federal high court prosecutor’s office reported 330 trafficking-related cases dating back seven to nine years involving charges such as the illegal sending of Ethiopians abroad, disappearances of migrant workers (abductions), visa fraud, rape, and physical abuse; prosecution of some of these cases is pending. In March 2008, the federal high court sentenced a man to five years’ imprisonment for trafficking more than 40 Ethiopian men to work for a Saudi Arabian construction company, where they were forced to provide unpaid manual labor and experienced physical abuse. In November 2007, the court found a woman guilty of violating Proclamation 104/90 by illegally sending an Ethiopian female to Qatar where she was mistreated and not paid; she was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment and fined $2,630. A third defendant was sentenced in January 2008 to one year’s imprisonment and fined $2,630 for trafficking a female domestic worker to Dubai. A small number of local police and border control agents are believed to accept bribes to overlook trafficking.

Protection
Although the government lacks the resources to provide direct assistance to trafficking victims or to fund NGOs that provide victim care, police employ victim identification and referral procedures in the capital, regularly referring identified victims to NGOs for care. During the year, the Child Protection Units (CPUs)—joint police-NGO identification and referral units operating in each Addis Ababa police station—rescued and referred children to the CPU in the central bus terminal, which is dedicated exclusively to identifying and obtaining care for trafficked children. In 2007, this unit collected information on 694 trafficked children to facilitate their return to their families. It referred 25 children to IOM and 137 to a local NGO for care and family tracing, and assisted another local NGO in the reunification of 161 children with their relatives in Addis Ababa. As a result of an increase in social work personnel, the Addis Ababa Social and Civil Affairs Office—a government entity—reunified an additional 62 children with their families in the capital. Local police and officials in the regional administrations assisted in the repatriation of trafficked children to their home areas. Ethiopian missions in Jeddah, Riyadh, and Beirut have offices that provide services to the local Ethiopian community, including limited engagement and advice on labor-related problems. As a general matter, Ethiopian officials abroad received limited training on recognizing or responding to human trafficking and remained largely uninformed of the issue. Several local NGO service providers have designed and made available re-entry survey tools; however, the government made no effort to interview returned victims about their experiences in the Middle East. Returned women rely heavily on the few NGOs that work with adult victims and psychological services provided by the government’s Emmanuel Mental Health Hospital. In 2007, there were anecdotal reports of returned trafficking victims being detained, jailed, or prosecuted for violations of laws, such as those governing prostitution or immigration.

Prevention
Ethiopia’s efforts to prevent international trafficking increased, while measures to heighten awareness of internal trafficking remained limited. In conjunction with the Ministry of Education and state-controlled Ethiopian Television and Radio Broadcasting systems, IOM produced public service announcements that aired on local television and radio stations in four languages. While the number of in-country legal labor migration employment agencies rose from 36 to 72 between 2005 and 2007, the government significantly tightened its implementation of various labor and employment agency provisions; two employment agencies were suspended and remain under investigation for exploitative labor practices. In previous years, MOLSA subcontracted IOM to provide migrating domestic workers with pre-departure orientation sessions. During the reporting period, MOLSA assumed a leadership role over this awareness programming, employing two full-time counselors to provide pre-departure orientation on the risks of labor migration to 20,256 Ethiopian migrant workers. The Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking met during the reporting period and established four sub-committees on research, information, media, and legal affairs. From April through June 2007, the Task Force provided anti-trafficking capacity training to over 100 justice bureau and regional Supreme Court officials and police across nine regions and two city administrations, including rigorous training on Ethiopia’s May 2005 anti-trafficking penal code revisions. The government did not undertake efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. Before deploying on international peacekeeping missions, Ethiopian soldiers received training on human rights and rules of engagement from a foreign military. Ethiopia has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

FIJI (Tier 3)
Fiji is a source country for children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation and a destination country for a small number of women from the People’s Republic of China (P.R.C.) and India trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. In addition, Fiji boys and girls are victims of commercial sexual exploitation by Fiji citizens, foreign tourists, and sailors on foreign fishing vessels. Local hotels procure underage girls for commercial sexual exploitation by foreign guests. Taxi drivers and occasionally relatives act as facilitators. Some Fiji 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 and it is not making significant efforts to do so. Despite a joint UNICEF and ECPAT report released in December 2006 documenting a problem of children exploited in the commercial sex trade in Fiji, the government has demonstrated no action to investigate or prosecute traffickers, assist victims, or participate in public awareness campaigns to prevent trafficking.

Recommendations for Fiji: Collaborate with civil society and international organizations on combating commercial sexual exploitation of children and training law enforcement officers on victim identification and protection; use Fiji’s laws in place to prosecute, convict, and sentence traffickers and facilitators; develop and institute a formal procedure to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups such as women or children arrested for prostitution; support a visible anti-trafficking awareness campaign directed at clients of children in commercial sexual exploitation; and conduct efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Fiji demonstrated no significant efforts to combat trafficking in persons during the reporting period. The government is limited in its ability to focus on combating trafficking in persons by an ongoing political and economic crisis brought on by the 2006 coup and funding for police, immigration, and other institutions is generally inadequate. 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 other grave crimes, such as rape. The Government of Fiji reported no arrests, prosecutions, or convictions of trafficking offenders during the reporting period. A Combined Law Agencies Group (CLAG) meets monthly to address law enforcement issues, including trafficking in persons. There is no evidence of government officials’ complicity in trafficking.

Protection
The Government of Fiji did not demonstrate any significant efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the last year. The Government of Fiji’s law enforcement, immigration, and social service personnel have no formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom they come in contact, and the government did not identify any trafficking victims during the year. The government has not developed or implemented a process to refer identified victims to institutions that could provide short- or long-term care. Due to severe resource constraints, the government relies on services provided by NGOs or international organizations as needed. The Government of Fiji did not actively encourage victim participation in the law enforcement efforts, as there were no investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenders during the year.

Prevention
The Government of Fiji demonstrated no meaningful efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the year. There were no visible measures undertaken by the government to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts and the government did not support any anti-trafficking information or education campaigns during the reporting period. Fiji laws, including those pertaining to trafficking in persons and sexual assault, apply to Fiji citizens deployed abroad as part of peacekeeping missions. The Republic of Fiji Military Forces provided anti-trafficking training for soldiers in advance of their being deployed abroad on international peacekeeping missions. Fiji has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

FINLAND (Tier 1)
Finland is a transit and destination country for women trafficked from Russia, China, Estonia, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, the Caucasus, Lithuania, Latvia, and Thailand to and through Finland to Sweden and other Western European countries for the purpose of sexual exploitation. During the reporting period, a small number of Russian boys were identified by authorities as trafficking victims while transiting through Finland to Sweden. Finland is a destination country for men and women trafficked from China, India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh for the purpose of forced labor; victims are exploited in the construction industry, restaurants, and as domestic servants.

The Government of Finland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to make appreciable progress over the last year, most notably in its victim assistance and prevention work both domestically and abroad. In April 2007, the government issued its first residency permit to a victim of trafficking; Finland’s Aliens Act was amended in 2006 to allow trafficking victims to remain within the country indefinitely and to qualify for unrestricted employment rights. Finland provided generous funding for NGOs implementing victim assistance and prevention projects in significant source countries totaling nearly $600,000 in 2007.

Recommendations for Finland: Improve gathering of victim assistance statistics, including the number of victims assisted by reception centers on an annual basis; continue training sessions for prosecutors and judges to increase use of section 1899-39 of the penal code; consider creating a formal witness protection program; continue improving victim repatriation efforts through collaboration with source country governments; and designate a single agency to collect anti-trafficking law enforcement data, including the number of investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences given to convicted traffickers.

Prosecution
Finland demonstrated adequate law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Section 1899-39 of Finland’s penal code prohibits all severe forms of trafficking and prescribes seven years’ imprisonment for those convicted, a penalty that is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. Related criminal statutes, such as kidnapping, pimping, and child rape, may also be used to prosecute traffickers. During the reporting period, police conducted 10 trafficking investigations, up from six in 2006. In 2007, 10 traffickers were prosecuted for sex trafficking compared to 10 sex trafficking prosecutions and one labor trafficking prosecution reported in 2006. Three traffickers were convicted in 2007 using non-trafficking statutes, down from 10 convictions in 2006. Two of the three convicted traffickers served some time in prison; one trafficker was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment, one trafficker was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment, and one convicted trafficker was given a suspended sentence and served no time in prison. In October 2007, the government trained 200 law enforcement personnel and prosecutors on trafficking detection and investigation.

Protection
Finland sustained its strong victim assistance efforts over the last year. The government continued to provide direct shelter, rehabilitative assistance, and medical care to victims in addition to providing the majority of funding for anti-trafficking NGOs active in Finland. Nine victims were assisted by government- run assistance centers during the reporting period. The government also funded a series of NGO-operated hotlines for victim assistance and referral. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases and allowed victims to apply for temporary residency; one victim received a residency permit in 2007. Victims identified by government authorities were not inappropriately penalized.

Prevention
Finland continued its strong trafficking prevention efforts both domestically and abroad. In 2007, the government provided $260,000 to UNODC for an anti-trafficking and awareness project in Uzbekistan. The Border Guard and police have formal procedures for victim identification among vulnerable populations such as unaccompanied minors traveling on international flights and immigrant labor in the construction and restaurant industries. State-owned Finnair airline provided all new flight attendants as part of new employee orientation with information on how to identify and report potential trafficking victims, particularly children and unaccompanied minors on international flights; Finnair statistics indicate a consistent refusal to board passengers suspected of trafficking. The government continued its demand reduction campaign targeted at Finns who travel abroad for sex tourism; the government distributed brochures to thousands of visitors at a major annual travel fair warning that sex tourism is a crime. Finland’s law provides for the extraterritorial prosecution of Finnish citizens engaged in child sex tourism, though there were no known cases prosecuted during the reporting period. Authorities monitored immigration patterns and screened for trafficking applicants at ports-ofentry. Finnish troops deployed on international peacekeeping missions received intensive anti-trafficking training; there were no trafficking related cases involving Finnish troops or government personnel deployed overseas in 2007.

FRANCE (Tier 1)
France is a destination country for persons trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Romania, Bulgaria, Nigeria, Cameroon, and other nations in Eastern Europe and Africa are the primary source countries for women trafficked for sexual exploitation, although some South American and Asian women are also trafficked to France. A majority of the estimated 18,000 women in France’s commercial sex trade are likely victims of trafficking. Romania and Bulgaria are the primary source countries for men trafficked to France for sexual exploitation. Involuntary servitude among domestic workers, primarily young women and girls, is also a problem. One NGO reports that there have been instances of such exploitation by diplomats serving in France. There are reports that French Guiana is a destination for women and children trafficked from Brazil for sexual exploitation.

The Government of France fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2007, the French government revised its anti-trafficking law to better prosecute forced labor violations and for the first time, French courts used the country’s long-standing anti-trafficking statute to convict two individuals for sex trafficking crimes. The Government of France also demonstrated progress in its efforts to protect and assist victims, although NGOs expressed some frustration with the victim assistance system.

Recommendation for France: Consider measures to advance the usage of the anti-trafficking statute; take steps to help ensure trafficking victims are not inappropriately penalized solely for unlawful acts as a result of being trafficked; and establish a formal national referral mechanism and procedures for victim identification among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution.

Prosecution
France prohibits trafficking for both sexual and labor exploitation through Article 225 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape—7 years’ imprisonment. In October 2007, France strengthened its anti-trafficking law in an effort to more easily prosecute forced labor traffickers. The National Trafficking in Persons Unit reported that France convicted two individuals for sex trafficking in 2007 for the first time under pimping and anti-trafficking laws. Prosecutors continued to prefer anti-pimping laws to the anti-trafficking law in sex trafficking cases where penalties are equally stringent because prosecutors are accustomed to the established case law of long-standing pimping statutes. France reported 505 pimping arrests and prosecutions in 2006, which is comparable to 2005 data. The government does not disaggregate sentencing data by crime, making it unclear how many of these were trafficking cases. The Ministry of Interior has three teams of police that work with other EU member states to combat trafficking. These teams share information on trafficking cases and train hotel managers and employees on identifying trafficking-related activity. There were no known efforts to apply law enforcement efforts against significant child sex trafficking reported in French Guiana, which is entirely under the administrative control of France.

Protection
The Government of France demonstrated progress in its efforts to protect and assist victims of trafficking in 2007. The Government of France continued to protect and assist victims of trafficking, to include providing NGOs with over $2 million for victim protection services. The government also gives victims a monthly stipend in addition to medical care, legal counsel, shelter, and psychological counseling. NGOs claimed that there is no centralized mechanism to help authorities identify victims and refer them to service providers. There is evidence that victims may be inadvertently penalized for unlawful acts that were committed as a direct result of being trafficked. NGOs reported that women in prostitution are sometimes arrested and fined for solicitation without being screened to determine whether they are trafficking victims. The Government of France provides suspected victims of trafficking with a 30-day reflection period upon admission to a shelter to consider their legal options. In cases where the victim is repatriated to their home country, France works with the country to ensure safety and medical care. To victims of trafficking who work with police to prosecute traffickers, the Government of France provides witness protection services and issues one-year residency cards that can be renewed every six months. NGOs expressed frustration that the government did not waive the fee for the residency permit ($407), renewal fees ($103), and visa validation tax ($177) for trafficking victims. Victims found in small towns do not have the same access to shelters as those found in larger cities. In addition, victims in smaller towns experienced hurdles in managing the victim protection bureaucratic processes with local authorities.

Prevention
France continued to demonstrate efforts to raise awareness and prevent trafficking in persons in 2007. In cooperation with the French Soccer Federation, the Ministry of Health launched a trafficking demand reduction campaign against prostitution at international soccer games. The Ministry of the Interior funded a publicity campaign of anti-trafficking posters. The government operates a national Trafficking in Persons Unit headed by a senior civil servant in the Ministry of Interior. Some NGOs nonetheless believe that a more robust national government body is needed to coordinate comprehensive anti-trafficking efforts. As part of on-going anti-trafficking education efforts, the government sponsored a nationwide conference for enforcement officials, magistrates, and NGOs to discuss how to improve communication and cooperation in protecting victims and preventing trafficking in March 2007. President Chirac raised awareness of human trafficking on the Day to Commemorate Slavery on May 10, 2007. All French military personnel receive training on trafficking during basic training. There is also a three-week training given to French military peacekeepers before their departure on overseas deployment. The French government continues to fund programs through airlines and tourism operators describing the penalties for child sex tourism, including pamphlets given to tourists that show a picture of a child and the message, “she is not merchandise.” The government provides funding for Air France buses traveling to the Paris airports to broadcast a video alerting tourists that French citizens will be prosecuted for sex tourism actions on foreign soil. All tourism students in France must do course work on sex tourism. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs researches indicators of child sex tourism abroad to warn French tourist of child sex tourism sites and monitor sex tourism data.

GABON (Tier 2 Watch List)
Gabon is predominantly a destination country for children trafficked from other African countries 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 primarily trafficked for domestic servitude, forced market vending, forced restaurant labor, and sexual exploitation, while boys are trafficked for forced street hawking and forced labor in small workshops. Increasingly, young men and women are also being trafficked from other African countries, primarily for domestic servitude, but also for sexual exploitation. The majority of victims arrive by boat and are trafficked to Libreville and Port Gentil, though victims are found in smaller towns as well, including Oyem, Gamba, Tchibanga, and Franceville. Reports also indicate that some indigenous Pygmies are employed under slavery-like conditions, without effective recourse in the judicial system.

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. Nevertheless, Gabon is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking over the previous year, particularly in terms of efforts to convict and punish trafficking offenders. Although the Gabonese government arrested and prosecuted trafficking suspects, it has not reported the convictions or sentences of any trafficking offenders.

Recommendations for Gabon: Increase efforts to prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders; increase efforts to rescue victims; develop formal procedures to identify trafficking victims among females in prostitution; ensure the rescued child victims are appropriately protected in government custody; offer formalized legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution; sustain progress toward the complete elimination of the practice of placing victims in jail, even temporarily; and take steps to combat the labor exploitation of Pygmies.

Prosecution
The Government of Gabon demonstrated minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. While it arrested and is currently prosecuting several alleged traffickers, it reported no convictions. Gabon does not have one specific law that prohibits all forms of human trafficking; however, it does have several laws that collectively prohibit all forms of human trafficking. Gabonese law prohibits child labor trafficking through its 2004 Law Preventing and Combating Child Trafficking, which prescribes penalties of five to 15 years’ imprisonment and a $20,000-$40,000 fine. Article 4, Title 1 of Law Number 3/94 criminalizes forced labor, prescribing inadequate penalties of one to six months’ imprisonment and a possible fine of $700-$1,400. The procurement of a minor for the purpose of prostitution is prohibited under Penal Code Article 261, which prescribes a penalty of two to five years’ imprisonment and a fine, a penalty that is sufficiently stringent but not commensurate with punishments prescribed for rape. Forced prostitution is prohibited by law number 21/63-94, which prescribes a penalty of two to 10 years imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape. The government reported arresting 16 female suspected traffickers between February 2007 and January 2008, eight of whom are awaiting trial and three of whom escaped. Five of these suspects were released due to “hardship,” including the need to care for children. The government did not report any trafficking convictions in the last year. Authorities are currently investigating one suspected trafficking case involving a Beninese citizen. Gabon’s effectiveness in prosecuting traffickers is handicapped by slow and inefficient legal procedures. Prosecutions of traffickers charged prior to 2007 have not moved forward. The Ministry of Justice is currently working on a project to assign judges for two year terms to work exclusively on trafficking cases.

Protection
The Government of Gabon demonstrated steady efforts to protect trafficking victims in the last year. Gabon operates three reception centers for destitute children, including trafficking victims, two in Libreville and one in Port Gentil, which provide shelter, medical care, and rehabilitation and reintegration services. One of the centers in Libreville is fully funded by the government, while the other two are financed jointly by the government and private donors. Child victims reside in these centers until arrangements are made for their repatriation, which the government requires be funded by the victims’ employers or guardians. Staff at the centers work with foreign diplomatic missions to repatriate victims. One of these centers provided assistance to 80 trafficking victims and repatriated them using funds confiscated from traffickers. In addition, another center not sponsored by the government reported that it repatriated an additional 80 victims with some logistical assistance from the government. When security forces find trafficking victims, they place those under 16 years of age in government-operated shelters or temporary foster care, while older victims are referred to a Catholic NGO. Pursuant to an arrangement between Gabon and Nigeria, security officials refer Nigerian victims to the Nigerian Embassy in Libreville. Security forces did not employ procedures to identify trafficking victims among individuals in prostitution. Gabon continued to operate its toll free victim hotline in collaboration with UNICEF. The government covered the hotline’s expenses, staffed it with government personnel and housed it in a government-owned building. While in previous years law enforcement officials did not interview victims for evidence at trial, authorities last year solicited victims’ testimony. In previous years, victims were repatriated prior to trial, resulting in stalled prosecutions since cases cannot be prosecuted without victim testimony. The Ministry of Justice works with foreign government agencies to keep foreign victims in Gabon and provide them with care, usually in a government- affiliated facility, until the prosecution makes its case. In February 2008, Gabon sponsored and funded a workshop for government, NGO, and international organization stakeholders to discuss strategies for providing better care to trafficking victims. The government provides de facto temporary residency status as an alternative to removing foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution, and does not deport trafficked children. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked, although on occasion they have been housed in jails overnight, in separate quarters from criminal detainees and not confined to cells.

Prevention
The Government of Gabon continued moderate efforts to raise awareness of trafficking during the last year. The government launched trafficking awareness-raising campaigns targeting communities in cities, towns, and villages outside the capital. Government representatives traveled to these areas to speak to community organizations and gendarmerie units about trafficking and existing laws prohibiting it. The government collaborated with an international NGO and other stakeholders to establish a network of anti-trafficking NGOs. In February 2008, the government and an international NGO released a collection of all laws and regulations concerning child trafficking to foster increased understanding of the problem. Gabon’s Interministerial Committee to Combat Child Trafficking increased its level of activity, meeting weekly in the past year. However, the Committee continues to lack offices and a clearly defined budget. The government did not take steps to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the year.

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, and to a lesser extent boys, are trafficked for sexual exploitation, in particular to meet the demand for European sex tourism, and for domestic servitude. Boys are trafficked within the country for forced begging by religious teachers and for street vending. Transnationally, women, girls and boys from neighboring countries are trafficked to The Gambia for the same purposes listed above. Primary source countries are Senegal, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea and Benin. Trafficking of Gambian boys to Senegal for forced begging and Senegalese boys to The Gambia for the same purpose is particularly prevalent. Gambian women and girls are trafficked to Senegal for domestic servitude, and possibly for sexual exploitation. Gambian women and children may be trafficked to Europe through trafficking schemes disguised as migrant smuggling. Reports in the last two years of Gambian, Senegalese, and nationals of other neighboring countries 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 a second consecutive year for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking over the previous year, particularly with regard to prosecuting traffickers and providing protection to victims. The Gambia’s passage of a comprehensive law against trafficking was a significant achievement. However, overall efforts to combat trafficking over the past year stalled due to the lack of trafficking prosecutions and convictions, the absence of victim rescues, and the inappropriate deportations of child victims of forced begging.

Recommendations for The Gambia: Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; ensure that foreign child victims (almudos) are provided with shelter, rehabilitation, and are safely repatriated as appropriate; train police to screen females in prostitution to identify trafficking victims; develop systems for collecting trafficking crime and victim care data; and adopt the draft national action plan.

Prosecution
The Government of The Gambia demonstrated slightly increased enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the last year through passage of a new anti-trafficking law. The Gambia prohibits all forms of trafficking through its October 2007 Trafficking in Persons Act, which prescribes a penalty of 15 years to life imprisonment for all forms of trafficking. This penalty is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those of other grave crimes, such as rape. The Gambia’s 2005 Children’s Act also prohibits all forms of child trafficking, prescribing a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. The Gambia failed to report any trafficking arrests, prosecutions, or convictions in the past year. Police conducted raids in red light districts to enforce laws against prostitution without attempting to identify trafficking victims among the females found in prostitution. Although The Gambian Tourism Authority (GTA) works with NGOs and other government agencies on child sex tourism cases, no such cases were reported during the year. The Gambia lacks any system for collecting trafficking crime statistics. Officials monitor borders to ensure that traveling children are accompanied by a parent or a guardian with proof of parental consent. They report, however, that the prevalence of false documentation hinders their efforts. A mobile unit of security agents patrols the country’s land and sea borders to monitor illegal immigration and, secondarily, possible trafficking.

Protection
The Gambian government demonstrated weak victim protection efforts during the last year. Although the government has yet to develop systematic procedures for the identification of victims, the police identified and referred some victims on an ad hoc basis to the Department of Social Welfare (DSW). The DSW, in turn, usually refers Gambian victims to NGOs for care, while foreign victims are often brought to their governments’ missions in The Gambia. In February 2008, the Director General of Immigration, however, issued a statement that foreign child victims of forced begging, called almudos, could face deportation as part of a government crackdown on street begging. In late February 2008, The Gambia deported over 60 Senegalese almudos. The government was unable to confirm that the victims were provided with rehabilitation services prior to their deportation. The government operates and funds its own 24-hour shelter for destitute children though no specialized facilities exist there for trafficking victims. The Gambia failed to provide data on how many victims the government referred to NGOs or its own shelter in the last year. The government continued to operate a free anti-trafficking hotline established in 2005, but it received few calls. The 2007 Trafficking in Persons Act encourages victims to assist in investigations and prosecutions by offering them temporary residence visas pending criminal or civil actions. These provisions have not yet been applied, however. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Most victims are not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked, but during the year, child victims of forced begging were punished through their detention by authorities.

Prevention
The Government of The Gambia made minimal efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. The GTA continued to address child sex tourism by promoting its brochure detailing a Code of Conduct for the
Protectionof Children in Tourist areas. The national anti-trafficking task force met only once during the year, in June 2007, at a meeting initiated by a foreign diplomatic mission. In April 2007, DSW hosted a UNICEF-sponsored national conference for government officials and other stakeholders to adopt the national strategic plan of action on orphans and vulnerable children for 2007-2015, which includes the development of policy and a legislative framework to combat child trafficking. During the year, the government—particularly the DSW—worked with NGOs on sensitization programs, though financial constraints usually limited government contributions to the provision of personnel. The government has not yet adopted its 2004 draft national action plan to combat trafficking. The government has taken steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts by raiding brothels.

GEORGIA (Tier 1)
Georgia is a source and transit country for women and girls trafficked primarily within the country and 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, the U.A.E., and Western Europe. Men are trafficked for the purpose of forced labor within the country and to Turkey, Russia, Greece, and the Gulf states. The breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia were outside of the government’s control and remained likely source, destination, and transit areas for trafficking in persons.

The Government of Georgia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government made considerable progress over the past year, particularly in the prosecution and punishment of traffickers, and in the prevention of trafficking.

Recommendation for Georgia: Ensure that proactive victim identification and assistance policies are fully institutionalized and implemented in Georgia.

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 seven to 20 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those for other grave crimes, such as rape. In June 2007, the Parliament of Georgia enacted an amendment to the Criminal Code of Georgia, criminalizing the exploitation of a trafficking victim. In 2007, the government investigated 37 trafficking cases, and authorities prosecuted 16 cases, including four labor trafficking cases involving 18 trafficking offenders, resulting in 18 guilty verdicts. All 18 traffickers convicted in 2007 received a prison term. The average sentence was 13 to 14 years’ imprisonment. All new Georgian police officers must complete basic anti-trafficking training. Specialized, advanced anti-trafficking training is mandatory for all Border Police and Special Operations Department members. There were no reports of trafficking-related complicity of law enforcement personnel from either NGOs or the government.

Protection
Georgia continued to improve overall victim protections over the reporting period, although there were indications that implementation of victim identification and assistance procedures may need improvement. The government allocated $180,000 to the State Fund for Victim Protection and Assistance (SFVPA) in 2007 and pledged to increase funding again by 50 percent in the next year. With this funding, the government funds 70 percent of the operating costs of two trafficking victim shelters and provides victims with free legal and medical assistance. The SFVPA also provides trafficking victims with a $650 victim assistance allowance, regardless of whether the victim cooperates with law enforcement authorities. Foreign victims of human trafficking are afforded full victim assistance benefits under Georgian law, including legal alternatives to removal to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. Trafficking victims and witnesses can also be placed under protection of separate witness protection procedures in accordance with Georgia’s criminal procedure legislation. The government recognized 48 trafficking victims during the reporting period and provided SFVPA assistance services to 12. Although all trafficking victims are eligible to receive SFVPA aid, not all requested government assistance. While the government does not currently provide funding to trafficking NGOs, it maintains a positive working relationship with most of them. There is a formal mechanism for officials to use as a guide for identifying victims and referring them to service providers, and Georgian law prohibits trafficking victims from being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked; however, there were reports that the government unknowingly jailed trafficking victims on immigration violations. Once identified as trafficking victims, two persons were released and repatriated by the government to the victims’ country of origin. Georgian consular services abroad facilitated in repatriating five persons to Georgia during the reporting period.

Prevention
Georgia conducted extensive anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns and outreach activities during the reporting period, including meetings with university students, journalists, and ethnic minority representatives. The Permanent Interagency Anti-Trafficking Coordination Council, led by the head of the Presidential Administration, serves as the coordinating body for all government anti-trafficking efforts and involves representatives from local and international NGOs and embassies. During public meetings and TV and radio shows, the Coordination Council made efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts by highlighting the new proposed legislation criminalizing “clients” who benefit from trafficking victims’ exploitation. The government also broadcast two public service announcements targeting potential victims and “clients” on three television channels during the reporting period. Georgia’s Civil Registry Agency continues to disseminate anti-trafficking brochures with new passports. The Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Informational-Analytical Department maintains a database accessible by all government agencies that stores and organizes trafficking-related information. The Office of the Prosecutor General informs the public, NGOs, and other government agencies about trafficking cases through its quarterly newsletter and an online mailing list. In November and December 2007, IOM and the Prosecutor General’s office provided training for Georgian soldiers prior to their deployment to Iraq to join the Multi-National Forces. The Ministry of Defense includes basic trafficking awareness training for all future international peacekeeping contributions as well.

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, including in the construction industry, in restaurants and ice cream parlors, and as domestic servants. Victims are trafficked primarily from Central and Eastern Europe—including the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, and Russia—and Nigeria to and through Germany to the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries. In 2006—the latest available statistics—23 percent of the victims of commercial sexual exploitation were German nationals trafficked within the country. German nationals traveled to Thailand, Vietnam, and other countries for the purpose of child sex tourism.

The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2007, the government enacted the Victims Compensation Act which now provides trafficking victims with access to psychological counseling and treatment. Germany continued to build on strategies implemented in conjunction with the 2006 Soccer World Cup Championship to raise public awareness and to improve the effectiveness of efforts to combat trafficking. Best practices and lessons learned were shared with EU member states, as well as other countries planning to host large-scale sporting events.

Recommendations for Germany: Explore ways, within the parameters of the German judicial system, to continue to increase the number of convicted traffickers who serve time in prison; take steps to provide more even distribution of funding for victim services among individual states; improve efforts to identify and combat labor trafficking; and consider establishing national trafficking rapporteurs in key regions around the country.

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 for 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 2006, the most recent year for which data is available, police concluded 353 sex trafficking investigations and initiated 78 forced labor investigations, compared to 317 total investigations concluded in 2005. German authorities prosecuted 175 individuals under Section 232, and 18 under Section 233, an increase from 183 prosecutions in 2005. In 2006, 138 traffickers were convicted under Section 232, 11 traffickers were convicted under Section 233, and one under Section 233(a), an increase from 136 convictions in 2005. Of the traffickers convicted in 2006, 33 percent—49 of 150—received prison sentences that were not suspended, a slight improvement from 2005 when only 31 percent—42 of 136 convicted traffickers—received prison sentences that were not suspended. In October 2007, the Family Ministry published guidelines for use by police, prosecutors, judges, and counseling centers to improve victim identification and to better equip them to respond to the special needs of trafficking victims.

Protection
Germany continued to provide adequate victim assistance during the reporting period. In January 2007, the government enacted a new law allowing trafficking victims three years to file civil claims against confiscated trafficking assets; previously, proceeds confiscated from traffickers were returned to the perpetrators three months after their conviction if no claim was filed. The number of victims who applied for and received confiscated trafficking assets in 2006 was unavailable at the time of this report; however, authorities seized assets amounting to nearly $3.4 million in 2006. Authorities identified a total of 858 victims—775 victims of sexual exploitation and 83 victims of labor exploitation— in 2006, up from 642 victims identified in 2005. The government funded 38 NGOs that provided shelter, assistance, and facilitated protection for victims of trafficking. Victims are encouraged to assist law enforcement with trafficking investigations and prosecutions. In August 2007, Germany formally codified the granting of a 30-day reflection period for foreign victims of trafficking who do not have valid immigration status in Germany; 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 demonstrated adequate progress in its trafficking prevention efforts, and it demonstrated its strong commitment to combat child sex tourism during the last year. The government continued to fund a number of NGOs performing public awareness both in Germany and abroad, targeting both potential victims and potential clients of trafficking victims. Public awareness programs included flyer and petition campaigns, radio and television public service announcements, and internet and print media campaigns. Prostitution is legal in Germany; however, the Family Minister said in a public statement in 2007 that the German government does not consider prostitution a suitable form of employment and noted the Ministry’s primary goal is to help individuals get out of prostitution. In 2007, several states continued to fund awareness campaigns targeted specifically at clients to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Germany ensures that all peacekeepers receive trafficking awareness training prior to deployment abroad. German law permits the extraterritorial prosecution of German nationals who travel abroad to engage in child commercial sexual exploitation. The government funded two NGO-implemented domestic campaigns to raise awareness about child sex tourism, targeted at both deterring potential clients and also encouraging German tourists to report suspicious activities to law enforcement. The campaigns included the distribution of flyers to tour operators, briefings for employees in the tourism sector, and an internet website with relevant identification and reporting information. Germany also funded an NGO to implement training courses for 600 law enforcement and migration officers in Guatemala to assist in the recognition of sexual exploitation of children in tourism. Since 2006, German law enforcement has increased cooperation with officials in Southeast Asia to investigate German sex tourists operating outside of Germany and to facilitate the prosecution of perpetrators both in Germany and in destination countries where the crimes are committed. For example, German citizens were arrested in Cambodia and Thailand for child sex tourism with the assistance of German law enforcement.

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 agriculture and the fishing industry, as porters and for street hawking. The Government of Ghana estimated in 2005 that up to 40,000 children worked as porters, or Kayaye, on Ghana’s streets. Girls are trafficked within the country for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Local and international NGO reports in the past year indicate that child prostitution within the country is widespread and increasing. There were also reports that some boys are trafficked internally for prostitution. Liberian refugee children and women in Ghana are also trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation. Media and NGO reports in the last year indicated that tourist locations in Ghana are increasingly becoming destinations for sex tourists. Transnationally, children are trafficked to and from other West African countries, primarily Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Nigeria, and The Gambia, for the same purposes listed above. 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. The Ghanian government recently established a Human Trafficking Board, which has begun drafting a national action plan to combat trafficking. Overall victim assistance efforts have declined over the past two years, however, particularly with respect to sex trafficking victims. While Ghana took some law enforcement steps to address sex trafficking through police raids in the last year, there were limited investigations and prosecutions, and no convictions of perpetrators of this crime during the reporting year.

Recommendations for Ghana: Strengthen overall efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers; investigate and close down brothels selling children in prostitution and prosecute brothel operators; suspend government officials accused of complicity from their official duties until they can be prosecuted or cleared of allegations; develop a system for providing secure care for rescued sex trafficking victims; create increased overall shelter space for trafficking victims; train government social workers to identify trafficking victims among girls and women in prostitution; increase coordination between police and government social workers in conducting trafficking raids and rescues; and fulfill commitments to the international community to work with private cocoa companies to survey 50 percent of all cocoa producing regions to measure the incidence of worst forms of child labor and forced adult labor by July 2008.

Prosecution
The Government of Ghana demonstrated modest efforts to combat trafficking through 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 for all forms of trafficking. This penalty is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape. The government reported nine trafficking arrests, all of which are in various stages of prosecution. There were no reported convictions or punishments of trafficking offenders. Currently, Ghana’s Criminal Investigations Department (CID) is collaborating with Ivorian authorities on a joint cross-border anti-trafficking operation. In November 2007, the CID conducted an operation against a trafficking ring, rescuing 17 female sex trafficking victims, one of whom was a minor. The victims were being trafficked through Ghana from Nigeria en route to Europe. The CID arrested the suspects; they were eventually released on bail. The suspects are awaiting trial. Corruption among law enforcement officials is an obstacle to effective anti-trafficking measures in Ghana. During the year an undercover journalist videotaped Ghanaian immigration officials accepting bribes to facilitate the trafficking of Nigerians victims to Europe. However, the official implicated is still employed by Ghana Immigration Services (GIS), but was transferred to a position outside Accra. The GIS is conducting an internal investigation into the case. In January 2008, the CID conducted a raid on a cluster of brothels prostituting minors, which together are called the Soldier Bar. Police detained approximately 78 male clients and three bar employees. These criminal suspects were released after several hours, in part because the CID lacks facilities to accommodate such a large number of people. None of the detainees was charged. Prior to the raid, an undercover investigative journalist hid a camera in the bar, capturing footage of children being prostituted at the bar. The Parliamentary Caucus on Population warned the bar’s caretaker after the raid that it was considering closing down or demolishing the establishment. The caretaker subsequently razed the brothel himself. The caretaker, who has not been investigated or charged for facilitating child sex trafficking, alleges that the bar’s owner, who was out of the country during the raid, remains in Canada.

Protection
The Ghanaian government demonstrated limited efforts to protect trafficking victims. The government continued to provide personnel and utilities to its Madina shelter, which is funded primarily by IOM to provide care to child victims of trafficking in the fishing industry. The government also operates two homes in Accra for destitute children, some of whom are trafficking victims. The homes, however, suffer from lack of resources and are stretched beyond capacity. Ghana lacks shelters for sex trafficking victims and Ghanaian officials displayed very poor procedures for referring victims to service providers during the reporting period. The police employ no systematic procedures for identifying trafficking victims and referring them to government or NGO care facilities. When border officials find victims, they sometimes try to locate homes in border villages where the victims can stay until their families are found. In November 2007, Ghanaian officials rescued 17 Nigerian female sex trafficking victims but due to lack of better accommodation, placed them in a jail until they could be handed over to Nigerian officials. At the end of October 2007, an investigative journalist reported that child sex trafficking was occurring at the Soldier Bar in Accra. In January 2008, the CID raided the brothel and rescued an estimated 160 women and children, approximately 60 of whom police determined were minors. The Department of Social Welfare and the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs assumed custody of the 60 minor girls and transported them to a shelter on the night of the raid. Due to lack of adequate facilities and security measures to care for or protect the victims, some of the women and minor girls rescued subsequently left the facility. Ghana does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Victims are not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Ghana continued to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. The government launched several campaigns to educate the public about the 2005 law against trafficking. The Human Trafficking Board and the Human Trafficking Fund mandated by the 2005 law were established in July 2007. The Board, which is composed of government agencies, international organizations and NGOs, has begun drafting a national action plan against trafficking. The government continued to work with private cocoa companies to collect data to measure the incidence of the worst forms of child labor and forced adult labor in the cocoa sector. Ghana took modest measures to reduce demand for commercial sex acts by conducting raids on two brothels exploiting trafficking victims. The government did not take measures to ensure that its nationals who are deployed abroad as part of peacekeeping missions do not engage in or facilitate trafficking.

GREECE (Tier 2)
Greece is a destination and transit country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women are trafficked from Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Africa for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Source countries over the reporting period include Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine, Albania, Nigeria, and Sudan. Some Albanian men are trafficked to Greece for forced labor. Most children trafficked from Albania to Greece are subjected to forced labor, including forced begging and petty crimes; some are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Reportedly, trafficking of Nigerian victims for the purposes of sexual exploitation continued to increase and some victims were forced to marry traffickers or their associates to “legalize” their status in the country.

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. While Greece continued to fund prevention programs in source countries, co-sponsor anti-trafficking training, and provide for domestic shelters in Greece, long-standing recommendations in previous reports concerning victim identification, victim protection, and punishment for traffickers remain unaddressed. Greece has yet to ratify a 2004 child repatriation agreement negotiated with Albania, shelters remain underutilized, and convicted traffickers are not serving imposed sentences. Inadequate protection of both identified and potential trafficking victims remain serious concerns.

Recommendations for Greece: Continue collaboration with NGOs in victim identification; ensure better protection for children who are victims of trafficking, including ratification of the agreement with Albania; proactively investigate and prosecute as appropriate reports of law enforcement officials’ complicity in trafficking; ensure traffickers serve time in prison, deterring exploitation of additional victims in Greece; ensure witnesses are provided with adequate protection and assistance throughout the investigation; and ensure prosecution of their traffickers.

Prosecution
The Government of Greece’s law enforcement efforts decreased in 2007, although authorities reportedly initiated 48 trafficking prosecutions. Greek law 3064, adopted in 2002, prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor, and prescribes imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine of $13,000 to $65,000. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes. Law enforcement arrests decreased from 206 in 2006 to 121 in 2007, and investigations decreased from 70 to 41 in the same year. The government did not provide specific data on the number of traffickers convicted during this reporting period. The government’s record on punishing convicted traffickers remained unclear. Many NGOs report that convicted traffickers who face lengthy prisons sentences are granted bail pending appeals of their convictions. The government did report that in February 2007, a court in Athens sentenced a Nigerian defendant to 19 years’ imprisonment and denied his request for bail pending appeal. The government has not provided information concerning whether any other traffickers convicted under the 2002 law are serving time in prison. The government co-sponsored an IOM training seminar aimed at assisting prosecutors in applying protections guaranteed to victims in November 2007 and included anti-trafficking as part of its training to its nationals prior to deployment on peacekeeping missions abroad. Despite continued reports of law enforcement officials facilitating trafficking, the government failed to demonstrate adequate investigations or prosecutions of these officials. NGOs and media reports indicate that some local police take bribes or accept sex services from traffickers, patronize establishments implicated in trafficking, or ignore the problem. NGOs and journalists reported that some Greek consular officials abroad facilitate trafficking by willingly granting visas to foreign trafficking victims. Police and NGOs reported that the majority of identified victims in 2007 held legal visas, and NGOs report that in most cases, the visas were expedited by traffickers and issued without personal interviews. The government is investigating two specific consular cases that occurred during the reporting period, but has not provided information about the results of these investigations. Three police officers, two of them senior, charged with trafficking complicity in 2005 have still not been brought to trial. According to Amnesty International, in April 2006, the Greek government charged two officers and a guard with raping a Bulgarian trafficking victim after the apprehension of her traffickers.

Protection
The Government of Greece did not demonstrate significant tangible progress in protecting trafficking victims, though it continued to co-sponsor seminars on the topic and there was some progress in working with NGOs on victim identification. In 2007, only 35 trafficking victims received assistance from the government, 17 of which received full victim status via official recognition by the trafficking prosecutor. The government increased the number of victims identified from 83 in 2006 to 100 in 2007, though this is still less than the 137 victims identified in 2005. IOM reported the repatriation of 15 victims; however, the government did not facilitate the responsible return, nor did it provide assistance to the remaining 50 victims. Some NGOs, including Amnesty International and the Greek Helsinki Monitor, cite ongoing legal and practical shortcomings in the government’s process of identifying and protecting trafficking victims, including concerns that victims of trafficking were required to testify against their traffickers before being given protection. In 2007, the government reported 35 victims assisted in the prosecution of their traffickers. NGOs providing informal assistance to victims who served as prosecution witnesses report that these victims would not testify without the NGOs’ support; the NGOs also report that some identified and sheltered victims are subjected to threats from their traffickers. There are continued reports that many victims remain unidentified and incarcerated in detention centers, and ultimately subject to deportation charges. During 2007, the government renewed 63 residence permits for trafficking victims. In 2007, for the first time, Greek police notified NGOs before conducting raids on locations with suspected trafficking victims, and NGOs facilitated identification and referral for the women to appropriate services. The government also added one NGO to its 2005 Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC). These were positive developments. However, there continued to be a significant gap between the overall number of victims identified and those who receive full victim status. There have been multiple inquires from international donors and the Albanian government regarding the 2004 agreement drafted by the Greek and Albanian government and covering the repatriation of Albanian child trafficking victims from Greece; however, the Greek government still has not ratified the agreement. The government has not provided concrete evidence that it is respecting the guidelines for the safe return of these Albanian child victims. Some NGOs allege that only a few of the children deported to Albania are actually returned to their families, and claim that many are imprisoned in Albania only to be re-trafficked to Greece later. The government has no special protections in place for child victims of trafficking; they are sheltered in orphanages or in a separate section of an adult detention center or other institutions.

Prevention
The Government of Greece sustained previous prevention efforts in 2007. The government continued to support NGOs in source countries that conduct trafficking prevention work. However, due to elections and a subsequent reorganization of a new government, Greece suspended formal inter-ministerial cooperation on trafficking for nine months of 2007. The government in 2007 failed to conduct any awareness campaigns to reduce domestic demand for commercial sex acts offered in Greece’s legal sex trade; nor did it take any steps to prevent child sex tourism of its nationals traveling abroad. 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 commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Human trafficking is a significant and growing problem in the country. A nascent child sex tourism problem in certain tourist areas has been reported by NGOs. Guatemalan women and children are trafficked within the country, and primarily to Mexico and the United States, for commercial sexual exploitation. Guatemalan men, women, and children are trafficked within the country, as well as to Mexico and the United States, for forced labor. In the Mexican border area, Guatemalan children are exploited for forced labor and begging; Guatemalan men and women are exploited for labor in 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. Guatemala is a destination country for victims from El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, who are subject to commercial sexual exploitation, and a transit point for Central Americans trafficked to Mexico and the United States.

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 nonetheless 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 with respect to ensuring that trafficking offenders are appropriately prosecuted, and for their crimes.

Recommendations for Guatemala: Enact legislative reforms or take other measures necessary to ensure that trafficking offenses can be successfully prosecuted in court; increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders under existing laws, including public officials complicit with trafficking activity; improve victim services; provide foreign trafficking victims with a legal alternative to removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution; increase anti-trafficking training for judges and police; and dedicate more resources to anti-trafficking efforts.

Prosecution
The government sustained limited efforts against trafficking offenders during the reporting period. While prosecutors initiated trafficking prosecutions, they continued to face problems in court with application of Guatemala’s comprehensive anti-trafficking law, Article 194 of the Penal Code. This statutory provision was amended in 2005 to expand the definition of trafficking and to prescribe six to 12 years’ imprisonment, a punishment sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes, such as rape. Trafficking-related crimes include “corruption of minors,” which prescribes penalties of two to six years’ imprisonment, and “pandering” or “procuring,” which are punishable with fines rather than imprisonment. Judges continued to dismiss charges under Article 194 in favor of more familiar but less serious offenses, such as pandering, which carry penalties that are inadequate to deter trafficking crimes. Efforts to reform the anti-trafficking law must address these judicial concerns to ensure that traffickers are convicted under appropriate charges and serve serious sentences. During the reporting period, the government prosecuted eight defendants on trafficking-related offenses carrying lower penalties, securing commutable sentences ranging from three to four years in prison. No efforts to prosecute government officials complicit in trafficking have been reported. In November 2007, the attorney general’s office formed a dedicated 12-person unit to investigate and prosecute human trafficking and illegal adoption cases. Credible reports from NGOs and international organizations indicate that corrupt public officials impeded law enforcement efforts and facilitated human trafficking by ignoring trafficking activity in brothels and commercial sex sites, leaking information about impending police raids to suspected traffickers, accepting or extorting bribes, sexually exploiting minors, and falsifying identity documents. Increased prosecutions of corrupt officials and expanded anti-trafficking training for police and prosecutors, particularly relating to distinctions between alien smuggling and human trafficking offenses, would strengthen the government’s law enforcement efforts. Additional training to assist judges in recognizing trafficking crimes and treating victims with sensitivity would also bolster the government’s efforts.

Protection
The government made modest improvements to its protection efforts, but assistance remained inadequate overall during the reporting period. The government provides limited assistance dedicated to trafficking victims, and relies on NGOs and international organizations to provide the bulk of victim services. Child victims are eligible for basic care at seven government-run shelters, but were usually referred to NGOs such as Casa Alianza for specific trafficking victim assistance. Services for adult victims remain virtually non-existent. In December 2007, the government opened a migrants’ shelter in Guatemala City with separate space for foreign trafficking victims. This marks an improvement from previous years when foreign victims were simply detained before deportation. The government also instituted a protocol for repatriating foreign minors to their families. Guatemalan authorities encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, but many victims were reluctant to do so, due to fear of violence and reprisals. Strengthening the existing witness protection program and providing witness support during court proceedings would assist the government’s prosecutorial efforts. Foreign adult victims were not provided legal alternatives to removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution; in most cases, such victims were promptly deported. Due to resource constraints and the volume of migrants in the country, some aliens were simply left at the border. The government continued use of proactive police techniques such as raids and surveillance operations to rescue victims from trafficking situations. During the reporting period, the government instituted a formal mechanism for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as prostituted women in brothels, and developed instructions for attending to sex-crime victims, which include specific provisions on how to identify and assist trafficking victims. The government trained consular officials on recognizing and assisting Guatemalans trafficked abroad.

Prevention
The government increased efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. In September 2007, the government launched a new call center to provide information about the dangers of human trafficking, and to refer victims for assistance. The government also continued nationwide public awareness campaigns to warn citizens of the dangers of trafficking, featuring posters, brochures, radio broadcasts, and bus advertising. The government conducted sensitization workshops for parents in rural areas, reaching more than 400 persons. In October 2007, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a regional seminar on developing model anti-trafficking legislation in Latin America. An informal interagency anti-trafficking working group was formalized into a government commission, and a 10-year national action plan to combat human trafficking was adopted. A nationwide public awareness campaign launched in 2006 included efforts to reduce demand for commercial sexual acts.

GUINEA (Tier 2 Watch List)
Guinea is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. The majority of victims are children, and internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking. Within the country, girls are trafficked primarily for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation, while boys are trafficked for forced agricultural labor, and as forced beggars, street vendors, shoe shiners, and laborers in gold and diamond mines. Some Guinean men are also trafficked for agricultural labor within Guinea. Transnationally, girls from Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Guinea-Bissau are trafficked to Guinea for domestic servitude and likely also for sexual exploitation. Guinean women and girls are trafficked to Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Greece, and Spain for domestic servitude and sexual exploitation. Chinese women are trafficked to Guinea for commercial sexual exploitation by Chinese men living in Guinea. Networks also traffic women from Nigeria, India, and Greece through Guinea to 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. Nevertheless, Guinea is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to eliminate trafficking over the previous year. Guinea demonstrated minimal law enforcement efforts for a second year in a row, while protection efforts diminished over last year.


Recommendations for Guinea: increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict traffickers; toughen prescribed penalties for child and forced prostitution; develop a system for screening vulnerable populations, such as destitute children and females in prostitution, to identify trafficking victims; end the practice of placing victims in jails in lieu of accommodation in shelters; and include investigation of child domestic servitude in the Police Mondaine’s mandate.

Prosecution
The Government of Guinea demonstrated minimal law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during 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 that are sufficiently stringent. Forced prostitution and child prostitution are criminalized by Article 329 of its Penal Code, which prescribes 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 neither sufficiently stringent nor commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. The government reported 12 trafficking prosecutions in the last year. Several suspected traffickers were arrested, although their cases were later dismissed. The government did not report any convictions. The Police Mondaine, a vice-squad unit combating child prostitution, trafficking, and other abuses, did not investigate child domestic servitude, a prevalent form of trafficking in Guinea. In August 2007, border officials arrested four Sierra Leonean women suspected of trafficking 10 children into Sierra Leone. Guinean officials in Conakry, however, later released the four suspects, along with the children, into the custody of the Sierra Leonean Embassy in Conakry, and then dismissed the case. Guinean police continued to work with French authorities on an ongoing investigation of two women suspected of trafficking children from Guinea to France, but little progress has been made on the case.

Protection
The Government of Guinea demonstrated weak efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. Due to a lack of resources, the government does not provide shelter services for trafficking victims, but instead refers victims to NGOs and international organizations for care. The government estimated that it referred at least 30 child victims of trafficking for assistance. In cooperation with NGOs and international organizations, the government also provided limited assistance to victims who are repatriated nationals, especially children. Government assistance services included family identification, enrollment in schools or apprenticeships, job placement, and referrals to NGOs for specialized assistance. The Ministry of Social Affairs, through its Children at Risk division, continued to provide assistance to a few hundred children, some of whom are likely trafficking victims. Guinea lacks any system for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as destitute children or women in prostitution. In August 2007, the government intercepted 10 children suspected of being trafficked to Sierra Leone from Guinea, and placed them in an orphanage. In January 2008, the government transferred the children to the Sierra Leonean Embassy in Conakry; a Sierra Leonean diplomat later reported that the children had been returned to their families in Sierra Leone. During the year, the government estimates that it assisted at least 30 child trafficking victims to reunite with their families. The government continued to operate its free hotline for public reporting of trafficking cases or victims, receiving one to three calls weekly. The hotline, however, is staffed by only one individual, and is therefore not a 24-hour service. The government encourages victims to assist in trafficking investigations or prosecutions by interviewing them for testimonial evidence. In addition, the government refers victims to an association of lawyers who volunteer to work on trafficking cases pro bono. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Sometimes, when care alternatives are not available, the government places victims in jail in quarters separated from prisoners, where their victim status is recognized.

Prevention
The Government of Guinea made steady efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. In June 2007, the government funded a $59,000 anti-trafficking radio campaign in Upper Guinea as part of International Children’s Month. Guinea’s Permanent Regional Monitoring System, which was formed as part of the 2005 West Africa multilateral agreement, issued a report in January 2008 detailing government and NGO anti-trafficking activities. The National Committee to Combat Trafficking in Persons failed to release its tri-annual reports on the implementation of the National Action Plan, but did meet during the year to discuss the implementation of its 2005 bilateral agreement with Mali. The government did not take measures to reduce demand for commercial sexual exploitation.

GUINEA-BISSAU (Tier 2 Watch List)
Guinea-Bissau is a source country for children trafficked primarily for forced begging and forced agricultural labor. The majority of victims are boys who are religious students, called talibe, who are trafficked by religious instructors, called marabouts, to other West African countries, primarily Senegal. The eastern cities of Bafata and Gabu are key source areas for talibe, and the most frequented route to Senegal is overland via the porous border, especially near the town of Pirada. Deceived into believing their children will receive a religious education, parents often agree to send their child away with marabouts. However, instead the instructors force the children to beg daily for up to 12 hours in urban centers and physically abuse them if they fail to collect a certain quota of money. All trafficking through and from Guinea- Bissau is overland, reportedly by foot, taxi, bus, or animal-driven carts.

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. Guinea-Bissau is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for its failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year, as evidenced by it continued failure to pass an anti-trafficking law and to prosecute and convict traffickers under related laws. The government continued to protect trafficking victims and to contribute an annual $16,000 donation to the anti-trafficking NGO, AMIC. For the second year in a row, however, Guinea-Bissau demonstrated inadequate efforts to investigate or prosecute trafficking crimes or convict and punish trafficking offenders.

Recommendations for Guinea-Bissau: Draft and pass a law prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons; increase efforts to prosecute traffickers under forced labor and trafficking-related laws; form an inter-ministerial committee on trafficking to coordinate national anti-trafficking efforts; and develop a national action plan to combat trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Guinea-Bissau demonstrated weak anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the last year. Bissau-Guinean law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking. However, forced labor is criminalized. Police do not actively investigate trafficking cases, in part because they lack basic investigatory tools, such as vehicles and electricity. Police detain suspected traffickers they encounter and arrange for the transport of suspects to the police headquarters in Gabu. However, police usually release traffickers rather than charging and prosecuting them. In November 2007, officials took seven suspected traffickers into custody in the northern city of Bafata for allegedly attempting to traffic 17 children by bus from Guinea-Bissau to Senegal for forced labor. Officials failed, however, to provide follow-up information about whether the suspects, six of whom were from Guinea-Bissau and one of whom was Senegalese, were prosecuted or convicted. Also in November 2007, officials detained another group of suspects in Bafata attempting to traffic 52 Bissau-Guinean children between the ages of six and 11. One suspect was apprehended, but later released, while the others escaped. The government failed to report any trafficking prosecutions or convictions. In the last year, the government implemented a new requirement, based on existing child protection laws, that parents who collude with traffickers be jailed. Under this requirement, parents must sign a contract that holds them criminally responsible if their trafficked children have been re-trafficked after having been rescued and returned to parents. The Police, courts, and AMIC work together to explain and enforce this contract requirement. The regional court, in particular, has assumed the responsibility of explaining to parents the exact nature of their legal responsibility for their children. In the last year, one father was jailed for 72 hours after his child had been re-trafficked to Senegal. Authorities released him after he agreed to go to Senegal to bring his child home. A police inspector within the Ministry of Interior has official responsibility for coordinating the nation’s anti-trafficking enforcement response and cooperation with UNICEF, but these efforts are poorly organized.

Protection
The Government of Guinea-Bissau continued solid efforts to provide care for trafficking victims during the year. While the government does not operate victim shelters, it contributed some funding to AMIC, which operates the country’s only trafficking shelter, located in Gabu. AMIC may provide victims with assistance for up to one month before returning them to their parents. Police in Gabu and Bafata continued to refer victims to AMIC and assist in locating victims’ families. The Bissau-Guinean Embassy in Senegal continued to be a leader in providing care to trafficking victims by helping NGOs in Senegal identify and repatriate victims. The embassy used its operating budget to assist trafficking victims and was later reimbursed by its Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The government cooperated with NGOs and international organizations to repatriate 62 children from Senegal in the first half of 2007. In November 2007, police intercepted 69 victims at the border with Senegal. 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 as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Guinea-Bissau made significant efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. The Minister of Interior traveled to key trafficking victim source areas to speak publicly to police about zero tolerance for child trafficking. Guinea-Bissau’s Ambassador to Senegal contributed to regular anti-trafficking radio broadcasts in Gabu to alert parents in Muslim communities to the dangers of sending their children away for Koranic studies. To prevent parents from sending children away, local government officials also worked with NGOs and villagers to teach the Koran locally. One community developed a religious education program after the regular school day. Village elders reported that children from nearby villages attended this evening program instead of traveling long distances, such as going to Senegal, to learn the Koran. However, Guinea-Bissau lacks any high-level coordinated initiative to combat trafficking. Guinea-Bissau has not ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

GUYANA (Tier 2 Watch List)
Guyana is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. While official reports of human trafficking may be limited, most trafficking appears to take place in remote mining camps in the country’s interior. Amerindian girls are trafficked to brothels near the mining camps and to coastal areas for sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. Young Amerindian men are exploited under forced labor conditions in mining and logging camps. Some women and girls trafficked into brothels in the interior are from northern Brazil. Reporting from other nations suggests Guyanese women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation to neighboring countries such as Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, Suriname, Venezuela, and that Guyanese men and boys are subject to labor exploitation in construction and agriculture in these same countries. Trafficking victims from Suriname, Brazil, and Venezuela transit Guyana en route to Caribbean destinations.

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. While the government has undertaken a commendable initiative to increase public awareness of the dangers of human trafficking through a nationwide outreach campaign and advertising of its anti-trafficking hotline, Guyana is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year for failing to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking, particularly in the area of law enforcement actions against trafficking offenders.

Recommendations for Guyana: Increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence trafficking offenders; confront trafficking complicity by public officials; utilize proactive police strategies such as brothel raids to rescue victims from trafficking situations; provide greater victim assistance; and expand anti-trafficking training for police and magistrates.

Prosecution
The Government of Guyana made only limited progress in law enforcement efforts against traffickers over the last year. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking through its comprehensive Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, which became law in 2005, and prescribes punishments ranging from three years’ to life imprisonment, depending on whether the defendant is convicted on summary judgment or indictment. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other grave crimes, such as rape. However, the government has yet to produce an anti-trafficking conviction under this 2005 law. Since June 2007, the government initiated six trafficking investigations, which is level with the number of investigations reported for 2006. There were no government efforts to investigate or address labor trafficking crimes, despite NGO reports of exploitation and abuse in the nation’s mining and timber camps. In October 2007, a female suspect was formally charged with trafficking two teenagers for purposes of sexual exploitation. The defendant was freed on bail, and is scheduled to appear in court in June.
Another trafficking investigation involves allegations against a policeman. Prosecutors addressed five cases which had been languishing in court for years by dismissing them. Prosecutors report that police and magistrates remained unfamiliar with the country’s anti-trafficking law, and cases tried in the capital moved at a slow pace due to judicial backlog; this excessive delay may have discouraged some victims from pursuing their traffickers. Trafficking cases also suffered from a lack of coordination between police, who receive victim complaints and prosecute cases in lower courts, and the Director of Public Prosecutions, which prosecutes more serious matters. Most trafficking prosecutions are handled by untrained police prosecutors, and are routinely adjourned and dismissed. The government also has reported that prosecutions of trafficking offenders may be more difficult in rural and interior areas, where infrequent court sessions and untrained magistrates lead to the dismissal of cases. Technical training would assist the government’s police and prosecutorial efforts. The Guyanese government in February committed to a British-led reform project that addresses some of these skill gaps. Use of proactive police techniques and unannounced inspections of labor camps in the nation’s interior also would very likely lead to greater results and more victim rescues. In July 2007, the government added human trafficking to its list of most serious crimes, but the effect of this pronouncement on the handling of trafficking cases is unclear. There is reliable evidence of public complicity in trafficking by lower-level officials. A corruption-related charge filed against a police officer in 2006 was dismissed in May 2007 for want of prosecution.

Protection
The Government of Guyana sustained a modest level of victim assistance during the reporting period. The government operates no shelters for trafficking victims, but it included limited funding for anti-trafficking NGOs in its 2008 budget. These NGOs provide shelter, counseling, and medical assistance for victims of abuse, including trafficking victims, but are limited to coverage in the nation’s capital. The government also provides medical attention and funding for the repatriation of foreign trafficking victims. Government officials have worked with IOM on victim identification, and additional anti-trafficking training would assist the government’s efforts, particularly with respect to identifying minors in prostitution as trafficking victims. There were no reports of victims being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Guyanese authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, but some victims did not testify due to long delays in the judicial system and for fear of reprisal from their traffickers. The Guyanese government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government increased prevention efforts during the reporting period. Senior government officials publicly condemned human trafficking, and the government conducted a widespread educational and awareness-raising campaign, which reached more than 50 communities and 5,000 citizens across the country. The government also established an interagency anti-trafficking task force, and increased advertising for an anti-trafficking call line to assist potential victims. It did not, however, carry out any efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period.

 


1 The text "investigate reports of slavery in the Northern Province" was removed on June 16, 2008, due to insufficient evidence that practices in the Northern Province can accurately be characterized as “slavery.” return



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