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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Country Narratives: Countries A Through F


Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Report
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AFGHANISTAN (Tier 2 Watch List)

Afghanistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Trafficking within Afghanistan is more prevalent than transnational trafficking, and the majority of victims are children. Afghan boys and girls are trafficked within the country for forced prostitution and forced labor in brick kilns, carpet-making factories, and domestic service. Forced begging is a growing problem in Afghanistan; Mafia groups organize professional begging rings. Afghan boys are subjected to forced prostitution and forced labor in the drug smuggling industry in Pakistan and Iran. Afghan women and girls are subjected to forced prostitution, forced marriages—including through forced marriages in which husbands force their wives into prostitution—and involuntary domestic servitude in Pakistan and Iran, and possibly India. NGOs report that over the past year, increasing numbers of boys were trafficked internally. Some families knowingly sell their children for forced prostitution, including for bacha baazi – where wealthy men use harems of young boys for social and sexual entertainment. Other families send their children with brokers to gain employment. Many of these children end up in forced labor, particularly in Pakistani carpet factories. NGOs indicate that families sometimes make cost-benefit analyses regarding how much debt they can incur based on their tradable family members.

Afghan men are subjected to forced labor and debt bondage in the agriculture and construction sectors in Iran, Pakistan, Greece, the Gulf States, and possibly Southeast Asian countries. Under the pretense of high-paying employment opportunities, traffickers lure foreign workers to Afghanistan, and lure Afghan villagers to Afghan cities or India or Pakistan, then sometimes subject them to forced labor or forced prostitution at the destination. At the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010, an increasing number of male migrants from Sri Lanka, Nepal, and India who migrated willingly to Afghanistan were then subjected to forced labor.

Women and girls from Iran, Tajikistan, and possibly Uganda and China are forced into prostitution in Afghanistan. Some international security contractors may have been involved in the sex trafficking of these women. Brothels and prostitution rings are sometimes run by foreigners, sometimes with links to larger criminal networks. Tajik women are also believed to be trafficked through Afghanistan to other countries for prostitution. Trafficked Iranian women transit Afghanistan en route to Pakistan.

The United Nations reported that children were associated with the Afghan National Police (ANP) during the year. The government is taking measures to improve the age verification systems of the ANP. Children from ages 12 to 16 years are used as suicide bombers by the Taliban. Some children have been tricked or forced to become suicide bombers. Others are heavily indoctrinated or are not aware that they are carrying explosives that are then set off remotely without their knowledge. Some child soldiers used by insurgent groups were sexually exploited. Boys are sometimes promised enrollment in Islamic schools in Pakistan and Iran, but instead are trafficked to camps for paramilitary training by extremist groups.

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. Despite these efforts, such as the continued referral of identified trafficking victims to care facilities, the government did not show evidence of increasing efforts over the previous year. Specifically, the Afghan government did not prosecute or convict trafficking offenders under its 2008 law, and punished victims of sex trafficking with imprisonment for adultery or prostitution. Afghanistan is therefore placed on Tier 2 Watch List.

Recommendations for Afghanistan: Increase law enforcement activities against trafficking using the 2008 anti-trafficking law, including prosecutions, convictions, and imprisonment for acts of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor, including debt bondage; ensure that victims of trafficking are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as prostitution or adultery; ensure that government actors no longer conflate the crimes of kidnapping, human trafficking, and human smuggling; collaborate with NGOs to ensure that all children, including boys, victimized by sex and labor trafficking receive protective services; and undertake initiatives to prevent trafficking, such as continuing a public awareness campaign to warn at-risk populations of the dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Afghanistan made no discernible anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts over the reporting period. Afghanistan’s Law Countering Abduction and Human Trafficking (2008) prescribes penalties of life imprisonment for sex trafficking and “maximum term” imprisonment for labor trafficking, which in practice is between eight and 15 years. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. However, the Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVA W) law, enacted in July 2009, supersedes other laws and can be used to decrease the penalties outlined in Afghanistan’s anti-trafficking law. The prescribed penalty for an offender who abducts a victim and subjects him or her to forced labor is short-term imprisonment not to exceed six months, and a fine, and the prescribed penalty for an offender who forces an adult female into prostitution is at least seven years. The National Directorate of Security (NDS) has investigated 16 cases of suspected human trafficking crimes and sent them to court for potential prosecution. The Ministry of Interior (MOI ) arrested 24 offenders in 19 alleged cases of human trafficking during the reporting period. Since the government of Afghanistan confuses trafficking with smuggling and abductions, it is not clear whether all of these prosecutions and arrests were for trafficking. The government did not report whether the arrests, investigations, and prosecutions were under the countertrafficking law. The Afghanistan government did not provide information on human trafficking convictions. The government reported difficulty engaging Pakistani authorities for joint investigation of transnational trafficking cases. There was no evidence that the government made any efforts to investigate, arrest, or prosecute government officials facilitating trafficking offenses despite reports of national and border police and workers in government-run orphanages who facilitated trafficking or raped sex trafficking victims. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and a foreign government provided separate trainings to police, prosecutors, judges, and other government officials, which included components on identifying victims of trafficking and distinguishing trafficking and smuggling cases.

Protection
The Government of Afghanistan made minimal progress in protecting victims of trafficking. Afghanistan did not have a formal procedure to identify victims of trafficking. The MOI identified 360 victims of sex trafficking— including 44 women, 211 men, 13 girls, and 70 boys. The MOI released 338 of these victims to return home, but did not provide data on whether it ensured their safe return and reintegration. The remaining 22 victims were unaccounted for. The government continued to run two referral centers in Parwan and Jalalabad. Under a formalized referral agreement established in late 2007, Afghan police continued to refer women victimized by violence to the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA), UNIFEM, IOM, and NGOs. The government lacked resources to provide victims with protective services directly; NGOs operated the country’s shelters and provided the vast majority of victim assistance, but some faced hardships due to threats from the local community, particularly when assisting in cases that involved perceived “honor” crimes, such as rape. One NGO-run shelter in Kabul is specifically for trafficking victims. Some NGOs running care facilities for trafficking victims reported generally adequate coordination with government officials. The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled (MOLSAMD) provided some job training to street children and children in care facilities, and MOWA provided free legal services to victims of violence; it is unclear how many people served were victims of trafficking. There are no facilities in Afghanistan to provide shelter or specific protective services to male trafficking victims, although an NGO-run shelter for boy victims will open in 2010. During the reporting period, some trafficked boys were placed in government-run orphanages and a facility for juvenile criminals while their cases were being investigated, while adult men are kept in detention centers during investigation. Living conditions in government-run orphanages are extremely poor and some corrupt officials may have sexually abused children and forced them into prostitution. The anti-trafficking law permits foreign victims to remain in Afghanistan for at least six months; there were no reports of foreign victims making use of this provision of immigration relief.

Serious concerns remain regarding government officials who punish victims of trafficking for acts they may have committed as a direct result of being trafficked. In some cases, trafficking victims were jailed pending resolution of their legal cases, despite their recognized victim status. Female trafficking victims continued to be arrested and imprisoned or otherwise punished for prostitution and fleeing forced marriages for trafficking purposes. In some cases, women who fled their homes to escape these types of forced marriages reported being raped by police or treated by police as criminals simply for not being chaperoned. Victimized women who could not find place in a shelter often ended up in prison; some women chose to go to prison for protection from male family members. There is no evidence that the government encouraged victims to assist in investigations of their traffickers during the reporting period. Attempts to seek redress are impeded in part because an Afghan victim would be in grave danger for simply identifying his or her assailant.

Prevention
During the reporting period, the Government of Afghanistan made no discernible progress in preventing human trafficking. The MOWA Initiative to Strengthen Policy and Advocacy through Communications and Institution Building launched and partially funded a public information campaign with foreign donor support. The campaign was comprised of billboards, radio spots, and a short radio drama series on trafficking, and targeted all 34 provinces. Monitoring reports confirmed increased awareness of trafficking issues. The ANP worked to improve its age verification procedures in order to eliminate child soldiers from its ranks. While the government issued some birth certificates and marriage certificates, many citizens in rural areas do not request or obtain these documents; fewer than ten percent of children are registered at birth. The government did not take steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor during the reporting period. In December 2009, the Monitoring, Reporting and Response Steering Committee was formed to write an action plan for the government’s work with UN Task Forces on Trafficking and Children in Armed Conflict; this action plan has not been completed to date. Afghanistan is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

ALBANIA (Tier 2)

Albania is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor, including the forced begging of children. Albanian victims are subjected to conditions of forced labor and sex trafficking within Albania and Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Western Europe. Approximately half of the victims referred for care within the country in 2009 were Albanian; these were primarily women and girls subjected to conditions of forced prostitution in hotels and private residences in Tirana, Durres, and Vlora. Children were primarily exploited for begging and other forms of forced labor. There is evidence that Albanian men have been subjected to conditions of forced labor in the agricultural sector of Greece and other neighboring countries.

The Government of Albania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to improve its capacity to identify, protect, and reintegrate trafficking victims. It also successfully prosecuted some sex trafficking offenders, leading to significant penalties imposed on them during the reporting period. In March 2009, the government approved an amendment to the Social Assistance law which will provide victims of trafficking with the same social benefits accorded to other at- risk groups in Albania and provide government funding for shelters. The government continues to track and analyze trafficking trends through a nationwide database. Government officials have increased public attention to trafficking in Albania. There were serious concerns, however, about protection for victims who testified against their traffickers. The government did not vigorously prosecute labor trafficking offenders and did not adequately address trafficking-related complicity. Lack of political will and cooperation in some key government agencies hampered the government’s overall ability to vigorously prosecute all forms of trafficking.

Recommendations for Albania: Ensure proactive identification of persons exploited within Albania’s sex trade and labor sectors, and intensify partnerships with NGOs to increase detection and referral of all trafficking victims; improve the safety of victims who cooperate as court witnesses by more vigorously implementing the witness protection law for such victims and follow through on plans to create a victim-witness advocate within the Prosecutor General’s office; consider establishing a general fund for victim protection and reintegration using assets seized by the Serious Crimes Court from convicted trafficking offenders; finalize the draft law that provides reintegration assistance to victims after they leave a shelter and assistance to shelters; improve identification, protection and specialized services for child trafficking victims; aggressively prosecute labor trafficking offenders and law enforcement officials who are complicit in human trafficking; and continue to improve data collection and analysis efforts in tracking investigations, prosecutions, and convictions.

Prosecution
The Government of Albania sustained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Albania criminally prohibits sex and labor trafficking through its penal code, which prescribes penalties of 5 to 15 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The State Police and Serious Crimes Prosecution division reported investigating a combined 35 suspected traffickers in 2009. The government prosecuted 31 suspected trafficking offenders in 2009, convicting 11 of them; this contrasts with 26 trafficking offenders convicted in 2008 and seven in 2007. All of the prosecutions and convictions involved sex trafficking of women or children. In 2009, sentences imposed on convicted trafficking offenders ranged from 5 to 16 years’ imprisonment. Pervasive corruption in all levels and sectors of Albanian society seriously hampered the government’s ability to address its human trafficking problem, according to local observers. While there were no prosecutions of trafficking-related complicity initiated, the Supreme Court overturned convictions of traffickers in two cases in 2009, raising concerns regarding the court’s impartiality. In January 2009, the government reported it doubled the number of police investigators to investigate trafficking. The Serious Crimes Court successfully seized and confiscated $268,115 in traffickers’ assets and property in 2009. The government, in partnership with other relevant stakeholders, continued its routine anti-trafficking training for police recruits, in-service police personnel, and other front-line responders in 2009. The government also continued its anti-trafficking training for 200 judges, prosecutors, and judicial police officers.

Protection
The Government of Albania took some steps to improve its efforts to identify and protect victims of trafficking victims in 2009. The government implemented its National Referral Mechanism and conducted meetings with relevant stakeholders to improve its functioning. It identified 94 victims of trafficking in 2009, compared with 108 in 2008. The government’s one shelter assisted 24 victims and NGOs assisted 70 during the reporting period. In 2009, the government provided free professional training to 38 victims, provided 11 with micro-credit loans to start private businesses, and integrated five victims into schools. In January 2010, it approved a draft law to provide social assistance to trafficking victims bridging the time that they leave the shelters until they find employment. NGO-managed shelters continued to rely primarily on international donor funds in order to provide comprehensive services to trafficking victims. The government continued to fund and operate a reception center that housed both victims of trafficking and irregular foreign migrants identified within Albanian territory; however, victims’ freedom of movement is often restricted in this high-security center. The government did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed in connection with their being trafficked and, under law, it offered legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution, though no victims were granted such legal alternatives during the reporting period.

The government encouraged victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders; however, victims often refused to testify, or they changed their testimony as a result of intimidation from traffickers or fear of intimidation. In some cases in 2009, the police offered no protections to trafficking victims when testifying against their traffickers, forcing victims to rely exclusively on NGOs for protection. In 2009, one victim witness received asylum in another country due to ongoing threats from the trafficker to her and her family and concerns that the government could not adequately protect her. The General Prosecutor’s office did not request witness protection for victims of trafficking in 2009.

Prevention
The Government of Albania sustained partnerships with international organizations in order to implement anti-trafficking prevention activities aimed at informing the public and vulnerable groups about trafficking. The National Coordinator’s office continued to manage regional anti-trafficking working groups comprised of relevant stakeholders in 2009. These working groups, however, reportedly do not always include civil society actors and they did not efficiently address trafficking cases brought to their attention. The government continued to fund the national toll-free, 24-hour hotline for victims and potential victims of trafficking. In November 2009, the government passed legislation to improve the registration process for new births and individuals in the Roma community; previous cumbersome procedures rendered unregistered Albanians and ethnic Roma highly vulnerable to trafficking.

ALGERIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Algeria is a transit and, to a lesser extent, destination country for men and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Most commonly, sub-Saharan African men and women enter Algeria voluntarily but illegally, often with the assistance of smugglers, for the purpose of traveling to Europe. Some become victims of trafficking: men may be forced into unskilled labor and women into prostitution to repay smuggling debts. Criminal networks of sub-Saharan nationals in southern Algeria facilitate this irregular migration by arranging transportation, forged documents, and promises of employment. Reliable statistics on the number of potential victims are not available from the government or NGOs. One NGO estimates that the populations most vulnerable to trafficking include between 10,000 and 15,000 illegal sub-Saharan African migrants.

The Government of Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government helped formulate a training program for police, judges, and prosecutors on its counter-trafficking law. Despite these efforts, the government did not show overall progress in punishing trafficking crimes and protecting trafficking victims and continued to lack adequate prevention and protection measures; therefore, Algeria is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year.

Recommendations for Algeria: Proactively implement the new anti-trafficking law by training law enforcement and judicial officials, investigating potential offenses and prosecuting offenders, and establishing necessary legal structures; strengthen the institutional capacity to identify victims of trafficking among illegal migrants; improve services available to trafficking victims, such as shelter, medical, psychological, and legal aid; ensure victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; and undertake a campaign to increase public awareness of trafficking.

Prosecution
The Algerian government made minimal efforts to address human trafficking through investigations, prosecutions, or convictions during the reporting period. Algeria prohibits all forms of trafficking under Section 5 of its criminal code. In March 2009, the government enacted a comprehensive anti-trafficking statute; prescribed penalties range from three to ten years’ imprisonment, which can be increased to 20 years if certain aggravating circumstances are found. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed under Algerian law for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government did not report investigating or prosecuting any trafficking offenses, or convicting or punishing any trafficking offenders during the year. The Ministry of Justice, in seminars on amendments to the criminal code, briefed judges and prosecutors on Algeria’s anti-trafficking law.

Protection
The Government of Algeria made no discernible progress in protecting victims of trafficking over the last year. It did not demonstrate development or use of systematic procedures for the identification of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign women arrested for prostitution or illegal migrants. Victims therefore remained at risk of detention for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked. According to local NGOs, the government did not provide specialized training to government officials in recognizing trafficking or in dealing with victims of trafficking. The government did not provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they faced hardship or retribution. The government did not provide medical, counseling, or legal services to victims, nor did it refer victims to other service providers. However, government-operated health clinics that provide emergency care to crime victims were available for victims of trafficking. There is no formal program to encourage trafficking victims to assist with investigation and prosecution of offenders.

Prevention
The Algerian government made minimal prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government convened regional police chiefs in Algiers for a meeting with foreign officials in February 2010 to develop a long-term training plan on transnational crime, including trafficking in persons. Algeria hosted a meeting in March 2010 of Sahel-region foreign ministers to coordinate joint action against transnational crime, including trafficking in persons. The government did not conduct a public awareness campaign on trafficking in persons. It did not have a formal anti-trafficking policy or a national plan of action to complement its anti-trafficking law.

ANGOLA (Tier 2)

Angola is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution and forced labor. Internally, trafficking victims are forced to labor in agriculture, construction, domestic servitude, and reportedly in artisanal diamond mines. Angolan women and children more often become victims of internal rather than transnational sex trafficking. Women and children are trafficked to South Africa, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Namibia, and European nations, primarily Portugal. Traffickers take boys to Namibia for forced labor in cattle herding. Children are also forced to act as couriers in illegal cross-border trade between Namibia and Angola as part of a scheme to skirt import fees. Illegal migrants from the DRC voluntarily enter Angola’s diamond-mining districts, where some are later reportedly subjected to forced labor or prostitution in the mining camps.

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. The government educated the public about the dangers of trafficking in Angola, amended its constitution to specifically prohibit human trafficking, and maintained its level of funding for anti-trafficking activities despite a significant drop in national revenue and subsequent cuts to its national budget. The government took some proactive steps to prevent human trafficking during an international soccer tournament, identified trafficking victims, trained more counter-trafficking investigators and agents, and increased enforcement at key trafficking border crossings. No trafficking offenders, however, were prosecuted, and services for victims remained minimal.

Recommendations for Angola: Specifically amend the Penal Code to prohibit and punish all forms of trafficking in persons and sufficiently protect victims; continue to increase the capacity of law enforcement officials to identify and protect victims; collect anti-trafficking law enforcement data on offenses, identified victims, and prosecutions to evaluate the effectiveness of anti-trafficking activities; provide support for the establishment and maintenance of new shelters and other care facilities for trafficking victims; follow through on promising prevention efforts which create opportunities to identify victims and investigate trafficking offenders; and develop and implement procedures for the identification of trafficking victims and their referral to providers of victims’ services.

Prosecution
The Government of Angola provided no evidence of an increase in its anti- trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Angola does not have a law that specifically prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons, though the new constitution promulgated on February 5, 2010 prohibits the trafficking in humans and organs. The Penal Code has not yet been amended to reflect these provisions in a way which would allow officials to enforce them against trafficking offenders. Articles 390-395 of the Penal Code prohibit forced prostitution and forced or bonded labor, prescribing penalties of two to eight years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses. The government did not report any investigations or prosecutions of trafficking or trafficking-related crimes under these statutes during the year. Statistics on investigations or criminal convictions were not made publicly available. The government strengthened its partnership with IOM, through which it provided for the training of 251 police officers, 359 law enforcement officials, 40 prosecutors, 26 NGOs, and 51 stakeholders in trafficking awareness and effective measures to counter trafficking. At the local level, police and military officials have been implicated in facilitating the illegal entry of foreigners into the diamond-mining provinces of Lunda North and Lunda South, some of whom reportedly become victims of forced labor or prostitution in the mining camps. The UN Joint Human Rights Office reported in May 2009 that Congolese officials broke up a sex trafficking ring that had “sold” more than 30 trafficked women and girls to Angolan military personnel in Cabinda province. Despite this, no investigations or prosecutions of officials for complicity in human trafficking were reported.

Protection
During the past year the government sustained modest efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking received access to assistance. The government continued to rely heavily upon religious, civil society, and international organizations to protect and assist victims of trafficking; authorities identified and referred 33 victims of labor trafficking to care providers in the last three months of 2009. NGOs credit this recent increase in the number of identified victims with more public awareness and better reporting, rather than an increase in the occurrence of trafficking in Angola. In partnership with UNICEF, the government’s National Children’s Council (INAC) continued to operate 18 Child Protection Networks (CPNs), which serve as crisis “SOS Centers” for victims of trafficking and other crimes who are between the ages of 9 and 16. There were no apparent victim services available for child victims under the age of nine. The CPNs offered rescue services, health, legal and social assistance, and family reunification. Government personnel referred an unspecified number of suspected victims over the age of 16 to shelters and services provided by the Organization of Angolan Women (OMA), an NGO that receives government support. Law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel do not have a formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom they come in contact. The government does not offer victims long-term assistance, nor does it offer temporary or permanent residency to foreign victims of trafficking. Draft anti-trafficking legislation currently includes provisions to provide foreign trafficking victims with the same kind of social assistance, residence, and legal protection provided to asylum seekers. Under Angolan law, victims of sex trafficking may bring criminal charges against their traffickers, but may not seek compensation. The law did, however, provide for compensation to victims of forced or bonded labor. Current laws did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution, or relief from prosecution for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Angolan government made modest efforts to prevent trafficking over the reporting period. High-ranking Ministry of Interior (MOI) and other officials made public statements condemning trafficking and raised awareness of the issue throughout the rating period. In October 2009, the government conducted and partially funded, in concert with IOM, a national conference on the prevention of human trafficking in preparation for the Africa Cup of Nations football tournament (CAN 2010), which Angola hosted in January 2010. The MOI, in partnership with IOM, ran a soccer-themed public awareness campaign entitled “Drop the Red Flag on Human Trafficking,” featuring flyers and billboards in Portuguese, English, and French. The MOI hired a private sector consultant to help develop its counter-trafficking strategy for CAN 2010, and sought technical assistance from Interpol and the Governments of Germany, Portugal, Brazil, and South Africa. The MOI also coordinated with IOM to provide counter-trafficking training to officials from INA C and the Ministries of Social Assistance and Reintegration, Justice, and Foreign Affairs. In partnership with IOM and the Embassy of Norway in Luanda, the MOI funded and distributed trafficking awareness pamphlets targeted to vulnerable populations. The Association of Women’s Police Officers trained other police officers to recognize child traffickers and exploiters in preparation for the CAN 2010 games. As part of its anti-trafficking campaign during the CAN 2010, the government made some efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, particularly child prostitution. Angola is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA (Tier 2)

Antigua and Barbuda is a destination country for a small number of women from Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution. To a lesser extent, it is reportedly also a destination country for women subjected to involuntary domestic servitude in private homes. Business people from the Dominican Republic and Antiguan citizens acting as pimps and brothel owners subject foreign women to forced prostitution primarily in four illegal brothels that operate in Antigua as well as in private residences that operate as brothels. Some of these foreign women voluntarily migrate to Antigua to engage in prostitution but are subsequently subjected to force or coercion and become victims of sex trafficking. After their arrival, brothel managers confiscate their passports and threaten the victims with deportation until they repay the brothel owner for travel and other expenses they were not aware they had incurred. Some other foreign victims of sex trafficking enter the country legally with work permits as “entertainers” then are subsequently forced to engage in prostitution.

The Government of Antigua and Barbuda 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 and a relatively small number of victims, the government identified possible cases of human trafficking, provided training to law enforcement officials, provided victims with shelter and services, and continued to run public awareness and education programs. No trafficking offenders have been arrested or prosecuted, however, and law enforcement officers continue to treat some probable victims as criminals.

Recommendations for Antigua and Barbuda: Draft and enact a comprehensive anti-human trafficking law; investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses under existing laws, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations such as foreign women in prostitution and in domestic service; allocate additional resources for the anti-trafficking work of the Gender Affairs Directorate and National Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons; include provisions in immigration laws which provide undocumented foreigners who may be trafficking victims relief from automatic deportation; and increase training for law enforcement officers on victim identification.

Prosecution
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda made minimal progress in its anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Authorities assisted probable victims of trafficking, but no trafficking offenders were arrested or prosecuted during the year. Antiguan law does not specifically prohibit trafficking in persons, although forced and compulsory labor are specifically prohibited in the Constitution. Existing statutes such as Section 18 of the Sexual Offenses Act of 1995 prohibit some sex trafficking offenses as well as trafficking-related offenses, though these were not used to prosecute sex trafficking offenders during the year. Prescribed penalties for forced prostitution of up to 10 years’ imprisonment are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes. There were no reported efforts to prosecute trafficking offenders under existing laws covering forced adult or child labor. Labor officials reportedly inspected workplaces periodically, and reported no instances of the forced labor of children or adults. Law enforcement and immigration agencies did not yet have sufficient training, funding, and equipment to effectively follow up on requests from the anti-trafficking coalition to investigate suspected cases of sexual and domestic servitude. Immigration officers continued to summarily deport foreign women found engaging in illegal prostitution without first determining whether the women were possible victims of sex trafficking. Under Antiguan law, it is a crime for employers to confiscate their employees’ passports or other identity and travel documents. Police helped probable trafficking victims to recover their passports and other personal documents that had been confiscated by their employers. No employers, however, were arrested or prosecuted for illegally depriving their employees of their passports or travel documents. Individual immigration officials were reportedly complicit in the sex trafficking of two women during the year. The Gender Affairs Directorate did not yet receive a satisfactory response to its 2008 request that the immigration department conduct a review of why immigration officials had issued work-permits to foreign women who were almost certain to engage in an illegal activity such as prostitution, and who had indeed been subjected to debt bondage and commercial sexual exploitation after they entered the country.

Protection
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda continued solid efforts to offer victims medical, psychological, legal, and social services. As the government lacked sufficient resources to build a permanent, secure shelter for trafficking victims, the Gender Affairs Directorate established a series of emergency safe havens. This network consists of several locations provided by businesses, churches, clinics, and private individuals where trafficking victims can be securely sheltered out of reach of their victimizers. The Gender Affairs Directorate received funds to coordinate the work of the National Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons and to provide legal, health, advocacy, and crisis services accessible to all victims of trafficking, regardless of nationality. The Gender Affairs Directorate continued to recruit Spanish-speaking volunteers to assist with suspected cases of trafficking involving foreign nationals. Other NGOs provided services such as health screening and assistance in repatriation. Unlike most other government officials, police and immigration officers made no effort to identify victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign women in prostitution, and they continued to treat potential trafficking victims as criminals. As yet, Antiguan law does not allow time for immigration officials to investigate whether an illegal migrant is or may be a trafficking victim before he or she must be deported; some foreigners detained for immigration violations likely were trafficking victims. In most cases involving possible trafficking victims, foreign women without proper documentation were deported for immigration violations before officials attempted to identify whether any were trafficking victims and what kind of protection or care any potential victims may have needed. The government offered no legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. The government did not encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes.

Prevention
The Government of Antigua and Barbuda sustained modest efforts to prevent human trafficking and increase public awareness of this crime. The government continued to run awareness campaigns, many in English and Spanish, in the form of anti-trafficking brochures and radio spots. Country-wide anti-trafficking activities were coordinated by the National Coalition Against Trafficking in Persons, made up of the Ministries of Social Welfare, Social Transformation, Health, Labor and Gender Affairs, the Immigration department, and the Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force as well as partners from various civil society groups, NGOs, and community activists and advocates. The coalition, under the leadership of the Gender Affairs Directorate, met at the end of every month to discuss suspected cases, formulate strategies to address them, and follow up with law enforcement to conduct investigations. The coalition’s national action plan focused on educating immigrants, the general public, and front-line workers on human trafficking; established a spokesperson to represent the coalition; combined trafficking outreach and protection efforts with the Gender Affairs Directorate’s crisis hotline; and reviewed anti-trafficking legislation and statutory instruments. The government also formed individual partnerships with regional and local NGOs, religious representatives and community advocates to better organize their anti-trafficking efforts and outreach. The government did not carry out or sponsor any programs to reduce demand for commercial sex during the reporting period.

ARGENTINA (Tier 2)

Argentina is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Many victims from rural areas or northern provinces are forced into prostitution in urban centers or wealthy provinces in central and southern Argentina. The tri-border area with Paraguay and Brazil is a significant source area for Argentine sex trafficking victims, as well as a transit region for labor trafficking victims from Paraguay. A significant number of foreign women and children, primarily from Paraguay, Brazil, Peru, and the Dominican Republic, are forced into prostitution in Argentina. Bolivians, Paraguayans, and Peruvians, as well as Colombians and Dominicans, are subjected to forced labor in sweatshops, on farms, and increasingly in grocery stores and as street vendors. Child sex tourism is a problem, particularly in the tri-border area and in Buenos Aires. Argentina is a transit point for foreign women and girls trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Western Europe, and some Argentine women and girls are found in forced prostitution in Western Europe. Argentina’s long borders are difficult to monitor, making the country a transit area for traffickers and their victims.

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. During the past year, the Government of Argentina achieved its first convictions under the 2008 anti-trafficking law and improved government mechanisms for identifying and caring for trafficking victims. However, while numerous trafficking cases are currently in progress, the overall number of convictions was low in comparison with the number of victims identified, shelters remained inadequate, and alleged complicity of government officials with traffickers prevented more comprehensive anti-trafficking efforts.

Recommendations for Argentina: Vigorously implement the new anti-trafficking law; ensure that trafficking prosecutions are not dismissed on the basis of victims’ consent; intensify law enforcement efforts to dismantle trafficking networks; increase judicial and prosecutorial efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders, including corrupt public officials who may be complicit in trafficking crimes; increase investigations of forced labor and involuntary domestic servitude crimes; dedicate more resources for victim assistance, particularly shelters; enhance victim protections; and increase anti-trafficking training for law enforcement, judges, and other public officials.

Prosecution
he Government of Argentina increased anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts last year. Argentina prohibits all forms of trafficking pursuant to Law 26,364, enacted in April 2008, which prescribes penalties of three to 15 years’ imprisonment. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. According to Argentine law, all suspects charged with crimes that have a minimum penalty of three years are eligible to post bail. Authorities indicted 90 individuals in 54 trafficking cases. During the reporting period, the government obtained three convictions of sex trafficking offenders, with one sentence for four years, another for 10 years, and one trafficking offender under house arrest after receiving a four-year sentence. A federal court in Buenos Aires province ruled that trafficking victims cannot provide consent when their social or economic background limits free choice. NGOs report that during legal proceedings, victims are sometimes asked if they initially consented to engage in certain activities, such as prostitution, and affirmative answers were sometimes considered proof that the victim was not trafficked.

According to NGOs and international organizations, some provincial and local law enforcement officers are complicit in human trafficking crimes. Some police officers reportedly turn a blind eye to trafficking activity or tip off brothel owners about impending raids. The government did not convict any government officials involved in human trafficking last year, although there were several ongoing investigations into suspected police complicity in commercial sexual exploitation cases. In addition to the central government’s anti-trafficking prosecutor’s office, at least 10 provinces have created their own specialized law enforcement units to investigate trafficking. Argentine authorities worked with foreign governments to investigate several trafficking cases. The prosecutor general approved a standardized protocol for investigation of sex trafficking cases and guidelines for identifying, interviewing, and assisting victims. Authorities trained over 4,000 judicial officials and law enforcement officers on victim identification and care; however, there is a need for further training for officials on how to investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes.

Protection
The government assisted trafficking victims during the reporting period, though international organizations and NGOs provided most specialized victim services. In response to a rising number of Dominican trafficking victims, in 2009, Argentine authorities established an airport interview process to identify trafficking victims among Dominican citizens attempting to enter the country. The National Migration Agency increased its inspections of migrants’ living and working conditions in Buenos Aires more than tenfold. The federal government did not operate shelters dedicated solely to trafficking victims, but provided modest funding to some domestic violence shelters at the local level. The majority of trafficking victims were referred to government-operated public shelters, such as domestic violence shelters, or shelters run by local NGOs or religious orders: in some cases, authorities placed victims in hotels or safe houses. There is only one shelter dedicated solely to trafficking victims in Argentina, and it is run by an NGO. Many shelters were oversubscribed, and the quality and level of victim care varied widely by province. The government did not provide specialized care for adult male victims. After transferring the Office for Rescue and Caring of Victims of Trafficking from the Ministry of the Interior to the Ministry of Justice in 2009, psychologists, social workers, and policy experts were included in law enforcement efforts involving the identification of victims. During the reporting period, the government conducted 254 raids on suspected commercial sex sites and sweatshops and rescued 421 trafficking victims: over three-quarters of these victims were adults. The Office for Rescue and Caring of Victims of Trafficking provided initial post-rescue care, including access to legal, medical, and psychological services. The governments of Salta and Chaco provinces maintained their own victim care offices. Foreign victims had the same access to care services as Argentine victims. Argentine authorities encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers; however, some officials reported deficiencies in witness protection provided to victims. There were no specific reports of victims being jailed or penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Trafficking victims may petition the Argentine government for temporary residency on humanitarian grounds, and citizens of Mercosur member or associate states can obtain temporary residency in Argentina under Argentine immigration law, though it was not clear how many victims, if any, received such temporary residency. The government did not report identifying or assisting any repatriated Argentine victims of trafficking abroad.

Prevention
The government sustained its prevention activities. Several provincial governments organized anti-trafficking campaigns, and used films, leaflets, and workshops in schools to raise public awareness. The City of Buenos Aires passed a law designating a “Week for the Fight Against Trafficking.” The government increased its ability to monitor the trafficking situation through enhanced data collection and research efforts. Argentine penal code does not specifically prohibit child sex tourism and the government did not prosecute any child sex tourists. In an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, the Prosecutor General signed a resolution instructing federal prosecutors to seek the closure of all brothels NGOs reported, however, that brothels are generally tipped off by local police in advance of raids and that the resolution will have little effect unless something is done to address police complicity. The government provided anti-trafficking training to Argentine troops prior to their deployment on international peacekeeping operations.

ARMENIA (Tier 2)

Armenia is a source country for women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution, a source and destination country for women in forced labor, and a source country for men in forced labor. Women from Armenia are subjected to sex trafficking in the UAE and Turkey. Armenian men and women are subjected to forced labor in Russia while Armenian women are subjected to forced labor in Turkey. Armenian boys are subjected to conditions of forced labor and Armenian women and girls are subjected to forced prostitution within the country. Women from Russia are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Armenia.

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. In January 2010, the government enacted legislation that increased the minimum penalty for convicted trafficking offenders to five years’ imprisonment, allowed for the confiscation of assets from convicted trafficking offenders, and exempted trafficking victims from criminal prosecution for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. While the government did not provide funding for victim assistance in 2009, in March 2010 it allocated approximately $15,000 to an NGO-run shelter for facility rent. The government continued to implement its national trafficking victim referral mechanism and nearly doubled the number of victims it identified compared with the previous year. The government demonstrated modest progress in combating government officials’ complicity in trafficking; however, more should be done to prosecute suspected officials.

Recommendations for Armenia: Provide funding for NGOs providing victim assistance; vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict officials complicit in trafficking; increase the number of victims referred to NGO service providers for assistance; consider partnerships with NGOs that would allow them to regularly assist law enforcement with the victim identification process; continue to improve efforts to protect victims who consent to serving as witnesses for the state in prosecutions of traffickers; continue to ensure that victims are provided with legally mandated assistance (medical, legal, primary needs, and shelter) at all appropriate stages of the victim assistance process; continue to ensure a majority of convicted trafficking offenders serve time in prison; ensure that all funding allocated for anti-trafficking programs and victim assistance is spent on designated programs; and continue efforts to raise public awareness about both sex and labor trafficking.

Prosecution
The Armenian government increased its overall law enforcement efforts against human trafficking during the reporting period, however, it did not demonstrate efforts to prosecute cases linked to previous allegations of government officials’ complicity. Armenia prohibits trafficking in persons for both forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation through Articles 132 and 132-1 of its penal code which, as amended in January 2010, prescribe penalties of at least five years’ imprisonment and up to 15 years’ imprisonment – penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government investigated 15 cases of trafficking – including nine sex trafficking and six labor trafficking investigations – compared with 13 investigations in 2008. Armenian courts prosecuted 19 individuals in 12 trafficking cases during the reporting period, compared with eight individuals prosecuted in 2008. Authorities convicted 11 trafficking offenders in 2009 – including eight individuals for sex trafficking and three for labor trafficking – up from four convictions in 2008. All 11 convicted offenders in 2009 were given prison sentences; no traffickers received suspended sentences. Four offenders were given sentences ranging from three to five years’ and seven offenders were given sentences ranging from seven to 13 years’ imprisonment. As a result of the government’s anti-trafficking partnerships with outside parties, approximately 447 government officials received training from anti-trafficking NGOs, international organizations, foreign governments, and the Armenian government on a range of anti-trafficking issues including the application of Armenia’s anti-trafficking law and the national victim referral mechanism, investigation techniques, and forced labor.

Although there were no new reports of government officials’ complicity in trafficking over the last year, the government demonstrated only modest progress in the reopened investigation of a well-documented 2006 corruption case. The separate trial of a former deputy principal of a state-run special needs school who was accused of forcing two students to beg in 2008 remained in progress at the conclusion of this reporting period.

Protection
The Government of Armenia demonstrated mixed efforts to identify and provide protection to victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government did not spend the funding that it had allocated for victim assistance in 2009, however in March 2010, it signed an agreement with a local NGO to provide funding for facility rent for one trafficking shelter from February through December 2010. In September 2009, the government issued a decree that ensures victims are provided access to free state-provided medical services; two victims received such medical assistance during the reporting period. The government continued to implement its national victim referral mechanism. In March 2010, the government enacted changes to the national referral mechanism, increasing government-funded assistance and shelter for trafficking victims from seven to 30 days after their initial identification; additional assistance was contingent upon their cooperation with law enforcement investigations. NGOs expressed concern that the national referral mechanism was disproportionately focused on prosecuting trafficking offenders rather than assisting victims. The government significantly increased the number of identified victims during the reporting period: law enforcement officials identified 60 victims in 2009 and referred 22 of them to NGOs for assistance, compared with 34 victims identified and 20 referred for assistance in 2008. Foreign-funded NGOs assisted 26 victims in 2009, compared with 24 victims in 2008. Victims were encouraged to cooperate with law enforcement bodies; in 2009, all 60 victims assisted police with trafficking investigations. NGOs also reported improved sensitivity for victims’ rights by judges and prosecutors. Foreign trafficking victims identified within Armenia were permitted to stay in the country and work in the local economy. In November 2009, the government enacted a legislative amendment that exempts trafficking victims from criminal prosecution for any unlawful acts they may have committed as a direct result of being trafficked; there were no reports of victims being penalized for such acts during the reporting period. The lack of appropriate victim-witness protection continued to be an issue of concern; this may have hampered Armenia’s prosecution efforts.

Prevention
The Armenian government demonstrated adequate anti-human trafficking prevention efforts, particularly through awareness raising during the reporting period. In 2009, the government’s Migration Agency allocated about $8,000 for the publication and distribution of 100,000 brochures and leaflets describing legal procedures for Armenians seeking to work abroad. These materials were distributed to migrant travelers at the airport in Yerevan and also at employment centers and social resource centers. The government also provided approximately $20,000 for an awareness campaign targeted at adolescents titled “Campaigns Among Youth to Increase Awareness on the Threat of Trafficking.” The campaign included a digital video conference discussion of the dangers of trafficking that aired on Armenian public television. The campaign also included additional regional workshops to train youth leaders about the dangers of trafficking – this information was then disseminated to their peers. Border officials did not specifically monitor emigration and immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking, and the government made no discernible efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts.

AUSTRALIA (Tier 1)

Australia is a source and destination country for women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically exploitation in forced prostitution, and, to a lesser extent, women and men in forced labor and children in commercial sexual exploitation. It is also a source country for child victims of sex trafficking. Primarily teenage girls, but also some boys, are forced into prostitution by pimps. Some indigenous teenage girls are exploited in prostitution at rural truck stops. Some women from Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, and, to a lesser extent, Eastern Europe, migrate to Australia voluntarily intending to work legally or illegally in a number of employment sectors, including prostitution. Subsequent to their arrival, however, some of these women are coerced into illegal prostitution. They are sometimes held in captivity, subjected to physical and sexual violence and intimidation, manipulated through illegal drugs, and obliged to pay off unexpected or inflated debts to their traffickers. Some victims of sex trafficking have also been exploited in involuntary domestic servitude. For apparently the first time, a woman from Australia was identified as a trafficking victim in the United States.

Men and women from several Pacific islands, India, China, South Korea, and the Philippines are recruited to work temporarily in Australia. After their arrival, some are subjected by unscrupulous employers and labor agencies to forced labor in agriculture, viticulture, construction, and other sectors. They face confiscation of their travel documents, confinement on the employment site, threats of physical harm, and debt bondage through inflated debts imposed by employers or labor agencies. Most often, traffickers are part of small but highly sophisticated organized crime networks that frequently involve family and business connections between Australians and overseas contacts. Some traffickers attempt to hide their foreign victims from official notice or prevent victims from receiving assistance by abusing the legal system in order to create difficulties for victims who contact authorities for help. Relative to the population of Australia, research indicates that the estimated number of trafficking victims is modest.

The Government of Australia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Australia has adopted a whole-of-government response to people trafficking, which includes a national policing strategy and specialist police investigation teams, a victim support program which includes long-term residence and care for foreign victims, and extensive regional cooperation efforts. During the year, the government prosecuted and convicted trafficking offenders, amended victim protection regulations to better protect victims, continued a long-term trafficking research project, objectively evaluated its own anti-trafficking activities, and provided training and consultation to foreign government officials on trafficking matters. Labor trafficking and internal sex trafficking of children are less well understood. Recently, they have received greater attention from the media and academics, and the government has begun in-depth research and planning.

Recommendations for Australia: Continue to proactively identify trafficking victims within the legalized and illegal sex trades; expand efforts to criminally prosecute employers and labor recruiters who subject migrant workers to debt bondage and involuntary servitude; provide criminal penalties for employers who exploit foreign laborers; continue to take a programmatic leadership role in the Southeast Asia region; and expand current anti-trafficking awareness campaigns directed at clients of the sex trade.

Prosecution
The Government of Australia demonstrated increased anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Australia prohibits sex and labor trafficking and trafficking-related offenses through Divisions 270 and 271 of the Commonwealth Criminal Code, which prescribe maximum penalties from 12 to 25 years’ imprisonment and fines of up to $152,000. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious offenses. The Migration (Employer Sanctions Amendment) Act of 2007 prohibits exploiting migrant employees through forced labor, sexual servitude or slavery, and prescribes penalties of up to five years’ imprisonment or various fines that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes. In the past year, the government prosecuted and convicted four sex trafficking offenders and two labor traffickers. Three are currently appealing their convictions. Seven additional sex trafficking prosecutions were initiated but not concluded as of the end of the reporting period. In February 2010, two traffickers were convicted in Cairns Supreme Court on charges of possessing and using a slave after luring a Filipina woman to Australia and enslaving her as a domestic servant and concubine. In late March 2010, a Tasmanian court sentenced one trafficker to ten years’ imprisonment for prostituting a 12-year-old girl to more than 100 clients in 2009. After the conviction, police launched a manhunt for the 100 men who allegedly paid the pimp for sex with the child. In December 2009, police in Sydney arrested two men for sexually abusing and prostituting a teenage boy over an eight-year period in the 1980s. Australian Federal Police (AFP) investigators with the Transnational Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking Teams (TSETT), specialist units responsible for investigating trafficking offenses as well as child sex tourism and the on-line sexual exploitation of children, were trained to conduct complex, sensitive, protracted trafficking investigations in a multijurisdictional and international environment. The AFP sustained partnerships with several other countries’ law enforcement authorities, sharing the benefit of their experience with them through an investigation training package covering legislation, investigative methodologies, trafficking trends, intelligence targeting, and victim liaison.

Protection
The Government of Australia increased its efforts to provide protection and care to victims of trafficking over the last year. Changes to the Support for Victims of People Trafficking Program and the People Trafficking Visa Framework, which went into effect on July 1, 2009, ensure that victims of trafficking can access support services regardless of whether they assist police with an investigation or prosecution. These amendments also abolished temporary witness protection visas, added a 20-day transition period for victims voluntarily leaving the support program, and sped up the process for granting permanent witness protection visas to foreign victims and their immediate family members. The Office of Women managed the Support for Victims of People Trafficking Program; between January 2009 and January 2010, it provided 57 victims with support, including accommodation, living expenses, legal aid, health services and counseling. Since 2004, approximately 10 percent of the victims who received services under the Program were victims of labor trafficking outside of the sex trade. Officials followed formal procedures for proactively identifying victims in vulnerable populations, including women involved in the legal sex trade, and referring them for services. The government encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations. No victims were incarcerated, fined, or penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Australia demonstrated efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the year. The government committed $9.2 million for anti-trafficking activities in 2009-2010; it coordinated efforts of at least 10 government agencies guided by a 2003 anti-trafficking strategy. The government convened a meeting in June 2009 of the National Roundtable on People Trafficking, a mechanism for coordinating among its agencies and NGOs. In 2009, the government along with the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Anti-Slavery Project published the National Guidelines for NGOs Working with Trafficked People. Officials continued to include the “Travel Smart: Hints for Australian Travelers,” brochure with all passport issuances, which highlights Australian trafficking and child sex crime laws and details for reporting a possible violation of the child sex laws to the AFP. During the reporting period, the TSETT s conducted 372 investigations and assessments of allegations of child sex tourism offenses, and the government prosecuted one Australian alleged child sex tourist. The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Sexual Offences Against Children) Bill 2010, passed by the Senate in March 2010 but not yet enacted, will increase prescribed penalties for child sex tourism to 20 years’ imprisonment, and introduce new aggravated offenses with penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment. In October 2009, a local council in Melbourne introduced an “Anti Slavery and Sexual Servitude Local Law” requiring brothels to display signs in English, Thai, Korean, Chinese and Russian providing information on the crime of slavery and sexual servitude, and on how to seek help for those involved in sex slavery. Australian diplomats and consular personnel received training in identifying and providing assistance to victims of trafficking overseas. In addition, the government provided substantial funding for law enforcement training, victim assistance programs, and prevention activities throughout Southeast Asia. The Australian government foreign assistance agency, AUSAI D, funded the Asia Regional Traffic in Persons project (ARTI P), which promotes a coordinated approach to trafficking in persons by criminal justice systems throughout the region. Partner ARTI P countries include Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia, Burma, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the Philippines. In February 2009, ARTI P presented ASEAN with a draft resource, Trafficking in Persons: Handbook on International Cooperation, which will provide a blueprint for mutual legal assistance and extradition in the region. The Australian government educated troops and police officers on trafficking issues, as well as the legal ramifications of engaging in or facilitating trafficking, or exploiting trafficking victims, prior to their deployments on international peacekeeping missions.

AUSTRIA (Tier 1)

Austria is a destination and transit country for women, men, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Victims originate from Eastern Europe, Africa, and Asia. Austrians reportedly spent $4.3 billion on domestic workers in 2009; exploitation is believed to be a significant problem in this sector. Some forced domestic servitude involves diplomats, primarily from the Middle East, who enjoy diplomatic immunity. Forced labor occurs in the agricultural, construction, restaurant, and tourism industries. Forced begging involving Roma children and others from Eastern Europe continued to be a problem. An NGO that works primarily with Nigerian trafficking victims reported traffickers abuse the legal prostitution and asylum processes to control their victims and keep them in Austria legally.

The Government of Austria fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government identified and referred an increased number of trafficking victims for assistance, and police demonstrated an increasingly victim-centered approach to law enforcement efforts. In an attempt to prevent involuntary domestic servitude, the government amended its regulations in 2009 to require all foreign domestic workers to appear in person at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to receive information on how to get help if they become victims of forced labor. It hosted a UN event to notify foreign embassies in Austria about this new requirement. The Austrian government, however, did not adequately punish convicted trafficking offenders, and it did not employ systematic procedures for the identification and referral of victims. Also, some child victims of trafficking were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Recommendations for Austria: Aggressively prosecute traffickers to ensure a majority of trafficking offenders serve some time in prison; establish a systematic identification and referral process throughout Austria, including in immigrant reception centers; establish specialized care for children who are victims of trafficking; establish services for men who are victims of forced labor; take measures to improve public awareness of trafficking in Austria and reduce demand; consider amending 104(a) to increase penalties for trafficking cases, including cases involving children; and provide specialized training for law enforcement and social workers involved in the rehabilitation of victims.

Prosecution
The Austrian government demonstrated moderate efforts to prosecute and convict traffickers during the reporting period. However, over half of convicted traffickers spent 12 months or less in jail; one-third of convicted traffickers received no jail time. 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, which prohibit cross border trafficking for the purpose of prostitution, as well as Article 114 of the Aliens Police Act, which contains provisions on alien smuggling, to prosecute traffickers. Penalties prescribed in Article 104(a) and Article 114 range up to 10 years’ imprisonment, while penalties prescribed in Article 217 range from six months’ to 10 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government reportedly prosecuted and convicted 67 trafficking offenders in 2008; however, it only reported sentences for offenders in which trafficking was the leading charge. In 2008, the government convicted 18 trafficking offenders, a decrease from 30 such convictions in 2007. Sentences for three of these offenders were between one and three years. The government completely suspended the sentences of four offenders and partially suspended nine, resulting in sentences between one and 12 months in jail. Two other convicted traffickers paid fines. Local observers report a lack of anti-trafficking expertise among prosecutors and judges. According to one NGO, during a case in 2009, a victim testified five separate times, but the suspect was subsequently released. The Austrian government did not disaggregate its data to demonstrate it prosecuted or convicted labor trafficking offenders.

Protection
The Government of Austria sustained its efforts to protect identified victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government did not yet, however, employ formal and systematic procedures for the identification and referral of victims within labor or legal and illegal prostitution sectors. Police in Vienna proactively referred trafficking victims for care and collaborated with NGOs to improve their ability to spot indicators of sex trafficking, but referral was ad hoc and reliant on certain victim-sensitive officers. NGOs reported police effectively partnered with them on cases to ensure trafficking victims adequate recovery time to become more effective witnesses. It continued to fund the country’s only specialized anti-trafficking NGO, which provided open shelter and assistance to female victims in Vienna. This shelter was at its full capacity of 18 beds throughout 2009. The Austrian government provided $828,000 to this NGO in 2009, compared with $542,700 in 2008. It provided counseling and other services to 182 trafficking victims in 2009; police referred approximately 90 of these victims, compared with 60 referrals from the previous year. Fifty-nine victims received shelter from the government-funded NGO; all victims received assistance in the form of social and legal counseling in their native language, German-language classes, computer courses, and health prevention. The government provided foreign victims of trafficking with legal alternatives to their removal, and in April 2009 passed the Residence and Settlement Act, which listed victims of trafficking as a special category with a right for temporary resident status. The government encouraged victims to assist with investigations and prosecutions of traffickers and an NGO reported a high rate of victims who willingly cooperated on their cases. Furthermore, police provided information on potential female victims of forced prostitution to NGOs when these victims appeared reluctant to disclose elements of their exploitation to law enforcement. According to one NGO, the only systematic regulation by the government within Austria’s sizable, legal commercial sex sector consisted of weekly health checks for sexually transmitted diseases and periodic police checks of registration cards. In 2009, the government began training labor inspectors to increase identification of forced labor trafficking.

The City of Vienna’s specialist center for unaccompanied minors accommodated 121 children in 2009, some of whom were reported to be victims of trafficking. This center reportedly facilitated the repatriation of children subjected to forced prostitution and forced begging during the reporting period. However, according to local observers, this center has limited capacity to accommodate trafficked children, does not function as an anti-trafficking NGO, and there was little official follow up or assurances made to ensure a safe return or protection from re-trafficking. Furthermore, the center only accommodated children who have been apprehended by the police, and is an open facility, allowing traffickers continued access to their victims. According to local experts, authorities, especially outside of Vienna, do not identify many child trafficking victims and there are no specialized services or targeted outreach efforts to identify potential children who are trafficked throughout Austria. The government reportedly ensured identified victims were not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; however, during the year at least some child sex trafficking victims were penalized for unlawfully engaging in prostitution.

Prevention
Austria continued its proactive efforts to prevent trafficking through public awareness raising activities in 2009. It continued to subsidize several TV programs about trafficking and hosted international conferences aimed at raising awareness of trafficking. It funded campaigns to educate clients about the possible presence of trafficked women in the prostitution sector, and to inform women in prostitution about their rights under national law. It accomplished this by distributing information brochures for use by police and NGOs on trafficking, and by police and NGOs maintaining an active presence in well known “red light districts.” The Interior Ministry produced and distributed a folder to increase law enforcement’s awareness about human trafficking and to improve victim identification. The folder lists contact numbers for anti-trafficking NGOs and government offices responsible for victim protection. The government also subsidized a leaflet produced and distributed by an NGO offering support to victims. According to ECPAT Austria, approximately 4,500 Austrians contribute to the global demand for child sex tourism. Austrian law provided extraterritorial jurisdiction over Austrian nationals who travel abroad to engage in child commercial sexual exploitation. Austria continued a campaign to encourage tourists and travel agencies to report cases of child sex tourism during the reporting period. It did not report any investigations or prosecutions of such activity.

AZERBAIJAN (Tier 2 Watch List)

Azerbaijan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and women and children in forced prostitution. Men and boys from Azerbaijan are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Russia. Women and children from Azerbaijan are subjected to forced prostitution in the UAE, Turkey, Russia, and Iran. Men from Azerbaijan are trafficked within Azerbaijan for the purpose of forced labor and women and children are trafficked internally for forced prostitution and forced labor, including forced begging. Azerbaijan serves as a transit country for women from Moldova, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan subjected to forced prostitution in Turkey and the UAE. The Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhchivan serves as a transit point for women trafficked to Turkey for forced prostitution. Azerbaijan is a destination country for women from Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Russia subjected to forced prostitution. Azerbaijan is also a destination country for men and women from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Macedonia, and China subjected to conditions of forced labor, primarily in the construction industry.

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. Despite these overall efforts, the government demonstrated exceptionally inadequate efforts to identify and assist a significant number of victims of forced labor and did not show evidence of progress in investigating, prosecuting, convicting, and punishing complicit officials; therefore, Azerbaijan is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year. Although the government adopted a national referral mechanism for victims of trafficking in August 2009 and approved a list of trafficking indicators in September 2009 to aid in victim identification, the government did not use these tools to identify and assist the approximately 496 victims associated with a case discovered in October 2009 in which men from Eastern Europe were held in forced labor in the construction industry. The government failed to identify any victims in this case, despite evidence that led others in the international community to determine this was a labor trafficking case, warranting the allocation of emergency funding for victim assistance. Although the government reported allocating $625,000 for victim assistance in 2009, none of this money was used to assist these victims of forced labor; as a result, the international community allocated its own funding to provide emergency assistance, including food and potable water, to several hundred victims.

Recommendations for Azerbaijan: Improve efforts to identify victims of forced labor; ensure identified victims of forced labor are provided access to government-funded victim assistance by vigorously implementing the national victim referral mechanism; demonstrate and report efforts to vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict, and criminally punish government officials, including regional police officers, complicit in both sex and labor trafficking; provide initial assistance to domestic victims without requiring them to file a formal complaint with police; provide more victim identification and victim sensitivity training to low-level law enforcement officials; continue efforts to raise public awareness about both sex and labor trafficking; and demonstrate efforts to inspect construction sites for potential victims of forced labor.

Prosecution
The Government of Azerbaijan’s modest law enforcement improvements were overshadowed by its lack of political will to prosecute high-level organized crime and address allegations of government complicity in trafficking, including a case that identified more than 700 victims of forced labor in the fall of 2009. Azerbaijan’s 2005 Law on the Fight Against Trafficking in Persons prohibits both forced prostitution and forced labor, and prescribes penalties of 5 to 15 years’ imprisonment, punishments which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2009, the government reported conducting 80 trafficking investigations – including 3 forced labor investigations, compared with 66 investigations in 2008. Authorities prosecuted 76 trafficking cases, up from 61 trafficking prosecutions in 2008. The government convicted 62 trafficking offenders though February 2010, compared with 61 individuals convicted in 2008. Twenty-eight convicted offenders were issued sentences ranging from one to five years’ imprisonment, 15 offenders were issued sentences ranging from 5 to 10 years’ imprisonment, one trafficker was sentenced to forced labor, and 18 persons were issued a suspended sentence and served no time in prison.

There were some reports that government officials were complicit in trafficking cases. The Ministry of Internal Affairs stated that it investigated all allegations of complicity in human trafficking but was unable to provide any data on these investigations. During the reporting period, the government did not prosecute, convict, or criminally punish any government officials for complicity in human trafficking, including forced labor. In the case involving Bosnian and Serbian citizens subjected to conditions of forced labor, investigators did not prevent the traffickers from unilaterally sending approximately 496 victim-witnesses home during the preliminary stages of the investigation, and to date no charges have been filed by the government in this case. There were continued reports that police officers controlled many saunas, motels, and massage parlors where forced prostitution occurred, however the government again failed to vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict, and criminally punish these officials.

Protection The Government of Azerbaijan made limited progress to assist some victims during the reporting period; however, these efforts were overshadowed by the government’s lack of assistance to hundreds of victims of forced labor. In August 2009, the government adopted a national referral mechanism for victims of trafficking and approved a list of trafficking indicators in September 2009 to aid in law enforcement officials’ identification of victims; however, the government did not use these tools to identify and assist approximately 496 victims associated with one labor trafficking case discovered in October 2009. Coordination among government agencies assigned to combat trafficking and assist victims reportedly improved and all agencies assigned a dedicated point of contact responsible for coordinating with other agencies to combat trafficking. In 2009, NGOs and law enforcement identified at least 920 victims – including 220 victims identified by law enforcement – compared with 121 victims identified by NGOs and law enforcement in 2008. The government funded one trafficking shelter that assisted 48 of these victims, down from 55 victims assisted in 2008. None of the victims provided with government-funded shelter or assistance were victims of forced labor. The government demonstrated important progress in October 2009 when it dedicated space in its trafficking shelter to assist child victims of trafficking; four children were assisted at the facility during the reporting period. In March 2009, the government also opened an assistance center that provided vocational training and job placement services for victims of trafficking to help break the cycle of exploitation. This Center provided assistance to 31 victims during the reporting period.

Law enforcement referred 48 victims to the government-funded shelter in 2009, compared with 52 victims referred in 2008. The government reported that it encouraged victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders. Law enforcement reported that 91 victims identified by authorities assisted law enforcement during the reporting period. During the previous reporting period, victims claimed that some corrupt police officers discouraged them from filing criminal complaints through threats of physical violence. The law allows identified foreign victims of trafficking who cooperate with law enforcement to remain in Azerbaijan until the completion of their court case; however, none of the 496 victims of forced labor identified by the international community in October 2009 were encouraged to assist law enforcement or permitted to remain in the country pending a criminal investigation and prosecution of the case. Furthermore, the government failed to ensure the traffickers in this case returned the passports to the victims and also failed to prevent the traffickers from forcibly, systematically removing the victim witnesses from the country, thereby hiding evidence of the crime. There were no reports that victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; however, there were some reported concerns that some of the women arrested during prostitution raids conducted by law enforcement may not have been screened as potential victims of trafficking and may have been punished for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked, namely prostitution violations.

Prevention
The government demonstrated some trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period, largely through public awareness measures. The government conducted anti-trafficking seminars in 58 cities and regions throughout the country, targeted primarily at students and government employees. The government continued its general trafficking-awareness campaign, advertising on television and on the radio. It continued to fund an NGO-operated trafficking hotline that served to provide information to the public and identify potential victims of trafficking. The government did not, however, conduct a public awareness campaign to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government formed partnerships with some anti-trafficking NGOs, however it avoided cooperation with NGOs critical of the government’s efforts to combat human trafficking.

THE BAHAMAS (Tier 2)

The Bahamas is a destination country for men and some women from Haiti and other Caribbean countries who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor, and, to a lesser extent, women from Jamaica and other countries who are in forced prostitution. Haitian trafficking victims are most likely to migrate to The Bahamas voluntarily, but subsequently be subjected to forced labor in agriculture, domestic service, or forced prostitution. Some employers coerce migrant workers – legal and illegal – to work longer hours, at lower pay, and in conditions not permitted under local labor law by changing the terms of employment contracts, withholding travel documents, refusing transportation back home, threatening to withdraw the employer-specific and employer-held permits, or threatening to have the employee deported through other means. Traffickers reportedly lure Jamaican and other foreign women to the Bahamas with offers of employment in the tourism and entertainment fields and subject the women to forced prostitution after their arrival. The Ministry of Education is investigating allegations that some high school girls in Eleuthera may be involved in a prostitution ring. This report is the only indication that Bahamian citizens may be victims of human trafficking.

The Government of the Bahamas does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government began some investigations into suspected cases of trafficking but did not proactively identify victims among vulnerable populations, such as women and girls engaged in prostitution, and it continued to deport undocumented migrants without first determining whether they may be victims of trafficking.

Recommendations for The Bahamas: Develop and implement standard procedures for the identification of victims in The Bahamas; take steps to identify possible trafficking victims among migrants attempting to enter The Bahamas and foreigners in deportation proceedings; investigate, prosecute, and punish suspected human trafficking offenders; expand training for law enforcement and the public on the difference between human trafficking and alien smuggling; create and implement a national trafficking public awareness and prevention program; and allocate resources for the victim assistance measures mandated by the new anti-trafficking law.

Prosecution
The Government of The Bahamas demonstrated minimal anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. It continued to face relevant resource and capacity constraints, and confronted multiple competing law enforcement priorities. All forms of trafficking are prohibited through the Trafficking in Persons Prevention and Suppression Act of 2008. Penalties prescribed by the Act for trafficking in persons offenses range from three years to life imprisonment, and are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government did not arrest or prosecute any trafficking offenders, despite reports of the presence of trafficking victims in The Bahamas since at least 2005. During the reporting period, the government began investigating one suspected trafficking case in cooperation with another government. The Ministry of Education formed a task force to investigate allegations of a student prostitution ring at a high school in Eleuthera. NGOs, in partnership with the Bahamian government, provided immigration, labor, social services, and law enforcement personnel with anti-trafficking training. Historically, government personnel have conflated human trafficking and human smuggling, leading to the routine deportation of foreigners in vulnerable populations without determining whether they may be trafficking victims. Although the practice continued to some extent, automatic deportations have decreased as official awareness of trafficking as a form of transnational crime has increased. Anecdotal reports indicate that during 2009 some military personnel may have been involved in assisting with the illegal entry of trafficking victims into the country. There is no evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking.

Protection
The Bahamian government showed minimal efforts to protect victims of trafficking over the last year. Although the Ministry of Labor and Social Development’s Bureau of Women’s Affairs became the lead agency for anti-trafficking training and assistance to victims, the government continued to rely on NGOs and international organizations to identify and provide most services to victims. No specialized shelters for trafficking victims were available in The Bahamas. Shelter services, counseling, and law enforcement referrals were accessible to women and child trafficking victims through the Crisis Centre, which focuses on assisting victims of sexual and domestic abuse. The Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and local church groups which provide assistance to illegal migrants could assist foreign men who may be victims of labor trafficking. Assistance providers did not knowingly assist any trafficking victims during the reporting period. Officials followed no formal procedures for screening or referring victims to service providers. The government developed but has not yet implemented a plan to refer victims to the Bureau of Women’s Affairs, the Crisis Centre, and the Eugene Dupuch Law School. During the year, the government arranged for IOM to conduct victim assistance training for immigration, labor, social services, law enforcement and NGO participants. The ministers responsible for national security and social services, however, did not develop or implement a plan to provide appropriate services to victims in cooperation with NGOs, as required by the anti-trafficking law of 2008. Although the government ensured that victims brought to its attention were not inappropriately penalized for immigration violations and any unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, some victims were not properly identified. No formal procedures exist that allow law enforcement officers time to investigate whether foreign women found engaging in prostitution may be victims of sex trafficking before the law requires that they be deported. As more immigration and police officers received training in trafficking issues throughout the year, however, the number of officers who first attempted to determine whether foreign women found engaging in prostitution could be victims of trafficking before considering them eligible for deportation increased. The Bahamas’ law encourages victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders, and includes provisions for victims’ immunity from prosecution, the protection of victims and witnesses with special considerations for the age and extent of trauma suffered by the victim, and relief from the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution regardless of their participation in the investigation or prosecution of their traffickers. Under this law, traffickers are required to financially compensate their victims.

Prevention
The government demonstrated some efforts to prevent trafficking over the reporting period. The government participated in information and education campaigns conducted in partnership with organizations such as IOM. An ad hoc governmental working group of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Department of Immigration, the Ministry of Labor and Social Development’s Bureau of Women’s Affairs, and NGO representatives, met periodically to address and coordinate trafficking issues among the various government ministries. This group shifted its focus from immigration enforcement to an emphasis on victim outreach and punishment of perpetrators over the last year. To address the vulnerability of some migrant workers to labor exploitation, the government expedited the processing of immigration claims and granted citizenship to certain long-time residents. The government made no visible effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

BAHRAIN (Tier 2)

Bahrain is a destination country for men and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Men and women from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and Eritrea migrate voluntarily to Bahrain to work as domestic workers or as unskilled laborers in the construction and service industries. Some, however, face conditions of forced labor after arriving in Bahrain, through use of such practices as unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, contract substitution, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. A study by the Bahrain Government’s Labor Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) found that 65 percent of migrant workers had not seen their employment contract, and that 89 percent were unaware of their terms of employment upon arrival in Bahrain. Many labor recruitment agencies in Bahrain and source countries require workers to pay high recruitment fees – a practice that makes workers highly vulnerable to forced labor once in Bahrain. The LMRA study found that 70 percent of foreign workers borrowed money or sold property in their home countries in order to secure a job in Bahrain. Some Bahraini employers illegally charge workers exorbitant fees to remain in Bahrain working for third-party employers (under the “free visa” arrangement). The LMRA estimates that approximately 10 percent of migrant workers were in Bahrain under illegal “free visa” arrangements – a practice that can contribute to debt bondage – while the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry puts the figure at 25 percent. Women from Thailand, the Philippines, Morocco, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Russia, China, Vietnam and Eastern European States are subjected to forced prostitution in Bahrain.

The Government of Bahrain does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government reported its second and third prosecutions under its anti-trafficking statute, and continued to educate potential trafficking victims on their rights. However, the government did not show evidence of progress in providing protective services to victims or prosecuting offenses related to labor trafficking, the most prevalent form of trafficking in Bahrain.

Recommendations for Bahrain: Continue to enforce the 2008 anti-trafficking law; significantly increase the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses – particularly those involving forced labor – and convictions and punishment of trafficking offenders; vigorously investigate all credible trafficking tips secured through the anti-trafficking hotline; consider utilizing the Ministry of Interior training on victim identification as a base on which to establish and apply formal procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as domestic workers who have fled from abusive employers and prostituted women; refer identified victims to protective services; expand the government-run shelter, ensure that it does not restrict victims’ movement and that shelter staff are qualified and speak the languages of expatriate workers; ensure that victims of trafficking are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as illegal migration or prostitution; include the Ministry of Labor in the inter-ministerial committee against human trafficking; consider the appointment of an empowered national anti-trafficking rapporteur or coordinator; ensure that domestic workers are adequately offered the same protections under the law as other expatriate workers; and proactively support the promulgation of a binding ILO convention to protect domestic workers’ rights.

Prosecution
The Government of Bahrain made some progress in conducting anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. The 2008 Law to Combat Trafficking in Persons prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons and prescribes penalties ranging from three to 15 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The Bahrain government reported two new prosecutions and one new investigation under the anti-trafficking law in the reporting period; all three of these cases involved sex trafficking. One of the prosecutions involved a Bahraini employee of the Ministry of Interior and a Thai national accused of trafficking Asian women into prostitution. The other involved a Bahraini and a Russian national accused of trafficking Russian women. Furthermore, two Bahraini nationals were sentenced to life imprisonment in April and October 2009 for murdering their Indonesian and Ethiopian housemaids, respectively; the government reported that these cases contained elements of human trafficking. The government did not criminally prosecute any employers or labor agents for forced labor of migrant laborers, including domestic workers.

There is some indication that government officials may be involved in human trafficking. NGOs and laborers assert that Bahraini officials provide Bahrainis with authorization to sponsor more expatriate workers than they could reasonably employ, and that in their private capacities, some officials illegally engage in “free visa” arrangements and withhold employees’ passports and salaries. The Royal Police Academy provided new police recruits with specific instruction on identifying trafficking victims during the reporting period. In addition, 29 law enforcement officers participated in a three-day trafficking-related investigations course run by IOM, one of several anti-trafficking programs run by IOM in partnership with the Government of Bahrain. In early 2010, the Government of Bahrain centralized all trafficking-related prosecutions within the office of the Chief Prosecutor for the Manama district.

Protection
The Government of Bahrain made no discernible progress in improving protective services available to trafficking victims over the last year. The government continued to lack a formal procedure to identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as migrant domestic workers who have left their employers or women arrested for prostitution. As a result, potential trafficking victims may have been charged with employment or immigration violations, detained, and deported without adequate protection. Most migrant workers who were able to flee their abusive employers were frequently charged as “runaways,” sentenced to two weeks’ detention, and deported. The government does not ensure that victims receive access to essential protective services, except for the very small number referred to the government’s primary shelter.

The 120-bed government-funded, NGO-run Dar Al Aman shelter provided shelter to a small number of trafficking victims. The majority of victims continued to seek shelter at their embassies or at the Migrant Workers Protection Society’s shelter. The Dar Al Aman shelter does not advertise that it accepts trafficking victims, and many police officers were unfamiliar with procedures for referring victims of labor abuse and human trafficking. An international NGO reported that the shelter restricted residents’ freedom of movement, was not staffed with qualified personnel, and did not provide long-term shelter or housing benefits to victims. There is a restrictive intake process for non-Bahraini victims; however, in January 2010, the government’s inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee indicated that it instructed police and prosecutors to refer any abused female worker to the shelter, regardless of signs of abuse. There are no shelters for male trafficking victims or abused or runaway workers. The three trafficking victims who the government identified during the reporting period were referred to the Dar Al Aman shelter and received legal, medical, and psychological services. The government of Bahrain encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. However, discouraged workers typically did not file court cases against employers due to fear or ignorance of the law, distrust of the legal system, inability to afford legal representation, lack of interpretation/translation, fear of losing residency permits during legal proceedings, and to avoid additional maltreatment at the hands of the employer. The government does not provide legal alternatives for the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face retribution or hardship. The Ministry of Interior established a toll-free hotline in January 2010 for trafficking victims, although NGOs report that news of the hotline has not been widely disseminated.

Prevention
The government made limited progress in preventing human trafficking over the reporting period. While Bahrain’s Ministry of Labor has pledged to end the sponsorship (kafala) system, foreign workers remain tied to a Bahraini sponsor. The government implemented reforms in August 2009 which designated the LMRA as the lead agency for granting work permits to foreign workers, and expanding labor mobility for expatriate workers, under certain conditions. These reforms do not cover Bahrain’s approximately 70,000 domestic workers – the group that is most vulnerable to trafficking. Another labor market reform limited the number of foreign workers small businesses many sponsor, which the LMRA states will cut back on illegal “free visa” arrangements and other labor abuses. The parliament’s upper house recently approved a new labor law; however, it does not afford basic protections to domestic workers – the group most vulnerable to human trafficking. Moreover, the law against withholding workers’ passports – a common practice that restricts the mobility of migrant workers and contributes to forced labor – was not enforced effectively, and the practice remained widespread. The LMRA continued to distribute pamphlets – prepared in coordination with the IOM – that explained how to legally obtain, maintain and switch a work visa, and provided contact details to report suspected labor violations. The LMRA also sponsored a Hindi radio show designed to raise awareness of workers’ rights. The government closed down a number of low-end hotels associated with organized prostitution. The government continued to provide financial support towards an IO M anti-trafficking capacity building program. The government does not have a National Plan of Action to address trafficking in persons. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ Undersecretary chaired an inter-ministerial committee that coordinates policies designed to combat trafficking. This committee convenes every other month on average, and includes government ministries, NGOs, and the Bahrain Women’s Union. The Ministry of Labor, which deals with most workers’ complaints, is currently not represented on this committee.

BANGLADESH (Tier 2 Watch List)

Bangladesh is a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. A significant share of Bangladesh’s trafficking victims are men recruited for work overseas with fraudulent employment offers who are subsequently exploited under conditions of forced labor or debt bondage. Children – both boys and girls – are trafficked within Bangladesh for commercial sexual exploitation, bonded labor, and forced labor. Some children are sold into bondage by their parents, while others are induced into labor or commercial sexual exploitation through fraud and physical coercion. Women and children from Bangladesh are also trafficked to India for commercial sexual exploitation.

Bangladeshi men and women migrate willingly to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon, Malaysia, Liberia, and other countries for work, often under legal and contractual terms. Most Bangladeshis who seek overseas employment through legal channels rely on the 724 recruiting agencies belonging to the Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA). These agencies are legally permitted to charge workers up to $1,235 and place workers in low-skilled jobs typically paying between $100 and $150 per month. According to NGOs, however, many workers are charged upwards of $6,000 for these services. A recent Amnesty International report on Malaysia indicated Bangladeshis spend more than three times the amount of recruitment fees paid by other migrant workers recruited for work in Malaysia. NGOs report many Bangladeshi migrant laborers are victims of recruitment fraud, including exorbitant recruitment fees often accompanied by fraudulent representation of terms of employment. The ILO has concluded high recruitment fees increase vulnerability to forced labor among transnational migrant workers. Women typically work as domestic servants; some find themselves in situations of forced labor or debt bondage where they face restrictions on their movements, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Some Bangladeshi women working abroad are subsequently trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. Bangladeshi children and adults are also trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and bonded labor. Recent reports indicate many brothel owners and pimps addict Bangladeshi girls to steroids, with devastating side effects, to make them more attractive to clients; the drug is reported to be used by 90 percent of females between 15 and 35 in Bangladeshi brothels.

Bangladesh does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has continued to address the sex trafficking of women and children. Despite these significant efforts, the government did not demonstrate evidence of increased efforts to prosecute and convict labor trafficking offenders, particularly those responsible for the fraudulent recruitment of Bangladeshi workers for the purpose of forced labor overseas. Similarly it did not demonstrate increased efforts to prevent the forced labor of Bangladeshi workers overseas through effective controls on high recruitment fees and other forms of fraudulent recruitment; therefore, Bangladesh is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year. Some government officials and members of civil society continue to believe the forced labor and debt bondage of Bangladeshi workers abroad was not considered labor trafficking, but rather employment fraud perpetrated on irregular migrants

Recommendations for Bangladesh: Draft and enact legislation criminalizing the forced labor of men; integrate anti-labor trafficking objectives into national anti-trafficking policies and programs; significantly increase criminal prosecutions and punishments for all forms of labor trafficking, including those involving fraudulent labor recruitment and forced child labor; consider establishing special courts to prosecute labor trafficking offenses; greatly improve oversight of Bangladesh’s international recruiting agencies to ensure they are not promoting practices that contribute to labor trafficking; provide protection services for adult male trafficking victims and victims of forced labor, including improving consular assistance in embassies abroad; and increase awareness campaigns targeted at potential domestic and international migrants.

Prosecution
The Government of Bangladesh did not provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat sex trafficking or forced labor during the reporting period. Bangladesh 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 child under the age of 18 for prostitution in Articles 372 and 373 of its penal code. Prescribed penalties under these sex trafficking statutes range from 10 years’ imprisonment to the death sentence. The most common sentence imposed on convicted sex traffickers is life imprisonment. These penalties are very stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. 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.

During the reporting period, the government obtained the convictions of 32 sex trafficking offenders and sentenced 24 of them to life imprisonment; eight were sentenced to lesser prison terms. This is a slight decrease from the 37 convictions obtained in 2008. The government did not report the conviction of any labor trafficking offenders. The government prosecuted 68 cases involving suspected sex trafficking offenders and conducted 26 investigations, compared with 90 prosecutions and 134 investigations during the previous year. Forty-nine prosecutions resulted in acquittals; however, under Bangladeshi law the term “acquittal” can also refer to cases in which the parties settled out of court or witnesses did not appear in court. Despite administrative actions taken against labor recruitment agencies involved in fraudulent recruitment and possible human trafficking, the government did not report any criminal prosecutions or convictions for labor trafficking offenses. The Bangladeshi judicial system’s handling of sex trafficking cases continued to be plagued by a large backlog and delays caused by procedural loopholes. Most sex trafficking cases are prosecuted by 42 special courts for the prosecution of crimes of violence against women and children spread throughout 32 districts of the country; those courts are generally more efficient than regular trial courts.

The Ministry of Home Affairs’ Anti-Trafficking Monitoring Cell reportedly collected data on trafficking arrests, prosecutions, and rescues, and coordinated and analyzed local-level information from regional anti-trafficking units. During the year, there was some evidence of official complicity in human trafficking. Several NGOs reported a nexus among members of parliament and corrupt recruiting agencies and village level brokers and indicated that politicians and regional gangs were involved in human trafficking. Some NGOs also report that official recruitment agencies in Dhaka have linkages with employers in destination countries who sometimes put their migrant workers in situations of servitude. Low-level government employees were also complicit in trafficking. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the government prosecuted a civil servant who was complicit in trafficking; the trial remained ongoing at the end of the reporting period. The government confirmed the existence of allegations against some Bangladeshi soldiers in Sierra Leone who may have engaged in or facilitated trafficking, but the government did not provide any information on investigations or prosecutions of these cases. The country’s National Police Academy provided anti-trafficking training to 2,876 police officers in 2009. The 12 police officers of the Ministry of Home Affairs’ “Trafficking in Human Beings Investigation Unit” continued to receive training on investigation techniques. Other government officials received training from NGOs, international organizations, and foreign governments. A 2009 report from a prominent NGO suggested that law enforcement trainings have not translated into increased prosecutions or a change in outlook.

Protection
The Government of Bangladesh made limited efforts to protect victims of trafficking over the last year. The government’s lack of efforts to protect victims of forced labor – who constitute a large share of victims in the country – and adult male victims of trafficking is a continuing concern. While the government did not have a systematic procedure to identify and refer female and child victims of trafficking, the courts, police, or Home Ministry officials referred victims of internal trafficking to shelters. Law enforcement officials identified and rescued 68 victims (38 females and 30 children) in the reporting period, but it is uncertain whether they were referred to shelters. In the previous year, law enforcement officials identified and rescued 251 victims. While the government did not provide shelter or other services dedicated to trafficking victims, it continued to run nine homes for women and children victims of violence, including trafficking, as well as a “one-stop crisis center” for women and children in the Dhaka general hospital. These centers, in cooperation with NGOs, provided legal, medical, and psychiatric services. During the last year, 384 victims were served by government and NGO care facilities in Bangladesh; some of these may have been victims of trafficking. The Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment continued to operate shelters for female Bangladeshi victims of trafficking and exploitation in Riyadh and Jeddah. Law enforcement personnel encouraged victims of trafficking, when identified, to participate in investigations and prosecutions of their traffickers, but there was no evidence of the number of victims who assisted in investigations and prosecutions of traffickers in the reporting period. Authorities did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. When no space was available in shelter homes, however, female victims of trafficking – as wards of the police or court – stayed in jails. From February to October 2009, local police in India rescued seven adult female Bangladeshi sex trafficking victims. In March 2010 – after some of the women had remained in shelters for over a year in India – the Government of Bangladesh began working with NGOs and the Indian government to repatriate these women. As of the writing of this report, the process has not been finalized.

While workers ostensibly had several options to address complaints of labor and recruitment violations and to get compensation, the process most often used – arbitration by Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (BAIRA) – did not provide sufficient financial compensation and rarely addressed the illegal activities of some recruitment agencies, all of which are BAIRA members. The Bureau of Manpower Employment and Training (BMET), which is charged with overseeing recruitment agencies and monitoring the condition of Bangladeshi workers overseas, regularly steers workers with complaints to BAIRA for resolution. Workers are drawn to the BAIRA complaint mechanism because it offers quick cash payouts (though usually much less than the wages they were denied and the recruitment fees paid) and requires significantly less proof of paid fees – most fees charged were illegal and thus had no corresponding receipts. If there are “major” disputes, recruitment agencies may lose their licenses; however, NGOs report that friends and family members of agency heads successfully file for new licenses. Recruitment agencies may also incur criminal charges.

According to Ministry of Expatriate Welfare and Overseas Employment (MEWOE), the government disposed 893 of 1,030 labor complaints in the reporting period (as opposed to disposing 745 complaints of 1,010 the year before); some of these complaints were likely due to trafficking offenses. NGOs allege officials working at Bangladeshi embassies abroad were mostly unresponsive to complaints and attempts to seek restitution abroad were rare. The Government of Bangladesh continued to donate land for an IOM project which established a coffee stand run by rehabilitated trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Bangladeshi government failed to take adequate efforts to prevent the forced labor of Bangladeshis abroad and at home, and made modest efforts to prevent sex trafficking over the reporting period. During the reporting period, the BMET reportedly shut down one recruiting agency, cancelled the licenses and confiscated the security deposit money of six agencies for their involvement in fraudulent recruitment practices that potentially facilitated human trafficking. This is a decrease from the nine agencies shut down and 25 agencies whose licenses were cancelled in the previous reporting period. BMET collected approximately $830,000 in fines from recruitment agencies for fraudulent recruitment practices and other infractions. The government continued to allow BAIRA to set fees, license individual agencies, certify workers for overseas labor, and handle most complaints of expatriate laborers, while not exercising adequate oversight over this consortium of labor recruiters to ensure their practices do not facilitate debt bondage of Bangladeshi workers abroad. Various ministries disseminated numerous anti-sex trafficking messages in a number of different forums, including public service announcements, discussions, songs, rallies, and posters. The Monitoring Cell reported anti-sex trafficking messaging was included in monthly public outreach sessions conducted by government heads in each of Bangladesh’s 65 units. The Home Secretary continued to chair the monthly inter-ministerial National Anti- Trafficking Committee Meetings, which oversees district-level committees in 64 districts. The Home Secretary also regularly holds coordination committee meetings with NGOs, although some NGOs note that the meetings often have broad agendas and do not focus adequately on trafficking. The Ministry of Home Affairs published the Bangladesh Country Report on Combating Trafficking in Women and Children. While the government made the registration compulsory in 2006, the national rate of birth registration is only between seven and10 percent, and most children born in the rural areas are still not properly documented. During the year, the government did not demonstrate measures to reduce the demand for forced labor or for commercial sex acts. Bangladesh is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

BARBADOS (Tier 2 Watch List)

Barbados is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Some children in Barbados are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation in “transactional sex” wherein a third party such as a parent receives a benefit from the child’s participation in sexual activity. Researchers identified patterns of transactional sex within families, most often by adult male caretakers such as step-fathers, as well as child prostitution outside the home. Women from the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Jamaica voluntarily enter Barbados as illegal migrants, and some expect to engage in prostitution. Some of these women are exploited in forced prostitution subsequent to their arrival. Some other foreign women who entered the country illegally are exploited in involuntary domestic servitude in private homes. Foreign men have been transported to Barbados for the purpose of labor exploitation in construction and other sectors. Sex traffickers, primarily organized criminals from Guyana, form partnerships with pimps and brothel owners from Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, and lure women to Barbados with offers of legitimate work. Trafficking victims tend to enter the country through legal means, usually by air; traffickers later use force and coercion to obtain and maintain the victims’ work in strip clubs, massage parlors, some private residences, and “entertainment clubs” which operate as brothels. Traffickers use methods such as threats of physical harm or deportation, debt bondage, false contracts, psychological abuse, and confinement to force victims to work in construction, the garment industry, agriculture, or private households.

The Government of Barbados does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, particularly an aggressive public campaign begun by government ministries and the continued drafting of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, the government’s overall efforts did not improve over the reporting period. Law enforcement and immigration officials continued to summarily deport undocumented foreigners without determining whether they are trafficking victims, the government opened no investigations into possible cases of sex or labor trafficking, and it did not prosecute any trafficking cases during the year. Therefore, Barbados is placed on Tier 2 Watch List.

Recommendations for Barbados: Finish drafting, then pass and enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law; proactively investigate suspected human trafficking cases; prosecute and punish trafficking offenders, especially those who subject workers to forced labor; implement procedures for law enforcement officers to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; develop a national plan to identify, combat, and prevent trafficking; and create and implement a national trafficking awareness and prevention program.

Prosecution
The Barbados government made no discernible progress in its anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. Law enforcement agencies faced resource constraints and competing priorities. No trafficking offenders were prosecuted during the year. No cases were brought against employers for confiscating passports or travel documents. Barbados has no specific law prohibiting human trafficking, but slavery and forced labor are constitutionally prohibited. Existing statutes such as the Sexual Offences Act of 1992, Cap. 154 and the Offences Against the Person Act of 1994, Cap. 141 prohibit some trafficking offenses, as well as trafficking-related offenses, though these were not used to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders during the year. Sections 33 and 34 of the Offences Against the Person Act prohibit the crime of slavery; penalties for this offense range from five to 15 years’ imprisonment and are sufficiently stringent. There were no reports of government officials’ complicity in human trafficking.

Protection
The Government of Barbados maintained its moderate efforts to ensure victims’ access to necessary protective services over the last year. As the crime of trafficking does not officially exist in Barbadian law, there are no legal protections provided for trafficking victims. Existing facilities which provide assistance to victims of other crimes, such as rape and child abuse, that are partially funded by the government and run by NGOs, may have provided services to child victims of sex trafficking without having identified them as human trafficking victims. Neither government nor NGO personnel could provide information about whether any trafficking victims were identified at these facilities. The Gender Affairs Bureau arranged for assistance to be provided to victims of any crime regardless of whether they participated in investigations or prosecutions. Officials from this Bureau collaborated with a local NGO to sensitize government agencies on the difference between smuggling and trafficking, the importance of referring victims to services provided in collaboration with NGOs, and the importance of implementing a trafficking-specific protocol and legislation to better target their efforts. Victims of trafficking (like victims of other crimes) were not usually encouraged to participate in investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenders. Trafficking victims could be prosecuted for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. Most law enforcement and immigration officials still do not have the appropriate training, funding, and other necessary mechanisms to identify victims or suspected cases of trafficking. The government provided no legal alternatives for the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Police claimed to have no option under current laws but to treat foreign trafficking victims without valid immigration documents as violators of the law subject to summary deportation. There have been no reported cases of Barbadians trafficked to foreign countries, although the Bureau of Gender Affairs has specialized services in place should such a case arise.

Prevention
The government made weak efforts to prevent human trafficking and raise the public’s awareness of the risks and dangers of human trafficking in Barbados. In 2004, the government began work on a protocol for anti-trafficking action, which the Gender Affairs Bureau passed to other government agencies for comment in early 2009. The protocol was expected to be introduced in parliament in April 2010. The Minister of Youth, Family, and Sports spoke openly against child prostitution on several occasions, a subject which had not often been raised in public before. During the year, the government continued to host educational workshops for an unspecified number of officials and social service providers. There was no formal mechanism for coordinating government and NGO action on trafficking issues, but the Bureau of Gender Affairs worked with regional and local NGOs, religious organizations, and community advocates to better organize their anti-trafficking efforts and outreach. Although public commentary on the problem of sex tourism, including child sex tourism, has been increasing, the government has made no noticeable efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Barbados is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

BELARUS (Tier 2)

Belarus is a source, destination, and transit country for women, men, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. The majority of identified Belarusian victims were females forced into prostitution abroad, including in: Russia, Germany, Poland, other European countries, Turkey, Israel, Lebanon, and the UAE. There were reports that women from low-income families in Belarus’ regions were subjected to forced prostitution in Minsk. Belarusian men, women, and children continued to be subjected to forced begging, as well as forced labor in the construction industry and other sectors in Russia. According to the Ministry of Interior, Belarusian single, unemployed females between the ages of 16 and 30 were most at risk of being trafficked. Traffickers often used informal social networks to approach potential victims.

The Government of Belarus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government’s response to trafficking is difficult to gauge due to the closed nature of the government, sparse independent reporting, and general fear of government retaliation for criticism of the ruling regime. However, based on available information, the government appeared to have sustained its efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenders in 2009. While the government appeared to continue positive steps toward improved treatment of victims and support of the anti-trafficking NGO community, the overall political climate of intimidation was a natural obstacle to authentic government partnerships with victims and anti-trafficking organizations. Funding for victim assistance programs codified into law in 2005 remained unrealized.

Recommendations for Belarus: Continue to take concrete steps to improve relations with and cultivate a climate of encouragement for NGO partners providing critical victim protection services; continue to promote a victim-centered approach to prosecuting trafficking cases and increase resources devoted to victim assistance and protection within Belarus; ensure all victims, including children, are provided with access to appropriate assistance and protection; examine why many identified trafficking victims are not referred to service providers for assistance; disaggregate sex and labor trafficking crimes within law enforcement statistics; and distinguish prevention activities focused on curbing forced labor and forced prostitution from those focused on illegal migration, and increase the former.

Prosecution
The government sustained law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Belarusian law prohibits trafficking in persons for both sexual exploitation and labor exploitation through Article 181 of its criminal code which prescribes penalties ranging from two to 15 years’ imprisonment in addition to asset forfeiture. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes. The government reported 219 human trafficking investigations in 2009, including at least 10 labor trafficking investigations. Authorities reportedly prosecuted 61 cases under Article 181 and convicted 15 trafficking offenders under the same statute in 2009, down from 17 convictions in 2008. The government did not report how many of the convictions were for forced labor versus forced prostitution. Officials reported that the majority of convicted trafficking offenders were given imposed sentences of over eight years’ imprisonment, in addition to the forfeiture of assets. While reports indicated that officials engaged in corrupt practices, there were no reports of government complicity in human trafficking during the reporting period – such information may have been limited because of lack of press freedom and imprisonment of citizens for criticizing government officials in Belarus. In general, the judiciary lacked independence, trial outcomes usually were predetermined, and many trials were conducted behind closed doors. The Ministry of Interior continued to provide at least partial funding for its anti-trafficking training center, which has trained 47 Belarusian law enforcement officers and officials from other governments to be trafficking specialists since 2007. Courses at the center reportedly focused on anti-trafficking law enforcement techniques and victim assistance and were developed in partnership with IOM, other internationals organizations, and NGOs. The government reported partnerships with the following governments on trafficking cases: Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Israel, and Turkey.

Protection
The government demonstrated minimal progress in protecting victims of trafficking during the reporting period, including a significant decrease in the number of victims identified. In 2009, authorities identified 369 victims of sex trafficking, including 35 children, and 29 labor trafficking victims in 2009, a significant decrease from a total of 591 victims identified in 2008. The government reported referring only 131 victims to service providers for assistance, raising concerns that the formal, national trafficking victim referral mechanism was not successfully implemented. Law enforcement officials generally referred trafficking victims to IOM or NGO shelters – which relied on donor funding – to provide short and longer term protection and rehabilitation; the government referred child trafficking victims to NGOs for assistance. The government again failed to provide funding for specialized victim assistance programs pledged in a 2005 presidential decree but provided some in kind donations to NGOs. Victims could seek state medical assistance and some other services, such as vocational training, free of charge, but most victims declined assistance from government facilities. Government sources acknowledged that victims were more likely to trust NGOs than government sources of assistance. Anti-trafficking NGOs reported little government interference in their operations; they also reported improved communication with government officials during past year. In some instances during the reporting period, the government permitted NGO specialists to attend police interviews and closed court hearings upon victims’ requests. The government claimed to have encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. The anti-trafficking training center reportedly emphasized the need to avoid coercing victims, which had been reported as a problem in the past. There were no reports of identified victims being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Belarusian law allows for authorities to grant temporary residency status to foreign victims, though no victims chose this immigration relief during the reporting period.

Prevention
The government demonstrated modest progress in trafficking prevention activities during the reporting period. Citizens, the media, and NGOs in Belarus are often subjected to government intimidation and strict control, which limited open discussion about the trafficking situation in the country. Officials continued to conduct press conferences and briefings on the anti-trafficking situation in Belarus, focusing primarily on forced prostitution, during the reporting period. The government aired IOM-sponsored anti-trafficking public service announcements on state television and on television screens in subway stops which resulted in an increased number of calls to IO M’s hotline. The Ministry of Interior continued to run a hotline to offer information regarding the licensing status and legitimacy of marriage and modeling agencies and agencies involved in work and study abroad. NGOs reported cooperation between the government hotline and their own hotlines, as well as partnerships with authorities in distributing NGO-funded public awareness materials. There were reports that some policies described by the Belarusian government as anti-trafficking measures were responsible for restricting Belarusian citizens’ ability to travel abroad for legitimate purposes. The government’s national action plan on trafficking, which expires in 2010, focused on illegal migration which may lead to confusion between trafficking and smuggling.

BELGIUM (Tier 1)

Belgium is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Victims originate in Eastern Europe, Africa, East Asia, as well as Brazil and India. Some victims are smuggled through Belgium to other European countries, where they are subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Male victims are subjected to forced labor and exploitation in restaurants, bars, sweatshops, horticulture sites, fruit farms, construction sites, and retail shops. There were reportedly seven Belgian women subjected to forced prostitution in Luxembourg in 2009. According to a 2009 ECPAT Report, the majority of girls and children subjected to forced prostitution in Belgium originate from Eastern Europe and Nigeria; some young foreign boys are exploited in prostitution in major cities in the country. Local observers also report that a large portion of children trafficked in Belgium are unaccompanied, vulnerable asylum seekers and refugees. According to the Belgian immigration office, the government identified eight children between January and June 2009 as trafficked. Foreign workers continued to be subjected to involuntary domestic servitude in Belgium, some involving members of the international diplomatic community posted in Belgium.

The Government of Belgium fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government demonstrated it vigorously investigated, prosecuted, and convicted trafficking offenders. It continued to fund NGOs to provide comprehensive protection and assistance to victims subjected to forced prostitution and forced labor in 2009.

Recommendations for Belgium: Improve the collection and reporting of comprehensive anti-trafficking law enforcement data, including the disaggregating of data relating to smuggling, economic and sexual exploitation from human trafficking crimes to demonstrate vigorous prosecution and punishment of forced labor and forced prostitution offenders; and improve collection of victim assistance statistics to demonstrate proactive identification of victims and that victims are provided access to services;

Prosecution
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 penalties for all forms of trafficking – 30 years’ imprisonment – is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government reported prosecuting 387 trafficking suspects in 2009 and convicting 151 trafficking offenders in 2008; sentences for 146 convicted traffickers ranged from less than one year to 10 years in prison. According to a 2009 UNO DC Report, the Belgian government aggregated law enforcement data on trafficking into a single data base which conflates smuggling with trafficking offenses; the government, however, reported that all 151 convicted persons in 2008 were convicted for trafficking-specific offenses. The government did not disaggregate this data to demonstrate how many persons were convicted for sex trafficking versus forced labor. Furthermore, the failure of an employer to meet wage, hours, and working conditions in accordance with prevailing labor legislation and collective bargaining agreements constitutes “exploitation” under Belgium’s anti-trafficking law. An EU Schengen evaluation report issued in December 2009, stated that anti-trafficking prosecutors in Belgium report difficulty distinguishing between sexual exploitation as such, and sexual exploitation related to trafficking; this report also noted prosecutor’s difficulty in separating a victim of trafficking from economic exploitation from one of illegal employment. Furthermore, this evaluation reported that despite adequate legislation, the government convicted a relatively low number of offenders for nonconsensual sexual and economic exploitation. The report, however, praised the government for its multidisciplinary approach on trafficking cases and highlighted it as a best practice in Europe.

The government previously reported that it charged eight family members of the royal family of Abu Dhabi (UAE) with human trafficking in 2008 for subjecting 17 girls to forced servitude while staying at a Brussels hotel. The government reportedly has not yet scheduled trial proceedings for this case, though they were to have occurred in early 2010. The implicated sheikha and seven other family members have not returned to Belgium. The government reported its prosecution in 2009 of two Belgian consular officers posted in Bulgaria in 1990 for issuing fraudulent visas to traffickers operating under the cover of travel agencies. The government incarcerated a Ministry of Justice and a state security official arrested in January 2009 for being suspected of assisting a ring subjecting 17 Thai women to forced prostitution in massage parlors.

Protection
The government continued its efforts to protect victims of trafficking; however it reported a decrease in the number of trafficking victims identified and referred for protection in 2009. The government continued to fund three NGOs to shelter and provide comprehensive assistance to trafficking victims. These three NGOs assisted 465 potential trafficking victims during the reporting period; 158 of these were new referrals, a significant decline from the 495 total identified and referred in 2008. The government reported 103 victims of sexual and economic exploitation filed applications for temporary residency in Belgium in 2009, but did not provide the number of residency permits that were officially granted. The government reportedly used proactive procedures to identify victims of trafficking based on a 2008 interagency directive on coordination and assistance to trafficking victims; a December 2009 EU Schengen evaluation cited the guidelines for victim identification as a best practice. Belgian law allows the provision of extendable temporary residence status and permanent residence status to victims who participated in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. Residence can be granted before an investigation is completed at judicial discretion; residency can also be granted even without a successful prosecution. Children who were victims of trafficking reportedly were granted three months in which to decide whether to testify against their traffickers. According to a 2009 End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (ECPAT) report, Belgian officials will only officially recognize a person as a victim of trafficking if that person has broken off all contact with their traffickers, agrees to counseling at a specialized reception center, and officially files a complaint against the traffickers. The report noted that these conditions for victim assistance are too high for child victims to meet. According to the government, if a child did not qualify for victim status, they may still have qualified for protection under the government’s rules for unaccompanied minors. Victims who served as prosecutors’ witnesses in court were entitled to seek legal employment during the relevant legal proceedings. A report released by the government in December 2009 noted that undocumented victims of economic exploitation often hesitate to collaborate with law enforcement, fearing deportation. The report also noted that victims of economic exploitation occasionally end up in centers for rejected asylum seekers before being directed to shelters. Identified victims were not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. IOM reported it repatriated five victims of trafficking, three adults and two unaccompanied minors, in 2009.

Prevention
The Government of Belgium sustained its progress to prevent trafficking in 2009. The government continued to fund its ongoing “Stop Child Prostitution” prevention program in 2009. It reported that Belgian authorities launched an information campaign to increase identification and protection for Brazilian victims of forced labor. In 2009, the government issued a flyer in 27 languages for potential trafficking victims distributed by the police, the shelters, and available in airports and railway stations. In April 2009, in partnership with an NGO, the government held a colloquium in the Belgian Senate to generate greater parliamentary interest in trafficking issues. Reportedly, Brussels, Antwerp, and Liege took measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. Following the example of Brussels and Antwerp, the Liege city government closed 51 brothels in September 2008, limiting prostitution to a few registered bars. Belgian law allows for the prosecution of Belgian nationals for child abuse crimes committed abroad. The Belgian authorities identified child sex tourism as a serious problem among Belgian nationals, but reported no prosecutions of such activity. The government provided specific anti-trafficking training to Belgian troops before they were deployed on international peacekeeping missions.

BELIZE (Tier 2 Watch List)

Belize is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. The most common form of trafficking in Belize is the forced prostitution of children, particularly situations where poor families push their school-aged daughters to provide sexual favors to wealthy older men in exchange for school fees, money, and gifts. This “sugar daddy” phenomenon occurs in Belize and other Caribbean countries, but often is not recognized as a form of human trafficking by local communities or law enforcement personnel. Men, women, and children, particularly from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, and Mexico, migrate voluntarily to Belize in search of work; some may fall victim to forced prostitution in bars or to forced labor. In recent years, migrants from India and Nepal have been subjected to conditions of forced labor in Belize. Child sex tourism has been identified as an emerging trend in Belize.

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. Despite these efforts, notably the continued provision of assistance to foreign trafficking victims first identified in 2005 and 2008, the government did not convict or sentence any trafficking offenders last year, and did not make adequate efforts to systematically identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations. In spite of existing anti-trafficking legislation and victim facilities, the government did not demonstrate appreciable progress in combating trafficking; therefore Belize is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year.

Recommendations for Belize: Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including any allegedly complicit public officials; increase law enforcement efforts against both labor and sex trafficking; develop a formal mechanism to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, including migrant laborers and foreign women forced to work in bars; continue to improve victim services and assistance; and increase penalties for human trafficking so they are commensurate with penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape.

Prosecution
The Government of Belize demonstrated considerable, but incomplete, efforts to apply law enforcement measures against trafficking offenders during the past year. Belize’s government prohibits all forms of trafficking through its Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Act of 2003, which prescribes punishment between one and five years’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. These penalties are sufficiently stringent, but are not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes such as rape, which carries a penalty of eight years’ to life imprisonment. Authorities conducted five anti-trafficking law enforcement operations during the reporting period; no cases of human trafficking were identified during these operations, but individuals were arrested for immigration offenses. Two prosecutions of labor trafficking offenses are pending before the courts; in both cases, the victims were adult males. There were no trafficking convictions during the reporting period, and there have been no trafficking convictions since 2005. Some international organizations describe Belize’s judicial system as dysfunctional: human trafficking cases are typically handled in lower courts and often dismissed. An anti-trafficking committee, formed of various government agencies and several NGOs, led the government’s efforts to combat trafficking, including coordination of investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders. There were no confirmed cases of trafficking-related complicity by Belizean officials, although an NGO reports that some officials may have accepted bribes to ignore potential trafficking activity.

Protection
The Government of Belize maintained adequate protection services for trafficking victims last year. During the reporting period, the government revised standard operating procedures for officials dealing with human trafficking cases to improve victim identification and conducted training on these procedures. Immigration officials who had received government-sponsored training on human trafficking identified four sex trafficking victims in March 2010: while initially incarcerated for immigration violations, once identified the victims were removed from jail and placed in protective care. Ten foreign labor trafficking victims, all adult males who were first identified in 2008, received shelter assistance, victim services and work permits last year, and two were offered permanent residency. Three sex trafficking victims first identified in 2005 continued to receive legal, health, and rehabilitation services from the government during the reporting period. Child victims of trafficking could be placed in government institutions for children or referred to local NGOs, which receive limited funding and in-kind support from the government; the Government of Belize provided services to one child victim, including foster care and funding for legal, health, and rehabilitation services. The government operated two shelters for adult trafficking victims and provided access to medical care, counseling, and integration assistance. One of the shelters cannot accommodate both male and female victims at the same time. Authorities in Belize encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. There were no reports of victims being jailed or penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Authorities provided temporary residency for foreign trafficking victims participating in court cases. In collaboration with the Mexican government, the government assisted in the repatriation of several Indian labor trafficking victims. The anti-trafficking committee conducted training in trafficking victim identification for police officers, immigration officials, labor officials, social workers, and health care workers during the reporting period.

Prevention
The Government of Belize maintained efforts to raise public awareness of human trafficking during the reporting period. The government continued to air public service announcements in multiple languages and distributed posters and anti-trafficking materials. The government maintained partnerships with international organizations and NGOs, particularly regarding commercial sexual exploitation of children, and hosted a workshop in 2009 to raise awareness of this issue. Authorities registered 13 new cases of children at risk of becoming victims of commercial sexual exploitation and provided them with education assistance, counseling, and other services. Although there were no reported investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of child sex tourists during the reporting period, government officials continued to work with Belize’s tourism industry to promote a code of conduct to prevent child sex tourism. In an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex, courts convicted three individuals for commercial sexual exploitation of children using carnal knowledge and indecent assault statutes. No specific efforts to reduce demand for forced labor were reported.


BENIN (Tier 2)

Benin is a country of origin and transit for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. Until recently, analysts also considered Benin a destination country for foreign children brought to the country and subjected to forced labor, but new information from government and non-government sources indicates the total number of such children is not significant. The majority of victims are girls trafficked into domestic servitude or the commercial sex trade in Cotonou, the administrative capital. Some boys are forced to labor on farms, work in construction, produce handicrafts, or hawk items on the street. Many traffickers are relatives or acquaintances of their victims, exploiting the traditional system of vidomegon, in which parents allow their children to live with and work for richer relatives, usually in urban areas. There are reports that some tourists visiting Pendjari National Park in northern Benin exploit underage girls in prostitution, some of whom may be trafficking victims. Beninese children recruited for forced labor exploitation abroad are destined largely for Nigeria and Gabon, with some also going to Cote d’Ivoire and other African countries, where they may be forced to work in mines, quarries, or the cocoa sector.

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. Over the last year, the government took steps to accelerate prosecution of trafficking offenders and increase the number of protective and preventive activities. In efforts to prevent human trafficking, it promulgated three decrees regulating the movement of children into and out of Benin and continued its countrywide effort to register births and issue birth certificates to all citizens. The government did not, however, collect and make available to its citizens and partners accurate law enforcement data on human trafficking issues. Further, it did not give its officials specialized training on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking.

Recommendations for Benin: Increase efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders; improve efforts to collect data on sentences imposed on convicted trafficking offenders; develop formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among women and children in prostitution and children laboring in the informal sector and private residences; and develop and enact legislation prohibiting trafficking of adults.

Prosecution
The government sustained its efforts to bring trafficking offenders to justice during the reporting period. 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 penalties of up to 20 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for rape. The child trafficking law does not cover adults, though existing laws against kidnapping and labor exploitation give some protection to people more than 18 years old. The Ministry of Justice, Legislation and Human Rights reported that Benin’s eight courts handled a total of 200 cases of child trafficking and related offenses, including child abduction and corruption of children. At the close of the reporting period, 155 cases remained pending, five cases were dismissed, and 40 cases resulted in convictions; the government neither specified which of these cases involved child trafficking nor provided information on sentences given to convicted trafficking offenders. The Police Brigade for the Protection of Minors (BPM) handled 58 cases involving child trafficking or illegal movement of children out of the country without parental authorization, bringing 17 perpetrators to the Cotonou court for further investigation and prosecution. Gendarmes in the village of Porga arrested suspected traffickers trying to cross the Benin-Burkina Faso border en route to Cote d’Ivoire with five children in April 2009, and delivered them to the court at Natitingou. The government did not provide information on the outcome of the Porga case, or data on cases handled by other branches of the police. There was no evidence of Beninese government officials’ complicity in trafficking offenses. Although the senior police members were provided training on child trafficking issues as part of their training at the police academy, other officials were not trained to recognize, investigate, and prosecute trafficking offenses.

Protection
Four government ministries and several international donors and NGOs effectively used their partnerships to widen Benin’s ability to assist, repatriate, and reintegrate victims of trafficking in 2009. The BPM reported rescuing 266 trafficking victims as they were being transported to and from Nigeria, Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, and Togo; these rescues were the product of partnerships with authorities of those countries. This figure represents an increase of 22 more rescues than in the previous year. Furthermore, working with UNICEF and Gabonese officials, the government repatriated 28 Beninese children, some of whom may have been trafficking victims, rescued from a boat carrying clandestine migrants off the coast of Gabon. In most cases, the BPM took initial custody of victims once inside Benin, and after an interview to confirm their status as trafficking victims, typically referred them to a network of long-term NGO shelters. The BPM holds recovered victims at a large government-built transit shelter it maintained in Cotonou, staffed by seven NGO personnel, until transferring victims to an NGO shelter for reintegration. During 2009, the BPM shelter took in 941 children, many of whom were trafficking victims, and offered them legal, medical, and psychological assistance. The Ministry of Family and National Solidarity worked with NGOs to reunite children with their families. No child goes back to its community of origin until there is a suitable point of reinsertion such as a school, vocational center, or apprenticeship. The government extended access for these children to the national network of social promotion centers, which provide basic social services in each of the country’s 77 communes. Foreign victims of trafficking offenses received assistance from the government through the BPM and social promotion centers before repatriation. According to an NGO leading the repatriation and shelter of Beninese victims from the Abeokuta quarries in Nigeria, the Beninese Ministry of Family, the BPM, and the Beninese Consulate in Nigeria repatriated 20 trafficking victims between August and December 2009. Both BPM and the office of Family and Child Monitoring at the Ministry of Family established operational databases on child trafficking during the year, but neither yielded data on trafficking victims during the reporting period. Officials encouraged victims to assist in the investigation of trafficking offenders, but shielded children from taking part in the trial unless a judge required it. Victims were not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, but the government did not have a mechanism for screening victims of trafficking among populations of women and children in prostitution.

Prevention
Through partnerships with local and international agencies, the government provided partial support for several new programs to prevent child trafficking. In 2009, the Ministry of Family, with foreign donor support, established 142 new local committees to enable community surveillance in Benin and along the Benin-Nigeria border. The BPM, immigration agents, and gendarmes took up stations at international border crossings to screen travelers and monitor the transport of children. These observers relied on community whistleblowers to alert them to suspicious cases. Furthermore, the government completed ahead of schedule its 2008-2012 National Plan to Combat Child Trafficking and Labor. Also in 2009, the government joined with foreign partners to implement a second anti-child trafficking project to improve living conditions and advance respect for children’s rights, thus addressing key structural causes of Benin’s trafficking problem. The government, in partnership with UNICEF and a major regional bank, launched a seven-day awareness campaign against child sex tourism. The government provided training to Beninese troops on issues of child trafficking and exploitation prior to their deployment abroad for international peacekeeping missions.

BOLIVIA (Tier 2)

Bolivia is principally a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution and forced labor within the country or abroad. A large number of Bolivians are found in conditions of forced labor in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Peru, Spain, and the United States in sweatshops, factories, and agriculture. Within the country, young Bolivian women and girls from rural areas are subjected to forced prostitution in urban areas. Members of indigenous communities, particularly in the Chaco region, are at risk of forced labor within the country. A significant number of Bolivian children are subjected to conditions of forced labor in mining, agriculture, and as domestic servants, and reports indicate some parents sell or rent out their children for forced labor in mining and agriculture near border areas with Peru. The country’s porous borders facilitate the movement of undocumented migrants, some of whom may be trafficked. In one case, Bolivian authorities identified 26 Haitian children who were en route to Brazil for possible forced labor and forced prostitution.

The Government of Bolivia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government maintained significant law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking crimes, although it did not increase convictions of trafficking offenders, which remained disproportionately low compared with high the numbers of trafficking victims identified by Bolivian authorities. The government did not show evidence of adequately addressing forced labor, and services available to individuals subjected to forced labor and repatriated Bolivians who were trafficked abroad were generally lacking. While many of Bolivia’s anti-trafficking initiatives remained dependent on international donor funding, the government has initiated a project to significantly dedicate more law enforcement officers and prosecutors toward the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses over the next year.

Recommendations for Bolivia: Intensify anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, particularly investigations of allegations of forced labor of adults and children; increase efforts to prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders, especially in cases involving forced prostitution of adult women or forced labor; enhance victim services across the country, particularly for victims of forced labor; dedicate resources to serve repatriated victims of trafficking; develop formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; and increase public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking, particularly among Bolivians seeking work abroad.

Prosecution
The Government of Bolivia sustained anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year, though it did not demonstrate increased efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenders. The government prohibits all forms of human trafficking through Law 3325, an anti-trafficking law enacted in 2006, which prescribes penalties of 8 to 12 years’ imprisonment, penalties which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed under Bolivian law for other serious crimes such as rape. A draft law submitted to Bolivia’s Congress over the past year would enhance the government’s ability to conduct thorough investigations and would improve victims’ access to specialized services. The Bolivian national police investigated 288 cases suspected of involving human trafficking in 2009, a 26 percent increase over investigations initiated during the preceding year. The Bolivian government reported 21 prosecutions initiated and seven trafficking offenders convicted in 2009; three of the seven convicted offenders were given suspended sentences and released, while the other sentences ranged from three to 12 years. These actions compare with 64 prosecutions initiated and seven convictions obtained in 2008. The majority of the government’s anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts focused on the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and no charges were filed for labor trafficking offenses. The government continued to operate four specialized anti-trafficking police units in La Paz, El Alto, Santa Cruz, and Cochabamba, and made preparations to open an additional six units along the frontiers with Brazil, Argentina, and Peru in 2010 with the support of a foreign government. Bolivian police increased targeted law enforcement operations against brothels, which resulted in the rescue of 287 children in conditions of forced prostitution, a 33 percent increase from the previous year. Some of these victims sought care in shelters, while others were reintegrated with their families. No criminal investigations or prosecutions of public officials allegedly involved with trafficking-related activity were initiated during the reporting period.

Protection
The Bolivian government sustained modest efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. Although law enforcement officials identified child victims during police operations in brothels, the government lacks effective procedures for identifying trafficking victims among other vulnerable populations, such as child laborers. During the past year, law enforcement officials stationed along Bolivia’s borders did not systematically attempt to identify victims of trafficking among emigrating Bolivians, though reports indicate hundreds of children leave the country under suspicious circumstances each month. In larger cities, such as La Paz and Santa Cruz, the government maintains small municipal shelters capable of caring for sex trafficking victims on a short-term basis, although some shelters limit services to girls. In addition to investigating and prosecuting cases, the anti-trafficking police unit in Santa Cruz provides trafficked individuals, along with victims of domestic violence, with medical assistance and shelter, and is seen as a successful model of integrated care. Municipal shelters generally cannot, however, accommodate the demand for all forms of victim services, and in practice, services are limited to women and children trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation, with minimal resources available to male victims of trafficking or victims subjected to forced labor. Child victims may receive general care at a government-operated children’s shelter, and NGOs and religious groups provide additional shelter care and reintegration training programs to trafficking victims. Temporary and long-term services for victims remain unavailable in parts of the country. The government has no dedicated programs to assist the significant numbers of Bolivians trafficked abroad and later repatriated to the country. The government encourages victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders, though victims often do not because of their fear of reprisals from traffickers. The government does not provide foreign trafficking victims with legal alternatives to deportation to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. While the government provided no specialized training in the identification of trafficking victims, other partners, including NGOs and foreign governments, provided training to police, prosecutors, and the general population.

Prevention
The government sustained previous levels of prevention and public awareness efforts, largely in collaboration with international donors. Bolivian authorities continued to forge partnerships with NGOs, international organizations, and other governments on prevention activities, and hosted the country’s first International Trafficking in Persons conference in March 2009. No efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor were reported during the year. The government provided anti-trafficking training for its troops before they deployed on international peacekeeping missions.

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA (Tier 1)

Bosnia and Herzegovina is primarily a source for Bosnian women and girls who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution within the country, though it is also a destination and transit country for foreign women and girls in forced prostitution in Bosnia and in Western Europe. There were four identified victims from Serbia in 2009. Most trafficked women entered the country through Serbia or Montenegro. There were reports that some girls, particularly Roma, were trafficked, using forced marriage, for the purpose of involuntary domestic servitude and that Roma boys and girls were subjected to forced begging by organized groups. There was one case involving Bosnian males recruited for labor and subjected to coercive conditions in Azerbaijan in 2009. NGOs report that traffickers frequently use intermediaries to bring clients to private apartments, motels, and gas stations where victims are held.

The Government of Bosnia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government made clear progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period by significantly reducing its use of suspended sentences and imposing stronger penalties for convicted traffickers. The government employed proactive systematic procedures to identify potential victims throughout the reporting period, registering a greater number of trafficking victims, and referred them to NGO service providers which it funded.

Recommendations for Bosnia and Herzegovina: Consider providing specialized reintegration services to all domestic trafficking victims, particularly for those who choose not to stay at an NGO shelter; sustain and expand partnerships with NGOs to institutionalize a victim-centered response to trafficking; continue to improve law enforcement coordination at all levels of government; continue to improve penalties for convicted traffickers; ensure vigorous investigation and prosecution of alleged trafficking-related complicity; continue to conduct outreach with local centers for social work to improve recognition and response to all trafficking victims, including children; develop specialized services for men who are subjected to conditions of forced labor; and develop more comprehensive campaigns aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex and forced labor.

Prosecution
The Government of Bosnia made significant progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year, delivering one of the highest sentences for trafficking ever prosecuted in Bosnia. The government also reduced its use of suspended sentences and increased penalties for convicted traffickers. The Government of Bosnia prohibits trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation through Article 186 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties of up to 10 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government amended its criminal code in 2009, setting a three-year minimum sentence for trafficking and increasing the minimum penalty for officials involved in trafficking. The national government successfully prosecuted a landmark trafficking case involving a high-level trafficker in 2009, sentencing the ringleader to 12 years in prison, fining him $14,286, and ordering the forfeiture of over $204,600 in assets. In 2009, the national government investigated 14 suspected trafficking cases, and local authorities investigated 21 such cases. The national government prosecuted three cases involving 12 suspected trafficking offenders in 2009 and convicted 11 trafficking offenders; sentences for 11 convicted traffickers in two cases ranged from five months to 12 years’ imprisonment. Six of these sentences were over three years in length, and one suspect was acquitted. Courts in the Federation prosecuted seven cases, convicted 11 traffickers and sentenced nine of them to one to three years. Finally, in the Republika Srpska, authorities reportedly prosecuted nine trafficking cases and convicted five trafficking offenders, resulting in sentences ranging from one to two years. State and local-level courts suspended sentences for two convicted traffickers in 2009, a notable decrease from 14 suspended sentences in 2008.

Under Bosnian law, many convicted offenders are eligible for weekend furloughs from prison; thus some convicted traffickers in 2009 may have been released on weekends, posing a potential risk to their victims. There were continued anecdotal reports of police and other officials’ facilitation of trafficking, including by willfully ignoring or actively protecting traffickers or exploiters of trafficking victims in return for payoffs. In March 2010, the government arrested 16 suspects, including the Srebrenica Deputy Mayor, local religious officials, school officials, and police officers for their alleged involvement in the trafficking and forced prostitution of a Roma girl. The government reported all suspects were subsequently released two days after the arrests, citing lack of sufficient evidence to detain them. The State Minister of Security was also interrogated as a suspect. The investigation remains ongoing. Two local officials under investigation by the State Prosecutor for their December 2007 involvement in forced prostitution of three children were released from custody on February 12, 2009. Trial proceedings are still ongoing. The government has yet to convict any government officials for trafficking-related complicity.

Protection
The Government of Bosnia made progress in identifying and protecting victims of trafficking in 2009. The government continued to provide sufficient funding to six local NGOs that provided shelter and medical and psychological assistance to foreign and domestic victims during the reporting period. In 2009, the government provided $32,000 for the care of domestic victims and $71,400 for care to foreign victims of trafficking, including repatriation assistance. The government employed systematic proactive procedures for identifying and referring both foreign and domestic victims to NGO service providers and registered 46 trafficking victims in 2009, an increase from 29 identified in 2008. Government-funded NGOs provided shelter to 18 victims during the reporting period; the remaining 28 victims received services from NGOs on an outpatient basis. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers and relied on the voluntary cooperation of victims as witnesses in all of its prosecutions in 2009. However, a 2009 report issued by the European Commission reported witness protection in Bosnia remained inadequate.

The government provided legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution through the provision of short- and long-term residence permits. In 2009, the government provided six victims with residence permits, an increase from the two permits provided the previous year. Police and border officers continued to employ systematic procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations and the government continued to train its consular officials abroad on ways to identify potential trafficking victims among persons applying for Bosnian visas. The government ensured that identified victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked; however, unidentified victims were likely inadvertently deported or occasionally prosecuted for immigration or other violations. The government failed to protect the confidentiality of an alleged underage sex trafficking victim during the reporting period by allowing some media to disclose her full name and photo. While the government reported authorities referred the victim to one of its shelters for care, the disclosure of her identify likely hampered the government’s ability to adequately protect her.

Prevention
The Bosnian government sustained its anti-trafficking prevention efforts over the year. The Office of the State Coordinator continued to coordinate and supervise an NGO-funded comprehensive campaign targeted at young people seeking employment abroad that included TV spots, billboards, and pamphlets. The government continued to fund an NGO’s operation of an anti-trafficking hotline in 2009. The government also continued to give specialized trafficking awareness training to Bosnian troops before their deployment on international peacekeeping missions. In partnership with the Norwegian government, it developed a manual for police, prosecutors, social centers and health care officials on preventing child trafficking. The government did not conduct any awareness campaigns specifically aimed at reducing demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor.

BOTSWANA (Tier 2)

Botswana is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Parents in poor rural communities sometimes send their children to work for wealthier families as domestics in cities or as herders at remote cattle posts, where some of these children are vulnerable to forced labor. Batswana girls are exploited in prostitution within the country, including in bars and by truck drivers along major highways; it does not appear, however, that organized pimping of children occurs. In the past, women reported being forced into commercial sexual exploitation at some safari lodges, but there were no similar reports during this reporting period. Residents in Botswana most susceptible to trafficking are illegal immigrants from Zimbabwe, unemployed men and women, those living in rural poverty, agricultural workers, and children orphaned by HIV / AI DS. Some women from Zimbabwe who voluntarily, but illegally, migrate to Botswana to seek employment are subsequently subjected by their employers to involuntary domestic servitude. Batswana families which employ Zimbabwean women as domestic workers at times do so without proper work permits, do not pay adequate wages, and restrict or control the movement of their employees by holding their passports or threatening to have them deported back to Zimbabwe.

The Government of Botswana 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 began drafting a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, investigated potential cases of human trafficking, and provided protective services to several individuals who may have been targets of traffickers. It failed, however, to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders or make attempts to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as irregular migrants subject to deportation.

Recommendations for Botswana: Complete the drafting and enact comprehensive legislation that specifically criminalizes the full range of trafficking offenses; increase efforts to prosecute, where appropriate, suspected trafficking offenders under laws prohibiting forced labor, slavery, or forced prostitution; train law enforcement, immigration, and social welfare officials to identify trafficking victims, especially among vulnerable populations such as women and children in prostitution and irregular migrants; institute and carry out formal procedures for proactively identifying victims; expand public awareness campaigns to educate the general public on the nature of human trafficking, including the appropriate treatment of domestic workers under Botswana law; and increase efforts to keep detailed records of trafficking-related efforts undertaken by law enforcement entities.

Prosecution
The Government of Botswana did not increase its efforts to prosecute or punish trafficking offenses over the last year, though it investigated several suspected cases of human trafficking. The government did not prosecute any trafficking offenses or convict or punish any trafficking offenders in 2009. Although it does not have a comprehensive law prohibiting trafficking in persons, provisions in the Penal Code of 1998, such as those in sections 155-158 on procurement for forced prostitution and sections 260-262 on slavery, prohibit some forms of human trafficking. The sufficiently stringent penalties prescribed for offenses under these sections range from seven to 10 years’ imprisonment, and are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. These sections have never been used to prosecute or convict a suspected trafficking offender. In June 2009, the Parliament passed a revised Children’s Act, which defined a child as anyone under the age of 18 and increased protections for children from various forms of exploitation, including child labor and child prostitution. Section 57 of the Act prohibits the facilitation or coercion of children into prostitution and prescribes sufficiently stringent penalties of two to five years’ imprisonment or a fine of $2858 to $7143. In October 2009, the Ministry of Defense, Justice and Security began drafting a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. Officers involved in law enforcement investigations of several non-trafficking crimes during 2009 observed that some of these crimes seemed to contain elements of human trafficking. Very few immigration and law enforcement officials are trained to effectively investigate cases of human trafficking or to differentiate between smuggling clients and trafficking victims, which continued to obscure the nature and extent of the trafficking situation in Botswana. In 2009, the Botswana Police Service conducted 10 in-service training courses for its officers, during which students received lectures on combating human trafficking. A police officer in the National Central Bureau of Interpol was assigned to work exclusively on human trafficking issues and to educate police officers about the phenomenon; information on his specific anti-trafficking duties and the results of his work were unavailable.

Protection
The government showed evidence of minimal efforts to protect victims of trafficking. During the year, the government did not identify or provide assistance to any confirmed victims of trafficking, but provided shelter and social services to three Zimbabwean children and six illegal Indian migrants who officials believed to be targets of transnational traffickers. The government provided logistical and financial assistance to repatriate all nine individuals to their countries of origin. NGO-operated shelters which received government funding to provide services to children, including children in prostitution, may have provided assistance to trafficked children without identifying them as such. Law enforcement and social services personnel have not established formal procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations or to refer identified victims for protective services, and foreign trafficking victims have been deported from Botswana. During the reporting period, IO M identified 594 unaccompanied minors at the reception center in Plumtree for Zimbabweans deported from Botswana and expressed concern that some of them may have been victims of trafficking Botswana has an extensive public medical system, which includes psychological care facilities, and a university-run legal clinic which provides legal assistance to victims of any crime. It is unclear whether any trafficking victims received assistance at these facilities in 2009. Botswana’s laws do not specifically protect victims of trafficking from penalization for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, but the government did not generally prosecute persons it believed to be victims of any crime.

Prevention
The government made moderate efforts to prevent trafficking in and through Botswana. During the reporting period, the government did not complete or implement a national anti-trafficking plan of action it began developing in 2008. The government continued its participation with NGOs in an anti-trafficking working group. During the reporting period, the working group raised the issue of trafficking in the local press and within the government; fostered communication on trafficking issues between the government, NGOs, and other stakeholders; and laid the groundwork for drafting and implementing anti-TI P legislation. It produced and disseminated anti-trafficking education posters at all of its border posts and included trafficking awareness segments in some of its law enforcement training sessions. In early 2009, a partnership of NGOs and representatives from the government’s police, labor, and social services responsible for issues of child labor, including the trafficking of children for forced labor, formed a child labor task force that met regularly throughout the reporting period. In mid-2009, the government funded the salaries of two ILO consultants to advise the government on how to strengthen both its laws on worst forms of child labor and enforcement of those laws. The task force began developing definitions for what constitutes “hazardous work” under child labor statutes and recommended changes within existing laws to standardize the definition of a “child” under different statutes. During the year, the Ministry of Labor conducted child labor inspections and removed at least one child from a situation of exploitative child labor. The government made efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, largely through a broad, well-publicized HIV /AI DS awareness campaign that discouraged commercial sex acts.

BRAZIL (Tier 2)

Brazil is a source country for men, women, girls, and boys subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution within the country and abroad, as well as a source country for men and boys in forced labor within the country. According to UNO DC, sex trafficking of Brazilian women occurs in every Brazilian state and the federal district. A large number of Brazilian women and children, many from the state of Goias, are found in forced prostitution abroad, often in Spain, Italy, Portugal, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Switzerland, France, Germany, and the United States, but also as far away as Japan. Brazilian authorities have uncovered evidence that foreign organized criminal networks, particularly from Russia and Spain, are involved in sex trafficking of Brazilian women. There is evidence that some Brazilian transsexuals have been subjected to forced prostitution abroad. Brazilian women and children are also subjected to forced prostitution in neighboring countries such as Suriname, French Guiana, Venezuela, and Paraguay. To a lesser extent, women from neighboring countries have been identified in sexual servitude in Brazil. Under Brazilian law the term trabalho escravo, or slave labor, can signify forced labor or labor performed during exhausting work days or in degrading working conditions. More than 25,000 Brazilian men are subjected to slave labor within the country, typically on cattle ranches, logging and mining camps, sugar-cane plantations, and large farms producing corn, cotton, soy, and charcoal. Some boys have been identified as slave laborers in cattle ranching, mining, and the production of charcoal. Forced labor victims are commonly lured with promises of good pay by local recruiters – known as gatos – in rural northeastern states to interior locations where many victims are subjected to debt bondage. Most internally trafficked forced laborers originated from the states of Maranhao and Piaui, while Para and Mato Grosso states received the higher number of internally trafficked slave laborers. Labor trafficking victims are also found in the Cerrado, the Atlantic Forest, and the Pantanal. Children in involuntary domestic servitude, particularly involving teenage girls, also constitute a problem in the country. To a lesser extent, Brazil is a destination for the trafficking of men, women, and children from Bolivia, Paraguay, and China for forced labor in garment factories and textile sweatshops in metropolitan centers such as Sao Paulo. Child sex tourism remains a serious problem, particularly in resort and coastal areas in Brazil’s northeast. Child sex tourists typically arrive from Europe and, to a lesser extent, 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. Last year the government sustained strong efforts to rescue several thousand victims of slave labor through mobile labor inspection operations and enhanced efforts to provide sex trafficking victims with services through an expanding series of anti-trafficking centers. However, convictions of sex trafficking offenders decreased from the previous year and government-provided shelter services and protections for trafficking victims remained inadequate.

Recommendations for Brazil: Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and sentence trafficking offenders, including public officials allegedly complicit in trafficking crimes; amend legislation to apply more stringent sentences for labor trafficking offenders and to bring sex trafficking statutes in line with the UN TI P Protocol; consider increasing penalties for fraudulent recruiting crimes to more effectively target and punish unscrupulous recruiters of forced labor; enhance collaboration between government entities involved in combating different forms of trafficking; continue to improve and increase funding for victim assistance and protection, especially for victims of slave labor who are vulnerable to being re-trafficked; and expand partnerships between the government and the business sector to encourage voluntary efforts made by companies to eliminate forced labor.

Prosecution
The Brazilian government maintained law enforcement efforts to confront human trafficking crimes during the past year. Brazilian laws prohibit most forms of trafficking in persons. Law 12.015, which entered into effect in August 2009, amended Sections 231 and 231-A of the Brazilian penal code to strengthen penalties against potential sex trafficking offenders. Sections 231 and 231- A prohibit promoting or facilitating movement to, from, or within the country for the purposes of prostitution or other forms of sexual exploitation, prescribing penalties of three to eight years’ imprisonment. Sentences may be increased up to 12 years when violence, threats, or fraud are used, or if the victim is a child. The above penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. These statutes encompass activity that does not constitute trafficking, however, such as consensual smuggling or movement for the purpose of prostitution.

Labor trafficking is criminalized pursuant to Section 149 of the penal code, which prohibits trabalho escravo, or reducing a person to a condition analogous to slavery, including by forcing a person to work or by subjecting a person to exhausting work days or degrading working conditions. This statute, therefore, prohibits treatment that is considered human trafficking, such as forced labor, as well as other treatment, such as poor labor conditions, which is beyond the definition of human trafficking. The penalty of two to eight years’ imprisonment is sufficiently stringent. However, Brazilian law may not adequately criminalize other means of non-physical coercion or fraud used to subject workers to forced labor, such as threatening foreign migrants with deportation unless they continued to work. A 2006 presidential decree included a stated goal to amend Brazilian anti-trafficking laws to achieve parity between penalties applied to sex trafficking and slave labor crimes; such amendments remain unrealized. A bill first proposed in 2001 which would allow the government to confiscate and redistribute property on which forced labor has been employed is still pending.

During the reporting period, five sex trafficking offenders were convicted in one case involving Brazilian women trafficked to Switzerland, with sentences ranging from one to six years’ imprisonment. Such results represent a decrease in convictions when compared with 22 sex trafficking convictions achieved during the previous reporting period. There were no reports of convictions for internal sex trafficking, although several individuals were arrested for this crime. Authorities collaborated with foreign governments in a number of transnational trafficking cases involving victims trafficked to Italy, Spain, Portugal, Canada, Switzerland, Mexico, Argentina, and the United States. An integrated sex trafficking database which will collect information from law enforcement, the judiciary branch, and anti-trafficking centers around the country remained in the testing stage.

The government maintained efforts to investigate forced labor crimes. During the reporting period, the government prosecuted and convicted 15 persons under the trabalho escravo law. The 15 convicted offenders were given sentences ranging from 30 months to 10 years and six months plus fines, compared with 23 convictions for trabalho escravo during the previous year. Convicted trafficking offenders had subjected workers to slave labor on a rice and soy plantation, a palm-oil plantation, and cattle ranches. The Ministry of Labor’s anti-slave labor mobile unit, created in 1995, increased the number of rescue operations conducted last year; the unit’s labor inspectors continued to free victims, and require those responsible to pay approximately $3.3 million in fines. In the past, mobile unit inspectors did not typically seize physical evidence or attempt to interview witnesses with the goal of developing a criminal investigation or prosecution; labor inspectors and labor prosecutors can only apply civil penalties, and their anti-trafficking efforts were not always coordinated with public ministry prosecutors, who initiate criminal cases in federal court. In addition to weak coordination among the police, judiciary, and prosecutors, local political pressure and the remoteness of areas in which slave labor was practiced were cited as impediments in criminal prosecution of slave labor offenders.

Credible NGO reporting indicated serious official complicity in trafficking crimes at the local level, alleging that police turned a blind eye to child prostitution and potential human trafficking activity in commercial sex sites. In the past, reporting indicates that state police officials were involved in the killing or intimidation of witnesses involved in testifying against police officials in labor exploitation or slave labor hearings, and a few Brazilian legislators have sought to interfere with the operation of the labor inspection teams. Five federal police officers and two federal police administrators were arrested for alleged involvement in trafficking Chinese workers to Sao Paulo to work in the garment industry, and one federal judge was charged with trafficking Brazilian women to Portugal for sexual exploitation. Authorities provided specialized anti-trafficking training to law enforcement officers.

Protection
The Brazilian government sustained efforts to provide trafficking victims with services during the year. Authorities continued to use mobile inspection teams to identify forced laborers, but did not report formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among other vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution. The Ministry of Social Development provided generalized shelter, counseling, and medical aid to women and girls who were victims of sex trafficking through its network of 400 centers for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. During the reporting period the government established a women’s center for victims of violence, including human trafficking, via an agreement of partnership with the Paraguayan and Argentine governments in a general migrant’s assistance center in the tri-border area. Brazilian police continued to refer child sex trafficking victims to government-run Service to Combat Violence, Abuse, and Sexual Exploitation of Children and Adolescents for care. While the government reported training workers at more than 600 centers and health care facilities around the country to assist trafficking victims, NGOs noted that many centers were not prepared to handle trafficking cases and were underfunded. NGOs provided additional victim services, sometimes with limited government funding, and long-term shelter options were generally unavailable. The Brazilian government, with assistance from UNO DC, continued to fund regional anti-trafficking offices in conjunction with state governments in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Goias, Pernambuco, Ceara, and Pará and opened two new offices in Acre and Bahia, although the latter is not yet operational. These offices are responsible for providing victim assistance, in addition to preventing and combating human trafficking, although NGOs report that quality of service varies and that some centers focus on public awareness as opposed to victim care. Authorities also operated an assistance post to aid repatriated citizens who might be trafficking victims in the airport in Belem. In early 2010, the government took over responsibility for an assistance post in the Sao Paulo airport previously run by an NGO. During 2009, the post assisted 444 individuals, nine of which were identified as trafficking victims. Authorities plan to create additional airport posts in Fortaleza, Salvador, and Rio de Janeiro in 2010.

During the year, the Ministry of Labor’s mobile units identified and freed 3,769 victims of trabalho escravo through 156 operations targeting 350 properties. Such results compare with 5,016 victims freed through 154 operations targeting 290 properties in 2008. The Ministry of Labor awarded forced labor victims a portion of funds which were derived from fines levied against the landowners or employers identified during the operations. However, forced labor victims, typically adult Brazilian men, were not eligible for government-provided shelter assistance, though they were provided with three months’ salary at minimum wage, as well as job training and travel assistance when available. Some NGOs provided such victim services to male victims. According to NGOs, some rescued slave laborers have been re-trafficked, due to lack of effective prosecutions of recruiters of trabalho escravo, few alternate forms of employment for the rescued workers, and lack of legal aid to help them pursue their own complaints against exploitative employers.

The government encouraged sex trafficking victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking, though victims often were reluctant to testify due to fear of reprisals from traffickers and corrupt law enforcement officials. NGOs allege that police often dismissed cases involving sex trafficking victims, and some victims reported discrimination or prejudicial treatment due to the fact that they worked in prostitution prior to being trafficked and were therefore not considered victims. The government did not generally encourage victims of slave labor to participate in criminal investigations or prosecutions. Some victims of sex trafficking were offered short-term protection under a witness protection program active in 10 states, which was generally regarded as lacking resources. The government did not detain, fine, or otherwise penalize identified victims of trafficking for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. However, the government does not provide foreign trafficking victims with legal alternatives to removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution, and law enforcement personnel noted that undocumented foreign victims were often deported before they could assist with prosecutions against their traffickers. Brazilian consular officers received guidance on how to report trafficking cases and assist trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Brazilian government increased efforts to prevent human trafficking last year. Federal authorities generally maintained good cooperation with international organizations and NGOs on anti-trafficking activities. Various government agencies implemented parts of the 2008-2010 National Plan for Combating Trafficking in Persons: the 2010-2012 plan was not released at the time of publication. Civil society organizations, religious officials, and various government agencies collaborated on anti-trafficking initiatives. A national hotline for reporting incidents of child sexual abuse and exploitation received approximately 12,000 calls on sexual exploitation of children, including a total of 200 reported calls on child trafficking.

Articles 206 and 207 of Brazil’s penal code prohibit the trafficking-related offense of fraudulent recruitment or enticement of workers, internally or internationally, prescribing penalties of one to three years’ imprisonment. The Ministry of Labor’s “dirty list,” which publicly identifies individuals and corporate entities the government has determined to have been responsible for crimes under the trabalho escravo law, continued to provide civil penalties to those engaged in this serious crime. The most recent version, released in January 2010, cited 164 employers, some of whom, because of this designation, were denied access to credit by public and private financial institutions because of this designation. During the year, however, a number of individuals and corporate entities were able to avoid opprobrium by suing to remove their names from the “dirty list” or reincorporating under a different name.

The government took measures to reduce demand for commercial sexual exploitation of children by conducting a multi-media campaign during the 2010 Carnival holiday period, reaching an estimated audience of 600,000. Action brigades distributed a wide variety of awareness materials, radio announcements were broadcast daily, and airlines made information available on their flights. The government also sought to reduce demand for commercial sex acts along Brazil’s highways. In partnership with a Brazilian energy company and an international organization, authorities trained highway police and engaged truck drivers in the fight against the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Finally, Brazilian authorities relied on operational partnerships with foreign governments to extradite and prosecute foreign sex tourists, though there were no reports of prosecutions or convictions for child sex tourism within Brazil. The Brazilian military used the UN Peacekeeping Office’s anti-trafficking and forced labor training modules to train its troops prior to their deployment abroad as part of international peacekeeping missions.

BRUNEI (Tier 2 Watch List)

Brunei is a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for men and women who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Men and women from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, China, and Thailand migrate to Brunei for domestic or other low-skilled labor but sometimes face conditions of involuntary servitude upon arrival. There are over 88,000 migrant workers in Brunei, some of whom face debt bondage, non-payment of wages, passport confiscation, confinement to the home, and contract switching – factors that may contribute to trafficking. There were credible reports of nationals from South Asian countries subjected to nonpayment of wages and debt bondage in Brunei for up to two years to pay back foreign recruitment agents. Some of the 25,000 female domestic workers in Brunei were required to work exceptionally long hours without being granted a day for rest, creating an environment consistent with involuntary servitude. There are reports of women forced into prostitution in Brunei, and reports that women arrested for prostitution attest to having been victims of trafficking. Brunei is a transit country for trafficking victims in Malaysia, including Filipinas, who are brought to Brunei for work permit re-authorization before being returned to Malaysia.

The Government of Brunei 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 laws to prosecute trafficking, it has never prosecuted a trafficking case. The government did not proactively identify any trafficking victims during the year, nor did it develop or implement formal procedures to identify victims of trafficking. For these reasons, Brunei is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. Given Brunei’s ample resources, there is still room for considerable improvement in its law enforcement approach to trafficking and Brunei is encouraged to consider implementing the recommendations outlined below or similar measures.

Recommendations for Brunei: Use the 2004 anti-trafficking in persons law to increase significantly the number of investigations and prosecutions of both sex trafficking and labor trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders; adopt proactive procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as migrant workers and females arrested for prostitution; apply stringent criminal penalties to those involved in fraudulent labor recruitment or exploitation of forced labor; prosecute employers and employment agencies who unlawfully confiscate workers’ passports as a means of intimidating workers or holding them in a state of involuntary servitude, or use other means to extract forced labor; expand cooperative exchanges of information about trafficking cases with foreign governments in order to arrest and prosecute traffickers who enter Brunei; ensure that victims of trafficking are not threatened or otherwise punished for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked; train law enforcement, immigration, and prosecutors on the use of the anti-trafficking law; and implement and support a comprehensive and visible anti-trafficking awareness campaign directed at employers of foreign workers and clients of the sex trade.

Prosecution
The government made no discernible anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the past year. The Government of Brunei prohibits sex and labor trafficking through its Trafficking and Smuggling Persons Order of 2004; however, there has never been a prosecution or conviction under this order. The 2004 Order prescribes punishments of up to 30 years’ imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses. Brunei authorities did not investigate or prosecute any trafficking cases during the reporting period. The Department of Labor investigated labor disputes from foreign workers, including job switching, salary deductions for recruitment fees, salary based on false promises, and high recruitment fees paid by the prospective employee, although it did not identify any instances of trafficking among these cases. Labor disputes by foreign workers are usually tried under the Labor Act, which carries administrative penalties. Although government regulations prohibit wage deductions by agencies or sponsors and mandate that employees receive their full salaries, some foreign workers continued to pay high fees to overseas recruitment agents to obtain work in Brunei, leaving them vulnerable to debt bondage. Authorities continue to rely on victims coming forward or being identified by foreign embassies, and do not proactively identify trafficking cases among vulnerable groups. During the reporting period, there were 127 complaints by foreign workers against employers who failed to pay salaries involving 34 companies and 26 employers. Eleven companies and 13 employers settled through reconciliation and arbitration while the remaining cases remain under investigation.

Protection
Brunei did not demonstrate significant efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims during the reporting period. Brunei does not have a proactive system to formally identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as foreign workers and foreign women and children in prostitution. The government did not report identifying any trafficking victims in the past year. The government did not provide centrally coordinated training for its officials on identifying trafficking victims. While the Brunei police reported running a workshop on identifying victims for members of its anti-vice unit, the victim identification measures employed by the unit do not appear to be effective. The government does not provide shelter or rehabilitative services to trafficking victims. One foreign mission reported 20 suspected trafficking cases of women forced into prostitution in Malaysia and traveling to Brunei to obtain work visa reentry permits. Brunei authorities were informed when the Filipino victims were entering the country, and allowed the victims to enter Brunei without proper documentation to assist in their escape from their traffickers. The victims’ foreign embassy provided shelter and repatriation assistance to the victims. The Brunei government did not, however, apprehend the suspected traffickers involved or conduct a criminal investigation. While immigration authorities actively identified and charged violators of immigration law, there were no cases reported of authorities identifying and assisting trafficking victims among immigration violators during the reporting period. As there may have been trafficking victims among these immigration violators, some may have been penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. Although it is illegal for employers in Brunei to withhold wages of their domestic workers for more than 10 days, some families are known to withhold wages to compensate for recruitment fees they are charged and as a tool with which to control workers. There are no NGOs or international organizations in Brunei that provide support to trafficking victims, though the embassies of several source countries provide shelter, mediation, and immigration assistance to their nationals. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The Brunei government demonstrated limited prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government did not conduct any public awareness campaigns on trafficking. Officials participated in several regional training programs on trafficking. The government provides arrival briefings for foreign workers and runs a telephone hotline for worker complaints. There were no measures taken to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Brunei is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

BULGARIA (Tier 2)

Bulgaria is a source and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and men, women, and children subjected to conditions of forced labor. Bulgarian women and children are subjected to forced prostitution within the country, particularly in resort areas and border towns, as well as in the Netherlands, Belgium, France, Austria, Italy, Germany, the Czech Republic, Finland, Greece, Italy, Spain, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, Cyprus, and Macedonia. Ethnic Roma women and children account for approximately 15 percent of Bulgarian trafficking victims. Bulgarian men, women, and children are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Greece, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Some Bulgarian children are forced into street begging and petty theft within Bulgaria and also in Greece and the United Kingdom.

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. In 2009, Bulgaria amended Section 159 of its criminal code and increased the minimum penalty for trafficking offenses from one year’s imprisonment to two years’ imprisonment. The government investigated trafficking-related complicity among officials at various levels of government, although efforts to prosecute complicit officials remained limited. While Bulgaria continued its overall efforts to assist and protect most victims of trafficking, two victims identified during the year were punished for crimes committed as a direct result of trafficking.

Recommendations for Bulgaria: Ensure that no victims of trafficking are punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; continue efforts to vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict, and punish government officials complicit in trafficking; continue efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders and ensure that a majority of convicted offenders serve some time in prison; and continue to increase the number of victims referred by government officials to service providers for assistance.

Prosecution
The Bulgarian government sustained its strong anti-trafficking law enforcement response to human trafficking over the reporting period. Bulgaria prohibits trafficking for both commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor through Section 159 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties of between two and 15 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2009, police conducted 131 new trafficking investigations including nine labor trafficking investigations, compared with 187 sex trafficking and 25 labor trafficking investigations conducted in 2008. In 2009, authorities prosecuted 77 individuals for sex trafficking and four for forced labor compared with 79 persons prosecuted for sex trafficking and eight for labor trafficking in 2008. A total of 83 trafficking offenders were convicted – 80 for sex trafficking and three for labor trafficking offenses – compared with 66 sex trafficking offenders and three labor trafficking offenders convicted in 2008. In 2009, 51 of the 83 convicted trafficking offenders were sentenced to imprisonment, a significant increase from 25 convicted offenders sentenced to serve time in prison in 2008. The government did not report the sentence ranges for those convicted trafficking offenders sentenced to time in prison. During the reporting period, the government partnered with NGOs and IOM to provide trafficking-specific training to 34 judges, 19 prosecutors, 60 labor inspectors, and 60 police officers. Bulgarian law enforcement officials also partnered with law enforcement counterparts from seven other European countries during 17 joint human trafficking investigations.

There were continued reports of trafficking-related complicity of government officials during the reporting period. In 2009, two municipal councilors in Varna pleaded guilty to organized human trafficking, including forced prostitution following their arrest in the fall of 2008; one official was sentenced to one year imprisonment and one official was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment. A third municipal councilor arrested in the same 2008 case did not plead guilty and his trial was ongoing at the time of this report. In a separate case, nine police officers of a local anti-organized crime unit in Vratsa were dismissed from office for assisting a trafficking group, although none of these officials were prosecuted for complicity in human trafficking. As reported in the 2009 Report, the government also investigated one police officer for complicity in trafficking in 2008; however, the government did not demonstrate efforts to prosecute this official at the conclusion of this reporting period.

Protection
The Government of Bulgaria sustained its overall victim assistance and protection efforts during the year, though it penalized two identified victims of trafficking for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. In 2009, the government identified 289 victims of trafficking – including 44 children – and referred nearly all of them for assistance, compared with 250 victims identified in 2008. The majority of adult victims were assisted by privately funded NGOs, although both the national and local governments did provide limited in-kind assistance to six anti-trafficking NGOs. The local government in Varna operated an adult trafficking shelter in that city; six victims were assisted by this shelter in 2009. Approximately 100 victims were assisted by government-funded NGOs during the reporting period. The government continued to operate six child-crisis centers that provided rehabilitative, psychological, and medical assistance to identified child victims of trafficking, as well as other children in distress. In 2009, 44 children were provided with government-funded assistance, a significant increase from 25 child trafficking victims assisted in government shelters in 2008. All victims in Bulgaria were eligible for free medical and psychological care provided through public hospitals and NGOs. The government encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; victims who chose to cooperate with law enforcement were provided with full residency and employment rights for the duration of the criminal proceedings; the government reported that no foreign victims requested temporary residency permits during the reporting period. The government permitted foreign victims who chose not to cooperate with trafficking investigations to stay in Bulgaria for one month and 10 days before they faced mandatory repatriation; in 2009, the government granted one such permit to stay for 10 days plus one month. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided training to its officials posted at its embassies regarding the identification and treatment of trafficking victims, including how to refer Bulgarian victims of trafficking found overseas to local NGOs for assistance. During the reporting period, the Bulgarian embassy in Spain identified and referred for assistance six Bulgarian victims of forced labor, including three children. In 2009, five victims participated in the police witness protection program, compared with seven in 2008. In 2009, the government convicted two trafficking victims and sentenced each to a six-month suspended sentence for illegal border crossing, an unlawful act committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The Bulgarian government demonstrated significant progress in its efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The local government in Varna, in partnership with an employment agency and the local university, organized a prevention campaign that educated students about forced labor titled “Where Are You Traveling?” The National Commission for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings provided information to more than 350 students about human trafficking and organized an essay and art contest for students to share and discuss their impressions of human trafficking; the Commission presented 50 awards for anti-trafficking illustrations and 30 awards for essays during this contest. The government also demonstrated efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts and to combat child sex tourism. For example, in 2009, the government convicted one foreigner for traveling to Varna to have sex with children and sentenced him to 66 months’ imprisonment; one Bulgarian national was also convicted and sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment for procuring the children. During the reporting period, 14 clients of children in prostitution were prosecuted and convicted and sentenced to up to three years’ imprisonment.

BURKINA FASO (Tier 2)

Burkina Faso is a country of origin, transit, and destination for persons, mostly children, subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. The Government of Burkina Faso provided data from the Ministry of Social Action showing that, in 2009, security forces and regional human trafficking surveillance committees intercepted 788 children Burkinabe and foreign children, 619 of whom were boys, destined for exploitation in other countries, principally Cote d’Ivoire, Mali, and Niger. Child trafficking victims who remain inside Burkina Faso are usually found in large cities such as Ouagadougou, Bobo-Dioulasso, Nouna, and Hounde. Child victims face conditions of forced labor or services as plantation hands, laborers on cocoa farms, domestic servants, beggars recruited as pupils by unaccredited Koranic schools, or captives in the prostitution trade. To a lesser extent, traffickers recruit Burkinabe women for nonconsensual commercial sexual exploitation in Europe. Women from neighboring countries like Nigeria, Togo, Benin, and Niger migrate to Burkina Faso on the promise of respectable work, but are subjected to forced labor in bars or forced prostitution.

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. The number of child victims intercepted in 2009 exceeds by 100 the already high rate recorded in the previous reporting period. Yet massive flooding in September 2009 destroyed many files and computer systems holding data on trafficking investigations and prosecutions during the year. In prior years, the government conscientiously reported such information. Protection and assistance efforts for victims continued to the extent the country’s strained resources allowed.

Recommendations for Burkina Faso: Increase penalties imposed on convicted trafficking offenders to reflect the longer terms permitted under the May 2008 anti-trafficking law; expand programs to train all officials who encounter and rescue victims of child trafficking on how to identify and assist these victims; include the personnel of Burkinabe embassies and consulates in training programs on how to identify and respond to victims of trafficking; and encourage trafficking victims’ participation in prosecutions of alleged trafficking offenders.

Prosecution
The effectiveness of the government’s anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2009 was difficult to assess due to a natural disaster’s destruction of relevant records. Burkina Faso’s May 2008 anti-trafficking law prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes maximum punishments for convicted offenders as high as 20 years or life imprisonment; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with prescribed penalties for other serious offenses, such as rape. The government has not reported whether successful prosecutions in 2009 led to significantly longer sentences than sentences given to convicted offenders in previous reporting periods. The government claimed to have investigated and prosecuted a number of suspected trafficking offenders in 2009; computerized and paper-based police and court records of these cases were subsequently lost in September 2009 flooding. There was no evidence of government officials’ complicity in trafficking, though some corrupt law enforcement agents may have facilitated trafficking-related activity.

Protection
The government was not in a position to provide many services directly to trafficking victims. In 2009, however, the Ministry of Social Action, together with security forces and regional anti-trafficking committees, identified and referred 788 child victims to some of the 23 transit centers jointly funded by the government and UNICEF. The government also provided approximately $85,000 for support and school fees to 50 orphanages and nurseries where the risk of child trafficking was significant – an unusual commitment of support from a government with limited resources. To help foreign victims return to their homes countries quickly, the government processed their travel documents and collaborated with NGOs to ensure a safe return. Burkinabe law permits a victim to seek legal action against trafficking offenders, but official agencies did not report any such cases in 2009, or any instances of victims assisting in the prosecution of suspected offenders. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Nationals of ECOWAS states, including trafficking victims, however, may legally reside and work in Burkina Faso. The government made efforts to sensitize law enforcement agents to child trafficking issues during the reporting period, but did not develop official programs to train officials in identifying victims. The prevalence of child trafficking in the country is well known, but officials and private citizens alike have difficulty distinguishing between children who migrate voluntarily for work, and those who are victims of trafficking.

Prevention
Strong partnerships with NGOs and international organizations allowed the Burkinabe government to sustain nationwide anti-trafficking information and education campaigns during the last year. Local and international partners supported workshops and seminars focused on child trafficking, and government and private media aired radio and television programs that impacted approximately 600,000 people. The government distributed thousands of booklets describing the Anti- TI P National Action Plan, but was not able to implement the plan. The mayor of Ouagadougou took some steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts by closing 37 brothels in the capital in 2009. The government provided Burkinabe military troops with human rights and trafficking training prior to their deployment abroad as international peacekeepers.

BURMA (Tier 3)

Burma is a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and for women and children in forced prostitution in other countries. Burmese children are subjected to forced labor as hawkers and beggars in Thailand. Many men, women, and children who migrate abroad for work in Thailand, Malaysia, China, Bangladesh, India, and South Korea are trafficked into conditions of forced or bonded labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Economic conditions within the country led to increased legal and illegal migration of Burmese regionally and to destinations as far as the Middle East. Men are subjected to forced labor in the fishing and construction industries abroad. Burmese women who migrate to Thailand, China, and Malaysia for economic opportunities are found in situations of forced labor and forced prostitution. Some trafficking victims transit Burma from Bangladesh to Malaysia and from China to Thailand and beyond. The government has yet to address the systemic political and economic problems that cause many Burmese to seek employment through both legal and illegal means in neighboring countries, where some become victims of trafficking.

Burma’s internal trafficking remains the most serious concern. The military engages in the unlawful conscription of child soldiers, and continues to be the main perpetrator of forced labor inside Burma. The direct government and military use of forced or compulsory labor remains a widespread and serious problem, particularly targeting members of ethnic minority groups. Military and civilian officials systematically used men, women, and children for forced labor for the development of infrastructure and state-run agricultural and commercial ventures, as well as forced portering for the military. Those living in areas with the highest military presence, including remote border areas populated by ethnic groups, are most at risk for forced labor.

Military and civilian officials subject men, women, and children to forced labor, and men and boys as young as 11 years old are forcibly recruited to serve in the Burmese army and ethnic armed groups through intimidation, coercion, threats, and violence. Thousands of children are forced to serve in Burma’s national army as desertions of men in the army continue. Children of the urban poor are at particular risk of involuntary conscription; UN reports indicate that the army has targeted orphans and children on the streets and in railway stations, and young novice monks from monasteries for recruitment. Children are threatened with jail if they do not agree to join the army, and sometimes physically abused. Children are subjected to forced labor in tea shops, home industries, and agricultural plantations. Exploiters traffic girls for the purpose of prostitution, particularly in urban areas.

In some areas, in particular international sex trafficking of women and girls, the Government of Burma is making significant efforts. Nonetheless, serious problems remain in Burma, and in some areas, most notably in the area of forced labor, the Government of Burma is not making significant efforts to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, warranting a ranking of Tier 3. The regime’s widespread use of and lack of accountability in forced labor and recruitment of child soldiers is particularly worrying and represent the top causal factor for Burma’s significant trafficking problem.

Recommendations for Burma: Cease the practice of forced labor of Burmese citizens by civilian and military entities; cease the unlawful conscription of children into the military and ethnic armed groups; increase efforts to investigate and sanction, including through criminal prosecution, perpetrators of internal trafficking offenses, including child soldier recruitment and other such crimes by government and military officials; actively identify and demobilize all children serving in the armed forces; grant full and unhindered access by UN personnel to inspect recruitment centers, training centers, and military camps in order to identify and support the reintegration and rehabilitation of child soldiers; cease the arrest and imprisonment of children for desertion or attempting to leave the army and release imprisoned former child soldiers; end the involuntary detention of adult victims of trafficking in government shelters; release the six citizens imprisoned for their role in reporting cases of forced labor to international organizations; increase partnerships with NGOs to improve victim identification and protection efforts, including victim shelters; develop and implement formal victim identification and referral procedures; and focus more attention on the internal trafficking of women and children for commercial sexual exploitation.

Prosecution
The Government of Burma reported some progress in law enforcement efforts against cross-border sex trafficking during the reporting period. It also reported investigating, prosecuting, and convicting some internal trafficking offenders, though there was only one reported criminal prosecution of a member of the Burma Army for his role in child soldier cases. The government continued to incarcerate six individuals who reported forced labor cases involving the regime to the ILO or were otherwise active in working with the ILO on forced labor issues. Burma prohibits sex and labor trafficking through its 2005 Anti- Trafficking in Persons Law, which prescribes criminal penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape. The recruitment of children into the army is a criminal offense under Penal Code Section 374, which could result in imprisonment for up to one year, or a fine, or both. In December 2009, the Burmese military reported that it dismissed a captain from the military via court martial and sentenced him to one year imprisonment in a civilian jail for child soldier recruitment – the first ever criminal conviction of a military official involved in child soldier recruitment. In the same case, an additional two privates were sentenced to three months’ and one month military imprisonment, respectively. Burmese law enforcement officials generally were not able to investigate or prosecute cases of military perpetrated forced labor or child soldier recruitment absent assent from high-ranking military officers.

While forced labor is widely considered to be the most serious trafficking problem in Burma, authorities reported that most trafficking cases investigated and prosecuted involved women and girls subjected to forced marriage or intended to be subjected to forced marriage. The Burmese regime rules arbitrarily through its unilaterally imposed laws, but rule of law is absent, as is an independent judiciary that would respect trafficking victims’ rights. The Burmese regime reported investigating 155 cases of trafficking, prosecuting 410 individuals, and convicting 88 offenders in 2009, an increase from 342 reported prosecutions in 2008; however, these statistics included 12 cases of abduction for adoption, which are not considered “trafficking” by international standards. Additionally, court proceedings are not open and lack due process for defendants. While the Burmese regime has in the past been known to conflate irregular migration with trafficking, leading to the punishment of consensual emigrants and those who assist them to emigrate, the police reported some efforts to exclude smuggling cases from human trafficking figures during the reporting period, and improved their transparency in handling cases.

Nevertheless, limited capacity and training of the police coupled with a lack of transparency in the justice system make it uncertain whether all trafficking statistics provided by authorities were indeed for trafficking cases. Corruption and lack of accountability remains pervasive in Burma, affecting all aspects of society.

Police can be expected to self-limit investigations when well-connected individuals are involved in forced labor cases. Although the government reported four officials prosecuted for involvement in human trafficking in 2009, the government did not release any details of the cases. Burmese law enforcement reported continued cooperation with Chinese counterparts on cross-border trafficking cases, including joint operations, as well as general cooperation with Thai authorities.

In 2009, the ILO continued to receive and investigate forced labor complaints; 93 cases were submitted to the Burmese government for action, an increase from 64 cases in 2008; 54 cases remain open and are awaiting a response from the government. Despite a report of a child labor case involving as many as 100 children on an agricultural plantation near Rangoon, the regime did not report any efforts to investigate the allegation. Victims of forced labor cases are not protected from countersuit by regime officials. During the reporting period, 17 complainants and their associates in a series of forced labor cases involving 328 farmers in Magwe Division were prosecuted and jailed by local authorities for their role in reporting forced labor perpetrated by local government officials. Burmese courts later released 13 of the individuals, but four complainants remain in prison. The central government did not intervene with local authorities to stop the politically motivated harassment, including lengthy interrogations, of the forced labor complainants. Such unaccountable harassment and punishment discouraged additional forced labor complaints.

Protection
The regime made efforts to protect repatriated victims of cross-border sex trafficking to China and Thailand, though it exhibited no discernible efforts to protect victims of internal trafficking and transnational labor trafficking. In forced labor cases, some victims, notably 17 individuals in Magwe Division, were harassed, detained, or otherwise penalized for making accusations against officials who pressed them into forced labor. The government reported identifying 302 victims, most of whom were victims of forced marriage rather than explicitly trafficking victims, and reported assisting an additional 425 victims identified and repatriated by foreign governments in 2009, including 293 from China and 132 from Thailand. The regime did not identify any male trafficking victims. Victims were sheltered and detained in non-specialized Department of Social Welfare facilities for a mandatory minimum of two weeks, which stretched into months if authorities could not find an adult family member to accept the victim. While in government facilities, victims had access to counseling, which was often substandard, and had very limited access to social workers. There were no shelter facilities available to male victims of trafficking. NGOs were sometimes allowed access to victims in government shelters, but the regime continued to bar NGOs from operating shelters for trafficking victims. The regime did not have in place formal victim identification procedures. While the government reported that it encouraged victims to assist in investigations and prosecutions, it did not appear to provide financial support or other assistance to victims to serve as incentives to participate in the prosecution of their traffickers. The regime cooperated with the ILO on the issue of the military’s conscription of children, resulting in the return of 31 children to their families. However, numerous children undoubtedly continue to serve in the Burma Army and in ethnic militias. The government has done little to help international organizations assess the scope of the problem. The regime did not permit UNICEF access to children who were released through the government’s mechanisms for follow-up purposes. Additionally, some child recruits have been prosecuted and sentenced for deserting the military and remain in prison.

Prevention
Burma made limited efforts to prevent international trafficking in persons over the last year, and made few discernible efforts to prevent the more prevalent internal trafficking, particularly forced labor and child conscription by regime officials and ethnic armed groups. The government continued awareness campaigns using billboards, flyers, and videos during the reporting period and state-run television aired a documentary on human trafficking produced by the MTV Exit Campaign. The Burmese government reported forming three new anti-trafficking units in 2009, and reported a 40 percent overall increase in spending on prevention efforts. During the reporting period, the government signed Memoranda of Understanding with China and Thailand on trafficking in persons. The regime sustained partnerships with Mekong region governments and the UN in the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative Against Trafficking, and hosted the (COMMIT) Senior Officials Meeting in January 2010. The government did not make any discernible efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor inside Burma during the reporting period.

BURUNDI (Tier 2)

Burundi is a source country for children and possibly women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of involuntary domestic servitude and forced prostitution. Children and young adults may also be coerced into forced labor on plantations or small farms in southern Burundi or to conduct informal commerce in the streets. Some traffickers are the victims’ family members or friends who, under the pretext of assisting underprivileged children with education or with false promises of lucrative jobs, subject them to forced labor, most commonly as domestic servants. While there is little evidence of large-scale child prostitution, “benevolent” older females offer vulnerable younger girls room and board within their homes, and in some cases eventually push them into prostitution to pay for living expenses; extended family members also financially profit from the commercial sexual exploitation of young relatives residing with them. Male tourists from Oman and the United Arab Emirates exploit Burundian girls in prostitution. Business people recruit Burundian girls for commercial sexual exploitation in Rwanda, Kenya, and Uganda, and recruit boys and girls for exploitation in various types of forced labor in Tanzania. Unlike in past years, there were no reports of forced or voluntary recruitment of children into government armed forces or rebel groups during the reporting period.

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. The government made clear progress in combating trafficking during the reporting period, particularly with regard to identifying trafficking victims, investigating potential trafficking offenses, and raising public awareness. In 2009, a Bujumbura court heard a case involving child domestic servitude, the first known prosecution of a case involving elements of a human trafficking offense. Significant work remains, however, in educating the government officials and local populations about the nature of human trafficking, bringing cases to trial, and providing protective services to victims.

Recommendations for Burundi: Enforce the trafficking provisions in the 2009 criminal code amendments through increased prosecutions of trafficking offenders; consider an amendment to provide a legal definition of human trafficking in the criminal code; launch a nationwide anti-trafficking public awareness campaign; establish policies and procedures for government officials to proactively identify and interview potential trafficking victims and transfer them to the care, when appropriate, of local organizations; establish mechanisms for providing increased protective services to victims, possibly through the forging of partnerships with NGOs or international organizations; provide training on human trafficking to police and border guards; and consider the feasibility of enacting a comprehensive law against human trafficking that includes specific definitions of what constitutes the crime.

Prosecution
The government’s anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts increased during the reporting period, particularly its efforts to detect and investigate suspected human trafficking offenses. This progress continued, however, to be hampered by lack of investigative equipment and training, poor evidence gathering by police, the unwillingness of victims to lodge complaints, and the failure of prosecutors to vigorously pursue cases after receiving evidence from police and suspected victims. Articles 242 and 243 of Burundi’s criminal code prohibit human trafficking and smuggling and prescribe sentences of five to 20 years’ imprisonment; the code does not, however, provide a definition of human trafficking, limiting its utility. Sex trafficking offenses can also be punished using penal code statutes on brothel-keeping and pimping (penalties of one to five years’ imprisonment), as well as child prostitution (penalties of five to 10 years’ imprisonment). These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. The criminal code prescribes no explicit penalties for forced labor, though it is prohibited by Article 2 of the labor law. A Bujumbura court fined a woman $42 for abusing her 12-year old domestic servant by burning her with melted plastic bags. Upon her arrest, police located the child’s aunt, who returned the child to her parents in Bururi province. In August 2009, police arrested a Burundian man for kidnapping six boys between the ages of 12 and 13 and transporting them to Tanzania for forced labor in tobacco fields; the suspect’s provisional release was revoked after an appeal from the prosecutor’s office and he remains in pre-trial detention in Rutana Province prison. Throughout 2009, the Women and Children’s Brigade, a specialized police unit, successfully identified and rescued 10 of 17 child victims exploited by an international prostitution ring and returned them to their families; the alleged traffickers have not been arrested due to a lack of concrete evidence. In January 2010, police charged three men and their landlord with corruption of minors and incitement to debauchery after the former were found pimping underage girls from a rental house; the prosecution remained in the pre-trial stage at the end of the reporting period. During a December 2009 meeting with high-ranking police officials, President Nkurunziza instructed the police force to increase efforts to fight human trafficking. As a result of this mandate, police initiated a crackdown on clandestine brothels that housed potential trafficking victims in January 2010, shutting down three small hotels in the Industrial Quarter of Bujumbura. The government did not provide trafficking-specific training for law enforcement officials.

Protection
Despite its notable efforts to return trafficked children to their families, the government did not adequately ensure that trafficking victims received access to necessary protective services during the reporting period. The few care centers that exist in Burundi are operated by NGOs, religious organizations, and women’s or children’s associations. Police provided limited shelter and food assistance to victims in temporary custody while authorities attempted to locate their families; these children were housed in a holding area separate from adult detainees. In some instances, the police, especially members of the Women and Children’s Brigade, provided counseling to children in prostitution and mediated between these victims and their parents. In January 2010, police rescued three child sex trafficking victims from a brothel in Bujumbura, documented their testimonies, and returned them to their families. In 2009, government officials identified 18 trafficking victims, 10 of whom were victims of forced prostitution and eight of whom were victims of forced labor. In January 2010, Burundi’s Interpol office assisted the government in repatriating a 15-year old Burundian boy from Rwanda where he was forced to work as a domestic servant. In cooperation with Tanzanian police, the government repatriated six Burundian child trafficking victims from Tanzania in July 2009. Between April and June, the National Commission for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration oversaw the demobilization and short-term care of the final 380 child soldiers from the Forces Nationale de Libération (FNL) rebel group and from among alleged FNL dissidents in the Randa and Buramata sites. With outside funding, the Commission’s staff provided medical screening, psychosocial counseling, and sensitization on peaceful cohabitation, while conducting family tracing; the children were reunited with their families in July 2009.

In October 2009, the government established a Municipal Council for Children and Youth (CMEJ) to assist at-risk youth and develop a transit center for victims of human trafficking, demobilized child soldiers, and street children. The CMEJ began drafting an action plan in March 2010 and sought the necessary international funding to become fully operational. The government has not developed a system for proactively identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations or a referral process to transfer such trafficking victims to organizations providing services. While police interviewed child victims during the investigations of their abusers, the prosecutor’s office did not pursue the possibility of child victims participation in prosecutions of trafficking offenders. The government did not inappropriately incarcerate or otherwise penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Burundian law did not provide foreign trafficking victims with legal alternatives to their removal to a country where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government made clear progress in its efforts to prevent trafficking during the year. In February 2010, the Commander of the Women and Children’s Brigade began a tour of the country to sensitize local government officials and inform local populations on the danger of human trafficking. In 2009, the Ministry of Labor sponsored eight workshops for teachers, magistrates, communal administrators, and agricultural workers to raise awareness of the dangers of child labor and trafficking. In partnerships with the ILO and UNICEF, it also conducted a sensitization campaign in several provinces to warn against child trafficking for forced labor and abusing former child soldiers, centered around the World Day against Child Labor in June. The Ministry of Labor’s 12 inspectors conducted no child labor inspections in 2009. The government did not undertake efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. The pre-deployment anti-trafficking training for Burundian peacekeepers, provided by a foreign government, included a curriculum that created awareness and discouraged acts of trafficking and sexual exploitation. Burundi is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CAMBODIA (Tier 2)

Cambodia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Cambodian men, women, and children migrate to Thailand, Malaysia, and other countries for work and many are subsequently forced into commercial sexual exploitation or forced to labor in the Thai fishing and seafood processing industry, on agricultural plantations, in factories, in domestic work, or for begging and street selling. Debt bondage is sometimes a factor that contributes to the vulnerability of Cambodians to trafficking. Some Cambodian men report being deceived by Thai fishing boat owners about the expected length of service and the amount and circumstances of their payment; some remain at sea for up to several years, and report witnessing severe abuses by Thai captains, including deaths at sea. The number of workers who went to Malaysia for employment through Cambodian recruiting companies tripled in 2009, and many of these were believed to be under the age of 18. Recruiting agencies often charge $500-$700 in fees, which includes fees for several months of required pre-departure training provided by the recruiting agencies. Recruits are sometimes detained in training centers during the pre-departure training period, and the fees make workers more vulnerable to debt bondage. Some workers are reportedly subjected to confinement and conditions of involuntary servitude in, Saudi Arabia, and other destination countries, and some returning Malaysia workers reported being paid only at the end of their contract, at which time they were also informed that a substantial part of their pay was deducted. Cambodian children are also trafficked to Thailand and Vietnam to beg, sell candy and flowers, and shine shoes. Parents sometimes sell their children into conditions of forced labor, including involuntary domestic servitude.

Within the country, Cambodian and ethnic Vietnamese women and children are trafficked from rural areas to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville for commercial sexual exploitation. The Svay Pak brothel area of Phnom Penh remains a hub for child prostitution, despite attempts by authorities to close it down. Children are also subjected to forced labor, including being forced to beg, scavenge refuse, work in quarries, and work in the production and processing of bricks, rubber, salt, and shrimp. Cambodia is a destination for Vietnamese women and girls trafficked for forced prostitution. The sale of virgin girls continues to be a serious problem in Cambodia, with foreign (mostly Asian) and Cambodian men paying up to $4,000 to have sex with virgins. A significant number of Asian and other foreign men travel to Cambodia to engage in child sex tourism. Some Cambodians who migrate to Taiwan and South Korea through brokered international marriages may subsequently be subjected to forced prostitution or forced labor.

The Government of Cambodia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Law enforcement efforts stepped up significantly, resulting in a significant increase in convictions over the prior year. However, impunity, corruption, and related rent-seeking behavior continue to impede progress in combating trafficking in persons. Authorities reported one conviction of a public official for trafficking-related corruption during the year. Labor trafficking among Cambodians migrating abroad for work is a growing problem that will require greater attention from authorities in the coming year.

Recommendations for Cambodia: Conduct robust investigations and prosecutions of government officials involved in trafficking activities; hold labor recruitment companies criminally responsible for illegal acts committed during the recruitment process, such as debt bondage through exorbitant fees, detention of workers during pre-departure training, and recruitment of workers under age 18; expand efforts to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, including the institution of nationwide victim identification procedures and referrals to adequate victim services; institute a law to regulate the recruitment, placement, and protection of migrant workers going abroad; engage governments of destination countries on the protection of migrant workers, as well as the safe repatriation of Cambodian trafficking victims and the prosecution of their traffickers; continue to prosecute criminal cases involving trafficking for both forced prostitution and forced labor; continue to train and sensitize law enforcement and court officials about trafficking, proactive identification of victims, victim referral procedures, and victim-sensitive handling of cases; improve interagency cooperation and coordination between police and court officials on trafficking cases; institute procedures to ensure victims are not arrested, incarcerated, or otherwise punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; and conduct a public awareness campaign aimed at reducing demand by the local population and Asian visitors for commercial sex acts.

Prosecution
The Government of Cambodia demonstrated significant progress in law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking during the last year. The February 2008 Law on the Suppression of Human Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation covers a wide variety of offenses, with 12 of its 30 articles explicitly addressing trafficking offenses. The law prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape. During the reporting period, authorities convicted 36 trafficking offenders, compared with 11 convictions in 2008; all but one of these convictions were for sex trafficking. While there were increasing reports of Cambodian migrant workers falling victim to trafficking due to exploitative conditions in destination countries, including Malaysia, the government has never criminally prosecuted or convicted any labor recruiters whose companies were involved in labor trafficking. In February 2010, the Phnom Penh municipal court convicted a woman for the forced labor of an 11-year-old girl enslaved as a domestic worker; the woman was sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment, and two related offenders were also sentenced to imprisonment.

The government partnered with NGOs to train over 4,000 police, social workers, court officials, and other employees on the 2008 law and its enforcement. There remain a large number of officials, particularly provincial-level police, who still need training. Consequently, confusion of trafficking offenses with other trafficking-related crimes such as prostitution, pornography, and child sex abuse is a sporadic occurrence, and some officials believe that enforcing laws against non-trafficking sex crimes contributed to efforts to combat trafficking. Judges and prosecutors sometimes continued to classify trafficking cases under non-trafficking articles and laws, or prosecuted non-trafficking cases using trafficking statutes. In March 2010, Cambodian police conducted raids in several cities on establishments suspected of engaging in “immoral” activities, but did not make sufficient efforts to arrest perpetrators for human trafficking offenses or identify trafficking victims, including children in prostitution. In one case, an NGO reported that military police in Sihanoukville kept the women and girls who were rounded up from multiple sites and offered them back to establishment owners for $50 a person. The government licensed 26 companies to send laborers to Thailand, Malaysia, and Japan that frequently work with independent brokers to locate potential workers. Authorities are negotiating additional labor agreements with other countries in Asia and the Middle East. However, Cambodia does not have a law to regulate the recruitment, placement, and protection of migrant workers, or to provide specific criminal penalties for negligent or exploitative recruitment agencies. During the year, police arrested one labor broker for the unlawful removal of nine children with the intent of selling them to work as servants in Malaysia; the broker is in pre-trial detention. A June 2009 inspection of a recruitment agency revealed that 20 of the 57 females questioned were under the age of 18, but the government did not arrest any labor export company officials during the year for such practices.

Impunity, corruption, and related rent-seeking behavior continue to impede anti-trafficking efforts. Police and judicial officials are both directly and indirectly involved in trafficking. Some local police and government officials extort money or accept bribes from brothel owners, sometimes on a daily basis, in order to allow the brothels to continue operating. Authorities prosecuted and convicted one public official who accepted $250,000 in exchange for forging documents intended to secure the release of a convicted child sex offender. Authorities did not prosecute the former president of Cambodia’s appeals court, who reportedly accepted $30,000 in 2008 for the release of brothel owners convicted of trafficking; the official remains employed with the Cambodian government.

Protection
The Government of Cambodia demonstrated limited efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the year. In August 2009, the Ministry of Social Affairs (MOSAVY) issued a new “Policy and National Minimum Standards for the Protection of the Rights of Victims of Human Trafficking,” which includes guidelines to improve victim treatment and protection, and began to train officials on the use of these standards. However, the effects of this policy have yet to be seen. The government lacks national procedures and sufficient resources for training to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as foreign women and children arrested for prostitution. Raids in March 2010 against “immoral” activities were not conducted in a manner sensitive to trafficking victims and did not involve trained anti-trafficking police or anti-trafficking organizations to assist in identifying or assisting potential trafficking victims. The government continued to refer victims to NGO shelters, but did not itself offer further assistance. There were not enough places in NGO shelters to accommodate all trafficking victims; this was particularly true for children, and specifically boys, which negatively affected authorities’ ability to carry out additional victim rescues.

MOSAVY reported that local police referred 535 victims of sex trafficking to provincial offices during the year (compared with 505 in 2008) who, in turn, referred victims to NGO shelters. Authorities worked with NGO partners to repatriate 11 female victims to Vietnam during the year. Building on technical assistance from an international organization, MOSAVY began to interview persons repatriated from Vietnam to help identify trafficking victims, and reported identifying 143 labor trafficking victims in this way. MOSAVY provided transportation assistance to return the victims to their home communities, but lacked the resources to provide further assistance. In partnership with UNICEF, MOSAVY also identified 83 Cambodian victims who had been repatriated from Thailand as trafficking victims; those victims remained briefly at a transit center jointly operated by the government and UNICEF in Poipet and were provided some reintegration assistance while officials conducted family tracing. Authorities encouraged victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of traffickers. Cambodia’s weak judicial system, the lengthy legal process, and credible fears of retaliation are factors influencing victims’ decisions to seek out-of-court compensation in lieu of criminal prosecution. Victims who participate in the prosecution of their traffickers are not provided witness protection – a significant impediment to successful law enforcement efforts. Although victims legally had the option of filing civil suits to seek legal actions against their traffickers, most did not have the resources to do so, and the government did not provide assistance to victims for this purpose. In December 2009, the government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Vietnam on victim identification and repatriation.

Prevention
The Government of Cambodia continued some efforts to prevent trafficking in persons in partnership with international organizations and NGOs. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs maintained programs to prevent the trafficking of children to Vietnam for begging. The Ministry also held “Anti-Human Trafficking Day” ceremonies in December 2009 in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Poipet, which brought together several thousand Cambodian officials, civil society, and the public to increase awareness of trafficking, and was widely publicized on local television stations. Authorities cooperated with several international organization partners to produce radio programs on human trafficking. The Ministry of Tourism produced billboards, magazine advertisements, and handouts targeted to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, though these efforts should be expanded. Authorities convicted nine child sex tourists during the year and initiated prosecutions against at least 17 other foreigners, including a Korean karaoke bar owner and two more Japanese citizens involved in the commercial sexual exploitation of children. State-run media ran anti-child sex tourism messages, as well as several television programs in Khmer targeted at the local population to discourage demand for child sex. Cambodian military forces participating in peacekeeping initiatives abroad received training on trafficking in persons prior to deployment.

CAMEROON (Tier 2 Watch List)

Cameroon is a country of origin, transit, and destination for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor, and a country of origin for women in forced labor. Individual trafficking operations usually involve the trafficking of two or three children at most, as when rural parents hand over their children to a seemingly benevolent middleman who may promise education and a better life in the city. A 2007 study conducted by the Cameroon government reported that 2.4 million children from the country’s ten regions involuntarily work in forced domestic servitude, street vending, and child prostitution, or in hazardous settings, including mines and tea or cocoa plantations, where they are treated as adult laborers; an unknown number of these children are trafficking victims. Nigerian and Beninese children attempting to transit Cameroon en route to Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, or adjacent countries also fall into the hands of traffickers who force them to stay in the country and work. An unknown number of Cameroonian women are lured abroad by fraudulent proposals of marriage on the Internet or offers of work in domestic service and subsequently become victims of forced labor or forced prostitution – principally in Switzerland and France, and according to recent reports, as far away as Russia. This trafficking reportedly is facilitated by corrupt officials who accept bribes for the issuance of travel documents.

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 these efforts, the government did not show evidence of increasing efforts to convict and punish trafficking offenders, including complicit officials, and to identify and protect victims of trafficking; therefore, Cameroon remains on Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year. While state prosecutors coordinated efforts with Interpol to investigate suspected trafficking offenses, particularly in the Northwest Region, there have been no reports of new trafficking prosecutions or convictions. Experts consider the 2005 law against child trafficking to be well written but underused because there is no system to provide relevant judicial officials with copies of new laws. Judges, law enforcement officials, and social workers do not enforce the legislation because they are not familiar with it. The government did not take measures to complete and enact a 2006 draft law prohibiting trafficking of adults. It failed to investigate reports of maintaining hereditary servants in involuntary servitude in the Northern Region. In August 2009, the Ministry of Social Affairs, in partnership with UNICEF and NGOs, began to develop a guide for protecting vulnerable children from exploitation, including trafficking, but did not complete a draft by the expected deadline at the end of 2009.

Recommendations for Cameroon: Increase efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders; educate police, judges, lawyers, and social workers about the law against child trafficking; complete and enact a draft law criminalizing the trafficking of adults; train anti-trafficking officials in all regions to use the new human trafficking data banks developed by NGOs; and investigate reports of hereditary servitude in the Northern Region.

Prosecution
The Government of Cameroon demonstrated weak anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. The government enacted no relevant legislation during the reporting period, and the country does not have a law prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons, as its 2006 draft law against adult trafficking has yet to be passed and enacted. The country’s existing 2005 law against child trafficking and slavery prescribes a penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment for these offenses − a punishment that is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses. During the reporting period, authorities investigated 26 new cases of human trafficking, as well as 18 other cases of possible trafficking offenses, none of which has resulted in a prosecution. All of the 26 cases involved children, and 10 of the cases were arrests and detentions pending trials. Several factors delay these cases, including the limited number of gendarmes and police officers available in rural areas, poor understanding of trafficking issues among victims who may be illiterate, and the lack of any security units specifically assigned to anti-trafficking details. The remaining 16 cases were alleged trafficking offenders who were caught in the act and arrested, but finally released after the matter was resolved either at the level of security forces, social affairs agencies, or a human rights lawyer’s chambers. To address these cases, officials used the 2005 anti-child trafficking law and the pertinent provisions of the Penal Code. The government reported no trafficking convictions during the reporting period. The government did not investigate traditional leaders in the Northern Region suspected of keeping hereditary servants in conditions of involuntary servitude. Official sources give no indication that the government facilitates or condones trafficking, though there were signs of some officials’ involvement in trafficking. In November 2009, a Bamenda-based lawyer filed a complaint against a commissioner of one of the police districts for complicity in child trafficking. The lawyer claimed that the commissioner opposed the arrest and detention of a woman caught while committing transnational trafficking. The Bamenda High Court took no action on the complaint against the police commissioner during the reporting period.

Protection
The Cameroonian government showed sustained, but weak efforts, which were limited due to financial constraints, to ensure that victims of trafficking received access to necessary assistance during the year. The government acknowledged that trafficking is a problem in Cameroon, and provided some direct assistance to victims, including temporary residency status, shelter, and medical care. Government personnel did not demonstrate systematic and proactive efforts to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups, such as street children, women in prostitution, and illegal migrants, or refer these victims to necessary care, though government officials did informally refer victims to service providers. The government did not discriminate on the basis of country of origin of trafficking victims; however, it did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

The informal system employed by government personnel for referring victims in need of short- and long-term shelter to government-run or NGO facilities is cumbersome. Once security officials identified individuals as trafficking victims, they addressed a report to the local administrative authority, which in turn directed victims to the appropriate government agency for appropriate action, including the provision of lodging in shelters or homes, medical care, and food. By year’s end, the government had begun to renovate the few care centers it maintains for trafficking victims. In August 2009, the Ministry of Social Affairs began working with UNICEF to draft a manual that would show families respected in local communities how to create foster homes that provide shelter, food, health care, and education to trafficking victims – a new model for protection in the country, scheduled to begin in 2010.

The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases. Victims were provided the opportunity to file civil suits against, trafficking offenders, though in the case of child victims, adult family members needed to instigate proceedings. At least one such case was pending in the Northwest Region at the end of the reporting period, with an 18-year-old victim, supported by local organizations, suing an alleged trafficking offender. Through the National Commission on Human Rights and Freedoms, and national and international NGOs, the government for the first time provided specialized training on how to identify trafficking victims to some of its officials, including law enforcement officers, in four regions of the country beginning in July 2009.

Prevention
The Cameroonian government sustained weak trafficking prevention efforts over the last year. Radio and television broadcast the government’s anti-trafficking message daily, sometimes wrapped in sports-star endorsements or public service announcements. The government reported that customs agents, border police, and gendarmerie units increased monitoring of the country’s borders, notably at seaports and airports, but land borders continued to be rarely patrolled and individuals passed freely between Cameroon and neighbor states. The government reported no measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts within the country. The government did not provide members of the Cameroonian armed forces with training on human trafficking prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

CANADA (Tier 1)

Canada is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and, to a lesser extent, forced labor. Canadian women and girls, particularly from aboriginal communities, are found in conditions of commercial sexual exploitation across the country. Foreign women and children, primarily from Asia and Eastern Europe, are subjected to forced prostitution: trafficking victims are from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, South Korea, the Philippines, Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova, in addition to other countries and territories. Asian victims tend to be prevalent in Vancouver and Western Canada, while Eastern European and Latin American victims are trafficked to Toronto, Montreal, and Eastern Canada. Law enforcement officials report the involvement of organized crime in sex trafficking. Canada is reportedly a destination country for foreign victims of forced labor. Most labor victims enter Canada legally but then are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, sweatshops and processing plants, or as domestic servants. NGOs report higher levels of forced labor in the provinces of Alberta and Ontario, while acknowledging the difficulty of distinguishing forced labor from labor exploitation. A considerable number of victims, particularly South Korean females, transit Canada en route to the United States. Canada is also a significant source country for child sex tourists, who travel abroad to engage in sex acts with children.

The Government of Canada fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the past year, the Canadian government increased prosecutions of human trafficking crimes and sustained strong victim protection and prevention efforts. Courts convicted one trafficking offender under the anti-trafficking law and achieved at least three other convictions under trafficking-related sections of the Criminal Code during the reporting period. Accurate data on human trafficking investigations was difficult to obtain, due in part to the highly decentralized nature of the government’s anti-trafficking efforts.

Recommendations for Canada: Intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and sentence trafficking offenders; increase use of proactive law enforcement techniques to investigate trafficking cases, including allegations of labor trafficking; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute Canadians suspected of committing sex crimes on children abroad; ensure that foreign trafficking victims are identified instead of deported; strengthen coordination among national and provincial governments on law enforcement and victim services; and improve data collection.

Prosecution
The Government of Canada maintained law enforcement actions against the country’s human trafficking problem over the last year: a greater number of trafficking cases were prosecuted, and authorities secured at least four trafficking-related convictions during the reporting period, compared with five convictions achieved under the anti-trafficking law during the previous period. Section 279.01 of the Canadian Criminal Code prohibits most forms of human trafficking, prescribing a penalty of up to 14 years’ imprisonment. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as sexual assault. Section 279.02 of the Criminal Code additionally prohibits a defendant from receiving a financial or material benefit from trafficking, prescribing up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Withholding or destroying a victim’s identification or travel documents to facilitate human trafficking is prohibited by Section 279.03 and is punishable by up to five years in prison. Section 279.04(a) defines “exploitation” for purposes of the trafficking offenses as conduct which reasonably causes a victim to provide a labor or service because they believe their safety, or the safety of a person known to them, is threatened. Section 118 of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, enacted in 2002, prohibits transnational human trafficking, prescribing a maximum penalty of life imprisonment and a $1 million fine. A private member’s bill strengthening anti-trafficking statutes and establishing a five year minimum sentence for trafficking of children is in progress in Parliament. The government reported one conviction under trafficking-specific laws during the reporting period, and convicted at least three trafficking offenders under other sections of the Criminal Code, including provisions against living off the proceeds of prostitution and sexual assault. Sentences ranged from six to nine years’ imprisonment. In addition to ongoing investigations, there were at least 32 human trafficking cases before the courts as of late February 2010, involving 40 accused trafficking offenders and 46 victims. All but one of these cases involved sex trafficking. This represents an increase in the number of prosecutions when compared with 12 anti-trafficking prosecutions in provincial courts that were pending at the same time last year and which involved 15 accused trafficking offenders. Not all cases of human trafficking are identified as such, and prosecutors may choose not to file human trafficking charges if related charges – such as sexual assault or living off the proceeds of prostitution – could guarantee longer sentences. Provinces and territories had primary responsibility for enforcing labor standards, and therefore had primary responsibility in combating forced labor. In December 2009, Ontario enacted the Employment Protection for Foreign Nationals Act, which provides employment protections for temporary foreign workers in the domestic service sector, a population which has increased significantly in the past five years. Canada’s law enforcement efforts reportedly suffer from a lack of coordination between the national government and provincial and local authorities, which prosecute most human trafficking cases. Last year the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) continued extensive anti-trafficking training efforts for law enforcement officers, border service officers, and prosecutors, and there were no reports of trafficking-related complicity by Canadian officials.

Protection
The government maintained protections for trafficking victims during the reporting period. Though law enforcement officials conduct raids at establishments where prostitution or trafficking is suspected, there were no nationwide proactive strategies for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as prostituted women. 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, the range and quality of these services varied. However, most jurisdictions provided access to shelter services, short-term counseling, court assistance, and specialized services, such as child victim witness assistance, rape counseling, and initiatives targeted at aboriginal women. NGOs also provided victim services, ranging from shelter care to employment and resettlement assistance. Undocumented foreign trafficking victims in Canada may apply for a temporary resident permit (TRP) to remain in the country, and 15 trafficking victims received TRPs during the reporting period. During a 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. TRP holders have access to essential and emergency medical care, dental care, and trauma counseling. Some foreign trafficking victims reportedly elected to apply for refugee status instead of a TRP, claiming more secure benefits and an immigration status with which immigration officials appeared more familiar. Victims’ rights are generally respected in Canada, and victims are not penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Canadian authorities encourage but do not require trafficking victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders. The government provides protections to victims who choose to testify, such as use of closed circuit television testimony, and during the reporting period 22 victims participated in human trafficking cases in court. The federal government and some provincial governments offer witness protection programs, though no trafficking victims applied for the federal program over the past year. Law enforcement, immigration, and consular officials receive specialized training to identify trafficking victims. However, many foreign victims appear to enter Canada legally and would be difficult to identify when passing through immigration. Despite these training initiatives, NGOs note that little information is provided to trafficking victims about their rights under anti-trafficking laws.

Prevention
The government maintained strong anti-trafficking prevention efforts over the reporting period. The RCMP continued to conduct widespread awareness-raising activities, reaching approximately 5,500 government officials and 4,500 members of civil society, in addition to distributing anti-trafficking materials to law enforcement officers. The RCMP maintained six regional human trafficking awareness coordinators across the country to facilitate these initiatives. 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, as well to inform them of their rights. Canada is a source country for child sex tourists, 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 up to 14 years in prison. Since 1997, approximately 136 formal charges have been filed against Canadians suspected of sexually exploiting children in foreign countries. Last year the Canadian government convicted no child sex tourists, compared with two convictions achieved in 2008. Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs distributes a publication entitled “Bon Voyage, But…” to warn Canadians traveling abroad about penalties under Canada’s child sex tourism law, and every new Canadian passport issued is accompanied by a copy of the booklet. The government produced more than 4 million copies during the reporting period. The government incorporated anti-trafficking measures into plans for the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, such as enhanced interpretation services for victims of crime and human trafficking. During the reporting period, the RCMP interviewed 175 police and service agencies in 20 cities and towns to determine the nature and scope of domestic trafficking of children. The government forged partnerships with NGOs, international organizations, and foreign governments, and funded anti-trafficking initiatives around the world through the Canadian International Development Agency and the Department of Foreign Affairs. Canadian authorities provided anti-trafficking information to Canadian military forces prior to their deployment on international peacekeeping missions.

CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC (Tier 2 Watch List)

The Central African Republic (CAR) is a source and destination country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically various forms of forced labor and forced prostitution. Most child victims are trafficked within the country, but a smaller number move back and forth from Cameroon, Chad, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sudan. Trafficking offenders, including members of expatriate communities from Nigeria, Sudan, and Chad, as well as transient merchants and herders, subject children to involuntary domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, or forced labor in agriculture, diamond mines, and street vending. The groups most at risk for trafficking are children for forced labor, Ba’aka (Pygmy) minorities for forced agricultural work, and girls for the sex trade in urban centers. The Lord’s Resistance Army continues to abduct and harbor enslaved Sudanese, Congolese, Central African, and Ugandan children in the CAR for use as cooks, porters, and combatants; some of these children are also taken back and forth across borders into Sudan or the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Human rights observers reported that opposition militia groups in the north of the country continued to unlawfully conscript children as young as 12 years old in armed service. Two of the main rebel groups, however, the Union of Democratic Forces for Unity (UFDR) and the Army for the Restitution of Democracy (APRD), ceased all recruitment of children during the reporting period as a result of disarmament, demobilization, and reinsertion activities. UNICEF reported that the APRD released 711 child soldiers in 2009; approximately 30 percent were between 10 and 14 years old, and of those, 70 percent had served in armed combat. The UFDR demobilized 180 child soldiers during the year. Though the UFDR and APRD deny the presence of additional children in their ranks, some observers believe they still harbor children between the ages of 15 and 17 years old. Village self-defense units, some of which are government-supported, used children as combatants, lookouts, and porters during the year; UNICEF estimates that children comprise one-third of the self-defense units.

The Government of the Central African Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources, cross-border incursions from three neighboring countries, and chronic political instability. In 2010, the government enacted an amendment to its penal code prohibiting and prescribing punishments for human trafficking offenses. The Minister of Justice, however, suspended the activities of the Inter-ministerial Committee to Fight Child Exploitation, pending a review of the draft Family Code to ensure that the legislation authorizes such a committee to exist and act effectively; this new code will determine the legal framework of the inter-ministerial committee’s work. The government did not take law enforcement action against traffickers, identify or provide protective services to child trafficking victims, or adequately raise public awareness of the phenomenon during the reporting period. Therefore, Central African Republic is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the fifth consecutive year.

Recommendations for Central African Republic: Complete an ongoing review of the country’s Family Law to ensure that its provisions will support the Inter- Ministerial Committee to Fight Child Exploitation’s mission to design a national anti-trafficking policy; increase efforts to identify trafficking victim among vulnerable populations, such as females in prostitution, street children, and Pygmies; in collaboration with NGOs and the international community, provide care to children in commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor; and increase overall efforts to educate the public about the dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution
While the government failed to investigate, prosecute, or convict trafficking offenses during the reporting period, it made efforts to strengthen its anti-trafficking legal statutes. In September 2009, the Parliament passed a revised Penal Code containing anti-trafficking provisions; the Code was officially enacted in January 2010. Under Article 151 of the new provisions, the prescribed penalty for human trafficking ranges from five to 10 years’ imprisonment; however, when a child is the victim of sex trafficking or forced labor similar to slavery, the penalty is life imprisonment with hard labor. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. Articles 7 and 8 of the January 2009 Labor Code prohibit forced and bonded labor and prescribe penalties of five to 10 years’ imprisonment. These provisions, however, are rarely enforced and no cases of suspected human trafficking offenses were investigated or prosecuted during the reporting period.

Protection
The government provided minimal protective assistance to trafficking victims during the reporting period. An extreme shortage of resources leaves responsible Central African officials unable to implement many basic victim protection services. While the Ministry of Family and Social Affairs continued operation of a shelter (the Center for Mothers and Children) in Bangui for children in distress, some of whom may have been trafficking victims, the shelter often did not have space available to take on additional clients. The government did not establish a system for identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, and they lacked capacity to provide funding or in-kind support to local or foreign partners for services provided to victims. The government sustained its partnership with UNICEF and UNICEF’s two program implementers for the latter’s protection of demobilized child soldiers, some of whom had likely been subjected to unlawful conscription. For example, during the reporting period, the Sous Prefets of Paoua and Bocaranga facilitated communication between two international NGOs and the APRD, which enabled the effective demobilization of 623 child soldiers from the rebel group. The Ministry of Education’s local representative in Bocaranga welcomed the demobilized children into the school, despite local suspicions. In September 2009, the Minister of Interior traveled to Paoua, in partnership with police, and convinced local citizens to peaceably allow the continuation of one NGO’s program to demobilize and rehabilitate child soldiers, including those unlawfully conscripted, from the APRD. In January 2010, the Deputy Minister of Defense tasked a senior gendarmerie official with investigating the situation of the recruitment and use of child soldiers in government-supported self-defense militias, with an eye to ending the practice immediately; the outcome of this investigation is unknown.

The Ministry of Justice ensured that identified victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. It claimed to encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, and to file suits against them for damages; these options do not appear to have been used during the reporting period. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution, and does not offer assistance to its own nationals who are repatriated as victims of trafficking.

Prevention
The government acknowledged that human trafficking is a problem in the country, and undertook few anti-trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. Most visibly, officials launched a human trafficking awareness campaign in June 2009 to coincide with the annual Day of the African Child, though there was limited follow-up on the themes presented after the day of the event. In January 2010, the Minister of Interior spoke on national radio about the overall poor law and order situation in the country, referencing in particular problems of child trafficking. The Inter-Ministerial Committee to Fight Child Exploitation, which was suspended by the Minister of Justice in early 2008 pending a review of the draft Family Code to ensure the legislation authorized the existence of such a committee, was not reinstituted in 2009. The government did not take any measures to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts during the year.

CHAD (Tier 2 Watch List)

Chad is a source and destination country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. The country’s trafficking problem is primarily internal and frequently involves parents entrusting children to relatives or intermediaries in return for promises of education, apprenticeship, goods, or money; selling or bartering children into involuntary domestic servitude or herding is used as a means of survival by families seeking to reduce the number of mouths to feed. Child trafficking victims are primarily subjected to forced labor as herders, domestic servants, agricultural laborers, or beggars. Child cattle herders follow traditional routes for grazing cattle and at times cross ill-defined international borders into Cameroon, the Central African Republic (CAR), and Nigeria. Underage Chadian girls travel to larger towns in search of work, where some are subsequently subjected to prostitution. Some girls are compelled to marry against their will, only to be forced by their husbands into involuntary domestic servitude or agricultural labor. In past reporting periods, traffickers transported children from Cameroon and the CAR to Chad’s oil producing regions for commercial sexual exploitation; it is unknown whether this practice persisted in 2009.

During the reporting period, the Government of Chad actively engaged in fighting with anti-government armed opposition groups. Each side unlawfully conscripted, including from refugee camps, and used children as combatants, guards, cooks, and look-outs. The government’s conscription of children for military service, however, decreased by the end of the reporting period, and a government-led, UNICEF-coordinated process to identify and demobilize remaining child soldiers in military installations and rebel camps began in mid-2009. A significant, but unknown number of children remain within the ranks of the Chadian National Army (ANT). Sudanese children in refugee camps in eastern Chad were forcibly recruited by Sudanese rebel groups, some of which were backed by the Chadian government during the reporting period.

The government 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 took steps to investigate and address the problem of forced child labor in animal herding. It also initiated efforts to raise awareness about the illegality of conscripting child soldiers, to identify and remove children from the ranks of its national army, and to demobilize children captured from rebel groups. The government failed, however, to enact legislation prohibiting trafficking in persons and undertook minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and victim protection activities. Therefore, Chad is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. The country faces severe constraints including lack of a strong judicial system, destabilizing civil conflicts, and a heavy influx of refugees from neighboring states.

Recommendations for Chad: Pass and enact penal code revisions prohibiting child trafficking; consider drafting and enacting penal code provisions that would criminalize the trafficking of adults; increase efforts to enhance magistrates’ understanding of and capability to prosecute and punish trafficking offenses under existing laws; demonstrate increased anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, including the investigation and prosecution, where appropriate, of suspected trafficking offenders; continue taking steps to ensure the end of child conscription and the demobilization of all remaining child soldiers from the national army and rebel forces; and collaborate with NGOs and international organizations to increase the provision of protective services to all types of trafficking victims, including children forced into cattle herding, domestic servitude, or prostitution.

Prosecution
Chad’s weak judicial system impeded its progress in undertaking anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. The government failed to prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders during the year. Existing laws do not specifically address human trafficking, though forced prostitution and many types of labor exploitation are prohibited. Title 5 of the Labor Code prohibits forced and bonded labor, prescribing fines of $100 to $1,000; these penalties, which are considered significant by Chadian standards, fail to prescribe a penalty of imprisonment and are not sufficiently stringent to deter trafficking crimes. Penal Code Articles 279 and 280 prohibit the prostitution of children, prescribing punishments of 5 to 10 years’ imprisonment and fines up to $2,000 – penalties that are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Pimping and owning brothels are also prohibited under Penal Code Articles 281 and 282. The 1991 Chadian National Army Law prohibits the Army’s recruitment of individuals below the age of 18. In 2009, the Ministry of Justice, with support from UNICEF, completed drafting revisions to the penal code; several new provisions will prohibit and prescribe punishments for child trafficking and provide protection for victims. The revisions are pending approval by the Supreme Court and the secretary general of the government. The government did not make anti-trafficking law enforcement statistics available, and there is no evidence to suggest the government prosecuted trafficking offenses during the reporting period. It did not provide information on the status of pending cases reported in the previous reporting period. In past reporting periods, the government prosecuted a small number of child trafficking cases using laws against kidnapping, the sale of children, and employing children under 14 years of age, though most magistrates lack understanding of how to apply existing laws to trafficking cases. During the year, police detained an unknown number of Chadian adults suspected of using forced child labor for herding, as well as intermediaries arranging herding jobs for children, but released all suspects after they paid small fines. Some cases were dealt with by traditional forms of justice which varied depending on the religion, ethnicity, and clan affiliation of all parties involved in or affected by the exploitation. The government did not prosecute military officials for conscripting child soldiers, though it notified the ANT during the year that future infractions would be punished with the full weight of the law.

Protection
The Government of Chad did not take adequate steps to ensure that all victims of trafficking received access to protective services during the reporting period. It did, however, make progress in providing protection for child soldiers, some of whom may have been forcibly conscripted, identified within the country. In a June 2009 ceremony, the ANT transferred to UNICEF for care 84 child combatants captured from Chadian rebel groups in early May. In July 2009, representatives of the Ministries of Social Affairs, Defense, and Foreign Affairs led an inter-ministerial mission to the military camp in Moussoro, accompanied by staff from UNICEF and an international NGO, to identify child soldiers captured from rebel units; of the 88 presumed child soldiers, the team identified 51 as children and succeeded in removing 16 of them to UNICEF’s care. By the end of 2009, the government and UNICEF identified and transferred to NGO-run rehabilitation and vocational training centers one child soldier from Chadian military ranks and 239 from Chadian rebel groups. The Ministry of Social Action operated a transit center located in Moussouro to screen and provide shelter to demobilized children after they are first released from armed groups. After spending between two days and two weeks at the center, the government transferred the children to rehabilitation centers operated by international NGOs. During the year, the Ministries of Social Affairs and Defense began maintaining files on rehabilitated child soldiers and other child victims of trafficking.

The government provided few services for trafficking victims other than unlawfully conscripted child soldiers during the reporting period. In 2009, the government continued its efforts to provide minimal assistance to child trafficking victims through its six technical regional committees charged with addressing the worst forms of child labor. These committees – located in N’Djamena, Abeche, and southern towns and comprised of representatives from the Ministries of Justice, Social Affairs and Family, Education, Public Works, Human Rights, and the Judicial Police – encouraged victims to file charges against and assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. They also referred cases of children forced to herd animals to the judiciary for action. The government sustained a formal system for officials to refer victims to NGOs or international organizations for care; judiciary police or other local authorities are to notify the Ministry of Justice’s Child Protection Department, UNICEF, and local NGOs when there is a potential case of child trafficking. The government provided no information, however, on the number of victims it referred to such organizations during the year. Officials did not report encouraging victims to file charges or assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. The government did not arrest or detain trafficking victims, or prosecute or otherwise penalize identified child victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Due to weak state entities and a lack of capacity, the government did not allocate any resources for training its officials regarding the identification and treatment of trafficking victims during the reporting period.

Prevention
The Chadian government made modest efforts to prevent human trafficking during the year. The government continued to conduct its trafficking efforts according to two internal documents that are annually reviewed and revised – the “Guide for the Protection of Child Victims of Trafficking,” and the “Integrated Action Plan to Fight the Worst Forms of Child Labor, Exploitation, and Trafficking (2008-1010)” – developed by the National Committee to Fight Trafficking and the Directorate of Children in the Ministry of Justice, respectively. While neither plan was formally adopted or launched as originally intended, all relevant government entities follow the work plans outlined in each. The government focused its prevention activities principally on addressing child labor trafficking, as children are the largest group of trafficking victims in Chad. Throughout 2009, an inter-ministerial team visited southern towns to investigate suspected cases of children forced to herd animals and provided a report with recommendations for future action to the Human Rights Ministry. During the year, the government, in partnership with UNICEF and UNFPA, launched several nationwide human rights campaigns that included sensitization for the population on the dangers of giving, renting, or selling one’s children into animal herding; these campaigns involved public events, billboards, posters, and the distribution of informational materials. The government also drafted a plan to educate parents on the risks of selling their children; the plan awaits final approval from the Prime Minster and funding. In January 2010, the National School of Administration and Magistracy graduated its first class of 28 labor inspectors; they have not yet been deployed due to lack of funding. The country’s 25 existing inspectors and 59 assistance inspectors lacked the resources to fulfill their mandate and the Ministry of Labor provided no information on the number of child labor inspections carried out or the number of children, if any, removed or assisted as the result of such inspections. Beginning in August 2009, the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s Military Coordinator led an awareness raising delegation comprised of officers from the ANT, the Nomadic Guard, Directorate General of Security Services for National Institutions, and the Gendarmerie, along with civilian government officials and representatives of UNICEF, UNDP, the UN peacekeeping operation, and diplomatic missions, to the four headquarters locations of the government’s armed forces in Abeche, N’Djamena, Moussoro, and Mongo. The Military Coordinator, a brigadier general, delivered a consistent message denouncing the use of child soldiers, outlining the government’s intolerance of the practice, and stating that the government would investigate and prosecute anyone implicated in the use of child soldiers. The government made no effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor during the reporting period. In July 2009, the government ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CHILE (Tier 2)

Chile is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Within the country, many victims are Chilean women and girls who respond to false job offers and subsequently are subjected to forced prostitution. To a limited extent, Chilean women and girls also are trafficked for forced prostitution and forced labor to neighboring countries such as Argentina, Peru, and Bolivia, as well as Spain. Women and girls from Argentina, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Paraguay, and other Latin American countries, in addition to China, are lured to Chile with fraudulent job offers and subsequently coerced into prostitution or involuntary domestic servitude. Foreign victims of labor trafficking, primarily from Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, and China, have been identified in Chile’s mining and agricultural sectors. There are reports that children are recruited against their will as drug mules along the borders with Bolivia and Peru. Some Chinese nationals are consensually smuggled through Chile en route to Latin American countries and the United States; some fall victim to human trafficking.

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. Last year, the government increased law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking offenders and forged partnerships with foreign governments. Chilean authorities continued to report difficulties with prosecuting labor trafficking crimes and the internal trafficking of adults due to statutory gaps in Chile’s anti-trafficking laws. This remains a considerable limitation in light of the number of labor trafficking victims identified by a prominent international organization.

Recommendations for Chile: Enact anti-trafficking legislation to prohibit all forms of human trafficking; intensify law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders, especially labor trafficking offenders; train government officials on how to identify and respond to cases of labor trafficking and internal sex trafficking of adults; strengthen victim protection efforts, particularly for labor trafficking victims; and increase public awareness about all forms of human trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Chile increased law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Chilean law does not prohibit all forms of human trafficking, though it criminalizes transnational movement of persons for purposes of prostitution through Article 367 of its penal code. In addition to human trafficking, this statute encompasses consensual smuggling for the purpose of prostitution, which does not fall within the international definition of human trafficking. Penalties prescribed under this statute range from three to 20 years of imprisonment, depending on whether aggravated circumstances exist. In cases of internal trafficking of children for forced prostitution, prosecutors could use sections of Article 361 of the penal code which address sexual crimes against children and prescribe penalties ranging from 10 to 20 years. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those for other serious 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 often do not. The government’s anti-trafficking statutory framework does not criminalize labor trafficking or the internal sex trafficking of adults; law enforcement officials report difficulties with investigating and prosecuting these allegations. Draft legislation which would prohibit labor trafficking and increase the minimum sentence for human trafficking, originally proposed in 2002, is being reviewed by the Senate.

During the reporting period, the government opened 128 trafficking-related investigations: 108 for promoting or facilitating prostitution of children, and 22 for cross-border sex trafficking. Chilean courts obtained 34 convictions over the past year: eight for promoting or facilitating prostitution of children, and 26 for cross-border sex trafficking. These numbers represent an increase in both investigations and convictions compared with the previous year. During the reporting period, the government charged six active police officials with facilitating prostitution of children. The Chilean government signed partnership agreements on anti-trafficking law enforcement with Paraguay, Bolivia, and the Dominican Republic, and provided training to 250 prosecutors in those countries.

Protection
The Chilean government delivered comprehensive victim services to children who were victims of commercial sexual exploitation, and provided some services to adult trafficking victims, although there were no specialized services for labor trafficking victims. In partnership with IOM, the Government of Chile conducted eight training sessions throughout the country on trafficking victim identification and treatment; over 600 prosecutors, police, and immigration officials participated. In July 2009, the government implemented a plan to investigate high risk areas for child prostitution; prosecutors worked with the police to map the most common areas for commercial sex acts and directed increased resources to detect child prostitution. The National Service for Minors operated two residential shelters exclusively for child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, in addition to providing victim services through its national network of residential shelters and walk-in centers for at-risk youth, with a total capacity for 700 children. The National Service for Minors also provided child trafficking victims with legal services. Adult sex trafficking victims were referred to NGOs and international organizations, who also aided foreign victims in the repatriation process. Female victims were also eligible for services at one of 25 government run women’s shelters as well as all public health services; however, the government did not operate any specialized shelters for adult trafficking victims. Despite credible reports of labor trafficking in the mining sector, labor trafficking victims often were not protected because labor trafficking is not a crime in Chile.

Chilean authorities encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. The government provided medical care, psychological counseling, and witness protection services to adult victims of sex trafficking assisting in trafficking investigations, and foreign victims were eligible for these services. Foreign sex trafficking victims may remain in Chile during legal proceedings against their exploiters, and can later apply for residency status. Chilean law states that these victims may face deportation to their country of origin once legal proceedings are finished, although in practice they are not deported. The Public Ministry developed an agreement with the Ministry of Interior to secure humanitarian visas for trafficking victims who wish to stay in Chile during a trial, and some foreign victims received these visas during the reporting period.

Prevention
The government sustained prevention efforts during the reporting period by conducting anti-trafficking education and outreach campaigns: almost all of these efforts, however, focused on the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The National Service for Minors continued to raise awareness about child prostitution through its “There is No Excuse” campaign, and launched an Internet campaign on the same topic. Immigration documents for travelers arriving in Chile include information about the penalties for commercial sexual exploitation of children. The government forged partnerships with NGOs, international organizations and foreign governments in implementing these prevention efforts. The government gave mandatory anti-trafficking and human rights training to Chilean troops prior to their deployment for international peacekeeping missions. In an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex, courts prosecuted individuals for commercial sexual exploitation of children. No specific efforts to reduce demand for forced labor were reported.

CHINA (Tier 2 Watch List)

China is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Women and children from neighboring countries including Burma, Vietnam, Laos, Mongolia, Russia and North Korea, and from locations as far as Romania and Zimbabwe are trafficked to China for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. Well-organized international criminal syndicates and local gangs play key roles in both internal and cross-border trafficking. During the year, there was a significant increase in the reported number of Vietnamese and Burmese citizens trafficked in China. Some trafficking victims are kept locked up, and many of them are subjected to debt bondage. Many North Koreans who enter into China are subjected to forced prostitution or forced labor in forced marriages or in Internet sex businesses.

While the majority of trafficking occurs within China’s borders, there are reports that Chinese men, women, and children are subjected to forced prostitution and forced labor in numerous countries and territories worldwide, including the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Malaysia, Taiwan, Angola, Uganda, Ghana, Zambia, Trinidad and Tobago, Mozambique, Tanzania, South Africa, Chile, Poland, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Finland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, the Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, the Maldives, Oman, and Qatar. There were reports of Chinese nationals taking on significant amounts of debt, sometimes amounting to as much as $70,000 to migrate to foreign countries for work, making them extremely vulnerable to debt bondage and situations of trafficking. Concurrent with the increase of Chinese economic activity in Africa, there were some reports of Chinese workers trafficked to Africa by importers and construction firms. Chinese women and girls are also trafficked to Africa for forced prostitution. Experts and NGOs report that China’s population planning policies, coupled with a cultural preference for sons, creates a skewed sex ratio in China, which may contribute to the trafficking of women and children from within China, Mongolia, North Korea, Russia, Burma, Laos and Vietnam for forced marriage, leaving them vulnerable to involuntary domestic servitude or forced commercial sexual exploitation by their spouses.

Internal trafficking is most pronounced among China’s migrant population, which is estimated to exceed 150 million people. Forced labor remains a serious problem, including in brick kilns, coal mines, factories, and on construction sites throughout China. There were numerous confirmed reports of involuntary servitude of children, adults, and migrant workers during the reporting period. As an example, in May 2009, media reports exposed a forced labor case at brick kilns in Anhui province, where mentally handicapped workers were subjected to slave-like conditions. Workers participating in a government-sponsored program to transfer rural labor to jobs in the interior of China, including children, were allegedly coerced into the program through threats or fines for noncompliance, but others participating in the same program said they had not been forced. Authorities in Xinjiang reportedly imposed forced labor on some farmers in predominantly ethnic minority regions. Forced labor was a problem in some drug detention centers, according to NGO reporting. Some detainees were reportedly forced to work up to 18 hours a day without pay for private companies working in partnership with Chinese authorities. Many prisoners and detainees in reeducation through labor facilities were required to work, often with no remuneration. Authorities held individuals in these institutions as a result of administrative decisions. Forced labor also remained a problem in penal institutions.

There continue to be reports that some Chinese children are forced into prostitution, and various forms of forced labor, including begging, stealing, selling flowers, and work in brick kilns and factories; the children of migrants are particularly vulnerable to trafficking. For example, there were reports child laborers were found working in brick kilns, low-skill service sectors and in small workshops and factories. These reports found that the underage laborers are in their teens, typically ranging from 13 to 15 years old, but some are as young as 10 years old. In November 2009, an explosion killed 13 primary school children working in a Guangxi workshop producing fireworks, all of whom were children of migrant workers working in factories in a neighboring province. Work-study programs in various parts of China, often with local government involvement, reportedly engaged child labor, whereby schools supply factories and farms with forced child labor under the pretext of vocational training. In Xinjiang, children were forced to pick cotton for army-based production brigades under the guise of a “work-study” program, according to foreign media reports. There are reports of some students having no say in the terms or conditions of their employment, and little protection from abusive work practices and dangerous conditions. The overall extent of forced labor and child labor in China is unclear in part because the government releases only limited information on the subject.

The Government of the People’s Republic of China does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Although the government ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol during the year, committing itself to bringing its domestic laws into conformity with international standards on trafficking, it did not revise anti-trafficking laws and the National Plan of Action to criminalize and address all forms of labor and sex trafficking. The government reported an increase in the number of “trafficking” offenders prosecuted and victims assisted, however these efforts were based on China’s limited definition of “trafficking,” and the government continues to conflate human smuggling and child abduction for adoption with trafficking offenses. Authorities took steps to strengthen victim protection services and increased cooperation with local NGOs to provide victims access to services in some areas of the country and to provide anti-trafficking training to border guards. Despite these efforts, the government failed to sufficiently address China’s trafficking problem. It did not make significant efforts to investigate and prosecute labor trafficking offenses and convict offenders of labor trafficking, and it did it not sufficiently address corruption in trafficking by government officials. The government lacked a formal, nationwide procedure to systematically identify victims of trafficking. It also failed to provide comprehensive victim protection services to both internal and foreign victims of trafficking throughout the country. Victims are sometimes punished for unlawful acts that were a direct result of their being trafficked – for instance, violations of prostitution or immigration and emigration controls. Chinese authorities continue to forcibly repatriate North Korean trafficking victims, who face punishment upon their return for unlawful acts that were sometimes a direct result of being trafficked. The government’s inadequate data collection system and limited transparency continued to impede progress in recording and quantifying anti-trafficking efforts. For these reasons, China is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the sixth consecutive year.

Recommendations for China: Revise the National Action Plan and national laws to criminalize all forms of labor trafficking and bring laws into conformity with international obligations; expand proactive, formal procedures to systematically identify victims of trafficking, including labor trafficking victims and Chinese trafficked abroad, and among vulnerable groups such as migrant workers and foreign women and children arrested for prostitution; continue to train law enforcement and immigration officials regarding the identification and treatment of trafficking victims using approaches focusing on the needs of the victim; cease the practice of forcibly repatriating North Korean trafficking victims; devote significantly more resources to victim protection efforts, including funding for shelters equipped to assist victims of trafficking; increase training for shelter workers; increase counseling, medical, reintegration, and other rehabilitative assistance; increase protection services available to male and female, and sex and labor trafficking victims; make efforts to provide access to services for Chinese trafficking victims abroad; increase resources to address labor trafficking, including to improve inspection of workplaces and training for officials working in sectors in which trafficking victims are likely to be found; support legal assistance programs that assist both foreign and Chinese trafficking victims; increase the number of criminal investigations and prosecutions of cases involving trafficking for forced labor, including recruiters and employers who facilitate forced labor and debt bondage; make greater efforts to actively investigate, prosecute, and convict government officials complicit in trafficking crimes; expand upon existing campaigns to reduce the demand for forced labor and commercial sex acts; improve law enforcement data collection efforts for trafficking cases, consistent with the government’s capacity to do so and disaggregated to reflect cases that fall within the definition of trafficking; and undertake systematic research on all forms of human trafficking in China and involving Chinese nationals.

Prosecution
The Government of the People’s Republic of China made uneven progress in its efforts to combat trafficking in persons during the reporting period, based on China’s limited definition of “trafficking.” The legal definition of trafficking under Chinese law remained discordant with international standards during the year. China’s definition of trafficking does include the use of non-physical forms of coercion, fraud, debt bondage, involuntary servitude, forced labor, or offenses committed against men, although many aspects of these crimes are addressed in other articles of China’s criminal law. China’s legal definition of trafficking does not automatically regard children over the age of 14 who are subjected to the commercial sex trade as trafficking victims. It is unclear whether Chinese laws recognize forms of coercion other than abduction, such as threats of physical harm or nonphysical harm, as constituting a means of trafficking. Article 244 of the Chinese Criminal Law criminalizes forced labor, but prescribes punishments of a fine or no more than three years’ imprisonment, and only if the circumstances are found to be “serious” - penalties which are not sufficiently stringent. Additionally, the current law applies only to legally recognized employers and does not apply to informal employers or illegal workplaces. China’s legal definition of trafficking does not recognize male victims of trafficking or adult victims of labor trafficking. The government did not take steps to enact legislation to prohibit all forms of trafficking during the year, though it ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol in December 2009, which obligates China to prohibit all forms of trafficking and bring its domestic laws into conformity with international standards within 24 months. Based on the government’s limited definition of “trafficking” and the government’s continued conflation of human smuggling and child abduction for adoption with trafficking offenses, the Ministry of Public Security (MPS) in 2009 reported convicting 2,413 defendants in trafficking cases, an increase from the previous year, and resolving more than 7,000 trafficking cases involving more than 7,300 women and 3,400 children. The government reported the arrest of 19 of the country’s 20 most wanted traffickers and pursuit of criminal networks and organized crime syndicates involved in trafficking. Police conducted “population surveys” to look for trafficking victims and open files on suspected traffickers; however, the impact of these efforts was unclear. In 2009, Chinese government officials noted that current statistical methods used to monitor trafficking were not consistent with international standards and sought to revise them. In April 2009, Chinese officials collaborated with Costa Rican authorities to arrest members of an international ring that trafficked Chinese children to Costa Rica for forced labor. However, as China’s expatriate population continues to expand, it has not sufficiently developed the capacity to institutionalize its international law enforcement cooperation on trafficking. In May 2009, authorities reported arresting 10 men for buying, enslaving, and abusing 32 mentally handicapped individuals and forcing them to work in brick kilns in Anhui Province. Local authorities in Hangzhou offered cash rewards for information leading to the arrest of gang leaders that force children and handicapped people to beg. Jiangxi provincial authorities in April launched a campaign to crack down on criminal organizations involved forced child labor. Guizhou provincial authorities in May launched a campaign to crack down on the forced prostitution of underage girls and the forced labor of children.

There were continued indications of local officials’ complicity in trafficking. Local corruption remains an obstacle to prosecution; however, China in 2009 evaluated government officials’ performance against regulations prohibiting complicity in trafficking crimes. During the year, there were reports that local officials in Xinjiang used coercion and threats to get adults and children to participate in government-sponsored labor transfer programs, and used fraudulent methods to make children appear to meet the legal working age of factories. There were reports that some Chinese border guards worked in collusion with traffickers and North Korean border guards to procure young North Korean women for forced prostitution in Chinese brothels. During the year, there were three reported instances of Chinese nationals arrested for selling North Korean women, with one national sentenced to prison for over five years. The Chinese government did not sufficiently report efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish government officials for complicity in human trafficking offenses.

Protection
The Chinese government made efforts to improve protection during the reporting period; however, efforts to identify and protect victims of trafficking remained inadequate. Authorities continued to focus protection efforts on women and children. The government’s efforts to proactively identify male trafficking victims and victims of labor trafficking were inadequate. In July, Fujian officials strengthened efforts, including working with village committees, to identify trafficking victims and at-risk populations. Chinese trafficking victims abroad had little access to resources or protection by Chinese authorities. Chinese authorities worked with IOM to expand their capacity to provide support to Chinese trafficking victims in foreign countries, although the programs are at the nascent stage. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has begun to explore options for dealing with Chinese victims overseas, but has not fully expanded its capabilities. While reports state there are an estimated 1,400 shelters in the country that can offer some assistance to victims, there are only five nationwide dedicated to trafficking victims, one of which was operated by the government. While authorities reported shelters across the country assisted 12,000 women and children trafficking victims, the government’s statistics were based on the country’s definition of trafficking, which is inconsistent with international norms. Most shelters are not specifically staffed and trained to assist trafficking victims, though the government is working with international organizations to address shortcomings. NGOs along the southern border reported some improvements in 2009 in Chinese official rescue and rehabilitation support to trafficking victims. All these efforts, however, need to be strengthened significantly.

Due to an inadequate number of dedicated shelters to assist trafficking victims, trafficking victims generally return to their homes without access to counseling or psychological care. Victims nationwide did not have access to long-term care. Provincial governments in the southern border provinces, lacking resources, often relied upon NGOs to help provide services to victims. In Yunnan province, the All-China Women’s Federation, with the assistance of NGOs, provided some victims with medical care, counseling, and vocational training. During the year, authorities worked with foreign governments, NGOs, and international organizations to train law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel on victim identification. All of the government’s victim protection efforts, however, need to be strengthened and standardized nationwide. The government partnered with NGOs to conduct training workshops for border liaison offices with Burma to increase police force capacity to identify and protect trafficking victims. The Ministry of Civil Affairs began training managers of China’s shelters on victim identification, protection, and reintegration. Over the course of the year, local Chinese public security officials increased cooperation with the Mongolian consulate in Erlian and NGO representatives to identify and rescue Mongolian sex trafficking victims in China. Ministry of Foreign Affairs consular affairs staff received training to spot trafficking victims abroad.

Foreign victims were generally repatriated, sometimes involuntarily. They were provided little access to rehabilitative, financial, or legal assistance. The government did not provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to removal to their native countries, even if they might face hardship or retribution. Some foreign women and children identified as trafficking victims and repatriated to foreign countries were not in fact trafficking victims, but were deported under mechanisms meant for trafficking victims due to their status as illegal migrants.

While government regulations stipulate that repatriated Chinese and foreign victims of trafficking no longer face fines or other punishments upon return, authorities acknowledged that some victims continued to be assigned criminal penalties or fined because of provisions allowing for the imposition of fines on persons traveling without documentation. Additionally, the lack of effective victim identification measures and police corruption in China in some cases cause victims to be punished for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. In localities where officials have received training on human trafficking, there were reports victims were not punished or fined.

Chinese authorities continued efforts begun ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games to forcibly repatriate North Korean refugees in China, including trafficking victims, in violation of their commitments to the 1951 UN Convention related to the Status of Refugees and the victim protection principles of the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. China continued to treat North Korean trafficking victims solely as illegal economic migrants, deporting them to North Korea, where they may face severe punishment. The Chinese government refused to provide North Korean trafficking victims with legal alternatives to repatriation. Chinese authorities prosecute citizens who assist North Korean refugees and trafficking victims. The government continued to bar UNHCR from access to North Korean populations in Northeast China. The lack of access to UNHCR assistance and constant fear of forced repatriation by Chinese authorities leaves North Korean refugees more vulnerable to human traffickers.

Prevention
The Chinese government expanded efforts in some areas to prevent trafficking in persons with assistance from international organizations and NGOs. Authorities, including those at the ministerial level, worked to increase public awareness among groups most at risk. In April 2009, MPS launched a nine-month anti-trafficking campaign targeting the trafficking of women and children. The All-China Women’s Federation worked in partnership with the ILO to continue anti-trafficking prevention campaigns reaching almost three million people. The government reported organizing and taking part in anti-trafficking training provided by partner international organizations for officials in Beijing, Anhui, Hunan, Yunnan, Guizhou, and Shaanxi provinces. MPS carried out programs to educate and monitor populations at-risk for trafficking; a pilot project was launched in Guangzhou and Yunnan Province to offer free classes to migrant workers on protecting children from trafficking. The central government reported it changed local security officials’ promotion criteria to include counter-trafficking work. The government reported it launched an initiative to crack down on illegal activities by employment agencies, some of which may have been involved in human trafficking. The central government issued a document clarifying government agency responsibilities in combating child labor and imposed obligations on government officials as part of an enlarged effort to combat child trafficking.

The government did not provide information on monitoring immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. The central government did not address the birth limitation policy, which contributes to a gender imbalance that some believe has led to trafficking of women into involuntary servitude through forced marriage in the Chinese population. During the reporting period, the Chinese government undertook reforms of the hukou household registration system; however, it may remain a factor contributing to the vulnerability of internal migrants to forced labor. Authorities did not take adequate measures to prevent internal trafficking for sexual exploitation or forced labor, despite the prevalence of such trafficking across the country. The government did not take sufficient measures during the year to reduce the demand for forced labor, commercial sex acts, or child sex tourism. In 2009, authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Burma to cooperate on anti-trafficking efforts, and together with Laos established an anti-trafficking liaison office in Yunnan Province, similar to offices operating at border crossings with Burma and Vietnam. Chinese forces participating in peacekeeping initiatives abroad did not receive training on trafficking in persons prior to deployment. However, there have been no allegations of trafficking acts committed by Chinese peacekeepers.

COLOMBIA (Tier 1)

Colombia is a major source country for women and girls subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution in Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Asia, and North America, including the United States. Within Colombia, some men are found in conditions of forced labor, but the forced prostitution of women and children from rural areas in urban areas remains a larger problem. Individual cases of forced marriage – a risk factor for trafficking – involuntary domestic servitude, and forced begging have been reported. Some children are subjected to forced labor in mines and quarries or as domestic servants. Groups at high risk for internal trafficking include displaced persons, poor women in rural areas, and relatives of members of criminal organizations. Continued armed violence in Colombia has displaced many communities, making them vulnerable to human trafficking. Guerillas and new illegal armed groups forcibly recruit children to join their ranks; the government estimates thousands of children are exploited under such conditions. Members of gangs and organized criminal networks force their relatives and acquaintances, and displaced persons – typically women and children – into conditions of forced prostitution and forced labor, including forced work in the illegal drug trade. Colombia also is a destination for foreign child sex tourists, particularly coastal cities such as Cartagena and Barranquilla. Migrants from South America, Africa, and China transit Colombia en route to the United States and Europe; some may fall victim to traffickers.

The Government of Colombia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons. During the reporting period, the government increased law enforcement actions against trafficking offenders, enhanced prevention efforts, and continued to offer victim services through an interagency trafficking operations center and through partnerships with NGOs and international organizations. The significant number of Colombians trafficked abroad, however, reflects the need for increased prevention efforts and victim services.

Recommendations for Colombia: Dedicate more resources for victim services provided directly by the government; increase efforts to encourage victims to assist with the prosecution of their traffickers; enhance efforts to assist and repatriate the large number of Colombians trafficked overseas; institute formal measures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; and continue to raise public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking, particularly among young women seeking jobs abroad.

Prosecution
The Government of Colombia increased its anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Colombia prohibits all forms of trafficking through its anti-trafficking statute, Law 985, which prescribes minimum punishments of 13 to 23 years’ imprisonment. Such punishments are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2009, Colombian authorities initiated 215 anti-trafficking investigations, reported 200 trafficking prosecutions, and achieved 14 convictions, sentencing trafficking offenders to periods of imprisonment ranging from 7 to 27 years. Such results compare to 159 investigations and 16 convictions reported for 2008. Investigations of labor trafficking increased dramatically over the reporting period: in 2009, there were 80 reports of potential forced labor offenses; whereas in 2008, there were two. The government maintained partnerships with foreign governments to repatriate trafficking victims and investigate trafficking cases in Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United States. There were no corroborated reports of trafficking-related corruption during the reporting period and the government did not convict any officials for trafficking-related offenses. Public prosecutors received training on trafficking issues from an international organization.

Protection
The government maintained victim protection efforts, both through direct provision of assistance and in partnership with NGOs and international organizations. The government did not appear to employ formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations within the country, such as displaced persons or prostituted women. Authorities ran an interagency anti-trafficking operations center to refer victims to providers of protective services, as well as to coordinate and track criminal investigation and prosecution of their cases, and collect nationwide information and statistics about trafficking crimes. The government did not operate shelters dedicated to trafficking victims, but referred victims to local NGOs to provide these services. Authorities provided medical and psychological care, access to financial and employment assistance, and information and legal support for judicial processes. The government identified 155 victims of transnational trafficking during 2009, who consisted of near equal numbers of forced labor and sex trafficking victims, in addition to 14 victims who were trafficked within Colombia. The majority of these victims were adults, and the center provided 78 of these victims with services in collaboration with an NGO. Many victims only requested assistance in returning to their homes, and the government provided safe passage for victims returning home. The government encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and provided housing to victims participating in these efforts through its witness protection program. However, most victims were reluctant to testify against their traffickers due to fear of reprisals or lack of awareness of their status as victims of a serious crime; four victims participated in prosecutions during the reporting period. Consular officials assisted 110 Colombians trafficked overseas during the reporting period: this represents a significant increase in repatriation assistance when compared with the 22 trafficking victims assisted by Colombian consular officers abroad in 2008. The government contracted legal advisors and social workers to help support Colombians abroad. However, victim services overseas are limited to consular districts with at least 10,000 Colombian residents, and are not likely to be available to victims trafficked to isolated locations. At home, Colombian law enforcement authorities encourage victims to assist with 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. While there was no specialized legal mechanism whereby the government offered a visa or temporary residence status to foreign trafficking victims, the government could provide trafficking victims with temporary permission to remain in the country on a case-by-case basis; these victims were eligible to receive humanitarian assistance from the government.

Prevention
The government continued substantial prevention efforts against human trafficking. In partnership with international organizations, the government launched a new national trafficking prevention campaign targeting young, low-income Colombians, and concluded a campaign from the previous year; both campaigns included TV commercials, radio spots, and print ads. In collaboration with an international organization, the government also launched a pilot program to combat sex trafficking in two high-risk neighborhoods through public awareness events and training sessions for community leaders. Authorities trained 171 journalists in Medellin, Cartagena, and Cali to improve awareness and increase accurate media coverage of trafficking in persons issues. The Ministry of Education introduced a trafficking in persons component into its sexual education curriculum. Through its anti-trafficking operations center, the government operated a national call center, which received 7,801 calls during the reporting period. Most calls were citizen requests for information relating to job offers overseas, though 133 suspected trafficking cases from the call center were referred to police for investigation. The government encouraged more active anti-trafficking efforts at the local level, and two departments implemented anti-trafficking work plans during the reporting period, for a total of 15 departments with such plans. In 2009, the government hosted a national workshop for these departmental committees to share challenges and best practices. Colombian authorities hosted visiting delegations from Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, and Panama, and shared best practices from the anti-trafficking center with these delegations. Article 219 of the Colombian criminal code prohibits organizing or facilitating sexual tourism and provides penalties of 3 to 8 years’ imprisonment, but there were no reported prosecutions or convictions of child sex tourists. No other government campaigns to reduce demand for commercial sex acts were visible during the reporting period, but the government reduced demand for child labor through public awareness and training efforts, often in partnership with international organizations.

CONGO, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE (Tier 3)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. The majority of this trafficking is internal, and much of it is perpetrated by armed groups and government forces outside government control within the country’s unstable eastern provinces. A significant number of unlicensed Congolese artisanal miners – men and boys – are exploited in situations of debt bondage by businessmen and supply dealers from whom they acquire cash advances, tools, food, and other provisions at inflated prices, and to whom they must sell the mined minerals at prices below the market value. The miners are forced to continue to work to repay constantly accumulating debts that are virtually impossible to repay. In North Kivu, South Kivu, and Katanga Provinces, armed groups and Congolese national army (FARDC) troops reportedly use threats and coercion to force men and children to mine for minerals. A number of policemen in eastern DRC reportedly arrested people arbitrarily in order to extort money from them; those who could not pay were forced to work until they had “earned” their freedom. Congolese girls are forcibly prostituted in tent- or hut-based brothels or informal camps – including in markets and mining areas – by loosely organized networks, gangs, and madams. Congolese women and children are exploited internally in conditions of involuntary domestic servitude and taken, in smaller numbers, to Angola, South Africa, Republic of the Congo, and European nations for commercial sexual exploitation. Some members of Batwa, or pygmy groups, are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude in agriculture, mining, and domestic work in eastern DRC.

Indigenous and foreign armed militia groups, notably, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), Patriotes Resistants Congolais (PARECO), various local militia (Mai-Mai), the Alliance des patriots pour un Congo libre et souverain (APCLS), and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), continued to abduct and forcibly recruit Congolese men, women, and children to serve as laborers, porters, domestics, combatants, and in sexual servitude. In 2009, the LRA continued operations in areas in and near the DRC’s Orientale Province, violently abducting more than 1,700 Congolese citizens, including children; some of these abductees were later taken to southern Sudan or Central African Republic. Likewise, abducted Sudanese and Central African citizens experienced conditions of forced labor and sexual servitude at the hands of the LRA after being forcibly taken to the DRC.

In 2009, the FARDC resumed recruitment, at times through force, of children for use as combatants, escorts, and porters, a practice which observers believed to have ended by 2008. From November 2008 to October 2009, 623 confirmed cases of unlawful child soldier recruitment were attributed to the FARDC, 75 percent of which were attributable to ex-CNDP (National Congress for the Defense of the People, a former Congolese rebel group) elements absorbed into the FARDC in 2009. In April 2009, for example, 100 children, ages 13 to 15, were recruited by the FARDC along the Bunyakiri-Hombo axis. An unspecified number of children recruited by the CNDP during past reporting periods remain within integrated FARDC units. In addition, FARDC elements pressed hundreds of civilians, including children, into forced labor to carry ammunition, supplies, and looted goods, to fetch water and firewood, to serve as guides, or to construct military facilities and temporary huts. Those who resisted were sometimes killed; others died under the weight of their heavy loads.

The Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo 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 show evidence of progress in prosecuting and punishing labor or sex trafficking offenders, including members of its own armed forces; providing protective services for the vast majority of trafficking victims; or raising public awareness of human trafficking. In addition, the government’s anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts decreased during the reporting period. Elements of the national army perpetrated severe human trafficking abuses during the year, including forcibly recruiting hundreds of children and using local populations to perform forced labor; some army commanders blocked efforts to remove children from their units. Furthermore, a number of FARDC commanders accused of child soldiering and forced labor abuses in previous reporting periods remained in leadership positions within the army and were not investigated, disciplined in any way, or brought to trial. Therefore, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is placed on Tier 3. The government continued to lack sufficient financial, technical, and human resources to effectively address trafficking crimes and provide basic levels of security and social services in most parts of the country. The military lacked the capacity to demobilize armed groups or adequately prevent the trafficking violations committed by members of its own forces. The country’s criminal and military justice systems, including the police, courts, and prisons were practically nonexistent; there were few functioning courts or secure prisons in the country. Some advances, however, were noted during the reporting period in demobilizing children from fighting factions, including from the national army, and in sensitizing military officials about the illegality of committing forced labor abuses.

Recommendations for the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Investigate and punish military and other law enforcement personnel accused of unlawfully conscripting child soldiers or using local populations to perform forced labor, including for mining of minerals; increase efforts to prosecute and punish, as appropriate, non-military trafficking offenders, particularly those who conscript child soldiers, utilize forced labor, or control children in prostitution; cease the FARDC’s conscription of child soldiers and demobilize all children from the FARDC’s ranks; develop a legislative proposal to comprehensively address all forms of human trafficking, including labor trafficking; in partnership with NGOs or religious entities, ensure the provision of short-term protective services to child trafficking victims; and take steps to raise awareness about human trafficking among the general population.

Prosecution
The government made little progress in investigating or prosecuting suspected trafficking offenders during the reporting period. The government’s judicial writ did not cover many areas of the country where human trafficking occurs, and it remained hamstrung by a critical shortage of magistrates, clerks, and lawyers. Corrupt officials allegedly embezzled meager financial resources from government agencies responsible for combating human trafficking, further disabling the government from pursuing training, capacity building, or victim assistance. In February and March 2010, the government recruited 2,000 new magistrates, who will be appointed and receive training during the upcoming reporting period. Existing laws do not prohibit all forms of labor trafficking; however, the July 2006 sexual violence statute, Law 6/018, specifically prohibits sexual slavery, sex trafficking, child and forced prostitution, and pimping, prescribing penalties for these offenses of 10 to 20 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape. The Child Protection Code (Law 09/001) which criminalizes and prescribes penalties of five to 20 years’ imprisonment for child slavery and trafficking, child commercial sexual exploitation, and the enlistment of children into the armed forces – was published in May 2009. However, it remains unimplemented and without the necessary budget.

During the reporting period, child protection police in Bukavu arrested a Congolese woman for allegedly tricking a 13-year-old Congolese girl into accompanying her to Burundi, where she intended to force the girl into prostitution; police transmitted her dossier to the Bukavu court for prosecution in February 2010. The status of the March 2009 case involving the arrest of a Bukavu nightclub owner for allegedly prostituting 10 girls and seven boys in his facility is unknown; the nightclub has reopened. In June 2009, a military tribunal in Kisangani convicted five Mai-Mai members of, among other things, crimes against humanity; these defendants were also initially charged with, but not convicted of, perpetrating acts of forced labor against local populations. Bedi Mubuli Engangela (a.k.a. Colonel 106), a former Mai-Mai commander suspected of insurrection and war crimes, including the conscription of children, appeared before a military tribunal in early 2010 and remains in detention at Malaka Prison in Kinshasa; the court awaits the conclusion of the investigation before setting a trial date.

Unlike in previous reporting periods, the government neither brought charges against nor prosecuted any individual suspected of conscripting or using child soldiers. In November 2009, the UN Group of Experts on the DRC published the names of 21 current FARDC commanders alleged to have committed human rights abuses; 13 are implicated in the unlawful recruitment and use of child soldiers and three are alleged to have obtained or maintained the forced labor of local populations. Lieutenant Colonel Jean-Pierre Biyoyo, formerly of the Mudundu-40 armed group and the first person convicted by Congolese courts of conscripting children, has not been re-apprehended since his escape from prison in June 2006 and is currently serving as the Commander of FARDC’s Sector 3 of the Amani Leo campaign in Walungu, South Kivu. “Captain Gaston,” an armed group commander allegedly responsible for the mid-2006 murder of an NGO child protection advocate, remained at large in Kitshanga, North Kivu during the reporting period; his January 2007 arrest warrant has not been executed and, after being promoted by the FARDC to the rank of Major, he is leading a FARDC battalion between Ngungu and Karuba.

Protection
The government assisted in the identification and demobilization of child soldiers during the reporting period, but offered minimal protection to other types of trafficking victims; NGOs provided nearly all of the shelter, legal, medical, and psychological services available to trafficking victims. The government lacked procedures for proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups or referring victims to protective services. Under the National Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Plan, all ex-combatants, including child soldiers, pass through a common process during which they disarm and receive information about military and civilian reintegration options. During this process, the National Demobilization Agency (UEPN-DDR), in cooperation with the UN Mission to the DRC (MONUC), separated and transported any identified children to NGO-run centers for temporary housing and vocational training; 2,816 children were demobilized from armed groups, including the FARDC, through this process in 2009. With the assistance of FARDC commanders, a local NGO demobilized 119 children from FARDC units in South Kivu during the first quarter of 2010; while some of these child soldiers were part of FARDC forces that were fighting in North Kivu in 2008, most of the children originated from former armed groups that had integrated into the FARDC. While the FARDC high command was generally supportive of MONUC’s efforts to remove children from its forces during the reporting period, it lacked sufficient command and control to compel many FARDC commanders to comply with standing orders to release their child soldiers, or to prevent ground troops from recruiting additional children or subjecting local populations to forced labor. Certain FARDC commanders actively blocked efforts by MONUC to separate children from their ranks and some FARDC elements continued to harass, arrest, and physically mistreat children formerly associated with armed groups, including potential trafficking victims. In March 2010, a local NGO trained over 200 FARDC officers on the rights and protection of children in South Kivu; they also educated police, local authorities, and local youth throughout the province on child rights and international and national legislation related to trafficking between January and April 2010.

Although the national government did not address forced labor in the mining sector, provincial Ministries of Education in Orientale, Kasai Oriental, and Katanga coordinated with NGOs to reintegrate children working in mines into the formal education system. Katanga’s provincial Ministry of Interior continued to provide funding for the Kasapa residential “welcome center” in Lubumbashi to provide street children, including trafficking victims, with protective services and educational programming; it is unknown whether this center provided protective services to trafficking victims in 2009. Government officials recognized the growing problem of child prostitution in the DRC, though authorities have yet to take concrete action against it. The government did not show evidence of encouraging victims to assist in investigations against their traffickers. It offered no legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution; there are, however, few foreign trafficking victims within the DRC and the government has consistently allowed for the safe repatriation of foreign child soldiers in cooperation with MONUC.

Prevention
While the government initiated awareness raising efforts against human rights abuses, including forced labor, committed by its own forces during the year, it made no significant efforts to prevent other forms of human trafficking. The Ministry of Human Rights drafted, but did not disseminate, a document on the country’s current trafficking situation, including challenges to addressing it and recommendations for action. In July 2009, the FARDC’s Goma headquarters issued a press statement reminding all soldiers and commanders of their duty to protect the civilian population and noted “zero tolerance” for human rights abuses, specifically citing the crime of forced labor, among others. The notice warned commanders that they would be held accountable for actions committed by troops under their command; this notice was not enforced with concrete law enforcement action. In April 2010, Major Andoga, of the 1331th Battalion, conducted a sensitization campaign on human rights violations and the military’s zero tolerance policy in both Kinshasa and the eastern provinces. Although the National Ministry of Labor is responsible for investigating forced child labor and it employs 150 inspectors nationwide, the ministry did not conduct any forced child labor investigations in 2009; inspectors often lacked means of transport or resources to carry out their work. The provincial Ministry of Labor in Katanga participated in a tripartite dialogue with unions and mining companies on the effect of the financial crisis on youth labor; the dialogue achieved no meaningful outcomes. Newly established provisional Worst Forms of Child Labor Committees in Katanga, Kasai Orientale, and Orientale (Ituri District) Provinces – comprised of staff from various provincial ministries and community members – developed annual work plans for 2010. With UNICEF funding, the members of the Katanga committee researched, drafted, and printed a brochure on its mandate that was distributed to local authorities, religious and traditional leaders, and community organizations as part of an awareness raising campaign. The Kasai Orientale committee met with the governor and provincial assembly, after which the governor committed the provincial government to fighting child labor and establishing secondary schools. The government did not take any known measures during the reporting period to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts.

CONGO, REPUBLIC OF THE (Tier 2 Watch List)

The Republic of the Congo (ROC) is a destination and transit country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. Most sources agree that up to 80 percent of all trafficked children originate from Benin, with girls comprising 90 percent of that group. Togo, Mali, Guinea, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Senegal are also sources of victims found in the Congolese republic. Internally trafficked children represent 10 percent of all child victims, the majority of which originate from the Pool region. Many child victims are subjected to forced labor, including in domestic work, market vending and fishing; girls are also exploited in the sex trade. Child victims generally experience harsh treatment, long work hours, and almost no access to education or health services; they receive little or no remuneration for their work. Other village children, however, live voluntarily with extended relatives in cities, attend school, and do housework in exchange for food, in a traditional cultural and familial pattern that does not entail abuse.

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. The Senate passed the Child Protection Code in August 2009, which prescribes penalties for trafficking offenders; this law is pending Presidential signature. The government also developed and began implementation of a national anti-trafficking action plan, and the Ministry of Labor investigated nine new cases of child trafficking in 2009. However, eight prosecutions based on child trafficking charges filed one or two years ago remained pending and did not come to conclusion or result in convictions. The government did not identify any trafficking victims in 2009. Therefore, the ROC is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year. Most of the government’s anti-trafficking activities remain dependent on international donor funding.

Recommendations for the Republic of the Congo: Enact the Child Protection Code passed in August 2009; train law enforcement officials to identify suspected traffickers, detain them under relevant laws, and conduct thorough investigations; provide training for social workers and law enforcement officials on the identification of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as people in prostitution, street children, or illegal immigrants; and refer victims to foreign government consulates, foster families, international organizations, faith-based groups, or NGOs for care.

Prosecution
The Government of the ROC demonstrated minimal law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the reporting period. The government neither prosecuted trafficking offenses nor convicted trafficking offenders in 2009. The Child Protection Law, which prohibits and prescribes punishment for child trafficking, was passed by the Senate in August 2009, but is still pending Presidential signature. Chapter 2 Article 60 of this law prohibits the trafficking, sale, trading, and exploitation of children and Article 115 prescribes penalties of hard labor and a fine of between approximately $1,978 and $19,790. Pimping of children is punishable under Penal Code Article 344, but its weak prescribed penalty of up to two years’ imprisonment and a fine is neither sufficiently stringent nor commensurate with penalties prescribed by Congolese law for other serious crimes, such as rape. The trafficking of adults is not covered under Congolese law. The Ministry of Labor investigated, but did not prosecute, nine new cases of child trafficking in 2009. Eight prosecutions based on child trafficking charges filed one or two years ago remained pending, and none resulted in a conviction. The Ministry of Social Affairs sustained partnerships with local NGOs and UNICEF to provide training to 40 of the ministry’s investigators on recognizing victims of trafficking and to support judicial clinics. In addition, the government partnered with UNICEF to provide training to an unknown number of police officers during the year to recognize cases of trafficking. The government showed no evidence of involvement in or tolerance of trafficking on any level.

Protection
The ROC government provided minimal protection services to trafficking victims and did not identify any victims during the reporting period. Investigators employed by the Ministry of Social Affairs reportedly utilized a formal identification and registration process to assist victims of trafficking. The government did not ensure that victims were provided access to care facilities, except through funding of the shelter, Espace Jarot, which provided care for a small number of at-risk children, including trafficking victims; in practice, few victims had access to care facilities. In partnership with representatives of the consulates of Benin, Togo, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, police and other law enforcement officials formed a working group to identify trafficking patterns and to facilitate the return of trafficked children to their home countries, but have not yet utilized the group to repatriate any child victims. Foreign victims had the same access to the center as Congolese nationals, though there was no access to legal, medical, or psychological services. Some legal services were available to trafficking victims through six child judicial clinics hosted by staff from the Ministries of Social Affairs, Justice, and Health; trafficking victims may file administrative claims against their alleged traffickers at these clinics. Though there is at least one clinic located in each region run by government civil servants and lawyers, they are neither open on a regular basis nor operate with regular business hours; it is unknown whether these clinics provided legal services to child trafficking victims during the year. The government offers foreign trafficking victims temporary residency status as an alternative to immediate repatriation, but is not known to have used these provisions in 2009. Trafficking victims were not usually jailed or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Some victims, however, were detained, arrested, or held in protective custody, and did not benefit from any formal referral process to institutions offering short or long-term care. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, but many elected not to participate in these law enforcement actions due to fear of possible retribution from traffickers or because they did not consider their offenders as guilty. The government did not provide services for repatriated Congolese victims of trafficking.

Prevention
The government maintained its efforts begun in 2008 to raise awareness and build support for combating human trafficking in the Brazzaville and Pointe Noire areas. In 2009, the Ministry of Health (MOH), in partnership with UNICEF, launched an anti-trafficking public awareness campaign in Pointe Noire involving not only government officials, but also security and diplomatic staff from the consulates of neighboring countries and leaders from local Muslim and Christian communities. Organizers made full use of banners – the most common advertising medium – to stress the point that human trafficking is illegal and will be punished. In April 2010, the Minister of Social Affairs and Humanitarian Action co-hosted with UNICEF a conference in Pointe Noire to highlight the problem of trafficking in children. Also during the reporting period, the MOH, with support from UNICEF, also began implementation of the government’s 2009 – 2010 National Plan of Action. Under this plan, UNICEF trained MOH representatives to serve as trainers; these trainers then presented anti-trafficking workshops to local NGOs. The government did not monitor migration patterns for trafficking, and it did not take measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. The ROC is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

COSTA RICA (Tier 2)

Costa Rica is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution. To a lesser but increasing extent, Costa Rica is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to conditions of forced labor, particularly in the agriculture, construction, fishing, and domestic service sectors. Costa Rican women and children are forced into commercial sexual exploitation within the country, and to a limited extent, in Nicaragua and Mexico. Women and girls from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Colombia, and Panama have been identified in Costa Rica as victims of forced prostitution. Child sex tourism is a serious problem, particularly in the provinces of Guanacaste, Limon, Puntarenas, and San Jose. Child sex tourists arrive mostly from the United States, Germany, Sweden, and Italy. Young men from Nicaragua, Vietnam, China and other Asian countries, are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Costa Rica: during the reporting period, nine Vietnamese men were found in conditions of forced labor in the fishing industry. Costa Rica serves as a transit point for foreign nationals trafficked to Mexico, Canada, the United States, and Europe.

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. During the past year, the Government of Costa Rica continued to raise public awareness about human trafficking and trained many government officials, in addition to maintaining limited victim services. However, the government’s law enforcement efforts lagged with respect to holding trafficking offenders accountable for their crimes and in adequately addressing domestic cases of human trafficking.

Recommendations for Costa Rica: Vigorously implement existing anti-trafficking statutes; amend trafficking legislation to include human trafficking cases not involving movement; intensify efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders, particularly in regard to forced labor and forced prostitution crimes occurring wholly within the country; provide greater assistance for victims, particularly adult victims of trafficking, possibly through the establishment of a shelter specifically for trafficking victims; increase efforts to reduce consumer demand for commercial sex acts with children; and improve data collection for trafficking crimes.

Prosecution
The Government of Costa Rica sustained law enforcement efforts against human trafficking during the reporting period. Article 172 of the penal code, which was amended in April 2009 prescribes penalties of six to 10 years’ imprisonment for the movement of persons both across borders and within the country for the purposes of prostitution, sexual or labor servitude, slavery, forced work or services, servile marriage, forced begging, or other forms of compelled service. This statute also prohibits illegal adoption, which does not fall within the international definition of human trafficking. Sentences may be increased to eight to 16 years’ imprisonment under aggravated circumstances, such as the victimization of a child or a trafficker’s use of deception, violence, intimidation, or coercion. The penalties set forth in amended Article 172 are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Articles 376 and 377 of the penal code additionally prohibit child sex trafficking, prescribing penalties of two to four years’ imprisonment. Law 8754, passed in July 2009, authorized the use of expanded law enforcement and investigative measures, such as wiretapping and the use of anticipated testimonies, when undertaking human trafficking cases. Insufficient familiarity with the new legislation, however, hindered the enforcement of these laws, and the government continued to use other statutes to prosecute trafficking offenders involved in the commercial sexual exploitation of children. During 2008, the latest period for which official statistics are available, the government investigated 18 potential cases of human trafficking and achieved five convictions for trafficking in persons crimes, compared with two convictions in 2007. The government operated a six-person smuggling and trafficking law enforcement unit, and worked closely with foreign governments in cases of transnational human trafficking. No government officials were prosecuted or convicted of trafficking-related corruption, although during the reporting period one government official was suspended and ultimately fired for his involvement in an alleged forced labor scheme involving Chinese youths; authorities were still investigating the case.

Protection
The Costa Rican government continued to ensure trafficking victims received access to a basic level of victim assistance during the reporting period. The government provided some officials with training on how to identify and treat trafficking victims; however, it reported no proactive efforts to search for trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as prostituted women or children. Although there were no government-provided shelter services dedicated to human trafficking victims, the government referred some victims to basic care at short-term government shelters for women and children. The government often relied on NGOs and religious organizations to provide specialized care for trafficking victims, and the only shelter available to adult male victims was the migration detention center. The government did provide services to some male victims, however, including the nine Vietnamese men found in conditions of forced labor in the fishing industry. Foreign victims were eligible for the same services as Costa Rican citizens. The government’s “immediate attention” protocol defined the steps for different government institutions to take to detect, identify, protect and provide integrated assistance to a victim, and the Immediate Action Team provided services to two potential trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government provided some limited legal and psychological assistance, though NGOs noted the need for greater government efforts to reintegrate victims into their communities. The government generally did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Officials treated some adult migrants as illegal migrants, however, and deported them without taking adequate measures to determine if they were trafficking victims, and the majority of trafficking victims reported by the government were foreign citizens. Foreign nationals were eligible for work permits or refugee status, and the government had provisions in place to issue a special visa to foreign trafficking victims, though no victims received any of the above during the reporting period. A new immigration law, effective March 2010, authorizes temporary residency status specifically for foreign trafficking victims. Costa Rican authorities encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders, and the government created an enhanced witness protection program last year for victims of crime, though it was not yet fully operational.

Prevention
The government sustained strong prevention efforts during the reporting year, training officials and employing partnerships with NGOs, international organizations, and foreign governments to increase public awareness about human trafficking. The government, in partnership with UNICEF and other international organizations, continued the “Don’t Let Them Lie to You” anti-trafficking prevention campaign, which reached a projected fifty percent of the adult and adolescent population between October 2008 and June 2009. The campaign “No More Trafficking in Persons,” launched in partnership with IOM in July 2009, used media spots and a radio soap opera to highlight the realities of trafficking in persons. The government established an anti-trafficking directorate to coordinate its efforts to combat human trafficking. During the reporting period the government, in collaboration with NGOs and international organizations, trained almost 1,000 public officials about human trafficking, including police officers, immigration agents, and health workers. In addition to adding an anti-trafficking component to the police academy curriculum, the government instructed education officials on how to detect situations of commercial sexual exploitation of children in schools. Although public awareness of human trafficking crimes appeared to increase in Costa Rica, many officials continued to view it as a transnational, and not a domestic, phenomenon. The government reported no efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex or forced labor during the reporting period.

COTE D’IVOIRE (Tier 2 Watch List)

Cote d’Ivoire is primarily a country of destination for children and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution, though it also serves as a country of transit and origin. Trafficking within the country’s borders is more prevalent, with victims primarily trafficked from the north of the country to the more economically prosperous south. Boys from Ghana, Mali, and Burkina Faso are subjected to forced labor in the agricultural sector, including on cocoa, coffee, pineapple, and rubber plantations; boys from Ghana are forced to labor in the mining sector; boys from Togo are forced to work in construction; and boys from Benin are forced to work in carpentry and construction. Girls recruited from Ghana, Togo, and Benin to work as domestic servants and street vendors often are subjected to conditions of forced labor. Women and girls are also recruited from Ghana and Nigeria to work as waitresses in restaurants and bars and are subsequently subjected to forced prostitution. Trafficked children often face harsh treatment and extreme working conditions.

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. Despite these significant efforts, such as the conviction of one sex trafficker, the government’s overall efforts to combat trafficking were limited and ineffective; therefore, Cote d’Ivoire is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year. The government remained hampered by the absence of a cohesive government, limited resources, and insufficient knowledge of the human trafficking phenomenon among law enforcement officials and judges. The country has never reported a prosecution of forced child labor in the agricultural sector. Police demonstrated a weak understanding of human trafficking by characterizing children found in a brothel raid as “voluntary prostitutes,” rather than presumptive victims of human trafficking. Cote d’Ivoire also failed to investigate for a third consecutive year NGO reports that police harass undocumented foreign women in prostitution by demanding sex in exchange for not arresting them.

Recommendations for Cote d’Ivoire: Increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders, particularly those who exploit children in the commercial sex trade or in forced labor, including in the agricultural sector; develop a formal procedure through which law enforcement and other government officials identify trafficking victims among women and girls in prostitution; train law enforcement officials to follow established procedures to identify potential trafficking victims and refer them to protective services; and investigate reports that police harass undocumented foreign women in prostitution, rather than screening for trafficking victims, and prosecute and punish those police officers involved, as appropriate.

Prosecution
The Government of Cote d’Ivoire’s legal statutes do not prohibit all forms of trafficking and there is no specific law punishing such offenses. However, Penal Code Article 378 prohibits forced labor, prescribing a sufficiently stringent penalty of one to five years’ imprisonment and a fine of approximately $800 to $2,200. Penal Code Article 376 criminalizes entering into contracts that deny freedom to a third person, prescribing a sufficiently stringent punishment of five to 10 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; these penalties are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. Ivoirian law does not criminalize the trafficking of adults for commercial sexual exploitation. During the reporting period, the government convicted one trafficking offender. A Nigerian woman promised two girls from Nigeria a trip to the United States, but instead transported them to Cote d’Ivoire and forced them to engage in prostitution 2008 in Vavoua. In May 2009, a court in Daloa convicted and sentenced the trafficker to three years’ imprisonment and a $2,000 fine, and the Nigerian Embassy in Abidjan assisted the victims in returning home. The following child trafficking cases were also identified and investigated by law enforcement agencies during the reporting period.

In February 2009, Nigerian traffickers promised jobs in Germany to four Nigerian girls ages 16 to 19, but transported them to Cote d’Ivoire and forced them into prostitution in Vaou; the traffickers evaded capture. In June 2009, police in Soubre intercepted 15 Burkinabe children who were being transported by bus to Cote d’Ivoire for the purpose of labor exploitation and returned them to their parents; the traffickers eluded capture. In September 2009, a female restaurant owner lured two girls, ages 13 and 17, to Odienne with a promise of jobs, but forced them into prostitution. Gendarmes arrested the restaurant owner, but later released her after she paid a fine of about $100 to the victims’ families.

Protection
The Ivoirian government made inadequate efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the last year. Law enforcement authorities did not demonstrate adequate efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups, such as foreign children entering the country without their parents, though some victims were identified during the year. During the reporting period, the government did not offer any specialized training to law enforcement and immigration personnel on identifying and treating victims of trafficking. However, in partnership with the ILO, the Ministry of Family held a workshop for 25 families who volunteered to take in trafficking victims intercepted in their communities. The government had no care facilities for foreign or domestic trafficking victims. There was no witness protection or restitution program for trafficking victims. The government neither encouraged nor discouraged victims from assisting in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses. The Ministry of Family identified some existing government structures that could be converted to shelters, and in the meantime referred victims to NGOs that offered suitable lodging. While the Ministry of Family and the National Police employed a small team of social workers to assist trafficking victims after they were identified, the government relied on NGOs for medical and psychological assistance to victims, giving the organizations no financial or material support in return. The Ministry of Family had responsibility for seeking temporary residency status in Cote d’Ivoire for victims who did not want to return home. During the reporting period, the ministry assisted in the repatriation of 20 trafficked children, including nine from Cote d’Ivoire, two from Burkina Faso, three from Benin, three from Ghana, and three from Togo. All of the children had been forced to work in the informal sector. In June 2009, Ivoirian police participated in a foreign law enforcement agency-funded raid on farms growing cocoa and palms in the Aboisso area, discovering more than 50 children working on the premises. Ivoirian officials determined that four of these children were trafficking victims and returned three to their families, while transferring the fourth to the Ministry of Family for care. Following raids on brothels and bars, police vice squad members asked women in prostitution if they were victims of traffickers, but did not investigate further if the answer was negative. Regulations protected child victims by not permitting police to interview suspected child victims without a case worker present. Child victims were assigned a Ministry of Family case worker with responsibility for informing victims about judicial proceedings, and these case workers allowed children to decide whether they wished to testify against their alleged traffickers.

Prevention
The Government of Cote d’Ivoire demonstrated sustained and modest efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period, primarily through public awareness campaigns, which the Ministry of Family estimated reached 11,000 residents of the country. The Ministry of Interior disseminated anti-trafficking awareness materials to police and gendarmes at border points, along with guidance on investigating those who were attempting to bring children into Cote d’Ivoire. In an effort to reduce demand for commercial sex acts, police continued periodic raids on brothels and bars suspected of exploiting children in the sex trade. Cote d’Ivoire is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CROATIA (Tier 1)

Croatia is a destination, source, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution and forced labor. Croatian women and girls fall victim to sex trafficking within the country, and women and girls from Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and other parts of Eastern Europe are subjected to forced prostitution in Croatia and in Western Europe. Men reportedly are subjected to forced labor in agricultural sectors, and children, including Roma, are subjected to conditions of forced begging and theft.

The Government of Croatia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2009, the government continued to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders, increased the minimum imposed penalty for convicted traffickers, and for the first time, ordered a trafficker to pay compensation to a victim. Croatia provided significant funding to NGOs providing assistance and shelter to trafficking victims during the reporting period and continued proactive training and outreach on victim identification. However, the government identified very few trafficking victims in 2009 and failed to protect some victim witnesses.

Recommendations for Croatia: Intensify efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, particularly women in prostitution and migrant men in the agricultural sector; strengthen partnerships with NGOs to enlist their help in identifying victims during authorities’ initial contact with potential victims among women detained for prostitution offenses; intensify investigations of trafficking crimes in high tourism sectors and other areas with prostitution; aggressively prosecute traffickers and continue to toughen sentences imposed on convicted traffickers; ensure the responsible repatriation of foreign victims; improve courtroom treatment and protections for victims who testify against their traffickers; ensure trafficking victims are not inadvertently punished for committing unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked; expand awareness efforts to educate clients of the sex trade about the demand for commercial sex acts and forced labor; and educate the larger public about prostitution and its links to trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Croatia generally sustained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2009, though it prosecuted only half as many traffickers as it did the previous year. It continued to exclusively use its trafficking law to prosecute and convict sex and forced labor trafficking during the reporting period. Croatia criminally prohibits trafficking for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation through Criminal Provision 175 of its penal code. Provision 175 prescribes penalties for all forms of trafficking of one to 10 years’ imprisonment; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those prescribed for rape. In 2009, the government investigated 13 suspected trafficking offenders, compared with 15 in 2008. It prosecuted six traffickers in 2009, a decrease from 12 prosecuted in 2008. Six trafficking offenders were convicted and given sentences ranging from two to eight years, compared with nine convictions obtained in 2008; however, one conviction was out on appeal and awaited a final verdict. Two of these convictions involved forced labor. The government increased its minimum imposed sentence for all trafficking convictions from one to two years during the reporting period. In the first civil trafficking case, the court ordered the trafficker to pay $28,466 in compensation to the victim. The government continued to provide general anti-trafficking training to police officers, and continued its “train-the-trainer” program involving 26 police officers training counterparts on ways to recognize and assist trafficking victims. There were no specific reports of trafficking-related complicity during the reporting period.

Protection
The Government of Croatia sustained significant efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking received access to necessary care. It continued to fund NGOs as well as its two specialized shelters for adult women and children trafficking victims, totaling $96,461 in 2009. It also provided $45,937 to NGOs to support and assist trafficking victims. Four victims used shelter facilities in 2009. While the government continued to emphasize a victim-centered approach, it identified only eight victims during the reporting period, one more than 2008, but lower than the 15 victims identified in 2007. The government amended its Law on Foreigners in March 2009 to extend the “reflection period” from 30 to 90 days; children continue to be eligible for a stay of 90 days. The government actively encouraged victim participation in trafficking cases and reported that all eight identified victims assisted in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers in 2009. According to preliminary findings released in a January 2010 research project on trafficking and prostitution conducted between December 2008 and November 2009, the Croatian government did not provide adequate protections for some trafficking victims who testified against their traffickers. Researchers reported victims were required to testify repeatedly during trafficking trials; victim’s testimony can be arranged via video-conference system. The government initiated a pilot assistance program for victim witnesses in four courts in 2009 to improve protections for these victims. Researchers also recommended that the government should intensify efforts to identify adequately all potential victims of forced prostitution. Although victims could be both witness and defendant in some court cases, researchers reported that the government made efforts to ensure that recognized trafficking victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. In response to continued concerns about prostitution and potential trafficking during the high tourist season along the Adriatic coast, the government reported training over 250 police officers in coastal cities during 2009. Although police reported conducting 10 anti-trafficking operations along the coast in 2009, the government did not identify any trafficking victims as a result of these operations. The government provided foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Out of the four foreign trafficking victims identified in 2009, the government repatriated one female to Bosnia and Herzegovina and three to Serbia.

Prevention
In 2009, the government continued its progressive national-level outreach and anti-trafficking training efforts to raise awareness and prevent trafficking. During the reporting period, it implemented numerous anti-trafficking education workshops and seminars for Croatian authorities, including social workers, diplomatic and consular staff, judges, prosecutors, police, and students, including members of mobile teams responsible for assisting trafficking victims. In November 2009, it organized a seminar for leaders in the tourism industry on ways to identify victims of trafficking. It continued to conduct anti-trafficking training for Croatian soldiers prior to their deployment to Afghanistan as international peacekeepers.

CUBA (Tier 3)

Cuba is principally a source country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically commercial sexual exploitation within the country. Some Cuban medical professionals have stated that postings abroad are voluntary and well paid; however, others have claimed that their services “repaid” Cuban government debts to other countries and their passports were withheld as they performed their services. The scope of trafficking within Cuba is difficult to gauge due to the closed nature of the government and sparse non-governmental or independent reporting.

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. In a positive step, the Government of Cuba shared information about human trafficking and its efforts to address the issue. However, the government did not prohibit all forms of trafficking during the reporting period, nor did it provide specific evidence that it prosecuted and punished trafficking offenders, protected victims of all forms of trafficking, or implemented victim protection policies or programs to prevent human trafficking.

Recommendations for Cuba: Enact legislation criminalizing all forms of human trafficking; establish legal provisions to ensure sex and labor trafficking victims are not punished for unlawful acts, such as prostitution violations, committed as a direct result of being trafficked; in partnership with trafficking victim specialists, ensure adults and children have access to adequate victim protection and assistance; and allow Cubans who work outside of Cuba to maintain possession of their passports.

Prosecution
The Government of Cuba did not report discernible progress on prosecuting trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Cuba appears to prohibit most forms of trafficking activity through various provisions of its penal code, but the usage of these provisions could not be verified. Title III, Section First Article 310 provides that using children under 16 in prostitution, corruption, pornographic acts or other illegal conduct may be punishable by from seven to 30 years’ imprisonment or death. Prostitution of children over the age of 16 is legal. Article 316, on the selling of children, bans internal and transnational trafficking in children under the age of 16 for forced labor, prostitution, trade in organs, and pornography, and prescribes penalties of between four and 20 years’ imprisonment. Articles 302 and 87 prohibit inducing an adult into prostitution and prescribe penalties of up to 20 years’ imprisonment. All these penalties are sufficiently stringent, and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government did not share official data relating to Cuban investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of trafficking offenders in 2009 or any other year. Reports continued of individual police officers profiting from the commercial sex trade, though the practice is officially discouraged. No investigations or prosecutions of public officials have been confirmed. The government did not report any anti-trafficking training provided to officials. However, UNICEF reported that police and workers in the tourist industry received this kind of training. The government also participated in UNICEF sponsored regional programs aimed at combating trafficking and providing treatment to victims.

Protection
The government did not provide substantive evidence of protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government restricted the ability of international and domestic NGOs to operate in Cuba. In partnership with one NGO and another government, Cuba continued to fund the operation of two centers treating sexually abused children, but the government did not provide information about who received treatment in these centers. The government also provided funding for women’s shelters where victims could access care, though the government did not provide information about who received treatment at the shelters. According to UNICEF, both the centers for children and the women’s shelters are used by trafficking victims, and the staff is trained specifically on how to identify and treat trafficking victims. The government did not report that police and other officials employed procedures to proactively identify trafficking victims, such as people in prostitution, and guide them to services, but a UNICEF representative indicated that the police receive specific training on identifying trafficking victims and information about how to refer them to available services. The government provided no evidence that it encouraged trafficking victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders.

Prevention
To date the government has made limited efforts in anti-trafficking prevention efforts. The government generally did not discuss publically human trafficking issues. The government did not implement any known public awareness campaigns to prevent forced labor or forced prostitution. The government did not report the existence of an anti-trafficking task force, monitoring mechanism, or action plan. However, the National Action Plan for Children and Adolescents sets specific goals and provides implementation guidance on protecting the rights of children and preventing child labor, prostitution, and trafficking. During the reporting period, the official press produced several articles on Cuban citizens who reportedly were subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution in Mexico while awaiting passage to the United States. The government made no known efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex. The government denied it had a child sex tourism problem but it banned children under 16 from nightclubs, and according to Cuban government documents, the government provided training to hotel workers and others in the tourism industry on how to identify and report potential sex tourists. Cuba is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

CYPRUS (Tier 2)

Cyprus is a destination country for women who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution as well as women and men who are in forced labor. Women identified as sex trafficking victims in Cyprus originated from Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria, the Philippines, Morocco, and Hungary. A large number of Romanian nationals were subjected to forced labor in the country in 2009. Sex trafficking occurs within venues used by Cyprus’ commercial sex industry, including cabarets, bars, pubs, and massage parlors disguised as private apartments located throughout the country. Groups vulnerable to forced labor include domestic workers, asylum seekers, and foreign migrants working in the farming and agricultural sectors. According to a 2008 EU Thematic Study on Child Trafficking for Cyprus, some children within migrant and Roma communities may be vulnerable to trafficking.

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 drafted and passed a new National Action Plan and convicted an increased number of traffickers in 2009. However, during the reporting period, the government identified fewer sex trafficking victims, failed to consistently provide financial and social support services to trafficking victims and did not effectively address trafficking-related complicity, which local observers report is hampering the government’s anti-trafficking efforts.

Recommendations for Cyprus: Take steps to strictly review and monitor the “barmaid” work permits and the new “performing artist” and “creative artist” work permits in order to prevent their use to contribute to widespread nonconsensual exploitation of foreign women in the sex trade; aggressively prosecute and seek convictions of trafficking offenders and officials complicit in trafficking; implement a practical guide for all front-line responders outlining identification, referral, and protection procedures for potential trafficking victims; demonstrate greater consistency in providing financial support to victims; expand the critical role NGOs play in victim protection and assistance; ensure for the responsible return and repatriation of victims; proactively implement and ensure funding for the recently passed National Action Plan; and launch a demand reduction campaign specifically aimed at Cypriot clients of prostitution to educate them about the link between prostitution and trafficking.

Prosecution
Cyprus made some progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2009 by convicting an increased number of traffickers; however, overall sentences for trafficking-related offenses remained inadequate. Cyprus prohibits both sex and labor trafficking through Law 87 (I)/2007, which also contains protection measures for victims. Although the penalties prescribed for sex trafficking range up to 20 years’ imprisonment, these penalties are not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape, for which the maximum sentence is life in prison. During the reporting period, police investigated 57 persons in 17 suspected trafficking cases, compared with 70 persons in 29 suspected trafficking cases in 2008. Of the 17 trafficking cases, eight were sent to court, seven are still under investigation, and two were “otherwise disposed of.” The government convicted ten sex trafficking offenders in 2009, compared with one in 2008, and courts handed down harsher penalties for some traffickers. Sentences ranged from a $4,400 fine to four years in prison. Local observers reported, however, that the Attorney General’s Office downgraded trafficking cases and sometimes tried anti-trafficking cases in lower courts, which are less equipped to deal with serious offenses.

In November 2009, police arrested and charged three suspects for subjecting 110 Romanians to forced labor R U S conditions, mostly in the construction sector; the ringleader reportedly used debt bondage and hired enforcers to control the workers who were forced to live in converted shipping containers in an isolated industrial area near Nicosia. Cypriot police actively investigated the case with law enforcement counterparts in Romania; however, a district court released the main suspect after rejecting a fourth request by police for his detention. In 2009, police conducted 95 anti-trafficking raids and 20 undercover operations on establishments suspected of trafficking. Stakeholders reported that police inspected significantly fewer cabarets in 2009. The Department of Labor (DOL) is responsible for inspecting work premises associated with the new “performing artist” work permits; however, no DOL inspectors work after-hours, when “performing artists” are most subject to exploitation in cabarets.

The government in 2009 added an additional member to its four-person police anti-trafficking unit; NGOs, however, report that the police still lack sufficient investigative resources to vigorously combat trafficking throughout the island. In 2008, the police presented a report to the House Human Rights Committee stating, according to local media, that traffickers “have influence on government officials, which makes the arrest and prosecution of traffickers more difficult.”

A pending complicity investigation from 2008 involving four police officers who allegedly patronized a cabaret has yet to be concluded. In 2007, the government transferred a police officer out of his unit for allegedly raping a trafficking victim; the court determined that the main witnesses in the case were unreliable, and then the prosecution against the officer was dropped.

Protection
The Government of Cyprus made limited but inconsistent progress in ensuring that trafficking victims received necessary protective services over the last year. It continued to fund its own shelter dedicated for trafficking victims, allocating $280,000 for its operation in 2009. The government cared for a total of 47 trafficking victims in the shelter in 2009, compared with 59 victims assisted in 2008. In 2009, the government allocated $235,000 in funding for additional victim assistance, and the Department of Social Welfare Services reported assisting 66 female victims of commercial sexual exploitation and 163 male and female victims of labor exploitation.

Although Cyprus’ anti-trafficking law mandates referral of trafficking victims to the government’s social welfare services and to the government shelter, it did not employ procedures for front-line responders to proactively identify potential victims during the year, sustaining a long-standing deficiency. NGOs report that the government’s failure to recognize their critical role in protection negatively impacted on the government’s ability to provide meaningful protection to trafficking victims. In 2009, the government identified a total of 114 new victims of trafficking, the majority of whom were from a forced labor ring involving Romanian nationals; it identified 21 sex trafficking victims in 2009, compared with 41 victims the government identified last year, the majority of whom were sex trafficking victims. The government reported it repatriated 50 of the Romanian labor trafficking victims; the other identified victims reportedly received 45 days of financial support from the government as well as job placement assistance and vocational training.

During the year, the government allowed some victims to stay at the shelter longer than the four weeks prescribed by law. NGOs reported, however, that social services and psychological treatment at the shelter were inadequate, particularly for trafficking victims who do not speak the local languages. Although the government reported that all victims are entitled to long-term housing and welfare benefits, NGOs reported that several victims did not receive their full allowances on a consistent and timely basis. While the government provided some protections to a key prosecution witness from the Dominican Republic and allowed her to stay in the government shelter longer than four weeks, in comments to the media she reported overall inadequate treatment by the government. The government lacks a systematic procedure for the repatriation and safe return of trafficking victims. The government encouraged victims to participate in investigations of trafficking offenders and reported that all identified trafficking victims cooperated with law enforcement in 2009. However, cabaret owners and agents reportedly used attorneys to bribe potential witnesses and pressured women to withdraw complaints or not follow through with testifying in court. In January 2010, the European Court of Human Rights found that Cyprus failed to adequately protect a trafficking victim from Russia who died in 2001 under suspicious circumstances.

Prevention
The government did not implement any comprehensive campaigns to specifically address demand within the context of Cyprus, to educate clients about the realities of forced prostitution inherent to the island’s sex industry, a long-standing deficiency. The government recently approved a 2010-2012 National Action Plan to combat human trafficking that calls for demand-focused public awareness campaigns and cooperation with NGOs to conduct outreach at universities, army camps and other venues. The government also provided over $8,000 to a radio station for programming throughout the year that specifically addressed human trafficking in Cyprus.

Although the government reported it adopted a new policy to screen applications for foreign “performing artists,” the work permit category that replaced the previous “artiste visa,” some NGOs indicated that the revised policy had little actual impact on reducing trafficking in Cyprus’ commercial sex industry. However, the government reported a nearly 40 percent decrease in the number of cabarets operating during the reporting period. During the reporting period, the government reported it issued 1,225 “performing artist” work permits and 20 “creative artist” permits; these numbers include renewals and changes of employer. The government reported that, as of February 2010, there were 331 performing artists in Cyprus. One NGO reported a sharp increase in the issuance of “barmaid” work permits in 2009; the government reported it issued 467 such permits in 2009, up from 422 issued during the previous reporting period. Another NGO questioned the government’s official statistics on trafficking, speculating that a number of trafficking victims were intentionally left out of the statistics to indicate a smaller problem.

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 originating from Eastern European countries and subjected to conditions of forced prostitution. Men and women are also reportedly subjected to conditions of forced labor. During the reporting period, the majority of the women who received “hostess” or “barmaid” work permits in the “TRNC” were from Moldova, and to a lesser extent Ukraine. A smaller number included women from Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Georgia, Belarus, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Kenya, Romania, Brazil, and Nigeria. In 2008, the local press reported the findings of an independent researcher who interviewed “hostesses” at nightclubs and learned these women came to the “TRNC” with the assistance of employment agencies purportedly seeking models, dancers, babysitters, or caretakers for the elderly. There are also some reports of foreign women who entered the “TRNC” via Turkey as tourists and students who are working in the prostitution sector in Nicosia, Kyrenia, and Famagusta and may be vulnerable to trafficking.

Authorities in the “TRNC” overwhelmingly deny that trafficking is a significant problem in the area, posing a significant challenge to assuring any protection for women from trafficking or the prosecution of their traffickers. “TRNC” authorities identified no trafficking victims during the reporting period.

Although the area administered by Turkish Cypriots drafted an anti-trafficking “bill” in 2007, it has yet to make any progress on this “legislation.” “TRNC” authorities provided no specialized training on trafficking; authorities continued to confuse trafficking with prostitution and smuggling. Trafficking crimes can potentially be prosecuted on charges of “living off the earnings of prostitution” or “encouraging prostitution.” Persons convicted under these “laws” can receive up to two years’ imprisonment. These penalties are not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes in the area administered by Turkish Cypriots, such as rape. “TRNC” authorities reportedly prosecuted nightclub owners and pimps on prostitution-related charges, but provided no statistics on these efforts. Although there are no specific reports of local authorities’ complicity in trafficking, authorities likely tolerate such corruption due to the lack of any anti-trafficking “legislation.” Authorities hold the travel documents of foreign women working in nightclubs in the “TRNC.”

The “government” does not have specialized procedures in place to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups or refer victims to service providers, nor did it allocate any funding to anti-trafficking efforts or provide any specialized care or shelter for victims. Although prostitution is illegal in the “TRNC”, nightclub employees are required to submit to weekly health checks for STD screening, suggesting tacit “government” approval of its prostitution industry. If arrested on prostitution charges, a victim is usually deported within 24 hours.

The “TRNC” reported issuing 961 “hostess” work permits, including renewals, and 14 “barmaid” permits in 2009. There are 42 nightclubs and 2 pubs operating in the “TRNC,” with two more under construction.

“TRNC” authorities did not conduct any anti-trafficking awareness campaigns during the reporting period.

The “TRNC” does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and does not appear to be making significant efforts to do so. If the “TRNC” were assigned a formal ranking in this report, it would likely be Tier 3.

Recommendations for Turkish Cypriot authorities: Pass “legislation” specifically prohibiting all forms of human trafficking; provide training for “law enforcement” and other front-line responders on victim identification techniques; establish specialized protection and assistance services and a shelter; and educate clients and the larger public about trafficking that generally takes place within nightclubs.

CZECH REPUBLIC (Tier 1)

The Czech Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for women who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and a source, transit, and destination country for men and women who are in conditions of forced labor. Women from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria, Vietnam, Mongolia, and Brazil are subjected to forced prostitution in the Czech Republic and also travel through the Czech Republic en route to other European countries, including Austria, Germany, Switzerland, and Serbia where they are subjected to forced prostitution. Many Roma women from the Czech Republic are subjected to forced prostitution domestically and also in other destination countries. Men and women from Russia, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Romania, Vietnam, Mongolia, Thailand, and Belarus are subjected to conditions of forced labor in the construction, forestry, agricultural, and service sector industries and are exploited within and transited through the Czech Republic to other countries within the European Union. Men and women from the Czech Republic are subjected to conditions of forced labor in the United Kingdom.

The Government of the Czech Republic fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government amended its criminal code to increase the maximum penalty for trafficking from 15 to 16 years’ imprisonment and continued to provide excellent protection and assistance to victims of trafficking both within the Czech Republic and also in source countries. In 2009, the government provided approximately $456,000 in funding for its domestic anti-trafficking programs, including $213,000 for victim assistance.

Recommendations for the Czech Republic: Increase the number of convicted trafficking offenders serving some time in prison; ensure trafficking offenses are prosecuted and convicted using Section 232a or Section 166 of the criminal code – thereby increasing the number of convicted offenders sentenced to time in prison; demonstrate increased efforts to investigate and prosecute forced labor offenses and convict and punish forced labor offenders; ensure that trafficking offenses investigated and prosecuted under Section 166 of the criminal code are disaggregated from non-trafficking offenses; improve efforts to disaggregate labor trafficking from sex trafficking statistics; and increase the number of victims referred for assistance by law enforcement personnel.

Prosecution
The government demonstrated mixed law enforcement efforts over the previous year. During most of the reporting period, the Czech Republic prohibited trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and labor exploitation through Sections 232a and 204 of its criminal code, and punishments prescribed under these statutes ranged from two to 15 years’ imprisonment. These punishments are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In January 2010, a new section of the criminal code – Section 166 – came into effect and increased the maximum penalty prescribed for trafficking to 16 years; however, Section 166 of the criminal code includes elements beyond the scope of trafficking as defined in US law, including forced military service. During the reporting period, police conducted 47 investigations – including three labor trafficking investigations – a decrease from 81 investigations conducted in 2008. Authorities prosecuted 115 persons for trafficking offenses compared with 110 individuals prosecuted in 2008. The government convicted 83 trafficking offenders during the reporting period, an increase from 64 convicted offenders in 2008. Only those offenders convicted under Section 204 – the pimping law – were sentenced to time in prison during the reporting period. The number of convicted traffickers sentenced to imprisonment decreased during the reporting period. In 2009, only 23 percent – 19 out of 83 – trafficking offenders convicted served time in prison, down from 28 percent – 18 out of 64 – offenders convicted in 2008 who subsequently served time in prison. In 2009, one trafficking offender was sentenced up to one year imprisonment, 16 offenders were sentenced to one to five years’ imprisonment, and two traffickers were sentenced to 15 to 25 years’ imprisonment. The police provided 12 training seminars to 431 seasoned officers and cadets focused on investigation techniques as well as victim identification for both sex and labor trafficking offenses in 2009.

Protection
The government sustained strong efforts to protect and assist victims over the reporting period. The government employed formal victim identification procedures and a victim referral mechanism in 2009. Authorities identified and referred 13 victims – eight victims of forced labor and five victims of forced prostitution – to NGOs for assistance during the reporting period, compared with 13 victims identified and referred in 2008. The government continued to fund its comprehensive “Program of Support and Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Human Beings,” which was available for both foreign and Czech victims and provided for both short-term and longer-term assistance. In 2009, the government allocated $213,000 to NGOs to provide victim assistance and rehabilitative care, down from approximately $283,000 funded in 2008. Government-funded NGOs provided comprehensive assistance and shelter to approximately 76 victims; it assisted the same number of victims in 2008. The government also allocated $1,200 for the repatriation of one foreign victim and one Czech victim compared with the repatriation of nine foreign victims and one Czech national in 2008. Both foreign and Czech victims were offered an automatic 60-day period of reflection, during which time they received government-funded assistance through NGO providers while they decided whether to cooperate with law enforcement in the criminal investigation. Victims were encouraged to assist in investigations and prosecutions. Foreign victims who cooperated with investigators after the initial 60-day reflection period were granted temporary residence and work visas for the duration of the relevant legal proceedings; one victim was granted a temporary residency permit in 2009, compared with 19 victims in 2008. Upon conclusion of the court proceedings, qualifying victims had the opportunity to apply for permanent residency; six victims were granted permanent residency in 2009, compared with one victim granted permanent residency in 2008. Victims were not fined or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The government demonstrated sustained, strong efforts to prevent trafficking domestically and it continued to dedicate significant resources to prevent trafficking in designated foreign countries during the reporting period. Through its partnership with IOM, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs allocated approximately $132,500 from January 2008 through April 2010 to NGOs to raise awareness of trafficking among the Mongolian labor migrant population and also to protect Mongolian victims of both forced sex and forced labor exploitation within the Czech Republic and those who were repatriated to Mongolia. Domestically, the Ministry of Interior funded an NGO to conduct a campaign to raise awareness of forced labor among foreign workers in factories, with an emphasis on the Vietnamese community. The government also funded NGOs to conduct general trafficking awareness campaigns in schools and in asylum and migration centers. The government continued funding the “Say it for Her” campaign aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts among foreign tourists visiting the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

DENMARK (Tier 1)

Denmark is primarily a transit and destination country for women and children from Baltic countries, East and Central Europe, Nigeria, Thailand, and South America subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution. There was one report last year of a male teenager from Nigeria rescued from the commercial sex trade in Denmark. The government did not report any cases of forced labor during the reporting period, though the Danish Anti-Trafficking Center highlighted that workers in domestic service, restaurants, hotels, factories, and agriculture, may be vulnerable to forced labor in Denmark. There were unconfirmed reports of foreign children being forced to engage in organized street crime. The government released a report in 2010 about increasing evidence that “au-pair” organizations could be used as front companies for human trafficking. The hundreds of unaccompanied foreign minors who arrive in Denmark every year are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking.

The Government of Denmark fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government sustained overall trafficking efforts from the previous reporting period, though the numbers of trafficking prosecutions and convictions were significantly lower than those of previous years. The number of victims served declined from previous year, despite the existence of a government supported structure of victim services and relief from deportation.

Recommendations for Denmark: Vigorously prosecute, convict, and sentence sex and labor trafficking offenders; ensure traffickers receive sentences commensurate with the gravity of this human rights abuse; explore ways to enhance the effectiveness of training for police and other officials in victim identification and treatment of victims using approaches that focus on the needs of victims; ensure specialized protection and assistance services are available for male, child, and labor trafficking victims; consider ways to facilitate longer term alternatives to deportation for foreign victims to enhance victim protection and encourage victims to cooperate in prosecutions of trafficking offenders; ensure victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; fund a broad, nationwide public awareness campaign relevant to Danish society; and consider ways to enhance monitoring of anti-trafficking efforts to identify weaknesses and improve the government’s response to trafficking.

Prosecution
The government made some progress in prosecuting sex trafficking offenders, but did not prosecute any labor trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Denmark prohibits both sex and labor trafficking through Section 262 of its criminal code. Punishments prescribed for trafficking under section 262 extend up to eight years’ imprisonment, are sufficiently stringent, and are commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Police reported conducting a total of 44 human trafficking investigations during the reporting period. Using Section 262, the government prosecuted 25 people for sex trafficking and convicted 11 sex trafficking offenders in 2009. The government prosecuted additional alleged sex trafficking offenders under other statutes, such as prostitution procurement. All 11 trafficking offenders convicted in 2009 served some time in prison; none received suspended sentences. Sentences for convicted trafficking offenders ranged from 5 to 42 months’ imprisonment. The Danish national police provided anti-trafficking training to all police precincts and new police recruits during the reporting period, and police leadership has taken a strategic approach to addressing the crime; however, the effectiveness of this training is still undetermined.

Protection
Denmark sustained its victim assistance and protection efforts over the year. In addition to employing formal victim identification procedures, the government conducted a proactive victim identification outreach program, interviewing people in prostitution, as well as in prisons and asylum centers, in an attempt to identify and rescue trafficking victims. The government identified 54 victims during the reporting period, down from 72 identified the previous year. The government offered medical, dental, psychological, and legal services, and in certain cases a stipend, to victims of trafficking during a 100-day reflection period – a time for victims to receive immediate care and assistance while they considered whether to assist law enforcement. There were two government-funded crisis centers for female victims of violence, which accommodated women trafficking victims. There were no specific shelter facilities for male victims, but at least one government-funded NGO offered assistance to men. The government offered child trafficking victims additional social services and placement in shelters or foster care. No support is provided to adult or child foreign victims of trafficking in Denmark beyond the reflection period if asylum or residency is not granted.

The government encouraged victims to assist in investigations of their traffickers, including by offering support of trained counselors during police interviews; however, many victims did not cooperate. It has been Danish NGOs’ experience that 100 days is often not enough time for victims to develop sufficient trust in local authorities to disclose details of their trafficking experience. In addition, after the reflection period and trial process, victims of trafficking are most often deported to their country of origin, where authorities may not be able to provide protection. Trafficking victims were eligible to apply for asylum as an alternative to their removal to countries in which they would face retribution or hardship. This year, six people were determined by the Danish Immigration Service to be victims of trafficking and had asylum cases pending during the reporting period; one victim from 2008 was granted asylum in 2009. Police acknowledged factors preventing victims’ cooperation with police, including fear of reprisal from traffickers and the knowledge they were going back to their home country. Denmark sustained partnerships with IOM and NGOs in victims’ countries of origin to facilitate safe repatriation. The government provided foreign unaccompanied minors, regardless of whether or not they were suspected victims of trafficking, with a representative to assist with asylum applications or repatriation; however, it was documented that some children were placed in police custody for arriving with forged documents, a crime often occurring as a direct result of being trafficked. Danish victim advocates reported that Danish police generally respected the rights of victims, but claimed victims have been prosecuted for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
Denmark made some progress in advancing its trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. While there is currently no nationwide government-sponsored anti-trafficking awareness campaign focused on all forms of trafficking, the government continued a campaign begun in 2008 called “Who Pays the Price?” to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, which may be linked to sex trafficking. The government had an anti-trafficking action plan, and the government produced an annual status report monitoring the previous year’s developments related to the plan. The government forged anti-trafficking partnerships through its funding of anti-trafficking programs in Ukraine, Belarus, and Moldova. Danish authorities sustained partnerships with Scandinavian Airlines, the Association of Danish Travel Agents, and Save the Children to disseminate public service announcements against child sex tourism. Denmark established a hotline for trafficking victims and one for information about suspected child sex tourism overseas. The government did not report any prosecutions of its citizens for child sex tourism during the reporting period. The Ministry of Defense provided training on human trafficking to all soldiers prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

DJIBOUTI (Tier 2)

Djibouti is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a source and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. There is little verifiable data on the human trafficking situation in Djibouti. Large numbers of voluntary economic migrants from Ethiopia and Somalia pass illegally through Djibouti en route to Yemen and other locations in the Middle East; among this group, a small number of women and girls may fall victim to involuntary domestic servitude or forced commercial sexual exploitation after reaching Djibouti City or the Ethiopia-Djibouti trucking corridor. An unknown number of migrants – men, women, and children – are subjected to conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution after reaching Yemen and other destinations in the Middle East. Djibouti’s large refugee population – comprised of Somalis, Ethiopians, and Eritreans – as well as foreign street children remain vulnerable to various forms of exploitation within the country, including human trafficking. Older street children reportedly act, at times, as pimps for younger children. A small number of girls from impoverished Djiboutian families may engage in prostitution with the encouragement of family members or other persons in prostitution. Members of foreign militaries stationed in Djibouti contribute to the demand for women and girls in prostitution, including trafficking victims.

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. Senior officials have identified combating human trafficking as an important priority, sought increased partnerships with other governments and international organizations over the past year, and demonstrated a growing awareness of the distinction between human trafficking and smuggling. The government, however, remains unable to effectively implement all of the protection, prevention, and prosecution components of its anti-trafficking law given its lack of resources. Addressing migrant smuggling and daunting refugee flows remained a main concern, diverting government attention and limited law enforcement resources that might otherwise have been devoted to detecting and responding to forms of trafficking occurring within the country’s borders. It is believed, however, that the government’s efforts to reduce migrant smuggling to Yemen will ultimately serve to reduce the overall number of such migrants who are vulnerable to situations of human trafficking in the Middle East.

Recommendations for Djibouti: Launch a nationwide campaign to educate government officials and the general public on human trafficking, highlighting the appropriate treatment of domestic workers under Djiboutian law; work with judges, prosecutors, and police to clarify the difference between cases of human trafficking and alien smuggling, particularly regarding the improper application in courtrooms of Law 210 to cases of alien smuggling; form partnerships with local religious leaders, building their capacity and encouraging them to educate their congregations about trafficking; enforce the anti-trafficking statute through investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders who facilitate child prostitution, abuse domestic workers, or perpetrate other forced labor offenses; institute a module on human trafficking as a standard part of the mandatory training program for new police and border guards; establish policies and procedures for government officials to proactively identify and interview potential trafficking victims and transfer them to the care, when appropriate, of local organizations; ensure police and relevant social welfare workers receive clear instructions regarding their specific roles and responsibilities in combating trafficking and protecting victims; and establish mechanisms for providing protective services to victims, possibly through the forging of partnerships with or civil society or international organizations.

Prosecution
The government made significant efforts to bring migrant smugglers to justice during the reporting period, but failed to take law enforcement action against forced labor or sex trafficking offenders. Law 210, “Regarding the Fight Against Human Trafficking,” enacted in December 2007, prohibits both labor and sex trafficking. The law also provides for the protection of victims regardless of ethnicity, gender, or nationality, and prescribes penalties of up to 30 years’ imprisonment for convicted trafficking offenders. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. During the reporting period, the Djiboutian military regularly buried the remains of shipwrecked migrants who drowned after failed smuggling attempts. The smugglers of these migrants, when captured by Djiboutian authorities, were transferred to the judicial system for prosecution. The Ministry of Justice reported its use of Law 210 in the past year to prosecute, convict, and sentenced well over 100 illegal migrant smugglers and their accomplices, including Djiboutian citizens. It is unclear whether any of these cases involved human trafficking. The Ministry of Justice reported no investigations or prosecutions of offenses involving forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. The Brigade des Moeurs (Vice Police) conducted regular nighttime sweeps of the capital’s bars and streets and preventatively detained Ethiopian, Somali, and Djiboutian children suspected to be engaged in prostitution. In 2009, police apprehended, but did not charge, 408 girls between the ages of 10 and 18 years in such sweeps; the brigade did not indicate whether it detained the exploiters of these girls. In November 2009, the government requested human trafficking be added to the agenda for regular Djibouti-Ethiopia bilateral talks and proposed a draft memorandum of understanding on the subject. The 15-article agreement commits specific government entities to liaise on trafficking issues, proposes regular meetings, and provides a framework for partnership with Ethiopia on judicial cooperation.

Protection
With few resources itself and a very small pool of tiny, underfunded NGOs, the government had little means with which to address the needs of trafficking victims during the year. The Council of Ministers took no action in 2009 to ensure comprehensive care for victims as mandated under Article 18 of Law 210. After detaining children on suspicion of engaging in prostitution, police indicated that they attempted to locate and meet with parents or other family members to discuss appropriate child protection; children were then released to the care of family members without being charged. When family members could not be found, foreign children may have been deported to their country of origin; the government did not report data on such deportations. Police worked with the Ministry of Health’s clinic and hospitals, and with NGOs, to provide some medical care to victims of child prostitution. No charges were filed against children detained on suspicion of engaging in prostitution in 2009. The government continued providing protection and accommodation to asylum-seeking defectors from the Eritrean military, some of whom may be trafficking victims. The government has not yet developed a system for proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations or a referral process to transfer such trafficking victims for care. Authorities did not encourage victims to participate in the investigations or prosecutions of their traffickers. Djibouti hosted a meeting of the Somalia Mixed Migration Task Force in July 2009, during which representatives from the Government of Yemen, the Somaliland and Puntland administrations, and international organizations discussed efforts to improve protection for migrants crossing from Somali and Djibouti to Yemen.

Prevention
The government’s efforts to prevent trafficking increased during the reporting period. Beginning in May 2009, the government provided IOM office space within the Ministry of Labor as part of an overall effort to prevent unsafe migration, including human trafficking. Addressing concerns for migrants who depart Djiboutian shores illegally for Yemen, the government forged a partnership with IOM to erect billboards throughout the country warning migrants of the dangers of irregular migration, including the risk of becoming a victim of trafficking or labor exploitation. In 2009, the National Office for Refugees and Disaster Stricken People (ONARS) and UNHCR completed a census of refugees at the Ali Adde camp and issued identification cards to adults. These entities also jointly conducted twice-weekly screenings of asylum seekers at the Loyada border crossing before transporting eligible refugees to UNHCR’s reception center. The government worked to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts by continuing to investigate child sexual exploitation cases and deploying a regular police vice squad. The government did not take any known measures to reduce the demand for forced labor.

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC (Tier 3)

The Dominican Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Dominican women and children are subjected to forced prostitution in the Dominican Republic, throughout the Caribbean, Europe, South America, and the United States. The UN has reported on forced prostitution of Dominican women in brothels in Haiti frequented by MINUSTAH Peacekeepers. Dominican men and women have been subjected to forced labor in the United States and Argentina. Women from various countries were reportedly brought to the Dominican Republic for prostitution, and an unknown number may have subsequently become trafficking victims, even if they came voluntarily at first. While the Ministry of Labor reported that sugar plantations no longer use child labor, the sugar industry has been cited as vulnerable for possible use of forced labor. A 2009 NGO study found of some 500 male Haitian construction workers interviewed, 21 percent reported experiencing forced labor in the Dominican Republic at some point, although not in their current jobs as construction workers. Street children and undocumented or stateless Haitian people – including the Dominican-born children and grandchildren of Haitian migrants – were vulnerable groups to trafficking. Child sex tourism is a problem, particularly in coastal resort areas, with child sex tourists arriving year-round from various countries.

The Government of the Dominican Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government has not convicted any trafficking offenders, including officials possibly complicit in trafficking, since 2007. Results in the areas of victim protection, and trafficking prevention were also limited.

Recommendations for the Dominican Republic: Increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders, especially public officials complicit in human trafficking; separate and track data on prosecutions, convictions, and sentences involving forced prostitution and forced labor as opposed to human smuggling, and consider prosecution of forced prostitution cases under the comprehensive anti-trafficking law rather than under the lesser offense of pimping; encourage the identification of more victims by working with NGOs to establish formal procedures to guide police and other officials in identifying trafficking victims and referring them to available services; institute formal, ongoing training for police, border officials, labor inspectors, and health officials on the difference between smuggling and trafficking, and in identifying and assisting victims of forced prostitution and forced labor; ensure adequate shelter and services are available to adult and child victims; ensure victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; establish formal legal alternatives to removal for foreign victims to countries where they would face retribution or hardship; and increase prevention and demand-reduction efforts.

Prosecution
The government made no discernible progress in prosecuting or punishing trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Dominican law prohibits all forms of trafficking through its comprehensive anti-trafficking Law 137-03, which prescribes penalties of up to 20 years’ imprisonment. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. Authorities confirmed only one new trafficking investigation during the reporting period and did not confirm any new prosecutions or convictions of forced labor or forced prostitution during the reporting period. The government reported 36 persons “currently in preventive detention” under Law 137-03, but these data conflate trafficking and smuggling, as Law 137-03 covers both. Authorities reported the government may prosecute trafficking offenders under other statutes; NGO observers have said corruption on the part of authorities is a problem. The government worked in partnership with other countries to extradite two wanted alleged trafficking offenders. The government reported it provided training for officials posted abroad on identifying and assisting trafficking victims, and each year, judges take an on-line course on trafficking, available through the National Magistrates School.

Protection
The government claimed it made several efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims, but results were limited. The government did not clarify whether it has a formal mechanism to guide officials in proactively identifying victims among vulnerable groups and refer them to available services offered by NGOs. The government provided $13,500 in support for an NGO-run shelter and religious order that assisted adult, female victims, and the Office of the First Lady continued to work on the establishment of a shelter dedicated to trafficking victims, but the number of victims the government reported assisting during the rating period remained small. A government agency, which is reportedly underfunded, managed shelters for children that assisted child trafficking victims during the reporting period. While the government did not provide formal long-term reintegration assistance programs for trafficking victims, the First Lady’s office facilitated victims’ access to psychological and financial support, and another government agency offered skills training to some victims during the reporting period. The government did not have in place formal legal alternatives to deportation for foreign victims to countries in which they would face retribution or hardship, but no victims were deported in practice. The government claimed to have encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, but few elected to do so. One NGO reported migrants who were subjected to forced labor rarely went to authorities due to fears of Dominican officials’ complicity with human traffickers. Another NGO reported an instance where several victims were willing to assist with a prosecution but claimed there had been no progress in four years. Some officials and an NGO reported some alleged trafficking offenders made deals to compensate victims in lieu of criminal prosecution.

Prevention
The government made no discernible progress on measures to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. The government did not implement a national public awareness campaign during the reporting period, though there were several campaigns on raising anti-trafficking awareness targeted toward at-risk populations and tourist areas. A national interagency anti-trafficking commission chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs facilitated interagency cooperation and oversaw implementation of a national action plan, which remained reliant on donor funding but was hampered by lack of participation of the prosecution service. The government did not undertake efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period.

ECUADOR (Tier 2)

Ecuador is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. The majority of trafficking victims are believed to be women and children trafficked within the country from border and central highland areas to urban centers for commercial sexual exploitation, as well as for involuntary domestic servitude, forced begging, and forced labor in mines and other hazardous work. There have also been reports of Ecuadorian children being forced to engage in criminal activity, such as drug trafficking and robbery. Many parents send their children to neighboring countries in order to earn money, and Ecuadorian children are found in conditions of forced labor in Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, and the Dominican Republic, particularly as domestic servants, forced vendors, and beggars. Ecuadorian women are subjected to forced prostitution in Colombia, Peru, Venezuela, and Western Europe. To a lesser extent, Ecuador is a destination country for Colombian, Peruvian, and Chinese women and girls in forced prostitution. Indigenous Ecuadorians are vulnerable to forced labor in domestic servitude. Child sex tourism occurs mostly in urban areas, and in tourist destinations, such as Tena and the Galapagos Islands. Ecuador is a transit country for Chinese nationals smuggled to destinations elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere; some of these migrants are trafficked.

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 sustained law enforcement measures against trafficking offenders, in addition to providing comprehensive victim services through partnerships with local NGOs and raising public awareness through multiple media campaigns. The government’s law enforcement efforts however, did not sufficiently address forced labor and sex trafficking crimes involving adults, or trafficking-related complicity of some local government officials.

Recommendations for Ecuador: Vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including public officials complicit in trafficking crimes; take steps to address the low number of convictions in comparison with the high number of trafficking investigations; increase anti-trafficking training for law enforcement and other government officials; enhance data collection and coordination; increase public awareness of trafficking involving adult victims; and develop formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as adult women in prostitution.

Prosecution
The government sustained law enforcement efforts against trafficking in persons crimes last year. Ecuador prohibits all forms of human trafficking in Article 190 of its penal code, amended in 2005; trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation carries a punishment of six to nine years’ imprisonment, and trafficking for sexual exploitation carries a penalty of eight to 12 years’ imprisonment. Penalties for human trafficking may be increased, by aggravating circumstances, to a maximum of 35 years’ imprisonment. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Other statutes, such as Article 528.13, which prohibits the commercial sexual exploitation of children, are also used to prosecute human trafficking crimes.

During the reporting period, Ecuadorian authorities investigated 78 cases of human trafficking and 154 cases of child commercial sexual exploitation. Despite robust law enforcement efforts, conviction rates remain low; the government prosecuted 32 cases, and achieved two convictions for commercial sexual exploitation of minors in addition to one conviction for human trafficking under Article 190, securing a sentence of eight years. In one case involving 14 children subjected to commercial sexual exploitation, who were found during a brothel raid in 2006, an appeals court in 2009 absolved three trafficking offenders of all charges, despite an earlier court’s conviction and sentencing of three to six years’ imprisonment; government officials and NGOs complained of serious procedural errors in this case. Despite reports of trafficking-related corruption, particularly related to civil registry officials issuing false identity documents to children, 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 children in prostitution, and to avoid criminal liability for immigration and trafficking violations in the event of a police raid.

Most cases of human trafficking investigated in Ecuador during the reporting period involved forced prostitution, particularly of children. A growing number of investigations are related to labor exploitation of children and adults, but do not appear commensurate to the incidence of forced labor in the country, particularly the large number of children exploited for forced begging and forced domestic work. The government continued to provide police specializing in crimes against children with specific training on trafficking in persons. Ecuadorian authorities formed partnerships with Colombian, Venezuelan, U.S., and Chinese officials to jointly investigate several trafficking cases.

Protection
The Ecuadorian government maintained its provision of comprehensive victim services last year. The government ensured trafficking victims’ access to legal, medical, psychological, and shelter services, in large part through its partnership with a network of NGOs that received funding from the government and international organizations. Women and girls were eligible for shelter services, while the government provided boys and men with victim services on an ad hoc basis, though shelters for trafficking victims remained lacking in parts of the country. Foreign victims were eligible for the same services as Ecuadorian trafficking victims. In addition to these short-term services, the government provided victims with counseling, protection, job training, and educational training, and ensured the child victims received long-term care as needed. Through its Victim and Witness Protection Program, the Ecuadorian government operated specialized police units in the cities of Guayaquil, Machala, Portoviejo, Cuenca, and Quito. These units accompanied other police authorities on brothel raids to coordinate immediate protective services toward identified trafficking victims, and assistance for victim witnesses during court proceedings. The government encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders. While Ecuadorian authorities conducted several raids on establishments to rescue children in prostitution, they did not demonstrate adequate efforts to identify adult trafficking victims among women exploited in brothels and other vulnerable populations. Police removed 33 children from commercial sexual exploitation and five from conditions of forced labor. Authorities did not penalize identified trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The Ecuadorian government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they faced hardship or retribution, though foreign victims were not typically deported from the country. The government provided victim services to repatriated Ecuadorian trafficking victims. Ecuadorian authorities developed trafficking in persons protocols for consular officers abroad and began training its diplomatic corps in these procedures.

Prevention
The Government of Ecuador increased trafficking prevention efforts last year, particularly through vigorous public awareness campaigns against child forced labor and prostitution. The government forged partnerships with private telecommunications companies and a bank to combat child labor, in part through a network of schools for former child laborers. During the holidays, the government launched a national campaign against child begging and a radio soap opera series about the dangers of forced labor, which was broadcast on provincial radio stations in Spanish and Kichwa, a local language. State-owned radio stations also donated airtime to an NGO in the highlands to broadcast messages on how to identify and avoid human trafficking situations. The Ministry of Tourism launched a nationwide campaign to prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the tourism industry, and the government continued a multimedia campaign in 20 departments to encourage citizens to identify and report trafficking cases. The government, however, did not report steps to reduce demand for commercial sex acts purchased from adults or forced labor of adults during the reporting period.

EGYPT (Tier 2)

Egypt is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Some of Egypt’s estimated two hundred thousand to one million street children – both boys and girls – are exploited in prostitution and forced begging. Local gangs are, at times, involved in this exploitation. Egyptian children are recruited for domestic and agricultural labor; some of these children face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude, such as restrictions on movement, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. In addition, wealthy men from the Gulf reportedly travel to Egypt to purchase “temporary” or “summer marriages” with Egyptian females, including girls who are under the age of 18; these arrangements are often facilitated by the females’ parents and marriage brokers and are a form of commercial sexual exploitation of children. Child sex tourism occurs in Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor. Egypt is a transit country for women trafficked from Uzbekistan, Moldova, Ukraine, Russia, and other Eastern European countries to Israel for commercial sexual exploitation; organized crime groups are involved in these movements. During the reporting period, an international NGO released a report about alleged forced marriages of Coptic Christian females in Egypt, including an allegation of forced prostitution, though the allegations have not been confirmed.

Men and women from South and Southeast Asia may be subjected to forced labor in Egypt. There was a report during the year that the management of one factory in Egypt’s Qualified Industrial Zone (QIZ) held workers’ passports – a possible indication of forced labor. Ethiopians, Eritreans, Sudanese, Indonesians, Filipino, and possible Sri Lankan females migrate willingly to Egypt but may be subjected to forced domestic work. Some conditions they face include no time off; sexual, physical, and emotional abuse; withholding of wages; and restrictions of movement. Employers may use the domestic workers’ illegal status and lack of employment contracts as a coercive tool. Some of the migrants and refugees who engage in prostitution may have been coerced to do so. Young female Sudanese refugees, including those under 18, may be coerced into prostitution in Cairo’s nightclubs by family or Sudanese gang members. NGO and media reports indicate some Egyptians are forced to work in Jordan and experience the withholding of passports, forced overtime, non-payment of wages, and restrictions of movement.

The Government of Egypt does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government approved new legislation criminalizing trafficking in persons for labor and sexual exploitation. The new law represents an important step in eliminating severe forms of trafficking in persons, though its implementation is as yet untested. During the reporting period, the government made its first two convictions under the 2008 anti-trafficking amendments to the Child Law, and has raised awareness on “summer marriages,” which are often used to facilitate commercial sexual exploitation. Nevertheless, the government did not show overall adequate efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict labor trafficking offenders, and did not make progress in protecting victims of trafficking over the reporting period. The government continued to lack formal victim identification procedures and protection services; therefore, unidentified victims of trafficking may be punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government took minimal steps to combat the serious issue of involuntary domestic servitude.

Recommendations for Egypt: Substantially increase law enforcement activity against trafficking, including against involuntary domestic servitude and child sex trafficking; begin enforcement of the passed anti-trafficking law; institute and apply formal victim identification procedures to offer protective services to victims found among vulnerable populations, such as street children, women in prostitution, and undocumented migrants; ensure trafficking victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; implement a comprehensive public information campaign to educate the public on the definition and dangers of trafficking; assess the potential for forced labor and related offenses among migrant workers in Egyptian factories, including those located in special export zones and those with QIZ program status; and improve coordination of government anti-trafficking efforts through effective use of an inter-ministerial committee on human trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Egypt made progress in law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Egypt’s parliament passed legislation criminalizing all forms of human trafficking and prescribing penalties from three to 15 years’ imprisonment – and up to life imprisonment if aggravating circumstances are present – with fines ranging from $9,000 to $36,000 for offenses. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. As of this report’s writing, the government had not used the new law to prosecute, convict, or punish any individual for trafficking offenses. Amendments to the Child Law (No. 126 of 2008) include provisions prohibiting the trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. These amendments prescribe sentences of at least five years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes.

In May 2009, an Alexandria court, using the 2008 amendment to Egypt’s Child Law and other penal code provisions, convicted two men of forcing eight street children into prostitution with wealthy Egyptians and tourists from the Gulf. The court sentenced one trafficker to life in prison and the other to fifteen years’ imprisonment. A court in October 2009 convicted two marriage registrars under the anti-trafficking provisions of the country’s Child Law. Each was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment. The two had illegally registered commercial short-term marriages of girls under the age of 18. In February 2010, the public prosecutor investigated and then began the prosecution of five suspects for facilitating the marriage of an under-age girl to an older man from Saudi Arabia. The five suspects were subsequently charged with various offenses, including violations of Egypt’s Child Law. The defendants include the victims’ parents, the Saudi “husband,” a marriage “broker,” and a lawyer who facilitated the marriage. Police arrested an additional 27 marriage registrars for registering the commercial marriage of underage girls. In 2009, the quasi-governmental National Council of Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) continued to train approximately 500 prosecutors, judges, police officers, Ministry of Tourism employees, labor inspectors, and social workers on human trafficking. In 2009, IOM and the Ministry of Interior collaborated to provide anti-trafficking training to police officials; in addition to providing the training facility, government officials led a few training modules.

Protection
Egypt made minimal progress in protecting victims of trafficking over the reporting period. Despite receiving training in victim identification, government officials did not employ formal procedures to identify victims of trafficking and refer them to providers of care; as a result, trafficking victims, including many street children and women arrested for prostitution, were often treated as criminals rather than victims. Some children may be sent to juvenile detention centers, which are in bad condition. Others may be subject to incarceration with adults, despite the Child Law which prohibits this practice. Border security personnel in the Sinai continued efforts to interdict undocumented migrants, occasionally killing some of them, while showing no evidence of efforts to identify possible trafficking victims among this vulnerable population. The Ministry of Social Solidarity continued to operate 19 drop-in centers for street children, women, and the disabled that may have provided care to trafficking victims in 2009; these centers, however, are only open during the day and do not provide comprehensive services for trafficking victims. The Ministry for Family and Population established a center where an NGO began rehabilitating victims of child trafficking in Cairo’s Dar El Salaam area in August 2009. The NCCM, in partnership with an international NGO, continued to run a day center in Cairo to rehabilitate abused street boys involved in forced begging or petty crime; NCCM provided counseling, medical care, and literacy and computer classes, while the NGO operated the facility. The Ministry of Health (MOH) entered into an agreement with the IOM to establish a trafficking victims’ care center in a Cairo public hospital, staffed with MOH employees trained in identifying and assisting trafficking victims. The center was due to open in March 2010; however the center did not open during the reporting period.

The NCCM continued to operate a 24-hour hotline to respond to complaints of child abuse, and between August 2009 and February 2010 it received 144 calls related to child marriages, some of which may have been related to commercial short-term marriages. Specialized care for adults or foreign victims was not provided. In prisons or detention centers, law enforcement officers may have further mistreated 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.

Prevention
The government made progress in preventing “summer marriages” in the reporting period, but did not otherwise undertake efforts to prevent human trafficking. The government was mandated by the newly passed law to create an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate anti-trafficking enforcement activities, victim protection, and programs. In 2010, the NCCM conducted a study on “summer marriages,” which concluded that economic forces were responsible for driving the phenomena; the NCCM study called for an integrated public policy response. The NCCM established a hotline for reporting instances of the practice and for counseling victims; it is not clear how many reports the hotline has received since its launch in August 2009. In August 2009, the NCCM also launched a campaign against underage marriages to Arab tourists in villages in the 6th of October Governorate, where commercial short-term marriages of underage girls are rife. The government did not institute any other public campaigns to raise awareness on trafficking, including any on involuntary domestic servitude. The government made no efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or to raise awareness of sex tourism. The government has a well-developed birth registration and national identity card system. There were no reports of Egyptian government’s efforts to provide anti-trafficking training for its troops before deploying them to international peacekeeping missions.

EL SALVADOR (Tier 2)

El Salvador is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Most victims are Salvadoran women and girls from rural areas who are forced into commercial sexual exploitation in urban areas, though some adults and children are subjected to forced labor as agricultural workers and domestic workers. The majority of foreign victims are women and children from neighboring countries, such as Honduras, Nicaragua, and the Dominican Republic, who migrate to El Salvador in response to job offers, but are subsequently forced into prostitution or domestic servitude. Trafficking offenders use fraudulent documentation to facilitate the movement of foreign victims. Salvadorans have been subjected to forced prostitution in Guatemala, Mexico, Belize, the United States, Spain, and Italy.

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 anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and continued to provide services to children who were trafficked for sexual exploitation. It did not vigorously investigate or prosecute incidents of forced labor, and it did not take adequate measures to ensure that adult trafficking victims received access to necessary services.

Recommendations for El Salvador: Strengthen law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders; investigate and prosecute cases of forced labor and involuntary domestic servitude; maintain efforts to investigate, convict, and sentence public officials involved in human trafficking; strengthen statutory penalties for trafficking in persons crimes; increase victim services and assistance, particularly for adults; enhance mechanisms for identifying victims among vulnerable populations; and increase public awareness of human trafficking, possibly in partnership with civil society, the media, and the private sector.

Prosecution
The Government of El Salvador sustained 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. Sentences may be increased by one-third when the offense is accompanied by aggravated circumstances, such as when the offense is committed against a child or the defendant is a public official. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent, but are not commensurate with penalties prescribed for serious offenses such as rape, which carries a punishment of six to 20 years’ imprisonment. Since passage of El Salvador’s anti-trafficking statute in 2004, some prosecutors prefer to charge trafficking-related crimes under the country’s rape statute to secure heavier mandatory sentences against offenders. In 2009, the government’s dedicated anti-trafficking police and prosecutorial units investigated 70 cases of human trafficking, prosecuted seven cases, and obtained seven convictions with imposed sentences ranging from 4 to 10 years’ imprisonment. While the government secured a number of convictions equal to the previous year, they prosecuted fewer cases than in 2008, when prosecutors brought charges in 15 cases of human trafficking. The majority of law enforcement efforts focused on sex trafficking. The government sustained partnerships with neighboring foreign governments in pursuing joint anti-trafficking investigations. During the reporting period, the government investigated three public officials for trafficking-related offenses, including the former anti-trafficking coordinator in the Attorney General’s Office; charges have not yet been filed. In conjunction with an NGO, government officials drafted and distributed guidelines for criminal judges and prosecutors on procedures for human trafficking cases.

Protection
The Salvadoran government sustained modest victim assistance last year. Immigration officials screened for possible trafficking victims in border regions, notifying the police and referring victims to care facilities; in general, however, the Salvadoran government did not proactively identify trafficking victims among other vulnerable populations, such as prostituted women or child laborers. The government maintained a shelter dedicated to underage girls who had been victims of sex trafficking; this shelter offered victims psychological and medical care. Most government assistance and services were directed to child trafficking victims and were not readily accessible to adult or male trafficking victims, although the government operated a women’s shelter serving at least one victim of human trafficking and provided some adult victims with legal and medical services. Adult trafficking victims were also referred to a government-run shelter for undocumented aliens. Further services were provided by NGOs and international organizations. Authorities identified 51 victims of human trafficking in 2009; all but three of these victims were girls, and all but one victim was subjected to forced prostitution. The government trained personnel, including consular officers, on identifying Salvadoran trafficking victims abroad; consular officials identified 21 such trafficking victims during the reporting period. Domestically, Salvadoran authorities encouraged identified victims to assist with law enforcement efforts; 55 victims participated in investigations or prosecutions of their traffickers during the reporting period, though others chose not to assist law enforcement efforts due to social stigma or fear of reprisals from their traffickers. Victims generally were not charged, jailed, or penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; however, not all government officials recognized cases of forced labor or forced prostitution as human trafficking. Law enforcement and social service officials may request residency status for a victim on a case-by-case basis, though they reported no trafficking victims requested this status over the last year.

Prevention
The Salvadoran government sustained anti-trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government forged or continued partnerships with NGOs, international organizations, and foreign governments on anti-trafficking initiatives. In May 2009, the government collaborated with an NGO to launch a campaign aimed specifically at increasing awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation of children; the campaign reached approximately 4,500 children and adults. The government included anti-trafficking information in the training it gives to military forces prior to their deployment for international peacekeeping missions. No specific government efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor were reported over the last year.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Equatorial Guinea is principally a destination for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and possibly commercial sexual exploitation. Children are believed to be recruited and transported from nearby countries, primarily Nigeria, Benin, Cameroon, and Gabon, and forced to work in domestic servitude, market labor, ambulant vending, and other forms of forced labor, such as carrying water and washing laundry. Most victims are believed to be exploited in Malabo and Bata, where a burgeoning oil industry creates demand for labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Women may also have been recruited and transported to Equatorial Guinea from Cameroon, Benin, other neighboring countries, and from China for forced labor or forced prostitution. In October 2009, the vessel Sharon was detained in Gabon with 285 immigrants aboard, including 34 children identified as trafficking victims destined for Equatorial Guinea. Reports that women of Equatoguinean extraction were trafficked to Iceland for commercial sexual exploitation during the last reporting period have not reappeared.

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. Despite these efforts, such as anti-trafficking training for law enforcement personnel, the government did not prosecute any trafficking offenses during the reporting period. It routinely deported trafficking victims without recognizing their victim status or referring them to assistance services. It continued to provide anti-trafficking training to law enforcement officials, and police monitoring of possible child labor exploitation in open air markets, though for another consecutive year, this training failed to lead to tangible anti-trafficking actions. Moreover, the government made no apparent efforts to fulfill the recommendations made in the 2009 Report. Given the government’s substantial financial resources, it could greatly increase its response to Equatorial Guinea’s human trafficking problem. For these reasons, Equatorial Guinea is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year.

Recommendations for Equatorial Guinea: Establish as a policy priority the successful prosecution of at least one trafficking case under the country’s 2004 anti-trafficking law; publicly recognize the work of law enforcement and judicial personnel who investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders; train additional law enforcement officials and Conciliation Delegates to follow formal procedures to identify trafficking victims among child laborers, illegal immigrants, and women and girls in prostitution; establish a formal system for providing trafficking victims with assistance; and cease summary deportation of any foreign trafficking victims from Equatoguinean territory without providing them with care and safe, voluntary repatriation.

Prosecution
The Government of Equatorial Guinea demonstrated minimal law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the reporting period; the few measures taken were incidental to efforts to tighten border security and to control more closely immigration, emigration, and the issuance of work and travel permits to foreign migrants. Equatorial Guinea prohibits all forms of trafficking through its 2004 Law on the Smuggling of Migrants and Trafficking in Persons, which prescribes penalties of 10 to 15 years’ imprisonment, punishments which are sufficiently stringent. To date, no human trafficking cases were prosecuted under the relevant portion of this law. The government demonstrated no evidence of its forging partnerships with other governments in the region to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases. There was no evidence, however, of government officials’ involvement in or tolerance of trafficking. Under a government-funded contract with a foreign security training company, instructors conducted courses to improve the awareness of military and police officials on human trafficking issues. Two government officials – one from the Ministry of Defense and a sitting Supreme Court justice – assisted in the training. In December 2009, the government signed a new five-year contract with the foreign company that will address maritime security and include instruction on human rights and human trafficking issues.

Protection
The Government of Equatorial Guinea demonstrated no effective measures to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government has no law to provide benefits or services to victims and witnesses; and it did not provide funding or support to any victim care facilities, though provision of such services are called for in the government’s National Plan Against Human Trafficking. Law enforcement authorities did not employ procedures to identify victims of trafficking among foreign women and children in prostitution or foreign children in exploitative labor conditions. The government also did not make efforts – in either a systematic or ad hoc way – to refer victims to organizations that provide short- or long-term care. The provision of care for child trafficking victims was the responsibility of the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Catholic Church. In practice, only Equatoguinean children were placed in a church or NGO-run orphanage for care; foreign children were usually deported summarily. The government did not provide foreign trafficking victims with access to legal, medical, or psychological services, and the government made little effort to assist them with temporary or permanent resident status, or any other relief from deportation. The government did not keep records on the total number of trafficking victims identified during this reporting period. The government continued to provide specialized training for law enforcement and immigration officials on identifying and assisting victims of trafficking during the reporting period, and these trained officials were issued wallet-sized instruction cards showing the steps to take when a trafficking situation or victim is identified. Social workers received no such training. The government deported foreign trafficking victims without care or assistance after a brief detention, and seldom notified the victims’ embassies. Officials did not appear to fine victims, but frequently confiscated their possessions and money. No victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a directed result of being trafficked during the reporting period. The government gave little to no assistance – such as medical aid, shelter, or financial help – to its nationals who were repatriated as victims of trafficking.

Prevention
The government of Equatorial Guinea undertook limited trafficking prevention efforts during the year. In partnership with UNICEF and a foreign contractor, the government provided anti-trafficking information and educational campaigns during the reporting period – principally nationally broadcast radio and television spots to familiarize the general population with human trafficking. The Prime Minister’s Office directed activities of the Interagency Commission for Trafficking in Persons, which is chaired by the Ministry of Justice. The Commission also includes the Attorney General, and the Ministries of Health, Interior, National Security, and Women’s Affairs. It is not clear how often the committee met during the year. The government did not undertake any discernible measures to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts during the year.

ERITREA (Tier 3)

Eritrea is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. During the reporting period, acts of forced labor occurred in Eritrea, particularly in connection with the implementation of the country’s national service program. Under the parameters set forth in Proclamation of National Service (No. 82/1995), men aged 18 to 54 and women aged 18 to 47 are required to provide 18 months of military and non-military public works and services in any location or capacity chosen by the government. Some national service conscripts, however, are required to continue their service indefinitely, beyond the duration specified by law, with many required to serve in their positions for over 10 years under the threat of inhuman treatment, torture, or punishment of their families. There have been reports that some Eritrean conscripts are forced to build private homes for army officers, as well as to perform agricultural labor on farms and construction activities for firms owned by the state, the ruling party, senior army officers, and private investors, functions outside the scope of the proclamation. The military’s four command zones reportedly undertake diversified economic activities, including trading, farming, property development, and infrastructure construction, for the enrichment of the government, the ruling party, and high-ranking army officers using conscripted labor. National service conscripts could not resign from their jobs or take new employment, received no promotions or salary increases, and could not leave the country, as those under national service were often denied passports or exit visas. Some national service members were assigned to return to their civilian jobs while nominally kept in the military because their skills were deemed critical to the functioning of the government or the economy; these individuals continued to receive only their national service salary and were required to forfeit to the government any money they earned above and beyond that salary.

Eritrean children work in various economic sectors, including domestic service, street vending, small-scale factories, and agriculture; child laborers frequently suffer abuse from their employers and some may be subjected to conditions of forced labor. Some children in prostitution are likely exploited through third party involvement.

Each year, large numbers of Eritrean workers migrate in search of work, particularly to the Gulf States and Egypt, where some become victims of forced labor, primarily in domestic servitude. Smaller numbers are subjected to forced prostitution. In 2009, for example, five Eritrean trafficking victims were identified in the United Kingdom and one in Israel. In addition, thousands of Eritreans flee the country illegally, mostly to Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya, where their illegal status makes them vulnerable to situations of human trafficking.

The Government of Eritrea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The Eritrean government does not operate with transparency and published neither data nor statistics regarding its efforts to combat human trafficking; it did not respond to requests to provide information for this report.

Recommendations for Eritrea: Pass and enforce a comprehensive anti-trafficking statute that includes prohibitions against forced labor; launch a campaign to increase the general public’s awareness of human trafficking at the local, regional, and national levels; institute trafficking awareness training for diplomats posted overseas; provide training to all levels of government, particularly law enforcement officials, on identifying and responding to trafficking crimes; and in partnership with NGOs or religious entities, ensure the provision of short-term protective services to child trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Eritrea made no known progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking crimes over the reporting period. Article 605 of the Eritrean Transitional Criminal Code prohibits trafficking in women and young persons for sexual exploitation, which is punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment, or from three to 10 years’ imprisonment if aggravating circumstances are present; these penalties are not commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Article 565 prohibits enslavement and prescribes punishment of five to 20 years’ imprisonment, penalties which are sufficiently stringent. Forced labor and slavery are prohibited, except where authorized by law under Article 16 of the ratified, but suspended, Eritrean Constitution. Proclamation 11/199 prohibits the recruitment of children under 18 years of age into the armed forces. Nevertheless, the government has never used these statutes to prosecute cases of human trafficking. The government did not publish information on investigations or prosecutions, if any, of human trafficking offenses during the reporting period.

Protection
The government did not appear to provide any significant assistance to victims of trafficking during the reporting period. During the reporting period, the government reportedly operated a program to identify children involved in commercial sexual exploitation and reintegrate them with their families. The government did not make available information on the program’s accomplishments in 2009. The Ministry of Labor and Human Welfare oversees the government’s trafficking portfolio, but individual cases of transnational human trafficking are reportedly handled by the Eritrean embassy in the country of destination; information regarding embassy efforts to assist trafficking victims was not provided. The government has no known facilities dedicated to trafficking victims and does not provide funding or other forms of support to NGOs for services to trafficking victims. The government severely limited the number of foreign NGOs permitted to operate in the country; of the few remaining NGOs, none operated anti-trafficking programs. It is not known whether the government encouraged victims’ assistance in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes or whether it provided legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. The government did not ensure that identified victims were not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized solely for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The government made no known efforts to prevent future incidences of trafficking during the reporting period. Eritrean media, all state-owned, made neither public announcements nor media presentations regarding human trafficking during the reporting period. There were no anti-trafficking education campaigns. The government reportedly warned students at Sawa military school and Mai Nefi, a local college, of the dangers of leaving the country, including the prospects of being sold into slave labor or sexual servitude. Although the government does not publicly acknowledge human trafficking as a problem, an office exists within the Ministry of Labor to handle labor cases, including human trafficking; the accomplishments of this office during 2009 are unknown. Limited resources and a small number of inspectors impeded the ministry’s ability to conduct investigations; the government did not provide information on the number of child labor inspections it carried out in 2009. The government continued implementing a national plan of action on child labor that primarily focused on integrating or reintegrating children with families, communities, and schools as a means of preventing child labor, or rehabilitating children engaged in child labor; the government did not provide information regarding its progress in implementing this plan during the year. The Ministry of Labor and Human Welfare’s community child well-being committees supported 4,426 street children with educational materials and cash stipends for uniforms and vocational training. The Ministry of Labor reportedly reviewed all applications for permits to grant passports and exit visas to legal migrant workers, and immigration agents closely monitored anyone entering or leaving the country. Eritrea is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

ESTONIA (Tier 2)

Estonia is a source country and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution, and for men and women in conditions of forced labor. Women from Estonia are found in sex trafficking situations in Finland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Italy, and within Estonia. Latvian women are subjected to forced prostitution in Estonia. Men and women from Estonia are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Spain, Norway, and Finland.

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, the Estonian government took a number of important steps to bolster its anti-trafficking response. It provided training for government officials on the victim identification model adopted in January 2009 and increased its anti-trafficking budget from $200,000 to $242,000 – a significant amount of which was devoted to victim assistance. Estonia continued, however, to lack a trafficking-specific law, and existing laws do not adequately prohibit and punish all forms of human trafficking, including the transportation, harboring, obtaining, or recruitment of a trafficking victim and the use of coercion as a means to traffic a person.

Recommendations for Estonia: Draft a trafficking-specific criminal statute that incorporates a comprehensive definition of trafficking in persons, including the transportation, harboring, obtaining, or recruitment of a trafficking victim and the use of coercion as a prohibited means; increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders; and continue to provide necessary funding for victim assistance.

Prosecution
The Government of Estonia demonstrated modest law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Estonian law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though its criminal code prohibits some elements of human trafficking under Articles 133, 175, and 176 of the criminal code. The penalties prescribed for such acts range up to 12 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as sexual assault. During the reporting period, authorities conducted 73 trafficking investigations under Articles 133, 175, and 176, compared with two investigations reported in 2008. Estonian authorities prosecuted 18 individuals and convicted three trafficking offenders in 2009, compared with two prosecutions and two convictions in 2008. One offender was sentenced to 53 months’ imprisonment in 2009, and two convicted trafficking offenders were not sentenced to time in prison. The Estonian government extradited one trafficking suspect during the reporting period. Law enforcement authorities continued their important information exchange with counterparts in several European countries.

Protection
Estonia demonstrated strong victim assistance efforts during the reporting period. The government strengthened partnerships with anti-trafficking NGOs through which it conducted 40 training sessions and trained a total of 600 prosecutors, judges, social workers, and other officials on the victim identification model the government adopted in January 2009. The government allocated $100,000 for two trafficking shelters and one victim rehabilitation center operated by NGOs; 78 trafficking victims received government-funded assistance from these NGOs – including some victims who were identified during previous reporting periods, compared with 55 victims assisted in 2008. At least six victims were also identified in 2009 through a government-funded hotline. In total, the government allocated $181,500 for victim assistance during the reporting period, up from approximately $150,000 provided for victim assistance in 2008. Although foreign victims are eligible to apply for temporary residency for the duration of criminal investigations and legal proceedings in which they participate, no victims applied for residency in 2009. Estonian authorities did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The government encouraged trafficking victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, though no victims chose to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers in 2009.

Prevention
The Government of Estonia demonstrated some trafficking prevention efforts in 2009. The government distributed trafficking awareness materials at the Tallinn airport and ship harbors. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued its dissemination of trafficking awareness materials to participants at Estonia’s annual tourism fair, attended by more than 23,000 people. The government did not conduct any activities to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. In October 2009, the Government of Estonia signed the Council of Europe’s Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings.

ETHIOPIA (Tier 2)

Ethiopia is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. Girls from Ethiopia’s rural areas are forced into domestic servitude and, less frequently, commercial sexual exploitation, while boys are subjected to forced labor in traditional weaving, agriculture, herding, and street vending. Small numbers of Ethiopian girls are forced into domestic servitude outside of Ethiopia, primarily in Djibouti and Sudan, while Ethiopian boys are subjected to forced labor in Djibouti as shop assistants and errand boys. Women from all parts of Ethiopia are subjected to involuntary domestic servitude throughout the Middle East and in Sudan, and many transit Djibouti, Egypt, Libya, Somalia, or Yemen as they migrate to labor destinations. Ethiopian women in the Middle East face severe abuses, including physical and sexual assault, denial of salary, sleep deprivation, confinement, incarceration, and murder. Many are driven to despair and mental illness, some commit suicide. Some women are exploited in the sex trade after arriving at their destinations, particularly in brothels and near oil fields in Sudan. Small numbers of low-skilled Ethiopian men migrate to Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, and other African nations, where they are subjected to forced labor. During the year, the Somali Regional Security and Administration Office increased recruitment for Special Police Forces and local militias; it was reported that both government-supported forces and insurgent groups in the Degeharbur and Fik zones unlawfully recruited children, though these allegations could not be conclusively verified.

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. The government made progress over the past year in addressing transnational trafficking through significantly increased law enforcement efforts. Due in part to the establishment of the Human Trafficking and Narcotics Section in the Organized Crime Investigation Unit of the Federal Police, there was an increased emphasis on investigation and prosecution of international trafficking crimes, although the continued lack of investigations and prosecutions of internal trafficking crimes remained a concern. The government maintained its efforts to provide assistance to child trafficking victims identified in the capital region.

Recommendations for Ethiopia: Improve the investigative capacity of police and enhance judicial understanding of trafficking to allow for more prosecutions of trafficking offenders, particularly perpetrators of internal child trafficking; use Articles 596, 597, and 635 of Ethiopia’s Penal Code to prosecute cases of labor and sex trafficking; strengthen criminal code penalties for sex trafficking and amend Articles 597 and 635 to include men; institute trafficking awareness training for diplomats posted overseas; appropriate funding for the deployment of labor attachés to overseas diplomatic missions; engage Middle Eastern governments on improving protections for Ethiopian workers; partner with local NGOs to increase the level of services available to trafficking victims returning from overseas; and launch a campaign to increase awareness of internal trafficking at the local and regional levels.

Prosecution
While the Ethiopian government increased its efforts to prosecute and punish transnational trafficking offenders during the reporting period, prosecution of internal trafficking cases remained nonexistent. In addition, local law enforcement entities continued to exhibit an inability to properly distinguish human trafficking from other crimes and they lacked capacity to collect and organize human trafficking data. Article 635 of Ethiopia’s Criminal Code (Trafficking in Women and Minors) criminalizes sex trafficking and prescribes punishments not exceeding five years’ imprisonment, penalties sufficiently stringent, though not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Articles 596 (Enslavement) and 597 (Trafficking in Women and Children) outlaw slavery and labor trafficking and prescribe punishments of five to 20 years’ rigorous imprisonment, penalties which are sufficiently stringent. These articles, however, have rarely been used to prosecute trafficking offenses; instead, Articles 598 (Unlawful Sending of Ethiopians to Work Abroad) and 571 (Endangering the Life of Another) were regularly used to prosecute cases of transnational labor trafficking during the year. The Federal High Court’s 11th Criminal Bench heard all cases of transnational trafficking, as well as internal trafficking cases discovered in the Addis Ababa jurisdiction. Between March and October 2009, the bench heard 15 cases related to transnational labor trafficking, resulting in five convictions, nine acquittals, and one withdrawal due to missing witnesses. Of the five convictions, three offenders received suspended sentences of five years’ imprisonment, two co-defendants were fined, and one offender is serving a sentence of five years’ imprisonment.

In November 2009, the Federal Police established a Human Trafficking and Narcotics Section in its Organized Crime Investigation Unit, resulting in increased investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenses at the national level, and improvements in data collection, statistical reporting, and cooperation with the Prosecutor’s office to move cases through the judicial system. In four months’ time, this unit investigated 63 cases and referred 39 to the prosecutor’s office; 31 cases remained pending before the court at the end of the reporting period, including one involving alleged internal trafficking. The court successfully concluded the other eight cases, securing eight convictions under Articles 598 and 571 and ordering punishments ranging from five to 12 years’ imprisonment, with no suspended sentences. In 2009, the Supreme Court’s Justice Professionals Training Center incorporated anti-trafficking training into its routine training programs.

Protection
Although the government lacked the resources to provide direct assistance to trafficking victims or to fund NGOs to provide victim care, police employed victim identification and referral procedures in the capital, regularly referring identified child victims to NGOs for care. During the year, Child Protection Units (CPUs) – joint police-NGO identification and referral teams operating in each of the 10 Addis Ababa police stations – rescued and referred children to the eleventh CPU in the central bus terminal, which is dedicated exclusively to identifying and obtaining care for trafficked children. In 2009, this unit identified 1,134 trafficked children, an increase of 235 victims over the previous year. It referred 116 trafficked children to NGO shelters for care and family tracing and reunified 757 children with parents or relatives in Addis Ababa and outlying regions. Local police and officials in the regional administrations assisted in the return of the children to their home areas; the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation provided free long-distance telephone service and the assistance of its employees across the country to enable the CPU to make contact with local officials. The Addis Ababa City Administration’s Social and Civil Affairs Department reunified 26 trafficked children with their families in the regions and placed five in foster care. While police encouraged victims’ participation in investigations and prosecutions, resource constraints prevented them from covering travel costs or providing other material resources to enable such testimony. There were no reports of trafficking victims detained, jailed, or prosecuted in 2009.

Limited consular services provided to Ethiopian workers abroad continued to be a weakness in the government’s efforts. It did, however, increase the number of officers at some of its missions by as much as 300 percent in 2009, and its consulate in Beirut resumed limited victim services, including the operation of a small safe house, mediation with domestic workers’ employers, and visitation of workers held in the detention center. In July and December 2009, the Ethiopian Consulate General secured the release and repatriation of 42 and 75 victims, respectively, who were being held in Lebanon for immigration violations. The government, however, showed only nascent signs of engaging destination country governments in an effort to improve protections for Ethiopian workers and obtain protective services for victims. Trafficked women returning to Ethiopia relied heavily on the few NGOs working with adult victims and psychological services provided by the government’s Emmanuel Mental Health Hospital. In 2009, the Addis Ababa City Administration provided land for use by 10 female victims repatriated from Djibouti as a site for a self-help project. In addition, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Women’s and Children’s Affairs provided assistance to 75 victims repatriated from Lebanon in 2009, and assisted 12 victims repatriated from Israel with starting a cleaning business. The January 2009 Charities and Societies Proclamation prohibits, among other things, foreign-funded NGOs from informing victims of their rights under Ethiopian law or advocating on their behalf; these restrictions had a negative impact on the ability of NGOs to adequately provide protective services.

Prevention
Ethiopia’s efforts to prevent international trafficking increased, while measures to heighten awareness of internal trafficking remained negligible. In November 2009, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) convened the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking for the first time in more than two years. As a result, MOLSA and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted a “National Conference on Human Trafficking and Illegal Migration” in March 2010, which undertook the drafting of a national action plan. The government continued to ban its citizens from traveling to Lebanon, Syria, and Qatar for labor purposes. In July 2009, the government signed a bilateral labor agreement with the Government of Kuwait, which included provisions for increased anti-trafficking law enforcement cooperation; the agreement will become binding once it is passed by the House of People’s Representatives, signed by the President, and published in the Gazette. Between July and December 2009, MOLSA’s two full-time counselors provided 5,355 migrating workers with three-hour pre-departure orientation sessions on the risks of labor migration and the conditions in receiving countries; data was not available for the first half of the year. MOLSA also partnered with IOM to establish a database to track employment agencies authorized to send workers abroad, as well as worker complaints. Private Employment Agency Proclamation 104/1998, which governs the work of labor recruitment agencies and protects migrant workers from fraudulent recruitment or excessive debt situations, which could contribute to forced labor, prescribes punishments of five to 10 years’ imprisonment. In August 2009, the government passed an amendment to this proclamation, Employment Exchange Services Proclamation No. 632/2009, outlawing extraneous commission fees, requiring agencies or their local affiliates to maintain a shelter for abused workers in each destination country, increasing agencies’ cash and bond deposits as collateral in the event the worker’s contract is broken, and mandating the establishment of labor attaché positions in diplomatic missions abroad. To date, Parliament has not appropriated funds for MOLSA to establish these positions. During the year, the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) regional government provided free radio time to a local NGO to air anti-trafficking outreach programming. The country’s primary school textbooks include instruction on child labor and trafficking. The government did not undertake efforts to reduce demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor during the reporting period. Before deploying soldiers on international peacekeeping missions, the government trained them on human rights issues, including human trafficking. Ethiopia is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

FIJI (Tier 2 Watch List)

Fiji is a source country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution within the country, as well as a destination country for women from China in forced prostitution. Family members, other Fijian citizens, foreign tourists, and sailors on foreign fishing vessels participate in the commercial sexual exploitation of Fijian children. Staff at smaller, local hotels procure underage girls and boys for commercial sexual exploitation by foreign guests, while taxi drivers, nightclub employees, and relatives frequently act as prostitution facilitators. NGOs report caring for child victims of prostitution who claim facilitators took them to private boats anchored offshore near Fiji where they were sexually abused or raped by foreign adult men. Reports indicate that some transnational traffickers are members of Chinese organized crime groups that recruit women from China and arrange for them to enter Fiji on tourist or student visas. After their arrival, brothel owners confiscate their passports and force the women to engage in prostitution. Some Fijian children whose families follow a traditional practice of sending children to live with and do light work for relatives or families living in cities or near schools become trafficking victims. These children are subjected to involuntary domestic servitude or are coerced to engage in sexual activity in exchange for food, clothing, shelter, or school fees.

The Government of Fiji does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the last year, the Fijian government enacted a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, the Crimes Decree, which defines trafficking as a crime of compelled service which does not necessarily involve crossing a border or otherwise moving a victim, and includes several innovative provisions to protect both adult and child trafficking victims. The government conducted anti-trafficking conferences and training for law enforcement personnel, where high-level officials spoke out strongly against trafficking and committed themselves to fighting this crime in Fiji. It also actively engaged with the media to raise public awareness and is in the process of developing procedural guidelines for suspected trafficking cases. Despite these significant efforts, no trafficking offenders have ever been investigated or convicted under any relevant laws in Fiji, and the government has not proactively identified trafficking victims or developed a formal system for referring victims to NGOs for assistance; therefore, Fiji is placed on Tier 2 Watch List.

Recommendations for Fiji: Prosecute, convict, and sentence trafficking offenders under the provisions of the new Crimes Decree; develop a long-term, national anti-trafficking action plan; use existing partnerships with civil society and relevant organizations to combat the sex trafficking of children; increase training for law enforcement officers on victim identification and protection; develop and institute a formal procedure to proactively identify victims of trafficking, especially among vulnerable groups such as prostituted or homeless children and women; implement a visible anti-trafficking awareness campaign directed at clients of children in commercial sexual exploitation; develop internal procedures to routinely evaluate and improve upon government anti-trafficking efforts; and expand partnerships with international law enforcement entities to identify and prosecute Fijian residents, foreign visitors, and travel industry personnel involved in child sex trafficking and child sex tourism.

Prosecution
The Government of Fiji increased its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. The government was limited in its ability to focus on combating trafficking in persons by an ongoing political and economic crisis. While no trafficking offenders were investigated, arrested, prosecuted, or convicted during the reporting period, the government took some steps to strengthen its capacity for future law enforcement action. On February 1, 2010, the government enacted a new Crimes Decree, which repealed the archaic Penal Code. Comprehensive anti-trafficking provisions in the Crimes Decree fill anti-trafficking gaps in the Immigration Act of 2003 which prohibited transnational human trafficking, but did not differentiate between labor and sex trafficking. The prescribed penalties of up to 25 years’ imprisonment and in some cases fines of over $400,000 under the new Crimes Decree are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. A new Sentencing and Penalties Decree designed to bring about more uniform judgments in the courts may ensure that minimum sentences for convicted trafficking offenders are also sufficiently stringent. The Crimes Decree also prohibits actions not previously covered by earlier laws, and prohibits using threats or fraud, or administering drugs to procure prostitution, and holds householders or landlords liable for permitting the defilement of a child under 16 on their premises. Law enforcement officials began to receive training from the government on the new Crimes Decree, including the new trafficking offenses, in January 2010. A Combined Law Agencies Group (CLAG) continued to meet 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 began to improve its efforts to protect trafficking victims over the last year. Due to severe resource constraints, the government primarily relied on NGOs or international organizations to provide most protective services to victims. The government did not identify any trafficking victims during the year. Law enforcement, immigration, and social service agencies did not develop or use formal procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations with which they had contact, such as women and girls in prostitution and undocumented migrants. The government did not operate any victim care facilities specifically for trafficking victims, but provided limited services to child sex trafficking victims at shelters for child victims of any crime or abuse. Courts granted custody of child victims to the Department of Social Welfare, which operates four homes, with separate facilities for boys and girls. At present, however, both child victims of sexual abuse and accused child offenders are placed in the home for boys.

The government provided no shelter facilities for adult trafficking victims, and it did not refer possible adult trafficking victims to shelters and drop-in centers run by NGOs for assistance. One NGO provided assistance to seven victims of human trafficking. Authorities undertook no investigation into the circumstances of suspected victims of trafficking and deported five Chinese women arrested for engaging in prostitution in August 2009. Anti-trafficking laws include provisions to ensure that sex trafficking victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The new Crimes Decree contains significant protection provisions for children, making it an offense to buy, hire, or otherwise obtain possession of any child under the age of 18 years with the intent that the minor shall at any age be employed or used for the purpose of exploitation, and authorizing the court to divest authority from a parent or guardian over a minor under 21 years if the court believes the parent or guardian is responsible for the seduction, prostitution or unlawful detention of that minor.

Prevention
The Government of Fiji increased its efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the year, although it had no national plan of action to address trafficking during the reporting period. The government acted to raise both public and official awareness of trafficking. It developed and provided internal training for police and court personnel on the new Crimes Decree’s trafficking provisions. The government worked with the media to raise awareness of trafficking. High-level officials condemned trafficking and announced their commitment to fight this crime during press conferences. Relevant ministries and agencies provided information to media outlets and encouraged them to release news stories on trafficking. The CLAG, the National Coordinating Committee on Children (NCCC), and representatives from various ministries met regularly to discuss legislative and policy issues concerning children, including child sexual abuse which may be linked to trafficking. The new Crimes Decree nullified earlier law, which allowed for sex trafficking victims to be treated as criminals. The Crimes Decree criminalizes the clients of prostituted persons, whereas the older Penal Code had criminalized only prostituted persons and pimps. In addition, Fiji’s new sexual abuse laws have extraterritorial coverage to allow the prosecution of suspected Fijian sex tourists for crimes committed abroad. Anti-trafficking laws apply to Fijians deployed abroad as part of peacekeeping missions, and the Fijian government provided anti-trafficking training for troops prior to their deployment on international peacekeeping missions. Fiji is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

FINLAND (Tier 1)

Finland is a transit and destination for women and girls from Russia, the Baltic countries, the Caucasus, Asia, Africa and the Caribbean subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution, as well as Indian, Chinese, Pakistani and Bangladeshi men and women in forced labor. Forced labor victims are exploited in the construction industry, restaurants, agriculture and as cleaners and domestic servants. There were indications that forced begging was also a problem. Officials believed that most labor trafficking was tied to non-Finnish businesses and speculated there are likely small numbers of trafficked workers in most Finnish cities. NGOs suspected foreign wives involved in arranged marriages were vulnerable to trafficking. Finnish teenagers in prostitution may also be vulnerable to human trafficking. The government estimates that there may be hundreds of trafficking victims in Finland every year.

The Government of Finland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Although victim identification numbers remained low, the government initiated new forced labor prosecutions and drafted an in-depth assessment of the government’s anti-trafficking efforts, which will be made public later in 2010. The government’s efforts to monitor and scrutinize its anti-trafficking actions reflected a high level of political will to address human trafficking.

Recommendations for Finland: Encourage prosecutors to make greater use of the trafficking statute; ensure traffickers receive sentences commensurate with the gravity of this human rights abuse; consider establishment of a specialized anti-trafficking police unit; encourage officials to proactively identify potential sex and labor trafficking victims and refer them to services to which they are entitled under Finnish law; expand victim identification and referral training to judges, labor inspectors, and other officials with investigative authority; and explore ways to streamline government funding and other support for anti-trafficking NGOs.

Prosecution
The Government of Finland made limited progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Law 1889-39 of the Finnish penal code prohibits all severe forms of trafficking and prescribes up to 10 years’ imprisonment for convicted offenders, penalties sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Other criminal statutes – such as pandering, which prescribe lower penalties – were exclusively used to prosecute sex trafficking offenders; one official suggested amending the pandering provision to encourage prosecutors to use the penal code’s trafficking statute for sex trafficking. Police reported conducting 59 human trafficking investigations during 2009. In 2009, authorities prosecuted at least five people for sex trafficking offenses and two for labor trafficking compared with nine prosecutions for sex trafficking in 2008. In 2009, two people were convicted for trafficking offenses, down from nine in 2008. Since 2006, sentences have ranged from 1.5 to 5.5 years imprisonment; there were no reports of suspended sentences. There were no known reports of government complicity in trafficking during the reporting period. Although the government does not have a specialized anti-trafficking law enforcement unit, it integrated formal anti-trafficking awareness into police and border guard training curricula for new recruits and in-service personnel. The government has also provided anti-trafficking training to its prosecutors for the past four years.

Protection
The Finnish government sustained victim assistance efforts during the reporting period. It continued to provide direct shelter, trafficking-specific rehabilitative assistance, and medical care to adult and child victims in addition to its provision of funding for NGO-run shelters. Police and border guard officials used a series of written guidelines on victim referral and treatment developed by the Finnish Immigration Service to proactively identify victims of trafficking; however, one official raised concerns that the threshold for referral to services was too high. During the reporting period, officials referred 13 victims to service providers, raising concerns about the low number of potential victims identified and the effectiveness of victim identification procedures. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders. Under the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage, victims of crime could receive government compensation for personal injury, damage to property, or other financial loss caused by a crime. Finnish authorities provided identified trafficking victims with a six-month reflection period, a time for victims to receive immediate care and assistance while they consider whether to assist law enforcement. There were no indications, however, that the reflection period was used extensively. Victims of trafficking wishing to stay longer than six months were eligible to apply for an extended residence permit or asylum as an alternative to deportation. The government granted permanent residence permits to seven victims during the reporting period. The government made some effort to ensure victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government provided anti-trafficking awareness training for labor inspectors, diplomatic personnel, public health workers, immigration adjudication staff and Finnair flight attendants.

Prevention
The government made progress in its efforts to prevent human trafficking. The national anti-trafficking rapporteur, an independent entity within the government, drafted an extensive assessment of the government’s anti-trafficking efforts and included recommendations for improvement applicable to a global audience; the report will be made public later in 2010. The government’s efforts to monitor and scrutinize its anti-trafficking actions reflected a high level of political will to address human trafficking. Officials targeted women in Finland’s commercial sex trade for distribution of pamphlets on trafficking indicators and their rights in source country languages. Through ongoing partnerships with civil society, the government funded a series of NGO-operated hotlines servicing victims of trafficking and domestic violence. In an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex, the government prosecuted 35 people for buying sexual services from a victim of human trafficking. The Finish government bolstered an anti-trafficking partnership with the Government of Nigeria by providing approximately $1.1 million toward Nigeria’s anti-trafficking agency. For another consecutive year, the government distributed brochures to thousands of visitors at a major annual travel fair warning that child sex tourism is a crime. Finland’s laws provide extraterritorial jurisdiction over child sex tourism offenses perpetrated overseas by Finnish nationals. The government did not prosecute any persons for suspected child sex tourism offenses in 2009. The Ministry of Defense provided Finnish troops assigned to international peacekeeping missions with intensive anti-trafficking training aimed at providing deployed forces with the ability to identify potential trafficking victims; there were no trafficking-related cases involving Finnish troops or government personnel deployed overseas in 2009.

FRANCE (Tier 1)

France is a destination country for men, women, and children from Eastern Europe, West Africa, and Asia, as well as the Caribbean and Brazil, subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Women and children, many from Africa, continued to be subjected to forced domestic servitude. Often their “employers” are diplomats who enjoy diplomatic immunity from prosecution, including those from Saudi Arabia. Reportedly men from North Africa are subjected to forced labor in the agricultural and construction sectors in southern France. The Government of France estimates that the majority of the 18,000 women in France’s commercial sex trade are likely forced into prostitution. It also estimates a significant number of children in France are victims of forced prostitution, primarily from Romania, West Africa, and North Africa. Romani and other unaccompanied minors in France continued to be vulnerable to forced begging. There were reportedly six French women subjected to forced prostitution in Luxembourg in 2009.

Women and children from Brazil were subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution in the French overseas territory of French Guiana. There are also a number of young women in prostitution from Haiti, Suriname, and the Dominican Republic in French Guiana, some of whom may be vulnerable to trafficking. The French government investigated the existence of forced labor and forced prostitution occurring in gold mining sites in French Guiana in 2009, initiating 17 legal proceedings and arresting two trafficking offenders in French Guiana during the reporting period.

The Government of France fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to train prosecutors and judges to make better use of France’s anti-trafficking law, continued to prosecute forced prostitution and forced labor offenders, and increased public-private partnerships to prevent trafficking. The government reported identifying a significant number of trafficking victims in 2009. While the government concluded that all identified victims were referred for care and assistance, it reported it did not officially collect or monitor this data in 2009.

Recommendations for France: Increase implementation of France’s anti-trafficking statute; improve protections for all unaccompanied minors in France who are potentially victims of trafficking; improve implementation of proactive identification procedures and referral for potential trafficking victims; enhance collection and compilation of law enforcement and victim assistance data, including a breakdown of types of involuntary servitude and prosecutions for forced labor trafficking; ensure trafficking victims are not inappropriately penalized solely for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked; continue to establish a more victim-centered approach to trafficking in France, including measures to ensure victims who denounce their traffickers are provided with adequate safety and support; and report on assistance provided to identified victims of trafficking in mainland France and in French Guiana.

Prosecution
The Government of France sustained progress in its law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking. France prohibits trafficking for sexual exploitation through Article 225 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape. In January 2009, the government amended its anti-trafficking law to include a specific definition of forced labor. The government reported convicting 19 trafficking offenders under its anti-trafficking statute in 2008, the most recent year for which data was available, compared with 33 convicted trafficking offenders in 2007. The government did not provide an average sentence for these 19 traffickers, but reported the maximum sentence was up to seven years imprisonment. In addition, the government reported convicting an additional 26 trafficking offenders for the forced prostitution of children, with sentences up to seven years. French officials continued to rely largely on anti-pimping provisions of the country’s penal code to prosecute suspected sex trafficking offenses. The government reported 523 prosecutions under its anti-pimping statute in 2008; approximately 16 percent of the original arrests were for trafficking-specific offenses. The Government of France successfully dismantled 40 trafficking rings in France in 2009 and cooperated to dismantle 14 international networks with bilateral partners through joint investigation teams aimed at investigating and prosecuting cases across borders.

Protection
The national government and city of Paris continued to partner with NGOs in order to provide trafficking victims with a network of services and shelters during the reporting period. The government provided some indirect funding for victims’ care in 2009; however, it did not report overall funding allocations to NGOs for victims of trafficking. One NGO reported it received 20 percent of its budget from the government in 2009 but had to seek private funding in order to provide temporary housing for trafficking victims. Another NGO reported it worked with pro-bono medical and social service providers in order to assist victims of forced labor. A third NGO working with unaccompanied minors who are at risk of becoming victims of trafficking in France reported that it received 98 percent of its budget from the government in 2009. The government reported police and other authorities identified and referred 799 trafficking victims to NGOs for assistance in 2009; however, it reported that it did not officially collect or track data on the actual number or percentage of these identified victims that it referred for shelter and assistance. The NGO Committee Against Modern Slavery (CCEM) reported 216 cases of forced labor in France in 2008; 120 of these victims were reportedly placed in protective custody. The government increased its partnership with the Romanian government in order to improve the protection, return, and reintegration of Romani unaccompanied minors. The French government provided witness protection services and issued one-year residency permits, which can be renewed every six months, to victims of trafficking who cooperated with authorities in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers; the government also provided identified victims with assistance and a 30-day reflection period to decide whether to cooperate with law enforcement. A trafficking victim may receive a permanent residency card though only if the defendant is successfully convicted by the government. The government did not report the number of victims that received residence permits or cards in 2009. One NGO continued to express frustration with the fees required for the residency permit and renewal of the permit. NGOs continued to provide monthly stipends to trafficking victims, with some of these stipends provided by the government. The government formally assists trafficking victims seeking return to their countries of origin, though fewer than five percent usually decide to do so. Although the border police reportedly used indicator cards to proactively identify victims, French border police do not have any systematic procedures in place to identify trafficking victims, according to a 2009 report by Human Rights Watch. Some local observers continued to criticize the government’s lack of a proactive approach to identifying trafficking victims and reported that some women in prostitution are arrested and fined for solicitation without being screened to determine if they are trafficking victims. To address this deficiency, the government reported it continued to provide mandatory training to all law enforcement personnel to increase their identification and awareness of potential trafficking victims in 2009.

A 2009 Human Rights Watch Report cited the French government for alleged abusive police treatment and the forced removal of unaccompanied minors from Roissy Charles de Gaulle Airport. The report described French authorities’ policy of detaining unaccompanied minors, including potential trafficking victims, in a designated “transit zone” at the airport. French authorities failed to screen these children for indications of trafficking, treating them as irregular migrants, which resulted in their deportation and which could make them vulnerable to re-trafficking or persecution in their home countries. The report documented two cases in which the government failed to adequately identify two children from Nigeria and Guinea as trafficking victims, in one case the victim’s trafficker visited her in detention to collect money. Reportedly, the French Red Cross regularly alerts French authorities about the need to improve the response to children who appear to be trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Government of France sustained strong prevention efforts in 2009 and led European efforts to prevent human trafficking on the Internet. Its multi-disciplinary group met throughout 2009 to improve national coordination and ensure a victim-centered approach. The government launched a national campaign in 2010 combating violence against women in all forms; the campaign highlighted trafficking in persons as part of this broader campaign. In January 2010, the government sponsored a nationwide conference that brought together law enforcement, magistrates, and NGOs to improve partnerships in order to better protect victims and prevent trafficking. The government, in partnership with the hotel industry, provided training for managers and employees of major hotel groups on identification techniques for potential victims of trafficking and how to report potential trafficking. As a law enforcement activity that could serve to prevent human trafficking, the government reported convicting 149 offenders for “crimes related to modern day slavery,” including 117 convictions for “subjecting vulnerable individuals to indecent accommodations and working conditions” and 32 convictions for “withholding wages of vulnerable individuals.” In October 2009, the government announced the creation of a public-private partnership to address child sports trafficking and committed $2.74 million towards the initiative. In 2009, ECPAT France launched a progressive public awareness campaign in cooperation with Air France, over which the government exercises considerable influence, to target French child sex tourists; the campaign stressed the legal consequences of such sexual exploitation crimes committed abroad and the government’s commitment to prosecute these crimes in French courts, imposing strong prison sentences for convicted offenders. The government did not conduct or fund any demand-reduction awareness campaigns aimed at raising awareness among potential clients of victims in France. The government provided all French military and law enforcement personnel with general training on trafficking during their basic training. There was also a three-week general training given to French military personnel before their deployment abroad for international peacekeeping missions.

In March 2009, the government convicted two French nationals for aggravated sex tourism offenses they committed in Southeast Asia; both received the maximum sentences of seven years. In September 2009, French Police dismantled a makeshift camp for undocumented migrants near the port of Calais, known colloquially as “the jungle,” and rounded up almost 300 Afghans, Pakistanis, and others who had hoped to cross the English Channel into Britain. Although media reports indicated that French officials hailed the demolition as a prevention measure for trafficking, it is unclear as to whether the action was explicitly intended to be an anti-trafficking measure. Local observers and international experts criticized the government’s response, citing it increased these migrants vulnerability to trafficking.



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