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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Country Narratives: Countries G Through M


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GABON (Tier 2 Watch List)

Gabon is primarily a destination and transit country for children from Benin, Nigeria, Togo, Mali, Guinea, and other West African countries who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Some victims transit Gabon en route to exploitation in Equatorial Guinea. According to UNICEF, the majority of victims are boys who are forced to work as street hawkers or mechanics. Girls generally are subjected to conditions of involuntary domestic servitude, or forced labor in markets or roadside restaurants. Stepped-up coastal surveillance over the past year – especially following the October 2009 arrival in Gabonese waters of a sea vessel, the M/S Sharon, carrying 34 child trafficking victims, some of whom were destined for Equatorial Guinea – caused traffickers to change their routes, including utilizing estuaries and rivers to transport children. The majority of victims were young girls, a departure from previous patterns of trafficking in the region. Trafficking offenders appear to operate in loose ethnic-based crime networks. Most child traffickers are women, who serve as intermediaries in their countries of origin. In some cases, child victims report that their parents had turned them over to intermediaries promising employment opportunities in Gabon. The government has no reports of international organized crime syndicates, employment agencies, marriage brokers, or travel services facilitating trafficking in Gabon. In 2009, the government began tracking a new trend of young adults between ages 18 and 25 being forced into domestic servitude or prostitution in Gabon.

The Government of Gabon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts – most notably the arrests of seven suspected traffickers and the expansion of protection services for child victims of trafficking – the government did not show evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking; therefore, Gabon is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year. Specifically, the government did not, for another consecutive year, provide information on prosecutions or convictions of traffickers, despite its arrest of over 30 suspected offenders between 2003 and 2008.

Recommendations for Gabon: Greatly increase efforts to prosecute, convict, and punish human trafficking offenders; ratify the 2000 UN TIP Protocol; harmonize the penal code with the ratified protocol, including the enactment of provisions prohibiting the trafficking of adults; strengthen cooperation between law enforcement, immigration, and gendarmerie to jointly address trafficking cases; and develop a system to track trafficking cases and provide relevant statistics.

Prosecution
The Government of Gabon demonstrated limited progress in anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Gabon does not prohibit all forms of human trafficking. Law 09/04 enacted in September 2004, is used to protect children against sex or labor trafficking in Gabon, and prescribes penalties of five to 15 years’ imprisonment, along with fines of $20,000 to $40,000; these penalties are sufficiently stringent. The procurement of a child for the purpose of prostitution is prohibited under Penal Code Article 261, which prescribes two to five years’ imprisonment and a fine, a penalty that is sufficiently stringent. Forced prostitution of adults is prohibited by law 21/63-94, which prescribes two to 10 years’ imprisonment, a penalty that is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In the reporting period, the government reported seven arrests for trafficking, but did not provide details of the cases. The government did not report any trafficking prosecutions or convictions during the year. In February 2010, three suspected traffickers were arrested on the border trying to bring 18 young adults from Cameroon, Mali, Burkina Faso, and Guinea into Gabon. The suspects remain jailed as the investigation continues. As the Criminal Court maintained its calendar providing for only one meeting per year, and for one week, suspected trafficking offenders typically waited in jail for trials, and received credit for time served.

Protection
The Government of Gabon showed progress in its efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking received access to necessary protective services during the reporting season. Government personnel employed procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as migrant children, and referred them systematically to government or NGO shelters. In responding to the M/S Sharon, authorities identified the 34 children aboard the vessel (among 285 others) as trafficking victims and took steps to provide them with assistance. The government coordinated the repatriation of the vessel’s victims to their countries of origin with the concerned governments, guided by the Gabonese Procedural Manual for the Treatment of Trafficking Victims.

In direct support of victim protection measures, the government spent approximately $270,000 to support three centers offering foster care to child victims of trafficking, in Libreville and Port Gentil. One of the centers is completely government-funded, while the other two are financed partly by the government through material donations and social worker access. These centers provided shelter, medical care, education, and rehabilitation services, as well as psychosocial services to educate victims on asserting their rights. The government provided temporary de facto resident status for trafficking victims, and refrained from deporting them. The government also began rehabilitation of the government’s Agondje Welcome Center and another center in Port Gentil, and it opened child protection centers in Franceville, Moanda and Tchibanga. The government also opened six centers for street children and the Ministry of Interior operated two transit centers for illegal immigrants – an alternative to jail.

During 2009, 34 child trafficking victims were handled in the government- and NGO-run shelters. In cases where adult victims of trafficking were identified, the government ceased sheltering them in jails or prisons. Security forces attempted to identify trafficking victims among high-risk populations they encountered, and sent them to government shelters when appropriate as law enforcement officials ascertained their status. Security forces routinely took testimony at the time of arrest of the trafficker or recovery of the victim, though in many cases victims were repatriated before prosecutors could depose them. In the M/S Sharon case, the government formed a team in partnership with the government of Benin, UNICEF, and an international NGO to trace the families of the child trafficking victims on this vessel and arrange for their safe return to Benin. During the year, the government developed and published a National Procedural Manual for Assisting Trafficking Victims. The Ministry of Family and Social Services trained 30 sets of trainers and over 100 social workers in a six-week curriculum on government procedures for handling victims.

Prevention
The Gabonese government made modest efforts to prevent human trafficking over the last year. In 2009, as the first step in its effort to improve targeting of its prevention messages, it surveyed 2,500 residents to examine the public’s understanding of violence against children, including trafficking. In accordance with the survey findings, an outreach campaign aimed at identifying child victims of violence will begin. In his effort to increase awareness, the country’s President raised the topic of trafficking in Council of Ministers meetings. Also in 2009, the government monitored migration patterns for evidence of trafficking to Gabon. The government stepped up its efforts to enhance maritime security through aerial surveillance. An inter-Ministerial Committee to Combat Child Trafficking was created by Law 09/04. The inter-ministerial committee published and distributed leaflets and posters entitled “STOP child exploitation” to highlight forms and consequences of trafficking and its hotline number. Heavy government press coverage of anti-trafficking training sponsored by a foreign government helped raise awareness of victim identification and law enforcement responses. The government did not take action during the reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts; however, the commercial sex trade is not a widespread problem in Gabon. Gabon is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

THE GAMBIA (Tier 2)

The Gambia is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Within The Gambia, women and girls and, to a lesser extent, boys are trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation, as well as for domestic servitude. For generations, parents sent their sons to live with Koranic teachers or marabouts, who more often forced children to beg than ensured their progress in religious studies. However, this practice is declining as the security forces now routinely interrogate the marabout of any beggar they find in the streets. Some observers noted only a small number of trafficking victims, but others see The Gambia’s porous borders as an active transit zone for women, girls, and boys from West African countries − mainly Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and Benin – who are recruited for exploitation in the sex trade, in particular to meet the demands of European tourists seeking sex with children. Most trafficking offenders in The Gambia are probably individuals who operate independently of international syndicates. The government’s Department of Social Welfare and Tourism Security Unit are compiling electronic databases and conventional lists of trafficking cases, offenders, and victims, which may soon provide a clearer picture of how traffickers operate and how they differ from the migrant smugglers whose cases are now filling the country’s courts.

The Government of The Gambia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. At the highest level, the government acknowledges that trafficking exists in the country. The Gambian government lacks funding and resources to fight trafficking, though it continued to monitor and evaluate the trafficking problem in the country. Every law enforcement agency has anti-trafficking or child protection units. In July 2009, the government took an important step to increase efficiency in law enforcement by adopting a biometric national identity card system called GAMBIS.

Recommendations for The Gambia: Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; develop a central police database of anti-trafficking law enforcement activities, including arrests and prosecutions; develop an educational module for police and government officials that will assist them in distinguishing trafficking from smuggling, and traffickers from smugglers; and develop formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among women and girls in prostitution.

Prosecution
The Government of The Gambia demonstrated limited progress in its anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts, resulting in one conviction of a trafficking offender during the reporting period. The Gambia prohibits all forms of trafficking through its October 2007 Trafficking in Persons Act. The law does not differentiate between sexual exploitation and labor exploitation, and prescribes penalties of from 15 years’ to life imprisonment, penalties which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The Gambia’s 2005 Children’s Act also prohibits all forms of child trafficking, prescribing a maximum penalty of life imprisonment. In July 2009, a Banjul court convicted a Gambian man of trafficking two children and sentenced him to two years’ imprisonment. In June 2009, authorities investigated reports that a group of girls from Ghana had been trafficked to a fishing settlement called “Ghana Town” for exploitation in prostitution. An interagency team of investigators visited the site and found the reports to be inaccurate. The government did not provide specialized anti-trafficking training for law enforcement and immigration officials during the reporting period.

Protection
The government improved its victim protection efforts during the reporting period. It did not undertake proactive efforts to identify foreign trafficking victims. The government continued to operate a 24-hour shelter, made up of three units with accommodations for 48 victims. The shelter did not receive any trafficked children during 2009. The government maintained and funded a 24-hour hotline number that directly connected callers with two dedicated officers of the Department of Social Welfare. The line was created as a family assistance tool, but was also advertised as an available resource for victims of trafficking. The government maintained a drop-in center for street children, including victims of trafficking, and it provided both the shelter and the drop-in center with an annual budget of about $11,500, in addition to contributions from UNICEF and a faith-based NGO. The government also provided food, medical care, and counseling to all trafficking victims, whether nationals or foreigners. Victims could obtain emergency temporary residence visas under the Trafficking in Persons Act, though none did so during the year. The government did not identify or assist with the repatriation of any Gambian victims of transnational trafficking during the year. Under the law, however, repatriated nationals were eligible for government-provided care and rehabilitation measures. Gambian authorities identified at least three people as trafficking victims during the reporting period – two young girls, whose trafficker was prosecuted and imprisoned in July 2009, and a Nigerian girl who reported her trafficking plight to the Child Protection Alliance and the Police Child Welfare Officer in October. The two children were returned to their parents, but the Nigerian girl disappeared. There was no formal system for proactively identifying victims of trafficking, but law enforcement and border control officers who were alert to trafficking situations more intensively questioned adults who arrived at the border with children. There were not enough active trafficking cases to make an assessment about respect for victims’ rights, but if trafficking was suspected or identified, Social Welfare would likely have interceded and no victim would have been prosecuted or fined. Training conducted throughout the year attempted to give security officers the ability to identify and assist potential trafficking victims. There was only one reported case of a victim assisting the authorities in investigation. The government undertook efforts to train and further educate officials in recognizing human trafficking situations and victims. During the year, the government designated officers within each major police station to be responsible for assisting and counseling any potential trafficking victims. However, the government provided no information on such training for The Gambia’s embassies and consulates in foreign countries.

Prevention
The Government of The Gambia sustained moderate efforts to prevent trafficking through awareness-raising during the reporting period. The government previously supported anti-trafficking and information campaigns, most conducted by NGOs, but reported few such campaigns in 2009. Government-controlled media continued to publicize the dangers of trafficking. There was no comprehensive analysis of emigration and immigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. In December 2009, the government dissolved its multiagency National Task Force for Combating Trafficking in Persons and allocated approximately $111,000 to finance the establishment of the new National Agency to Combat Trafficking in Persons, which was designated to implement the national anti-trafficking plan of action. The government’s Tourism Security Unit (TSU) effectively patrolled the Tourism Development Area – the zone most frequented by tourists − to combat child sex tourism and reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The TSU continued to enforce a 2005 ban on unattended children visiting the tourist resort areas and remitted them to the custody of the Department of Social Welfare. Police sometimes arrested persons suspected of engaging in prostitution. However, these measures were not strong deterrents, and reflected the common perception that prostitution was meeting the needs of tourists who drove a major part of the country’s economy. In March 2009, the government convicted a New Zealand national of child pornography and sentenced him to one year’s imprisonment; he was acquitted of child defilement charges. Child sex tourism was a problem in The Gambia, but the authorities did not report any prosecution or convictions of child sex tourists during the reporting period.

The Gambian government provided its troops with antihuman trafficking training, including warnings against committing any immoral behavior that may bring their force into disrepute, prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

GEORGIA (Tier 1)

Georgia is primarily a source country for women and girls subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution, and for men and women in conditions of forced labor. In 2009, women and girls from Georgia were subjected to forced prostitution within the country and also in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Greece. In recent years, cases of forced prostitution of Georgian victims were also documented in Russia, Germany, and Austria. Men and women are subjected to conditions of forced labor within Georgia and also in Libya and Turkey. Men from Turkey are subjected to conditions of forced labor in the breakaway region of Abkhazia, which was outside of the Georgian government’s control.

The Government of Georgia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government demonstrated strong efforts to identify and assist victims of trafficking and again increased its victim assistance funding to $312,000. The government also demonstrated impressive law enforcement success, significantly increasing the number of individuals convicted of trafficking, and again ensuring all convicted trafficking offenders served some time in prison. The Georgian government also demonstrated strong prevention efforts and continued its close partnership with anti-trafficking NGOs in both victim assistance and prevention efforts.

Recommendations for Georgia: Continue strong funding for victim assistance programs; continue to increase the number of victims identified and referred for assistance; continue to ensure victims are not fined or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; and continue strong efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict both labor and sex trafficking offenders.

Prosecution
The Government of Georgia demonstrated increased law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Georgia prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through Article 143 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties ranging from seven to 20 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2009, the government investigated 33 trafficking cases, compared with 14 investigations in 2008. Authorities prosecuted 40 individuals for trafficking – including three individuals for forced labor – compared with 10 individuals prosecuted for sex trafficking in 2008.

Thirty-seven trafficking offenders were convicted in 2009, a significant increase from 10 convicted offenders in 2008. All 37 convicted trafficking offenders were sentenced to time in prison; none received a suspended sentence. The average sentence was 21 years’ imprisonment. There were no reports of trafficking-related complicity of law enforcement personnel from either NGOs or the government. In 2009, the government relied on partnerships with local NGOs and international organizations to provide trafficking training to approximately 170 prosecutors and judges. The training concentrated on mechanisms for proactive victim identification, special methods for investigation and the collection of evidence, and prosecution techniques, and highlighted the importance of partnerships with NGOs, social workers, and psychologists during victim interviews.

Protection
The Georgian government maintained its significant victim assistance efforts over the reporting period. The government allocated a total of $312,000 for victim assistance during the reporting period; of that, it provided $150,000 to fully fund two government-run trafficking shelters, the same amount as funded in 2008. These shelters provided comprehensive victim assistance, including medical aid, psychological counseling, and legal assistance. Victim assistance was not conditional upon cooperating with law enforcement. The government continued to implement a formal mechanism for its officials to identify and refer victims for assistance. The government identified 48 victims in 2009 and referred 15 victims for assistance, an increase from 21 trafficking victims identified in 2008. The government provided shelter and comprehensive assistance to 15 victims, compared with 10 victims in 2008. The government also made available one-time compensation payments of $650 to trafficking victims in 2009. However, no victims applied for the funds during the reporting period. Five victims were given $600 each in 2008. Georgian authorities provided foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they would face hardship or retribution; the Law on Legal Status of Foreigners provided a foreign person suspected of being a victim of trafficking the right to a residence permit even if authorities could not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the person was a victim. In 2009, no foreign victims requested a residence permit. The government cooperated with IOM and fully funded the repatriation of one foreign victim during the reporting period. Victims were encouraged to assist law enforcement with trafficking investigations and prosecutions; 18 victims assisted law enforcement during the reporting period. There were no reports that victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Georgia sustained its efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The government produced and broadcast during the first six months of 2009 a short television public service announcement explaining the nature and danger of human trafficking. The Ministry of Education and Science produced a short television announcement targeting school-age children entitled “Do Not Trade Freedom for Slavery,” which was regularly aired on television. The government reportedly distributed 20,000 informational pamphlets to four regions of the country and at the Tbilisi international airport. The regions targeted were high risk areas for migration and thus vulnerable to trafficking: Imereti (near the Russian border and the Georgian separatist region of Abkhazia), Ajara (bordering Turkey), Rustavi (near Azerbaijan), and Guria (near Turkey). The pamphlets were distributed through the Offices of the Civil Registry Agency of the Ministry of Justice, and through a program involving students in a public awareness campaign. The government sustained close partnerships with NGOs to jointly conduct several trafficking awareness and prevention campaigns during the year. The government demonstrated efforts to reduce the demand for both commercial sex acts and forced labor by informing the public through television ads and media interviews with government officials of Georgia’s law punishing “clients” who benefit from the services of trafficking victims.

GERMANY (Tier 1)

Germany is a source, transit, and destination country for women, children, and men subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Ninety percent of identified victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation came from Europe, including 28 percent from Germany, 20 percent from Romania, and 18 percent from Bulgaria. Non-European victims originated in Nigeria, other parts of Africa, Asia and the Western Hemisphere. Almost one-quarter of identified trafficking victims were children. The majority of identified sex trafficking victims have been exploited in bars, brothels, and apartments – approximately one third of identified sex trafficking victims reported that they had agreed initially to engage in prostitution. Victims of forced labor have been identified in hotels, domestic service, construction sites, and restaurants. Police estimate that gangs brought around 1,000 Chinese people to Germany over the past decade and forced them to work in restaurants under exploitative conditions. Members of ethnic minorities, such as Roma, as well as foreign unaccompanied minors who arrived in Germany, were particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government made substantial progress in addressing forced labor. However, available statistics indicate the majority of convicted labor and sex trafficking offenders were not required to serve time in prison, raising concerns that punishments were inadequate to deter traffickers or did not reflect the heinous nature of the offense.

Recommendations for Germany: Explore ways to increase the number of convicted traffickers who receive sentences commensurate with the gravity of this human rights abuse; establish a national anti-trafficking rapporteur to draft critical assessments on Germany’s efforts to punish traffickers, protect victims, and prevent trafficking; ensure forced labor and child victims’ access to appropriate assistance and protection; standardize victim assistance measures and government-civil society cooperation across the 16 federal states; and strengthen awareness campaigns targeting beneficiaries of forced labor and clients of the sex trade, particularly in the most frequented red light districts; and consider creating a mechanism to coordinate German efforts to address forced labor.

Prosecution
The Government of Germany made clear progress in the conviction of sex and labor trafficking offenders, but most convicted traffickers were not required to serve time in prison. Germany prohibits all forms of trafficking; trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation is criminalized in Section 232 of its Penal Code, and forced labor is criminalized under Section 233. Prescribed punishments in these statutes range from six months’ to 10 years’ imprisonment and are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes. It is common practice for judges in Germany to suspend prison sentences of two years or less for all crimes, including trafficking. Authorities prosecuted 173 persons for sex trafficking in 2008, the last year for which statistics were available. Of those, 138 were convicted, including seven juveniles, up from 123 convictions for sex trafficking in 2007. Of the 131 adults convicted, 92 – or 70 percent – received either a fine or a suspended sentence. Prison sentences for the remainder ranged from two to 10 years imprisonment. Authorities prosecuted 25 persons for labor trafficking in 2008; 16 were convicted, including seven juveniles, up from eight labor trafficking convictions in 2007. Of the nine adult labor trafficking offenders, one received a sentence of between three to five years imprisonment and the remaining eight received suspended sentences or fines. Police boosted efforts against labor trafficking in 2008—more than 1,300 police officers and customs officials took part in raids in several cities. There were no reports of trafficking-related complicity of government officials during the reporting period. The government, in partnership with NGOs, provided a range of specialized anti-trafficking training to judges, prosecutors, and police. The federal criminal police counter-trafficking office coordinated international trafficking cases and promoted partnership with other countries by offering training programs for foreign law enforcement.

Protection
The German government sustained its victim protection efforts during the reporting period. The Federal Family Ministry fully funded the umbrella organization representing 39 NGOs and counseling centers that provided or facilitated shelter, medical and psychological care, legal assistance, and other services for victims. The majority of these NGOs focused on adult, female victims; however, a number of NGOs, in cooperation with local governmental youth welfare services, also attended to child victims. Some of these NGOs also made their services available to male victims. The government continued to distribute formal guidelines on victim identification techniques to police, counseling centers, prosecutors and judges. According to the federal police, authorities proactively identified 38 percent of all victims registered by the government in 2008. Authorities registered 676 sex trafficking victims and 96 forced labor victims in 2008, down from 689 sex trafficking victims and 101 forced labor victims identified in 2007. Formal victim referral mechanisms existed in 12 out of 16 German states. The government encouraged victims to cooperate in anti-trafficking investigations; however, police and NGOs reported that victims were often reluctant to assist law enforcement officials due to fear of retribution from traffickers. The government provided legal alternatives to foreign victims’ removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Trafficking victims were provided a 30-day reflection period to decide whether to cooperate with investigators. Victims who agreed to act as witnesses were provided temporary residence permits for the duration of trial proceedings as well as long-term residence permits in certain circumstances, such as when the victim faced severe threats in the country of origin. The government reportedly did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The governmental German Institute for Human Rights in July 2009 began a $800,000 project to assist trafficking victims in claiming their financial rights in German courts, as few victims had made claims for financial compensation.

Prevention
The government made some progress in trafficking prevention activities during the reporting period. The government sustained funding for NGOs that produced public awareness campaigns in Germany and abroad through websites, postcards, telephone hotlines, pamphlets, and speaking engagements. The government did not take measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or focus public awareness on potential clients in some of Germany’s best known red light districts, such as the one in Hamburg. A Berlin NGO, funded largely by the Berlin Senate, operated a trafficking awareness website directed at clients of the sex trade. The German Federal Police published an annual report containing statistics about its anti-trafficking activities. The Labor Ministry commissioned a study in 2009 to assess the extent of and government response to labor trafficking. The Federal Family Ministry, which has the responsibility for implementing the national anti-trafficking action plan, chaired a federal-state interagency working group on female sex trafficking. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs contributed approximately $297,000 toward anti-trafficking projects in Ukraine, Moldova, and the Mekong region. The government sustained a partnership with ECPAT to promote awareness of the child sex tourism problem; there were no reports of new prosecutions for child sex tourism by German citizens abroad during the reporting period. The government provided trafficking awareness training to commanders of German military units prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions; the training focused on how the commanders could sensitize subordinates to human trafficking.

GHANA (Tier 2)

Ghana is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. The nonconsensual exploitation of Ghanaian citizens, particularly children, is more common than the trafficking of foreign migrants. The movement of internally trafficked children is either from rural to urban areas, or from one rural area to another, as from farming to fishing communities. Ghanaian boys and girls are subjected to conditions of forced labor within the country in fishing, domestic servitude, street hawking, begging, portering, and agriculture. Ghanaian girls, and to a lesser extent boys, are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation within Ghana. Internal labor traffickers are commonly freelance operators, and may be known to members of the source community. Uninformed parents may not understand that by cooperating with trafficking offenders, they may expose their children to bonded placement, coercion, or outright sale. Media reports during the year cited 50 Ghanaian women recruited for work in Russia and subsequently forced into prostitution. Women and girls from China, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, and Burkina Faso are subjected to forced prostitution after arriving in Ghana. Citizens from other West African countries are subjected to forced labor in Ghana in agriculture or involuntary domestic servitude. Trafficking victims endure extremes of harsh treatment, including long hours, debt bondage, lack of pay, physical risks, and sexual abuse.

The Government of Ghana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. Ghana increased its law enforcement efforts by prosecuting and convicting an increased number of traffickers, including the first convictions relating to forced child labor in the Lake Volta fishing industry. The Ghanaian Police partnered with Interpol to host regional training for law enforcement officials from Anglophone Africa, and the government took steps to establish four regional anti-trafficking units to manage cases more effectively at the regional level. In August 2009, the president appointed new members to the Human Trafficking Management Board, which had been disbanded when the previous government left office in January 2009. However, the government did not demonstrate increased efforts to ensure that victims receive adequate protection, such as funding a shelter for trafficking victims, or increasing assistance to NGOs or international organizations to provide trafficking victim care.

Recommendations for Ghana: Increase efforts to ensure that all victims of trafficking have access to essential services, including increased funding for government shelters and establishing formal referral procedures implemented in partnership with NGOs and international organizations; improve data collection and reporting on victims identified and assisted; provide more training for police, prosecutors, and judges on implementation of the 2005 anti-trafficking law; and undertake more vigorous investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking offenses, and convictions and punishments of trafficking offenders.

Prosecution
The Government of Ghana demonstrated improved antihuman trafficking law enforcement efforts during the last year. Ghana prohibits all forms of trafficking through its 2005 Human Trafficking Act (HTA), which prescribes a minimum penalty of five years’ imprisonment for all forms of trafficking. This penalty is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. In July 2009, the Ghanaian parliament passed a law amending the definition of trafficking to give the HTA uniformity with the language of the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. The Ghana Police Service (GPS) maintains an Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) in its Criminal Investigation Division, which opened 31 trafficking investigations in 2009. The government initiated 15 trafficking prosecutions during the year, an increase over five prosecutions in 2008, and convicted six traffickers in 2009, an increase over the one conviction obtained in 2008. The AHTU claimed credit for repatriating 20 child victims of trafficking to neighboring countries. According to the AHTU, 61 percent of all trafficking cases reported in Ghana were labor-related, while 39 percent were sexual exploitation cases.

In June 2009, the government convicted three Chinese nationals of trafficking eight Chinese women to Ghana for exploitation in prostitution. The Accra Circuit Court sentenced the primary trafficking offender to 17 years’ imprisonment, including 10 years for human trafficking and two years for conspiracy. His brother received a 12-year sentence – 10 years for abetment and two years for conspiracy. In a second case, an offender received a jail sentence of eight years’ imprisonment for trafficking three Ghanaian children to Cote d’Ivoire. These sentences were well above the mandatory five year minimum. In January 2010, the Agona Swedru Circuit Court convicted a Ghanaian woman for enslaving two boys, ages six and eight, from the Central Region to fish on Lake Volta. The woman was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment – the first ever prosecution of a domestic trafficking offender in Ghana. The government joined with neighboring countries, as well as international organizations and foreign embassies, to prosecute transnational cases, most recently in a successful bid to break up a trafficking and prostitution ring that sent at least 50 Ghanaian women to Russia for the sex trade.

Protection
The government demonstrated overall improved victim protection efforts during the year. The government did not employ formal procedures for the identification of victims among vulnerable groups, such as women in prostitution or children at work sites, though it did show increased efforts at ad hoc identification of such victims. The government continued to operate dedicated trafficking shelters for victims of forced labor – in Osu and Medina in the greater Accra region and in the Atebubu Amant District Assembly in the Brong Ahafo region – but lacked shelter facilities for victims of sex trafficking. The government provided an unknown amount of funding for these shelters. Ghanaian authorities referred most identified victims to shelters operated by NGOs. According to the AHTU, victims received protective support during and after trials, and prosecutors took their statements behind closed doors to ensure their safety and conceal their identity. With the Interior Minister’s approval, a trafficking victim may remain permanently in Ghana if deemed to be in the victim’s best interest, though no victims were given such residency during the last year. There was no formal referral process to transfer victims in protective custody to other facilities. The government provided some training to law enforcement officials on identification of trafficking victims. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, though many victims were children afraid to provide testimony. The government provided assistance to its nationals who may have been trafficked, with an eye to rehabilitation and reintegration into the life of the country. Some victims were given capital to start businesses and others were supported to continue schooling or learn a trade. The government sustained partnerships with local and international NGOs to rescue and rehabilitate forced child laborers in fishing or mining during the reporting period.

Prevention
The Government of Ghana demonstrated renewed efforts to prevent trafficking over the last year. It conducted anti-trafficking education campaigns and workshops to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. Counter-trafficking officials spoke regularly with anti-trafficking messages on radio talk shows and on television. The Ghana Immigration Service maintained a task force responsible for patrolling the borders and ports to expose crimes related to human trafficking. The government developed a draft for a national plan of action covering human trafficking. The Accra Metropolitan Assembly demolished Soldier Bar, a brothel in Accra known to have employed children in prostitution. Ghana is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

GREECE (Tier 2)

Greece is a transit and destination country for women and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and for children, men, and women who are in conditions of forced labor. The government and NGOs report that female sex trafficking victims originate primarily in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and Nigeria. One NGO reported that teenage males, typically unaccompanied minors from Afghanistan and sub-Saharan Africa, are forced into prostitution in Greece. Greek police reported the trend of traffickers increasingly using emotional abuse and financial harm as tools of coercion, instead of physical force, in attempts to evade law enforcement prosecution. Forced labor victims found in Greece originated primarily in Albania, Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh, and many were forced to work in the agriculture or construction sectors in debt bondage. Greek police estimated that there are likely hundreds of forced labor victims in Greece. NGOs reported that children, mainly Roma from Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania, were forced to sell small items, beg, or steal. The approximately 1,000 unaccompanied foreign minors who enter Greece yearly are highly vulnerable to human trafficking.

The Government of Greece does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government made clear progress in prosecuting labor and sex trafficking offenses, identifying victims, implementing a child victim protection agreement with Albania, and in advancing prevention activities. Concerns remained about a trafficking-related police complicity case, inadequate victim identification among coast guard, border police, and vice police as well as inadequate funding for anti-trafficking NGOs.

Recommendations for Greece: Vigorously prosecute officials complicit in trafficking; continue efforts to equip and train officials most likely to encounter trafficking victims, such as the coast guard and border police, in trafficking victim identification and assistance procedures; encourage the sustainability of funding for anti-trafficking NGOs; ensure potential victims are offered assistance and deportation relief available under Greek law and not penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked; ensure specialized assistance for child victims and adequate protection for male victims; establish a central authority to coordinate and monitor anti-trafficking efforts; and continue public awareness campaigns targeted toward a Greek audience, including potential clients of the sex trade and beneficiaries of forced labor.

Prosecution
The government demonstrated clear progress in its prosecution of trafficking offenders, though a high-profile case of trafficking-related complicity remained pending in court. Greek law 3064/2002 and Presidential Decree 233/2003 prohibit trafficking for both sexual and labor exploitation, and prescribe imprisonment of up to 10 years and a fine of $14,000 to $70,000. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes such as rape. The police conducted 66 human trafficking investigations in 2009, a 65 percent increase over the 40 investigations in 2008. Fourteen of the new investigations involved forced labor, compared with only two in 2008. The government reported 32 new convictions of trafficking offenders, 12 cases acquitted, and 42 ongoing prosecutions in 2009, compared with 21 convictions, 17 acquittals, and 41 ongoing prosecutions in 2008. The average sentence for trafficking offenders was approximately 11 years with fines. The Ministry of Justice reported two suspended sentences in 2009. Some convicted trafficking offenders continued to be granted bail pending their lengthy appeals, though one NGO reported improvement in this area. The media continued to allege that trafficking-related complicity existed among some local police and vice squad officers. In a case cited in last year’s TIP Report, in which a trafficking victim was allegedly raped while in police custody in 2006, the three police officers suspected of the crime remained free on bail as their court case continued. In a positive development in 2009, one active and one retired officer were held without bail pending prosecution for alleged involvement in sex trafficking. The government, in partnership with IOM and NGOs, provided anti-trafficking training for police recruits and commanders, police from neighboring countries, and over 100 judges and prosecutors. In 2009, the Greek police reported cooperation with counterparts in Italy, Romania, Russia, Albania, and Bulgaria on trafficking cases.

Protection
The government demonstrated some progress in ensuring that victims of trafficking were provided access to essential services. According to NGOs, however, victim identification continued to be the government’s greatest anti-trafficking weakness. The government officially identified 125 victims in 2009, an improvement over the 78 victims identified in 2008. NGOs, some of whom received government funding, reported assisting at least 3,376 trafficking victims in 2009. A formal mechanism exists between police and NGOs to identify and refer victims. The Ministry of Health trained nurses, medical admissions staff, psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers on the identification of trafficking victims. Similarly, experienced anti-trafficking police continued to provide training to border police, vice police, and the coast guard on victim identification. Greece provided officially-identified trafficking victims with access to legal and medical services through government-run shelters, public healthcare, and intermittent funding to NGOs. NGOs reported that government grant disbursement delays, onerous reporting requirements, and deteriorating public finances have created financial difficulty for trafficking victim service providers dependent on government funding. The government continued to operate a short-term shelter, which could accommodate children, in addition to two long-term shelters for women. The government also referred child victims to orphanages or detention centers that did not have specialized facilities for trafficking victims. One NGO reported that authorities released unaccompanied foreign minors onto the street with little support after detention. The government encouraged victims to participate in prosecutions by offering a 30-day reflection period, a time for victims to receive immediate care while they consider whether to assist law enforcement, but according to NGOs, authorities did not always provide the reflection period consistently during the reporting period. Victims who assisted with law enforcement prosecutions qualified for temporary, renewable residence permits as a legal alternative to removal. NGOs reported excellent cooperation with specialized anti-trafficking police units. Overall, the government did not penalize victims for unlawful acts that may have been committed as a direct result of being trafficked. However, some NGOs reported that the coast guard and border police, overwhelmed with processing refugees and undocumented migrants, had little time to use victim identification procedures. As a result, they sent many potential victims, including vulnerable unaccompanied minors, to migrant detention centers, where they often faced poor conditions. In a positive development, the government implemented a child repatriation agreement with Albania, repatriating six Albanian child victims in cooperation with NGOs.

Prevention
The government demonstrated steady progress in the prevention of trafficking during the reporting period. A state television station aired a special on human trafficking in Greece in addition to other programs on the topic in 2009. The foreign minister spoke out against trafficking, and since October 2009, anti-trafficking NGOs have reported stronger partnerships with highlevel officials. The foreign ministry provided $155,100 toward a UNICEF campaign on child trafficking as a global phenomenon and funded an IOM-produced public awareness campaign acknowledging trafficking as a problem in Greece. The government did not run any new campaigns targeting the clients of prostitution or beneficiaries of forced labor. The government implemented a law enforcement-focused national plan of anti-trafficking action; however, the government lacked a central authority to coordinate ministries’ anti-trafficking efforts and monitor anti-trafficking results. Coordination of data between agencies remained ad hoc. The Greek government facilitated anti-trafficking partnerships by funding initiatives in neighboring countries. Greek law provide extraterritorial jurisdiction over child sex tourism offenses by its nationals; the government did not report any prosecutions of Greek citizens for child sex tourism during the reporting period. The government gave its peacekeeping troops anti-trafficking training before deploying them abroad. The government gave its peacekeeping troops anti-trafficking training before deploying them abroad. Greece is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

GUATEMALA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Guatemala is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically sexual servitude and forced labor. Guatemalan women and children are found in forced prostitution within the country, as well as in Mexico and the United States. Guatemalan men, women, and children are subjected to forced labor within the country, often in agriculture or domestic service, and particularly near the border with Mexico and in the highland region. Guatemalan men, women, and children are also found in conditions of forced labor in Mexico and the United States in agriculture and the garment industry. Indigenous Guatemalans are particularly vulnerable to labor exploitation. In the Mexican border area, Guatemalan children are exploited for forced begging on streets and forced labor in municipal dumps. Guatemala is a destination country for women and girls from El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, in forced prostitution. Migrants from these Central American countries transit through Guatemala en route to Mexico and the United States; some may become human trafficking victims. Child sex tourism is a problem in certain tourist areas such as Antigua and Lake Atitlan, and child sex tourists predominately come from Canada, Germany, Spain, and the United States. The border with Mexico remains a top concern due to the heavy flow of irregular migrants, some of whom are trafficked.

The Government of Guatemala does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these significant efforts, including prosecuting its first trafficking cases under the recent anti-trafficking law and establishing a new anti-trafficking office, the government did not show overall evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking through providing adequate victim services or addressing official complicity in trafficking; therefore, Guatemala is placed on Tier 2 Watch List, for the fourth consecutive year. Despite the significant number of foreign trafficking victims identified by the government, foreign victims were not generally offered asylum or temporary residency, although the anti-trafficking law provides that authority. As such, most foreign trafficking victims were deported or required to remain in locked migrant detention facilities with no access to specialized victim services.

Recommendations for Guatemala: Vigorously implement the anti-trafficking law; continue efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, especially suspected cases of forced labor and domestic servitude, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; pursue suspected cases of official complicity with trafficking activity; conduct anti-trafficking training for judges, police, immigration officers, and other government officials; enhance victims services; provide foreign adult victims housed in migration detention centers with freedom of movement and specialized services, and create a plan, with identified funding, to eliminate reliance on migration detention centers to house foreign victims; and increase funding for anti-trafficking efforts, particularly for the country’s dedicated prosecutorial and police units.

Prosecution
The government maintained anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts during the last year and achieved its first convictions under its new anti-trafficking law. Article 202 of the Guatemalan penal code, which came into force in early 2009, prohibits the transport, transfer, retention, harboring, or reception of persons for the purposes of exploitation, including forced prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, begging, slavery, illegal adoptions, or forced marriage, in addition to other prohibited purposes. Penalties prescribed under Article 202 are from eight to 18 years’ imprisonment; under aggravated circumstances, such as when the crime involves kidnapping, threats, violence, weapons, or a public official, penalties increase by one-third. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes such as rape. Many trafficking cases, however, continued to be prosecuted under other statutes, such as corruption of minors or pandering, that carry lesser sentences. The government maintained a small prosecutorial unit to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases; approximately 60 percent of this unit’s investigations focused on illegal adoptions, which do not fall within the international definition of human trafficking. During the reporting period, authorities achieved seven convictions for human trafficking offenses, four of which were charged under the new anti-trafficking law, and one of which related to forced labor; sentences ranged from three to eight years’ imprisonment. In comparison, during the previous year, the Guatemalan government reported no convictions for human trafficking offenses. Anti-trafficking police and prosecutors suffered from a lack of funding, resources, and training. Credible reports from international organizations, NGOs, and several government officials indicated that corrupt public officials continued to impede anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and facilitated trafficking activity by accepting or extorting bribes, falsifying identity documents, leaking information about impending police raids to suspected traffickers, and ignoring trafficking activity in commercial sex sites. The government did not report prosecuting or convicting any officials complicit in human trafficking, although one congressman accused of corruption of children was stripped of his immunity. Guatemalan authorities collaborated with foreign governments on several trafficking investigations.

Protection
Although Guatemalan authorities reported rescuing 387 suspected trafficking victims during the reporting period, the government made insufficient efforts to protect trafficking victims, relying largely on NGOs and international organizations to provide the bulk of victim services. In spite of existing protocols for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as prostituted women in brothels, there was no evidence that these were implemented systematically or proactively. Government-funded services dedicated to trafficking victims remained virtually non-existent, and authorities provided no funding or subsidies to organizations that provided these services. Child victims were referred to one NGO-operated shelter dedicated for girl trafficking victims, or placed in state-run group homes designed for orphans or homeless children. The government sought to place adult victims in shelters for victims of domestic violence operated by NGOs or religious groups, but these shelters were overburdened and underfunded. Of the 387 trafficking victims identified, 326 were adult women, and most foreign adult victims were placed in migration detention centers without freedom of movement or access to specialized victim services. Although Guatemalan authorities encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, most victims did not file complaints due to fear of violence or reprisals and the inadequacy of the government’s limited witness protection program. A recent advisory opinion issued by the Supreme Court allowing for victim testimony via video could improve low rates of victim participation in prosecutions. The government did not detain, fine, or otherwise penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Many foreign trafficking victims, however, may not have had their victim status recognized by Guatemalan authorities before being deported as undocumented migrants. Guatemalan law establishes legal alternatives to removal of foreign victims who may face hardship or retribution upon repatriation. The authorities offered these alternatives on a case by case basis, but provided no evidence that any victims had accepted. In practice, any victim choosing to remain in Guatemala under an alternative legal status must stay in the closed migration detention center. Guatemalan consular officials in the United States and Mexico received training sessions on trafficking legislation and victim services. The government assisted in the repatriation of 14 Guatemalan trafficking victims from abroad and provided some care services to these victims, 12 of whom were children.

Prevention
The government sustained efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. In collaboration with an international organization, the government carried out a public awareness campaign using radio announcements about trafficking in persons in seven departments near the Mexican border. The government conducted workshops on the commercial sexual exploitation of children in 20 public schools. During the reporting period the government established the Secretariat Against Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Trafficking in Persons to coordinate the government’s anti-trafficking efforts; however, this office received under five percent of the designated funding and subsequently took no discernible actions beyond evaluating current government efforts. Despite reports of child sex tourism, there were no reported prosecutions of child sex tourists. The government made no discernible efforts to reduce demand for forced labor or commercial sexual acts. Authorities provided training on human trafficking to Guatemalan troops prior to their deployment for international peacekeeping operations.

GUINEA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Guinea is a source, transit, and to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. The majority of victims are children, and these incidents of trafficking are more prevalent among Guinean citizens than among foreign migrants living in Guinea. Within the country, girls are largely subjected to involuntary domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation, while boys are subjected to forced begging and forced labor as street vendors, shoe shiners, and laborers in gold and diamond mines. Some Guinean men are also subjected to forced agricultural labor within Guinea. Smaller numbers of girls from Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Guinea-Bissau migrate to Guinea, where they are subjected to involuntary domestic servitude and likely also commercial sexual exploitation. Some Guinean boys and girls are subjected to forced labor in gold mining operations in Senegal, Mali, and possibly other African countries. Guinean women and girls are subjected to involuntary domestic servitude and forced prostitution in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Greece, and Spain. Chinese women are trafficked to Guinea for commercial sexual exploitation by Chinese traffickers. Networks also traffic women from Nigeria, India, and Greece through Guinea to the Maghreb and onward to Europe, notably Italy, Ukraine, Switzerland, and France for forced prostitution and involuntary domestic servitude.

The Government of Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. The government sustained its efforts to investigate alleged trafficking crimes and detain suspected trafficking offenders during the reporting period. The junta, however, has made minimal progress toward combating human trafficking in Guinea since coming to power in a coup d’etat in December 2008. While Guinea has an adequate anti-trafficking legal framework, which it had strengthened by enacting the Child Code of 2008, the junta did not report any trafficking prosecutions or convictions for the second year in a row, and protection and prevention efforts remained weak. Therefore, Guinea is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year. In February 2009, the head of government issued a declaration giving security forces the right to shoot anyone apprehended while trafficking a human being, raising significant human rights concerns. In the same month, the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking met to evaluate the 2005-2006 National Action Plan and to outline an updated version for 2009- 2011, but released no such document to the public. Many ministries claimed involvement in efforts to address trafficking, but the country was severely limited in its ability to address the problem due to budget constraints, capacity limitations, and unclear allocation of law enforcement and social welfare responsibilities.

Recommendations for Guinea: Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; finalize and adopt the implementing text for the new Child Code; increase prescribed penalties for the sex trafficking of adults and children; develop stronger partnerships with NGOs and international organizations, where possible, to care for victims; and increase efforts to raise awareness about trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Guinea did not show progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Guinea prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through separate statutes. The Child Code of 2008 includes provisions prohibiting all forms of child trafficking, specifically criminalizing child domestic servitude, and allowing NGOs to bring cases to court on behalf of victims. The government, in partnership with NGOs and international organizations, has yet to complete the implementing text for this law, which will prescribe penalties that allow the law to be enforced. Article 337 of the 1998 Penal Code prohibits individuals from entering into agreements that deprive third parties of their liberty, prescribing penalties of five to 10 years’ imprisonment and confiscation of any resulting profits. Forced prostitution and child prostitution are criminalized by Article 329 of Guinea’s Penal Code, which prescribes six months’ to two years’ imprisonment if the trafficked victim is an adult, and two to five years’ imprisonment if the victim is a child. These penalties for sex trafficking of adults are neither sufficiently stringent nor commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government did not prosecute any human trafficking cases during the reporting period, though the Ministry of Justice reported that there were 13 new cases that involved the arrest of at least 40 suspected trafficking offenders during 2009. Of the alleged traffickers, 30 remain in detention. Another 17 trafficking cases from the previous reporting period continue to await prosecution. The government provided only limited specialized training to its officials on the recognition, investigation, and prosecution of human trafficking, due to budget constraints.

Protection
The government demonstrated weak efforts to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government reportedly referred an unknown number of potential victims to NGOs and international organizations for assistance, though government officials did not demonstrate use of systematic referral procedures or proactive measures to identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as foreign children at worksites. The Ministry of Social Affairs continued to provide assistance to a few hundred children, a small number of whom may be trafficking victims. The government did not offer shelter for trafficking victims, but frequently assisted victims by contacting local and international NGOs directly to coordinate shelter and family reunification cases. The government did not provide trafficking victims with access to legal, medical, or psychological services, and did not subsidize services provided by foreign or domestic NGOs. Foreign trafficking victims do not benefit from permanent residency status or relief from deportation. The government reported that 106 trafficked children were identified by various entities in 2009, but offered no additional data on these children. The government occasionally provided victims refuge in jails when no alternative was available. The government encouraged trafficking victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, as long as the victim was at least 12 years of age. At the government’s invitation, two such victims, one of whom was a child, separately discussed their cases on national television in April and June 2009, though their traffickers had not been brought to justice; this raises concerns for the security and well-being of the victims.

Prevention
The Government of Guinea demonstrated minimal efforts to conduct anti-trafficking or educational campaigns during the reporting period. The head of the junta, however, gave several speeches highlighting the importance of combating human trafficking. The government did not monitor immigration or emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. The government did not take steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

GUINEA-BISSAU (Tier 2 Watch List)

Guinea-Bissau is a source country for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor, principally begging, and forced prostitution. Boys are sent to Senegal, and to a lesser extent Mali and Guinea, under the care of Koranic teachers called marabouts, or their intermediaries, to receive religious education. These teachers, however, routinely beat and subject the children, called talibé, to force them to beg, and subject them to other harsh treatment, sometimes separating them permanently from their families. UNICEF estimates that 200 children are taken from Guinea-Bissau each month for this purpose, and in 2008 a study found that 30 percent of the 8,000 religious students begging on the streets of Dakar are from Guinea-Bissau. Men, often former talibés from the regions of Bafata and Gabu, are the principal traffickers. In most cases they operate in the open, protected by their stature in the Muslim community. Some observers believe girls are also targets, and may be subjected to domestic labor in Guinea-Bissau or Senegal.

The Government of Guinea-Bissau does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. Despite these efforts, the government demonstrated weak overall progress in combating trafficking during the reporting period, particularly its lack of any effective law enforcement action; therefore, Guinea-Bissau is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year.

Recommendations for Guinea-Bissau: Enact the draft law prohibiting trafficking in persons; increase efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenders under forced labor and trafficking-related laws; investigate whether girls are trafficked internally and to Senegal for involuntary domestic servitude; implement the draft anti-trafficking national action plan; and undertake greater trafficking prevention efforts, such as public awareness campaigns targeting families of prospective talibés – perhaps in partnership with NGOs.

Prosecution
The Government of Guinea-Bissau did not increase efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Bissau-Guinean law does not prohibit all forms of human trafficking, though it prohibits forced labor under article 37 of the country’s penal code, which prescribes a sufficiently stringent penalty of life imprisonment. In the previous reporting period, the National Assembly drafted legislation prohibiting child trafficking, though it was not adopted before the legislature was dissolved in August 2008. Guinea-Bissau does not specifically prohibit forced prostitution. The government could use existing laws to punish trafficking cases, such as the laws against removing children, sexual exploitation, abuse, and kidnapping of children, but did not do so during the reporting period. The government neither investigated nor prosecuted human trafficking offenses during the reporting period, due largely to systemic failures that pervaded the judicial system, such as lack of institutional capacity and corruption.

Protection
The Government of Guinea-Bissau continued to demonstrate efforts to protect and repatriate victims. The government did not demonstrate proactive efforts to identify trafficking victims. While the government did not operate victim shelters or provide other victims services directly, it continued to fund an NGO shelter for child trafficking victims in Gabu, providing about $16,000 to the annual operating budget of the facility. Police continued to refer victims to that NGO shelter, as well as a shelter operated by a separate NGO in Bafata. The government continued efforts, as allowed under Guinea- Bissau law, to intercept and return victims domestically and repatriate victims from abroad. The government, together with the Government of Senegal and the Bissau- Guinean Embassy in Dakar, repatriated 43 children during the reporting period. As part of the repatriation process for talibés, parents must sign a contract with the regional court accepting responsibility for the safety of their children, and can be subject to criminal sanction should the children be trafficked again. The government held some child victims in transition shelters until it could successfully reunite them with family and ensure that the family would not be involved in the child’s re-trafficking. No special protections are afforded to witnesses. Police coordinated their repatriation efforts with NGOs, in the last year referring 160 victims to NGO providers of victim services. Victims were frequently too young to contribute meaningfully to any prosecution. However, the government encouraged family members of the victim to assist in any investigation or prosecution of trafficking offenders. Given the widespread cultural acceptance of sending young boys away from home for a religious education, family members often were reluctant to support law enforcement efforts against traffickers.

Prevention
The Government of Guinea-Bissau continued to make minimal efforts to raise awareness about trafficking during the reporting period. A government-supported NGO trained border guards to identify potential trafficking offenders. Guards detained male adults who could not prove they were the fathers of children trying to cross the border and arranged for their transportation to police headquarters in Gabu. Border guards did not refer these cases to police for investigation, and suspected traffickers were generally released while guards contacted parents to collect their children. National anti-trafficking coordination efforts were hampered by the government’s failure to implement new programs in 2009 or adopt a previously drafted national action plan. An inter-ministerial committee, chaired by the president of the Institute of Women and Children, met regularly in an effort to coordinate the government and civil society response to human trafficking, but undertook little action. The government did not take measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor during the year. Guinea-Bissau is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

GUYANA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Guyana is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution and forced labor. Guyanese trafficking victim cases have been identified in the country, as well as in other countries in the region. Identified foreign victims have come from Venezuela and Brazil. Forced prostitution occurs in brothels on the coast and around mining camps as well as in rum shops and Chinese restaurants. The common Guyanese practice of poor, rural families sending children to live with higher income family members or acquaintances in more populated areas has the potential to evolve into forced domestic servitude. Trafficking victims in Guyana may not self-identify to authorities due to fear of retribution from trafficking offenders, fear of resettlement to abusive home situations, and lack of awareness that human trafficking is a crime. Groups particularly vulnerable to human trafficking in Guyana include Amerindian females, foreign women (such as Brazilians) in prostitution, and children. During the reporting period the U.S. Department of Labor reported results of a project that withdrew 984 children from exploitive child labor in logging and saw-milling, fishing, hazardous farming, factory work, mining, and freight handling from 2005 to 2009.

The Government of Guyana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government did not initiate any new prosecutions of trafficking offenses during the reporting period and has yet to convict or punish any trafficking offenders under its five-year old anti-human trafficking law. Therefore, Guyana is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the fourth consecutive year. During the reporting period, the government and NGOs identified four victims of trafficking, two of whom prison officials proactively identified. The government provided some resources toward victim protection and local anti-trafficking groups. No suspected traffickers were charged, limiting the level of safety and protection that could be provided to victims. While the government took some tangible steps to raise awareness of human trafficking, including the establishment of focal point groups and an anti-trafficking task force, some local observers felt that the government discouraged discussions on developing effective strategies for combating this phenomenon of modern-day slavery.

Recommendations for Guyana: Greatly increase efforts to prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders in Guyana, including any government officials complicit in human trafficking; offer legal alternatives to removal for foreign trafficking victims; encourage law enforcement and other officials as well as NGOs to identify trafficking victims and refer them for assistance; and encourage police, the Ministry of Labor, and the Forest Service to employ formalized procedures, based on recognized trafficking indicators, as part of routine inspections to identify additional victims; ensure trafficking-specific shelter and care is offered to identified victims of trafficking; foster a climate of open discussion about the scope and magnitude of Guyana’s human trafficking problem; enhance partnerships with NGOs to boost the trust of trafficking victims in law enforcement personnel; and raise awareness among the general population about all forms of human trafficking.

Prosecution
The government made no discernible progress in prosecuting, convicting, and sentencing human trafficking offenders in Guyana during the reporting period. The Combating Trafficking of Persons Act of 2005 prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes sufficiently stringent penalties, ranging from three years to life imprisonment, and which are commensurate with those for rape. The government reported four new trafficking investigations during the reporting period, none of which led to prosecutions. The government’s four prosecutions from previous reporting periods remained ongoing, with no significant progress. To date, the government has not convicted any trafficking offenders. Progress on the prosecution of criminal cases is perpetually delayed by judicial backlogs, incorrectly filed paperwork or the failure of key parties to appear at hearings. NGOs and one government official expressed concern that trafficking-related official complicity was a problem. It is reportedly common for defendants to bribe court officials for favorable rulings. The Ministry of Home Affairs conducted two anti-trafficking training programs, one in partnership with IOM, for 120 police, prosecutors, and investigators during the reporting period.

Protection
The government made some efforts to protect victims during the reporting period, but the number of identified victims was low, and the fact that the government charged no trafficking offenders and has yet to convict a trafficking offender undermined the effectiveness of those protections. The government, in partnership with IOM, developed a series of anti-trafficking focal point community groups around the country to help identify and refer possible trafficking victims to assistance organizations. While NGOs reported overall good working-level relations with anti-trafficking officials, some local observers expressed concern that pressure from senior officials may have prompted some lower-level officials to suppress information in order to avoid drawing attention to trafficking in Guyana. The Ministry tried to encourage identified victims to participate in prosecutions of traffickers by paying for travel costs associated with their testifying in court. In one instance, the Ministry hired a private lawyer for a victim. Nevertheless, none of the four victims identified during the reporting period elected to participate in prosecutions. In a positive step during the reporting period, Guyanese prison officials identified two foreign victims of trafficking in detention and referred them to the Human Services Ministry for assistance. The government later dropped pending charges against the two victims. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to their home countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government made limited progress in the prevention of trafficking during the reporting period. The focal point groups conducted some public outreach activities in rural communities, including trafficking awareness programs targeting parents in Mahdia and Moruka, and distributing leaflets in Letherm to 440 local community leaders. The Ministry of Human Services continued to distribute IOM-funded posters, leaflets, and bumper stickers nationwide at large public gatherings throughout the year. The Ministry of Amerindian Affairs began a campaign for the issuance of birth certificates, which may have a positive effect on preventing trafficking in Guyana, though one senior official indicated that Amerindians were not as vulnerable to trafficking as other government sources have indicated. There were no campaigns directly aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period.

HONDURAS (Tier 2)

Honduras is principally a source and transit country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution. Honduran victims are typically recruited from rural areas with promises of employment and trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation in urban and tourist centers, such as Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, and the Bay Islands. Honduran women and children are found in conditions of forced prostitution in Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Belize, and the United States. In one case, 18 Hondurans were subjected to forced labor in Romania after being lured there by fraudulent job offers. To a lesser extent, women and girls from neighboring countries, including Guatemala and Mexico, are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation in Honduras. In addition to incidents of child sex tourism in the Bay Islands, there have been reports of parents selling their daughters to foreign or local men. The IOM reported incidents of forced labor in Honduras’ agricultural and garment sectors.

The Government of Honduras does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, authorities continued to take law enforcement actions against sex trafficking offenders and effectively used partnerships with international organizations to provide training to government officials and members of civil society. Despite these significant efforts, government services for trafficking victims remained virtually non-existent, laws failed to prohibit trafficking for the purposes of forced labor, and the number of trafficking-related convictions decreased.

Recommendations for Honduras: Amend anti-trafficking laws to prohibit labor trafficking; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute all trafficking offenses, and convict and sentence trafficking offenders, including corrupt officials who may facilitate trafficking activity; improve victims’ access to shelter aid and essential services; develop formal procedures for identifying victims among potential trafficking populations; and initiate efforts to raise awareness of human trafficking, including anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns.

Prosecution
The Honduran government sustained its efforts to investigate and punish human trafficking crimes over the reporting period. Honduras prohibits sex trafficking through aggravated circumstances contained in Article 149 of its penal code, enacted in 2006, but does not specifically prohibit labor trafficking. For sex trafficking offenses, Article 149 prescribes penalties of 12 to 19.5 years’ imprisonment. Such punishments are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2009, the government consolidated two separate offices to create one unit that investigates all human trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation crimes. There were 83 pending investigations into allegations of trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children at the end of 2009, and all eight trafficking cases opened during the year involved underage girls. During the reporting period, authorities prosecuted 26 cases of human trafficking or commercial sexual exploitation of children, and obtained five convictions, with convicted offenders given sentences ranging six to 10 years’ imprisonment. The government reported no investigations or prosecutions for forced labor crimes. No confirmed allegations of trafficking-related corruption were investigated or prosecuted, though some local immigration officials were reportedly complicit in human trafficking. Honduran authorities collaborated with foreign governments on a number of trafficking cases, and officials trained police, members of the judiciary, and NGO staff on anti-trafficking legislation and victim services.

Protection
The Honduran government provided minimal services to trafficking victims last year. There remained no formal procedures employed by law enforcement personnel to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women and girls in prostitution. The government operated no dedicated shelters or services for trafficking victims, though it referred child trafficking victims to NGOs, and provided medical services through public hospitals. NGOs report that referrals in practice are unorganized and uneven. One NGO provided the majority of victim care and received no direct funding from the government; this organization provided victim services to 73 girls who were victims of sex trafficking. Despite a 2009 report by an international organization highlighting the need for increased services for adult female victims of trafficking in Honduras, few resources, public or private, were available for adult trafficking victims. There are plans to train staff of shelters that currently serve vulnerable populations to care for trafficking victims and to create a system of integrated care for adult victims of trafficking; this initiative will be operated by NGOs and funded by a foreign government. Victims were encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders, and 14 did so during the reporting period. Some trafficking victims declined to cooperate due to distrust in the judicial system, particularly its ability to ensure their personal safety. There were no reports of victims being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked. One Colombian victim of trafficking requested and was granted special status to remain in Honduras. Though the government did not report systematically offering foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution, there were no known cases of trafficking victims being deported. During the reporting period, the government designated an official at the border post of Corinto to provide care to unaccompanied minors entering the country and to screen for potential trafficking cases. There was no reported training of Honduran diplomats on human trafficking issues.

Prevention
The government sustained efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period, forging partnerships with NGOs and international organizations on several anti-trafficking initiatives. In partnership with the ILO, the government hosted 17 education workshops on commercial sexual exploitation and human trafficking for approximately 1,500 university students, government officials, and journalists. During the reporting period, the national anti-trafficking committee, which is compromised of government agencies, NGOs, and international organizations, solicited signatures from hotels and other businesses on a code of conduct prohibiting the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and 36 hotel owners have signed, as well as two rental car agencies. The government reported no prosecutions or convictions of child sex tourists during the past year.

HONG KONG (Tier 2)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China is a destination and transit territory for men and women from mainland China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, some of whom are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of domestic servitude and forced prostitution. Some migrants are lured by criminal syndicates or acquaintances with promises of financial rewards and deceived about the nature of their future jobs. Upon arrival in Hong Kong, these migrants are forced into prostitution to repay money owed for their passage to Hong Kong. Some foreign domestic workers in the territory, particularly those from Indonesia and the Philippines, face high levels of indebtedness assumed as part of the terms of employment, which can in some cases lead to situations of debt bondage if unlawfully exploited by recruiters or employers. Many Indonesian workers earn minimum wage or less, and some have entered into contracts requiring them to repay their Indonesian recruitment agencies as much as $350 within their first seven months of employment, amounting to roughly 90 percent of a worker’s monthly salary if the worker is making minimum wage. Some Hong Kong-licensed employment agencies are suspected of colluding with Indonesian agencies to profit from the debt scheme. Some Hong Kong agencies confiscate passports, employment contracts, and ATM cards of domestic workers and withhold them until their debt has been repaid – factors that could facilitate labor trafficking in the territory. One NGO reported that employers of Indonesian domestic workers compel their employees to work seven days a week and forbid them to leave the residence of work for non-work-related reasons, effectively preventing them from reporting exploitation to authorities.

The Government of Hong Kong does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government convicted two sex trafficking offenders during the year and sustained some anti-trafficking prevention efforts among foreign domestic workers, but it needs to make greater efforts to proactively identify and criminally prosecute cases of both sex and labor trafficking. Punishments for labor violations were not stringent enough to carry a deterrent value.

Recommendations for Hong Kong: Through training and revision of standard procedures, significantly increase efforts to integrate trafficking in persons concerns into investigations of illegal immigration and labor violations to increase trafficking prosecutions, including in particular acts of domestic servitude and debt bondage; investigate and criminally prosecute Hong Kong employment agencies cooperating with foreign recruitment agencies who require domestic workers to assume significant amounts of debt; define the term “trafficking in persons” in Hong Kong law in a manner that is consistent with international norms; strengthen implementation of victim identification procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable groups to identify a greater number of sex and labor trafficking victims; provide incentives for foreign workers to pursue cases against abusive employers, such as allowing workers to work while participating in court proceedings; increase efforts to enforce existing criminal laws on holding travel documents and other identification as collateral on debts; conduct a visible public awareness campaign aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts; and formalize interagency cooperation to address and plan anti-trafficking efforts.

Prosecution
The Hong Kong government made some progress in anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Hong Kong does not have specific anti-trafficking laws, but the Immigration Ordinance, Crimes Ordinance, and other relevant laws prohibit some trafficking-related offenses. Hong Kong authorities’ limited interpretation of trafficking that focuses on movement for prostitution is inconsistent with international norms and hinders the government’s anti-trafficking response. Authorities investigated two cases of sex trafficking for forced prostitution, and in one case, convicted two Filipina offenders of luring three women from the Philippines with the promise of waitressing jobs in Macau. They were then lured to Hong Kong and forced into prostitution. The victims escaped and sought help from the Philippines Consulate, which notified Hong Kong authorities. The offenders were sentenced to 21 and 18 months’ imprisonment, respectively. Hong Kong authorities did not report investigating or prosecuting any cases of labor trafficking during the reporting period. The Labor Department revoked the licenses of two employment agencies for overcharging foreign domestic workers, and sentenced one employer to three months’ imprisonment for underpayment of wages. More than 120 other employers were fined for underpayment or non-payment of wages. Employers and employment agencies who illegally withhold a foreign domestic worker’s passport can be prosecuted under the Theft Ordinance, punishable with imprisonment up to 10 years, but authorities did not prosecute any such cases during the reporting period.

Protection
The Hong Kong government made limited progress in identifying and protecting trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government identified three victims in two trafficking cases in 2009, all whom were foreign victims of forced prostitution. In both cases, victims approached authorities requesting assistance and were referred to government-subsidized shelters. Contrary to international standards, Hong Kong authorities continued to consider whether potential victims knew they would engage in prostitution before travel as a factor that excludes them from being identified as victims. Victims who were recognized by Hong Kong authorities were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. However, due to the government’s limited definition of sex trafficking and uneven implementation of victim identification procedures, some victims may have been deported for immigration violations. During the reporting period, 1,588 women in prostitution were arrested and deported for illegal immigration. The government did not identify any trafficking victims in this vulnerable population. The three victims recognized by authorities were provided government-sponsored assistance, including shelter, financial and legal assistance, counseling, and psychological support. Victims are legally required to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers and are provided with a stipend, but are not allowed to work while in Hong Kong. Victims, however, are allowed to leave Hong Kong pending trial proceedings. Victims can apply for legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution, but no foreign victim has requested or been granted such assistance; there are some concerns that victims are not made aware that this option is available. Some victims, however, likely are reluctant to assist in long trials while not allowed to work in Hong Kong, and as a result, are not willing to be identified by Hong Kong authorities. Workers who filed labor complaints were not allowed to work during the legal proceedings, and it often took several weeks to schedule a conciliation meeting. While victims have the ability to file civil charges for compensation from their traffickers, there were no such cases during the year.

Prevention
Hong Kong continued modest efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period. During the past year, Hong Kong authorities reached out to NGOs and showed a greater willingness to engage with them on anti-trafficking efforts. The Labor Department continued to publish “guidebooks” for foreign domestic workers in several languages that explain workers’ rights and services provided by the government. Although an NGO distributed the guidebooks to foreign domestic workers upon arrival at Hong Kong’s airport, the guidebooks reportedly continue to be taken away from some workers by Hong Kong employment agencies shortly after receiving them. Information kiosks and exhibitions were set up at locations frequented by foreign domestic workers to inform them of their rights. Authorities participated in training seminars conducted by outside donors during the reporting period. The Hong Kong government did not take any measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. Hong Kong is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

HUNGARY (Tier 2)

Hungary is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and a source country for men and women in conditions of forced labor. Women from Hungary are forced into prostitution in the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Greece, and the United States. Women from eastern Hungary are subjected to forced prostitution in Budapest and areas in Hungary along the Austrian border. Roma women and girls who grow up in Hungarian orphanages are highly vulnerable to internal forced prostitution. Men from Western Europe travel to Budapest for the purpose of adult sex tourism, some of which may involve the exploitation of trafficking victims. Men and women are subjected to conditions of forced labor within Hungary. Women from Romania and Ukraine are transported through Hungary to the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, France, and the United Arab Emirates where they are subsequently subjected to forced prostitution; some of these victims may be exploited in Hungary before they reach their final destination country.

The Government of Hungary does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated law enforcement progress in 2009, including amending Paragraph 175/b of its criminal code to increase penalties for cases involving child victims of human trafficking under the age of 12 as well as an increase in the number of traffickers convicted and sentenced to time in prison, though it did not prosecute or convict any labor trafficking offenders. The government demonstrated mixed progress in improving victim assistance during the reporting period; while it allocated funding for a new NGO-run shelter that opened in March 2010 and guaranteed funding through June 2011, the shelter did not assist any victims during the reporting period. Moreover, the shelter is permitted only to assist Hungarian victims, excluding the assistance of any potential foreign victims. More should be done to ensure all victims have access to assistance. The lack of victim assistance funding by the government in 2008 and most of 2009 may have resulted in a decrease in victims assisted in 2009.

Recommendations for Hungary: Ensure that foreign victims have the same access to government-funded assistance as do Hungarian victims, including shelter; continue to ensure government funding for trafficking victim assistance is sustained and renewable; increase the number of victims referred by police for assistance; consider amending Paragraph 175/b of the criminal code to remove language requiring proof that a victim is bought or sold – this change may increase the number of trafficking offenders successfully prosecuted and convicted under Paragraph 175/b and also the number of victims identified by authorities and referred for assistance; improve awareness among law enforcement and NGOs of what government-provided and privately-provided services are available to victims of trafficking; increase trafficking training for law enforcement outside of Budapest; and conduct a general trafficking awareness campaign about both sex and labor trafficking, targeting both potential victims as well as the general public.

Prosecution
The Government of Hungary’s anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts improved during the reporting period. Hungary prohibits all forms of trafficking through Paragraph 175/b of its criminal code, though prosecutors rely on other trafficking-related statutes to prosecute most trafficking cases. During the reporting period, the government amended Paragraph 175/b to increase penalties for cases involving child victims under the age of 12. Penalties prescribed in Paragraph 175/b now range from one year up to life imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Authorities note that because of a ruling by the Hungarian Supreme Court, prosecutors must meet strict evidentiary requirements for proving the crime of human trafficking under Paragraph 175/b, specifically that the prosecutor must prove that a victim of human trafficking is either bought or sold by another person; because of this standard, prosecutors generally use other statues to prosecute trafficking offenders. Police and border guards conducted 27 trafficking investigations, compared with 21 investigations in 2008. Authorities prosecuted 16 traffickers in 2009, compared with 18 in 2008. Convictions were obtained against 23 sex trafficking offenders in 2009, compared with 16 sex trafficking and two labor trafficking convictions in 2008. During the last year, the government did not report any prosecutions or convictions for labor trafficking offenses. In 2009, twenty of 23 convicted offenders were sentenced to time in prison, an improvement from 2008 when 11 out of 18 convicted offenders were sentenced to time in prison. Of those sentenced to prison in 2009, 12 convicted offenders received sentences of up to three years’ imprisonment, three offenders received sentences ranging from three to four years’ imprisonment, and five offenders received sentences of five years’ imprisonment. During the reporting period, 55 law enforcement officials received victim sensitivity training and victim identification training. The government also conducted three joint trafficking investigations with law enforcement authorities from the Netherlands, Germany, and Austria.

Protection
The Hungarian government undertook modest steps to provide victim assistance during the reporting period; however, more should be done to ensure more victims have access to assistance. A total of 94 victims were identified by NGOs and government officials in 2009, compared with 88 reportedly identified in 2008. The government allocated approximately $61,000 to an NGO to establish a trafficking shelter that will operate through June 2010. Although this is an improvement from 2008, when the government did not provide funding for NGOs providing victim assistance including shelter, medical care, legal assistance, and psychological counseling, the government-funded shelter will only provide assistance to Hungarian victims; no victims were provided assistance in this shelter during the reporting period. Additionally, only 45 trafficking victims were provided assistance, including shelter, by one privately-funded NGO during the reporting period, compared with 88 victims assisted in 2008. The lack of victim assistance funding by the government in 2008 and most of 2009 and the subsequent closure of one shelter in mid-2008 that had been provided free facility space by the government may have resulted in a decrease in the number of victims assisted in 2009. The government may have assisted some victims of trafficking through general crime victim programs in 2009, though the government was unable to provide the specific number of victims assisted by these programs.

The government-run trafficking hotline referred nine victims to NGOs for assistance last year, a decrease from 50 victims referred by the hotline in 2008. Law enforcement and consular officials identified approximately 30 victims domestically and abroad in 2009, compared with 26 in 2008. Both law enforcement and NGOs were often unaware or uncertain about what services victims of trafficking were eligible to receive; this lack of awareness may have limited the number of victims assisted during the reporting period. Victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked and there were no reported cases of authorities’ mistreatment of trafficking victims. The government encouraged victims to assist with trafficking investigations and prosecutions; in 2009, twenty-seven victims assisted in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases. The government offered foreign victims a 30-day reflection period to decide whether to assist law enforcement; however, no foreign victims applied for or received the 30-day temporary residency permits in 2009. NGOs expressed concern that Hungarian victims were not provided with a reflection period to receive assistance and decide whether or not to assist law enforcement; instead, Hungarian victims were required to decide upon identification whether or not they wanted to assist law enforcement. Foreign victims may apply for a six-month temporary residency permit if they choose to cooperate with law enforcement.

Prevention
The Hungarian government demonstrated modest efforts to raise awareness during the reporting period. The government again did not conduct any general anti-trafficking awareness campaigns focused on the general public or potential victims of trafficking; however, it did allocate $15,800 for a campaign targeted at potential consumers of prostitution in order to reduce demand for commercial sex acts. As reported in the 2009 Report, the three-month campaign started in March 2009 and consisted of radio advertisements, posters placed in 100 gas stations throughout Hungary, and information posted on the Ministry of Justice’s website that reportedly received 4,000 download requests. The Hungarian government actively monitored immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. Additionally, the government of Hungary provided $17,200 to an NGO to train employees on trafficking risks at a shelter for unaccompanied minors.

ICELAND (Tier 2)

Iceland is a destination and transit country for women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution. Some reports maintain Iceland also may be a destination country for men and women who are subjected to conditions of forced labor in the restaurant and construction industries. A 2009 Icelandic Red Cross report claimed that there were at least 59 and possibly as many as 128 cases of human trafficking in Iceland over the previous three years; female victims of human trafficking in Iceland came from Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, South America and Southeast Asia. During the reporting period, foreign women working in Iceland’s strip clubs or in prostitution were vulnerable to sex trafficking. According to the Red Cross report, undocumented foreign workers – mostly from Eastern Europe and Baltic states – in Iceland’s manufacturing and construction industries were vulnerable to forced labor. During the reporting period, local authorities were unable to document cases of forced labor but did acknowledge violations of immigration or employment law.

The Government of Iceland does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so and has shown a great deal of political will to deal with the problem. Iceland made substantial progress in investigating and prosecuting trafficking offenses during the reporting period, though victim assistance remained ad hoc. The government has yet to establish a national anti-trafficking public awareness campaign, although the amount of information available to the public about trafficking increased dramatically due to several high profile trafficking cases and a government-sponsored anti-trafficking symposium in October 2009. In a further effort to prevent sex trafficking, the government made the purchase of sex illegal and outlawed strip clubs.

Recommendations for Iceland: Consider amending the criminal code to ensure penalties prescribed for sex trafficking are commensurate with penalties prescribed for rape; develop a formal mechanism to guide officials in victim identification and referral to services; expand training on identification and referral of victims to prosecutors, labor inspectors, health officials and a broad law enforcement population; develop legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face retribution or hardship; ensure the protection of victims’ confidentiality and they are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, including immigration violations; and conduct an awareness and prevention campaign focused on both sex and labor trafficking and the demand for both forms of trafficking; consider establishing a hotline for reporting suspected instances of human trafficking.

Prosecution
The government made clear progress in its law enforcement efforts against human trafficking during the reporting period. Iceland prohibits trafficking for both sexual exploitation and forced labor through Section 227 of its criminal code. In December 2009, parliament amended the definition of trafficking in the code to align it with the international definition under the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. Punishments prescribed for trafficking under Section 227 range up to eight years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent though not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes such as rape. Actual sentences for trafficking offenders have been commensurate with rape sentences. Police conducted three investigations during the reporting period, and the government initiated eight prosecutions during the reporting period, compared with no prosecutions the previous year. Five trafficking offenders were convicted under Section 227; each was sentenced to five years in prison. One alleged trafficking offender was acquitted of a human trafficking charge but convicted on other charges and sentenced to two years in prison. She has since been arrested on trafficking charges relating to a different case and remains in prison. There were no known reports of trafficking-related complicity. Icelandic officials strengthened partnerships with Spanish and Lithuanian authorities on trafficking cases during the reporting period. The government funded formal anti-trafficking training (including some training abroad) for all employees of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and some police and airport officials.

Protection
The government made some progress in ensuring that trafficking victims received access to protective services. It did not provide specific legal protections for trafficking victims, though in practice the government provided services to three victims, including 24-hour police protection for one victim. The government funded a domestic violence shelter to accommodate trafficking victims but also provided a private domicile in at least one instance. Icelandic authorities provided no trafficking-specific care for male victims; however all victims, regardless of age or gender, are entitled to free, government-supported health care, legal services and counseling services. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders. The government did not employ a temporary or longer term residence permit system to offer relief from deportation to foreign trafficking victims but on at least one occasion granted a temporary residence permit to one victim. Although lacking a formal system to proactively identify victims of trafficking, the government effectively monitored immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking and potential trafficking victims at the country’s only international airport. Law enforcement officials identified at least one victim during the reporting period. Iceland did not employ a victim referral process, though NGOs reported some law enforcement officers referred victims for assistance on a case-by-case basis. The lack of systematic, proactive victim identification and referral procedures increased the risk victims could be prosecuted, jailed, and deported for unlawful acts, such as immigration violations, committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The government made some progress on prevention initiatives. Although there were no specific anti-trafficking awareness campaigns in Iceland during the reporting period, public awareness of trafficking increased a great deal due to media reports about trafficking cases and anti-trafficking training. In addition, the government sponsored a symposium in October on human trafficking, during which the foreign minister said combating trafficking was a top priority for the government. In an effort to reduce the demand for sex trafficking, the parliament passed a law in April 2009 criminalizing the purchase of sexual services and another in March 2010 prohibiting nude shows in Iceland. The government did not have a systematic mechanism to monitor its anti-trafficking efforts, but the Minister of Justice established a team to coordinate interagency anti-trafficking activities in November 2009. Iceland’s national anti-trafficking action plan adopted in March 2009 outlined next steps to improve prevention measures and formal provisions for victim assistance. In partnership with the OSCE, the Icelandic government funded an anti-trafficking project in Azerbaijan. The Ministry for Foreign Affairs imposed a code of conduct banning involvement in human trafficking or the purchase of sexual services while abroad for Icelandic civilian personnel deployed to UN and NATO operations as peacekeepers. There were no measures taken to prevent the participation of Icelandic nationals in international child sex tourism, though there were no cases during the reporting period in which Icelandic nationals were alleged to have participated in child sex tourism. Iceland is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

INDIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

India is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. In late 2009, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs assessed India’s human trafficking problem as including commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, and bonded labor. The forced labor within the country of millions of citizens constitutes India’s largest trafficking problem; men, women, and children in debt bondage are forced to work in industries such as brick kilns, rice mills, agriculture, and embroidery factories. Ninety percent of trafficking in India is internal, and those from India’s most disadvantaged social economic strata are particularly vulnerable to forced or bonded labor and sex trafficking. Children are also subjected to forced labor as factory workers, domestic servants, beggars, and agricultural workers. Forced domestic work is a problem in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Orissa.

Women and girls are trafficked within the country for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Major cities and towns with tourist attractions continue to be hubs of child sex tourism, and this phenomenon also takes place in religious pilgrim centers such as Tirupati, Guruvayoor, and Puri. Indian nationals engage in child sex tourism within the country and, to a lesser extent, in Nepal.NGO reports indicate that an increasing number of girls from the northeast – including those with education – are duped with promises of well-paid employment in large cities and then forced into prostitution, or forced into marriage in Haryana and Punjab. Women and girls from Nepal and Bangladesh are also subjected to forced prostitution in India. Maoist armed groups known as the Naxalites forcibly recruited children into their ranks.

There are also victims of labor trafficking among the hundreds of thousands of Indians who migrate willingly every year to the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, Europe and the United States, for work as domestic servants and low-skilled laborers. In some cases, such workers are the victims of fraudulent recruitment practices committed in India leading them directly to situations of forced labor, including debt bondage; in other cases, high debts incurred to pay recruitment fees leave them vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers in the destination countries, where some are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude, including nonpayment of wages, restrictions on movement, unlawful withholding of passports, and physical or sexual abuse. An NGO reported that fishermen in Tamil Nadu appear to be increasingly migrating to the Gulf and subsequently falling victim to forced labor on fishing boats. Men and women from Bangladesh and Nepal are trafficked through India for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation in the Middle East.

The Government of India does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, particularly with regard to the law enforcement response to sex trafficking. Despite these efforts, the Indian government has not demonstrated sufficient progress in its law enforcement, protection, or prevention efforts to address labor trafficking, particularly bonded labor; therefore India is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the seventh consecutive year. There were few criminal convictions of forced labor during the reporting period. Police raids of brick kilns, rice mills, factories, brothels, and other places of human trafficking were usually prompted by NGO activists, as were efforts to provide rehabilitation and protective services to the victims removed from human trafficking. National and state government anti-trafficking infrastructure, and the implementation of the Bonded Labor (System) Abolition Act (BLSA), remained weak. The number of government shelters increased but some continued to be of poor quality. Some public officials’ complicity in trafficking remained a major problem. During the reporting period, the Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh state governments dramatically improved law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking. The central government encouraged the expansion of the number of Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) at the state and district levels; these units, if dedicated exclusively to combating all forms of human trafficking, have the potential to substantially increase law enforcement activities. Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and the Indian embassy in Oman began to address the issue of migrant workers subjected to forced labor in other countries.

Recommendations for India: Strengthen central and state government law enforcement capacity to conduct intrastate and interstate law enforcement activities against labor trafficking (including bonded labor) and sex trafficking; encourage state and district governments to file bonded labor cases under the appropriate criminal statutes to facilitate speedier justice and limit traffickers’ opportunities for bail; encourage other states to establish Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act courts like the one in Mumbai; significantly increase law enforcement efforts to decrease official complicity in trafficking, including prosecuting, convicting, and punishing complicit officials with imprisonment; improve distribution of state and central government rehabilitation funds to victims under the BLSA; empower AHTUs through full financing and encourage them to address labor trafficking; improve central and state government implementation of protection programs and compensation schemes to ensure that certified trafficking victims actually receive benefits, including compensation for victims of forced child labor and bonded labor, to which they are entitled under national and state law; target welfare schemes and laws – such as the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and the new primary education law – to communities that are specifically vulnerable to trafficking and to rescued victims; increase the quantity and breadth of public awareness and related programs to prevent both trafficking for labor and commercial sex; ensure that migrant worker centers in Kerala and Andhra Pradesh adequately address recruitment fees levied by both legal recruitment agencies and illegal sub-agents; and work with the UN Special Rapporteur for Contemporary Forms of Slavery.

Prosecution
Government authorities made little progress in obtaining convictions in bonded labor cases, though government authorities in Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh made significant progress against sex trafficking during the year. The government prohibits forms of sex trafficking through the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA). Prescribed penalties under the ITPA, ranging from seven years’ to life imprisonment, are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. India also prohibits bonded and forced labor through the BLSA, the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986, and the Juvenile Justice Act of 1986. These laws were ineffectively enforced, and their prescribed penalties – a maximum of three years in prison – are not sufficiently stringent. Moreover, these criminal penalties were rarely imposed on offenders. Indian authorities also used Sections 366(A) and 372 of the Indian Penal Code, which prohibit kidnapping and selling children into prostitution, respectively, to arrest and prosecute sex traffickers. Penalties prescribed under these provisions are a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment and a fine. Section 8 of the ITPA prohibits the act of solicitation for prostitution, and this was used in some states to detain and penalize women in prostitution, including trafficking victims, though several state governments – such as Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu – discouraged its use. The Indian cabinet continued to debate proposed amendments to the ITPA to give trafficking victims greater protections and eliminate Section 8. The state of Goa has its own laws prohibiting child trafficking; prescribed penalties under the 2003 Goa Children’s Act include imprisonment of no less than three months and/or a fine for child labor trafficking, and imprisonment for one year and a fine for child sex trafficking.

In 2009, an NGO reported it worked with police to facilitate the conviction of five bonded labor offenders under the BLSA. Sentences for these five traffickers, however, were only one or two days’ imprisonment and a fine of the equivalent of $45. Another NGO reported that it assisted local government officials in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar to prosecute 17 bonded labor cases. The Indian government’s law enforcement raids were largely due to proactive efforts by NGOs. Police and NGO officials in New Delhi and Tamil Nadu rescued 161 bonded child laborers, mainly under the BLSA. While all of these children were sent to shelters for rehabilitation, and some of them received part of their statutory rehabilitation packages, there were no convictions of the labor traffickers. The Delhi High Court issued a judgment in July 2009 resulting in the investigation, rescue, and rehabilitation of 66 bonded child laborers. The children were awarded release certificates under the BSLA though it was not clear if the children were awarded rehabilitation funds as mandated under the BLSA and, while traffickers were arrested, they were not prosecuted. Police and NGO officials rescued 364 bonded laborers in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar during the reporting period. One hundred eighty-five received or are in the process of receiving their rehabilitation packages, totaling approximately $78,000 in government rehabilitation funds. None of these traffickers were convicted by the end of the reporting period. The police and NGOs rescued a number of child laborers in the reporting period. Some of these children may have been trafficking victims. However, it is unclear whether any offenders were prosecuted or convicted.

The city of Mumbai and the state of Andhra Pradesh made significant law enforcement strides against sex trafficking, but prosecutions and convictions of sex trafficking offenders in other parts of India were minimal. In Mumbai, the special anti-trafficking court recorded convictions in at least 81 cases under the ITPA, many of which had multiple defendants. This court was additionally remarkable in eliminating the backlog of old cases. Some of these 81 cases included convictions of “clients” as well as sex trafficking victims. Sentences ranged from $2 fines under the solicitation provision of the ITPA to three-year prison terms for traffickers and clients. Mumbai police, working with an NGO, rescued 22 children and eight adults in 2009, and helped secure the convictions of eight sex traffickers in the Mumbai Sessions Court under the ITPA and the IPC. One sex trafficker received a sentence of three years’ imprisonment; four received sentences of five-years’ imprisonment, and three each received a one year sentence. From October 2008 to February 2010, the Andhra Pradesh court convicted 55 convicted sex traffickers and “clients” and sentenced them to four to 14 years’ imprisonment. These convictions were under Penal Code 366A, 372, 273, and 376(2).

The states of Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh convicted a significant number of sex trafficking offenders; in other states, there were substantially fewer convictions of sex trafficking offenders.

In May 2009, a Delhi court sentenced a sex trafficker to nine years’ imprisonment, and ordered the trafficker to pay approximately $24,000 to the underage victim. Obtaining convictions in most parts of India was difficult due to many causes, including overburdened courts and a lack of commitment by some local authorities. Numerous sources indicated that some states continued to charge and prosecute significant numbers of females in prostitution, including trafficking victims, under section 8 of the ITPA – which prohibits solicitation for prostitution. Delhi and Sikkim police and NGO officials rescued three girls forced into prostitution. One investigation started, but there were no prosecutions. From February to October 2009, Chennai police rescued seven Bangladeshi women, and they were sent to a shelter. The police arrested several customers during the raid at the brothel but they were released on bail after a few days. Implementation of the BLSA remained weak during the year. The BLSA mandates the creation of vigilance committees in each of India’s 626 districts, though the ILO has publicly noted that committees in many states are not operational and the BLSA remains largely unimplemented in spite of a large bonded labor problem throughout the nation. Additionally, law enforcement efforts against bonded labor were hampered by instances of police complicity, traffickers escaping during raids or on bail, or cases dropped by officials for a variety of reasons, including insufficient evidence and intimidation by traffickers.

The Government of India established 38 AHTUs in police departments, compared with nine existing at the start of the reporting period, and made an initial investment of approximately $19 million for the purpose of expanding the number of these units. AHTUs are task forces created within local law enforcement agencies. They are responsible for investigating human trafficking cases, and are meant to be comprised of specially-trained police officers. In practice, the units are likely more focused on sex trafficking, as opposed to the more significant problem of labor trafficking. It is unclear whether any AHTU has yet contributed to a labor trafficking prosecution. The Assam, Bihar, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu police have established AHTUs, but their effectiveness is not yet clear. A few NGOs claim that some AHTUs lack support personnel and funding.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD), and other government agencies led training courses, seminars, workshops, and “training of trainers” trafficking awareness programs for at least 300 law enforcement officials during the reporting period. At least some of these training programs emphasized sex trafficking. The BPRD also prepared a syllabus and training manual on sex trafficking, which is being used in police training colleges and institutes. The impact of anti-trafficking law enforcement training, which remained largely confined to training related to sex trafficking, was difficult to measure – the quality of training varied from state to state. While NGOs in West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh saw law enforcement progress, NGOs in other states perceived little tangible results from law enforcement training.

The involvement of some public officials in human trafficking remained a significant problem, which went largely unaddressed by central and state governments during the reporting period. Corrupt law enforcement officers reportedly continued to facilitate the movement of sex trafficking victims, protect brothels that exploit victims, and protect traffickers and brothel keepers from arrest and other threats of enforcement. Some owners of brothels, rice mills, brick kilns, and stone quarries are reportedly politically connected. Rehabilitation funds under the BLSA were sometimes embezzled by public officials who denied the funds to needy victims. One NGO indicated that in six to seven recent cases, lawyers representing pimps, brothel managers, and corrupt police officers successfully petitioned for the release of child sex trafficking victims from shelters. The girls were subsequently re-trafficked, and their debts owed to traffickers increased due to the petitioners’ fees. India reported no convictions or sentences of government officials for trafficking-related offenses during the reporting period. In November 2009, a team from the National Commission for Women exposed a large trafficking ring in Uttar Pradesh, through which traffickers sent women from areas along the border of Nepal to the Middle East, with the collusion of corrupt police officials. There were no prosecutions under this case. Under the Indian constitution, states have the primary responsibility for law enforcement, and state-level authorities are limited in their abilities to effectively confront interstate and transnational trafficking crimes.

Protection
India made limited and uneven efforts to ensure that all identified victims of human trafficking received access to necessary services during the reporting period. Indian law enforcement and immigration officials continued to lack formal procedures for proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, such as children at work sites, females in prostitution, or members of low and “scheduled” castes in rural industries. In general, however, NGOs helped ensure sex trafficking victims from these raids were assisted in NGO or government shelters; there were no shelters reportedly available for adult male victims of trafficking. The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) funded 314 “Swadhar” projects – which covers female victims of violence, including sex trafficking – 96 projects under the Ujjuwala scheme – which is meant to protect and rehabilitate female trafficking victims – and 210 women’s helplines. Some NGOs have cited difficulty in receiving timely disbursements of national government funding of their shelters under the Ujjuwala scheme. India does not have specialized care for adult male trafficking victims. Foreign victims can access these shelters.

Conditions of government shelter homes under the MWCD varied from state to state. Many shelters functioned beyond capacity, were unhygienic, offered poor food, and provided limited, if any, psychiatric and medical services, although NGOs provided some of those services. Some shelters did not permit child victims to leave the shelters – including for school – to prevent their re-trafficking. An NGO reported some government shelters did not proactively repatriate sex trafficking victims either to their home state or country. In previous years, traffickers re-trafficked victims by approaching shelter managers and pretending to be family members in order to have the victims released to them. While this declined due to government-run awareness programs and the Juvenile Justice Act, it was still a problem.

On the state level, both Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh made comparatively better efforts to protect sex trafficking victims. Tamil Nadu’s Department of Social Welfare provided some in-kind contributions for UNODC-funded programs on capacity building, counseling, and vocational training for livelihood programs, primarily for trafficking victims. Tamil Nadu also provided free legal aid and substance abuse counseling services in state shelters, some of which included sex trafficking victims. In 2009, the Andhra Pradesh state’s Department of Women and Child Development disbursed $10,435 in interim relief to 48 sex trafficking victims for travel, clothing, medicine, and other necessities. Many Indian diplomatic missions in destination countries, especially those in the Middle East, provided services, including temporary shelters to Indian migrant laborers, some of whom were victims of trafficking.

Although each government-recognized victim of bonded labor is entitled to 20,000 rupees (about $450) under the BLSA from the state and central government, disbursement of rehabilitation funds was sporadic. NGOs generally identified bonded laborers and then helped local authorities rescue them. A modest number of bonded labor release certificates issued by some state governments to victims of bonded labor were often done after the encouragement of NGO activists. An NGO indicated the central government had not released any rehabilitation funding to the state of Karnataka since 2007 due to the failure of that state government to submit required documentation to the central government. State governments were more willing to issue release certificates if the victims were from another state, since a victim’s state of origin was responsible for providing the rehabilitation assistance. Weak coordination among government officials at all levels, capacity constraints, cumbersome government procedures, and vacancies in some vigilance committees contributed to these problems. In many cases, NGOs’ efforts continued to be necessary for bonded laborers to receive their release certificates and release funds. However, the NGOs had difficulties securing rehabilitation funds except in a few districts with proactive government officials. NGOs also provided the bulk of protection services to bonded labor victims. When disbursed, funds were distributed so slowly – usually in tranches – that they may not provide for effective rehabilitation. NGOs reported some corrupt local officials took unlawful “commissions” from the rehabilitation packages.

The level to which government officials encouraged victims to cooperate with law enforcement investigations and prosecutions of traffickers was inconsistent and depended on the quality of governance in individual states and local jurisdictions. NGOs often filled the crucial role of assisting rescued victims to provide evidence to prosecute traffickers. Many victims declined to testify against their traffickers due to the fear of retribution by traffickers and India’s sluggish and overburdened judicial system. Victims have historically been unnecessarily detained and sometimes prosecuted for violations of other laws. While this may have declined slightly, it was still a significant problem in the reporting period. Reports indicated foreign victims continued to be charged under the Foreigners’ Act for undocumented status, and then pushed back across the border at night without protective services. During the reporting period, seven rescued Bangladeshi sex trafficking victims remained in a shelter in Chennai – some for as long as a year – while awaiting for the Bangladesh government to give permission for repatriation.

After these women reportedly became frustrated at their situation and violently protested in the shelter, authorities subsequently imprisoned them. However, a state official was trying to release them from the prison and return them to the shelter. NGOs asserted that Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Bihar, Delhi, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal continued to make progress in not criminalizing sex trafficking victims; however, Section 8 of the ITPA (solicitation) and Section 294 of IPC (obscenity in public places) continued to be widely used in other states. In many cases, police could not differentiate between victims and traffickers, due in part to a lack of awareness and training; identification efforts were often NGO-driven. One NGO indicated it faced this problem when working in new areas and cited an example in rural Maharashtra where police officers stopped charging adult women with solicitation or obscenity in public places in collaboration with that NGO.

Foreign trafficking victims were not offered special immigration benefits such as temporary or permanent residency status. The government reported it worked in conjunction with NGOs to place victims in a shelter in their home country in the case of deportation; however, there were no reports this happened in practice. Foreign victims are not offered legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The Government of India made efforts to prevent human trafficking, although the effect of many of these efforts is unclear. The Ministry of Home Affairs expanded its Anti-Human Trafficking Cell (AHTC) from a staff of six officials to ten. During the reporting period, the AHTC drafted and disseminated an advisory on human trafficking – including forced and bonded labor – to raise awareness of, and give guidance on, all forms of human trafficking to Indian states and union territories. States were required to submit quarterly reports to the AHTC; some states complied with this requirement. Through the Ujjawala scheme, the MWCD held quarterly stakeholder meetings with representatives from other ministries and outside NGOs to discuss its efforts against trafficking. The MWCD chaired quarterly Central Advisory Committee meetings, whichinclude officials from the federal and state governments, NGOs, and international organizations. However, an NGO who is a part of the committee raised questions about the usefulness of these meetings. The MHA provided $73,300 to fund a conference for SAARC member countries about strengthening trafficking-related law enforcement. In February 2010, in response to a complaint about bonded labor, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) censured a district administration in Uttar Pradesh for its slow approach in monitoring working conditions in approximately 425 brick kilns. Following this intervention, the district administration admitted 113 of the brick kilns violated various laws, including the BLSA, filed charges against 24 brick kiln owners, and fined 30 others. It is unclear how many, if any, people were rescued from these government efforts. The central government reported that it released $100,000 to fund a survey of bonded laborers in 23 districts of Madhya Pradesh. The NHRC conducted four workshops on bonded labor in Patna, Raipur, Bhubaneshwar, and Ahmedabad reaching a total audience of 400 state officials. In December 2009, the Minister of Home Affairs launched a new book written by a counter-trafficking expert on trafficking and strongly urged states to set up AHTUs in each district. He stated: “The scale of human trafficking in India is not clear, but it is a fair assumption that it is on a very large scale …. It is the most grievous and pernicious of crimes. The victims are mostly women and children. There are a variety of reasons for human trafficking but mostly it is sex trade. It is a crime against humanity.” State governments undertook prevention efforts, but the impact of these efforts were difficult to determine. Tamil Nadu directed district collectors to inspect and register child care homes – some of which have been known to traffic children – and launched pilot anti-TIP drives in select districts; results of these initiatives were not confirmed. The Bihar state government published newspaper ads asking migrant laborers to approach state offices if “they are being used as forced or bonded labor, anywhere in the country,” and assured them of transport home under government expense. Illiteracy and lack of freedom of movement may have hindered this initiative’s effectiveness. Bihar also hired an NGO to educate villagers about the dangers of sex trafficking through community theater, and to train local women’s groups. The Delhi government marked “Global Day Against Child Trafficking” on December 12 with meetings and seminars.

The government took efforts to prevent transnational trafficking, but the impact of these efforts was difficult to determine. The Indian embassy in Muscat introduced several measures to improve the welfare of Indian workers in Oman, including free legal counseling sessions, and the requirement that passports for migrant workers be issued only for one year; the effects of this measure are not yet known. The Migrant Resource Center in Kerala counseled more than 2,900 potential migrants on legal, organized, and humane migration in 2009. In December 2009, the Andhra Pradesh state government, in collaboration with IOM, launched the country’s second center in Hyderabad. The central government increased application fees and security deposits for labor recruitment agents in an attempt to discourage illegitimate recruiters from applying for registration; however, the results of this measure are not yet known. According to a Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) official, India holds joint working groups on labor once a year to review complaints received by Indian embassies. The NHRC conducted four workshops on bonded labor, reaching a total audience of 400 state officials. The government does not permit its female nationals under the age of 40 to engage in domestic work in the Middle East due to the high incidence of physical abuse; evidence suggests such restrictions on migration do not have a positive effect on preventing human trafficking. According to the government, the MOIA blacklisted 400 Middle Eastern companies – it was unclear, however, how this blacklist was enforced and advertised. According to an NGO, the government blacklisted only two or three recruitment agencies. Indian embassies in the Middle East housed Indian Worker Resource Centers. During a February 2010 visit by Prime Minister Singh to Riyadh, India and Saudi Arabia agreed to enhance cooperation and information exchange on transnational crimes, including human trafficking; details of the agreement are not known.

The government reduced the demand for commercial sex acts in the reporting period by convicting clients of prostitution. However, while India does not have a major problem of its nationals participating in child sex tourism abroad, there are no known efforts to curtail Indians from participating in local child sex tourism. Despite a 1969 law mandating the registration of the birth of a child, this does not often happen in practice. Data from India’s last social survey indicates approximately 60 percent of births were unregistered; such a lack of identify documentation contributes to vulnerability to trafficking. The 2010 federal budget set aside $413 million to the Unique Identification Authority of India to issue a single, unique identification number to each resident of India within the next few years. According to a counter-trafficking expert, training for Indian soldiers deployed in peacekeeping missions included awareness about trafficking. The Congolese government, who accused Indian peacekeepers of paying girls for sex in 2008, withdrew its protest from the UN and apologized to the Indian government after an internal UN investigation cleared approximately 100 soldiers of all charges. India is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

INDONESIA (Tier 2)

Indonesia is a major source country, and to a much lesser extent a destination and transit country for women, children, and men who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Each of Indonesia’s 33 provinces is a source and destination of trafficking, with the most significant source areas being Java, West Kalimantan, Lampung, North Sumatra, and South Sumatra. A significant number of Indonesian migrant workers face conditions of forced labor and debt bondage in more developed Asian countries and the Middle East – particularly Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Japan, Kuwait, Syria, and Iraq. During the year, the number of Indonesians seeking work abroad hit an all time high. There are an estimated 6.5 million to 9 million Indonesian migrant workers worldwide, including 2.6 million in Malaysia and 1.8 million in the Middle East. An estimated 69 percent of all overseas Indonesia workers are female and over half of all overseas workers are children. Indonesian NGO Migrant Care estimates that 43 percent – or some 3 million – of Indonesia’s expatriate workforce are victims of trafficking conditions. Another respected Indonesian NGO notes that the number of Indonesian women who are raped while working as domestic workers in the Middle East is on the rise. According to IOM, labor recruiters, both legal and illegal, are responsible for more than 50 percent of the Indonesian female workers who experience trafficking conditions in destination countries. Some recruiters work independently, others for recruitment labor companies called PJTKIs (which include both legal and illegal companies). Some PJTKIs operate similar to trafficking rings, leading both male and female workers into debt bondage and other trafficking situations. These recruitment brokers often operate outside the law with impunity, and some PJTKIs use ties to government officials or police to escape punishment. Workers recruited for overseas work by PJTKIs are often confined involuntarily for months in compounds – ostensibly for training and processing – prior to their deployment. Licensed and unlicensed companies used debt bondage, withholding of documents, threats of violence, and confinement in locked premises for extended periods to traffic Indonesian migrants.

Indonesian women and migrate to Malaysia, Singapore, and the Middle East and are subsequently subjected to forced prostitution; they are also subjected to both forced prostitution and forced labor within Indonesia. Children are trafficked internally and abroad primarily for domestic servitude, forced prostitution, and cottage industries. Many of these trafficked girls work 14-16 hours a day at very low wages, often under perpetual debt due to pay advances given to their families by Indonesian brokers. Debt bondage is particularly pronounced among sex trafficking victims, with an initial debt of some $600 to $1,200 imposed on victims; given an accumulation of additional fees and debts, women and girls are often unable to escape this indebted servitude, even after years in the sex trade. Sixty percent of children under five years old do not have official birth certificates, putting them at higher risk for trafficking. Traffickers employ a variety of means to attract and control victims, including promises of well-paying jobs, debt bondage, community and family pressures, threats of violence, rape, false marriages, and confiscation of passports. In a continued trend, some traffickers’ kidnap victims for forced prostitution in the sex trade in Malaysia and the Middle East. A new trend identified by Indonesian police is the recruitment of Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia for Umrah, a religious pilgrimage to Mecca; once in the Saudi Kingdom they are trafficked to other points in the Middle East. During the year, traffickers were also found to use various Internet social networking media to recruit victims, particularly children, for sex trafficking. Some foreign women from mainland China, Thailand, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe were victims of sex trafficking in Indonesia.

Internal trafficking is also a significant problem in Indonesia, with women and girls exploited in domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, rural agriculture, mining, and fishing. Many victims were originally recruited with offers of jobs in restaurants, factories, or as domestic workers before they were forced into prostitution. Child sex tourism is prevalent in most urban areas and tourist destinations, such as Bali and Riau Island. Some traffickers continued to forge partnerships with school officials to recruit young men and women in vocational programs for forced labor on fishing boats through fraudulent “internship” opportunities.

The Government of Indonesia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government increased the number of both sex and labor trafficking offenders convicted and passed a new five-year anti-trafficking action plan. However, some Indonesian police continue to be passive in combating trafficking absent specific complaints, and corruption among officials involved both directly and indirectly in trafficking crimes remained rampant. During the year, greater civil society and government attention focused on the dearth of adequate protections and preventative measures confronting the forced labor of Indonesian citizens – the country’s largest form of human trafficking – particularly the weak structures of the 2004 migrant labor law (Law No.39) and its offspring, the National Agency for Placement and Protection of Indonesia Overseas Workers (BNP2TKI). The BNP2TKI is an independent joint agency consisting of 11 ministries tasked to protect workers, but its overlap with the preexisting Manpower Ministry’s roles sometimes hampers its effectiveness. The government needs to make greater efforts to both combat trafficking-related complicity and greatly increase regulation and oversight of Indonesian labor recruitment companies exploiting workers in order to make more meaningful strides to combat trafficking.

Recommendations for Indonesia: Reform the legal labor export system, particularly the 2004 Overseas Labor Placement and Protection Law and its weak enforcement body – the BNP2TKI – to reduce the vulnerabilities to human trafficking now facing Indonesian migrant workers; criminally prosecute and punish labor recruitment agencies involved in trafficking and fraudulent recruitment, including the charging of recruitment fees that are grossly disproportionate to the services that recruiters provide; undertake efforts to prosecute and punish those who obtain commercial sexual services from children in prostitution; increase government funding at all levels of government for law enforcement efforts against trafficking and the rescue, recovery, and reintegration of trafficking victims; increase efforts to protect domestic workers within Indonesia, particularly children, through law enforcement, public awareness and assistance to families; improve the collection, analysis, and public reporting of comprehensive data on law enforcement actions taken under the 2007 law; complete a revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Malaysia and other destination countries on Indonesian domestic workers, providing them with internationally recognized protections; increase efforts to prosecute and convict public officials – particularly law enforcement and manpower officials who are involved in trafficking; and increase efforts to combat trafficking through awareness campaigns targeted at the public and law enforcement personnel at all levels of government in main trafficking source regions.

Prosecution
The Indonesian government continued efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders during the year. Through a comprehensive anti-trafficking law enacted in 2007, Indonesia prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons, prescribing penalties of three to 15 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Police and prosecutors, many of whom are still unfamiliar with the legislation, are often reluctant or unsure of how to effectively use it to punish traffickers. While police reportedly used the 2007 law to prepare cases for prosecutors, prosecutors and judges are still frequently using other laws to prosecute traffickers. This year prosecutors used the 2007 law in 56 percent of the cases they prosecuted; they should increase efforts to apply this law more consistently. The government prosecuted 139 suspected trafficking offenders in 2009 - an increase from 129 in 2008. At least 72 of the 139 prosecutions were for labor trafficking. The Indonesian government obtained the convictions of 84 trafficking offenders in 2009, and at least 29 of these convictions were for labor trafficking; this is an increase of the overall 55 offenders convicted in 2008, nine of whom were convicted for labor trafficking. Indonesian officials and local NGOs continued to criticize the police as being too passive in combating trafficking absent specific complaints. NGOs also reported that in cases where police rescued trafficking victims, they often failed to pursue their traffickers, who fled to other regions or left the country. While police were often aware of children in prostitution or other trafficking situations, they frequently failed to intervene to arrest probable traffickers or to protect victims without specific reports from third parties. Police assigned liaison officers to Indonesian embassies in Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Australia, the Philippines, and Thailand to support law enforcement cooperation with host governments, including trafficking investigations. The government continued to work with foreign partners and NGOs to train law enforcement officials on trafficking.

Corruption remains endemic in Indonesia, and members of the security forces continued to be involved both directly and indirectly in trafficking. Police and military officials were sometimes associated with brothels and fronts for prostitution, most frequently through the collection of protection money, which was a widespread practice. Some security force members were also brothel owners, including allegedly in the “Dolly” prostitution complex in Surabaya, one of Southeast Asia’s largest brothel areas. Fraudulent recruitment brokers involved in trafficking often operate outside the law with impunity. Some Ministry of Manpower (MOM) officials reportedly licensed and protected international labor recruiting agencies involved in human trafficking, despite the officials’ knowledge of the agencies’ involvement in trafficking. Some fraudulent recruitment agencies tied to families or friends of government officials or police make deals when caught, and then continue to operate. Government passport services remained the object of widespread corruption, and recruitment agencies routinely falsified birth dates, including for children, in order to apply for passports and migrant worker documents.

The Manpower Ministry publicly stated that it is identifying and punishing these companies, and the media frequently reports arrests of labor company recruiters. For example, in July 2009, the National Police arrested the manager of a labor recruiting company for allegedly trafficking women to the Middle East and Malaysia to work as maids. However, the Ministry has not yet provided any statistics on such activities. Some local officials facilitated trafficking by certifying false information in the production of national identity cards and family data cards for children, allowing them to be recruited for work as adults abroad and within the country. In return for bribes, some Immigration officials turned a blind eye to potential trafficking victims, failing to screen or act with due diligence in processing passports and immigration control. In April 2009, four consular officials from Indonesia’s Consulate General in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia, were sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for charging inflated fees to Indonesian migrant workers seeking visa services. In October 2009, Indonesian police arrested a Ministry of Trade official involved in a visa scam for a tour company which served as a front for human trafficking. Twelve victims were rescued from the tour company’s “safe house” in Banten.

Protection
The Indonesian government continued to protect victims of trafficking during the year, although these efforts remained uneven and inadequate in comparison with the scope of the country’s trafficking problem. The Social Welfare Ministry operated 22 shelters and trauma clinics for victims of sex and labor trafficking and the National Police operated several “integrated service centers,” which provided medical services to victims of violence they were also accessible to victims of trafficking. The government continued to operate more than 500 districtlevel women’s help desks to assist women and child victims of violence, including trafficking. The government relied significantly on international organizations and NGOs for the provision of services to victims, such as IOM assistance in running the police integrated service centers, and provided some limited funding to domestic NGOs and civil society groups that supported services for populations which included trafficking victims. Most security personnel did not employ formal procedures for the identification and referral of victims among vulnerable groups, such as females in prostitution, children migrating within the country, and workers returning from abroad, but did refer some victims to service providers on an ad hoc basis.

During the year, the government increased overall funding for anti-trafficking protection efforts in its inter-Ministry task force by 16 percent. Much of the government’s funding in 2010 was allotted to the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection ($500,000), a shift in funding from the Ministry of Social Welfare reflecting the transfer of coordination of the national anti-trafficking task force from the latter to the former in 2009. Nonetheless, the Social Welfare Ministry continued programs that included operating trauma centers, providing more psychosocial workers and trauma experts, and training on trauma treatment. The Women’s Ministry’s new funding was directed to coordination meetings, awareness trainings throughout the country and operational costs for trainers.

Screening of migrants at Terminal Four of Jakarta International Airport remained inadequate, and authorities do not appear to identify many trafficking victims that travel through the terminal. Both the BNP2TKI and MOM were largely ineffective in protecting migrant workers from trafficking. Some trafficking victims were detained and arrested by police, including through raids on prostitution establishments; some anti-prostitution raids were carried out by police in order to extract bribes from managers and owners of these establishments. There were reports that some police refused to receive trafficking complaints from victims, instead urging the victims to reach informal settlements with their traffickers. Some government personnel encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases, while others were less solicitous of victims’ cooperation. The prolonged nature of court cases often led victims to avoid cooperating with the prosecution of their traffickers; additionally, the government does not provide adequate funds for victim witnesses to travel to trials. Authorities continued to round up and deport a small number of women in prostitution without determining whether they were victims of trafficking. Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry continued to operate shelters for trafficking victims and migrant workers at some of its embassies and consulates abroad. These diplomatic shelters sheltered thousands of Indonesian citizens in distress, including trafficking victims. In January 2010, an inter-ministerial working group, in partnership with IOM, rescued and repatriated 425 female Indonesian workers from Indonesian embassy shelters in Riyadh and Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and Amman, Jordan, as well as 199 workers from the Indonesian embassy’s shelter in Kuwait.

Prevention
The Indonesian government made inadequate efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. The government continued efforts to coordinate anti-trafficking programs and policies through a national task force on trafficking, which includes working group subunits on coordination, policy, and other areas. The chair of the task force was transferred from the Ministry of Social Welfare to the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection. The national task force continued to lack sufficient funding and a full-time secretariat, limiting its effectiveness. Additionally, 16 provinces and 27 districts and municipalities coordinated anti-trafficking efforts at local levels during the reporting period. The government continued partnerships with NGOs and international organizations to increase public awareness of trafficking.

During the year, the government increased funding to four ministries for anti-trafficking efforts. In November 2009, the Coordinating Ministry of Social Welfare issued a new anti-trafficking action plan for 2009-2014. This was the result of coordination amongst members of joint task force against trafficking. The government continued, but was not able to conclude during the reporting period, negotiations with the Malaysian government on amendments to a 2006 MOU covering Indonesian domestic workers. The 2006 MOU ceded the rights of Indonesian domestic workers to hold their passports while working in Malaysia. The BNP2TKI and the law that established it– the 2004 Labor Placement and Protection Law (Law No. 39) – are widely regarded as ineffective in preventing labor trafficking, and NGOs have called for its abolishment or overhaul; the legislature has agreed it needs revising. The Ministry of Manpower reportedly fined some labor recruiting companies (PJTKIs) and cancelled the licenses of others for fraudulent recruitment practices that may have contributed to forced labor, though data on these actions were not provided by the government. The government did not effectively monitor immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking, with some limited exceptions. The government did not report efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or the demand for commercial sex acts during the year.

IRAN (Tier 3)

Iran is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Iranian women are trafficked internally for forced prostitution and forced marriage. Iranian and Afghan children living in Iran are trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation – sometimes through forced marriages, in which their new “husbands” force them into prostitution and involuntary servitude as beggars or laborers to pay debts, provide income, or support drug addiction of their families. Young men and Afghan boys are forced into prostitution in male brothels in southern Iran. Iranian women and girls are also subjected to forced prostitution in Pakistan, Turkey, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Iraq, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. There are reports of women and girls being sold for marriage to men in Pakistan for the purpose of sexual servitude.

Men and women from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iraq migrate voluntarily or are smuggled to Iran, or through Iran, to other Gulf states, Greece, and Turkey seeking employment. Some subsequently are subjected to conditions of forced labor or debt bondage, including through the use of such practices as restriction of movement, non-payment of wages, and physical or sexual abuse. In Iran, reports indicate victims primarily work in the construction and agricultural sectors, although this type of forced labor may have declined over the past year due to the economic crisis. There are reports that women from Azerbaijan and Tajikistan travel to Iran to find employment and subsequently fall victim to forced prostitution. Tajik women transit Iran and are forced into prostitution in the UAE. Press reports indicate criminal organizations, sometimes politically connected, play a significant role in human trafficking to and from Iran, particularly across the borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan in connection with smuggling of migrants, drugs, and arms. There are nearly one million Afghans living in Iran, some as refugees and others as economic migrants, who are vulnerable to conditions of human trafficking.

The Government of Iran does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to do so. Lack of access to Iran by U.S. government officials impedes the collection of information on the country’s human trafficking problem and the government’s efforts to curb it. The government did not share information on its anti-trafficking efforts with the international community during the reporting period. Publicly available information from NGOs, the press, international organizations, and other governments nonetheless support two fundamental conclusions: first, trafficking within, to, and from Iran is extensive; and second, the authorities’ response is not sufficient to penalize offenders, protect victims, and eliminate trafficking. Indeed, some aspects of Iranian law and policy hinder efforts to combat trafficking. These include punishment of victims and legal obstacles to punishing offenders. In international fora, the Iranian government has objected to the principle that victims of trafficking should not be punished for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked.

Recommendations for Iran: Share with the international community efforts made to investigate trafficking offenses and prosecute and punish trafficking offenders; investigate trafficking offenses and prosecute and punish trafficking offenders, including officials who are complicit in trafficking; institute a victim identification procedure to systematically identify and protect victims of trafficking, particularly among groups such as women arrested for prostitution; and cease the punishment of victims of trafficking for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked.

Prosecution
No reliable information was available on human trafficking investigations, prosecutions, convictions or punishments during the past year. A 2004 law prohibits trafficking in persons by means of the threat or use of force, coercion, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability of the victim for purposes of prostitution, removal of organs, slavery or forced marriage. Reports indicate, however, the law remains unenforced. The Constitution and Labor Code both prohibit forced labor and debt bondage; the prescribed penalty of a fine and up to one year’s imprisonment is not sufficient to deter these crimes and is not commensurate with prescribed penalties for serious crimes, such as rape. In addition, the Labor Code does not apply to work in households. The law permits temporary marriage for a fixed term (sigheh), after which the marriage is terminated. Some persons abuse this legal process to coerce women into prostitution; there are reports of Iranian women subjected to forced prostitution through fixed-term marriages to men from Pakistan and Gulf states. Law enforcement data is unknown; there were reports of some prosecutions for traffickers who forced Iranian girls into prostitution in the Gulf. Investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of trafficking offenders were not priorities in the country. It was extremely difficult for women forcibly held in commercial sexual exploitation to obtain justice; first, because the testimony of two women is equal to that of one man, and second, because women who are victims of sexual abuse are vulnerable to being executed for adultery, defined as sexual relations outside of marriage. Official complicity may be a problem; human traffickers were reported to have very close links to some authorities and security agencies.

Protection
There were no reported efforts by the Government of Iran to improve its protection of trafficking victims this year. Iran did not have a process to identify trafficking victims from the vulnerable populations found in the country, and officials did not differentiate between victims of trafficking and undocumented migrants. The government reportedly punishes victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, for example, adultery and prostitution. There were reports that the government arrested, prosecuted, and punished several trafficking victims on charges of prostitution or adultery. It is unknown how many victims may have been subjected to punishment during the reporting period for such acts committed as a result of being trafficked. In the February 2010 Trafficking in Persons Working Group in Vienna, the government stated it would not accept any recommendations calling for the absolution of trafficking victims for their crimes; the Iranian delegate said while the victim status of a woman in prostitution might be taken into account by the judge, he opposed the idea that such a woman should not be prosecuted. Most foreign trafficking victims are detained for a short period of time and then deported. Some welfare organizations may help Iranian trafficking victims. Foreign victims of trafficking do not have a legal alternative to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. According to a March 2009 report citing UNICEF and provincial authorities in Herat, Afghanistan, more than 1,000 Afghan children deported from Iran in 2008 faced poverty and were at risk for abuse, including human trafficking; there were no known efforts to identify trafficking victims among this group. In the reporting period, Iran deported very large numbers of undocumented Afghans without screening them for victimization. Previous reports indicate the government does not encourage victims to assist law enforcement authorities as they investigate and prosecute trafficking cases.

Prevention
There were no reports of efforts by the Government of Iran to prevent trafficking during the past year, such as campaigns to raise public awareness of trafficking, to reduce demand for commercial sex acts, or to reduce demand for child sex tourism by Iranians traveling abroad. Iran is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

IRAQ (Tier 2 Watch List)

Iraq is both a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Iraqi women and girls, some as young as 11 years old, are subjected to conditions of human trafficking within the country and in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Iran, and possibly Yemen for forced prostitution and sexual exploitation within households. In some cases, women are lured into forced sexual exploitation through false promises of work. The more prevalent means of human trafficking is through sale or forced marriage. Family members have coerced girls and women into prostitution to escape desperate economic circumstances, to pay debts, or to resolve disputes between families. Some women and girls are trafficked within Iraq for the purpose of sexual exploitation through the traditional institution of temporary marriages (muta’a). Under this arrangement, the family receives a dowry from the husband and the marriage is terminated after a specified period. Iraqi males have also taken advantage of muta’a to traffic multiple women into other Iraqi provinces or neighboring countries, especially Syria, for the purposes of forced prostitution. Anecdotal reports tell of desperate Iraqi families abandoning their children at the Syrian border with the expectation that traffickers on the Syrian side will pick them up and arrange forged documents so the young women and girls can stay in Syria in exchange for working in a nightclub or brothel. The large population of internally displaced persons and refugees moving within Iraq and across its borders are particularly at risk of being trafficked.

Iraq is a destination country for men and women who migrate from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Pakistan, Georgia, Jordan, and Uganda and are subsequently subjected to conditions of forced labor as construction workers, security guards, cleaners, handymen, and domestic workers. Such men and women often reported their employers seized workers’ passports and official documents, refused to honor employment contracts, and made threats of deportation as a means to keep them in a situation of forced labor. Some governments ban their nationals from working in Iraq. These bans are not effective, however, as many migrating laborers and labor brokers circumvent the law. Some of these foreign migrants were recruited for work in other countries such as Jordan or the Gulf States but were forced or coerced to travel to Iraq, where their passports were confiscated and their wages withheld, ostensibly to repay labor brokers for the costs of recruitment, transport, and food and lodging. Other foreign migrants were aware they were destined for Iraq but once in-country, found the terms of employment were not what they expected or the jobs they were promised did not exist, and they faced coercion and serious harm, financial or otherwise, if they attempted to leave. In one case that came to light last year, 14 Ugandan women were subjected to forced labor in Iraq. These women were told they would work on U.S. military bases as domestic workers, although no U.S. contractors or subcontractors were involved in bringing them to Iraq. Upon arrival, the women were sent to work as domestic workers for private Iraqi families and received significantly lower wages. Some of the women were locked in rooms, had their passports stolen, and were physically or sexually abused by either the recruitment agent or the employer, practices potentially used to keep them in compelled service.

Some Iraqi boys from poor families are subjected to forced street begging and other nonconsensual labor exploitation and forced commercial sexual exploitation. Some women from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines who migrated to the area under the jurisdiction of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) experienced conditions of involuntary domestic servitude after being recruited with offers of different jobs. An Iraqi official revealed networks of women have been involved in the trafficking and sale of male and female children for the purposes of forced prostitution. There were reports some Iraqi boys were trafficked internally for the purpose of organ donation; Baghdad hospitals did not question the “voluntary” donation because often the father of the boy was present. There have been isolated cases of Iraqi border forces intercepting older men and young girls attempting to travel together out of Iraq using fake documents; NGOs contend these are cases of trafficking. Anecdotal evidence and media reports suggested some trafficking victims were taken from orphanages and other charitable institutions by employees of these organizations.

The Government of Iraq does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so in spite of resource and capability constraints. The Iraqi government continued to move its draft anti-trafficking bill through its legislative structures. Because the determination that Iraq is making significant efforts is based on indications of a commitment to take additional future steps over the next year, particularly the passage of the anti-trafficking law, Iraq is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year. Despite these overall significant efforts, the government did not show progress over the last year in punishing trafficking offenses using existing laws, identifying and protecting victims of trafficking, or preventing trafficking from occurring.

Recommendations for Iraq: Enact and begin implementing the draft law criminalizing all forms of trafficking; investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders; train officials in methods to identify victims; undertake a campaign to raise awareness of trafficking to law enforcement officials; provide protection services to victims, ensure that they are not punished for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, and encourage their assistance in prosecuting offenders; take steps to end the practice of forced marriages that entrap girls in sexual and domestic servitude; consider measures to reduce the abuse of migrant workers who learn upon arrival in Iraq that the job they were promised does not exist and end up in situations of forced labor; and regulate recruitment practices of foreign labor brokers to prevent practices facilitating forced labor.

Prosecution
The government made minimal progress in its antihuman trafficking law enforcement efforts over the past year. The 2005 Iraqi Constitution prohibits forced labor, slavery, slave trade, trafficking in women or children, and sex trade, though the Constitution does not prescribe specific punishments for these acts and it cannot be used to prosecute offenders. The Government of Iraq has not yet passed its anti-trafficking draft legislation; however, it is reported the legislation finally progressed through the Shura Council. Although no single law defines trafficking in persons or establishes it as a criminal offense, various provisions of Iraqi law apply to trafficking. During the last six months, the Iraqi government initiated both a criminal and a human rights investigation into an alleged labor trafficking crime, which resulted in the issuance of two arrest warrants. There were no mechanisms to collect data on offenses or enforcement. There was some evidence of complicity in trafficking by officials. An investigation of alleged trafficking involving the director of a women’s shelter in the KRG area last year had not been completed at the time of this report.

Protection
The Iraqi government demonstrated minimal efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking were given access to protective services during the reporting period. Iraq did not have formal procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as women arrested for prostitution or foreign workers imported to Iraq by labor brokers, some of whom reportedly provided workers for U.S. government contractors and sub-contractors. The government did not fund even temporary shelters for trafficking victims, and did not show efforts to develop or implement procedures by which government officials systematically refer victims to organizations providing legal, medical, or psychological services. However, two ministries refer adult and juvenile detainees to medical screening if they report abuse; reports of abuse of juvenile detainees are investigated, although the results of these investigations are not known. All care is administered by NGOs, which run victim-care facilities and shelters accessible to victims of trafficking. Because coercion is not recognized in Iraqi courts as a legal defense for engaging in an unlawful act, women who have been coerced into prostitution have been prosecuted and convicted. Sex trafficking victims reportedly were prosecuted for prostitution and some spent several months in detention awaiting trial. In the few known cases of children who were forced into armed service, the child victims were prosecuted for terrorism offenses. Some child trafficking victims were placed in protective facilities, orphanages, and foster care, while others were placed in juvenile detention centers. Since trafficking is not established as a crime in Iraq, the government did not encourage victims to assist in investigations or prosecution. Foreign victims had no legal protection against removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Iraq did not assist foreign trafficking victims by providing temporary or permanent residency status or other relief from deportation. There was no victims’ restitution program. In August 2009, the Iraqi government assisted in the repatriation of the 14 Ugandan women subjected to forced labor in Iraq. Iraq did not provide any specialized training for government officials to identify trafficking victims. Furthermore, the government denied permission for an NGO to visit Baghdad’s women’s prison, where the NGO had previously identified trafficking victims among women detained for offenses committed as a result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The Government of Iraq took minimal efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period. The Ministry of Human Rights, working in tandem with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, initiated a public awareness campaign aimed at educating children at schools and youth centers across the country about trafficking. However, the government has not yet created an effective mechanism to disseminate awareness information to front-line law enforcement officers who are most likely to come into contact with trafficking victims. Law enforcement officials did not consistently screen people leaving or entering Iraq for evidence of trafficking, and the borders of Iraq remained generally unsecured. The Iraqi government had not taken steps to end the practice of forced marriages and curb the use of temporary marriages, which can result in situations of sexual and involuntary domestic servitude; and it had not regulated recruitment practices of foreign labor brokers to prevent practices facilitating forced labor. The Supreme Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, an inter-ministerial committee composed of members from the Ministries of Human Rights, Foreign Affairs, and Labor and Social Affairs, continued to serve as a coordinating body on human trafficking issues, though it wielded no special authority to implement its recommendations.

IRELAND (Tier 1)

Ireland is a destination and, to a lesser extent, transit country for women, men, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. According to one NGO, the majority of sex trafficking victims found in Ireland during the reporting period originated in Nigeria. Multiple NGOs reported the increasing use of the Internet in moving victims off the street and into private venues, making them harder to identify. Labor trafficking victims reportedly consisted of men and women from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Egypt, and the Philippines, though there may also be some victims from South America, Eastern Europe, and other parts of Asia and Africa. Forced labor victims reportedly were found in domestic service, restaurant, and agricultural work. Unaccompanied minors from various source countries were vulnerable to trafficking. The government reported that some children who have gone missing from state care have been found in brothels, restaurants, and private households where they may have been exploited. Of the 47 children who were reported missing from state care in 2009, nine were recovered; authorities believed at least one of the nine may have been trafficked.

The Government of Ireland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Over the past several years, the government has made substantial strides in acknowledging Ireland’s human trafficking problem and implementing legislation and policies to punish trafficking offenders and protect trafficking victims.

Recommendations for Ireland: Vigorously prosecute labor and sex trafficking offenses and convict and sentence trafficking offenders; explore ways to enhance usage of the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act of 2008; continue to train officials in the implementation of nascent, formal victim identification and referral procedures to ensure victims receive appropriate services; ensure the provision of specialized services for adult and child trafficking victims, including secure shelter with personnel trained in assisting trafficking victims and funding for NGOs assisting both sex and labor trafficking victims; continue prevention measures targeted at reducing the vulnerability of unaccompanied foreign minors to trafficking; and establish a national anti-trafficking rapporteur to draft critical assessments of Ireland’s efforts to punish traffickers, protect victims, and prevent new incidents of human trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Ireland made progress in its prosecution of sex trafficking offenses during the reporting period. Ireland prohibited all forms of trafficking through the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act, enacted in 2008. Penalties prescribed range from no imprisonment to life imprisonment, a range that is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for rape. In 2009, the government initiated 68 human trafficking investigations and reported four prosecutions of trafficking offenders. The government also assisted with three prosecutions in Romania as well as three prosecutions in Wales. This activity contrasts with no prosecutions conducted by the Irish government during the previous reporting period. There were three convictions of sex trafficking offenders in Ireland during the reporting period under statutes different from the Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act of 2008, compared with no convictions during the previous year. One trafficking offender received no punishment but the others each received six years in prison. There were no convictions of labor trafficking offenders in Ireland during the reporting period. In November 2009, police arrested a police officer for alleged trafficking; the case was in the investigation stage at the end of the reporting period. Military police investigated one reported trafficking case involving an Irish soldier on an overseas mission but determined it was not an instance of human trafficking. The government provided specialized anti-trafficking training for authorities in multiple agencies, including more than 350 members of the Irish police. Ireland forged partnerships with at least six European countries to share anti-trafficking best practices in addition to partnerships built with other governments on specific trafficking cases.

Protection
The Irish government demonstrated some progress in protecting victims during the reporting period. The government formalized procedures to guide officials in the identification and referral of victims to service providers in Junes 2009. The government’s Legal Aid Board provided legal services to suspected victims of trafficking. Authorities referred some victims to an NGO specialized in services for victims of sex trafficking that received some government funding. Victims of sex and labor trafficking had access to state services including medical care, accommodation, and counseling, though the NGOs focusing on labor trafficking were largely funded by private sources. Government social workers, the majority of whom have received anti-trafficking awareness training, organized specific care plans for child victims. In the past, the government used hostels to accommodate vulnerable children and unaccompanied minors arriving in Ireland, but the government has recognized that this placement may not have provided sufficient protection. The government provided temporary legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims as part of a 60-day reflection period – time for victims to receive immediate care and assistance while they consider whether to assist law enforcement; ten victims received the reflection period during the reporting period, compared with only two victims during the previous year. Longer-term residency arrangements were possible. Victims who received a temporary residence permit were also entitled to rent allowance. The government provided accommodation for suspected victims in reception centers designed for asylum seekers that provided health care and psychological services. The government encouraged victims to participate in anti-trafficking investigations and prosecutions by offering them witness protection. Irish law also provided for the prohibition of the media or others publicizing details about victims. There was no evidence during the year that potential trafficking victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The government contracted IOM to train labor inspectors, health officials, immigration officials, victim support authorities and others on proactive victim identification.

Prevention
The government made progress in trafficking prevention. In partnership with NGOs, the government published a national anti-trafficking action plan in June 2009. The Justice Department’s anti-human trafficking unit coordinated anti-trafficking effort; a high-level anti-trafficking interdepartmental group also functioned as a coordination mechanism. The government funded an anti-trafficking public service announcement that aired regularly during the reporting period and maintained a trafficking awareness website; both targeted clients of the sex trade as well as victims and the general public. The government placed awareness ads in national newspapers for the EU anti-trafficking day as well as in taxi and transport company trade publications. The Department of Justice anti-trafficking unit established a social networking site during the reporting period to raise awareness about human trafficking. The Department of Defense provided ongoing anti-trafficking training for all deployed Irish peacekeeping missions. The government did not identify any Irish nationals involved in child sex tourism during the reporting period. Ireland is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

ISRAEL (Tier 2)

Israel is a destination country for men and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Low-skilled workers from Thailand, China, Nepal, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, and, to a lesser extent, Romania and Turkey, migrate voluntarily and legally to Israel for contract labor in construction, agriculture, and home health care provision. Some, however, subsequently face conditions of forced labor, including through such practices as the unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, inability to change or otherwise choose one’s employer, non-payment of wages, threats, and physical intimidation. Many labor recruitment agencies in source countries and in Israel require workers to pay recruitment fees typically ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, although Chinese workers often paid more than $20,000 – a practice making workers highly vulnerable to trafficking or debt bondage once in Israel. Traffickers are usually the migrant workers’ legal employers and the recruitment agents in both Israel and in the migrants’ home countries. Women from the former Soviet Union and China are subjected to forced prostitution in Israel, although the number of women affected has declined since the passage and implementation of Israel’s 2006 anti-trafficking bill. A small number of Israeli women are trafficked within the country for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Israel does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Israel continued law enforcement actions against human trafficking and established a shelter for labor trafficking victims during the reporting period. However, the government did not identify labor trafficking victims during the year, and some law enforcement and protection efforts diminished since the transfer of anti-trafficking duties from the Immigration Police to the Ministry of Interior. Improving identification of victims of labor trafficking and internal trafficking would enhance Israel’s anti-trafficking response.

Recommendations for Israel: Significantly increase prosecutions, convictions, and punishment of forced labor offenses, including the unlawful practice of withholding passports as a means to keep a person in compelled labor or service; ensure identified trafficking victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as immigration violations; and fully investigate the incidence of Israel nationals trafficked internally for commercial sexual exploitation.

Prosecution
The Government of Israel made some progress in its law enforcement efforts against human trafficking. Israel prohibits all forms of human trafficking through its Anti- Trafficking Law of 2006, which prescribes penalties of: up to 16 years’ imprisonment for sex trafficking of an adult; up to 20 years’ imprisonment for sex trafficking of a child; up to 16 years’ imprisonment for slavery; and up to seven years’ imprisonment for forced labor. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes. In the reporting period, the government of Israel prosecuted the case of eight traffickers who ran an international sex trafficking ring. This case involved coordination and cooperation with law enforcement and other government officials in several countries. In 2009, fourteen people were convicted of trafficking for the purposes of prostitution and/or related offenses. Since July 2009, the police opened 61 investigations of cases involving forced labor and 28 investigations of cases involving the withholding of passports. In 2009, the government initiated the prosecution of 32 suspected offenders on charges of forced labor, exploitation of vulnerable populations, and withholding a passport. Police arrested an individual reported to have coerced more than 30 women into prostitution, and who lived off of their income. He was suspected of enslavement, an offense under the anti-trafficking law, and a number of sexual offenses, including rape. NGOs indicated the government focused on prosecutions of related offenses — which allow for civil penalties as opposed to criminal convictions — rather than the prosecutions of trafficking crimes. Police did not initiate any investigations into the trafficking of Israeli citizens within the country and generally did not recognize that Israeli women were trafficked.

According to NGOs, there was a diminishment of anti-trafficking efforts in the reporting period since the newly-created immigration and border control authority (commonly referred to as the “Oz” unit) within the Ministry of Interior (MOI) replaced the Immigration Police. The Oz unit was accused of lacking awareness of trafficking and the will to combat it. While Oz inspectors were meant to convey information to the police if they encountered suspected crimes against migrant workers, NGOs asserted this did not happen, and a report by the Knesset’s Research and Information Center confirmed shortcomings in the operations of Oz inspectors. Furthermore, NGOs reported almost all labor trafficking prosecutions since initiation of the Oz unit were due to efforts by NGOs as opposed to investigation by the government.

The government provided numerous classes, workshops, and seminars to train law enforcement officers and judicial officials on trafficking. For instance, the Investigations and Intelligence Training School integrated trafficking issues in its curriculum, including lectures given by NGOs.

Protection
The Government of Israel continued to improve its protection of trafficking victims over the reporting period, although it lacked effective procedures to identify victims of labor trafficking and domestic sex trafficking. While the government has a formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among high-risks persons with whom they come in contact, this procedure was largely limited in practice to identifying foreign sex trafficking victims, whom the government refers to shelters. The government gave a grant of $15,000 to a labor trafficking NGO for the purposes of identifying and assisting trafficking victims. In 2009, the government opened a new shelter for foreign male victims of labor trafficking, which assisted 50 victims in the reporting period. The government continued to support its existing shelter, and expanded its mandate to assist foreign female victims of both sex and labor trafficking, assisting 41 women during 2009. The government funded and supervised the shelters and its legal, medical, and psychiatric services, allocating $1.3 million in 2009, while an NGO operated the facility. The government encourages victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking.

Israel detained and deported labor trafficking victims if they were undocumented and not identified as victims. There were some unconfirmed reports that a small number of sex trafficking victims were detained, incarcerated, or deported. An NGO indicated officers prevented it from entering prisons to identify potential sex trafficking victims. Reports indicate the MOI transferred migrants to new employers who were affiliated with the same recruitment agency as the previous employers. This created an abusive situation since the new employer had incentive from the recruitment agency to coerce the migrant into revoking or amending the migrant’s labor complaint. At times, this employment transfer occurred without the migrants’ consent. Since 2009, the government of Israel issued temporary B1 visas – unrestricted work visas – to trafficking victims, not contingent on their cooperation with law enforcement officials. However, at an inter-ministerial meeting in January 2010, the MOI declared its intention to cancel this procedure.

The government provided numerous workshops and other training to state social workers and other government officials on victim identification, cultural sensitivity, and other issues. The Foreign Ministry’s International Agency for Development Cooperation conducted a one-week training course for senior representatives of NGOs and governments in source countries in May 2009. The workshop included components on trafficking prevention and victim rehabilitation.

Prevention
The Israeli government made sustained progress in preventing trafficking in persons over the reporting period. During the reporting period, the government held its first and second annual ceremony to present awards to individuals or organizations that made a significant contribution against human trafficking.

The country’s national coordinator for human trafficking posted an annual summary of the Israeli government’s anti-trafficking efforts on the Web, and disseminated information on trafficking on the Internet and via a weekly digest sent to governmental and nongovernmental stakeholders. The Knesset held a meeting to discuss the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report for Israel. In December 2009, the Authority for the Advancement of the Status of Women broadcast on Israeli television several reports on the issue of sex trafficking. The government distributed trafficking prevention brochures in local languages for use by the Israeli consuls abroad in countries of origin; however, it is uncertain if laborers in their home countries received these brochures. The government continued to distribute a labor rights brochure to foreign workers arriving at the Ben Gurion Airport and a second brochure to foreign construction workers. During the year, authorities revoked the recruitment licenses and special permits to recruit foreign workers of 18 recruitment agencies. Prime Minister Netanyahu in January 2010 announced a Cabinet-approved plan to increase penalties on employment agencies that charge exorbitant recruitment fees and force agencies to secure a full year’s employment for workers in the caretaker sector. However, the plan also binds foreign workers to sectors and geographic regions, and migrants who are found violating this for more than 90 days will be deported. The government used education campaigns to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

ITALY (Tier 1)

Italy is a destination and transit country for women, children, and men subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Victims originated from North and East Africa, Eastern Europe, the Former Soviet Union, South America, Asia and the Middle East. Romanians and other children from Eastern Europe continued to be subjected to forced prostitution and forced begging in the country. A significant number of men continued to be subjected to forced labor and debt bondage mostly in the agricultural sector in southern Italy. In 2009, labor inspectors discovered 98,400 unregistered workers employed by 80,000 of the 100,600 farms inspected; their unregistered status rendered them vulnerable to trafficking. The source countries from which forced labor victims are likely found include Poland, Romania, Pakistan, Albania, Morocco, Bangladesh, China, Senegal, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire. Traffickers continued to move victims more frequently within Italy, often keeping victims in major cities for only a few months at a time, in an attempt to evade police detection. NGOs and independent experts reported that efforts to limit street prostitution and crackdowns on illegal immigration have shifted trafficking into more private, hidden sectors, causing the identification of trafficking victims to become more difficult and complex.

The Government of Italy fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to provide comprehensive assistance to identified trafficking victims during the reporting period. However, according to NGOs the government failed to proactively identify many potential trafficking victims throughout the year, representing a significant departure from its previous victim-centered approach to trafficking in Italy. This might have resulted in victims’ removal to countries where they faced retribution and hardship and victims being penalized as a direct result of being trafficked.

Recommendations for Italy: Increase outreach and identification efforts to potential victims to ensure that more trafficking victims are identified, provided care, and not penalized for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked; proactively identify potential trafficking victims among illegal immigrant populations to prevent their removal to countries where they face hardship or retribution; and vigorously investigate and prosecute all acts of trafficking-related complicity.

Prosecution
The Government of Italy continued to demonstrate vigorous anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. Italy prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons through its 2003 Measures Against Trafficking in Persons law, which prescribes penalties of eight to 20 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses. Complete data for 2008 showed it investigated 2,738 suspects for trafficking, resulting in the arrest of 365 people. The government reported trial courts convicted 138 trafficking offenders in 2008 and sentenced them to an estimated average of four years’ imprisonment, the government reported that all offenders were prosecuted under its 2003 trafficking law. The government reportedly used other laws, which carry lesser penalties, in some cases to prosecute forced labor trafficking. It did not, however, disaggregate its data to demonstrate any prosecutions or convictions for force labor offenses. In December 2009, authorities arrested and charged two prison guards with exploitation of women in prostitution. In September 2007, an officer of the Italian consulate in Kyiv was arrested for facilitating the trafficking of young girls for forced prostitution in clubs and discos; the Italian government did not report on any subsequent investigation in Italy.

Protection
The Government of Italy demonstrated continued efforts to protect and assist identified trafficking victims during the reporting period. Article 18 of its anti-trafficking law codifies the identification and referral of trafficking victims to NGOs for care and assistance; however, the government did not have stand-alone procedures for front-line responders to ensure this aspect of the law was being implemented. In 2008, approximately 1,100 trafficking victims, including 50 children and 100 men, entered social protection programs. According to the Ministry of Interior, 810 victims received residency permits by assisting law enforcement in 2009, compared with 664 the previous year. Adult trafficking victims were granted a six-month residency permit, which was renewed if the victim found employment or had enrolled in a training program. Children received an automatic residence permit until they reached age 18. In 2009, the national government and local authorities earmarked $12.7 million for victim assistance projects. The government ensured, through IOM, the responsible return of 34 trafficking victims in 2009. Victims who are identified and file complaints against traffickers generally did not face penalties for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

During the reporting period, the government aggressively implemented anti-immigration security laws and polices resulting in fines for illegal migrants and their expedited expulsion from Italy. International human rights groups and local experts reported this resulted in authorities failing to take adequate measures to identify potential victims of trafficking. Further, the Italian government implemented an accord with the Government of Libya during the reporting period that allowed for Italian authorities to interdict, forcibly return and re-route boat migrants to Libya. According to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch the government failed to conduct even a cursory screening among these migrants for indications of trafficking. Race riots in Rosarno in January 2010 revealed the rampant exploitation of immigrant labor within Italy’s agricultural sector. The government reported many of these 1,000 African migrants possessed temporary residence permits; the government reported granting some migrants asylum and deported the remainder. It is unclear if authorities systematically attempted to identify trafficking victims among these migrants; only eight migrants requested residence permits as trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Government of Italy continued to make efforts to prevent trafficking in 2009. The government implemented an information campaign, funded by the EU, during the reporting period that included television and radio ads aimed at informing the public that some women in prostitution in their towns may be victims of modern slavery. NGOs continued to distribute government-funded materials that included television and Internet spots, banners, and bumper stickers in various languages during the reporting period. The government sponsored a program implemented by IOM in 2009 aimed at strengthening capabilities of Nigerian NGOs and preventing trafficking of Nigerian victims. The government reported it regularly organizes training sessions on human rights and trafficking for both civilians and military personnel who serve in international peacekeeping missions abroad. The NGO ECPAT estimated that 80,000 Italian men travel to Kenya, Thailand, Brazil, Latin America and the Czech Republic for sex tourism every year. The government continued its program to combat child sex tourism that included outreach to travel agencies and tour operators; however it did not report it prosecuted any such activity in 2009.

JAMAICA (Tier 2)

Jamaica is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution and forced labor. The majority of victims identified within the country were poor Jamaican women and girls, and increasingly boys, subjected to forced prostitution in urban and tourist areas. Trafficking is purported to occur within Jamaica’s poverty stricken garrison communities, territories ruled by criminal “dons” that are effectively outside of the government’s control. Some Jamaican women and girls have been subjected to forced prostitution in other countries such as Canada, the United States, the UK, The Bahamas, and other Caribbean destinations. Foreign victims have been identified in forced prostitution and domestic servitude in Jamaica. An NGO working with street children reported that the forced labor of children in street vending is prevalent. Jamaican children also may be subjected to involuntary domestic servitude. There is widespread belief among the NGO community that many of the 1,859 Jamaican children that have gone missing in 2009 were trafficked. Trafficking offenders increasingly used the Internet and cell phone text messages to lure victims. NGOs and other local observers reported that child sex tourism is a problem in Jamaica’s resort areas.

The Government of Jamaica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated leadership in addressing human trafficking by acknowledging the problem, forging partnerships with NGOs, and making substantial strides in the area of victim protection–opening a trafficking-specialized shelter in Kingston, despite limited resources. This progress was threatened by a lack of reporting on the punishment of convicted trafficking offenders, a critical element in both victim protection and deterrence of the crime.

Recommendations for Jamaica: Vigorously investigate and prosecute sex and labor trafficking offenses, and convict and sentence trafficking offenders; consider expansion of victim identification and referral training to include a broader group of police, including police recruits, and other officials involved in the prosecution of trafficking offenders; encourage partnerships between police and NGOs in Negril, Montego Bay and other towns outside of Kingston, fostering more referrals of victims and prosecution of cases; continue to develop victim protection services for children; and explore using existing partnerships with NGOs to expand awareness activities, particularly prevention campaigns directed at youth and potential clients of the sex trade.

Prosecution
The government made no discernible progress in prosecuting trafficking offenders during the reporting period. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking through its comprehensive “Trafficking Act of Jamaica,” which went into effect in 2007. Punishments prescribed for trafficking under the Act extend up to 10 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent, though not commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government was not able to provide comprehensive data on trafficking prosecutions and convictions throughout the country. Over the past year, there were at least six ongoing sex trafficking prosecutions. The government could not confirm the conviction or punishment of any trafficking offenders in 2009. NGOs reported that trafficking offenders often disappeared on bail after being caught and before they could be prosecuted. One NGO reported that trafficking complicity by police was a problem but did not cite any specific cases. A public official claimed that obtaining quality evidence of trafficking from police was a challenge. Trafficking victim identification training is not a part of the standard police academy curriculum for new recruits, but the Ministry of National Security provided anti-trafficking training for some police units, magistrates, prosecutors, and for operators staffing the trafficking hotline.

Protection
The government made some progress in victim protection during the reporting period. The government offered fifteen victims free legal, medical, and psychological services. Despite limited resources, in partnership with an NGO, the government began establishment of three government-supported shelters for female trafficking victims, the first of which was completed in March 2010. The government spent approximately $282,000, to refurbish the facilities for the three shelters. In addition, the government partially funded an NGO shelter and gave sporadic funding to other NGOS that provided victim assistance services. The government attempted to return child victims to families or referred them to foster homes. It also directly operated facilities that could house child trafficking victims, though some of these facilities also served as juvenile detention centers. The government trained 71 persons in the Ministry of National Security, 15 in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, and 648 in the Jamaican Constabulary Force in 2009 in trafficking victim identification. Law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel in Kingston used established formal mechanisms to proactively identify victims of trafficking and to refer them to organizations providing services. Many NGOs in Kingston reported good relations with Jamaican authorities, but police and NGOs in the resort areas of Montego Bay and Negril were not in formal contact. Identified victims were generally not penalized for immigration violations or other unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; the government has developed formal guidance for immigration officials, advising them not to deport victims. Jamaican authorities encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers; at least 12 victims took part in trafficking prosecutions in 2009. The Jamaican government allowed foreign trafficking victims participating in a prosecution to stay in Jamaica until their cases had been completed and there was a plan for safe return to their home countries.

Prevention
The government made some progress in trafficking prevention activities during the reporting period. The government acknowledged Jamaica’s trafficking problem, and government’s anti-trafficking task force sustained partnerships with NGOs in coordinating anti-trafficking activities and implementing the national anti-trafficking action plan. The government conducted anti-trafficking education campaigns in schools and libraries during the reporting period. It also provided modest, sporadic funding to at least one NGO that raised awareness among youth in rural communities. Several NGOs suggested that additional public awareness activities would be beneficial because there were increased referrals after past information campaigns. A government-operated general crime victim hotline offered specialized assistance to persons reporting human trafficking. The government did not target any prevention efforts toward potential clients of the sex trade or beneficiaries of forced labor during the reporting period. Jamaican authorities initiated a carnal abuse prosecution of a foreign visitor to Jamaica who allegedly engaged in child sex tourism.

JAPAN (Tier 2)

Japan is a destination, and to a much lesser extent, source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Male and female migrant workers from China, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam, and other Asian countries are sometimes subject to conditions of forced labor. Some women and children from East Asia, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Russia, South America, and Latin America who travel to Japan for employment or fraudulent marriage are forced into prostitution. Japanese organized crime syndicates (the Yakuza) are believed to play a significant role in trafficking in Japan, both directly and indirectly. Traffickers strictly control the movements of victims, using debt bondage, threats of violence, and other coercive psychological methods to control victims. The media and NGOs continue to report abuses of the Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship Program (the “foreign trainee program”), including debt bondage, restrictions on movement, unpaid overtime, and fraud – elements which contribute to situations of trafficking. Women typically faced debt upwards of $49,000 upon commencement of their contracts, and had to pay employers additional fees for living expenses, medical care, and other necessities, leaving them predisposed to debt bondage. “Fines” for misbehavior added to their original debt, and the process that employers used to calculate these debts was not transparent. A growing and significant number of Japanese women and girls are victims of sex trafficking in the country, a highly lucrative industry for criminal networks and other operators in Japan. In the case of domestic victims, the threat of blackmail, credit card debts, and other debts from loan sharks are often used as coercive mechanisms in trafficking. Japan is a transit country for persons trafficked from East Asia to North America. Japanese men continue to be a significant source of demand for child sex tourism in Southeast Asia.

The Government of Japan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government reported a record low number of trafficking victims identified and trafficking offenders prosecuted and convicted, while there was no empirical evidence of a decline in Japan’s trafficking problem. In December 2009, the government issued an Action Plan to combat trafficking. Nevertheless, the government’s efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases, and identify and protect victims of trafficking remained inadequate. The government has never prosecuted a case of labor trafficking in the foreign trainee program. For the fourth consecutive year, the number of trafficking victims identified and assisted in Japan decreased significantly with no credible signs of a concurrent decline in Japan’s trafficking problem.

Recommendations for Japan: Establish and implement formal victim identification procedures and train personnel who have contact with individuals arrested for prostitution, foreign trainees, or other migrants on the use of these procedures to identify a greater number of trafficking victims; expand proactive law enforcement efforts to investigate trafficking in businesses employing foreign workers and in commercial sex businesses; ensure that victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; increase prosecutions and convictions of labor trafficking offenders; encourage the National Police Agency and Japanese Embassies and Consulates to instruct officials to cooperate to the extent possible with foreign authorities in investigating Japanese nationals involved in possible child sexual exploitation; continue to increase the availability and use of translation services and psychological counselors with native language ability at shelters for victims; and inform all identified victims of the availability of free legal assistance and options for immigration relief.

Prosecution
The Japanese government demonstrated diminished anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The government reported prosecuting and convicting five individuals in 2009 under Penal Code Article 226-2, Crimes of Buying or Selling of Human Beings. The government did not report sentencing data for the offenders. Historically, most convicted offenders receive suspended sentences. Japan does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking laws, and does not keep statistics on the number of trafficking cases it investigates and prosecutes. Cooperation between the different bureaucracies that handle trafficking cases is not always conducive to establishing a clear statistical record that includes prosecutions, convictions and sentencing. The government did not adequately pursue investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of organized crime groups engaged in trafficking. Japan’s 2005 amendment to its criminal code, which prohibits the buying and selling of persons, and a variety of other criminal code articles and laws, including the Labor Standards Law, and the Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography criminalizes trafficking and a wide range of related activities. However, it is unclear if the existing legal framework is sufficiently comprehensive to criminalize all severe forms of trafficking in persons. The 2005 Criminal Code amendment, prohibiting the buying and selling of persons, prescribes penalties of up to seven years’ imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent. The Immigration Bureau and Labor Standard Inspection Bodies continued to report hundreds of abuses by companies involved in the foreign trainee program. While many of these abuses were not trafficking-related, some serious abuses were reported including fraudulent terms of employment, restrictions on movement, withholding of salary payments, and debt bondage. Trainees sometimes had their travel documents taken from them and their movement controlled to prevent escape. However, the government did not exhibit efforts to adequately monitor and regulate its foreign trainee program, and has never criminally investigated, prosecuted, or convicted offenders of labor trafficking in the program. In December 2009, a senior immigration official was convicted and sentenced to two years’ imprisonment with labor on charges of accepting bribes in exchange for favorable reviews of residence permits for female bar workers. Corruption remains a serious concern in the large and socially accepted entertainment industry in Japan, but government efforts against such corruption have been inadequate. The government sustained modest partnerships with NGOs and international organizations to train law enforcement officials on the recognition, investigation, and prosecution of trafficking crimes.

Protection
The government demonstrated diminished effort to identify and protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The number of trafficking victims identified overall by the Japanese government declined for the fourth consecutive year. Police authorities identified only 17 victims in 2009, down from 36 victims in 2008, 43 in 2007, 58 in 2006, and 116 in 2005. The government did not identify any male victims of trafficking, nor did it have any shelters available to male victims. Government efforts to protect Japanese child sex trafficking victims reportedly improved, but the government did not report the number of such victims identified. Informed observers continue to report that the government is not proactive in searching for victims among vulnerable populations. Although some Japanese authorities use an IOM-issued handbook on victim identification, authorities did not report having formal victim identification procedures. Moreover, although personnel in the various Japanese bureaucracies do have portfolios that include trafficking, the government does not appear to have any law enforcement or social services personnel dedicated solely to the human trafficking issue. All of the 17 identified victims were detained in government shelters for domestic violence victims – Women’s Consulting Centers (WCCs) – that denied victims freedom of movement. The victims had access to medical care and received psychological care from an international organization. All of these victims were identified in vice establishments. Authorities have never identified a trafficking victim in the large population of foreign laborers in Japan, including in the “foreign trainee program.” The government, in partnership with NGOs, reported improving access to native language interpreters. The government appears to do a poor job of informing trafficking victims that legal redress or compensation through a criminal or civil suit is possible under Japanese law. While authorities reported encouraging victims’ participation in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, victims were not provided with any incentives for participation, such as the ability to work or generate income. Although the government claims the availability of a long-term residency visa for trafficking victims, no foreign victims have ever been granted such a visa. In 2009, Japan decreased its funding to the International Organization for Migration (IOM) from $300,000 to less than $190,000 for repatriation and reintegration assistance, which has had a detrimental effect on victim assistance efforts in the country, resulting in foreign victims unable to return home and victims unable to obtain reintegration assistance.

Prevention
The Japanese government made limited efforts to prevent trafficking in persons with assistance from international organizations and NGOs. The government continued distribution of posters and handouts to raise awareness about trafficking. Authorities also continued law enforcement training at the National Police University and with IOM assistance. In July 2009, the government established a temporary working group, which included NGOs, to develop a new National Action Plan to combat trafficking, which was released in December 2009, though the new action plan does not include NGO partnerships. The government continued to fund a number of anti-trafficking projects around the world. For years, a significant number of Japanese men have traveled to other Asian countries, particularly the Philippines, Cambodia, and Thailand, to engage in sex with children. Authorities have not prosecuted a Japanese national for child sex tourism since 2005, and did not report investigating any such cases during the reporting period. Despite the country’s thriving commercial sex industry, the government did not make any efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or the demand for child sex tourism. Japan is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

JORDAN (Tier 2)

Jordan is a destination for women and men subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. Jordan is possibly a source and transit country for women and men subjected to conditions of forced labor and forced commercial sexual exploitation. There were also reports of Jordanian child laborers experiencing conditions of forced labor. Migrant workers may be rendered vulnerable to forced labor in Jordan due to indebtedness to recruiters, legal requirements mandating foreign workers rely on employers to renew work and residency permits, and negative societal attitudes toward foreign workers. Women from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and the Philippines voluntarily migrate to Jordan for employment as domestic workers; some are subjected to conditions of forced labor after arrival, including through such practices as the unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, nonpayment of wages, threats of imprisonment, and physical or sexual abuse. At the conclusion of the reporting period, approximately 400 Filipina, Indonesian, and Sri Lankan domestic workers, most of whom had fled some form of forced labor, were sheltered at their respective embassies in Amman.

Moroccan and Tunisian women are reportedly subjected to forced prostitution after migrating to Jordan to work in restaurants and night clubs. In addition, a few Chinese, Bangladeshi, Indian, Sri Lankan, and Vietnamese men and women encountered conditions indicative of forced labor in a few factories in the garment sector, including factories in Jordan’s Qualifying Industrial Zones, such as the unlawful withholding of passports, delayed payment of wages, and, in a few cases, verbal and physical abuse. Instances of forced labor reportedly continued to decline due to enhanced labor inspections and other recent measures undertaken by the government within the garment sector. During the year, NGOs and the media also reported the forced labor of Egyptian workers in the construction, agriculture, and tourism sectors. Jordan’s airports may be transit points for South- and Southeast-Asian men and women en route to employment opportunities in other Middle Eastern countries, where they experience labor exploitation after arrival. Some Jordanian children employed within the country as street vendors, carpenters, painters, mechanics, domestics, restaurant staff, or agricultural laborers may be exploited in situations of forced labor.

The Government of Jordan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government continued to demonstrate a strong commitment to combat human trafficking. Law enforcement authorities began to implement the 2008 anti-trafficking law by increasing investigations into suspected cases, resulting in several prosecutions. The government also finalized a national anti-trafficking action plan; instituted bylaws providing standards for employing domestic workers and operating recruitment agencies; drafted a plan and guidelines for opening a long-term shelter; and designed a public awareness strategy. Nevertheless, victim assistance, public awareness raising, punishment of traffickers, and active cooperation with source country embassies remained limited.

Recommendations for Jordan: Using the anti-trafficking statute, increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and sentence trafficking offenses, especially those involving the forced labor of domestic workers; increase penalties for forced labor offenses; jointly train labor inspectors, police, border officials, judges, and prosecutors to enhance anti-trafficking law enforcement cooperation; implement a comprehensive awareness campaign to educate the general public, as well as foreign migrant workers in all sectors, on the nature of human trafficking, particularly forced labor and the proper treatment of domestic workers under Jordanian law; enhance protective services available to trafficking victims to include the availability of adequate shelter; strengthen efforts to proactively identify victims of forced labor and forced prostitution and ensure identified victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; ensure identified trafficking victims are promptly referred by law enforcement, social services, and labor officials to protection services using a standardized procedure; and where appropriate, increase bilateral partnerships and systematic information sharing with governments of source countries to better protect migrant workers from abuse and resolve cases of alleged exploitation.

Prosecution
The Government of Jordan made improved efforts to criminally punish trafficking offenders during the reporting period. The Anti-Human Trafficking Law of 2008, which became effective in March 2009, prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties of up to ten years’ imprisonment for forced prostitution and trafficking involving aggravating circumstances, such as trafficking of a child or with the involvement of a public official; these penalties are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. Penalties prescribed for labor trafficking offenses not involving aggravating circumstances are limited to a minimum of six months’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of $7,000 – penalties that are not sufficiently stringent. Jordan’s labor law assigns administrative penalties, such as fines of up to $1,400, to labor violations committed against Jordanian or foreign workers, including forced labor violations; these penalties also are not sufficiently stringent. Over the last year, the government investigated and prosecuted a number of cases involving forced labor and forced prostitution. The government convicted two trafficking offenders for forcing two Tunisian women into prostitution; it did not provide information on the sentence imposed. Using the anti-trafficking statute, an Amman court began the prosecution of the employer of a Sri Lankan domestic worker who allegedly confined the worker to the house and did not pay her for over 10 years, conditions highly indicative of forced labor. In February 2009, an Amman criminal court began the prosecution of a Jordanian man charged with the sexual assault of his domestic worker under Penal Code Article 76, 296, 300, 301, and 304; the victim also alleged physical abuse, non-payment of wages, and confinement to the household, but charges under the anti-trafficking statute were not brought due to authorities’ limited understanding of trafficking crimes. Administrative courts heard at least 20 cases of wage non-payment and awarded some level of compensation to the foreign worker in each case; however, no criminal penalties were attached to these cases. In 2009, labor inspectors issued at least 41 fines for forced labor violations in garment factories. The government failed to provide information on the status of two prosecutions pending at the close of the previous reporting period. The government provided anti-trafficking training to some officials through the police training academy and a training program for labor inspectors. In addition, the Public Security Directorate’s (PSD) Borders and Residency Department trained 300 border guards to recognize and interview trafficking victims.

Protection
The Jordanian government made improved but inadequate efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the last year. Although Jordanian law enforcement authorities did not employ systematic procedures to proactively identify or refer victims of trafficking for assistance, some victims were identified by the PSD and referred to NGOs for assistance. While Article 7 of the anti-trafficking law contains a provision for the opening of shelters, the country continued to lack direct shelter services for victims of trafficking. A working group under the National Committee for the Prevention of Human Trafficking, which was established in June 2009 and is chaired by the Minister of Justice, drafted bylaws to serve as the legal framework for operating such shelters. In addition, the Ministry of Social Development (MOSD) developed a detailed management and resource plan for operating a shelter in conjunction with NGO service providers; at the close of the reporting period, the National Committee had not yet approved the plan. A government-run shelter for abused Jordanian women housed and provided psychological and medical services to a small number of foreign domestic workers who had been sexually assaulted by their employers and subsequently referred to the shelter by PSD’s Family Protection Department; these domestic workers may have been trafficking victims. Another government-funded organization provided limited legal advice and assistance to domestic and textile workers in 2009. Most detained foreign domestic workers, however, even those who claimed abuse or forced labor conditions, were not referred for assistance. The government did not adequately ensure identified victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; victims continued to be vulnerable to arrest and detention if found without valid residency documents and some foreign domestic workers fleeing abusive employers were incarcerated after their employers filed false claims of theft against them. The government did not actively encourage victims to pursue the investigation or prosecution of trafficking offenses committed against them. In order to limit the opportunities for exploitation, labor regulations prohibit the transfer of a migrant worker from one sponsoring employer to another without prior approval from the Ministry of Labor (MOL). The threat of detention due to expired residency documents and the lack of special work permits and visas to allow trafficking victims to remain legally in Jordan make it difficult for abused workers to leave their employers, thereby leaving them vulnerable to prolonged situations of human trafficking. The fining of foreign workers without valid residency documents – including identified trafficking victims – on a per day basis for being out-of-status served as a disincentive to remain in Jordan and pursue legal action against traffickers. Nevertheless, during the year, the Ministry of Interior often waived the accumulated overstay penalties levied against “runaway” foreign domestic workers in order to repatriate them.

Prevention
The government made increased efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. In March 2010, the National Committee for the Prevention of Human Trafficking officially launched its National Strategy and Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (2010-2012) during a ceremony attended by the Deputy Prime Minister and Justice Minister. This plan includes provisions for a specific visa for human trafficking victims to allow victims to receive residency and work permits while they pursue a legal case. In August 2009, the cabinet endorsed and made effective two new sets of bylaws to the Labor Law. The first protects the rights of foreign domestic workers by providing for a standard work day, paid leave, entitlement to family contact, freedom of religion, and protection from being sent to work in homes other than the sponsoring employer’s. These bylaws, however, require the worker to obtain the employer’s permission to leave the house; if a domestic flees the premises, the employer is neither bound to fulfill any financial obligations toward the worker nor bear the expense of returning her to her home country. The second set of bylaws governs the work of domestic worker recruitment agencies by strengthening licensing requirements and giving the MOL greater monitoring and enforcement authorities. These bylaws have not been fully implemented, partially due to some regulations in need of additional instructions.

During the reporting period, the government ordered the closure of nine recruitment agencies for failure to comply with the labor law or domestic worker bylaws, or for complaints filed against them. Six agencies had their closure order suspended after resolving the problems, and three were closed permanently. In addition, the MOL inspectorate issued 17 fines and 48 warnings against recruitment agencies for failure to comply with the labor law or recruitment agency regulations. In June 2009, the government signed a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Indonesia to strengthen the regulation and oversight of the recruitment process for domestic workers and clearly delineate protection responsibilities. The MOL continued operation of a hotline to receive labor complaints, some of which included indicators of forced labor, such as the withholding of workers’ passports; the inspectorate did not maintain complete records of calls received, but contends every complaint was investigated. It also carried out over 176,000 planned or on-the-spot investigations covering all labor sectors except agriculture. It did not conduct any information or education campaigns beyond the labor inspectorate’s brief awareness raising workshops for workers in garment factories.

To address exploitative child labor, the inspectorate fined 33 businesses in 2009, but handled most other cases informally with the employer and family; no criminal charges were filed against employers illegally utilizing child labor, though 375 identified children were referred to educational and other services. The government did not undertake any discernible measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the year. Jordan’s Peace Operations Training Center provided anti-trafficking training as part of their standard training regimen for peacekeepers being deployed abroad as part of international peacekeeping missions. The government ratified and published the 2000 UN TIP Protocol in April 2009.

KAZAKHSTAN (Tier 2 Watch List)

Kazakhstan is a source, destination, and to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and girls subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution, and for men and women in conditions of forced labor. Kazakhstani women and children are trafficked within Kazakhstan and also to the United Arab Emirates, Russia, China, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Greece, and Israel for the purpose of forced prostitution. Women and girls from Uzbekistan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Ukraine are subjected to forced prostitution in Kazakhstan. Kazakhstani men, women, and boys as well as men from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Mongolia are subjected to conditions of forced labor in domestic servitude and also in the tobacco, cotton, and meat processing industries in Kazakhstan. Twenty-five percent of the school-age children in a region of southern Kazakhstan were forced to pick cotton during the 2009 harvest.

The Government of Kazakhstan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government did not demonstrate significant efforts to identify and assist foreign victims or victims of forced labor and did not vigorously prosecute, convict, or criminally punish any officials for government complicity, including local officials complicit in the use of forced labor during the annual cotton harvest; therefore, Kazakhstan is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. In 2009, approximately 900 school children ages seven to 17 were forced to pick cotton by local government officials in a region of Southern Kazakhstan during the fall cotton harvest; although local prosecutors began an investigation, no authorities were prosecuted, convicted, or criminally punished for their actions. Despite recognition as a destination for foreign victims trafficked for forced prostitution and forced labor, the government only identified and assisted three foreign victims during the reporting period. The government also demonstrated only modest efforts to identify victims of forced labor in 2009 – only 12 Kazakhstani victims of forced labor were identified by the government. Over the last year, the government allocated $55,000 to an NGO service provider to open a trafficking shelter in Astana in September 2009. It also sustained a high level of funding for public awareness efforts.

Recommendations for Kazakhstan: Take substantive action to end the use of forced labor during the annual cotton harvest; increase efforts to identify foreign victims of both forced prostitution and forced labor; increase the number of foreign victims of trafficking who receive trafficking victim assistance; increase efforts to identify labor trafficking victims, including by ensuring authorities screen for potential victims of forced labor among those detained during immigration raids and refer those identified victims for assistance; investigate, prosecute, convict, and criminally punish all government officials complicit in trafficking, including those officials involved in forcing or facilitating the use of forced labor during the cotton harvest; continue to increase the number of victims who receive government-funded assistance by increasing funding to anti-trafficking NGOs; and conduct trafficking awareness campaigns aimed at reducing the demand for both labor trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation.

Prosecution
The Kazakhstan government demonstrated some progress in its law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking over the reporting period; however, it failed to vigorously prosecute, convict, and criminally punish government officials complicit in trafficking, including those officials who forced children to pick cotton during the 2009 harvest. Kazakhstan prohibits trafficking in persons for both forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation through Articles 128, 133, 125(3)(b), 126(3)(b), and 270 of its penal code, which prescribe penalties of up to 15 years’ imprisonment – penalties sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Police conducted 49 trafficking investigations, compared with 44 investigations in 2008. Authorities prosecuted 35 cases in 2009, compared with 30 prosecutions in 2008. A total of 24 trafficking offenders were convicted in 2009, the same number as in 2008. These numbers included 21 offenders convicted for sex trafficking offenses, up from 18 in 2008, and three offenders convicted for forced labor offenses, down from six convictions in 2008. Only one trafficker received a suspended sentence and served no time in prison. Eleven sex trafficking offenders were issued sentences ranging between 5.5 and 10 years’ imprisonment and nine sex trafficking offenders were issued sentences ranging from two to five years’ imprisonment; three labor traffickers were issued sentences ranging from five to seven years’ imprisonment. The Kazakhstani police provided victim identification and trafficking investigation training for 79 migration and criminal police, funded anti-trafficking training for officers in law enforcement academies in Russia and Turkmenistan, and partnered with other foreign governments to provide training to 1,141 Kazakhstani government officials. The Supreme Court also allocated $20,000 for three trafficking seminars for 44 judges, 13 prosecutors, and seven police officers.

The government did not demonstrate significant efforts to combat government complicity in trafficking during the reporting period. In November 2009, prosecutors in a region of southern Kazakhstan investigated local government and school officials accused of forcing approximately 900 school children ages 7 through 17 to pick cotton during the fall harvest. One student was reportedly assaulted by the deputy director of his school when he refused to pick cotton; other students were reportedly threatened with receiving bad exam grades if they did not pick cotton. No officials were prosecuted, convicted, or punished for forcing children to pick cotton, although 27 school officials were reprimanded or warned – penalties that are not sufficiently stringent to deter the practice of local officials forcing children to pick cotton. In September 2009, police launched an investigation into the use of forced labor in the clearing of Chaldai forest; local officials allegedly used their authority to protect the owner of the labor company, who was the nephew of the local mayor. The government did not prosecute, convict, or punish any of these or other government officials complicit in trafficking in 2009.

Protection
The government demonstrated some efforts to assist and protect Kazakhstani victims; however, only three foreign victims were identified and assisted by authorities and very few victims of labor trafficking were identified, despite the fact Kazakhstan is a significant destination country for foreign victims and also for forced labor. NGOs continued to report a lack of awareness among local police and government officials about labor trafficking, causing many potential labor trafficking victims to go unidentified and unassisted during the year. In 2009, authorities conducted a series of immigration raids at factories and other places of employment highly vulnerable to forced labor; however, no foreign victims and only 12 Kazakhstani victims of forced labor were identified out of at least 17,082 workers encountered. In 2009, the Ministry of Interior established a new hotline exclusively for the assistance of Kazakhstani victims of trafficking. IOM identified 98 victims in 2009, compared with 64 victims identified in 2008. The government formally identified 59 victims – 12 Kazakhstani victims of forced labor, as well as 44 Kazakhstani and three foreign victims of sex trafficking – and provided all with shelter, food, clothing, transportation, and other services amounting to approximately $84,000, an increase from $46,000 allocated in 2008. The government allocated $55,000 from this total to an NGO service provider to open a trafficking shelter in Astana in September 2009. Local authorities funded the salaries of three employees of an NGO-run, foreign funded trafficking shelter in Almaty. In total, 95 victims of forced prostitution and forced labor were assisted by IOM, privately-funded NGOs, and government-funded programs in 2009. NGOs reported that foreign victims were sometimes denied access to local medical facilities due to a lack of health insurance or temporary residency permits. Foreign victims who agreed to cooperate with law enforcement were permitted to remain in Kazakhstan for the duration of the criminal investigation; however, no foreign victims received temporary residence permits in 2009. Although some victims cooperated with authorities during the initial investigation, some victims refused to testify in court for fear of retribution from traffickers. There were no reports of victims punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The government continued its strong general trafficking prevention efforts; however, local officials in southern Kazakhstan did not prevent the use of forced labor during the 2009 fall cotton harvest. In 2009, the government allocated $200,000 for a nation-wide anti-trafficking awareness campaign consisting of 189 hours of anti-trafficking programming broadcast on television and radio and 322 anti-trafficking articles published in newspapers. The government also provided approximately $63,000 to NGOs to produce and disseminate trafficking awareness materials and also to conduct several trafficking roundtable discussions with students and teachers during school hours. Most trafficking awareness efforts in 2009 were targeted at potential victims of trafficking, however, and they did not address the demand for trafficking.

KENYA (Tier 2)

Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. Within the country, Kenyan children are forced into domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation – including involvement in the coastal sex tourism industry – and forced labor in agriculture (including on flower plantations), fishing, cattle herding, street vending, and bars. Traffickers – who gain poor families’ trust through familial, tribal, or religious ties – falsely offer to raise and educate children in towns, or to obtain women lucrative employment. Trafficked Kenyan adults are exploited in involuntary domestic servitude and forced prostitution. Kenyan men, women, and children voluntarily migrate to the Middle East, other East African nations, and Europe in search of employment, where they are exploited in domestic servitude, massage parlors and brothels, and forced manual labor, including in the construction industry. At least 10 Kenyan trafficking victims remained in detention in Saudi Arabia at the end of the reporting period. Children from Burundi, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Somalia, Tanzania, and Uganda are subjected to forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation in Kenya. Chinese, Indian, and Pakistani women reportedly transit Nairobi en route to exploitation in Europe’s sex trade. There were reports during the year that the al- Shabaab militia and Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government may have recruited Somali youth under the age of 18 from Kenya-based refugee camps and Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighborhood to participate in armed conflict in Somalia.

The Government of Kenya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government re-launched its national anti-trafficking committee, finished drafting a national action plan, and partnered with a foreign government to arrest and extradite a suspected trafficker. While the government convicted at least two Kenyan trafficking offenders in 2009, most prosecutions failed to progress and data on such cases were not compiled at the provincial or national level.

Recommendations for Kenya: Pass, enact, and implement the draft comprehensive anti-trafficking bill; provide additional awareness training to all levels of government, particularly law enforcement officials, on identifying and responding to trafficking crimes; increase efforts to prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including government officials suspected of complicity with human trafficking crimes; establish an official process for law enforcement officials to refer trafficking victims for assistance; institute trafficking awareness training for diplomats posted overseas; engage Middle Eastern governments on improving protections for Kenyan workers; and implement the national action plan.

Prosecution
The government failed to provide statistics on its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, but convicted and punished at least two trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Though Kenya does not have a comprehensive anti-trafficking statute, all forms of trafficking are prohibited through a variety of legal statutes. Sections 14, 15, and 17 of the Sexual Offenses Act of 2006 prohibit the facilitation of child sex tourism (prescribed punishment of at least 10 years’ imprisonment), child prostitution (prescribed punishment of at least 10 years’ imprisonment), and forced prostitution (prescribed punishment of at least five years’ imprisonment); these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. Specific sections of the Children’s Act could also be used to prosecute sex trafficking offenses. These laws, however, are not widely used by prosecutors. Sections 13 and 18 of the Sexual Offenses Act and Section 18 of the Children’s Act intend to prohibit child and adult sex trafficking, but contain unclear definitions and include crimes that are outside of the internationally-accepted scope of human trafficking. The Employment Act of 2007 outlaws, but does not prescribe, punishments for forced labor. Section 266 of the Penal Code outlaws unlawful compulsory labor, but classifies the crime as a misdemeanor offense and does not prescribe penalties. Section 264 prescribes a penalty of seven years’ imprisonment for buying or disposing of a person as a slave, while Section 260 prescribes a penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment for kidnapping for the purpose of slavery. In November 2009, Parliament’s Legal Affairs Department approved the draft Anti-Trafficking in Persons Bill and forwarded it to the Clerk’s Office for review.

In September 2009, a Nairobi court sentenced two Kenyan women to 10 years’ imprisonment for subjecting children to prostitution. The Department of Public Prosecutions, however, did not produce data on anti-trafficking prosecutions or convictions achieved during the year. In 2009, authorities at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport detained an American citizen on suspicion of trafficking Asian women to Eastern Europe via Nairobi and government officials worked closely with United States law enforcement to arrest and extradite him to Thailand. In the previous reporting period, Kenyan police began compiling records of sexual offenses against children in Coast Province, where child sex tourism is most prevalent. They did not, though, disaggregate how many of the 93 alleged offenders charged in 2008 purportedly perpetrated sex trafficking offenses. With the assistance of NGO lecturers, the Kenya Police Training College provided anti-trafficking and child protection training to police recruits during their training as cadets. In conjunction with international organizations, the government trained police officers and immigration officials who work along the Somali border and at the two international airports to identify victims of transnational trafficking. Corruption among law enforcement authorities and other public officials continued to hamper efforts to bring traffickers to justice; in certain regions, corrupt police or immigration officials were complicit in, received bribes to overlook, or obstructed investigations of human trafficking. The government made no efforts to investigate or prosecute officials suspected of involvement in or facilitation of trafficking during the reporting period.

Protection
The government sustained minimal but inadequate victim protection efforts throughout the year. The government lacked both a mechanism for identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations and a formal referral process to transfer victims to NGOs for assistance; it maintained no record of the number of victims referred by government officials to IOM or NGO service providers during the year. The government reportedly operated two shelters for child trafficking victims – one for boys and the other for girls – in Garissa, North East Province, but did not provide further information on these facilities. In 2009, the Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Development hired an additional 67 Children’s Officers – officials charged with advocating for children’s rights and obtaining services for children in need – bringing the total number to 400. These officers coordinated the work of 2,427 local Children’s Advisory Committees, which worked in partnership with police to combat child trafficking, monitor institutions – such as orphanages – providing charitable services to children, and advance awareness of human trafficking at the local level. During the reporting period, Children’s Officers participated in trafficking investigations and provided counseling and follow-up to child trafficking victims. In addition, Children’s Officers served on the management committee of the Rescue Center, a shelter for sex trafficking victims in Mombasa, and provided case assessments and service referrals for victims. The government also worked with Ugandan authorities to repatriate four Ugandan children who had been identified in conditions of forced labor. The Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Development continued partnership with a local NGO to jointly operate a 24-hour toll-free hotline for reporting cases of child trafficking, labor, and abuse. The hotline is located in a government-owned building and staffed, in part, by Children’s Officers who facilitated rescues and made referrals to appropriate district officials. During the reporting period, the hotline received 27 reports of child trafficking and 13 concerning child prostitution.

The Kenyan Embassy in Riyadh provided assistance, including with repatriation, to at least two victims of involuntary domestic servitude during the reporting period; other victims, however, complained that the embassy was slow to intervene in their cases, did not expeditiously process travel documents, and did not provide material support. While the government did not encourage Kenyan victims’ assistance in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes during the reporting period, it did not inappropriately incarcerate or otherwise penalize them for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Police, however, reportedly arrested foreign trafficking victims for engaging in prostitution or being in Kenya without valid identity documents; in most cases, they pled guilty to immigration violations and were quickly deported. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they would face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government made modest progress in its efforts to prevent human trafficking. The National Steering Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, chaired by the Minister of Gender, Children, and Social Welfare, met twice during the second half of the reporting period and completed the drafting of a five-year National Action Plan on Human Trafficking; the plan has not yet been approved by the cabinet. In 2009, the government cosponsored public advertising, including large billboards, near Mombasa airport and in resort areas carrying anti-child prostitution messages and threatening prosecution for tourists engaging in child sex tourism. In partnership with various donor-funded programs, labor officers, children’s officers, social workers, chiefs, health officials, police, and religious leaders identified and withdrew children from forced labor situations during the reporting period. District-level child labor committees, in conjunction with local Children’s Advisory Committees, raised awareness of child trafficking and labor among local populations. The Ministry of Labor, which is required by law to review and attest to all employment contracts for individuals legally migrating to work overseas, verified 400 contracts between December 2009 and February 2010; migrant workers, however, often left Kenya before their contracts had been reviewed and approved. It is unknown whether the government provided anti-trafficking training for its troops before deployment on international peacekeeping missions.

KIRIBATI (Tier 2 Watch List)

Kiribati is a source country for girls subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically commercial sexual exploitation. Crew members on Korean and perhaps other foreign fishing vessels in Kiribati or in its territorial waters exploit prostituted children on board their vessels. Some girls are also prostituted in bars frequented by crew members. Local I-Kiribati, sometimes family members but also taxi drivers and owners of small boats, knowingly facilitate trafficking by transporting underage girls to the boats for the purposes of prostitution. The girls generally received cash, food, or goods in exchange for sexual services.

The Government of Kiribati 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 has not proactively identified victims, investigated or prosecuted suspected trafficking offenders, or educated the public on the dangers of human trafficking; therefore, Kiribati is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. While the government acknowledges that the prostitution of girls is a problem in Kiribati, it has taken no steps to protect victims of sex trafficking, investigate and prosecute foreign crewmen for the commercial sexual exploitation of children within its territory, proactively identify child victims of sex trafficking, or educate the public about the dangers of trafficking.

Recommendations for Kiribati: Draft and enact comprehensive, specific anti-trafficking legislation; publicly recognize and condemn incidences of trafficking children for commercial sexual exploitation; investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders; work with NGOs or international organizations to provide protective services to victims; establish formal procedures to identify and refer trafficking victims to protective services; and develop and conduct anti-trafficking information and education campaigns.

Prosecution
The Government of Kiribati made no discernible law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking during the reporting period. No trafficking offenders were investigated, arrested, prosecuted, or convicted in the past year, although information about particular victims in trafficking situations was available. Kiribati’s 2005 comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation criminalizes all forms of trafficking, but does not include specific definitions of trafficking for labor or sexual exploitation. The law prescribes sufficiently stringent punishments of up to 15 years’ imprisonment, which are commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The 2005 law also provides protection and rights for victims of trafficking. The lack of a legal definition of sex or labor trafficking which identifies the essential elements of a trafficking crime prevents law enforcement officers from rescuing victims or arresting trafficking offenders on trafficking charges. The government provided no training to law enforcement and court personnel on identifying trafficking victims and prosecuting trafficking offenders. As members of Pacific Island international law enforcement groups, mechanisms exist to allow the country to work in partnership with other governments on trafficking cases which have not been used. There is no evidence of officials’ complicity in human trafficking activity.

Protection
The Government of Kiribati made no discernible progress in ensuring trafficking victims’ access to protective services during the year. Law enforcement 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; they identified no victims during the reporting period. The government does not have any formal arrangements or mechanisms in place to provide trafficking victims with access to legal, medical, or psychological services, and no plans to develop the capacity to do so. The Kiribati government has not developed or implemented a referral process to transfer victims detained, arrested, or placed in protective custody by law enforcement authorities to institutions that provide short or long-term care. It has a limited capacity to protect victims of trafficking or victims of other crimes, and relies on NGOs and international organizations to provide most victim services. Kiribati does not have victim care facilities specifically to care for trafficking victims. The law in Kiribati generally protects rights of victims of violent crime, which would include victims of trafficking.

Prevention
The government made no discernible efforts to prevent trafficking or raise public awareness of the dangers of trafficking. An inter-agency transnational crime task force made up of law enforcement officials from the police, the Attorney General’s office, and the immigration, customs, and finance ministries met monthly and included trafficking in persons as one of its responsibilities. The government did not provide any specialized training for government or law enforcement officials on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking. It took no action to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. There is no evidence that citizens of Kiribati are involved in international sex tourism.

KOREA, DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF (Tier 3)

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) is a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. The most common form of trafficking involves North Korean women and girls forced into marriage or prostitution in China. Women and girls from North Korea migrate to China, often with the help of a facilitator, seeking food, work, freedom, and better life prospects. Trafficking networks of Korean-Chinese and North Koreans (usually men) operate along the China- North Korean border, reportedly working with Chinese and North Korean border guards to recruit women for marriage or prostitution in China. North Korean women often pass through many hands, with multiple brokers involved in their trafficking. In some cases, friends, neighbors, and village acquaintances transfer them to traffickers. Some vulnerable North Korean women who make their own way to China are lured, drugged, or kidnapped by traffickers upon arrival. Others are offered jobs but are subsequently trafficked into involuntary servitude through forced marriages to Chinese men, often of Korean ethnicity, into forced prostitution in brothels, or the Internet sex industry. Some are forced to serve as hostesses in nightclubs and karaoke bars. Many victims are unable to speak Chinese and are held as prisoners by their traffickers. If found by Chinese authorities, victims are deported back to North Korea where they may face harsh punishment, and may be subject to forced labor in DPRK labor camps. NGOs and researchers estimate that tens of thousands of undocumented North Koreans currently live in northeast China, and as many as 70 percent of them are women. There is no reliable information on how many of these North Koreans are or have been trafficked, but their status in China as economic migrants who may be deported to North Korea makes them particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Chinese authorities cracked down on cross-border movement in advance of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and they seem to have continued strict enforcement throughout 2009. Reports indicate corruption involving North Korean border guards facilitating cross-border movement, particularly involving traffickers and professional border crossers.

Within North Korea, forced labor is part of an established system of political repression. North Koreans do not have a choice in the jobs they work and are not free to change jobs at will; the DPRK government determines what work each citizen will have. From April to September 2009, the government initiated a “150-Day Battle” campaign to boost the economy by requiring increased work hours and production targets of citizens, and implementing government-imposed programs, such as road building and construction work. The country initiated a second “labor mobilization” campaign, the “100-Day Battle,” immediately after the initial “150-Day Battle.”

The North Korean government is directly involved in subjecting North Koreans to forced labor in prison camps. An estimated 150,000 to 200,000 persons are held in detention camps in remote areas of the country; many of these prisoners were not duly convicted of a criminal offense. In prison camps, all prisoners, including children, are subject to forced labor, including logging, mining, and farming for long hours under harsh conditions. Reports indicate that political prisoners endure severe conditions, including little food or medical care, and brutal punishments; many are not expected to survive. Many prisoners fell ill or died, due to harsh labor conditions, inadequate food, beatings, lack of medical care, and unhygienic conditions.

The North Korean government recruits workers for bilateral contracts with foreign governments, including in Russia, countries in Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, East and Southeast Asia, including Mongolia, and the Middle East. There are credible reports that many North Korean workers sent abroad by the regime under these contracts are subjected to forced labor, with their movement and communications constantly under surveillance and restricted by North Korean government “minders.” Credible reports state that they face threats of government reprisals against them or their relatives in North Korea if they attempt to escape or complain to outside parties. Worker salaries are deposited into accounts controlled by the North Korean government, which keeps most of the money, claiming fees for various “voluntary” contributions to government endeavors. Workers only receive a fraction of the money paid to the North Korean government for their work. Tens of thousands of North Korean workers are estimated to be employed in Russian logging camps, where they reportedly have only two days of rest per year and face punishments when they fail to meet production targets. Wages of some North Korean workers employed in Russia reportedly were withheld until the laborers returned home, in a coercive tactic by North Korean authorities to compel their labor. North Korean workers at joint ventures with foreign investors within the DPRK are employed under arrangements similar to those that apply to overseas contract workers.

The North Korean government 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 explicitly denied that human trafficking is a problem. Authorities do not differentiate between trafficking and other forms of illegal border crossing, and victims are punished for violation of migration laws. The government contributes to the problem of trafficking through its harsh restrictions on emigration and through its forced labor prison camps, where North Koreans live in conditions of servitude, receiving little food and little if any medical care.

Recommendations for the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea: Improve the poor economic, social, political, and human rights conditions in North Korea that render North Koreans highly vulnerable to trafficking; recognize human trafficking as a problem in North Korea, and one that is distinct from people smuggling; institute systematic victim identification procedures to identify and protect victims of trafficking; cease the systematic punishment of trafficking victims in forced labor camps; and support an NGO presence in North Korea to assist victims of trafficking.

Prosecution
The North Korean government made little, if any, efforts to combat trafficking in persons through law enforcement efforts over the last year, and continued to severely restrict the movement of its citizens internally and across its borders. The North Korean government continues to deny the existence of trafficking as a problem. Little information is available on North Korea’s internal legal system. The country’s Penal Code prohibits crossing the border without permission; these laws are used against both traffickers and trafficking victims. It is doubtful that North Korean laws are adequate to address trafficking. Article 150 of the Penal Code criminalizes inter alia the abduction, sale, or trafficking of children. Article 7 of the 1946 Law on Equality of the Sexes forbids trafficking in women. However, fair trials do not occur in North Korea. It is not made clear under what provisions of the law, if any, traffickers are prosecuted. Laws used to prosecute traffickers and trafficking victims are those that seek to limit all cross-border migration, including refugee outflows, and often end up harming victims. During the reporting period, reports indicate that more restrictions have been imposed on leaving North Korea, and there are reports of more severe punishments being imposed on those who seek to leave the country and those who are forcibly returned. Reports by North Korean defectors include instances of the government punishing traffickers; however, NGO reports indicate that the “traffickers” may include activists or professional border crossers who assist North Koreans voluntarily leaving for China. There were no known trafficking prosecutions or convictions during the reporting period.

Protection
The North Korean government does not make any known attempts to identify individuals as victims of trafficking or assist victims of trafficking. On the contrary, victims undergo severe punishment by the regime if caught attempting to cross the border or if deported back to North Korea by Chinese authorities. While authorities screened repatriated North Koreans for contacts with South Koreans and exposure to South Korean cultural influences, they did not make a distinction between trafficking victims and illegal migrants. North Koreans forcibly repatriated by Chinese authorities, including a significant number of women believed to be trafficking victims, are sent to prison camps, where they may be subject to forced labor, torture, sexual abuse by prison guards, or other severe punishment. Repatriated victims who are suspected of having become pregnant with a child of possible Chinese paternity may be subject to forced abortions and infanticide; reports indicate that prison authorities may brutally kill babies born to repatriated victims while in prison. The government did not ensure that trafficking victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
North Korean authorities have made no effort to prevent human trafficking. Internal conditions in the DPRK prompt many North Koreans to flee the country making them particularly vulnerable to human traffickers. The DPRK continues to ban the existence of indigenous NGOs, and there are no international NGOs in the country that work to prevent trafficking or assist trafficking victims. North Korea is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

KOREA, REPUBLIC OF (Tier 1)

The Republic of Korea (ROK or South Korea) is a source, transit, and destination country for men and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor, and women and girls in forced commercial sexual exploitation. Some men and women from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Morocco, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, and other Southeast Asian countries are recruited for employment in the ROK, and subjected to forced prostitution or forced labor. Some foreign women from Russia, Ukraine, Mongolia, China, and other Southeast Asian countries who enter the country on entertainment visas, including those recruited to be singers and bar workers near U.S. military facilities, were trafficked for forced prostitution. Most sex and labor trafficking victims had their passports confiscated and wages withheld by their employers, and some victims had their movements restricted. Migrant workers who travel to the ROK for employment may incur thousands of dollars in debts, contributing to their vulnerability to debt bondage. The use of debt bondage was common among sex trafficking victims, and employers and brokers often found ways to compound victims’ debt. Some women from less developed countries recruited for marriage with South Korean men through international marriage brokers are subjected to forced prostitution or forced labor upon arrival in the ROK; some brokers reportedly charge on average $10,000-$13,000 from Korean clients. There are approximately 500,000 low-skilled migrant workers in the ROK from elsewhere in Asia, many of whom were working under the Employment Permit System (EPS). While new protections were implemented for EPS workers, observers claimed the EPS assigns excessive power to employers over workers’ mobility and legal status, making them vulnerable to trafficking. South Korean women were subjected to forced prostitution domestically and abroad in destinations including the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia. According to observers in destination countries, South Korean men continue to be a major source of demand for child sex tourism in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. The growing use of the Internet aided the brokering of the sex trade in the ROK, and in some cases South Korean nationals also used online brokers to arrange for prostitution overseas, particularly in the Philippines, Thailand, and China.

The Government of the Republic of Korea fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government’s framework for addressing human trafficking is confined to the trafficking of women and children for commercial sexual exploitation, and often conflates prostitution and trafficking. The government did report efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict offenders of trafficking violations. Authorities reported that trafficking related crimes against foreigners were investigated and prosecuted as human rights abuses. The government does not have procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking, and did not identify any trafficking victims during the year. Additionally, the government has never prosecuted a South Korean citizen for engaging in child sex tourism abroad.

Recommendations for the Republic of Korea: Significantly increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders involved in both sex and labor trafficking in the ROK; ensure immigration and police officials are trained to identify victims of sex and labor trafficking; develop and implement proactive victim identification procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, including foreign women arrested for prostitution and foreign workers; develop and implement a formal trafficking-specific referral process for law enforcement officials to direct trafficking victims to short- and long-term care; increase the availability of protection and assistance to victims of labor trafficking; make greater efforts to inform migrant workers of their rights in the ROK; as a preventative measure, take steps to ensure foreign workers have judicial recourse to hold employers accountable for abuses including nonpayment of wages and the withholding of passports; ensure labor offices have adequate interpretation services to serve foreign workers; take steps to reduce the demand for child sex tourism by increasing law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute South Korean child sex tourists; and improve the available statistical data on trafficking in the ROK.

Prosecution
The ROK government made some anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. The ROK prohibits trafficking through its 2004 “Act on the Punishment of Acts of Arranging Sexual Traffic” and its Labor Standards Act, which prescribes up to 10 years’ and five years’ imprisonment, respectively – penalties that are sufficiently stringent. Authorities reported prosecuting 27 offenders, of which 17 were convicted and the remaining 10 are still in trial; however, the government was unable to report details of these cases, including the sentences prescribed to convicted trafficking offenders. An additional six sex trafficking offenders were fined under Article 18 of the Act on the Punishment of Acts of Arranging Sexual Traffic; two of them received fines of $1,700. There were 65 prosecutions under Article 11, which can be used to prosecute trafficking offenses. However, the Government of the ROK was not able to provide more information regarding the underlying facts of these cases; therefore, it is unclear how many of these prosecutions involved trafficking offenses. The government convicted one South Korean national under the Immigration Control Act for withholding a foreign worker’s passport to secure payment of debts, and sentenced the offender to 10 months’ imprisonment. Over 10,000 migrant workers reported violations of the labor law in 2009, most of which involved unpaid wages. The government did not identify trafficking cases among complaints filed against the EPS. The Ministry of Labor reported employers withheld $20.5 million in unpaid wages to 9,452 workers, and authorities assisted workers in getting employers to pay about 55 percent of these unpaid wages. While more than 2,000 cases were referred to prosecutors, it was unclear how many of these cases were prosecuted. Restrictions on the ability of foreign workers to change jobs were improved by 2009 revisions to the EPS, but continued to make it difficult for migrant workers to seek legal redress. The government began to enforce new laws restricting the actions of international marriage brokers. In December 2009 the government investigated the some 2,000 brokers registered in the ROK and found 422 violations, though none of these violations led to criminal trafficking prosecutions. Foreign officials expressed concern local police were not motivated to investigate some sex trafficking leads that had been provided to South Korean authorities. There were some reports police officers took bribes from brothel owners in exchange for prior notice about police raids. In May 2009, the ROK government sentenced one police officer to one year in prison for accepting bribes from a brothel. Another six officers were subjected to disciplinary measures for taking smaller bribes from brothel owners.

Protection
The Government of the Republic of Korea exhibited some efforts to protect trafficking victims, but its lack of a system to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups limited its ability to assist and protect victims. Authorities did not report identifying any trafficking victims during the year, including among the 20,000 foreigners deported from the country in 2009 for immigration violation. The government reported it referred foreign victims of sexual or labor exploitation to institutions providing victim care, though the government lacks an institutionalized referral process. Some undocumented workers who may have been trafficking victims were rounded up in police raids and deported. In 2009, the government spent $15 million on shelters and victim care facilities to support victims of abuse, including trafficking victims; these shelters were accessible to trafficking victims, though the government was unable to provide data on the number of trafficking victims who used these shelters. Most of the victim shelters and counseling centers accessible to trafficking victims are run by NGOs funded either wholly or in part by the government. In December 2009, the government began requiring counselors and social workers who deal with women formerly in the sex industry to take four weeks of sex trafficking training. The government also established during the year 14 additional shelters for foreign women who were victims of violence, including trafficking, bringing the total to 18 shelters. The Ministry of Labor operated eight Migrant Workers’ Centers nationwide to help foreign workers in the country. However, according to one NGO observer, some staff members at labor offices charged with assisting migrant workers were unwilling to assist some migrant workers with their labor complaints. The government can provide “G-1 visas” to trafficking victims who assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, but did not provide any trafficking victims a G-1 visa during the reporting period. The government ran telephone hotlines accessible to victims of sex trafficking and to victims of labor trafficking.

Prevention
The ROK government continued anti-trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period, though these efforts were focused on sex trafficking and did not address labor trafficking. In 2009, the government distributed brochures on preventing the sex trade and trafficking to public agencies and counseling centers and ran advertisements to raise awareness about sex trafficking on subways and electronic billboards. During the reporting period, the Ministry of Gender Equality created a compulsory training program on sex trafficking prevention and disseminated the material to public agencies. In an effort to reduce demand for commercial sex acts, the Ministry of Justice continued to run 39 “Johns Schools,” requiring convicted male “clients” of prostitution attend these one-day seminars – in lieu of criminal punishment. According to observers, South Korean men continue to be a major source of demand for child sex tourism throughout Asia. During the reporting period, the government did not prosecute any Korean nationals for engaging in child sex tourism abroad. The ROK government conducted training for the fisheries industry on the Child and Youth Protection Act, but did not make any other efforts to reduce the overall demand for child sex tourism. The ROK government provided anti-trafficking training to troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions. The Republic of Korea is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

KOSOVO (Tier 2)

Kosovo is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution, and children in forced begging. Most foreign victims of forced prostitution are young women from Eastern Europe including Moldova, Albania, Bulgaria and Serbia. Kosovo women and children are subjected to forced prostitution within Kosovo and also in countries throughout Europe. One NGO reported identifying more than 300 children, particularly from Roma communities, forced to beg in Kosovo; traffickers allegedly force boys to wash car windshields at traffic lights and compel girls to beg for money at hotels and restaurants. Police continue to report that internal trafficking involving Kosovo Serbs may also occur in north Kosovo. For the fourth consecutive year, IOM reported that it provided assistance to more domestic trafficking victims than foreign victims.

The Government of Kosovo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government convicted an increased number of trafficking offenders and undertook critical outreach efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. However, it did not assign adequate punishments to convicted traffickers; many sentences were below the legal minimum prescribed under its trafficking law. Furthermore, the majority of convicted trafficking offenders were freed on appeal in 2009. Inadequate victim identification techniques continued to hamper the government’s ability to detect and protect trafficking victims. Shelters were underutilized throughout the year.

Recommendations for Kosovo: Proactively prosecute, convict, and sentence sex and labor trafficking offenders, including officials complicit in trafficking; consider dedicating prosecutors to the specialization of prosecuting of trafficking cases; ensure adequate services for repatriated victims; increase funding for the NGO-run anti-trafficking shelter for adults; improve the victim identification process so that potential victims are allowed time away from their immediate situation to recount their experiences with minimal pressure, particularly in a post-raid environment; consider including NGOs during initial contact with potential victims and expanding the victim’s advocate role during this process; and increase detection and protection for victims of forced begging in Kosovo.

Prosecution
The Government of Kosovo showed uneven efforts to address human trafficking through law enforcement means over the year. Kosovo law criminalizes sex and labor trafficking and prescribes penalties of between two and 12 years’ imprisonment – penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In December 2009 and February 2010, anti-trafficking police launched a series of nighttime raids on bars, coffee shops, and nightclubs in select cities in Kosovo, resulting in the closure of 50 commercial sex establishments and the arrest of nine trafficking suspects. In 2009, the government prosecuted 25 sex trafficking offenders, resulting in 22 convictions, an increase from 15 convictions obtained in 2008. Four traffickers were sentenced to over five years’ imprisonment; eleven traffickers were sentenced to over one year imprisonment; four received sentences of between six and twelve months’ imprisonment; and three received sentences of between two to six months’ imprisonment. Of the 22 convicted traffickers, however, only two began serving their prison sentences; the remainder remained free on appeal, possibly allowing them to continue to exploit their victims.

The government continued to provide anti-trafficking training to border police, law enforcement, and recruits during the reporting period. International experts, however, noted overall inadequate implementation of anti-trafficking laws and prosecution of trafficking offenders in 2009. In addition, NGOs and international experts reported that trafficking-related corruption continued to hamper the government’s anti-trafficking efforts. Foreign trafficking victims often arrive in Kosovo with valid documents and employment contracts stamped by Kosovo officials who may be aware that the document holders are trafficking victims. In March 2009, Kosovo authorities suspended five police officers, with pay, on suspicion of facilitating human trafficking; and authorities later determined that they were part of a smuggling case.

Protection
During the reporting period, the Government of Kosovo sustained its efforts to protect trafficking victims. The government identified 29 victims of trafficking in 2009, a slight increase over the 27 it identified in 2008. The government continued to operate and fully fund its high-security temporary shelter and reported its assistance to 23 trafficking victims, including two children, in 2009. Victims’ freedom of movement were limited in the government-run shelter and some international organizations reported poor conditions; victims were housed for approximately 72 hours in this shelter while the police conducted a risk assessment; police reportedly then referred them to a local NGO or IOM to discuss reintegration or repatriation options. The government provided funding to the only NGO in Kosovo that offered specialized longer-term care to adult trafficking victims and to another NGO that offered shelter to child trafficking victims; however, very few victims utilized these facilities. The government reportedly used standard operating procedures (SOPs) when encountering suspected trafficking victims; however, 2009 assessments conducted by UNODC and by the Commission of European Communities indicated ongoing problems with victim identification. Although Kosovo law exempts identified victims from punishment for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, inadequate implementation of the government’s SOPs may have led to a failure to adequately identify all trafficking victims and the return of some victims to their exploiters. Although police identified nearly 200 suspected trafficking victims after two night-time raids during the year, police subsequently failed to identify any as victims, thus raising concerns that the raids lacked the critical balance between law enforcement and victim protection considerations. According to one NGO, police did little to identify or protect children subjected to forced begging, and reported the summary deportation of some victims of forced begging and their subsequent re- trafficking the following day. International organizations and experts report that the absence of an effective witness protection system remained a serious impediment to effectively encouraging victims to participate in trafficking prosecutions; no victims assisted in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers in 2009.

The government provided only limited repatriation or reintegration assistance to victims after they left a shelter. One international organization noted a lack of opportunities for trafficked girls who did not want to return to their families, who in many cases contributed to their initial trafficking. The government provided foreign victims of trafficking with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they would face hardship or retribution, including through the granting of refugee status or approval of temporary residency permits.

Prevention
The Government of Kosovo sustained its prevention efforts, mostly through partnerships with NGOs and international organizations in 2009. It conducted anti-trafficking outreach with high school and college-level students to educate them about the risks of trafficking, holding multiple anti-trafficking discussions with students at high schools and the University of Pristina. The government also undertook actions designed to inform listeners about trafficking issues using radio broadcasts in October 2008 and January 2010. IOM reported that the government provided two day-long community based training sessions to educate students and youth organization leaders about trafficking in October 2009. The government signed an interministerial MOU in January 2010 to improve data sharing and collection of trafficking and actively monitored implementation of its National Action Plan.

KUWAIT (Tier 3)


Kuwait is a destination country for men and women, some of whom are subsequently subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor. The majority of trafficking victims are from among the approximately 550,000 foreign women recruited for domestic service work in Kuwait. Men and women migrate from India, Egypt, Bangladesh, Syria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran, Jordan, and Iraq to work in Kuwait, most of them in the domestic service, construction, and sanitation industries. Although these migrants enter Kuwait voluntarily, upon arrival some are subjected to conditions of forced labor by their sponsors and labor agents, including through such practices as non-payment of wages, threats, physical or sexual abuse, and restrictions on movement, such as the withholding of passports. Labor recruitment agencies and their subagents at the community level in South Asia may coerce or defraud workers into accepting work in Kuwait that turns out to be exploitative and, in some instances, constitutes involuntary servitude.

In some cases, arriving migrant workers have found the terms of employment in Kuwait are wholly different from those they agreed to in their home countries, making them vulnerable to human trafficking. As a result of such contract fraud, the Government of Indonesia in October 2009 banned further migration of domestic workers to Kuwait. Some 600 Indonesian domestic workers sought refuge in the Indonesian embassy in Kuwait in the last year; some of these domestic workers may have been victims of trafficking. Some of these workers arrive in the country to find their promised jobs do not exist. Many of the migrant workers arriving for work in Kuwait have paid exorbitant fees to recruiters in their home countries – a practice making workers highly vulnerable to forced labor once in Kuwait. Some unscrupulous Kuwaiti sponsors and recruiting agents prey on some of these migrants by charging them high amounts for residency visas, which foreign workers are supposed to receive for free. Adult female migrant workers are particularly vulnerable and consequently are often victims of nonconsensual commercial sexual exploitation and forced prostitution. Some domestic workers have fled from employers, and subsequently have been coerced into prostitution.

The Government of Kuwait does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making sufficient efforts to do so. Although the government made some efforts to improve its performance from previous years, heated public discourse and wide press debate on human trafficking have not yet resulted in the implementation of adequate laws. The Kuwaiti government made progress on some of the commitments it made in 2007 by making trafficking-related law enforcement data available and by continuing to investigate and prosecute some types of trafficking-related offenses. The government has not, however, made sufficient progress in fulfilling other commitments it made in 2007, including commitments to enact legislation specifically prohibiting human trafficking, to establish a 700-person permanent shelter for victims of trafficking, and to develop and implement a training program to educate government officials on the effective handling of trafficking cases. The government remains reluctant to prosecute Kuwaiti citizens for trafficking-related offenses; much of the human trafficking found in Kuwait involves domestic workers in Kuwaiti private residences. The government acknowledged some workers face difficulties but denied this contributes to a systemic trafficking problem.

Recommendations for Kuwait: Enact the draft anti-trafficking bill to specifically prohibit and punish all human trafficking offenses; enact the draft domestic workers bill to provide domestic workers with the same rights as other workers; establish methods to proactively identify victims of human trafficking, especially among the female domestic worker population; ensure sponsors and employers do not illegally hold migrant workers’ passports; and expand on anti-trafficking training to law enforcement and judicial officials.

Prosecution
The Government of Kuwait demonstrated minimal progress in anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Although the government has not yet enacted legislation explicitly prohibiting trafficking in persons, the Kuwaiti Criminal Code prohibits several trafficking-related offenses. Limited forms of transnational slavery are prohibited through Article 185, which prescribes a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment. Article 201, which prohibits forced prostitution, prescribes a maximum sentence of five years’ imprisonment if the victim is an adult and seven years if the victim is under the age of 18. While these prescribed penalties are sufficiently severe and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious offenses, the government did not punish any trafficking offenders under these statutes. Kuwait charged 15 Kuwaiti citizens and 63 expatriates with crimes relating to the abuse of domestic workers, including one murder, although only two criminals were imprisoned. Two of these Kuwaiti employers were sentenced to 15 and 16 years in prison; however, one absconded and was not apprehended. Another Kuwaiti employer was sentenced to two years imprisonment, but this sentence was subsequently suspended upon payment of a $350 fine. The victim – an Indonesian maid – had been beaten, scalded by boiling water, and branded with a heated knife by the employer. Another Kuwaiti employer was sentenced in December 2009 to fifteen years in prison for beating to death an Asian woman employed as her maid. In April 2010, an appeals court reduced the jail term to seven years. The government also convicted 48 defendants charged with violence against foreign workers in other occupations. No information on sentences was available for these cases.

Kuwaiti law enforcement generally takes an administrative or civil approach in addressing cases of forced labor or exploitation, such as assessing fines, shutting down employment firms, issuing orders for employers to return withheld passports, or requiring employers to pay back wages. Such administrative penalties are not sufficiently stringent and do not reflect the heinous nature of human trafficking crimes. Kuwaiti courts sentenced two police officers to ten years in jail each for raping three female migrant workers. The crime took place in a detention facility, where the women were being held after running away from their employers.

Protection
During the year, Kuwait made no discernible efforts to improve protection for victims of trafficking. The government continued to lack a formal procedure for the systematic identification and protection of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign workers arrested without proper identity documents and women forced into prostitution. Kuwait’s short-term shelter has a maximum capacity of 40 and is intended to provide medical, psychological, and legal services. According to the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MOSAL), approximately 300 domestic workers enter and leave the shelter each year and are referred from embassy shelters. Sources indicate, however, officials restricted the number of women each embassy sends to the shelter and requested the embassies only refer “simple” cases. There was no shelter available for male migrant workers. In 2007, the government committed to opening a 700-person shelter for both men and women. This shelter had not yet been established, as the government was in the process of transferring the building from the Ministry of Education to MOSAL. During the reporting period, the Indonesian government, together with IOM, sent delegations to Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan to assess the plight of Indonesian domestic workers in these countries. Over 400 victims, found in the Indonesian embassy shelter in Kuwait and unable to leave because they either did not have passports or exit permits (or both), were flown home as a result of the delegation’s intervention. Trafficking victims were generally deported for running away from their sponsors or employers. Foreigners convicted of prostitution are also deported, regardless of whether they were sex trafficking victims. Government authorities did not encourage victims to participate in the investigation or prosecution of their traffickers.

Prevention
The Government of Kuwait made some efforts to prevent trafficking in persons this year. Kuwait’s National Assembly passed and enacted a new private sector labor law, which, among other things, increased punishment for the illegal recruitment of workers, and allowed for the establishment of a state-owned recruitment company to oversee and manage the recruitment of all migrant workers – this recruitment company had not yet been established. The law excludes Kuwait’s half-million domestic workers – the group most vulnerable to human trafficking – and does not establish mechanisms to monitor workers’ rights. In August, MOSAL issued a ministerial resolution to immediately permit most foreign workers to change employers after three years of work, without having to secure the permission of the current Kuwaiti sponsor. In April 2010, MOSAL issued another resolution instituting a minimum wage of approximately $200 a month, Kuwait’s first-ever minimum wage. However, domestic workers are not included in these resolutions.

A ministerial decree forbids sponsors and employers from withholding passports. However, this decree was not adequately enforced. It was reported that over 90 percent of the domestic workers who went to their embassies for assistance did not have access to their passports. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs published a warning against sex tourism in all of Kuwait’s Arabic dailies in February 2010 and the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs required some Sunni mosques to deliver Friday sermons on the danger of sex abroad and Islam’s strict teachings against improper sexual relations. Government officials received training on migrant workers’ rights and the ability to use existing laws to prosecute trafficking-related crimes. The government drafted an anti-trafficking bill that remained on the parliamentary agenda as of May 2010.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (Tier 2)

The Kyrgyz Republic (or Kyrgyzstan) is a source, transit, and to a lesser extent a destination country for men and women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor, and women in forced prostitution. Kyrgyz men and women are subjected to bonded labor in China and to conditions of forced labor in Kazakhstan and Russia, specifically in the agricultural, construction, and textile industries. Women from the Kyrgyz Republic are subjected to forced prostitution in UAE, Kazakhstan, China, South Korea, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Thailand, Germany, and Syria. Some men and women from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan transit Kyrgysztan as they migrate to Russia, the UAE, and Turkey, where they are subsequently subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Men and women are trafficked within the Kyrgyz Republic for forced labor, and women are subjected to forced prostitution within the country. The city of Osh is a growing destination for women trafficked from Uzbekistan for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of the Kyrgyz Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government’s efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders continued to decrease. Despite the fact that at least 113 victims of trafficking were identified in Kyrgyzstan, only four suspected traffickers were prosecuted and only three trafficking offenders were convicted in 2009. The government sustained its limited victim assistance efforts and made important efforts to improve birth registration records, a move that may prevent future incidents of trafficking.

Recommendations for the Kyrgyz Republic: Increase efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders and ensure that a majority of convicted trafficking offenders serve time in prison; vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict, and punish government officials complicit in trafficking; continue to improve the collection of trafficking law enforcement data; continue trafficking sensitivity training for police, prosecutors, and judges; and ensure that victims of trafficking are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prosecution
The Kyrgyz government improved its collection of trafficking-specific law enforcement data, although it demonstrated weak law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The 2005 law on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Persons criminalizes trafficking for both commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor and prescribes penalties of from 3 to 20 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with prescribed penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2009, the government conducted 11 trafficking investigations, including nine labor trafficking and two sex trafficking investigations, and prosecuted four individuals, including three for labor and one for sex trafficking, compared with eight prosecutions conducted in 2008. The government convicted 3 trafficking offenders – including 2 for labor and one for sex trafficking, down from 6 convictions in 2008. All three convicted trafficking offenders in 2009 were sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment. Members of the judiciary, law enforcement, and other government officials received trafficking training provided by IOM and NGOs. NGOs contend that some low-level law enforcement officials are complicit in human trafficking and accept bribes from traffickers; other low-level police tolerate trafficking due to a lack of awareness. The government reported no efforts to investigate these allegations or to prosecute and punish any government officials complicit in trafficking.

Protection
The government maintained its limited efforts to assist victims during the reporting period. The government and NGOs identified at least 113 victims of trafficking in 2009, compared with 161 victims identified in 2008. Although the government provided no direct funding for shelter or assistance to victims, it continued to provide facilities for three shelters run by anti-trafficking NGOs. In 2009, 22 of the 113 victims assisted by NGOs and international organizations were assisted by shelters that received free facilities and utilities provided by the government, compared with 34 victims assisted by NGOs in 2008. Government officials referred 21 victims to IOM and NGOs for assistance in Kyrgyzstan and consular officials at Kyrgyz embassies in destination countries referred 18 victims to IOM for assistance with safe repatriation in 2009, compared with 20 victims referred by government officials in 2008. Although no foreign victims were identified in 2009, Kyrgyz law permits non- Commonwealth of Independent States’ citizens to remain in the country pending investigation and prosecution of a trafficking case if the prosecutor or investigator in the case makes a request to immigration authorities. The government encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; two victims assisted law enforcement during the reporting period. There were no reports of victims penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked during the reporting period.

Prevention
The Kyrgyz government sustained its prevention efforts over the last year and made important progress in improving its national identity record system. The government has not historically maintained accurate birth and nationality records, which has made Kyrgyz nationals traveling abroad more vulnerable to trafficking, as they lacked appropriate travel documents. However the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, in partnership with the United Nations, began to digitize passport records in a central database during the reporting period. In 2010, the Kyrgyz Bureau of Vital Records is expected to expand this program to include birth records. In 2009, the Border Guard Service increased its efforts to provide travelers leaving Kyrgyzstan at the airport, train stations, and at land crossings with fliers and other trafficking awareness materials prepared by IOM. The Kyrgyz government maintained migration offices in six key destination cities in Russia to assist and advise its nationals vulnerable to labor trafficking of their rights and also provided in-kind assistance to an NGO-run national labor migration hotline that provided legal advice and assistance to potential victims of trafficking. The government strengthened partnerships with anti-trafficking NGOs during the reporting period. In 2009, the government issued 17 criminal citations against unlicensed labor recruitment companies; though these penalties are administrative in nature, such actions may reduce the potential for unlicensed labor recruitment companies from trafficking unsuspecting victims.

LAOS (Tier 2 Watch List)

Laos is a source, and to a much lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women and girls who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution, and men, women, and children who are in conditions of forced labor in factory work, domestic labor, and the fishing industry. Lao men, women, and children are found in conditions of forced labor in Thailand. Many Laotians, particularly women, pay broker fees to obtain jobs in Thailand, normally ranging from $70 to $200, but are subsequently subjected to conditions of sexual servitude and forced labor once they arrive in Thailand. Lao men are subjected to conditions of forced labor in the Thai fishing and construction industry. A small number of Lao women and girls reportedly were also trafficked to China to become brides for Chinese men. Ethnic minority populations are particularly vulnerable to trafficking in Thailand. Laos is increasingly a transit country for Vietnamese, Chinese, and Burmese women who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor in Thailand. Some Vietnamese women are subjected to forced prostitution in Laos. Although there are fewer reported instances, internal trafficking also remains a problem, affecting young women and girls forced into prostitution.

The Government of Laos 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, Laos has not demonstrated enough evidence of progress in its law enforcement efforts to address human trafficking and in the identification and protection of trafficking victims; therefore, Laos is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. During the reporting period, the government reported three trafficking prosecutions, but did not convict any trafficking offenders. While the government provided some assistance to victims identified by foreign governments repatriated to Laos, it did not report identifying any trafficking victims. The government has never administratively or criminally punished any public official for complicity in trafficking in persons. The government continued to rely almost completely on NGOs and international organizations to provide victim assistance.

Recommendations for Laos: Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute both sex and labor trafficking offenders, including through cooperation with Thai authorities on cross-border trafficking cases; make efforts to address internal trafficking, including by identifying Lao citizens trafficked within the country; create and implement formal victim identification procedures and train police and border officials to identify trafficking victims, including victims returning from Thailand; improve coordination between Thai authorities and the central government regarding victim assistance and between the Vientiane transit center and local communities where victims will be reintegrated; consider opening a transit center in Savannakhet for victims repatriated from Thailand; increase efforts to combat trafficking-related complicity; expedite the processing of NGO MOUs to implement anti-trafficking projects; implement and support a visible anti-trafficking awareness campaign directed at clients of the sex trade; and increase collaboration with international organizations and civil society to build capacity to combat trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
The Lao government continued to prosecute some trafficking cases, but did not convict any trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Laos prohibits all forms of human trafficking through its 2006 revision of Penal Code Article 134, which prescribes penalties ranging from five years to life imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes. Lao police report investigating 50 suspected trafficking cases in 2009, and the prosecution of 11 trafficking offenders. Impunity of corrupt government officials remained a problem throughout the Lao justice system. Corruption is endemic in Laos, and observers of trafficking in Laos believe that particularly at the local level, some officials are involved in facilitating human trafficking, sometimes in collusion with their Thai counterparts. However, the government has never reported any officials disciplined or punished for involvement in trafficking in persons. The government continued to collaborate with international organizations and NGOs on law enforcement capacity building.

Protection
The Government of Laos continued some efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking received access to protective services during the reporting period. The government did not employ systematic efforts to identify trafficking victims among Lao migrants returning from neighboring countries. The government continued to rely almost completely on NGOs and international organizations to provide victim assistance. Lao authorities did not report identifying any trafficking victims within Lao borders. In 2009, Thai authorities identified and repatriated approximately 155 Lao victims under an official repatriation mechanism; almost all of whom were girls. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare (MLSW), with NGO funding, continued to operate a small transit center in Vientiane for victims identified and repatriated by Thai authorities to remain for one week. However, while most repatriated victims were from southern Laos, all victims were required to be processed through the Vientiane transit center in central Laos. The Lao Women’s Union operates counseling centers in six provinces to provide information about trafficking prevention and, with the assistance of international NGOs and foreign donors, helps to run a shelter in Vientiane to assist victims and help reintegrate them into society. Women and children who are identified as trafficking victims are exempted from criminal prosecution for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of trafficking, but the law does not protect men from prosecution. Since victims generally avoid identification by Thai authorities, there are believed to be many victims who return to Laos through informal channels, particularly male victims, but no such victims were identified by the Lao government. The government does not have systematic procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as migrants returning from Thailand and girls and women detained for involvement in prostitution. The Lao Embassy in Bangkok assists in coordinating repatriation of Lao nationals who are identified as trafficking victims in Thailand. Inefficiency within the government in the signing of MOUs has caused lengthy delays in NGO victim protection projects. The Law on Development and Protection of Women includes protection provisions for victims of trafficking, but these provisions do not apply to men. Victim access to legal redress is hampered by culture and lack of resources on the part of victims and the legal community. Through legal aid clinics, the Lao Bar Association, with NGO funding, is currently assisting six trafficking victims. Laos does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face retribution or hardship, but does not typically repatriate foreign trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Lao government continued limited efforts to prevent trafficking in persons with assistance from international organizations and NGOs. The MLSW worked with UNICEF to set up trafficking awareness-raising billboards near border checkpoints and in large cities, and distribute comic books to schools, to educate younger Lao about the dangers of trafficking. UNESCO and the Lao Youth Union partnered on radio programs in Lao and minority languages on the dangers of trafficking. In October 2009, Laos and China established a liaison office in China’s Yunnan Province to repatriate a small number of Lao women trafficked to China for forced marriage. Authorities did not employ screening procedures to identify trafficking victims in raids of nightclubs used as fronts for commercial sex. The Lao National Tourism Authority, with NGO and donor funding, ran a campaign prior to the 2009 Southeast Asia Games, warning tourists and citizens to not engage in child sex tourism.

LATVIA (Tier 2)

Latvia is a source country for women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution, and for men and women in conditions of forced labor. Latvian women are forced into prostitution in Italy, the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, and Germany. Latvian men and women are subjected to conditions of forced labor in the United Kingdom. There are unofficial reports that some Latvian teenage girls are trafficked within the country for the purpose of forced prostitution.

The Government of Latvia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government demonstrated modest progress in prosecuting and convicting trafficking offenders and made efforts to improve victim access to assistance. The government also increased the amount spent on victim assistance. In March 2010, the Ministry of Interior established a new inter-agency working group tasked with implementing the 2009-2013 National Anti-Trafficking Program – which was adopted in August 2009 – and coordinating efforts among state agencies, municipal governments, and NGOs. Despite these important efforts, more should be done to identify and certify victims, ensuring them access to necessary care.

Recommendations for Latvia: Increase the number of victims certified to receive government-funded assistance; increase efforts to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, such as women and girls in prostitution, and refer these victims for assistance; increase use of Section 154-1 to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders; impose sufficient criminal penalties on persons convicted of human trafficking offenses; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute domestic and labor trafficking offenses; ensure law enforcement, border guards, and labor inspectors receive labor trafficking training; provide law enforcement with proactive victim identification training; fully implement the 2009-2013 National Anti-Trafficking Program; and increase efforts to raise awareness about both forced prostitution and labor trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Latvia demonstrated increased law enforcement efforts in 2009, though the number of convicted trafficking offenders sentenced to time in prison remained low. Latvia prohibits all forms of trafficking through Sections 154-1, 154-2, and 164 of its Criminal Law, which prescribe penalties ranging from a fine up to 15 years’ imprisonment. These prescribed penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government used Section 165-1 – a non-trafficking law – to investigate, prosecute, and convict most trafficking cases during the reporting period. Use of this statute allowed prosecutors more flexibility to pursue cases in which the victim’s volition was more difficult to establish. Authorities initiated 34 trafficking investigations, a significant increase from 17 trafficking investigations in 2008. During the reporting period, authorities prosecuted 26 suspected trafficking offenders, up from 14 individuals in 2008. Fifteen trafficking offenders were convicted during the reporting period, compared with 11 offenders in 2008. Proportionally, roughly the same percentage of convicted offenders received jail sentences in 2008 and 2009: four of the 15 trafficking offenders convicted in 2009 were sentenced to serve some time in prison compared with three of 11 convicted offenders in 2008. In 2009, 11 trafficking offenders were given suspended sentences or fines and served no time in prison, compared with eight in 2008. Three convicted sex trafficking offenders were sentenced to one to five years’ imprisonment and one offender was sentenced to five to 10 years’ imprisonment during the reporting period. The government did not provide state labor inspectors with specialized training on forced labor cases, and it postponed anticipated anti-trafficking training for judges and prosecutors until sometime in 2010.

Protection
The government demonstrated improved efforts to assist victims during the reporting period and the number of victims provided with access to government-funded assistance increased. The Ministry of Welfare authorized increased funding for victim services to $78,000, upon discovering that seven additional victims had been identified than originally projected in the assistance budget; the government provided $58,000 in such funding in 2008. In 2009, 10 new victims were certified by the government and provided with government-funded assistance including medical aid, shelter, and rehabilitative care; seven other victims certified in 2008 continued receiving government funded services in 2009. A total of 12 victims were provided with government-funded assistance in 2008. However, local NGOs continued to report difficulties with certifying victims of trafficking as eligible for government-funded assistance pursuant to the Law on Social Services and Social Assistance. NGOs and the government identified 34 potential trafficking victims during the reporting period, compared with 28 potential victims from the previous year. Government authorities identified and referred seven victims to NGO service-providers for assistance, down from 17 victims identified and referred in 2008. In October 2009, the government amended its Law on Social Services and Social Assistance to allow all Latvian and foreign victims of trafficking, including victims from European Union member states, access to government-funded victim assistance. The government offered foreign victims temporary legal alternatives to deportation to countries where they may face hardship or retribution; victims who agree to assist law enforcement may apply for temporary residency and work permits. No victims applied for or received the 30-day reflection period during the reporting period. Although the police have mechanisms to screen for victims of trafficking, concerns remained regarding the general understanding of trafficking by law enforcement; NGOs reported that some victims of trafficking may be unwilling to self-identify themselves as trafficking victims to police officials. Law enforcement officials reported increased efforts to screen for victims of trafficking in vulnerable populations living in Latvia, including street children, women in prostitution, and foreign migrant populations, though no victims were identified as a result of these efforts during the reporting period. The government encouraged victims to participate in investigations against their traffickers; in 2009, 21 victims assisted with law enforcement investigations. The government did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The Latvian government sustained its efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period. The Ministry of Education provided trafficking awareness training for 296 teachers in 2009; the training enabled teachers to communicate with students about the existence and realities of human trafficking. The government sponsored a crime prevention campaign, including trafficking prevention activities, in 697 schools throughout the country titled “Safe Days at School.” The Latvian State Tourism Agency partnered with Air Baltic to distribute information to air travelers entering Latvia about the Agency’s hotline and e-mail address, which can be used to report potential instances of sex tourism and trafficking. The government did not conduct a campaign to reduce the demand for commercial sex.

LEBANON (Tier 2 Watch List)

Lebanon is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. The country may also be a transit point for Eastern European women and children destined for forced prostitution in other Middle Eastern countries. Women from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Ethiopia, and Madagascar who travel to Lebanon voluntarily and legally to work in domestic service, with the assistance of recruitment agencies, often find themselves in conditions of forced labor, including through the use of such practices as withholding of passports, non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement, verbal abuse, and physical assault. Workers who leave their employer’s house without permission automatically lose their legal status unless a change in sponsorship is prearranged and approved by Surete Generale (SG), the government agency responsible for the entry, residency, and departure of foreign workers. In some cases, employers have kept foreign domestic workers confined in houses for years. The Lebanese government’s “artiste” visa program, which facilitated the entry of 4,518 women from Eastern Europe, Morocco, and Tunisia in 2009 to work in the adult entertainment industry, serves to sustain a significant sex trade and facilitates sex trafficking. There is limited anecdotal information indicating that some children in Lebanon may be subjected to situations of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation; no rigorous case study or other data exists, however, to define the scope or magnitude of the problem.

The Government of Lebanon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government marginally improved its referral of trafficking victims to an NGO safe house and demonstrated a newfound interest in addressing child trafficking within the country. Its increasing attention to labor issues, particularly abuses suffered by foreign domestic workers, was evidenced by courts’ hearing of several cases containing elements of trafficking crimes in 2009. Although the government failed to bring specific charges of forced labor or forced prostitution in these cases, they represent its first attempts to address trafficking crimes perpetrated against domestic servants. Despite these efforts, the government failed to show substantial progress in identifying foreign victims of trafficking – particularly victims of involuntary domestic servitude – and criminally punishing their exploiters. It neither made combating human trafficking a national priority nor allocated resources for protection of victims. It also made no concerted efforts to educate the Lebanese public regarding the issue. Therefore, Lebanon is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year. The government’s limited progress was due, in part, to parliamentary inaction before the June 2009 elections and the lack of a government from June until November.

Recommendations for Lebanon: Criminalize all forms of human trafficking; enact the draft Labor Law amendment extending legal protections to foreign workers; investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses using existing laws and convict and punish trafficking offenders; enforce the law prohibiting the confiscation of domestic workers’ passports; develop and institute formal procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, such as women holding “artiste” visas and domestic workers who have escaped abusive employers; ensure that identified victims of trafficking are promptly referred to protection services rather than detained for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as immigration violations and prostitution; increase formal bilateral partnerships and systematic information sharing with governments of source countries to better protect migrant workers from abuse and resolve cases of administrative detention; and provide the unified employment contract in the native languages of immigrating domestic workers.

Prosecution
The government made modest but insufficient efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenders during the reporting period. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) did not respond to requests for data regarding its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Although Lebanon lacks a modern, comprehensive anti-trafficking statute, its current criminal code prohibits most forms of human trafficking. The prescribed penalties of a minimum of one years’ imprisonment for forced prostitution (Article 524) are neither sufficiently stringent nor commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Penalties of temporary hard labor for deprivation of freedom (Article 569) and one year’s imprisonment for forced labor or involuntary servitude (Article 649) are not sufficiently stringent. The MOJ completed its review of a draft anti-trafficking law and, in December 2009, submitted it to the newly-formed Cabinet for approval. In the previous reporting period, the National Steering Committee transmitted an amendment extending legal protections to foreign workers to the Ministry of Labor (MOL) for submission to the Cabinet as part of the draft Labor Law; the draft legislation was not forwarded for the Cabinet’s approval in 2009.

The government has yet to prosecute a case of forced labor against an employer. Pursuit of such cases was hampered by bureaucratic indifference and inefficiency, difficulty proving cases of alleged abuse, victims’ lack of knowledge of their rights, court backlogs, and cultural biases, particularly against foreign domestic workers. Lack of sufficient anti-trafficking training also hindered prosecutors’ and judges’ recognition of potential trafficking cases. Given the significant hurdles to pursuing criminal complaints in the Lebanese court system, many foreign victims were compelled to opt for quick administrative settlements followed by mandatory deportation. Evidence suggests, however, that many cases were not resolved, and trafficking victims were deported without receiving their wages due. During the year, some civil and criminal courts heard cases brought by domestic workers, primarily concerning the nonpayment of wages, which constituted trafficking-related offenses. In December 2009, a criminal court judge in Batroun sentenced, under Article 554 (Personal Injuries) of the penal code, a woman to 15 days’ imprisonment and ordered to pay compensation of $7,200 for regularly beating her Filipina domestic worker – abuse that likely indicates a situation of forced labor – in 2006. In May 2009, the Internal Security Forces arrested two Lebanese men on allegations of forcing a Kazakh dancer into prostitution; they were released after she refused to press charges. In April 2009, a civil court, using Articles 248, 652, 654, and 656 of the Obligations and Contracts Law, ruled that an employer must pay her domestic worker $42,252 as compensation for 14 years of back wages and other indemnities, signifying that the worker was likely a victim of involuntary domestic servitude. During a September 2009 investigation conducted by the SG, an employer paid her domestic worker back wages and a return plane ticket without the need for a court order; this employer awaits a criminal trial on narcotics charges for forcing the worker to smuggle drugs. The government did not suspend any employment agencies in 2009 for facilitating trafficking of persons. Nor did it provide specialized training for its officials to recognize, investigate, or prosecute cases of trafficking.

Protection
The government neither made sufficient efforts to ensure that trafficking victims received access to protective services, nor allocated resources to provide for their care during the reporting period. Although the government lacked systematic guidelines for proactively identifying trafficking victims among high risk populations, leading to the deportation of most runaway domestic workers and “artistes” without determining if any were trafficking victims, the SG permitted an NGO to interview detainees in Beirut to independently determine if trafficking victims were among the detention center population. The government did not provide victims with services and relied on an NGO to provide shelter to a limited number of foreign victims. The government has a standing Memorandum of Understanding with this NGO to refer trafficking victims to and provide security for the shelter. Of the 146 trafficking victims served by the NGO in 2009, three were referred by law enforcement authorities. As a result of NGO outreach, in July 2009, the general prosecutor for the Mount Lebanon referred a trafficking victim to an NGO for assistance rather than prosecuting the victim for crimes that resulted from her being trafficked. Illegal workers were generally not prosecuted or fined, but they were arrested and detained until deportation. The SG operated a prison-style detention center in Beirut for up to 500 foreigners who are in violation of their visa status and awaiting disposition of their cases. In October 2009, a working committee comprised of representatives of the SG and two NGOs was established to draft standard operating procedures to guide the SG in identifying trafficking victims among detainees, referring them to NGO services, and tracking detainee cases to enable more efficient and timely processing. During the year, the SG improved its notification of some source country embassies of the presence of their citizens in the detention center.

From February to June 2009, the government offered a temporary amnesty period so out-of-status workers could regularize their illegal status by finding a new sponsoring employer instead of facing deportation; during this period 2,039 foreign workers successfully altered their status without experiencing administrative detention. There was no attempt to identify trafficking victims among the out-of- status workers who came forward. The government also pursued some policies and practices that harmed foreign victims of trafficking. For example, authorities required that women recruited under its “artiste” visa program be confined in hotels for most of the day and summarily deported them if they complained of mistreatment. Victims were neither encouraged to bring their cases to the attention of public prosecutors, nor offered legal alternatives to removal to countries where they might face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The Government of Lebanon made limited efforts to prevent trafficking over the last year. The standard or “unified” contract for domestic workers, published in February 2009, was not translated into the native languages of migrant laborers; domestic workers must still sign the contract in Arabic – a language most cannot read – upon arrival in Beirut. This practice enables contract fraud and contributes to forced labor. The standard SG procedure of turning over arriving domestic workers’ passports to the workers’ sponsors limits those workers’ freedom of movement and makes them vulnerable to situations of human trafficking. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs began, however, negotiating a bilateral agreement with the Government of Ethiopia regarding the migration and employment of Ethiopian domestic workers in Lebanon. In April 2009, the Higher Council for Childhood (HCC) partnered with an international NGO to hold a national workshop on child trafficking, ensuring representation from relevant ministries and coordinating certain logistics. This workshop was followed by six awareness sessions conducted throughout the country for government and NGO social workers, during which HCC representatives delivered information on Lebanon’s obligation to respond to child trafficking. The government did not take any steps to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts during the year. The Ministry of Labor provided no statistics documenting the work of its 130 inspectors charged with investigating situations of forced adult or child labor.

LESOTHO (Tier 2 Watch List)

Lesotho is a source and transit country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution, and for men in forced labor. Women and children are subjected within Lesotho to involuntary domestic servitude and children, to a lesser extent, to commercial sexual exploitation. Basotho victims of transnational trafficking are most often taken to South Africa. Long-distance truck drivers offer to transport women and girls looking for legitimate employment in South Africa. En route, some of these women and girls are raped by the truck drivers, then later prostituted by the driver or an associate. Many men who migrate voluntarily to South Africa to work illegally in agriculture and mining become victims of labor trafficking. Victims work for weeks or months for no pay; just before their promised “pay day” the employers turn them over to authorities to be deported for immigration violations. Women and children are exploited in South Africa in involuntary domestic servitude and commercial sex, and some girls may still be brought to South Africa for forced marriages in remote villages. Some Basotho women who voluntarily migrate to South Africa seeking work in domestic service become victims of traffickers, who detain them in prison-like conditions and force them to engage in prostitution. Most internal and transnational traffickers operate through informal, loose associations and acquire victims from their families and neighbors. Chinese and reportedly Nigerian organized crime units, however, acquire some Basotho victims while transporting foreign victims through Lesotho to Johannesburg, where they “distribute” victims locally or move them overseas. Children who have lost at least one parent to HIV/AIDS are more vulnerable to traffickers’ manipulations; older children trying to feed their siblings are most likely to be lured by a trafficker’s fraudulent job offer.

The Government of Lesotho does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While operating under severe resource constraints, the government formed an active multi-sectoral task force, created a national plan of action, trained more officials to identify trafficking situations and victims, and raised public awareness. Despite these efforts, however, the government has shown no evidence of efforts to combat human trafficking through law enforcement activities, and protections for victims are still minimal; therefore, Lesotho is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year.

Recommendations for Lesotho: Enact a comprehensive law prohibiting all forms of human trafficking; provide support to establish and maintain facilities to provide care to victims of trafficking, possibly in partnership with international organizations or NGOs; forge a partnership with South African police to investigate reports of Basotho forced to labor on farms in South Africa and prosecute exploitative farm owners; complete and implement the national plan of action; establish a system to collect and analyze data on victims identified and assisted, trafficking-related offenses investigated and prosecuted, and trafficking offenders convicted and punished; increase training for law enforcement officers in victim identification, particularly at border points; and continue efforts to raise public awareness of trafficking.

Prosecution
The government did not increase its law enforcement efforts during the past year, and no suspected trafficking offenders were identified during the reporting period. Lesotho has no comprehensive anti-trafficking law, which hinders the government’s ability to address human trafficking. Lesotho does not prohibit all forms of trafficking in persons, though its Constitution prohibits slavery, servitude, and forced labor. The Child Protection Act of 1980, the Sexual Offenses Act of 2003, the Common Law, and the Labor Code Order of 1981, as amended, prescribe sufficiently stringent penalties of at least five years’ imprisonment for crimes that could be used to prosecute trafficking offenses. The Child Protection and Welfare Bill, drafted in 2005, was approved by the Cabinet in 2009 and is currently awaiting debate in Parliament. It prohibits child trafficking and prescribes sufficiently stringent penalties of 20 years’ imprisonment for trafficking offenders. No current or draft laws specifically prohibit the trafficking of adults. The government did not provide official data on trafficking or trafficking-related prosecutions or convictions during the reporting period. The Multi-Sectoral Committee, an anti-trafficking task force, in partnership with a local NGO, arranged for and participated in three trafficking workshops. The session in October 2009 particularly targeted police and immigration officials, and focused on identifying trafficking offenders and their victims, as well as identifying laws that could be used to prosecute traffickers under Lesotho’s existing legal system. While officials opened no official investigations into trafficking activity in Lesotho, the Lesotho Mounted Police Service worked with South African police to investigate suspected trafficking cases in border areas. Each month, immigration officers at the Maseru border post assisted approximately 20-30 victims of labor trafficking, usually men exploited in forced labor before being deported from South Africa. Law enforcement officers did not proactively identify victims among other vulnerable populations, such as women and children in prostitution, and most were not trained to identify victims they may encounter as part of their normal duties. There was no evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking on a local or institutional level.

Protection
The Lesotho government took minimal steps to protect victims of trafficking over the last year. Most officials did not proactively identify victims, and agencies have no formal mechanism for referring victims to service providers. Lesotho has no care facilities specifically for trafficking victims. Orphanages supported by the Government of Lesotho and NGOs are available to provide some services to children presumed to be victims of trafficking. Staff from the Child and Gender Protection Unit (CGPU) of the Lesotho Mounted Police Service provided counseling to women and children who were victims of abuse, including some they believe were trafficking victims. The government acknowledged the need for safe shelter for victims and included the need in its draft anti-trafficking national plan of action. Basotho law does not protect victims from prosecution or otherwise being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, nor does it provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The Government of Lesotho clearly increased its efforts to prevent trafficking. The Multi-Sectoral Committee on Trafficking, which was formed in July 2009 and is comprised of representatives of government ministries, NGOs, police, border security, the judicial system, UNDP, UNICEF, academia, and religious orders met regularly and began working on a national plan of action. The action plan was nearly complete in early 2010. The government requested and received funding from UNDP to research trafficking in Lesotho; the Ministry of Home Affairs is expected to make the final report available in mid-2010. Authorities conducted several high-visibility information campaigns during the past year, spurring a sharp rise in the number of news reports about human trafficking. Campaigns run in partnership with the Government of South Africa targeted large border towns where trafficking is likely more prevalent. The CGPU and partners in local communities conducted awareness workshops, and trained other officers in the Lesotho Mounted Police on victim awareness and identification. UNICEF helped the CGPU to distribute educational materials on human trafficking. The Minister of Home Affairs presided over the launch of an NGO’s “Red Light” campaign, which addresses sex trafficking in the context of the World Cup in South Africa in June 2010. As part of national campaigns against gender-based violence, child sexual abuse, and human trafficking, the government made efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

LIBERIA (Tier 2)

Liberia is a source, transit, and destination country principally for young women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Most trafficking victims originate from within the country’s borders and are forced to work as domestic servants, street vendors, or beggars supporting religious instructors, or are subjected to forced prostitution. Traffickers operate independently and are commonly family members who may promise poorer relatives a better life for their children. Children sent to work as domestic servants for wealthier relatives are vulnerable to forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Victims of trans-border trafficking come to Liberia from Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire and are subjected to the same types of forced labor as internally trafficked victims, and are also found on rubber plantations and at alluvial diamond sites. A small number of men, women, and children from Liberia are trafficked to Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, and Nigeria.

The Government of Liberia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. The government made limited progress in its efforts to combat trafficking, which it may conflate with people smuggling and fraudulent adoptions. The government showed a lack of commitment, however, on following through with prosecutions of trafficking offenses and training its law enforcement personnel on anti-trafficking skills.

Recommendations for Liberia: Increase efforts to apprehend, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders; allocate increased funding for basic anti-trafficking law enforcement and victim protection needs; increase the ability of airport security staff to identify potential cases of human trafficking; investigate possible collusion of government personnel in human trafficking; educate judges about the anti-trafficking law; and increase efforts to educate the public about human trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Liberia increased law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the reporting period. Liberia’s 2005 Act to Ban Trafficking specifically prohibits transnational as well as internal trafficking. Its prescribed penalties of six years’ imprisonment for sex trafficking and 11 years’ to life imprisonment for child sex trafficking are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with other serious crimes such as rape. Its prescribed penalties of one to 20 years’ imprisonment for labor trafficking and a minimum of six years’ imprisonment for child labor trafficking are sufficiently stringent. The government did not convict or sentence any trafficking offenders under this 2005 law. The director of the Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberian National Police reported that police investigated two cases of human trafficking from January to September 2009, though neither resulted in a prosecution. In one of the cases, a Liberian immigration officer bought a boy being trafficked from Guinea for labor, reportedly to insure his safety, and then arrested the offender; immigration authorities repatriated the victim to his home country and the alleged trafficker remains in detention awaiting trial. The government provided no anti-trafficking training to police officers, though some police officials attended training sessions conducted by UNICEF or IOM.

Protection
During the past year, the government continued to ensure victims’ access to protection services provided by NGO and international organization-run shelters and orphanages, as a severe lack of resources and personnel limited the Liberian government’s ability to provide those services directly. Foreign victims had the same access to these services as Liberians. There was no specialized care available for trafficking victims. The government attempted to repatriate foreign victims when possible, and victims were offered immigration relief if they wished to remain in Liberia. The government sustained anti-trafficking partnerships with other governments in the region over the reporting period, assisting in the return of several trafficking victims to Sierra Leone and Guinea. The Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force identified 37 cases of human trafficking during the reporting period, with 71 victims. Liberia’s immigration, social services, and law enforcement agencies did not make adequate efforts to proactively identify victims of trafficking among high-risk groups. Under the 2005 Anti-Trafficking Law, victims are not penalized for any immigration-related offense, prostitution, or other unlawful act that resulted directly from trafficking. The government did not discourage victims from assisting with the investigation or prosecution of traffickers. The government did not report any civil complaints by trafficking victims seeking restitution from their exploiters.

Prevention
The Liberian government sustained modest efforts to prevent trafficking in persons throughout the reporting period. With radio as the preferred medium, the Ministry of Labor continued to run campaigns against trafficking, and also erected billboards around Monrovia to project public messages on the dangers of human trafficking. Immigration officials continued to expel illegal immigrants using falsified Liberian documents, but in general the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization exerted little control over land borders.

LIBYA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Libya is a transit and destination country for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Migrants typically seek employment in Libya as laborers and domestic workers or transit Libya en route to Europe. The number of migrants and trafficking victims who were smuggled to or through Malta and Italy decreased in the reporting period due to Libyan and Italian joint naval patrols; however, migrants complained of poor treatment and the patrols did not make efforts to identify trafficking victims among them. Although precise figures are unavailable, international organizations and other foreign observers estimate that up to one percent of Libya’s 1.5 to 2 million foreigners (i.e., up to 20,000 people) may be victims of trafficking. In many cases, smuggling debts and illegal status leave migrants vulnerable to coercion, resulting in cases of forced prostitution and forced labor; employers of irregular migrants sometimes withhold payment or travel documents, which represent risk factors for trafficking. As in previous years, there were isolated reports that women from sub-Saharan Africa were forced into prostitution in Libya. There were also reports that migrants from Georgia were subjected to forced labor in Libya.

The Government of Libya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these overall efforts, the government did not show evidence of significant efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses or to protect trafficking victims; Libya is therefore placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the fifth consecutive year. Undocumented migrants detained by Libyan authorities, including trafficking victims, were punished.

Recommendations for Libya: Draft, pass, and enact legislation that prohibits all forms of trafficking; increase law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses; implement standard procedures on identifying trafficking victims and provide victims with protection; investigate and prosecute officials who are complicit in human trafficking; ensure that victims are not susceptible to deportation or punishment for their unlawful presence in Libya; enforce and build awareness of the labor law’s provision which criminalizes the holding of an employee’s passport; and undertake an information campaign to raise public awareness of the problem of human trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Libya demonstrated no discernible law enforcement efforts over the past year. Libya does not have a comprehensive law prohibiting all forms of trafficking in persons. While articles in the criminal code prohibit prostitution, sexual exploitation, slavery, and trafficking in women, there was no indication that the government used these statutes to prosecute trafficking offenses during the reporting period. Moreover, Libyan law does not prohibit all forms of human trafficking. The 1970 labor law does not criminalize forced labor, but penalizes some exploitative labor practices, including holding an employee’s passport. However, there was no information regarding prosecutions or convictions of violators of this law. Police imprisoned Nigerian traffickers attempting to traffic a Nigerian woman through Libya to Europe; there was no information regarding the legal statutes under which the arrests were made. A recent Human Rights Watch (HRW) publication included interviews indicating that some police were complicit in human trafficking activities. Libyan judges and prosecutors participated in an IOM workshop training on recognizing, investigating, and prosecuting trafficking.

Protection
The Libyan government took minimal steps to improve the protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government did not develop or implement procedures for authorities’ proactive identification of trafficking victims, nor did it demonstrate efforts to refer victims detained by authorities to protective facilities. The government referred vulnerable people on an ad hoc basis to international organizations or relief workers; some of these were likely trafficking victims. The government provided office space in some detention centers where UNHCR relief workers provided medical and psychological care for an unknown number of detainees, which likely included trafficking victims. International organizations reported that conditions in detention centers worsened significantly since the launch of the Libyan-Italian joint naval patrols in May 2009 and, along with rights groups, expressed concern that the joint patrols return all interdicted migrants to the country without screening for victims of trafficking. The government did not actively encourage victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders. Like irregular migrants, trafficking victims were susceptible to deportation or punishment for unlawful presence in Libya as result of being trafficked; a recently released HRW report quoted an observer as saying that migrants can be detained “from a few weeks to 20 years.” The same report noted that Libyan authorities regularly beat groups of undocumented African migrants who were returned to Libya by Italian law enforcement officials after the migrants’ failed attempt to sail from Libya to Italy. Since the government did not have procedures to identify trafficking victims, some of these undocumented migrants may have been trafficking victims.

Prevention
The Government of Libya made minimal efforts to prevent human trafficking. Public awareness of human trafficking – as a phenomenon distinct from illegal immigration and smuggling – remained low in Libya, including among government officials. During the reporting period, the government did not conduct any anti-trafficking public information campaigns. Libya did not take actions to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or to prevent possible child sex tourism committed abroad by Libyan nationals. The directors of the government’s migrant detention center participated in IOM workshops on care for migrant workers, which covered issues of human trafficking. Libya provided inkind assistance, including facilities, transportation costs, and translation services, for these workshops and other workshops targeting prosecutors and judges.

LITHUANIA (Tier 1)

Lithuania is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution. Forty percent of identified Lithuanian trafficking victims are women and girls subjected to sex trafficking within Lithuania. Lithuanian women are also subjected to forced prostitution in the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, France, and the Czech Republic. A small number of women from Russia and Belarus are transited through Lithuania and are subjected to forced prostitution in Western Europe.

The Government of Lithuania fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government did not provide funding for assistance to victims of trafficking during the reporting period; however, the government proactively identified and referred more than half of the trafficking victims assisted by foreign funded NGOs in 2009. A majority of convicted traffickers continued to serve significant time in prison. The government also demonstrated good cooperation with anti-trafficking NGOs.

Recommendations for Lithuania: Improve efforts to identify, investigate, and prosecute forced labor offenses; allocate some funding or in-kind support to NGOs providing victim protection services; continue to proactively identify victims of trafficking and refer them to NGO service providers; continue to ensure a majority of convicted traffickers serve some time in prison; vigorously investigate instances of labor trafficking; and increase public awareness efforts targeted at potential adult victims of trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Lithuania sustained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Lithuania prohibits all forms of trafficking through Articles 147 and 157 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties ranging from a fine up to 15 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.

Lithuanian authorities initiated 11 sex trafficking investigations in 2009, compared with16 sex trafficking investigations and three labor trafficking investigations initiated in 2008. Two of the three labor trafficking investigations initiated in 2008 were on- going at the end of the reporting period. Authorities prosecuted 14 individuals for sex trafficking offenses during the reporting period, compared with 20 individuals prosecuted in 2008. In 2009, fourteen trafficking offenders were convicted, compared with 13 convictions in 2008. Twelve of the 14 convicted traffickers were issued sentences ranging from two to nine years’ imprisonment, while two traffickers were ordered to serve no time in prison. During the reporting period, the Government of Lithuania forged partnerships with six European governments to cooperate in 44 separate trafficking investigations. The government extradited one person accused of trafficking offenses to Finland during the reporting period.

Protection
The Lithuanian government demonstrated mixed progress in its efforts to assist victims of human trafficking over the reporting period. The government provided no funding for anti-trafficking NGOs to conduct victim assistance and rehabilitation compared with $150,000 allocated in 2008. However, the government continued its important victim identification and referral efforts; the government identified and referred more than half of the victims assisted within the country during the reporting period. In 2009, law enforcement identified 57 trafficking victims and referred them to NGOs for assistance, compared with 86 victims referred in 2008. Approximately 170 victims were provided with assistance by privately funded NGOs during the reporting period. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) referred nine Lithuanian victims identified abroad to local anti-trafficking NGOs for shelter and social support and also provided approximately $2,100 to facilitate their travel back to Lithuania, compared with 17 victims similarly assisted by the MFA in 2008. The government encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; in 2009, 57 Lithuanian victims assisted with trafficking investigations and prosecutions. Foreign victims who participated in court proceedings were eligible for temporary residency and work permits; however, the government did not identify any foreign victims in 2009. The government did not penalize identified victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention
The Lithuanian government demonstrated some efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. In November 2009, law enforcement officials, in partnership with a local NGO, organized a human trafficking awareness event including the viewing of a film and the distribution of brochures for over 200 children living in orphanages. Police officers from four counties organized a series of anti-trafficking discussions, reaching an audience of approximately 400 students. The government adopted its 2009-2012 national anti-trafficking action plan in July 2009, although the government did not allocate funding to implement the plan during the reporting period.

LUXEMBOURG (Tier 1)

Luxembourg is a destination country for women primarily from France, Belgium, Russia, and Ukraine subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution. An increasing number of women from Africa, primarily Nigeria, are engaged in prostitution in the country, and are particularly vulnerable to forced prostitution due to debts they incur in the process of migrating to Luxembourg. Victims of sex trafficking in Luxembourg are primarily recruited abroad through agents for work in Luxembourg’s cabarets and are subsequently forced into prostitution. According to a 2009 EU Report on child trafficking within the EU, Luxembourg authorities characterize child trafficking in Luxembourg as a “marginal” and “isolated” problem. The government and NGOs did not identify any cases of forced labor during the reporting period.

The Government of Luxembourg fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the year, the government adopted a law to improve protections for victims of trafficking and identified an increased number of sex trafficking victims. The government has yet to develop and enact formalized, victim-centered procedures for the proactive identification of all potential trafficking victims in Luxembourg.

Recommendations for Luxembourg: Establish formal procedures to identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as women in the commercial sex trade and undocumented migrants, and to ensure these victims have access to available services; consider including NGOs in the identification process to foster and encourage more trust from victims; ensure specialized and comprehensive protections for all trafficking victims, including victims of forced labor, as well as child and male victims; and launch an awareness campaign to educate authorities and the general public about forms of labor trafficking.

Prosecution
The Luxembourg government sustained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2009. Luxembourg prohibits all forms of trafficking through its Law on Trafficking in Human Beings, Memorial A, number 51, 2009, which prescribes penalties for convicted offenders ranging from five to 10 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government prosecuted and convicted six sex trafficking offenders during the reporting period, compared with seven from the previous year. Sentences imposed on those convicted ranged from two to three years’ imprisonment with fines, an improvement from the previous year, but still below the legally prescribed minimum punishment for trafficking. The government continued its ongoing training of police, immigration, and other government officials and NGOs on victim identification. There was no evidence of trafficking complicity by Luxembourg public officials during the year.

Protection
The Government of Luxembourg made some improvements in the protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period. In March 2009, it adopted the Law on Assistance, Protection and Safety of Trafficking Victims, Memorial A, number 129, 2009. The law codified comprehensive assistance for trafficking victims, including shelter, social, financial, medical, therapeutic, and legal assistance. The law also allows trafficking victims who are EU citizens the right to work while in Luxembourg. Luxembourg law provides temporary residency status for trafficking victims and a 90-day reflection period for victims to decide whether to cooperate with authorities. During the reporting period, police identified 21 victims of forced prostitution recruited for work in Luxembourg cabarets, compared with 10 the previous year. Law enforcement authorities reportedly referred identified trafficking victims to NGOs and provided them with short-term shelter and basic assistance. It did not, however, offer identified victims access to specialized services, long-term shelter or housing benefits often required for victims’ recovery. The government encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders during the reflection period, however no victims assisted in the prosecution of their traffickers in 2009. The government continued to fund two NGOs providing services for women in distress that also serve female human trafficking victims. There were no specialized services or shelter available specifically for child victims, however authorities reported placing child victims in a general shelter for juveniles. The government has a stated policy of ensuring that victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked; it is unclear whether all women in prostitution who are in the country illegally are checked for trafficking indicators before being deported or imprisoned. It is also unclear whether authorities proactively identified victims among women in prostitution in Luxembourg’s legalized sex trade and cabarets. The new protection law for trafficking victims codified law enforcement’s responsibility to refer victims for services, however the government did not adopt formalized, stand-alone procedures for all front-line responders to use when referring potential victims for care.

Prevention
The government made minimal progress in implementing new programs to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. It sustained partnerships with ECPAT and a local NGO on a campaign targeting potential women and child victims of trafficking. It failed, however, to launch any new campaigns aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts and forced labor. The government did not report any child sex tourism prosecutions or prevention efforts during the reporting period.

MACAU (Tier 2)

The Macau Special Administrative Region (MSAR) of the People’s Republic of China is primarily a destination, and to a much lesser extent, a source territory for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically commercial sexual exploitation. Victims are primarily from the Chinese mainland, Mongolia, Russia, and Southeast Asia, with many of them from inland Chinese provinces who travel to the border province of Guangdong in search of better employment. There, they fall prey to false advertisements for jobs in casinos and other legitimate employment in Macau, but upon arrival, they are forced into prostitution. Foreign and mainland Chinese women are sometimes passed to local organized crime groups upon arrival, held captive, and forced into sexual servitude. Chinese, Russian, and Thai criminal syndicates are believed to sometimes be involved in bringing women into Macau’s commercial sex industry. Victims are sometimes confined in massage parlors and illegal brothels, where they are closely monitored, forced to work long hours, have their identity documents confiscated, and threatened with violence; all factors that make it particularly difficult for them to seek help. Macau is a source territory for women and girls who are subjected to forced prostitution elsewhere in Asia.

The MSAR 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 efforts to raise awareness about trafficking amongst officials and the general public. Authorities convicted one trafficking offender during the past year. However, authorities identified far fewer victims during the reporting period than in the previous year and victim identification and protection efforts need to be further improved. Macau has the resources and government infrastructure to make greater strides in combating trafficking.

Recommendations for Macau: Significantly increase the number of investigations and prosecutions of traffickers; make greater efforts to cooperate with source country governments on cross-border trafficking cases to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders; continue to use proactive victim identification procedures to increase the number of trafficking victims identified by authorities, such as among women arrested for prostitution offenses and migrant workers; make efforts to investigate and prosecute official complicity in trafficking; make greater efforts to combat international organized crime syndicates involved in human trafficking in Macau; provide incentives for victims to assist authorities in the prosecution of their traffickers, such as the ability to work in Macau; and support a visible anti-trafficking awareness campaign directed at employers and clients of the commercial sex trade.

Prosecution
The MSAR government made limited progress in anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Macau’s 2008 anti-trafficking legislation prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons and prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes. During the reporting period, authorities investigated six new trafficking cases. There were no cases of joint investigations between Macau authorities and foreign governments during the reporting period. In one ongoing investigation, law enforcement officials arrested six individuals who appeared to have been running a trafficking operation for over a decade. The syndicate was believed to have lured women to Macau by promising them jobs in massage parlors, and subsequently forcing them into prostitution upon arrival in the territory. Many cases investigated in 2008 were closed due to lack of evidence. In November 2009, Macau prosecutors convicted their first trafficking offender under the anti-trafficking law. A local man was sentenced to over seven years’ imprisonment for his role in the trafficking of two female Macau residents to Japan in 2008. Corruption remains a serious problem in Macau, often linked to the gambling industry and organized crime networks. There were no reports of trafficking complicity by Macau officials during the reporting period One Macau police officer arrested in 2008 for allegedly blackmailing two women in prostitution for ‘protection’ fees has still not been brought to trial. The involvement of international criminal syndicates in trafficking likely continued to challenge Macau’s law enforcement efforts.

Protection
Macau authorities demonstrated limited progress in its efforts to protect trafficking victims, particularly in the proactive identification of trafficking victims. Authorities identified six sex trafficking victims during the reporting period, a significant decrease from the 23 victims identified during the previous reporting period. Four victims were from mainland China, one from Vietnam, and one from Mongolia. Three victims stayed at a government shelter, and the other victims were repatriated to their home country at their request. Macau authorities proactively identified two of the six victims. The government did not report any efforts to identify trafficking cases amongst the more than 1,600 migrant workers who filed labor complaints in 2009. Victims identified by Macau authorities received counseling, medical care, and financial stipends while in the government shelter, but foreign victims are not offered legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. The government sustained an existing partnership with a local NGO in order to identify interpreters who could assist in cases involving foreign victims. The government should further improve efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims among individuals deported for immigration violations, including women in prostitution. The Women’s General Association of Macau continued to receive government funding to run a 24-hour trafficking victim assistance hotline. In November 2009, the government reached out to an international organization and funded a gathering of international experts in Macau to train 70 police, immigration, and social welfare officers on victim identification and protection. Macau officials also participated in regional anti-trafficking training run by a foreign donor.

Prevention
The MSAR government continued some efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period. The government continued to display anti-trafficking brochures and posters in multiple languages at border checkpoints, hospitals, and popular public gathering areas. The Health Bureau installed television terminals to broadcast an MTV-produced trafficking video and local public service announcements on trafficking to be shown at health centers frequented by foreign workers. Authorities partnered with a local NGO to print 2,000 booklets featuring 55 anti-trafficking poster entries by secondary school students submitted for a recent NGO contest. The government did not take measures during the year to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or conduct any awareness efforts targeting clients of Macau’s prostitution industry.

MACEDONIA (Tier 2)

Macedonia is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Macedonian women and children are trafficked internally within the country. Women and girls from Albania, Bulgaria and Kosovo were reportedly subjected to forced prostitution or forced labor in Macedonia in 2009. Macedonian victims and victims transiting through Macedonia are subjected to forced prostitution or forced labor in South Central and Western Europe. Children, primarily ethnic Roma, are subjected to forced begging by their parents or other relatives. Girls were subjected to conditions of forced labor in Macedonian bars and nightclubs. A small number of Macedonian men were allegedly subjected to forced labor in Azerbaijan. Traffickers continued to operate in more hidden, private sectors in an attempt to conceal their exploitation of victims from law enforcement.

The Government of Macedonia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to strengthen its anti-trafficking framework and issued its first annual National Rapporteur’s report on trafficking. The government did not convict any trafficking offenders, identified fewer official trafficking victims, and did not provide funding to NGOs for the care and assistance of foreign and domestic trafficking victims in Macedonia. The government did not prosecute any officials for trafficking specific crimes, but took significant strides in fighting trafficking-related corruption.

Recommendations for Macedonia: Vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict and sentence traffickers, including any public officials complicit in trafficking; strengthen partnerships with NGOs and other stakeholders in order to more effectively implement the National Strategy regarding reintegration and rehabilitation of trafficking victims; improve cooperation on victim identification to ease victims’ fear and foster more trust with law enforcement; and empower the National Rapporteur to publish more critical and comprehensive assessments of anti-trafficking efforts in Macedonia so the office becomes a more effective instrument for change.

Prosecution
The Government of Macedonia made limited progress in its law enforcement response to human trafficking during the reporting period. The government prohibits sex and labor trafficking through Article 418(a) and (d) of its 2004 criminal code. In 2009, the government arrested 18 suspects for trafficking- related offenses and opened investigations of seven trafficking cases, of which five are ongoing. In the other two cases, the public prosecutor indicted and began prosecution in 2009. The government did not convict any trafficking offenders during the reporting period. In September 2009, the government adopted amendments to its criminal code that require a minimum sentence of eight years’ imprisonment for any public official convicted of a trafficking offense committed while in the course of official duty. The government investigated and prosecuted corruption in certain sectors of law enforcement, which posed challenges to anti-trafficking and anti-smuggling efforts during the reporting period. The government reported evidence of immigration officials’ forging residency documents of potential trafficking victims in 2009. The government did not prosecute or convict any officials for complicity specific to trafficking during the reporting period; however, it convicted 60 border police for soliciting bribes and, in a separate case, convicted one official of smuggling migrants in 2009.

Protection
The Government of Macedonia did not demonstrate sufficient progress in protecting trafficking victims in 2009. Macedonia’s victim identification procedures require that first-line responders liberally identify people, such as illegal migrants and foreign women and girls in prostitution, as potential victims until they can be formally vetted by a trained anti-trafficking authority. Of the 157 potential trafficking victims identified by authorities in 2009, seven were confirmed as trafficking victims; all were children. Eighteen victims were identified in 2008. With IOM assistance, the government organized a series of trainings reaching 280 front-line responders on proactive victim identification. These trainings were funded with the government’s EU pre-accession funds, earmarked for trafficking. Additionally, in conjunction with the OSCE, the government trained all of the country’s labor inspectors on proactive victim identification in the labor sector. Macedonian law exempts victims from criminal prosecution for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. While the government’s standard operating procedures mandate a multi-disciplinary approach to identifying victims, NGOs and international organizations should be more systematically included in this process. The government continued to fund and operate a transit center for foreign migrants and trafficking victims with the help of a local NGO that specializes in victim rehabilitation, especially children. The government provided in-kind contributions to the NGO assisting foreign victims in this center. All potential victims are offered a two-month reflection period during which time they are offered victim assistance services, regardless of whether they choose to testify for the state. At any time during the reflection period, if they decide to cooperate with authorities in the investigation of the crime, an additional six-month residency permit can be granted. As an undocumented foreigner, until a foreign trafficking victim receives a legal residency status, his or her movement is restricted to within the shelter. During the reporting period, one foreign victim stayed in the transit center under the reflection period. No foreign victims to date have requested the six-month residency permit.

The largest Macedonian NGO providing protection and assistance to domestic trafficking victims continued to rely primarily on international donors to provide victims with both immediate and long-term comprehensive services for their rehabilitation and reintegration. Victims also received reintegration support from Macedonia’s 30 social welfare centers located throughout the country. The government provided significant funding to these centers, which are not focused exclusively on helping trafficking victims and, according to NGOs, lack the capacity to fully address the complex and comprehensive needs of domestic trafficking victims. These centers assisted seven trafficking victims in 2009, the same number assisted in 2008. Aware of this problem, the government is in the process of refurbishing a domestic shelter that will house domestic victims of trafficking. In 2009, the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy succeeded in obtaining funding from the national budget for operation of a domestic shelter.

Although the government drafted legislation to ensure that domestic trafficking victims receive free healthcare, a lack of implementation of this provision resulted in an NGO paying for some victims’ emergency medical care in 2009. During the reporting period, the government took over complete financial responsibility for the National Referral Mechanism Office, a coordinating body responsible for monitoring victim identification, referral, assistance, and legal processes. Macedonian law provides legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face retribution or hardship through both a two-month reflection period and a six-month residency permit. The government encouraged victims to participate in the prosecution of their traffickers; it reported that three victims provided witness testimony in courts and three assisted in law enforcement investigations in 2009. Reportedly, one of the reasons victims do not report their traffickers is because the traffickers tell the victims they have connections with the police.

Prevention
The Government of Macedonia made progress in its anti-trafficking prevention efforts. In January 2010, the government’s newly appointed National Rapporteur published Macedonia’s first annual report on trafficking, which also covered migrant smuggling. The report was presented to the stakeholders, the international community, and NGOs for comment, but the final product lacked a comprehensive assessment of anti-trafficking efforts in Macedonia and contained cursory recommendations for improvement. The government continued to rely on NGOs and international organizations to assist in conducting many of its anti-trafficking prevention programs; it forged partnerships with NGOs to distribute general anti-trafficking leaflets in specified locations and schools throughout 2009. It also translated IOM’s “Buy Responsibly” campaign and in November 2009 began broadcasting it over state television as part of a campaign to target client demand for products potentially resulting from labor trafficking. The government continued seminars in the University of Skopje and collaborated with another NGO on a series of workshops that addressed client demand for victims of sex trafficking. It also provided $1,000 to an NGO to conduct trafficking prevention lectures to youth around the country in 2009. In September 2009, the government formally adopted its 2009-2012 National Action Plan on trafficking, and for the first time budgeted specific funding for the plan’s implementation.

MADAGASCAR (Tier 2 Watch List)

Madagascar is a source country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution. An estimated 6,000 Malagasy women are currently employed as domestic workers in Lebanon, with a smaller number in Kuwait. Many of these women come from rural areas and are often illiterate or poorly educated, making them more vulnerable to deception and abuse at the hands of recruitment agencies and employers. Detailed information regarding situations of forced labor and other abuses experienced by Malagasy domestic workers in Lebanon came to light during the year. Numerous trafficking victims returning to Madagascar reported harsh working conditions, physical violence, sexual harassment and assault, confinement to the home, confiscation of travel documents, and withholding of salaries. Eight deaths were reported among this population in 2009.

Children, mostly from rural areas, are subject to conditions of domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced labor in mining, fishing, and agriculture within the country. Most child trafficking occurs with the involvement of family members, but friends, transport operators, tour guides, and hotel workers also facilitate the enslavement of children. A child sex tourism problem exists in coastal cities, including Tamatave, Nosy Be, and Diego Suarez, as well as the capital city of Antananarivo; some children are recruited for work in the capital using fraudulent offers of employment as waitresses and maids before being forced into the commercial sex trade on the coast. The main sources of child sex tourists are France, Germany, and Switzerland. Parents sell young women into marriages, some of which are short-term, often for significant sums of money.

The Government of Madagascar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Since the March 2009 coup, combating human trafficking has received little attention in Madagascar; the recent focus on the abuse of domestic workers in Lebanon has not resulted in any commensurate governmental response to the problem. The government’s anti-trafficking efforts were insufficient and decreased during the year – especially in the areas of prosecuting trafficking offenders, identifying and protecting victims, and raising public awareness of the problem – while the prevalence of officials’ complicity in human trafficking became more evident. Lack of political will, institutional capacity, and relevant training remained significant impediments to improved anti-trafficking performance, particularly impacting the effectiveness of law enforcement activities; the government failed to investigate or prosecute traffickers in 2009. Therefore, Madagascar is placed on Tier 2 Watch List.

Recommendations for Madagascar: Issue a presidential decree codifying and mandating use of the anti-trafficking law at the provincial level; utilize the anti-trafficking law to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, including those involving forced labor and public officials suspected of trafficking-related complicity; consider amending the anti-trafficking law to provide sufficiently stringent penalties for labor trafficking; make efforts to foster a dialogue with the Government of Lebanon on improving protections for Malagasy workers and jointly addressing cases of abuse; institute a process for law enforcement officials to document trafficking cases, interview potential victims, and refer trafficking victims for assistance; increase efforts to raise public awareness of labor trafficking; provide anti-trafficking training to law enforcement, labor, and social welfare officials; and make efforts to improve the level of coordination between government ministries on trafficking issues.

Prosecution
The Malagasy government’s anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts diminished over the year, as it reported no investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenders. Anti-Trafficking Law No. 2007-038 prohibits all forms of human trafficking, though it only prescribes punishments for sex trafficking; these range from two years’ to life imprisonment, penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Article 262 of the Labor Code criminalizes labor trafficking, for which it prescribes inadequate penalties of one to three years’ imprisonment. Decree 2007-563 prohibits and prescribes minimal punishments of up to two years’ imprisonment for various forms of child trafficking, including prostitution, domestic servitude, and forced labor. The government has yet to use its anti-trafficking law to punish traffickers. Poor coordination among ministries, a lack of data sharing between officials at regional and national levels, and the lack of a presidential decree codifying and mandating its use at the provincial level hindered the law’s implementation. The government did not investigate or prosecute cases of forced labor during the reporting period.

The Government of Madagascar nominally suspended the work of several employment agencies implicated in human trafficking during the year, but did not follow through on its commitment to conduct inspections of these businesses. In November 2009, the government instituted a ban on sending workers to Lebanon, but it was poorly implemented, possibly due to complicity of high-ranking government officials; up to 10 labor recruitment agencies were reportedly owned by civil servants in the Ministry of Labor. Government officials also reportedly assist unlicensed recruitment agencies in obtaining fraudulent travel documents. Anecdotal evidence indicates there was also official complicity in permitting organized child prostitution rings to operate, particularly in Nosy Be. Local police remained hesitant to pursue child sex trafficking and child sex tourism offenses, possibly because of deep-rooted corruption, pressures from the local community, or fear of an international incident. The government took no action against official complicity in human trafficking during the reporting period.

Protection
The Malagasy government made weak efforts to ensure that victims were provided access to necessary services and it did not operate specific victim assistance programs. The majority of trafficking victims identified in 2009 were assisted by NGO-run centers. Madagascar lacks procedures to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations or refer victims for care. However, the Ministry of Health’s local-level Child Rights Protection Networks – which grew through a partnership with UNICEF to include 761 communes in 2009 – brought together government institutions, law enforcement, and NGOs to partially fill this role. These networks coordinated child protection activities, identified and reported abuse cases, and assisted some trafficking victims in accessing social and legal services. Victims who returned from Lebanon were immediately confined to a psychiatric institution and not provided with appropriate social or legal services. Madagascar’s honorary consul in Beirut made limited attempts to mediate with labor agencies and refer Malagasy victims to a Beirut-based NGO shelter. The government sent an official from its embassy in Paris to Beirut to research the abuse of Malagasy domestic workers in Lebanon, but did not take measures to initiate bilateral engagement with the Government of Lebanon regarding protection of and legal remedies for exploited workers. The government did not penalize trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, but did not show evidence that it encouraged them to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their exploiters. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they would face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government’s efforts to prevent trafficking decreased during the year, particularly in the area of public awareness raising. The President’s Inter-Ministerial Anti-Trafficking Committee ceased functioning in early 2009. The government’s Antananarivo-based Manjary Soa Center withdrew an unknown number of children from the worst forms of child labor and provided them with education or vocational training. Two additional centers opened in Toliara and Toamasina in 2009 and were the only programs fully funded by the government to combat child labor. Although nine Regional Committees to Fight Child Labor worked to increase coordination among government entities, NGOs, and ILO/IPEC under the framework of the National Action Plan for the Fight Against Child Labor, the Ministry of Labor’s five child labor inspectors were insufficient to cover areas beyond Antananarivo or in informal economic sectors. The ministry conducted no complaint-driven child labor inspections and provided no information on incidences of child labor, if any, uncovered during regular inspections. The government continued to distribute to arriving international passengers fliers and a customs booklet containing a full-page warning of the consequences of child sex tourism. In 2009, the government charged a French national with rape and corruption of a minor after he paid for sex acts with several young girls.

MALAWI (Tier 2)

Malawi is primarily a source country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution within the country and abroad. Most Malawian trafficking victims are exploited internally, though Malawian victims of sex and labor trafficking have also been identified in South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and parts of Europe. To a lesser extent, Malawi is a transit point for foreign victims and a destination country for men, women, and children from Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe subjected to conditions of forced labor or commercial sexual exploitation. Within the country, some children are forced into domestic servitude, cattle herding, agricultural labor, and menial work in various small businesses. Exploited girls and women become “bar girls” at local bars and rest houses where they are coerced to have sex with customers in exchange for room and board. Forced labor in agriculture is often found on tobacco plantations. Labor traffickers are often villagers who have moved to urban areas and subsequently recruit children from their original villages through offers of good jobs. Brothel owners or other prostitution facilitators lure girls with promises of nice clothing and lodging. Upon arrival, they charge the girl high rental fees for these items and instruct her how to engage in prostitution to pay off the debt. South African and Tanzanian long-distance truck drivers and mini-bus operators move victims across porous borders by avoiding immigration checkpoints. Some local businesswomen who also travel regularly to neighboring countries to buy clothing for import have been identified as traffickers. Reports of European tourists paying for sex with teenage boys and girls continue.

The Government of Malawi 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 maintained its efforts to ensure victims’ access to protective services and prevent trafficking, adults trafficked for sex or labor exploitation and children exploited in domestic servitude and prostitution still did not receive the same amount of care as children exploited in forced labor.

Recommendations for Malawi: Expand training programs for judges, prosecutors, and police on how to identify, investigate, and prosecute trafficking offenses using existing laws; pass and enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation; continue to manually compile basic trafficking law enforcement data until it is possible to institute an automated system to compile comprehensive data on cases investigated and prosecuted, as well as victims assisted; and expand the existing focus on protecting victims of child labor trafficking to include children exploited in domestic servitude and prostitution.

Prosecution
The Government of Malawi maintained its progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the last year. Malawi prohibits all forms of trafficking through various laws, including the Employment Act and Articles 135 through 147 and 257 through 269 of the Penal Code, though the country lacks specific anti-trafficking laws. The penalties prescribed under these statutes range from small fines to 10 years’ imprisonment; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious crimes. For a second year, the draft Child Care, Protection and Justice Bill, which defines child trafficking and imposes a penalty of life imprisonment for convicted traffickers, remained in the government’s Cabinet and was not passed by Parliament. Also for a second year, the Malawi Law Commission did not complete drafting comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation specifically outlawing all forms of human trafficking. Local law enforcement agencies in Malawi only keep written record of their activities, which are not consolidated at any central record facility. Data on nation-wide statistics was not available, though some individual districts provided data on their specific activities. In 2009, the Magistrate’s Court in the district of Mchinji on the Zambian border prosecuted five trafficking offenders on criminal charges and convicted four. In one case involving 14 child victims of labor trafficking, three offenders were sentenced to seven years of hard labor, one was fined $33, and one was acquitted. The Mchinji court convicted a trafficker caught while transporting 59 children to Zambia to be exploited in forced labor, and sentenced him to five years in prison. The government also prosecuted and convicted 34 trafficking offenders for exploiting children in forced farm labor. Each was fined $131, which is approximately one-third of the average annual income in Malawi. Police, child protection, social welfare, and other officials received training in how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking either directly from the government or in partnership with NGOs. The Ministry of Labor incorporated a child protection curriculum into labor inspector training. Requests to work with other governments are handled on an ad hoc, informal basis, especially between district officials in Mchinji and officials across the Zambian border. The Anti- Corruption Bureau’s investigation, begun in 2007, into two complaints of government corruption relating to trafficking was ongoing at the end of the reporting period.

Protection
The Malawi government maintained its efforts to ensure that victims were provided access to appropriate services, and provided in-kind support to NGO service providers. Malawi continued to depend heavily on foreign donors and NGOs to fund and operate most of the country’s anti-trafficking programs. This past year, it provided technical and coordination assistance to NGOs and helped set project guidelines. In Dedza district, police rescued 14 Malawian and 10 Mozambican child victims of labor trafficking. The government provided law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel with basic training in identifying victims of trafficking, though it has not yet established systematic procedures for proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, especially persons in the commercial sex trade. Government personnel sustained partnerships with NGOs to connect their local programs with government labor inspectors, child protection officers, district social welfare officers, the police, and district child protection committees. The government funded one rehabilitation drop-in center in Lilongwe for victims of trafficking and gender-based violence. The center did not keep specific records of trafficking victims that it may have assisted. Over 100 police stations throughout the country housed victim support units to respond to gender-based violence and trafficking crimes. These units provided limited counseling and, in some places, temporary shelter, though the capacity to identify and assist victims varied greatly among stations. Inter-ministerial child protection committees monitored their districts for suspicious behavior which might indicate trafficking activity. Overall, the government encouraged victims’ participation in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes and did not inappropriately incarcerate, fine, or otherwise penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The government sustained its efforts to prevent human trafficking and raise public awareness of the crime in 2009. An inter-ministerial task force on human trafficking, led by the Ministry of Gender, Child Development and Community Development, forged a partnership with international organizations and NGOs and began drafting a national plan of action which is not yet complete. Addressing child trafficking is also the responsibility of both the National Steering Committee on Orphans and Vulnerable Children and the National Steering Committee on Child Labor. Uneven levels of expertise and inadequate inter-agency coordination at national and district levels interfered with the effectiveness of these committees in preventing child trafficking. Through the National Aids Commission’s Action Framework on HIV/AIDS Prevention, the government sensitized communities to the dangers of commercial sexual exploitation and attempted to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The Malawi Defense Force provided training on human rights, child protection, and the elimination of sexual exploitation to its nationals deployed abroad as part of peacekeeping missions.

MALAYSIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Malaysia is a destination, and to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution and for men, women, and children who are in conditions of forced labor. The majority of trafficking victims are foreign workers who migrate willingly to Malaysia from Indonesia, Nepal, India, Thailand, China, the Philippines, Burma, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Vietnam in search of greater economic opportunities, some of whom subsequently encounter forced labor or debt bondage at the hands of their employers, employment agents, or informal labor recruiters. While many of Malaysia’s trafficking offenders are individual business people, large organized crime syndicates are also behind some of the trafficking of foreigners in Malaysia. A significant number of young women are recruited for work in Malaysian restaurants and hotels, some of whom migrate through the use of “Guest Relations Officer” visas, but subsequently are coerced into Malaysia’s commercial sex trade. Many Malaysian labor outsourcing companies apparently recruited excess workers, who were then often subject to conditions of forced labor. Some Malaysian citizens are trafficked internally and abroad to Singapore, Hong Kong, France, and the United Kingdom for commercial sexual exploitation. There were approximately two million documented migrant workers in Malaysia in 2009, and an additional estimated 1.9 million who were undocumented. Many migrant workers in plantations, construction sites, textile factories, and employed as domestic workers throughout Malaysia experienced restrictions on movement, deceit and fraud in wages, passport confiscation, or debt bondage, which are practices indicative of trafficking. Some Malaysian employers reportedly did not pay their foreign domestic workers three to six months’ wages in order to recoup recruitment agency charges, making them vulnerable to trafficking. Refugees were particularly vulnerable to trafficking, and Malaysians from rural communities and indigenous groups were also vulnerable. The People’s Volunteer Corps (RELA) continued to conduct raids targeting illegal migrant communities and detained refugees, asylum seekers, and trafficking victims along with allegedly illegal migrants. Some trafficking victims were locked up in warehouses or brothels. The Indonesian and Malaysian governments have not amended or replaced a 2006 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) covering the employment of Indonesian domestic workers in Malaysia, which authorizes Malaysian employers to confiscate and hold the passports of domestic employees.

The Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Because the assessment that the government had made significant efforts is based in part on its commitments to undertake actions over the coming year – notably greater implementation of Malaysia’s anti-trafficking law against labor trafficking – Malaysia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. The Malaysian government has shown a greater commitment to address human trafficking that is expected to lead to: increased investigations and prosecutions of labor trafficking offenses and identification of labor trafficking victims; increasing efforts to prosecute trafficking-related corruption by government officials; and greater collaboration with NGOs and international organizations to improve victim services in government shelters. During the reporting period, senior government officials, including the Prime Minister, publicly acknowledged Malaysia’s human trafficking problem, the government increased its investigations of trafficking cases and filed an increased number of criminal charges against traffickers, significantly expanded training of officials on the 2007 anti-trafficking law, conducted a public awareness campaign on human trafficking, opened three more shelters for trafficking victims, and launched a five-year national action plan on trafficking. Nevertheless, these early efforts will require continued attention, as there are many serious concerns remaining regarding trafficking in Malaysia, including the detention of trafficking victims in government facilities.

Recommendations for Malaysia: Build on initial law enforcement actions under the Trafficking in Persons Act, particularly relating to cases of labor trafficking; apply stringent criminal penalties to those involved in fraudulent labor recruitment or exploitation of forced labor; increase efforts to prosecute and convict public officials who profit from or are involved in trafficking, or who exploit victims; develop and implement procedures to identify labor trafficking victims among vulnerable groups such as migrant workers and refer them to available protection services; ensure that victims of trafficking are not threatened or otherwise punished for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked; re-negotiate MOUs with source countries to incorporate victim protection and revoke passport or travel document confiscation; increase cooperation with NGOs to improve victim protection efforts, including in shelters for trafficking victims; continue to expand the training of officials on the effective handling of sex and labor trafficking cases, with a particular emphasis on victim protection; and continue and expand a comprehensive and visible anti-trafficking awareness campaign to encompass both labor and sex trafficking.

Prosecution
The Government of Malaysia made some progress in law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking during the reporting period, and limited progress in prosecuting and convicting offenders of labor trafficking. Malaysian law prohibits all forms of human trafficking through its 2007 anti-trafficking law, which prescribes penalties that are commensurate with those of other serious offenses, such as rape. During the reporting period, the government convicted three sex trafficking offenders and reported initiating 180 trafficking-related investigations and filing 123 charges against 69 individuals, though it is unclear how many of these cases were for actual trafficking. In January 2010, authorities identified their first labor trafficking case in the fisheries industry when the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency intercepted Thai fishing boats off the coast of Sarawak and arrested five Thai traffickers; the case remains pending. While NGOs reported several potential labor trafficking cases to the government, authorities did not report any related arrests or investigations. Authorities initiated a review of the licenses of the 277 companies that are authorized to act as labor recruiters in Malaysia. The government did not report any criminal prosecutions of employers who subjected workers to conditions of forced labor or labor recruiters who used deceptive practices and debt bondage to compel migrant workers into involuntary servitude. Despite a public statement by a senior official highlighting the right of workers to hold their own passports, the government continued to allow for the confiscation of passports by employers of migrant workers, and did not prosecute any employers who confiscated passports or travel documents of migrant workers or confined them to the workplace. In September 2009, the Home Minister announced that a new MOU being negotiated between Malaysia and Indonesia would not allow confiscation of passports of migrant workers, but the 2006 MOU authorizing such confiscation has not yet been amended or replaced. Authorities did not take criminal action against Peoples Volunteer Corps (RELA) volunteers who physically threatened and abused migrant workers and extorted money from them, despite continued reports of these abuses. In response to credible reports of government officials’ direct involvement in a human trafficking network along the Malaysia-Thailand border outlined in a Senate Foreign Relations Committee Report, five immigration officials were arrested for alleged involvement in a trafficking ring that took Burmese migrants to Thailand for sale to trafficking syndicates. However, officials have only lodged criminal charges under the Anti-Trafficking Act against one of the officers and the case against him is still pending. Some observers report that corruption plays a role in the trafficking of foreign migrant workers, particularly with regard to officials’ authorizing excess recruitment by Malaysian outsourcing companies, despite assurances from officials that practice had been reduced by regulations implemented in July 2009 that require outsourcing companies to demonstrate their need for each worker recruited. Reports also indicate that collusion between police and trafficking offenders sometimes leads to offenders escaping arrest and punishment. Nevertheless, there were no officials convicted of trafficking-related complicity during the reporting period.

Protection
The government made minimal progress in protecting victims of trafficking during the reporting period. Efforts to identify and protect both sex and labor trafficking victims remained inadequate overall. The government did not report the identification of any Malaysian victims of trafficking. In January, officials rescued and identified 16 male forced labor victims from four deep-sea trawlers off the coast of Sarawak – the first trafficking victims in the fisheries industry identified by the government. The Ministry for Women, Family, and Community Development continued to run two trafficking “shelters” for women and children and opened a third in July 2009, which detained suspected and confirmed foreign sex trafficking victims involuntarily for 90 days until they were deported to their home countries, per Malaysian law. During the reporting period, the government also opened its first two shelters designed to house male victims of trafficking, although these shelters also detained victims involuntarily until they were deported. The government’s policy of detaining trafficking victims against their will provided a disincentive for victims and their advocates from bringing cases to the government’s attention.

During the reporting period, 139 women and children were certified as victims and detained in the shelters. An additional 232 individuals were given initial protective orders, but were ultimately determined by the government to not be victims of trafficking and were deported, though officials acknowledge that some of these may have been trafficking victims who were reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement proceedings. During the year, the government reportedly made some improvements in its screening to identify individuals possessing UNHCR cards or possessing traits of trafficking victims in order to separate them from the illegal migrant populations. The government continued to use RELA volunteers in indiscriminate raids to identify illegal migrants, some of whom were reportedly trafficking victims. Several foreign embassies reported that they were sometimes not informed by Malaysian authorities of the presence of their nationals in trafficking shelters, and at times, authorities would deny these diplomatic missions access to their citizens once their presence was known. Government shelters resembled immigration detention centers, by denying victims basic freedoms, and these facilities did not employ medical officers, trained psychologists, or trained victim counselors. Some victims were locked in rooms within the shelters.

While NGO trafficking shelters provide resources that government shelters do not, the government does not provide any financial assistance to NGOs, and requires all identified victims to reside in its own shelters. The anti-trafficking law provides immunity to trafficking victims for immigration offenses such as illegal entry, unlawful presence, and possession of false travel documents, but victims continue to be detained and deported, as they would be if they were arrested for illegal immigration. Malaysian law does not provide immunity for criminal acts committed as a result of being trafficked. In January 2010, a 14-year-old Indonesian girl working as a domestic worker in Malaysia was identified by authorities as a trafficking victim. Authorities prosecuted the girl for theft from her employer, and did not prosecute the girl’s employer for violating child labor laws. The government issued guidelines and provided training on the identification and processing of suspected trafficking victims, but did not develop or implement formal procedures to proactively identify victims of labor trafficking. The government treated victims of trafficking as illegal aliens and turned them over to immigration authorities for deportation after they provided evidence to prosecutors. Victims are required by law to assist in the prosecution of trafficking offenders, but the lack of victim protection or any incentives for victim assistance in investigations and prosecutions remained a significant impediment to successful prosecutions. Aside from a standard 90-day stay in one of its shelters, the government did not provide other legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Although victims may file a civil suit against exploiters, their lack of any option to legally work during the consideration of their suit discouraged such attempts. Some foreign governments expressed concern about the lack of legal protections in place for foreign workers in Malaysia, particularly those subjected to involuntary servitude. Some unidentified victims, including children, were routinely processed as illegal migrants and held in prisons or immigration detention centers prior to deportation.

Prevention
Malaysia made some efforts to prevent trafficking in persons over the last year. The government conducted numerous anti-trafficking training events for Malaysian police, immigration, prosecutors, labor department officials, and Women’s ministry officials, and began to partner with NGOs, international organizations, and foreign governments on such trainings. In November 2009, the government launched an anti-trafficking public awareness campaign that included advertisements in print media, on the radio, and on television, including television appearances by senior government officials to discuss human trafficking. In March 2010, the government launched a five-year action plan to combat trafficking. The government began to use its “999” emergency number as a trafficking hotline where calls are routed to the Malaysian Police, though calls can only be taken in Malay and English. The Women’s Ministry produced pamphlets to potential trafficking victims in nine languages, which the Immigration Department began to distribute. The Indonesian and Malaysian governments have yet to amend or replace a 2006 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) covering the employment of Indonesian domestic workers in Malaysia, which authorizes Malaysian employers to confiscate and hold the passports of domestic employees, though negotiations to do so continued through the reporting period.

The government forged partnerships with airlines during the year, which began announcing a statement regarding the country’s trafficking laws and punishments on some arriving flights. The government did not take measures to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts. The government provided anti-trafficking training to troops preparing to deploy to international peacekeeping missions. On February 26, 2009, Malaysia became a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol with reservations.

MALDIVES (Tier 2 Watch List)

The Maldives is primarily a destination country for migrant workers from Bangladesh, and, to a lesser extent, India, some of whom are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor. Some women are also subjected to forced prostitution. An unknown number of the 110,000 foreign workers currently working in the Maldives – primarily in the construction and service sectors – face fraudulent recruitment practices, confiscation of identity and travel documents, withholding or non-payment of wages, or debt bondage. Thirty thousand of these workers do not have legal status in the country, though both legal and illegal workers were vulnerable to conditions of forced labor. Diplomatic sources estimate that half of the 35,000 Bangladeshis in the Maldives went there illegally and that most of these workers are probably victims of trafficking. Migrant workers pay $1,000 to $4,000 in recruitment fees in order to migrate to the Maldives; such high recruitment costs increase workers’ vulnerability to forced labor, as concluded in a recent ILO report.

A small number of women from Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, China, the Philippines, Eastern Europe, and former Soviet Union countries are recruited for forced prostitution in Male, the capital. A small number of underage Maldivian girls reportedly are trafficked to Male from other islands for involuntary domestic servitude; this is a corruption of the widely acknowledged practice where families send Maldivian girls to live with a host family in Male for educational purposes.

Trafficking offenders usually fall into three groups: families that subject domestic servants to forced labor; employment agents who bring low-skilled migrant workers to the Maldives under false terms of employment and upon payment of high fees; and employers who subject the migrants to conditions of forced labor upon arrival.

The Government of the Maldives does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government lacks systematic procedures for identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, and during the reporting period it did not investigate or prosecute trafficking-related offenses or take concrete actions to protect trafficking victims and prevent trafficking in the Maldives. Therefore, the Maldives is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. After 30 years of one-party rule, the new government – formed in 2009 – is continuing to build the institutions of democratic governance.

Recommendations for the Maldives: Draft and enact legislation prohibiting and punishing all forms of trafficking in persons; develop and implement systematic procedures for government officials to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as undocumented migrants and women in prostitution; ensure that identified victims of trafficking are provided necessary assistance; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and sentence trafficking offenders; raise public awareness of human trafficking through media campaigns; and take steps to ensure that employers and labor brokers are not abusing labor recruitment or sponsorship processes in order to subject migrant workers to forced labor.

Prosecution
The Government of the Maldives undertook limited anti-human trafficking law enforcement efforts during the last year. Although the Maldives does not have laws prohibiting human trafficking offenses, its constitution prohibits forced labor and slavery. The only prescribed penalty for labor trafficking offenses is a fine. The government did not investigate or prosecute any trafficking cases. The Labor Tribunal, created as part of the 2008 Employment Act, heard eight cases involving foreign workers whose wages had not been paid — a possible indicator of forced labor — but the tribunal lacked legal authority to enforce its decision. In addition, employment tribunal members and employees expressed concerns about their ability to resolve cases involving foreign workers because all their proceedings were conducted in the local language.

Protection
The Maldivian government made limited efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking received access to necessary assistance during the reporting period. The government did not develop or implement formal procedures for proactively identifying victims, and the government did not identify any specific cases of trafficking or provide an estimate of the number of victims. Officers with the Maldivian Police and the Department of Immigration and Emigration have received training in the recognition of trafficking victims. The Maldives did not provide services such as shelter, counseling, medical care, or legal aid to foreign or Maldivian victims of trafficking. On an ad-hoc basis, it provided extremely short-term housing for migrants immediately before deportation. The government’s general policy for dealing with trafficking victims was deportation, and it did not provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they might face hardship or retribution. Authorities did not encourage victims to participate in the investigation or prosecution of trafficking offenders, since no investigations or prosecutions took place. Due to a lack of comprehensive victim identification procedures, the Maldives may not have ensured that expatriates subjected to forced labor and prostitution were not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficking.

Prevention
The Maldives made limited progress to prevent human trafficking over the last year. The government did not conduct any anti-trafficking or educational campaigns and it did not take steps to create an inter-agency structure – such as a committee or plan of action – for coordination on anti-trafficking matters. The government did not take any measures to reduce demand for forced labor on the islands. In 2010, the Maldives enacted a provision in the 2008 Employment Act requiring all employers to use employment agents. The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives, a constitutionally-established independent body, published a report in August 2009 that contained strong trafficking-related recommendations including prosecutions for forced labor offenders and regulations of recruitment agencies. In February 2010, the Ministry of Home Affairs’ Department of Immigration and Emigration prominently posted on its website a readout of bilateral discussions on trafficking. Senior government officials recently attended the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation’s convention on trafficking, which focused on sex trafficking. The Maldives is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

MALI (Tier 2 Watch List)

Mali is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. Within Mali, women and girls are forced into domestic servitude and, to a limited extent, prostitution. Malian boys are found in conditions of forced begging and forced labor in gold mines and agricultural settings both within Mali and neighboring countries. Reports indicate that Malian children are trafficked to Senegal and Guinea for forced labor in gold mines and for forced labor on cotton and cocoa farms in Cote d’Ivoire. Boys from Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger and other countries are forced into begging and exploited for labor by religious instructors within Mali and across borders. Adult men and boys, primarily of Songhai ethnicity, are subjected to the longstanding practice of debt bondage in the salt mines of Taoudenni in northern Mali. Some members of Mali’s black Tamachek community are subjected to traditional slavery-related practices rooted in hereditary master-slave relationships.

The Government of Mali does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, such as assisting with the identification and rescue of 80 child trafficking victim and drafting new anti-trafficking legislation, the government failed to show evidence of progress in prosecuting and convicting trafficking offenders, and did not take action on five pending cases of traditional slavery. Therefore, Mali is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year.

Recommendations for Mali: Investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, including cases of traditional slavery, and convict and punish trafficking offenders using existing laws; criminalize the trafficking of adults for labor and commercial sexual exploitation, including hereditary slavery; develop a system for collecting data on trafficking crimes and the number of victims identified and referred by government authorities to service providers for care; enhance victim identification and assistance efforts, particularly in regard to hereditary slavery; and increase efforts to raise public awareness about trafficking and traditional hereditary servitude.

Prosecution
The Government of Mali demonstrated limited law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking during the last year. Mali does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, though Article 244 of the criminal code prohibits all forms of child trafficking. Conviction of child trafficking carries a penalty of from five to 20 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and comparable with penalties for sexual assault. Article 229 of the criminal code criminalizes the sexual exploitation of children and forced prostitution of adult women. Malian law may not adequately criminalize other forms of trafficking. Criminal Code Article 242, passed in 1973, prohibits individuals from entering into agreements or contracts that deprive third parties of their liberty: NGOs argue that this law, which has sometimes been characterized as an anti-slavery law, is inadequate to prosecute cases of hereditary slavery. In November 2009, the Malian government participated in a conference organized by a leading anti-slavery NGO to introduce draft anti-slavery legislation to civil society organizations, and officials plan to introduce a separate law outlawing all forms of trafficking to the Malian legislature later in 2010.

During the reporting period, the government made two arrests for human trafficking offenses: in both cases, the suspected traffickers were released without trial. Malian authorities reported no prosecutions or convictions of trafficking offenders. On two occasions in 2009, one suspected trafficking offender was taken into custody by Malian authorities with trafficked children in his possession as he attempted to leave the country: on both occasions, he was released with no explanation. A trial date has not yet been set for three individuals arrested in March 2008 for allegedly trafficking two Malian and 24 Guinean children to Mali from Guinea; they were released in June pending trial. Six cases of traditional enslavement remained pending in Malian courts and judicial authorities have taken no discernible action to prosecute these cases to completion in a criminal court. In one case, however, local authorities responded to an NGO request to discuss an amicable resolution, though this is not an adequate response to an alleged crime of slavery. One of these cases involves a black Tamachek child taken from his parents in Kidal in September 2007 by an individual claiming traditional ownership rights over the child; the child remains in the custody of this traditional master.

During the reporting period, the government provided no training on human trafficking investigations or legislation to Malian law enforcement and judicial officials. Authorities collaborated with the governments of Burkina Faso, Guinea, and Mauritania to secure the repatriation of trafficking victims. There were no reports of official complicity in human trafficking. Some officials may not perceive certain kinds of trafficking, such as forced begging at the order of Koranic teachers, as egregious human trafficking offenses, thereby impeding some trafficking investigations. Traditional conflict mediation was favored over the rule of law in some cases of child trafficking and exploitation. In several cases, for example, authorities released religious teachers suspected of forcing children to beg after it was determined that the teacher had the parents’ permission to take the child.

Protection
The Government of Mali demonstrated moderate efforts to protect trafficking victims in the last year. Authorities did not report a formal system for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as child laborers. Due to its limited resources, the government did not operate any victim shelters or provide direct aid to victims. Instead, it referred victims to NGOs and international organizations for assistance, and provided in-kind support to these organizations in the form of land or buildings. Authorities reported assisting 80 child victims of trafficking during 2009. The government did not report assisting any victims of traditional slavery. Most cases of trafficking identified by NGOs are reported to the government, and an official from the Ministry for the Advancement of Women, Children, and the Family coordinates the process of repatriation with a counterpart in the government of the victim’s country of origin.

During the reporting period, officials interviewed victims in one suspected child trafficking case and also interviewed one victim of traditional slavery. Mali does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution. Identified victims are not inappropriately incarcerated or fined for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. While the Malian government stated that it has developed a system for collecting data on trafficking crimes and the number of victims identified, officials have not made this system public.

Prevention
The Government of Mali made limited efforts to prevent trafficking, through awareness-raising or other means, during the last year. A regional government office in the zone with the higher prevalence of forced agricultural labor operated a public awareness campaign on child trafficking and child labor. Many government officials do not acknowledge that hereditary slavery exists in Mali. During the reporting period, the National Steering Committee Against Child Labor, which is comprised of 43 government, NGO, and international organization members, reported no actions and suffered from poor interagency communication. However, the Ministry for the Promotion of Women and Children created a more streamlined committee to combat trafficking, and the Malian government decided to introduce a law criminalizing all forms of trafficking in 2010. The government took no visible measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor.

MALTA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Malta is a destination country for European women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution. During this reporting period and in the past, the Maltese media also covered possible cases of Maltese teenage girls who may have been involved in forced prostitution in Malta. Malta is likely a destination country for men subjected to forced labor as reflected by a report in 2009 that three Pakistani males were forced to work in Pakistani restaurants in Malta. The dozens of children and 4,304 total irregular migrants currently residing in Malta from African countries may be vulnerable to human trafficking in Malta’s “grey” informal labor market.

The Government of Malta does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government did not demonstrate progress in convicting and punishing trafficking offenders, or in identifying and ensuring the protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period; therefore, Malta is placed on Tier 2 Watch List.

Recommendations for Malta: Vigorously prosecute and convict trafficking offenders; ensure that convicted trafficking offenders, including any officials identified as complicit in trafficking, receive adequate punishment; attempt to establish partnerships with NGOs in Malta on anti-trafficking activities and encourage NGOs to cooperate with the government in providing services to potential victims; continue to develop and implement procedures for identifying and caring for victims, including victims of forced labor and possible child victims; offer appropriate protection for foreign unaccompanied minors that takes into consideration their vulnerability to trafficking; and establish partnerships with international organizations and NGOs in relevant source countries, as appropriate, to ensure safe and voluntary repatriation for victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Malta demonstrated minimal progress in its efforts to prosecute trafficking in persons offenses and punish trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Malta’s criminal code prohibits trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and labor exploitation and prescribes punishments of two to nine years’ imprisonment. These prescribed penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government did not convict and punish any alleged trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Several ongoing court cases cited in the 2008 and 2009 Reports remained unresolved: the case of a police officer convicted in 2005 who remained out of jail pending an appeal; the Maltese nationals arrested for the trafficking of eight Russian and Ukrainian women; the four people prosecuted for allegedly trafficking a Romanian woman in 2004; and the 2008 case in which three men were arrested for trafficking a Swedish woman. The Police Commissioner in January 2010 directed his subordinate staff – who are responsible for criminal prosecution as well as investigation – to expedite and conclude current and future trafficking cases within 90 days from date of arraignment. There was one new human trafficking prosecution initiated during the reporting period. The government did not sponsor any new trafficking-specific training for police, prosecutors or judges during the reporting period, though it did provide such training for border officials.

Protection
The Government of Malta made no discernible progress in protecting trafficking victims during the reporting period. The absence of anti-trafficking NGOs in Malta likely contributed to challenges in victim protection as NGOs traditionally provide valuable partnership in identifying and assisting potential victims. Lack of victim identification increased the risk that victims were punished for immigration violations or other unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked. The government continued to lack formal procedures to guide first responders in identifying forced labor cases among vulnerable groups, such as foreign workers, and referring them to trafficking-specific services. The government did not show evidence of adequately implementing its formal system for referring all women in prostitution apprehended by police to government social workers. The government incorporated indicators for human trafficking as part of the asylum process for irregular migrants but did not have formal procedures on how to refer potential victims in migrant detention centers to trafficking-specific services. According to a 2009 UN Report, the government initially imposed detention on all irregular migrants upon arrival in Malta. While the government applied a fast-track procedure for vulnerable migrants, including pregnant women, families, and unaccompanied minors to be released from detention to open centers (where migrants are provided with housing and government-sponsored social services available to all Maltese citizens), it may still take up to three months. The government did not provide trafficking victims with shelter or services during the reporting period, nor were potential foreign labor trafficking victims offered residence permits, social, medical and legal assistance, and other potential safety and protection resources available under Maltese law prior to their return to their country of origin. The government has not developed or implemented standardized procedures for safe, voluntary repatriation for victims exploited in Malta. The government encourages trafficking victims to assist in the prosecution of their traffickers and attempted to implement creative ways of doing so; one victim in the past was allowed to provide testimony against her trafficker through video conferencing.

Prevention
The Maltese government made some progress in advancing anti-trafficking prevention activities over the last year. The government’s agency for social welfare, Appogg continued to produce detailed brochures to raise awareness about human trafficking, including information on identifying potential victims and outlets for victim assistance, and distributed them at health clinics, community centers, churches, and in entertainment areas to target potential clients of the sex trade. In late 2009, the government and an international cosmetics company forged a partnership whereby proceeds from products sold by the business would assist the government in developing an awareness campaign on child trafficking. Malta’s government Employment and Training Corporation conducted informational sessions within migrant detention centers to inform migrants about their rights and the process by which to attain work permits and proper employment, if they are granted asylum and released. The government did not formally monitor its anti-trafficking efforts and continued to lack an anti-trafficking national action plan. The government did not report any specific measures to reduce the possible participation of Maltese nationals in child sex tourism abroad.

MAURITANIA (Tier 3)

Mauritania is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Some women, men, and children from traditional slave castes are subjected to slavery-related practices, rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships, which continue to exist in a limited fashion in both rural and urban settings. These individuals, held for generations by slave-holding families, may be forced to work without pay as cattle herders and household help. Mauritanian and West African boys – referred to as talibe – are recruited to study at Koranic schools, but are sometimes subsequently subjected to forced begging within the country by religious teachers known as marabouts. Girls have been trafficked internally and from neighboring West African countries such as Mali, Senegal, and The Gambia for involuntary domestic servitude. Mauritanian girls have been married off to wealthy men from the Middle East and taken there in some cases for forced prostitution. Mauritanian women are forced into prostitution within the country, as well as in Gulf States.

The Government of Mauritania 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 significant progress in prosecuting and punishing trafficking offenders, protecting trafficking victims, and preventing new incidents of trafficking. Despite its acknowledgment of trafficking as a problem, the government is reluctant to acknowledge that de facto slavery currently exists in Mauritania, and prefers to talk about “the consequences of slavery.” The government has stated it is willing to take action, but does not have the necessary resources to fund needed services, such as shelters for trafficking victims, legal assistance, and training in life-skills and income generating activities. Certain government and civil society leaders have expressed a willingness to work with foreign partners to improve the country’s human rights record; however, in 2009, prosecutions of forced labor or forced prostitution offenses were nonexistent and no government programs were put in place to assist victims of such crimes. Therefore, Mauritania remains on Tier 3.

Recommendations for Mauritania: Take steps to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses; in partnership with NGOs, where possible, improve the government’s capacity to assess law enforcement efforts against human trafficking; consider measures allowing civil society organizations to file complaints on behalf of slaves; provide slaves with land and other resources to live freely; construct a shelter for human trafficking and slavery victims; and provide support for and access to legal assistance for trafficking victims.

Prosecution
The government did not demonstrate increased overall law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Mauritanian law prohibits all forms of trafficking through its 2003 Law Against Trafficking in Persons, which prescribes penalties of from five to 10 years’ imprisonment; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for rape. Slavery is prohibited by Law 2007-048, which was enacted in September 2007. This law defines slavery and prescribes a sufficiently stringent penalty of from five to 10 years’ imprisonment. The law’s effectiveness, however, is hampered by its requirement that slaves file a legal complaint before a prosecution can be pursued, as well as its barring of NGOs from filing complaints on behalf of slaves. Many slaves are illiterate and unable to complete the paperwork involved in filing a complaint. According to the Ministry of Justice, there were neither investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenses nor convictions or sentences of trafficking offenders in 2009. A local human rights organization reported that judges refused to investigate two child slavery cases brought to them during the year, either on slavery or child abuse grounds. The parties reached an informal agreement outside the court, and the children remained with their slave-masters. The government provided no support for programs to assist victims systematically to file complaints on slavery.

Protection
The Government of Mauritania demonstrated minimal efforts to protect victims of human trafficking, including of traditional slavery. In 2009, the government’s National Center for the Protection of Children in Difficulty provided shelter for 270 children, including 60 talibes identified in Nouakchott, the capital. This center returned children to their families or imams, and asked for guarantees that the children would not be sent back to the streets to beg. Government-provided access to legal and medical services was very limited, and the government did not offer shelter or long-term housing benefits to victims aside from the aforementioned center for talibes. The government did not have a referral process in place to transfer victims who were detained, arrested, or placed in protective custody by law enforcement authorities to institutions that provided short- or long-term care. The government’s law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel did not have a formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons with whom they came in contact. Illegal migrants were detained and placed in the Migrant Detention Center at Nouadhibou until their expulsion from the country, without the government making any effort to identify trafficking victims among them. Women suspected of prostitution were often jailed. The government made no attempts to screen these women for victimization. The government did not encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases, and there were no precedents of victims filing civil suits or seeking legal action against trafficking offenders. In slavery cases, civil society representatives claimed that judges attempted to broker informal agreements between the masters and disgruntled slaves. Courts often dropped cases and avoided conducting investigations.

Prevention
The Government of Mauritania made inadequate efforts to raise awareness of trafficking during the last year. In 2009, the government, in conjunction with civil society, conducted a public awareness campaign in local newspapers about the plight of domestic workers, and also about the 2007 anti-slavery law, as part of the government’s Program to Eradicate the Consequences of Slavery. The government did not monitor immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking. There was no mechanism for coordination and communication between various agencies on trafficking-related matters. In 2009, the government worked in association with an international organization to draft a National Action Plan to Fight Trafficking in Persons, to be released in 2010. The government made no efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor.

MAURITIUS (Tier 1)

Mauritius is a source for children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution within the country. Secondary school-age girls and, to a lesser extent, younger girls from all areas of the country, including from Rodrigues Island, are induced into prostitution, often by their peers, family members, or businessmen offering other forms of employment. Taxi drivers are known to provide transportation and introductions for both the girls and the clients. Girls and boys whose mothers engage in prostitution are reportedly forced into prostitution at a young age. Some drug-addicted women are forced into prostitution by their boyfriends, who serve as their pimps. In Great Britain, two Malagasy nationals were convicted in 2009 of holding a small number of Mauritian nationals, as well as citizens of other countries, in conditions of forced labor; this appears to be an isolated case of transnational human trafficking involving Mauritian citizens.

The Government of Mauritius fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Mauritius sustained its strong efforts to identify, investigate, and prosecute incidences of trafficking during the reporting period. The Mauritius Police Force increased its offerings of anti-trafficking training programs for police officers and continued its awareness campaign in schools and villages. The government’s efforts to coordinate among all relevant ministries, however, remained lacking, leading to inconsistent provision of protective and investigative services to trafficking victims.

Recommendations for Mauritius: Utilize anti-trafficking legislation to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including those involving adult women exploited in pimp-controlled forced prostitution; designate an official coordinating body or mechanism to facilitate improved anti-trafficking communication and coordination among the relevant ministries, law enforcement entities, working groups, and NGOs; increase protective services available to child victims of commercial sexual exploitation, particularly in regard to safe shelter and educational opportunities; provide increased logistical support to all branches of the Minors Brigade, particularly in regard to technological infrastructure, such as email and Internet connectivity, that would enhance the Brigade’s ability to communicate effectively with government and NGO counterparts; and ensure that all cases of children in prostitution identified by the Ministry of Women’s Rights, Child Development, and Family Welfare’s (MOWR) Child Development Unit (CDU) are referred to the police for investigation.

Prosecution
The Mauritian government demonstrated increased anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, vigorously investigating and prosecuting cases of human trafficking throughout the year. The “Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2009” prohibits all forms of trafficking for adults and children and prescribes penalties of up to 15 years’ imprisonment for convicted offenders. In addition, the Child Protection Act of 2005 prohibits all forms of child trafficking and prescribes punishment of up to 15 years’ imprisonment for convicted offenders; the Judicial Provisions Act of 2008 increased the maximum prescribed punishment for child trafficking offenses to 30 years’ imprisonment. All of the aforementioned penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes. From arrest to sentencing of offenders, cases of child trafficking typically took 18 to 24 months to resolve. In October 2009, the government used the Children Protection Act to convict and sentence a woman to ten years’ imprisonment for subjecting two underage Mauritian girls to prostitution in 2007. Also during the year, the Mauritius Police Force’s Minors Brigade, which carries out all investigations involving trafficked children, completed the investigation into a 2007 case of a grandmother who allegedly forced her granddaughter into prostitution and referred it to the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for action. In 2009, the DPP referred for trial the January 2008 case of a man and woman charged with inducing their 12-year-old niece into prostitution; the case is scheduled to be heard in April 2010. The Minors Brigade utilized a database for tracking criminal trafficking cases, as well as awareness campaigns carried out in the community. In 2009 and early 2010, the Officer in Charge of the brigade conducted five training sessions on best practices for combating human trafficking for all 32 of the Minors Brigade’s officers. The Police training school conducted anti-trafficking sessions during a two-week program for 182 senior police officers. Seventy government officials also received training on the commercial sexual exploitation of children from a local NGO.

Protection
The government sustained its protection of child trafficking victims during the reporting period, providing funding to NGOs running victim shelters on a reimbursable basis – $6 per day for the protection of each child, including victims of trafficking. CDU officials regularly referred abused and exploited children to these organizations for shelter and other assistance. The Minor’s Brigade systematically refers all cases of identified children in prostitution to the CDU for victim assistance; in 2009, the brigade referred two such children for protective services. The CDU did not, however, refer all cases of child prostitution identified by its officers to the Minors Brigade for possible investigation. The government-funded, NGO-run drop-in center for sexually abused children, which provided counseling to six girls engaged in prostitution in 2009, advertised its services through bumper stickers, a toll-free number, and community outreach; its social worker continued to promote the services in schools and local communities. Nonetheless, due to the drop-in center’s lack of shelter facilities and the often crowded conditions at NGO shelters, comprehensive protective services were not always readily available to all victims identified within the country. Though the MOWR acquired land and obtained funding to construct a residential center for victims of child commercial sexual exploitation in late 2008, construction of the facility has not yet begun. The ministry operated a 24-hour hotline for reporting cases of sexual abuse that received two reported cases of child prostitution in 2009.

Mauritius has a formal protocol on the provision of assistance to all victims of sexual abuse; children victimized by commercial sexual exploitation are accompanied to the hospital by a child welfare officer and police work in conjunction with this officer to obtain a statement. Medical treatment and psychological support were readily available at public clinics and NGO centers in Mauritius. The Child Protection (Amendment) Act of 2008 established a child mentoring scheme to provide support and rehabilitation to children in distress, including children engaged in prostitution; the government did not utilize this program to assist children engaged in or at risk of prostitution during the reporting period. The government encourages victims’ assistance in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes, and ensures that victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized solely for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention
The government made notable efforts to prevent the sex trafficking of children and reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the year. The Police Family Protection Unit and the Minor’s Brigade, in conjunction with the CDU, continued its widespread awareness campaign on child abuse and child rights at schools and community centers that included a session on the dangers and consequences of engaging in prostitution; this campaign reached over 16,372 persons in 2009, including 1,574 parents from tourist regions where children have greater risk of trafficking. Law enforcement and child welfare officials conducted surveillance at bus stops, night clubs, gaming houses, and other places frequented by children to identify and interact with students who were at a high risk of sex trafficking. The Ministry of Tourism, Leisure, and External Communications sustained its distribution of pamphlets to hotels and tour operators regarding the responsibility of the tourism sector to combat child sex trafficking. Communication and coordination among the relevant ministries, however, continued to be lacking. There were reports in 2009 that Mauritian nationals may be participating in child sex tourism in Nosy Be, Madagascar; the government took no specific action to address this problem during the year. Inspections conducted by the Ministry of Labor’s 30 labor officers and nine trainee officers in 2009 yielded no cases of forced labor or exploitative child labor.

MEXICO (Tier 2)

Mexico is a large source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Government and NGO statistics suggest that the magnitude of forced labor surpasses that of forced prostitution in Mexico. Groups considered most vulnerable to human trafficking in Mexico include women, children, indigenous persons, and undocumented migrants. Mexican women, girls, and boys are subjected to sexual servitude within the United States and Mexico, lured by false job offers from poor rural regions to urban, border, and tourist areas. Mexican trafficking victims were also subjected to conditions of forced labor in domestic servitude, street begging, and construction in both the United States and Mexico. In one case, 107 trafficking victims, both Mexican and foreign citizens, were freed from a factory disguised as a drug rehabilitation center in Mexico City; many of them had been kidnapped, and all were subjected to forced labor.

The vast majority of foreign victims in forced labor and sexual servitude in Mexico are from Central America, particularly Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador; many transit Mexico en route to the United States and, to a lesser extent, Canada and Western Europe. However, trafficking victims from South America, the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa are also found in Mexico, and some transit the country en route to the United States. Unaccompanied Central American minors, traveling through Mexico to meet family members in the United States, fall victim to human traffickers, particularly near the Guatemalan border. Mexican men and boys from Southern Mexico are found in conditions of forced labor in Northern Mexico, and Central Americans, especially Guatemalans, are subjected to forced labor in southern Mexico, particularly in agriculture. Child sex tourism continues to grow in Mexico, especially in tourist areas such as Acapulco and Cancun, and northern border cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. Most child sex tourists are from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, although some are Mexican citizens. In addition to Mexican drug cartels, organized crime networks from around the world are reportedly involved in human trafficking in Mexico.

The Government of Mexico does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Mexican authorities increased anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and achieved the first convictions under the 2007 anti-trafficking law, in addition to opening a government-funded shelter dedicated to sex trafficking victims. The Secretariat of Government assumed more active leadership of the interagency trafficking commission and the Mexican Congress created its own trafficking commission. Given the magnitude of the trafficking problem, however, the number of human trafficking investigations and convictions remained low. While Mexican officials recognize human trafficking as a serious problem, NGOs and government representatives report that some local officials tolerate and are sometimes complicit in trafficking, impeding implementation of anti-trafficking statues.

Recommendations for Mexico: Approve and implement a National Action Plan for Trafficking in Persons, including increased funding and guidance to federal agencies and state governments for such implementation; increase federal and state efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including complicit public officials; uphold the principle, contained in Article 3 of the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, that a victim’s consent is not relevant when elements of force or coercion are verified; dedicate more resources for victim assistance and ensure that victims receive adequate protection; increase collaboration with NGOs to provide victim care; continue to implement formal procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; and increase anti-trafficking training for judges and law enforcement, including immigration and labor officials.

Prosecution
The Government of Mexico’s overall law enforcement response to human trafficking increased during the reporting period, though efforts were uneven across the country. In 2007, the government enacted federal legislation to prohibit all forms of human trafficking, prescribing penalties of six to 12 years’ imprisonment. Under aggravated circumstances, such as when the victim is a child or lacks mental capacity, penalties increase to nine to 18 years imprisonment; when the convicted offender is a public official, penalties increase by onehalf. The above penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The law does not include a clause rendering victim consent irrelevant if any of the means defined in the crime, such as threat, abduction, abduction or fraud, were used; therefore, the burden of proof regarding consent can be shifted to victims over 18 years of age. However, it is unclear to what extent this could weaken prosecution of trafficking offenders, as the issue has yet to be raised in a federal prosecution. In Mexico’s federalist system, state governments investigate and prosecute some trafficking cases that occur wholly within the country. Federal jurisdiction is invoked, however, in cases involving organized crime, trafficking crimes involving government officials, cases involving three or more individuals, international or inter-state trafficking, and trafficking occurring on federal territory. Twentytwo Mexican states and Mexico City have enacted at least partial anti-trafficking laws prohibiting some or all forms of trafficking, and the statutes in seven states make victim consent irrelevant if any of the means of trafficking are established. As many judges are not familiar with human trafficking laws, some cases of human trafficking may have been prosecuted under other laws, such as rape or child prostitution statutes, under which convictions are easier to achieve.

During the reporting period, the federal government investigated 48 trafficking cases. The Attorney General’s Special Prosecutor’s Office for Violence Against Women and Trafficking in (FEVIMTRA) handles federal trafficking cases involving three or fewer suspects, while the Office of the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime (SIEDO) investigates cases with more than three suspects. With only 10 lawyers dedicated to both cases of violence against women and human trafficking, FEVIMTRA faced challenges in moving from investigations to convictions. As a result of a SIEDO investigation, in December 2009, a federal judge achieved the first convictions under the federal anti-trafficking law in a case involving six trafficking offenders. Five of the six were convicted for trafficking Mexican women and girls to the United States for commercial sexual exploitation; four remain in custody awaiting sentencing and one is serving prison time in the United States. One trafficking suspect, believed to be the ringleader, remains at large. Also during the reporting period, Mexico City’s Special Prosecutor for Trafficking sentenced a trafficking offender to 10 years in prison, producing the first sentence under Mexico’s federal anti-trafficking law and Mexico City’s local anti-trafficking law. In Mexico City, the Office for the Attorney General’s Deputy Prosecutor for Victim’s Assistance conducted four raids of brothels suspected of involvement in human trafficking so far this year. The Mexican federal government continued to provide significant assistance to the U.S. government on cross-border trafficking investigations last year and extradited one Mexican citizen to face trafficking charges in the United States.

NGOs, members of the government, and other observers continued to report that corruption among public officials, especially local law enforcement and judicial and immigration officials, was a significant concern. Some officials reportedly accepted or extorted bribes or sexual services, falsified identity documents, discouraged trafficking victims from reporting their crimes, or tolerated child prostitution and other human trafficking activity in commercial sex sites. Two immigration officials arrested in 2007 for their alleged leadership of an organized criminal group involved in human trafficking were convicted during the reporting period and remain incarcerated pending sentencing. A highlevel immigration official was investigated for suspected involvement in human trafficking.

NGOs noted that many public officials in Mexico, including state and local officials, did not adequately distinguish between alien smuggling and human trafficking offenses and that many judges and police officers are not familiar with anti-trafficking laws. In order to address this problem, both government and outside sources provided some law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and social workers with anti-trafficking training.

Protection
The Mexican government modestly increased its assistance to trafficking victims last year, though the government’s overall efforts remained inadequate. It continued to rely on NGOs, international organizations, and foreign governments to operate and fund the bulk of specialized assistance and services for trafficking victims, particularly adults. Mexican immigration agents implemented a system for identifying potential trafficking victims, particularly among children entering or exiting the country, and referring these victims to care providers, such as NGOs, and 1,333 migration officers received training on identifying and interviewing trafficking victims. The government periodically conducted raids on brothels but did not employ formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among other vulnerable populations, such as migrant workers. With the help of the NGOs, the government rescued over 70 trafficking victims. During the reporting period, FEVIMTRA opened a shelter dedicated to female victims of sex trafficking with a capacity for 70 individuals; the government spent approximately $3.4 million on this facility during the year. The State of Mexico established and funded a shelter for victims of sex trafficking with a capacity for 10 women, although it did not assist any victims during the reporting period. Both shelters are able to provide medical, psychological, and legal services. Mexico’s social welfare agency continued to operate general shelters for children who are victims of violence, which could be accessed by child trafficking victims, though it is unknown if any child trafficking victims were assisted in these shelters. State and municipal governments also provided at least partial support to 34 shelters for women which form part of a greater national network of shelters and emergency attention centers for victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, or human trafficking. Local shelters also opened their doors to trafficking victims. Some shelters were operated and funded by NGOs, international organizations and religious groups. However, according to NGOs, victim services were lacking in some parts of the country and remained inadequate in light of the significant number of trafficking victims. The government continued to issue renewable one-year humanitarian visas to foreign victims who assisted with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, and last year nine trafficking victims received temporary humanitarian parole when they agreed to press charges against their traffickers. Foreign victims who declined to assist law enforcement personnel, however, were repatriated to their home countries and were not eligible for victim aid or services in Mexico. Although authorities encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, many victims in Mexico were afraid to identify themselves or push for legal remedies due to their fears of retribution from trafficking offenders. Furthermore, victims had little incentive to participate due to a culture of impunity, reflected by official complicity, the limited number of trafficking prosecutions and convictions, and the fact that no trafficking victim has been awarded compensation for damages. The law establishes legal protections for trafficking victims, though in practice, according to NGOs, witnesses were not offered sufficient protection. The government provided limited victim services to some repatriated Mexican citizens upon request, and FEVIMTRA directed identified victims to local resources for assistance.

Prevention
Federal and state governments sustained limited trafficking prevention efforts last year. The Mexican government conducted a public awareness campaign through posters and television and radio spots about the danger of human trafficking, and FEVIMTRA spent $1.4 million on its own anti-trafficking prevention campaign. Authorities continued to work towards creating a National Trafficking Action Plan. Mexico publicly endorsed the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Blue Heart Campaign against Human Trafficking, becoming the first country in Latin America to do so. In an effort to address the demand for forced labor, the Secretary of Labor developed a series of workshops and trainings in 2010 to prevent child labor and trafficking for forced labor. It included media materials that explain how labor recruiting agents can deceive individuals in order to recruit them for forced labor. The government continued to forge partnerships with NGOs and international organizations on prevention efforts. The government reported no prosecutions or convictions of child sex tourists.

MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF (Tier 2 Watch List)

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a source country for women subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution in the United States and the U.S. territory of Guam, and has reportedly been a destination for women from China forced into commercial sexual exploitation. The FSM may be a destination country for a few men and women from other Pacific nations who are subjected to conditions of forced labor. Micronesian sex trafficking victims from the state of Chuuk have been identified in Guam and the United States. In one case still before the courts in Guam, 10 young women from the state of Chuuk were lured to Guam by a Micronesian recruiter with promises of well-paying jobs in the service and hospitality sectors. Upon arrival in Guam, the women were forced to engage in prostitution. A physically and mentally disabled young woman from Chuuk was rescued from forced prostitution in Hawaii during the last year.

Very little data on human trafficking in FSM is available as the government made no effort to proactively identify victims despite its history as a source country for victims. The government had not conducted any inquiries, investigations, studies, or surveys on human trafficking.

The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, however it is making significant efforts to do so. In the last year, the government made no discernible efforts to proactively identify victims, prevent future trafficking incidents by educating the public about the dangers of trafficking, or investigate and prosecute suspected trafficking offenses; the Federated States of Micronesia is therefore placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year. The government did, however, provide some police and immigration officials with trafficking awareness training.

Recommendations for the Federated States of Micronesia: Educate officials and the general public on the nature of trafficking crimes and the ways in which these crimes affect FSM; develop and implement a comprehensive anti-trafficking law applicable in all four states; create or support prevention campaigns to raise awareness of the dangers of trafficking; monitor the practices of overseas employment recruiters, and investigate recruiters who may be engaged in fraudulent recruiting that leads to trafficking; and develop an internal structure which ensures victims’ access to protective services.

Prosecution
The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia made no discernible progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. The government did not take steps to investigate, prosecute or punish any suspected trafficking offenders during the reporting period. The FSM national police would have jurisdiction over transnational trafficking crimes, although no specific or comprehensive federal laws prohibit forms of human trafficking such as slavery, forced labor, or forced prostitution. Each of the four states could prosecute trafficking offenses under related laws. Penalties for trafficking offenses under these laws range from five to 10 years’ imprisonment and are sufficiently stringent. Officials received no reports of trafficking cases during this reporting period. The Police Academy featured training on recognizing trafficking victims, as well as the difference between human trafficking and alien smuggling. The Academy also discussed trafficking interdiction techniques. No formal plan to act on the training is currently in place. A foreign government provided anti-trafficking training to the Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) as part of its overall support of the TCU’s activities. The TCU, part of the Pacific Transnational Crime network, remained the main conduit for general law enforcement information coming from international sources. Law enforcement agencies operated under significant resource, personnel, and capacity constraints. There was no evidence of official complicity in trafficking crimes, or of government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking on a local or institutional level.

Protection
During the reporting period, the government made no apparent efforts to proactively identify potential trafficking victims, and did not take steps to develop or implement formal or informal procedures to refer identified or suspected trafficking victims for appropriate services. During the year, FSM officials did not receive reports from other sources of any trafficking victims within the country’s borders, and did not, to their knowledge, provide services to any victims of trafficking. Identified or suspected trafficking victims would have access to the very limited social services and legal assistance provided by government agencies to any victim of crime. No NGOs knowingly provided services to any victims of trafficking crimes independently or in cooperation with the government. FSM has no laws specifically protecting trafficking victims or witnesses. While no specific civil remedy for trafficking victims is spelled out in the state or national codes, each state’s code does provide general redress for personal injuries caused by another. Victims may bring personal injury civil suits against traffickers, although no suits have ever been filed. The law did not provide specific legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they faced hardship or retribution. Judges, however, have the discretion to issue an order allowing any foreign victims of crime to remain in the country.

Prevention
The government made minimal efforts to prevent trafficking or increase the public’s awareness of trafficking risks in FSM and the region during the reporting period. Evidence and anecdotal reports suggest that the current number of internal or transnational trafficking victims is relatively low; the government’s limited resources were thus often directed to meet more emergent priorities. Immigration authorities claim to look for evidence of trafficking at ports of entry. Upper-level managers at the Division of Immigration and Labor attended seminars that discussed trafficking. The government did initiate anti-trafficking training for new police recruits in the last two police academy classes. In May 2009, the former FSM Ambassador to the United States was convicted of selling sample FSM passports maintained at the Embassy in Washington D.C. for personal financial gain, and sentenced to 30 months’ imprisonment and a fine. Although authorities have not yet shown that the case clearly involved the transnational movement of trafficking victims, the former Ambassador was facilitating the illegal cross-border movement of irregular migrants from populations throughout the region that are consistently identified as trafficking victims. FSM supports no anti-trafficking task forces or working groups. The government conducted no campaigns aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts. Micronesia is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

MOLDOVA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Moldova is a source and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women and girls subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and for men, women, and children in conditions of forced labor. Moldovan women are subjected to forced prostitution in Turkey, Russia, Cyprus, Bulgaria, the UAE, Kosovo, Israel, Lebanon, Italy, Greece, Ukraine, and Romania. Men, women, and children are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Russia and Ukraine in the construction, agriculture, and service sectors. Some children from Moldova are subjected to conditions of forced begging in some neighboring countries. Some women from Ukraine and also Moldovan girls and women are trafficked within the country from rural areas to Chisinau and subjected to forced prostitution. Men from Turkey travel to Moldova for the purpose of sex tourism. The small breakaway region of Transnistria in eastern Moldova is outside the central government’s control and remained a source for victims of both forced labor and forced prostitution.

The Government of Moldova does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government again did not demonstrate sufficient efforts to prosecute, convict, or punish any government officials complicit in trafficking, which remained a significant obstacle to effective anti-trafficking reforms; therefore, Moldova is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year. The new government demonstrated a high-level commitment to trafficking by establishing a cabinet-level national committee on trafficking led by the foreign minister and, for the first time, fully funded and staffed the Permanent Secretariat of the National Committee for Preventing Trafficking in Persons. Moldovan authorities demonstrated sustained, strong efforts to identify and refer victims for assistance and the government continued funding the government and IOM-run trafficking assistance center.

Recommendations for Moldova: Demonstrate vigorous efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict government officials complicit in trafficking, and seek criminal punishment of any guilty officials; improve child trafficking victim protection by encouraging law enforcement to consult with NGO experts during the victim interview process; improve cooperation between local anti-trafficking commissions and local law enforcement; conduct awareness and prevention campaigns targeted at children living in orphanages – a population highly vulnerable to trafficking; continue efforts to improve data collection on trafficking cases through all stages of the penal process, including investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences prescribed for convicted trafficking offenders; continue to provide funding for victim assistance and protection; continue efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims, including child and adult victims trafficked within Moldova; and consider prevention activities specifically targeted at reducing the demand for human trafficking in Moldova.

Prosecution
The Government of Moldova demonstrated uneven progress in its efforts to combat human trafficking. Although the government increased the number of trafficking offenders convicted during the reporting period, it did not demonstrate significant efforts to prosecute, convict, or criminally punish government officials complicit in human trafficking. The Moldovan government prohibits all forms of trafficking through Articles 165 and 206 of its criminal code. Penalties prescribed range from five to 20 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape. In order to harmonize local law with EU standards as part of a larger EU integration process, the government amended its criminal code to reduce the length of all trafficking-related criminal penalties in May 2009; the amendments reduced the minimum and maximum penalties for trafficking from seven years’ to life imprisonment to five to 20 years’ imprisonment. Although the government continued its efforts to improve the collection of trafficking statistics, concerns remained regarding the accuracy of data reported. The government reported initiating 206 trafficking investigations, down from 246 reported in 2008. Authorities prosecuted 70 individuals for sex trafficking offenses in 2009, compared with 127 trafficking prosecutions in 2008. Courts convicted 65 trafficking offenders during the reporting period, an increase from 58 convictions reported in 2008. Forty-three convicted offenders were prescribed sentences ranging from five to 10 years’ imprisonment. The remaining 22 convicted offenders received probation or paid a fine and did not serve time in prison.

Despite continued reports of corruption related to human trafficking, the government has yet to convict an official for complicity in human trafficking during the reporting period. In December 2009, the government again launched a criminal investigation into a high-profile case dating back to 2006 involving multiple government officials allegedly involved in protecting a well-known international sex trafficker; to date there have been no government officials prosecuted, convicted, or criminally punished in this case. The government did not provide updated information on the status of the prosecution of a trial court judge suspected of trafficking complicity, as reported in the 2009 TIP Report. Further, the government did not report efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, or criminally punish any low-level government officials complicit in trafficking, including low-level police officers or border guards.

Protection
Moldova improved its victim protection efforts during the reporting period. The government provided approximately $50,700 in funding for a primary shelter it operated in partnership with the IOM for repatriated adult and child victims, compared with $52,000 allocated by the government for the shelter in 2008. The center provided temporary shelter, legal and medical assistance, psychological counseling, and vocational training to 130 victims during the reporting period. In total, 159 victims were identified and assisted by IOM and government authorities, including 133 victims identified and referred for assistance by government authorities. The government encouraged victims to assist law enforcement with trafficking investigations and prosecutions; in 2009, 189 victims assisted law enforcement during criminal proceedings. The government applied the 2008 witness protection law for the first time to assist two victims of trafficking who chose to assist government prosecutions during the reporting period. Moldovan law exempts trafficking victims from criminal prosecution for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. There were no reports of victims being punished and NGOs did not document instances of trafficking victims’ rights being violated in court in 2009. One foreign victim was identified by the government and assisted by a center operated by the government and IOM. Moldova provided legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face retribution or hardship. The government has yet to address ongoing concerns about the lack of specialized protections for child victims of trafficking; children are often interviewed multiple times over the course of several hours by police without special training and some are confronted and threatened by their traffickers.

Prevention
The government demonstrated increasingly significant prevention efforts during the reporting period. The majority of public outreach and trafficking awareness efforts were conducted by NGOs in close coordination with the government at the national and regional levels. In 2009, the government-operated National Referral System increased its efforts to raise public awareness in order to warn potential victims of the dangers of trafficking through its system of 34 regional multidisciplinary commissions. Operating on a local level, these commissions consist of representatives from NGOs, social workers, medical personnel, police, prosecutors, and local public administration officials. The commissions met on a regular basis, usually once a month, to deal with trafficking issues including organizing public awareness events, discussing reintegration efforts for victims, and updating information about any possible cases. Although these commissions had been meeting sporadically in 2008, 2009 was the first full year of their operation. IOM and NGOs working in this field credit prevention efforts conducted by these commissions for the reduction of identified victims during the reporting period. In April 2009, the government implemented a new law simplifying birth registration procedures, which enabled birth certificates to be issued before the mother and child are discharged from the hospital; such an effort may make Moldovan citizens less vulnerable to trafficking because they will have legitimate identification documents. In 2009, members from the National Center for Combating Trafficking in Persons participated in 10 interviews broadcast on radio and TV and again conducted seminars on trafficking prevention in schools and universities and provided outreach to church leaders. The government did not conduct awareness activities aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex.

MONGOLIA (Tier 2)

Mongolia is a source country, and to a much lesser extent, a destination for men, women, and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced prostitution and forced labor. Mongolian men, women, and children are found in these conditions in China, Macau, Malaysia, South Korea, and Hong Kong. Mongolian men and women have been found in conditions of forced labor in Turkey, Kazakhstan, and the Czech Republic. Visa-free travel of Mongolians to Turkey has resulted in a significant increase in the number of both labor and sex trafficking cases of Mongolian labor migrants in Turkey. There remain concerns about involuntary child labor in the Mongolian construction, mining, and industrial sectors, where children are vulnerable to injury and face severe health hazards. The problem of Mongolian women subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude after engaging in brokered marriages – mainly to South Korean men – continues. Trafficking within Mongolia often involves women and girls forced to work in saunas or massage parlors where they are subjected to forced prostitution. Anecdotal reports continue to indicate that South Korean and Japanese tourists engage in child sex tourism in Mongolia.

During the year, the first ever documented case of Mongolia as a destination country involved two Filipina women who became victims of involuntary domestic servitude in the homes of wealthy Mongolian families after responding to online advertisements for work. Many victims originally sought employment through fraudulent newspaper or television advertisements, and traffickers continue to use technology like “TV Chat” to lure victims. Many victims are recruited by acquaintances, friends, and family, and victims often have their travel documents confiscated. Around 250 North Koreans are employed in Mongolia as contract laborers – an increase from 150 last year, despite concerns that North Korean workers overseas do not appear to be free to leave their employment, have their freedom of movement and communication restricted, and receive an unknown fraction of the money paid to the North Korean government for their work.

The Government of Mongolia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government sustained partnerships with NGOs on anti-trafficking prevention measures. Nevertheless, the government did not demonstrate adequate efforts to proactively identify and protect victims of trafficking, leading to few victims coming forward to assist in the prosecution of their traffickers. The government’s lack of adequate guidance on the use of the country’s amended anti-trafficking article of law continues to cause courts to charge trafficking offenders under a lesser offense, resulting in shorter sentences. Corruption remains a key barrier to anti-trafficking progress.

Recommendations for Mongolia: Increase cooperation with civil society to train prosecutors and judicial officials to encourage the effective use of Article 113 to prosecute trafficking offenders; amend relevant laws or criminal justice procedures to allow authorities to proactively investigate and prosecute trafficking cases; pass a law to ensure the provision of victim and witness protection; establish a central anti-trafficking police unit; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute government officials complicit in trafficking; create and implement formal victim identification procedures and train police and border officials to identify trafficking victims and refer them to appropriate victim services; increase cooperation with NGOs providing victim assistance; cease the employment of North Korean contract laborers, whose treatment by North Korean authorities may constitute trafficking; implement and support a visible anti-trafficking awareness campaign directed at clients of the sex trade; make efforts to track law enforcement statistics on trafficking cases and trafficking victims identified and assisted by authorities; and continue collaboration with international organizations and civil society to build capacity to combat trafficking in persons.

Prosecution
The Mongolian government continued its efforts to enforce anti-trafficking laws during the reporting period. Mongolia prohibits all forms of human trafficking through Article 113 of Mongolia’s Criminal Code, which was amended in 2007 and which prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent – up to 15 years’ imprisonment – and commensurate with those penalties prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. In spite of significant legal and technical assistance from foreign donors, Mongolia’s Supreme Court has interpreted the amended Article 113 in a way that has created ambiguities as to when prosecutors and judges should apply the law. This interpretation by the country’s highest court, which notes that individuals who know they are being transported for sex work cannot be classified as trafficking victims under Article 113, is in violation of the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, which Mongolia has ratified. The Supreme Court’s interpretation continues to confuse judicial officials, causing trafficking offenders to be prosecuted under the lesser offense of forced prostitution (Article 124). The government prosecuted 11 individuals in four trafficking cases under Article 113, and secured convictions of nine trafficking offenders, all of whom were sex trafficking offenders, compared with 11 convictions in the previous reporting period. The government has never prosecuted an offender of labor trafficking, and the Supreme Court’s narrow interpretation of Article 113 serves as an impediment to the prosecution of labor trafficking cases in Mongolia. Those convicted under Article 113 received sentences of six to 15 years’ imprisonment. An additional five sex trafficking offenders were convicted under Article 124, two of whom were sentenced to one year’s imprisonment; the remaining three have not yet been sentenced. In September 2009, due to the misclassification of a trafficking case that was prosecuted under Article 124 instead of Article 113, the government granted amnesty to a trafficker who was convicted of raping and forcing a girl into prostitution. As a result, the offender did not serve any time in prison. In October 2009, Mongolian courts ordered trafficking offenders to compensate five victims trafficked to Macau $3,000 each, in addition to significant imposed jail sentences; this decision is under appeal. According to Mongolian law, criminal cases are only initiated upon a victim’s complaint, and victims are required to assist in the prosecution of their traffickers. This requirement, along with the lack of victim and witness protection mechanisms in Mongolia, causes many victims to refuse to report to police instances of trafficking out of fear of retribution from their traffickers, and restricts their ability to obtain restitution from courts. Corruption among law enforcement personnel remains a significant problem in Mongolia and a barrier to anti-trafficking progress, though the government has never investigated or taken disciplinary actions against law enforcement officers involved in trafficking-related corruption. In November 2009, police authorities of the border town Zamyn-Uud signed a memorandum of understanding with counterparts in the adjacent Chinese border town of Erlian covering cooperation against human trafficking.

Protection
During the reporting period, the government referred 18 victims to an NGO shelter. The NGO reported assisting these victims, and identifying and assisting an additional 61 victims not identified by the government, most of whom were referred from friends and family members of victims. The government did not demonstrate use of systematic procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as women detained for involvement in prostitution, or migrant laborers returning from abroad, and did not maintain statistics on the number of trafficking victims identified by authorities. The government did not provide specialized training to officials on victim identification. Victims were sometimes punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, such as being prosecuted on prostitution charges. Officials did not refer trafficking victims to appropriate services. The government did not run any shelters for victims of trafficking, nor did it provide direct assistance to Mongolian trafficking victims repatriated from other countries or foreign victims of trafficking identified in Mongolia. The government provided $10,000 to the National Center Against Violence, which primarily sheltered domestic violence victims but also sometimes shelters trafficking victims. The government provided one NGO with $3,000 to counsel and assist children vulnerable to trafficking. Although the government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders, Mongolian law continued to lack protection provisions for victims who served as prosecution witnesses, which put victims in great danger. The Mongolian government provided legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face retribution or hardship.

Prevention
The Government of Mongolia continued modest trafficking prevention activities through partnerships with NGOs, international organizations, and foreign donors. Officials continued the distribution of NGO-sponsored passport and train ticket inserts on the dangers of trafficking and resources available for victims to some Mongolians traveling abroad. With NGO funding, the government cooperated on the production of public service announcements to raise public awareness about trafficking, and broadcasted them on television channels. During the reporting period, Mongolia forged partnerships with Kazakhstan and the OSCE to host an international workshop on trafficking. The government did not take any measures during the reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Mongolian troops were briefed on the criminal nature of solicitation of prostitution, but did not receive training specific to human trafficking.

MONTENEGRO (Tier 2)

Montenegro is a transit, source, and destination country for men, women, and girls who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically conditions of forced prostitution and forced labor. Trafficking victims are mostly females from Ukraine, Moldova, Serbia, Albania, and Kosovo, who migrate or are smuggled through the country en route to other destinations and subjected to conditions of forced prostitution in Montenegro. Roma children are coerced into organized street begging in the country. According to NGOs and international experts, mainly foreign men and boys are subjected to forced labor in Montenegro’s growing construction industry. Montenegrin women and girls are subjected to forced prostitution within the country and in other Balkan countries; anecdotal reports indicate at least one Montenegrin girl was subjected to conditions of forced prostitution in Serbia during the reporting period. Anecdotal reports in 2009 also indicated some women and girls from Kosovo and other countries in this region are subjected to conditions of forced prostitution in Montenegro. Criminal networks operating in Montenegro’s expanding tourism industry are reportedly engaged in trafficking for the purpose forced prostitution. According to the Human Rights Commissioner for the Council of Europe, several sources question the Montenegrin government’s official stance that Montenegro does not have a considerable trafficking problem.

The Government of Montenegro does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Montenegro made some important progress during the reporting period and, for the first time, publically acknowledged a trafficking problem in Montenegro. During 2009, the government improved the referral of some potential victims to providers of victim assistance, took initial steps to address trafficking-related complicity, and implemented anti-trafficking prevention programs aimed at vulnerable populations in Montenegro. However, NGOs and international organizations continued to report insufficient capacity among relevant government agencies to identify potential trafficking victims. Moreover, trafficking-related complicity impeded the government’s ability to genuinely tackle its trafficking problem. Despite conducting numerous labor inspections of construction sites throughout the year, the government did not identify any suspected victims of forced labor in the construction sector during the year.

Recommendations for Montenegro: Vigorously investigate and aggressively prosecute sex trafficking and labor trafficking crimes in Montenegro, and convict and sentence trafficking offenders, including public officials complicit in trafficking; increase efforts to identify potential victims among vulnerable groups, such as women arrested for prostitution violations, undocumented migrants, refugees and displaced persons – particularly Roma – and child beggars, and refer them to the government shelter or NGO service providers; improve protections for potential victim witnesses to empower more victims to become witnesses who testify against their traffickers; improve specific protections for child victims of trafficking; and improve anti-trafficking training for labor inspectors to increase identification of potential forced labor victims.

Prosecution
The Government of Montenegro demonstrated some improvement in its law enforcement response to human trafficking in 2009. Montenegro prohibits sex and labor trafficking through Article 444 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties of up to 10 years’ imprisonment – penalties that are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for rape. In 2009, the government investigated and prosecuted 14 trafficking suspects and convicted 11 trafficking offenders; courts acquitted three persons. Sentences imposed on the 11 convicted offenders ranged from one to five years in prison. According to the government, five convicted traffickers were actually serving their sentences at the time of this report. Under Montenegrin law, some convicted offenders, including traffickers, were entitled to four weekend furloughs a year, if they met certain conditions and have completed two-thirds of their jail time. During the reporting period, the government arrested and initiated prosecutions of 10 adults for organizing and forcing their own relatives, young Roma children, to beg. The government, through its anti-trafficking National Coordinator, established a mechanism to greatly improve the government’s ability to provide information on its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2009. According to a Council of Europe’s 2009 Report, corruption involving low-level law enforcement and customs officials hampered the government’s anti-trafficking efforts, particularly with officers working overtime providing security in bars and nightclubs. Notably, in February 2010, law enforcement officers arrested three policemen working as guards in night clubs in Podgorica and Ulcin for their suspected involvement in the forced prostitution of girls. The government, however, subsequently charged these officers for abuse of authority. The government continued to mandate that all police trainees receive anti-trafficking training at an academy in Danilovgrad and continued to ensure one officer in each police station in Montenegro to handle trafficking cases. Throughout the year, the National Coordinator’s office organized and funded anti-trafficking training of law enforcement personnel, members of the judiciary, and other stakeholders; through partnerships with the government, anti-trafficking NGOs provided government officials with specific training on the identification of trafficking victims and sensitive questioning techniques.

Protection
The Government of Montenegro made important progress in protecting trafficking victims in 2009. NGOs continued to report, however, that the government’s implementation of victim identification procedures remained inadequate. The government funded a trafficking victim shelter during the reporting period, providing approximately $109,200 to cover the costs of the NGO’s provision of psychological care, legal aid, and vocational training to trafficking victims. The government improved its implementation of a formal victim referral mechanism, evident in its referral of an increased number of potential sex trafficking victims for care in 2009 – 13, compared with only two referred in 2008. Police also referred a higher number of Roma children subjected to conditions of forced begging in 2009. The government provided temporary care and shelter for most of these rescued children in the Center for Children and Youth. However, many of the suspected traffickers were believed to be the victim’s relatives; 76 of these victims were returned to their places of residence in Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina. Local police misunderstanding of trafficking continued to be an impediment to proper victim identification; one international expert reported that police sometimes accused trafficking victims of being mentally disturbed.

During 2009, Montenegrin authorities conducted 13,518 labor inspections of construction sites and found 8,320 violations of labor standards, though there were no suspected victims of forced labor identified as a result of these inspections. The government encouraged victims to participate in the investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenders, though in practice, few victims cooperated with authorities beyond giving statements to the police due to fear of reprisals. NGOs reported that victims often changed their initial statements to police out of fear. The government reported that it ensured that trafficking victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The government reported it offered potential trafficking victims temporary residency status in Montenegro; however none of the potential trafficking victims chose to apply for this status in 2009.

Prevention
The Montenegrin government intensified its efforts in the prevention of human trafficking during the year, and for the first time, it acknowledged a human trafficking problem in Montenegro. During the reporting period, the government continued to fund various public awareness campaigns in partnership with international organizations to educate potential victims about trafficking. This included organizing roundtable discussions, anti-trafficking workshops, and poster and hotline advertisements; holding classes in schools; distributing anti-trafficking brochures and passport inserts; posting anti-trafficking billboards; and producing and broadcasting a trafficking documentary. Further, the government updated its website to increase anti-trafficking information provided to the public.

In October 2009, the government, in partnership with an NGO forum, conducted training on recognizing trafficked children in an orphanage in Bijela and among Roma children in the Konik refugee camp in Podgorica. In February 2010, the national anti-trafficking Office of TIP Coordinator, in coordination with OSCE organized a regional conference of national coordinators in the Balkans.

MOROCCO (Tier 2)

Morocco is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children who are subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. Children are trafficked within the country from rural areas to urban centers to work as maids or laborers, or for commercial sexual exploitation. Moroccan men, women, and children are exploited for forced labor and prostitution in European and Middle Eastern countries. Young Moroccan girls from rural areas are recruited to work as child maids in cities, but often experience non-payment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse, and sometimes face restrictions on movement. These practices indicate that these girls are subjected to involuntary servitude. Moroccan boys experience forced labor as apprentices in the artisan and construction industries and in mechanic shops. Moroccan women are forced into prostitution in Gulf States – including the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain – Jordan, Libya, Syria, and European countries; some of them experience restrictions on movement, threats, and emotional and physical abuse. Some Moroccan men reportedly are promised jobs in the Gulf but experience confiscation of their passports and are coerced into debt bondage after arrival. A few Moroccan men and boys are lured to Europe by fraudulent job offers, and are subsequently forced to sell drugs. In addition, men and women from sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and the Philippines enter Morocco voluntarily but illegally with the assistance of smugglers; once in Morocco, some of the women are coerced into prostitution or, less frequently, forced into domestic service. Nigerian gangs, who engage in a variety of criminal activities like people smuggling and drug trafficking, compete to control the trafficking of sub-Saharan Africans in Morocco.

The Government of Morocco does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government convicted one person who subjected a 13 year-old child domestic worker to forced labor, though it continued to lack overall progress in the following areas: convicting and punishing trafficking offenders with punishments commensurate with the heinous nature of the offense; proactively identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable groups; and ensuring that foreign trafficking victims are not subject to arrest and deportation. The government also continues to conflate migrant smuggling and human trafficking.

Recommendations for Morocco: Enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation that increases prescribed penalties for forced labor; significantly increase prosecutions of trafficking offenders; institute a victim identification mechanism; ensure that identified victims are not punished for acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; encourage victims to participate in investigations against their traffickers, including by offering relief from deportation; improve data collection and reporting, including the disaggregation of data between human trafficking and people smuggling; ensure that potential trafficking victims do not suffer physical abuse at the hands of Moroccan police; conduct public awareness campaigns, encompassing child sex tourism; and heed the recommendations of the IOM’s recent report on human trafficking in Morocco.

Prosecution
The Government of Morocco made progress in investigating trafficking offenses and punishing trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Moroccan law appears to prohibit all forms of trafficking. Its Penal Code prohibits forced child labor through Article 467, forced labor through Article 10, and forced prostitution and prostitution of a minor through Articles 497-499. The Government of Morocco reports that it also employs the Immigration Law of 2003 and other statutes, such as those prohibiting kidnapping, fraud, and coercion, to prosecute trafficking offenses; however, it has not provided any information on cases tried under these laws. Penalties prescribed by these various statutes for sex trafficking offenses are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In contrast, penalties prescribed for labor trafficking offenses appear not to be sufficiently stringent; penalties for child labor under Article 467 range from one to three years’ imprisonment, while general penalties for forced labor under Article 10 are limited to fines for first-time offenders or six days’ to three months’ imprisonment for repeat offenders. The government took criminal action against at least one high-profile case of physical or sexual abuse of child domestic workers. In October 2009, a court convicted the wife of a judge who subjected a child domestic worker to forced labor; she was convicted of intentional assault and battery on a child under the age of 15, as well as the use of a weapon with malicious intent, and sentenced to three and a half years’ imprisonment. The Ministry of Justice reported that it prosecuted 138 individuals for exploitation of a child for begging and 203 individuals for facilitating the prostitution of a child for the most recent year in which data was available; it is unclear how many, if any, of these prosecutions involved human trafficking offenses. Their sentences ranged from one month to two years’ imprisonment. The government reported that it broke up 130 trafficking or smuggling rings in 2009. However, the government made no distinction between migrant smuggling and trafficking, so it was unclear how many, if any, were truly human trafficking rings.

Protection
Morocco made limited progress in protecting victims of trafficking over the last year. Foreign trafficking victims are often treated as undocumented migrants, subject to arrest and deportation. Government officials continued to detain and deport large numbers of undocumented sub-Saharan migrants without taking adequate steps to identify trafficking victims among them. These detained migrants, some of whom may have been trafficking victims, were usually left at the Algerian border, often without food or water. There were reports that some were robbed, assaulted, and sexually abused by criminal gangs that operate in the area. The government did not offer legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims of trafficking to countries where they might face retribution or hardship. Morocco does not encourage victims to participate in investigations against their traffickers. Some victims reportedly testified but were subsequently deported. Sub-Saharan African women who are forced into prostitution in Morocco were not likely to report crimes for fear of being deported. NGOs provided most services to domestic victims of trafficking. Undocumented migrants – some of whom may have been trafficking victims – reportedly suffered physical abuse at the hands of Moroccan police. Government-operated Child Protection Units in Casablanca and Marrakesh offered assistance to street children and other victims of violence, abuse, and sexual exploitation, possibly including victims of trafficking. The government also operated a hotline that referred women and children who are victims of violence and sexual assault to women’s groups for possible assistance. It is uncertain if any trafficking victims were identified or protected through the hotline in the reporting period. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moroccan diplomatic missions provided assistance to Moroccans who were trafficked abroad.

Prevention
The Moroccan government made some efforts in preventing human trafficking over the last year. The government included anti-human trafficking modules in training programs for the Royal Gendarmerie, the Auxiliary Forces, and the police. In April 2009, the Ministry of Justice conducted an awareness raising course for magistrates about victim protection and working with trafficking victims who have been affected by violence or sexual exploitation. The government’s labor inspectors, who were appointed as child labor focal points in each of the 45 inspector offices, received training from an international organization during the year. Authorities did not raise public awareness of the commercial sexual exploitation of children and women and did not take any reported measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The Moroccan government provided birth certificates for all nationals, including children in isolated rural areas, and issued national identity cards for all citizens on their 18th birthday. All Moroccan soldiers participating in UN peacekeeping missions receive training on the issue of commercial sexual exploitation. The Moroccan government cooperated with the IOM in preparing a publically available report that included a comprehensive overview of the government’s strengths and weaknesses on trafficking issues and included recommendations for legislative and policy reforms. Morocco is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

MOZAMBIQUE (Tier 2 Watch List)

Mozambique is a source and, to a much lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced prostitution. The use of forced and bonded child laborers is common in rural areas of the country, often with the complicity of family members. Women and girls from these rural areas are also lured to cities with promises of employment or education, as well as to South Africa for involuntary domestic servitude and forced prostitution. NGOs report that Mozambican victims of sex traffickers were taken by traffickers to “training centers” in Swaziland and South Africa in preparation for an expected increase in demand for prostitution during the 2010 World Cup. Young Mozambican men and boys are subjected to conditions of forced labor in South African farms and mines; they often labor for months in South Africa without pay and under coercive conditions before being turned over to police for deportation as illegal migrants. Mozambican adults are subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution in Portugal. Women and girls from Zimbabwe and Malawi who voluntarily migrate to Mozambique continue to be manipulated by traffickers into forced prostitution and domestic servitude subsequent to their arrival. Traffickers are typically part of loose, informal networks of Mozambican or South African citizens; however, larger Chinese and reportedly Nigerian trafficking syndicates are also active in Mozambique. Human traffickers’ internal and cross-border routes are also used to smuggle illicit drugs; often the same facilitators transport both drugs and trafficked victims. In addition, South Asian alien smugglers who move South Asian undocumented migrants throughout Africa reportedly also transport trafficking victims through Mozambique. Internal and transnational trafficking in persons for the purposes of forcible organ removal to support an off-shoot of the traditional healing industry in South Africa and Mozambique is significant. Witch doctors in Mozambique and other countries forcibly remove various body parts from children and adults, either while the victims are still alive or immediately following violent death, for use in “traditional” medical concoctions intended to heal illness, foster economic advancement, or hurt enemies.

The Government of Mozambique does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, including work on the development of implementing regulations for its new anti-trafficking law, the government did not show evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking, particularly efforts to prosecute or convict trafficking offenders as it has done in the past, or to investigate continuing reports of government officials’ complicity in trafficking crimes. Therefore, Mozambique is placed on Tier 2 Watch List.

Recommendations for Mozambique: Take concrete steps to implement regulations for the 2008 anti-trafficking law; make greater efforts to prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders; launch a nationwide public awareness campaign; build the capacity of the police anti-trafficking unit and victim support units to investigate cases and provide short-term protection to victims; and investigate reports of official complicity in human trafficking and vigorously prosecute, where appropriate, those implicated in trafficking offenses.

Prosecution
The government demonstrated minimal progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. In September 2008, the government enacted a new comprehensive human trafficking law. The law prescribes penalties of 16 to 20 years’ imprisonment for those recruiting or facilitating the exploitation of a person for purposes of prostitution, forced labor, slavery, or involuntary debt servitude; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those for other serious crimes. During 2009, the government again budgeted $360,000 to support enforcement of the law and for a second year did not allocate this funding to any government entity. Implementing regulations for the law have not been issued; without these regulations, the police were not generally in a position to arrest suspected trafficking offenders and conduct an investigation that could successfully support a court case. The government formed partnerships with NGOs to provide anti-trafficking seminars for new police officers throughout the country. Police reported arresting trafficking offenders and breaking up several trafficking schemes during the year, including the arrest of at least one suspected trafficking ringleader. In January 2010, police arrested a man in Beira for allegedly running a criminal ring involved in the sale of hard drugs and in sex trafficking. The media reported that the suspect had at least one police officer on her payroll. In March 2010, police arrested eight traffickers after being alerted by undercover journalists that the traffickers had offered to “sell” them several girls and women. Within weeks, all of the suspects were released on bail. Traffickers commonly bribed law enforcement officials to allow their movement of trafficking victims internally and across national borders into South Africa and Swaziland, sometimes without passports. There is no evidence of widespread government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking; however, there are known cases of government officials facilitating human trafficking. No officials have been investigated, detained, or prosecuted for complicity in trafficking crimes. For the first time, police began to keep statistics on trafficking victims; this data was not available at the time of publication.

Protection
The Mozambican government showed little progress in its efforts to protect victims, as it continued to suffer from limited resources and a lack of political commitment. Funding for victims’ assistance remained rudimentary, and government officials regularly relied on NGOs to provide shelter, counseling, food, and rehabilitation. The government continued to lack formalized procedures for identifying potential victims of trafficking and referring them to organizations providing protective services. The Office of Assistance to Women and Vulnerable Children continued its partnership with a network of anti-trafficking NGOs to respond quickly to tips on potential trafficking cases and provide care and protection to victims. UNICEF helped police establish the first-ever police station specifically designed to assist women and children, including trafficking victims, in Maputo. A dedicated toll-free number, “116,” became fully operational in November 2009, allowing persons to report crimes against children, including trafficking. Line “116” received 5,239 calls from November through December 2009, though it is not known how many of these were related to human trafficking. An NGO managed the country’s only permanent shelter for child trafficking victims, which operated on land donated by the Moamba District government. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers and did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The government did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they would face hardship or retribution.

Prevention
The government’s prevention efforts remained weak during the reporting period. The government did not launch a nationwide campaign to foster awareness of trafficking among government officials and private citizens. As a result, most Mozambicans, including many law enforcement officials, reportedly lacked a clear understanding of what constitutes trafficking. Officials met regularly with the Anti-Trafficking Forum, which provided a mechanism through which the government and its NGO partners could discuss trafficking issues and coordinate their anti-trafficking activities. Most anti-trafficking educational workshops were run by NGOs with some government participation. Media coverage of trafficking cases or issues significantly diminished over the past year, although a sting operation which led to the arrest of eight Mozambican and Chinese sex traffickers in March 2010 was featured prominently in the news. Law enforcement officials and partner NGOs monitored major border crossings and immigration patterns for indications of potential trafficking victims, but these officials remained prone to complicity with traffickers. The Ministry of Justice worked with a network of NGOs to develop an anti-trafficking strategy for the 2010 World Cup, which may increase the incidence of trafficked Mozambicans transported to South Africa for commercial sexual exploitation, but implementation was poor. The government did not take any significant measures to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts during the year.



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