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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Country Narratives: Countries G Through M


Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Report
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GABON (Tier 2)

Gabon is primarily a destination and transit country for children and women from Benin, Nigeria, Togo, Mali, Guinea, and other West African countries who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Some victims transit Gabon en route to Equatorial Guinea. The majority of victims are boys forced to work as street hawkers or mechanics. Girls are subjected to domestic servitude and forced labor in markets or roadside restaurants. Traffickers appear to operate in loose, ethnic-based crime networks. Most child traffickers are women, who serve as intermediaries in the victims’ countries of origin. In some cases, child victims report that their families turned them over to intermediaries promising employment opportunities in Gabon. There is evidence that some traffickers have moved their operations to Lambarene to avoid detection in Libreville. Reports indicate the involvement of Nigerian syndicates in bringing trafficking victims to Gabon. West African women are forced into domestic service 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. The government maintained strong prosecution efforts during the year through the initiation of prosecutions of eight alleged trafficking offenders – several of whom remain in prison awaiting trial – and presidential approval of a Ministry of Justice request to hold and fund a special session of the High Court to prosecute pending trafficking cases. The government made strong efforts to protect victims during the year, working with several governments in the region to repatriate 10 foreign victims of trafficking, following their stay in shelters operated by the government or in government-supported NGO shelters. The Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) actively and effectively oversaw the efforts of vigilance committees – present in seven provincial capitals – that coordinated between departments on victim care and case follow-up. It also finalized the 2012 National Action Plan. Nonetheless, the government failed to convict any trafficking offenders in 2011.

Recommendations for Gabon: Increase efforts to prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders by convening the High Court; draft and enact provisions prohibiting the trafficking of adults; continue to strengthen cooperation between police, immigration, and gendarmerie to address trafficking cases jointly; and develop a system to track trafficking cases and provide relevant law enforcement and victim protection statistics.

Prosecution

The Government of Gabon maintained strong law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Existing laws do not prohibit all forms of human trafficking, including bonded labor. Law 09/04, “Concerning the Prevention and the Fight Against the Trafficking of Children in the Gabonese Republic,” enacted in September 2004, prohibits child trafficking for both labor and sexual exploitation and prescribes penalties of five to 15 years’ imprisonment, along with fines the equivalent of $20,000 to $40,000; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Penal code Article 261 prohibits the procuring of a child for the purpose of prostitution and prescribes a sufficiently stringent penalty of two to five years’ imprisonment. Law 21/63-94 prohibits forced prostitution of adults and prescribes sufficiently stringent penalties of two to 10 years’ imprisonment, which are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Penal code Article 48 prohibits the use of children in illegal activities, prescribing penalties of five to 10 years’ imprisonment. Title 1, Article 4 of the Gabonese labor code (Law 3/94) criminalizes all forms of forced labor, prescribing penalties of one to six months’ imprisonment, which are not sufficiently stringent. During the year, the government revised Law 3/94 to list specifically both acceptable and prohibited forms of work for those younger than 16 years of age. The government made minimal efforts to harmonize its legislation with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, to which it acceded in 2010.

The High Court is required to hear trafficking cases since they are a crime equivalent to murder; however, the High Court is backlogged with cases filed from as early as 2001 and, due to funding issues, does not routinely meet, presenting a significant obstacle to prosecutions of trafficking crimes. In May 2011, the President approved a request, submitted by the Ministry of Justice, to hold and fund a special session of the High Court to hear pending trafficking cases; however, no special session was held during the year.

Despite the arrest of over 76 suspected trafficking offenders between 2003 and 2011– including eight during the reporting period – there have been no convictions under the 2004 child trafficking act. The prosecution of 38 alleged trafficking offenders under Law 09/04 – as a result of the government’s December 2010 “Operation Bana,” in cooperation with INTERPOL – remained pending with all offenders in pre-trial detention. The Gabonese government continued work with UNICEF, INTERPOL, and West African governments to verify documents and the identities of trafficking victims and suspected offenders in the “Operation Bana” cases, involving the rescue of 20 child labor trafficking victims and the arrest of their 38 suspected traffickers in the previous reporting period. Following the establishment of a vigilance committee in Mouila (Ngounie Province), authorities arrested and charged several suspected traffickers; tips received in several cases were a direct result of awareness campaigns. Police charged a Malian man with child trafficking, committing a sex crime against a minor, and falsification of a passport for the forced marriage of a 13-year-old Malian girl who came to Gabon for domestic work but instead was forced to marry him and prevented from leaving his home. Authorities also charged the imam who presided over the marriage ceremony and the intermediary who met the child at the airport upon arrival with child trafficking, committing a sex crime against a minor, and document fraud; the two offenders remain in jail awaiting trial, while the imam was released on bail. In another forced marriage case in February 2011, a Malian man was charged with trafficking for forcing his 14-year-old wife to work in a nail salon and enter prostitution; the suspect was released on bail, pending trial. In January 2012, authorities in Mouila charged a Beninese woman with use of false documents and mistreatment of minors for the forced labor of six children; in this case, authorities also charged the former assistant mayor of Mouila with falsifying birth certificates. The government partnered with UNICEF to provide training to 36 police officers, 45 social workers, and nine labor inspectors on anti-trafficking law enforcement and protection mechanisms in Gabon.

Protection

The Government of Gabon sustained strong efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking received access to necessary protective services during the reporting period. It provided the equivalent of approximately $270,000 to support four centers offering shelter, medical care, education, and psychosocial services to orphans and vulnerable children, including child trafficking victims, in Libreville and Port Gentil. One center is completely government-funded, while the other three are financed partly by the government through financial and in-kind donations, as well as the provision of service support, including social workers. Government officials identified nine victims during the year; a total of 10 victims received care at these government-funded shelters. The government could shelter trafficked adults in government- and NGO-run transit centers, though it did not identify any adult victims during the reporting period. Working with officials in the countries of origin, the government coordinated the repatriation of one male and nine female child trafficking victims; one victim, rescued in December 2010 in “Operation Bana,” remained in a government-supported NGO shelter for seven months before repatriation. The Ministry of Labor contracted a local NGO to accompany and assist victims during repatriation. If victim repatriation was not an option, the Ministry of Social Affairs would provide a victim with immigration relief and resettle them in Gabon; no victims availed themselves of this legal alternative when offered during the reporting period.

Government personnel employed procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as migrant children, and systematically referred them to government or NGO shelters. In 2011, the IMC trained social workers on the National Procedural Manual for Assisting Trafficking Victims, which outlines standard procedures for the identification and removal of children in trafficking situations, as well as their subsequent care and repatriation. Security forces routinely took testimony at the time of arrest of the trafficking offender or recovery of the victim and prosecutors, with social workers present, had access to the children at shelters for follow-up interviews. The government routinely sought costs of repatriation for the victim from the offender and source country governments but absorbed the costs when these avenues of assistance were unavailable; in June 2011, a prosecutor in Port Gentil secured payment from two alleged trafficking offenders for tickets to repatriate a victim to Benin.

Prevention

The Gabonese government maintained strong efforts to prevent human trafficking over the last year. Created by Law 09/04 and under the leadership of the Minister of Labor, the IMC remained actively engaged and served as an effective coordinating body for the government’s anti-trafficking efforts during the year. In December 2011, the IMC, vigilance committees, and NGOs met to report their activities in 2011 and finalize the 2012 National Action Plan. Vigilance committees in seven regional capitals – including those in Mouila and Tchibanga launched during the reporting period – brought together local government, law enforcement, and civil society actors to raise awareness, facilitate reporting of trafficking cases, and refer victims to care; the IMC provided anti-trafficking training for these two new committees. The government continued its “Be Vigilant” billboard campaign to target those who might exploit trafficking victims, as well as its “door-to-door” public awareness campaigns in Libreville, in cooperation with UNICEF. During “Operation Bana” authorities discovered that traffickers used fraudulent documents to alter the ages of children; as a result, in September 2011, the Ministry of Health initiated a census to determine the number of children living in Gabon without legal birth certificates.

THE GAMBIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

The Gambia is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Within The Gambia, women and girls and, to a lesser extent, boys are subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude. Women, girls, and boys from West African countries − mainly Senegal, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, and Benin – are recruited for commercial sexual exploitation in The Gambia, in particular to meet the demands of European tourists seeking sex with children. Observers believe organized networks use travel agencies to promote child sex tourism. Many Gambian boys attend Koranic schools led by marabouts (religious teachers). Corrupt or unscrupulous marabouts sometimes force such boys into street vending.

Gambian trafficking victims have been identified in neighboring West African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom.

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 these efforts, the government did not demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous year; therefore, The Gambia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year. Although the government established a national agency against trafficking in persons and convicted one trafficker, the sentence of a modest administrative fine did not adequately convey the serious nature of the crime. The government claimed to monitor boys in street vending and unaccompanied girls in resorts known to be destinations of sex tourists, but it did not identify any as victims of trafficking during the reporting period.

Recommendations for The Gambia: Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and ensure adequate sentencing for convicted trafficking offenders; train law enforcement personnel to identify trafficking victims proactively among vulnerable populations, such as boys in street vending, unattended children in tourist resorts known to be sex tourism destinations, and women in prostitution, and refer them to protective services; begin to take measures to decrease the demand for commercial sex acts, specifically those committed by sex tourists; engage with anti-trafficking counterparts in the region to enable the safe repatriation of victims to and from The Gambia; and increase efforts to raise public awareness about the dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of The Gambia sustained modest anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Its 2007 Trafficking in Persons Act prohibits all forms of trafficking, and an October 2010 amendment increased the prescribed penalties to 50 years’ to life imprisonment for all forms of trafficking. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The Gambia’s 2005 Children’s Act also prohibits child trafficking – though it does not include forced labor in its definition of trafficking – prescribing a penalty of life imprisonment. The 2003 Tourism Offenses Act explicitly prohibits child sex trafficking, prescribing a penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.

The government investigated one case of suspected sex trafficking during the year. A Nigerian trafficker was arrested and prosecuted on charges of trafficking two Nigerian women to The Gambia for forced prostitution; he was convicted in September 2011 and was fined only the equivalent of $333 before being deported to Nigeria. Despite reports of the convicted trafficker having three accomplices in Nigeria, the government neither engaged the appropriate Nigerian anti-trafficking authorities for assistance in the case nor even informed the Nigerian government of the offenders’ deportation to Nigeria. The March 2011 case against a marabout transporting boys to Senegal for forced begging was dropped when the marabout promised to stop the practice of sending his students to beg in Senegal. No law enforcement officials were investigated, prosecuted, or convicted for involvement in human trafficking, and the government did not take any action to investigate NGO-reported allegations that an official at The Gambian Embassy in Mauritania allegedly was complicit in a case of cross-border child trafficking between Mauritania and Sierra Leone.

Protection

The Gambian government undertook inadequate efforts to protect trafficking victims during the year, as it identified no Gambian trafficking victims and only two foreign victims of sex trafficking. Although it claimed to monitor the activities of boys in Koranic schools, it did not rescue or provide services to any victims of forced street vending or begging. The Ministry of Social Welfare operated a 24-hour multi-purpose hotline and allocated the equivalent of $11,500 toward running a shelter and drop-in center, although the government did not report the number of trafficking victims it may have cared for in these shelters. The Department of Social Welfare continued to maintain an electronic child protection database, which includes information on trafficking cases, although no cases were identified in 2011. The Trafficking in Persons Act allows foreign victims to obtain temporary residence visas for the duration of legal proceedings, though the government offers no other legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries where they may face retribution or hardship. The government did not provide the Nigerian victims in the aforementioned case with shelter support during their stay in The Gambia. Instead authorities deported them to Nigeria after they provided testimony. There were no reports of victims being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked; however, the lack of a formal identification system likely resulted in some victims remaining unidentified in the law enforcement system.

Prevention

The government made limited efforts to prevent trafficking during the year. In October 2011, The Gambian tourism board officially launched its training manual on addressing child sex tourism. The government also organized a one-day orientation that addressed curbing commercial sex, particularly child sex tourism, for 50 members of the tourism security unit in preparation for the start of the tourism high season. Authorities report removing unattended children from resort areas, in accordance with a policy to combat child sex tourism, but this effort did not lead to the referral of any child trafficking victims to protective services or the apprehension of any suspected traffickers. In December 2011, the Ministry of Justice launched the National Agency Against Trafficking in Persons with four staff members and a budget the equivalent of $8,474. The agency began work to develop a trafficking database that will eventually collect trafficking information from all government agencies. It was unclear whether the government provided anti-trafficking training to Gambian troops before their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

GEORGIA (Tier 1)

Georgia is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls subjected to sex trafficking and men and women subjected to conditions of forced labor. Women and girls from Georgia are subjected to sex trafficking within the country and also in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. In recent years, Georgian women and girls have also been subjected to sex trafficking in Egypt and elsewhere. Women from Uzbekistan and possibly other countries are found in forced prostitution in the commercial sex industry in Georgia. Country experts report that foreign women in prostitution in saunas, strip clubs, hotels, and escort services are vulnerable to forced prostitution. Men and women are subjected to conditions of forced labor within Georgia, and Georgians are subjected to forced labor in Russia, Turkey, and elsewhere. In recent years, there have been cases of foreign nationals exploited in agriculture, construction, and domestic service within Georgia. In years past, Turkish men have been subjected to forced labor in the occupied territory of Abkhazia, which remains outside the central government’s control. NGOs that work with street children from Georgia, Armenia, and Russia, as well as with Roma children, report that some children are exploited into begging or theft by third parties, including their parents, a form of trafficking. Although children are not commonly found working in agriculture in Georgia, except on family-owned farms, a labor trafficking expert in the country indicated that children working in agriculture and in the informal urban economy are highly vulnerable to forced labor.

The Government of Georgia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the reporting period, the government increased the number of trafficking cases investigated and the percentage of prosecutions that resulted in convictions of trafficking offenders. The government also significantly increased funding for anti-trafficking training and prevention activities, including in the budgets of its shelters for victims. The government significantly increased the number of Georgian officials provided training on victim identification. During the year, however, local experts expressed serious concerns about the government’s view of its trafficking problem and its lack of effective efforts in the first half of the reporting period to proactively identify victims of this serious crime.

Recommendation for Georgia: Employ more effective methods to detect and identify potential trafficking victims, especially those experiencing non-physical forms of coercion, the more common manifestation of trafficking in the country; ensure that NGOs continue to be funded and remain active partners in providing victim services and reintegration; ensure NGOs are provided with funding to assist potential trafficking victims before they receive official victim status and become eligible for state assistance; continue to expand formal partnerships with NGOs to help develop the trust of potential victims and achieve a more multi-disciplinary victim-centered approach to anti-trafficking efforts; systematically check for indicators among deported and returning Georgians at border points and involve NGOs in this process; consider appointing a victim-witness advocate or specialized NGO to help ensure the rights of victims are respected during legal proceedings and to ensure their participation is voluntary; given the absence of labor inspectors in Georgia, ensure proactive outreach to workers, including both documented and undocumented foreign migrants, who are vulnerable to trafficking; ensure that children who are subjected to forced begging and vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation are not inadvertently criminalized or punished for crimes committed as a direct result of their being trafficked; increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict labor and sex trafficking offenders; ensure children in prostitution are properly identified as trafficking victims; continue awareness campaigns for government officials and the general public about trafficking and its links to prostitution as well as forced labor; and continue the government’s active information campaigns targeted at vulnerable groups.

Prosecution

The Government of Georgia demonstrated improvements in its anti-trafficking 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 prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2011, the government initiated 16 trafficking investigations involving 18 individuals, compared with 11 investigations of 18 individuals in 2010. Authorities prosecuted and convicted five sex trafficking offenders in 2011, including one in absentia, an increase from one offender convicted in 2010. Sentences ranged from six to 19 years’ imprisonment; one offender who received a 15.5 year prison sentence was convicted and sentenced within two months of his arrest. The government reported it recently reviewed certain criminal cases involving the use of fraudulent passports, illegal border crossings, and the bribery of border and customs officials for elements of possible official complicity in human trafficking. The government reported it found no indicia of complicity in these cases. The government did not report any prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of government officials complicit in trafficking crimes in 2011.

Country experts reported that a lack of labor inspectors and weaknesses in the government’s labor code contributed to workers’ vulnerability to abuse and forced labor. In September 2011, Georgian trade unionists reported indicators suggesting conditions of trafficking, including employers not returning passports to workers who complained about mistreatment, among 100 Indian nationals working at a steel plant in Kutaisi. In response to these allegations, the government opened a lengthy investigation into the case, interviewing over 200 persons, including Indian and Georgian workers at the plant, and inspecting salary records and living conditions. The government determined that none of the Indian workers were trafficking victims, all were free to travel inside Georgia and back to India without restriction, and all were paid the full amounts promised in their contracts. The government continued its institutionalized training for law enforcement and provided additional specialized training for prosecutors, judges, immigration officials, border police, and other front-line responders during the year, increasing the number of officials trained by 23 percent over the preceding year.

In addition to basic in-service anti-trafficking training for police and prosecutors, the Georgian government provided at least 40 specialized training sessions on the law, interview and investigative techniques, identification of victims, and working with victim services, often in collaboration with NGOs and international organizations.

Protection

The Government of Georgia maintained protections for identified trafficking victims in 2011. Government efforts to identify victims during the first half of the reporting period were not effective. According to government data, no victims were identified during the first half of 2011. Further, no potential victims were referred to the government’s Permanent Group, an alternative mechanism for identification, between December 2010 and September 2011. Most victims were identified by government authorities late in the reporting period, with a total of 18 victims identified. This compares with 19 victims identified in 2010 and 48 victims identified in 2009. During the first half of the year, local experts noted concerns that lack of attention to identification was an impediment to achieving further needed improvements. Specifically, country experts reported concerns with the low level of victim identification and overall lack of success in locating trafficking victims, including children in exploitative situations on the street, children in the sex trade, foreign women in the commercial sex sector, and Georgian and foreign workers in vulnerable labor sectors. Authorities identified two Uzbek victims of forced prostitution in February 2012; one such victim declined the government’s offer of residency and, at the victim’s request, was repatriated by IOM.

Although one expert reported that government officials’ understanding of the nature of trafficking is increasing, some NGOs, trade unions, and other regional experts – including a labor trafficking expert – reported little awareness among Georgian authorities about forced labor. During the reporting period, half of all identified victims took the initiative to report themselves to authorities or to seek assistance themselves, and the other half were identified by Georgian authorities as the result of investigations. According to some country experts, border officials do not systematically look for trafficking victims; few returning trafficking victims are detected at the border. A significant number of Georgian trafficking victims, however, were identified in Turkey during the reporting period.

During the year, the government increased funding for state-provided victim services by nearly 50 percent, including by allocating the equivalent of $302,000 to two government-run shelters for trafficking victims, an increase from the $127,000 allotted in the previous year. Two other shelters are run by NGOs; these are used infrequently, largely as a short-term, interim solution when a victim cannot immediately be housed in a state-run shelter. The government prefers to provide rehabilitation services and shelter directly to victims, although in cases where the government is unable to provide rehabilitation services, it will reimburse an NGO providing such services. During the reporting period, the government reimbursed NGOs an amount equivalent to approximately $1,700 for rehabilitation services provided to victims. According to a government official, victims were required to have a chaperone – for their own protection – when leaving the shelters during the investigation and prosecution of their cases. The government’s state shelters provided medical aid, psychological counseling, and legal assistance to 20 victims of trafficking in 2011, compared with nine in 2010. Six trafficking victims received financial assistance from the government in 2011, consisting of a one-time payment in an amount equivalent to $650. The government reported it provided foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they would face hardship or retribution; foreign victims were eligible for temporary residence permits, although no foreign victims requested a residence permit in 2011. The government reported that victims were encouraged to assist law enforcement with trafficking investigations and prosecutions; all 18 victims identified by the government 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; however, NGOs reported that children occasionally were arrested for begging and coerced into criminality, as opposed to being identified and assisted as trafficking victims.

Prevention

The Government of Georgia improved its anti-trafficking prevention activities in 2011 and significantly increased cooperation with NGOs to conduct prevention campaigns. The government enacted legislation in December 2011 authorizing the executive branch for the first time to make grants to NGOs. Pursuant to this legislation, the government provided small grants to two NGOs in early 2012 to work on projects related to public awareness of trafficking and information pertaining to victim identification. It also entered into memoranda of understanding with leading NGOs to expand and coordinate cooperation in addressing trafficking.

During the year the government conducted multiple information campaigns utilizing a broad array of media, including public service announcements, seminars, and television broadcasts throughout the country. The Civil Registry Agency continued its practice of distributing anti-trafficking related pamphlets when it issued new passports to citizens. The government also conducted numerous outreach events including some focused on specific segments of the population, such as university and high schools students, internally displaced persons, and ethnic minorities living in the regions. Events included numerous panel discussions, a film screening, a peer education campaign, and an essay contest. The government distributed 10,000 donor-funded trafficking indicator cards to front-line responders, including law enforcement and border officials. In coordination with NGOs, the government posted anti-trafficking posters on cross-border buses and distributed multilingual leaflets to cross-border truck drivers and others. In November 2011, authorities created a high-level, interagency steering committee to oversee the implementation of an EU-funded project to address street children. In March 2011, the government approved its new anti-trafficking National Action Plan for 2011-2012, produced with extensive collaboration with the NGO community. During the reporting period, the government did not initiate any campaigns to reduce demand for commercial sex acts.

GERMANY (Tier 1)

Germany is a source, transit, and destination country for women, children, and men subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Approximately 85 percent of identified victims of sex trafficking originated in Europe, including 20 percent from within Germany, 20 percent from Romania, and 19 percent from Bulgaria. Non-European victims originated in Nigeria, other parts of Africa, Asia, and the Western Hemisphere. The majority of sex trafficking victims have been exploited in bars, brothels, and apartments – approximately 36 percent of identified sex trafficking victims reported that they had agreed initially to engage in prostitution. Young German women were sometimes coerced into sex trafficking by purported boyfriends in “loverboy” schemes. Nigerian victims of trafficking are often coerced into prostitution through voodoo rituals. Victims of forced labor have been identified in hotels, domestic service, construction sites, meat processing plants, and restaurants. Members of ethnic minorities, such as Roma, as well as foreign unaccompanied minors who arrived in Germany, were particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. Individuals with disabilities, including those hard of hearing, were vulnerable to forced labor. NGOs reported an increase of domestic workers complaining of abuse in diplomatic households. Various governments reported German citizen participation in sex tourism.

The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The German government increased its identification of labor trafficking victims by approximately 75 percent, though the number of sex trafficking victims it identified decreased. The government lengthened the reflection period granted to suspected victims and provided opportunities for certain victims of exploitation to remain in the country during civil claims against their employers. The government proactively identified a high proportion of trafficking victims. Nevertheless, a German government study showed that labor trafficking identification lagged behind sex trafficking victim identification. Sentencing convicted trafficking offenders to terms of imprisonment remained a significant deficiency in the German government’s anti-trafficking efforts. Available statistics continued to indicate the majority of convicted labor and sex trafficking offenders were not required to serve time in prison, placing victims at potential risk when convicted offenders were free after trial.

Recommendations for Germany: Explore ways to increase the number of convicted trafficking offenders who receive sentences commensurate with the gravity of the crime committed; vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict labor trafficking offenders; consider expanding residence permit eligibility for trafficking victims that are not reliant on the victim’s willingness to testify at trial; establish an independent national anti-trafficking rapporteur to produce critical assessments on the Government of Germany’s anti-trafficking efforts; ensure forced labor and child victims’ access to appropriate assistance and protection; ensure that labor trafficking victims are fully informed of their rights; standardize victim assistance measures and government-civil society cooperation across the 16 federal states; encourage victims to take advantage of financial restitution procedures available to them in court; ensure that labor trafficking is fully integrated into Cooperation Agreements at the state level; strengthen awareness campaigns targeting beneficiaries of forced labor and clients of the sex trade, particularly in the most frequented red light districts; consider creating a mechanism to coordinate German efforts to address forced labor; and ensure that conviction data reported include all convictions for trafficking in persons.

Prosecution

The Government of Germany sustained its overall anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. It significantly improved its investigations of labor trafficking cases, though its investigation of sex trafficking cases decreased. German courts continued to grant suspended sentences to convicted offenders. In 2010, the German authorities reported that the overwhelming majority of convicted labor and sex trafficking offenders were given suspended sentences. This practice derived from a provision in the criminal code allowing the suspension of assigned prison terms lower than two years, particularly for first-time offenders. Furthermore, when an accompanying criminal charge, such as one for organized crime, resulted in a higher sentence than that produced by the trafficking charge, the German authorities did not record a conviction as a trafficking conviction. Nevertheless, the reported statistics reveal that convicted traffickers frequently avoided imprisonment, creating potential safety problems for victims of trafficking and a weakened deterrence of trafficking offenses.

Germany prohibits all forms of trafficking; sex trafficking is criminalized under Section 232 of the penal code, and forced labor is criminalized under Section 233. Punishments prescribed in these statutes range from six months’ to 10 years’ imprisonment, and are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as forcible sexual assault. In 2010, the last year for which statistics were available, the German state and federal authorities completed 470 sex trafficking investigations, a 12 percent decrease from 534 investigations completed in 2009. The government investigated 24 labor trafficking cases in 2010, a significant increase from 10 cases in 2009. The German authorities prosecuted 172 alleged offenders for sex trafficking offenses in 2010, compared with 189 in 2009. Of those alleged offenders, 115 were convicted, a decrease from 2009, when 135 offenders were convicted. German courts continued to suspend sentences in the majority of cases recorded as trafficking; of the 115 offenders convicted, only 23 (20 percent) were actually imprisoned. These 23 offenders received sentences between two and 10 years in prison. The German authorities prosecuted 17 alleged labor trafficking offenders, of whom 13 were convicted, though none received time in prison. This was an increase from the 15 labor trafficking offenders prosecuted in 2009. German officials reported that securing victim testimony remained a challenge for prosecutions. According to NGOs and some officials, poor or withdrawn victim testimony impaired trials and may have contributed to the high rate of suspended sentences by resulting in lower initial sentences. Police and prosecutors noted that many trafficking investigations are led by officers with trafficking expertise, whereas many of the prosecutors on trafficking cases are organized crime specialists who have less specialized experience in human trafficking prosecutions. Some NGOs observed that some judges were insensitive to trafficking victims.

In May, the Federal Criminal Police collaborated with police from 120 stations of 13 to 16 federal states and EUROPOL to raid 1,000 prostitution venues across Germany in an effort to identify trafficking victims from West Africa. The Federal Criminal Police collaborated with several governments, including Romania, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Poland, and Nigeria to investigate trafficking cases. The German Federal Criminal Police organized several specialized seminars to educate investigating officers and prosecutors on trafficking topics, focusing, for example, on specific countries of origin and intercultural competence. The German government did not prosecute, convict, or sentence any officials complicit in trafficking in persons this year.

Protection

The German government sustained its victim protection efforts during the reporting period, offering and granting temporary residency to trafficking victims, but identifying fewer trafficking victims. The federal family ministry funded an umbrella organization representing 39 NGOs and counseling centers that provided or facilitated shelter, medical and psychological care, legal assistance, vocational support, and other services largely for adult female victims. These NGOs provided services in all German states. State governments provided significant supplemental funding for the support of trafficking victims, including shelter and counseling.

The German Federal Criminal Police developed new internal tools to improve labor victim identification, including a pocket-sized card containing indicators to guide identification and, in cooperation with the Federal Labor Ministry, other agencies and NGOs, a brochure on identifying labor trafficking victims to help identify potential victims. According to the 2010 Federal Criminal Police report, in 57 percent of all cases, the first contact between police and victims resulted from police measures. Authorities registered 610 victims of sex trafficking in 2010, a decrease from 710 sex trafficking victims in 2009. Of these 610 victims, 35 percent were cared for by counseling centers. The German authorities reported identifying 41 labor trafficking victims, a 78 percent increase from the previous year. The majority of these victims were males exploited in the restaurant sector. In 2011, the German government extended the term of the reflection period for trafficking victims from one month to three months. Trafficking victims who agreed to testify against defendants at trial were entitled to remain in Germany for the duration of the trial with residence permits on humanitarian grounds. Some victims of trafficking who faced personal injury or threats to life or freedom in their countries of origin were granted long-term residence permits during the reporting period. German law permits prosecutors to decline to prosecute victims of trafficking who have committed minor crimes. NGOs reported that, although prosecutors in practice exercise this discretion, victims may have been penalized or deported on occasion before their legal status as victims of trafficking had been clarified.

German authorities encouraged trafficking victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders. One NGO stated that approximately 70 percent of the trafficking victims it counseled were willing to testify in court. This year, the German government amended the Residence Act to extend the right to remain in Germany to certain victims of exploitation if the victims faced an exceptional hardship were they to make claims for outstanding wages from abroad. Trafficking victims were permitted to work during the course of trial. Although compensation procedures have rarely been used in practice, an independent institute, funded in part by the German government and foundations, conducted a project to help trafficking victims claim their financial rights, focusing on educating trafficking victims and government institutions and assisting victims with their claims. Trafficking victims have 11 legal actions pending in civil and labor courts supported by the institute’s project.

Prevention

The German government sustained efforts to prevent human trafficking throughout the year. 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 umbrella organization of government-funded trafficking NGOs produced a study about the sex trafficking of German citizens. In 2011, the German federal government launched an action plan for the protection of children and teenagers from sexual violence and exploitation. One of the pillars of the action plan focused on trafficking in children for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The German government continued to monitor its anti-trafficking activities through interagency mechanisms. The Federal-State Interagency Working Group on Trafficking in Women, led by the Family Ministry, reviewed counter-trafficking issues, disseminated best practices, and provided input to new laws and directives. The German Federal Criminal Police published an annual report on trafficking in persons in Germany, describing law enforcement efforts, victims, and trends. Several German states also have anti-trafficking working groups to facilitate collaboration between government agencies and NGOs.

The German Institute for Human Rights, in cooperation with a Berlin-based NGO, supported an Indonesian domestic worker’s claims against her employer, a Saudi Arabian diplomat. Applying the extraterritorial jurisdiction of German law prohibiting the sexual abuse of children, German authorities in December 2011 charged a 51-year-old German citizen with nine counts of sexually abusing children in Thailand. The government also collaborated with law enforcement officials in Southeast Asia to investigate German sex tourists. NGOs reported that the majority of German sex tourists are prosecuted in destination countries. The government did not take specific 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. The German government trained military personnel to recognize and prevent trafficking in persons prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

GHANA (Tier 2)

Ghana is a country of origin, transit, and destination for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The trafficking of Ghanaian citizens, particularly children, within the country is more prevalent than the transnational trafficking of foreign migrants. Ghanaian boys and girls are subjected to conditions of forced labor within the country in fishing, domestic service, street hawking, begging, portering, artisanal gold mining, and agriculture. Ghanaian girls, and to a lesser extent boys, are subjected to prostitution within Ghana. Child prostitution, and possibly child sex tourism, are prevalent in the Volta region and are growing in the oil-producing Western regions. Ghanaian women and children are recruited and transported to Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, The Gambia, South Africa, Israel, Syria, Lebanon, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the United States for forced labor and sex trafficking. Women and girls, voluntarily migrating from China, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, and Benin are subjected to commercial sexual exploitation after arriving in Ghana. Citizens from other West African countries are subjected to forced labor in Ghana in agriculture or domestic service.

The Government of Ghana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The police’s Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) received reports of 117 suspected trafficking cases and initiated 91 investigations across Ghana’s 10 regions. Of those 91 investigations, prosecutions were initiated in 16 cases, 29 trafficking offenders were convicted, including three foreign trafficking offenders who were deported. The AHTU identified 409 trafficking victims during the reporting period and the Department of Social Welfare continued its support of a shelter for trafficking victims. The government engaged in anti-trafficking awareness raising activities across the country and drafted a new national action plan on combating trafficking. Despite conducting a large number of investigations and identifying several hundred victims, the AHTU remains under-staffed and under-funded. AHTU officials are the only government officials able to prosecute trafficking cases, and their limited resources impair the government’s ability to adequately address the number of cases brought before it each year.

Recommendations for Ghana: Increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders, ensuring the AHTU has the necessary resources to achieve appropriate convictions; train law enforcement personnel to identify proactively trafficking victims among vulnerable populations – such as females in prostitution and children working in agriculture – or from emergency calls made to the Ghana Police Service (GPS), and refer them to protective services; increase government funding for protective services to victims and make information about funding allocations available to the public; improve data collection and reporting on victims identified and assisted, and harmonize law enforcement data across the three entities – the Economic and Organized Crime Office (EOCO), the AHTU, and the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) – responsible for investigating trafficking cases; implement the National Plan of Action against Trafficking, including a clear division of responsibilities and allocation of resources between the EOCO, GIS, GPS, and the AHTU; and accede to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

Prosecution

The Government of Ghana demonstrated progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The AHTU, the GIS, and the EOCO identified 91 suspected trafficking cases during the last year. The AHTU secured the conviction of 29 traffickers – an increase from four convictions obtained during the previous reporting period. Ghana’s 2005 Human Trafficking Act – amended in 2009 to align the definition of trafficking with the 2000 UN Trafficking in Persons Protocol – prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties of five to 20 years’ imprisonment for all trafficking crimes. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.

In May 2011, 232 Ghanaian law enforcement officials worked with agents from INTERPOL to carry out a three-part operation against child trafficking. Despite reports of some 125 brothels operating in Accra, INTERPOL and Ghanaian law enforcement raided only five. During these raids, authorities removed 55 women and 65 underage female victims, although traffickers were not apprehended. During a second operation in May 2011 officials arrested 30 suspected traffickers in Lake Volta fisheries, leading to the prosecution and conviction of 28 of these trafficking offenders under a child exploitation law; each convicted trafficker received a 16-month prison sentence. In the third action, also in May 2011, law enforcement officers removed three children – one from Ghana and two from Burkina Faso – from a cocoa plantation in Tarkwa and arrested a Burkinabe man for alleged child trafficking; his case remains pending before the court. In January 2012, a court convicted and sentenced a Ghanaian woman to five years in prison for trafficking 11 Ghanaian girls to Nigeria for forced labor and prostitution. In August 2011, the AHTU opened its ninth regional Anti-Human Trafficking Unit in the town of Koforidua for the Eastern Region; however, these units remain under-funded and under-trained. EOCO conducted two training courses for its anti-human trafficking unit and members from the GPS participated in an international workshop on human trafficking. An international workshop on human trafficking, led by a local NGO, trained nearly 50 police officers from the AHTU. The GIS, with assistance from UNICEF and IOM, conducted several training courses on trafficking for immigration officers throughout the country, including training 20 GIS staff in data collection, as well as verification and management skills for trafficked and migrant people. In addition, the training also covered personal identification registration systems and in-depth passport verification and was intended to increase GIS abilities to verify travel documents and detect fraud, especially in cases of suspected human trafficking. Observers note that despite law enforcement’s awareness of growing numbers of child trafficking victims in regions such as the Volta, they often do not take initiative to address a situation unless prodded by an NGO. The government did not report any investigation, prosecution, or punishment of government employees complicit in trafficking-related criminal activities during the reporting period.

Protection

The government made limited efforts to protect trafficking victims during the year. The AHTU reported identifying 409 trafficking victims and referred an unknown number of these victims on an ad hoc basis to government and NGO-run facilities offering protective care. The government did not employ formal procedures to identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as women in prostitution or children at work sites. The GPS maintained a 24-hour hotline for reporting crime, including trafficking; it is not known if the hotline received any trafficking-related calls during the reporting period. Immigration officials questioned large groups of travelers suspected to include trafficking victims, and identified 15 victims during the year. Law enforcement budgets did not include provisions for victim support and, as a result, law enforcement officials often used personal funds to assist victims. Through a shelter operated in partnership with the Ghanaian government, IOM reported assisting 20 Ghanaian child labor victims during the reporting period. In Accra, the Department of Social Welfare maintained a multipurpose shelter for abused children, which also cared for an unknown number of trafficked children during the report period. If reintegration with family members is not possible, children may be placed in foster families with approval from the courts; it is unknown whether this occurred in 2011. The Department of Social Welfare paid for all medical costs associated with caring for victims, while IOM and UNICEF sponsored psychiatric rehabilitation and care. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders, and provided them with protective escorts and legal counsel during trial proceedings. The government continued to offer foreign trafficking victims temporary residency during the investigation and prosecution of their cases and, with the interior minister’s approval, permanent residency if deemed to be in the victim’s best interest; no victims were granted temporary or permanent residency during the year. There were no reports that trafficking victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention

During the year, the government sustained its efforts to prevent trafficking. With support from an international organization, the AHTU conducted educational outreach campaigns in the Volta region; it also joined with the Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs and local NGOs to implement an awareness campaign that reached 500 community members in the Kraboa-Coaltar district in the Eastern Region to warn of the dangers of trafficking. The Ministry of Women and Children’s Affairs worked with the police and IOM to air anti-trafficking radio programs in the Upper East, Eastern, and Greater Accra regions. The government also aired human trafficking documentary programs on television. The Human Trafficking Management Board – the inter-sectoral board chaired by the Minister for Women and Children’s Affairs and comprised of government agencies and NGOs – met quarterly and drafted a new national action plan against all forms of trafficking in persons, as the 2006 plan remained unimplemented. Although the government took no discernible measures to decrease the demand for forced labor, it launched a child labor monitoring system in March 2012 to monitor children in the Volta Region as a means of preventing them from being engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including trafficking. The government did not provide anti-trafficking training to Ghanaian troops prior to their deployment abroad on peacekeeping missions, though such training was provided to Ghanaian troops by foreign donors. 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 subjected to sex trafficking and for men, women, and children in forced labor. Female sex trafficking victims originate in Eastern Europe – Albania, Belarus, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Russia, Romania, and Ukraine – the Balkans, and increasingly from Asia and Africa, including Maghreb countries. Labor trafficking victims are primarily men and children from Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, India, Moldova, Pakistan, and Romania who reportedly have been forced to work primarily in the agriculture or construction sectors, with some in domestic servitude. One Greek NGO reported that teenage males, typically unaccompanied children from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, are forced into prostitution in Greece. Victims of trafficking from Italy, Malta, and other EU countries transited through Greece. Greek NGOs and police report that traffickers used deception to enter into romantic relationships with young female victims from poorer areas in countries such as Albania or Romania with the goal of forcing the victim into prostitution in Greece. The police reported that the majority of trafficking gangs in Greece were small, cell-based criminal organizations often linked to bars, clubs, and hotels, using restaurants, nightclubs, small businesses, and yacht rental companies as money-laundering fronts. Greek police estimated that there had been likely hundreds of forced labor victims in Greece over the past few years. Police report an increase in “family-based” trafficking, in which Romanian parents bring their own children into Greece and force them to work. NGOs reported children, mainly Roma from Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania, were forced to sell small items, beg, or steal. Adolescents from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh smuggled into Greece were sometimes forced to repay their debt to smugglers by trafficking drugs. Some trafficking victims in Greece had been re-trafficked to Greece multiple times.

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 identified a greater number of trafficking victims during the reporting period, compared to the previous year. Few trafficking victims were certified for victim assistance, despite a progressive statutory scheme. The government investigated many trafficking cases and imposed serious prison sentences for some of the 19 trafficking offenders convicted in Greece during the reporting period. Unresolved cases of complicity remained a challenge. Despite allegations of low-level police involvement in trafficking, the government did not report convicting any government employees for trafficking complicity. As a consequence of Greece’s serious economic crisis, government funding for anti-trafficking NGOs ceased entirely; services were inconsistent and some smaller trafficking shelters struggled to remain open. However, the Ministry of Health’s National Center for Social Solidarity (EKKA) operated non-trafficking-specific shelters for 80 persons (including minors) and in cooperation with NGOs had access to another 120 beds. The judiciary continued to suffer from structural and legal inefficiencies that resulted in low conviction rates, although there was some progress on faster resolution of trafficking cases. Even with dwindling government resources dedicated to NGOs, the government and NGOs created multiple partnerships this year, cooperating and sharing resources to address trafficking, including trafficking awareness training for students.

Recommendations for Greece: Ensure victims of trafficking have an opportunity to be certified under the government program and are offered assistance and deportation relief available under Greek law, including in cases in which a criminal case is not brought; take measures to improve success rates and resolve trafficking prosecutions more quickly, such as increased specialization of prosecutors and judges; vigorously prosecute traffickers with a view to increasing convictions, including against officials complicit in trafficking; collect and provide data on length of sentences for trafficking convictions; encourage victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions by incorporating incentives, such as restitution or other benefits, into criminal proceedings and by providing enhanced protection for victims who testify; encourage sustainable funding for anti-trafficking NGOs; ensure access to specialized assistance for male victims; strengthen the central authority to coordinate and monitor anti-trafficking efforts, giving it a mandate of accountability within the inter-ministerial process; enhance public awareness campaigns targeted toward a Greek audience, including potential clients of the sex trade.

Prosecution

Government law enforcement efforts against trafficking during the reporting period were mixed, with continuing strong investigations against trafficking but low conviction rates. Greek Law 3064/2002 and Presidential Decree 233/2003 prohibit trafficking for both sexual and labor exploitation and prescribe punishments of up to 10 years’ imprisonment and fines the equivalent of $14,000 to $70,000. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The Hellenic Police’s Anti-Trafficking Unit, whose head now also leads the Organized Crime Unit, focused on dismantling organized trafficking rings such as various Bulgarian, Romanian, Greek, and other rings, in cooperation with law enforcement authorities from those countries. The police conducted 41 human trafficking investigations in 2011, a decrease from 62 investigations in 2010. Six of the investigations concerned forced labor or forced begging, down from 15 labor trafficking investigations in 2010. In 2011, Greek authorities prosecuted 220 suspected offenders, in contrast to the prosecution of 246 suspected trafficking offenders in 2010. Greek authorities reported 19 new convictions of trafficking offenders in 2011, and six acquittals, compared with 28 new convictions and 14 acquittals in 2010. The Ministry of Justice did not report any suspended sentences in 2011. Sentences for convicted trafficking offenders ranged from one to 18 years’ imprisonment. In many cases, the trafficking offenders were also required to pay large penalties, up to the equivalent of $140,000. While the government did not report whether cases investigated or prosecuted were sex or labor trafficking cases, the Greek police were known to have investigated a few labor trafficking cases, including cases involving forced begging and forced labor in strawberry fields. There were reports that many judges and attorneys continued to lack a basic understanding of human trafficking and displayed a lack of sensitivity toward victims; nevertheless, NGOs reported some progress in prosecutors’ sensitivity toward trafficking. In some of the successful trafficking prosecutions, NGOs played a key role in victim support, including legal and psychological assistance and payment of court fees.

The Hellenic Police incorporated anti-trafficking training in all its police academies. The Anti-Trafficking Unit ensured continuous training for police officers on duty and also provided training to first responders on trafficking, including all 160 first responders in the Attica region. The Greek government enhanced partnerships with NGOs to improve identification at the border. The Greek anti-trafficking unit targeted organized crime groups, such as a Bulgarian trafficking ring that used force and threats to force children and people with mental and other disabilities to beg in Greece. In 2011, the Greek Anti-Trafficking Police reported cooperating with Italy, Romania, Russia, Albania, and Bulgaria on trafficking cases.

There were allegations that local police and vice squad officers took bribes from trafficking offenders. Although the government reported it discharged and investigated corrupt officers in general, the government did not report the investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of any government employees for trafficking-related crimes. Older trafficking-related corruption cases remained pending, with no accountability reported.

Protection

The government’s efforts to protect victims of trafficking diminished during the reporting period. Funding for NGOs ceased as the result of the economic crisis, so some smaller trafficking shelters struggled to remain operational, and fewer victims were certified for care. However, more victims were identified over the year. The government has strong legislative provisions to protect trafficking victims, including three to five month reflection periods and provisions for legal aid. NGOs reported that the reflection period was rarely offered and that victims were sometimes asked to make a decision regarding participation in prosecution immediately when interviewed, even in cases in which the victim still feared the trafficking offenders. NGOs also reported that legal aid provisions are rarely implemented in practice. The Ministry of Interior reported that it granted legal residency permits to 62 trafficking victims – nine new permits and 53 renewals; this is down from 87 residency permits in 2010 – 21 new permits and 66 renewals. The police explained that the number of residency permits decreased because the majority of victims were EU citizens originating in Romania or Bulgaria and thus had the right to residency without a permit.

In 2011, in the wake of newly announced austerity measures, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ceased funding to NGOs for assistance of trafficking victims even while they continued support and assistance by establishing valuable partnerships with NGOs. As a result, NGOs reported uneven provision of victim support services, including shelter and legal aid. While the government-run and non-government funded NGO shelters continued to provide care to victims, some smaller domestic NGOs struggled because of lack of private support and unreliable government funding. Nevertheless, the Government of Greece operated various mixed-use shelters to accommodate trafficking victims (including children) and victims of domestic abuse in Athens, and helped victims of trafficking find safe shelter in all areas of the country. The government did not detain victims of trafficking in these shelters; they could leave unchaperoned and at-will. The Greek government did not have special shelters available for adult male victims of trafficking; adult male victims were generally repatriated. In 2011, the Greek government officially identified 97 victims of sex and labor trafficking, in contrast to 92 victims of trafficking identified in 2010. Some NGOs and the police reported that victim identification procedures improved during the last year among front-line Border Police, Coast Guard, and vice squad officers. Of the total number of victims, 70 were referred to care facilities for assistance. Out of the 97 victims identified, approximately nine received official certification as victims, a condition precedent for government-provided care. NGOs reported that it was difficult for victims to receive certification, particularly in cases in which victims chose not to participate in police investigations. Victims could obtain restitution only if they filed civil suits against trafficking offenders. However, obtaining compensation for victims of trafficking was difficult in practice, given the high cost of filing civil lawsuits and the inefficiency of the administrative court system. NGOs reported that, even though victim identification improved over the long term, it continued to be a weakness for the government. The government worked on increasing international partnerships and allocated the equivalent of $28,000 to an international project aimed to develop common guidelines on trafficking victim identification, collaborating with the governments of France, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Romania, and Spain.

Prevention

The Government of Greece improved its prevention activities during the reporting period. The General Secretariat for Gender Equality of the Ministry of Interior launched a new anti-trafficking public awareness campaign targeting both victims and clients, broadcasting anti-trafficking messages through major national TV and radio channels. In collaboration with UNHCR and the Ministry for Citizen Protection, the General Secretariat for Gender Equality issued a booklet in Greek and in English with guidelines for first-contact personnel for the protection upon their entrance to Greece of women and girls at risk of trafficking. The Parliament established an anti-trafficking parliamentary committee in January 2012. The government had a national action plan to address trafficking in persons, which it developed in coordination with NGOs. The government also passed a new law, providing that migrants to Greece must be interviewed and informed of their rights on arrival; if this law is applied, it should give trafficking victims an opportunity to be identified. The government collaborated with IOM, NGOs, foreign governments, and other partners on multiple anti-trafficking conferences in 2011, including on promoting a victim-centered approach to trafficking in persons, training of prosecutors and judges, and a trilateral border anti-trafficking conference in collaboration with Bulgaria and Turkey. During the reporting period, the National Coordination Mechanism headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had the authority only to coordinate activities, but did not have a mandate of accountability. A state-operated gender hotline was available to receive anti-trafficking calls; in 2011, it received one call regarding trafficking in persons. The Greek government collaborated with IOM and other entities to support several anti-trafficking awareness raising events during the reporting period, including a film screening for 500 judges and prosecutors, a theater presentation, and high school outreach. The government did not undertake specific projects to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. The Greek government trained military personnel on trafficking in persons prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

GUATEMALA (Tier 2)

Guatemala is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Guatemalan women and children are exploited in sex trafficking 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. Guatemalan men, women, and children also are found in conditions of forced labor in Mexico and the United States in agriculture, the garment industry, and in domestic service. During the year, 19 Guatemalan women and one man were subjected to domestic servitude in Jordan and Israel. Indigenous Guatemalans are particularly vulnerable to forced labor. In the border area with Mexico, Guatemalan children are exploited for forced begging and vending on streets, and forced labor in the majority of municipal dumps throughout the country. Women and children from other countries in the region, including El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, and Nicaragua, are exploited in sex trafficking in Guatemala. Child sex tourism is prevalent in certain tourist areas such as Antigua, Puerto Barrios, Rio Dulce, around Lake Atitlan, and in Tecun Uman on the Mexican border. Child sex tourists predominately come from Canada, Germany, Spain, and the United States. According to NGOs and government officials, organized crime networks continue to be involved in some cases of human trafficking, and gangs recruit children to commit illicit acts, sometimes using force or coercion.

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. During the reporting period, Guatemalan authorities maintained anti-trafficking progress, particularly through continued law enforcement efforts and the sustained funding of a dedicated shelter for adult trafficking victims. The government also launched a program to provide specialized services to victims of trafficking and sexual violence. Investigative units, however, remained under-funded, many judges and law enforcement officials were poorly informed about human trafficking, and official complicity continued to impede anti-trafficking efforts.

Recommendations for Guatemala: Vigorously implement the anti-trafficking law and statutes prohibiting child sex tourism; continue efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, especially suspected cases of forced labor and domestic servitude, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; proactively investigate and prosecute public officials complicit in trafficking; improve victim referral mechanisms to ensure that all victims, including victims of forced labor and domestic servitude, are referred to appropriate services, including shelters; enhance the availability of specialized victims services throughout the country, including through partnerships with civil society; continue to conduct training for judges, police, immigration officers, and other government officials on how to identify and assist victims; and increase funding for anti-trafficking efforts, particularly for the country’s dedicated prosecutorial and police units.

Prosecution

The government maintained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. Article 202 of the Guatemalan penal code 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. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Anti-trafficking police and prosecutors suffered from a lack of funding, human resources, and training, and NGOs reported that most cases were reactive responses to NGO complaints, as opposed to proactive investigations. The dedicated anti-trafficking police unit within the national civil police department for the investigation of sexual crimes, trafficking in persons, and disappeared children had only four trafficking investigators to cover the entire country. The government also maintained a small prosecutorial unit to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases; this unit had only five prosecutors and 10 assistant prosecutors and had insufficient funding and staff. Much of this unit’s work focused on crimes such as illegal adoptions and child kidnapping and disappearance, which do not fall within the 2000 UN TIP Protocol; therefore, officials could not indicate how many of the 107 criminal proceedings initiated during the year were for forced labor or sex trafficking.

During the reporting period, authorities convicted five sex trafficking offenders using the anti-trafficking law; sentences ranged from eight to 16 years’ imprisonment, plus fines the equivalent of between $39,000 and $52,000. In comparison, during the previous year, the Guatemalan government reported 10 convictions for human trafficking offenses, two using the anti-trafficking law and others using different statutes, with sentences ranging from three to five years’ imprisonment.

Some judges reportedly dismissed trafficking cases or acquitted trafficking offenders due to a lack of understanding of the crime, and NGOs noted that some officials do not understand that forced labor is a crime. Credible reports from international organizations, NGOs, and several government officials continued to indicate that corrupt public officials impeded 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 investigating, prosecuting, convicting, or punishing any officials complicit in human trafficking. Guatemalan authorities held numerous anti-trafficking workshops and conferences aimed at educating and building capacity among judges, police, prosecutors, immigration officers, and other government officials; most trainings were conducted in partnership with civil society and with funds from foreign governments or international organizations. Authorities were attempting to coordinate with Jordanian officials on a joint investigation at the end of the reporting period.

Protection

Although the government largely relied on NGOs and international organizations to provide the bulk of victim services, it maintained a specialized trafficking shelter for adult victims and, during the year, launched a program to provide services to victims of trafficking and sexual violence. While the government reported employing standard operating procedures on how to assist sex trafficking victims, it does not employ procedures for identifying forced labor victims among vulnerable populations, and labor inspectors did not have sufficient training or resources to identify victims. Most NGOs remain critical of the government’s ability to identify and refer trafficking victims effectively. While authorities reported identifying hundreds of victims, it was unclear how many of these victims were children involved in illegal adoption and how many were counted multiple times by separate government entities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs facilitated the repatriation of 50 trafficking victims returning to Guatemala from abroad, as well as the voluntary repatriation of five Colombians from Guatemala. During the year, 10 victims stayed in the government-operated shelter, which had a capacity to care for 20 victims. Child victims could be referred to three NGO-operated shelters dedicated to girl trafficking victims, or could be referred to a government orphanage where they could receive specialized care. The absence of an effective referral mechanism appeared to impede the government’s ability to provide victims, particularly adults, with care services. With international organization funding, authorities launched a program to provide client services to victims of trafficking and sexual abuse, although they did not report how many trafficking victims received services through this program during the year. NGOs did not receive government funding to provide services to trafficking victims.

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, lack of faith in the judicial system, and the limitations of the government’s witness protection program. Guatemalan law allowed for victim testimony via video. While Guatemalan law established that convicted traffickers should provide restitution to victims, there were no reports that this occurred during the reporting period. The government did not detain, fine, or otherwise penalize identified victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Guatemalan authorities reported that all identified foreign trafficking victims were sent directly from the immigration detention center to the government-run shelter for adult victims. However, victims may not have had their victim status recognized by Guatemalan authorities before being deported as undocumented migrants. Guatemalan law provides legal alternatives to removal of foreign victims who may face hardship or retribution upon repatriation. The authorities offered these alternatives to foreign trafficking victims but reported that no victims had accepted.

Prevention

The Government of Guatemala maintained prevention efforts. The Secretariat Against Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Trafficking in Persons (SVET) was responsible for coordinating government efforts, as was the interagency anti-trafficking commission, which met six times during the year. Some officials and NGOs indicated that SVET was a weak coordinating body. Authorities continued public awareness campaigns, including distributing information pamphlets through its consulates abroad. Officials reported re-launching a trafficking hotline in January 2012. The independent human rights ombudsman published a report on the trafficking situation in Guatemala. Despite continued reports of child sex tourism, which is prohibited by Article 195 of the penal code, there were no reported prosecutions or convictions of child sex tourists. Authorities provided training on human trafficking to Guatemalan troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

GUINEA (Tier 2)

Guinea is a source, transit, and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The majority of Guinea’s trafficking victims are children, and incidents of trafficking are more prevalent among Guinean citizens than foreign migrants residing in Guinea. Girls are often subjected to domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation, while boys are forced to beg on the streets, to work as street vendors or shoe shiners, or to labor in gold and diamond mines. Some Guinean women and men are subjected to forced labor in agriculture. 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 domestic servitude and likely also to commercial sexual exploitation. Children are sent to the coastal region of Boke for forced labor on farms and to Senegal for education in Koranic schools, some of which exploit students through forced begging. Some Guinean boys and girls are subjected to forced labor in gold mining in Senegal, Mali, and possibly other West African countries. Guinean women and girls are subjected to domestic servitude and forced and child prostitution in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Greece, and Spain. Reports indicate that Chinese and Vietnamese women are subjected to forced prostitution in Guinea and that some Guinean woman who migrate to the Middle East and Europe are subjected to forced prostitution and 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. Since Guinea’s first democratic election in December 2010, the government has experienced limited funding, endemic corruption, and austerity measures. Due to funding difficulties, the country’s criminal courts, which handle major crimes such as human trafficking, have not convened since 2009. However, the Government of Guinea did achieve a trafficking conviction in 2011 under charges of child abduction, which was prosecuted in a lower court. The government also investigated a significant number of trafficking cases in 2011, compared to no investigations in the previous reporting period, and identified an increased number of child trafficking victims. The government struggled, however, to provide adequate protection to trafficking victims, and its overall prevention efforts remained weak.

Recommendations for Guinea: Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; work towards gaining capacity for the criminal courts to convene; educate prosecutors on trafficking-related statutes that can be pursued through the lower courts until the criminal courts convene; train law enforcement officials and magistrates on anti-trafficking statues in the child code and the existing penal code; finalize and adopt the implementing text for the child code; increase prescribed penalties for the sex trafficking of adults; provide specialized training to border officials to recognize trafficking victims and to refer them to protective services; investigate allegations of corruption among border officials; implement the 2012-2013 national action plan; develop stronger partnerships with NGOs and international organizations, where possible, to care for victims and develop systemic referral practices for victim care; enhance partnership and information-sharing mechanisms among government agencies involved in combating trafficking; and increase efforts to raise public awareness about trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Guinea demonstrated notable progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the past year. It significantly increased its investigations of suspected trafficking crimes during the reporting period; however, only 13 of 59 cases were submitted to the courts for prosecution. Guinean law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, including forced prostitution of adults and debt bondage. 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 proceeds from the crime. Articles 385-396 of the 2009 Child Code prohibit all forms of child trafficking and prescribe penalties of five to 10 years’ imprisonment and the confiscation of any proceeds from the crime. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government initiated 59 new trafficking investigations, submitted 13 cases to the courts, and successfully convicted one trafficking offender during the reporting period: a significant increase compared to no anti-trafficking law enforcement activity in 2010. Twelve cases remain pending at the close of the reporting period. The non-functioning of the criminal courts during the reporting period greatly inhibited the government’s efforts to secure trafficking convictions. In June 2011, the court of appeal of Kankan confirmed a decision by the justice of the peace of Macenta convicting a trafficking offender under Article 340 (child abduction) of the penal code for kidnapping a six-year-old girl with intent to transport her to Mali. The trafficking offender was sentenced to one year’s imprisonment and forced to pay a fine equivalent to $70 along with court fees. The prosecutor chose to pursue child abduction charges, as these offenses would not require a hearing before the criminal court. In September 2010, the government imprisoned a Koranic teacher for nearly burning alive a four-year-old child for eating, without permission, the peanuts he was forced to grow for the teacher. His prosecution was delayed pending a determination of the child’s medical condition. The Ministry of Security’s Office for the Protection of Gender, Childhood and Morals employed approximately 56 police investigators throughout the country to investigate allegations of human trafficking and child labor; the number of trafficking cases this unit investigated during the reporting period is unknown. The government did not provide any specialized training to its officials on the recognition, investigation, and prosecution of human trafficking. Border guards allegedly were involved in trafficking-related corruption, although the government took no known action to address these allegations.

Protection

The government’s protection of trafficking victims remained limited and difficult to assess during the reporting period. Government funding for all social programming was constrained by austerity measures taken to avoid fiscal insolvency. The government reported that the Ministry of Social Affairs, in collaboration with local citizens, rescued 30 children in 2011 – an increase from 2010 – but did not specify the nature of the crimes committed against the children. The government reported its security forces either delivered these children to local NGOs or returned them to their homes. The government did not provide trafficking victims with direct access to legal, medical, or psychological services, and did not provide direct or in-kind support to foreign or domestic NGOs that assisted victims; it did, however, refer on an ad hoc basis an unknown number of child victims to NGOs that provided such services. The government reported that it operated rudimentary, multipurpose care stations at military bases for child victims prior to their being referred to NGOs, but the services such stations provided were unclear. NGOs reported that local ad hoc systems of police referral of victims to NGOs functioned well in certain areas of the country, and an unknown number of potential victims to NGOs and international organizations were referred for assistance. The Ministry of Social Affairs’ section for at-risk children provided assistance to a few hundred children, a small number of whom may have been trafficking victims; however, it did not indicate the type of assistance provided. Although it is legally available, the government did not provide temporary or permanent residence status to victims from countries where they would face retribution or hardship; it is unclear if any of the 30 identified victims were offered or requested such immigration relief. The child code contains provisions allowing NGOs to bring cases to court on behalf of victims, and the government reported that a victim could file a civil suit against a trafficking offender provided the victim is older than 12 years of age; however, this did not happen during the reporting period. There was no evidence that the government encouraged trafficking victims to participate in the investigation or prosecution of their traffickers during the year. It is not known whether any trafficking victims were prosecuted for violations of other laws.

Prevention

The Government of Guinea did not conduct any trafficking prevention campaigns during the reporting period, although the Ministry of Social Affairs updated the National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons to cover through 2013. The National Committee to Fight against Trafficking in Persons (CNLTP) met sporadically throughout 2011. Despite the involvement of numerous government ministries in combating trafficking, the ability to share information among agencies remains limited, and NGO observers stated that the CNLTP is chronically understaffed, poorly trained, and underpaid. Despite having a widespread problem with child labor in Guinea, the government did not implement any social programs to prevent children from entering exploitative work situations, and according to NGOs, labor inspectors lacked the capacity to adequately conduct child labor investigations. The government did not take steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

GUINEA-BISSAU (Tier 2 Watch List)

Guinea-Bissau is a country of origin and destination for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The scope of the problem of trafficking in adult women or men for forced labor or forced prostitution is unknown. Unscrupulous marabouts (religious teachers), or their intermediaries, recruit boys under the pretense of offering them a Koranic education, but subsequently transport them to Senegal or, to a lesser extent, Mali or Guinea, where they are forced to beg for money. Young boys are increasingly sent to cities within Guinea-Bissau for the same purpose. Men from the regions of Bafata and Gabu – often former students of the marabouts, known as talibes – who are generally well-known within the communities in which they operate are the principal trafficking offenders. NGOs observed an alarming increase in overall trafficking during the past year. Boys reportedly were transported to southern Senegal for forced manual and agricultural labor, girls were forced into domestic service in Bissau, the capital, and both boys and girls were forced to work as street vendors in Bissau-Guinean and Senegalese cities. Bissau-Guinean girls are subjected to domestic servitude in Guinea and Senegal, while a smaller number are subjected to child prostitution the same countries, including for exploitation by international sex tourists.

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. The government acknowledged that human trafficking is a problem in the country and enacted a comprehensive anti-trafficking law in June 2011, followed by a national plan of action for implementing the law. It also facilitated the repatriation of 120 trafficking victims from Senegal and provided a small amount of funding to NGO shelters that provided victim care. It did not, however, pursue criminal action against trafficking offenders during the year. Anti-trafficking awareness efforts applied the misleading phrase “children in movement” in place of “trafficking” in an attempt to avoid backlash from religious communities. Police claimed to monitor the activities of known trafficking perpetrators, but failed to initiate law enforcement actions against them.

Recommendations for Guinea-Bissau: Focusing first on Pirada and Sao Domingos, transit towns on the border with Senegal, train law enforcement officials and magistrates to use the new anti-trafficking law to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses; ensure that efforts to hold parents criminally liable for sending their children with abusive marabouts are accompanied by efforts to prosecute and convict the unscrupulous marabouts who use talibes for forced begging; ensure that budget allocations are designated to keep prisons fully operational with furnishings and security staff to ensure that trafficking offenders serve prison sentences; undertake increased efforts to coordinate with NGOs to provide services to trafficking victims; increase partnership and coordination between the National Institute of Women and Children (INMC) and local NGOs to advance anti-trafficking efforts; and in collaboration with NGOs, implement a public awareness campaign warning families about the dangers of trafficking.

Prosecution

Although the Government of Guinea-Bissau enacted comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation during the reporting period, it did not prosecute or punish any trafficking offenders. In June 2011, the Parliament passed Public Law 12/2011, which is Guinea-Bissau’s first comprehensive law against human trafficking. The law prescribes penalties of three to 15 years’ imprisonment and the confiscation of any proceeds from the crime. The 2009 Child Code prohibits all forms of child trafficking and prescribes penalties of three to 10 years’ imprisonment and the confiscation of any proceeds from the crime. The penalties prescribed by these statutes are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. However, neither these laws nor other existing laws were used to prosecute trafficking cases during the reporting period.

An unknown number of suspected traffickers were arrested and possibly detained, but the government reported no investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenses. During the reporting period, border police detained and questioned five marabouts on suspicion of child trafficking, although they were eventually released and no charges were filed against them. Observers noted that most parents of trafficked children remained unwilling to press charges against suspected traffickers. Guinea-Bissau’s judicial system lacks sufficient human and physical capital to function properly and corruption remained pervasive. In contrast to previous years, however, some prisons were staffed and functioning. The government did not provide any specialized training to law enforcement officials on investigating or prosecuting trafficking crimes. During the reporting period, members of an Italian police force provided on-site training to border guards in Pirada, a major trafficking route. There were no investigations into official government complicity, but observers believe police and border guards accepted bribes to release trafficking offenders from detention centers, and politicians intervened to facilitate the release of influential religious leaders accused of trafficking to garner political support.

Protection

The Government of Guinea-Bissau demonstrated overall inadequate efforts to identify and protect victims during the year, though it provided modest financial assistance to NGO-run shelters that cared for trafficking victims. NGOs reported that the government did not make systematic efforts to identify victims proactively and refer them to NGOs and international organizations. Although the INMC routinely called NGOs to alert them to the arrival of repatriated trafficking victims, the government offered no additional assistance. During the last year, the central government contributed the equivalent of $16,000 to an NGO that operated two multi-purpose shelters, and two local governments paid the salaries of security guards for two care facilities for previously-exploited talibes in their jurisdictions. The Bissau-Guinean Embassy in Dakar organized and funded the repatriation of 120 Bissau-Guinean victims identified in Senegal. There are reports that some children who were able to escape their traffickers walked back to Guinea-Bissau from Senegal on their own; the government did not provide these children with services upon their return, and there were reports that many of them ended up living on the street. Child victims were not encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses; the government reported encouraging adult family members and neighbors to participate in legal proceedings against the suspected traffickers of their children, although none occurred. There is no evidence that the government detained, fined, or jailed trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked.

Prevention

The government undertook minimal anti-trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. An inter-ministerial steering committee, chaired by INMC, met once during the reporting period and adopted a national action plan for 2011-2013, which is primarily aimed at providing guidance for implementing the new anti-trafficking law. This plan also obligates the government to contribute to anti-trafficking efforts from its general funds each year. NGOs expressed concern over the lack of transparency and partnership between the INMC and the NGO community. The government participated in NGO-led anti-trafficking awareness campaigns in the form of local workshops, radio and television announcements, informational flyers, and door-to-door campaigns. International donors provided the funding for these outreach events. The government took no discernible measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor during the year.

GUYANA (Tier 2)

Guyana is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Guyanese nationals have been subjected to human trafficking in other countries in the Caribbean region. Cases of human trafficking reported in the media generally involved women and girls in forced prostitution. Country experts expressed concern that exploitative child labor practices occur within the mining industry, agriculture, and forestry sector. The limited government control of Guyana’s vast interior regions, combined with profits from gold mining and the prostitution that accompanies the industry provide conditions conducive for trafficking. People in domestic service in Guyana are vulnerable to human trafficking, and instances of the common Guyanese practice of poor, rural families sending children to live with higher-income family members or acquaintances in more populated areas creates conditions conducive to domestic servitude. Guyanese from rural, economically depressed areas are particularly vulnerable to trafficking in mining areas and urban centers. There is additional concern that young Brazilian women in prostitution are vulnerable to trafficking as well.

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. The government demonstrated increased efforts to identify and assist trafficking victims. There were no prosecutions of trafficking offenders and there was no reported progress on prosecutions initiated in previous reporting periods, highlighting serious concerns about a lack of accountability for trafficking offenders in Guyana. The absence of formal standard operating procedures to guide officials in victim identification and protection, disincentives for reporting and working on trafficking cases, as well as lack of action to address perceived official complicity, were also obstacles to progress.

Recommendations for Guyana: Boost efforts to hold trafficking offenders accountable by vigorously and appropriately investigating and prosecuting forced prostitution and forced labor, including police, customs, and immigration officers complicit in trafficking; in partnership with NGOs, develop standard operating procedures to guide and encourage front line officials, including police, health, immigration, labor, mining, and forestry personnel in the identification and protection of forced labor and forced prostitution, ensuring that victims are not punished for crimes committed as a result of being in a trafficking situation; foster a climate of open dialogue on trafficking and encouraging people to come forward to authorities on potential cases; and consider developing a working level task force to complement the policy level task force that would be able to coordinate the day-to-day efforts of law enforcement, NGOs, prosecutors, as well as labor, health, mining, and forestry officials to address obstacles, plan strategy, and work together on specific cases.

Prosecution

The government made no discernible progress in holding human trafficking offenders in Guyana accountable 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. The penalties are commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government reported 13 trafficking reports during the year but reported initiating only two new trafficking investigations. Authorities reported no new prosecutions or convictions. Of two sex trafficking prosecutions initiated in previous years, one remained pending, and one was dismissed.

There were many challenges to achieving successful prosecutions in Guyana. In almost all cases, the government treated trafficking as a summary offense in the lower courts, where cases are often dismissed, indicating a lack of severity assigned to the crime of trafficking. Guyana’s legal system suffered from a severe case backlog in all areas that limits the efficiency and effectiveness of the system; repeated delays in nearly all criminal prosecutions increased the likelihood that victims would become discouraged and cease cooperation as witnesses in trafficking prosecutions. Perceived corruption and low public confidence in the Guyana Police Force also were problems. The government’s public insistence that human trafficking in not a significant problem in the country created a potential disincentive for police and court officials to address trafficking cases. There was evidence that people could be penalized for reporting suspected human trafficking crimes to the police. The press reported that police arrested a mother immediately after she reported concern that her daughter was in forced prostitution.

Protection

The government made efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period. Specifically, in a positive step, the government was able to document that it identified and assisted an increased number of sex trafficking victims during the reporting period. Officials reported identifying 13 sex trafficking victims and assisting six of these during the reporting period, compared with three sex trafficking victims identified and assisted during the previous reporting period. For another year, the government did not identify any victims of forced labor, raising concerns that the government did not employ systematic procedures to guide front-line responders, such as police, mining officials, forestry officials, labor inspectors, and health officials, in identifying victims of human trafficking. Trafficking victims in Guyana faced disincentives to seek help from authorities due to fear of retribution from trafficking offenders and fear of arrest. The government estimated that it spent the equivalent of approximately $7,500 toward trafficking victim assistance during the reporting period. The government had an unsigned memorandum of understanding with a domestic violence NGO in Georgetown to provide shelter and other assistance; the NGO assisted the six sex trafficking victims referred to it by authorities during the reporting period. There were no shelter facilities in other areas of the country. In accordance with Guyana’s anti-trafficking law, there are legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to their home countries where they may face hardship or retribution. Highlighting the need for standard operating procedures to guide authorities in the identification and handling of potential trafficking cases, there was evidence that some potential trafficking victims were penalized for crimes committed as a result of being in a trafficking situation. Following anti-trafficking raids of brothels in 2011, some foreign women in prostitution were jailed and deported immediately for immigration violations, without the involvement of an NGO or concerted efforts to identify possible trafficking victims. Local observers have noted that other potential child victims may have been sent to the juvenile detention center.

Prevention

The government made limited progress in preventing human trafficking during the reporting period. The government continued to focus its public comments on the scope of Guyana’s trafficking problem, maintaining that it is limited, rather than fostering an open dialogue to build public awareness of the potential for trafficking and how to identify, report, and prevent cases. Minimizing the existence of human trafficking hindered the progress of trafficking awareness campaigns, which were largely donor driven and funded. An NGO that received government funding operated a hotline that had operators trained to assist trafficking victims. The government has not updated its national action plan to combat trafficking in persons since 2005. The Ministry of Home Affairs was the lead agency for combating human trafficking, with the minister of Home Affairs serving as chair of the government’s national task force for combating trafficking in persons. The Ministry of Labor, Human Services, and Social Security was the lead agency for victim related issues and child labor. Officials did not report any measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. There were no reports that Guyana was a significant sex tourism destination.

HAITI (Tier 2 Watch List)

Haiti is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Many of Haiti’s trafficking cases are the estimated 150,000-500,000 restaveks – the term for children in forced domestic service. The majority of children that become restaveks do so when recruiters arrange for them to live with families in other cities and towns in the hope of going to school. Restaveks are treated differently from other non-biological children living in households; in addition to involuntary servitude, these children are particularly vulnerable to beatings, sexual assaults, and other abuses by family members in the homes in which they are residing. Dismissed and runaway children, many of whom were former restaveks, as well as many restaveks displaced by the 2010 earthquake, make up a significant proportion of the large population of street children who end up forced into prostitution, begging, or street crime by violent criminal gangs in Haiti. There were some incidents of foreigners procuring child commercial sex acts, including at least two incidents of sexual exploitation and abuse reported by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). There have been documented cases of Dominican women in forced prostitution in Haiti.

NGOs monitoring the Haitian-Dominican border reported that children frequently cross the border illegally, often in the company of an adult who is paid to pretend to be the child’s parent or guardian until they get to the other side. Some of these children are reunited with parents working in the Dominican Republic, but others are believed to be forced into organized begging rings or in domestic servitude. Authorities have also reported regularly seeing trucks full of children heading for the border, as well as “mobile brothel” trucks containing people in prostitution, driving from town to town and across the Haitian-Dominican Republic border.

Haitian men, women, and children also are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking in the Dominican Republic, other Caribbean countries, the United States, and South America. The groups most at risk to trafficking were those from the lowest income backgrounds, especially undocumented Haitians. One Haitian government report estimated that the births of more than 10 percent of Haitians were not registered.

The Government of Haiti 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 failed to demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous reporting period; therefore, Haiti is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. The absence of strong legislation criminalizing all forms of human trafficking and related policies or laws on victim protection severely limited the government’s ability to prosecute trafficking offenders and protect victims. Still recovering from the 2010 earthquake, coordination of anti-trafficking activities remained a challenge and support for victims was almost exclusively donor funded because of the lack of capacity in existing and weak government institutions. However, government officials worked with NGOs to rescue child trafficking victims.

Recommendations for Haiti: Enact legislation prohibiting sex trafficking and all forms of forced labor, including domestic servitude, with penalties that are proportionate to other serious crimes such as rape; investigate, prosecute and convict trafficking offenders, including persons abusing restaveks or prostituting children under 18, using available legal instruments; adopt laws or policies to guarantee victims are not punished for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked; in partnership with NGOs, adopt and employ formal procedures to guide officials in proactive victim identification and referral of child and adult victims to appropriate shelters and services; raise awareness through high-level public statements to inform the public about the causes and consequences of forced labor and forced prostitution; and establish an inter-ministerial task force to plan and coordinate the government’s anti-trafficking efforts.

Prosecution

The government did not make discernible progress in prosecuting traffickers during the reporting period because Haiti does not have a law or laws specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. Draft human trafficking legislation remained pending in Parliament during the reporting period. There were some laws that could potentially be used to prosecute some trafficking offenses, such as the Act on the Prohibition and Elimination of All Forms of Abuse, Violence, Ill-treatment or Inhumane Treatment against Children of 2003, but the government did not report any prosecutions or convictions of any trafficking offenders in Haiti under this law or under any other statutes during the reporting period. The Brigade for the Protection of Minors (BPM), the government agency responsible for investigating crimes against children, reported initiating 42 cases of child trafficking, resulting in 25 arrests during the reporting period. During the reporting period, the Haitian government attempted to extradite to the Dominican Republic a person charged with trafficking; however, because no extradition agreement exists between the two countries and there was no clear law against trafficking in Haiti, authorities released the individual after a two-week detention period without charge. The absence of legislation also contributed to confusion among elements of the Haitian government and some of its international donors regarding the crimes of human smuggling, human trafficking, and illegal adoption. In addition to the absence of trafficking legislation, other impediments included widespread corruption; the lack of quick responses to cases with trafficking indicators; the slow pace of the judicial branch to resolve criminal cases; scant funding for government agencies; and low government capacity in general. Specialized training for officials on assisting trafficking victims and investigating human trafficking was limited during the reporting period, but officials participated in training that addressed trafficking sponsored by international organizations, NGOs, and foreign donors, including one training bringing together Dominican and Haitian officials.

Protection

The government made limited progress in the protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government did not track data regarding trafficking victim identification and lacked formal victim identification and assistance procedures and resources. NGOs working with the government were able to identify over 1,000 trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government did not provide direct or specialized services to trafficking victims; however, the government referred suspected cases to donor-funded NGOs which provided shelter, food, medical, and psychosocial support. NGOs reported that they had good working relationships with individual government officials, and the leadership of BPM and the government’s social welfare ministry (IBESR) expressed commitment to helping child trafficking victims during the reporting period. Due to budgetary limitations, one senior official used personal funds to provide food for child trafficking victims. One NGO reported that the government assisted it in the safe repatriation of 20 child trafficking victims to their biological families or legal guardians during the reporting period. The government did not have formal trafficking victim protection policies to encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders. Moreover, the government did not provide immigration relief for foreign victims of human trafficking facing retribution in the countries to which they would be deported or legal protections to ensure victims were not punished for crimes committed as a direct result of being in a human trafficking situation.

Prevention

Efforts to prevent new incidents of human trafficking in Haiti were largely driven by international organizations and NGOs. There were no reports of government funded anti-trafficking information campaigns conducted or hotlines established during the reporting period. The government did not have a national plan of action to address trafficking in persons in a strategic way; officials expressed the desire to put together such a plan. No single agency or official had the lead in anti-trafficking efforts, and there was no inter-ministerial group to coordinate the government’s response to forced labor and sex trafficking. In an action that helped to prevent abuse of children and child trafficking, the newly installed head of IBESR closed several unregulated children care centers. There were no known measures by the government taken during the reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

HONDURAS (Tier 2)

Honduras is principally a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Honduran victims are often recruited from rural areas with false offers of employment and later subjected to sex trafficking in urban and tourist centers, such as Tegucigalpa, San Pedro Sula, and the Bay Islands. Honduran women and children are exploited in sex trafficking in Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Belize, and the United States. To a lesser extent, women and girls from neighboring countries are exploited in sex trafficking in Honduras. There have also been reports of rural families leasing out their children, who are then exploited in forced labor, including forced begging and commercial sexual exploitation in urban areas. NGOs report incidents of forced labor in Honduras in agriculture and domestic service. Honduran men, women, and children are also subjected to forced labor in other countries, particularly in Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States; some of these migrants are exploited en route to or within the United States. Over the last year, officials, NGOs, and the media reported that an increase in cases in which young males in urban areas were coerced and threatened by gang members to transport drugs. In addition to anecdotal reports of incidents in the Bay Islands, Honduran authorities have identified child sex tourists in La Ceiba, San Pedro Sula, and Siguatepeque.

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. These efforts included sustained, modest law enforcement efforts against child sex traffickers and the drafting and the passage of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law. However, government funding for victim services remained inadequate, efforts against forced labor were weak and impeded by the lack of criminal penalties during the year, and authorities did not employ proactive methods to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations.

Recommendations for Honduras: Vigorously implement the new comprehensive anti-trafficking law; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute all trafficking offenses, including forced labor crimes and forced prostitution of adult victims, and increase the number of trafficking offenders convicted and sentenced; ensure that specialized services and shelter are available to trafficking victims through dedicated funding, either to government entities or civil society organizations; increase resources and staff for the dedicated police and prosecutorial units; develop and implement formal procedures for identifying victims among vulnerable populations and referring them to service providers; continue to increase training on victim identification and assistance for immigration and law enforcement officers, labor inspectors, prosecutors, judges, and social workers; improve data collection on law enforcement and victim protection efforts; enhance government planning and coordination mechanisms, perhaps through passing a national plan; and continue to raise awareness about all forms of human trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Honduras demonstrated uneven anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. While it maintained efforts to investigate and punish sex trafficking crimes involving children and passed comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation prohibiting forced labor, its efforts to investigate cases of sex trafficking of adults or forced labor remained weak. In April 2012, Congress passed a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that prohibits all forms of trafficking, as well as establishes more robust victim protections and interagency cooperation. The law also prohibits illegal adoption, a crime that is distinct from human trafficking, per the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. The law prescribes penalties ranging from 10 to 22.5 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent punishments and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Prior to this, Honduras prohibited forced prostitution through aggravated circumstances in Article 149 of its penal code, which prescribes penalties ranging from 12 to 19.5 years’ imprisonment. It did not, however, specifically prohibit forced labor. The government maintained a law enforcement unit dedicated to investigating human trafficking and human smuggling crimes; this unit consisted of 10 investigative officers, all based in the capital. The Office of the Special Prosecutor for Children handles all trafficking cases, including those involving adults. This unit’s effectiveness was hampered, however, by limited staff and funding; there were only two prosecutors, four analysts, and two investigators responsible for investigating trafficking crimes, as well as all crimes against children.

There were 48 new investigations and 162 pending investigations into human trafficking complaints during the reporting period. Authorities reported prosecuting and convicting six sex trafficking offenders in 2011, although it was unclear what statutes these cases were prosecuted under, or if they were all human trafficking convictions. Convicted offenders received sentences ranging from three to 19 years’ imprisonment, plus fines. In comparison, authorities reported prosecuting 26 trafficking cases and obtained three convictions during the previous year. The lack of specific prohibitions against forced labor remained a significant impediment in law enforcement efforts. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of public officials for complicity in human trafficking. NGOs and international organizations continued to deliver most of the anti-trafficking training available to government officials; immigration officials received information on how to identify trafficking victims, municipal employees were trained on how to receive and refer trafficking complaints, and cadets at the national police academy received training on how to identify and respond to trafficking cases.

Protection

The Honduran government provided minimal services to trafficking victims during the year, although it continued to refer victims to NGOs for care. Honduran authorities continued to lack systematic procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as people in prostitution. A network of NGOs reported identifying over 90 victims during the reporting period, whereas authorities identified only 16 victims through law enforcement efforts. The government did not fund dedicated shelters or services for trafficking victims. Honduran officials generally referred trafficking victims to NGO facilities on an ad hoc basis; these facilities did not receive funding from the government. Although the government continued to offer child victims limited medical and psychological assistance at three government shelters for at-risk children, officials did not record the number of child trafficking victims who received services at these facilities. NGOs have provided services to adult victims of trafficking in Honduras, including repatriated Honduran victims, although government funding for adult victim services was practically nonexistent. The only government-provided shelter accessible to adult male victims was the migrant detention center, which was not appropriate for victims of trafficking. Government-funded victim services were largely limited to the delivery of basic medical, psychological, and dentistry services to some victims at government health facilities; these services are available to all Honduran citizens.

Victims were encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders, and an unknown number did so during the reporting period. Some trafficking victims declined to cooperate, however, due to distrust in the judicial system, particularly its ability to ensure their personal safety. There were no reports of identified victims being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked. The government did not report systematically offering foreign victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution, although victims could be granted temporary residency as refugees or migrant workers. However, authorities reported that no foreign victims applied for this status during the year.

Prevention

The government maintained limited efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period through partnerships with civil society organizations. The Inter-Institutional Commission on the Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Children, which is composed of government agencies, NGOs, and international organizations, served as the interagency coordinating body, and met 17 times in 2011. The commission drafted and presented the comprehensive anti-trafficking bill to the Honduran Congress during the year. The government maintained a national hotline for trafficking victims to obtain information and assistance; the hotline was administered by the anti-trafficking police unit. The government reported no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of child sex tourists during the year. The government did not report efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts.

HONG KONG (Tier 2)

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) of the People’s Republic of China is a source, destination, and transit territory for men, women, and teenage girls from Hong Kong, mainland China, the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Nepal, Cambodia, and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Some migrants are lured to Hong Kong by criminal syndicates or acquaintances with promises of financial rewards and are deceived about the nature of prospective work. Upon arrival in Hong Kong, these migrants are forced into prostitution to repay money owed for their passage to Hong Kong. According to an NGO and press reports, some victims of sex trafficking have been psychologically coerced into prostitution by trafficking offenders who threaten to reveal photos or recordings of the victims’ sexual encounters. Some foreign domestic workers in the territory, particularly those from Indonesia and the Philippines, face notable indebtedness assumed in their home countries as part of the terms of job placement, which have the potential to lead to situations of debt bondage. Foreign domestic workers from the Philippines and Indonesia are generally charged the equivalent of $1,950 and $2,725, respectively, by recruiters in their home countries. These debts may comprise more than 80 percent of workers’ salaries for the first seven to eight months of employment. During that period, some workers may be unwilling to report abusive employers for fear of losing their jobs. Several of Hong Kong’s domestic worker employment agencies have charged fees in excess of Hong Kong law and illegally withheld passports, employment contracts, and bank debit cards of domestic workers until their debt has been paid – factors that could facilitate labor trafficking in the territory.

The HKSAR Government 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 no discernible progress over previous years in law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking or forced labor; it secured six sex trafficking convictions and no forced labor convictions. The government identified 12 trafficking victims during the reporting period, and while it trained law enforcement on investigating trafficking, the continued lack of a single, comprehensive law to prohibit all forms of trafficking and protect victims impeded results.

Recommendations for Hong Kong: Enact a stringent, comprehensive anti-trafficking law that prohibits all forms of trafficking and defines terms according to established international standards as set forth in the 2000 UN TIP Protocol; ensure adequate procedures are in place to guide officials in proactively identifying forced labor and sex trafficking victims among vulnerable populations and referring them to available services; grant victims permission to work and study while participating in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; develop a national action plan to commit resources and develop a clear, overarching strategy to combat trafficking; convene regular meetings of the Security Bureau and other agencies comprising the anti-trafficking working group to more proactively develop efforts to combat trafficking; continue to publicize the availability of these protective service resources among vulnerable populations, such as foreign domestic workers; and educate law enforcement, judges, authority officials, and the public on trafficking definitions in line with established international standards.

Prosecution

The Hong Kong government made no discernible progress in their anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The Hong Kong government continued outdated interpretation of trafficking as a phenomenon of movement for prostitution and the lack of a specific criminal prohibition on forced labor hindered anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts. Inconsistent with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol’s definition of human trafficking, Section 129 of the Crimes Ordinance, which prohibits “trafficking in persons to or from Hong Kong,” requires an element of transnationality in the offense and focuses on movement of persons into or out of Hong Kong for prostitution regardless of whether force, fraud, or coercion has been used. Section 129’s prescribed penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Other sections of Hong Kong’s Immigration Ordinance, Crimes Ordinance, and Employment Ordinance, however, were used to prosecute trafficking offenses during the reporting period. During the year, The Hong Kong government reported the conviction of six offenders under Crimes Ordinance Section 130 – which prohibits forced prostitution but no convictions of forced labor. The government did not report any investigations, arrests, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in trafficking offenses. While the government provided training to 300 police officers during the reporting period on conducting anti-trafficking investigations, such training was limited by Hong Kong’s outdated anti-trafficking laws.

Protection

The Hong Kong government continued its efforts to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period by identifying 12 sex trafficking victims. The Hong Kong government continued its outreach within the foreign domestic worker community to identify victims of forced labor or sexual abuse, but the government did not identify any victims of forced labor during the reporting period. A local NGO and consulate identified one victim of forced labor who remained jailed at the end of the reporting period for immigration and labor violations. Law enforcement and social services officials reportedly followed systematic procedures in identifying the full range of potential trafficking victims, particularly among high-risk populations such as foreigners arrested for prostitution or immigration violations, although the low number of trafficking victims identified by the government and the imprisonment of a forced labor victim raised concerns about the effectiveness of these procedures. The government subsidized six NGO-run shelters and three government-owned and operated shelters that serve victims of abuse, violence, exploitation, and trafficking. These shelters provided temporary free accommodations, counseling, and access to public hospital services to the 12 identified victims during the reporting period. Services were available for local and foreign men and women, as well as children. The government claimed that it encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution process; however, the government did not permit victims to work while remaining in Hong Kong to participate in trials, and Hong Kong does not specifically allow for permanent residency status for cases in which repatriation may constitute a risk of hardship or retribution. While victims have the ability to file civil charges for compensation against their traffickers, there were no such cases in which this occurred.

Prevention

Hong Kong continued efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period. In February 2011, a Hong Kong immigration officer participated in the Indonesian consulate’s monthly orientation program for new foreign domestic workers and educated the workers on their rights under Hong Kong law. The Labor Department organized a number of seminars for foreign domestic worker employment agencies on regulations those agencies must follow, including penalties for withholding travel documents and underpaying wages. The Hong Kong government continued to disburse anti-trafficking pamphlets in six different languages aimed at educating the public on trafficking issues. The Labor Department also widely distributed information packets for foreign domestic workers in eight different languages discussing ways to prevent and report human trafficking. The government continued to provide new foreign domestic workers arriving at the airport with information on preventing trafficking, which was available in multiple languages. The Security Bureau coordinated Hong Kong’s anti-trafficking efforts through leadership of a working group that involved several other agencies; the working group met one time during the reporting period. The Hong Kong government reported no efforts to prevent or combat child sex tourism. 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 sex trafficking and a source country for men and women subjected to forced labor. Women from Hungary are forced into prostitution in the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United Kingdom (UK), Denmark, Germany, Austria, Italy, Norway, Spain, Ireland, Belgium, Greece, and the United States. Women from eastern Hungary are subjected to forced prostitution in Budapest and in areas of Hungary along the Austrian border. Roma women and girls who grow up in Hungarian orphanages are highly vulnerable to sex trafficking within the country. Men and women from Hungary are subjected to conditions of forced labor in the UK, Spain, Canada, and the United States, as well as within Hungary. During the last year, government officials reported an increase in forced labor cases. Women from Slovakia, Romania, Moldova, Poland, Ukraine, and China are transported through Hungary to the Netherlands, the UK, 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. Romanian women and children are subjected to sex trafficking in Hungary. Men from Western Europe travel to Budapest for the purpose of adult sex tourism, which may sometimes involve the exploitation of trafficking victims. Roma are disproportionately represented among trafficking victims in Hungary.

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. In 2011, the government increased its anti-trafficking investigations and courts strengthened penalties for some convicted trafficking offenders. Furthermore, the government remedied a previous shortcoming by providing year-round funding to an NGO assisting trafficking victims. During the year, however, the parliamentary commissioner for civil rights reported that Hungarian police treated children found in prostitution as offenders, reflecting a serious misunderstanding of the internationally recognized definition of child sex trafficking. Furthermore, the overall conviction rate for trafficking offenders continued to decline and the government provided limited assistance to victims. Finally, the government did not vigorously investigate or prosecute trafficking-related complicity, which hampered its ability to investigate trafficking and identify victims.

Recommendations for Hungary: Develop, implement, and support victim assistance programs for all trafficking victims in Hungary and increase incentives for victims to voluntarily cooperate with law enforcement; increase efforts to prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders while ensuring the human rights of victims; designate specific national-level funding for trafficking victim assistance; improve anti-trafficking training for local police to ensure children in prostitution are not treated as offenders and punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; amend the criminal code to ensure necessary compliance with international standards – including through revising Paragraph 175/b which requires proof that a victim is bought or sold – with a view toward increasing investigations and prosecutions of trafficking; institutionalize partnerships with NGOs, including those representing Roma, on victim identification and assistance in order to achieve a more victim-centered approach to addressing trafficking in Hungary; and consider establishing specialized prosecutors and judges to litigate trafficking cases.

Prosecution

The Hungarian government demonstrated some improvements in its law enforcement efforts by increasing its investigations of trafficking cases in 2011. Hungary prohibits all forms of trafficking through Paragraph 175/b of its criminal code. Prescribed penalties range from one to 20 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Hungarian officials and outside experts continued to cite the narrow scope of Hungary’s trafficking laws and a precedent set by the Hungarian Supreme Court – specifically that a victim of human trafficking must have either been bought or sold by another person, or that direct or recently committed violence as opposed to the use of psychological coercion or abuse of a position of vulnerability had been used as a form of coercion – for creating overly strict evidentiary requirements for prosecutors to prove the crime of human trafficking. Because of these legal hurdles, prosecutors continued to use other statutes to prosecute trafficking offenders, which carry lighter sentences that the trafficking statute. Police increased the number of investigations of trafficking cases in 2011, initiating 18 new trafficking investigations, including two forced labor investigations. This is an improvement from eight investigations initiated in 2010. Courts prosecuted and convicted eight sex trafficking offenders in 2011, a decline from 12 convicted trafficking offenders in 2010 and a sustained decline from 23 convicted offenders in 2009. As opposed to the previous year, the courts did not convict any labor trafficking offenders in 2011. Sentences for the eight convicted offenders ranged from a one-year suspended sentence to nine years’ imprisonment. There continued to be a lack of specialized judges and prosecutors for trafficking cases, and few county police officers were trained in combating trafficking. The government did not provide data on any investigations or prosecutions of trafficking-related complicity. However, a 2011 report based on interviews with survivors of sex trafficking contained reports of police discouraging victims who sought help from pursuing criminal cases. Further, the report contained strong indications of trafficking-related complicity, including reports of officers physically abusing and humiliating trafficking victims and not taking action when victims disclosed the names of their pimps. Country experts reported that police often failed to investigate trafficking cases that involved Roma victims.

Protection

The Hungarian government demonstrated some progress in its protection of trafficking victims in 2011. During the reporting period, the government reported identifying 34 victims in Hungary; the Hungarian Consular Services identified 90 additional Hungarian victims abroad. The government did not offer evidence that it provided reintegration assistance upon these victims’ return to Hungary; according to country experts, there were no government social services available for repatriated victims. One NGO reported that the government only formally recognized trafficking victims if they agreed to testify in court and that NGOs must finance any care provided to victims during the 30-day reflection period during which victims may decide whether to participate in legal actions against their traffickers. While the government provided an amount equivalent to $27,000 for the operation of an NGO shelter for victims of trafficking – which provided assistance to 24 Hungarian victims in 2011 – it failed to renew its contract with this NGO once the year ended. Another NGO provided separate assistance to 15 victims and IOM assisted in the repatriation of 20 Hungarian victims exploited abroad. Moreover, the government’s Victim Support Service assisted 14 victims from the UK, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Germany, who had been exploited within Hungary. An ombudsman report issued in December 2011 exposed a deep misunderstanding among Hungarian authorities of child trafficking issues and highlighted the problem of police treating children in prostitution as perpetrators, as opposed to victims of trafficking. One NGO reported that more than 100 Hungarian children were charged with solicitation for prostitution over an eight-month period in 2011. Furthermore, the same NGO reported that at least 16 potential trafficking victims, including 11 Romanians, were charged and prosecuted for begging offenses.

The government did not provide adequate incentives for victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers in 2011. 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 this temporary immigration relief in 2011. NGOs continue to report that a 30-day reflection period is insufficient time for victims to work through the trauma and decide whether to testify against their exploiters. Foreign victims may apply for a six-month temporary residency permit if they choose to cooperate with law enforcement. Country experts noted concerns in 2011 that victims who chose not to assist law enforcement were forced to testify; other victims continued be charged for violating prostitution, labor, or migration laws.

Prevention

The Government of Hungary demonstrated some improvements in its efforts to prevent human trafficking. In December 2011, the national coordinator chaired an NGO roundtable to improve the work of the National Coordination Mechanism. In May 2011, the Office of the Prosecutor General funded and organized anti-trafficking training for county prosecutor offices. The government did not demonstrate transparency and accountability in its anti-trafficking efforts by systematically monitoring or assessing these efforts during the reporting period. However, in November 2011, it launched a new website listing information on its anti-trafficking efforts, indicators of trafficking, and checklists for Hungarians planning on working abroad. The government did not undertake specific measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. The government provided anti-trafficking training to Hungarian crisis management troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

ICELAND (Tier 1)

Iceland is a destination and transit country for women subjected to 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. Female victims of human trafficking in Iceland come from Eastern Europe, Russia, Africa, and Brazil. These victims may stay for several months before being trafficked onward, while others may spend only a few days in Reykjavik before moved abroad. Authorities suspect the involvement of organized crime in trafficking.

The Government of Iceland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Icelandic government increased the maximum criminal penalty for human trafficking offenses from eight years of imprisonment to 12 years, a penalty that obliges Icelandic police to hold human trafficking suspects in pre-trial detention without bail. The government provided funding for a new shelter to aid the long-term reintegration of trafficking victims that opened in September 2011. During the year, victim identification became a core part of the curriculum at the national police college, and NGOs reported victims were more knowledgeable about available services due to the Icelandic police following formal guidelines for victim identification created in 2010. Nevertheless, the number of victims identified dropped this year and no cases were prosecuted. The Government of Iceland continued to develop a public awareness campaign, which it had not yet launched at the time of this report.

Recommendations for Iceland: Vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders; continue to formalize victim identification and care procedures for all care providers; expand training on proactive identification and referral of victims to prosecutors, labor inspectors, and health officials; conduct an awareness and prevention campaign focused on both sex and labor trafficking and the demand for both forms of trafficking; provide specialized training to the national emergency hotline operators on responding to trafficking calls; and consider establishing a hotline for reporting suspected instances of human trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Iceland strengthened its legal framework on human trafficking during the reporting period, though it did not initiate any prosecutions or convict any trafficking offenders. Iceland prohibits both sex and labor trafficking under Article 227a of its criminal code. In June 2011, the Icelandic parliament passed legislation that raised the maximum penalty for human trafficking, prescribed by Article 227a, from eight years of imprisonment to 12 years, which is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes such as rape. The stricter penalty enables police and prosecutors to hold human trafficking suspects during pre-trial detention, which government officials had noted prior to the new legislation as an obstacle in criminal trafficking investigations. Police conducted two trafficking investigations during the reporting period, the same number of investigations initiated in the previous year. However, one of the investigations did not produce evidence sufficient for prosecution; the other was ongoing at the time of this report. Icelandic authorities did not initiate any other trafficking prosecutions during the reporting period, nor did they achieve any convictions. Last year, they similarly did not initiate any prosecutions nor convict any trafficking offenders. The Government of Iceland’s Specialist and Coordination Team for Human Trafficking coordinated law enforcement efforts as well as other inter-governmental anti-trafficking projects. Due to government budgetary constraints in the wake of the country’s economic crisis, resources for overall law enforcement shrank, which included a reduction in the total number of police officers. Several reports from NGOs suggested that the police could be more vigorous in initiating human trafficking investigations. The government did not report the investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of any government official allegedly complicit in trafficking. Icelandic authorities continued to hold classes for students at the national police college on recognizing victims; investigating human trafficking issues will become a core part of the curriculum at the college in 2012. The police have also received “passenger analysis” training that they employ at the airports to assist in identification of potential trafficking victims. Additionally, the government has sent senior Keflavik International Airport officials and border police to anti-trafficking courses abroad, for example at the European Police Academy, as well as to conferences on human trafficking sponsored by OSCE and the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Protection

The Icelandic government sustained robust efforts to protect trafficking victims, yet victim identification efforts showed need for improvement. The government granted the equivalent of $79,100 to an NGO that opened a long-term shelter in September 2011 for women who were victims of trafficking or who have been in prostitution and are making an effort to transition to a different life. The shelter has a capacity for housing four to six women. The government allocated the equivalent of an additional $345,000 to a domestic violence shelter that was available to house trafficking victims. Victims of trafficking were permitted to leave the shelters unchaperoned and at will. The government did not offer male trafficking victims specialized services, though they had access to general social services. In cases involving unaccompanied children, municipal and state child protection services are responsible for assistance. The government offered free health care and legal aid to all trafficking victims, though it is not known how many victims accepted this assistance during the year. Trafficking victims regularly used psychological services offered through a government-supported NGO. The Government of Iceland offered both short- and long-term residency permits for victims of trafficking: a six-month reflection period to foreigners if there was suspicion that they were victims of trafficking and a second one-year renewable permit for victims who cooperated with law enforcement or who found themselves in compelling circumstances, such as facing retribution or hardship in their home countries. During the reporting period, the government did not grant any new permits to victims, although it extended a temporary residence permit for one victim. Victims can obtain a work permit to seek legal employment while in temporary residency status. During the previous reporting period, the National Police Commissioner published formal rules of procedure for identifying, contacting, and caring for suspected victims of trafficking. The Government of Iceland identified three trafficking victims during the reporting period, compared to six victims in the previous year and three victims two years ago. The government provided direct assistance to two victims during the reporting period and a third victim refused an offer of government assistance. NGOs reported identifying three to four additional victims of trafficking. The government reported that no trafficking victims were detained, fined, or jailed for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked. The government encouraged victims to participate in the investigation of trafficking.

Prevention

The Icelandic government made some progress in its efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. Although there were no specific anti-trafficking awareness campaigns in Iceland during the year, the government continued to develop a comprehensive campaign to launch later in 2012. In public appearances by senior officials, the government continued to recognize that trafficking remained a problem in the country. The government coordinated its anti-trafficking activities through its anti-trafficking team, and reported its progress to complete all steps of its 2009-2012 National Action Plan by year’s end. The government continued to provide funds for field projects via OSCE, which, in this reporting period, contributed to a special course on human trafficking at Moscow State University, provided anti-trafficking financial assistance to the Government of Belarus for a project administered by the Icelandic Red Cross, and helped fund the Council of the Baltic Sea States’ Task Force on Trafficking in Human Beings. The Government of Iceland continued to take steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts by convicting one client of prostitution during the reporting period.

INDIA (Tier 2)

India is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The forced labor of millions of its 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. A common characteristic of bonded labor is the use of physical and sexual violence as coercive tools. Ninety percent of trafficking in India is internal, and those from India’s most disadvantaged social strata, including the lowest castes, are most vulnerable. Children are also subjected to forced labor as factory workers, domestic servants, beggars, agricultural workers, and to a lesser extent, in some areas of rural Uttar Pradesh as carpet weavers. There were new reports about the continued forced labor of children in hybrid cottonseed plots in Gujarat, and reports that forced labor may be present in the Sumangali scheme in Tamil Nadu, in which employers pay young women a lump sum to be used for a dowry at the end of a three-year term. An increasing number of job placement agencies lure adults and children for forced labor or sex trafficking under false promises of employment. Indian boys from Bihar were increasingly subjected to forced labor in embroidery factories in Nepal.

Women and girls are trafficked within the country for the purposes of forced prostitution. Religious pilgrimage centers and cities popular for tourism continue to be vulnerable to child sex tourism. Women and girls from Nepal and Bangladesh, and an increasing number of females from Uzbekistan, Ukraine, and Russia, are also subjected to sex trafficking in India. There were increasing reports of females from northeastern states and Odisha subjected to servile marriages in states with low female-to-male child sex ratios, including Haryana and Punjab, and also reports of girls subjected to transactional sexual exploitation in the Middle East under the guise of temporary marriages. Maoist armed groups known as the Naxalites forcibly recruited children into their ranks. Establishments of sex trafficking are moving from more traditional locations – such as brothels – to locations that are harder to find, and are also shifting from urban areas to rural areas, where there is less detection.

Some Indians who migrate willingly every year for work as domestic servants and low-skilled laborers find themselves in forced labor in the Middle East and, to a lesser extent, Southeast Asia, the United States, Europe, Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and other countries. In some cases, such workers are lured from their communities through fraudulent recruitment, 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 labor trafficking. Nationals from Bangladesh and Nepal are trafficked through India for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation in the Middle East.

In March 2012, a U.S. court entered a default judgment of $1.5 million in favor of an Indian domestic worker who sued a former Indian consular officer who had employed her while assigned to duty in the United States; no appeal was filed. The domestic worker accused the Indian diplomat of forcing her to work without adequate compensation for three years and subjecting her to physical and mental abuse.

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. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) continued to establish Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs), which were responsible for combining law enforcement and rehabilitation efforts. The Central Bureau of Investigation launched an anti-trafficking unit in the reporting period and gave investigation authority under trafficking-related laws to all its police officers. Challenges remain regarding overall law enforcement efforts against bonded labor and the alleged complicity of public officials in human trafficking.

Recommendations for India: Develop a comprehensive anti-trafficking law or amend anti-trafficking legislation to be in line with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, with adequate penalties prescribed by the UN Transnational Organized Crime Convention; increase prosecutions and convictions on all forms of trafficking, including bonded labor; prosecute officials allegedly complicit in trafficking, and convict and punish officials complicit in trafficking; encourage states to establish special anti-trafficking courts; improve distribution of state and central government rehabilitation funds to victims under the Bonded Labor (System) Abolition Act (BLSA); improve protections for trafficking victims who testify against their traffickers; encourage AHTUs to address both sex and labor trafficking of adults and children; encourage state and district governments to file bonded labor cases under appropriate criminal statutes; improve central and state government implementation of protection programs and compensation schemes to ensure that certified trafficking victims receive benefits; and increase the quantity and breadth of public awareness and related programs on bonded labor.

Prosecution

The government continued to make progress in its law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking in 2011, but concerns remain over the uneven enforcement of trafficking laws and alleged official complicity. India prohibits most forms of forced labor through the Indian Penal Code (IPC), the BLSA, the Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, and the Juvenile Justice Act. These laws were unevenly enforced, and their prescribed penalties are not sufficiently stringent. India prohibits most forms of sex trafficking. Prescribed penalties for sex trafficking under the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA) and the IPC, ranging from three years’ to life imprisonment, are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The ITPA also criminalizes other offenses, including prostitution, and has some sections that are sometimes used to criminalize sex trafficking victims.

The government did not report comprehensive law enforcement data, and the challenges of gathering accurate, comprehensive, and timely data make it difficult to assess law enforcement efforts. However, the Ministry of Home Affairs established scorecards for its AHTUs in June 2011 to improve the availability of real-time data. A variety of sources noted that there were many investigations, including inter-state investigations. In Mumbai, in 2011, there were 242 sex trafficking cases prosecuted in the special ITPA court; 125 sex trafficking offenders were convicted with sentences of up to three years’ imprisonment. Two NGOs reported that six trafficking offenders were convicted for forced and bonded labor. Four offenders were sentenced to one year in prison – these sentences are being appealed – and two offenders were charged with fines. Most government prosecutions were supported in partnership with NGOs. A senior government official noted that while trafficking rescues and registration of cases have increased, convictions remain low. However, conviction rates were low across the penal system. Some NGOs continued to criticize the categorization of trafficking crimes as bailable offenses, which in some cases resulted in the accused absconding after receiving bail. Enforcement of trafficking laws, particularly labor trafficking laws such as the BLSA, remained a challenge.

NGOs continued to report that official complicity in trafficking remained a problem. Corrupt law enforcement officers reportedly continued to facilitate the movement of sex trafficking victims, protect suspected traffickers and brothel keepers from enforcement of the law, and receive bribes from sex trafficking establishments and sexual services from victims. Some police allegedly continued to tip-off sex and labor traffickers to impede rescue efforts. Some owners of brothels, rice mills, brick kilns, and stone quarries are reportedly politically connected. The Indian government reported no prosecutions or convictions of government officials for trafficking-related offenses during the reporting period; NGOs said this was due to a lack of sufficient evidence. In September 2011, the police arrested a member of the border security force for trafficking. He was released on bail as of December 2011, but there is no further information on that case. There was no information on the status of an arrest of a former member of parliament or an investigation on an Indian Administrative Services officer – as noted in the 2011 TIP Report – for his involvement in human trafficking.

The Central Bureau of Investigation established a dedicated federal anti-trafficking unit in January 2012 whose police officers have nationwide investigative authority. The government continued to implement its three-year nationwide anti-trafficking effort by disbursing funds to state governments to establish at least 107 new Anti-Human Trafficking Units in police departments during the reporting period, for a total of at least 194 AHTUs. Some NGOs believed that some units were more focused on sex trafficking than labor trafficking, including bonded labor. Some units appeared to focus on child trafficking rather than on the trafficking of both children and adults. Some units continued to be understaffed, which hampered efforts. The government funded more than 500 police officers to participate in a six-month anti-trafficking course at the Indira Gandhi National Open University. The government reported that it covered transportation and lodging expenses for over 5,000 government officials who participated in NGO-organized anti-trafficking trainings.

Protection

India made efforts to protect and assist trafficked victims. The MHA, through a 2009 directive, advised state government officials to use standard operating procedures developed in partnership with UNODC to proactively identify trafficking victims and refer them to protection services; however, the implementation of these procedures is unknown. The government continued to fund over 100 NGO-run hotlines that help assist vulnerable people, including trafficking victims. The Ministry of Labor and Employment reported 865 bonded laborers rescued and the equivalent of almost $170,000 distributed in government-mandated rehabilitation funds in 2010-11, the latest data available. This represents a small fraction of the millions of Indian citizens subject to bonded labor. There were some NGO reports of delays in obtaining release certificates, and distribution of rehabilitation funds was uneven across states. There were numerous reports that sex trafficking victims were rescued, most often in partnership between police and NGOs. There were increased reports of inter-state coordination among the AHTUs resulting in rescues. In one case, the Manipur, Rajasthan, and Kerala AHTUs collaborated in the rescue of 33 trafficked children.

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) allocated the equivalent of $118 million for 2011-12 to fund 153 projects in 17 states under the Ujjawala program – which seeks to protect and rehabilitate female sex trafficking victims – and 58 new Swadhar projects – which help female victims of violence, including sex trafficking. Some NGOs have cited difficulty in receiving timely disbursements of national government funding of their shelters under these programs. India does not provide care for adult male trafficking victims. Conditions of government shelter homes under the MWCD varied from state to state. NGOs reported that a number of shelters were overcrowded and unhygienic, offered poor food, and provided limited, if any, services. There were some NGO reports that some shelters did not permit victims to leave the shelter purportedly for security reasons; this violates international principles on the protection of victims. In some cases, traffickers continued to re-traffic victims by approaching shelter managers and pretending to be family members to get the victims released to them, although this practice is declining. Some Indian diplomatic missions in the Middle East provided services, including temporary shelters, medical care, legal assistance, and 24-hour hotlines, to Indian migrant laborers, some of whom were victims of trafficking.

There were some reports of trafficking victims being penalized for acts committed as a result of being trafficked. Section 8 of the ITPA (solicitation) and Section 294 of the IPC (obscenity in public places) continued to be used to criminalize sex trafficking victims. Reports indicated that some victims are punished for being undocumented migrants or for document fraud. Foreign trafficking victims were not offered special immigration benefits such as temporary or permanent residency status, although some NGOs reported that foreign victims had the same access to care as domestic victims. Foreign victims are not offered legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution. In most cases, NGOs assisted rescued victims in providing evidence to prosecute suspected traffickers. Many victims declined to testify against their traffickers due to the fear of retribution by traffickers, who were sometimes acquaintances. Some NGOs continued to report the government was increasingly sensitized against not treating victims as perpetrators, and law enforcement activities against victims decreased. There were some reports of police treating victims as perpetrators, not using victim-centric policies, and not improving victim-witness security, which hindered victim testimony and prosecutions.

Prevention

The Government of India continued to make progress in its efforts to prevent human trafficking. The MHA’s Anti-Trafficking Nodal Cell continued bimonthly inter-ministerial meetings on trafficking, which also included participation of anti-trafficking officers from state governments. The Ministry of Home Affairs raised public awareness on trafficking though radio talk shows and press conferences; the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs continued to work with state governments to conduct safe emigration awareness campaigns; and the Bureau of Police Research and Development organized a workshop on the linkages between missing children and human trafficking and encouraged all police officers to track cases of missing persons.

The Ministry of Labor and Employment continued its preventative convergence-based project against bonded labor in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha, but not in Haryana. The government reduced the demand for commercial sex acts in the reporting period by convicting clients of prostitution. The government continued its multi-year project to issue unique identification numbers to citizens; more than 100 million identify cards were issued in the reporting period. Training for Indian soldiers and police officers deployed in peacekeeping missions reportedly included awareness about trafficking.

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 sex trafficking and forced labor. Each of Indonesia’s 33 provinces is a source and destination of trafficking, with the most significant source areas being the provinces of West Java, Central Java, East Java, West Nusa Tenggara, and Banten. 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 Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. The government reports that there are 4.3 million documented Indonesian migrants working outside the country and estimates another 1.7 million undocumented workers, including an estimated 2.6 million workers in Malaysia and 1.8 million in the Middle East. During 2011, Saudi Arabia was the leading destination for newly departing migrant workers registered with the Indonesian government, followed closely by Malaysia. An estimated 69 percent of all overseas Indonesian workers are female. The Indonesian government estimates that two percent of Indonesian workers abroad who are properly documented become victims of trafficking. The actual number of Indonesian trafficking victims is significantly higher, particularly among the more than one million undocumented workers abroad. During 2011, Indonesian trafficking victims were reported in all of the Gulf countries, Malaysia, Taiwan, Chile, New Zealand, the Philippines, Egypt, and the United States, among others.

In assessing 2011 data, IOM reported a new trend of women, including some children, trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation at mining operations in Maluku, Papua, and Jambi provinces. There were reports of an increasing number of children exploited in prostitution in Batam district of the Riau Islands province and children from North Sulawaesi province being exploited in prostitution in West Papua province. Contacts in several large cities reported a new trend of university and high school students selling underage friends, male and female, for sex. Some women from Uzbekistan and Colombia are subjected to forced prostitution in Indonesia.

Government and non-governmental sources reported an increasing number of undocumented workers travelling abroad. As the government expands its use of biometric travel documents, false documents are becoming more difficult and expensive to obtain. As a result, more undocumented workers are traveling by sea, primarily from Batam and the Riau Islands and by land from Kalimantan, to Malaysia where they remain or transit to a third country. Undocumented workers are at a significantly higher risk of becoming trafficking victims than documented workers. A labor trafficking trend that gained international attention during the year was the forced labor of Indonesian men aboard Korean-flagged fishing boats operating in New Zealand waters as well as the forced labor of Burmese and Cambodian fishermen who escape Thai fishing boats while in Indonesian waters. According to press and NGO reports, over 1,000 such undocumented Burmese fishermen are stranded on the remote Indonesian island of Tual. According to IOM, labor recruiters are responsible for more than 50 percent of the Indonesian female workers who experience trafficking conditions in destination countries. Some recruiters work independently, while others work for Indonesia-based international labor recruitment companies called PJTKIs. Some PJTKIs operate similarly to trafficking rings, leading both male and female workers into debt bondage and other trafficking situations. Traffickers regularly operate with impunity and escape punishment because of endemic corruption among law enforcement officials and the government’s lack of commitment to upholding the rule of law. Trafficking victims often accumulate debts with labor recruiters that make victims vulnerable to debt bondage. Licensed and unlicensed companies used debt bondage, withholding of documents, and threats of violence to keep Indonesian migrants in situations of forced labor.

Indonesian women migrate to Malaysia, Taiwan, and the Middle East and are subsequently subjected to forced prostitution; they are also subjected to forced prostitution and forced labor in Indonesia. Children are trafficked internally and abroad primarily for domestic servitude, forced prostitution, and work in cottage industries. Many of these trafficked girls work 14 to 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 the equivalent 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 prostitution. An estimated 60 percent of children under five years of age 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. Country experts reported a trend of recruitment of Indonesian migrant workers in Malaysia for Umrah, a religious pilgrimage to Mecca continued during the year; once in the Saudi Kingdom, Indonesian migrants are trafficked to other points in the Middle East. Some Indonesian children are recruited into sex trafficking through Internet social networking media. More than 25 sex trafficking victims from Uzbekistan were identified in 2010. Six sex trafficking victims from Colombia were identified in 2011.

Internal trafficking is also a significant problem in Indonesia, with women and girls exploited in domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, and in forced labor in rural agriculture, mining, and fishing. Many victims were recruited originally with offers of jobs in restaurants, factories, or as domestic workers before they were coerced into prostitution. Child sex tourism is prevalent in the Riau Islands bordering Singapore and is reported to occur in Bali and in other locations around Indonesia.

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 undertook new efforts to improve protections for Indonesian migrants, particularly through the National Agency for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers (BNP2TKI). The government did not make progress in curbing the trafficking complicity of Indonesian security personnel and senior officials and increasing the effectiveness of law enforcement and judicial officials in upholding the country’s anti-trafficking laws, as would be indicated by an increase in the number of prosecutions and convictions of traffickers. A decentralized government structure presented considerable challenges to coordinating nationwide anti-trafficking programs and policies; nonetheless, the government undertook no visible efforts to improve the centralized collection of data on prosecutions and victim protection data from local governments.

Recommendations for Indonesia: Improve the collection, analysis, and public reporting of comprehensive data on legal proceedings against traffickers taken under the 2007 law; undertake greater efforts to criminally prosecute and punish labor recruitment agencies and corporations involved in trafficking; increase efforts to prosecute and convict public officials who are involved in trafficking; undertake efforts to prosecute and punish those who obtain commercial sexual services from children; create a national protocol that clarifies roles and responsibilities for prosecuting trafficking cases when the crime occurs outside a trafficking victim’s province of residence, particularly with regard to responsibilities for funding the involvement of victims as witnesses in proceedings; increase government funding to support trafficking victims’ participation in legal proceedings; increase efforts to combat trafficking through awareness campaigns targeted at the public and law enforcement personnel at all levels of government in primary trafficking source regions; and consider amending the 2004 Overseas Labor Placement and Protection Law in order to provide effective protections to Indonesian migrants recruited for work abroad, particularly female domestic workers, as a means of preventing potential trafficking of these migrants.

Prosecution

The Indonesian government sustained anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period, although an inability to collect and report on national anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts gives the appearance that the numbers of trafficking offenders prosecuted and convicted declined for a second consecutive year. Through a comprehensive anti-trafficking law passed in 2007 and implemented in 2009, 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. While Indonesian National Police (INP) investigators used the 2007 law to prepare cases for prosecution, some prosecutors and judges still use other, more familiar laws to prosecute traffickers. Police and other law enforcement officials complained about the difficulty of coordinating among police, prosecutors, witnesses, and courts to obtain successful convictions.

The government does not aggregate nationwide records of trafficking prosecutions. Statistics on human trafficking prosecutions and convictions remain available exclusively at the district and province levels. Only the police aggregate nationwide data on human trafficking investigations; during 2011, the INP reported initiating 133 new trafficking investigations involving 179 suspected trafficking offenders. The INP also reported the referral to local prosecutors of 50 cases, of which 41 were accepted for prosecution. Based on incomplete reports during the year from four of Indonesia’s 33 provinces – East, Central, West Java, and North Sulawesi – 16 trafficking offenders were convicted by province- and district-level courts. This compares with incomplete reporting on the convictions of 25 trafficking offenders in 2010. The national Attorney General’s Task Force on Transnational Crime reported an additional prosecution of eight trafficking offenders in 2011, but no convictions. The Indonesian government cooperated with New Zealand authorities to investigate allegations, published in the international media, of Indonesian fishermen who were recruited by licensed PJTKIs for work on Korean fishing vessels operating in New Zealand waters, and subjected to forced labor, including debt bondage, aboard the boats. Indonesian authorities, however, have not initiated criminal investigations or prosecutions of the recruiters cited in the allegations.

Endemic corruption among members of Indonesian security forces and government officials remained an impediment to increased effectiveness in anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, according to NGOs and government officials. Corruption sustained trafficking at a number of levels: in the issuance of false documents for future victims; through lax border controls where trafficking would otherwise be detected; through the tolerance and profiting from illegal commercial sex sites; and through the compromise of law enforcement investigations and judicial processes.

Protection

The Indonesian government continued its provision and coordination of modest and uneven efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the year. The government’s Centers for Integrated Service for the Empowerment of Women and Children provided shelters and trauma clinics to trafficking victims through 172 centers at the provincial and district level. The government provides limited funding to other organizations for the provision of services to trafficking victims, but since 2005 is increasingly channeling support through the Centers for Integrated Service. The Centers for Integrated Service also receive private funding. The National Police operated 306 Women and Child Service Units in police stations around the country, which provided emergency protection and medical services to victims of violence, also accessible to victims of trafficking. The government continued to rely significantly on international organizations and NGOs for the provision of services to victims, particularly for repatriated Indonesian victims of trafficking abroad, although it increased the role of its Centers for Integrated Service during 2011, adding 51 centers for a total of 172 throughout Indonesia. Although the government did not collect or report comprehensive data on victims identified throughout the country, the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment reported 358 victims in 2011, including 111 women and no children; most of these victims (53 percent) were from West Java. IOM reported assisting 227 victims in 2001, including 120 Indonesians, 65 Cambodian men who escaped forced labor aboard Thai fishing boats, 36 Burmese men who escaped the same forced labor conditions, and six Colombian women who had been subjected to forced prostitution in Jakarta.

The central government largely funds provincial governments through block grants, and provinces have significant discretion on the use of these funds, including decisions on trafficking-related programs. As a result, provincial governments’ funding of victim protection services varies greatly. In West Java, the Council on Women’s Empowerment and Family Planning reported that in 2011 the provincial government doubled its budget for assistance to trafficking victims to the equivalent of $1,111 per victim. The West Java Center for Integrated Service for the Empowerment of Women and Children, which receives most of its funding from the provincial government, reported that in 2011 its budget for assistance to trafficking victims increased from the equivalent of $833,000 to $2.2 million. In Riau Islands province, the Child Welfare Commission reported a 50 percent increase in its budget for victim protection services in 2011. Some provinces have not established anti-trafficking task forces and provide only minimal funding for the protection of trafficking victims. The Riau Islands provincial-level INP reported having no budget for the protection of trafficking victims or for the investigation of trafficking allegations. The INP, Attorney General’s Office, Ministry of Law and Human Rights, Department of Immigration, the Witness Protection Program, the National Commission on Women, and a number of NGOs actively cooperated in an IOM-led task force to revise the 2007 edition of “Guidelines for Law Enforcement and the Protection of Victims of Trafficking in Handling Trafficking in Persons Cases.” The final draft is completed and awaits funding for publishing.

Prevention

The Indonesian government made progress in preventing human trafficking during the reporting period, particularly through improved, centralized oversight of labor migrants and the licensed recruiting agencies sending them abroad. Most other prevention work was conducted at the district and province levels; 21 provincial and 73 district or municipal anti-trafficking task forces continued to coordinate local anti-trafficking efforts with a wide variety in levels of funding, staffing, and energy. While the West Java provincial task force includes 66 government and civil society representatives that meets regularly and funds over the equivalent of $2.2 in victim protection activities, the task force in Riau Islands province – a major transit area for trafficking victims from throughout the country – did not meet during the year. The Coordinating Minister for Social Welfare nominally chaired the government’s anti-trafficking taskforce, and the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (MWECP) provided active direction. The national taskforce met in September 2011 with 21 ministries, departments, and agencies represented; the national anti-trafficking taskforce does not have a budget and is funded by the participating ministries and departments. Anti-trafficking in persons campaigns continued during the reporting period and were maintained by MWECP, the Ministry of Manpower, the Ministry of Education, the INP, numerous Centers for Integrated Service for the Empowerment of Women and Children throughout the country, and NGOs in cooperation with local governments. The campaigns were delivered via conferences, radio, newspapers, billboards, pamphlets, school programs, and neighborhood meetings.

The government strengthened the ability of BNP2TKI to monitor outbound Indonesian workers and protect them from fraudulent recruitment and human trafficking. Using a new database and national worker’s identify card system, the BNP2TKI registered and gave biometric identity cards to 581,081 workers who left for work abroad in 2011. Through its centralized database, it was able to improve verification of intending workers’ eligibility and the bona fides of PJTKIs, while reducing the opportunities for corruption at the local level. BNP2TKI did not report the recruiters it referred to the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration for trafficking. The Ministry, however, reported revoking the licenses of 28 firms in 2011.

During the year, the MWECP issued Ministerial Decree No. 9/2011 on Early Warning TIP Indicators as a guide to its branch offices and NGOs who provide support to trafficking victims. The Ministry issued Ministerial Decree No. 7/2011 on the Policy to Increase Family Resilience of Children in Need of Special Protection. The decree is an effort to identify the problem of vulnerable children, including trafficked children, as a national priority, and lead an interagency effort to address the problem by strengthening vulnerable families. Also in February 2012, MWECP cooperated with IOM to produce a manual on “Recovery, Return and Reintegration” training for trafficking victim care providers. The Ministry also published a training manual titled “Training Guide: Witness Assistants And/Or Victims of Trafficking” and in 2011 conducted training on facilitating victims of trafficking as criminal witnesses to 87 anti-trafficking front-line workers from government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and individuals who are interested in providing assistance to witnesses and victims of trafficking from East Nusa Tenggara, Bali, and Riau Islands. In early 2012, IOM conducted training for 205 participants from West Java, West Kalimantan, and Yogyakarta. The ministry published a program called “early warning system,” targeting communities in five provinces: East Java, North Sumatra, West Nusa Tenggara, East Nusa Tenggara, and North Sulawesi with populations vulnerable to trafficking crimes. These communities also had locally based and directed awareness programs. The MWECP created a telephone and postal hotline for reporting suspected trafficking cases; there were 250 reported complaints filed in 2011. In June 2011, BNP2TKI also implemented a national trafficking in persons hotline that was advertised widely to workers going overseas and their families. The data is reported directly to the president monthly, while BNP2TKI works with embassies to follow up on cases of suspected trafficking abroad.

The government continued partnerships with NGOs and international organizations to increase public awareness of trafficking. The International Catholic Migration Commission (ICMC) organized a cross-border exchange meeting in September 2011 at the Indonesia-Malaysia border crossing at Nunukan, East Kalimantan. Eighty-eight representatives from local Indonesian and Malaysian governments, law enforcement agencies, NGOs, and the Indonesian Consulate in Tawau, Malaysia, shared expertise and experiences with a focus on increasing arrests, prosecutions and convictions of trafficking offenders. In December 2011, the Indonesian government concluded two years of negotiations with Malaysia on revising a 2006 memorandum of understanding (MOU) on The Recruitment and Placement of Indonesian Domestic Workers. The revisions, agreed by both governments, establish a joint task force “to provide appropriate solutions on matters concerning Indonesian domestic workers” and gives Indonesian workers the right to retain possession of their passports while working in Malaysia. To improve coordination of anti-trafficking programs, a number of provinces signed inter-provincial MOUs in 2011 that included guidelines for cooperating in the provision of care to trafficking victims who are located outside of their home provinces. West Java signed four MOUs with the provinces of Riau Islands, Bangka, West Kalimantan, and East Kalimantan. Riau Islands signed six MOUs with the provinces of West Java, Jakarta, Central Java, West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, and Lampung. North Sumatra signed an MOU with Central Java.

There were reports of individuals from Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, the Middle East, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States coming to Indonesia as child sex tourists. One UK citizen was arrested in the district of Batam, Riau Islands province, in November 2011 for sexually exploiting children and is in jail awaiting trial. There were no reports of Indonesian peacekeeping troops engaging in trafficking-related offenses. The government provided Indonesian military personnel with anti-trafficking training prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions. 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 sex trafficking and forced labor. Iranian and Afghan boys and girls residing in Iran are forced into prostitution within the country. Iranian women, boys, and girls, are subjected to sex trafficking in Iran, as well as in Pakistan, the Persian Gulf, and Europe. Azerbaijani women and children are also subjected to sex trafficking in Iran.

Afghan migrants and refugees are subjected to forced labor in Iran. Men and women from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iraq migrate voluntarily to Iran, or through Iran, to other Gulf states, particularly the UAE, and Europe, seeking employment. Some are subsequently subjected to conditions of forced labor, including debt bondage, through the use of such practices as restriction of movement, nonpayment of wages, and physical or sexual abuse. NGO 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 the smuggling of migrants, drugs, and arms. Unconfirmed reports indicate that religious leaders and immigration officials are involved in human trafficking.

The Government of Iran does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government did not share information on its anti-trafficking efforts with the international community during the reporting period; this impedes the collection of information on the country’s human trafficking problem and the government’s efforts to curb it. Publicly available information from NGOs, the press, international organizations, and other governments nonetheless indicate that the Iranian government is not taking sufficient steps to address its extensive trafficking challenges. For these reasons, Iran is placed on Tier 3 for a seventh consecutive year.

Recommendations for Iran: Significantly increase efforts to investigate trafficking offenses and prosecute and punish trafficking offenders, including officials who are complicit in trafficking; institute victim identification procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking, particularly among vulnerable populations such as persons in prostitution, children in begging rings, and undocumented migrants; offer protection services to victims of trafficking, including shelter and medical, psychological, and legal assistance; cease the punishment of victims of trafficking for unlawful acts committed as a result of being trafficked; and increase transparency in government anti-trafficking policies and activities through public reporting.

Prosecution

The Government of Iran made no discernible law enforcement efforts against human trafficking during the reporting period. A 2004 law prohibits trafficking in persons by means of 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. The prescribed penalty under this law reportedly is up to 10 years’ imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with penalties prescribed under Iranian law for other serious crimes, such as rape. 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 serious crimes. In addition, the Labor Code does not apply to work in households. NGO sources report that these laws remain unenforced due to a lack of political will and widespread corruption. There were no reports of investigations or prosecutions of trafficking cases or convictions of trafficking offenders. It was extremely difficult for women in forced prostitution to obtain justice; first, because Iranian courts accord legal testimony by women only half the weight accorded to testimony by men, and second, because women who are victims of sexual abuse are liable to be prosecuted for adultery, which is defined as sexual relations outside of marriage and is punishable by death. There were no reports of government officials being investigated or punished for complicity in trafficking offenses during the reporting period.

Protection

The Government of Iran made no discernible efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period. There is no evidence that the government has a process to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations found in the country. Iran has deported large numbers of undocumented Afghans without attempting to identify trafficking victims among them. The government also has reportedly punished victims of sex trafficking for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, for example, adultery and prostitution. There were no reports that the government referred trafficking victims to protective services. Some welfare organizations unrelated to the government may help Iranian trafficking victims. The Iranian government did not provide foreign victims of trafficking with a legal alternative to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution.

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. A news report indicated that in February 2012, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad attended a two-day trilateral summit with the presidents of Afghanistan and Pakistan in Islamabad; one of the summit’s agenda items was transnational organized crime, including human trafficking. There was no improvement in the transparency of the government’s reporting on its own anti-trafficking policies or activities and no apparent efforts to forge partnerships with international organizations or NGOs in addressing human trafficking problems. According to UNHCR, in June 2011, the Iranian government began re-registering Afghan refugees – a group vulnerable to trafficking – extending the validity of their registration card to one year. Iran is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

IRAQ (Tier 2 Watch List)

Iraq is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Iraqi women and girls are subjected to conditions of trafficking within the country and in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Iran, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia for forced prostitution and sexual exploitation within households. Anecdotal reporting suggests that trafficking in forced prostitution and bonded labor are increasing in Iraq, partially owing to pervasive corruption and an overall increase in criminal activity.

Women are lured into forced prostitution through false promises of work. An international organization reports an increase in forced prostitution in the city of Tikrit; women between the ages of 15 to 22 years from Baghdad, Kirkuk, and Syria are sold to traffickers in Tikrit for the equivalent of $1,000-5,000 and then replaced or sold again every two or three months. Women are also subjected to involuntary servitude through forced marriages, often as payment of a debt, and women who flee such marriages are often vulnerable to further forced labor or sexual servitude. One NGO reports that recruiters rape women and girls on film and blackmail them into prostitution or recruit them in prisons by posting bail and then forcing them into prostitution via debt bondage. Some women and children are pressured into prostitution by family members to escape desperate economic circumstances, to pay debts, or to resolve disputes between families. NGOs report that these women are often prostituted in private residences, brothels, restaurants, and places of entertainment. Some women and girls are trafficked within Iraq for the purpose of sexual exploitation through the use of temporary marriages (muta’a), by which the family of the girl receives money in the form of a dowry in exchange for permission to marry the girl for a limited period of time. Some Iraqi parents have reportedly collaborated with traffickers to leave children at the Iraqi side of the border with Syria with the expectation that traffickers will arrange forged documents for them to enter Syria and find employment in a nightclub. An Iraqi official revealed networks of women have been involved in the trafficking and sale of male and female children for the purposes of sexual exploitation.

The large population of internally displaced persons and refugees moving within Iraq and across its borders are particularly at risk of being trafficked. Women from Iran, China, and the Philippines reportedly may be trafficked to or through Iraq for commercial sexual exploitation. Some Iraqi refugees in Syria reportedly have contracted their daughters to work as maids in Syrian households, where they may have been subsequently raped, forced into prostitution, or subjected to forced labor. In other instances, Iraqi refugees’ children remained in Syria while their parents left the country in search of improved economic circumstances, leaving the children vulnerable to trafficking. Iraqi women deported from Syria on prostitution charges are vulnerable to re-trafficking by criminal gangs operating along the border. After political unrest escalated in Syria, Iraqi refugees remaining in Syria reported they were unable to find work in the informal sector, coerced into taking part in anti-government protests, and harassed by Syrian authorities, all of which increased this vulnerable population’s susceptibility to trafficking.

Iraq is also a destination for men and women who migrate from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Pakistan, Georgia, Jordan, and Uganda and are subsequently subjected to involuntary servitude as construction workers, security guards, cleaners, handymen, and domestic workers. Such men and women may face confiscation of passports and official documents, nonpayment of wages, long working hours, threats of deportation, and physical and sexual abuse as a means to keep them in a situation of forced labor. Some of these foreign migrants were recruited for work in other countries such as Jordan or the Gulf States, but were forced, coerced, or deceived into traveling to Iraq, where their passports were confiscated and their wages withheld, ostensibly to repay labor brokers for the costs of recruitment, transport, food, and lodging. Other foreign migrants were aware they were destined for Iraq, but once in the 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. The Governments of Nepal and the Philippines continue to ban their citizens from migrating to Iraq for work. In addition, some Iraqi boys from poor families are reportedly subjected to forced street begging and other non-consensual labor exploitation and commercial sexual exploitation. Some women from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nepal, and the Philippines who migrated to the Iraqi Kurdistan Region experienced conditions of domestic servitude after being recruited with offers of jobs different than they received.

The Government of Iraq does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government did not demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking compared to the previous year; therefore, Iraq is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a fourth consecutive year. Iraq was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan. The Iraqi Parliament passed a comprehensive anti-trafficking law on April 30, 2012; this law prescribes punishments for both sex trafficking and labor trafficking. The Iraqi government reported negligible efforts to prosecute or punish traffickers under existing laws. The government demonstrated some efforts to identify and assist victims of forced labor, yet the government continued to punish victims of forced prostitution, while providing no systematic protection services to victims of trafficking.

Recommendations for Iraq: Implement legislation that prohibits all forms of trafficking; continue to use existing Iraqi criminal statutes – including those prohibiting kidnapping and detention by force or deception – to investigate and prosecute human trafficking offenses and convict trafficking offenders; institute a procedure to proactively identify victims, such as by comprehensively training police and immigration officials who may come into contact with trafficking victims; cease punishing identified victims of trafficking for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked, including forced prostitution; provide protection services to victims and proactively refer victims to available non-governmental protection services; under the new trafficking law, de-criminalize NGO shelters that provide assistance to victims of sex trafficking; encourage victims’ assistance in prosecuting offenders; provide assistance to Iraqi victims of trafficking identified abroad; offer legal alternatives to removal to foreign victims of trafficking; take steps to end the practice of forced marriages that entrap girls in sexual and domestic servitude; regulate recruitment practices of foreign labor brokers to prevent practices facilitating forced labor; and undertake a public awareness campaign to raise awareness of sex trafficking and forced labor.

Prosecution

The government demonstrated modest law enforcement efforts against trafficking in persons during the reporting period, as the Iraqi Parliament adopted a comprehensive anti-trafficking law on April 30, 2012. During the reporting period, the Iraqi government had several existing provisions in its penal code through which it could prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenses, including those prohibiting the unlawful seizure, kidnapping, and detention of a person by force or deception with penalties of up to seven years’ imprisonment and up to 15 years’ imprisonment if the victim is a child and force is used. The penalty for sexual assault or forced prostitution of a child is up to 10 years’ imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent to deter this activity, though not commensurate with the penalties prescribed for rape, which is up to 15 years’ imprisonment. Iraq’s anti-trafficking law prescribes some punishments for both sex trafficking and labor trafficking that are sufficiently stringent. The government does not collect statistics on prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of trafficking offenders.

The government did not make demonstrable efforts to investigate or punish official complicity in trafficking offenses. The Government of Iraq has no mechanisms to collect data on the enforcement of anti-trafficking law offenses. The government did, however, open a criminal investigation regarding the case of 22 male Ukrainian and Bulgarian victims of forced labor in the construction sector whose employer abandoned them in Baghdad’s international zone; the case was filed in criminal court in March 2012. While the government did not fund anti-trafficking training, the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA) provided facilities for some anti-trafficking awareness and victim identification trainings that were funded by an international organization and a foreign government; participants in multiple trainings throughout the year included officials from the Ministry of Interior and MOLSA, judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement personnel. Additionally, more than 100 Iraqi police cadets and commissioned officers received anti-trafficking awareness and victim identification training courses from a foreign government from July 2011 through February 2012.

Protection

The Iraqi government demonstrated minimal efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period. Government authorities did not develop or employ systematic procedures to identify proactively victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as women arrested for prostitution or foreign workers, and did not recognize that women in prostitution could be victims of sex trafficking. The government similarly did not provide standard operating procedures to guide law enforcement officials in identification of trafficking victims. As a result, some victims of trafficking were incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as engaging in prostitution. Victims of forced labor reportedly were not detained, fined, or jailed for immigration violations, but they were generally not provided protection services by the government, including medical services.

The government demonstrated some willingness to assist victims of forced labor during the reporting period. In July 2011, the government reportedly paid 10 Sri Lankan victims of forced labor the equivalent of $3,000 each in compensation. In October 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked in collaboration with an international organization to provide compensation the equivalent of $2,000 and exit documentation to each of the aforementioned 22 male Ukrainian and Bulgarian victims of forced labor in the construction sector whose employer abandoned them in Baghdad’s international zone. After the victims were repatriated, the government worked with Ukrainian authorities to collect the victims’ statements to pursue a criminal investigation. The workers’ Iraqi attorney filed a criminal complaint under Labor Law 111, Article 456, prior to passage of the anti-trafficking law. The victims were also allowed to pursue a civil court claim against the employer for the equivalent of $300,000 in back wages. These cases were pending at the end of the reporting period.

Some Iraqi police centers have specialists to assist women and children who are victims of trafficking and abuse, yet the number of victims assisted and the type of assistance provided was unclear. The government neither provided protection services to victims of trafficking nor funded or provided in-kind assistance to NGOs providing victim protection services; likewise, the government did not have a budget designated for victim protection or assistance during the reporting period. All available care was administered by NGOs, which operated victim-care facilities and shelters accessible to victims of trafficking. The government continued to criminalize NGO-run shelters that provided protective services to sex trafficking victims; therefore, these shelters continue to be vulnerable to prosecution and unprotected from threats of violence by extremist groups. There were no signs that the government developed or implemented procedures by which government officials systematically referred identified victims to organizations providing legal, medical, or psychological services; the government did not collect official statistics on the number of trafficking victims in Iraq or those that received assistance. Upon release from prison, female victims of forced prostitution had difficulty finding assistance, especially in cases where the victim’s family had sold her into prostitution, thereby increasing her chances of being re-trafficked. Some child trafficking victims were placed in protective facilities, orphanages, and foster care, while others were placed in juvenile detention centers. The government did not encourage victims to assist in investigations or prosecutions or provide them legal assistance or legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The Government of Iraq made some efforts to prevent trafficking in persons. The government, in coordination with an international organization, formed and co-chaired the Rule of Law International Policy Committee Working Group on Trafficking in Persons in February 2011, which met eight times in 2011 to discuss developments in the draft law, lobby for its passage, and raise awareness of human trafficking and the draft law among relevant ministry employees. MOLSA reportedly began to regulate labor recruitment practices during the reporting period, though it was unclear if the government penalized or closed recruitment agencies involved in fraudulent recruitment practices. Some government officials continued to deny the existence of human trafficking or did not believe trafficking was a significant issue in Iraq. For example, on various occasions during the year, Ministry of Interior officials denied that women incarcerated for prostitution could also be trafficking victims. The government did not conduct any public awareness or education campaigns to educate migrant workers, labor brokers, and employers of workers’ rights against forced labor. There were no reported efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

IRELAND (Tier 1)

Ireland is a destination, source, and transit country for women, men, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Sex trafficking victims originate in Eastern Europe, African countries including Nigeria, South America, and Asia. Adult labor trafficking victims are reportedly from South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. Forced labor victims are found in domestic service and restaurant work. According to local reporting, within the last several years some victims have been subjected to domestic servitude by foreign diplomats on assignment in Ireland. According to NGO experts, children are subjected to prostitution in various cities in Ireland, including Kilkenny, Cork, and Dublin.

The Government of Ireland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government took important steps to investigate and prevent domestic servitude among employees of diplomats posted in Ireland. During the year, the government prosecuted and convicted a sex trafficker for the prostitution of a minor. The government, however, has yet to fully prosecute and convict any trafficking offenders, as defined by international standards using the country’s 2008 anti-trafficking law. The government developed victim-centered care plans for many trafficking victims, provided holistic care through the provision of temporary residency permits and associated services, and continued to provide funding to NGOs that provided specialized assistance to trafficking victims. All identified victims received services regardless of immigration status. However, the majority of trafficking victims from non-EU countries received services and pursued refugee status through Ireland’s asylum process, which NGOs criticize as resulting in inadequate care and insufficient protection of victims’ rights, in comparison to the provisions specific to trafficking victims.

Recommendations for Ireland: Vigorously implement Ireland’s 2008 anti-trafficking law to ensure labor and sex trafficking offenders are held accountable; consider drafting an amendment to explicitly criminalize forced labor and other forms of compelled service with a view toward increasing efforts to implement the 2008 anti-trafficking law; explore and enhance NGOs’ roles in the victim identification process; ensure proactive screening for trafficking during asylum intake interviews; ensure all potential trafficking victims, regardless of immigration status, are afforded an official recovery and reflection period to make an informed decision about whether to assist law enforcement; ensure asylum-seeking trafficking victims who are cooperating with law enforcement have accurate information on the support they may qualify for under Ireland’s explicit provisions for trafficking victims, and ensure they are aware this is an option they can pursue; expand legal aid beyond representation during trials for victims assisting law enforcement; continue educating potential clients of prostitution about the linkage between prostitution and trafficking; and consider establishing a national anti-trafficking rapporteur or similar entity to encourage more self-critical assessments to improve law enforcement and victim protection.

Prosecution

The Government of Ireland sustained its efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders in 2011. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking through its 2008 Criminal Law (Human Trafficking) Act; however, to date no trafficking offenders have been successfully convicted under this law. Penalties prescribed range from no imprisonment to life imprisonment, a range that is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. During the year, NGOs advocated for the offenses of forced labor and servitude to be clarified and for the law to explicitly provide that such offenses need not include movement in order to constitute trafficking offenses.

The government investigated 53 new trafficking cases in 2011, including 12 labor trafficking cases, compared with 75 cases investigated in 2010, and it prosecuted nine suspected sex, and no labor, trafficking offences. The government continued its investigation of an officer for trafficking-related complicity initiated in November 2010. According to an NGO review of the National Action Plan in June 2011, the low number of prosecutions for trafficking contributes to an underestimation of the severity of the trafficking problem in the country.

Although the government reported four trafficking convictions in 2011, only one conviction involved a human trafficking offense consistent with international standards. In the trafficking case, a Nigerian woman who subjected a 16-year-old girl to exploitation in prostitution received a sentence of four years’ imprisonment, with two of the years suspended. The other cases reported by the government involved sexual assault without commercial exploitation, organized prostitution of adults without force, fraud, or coercion, or solicitation of pornographic images of children without a commercial sex act. The Government of Ireland continued to provide specialized, ongoing anti-trafficking training for law enforcement officers and other front-line responders.

Protection

During the reporting period, the Irish government maintained its protection efforts for trafficking victims and administered victim-centered care plans to many trafficking victims. The government provided a total amount equivalent to $412,000 to NGOs providing specialized services for victims of sex and labor trafficking and referred victims to these NGOs. Victims who were not nationals of EU countries received care and social services as directed by special provisions called administrative immigration arrangements for victims of human trafficking. Trafficking victims in the asylum process receive services as directed by the asylum provisions. A 2011 NGO paper criticized the system of care available to asylum seeking trafficking victims and called for the abolition of the practice of housing nationals of non-EU countries in mixed gender asylum centers, citing the risk of exacerbating trafficking-related trauma; this paper also noted long-term residence in aslyum hostels hinders victims’ recovery and compounds mental health issues. While other benefits, such as medical care, education, and vocational training apply to all victims, anti-trafficking NGOs in Ireland reported critical distinctions based on a victim’s nationality made by government service providers and influencing the overall quality of support offered to a victim, specifically immigration benefits, availability of long-term housing, and the right to work.

The Irish government identified 57 potential victims in 2011, a decrease from 78 victims identified in 2010. The government reported the use of systematic procedures to guide officials in the identification and referral of victims, though NGOs assessed that better institutional cooperation among key stakeholders is needed in order to identify victims and ensure they benefit from assistance programs. During the year, police referred 29 potential trafficking victims, six of whom were identified as victims of labor trafficking, to government social workers who prepared victim-centered care plans for their assistance. Under the administrative immigration arrangements for victims of human trafficking, the government provided one foreign victim with a 60-day reflection period – time to receive immediate care and assistance while considering whether or not to assist law enforcement. The government reported at least 25 suspected trafficking victims cooperated with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers in 2011. While victim cooperation is generally viewed as positive for anti-trafficking efforts, local experts noted concerns about the potentially negative impact on asylum-seeking trafficking victims’ ongoing cooperation in lengthy cases without formal recognition or identification by authorities that they are ‘suspected’ victims, as well as potential threats from traffickers.

Victims from non-EU countries were eligible to remain in Ireland for up to three years under Ireland’s temporary residency permit. The government granted one victim a temporary residency permit in 2011, compared with five temporary permits issued in 2010, and it renewed 18 temporary residency permits for trafficking victims. Other victims were either in the asylum process or did not require residency permits because they were from Ireland or other EU countries. The government reported that no identified trafficking victims were subjected to deportation from Ireland and there were no cases of trafficking victims being criminalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. Despite this, NGOs continued to voice concerns that unidentified victims may have been inadvertently deported or punished for crimes committed while under coercive control of their traffickers.

Prevention

The government sustained its anti-trafficking prevention efforts. It re-launched a regional Blue Blindfold campaign in Ireland aimed at targeting potential victims and reducing the demand for sex trafficking. The Irish Justice Department’s anti-trafficking unit continued to coordinate the country’s efforts; a high-level inter-departmental group also functioned as a coordinating mechanism. The government did not report on any prevention measures targeted at reducing the vulnerability of unaccompanied foreign minors to trafficking. The Department of Defense provided ongoing anti-trafficking training for all Irish troops prior to their deployment abroad as part of international peacekeeping missions.

ISRAEL (Tier 1)

Israel is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Low-skilled workers from Thailand, China, Nepal, the Philippines, India, Sri Lanka, and, to a lesser extent, Romania, migrate voluntarily and legally to Israel for temporary contract labor in construction, agriculture, and caregiving industries. Some 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, nonpayment of wages, threats, sexual assault, and physical intimidation. Many labor recruitment agencies in source countries or brokers in Israel require workers to pay exorbitant recruitment fees to secure jobs in Israel – ranging from the equivalent of $4,000 to $20,000 – a practice that contributes to forced labor once migrants are working in Israel.

Based on many documented victim testimonies, an increasing number of migrants and asylum seekers – primarily from Eritrea, Sudan, and to a lesser extent Ethiopia – arriving in Israel are reportedly held for ransom and forced into sexual servitude or labor during their captivity in the Egypt’s Sinai. The Israeli government improved its system of identifying and providing medical care for these victims, who are trafficked and abused before they arrive in Israel. Some isolated cases of women from the former Soviet Union, China, and South America are subjected to forced prostitution in Israel, although the number of women affected continues to decline since the passage and implementation of Israel’s 2006 anti-trafficking law. Some NGOs report that Israeli women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking in Israel, but police have found no evidence indicating such internal trafficking.

The Government of Israel fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Israeli government sustained strong law enforcement actions against sex trafficking and strong overall prevention efforts during the year. Efforts to address labor violations of foreign workers that could lead to trafficking vulnerability continued to lag, though the government convicted two individuals for labor trafficking during the reporting period. The government continued to fund and refer victims to two NGO-run shelters for trafficking victims. The government failed to protect some vulnerable populations, including some exploited foreign workers, foreign migrants, and asylum seekers arriving from Egypt who were forced into sexual servitude or forced labor during their captivity in the Sinai.

Recommendations for Israel: Increase the number of labor inspectors and translators in the agriculture, construction, and homecare sectors, ensuring that they are adequately trained in identifying trafficking cases; increase enforcement of foreign worker labor rights; evaluate employers and recruitment agencies for histories or indicators of abusive practices before referring migrant workers to them for new employment; continue to strengthen victim identification of migrants and asylum seekers arriving from the Sinai, continue to accord those trafficking victims protections and medical treatment, and ensure trafficking victims are not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, such as immigration violations; adequately train regional district police units in victim identification and enforcement of labor and sex trafficking laws; and increase investigations of forced prostitution of Israeli nationals.

Prosecution

The Government of Israel sustained its strong law enforcement efforts against sex trafficking during the reporting period; it also made marked progress against labor trafficking. The government prohibits all forms of human trafficking through its Anti-Trafficking Law of 2006, which prescribes penalties of up to 16 years’ imprisonment for trafficking of an adult, up to 20 years’ imprisonment for the 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, such as rape. During the reporting period, the government conducted 18 investigations of sex trafficking and two investigations of forced labor under Israel’s trafficking statute. Israeli courts convicted 15 sex trafficking offenders, some of whom were charged under the trafficking statute but convicted under related statutes due to limitations of available evidence in trafficking cases, and were given sentences ranging from eight months to five years’ imprisonment. In a precedential case in February 2012, the government convicted two individuals for forced labor of a Filipina domestic worker under the trafficking statute. While there was no evidence of physical violence inflicted upon the victim, the court recognized this case as an offense of “holding a person under conditions of slavery” and withholding of a passport; the sentence was pending at the end of the reporting period and the victim had been referred to a trafficking shelter. In a separate case, the government also convicted one alleged labor trafficker under a non-trafficking statute, and sentenced him to eight years’ imprisonment. At the end of the reporting period, the prosecution of 10 sex trafficking offenders and two labor trafficking cases remained pending. At the end of the reporting period, prosecution had not yet begun of an employer who has been under investigation since May 2010 for forcing a caregiver from Moldova to have sex with the employer’s disabled son over a sustained period of time.

As in the previous reporting period, police did not uncover cases in which Israeli women were forced into prostitution, yet a local NGO observed that the majority of women in prostitution are Israeli citizens, and some are restricted from leaving the brothels where they work. NGOs continued to report that the majority of alleged labor trafficking complaints were made by NGOs, and that the government failed to provide sufficient funding and staffing for police enforcement, particularly in the field. The SAAR unit – which was established in 2009 as the central anti-trafficking police unit – was decentralized in July 2011, and regional districts became responsible for handling trafficking investigations, overseen by an Israel National Police headquarters component. A smaller coordination unit was preserved from the previous SAAR unit, which traditionally operated as an economic crimes unit. NGOs claimed the decentralization would hurt the police’s ability to manage complex field investigations, gather intelligence, and build evidence for successful prosecutions, but the Israeli High Court found no evidence of a decrease in the government’s ability to fight trafficking. Furthermore, the government asserted that the decentralization was designed to improve enforcement and coordination at local levels and that there was no reduction in resources allocated for anti-trafficking efforts. Law enforcement entities continued to rely largely on information from NGOs to investigate most instances of alleged labor trafficking. For example, an Israeli NGO identified several hundred victims of serious labor rights abuses in the agricultural sector in 2011, which prompted an investigation that identified no victims of trafficking. Through the National Anti-Trafficking Unit, the government continued to provide numerous anti-trafficking trainings, workshops, and seminars for law enforcement officers, judicial officials, labor inspectors, officials from various government ministries, social workers, and NGOs.

Protection

The Government of Israel continued to improve its strong protection of trafficking victims over the reporting period, although it lacked effective procedures to identify and protect some trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, including migrant workers and other migrants who entered from the Sinai. As a result, some unidentified victims may have been penalized for unlawful acts, such as immigration violations, committed as part of being trafficked. Israeli law enforcement authorities employed systematic procedures for identifying foreign sex trafficking victims among high-risk persons with whom they came in contact. The police established a new pilot program coordinated with an NGO to help identify sex trafficking victims during police raids of brothels. During the reporting period, police did not identify any children or Israeli women forced into prostitution, though press reports cited the existence of underage prostitution in Tel Aviv. An NGO noted that some victims who were trafficked in the Sinai and later entered Israel remained in Saharonim prison for several weeks, but were then transferred to trafficking shelters. Additionally, the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor lacked Thai translators during inspections in the agriculture sector, thus inspectors were unable to communicate with and receive complaints from the predominantly Thai migrant workers in the sector. The government provided victim identification training and workshops to judges, social workers, law enforcement and prison officials, labor inspectors, and NGOs which resulted in marked improvement in the identification of trafficking victims.

The government continued to fund its 35-bed Maagan shelter for foreign female trafficking victims and the 35-bed Atlas shelter for foreign male trafficking victims, both of which were open and allowed shelter residents to freely leave. NGOs and international organizations praised the efforts of these shelters but also claimed that they were insufficient to treat the scale of trafficking victims who were not officially identified in Israel, particularly among migrants and asylum seekers arriving from the Sinai. The government opened new apartments as needed to handle additional identified victims. Law enforcement and judicial officials referred 16 women to the Maagan shelter and 10 men to the Atlas shelter in 2011; while the number of women referred to the shelter was similar with the previous year, referrals of men dropped significantly compared to 2010. In 2011, the shelters housed 26 trafficked women, 13 men, and six children. No child victims of trafficking were referred to the shelter this year, but the children of some adult trafficking victims were housed in the shelter with their parent. The shelter staff maintained contact with trafficking victims after they had left the shelter to assist victims with long-term reintegration into Israeli society and to ensure future work conditions were not exploitative. The government continued to fund and supervise the shelters and legal and medical services, allocating the equivalent of approximately $811,000 in 2011 to fund the NGO-operated Atlas and Maagan facilities. These shelters offered job training, psychosocial support, medical treatment, language training, and other services. The Legal Aid Branch of the Ministry of Justice continued to provide free legal aid to victims and included a special representative with expertise in handling human trafficking cases. In 2011, the Branch granted legal aid to 54 possible victims of trafficking, including victims of sex trafficking and forced labor, as well as those who entered from the Sinai and allegedly experienced conditions of forced labor and sex trafficking in Egypt. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking but did not require it. During the year, the government issued or extended several temporary B1 visas to trafficking victims that allowed victims to work legally and without restriction; these were not contingent on their participation in investigations or prosecutions. Some NGOs complained that identified victims of trafficking who suffered abuses in Egypt were not accorded B1 visas in Israel, but were instead issued standard deferred deportation orders that served as de facto work permits.

The Israeli government continued to grapple with the influx of foreign migrants and asylum seekers arriving from the Sinai, primarily from Eritrea, Sudan, and to a lesser extent Ethiopia, many of whom were victims of torture prior to their entry into Israel, and some of whom were identified as victims of trafficking. NGOs noted the government’s improved procedures in Israeli prisons to identify trafficking victims among this large group of migrants and referral of victims to service providers. The government continued to improve its system of identifying victims and providing medical treatment, even to those victims who were abused and trafficked prior to arriving in Israel. Judges identified, released from detention, and referred to shelter services 30 possible trafficking victims who had entered Israel from the Sinai. Police, who can officially identify trafficking victims and refer them to the shelters, only authorized the referral of 15 of these victims to the shelters, based on detailed assessments. Police recognized the other 15 as torture victims, not as trafficking victims; therefore, they were not authorized access to the trafficking shelters. The government indicated it did not have the capacity to provide assistance to the large numbers of trafficking victims among the migrants arriving from Egypt. In March 2011, the government reported that it ceased the practice of “hot returns” of migrants and asylum seekers back to Egypt, citing the lack of effective coordination by Egyptian authorities receiving the migrants. NGOs filed two complaints to the State Attorney’s office in August 2011 regarding prior incidents of hot returns, but there were no reported cases of new hot returns since July 2011. According to international organizations and NGOs, immigration officials pressured some migrants who may have been trafficking victims with disputed nationalities not to claim citizenship of Sudan or Eritrea, because nationals of those countries have received temporary protective status from deportation. As a result, these possible trafficking victims were not offered protection, which includes shelter and B1 visas. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) deported some asylum seekers who arrived from the Sinai and were determined to be Ethiopian without determining if they were victims of trafficking. Moreover, judges referred at least two of these migrants to police as trafficking victims, yet police did not validate the initial assessment, and the MOI deported the victims.

Prevention

The Israeli government made sustained progress in preventing human trafficking over the reporting period. In December 2011, the government held its fourth annual ceremony to present awards to individuals or organizations that made a significant contribution against human trafficking. The Knesset Subcommittee on Trafficking in Women held frequent meetings during the reporting period that were open to the public and covered by the media. As a continuation of the government’s efforts from the previous reporting period, the country’s national coordinator for human trafficking published an annual summary of the Israeli government’s anti-trafficking efforts. The government conducted 20 investigations of recruitment agencies, of which 12 cases were referred for prosecution. NGOs continued to raise concerns over amendments to the Law of Entry, which passed in the Knesset in May 2011 and might further bind foreign workers to particular sectors, employers, and geographic regions. These amendments specifically affect work permits issued to migrant workers in the caregiving sector in Israel. The government continued to distribute a labor rights brochure to foreign workers arriving at Ben Gurion Airport. Under the November 2010 amendment to the Foreign Workers Law, labor inspectors entered and inspected private residences in which migrant workers were employed. In efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts, in February 2012, a government committee endorsed a bill prohibiting the procurement of prostitution that was pending in the Knesset at the end of the reporting period. The government also opened 293 cases of managing a property for the purpose of engaging persons in prostitution and eight cases of advertisement of prostitution services.

ITALY (Tier 1)

Italy is a destination and transit country for women, children, and men subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Victims originate from Romania, Nigeria, Morocco, Albania, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, China, Belarus, Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Ecuador. Children, mostly from Romania and Nigeria, continued to be subjected to sex trafficking and forced begging; some children were also subjected to forced criminality. Most male child victims of sex trafficking were Roma, but some were Moroccans and Romanians. A significant number of men continued to be subjected to forced labor and debt bondage, mostly in the agricultural sector in southern Italy and the construction and service sectors in the north. Recruiters or middlemen are often used as enforcers for overseeing the work on farms in the south; they are sometimes foreigners reportedly linked to organized crime elements in southern Italy. Immigrant laborers working in domestic service, hotels, and restaurants were also particularly vulnerable to forced labor. Forced labor victims originate in Poland, Moldova, Romania, Pakistan, Albania, Morocco, Bangladesh, Egypt, India, China, Senegal, Ghana, and Cote d’Ivoire.

The Government of Italy fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government generally continued to implement a flexible, victim-centered approach to victim identification and provided comprehensive protection and assistance to a significant number of trafficking victims in 2011. It continued vigorously to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders using its trafficking law. NGOs remain concerned, however, that the government’s focus on the expedited return of illegal migrants – such as its efforts in 2009 to interdict African migrants on the high seas and deliver them to Libya, and to deport foreign women found in street prostitution without screening them for trafficking indicators – may have resulted in trafficking victims not being identified by authorities, and their being treated as law violators and thus penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Recommendations for Italy: Collect and disseminate comprehensive law enforcement data disaggregating forced labor from forced prostitution convictions; increase systematic efforts to proactively identify victims of trafficking; ensure specialized outreach and identification efforts extend to all vulnerable groups and potential trafficking victims, especially foreign migrants without status; standardize identification and referral procedures for trafficking victims on the national level to ensure victims are not inadvertently deported or otherwise punished for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked; implement proactive anti-trafficking prevention programs targeted at vulnerable groups, trafficked victims, and the larger public; establish an autonomous, national rapporteur to enhance anti-trafficking efforts and share Italy’s best practices on victim protection with other countries.

Prosecution

The Government of Italy continued to vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders during the reporting period. 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, such as rape. In 2010, the government reported investigating 2,333 suspected trafficking offenders, compared with investigating 2,521 suspects in 2009. Italian prosecutors brought to trial 621 trafficking offenders, and trial courts convicted 174 trafficking offenders under Italy’s 2003 trafficking law in 2010, compared to 166 convictions in 2009. The average sentence imposed on offenders convicted under the country’s trafficking law was 6.5 years in prison. Trafficking offenders convicted for exploitation of underage prostitution and slavery laws were given sentences averaging 3.5 and 1.5 years, respectively. The government did not disaggregate its data to demonstrate convictions of forced labor offenders. The government continued to investigate acts of trafficking-related complicity involving officials, including the April 2011 arrest of two Palermo police officers for extorting women in prostitution; the government indicted one of the two policemen on January 18, 2012, and the other entered a guilty plea on January 25, 2012. The government did not report any further information regarding a May 2010 case involving the arrest of two police officers suspected of trafficking-related complicity in a nightclub in Pisa and a December 2009 case in which authorities charged two prison guards with exploitation of women in prostitution. In April 2011, a trial began for former Prime Minister Berlusconi for the alleged commercial sexual exploitation of a Moroccan minor. During the reporting period, the government continued to conduct specialized training on victim identification and investigation of trafficking for law enforcement agencies.

Protection

The Italian government continued its strong efforts to identify and protect victims of trafficking by promoting a flexible, victim-centered approach to identifying potential trafficking victims. Although Italy does not have a formal reflection period during which trafficking victims can recuperate and decide whether to assist law enforcement, authorities informally grant this to victims and do not limit it to a finite number of days. NGOs praised the good results of this approach when combined with comprehensive assistance. The government reported it identified and referred for care 724 new trafficking victims in 2011, and it continued to provide comprehensive assistance to 836 victims referred in previous years. The government reported 23 percent of all victims assisted in 2011 were men, and 6.5 percent were children. Article 13 of the Law 228/2003 provides victims with three to six months’ assistance while Article 18 of Law 286/1998 guarantees victims shelter benefits for another 12 months and reintegration assistance. Application of this article is renewable if the victim finds employment or has enrolled in a training program and is sheltered in special facilities. Foreign child victims of trafficking received an automatic residence permit until they reached age 18. Government funding for victim assistance, primarily through the funding of NGOs by national, regional and local authorities, was the equivalent of approximately $13 million in 2011.

Victims are not required to cooperate with police in order to receive a residence permit. The government reported it issued 1,078 temporary residence visas in 2011; although this number likely includes victims of other forms of exploitation. Further, it reported it issued 608 renewals of residency permits in 2011. The top three countries of origin of assisted victims were Nigeria, Romania, and Morocco. The government reported that 68 percent of assisted victims cooperated with police in the investigation of their exploiters. While there are arrangements at the local level to help guide officials in identifying and referring trafficking victims, the government has yet to adopt formal procedures on the national level for all front-line responders in Italy. NGOs reported the quality of the referral process for victims varied from region to region.

During the reporting period, the government continued to implement anti-immigration security laws and policies resulting in fines for illegal migrants and their expedited expulsion from Italy. Italian authorities did not screen these migrants to identify trafficking victims. In February 2012, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Italian government’s “push-back” policy, in effect for several months in 2009, of intercepting migrants on the high seas and sending them to detention camps in Libya violated the migrants’ right to seek asylum and placed them at risk of hardship or retribution in Libya or in their country of origin.

Prevention

The Government of Italy sustained its anti-trafficking prevention efforts in 2011. The Ministry for Equal Opportunity, through a committee that included independent experts and NGOs, completed Italy’s first national action plan on trafficking and submitted the draft plan to Parliament in January 2012. According to country experts, the Eurozone crisis resulted in increased unemployment among foreign workers in Italy, thus increasing their vulnerability to exploitation. On August 13, 2011 the government issued a decree to criminalize and increase penalties for labor brokers who exploit vulnerable workers. The law provides sentences of five to eight years and fines; sentences are increased to 10-24 years for child victims or if victims are exposed to health hazards. The government demonstrated some transparency in its anti-trafficking efforts by maintaining a monitoring system on the regional and national level in conjunction with anti-trafficking NGOs in 2011, but it did not monitor or report publicly on its various measures to address the problem.

The Ministry of Tourism implemented a program from 2010 to 2011 to reduce child sex tourism by issuing certificates of responsible tourism to travel agencies and tour operators for their outreach to potential clients and implemented a country-wide media campaign to promote awareness among potential clients of child sex tourism. The Italian armed forces regularly continued to organize training to prevent the trafficking or sexual exploitation of women and children by Italian troops who are deployed abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

JAMAICA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Jamaica is a source, transit, and destination country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. The exploitation of local children in the sex trade, a form of sex trafficking, remains a problem. The media has reported that pimps are luring Jamaican children under age 18 into prostitution, especially in urban areas in Jamaica. NGOs and the government remain alarmed at the high number of missing children and are concerned that some of these children are falling prey to sex trafficking. Sex trafficking of children and adults likely occurs on the street, in night clubs, bars, and private homes. In addition, massage parlors in Jamaica reportedly often lure women into prostitution under the false pretense of employment as massage therapists and then withhold their wages and restrict their movement – key indicators of human trafficking. People living in Jamaica’s poverty-stricken garrison communities, territories ruled by criminal “dons” that are effectively outside of the government’s control, are especially at risk. An NGO working with street children reported that forced labor of children in street vending is prevalent. There is evidence that foreign nationals are subjected to forced labor in Jamaica. There were reports that Jamaican citizens have been subjected to sex trafficking or forced labor abroad, including throughout the Caribbean, Canada, the United States, and the UK.

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. Despite these efforts, the government failed to demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous reporting period; therefore Jamaica is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. The government identified only one victim during the reporting period and reported no convictions of trafficking offenders, thus highlighting serious concerns about a lack of accountability for trafficking offenders and any officials complicit in human trafficking.

Recommendations for Jamaica: Vigorously prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders, including officials complicit in forced labor or sex trafficking; ensure prescribed penalties for human trafficking are commensurate with penalties for other serious crimes, such as forcible sexual assault; implement standard operating procedures to guide police, labor inspectors, child welfare officials, health workers, and other government workers in the proactive identification of local, as well as foreign victims, of forced labor and sex trafficking – including children under age 18 in prostitution in night clubs, bars, and massage parlors – and their referral to adequate service providers; 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 limited progress in the prosecution of 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 human trafficking under the Act extend up to 10 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent but do not appear to be commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government initiated three new trafficking investigations, one new labor trafficking prosecution, and one new sex trafficking prosecution during the reporting period. Ten prosecutions from previous reporting periods, including four initiated during the preceding year, remained ongoing. The government reported no convictions of trafficking offenders during the year; there were no convictions during the preceding year. The government reported no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of officials complicit in human trafficking. In an effort to strengthen awareness and law enforcement efforts, the government funded and conducted in collaboration with a local NGO a human trafficking sensitization seminar in April 2011 for approximately 32 members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force. In December 2011, the government funded an NGO to implement training for hotline operators on handling human trafficking cases.

Protection

The government made limited progress in the protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government identified only one new trafficking victim – an underage girl whose family member was selling her for sex. The lack of victims identified raised concerns that the government did not employ standard operating procedures to guide front-line responders, such as police, labor inspectors, child protection officials, and health officials, in proactive identification of human trafficking and referral of suspected cases for assistance. The government placed the one identified victim in a temporary shelter for abused girls, with a longer term plan of seeking placement for the girl with extended family. Officials provided assistance and safe voluntary repatriation in cooperation with IOM for four foreign labor trafficking victims identified in the previous reporting period. The government reported spending the equivalent of approximately $12,700 on services for trafficking victims including, shelter, counselling, clothing, and meals; this compares with the equivalent of $176,470 that it spent on victim protection during the preceding year. A trafficking-specific shelter mentioned during previous reporting periods had yet to shelter any trafficking victims and reportedly was not operational. Jamaican officials encouraged victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders. The Trafficking Act of Jamaica guarantees that trafficking victims are immune from prosecution for immigration or prostitution violations committed as a direct result of their being subjected to forced prostitution or forced labor; there were no allegations of victim punishment during the reporting period. In accordance with Jamaica’s anti-trafficking law, the government provided formal guidance for immigration officials, advising them not to deport foreign victims, and it provided temporary immigration relief to at least four foreign trafficking victims during the reporting period.

Prevention

The government demonstrated some trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government did not implement a national trafficking awareness campaign but acknowledged Jamaica’s human trafficking problem. The government’s anti-trafficking task force, which met on a monthly basis, expanded its outreach efforts and included many more government organizations (including the education, tourism, and health ministries along with the Office of the Children’s Advocate and the justice training institute) and NGOs. The task force also reached out to NGOs operating in tourism hubs across Jamaica to establish collaborative relationships that will lead to better understanding and possible identification of child sex tourism on the island. A government-operated general crime victim hotline offered specialized assistance to persons reporting human trafficking. The government hosted a national plan of action workshop, including multiple stakeholders, and began work on a national plan of action against human trafficking. The government did not report any efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

JAPAN (Tier 2)

Japan is a destination, source, and transit country for men and women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, and for children subjected to sex trafficking. 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, South America, and, in previous years, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Central America who travel to Japan for employment or fraudulent marriage are forced into prostitution. During the reporting period, Japanese nationals, particularly teenage girls and foreign-born children of Japanese citizens who acquired nationality, were also subjected to sex trafficking. In addition, traffickers continued to use fraudulent marriages between foreign women and Japanese men to facilitate the entry of these women into Japan for forced prostitution. Japanese organized crime syndicates (the Yakuza) are responsible for some trafficking in Japan, both directly and indirectly. Traffickers strictly control the movements of victims, using debt bondage, threats of violence or deportation, blackmail, and other coercive psychological methods to control victims. Victims of forced prostitution sometimes face debts upon commencement of their contracts and most are required to pay employers additional fees for living expenses, medical care, and other necessities, leaving them predisposed to debt bondage. “Fines” for misbehavior are added to victims’ original debt, and the process that brothel operators use to calculate these debts was not transparent. Japan is also a transit country for persons in trafficking situations traveling from East Asia to North America. Japanese men continue to be a significant source of demand for child sex tourism in Southeast Asia, and, to a lesser extent, Mongolia.

The Government of Japan has not officially recognized the existence of forced labor within the Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship Program, a government-run program designed to foster basic industrial skills and techniques and to provide opportunities to acquire practical skills and techniques. However, the government made a number of efforts to address labor abuses in the program. Media and NGOs continued to report on abuses in the program, though to a lesser extent than in previous years, and abuses included debt bondage, restrictions on movement, unpaid wages and overtime, fraud, and contracting workers out to different employers – elements which may signal trafficking situations. The majority of technical interns are Chinese nationals, some of whom pay fees of up to the equivalent of $1,400 to Chinese labor brokers or deposits of up to the equivalent of $4,000 prior to their departure from China; these fees sometimes require aspiring workers to take out loans or to place liens on their property, potentially leading to situations of debt bondage. Although banned since 2010, these fees, deposits, and “punishment” contracts continue to be prevalent for Chinese participants in the program. Reports of trainees having their passports and other travel documents taken from them and their movements controlled to prevent escape or communication declined, a trend that labor activists credited to increased government scrutiny of these practices.

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 Japanese government did not develop or enact anti-trafficking legislation that would fill key gaps in facilitating anti-trafficking prosecutions, and the government did not arrest, prosecute, or convict a single forced labor perpetrator in 2011. Increased enforcement of labor laws in the foreign trainee program, however, led to a decline in reported abuses in the program according to non-governmental sources. During the year, the government published a manual for law enforcement and social service providers on protecting trafficking victims and continued to mandate anti-trafficking training to law enforcement officials. While the government identified 45 adult female sex trafficking victims and 619 minor victims of child prostitution, it identified no male victims for either forced labor or forced prostitution. Protective services for trafficking victims remained limited, with no shelters purposed exclusively for trafficking victims in Japan. While the government made efforts to raise awareness to prevent trafficking, sources reported that some of the outreach campaigns the government undertook were ineffective and did not reach target audiences.

Recommendations for Japan: Draft and enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking law prohibiting all forms of trafficking and prescribing sufficiently stringent penalties that are commensurate with other serious crimes; significantly increase efforts to investigate and prosecute forced labor cases, and punish offenders with jail time; increase the enforcement of bans on deposits, punishment agreements, withholding of passports, and other practices that contribute to forced labor in the foreign trainee program; continue to proactively investigate and, where warranted, punish government complicity in trafficking or trafficking-related offenses; further expand and implement formal victim identification procedures to guide officials in the identification of forced labor; continue to ensure victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being in a human trafficking situation; establish protection policies for all victims of trafficking, including male victims and victims of forced labor; ensure that protection services, including medical and legal services, are fully accessible to victims of trafficking regardless of income; and aggressively investigate, prosecute, and punish Japanese nationals who engage in child sex tourism.

Prosecution

The Japanese government continued to make progress in prosecutions and convictions of forced prostitution of women and children; however, the government did not make significant progress combating labor trafficking or trafficking of male victims during the reporting period. Japan’s 2005 amendment to its criminal code, which prohibits the buying and selling of persons, provides a narrow definition of trafficking that is not in line with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, and it is not clear if the existing legal framework criminalizes all severe forms of trafficking in persons. These laws prescribe punishments ranging from one to 10 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and generally commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes. In 2011, the government reported 25 investigations for offenses related to sex trafficking that resulted in 20 convictions, 18 of which carried prison sentences that ranged from 18 months to four years’ imprisonment. The government also reported 842 investigations related to child prostitution and reported 470 convictions on charges of child prostitution, 74 of which carried prison sentences that ranged from less than a year to three years. Despite indications of forced labor in the Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship Program, the government reported one forced labor investigation, and no labor trafficking arrests, prosecutions, or convictions during the reporting period. The National Police Agency (NPA), Ministry of Justice, Bureau of Immigration, and the Public Prosecutor’s office continued to train law enforcement officers on trafficking investigation and prosecution techniques. During the reporting period, all new police officers, all senior officials from prefectural police departments, and all immigration officers received training on trafficking investigation and identification techniques. Further, 63 prosecutors received specialized training on conducting trafficking prosecutions.

Most allegations of abuse or forced labor involving workers in the Trainee and Technical Internship Program were settled out of court or through administrative or civil hearings, resulting in penalties which would not be sufficiently stringent for cases involving trafficking offenses, such as forced labor. NGOs and labor activists report that the increased inspections of trainee program worksites as well as labor standards seminars provided to employers participating in the program have been successful in decreasing the incidence of abuse and forced labor in the program. The resolution of a civil compensation case documented in the 2011 TIP Report involving a 31-year-old Chinese trainee who died due to overwork had not been resolved by the end of the reporting period.

In addition, while the government took some steps to prevent government complicity in trafficking offenses, including prostitution, corruption remains a serious concern in the large entertainment industry in Japan. The government did not report investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or jail sentences against any official for trafficking-related complicity during the reporting period. The government actively investigated a February 2012 case in which a retired police chief was arrested in Japan for soliciting child prostitution.

Protection

The Government of Japan demonstrated modest efforts to protect victims of human trafficking over the last year. The government increased identification of sex trafficking victims in 2011, identifying 45 adult female victims, compared to the 43 victims identified during 2010. One of these victims had originally entered Japan as a participant in the Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship Program. The government has not identified a forced labor victim in Japan in 18 years, despite substantial evidence of abuses against workers in the Industrial Trainee and Technical Internship Program. Japanese authorities produced and distributed to officials a manual entitled, “How to Treat Human Trafficking Cases: Measures Regarding the Identification of Victims.” The manual’s focus, however, appears to be primarily on identifying the immigration status of foreign migrants and their methods of entering Japan, rather than identifying indicators of non-consensual exploitation of vulnerable populations. However, this manual led to the identification of trafficking victims in four prefectures that had never before identified victims. The government reported no specific protection policy or specialized services for victims of forced labor. Japan has no dedicated shelters for trafficking victims or clear sheltering resources for male victims. The government continued to provide general (not specific to human trafficking) funding for Japan’s 43 Women’s Consulting Center shelters (WCCs), which largely care for Japanese domestic violence victims but also served 37 foreign trafficking victims during the reporting period. Due to limitations on these shelters’ space, language, and counseling capabilities, WCCs sometimes referred victims to government subsidized NGO shelters. Victims in WCC shelters are technically able to leave the facility at will; however, security concerns are often asserted as the basis for requiring that facility personnel accompany the victims on outings. The government covers medical expenses in full for foreign and domestic victims while they shelter in government-run facilities; however, according to several organizations and government officials, referral to medical and psychological services for trafficking victims was inconsistent, and some victims were not referred to or offered these services in 2011. The government recognized and worked to correct these disparities, briefing victims prior to their arrival at the shelters, providing flyers at the shelters, and training WCC staff on available services.

According to NGOs, many victims refused to seek government assistance, due both to a fear of government authorities instilled in them by their traffickers, and, in some instances, fear of arrest and punishment for unlawful acts victims committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Some victims were also reluctant to seek government assistance due to the overall lack of protective services available to identified trafficking victims. Some trafficking victims were successfully identified by law enforcement subsequent to arrest or detention. The government-funded Legal Support Center provided pro bono legal services to destitute victims of crime, including trafficking victims, though it was unclear how many trafficking victims, if any, received government-funded legal services during the reporting period. The Japanese government identified 619 victims of child prostitution in the reporting period and the government juvenile protection agency provided protection services to these victims. Furthermore, while authorities reportedly encouraged victims’ participation in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, victims were not allowed to work while participating in the investigative and prosecutorial process. While long-term residency visas are available to persons identified as trafficking victims who fear returning to their home country, only one person has sought or received this benefit in the past. No trafficking victims were granted long-term residency visas during the reporting period.

Prevention

The Japanese government made limited efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period. The National Police Agency (NPA) and the Immigration Bureau updated and expanded multilingual emergency contact information for potential victims of trafficking. While the government distributed handbills with multilingual emergency contact information for potential victims of trafficking at local immigration offices and to governments of source countries, NGOs reported that many of these publicity efforts had little impact and failed to engage their intended audiences. The Immigration Bureau continued to conduct an online campaign to raise awareness of trafficking and used flyers to encourage local immigration offices to be alert for indications of trafficking.

For years, Japan has served as a source of demand for child sex tourism. Japanese men have traveled to and engaged in the commercial sexual exploitation of children in other Asian countries – particularly Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia, the Philippines, and, to a lesser extent, Mongolia. During the reporting period, one person was convicted under a Japanese law that allows nationals to be tried in Japanese courts for engaging in sex with minors or producing child pornography overseas. Japan is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, the only G-8 country that remains a non-party.

JORDAN (Tier 2)

Jordan is a destination and transit country for adults and children subjected to forced labor and, to a lesser extent, sex trafficking. 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 unlawful withholding of passports, restrictions on movement, nonpayment of wages, threats of imprisonment, and physical or sexual abuse. Jordan’s sponsorship system binds foreign workers to their designated employers without adequate access to legal recourse when they face abuse and without the ability to switch employers, thereby placing a significant amount of power in the hands of employers and recruitment agencies. Migrant workers are further rendered vulnerable to forced labor due to indebtedness to recruiters, negative societal attitudes toward foreign workers, and legal requirements that foreign workers rely on employers to renew their work and residency permits.

Chinese, Taiwanese, Bangladeshi, Indian, Sri Lankan, Nepali, and Vietnamese men and women, in addition to an increasing number of Burmese and Malagasy workers, continue to migrate for work in factories in Jordan’s garment industry. Some of these workers encounter conditions indicative of forced labor, including unlawful withholding of passports, delayed payment of wages, forced overtime, and verbal and physical abuse; female factory workers are also vulnerable to sexual harassment. Egyptian migrant workers may experience forced labor in the construction and building maintenance sectors, while Egyptians and, to a lesser extent, Syrian workers also face conditions of forced labor in the agricultural sector. Over the last year, violence in Syria has caused thousands of Syrians, as well as third country nationals living in Syria, to flee to neighboring countries, including Jordan; some of these migrants, which could include trafficking victims, may be further susceptible to situations of forced labor or forced prostitution in Jordan. Moroccan, Tunisian, and Eastern European women are subjected to forced prostitution after migrating to Jordan to work in restaurants and night clubs; moreover, some out-of-status Indonesian, Filipina, and Sri Lankan domestic workers are reportedly forced into prostitution. NGO reporting suggests that some Egyptian women receive marriage offers from Jordanian men as second wives, but are then subjected to conditions of forced labor. Small numbers of Jordanian adults are subjected to forced labor as low-skilled workers in Qatar and Kuwait, while Jordanian children employed within the country as mechanics, agricultural laborers, and beggars may be exploited in situations of forced labor. Some Jordanian girls are forced to drop out of school to perform domestic service under conditions of forced labor; these “homebound girls” are confined to the home and denied their constitutionally protected right to complete their education.

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 sustained law enforcement efforts against trafficking offenders and police continued to refer trafficking victims to shelter services. The government’s anti-trafficking efforts, however, continued to be hindered by several government reshuffles, limited capacity in key ministries, and a general lack of inter-ministerial coordination and cooperation. The government accomplished little to implement its national anti-trafficking action plan; however, the cabinet approved by-laws to establish a shelter for victims of trafficking in March 2012. It also failed to enforce consistently its bylaws that provide standards for employing domestic workers and operating recruitment agencies, and did not launch an anti-trafficking public awareness campaign.

Recommendations for Jordan: Using the anti-trafficking statute, increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, and sentence trafficking offenses; strengthen efforts to proactively identify victims of forced labor and forced prostitution and continue to implement the National Screening Team; amend the forced labor statute to increase prescribed penalties for forced labor offenses; implement an awareness campaign to educate the general public and foreign migrant workers in all sectors on human trafficking, particularly forced labor and the proper treatment of domestic workers under Jordanian law; issue regulations governing work in the agricultural sector; enhance protective services for trafficking victims to include the availability of adequate shelter; ensure identified victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked; ensure that 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 some efforts in responding to Jordan’s human trafficking problem through law enforcement means, yet police officials did not always view withholding passports and nonpayment of wages as indicators of human trafficking. The 2008 Anti-Human Trafficking Law prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes penalties of six months to 10 years’ imprisonment for forced prostitution, child trafficking, and trafficking of women and girls; these penalties are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. Penalties prescribed for labor trafficking offenses against men that do not involve aggravating circumstances are limited to a minimum of six months’ imprisonment and a maximum fine of the equivalent of $7,000 – penalties that are not sufficiently stringent. Jordan’s labor law assigns administrative penalties for labor violations committed against Jordanian or foreign workers, yet these penalties also are not sufficiently stringent to deter the serious crime of human trafficking. In 2011, the Public Security Directorate’s (PSD) anti-trafficking unit, housed within the Criminal Investigations Division, reported its investigation and referral to prosecutors of 13 cases of trafficking, seven of which involved domestic workers, five involving workers from garment factories, and one involving sexual exploitation; these 13 cases involved a total of 38 victims. As the PSD did not provide information on the details of these cases, it is unclear whether they constitute human trafficking crimes. In 2011, the government prosecuted 14 cases of forced labor involving domestic workers and six cases of sex trafficking under the anti-trafficking law. Although 37 individuals were apprehended for suspected trafficking offenses, the government convicted four trafficking offenders under the anti-trafficking law, compared to six convictions achieved in 2010; the offenders received sentences ranging from one year to three years’ imprisonment.

In December 2011, Guatemalan authorities arrested and charged two Jordanian nationals with human trafficking offenses and forging documents for allegedly operating an international sex trafficking ring. Guatemalan prosecutors reportedly sought, but could not obtain, cooperation from the Jordanian government to investigate this case. Two cases remained pending from 2010, including the prosecution of two suspected trafficking offenders for forcing two Tunisian women into prostitution and the prosecution of a man charged with the sexual assault of his domestic worker. The 2010 prosecution of an employer who allegedly confined a Sri Lankan domestic worker to the house without pay for more than 10 years resulted in the employers conviction in September 2010 under the anti-trafficking law, though the employer was only sentenced to pay a fine; the victim was awarded compensation for her lost salary. The Jordanian police, in cooperation with INTERPOL and Prince Nayef University, provided anti-trafficking training to Saudi Arabian officials in Riyadh at the request of the Saudi government in January 2012. The government did not fund anti-trafficking training for Jordanian officials, though PSD’s anti-trafficking unit received 22 training courses from local and international organizations during 2011.

Protection

The government made minimal efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period and did not provide any specialized services to trafficking victims. It did, however, identify and refer trafficking victims to shelter services, and it took initial steps to identify victims of trafficking sheltered within foreign embassies. The police reportedly referred 26 potential female trafficking victims to a local NGO-operated shelter, a noted improvement compared with the previous reporting period when the government did not refer any victims. While the anti-trafficking law contains a provision for the opening of shelters, the country continued to lack direct shelter services for victims of trafficking; however, in March 2012, the Cabinet approved by-laws under which the government could establish a shelter for victims of trafficking. There was no government shelter available for male victims of trafficking, although the police and the Ministry of Labor (MOL) sometimes paid for male victims involved in labor disputes, some of whom may be trafficking victims, to reside at a hotel; it is unknown how many trafficking victims received this type of assistance in 2011. Victims who were not officially identified by authorities were generally kept in administrative detention pending deportation or, in the case of domestic workers, sometimes sought refuge at their respective embassies. Labor regulations prevented the three-person labor inspectorate dedicated to addressing abuses against domestic workers from investigating abuses in private homes, which continues to isolate domestic workers and “homebound girls.” Additionally, the government lacked specific regulations to govern the agriculture sector, which left abuses and trafficking victims in this sector largely undetected.

For the first time, National Committee members and representatives of the Ministries of Interior (MOI), Justice, Labor, and the police, in conjunction with IOM, formed a National Screening Team which conducted its first set of interviews with over 30 girls at the Indonesian embassy shelter in January 2012 to determine if they were trafficking victims. As a result of these interviews, IOM provided a list of official recommendations to the government, which included procedures to identify, assist, and protect victims and the creation of a national evaluation team, which would be a multi-ministerial group. A national evaluation team had not been created at the end of this reporting period. The police provided temporary residency permits to nine trafficking victims in this reporting period, though this permit did not allow victims to seek employment. The police anti-trafficking unit employed eight women, who could offer specialized assistance to female victims of trafficking; however, NGOs report these officers only performed escort duties for victims and did not conduct interviews.

The government did not adequately ensure that 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 – sometimes for extended periods of time – 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 attempt to identify trafficking victims among detained foreign domestic workers and out-of-status migrant workers, even those who claimed abuse. The government did not actively encourage victims to pursue the investigation or prosecution of trafficking offenses committed against them. 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 strong disincentive to remain in Jordan and pursue legal action against traffickers. During the previous reporting period, the cabinet announced a short-term amnesty for Filipina, Sri Lankan, and Indonesian domestic workers whose immigration documents had expired – granting them waivers of the entirety of their accumulated overstay fines and new work permits. This amnesty program, which extended through mid-June 2011, regularized the status of 12,555 domestic workers. It is unknown how many of these workers were trafficking victims, as there appears to have been no effort made to identify and assist trafficking victims among this large group of domestic workers.

While foreign workers in garment sector factories were not liable for overstay fines, the MOI reportedly deported foreign factory workers rather than investigating their claims of labor violations. The MOL made some progress in limiting this practice during the reporting period, successfully reversing deportation orders in a small number of cases to allow time for investigation or by placing some workers with different factories while investigations were pending.

Prevention

The government’s efforts to prevent trafficking stagnated during the reporting period. It did not conduct any information or education campaigns for the public and, as a result, awareness of human trafficking and the appropriate treatment of domestic workers remained low among the general population. The National Committee did little to implement its National Strategy and Action Plan to Combat Human Trafficking (2010 – 2012) that was launched in March 2010. The committee is required by law to meet quarterly, but it only met once in the reporting period due to repeated cabinet reshuffles in 2011. The government made minimal efforts to rectify weaknesses in the bylaws that provide standards for employing domestic workers; however, in November 2011, the government officially revised regulations that had restricted a domestic worker to the employer’s home so that a worker may simply inform her employer if she intends to leave the home, rather than seeking permission. The government has not raised public awareness of this new regulation. Beginning in July 2011, the MOL issued a directive that requires employers of domestic workers to deposit their salaries into bank accounts. The labor inspectorate enforced this directive by requiring all employers to provide proof of the bank account and payment of wages when they complete the annual renewal process for their employees’ work permits; however, the MOL reported that some workers refused to open accounts to avoid bank fees. Despite these efforts, the legally required standardized contract for the employment of domestic workers was not consistently implemented. In response to either domestic workers’ or employers’ complaints, in 2011 the MOL’s inspectorate division investigated the practices of nine recruitment agencies, suspended 20 offices, and forwarded four cases to the Magistrates’ Court with a recommendation for closure; the government effectively closed these four offices.

The MOL continued to operate a hotline to receive labor complaints, which received 1,116 calls in 2011; however, the labor inspectorate did not maintain complete records of calls received, the hotline was only operational during daytime hours, and translation services available in source-country languages remained lacking. During the majority of the reporting period, Jordan continued to recruit domestic workers from the Philippines and Indonesia despite both governments’ imposed bans on employment of their nationals in Jordan; however, in a positive effort in January 2012, the MOL agreed to halt the issuance of work permits to Indonesian domestic workers at the request of the Indonesian ambassador. In the same month, the Philippine government negotiated a new Memorandum of Understanding on domestic worker rights with the Government of Jordan as a first step toward lifting the ban against employment of Philippine domestic workers in Jordan. The Government of Jordan did not undertake any discernible measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period. Jordan’s Peace Operations Training Center provided anti-trafficking training as part of the standard training regimen for peacekeepers being deployed abroad as part of international peacekeeping missions.

KAZAKHSTAN (Tier 2)

Kazakhstan is a destination and to a lesser extent, source and transit country for women and girls subjected to sex trafficking and for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor. There is also a large trafficking problem within the country. Kazakhstani women and children are subjected to sex trafficking in the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, and to a lesser extent, in Russia, China, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. Women and girls from Uzbekistan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Moldova, and Ukraine are subjected to sex trafficking in Kazakhstan. Women and girls from rural Kazakhstan are subject to sex trafficking in urban areas of the country. Kazakhstani men, women, and children as well as men and children from Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and Nigeria are subjected to conditions of forced labor in domestic service, cattle breeding, and pasturing, and also in the harvest of agricultural products in Kazakhstan. Civil society groups continued to report a significant reduction in the use of forced labor in the tobacco harvest, in large part due to the efforts of a private company and a gradual phasing out of the tobacco industry in Kazakhstan. NGOs report sporadic cases of children who are forced to beg. Traffickers commonly confiscated victims’ identity documents, prohibited victims’ freedom of movement, and isolated victims. Traffickers often used inflated debts, justified by purported costs in “purchasing,” housing, or transporting the migrant workers to coerce them to work.

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. The government maintained its law enforcement efforts against human trafficking, including by training law enforcement officials. However, it failed to screen migrants effectively to identify potential victims of trafficking and only identified two foreign victims of labor trafficking, despite being a significant destination country for foreign victims of forced labor. Official complicity in trafficking remained a serious but unaddressed problem.

Recommendations for Kazakhstan: Increase efforts to identify foreign victims of both forced labor and forced prostitution, including by ensuring that authorities make efforts to proactively identify victims of forced labor among those detained during immigration raids and refer those identified as victims for assistance; work to ensure that foreign victims of trafficking receive assistance; investigate and prosecute police officers suspected of complicity in trafficking; continue to increase the number of victims who receive government-funded assistance by increasing funding to anti-trafficking NGOs and establishing trafficking shelters; promptly provide foreign trafficking victims with their identity documents, in order to facilitate repatriation of those who choose to return to their countries of origin; continue to strengthen the capacity of police, prosecutors, and judges to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate trafficking cases; and introduce professional ethics training for police officers in order to foster a culture of empathy for and assistance to trafficking victims.

Prosecution

The Government of Kazakhstan maintained modest progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period, but did not address official complicity in trafficking. Kazakhstan prohibits trafficking in persons for both labor and sexual exploitation through Articles 128, 133, 125(3b), 126(3b), 270, and 132-1 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 investigated 111 trafficking cases in 2011, compared with 88 investigations in 2010. Authorities prosecuted 82 cases in 2011, an increase from 48 cases prosecuted in 2010. A total of 30 trafficking offenders were convicted in 2011, compared with 32 offenders convicted in 2010. The government convicted 26 offenders for sex trafficking offences in 2011, a decrease from 29 convictions in 2010, and convicted four offenders for forced labor offences in 2011, compared with three in 2010. Four convicted traffickers received conditional sentences and two others were penalized with substantial fines. Sentences for the remaining 24 offenders ranged from two to 17 years’ imprisonment, in addition to the confiscation of their assets.

The government provided specialized training courses in the recognition, investigation, and prosecution of trafficking crimes for police, prosecutors, and judges through the Training Centers of the Office of the Procurator General, the Supreme Court, and the Karaganda Legal Academy’s Trafficking in Persons Training Center, and funded police participation in anti-trafficking events in four countries. Police jointly investigated seven trafficking cases with officials from five countries. Some trafficking victims complained that police officers did not take their assertions of being trafficked seriously. Some trafficking victims also complained that individual police officers were complicit in trafficking, including by protecting traffickers and raping trafficking victims, and that some officers facilitated trafficking by bringing girls to brothels. However, the government did not report any investigations or prosecutions of government officials or police officers suspected of complicity in trafficking.

Protection

The Government of Kazakhstan maintained its modest efforts in protecting trafficking victims in 2011; however, the government identified only two foreign labor trafficking victims, despite being a recognized destination for foreign victims of forced labor. Although migration police reported screening undocumented migrants detained during immigration raids, these efforts did not result in the identification of any trafficking victims. In 2011, thousands of migrants were deported without being screened for potential victims of trafficking. Government officials had a formal system to guide officials in the proactive identification of trafficking victims among the at-risk people they may encounter, but there was no information about how many trafficking victims were identified using these procedures. Identified victims were not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, though victims not identified by authorities may have been deported or prosecuted for immigration or other violations, and some child sex trafficking victims were placed in detention centers. In 2011, the government identified 84 victims of trafficking, including 13 victims of forced labor, compared with 83 victims of trafficking – 13 of whom were also labor trafficking victims – identified in 2010. Of those identified in 2011, six were foreigners – including two victims of forced labor – a decrease from nine foreign victims identified in 2010. Police referred 68 trafficking victims to IOM for assistance. The government provided at least the equivalent of $42,000 in funding for the provision of food, shelter, clothing, transportation, and other services for all identified victims. In total, 141 trafficking victims, 74 of whom were victims of forced labor, were identified and assisted by IOM, privately funded NGOs, and government-funded programs in 2011. The government continued to fund fully one NGO-run shelter for trafficking victims. The local government of Almaty no longer funds another NGO-shelter, as it did in the previous year. The government has not, despite stated intentions, established trafficking shelters beyond the government-funded shelter in Astana. This has been due in large part to the lack of a policy that establishes shelter standards; the government is currently developing such standards. Shelters are open to all trafficking victims and provide legal, psychological, and medical assistance. However, some foreign victims of trafficking are unable to get access to medical assistance due to a lack of identification documents, health insurance, or temporary residency permits. Adult trafficking victims were permitted to enter and leave the shelters freely. The Ministries of Justice and Interior operated two counter-trafficking hotlines; five criminal cases were investigated in 2011 based on phone calls to these hotlines. There was no information as to whether any victim received government compensation, as envisioned by a regulation adopted in 2010 permitting victims to receive compensation from the government. The government encouraged all victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions by providing witness protection during court proceedings and access to pre-trial shelter services. The government did not report how many trafficking victims cooperated in investigations and prosecutions in 2011. Foreign victims who agreed to cooperate with law enforcement were requested to remain in Kazakhstan for the duration of the criminal investigation but were not permitted to work. The government did not report how many foreign victims received temporary residence permits in 2011. The government did not offer other legal alternatives to foreign victims’ removal to countries where they faced retribution or hardship; all victims were forcibly repatriated, either after a short recuperation period or after their service as a prosecution witness was completed.

Prevention

The government continued its prevention efforts during the reporting period. The Interagency Trafficking in Persons Working Group, chaired by the Minister of Justice, met quarterly; each responsible agency reported on its anti-trafficking activities assigned under the Trafficking in Persons National Plan. The national government supported some anti-trafficking efforts, including information and educational campaigns. The government also co-funded or provided in-kind contributions to activities organized by NGOs or international organizations, such as the posting of billboards advertising anti-trafficking hotlines. NGOs also received grants from the government to implement prevention activities. The government continued to provide in-kind contributions for a program designed to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. In 2011, the government completed implementation of its National Trafficking in Persons Plan for 2009-2011 and adopted the new National Trafficking in Persons Plan for 2012-2014. The government failed to implement one task of the 2009-2011 plan concerning development of standards for shelter assistance; the new plan rectifies this by assigning responsible agencies to develop the standards.

KENYA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Kenya is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Traffickers, who gain poor families’ trust through familial, ethnic, or religious ties, falsely offer to raise and educate children in towns or to place adults in lucrative employment. Within the country, Kenyan children are forced to labor in domestic service, agriculture, fishing, cattle herding, street vending, begging, and the sale of illicit brews. Children are also exploited in prostitution throughout Kenya, including in the coastal sex tourism industry, in the eastern khat cultivation areas, and near Nyanza’s gold mines. Children are lured into brothels by promises of jobs as domestic workers in cities, while others are introduced by their families to the sex trade. Brothel-based child prostitution is reportedly increasing in Migori, Homa Bay, and Kisii counties, particularly around markets along the border with Tanzania. Vehicles transporting khat to Somalia return carrying Somali girls and women who often end up in brothels in Nairobi or Mombasa. Both women and “beach boys” as young as 14 pimp children in coastal areas and receive commissions as high as the equivalent of $240 from tourists for each girl secured. Some Kenyan tenant rice farmers work in situations of debt bondage to farm owners or supervisors, often to repay funds that were provided as an advance – for school fees, food, or medical needs – by their employers. Kenyan men, women, and children voluntarily migrate to other East African nations, South Sudan, Europe, the United States, and the Middle East – particularly Saudi Arabia, but also Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Lebanon, and Oman – in search of employment, where they are at times exploited in domestic servitude, massage parlors and brothels, or forced manual labor, including in the construction industry. Officials at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Nairobi allegedly collude with unlicensed recruitment agents to place Kenyans into situations of forced labor in Saudi Arabia. Recruitment of women for overseas domestic work reportedly increased during the year in Mombasa, Nairobi’s Eastleigh area, and major towns in Central Province. In 2011, gay and bisexual Kenyan men recounted being lured from universities with promises of overseas jobs, only to be forced into prostitution in Qatar. Children from Burundi, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda are subjected to forced labor and prostitution in Kenya.

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’s children’s officers continued admirable efforts to identify and protect child trafficking victims throughout the country. The government failed, however, to fully enact its anti-trafficking law’s implementing regulations, finalize its national plan of action, take tangible action against trafficking complicity among law enforcement officials, provide shelter and other protective services for adult victims, take concrete action against alleged incidences of child sex tourism, monitor the work of overseas labor recruitment agencies, or provide adequate anti-trafficking training to its officials, including diplomats, police, labor inspectors, and children’s officers. The government held few trafficking offenders accountable for their crimes in comparison to the significant number of child trafficking victims identified. Therefore, Kenya is placed on Tier 2 Watch List as it did not show evidence of increasing efforts to combat human trafficking. The government’s efforts remained uncoordinated and lacked strong oversight, creating an environment conducive to trafficking.

Recommendations for Kenya: Finalize necessary regulations and put in place appropriate structures to fully implement the anti-trafficking statute; use the anti-trafficking law to prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including government officials suspected of complicity in human trafficking; use the anti-trafficking law or Section 14 of the Sexual Offenses Act to prosecute and punish child sex tourists; provide additional training to all levels of the government, particularly law enforcement officials and diplomats, on identifying and responding to trafficking crimes; establish an official process for law enforcement officials to refer trafficking victims for assistance; continue to increase oversight of and accountability for overseas recruitment agencies; increase protective services available to adult trafficking victims, particularly those identified in and returned from the Middle East; and approve and implement the national action plan.

Prosecution

The government maintained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period, though corruption, the absence of an implemented anti-trafficking law, and lack of understanding of human trafficking among police and other public officials continued to prevent most traffickers from being brought to justice. Section 1 of the Counter-Trafficking in Persons Act (Act 8 of 2010) prohibits all forms of trafficking and Section 3(5) prescribes a sufficiently stringent minimum punishment of 15 years’ imprisonment, which is commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. Section 3(6) prescribes a minimum punishment of 30 years’ imprisonment for the aggravated offenses of controlling or financing the commission of human trafficking crimes. In 2011, however, the government did not take the final necessary steps, such as publishing this act in the Kenya Gazette, or enacting necessary implementing regulations, to bring the law into effect. As a result, no trafficking cases have been prosecuted under this law. 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). However, prosecutors do not widely use these sections.

The Kenyan Police Service’s anti-trafficking unit did not provide information on efforts to investigate trafficking crimes during the reporting period. The government reported initiating 15 human trafficking prosecutions in Mombasa, Kwale, Kajiado, Nairobi, and Kisumu in 2011, but provided no additional information to substantiate that they involved human trafficking offenses rather than smuggling or other types of crimes.

Many trafficking cases did not result in judgments due to weak preparation for prosecution or court officials’ receipt of bribes to alter records of testimony. Though the government increased the Ministry of Gender’s budget by 43 percent in 2011, funding remained insufficient to provide the transportation necessary for children’s officers to carry out quarterly child labor inspections, especially in remote areas. The Ministry of Labor’s 30 inspectors did not conduct any child labor inspections and lacked training to identify and address situations of forced labor.

Corruption among law enforcement authorities and other public officials continued to hamper efforts to bring traffickers to justice; in certain regions, corrupt police (including members of the Tourist Police Unit), immigration, or labor officials were reportedly complicit in, received bribes to overlook or confer lesser charges for, or obstructed investigations of human trafficking crimes. Local observers indicated that some suspected traffickers apprehended in police operations were quickly released under dubious circumstances. The government made no efforts to investigate or prosecute officials suspected of involvement in or facilitation of human trafficking during the reporting period. It did not provide anti-trafficking training to law enforcement and other public officials; inadequate understanding of human trafficking by police resulted in, at times, suspects being improperly charged under Kenyan law.

Protection

The government’s efforts to identify and protect child trafficking victims continued during the year, but commensurate protection was unavailable for adults, including the increasing number of victims in the overseas migrant worker population. As guidelines for implementing the victim protection provisions of the anti-trafficking statute have yet to be developed, the government continued to lack a formal mechanism for identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations. Nevertheless, government officials identified 99 child trafficking victims (23 of whom were in prostitution) in 2011 and provided protective services to all of these victims. The Ministry of Gender, Children, and Social Development’s children’s officers coordinated local Children’s Advisory Committees that, as part of their protective mission, monitored service providers and advanced awareness of human trafficking at the local level. During the reporting period, children’s officers rescued child trafficking victims, provided them with counseling and referrals to service providers, and participated in investigations. The Ministry of Gender and a local NGO continued to jointly operate a national 24-hour toll-free hotline for reporting cases of child trafficking, labor, and abuse, which received more than 40,000 calls each month. The hotline is located in a government-owned building in Nairobi and staffed, in part, by three children’s officers who facilitated rescues and made referrals to appropriate district officials, as well as to health and legal aid organizations, in other provinces. During the reporting period, the hotline received 46 reports of child trafficking, 19 concerning child prostitution, and 497 related to child labor. The hotline’s call center in Eldoret connected children with locally-available services in western Kenya. The Ministry of Gender’s Children’s Department also operated four drop-in referral centers in Mombasa, Malindi, Eldoret, and Garissa that provided counseling and guidance services, as well as referrals to other centers for victimized children that could not be returned home. This department also funded and operated rescue centers in Garissa, Malindi, Thika, and Machakos where child victims of violence could stay for three months before returning home or being referred to NGO facilities. The government did not provide data on how many trafficking victims were afforded such services during the year.

While efforts to assist and care for child trafficking victims remained strong, the government provided relatively few services – including shelter, medical care, or psycho-social counseling – to trafficked adults identified within the country or abroad. Most of Kenya’s overseas diplomatic missions failed to provide any assistance to trafficked Kenyan nationals. The Kenyan embassy in Riyadh, however, provided limited repatriation assistance by issuing new travel documents to 460 victims of 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. The Ministry of Immigration spent the equivalent of $26,500 to return 60 abused migrant workers from Saudi Arabia in 2011. While the government reports it encouraged Kenyan victims’ assistance in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes during the reporting period, it did not provide information on such instances. There were no reports that the government inappropriately incarcerated or otherwise penalized Kenyan victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Police, however, arrested foreign women for engaging in prostitution or being in Kenya without valid identity documents, but did not screen them for trafficking victimization; in most cases, the women pled guilty to immigration violations and were quickly deported. Under the 2010 anti-trafficking law, the Minister of Gender may grant permission for foreign trafficking victims to remain indefinitely in Kenya if it is believed they would face hardship or retribution upon repatriation; the government did not use this provision during the year.

Prevention

The government made some progress in preventing human trafficking. The National Steering Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, chaired by the Minister of Gender, met three times during the reporting period. The five-year National Action Plan on Human Trafficking, drafted in previous reporting periods, remained without Cabinet approval, as the Counter-Trafficking Act’s implementing regulations have not been finalized. District child labor committees, which exist in 30 out of 180 districts, together with children’s advisory committees, raised awareness of child trafficking and labor among local populations. Many of these committees, however, existed only nominally, did not meet regularly, and were largely ineffective.

In June 2011, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) issued a directive requiring foreign companies or employment agencies to submit to Kenyan recruitment agencies information regarding the jobs offered, the perspective employers, the terms of service, and remuneration before hiring Kenyans to work abroad. Recruitment agencies’ sending of domestic workers for jobs in Saudi Arabia and the UAE received increased attention with parliamentary hearings in July, October, and November 2011. In September 2011, MFA’s Department of Host Country and Consular Division, with the Kenya Association of Employment Agents and the Ministry of Youth, provided an awareness session to 1,500 workers migrating to the Middle East, many to be private security guards. In November 2011, the Ministries of Youth, Foreign Affairs, and Labor conducted a sensitization session to provide an unknown number of labor migrants departing for the Middle East with information about their country of destination, their legal rights and employment benefits, and the skills necessary for successful adaptation to the society of their destination. The Ministry of Labor, which is required by law to monitor the operations of labor recruitment agencies and attest to employment contracts, verified 133 contracts in 2011; migrant workers, however, often left Kenya before their contracts had been approved. The ministry’s vetting procedures were inconsistently applied and efforts, in conjunction with the MFA, to monitor labor recruitment agencies to prevent fraudulent job offers and other illegal practices were poorly coordinated. The government neither made efforts to close down unlicensed agencies nor to punish agencies utilizing illegal recruitment methods. Bribery of government officials by recruitment agencies reportedly hindered efforts to stop fraudulent recruitment. In late 2011, the Ministry of Labor ceased without explanation its yearly renewal of these agencies’ accreditation certificates, resulting in all members of the Kenya Association of Private Employment Agencies operating without valid licenses in early 2012. This also resulted in these agencies’ sending workers overseas without governmental attestation and vetting of workers’ foreign contracts, which left migrant workers increasingly vulnerable to trafficking.

The government reported that it prosecuted and extradited two foreign pedophiles for child sexual abuse in the Coast region in 2011, but provided no details to confirm whether these cases involved child sex tourism. Police provided no information regarding the investigations of four suspected child sex tourism cases pending at the close of 2010. In October 2011, local organizations and media outlets decried Kisauni police for releasing a German tourist alleged to have sexually exploited a prostituted child; the German was not charged due to lack of evidence. Out of court settlements, however, were common, with tourists paying girls’ families to avoid legal action. The government made efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. In February 2011, the city of Nairobi formed a taskforce to recommend measures to address the growing sex trade. The Kenyan government’s provision of training to troops deploying on international peacekeeping missions included a module on human rights that addressed human trafficking.

KIRIBATI (Tier 2)

Kiribati is a source country for girls subjected to sex trafficking within the country. Crew members on foreign fishing vessels in Kiribati or in its territorial waters around Tarawa and Kiritimati Island allegedly exploit prostituted children, some reportedly as young as 14, in local hotels and aboard their vessels. Local I-Kiribati, sometimes family members of potential victims, but also hotel and bar workers or owners of small boats, may facilitate trafficking by transporting underage girls to the boats for the purpose of prostitution or by failing to intervene in the situation. The girls generally received cash, food, alcohol, or goods in exchange for sexual services. Women and girls who frequent bars and foreign fishing vessels are collectively referred to by the term ainen matawa and are stigmatized in I-Kiribati society.

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. During the year, government officials acknowledged the existence of child sex trafficking and expressed their commitment to combating the crime. Although the government did not initiate any criminal prosecutions against traffickers, it cited three captains of foreign fishing vessels found harboring unauthorized I-Kirbati persons – some of whom may have been trafficking victims – aboard their boats. The government did not employ policies to proactively identify trafficking victims among the ainen matawa population. The government’s anti-trafficking activities were organized around thwarting the activities of ainen matawa and did not adequately prioritize protecting victims or prosecuting and punishing those who exploit or facilitate the commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Recommendations for Kiribati: Investigate, prosecute, and punish foreign crewmen for the commercial sexual exploitation of children; develop procedures for law enforcement officers and social service providers to interview those in vulnerable groups, such as those intercepted aboard international vessels, for evidence of trafficking; establish formal procedures to identify and refer trafficking victims to protective services; train front-line officers in victim identification techniques and procedures for referral to domestic violence and sexual violence officers; proactively identify and assist victims of trafficking, prioritizing establishment of a safe environment for victims and trust between victims and officers; work with local or international organizations, including religious organizations, to provide protective services to victims; ensure victims are not punished for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked; hold parents accountable, as appropriate under I-Kiribati law, for the commercial sexual exploitation of their children; and expand efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of human trafficking, with a specific focus on increasing public recognition that children in the commercial sex industry are victims rather than social deviants.

Prosecution

The Government of Kiribati demonstrated limited law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking during the reporting period. Kiribati’s 2005 Measures to Combat Terrorism and Transnational Organised Crime Act, as amended in 2008, defines and criminalizes trafficking and prescribes penalties of up to 15 years’ imprisonment for the trafficking of adults and 20 years’ imprisonment for the trafficking of children. These penalties are sufficiently stringent, but not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The law’s provisions focus on the international movement of people for exploitation, a form of trafficking not known to occur in Kiribati. The law’s victim protection provisions shield victims from prosecution for immigration crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Although there is no legal precedent, government officials have reported that domestic trafficking could be prosecuted under this law. The government reported identifying three cases in which unauthorized I-Kiribati persons – some of whom may have been trafficking victims – were discovered on foreign fishing vessels, but it did not identify any confirmed cases of trafficking or conduct any prosecutions for trafficking offenses during the year. In September 2011, the government coordinated a day of training for 19 law enforcement officers and judicial officials on the identification and protection of trafficking victims and investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases. Members of the Domestic Violence and Sexual Offenses Unit of the police were responsible for investigations and victim care in suspected trafficking cases. However, government officials did not sufficiently prioritize identification of victims among the vulnerable populations, particularly ainen matawa, with whom they came in contact. No government officials were suspected of, investigated, prosecuted, or convicted for trafficking or trafficking-related criminal activities during the reporting period.

Protection

The Government of Kiribati made little discernible progress in identifying or protecting trafficking victims during the reporting period. Police reported identifying, aboard international fishing vessels, several females who may have been trafficking victims, but their ages and status were not confirmed and the government did not provide them with any protective services. Law enforcement and social services personnel did not develop or implement systematic procedures for proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable persons with whom they came in contact. The government did not provide any victim care facilities for trafficking victims, but it reported victims could be referred to religious organizations to access medical and psychological services on an ad hoc basis. Law enforcement efforts to combat prostitution potentially resulted in some trafficking victims being treated as law violators; individuals detained for related crimes were not screened to determine whether they were trafficking victims, and their ages were not verified. The government has not developed or implemented a referral process to transfer potential victims who are 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 partners with local religious organizations that provide services to victims of crime.

Prevention

The government increased its efforts to prevent human trafficking during the year. The Ministry of Internal and Social Affairs, in partnership with an international organization, continued to produce a weekly radio show on child protection issues, including the commercial sexual exploitation of children. The same ministry, with support from an international organization, conducted workshops for community leaders and in schools on issues of child protection and the sexual exploitation of children. The police partnered with the Ministry of Fisheries to enhance the monitoring of shores for unauthorized persons attempting to access international fishing vessels and to dissuade women and girls from entering situations in which they could become victims of exploitation. The government continued to patrol its maritime territory with its one patrol boat and, during the year, in an effort to decrease the demand for commercial sex acts, it began to enforce a 2010 amendment to its foreign fishing license regulations holding ship captains accountable for unauthorized persons discovered on their vessels. The government cited three captains of foreign fishing vessels for harboring unauthorized persons aboard their boats, and one captain received a fine in an amount equivalent to approximately $30,000. The government maintained billboards cautioning against engaging in commercial sex acts.

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 forced labor, forced marriage, and sex trafficking. Within North Korea, forced labor is part of an established system of political repression. The North Korean government is directly involved in subjecting its nationals to forced labor in prison camps. North Koreans do not have a choice in the work the government assigns them and are not free to change jobs at will. North Korea is estimated to hold between 130,000 and 200,000 prisoners in political prison camps in remote areas of the country. Many of these prisoners were not actually 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 recruited laborers to work abroad under bilateral contracts with foreign governments, including in Russia; Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, East and Southeast Asia, including especially Mongolia, and the Middle East. Credible reports showed that many North Korean workers sent abroad under these contracts were subjected to forced labor, with their movement and communications constantly under surveillance and restricted by North Korean government “minders.” There were also credible reports that these workers faced threats of government reprisals against them or their relatives in North Korea if they attempted to escape or complain to outside parties. Workers’ 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 reportedly only received a fraction of the money paid to the North Korean government for their work. Between 10,000 and 15,000 North Korean workers are estimated to be employed in logging camps in Russia’s Far East, where they reportedly have only two days of rest per year and face punishments if they fail to meet production targets. Over the past year, reports indicated that the North Korean government worked harder to place North Korean workers in Russia, particularly in the Far East. Wages of some North Korean workers employed in Russia reportedly were withheld until the laborers returned home. 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.

NGOs and researchers estimate that 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 have been trafficked, but their status in China as illegal economic migrants who may be deported to North Korea makes them particularly vulnerable to trafficking. North Korean women and girls commonly migrate to China, often with the help of a facilitator, seeking food, work, freedom, and better life prospects, but may then be forced into marriage, prostitution, or labor. Trafficking networks of Korean-Chinese and North Koreans (usually men) operate along the China-North Korea border, reportedly working with border guards from both countries to recruit women for marriage or prostitution in China. North Korean women often pass through many hands, with multiple brokers involved in their trafficking. Reports indicate that security along the North Korea-China border increased during the reporting period. It is unclear what impact this change had on trafficking trends. Some 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 compelled into domestic service through forced marriages to Chinese men, often of Korean ethnicity, or are forced into prostitution in brothels or through the Internet sex trade. Some are forced to serve as hostesses in nightclubs and karaoke bars. If found by Chinese authorities, victims are deported to North Korea where they are subject to harsh punishment, including forced labor in DPRK labor camps.

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 did not demonstrate any efforts to address human trafficking through prosecution, protection, or prevention measures. The government contributed to the human trafficking problem through its ban on emigration, its failure to address its poor economic and food situation, and through its forced labor 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: Recognize human trafficking as a problem in North Korea, and one that is distinct from human smuggling; work with the international community to close forced labor camps; work with the international community to allow North Koreans to choose their form of work and leave their employment at will, and with fair wages; work with the international community to improve the social, political, economic, and human rights conditions that render North Koreans vulnerable to trafficking; provide assistance to trafficking victims and forge partnerships with international organizations and NGOs to aid in this effort; and allow NGOs to operate freely within North Korea to assist trafficking victims.

Prosecution

The North Korean government made no discernible law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking in persons during the reporting period. The government continued to deny that human trafficking was a problem. Article 233 of the penal code criminalizes border crossing and Article 234 prohibits border guards from assisting border crossers; both carry a penalty of up to 25 years of detention in a labor facility. Article 289 of the penal code prohibits the abduction of children and Article 290 prohibits the abduction of individuals or groups. Both statutes prescribe penalties of three to 10 years of “labor correction.” Article 7 of the 1946 Law on Equality of the Sexes forbids trafficking in women. However, fair trials did not occur in North Korea and the government was not transparent with its law enforcement data, so it remained unclear under what provisions of the law, if any, traffickers were prosecuted. During the reporting period, there were no known prosecutions or convictions of trafficking offenders or officials complicit in forced labor or forced prostitution. The government did not report whether it provided any anti-trafficking training to its officials. Reports indicate that repatriated North Koreans were subjected to harsh punishments during the reporting period. North Korean defectors reported instances of the government punishing traffickers, including execution.

Protection

The North Korean government did not make any known attempts to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government reported no efforts to identify or assist trafficking victims. Government authorities provided no discernible protection services to trafficking victims, nor did it permit indigenous NGOs to operate freely in North Korea. The few international NGOs allowed into the DPRK were not permitted to assist trafficking victims. The government provided no assurances to trafficking victims that they would be exempt from being penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. DPRK authorities continued to screen North Koreans for contacts with South Koreans and exposure to South Korean cultural influences, but did not distinguish between trafficking victims and illegal migrants. Article 233 of the penal code criminalizes border crossing and Article 234 prohibits border guards from assisting border crossers; both articles carry a penalty of up to two to five years of forced labor. North Koreans forcibly repatriated by Chinese authorities, including women believed to be trafficking victims, were sent to prison camps, where they may have been subjected to forced labor, torture, sexual abuse by prison guards, or other severe punishment. Repatriated victims who were 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 brutally killed infants born to repatriated victims while in prison.

Prevention

North Korean authorities made no discernable efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. Internal conditions in the DPRK prompted many North Koreans to flee the country, making them vulnerable to human trafficking. Although press reports indicated that border security increased during the reporting period, there was no evidence that the DPRK government attempted to prevent human trafficking by screening migrants along the border. DPRK authorities made no discernible efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. 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 forced prostitution and forced labor. Some men and women from Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Colombia, Mongolia, China, the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, North Korea, Vietnam, Japan, and other Southeast Asian countries are subjected to forced labor, and some women are subjected to forced prostitution. Some foreign women who entered the country on E-6 entertainment visas were forced into prostitution. 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 subsequent to their arrival in the ROK, or when running away from abusive spouses. South Korean women were subjected to forced prostitution domestically and abroad in destinations including the United States, Canada, Japan, and Australia, many coerced by traffickers to whom they owed debts. Commercial sexual exploitation of South Korean teenagers within the country remains a problem. Migrant workers who travel to the ROK for employment may incur thousands of dollars in debts, contributing to their vulnerability to debt bondage. There are approximately 500,000 low-skilled migrant workers in the ROK from elsewhere in Asia, many of whom were working under the government’s Employment Permit System (EPS). Migrant workers sometimes face conditions indicative of forced labor, including nonpayment of wages, withholding of passports, and work upon arrival in the ROK that differs from the job description offered to them in their country of origin.

The Government of the Republic of Korea fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government reported an increased number of sex trafficking convictions during the reporting period and sustained services for sex trafficking victims. Labor trafficking prosecutions may have occurred; such cases have not been reported in several prior reporting periods. The government did not institute formal procedures to identify proactively trafficking victims and refer them to available services. More centers provide services for female than for male trafficking victims.

Recommendations for the Republic of Korea: Enact drafted comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation that defines and prohibits trafficking in persons; increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders, including those involved in labor trafficking; develop and implement formal victim identification procedures to identify proactively trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, including women arrested for prostitution, migrants in the EPS, and illegal immigrants; make greater efforts to identify victims of forced labor among migrant workers, such as those who file complaints of unpaid wages; conduct a study or regular surveys to explore the scope and manifestations of labor trafficking in South Korea, similar to the triennial survey on sex trafficking; proactively grant victims permission to work pending investigations and prosecutions against their traffickers; and take steps to increase awareness of child sex tourism and enforce laws against South Koreans engaging in such acts.

Prosecution

The ROK government took adequate steps to prosecute trafficking offenses during the reporting period, but its efforts continued to be hampered by the lack of a clear law prohibiting all forms of trafficking. South Korea prohibits most aspects of trafficking through its 2004 Act on the Punishment of Acts of Arranging Sexual Traffic and its Labor Standards Act, which prescribe up to 10 years’ and five years’ imprisonment, respectively; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government reports using other criminal statutes related to kidnapping and juvenile protection to prosecute and punish trafficking offenses. The Republic of Korea does not have a comprehensive trafficking law that fully complies with international norms. During the reporting period, government authorities reported investigating 53 sex-trafficking cases, compared with 40 during the previous reporting period, under the Act on the Punishment of Acts of Arranging Sexual Traffic. These investigations resulted in a total of 11 convictions, an increase from six convictions under this statute during the previous reporting period. Sentences for sex trafficking offenders ranged from 16 months to five years. Because there is no comprehensive anti-trafficking law in South Korea, disaggregating data as to whether the convictions were, in fact, trafficking convictions is difficult. Since April 2011, there were allegations of forced labor abuses and unpaid and underpayment of wages on South Korean-flagged fishing vessels in New Zealand waters. At the end of the reporting period, these allegations remained under investigation. The government’s National Human Rights Commission launched an investigation into allegations of forced labor on these South Korean flagged fishing vessels. Despite conducting 34 labor trafficking investigations and obtaining eight indictments in the past year, the government did not report any labor trafficking convictions under the Labor Standards Act or any other statutes for several years, raising concerns that the current legal structure for addressing labor trafficking is insufficient. In June 2012, Korean authorities asserted that a number of labor trafficking offenders were prosecuted during the reporting period; these claims could not be confirmed. In addition, there have been no convictions of Korean child sex tourists or labor trafficking offenders in the past five years.

In April 2011, the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency announced that they had arrested a 40-year-old North Korean female refugee and three additional individuals for forcing 70 North Korean women into prostitution. The perpetrators paid the equivalent of $32,139 to Chinese brokers to bring the women to South Korea and investigators believe Chinese brothels may have been involved in trafficking the victims. The victims received shelter, counseling, education services, and South Korean citizenship. The 40-year-old North Korean female refugee pleaded guilty to lesser charges related to the commercial sex trade and paid an the equivalent of $1,800 fine; as of the end of the reporting period, the case against the three other defendants remained pending. During the reporting period, the government funded training on investigating sex trafficking crimes against women and children for 274 newly appointed prosecutors and prosecutors designated to handle sex trafficking cases.

Protection

The ROK government sustained strong efforts to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period, but it lacks formal proactive victim identification procedures. There were fewer services available for labor trafficking victims than sex trafficking victims. The government identified 15 forced prostitution victims; it is unclear how many labor trafficking victims were identified. The government did not have a formal mechanism to guide front-line responders, such as police, social workers, and labor and health officials, in how to identify human trafficking and refer potential victims to available services. In 2011, the government spent the equivalent of approximately $16.9 million, mainly by providing financial support to NGOs offering shelter, counseling, medical and legal assistance, vocational training, educational programs, and rehabilitation services to a variety of persons in need, including sex trafficking victims. The Ministry of Gender Equality and Family (MOGEF) operated 18 shelters for Korean victims of sex trafficking, sexual assault, and domestic violence, offering medical and legal services. The government also sustained its operation of one specialized shelter for foreign victims of sex trafficking, but it did not report the number of victims assisted at this facility during the reporting period. The government continued to fund an extensive network of support centers for foreign wives and runaway teenagers, two groups vulnerable to trafficking in South Korea. These support centers offer services such as counseling in a number of languages, legal advice, and referrals to medical services and shelters. The government did not operate specific programs for forced labor victims or shelters for male trafficking victims. Observers claimed that the EPS continued to assign excessive power to employers over workers’ mobility and legal status, making them vulnerable to trafficking. The government offered foreign victims of trafficking legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. The government’s G-1 visa system allowed for foreign trafficking victims to remain in South Korea for up to one year to participate in investigations against their traffickers, and three G-1 visa holders that were trafficking victims were working. Victims of trafficking are not punished for crimes committed as a direct result of being in a trafficking situation.

Prevention

The ROK government took steps to prevent trafficking during the reporting period, though similar to the year before, these efforts focused almost exclusively on sex trafficking. The government continued to conduct a wide variety of campaigns to raise awareness of sex trafficking in South Korea, targeting particularly vulnerable groups such as teenagers and foreign wives. In an effort to add safeguards to the marriage broker process, South Korea passed legislation last year compelling men marrying foreign brides to take classes prior to marriage. During the reporting period, MOGEF publicized on buses, electronic billboards, subways, and in foreign language publications the Emergency Support Center for Migrant Women hotline, which had operators trained to assist trafficking victims. In an effort to educate potential clients of the sex trade, MOGEF produced and distributed guidelines on preventing trafficking to 1,500 public institutions, and conducted Internet campaigns to prevent involvement of juveniles in the sex trade. 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 to attend one-day seminars on the risks of prostitution and sex trafficking in lieu of criminal punishment. As part of the 2008 revisions to the anti-sex trafficking legislation, the government is required to conduct research every three years on the status of sex trafficking in South Korea. The MOGEF conducted a triennial nationwide survey on prostitution in 2010 and published the results of the survey in early 2011. Korean authorities continued to train law enforcement and other government officials on trafficking and used a standardized training program on preventing forced prostitution. Korean men remain a source of demand for child sex tourism in Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. The South Korean government aired television commercials to discourage participation in child sex tourism, and Korean embassies abroad posted child sex tourism warnings and information on their homepages and provided pamphlets at airports and travel agencies. The government has not reported any prosecutions or convictions of child sex tourists in the past five years. The ROK government continued to provide anti-trafficking training to troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

KOSOVO (Tier 2)

Kosovo is a source, destination, and possibly a transit country for women and children who are subjected to sex trafficking, and children subjected to forced begging. The majority of victims of sex trafficking exploited in Kosovo are female Kosovo citizens. Children from Kosovo and neighboring countries are exploited in forced begging within Kosovo. Most foreign victims of forced prostitution are young women from Eastern Europe including Moldova, Albania, Poland, and Serbia. Kosovar women and children are subjected to forced prostitution, servile marriages, and forced labor throughout Europe. Kosovo police report that traffickers less frequently exploited sex trafficking victims in bars and cafes, relying instead on private residences.

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 continued to implement its victim-centered Standard Operating Procedures and Minimum Standards for the care of trafficking victims. The government’s trafficking prevention efforts continued to be very strong, incorporating broad based media appeals, focus on youth, and multi-level governmental coordination. Nevertheless, international organizations observed that the judiciary and prosecutors remained ill-equipped to prosecute trafficking cases, resulting in weak accountability for trafficking offenders. Despite several reports of government employees’ complicity in trafficking, no government officials were convicted of complicity. Finally, certain trafficking protections need to be implemented, including open shelters, adequately funded social service support, and effective long-term rehabilitation options for trafficking victims.

Recommendations for Kosovo: Make more vigorous efforts to prosecute, convict, and sentence sex and labor trafficking offenders, including officials complicit in trafficking; enhance trafficking-specific training for prosecutors and the judiciary; ensure that the social work protection for trafficking victims is fully funded; implement the National Strategy and Action Plan against Trafficking in Human Beings for 2011-2014; enhance investigation of forced labor offenses; increase detection of and protection for victims of forced begging in Kosovo; ensure that all trafficking victims are allowed to leave shelters unchaperoned and at will; appropriately fund municipal-level social work care for trafficking victims; continue evaluations of trafficking programs to ensure their efficacy; ensure that undocumented migrants are screened for potential victims of trafficking prior to deportation; improve restitution procedure to enable victims of trafficking to have access to restitution; disaggregate anti-trafficking law enforcement data between sex and labor trafficking; and continue public awareness campaigns, including campaigns about the risks of begging.

Prosecution

The Government of Kosovo improved its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2011, despite a continuing backlog of cases in the courts and problems with holding officials complicit in trafficking accountable. Kosovo prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons in articles 137 and 139 of the 2004 criminal code, and prescribes a maximum sentence of 12 years’ imprisonment. These punishments are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The Kosovo government’s restructured anti-trafficking directorate continued to serve as the specialist law enforcement agency on trafficking, adding expertise to trafficking investigations, though the directorate lacks adequate equipment. The Kosovo government made efforts to recruit minority Serb officers for the anti-trafficking police force and had some successes, but was hindered by underlying political tensions.

In 2011, Kosovo police coordinated other Kosovo government authorities on 199 trafficking activities, all but two of which concerned sex trafficking. The Kosovo police conducted investigations of 88 suspected trafficking offenders; 79 of these individuals were referred to the prosecutor’s office. Kosovo’s judiciary continued to face serious challenges in 2011, including a long backlog of cases. Such limitations affected convictions and sentences. In 2011, authorities began prosecutions of 79 suspected offenders in 22 new cases; in 2010, there were 81 offenders in 28 new cases in 2010. The government did not report how many of these cases were sex trafficking or labor trafficking. The government’s conviction rate increased in 2011. The government reported that Kosovo courts convicted 37 trafficking offenders, a significant increase from 11 offenders convicted in 2010. These offenders were sentenced to terms between five months and 5.5 years; 21 of these offenders received prison terms less than two years. In addition to the convictions in Kosovo district courts, a mixed panel of European Union Rule of Law Mission and Kosovo Judges in the District Court of Prizren convicted seven Kosovars for trafficking offenses, among other crimes. These seven offenders were sentenced to prison terms of between one year and four years, one month. All officially identified trafficking victims cooperated with investigations and gave statements to the police.

Nevertheless, the OSCE raised concerns about the quality of trafficking investigations and prosecutions, noting that Kosovo legal practitioners often failed to properly apply the law to the established facts in potential trafficking cases. The report concluded that the judges sometimes convicted defendants on charges of “attempted” trafficking when a conviction for trafficking would have been supported by the facts. Judges and prosecutors were reportedly not well trained to prosecute trafficking cases. The Kosovo government collaborated with foreign governments in 16 international trafficking investigations. The government provided 173 police officers trafficking in persons training as part of the criminal investigation course. Kosovo law enforcement authorities investigated four cases involving four government officials in trafficking-related criminal charges during the reporting period. In two cases, the Kosovo Police dropped the charges after consultations with the Kosovo district prosecutor’s office. The other two cases involving government officials remained under investigation. There were no prosecutions or convictions of government officials suspected of trafficking-related crimes.

Protection

The Kosovo government sustained its efforts to protect victims of trafficking, employing formal guidelines for the identification of trafficking victims. The government employed “Minimum Standards of Care for Victims of Trafficking” and “Standard Operating Procedures” outlining obligations of state officials and NGOs for the care and treatment of trafficking victims. These guidelines set victim-centered standards for investigations and protection, such as the provision of a victim advocate for every victim brought to police stations. According to NGOs and international governmental organizations, the Kosovo government referral process was generally followed. NGOs observed that children who were identified as trafficking victims were correctly treated by authorities. Children involved in begging, however, were generally not identified as trafficking victims. Kosovo government officials traced problems with identifying children in begging as trafficking victims to the fact that begging is classified as a misdemeanor rather than a trafficking offense; proposed revisions of the criminal code would ameliorate the classification.

The Kosovo government supported nine shelters that accommodated trafficking victims, including a government-run high security trafficking-specific shelter, a specialized shelter for children, and a shelter dedicated to the long-term rehabilitation of trafficking victims. Through these shelters, the government provided care such as housing, medical care, clothing, counseling, and legal and educational assistance. In all but one shelter, victims of trafficking could not leave without a chaperone. The shelters did not offer care for any male victims of trafficking, but the government had developed a plan for a new shelter in 2013, anticipated to offer shelter for males and trafficking victims with disabilities. The government provided funding for 50 percent of all direct services to all trafficking victims at all shelters, but not all operational costs of the NGO-run shelters. The Kosovo police identified 39 victims of trafficking and referred 29 of them to shelters. The government identified the same number of victims in 2009. In 2011, the Kosovo government provided the equivalent of $153,000 for trafficking victim assistance, down from the equivalent of $216,234 provided for victim care in 2010. Following the transfer to municipal authorities of the responsibility for social work services, there has been insufficient social work capacity to support victims and victim advocates’ offices are underfunded. The Kosovo government continued to provide tax incentives to businesses that offered employment opportunities to victims of trafficking, though none were employed during 2011. Although Kosovo’s criminal procedure code provides for victim restitution, which could in theory compensate victims of trafficking, it has never been funded, nor has an administrator ever been appointed to manage the fund. Similarly, although the criminal procedure code permits asset seizure, the mechanism has rarely been used. Despite a government study identifying approximately 100 children in begging, the government identified few of these highly vulnerable children in begging as victims of trafficking. The Kosovo government participated in NGO-run task forces to discuss cases of children at risk, including children in begging.

Prevention

The Government of Kosovo demonstrated strong efforts to prevent human trafficking this year, launching an anti-trafficking hotline and continuing a number of creative public awareness campaigns. The Government of Kosovo partnered with the OSCE to launch an anti-trafficking and domestic violence help line in October 2011. Since its launch, help line operators have received around 80 telephone calls from individuals requesting information on trafficking and domestic violence and seeking referrals in potential trafficking and domestic violence cases. In September and October 2011, the Kosovo government again held an intensive month-long anti-trafficking campaign with television and radio spots, youth anti-trafficking art and essay competitions, school outreach, and poster campaigns. In the spring of 2011, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology continued its anti-trafficking civic education program “Skills for Life” in Kosovo schools. In August 2011, the Kosovo government adopted an anti-trafficking action plan for 2011-2014. The government collaborated with NGOs and international organizations on the development of this plan. The Government of Kosovo’s inter-ministerial working group met monthly to coordinate government efforts to combat trafficking; sub-working groups addressing prevention, protection, prosecution, and the trafficking of children also met regularly. The Kosovo government reported that it attempted to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts through its arrests of clients of prostitution.

KUWAIT (Tier 3)

Kuwait is a destination country for men and women who are subjected to forced labor and, to a lesser degree, forced prostitution. Men and women migrate from India, Egypt, Bangladesh, Syria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Nepal, Iran, Jordan, Ethiopia, and Iraq to work in Kuwait, mainly in the domestic service, construction, and sanitation sectors. Although most of these migrants enter Kuwait voluntarily, upon arrival their sponsors and labor agents subject some migrants to conditions of forced labor, including nonpayment of wages, long working hours without rest, deprivation of food, threats, physical or sexual abuse, and restrictions on movement, such as confinement to the workplace and the withholding of passports. While Kuwait requires a standard contract for domestic workers delineating their rights, many workers report work conditions that are substantially different from those described in the contract; some workers never see the contract at all. Many of the migrant workers arriving for work in Kuwait have paid exorbitant fees to recruiters in their home countries or are coerced into paying labor broker fees in Kuwait that, by Kuwaiti law, should be paid for by the employer – a practice that makes workers highly vulnerable to forced labor once in Kuwait. Due to provisions of Kuwait’s sponsorship law that restrict workers’ movements and penalize workers for running away from abusive workplaces, domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to forced labor inside private homes. In addition, media sources report that runaway domestic workers fall prey to forced prostitution by agents who exploit their illegal status.

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. The parliament has still not enacted a draft comprehensive anti-trafficking law. While various government ministries are tasked with addressing trafficking-related issues, there is no lead official, ministry, nor national coordinating body that focused on anti-trafficking efforts. The governement’s victim protection measures remain weak, particularly due to the lack of proactive victim identification and referral procedures and continued reliance on the sponsorship system, which inherently punishes, rather than protects, trafficking victims for immigration violations. The government continues to operate a temporary shelter for runaway female domestic workers, established in September 2007, though it offers no such facility accommodating male victims of trafficking. The government also did not make significant progress in fulfilling other commitments made since 2007, such as enacting a law to provide domestic workers with the same rights as other workers or completing the construction of a large-capacity permanent shelter for victims of trafficking. The government similarly made insufficient efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the reporting period. For these reasons, Kuwait is placed on Tier 3 for a sixth consecutive year.

Recommendations for Kuwait: Enact the draft anti-trafficking bill to specifically prohibit and punish all human trafficking offenses; significantly increase efforts to prosecute, punish, and stringently sentence traffickers, particularly sponsors who force domestic workers into involuntary servitude; enact and enforce the draft domestic workers bill to provide domestic workers with the same rights as other workers, including the establishment of a minimum wage, the deposit of salaries into employee bank accounts, maximum working hours, overtime compensation, a clear job description, a contract provided in the domestic worker’s native language, and the right to annual and sick leave; establish procedures to proactively identify all victims of human trafficking, especially among the female domestic worker population; establish and operate a large-scale shelter for trafficking victims; revise sponsorship provisions that make workers vulnerable to abuse, including domestic workers; enforce existing laws against sponsors and employers who illegally hold migrant workers’ passports; continue to expand on existing anti-trafficking training to law enforcement and judicial officials; and significantly increase efforts to prevent trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Kuwait made few discernible efforts to improve its law enforcement efforts against trafficking during the reporting period. The government has yet to enact a comprehensive anti-trafficking bill that has been on the parliament’s agenda since November 2009. Despite the continued absence of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law, the government could prosecute and punish trafficking offenses under other provisions of the Kuwaiti Criminal Code, but there is little evidence it has done so in a systematic fashion. Limited forms of transnational slavery are prohibited through Article 185, which prescribes a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment. Law 16/1960 criminalizes forced labor or exploitation, while maltreatment that amounts to torture and leads to death is considered first-degree murder. 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. These prescribed penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. Nonetheless, the government did not report any arrests, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of traffickers during the reporting period for either forced labor or sex trafficking. Media sources report that in mid-2011, Kuwaiti security officials arrested a total of nine individuals for allegedly kidnapping women, some of whom were domestic workers, and selling the victims into forced prostitution. All cases were referred to the Public Prosecutor, but it remains unclear if these arrests resulted in prosecutions. Although the withholding of workers’ passports is prohibited under Kuwaiti law, this practice remains common among sponsors and employers of foreign workers, and the Government of Kuwait has demonstrated no genuine efforts to enforce this prohibition. Almost none of the domestic workers who take refuge in their home-country embassy shelters have passports in their possession. The government remains reluctant to prosecute Kuwaiti citizens for trafficking offenses despite allegations that the majority of offenses involved Kuwaiti employers in private residences. When Kuwaiti nationals are investigated for trafficking offenses, they tend to receive less scrutiny than foreigners. Kuwaiti law enforcement generally takes an administrative or civil approach in addressing cases of forced labor, such as assessing fines, shutting down employment firms, issuing orders for employers to return withheld passports, or requiring employers to pay back-wages. In June 2011, various government ministries received training on victim protection and best practices from foreign government and IOM officials. Also during this reporting period, the government provided funding to IOM to conduct anti-trafficking training for police, judges, and other officials in Kuwait.

Protection

During the year, the Kuwaiti government made inadequate efforts to protect victims of trafficking. It did not develop or implement formal procedures for the proactive identification of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign domestic workers and women in prostitution. Kuwait’s migrant sponsorship law effectively dissuades foreign workers from reporting abuses committed by their employers to government authorities; workers who flee from their employers face criminal and financial penalties of up to six months’ imprisonment, the equivalent of over $2,000 in fines, and deportation for leaving without their employers’ permission, even if they ran away from an abusive sponsor. The threat of these consequences discouraged workers from appealing to police or other government authorities for protection and from obtaining adequate legal redress for their exploitation.

The Government of Kuwait did not encourage victims of trafficking to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases, and it did not offer foreign trafficking victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they may face hardship or retribution. Moreover, victims were not offered legal aid by the government. Some foreign victims of trafficking received monetary settlements from their employers, though trafficking-related charges were not pursued against the employer. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor continued to operate a short-term shelter for runaway domestic workers with a maximum capacity of 40. The shelter detained victims involuntarily until their legal or immigration cases were resolved. The government also did not report the actual number of trafficking victims assisted at this shelter during the reporting period. It is unclear whether victims of forced prostitution can access the government’s temporary shelter, and there continued to be no shelter or other protective services afforded for male victims of trafficking. In 2007, the government announced it would open a high-capacity shelter for runaway domestic workers; this shelter was under construction, but was not yet complete at the end of the reporting period. The Kuwaiti government provided source countries with funds to pay for the repatriation of some runaway domestic workers sheltered at their embassies in Kuwait. The Ministry of Interior continued to offer training on trafficking issues for government employees, including IOM-sponsored training courses on trafficking victim recognition and protection. The government does not, however, provide funding to domestic NGOs or international organizations that provide direct services to trafficking victims.

Prevention

The Government of Kuwait made minimal progress in preventing trafficking in persons during the past year. The Private Sector Labor Law, enacted in February 2010, mandated the formation of a government-run sponsorship system for non-domestic laborers, which would replace the current sponsorship system. During the reporting period, the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor worked to implement this legal requirement by creating the Public Authority for Manpower; however, parliament has not yet ratified the creation of this entity, so it has not become operational. A government provision set in April 2010 to increase the minimum wage for workers in the private sector continues to exclude Kuwait’s more than a half-million domestic workers – the group most vulnerable to human trafficking – and does not establish mechanisms to monitor implementation of this rule. As in past years, the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs made a nationwide effort to reduce overseas child sex tourism by requiring some Sunni mosques to deliver Friday sermons on the danger of sex abroad and Islam’s strict teachings against improper sexual relations.

KYRGYZ REPUBLIC (Tier 2)

The Kyrgyz Republic (or Kyrgyzstan) is a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, and for women subjected to forced prostitution. Kyrgyz men, women, and children are subjected to bonded labor in China and to conditions of forced labor in Russia and Kazakhstan, and to a lesser extent the Czech Republic, Turkey, and within the country, specifically in the agricultural, forestry, construction, and textile industries, and in domestic servitude and forced child care. Kyrgyz victims were recently identified for the first time in Angola and the United States. Women from the Kyrgyz Republic are subjected to forced prostitution in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Kazakhstan, China, South Korea, Greece, Cyprus, Thailand, Germany, and Syria. Some men and women from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan transit the Kyrgyz Republic as they migrate to Russia, the UAE, and Turkey, where they are subsequently subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Kyrgyz boys and girls are subjected to forced prostitution within the country. An NGO study estimated that over 60,000 Kyrgyz citizens are victims of trafficking, both within the country and abroad.

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. The government continued to prosecute trafficking cases and convict offenders, and identified more victims than in the previous year. Despite continued reports of corruption, however, the government did not investigate or prosecute any officials suspected of complicity in human trafficking.

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

Prosecution

The Kyrgyz government demonstrated some progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. In November 2011, the government amended its 2005 Law on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Persons, which criminalizes both sex and labor trafficking, to define human trafficking more broadly and clearly to include the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. The law also covers a non-trafficking offense – child adoption for commercial purposes. Through this amendment, the government also raised the minimum penalty for trafficking in persons to five years’ imprisonment from three; the maximum is 20 years. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with prescribed penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2011, the government reported conducting seven trafficking investigations, compared with 11 trafficking investigations in 2010. The government prosecuted 13 suspected traffickers in six cases and convicted nine traffickers in three cases in 2011, compared with eight suspected traffickers prosecuted and three convicted in 2010. The government did not report information about the punishments of the convicted traffickers. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, along with several Kyrgyz academic institutions, conducted some training courses and seminars on fighting human trafficking. NGOs contended that some low-level law enforcement officials are complicit in human trafficking and accept bribes from traffickers; other low-level police failed to investigate potential trafficking offenses due to a lack of awareness. The government reported no efforts to investigate or prosecute any government officials suspected of being complicit in trafficking or convict or punish any complicit officials.

Protection

The Kyrgyz government sustained limited efforts to assist victims during the reporting period. The government did not have formal written procedures to guide officials in proactive identification of trafficking victims among high-risk persons with whom they came into contact. The government identified 38 victims and referred them to protective services in 2011, compared with 15 victims identified in 2010. Thirteen of these 38 victims were identified by Kyrgyz consular officials in destination countries. NGOs identified and assisted 164 victims in 2011. Of these 202 total victims, approximately 80 percent were victims of labor trafficking and 20 percent victims of sex trafficking. Fifteen percent of the 202 victims were trafficked within the country. Although the government did not provide funding to any organization that provided victim assistance in 2011, it continued to provide in-kind assistance to anti-trafficking NGOs, including facilities for three NGO-run shelters for victims of trafficking. Victims were able to leave the shelters freely. There was no information on whether the government encouraged victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions; no victims assisted law enforcement during the reporting period. During the reporting period, identified victims may have been penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, such as prostitution offenses.

Prevention

The Kyrgyz government sustained limited progress in trafficking prevention efforts. Government officials continued to provide Kyrgyz migrants with informational fliers and other trafficking awareness materials prepared by IOM and funded by a foreign government. The government continued to provide in-kind assistance to an NGO-run labor migration hotline which provided legal advice and assistance to potential victims of trafficking. The Ministry of Education continued to provide anti-trafficking awareness training to students as part of a program to educate students about potential dangers when working abroad. Building on its existing 2008-2011 national anti-trafficking action plan, the Kyrgyz government drafted a plan for 2011-2015 with the contribution of NGOs. The government continued its program to digitize passport records and expanded the program to include the digitization of birth records. The government did not undertake efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

LAOS (Tier 2)

Laos is a source, and to a much lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women, children, and men who are subjected to forced prostitution and forced labor. Lao trafficking victims often are migrants seeking work outside of the country who encounter conditions of involuntary exploitation only after arriving in their destination countries, most often Thailand. Many Lao migrants, particularly women, pay broker fees, normally ranging from the equivalents of $70 to $200, to obtain jobs in Thailand, but after their arrival are subjected to conditions of sexual servitude in Thailand’s commercial sex trade, and sometimes to forced labor in domestic service, garment factories, or agricultural industries. Lao men and boys are also victims of forced labor in Thailand, especially in the fishing and construction industries. Ethnic minority populations of Laos often are vulnerable to trafficking in Thailand, due to their lack of Thai language skills and unfamiliarity with Thai society. Members of the lowland Lao majority ethnic group are drawn to Thailand because of the cultural similarities and their ability to speak Thai, both of which allow them to acculturate with ease. Unfortunately, this also makes locating and identifying Lao victims more difficult. Small number of Lao women and girls are reportedly sold as brides in China.

Given its porous borders, Laos is increasingly a transit country for Vietnamese, Chinese, and Burmese women who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor in neighboring countries. Some Vietnamese and Chinese women are also subjected to forced prostitution in Laos, usually in close proximity to casinos or Special Economic Zones. Although there are fewer reported instances of internal trafficking, sex trafficking of Lao women and girls within the country remained a problem. Additionally, children, especially girls, are also vulnerable to the worst forms of trafficking, both domestically and internationally.

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. During the current reporting period, the government reported investigating 49 trafficking cases and convicting 37 trafficking offenders. While the victims received temporary services from the government, the trafficking laws do not fully protect all victims. Neither proactive identification measures nor systematic monitoring efforts were implemented during the current year. The immigration police, who operate a trafficking in persons division at the Lao-Thai border, have reported minimal identification of victims among Lao who have returned or been deported from Thailand. The Government of Laos continued to operate a transit center in Vientiane, provided funding for the Lao Women’s Union shelter, and continued to rely heavily on foreign donor support for long-term victim assistance. In mid-2011 the Ministry of Public Security (MOPS) upgraded its anti-trafficking division to a department in order to elevate its profile status within other government entities. Inefficiencies within the Lao bureaucracy, however, continued to delay approvals for local and international NGOs to implement anti-trafficking projects and agreements. The prime minister has yet to approve a final draft of the anti-trafficking national plan of action.

Recommendations for Laos: Increase efforts to address internal trafficking by identifying and assisting Lao citizens trafficked within the country and prosecuting their traffickers; demonstrate greater efforts to combat the trafficking complicity of public officials, especially on the local level, through the criminal prosecution of officials involved in trafficking crimes; develop monitoring mechanisms for labor recruiters tasked with processing work permits and contracts to prevent the trafficking of migrant workers; develop and implement formal victim identification procedures and train police and border officials to systematically identify trafficking victims, particularly among migrants returning from Thailand; increase resources and vocational trainings to support victims in reintegration after returning to their home communities; develop a victims’ protection framework to increase the number of victims willing to testify or assist in investigations; approve memoranda of understanding with NGOs and international organizations in a more timely manner; increase country-wide awareness of court proceedings and legal avenues for trafficking matters; continue to implement visible anti-trafficking awareness campaigns directed at clients of the sex and labor trade; reduce the demand for sex tourism by promulgating awareness and enforcing criminal penalties; disseminate anti-trafficking educational materials to those dwelling in rural or minority areas of Laos, including the Northern provinces; sustain progress on the proposed national database system on trafficking cases; and continue to develop a comprehensive anti-trafficking law.

Prosecution

The Lao government made progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the current year. The government 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, fines ranging from the equivalent of $1,250 to $12,500, and confiscation of assets, which are sufficiently stringent punishments and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In the fall of 2011, the government approved the establishment of a committee tasked with assessing current trafficking laws to locate and address gaps. Within the current reporting period, authorities reported investigating 49 cases of suspected trafficking, involving 69 alleged offenders, resulting in 37 convictions, compared with 20 cases investigated and 33 convictions in 2010. The government did not, however, provide details on punishment or sentences for the individual cases. Court proceedings still lacked due process and transparency, and the Lao judicial sector remained weak and inefficient. The general public’s continued reluctance to work with law enforcement hampered the government’s ability to effectively investigate internal or cross-border trafficking cases. Corruption remained an endemic problem in Laos. Anti-trafficking organizations reported that some village officials received payment to facilitate the immigration or transportation of girls to Thailand. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of officials allegedly complicit in human trafficking.

Protection

The Government of Laos made modest efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims during the current reporting period. The government has yet to develop or implement formal victim identification procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups. Upon their return from Thailand, victims identified by Thai or Lao authorities were referred to shelters or other providers of medical care, counseling services, and vocational training. During the year, 195 trafficking victims were returned to Laos under the official repatriation system, but more victims were among those “pushed back” unofficially by Thai authorities as undocumented migrants. The government continued to rely almost completely on NGOs and international organizations to provide or fund victim services. However, the central government funded and operated a transit center in Vientiane where identified victims of trafficking returning from Thailand stayed while assessments were conducted by the authorities. The Lao Women’s Union continued to operate a hotline for reporting suspected cases of domestic violence and trafficking; although trafficking-related calls have been received, the number has not been recorded. Through the Law on Development and Protection of Women, women and children identified as trafficking victims are exempted from criminal prosecution for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of trafficking. The government reported encouraging victims to cooperate with prosecutions, and provided them privacy protections, but did not implement a framework for witness protection. Most anti-trafficking organizations focus on women and children, leaving male victims of trafficking without similar support. Anti-trafficking organizations also identified Northern Laos as a region that lacks much-needed victim assistance services. While the government depended on NGOs to provide resources for many trafficking initiatives, its own internal inefficiencies caused lengthy delays in granting approvals to NGOs and international organizations to implement anti-trafficking efforts in Laos. The government did not approve victim protection guidelines that were drafted during the previous reporting period with support from the UN and NGOs. Victim access to legal redress is undercut by unfamiliarity with court procedures. Laos does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they may face retribution or hardship.

Prevention

During the past year with assistance from international organizations and NGOs, the Lao government made moderate progress with its prevention efforts. The Lao Tourism Authority, a government agency, led workshops for hotel and other tourism professionals on how to recognize suspected child trafficking cases. Also, the People’s Supreme Court, public prosecutors, and the MOPS trained village chiefs and district officials on trafficking investigations, and the Ministry of Justice disseminated information related to trafficking laws and victims’ rights. Government authorities funded the equivalent of an estimated $31,000 for other trainings facilitated by the Lao Women’s Union. The Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism assisted in the sponsorship of a concert that raised awareness of human trafficking, and the government-controlled media continued to report on human trafficking. Although the National Assembly approved a national plan of action on human trafficking in 2007, it has yet to be approved by the prime minister’s office. The Lao government publicized a national poster campaign against child sex tourism and also initiated a national hotline for callers to report suspected acts of child exploitation. However, due to a lack of human and physical resources, and an insufficient understanding of the scope and details of sex tourism in Laos, the government remained unable to sustain the implementation of these prevention efforts aimed at Lao or foreign nationals who participate in such activity.

LATVIA (Tier 2)

Latvia is a source and destination country for women subjected to sex trafficking and a source country for women, men, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Latvian women are forced into prostitution in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Cyprus, Greece, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Latvian men and women have been subjected to conditions of forced labor in the United Kingdom and Italy, and there were reports that Latvian men may have been subjected to conditions of forced labor in Sweden. Latvian women in brokered marriages in Western Europe, particularly Ireland, were vulnerable to domestic servitude and sex trafficking. Adult Latvian women are subject to internal sex trafficking. In prior years, there were unofficial reports that some Latvian teenage girls were subjected to sex trafficking within the country.

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. The government continued to improve its anti-trafficking efforts, including by developing criteria for the identification of labor trafficking victims, by improving mechanisms to ensure that the foreign ministry referred trafficking victims to state-funded care, and by strengthening efforts to address sham marriages, which create a vulnerability to trafficking. The Latvian anti-trafficking working group provided strong leadership of the government’s anti-trafficking policy and enhanced transparency of the government’s efforts through reporting. The government increased its funding for NGO-provided victim assistance. The government investigated and prosecuted several former anti-trafficking police officers for corruption. Nevertheless, anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts faltered. Even though NGOs identified domestic victims of trafficking, law enforcement authorities did not identify similar cases. The number of trafficking prosecutions and convictions, as well as the length of sentences in trafficking cases, all declined. Latvian authorities continued to prosecute cases under a non-trafficking statute (Section 165-1 of the Latvian Criminal Law) generally through the use of undercover officers, leading to concerns that the Latvian law enforcement efforts against the trafficking cases involving actual victims were low. Only two out of 11 convicted trafficking offenders were sentenced to any time in prison.

Recommendations for Latvia: Increase efforts to identify victims, particularly victims of labor trafficking and Latvian victims exploited within the country; vigorously investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking cases; use the trafficking statute (Section 154-1 of the Latvian Criminal Law) to prosecute trafficking cases involving Latvian victims exploited abroad and domestically; explore ways to collaborate more closely with other European counterparts so that Latvia is empowered to better protect Latvian trafficking victims abroad and to prosecute their recruiters; impose criminal penalties on convicted trafficking offenders commensurate with the gravity of the crime committed; implement new labor trafficking identification guidelines; implement the recently designed repatriation mechanism to make state-funded trafficking victim assistance more accessible; continue efforts to ensure that all victims of trafficking are provided appropriate protections throughout the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenses; continue implementing the 2009-2013 National Anti-Trafficking Program; consider centralizing anti-trafficking hotlines to enhance trafficking prevention and identification of trafficking victims; update key outreach efforts, such as the government’s centralized anti-trafficking website; continue efforts to systematically monitor trafficking trends; and increase efforts to raise awareness about both sex and labor trafficking.

Prosecution

The Latvian government demonstrated decreased law enforcement efforts to combat trafficking in persons. Although the government instituted new procedures for conducting trafficking investigations and pursued corruption cases, its overall prosecution and conviction statistics decreased in 2011, resulting in fewer trafficking offenders receiving time in prison for their crimes. Latvia prohibits all forms of trafficking through Section 154-1 of its criminal law, which prescribe penalties ranging from a fine 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 prohibiting the transfer of individuals for the purpose of sexual exploitation to investigate and prosecute most trafficking cases during the reporting period. The Government of Latvia claimed that this statute is easier for prosecutors to apply than Section 154-1 because the elements of force, fraud, or coercion are not required in prosecuting an offense under Section 165-1. Most of these cases involved the use of undercover officers posing as potential trafficking victims. While the Latvian government portrayed these cases, to some degree, as “prevention” of trafficking, the targeting of cases involving undercover officers rather than real trafficking victims gave rise to concerns that the Latvian government did not take sufficient law enforcement action against traffickers exploiting actual victims in Latvia. Both the police and the prosecutors’ offices have specialized anti-trafficking units. Regional police inspectors trained local officers on anti-trafficking measures. The number of trafficking cases the government investigated and prosecuted decreased in 2011, although the number of suspected offenders investigated remained approximately level. The government reported investigating 34 suspected offenders in 21 new sex trafficking cases, in contrast to 38 offenders in 31 cases investigated in 2010. Although the Government of Latvia did not investigate new labor trafficking cases, it continued an investigation in an older labor trafficking case and assisted foreign counterparts in the investigation of new cases. Latvian authorities prosecuted 27 suspected sex trafficking offenders in 2011, a decrease from 39 offenders prosecuted in 2010, but level with the 26 suspected offenders prosecuted in 2009. In 2011, 11 trafficking offenders received final convictions from the Courts of First Instance, a 48 percent decrease from the 21 who received final convictions from these courts in 2010. These figures do not include appealed convictions. Also, accountability for trafficking crimes remained a problem. Only two of the 11 convicted trafficking offenders were sentenced to time in prison, with each receiving sentences between one and three years’ imprisonment. In 2010, five out of 21 convicted offenders were sentenced to prison terms. To enable specialists in the state police’s anti-trafficking unit to screen criminal cases for potential trafficking violations, the Latvian regional police departments continued to provide monthly reports on crimes potentially involving trafficking in persons, pimping, and other prostitution offenses. However, in light of the reduced identification of trafficking cases, it was unclear whether the screening mechanism was effective. Latvian government officials trained law enforcement colleagues on identifying human trafficking. In January 2012, the government finalized official guidelines on the identification of labor trafficking victims, providing guidance to police and the labor inspectorate on how to differentiate labor exploitation and trafficking. The Government of Latvia collaborated with law enforcement officials in several countries, including Sweden, Germany, and the United Kingdom, on anti-trafficking investigations.

The Latvian police investigated a number of trafficking-related corruption cases this year. Latvian prosecutors investigated two former anti-trafficking police officers on corruption charges and indicted one. In the fall of 2011, Latvian state television documented a case in which seven of fifteen defendants charged with pimping had been donors to two influential political parties. The Latvian Corruption Preventing and Combating Bureau investigated these suspected trafficking-related corruption cases.

Protection

The Latvian government improved its victim protection efforts over the previous reporting period. In addition to increasing victim protection funding, the Government of Latvia identified and assisted a greater number of victims of more diverse forms of trafficking and designed an improved mechanism to ensure that victims of trafficking identified abroad are referred to state-funded assistance in Latvia. For 2012, the Ministry of Welfare obligated the equivalent of approximately $78,000 to a designated NGO to provide comprehensive services for victims of trafficking, an increase from the equivalent of approximately $58,000 provided in 2011 and the equivalent of $70,000 provided in 2010. The government offered each trafficking victim up to 6 months of rehabilitative care, including psychological assistance, medical aid, legal representation, housing, and reintegration services. While the government’s allocation of increased funding in response to victim needs reflected a significant commitment, NGOs observed that the state-designed assistance mechanism was unduly bureaucratic; the assistance tender for 2011 was initially fixed to fund the care of seven victims, even though the number of victims from Latvia generally exceeded seven per year. The government certified 11 new victims for the state-funded victim assistance program in 2011, in contrast to nine new victims certified in 2010. Four victims certified in previous years also continued to receive trafficking victim services in 2011. All victims who received services were of Latvian origin. In contrast to prior years, two male labor trafficking victims received state-funded trafficking victim services. The Ministry of Interior reported that the police identified 29 victims of trafficking who agreed to assist in investigation procedures as witnesses but refused victim status and services because they did not consider themselves to be victims of a crime. Local NGOs identified and assisted an additional four victims of sex and labor trafficking, none of whom participated in the state-funded program. NGOs attributed the lack of participation in the government program to distrust of the police or concerns about confidentiality. The government did not identify either foreign or domestic victims within Latvia, although three of the victims identified by NGOs were victims of domestic sex trafficking. The Latvian government faced challenges in providing repatriation assistance to potential victims identified outside Latvia. In response, government agencies have proposed a mechanism for issuing repatriation loans to Latvians abroad. If approved, certified trafficking victims will not be required to repay those loans. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) instituted a procedure to track potential trafficking victims identified abroad and to refer them to care in Latvia. The MFA reported a total of 101 potential trafficking instances identified by Latvian diplomats in Ireland, Germany, the United Kingdom, Netherlands, Italy, and Sweden in 2011 as a result of this new monitoring. The government employed some efforts to protect victims during trial, including through allowing written substitutes for victim testimony in cases of trauma and allowing victims to be absent from trial. There were no reports that identified victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention

The Latvian government demonstrated strong prevention efforts in 2011, displaying creative and diverse measures to prevent trafficking. The anti-trafficking working group continued to meet to coordinate the government’s anti-trafficking activities. It incorporated new civil society members, such as the Free Trade Union Confederation, to join its ranks. The Latvian Ministry of Education and Science trained 55 teachers on trafficking in persons and integrated trafficking questions into a mandatory test for elementary school students. The Riga City local government also spent the equivalent of approximately $20,000 for anti-trafficking efforts, such as distributing an anti-trafficking brochure, conducting trainings for 60 individuals in the Riga local government, and conducting outreach to school children on trafficking. The Government of Latvia collaborated with an NGO to deliver anti-trafficking messages at libraries throughout Latvia; 237 librarians and 118 young people from Latvia participated in the workshops. The Latvian government worked to reduce the demand for commercial sex by producing and publicizing an anti-trafficking video titled Reestablish Values in Your Life. The Latvian government continued to maintain various hotlines for the exchange of trafficking information with the general public, but it did not have a centralized trafficking hotline. It was not clear that the various government hotlines were effective in publicizing their anti-trafficking role. Whereas NGOs that do not receive state funding for anti-trafficking prevention efforts received more than 90 telephone inquiries on trafficking-related matters, the government reported only three cases in which trafficking victims called the government hotlines for assistance. In 2011, officials announced that the number of sham marriages between Latvian citizens and citizens of third countries in Ireland decreased by half; sham marriages continued to render some women highly vulnerable to trafficking. The MFA attributed the decrease to the government’s recently improved marriage registration procedures. Despite these prevention efforts, there were anecdotal reports that there was low public awareness or minimal public disapproval of trafficking.

LEBANON (Tier 2 Watch List)

Lebanon is a source and destination country for women and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The country is also a transit point for Eastern European women and children subjected to sex trafficking in other Middle Eastern countries. Women from Sri Lanka, the Philippines, Ethiopia, Kenya, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Madagascar who travel to Lebanon with the assistance of recruitment agencies to work in domestic service are often subjected to conditions indicative of forced labor, including withholding of passports, nonpayment of wages, threat of arrest and deportation, restrictions on movement, verbal abuse, and physical assault. Workers who leave their employers’ house without permission or a “release paper” automatically lose their legal status unless a change in their sponsorship is pre-arranged and approved by the General Directorate for General Security (SG), the government agency responsible for the entry, residency, and departure of foreign workers. Some employers in Lebanon threaten workers with the loss of this legal immigration status in order to keep them in forced labor and, in some cases, have kept foreign domestic workers confined in residences for years. A highly publicized case of an Ethiopian domestic worker who was publicly beaten by a Lebanese recruitment agent in March 2012 exemplified the abuse suffered by domestic workers in Lebanon; the worker committed suicide shortly after the incident was reported in the media.

The government’s artiste visa program facilitates the entry of women from Eastern Europe, Morocco, and Tunisia on three-month visas to work as dancers in Lebanon’s adult entertainment industry; 6,024 women entered Lebanon in 2011 under this visa program, which sustains a significant sex trade and enables forced prostitution through such practices as withholding of passports and restrictions on movement. Some Syrian women in street prostitution may be forced to engage in prostitution, and Syrian girls are reportedly brought to Lebanon for the purpose of prostitution, including through the guise of early marriage. Anecdotal information indicates that Lebanese children are victims of forced labor within the country, particularly in street begging as well as commercial sexual exploitation facilitated by male pimps, husbands, and “boyfriends,” and at times through early marriage. Small numbers of Lebanese girls may be taken to other Arab countries for exploitation in prostitution.

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 reporting period, the government enacted an anti-trafficking law, implemented awareness campaigns for foreign workers, increased investigations into allegations of abuse, and referred an increased number of victims for assistance. The government made combating human trafficking a national priority and demonstrated concerted efforts to educate the public on human trafficking. The government failed to show substantial progress in identifying foreign or Lebanese victims of trafficking – particularly victims of domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation – and allocated minimal resources to protecting victims. The government also failed to bring specific charges of forced labor or forced prostitution in cases involving abuses against migrant workers and did not assign adequate punishment to deter such crimes.

Recommendations for Lebanon: Implement the new anti-trafficking law by investigating and prosecuting trafficking offenses, and convicting and punishing trafficking offenders; enact the labor law amendment extending legal protections to foreign workers and the draft law providing increased labor protections to domestic workers, including foreign domestic workers; enforce the law prohibiting the confiscation of passports belonging to foreign migrants arriving in Lebanon; provide protection to victims, as stipulated in the anti-trafficking law; train police, judges, prosecutors, and other government officials about the new anti-trafficking law and how to enforce it; provide services such as shelter, access to legal aid and interpretation, and counseling to migrant workers and Lebanese nationals who are victims of forced labor and forced prostitution; 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 or prostitution; raise awareness about the existence and uses of the Ministry of Labor’s complaints office and hotline, and enhance the quality of services provided; and amend the unified employment contract for domestic workers to recognize the worker’s right to leave his or her employer’s house during time off and retain his or her passport.

Prosecution

The government increased its capacity to conduct anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts by enacting comprehensive legislation and investigating some suspected trafficking cases. The government did not report any prosecutions or convictions of sex trafficking or forced labor per se, but it did report two convictions that may have involved forced labor. In August 2011, Parliament passed Anti-Trafficking Law Number 164, which prohibits and punishes all forms of trafficking. The prescribed penalties for sex trafficking and forced labor range from five to 15 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Lebanon’s criminal code also prohibits all forms of human trafficking, though prosecutions usually rely on Article 554 (personal injuries) rather than articles prohibiting forced labor, slavery, or forced prostitution. A labor law amendment that would extend legal protections to foreign workers has not yet been submitted to the cabinet by the Ministry of Labor; as drafted, however, the amendment did not cover foreign domestic workers, who constitute the majority of foreign migrant workers in Lebanon.

There is no evidence that a sex trafficking case has ever been prosecuted in Lebanon, and the government has yet to prosecute a case of forced labor using the existing forced labor statutes in Lebanon’s penal code. Pursuit of such cases appeared to have been hampered by bureaucratic indifference and inefficiency, limited coordination between relevant ministries, court backlogs, and a lack of sufficient anti-trafficking training among police and judges, as well as cultural biases, particularly against foreign domestic workers. Given the significant hurdles to pursuing criminal complaints in the Lebanese court system and victims’ lack of adequate legal representation and knowledge of their rights, many foreign victims opted for quick administrative settlements followed by repatriation. Evidence suggests, however, that many cases were not resolved, and trafficking victims were deported without receiving their due wages. The Ministries of Labor and Justice and the SG provided information on their anti-trafficking efforts, but because of poor recordkeeping, data was incomplete and may be unreliable. The Internal Security Forces (ISF) and the SG reportedly investigated 16 suspected trafficking cases involving sexual exploitation, forced prostitution, physical abuse, unpaid wages, and exploitation of others in prostitution in 2011; fifteen of these were determined to constitute trafficking, and investigations into all 15 cases were ongoing at the end of the reporting period. Two of these investigations involved four Tunisian women holding artiste visas who were allegedly falsely promised jobs as secretaries, but forced into prostitution in a nightclub in Lebanon; while the SG notified the Tunisian embassy of the case, the SG deported the four artistes without providing them protective services. In 2011, the government reported two convictions that may have involved forced labor, yet the courts failed to prosecute the offenders under forced labor statutes. In October 2011, pursuant to Article 554 (personal injuries) of the criminal code, the employer of a Filipina domestic worker was convicted of physical abuse, sentenced to 10 days’ imprisonment, and required to pay the victim the equivalent of $666 in compensation. The other conviction, rendered in July 2011 pursuant to Article 624 of the criminal code, required the employer to pay the domestic worker for the period worked, which was the equivalent of $700. Although the SG reportedly investigated the incident of a recruitment agent who publicly beat an Ethiopian domestic worker in March 2012, the agent was briefly arrested and then released without charge. The government did not provide or fund specialized training for its officials to recognize, investigate, or prosecute cases of trafficking; however, government officials, including from the SG and ISF, social workers, judges, labor inspectors, and prosecutors participated in numerous NGO-run anti-trafficking trainings in 2011.

Protection

The government improved protection efforts, but did not make sufficient efforts to ensure trafficking victims received access to protective services or had resources to provide for their care during the reporting period. The new anti-trafficking law stipulates that the Ministry of Justice subcontract NGOs to provide victim assistance and protection; implementation decrees for the relevant article are pending cabinet approval. Law enforcement, immigration, and social services officials currently lack, but are working to develop, a formal system for proactively identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations with which they come in contact. This continued lack of systematic procedures led to the deportation of most domestic workers who fled their employers and those holding artiste visas who complained of abuse. Out-of-status migrant workers were generally not prosecuted or fined, but were typically arrested, detained, and deported without being screened for indicators of trafficking. Detention typically lasted for one to two months, but NGOs report some cases of arbitrary detention lasted longer. The SG continued to fund and operate a prison-style detention center in Beirut for up to 500 migrant workers in violation of their visa status or awaiting disposition of their cases. While the SG used a registration and identification system in the detention center to notify embassies from source countries of the presence of their nationals in detention, this system failed to provide specific guidance for identifying which detainees were victims of trafficking. The SG, however, permitted an NGO to interview detainees to identify trafficking victims among them. In 2010, a joint government-NGO working committee on victim protection issued standard operating procedures to guide the SG in the handling of irregular migrants held at its detention center, many of whom are foreign domestic workers, to enable more efficient and timely processing. An NGO observed that the SG began processing cases more quickly and efficiently this year.

The government did not provide or fund shelters for trafficking victims, though it relied on an NGO safe house to provide a range of victim services to female victims of trafficking. Pursuant to a 2005 memorandum of understanding between the SG and the NGO, the SG was required to refer trafficking victims to the safe house and to provide security for the location. Of the 214 cases of trafficking received by the safe house in 2011, the SG and the ISF referred 17, an increase from the seven victims the two agencies referred the previous year. The NGO noted improved cooperation with the SG over the last year in referring trafficking victims. Victims were neither encouraged to bring their cases to the attention of public prosecutors, nor offered residency status or other legal alternatives to removal to countries where they might face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

Although the Government of Lebanon made improved efforts to prevent trafficking over the last year through information awareness campaigns, deficiencies remained that put foreign migrant workers, particularly domestic workers, at risk of forced labor and other exploitation. In February 2012, SG officers at Beirut National Airport began distributing two booklets to migrant domestic workers upon their arrival at the airport; one booklet includes information on the anti-trafficking law and is printed in six languages, while the other is a booklet on rights and obligations printed in eight languages. Despite this awareness campaign and a law prohibiting the confiscation of passports belonging to foreign migrants arriving in Lebanon, the SG required that, upon arrival to the country, foreign migrants surrender their passports to their sponsors, which limits workers’ freedom of movement and makes them vulnerable to situations of human trafficking. The standard unified employment contract for migrant workers, in use since February 2009, is still not available in the 12 most common languages of migrant laborers; domestic workers must sign the contract in Arabic, a language that very few can read. The labor ministry continues to operate a hotline, established in April 2010, to receive labor complaints from foreign workers; however, it is unknown how many calls it received during the reporting period. The Ministry of Labor provided no statistics documenting the work of its 130 inspectors charged with investigating situations of forced adult and child labor, and Lebanon’s 501 licensed employment agencies received little oversight by the ministry. The SG continued to implement its pilot program that distributed brochures to an unknown number of departing Moldovan artistes containing information on NGO resources available to trafficking victims in Moldova; however, Lebanese authorities did not provide protective services to Moldovan victims of sex trafficking. In September 2011, the Office of the Prime Minister established and convened a national anti-trafficking stakeholders group, which included experts from Lebanese government ministries, civil society, and international organizations, to discuss integrating a chapter on human trafficking within the national human rights draft action plan. The government’s two national human trafficking steering committees, established in 2006, advised the government on draft laws and decrees and prevention campaigns; however, neither committee met during this reporting period. The government did not take any steps to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts during the year.

LESOTHO (Tier 2)

Lesotho is a source and transit country for women and children subjected to conditions of forced labor and sex trafficking, and for men subjected to conditions of forced labor. Within Lesotho, women and children are subjected to domestic servitude and children, to a lesser extent, to commercial sexual exploitation. Basotho women and children are exploited in South Africa in domestic servitude and some girls brought to South Africa for forced marriages may subsequently encounter situations of domestic servitude or forced prostitution. Long-distance truck drivers offer to transport women and girls looking for legitimate employment. En route, the drivers rape some of these women and girls before forcing them into prostitution in South Africa. Others voluntarily migrate to South Africa seeking work in domestic service and are detained in prison-like conditions and forced to engage in prostitution. Some Basotho men who migrate voluntarily, though illegally, to South Africa to work in agriculture and mining become victims of forced labor; many work for weeks or months without pay, with their employer turning them over to authorities to be deported for immigration violations just before their promised pay day. Evidence exists that Basotho residents in South Africa returned to Lesotho as labor recruiters for farms in South Africa. Basotho nationals are also coerced into committing crimes, including theft, drug dealing, and drug smuggling under threats of violence, through forced drug use, or with promises of food. Chinese and Nigerian organized crime rings reportedly acquire some Basotho victims while transporting foreign victims through Lesotho to Johannesburg. During the reporting period, new trafficking trends emerged, including the forced prostitution of Chinese women in Lesotho by Chinese men, as well as the trafficking of Ethiopian nationals by Ethiopian traffickers for domestic servitude in Lesotho.

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. During the year, the government convicted its first trafficking offender under its 2011 anti-trafficking act, although this conviction was reversed on appeal. It also began an additional five trafficking prosecutions. Although the government made efforts to prosecute offenders and protect victims, systematic weaknesses remain, as it has not begun drafting implementing regulations for the 2011 anti-trafficking act or developing formal identification and referral procedures. The greatest weakness in the government’s efforts remains the provision of protective services, as it relies on NGOs without providing support via funding or in-kind assistance.

Recommendations for Lesotho: Complete implementing regulations for the 2011 anti-trafficking act; finalize and implement the national anti-trafficking action plan; continue to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses under the 2011 act, including both internal and transnational cases; provide care to victims of trafficking via government centers or in partnership with international organizations or NGOs and develop a formal mechanism, in line with the 2011 act, to refer victims to such care; develop a formal system to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; increase training for law enforcement officers in victim identification; forge a partnership with South African police to investigate reports of Basotho citizens forced to labor on farms in South Africa and prosecute exploitative farm owners; establish a system to collect and analyze data on victims identified and assisted, trafficking offenses investigated and prosecuted, and trafficking offenders convicted and punished; and launch a national anti-trafficking awareness campaign.

Prosecution

The government made progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, which came into effect in January 2011, prohibits and punishes all forms of trafficking in persons. It prescribes penalties of 25 years’ imprisonment or a fine the equivalent of $125,000 under Section 5(1) for the trafficking of adults and life imprisonment or a fine the equivalent of $250,000 under Section 5(2) for the trafficking of children; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with other serious crimes. Labor recruiters who knowingly recruit workers for forced labor are liable for the same penalties as those who hold them in servitude. The government has yet to begin drafting implementing regulations necessary to enforce the legislation in full. The Child Protection and Welfare Act, enacted in March 2011, provides penalties of life imprisonment or a fine the equivalent of $125,000 for child trafficking. In October 2011, the Lesotho Mounted Police Service (LMPS) created an anti-trafficking unit within its Child and Gender Protection Unit (CGPU). In January 2012, the magistrate court convicted and sentenced a Chinese national to 15 years’ imprisonment under the 2011 anti-trafficking act for the sex and labor trafficking of a Chinese woman in Lesotho. In May 2012, following the Chinese offender’s successful appeal of his conviction, authorities released him from jail; the director of public prosecutions is currently appealing that decision. Two additional suspects in this case, whom authorities believe to have been the principal orchestrators of the crime, have fled the country. An additional five cases remained pending prosecution, including a domestic servitude case involving two Ethiopians charged with the labor trafficking of one Ethiopian national. The government increased regional cooperative efforts through the drafting of a memorandum of understanding with Mozambique to jointly investigate transnational crimes and share best practices. The LMPS initiated joint investigations with the South African Police Service (SAPS) into 21 potential trafficking cases, an increase over seven joint investigations in 2010; the LMPS and SAPS continued their periodic meetings to discuss cross-border crimes, which started in the previous reporting period. The government did not provide data on investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of public officials complicit in human trafficking, though there was no evidence of government involvement in or tolerance of trafficking on a local or institutional level. In 2011, the LMPS began inclusion of a trafficking-specific module in its basic training courses for new recruits, with 210 recruits trained during the year.

Protection

The government made modest efforts to protect victims during the reporting period. The CGPU identified 24 trafficking victims in 2011, but was unable to provide details on all of these cases, which included 15 Basotho nationals between the ages of 16 and 27 brought into South Africa for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. However, the government has not yet established care centers for trafficking victims, as set forth in the 2011 act. The government referred all identified victims to NGO-run care centers for assistance, but it did not provide funding or in-kind support to these centers. Although the government has not yet developed a formal process to refer victims to care, NGOs involved in the current ad hoc referral process indicated that it works well in practice. Medical services were provided to victims free of charge at government hospitals and clinics and the CGPU provided limited counseling to victims before referring them to NGOs for more comprehensive care. The Department of Health and Social Welfare entered into an agreement with a trafficking-specific victim shelter in November 2011, allowing for official referral of victims to the shelter; however, the government did not provide financial or in-kind support to the shelter for the services it provided to victims during the year. The government continued its operation of a one-stop drop-in center in Maseru for the protection of victims of gender-based violence that includes specialized – though limited – services for both male and female victims of trafficking; the center’s staff are primarily funded by private sector entities, but include some government social workers.

The 2011 act protects victims from prosecution for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked, provides foreign victims with permanent residency as a legal alternative to their removal, and encourages victims to assist in the investigation of traffickers. The CGPU provided security for two victims who assisted in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers during the year. There is no evidence that victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention

The Government of Lesotho maintained its efforts to prevent trafficking. Its multi-sectoral committee on trafficking met monthly during the year. In 2011, the committee hired a consultant to assist in the drafting of a national plan of action; however, due to an apparent conflict with the consultant, the government has yet to receive a copy of the finalized plan. Although the government did not budget funding specifically for anti-trafficking efforts, it dedicated the equivalent of approximately $125,000 to anti-trafficking trainings, sensitization efforts, and the printing of awareness materials. The government sponsored a number of anti-trafficking awareness campaigns during the reporting period. The Ministry of Home Affairs held public awareness campaigns that targeted women’s groups, principal and ward chiefs, 720 herd boys nationwide, and 36 trainers; for example, the Thaba Tseka campus of the Lesotho College of Education trained 54 teachers on how to recognize and prevent trafficking among their students and within their communities. The LMPS, SAPS, and NGOs partnered to raise awareness through three campaigns along the Lesotho-South Africa border, involving radio broadcasts and community events during the reporting period. The Ministry of Labor and Employment conducted 1,000 labor inspections during the year, but did not report the identification of any child labor violations. The government did not take action to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts.

LIBERIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Liberia is a source, transit, and destination country for young women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Most trafficking victims originate from and are exploited within the country’s borders, and are subjected to domestic servitude, forced begging, sex trafficking, or forced labor in street vending, rubber plantations, and alluvial diamond mines. 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 their wealthier relatives are vulnerable to forced labor or, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation. Orphaned children remain susceptible to exploitation, including in street selling and prostitution. A small number of Liberian men, women, and children are subjected to human trafficking in Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and the United States. Victims of transnational trafficking come to Liberia from Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, and Nigeria and are subjected to the same types of exploitation as internally trafficked victims.

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. The Liberian government has never convicted a trafficking offender using its 2005 anti-trafficking law, and it made only minimal efforts to protect trafficking victims and was inconsistent in referring victims to NGO service providers. It did provide limited anti-trafficking training to law enforcement officials, magistrates, and officers of the Liberia National Police’s Women and Children’s Protection Unit received additional training in women and children-related crimes like gender-based violence, domestic violence, and trafficking. The Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force finalized, but did not implement, standard operating procedures that establish the roles and responsibilities in coordinating and referring trafficking victims to care. In September 2011, the government enacted the National Children’s Act – which reportedly addresses child trafficking, but the government did not implement the law during the reporting period. Many members of the government continue to conflate kidnapping and smuggling offenses with human trafficking crimes. In sum, the Government of Liberia did not demonstrate evidence of overall increasing efforts to address human trafficking; therefore, Liberia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year.

Recommendations for Liberia: Start prosecuting trafficking offenses and convicting and punishing trafficking offenders; train law enforcement officials and magistrates to apply the anti-trafficking law and to distinguish trafficking crimes from cases of human smuggling or kidnapping; allocate funding for regular, continued activities of the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force; finalize, implement and educate NGOs, government officials, law enforcement, and magistrates on the “Direct Assistance and Support to Trafficked Victims Standard Operating Procedures” such that these officials learn to proactively identify and provide protective services to trafficking victims; publish, disseminate, and implement the National Children’s Act; and increase efforts to educate the public about the dangers of human trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Liberia demonstrated minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Liberia’s 2005 Act to Ban Trafficking in Persons specifically prohibits all forms of transnational as well as internal trafficking. The law prescribes a minimum sentence of one year’s imprisonment for the trafficking of adults and six years’ imprisonment for the trafficking of children. The penalty for the sex and labor trafficking of children is sufficiently stringent, but the penalty for sex and labor trafficking of adults is not, nor is it commensurate with the prescribed penalties for other serious offenses, such as rape. In September 2011, the government passed the National Children’s Act, which strengthens provisions of the 2005 Act to Ban Trafficking in Persons. The text of the National Children’s Act has not yet been disseminated, as handbills and awaits implementation.

The Women and Children Protection Section of the Liberian National Police reported that it investigated one trafficking case during the year and referred it for prosecution. The government did not prosecute, convict, or sentence any trafficking offenders in 2011. The government has yet to convict a trafficking offender under the Act to Ban Trafficking in Persons. During the reporting period, 150 new national police officers received training on how to report suspected trafficking cases to the Women and Children Protection Section. While there were no official allegations of law enforcement complicity in trafficking during the reporting period, issues with bribery at border stations and a lack of capacity and corruption in the judicial system were reported.

Protection

During the past year, the government provided limited protective services to victims and was inconsistent in referring victims to NGOs for protective services. No specialized services exist for trafficking victims in Liberia. During the reporting period, the government identified only one trafficking victim, indicating that law enforcement officials have yet to consistently employ procedures for the proactive identification of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as children in begging situations or individuals in prostitution. In November 2010, the Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force produced the “Direct Assistance and Support to Trafficked Victims Standard Operation Procedures,” which establishes the basic roles and responsibilities of various stakeholders in coordinating referrals of trafficking victims to assistance. Although the standard operating procedures were thought to have been finalized, as of the end of the reporting period, a new process was underway to update and approve the standard operating procedures. The 2005 Act to Ban Trafficking in Persons absolves victims from responsibility for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked, and there were no reports that this practice was ignored in the case of the one victim identified during the year. The government continued to claim that it encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, although only one forced labor victim was identified and no prosecutions were initiated during the year.

Prevention

The Liberian government sustained modest efforts to prevent trafficking in persons throughout the reporting period. The Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force, the government’s coordinating body, resumed meeting in September of 2011 following funding and internal issues during the prior year. When the Liberian National Police discovered two cases involving the potential exploitation of children relocated for educational purposes, officers embarked on an “investigative tour” in western Liberia to warn parents of the dangers of forced labor and exploitation among children entrusted to others for education. The Ministry of Labor continued to run anti-trafficking radio campaigns throughout the country, as well as billboard campaigns in the capitol city, Monrovia, in partnership with a foreign donor. The Ministry of Labor’s National Commission on Child Labor, which is responsible for implementing and advocating for national policies to address the worst forms of child labor, investigated allegations of child labor used in street selling. The Child Protection Network, which is located in the Ministry of Gender and Development, conducted monthly meetings to coordinate and discuss child protection, labor, and trafficking issues and lobbied legislators for the passage of the National Children’s Act. In March 2012, the government launched a public dialogue campaign to better understand why young girls and women may be drawn into or exploited by the commercial sex trade.

LIBYA (Tier 3)

Libya is a destination and transit country for men and women from sub-Saharan Africa and Asia subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution. Migrants typically seek employment in Libya as laborers and domestic workers or transit Libya en route to Europe. Due to the violent nature of the conflict that seized Libya from February to October 2011, there are no accurate figures available regarding the number of foreigners in Libya. Prior to the February 17, 2011 revolution, there were an estimated 1.5 to 2 million foreigners in Libya, most of whom subsequently fled the country. Many of those that remained in the country, especially migrants from Sub-Saharan Africa, were detained by both pro- and anti-Qadhafi forces as suspected mercenaries; some of these migrants may be trafficking victims. The government estimates that there are currently 8,300 people in prisons and detention centers, many of whom are migrants. Of those, 2,300 are held in Ministry of Justice-controlled prisons, and nearly 6,000 detainees remain outside of government control. Some militia-controlled detention centers have begun to sell detained migrants into conditions of forced labor. NGOs have reported that migrant flows are steadily returning to their pre-revolutionary levels. Government officials report there were approximately 6,500 children under the age of 18 who identified themselves as “revolutionaries,” some of whom may have supported militias during the revolution, though their roles were unclear at the end of the reporting period. International organizations and NGOs report that adolescent males were involved in support roles for forces associated with the Transitional National Council (TNC), including manning checkpoints, securing strategic buildings, and driving cars; some were armed and uniformed, while others took part in active fighting. There are also reports of the recruitment and use of children by the Qadhafi-controlled armed forces and other pro-regime elements, including paramilitary forces from neighboring countries such as Chad.

Trafficking networks from Niger, Nigeria, and other sub-Saharan states have also returned to Libya. These networks use a variety of techniques to hold people in conditions of forced labor and forced prostitution, including fraudulent recruitment practices, confiscation of identity and travel documents, withholding or nonpayment of wages, and debt bondage. While most migrants are typically destined for Europe, a combination of continued civil unrest, disrupted shipping lanes, and European coastal patrols have resulted in trafficked persons remaining in Libya for extended periods of time. While in Libya, many of the trafficked men are forced into manual labor, and there are credible reports of prostitution rings involved in trafficking sub-Saharan women into brothels, particularly in southern Libya.

The Government of Libya does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore Libya is placed on Tier 3. During the reporting period, the Government of Libya – both the former Qadhafi regime and the TNC, which came to power after the fall of the Qadhafi regime in October 2011 – failed to demonstrate significant efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses or to protect trafficking victims. Moreover, both governments’ policies and practices with respect to undocumented migrant workers resulted in Libyan authorities detaining and punishing trafficking victims for unlawful acts that were committed as a result of their being trafficked. There were reports that some detained foreign migrants were sold into conditions of forced labor by militias running detention centers. During the reporting period, the TNC functioned as a purely interim body with very limited legislative and executive mandates and lacked control over all of Libya’s territory before October 2011. There is also significant confusion within the government as to which laws are still valid and which have been rendered void since the fall of the Qadhafi regime. Due to the civil unrest and political situation in Libya during the majority of this reporting period, accurate information regarding the trafficking situation in Libya is somewhat limited.

Recommendations for Libya: Draft, pass, and enact legislation that prohibits all forms of trafficking; increase law enforcement efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses; develop and 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 detention, deportation, or punishment for their unlawful presence in Libya; ensure that trafficking victims are not punished for unlawful acts that were committed as a result of their being trafficked; protect detained migrants from being sold into conditions of forced labor; and undertake an information campaign to raise public awareness about human trafficking.

Prosecution

Neither the Qadhafi regime nor the TNC demonstrated any discernible anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the past year. Libyan law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking. In November 2010, the General People’s Committee for Justice drafted amendments to articles 336-339 of the Libyan criminal code, which would have criminalized trafficking in persons, although some of the definitions, as drafted, appear overly broad. The draft anti-trafficking legislation has not been adopted. 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. In March 2012, Libyan security forces reportedly investigated a trafficking ring that was moving Bangladeshi and Somali victims across the Egypt-Libya border and placing them in slave-like conditions on a Libyan farm. Following the revolution, the TNC had limited judicial capacity; little prosecution of Libyan laws occurred and courts, lawyers, and defendants faced security challenges. Reporting also suggests that some police were complicit in or failed to combat human trafficking.

Protection

The Libyan government took no discernible steps to improve the protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government did not develop or implement procedures for authorities to identify trafficking victims, nor did it demonstrate efforts to refer victims detained by authorities to protective facilities. Furthermore, some reporting indicates that detained foreign migrants, some of whom may be trafficking victims, are further vulnerable to being sold into conditions of forced labor. During the reporting period, the government worked with international organizations to repatriate foreign migrants. As in the previous reporting period, the government has shown no effort to encourage victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders. The government did not have procedures to identify trafficking victims among undocumented migrants; thus, trafficking victims were frequently subject to detention, deportation, or punishment for their unlawful presence in Libya as a result of being trafficked. The government also did not provide foreign victims of trafficking with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they faced hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The Government of Libya made no 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 public anti-trafficking awareness or information campaigns, nor did it train officials on trafficking issues. Libya did not take actions to reduce demand for commercial sex acts or to prevent child sex tourism abroad.

LITHUANIA (Tier 1)

Lithuania is a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls subjected to sex trafficking. There were also government reports that Lithuanian boys and girls were forced to steal in foreign countries and that Lithuanian men were subjected to forced labor. NGOs estimated that 40 percent of identified Lithuanian trafficking victims are women and girls subjected to sex trafficking within the country. Lithuanian women are also victims of sex trafficking in the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Greece, Italy, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, and the Czech Republic. Prosecutors estimate that over 1,200 women from Lithuania become victims of trafficking each year. Lithuanian women and girls from orphanages and state-run foster homes, as well as women with mental or psychological disabilities, are victims of trafficking in persons. A small number of women from Russia and Belarus are transported through Lithuania en route to Western Europe, where they are subsequently subjected to forced prostitution.

The Government of Lithuania fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In 2011, the Lithuanian government doubled its victim identifications, tripled its anti-trafficking investigations, and ensured that all convicted trafficking offenders were sentenced to time in prison. The government also significantly increased funding for victim care and provided in-kind assistance to NGOs providing services to trafficking victims. Nevertheless, funding remained low for the extent of the trafficking problem in Lithuania and the government still struggled to provide sustainable support to NGOs administering care to victims of trafficking. Law enforcement actions increased in quantity but were uneven in practice, and NGOs reported that victim identification procedures were generally ineffective. Some law enforcement officials remained unaware that child prostitution is considered a form of human trafficking under Lithuanian and international law. Efforts to address labor trafficking lagged behind efforts to combat sex trafficking; the government did not begin any labor trafficking investigations in 2011.

Recommendations for Lithuania: Amend criminal law to prohibit forced begging and forced criminal behavior under the trafficking statute; continue to intensify efforts to proactively identify victims of trafficking, particularly victims of labor trafficking and children in prostitution; vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, including labor trafficking offenses; ensure effective training of law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judges on anti-trafficking principles; sustainably fund NGOs to provide victim protection; integrate an anti-trafficking module into the basic training of the police; improve consular efforts to ensure that victims identified abroad are referred to care in Lithuania, including by ensuring sensitivity of consular officers to trafficking victims; ensure that victims of trafficking are provided with stronger protection during the course of trial; ensure that victims of trafficking are never required to fund their own travel to trial; monitor trials to ensure that trafficking victims are treated sensitively in the course of trial; ensure that male trafficking victims are offered equal access to care and treatment; intensify efforts to increase public awareness and disapproval of trafficking in persons; intensify public awareness to help the general population understand that Lithuanians can be victims of trafficking within their own country; and fund an anti-trafficking hotline.

Prosecution

The Government of Lithuania demonstrated improved anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period by increasing investigations and prosecutions, although there were reports that the Lithuanian prosecution efforts were hampered by inconsistencies in investigative skills and in the level of sensitivity shown to trafficking victims. Lithuania prohibits most forms of human trafficking through articles 147 and 157 of its criminal code, which prescribe penalties ranging from a fine to 12 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Another section of the criminal code covers the forced criminal behavior of children; the Ministry of Justice initiated amendments to the anti-trafficking statute to incorporate forced criminal behavior in order to comply with the EU Trafficking Directive. Lithuanian authorities initiated 21 sex trafficking investigations in 2011, compared with seven such investigations initiated in 2010. The government did not investigate any labor trafficking cases in 2011. During the last year, authorities prosecuted 37 offenders, an increase from the 20 offenders prosecuted in 2010. Seventeen trafficking offenders were convicted in 2011, an increase from nine trafficking offenders convicted in 2010. All convicted trafficking offenders were sentenced to time in prison, with terms ranging from two to 10 years’ imprisonment. In 2010, the government punished offenders with sentences ranging from seven to 11 years in prison. Expertise in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases remained uneven throughout Lithuania; while specialized units in Lithuania were skilled in trafficking investigations, law enforcement officers and investigators in rural areas sometimes lacked experience in investigating trafficking cases and identifying trafficking victims. Law enforcement officers inconsistently understood that third-party involvement in child prostitution should be prosecuted under the trafficking statute. Prosecutions were also hampered by victims’ reluctance to seek help or participate in the criminal process. NGOs observed that some judges’ discrimination against victims of trafficking made the victims hesitant to testify in criminal trials. Trafficking in persons has not been integrated into basic police training. In 2011, the Lithuanian government collaborated with foreign governments, including Ukraine, in six international trafficking investigations. The Government of Lithuania extradited one person for human trafficking. The government did not report the investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of any public official complicit in human trafficking.

Protection

The Lithuanian government demonstrated improved efforts to assist victims of human trafficking during the reporting period. The government allocated the equivalent of $60,000 to NGOs for trafficking victim assistance in 2011, a significant increase from the 2010 financial allocation of the equivalent to $35,000. The government also provided in-kind support to NGOs caring for trafficking victims, including the use of government buildings. Despite the increase, funding for victim care was still low for the number of Lithuanian victims of trafficking identified. The Lithuanian government identified 45 trafficking victims during the reporting period, more than double the 22 victims of trafficking identified in 2010. The government did not report identifying labor trafficking victims. All identified trafficking victims were referred to NGOs for care. During the reporting period, NGOs reported assisting approximately 130 victims of trafficking, approximately level with the 150 victims of trafficking assisted in 2010. Lithuania’s victim care facilities are primarily operated by NGOs, sometimes with municipal funding. Most of these are mixed-use facilities that also serve domestic violence victims. Victims could leave the government-funded shelters at their own will and without a chaperone. There were no shelters available for men or boys; men’s crisis centers were available to provide other victim services to abused men, including any trafficking victims. NGOs complained about the lack of sufficient funding provided by the government to fully carry out their obligations of victim care. Although government officials employed formal procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations – such as women in prostitution, street children, and undocumented migrants – NGOs reported that these procedures were generally ineffective. The Law on the Legal Status of Aliens allows officials to grant foreign trafficking victims a six-month temporary residency permit if they agree to participate in criminal proceedings. However, only one trafficking victim received a temporary residence permit in 2011. The government reported that Lithuanian victims were encouraged to participate in trafficking investigations; the majority of the 45 identified victims participated in the prosecution of trafficking offenders in 2011. Nevertheless, NGOs reported that victims of trafficking were sometimes reluctant to participate in trials because, at times, they were obliged to fund their own travel to trial. In November 2011, the government organized a two-day training program on trafficking victim assistance for approximately 50 social workers from Vilnius and Kaunas. There were no reports that any identified trafficking victims were detained, fined, or jailed for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked; concerns persisted that, to the extent that law enforcement officials did not fully understand that children in prostitution were considered to be trafficking victims, these children may have been subject to penalties for their participation in prostitution.

Prevention

The Lithuanian government improved its prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government sustained partnerships with NGOs through joint organization of approximately 35 anti-trafficking events, including seminars and public lectures, involving over 400 specialists. The government did not undertake any broad-based public awareness campaigns to raise the profile of its trafficking problem. There was reportedly low public awareness of trafficking. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs organized anti-trafficking training for 36 consular officials. Lithuanian police continued their outreach to school children to educate them on trafficking. The government continued to convene its multiagency working group to address trafficking. The Government of Lithuania reported that not all planned activities from the national action plan of 2009-2012 were implemented in 2011 because of budget constraints. NGOs claimed that the national action plan was not implemented effectively in 2011. The Lithuanian government made some efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex, including by penalizing the purchasers of sexual services with fines.

LUXEMBOURG (Tier 1)

Luxembourg is a destination country for men, women, and children from Nigeria and other African countries, as well as Estonia, Kazakhstan, Bulgaria, Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, France, and Belgium who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor, including forced criminal activities. According to local experts, unaccompanied and undocumented children who are asylum seekers or refugees are particularly vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. Adult victims of sex trafficking in Luxembourg can be recruited by agents in their home countries for work in Luxembourg’s cabarets and subsequently forced into prostitution in cabarets, private apartments, and in street prostitution. Forced labor, sometimes involving Chinese men, women, and children, occurs in sectors including construction and restaurants. According to past media reports, women in prostitution in Luxembourg are often controlled by pimps and some of these women are likely trafficking victims; the majority of women in street prostitution are Nigerian. According to country experts, traffickers utilized non-physical coercion to control victims in prostitution and to operate within the country’s legal prostitution regime and evade law enforcement. According to a report issued by ECPAT, the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Luxembourg primarily involves prostitution through illegal escort services, and in hotels, parked cars, private houses, and illegal private clubs in the country.

The Government of Luxembourg fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government increased its detection of forced labor in 2011 and, for the first time, identified victims of this form of trafficking in the country. While the government prosecuted and convicted other trafficking offenders during the year, courts held only one trafficking offender accountable with actual jail time in 2011. The government sustained its efforts to protect trafficking victims, but it has yet to address a long-standing deficiency by formalizing and implementing comprehensive protections for trafficking victims, including proactive national-level identification procedures.

Recommendations for Luxembourg: Vigorously prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders; establish formal procedures to proactively identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as women in the commercial sex trade and undocumented migrants; finalize implementation regulations for the March 2009 protection law – that would assist in implementing a more victim-centered approach – to codify and improve assistance to victims; formalize the role of NGOs and others in the identification process and fund them to provide comprehensive assistance to all trafficking victims, including victims of forced labor, child victims, and male victims; and implement an awareness campaign aimed at demand reduction to educate authorities and the general public about sex trafficking and its links with prostitution, as well as the existence of forced labor in Luxembourg.

Prosecution

The Luxembourg government continued to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders in 2011. Luxembourg prohibits all forms of trafficking through Article 382 of the 2009 Law on Trafficking in Human Beings, which prescribes penalties for convicted offenders ranging from three to 10 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Under this statute, courts can sentence offenders below the prescribed minimum sentence of three years’ imprisonment. During the year, the government did not initiate any new prosecutions for trafficking and sentenced only one trafficking offender to jail time. It continued its prosecutions of six trafficking offenders initiated in the previous year, resulting in one acquittal and the conviction of four offenders, the same number convicted in 2010. Only one convicted offender received a sentence that was not suspended during the reporting period; a court sentenced a Brazilian offender to five years’ imprisonment for coercing three Brazilian women into prostitution after promising them jobs as waitresses or nurses in Luxembourg. The remaining convicted offenders, sentenced to prison terms of nine months, 15 months, and two years, received suspended sentences and thus served no time in jail. In July 2011, the government enacted amendments to its Article 375 that increased penalties for the “pimping of children in prostitution” from two to five years’ imprisonment if the victim is below the age of 16. However, the government has yet to identify a child victim of sex trafficking in Luxembourg or initiate a criminal prosecution for this offense. The government failed to initiate, conduct, or participate in any anti-trafficking law enforcement training in 2011. There were no reports of the government investigating, prosecuting, convicting, or sentencing public officials for trafficking complicity.

Protection

The Government of Luxembourg sustained its efforts to protect trafficking victims in 2011. The government has yet to implement a March 2009 law that codifies procedures for the identification, referral, and provision of comprehensive assistance to trafficking victims; nor has it adopted systematic procedures for the proactive identification of victims. The government’s vice squad did not employ any guidelines or procedures to proactively identify victims among women in prostitution in Luxembourg’s legalized or illegal sex trade. According to a 2010 NGO report, the police relied primarily on self-identification by the victims rather than their own proactive measures. Furthermore, police were the only authorities permitted to carry out formal victim identification. The government reported that all of the 25 trafficking victims it identified subsequently cooperated in the investigation of their traffickers; however, only three of these 25 victims officially received the government-offered recovery and reflection period of 90 days. The government did not confirm whether any victims received temporary residency permits in 2011, whereas it had reported that three victims were provided with these permits in 2010. Most victim cooperation occurred immediately after arrest or in a post-raid environment. The government identified two Chinese child victims subjected to forced labor in restaurants in 2011.

The government continued to fund two NGOs providing services for women in distress, including adult female trafficking victims. However, because parliament had not approved implementing regulations for the 2009 protection law, NGOs were unable to benefit from the assistance system that law established, which would provide specialized care to potential and confirmed trafficking victims. The government did not provide or fund specialized services or shelters for child victims of trafficking. The government retained a stated policy of ensuring that victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked; it was unclear whether the government attempted to identify trafficking victims among all women found in vulnerable groups, such as those in prostitution or those detained as undocumented migrants in the country.

Prevention

The government took few concrete steps to proactively address its trafficking problem through public awareness activities during the year. The government did not initiate or contribute to the development of any anti-trafficking prevention efforts in 2011. Local experts previously noted that authorities in Luxembourg have only recently begun acknowledging the problem of human trafficking within the country, and they noted that the general public is not aware of trafficking as an issue of importance. During the year, an NGO initiated a petition calling on the government to develop anti-trafficking campaigns in national high schools focused on the sex trafficking of children. The government has not adopted a national action plan specifically on trafficking, and while it reported publicly on a range of issues that included trafficking, it did not report explicitly on its anti-trafficking efforts during the year. The government did not report any child sex tourism prosecutions or prevention efforts during the reporting period.

MACAU (Tier 2 Watch List)

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 sex trafficking and possibly forced labor. Victims originate primarily from the Chinese mainland, with many from inland Chinese provinces who travel to the border province of Guangdong in search of better employment. Sex trafficking victims in Macau also include women from Mongolia, Vietnam, Thailand, and Russia. Many trafficking victims fall prey to false advertisements for jobs in casinos and other legitimate employment in Macau, but upon arrival, 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. 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 are threatened with violence. Chinese, Russian, and Thai criminal syndicates are believed to be involved in recruiting women for Macau’s commercial sex industry. Macau made no changes to the immigration regulation structure which renders foreign migrants vulnerable to forced labor; those foreign migrants who are fired for cause or quit must wait six months to obtain another work permit. In one documented case, Macau also has been a source territory for women who are subjected to sex trafficking 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. Despite these efforts, the MSAR authorities did not demonstrate evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking; therefore, Macau is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. The government made no discernible progress in prosecuting sex trafficking or forced labor offenders, obtaining no human trafficking convictions during the reporting period. It identified and assisted 13 victims, a decline from 17 victims the previous year, and did not have a clear policy in place to protect trafficking victims from future hardship.

Recommendations for Macau: Expand capacity to prosecute trafficking cases by increasing the number of prosecutors responsible for criminal cases and devoting a prosecutor specifically to trafficking crimes; significantly increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenders, including perpetrators of forced labor; make efforts to investigate and prosecute official complicity in trafficking; continue to conduct worksite inspections for evidence of forced labor and apply appropriate protective measures when victims are identified, including offering them legal alternatives to their removal countries where they may face hardship and retribution; implement proactive victim identification methods, particularly among vulnerable populations such as migrant workers; end the six-month waiting period for migrant workers to obtain new work; and continue to educate law enforcement, other government officials, and the public on forced labor as well as sex trafficking.

Prosecution

During the reporting period, Macau authorities decreased their trafficking investigations and did not report any prosecutions or convictions. Macau’s anti-trafficking law, Law Number 6/2008, prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons and prescribes penalties of three to 15 years’ imprisonment, which are sufficiently stringent punishments and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Macau authorities conducted 13 forced prostitution investigations and no forced labor investigations during the reporting period, a slight decrease in investigations from the previous period in which the government conducted 15 forced prostitution investigations. The government did not report any prosecutions or convictions of trafficking offenders during the reporting period, whereas in the previous year the government prosecuted two cases and secured one conviction. The government initiated no investigations or convictions of officials either complicit or responsible for human trafficking. The judiciary remained ill-equipped to address trafficking and had just 11 prosecutors to handle all criminal cases in Macau. Many cases investigated were closed due to lack of evidence or witnesses who were unwilling to cooperate with government authorities. In October 2011, the judicial police held a training seminar for 68 officers on Macau’s anti-trafficking law and case studies. Additionally, in November 2011, the Human Trafficking Deterrent Measures Concern Committee (which serves as Macau’s anti-trafficking committee) organized a seminar for participants from various law enforcement agencies in Macau on how to define, investigate, and prosecute trafficking cases. The government continued to provide trafficking awareness training to all new judicial and public security police officers.

Protection

Macau authorities made modest efforts to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government identified 13 victims of forced prostitution in 2011 compared with 17 victims of forced prostitution in 2010. The government identified no victims of forced labor in 2011. Twelve of the victims identified in 2011 were from China and one of the victims was from Russia. The Social Welfare Bureau assisted and offered shelter to all of the identified victims. The government reported using a standardized screening questionnaire to guide law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel in identifying trafficking victims. The government designated 21 beds for female trafficking victims of any nationality at a shelter managed by the Social Welfare Bureau. An NGO-operated shelter for children 16 years old and under continued to operate; it served three victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government sustained an existing partnership with a local NGO in order to identify interpreters to assist in interviewing foreign trafficking victims. The government did not report providing any services to male or female forced labor victims, or male victims of forced prostitution. In March 2011, the government trained 30 officers from the Health Bureau on procedures for medical professionals caring for trafficking victims. During seminars in May, September, and November 2011, Health Bureau officers trained 212 fellow officers on behavioral and psychological indicators of trafficking. Immigration regulations continued to create vulnerabilities for foreign workers during the reporting period. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes and nine of the 13 trafficking victims did so during the reporting period. Victims were not allowed to work during the reporting period. Although the government had a policy in place for general foreign crime victims, offering them legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they would face retribution or hardship, it was unclear whether this policy applied specifically to trafficking victims.

Prevention

The Government of Macau made efforts to prevent forced prostitution and some efforts to prevent forced labor during the reporting period. The Human Trafficking Deterrent Measures Concern Committee is the government’s anti-trafficking committee. The committee is comprised of representatives from eight different government agencies and met monthly during the reporting period to coordinate the government’s response to trafficking among the various agencies in the committee. The Legal Affairs Bureau, assisted by an NGO, produced and disseminated two new pamphlets on trafficking, with one pamphlet aimed at clients and the other at victims of the sex trade. The client-oriented pamphlet focused on legal ramifications of participating in the commercial sex trade, and offered mechanisms to report suspected trafficking, whereas the victim-oriented pamphlet discussed assistance and rights for victims. Both pamphlets were available in multiple languages. These did not, however, attempt to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. An NGO was funded by the government to place 4,000 posters on the dangers of child trafficking in public buses, taxis, and public places. The Social Welfare Bureau partnered with the Women’s Association of Macau to organize four community education events on human trafficking. Recommendations released in 2011 from a government-commissioned study conducted by the University of Macau led the government to increase efforts to raise public awareness of trafficking. The government reported no investigations or prosecutions of child sex tourism during the reporting period.

MACEDONIA (Tier 1)

Macedonia is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Macedonian women and children are trafficked within the country. Foreign victims subjected to forced prostitution or forced labor in Macedonia originate in Albania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Ukraine, and Kosovo; and Macedonians are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking in Europe. Children, including ethnic Roma, are subjected to forced begging in streets and public markets. During the year, authorities reported an increase in undocumented foreign migrants in the country, a group vulnerable to trafficking. A 2011 labor sector assessment found the prevalence of labor exploitation to be greatest in Macedonia’s textile sector, mostly in southeast Macedonia, and significantly prevalent in civil engineering, tourism, catering, and agriculture. Trafficking offenders increasingly used false marriage, particularly among the ethnic Roma population, as a tactic to lure victims into forced prostitution.

The Government of Macedonia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government sustained its vigorous prosecution and conviction of trafficking offenders, and proactively investigated trafficking complicity. The government effectively partnered with NGOs providing victim assistance in its domestic shelter and demonstrated a sensitive approach to victim-witnesses. The government failed, however, to provide adequate financial resources for victim care in the shelter, and did not provide critically needed resources for reintegration. The government continued to identify only a small number of victims relative to the rest of the region. The lack of results in victim identification continued to suggest some front-line responders and other officials lack a full understanding of the complexities of trafficking and the required skills to identify potential victims, thus failing to ensure victims’ full access to their rights and protection under Macedonian law.

Recommendations for Macedonia: Proactively improve victim identification efforts to locate potential domestic and foreign trafficking victims in Macedonia; ensure that victims are not deported and punished as a result of their trafficking; ensure that foreign women entering the country on entertainment visas receive information on trafficking and their rights in Macedonia; pursue potential cases of trafficking that involve non-physical forms of coercion; institutionalize and increase funding to ensure comprehensive care, sustainability of the shelter, and reintegration services for victims; continue to build the anti-trafficking expertise of social workers to ensure their engagement in reintegration; follow through on plans to establish local commissions to decentralize and improve victim identification throughout the country; provide more incentives, including not detaining potential victims in the transit shelter, for foreign trafficked children and adults to stay in Macedonia long enough to assist in bringing their traffickers to justice; streamline interagency reporting and advance the use of an automated case management system in courts to produce final trafficking case statistics, including data of jailed convicted offenders; and continue to use the national rapporteur report as a tool for centralized reporting, including more self-critical analysis and making clear distinctions between trafficking and migrant smuggling.

Prosecution

The Government of Macedonia sustained its efforts to prosecute and punish trafficking offenders during the reporting period. The government prohibits sex and labor trafficking through articles 418(a) and (d) of its 2004 criminal code. The minimum penalty prescribed for sex trafficking is four years’ imprisonment, which is sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2011, the government completed four trafficking investigations involving 29 suspects, including two public officials. During the year, Macedonian courts also convicted nine trafficking offenders, compared with 21 convicted offenders in 2010. Sentences for the nine convicted offenders ranged from two to nine years in prison. The government convicted all but one of these offenders under its anti-trafficking law. Courts convicted two offenders for sex trafficking, two offenders for labor trafficking, and five offenders on charges of both. Macedonian law prevents the imposition of jail sentences until the appeal process is complete; authorities confirmed that of the nine convicted, six are currently in jail. In April 2011, a court of appeals upheld the convictions of six trafficking offenders, including a complicit government official noted in the previous TIP Report. According to the government, trafficking offenders, complicit local police officers, and nightclub owners are familiar with the standard questions used by officials to identify trafficking victims and have thus modified their modus operandi to keep victims in a state of servitude and evade law enforcement. Observers reported concerns of complicity among local officials and police, specifically involving bars and nightclubs in western Macedonia. In April 2011, the Skopje Court of Appeals upheld a conviction and sentence of a police officer to 8.5 years in prison for facilitating the sex trafficking of children. It also investigated two other local police officers for trafficking-related complicity during the year.

Protection

The Government of Macedonia maintained protections for identified domestic trafficking victims during the reporting period, specifically by including NGOs as primary care providers in its domestic trafficking shelter and funding the shelter’s basic operating costs. The government, however, did not make critically needed improvements in victim identification nor did it ensure adequate funding for comprehensive victim care and reintegration. It reported identifying 12 trafficking victims in 2011, the same number it identified in 2010. Country experts raised concerns during the year about local police conducting raids in bars without coordinating with the anti-trafficking unit. Police reportedly transferred foreign national women working illegally in these establishments to immigration police for immediate deportation without a proper assessment of trafficking indicators. In 2011, authorities in Ukraine and Bulgaria identified victims subjected to forced prostitution in Macedonia. According to local experts, the government’s focus on victims’ initial consent to be smuggled into Macedonia as well as on the lack of limitations on foreign victims’ freedom of movement suggests serious misunderstandings about the definition of trafficking, risking victims’ punishment for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. According to an anti-trafficking report issued by the Belgian government in 2011, a Macedonian sex trafficking victim was granted refugee status in Belgium in October 2010. The Belgian court based its determination on the trafficking offender’s alleged collusion with Macedonian authorities, the victim’s well-founded fear of reprisal, and the Macedonian government’s inability to protect her.

The government sustained partnerships with two NGOs that provided victims with social assistance, legal aid, vocational training, and psychosocial support in the domestic trafficking shelter in 2011. The government provided a total funding the equivalent of $14,000 to two NGOs providing victim services in this shelter. Other than the annual grant, however, NGOs must secure outside funding for all other assistance for victims, including food and medical services. Although the government appointed four social workers to assist with critical victim reintegration in 2011, NGOs report little concrete engagement from this sector. According to one NGO, authorities referred domestic victims directly to the shelter post-raid, and police demonstrated a victim-sensitive approach in victims’ cases. Twelve trafficking victims testified before an investigative judge in 2011, five of whom testified in a trial. The government continued its good practice of assigning a guardian to each identified child trafficking victim to help ensure a continuum of care and trust.

The government continued to operate a reception center for foreign migrants and trafficking victims, in which trafficking victims were detained during the recovery and reflection period. The government did not ensure an NGO presence in the transit shelter to assist with the identification process nor ensure potential trafficking victims awaiting deportation procedures received specialized care and assistance. The government offers temporary residency permits to foreign trafficking victims only if they cooperate in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, though no such residency permits were granted to trafficking victims during the reporting period. Authorities referred four suspected foreign victims from Albania, Bulgaria, and Kosovo to the government’s reception center in 2011; however, it determined that two potential victims from Kosovo, including a child, were not trafficking victims. The Bulgarian victim testified in front of an investigative judge within days of her identification and only stayed at the reception center for seven days.

Prevention

The Government of Macedonia sustained its anti-trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. It provided the equivalent of $14,000 to two anti-trafficking NGOs to implement anti-trafficking prevention campaigns primarily aimed at school children and college students. The government, through the national commission and in partnership with NGOs, organized anti-trafficking workshops and presentations, including some implemented though local trafficking prevention councils in some cities in 2011. The government undertook some measures to prevent child begging in 2011, including removing children from the streets and placing some in orphanages; it reportedly prosecuted and sentenced some parents to jail time for forcing their children to beg. According to one NGO, however, the heavy media attention surrounding these operations resulted in sensationalizing the issue of child begging, with little positive impact on the children. In January 2012, the government’s national rapporteur published Macedonia’s third annual report on trafficking; the report contained useful case-based analyses and some pragmatic, self-critical recommendations for future progress.

MADAGASCAR (Tier 3)

Madagascar is a source country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Reports indicate that sex and labor trafficking of Madagascar’s citizens has increased, particularly due to a lack of economic development and a decline in the rule of law since the current political crisis began in March 2009. An estimated 4,000 Malagasy women are employed as domestic workers in Lebanon. Many are single mothers that come from rural areas and are illiterate or poorly educated, making them vulnerable to deception and abuse at the hands of recruitment agencies and employers. At least five deaths were reported in this population during the year. Trafficking victims returning from Lebanon also reported rape, psychological abuse, physical torture and violence, sexual harassment and assault, harsh working conditions, confinement to the home, confiscation of travel documents, and withholding of salaries. Recent reports indicate that Malagasy citizens are fraudulently recruited for jobs in China, only to be forced into marriage or debt bondage upon their refusal to marry.

Malagasy children, mostly from rural areas, are subjected to domestic servitude, prostitution, forced begging, and forced labor in mining, fishing, and agriculture within the country. In addition, children are used in the commission of crimes, such as drug trafficking. Most child trafficking occurs with the involvement of family members, but friends, transport operators, tour guides, and hotel workers also facilitate the exploitation of children. Parents in the southern regions send girls to local markets without money for groceries, forcing them to prostitute themselves in what is known as Tsenan’Ampela or “girls market” to earn enough to buy food for the family. In a practice known as Miletra, parents in the northeastern regions force their daughters into prostitution, directly negotiating the price and duration in advance. A child sex tourism problem exists in coastal cities, including Tamatave, Nosy Be, Diego Suarez, and Majunga, as well as the capital, Antananarivo. Some children are fraudulently recruited for work in the capital as waitresses, maids, and masseuses before being coerced into prostitution on the coast. Most child sex tourists are French nationals with some reports of German and Italian nationals. The main clients of prostituted boys and girls, however, are Malagasy men.

The de facto Government of Madagascar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Since the March 2009 coup, combating human trafficking has not been a priority, despite the growing size of the problem both internally and transnationally. Anti-trafficking efforts remained negligible during the year. Despite widespread allegations of child sex tourism and sex trafficking, the government failed to prosecute or convict trafficking offenders and did not identify or refer victims to necessary services. Pervasive corruption and minimal capacity throughout the entire justice system, lack of awareness of the anti-trafficking law, and official complicity in trafficking crimes, including allegations of police protection of clients of children in prostitution, contributed to the dismal state of anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in Madagascar. The de facto government for a third year did not engage the Government of Lebanon regarding protection of and legal remedies for exploited Malagasy workers and failed to coordinate the repatriation of Malagasy citizens from Lebanon during the reporting period.

Recommendations for Madagascar: Utilize the anti-trafficking law, including at the provincial level, to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, including those involving forced labor and public officials suspected of trafficking-related complicity; amend the anti-trafficking law to provide sufficiently stringent penalties for labor trafficking; open a dialogue with the Government of Lebanon on improving protections for Malagasy workers and jointly addressing cases of abuse; consider establishing a consulate in Lebanon to provide consular and, when needed, protective services to Malagasy workers; 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; and provide anti-trafficking training to law enforcement, labor, and social welfare officials.

Prosecution

The Malagasy de facto government’s anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts diminished over the year, as it completed no investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenders. Anti-Trafficking Law No. 2007-038 prohibits all forms of human trafficking but prescribes punishments only for sex trafficking. Penalties for violation of the law range from two years’ to life imprisonment and 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 insufficiently stringent penalties of one to three years’ imprisonment. Decree 2007-563 prohibits and prescribes insufficiently stringent punishments of up to two years’ imprisonment for various forms of child trafficking, including prostitution, domestic servitude, and forced labor.

The de facto government has never used its anti-trafficking law to punish traffickers. Authorities neither investigated nor prosecuted cases of forced labor during the reporting period and, despite widely publicized allegations against two French child sex tourists during the year, made minimal efforts to investigate allegations of sex trafficking. Public officials’ complicity in human trafficking remained a significant problem. In May 2011, one French national resident paid and procured two girls for another French national resident of Madagascar and later sold film footage of the girls engaged in sex acts. Despite public calls for the investigation of the case, authorities apprehended only one suspect whose current location cannot be confirmed. Credible reports indicate that the other suspect met with the de facto Minister of Justice, who assigned police officers to guard his residence to prevent his arrest. In remote parts of Madagascar, local authorities reportedly procured underage girls for sexual exploitation by visiting Malagasy dignitaries. Corrupt police permitted organized child prostitution rings to operate, particularly in Nosy Be. Local police generally remained hesitant to pursue child sex trafficking and child sex tourism offenses because of deep-rooted corruption, pressures from the local community, or lack of knowledge of the anti-trafficking law. The regime reported no efforts to investigate, prosecute, convict, or sentence public officials complicit in human trafficking.

Protection

The de facto Malagasy government made negligible efforts to protect victims. One of the few de facto government officials to demonstrate commitment to working on trafficking, the de facto Minister of Population and Social Affairs who formerly coordinated the repatriation of victims from Lebanon, died in an accident in August 2011. Following the March 2011 repatriation of 85 women, government officials – including the honorary Malagasy consul in Lebanon – failed to organize any additional repatriations or support repatriations organized by NGOs during the year. In March 2011, over 600 Malagasy awaited repatriation from Lebanon, 140 of which were classified as victims in need of emergency repatriation. In 2011, an NGO organized the repatriation of 427 Malagasy citizens, 153 of whom reported physical, psychological, or sexual abuse. For a third year, the de facto government did not engage the Government of Lebanon regarding the protection of and legal remedies for exploited workers. Madagascar’s honorary consul in Beirut was ineffective in addressing the needs of Malagasy trafficking victims, often encouraging victims to return to their employment agencies and not advocating for victim protection or investigations into allegations of abuse.

The de facto government lacked procedures to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations and did not provide services or refer victims for care in a systematic way. NGOs provided counseling, legal services, and medical care to victims, and referred them to government hospitals. The de facto government provided medical and psychiatric care on a case-by-case basis at one public hospital in Befelatanana. No other hospitals provide such services free of charge. Services and facilities are insufficient and often nonexistent in areas beyond Antananarivo. The de facto government may arrest and punish internal trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. It did not encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their exploiters.

Prevention

The de facto government made negligible efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. It maintained the suspension of several employment agencies implicated in human trafficking and continued the November 2009 ban on sending domestic workers to Lebanon. However, many agencies reportedly continued to send workers directly to Lebanon, and unofficial networks now reportedly send Malagasy migrant workers through Mauritius, South Africa, Kuwait, Egypt, France, or the Seychelles to circumvent the ban. The de facto government officially began a labor recruitment program to send Malagasy garment sector workers to Jordan and Kuwait. Although conditions were reported to be acceptable, the de facto government did not make an effort to improve its oversight of recruitment agencies before beginning the new program.

MALAWI (Tier 2 Watch List)

Malawi is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. To a lesser extent, Malawi is also a destination country for men, women, and children from Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe and a transit point for people from these same countries who are subjected to sex and labor trafficking in South Africa. Most Malawian trafficking victims are exploited within the country, though Malawian victims of sex and labor trafficking have also been identified in South Africa, Zambia, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Europe. Within the country, children are subjected to forced labor in domestic service, cattle herding, agriculture (tobacco, tea, coffee, and sugar plantations), begging, small businesses, and coerced into the commission of crimes, including home robberies. One-third of Malawian children are involved in labor activities, with sources reporting that the majority of cases of child labor outside of the family involve fraudulent recruitment and physical or sexual abuse, conditions indicative of forced labor. Adult tenant farmers are vulnerable to exploitation as they incur debts to landowners and may not receive payment in times of poor harvest. Brothel owners or other facilitators lure girls – including primary school children – from rural areas with promises of clothing and lodging, for which they are later charged high fees, resulting in debt-bonded prostitution. Girls are recruited for domestic service, but instead are forced to marry and later forced into prostitution by their husbands. In lakeshore districts, tourists – including Europeans – purchase commercial sex from women, girls, and boys in forced prostitution. Nigerian and Tanzanian women force Malawian women and girls into prostitution in Malawi, and Nigerian syndicates are also involved in the sex trafficking of Malawians to South Africa, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Thailand, and Brazil. Italian and Mexican organized crime entities reportedly also are involved in sex trafficking between Malawi and South Africa. Traffickers target Malawian girls in secondary school for recruitment for work in neighboring countries, offering to pay their rent, but subjecting them to forced prostitution upon arrival. South African and Tanzanian long-distance truck drivers and mini-bus operators, transport these victims across porous borders by avoiding immigration checkpoints. Malawians are taken to Mozambique and Zambia for forced labor on tobacco and tea farms, to Zambia for brick-making, and to Tanzania for forced labor in the fishing industry. Anecdotal reports indicate South Asian adults and children are forced to work in hotels, shops, bakeries, and in the construction sector in Malawi.

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. Despite these modest efforts, the government failed to demonstrate overall increasing efforts to combat trafficking during the reporting period; therefore, Malawi is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. Malawi’s anti-trafficking law enforcement performance declined over the last year, with fewer trafficking offenders prosecuted than in 2010, and fewer convicted trafficking offenders punished with time in prison. Furthermore, the government did not finalize and pass anti-trafficking legislation drafted in 2009. The government continued to rely on international organizations and NGOs to fund most anti-trafficking programs, and district-level staff active on trafficking received little supervision or guidance from national coordinating bodies.

Recommendations for Malawi: Prosecute both sex and labor trafficking offenses vigorously; ensure the adequate sentencing of convicted trafficking offenders, including the increased imposition of prison sentences rather than fines; investigate and prosecute complicit officials; expand training programs for judges, prosecutors, labor inspectors, and police on identification, investigation, and prosecution of trafficking offenses under existing laws; begin the collection of national prosecution and protection data; develop a formal system to identify trafficking victims and to refer them to available services; increase the availability of accommodations and protection services for victims through financial or material support to NGOs or expansion of direct service provision; improve national-level coordination of anti-trafficking efforts across all districts; and launch anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns.

Prosecution

The Government of Malawi decreased its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year, convicting fewer offenders than in 2010 and failing to enact anti-trafficking legislation drafted in 2009. 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. The penalties prescribed under these various statutes range from small fines to 14 years’ imprisonment; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Despite the existence of these laws, their enforcement is weak. The Child Care, Protection and Justice Act of 2010 prohibits child trafficking, prescribing penalties of life imprisonment for convicted traffickers. In January 2012, the act was published in the government’s gazette and printed; however, some courts have rejected cases charged under the act since they are still without a copy of the act. Reports indicated that labor trafficking offenders were not prosecuted for a first offense; only repeat offenders were prosecuted.

Although governments in 12 of 28 districts reported investigating a total of 241 trafficking cases in 2011, specifics regarding these cases or their status were not provided. Local sources reported the convictions of one labor trafficker and three sex traffickers in 2011. Only one offender, however, received a prison sentence, while the remainder paid minimal fines. In Machinga District, the Liwonde magistrate court sentenced a convicted offender to five years’ imprisonment with hard labor in 2011 for the sex trafficking of two girls from Mangochi. In October 2011 in Blantyre, authorities used the Employment Act to convict a man for the forced labor of 11 children; he received a fine equivalent to $17 and was required to pay return transport costs for the victims. The government’s continued failure to seek criminal prosecution and sentencing of forced labor offenses meant there was no effective deterrent to the commission of trafficking crimes.

The government continued to train police recruits in identifying and combating human trafficking as part of its standard training curriculum at three police training schools, reaching 600 recruits during the year. In 2011, the Ministry of Gender, Child and Community Development (MGCCD) and the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) trained law enforcement and social welfare officials on the child protection law. Nonetheless, police and immigration officials were complicit in trafficking crimes, with reports of court cases diverted and offenders released; however, the government did not investigate or prosecute such officials.

Protection

The Government of Malawi sustained minimal efforts to provide protection to trafficking victims during the year. The government relied largely on NGOs to identify victims and provide long-term care. In addition, the government failed to establish or employ systematic procedures for the proactive identification of victims and their referral to care. The government funded one drop-in center that provided counseling and services for victims of trafficking and gender-based violence; it is unknown whether the center assisted trafficking victims during the year. Over 100 police stations across the country housed victim support units (VSUs) to respond to gender-based violence and trafficking crimes; however, the VSUs lacked capacity to respond adequately, providing only limited counseling and, in some districts, temporary shelter to victims. Government-run hospitals provided trafficking victims with limited access to medical and psychological services; for shelter, district social welfare and child protection officers referred victims to NGO-run facilities that catered to vulnerable children and youth. The government did not provide material or financial support for these NGO services.

The national government did not provide data on the number of victims it identified, referred, or assisted during the reporting period; detailed case information provided by two districts indicates that officials, often in partnership with NGOs, identified at least 114 trafficking victims. Police, district-level social welfare officers, and child protection officers cooperated with local NGOs that coordinated and funded the rescue of trafficking victims; during the year, these partnerships resulted in the rescue of 83 children in prostitution from a brothel in Blantyre. The district social welfare office in Lilongwe – through the aforementioned social rehabilitation center – provided office space to an NGO that identified 86 child sex trafficking victims in four districts of Lilongwe in 2011. A 2011 NGO baseline survey of six districts reported that over 70 percent of victims did not receive any services after their rescue. The government did not provide foreign victims with temporary residency or other legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. The district social welfare office in Mangochi assisted in the repatriation of one victim. The government encouraged victims’ participation in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes. Law enforcement, however, generally treated persons in prostitution – including children – as criminals rather than their pimps or clients, making sex trafficking victims vulnerable to arrest; subsequent to their arrest, some police coerced them into sex acts by threatening them with charges.

Prevention

The government made minimal efforts to prevent human trafficking during the year. The majority of public awareness campaigns were coordinated at the district level with NGOs partners; national level coordinating bodies played a negligible role, failing to organize awareness activities or finalize the national plan of action drafted in the previous year. The newly reorganized Child Protection Technical Working Group included trafficking within its broad work to coordinate efforts on child protection. The Malawi Network Against Child Trafficking, which is comprised of government representatives, NGOs, and religious leaders, met quarterly and, with funding from a foreign government, organized an October 2011 workshop on best practices to combat human trafficking. In 2011 in Mangochi District, social welfare and labor officers forged partnerships with police and NGOs to train 25 peer educators in Traditional Area Chowe; this event publicized the IOM trafficking hotline in South Africa and resulted in the repatriation of one victim. State-owned radio also broadcast weekly radio programs on child labor and human trafficking led by an NGO. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the year, and made no efforts to address child sex tourism. The government did not provide its military personnel with anti-trafficking training prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

MALAYSIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Malaysia is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to conditions of forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking. The overwhelming majority of trafficking victims are among the estimated two million documented and two million or more undocumented foreign workers in Malaysia. They migrate willingly to Malaysia from countries including Indonesia, Nepal, India, Thailand, China, the Philippines, Burma, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Vietnam in search of greater economic opportunities. Some of them 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 businesspeople, large organized crime syndicates are also behind trafficking. A significant number of young foreign women are recruited obstensibly for legal work in Malaysian restaurants and hotels, some of whom are legally admitted to the country for this purpose but are coerced into the commercial sex trade. During the year, reports indicated an increasing number of Ugandan women were fraudulently recruited to Malaysia for ostensibly legitimate work but were forced into prostitution upon arrival. Ugandan and Nigerian syndicates transport victims between China and Malaysia, and use threats of physical harm, including through voodoo, to victims and their families to coerce them into prostitution. Many Malaysian labor outsourcing companies recruit workers from India, Vietnam, and other countries, who are often subjected to conditions of forced labor by unscrupulous employers. In some cases, foreign workers’ vulnerability to exploitation was heightened when employers neglected to obtain proper documentation for workers or employed workers in sectors other than that for which they were granted an employment visa. Many migrant workers on agricultural plantations, at construction sites, in textile factories, and in homes as domestic workers throughout Malaysia are subject to practices indicative of forced labor such as restrictions on movement, deceit and fraud in wages, passport confiscation, and imposition of significant debts at the hands of agents or employers. Passport confiscation remains widespread, particularly among domestic workers. Some employees reported that their employers exercised control over them by threatening to take a worker’s passport to immigration authorities where the employer would allege that the workers had breached the terms of their labor contracts, which could result in the revocation of the workers’ visas and their subsequent deportation. Some Malaysian employers reportedly did not pay foreign domestic workers three to six months’ wages in order to recoup recruitment agency fees and other debt-bonds. In some cases, employers illegally withheld employee wages in escrow until completion of the contract, resulting in workers continuing to work for fear of not receiving financial compensation if they ceased to do so.

Forced labor, including debt bondage, occurred among domestic workers. It was also reported to occur on plantations in the east Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak and in plywood and pulp factories. There are an estimated 250,000 foreign domestic workers in Malaysia with legal authorization for employment in that sector. NGOs estimate that an additional 100,000 migrant domestic workers are not formally registered; many domestic workers, both documented and undocumented, may be trafficking victims. An estimated 90 percent of all domestic workers are from Indonesia. The Indonesian government had previously banned the arrival of additional Indonesian domestic workers to Malaysia; although this prohibition expired during the reporting period, unresolved negotiations over a revised memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the two governments delayed the arrival of additional Indonesian domestic workers. A small number of Malaysian citizens reportedly were trafficked internally and abroad to Singapore, China, and Japan for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Malaysia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government has not shown evidence of overall increasing efforts to address human trafficking compared to the previous year; therefore, Malaysia is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year. Malaysia was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan. During the year, the government continued to confine foreign victims to substandard facilities and failed to provide them with sufficient legal, translation, or psychological resources; government-certified victims cannot opt to reside outside these facilities. Malaysia’s anti-trafficking law does not include adequate provisions for the protection of victims, and the government did not take steps to amend its laws to allow certified victims to reside outside government facilities. The government took steps to ameliorate the poor conditions faced by officially certified trafficking victims – such as granting three-year work permits to one group of 32 male victims of forced labor – but it did not take the more meaningful steps of structurally reforming the unnecessarily complex victim identification and protection regime that likely causes further harm to victims. Front-line officials continued to lack the ability to recognize indicators of human trafficking, limiting their efforts to assist victims and to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders.

Recommendations for Malaysia: Increase law enforcement actions under the anti-trafficking law, particularly labor trafficking cases; apply stringent criminal penalties to those involved in fraudulent labor recruitment or forced labor; increase efforts to investigate – and prosecute and punish, as appropriate – reports of public officials who may profit from trafficking or who may exploit victims; develop and implement procedures to identify labor trafficking victims, using internationally recognized indicators of forced labor among vulnerable groups such as migrant workers and refer them to available protection services; increase training for officials on the effective handling of sex and labor trafficking cases, with a particular emphasis on victim protection and the identification of labor trafficking victims; improve victim identification efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking are not threatened or punished for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked; with the assistance of NGOs, improve victim protection in government facilities by providing victims regular access to legal services and effective counseling in their native languages; in collaboration with NGOs, develop and implement mechanisms to allow adult foreign trafficking victims to travel, work, and reside outside government facilities, including while under protection order; provide all victims legal alternatives to removal to countries in which they would face retribution or hardship; make greater efforts to educate migrant workers of their rights, legal recourses available, and remedies against traffickers or employers who fail to meet their legal obligations; negotiate MOUs with source countries to incorporate victim protection and prohibit employers from confiscating passports and travel documents and ensure that such MOUs are enforced; make efforts to reduce the demand for both sex and labor trafficking; and increase efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of both labor and sex trafficking.

Prosecution

The Government of Malaysia made insufficient overall progress in addressing human trafficking through law enforcement means during the reporting period. While it continued to prosecute and convict sex trafficking offenders, it did not demonstrate progress in its efforts to punish those who exploit others for forced labor. Malaysian law prohibits all forms of human trafficking through its 2010 Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act (amended), which prescribes penalties that are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. In November 2010, the government enacted amendments to the law that broadened the definition of trafficking to include all actions involved in acquiring or maintaining the labor or services of a person through coercion.

During 2011, the government convicted 17 sex trafficking offenders but did not convict any perpetrators of forced labor; this compares with 14 convictions for both sex and labor trafficking offenders obtained in 2010. Sentences for convicted offenders ranged from two to 30 years’ imprisonment. Police and immigration officials investigated 97 suspected trafficking cases during the year, 45 of which were labor trafficking cases; they initiated 16 prosecutions, 13 of which involved sex trafficking and three of which involved forced labor. A total of 231 prosecutions, initiated in previous years, remained ongoing at the close of the reporting period. The share of initiated prosecutions that resulted in acquittals continued to remain high, in part the result of a lack of incentives for victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions.

In November 2011, the Labor Department filed charges in a suspected labor trafficking case, the first such action it has taken since being granted authority to file charges in trafficking cases in 2010. Three suspected trafficking offenders, proprietors of a media company, were accused of subjecting five Indian nationals to forced labor distributing and selling newspapers. Initially, the victims – whose documents had been confiscated by their employer – were arrested on immigration violations and the employers were not charged. Following pressure from civil society, the Labor Department subsequently made the decision to investigate the case; the prosecution of the three traffickers remained ongoing at the close of the reporting period.

Poor government treatment of identified trafficking victims and the lack of victim protection or incentives for victim assistance in investigations and prosecutions remained a significant impediment to successful prosecutions. As in previous years, NGOs reported referring cases of alleged labor and sex trafficking to the government but believed that in many instances authorities did not investigate these allegations. NGOs reported that the police and Labor Department officials often failed to investigate complaints of confiscation of passports and travel documents or withholding of wages – especially involving domestic workers – as possible trafficking offenses, and that front-line officers’ failure to recognize indicators of trafficking regularly led them to treat these cases as immigration violations. Labor Department officials often classified trafficking cases as routine labor disputes; labor inspectors were not experienced in anti-trafficking procedures. The government did not report any criminal prosecutions of labor recruiters who used deceptive practices and debt bondage to compel migrant workers into involuntary servitude.

The previously reported prosecution of one immigration official, who was arrested in July 2009 for alleged involvement in trafficking Burmese citizens to Thailand, ended in an acquittal during the reporting period; the government filed an appeal, but no additional developments have been reported. Reports also indicated that collusion between individual police officers and trafficking offenders sometimes led to offenders escaping arrest and punishment. The Malaysian government took no discernible steps to investigate such reports or to prosecute or punish direct involvement in or facilitation of trafficking crimes by Malaysian officials.

Protection

The government made modest but insufficient progress in protecting victims of trafficking during the reporting period, and overall victim protection efforts remained inadequate and negatively affected victims. Victims identified by Malaysian authorities are adjudicated under an official protection order that triggers their forcible detention in government facilities, where they must remain for the period stipulated by the court. Most victims reportedly stay in these facilities for three to six months, and some are detained for more than a year. The government reports that victims are no longer locked in their rooms, yet they continue to be locked inside facilities, and are only permitted to leave for hospital visits or court appearances under the custody of the police; male victims are largely confined to their rooms and have limited freedom of movement inside facilities. Victims were provided limited, if any, access to legal or psychological assistance by the government or NGOs. The majority of funding for government shelter facilities supports arming the facilities with high levels of security, which may serve to prevent victims from escaping rather than to protect them from harm; in fact, shelters that prohibit victims from leaving are regarded by experts as posing a serious risk for re-traumatizing victims. The government provided limited counseling to victims; it reported beginning to grant some victims individual counseling sessions during the year, and enlisting the assistance of five university students to support the work of the two counselors it employed, although it did not always have adequate facilities to offer victims privacy during these sessions. During the reporting period, the government began working with non-governmental entities to increase the availability of counseling and discuss guidelines for improved shelter management. The facilities did not employ medical officers or trained psychologists, and employees, assigned on a temporary basis, did not receive adequate, if any, training for working with trafficking victims or managing the facilities; a lack of translation services meant that some victims were unable to communicate with staff.

During the reporting period, the government discontinued its policy of treating certified victims as illegal aliens and transferring them to detention facilities for deportation after they provided evidence to prosecutors. Victims typically were uninformed about the legal processes to which they were subjected, and the government did not make adequate efforts to inform the victims of why or for how long they were being detained. This situation increased hardship for victims, who often exhibited severe anxiety at not knowing when they would be allowed to leave. As noted during previous reporting periods, the government’s policy of detaining trafficking victims against their will continued to provide a disincentive for victims and their advocates to bring cases to the government’s attention or to cooperate with authorities.

The Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development continued to operate three facilities for women and child victims of trafficking. These facilities detained suspected and confirmed foreign trafficking victims for an average of three to six months (but in some cases much longer) until they were deported to their home countries, per Malaysian law. The women’s facility in Kuala Lumpur moved to a larger location during the reporting period, although there were reports that it occasionally housed numbers of victims beyond its capacity. The Ministry of Home Affairs ran a similar facility for male victims of trafficking, which also detained suspected and confirmed trafficking victims. The government reported plans for the Women’s Ministry to assume responsibility for this shelter, but this did not occur during the year. Despite the availability of specialized NGO resources to serve trafficking victims, including through providing shelters that may provide a more comfortable environment to victims, the government confines victims in its own facilities where it lacks the physical and human resource capacity to accommodate them. The basis for the government’s expressed security concerns with NGO shelters was unclear, as no known security incidents have been reported at NGO shelters and their locations were kept confidential.

During the reporting year, 125 foreign women, 75 foreign men, and 22 foreign children were certified as trafficking victims and detained in government facilities. The total number of victims certified, 222, is a significant decrease from the 383 victims identified during the previous year. The government identified an unknown number of Malaysian victims who were exploited within the country during the year. Some foreign embassies sheltered victims directly, rather than transferring them to Malaysian facilities, to expedite their repatriation and protect them from detention during lengthy criminal proceedings. In a positive step, the home minister announced in January 2012 that the government would grant some victims the right to temporarily work in Malaysia following the expiration of their protection order. In March 2012, the government granted three-year work and residency permits to 32 labor trafficking victims deemed to be in danger if returned to their home country. These victims had already endured a stay of more than one and a half years in a government facility. The Home Ministry reported plans to extend the provision of work permits to other victims – meeting certain criteria – following the expiration of their protection order, but it did not provide further details about how this program would be implemented or how many victims would be eligible. It reported that only victims who had entered Malaysia legally, and whose safety was not guaranteed if they returned to their country of origin, would be eligible. NGOs expressed concerns that challenges in interagency coordination may make it difficult to extend temporary work permits to all eligible victims. While the government reports it encouraged victims to assist in the prosecution of their traffickers, some victims sought immediate repatriation by their countries’ embassies in Malaysia or by NGOs, rather than staying in Malaysia to testify, due to systemic disincentives such as long detentions in facilities during lengthy court proceedings. Certified victims were not permitted to leave the country while they waited for trials to commence. The government did not provide any incentives such as work permits to victims during the duration of their traffickers’ trials. Victims could theoretically file civil suits against traffickers, but as foreign victims were provided neither any form of legal assistance nor basic translation services, none accessed this option during the year. Law enforcement officers did not receive sufficient training to work with victims, and poor investigation procedures did not take into account the best interests of victims. Victims were asked to recount their trafficking experience on numerous occasions to different officials, and during trial proceedings authorities did not make adequate efforts to separate victims from their traffickers or recruitment agents, a practice that may have resulted in threats or pressure exerted on victims and their families if they cooperated with police and prosecutors. Several NGOs reported that they generally no longer referred victims to the police, as they believed that doing so was detrimental to the welfare of the victims. Some NGOs not affiliated with the government’s anti-trafficking council were barred from further assisting victims after they were placed into a government facility. The government did not provide financial assistance to NGOs providing services to victims. The anti-trafficking law provided immunity to trafficking victims for immigration offenses such as illegal entry, unlawful presence, and possession of false travel documents, but some unidentified victims continued to be detained, deported, or charged with immigration offenses.

The government reported that individual law enforcement agencies followed standardized procedures for identifying, interviewing, and referring trafficking victims, but there was no evidence of the existence of formal procedures for the proactive identification of victims among vulnerable groups with whom authorities came in contact. The Labor Department, which recently assumed its mandate to investigate labor trafficking cases, required evidence of non-payment of wages to investigate a suspected trafficking case; it did not develop or implement procedures to identify internationally recognized indicators of forced labor, such as the confiscation of travel documents or the imposition of significant debts by employers or labor brokers. Some unidentified victims, particularly those whose documents had been confiscated by employers, were processed as illegal migrants and held in prisons or immigration detention centers prior to deportation.

Prevention

The Malaysian government continued efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. The National Council for Anti-Trafficking in Persons (MAPO), and its trafficking in persons Secretariat within the Home Ministry continued to coordinate the government’s anti-trafficking response; although certain NGOs were included in the MAPO council, some non-affiliated NGOs expressed frustration at not being included in the government’s policy discussions in their areas of expertise. In a positive step, the attorney general’s office and the Women’s Ministry began to invite certain NGOs not affiliated with MAPO to attend meetings to discuss issues of forced labor and victim protection; the government’s denial of regular access to a number of NGOs to its victim facilities, however, continues to obstruct effective government-civil society collaboration to combat trafficking. A state-level anti-trafficking council in Selangor, conducted independent anti-trafficking efforts in that state, although it has not been formally recognized by MAPO. The government continued an anti-trafficking public awareness campaign in print media, on the radio, and on television, and officials displayed an increased willingness to speak about the dangers of labor trafficking in addition to sex trafficking. For example, in November 2011, an official from the Human Resources Ministry spoke on a prime time news program to publicize the new provisions of an agreement with Indonesia – including the potential for criminally prosecuting exploitative employers under the anti-trafficking law – and to encourage the public to report suspected abuses. This ministry reported conducting a series of training events reaching 514 domestic workers, 532 employers, and 93 private employment agents. The Home Ministry continued to maintain a watch list of 42 outsourcing companies that recruit foreign workers into Malaysia whose licenses have been suspended for engaging in suspicious activities, such as use of falsified documents or listing false employers, but it did not pursue criminal prosecutions of any outsourcing companies during the year. The government reported imposing administrative sanctions against 136 employers in 2011, but it is unknown whether any of these fines were applied for violations related to human trafficking.

Although the Home Ministry announced plans to investigate allegations that recruitment agencies charged migrant workers excessive, exploitative fees during the government’s migrant worker registration program, it took no discernible action to initiate any investigations during the year. In May 2011, the governments of Indonesia and Malaysia signed amendments to a bilateral MOU on domestic workers; the updated agreement includes provisions prohibiting employers from taking possession of domestic workers’ passports unless given consent to do so, mandating a weekly rest day for workers, requiring payment of salaries directly into bank accounts, limiting the amount an employer can deduct from a domestic worker’s earnings for repayment of recruitment fees, and requiring that workers and employers attend a seminar explaining rights and responsibilities. The MOU provided insufficient protections for workers who are compelled by their employers to “consent” to the withholding of the workers’ passports. An existing agreement with the Philippines provides some protections for Philippine workers, and the Malaysian government continued negotiations with the Cambodian government over a proposed MOU to govern Cambodian domestic workers employed in Malaysian. Domestic workers are excluded from a number of protections in Malaysian labor law.

In October 2011, the government amended its Employment Act to provide a legal definition of a “contractor for labour” as an employer; it is unknown what effect these amendments may have on government regulation of contractor-based labor arrangements, which create vulnerabilities to forced labor. Although the confiscation of passports by employers of migrant workers is illegal, the government continued to allow this practice to occur with impunity; it did not prosecute any employers who confiscated passports or travel documents of migrant workers or confined them to the workplace. In January 2012, the government, with an international organization, co-hosted a Bali Process workshop – a regional conference on combating transnational organized crime, including trafficking – attended by delegates from a number of other countries in the region, and earlier in the reporting period, government officials spoke at a conference to engage journalists on human trafficking issues. While authorities continued some anti-trafficking training for officials with responsibilities to combat trafficking, including training conducted through cooperation with foreign donors, international organizations, and NGOs, the lack of understanding of human trafficking by many Malaysian front-line officers, such as police, immigration, and labor officials, continues to hinder the identification and proper investigation of trafficking cases and identification and assistance to trafficking victims. The government did not take measures to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts. The government provided anti-trafficking training to Malaysian troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

MALDIVES (Tier 2 Watch List)

Maldives is primarily a destination country for migrant workers from Bangladesh and, to a lesser extent, India, some of whom are subjected to forced labor. It is also a source and destination country for women and girls subjected to sex trafficking. An unknown number of the 80,000 to 110,000 foreign workers that government officials estimate are currently working in Maldives – primarily in the construction and service sectors – face conditions indicative of forced labor: fraudulent recruitment, confiscation of identity and travel documents, withholding or nonpayment of wages, or debt bondage. According to government sources, up to 44,000 of these workers do not have legal status in the country, although both legal and illegal workers were vulnerable to conditions of forced labor. According to a diplomatic source, an estimated 50 percent of Bangladeshi workers in Maldives are not documented and a number of these workers are victims of trafficking. Migrant workers pay the equivalent of $1,000 to $4,000 in recruitment fees in order to migrate to Maldives. In addition to Bangladeshis and Indians, some migrants from Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Nepal reportedly experienced recruitment fraud before arriving in Maldives. Recruitment agents in source countries generally collude with employers and agents in Maldives to facilitate fraudulent recruitment and forced labor of migrant workers.

A small number of women from Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, China, the Philippines, Eastern Europe, and former Soviet Union countries, as well as some girls from Bangladesh, are subjected to sex trafficking in Male, the capital. Some reports indicate that internal sex trafficking of Maldivian girls also is a problem. The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives reported that some migrant female domestic workers were trapped in circumstances in which employers used threats and intimidation to prevent them from leaving. Some underage Maldivian children are transported to Male from other islands for forced domestic service, and a small number were reportedly sexually abused by the families with whom they stayed. This is a corruption of the widely acknowledged practice where families send Maldivian children to live with a host family in Male for educational purposes.

The Government of Maldives does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government has not demonstrated evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous year; therefore, Maldives is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a third consecutive year. Maldives was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan. The government continued to lack systematic procedures for identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations and, during the reporting period, did not take sufficient law enforcement steps or concrete actions to protect trafficking victims and prevent trafficking in Maldives. Counter-trafficking efforts are impeded by a lack of understanding of the issue, a lack of legal structure, and the absence of a legal definition of trafficking.

Recommendations for the Maldives: Enact legislation prohibiting and punishing all forms of trafficking in persons; clearly distinguish between human trafficking and human smuggling in legislation, policies, and programs; develop and implement systematic procedures for government officials to proactively identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as undocumented migrants and women in prostitution; work to ensure that identified victims of trafficking are provided access to victim services; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute suspected trafficking offenses; raise public awareness of human trafficking through media campaigns; empower the Labor Tribunal by giving it legal authority to enforce its decisions and by providing translators so it is more accessible to foreign workers; ensure that changes to labor migration policies for the purpose of reducing human trafficking do not restrict legal migration; 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 Maldives undertook minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. Although Maldives does not have laws prohibiting all human trafficking offenses, its constitution prohibits forced labor and slavery, and the Employment Act of 2009 prohibits most forms of forced labor. The Child Sex Abuse Act (2009) criminalizes the prostitution of children with a penalty of up to 25 years’ imprisonment for violations. However, Article 14 of the act provides that, if a person is legally married to a child under Islamic Sharia, none of the offenses specified in the legislation, including child prostitution, would be considered a crime. The government continued to develop its draft anti-trafficking law during the reporting period. The government did not prosecute any new human trafficking cases. Of the two child prostitution investigations noted in the 2011 TIP Report, one investigation is ongoing and the other did not lead to a prosecution due to lack of evidence. Police coordinated with Sri Lankan police in an investigation of Sri Lankan women forced into prostitution in Maldives by suspected Maldivian traffickers.

Protection

The Maldivian government did not 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. In 2011, 13 suspected victims of human trafficking and two suspected human traffickers were intercepted and deported in three cases of human trafficking identified at the Ibrahim Nasir International Airport. The government did not provide access to services, such as shelter, counseling, medical care, or legal aid, to foreign or Maldivian victims of trafficking. The government’s general policy for dealing with trafficking victims was to deport them, 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. Due to a lack of comprehensive victim identification procedures, the government may not have ensured that migrants subjected to forced labor and prostitution were not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. In April and May 2011, the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DIE) conducted two one-day training programs on trafficking victim identification, training 17 labor inspectors and 35 police officers.

Prevention

Maldives made some progress in preventing human trafficking during the year. In March 2012, the government approved an anti-trafficking action plan for 2011-12. In January 2012, the government established an Anti Human-Trafficking and People Smuggling Unit, which is charged with implementing the action plan. In April 2011, the DIE established an integrated investigation unit with the Maldives Police Services, and through this unit the government has investigated an unknown number of ongoing cases involving fraudulent recruitment. Two foreigners were deported as a result of these investigations. Police reportedly raided and closed recruitment agencies by court order for further investigation when there was evidence that the agencies’ operations involved fraud and forgery. However, no labor recruiter or broker was punished or fined for fraudulent recruitment practices. During the reporting period, the DIE conducted lectures for a college on migration and human trafficking, held anti-trafficking events during a human rights day fair, and conducted a training program for immigration officials. The Labor Relations Authority prepared leaflets on workers’ rights in Dhivehi and English for distribution by employers to employees and are translating the leaflets into Bangla, spoken by Bangladeshi migrant workers. In January 2012, the government declared a moratorium on the issuance of new work permits to Bangladeshis seeking to migrate to the country for employment, a move which was intended to address the vulnerability of unemployed Bangladeshis to trafficking. The government continued a program, started in 2009, to register unregistered migrant workers. The government made efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex by investigating and prosecuting clients of prostitution. Maldives is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

MALI (Tier 2)

Mali is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Within Mali, women and girls are forced into domestic servitude, agricultural labor, and support roles in artisanal gold mines, as well as subjected to sex trafficking. Malian boys are found in conditions of forced labor in agriculture, artisanal gold mines, and the informal commercial sector. 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, and this involuntary servitude reportedly has extended to their children. Boys from Mali, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Niger, and other countries are forced into begging and exploited for labor by corrupt marabouts (religious instructors) within Mali and in neighboring countries. Reports indicate that Malian children are transported to Senegal and Guinea for forced labor in gold mines and on cotton and cocoa farms in Cote d’Ivoire. Women and girls from other West African countries are subjected to prostitution in Mali. Malians and other Africans – who travel through Mali to Mauritania, Algeria, or Libya in hopes of reaching Europe – are particularly at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking. Malian girls and women are trafficked to Gabon, Libya, Lebanon, and Tunisia for commercial sexual exploitation.

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. During the reporting period, the government increased its efforts to prosecute and convict trafficking offenders, although these did not include cases of hereditary slavery – a problem that remains largely unaddressed. Law enforcement officials prosecuted 11 trafficking cases, convicted seven trafficking offenders, and identified at least 170 victims and referred them to local NGOs. The government provided in-kind donations to NGO-run multipurpose shelters, including paying for the services of doctors to care for trafficking victims’ medical needs. It also sponsored awareness-raising events in all eight regions of the country and engaged in a series of bilateral events with regional partners on combating trafficking. Despite ministerial approval in June 2010, a bill outlawing all forms of trafficking, including slavery, has still not been brought to a vote in the National Assembly.

Recommendations for Mali: Improve efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, particularly cases of traditional slavery and forced prostitution, and convict and punish trafficking offenders; investigate and, as appropriate, prosecute trafficking offenses involving women and girls brought into and through the country for forced or child prostitution; enact draft legislation that prohibits and punishes all forms of trafficking in persons, including all forms of slavery; train law enforcement officials to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution and those in traditional slavery, and refer them to protective services; develop an improved system for collecting data on trafficking crimes and the number of victims identified and referred by government authorities to service providers for care; and increase efforts to raise public awareness about human trafficking, particularly traditional hereditary slavery.

Prosecution

The Government of Mali demonstrated increased anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year. Mali does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, although Article 244 of the criminal code prohibits all forms of child trafficking. Child trafficking offenders convicted under Article 244 face penalties of five to 20 years’ imprisonment; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. Article 229 of the criminal code criminalizes the sexual exploitation of children and forced prostitution of adult women, prescribing penalties of six months’ to three years’ imprisonment; these penalties are neither sufficiently stringent nor commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. Malian law may not adequately prohibit other forms of trafficking. Articles 242 and 243 of the criminal code prohibit forced labor, servitude, and other illegal labor practices. Slavery is prohibited by Malian law, but no penalty is prescribed for its commission. Article 242 of the criminal code, passed in 1973, prohibits individuals from entering into agreements or contracts that deprive third parties of their liberty. NGOs assert that the law, which has sometimes been characterized as an anti-slavery law, is inadequate to prosecute cases of hereditary slavery, which are not predicated on agreements or contracts entered into after 1973. In June 2010, the Council of Ministers approved an anti-trafficking bill, which, if enacted, would prohibit all forms of trafficking, although it does not adequately prohibit slavery. Despite concerted efforts by the Ministry of Justice to bring the bill before the National Assembly, it did not come to the floor for a vote during the reporting period. In 2011, the government, with assistance from international organizations and NGOs, began drafting a law criminalizing slavery. Despite NGO-led efforts to work with the courts in Northern Mali to hear pending and newly registered hereditary slavery cases, deterioration in security throughout northern Mali led to the August 2011 shutdown of all judicial courts in this region. Thus the government, which has not prosecuted a case of traditional slavery since 1969, has not taken action on at least three pending cases of traditional slavery that have been stalled in courts for more than three years.

The government reported investigating 24 new trafficking-related cases in 2011, prosecuting 11 cases and convicting seven trafficking offenders, a significant increase over the two cases investigated and prosecuted and two trafficking offenders convicted in 2010. Five of the seven offenders convicted in 2011 received sentences of five to 20 years’ imprisonment; two offenders received three-year suspended sentences. In June 2011, Malian officials extradited two suspected Nigerian traffickers to Nigeria for prosecution by the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP). In November 2011, the Morals Brigade and Interpol joined forces with NAPTIP and raided four brothels in the capitol, Bamako, operated by Nigerian nationals. Four alleged traffickers were apprehended and transported to Nigeria on a Nigerian government-funded plane, along with approximately 104 potential female trafficking victims. In March 2012, gendarmes apprehended four individuals suspected of trafficking four Burkinabe boys for forced labor in Malian artisanal gold mines. As of March 2012, 12 trafficking-related prosecutions remained before the court. Due to the shutdown of the courts in the north, two cases of traditional slavery remained pending for a third year and four new civil lawsuits requesting the return of children allegedly held in traditional slavery were also put on hold. The government provided no anti-trafficking training to its officials. There was no evidence of government officials’ involvement in human trafficking, although general corruption is seen as pervasive through the security forces and the judiciary. The government did not report efforts to investigate, prosecute, or punish acts of government employees’ complicity in human trafficking.

Protection

The Government of Mali demonstrated increasing efforts to protect trafficking victims during the year. The government referred approximately 170 victims to NGOs and international organizations for assistance. The vast majority of the victims were initially identified by police, gendarmes, border control officers, or regional officials of the Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Children, and the Family. Border patrol officials stopped two suspected cross-border trafficking attempts, rescuing three Burkinabe children at the Mali-Guinea border, and five Malian girls at the Mali-Niger border. In 2011, the Ministry for Women, Children, and the Family appropriated the equivalent of $100,000 to support regional multipurpose welcome centers and family placement services for abused or trafficked children. Due to limited resources, the government did not directly offer shelter services, although its regional welcome centers received trafficking victims from law enforcement and other government officials and referred them to an NGO-operated shelter or other forms of care. The government paid for the services of doctors who cared for child trafficking victims in NGO-operated multipurpose facilities. Government officials periodically visited multipurpose shelters in the capital and brought large donations of milk, sugar, diapers, and other in-kind support to these organizations. The prime minister presented the equivalent of $600 to a shelter that cared for infants and children, some of whom may be trafficking victims. The government also provided the equivalent of $435 in direct aid to rescue and repatriate 19 Senegalese boys held in forced begging by a corrupt Malian marabout. The government did not report identifying or assisting any victims of traditional slavery. Despite increasing reports of large numbers of children forced to labor in artisanal gold mines within Mali, the government cited a lack of personnel and resources to adequately identify and rescue victims in this sector. There were no reports that trafficking victims were penalized for unlawful acts they committed as a result of being trafficked.

Prevention

The Government of Mali made modest efforts to prevent trafficking during the last year. In October 2011, the Ministry of Malians Abroad held a workshop in Bamako to educate approximately 5,000 Malians about the dangers of illegal migration to Europe, including the possibility of becoming a victim of human trafficking. In January and February 2012, the Ministry of Malians Abroad sponsored awareness raising debates on human trafficking in all eight of Mali’s regions. The chair of the National Coordinating Committee for the Fight against Trafficking in Persons and the head of the Malian National Unit for the Fight against Child Labor participated in international meetings in Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Senegal, and Guinea-Bissau to further coordinate regional trafficking prevention. As part of the Mali-Cote d’Ivoire bilateral accord, the Malian and Ivoirian first ladies met in October 2011 to intensify their efforts against human trafficking. In November 2011, the National Coordinating Committee, the National Unit for the Fight Against Child Labor, the Committee to Track Child Labor, and local NGOs gathered and agreed to regular meetings, a standardized intake process, and common forms and tools for use by police, ministry officials, regional directorates, and NGOs in addressing child victims of trafficking. The government took no visible measures to decrease the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor. The government did not provide anti-trafficking training to Malian troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

MALTA (Tier 2)

Malta is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Sex trafficking victims have originated in Romania and Russia; children from Malta are also found subjected to sex trafficking within the country. Malta is likely a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor, including in restaurants, private households, and in unskilled or semi-skilled labor. The approximately 4,500 irregular African migrants currently residing in Malta from African countries may be vulnerable to human trafficking in the country’s informal labor market. There were reports that Malta may be a transit country for African women subjected to sex trafficking in continental Europe.

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. The government progressed this year in its commitment to fight human trafficking, including through victim identification and the prosecution of trafficking offenders. The government created its first national anti-trafficking action plan and allocated funds to implement the plan. The government formally identified three victims of sex trafficking in June and began prosecuting the offenders. The government convicted a trafficking offender in a long-pending case, sentencing the offender to a significant prison term. The government also began collaborating with members of civil society to improve its anti-trafficking activities. Nevertheless, the Maltese government did not identify children in prostitution as sex trafficking victims or provide them with support available under Maltese anti-trafficking laws, but instead charged some them for loitering for prostitution and sometimes subjected them to punishment. Despite issuing the action plan in late 2011, the government has not yet finalized formal victim identification guidelines or conducted awareness-raising activities. The government sponsored an IOM-conducted training session in late March 2012 which was designed to review existing guidelines and provide a template for a new national referral mechanism.

Recommendations for Malta: Strengthen efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, particularly migrants, children, and women in prostitution, and foreign workers; develop and ensure implementation of formal victim identification guidelines; ensure that victims of trafficking are not punished for acts committed as a direct result of trafficking; ensure that potential trafficking victims are not deported prior to the investigation of their trafficking cases; increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders; continue to ensure that convicted trafficking offenders, including any officials convicted of complicity in trafficking, receive adequate punishment, including time in prison; fully enact national anti-trafficking action plan; strengthen partnerships with NGOs or religious organizations in Malta on anti-trafficking activities and encourage NGOs or religious organizations to cooperate with the government in identifying and providing services to potential victims; publicize the support hotline more broadly as an anti-trafficking hotline; and establish partnerships with international organizations and NGOs in relevant source countries, as appropriate, to ensure safe and voluntary repatriation for foreign victims.

Prosecution

The Government of Malta demonstrated clear progress in its law enforcement efforts to address human trafficking during the reporting period. Article 248A-E of Malta’s criminal code prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons 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 investigated three new trafficking cases during the year, a significant increase from the complete lack of cases investigated in the previous three years. The first case involved Romanian dancers allegedly coerced into prostitution. The two remaining cases involved labor trafficking. The government initiated the prosecution of four alleged offenders in the sex trafficking case; the other investigations remained ongoing. A court convicted one trafficking offender in a case pending from 2004, sentencing him to a term of ten years in prison and one additional year for a prior suspended sentence. Prosecution of a police officer charged in a directly related criminal case remained pending. Authorities also convicted a trafficking offender on non-trafficking charges related to producing child pornography and child prostitution, sentencing the offender to six years in prison. The government provided partial financial support for an anti-trafficking training session conducted in June 2011 for members of the police, the attorney general’s office, the social services agency, and other stakeholders. In March 2012, the government funded training for 30 government and NGO representatives on victim identification and referral. The government did not conduct any training programs in the previous reporting period. In January 2012, the government reorganized the police vice squad to create a specialized unit on trafficking and appointed an experienced police inspector as its head. Maltese authorities collaborated with Russian and Polish authorities on sex-trafficking investigations.

Protection

The Government of Malta improved its victim protection efforts during the reporting period, identifying victims of trafficking, and providing care to two of them. The government did not have a formal referral mechanism with which to identify victims of trafficking and ensure their care. The lack of formal procedures to guide law enforcement responders in identifying victims of trafficking in vulnerable groups – such as children in prostitution, foreign workers, women in prostitution, and irregular migrants – continued to impair the government’s ability to ensure that trafficking victims were recognized and treated in accordance with international law. Authorities sometimes filed criminal charges against children in prostitution without showing that they had attempted to identify any trafficking victims among them. The government publicly recognized the need to create victim identification guidelines and created a task force to do so. In 2011, the government identified three foreign female sex trafficking victims. The social services agency provided the victims with hotel accommodation and short-term psychological assistance during the brief period of time they were in Malta. The government funded the victims’ return to their home country at their request but did not coordinate with NGOs to ensure that their return was safe. The government continued to assign responsibility for the care of trafficking victims and provide funding to Appogg, a government social services agency with some private participation. Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding, Appogg was empowered to provide shelter, psychological care, and other services to any identified victims of trafficking. Appogg cared for one potential trafficking victim in its 16-bed mixed-use shelter. The government also provided long-term medical care and rehabilitation to another trafficking victim evacuated from Libya. During the previous year, Appogg cared for no victims of trafficking. The government entered into a contract with an international organization for anti-trafficking protection work. The government did not establish any partnerships with international NGOs or organizations in relevant source countries to ensure the safe and voluntary return of foreign victims. There were no reports of any trafficking victims availing themselves of the government’s 60-day “reflection period,” during which authorities would provide them shelter and services while they reflected on their options as provided under Maltese law. Victims who assisted police in prosecuting trafficking cases are entitled in theory to residence permits, but the government did not issue any such permits to victims during the year. The government took action to inspect both risky workplaces and strip clubs to detect illegal work and potential trafficking cases.

Prevention

The government made progress in advancing anti-trafficking prevention efforts. In October 2011, it publicized its first anti-trafficking national action plan. The action plan contemplates that the government train the judiciary, law enforcement, and social services on trafficking, create guidelines for victim identification, complete a study on victims’ needs, and conduct awareness raising activities among vulnerable groups, including irregular migrants. The government allocated significant funds toward the action plan – the equivalent of approximately $132,000 in 2011 and the equivalent of approximately $198,000 in 2012. In no prior year has the government assigned a line-item budget for trafficking. The government enhanced transparency by issuing quarterly reports about its anti-trafficking activities. The government’s anti-trafficking monitoring board brought together key actors from relevant agencies, such as the Office of the Prime Minister, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs, and the police commissioner. The government also began convening the stakeholder task force of working-level contacts responsible for anti-trafficking activities. The government also established relationships with certain civil society organizations to strengthen anti-trafficking efforts. NGOs were specifically included in the anti-trafficking action plan to identify trafficking victims and assist in their care. The government conducted no formal anti-trafficking awareness campaigns during the year, although government officials did discuss trafficking in persons openly and high-level officials took part in a top-rated television interview program on the subject of human trafficking in October 2011. The Appogg social services agency continued to run a social services hotline that could receive calls about human trafficking but did not receive any trafficking-related calls on the hotline during the reporting period. NGOs raised concerns that the hotline was not well-publicized as a mechanism through which individuals could report cases of trafficking. The government did not report taking any specific measures to reduce the participation of Maltese nationals in child sex tourism abroad.

MARSHALL ISLANDS (Tier 2)

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a destination country for women subjected to sex trafficking. Foreign women are reportedly forced into prostitution in bars frequented by crew members of Chinese and other foreign fishing vessels; some Chinese women were recruited with the promise of legitimate work, and after having paid large sums of money in recruitment fees, forced into prostitution in the Marshall Islands. Little data on human trafficking in the Marshall Islands are available, as the government has not made efforts to identify victims proactively, especially among vulnerable populations such as foreign and local women in prostitution and foreign men on fishing vessels in Marshallese waters. The government has not conducted any inquiries, studies, or surveys on human trafficking.

The Government of the Marshall Islands 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 obtained two convictions in the country’s first human trafficking cases, and it enacted legislation specifically prohibiting human trafficking. However, the government did not take steps to identify and protect victims of sex trafficking proactively or educate the public about human trafficking. The government devotes few resources to addressing human trafficking.

Recommendations for the Marshall Islands: Train law enforcement and judicial officials to implement new anti-trafficking laws; increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders and apply stringent sentences to convicted offenders; take steps to prosecute public officials when there is evidence they are complicit in trafficking activities or hindering ongoing trafficking prosecutions; work with NGOs and international organizations to provide protective services to victims; make efforts to study human trafficking in the country and identify victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution, and foreign workers, including foreign fishermen; adopt proactive procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as foreign workers and women in prostitution; develop and conduct anti-trafficking information and education campaigns; and accede to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

Prosecution

The Government of the Marshall Islands increased its efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses during the reporting period. In September 2011, the government enacted its first legislation specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons, within a package of revisions to the country’s criminal code. Article 251 of the revised code, which came into effect in October 2011, defines trafficking and prescribes penalties of up to 35 months’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine for the trafficking of adults and up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for the trafficking of children. The penalties for the trafficking of children are sufficiently stringent, but the penalties for trafficking adults are not, and neither penalty is commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. A specific section of Article 251 criminalizes the exploitation of people not legally entitled to work, including through confiscating such workers’ passports or travel documents, disclosing the circumstances of their employment to any person, or interfering with workers’ access to privacy and freedom of movement. Article 251 also includes updated provisions against promoting prostitution, replacing the Prostitution Act, which was used to prosecute two cases during the year. During the year, authorities initiated one new sex trafficking prosecution and concluded one which remained pending at the close of the previous year; both cases, prosecuted under the country’s now-repealed anti-prostitution law, involved Chinese traffickers who lured women to the RMI from China on the promise of legitimate employment and subsequently forced them into prostitution. The government obtained convictions in both cases – the first convictions for human trafficking offenses in the RMI – despite initial concerns that senior officials might attempt to interfere in the trials. The first convicted trafficker received an insufficient sentence of a one-year house arrest and a fine; she was permitted to leave the country to visit family after submitting a bond to the government and is currently serving her sentence in the RMI. The second offender was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment, the maximum allowed under the law, and a fine, but four years of the sentence were suspended; due to a lack of prison facilities for women, she is currently serving her sentence as house arrest. The government did not provide any training for law enforcement or other officials on the provisions of the new legislation or how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking. The government did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any public officials for trafficking or trafficking-related offenses during the reporting period. The government also did not provide training to law enforcement or court personnel on identifying trafficking victims and prosecuting trafficking offenders.

Protection

The Government of the Marshall Islands made few efforts to ensure trafficking victims’ access to protective services during the year. Law enforcement and social services personnel do not have systematic procedures to identify victims of trafficking proactively among high-risk populations with whom they come in contact; this could have resulted in some victims being punished for acts committed as a result of being trafficked. No specialized services were available to trafficking victims. Two foreign victims identified themselves to authorities with complaints of mistreatment. Both victims, in addition to two victims identified during the previous year, assisted authorities in the investigation and prosecution of their cases. The government does not have any mechanisms in place to ensure that trafficking victims receive access to legal, medical, or psychological services, and it did not make efforts to identify or reach out to international organizations or community groups to provide such assistance. The government did not provide financial assistance to repatriate victims to their home countries. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The government made negligible efforts to prevent trafficking during the year. It did not conduct any public campaigns or take other steps to raise public awareness about the dangers of trafficking. The government did not provide general human trafficking awareness training or guidelines to government employees, nor did it take steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The lack of explicit labor rights afforded to all workers in the Marshall Islands’ labor code increases the vulnerability to forced labor. The RMI is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

MAURITANIA (Tier 2 Watch List)

Mauritania is a source, transit, and destination country for women, men, and children subjected to conditions of forced labor and sex trafficking. Adults and children from traditional slave castes are subjected to slavery-related practices rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships. Reliable data on the total number of slaves do not exist, but according to the estimate of a respected Mauritanian NGO, slavery may affect up to 20 percent of the population in both rural and urban settings. Held for generations by slave-holding families, persons subjected to slavery are forced to work without pay as cattle herders and domestic servants. Some boys from within Mauritania and other West African countries who study at Koranic schools – referred to as talibes – are subsequently subjected to forced begging by corrupt religious teachers known as marabouts. Mauritanian girls as well as girls from Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, and other West African countries are forced into domestic servitude. Mauritanian women and girls are forced into prostitution in the country or transported to countries in the Middle East for the same purpose. Men from Middle Eastern countries use legally contracted “temporary marriages” as a means to sexually exploit young girls and women in Mauritania.

The Government of Mauritania does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but it is making efforts to do so. The government acknowledges that some forms of trafficking are a problem in the country and, during the year, its multi-stakeholder body met seven times to coordinate government and NGO activities related to child trafficking, child smuggling, and child labor. For the first time in its history, in November 2011, the government successfully prosecuted and punished a slave-master under its 2007 anti-slavery law. In partnership with local NGOs, the government rescued four child trafficking victims during the year. In early 2011, the parliament approved a constitutional provision criminalizing slavery and all forms of exploitation, equating them to crimes against humanity. In August, the government also enacted a new statute to strengthen the labor code governing the employment of domestic workers in private households. Despite these efforts, investigations and prosecutions remained minimal and protective services for victims were inadequate.

Recommendations for Mauritania: Increase efforts to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses, addressing all types of trafficking of adults as well as children, and to convict and punish offenders using the 2003 Law Against Trafficking in Persons and the 2007 Anti-Slavery Law; ensure that efforts to hold parents criminally liable for their involvement in sending their children away from home are accompanied by efforts to prosecute and convict the traffickers who force children into servitude; train law enforcement personnel to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as women in prostitution and those in traditional slavery, and refer them to protective services; consider amending Law 2007-048, which outlaws slavery, to allow civil society organizations to file complaints on behalf of slaves; provide support for and access to legal assistance for adult and child trafficking victims; increase efforts to coordinate with NGOs to arrange protective services for trafficking victims; with input from civil society representatives, develop a plan to provide economic resources – financial or property – to empower members of traditional slave castes to live independently; ensure that the Program to Eradicate the Effects of Slavery functions and provides financial compensation to previous slaves; and increase efforts to raise public awareness about trafficking, including traditional servitude.

Prosecution

The Government of Mauritania increased its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. All forms of trafficking, except hereditary slavery, are prohibited by the 2003 Law Against Trafficking in Persons, which prescribes penalties of five to 10 years’ imprisonment for violations. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for rape. Slavery, including hereditary slavery, is prohibited by Law 2007-048, which was enacted in September 2007. The law defines slavery and prescribes a sufficiently stringent penalty of five to 10 years’ imprisonment for violations. The law’s effectiveness remains impaired by its requirement that slaves file a legal complaint before prosecution can be pursued as well as by 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 criminal or civil complaint. The government provided no support for programs to assist victims in filing complaints on slavery. In April 2011, the government prosecuted two alleged slave-masters for enslaving a child. Although the court acquitted the defendants, the case set a precedent, as it was the first time the 2007 anti-slavery law was specifically invoked. In November 2011, the government successfully prosecuted six individuals for enslaving two children and convicted a slave-master, his siblings, and the mother of enslaved 11- and 14-year-old boys for slavery offenses under the 2007 anti-slavery law. The slave-master received a sentence of two years’ imprisonment, while his four siblings and the children’s mother were given two two-year suspended sentences and fines ranging from the equivalent of $1,724 to $345, respectively, for their complicity. The judge ordered the slave-master to pay the victims the equivalent of $3,725. In partnership with UNICEF, 213 law enforcement officials and NGOs participated in training that covered anti-trafficking. As a result of complaints filed by NGOs and parents, trafficking victims who had suffered violence and physical abuse were referred to the Special Police Brigade for Minors. NGOs reported that few of these cases resulted in prosecutions. Victims and their employers generally resolved grievances via informal agreements out of court. The government did not report any investigations or prosecutions of government officials for complicity in trafficking, although civil society representatives argue that judicial failure to pay due attention to slavery cases brought to their attention amounts to tacit complicity.

Protection

The Government of Mauritania demonstrated modest efforts to protect victims of human trafficking, including those exploited in traditional slavery. NGOs reported that the government removed four children from slavery in 2011 as well as 1,678 child domestic workers and childcare providers – some of whom may have been victims of trafficking – from exploitative households. Six former slave children were returned to their families and 182 of the 1,678 rescued child domestic workers were enrolled in school or training centers, with the remainder returned to their families. The Ministry of Social Affairs, Childhood, and the Family continued to operate two National Centers for the Protection and Social Integration of Children and, in September 2011, opened a third center in a major town in the interior. However, NGOs note that these centers are not fully functional due to insufficient funding, and it is not clear how many of the children they assisted were trafficking victims. During the reporting period, NGOs provided the majority of protection services to trafficking victims. The government continued to take no steps to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations. Illegal migrants were detained and placed in the Migrant Detention Center at Nouadhibou pending their expulsion from the country, and women suspected of prostitution were often jailed. The government also did not encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases, and no victims filed civil suits against trafficking offenders.

Prevention

The Government of Mauritania made limited efforts to raise awareness of trafficking during the year. In January 2012, the Commissariat for Human Rights, Humanitarian Action, and Relations with Civil Society, a government agency responsible for coordinating Mauritania’s international commitments with its domestic human rights policy, held a two-day workshop in cooperation with the UN to create a road map for Mauritania’s anti-trafficking efforts. The government broadcast a televised debate on slavery in April 2011 with representatives from local NGOs, government officials, and the country’s human rights ombudsman. In August 2011, Mauritania adopted a new labor statute to update and strengthen regulation of the employment of domestic workers by private households, including replacing provisions governing the treatment of household employees and reinforcing their rights vis-a-vis employers for proper treatment, pay, and work conditions. The TTTE (Traite, Traffic, et Travail des Enfants), the government’s multi-stakeholder body addressing trafficking in persons, organized a workshop in January 2012 to present a draft law to representative government agencies on the worst forms of child labor and strengthening child protection. Through its child protection centers, the government provided care to children vulnerable to forced labor and helped reintegrate approximately 2,000 children back into public school. The government’s the equivalent of $3.4 million Program to Eradicate the Effects of Slavery (PESE) did not function during the reporting period after the former human rights commissioner was arrested in 2010 and the commissariat’s financial director and the PESE coordinator were arrested on corruption charges in May 2011. The government made no effort to reduce the demand for forced labor or commercial sex acts.

MAURITIUS (Tier 1)

Mauritius is a source country for children and, to a much lesser extent, men and women subjected to sex trafficking primarily, but also to forced labor. Secondary school-age girls and, in fewer numbers, younger girls from all areas of the country, including from Rodrigues Island, are induced into prostitution, often by their peers, family members, or by businessmen offering other forms of employment. Girls are also sometimes sold into prostitution by a family member or forced into the sex trade in exchange for food and shelter. Taxi drivers provide transportation and introductions for both the girls and the clients. Girls and boys whose mothers engage in prostitution are reportedly vulnerable to being forced into prostitution at a young age. Some women addicted to drugs are forced into prostitution by their boyfriends, who act as their pimps. In recent years, small numbers of Mauritian adults have been identified as trafficking victims in the United Kingdom, Belgium, and Canada. Mauritius’s manufacturing and construction sectors employ approximately 30,000 foreign migrant workers from India, China, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Madagascar. Although there have been no confirmed cases to date of workers subjected to conditions of forced labor within Mauritius, some migrant workers have reported passport confiscation, underpayment of wages, substandard living conditions, and threats of deportation. In 2011, Cambodian men were identified as victims of forced labor on a Thai-flagged fishing boat in Mauritius’s territorial waters. Malagasy women reportedly transit Mauritius en route to employment as domestic workers in Lebanon, where some were subsequently subjected to conditions of forced labor.

The Government of Mauritius fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Mauritius sustained its efforts to identify, investigate, and prosecute human trafficking offenses during the reporting period. In 2011, the government investigated 14 cases of child trafficking and convicted six trafficking offenders, an increase over the previous year. The government augmented its funding for victim services, identified and cared for seven victims of child prostitution, and rescued and repatriated 24 Cambodian forced labor victims. The Mauritius police force maintained its anti-trafficking training programs for police officers and continued its awareness campaigns in schools and villages. The government’s efforts to communicate with and coordinate among all relevant ministries, however, remained lacking, leading to inconsistent provision of protective and investigative services to trafficking victims. Although the government sought to address proactively the exploitation of children in prostitution, it made no similar effort to investigate or address the forced prostitution of women.

Recommendations for Mauritius: Utilize anti-trafficking legislation to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders, including in cases involving adult women exploited in 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; establish procedures to guide officials in the proactive identification of victims of trafficking among at-risk populations; provide increased funding and support to all branches of the Minors Brigade in the investigation of human trafficking cases; provide anti-trafficking training to personnel of the police prosecution office to improve the timeliness in deciding whether to prosecute trafficking cases; and ensure that all cases of children in prostitution identified by the Ministry of Gender Equality, Child Development, and Family Welfare’s (MOGE) Child Development Unit (CDU) are referred to the police for investigation.

Prosecution

The Mauritian government augmented its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period, investigating an increased number of child trafficking cases and achieving six convictions, compared with none in 2010. The Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act of 2009 prohibits all forms of trafficking of 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; 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, such as rape.

From arrest to sentencing of offenders, cases of child trafficking typically took 18 to 24 months to resolve; a lack of anti-trafficking training among officials in the police prosecution office often created backlogs when determining whether to prosecute a trafficking case. The MOGE reported the government’s investigation of 14 cases of child trafficking in 2011. The Mauritian police reported its investigation of 12 child sex trafficking cases involving 15 suspects during the reporting period, including one case involving three suspects in early 2012, and its referral of 11 cases to the director of public prosecution for trial in 2011. The government secured six convictions in 2011 under Article 14-1 (Causing a child to be sexually abused) of the Child Protection Act and Articles 253 (Procuring prostitutes) and 90 (Brothel keeping) of the Criminal Code Amendment Act of 1998, with punishments ranging from small fines to 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labor; one convicted trafficking offender received a suspended sentence pending the completion of 250 hours of community service. In July 2011, the government convicted one man and one woman under Article 14-1(c) of the Child Protection Act for causing a child to engage in prostitution, sentencing them to 10 years’ imprisonment with hard labor. The Minors Brigade of the Mauritian police force maintained a database of all trafficking incidents involving minors. A local NGO provided training for 70 government officials on commercial sexual exploitation of children and the police training school provided training to 300 new police recruits on trafficking in persons. There was no evidence of government officials’ involvement in human trafficking during the reporting period.

Protection

The government sustained protection of child trafficking victims during the reporting period and dedicated significant financial resources to expanding existing assistance options. The Minors Brigade systematically referred all cases of identified children in prostitution to the CDU for assistance. CDU officials regularly referred abused and exploited children to organizations running multi-purpose shelters for care. The government also encouraged the placement of trafficking victims in foster homes for long-term shelter. Victims received medical and psychological assistance regardless of whether they resided in a shelter, in foster care, or with relatives. In 2011, the MOGE provided the equivalent of $89,965 to fund the operation of an NGO-run drop-in center for sexually abused children – a 246 percent increase over 2010 funding – that provided counseling to girls engaged in prostitution and advertised its services through a toll-free number and community outreach. The center counseled seven victims of child prostitution during the reporting period. In 2011, the MOGE broke ground on the construction of a residential center at Grande Riviere North West – at a cost equivalent to $804,195 – to provide care for victims of child prostitution; it is expected to be operational by June 2012.

In July 2011, Mauritian maritime authorities intercepted a Thai-flagged fishing vessel and rescued 24 Cambodian males, including one child, who claimed to be working in conditions of forced labor. Although the government did not designate the 24 Cambodians as victims of human trafficking or offer them shelter, it facilitated IOM’s interviewing of the victims and the Mauritius Immigration Office transported the victims to and provided them assistance at the airport when they were repatriated to Cambodia in the November 2011. Although the government continued to operate a 24-hour hotline for reporting cases of sexual abuse, it received no calls regarding cases of child prostitution or other forms of trafficking in 2011. The government continued to employ a formal protocol on the provision of assistance to all victims of sexual abuse; minors victimized in prostitution were accompanied to the hospital by a child welfare officer, and police worked in conjunction with this officer to obtain statements from the children. Medical treatment and psychological support were readily available at public clinics and NGO-run centers in Mauritius. The government encouraged victims’ assistance in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes, and ensured that identified victims were not incarcerated inappropriately, 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. Communication and coordination among the relevant government ministries, however, was insufficient and hindered effective national partnerships. The police Family Protection Unit and the Minors Brigade continued their widespread public awareness campaigns on child abuse and child rights at schools and community centers that included information on the dangers and consequences of engaging in prostitution. The campaign targeted at-risk regions in the east and south coasts of the island and reached 38,979 persons in 2011, including parents, primary school children, high school students, and civil society members. Members of police units also discussed these topics on three radio programs. Law enforcement and child welfare officials conducted surveillance at bus stops, nightclubs, gaming houses, and other places frequented by children to identify and interact with students who were at a high risk of sex trafficking. In order to prevent potential child trafficking between mainland Mauritius and Rodrigues Island, the Passport and Immigration Office required children under the age of 18 to carry a travel document issued by their local police station when traveling between the two islands.

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. Inspections conducted by the Ministry of Labor’s 30 labor officers in 2011 yielded no cases of forced labor or exploitative child labor. The Ministry of Labor’s Special Migrant Unit was responsible for vetting contracts, inspecting workplaces, investigating claims of poor working conditions, and following up on worker complaints; it did not provide specific information regarding corrective actions, such as the issuing of notices or fines, taken as a result of such inspections during the reporting period. The unit employed interpreters to facilitate communication between the ministry and foreign workers of every nationality employed in Mauritius. The Occupational Safety and Health (Employees’ Lodging Accommodation) Regulations of 2011 establish a minimum standard for lodging and other living conditions provided to migrant workers. In 2011, the government established a lodging accommodation committee to examine companies’ applications for lodging permits, as well as a lodging accommodation unit – comprised of officials from the Ministries of Labor and Health and the Fire Services Department – to enforce the regulations. Corrective actions taken by these entities during the reporting period, if any, are unknown. Several Mauritian statutes, including the anti-trafficking act, the Child Protection Act, and the Employment Rights Act of 2008 make provision for criminal punishment for local recruitment agencies who engage in recruitment of workers using fraudulent or deceptive offers; the government did not investigate or shut down any local or foreign recruitment agencies suspected of fraudulent operations in 2011.

MEXICO (Tier 2)

Mexico is a large source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Groups considered most vulnerable to human trafficking in Mexico include women, children, indigenous persons, persons with mental and physical disablilitys, and undocumented migrants. Mexican women and children are exploited in sex trafficking within Mexico and the United States, lured by fraudulent employment opportunities or deceptive offers of romantic relationships. Mexican men, women, and children also are subjected to conditions of forced labor in agriculture, domestic service, construction, and street begging, in both the United States and Mexico. The vast majority of foreign victims in forced labor and sexual servitude in Mexico are from Central and South America, particularly Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. However, trafficking victims from the Caribbean, Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa have also been identified in Mexico, some en route to the United States. There were continued reports from civil society organizations that organized criminal groups coerced children and migrants into prostitution and to work as hit men, lookouts, and drug mules. Central American men, women, and children, especially Guatemalans, are subjected to forced labor in southern Mexico, particularly in agriculture, domestic servitude, street vending, and forced begging. Child sex tourism persisted in Mexico, especially in tourist areas such as Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta, and Cancun, and in northern border cities like Tijuana and Ciudad Juarez. Many child sex tourists are from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, though some are Mexican citizens. In some parts of the country, threats of violence from criminal organizations impede the ability of the government and civil society to combat trafficking effectively.

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. During the reporting period, Mexican authorities passed constitutional reforms on trafficking, strengthened training and awareness efforts, and significantly increased trafficking convictions at both the federal and state level, convicting at least 14 trafficking offenders. Given the magnitude of Mexico’s trafficking problem, however, the number of human trafficking investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences remained low, and government funding for victim services remained inadequate. Victim identification and interagency coordination remained uneven. While Mexican officials recognize human trafficking as a serious problem, NGOs and government representatives report that some government officials tolerate and are sometimes complicit in trafficking, undermining anti-trafficking efforts.

Recommendations for Mexico: Continue to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish trafficking offenders at both the federal and state level, including for forced labor crimes; increase efforts to hold public officials who are complicit in trafficking accountable through prosecution and conviction; increase funding for specialized victim services and shelters and ensure that victims of all forms of trafficking receive adequate protection; continue to implement the National Program to Prevent and Combat Trafficking in Persons and consider increasing dedicated funding for the program; consider amending the current law to strengthen the legal framework; increase collaboration with NGOs to provide victim care; enhance formal procedures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as people in prostitution and undocumented migrants; improve coordination mechanisms between federal, state, and local authorities; increase the ability of regional and state coalitions and specialized units to more effectively respond to human trafficking cases through increased funding and staff dedicated to state-level efforts; improve data collection efforts; ensure effective protection for witnesses and victims testifying against traffickers; and increase training on human trafficking and victim identification and treatment for law enforcement officers, immigration officials, labor inspectors, prosecutors, judges, social workers, and other government employees.

Prosecution

The Government of Mexico sustained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period; convictions of sex trafficking offenders increased, though the number of convictions remained low in comparison with the number of cases investigated. There were no reported convictions for forced labor. Mexico’s 2007 federal anti-trafficking law prohibits all forms of human trafficking, prescribing penalties of six to 18 years’ imprisonment. The law includes a clause that can render consent of victims over the age of 18 relevant, even if threats, abduction or fraud were used, making the prosecution of traffickers more difficult when the victim may have originally consented to an activity. In April 2011, the government enacted reforms raising trafficking to the level of a serious crime, allowing for preventive detention of suspected traffickers, as well as establishing enhanced victim identity protections.

In Mexico’s federal system, state governments investigate and prosecute trafficking cases that occur wholly within the country, except in cases that involve organized crime, transnational trafficking, government officials, and cases occurring on federally-administered territory. All 32 Mexican states have passed some anti-trafficking penal code reforms, though these reforms varied in content and effectiveness, and not all of the reforms outlawed all forms of trafficking. Eighteen states have specific state trafficking laws, and three have achieved convictions under these laws. Inconsistencies among state penal codes and laws on human trafficking caused confusion among law enforcement and problems among inter-state prosecutions.

The federal police maintained a small unit to investigate human trafficking and smuggling crimes, and some states also had law enforcement units that investigated trafficking crimes, specifically sex trafficking. The Attorney General’s Special Prosecutor’s Office for Violence Against Women and Trafficking in Persons (FEVIMTRA) handles federal trafficking cases involving three or fewer suspects, while the Attorney General’s Office of the Special Prosecutor for Organized Crime (SIEDO) investigates cases with more than three suspects. Law enforcement coordination between different government entities and data collection on human trafficking efforts were weak. Officials and NGOs reported that some investigations and prosecutions were delayed while authorities determined which prosecutors had jurisdiction, to the detriment of both the criminal case and the victim. Resources and staff for these dedicated units remained limited. Mexican authorities at the federal and state levels convicted a total of 14 sex traffickers during the year. There were no reported convictions for forced labor. In 2011 FEVIMTRA investigated 67 trafficking cases: it did not report how many prosecutions were initiated, and did not convict or sentence any traffickers. In 2011, SIEDO achieved its first convictions for trafficking; four sex trafficking offenders received sentences ranging from 14.5 to 16.5 years’ imprisonment, while other traffickers involved in the crime were convicted in the United States. The Mexico City Attorney General’s Office convicted four trafficking offenders, whose sentences ranged from six to 12 years’ imprisonment. Several states also prosecuted human trafficking cases; authorities in Puebla reported three convictions, while Chiapas reported two and Yucatan reported one, with sentences ranging between 10and 14 years’ imprisonment. This represents an increase from the previous year, when FEVIMTRA convicted one trafficker and Mexico City prosecutors achieved four convictions.

NGOs, members of the government, and other observers continued to report that trafficking-related corruption among public officials, especially local law enforcement, judicial, and immigration officials, was a significant concern. Some officials reportedly accepted or extorted bribes, including in the form of sexual services, falsified victims’ identity documents, discouraged trafficking victims from reporting their crimes, solicited sex from trafficking victims, or failed to report child prostitution and other human trafficking activity in commercial sex locations. Puebla prosecutors reported investigating four officials for suspected trafficking crimes, but there were no reported prosecutions or convictions of public officials for trafficking complicity in 2011.

NGOs noted that some public officials in Mexico did not adequately distinguish between alien smuggling, prostitution, and human trafficking offenses and that many officials are not familiar with trafficking laws. They also reported that some officials threatened to prosecute trafficking victims as accomplices in order to force them to denounce their traffickers. Some federal government agencies provided their own employees with anti-trafficking training and cross-trained officials in other agencies, often in partnership with NGOs, international organizations, and foreign governments, and FEVIMTRA reported training hundreds of officials on trafficking in 2011. The Mexican federal government continued to partner with the U.S. government on cross-border trafficking investigations.

Protection

The Mexican government carried out limited efforts to identify and assist trafficking victims in 2011, with the majority of services available only to female sex trafficking victims. The government continued to work in cooperation with NGOs, international organizations, and foreign governments to provide victim care, relying on these partners to operate or fund the bulk of specialized assistance and services for trafficking victims. Mexican immigration agents continued to implement a system for identifying potential trafficking victims and referring these victims to care providers, such as NGOs. Some NGOs, however, were critical of the government’s ability to identify accurately trafficking victims, and most states lacked formal procedures for identifying trafficking victims among other vulnerable populations, such as migrant workers and people in prostitution. There were no comprehensive statistics available on the number of trafficking victims identified during the year; FEVIMTRA reported identifying 89 victims in 2011, while the National Institute for Migration (INM) reported identifying 29, and authorities in Baja, California and Mexico City identified 13 and 29 victims respectively. This represents a decrease from 2010, when authorities reported identifying at least 259 victims. INM and the National Human Rights Commission (CNDH) both had referral mechanisms for trafficking victims, though officials’ ability to refer Mexican victims to care services varied in different parts of the country.

In September 2011, the president established a new agency, Provictima, to assist victims of all crimes, and shifted funding and facilities from other government agencies, including FEVIMTRA, to support it. Provictima provides medical and psychological support, as well as information and assistance during legal processes, through 14 help centers across the country, but does not provide shelter. Some interlocutors noted that the lack of clarity regarding the division of responsibilities between FEVIMTRA and Provictima, as well as the lack of organizational structure within the new agency, could negatively impact the quality of services provided to trafficking victims. The lack of Provictima centers in high-crime areas such as cities along the northern border hindered provision of services.

FEVIMTRA continued to operate a high-security shelter in Mexico City dedicated to female victims of sex trafficking and other violence including kidnapping, as well as women whose family members had disappeared or been murdered. Victims were not allowed to leave the shelter unaccompanied; according to the government, this was due to safety concerns. Some NGOs reported that the shelter housed victims for up to three months. This shelter coordinated medical, psychological, and legal services for 97 individuals during the year: it is unclear how many of these were trafficking victims. Mexico’s social welfare agency maintained general shelters for children under the age of 13 who are victims of violence, though statistics were not maintained on how many trafficking victims were housed in these shelters during the reporting period. The government continued to support a national network of shelters and emergency attention centers for female victims of violence, but few of these shelters offered specialized care for trafficking victims. Some victims received services at shelters that were operated and funded by NGOs, international organizations, and religious groups, and officials referred some victims to these shelters during the reporting period. According to NGOs, however, victim services in some regions of the country remained inadequate in light of the significant number of trafficking victims. Furthermore, some shelters for migrants and domestic abuse victims were reportedly reluctant to house trafficking victims due to fear of retribution from organized crime. Authorities arrested and opened an ongoing investigation of the director of a domestic violence shelter in Ciudad Juarez in October 2011 that had received some state funding. Authorities charged the director with human trafficking, illegal detention, and sexual abuse of women and girls reportedly held against their will in the shelter. The government did not provide adequate shelter services for male victims. Mexican consulates in the United States identified and assisted an unknown number of victims during the year, and authorities provided limited services to some repatriated Mexican trafficking victims.

Although authorities encouraged victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, many victims in Mexico were afraid to identify themselves or seek legal remedies due to their fears of retribution from trafficking offenders or lack of trust in authorities. Some civil society groups reported that local authorities threatened to arrest victims as accomplices if they refused to testify against their traffickers. Traditionally, prosecutions of human trafficking offenders in Mexico have relied almost entirely on victim or witness testimony. Trafficking victims and witnesses continued to have little incentive to participate in the legal process, based on the limited numbers of trafficking convictions and sentences and on the fact that no trafficking victim was awarded compensation for damages. Furthermore, many victims feared for their safety, since the witness protection program in Mexico remained nascent and did not provide sufficient protection. Foreign trafficking victims could receive refugee status, and an INM directive required immigration officials to offer foreign victims the option to stay in the country, independent of any decision to testify against their traffickers. However, NGOs and international organizations reported these legal alternatives to deportation were often not provided in practice; they noted that some officials handed identified victims over to INM for deportation due to their lack of legal status or that victims were not identified as such and housed in INM detention centers and subsequently deported. Many foreign trafficking victims opted to return to their countries of origin after giving testimony, in some cases due to a lack of adequate shelter or information about their rights. INM reported that 11 victims that they identified in 2011 received legal residency in Mexico, while 13 were repatriated and five cases were ongoing. However, it was unclear how many of the 98 foreign victims identified by INM and FEVIMTRA in 2010 – whose application for residency remained pending in early 2011 – were allowed to remain in the country.

Prevention

Federal and state governments sustained trafficking prevention efforts last year. An inter-agency commission on trafficking coordinated federal government efforts. The commission was responsible for implementing the National Program to Prevent and Combat Trafficking; the government reduced the budget for the National Program to Prevent and Combat Trafficking to the equivalent of $313,000 from the equivalent of $4.2 million for budgetary reasons. NGOs and international organizations criticized authorities for the reduction and lamented the lack of information on the program’s implementation. The government engaged in a variety of awareness-raising activities using radio and television commercials, as well as other multimedia efforts. Some states established or maintained state-level anti-trafficking committees. CNDH also maintained regional partnerships with NGO and government actors in 13 states, and reported training over 20,000 individuals on trafficking in 2011, including officials, tourism operators, and transportation companies. Authorities raised awareness of child sex tourism and reported investigating some cases; however, the government reported no prosecutions or convictions of child sex tourists, and some NGOs alleged that some corrupt local officials allowed commercial sexual exploitation of children to occur. There were no reported efforts to reduce the demand for forced labor or to punish labor recruiters or brokers complicit in human trafficking.

MICRONESIA, FEDERATED STATES OF (Tier 2 Watch List)

The Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) is a source and, to a limited extent, a destination country for women subjected to sex trafficking. Some reports suggest FSM women are recruited with promises of well-paying jobs in the United States and its territories and are subsequently forced into prostitution or labor upon arrival. The most vulnerable groups of persons at risk for sex trafficking in FSM include foreign migrant workers and FSM women and girls. Pohnpei State Police have reported the prostitution of FSM and foreign women and children to crew members on fishing vessels in FSM, or in its territorial waters. Some Micronesians allegedly transport women and girls to the fishing vessels and are involved in their prostitution in restaurants and clubs frequented by fishermen. Other vulnerable groups include FSM nationals who travel to the United States. In addition, the Transnational Crime Unit (TCU) has received and investigated labor trafficking complaints from foreign nationals on fishing boats for lack of payment and inhuman treatment. Data on the prevalence of human trafficking in the FSM is not available, as the government does not collect and maintain crime data, nor has it conducted any 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. Because the assessment of these significant efforts is based in part on the government’s commitment of future actions, FSM is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. During the current reporting year, the FSM acceded to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol, and the FSM congress passed new legislation that revised the country’s criminal code to include anti-trafficking provisions. However, the Government of the FSM did not prosecute any trafficking cases, made no efforts to identify or assist victims of trafficking, and failed to make substantive efforts to prevent trafficking or increase the general public’s awareness of trafficking in 2011.

Recommendations for the Federated States of Micronesia: Publicly recognize and condemn all acts of trafficking; make robust efforts to criminally investigate, prosecute, and punish all trafficking offenders; develop and implement procedures for the proactive identification of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign workers in the FSM, fishermen on fishing vessels, women and girls in prostitution, and FSM nationals migrating to the United States for work; establish measures to ensure that victims of trafficking are not threatened or otherwise punished for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked; train officials on human trafficking and how to identify and assist trafficking victims; support and facilitate comprehensive and visible anti-trafficking awareness campaigns directed at employers of foreign workers and clients of the sex trade; make efforts to notify foreign workers of their rights, protections, and ways they can report abuse; establish a registration system for overseas employment recruiters as agreed to in the Compact of Free Association as Amended (2004); initiate monitoring mechanisms for recruitment agencies both domestically and abroad; investigate and prosecute recruiters who may be engaged in fraudulent recruitment acts that lead to trafficking in persons; and develop a national plan of action for anti-trafficking matters.

Prosecution

The Government of the Federated States of Micronesia demonstrated modest progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. During the reporting period, the FSM congress drafted and passed anti-trafficking legislation that prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons, and acceded to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. The newly enacted legislation prescribes penalties of 15 to 30 years’ imprisonment and fines not exceeding $50,000, which are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. While there were limited investigations of entertainment sites suspected of involvement in sex trafficking, authorities did not report any prosecutions, or convictions for trafficking crimes. The government did not cooperate with any international organizations or NGOs to offer anti-trafficking training and support to government officials during the reporting period. During the year, there were no investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of government employees complicit in human trafficking.

Protection

The FSM government’s efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims during the reporting period remained inadequate. FSM has never identified a trafficking victim within the country and does not have a proactive system in place to identify victims of trafficking systematically among vulnerable groups, such as foreign workers and women and children in prostitution. In addition, the FSM government made no efforts to identify, protect, or refer trafficking victims to services during the reporting period; no NGOs provided services to any trafficking victims. The government reported that any identified victims would have access to the very limited social services and legal assistance provided to victims of any crime. Although victims have the legal right to bring personal injury civil suits against traffickers, because no victims have ever been identified, no suits have ever been filed. FSM officials did not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign trafficking victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

Prevention

The FSM government did not substantially expand efforts to prevent trafficking or increase the general public’s awareness of trafficking during the reporting year. Two members of the FSM congress made several outreach presentations over the course of 10 days within Yap, Chuuk, and various outer islands in order to promulgate awareness of trafficking and immigration issues. However, the government did not conduct or support any other informational or educational campaigns solely about human trafficking and the prevention thereof. Also, FSM officials did not develop or implement any monitoring or enforcement measures to govern the activities of labor recruiters and brokers. Government entities did not develop or disseminate campaigns aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex acts and child prostitution, nor were specific populations targeted. The FSM government did not draft a national action plan against trafficking in persons and sufficient resources were not designated to this regard.

MOLDOVA (Tier 2)

Moldova is a source and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for women and girls subjected to sex trafficking, and for men, women, and children subjected to conditions of forced labor. Moldovan women are subjected to forced prostitution in Turkey, Russia, Cyprus, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bulgaria, Kosovo, Israel, Indonesia, Malaysia, Lebanon, Italy, Greece, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Tajikistan, and Ukraine. Men, women, and children are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, UAE, Israel, Greece, and the United States in the construction, agriculture, and service sectors. Men, women, and children are also subjected to conditions of forced labor and sexual exploitation in Slovenia, Spain, the Netherlands, and Ukraine. Children from Moldova are subjected to conditions of forced begging in some neighboring countries. Victims of forced prostitution found in Chisinau include Ukrainian women and Moldovan girls and women from rural areas. Moldovan men and women are subjected to forced labor in Moldova. Moldovan victims of trafficking have been subjected to re-trafficking after their return to Moldova from foreign countries. Victims from Moldova are often recruited by individuals they trust. In the past several years, there have been reported incidents of men from the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Greece, Norway, and possibly Turkey traveling to Moldova for the purpose of child 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. The government has made progress over the past year in addressing the protection of victims and the prevention of trafficking. Specifically, it increased the participation of NGOs in law enforcement investigations and made special provisions to protect child trafficking victims. The government also increased funding to its primary shelter and offered services to victims with physical and mental disabilities. The government expanded its national referral system (NRS), a program lauded by NGOs and viewed as a model for other countries in the region. In addition, the government raised awareness through high-level attention to the issue and numerous public campaigns. Law enforcement started to investigate and prosecute forced labor crimes. However, the government did not show sufficient progress in addressing widespread complicity in trafficking by law enforcement and other public officials. Reports of widespread corruption in the police and judicial system persisted and no officials were convicted for trafficking-related offenses. Furthermore, despite increased prosecutions in comparison to the previous year, the number of convictions declined and the proportion of convicted offenders receiving prison sentences declined as well. The government provided inadequate witness protections for some victims waiting to testify in court.

Recommendations for Moldova: Demonstrate vigorous efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict government officials complicit in trafficking, and seek criminal prosecution and conviction of any guilty officials; ensure that convicted trafficking offenders serve time in prison; increase investigation, prosecution, and conviction of labor trafficking offenses; train investigators, prosecutors, and judges in applying human trafficking laws to forced labor cases; increase the number of prosecutors assigned to the anti-trafficking section of the Prosecutor General’s Office; further improve child trafficking victim protection by continuing to encourage law enforcement officials, in both urban and rural areas, to consult with NGO experts during the victim interview process; increase the safety of victims prior to testifying by increasing security at shelters, decreasing delays in court hearings, increasing prosecutions of witness tampering, and relocating witnesses when warranted; improve victims’ awareness of and ability to obtain restitution from trafficking offenders; clarify the rules and procedure for the provision of residence permits to trafficking victims; reinstitute inspections of regional national referral commissions and revitalize inactive ones; continue to improve cooperation between local anti-trafficking civil society groups and local law enforcement; continue efforts to provide anti-trafficking training to law enforcement and other government officials, including members of the judiciary; and use measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex, such as conducting awareness activities that target potential consumers of prostitution.

Prosecution

The Government of Moldova demonstrated inadequate anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Of particular concern, it demonstrated inadequate efforts to prosecute, convict, or criminally punish government employees complicit in human trafficking. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking through articles 165 and 206 of its criminal code, which prescribe penalties of five to 20 years’ imprisonment. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. An NGO reported that Moldovan prosecutors frequently reclassified cases of labor trafficking from articles 165 and 206 to article 168, which also criminalizes forced labor. Article 168, however, prescribes lighter penalties of a maximum of only three years’ imprisonment and the possibility of probation or dismissal of the case if the parties achieve reconciliation. Regional investigators, also lacking familiarity with trafficking laws, frequently applied the more lenient forced labor law to labor trafficking cases. The government reported 135 trafficking investigations in 2011, down from 161 reported in 2010. Authorities reported prosecuting 79 suspected trafficking offenders in 2011, an increase from 66 suspected offenders in 2010. However, the government convicted only 22 trafficking offenders in 2011, reflecting a significant decrease from the 47 trafficking offenders convicted in 2010. The government reported that approximately one-quarter of its prosecutions in late 2011 and early 2012 were labor trafficking cases, a notable increase from 2010 when the government had no labor trafficking prosecutions or convictions. Moreover, the government convicted one individual for forced labor in July 2011, although the court suspended the convicted offender’s sentence. In 2011, the Moldovan government indicted five suspects involved in a child sex tourism ring uncovered in 2010.

Despite promises to establish a national trafficking statistics database, the government has made little progress in doing so. While Moldovan law provides explicit sentencing guidelines for traffickers, which are consistent with international standards, the judiciary often applies sentences that do not correspond with the severity of the crime, and traffickers have regularly escaped with fines or suspended prison terms. In 2011, 10 out of 22 convicted offenders were prescribed prison sentences, which ranged from four years and eight months to 11 years’ imprisonment. The remaining 12 convicted offenders received suspended sentences or paid a fine and did not serve time in prison. Multiple individuals convicted of trafficking in previous years were acquitted on appeal in 2011, at times without the court issuing a written opinion explaining its decision. The government continued to assign five prosecutors to focus solely on investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases. The government provided anti-trafficking training in the police academy curriculum that is mandatory for police officers and investigators; it also held two anti-trafficking trainings for more than 50 judges and prosecutors. During 2011, law enforcement officials worked with counterparts in Greece, Spain, Russia, Poland, Romania, and Ukraine to investigate transnational cases of human trafficking.

Government complicity in human trafficking remained a significant concern and no government officials were convicted for trafficking-related complicity in 2011. The government is currently prosecuting two high-level government officials for trafficking-related complicity, an increase from last year when there were no prosecutions against public officials. However, the Government of Moldova has provided very limited information on other cases against public officials moving from investigation to trial. Some anti-trafficking experts noted concerns of complicity in human trafficking cases within the judicial branch. For example, NGOs have reported judges giving reduced sentences in exchange for monetary bribes, as well as judges supporting certain political parties in exchange for political protection. Due to low resources for victim protection and endemic delays in court hearings, victims often receive threats or bribes to change their stories. The OSCE also reported that trafficking offenders had threatened some victims’ lawyers.

Protection

Moldova made modest progress in improving its efforts to ensure that victims of trafficking received access to protections during the reporting period. The government and IOM, which worked together in implementing the NRS, identified 98 victims in 2011, compared to 139 in 2010. This represents a three-fold reduction in the number of victims identified by IOM and the government since 2006. The NRS expanded to four more regions in 2011 and now covers all 32 regions in the country. Each region has a multidisciplinary team composed of representatives from the police, NGOs, and care providers that is tasked with identifying and assisting trafficking victims and persons vulnerable to trafficking. In 2011, the government allocated the equivalent of $67,000 to a primary shelter operated jointly by the government and IOM for repatriated and internal adult and child victims of trafficking, compared with the equivalent of $48,000 in 2010. The shelter provided temporary shelter, legal and medical assistance, psychological counseling, and vocational training to 67 trafficking victims in 2011. Victims are not detained in the shelter; they are permitted to freely enter and leave. The national government provided the equivalent of an additional $154,947 to four regional rehabilitation centers that provided trafficking victims with long-term assistance. The government provided cash benefits to 65 victims in 2011, up from 63 in 2010. Increasingly, local governments also provided assistance to trafficking victims and people vulnerable to trafficking through limited funding, specialized personnel, and rent-free facilities and utilities given to NGOs and shelters. For instance, the city of Balti allocated the equivalent of over $45,155 to a crisis center that provides care to a variety of people in need, including victims of trafficking. The Department for Victim and Witness Protection reported that it accommodated three trafficking victims in its program.

The government encouraged all victims to assist law enforcement with trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and did not make assistance contingent upon their cooperation; however, a draft amendment to the Law on Foreigners would require foreign victims in Moldova to participate in the criminal case as a precondition to receiving a residence permit. Although general mistrust of the police remained high, 131 victims cooperated with law enforcement in 2011, compared with 169 victims in 2010. Moldovan law enforcement demonstrated efforts to protect and assist child victims of trafficking by more consistently involving NGO service providers early in the investigative process and adopting victim-centered interview techniques. For example, a NGO said that its “children’s room” was used by Moldovan police to interview 24 child trafficking victims in the presence of an NGO psychologist. According to IOM, 11 trafficking victims with physical and mental disabilities were assisted in 2011, and the government provided to care facilities with all of the necessary equipment for victims with special needs. The government also provided training for border guards to identify potential victims, though border guards reportedly identified 29 potential victims of trafficking in 2011, down from 83 victims in 2010.

Prevention

The government increased its efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. The majority of outreach and trafficking awareness efforts by the government were conducted in close coordination with NGOs at the national and regional levels. The government also raised public awareness of trafficking through visible high-level attention and media interaction on the issue. NRS commissions set up at the regional level usually met on a regular basis to deal with trafficking issues, including organizing public awareness events. The OSCE praised this system’s structure for its role in preventing trafficking and assisting identified victims. The Ministry of Labor, Social Protection, and Family trained 185 members of these regional commissions in 2011; however, after inspecting 16 regions in 2010, the ministry conducted no inspections in 2011. Moldovan government officials shared best practices with a number of regional neighbors through bilateral meetings, conferences, and trainings. In 2011, the Center for Combating Trafficking in Persons organized 30 workshops in high schools, vocational schools, and universities to raise awareness about trafficking. The Ministry of Education facilitated an anti-trafficking conference attended by 300 students, a roundtable on prevention for 70 vocational schools, and three different classes on trafficking, collectively attended by 750 students. Local governments advertised the existence of victim hotlines. The government’s national action plan concluded in 2011, but the National Committee for Combating Trafficking in Persons is currently analyzing its results and developing a new plan that will launch in spring 2012. The government did not undertake steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. In March 2012, the government announced it would implement a code of conduct for businesses in its tourist industry, compelling them to notify travelers of Moldova’s laws against the sexual exploitation of children.

MONGOLIA (Tier 2)

Mongolia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Mongolian men, women, and children are found in forced labor and forced prostitution in China, Malaysia, and Singapore. Mongolian women and girls are found in forced prostitution in Macau, Hong Kong, and South Korea. China was the primary source of repatriated Mongolian victims. Mongolian men and women are found in conditions of forced labor in Turkey, Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, and Poland. Mongolia is used as a transit point en route to other destinations in Northeast Asia for forced prostitution and forced labor originating in China and Russia. There were reports of a significant increase in the number of forced labor and forced prostitution cases involving Mongolian labor migrants in Turkey. Singapore has become a destination for Mongolian sex trafficking victims as well as a base of operations for recruiters of illegal Filipino domestic labor to Mongolia. Mongolian women continue to be subjected to involuntary servitude upon engaging in brokered marriages, often to South Korean men. Women and girls are subjected to forced prostitution in massage parlors, and girls remained vulnerable to forced prostitution in hotels, bars, karaoke clubs, and at mining sites in Mongolia. Young girls are sent to foreign countries to serve as contortionists in circuses, where they may become victims of forced labor. Some Mongolian children are forced to beg or labor in the informal construction, mining, and industrial sectors. There is continued evidence of Chinese laborers in the mining and construction industries being expelled from Mongolia for visa violations without being compensated for their work. Approximately 2,000 North Koreans are employed in Mongolia as contract laborers, more than quadruple the number reported the previous year. This increase occurred despite well-documented concerns that North Korean workers overseas are not free to leave their employment and receive only a fraction of the money paid to the North Korean government for their work.

Mongolian authorities reported that human trafficking cases were more prevalent during the reporting period and recruitment for forced prostitution has become more sophisticated to avoid detection by police. Whereas in the past trafficking perpetrators would place fraudulent ads in newspapers or on television, traffickers are increasingly using social networking sites and online advertisements. Anecdotal reports continue to indicate that South Korean and Japanese tourists engage in child sex tourism in Mongolia.

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. In January 2012, the government passed the Law on Combating Human Trafficking, which provides provisions for coordination among agencies on human trafficking and clearly prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons under a single, comprehensive law. To date, the government has not recognized forced labor as a problem and no forced labor cases have ever been prosecuted, despite the fact that Mongolia repatriated forced labor victims in 2010 and 2011. The Criminal Police Department and the State Investigation Department stated that, even when forced labor cases were reported, they were not referred for further criminal investigation. In October 2011, the government passed the National Program for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor. However, the government did not dedicate funding towards enacting the initiatives listed in the program, as it hopes to contract with NGOs for specific services and pool funding across agencies to achieve program goals. Funding remained a serious constraint to implementing both the trafficking prevention council and the National Program for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor. The entire government budget for crime victim protection services was the equivalent of $16,000 in 2011. Government corruption remained endemic, and turnover among prosecutors, judges, and law enforcement officers resulted in a new cadre of officials that have little to no experience or training in combating human trafficking. The government conducted a number of training programs for police officers on human trafficking issues and investigations.

Recommendations for Mongolia: Establish formal procedures to guide government officials in victim identification and referral of victims to protective services; cease increases in the employment of North Korean laborers; train law enforcement officials, judges, and members of the government on trafficking and how to effectively implement the new 2012 law; allocate government funds or seek international funding to support activities of the Trafficking Prevention Council and the National Program for the Elimination of Child Labor; cease prosecuting trafficking victims for crimes committed as a result of being trafficked; undertake victim identification efforts among vulnerable populations, such as foreign migrants and children; and commence serious efforts to investigate and prosecute labor trafficking cases, including those involving foreign workers.

Prosecution

The Government of Mongolia made significant anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. In January 2012, the Mongolian government passed the Law on Combating Human Trafficking, a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that more rigorously defines trafficking to include forced prostitution and prostitution of minors and mandates coordination among agencies involved in anti-trafficking efforts. Mongolia prohibits all forms of human trafficking through Article 113 of its criminal code, which, with the passage of the 2012 Law on Combating Human Trafficking, now clearly covers forced prostitution and prostitution of minors in addition to all other forms of trafficking. Article 115 of the criminal code previously covered prostitution of minors; these provisions were incorporated into Article 113 to aid law enforcement authorities in investigating and prosecuting trafficking-related crimes through a single, comprehensive anti-trafficking law. The law prescribes penalties that are sufficiently stringent – with up to 15 years’ imprisonment – and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious offenses, such as rape. During the reporting period, the government investigated 15 forced prostitution cases and obtained nine convictions. The government tried and convicted one case of forced prostitution of a minor. The government conducted no forced labor investigations and obtained no forced labor convictions. However, 2011 saw the first conviction of a trafficker of young female contortionists for circus performances. Article 113 was not used to convict the perpetrator, who was sentenced to 5.5 years’ imprisonment under a torture and grievous bodily harm statute. Although the case was not prosecuted under forced labor statutes, anti-trafficking organizations in the country viewed the case as a positive development. Previously, traffickers of young contortionists had not been prosecuted in Mongolia. Corruption among law enforcement personnel remains a significant problem in the country and a barrier to anti-trafficking progress. The government did not investigate or take disciplinary actions against law enforcement officers involved in trafficking-related corruption. Despite having an extremely limited budget, the Criminal Police Department’s Organized Crime Division held several training programs on trafficking investigations for local police forces. The Ulaanbaatar City mayor’s office also provided the equivalent of approximately $1,600 to train 30 prosecutors on China-Mongolia trafficking issues in September 2011.

Protection

The Government of Mongolia made progress in its efforts to protect victims of trafficking during the year. The government did not employ systematic procedures for the proactive identification of trafficking victims, although authorities identified 52 victims of forced prostitution during the reporting period, and an additional 21 victims were repatriated from other countries. Authorities did not formally identify any victims of forced labor. In one case, the Mongolian Embassy in China repatriated a mentally disabled minor to Mongolia, as authorities believed he had been sent to China for organ harvesting. Because the Mongolian government had no funding for the repatriation of victims, its embassy in Beijing paid repatriation expenses out of its own budget. Donor-funded NGOs provided many protective services for trafficking victims, both male and female, and the Ministry for Social Welfare and Labor funded a shelter dedicated to assisting female trafficking victims. During the reporting period, the shelter assisted 37 trafficking victims. The government funded several other shelters aimed primarily at assisting domestic violence victims; an unknown number of trafficking victims utilized those shelters during the reporting period. In January 2011, a government resolution decreed that the state budget would be used to assist and compensate Mongolian victims of trafficking abroad. However, the government has not assisted any victims using this provision to date, and there were no discernible mechanisms to provide restitution to repatriated Mongolian trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government did not provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to repatriation in cases where repatriation would constitute a significant risk of hardship, torture, or death. Victims continued to be punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked, including children in prostitution being arrested, detained, and prosecuted. Foreign trafficking victims in Mongolia were also fined for violating visa terms, as their traffickers were not identified by the government in a timely manner. Intimidation of trafficking victims and witnesses remained a major problem.

Prevention

The Government of Mongolia made almost no effort to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The government did not conduct any public education campaigns to combat trafficking, although it did host a number of training programs for law enforcement officials. The government introduced a National Plan of Action on Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Trafficking of Women and Children in 2006, which has been implemented to a limited extent. The new law mandates the creation of the trafficking prevention council to streamline government efforts to prevent human trafficking. At of the end of the reporting period, the trafficking prevention council had not convened. The law also established fines and administrative penalties for trafficking-related advertisements on television and the Internet. The government convened an interagency council to coordinate the government’s anti-trafficking efforts, which met four times during 2011, and it convened an NGO working group on trafficking. The government did not take any measures during the reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or to address the problem of child sex tourism in the country.

MONTENEGRO (Tier 2)

Montenegro is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Trafficking victims are mostly women and girls from Eastern Europe and other Balkan countries, including Serbia and Kosovo, who migrate or are smuggled through the country en route to Western Europe and are subjected to sex trafficking in Montenegro. Children, many of whom are Roma, are coerced by their family members into street begging in Montenegro; many of these children come from Kosovo, Serbia, or from within Montenegro. There have been reports that Roma girls from Montenegro, who are often forced into domestic servitude, have been sold into servile marriages in Roma communities in Switzerland and Germany. De facto stateless individuals were vulnerable to trafficking in persons. While there were no reports of labor trafficking during the year, in prior years, there were reports that mainly foreign men and boys were subjected to forced labor in Montenegro’s growing construction industry. Montenegrin women and girls are vulnerable to sex trafficking in other Balkan countries, including Serbia. NGOs reported that Roma teenagers in Montenegro were engaged in prostitution, some of which was allegedly sex trafficking.

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. The government’s efforts to address trafficking in persons have been undermined by its officials’ position that trafficking did not exist as a prevalent phenomenon in Montenegro, but rather in isolated cases. At the same time, the government identified human trafficking as an important policy issue and its anti-trafficking prevention activities were robust and diverse. The government proactively identified only one trafficking victim during the year. This number is low, despite the government having conducted large-scale operations to suppress child begging and received NGO referrals. The government did not initiate the prosecution of any trafficking offenders during the year. NGOs reported that the government did not take protective action on occasions when potential victims were brought to the centers for social work. Nevertheless, the governments did provide care to more trafficking victims than during the previous year. The court achieved convictions in a high-profile sex trafficking case, including convicting, among others, three police officers for complicity in alleged human trafficking. The government took some efforts to address forced begging, including conducting a study of children involved in begging to assess their demographics and vulnerability.

Recommendations for Montenegro: Improve efforts to proactively identify more potential victims among vulnerable groups, such as Roma children involved in prostitution, 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 outreach to Roma communities to ensure prevention of trafficking and effective victim identification; ensure that all state institutions responsible for the care of trafficking victims implement their memorandum of understanding defined roles; enhance training and engagement of the centers for social work on trafficking victim assessment and care; vigorously investigate and aggressively prosecute sex trafficking and labor trafficking crimes, enhance judicial understanding of trafficking offenses, and convict and sentence trafficking offenders, including public officials complicit in trafficking; continue to ensure that the rights of trafficking victims are respected while victims are given care in shelters, including the right to free movement; adopt a public stance toward trafficking in persons that acknowledges trafficking in persons in the country; improve protections for potential victim witnesses to empower more victims to testify against their traffickers; and improve specific protections for child victims of trafficking, ensuring that the best interests of potential trafficking victims guide their care.

Prosecution

The Government of Montenegro made no reported progress during the reporting period in prosecuting new cases of trafficking offenses, although it achieved convictions in cases from previous years. Montenegro prohibits sex and labor trafficking through Article 444 of its criminal code, which prescribes penalties of up to 10 years’ imprisonment for violations and 12 years’ imprisonment for offenses involving aggravated circumstances; these penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. During the reporting period, the government investigated only three trafficking cases. It failed to initiate new prosecutions of any trafficking offenders, in contrast to the 22 alleged trafficking offenders prosecuted in 2010. However, the government convicted 14 trafficking offenders during the year from earlier cases. In one of these cases, eight defendants were convicted of sexual exploitation and organized crime. In 2010, 12 trafficking offenders were convicted and received sentences of between 12 months’ and six years’ imprisonment. While the trial court initially acquitted the defendants of trafficking charges and convicted them on charges related to forced organized prostitution and criminal association, the appellate court reinstated the trafficking charges and returned the case to the trial court. Among those convicted were three police officers who had transported young women, including trafficking victims, for the purpose of prostitution and served as security guards for the strip clubs. They were convicted for failing to report the prostitution although they were aware of it. Despite conducting investigations of the organized begging of children, authorities did not prosecute any trafficking cases for forced begging. Authorities did, however, charge 11 adults with organizing the begging by children. The government did not provide any specialized anti-trafficking training for prosecutors, police officers, judges, or other investigators this year, although anti-trafficking training remained a mandatory subject for all new police trainees. Montenegrin authorities collaborated with their Serbian law enforcement counterparts to investigate trafficking offenses.

Protection

The government displayed mixed trafficking victim protection efforts during the reporting period and needs to improve the implementation of victim identification procedures. During the year, the government proactively identified one victim of trafficking in Montenegro and a foreign government identified and repatriated two victims to Montenegro. The Montenegrin government provided care to a greater number of trafficking victims than in the prior reporting period. The national coordinator fully funded an NGO shelter, providing the equivalent of $52,224 for a range of services, including housing, medical, and psychological care to trafficking victims. During the previous year, the government provided the equivalent of $152,000. The drop in funding was attributed to a change in the funding structure, which resulted in the operational costs of the shelter being covered directly under the budget of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The government also provided the equivalent of eight dollars per day for each victim who received care at the shelter. The government-funded shelter was a closed shelter. The government takes the position that, for their protection, victims may leave only if accompanied by chaperones. The government cared for three trafficking victims during the reporting period, an increase from the one victim who received care at the shelter the previous year. Two victims who were initially identified by a foreign government received care from Montenegrin authorities, who collaborated with NGOs in their repatriation and provided a medical evaluation, shelter, and psychological assistance. NGOs observed that government officials still lacked skill in proactive victim identification. Despite conducting large-scale police operations to suppress child begging, the government again failed to identify any trafficking victims among child beggars discovered during these operations. In addition, NGOs claimed that, when they brought potential Roma child trafficking victims to the attention of the centers for social work, the government-run centers did not take any action. NGOs alleged that some of the government actors obligated to care for victims, such as the health services, did not provide expedient care. Montenegro’s Law on Foreigners allows victims of trafficking to receive a temporary residence permit in the country lasting between three months and one year, although no victims received such a permit during the reporting period. NGOs reported that trafficking victims were not prosecuted for unlawful acts compelled as a direct result of their trafficking. Under a government program, authorities encouraged victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases by providing free legal aid and enabling NGOs to attend all interviews with the police. All victims gave statements to the police. Nevertheless, in practice few victims of trafficking participated in the prosecution of their traffickers, and victims often changed their statements about alleged trafficking offenders out of fear of reprisal. A high-profile civil case was resolved during the year with the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by a former government official against a trafficking victim.

Prevention

The Government of Montenegro improved its anti-trafficking prevention activities during the year. In May 2011, authorities conducted a survey of children begging in the street to determine their demographics and vulnerability to trafficking. The government also began a campaign to dissuade people from giving money to children engaged in begging entitled “Let’s Teach Them Something New.” The government launched an anti-trafficking campaign in all tourist centers, distributing flyers, posters, and other advertising materials. The government provided an NGO the equivalent of more than $7,000 for a human trafficking prevention project, “Stop Human Trafficking.” In coordination with UNICEF, the government organized anti-trafficking training programs for 60 primary and secondary school teachers in November and December 2011. The government also produced an anti-trafficking text book and leaflets and continued to maintain a hotline and an anti-trafficking website. The government marked European Anti-Trafficking day in October by organizing several events for students in all primary and secondary schools in the country. The government broadcast an anti-trafficking prevention spot to promote the anti-trafficking hotline on television. Authorities investigated nightclubs suspected of providing illicit sexual services but, aside from attempts to address sex trafficking, did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government collaborated with hotels on a code of conduct for protection of children from sexual exploitation in travel and tourism to prevent child sex tourism. The government collaborated with NGOs to develop a new anti-trafficking action plan for 2012-18. The Montenegrin government provided anti-trafficking training to its military personnel prior to their deployment abroad for international peacekeeping missions.

MOROCCO (Tier 2)

Morocco is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Some Moroccan girls as young as six or seven years old from rural areas are recruited to work as child maids in cities and often experience conditions of forced labor, such as nonpayment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse, and restrictions on movement; however, due to greater sensitization of the issue, the incidence of child maids has decreased dramatically from 1999 to 2010. Some Moroccan boys experience forced labor as apprentices in the artisan and construction industries and in mechanic shops. Men, women, and an increasing number of children primarily from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia enter Morocco voluntarily but illegally with the assistance of smugglers; once in Morocco, some of the women and older girls are coerced into prostitution or, less frequently, forced into domestic service. Some female migrants in Oujda, particularly Nigerians, were forced into prostitution once they reached Europe. Sometimes, female migrants are transported to other cities, including Casablanca, and then sold into prostitution networks. There is some sex tourism by foreigners in major cities in Morocco.

Moroccan men, women, and children are exploited for forced labor and sex trafficking in European and Middle Eastern countries. 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.

The Government of Morocco does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making efforts to do so. The government continued offering protective services to Moroccan children and adults who may have been trafficked, though it failed to make overall progress in convicting and adequately punishing trafficking offenders, proactively identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable groups, or ensuring that adult male foreign trafficking victims are not subject to arrest and deportation. Moreover, the government did not address the forced prostitution and forced labor of undocumented migrants in Morocco, and continues to conflate migrant smuggling with human trafficking. Despite repeated recommendations in this Report, the Moroccan government has not developed an effective system to collect and report anti-trafficking law enforcement data, which continues to prevent the government from providing trafficking-related investigation, prosecution, conviction, and sentence information in a timely manner.

Recommendations for Morocco: Draft and enact comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation that prohibits all forms of trafficking and increases prescribed penalties for forced labor; enact draft legislation addressing domestic workers, and fully implement Decree no. 1-11-164 concerning the protection of crime victims and witnesses; significantly increase investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of trafficking offenders, including convictions with more stringent penalties, for all forms of trafficking; 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; initiate law enforcement activities with destination countries to prosecute those who force Moroccans into labor and prostitution overseas; improve child protection units by providing more human resources, improving management, and collaborating with various ministries; continue to train judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement on the characteristics of all forms of human trafficking; 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; and conduct public awareness campaigns, addressing all forms of trafficking and encompassing child sex tourism.

Prosecution

The Government of Morocco made little progress in its law enforcement response to human trafficking during the reporting period. Morocco lacks a single comprehensive anti-trafficking law. Morocco’s penal code prohibits forced child labor through Article 467, and forced prostitution and child prostitution through articles 497-499; Article 10 of Morocco’s labor code prohibits forced labor of a worker. 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 do not appear to be sufficiently stringent; penalties for child labor under Article 467 range from one to three years’ imprisonment. The government’s most recent statistics from 2011 are not specific to trafficking, but rather cover a wide array of offenses that may include human trafficking. The government reported there were 38 cases of exploitation of children to beg, 10 cases of exploitation of children related to drugs, and 55 cases of facilitating the prostitution of a minor. It is unclear, however, how many of these cases constituted human trafficking offenses. The government did not report sentencing information. Despite repeated recommendations, the government has not developed an effective system to collect and report anti-trafficking law enforcement data, which continues to prevent the government from providing trafficking investigation, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing information in a timely manner.

The government continued to provide and fund a variety of trafficking training to law enforcement and judicial officials in 2011. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) provided anti-trafficking training for 1,000 judges, 170 court clerks, and 88 social assistants. In October 2011, MOJ and UNHCR organized a training session in Tangier for judges, police officers, gendarmerie and civil society members on national and international law related to human trafficking. The Ministry of Interior also reported that territorial police, border security officials, Royal Gendarmerie, and the Auxiliary Forces received training programs that include modules on human trafficking.

Protection

The Moroccan government demonstrated minimal efforts to protect victims of trafficking over the past year. It did not develop or employ systematic procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking, and it continues to show weak efforts in identifying victims of all forms of trafficking, though it continued to refer victims to NGO-provided services. The government is also limited in its ability to provide sufficient staffing and funding resources to address human trafficking. The Ministry of Employment and Professional Development (MOEPT) employed 463 labor inspectors for the entire country, and 45 of the total 51 labor inspectorates in the country are trained and designated to child labor cases. The inspectors were hindered by minimal staffing and did not have the legal authority to enter homes, preventing them from investigating and identifying instances of child labor or child trafficking in domestic service situations. The government continued to make some progress in protecting child victims of violence found within the country, some of whom may be victims of trafficking, through its 75 “children reception centers” and three child safety centers for girls; however, it is unknown how many of the child victims receiving services at these centers were trafficking victims. The government made minimal efforts to protect Moroccan victims overseas, though the government reportedly provided assistance with travel documents and transportation home in 2011. Undocumented foreign trafficking victims were often treated as undocumented migrants, and reports from NGOs state that some victims have been arrested, detained, and deported. Undocumented migrants who arrived from Algeria were usually deported back to the Algerian border, reportedly often without food or water, and were susceptible to being robbed, assaulted, and sexually abused by criminal gangs that operate in the area. The government did not provide or fund protective services for foreign trafficking victims.

The government did not offer legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims of trafficking to countries where they might face retribution or hardship. The government did not report if it encouraged victims to participate in investigations against traffickers. Sub-Saharan African women who were forced into prostitution in Morocco were unlikely to report crimes for fear of being treated as undocumented migrants and deported, though in reality, undocumented migrant women were rarely deported. Undocumented migrants have access to basic medical care at public health institutions.

Prevention

The Moroccan government made few efforts to prevent human trafficking over the last year. The government did not undertake campaigns to raise public awareness about human trafficking. Most child labor prevention programs focus on providing financial support and education to targeted families to ensure that children stay in school. In 2011, the MOEPT allocated the equivalent of $187,500 to child labor prevention programs conducted by Moroccan NGOs focusing on awareness-raising and rescuing children. Two government-operated child protection units, an emergency telephone hotline, a mobile assistance program, and “women and children” focal points continued to assist vulnerable women and children in major cities in Morocco. The government reported in 2011 that labor inspectors visited 383 enterprises on potential incidents of child labor, filed 1,234 reports, issued 63 formal notices of warning, and imposed nine fines. Through these visits, inspectors identified and addressed cases of 119 child workers under the age of 15 years old and 397 child workers between the ages of 15 to 18; the government provided no information on possible assistance to the children. An inter-ministerial committee on coordination for trafficking issues comprised of representatives from multiple ministries did not meet formally during the reporting period. Authorities made no discernible efforts to raise public awareness of child prostitution and sex trafficking of women and did not take any reported measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The Moroccan government provided training on the issue of sex trafficking to Moroccan soldiers prior to their deployment abroad on UN peacekeeping missions. The Moroccan government has not implemented the legislative and policy recommendations enshrined in the IOM and UNHCR report on transnational human trafficking. Morocco ratified the 2000 UN TIP Protocol in April 2011.

MOZAMBIQUE (Tier 2)

Mozambique is a source, transit, and, to a lesser extent, destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The use of forced child labor is common in agriculture, including on tobacco farms, and in commercial activities in rural areas of the country, often with the complicity of family members. Women and girls from rural areas, lured to cities in Mozambique or South Africa with promises of employment or education, are exploited in domestic servitude and the sex trade. Young Mozambican men and boys are subjected to forced labor on farms and in mines in South Africa, where they often labor for months without pay and under coercive conditions before being turned over to police for deportation as illegal migrants. Some Mozambican adults are subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution in Portugal. Some women and girls from Zimbabwe and Malawi who voluntarily migrate to Mozambique are subsequently subjected to sex trafficking or domestic servitude. Mozambican or South African trafficking networks are typically informal; larger Chinese and Nigerian trafficking syndicates are reportedly also active in Mozambique. In addition, South Asian alien smugglers who move undocumented South Asian migrants throughout Africa reportedly also transport trafficking victims through Mozambique. Recent reports indicate that South Asian citizens and companies in Mozambique pay the initial travel costs of illegal Bangladeshi and Pakistani migrants, whom they later maintain in bonded labor.

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. In 2011, the government continued to increase its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts, including more than doubling its number of trafficking prosecutions – totaling 11 new cases – and achieving seven convictions, some with significant prison sentences, under the 2008 anti-trafficking act; this data was reported as part of a new effort to track trafficking case data by province. The government instituted a new two-week course at its law enforcement training center for new officers. Despite these advances, the government made minimal efforts to protect trafficking victims, raise public awareness, and prevent the use of forced child labor.

Recommendations for Mozambique: Take concrete steps to finalize and issue necessary regulations to implement the protection and prevention provisions of the 2008 anti-trafficking law; develop a formal system to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations and refer victims to care; continue to build the capacity of the police anti-trafficking unit, the labor inspectorate, and the Women and Children’s Victim Assistance Units to investigate trafficking cases and provide short-term protection to victims; continue training for law enforcement officers in victim identification, particularly at border points; finalize the national action plan to coordinate the government’s efforts, with resources allocated to its implementation; and investigate reports of official complicity in human trafficking and vigorously prosecute, where appropriate, those implicated in trafficking offenses.

Prosecution

The government demonstrated significant progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The Law on Preventing and Combating the Trafficking of People, enacted in 2008, prohibits recruiting or facilitating the exploitation of a person for purposes of prostitution, forced labor, slavery, or involuntary debt servitude. Article 10 prescribes penalties of 16 to 20 years’ imprisonment for violations, penalties which are sufficiently stringent and exceed those for other serious crimes, such as rape. In 2011, the government compiled data on its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts for the first time. It reported seven investigations carried over from 2010, 15 new investigations, 11 prosecutions, six convictions, one acquittal, and 16 ongoing investigations carried into 2012, although it did not provide details on the facts in these cases. The court in Manica province convicted and sentenced two trafficking offenders to two years’ imprisonment for the attempted trafficking of a child; further details regarding this case are unknown. In addition, at least one convicted trafficking offender in Sofala province received a sentence of eight years’ imprisonment, while a conviction in Gaza province resulted in a sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment. The remaining three cases that resulted in convictions carried sentences of less than two years’ imprisonment. Police investigative techniques, training, capacity, and forensic abilities are known to be very weak, particularly outside of the capital. Local experts report that these shortcomings led to the acquittal of three alleged offenders in Manica province.

The Interior Ministry’s investigative police maintained a seven-member unit that specialized in addressing violence against women and children nationwide, including handling trafficking cases, although the government did not report on the unit’s specific anti-trafficking efforts in the last year. In late November and early December 2011, the government instituted a two-week anti-trafficking course at the police training center for all newly recruited police officers, border guards, customs and immigration agents, and rapid intervention police (riot police). The course, taken by 1,500 recruits in 2011, provided instruction on recognizing trafficking cases, protecting victims, the rights of children, domestic abuse, and child custody law. Separately, 120 customs, immigration, and border police agents received NGO-funded training on identifying trafficking cases.

During the reporting period, there were reported cases of government officials facilitating trafficking and trafficking-related crimes. Trafficking offenders commonly bribed law enforcement officials to allow them to move trafficking victims within the country and across national borders into South Africa and Swaziland, sometimes without passports. In January 2012, police in Beira announced the arrest of two Sofala Provincial Civil Identification Services officials for illegally providing Mozambican identity cards to four foreign citizens. Sources also reported an ongoing investigation at the Ressano Garcia border post, attempting to root out official corruption and possible complicity in illegal acts, which may or may not include trafficking.

Protection

The Government of Mozambique demonstrated little progress in its efforts to protect victims. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) began drafting regulations for the non-criminal portions of the anti-trafficking law that would address assistance to victims. In parallel to this effort, in March 2012, the parliament approved a draft law on the protection of victims and witnesses of all crimes, including trafficking victims and those who cooperate with law enforcement in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases. The government provided very limited funding to NGOs or international organizations undertaking anti-trafficking work in Mozambique. Government officials continued to rely on NGOs to provide shelter, counseling, food, and rehabilitation to victims. An NGO managed the country’s only permanent shelter for child trafficking victims, while the Ministry for Women and Social Action funded the staff’s salaries and the district of Moamba provided the land for the shelter. The government lacked formalized procedures for identifying potential victims of trafficking and referring them to organizations providing protective services. The Interior Ministry’s Women and Children’s Victim Assistance Unit continued to operate facilities in over 200 police stations throughout the country that provided temporary shelter for an unknown number of trafficking victims and referred victims to NGOs offering services. In 2011, the Institute for Judicial Support, a government body that provides legal advice to the impoverished, began to offer legal assistance to abused women and children, including an unknown number of trafficking victims. The government offered very limited reintegration assistance to repatriated trafficking victims. The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders. The government did not provide temporary residency status or legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they might face hardship or retribution and it continued to deport foreign trafficking victims without screening them for possible victimization. Although NGO contacts reported no instances of trafficking victims having been detained, fined, or jailed for unlawful acts committed as a result of having been trafficked, the lack of formal identification procedures impaired the government’s ability to ensure that no trafficking victims received such penalties.

Prevention

The Government of Mozambique demonstrated decreased trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period and lacks a single national body to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts across ministries. A national action plan to combat human trafficking exists as a subsection of the government’s current five-year anti-crime plan, and the MOJ began drafting an independent plan specific to trafficking. The Ministry of Labor employed labor inspectors, but they were too few in number, lacked resources such as transportation, and had generally not received adequate training regarding human trafficking. Consequently, the government did not adequately monitor for child trafficking and labor violations, especially on farms in rural areas, and judges frequently dismissed cases because inspectors did not properly prepare evidence. The number of public awareness campaigns decreased from the previous year, when the government was more active in distributing information on human trafficking to students, outgoing travelers, community leaders, and businesses. The government did not make an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the year. In July and August 2011, the Caucus of Women Parliamentarians led delegations of public officials and civil society leaders to the cities of Quelimane and Nampula to conduct two days of training for local officials and to raise awareness among the public of the legal remedies provided by anti-trafficking, spousal protection, and family laws.



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