III. Country Narratives - Countries A through G
Afghanistan is a country of origin and transit for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. Internal trafficking of women and children for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor also occurs. Afghanistan was under two different governments during this period: the Taliban and the Afghan Interim Authority (AIA). Until December 22, 2001, when the AIA took over there was no functioning central government. During most of 2001, the Taliban, a Pashtun-dominated fundamentalist Islamic movement, controlled approximately ninety percent of the country. Taliban forces were responsible for disappearances of women and children, many of whom were trafficked to Pakistan and the Gulf States. Under the Taliban, women and girls were subjected to rape, kidnapping, and forced marriage. Since the AIA took over, there are reports that Afghan women and children have been trafficked to Pakistan and the Middle East for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. There have been numerous reports that impoverished Afghan families have sold their children for purposes of forced sexual exploitation, marriage, and labor.
Neither the Taliban nor the AIA have complied with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, nor did either make significant efforts to do so. The AIA was only in power for a short portion of the reporting period and a severe lack of resources and minimal governmental infrastructure have hindered the AIA from taking steps to prosecute traffickers or protect victims. During its tenure, the Taliban not only failed to take steps to combat trafficking, but also participated in trafficking. The Taliban's militia and religious police were responsible for internal security in areas under Taliban control. Justice was administered in the absence of formal legal and law enforcement institutions. With no functioning nationwide judicial system, many municipal and provincial authorities relied on some interpretation of Islamic law and traditional tribal codes of justice. After the Taliban was ousted from power, the Bonn Agreement called for the establishment of a Judicial Commission to rebuild the domestic justice system in accordance with Islamic principles, international standards, the rule of law, and Afghan legal traditions. Presently there is no protection provided to victims of trafficking. In terms of prevention, the AIA has allowed girls access to school.
Albania is a source and transit country primarily for women and girls trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation to Italy and Greece, and on to other EU countries, such as Belgium, France, and the Netherlands. Victims transiting Albania come mostly from Romania and Moldova, with smaller numbers from Bulgaria and Ukraine. Young boys are also reportedly trafficked from Albania to work as beggars in Italy and Greece.
The Government of Albania does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Penal Code prohibits trafficking. Despite a severe lack of resources, the Government arrested 96 people for trafficking crimes from December 2000 to October 2001, and the frequency of arrests continues to rise. Of these, there were at least 12 convictions, with 9 receiving minimal prison sentences. Prosecutors blame the low conviction rate on lack of evidence. With the exception of three people convicted in abstentia for trafficking in persons in February 2002, all convictions to date have been for reduced charges such as promoting prostitution. The Anti-Trafficking Sector and the Organized Crime Sector investigate trafficking. However, police corruption hinders anti-trafficking efforts. The Office of Internal Control investigates police participation, but according to a study by international organizations, 10 percent of foreign victims trafficked through Albania reported that police were directly involved. Few police or government officials are prosecuted. Regionally, the government cooperates with other governments through an international organization and exchanged information on 15 trafficking cases in 2001. With respect to protection, the police no longer treat victims as criminals and instead, routinely refer victims to NGO and international organization shelters. With assistance from NGOs and local businesses, the chiefs of police in Fier and Durres established within their prefectures temporary shelters for witness protection. The Government does not, however, have a comprehensive witness protection program. There are no government-sponsored prevention efforts, but the Anti-Trafficking Sector is preparing a study of trafficking patterns and methods, which may aid in future prevention strategies.
Angola is a country of origin for persons trafficked primarily to South Africa and Mozambique. Much of Angola's trafficking problem has been related to its civil war, which ended with an April 2002 cease fire. During the civil war children were abducted by the UNITA rebel movement for use in forced labor and in military service. UNITA trafficked women for forced labor and sexual exploitation.
The Government of Angola does not yet fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination trafficking; however, the government is making significant efforts to do so, despite severely limited resources. There are no specific laws that prohibit trafficking in persons although under related laws the penalty for trafficking is appropriately severe. The government has not actively investigated or prosecuted traffickers. In terms of protection, the government, in cooperation with religious authorities, recently facilitated the release of some abducted children. Under the cease-fire agreement, the government is responsible for the permanent resettlement of abducted Angolan citizens and for locating family members. The government operates orphanages throughout the country for abducted children. The government has launched a campaign to register and identify about five million minors. The government appropriately treats trafficked persons as victims. They are entitled to emergency residence status for humanitarian reasons, and receive some services from a handful of government programs. There are no trafficking prevention or public education measures in place.
Armenia is a source country for women and girls trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Russia, Greece and Germany for sexual exploitation.
The Government of Armenia does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. There is no law against trafficking, but there are laws against falsification or seizure of passports and personal identification documents, pandering, and rape. The Protocol on Trafficking in Persons has been signed and once ratified it would become operative law in Armenia. Given its limited resources, the government investigates only a small number of trafficking cases. Only three cases of trafficking were initiated in 2001. Courts are lenient on traffickers and cases do not usually result in punishment of the exploiters. There is no specialized training for law enforcement on trafficking. Law enforcement makes efforts to cooperate with foreign counterparts. Some individual law enforcement officers may be corrupt, but corruption is not institutionalized or organized. In terms of protection, there are few resources available or devoted to services for victims. The government has not initiated any prevention or public awareness campaigns because of a lack of funds. However, the government has expressed a willingness to work with NGOs and international organizations to develop a prevention program. The government has shown signs that it recognizes a growing problem of trafficking but has not developed a national plan nor taken significant steps to counter trafficking.
Austria is primarily a transit country but is also a destination country for women trafficked into prostitution. Women are trafficked predominantly from Bulgaria, Romania, and countries from the former Soviet Union, such as Ukraine. To a lesser extent, women are also trafficked from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. Women transiting through Austria are destined for other European Union countries, especially Italy. Most trafficking victims are in Vienna.
The Government of Austria fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. Austria has several laws that prohibit trafficking. The government investigates all cases filed, and prosecutes these cases rigorously. The Austrian courts have handed down many convictions. The Interior Ministry, which was being reorganized at the time of this report, works at national and international levels to raise awareness about trafficking. Under the Interior Ministry's reorganization plan, the newly-created Federal Bureau for Criminal Affairs is expected to have a division dedicated solely to combating trafficking and alien smuggling. The Austrian government has established contacts with authorities in countries of origin to facilitate the prosecution of suspected traffickers and to disband trafficking rings. To protect victims, the government funds NGOs to provide services to victims and conduct studies of the problem. With the financial support of the Austrian government, the primary NGO in Austria serving trafficking victims provides comprehensive services. Victims outside of Vienna also have access to local government-funded services. The Austrian government provides temporary resident status for trafficked victims who are prepared to testify in court as witnesses or who intend to raise civil law claims against perpetrators. Officials may also issue a delay in deportation proceedings pending completion of a court case. Each province has at least one women's shelter, funded by local authorities, to assist trafficked victims. Regarding prevention, the Austrian government has worked actively with international organizations and regional organizations to eliminate trafficking. It has also published an informative brochure to law enforcement officials to sensitize them to the issue of trafficking.
Bahrain is a destination country for trafficked persons. Trafficking victims who come to Bahrain in search of work are put into situations of coerced labor and sometimes slave-like conditions, including extreme working conditions, and physical or sexual abuse. Many low-skilled foreign workers have their passports withheld, contracts altered, and suffer partial or short or long-term non-payment of salaries. Victims come primarily from India, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka to work as domestic servants and in the construction industry.
The Government of Bahrain does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The Penal Code does not specifically prohibit trafficking in persons. However it does outlaw forced labor, forced prostitution, and withholding of salary. Domestics may also seek legal redress for forced labor under the Penal Code, although the process can be very long. Government officials do not directly condone or facilitate trafficking, but the practice of issuing work visas without verifiable employment brings many workers to Bahrain under circumstances where they can be exploited. The government monitors its borders adequately. Regarding protection of victims, the government has made only minimal efforts, although trafficked victims are not usually detained or jailed. The government does not provide assistance to victims, and considers the victim's embassy responsible for assistance. In cases where mediation fails, the government does encourage victims to pursue legal action. In terms of prevention, the government has not yet taken any action. The government has formed a new inter-Ministerial anti-trafficking task force. Task force members are considering among other action items, the development of an informative brochure for distribution to foreign workers as they arrive in Bahrain. The task force is collecting information from relevant ministries to document the extent and nature of trafficking and to develop a National Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons.
Bangladesh is a country of origin for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and bonded labor. There is also internal trafficking of women and children from rural areas to the larger cities. The majority of trafficking victims are women and girls trafficked to India, Pakistan, Bahrain, and the Middle East. Boys are also trafficked to the United Arab Emirates and Qatar and forced to work as camel jockeys and to the United Arab Emirates to work as beggars.
The Government of Bangladesh does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Bangladesh has laws that prohibit various forms of trafficking. The government has arrested and prosecuted some traffickers, and courts have handed down tough sentences. The government does investigate trafficking cases; however, the court system is backlogged by approximately one other million cases, severely hampering the ability to bring criminal cases to closure quickly. Police and government officials have received specialized training from international organizations and NGOs in investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases. Corruption is widespread at lower levels of government and police, customs, immigration officials and border guards receive bribes and may assist in trafficking. If caught, prosecuted and convicted, corrupt officials may receive a reprimand; but their employment is rarely terminated. The government does not adequately monitor its borders. Regarding victim protection, trafficked victims are not detained, jailed, or prosecuted for violations of immigration or prostitution laws. The government works closely with and refers victims to NGOs that provide shelter and access to legal, medical and psychological services. Government officials support prevention programs and actively participate in workshops, meetings and public awareness campaigns, but most funding comes from international donors. To encourage parents to send their children to school, the government supports "food for education" programs. To reduce drop out rates, the government provides stipends to girls attending secondary schools in rural areas. The government has initiated an anti-exploitation public information campaign for citizens going abroad to work. In January, Bangladesh signed the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Convention on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution. The government has recently adopted a national plan of action to address child sexual exploitation and trafficking in persons.
Belarus is a country of origin and transit for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation to Russia, Ukraine, Lithuania, Germany, Israel, Poland, Czech Republic, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Hungary and the Federated Republic of Yugoslavia.
The Government of Belarus does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts. The new criminal code penalizes trafficking and the hiring of people for exploitative purposes. To date, no trafficking cases have been prosecuted under the new criminal code. No specialized training is provided to law enforcement on trafficking. Corruption remains a problem for law enforcement investigations. Monitoring of borders remains a problem. In principle, the government may provide protection services and assistance to victims although it presently has no resources to implement a victim protection program. However, international organizations and NGO provide repatriation, medical and legal assistance as well as a hotline for victims. Although victims are not treated as criminals, they may be harassed and must push for investigations to be done. The government has no prevention programs. An Interagency Working Group was formed to develop a five-year plan drafted in December 2001 to prevent trafficking in persons. State media has occasionally reported on trafficking.
Belgium is a destination and transit country for trafficked persons primarily from sub-Saharan Africa (especially Nigeria), central and Eastern Europe (especially Albania), and Asia (especially China). Nigerian and Albanian victims are usually young women, between the ages of 21 and 30, destined for prostitution in Belgium's largest cities, or in transit to other European Union countries for the same purpose. Chinese victims are often young men destined for manual labor in restaurants and sweatshops.
The Government of Belgium fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. Belgium has a law that prohibits trafficking, the definition of which is quite broad. Belgium vigorously investigates and prosecutes trafficking cases. The Belgian courts handed down many convictions. Protections include financial assistance, shelter and temporary residence permits for victims of trafficking who are willing to testify against their exploiters. Extended residence permits and continued financial assistance are available to victims who continue to cooperate with authorities. Victims are generally granted permanent residence status and unrestricted work permits in Belgium at the conclusion of legal proceedings against traffickers. The Belgian government provides funds to three regional NGOs authorized to provide aid and shelter to trafficking victims. The government also provides funds to assist in the repatriation of victims who wish to return home. In order to prevent trafficking, the Belgian government posts anti-trafficking liaison officers to Belgian embassies in several source countries. The government funds an international organization to conduct information campaigns in source countries. The government works closely with local and national NGOs and international organizations in the fight against trafficking. An interdepartmental committee coordinates anti-trafficking activities in Belgium's three distinct regions, as well as with its French, Dutch, British, German and Luxembourg counterparts. A national magistrate coordinates judicial anti-trafficking activities and a special unit of the national police force is assigned to fight trafficking and alien smuggling.
Benin is a source, transit, and destination country for internationally trafficked persons, mostly children. Trafficking also occurs within Benin, where children from poor rural and less-literate families are sent away to work as domestic and commercial helpers for wealthier relations or employers. Many of these children end up in indentured servitude, subjected to physical and sexual abuse. Beninese children are trafficked to Ghana, Gabon, Nigeria, and Cote d'Ivoire, while children from neighboring Niger, Togo, and Burkina Faso, are trafficked to Benin. Some Beninese women are trafficked to European countries for prostitution.
The Government of Benin does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While Benin does not have laws that specifically address trafficking in persons, related laws can be used against traffickers. The government actively investigates trafficking cases and experienced some success in intercepting and arresting traffickers over the course of the past year. However, the government does not systematically encourage victims to testify or file suit, and has not prosecuted cases against traffickers to conclusion. Due to a lack of resources and trained investigative personnel, Benin's land borders with Togo, Burkina Faso, Niger and Nigeria are not well monitored. The government is unable to provide protection to the victims of trafficking, but it cooperates with international organizations and NGOs providing these services. To help prevent trafficking, the government has supported information campaigns in rural villages for the past several years. These initiatives include films and posters explaining to largely illiterate village audiences the physical and psychological dangers children may be exposed to by traffickers. In other related preventive efforts, the government is working on making primary education free for all females (ultimately to be extended to all children) and rural economic diversification to provide road building and the provision of water and sanitation. Benin is one of the West African countries participating in an international program to reduce trafficking in children.
Bosnia is a destination country for women and girls trafficked into sexual exploitation mostly from Moldova, Romania, and Ukraine, and to a lesser extent, Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
The national government of Bosnia and the entity governments of the Federation and the Republika of Srpska are not fully complying with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and are not making significant efforts. Despite political, social, and economic troubles, Bosnian authorities have established a national action plan, are cooperating with international organizations and NGOs, and taking preliminary steps toward combating the problem. Meanwhile, the international organizations and NGOs present in Bosnia lead most of the anti-trafficking efforts. Neither the entities nor the cantons have a law that specifically prohibits trafficking; however, prosecutors can use existing laws against pimping, pandering, false imprisonment, abduction, assault, and slavery. Although some of these laws have been invoked in trafficking cases, there have been few convictions, much less significant penalties. The state and entity governments are preparing a new law under the national action plan. With international assistance, an anti-trafficking strike force has recently been established at the state level, with involvement from the State Border Service, RS Tax Administration, Federal Financial Police and prosecutors, and police ministries from both entities and the Brcko district, to investigate and prosecute trafficking and organized crime groups. The Joint Entity Task Force, which coordinates police actions and raids, in March coordinated, with international community assistance, simultaneous raids on 38 nightclubs believed to hold trafficking victims. Local police have made 359 raids on suspected establishments. Police complicity at the local level is a serious problem, made worse by pay lapses, intimidation by traffickers, and the frequency with which local courts dismiss cases and release accused traffickers. With respect to protection of victims, the Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees has, for the first time, a budget for shelters for victims of trafficking. In addition, the Brcko District has a witness protection program, which reportedly is functioning well. Police refer victims to international organizations and NGOs, and provide security for the shelters. Until recently, victims could be jailed, fined, or deported for crimes. Now, largely at the initiative of the international community, victims are not charged unless clearly involved. The government does not conduct prevention programs. NGOs and the international community have sponsored media campaigns and workshops.
In Brazil, women and girls are internally trafficked for sexual exploitation and to a lesser extent as domestic labor. Men are internally trafficked for labor, primarily in the agricultural sector. Brazil is also a source of women and girls who are trafficked for sexual exploitation to countries including Argentina, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The government does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Brazil does not have a law against all forms of trafficking in persons, but related laws are used against traffickers. Some traffickers have been prosecuted and others are in judicial proceedings. The government actively investigates cases of trafficking, but is often hampered by limited resources and ineffective state and federal cooperation. The Ministry of Labor and Employment's mobile inspection unit has been successful in liberating thousands of men in forced and exploited labor since its inception in 1995, but few arrests have followed. Resources for victim assistance efforts are greatly lacking. Municipalities are required by law to provide social and psychological services to child victims of violence, including trafficking victims, but many are not in compliance due to insufficient funds. The government provides some money to NGOs to assist victims, but the demand far exceeds the assistance. The Ministry of Foreign Relations educates diplomats on how to help Brazilian trafficking victims abroad, and facilitates repatriation. The government has launched some campaigns to prevent trafficking-related activities, including sexual exploitation of children and sex tourism. There is a national action plan to combat trafficking in persons, which coordinates legislative, law enforcement and civil society efforts. The government collaborates with international organizations and NGOs to fight child labor and child sexual exploitation, educate at-risk groups about trafficking, and keep children in school.
Bulgaria is a source and transit country and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for women and girls trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation. Victims trafficked to and through Bulgaria are predominantly from Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Russia, Lithuania and Latvia. Women and girls trafficked from Bulgaria - a disproportionate number of Roma origin - and those in transit through Bulgaria are trafficked to Albania, Austria, Bosnia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Kosovo, Germany, Greece, Italy, Macedonia, Netherlands, Poland, South Africa, Spain and Turkey.
The Government of Bulgaria does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government is constrained by limited resources. Complicity among law enforcement and other government authorities in trafficking is a problem, although the government has brought administrative charges against local law enforcement officers. Bulgaria does not have a specific law prohibiting trafficking, but criminalizes acts that may be related, including kidnapping, false imprisonment, coercion, debauchery, rape, inducement to prostitution, abducting a woman for the purposes of sexual exploitation, and illegally taking a person across a border. The government's anti-trafficking task force conducted operations against hotels and clubs, arrested many perpetrators, and submitted their cases for investigation and prosecution. It appears that few traffickers have been convicted, however. The government does not directly provide protection services to trafficked victims, as it is constrained by limited financial resources. It refers victims to several NGOs and an international organization which provide short-term shelter, legal counseling, medical and psychological treatment, and repatriation assistance, as necessary. The government does not provide relief from deportation or temporary residence status to victims. The government has no victim or witness protection capability. To prevent trafficking, the government has cooperated well with extensive NGO and international organization efforts to conduct information and education campaigns to combat trafficking. These efforts include distribution of informational posters, wallet-sized cards, brochures, informational advertisements on radio and television, and a documentary that was aired on Bulgarian national television. The government has cooperated with these efforts by distributing materials at border checkpoints, police stations, schools, and other government facilities. At the government document centers that reissue all passports and personal identity documents, the government distributed and displayed trafficking prevention information, including the advertisement of an NGO-operated twenty-four-hour hotline for potential victims of trafficking. The Education Ministry cooperated with an international organization to develop an educational curriculum on the dangers of trafficking for use in Bulgaria's secondary schools; this curriculum was incorporated into the national curriculum.
Burkina Faso is a source, transit, and to a lesser extent, a destination country for children trafficked to labor under conditions comparable to involuntary servitude. To a much lesser extent, Burkina Faso is a source and transit country for women being trafficked to Europe for prostitution. Most of the trafficking problems of Burkina Faso result from a traditional regional pattern of poverty-driven mass migration of very young children in search of subsistence labor in mining, crafts, agriculture, and as domestics. These children are frequently subject to threats of violence and sexual abuse.
The Government of Burkina Faso does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Burkina is severely constrained in all its efforts against trafficking by its profound poverty. Burkina has no law against trafficking as such. Laws against kidnapping and violence against children, as well as labor laws are used in the rare instances of prosecution of traffickers. Enforcement is generally weak to non-existent, despite some efforts by the government to sensitize border control personnel to trafficking issues. In terms of protection, Burkina has made efforts through the Foreign Ministry's High Council for Burkinabe Living Abroad to repatriate and re-integrate victims. The government maintains two shelters in the capital for trafficking victims. There are no reports of any trafficking victims being mistreated after their return. To help prevent trafficking, the government allots one-quarter of its budget to education, and makes a particular effort to educate girls. The government has also held seminars for soldiers and customs agents on trafficking issues. It cooperates with NGOs and uses assistance efficiently on trafficking-related projects. Burkina Faso is one of the West African countries participating in an international program to reduce trafficking in children.
Burma is a country of origin for women and girls trafficked to Thailand, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, Pakistan, and Japan for sexual exploitation, domestic and factory work.
The Government of Burma does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance. The government has not provided sufficient resources nor demonstrated political will to address the trafficking problem. There is no trafficking law, although there are laws against migrant smuggling and kidnapping, which can be used against traffickers. There have been some prosecutions of individuals involved in trafficking-related crimes, although punishments vary considerably. Specialized training has not been provided to law enforcement and there have not been efforts to address widespread corruption. Borders are monitored, but not for trafficking. The government does not vigorously investigate trafficking cases. The government does not cooperate in international efforts, including extradition, investigations, or conferences and has not signed or ratified related treaties and conventions. The government is not actively involved in protection of victims, or in funding of NGOs to provide assistance to victims. Although victims are encouraged to assist in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers, they are not provided with services, with the possible exception of some healthcare. Victims of trafficking for prostitution may be treated as criminals and incarcerated or fined in some cases. There have been a few small-scale prevention efforts by a 1998 Task Force, which produced pamphlets, a video, and a radio skit, but these are not widely distributed or used.
Cambodia is a source, destination and transit country and there is internal trafficking in women and children. Victims are trafficked from Vietnam for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Cambodians are trafficked to Thailand for sexual exploitation, street begging and bonded labor.
The Government of Cambodia does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Cambodia does not have a law against all forms of trafficking in persons, but traffickers have been prosecuted under related laws. Some traffickers were convicted during 2001 and are serving time in prison. Police actively investigate trafficking crimes and have cooperated with NGOs to rescue victims. However, corruption, lack of police training and poor implementation of laws facilitate trafficking of persons and similar crimes, such as baby selling. Although some Cambodian officials have worked to increase government efforts, a lack of resources has made progress difficult. In addition, reports of widespread and serious official corruption counter the efforts by reform-minded officials. For victim protection, the Ministry of the Interior, in conjunction with international organizations and NGOs, created a special unit to train police on trafficking investigations, sensitize them to victim rights and initiate court procedures. The government participates in some protection initiatives including repatriation and reintegration, and a program to identify at-risk children. International organizations and NGOs are relied upon to provide most victim assistance due to serious resource constraints. Prevention efforts include raising public awareness through a wide-spread media campaign and economic and social development programs targeted to at-risk women and children.
Cameroon is a source, transit, and destination country for children who are trafficked for forced labor, to and from neighboring countries, such as Benin, Chad, Gabon, and Nigeria. A majority of the children are trafficked internally to urban centers for indentured or domestic servitude. Women are trafficked for prostitution to European countries, including France and Switzerland.
The Government of Cameroon does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Cameroon has a law that prohibits trafficking, and actively investigates trafficking cases, soliciting assistance from community members. Prosecutions and convictions on trafficking charges remain few and the government does not provide specialized training to law enforcement officials. Though it lacks the resources to fully institutionalize a protection program, the government has provided some assistance to victims, including temporary residence status, shelter, and medical care. Social programs also exist to remove children involved in the worst forms of child labor, and place them in public or private institutions where they receive specialized care and assistance. Cameroon also provides in-kind assistance to NGOs working to help trafficking victims, such as tax concessions, and duty free importation privileges. The government supports several programs aimed at prevention, such as the 2001 anti-trafficking education campaign, which increased vigilance by officials at entry points, as well as within the communities. Throughout the year, the public and private press have published numerous articles on this subject. Related preventive efforts on the part of the government include free public nursery and primary education, and a program to finance micro-projects managed by women and young girls. Cameroon is one of the West African countries involved in an international organization's program to reduce trafficking in children.
Canada is a destination and a transit point to the United States for women, children, and men trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation, labor and the drug trade. Trafficking victims originate primarily in China, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Russia.
The government meets the minimum standards to combat trafficking of persons in terms of law enforcement, protection of victims and prevention. Canada passed a new immigration law in 2001, which outlaws trafficking in persons. The police actively investigate cases of trafficking, and a limited number of traffickers have been convicted under related laws. With regard to victim protection, victims of crime, including trafficked victims, have various services available to them, such as health care, legal, and other social services. Trafficking victims are also eligible to apply for permanent residency status. The government sometimes encourages victims to testify against their traffickers, but with mixed results because witness protection is not always available. In terms of prevention, Canada has a variety of initiatives, including funding for anti-trafficking initiatives in many source countries. Immigration control officers are deployed at many foreign missions to reduce the incidence of illegal migration. An interdepartmental working group on trafficking in women coordinates national efforts. There have been several task forces, which focused on the sex trade, illegal migration of minors, and sexual exploitation of minors. Canada works closely with NGOs and international organizations on anti-trafficking initiatives.
China has an internal trafficking problem and is also a source, transit and destination country for trafficking in women and children. Women and girls are sold as brides and for sexual exploitation. Also, people are forced into labor and debt bondage by international smuggling rings, which move people to Canada, Europe, Japan and the United States to work in sweatshops, restaurants and domestic service. While most trafficking occurs domestically, foreign victims have come from Burma, Laos, North Korea, and Vietnam. Chinese victims are trafficked to Australia, Burma, Malaysia, Laos and Vietnam.
The government does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. China has a law against trafficking in women and vigorously investigates and prosecutes traffickers. The police maintain a national database of abducted and rescued people, and a DNA databank to facilitate the return of abducted children to their families. Police have received training from an international organization on victim assistance and have participated in Interpol investigations, however cooperation with foreign governments on investigations could be enhanced. The government provides limited protection for victims, primarily for domestically trafficked women, including temporary shelter and returning them to their homes. Two pilot "transit centers" offer broad services to victims including legal aid, counseling, and vocational training. The government conducts various prevention campaigns such as public awareness of trafficking; poverty alleviation; and programs to keep girls in school and foster economic opportunities for women. An international organization is helping China to develop a national action plan to combat trafficking.
Colombia is a source of women and children who are trafficked for sexual exploitation and, to a lesser degree, men for forced labor. There is also internal trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced conscription in terrorist groups. Women and children are trafficked to Europe, especially Spain and Japan, and to a lesser extent, the United States.
The government meets the minimum standards in the area of law enforcement, protection for victims and prevention of trafficking, despite resource constraints and an inefficient judicial system. Colombia passed an anti-trafficking in persons law in 2001. Police actively investigate trafficking offenses and a limited number of traffickers have been prosecuted. Inadequate witness protection hinders judicial proceedings, however. Colombia cooperates with foreign counterparts on investigations and has successfully freed hundreds of victims in solo and joint operations. To protect Colombian trafficking victims abroad, foreign missions provide legal aid and social workers. A standard complaint form is being developed for victims abroad to report the crime. The government has received training from, and collaborates with, an international organization to repatriate Colombian victims, although the services available to repatriated and internal trafficking victims are limited. With respect to prevention, the government, in collaboration with NGOs, is using international assistance to conduct a public awareness campaign and train police to combat trafficking and aid victims. The Ministry of Justice worked with a major network to incorporate a trafficking story line into several episodes of a popular soap opera.
Costa Rica is a destination and transit point for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Most trafficking victims originate in Bulgaria, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Russia, Panama and the Philippines. There have also been other Asian and African victims. Illegal migration - including both trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling - goes through Costa Rica en route to the United States and Canada.
The government does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite resource constraints. Costa Rica does not have a law against all forms of trafficking in persons; however, some traffickers have been prosecuted under related laws such as document fraud. A wiretap law enacted in December 2001 will facilitate investigations of trafficking, child sexual exploitation, and other crimes. Regarding protection for trafficked victims, a victims' office provides legal assistance to crime victims, including victims of trafficking, but has had limited impact due to resource constraints. The government gives limited indirect assistance to child crime victims. These well-intentioned but under-funded initiatives do not address the welfare needs of foreign victims of trafficking who are generally deported. An inter-ministerial committee on migration resolves policy differences and coordinates some anti-trafficking initiatives. The government has sponsored information campaigns on illegal migration and commercial sexual exploitation. Other programs that may help to prevent trafficking are aimed at women's political participation, women's economic autonomy, and school attendance for children. The government works closely with international organizations, civic groups and foreign governments on anti-trafficking initiatives.
Cote d'Ivoire is primarily a destination for children trafficked to labor as plantation and other agricultural laborers, as mine workers, and as domestic servants, under conditions in some cases approaching involuntary servitude. Foreign nationals are trafficked from neighboring countries, primarily Mali and Burkina Faso, but also Benin, Togo, Guinea, Ghana, and Nigeria. An age-old pattern of child-migration in search of a better life has been perverted in relatively recent times by intermediaries who "buy" children from families and then place them in jobs where they are often threatened, mistreated, and not free to leave. Some women from Cote d'Ivoire are also trafficked to Europe and the Middle East for purposes of prostitution, and some women from the region are brought to Cote d'Ivoire's large cities for the same reason.
The Government of Cote d'Ivoire does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Effective enforcement in Cote d'Ivoire against traffickers is weak due to lack of targeted legislation and inadequate resources. There is no law in Cote d'Ivoire specific to trafficking, and the cases in which authorities attempted to use existing legislation against suspects resulted in acquittals or light sentences. Enforcement at Cote d'Ivoire's marked land border crossing points was dramatically stepped up during 2001. With regard to protection of victims, while Cote d'Ivoire is under severe financial constraints, the government is cooperating with international organizations and NGOs to repatriate and deliver assistance to victims. Cote d'Ivoire's most serious and successful efforts on the prevention front result from diplomatic agreements with source countries. The first of a promised series of cooperation agreements with Mali has contributed to a sharp decline of trafficked victims to Cote d'Ivoire, although there is some evidence of a rise in trafficking in Burkinabe children. Additional agreements are planned with major source countries. The government participates in regional efforts and conferences and sponsored a regional anti-trafficking workshop in January 2002. Cote d'Ivoire is one of the West African countries participating in an international program to reduce trafficking in children.
The Czech Republic is a country of origin, transit and destination predominantly for women from Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, the Balkans and Asia trafficked to Western Europe for sexual exploitation. Czech girls are trafficked into forced prostitution to and from the former Soviet Union, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Czech girls are also trafficked to Western Europe.
The Government of the Czech Republic fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. Czech criminal law prohibits trafficking of women and children for sexual purposes, alien smuggling, organized crime, rape, kidnapping, blackmail, jeopardy of morals, violence against a group or individual, pandering, domestic violence, physical restraint and sexual and other abuse of minors. Czech authorities actively investigated many trafficking cases, which resulted in indictments and convictions. Local and international NGOs work closely with police to provide periodic training to help them deal with victims. The Czech government cooperates with other Central and Eastern European governments, as well as Germany and Austria, to dismantle trafficking rings, notably on one two-year investigation that broke up a ring that prostituted boys. To protect victims, the government can provide temporary residence to victims who agree to testify against traffickers, although the government sometimes holds victims in custody and then gives them thirty days to depart, and often deports victims because they are afraid to testify. A witness protection law recently came into effect. The government distributed to victims brochures produced by one local NGO informing them of the NGO's services. The government funds one NGO, and generally refers victims to international or local NGOs, which help victims find shelter, medical and psychological treatment, clothing, food, and assistance in returning to their home countries or in reintegrating into Czech society. To prevent trafficking, the government worked with an international NGO on a national media and education campaign designed to help women avoid potential trafficking schemes. This campaign used posters and postcards placed in public areas to conduct a survey of potential trafficking victims, developed a school curriculum package targeted at thirteen- and fourteen-year-olds, and provided a video presentation designed to alert potential victims to the deceptive tactics often employed by traffickers.
The Dominican Republic is primarily a source country for trafficked women and, less frequently, children. Women, mostly between the ages of 18 and 25, are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Spain, Holland, Argentina, Venezuela and Italy. Other destination countries include Switzerland, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Curacao, St. Maarten and Antigua. Both boys and girls are trafficked within the country, mainly to tourist areas for work in the sex trade. Haitian women and children reportedly are trafficked to the Dominican Republic to beg in the streets.
The Government of the Dominican Republic does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Penal Code prohibits trafficking for the purpose of prostitution, but it does not prohibit other severe forms of trafficking. There is also a migrant smuggling law that could be used to prosecute traffickers. However, the government does not actively investigate trafficking cases or prosecute traffickers. The penalties for trafficking are relatively lenient. The government does not have victim protection and assistance programs. Recognizing that victim protection is lacking and that many Dominican victims are found overseas, the government has begun to work with an international organization to aid women from the Dominican Republic who are found in trafficking situations abroad. The government also gave specialized training to Dominican consuls posted abroad on how to provide assistance to trafficking victims. The government's trafficking prevention efforts include programs to combat trafficking in children within the country and an information campaign to prevent the trafficking of women and children. The Secretariat of Women and CIPROM, an inter-institutional government committee, has begun working with an international organization on an information campaign to combat trafficking in women. Local NGOs run other anti-trafficking campaigns, which have included posters, pamphlets, a consular information booklet and a television spot advertising a trafficking victim hotline. In the last year, the Dominican Department of Labor, in collaboration with ILO/IPEC, initiated a Program to Eradicate the Worst Forms of Child Labor, which includes child prostitution as a targeted sector. As such, in February 2002, it began a pilot program in Boca Chica to work with children in the sex trade. The Dominican Secretariat of Labor coordinates the "National Committee of the Fight Against Child Labor," which consists of both government and NGO representatives.
El Salvador is a source, destination and transit country for trafficking in women and children for sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking for sexual exploitation also occurs. Salvadorans are trafficked to other Central American countries, Mexico and the United States. Women and children are trafficked from Nicaragua, Honduras and some South American countries through or to El Salvador.
The government does not yet fully meet the minimum standards to eliminate trafficking in persons; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite resource constraints. El Salvador has a law against trafficking in persons, and police receive special training on investigation and prosecution of traffickers. To date, however, no one has been arrested for the crime. Victim assistance is limited, but the government does support an international organization and some NGOs, which provide services. Illegal migrants and child victims of crime have access to legal, medical and psychological services. The government does not prosecute foreign trafficking victims. However, they are generally detained and deported without being encouraged to press charges against their traffickers. Salvadoran foreign missions in Mexico and the United States have some good working relationships with NGOs that serve trafficking victims. The government makes some limited efforts on prevention including sponsoring of a TV ad showing the reality of trafficked victims and cooperation with NGOs on anti-trafficking campaigns. The government also funds a program to encourage parents to keep children in school.
Children are trafficked internally and from neighboring countries, such as Nigeria and Benin, for bonded labor in the urban and domestic sectors of Equatorial Guinea. To a lesser extent, children being trafficked for domestic labor transit Equatorial Guinea on their way to Gabon. The country's larger cities are a destination, as well as a transit point on to European countries, for women from Equatorial Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria and Benin, trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
The government does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Equatorial Guinea does not have a law against all forms of trafficking, and while related laws exit, they are rarely used against traffickers. Borders are generally inadequately monitored due to insufficient resources and lack of training for law enforcement authorities. The government has undertaken a project to provide protection and assistance to trafficked and at-risk children, which includes construction of two shelters scheduled to be operational later this year. Over the past few years, the government has offered to repatriate and provide assistance to trafficking victims. The government cooperates with NGOs that provide services to victims and at-risk women and children. In terms of prevention, the government sponsored radio announcements to promote the law forbidding employment of children under the age of fourteen. The government also requested the support of international organizations to finance a national study on child trafficking, and to identify measures for its eradication. Equatorial Guinea actively participates in regional conferences and efforts to combat trafficking in persons.
Estonia is a source country for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation, both in the form of internal trafficking and abroad. Victims are trafficked abroad to the Nordic countries and Western Europe, including Poland, Germany, the Netherlands and Iceland.
The Government of Estonia does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Estonia does not have a specific anti-trafficking law, but law enforcement officials instead can use criminal laws against pandering or pimping, kidnapping, inducing minors to engage in crime, extortion and involuntary prostitution. Through an awareness program, many police officers have been introduced to the problem of trafficking. Estonian law enforcement officials believe prosecution of cases in destination countries would be enhanced if victims remained in those countries for the duration of investigations, and if Estonian authorities were informed of the reasons for their nationals being deported. There have not been any court cases against traffickers, although Estonia did extradite an alleged trafficker to the Netherlands for trial. In terms of protection, the Ministry of Social Affairs refers crime victims to one primary NGO, which has a government contract to provide services. The government also contracts with other NGOs to provide consultation services and crisis help to victims of crime. While the Baltic States signed an agreement in 2000 on witness protection, such protection remains difficult to provide in Estonia because of its small size. To prevent trafficking, the government is working with the Nordic Council of Ministers on a campaign to draw attention to the problem of trafficking. The government works with an international organization on a public information campaign.
Ethiopia is primarily a source country for women, and to a lesser extent for children, trafficked for domestic labor to the Middle-East, specifically to Lebanon, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. Some women, who are lured by the prospect of employment abroad, are subjected to domestic servitude and sexual abuse. There is also internal trafficking of children for forced labor, and abductions of young women and girls for marriage.
The Government of Ethiopia does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Ethiopian laws criminalize trafficking as well as enslavement. Victims are encouraged to assist in investigations and prosecutions, and can either file a lawsuit against their employer in the country of employment, or against the agency in Ethiopia that facilitated employment. The government reports that Ethiopian trafficked women have filed many cases upon their return to Ethiopia. No case has come to trial yet. On protection, the implementation of the 1998 Private Agency Proclamation, a law regulating agencies providing employment services abroad has been effective in reducing the number of potential victims by requiring work permits. While the government lacks resources to assist victims, it cooperates with international organizations and NGOs that provide these services. The Ethiopian Consulate in Beirut recently opened a shelter for victims and pursues trafficking claims the Government of Lebanon. To prevent trafficking, the Federal Police have aired weekly radio and television programs to publicize the dangers of working abroad and to provide information on how to obtain work permits legally.
France is a destination country for trafficked victims, primarily women, from Africa, Central and Eastern Europe, and the former Soviet Union. To a lesser extent, France is also a transit country for trafficked women from Africa, South America, and Eastern and Southern Europe. Women are trafficked into prostitution and domestic servitude. There are some reports of Chinese and Colombian men trafficked into bonded or forced labor.
The Government of France fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. France does not yet have a law specifically against trafficking, but has several criminal laws against trafficking-related offenses, including laws that allow prosecution in the case of domestic slavery, domestic or sexual exploitation, pressuring someone into prostitution, pimping, and abusing a person's economic and social dependency. The government rigorously investigates and prosecutes cases of trafficking, as seen by the creation of special brigades to combat pimping, the dismantling of trafficking rings, the prosecution of trafficking cases around the country, and the convictions handed down by French courts. The government cooperates with other countries to dismantle trafficking networks. In 2002, France created with Switzerland a joint customs and police center in Geneva to combat cross-border crime. The government protects victims on a case-by-case basis by transferring victims to safe houses, and by granting temporary residence and other social benefits while victims apply for asylum or pursue cases against former employers. In 2001, the government designated an "ad hoc" administrator to protect unaccompanied minors, and the state social services branch for childcare, Aide Sociale a l'Enfance, assists victims under 18 by providing social workers who help these victims get access to social care services, legal representation, and asylum procedures. The government works with countries in Central and Eastern Europe and sub-Saharan Africa on prevention and reintegration programs. France funds European Union programs and other programs through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to combat trafficking globally. A Parliamentary Commission was created in April 2001 to provide recommendations and proposals to tackle trafficking. This Commission consulted with NGOs. Their recommendations and proposals were published in December 2001. The government has taken action on some of these recommendations, notably through the drafting of a specific penal code to fight trafficking. This bill was introduced in Parliament in January 2002 and is still being considered.
Gabon is primarily a destination country for children trafficked from other West African countries such as Benin, Togo, and Nigeria, for domestic servitude and work in the informal commercial sector. Many children are transported to the Gabonese coast by sea, only to endure long work hours, physical abuse, insufficient food, no wages, and no access to education. A significant number of these children are also sexually abused by their employers.
The Government of Gabon does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Gabon does not have specific laws to address trafficking in persons, but draft legislation was proposed in August 2001. Other laws that can be used to prosecute trafficking, such as child abuse, are inadequate to punish traffickers. Anecdotal evidence suggests that some officials at all levels of government may employ trafficked foreign children as domestic labor, and that police and immigration officials may facilitate child trafficking. And while official government policy disapproves of trafficking, employment of trafficked children, and facilitation of trafficking in children, no government official has been formally accused of or prosecuted for trafficking or related crimes. Over the past year, the government has initiated a program to provide protection to victims. . Gabon signed an agreement with the European Union, and provided the facility for the establishment of a center to provide assistance to trafficking victims. The Center was inaugurated in March 2002 and provides shelter, as well as legal, medical and psychological assistance to victims. Government officials sometimes bring children to centers for trafficking victims, and also rely on the victims' embassies for assistance. Victims are generally not punished by being detained, jailed, fined or deported. Regarding prevention, the government provided free billboard space in major cities last year for a United Nations' information campaign on child trafficking. Gabon participates in regional conferences on the subject, and recently hosted the Second Sub-Regional Consultations on Cross-Border Child Trafficking in Libreville in March 2002. Gabon is one of the West and Central African countries participating in an international program to reduce trafficking in children.
Georgia is a source and transit country for women trafficked primarily to Turkey and Greece for purposes of sexual exploitation and domestic servitude.
The Government of Georgia does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government has expressed the willingness to combat trafficking but has limited resources to fund projects. Trafficking in minors is prohibited by the Georgian criminal code. An anti-trafficking law is being drafted. Existing provisions on slavery and forced labor, illegal imprisonment, sexual coercion and fraud could be used against traffickers. One prominent case involving trafficking of minors resulted in a recent conviction. Government officials are suspected of involvement in the production of fraudulent travel documents and in complicity with travel agencies as fronts for trafficking. There is no specialized training for law enforcement by the government but some officials were sent by the U.S. Embassy to an international anti-trafficking course. There are new border monitoring systems and training for border guards is provided by international organizations. There are only a few victim protection services and these are provided by NGOs. One measure of prevention efforts was the formation of the Strategy Department in May 2001 to address victim rights. This office is taking the lead on trafficking but does not have financial resources to fund information campaigns. The government distributes information materials developed by NGOs and international organizations. In February 2000, the President established a general strategy against trafficking.
Germany is a primarily a destination country, but also a transit country, for women and girls trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The Federal Office for Criminal Investigation publishes an annual trafficking report - limited to sex trafficking. The vast majority of victims trafficked to Germany come from the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, especially Lithuania, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Latvia. Some victims also come from Africa and Asia.
The Government of Germany fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. Germany has a variety of federal criminal and labor laws against trafficking. State, not federal, agencies have the primary responsibility to investigate and prosecute trafficking cases, and they do so vigorously. The number of investigations conducted this past year increased; expert prosecutors try trafficking cases. German courts handed down many convictions of traffickers. Federal police train state police and border control officials on the interdisciplinary handling of trafficking cases. Protection for trafficking victims includes the granting of some temporary immigration benefits, such as a four-week grace period and temporary toleration for witnesses who remain for the duration of a trial. The police are required to inform an NGO if they encounter a trafficking victim. The government covers the costs of repatriation of victims. Victims of violence are also entitled to federal victims' compensation. In a recent legal development, these benefits are available also to undocumented aliens if they are witnesses in a case. Germany provides funding to many counseling centers and provides for extensive witness protection. A federally-financed "Federal Association Against the Traffic in Women and Violence Against Women in the Migration Process" represents the counseling centers at the national and international level. Prevention activities are considerable. The national interagency working group on trafficking links federal and state efforts with NGOs and facilitates cooperation programs between counseling centers and the police. Some states also have their own task forces and interagency groups. Overseas prevention work includes a brochure - available in a variety of languages -- distributed through embassies and consulates abroad to potential victims before they enter Germany. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently cosponsored an international conference on trafficking to raise awareness about the issue. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sponsors anti-trafficking projects in foreign countries. Germany actively participates in several regional law enforcement organizations that combat trafficking.
Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for internationally trafficked persons. The majority of the victims are children trafficked for labor and domestic help to and from neighboring countries, such as Cote d'Ivoire, Togo, and Nigeria. Some Ghanaian women are trafficked to work as prostitutes in Western Europe, specifically Italy, Germany, and the Netherlands. Ghana is a transit point for a growing trade in Nigerian women trafficked to Europe for sexual exploitation, and for persons trafficked from Burkina Faso to Cote d'Ivoire. Internally, Ghanaian children are sent from the poorest regions to work in the fishing industry and for domestic labor in urban areas. Many of these children, sold by their families to traffickers, suffer physical or sexual abuse and receive insufficient food, no wages, and no access to education.
The Government of Ghana does not yet meet the minimum standards; however it is making significant efforts to do so. In October 2001, Ghana hosted a regional meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), where participating government representatives adopted a two-year Initial Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. Fulfilling one of the obligations mandated by the ECOWAS Plan, Ghana established the National Task Force on Trafficking in March 2002. The government is working on a draft national plan of action, which includes much needed amendments to the criminal code to establish trafficking in persons as a crime and punish traffickers, who are now prosecuted for lesser crimes. Due in part to a shortage of resources and capacity, victim protection and assistance is done on an ad hoc basis, relying on United Nations' agencies and NGOs. In terms of prevention, the government supports programs to alleviate child poverty and to enhance women's education and empowerment. Ghana is one of the West African countries participating in an international organization program to reduce trafficking in children.
Greece is primarily a destination country and, to a lesser extent, a transit country, for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Major countries of origin include Ukraine, Russia, Bulgaria, Albania, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and Romania. Women from North Africa (Tunisia and Algeria), Asia (Thailand and the Philippines), the Middle East and other countries (Moldova, Georgia, Poland, and Kazakhstan) are also trafficked to Greece.
The Government of Greece does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The Government is now taking steps toward combating trafficking, and the Minister of Public Order described it as a first priority for the Greek police. While there is no trafficking law, slavery, pandering, and pimping laws can be used to prosecute traffickers. The Ministry of Public Order instructed all police stations to enforce existing legislation. The lack of a specific law, however, has made prosecuting traffickers difficult. A June 2001 organized crime law includes a section on trafficking that allows for limited undercover investigations; however, there have been few arrests and prosecutions. Fines and sentences are minimal. The Government prepared draft legislation on sexual crimes and trafficking in human beings in December 2001. Regional cooperation in investigating and prosecuting is limited but improving. Greek border guards participated, with other countries in the region, in anti-trafficking training seminars offered by the US Government. Border control is weak; however, the Government has increased staffing of the border police. Regarding protection, traditionally victims have been deported along with foreign prostitutes working in the country illegally. A May 2001 immigration law sets aside judgments against women who press charges against their traffickers, and allows these victims to remain in the country. The law also temporarily suspends deportation of victims if deportation raises humanitarian concerns. The Government does not provide shelters or services for trafficking victims, and an NGO that wanted to provide medical and psychological help to possible trafficking victims at government detention centers has been given only limited access. The NGO is working to establish shelters for victims in Athens and Thessaloniki with the cooperation of local governments. With respect to prevention, the Inter-Ministerial Committee for Trafficking launched a national anti-trafficking campaign in Spring 2002 with posters and pamphlets. Police academies began including training on how to identify trafficked women in September 2001.
Guatemala is a source and transit country of women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There is also internal trafficking and in some cases, Guatemala is a destination country for trafficked victims. Illegal migration - including both trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling - of Central Americans, Ecuadorians, Asians and Middle Easterners flows through Guatemala en route to Mexico and the United States.
The government does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite resource constraints. An anti-trafficking in persons law exists, but there have been no arrests, investigations are rare, and victims rarely press charges, in part because of a somewhat inaccessible and corrupt judicial system. Medical, psychological, and counseling services are available to crime victims including trafficking victims. Trafficking victims are protected to a certain extent as they are not prosecuted, but foreign victims in the country illegally are deported. In terms of prevention, the government developed a national action plan to combat child sexual exploitation in 2001 and anti-corruption initiatives in 2002. Borders are inadequately monitored due to insufficient resources and vast corruption. There is limited cooperation with NGOs that provide services to victims and at-risk women and children.