III. Country Narratives - Countries H through P
Trafficking in Haiti mainly involves the internal movement of children, primarily young girls between 6 and 14 years old, from the countryside to the cities for domestic servitude. Poorer families, unable to provide adequately for their children, send their daughters, and in some cases sons, to the cities to work as domestic servants for wealthier families. In return, the poorer families expect their children to receive shelter, food, education and a better life. This centuries-old practice places children, called "restaveks" (derived from the French words "rester avec" meaning "to stay with"), in situations that sometimes lead to exploitation. Although many restaveks receive adequate care, some are placed in slave-like conditions and are subject to violence, threats and other forms of physical and mental abuse. To a lesser extent, restaveks are sent to the United States, France, Canada and the Dominican Republic.
The Government of Haiti does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. There are no laws prohibiting trafficking and although Haiti has laws regulating child domestic labor, these laws are not enforced. The government does not actively investigate trafficking cases and there have been no prosecutions of traffickers. Despite severe resource constraints, which have worsened over the last year, the Government of Haiti provides some funding for activities to protect restaveks. The Haitian Ministry of Social Affairs has eight monitors to oversee the welfare of restaveks. The monitors respond to calls to the government-sponsored victim hotline, to police requests and to word-of-mouth requests. Although the government does not have a facility to care for restaveks, the monitors work with local NGOs to resettle the children or find their natural families. The Haitian Ministry of Social Affairs reported that it served 158 children in 2001, a significant decrease from the 760 that were assisted the previous year. Prevention efforts are hampered because many Haitians do not recognize that restaveks can be in exploitative situations. The Government of Haiti, which does recognize the use of restaveks as a problem, is attempting to educate the public with national television and radio advertisements about the mistreatment of child domestic laborers.
Honduras is a source of women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Most Honduran victims are trafficked to Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico.
The government does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so, despite limited resources. Honduras does not have a law against all forms of trafficking in persons, although related laws exist. The government created a new frontier police force, which received training from U.S. officials. However, law enforcement and prosecution efforts remain weak due to corruption and lack of resources. The government assists repatriated nationals for up to six months with job placement assistance, temporary shelter, and basic subsistence. In terms of prevention, there have been no public awareness campaigns aimed at trafficking. The government runs a micro-enterprise program for women and rural populations. There are also programs for at-risk youth including special education for drop-outs and vocational training for teens and young adults.
Hong Kong is primarily a transit country for individuals trafficked from China and other Asian Countries. A small number of illegal migrants may be trafficking victims.
The Government of Hong Kong fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. The government has a trafficking law as well as other statutes on human smuggling, forgery of travel documents, fair employment practices as well as physical and sexual abuse, which have been used against traffickers. Effective border controls and high technology detection tools may be helping to stem the flow of trafficking victims and the smuggling of people in containers through Hong Kong. A small number of employment and sexual exploitation trafficking cases have been prosecuted and defendants have been convicted and jailed. Penalties for trafficking may also include forfeiture and fines. Moreover, the distinction between smuggling and trafficking cases is not clearly delineated. Law enforcement officials receive specialized training on trafficking and have access to specialized equipment and intelligence systems. Protection of trafficking victims includes food and basic necessities, legal aid procedures to protect vulnerable victims and witnesses, medical and psychological services, refugee centers and assistance to employees seeking compensation from employers for exploitation. Victim protection services could benefit from greater interagency cooperation. The government considers the potential for jeopardy for a prostituted woman before returning her to her home country. Foreign workers are provided conciliation services in disputes with employers. Prevention efforts include providing pamphlets to workers about their rights; the pamphlets are widely distributed and are published in a wide range of languages. The government's prevention package reflects Hong Kong's high standard of living, access to civil liberties, and compulsory education. The Government of Hong Kong cooperates internationally with law enforcement on investigations, prosecutions and bilateral arrangements as well as with international organizations, such as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Hungary is a transit country for trafficking victims, and to a lesser extent a source and destination country. Women and girls are trafficked for sexual exploitation mostly from Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Poland, Yugoslavia, and China to and through Hungary to Austria, Germany, Spain, the Netherlands, Italy, France, Switzerland and the United States. Men trafficked for forced labor through Hungary to European Union countries come from Iraq, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The Government of Hungary does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Hungary's laws criminalize trafficking in persons and kidnapping. The government investigated and prosecuted an increased number of trafficking cases in 2001. Police in eastern Hungary believe the traffickers are better equipped than law enforcement officials. Allegedly police and immigration officials often refuse to accept reports of kidnapping of young women. Law enforcement authorities contend that the kidnappings are difficult to prosecute without eyewitness testimony and victims often refuse to testify. Corruption of border officials is a problem, although border guards have been arrested for supporting human smugglers. Regarding protection, the government provides only limited assistance to trafficking victims. In theory, assistance with temporary resident status, short-term relief from deportation, and shelter assistance are available to trafficking victims who cooperate with police and prosecutors. There are, however, no documented cases of such assistance having been rendered. Allegedly police and immigration officials often treat trafficking victims as criminals. Hungarian consular officials are not empowered to provide any legal or financial assistance to Hungarian victims abroad. To prevent trafficking, the government works with an international NGO and a women's rights organization conducting preventive programs for teenagers in schools. The government provides some support through the public fund "For a Safe Hungary" to a women's rights organization that runs a hotline which provides information on types of trafficking-associated advertisements and situations young women should avoid. The government has established a Victim Protection Office and a victim protection fund, and has posted brochures on victim protection in every police station. The government provides some continuing financial assistance to prevention programs. The government has consulted with NGOs to provide anti-trafficking sensitivity training to police, and has conducted training of government officials in techniques to identify and combat trafficking.
India is a country of origin, transit and destination for trafficked persons. Internal trafficking of women and children for purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, bonded labor, and indentured servitude is widespread. In addition to being trafficked domestically, Indian women and children are trafficked to the Middle East and the West for purposes of forced labor and sexual exploitation. Bangladeshi and Nepalese women and children are trafficked to India, and transit through India en route to Pakistan and the Middle East, for purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced labor. Many of the children trafficked in or through India are less than eighteen years of age.
The Government of India does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however it is making significant efforts to do so. Investigations and prosecutions of traffickers are rare, but increasing. India has numerous federal laws criminalizing trafficking and child labor; however, there is a lack of laws establishing federal jurisdiction over inter-state crimes. Police efforts to investigate trafficking across state borders are further encumbered by a lack of coordination among state police departments. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA) prohibits trafficking in persons (including children), criminalizes sexual exploitation, and provides enhanced penalties for offences involving minors. During investigations, police frequently do not utilize all provisions of the ITPA and as a result may minimize potential criminal penalties against traffickers and brothel owners for exploiting minors. Although the government has successfully prosecuted and sentenced some traffickers and brothel owners to prison, severely backlogged courts and local corruption render most prosecutorial efforts ineffective. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) developed anti-trafficking manuals for use in training the judiciary, the police, and medical practitioners. There is evidence of low-level law enforcement involvement in facilitating the movement of trafficking victims and accepting bribes. The government does not adequately monitor its borders. The government has undertaken several initiatives to provide protection and services to victims, including supporting protective homes for custodial care, and providing education and vocational training to victims of trafficking and at-risk populations. The protective homes are frequently run with the assistance of NGOs. A new government program called "Swadahar" provides shelter and basic amenities to victims and at-risk women while providing vocational training. In terms of prevention, the government supports programs aimed at keeping children in school, promoting vocational training and literacy. The Central Social Welfare Board provides financial assistance to NGOs to run development and care centers for children of trafficking victims. The Department of Women and Child Development is responsible for implementing a plan of action developed in 1998 in consultation with NGOs and international organizations. In January, the government signed the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Convention on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution.
Indonesia is a source country for trafficked persons, primarily young women and girls. Foreign destinations of trafficked persons include Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaysia, Brunei, Persian Gulf countries, Australia, South Korea, and Japan. Trafficking also occurs within Indonesia's borders. Victims are trafficked primarily for purposes of labor and sexual exploitation.
The Government of Indonesia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts. Indonesia does not have a law against all forms of trafficking in persons. Related laws are used against traffickers, but the maximum penalties are significantly less than those for rape. Judges rarely impose maximum sentences in trafficking cases. Special units within regional police headquarters handle cases of violence against women and children, including trafficking. Indonesia has increased its attention to trafficking and alien smuggling problems during the period covered by this report. Government action to combat the increasing problem, however, is hampered by insufficient funds and porous borders. Corruption among local government officials is widespread. In an effort to improve regional responses to trafficking and transnational crimes, the government co-chaired (with Australia) a regional conference in February 2002 that brought together for the first time ministers from 52 source, transit and destination countries. Minimal protection exists for foreign victims of trafficking, in that they are not jailed or automatically deported and may seek asylum or refugee status. Government shelters and services for foreign and Indonesian trafficking victims are still lacking. The government does not sponsor prevention efforts, such as anti-trafficking education programs directly, but cooperates with NGOs and international organizations that provide basic services to at-risk women and children. Although the government faces severe resource constraints, it has allocated an increase in the national budget to combat trafficking.
Iran is a country of origin and transit for trafficked persons. Iranian women and girls have been trafficked to the Gulf States and Turkey for purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Boys are trafficked through Iran to the United Arab Emirates where they are forced to work as camel jockeys. Internal trafficking of women and girls for purposes of sexual exploitation also occurs.
The Government of Iran does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Iranian law does not specifically prohibit trafficking; however, there are other statutes that could be used to prosecute traffickers. There reportedly were three trials during the year related to trafficking. No information is available, however, regarding details of the trials or their outcomes. The Government of Iran has cooperated with Pakistani authorities on a camel jockey case by extraditing adults wanted for trafficking. The Penal Code includes provisions that mandate the stoning of women and men convicted of adultery. It is difficult for women who are victims of male traffickers to obtain legal redress since a woman's testimony in court is worth only half that of a man's, making it difficult for a woman to prove a case against a male defendant. The government has not undertaken any measures to protect victims of trafficking. Victims are often jailed, flogged, and sometimes stoned to death for adultery. Regarding prevention, the government supports keeping youth in school, but it has not supported public awareness campaigns.
Israel is a destination country for trafficked women. Women from Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, and Brazil are trafficked to Israel for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
The Government of Israel does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The law criminalizes trafficking for the purposes of sexual exploitation. Other statutes including rape, false imprisonment, seizing a passport, exploitation, and kidnapping for prostitution may also be used in prosecuting trafficking cases. The government actively investigates trafficking cases and has successfully prosecuted traffickers. The State Attorney General has published and distributed guidelines on the "Investigation and Prosecution of Prostitution and Trafficking in Persons for the Purposes of Prostitution" to police investigators and prosecutors. The government has provided specialized training sessions on trafficking in persons for investigation units. While there has never been evidence that police officers have been directly involved with trafficking, there have been several cases in which policemen were suspected of taking bribes or receiving sexual favors in return for alerting brothel owners in advance of police inspections. An independent department within the Ministry of Justice, charged with investigating any complaint of involvement of police personnel in crimes, has successfully investigated allegations and taken legal action against those involved. The government has undertaken some initiatives to protect victims, including working with NGOs and international organizations to improve services that they provide to victims. The government does not provide temporary or permanent residency status to victims. Unless the victims are willing to testify against the trafficker or brothel owner, they are detained and deported. Victims who are willing to testify are released from detention and are housed in police-funded hostels. In February 2002, the government invited an international organization to discuss modalities for cooperation on a shelter that would provide psychological, social, medical, and legal services to victims of trafficking. The government does not sponsor prevention efforts, such as anti-trafficking education campaigns. The government has established an inter-ministerial committee on trafficking in persons. In July 2001, the Minister of Public Security initiated a seminar on trafficking that included participants from numerous ministries, law enforcement, NGOs and the Knesset.
Italy is a country of destination and, to a lesser extent, a country of transit for trafficked men, women and children primarily from Albania, Nigeria, Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union, South America, and Asia. Women and girls are trafficked for prostitution, and some Chinese men are trafficked for forced labor in industry.
The Government of Italy fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. The government uses a variety of laws to prosecute traffickers, including prohibitions on the exploitation of prostitution, slavery, sexual violence, kidnapping, and assisting the entry of illegal aliens. The government has prosecuted many cases against traffickers. The Ministry of the Interior conducts special training programs to sensitize police to the problem of trafficking. There are many police officers who specialize in handling trafficking cases. In an effort to protect victims, the government provides temporary residence permits, which under certain circumstances can lead to permanent residency. The government funds safe houses and shelters. Halfway houses and independent living accommodations are also provided in many Italian communities. Mobile units provide medical, psychological and social assistance. The government provides funding to foreign and domestic NGOs for projects that assist victims. Through an inter-ministerial committee to coordinate the fight against trafficking, the government engages in many prevention activities, such as a government-sponsored, international organization-conducted radio and television information campaign aimed at potential victims. Posters are placed in metro stops to raise public awareness. The government has a hotline providing information and assistance to victims, and it distributed bumper stickers displaying the hotline number. The government has provided funding for information campaigns conducted in source countries such as Poland and Ukraine. Italy has worked on a development project with Nigeria to prevent trafficking and has donated equipment to help Nigeria catch traffickers. The government has conducted border patrols to stem the flow of trafficking victims into Italy. Italy works closely with regional and international organizations to combat trafficking.
Japan is a destination country for women trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation and for men trafficked for labor purposes. Some internal trafficking exists, as illegal migrants engaged in commercial sexual exploitation are sold and become bound by debt to the new "owner." Female trafficking victims come from Southeast Asia, especially Thailand and the Philippines, and increasingly from Colombia, Russia and other states of the former Soviet Union. Male victims come primarily from China and other Asian countries.
The Government of Japan does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Although Japan does not have a law against trafficking, some traffickers have been prosecuted under related laws. Investigations and punishments appear to be uneven, with some traffickers being tried for minor crimes and receiving light or suspended sentences. In general, trafficking victims are viewed as illegal immigrants under Japanese law, and are deported, which is inappropriate treatment for victims. Protection is not available to all victims: temporary shelter is only provided to foreign victims who approach the government for help. Police and immigration officials have received special training to assist victims of trafficking. Various measures to protect witnesses who testify against traffickers are in place, although victims are generally not encouraged to press charges. The government engages in awareness raising on Japanese laws, particularly those that prevent commercial sexual exploitation of children, and has sponsored international anti-trafficking conferences. Japan has also sponsored anti-trafficking information campaigns in source countries. Other prevention efforts include assistance to international organizations that conduct economic and social development programs in source countries for at-risk individuals.
Kazakhstan is a source, transit and destination country for women and men trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and labor. Victims are trafficked to Kazakhstan from the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan and trafficked to the United Arab Emirates, Greece, Cyprus, France, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Belgium, South Korea, Turkey, Israel and Albania.
The Government of Kazakhstan does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In February 2002, a temporary measure was amended to the criminal code to cover trafficking of adults. Existing law already prohibited trafficking in children. Some actions have been brought under existing statutes or as civil actions in sexual and labor exploitation cases. The government has initiated training programs for law enforcement and is conducting random investigations of travel agencies promising work abroad. Corruption is a problem at many levels, and the government has convicted at least one customs official for taking bribes. The government has cooperated with international investigations. There is no government action on victim services. Some trafficked victims are initially jailed for prostitution or labor violations, or are returned to their home countries by immigration officials without further investigation of their situations. However, if it is determined that an individual is a trafficked victim, the government cooperates with NGOs to secure victim services provided by NGOs. Victims are encouraged to assist in the investigation of the traffickers, provided with restitution by NGOs, and are shielded from the trafficker during court proceedings. Aside from mandatory education through age 16, the government does not provide prevention programs. With the consent of the government, NGOs have conducted informational roundtables and public awareness campaigns. In 2000, the National Committee for Women and Children developed a Plan to Advance the Status of Women. Many of the goals of the Committee have already been realized.
Kyrgyz Republic is a country of origin, transit and, to a lesser extent, destination for trafficked women, men and children. Women, mostly under 25 years old, are trafficked for prostitution to the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, China, Germany and Greece. Men are trafficked to Kazakhstan for forced labor. Women who are either destined for or transiting through Kyrgyz usually come from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
The Government of Kyrgyz does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Kyrgyz does not have a law that specifically prohibits trafficking. The authorities may use other laws, such as those prohibiting rape, kidnapping and exploitation, to arrest and prosecute traffickers but the penalties for breaking those laws are frequently lighter than punishments for crimes like auto theft or drug use. In addition, the government does not actively investigate or prosecute trafficking cases. The Government of Kyrgyz does not provide protection or assistance for trafficking victims. Moreover, government officials, in some cases, have forced victims to pay bribes to cross the border or have taken bribes from traffickers in exchange for allowing a trafficking operation to continue. Although the government acknowledges that trafficking is a problem, it has not conducted any public awareness campaigns or other programs targeted specifically to prevent trafficking. The government supports other programs that may help curb trafficking, such as initiatives to keep children in school and the "Ayalzat" plan to improve the status of women. The government has been cooperating with international organization efforts to conduct research and public information programs.
Laos is a source of men, women and children trafficked for labor and sexual exploitation. Lao economic migrants, chiefly to Thailand, may find themselves deceived about pay and conditions of work. Some find themselves in coerced labor or slave-like conditions after their arrival.
The government does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, it has made significant efforts to do so, considering serious resource constraints. Laos does not have a law against trafficking. Related laws exist, however enforcement is rare. The government is working to improve protection for victims by collaborating with an international organization on a shelter and repatriation program for trafficked women and children. However, victims are still subjected to incarceration and "re-education" if caught by the police. For prevention, the government collaborated with international organizations to collect data on trafficking in two provinces and laid the foundation for a public education campaign in nine provinces. There has been cooperation with other international organizations working on trafficking and child labor. Borders are poorly monitored and resources are seriously lacking to confront the problem effectively.
Latvia is a source and transit country for women and girls trafficked to the Nordic countries and Western Europe for the purposes of sexual exploitation.
The Government of Latvia does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Latvia does not have a comprehensive law against trafficking in persons, but does outlaw trafficking for sexual exploitation. Police anti-trafficking activity has increased, and more cases were investigated in 2001 than in previous years. None of the trafficking cases have gone to trial, although some of the alleged traffickers remain incarcerated. Police have attended training programs on how to investigate trafficking cases, including classes held in Norway and Sweden, and have sponsored a seminar on fighting prostitution, which included trafficking information. There are few trafficking victim protection or assistance programs to help protect victims in Latvia. A local government funds a shelter that serves victims of child abuse. To prevent trafficking, there is considerable activity warning parents and potential victims about trafficking, although such activity is conducted by NGOs rather than the government.
Lebanon is a destination country for trafficked persons. Many trafficking victims come to Lebanon in search of work voluntarily and legally, but are put into situations of coerced labor, and some are put into situations with slave-like conditions, or in which they become victims of sexual exploitation. Women from Ethiopia, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines, are the primary victims of trafficking. To a lesser extent, some women from Russia, Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, and Bulgaria who have come to Lebanon end up in coercive work situations involving sexual exploitation from which they have little recourse.
The Government of Lebanon does not fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Lebanon does not have legislation criminalizing trafficking in persons. However, the Penal Code does have statutes criminalizing the deprivation of personal freedom of others by abduction or other means. The government has not prosecuted any trafficking cases. Law enforcement officials are generally responsive to complaints of trafficking. However, the government has taken some measures to counter trafficking, such as the closure by the Ministry of Labor in 2001 of ten employment agencies that violated labor regulations. The Surete Generale has improved its record-keeping and enforcement of regulations and issues 51 warnings to adult clubs not abiding by its regulations. The government adequately monitors its borders. Regarding the protection of trafficking victims, the government does not provide foreign workers with relief from deportation, shelter or access to legal, medical or psychological services. Foreign workers who do not have valid residency and work permits are subject to detention and deportation. The Surete Generale, however, did issue a February 2002 communique granting three months to Arab and foreign nationals residing in Lebanon illegally to have their status regularized. Any foreigner wishing to change his or her employment must obtain the Surete Generale's prior permission. The government has given an NGO full time access to the Retention Center for Foreign Persons. Some exploited foreign workers have won cases against employers, although lack of knowledge of their rights and lack of access to legal counsel prevents others from bringing legal actions. The government does not sponsor many types of prevention efforts common in other countries, such as anti-trafficking education programs. The government has limited financial resources to support prevention programs. To prevent trafficking, the government has tough controls on the entry of foreign workers to Lebanon and strict requirements imposed on those who employ foreign domestic laborers.
Lithuania is a source, transit and destination country for trafficking in women and children. Lithuanian women are trafficked primarily to Germany, Spain, Belgium, Netherlands and Norway. The Middle East (Israel and United Arab Emirates), France and Austria are also destination countries. Women from the Ukraine, Russia, Belarus, Latvia and the Lithuanian countryside are trafficked to major Lithuanian cities.
The Government of Lithuania fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. Lithuania has criminal and labor laws against slavery, sale and trafficking of persons for sexual abuse, material or personal gain, and trafficking of persons for prostitution. Recent amendments to the Criminal Code and Criminal Process Code allow for separate testimony of a victim in trafficking cases to a judge in order to provide an alternative for victims who are fearful of testifying in open court. These amendments also permit the introduction into court of video-taped testimony of foreign victims of trafficking. The government actively investigated and prosecuted an increased number of trafficking cases in 2001, and the courts handed down convictions of traffickers, including that of one former police officer. The government has procedures to cooperate with other governments on trafficking cases, specifically with Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine, and also cooperated with Germany and Norway. To protect victims, the government provides funding to the Missing Persons Support Center, which is a shelter that also runs a hotline, and can place victims and witnesses at shelters run by local governments and NGOs. State-run health care facilities provide free medical care for victims and witnesses, and the police provide limited financial assistance to victims and witnesses as well as some legal counseling services. The government can assist victims by providing temporary or permanent residence status. To prevent trafficking, since 2000 the police have paid greater attention to young persons, particularly women, travelling abroad. The government provided some funding for anti-trafficking campaigns carried out by NGOs, and directly funded preventive education at schools. The Education Ministry conducts preventive work among the potential victims of sexual abuse and trafficking via regional networks. An international NGO is managing a program to help prevent trafficking by creating viable economic alternatives for at-risk women and girls, including job training and placement services.
Macedonia is a country of transit and destination primarily for women and children trafficked for prostitution from the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, notably Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and Bulgaria. Some victims remain in Macedonia, while others are trafficked to Albania, Kosovo or Italy.
The Government of Macedonia fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. Macedonia adopted a new law in 2002 that criminalizes trafficking and actions associated with trafficking, such as the destruction of identification documents. Since the passage of the new law, Macedonia has already had a number of arrests, including that of an alleged organizer of a trafficking ring. Prior to the enactment of the new law, Macedonia prosecuted suspected traffickers under laws relating to kidnapping and rape. Many of these cases resulted in convictions. To protect victims, a government shelter offers medical and psychological assistance to victims. The shelter has assisted many trafficking victims. The attitude of the police to trafficking victims has improved over the past year. Victims are encouraged to provide information for criminal prosecution, and may in theory file suit against traffickers, although the latter is not done in practice. Victims may not gain temporary resident status in Macedonia. The government has facilitated the return of victims so they could testify against traffickers. To prevent trafficking, local NGOs have worked with the government and a regional organization to develop awareness-building campaigns. Government programs promote women's participation in economic decision-making and improve the quality of education. The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare funds a small prevention program. Although the government actively monitors the borders, large portions remain porous, and weak immigration laws make it difficult for the border police to deny admission to suspected victims.
Malaysia is a source and destination country for trafficked persons, primarily for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Persons trafficked into Malaysia come from Indonesia, Thailand, China, and the Philippines and a small but increasing number from Uzbekistan. Japan, Canada, the United States, Australia and Taiwan are destinations for Malaysian trafficking victims. Trafficking on a smaller scale also occurs within Malaysia's borders.
The Government of Malaysia does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. An interagency group on transnational organized crime addresses trafficking in persons, and four other interagency committees address illegal immigration, foreign labor, and border control. A separate agency investigates public corruption. There is no specific law against trafficking but applicable law criminalizes most of the acts involved in trafficking in persons. Although persons suspected of trafficking may be detained, to date there have been no prosecutions or convictions for the specific offense of trafficking. A limited number of law enforcement officials have participated in anti-trafficking training programs. An anti-vice unit recently launched a campaign to clamp down on local criminal groups affiliated with international criminal syndicates involved in trafficking. While there are no indications of general government complicity in trafficking in persons, the government recently suspended three senior police officers for negligence in an illegal migration case. Five officers were also dismissed for involvement in criminal and corrupt activities. Embassies and consulates are required to report on the number of trafficking cases involving Malaysian citizens abroad. In terms of protection, the government sponsors rehabilitation services for at-risk women and girls, and provides financial support to NGOs dedicated to women's welfare, including shelter for victims of rape and domestic violence, legal referrals and job-skills training. However, the government generally treats foreign victims of trafficking as immigration offenders, detaining and deporting them. Repatriated Malaysian victims may receive public assistance. There are no witness protection programs, although laws punish prevention of testimony, and foreign trafficking victims may obtain special permission to remain in the country to testify in criminal proceedings. The government has taken steps to address prevention of trafficking. The largest ethnic Chinese party in the ruling parliamentary coalition publishes trafficking warnings in its Chinese-language publications and holds periodic press conferences highlighting the plight of returned Malaysian trafficking victims. Public service announcements about the dangers of trafficking by an international organization have been broadcast on television. In 2001, the government created a cabinet-level post for the Minister of Women's Affairs and Family Development and passed a constitutional amendment barring sex discrimination.
Mali is primarily a source country for children trafficked for labor in conditions comparable to involuntary servitude. To a lesser extent, Mali is a transit country for trafficking between Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire, and a destination country for Nigerian women trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation. Most of the children are trafficked to work in plantation agriculture in Cote d'Ivoire, but some are trafficked internally to urban centers for menial jobs or domestic labor.
The Government of Mali does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Last year, Mali introduced a law with severe penalties, specifically outlawing trafficking in children, but the infrastructure needed to carry out investigations and prosecution is still very weak. Mali entered into a cooperative agreement with Cote d'Ivoire to combat trafficking and facilitate the repatriation of victims, and Mali maintains a good level of cooperation with border authorities from Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso. As a result, the number of children trafficked to Cote d'Ivoire appears to be on the decline. In terms of protection, lack of resources hamper government efforts to reintegrate and rehabilitate returned children, particularly in the Dogon region, where children are most vulnerable to trafficking. One of the specific strategies in the National Plan of Action, calling for a system of travel documentation required from children at border crossings, was recently instituted and has proven effective in preventing additional trafficking flows. In other preventive activities, the government set aside a portion of this year's state budget to support anti-trafficking activities, including a media campaign, and it works very closely with international organization and NGOs to coordinate programs for the return and reintegration of trafficking victims. Mali is one of the West African countries participating in an international organization's program to reduce trafficking in children.
Mexico is a source, transit and destination country of women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. There is also internal trafficking of women and children for sexual exploitation. Most victims trafficked to and through Mexico are Central Americans en route to the United States and Canada. There is also a steady flow of Brazilians and Eastern Europeans and to a lesser extent, Asians and Middle Easterners.
The government does not yet fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Mexico has laws that prohibit various forms of trafficking and has prosecuted traffickers. Police officials and border guards have been complicit in trafficking, but the government is making some efforts to combat corruption. The police receive special training to assist child victims of sexual abuse and NGOs have trained police on how to assist victims of violence. Regarding protection, the government provides limited victim services, and has contributed to victim assistance programs run by NGOs. Foreign victims of trafficking are generally deported and are not encouraged to press charges against their traffickers. Regarding prevention of trafficking, the government launched a public awareness campaign as the first phase in a national action plan to combat commercial sexual exploitation of children in January. Several state governments have begun their own awareness campaigns on the sexual exploitation of minors. The federal government has also run a media campaign on the dangers of illegal migration. There have been fewer resources dedicated to combating the traffic of adults than have been committed to combating the traffic of children.
Moldova is a source country for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation mainly to Turkey, Greece, and the Federated Republic of Yugoslavia.
The Government of Moldova does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. It is making significant efforts to do so as demonstrated by its actions with respect to law enforcement and prevention. On April 18, 2002, a new Criminal Code and amendments were passed by Parliament but have not yet been promulgated. The new code criminalizes trafficking in persons. During 2001, 34 cases were initiated against traffickers under anti-trafficking provisions of the anti-pimping article of the previous Criminal Code. Five additional cases were initiated under the anti-trafficking article, passed in July 2001, of the previous Criminal Code. There have been no convictions to date. The government has provided some specialized training, and some law enforcement officials have received training at international seminars. Borders are not adequately monitored; the Government of Moldova has no control over the border between its separatist Transnistria region and neighboring Ukraine. The government has no resources for victim protection, but international organizations and NGOs work with repatriated women and have established shelters and service programs for victim assistance. Trafficked women are not jailed or prosecuted for prostitution activities. No witness protection program exists to shield victims from traffickers. In terms of prevention, government officials cooperate with NGOs and international organizations that provide information in schools about trafficking, distribute brochures, and operate hotlines. State television airs an anti-trafficking program. In October 2001, the government formed a National Working Group to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, which adopted a national plan of action.
Morocco is a country of origin and transit for trafficked persons. Internal trafficking of girls for domestic servitude as child maids primarily from rural areas to cities is widespread. Internal trafficking of women for purposes of sexual exploitation is also reported. Some Moroccan men and women looking for work in Europe and the Middle East as domestic servants or in the hotel or construction industry are reportedly put into situations of coerced labor, drug trafficking, or sexual exploitation. There are also unsubstantiated reports that some who transit from sub-Saharan African countries through Morocco to Europe may be trafficked.
The Government of Morocco does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Although the Moroccan government has begun to address the problem of trafficking in persons, it is constrained by lack of resources. No law specifically prohibits trafficking; however, the government utilizes a number of other statutes to prosecute traffickers. Moroccan police and security services have broken up numerous clandestine emigration and prostitution rings. There have also been a few cases of employers of child maids being prosecuted for abusive behavior. There is evidence of low-level corruption by police, immigration, and border officials, to permit the movement of clandestine emigrants who may become trafficking victims. The government has difficulties monitoring its long borders. Regarding protection of victims, the government has made only minimal efforts. The government does not provide assistance to victims transiting through Morocco. As are other illegal immigrants en route to Europe, trafficked victims are detained, jailed, or deported. They are often prosecuted for violation of immigration laws. Moroccan authorities have assisted child maids who have fled abusive employers and women forced into prostitution. The government does not provide direct funding to foreign or national NGOs offering services to victims of trafficking; however, it does provide in-kind support. The government provides teachers and social workers to assist NGOs working with child maids. The government also provides offices to the International Labor Organization's International Program for the Elimination of Child Labor, which is working on the child maid problem. In terms of prevention, the government supports programs aimed at keeping children in school, improving educational opportunities for girls in rural areas, and expanding economic opportunities in high-risk areas. Together with an international organization, the government supports an ongoing publicity campaign highlighting the plight of child maids.
Nepal is a source of women and girls trafficked primarily to India for purposes of sexual exploitation and bonded labor. In many cases, Nepalese women go to the Middle East in search of work, only to be put into situations of coerced labor, slave-like conditions, or sexual exploitation. Internal trafficking also takes place in Nepal. An ongoing Maoist insurgency has used violence to wrest control over remote areas of Nepal from the government; many trafficking victims originate from those areas. The Maoist insurgents have taken girls and boys from their families and forced them to become conscripts or sex slaves.
The Government of Nepal does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Human Trafficking Control Act of 1986 prohibits selling persons in Nepal and provides for penalties of up to twenty years' imprisonment for traffickers. Nevertheless, this legislation does not criminalize the separation of minors from their legal guardians with the intent of trafficking them. As a result, no crime occurs until the victim and perpetrators are outside Nepalese territory. In addition, no law addresses receiving trafficked persons. The government created an anti-trafficking unit within the police that actively investigates and successfully prosecutes traffickers who are frequently sentenced to long prison terms. However, low-level corruption among border guards and law enforcement allows trafficked women and girls to be brought out of the country. Furthermore, the open border with India does not allow for stringent border monitoring. The government has undertaken several initiatives to protect victims, including working with NGOs and international organizations to provide shelter and assistance to victims. The government provides limited funding to NGOs for assistance to victims, including rehabilitation, medical, and legal assistance. The Ministries of Labor and Social Welfare sponsor job and skill training in high-risk trafficking areas. In terms of prevention, the government, together with NGOs and international organizations, has supported local, national and regional anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns. In addition, the government has supported campaigns to boost school enrollment. The government has instituted an interagency National Task Force Against Trafficking that includes representatives from the police and NGOs. A lack of resources has prevented the government's National Plan of Action from being fully implemented. In January 2002, the government signed the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Convention on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution.
The Netherlands is both a destination and transit country for trafficking in persons, predominantly women and girls, from all parts of the world, including Nigeria, Thailand, the Philippines, Russia, Bulgaria, China, South America and Central and Eastern Europe. The Netherlands is a transit country for other European Union countries. Two specific trafficking problems have emerged recently: the disappearances from refugee centers of single underage asylum seekers, mostly from West African countries and China, who are often put to work as prostitutes, and a growing number of "lover boys," young Moroccans or Turks living in the Netherlands who seduce into prostitution young, third-generation Dutch girls of Moroccan, Surinamese and Antillean descent.
The Government of the Netherlands fully complies with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, including making serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons with respect to law enforcement, protection of victims, and prevention of trafficking. The Netherlands outlaws trafficking in persons, and vigorously investigates and prosecutes traffickers. Courts have handed down many convictions. A national public prosecutor for trafficking in persons was appointed in 2001, and each district court has its own trafficking in persons prosecutor. Police schools have started "prostitution control" courses, through which detection of trafficking and means to assist victims are taught. Many police officers have received this training, and police officials believe the training has led to an increase in criminal investigations and reports to the police. To protect victims, B9 immigration status is available for aliens who may have become victims of trafficking and for witnesses who are willing to testify for the prosecution in trafficking cases. B9 status holders may remain lawfully for three months in the Netherlands while relevant investigations are being carried out by authorities, during which time victims may decide whether to press charges against traffickers. Victims receive legal, financial and psychological assistance, and are entitled to safe shelter, medical check-ups and social security benefits. Victims are eligible also for permanent residence on humanitarian grounds. The government subsidizes the "Dutch Foundation Against Trafficking in Women," which is an independent, national expertise center that offers many services to victims. To prevent trafficking, the Government cooperates extensively with other European Union countries and financially supports national and international projects run by NGOs and international organizations to promote the empowerment of women in Central and Eastern Europe; the Caucasus and Central Asia; Cambodia, and Vietnam. One such program helps to prevent Colombian women from being trafficked to the Netherlands.
Nigeria is a source, transit, and destination country for persons trafficked to Europe, the Middle East, and West and Central Africa. Nigerian women are trafficked mostly for sexual exploitation to Italy, but also to other destinations including France, Spain, the Netherlands, and the Czech Republic. Children are trafficked for domestic and agricultural labor, from and to West and Central African countries, including Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, and Togo.
The Government of Nigeria does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While Nigeria does not have specific federal laws to address trafficking, a federal legislation draft, modeled on a law recently passed by Edo State, was presented to the National Assembly. The proposed legislation specifically addresses trafficking of women and children. Investigations are hampered by a lack of resources, as well as by widespread corruption among law enforcement officials. Prosecutions are few, due in part to the difficulty in securing witness corroboration in addition to the victim's testimony. Nigeria cooperates with other governments on investigations and prosecutions of trafficking cases. For example, Nigeria obtained the extradition of Nigerian traffickers from Guinea. In terms of protection, the government established a modest police unit in Lagos to assist in the repatriation of trafficked victims, and to provide limited short-term shelter. There is no witness protection program in place, but Nigerian NGOs have been very active in raising public awareness, in shaping legislation on trafficking, and in providing sometimes-needed protection from family members for repatriated women. Over the past three years, Nigeria cooperated with the Italian government on the repatriation of over one thousand persons in illegal status in Italy. Many of these returnees were victims of trafficking. Nigeria also cooperates with international organizations on programs to return and assist victims of trafficking, including those with HIV/AIDS. In an attempt to prevent trafficking, the Nigerian authorities have engaged in the questionable practice of parading the victims and the traffickers on television and in the communities. Nigeria actively participates in regional efforts to combat trafficking, and recently set up an Inter-Ministerial Committee to address trafficking in persons.
Pakistan is a country of origin, transit, and destination for women and children trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation and bonded labor. Internal trafficking of women and girls from rural areas to larger cities for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor also occurs. Afghan girls and women have been trafficked from refugee camps in Pakistan to urban areas for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Pakistan is a country of origin for young boys who are kidnapped or bought and sent to work as camel jockeys in the United Arab Emirates and Qatar. In many cases, Pakistani men and women go to the Middle East in search of work, only to be put into situations of coerced labor, slave-like conditions, or sexual exploitation. Pakistan serves as a destination point for women and children who are trafficked from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Central Asia for purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women and children trafficked from East Asian countries and Bangladesh to the Middle East transit through Pakistan.
The government of Pakistan does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Pakistan has statutes in its Penal Code that criminalize kidnapping, abduction, slavery, prostitution, forced labor, and importing girls for sexual exploitation. Prosecution is possible under these existing statutes, but the government is drafting new laws that would deal more effectively with trafficking and conform its legal system to international conventions that address trafficking. Although law enforcement officials have successfully investigated and arrested traffickers, severely backlogged courts and local corruption slow convictions. The Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) has registered several cases against camel jockey traffickers that are pending in court. If prostitution is prosecuted under the Islamic law-oriented Hudood ordinances, victims are often reluctant to testify since, if the burden of proof is not met, the woman's testimony is tantamount to an admission of adultery. Open borders and corruption among border guards and law enforcement personnel allows trafficked women and girls to be brought into the country. The government has undertaken several initiatives to provide protection and services to victims, including sponsoring shelters in Islamabad (which offers a full panoply of services) and Karachi, and training programs for actual and potential trafficking victims. The government also supports numerous centers throughout Pakistan sheltering women and trafficking victims as they undergo legal proceedings. These women and victims have access to medical treatment, limited legal representation, and vocational training. The government provides temporary residence status to foreign trafficking victims and a lawyer on demand. However, without the advocacy of an NGO, victims may be treated as criminals and detained for illegal immigration status. In terms of prevention, the government has focused its energy in the development of a poverty alleviation strategy. The government has worked with NGOs to raise awareness of trafficking, improve literacy and promote women's legal rights. Government-run Pakistan TV has also aired a two-part trafficking and human rights documentary several times. In April 2001, the government established an interagency task force to combat trafficking in persons, charged with closing legal loopholes and improving interagency cooperation. The government has begun the process of hiring 30 female personnel who will be responsible for identifying women and children victims of trafficking at 18 border stations.
The Philippines is a source, transit, and destination country for internationally trafficked persons. Women are trafficked primarily to destinations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East. Adults and children are trafficked internally from poor, rural areas to urban centers for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced to work as domestic servants or in other unsafe or exploitative industries. The Philippines is both a destination as well as a transit country for mainland Chinese nationals trafficked to the Pacific Islands nations or to North America.
The Government of the Philippines does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While there is no specific anti-trafficking law, penalties are appropriately severe under other relevant laws. The law prohibits forced and bonded labor by children. Convictions under the laws related to trafficking are not frequent, due primarily to the overall ineffectiveness of the judicial system. In 2001, the government increased the number of firms it closed for illegal recruitment over the previous year. In terms of protection, the government cooperates with religious organizations and other NGOs that provide social services. In some cases, the government directly provides in-kind aid. Repatriated victims receive medical aid, shelter, and financial assistance. Trafficked persons are rarely detained, jailed or deported and may request temporary residence status. Consular and diplomatic officials receive anti-trafficking training focusing on protection of exploited overseas workers. Victims can file civil suits or seek legal action against traffickers. A Witness Protection Program under the Department of Justice offers relocation and job placement assistance, but the program is under-funded and not widely known. On prevention, the government participates in a number of regional and international anti-trafficking initiatives. No new coordinated government anti-trafficking public education effort has been launched, although migrant workers receive pre-departure briefings on labor rights and abusive employment practices, and the government disseminates the names of illegal recruiters via Internet sites and posters. Although the government introduced a Strategic Plan for a National Coalition Against Trafficking in 2001, the agencies involved have not worked out implementation of the plan, nor has the government passed anti-trafficking legislation to implement and fund the plan.
Poland is a country of origin, transit and destination for trafficking in persons, primarily women and girls. Persons are trafficked to and through Poland primarily from Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, Romania, and Bulgaria. Poles are trafficked to Western Europe, mainly Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland.
The Government of Poland 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. Polish law prohibits forcing individuals into prostitution, trafficking in human beings and pimping. The Polish police investigate trafficking. The numbers arrested, indicted and prosecuted in Poland have increased considerably over the course of the last three years. The government cooperates with other countries and regional security organizations in trafficking cases and the repatriation of victims. To protect victims, temporary legal status is available to trafficking victims who want to testify against traffickers. This status is available for the duration of an investigation and trial. Polish victims are eligible for welfare services. Resources permitting, the government periodically provides small grants to NGOs and universities to provide shelter to and work with trafficking victims. Local governments fund the Center for Women's Rights and shelters for trafficking victims run by religious-affiliated organizations. To prevent trafficking, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has an information campaign aimed at travelers and tourists to warn them of the dangers of trafficking and to educate them about its existence in Poland among brothels and escort agencies. The government works with NGOs who sponsor training to increase border guards' awareness of trafficking and to improve their ability to detect trafficked victims. The government funds programs that indirectly help prevent trafficking, including public awareness campaigns against domestic violence and child abuse and programs to lower the teenage dropout rate. The government has a positive relationship with NGOs who provide considerable assistance to prevent trafficking.
Portugal is a country of destination for people, predominantly men, from Eastern Europe, especially Moldova, Ukraine, Russia and Belarus but also from Brazil and Lusophone Africa, who come to work in the construction industry and are put into exploitative labor conditions. Some women from Eastern Europe are also trafficked into sexual exploitation.
The Government of Portugal 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. Portugal has criminal and immigration laws specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons. The government actively investigates trafficking cases, as exhibited by increased investigations and arrests of alleged traffickers. The government has broken up large trafficking rings. The courts have handed down convictions of traffickers. The government cooperates with other European Union countries to investigate and prosecute traffickers. To protect victims, Portugal has a recent immigration law that provides a mechanism for illegal aliens to obtain lawful immigration status based on having employment. The Portuguese Labor Ministry released a "Welcome Guide," designed to teach new immigrants the basics of living and working in Portugal, which is in the process of being translated into several languages. The government provides some funding to NGOs to act as social assistance associations and offers protection to victims and witnesses. To prevent trafficking, the government pursues a policy focused on integrating immigrants and minorities into the mainstream of Portuguese society. With the recent law allowing immigrants to legalize their immigration status, immigrants also become eligible for health and welfare benefits. The law allows for individuals to receive an annually renewable authorization of stay. After five years, the immigrant may apply for an extension of residency or must leave the country. The government supports print and internet informational programs in Portuguese, English and Russian. The Commission for Equality and Women's Rights has a working group that informs trafficking victims of their legal rights. Portugal coordinates with other European Union countries on migration and asylum matters.