Section 110(b)(2)(D) of the TVPA (22 U.S.C. 7107(b)(2)(D)) requires that a country that has been included on the Tier 2 Watch List for two consecutive years and has not been upgraded to “Tier 1 or 2” be included in the following year’s report as “Tier 3.”  The governments of Tier 3 countries are those governments that do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and are not making significant efforts to do so.  Section 110(b)(2)(D) authorizes the President to waive application of this automatic downgrade the following year if the country merits a Tier 2 Watch List ranking, and he determines and reports credible evidence to the Committees on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives that such a waiver is justified because – “(i) the country has a written plan to begin making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; (ii) the plan, if implemented, would constitute making such significant efforts; and (iii) the country is devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan.”  On September 20, 2010, the President delegated his waiver authority under this provision to the Secretary of State.

This memorandum provides the justification for a waiver from the automatic downgrade to Tier 3 for Algeria, Bangladesh, Hungary, Iraq, Liberia, Montenegro, and Nicaragua for the 2019 TIP Report. Because each of the countries listed below has a written plan to begin making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is devoting sufficient resources to implement the plan, a waiver for each of the seven listed countries is justified under Section 110(b)(2)(D) of the TVPA.

Explanations of the Determinations for Each of These Seven Countries

Algeria

The Government of Algeria finalized and implemented a new national anti-trafficking action plan for 2019-2021.  Through relevant ministries, including the inter-ministerial National Committee for Prevention and Fight Against Trafficking in Persons, the plan addresses awareness raising, trainings, improving inter-ministerial coordination, capacity building, developing a national victim referral mechanism, providing specialized victim assistance and care, and partnering with international organizations.  The government has devoted staff and funding to an inter-ministerial committee, which is responsible for implementation of the plan.  Because implementation of the written plan would constitute making significant efforts to bring Algeria into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and because the Government of Algeria has devoted sufficient resources to implement the plan, a waiver is justified under section 110(b)(2)(D) for Algeria in the 2019 TIP Report.

Bangladesh

The Government of Bangladesh adopted the National Plan of Action for Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking for 2018-2022.  The plan establishes a framework for the government’s anti-trafficking efforts in the areas of prevention of human trafficking, holistic protection of trafficking victims, prosecution of traffickers, partnership and cross-country legal assistance, and monitoring and evaluation.  To prevent trafficking in persons, the plan addresses reduction of disaster-induced vulnerabilities, promotion of safe labor migration, and elimination of harmful practices against children that involve trafficking risks.  In order to improve victim protection, the plan commits the government to strengthen protection services for child trafficking victims and enhance coordination within the overall protection system.  In prosecution, the plan calls for the government to ensure priority access to legal services for human trafficking victims and to increase the number of trafficking cases that reach judgment.  The government has devoted staff and funding to a supervisory inter-ministerial committee, which is responsible for implementation of the plan.  Because implementation of the plan would constitute making significant efforts to bring Bangladesh into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and because the Government of Bangladesh has devoted sufficient resources to the anti-trafficking committee to implement the plan, a waiver is justified under section 110(b)(2)(D) for Bangladesh in the 2019 TIP Report.

Hungary

The Government of Hungary finalized an Action Plan Against Human Trafficking in December 2018 and passed a decree in March 2019 providing 159 million forints (US$567,500) in funding for 2019 anti-trafficking efforts.  The action plan and decree task relevant ministries with prevention, protection, and prosecution efforts.  The action plan calls for increasing training for law enforcement, victim protection specialists, and judicial officials; enhancing the national referral mechanism, service provision, the reintegration of child sex-trafficking victims, the protocol for addressing prostitution in child-protection institutions, and the operation of the online statistical system; and revising applicable legislation in the criminal code and the law on misdemeanors.  The decree provided funding for a vehicle to transport child trafficking victims and a shelter for victims.  Because implementation of the action plan and decree would constitute making significant efforts to bring Hungary into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and because the Government of Hungary has devoted sufficient resources to implement the plan and decree, a waiver is justified under section 110(b)(2)(D) for Hungary in the 2019 TIP Report.

Iraq

The Government of Iraq implemented a new national anti-trafficking action plan.  The plan commits to training for government personnel, raising awareness, developing standardized victim-identification procedures, improving victim-intake procedures and victim services at shelters, and enhancing institutional capacity of the inter-ministerial Central Committee on Combating Human Trafficking.  In addition, the plan outlines developing research on human trafficking in Iraq, establishing anti-trafficking hotlines, and enhancing the role of civil-society organizations and the private sector to combat trafficking.  The government designated dedicated personnel from various ministries to implement these objectives.  Because implementation of the written plan would constitute making significant efforts to bring Iraq into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and because the Government of Iraq has devoted sufficient resources to implement the plan, a waiver is justified under section 110(b)(2)(D) for Iraq in the 2019 TIP Report.

Liberia

The Government of Liberia adopted the Second National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons, 2019-2024, in March 2019.  The plan establishes a framework for the government’s anti-trafficking efforts in the areas of prosecution, protection, and prevention.  In the area of prosecution, the plan calls for the government to complete prosecutions against traffickers under the anti-trafficking law and to convict traffickers.  In order to improve victim protection, the plan commits the government to establish mechanisms to ensure victim safety and care during prosecutions and to provide temporary shelter to trafficking victims.  To prevent trafficking in persons, the plan directs the government to organize sensitization campaigns on human trafficking and Liberia’s anti-trafficking law, as well as to strengthen provision of identity and travel documents to reduce vulnerability to trafficking.  The government has devoted staff to the anti-trafficking task force to lead implementation of the plan, including officials from the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Labor, Liberian National Police, and Liberian Immigration Service.  Because implementation of the plan would constitute making significant efforts to bring Liberia into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and because the Government of Liberia has devoted sufficient resources to the anti-trafficking committee to implement the plan, a waiver is justified under section 110(b)(2)(D) for Liberia in the 2019 TIP Report.

Montenegro

The Government of Montenegro adopted the 2019-2024 Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and a 2019 Action Plan.  The government budgeted €1,085,000 (US$1,219,100) towards implementation of the strategy and allocated €149,500 ($167,980) to implement the 2019 action plan in the areas of protection, prosecution, and prevention.  In order to improve victim protection, the plan calls for specific activities and relevant ministries to strengthen operational capacity to conduct proactive identification, institutionalize victim-centered approaches, and improve the quality of victim assistance and support.  In prosecution, the plan calls for building knowledge and providing advanced training to authorities, strengthening inter-agency cooperation, and sensitizing and training authorities on trauma and victim-centered investigations and prosecutions.  To prevent trafficking in persons, the plan directs the government to conduct awareness campaigns for the public and vulnerable populations; to strengthen interagency coordination and international cooperation; and to conduct research on, monitor, and evaluate government policies to ensure their effectiveness.  Because implementation of the plan would constitute making significant efforts to bring Montenegro into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and because the Government of Montenegro has devoted sufficient resources to implement the plan, a waiver is justified under section 110(b)(2)(D) for Montenegro in the 2019 TIP Report.

Nicaragua

The Government of Nicaragua developed and published a national action plan for 20182022 that focused on awareness raising; increasing technical capacity to investigate, prosecute, and sentence traffickers; protecting the rights of victims and witnesses and providing assistance; and monitoring and implementing the plan.  The government reported it initiated implementation by conducting research, monitoring its efforts, and meeting to track trends and cases; however, it had not made its research or monitoring reports public.  The government designated various representatives to participate in the inter-ministerial committee, which coordinates activities pursuant to plan.  Because implementation of the plan would constitute making significant efforts to bring Nicaragua into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and because the Government of Nicaragua has devoted sufficient resources to the anti-trafficking committee to implement the plan, a waiver is justified under section 110(b)(2)(D) for Nicaragua in the 2019 TIP Report.

U.S. Department of State

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