The government maintained law enforcement efforts. The national anti-trafficking law criminalized sex and labor trafficking and prescribed penalties of up to 15 years imprisonment, a fine of $5,000-$25,000, or both for offenses involving adult victims and up to 30 years imprisonment, a fine of between $5,000-$50,000, or both for offenses involving child victims. These penalties were sufficiently stringent, but by allowing for a fine in lieu of imprisonment for sex trafficking crimes, these penalties were not commensurate with penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape. Each of Micronesia’s four states had its own laws which criminalized trafficking offenses; however, Pohnpei and Chuuk States did not explicitly prohibit adult sex trafficking. Cases prosecuted at the state level may be heard subsequently at the national level, under national anti-trafficking law, depending on which court hears a case.
In 2017, the government reported investigating eight alleged trafficking cases, the same number of cases investigated in 2016. Of these investigations, one case led to a prosecution with two convictions, compared to one conviction in 2017. The government reported another alleged trafficking case was awaiting a trial date and a third case was still under investigation. They did not report the status of the other five alleged trafficking cases or the outcome of two cases reported as pending last year. In the case with two convictions, one offender was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine and sentenced to be in prison from Saturday night until Monday morning and confined to his workplace or home on the weekdays for a 15 month period. The other offender, the parent of the sexually trafficked child, received probation for 15 months with no fine.
In partnership with an international organization, the government conducted anti-trafficking training for a total of 735 participants: 75 judicial officials, 110 college students, and 550 high school students and teachers at venues provided by local governments. Authorities did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in trafficking offenses.