The government decreased protection efforts. The government did not identify any trafficking victims in the past three reporting periods, compared with 10 in 2015. Authorities did not report screening vulnerable children for trafficking, despite government and outside observer reports that parents and others induced children into sex trafficking, The government completed drafting the National Child Protection Action Plan with an international agency to address child vulnerabilities. The government completed drafting standard operating procedures for victim identification, referral, and protection with an international organization. Although the government reported that it informally used the procedures, they have not been formally approved. The police used the draft victim screening form as a uniform guide. The government conducted two workshops on victim identification and referrals for civil society and health care providers. Authorities provided two workshops on victim identification and referral for diplomatic personnel and external affairs department staff. The government did not allocate any funds for victim protection in 2018 and 2017, compared to 1 million Eastern Caribbean dollars ($370,370) in 2016 for victim care related to a 2015 labor trafficking prosecution.
Trafficking victims could be referred through the Office of Gender Relations to various organizations for legal, health, advocacy, and crisis services. Although there was no dedicated shelter for trafficking victims, the government had six facilities available to house victims. Adult victims were able to leave at will but the government did not allow them to work or receive formal residency status because it considered victims wards of the state. The 2018 Child Care, Protection, and Adoption Act designated the Human Services Department within the Ministry of Equity as lead on child protection issues, which increased coordination of child victim services. The 2010 anti-trafficking act contained victim protection provisions, such as privacy measures, the ability to testify via video link, and witness protection, to encourage victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. The act provided for victim restitution and other compensation in cases of traffickers’ conviction.