Message From the Secretary of State

Dear Reader:

2019 Trafficking in Persons Report Cover

Human trafficking is one of the most heinous crimes on Earth. Right now traffickers are robbing a staggering 24.9 million people of their freedom and basic human dignity—that’s roughly three times the population of New York City. We must band together and build momentum to defeat human trafficking. We must hold the perpetrators of this heinous crime accountable. We must achieve justice for survivors as they rebuild their lives. We must reinvigorate our shared commitment to extinguish human trafficking wherever it exists. There is no time to waste.

Achieving these objectives requires sound information and tried-and-true approaches. Through the annual Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report), we assess comprehensively what governments around the world are doing to combat this crime. The TIP Report is an invaluable tool to arm ourselves with the latest information and guide our action at home and abroad. It helps us go beyond preconceived notions of what we think human trafficking is and better understand the complexities of this crime.

Each one of us can be a champion for freedom and use our specific strengths to help eradicate human trafficking. Individuals can learn the common indicators for human trafficking and call in suspicious activities to the local or national hotline. Businesses can take meaningful steps to eliminate forced labor from their supply chains. First responders can enhance training and put in place screening to help identify trafficking victims. Government leaders can prioritize investigating and prosecuting labor and sex trafficking cases wherever they occur.

Alongside us in the battle are those who sadly know first-hand how depraved this assault on human dignity really is. We salute the brave survivors who have already become instrumental partners in the global fight to combat human trafficking. We encourage other governments to seek survivor input and apply trauma-informed approaches to hold traffickers accountable and care for survivors. And we honor the courageous TIP Report Heroes who have dedicated themselves to this most urgent cause of defending freedom.

The Department of State joins the Trump Administration, community leaders, global allies, and the survivors in our shared fight to end human trafficking. We must be resolute—we cannot leave anyone behind. Rather, we must harness innovation and ingenuity to prevent trafficking, identify and empower those who have survived it, and send the strongest message possible to traffickers that we will not tolerate their despicable and criminal acts.

Sincerely,

Michael R. Pompeo

Message From the Ambassador-at-Large

Dear Reader:

This is an important time for us to be engaged in the work of stopping traffickers, protecting victims, and tackling the systems that allow the crime to thrive. Traffickers continue to operate with impunity and only a small fraction of victims receive trauma-informed, victim-centered support services. Yet, by working together, governments, civil society organizations, survivor advocates, and faith communities can reverse this troubling pattern.

This year, the TIP Report introduction highlights human trafficking that takes place exclusively within the borders of one country, absent any transnational elements. Although acknowledging human trafficking in this form is not new or novel, it remains important. The ILO reports that, globally, traffickers exploit 77 percent of victims in their countries of residence. Far too often, individuals, organizations, and governments erroneously use definitions of trafficking in persons that require the movement of victims. Both the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the United Nations’ Palermo Protocol focus on compelling a person to work or engage in a commercial sex act; they do not require movement from one place to another. The Palermo Protocol requires each state party to establish in its domestic law the crime of human trafficking both within and between countries.

As we in the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons worked to prepare the 187 country narratives for this year’s TIP Report, it became apparent that in many countries, governments are reluctant to address human trafficking when it happens at home. In effect, they are turning a blind eye to those traffickers who exploit their own citizens, neglecting to apply their own domestic laws regarding human trafficking, and sometimes even allowing harmful cultural norms and practices to thrive.

This year, the TIP Report serves as a call to action for governments around the world to embrace the full meaning of the Palermo Protocol and implement their domestic laws in a manner that protects all victims and punishes all traffickers.

I am honored to serve as the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons. Promoting justice and human rights around the world is essential because freedom and individual human dignity are core to American values and the foundation of international law. These are the very principles that traffickers work against when they commit these crimes. I am confident that we can make significant strides to hold accountable domestic, and transnational, traffickers and effectively implement laws so that all may enjoy freedom.

Sincerely,

John Cotton Richmond

PDF Format

Trafficking in Persons Report 2019 — Complete Report (PDF)
Introductory Material (PDF)
Country Narratives: A-C (PDF)
Country Narratives: D-I (PDF)
Country Narratives: J-M (PDF)
Country Narratives: N-S (PDF)
Country Narratives: T-Z and Special Case (PDF)
TVPA Amendments, Relevant International Conventions, and Closing Material (PDF)

The National Nature of Human Trafficking: Strengthening Government Responses and Dispelling Misperceptions

Each instance of human trafficking takes a common toll; each crime is an affront to the basic ideals of human dignity, inflicting grievous harm on individuals, as well as on their families and communities. Yet, if it were possible to hold human trafficking up to a light like a prism, each facet would reflect a different version of the crime, distinct in context but the same in essence. Together they would show the vast and varied array of methods traffickers use to compel adults and children of all genders, education levels, nationalities, and immigration statuses into service in both licit and illicit sectors. Traffickers may be family members, recruiters, employers, or strangers who exploit vulnerability and circumstance to coerce victims to engage in commercial sex or deceive them into forced labor. They commit these crimes through schemes that take victims hundreds of miles away from their homes or in the same neighborhoods where they were born.

This multifaceted crime can challenge policy makers. The foundational elements of human trafficking are difficult to grasp and the real world instances of this exploitation are even harder to identify. Importantly, how governments address human trafficking depends heavily on the way authorities perceive the crime. When officials view trafficking as a crime and have a precise understanding of its core elements, they are better equipped to identify and combat it, regardless of the particular scheme the trafficker uses.

Over the last two decades, the international community has benefited from an improved understanding of and response to human trafficking. Working together, governments, NGOs, international organizations, academics, communities, and survivors of human trafficking have built a more complete picture of human trafficking—a picture that rejects a narrow understanding of traffickers and victims, in favor of one that encompasses the full range of ways traffickers exploit their victims.

Despite major progress, a number of countries still struggle with gaps in their domestic legal responses, often because they do not recognize and address human trafficking using the wider view described above. In practice, this may mean that governments overlook certain forms of human trafficking when the conditions do not meet their narrower presumptions. For example, authorities may not consider men and boys as victims of sex trafficking due to a common misperception that sex traffickers only exploit women and girls. This may also result in governments arresting and prosecuting trafficking victims for the unlawful acts their traffickers compelled them to engage in, instead of offering them the support of protective services. Where this happens, anti-trafficking interventions are inadequate and the potential for productive criminal justice, protection, and prevention efforts is threatened.

This year the TIP Report introduction takes a deeper dive into one such gap, common in many countries around the world, whereby governments concentrate on transnational human trafficking cases at the expense of cases taking place within their borders. This spotlight is not intended to suggest that transnational human trafficking is not also important, or that the many other forms of trafficking that may go unaddressed due to similar oversight are of lesser consequence, but rather to call on governments to ensure they are addressing all forms of human trafficking and finding a balanced approach. In that vein and in the interest of de-emphasizing movement, this year’s report no longer refers to countries by the nomenclature “source, transit, and destination country.”

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The United States considers “trafficking in persons,” “human trafficking,” and “modern slavery” to be interchangeable umbrella terms that refer to both sex and labor trafficking. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended, and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime describe this compelled service using a number of different terms, including involuntary servitude, slavery or practices similar to slavery, debt bondage, and forced labor.

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The National Nature of Human Trafficking

Prevalence of human trafficking is difficult to measure; however, a number of international organizations have estimated that traffickers exploit a majority of human trafficking victims without moving them from one country to another. For example, the ILO estimated that traffickers exploit 77 percent of all victims in the victims’ countries of residence. Likewise, UNODC reported in 2018 that, for the first time ever, a majority of victims had been identified in their countries of citizenship, stating: “While transnational trafficking networks are still prevalent and must be responded to through international cooperation, national justice measures, strategies and priorities should acknowledge the increasingly national nature of the trafficking problem.” The same UNODC report also found that the clear majority of traffickers were citizens of the countries where they were convicted.

It should be noted that these numbers are not uniform across regions or even types of human trafficking. For example, UNODC found that the number of victims identified domestically was high compared to foreign victims in most areas of the world, except for Western and Central Europe, the Middle East, and some countries in East Asia. In addition, the ILO found that victims of sex trafficking more likely faced transnational human trafficking while victims of forced labor typically experienced exploitation in their country of residence.

Frequently, human trafficking within a country is found in sectors that are common nearly everywhere, such as the commercial sex industry and others like farming, construction, manufacturing, and mining. The latter are also often referred to as “dirty, dangerous, and difficult” and rely on low-skilled and vulnerable local labor forces. At the same time, instances of human trafficking within a country may be more characteristic of that specific country or region, such as child domestic work or exploitative sham marriages. Indeed, examples vary greatly:

  • Traffickers in Brazil, under the guise of religious mandates, exploit Brazilian victims in forced labor, including on farms and in factories and restaurants, after the victims join certain churches or religious cults.
  • In Cambodia, a lack of jobs leads some women and girls to leave their homes in rural areas to try to find work in tourist destination cities. In many cases, traffickers exploit them in sex trafficking, including in massage parlors, karaoke bars, and beer gardens.
  • In Ethiopia, traffickers often deceive parents of children living in rural areas into sending their children to major cities to work as domestic workers. The traffickers promise families that the children will go to school and receive wages for their work, thereby enabling them to send money home.
  • In India, the government officially abolished bonded labor in 1976, but the system of forced labor still exists. For example, under one scheme prevalent in granite quarries in India, quarry owners offer wage advances or loans with exorbitant interest rates, trapping workers in debt bondage—in some cases for their entire lives.
  • In the United Kingdom (UK), gangs force British children to carry drugs. According to the UK National Crime Agency data in 2017, the largest group of potential victims referred to the National Referral Mechanism was UK nationals.
  • In the United States, traffickers prey upon children in the foster care system. Recent reports have consistently indicated that a large number of victims of child sex trafficking were at one time in the foster care system.
  • In Yemen, the ongoing conflict has led to many human rights violations, with many parties using child soldiers. According to a UN report, there have been 842 verified cases of the recruitment and use of boys as young as 11 years old.

Given the recent global estimates related to the national nature of human trafficking and the various forms it can take, all governments must acknowledge and take targeted steps to address human trafficking that takes place within one country without any movement across an international border.

There may be complicated reasons why a government would fail to address this form of human trafficking. It is easier to look outward and call on other governments to act; it takes much more resolution and political will for governments to look inward and stop traffickers, including their own citizens, from exploiting victims who have not crossed an international border. Governments should also examine the varying political and economic systems that make it easier for traffickers to commit the crime. What is clear is that governments have an obligation to address all forms of human trafficking, those both with and without a transnational element. When governments overlook this reality and ignore human trafficking at home, they risk being blinded to—and neglecting—an often significant crime within their own borders.

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Human Trafficking Defined

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (TVPA), defines “severe forms of 
trafficking in persons” as:

  • sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in 
which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or
  • the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.

A victim need not be physically transported from one location to another for the crime to fall within this definition.

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The Palermo Protocol and Transnationality

In 2000, the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (the Palermo Protocol), supplementing the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC), marked an important transition into the modern movement against human trafficking. Over the years, the Palermo Protocol has been the source of much clarification—but also some confusion—about human trafficking, particularly regarding the issue of transnationality.

It was the first international instrument to define “trafficking in persons” and provide insight into the many different ways traffickers commit this crime. The Palermo Protocol uses “trafficking in persons” as an umbrella term that covers a wide variety of offenses, such as maintaining someone in forced labor or recruiting someone for compelled commercial sexual exploitation. It also provided a much-needed foundation on which governments could build policies that criminalize human trafficking and stop traffickers, protect victims and prevent victimization, and promote cooperation among countries.

Thus, three elements are needed to establish the crime of human trafficking under Palermo—the trafficker’s action, the means of force, fraud or coercion, and the purpose of exploitation. As of March 31, 2019, 173 parties ratified the Palermo Protocol and 168 countries have passed domestic legislation criminalizing human trafficking according to this framework. In addition, a number of best practices in protection for victims have emerged including the importance of a victim-centered and trauma-informed approach in both law enforcement and service provision.

According to the UNODC’s 2018 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons, there has been an upward trend in the last decade in the number of victims identified and traffickers convicted globally. These data are not uniform across regions and types of human trafficking, yet the report suggests an overall positive correlation between the implementation of anti-trafficking strategies and increased identification of victims and conviction of traffickers. Similarly, the TIP Report’s data on prosecutions, convictions, and victim identification are significantly higher now than they were ten years ago, when the TIP Report first began to note an upward global trend. It is clear that government efforts stemming from the adoption of the Palermo Protocol are working.

Many governments deserve credit for their serious efforts to address modern slavery. Yet, much work remains. Persistent gaps in governments’ understanding of the issue continue to impede global progress, as do stubborn misperceptions about human trafficking and inconsistencies in the implementation of domestic legislation.

One common misperception generates ongoing confusion—that human trafficking requires movement across borders and cannot occur solely within a country’s borders. A possible explanation for this confusion may stem from the use of the word “trafficking” in the term “trafficking in persons,” which connotes movement, and the fact that the Palermo Protocol and its parent convention the UNTOC are intended to foster international cooperation in combating organized crime networks, which typically operate transnationally. The Palermo Protocol also calls on parties to meet its objectives through interstate cooperation. This context could imply that human trafficking is exclusively transnational, requires movement, and necessarily is tied to organized crime. Yet the UNTOC itself and a number of UNODC publications interpreting the Palermo Protocol make it clear that, when drafting domestic legislation, governments should consider human trafficking independently of both transnationality and the involvement of an organized criminal group. Each state party must establish in its domestic law the crime of human trafficking both within and between countries.

It is important for drafters of legislation to note that the provisions relating to the involvement of transnationality and organized crime do not always apply… The Trafficking in Persons Protocol also applies to protection of victims regardless of transnationality or involvement of an organized group. –The Legislative Guide for Implementation of the Palermo Protocol

Another related misunderstanding about human trafficking is that a trafficker must move or transport a victim. Even though the term “trafficking in persons” connotes movement, no language in the definition requires movement to constitute a trafficking crime. Indeed, the Palermo Protocol’s definition specifically refers to actions by traffickers that do not entail or require any movement, such as recruitment, which quite often takes place locally. Harboring, in particular, has been frequently interpreted to mean the maintenance of an individual in compelled service, including by a United Nations and Council of Europe publication that defined harboring as “accommodating or housing persons,” including at their place of exploitation. In such cases, the three elements clearly are met—by the actions of housing or keeping an individual by coercive means for the purpose of exploitation—without the trafficker ever moving the person.

As reflected in their laws, most governments recognize this view of human trafficking. This is a major success that, in just two decades, 168 governments have implemented domestic legislation criminalizing all forms of human trafficking whether the crime happens transnationally or nationally. That said, even upon the adoption of the Protocol, supporters emphasized that the true challenge would lie in the implementation of the laws in each country.

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Under the Palermo Protocol, “trafficking in persons” is defined as:

“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

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Fundamentals of Implementing the Palermo Protocol

In creating and implementing legislation, governments have the power to shape reality. Legislation that protects all victims and criminalizes all forms of human trafficking, including those that take place exclusively within a country’s borders, gives governments the platform and opportunity to embrace fully their responsibilities under the Palermo Protocol.

As noted above, the majority of governments around the world already have in place comprehensive laws to address trafficking in persons. Yet, law alone can do little to end human trafficking. Translating legislation into meaningful action demands dedication, focus, and resources and requires that those implementing it truly understand both the underlying letter and the spirit of the law.

Governments can and should adopt and implement the promising practices below. Their value lies in their power not only to help governments better address human trafficking within their borders, but also to help combat all manner of misconceptions, biases, and misunderstandings about what constitutes human trafficking.

Institutionalizing a clear understanding of human trafficking

A clear understanding of the underlying exploitative nature of human trafficking and the unique ways it affects a country is a critical foundation on which governments can build a truly comprehensive strategy.

As noted above, the Palermo Protocol defines human trafficking by its three elements—a trafficker’s action taken through the means of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. Understanding it as such leaves little room for interpretation based on the incidental attributes of the victim or the trafficker, such as gender, age, nationality, legal status, or occupation, or on other circumstances surrounding the crime, such as movement or connection to organized crime.

Messaging from the highest levels of government should be clear and consistent and preclude overly restrictive interpretations of human trafficking or perceptions of its victims. Governments should make every effort to ensure that those addressing human trafficking, both in policy and practice, frame the issue correctly to avoid limiting the applicability of anti-trafficking laws and protection efforts.

For example, governments should prosecute human trafficking crimes as such and not under other criminal provisions—or, worse, civil laws—that may come with weaker or no criminal penalties. Characterizing an offense as less severe, such as penalizing human traffickers for labor violations under employment law instead of charging them for labor trafficking, may mean that traffickers are given penalties substantially lower than those prescribed under anti-trafficking law, limiting their potential deterrent effects.

In addition, governments should encourage or mandate comprehensive training for victim identification, especially for those most likely to come into contact with trafficking victims. This includes law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and judicial officials, healthcare providers, educators, child welfare officials, labor inspectorates, and many others. Training should be designed to help such stakeholders identify all forms of human trafficking. Without such an education, those best positioned to spot the signs of human trafficking may not be able to identify victims when they encounter them or know the appropriate way to respond.

Institutionalizing a clear understanding of human trafficking may also require governments to invest in research and data collection. Over the years, data collection by national governments has improved substantially, but gaps still exist and evidence suggests that anti-trafficking efforts lag where less is known about trafficking. An evidence-driven and unbiased understanding of human trafficking in a country is imperative to the creation of a well-balanced and tailored anti-trafficking response.

For example, in the Netherlands in 2017, the Dutch National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Human Beings worked with UNODC to develop the “first reliable estimate of actual number of victims in the Netherlands.” Using multiple systems estimation, a methodology that helped to find hidden populations of trafficking victims, the Netherlands found the estimated number of trafficking victims is four to five times higher than the average number of those identified. It also found that the most common form of human trafficking in the Netherlands (46%) is sex trafficking of Dutch nationals in the Netherlands, while the least visible victims in the Netherlands are Dutch girls. The National Rapporteur further acknowledged the findings exposed “gaps and blind spots” in the Dutch approach to combating human trafficking and the need to pursue evidence-driven policies.

Developing a robust anti-trafficking coordination process

Due to its complexity, combating human trafficking requires a multidisciplinary effort. For governments this means incorporating the expertise of stakeholders from a range of agencies or ministries that may have a nexus to human trafficking. To facilitate an approach that addresses human trafficking regardless of where or how it takes place, governments can take steps to ensure that all appropriate authorities understand human trafficking, the various ways they may come into contact with victims or perpetrators, and the appropriate response when they do.

Cambodia funds an interagency committee, the National Committee for Counter Trafficking, to coordinate anti-trafficking activities and implement its national action plan. Subsidiary provincial anti-trafficking committees coordinate efforts at the local level to mirror the activities of the national action plan with modest central government funds and assistance from NGOs. With the help of international donors, six out of nine of these committees created their own provincial-level action plans. A working group monitors the efforts of both the interagency committee and its provincial subsidiary committees.

Establishing ongoing coordination can also help to ensure that the appropriate agencies or ministries have the authority to investigate cases of human trafficking.

For example, Serbia is consolidating jurisdiction to investigate human trafficking under the Criminal Police Directorate—Serbia’s domestic law enforcement agency. Previously, the Border Police and Foreigners Office Police split this responsibility, which complicated investigations and implied that a human trafficking crime needed a transnational element.

In addition, intra-governmental partnerships can be incredibly effective for information-sharing and helping governments to expand the number and types of trafficking schemes found in their country. For example, when considering trafficking crimes in-country, labor ministries must collaborate and learn from law enforcement to be fully engaged in inspecting local economies and knowing how to alert the appropriate authorities when they identify instances of human trafficking.

In an effort to combat the commercial sexual exploitation of children in Japan, the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly passed an ordinance in July 2017 prohibiting girls younger than 18 from working in compensated dating—or “JK”—services and requiring such businesses to register their employee rosters with the city. Authorities identified 114 of these operations nationwide in 2017, and closed 14 for violating the terms of the ordinance. Courts then initiated prosecution under the Labor Standards Act against the owner of one such establishment for child sex trafficking.

In Greece, the Anti-Trafficking Unit of the Hellenic Police Unit maintains several teams of officers across Greece that investigate human trafficking and other crimes and also conduct joint inspections with labor inspectors and social workers.

Confronting harmful cultural norms and local practices

Cultural norms and practices play an important role in defining a country or society, but human traffickers have also used them to support, hide, or attempt to justify human trafficking. The Palermo Protocol specifically notes that exceptions cannot be made to the criminalization requirement based on cultural variations. It is important that governments examine how traffickers may exploit cultural practices to conduct criminal activity. In some cases, traffickers may take advantage of religious beliefs to coerce victims into servitude and it is important that governments seek help from and offer support to cultural and religious leaders taking strides to protect their communities from human traffickers.

For example, in Nigeria, traffickers use fraud to recruit women and girls for jobs in Europe and force them into commercial sex when they get there. Many traffickers force victims to take a juju oath to ensure compliance and threaten death resulting from the juju curse if they break their oath, disobey their traffickers, and try to leave their exploitative situations. In early 2018, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons and the governor of Edo State partnered with the Oba of Benin, the traditional religious leader of the Benin kingdom in Nigeria, to publicize a ceremony where the Oba performed a ritual dissolving all previous juju curses performed by traffickers.

In other cases, deeply ingrained practices may make it difficult for governments to see and address human trafficking in their own backyards. For example, many countries in South Asia face the practice of debt bondage, a form of human trafficking in which traffickers use debt to force an individual into forced labor.

Pakistan’s largest human trafficking problem is bonded labor—in which employers use an initial debt to force people to work and trap them and often their family members, sometimes for generations.  Although Pakistani laws criminalize this form of forced labor, enforcement of these laws remains inadequate and many landowners continue to exploit bonded laborers with impunity.

In addition, officials across government should work to challenge stereotypes of a typical victim of human trafficking. For example, in many cases, traffickers force their victims to commit crimes. Forced criminality takes the form of begging, prostitution, cannabis cultivation, and theft, among others. An untrained law enforcement officer or benefits adjudicator may not realize an individual is a victim of human trafficking before making an arrest or a decision on available benefits. These assumptions can also make victims more reluctant to seek help. Proactive efforts to recognize and mitigate these assumptions are therefore critical.

For example, in Finland the non-discrimination ombudsman is the national rapporteur on human trafficking. She began a new research project assessing trafficking cases in Finland to evaluate how victims access the assistance system. The findings of this type of study could serve as an important barometer for how national assumptions and blind spots among law enforcement, service providers, and society shape a country’s response to human trafficking.

Empowering communities to recognize and address human trafficking

When the public views trafficking crimes as common local or cultural practices that do not warrant criminal investigation or prosecution, it is critically important for governments to raise awareness and foster initiatives for communities to help address it.

The 2018 TIP Report covered the issue of supporting community efforts to find local solutions. It is worth noting again the value in reinforcing and empowering communities as full partners in the fight against human trafficking. Public perceptions about human trafficking have a major impact on the way governments address it. If well informed about the various forms of human trafficking, the public can be the eyes and ears of their communities and can put pressure on law enforcement to make it a priority.

For example, in Ghana, where forced child labor is prevalent in the fishing industry on Lake Volta, NGOs have worked to change community perceptions so that many now view the use of children in fishing as an illegal activity. Many communities have formed local watchdog groups that know how to identify human trafficking, go door-to-door raising awareness about its harmful effects, and report cases to authorities. Community members are also essential in providing follow-on support and reintegration services.

In addition, governments can design public awareness campaigns to target a particular issue and motivate communities to get involved. In design, these types of campaigns should have clear objectives that promote sound anti-trafficking policies.

For example, in Benin, some traffickers subject children to forced labor in street and market vending. Recently, the Beninese government led a public awareness campaign focused on potential exploitation in Benin’s large open-air markers in Cotonou, Porto-Novo, and Parakou. This community-oriented campaign also incorporated an inspection program conducted at the markets and along roads connecting major cities, which resulted in the identification of more than 800 potential child trafficking victims.

In addition, governments can design community-based approaches to enhance their law enforcement efforts. For example, across Moldova, teams of local officials and NGOs coordinate victim identification and assistance efforts resulting in an increased number of shelter referrals.

Conclusion

Since the adoption of the Palermo Protocol, a growing number of stakeholders, including a majority of the world’s governments, have enacted comprehensive laws to hold human traffickers criminally accountable and provide care to survivors. Over time, it has become clear that stopping traffickers and ensuring protections for all victims, including victims of internal trafficking in persons, requires governments to truly comprehend what constitutes human trafficking and to proactively use those laws.

At times, governments may need to go even further. In particular, addressing human trafficking at home also takes political courage—in inspecting local sectors and industries, investigating official power structures that may condone or facilitate such activities, and ending impunity for crimes that have long been seen as accepted local and cultural practices. Governments may find it easier to blame sex trafficking on those who come to their countries to engage in foreign sex tourism than to address local demand; or to blame foreign government and power structures for failing to protect their nationals working abroad from labor trafficking, than to address the exploitative activities of labor recruiters in their jurisdiction.

Acknowledging human trafficking within the borders of a country is not easy. Governments should be willing to admit its existence and rise to their responsibility to address it. In doing so, governments not only protect those within their borders, but also contribute to the greater global fight against human trafficking.

Topics of Special Interest

Challenges and Advances in Data Collection and Management in Combating Human Trafficking

The availability of reliable, high-quality data is critical for designing the most effective strategies and interventions in the global fight against human trafficking. Primary data is extremely difficult to gather, however, and much of the limited data that is collected remains inaccessible. While some governments and a few large, well-funded organizations manage sophisticated databases, the cost of building and maintaining such systems can be prohibitive. Instead, most organizations maintain case files that rely on basic databases, spreadsheets, and paper files, thus the form, quality, and type of data stored can vary widely. The lack of effective data collection and management results in:

  1. Poor data management practices and systems. Organizations without the funding or capacity to develop well-designed, modern practices and systems cannot easily search and analyze their own data.
  2. Weak privacy protections. The privacy of individual trafficking survivors may be compromised by inadequate data management practices and systems susceptible to intrusion or corruption.
  3. “Siloed” data. Most data are accessible only to the collecting organization and, in some cases their funders, and not to other researchers, academics, practitioners, and policy-makers unless those organizations have developed effective strategies to share data while also ensuring privacy protections.
  4. Lack of standardization. Data sets are often not standardized within or across organizations and may be incomplete and incompatible.

Challenges to Building Centralized Datasets

Gathering and centralizing reliable, high-quality data that can be shared appropriately with the anti-trafficking community and within and between governments presents several particular challenges.

Collection. Collecting data on human trafficking requires special care and attention. Data must be gathered sensitively and responsibly by experts trained in trauma-informed interviews, when it is collected directly from survivors. Collectors must also employ sound methodologies to ensure data integrity and confidentiality.

Standardization. Data standardization requires many different governments, agencies, and organizations—each with its own legacy record-keeping system and mandates—to agree upon data standards and a common data architecture.

Aggregation. Having several different datasets that are standardized and compatible means they can technically be combined into larger or cross-sectional datasets, but political, bureaucratic, and legal obstacles may nevertheless prevent their data aggregation. Real data sharing agreements must be reached to overcome these institutional barriers so that related and standardized datasets can be brought together into larger, more useful databases for analysis.

Data Integrity and Anonymity. Protecting the integrity of the data and the identity and privacy of survivors is of paramount importance once data has been collected, standardized, and aggregated. Special care must be taken to prevent database compromise or inadvertent releases of information that can identify vulnerable individuals. Mitigating these risks requires professional and often costly security measures.

Benchmark Data Management and Collection Initiatives

Several anti-trafficking entities have found ways to overcome these challenges and are making great strides in creating centralized databases and anonymized datasets. Collectively, they are driving community efforts to consolidate, harmonize, and share human trafficking-related data, and paving the way for more data-driven decision making, improved policies and programs, and better research and analysis. Below are some highlights:

  • IOM Counter Trafficking Data Collaborative (CTDC). Launched in November 2017, the CTDC is the first global data hub on human trafficking. The CTDC brings together organizations from around the world, including IOM, Polaris, and Liberty Shared, to make harmonized human trafficking data publicly available in a central, accessible online platform. As of January 25, 2019, the CTDC database included 91,416 survivor cases from 172 countries in datasets downloadable from the CTDC website, which receives about 4,000 visitors per month. IOM is continuing to advance several research projects based on the database.
  • Victim Case Management System (VCMS). Liberty Shared works to prevent human trafficking through legal advocacy, technology interventions, and strategic collaborations with NGOs and corporations in Asia and globally. It has developed the VCMS as a shared platform for survivor case management that addresses the challenges of data collection, standardization, aggregation, and protection. Currently, 54 NGOs share data on the platform, and VCMS has contributed more than 25,000 cases to IOM’s CTDC.
  • Polaris. Polaris works to eradicate modern slavery and restore freedom to survivors in the United States. Polaris collects data from its National Human Trafficking Hotline and Polaris BeFree Textline and also contributes case data to the CTDC. More than 49,000 cases of human trafficking have been reported to the Hotline in the last 10 years. Twenty-four percent of texting conversations on the Polaris BeFree Textline originated from survivors of human trafficking compared to 14 percent of phone calls to the Hotline.
  • UNODC Global Report on Human Trafficking. The 2018 UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons is the fourth of its kind mandated by the General Assembly through the 2010 United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. The Report covers 142 countries and provides an overview of patterns and flows of trafficking in persons at global, regional, and national levels, based primarily on cases detected by governments between 2014 and 2016. As UNODC has been collecting data from governments systematically on trafficking in persons for more than a decade, the report is able to present trend information for a broad range of indicators.
  • Southern African Development Community (SADC) Anti-Trafficking in Persons Network. Since 2014, UNODC has helped 12 countries (Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) set up national data hubs linked to a regional data hub administered by UNODC. The SADC network collects data from governments on both victim and trafficker profiles, trafficking routes, traffickers’ methods and types of exploitation, assessments of victim services, and the status of investigations and prosecutions. The data collection system also offers a repository of case law, legislation, and policy from southern Africa, which is accessible to the public.
  • UNODC Human Trafficking Knowledge Portal. UNODC launched the Human Trafficking Case Law Database in October 2011 to provide immediate, public access to officially documented instances of this crime. Through this project, UNODC has documented 1,486 case briefs available from 103 jurisdictions, 102 countries, and two supranational courts. Housed on UNODC’s Human Trafficking Knowledge Portal, the database contains information on the nationalities of trafficking victims and perpetrators, trafficking routes, verdicts, and other information related to prosecuted cases around the world.

Exploitative Sham Marriages and Human Trafficking in Europe

“Sham marriages” typically involve the scenario where two individuals give their consent and agree to marry subject to conditions that include an exchange of benefits, financial or otherwise, in order for one party to obtain permanent residency in another country. This practice is distinct from forced marriage, which is a marriage that takes place without the full and free consent of one or both people to the union. Recently experts have highlighted human trafficking in the context of “sham marriages” as an increasingly prevalent trend in Europe.

Various academic studies and projects of other institutions, NGOs, and international organizations have sought to understand and analyze the link between human trafficking and sham marriages in Europe. One notable EU project developed the expression “exploitative sham marriages” to describe sham marriages involving any form of exploitation, including human trafficking. The project found certain exploitative sham marriages exhibit all three elements of the crime of human trafficking. In recruiting victims via sham marriages, traffickers use personal contacts, including family members and friends, and social media such as Facebook, internet dating sites, and advertisements, to lure potential victims with false promises of money, misleading job offers, or other fraudulent opportunities. Traffickers typically, but not exclusively, target women as potential victims, often from impoverished backgrounds, with minimal education, or originating from vulnerable populations or destitute communities, such as the Roma. Forms of exploitation range from sex trafficking to domestic servitude to forced criminal activities. These studies further show that exploitative sham marriage schemes tend to be carried out by organized crime syndicates also engaged in other forms of exploitation. For example, recruiters—most often helping men from India, Pakistan, or Bangladesh to obtain EU residency benefits, work, and citizenship rights—convince women from the Baltics, Eastern Europe, Portugal, or France with promises of money or a lucrative job to move to the UK, Ireland, or Germany and marry men they have never met. Once married, the men are able to travel, live, and work anywhere within the 28 EU member states.

Although the victims understand from the beginning that the marriages are shams, they believe the arrangement will benefit them and provide economic opportunity. The reality, however, is very different from their expectations. Traffickers mislead victims with false information about financial remuneration, accommodations, job opportunities, and divorce procedures. Before the victims realize it, they are trapped in a situation based on lies, exploited, and living in fear in a foreign country.

Exploitative sham marriages are deliberate and coordinated crimes that crime syndicates facilitate, often by working across multiple continents and engaging in numerous different schemes. In Scotland, for example, investigators uncovered European and Asian crime networks working together with European traffickers who recruited and transported victims from Eastern Europe, and Asian traffickers who arranged the accommodations. In some cases, the “grooms” participate in recruiting the potential victims. In other cases, middlemen recruit potential victims. The middlemen tend to be either EU nationals from the same community or country as potential victims or men from the same country as the “groom.” Traffickers pay recruiters to find victims to serve as brides. These exploitative practices are extremely profitable. For some crime networks, it can be a multi-million dollar enterprise where human trafficking is just one part of a larger operation involving other illegal activities, such as migrant smuggling and organ trafficking.

The trend of exploitative sham marriages has been a concern in Europe for several years. With international studies and organizations shedding more light on the issue, awareness has grown across the continent, resulting in increased training, capacity building, and enhanced cooperation, including joint investigative teams. Countries, such as Latvia, the UK, and Ireland, have financially invested in addressing the root causes and empowering vulnerable populations. Aiming to find ways to address poverty and social exclusion can help potential victims avoid agreeing to marry strangers in exchange for money or jobs in another country, and instead help them create and pursue their vision of a better life in other ways.

Dedicated Prosecution Units

Human trafficking schemes take many different forms and affect many different types of victims. The widely ratified Palermo Protocol requires governments to criminalize human trafficking and related offences. Trafficking is a hidden crime whose victims are often reluctant to cooperate with law enforcement. To effectively combat human trafficking, those responsible for identification, investigation, and prosecution efforts need a breadth and depth of expertise, including a familiarity with the spectrum of tactics used by human traffickers and the unique needs of victims. Successful identification, investigation, and prosecution of human trafficking crimes requires substantial specialized expertise in detecting trafficking indicators, stabilizing and protecting victims, and investigating conduct that may span both domestic jurisdictions and international borders.

Dedicated prosecution units in many countries play a critical role in comprehensive anti-trafficking efforts. These units provide subject matter expertise in often-complicated human trafficking prosecutions and play a key role coordinating the variety of stakeholders across government who are needed to prosecute successfully the full range of human trafficking crimes. Dedicated units that have been properly trained in victim-centered, trauma-informed anti-trafficking strategies are better able to build trust with victim-witnesses and partnerships with victim service providers and advocates, navigate the complexities that often arise in the process, and ensure that victims are afforded access to protection and services.

In addition, prosecution units dedicated specifically to anti-trafficking efforts are able to bring challenging trafficking prosecutions that set precedents and continue to build expertise year after year.

What elements are necessary for effective human trafficking prosecution units?

  • Dedicated personnel with advanced expertise focused on identifying, investigating, and prosecuting 
both labor and sex trafficking cases.
  • Leadership roles in building strong anti-trafficking partnerships, including partnerships:
    • within the criminal justice system (e.g., financial investigators, organized crime prosecutors);
    • with other governmental and intergovernmental authorities (e.g. immigration agencies, labor officials, local governments, foreign law enforcement counterparts);
    • with external stakeholders (e.g. nongovernmental victim service providers, victim and survivor advocacy groups, organizations serving vulnerable populations).
  • Comprehensive training programs to deliver specialized training on identification, investigation and prosecution of 
trafficking cases, including for police, border patrols, prosecutors, judges, government agencies, and social workers.
  • Commitment to advancing approaches to human trafficking that are comprehensive, victim-centered, and trauma-informed.
  • Focus on internal as well as transnational human trafficking cases.
  • Nationwide geographical coverage to ensure consistency in responses and victim-centered practices across regions 
(not limited to the capital).
  • Prioritization of efficiency to reduce the time needed to complete cases.

An increasing number of governments are developing and applying promising practices to improve the prosecution of human trafficking cases. In an effort to strengthen the criminal justice response, many countries now have dedicated prosecution units and courts, and provide specialized training for judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement, among others.

  • In Guatemala, the Attorney General’s Office (Public Ministry or “MP”) expanded its anti-trafficking prosecutor’s office and opened a new regional office in March in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala’s second largest city. The new office will cover nine departments consisting of 38 percent of the country’s population, including those closest to the Mexican border where traditionally there has been little MP coverage of human trafficking prosecutions. The new office will add 12 additional members to the anti-trafficking team. Shifting their focus to more complex cases, the MP’s specialized office will carry out large-scale raids on human trafficking networks in conjunction with the National Police Force.
  • Thailand established the Department of Anti-Human Trafficking at the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) in October 2015 to be operated alongside the anti-trafficking division of the Royal Thai Police, and the Special Human Trafficking Division within the Criminal Court in Bangkok (established in August 2015). The trafficking unit takes on all tasks conducted by the OAG related to trafficking cases and prosecutes them within the jurisdiction of the Bangkok Criminal Court, while local public prosecutors continue to handle cases in each province. Complex cases or those that may involve public officials can be transferred to the trafficking unit in Bangkok. The OAG trafficking unit conducts training for prosecutors in the provinces on techniques to prosecute effectively trafficking crimes, and as of December 2016, public prosecutors are required to file all trafficking cases to the unit for consideration.
  • In the United States, the Department of Justice created a specialized Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit (HTPU) within its Civil Rights Division in 2007 to consolidate human trafficking prosecution experience. HTPU provides subject matter expertise on forced labor, transnational sex trafficking, and sex trafficking of adults. The Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), created in 1987, provides subject matter expertise on the sexual exploitation of minors in any form, including foreign and domestic child sex trafficking, technology-facilitated child sex trafficking, and child sex tourism.

Human Trafficking Hotlines

National human trafficking hotlines, or helplines, are critical components of a comprehensive anti-trafficking response and can be a powerful instrument in combating human trafficking. Hotlines are often one of the safest and most efficient tools for callers to access emergency assistance, connect to services, and learn about available resources. They also often serve as the first point of contact for the public on human trafficking concerns. However, insufficient funding and a lack of operational protocols, personnel training and retention, service and law enforcement referral networks, and engagement from government institutions can hinder a hotline’s ability to assist callers effectively and could even place them in danger. As governments and communities explore starting a hotline, or improving one that already exists, it is important to evaluate capacity and resource levels to determine which structure would lend itself to the most effective, sustainable hotline.

Hotlines and the organizations that run them can enhance anti-trafficking efforts but are only effective if the public is confident that they will lead callers to help. The quality of this help depends on the strength of the local government and nongovernmental response, as well as on the level of trust and relationships between the hotline and these partners. It also depends on how developed the service infrastructure is and whether it is reliable for caller referrals. If governments and service providers are not able to provide basic emergency assistance, longer-term care, and reintegration support, the effectiveness of the hotline may be limited.

A hotline’s ability to serve its callers also hinges on its organizational stability. The amount of available, steady funding, trauma-informed responses, and trained personnel often determine a hotline’s operational scope, such as hours of operation, live or recorded responses, forms of human trafficking it can address, and range of caller assistance it can provide. Effective hotlines adhere to a clear mission and well-established protocols for core staff functions, roles, and relationships to referral entities. In keeping with the practice of victim service providers, anti-trafficking hotlines should maintain strict procedures to safeguard victims’ personal information to avoid placing them in danger and set clear expectations with callers regarding the hotline’s role and next steps. One of the strongest indicators of caller volume for human trafficking hotlines has been whether a hotline offers anonymity. How a hotline adopts mandatory reporting requirements and clarity about caller confidentiality and reporting policies can help individuals decide if or when they feel safe contacting the hotline.

The structure and features of human trafficking hotlines often reflect the local profile of human trafficking cases and social norms. Having a strong sense of how traffickers operate, where cases typically occur, and which populations traffickers target can help a hotline to serve best the intended constituency. In addition, knowing the most common forms of communication within local communities and how reliable the telecom infrastructures are can help determine which platforms the hotline should invest in. National hotlines have included toll-free telephone lines with easy-to-remember numbers, email accounts, SMS textlines, mobile applications, online chat functions, website forms, and social media accounts. Identifying the most likely callers and their common critical needs can help a hotline determine if it should prioritize offering interpretation or translation services in multiple languages and which types of partnerships or referrals it should feature, such as shelter, legal aid, or counseling services.

National Human Trafficking Hotline Structural Model Examples

Government Operated

  • Argentina: The government’s General Prosecutor’s Office for Human Trafficking and Sex Exploitation (PROTEX) and the National Rescue Program, which coordinates emergency victim services, operate a national 24-hour human trafficking hotline, called Linea 145, which has helped facilitate investigations of trafficking allegations.

NGO-run and Government Supported

  • Norway: The Ministry of Justice fully funds the 24-hour NGO-run hotline, which is included in the state budget, to connect trafficking victims who call the hotline at 22 33 11 60 with law enforcement and direct service providers, as appropriate.

NGO-run and Privately Funded

  • Greece: An international NGO operates the national hotline and handles tips, makes service referrals, and responds to requests for information or training. While private donors provide funding and support to the hotline, the Greek government endorses the 1109 hotline and maintains close partnerships with local governments and municipalities for awareness campaigns, including free television and radio airtime for hotline advertisements, as well as police trainings.

NGO-run and funded by multiple channels

  • United States: A national NGO runs the national human trafficking hotline, which receives funding from the U.S. government and nongovernmental sources. The NGO relies on its network of law enforcement and service provider partners to connect with and direct callers to the appropriate points of contact throughout the country. Callers reach the hotline by dialing 888-373-7888, texting 233733, and initiating online chats.

Equally important is identifying barriers that could potentially prevent people, especially victims, from calling a hotline. Organizations that run hotlines can shape their outreach strategy and build public trust by learning about local or cultural attitudes toward service providers and government-supported resources or reporting. Over time, national human trafficking hotlines have earned reputations for credibility through the help of partners in the field, previous callers sharing their experiences, independent evaluations, and statistics or reports the hotline publishes.

National human trafficking hotlines have evolved differently to reflect a country’s unique trends or most common human trafficking cases, cultural and structural contexts, and availability of reliable resources. A number of governments have chosen to fund and operate hotlines that can offer a rapid and streamlined referral to government and community services and criminal justice remedies. Governments have operated hotlines out of different agencies depending on the intended role and audience. For example, some countries with large migrant worker populations have established hotlines within their labor ministries to receive forced labor complaints or distribute information about workers’ rights and labor laws.

While government support for a hotline may increase credibility as the official reporting and referral mechanism for victims, it can also intimidate people from making contact. Especially in societies with a high rate of government mistrust, an independent hotline can provide callers a stronger sense of safety from reprisal or misuse of information. A number of governments have partnered with an NGO or international organization to develop hotlines, with the degree of government involvement ranging from providing promotional assistance, to material or personnel resources, to full funding. In most cases, hotlines run by an NGO or international organization have served primarily as conduits, relying on extensive referral networks to connect callers to services or resources.

Legislative or regulatory requirements to post information about human trafficking hotlines also can spread awareness among populations, industries, and venues at high risk for human trafficking. Proactive consultation with survivors, whether by hiring them to work as hotline staff or appointing them to participate on external advisory councils, will also facilitate the effectiveness and responsiveness of hotlines.

Where no dedicated national human trafficking hotlines exist, governments and NGOs often have incorporated anti-trafficking response mechanisms into existing hotlines for victims of related crimes, such as domestic violence, child abuse, and gender-based violence, as well as general crime hotlines. Worker rights hotlines have also fielded human trafficking calls. Even countries with a dedicated national hotline on human trafficking can establish referral protocols with local hotlines and other related issue hotlines that could potentially receive calls on human trafficking.

In addition to receiving tips, national hotlines can be a central repository of human trafficking data and can play a key role in advancing anti-trafficking efforts, assuming caller confidentiality is protected. Using its data to identify common trends, intersections with industries and government systems, and gaps in victim support can help the field develop targeted public awareness or advocacy campaigns, engagement strategies for current and potential stakeholders, and protocols for addressing weaknesses. With appropriate safeguards and protections, hotline data can also be a useful tool for spurring regional coordination on cross-border human trafficking trends and referrals. Regardless of the structural model a hotline uses—whether government-operated or completely NGO-run and funded—human trafficking hotlines have served as both the foundations of national anti-trafficking responses and drivers of progress within the field.

Promoting Human Trafficking Survivor Leadership and Input

The survivor voice is a vital part of establishing effective and comprehensive anti-trafficking strategies that advance prosecution, protection, and prevention efforts. Now more than ever, survivors are leaders in the anti-trafficking movement, whether they run organizations, advocate before legislatures, train law enforcement, engage with the public, or collaborate with governments to improve domestic and foreign programs. Survivors know firsthand what is needed to improve government anti-trafficking responses and their input is key to ensuring anti-trafficking policies reflect perspectives that only those with a lived experience can provide.

For any entity, whether a government, business, or civil society organization, adopting a survivor-informed approach means seeking meaningful input from a diverse community of survivors at each stage of a program or project. This includes a wide range of opportunities, from the initial program development and design stage throughout implementation of the project as well as during any evaluation activities. The United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking—comprising survivor leaders presidentially appointed to advise the Executive Branch on anti-trafficking policies—defined “survivor-informed” in its 2019 annual report as the incorporation of survivor expertise from inception through development and completion of efforts relating to all forms of anti-trafficking work. In particular, governments and organizations should avoid making requests that involve final or close-to-final products, tight time constraints, or other factors that could impair the quality of input and be counter-productive to establishing a truly survivor-informed product.

Entities should take steps to become survivor-informed in all aspects of their anti-trafficking response. The first step is understanding whether and how well an entity seeks and incorporates survivor input, as well as identifying gaps and opportunities to do so effectively.

Knowing how to engage with survivors appropriately and responsibly is also critical to establishing a survivor-informed practice. Engagement should be trauma-informed, which means having an understanding of the physical, social, and emotional impact of trauma on the individual, as well on the professionals who work with them. Entities should also promote survivor empowerment and self-sufficiency, and consider ways to employ survivors in leadership positions as staff members, consultants, or trainers. Increasing leadership opportunities for survivors is not only an appropriate response to the survivor community, but also provides for greater effectiveness across all efforts to combat human trafficking. Survivors, like any other employee or consultant, should receive financial compensation for their time and expertise. Additionally, survivors should represent diverse perspectives, including experiences of both sex and labor trafficking, as well as across age, gender, race, national origin, and sexual orientation.

Organizations should also seek training on best practices in engaging with survivors and partner with survivor-led organizations and groups that have successful survivor leadership models, including knowledge in the field of professional and leadership development. For example, the Cameroonian NGO, Survivors’ Network, has built a unique approach to survivor empowerment by focusing on economic independence and fostering entrepreneurship among women and girls. TIP Report Hero Francisca Awah Mbuli founded this organization and under her leadership, Survivors’ Network has helped create economic opportunities for survivors across Cameroon by providing micro-financing to small businesses and income-generating projects as well as job and small business training.

Survivors have worked hard to secure a leadership voice in the anti-trafficking movement. Governments and civil society must prioritize partnerships with survivors that reflect not only positive, but also meaningful engagement that promotes leadership. Survivor voices should be at the core of any comprehensive response to combating human trafficking.

Checklist for establishing a survivor-informed practice:

  • Assess the degree to which your organization is survivor-informed
    • Identify gaps and opportunities
  • Provide paid employment opportunities for survivors
    • Staff positions
    • Consultants
    • Trainers
  • Seek input from a diverse community of survivors
    • Both sex and labor trafficking perspectives
    • Diversity in age, gender, race, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, etc.
  • Create a plan for accessing survivor input throughout all stages of a project
    • Program development and design
    • Implementation
    • Evaluation

Promising Practices in the Eradication of Trafficking in Persons: Increased Focus on Labor Recruitment

Combating human trafficking in global supply chains has been an issue of growing importance in the anti-trafficking movement over the last decade. Governments, the private sector, and civil society are increasingly examining human trafficking through this lens as a part of broader anti-trafficking strategies. As labor is a critical part of global supply chains, there has also been an increased focus on labor recruitment as one of the most important pressure points in the global economy for addressing this crime. The past five years have witnessed an exponential growth in initiatives focused on eradicating exploitative labor recruitment practices, developing models for fair recruitment, and changing industry standards in hiring practices.

As globalization increasingly drives markets toward temporary or seasonal contract workers who are mobile and flexible, the importance of the recruitment industry grows. Each year, millions of workers turn to or are approached by labor intermediaries—recruiters, agents, or brokers—who facilitate the movement of labor both within countries and across borders to satisfy global labor demands. A 2018 ILO report estimates there are 164 million migrant workers worldwide, an increase of nine percent since the last estimate in 2015.

Labor intermediaries function as a bridge between workers and employers and, at their best, can provide helpful guidance and assist in matching workers with jobs and in arranging visas and documentation, medical checkups, pre-departure orientation, training, and travel. At their worst, labor recruiters exploit the vulnerability inherent among those migrating for work, often engaging in fraudulent and misleading recruitment practices that can lead to human trafficking.

In particular, low-wage migrant laborers are extremely vulnerable to and at high risk of exploitative practices such as unsafe working conditions, unfair hiring practices, and debt bondage—a form of human trafficking. Some recruiters take advantage of the fact that migrant workers lack information on the hiring process, are unfamiliar with the legal protections they are owed and options for recourse, and often face language barriers. Certain unscrupulous recruitment practices known to facilitate human trafficking include worker-paid recruitment fees, misrepresentation of contract terms, contract switching, and destruction or confiscation of identity documents.

Recruitment Initiatives and New Resources

Promising new initiatives focused on recruitment have recently emerged. If governments and other stakeholders can sustain this momentum and work to connect and create areas of collaboration, there is huge potential for progress in improving recruitment practices and protecting workers from human trafficking. Some of the many initiatives can be found below.

International Labor Organization (ILO) General Principles and Operational Guidelines for Fair Recruitment

In 2016, the ILO published a set of non-binding principles and guidelines to “inform the current and future work of the ILO and of other organizations, national legislatures, and the social partners on promoting and ensuring fair recruitment.” The principles cover the recruitment of all workers, both within a country and across borders, and in all sectors of the economy. They provide broad tenants for the protection of workers throughout the recruitment process and detail the specific operational responsibilities of governments, the private sector, and public employment services.

ILO Fair Recruitment Initiative

Launched in 2014, the Fair Recruitment Initiative is a multi-stakeholder collaboration aimed at protecting workers from abusive and fraudulent practices during the recruitment process. It focuses on enhancing knowledge of national and international recruitment practices; improving laws, policies, and enforcement mechanisms for fair recruitment; promoting fair business practices; and empowering and protecting workers.

International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS)

In 2014, the IOM brought together a coalition of stakeholders to develop the IRIS initiative. IRIS is a “social compliance scheme” designed to promote fair labor recruitment. Its primary goal is to identify and support ethical labor recruiters through a variety of tools: establishing a benchmark for ethical recruiting—“the IRIS Standard,” establishing a voluntary certification process for recruiters, creating a list of certified recruiters to help employers and workers make informed decisions, and establishing a monitoring and compliance mechanism to ensure standards are lasting. Central to the model is a prohibition on worker-paid recruitment fees or related expenses.

The Issara Institute Ethical Recruitment Program

Through the Ethical Recruitment Program, the Issara Institute brings employers and recruitment agencies together to analyze their current recruitment practices, identify strengths and weaknesses, receive worker voice feedback, and make improvements, so that jobseekers are more protected in the recruitment process. Over a 12-month period, the Issara Institute helps both businesses and recruiters improve their processes by providing an assessment and recommendations, using worker feedback throughout. The program helps participating businesses and recruitment agencies to examine and implement improvements in their contracts and service agreements, cost structures, grievance mechanisms, and capacity building trainings.

Responsible Labor Initiative (RLI)

In 2017, the Responsible Business Alliance or RBA (formerly the Electronic Industry Citizenship Coalition) launched a multi-industry, multi-stakeholder initiative to help companies address the root causes of forced labor. RLI’s mission is for its members companies, suppliers, recruitment partners, and stakeholders to “use their collective influence and application of due diligence to drive the transformation of recruitment markets and reduce the risk of forced labor in global supply chains.” RBA actively recruits new companies to join RLI and implement forced labor due diligence in their supply chains.

U.S. Government’s Federal Acquisition Regulation Definition of “Recruitment Fees”

The U.S. government released in December 2018 an official definition of “recruitment fees” that applies to all federal contractors and their subcontractors and gives further meaning to the prohibition on charging workers recruitment fees. While this definition applies only in the context of public procurement by the U.S. government, it represents a model for global efforts to define the types of fees and costs that should no longer be borne by recruited workers to reduce the risk of exploitation and human trafficking.

With an effective date of January 22, 2019, the final rule entitled “Federal Acquisition Regulation: Combating Trafficking in Persons – Definition of “Recruitment Fees” provides the following definition:

Recruitment fees means fees of any type, including charges, costs, assessments, or other financial obligations, that are associated with the recruiting process, regardless of the time, manner, or location of imposition or collection of the fee.

(1) Recruitment fees include, but are not limited to, the following fees (when they are associated with the recruiting process) for—

(i) Soliciting, identifying, considering, interviewing, referring, retaining, transferring, selecting, training, providing orientation to, skills testing, recommending, or placing employees or potential employees;

(ii) Advertising;

(iii) Obtaining permanent or temporary labor certification, including any associated fees;

(iv) Processing applications and petitions;

(v) Acquiring visas, including any associated fees;

(vi) Acquiring photographs and identity or immigration documents, such as passports, including any associated fees;

(vii) Accessing the job opportunity, including required medical examinations and immunizations; background, reference, and security clearance checks and examinations; and additional certifications;

(viii) An employer’s recruiters, agents or attorneys, or other notary or legal fees;

(ix) Language interpretation or translation, arranging for or accompanying on travel, or providing other advice to employees or potential employees;

(x) Government-mandated fees, such as border crossing fees, levies, or worker welfare funds;

(xi) Transportation and subsistence costs—

(A) While in transit, including, but not limited to, airfare or costs of other modes of transportation, terminal fees, and travel taxes associated with travel from the country of origin to the country of performance and the return journey upon the end of employment; and

(B) From the airport or disembarkation point to the worksite;

(xii) Security deposits, bonds, and insurance; and

(xiii) Equipment charges.

(2) A recruitment fee, as described in the introductory text of this definition, is a recruitment fee, regardless of whether the payment is—

(i) Paid in property or money;

(ii) Deducted from wages;

(iii) Paid back in wage or benefit concessions;

(iv) Paid back as a kickback, bribe, in-kind payment, free labor, tip, or tribute; or

(v) Collected by an employer or a third party, whether licensed or unlicensed, including, but not limited to—

(A) Agents;

(B) Labor brokers;

(C) Recruiters;

(D) Staffing firms (including private employment and placement firms);

(E) Subsidiaries/affiliates of the employer;

(F) Any agent or employee of such entities; and

(G) Subcontractors at all tie

Child Soldiers Prevention Act List [1]

The Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA) was signed into law on December 23, 2008 (Title IV of Pub. L. 110-457), and took effect on June 21, 2009. The CSPA requires publication in the annual Trafficking in Persons Report of a list of foreign governments identified during the previous year as having governmental armed forces or government-supported armed groups that recruit and use child soldiers, as defined in the act. These determinations cover the reporting period beginning April 1, 2018, and ending March 31, 2019.

For the purpose of the CSPA, and generally consistent with the provisions of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the involvement of children in armed conflict, the term “child soldier” means:

(i) any person under 18 years of age who takes a direct part in hostilities as a member of governmental armed forces;

(ii) any person under 18 years of age who has been compulsorily recruited into governmental armed forces;

(iii) any person under 15 years of age who has been voluntarily recruited into governmental armed forces; or

(iv) any person under 18 years of age who has been recruited or used in hostilities by armed forces distinct from the armed forces of a state.

The term “child soldier” includes any person described in clauses (ii), (iii), or (iv) who is serving in any capacity, including in a support role, such as a “cook, porter, messenger, medic, guard, or sex slave.”

Governments identified on the list are subject to restrictions, in the following fiscal year, on certain security assistance and commercial licensing of military equipment. The CSPA, as amended, prohibits assistance to governments that are identified in the list under the following authorities: International Military Education and Training, Foreign Military Financing, Excess Defense Articles, and Peacekeeping Operations, with exceptions for some programs undertaken pursuant to the Peacekeeping Operations authority. The CSPA also prohibits the issuance of licenses for direct commercial sales of military equipment to such governments. Beginning October 1, 2019, and effective throughout Fiscal Year 2020, these restrictions will apply to the listed countries, absent a presidential national interest waiver, applicable exception, or reinstatement of assistance pursuant to the terms of the CSPA. The determination to include a government in the CSPA list is informed by a range of sources, including first-hand observation by U.S. government personnel and research and credible reporting from various UN entities, international organizations, local and international NGOs, and international media outlets.

The 2019 CSPA List includes governments in the following countries:

  1. Afghanistan
  2. Burma
  3. Democratic Republic of the Congo
  4. Iran
  5. Iraq
  6. Mali
  7. Somalia
  8. South Sudan
  9. Sudan
  10. Syria
  11. Yemen

_______________
[1] This section reproduces relevant portions of section 402(2) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (Title IV of Pub. L. 110-457), as of April 1, 2018, the beginning of the reporting period for this report. On January 8, 2019, prior to the end of the reporting period on March 31, 2019, Congress passed the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-425), which among other changes amended section 402 of the CSPA relating to the definition of child soldier. For reference, this section as amended appears on page 514 of this report.

Methodology [2]

The Department of State prepared this Report using information from U.S. embassies, government officials, nongovernmental and international organizations, published reports, news articles, academic studies, research trips to every region of the world, and information submitted to tipreport@state.gov. This email address provides a means by which organizations and individuals can share information with the Department of State on government progress in addressing trafficking.

U.S. diplomatic posts and domestic agencies reported on the trafficking situation and governmental action to fight trafficking based on thorough research that included meetings with a wide variety of government officials, local and international NGO representatives, officials of international organizations, journalists, academics, and survivors. U.S. missions overseas are dedicated to covering human trafficking issues year-round. The 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report covers government efforts undertaken from April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019.

Tier Placement

The Department places each country in this Report onto one of four tiers, as mandated by the TVPA. This placement is based not on the size of the country’s problem but on the extent of governments’ efforts to meet the TVPA’s minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking (see page 40-41), which are generally consistent with the Palermo Protocol.

While Tier 1 is the highest ranking, it does not mean that a country has no human trafficking problem or that it is doing enough to address the problem. Rather, a Tier 1 ranking indicates that a government has made efforts to address the problem that meet the TVPA’s minimum standards. To maintain a Tier 1 ranking, governments need to demonstrate appreciable progress each year in combating trafficking. Indeed, Tier 1 represents a responsibility rather than a reprieve.

Tier rankings and narratives in the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report reflect 
an assessment of the following:

  • enactment of laws prohibiting severe forms of trafficking in persons, as defined by the TVPA, and provision of criminal punishments for trafficking offenses;
  • criminal penalties prescribed for human trafficking offenses with a maximum of at least four years’ deprivation of liberty, or a more 
severe penalty;
  • implementation of human trafficking laws through vigorous prosecution of the prevalent forms of trafficking in the country and sentencing of offenders;
  • proactive victim identification measures with systematic procedures to guide law enforcement and other government-supported front-line responders in the process of victim identification;
  • government funding and partnerships with NGOs to provide victims with access to primary health care, counseling, and shelter, allowing them to recount their trafficking experiences to trained social counselors and law enforcement in an environment of minimal pressure;
  • victim protection efforts that include access to services and shelter without detention and with legal alternatives to removal to countries in which victims would face retribution or hardship;
  • the extent to which a government ensures victims are provided with legal and other assistance and that, consistent with domestic law, proceedings are not prejudicial to victims’ rights, dignity, or psychological well-being;
  • the extent to which a government ensures the safe, humane, and to 
the extent possible, voluntary repatriation and reintegration of victims;
  • governmental measures to prevent human trafficking, including efforts to curb practices identified as contributing factors to human trafficking, such as employers’ confiscation of foreign workers’ passports and allowing labor recruiters to charge fees to prospective migrants; and
  • governmental efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts and international sex tourism.

Tier rankings and narratives are NOT affected by the following:

  • efforts, however laudable, undertaken exclusively by nongovernmental actors in the country;
  • general public awareness events—government-sponsored or otherwise—lacking concrete ties to the prosecution of traffickers, protection of victims, or prevention of trafficking; and
  • broad-based law enforcement or developmental initiatives.

A Guide to the Tiers

Tier 1

Countries whose governments fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

Tier 2

Countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

Tier 2 Watch List

Countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards, and for which:

a) the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing;

b) there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year, including increased investigations, prosecution, and convictions of trafficking crimes, increased assistance to victims, and decreasing evidence of complicity in severe forms of trafficking by government officials; or

c) the determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional steps over the next year.

Tier 3

Countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.

No tier ranking is permanent. Every country, including the United States, can do more. All countries must maintain and continually increase efforts to combat trafficking.

Funding Restrictions for Tier 3 Countries

Pursuant to the TVPA, governments of countries on Tier 3 may be subject to certain restrictions on assistance, whereby the President may determine not to provide U.S. government nonhumanitarian, nontrade-related foreign assistance. In addition, the President may determine to withhold funding for government official or employee participation in educational and cultural exchange programs for certain Tier 3 countries. Consistent with the TVPA, the President may also determine to instruct the U.S. Executive Director of each multilateral development bank and the International Monetary Fund to vote against and use his or her best efforts to deny any loans or other uses of the institutions’ funds to a designated Tier 3 country for most purposes (except for humanitarian, trade-related, and certain development-related assistance). Alternatively, the President may waive application of the foregoing restrictions upon a determination that the provision to a Tier 3 country of such assistance would promote the purposes of the TVPA or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States. The TVPA also authorizes the President to waive funding restrictions if necessary to avoid significant adverse effects on vulnerable populations, including women and children.

Applicable funding restrictions apply for the next Fiscal Year, which begins October 1, 2019.

_______________
[2] This section describes portions of sections 108 and 110 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Div. A, Pub. L. No. 106-386), as of April 1, 2018, the beginning of the reporting period for this report. On January 8 and 9, 2019, prior to the end of the reporting period on March 31, 2019, Congress passed the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-425) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (Pub. L. 115-427), respectively. Among other changes, these acts amended the TVPA, including sections 108 and 110 relating to the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and the annual TIP Report’s tier rankings. For reference, these sections as amended by these acts appear on page 514 of this report.

Global Law Enforcement Data

The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) of 2003 added to the original law a new requirement that foreign governments provide the Department of State with data on trafficking investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences in order to fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking (Tier 1). The 2004 TIP Report collected this data for the first time. The 2007 TIP Report showed for the first time a breakout of the number of total prosecutions and convictions that related to labor trafficking, placed in parentheses. 

YEAR PROSECUTIONS CONVICTIONS VICTIMS IDENTIFIED NEW OR AMENDED LEGISLATION
2012 7,705 (1,153) 4,746 (518) 46,570 (17,368) 21
2013 9,460 (1,199) 5,776 (470) 44,758 (10,603) 58
2014 10,051 (418) 4,443 (216) 44,462 (11,438) 20
2015 19,127 (857) 6,615 (456) 77,823 (14,262) 30
2016 14,939 (1,038) 9,072 (717) 68,453 (17,465) 25
2017 17,471 (869) 7,135 (332) 96,960 (23,906) 5
2018 11,096 (457) 7,481 (259) 85,613 (11,009) 5

The above statistics are estimates derived from data provided by foreign governments and other sources and reviewed by the Department of State. Aggregate data fluctuates from one year to the next due to the hidden nature of trafficking crimes dynamic global events, shifts in government efforts, and a lack of uniformity in national reporting structures. The numbers in parentheses are those of labor trafficking prosecutions, convictions, and victims identified. 

Countries in the 2019 TIP Report that are not States Parties to the Protocol

Countries in the 2019 TIP Report that are not States Parties to the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking In Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Bangladesh
Bhutan
Brunei
Comoros
Congo, Republic of the
Iran
North Korea (DPRK)
Marshall Islands
Nepal
Pakistan
Palau [3]
Papua New Guinea
Solomon Islands
Somalia
South Sudan
Tonga
Uganda
Yemen

Between April 1, 2018 and March 31, 2019, no additional countries became States Parties to the Protocol.

_______________
[3] Palau acceded to the Palermo Protocol on May 27, 2019.

TVPA Minimum Standards

Section 108 Of The Trafficking Victims Protection Act [4]

Minimum Standards for the Elimination of Trafficking in Persons

(1) The government of the country should prohibit severe forms of trafficking in persons and punish acts of such trafficking.

(2) For the knowing commission of any act of sex trafficking involving force, fraud, coercion, or in which the victim of sex trafficking is a child incapable of giving meaningful consent, or of trafficking which includes rape or kidnapping or which causes a death, the government of the country should prescribe punishment commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as forcible sexual assault.

(3) For the knowing commission of any act of a severe form of trafficking in persons, the government of the country should prescribe punishment that is sufficiently stringent to deter and that adequately reflects the heinous nature of the offense.

(4) The government of the country should make serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons.

Indicia of “Serious and Sustained Efforts”

(1) Whether the government of the country vigorously investigates and prosecutes acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons, and convicts and sentences persons responsible for such acts, that take place wholly or partly within the territory of the country, including, as appropriate, requiring incarceration of individuals convicted of such acts. For purposes of the preceding sentence, suspended or significantly reduced sentences for convictions of principal actors in cases of severe forms of trafficking in persons shall be considered, on a case-by-case basis, whether to be considered as an indicator of serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons. After reasonable requests from the Department of State for data regarding investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, a government which does not provide such data, consistent with the capacity of such government to obtain such data, shall be presumed not to have vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted, or sentenced such acts. During the periods prior to the annual report submitted on June 1, 2004, and on June 1, 2005, and the periods afterwards until September 30 of each such year, the Secretary of State may disregard the presumption contained in the preceding sentence if the government has provided some data to the Department of State regarding such acts and the Secretary has determined that the government is making a good faith effort to collect such data.

(2) Whether the government of the country protects victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons and encourages their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of such trafficking, including provisions for legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they would face retribution or hardship, and ensures that victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized solely for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked, including by providing training to law enforcement and immigration officials regarding the identification and treatment of trafficking victims using approaches that focus on the needs of the victims.

(3) Whether the government of the country has adopted measures to prevent severe forms of trafficking in persons, such as measures to inform and educate the public, including potential victims, about the causes and consequences of severe forms of trafficking in persons, measures to establish the identity of local populations, including birth registration, citizenship, and nationality, measures to ensure that its nationals who are deployed abroad as part of a diplomatic, peacekeeping, or other similar mission do not engage in or facilitate severe forms of trafficking in persons or exploit victims of such trafficking, a transparent system for remediating or punishing such public officials as a deterrent, measures to prevent the use of forced labor or child labor in violation of international standards, effective bilateral, multilateral, or regional information sharing and cooperation arrangements with other countries, and effective policies or laws regulating foreign labor recruiters and holding them civilly and criminally liable for fraudulent recruiting.

(4) Whether the government of the country cooperates with other governments in the investigation and prosecution of severe forms of trafficking in persons and has entered into bilateral, multilateral, or regional law enforcement cooperation and coordination arrangements with other countries.

(5) Whether the government of the country extradites persons charged with acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons on substantially the same terms and to substantially the same extent as persons charged with other serious crimes (or, to the extent such extradition would be inconsistent with the laws of such country or with international agreements to which the country is a party, whether the government is taking all appropriate measures to modify or replace such laws and treaties so as to permit such extradition).

(6) Whether the government of the country monitors immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of severe forms of trafficking in persons and whether law enforcement agencies of the country respond to any such evidence in a manner that is consistent with the vigorous investigation and prosecution of acts of such trafficking, as well as with the protection of human rights of victims and the internationally recognized human right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to return to one’s own country.

(7) Whether the government of the country vigorously investigates, prosecutes, convicts, and sentences public officials, including diplomats and soldiers, who participate in or facilitate severe forms of trafficking in persons, including nationals of the country who are deployed abroad as part of a diplomatic, peacekeeping, or other similar mission who engage in or facilitate severe forms of trafficking in persons or exploit victims of such trafficking, and takes all appropriate measures against officials who condone such trafficking. A government’s failure to appropriately address public allegations against such public officials, especially once such officials have returned to their home countries, shall be considered inaction under these criteria. After reasonable requests from the Department of State for data regarding such investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, a government which does not provide such data consistent with its resources shall be presumed not to have vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted, or sentenced such acts. During the periods prior to the annual report submitted on June 1, 2004, and June 1, 2005, and the periods afterwards until September 30 of each such year, the Secretary of State may disregard the presumption contained in the preceding sentence if the government has provided some data to the Department of State regarding such acts and the Secretary has determined that the government is making a good faith effort to collect such data.

(8) Whether the percentage of victims of severe forms of trafficking in the country that are non-citizens of such countries is insignificant.

(9) Whether the government has entered into effective, transparent partnerships, cooperative arrangements, or agreements that have resulted in concrete and measurable outcomes with

(A) domestic civil society organizations, private sector entities, or international nongovernmental organizations, or into multilateral or regional arrangements or agreements, to assist the government’s efforts to prevent trafficking, protect victims, and punish traffickers; or

(B) the United States toward agreed goals and objectives in the collective fight against trafficking.

(10) Whether the government of the country, consistent with the capacity of such government, systematically monitors its efforts to satisfy the criteria described in paragraphs (1) through (8) and makes available publicly a periodic assessment of such efforts.

(11) Whether the government of the country achieves appreciable progress in eliminating severe forms of trafficking when compared to the assessment in the previous year.

(12) Whether the government of the country has made serious and sustained efforts to reduce the demand for

(A) commercial sex acts; and

(B) participation in international sex tourism by nationals of the country.

_______________
[4] This section reproduces relevant portions of section 108 of the TVPA, as of April 1, 2018, the beginning of the reporting period for this report. On January 8 and 9, 2019, prior to the end of the reporting period on March 31, 2019, Congress passed the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-425) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (Pub. L. 115-427), respectively. Among other changes, these acts amended section 108. For reference, this section as amended by these acts appears on page 514 of this report.

Victim Stories

The victim stories included in this report are meant to be illustrative. They characterize the many—though not all—forms of human trafficking and the wide variety of places in which they occur, although each could take place almost anywhere in the world. Many are based on real experiences, and the victims’ names have been changed as a result. In most cases, the photographs that accompany the stories are not images of confirmed trafficking victims. Still, they illustrate the myriad schemes human traffickers use and the variety of situations in which they exploit victims.

Asia | United Arab Emirates

When she was 14 years old, Lin went to Dubai with her uncle after he convinced Lin’s parents to let her work in a massage parlor. He promised he would take care of her. Instead, Lin’s uncle forged her passport and birth certificate to make her appear older. When she arrived in Dubai, her uncle and his partner forced her to engage in commercial sex. When she would try to refuse, her traffickers beat her until she complied. Finally, the Dubai police received a tip that a brothel was being run out of an apartment. The police raided the apartment and arrested Lin’s uncle and took Lin to a local shelter for protection and support services.

Philippines | Australia

Angelo had been boxing in the Philippines since he was 15 years old and decided to pursue a professional career after he finished high school. He met a man who promised he could make more than $150 per round in Australia. Even though he could not speak much English, Angelo flew to Sydney with four other boxers; however, once they arrived, the trafficker forced the boxers to hand over their passports. The trafficker then forced the boxers to sleep in his garage and to box during the day and clean up after the trafficker’s family in the evening. Angelo was rarely paid and, when he was, travel and living expenses were deducted so he ended up with very little. He could not send any money home to care for his two-year-old son. Finally, Angelo and the other boxers were able to find a way to contact the police.

Honduras | United States

At 14, Miguel had already worked for years trying to support his family in Honduras. One night, after leaving his job at a local restaurant, two men abducted him, drugged him, and took him to the United States. Once there, they sold him to traffickers who plied him with more drugs and forced him into child sex trafficking where he endured daily sexual assault and threats of harm to his family back in Honduras. Federal law enforcement authorities eventually found Miguel during an operation; however, Miguel experienced further traumatization, bullying, and discrimination after he entered the state foster care system. Today, Miguel is a licensed behavioral psychologist in the United States.

Venezuela | Spain

Wanting to flee the humanitarian crisis in Venezuela, Melinda accepted a man’s offer to pay for her to travel to Spain so she could pursue a better life. When they arrived in Spain, the man forced Melinda into sex trafficking to pay back her debt. Threatened by potential harm to her family back home and worried that her daughter and mother in Venezuela would have no money for food if she tried to leave, Melinda stayed. Melinda was finally identified as a victim of sex trafficking in a police raid on a brothel.

Romania | Germany

A trafficker, posing as a friend, offered a 23-year-old Romanian woman a lucrative job contingent on her moving to Germany and marrying an Indian man. With the hope of a better life and opportunities abroad, the woman agreed, moved across Europe, and married the man. Once in Germany, however, she learned that the job was no longer available. With no means to support herself, she turned to her “friend” for help but over time became dependent on him for money, eventually accumulating debt she could not afford to repay. The trafficker coerced her into sex trafficking through the use of debt bondage. The woman is now receiving care and services from an NGO in Romania.

United Kingdom

At the age of 16, in her home country, Amy married a man she barely knew. Just days later he began forcing her to work, confiscating any pay she made. For more than 20 years, Amy’s spouse subjected her to forced labor. Toward the end of this time, her husband sold her to traffickers who moved her to the United Kingdom and forced her to work 20-hour days as a janitor. The traffickers threatened to kill her children if she ever said anything about her situation. Amy suffered years of physical pain, abuse, and depression, even reaching a point where she was unable to walk. Finally, one of her friends helped her escape and contact officials in the Home Office who moved her into a safe house. Amy is gradually learning how to adjust to a new life. She hopes to be reunited with her children one day, but fears for their safety, as she believes her husband is back in her home country.

Botswana | United States

Keeya’s neighbors in Botswana knew her family was struggling to pay for her education and offered her a scholarship to a good college and free accommodations in the United States in exchange for working at their daycare center. When she arrived in the United States, she called the family she was supposed to work for and they gave her another number to call, telling her never to call them again. When Keeya eventually arrived at her new family’s home, the woman there confiscated her identity documents, forced her to work as her nanny, and physically and verbally abused her for more than a year. The trafficker eventually kicked Keeya out of her home after she sought medical attention at a hospital. Eventually, Keeya was able to find help, connect with law enforcement, and secure a job and safe place to live. She is now a survivor advocate who speaks out publicly about human trafficking to raise awareness in an effort to help others.

India

When Fateh, Hassan, and Emir’s father died, they inherited the debt he owed to the owner of the brick kiln where he worked. Through manipulation and deceit, the debt had ballooned in the ten years since its origination and continued to do so after the three brothers assumed it. The brick kiln owner forced Fateh, Hassan, and Emir to work for 13 years as bonded laborers, during which they endured 14-hour days molding and hauling heavy bricks, constant harassment, and physical abuse. The brothers were able to escape and sought assistance from a local NGO. With the help of a local government official, they received release certificates freeing them from the false debts and local law enforcement filed charges against their trafficker.

2019 TIP Report Heroes

Each year, the Department of State honors individuals around the world who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. These individuals include NGO workers, lawmakers, government officials, survivors of human trafficking, and concerned citizens who are committed to ending modern slavery. They are recognized for their tireless efforts—despite resistance, opposition, and threats to their lives—to protect victims, punish offenders, and educate stakeholders about human trafficking trends in their countries and abroad. For more information about current and past Trafficking in Persons Report Heroes, please visit the Trafficking in Persons Report Heroes Global Network at www.tipheroes.org.

Adélaïde Sawadogo | Burkino Faso

Adélaïde Sawadogo is a proven, unwavering force against human trafficking in Burkina Faso. For the past 26 years, she has worked unrelentingly to protect vulnerable populations. Sawadogo is a social worker at Keoogo, an NGO specializing in child protection and advocacy. At the helm of Keeogo’s human trafficking efforts, Sawadogo has directly assisted more than 1,500 human trafficking victims, including those whom the government does not have the resources to support. Serving on more than a dozen national and international committees, she has represented Keeogo’s rights-based model for victims and influenced government policy on human trafficking and child protection. She has accompanied human trafficking victims back to their country of origin to ensure safe passage through insecure regions and across borders, liaising with border officials and police along the journey. She has worked together with human trafficking survivors to design reintegration programs focused on income-generating skills that foster economic stability. Sawadogo not only secured pro-bono legal counsel for survivors wishing to press charges against their traffickers, she also followed up with the Burkinabe government to ensure these cases progressed.

Undaunted by discrimination and threats of violence, Sawadogo has challenged traditional norms and religious precepts to combat forced begging of children by corrupt Quranic teachers and worked to increase access to health care for children in some of Ouagadougou’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

Agnes De Coll | Hungary

For the past decade, Agnes De Coll has dedicated her life to the fight against human trafficking. She has become a leading voice on the issue in Hungary and currently serves as senior expert and head of the trafficking in persons unit at Hungarian Baptist Aid (HBA). Through HBA, serves as the country’s main victim witness advocate, providing survivors with support and guidance throughout their cases. Under her leadership, HBA has opened shelters and crisis intervention centers that provide critical assistance and programs to support human trafficking victims and their ability to transition successfully to a new life in Hungary.

De Coll regularly identifies challenges within the Government of Hungary’s anti-trafficking response and advocates for and implements both immediate and long-term solutions. As an example, De Coll spearheaded a practice now codified into Hungary’s criminal procedural rules that allows a civil society representative to accompany a human trafficking survivor to law enforcement hearings and interviews to support the survivor through an often difficult and emotional process.

The Hungarian government, law enforcement officials, service providers, and communities around the country rely on De Coll’s expertise, strong network of personal contacts, and trusted relationships with human trafficking victims. Her efforts have significantly elevated the importance of combating human trafficking in Hungary.

Daniel Rueda and Veronica Supliguicha | Ecuador

As tireless advocates and experts on human trafficking, Daniel Rueda and Veronica Supliguicha have earned widespread recognition and respect in Ecuador for strengthening the Ecuadorian government’s protection framework. They are true pioneers, having co-founded Alas de Colibrí, one of only two human trafficking shelters in Ecuador. Since 2012, Rueda and Supliguicha have served more than 300 Ecuadorian, Colombian, Venezuelan, and Peruvian survivors of both sex and labor trafficking. Under their leadership, Alas de Colibrí has developed a highly personalized and holistic approach to victim protection that empowers and uplifts human trafficking survivors, primarily adolescent girls, by providing them with essential psychological, legal, education, and health services. Alas de Colibrí delivers livelihood trainings that cover topics such as entrepreneurship, business management, banking, and finance, and offers artistic, cultural, and environmentally focused activities.

In addition to managing the shelter, Rueda and Supliguicha have led human trafficking prevention campaigns focused on reaching marginalized populations throughout Ecuador. The two lead a network of anti-trafficking NGOs in Ecuador and were instrumental in organizing civil society input into the government’s national action plan to combat human trafficking.

The Ecuadorian government, local organizations, and multilateral bodies routinely seek their advice on human trafficking-related legislation and social programs for refugees, migrants, at-risk children and adolescents, and other vulnerable populations. Rueda and Supliguicha are a formidable team and strong advocates for victims of human trafficking.

Sister Gabriella Bottani | Italy

Sister Gabriella Bottani is one of the most prominent and influential anti-trafficking advocates within the Catholic diaspora. Bottani’s fierce resolve to support human trafficking victims around the world developed after she met a victim of sex trafficking in Rome. She has since dedicated her ministry in Italy to combating the crime.

In 2015, Bottani was appointed as the international coordinator to lead Talitha Kum, a global network across 77 countries of more than 2,000 Catholic nuns working on the front lines to end human trafficking. Established by the International Union of Superiors General in 2009, Talitha Kum has reached thousands of people through anti-trafficking awareness campaigns, education programs, international conferences, training manuals, vocational training, and hands-on services. Bottani and other members of this dedicated network have served 10,000 survivors, accompanying them to shelters and residential communities, collaborating nationally and internationally on cases, and assisting with voluntary repatriation. In addition, Bottani has organized and served as a consultant for numerous training courses and seminars to help service providers identify and respond to potential human trafficking cases.

Before leading Talitha Kum, Bottani played an essential role in advancing anti-trafficking efforts in Brazil by serving vulnerable children and women in favelas and leading a national campaign against human trafficking before and during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Throughout her career, her work has inspired generations of anti-trafficking advocates within the Catholic faith.

Roseline Eguabor | Italy

Roseline Eguabor is a stalwart supporter for Nigerian and West African human trafficking victims and survivors, helping them leave their trafficking situations and integrate into Italian society. She is currently working with the IOM to promote victim-centered human trafficking screening, identification, and protection protocols on a global scale. In Italy, she serves as a cultural mediator and social entrepreneur.

Eguabor understands first-hand the importance of building stable relationships with victims of human trafficking and tenaciously works to earn and keep their long-term trust. Eguabor draws from her experience as a trafficking survivor and from her familiarity with the psychological manipulation trafficking victims endure.

She often starts building relationships by meeting victims upon their arrival at migrant reception centers and disembarkation points. Fluent in six languages, Eguabor fills a critical need for interpretation services for trafficking victims seeking help with local governments, law enforcement, and hospitals.

For the past decade, Eguabor has also volunteered with the Pellegrine Della Terra Association, helping survivors apply for work permits, legal residency, and jobs. In 2012, she co-founded the social cooperative, Al Reve, which helps survivors participate in the formal labor market. One of Al Reve’s projects supports a workshop in which trafficking survivors repurpose textiles to create bags, armchairs, and clothing for sale locally and online.

Raoudha Laabidi | Tunisia

As President of the National Authority to Combat Trafficking in Persons, Raoudha Laabidi has been the driving force behind the government’s efforts to implement a new law to combat trafficking in persons. She demonstrated exceptional leadership and an uncanny ability to marshal scarce resources to ensure the Government of Tunisia continues to improve its ability to deliver a comprehensive anti-trafficking strategy.

Civil society organizations and government officials have credited Laabidi for turning the National Authority into an effective interagency anti-trafficking body in just two years as president. Laabidi’s unwavering dedication to the issue and her remarkable understanding of legal nuances and bureaucratic processes has enabled the National Authority to establish a headquarters as well as a temporary shelter for human trafficking victims.

A judge by training, Laabidi served as the first female president of the Tunisian Magistrates Union prior to her appointment and chaired it for two terms during the critical period of democratic transition from 2012 to 2015. Throughout her career, Laabidi has forged strong, sustainable partnerships with civil society and international organizations to leverage their resources and expertise.

Through a concerted civic education campaign, Laabidi has shed light on a previously unknown crime within Tunisian society, greatly increasing public understanding about human trafficking.

Camilious Machingura | Zimbabwe

Camilious Machingura is an inspiring anti-trafficking advocate within Zimbabwe and the broader southern Africa region. As the Team Leader for the Zimbabwe Community Development Association (ZCDA), Machingura plays a pivotal role in raising national awareness about trafficking in persons by dedicating countless hours engaging with national, regional, and international media outlets to ensure all Zimbabweans can identify potential trafficking indicators. His meticulous efforts to socialize Zimbabwe’s 2014 anti-trafficking law with community leaders and law enforcement officials and organize trainings and intragovernmental dialogues have elevated human trafficking as a policy priority for the government. Machingura also helped the government develop standard operating procedures to increase the effectiveness of its national referral mechanism for human trafficking victims.

Machingura is generous with his time and personal resources, helping trafficking survivors rebuild their lives and empowering vulnerable populations in rural communities throughout Zimbabwe to recognize traffickers’ fraudulent recruitment tactics. ZCDA is a grassroots organization specializing in protecting vulnerable populations, promoting human rights, and advocating for the Government of Zimbabwe to prioritize providing the fundamental humanitarian and social services to its communities. Through ZCDA, Machingura has provided reintegration and counseling services to more than 150 Zimbabwean survivors whom traffickers fraudulently recruited to work in Kuwait in 2017, and designed livelihood programs aimed at providing them with the skills and abilities critical for supporting themselves and their families.

Tier Placements and Regional Maps

Tier Placements

Tier 1

Argentina
Australia
Austria
The Bahamas
Bahrain
Belgium
Canada
Chile
Colombia
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Estonia
Finland
France
Georgia
Guyana
Israel
Japan
Korea, South
Lithuania
Luxembourg
Netherlands
New Zealand
Norway
Philippines
Portugal
Slovenia
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan
United Kingdom
United States of America

Tier 2

Albania
Antigua & Barbuda
Armenia
Aruba
Benin
Botswana
Brazil
Bulgaria
Burkina Faso
Cabo Verde
Cameroon
Chad
Costa Rica
Cote d’Ivoire
Croatia
Denmark
Djibouti
Dominican Republic
Ecuador
Egypt
El Salvador
Ethiopia
Eswatini
Germany
Ghana
Greece
Guatemala
Guinea
Haiti
Honduras
Hong Kong
Iceland
India
Indonesia
Ireland
Italy
Jamaica
Jordan
Kenya
Kosovo
Kuwait
Latvia
Lebanon
Macau
Macedonia
Madagascar
Mali
Malta
Mauritius
Mexico
Micronesia
Moldova
Mongolia
Morocco
Mozambique
Namibia
Nepal
Niger
Nigeria
Oman
Pakistan
Palau
Panama
Paraguay
Peru
Poland
Qatar
Rwanda
St. Lucia
STt. Maarten
St. Vincent & The Grenadines
Senegal
Serbia
Seychelles
Singapore
Slovakia
Solomon Islands
Suriname
Tajikistan
Thailand
Timor-Leste
Togo
Tonga
Trinidad & Tobago
Tunisia
Turkey
Uganda
Ukraine
United Arab Emirates
Uruguay
Zambia
Zimbabwe

Tier 2 Watch List

Afghanistan
Algeria
Angola
Azerbaijan
Bangladesh
Barbados
Belize
Brunei
Bolivia
Bosnia & Herzegovina
Cambodia
Central African Republic
Congo, Republic of the
Curacao
Fiji
Gabon
Guinea-Bissau
Hungary
Iraq
Kazakhstan
Kyrgyz republic
Laos
Lesotho
Liberia
Malawi
Malaysia
Maldives
Marshall Islands
Montenegro
Nicaragua
Romania
Sierra Leone
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Sudan
Tanzania
Uzbekistan
Vietnam

Tier 3

Belarus
Bhutan
Burma
Burundi
China (PRC)
Comoros
Congo, Democratic Rep. Of the
Cuba
Equatorial Guinea
Eritrea
The Gambia
Iran
Korea, North
Mauritania
Papua New Guinea
Russia
Saudi Arabia
South Sudan
Syria
Turkmenistan
Venezuela

Special Case

Libya
Somalia
Yemen

Regional Maps

Africa

YEAR PROSECUTIONS CONVICTIONS VICTIMS 
IDENTIFIED NEW OR AMENDED 
LEGISLATION
2012 493 (273) 252 (177) 10,043 (6,544) 4
2013 572 (245) 341 (192) 10,096 (2,250) 7
2014 811 (49) 317 (33) 9,523 (1,308) 4
2015 1,517 (53) 719 (8) 12,125 (3,531) 6
2016 1,293 (54) 1,120 (21) 18,296 (13,205) 4
2017 1,325 (98) 515 (34) 26,517 (5,902) 2
2018 1,253 (37) 1,190 (29) 24,407(3,749) 2

 


East Asia & Pacific  

YEAR PROSECUTIONS CONVICTIONS VICTIMS
IDENTIFIED NEW OR AMENDED 
LEGISLATION
2012 1,682 (115) 1,251 (103) 8,521 (1,804) 4
2013 2,460 (188) 1,271 (39) 7,886 (1,077) 3
2014 1,938 (88) 969 (16) 6,349 (1,084) 3
2015 3,414 (193) 1,730 (130) 13,990 (3,533) 10
2016 2,137 (51) 1,953 (31) 9,989 (310) 7
2017 2,949 (77) 3,227 (72) 4,915 (669) 0
2018 2,351 (63) 1,275 (16) 5,466 (291) 1

 


Europe 

YEAR PROSECUTIONS CONVICTIONS VICTIMS 
IDENTIFIED NEW OR AMENDED 
LEGISLATION
2012 3,161 (361) 1,818 (112) 11,905 (2,306) 3
2013 3,223 (275) 2,684 (127) 10,374 (1,863) 35
2014 4,199 (197) 1,585 (69) 11,910 (3,531) 5
2015 4,990 (272) 1,692 (245) 11,112 (3,733) 8
2016 2,703 (201) 1,673 (40) 13,349 (3,192) 3
2017 2,548 (179) 1,257 (53) 12,750 (3,330) 0
2018 2,394 (234) 1,379 (80) 16,838 (2,675) 1

 


Near East 

YEAR PROSECUTIONS CONVICTIONS VICTIMS 
IDENTIFIED NEW OR AMENDED 
LEGISLATION
2012 249 (29) 149 (15) 4,047 (1,063) 1
2013 119 (25) 60 (4) 1,460 (172) 4
2014 320 (5) 144 (25) 3,388 (2,460) 0
2015 480 (31) 343 (31) 6,068 (156) 0
2016 996 (591) 1,187 (582) 3,292 (185) 4
2017 974 (112) 104 (11) 1,834 (53) 0
2018 738 (10) 155 (7) 2,675 (83) 0

 


South & Central Asia

YEAR PROSECUTIONS CONVICTIONS VICTIMS 
IDENTIFIED NEW OR AMENDED 
LEGISLATION
2012 1,043 (6) 874 (4) 4,415 (2,150) 1
2013 1,904 (259) 974 (58) 7,124 (1,290) 5
2014 1,839 (12) 958 (10) 4,878 (1,041) 3
2015 6,930 (225) 1,468 (16) 24,867 (1,191) 0
2016 6,297 (72) 2,193 (19) 14,706 (464) 5
2017 8,105 (264) 1,063 (48) 40,857 (11,813) 2
2018 3,102 (41) 2,465 (9) 24,544 (1,841) 1

 


Western Hemisphere

YEAR PROSECUTIONS CONVICTIONS VICTIMS 
IDENTIFIED NEW OR AMENDED 
LEGISLATION
2012 1,077 (369) 402 (107) 7,639 (3,501) 8
2013 1,182 (207) 446 (50) 7,818 (3,951) 4
2014 944 (67) 470 (63) 8,414 (2,014) 5
2015 1,796 (83) 663 (26) 9,661 (2,118) 6
2016 1,513 (69) 946 (24) 8,821 (109) 2
2017 1,571 (139) 969 (114) 10,011 (2,139) 1
2018 1,252 (72) 1,017 (177) 11,683 (2,370) 0

The above statistics are estimates derived from data provided by foreign governments and other sources and reviewed by the Department of State. Aggregate data fluctuates from one year to the next due to the hidden nature of trafficking crimes, dynamic global events, shifts in government efforts, and a lack of uniformity in national reporting structures. The numbers in parentheses are those of labor trafficking prosecutions, convictions, and victims identified.

How To Read a Country Narrative

[PDF version]

This page shows a sample country narrative. The tier ranking justification for each country in this year’s report appears in the first paragraph of each country narrative and includes language that explicitly highlights the factors supporting a given tier ranking. The Prosecution, Protection, and Prevention sections of each country narrative describe how a government has or has not addressed the relevant TVPA minimum standards (see page 40), during the reporting period. This truncated narrative gives a few examples.

TVPA Amendments

Section 108 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as Amended [5]

(a) Minimum standards

For purposes of this chapter, the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking applicable to the government of a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims of severe forms of trafficking are the following:

(1) The government of the country should prohibit severe forms of trafficking in persons and punish acts of such trafficking.

(2) For the knowing commission of any act of sex trafficking involving force, fraud, coercion, or in which the victim of sex trafficking is a child incapable of giving meaningful consent, or of trafficking which includes rape or kidnapping or which causes a death, the government of the country should prescribe punishment commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as forcible sexual assault.

(3) For the knowing commission of any act of a severe form of trafficking in persons, the government of the country should prescribe punishment that is sufficiently stringent to deter and that adequately reflects the heinous nature of the offense.

(4) The government of the country should make serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons.

(b) Criteria

In determinations under subsection (a)(4) of this section, the following factors should be considered as indicia of serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons:

(1) Whether the government of the country vigorously investigates and prosecutes acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons, and convicts and sentences persons responsible for such acts, that take place wholly or partly within the territory of the country, including, as appropriate, requiring incarceration of individuals convicted of such acts. For purposes of the preceding sentence, suspended or significantly reduced sentences for convictions of principal actors in cases of severe forms of trafficking in persons shall be considered, on a case-by-case basis, whether to be considered an indicator of serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons. After reasonable requests from the Department of State for data regarding investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, a government which does not provide such data, consistent with a demonstrably increasing capacity of such government to obtain such data, shall be presumed not to have vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted or sentenced such acts.

(2) Whether the government of the country protects victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons and encourages their assistance in the investigation and prosecution of such trafficking, including provisions for legal alternatives to their removal to countries in which they would face retribution or hardship, and ensures that victims are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized solely for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked, including by providing training to law enforcement and immigration officials regarding the identification and treatment of trafficking victims using approaches that focus on the needs of the victims.

(3) Whether the government of the country has adopted measures to prevent severe forms of trafficking in persons, such as measures to inform and educate the public, including potential victims, about the causes and consequences of severe forms of trafficking in persons, measures to establish the identity of local populations, including birth registration, citizenship, and nationality, measures to ensure that its nationals who are deployed abroad as part of a diplomatic, peacekeeping, or other similar mission do not engage in or facilitate severe forms of trafficking in persons or exploit victims of such trafficking, a transparent system for remediating or punishing such public officials as a deterrent, measures to prevent the use of forced labor or child labor in violation of international standards, effective bilateral, multilateral, or regional information sharing and cooperation arrangements with other countries, and effective policies or laws regulating foreign labor recruiters and holding them civilly and criminally liable for fraudulent recruiting.

(4) Whether the government of the country cooperates with other governments in the investigation and prosecution of severe forms of trafficking in persons and has entered into bilateral, multilateral, or regional law enforcement cooperation and coordination arrangements with other countries.

(5) Whether the government of the country extradites persons charged with acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons on substantially the same terms and to substantially the same extent as persons charged with other serious crimes (or, to the extent such extradition would be inconsistent with the laws of such country or with international agreements to which the country is a party, whether the government is taking all appropriate measures to modify or replace such laws and treaties so as to permit such extradition).

(6) Whether the government of the country monitors immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of severe forms of trafficking in persons and whether law enforcement agencies of the country respond to any such evidence in a manner that is consistent with the vigorous investigation and prosecution of acts of such trafficking, as well as with the protection of human rights of victims and the internationally recognized human right to leave any country, including one’s own, and to return to one’s own country.

(7) Whether the government of the country vigorously investigates, prosecutes, convicts, and sentences public officials, including diplomats and soldiers, who participate in or facilitate severe forms of trafficking in persons, including nationals of the country who are deployed abroad as part of a diplomatic, peacekeeping, or other similar mission who engage in or facilitate severe forms of trafficking in persons or exploit victims of such trafficking, and takes all appropriate measures against officials who condone or enable such trafficking. A government’s failure to appropriately address public allegations against such public officials, especially once such officials have returned to their home countries, shall be considered inaction under these criteria. After reasonable requests from the Department of State for data regarding such investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, a government which does not provide such data, consistent with a demonstrably increasing capacity of such government to obtain such data, shall be presumed not to have vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted, or sentenced such acts.

(8) Whether the percentage of victims of severe forms of trafficking in the country that are non-citizens of such countries is insignificant.

(9) Whether the government has entered into effective, transparent partnerships, cooperative arrangements, or agreements that have resulted in concrete and measurable outcomes with –

(A) domestic civil society organizations, private sector entities, or international nongovernmental organizations, or into multilateral or regional arrangements or agreements, to assist the government’s efforts to prevent trafficking, protect victims, and punish traffickers; or

(B) the United States toward agreed goals and objectives in the collective fight against trafficking.

(10) Whether the government of the country, consistent with the capacity of such government, systematically monitors its efforts to satisfy the criteria described in paragraphs (1) through (8) and makes available publicly a periodic assessment of such efforts.

(11) Whether the government of the country achieves appreciable progress in eliminating severe forms of trafficking when compared to the assessment in the previous year.

(12) Whether the government of the country has made serious and sustained efforts to reduce the demand for –

(A) commercial sex acts; and

(B) participation in international sex tourism by nationals of the country.

_______________
[5]This section reproduces section 108 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Div. A, Pub. L. No. 106-386) as amended by the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-425) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (Pub. L. 115-427), on January 8 and 9, 2019, respectively.

 

Section 110(B) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, as Amended [6]

(b) Reports to Congress

(1) Annual report

Not later than June 1 of each year, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a report describing the anti-trafficking efforts of the United States and foreign governments according to the minimum standards and criteria enumerated in section 7106 of this title, and the nature and scope of trafficking in persons in each country and analysis of the trend lines for individual governmental efforts. The report shall, to the extent concurrent reporting data is available, cover efforts and activities taking place during the period between April 1 of the year preceding the report and March 31 of the year in which the report is made, and should include-

(A) a list of those countries, if any, to which the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking are applicable and whose governments fully comply with such standards based only on concrete actions taken by the country that are recorded during the reporting period;

(B) a list of those countries, if any, to which the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking are applicable and whose governments do not yet fully comply with such standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance based only on concrete actions taken by the country (excluding any commitments by the country to take additional future steps during the next year) that are recorded during the reporting period;

(C) a list of those countries, if any, to which the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking are applicable and whose governments do not fully comply with such standards and are not making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance;

(D) information on the measures taken by the United Nations, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and, as appropriate, other multilateral organizations in which the United States participates, to prevent the involvement of the organization’s employees, contractor personnel, and peacekeeping forces in trafficking in persons or the exploitation of victims of trafficking;

(E) reporting and analysis on the emergence or shifting of global patterns in human trafficking, including data on the number of victims trafficked to, through, or from major source and destination countries, disaggregated by nationality, gender, and age, to the extent possible;

(F) emerging issues in human trafficking;

(G) a section entitled “Promising Practices in the Eradication of Trafficking in Persons” to highlight effective practices and use of innovation and technology in prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships, including by foreign governments, the private sector, and domestic civil society actors; and

(H) for each country included in a different list than the country had been placed in the previous annual report, a detailed explanation of how the concrete actions (or lack of such actions) undertaken (or not undertaken) by the country during the previous reporting period contributed to such change, including a clear linkage between such actions and the minimum standards enumerated in section 7106 of this title.

(2) Special watch list

(A) Submission of list

Not later than the date on which the determinations described in subsections (c) and (d) are submitted to the appropriate congressional committees in accordance with such subsections, the Secretary of State shall submit to the appropriate congressional committees a list of countries that the Secretary determines requires special scrutiny during the following year. The list shall be composed of the following countries:

(i) Countries that have been listed pursuant to paragraph (1)(A) in the current annual report and were listed pursuant to paragraph (1)(B) in the previous annual report.

(ii) Countries that have been listed pursuant to paragraph (1)(B) pursuant to the current annual report and were listed pursuant to paragraph (1)(C) in the previous annual report.

(iii) Countries that have been listed pursuant to paragraph (1)(B) pursuant to the current annual report, where—

(I) the estimated number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing and the country is not taking proportional concrete actions; or

(II) there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year, including increased investigations, prosecutions and convictions of trafficking crimes, increased assistance to victims, and decreasing evidence of complicity in severe forms of trafficking by government officials.

(B) Interim assessment

Not later than February 1st of each year, the Secretary of State shall provide to the appropriate congressional committees an assessment of the progress that each country on the special watch list described in subparagraph (A) has made since April 1 of the previous year.

(C) Relation of special watch list to annual trafficking in persons report

A determination that a country shall not be placed on the special watch list described in subparagraph (A) shall not affect in any way the determination to be made in the following year as to whether a country is complying with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking or whether a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with such standards.

(D) Countries on special watch list for 2 consecutive years

(i) In general

Except as provided under clause (ii), a country that is included on the special watch list described in subparagraph (A) for 2 consecutive years after December 23, 2008, shall be included on the list of countries described in paragraph (1)(C).

(ii) Exercise of waiver authority

The President may waive the application of clause (i) for up to 1 year if the President determines, and reports credible evidence to the Committee 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 the plan.

(E) Congressional notice

Not later than 30 days after notifying Congress of each country determined to have met the requirements under subclauses (I) through (III) of subparagraph (D)(ii), the Secretary of State shall—

(i) provide a detailed description of the credible information supporting such determination on a publicly available website maintained by the Department of State; and

(ii) offer to brief the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate and the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives on any written plan submitted by the country under subparagraph (D)(ii)(I), with an opportunity to review the written plan.

(F) Special rule for certain countries on special watch list that are downgraded and reinstated on special watch list

Notwithstanding subparagraphs (D) and (E), a country may not be included on the special watch list described in subparagraph (A)(iii) for more than 1 consecutive year after the country—

(i) was included on the special watch list described in subparagraph (A)(iii) for—

(I) 2 consecutive years after December 23, 2008; and

(II) any additional years after such date of enactment as a result of the President exercising the waiver authority under subparagraph (D)(ii); and

(ii) was subsequently included on the list of countries described in paragraph (1)(C).

(3) Significant efforts

(A) In general

In determinations under paragraph (1) or (2) as to whether the government of a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, the Secretary of State shall consider—

(i) the extent to which the country is a country of origin, transit, or destination for severe forms of trafficking;

(ii) the extent of noncompliance with the minimum standards by the government and, particularly, the extent to which officials or employees of the government have participated in, facilitated, condoned, or are otherwise complicit in severe forms of trafficking;

(iii) what measures are reasonable to bring the government into compliance with the minimum standards in light of the resources and capabilities of the government.(B) Proof of failure to make significant efforts

(B) Proof of failure to make significant efforts

In addition to the considerations described in clauses (i), (ii), and (iii) of subparagraph (A), in determinations under paragraph (1)(C) as to whether the government of a country is not making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, the Secretary of State shall consider, as proof of failure to make significant efforts, a government policy or pattern of—

(i) trafficking;

(ii) trafficking in government-funded programs;

(iii) forced labor (in government-affiliated medical services, agriculture, forestry, mining, construction, 
or other sectors);

(iv) sexual slavery in government camps, compounds, or outposts; or

(v) employing or recruiting child soldiers.

(D) [7]  the extent to which the government of the country is devoting sufficient budgetary resources—

(i) to investigate and prosecute acts of severe trafficking in persons;

(ii) to convict and sentence persons responsible for such acts; and

(iii) to obtain restitution for victims of human trafficking;

(E) the extent to which the government of the country is devoting sufficient budgetary resources—

(i) to protect and support victims of trafficking in persons; and

(ii) to prevent severe forms of trafficking in persons; and

(F) the extent to which the government of the country has consulted with domestic and international civil society organizations that resulted in concrete actions to improve the provision of services to victims of trafficking in persons.

(4) Action plans for countries upgraded to tier 2 watchlist

(A) In general

Not later than 180 days after the release of the annual Trafficking in Persons Report, the Secretary of State, acting through the Ambassador-at-Large of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking and the Assistant Secretary of the appropriate regional bureau, in consultation with appropriate officials from the government of each country described in paragraph (2)(A)(ii), and with the assistance of the United States Ambassador or Charge d’Affaires in each country, shall—

(i) prepare an action plan for each country upgraded from Tier 3 to Tier 2 Watchlist to further improve such country’s tier ranking under this subsection; and

(ii) present the relevant action plan to the government of each such country.

(B) Contents

Each action plan prepared under this paragraph—

(i) shall include specific concrete actions to be taken by the country to substantively address deficiencies preventing the country from meeting Tier 2 standards, based on credible information; and

(ii) should be focused on short-term and multi-year goals.

(C) Briefings

The Ambassador-at-Large of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking and all appropriate regional Assistant Secretaries shall make themselves available to brief the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, the Committee on Appropriations of the Senate, the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, and the Committee on Appropriations of the House of Representatives on the implementation of each action plan prepared under this paragraph.

(D) Savings provision

Nothing in this paragraph may be construed as modifying—

(i) minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking under section 7106 of this title; or

(ii) the actions against governments failing to meet minimum standards under this section or the criteria for placement on the Special Watch List under paragraph (2).

_______________
[6] This section reproduces section 110(b) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Div. A, Pub. L. No. 106-386), as amended by the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-425) and the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2017 (Pub. L. 115-427) on January 8 and 9, 2019, respectively.

[7] So in original. No subpar. (C) has been enacted.

Section 404(2) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act, as Amended [8]

(2) Child soldier

Consistent with the provisions of the Optional Protocol to the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the term “child soldier”—

(A) means—

(i) any person under 18 years of age who takes a direct part in hostilities as a member of governmental armed forces, police, or other security forces;

(ii) any person under 18 years of age who has been compulsorily recruited into governmental armed forces, police, or other security forces;

(iii) any person under 15 years of age who has been voluntarily recruited into governmental armed forces, police, or other security forces; or

(iv) any person under 18 years of age who has been recruited or used in hostilities by armed forces distinct from the armed forces of a state; and

(B) includes any person described in clause (ii), (iii), or (iv) of subparagraph (A) who is serving in any capacity, including in a support role such as a cook, porter, messenger, medic, guard, or sex slave.

_______________
[8] This section reproduces section 402(2) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (Title IV of Pub. L. 110-457), as amended by the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-425) on January 8, 2019.

Relevant International Conventions

The chart below shows the Ratification, Accession (a), or Acceptance (A) of relevant international conventions for those countries that have ratified, acceded to, or accepted any such conventions between April 2018 and March 2019. A complete list that includes all of the countries covered by the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report is available at:  https://www.state.gov/international-conventions-relevant-to-combating-trafficking-in-persons/.

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Country UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in Armed Conflict ILO Convention 29 Forced Labour (1930), entered into force in 1932 ILO Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labour Convention, entered in to force November 9, 2016 ILO Convention 105, Abolition of Forced Labour (1957) ILO Convention 182, Elimination of Worst Forms of Child Labor ILO Convention 189, Domestic Workers (2011), entered into force September 5, 2013
Bosnia and Herzegovina 2002 2002 2003 1993 2018 (will enter into force on August 2019) 2000 2001
Cook Islands 2015 2015 2018 
(will enter into force on August 2019)
Djibouti 2005 2011 2011 1978 2018 1978 2005
Grenada 2004 2012 2012 1979 1979 2003 2018 
(will enter into force on November 2019)
Ireland 2010 2002 1931 2019 (will enter into force on February 2020) 1958 1999 2014
Israel 2008 2008 2005 1955 2018 (will enter into force on October 2019) 1958 2005
Malta 2003 2010 2002 1965 2019 (will enter into force on February 2020) 1965 2001
Marshall Islands 2019 2019 (will go into force March 2020)
Mozambique 2006 2003 2004 2003 2018 (will enter into force on June 2019) 1977 2003
Peru 2002 2002 2002 1960 1960 2002 2018 (will enter into force on November 2019)
Russian 
Federation 2004 2013 2008 1956 2019 (will enter into force on January 2020) 1998 2003
South Sudan 2018 2018 2012 2012 2012
Thailand 2013 2006 2006 1969 2018 (will enter into force on June 2019) 1969 2001

Stopping Human Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by International Peacekeepers and Civilian Personnel

As required by law, this section summarizes actions taken by the United Nations (UN), the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) to prevent trafficking in persons or the exploitation of victims of trafficking.

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  United Nations OSCE NATO
Total Number of Peacekeeping and Support Personnel 102,736

(including 6,114 women)

3,795 20,967
Total Number of Missions 14 16 3
Prevention Policy “Special Measures for Protection from Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse” (SEA) (2003) “Code of Conduct for Staff and Mission Members” “NATO Policy on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings” (2004 and 2007)
Lead Office Responsible for Implementation Department of Management Strategy, Policy 
and Compliance Office of Human Resources Women, Peace, and Security Office
Prevention Training Pre-deployment and at mission, including a new e-learning program Pre-deployment Pre-deployment and at mission

 

“NATO Guidance for the development of training and educational programmes to support the policy on combating the trafficking in human beings” (2004)

Number of Allegations in 2018 54 allegations were made against 92 military, police, and civilian personnel of 7 UN peacekeeping and special political missions. The majority of the allegations were in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, South Sudan, and Liberia.

 

The allegations affected 94 victims of which 16 were children younger than 18 years of age.

No reported allegations No reported allegations – NATO relies on contributing countries to report allegations.
New Initiatives 101 Countries (including the United States) signed the Voluntary Compact with the Secretary General of the United Nations on the Commitment to Eliminate Sexual Exploitation and Abuse.

 

The UN Victims’ Rights Advocate (VRA), appointed in 2017, worked to resolve outstanding paternity and child support claims, and launched a centralized tracking tool for victim assistance, and a protocol for providing assistance to victims. VRAs were also established in high-incidence UN missions (Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, Central African Republic, and Haiti). The VRAs initiated a pilot mapping project to identify both system-wide and local capacities to assist victims.

To ensure that no activities of the OSCE executive structures or field operations—including the purchasing of goods and services—contribute to any form of trafficking in human beings, the OSCE adopted contract provisions forbidding suppliers and their staff from engaging in human trafficking. The OSCE is now mapping its own supply chains to assess risk and building the capacities of OSCE personnel through guidance.  
Links for Additional Information https://conduct.unmissions.org/ http://www.osce.org/what/trafficking http://www.nato.int/cps/
en/natolive/topics_50315.htm

International, Regional, and Sub-Regional Organizations Combating Trafficking In Persons

Multilateral Organizations Combating Trafficking in Persons

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Organizations and Selected Links of Interest Framework Document Relevant to TIP TIP Focal Point
United Nations (UN)

www.un.org

 

United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC)

www.unodc.org

 

Human Trafficking Knowledge Portal:

https://www.unodc.org/cld/en/v3/htms/index.html

 

UNODC Global Report on Trafficking in Persons

http://www.unodc.org/unodc/data-and-analysis/glotip.html

 

Countering Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations (2018)

http://www.unodc.org/documents/human-trafficking/publications.html

 

UNODC Evidential Issues in Trafficking in Persons Cases: Case Digest

http://www.unodc.org/documents/human-trafficking/2017/Case_Digest_Evidential_Issues_in_Trafficking.pdf

 

Case Digest on Evidential Issues on Trafficking in Persons Cases (2017):

https://www.unodc.org/documents/human-trafficking/2017/Case_Digest_Evidential_Issues_in_Trafficking.pdf

 

Sharing Electronic Resources and Laws on Crime (SHERLOC):

https://www.unodc.org/cld/v3/sherloc/

 

United Nations Security Council (UNSC)

http://unscr.com/en/resolutions/2388

https://www.un.org/press/en/2016/sc12647.doc.htm

https://www.un.org/press/en/2015/sc12165.doc.htm

 

United Nations Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights

www.ohchr.org

 

International Labour Organization (ILO)

www.ilo.org

http://www.ilo.org/sapfl/Informationresources/ILOPublications/Byregion/Global/lang–en/index.htm

http://www.ilo.org/dyn/normlex/en/f?p=NORMLEXPUB:1:0

UN Convention and Protocol:

Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (A/RES/55/25) (2000)

 

United Nations Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons (A/RES/64/293) (2010)

 

UNSC Resolutions:

UNSC Resolution on Trafficking in Persons in Conflict Situations 2331 (2016) and 2388 (2017)

 

ILO Conventions:

-C29 Forced Labour Convention (1930)

-P029 Protocol of 2014 and Recommendation R203, supplementing the Forced Labour Convention (1930)

-C105 Abolition of Forced Labour Convention (1957)

-C182 Worst Forms of Child Labour Convention (1999)

-C189 Domestic Workers Convention, and its Recommendation R201 (2011)

 

UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children

 

UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery

 

UN Special Rapporteur on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution, and Child Pornography

 

African Union (AU)

www.africa-union.org/

Ouagadougou Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, Especially Women and Children (2006)

http://ec.europa.eu/development/body/tmp_docs/2006/Action_plan_OUAGADOUGOU.pdf

 

AU Commission Initiative against Trafficking Campaign (AU.COMMIT)

N/A
Khartoum Process (EU/Horn of Africa Migration Route Initiative)  

Khartoum Declaration on AU-Horn of Africa Initiative on Human Trafficking and Smuggling of Migrants

 

Declaration of the Ministerial Conference of the Khartoum Process (2014)

 

Valletta Summit Action Plan (2015)

 

Valletta Summit Political Declaration (2015)

 

EU-Africa Action Plan on Migration and Mobility (2014-2017)

 
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

www.asean.org

 

ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) and the ASEAN Plan of Action

http://asean.org/asean-convention-against-trafficking-in-persons-especially-women-and-children/ http://www.asean.org/storage/2015/12/APA-FINAL.pdf

ASEAN Declaration Against Trafficking in Persons, Particularly Women and Children (2004)

 

ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2015)

 

ASEAN Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (2015) 
http://asean.org/storage/2012/05/APA-FINAL.pdf

ASEAN Senior Officials Meeting on Transnational Crime
Bali Regional Ministerial Conference On People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (Bali Process)

www.baliprocess.net

 

Bali Process Policy Guides, Handbooks and Guides for first responders and officials: 
http://www.baliprocess.net/regional-support-office/resources/

 

Policy Guides on Identification and Protection of Victims of Trafficking (2015): 
http://www.baliprocess.net/regional-support-office/policy-guides-on-identification-and-protection-of-victims-of-trafficking/

 

Policy Guides on Criminalizing Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons (2014): 
http://www.baliprocess.net/regional-support-office/policy-guides/

Co Chairs’ Statements of the first (2002), second (2003), third (2009), fourth (2011), fifth (2013), and sixth (2016)

 

Declaration of the Seventh Ministerial Conference of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime (2018)

 

Bali Regional Ministerial Conference on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime

Bali Process Working Group on Trafficking in Persons
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS)

www.cis.minsk.by/ (in Russian only)

Agreement on the Cooperation of the CIS Member States in Combating Trafficking in Persons, Human Organs and Tissues (2005)

 

Program of Cooperation between the CIS Member States against Trafficking in Persons for 2014–2018

N/A
Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT)

http://un-act.org

 

Victim Identification and Referral Mechanisms: Common Guidelines for the Greater Mekong Sub-region: 
http://un-act.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/COMMIT_Guidelines_on_Victim_ID__Referrals.pdf

 

Supporting the Reintegration of Trafficked Persons: A Guidebook for the Greater Mekong Sub-Region: 
http://un-act.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Final-Reintegration-Guidebook-3.pdf

COMMIT Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation Against Trafficking in Greater Mekong Sub-Region (2004)

 

COMMIT 3rd Sub-Regional Plan of Action (COMMIT SPAIII, 2011-2013)

United Nations Action for Cooperation against Trafficking in Persons

 

 

Regional COMMIT Task Force (TF)

Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS)

http://www.cbss.org/civil-security-the-human-dimension/tfthb/

 

www.childcentre.info/egcc/

 

The Guidelines against Labour Exploitation in the Baltic Sea Region (2014): http://www.cbss.org/guidelines-labour-exploitation-baltic-sea-region/

 

Guidelines to Prevent Abusive Recruitment, Exploitative Employment and Trafficking of Migrant Workers (2014): 
http://www.cbss.org/guidelines-prevent-abusive-recruitment-exploitative-employment-trafficking-migrant-workers-brief/

A Vision for the Baltic Sea region by 2020, CBSS Summit 2010

 

Human Trafficking 2016 – Baltic Sea Round-up Report

Task Force against Trafficking in Human Beings (TF-THB)

 

Expert Group on Children at Risk

 

Task Force Against Trafficking in Human Beings

Council of Europe (COE)

www.coe.int

 

http://www.coe.int/t/dghl/monitoring/trafficking/

 

HELP Online Training Course: 
https://www.coe.int/en/web/anti-human-trafficking/help-online-training-course

 

8th General Report on GRETA’s Activities (2018)

 

https://www.coe.int/en/web/anti-human-trafficking/general-reports

COE Convention on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (2005) Group of Experts on Action Against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA)

 

Reports: https://www.coe.int/en/web/anti-human-trafficking/general-reports

Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

www.ecowas.int

 

Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS)

www.ceeac-eccas.org/

ECOWAS Initial Plan of Action against Trafficking in Persons
(2002-2003), extended until 2011 https://issafrica.org/acpst/uploads/Reading%20material-ECOWAS%20PoA%20CT.pdfECOWAS Declaration on the Fight against Trafficking in Persons (2001)http://www.achpr.org/instruments/ecowas-declaration-against-trafficking-persons/ 

Joint ECOWAS/ECCAS Regional Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children (2006-2008)

Anti-Trafficking Unit
European Union (EU)

http://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/index.action

Directive 2011/36/EU on Combating and Preventing Trafficking in Human Beings and Protecting its Victims

 

https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/ALL/?uri=CELEX:32011L0036

 

EU Strategy towards the Eradication of Trafficking in Human Beings (2012-2016) https://ec.europa.eu/anti-trafficking/sites/antitrafficking/files/eu_strategy_towards_the_eradication_of_trafficking_in_human_beings_2012-2016_1.pdf

European Union Anti-Trafficking Coordinator
League of Arab States (LAS)

http://arableague-us.org/wp/

Arab Framework Act on Combating Trafficking in Persons (2008)

 

Arab Initiative to Combat Trafficking in Persons, 2010

 

Comprehensive Arab Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings (CASCTHB), Council of Arab Ministers of Justice Resolution 15/2/2012

N/A
Organization of American States (OAS)

http://www.oas.org/dsp/english/cpo_trata_dia_mundial.asp

 

www.oas.org/dsp/english/cpo_trata.asp

 

II Work Plan Against Trafficking in Persons in the Western Hemisphere 2015-2018:

 

https://www.oas.org/ext/en/security/crime-prevention-network/Resources/Digital-Library/ii-work-plan-against-trafficking-in-persons-in-the-western-hemisphere-2015-2018

 

Work Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons in the Western Hemisphere 2010-2012 (AG/RES. 2551 (XL-O/10)

 

Second Work Plan against Trafficking in Persons in the Western Hemisphere 2015-2018 (RTP-IV/doc.4/14 rev. 1) http://scm.oas.org/IDMS/Redirectpage.aspx?class=XXXIX.4%20RTP-IV/doc.&classNum=4&lang=e

 

Inter-American Declaration against Trafficking in Persons “Declaration of Brasilia” (2014)

 

Hemispheric Efforts against Trafficking in Persons “Declaration of Mexico” (2018)

Coordinator Against Trafficking in Persons
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

The OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear Sector: http://mneguidelines.oecd.org/OECD-Due-Diligence-Guidance-Garment-Footwear.pdf

 

OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas:

 

http://www.oecd.org/daf/inv/mne/mining.htm

  OECD Task Force on Countering Illicit Trade
Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

http://www.osce.org/secretariat/trafficking

 

Handbook – How to prevent human trafficking for domestic servitude in diplomatic households and protect private domestic workers (2014):

 

http://www.osce.org/handbook/domesticservitude

 

OSCE Alliance against Trafficking in Persons:

 

http://www.osce.org/secretariat/107221

 

Model Guidelines on Government Measures to Prevent Trafficking for Labour Exploitation in Supply Chains:

 

https://www.osce.org/secretariat/371771?download=true

 

Uniform Guidelines for the Identification and Referral of Victims of Human Trafficking within the Migrant and Refugee Reception Framework in the OSCE Region:

 

https://www.osce.org/secretariat/413123

OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings (2003) https://www.osce.org/actionplan?download=true

 

Platform for Action Against Human Trafficking (2007)

 

Decision No. 1107 Addendum to the OSCE Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, Decision No. 1107, 6 December (2013)

 

https://www.osce.org/addendum?download=true

 

OSCE Parliament Assembly Resolution on Responsibility To Combat Human Trafficking in Government Contracts For Goods And Services (2015)

Special Representative and Coordinator for Trafficking in Human Beings
Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) (Puebla Group)

www.rcmvs.org

 

Regional Guidelines for Special Protection in Cases of the Repatriation of Child Victims of Trafficking (2007):

 

http://www.rcmvs.org/en

Regional Conference on Migration Plan of Action (updated in 2009) The Liaison Officers Network to Combat Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons
Southern African Development Community (SADC)

www.sadc.int/

 

Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Persons: Lessons from the SADC Region Booklet (2017): 
https://www.sadc.int/issues/gender/sadc-gender-and-development-monitor-2016/preventing-and-combating-trafficking-persons-lessons-sadc-region/

SADC Strategic Plan of Action on Combating Trafficking in Persons, especially women and Children (2009-2019) N/A

 

Glossary of Abbreviations

ASEAN Association of Southeast Asian Nations
ECCAS Economic Community of Central African States
ECOWAS Economic Community of West African States
EU European Union
EUROPOL European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation
GRETA 
Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in 
Human Beings
IDP Internally displaced person
ILO International Labour Organization
ILO-IPEC 
International Labour Organization, International Program for the Elimination of Child Labour
INTERPOL International Criminal Police Organization
IOM International Organization for Migration
ISIS Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
LGBTI Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Intersex
NGO Nongovernmental organization
OAS Organization of American States
OSCE Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe
UN United Nations
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNHCR United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund
UNODC United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
UN WOMEN United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
2000 UN TIP Protocol 
(Palermo Protocol) 
Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime

Notes:  Local currencies have been converted to U.S. dollars ($) using the currency exchange rates reported by the U.S. Department of the Treasury on December 31, 2018. The rates can be found here: https://fiscal.treasury.gov/reports-statements/treasury-reporting-rates-exchange/historical.html

Photo Credits

Inside Front Cover: Pascal Maitre/Panos Pictures

Page iii: Lynn Johnson, National Geographic Image Collection

Page v: © 2019 Misty Keasler for Winrock International

Table of Contents: Image used with consent.

Page 2: Joe Penney/REUTERS

Page 5: Thomas Peter/REUTERS

Page 7: Robert Harding Picture Library/ National Geographic 
Image Collection

Page 8: Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights

Page 9: UNICEF/UN069363/Romenzi

Page 10: Pete McBride, National Geographic Image Collection

Page 11: Jonas Gratzer/LightRocket via Getty Images

Page 12: Carlos Garcia Granthon/Fotoholica Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Page 13: Top: Leif Coorlim/Courtesy CNN
Bottom: Audrey Guichon, © The Freedom Fund

Page 14-15: Shepard Sherbell/CORBIS SABA/Corbis via Getty Images

Page 17: © 2019 Misty Keasler for Winrock International

Page 18: STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

Page 19: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

Page 20: Madaree Tohlala/AFP Getty Images

Page 22: Sybille DESJARDINS for IOM Mauritania

Page 24: Ginny Baumann, The Freedom Fund

Page 26: AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

Page 29: Jodi Cobb, National Geographic Image Collection

Page 30: Andrea Campeanu/REUTERS

Page 31: © UNICEF/UN0158701/Prinsloo

Page 32-33: George Steinmetz, National Geographic Image Collection

Page 34: AP Photo/Ajit Solanki

Page 36: AP Photo/Dake Kang

Page 37: Tom Stoddart Archive/Contributor

Page 39: Uzbek-German Forum for Human Rights

Page 42: © 2008 Kay Chernush | Artworks For Freedom

Page 47: Jodi Cobb, National Geographic Image Collection

Page 55: © UNHCR/Dave Azia

Page 57: Enri Canaj/Magnum Photos

Page 528: © UNICEF/UN063817/Gilbertson VII Photo

Inside Back Cover: Kay Chernush | ArtWorks for Freedom

Acknowledgments

The Staff of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Is:

Eric Abdullateef
Karen Vierling Allen
Julia F. Anderson
Lawrence Arbitman
Andrea Balint
Shonnie R. Ball
Kyle M. Ballard
MacKenzie Bills
Michelle Cooper Bloom
Christine Buchholz
Carla M. Bury
Mark Carlson
Cathleen L. Chang
Erin Chapman
Anna Cornacchio
Steven Davis
Alisha Deluty
Leigh Anne DeWine
Stephen D. Dreyer
Mary C. Ellison
Daniel Evensen
Charlotte Florance
Mark Forstrom
Connor Gary
Christy Gillmore
Adam Guarneri
Patrick Hamilton
Tegan Hare
Amy Rustan Haslett
Stephanie Haven
Caitlin B. Heidenreich
Sonia Helmy-Dentzel
Greg Hermsmeyer
Julie Hicks
Torrie Higgins
Megan Hjelle-Lantsman
Jennifer M. Ho
Renee Huffman
Veronica Jablonski
Harold Jahnsen
Maurice W. Johnson
Tyler Johnston
Kari A. Johnstone
Channing M. Jones
Nayab Khan
Emily A. Korenak
Kendra L. Kreider
Tenzing Lahdon
Renee Lariviere
Katherine Larson Abigail Long
Drew Lucas
Jason Martin
Myrtis Martin
Monica Maurer
Joel Maybury
Kerry McBride
Rendi McCoy
Maura K. McManus
Ericka Moten
Ryan Mulvenna
Samantha Novick
Amy O’Neill Richard
Anna Patrick Fraser
Sandy Perez Rousseau
Andrew Pfender
Marissa Pietrobono
Justin D. Pollard
Alexis Ramdass
John Cotton Richmond
Laura Svat Rundlet
Chad C. Salitan
Haley L. Sands
Sarah A. Scott
Adrienne Sgarlato
Mai Shiozaki-Lynch
Julie Short Echalar
Jane Nady Sigmon
Soumya Silver
Ann Karl Slusarz
Justine Sobrio
Whitney Stewart
Desirée Suo Weymont
McKenzie Swain
Francesca J. Tadle
Atsuki Takahashi
James Taylor
Chaiszar Turner
Kathleen Vogel
Myrna E. Walch
Bianca Washington
Shelly Westebbe
Katie Wiese
Andrea E. Wilson
Ben Wiselogle
Kaitlyn Woods
Joshua Youle
Janet Zinn

Special thanks to Lamya Shawki El-Shacke and the creative services team at Global Publishing Solutions.

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