The government increased victim protection. The government’s interagency task force on trafficking (MITP) identified 41 trafficking victims (30 women and 11 men; 33 for labor trafficking and eight for sex trafficking), compared with 21 victims in 2017, 23 in 2016, and 65 in 2015. The National Service of Women and Gender Equality (SERNAMEG) assisted 12 women of the 41 victims of trafficking; the SERNAMEG shelter directly assisted eight female victims and sent the remaining four victims to other shelters due to its capacity limit. SERNAMEG assigned three of the victims with pro-bono attorneys. The MITP’s protocol on victim assistance entitled victims to safe housing, health services, psychological services, legal assistance, employment assistance, and regularization of migratory status. However, provision of victim services remained uneven across the country and NGOs reported funding was inadequate to provide necessary services, especially shelters for minors and male victims. The government did not fund most NGOs that provided victim assistance; agencies did not have specific line items in their budgets for victim assistance. Reintegration services such as education and job placement assistance were insufficient, and officials reported access to adequate mental health services was expensive and limited.
SERNAMEG allocated 140 million Chilean pesos ($202,000) to fund the NGO-operated shelter for women victims of trafficking, smuggled women, and their children, an increase compared to 133 million Chilean pesos ($191,900) allocated in 2017. The government also had domestic violence shelters that housed trafficking victims, although these shelters did not necessarily provide specialized services for trafficking victims. The Ministry of Interior created official agreements on adult men victims’ care with the Ministry of Justice; these services were administered by a local NGO. However, there were no shelters for male victims. The National Service for Minors (SENAME) provided basic services to child sex trafficking victims through its national network of 18 NGO-operated programs and opened one additional program during the reporting period. There was an ongoing investigation into mistreatment and abuse leading to death and neglect of children and adolescents at SENAME-affiliated residential and non-residential care facilities. SENAME provided 3 billion Chilean pesos ($4.33 million) for victim services, compared to 2.95 billion Chilean pesos ($4.26 million) in 2017. SENAME assisted 1,459 children in 2018, compared with 1,350 children in 2017 and 1,341 in 2016. Although it noted 148 children or adolescents were identified by the Worst Forms of Chile Labor (WFCL) registry as victims of commercial sexual exploitation. The Ministry of Interior increased legal representation for child victims through Chile’s “My Lawyer program.”
In partnership with an international organization, the Ministry of Health developed a technical guide on victim identification and assistance and trained more than 300 public health and municipality officials. Authorities provided training on victim assistance and identification to more than 1,000 law enforcement, judicial staff, labor inspectors, SENAME staff, and first responders. The Department of Migration continued to provide no-fee visas for foreign trafficking victims and issued 17 in 2018 (nine in 2017). The visa is valid for up to one year, renewable for up to two years if the victim reported the trafficking crime to the prosecutor’s office. Foreign victims received the same victim services and methods of participation in court—such as teleconference, witness protection, and video testimony—as Chilean victims. The government reported challenges in encouraging victims to participate in a full trial. The government did not report granting any victims restitution through civil or criminal cases in 2018. An international organization has expressed concern that striking workers in certain industries could be imprisoned and forced to work.