The government further decreased its inadequate protection efforts. In 2019, there was a considerable population of displaced Venezuelans who had overstayed visas and were working illegally in Curaçao. The government claimed the large number of displaced Venezuelans who had overstayed visas and were working illegally in Curaçao constrained law enforcement and likely affected efforts to combat trafficking; yet, Venezuelans, as a group, were at particular risk of trafficking. Authorities identified three victims in 2019, foreign nationals exploited in sex trafficking, compared with 44 victims (16 victims of sex trafficking, 10 victims of labor trafficking, and 18 both sex and labor trafficking) in 2018 and five in 2017. Officials interviewed other women working alongside the three identified victims and concluded they were not victims of sex or labor trafficking. In practice, assistance for victims was contingent upon cooperation with law enforcement efforts to prosecute traffickers. The government’s procedures stipulated it should provide standard services to these victims, including shelter, meals, medical attention, and psychological services. Even so, these services were often difficult to obtain and some were funded by international organizations. The government issued temporary residence permits and arranged housing for all three victims. Officials continued to provide services to 12 previously identified victims, including facilitating the temporary return of two victims to their country of origin for a medical procedure. Victims who were in the country illegally and did not choose to participate in trials against their traffickers were at risk of deportation. Through a separate administrative process, victims were eligible to apply for temporary work permits; however, many victims could not afford the cost.
Front-line responders used standard operating procedures on victim identification and referral; however, it was unclear if staff at migrant detention centers received training on their use. Despite the vulnerability of unauthorized migrants to trafficking, the government did not report any routine screening of this at-risk population. The government did not operate any specialized shelters for trafficking victims; however, authorities provided some funding to NGOs and international organizations to assist victims in need of shelter and other services. NGOs could house a limited number of female trafficking victims in shelters for victims of domestic violence; victims’ movements were restricted if authorities deemed their safety was at risk. When existing shelter facilities reached maximum capacity, the government placed victims in short-term government-funded apartments. Foreign victims were entitled to similar care as domestic victims, but did not have access to publicly funded medical insurance. The government referred child victims of trafficking to guardianship councils for placement in boarding school or foster care; the government did not report how many children it identified or assisted. Authorities reported difficulty arranging housing for male victims due to budget constraints; there were no known shelters for male victims. The government detained and deported potential victims who were in the country illegally, including Venezuelan nationals.