The government increased protection efforts. The government identified one minor trafficking victim and is working with another government to locate and repatriate them, compared with no victims identified between 2016 and 2018 and 10 victims identified in 2015. Authorities reported that children in poor communities are particularly at risk of sex trafficking, including as victims of child sex tourism by foreign tourists. The Ministers of Home Affairs, Justice, and National Security approved standard operating procedures (SOPs) for victim identification, referral, and protection and submitted the SOPs for full Cabinet approval. There is a need for sensitization and training for police on sex trafficking and sex tourism, particularly involving children. The Department of Home Affairs and National Security implemented a new case management system for victims of trafficking. The government conducted two workshops on victim identification and referrals for civil society and health care providers. Authorities provided two workshops on victim identification and referral for diplomatic personnel and external affairs department staff. The government did not allocate any funds for victim protection in 2018 and 2017, compared with one million EC dollars ($370,370) in 2016 for victim care related to a 2015 labor trafficking prosecution.
Trafficking victims could be referred through the Office of Gender Relations to various organizations for legal, health, advocacy, and crisis services. The government did not maintain a dedicated shelter for trafficking victims and has an agreement with NGOs to shelter victims when need arises. Adult victims were able to leave at will, but the government did not allow them to work or receive formal residency status because it considered victims wards of the state. The 2018 Child Care, Protection, and Adoption Act designated the Human Services Department within the Ministry of Equity as lead on child protection issues; the impact on the coordination of child victim services was not reported. The 2010 anti-trafficking act contained victim protection provisions, such as privacy measures, the ability to testify via video link, and witness protection, to encourage victims to participate in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers. The act provided for victim restitution and other compensation in cases of traffickers’ conviction.