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Belize (Tier 2)

The Government of Belize does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity; therefore Belize was upgraded to Tier 2. These achievements included convicting two traffickers and applying adequate sentences; expanding the size of its Anti-Trafficking (A-TIP) Police Unit, which increased investigations; improving data collection and case monitoring; opening a shelter for unaccompanied children at risk for trafficking in cooperation with an international organization; and prioritizing anti-trafficking funding and implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP). However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. The government did not adequately address official complicity in trafficking crimes, reports of which remained common; did not adequately oversee labor recruitment or investigate allegations of trafficking; and did not take measures to reduce demand for commercial sex. Authorities reportedly did not consistently screen migrants, refugees, or asylum seekers for trafficking and may have deported or arrested unidentified trafficking victims due to weak victim identification and a lack of formal identification procedures such as frontline officer guidelines.

  • Implement the anti-trafficking law by vigorously investigating and prosecuting traffickers, including child sex tourists and officials allegedly complicit in trafficking crimes, and imposing significant prison sentences upon those convicted.
  • Consistently apply formal procedures to identify victims among vulnerable groups, including children at risk of familial trafficking; People’s Republic of China (PRC) national and Cuban overseas workers, including medical professionals; and migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and refer identified victims to services.
  • Ensure labor and liquor license inspectors comply with domestic law and policy requiring inspections of workplaces and identification of victims.
  • Increase efforts to identify forced labor by mandating recruiter participation in the national labor recruiter registry and conducting prevention programs with migrant workers.
  • Increase the A-TIP Council’s engagement with survivors, including by establishing accessible mechanisms for receiving and providing compensation for survivor input when forming policies, programs, and trainings.
  • Ensure restitution is paid even in cases where the trafficker is indigent. • Increase efforts to investigate online trafficking.
  • Strengthen monitoring of alleged traffickers out on bail, reduce court delays including by having more judges to hear cases, and enable the courts to function virtually including with victim video testimony.
  • Provide adequate funding, including to NGOs, for specialized victim services including legal support for all victims, including men and children.
  • Increase training for and efforts to pursue financial crime investigations in tandem with human trafficking cases.
  • Improve coordination between the A-TIP Police Unit and the Department of Labor.
  • Take measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex.

The government slightly increased prosecution efforts. The 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) (Prohibition) Act criminalized sex trafficking and labor trafficking and prescribed penalties of up to eight years’ imprisonment for offenses involving adult victims and up to 12 years’ imprisonment for offenses involving child victims. These penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. Additionally, the 2013 Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (Prohibition) (CSEC) Act criminalized various offenses relating to the prostitution of anyone younger than 18. Under the TIP Prohibition Act, traffickers that were government officials and diplomats may be imprisoned for up to 15 years and must leave public office.

The A-TIP Police Unit was the police’s dedicated unit for conducting trafficking investigations and operations. The A-TIP Police Unit initiated 15 trafficking investigations against 20 individuals, including six cases for potential sex trafficking, three for labor trafficking, and six for unspecified exploitation; compared with five new investigations in 2020, 10 new investigations in 2019, and three in 2018. Eight sex trafficking investigations against 19 individuals and seven labor trafficking investigations against six individuals remained ongoing from previous reporting periods. These included ongoing investigations into two high-ranking, retired government officials—a police officer and an immigration officer—under investigation for alleged labor trafficking of a Salvadoran national while in government service; the government did not initiate any new investigations or prosecutions of allegedly complicit officials during the reporting period.

Authorities initiated one new sex trafficking prosecution under the anti-trafficking laws of four Belizean adults, three men and one woman, during the reporting period. The government continued prosecution of five cases of six individuals under the anti-trafficking law, including of two men and two women for sex trafficking and one also charged with labor trafficking and two individuals, a man and a woman, for labor trafficking. Two of these cases closed during the reporting period; courts acquitted one woman, and prosecutors dropped another case after the victim declined to participate in the prosecution; three cases against four individuals, three men and a woman, remained open at the end of the reporting period. The government reported delay in initiating prosecutions due to the pandemic and the complexity of ongoing investigations. These efforts compared with prosecution of one new suspect for sex and labor trafficking crimes in 2020 and continued prosecution of five alleged traffickers from previous reporting periods.

The Supreme Court convicted two Belizean sex traffickers in one familial trafficking case from 2019, compared with no convictions in 2020 and a conviction of one trafficker for sex and labor trafficking in 2019. In September 2021, the Supreme Court convicted two child sex traffickers under the CSEC Act, the fourth conviction in the country’s history. The court sentenced an adult male to 12 years’ imprisonment for procuring a child for sexual exploitation and sentenced the mother of the 14-year-old victim to 10 years’ imprisonment for “child prostitution.” The child victim remained in the care of the Ministry of Human Development at the end of the reporting period.

One Supreme Court Justice specialized in hearing trafficking cases, which led to processing delays. The government reported retrofitting only some courtrooms with protective shields due to the pandemic, which limited the scheduling of court proceedings. The Supreme Court halted the hearing of trafficking cases twice due to the pandemic, and the judicial sector lacked the capacity and resources to adopt a virtual platform. However, the government reported trafficking cases were the first to resume after almost a year of pandemic-related court closures, and the pandemic did not affect authorities’ ability to conduct investigations. The government did not reassign officers of the A-TIP Police Unit to other tasks despite additional police duties and increased workload during the pandemic.

The A-TIP Police Unit added three new police officers to assist with investigations and trafficking-related matters, nearly doubling the size of the unit to eight designated officers. The unit coordinated its trafficking investigations with officials from the Department of Immigration; the Ministry of Human Development, Families, and Indigenous Affairs and its associated departments; the Social Security Board; and the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The government used Standard Operating Procedures requiring the A-TIP Police Unit agents accompany immigration officers when conducting operations to identify suspected traffickers. The A-TIP Police Unit referred (for prosecution) cases to an office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. The 2013 human trafficking law required all officials to report suspected trafficking cases to the A-TIP Police Unit for investigation. The A-TIP Police Unit had an ongoing partnership with an NGO to provide office space, a dedicated vehicle, and ongoing technical investigative assistance in trafficking cases. The NGO reported the office space provided a secure, private, and non-threatening location for interviewing trafficking victims and witnesses, collecting evidence, and planning operations. In October 2021, the Ministry of Human Development introduced a trafficking module in its legal case management system to enhance the monitoring and evaluation processes of government responses to trafficking cases. Law enforcement authorities lacked equipment and personnel to conduct large-scale trafficking investigations effectively, although the government reported improvements following the October 2021 foreign government donation of a new vehicle. In addition, the police force including the A-TIP Police Unit was spread across a large geographical area, leaving most stations and sub-stations understaffed and unable to pursue trafficking investigations adequately.

The government did not report any new investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government employees complicit in human trafficking crimes; however, corruption and official complicity in trafficking crimes remained concerns, especially among lower-level officials. Civil society organizations reported some police officers took bribes to do the following: ignore incidents of trafficking, not report potential perpetrators and identify victims, alert establishments where trafficking was likely to occur of pending law enforcement action, and stonewall or sabotage investigations of reported cases within their jurisdiction. Bars and nightclubs were closed through most of the reporting period due to the pandemic, resulting in authorities receiving fewer reports of suspected sex trafficking from NGOs. The government continued to prohibit the practice of off-duty police officers providing security for bars and nightclubs where commercial sex occurred in order to limit police complicity in trafficking crimes that frequently took place in these establishments. The government and NGOs reported no violations of the prohibition during the reporting period. Officers caught breaching the policy were required to appear before a Police Department tribunal for internal disciplinary action. Civil society organizations also reported some illegal brothels moved out of restaurants and bars and into private residences, moving sex trafficking further underground and making reporting cases more difficult.

The A-TIP Police Unit acted as the primary provider for counter-trafficking training—including law enforcement techniques such as collecting evidence, victim screening and identification, fraudulent document detection, and cybercrime investigation—throughout the country, training prison officials, immigration officers, customs agents, and any other officials who may come in contact with potential trafficking victims. The government trained police and provided a venue and other amenities for training police and prosecutors.

Authorities cooperated with counterparts in neighboring countries on judicial and law enforcement efforts. In May 2021, authorities held bilateral anti-trafficking discussions with a neighboring country following an increase in the number of traffickers and women and children trafficked from the foreign country found and identified in Belize. A mutual legal assistance treaty with Taiwan for criminal cases came into effect in July 2021.

The government increased efforts to protect victims. Authorities identified three confirmed victims in 2021, compared to 20 potential victims in 2020, 24 potential victims in 2019, and 17 potential victims in 2018. The government modified and improved its victim identification and confirmation procedures during the reporting period, resulting in more accurate victim data. The victims included one Guatemalan and one Belizean girl exploited in sex trafficking and one Salvadoran man exploited in labor trafficking. NGOs identified a further six trafficking victims, including one Honduran woman exploited in labor trafficking and one Mexican man and four Colombian men exploited in unspecified trafficking. The government referred all nine victims to government services, the same as in the prior reporting period. The government did not provide repatriation support for the Honduran, Mexican, and Colombian victims because the victims’ own countries repatriated them. In August 2021, during a screening of 11 women for potential immigration violations, authorities identified a foreign woman who was a trafficking victim in her country of origin. Authorities supported the female victim in testifying against her traffickers in another country while continuing to provide her victim services through the end of the reporting period. The Police A-TIP Unit screened prison inmates, to identify potential trafficking victims who may have been mistakenly penalized due to insufficient screening, and identified one victim.

The government reported, as part of the existing protocols, the A-TIP Police Unit coordinated with the Immigration Department, Public Health Department, and the Department of Human Development when planning operations to ensure services were available to potential victims. The A-TIP Police Unit trained, both jointly with an NGO and on its own, officers from each of these Departments on topics of victim identification and referral to services. Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) required that social workers from the Department of Human Services (DHS) be available to support victims during interviews and other official interactions. The government reported the A-TIP Council regularly reviewed and updated the SOPs with assistance from an NGO. Social workers and investigators also collected victim input and provided this to DHS; the government reported DHS used this feedback to improve and adjust programs and care. Law enforcement officers, immigration, and social services agents used the SOPs when conducting interviews and screening potential victims, including migrants and individuals in commercial sex. The SOPs also outlined procedures for the identification and removal of potential victims from trafficking situations. The A-TIP Council, in coordination with an NGO and funded by a foreign donor, did not yet begin implementation of identification and referral guidelines for frontline officers, including police officers, immigration personnel, customs officers, medical officers, social workers, and private companies offering essential services such as electricity, water, telecommunications, and social security. In August 2021, the A-TIP Police Unit, with support from an NGO, hired a Victims’ Services Coordinator to help police officers with victim services during investigations. The A-TIP Police Unit, under the guidance and direction of the A-TIP Council, also trained prison guards and other prison officials on victim identification. The A-TIP Police Unit provided refresher training for prison guards. The government reported the A-TIP Police Unit had trained female officers to conduct screenings for female victims. The government reported screening could occur in English or Spanish.

The government screened for trafficking victims as part of an international operation against criminal migrant smuggling networks. In July 2021, the Cabinet approved the Protocols for Accompanied and Unaccompanied Migrant Children in Belize, and the government trained frontline officers from the relevant departments as instructors. The protocols outlined how to refer migrant children, some of whom may be trafficking victims, to the appropriate authorities for care. The government did not report whether officials consistently used the new protocols; NGOs reported authorities denied entry to several migrants and the government did not report screening these migrants. The government reported the screening process emphasized that victims could not be penalized for unlawful acts they were compelled to commit, including immigration violations. Due to a lack of formal identification procedures for the entirety of the reporting period, authorities may have detained and arrested some unidentified trafficking victims. Victims’ fear of detention or deportation may have contributed to their reluctance to report trafficking to law enforcement officers. The government reported that for foreign victims, authorities contacted the relevant embassies for potential consular services. Victims identified during the screening process could also apply for refugee status. The government reported adapting several victim protection procedures due to the pandemic, including virtual communications, keeping departments on-call instead of on-site, social distancing, quarantining victims, and providing health screenings. Observers reported more consistency in victim identification than in previous years but stated gaps still existed, such as authorities failing to respond to credible reports from NGOs of potential trafficking victims, possibly leading to fewer identified victims and weak victim protection. The government did not report screening Cuban medical professionals in the country for trafficking indicators.

Pandemic-related restrictions and personnel shortages affected the delivery of social services related to trafficking. DHS was the lead agency for victim care. The law required DHS to provide victims with essential services. During the reporting period, victims and potential victims used government-funded services or NGO services the government reimbursed including housing, stipends, medical, counseling, education, food, clothing, help with legal documents, and repatriation (with the assistance of foreign diplomatic missions and an international organization). The government reported other generally available services included dental care, psychiatric services, prenatal care, placements, contact with family members (depending on risk assessment), contact with respective embassies, hygiene kits, infant care, recreational outings (depending on risk assessment), assistance with adjusting immigration status, and educational and life skills training. Children were allowed access to the educational system until 14 years old, the age limit for compulsory education. The government covered the costs for all these services, which were provided through the duration of criminal proceedings and as part of the re-integration process. The government reported that due to the scarcity of mental health services in the public system, private providers delivered medical and counseling services. Per the SOP, DHS had the ability to procure subsidized services for disabled persons, if needed, including sign language interpretation; the government did not report using this service. The government assigned two social workers, with English, Spanish, and basic sign language skills, to all trafficking cases to support victims. A DHS social worker always accompanied the A-TIP Police Unit investigators when they interviewed victims. Authorities allowed victims to speak only with a social worker until they were comfortable speaking to the A-TIP Police Unit. The A-TIP Council reported the number of certified social workers was low. Social workers chaperoned victims to medical and legal appointments. NGOs that work closely with the government noted that while gaps remained, government services have recently improved.

The government placed identified adult victims and their families in DHS’s Alternative Care Unit; authorities referred unaccompanied children to the Child Protection System. The government reported a trained social worker conducted a risk assessment to determine placement and other services for potential victims; DHS placed victims into the least restrictive among the range of options. Experts expressed concerns about the lack of education on trafficking for some foster parents, uneven coordination and communication between government agencies and foster parents, and limited availability of psycho-social care in general, including for trafficking victims. The government placed adults at shelters operated by DHS and several NGOs; it placed children in the foster care system—funded by the government—or a group home, and the government reported DHS always notified shelters and homes of arriving victims. The government lacked sufficient public shelter space for all victims and partnered with two domestic violence NGOs, one of which received government funding, to provide shelter and services to adult female trafficking victims. In the previous reporting period, the Ministry of Human Development, Families, and Indigenous Affairs made arrangements with an NGO to shelter male victims for the first time; the government did not report any male victims using the shelter during the reporting period. The Ministry of Human Development, in partnership with an international organization, also established a temporary shelter for unaccompanied children, many of whom were at risk for trafficking.

The government reported it did not limit protection services by time or make them conditional upon victim cooperation with law enforcement; services extended beyond the disposition of legal cases. If there were considerable safety concerns, the government would place victims in safe houses only known to social workers and police officers working on the case. The government did not provide any victims with witness protection; police could provide 24-hour security for some victims. The government reported victims could stay in separate chambers from their accused traffickers during court proceedings. The government allowed victims to provide testimony through video but lacked the equipment necessary to do so. As an interim measure, victims had the option of testifying from behind a screen in the court, protecting the victim’s identity. The government reported pandemic-related social distancing impacted in-person interviews of victims, with some victims not comfortable providing detailed information under the new regulations that required victims to remain physically distanced from social workers and investigators while making their report. The law also allowed for written statements to be provided as evidence in cases where repatriated foreign victims did not wish to return. The government reported counseling was available during testimony. The government reported it encouraged victims to participate in the legal process but did not compel them; in past years, court delays and fear of retaliation by traffickers may have led foreign national victims to decline or withdraw cooperation with law enforcement and return to their home countries. Even those who wished to assist in prosecution were sometimes unavailable to do so, having chosen repatriation or onward migration in the years between. The government provided foreign victims of human trafficking with the same victim services as domestic victims. Authorities did not deport foreign victims identified in potential trafficking cases; these victims could receive temporary residency status and work permits regardless of their cooperation with investigations or prosecutions. The government would facilitate work permits free of cost and, unless there were safety concerns, it allowed adult victims to move freely and obtain employment. The government could offer repatriation assistance to victims if they chose to return to their countries of origin pending trial proceedings, although it did not do so during the reporting period; an international organization coordinated repatriation. A court could order restitution upon a trafficker’s conviction through a formal request during the criminal case, but the A-TIP Council reported that the court did not award an application for restitution in the case of familial trafficking due to the indigent status of the traffickers.

The government did not allocate a specific amount within the anti-trafficking budget for victim services for the second year in a row. The government reported the Ministry of Human Development, Families, and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs purchased a van for the transportation of victims. The government waived the significant import tax for a van an NGO purchased to transport trafficking and CSEC victims.

The government increased its prevention efforts. The government continued to implement and fund a national action plan for 2021-2023. The government’s national coordinating body for counter-trafficking efforts was the A-TIP Council, headed by the Ministry of Human Development, Families, and Indigenous Peoples’ Affairs. The A-TIP Council chair also served simultaneously in several other official positions due to personnel and resource limitations. The A-TIP Council was composed of key ministries and two NGOs. While trafficking survivors did not participate directly in anti-trafficking efforts, they provided their experiences to DHS to improve and adjust programs and care provided to trafficking victims, as well as screening procedures, training protocols, and updated legislation. The A-TIP Council met quarterly during the reporting period. The A-TIP Council held two in-persons meetings: a high-level meeting involving cabinet ministers and a symposium with its member agencies. Despite broad budget cuts, the government allocated 200,000 Belizean dollars ($100,000) for anti-trafficking activities, consistent with the past three years.

The A-TIP Council’s Focal Point, which served as an interagency coordinator and manager, systematically documented the government’s efforts on human trafficking in the areas of prevention, prosecution, protection, and partnerships and maintained an associated database. The module also included a multi-agency online platform to investigate, track, and manage cases of human trafficking and provided a platform for accurate reporting and analysis. With funding from an international organization, the A-TIP Council also created and implemented a new Human Trafficking Management Information System for law enforcement and social services. The system assisted with the data migration of trafficking cases from previous years, including the current reporting period. The A-TIP Council began development of training manuals. The government published an infographic annual report on the dynamics of trafficking in the country in March 2022. The government reported it also contributed to the regional Coalition Against Human Trafficking and Migrant Smuggling, which published data on human trafficking for Central America, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic. The government, with the financial support of an international organization, conducted a gap analysis to review the government’s overall effectiveness in combating trafficking.

The A-TIP Council coordinated with a local NGO, with funding from an international organization, to build a social media page for the A-TIP Council, coordinate four awareness sessions on mainstream television shows, create trafficking indicator cards for transportation workers, and produce four informational videos. The A-TIP Council provided technical guidance for the projects, reviewed the campaign materials produced, and served as subject matter experts on television to ensure messaging did not legitimize or perpetuate harmful or racialized narratives or stereotypes about what victims, survivors, and perpetrators may look like. Campaign material was readily available to the public in both English and Spanish. The government coordinated with a neighboring country to conduct general awareness campaigns in both countries. An NGO operated a 24-hour “crime stoppers” hotline, which could receive calls on trafficking crimes and be used to reach the police; the police reported no trafficking investigations resulted from hotline calls during the reporting period. In November 2021, the A-TIP Council developed a toll-free telephone line, donated by an NGO and a telecommunication company, for the purposes of reporting suspected trafficking cases and providing information to the public on how to detect them. Printed materials for the awareness campaign included the toll-free number. The government provided awareness sessions for government officials, high school teachers, NGOs, and members of the public. The government reported the pandemic significantly impacted the ability to lead large gatherings in person, resulting in the majority of awareness activities being conducted online.

Liquor licensing boards routinely failed to conduct inspections of restaurants where commercial sex, including potential sex and labor trafficking crimes, allegedly took place. In December 2021, the A-TIP Unit hosted a human trafficking awareness session for liquor licensing board members to highlight their role in reducing trafficking. As part of its job preparedness training program for workers, the government offered worker rights sessions that included information on human trafficking and conducted quarterly labor rights workshops with entrepreneurs and small businesses. The labor code required labor recruiters to register with the national labor recruiter registry, but the government reported that none did so. Although the Department of Labor reported strengthening regulations related to recruitment and that the Ministries of Immigration and Agriculture led discussions with employers to implement the new terms, observers noted these efforts were not effective. The A-TIP Council, the Ministry of Human Development, and several NGOs and civil society partners reported conducting outreach in English and Spanish to migrant workers vulnerable to trafficking to advise them of their rights. Foreign workers must obtain a work permit from the Employment Permit Committee before they engaged in any form of paid work; this body included a social service officer responsible for identifying vulnerable groups or individuals. The government did not have defined guidelines for foreign worker recruitment; a migrant worker recruitment policy an international organization assisted to develop in the previous reporting period remained under review. A separate draft temporary employment policy excluded foreign workers from certain job positions that were especially at risk for trafficking, including bar and nightclub waitresses, cooks, common laborers, small business clerks and managerial staff, waitresses in other establishments, supervisors, security guards, domestic workers, caregivers, and construction helpers. Labor inspectors reported a shortage of qualified personnel, vehicles, fuel, and operating funds to conduct adequate inspections for labor violations. The government was a signatory to several treaties that uphold workers’ rights, including the CARIFORUM-EU Economic Partnership Agreement that included the elimination of forced labor.

The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The law allowed for Belizean citizens to be tried for trafficking and child sex tourism crimes committed abroad; the government did not report investigating any cases of child sex tourism during the reporting period. The government reported sponsoring billboards to combat child sex tourism at the international airport and border crossing points. The government trained diplomats posted in three foreign countries on trafficking. The government participated in a multi-country program to identify and deny tourist entry to registered sex offenders. In 2021, the government joined an international development bank project to develop a set of regional protocols for a coordinated response to trafficking including sharing technology and best practices.

As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Belize, and traffickers exploit victims from Belize abroad. Groups considered most at risk for trafficking in Belize include migrants, children, individuals experiencing economic difficulties including pandemic-related unemployment, and LGBTQI+ persons. Sex traffickers exploit Belizean and foreign adults and girls and LGBTQI+ persons, primarily from Central America, in bars, nightclubs, hotels, and brothels. Due to the pandemic, sex trafficking has mostly moved to more tightly controlled, illegal brothels rather than bars and clubs—which were closed from March 2020 to March 2022—and involve a network of taxi operators who provide a connection between individuals in commercial sex and patrons; the change has made reporting more difficult as the commercial sex trade moves further underground. Tourism-related industries lure laborers through the offer of legitimate service jobs and exploit them in sex trafficking. These illicit operations are typically small in scale and unconnected to organized transnational trafficking rings. Family members facilitate the sex trafficking of Belizean women and girls, including through an arrangement where a wealthy male will offer payment or gifts to a family in exchange for sex from a young, usually female, family member. This practice has expanded to Guatemalan victims unable to pay school fees in Belize. Although most victims in the country are Belizean, foreign adults and children—particularly from Central America, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, and Asia—migrate voluntarily to Belize or stop en route to the United States in search of work, and traffickers often exploit victims using false promises of relatively high-paying jobs or take advantage of migrants’ illegal status and exploit them in forced labor in restaurants, shops, domestic work, and agriculture. The law does not provide asylum seekers with work permits, placing them at constant threat of deportation that could increase their vulnerability to trafficking. The number of labor trafficking crimes and scale of labor trafficking operations likely decreased in 2021 as a result of pandemic-related border closures and increased patrols that also limited illegal crossings. PRC nationals and Indian nationals may be exploited in Belize in domestic service. PRC nationals may be vulnerable to forced labor on fishing vessels registered in Belize. PRC nationals working in construction in Belize, during previous reporting periods, may have been forced to work, including by PRC-affiliated enterprises. Cuban workers in Belize may be forced to work by the Cuban government. In tourist regions, foreign child sex tourists, primarily from the United States, exploit child sex trafficking victims. NGOs report some police and immigration officers take bribes in return for ignoring trafficking, facilitating illegal entries, failing to report suspected victims and perpetrators, and failing to act on reported cases under their jurisdiction.

U.S. Department of State

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