- Trafficking in Persons Report 2012 - Albania
- 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Albania
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The Government of Georgia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the reporting period, the government increased the number of trafficking cases investigated and the percentage of prosecutions that resulted in convictions of trafficking offenders. The government also significantly increased funding for anti-trafficking training and prevention activities, including in the budgets of its shelters for victims. The government significantly increased the number of Georgian officials provided training on victim identification.
The Government of Georgia demonstrated improvements in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In , the government initiated 16 trafficking investigations involving 18 individuals, compared with 11 investigations of 18 individuals in Authorities prosecuted and convicted five sex trafficking offenders in , including one in absentia, an increase from one offender convicted in The government reported it recently reviewed certain criminal cases involving the use of fraudulent passports, illegal border crossings, and the bribery of border and customs officials for elements of possible official complicity in human trafficking.
The government reported it found no indicia of complicity in these cases. The government did not report any prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of government officials complicit in trafficking crimes in In September , Georgian trade unionists reported indicators suggesting conditions of trafficking, including employers not returning passports to workers who complained about mistreatment, among Indian nationals working at a steel plant in Kutaisi. In response to these allegations, the government opened a lengthy investigation into the case, interviewing over persons, including Indian and Georgian workers at the plant, and inspecting salary records and living conditions.
The government determined that none of the Indian workers were trafficking victims, all were free to travel inside Georgia and back to India without restriction, and all were paid the full amounts promised in their contracts. The government continued its institutionalized training for law enforcement and provided additional specialized training for prosecutors, judges, immigration officials, border police, and other front-line responders during the year, increasing the number of officials trained by 23 percent over the preceding year.
In addition to basic in-service anti-trafficking training for police and prosecutors, the Georgian government provided at least 40 specialized training sessions on the law, interview and investigative techniques, identification of victims, and working with victim services, often in collaboration with NGOs and international organizations. The Government of Georgia maintained protections for identified trafficking victims in Government efforts to identify victims during the first half of the reporting period were not effective.
According to government data, no victims were identified during the first half of Most victims were identified by government authorities late in the reporting period, with a total of 18 victims identified. This compares with 19 victims identified in and 48 victims identified in During the first half of the year, local experts noted concerns that lack of attention to identification was an impediment to achieving further needed improvements. Specifically, country experts reported concerns with the low level of victim identification and overall lack of success in locating trafficking victims, including children in exploitative situations on the street, children in the sex trade, foreign women in the commercial sex sector, and Georgian and foreign workers in vulnerable labor sectors.
During the reporting period, half of all identified victims took the initiative to report themselves to authorities or to seek assistance themselves, and the other half were identified by Georgian authorities as the result of investigations. According to some country experts, border officials do not systematically look for trafficking victims; few returning trafficking victims are detected at the border. A significant number of Georgian trafficking victims, however, were identified in Turkey during the reporting period.
Two other shelters are run by NGOs; these are used infrequently, largely as a short-term, interim solution when a victim cannot immediately be housed in a state-run shelter. The government prefers to provide rehabilitation services and shelter directly to victims, although in cases where the government is unable to provide rehabilitation services, it will reimburse an NGO providing such services. According to a government official, victims were required to have a chaperone — for their own protection — when leaving the shelters during the investigation and prosecution of their cases.
The government reported it provided foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they would face hardship or retribution; foreign victims were eligible for temporary residence permits, although no foreign victims requested a residence permit in The government reported that victims were encouraged to assist law enforcement with trafficking investigations and prosecutions; all 18 victims identified by the government assisted law enforcement during the reporting period.
There were no reports that victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; however, NGOs reported that children occasionally were arrested for begging and coerced into criminality, as opposed to being identified and assisted as trafficking victims.
The Government of Georgia improved its anti-trafficking prevention activities in and significantly increased cooperation with NGOs to conduct prevention campaigns. The government enacted legislation in December authorizing the executive branch for the first time to make grants to NGOs. Pursuant to this legislation, the government provided small grants to two NGOs in early to work on projects related to public awareness of trafficking and information pertaining to victim identification.
It also entered into memoranda of understanding with leading NGOs to expand and coordinate cooperation in addressing trafficking. During the year the government conducted multiple information campaigns utilizing a broad array of media, including public service announcements, seminars, and television broadcasts throughout the country. The Civil Registry Agency continued its practice of distributing anti-trafficking related pamphlets when it issued new passports to citizens. The government also conducted numerous outreach events including some focused on specific segments of the population, such as university and high schools students, internally displaced persons, and ethnic minorities living in the regions.
Events included numerous panel discussions, a film screening, a peer education campaign, and an essay contest. The government distributed 10, donor-funded trafficking indicator cards to front-line responders, including law enforcement and border officials. In coordination with NGOs, the government posted anti-trafficking posters on cross-border buses and distributed multilingual leaflets to cross-border truck drivers and others.
In November , authorities created a high-level, interagency steering committee to oversee the implementation of an EU-funded project to address street children. In March , the government approved its new anti-trafficking National Action Plan for , produced with extensive collaboration with the NGO community. During the reporting period, the government did not initiate any campaigns to reduce demand for commercial sex acts. Germany is a source, transit, and destination country for women, children, and men subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.
Approximately 85 percent of identified victims of sex trafficking originated in Europe, including 20 percent from within Germany, 20 percent from Romania, and 19 percent from Bulgaria. The majority of sex trafficking victims have been exploited in bars, brothels, and apartments — approximately 36 percent of identified sex trafficking victims reported that they had agreed initially to engage in prostitution. Nigerian victims of trafficking are often coerced into prostitution through voodoo rituals. Victims of forced labor have been identified in hotels, domestic service, construction sites, meat processing plants, and restaurants.
Members of ethnic minorities, such as Roma, as well as foreign unaccompanied minors who arrived in Germany, were particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. Individuals with disabilities, including those hard of hearing, were vulnerable to forced labor. NGOs reported an increase of domestic workers complaining of abuse in diplomatic households.
Various governments reported German citizen participation in sex tourism. The Government of Germany fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The German government increased its identification of labor trafficking victims by approximately 75 percent, though the number of sex trafficking victims it identified decreased. The government lengthened the reflection period granted to suspected victims and provided opportunities for certain victims of exploitation to remain in the country during civil claims against their employers.
The government proactively identified a high proportion of trafficking victims. Nevertheless, a German government study showed that labor trafficking identification lagged behind sex trafficking victim identification. Available statistics continued to indicate the majority of convicted labor and sex trafficking offenders were not required to serve time in prison, placing victims at potential risk when convicted offenders were free after trial. The Government of Germany sustained its overall anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period.
It significantly improved its investigations of labor trafficking cases, though its investigation of sex trafficking cases decreased. German courts continued to grant suspended sentences to convicted offenders. In , the German authorities reported that the overwhelming majority of convicted labor and sex trafficking offenders were given suspended sentences. This practice derived from a provision in the criminal code allowing the suspension of assigned prison terms lower than two years, particularly for first-time offenders.
Furthermore, when an accompanying criminal charge, such as one for organized crime, resulted in a higher sentence than that produced by the trafficking charge, the German authorities did not record a conviction as a trafficking conviction. Nevertheless, the reported statistics reveal that convicted traffickers frequently avoided imprisonment, creating potential safety problems for victims of trafficking and a weakened deterrence of trafficking offenses. Germany prohibits all forms of trafficking; sex trafficking is criminalized under Section of the penal code, and forced labor is criminalized under Section In , the last year for which statistics were available, the German state and federal authorities completed sex trafficking investigations, a 12 percent decrease from investigations completed in The government investigated 24 labor trafficking cases in , a significant increase from 10 cases in The German authorities prosecuted alleged offenders for sex trafficking offenses in , compared with in Of those alleged offenders, were convicted, a decrease from , when offenders were convicted.
German courts continued to suspend sentences in the majority of cases recorded as trafficking; of the offenders convicted, only 23 20 percent were actually imprisoned. These 23 offenders received sentences between two and 10 years in prison. The German authorities prosecuted 17 alleged labor trafficking offenders, of whom 13 were convicted, though none received time in prison.
This was an increase from the 15 labor trafficking offenders prosecuted in German officials reported that securing victim testimony remained a challenge for prosecutions. According to NGOs and some officials, poor or withdrawn victim testimony impaired trials and may have contributed to the high rate of suspended sentences by resulting in lower initial sentences. Police and prosecutors noted that many trafficking investigations are led by officers with trafficking expertise, whereas many of the prosecutors on trafficking cases are organized crime specialists who have less specialized experience in human trafficking prosecutions.
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Some NGOs observed that some judges were insensitive to trafficking victims. The Federal Criminal Police collaborated with several governments, including Romania, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Poland, and Nigeria to investigate trafficking cases. The German Federal Criminal Police organized several specialized seminars to educate investigating officers and prosecutors on trafficking topics, focusing, for example, on specific countries of origin and intercultural competence.
The German government did not prosecute, convict, or sentence any officials complicit in trafficking in persons this year. The German government sustained its victim protection efforts during the reporting period, offering and granting temporary residency to trafficking victims, but identifying fewer trafficking victims.
The federal family ministry funded an umbrella organization representing 39 NGOs and counseling centers that provided or facilitated shelter, medical and psychological care, legal assistance, vocational support, and other services largely for adult female victims. These NGOs provided services in all German states. State governments provided significant supplemental funding for the support of trafficking victims, including shelter and counseling.
The German Federal Criminal Police developed new internal tools to improve labor victim identification, including a pocket-sized card containing indicators to guide identification and, in cooperation with the Federal Labor Ministry, other agencies and NGOs, a brochure on identifying labor trafficking victims to help identify potential victims.
According to the Federal Criminal Police report, in 57 percent of all cases, the first contact between police and victims resulted from police measures. Authorities registered victims of sex trafficking in , a decrease from sex trafficking victims in Of these victims, 35 percent were cared for by counseling centers. The German authorities reported identifying 41 labor trafficking victims, a 78 percent increase from the previous year.
The majority of these victims were males exploited in the restaurant sector. In , the German government extended the term of the reflection period for trafficking victims from one month to three months. Trafficking victims who agreed to testify against defendants at trial were entitled to remain in Germany for the duration of the trial with residence permits on humanitarian grounds.
Some victims of trafficking who faced personal injury or threats to life or freedom in their countries of origin were granted long-term residence permits during the reporting period. German law permits prosecutors to decline to prosecute victims of trafficking who have committed minor crimes. NGOs reported that, although prosecutors in practice exercise this discretion, victims may have been penalized or deported on occasion before their legal status as victims of trafficking had been clarified.
German authorities encouraged trafficking victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders. One NGO stated that approximately 70 percent of the trafficking victims it counseled were willing to testify in court. This year, the German government amended the Residence Act to extend the right to remain in Germany to certain victims of exploitation if the victims faced an exceptional hardship were they to make claims for outstanding wages from abroad. Trafficking victims were permitted to work during the course of trial. Although compensation procedures have rarely been used in practice, an independent institute, funded in part by the German government and foundations, conducted a project to help trafficking victims claim their financial rights, focusing on educating trafficking victims and government institutions and assisting victims with their claims.
The German government sustained efforts to prevent human trafficking throughout the year. The government sustained funding for NGOs that produced public awareness campaigns in Germany and abroad through websites, postcards, telephone hotlines, pamphlets, and speaking engagements. The umbrella organization of government-funded trafficking NGOs produced a study about the sex trafficking of German citizens.
In , the German federal government launched an action plan for the protection of children and teenagers from sexual violence and exploitation. One of the pillars of the action plan focused on trafficking in children for the purpose of sexual exploitation. The German government continued to monitor its anti-trafficking activities through interagency mechanisms. The Federal-State Interagency Working Group on Trafficking in Women, led by the Family Ministry, reviewed counter-trafficking issues, disseminated best practices, and provided input to new laws and directives.
The German Federal Criminal Police published an annual report on trafficking in persons in Germany, describing law enforcement efforts, victims, and trends. Several German states also have anti-trafficking working groups to facilitate collaboration between government agencies and NGOs. Applying the extraterritorial jurisdiction of German law prohibiting the sexual abuse of children, German authorities in December charged a year-old German citizen with nine counts of sexually abusing children in Thailand.
The government also collaborated with law enforcement officials in Southeast Asia to investigate German sex tourists. NGOs reported that the majority of German sex tourists are prosecuted in destination countries. The German government trained military personnel to recognize and prevent trafficking in persons prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions. Ghana is a country of origin, transit, and destination for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. The trafficking of Ghanaian citizens, particularly children, within the country is more prevalent than the transnational trafficking of foreign migrants.
Ghanaian boys and girls are subjected to conditions of forced labor within the country in fishing, domestic service, street hawking, begging, portering, artisanal gold mining, and agriculture. Ghanaian girls, and to a lesser extent boys, are subjected to prostitution within Ghana.
Trafficking in Persons Report 2012 - Albania
Child prostitution, and possibly child sex tourism, are prevalent in the Volta region and are growing in the oil-producing Western regions. Citizens from other West African countries are subjected to forced labor in Ghana in agriculture or domestic service. The Government of Ghana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
Of those 91 investigations, prosecutions were initiated in 16 cases, 29 trafficking offenders were convicted, including three foreign trafficking offenders who were deported. The AHTU identified trafficking victims during the reporting period and the Department of Social Welfare continued its support of a shelter for trafficking victims. The government engaged in anti-trafficking awareness raising activities across the country and drafted a new national action plan on combating trafficking.
Despite conducting a large number of investigations and identifying several hundred victims, the AHTU remains under-staffed and under-funded. The Government of Ghana demonstrated progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The AHTU secured the conviction of 29 traffickers — an increase from four convictions obtained during the previous reporting period. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.
During these raids, authorities removed 55 women and 65 underage female victims, although traffickers were not apprehended. During a second operation in May officials arrested 30 suspected traffickers in Lake Volta fisheries, leading to the prosecution and conviction of 28 of these trafficking offenders under a child exploitation law; each convicted trafficker received a month prison sentence.
In the third action, also in May , law enforcement officers removed three children — one from Ghana and two from Burkina Faso — from a cocoa plantation in Tarkwa and arrested a Burkinabe man for alleged child trafficking; his case remains pending before the court. In January , a court convicted and sentenced a Ghanaian woman to five years in prison for trafficking 11 Ghanaian girls to Nigeria for forced labor and prostitution. EOCO conducted two training courses for its anti-human trafficking unit and members from the GPS participated in an international workshop on human trafficking.
The GIS, with assistance from UNICEF and IOM, conducted several training courses on trafficking for immigration officers throughout the country, including training 20 GIS staff in data collection, as well as verification and management skills for trafficked and migrant people. In addition, the training also covered personal identification registration systems and in-depth passport verification and was intended to increase GIS abilities to verify travel documents and detect fraud, especially in cases of suspected human trafficking.
The government did not report any investigation, prosecution, or punishment of government employees complicit in trafficking-related criminal activities during the reporting period. The government made limited efforts to protect trafficking victims during the year. The AHTU reported identifying trafficking victims and referred an unknown number of these victims on an ad hoc basis to government and NGO-run facilities offering protective care. The government did not employ formal procedures to identify victims among vulnerable groups, such as women in prostitution or children at work sites.
The GPS maintained a hour hotline for reporting crime, including trafficking; it is not known if the hotline received any trafficking-related calls during the reporting period. Immigration officials questioned large groups of travelers suspected to include trafficking victims, and identified 15 victims during the year. Law enforcement budgets did not include provisions for victim support and, as a result, law enforcement officials often used personal funds to assist victims.
Through a shelter operated in partnership with the Ghanaian government, IOM reported assisting 20 Ghanaian child labor victims during the reporting period. In Accra, the Department of Social Welfare maintained a multipurpose shelter for abused children, which also cared for an unknown number of trafficked children during the report period. If reintegration with family members is not possible, children may be placed in foster families with approval from the courts; it is unknown whether this occurred in The government encouraged victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders, and provided them with protective escorts and legal counsel during trial proceedings.
There were no reports that trafficking victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. During the year, the government sustained its efforts to prevent trafficking. The government also aired human trafficking documentary programs on television. Although the government took no discernible measures to decrease the demand for forced labor, it launched a child labor monitoring system in March to monitor children in the Volta Region as a means of preventing them from being engaged in the worst forms of child labor, including trafficking.
The government did not provide anti-trafficking training to Ghanaian troops prior to their deployment abroad on peacekeeping missions, though such training was provided to Ghanaian troops by foreign donors. Greece is a transit and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and for men, women, and children in forced labor. Labor trafficking victims are primarily men and children from Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, India, Moldova, Pakistan, and Romania who reportedly have been forced to work primarily in the agriculture or construction sectors, with some in domestic servitude.
One Greek NGO reported that teenage males, typically unaccompanied children from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa, are forced into prostitution in Greece. Greek NGOs and police report that traffickers used deception to enter into romantic relationships with young female victims from poorer areas in countries such as Albania or Romania with the goal of forcing the victim into prostitution in Greece. The police reported that the majority of trafficking gangs in Greece were small, cell-based criminal organizations often linked to bars, clubs, and hotels, using restaurants, nightclubs, small businesses, and yacht rental companies as money-laundering fronts.
Greek police estimated that there had been likely hundreds of forced labor victims in Greece over the past few years. NGOs reported children, mainly Roma from Albania, Bulgaria, and Romania, were forced to sell small items, beg, or steal. Adolescents from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh smuggled into Greece were sometimes forced to repay their debt to smugglers by trafficking drugs. Some trafficking victims in Greece had been re-trafficked to Greece multiple times. The Government of Greece does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.
The government identified a greater number of trafficking victims during the reporting period, compared to the previous year. Few trafficking victims were certified for victim assistance, despite a progressive statutory scheme. The government investigated many trafficking cases and imposed serious prison sentences for some of the 19 trafficking offenders convicted in Greece during the reporting period.
Unresolved cases of complicity remained a challenge. Despite allegations of low-level police involvement in trafficking, the government did not report convicting any government employees for trafficking complicity. The judiciary continued to suffer from structural and legal inefficiencies that resulted in low conviction rates, although there was some progress on faster resolution of trafficking cases. Even with dwindling government resources dedicated to NGOs, the government and NGOs created multiple partnerships this year, cooperating and sharing resources to address trafficking, including trafficking awareness training for students.
Government law enforcement efforts against trafficking during the reporting period were mixed, with continuing strong investigations against trafficking but low conviction rates. The police conducted 41 human trafficking investigations in , a decrease from 62 investigations in Six of the investigations concerned forced labor or forced begging, down from 15 labor trafficking investigations in In , Greek authorities prosecuted suspected offenders, in contrast to the prosecution of suspected trafficking offenders in Greek authorities reported 19 new convictions of trafficking offenders in , and six acquittals, compared with 28 new convictions and 14 acquittals in The Ministry of Justice did not report any suspended sentences in While the government did not report whether cases investigated or prosecuted were sex or labor trafficking cases, the Greek police were known to have investigated a few labor trafficking cases, including cases involving forced begging and forced labor in strawberry fields.
In some of the successful trafficking prosecutions, NGOs played a key role in victim support, including legal and psychological assistance and payment of court fees. The Hellenic Police incorporated anti-trafficking training in all its police academies. The Anti-Trafficking Unit ensured continuous training for police officers on duty and also provided training to first responders on trafficking, including all first responders in the Attica region. The Greek government enhanced partnerships with NGOs to improve identification at the border.
The Greek anti-trafficking unit targeted organized crime groups, such as a Bulgarian trafficking ring that used force and threats to force children and people with mental and other disabilities to beg in Greece. There were allegations that local police and vice squad officers took bribes from trafficking offenders. Although the government reported it discharged and investigated corrupt officers in general, the government did not report the investigation, prosecution, conviction, or sentencing of any government employees for trafficking-related crimes.
Older trafficking-related corruption cases remained pending, with no accountability reported. Funding for NGOs ceased as the result of the economic crisis, so some smaller trafficking shelters struggled to remain operational, and fewer victims were certified for care. However, more victims were identified over the year. The government has strong legislative provisions to protect trafficking victims, including three to five month reflection periods and provisions for legal aid.
NGOs reported that the reflection period was rarely offered and that victims were sometimes asked to make a decision regarding participation in prosecution immediately when interviewed, even in cases in which the victim still feared the trafficking offenders. NGOs also reported that legal aid provisions are rarely implemented in practice. The Ministry of Interior reported that it granted legal residency permits to 62 trafficking victims — nine new permits and 53 renewals; this is down from 87 residency permits in — 21 new permits and 66 renewals.
The police explained that the number of residency permits decreased because the majority of victims were EU citizens originating in Romania or Bulgaria and thus had the right to residency without a permit. In , in the wake of newly announced austerity measures, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ceased funding to NGOs for assistance of trafficking victims even while they continued support and assistance by establishing valuable partnerships with NGOs.
As a result, NGOs reported uneven provision of victim support services, including shelter and legal aid. While the government-run and non-government funded NGO shelters continued to provide care to victims, some smaller domestic NGOs struggled because of lack of private support and unreliable government funding.
Nevertheless, the Government of Greece operated various mixed-use shelters to accommodate trafficking victims including children and victims of domestic abuse in Athens, and helped victims of trafficking find safe shelter in all areas of the country. The government did not detain victims of trafficking in these shelters; they could leave unchaperoned and at-will. The Greek government did not have special shelters available for adult male victims of trafficking; adult male victims were generally repatriated. In , the Greek government officially identified 97 victims of sex and labor trafficking, in contrast to 92 victims of trafficking identified in Some NGOs and the police reported that victim identification procedures improved during the last year among front-line Border Police, Coast Guard, and vice squad officers.
Of the total number of victims, 70 were referred to care facilities for assistance. Out of the 97 victims identified, approximately nine received official certification as victims, a condition precedent for government-provided care. NGOs reported that it was difficult for victims to receive certification, particularly in cases in which victims chose not to participate in police investigations. Victims could obtain restitution only if they filed civil suits against trafficking offenders. However, obtaining compensation for victims of trafficking was difficult in practice, given the high cost of filing civil lawsuits and the inefficiency of the administrative court system.
NGOs reported that, even though victim identification improved over the long term, it continued to be a weakness for the government. The Government of Greece improved its prevention activities during the reporting period.
2012 Trafficking in Persons Report - Albania
The General Secretariat for Gender Equality of the Ministry of Interior launched a new anti-trafficking public awareness campaign targeting both victims and clients, broadcasting anti-trafficking messages through major national TV and radio channels. In collaboration with UNHCR and the Ministry for Citizen Protection, the General Secretariat for Gender Equality issued a booklet in Greek and in English with guidelines for first-contact personnel for the protection upon their entrance to Greece of women and girls at risk of trafficking.
The Parliament established an anti-trafficking parliamentary committee in January The government had a national action plan to address trafficking in persons, which it developed in coordination with NGOs. The government also passed a new law, providing that migrants to Greece must be interviewed and informed of their rights on arrival; if this law is applied, it should give trafficking victims an opportunity to be identified.
The government collaborated with IOM, NGOs, foreign governments, and other partners on multiple anti-trafficking conferences in , including on promoting a victim-centered approach to trafficking in persons, training of prosecutors and judges, and a trilateral border anti-trafficking conference in collaboration with Bulgaria and Turkey. During the reporting period, the National Coordination Mechanism headed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had the authority only to coordinate activities, but did not have a mandate of accountability.
A state-operated gender hotline was available to receive anti-trafficking calls; in , it received one call regarding trafficking in persons. The Greek government collaborated with IOM and other entities to support several anti-trafficking awareness raising events during the reporting period, including a film screening for judges and prosecutors, a theater presentation, and high school outreach. The government did not undertake specific projects to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts during the reporting period.
The Greek government trained military personnel on trafficking in persons prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions. Guatemala is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Guatemalan women and children are exploited in sex trafficking within the country, as well as in Mexico and the United States. Guatemalan men, women, and children are subjected to forced labor within the country, often in agriculture or domestic service. Guatemalan men, women, and children also are found in conditions of forced labor in Mexico and the United States in agriculture, the garment industry, and in domestic service.
During the year, 19 Guatemalan women and one man were subjected to domestic servitude in Jordan and Israel. Indigenous Guatemalans are particularly vulnerable to forced labor. In the border area with Mexico, Guatemalan children are exploited for forced begging and vending on streets, and forced labor in the majority of municipal dumps throughout the country. Women and children from other countries in the region, including El Salvador, Honduras, Colombia, and Nicaragua, are exploited in sex trafficking in Guatemala.
According to NGOs and government officials, organized crime networks continue to be involved in some cases of human trafficking, and gangs recruit children to commit illicit acts, sometimes using force or coercion. The Government of Guatemala does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, Guatemalan authorities maintained anti-trafficking progress, particularly through continued law enforcement efforts and the sustained funding of a dedicated shelter for adult trafficking victims.
The government also launched a program to provide specialized services to victims of trafficking and sexual violence. Investigative units, however, remained under-funded, many judges and law enforcement officials were poorly informed about human trafficking, and official complicity continued to impede anti-trafficking efforts. The government maintained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the year.
Article of the Guatemalan penal code prohibits the transport, transfer, retention, harboring, or reception of persons for the purposes of exploitation, including forced prostitution, sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, begging, slavery, illegal adoptions, or forced marriage, in addition to other prohibited purposes. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Anti-trafficking police and prosecutors suffered from a lack of funding, human resources, and training, and NGOs reported that most cases were reactive responses to NGO complaints, as opposed to proactive investigations.
The dedicated anti-trafficking police unit within the national civil police department for the investigation of sexual crimes, trafficking in persons, and disappeared children had only four trafficking investigators to cover the entire country. The government also maintained a small prosecutorial unit to investigate and prosecute human trafficking cases; this unit had only five prosecutors and 10 assistant prosecutors and had insufficient funding and staff.
Some judges reportedly dismissed trafficking cases or acquitted trafficking offenders due to a lack of understanding of the crime, and NGOs noted that some officials do not understand that forced labor is a crime. Credible reports from international organizations, NGOs, and several government officials continued to indicate that corrupt public officials impeded anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts and facilitated trafficking activity by accepting or extorting bribes, falsifying identity documents, leaking information about impending police raids to suspected traffickers, and ignoring trafficking activity in commercial sex sites.
The government did not report investigating, prosecuting, convicting, or punishing any officials complicit in human trafficking. Guatemalan authorities held numerous anti-trafficking workshops and conferences aimed at educating and building capacity among judges, police, prosecutors, immigration officers, and other government officials; most trainings were conducted in partnership with civil society and with funds from foreign governments or international organizations.
Authorities were attempting to coordinate with Jordanian officials on a joint investigation at the end of the reporting period. Although the government largely relied on NGOs and international organizations to provide the bulk of victim services, it maintained a specialized trafficking shelter for adult victims and, during the year, launched a program to provide services to victims of trafficking and sexual violence. While the government reported employing standard operating procedures on how to assist sex trafficking victims, it does not employ procedures for identifying forced labor victims among vulnerable populations, and labor inspectors did not have sufficient training or resources to identify victims.
While authorities reported identifying hundreds of victims, it was unclear how many of these victims were children involved in illegal adoption and how many were counted multiple times by separate government entities. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs facilitated the repatriation of 50 trafficking victims returning to Guatemala from abroad, as well as the voluntary repatriation of five Colombians from Guatemala. During the year, 10 victims stayed in the government-operated shelter, which had a capacity to care for 20 victims.
Child victims could be referred to three NGO-operated shelters dedicated to girl trafficking victims, or could be referred to a government orphanage where they could receive specialized care. With international organization funding, authorities launched a program to provide client services to victims of trafficking and sexual abuse, although they did not report how many trafficking victims received services through this program during the year. NGOs did not receive government funding to provide services to trafficking victims.
Guatemalan law allowed for victim testimony via video. While Guatemalan law established that convicted traffickers should provide restitution to victims, there were no reports that this occurred during the reporting period. The government did not detain, fine, or otherwise penalize identified victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. Guatemalan authorities reported that all identified foreign trafficking victims were sent directly from the immigration detention center to the government-run shelter for adult victims.
However, victims may not have had their victim status recognized by Guatemalan authorities before being deported as undocumented migrants. Guatemalan law provides legal alternatives to removal of foreign victims who may face hardship or retribution upon repatriation. The authorities offered these alternatives to foreign trafficking victims but reported that no victims had accepted. The Government of Guatemala maintained prevention efforts. The Secretariat Against Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Trafficking in Persons SVET was responsible for coordinating government efforts, as was the interagency anti-trafficking commission, which met six times during the year.
Authorities continued public awareness campaigns, including distributing information pamphlets through its consulates abroad. Officials reported re-launching a trafficking hotline in January The independent human rights ombudsman published a report on the trafficking situation in Guatemala. Despite continued reports of child sex tourism, which is prohibited by Article of the penal code, there were no reported prosecutions or convictions of child sex tourists. Authorities provided training on human trafficking to Guatemalan troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.
Guinea is a source, transit, and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Girls are often subjected to domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation, while boys are forced to beg on the streets, to work as street vendors or shoe shiners, or to labor in gold and diamond mines.
Some Guinean women and men are subjected to forced labor in agriculture. Smaller numbers of girls from Mali, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, and Guinea-Bissau migrate to Guinea, where they are subjected to domestic servitude and likely also to commercial sexual exploitation. Children are sent to the coastal region of Boke for forced labor on farms and to Senegal for education in Koranic schools, some of which exploit students through forced begging. Some Guinean boys and girls are subjected to forced labor in gold mining in Senegal, Mali, and possibly other West African countries.
Reports indicate that Chinese and Vietnamese women are subjected to forced prostitution in Guinea and that some Guinean woman who migrate to the Middle East and Europe are subjected to forced prostitution and domestic servitude. The Government of Guinea does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. However, the Government of Guinea did achieve a trafficking conviction in under charges of child abduction, which was prosecuted in a lower court.
The government also investigated a significant number of trafficking cases in , compared to no investigations in the previous reporting period, and identified an increased number of child trafficking victims. The government struggled, however, to provide adequate protection to trafficking victims, and its overall prevention efforts remained weak. The Government of Guinea demonstrated notable progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the past year. It significantly increased its investigations of suspected trafficking crimes during the reporting period; however, only 13 of 59 cases were submitted to the courts for prosecution.
Guinean law does not prohibit all forms of trafficking, including forced prostitution of adults and debt bondage. The government initiated 59 new trafficking investigations, submitted 13 cases to the courts, and successfully convicted one trafficking offender during the reporting period: Twelve cases remain pending at the close of the reporting period. In June , the court of appeal of Kankan confirmed a decision by the justice of the peace of Macenta convicting a trafficking offender under Article child abduction of the penal code for kidnapping a six-year-old girl with intent to transport her to Mali.
The prosecutor chose to pursue child abduction charges, as these offenses would not require a hearing before the criminal court. In September , the government imprisoned a Koranic teacher for nearly burning alive a four-year-old child for eating, without permission, the peanuts he was forced to grow for the teacher. The government did not provide any specialized training to its officials on the recognition, investigation, and prosecution of human trafficking. Border guards allegedly were involved in trafficking-related corruption, although the government took no known action to address these allegations.
Government funding for all social programming was constrained by austerity measures taken to avoid fiscal insolvency. The government reported that the Ministry of Social Affairs, in collaboration with local citizens, rescued 30 children in — an increase from — but did not specify the nature of the crimes committed against the children. The government reported its security forces either delivered these children to local NGOs or returned them to their homes.
The government did not provide trafficking victims with direct access to legal, medical, or psychological services, and did not provide direct or in-kind support to foreign or domestic NGOs that assisted victims; it did, however, refer on an ad hoc basis an unknown number of child victims to NGOs that provided such services. The government reported that it operated rudimentary, multipurpose care stations at military bases for child victims prior to their being referred to NGOs, but the services such stations provided were unclear.
NGOs reported that local ad hoc systems of police referral of victims to NGOs functioned well in certain areas of the country, and an unknown number of potential victims to NGOs and international organizations were referred for assistance. Although it is legally available, the government did not provide temporary or permanent residence status to victims from countries where they would face retribution or hardship; it is unclear if any of the 30 identified victims were offered or requested such immigration relief.
The child code contains provisions allowing NGOs to bring cases to court on behalf of victims, and the government reported that a victim could file a civil suit against a trafficking offender provided the victim is older than 12 years of age; however, this did not happen during the reporting period. There was no evidence that the government encouraged trafficking victims to participate in the investigation or prosecution of their traffickers during the year. It is not known whether any trafficking victims were prosecuted for violations of other laws.
The Government of Guinea did not conduct any trafficking prevention campaigns during the reporting period, although the Ministry of Social Affairs updated the National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons to cover through Despite the involvement of numerous government ministries in combating trafficking, the ability to share information among agencies remains limited, and NGO observers stated that the CNLTP is chronically understaffed, poorly trained, and underpaid.
During the year, the government increased its capacity to proactively identify trafficking victims, used its witness protection program to protect a trafficking victim, and provided short-term funding for NGOs to help victims. Moreover, widespread corruption, particularly among the judiciary, continued to hamper overall anti-trafficking efforts.
The Government of Albania sustained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year, though it convicted fewer trafficking offenders than during the previous year. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and exceed those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.
The Serious Crimes Prosecution division reported investigating 27 human trafficking suspects in , compared with 29 suspects investigated in During the past year, the Serious Crimes Court prosecuted five suspected trafficking offenders; all five prosecutions resulted in convictions in , compared with 11 convictions in The government continued its criminal investigation into a labor trafficking case initiated in , but it has yet to formally charge any suspects. NGOs praised the victim-sensitive response from prosecutors appointed to trafficking cases during the year, including their referral of victims to care.
The government did not report taking any law enforcement action against trafficking-related complicity in The Government of Albania made some notable progress in strengthening its capacity to identify and protect victims of trafficking in In the last year, the government reported identifying 84 new trafficking victims via the national referral mechanism, compared with 97 trafficking victims identified in NGOs reported assisting a total of trafficking victims throughout the year. In July , the government approved victim-centered standard operating procedures SOPs in collaboration with civil society to improve identification of trafficking victims and their referral to care.
The NGO funding was limited to food expenses; some potential trafficking victims needing this benefit were not entitled to it. Due to lack of sustained funding, one of these NGOs was forced to close its shelter temporarily during the year, diminishing victim assistance in an area of the country with a critical need for services. Furthermore, the center lacked the capacity to provide comprehensive reintegration assistance to victims. The government did not penalize identified victims for unlawful acts committed in connection with their being trafficked; however, the Albanian criminal code currently does not prohibit this from occurring.
The government encouraged victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders. Victims who pursued cases against their traffickers continued to be at risk from retribution, and there was often a need for witness protection after a trial commenced. During the year, 28 trafficking victims assisted law enforcement officials in the investigation stage and two trafficking victims testified during trial; notably, the government enrolled one of these victims in its witness protection program.
The government reported it provided five trafficking victims with financial stipends in order to assist with their reintegration after they left a shelter. The government conducted four trainings for law enforcement and other front-line responders on its newly adopted victim identification and referral procedures in Albania sustained its efforts to prevent trafficking in persons during the year, although it continued to rely primarily on international donors to fund anti-trafficking awareness campaigns. The government continued to fund the national, toll-free, hour hotline for victims and potential victims of trafficking.
The government made no discernible efforts to address demand for commercial sex acts. Algeria is a transit and, to a lesser extent, a destination and source country for women and, to a lesser extent, men, subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Most commonly, sub-Saharan African men and women enter Algeria voluntarily but illegally, often with the assistance of smugglers, for the purpose of traveling to Europe.
Some of these women are forced into prostitution. Criminal networks which sometimes extend to sub-Saharan Africa and to Europe are involved in both smuggling and human trafficking. To a lesser extent, some sub-Saharan African men, mostly from Mali, are forced domestic workers; homeowners sometimes confiscate identification documents, indicative of forced labor. Some Algerian women are also forced into prostitution. Civil society groups believe that as Europe tightens its borders, Algeria is increasingly becoming a destination for both undocumented migration and trafficking.
Malians continue to flee insecurity in Mali and flood into southern Algeria; some of these migrants could be vulnerable to forced labor or forced prostitution. The Government of Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. During the reporting period, the government sought prosecutions under its anti-trafficking law, yet continued to conflate human trafficking and smuggling.
It failed to identify and protect trafficking victims and continued to lack adequate measures to protect victims.
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The government engaged in some awareness efforts to educate the public about human trafficking and workplace exploitation. The Algerian government made minimal efforts to address human trafficking through law enforcement means during the reporting period. Algeria prohibits all forms of trafficking under Section 5 of its criminal code, enacted in March These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed under Algerian law for other serious crimes, such as rape.
During the year, the government reported investigating and prosecuting offenders under the trafficking law, though it was unclear whether these were human trafficking or smuggling cases, the latter of which appear not to come within the scope of the trafficking in persons law. In March , three individuals were convicted under the illegal immigration law of smuggling illegal immigrants from Arzew, Algeria, to Morocco en route to Europe.
It was not clear whether the three were involved in human trafficking. Two suspected human trafficking investigations were reportedly ongoing at the end of the reporting period, but it is unclear whether these were cases of trafficking or smuggling. The National Police and National Gendarmerie are reportedly involved in efforts to combat sex trafficking and forced labor, but they reported no knowledge of trafficking cases in southern Algeria. The government provides and funds anti-trafficking sessions for National Police and National Gendarmerie officials as a part of their routine training.
In October , the National Police provided a training course on organized crime and human trafficking for 60 police officers. The Government of Algeria made no discernible progress in protecting victims of trafficking over the last year. It did not develop or employ systematic procedures for the identification of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign women arrested for prostitution or undocumented migrants. NGOs reported that some trafficking victims were jailed for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked — such as engaging in prostitution or lacking adequate immigration documentation.
Security officials in Tamanrasset reported that 8, illegal immigrants were picked up and deported from Algeria during this reporting period. Among these immigrants, were arrested for crimes, three of which were charged with prostitution. Security officials made no effort to screen or identify these immigrants for indications of trafficking, nor did they provide protection or refer these victims to service facilities.
NGOs reported that deported migrants, some of whom may have been trafficking victims, received a liter of milk and some bread and were transported to desert borders with Mali and Niger where — on occasion — they were received by officials from other countries. NGOs reported that in some cases, migrants died in the Saharan desert. The government, on the other hand, reported that undocumented migrants detained in Tamanrasset spend a week in a detention center where they receive three meals a day and medical care if needed, before being deported to neighboring countries to the south.
As of January , the Algerian government ceased returning illegal immigrants to Mali due to unrest in the country. The Ministries of Justice and Social Solidarity, in partnership with NGOs, conducted three training events in June to a total of magistrates and medical professionals. The trainings covered how to identify and respond to abuse in the workplace and human trafficking situations. The government did not provide foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they faced retribution or hardship. The government did not provide counseling or legal services to victims, nor did it refer victims to other potential service providers.
There were no government-operated shelters, and civil society groups were prohibited from operating any such shelters because they would be penalized for harboring undocumented migrants; however, NGOs operated care facilities for vulnerable populations, such as abandoned women, and these were accessible to female trafficking victims.
Government-operated health clinics continued to be available for trafficking victims, and some victims used these services; however, a number of victims were either not aware of these clinics or declined to use them due to fear of deportation. There is no formal program to encourage trafficking victims to participate in investigations or prosecutions of trafficking offenders. The Algerian government engaged in minimal prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government conducted a public awareness campaign on trafficking in persons.
In June , the government organized and funded three seminars in major Algerian cities to raise awareness among youth on legal rights in the workplace with an emphasis on detecting trafficking in persons and workplace abuse. The government did not have a formal anti-trafficking policy or a national plan of action to complement its anti-trafficking law.
It did not attempt to forge effective anti-trafficking partnerships with civil society organizations. The government did not take measures to establish the identity of the populations most at risk of being trafficked. Press articles during the reporting period noted that clients were arrested when police broke up prostitution rings, which can reduce the demand for commercial sex acts; however, some of the people in prostitution also arrested in these raids may have been sex trafficking victims.
Angola is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Angolans are reportedly forced to labor in agriculture, construction, domestic service, and artisanal diamond mines within the country. There are reports of underage girls, as young as 13, in prostitution in the provinces of Luanda, Benguela, and Huila. Some Angolan boys are taken to Namibia for forced labor in cattle herding, while others are forced to serve as couriers as part of a scheme to skirt import fees in the cross-border trade between Namibia and Angola.
Angolan adults may use children under the age of 12 for forced criminal activity, as children cannot be tried in court.
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Forced begging also occurs in Angola. Vietnamese and Brazilian women in prostitution in Angola may be victims of sex trafficking. Chinese sex trafficking victims, recruited with promises of work by Chinese construction companies, are deprived of their passports, kept in walled compounds with armed guards, and forced to pay back the costs of their travel by engaging in prostitution. Illegal Congolese migrants voluntarily enter Angola for work in its diamond-mining districts, where some experience conditions of forced labor or forced prostitution in mining camps. Trafficking networks recruit and transport Congolese girls as young as 12 from Kasai Occidental in the DRC to Angola for various forms of exploitation.
The Government of Angola does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government did not demonstrate evidence of overall increasing efforts to address human trafficking since the previous year; therefore, Angola is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for a second consecutive year. The Angolan government made some improved law enforcement efforts, including the rescue of 23 Chinese sex and labor trafficking victims and the arrest of at least 12 suspected Chinese traffickers.
However, the government neither amended its penal code to criminalize trafficking in persons nor finalized draft anti-trafficking legislation. It made no efforts to identify Angolan victims, increase its provision of services to victims, or raise awareness of trafficking during the reporting period. The government also did not develop procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable populations, and did not train its law enforcement, social services, or immigration personnel on this skill.
The Government of Angola modestly increased its anti-trafficking efforts during the year through the rescue of 23 Chinese nationals and the arrest of at least 12 suspected trafficking offenders, one of whom remains in jail pending trial. Angola does not have a law that specifically prohibits all forms of trafficking, though the constitution promulgated in February prohibits human trafficking. The penal code, in force since , has not yet been amended to reflect this constitutional provision.
Although the government drafted amendments to the penal code during the reporting period, they remain pending with the National Assembly for a second year. Draft comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation also remains pending with the assembly. These penalties are not commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Following a phone call from trafficking victims to a foreign embassy in Luanda, the Special Crimes Unit of the National Police raided a Chinese construction site in Luanda in April , arresting an unknown number of supervisors and rescuing four Chinese trafficking victims.
However, authorities have neither sought to rescue and screen an additional Chinese workers reported to be in the same conditions, some of whom may be trafficking victims, nor investigated forced labor abuses in Chinese companies in the construction sector. In November , after receiving a tip from a foreign government, Angolan authorities apprehended 11 suspected traffickers for the alleged sex trafficking of 19 Chinese nationals and extradited them to China.
The government took no action to address allegations of official complicity in trafficking from previous reporting periods, including allegations that police and military officials facilitated the illegal entry of Congolese nationals who subsequently became victims of forced labor or prostitution in mining camps, as well as allegations military personnel in Cabinda province purchased more than 30 trafficked women and girls from a sex trafficking ring in IOM trained officials and service providers on identifying and protecting trafficking victims; the Ministry of the Interior supplemented the costs of some of these trainings held in government facilities and provided office furniture in an effort to increase the number of officials trained in these sessions.
The government signed a memorandum of understanding with Zambia in March to advance a bilateral partnership on anti-trafficking efforts. During the past year, the government sustained modest efforts to ensure victims of trafficking received access to protective services, although a systematic process for the identification of trafficking victims and legal remedies for victims remained lacking. The government did not report the identification of any Angolan trafficking victims in Following their rescue from a construction site in late April , authorities placed four Chinese trafficking victims in the care of IOM, which in the absence of support from the Chinese or Angolan governments provided shelter, assistance, and repatriation.
In November , the Chinese Embassy in Luanda provided shelter and assistance to 19 sex trafficking victims and funded their repatriation to China. There are existing facilities within Angola that could provide care to trafficking victims, though there was no evidence victims were referred to these resources during the reporting period. These CPNs offered health care, legal and social assistance, and family reunification for crime victims under the age of 18; however, there was no evidence that victims used these resources during the reporting period.
The government provided extremely limited funding for NGOs in all areas of social programming; no information was available on the amount of funding, if any, that it provided to NGOs for anti-trafficking work during the reporting period. Law enforcement, immigration, and social services personnel lacked a formal system of proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, including women in prostitution and illegal immigrants. During the reporting period, the government did not provide training to these officials on victim identification procedures.
Without standardized procedures for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, some trafficking victims may have been penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. During the reporting period, IOM partnered with the Ministry of the Interior to review manuals and standard operating procedures on victim identification, which were developed for the southern African region, to modify them for use in Angola.
The government did not offer victims long-term assistance and did not provide foreign victims with temporary residency or other legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face retribution or hardship. The Ministry of Exterior Relations and MINFAM are responsible for coordinating the repatriation and providing assistance to Angolans victimized abroad; it was unclear whether the government provided such assistance during the reporting period.
The government made limited efforts to prevent trafficking during the reporting period. The Cross-Sectoral Committee on Trafficking in Persons, comprised of representatives from various ministries, exists to coordinate government efforts against trafficking, although, as in the previous reporting period, there was no evidence it did so in The government did not launch any new anti-trafficking awareness campaigns during the year. Through INAC-sponsored seminars throughout , teachers, students, and traditional community leaders were sensitized on indicators of child trafficking.
The Ministry of Public Administration, Employment, and Social Security inspected work sites and fined companies for labor law violations, but did not identify victims of forced labor. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. Antigua and Barbuda is a destination and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.
Legal and undocumented immigrants from the Caribbean region and Southeast Asia reportedly comprise the population most vulnerable to trafficking. According to some sources, forced prostitution occurs in bars and brothels. Incidences of forced labor have occurred in domestic service, on farm lands, and in the retail sector. The Government of Antigua and Barbuda does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite limited human and financial resources, the government made substantial progress during the reporting period in its efforts to proactively identify human trafficking, protect victims, and raise awareness about the issue.
The government initiated new trafficking investigations and began two prosecutions, but it did not report any convictions or punishments of trafficking offenders over the past year. Recommendations for Antigua and Barbuda: Vigorously prosecute, convict, and punish trafficking offenders, including officials complicit in human trafficking; continue identifying and protecting trafficking victims by formalizing procedures to guide law enforcement and other officials in identifying victims and referring them to available services; consider creating a centralized database to track trafficking cases and enhance inter-ministerial cooperation; and continue efforts to raise awareness about child sex trafficking, underscoring that all prostituted children are considered trafficking victims by UN definitions.
The government made progress in the prosecution of trafficking offenders during the reporting period. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. The law is comprehensive, including extensive victim protection measures. During the reporting period, the government initiated three trafficking investigations; all involved suspected forced labor, and one also involved suspected forced prostitution. The investigations led to the rescue of trafficking victims.
The government initiated two trafficking prosecutions, though it reported no convictions of trafficking offenders during the reporting period. The government did not report any investigations or prosecutions of officials allegedly complicit in human trafficking. The government pursued various training opportunities and provided in-kind support to three IOM-led capacity building and technical skills training workshops, which included personnel from the Directorate of Gender Affairs DGA , law enforcement, the defense force, and other agencies.
Some officials suggested that a centralized database to track human trafficking data would enhance interagency cooperation on trafficking cases. The government made clear progress in the protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period. With assistance from IOM, the government referred trafficking victims to care providers after administering needs assessments. The DGA faced both human and financial resource challenges that were addressed through creative private-public partnerships, such as an Emergency Safe Havens network to provide shelter in confidential locations to victims through collaboration with local businesses, churches, clinics, and volunteers.
Additionally, the DGA opened a center which provided services — including finding shelter and facilitating medical and mental health care services — to victims of general crimes, including trafficking. Trafficking victims were not detained in shelters. The Antiguan government ensured that identified victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked and offered foreign victims long-term residency as a legal alternative to their removal to countries where they may face retribution or hardship.
During the year, one victim was granted permanent residence in the country. Authorities collaborated with IOM to repatriate other foreign victims safely and voluntarily. The government demonstrated significant trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. It continued to distribute and share with other officials in the region human trafficking public awareness materials and to air radio spots in English and Spanish that targeted victims as well as the general public. The DGA hosted community talks and distributed posters throughout Antigua and Barbuda to raise anti-trafficking awareness.
The government continued to operate a hotline with operators trained to identify and assist human trafficking victims. The DGA led a national anti-trafficking coalition which met regularly and was comprised of representatives from the Ministries of Social Welfare, Social Transformation, Health, Labor, Immigration and Customs, and Foreign Affairs, as well as officials from the Royal Antigua and Barbuda Police Force, members of various civil society groups, and community activists. The coalition has a national action plan that has not yet been formalized.
Throughout the reporting period, the coalition held discussions on human trafficking with NGOs, faith-based organizations, members of the police force, and various interest groups within the Spanish-speaking community. The coalition also produced a public service announcement on trafficking that was specifically targeted to children.
The minister of national security chaired a newly established committee of high-level officials to address trafficking prevention. The government did not report any initiatives aimed at reducing the demand for commercial sex. The government and local NGOs reported no evidence that child sex tourism occurs in Antigua and Barbuda. Argentina is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Many sex trafficking victims from rural areas or northern provinces are forced into prostitution in urban centers or wealthier provinces in central and southern Argentina.
A significant number of foreign women and children, primarily from Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru, and, to a lesser extent, from the Dominican Republic, are subjected to sex trafficking in Argentina. A significant number of Bolivians, Paraguayans, and Peruvians, as well as Argentine citizens from poorer northern provinces, are subjected to forced labor in sweatshops, in agriculture, and in domestic work.
Officials report there could be some labor trafficking victims exploited as street vendors and in forced begging in the capital. Argentina is a transit point for foreign women and girls trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Western Europe, and some Argentine women and girls have been exploited in sex trafficking in other countries. Argentine officials reported that in the number of labor trafficking victims identified was over three times the number of sex trafficking victims identified during the same year.
The Government of Argentina does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the past year, the Government of Argentina reported identifying a record number of trafficking victims, the majority of whom were foreign labor trafficking victims. It increased prosecutions and convictions of trafficking offenders and issued numerous anti-trafficking protocols and guidelines for distinct government actors. Five shelters for trafficking victims received Argentine government support: Nevertheless, specialized services for trafficking victims remained uneven across the country, competing mandates and lack of coordination between federal and provincial authorities caused delays in some investigations, and significant allegations of trafficking-related complicity of government officials at the local and federal level prevented more comprehensive anti-trafficking efforts.
The Government of Argentina strengthened anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts last year, particularly through increased prosecutions and convictions, although NGOs, the media, and some officials continued to report significant and unaddressed levels of complicity in human trafficking by provincial and local officials. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and are equal to or exceed those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.
It awaited approval by the Chamber of Deputies at the end of the year. NGOs and officials noted that authorities often employed archaic statutes regarding condom use against individuals operating commercial sex sites when investigating and prosecuting sex trafficking cases; the NGOs and officials commented that these statutes prescribe inadequate criminal penalties and generally modest fines. Authorities continued significant investigations of forced labor crimes during the reporting period. Law enforcement officials coordinated with the Office for Rescue and Caring of Victims during raids.
In , authorities carried out preliminary investigations and, as of late , there were ongoing trafficking prosecutions nationwide. In comparison, in , authorities reported achieving 15 convictions of sex trafficking and no labor trafficking offenders. NGOs and officials noted significant efforts by the new Ministry of Security, established in December , to coordinate the efforts of different federal law enforcement entities, create a database system for human trafficking crimes, and establish protocols with other ministries to strengthen federal-level collaboration.
UFASE coordinated its work with the anti-trafficking units in the federal police, coast guard, and the gendarmerie. In addition, at least 10 provinces maintained their own specialized law enforcement units to investigate human trafficking offenses. Some NGOs reported that coordination between law enforcement officials and judicial officials was sometimes weak at the local level. Although trafficking remained a federal crime, some trafficking cases were investigated or prosecuted at the local level under other statutes — such as those penalizing servitude or the promotion of prostitution — due to lack of knowledge or to a desire to pursue cases at the local level, and were not immediately transferred to the appropriate federal authorities.
Some officials and NGOs noted significant delays caused by confusion over which authorities had jurisdiction, and in some cases testimonies were discarded during this process. The government continued to provide anti-trafficking training to social workers and judicial and law enforcement officials, sometimes in partnership with international organizations. According to NGOs and international organizations, some provincial, local, and, to a lesser extent, federal officials participated directly and indirectly in human trafficking crimes.
Some police officers reportedly turned a blind eye to sex or labor trafficking activity or tipped off brothel owners about impending raids, and some judges reportedly did not adequately investigate signs of official complicity in trafficking cases. Authorities continued to investigate 75 federal police officers removed from their duties for trafficking-related complicity, and the former head of the anti-trafficking police unit remained under investigation for allegedly running brothels.
The government, however, did not prosecute or convict any government officials involved in human trafficking in The government reported identifying and assisting a record number of victims during the year, although services were uneven across the country. Several NGOs and some officials stated the resources the government devoted to the protection of trafficking victims seemed to be insufficient compared with the large number of victims identified.
Some NGOs asserted that some officials errantly categorized cases of labor exploitation as human trafficking. The Ministry of Security reported identifying almost 1, victims; most of these victims were Bolivian and Paraguayan adults exploited in forced labor. In contrast, in past years authorities identified more sex trafficking victims than forced labor victims. This office reported to the press that it assisted 1, trafficking victims in According to NGOs and some officials, the quality and level of victim care varied widely by province, and most provinces lacked dedicated resources to care for trafficking victims, particularly forced labor victims.
After victims provided their initial testimony, the Secretariat for Childhood, Adolescence, and Family SENAF of the Ministry of Social Development was responsible for providing follow-up assistance to them, in coordination with provincial authorities. However, specialized services and reintegration efforts were limited.
SENAF reported assisting victims directly and over additional victims in cooperation with other provincial agencies; 63 percent decided to return to their country of origin, while only three percent decided to stay and requested assistance from SENAF. Authorities did not report what specific services victims were offered or received from SENAF, and some officials and NGOs noted that victim assistance mechanisms were often unclear. It was also unclear to what extent foreign victims were fully informed of their options before their repatriation. Only five percent of the victims assisted were Argentine.
The Office for Rescue and Caring of Victims of Trafficking maintained a shelter in the capital to care temporarily for trafficking victims before they give their initial statement, though it was unclear how many of the victims identified during the year stayed at this shelter, or where they were housed immediately following raids. Federal, provincial, and municipal authorities supported five shelters for women and child victims of sex trafficking across the country, some in partnership with a civil society organization.
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In areas without these dedicated shelters, trafficking victims could be referred to existing government-operated shelters for victims of domestic violence or for at-risk children, although it was unclear if any victims received services at these institutions during the reporting period. Argentine authorities encouraged victims to assist with the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers, and some victims did so during the year. There were no specific reports of identified victims being jailed or penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.
Authorities reported providing temporary residency to some foreign victims during the reporting period. Long-term residency was available through Argentine immigration policy, though it was not trafficking-specific, and it was unclear how many foreign victims received this status during the year. The government did not report identifying or assisting any repatriated Argentine victims of trafficking.
The Government of Argentina maintained prevention efforts during the year. The federal human rights secretariat chaired informal interagency meetings on a biweekly basis. However, NGOs and some officials asserted that poor coordination among the federal and provincial governments continued to hinder the effectiveness of anti-trafficking efforts, as did limited or nonexistent funding for provincial and local efforts to combat trafficking. Authorities reported funding public awareness-raising efforts, including public service announcements about trafficking shown on long distance buses and aired on television.
UFASE published a review of its anti-trafficking efforts in In July , the president issued a decree to ban classified advertisements for sexual services in newspapers and magazines, and created a monitoring office to enforce this prohibition. Some NGOs and media outlets claimed this decree was unconstitutional, as prostitution remained legal in Argentina. In an effort to prevent the use of forced labor, the province of Mendoza passed a law barring any business found to employ child labor or slave labor from benefiting from provincial tax, economic, financial or any other benefits provided by the province for a period of two years.
NGOs continued to report some isolated cases of child sex tourism, although there were no reported investigations or prosecutions for this crime. The government did not report providing anti-trafficking training to Argentine troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping operations. Armenia is a source country for women and girls subjected to sex trafficking, as well as a source country for women and men subjected to forced labor.
To a lesser extent it has been a destination country for women subjected to forced labor. Women and girls from Armenia are subjected to sex trafficking in the United Arab Emirates and Turkey, and within the country. Armenian men and women are subjected to forced labor in Russia. Armenian boys have been subjected to forced labor within the country. An NGO reported a new trend of labor migrants withdrawing their children from school and taking them abroad as helpers; these children are vulnerable to conditions of forced labor.
The Government of Armenia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In , the government convicted more trafficking offenders than during the previous year, continued to train hundreds of officials in partnership with NGOs and international organizations, and strengthened anti-trafficking public awareness campaigns.
The number of victims identified by the government during the year continued to drop. The Armenian government demonstrated progress in its law enforcement efforts against human trafficking during the reporting period. The government investigated 16 sex trafficking cases and one labor trafficking case in , compared with 15 sex trafficking and no labor trafficking cases in During , the Armenian government prosecuted eight new cases against 15 individuals for sex trafficking offenses and no individuals for labor trafficking offenses, compared with prosecutions against six alleged sex traffickers and no alleged labor traffickers newly prosecuted in During the year, the government continued to prosecute an additional 11 defendants whose cases had begun in previous years; nine were charged with sex trafficking and two with labor trafficking.
The government convicted 13 trafficking offenders in — including 11 individuals for sex trafficking and two for labor trafficking — up from a total of five convictions in Based on a request made by Armenian law enforcement agencies in , in September Turkey extradited an alleged Armenian trafficker to Armenia; the alleged trafficker was escorted by Armenian law enforcement officers from Istanbul to Yerevan.
The Armenian government sustained partnerships with anti-trafficking NGOs, international organizations, and foreign governments to provide anti-trafficking training to hundreds of government officials including prosecutors, police, border guards, members of the judicial system, and labor inspectors. Human trafficking continued to be included in the curriculum of all education facilities of law enforcement bodies.
The Government of Armenia demonstrated some progress in its efforts to identify and provide protection to victims of trafficking during the reporting period. The government officially identified 13 new trafficking victims in — two of whom were labor trafficking victims, and all of whom were female — and offered assistance, including referrals to NGO shelters, to all of them.
This contrasts with 19 victims identified in Victims were not detained at the shelter. Although extra employment assistance was made available to trafficking victims, no trafficking victims requested it during the reporting period. Law enforcement officials encouraged trafficking victims to cooperate in investigations and prosecutions. In , all victims voluntarily assisted police with trafficking investigations. The absence of appropriate protections for victims who provide testimony continued to be of concern.
The government did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The government permitted foreign victims to stay in the country through temporary residency permits and to obtain temporary employment; however, no foreign victims were identified in the reporting period.
The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs created two new staff positions in the Family and Children Department dedicated to further improving assistance to trafficking victims. The Armenian government undertook strong trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. Many of these public awareness activities involved broadcasting anti-trafficking public service announcements and other programs on national and regional stations during peak viewing periods. Various government agencies undertook prevention activities. The Ministerial Council to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the Inter-Agency Working Group against Trafficking in Persons continued to meet regularly and coordinate the implementation of the National Plan of Action addressing human trafficking, in collaboration with NGOs and international organizations, and began to work on the National Plan of Action.
The government regularly published reports on its anti-trafficking activities during the reporting period. During the year, the government took measures to identify and record the unregistered births of children. In an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex, the government publicized its efforts to combat prostitution. The government provided anti-trafficking training to Armenian troops before their deployment overseas on international peacekeeping missions.
Aruba is primarily a destination country for women and men subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Also at risk are Chinese men and women working in supermarkets, Indian men in the jewelry sector, and Caribbean and South American women in domestic service. There are indications of Aruban children under 18 exploited in prostitution in Aruba.
The Government of Aruba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government identified new labor trafficking victims, formalized a victim identification checklist for officials, and expanded extensive public awareness efforts during the reporting period. However, it has not yet successfully prosecuted a trafficking offender. Increase efforts to prosecute, convict, and punish perpetrators of forced labor and sex trafficking; boost efforts to identify victims of sex trafficking; consider providing the anti-trafficking committee with an independent budget as a means to ensure its effectiveness; continue multilingual public awareness efforts; and develop ways to educate clients of the sex trade about the causes and consequences of trafficking.
The Government of Aruba maintained its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. These penalties are sufficiently stringent and are commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government initiated six new labor trafficking investigations during the reporting period, compared with seven investigations in the previous reporting period.
There were no new prosecutions, and the three prosecutions from the previous reporting period remained ongoing. One defendant remained in detention in There were no investigations or prosecutions of officials complicit in human trafficking. The government reported that adequate funding and staffing for police remained a problem. The seminar was funded by a foreign donor, as were most other anti-trafficking efforts. Aruba incorporated human trafficking awareness into the police academy curriculum during the reporting period.
The Government of Aruba continued to make progress in its victim protection efforts during the reporting period. The government identified three new adult victims of labor trafficking. During the reporting period, the government earmarked funds to assist trafficking victims and to fund projects of the interagency trafficking committee. The government had agreements with local NGOs or private sector accommodation for sheltering adult victims. The government provided legal assistance, medical assistance, and social and psychological assistance for identified trafficking victims during the reporting period, and arranged for one victim to move with her family to an undisclosed location due to possible threats from a suspected trafficker.
The government encouraged trafficking victims to participate in investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenders and did not charge victims for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked. According to Aruban officials, the government offered identified trafficking victims relief from immediate deportation and work permits for a maximum of six months; the three labor trafficking victims received immigration relief during the reporting period.
The government made progress in its efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period, particularly through awareness raising. It continued to promote its human trafficking awareness campaign in four languages targeted to both victims and the general public and linked to a hotline with operators trained to assist trafficking victims.
The national coordinator gave several interviews on local radio and television to raise awareness about human trafficking and the hotline during the reporting period. Further demonstrating its commitment to address trafficking, the government forged a public-private partnership that resulted in a hotel chain training its employees in trafficking awareness. The government sustained the functions of its anti-trafficking committee and during the reporting period added a health ministry participant.
The government did not have any awareness campaigns targeting potential clients of the sex trade in Aruba in an effort to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. There were no known reports of child sex tourism occurring in Aruba, or of Arubans participating in international sex tourism. Australia is primarily a destination country for women subjected to forced prostitution and to a lesser extent, women and men subjected to forced labor.
Child sex trafficking also occurs with a small number of Australian citizens, primarily teenage girls, exploited within the country, as well as some foreign victims. Some women from Thailand, Malaysia, South Korea, China, and, to a lesser extent, India, Vietnam, Eastern Europe, and Africa migrate to Australia voluntarily intending to work legally or illegally in a number of sectors, including the sex trade. Subsequent to their arrival, however, some of these women are coerced into prostitution in both legal and illegal brothels.
There were news reports that some Asian organized crime groups recruit Asian women to migrate to Australia, sometimes on student visas, and then subsequently coerce them into the sex trade. The women and girls are sometimes held in captivity, subjected to physical and sexual violence and intimidation, manipulated through illegal drugs, and obliged to pay off unexpected or inflated debts to their traffickers. Some victims of sex trafficking have also been exploited in domestic servitude.
After their arrival, some are subjected by unscrupulous employers and labor agencies to forced labor in agriculture, horticulture, construction, cleaning, hospitality, manufacturing, and other sectors, such as domestic service. They face confiscation of their travel documents, confinement on the employment site, threats of physical harm, and debt bondage through inflated debts imposed by employers or labor agencies. Most often, traffickers are part of small but highly sophisticated organized crime networks that frequently involve family and business connections between Australians and overseas contacts.
During the year, one such syndicate relied on the established informal remittance system hawala as a means to launder its profits offshore. Some traffickers attempted to hide their foreign victims from official notice or prevented victims from receiving assistance by abusing the legal system in order to create difficulties for victims who contact authorities for help. Foreign workers in the nursing, meat processing, manufacturing, agricultural, domestic and seafaring industries, as well as international students, may be vulnerable to trafficking. During the year, NGOs and other informed observers reported that some individuals on student visas, typically from Asia, became victims of forced labor and forced prostitution in Australia.
There are over , foreign students in Australia, many of whom spend up to the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in placement and academic fees, as completion of courses often leads to permanent residency in the country. Some of these foreign students work in the housekeeping and restaurant industries and are subject to a restriction of working a maximum of 20 hours per week under their visas. When some were pushed by employers to exceed the terms of their visas, they faced the risk of deportation, making them vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers; during the year there were reports of such exploitation in restaurants and grocery stores near Melbourne.
The Government of Australia fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. During the year, the government continued to prosecute trafficking cases and obtained a conviction in one case of labor trafficking. The government increased funding for its victim support program, and continued to provide services to victims identified in previous years; however, it identified 11 victims — six of whom had been subjected to forced labor — during the year, a decrease from 31 victims identified in the previous reporting period.
The government granted 48 Permanent Witness Protection Visas to victims and their family members, which allowed them to remain in Australia permanently, and it continued to undertake robust efforts to prevent trafficking in Australia and throughout the region. The Government of Australia continued anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the last year.