Field Listing

Trafficking in persons

Trafficking in persons is modern-day slavery, involving victims who are forced, defrauded, or coerced into labor or sexual exploitation. The International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN agency charged with addressing labor standards, employment, and social protection issues, estimated in 2011 that 20.9 million people worldwide were victims of forced labor, bonded labor, forced child labor, sexual servitude, and involuntary servitude. Human trafficking is a multi-dimensional threat, depriving people of their human rights and freedoms, risking global health, promoting social breakdown, inhibiting development by depriving countries of their human capital, and helping fuel the growth of organized crime. In 2000, the US Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), reauthorized in 2003 and 2005, which provides tools for the US to combat trafficking in persons, both domestically and abroad. One of the law's key components is the creation of the US Department of State's annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which assesses the government response (i.e., the current situation) in some 150 countries with a significant number of victims trafficked across their borders who are recruited, harbored, transported, provided, or obtained for forced labor or sexual exploitation. Countries in the annual report are rated in three tiers, based on government efforts to combat trafficking. The countries identified in this entry are those listed in the 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report as 'Tier 2 Watch List' or 'Tier 3' based on the following tier rating definitions:
Tier 2 Watch List countries do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making significant efforts to do so, and meet one of the following criteria:
1. they display high or significantly increasing number of victims,
2. they have failed to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat trafficking in persons, or,
3. they have committed to take action over the next year.
Tier 3 countries neither satisfy the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking nor demonstrate a significant effort to do so. Countries in this tier are subject to potential non-humanitarian and non-trade sanctions.

  • Afghanistan

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims and returning Afghan migrants and exploit Afghan victims abroad; internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking; traffickers exploit men, women, and a large number of children domestically; victims are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, brick kilns, carpet weaving, domestic servitude, commercial sex, begging, poppy cultivation and harvesting, salt mining, transnational drug smuggling, and truck driving; Afghan security forces and non-state armed groups, including the pro-government militias and the Taliban, continue to unlawfully recruit and use child soldiers; sexual exploitation of boys remains pervasive nationwide, and traffickers subject some boys to sexual exploitation abroad

    tier rating:

    Tier 3 Afghanistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government decreased law enforcement efforts against civilian and official perpetrators of trafficking, and officials complicit in recruitment and use of child soldiers and the sexual exploitation of boys continued to operate with impunity; authorities continued to arrest, detain, and penalize many trafficking victims, including punishing sex trafficking victims for “moral crimes”; the judiciary remained underfunded, understaffed, and undertrained (2020)

  • Algeria

    current situation:

    human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims; Algerian women and girls are vulnerable to sex trafficking due to financial problems or after running away from home; undocumented sub-Saharan migrants are vulnerable to labor and sex trafficking and are exploited in restaurants, houses, and informal worksites; sub-Saharan men and women needing more funds for their onward journey to Europe work illegally in construction and commercial sex and are vulnerable to sex trafficking and debt bondage; foreign women and girls, mainly from sub-Saharan Africa, are subject to sex trafficking in bars and informal brothels; criminal begging rings that exploit sub-Saharan African migrant children are common



    tier rating: Tier 3 — Algeria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; authorities prosecuted fewer traffickers and identified fewer victims compared to last year and convicted no traffickers; the government continued to lack effective procedures and mechanisms to screen for, identify, and refer potential victims to protective services and punished some potential victims for unlawful acts traffickers forced them to commit; the government took some steps to combat trafficking, including prosecuting some traffickers, identifying some victims, and continuing to implement its 2019-2021 national anti-trafficking action plan (2020)

  • Antigua and Barbuda

    current situation: Antigua and Barbuda is a destination and transit country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; forced prostitution has been reported in bars, taverns, and brothels, while forced labor occurs in domestic service and the retail sector

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – 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; the government made no discernible progress in convicting traffickers in 2014 but charged two individuals in separate cases; efforts to convict traffickers have been impeded by a 2014 ruling that found the 2010 anti-trafficking act was unconstitutional because jurisdiction rests with the Magistrate’s Court rather than the High Court; no new prosecutions, convictions, or punishments were recorded in 2014; credible sources have raised concerns about trafficking-related complicity among some off-duty police officers, which could hinder investigations or victims willingness to report offenses; prevention efforts were sustained, but progress in protecting victims was uneven; seven victims were assisted, which was an increase over 2013 (2015)

  • Armenia

    current situation: Armenians may be exploited domestically or abroad, and foreigners may be subjected to sex trafficking or forced labor in Armenia; Armenian women and children are exploited in sex and labor trafficking domestically, as well as sex trafficking in the UAE and Turkey; Armenian migrants experience forced labor in Russia, the UAE, and Turkey; Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Russian women working as dancers are vulnerable to sex trafficking, while Indian employment seekers are subjected to forced labor in Armenia

    tier rating:

    Tier 2 Watch List — Armenia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; law enforcement authorities did not conduct proactive investigations and relied on victims to self-identify; prevention efforts decreased and protection efforts were weak, with the government continuing to lack a formal victim-witness protection program; the government had no convictions, including convictions of complicit government employees, for the second consecutive year and has not had a forced labor conviction since 2014; legislation was passed to strengthen the health and labor body and training was provided to law enforcement officials; government and local NGOs provided legal, medical, and psychological assistance, housing, and monetary compensation to victims; however, civil society continued to provide reintegration and long-term support services without government funding (2020)

  • Aruba

    current situation:

    human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims; foreign men and women are subject to forced labor in Aruba’s services and construction sectors; Venezuelans overstaying visas are at risk of forced labor in domestic service, construction, and commercial sex; Chinese men and women and Indian men are subject to forced labor in retail businesses and domestic service; managers of some Chinese-owned grocery stores and restaurants exploit children through sex trafficking and forced labor



    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Aruba does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government provided officials with anti-trafficking training, continued an awareness campaign, and continued to implement the 2018-2022 national action plan; however, officials investigated fewer trafficking cases and did not report prosecuting or convicting any traffickers; efforts were hindered by the conflation of trafficking with migrant smuggling; authorities also did not report identifying any victims, including Venezuelan migrants and refugees, who are vulnerable to trafficking (2020)

  • Azerbaijan

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Azerbaijan and exploit Azerbaijanis abroad; Azerbaijani men and boys experience forced labor domestically and in Qatar, Russia, and the UAE; Azerbaijani women and children are subjected to sex trafficking domestically and in Iran, Malaysia, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Turkey, and the UAE; Azerbaijan is a destination country for sex and forced labor trafficking victims from China, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan; some children are exploited domestically for forced begging and forced labor as roadside vendors and at tea houses and wedding venues

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Azerbaijan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; more traffickers were convicted and judges received guidance to issue stricter sentences; the government significantly increased funding for victim protection by establishing grants for civil society; however, authorities identified fewer victims than in the previous year, did not regularly screen vulnerable populations, and continued to lack proactive identification methods, resulting in victims being penalized for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit (2020)

  • Barbados

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Barbados; foreign women are subject to sex trafficking; children are exploited in sex trafficking by parents and caregivers, according to anecdotal reports; documented and undocumented migrants from Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, and Venezuela are at high risk for trafficking, while migrants from other nearby countries are increasingly vulnerable

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Barbados does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government completed an anti-trafficking manual on assisting and interviewing victims, reinstated the anti-trafficking task force, and increased training for law enforcement and child care officials; however, authorities again did not identify any trafficking victims, reported no new prosecutions, and have never convicted anyone of trafficking; the national action plan has yet to be completed (2020)

  • Belarus

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims and exploit Belarusians abroad; the majority of trafficking victims are men subjected to forced labor; most Belarusian victims are trafficked in Belarus and Russia, but also in Poland, Turkey, and other Eurasian and Middle Eastern countries; the government continued to subject factory workers, civil servants, and students to state-sponsored forced labor harvesting crops on state-owned farms or cleaning streets

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Belarus does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking because of a government policy or pattern of government-sponsored forced labor in public works projects and the agricultural sector; however, authorities convicted traffickers under its trafficking statute for the first time in eight years, increased training for law enforcement officers, and confirmed significantly more victims; the government adopted a national action plan to protect minors from sexual violence and exploitation (2020)

  • Belize

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims and Belizeans abroad; Belizean and foreign women, men, and girls and LGBTI persons, mainly from Central America, are sex trafficked in bars, nightclubs, hotels, and brothels; men, women, and children from Central America, Mexico, and Asia may migrate voluntarily to Belize seeking work and then are subjected to forced labor in restaurants, shops, domestic work, and agriculture; foreign child sex tourists exploit children in tourist areas

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Belize does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; authorities initiated more trafficking investigations, convicted a trafficker, screened for potential trafficking victims during labor inspections, and continued to implement a 2018-2020 national anti-trafficking action plan; anti-trafficking training was provided to the anti-trafficking police unit, immigration officers, prosecutors, judges, prison officials, and social workers; however, the government did not initiate any new trafficking prosecutions and continued to apply victim identification procedures inconsistently; corruption and official complicity in trafficking remained concerns, but no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government employees were reported (2020)

  • Bhutan

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Bhutan and Bhutanese abroad; some traffickers posing as recruiters use the lure of well-paying jobs overseas to exploit Bhutanese citizens for forced labor; some Bhutanese working in hospitality, retail, and service industries in the Gulf states and India, Thailand, and the UK reported trafficking indicators, including illegal recruitment fees, wage deductions, restricted movement, passport retention, and non-payment of wages; Bhutanese women and girls working as domestics, caregivers, and entertainers are subject to sex and labor trafficking domestically; Bhutanese and Indian women may be forced to work in hotels, massage parlors, and nightclubs, while male Indian workers face unauthorized deductions and non-payment of wages in the construction and hydropower sectors

    tier rating:

    Tier 2 Watch List — Bhutan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; among its accomplishments, Bhutan convicted one trafficker, appealed the dismissal of trafficking charges in a second case, finalized and disseminated standard operating procedures for victim identification and referral, and initiated an investigation into reports of labor exploitation; the government also continued to work with an international organization on anti-trafficking training and public awareness events; however, Bhutanese courts continued to dismiss and refile on lesser charges human trafficking cases due to inconsistencies between Bhutanese law and the international definition of trafficking; additionally, authorities did not identify any trafficking victims during the reporting period and did not provide protective services to Bhutanese victims of forced labor abroad (2020)

  • Bolivia

    current situation: Bolivia is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking domestically and abroad; rural and poor Bolivians, most of whom are indigenous, and LGBT youth are particularly vulnerable; Bolivians perform forced labor domestically in mining, ranching, agriculture, and domestic service, and a significant number are in forced labor abroad in sweatshops, agriculture, domestic service, and the informal sector; women and girls are sex trafficked within Bolivia and in neighboring countries, such as Argentina, Peru, and Chile; a limited number of women from nearby countries are sex trafficked in Bolivia

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Bolivia does not comply fully with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government did not demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts, and poor data collection made it difficult to assess the number of investigations, prosecutions, and victim identifications and referrals to care services; authorities did not adequately differentiate between human trafficking and other crimes, such as domestic violence and child abuse; law enforcement failed to implement an early detection protocol for identifying trafficking cases and lacked a formal process for identifying trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; specialized victim services were inadequately funded and virtually non-existent for adult women and male victims (2015)

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bosnians and Herzegovinians abroad; Bosnian and foreign women and girls are sex trafficked within the country; Bosnians are also exploited through forced labor in construction and other industries in neighboring Balkan countries and throughout Europe; thousands of migrants and refugees smuggled through Bosnia and Herzegovina are vulnerable to trafficking, especially women and unaccompanied minors; Romani children are victims of forced begging, sex trafficking, and domestic servitude

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Bosnia and Herzegovina does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; because the government devoted sufficient resources to a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet minimum standards, Bosnia and Herzegovina was granted a waiver from being downgraded to Tier 3; the government adopted a national strategy in January 2020; the State Prosecutor’s Office appointed a prosecutor to the anti-trafficking strike force, the only mechanism to coordinate law enforcement efforts across entities on trafficking cases; the government identified more trafficking victims and revised the structure and guidelines of regional coordinating teams to increase effectiveness; however, the lack of an approved state budget delayed funding for anti-trafficking efforts; law enforcement continued to regularly investigate trafficking under lesser offenses, while judges continued to issue sentences below the minimum penalty; the government continued to penalize victims and did not disburse annual funds to NGOs for victim protection (2020)

  • Botswana

    current situation: Botswana is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; young Batswana serving as domestic workers, sometimes sent by their parents, may be denied education and basic necessities or experience confinement and abuse indicative of forced labor; Batswana girls and women also are forced into prostitution domestically; adults and children of San ethnicity were reported to be in forced labor on farms and at cattle posts in the country’s rural west

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Botswana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; an anti-trafficking act was passed at the beginning of 2014, but authorities did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any offenders or government officials complicit in trafficking or operationalize victim identification and referral procedures based on the new law; the government sponsored a radio campaign to familiarize the public with the issue of human trafficking (2015)

  • Brunei

    current situation: human traffickers exploit foreign victims in Brunei; some men and women who migrate to Brunei to work as domestics or in retail or construction are subject to involuntary servitude, debt-based coercion, contract switching, non-payment of wages, passport confiscation, physical abuse, or confinement; some female migrants entering Brunei on tourist visas are forced into prostitution; some traffickers use Brunei as a transit point for victims used for sex and labor trafficking in Malaysia and Indonesia

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Brunei does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government enacted the 2019 Trafficking in Persons Order, which criminalized sex and labor trafficking and separated trafficking crimes from migrant smuggling crimes; the government formalized its interagency anti-trafficking in persons committee; instituted a committee to review foreign worker recruitment practices, ratified the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, and acceded to the UN TIP Protocol; however, authorities did not formally identify any trafficking cases, did not initiate any new trafficking prosecutions, and did not convict any traffickers; trafficking victims continued to be detained, deported, and charged with crimes without law enforcement determining if they were forced to commit the illegal acts by traffickers; the government again did not allocate money to a fund established in 2004 for victim compensation and repatriation; a draft national action plan to combat trafficking was not completed for the sixth consecutive year (2020)

  • Bulgaria

    current situation: Bulgaria is a source and, to a lesser extent, a transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Bulgaria is one of the main sources of human trafficking in the EU; women and children are increasingly sex trafficked domestically, as well as in Europe, Russia, the Middle East, and the US; adults and children become forced laborers in agriculture, construction, and the service sector in Europe, Israel, and Zambia; Romanian girls are also subjected to sex trafficking in Bulgaria

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Bulgaria does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, authorities prosecuted and convicted fewer traffickers and issued suspended sentences for the majority of those convicted; victim protection efforts declined and were minimal relative to the number of victims identified; funding for the state’s two NGO-operated shelters was significantly cut, forcing them to close; specialized services for child and adult male victims were non-existent; the government took action to combat trafficking-related complicity among public officials and police officers (2015)

  • Burkina Faso

    current situation: Burkina Faso is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Burkinabe children are forced to work as farm hands, gold panners and washers, street vendors, domestic servants, and beggars or in the commercial sex trade, with some transported to nearby countries; to a lesser extent, Burkinabe women are recruited for legitimate jobs in the Middle East or Europe and subsequently forced into prostitution; women from other West African countries are also lured to Burkina Faso for work and subjected to forced prostitution, forced labor in restaurants, or domestic servitude

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Burkina Faso does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; law enforcement efforts decreased in 2014, with a significant decline in trafficking prosecutions (none for forced begging involving Koranic school teachers – a prevalent form of trafficking) and no convictions, a 2014 law criminalizing the sale of children, child prostitution, and child pornography is undermined by a provision allowing offenders to pay a fine in lieu of serving prison time proportionate to the crime; the government sustained efforts to identify and protect a large number of child victims, relying on support from NGOs and international organizations; nationwide awareness-raising activities were sustained, but little was done to stop forced begging (2015)

  • Burma

    current situation: human traffickers exploit men, women, and children through forced labor, and women and children in sex trafficking in Burma and abroad; Burmese men are forced to work domestically and abroad in fishing, manufacturing, forestry, agriculture, and construction; fishermen are lured into forced labor in remote waters and offshore by recruitment agencies in Burma and Southeast Asia; Burmese women increasingly are lured to China for marriage under false pretenses and are subjected to sex trafficking, forced concubinage and childbearing, and forced domestic labor; men, women, and children in ethnic minority areas are at increased risk of sex trafficking and forced labor in farming, manufacturing, and construction; men and boys are recruited locally by traffickers for forced labor in oil palm, banana, and rubber plantations, in mining, fishing, and bamboo, teak, rice, and sugarcane harvesting; some military personnel, civilian brokers, border guard officials, and ethnic armed groups continue to recruit child soldiers, particularly in conflict areas

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Burma does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; authorities increased the investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes, including those involving officials, and the investigation of forced labor in the fishing sector; the government identified and referred more victims to care and enacted legislation enhancing protections for child victims; however, a policy or pattern of forced labor existed; the use of children in labor and support roles by the military increased in conflict zones in Rakhine and Shan States; displacement resulting from military conflict made Rohingya and other ethnic groups vulnerable to human trafficking; the constitutionally guaranteed power of the military continued to limit the government’s ability to address forced adult labor and child soldier recruitment; although authorities allocated increased funding to victim protection, most services to trafficking victims were provided by NGOs and foreign donors (2020)

  • Burundi

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Burundi and victims from Burundi abroad; traffickers take advantage of Burundians in precarious or desperate situations, including returned refugees; children were reportedly recruited by armed groups and forced to participate in anti-government activities; non-state armed groups allegedly used threats, intimidation, and physical assaults to coerce refugees in a camp in Rwanda to support the Burundian opposition; children and young adults are trafficked by relatives, neighbors, and friends and are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, mining, informal commerce, charcoal production, and fishing; some girls and young women are forced into domestic servitude and sex trafficking in restaurants and bars around Lake Tanganyika; women and girls who go to the Middle East for domestic service jobs report physical and sexual abuse

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Burundi does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government worked with an international organization to provide training to immigration officials, identified victims of trafficking abroad, and conducted public awareness campaigns with an international organization; however, authorities did not convict any traffickers for the fifth consecutive year and did not investigate, prosecute, or convict officials allegedly complicit in human trafficking; the government did not have standard operating procedures to identify and refer victims to services and did not have adequate protection services for victims; authorities continued to lack a clear understanding of trafficking despite the government providing training to immigration officials (2020)

  • Cambodia

    current situation: human traffickers exploit Cambodian men, women, and children in forced labor and sex trafficking in Cambodia and abroad, and foreign nationals are trafficked in Cambodia; Cambodian adults and children migrate to other countries in the region or increasingly to the Middle East where traffickers force them to work in agriculture, fishing, construction, manufacturing, and domestic servitude; significant numbers of Cambodian men and boys are subject to forced labor on Thai ships in international waters and may experience physical abuse, nonpayment or underpayment of wages, and confinement at sea for years; brick kiln owners exploit thousands of Cambodians, including children, through debt-based coercion; children from poor families are vulnerable to forced labor, often with the complicity of their parents, in domestic servitude, forced begging, or street vending in Thailand and Vietnam; Cambodian and ethnic Vietnamese women and girls from rural areas move to cities and tourist areas where they are sex trafficked

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Cambodia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; authorities continued to prosecute and convict traffickers and utilized new victim identification and data collection technologies; the government enacted a five-year national action plan to combat human trafficking; however, corruption continued to impede law enforcement efforts, criminal proceedings, and services to victims; some corrupt officials may have profited directly from sex and labor trafficking or accepted bribes to dismiss charges or reduce sentences; insufficient judicial monitoring systems enabled suspected traffickers to flee before trial; authorities failed to issue formal guidance allowing the use of undercover techniques in anti-trafficking investigations (2020)

  • Cameroon

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Cameroon and Cameroonians abroad; deteriorating economic and education conditions and diminished police and judicial presence caused by conflict in the Northwest and Southwest has left displaced persons vulnerable to trafficking; parents may be lured by promises of education or a better life for their children in urban areas, and then the children are subject to forced labor and sex trafficking; teenagers and adolescents may be lured to cities with promises of employment and then become victims of forced labor and sex trafficking; children from neighboring countries are forced to work in spare parts shops or cattle grazing by business owners and herders; Cameroonians, often from rural areas, are exploited in forced labor and sex trafficking in the Middle East, Europe, the United States, and African countries

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Cameroon does not meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so; authorities investigated at least nine suspected trafficking cases, identified 77 victims, and provided some training on trafficking indicators to officials and teachers; however, officials prosecuted and convicted fewer traffickers; standard operating procedures for the identification and referral of trafficking victims were not implemented, and officials were not trained on the measures; the government did not report referring trafficking victims to government institutions for vulnerable children, but NGO-funded centers provided care for an unknown number of child victims; 2012 anti-trafficking legislation addressing victim and witness protection in conformity with international law was not passed for the eighth consecutive year (2020)

  • Central African Republic

    current situation: Central African Republic (CAR) is a source, transit, and destination country for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, women subjected to forced prostitution, and adults subjected to forced labor; most victims appear to be CAR citizens exploited within the country, with a smaller number transported back and forth between the CAR and nearby countries; armed groups operating in the CAR, including those aligned with the former SELEKA Government and the Lord’s Resistance Army, continue to recruit and re-recruit children for military activities and labor; children are also subject to domestic servitude, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced labor in agriculture, mines, shops, and street vending; women and girls are subject to domestic servitude, sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, and forced marriage

    tier rating: Tier 3 – the Central African Republic does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government conducted a limited number of investigations and prosecutions of cases of suspected human trafficking in 2014 but did not identify, provide protection to, or refer to care providers any trafficking victims; the government did not directly provide reintegration programs for demobilized child soldiers, leaving victims vulnerable to further exploitation or retrafficking by armed groups, including those affiliated with the government; in 2014, an NGO and the government began drafting a national action plan against trafficking but no efforts were reported to establish a policy against child soldiering or to raise awareness about existing laws prohibiting the use of children in the armed forces (2015)

  • Chad

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Chad and Chadians abroad; most trafficking is internal; some children are sent by their parents to relatives or intermediaries to receive education, an apprenticeship, goods, or money and are then forced to work in domestic service or cattle herding; children are also forced to work in agriculture, gold mines, charcoal vending, and fishing, and those attending Koranic schools are forced into begging and street vending; girls from rural areas who search for work in larger towns are exploited in sex trafficking and domestic servitude; terrorist groups abduct children to serve as soldiers, suicide bombers, brides, and forced laborers

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Chad does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; one trafficker was convicted, the first under a 2018 law, but the government did not report investigating or prosecuting alleged traffickers, including complicit government officials; the government adopted a formal Road Map to implement its 2108 National Action Plan but did not report executing it; authorities did not identify any victims and have not drafted victim identification and referral procedures; the government continued to make no effort to raise awareness on trafficking (2020)

  • China

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in China and Chinese people abroad; Chinese men, women, and children are victims of forced labor and sex trafficking in at least 60 countries; traffickers also use China as a transit point to subject foreign individuals to trafficking in other countries throughout Asia and in international maritime industries; state-sponsored forced labor is intensifying under the government’s mass detention and political indoctrination campaign against Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; well-organized criminal syndicates and local gangs subject Chinese women and girls to sex trafficking within China; women and girls from South Asia, Southeast Asia, and several countries in Africa experience forced labor in domestic service, forced concubinism leading to forced childbearing, and sex trafficking via forced and fraudulent marriage to Chinese men; African and Asian men reportedly experience conditions indicative of forced labor aboard Chinese-flagged fishing vessels; many North Korean refugees and asylum-seekers living in China illegally are particularly vulnerable to trafficking

    tier rating: Tier 3 — China does not fully meet the minimum standards for elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government prosecuted and convicted some traffickers and continued to cooperate with international authorities to address forced and fraudulent marriages in China; however, there was a government policy or pattern of widespread forced labor, including the continued mass arbitrary detention of more than one million Uyghurs, ethnic Kazakhs, ethnic Kyrgyz, and other Muslims in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region; the government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of law enforcement officials allegedly complicit despite continued reports of officials benefiting from, permitting, or directly facilitating sex trafficking; authorities did not report identifying any trafficking victims or referring them to protective services; it is likely that law enforcement arrested and detained unidentified trafficking victims for crimes traffickers compelled them to commit; for the third consecutive year, the government did not report the extent to which it funded anti-trafficking activities in furtherance of the 2013-2020 National Action Plan on Combating Human Trafficking (2020)

  • Comoros

    current situation: human traffickers may exploit domestic and foreign victims in Comoros and Comorians abroad; some Comorian and Malagasy women are subject to forced labor in the Middle East; adults and children may be forced to work in agriculture, construction, or as domestics in Mayotte; children abandoned by parents who left to seek jobs abroad are vulnerable to exploitation in domestic service, vending, baking, fishing, and agriculture; children from poor families whose parents place them with a relative or acquaintance for educational opportunities are vulnerable to domestic servitude and physical and sexual abuse; some children in Koranic schools may experience forced labor in agriculture or domestic servitude; inadequate border controls; government corruption, and international crime networks leave Comorians vulnerable to international trafficking

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Comoros does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking is not making significant efforts to do so; the Anti-Trafficking Task Force met for the first time since 2017 and began drafting a national action plan for combatting trafficking; the government took steps to ratify the 2000 UN TIP Protocol and supported centers that identify and provide care to victims of crime, would include trafficking victims; however, authorities continued to lack an understanding of trafficking and did not make any anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts; the government did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any alleged traffickers or officials suspected of complicity in trafficking; the government did not develop any standing operating procedures for identifying trafficking victims and referring them to limited care providers; no public awareness campaigns were conducted (2020)

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Democratic Republic of the Congo and Congolese abroad; most trafficking is internal and involves the forced labor of men, women, and children in artisanal mining, agriculture, domestic servitude, sex trafficking, or child recruitment by armed groups; some traffickers are family members or others who promise victims or victims’ families educational or job opportunities and instead force victims to work as domestic servants, street vendors, gang members, or in commercial sex; some Congolese women and girls who migrate to other countries in Africa or the Middle East are exploited in sex trafficking or forced labor in agriculture, diamond mines, or domestic service; they may be fraudulently recruited by traffickers with false promises of jobs or education

    tier rating:

    Tier 2 Watch List — The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the DRC was upgraded to Tier 2 Watch List because of several accomplishments; the government drafted and launched its first national anti-trafficking action plan; authorities increased law enforcement efforts, including investigating and prosecuting more trafficking crimes; a number of traffickers were convicted, including a high-ranking army officer and the leader of an armed group; however, authorities continued to lack standard operating procedures for identifying victims and referring them to care; there were credible allegations that the army abducted women and girls for sexual slavery and recruited and used child soldiers (2020)

  • Congo, Republic of the

    current situation: the Republic of the Congo is a source and destination country for children, men, and women, subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; most trafficking victims are from Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and, to a lesser extent, other neighboring countries and are subjected to domestic servitude and market vending by West African and Congolese nationals; adults and children, the majority from the DRC, are also sex trafficked in Congo, mainly Brazzaville; internal trafficking victims, often from rural areas, are exploited as domestic servants or forced to work in quarries, bakeries, fishing, and agriculture

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - the Republic of the Congo does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the country drafted an action plan based on anti-trafficking legislation, which remains pending in the Supreme Court; the government made minimal anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts in 2014, failing to prosecute or convict suspected traffickers from cases dating back to 2010; serious allegations of official complicity continue to be reported; the government lacks a systematic means of identifying victims and relies on NGOs and international organizations to identify victims and NGOs and foster families to provide care to victims; the quality of care varied widely because the foster care system was allegedly undermined by inadequate security and official complicity (2015)

  • Costa Rica

    current situation: Costa Rica is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Costa Rican women and children, as well as those from Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, and other Latin American countries, are sex trafficked in Costa Rica; child sex tourism is a particular problem with offenders coming from the US and Europe; men and children from Central America, including indigenous Panamanians, and Asia are exploited in agriculture, construction, fishing, and commerce; Nicaraguans transit Costa Rica to reach Panama, where some are subjected to forced labor or sex trafficking

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Costa Rica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts declined in 2014, with fewer prosecutions and no convictions and no actions taken against complicit government personnel; some officials conflated trafficking with smuggling, and authorities reported the diversion of funds to combat smuggling hindered anti-trafficking efforts; the government identified more victims than the previous year but did not make progress in ensuring that victims received adequate protective services; specialized services were limited and mostly provided by NGOs without government support, even from a dedicated fund for anti-trafficking efforts; victims services were virtually non-existent outside of the capital (2015)

  • Cuba

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Cuba and Cubans abroad; individuals are forced or coerced into participating and threatened to stay in labor export programs, most notably foreign medical missions; sex trafficking and sex tourism occur within Cuba; traffickers exploit Cubans in sex trafficking and forced labor in South America, the Caribbean, Asia, Africa, the Mediterranean, and the US; foreigners from Africa and Asia are subject to sex trafficking and forced labor in Cuba to pay off travel debts; the government uses high school students in some rural areas to harvest crops without pay, claiming that the work is voluntary

    tier rating:

    Tier 3 — Cuba does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government made some efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict sex traffickers and sex tourists and identified and provided assistance to some victims; however, no efforts were made to address forced labor; there was a government policy or pattern to profit from labor export programs with strong indications of forced labor, particularly in foreign medical missions; authorities did not protect potential trafficking victims, leaving them at risk of being detained or charged for crimes their traffickers forced them to commit (2020)

  • Curacao

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Curacao; undocumented migrants, including the growing population of Venezuelans, are vulnerable to sex and labor trafficking; Curacaoan and foreign women and girls, mostly Dominican and Venezuelan, are exploited in sex trafficking; migrants from other Caribbean countries, South America, China, and India are subject to forced labor in construction, domestic servitude, landscaping, minimarkets, retail, and restaurants

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Curacao does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but it is making significant efforts to do so; the government prosecuted and convicted more traffickers than in the previous reporting period; however, authorities identified fewer victims, and assistance to victims was contingent upon their cooperation with law enforcement in prosecuting traffickers; victims who were in the country illegally, including Venezuelans, were at risk of deportation if they did not participate in trials against their traffickers; the government did not operate centers for trafficking victims but provided some funding to NGOs and international organizations to care for victims (2020)

  • Djibouti

    current situation: Djibouti is a transit, source, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; economic migrants from East Africa en route to Yemen and other Middle East locations are vulnerable to exploitation in Djibouti; some women and girls may be forced into domestic servitude or prostitution after reaching Djibouti City, the Ethiopia-Djibouti trucking corridor, or Obock – the main crossing point into Yemen; Djiboutian and foreign children may be forced to beg, to work as domestic servants, or to commit theft and other petty crimes

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Djibouti does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Djibouti was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; one forced labor trafficker was convicted in 2014 but received a suspended sentence inadequate to deter trafficking; authorities did not investigate or prosecute any other forced labor crimes, any sex trafficking offenses, or any officials complicit in human trafficking, and remained limited in their ability to recognize or protect trafficking victims; official round-ups, detentions, and deportations of non-Djiboutian residents, including children without screening for trafficking victims remained routine; the government did not provide care to victims but supported local NGOs operating centers that assisted victims (2015)

  • Dominican Republic

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in the Dominican Republic and Dominicans abroad; Dominican women and children are sex trafficked throughout the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean, South and Central America, Europe, the Middle East, and the United States; victims from Haiti and elsewhere in the Caribbean, Asia, and Latin America are trafficked in the Dominican Republic; Dominican women are lured to the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean, and Latin America to work in nightclubs but are then sex trafficked; domestically, children are forced into domestic servitude, street vending, begging, agricultural work, construction, and moving illicit narcotics, while adults are forced to work in construction, agriculture, and the services sector

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — the Dominican Republic does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government has drafted a revised trafficking law that would be consistent with international law by removing the requirement for force, fraud, or coercion of sex trafficking of victims younger than 18; authorities increased investigations and prosecutions but convicted fewer traffickers and issued inadequate sentences; the country lacks a dedicated victim assistance budget and a full-time victim shelter; authorities did not effectively screen for trafficking indicators or refer all vulnerable individuals to care; the government has not allocated specific funds to implement its national anti-trafficking plan beyond the standard operating budget for the 14 institutions that are part of its Inter-Institutional Commission against Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants (2020)

  • Egypt

    current situation: Egypt is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Egyptian children, including the large population of street children are vulnerable to forced labor in domestic service, begging and agriculture or may be victims of sex trafficking or child sex tourism, which occurs in Cairo, Alexandria, and Luxor; some Egyptian women and girls are sold into "temporary" or "summer" marriages with Gulf men, through the complicity of their parents or marriage brokers, and are exploited for prostitution or forced labor; Egyptian men are subject to forced labor in neighboring countries, while adults from South and Southeast Asia and East Africa – and increasingly Syrian refugees – are forced to work in domestic service, construction, cleaning, and begging in Egypt; women and girls, including migrants and refugees, from Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the Middle East are sex trafficked in Egypt; the Egyptian military cracked down on criminal group’s smuggling, abducting, trafficking, and extorting African migrants in the Sinai Peninsula, but the practice has reemerged along Egypt’s western border with Libya

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Egypt does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government gathered data nationwide on trafficking cases to better allocate and prioritize anti-trafficking efforts, but overall it did not demonstrate increased progress; prosecutions increased in 2014, but no offenders were convicted for the second consecutive year; fewer trafficking victims were identified in 2014, which represents a significant and ongoing decrease from the previous two reporting periods; the government relied on NGOs and international organizations to identify and refer victims to protective services, and focused on Egyptian victims and refused to provide some services to foreign victims, at times including shelter (2015)

  • Equatorial Guinea

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Equatorial Guinea and Equatoguineans abroad; the majority of trafficking victims are subjected to forced domestic service and commercial sex in cities, particularly in the hospitality and restaurant sector; local and foreign women, including Latin Americans, are exploited in commercial sex domestically, while some Equatoguinean women are sex trafficked in Spain; some children from rural areas have been forced into domestic servitude; children from nearby countries are forced to labor as domestic workers, market workers, vendors, and launderers; individuals recruited from African countries and temporary workers from Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela are sometimes exploited in forced labor and sex trafficking

    tier rating:

    Tier 2 Watch List — Equatorial Guinea does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; authorities investigated, and for the first time since 2010, initiated the prosecution of alleged human traffickers; the government partnered with an international organization to provide training for more than 700 officials and civil society actors; authorities developed and implemented formal screening procedures to identify victims within vulnerable populations, an effort that had stalled for five years; however, the government still has not convicted a trafficker or any complicit government employees under its 2004 anti-trafficking law; a lack of training among judicial officials has resulted in potential trafficking crimes being tried under related statutes; victim services remained inadequate; authorities did not report referring any trafficking victims to government housing that was supposed to serve as temporary shelter (2020)

  • Eritrea

    current situation: human traffickers export domestic victims in Eritrea or abroad; National Service is mandatory at age 18 and may take a variety of forms, including military service and physical labor but also government office jobs and teaching; Eritreans who flee the country, usually with the aim of reaching Europe, seek the help of paid smugglers and are vulnerable to trafficking when they cross the border clandestinely into Sudan, Ethiopia, and to a lesser extent Djibouti; Eritreans are subject to forced labor and sex trafficking mainly in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Libya

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Eritrea does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government engaged in critical bilateral and multilateral partnerships to build its capacity for anti-trafficking initiatives; officials participated in a UN-sponsored regional anti-trafficking workshop and committed to produce a regional plan of action to combat trafficking; however, a government policy or pattern of forced labor existed; the government continued to subject its nationals to forced labor in its compulsory national service and citizen militia by forcing them to serve indefinitely or for arbitrary periods; authorities did not report any trafficking investigations, prosecutions, or convictions, including complicit government employees, nor did they report identifying victims and referring them to care; the government has no action plan to combat human trafficking (2020)

  • Fiji

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Fiji and Fijians abroad; Fijian women and children and victims from Thailand and China are sex trafficked in illegal brothels, local hotels, private homes, and massage parlors; Fijian children sent to live with families in larger cities are vulnerable to forced labor or sexual activity in exchange for food, clothing, shelter, or school fees; labor traffickers exploit Southeast Asian workers on small informal farms and factories and in construction; Southeast Asian fisherman may be subject to forced labor on Fijian-flagged ships or foreign-flagged ships transiting Fijian ports and water

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Fiji does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; authorities maintained anti-trafficking law enforcement, investigating a similar number of cases as the prior year and convicting a trafficker for the first time since 2014; a government-convened working group finalized an updated anti-trafficking national action plan; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts; law enforcement was often unaware of the definition of trafficking, procedures for interviewing victims, and how to proactively screen vulnerable populations for trafficking victims; inspectors did not adequately investigate labor violations for trafficking indicators or provide adequate support to victims (2020)

  • Gabon

    current situation: Gabon is primarily a destination and transit country for adults and children from West and Central African countries subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; boys are forced to work as street vendors, mechanics, or in the fishing sector, while girls are subjected to domestic servitude or forced to work in markets or roadside restaurants; West African women are forced into domestic servitude or prostitution; men are reportedly forced to work on cattle farms; some foreign adults end up in forced labor in Gabon after initially seeking the help of human smugglers to help them migrate clandestinely; traffickers operate in loose, ethnic-based criminal networks, with female traffickers recruiting and facilitating the transport of victims from source countries; in some cases, families turn child victims over to traffickers, who promise paid jobs in Gabon

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Gabon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; Gabon’s existing laws do not prohibit all forms of trafficking, and the government failed to pass a legal amendment drafted in 2013 to criminalize the trafficking of adults; anti-trafficking law enforcement decreased in 2014, dropping from 50 investigations to 16, and the only defendant to face prosecution fled the country; government efforts to identify and refer victims to protective services declined from 50 child victims in 2013 to just 3 in 2014, none of whom was referred to a care facility; the government provided support to four centers offering services to orphans and vulnerable children – 14 child victims identified by an NGO received government assistance; no adult victims have been identified since 2009 (2015)

  • Gambia, The

    current situation: The Gambia is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Gambian women, children, and, to a lesser extent, boys are exploited for prostitution and domestic servitude; women, girls, and boys from West African countries are trafficked to the Gambia for sexual exploitation, particularly catering to European tourists seeking sex with children; some Gambian trafficking victims have been identified in neighboring West African countries and the UK; boys in some Koranic schools are forced into street vending or begging

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — The Gambia does not meet the minimum standards for eliminating trafficking, but it is making significant efforts to do so; the government has increased investigations, identified more trafficking victims, improved security at a Department of Social Welfare shelter, increased training for officials, and raised public awareness of the problem of trafficking; the government was upgraded to Tier 2 Watch List during this rating period; despite these efforts, the government did not convict a trafficker for the third consecutive year; victim services remained inadequate, and some law enforcement officers reportedly requested  bribes to register trafficking complaints (2020)

  • Ghana

    current situation: Ghana is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the trafficking of Ghanians, particularly children, internally is more common than the trafficking of foreign nationals; Ghanian children are subjected to forced labor in fishing, domestic service, street hawking, begging, portering, mining, quarrying, herding, and agriculture, with girls, and to a lesser extent boys, forced into prostitution; Ghanian women, sometimes lured with legitimate job offers, and girls are sex trafficked in West Africa, the Middle East, and Europe; Ghanian men fraudulently recruited for work in the Middle East are subjected to forced labor or prostitution, and a few Ghanian adults have been identified as victims of false labor in the US; women and girls from Vietnam, China, and neighboring West African countries are sex trafficked in Ghana; the country is also a transit point for sex trafficking from West Africa to Europe

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Ghana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; Ghana continued to investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses but was unable to ramp up its anti-trafficking efforts in 2014 because the government failed to provide law enforcement or protection agencies with operating budgets; victim protection efforts decreased in 2014, with significantly fewer victims identified; most child victims were referred to NGO-run facilities, but care for adults was lacking because the government did not provide any support to the country’s Human Trafficking Fund for victim services or its two shelters; anti-trafficking prevention measures increased modestly, including reconvening of the Human Trafficking Management Board, public awareness campaigns on child labor and trafficking, and anti-trafficking TV and radio programs (2015)

  • Guinea

    current situation: 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; the majority of trafficking victims are Guinean children; Guinean girls are subjected to domestic servitude and commercial sexual exploitation, while boys are forced to beg, work as street vendors, shoe shiners, or miners; some Guinean children are forced to mine in Senegal, Mali, and possibly other West African countries; Guinean women and girls are subjected to domestic servitude and sex trafficking in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire, Benin, Senegal, Greece, and Spain, while Chinese and Vietnamese women are reportedly forced into prostitution in Guinea

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Guinea does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however it is making significant efforts to do so; the government  drafted a new anti-trafficking action plan, provided support to eight victims exploited in the Middle East, and incorporated anti-trafficking training into the law enforcement curriculum; however, the government did not overall increase efforts compared to the last rating period; investigations and prosecutions of trafficking crimes decreased, victim identification was inadequate, and NGO’s providing victim services did not receive government support; for the fourth year, resources for the anti-trafficking committee or the Office for the Protection of Gender, Children and Morals were inadequate; a Quranic teacher was not prosecuted for allegedly forcing child begging; Guinea was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)

  • Guinea-Bissau

    current situation: Guinea-Bissau is a country of origin and destination for children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the scope of the problem of trafficking women or men for forced labor or forced prostitution is unknown; boys reportedly were transported to southern Senegal for forced manual and agricultural labor; girls may be subjected to forced domestic service and child prostitution in Senegal and Guinea; both boys and girls are forced to work as street vendors in cities in Guinea-Bissau and Senegal

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Guinea-Bissau does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts include identifying forced child begging victims, cooperating with Moroccan authorities on international crime investigations, and approving a new action plan; yet, the government has not convicted a trafficker, identified fewer trafficking victims, and lacked resources or the political will to fight trafficking or to enact its action plan, which would meet minimum standards; Guinea-Bissau was granted a waiver under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act from downgrade to Tier 3 (2020)

  • Guyana

    current situation: Guyana is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor – children are particularly vulnerable; women and girls from Guyana, Venezuela, Suriname, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic are forced into prostitution in Guyana’s interior mining communities and urban areas; forced labor is reported in mining, agriculture, forestry, domestic service, and shops; Guyanese nationals are also trafficked to Suriname, Jamaica, and other Caribbean countries for sexual exploitation and forced labor

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Guyana does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Guyana was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the government released its anti-trafficking action plan in June 2014 but made uneven efforts to implement it; law enforcement was weak, investigating seven trafficking cases, prosecuting four alleged traffickers, and convicting one trafficker – a police officer – who was released on bail pending appeal; in 2014, as in previous years, Guyanese courts dismissed the majority of ongoing trafficking prosecutions; the government referred some victims to care services, which were provided by NGOs with little or no government support (2015)

  • Haiti

    current situation: Haiti is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; most of Haiti’s trafficking cases involve children in domestic servitude vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse; dismissed and runaway child domestic servants often end up in prostitution, begging, or street crime; other exploited populations included low-income Haitians, child laborers, and women and children living in IDP camps dating to the 2010 earthquake; Haitian adults are vulnerable to fraudulent labor recruitment abroad and, along with children, may be subjected to forced labor in the Dominican Republic, elsewhere in the Caribbean, South America, and the US; Dominicans are exploited in sex trafficking and forced labor in Haiti

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Haiti does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Haiti was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; in 2014, Haiti developed a national anti-trafficking action plan and enacted a law prohibiting all forms of human trafficking, although judicial corruption hampered its implementation; progress was made in investigating and prosecuting suspected traffickers, but no convictions were made; the government sustained limited efforts to identify and refer victims to protective services, which were provided mostly by NGOs without government support; campaigns to raise awareness about child labor and child trafficking continued (2015)

  • Hong Kong

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Hong Kong, and traffickers also exploit victims from Hong Kong abroad; traffickers exploit women from Eastern Europe, Africa, and Southeast Asia in sex trafficking; some women in Hong Kong – often with the assistance of their families – deceive Indian and Pakistani men into arranged marriages involving forced domestic service, bonded labor in construction and other physically demanding industries, and other forms of abuse via exploitative contracts; drug trafficking syndicates coerced South American women to carry drugs into Hong Kong; employment agencies hired foreign domestic workers under false pretenses and forced them into commercial sex, sometimes through debt-based coercion

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List —  Hong Kong does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; Hong Kong is hiring and training 98 new employees within the immigration, customs, labor, and justice departments dedicated to trafficking issues; authorities screened more than 7,000 vulnerable individuals for trafficking; the labor department introduced a victim identification mechanism to its division offices; the government provided anti-trafficking training to various officials; the government did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any cases of labor trafficking, investigated fewer sex trafficking cases, and did not provide victims any government-funded services; the government continued to penalize victims for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit; no legislation was enacted to fully criminalize all forms of trafficking (2020)

  • Iran

    current situation: Iran is a presumed source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Iranian and Afghan boys and girls are forced into prostitution domestically; Iranian women are subjected to sex trafficking in Iran, Pakistan, the Persian Gulf, and Europe; Azerbaijani women and children are also sexually exploited in Iran; Afghan migrants and refugees and Pakistani men and women are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Iran; NGO reports indicate that criminal organizations play a significant role in human trafficking in Iran

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Iran does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; therefore, Iran remained in Tier 3; the government continued a policy of recruiting and using child soldiers, government officials perpetrated sex trafficking of adults and children and continued trafficking both in Iran and overseas; the government continued to force or coerce children and adults to fight for Iranian-led militias operating in Syria and provided financial support to militias fighting in armed conflicts in the region using child soldiers; authorities failed to identify and protect trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; law enforcement treated trafficking victims as criminals, facing severe punishment or death for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit (2020)

  • Ireland

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Ireland and Irish victims abroad; traffickers subject Irish children and foreign trafficking victims from Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and South America to sex trafficking; victims are exploited in forced domestic work, the restaurant industry, waste management, fishing, seasonal agriculture, and car washing services; Vietnamese and Chinese nationals convicted for cannabis cultivation often report indicators of forced labor, such as document retention, restriction of movement, and non-payment of wages; undocumented workers in the fishing industry and domestic workers, particularly au pairs, are vulnerable to trafficking; women from Eastern Europe forced into marriage in Ireland are at risk for sex trafficking and forced labor; the problem of forced labor in the country is growing

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Ireland does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts included increasing prosecutions and funding to NGOs for victim assistance, increasing the number of police and immigration officers receiving anti-trafficking training, and reorganizing its anti-trafficking coordination unit; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts; no traffickers have been convicted since the anti-trafficking law was amended in 2013; weakened deterrence meant impunity for traffickers and undermined efforts to support victims testifying against traffickers; systematic deficiencies in victim identification, a lack of specialized services for victims continued, and the amended working scheme for sea fishers increased their vulnerability to trafficking (2020)

  • Jamaica

    current situation: Jamaica is a source and destination country for children and adults subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; sex trafficking of children and adults occurs on the street, in night clubs, bars, massage parlors, and private homes; child sex tourism is a problem in resort areas; Jamaicans have been subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labor in the Caribbean, Canada, the US, and the UK, while foreigners have endured conditions of forced labor in Jamaica or aboard foreign-flagged fishing vessels operating in Jamaican waters; a high number of Jamaican children are reported missing

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Jamaica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, the government made significant efforts to raise public awareness of human trafficking, and named a national trafficking-in-persons rapporteur – the first in the region; authorities initiated more new trafficking investigations than in 2013 and concluded a trafficking case in the Supreme Court, but chronic delays impeded prosecutions and no offenders were convicted for the sixth consecutive year; more adult trafficking victims were identified than in previous years, but only one child victim was identified, which was exceptionally low relative to the number of vulnerable children (2015)

  • Jordan

    current situation:

    human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Jordan and Jordanians abroad; victims are primarily from South and Southeast Asia, East Africa, Egypt, and Syria; foreign migrants, many undocumented, working in construction, agriculture, textiles, and domestic work are the most vulnerable to trafficking because of informal work agreements and frequently changing employers; forced labor victims experience withheld or unpaid wages, confiscation of identity documents, restricted freedom of movement, unsafe living conditions, long hours without rest, isolation, and verbal and physical abuse; child labor and potential forced child labor increased; traffickers exploit Lebanese, North African, and Eastern European women who have migrated to Jordan to work in restaurants and nightclubs are subject to sex trafficking



    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Jordan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government increased the training of law enforcement personnel and victim advocates, maintained a trafficking shelter offering a wide range of services, partnered with civil society actors to proactively identify and protect trafficking victims, and conducted anti-trafficking awareness campaigns; the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts as fewer traffickers were investigated, prosecuted, and convicted; fewer victims were identified and assisted, and victims were still arrested, detained, and deported for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit; under Jordan’s anti-trafficking law, penalties for sex trafficking offenses were not commensurate with penalties for other serious crimes (2020)

  • Kazakhstan

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Kazakhstan and Kazakhstanis abroad; traffickers lure victims from rural areas to larger cities with fake offers of employment; traffickers coerce or force Kazakhstani men and women into labor in Russia, Bahrain, Brazil, the Republic of Korea, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates; sex traffickers exploit Kazakhstani women and girls in the Middle East, Europe, East Asia, the United States, Central Asian and Eastern European countries and rural areas in Kazakhstan; children are forced to beg and adults and children may be coerced into criminal behavior; traffickers are increasingly using debt-based coercion; traffickers capitalize on tough law enforcement policies on migrants to coerce them to remain and leverage these policies to threaten victims with punishment and deportation if they notify authorities, which fosters a distrust in law enforcement

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Kazakhstan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government adopted amendments increasing criminal penalties for traffickers, including rescinding the provision allowing alleged traffickers to pay a settlement to victims to withdraw their criminal cases; authorities developed victim identification guidelines for diplomatic staff and provided victim identification training to some labor inspectors; the government took initial steps toward improving its annual NGO funding process; the government’s efforts to identify and protect foreign victims increased; foreign victims who did not participate in criminal investigations were ineligible for services and were deported; law enforcement continued to make limited efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict labor trafficking crimes; trafficking convictions decreased for the fourth consecutive year; NGOs reported allegations of police officers’ involvement in human trafficking, but few police or other officials suspected of complicity were investigated or prosecuted (2020)

  • Korea, North

    current situation: North Korea is a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor, forced marriage, and sex trafficking; in the recent past, many North Korean women and girls lured by promises of food, jobs, and freedom migrated to China illegally to escape poor social and economic conditions only to be forced into prostitution, marriage, or exploitative labor arrangements; North Koreans do not have a choice in the work the government assigns them and are not free to change jobs at will; many North Korean workers recruited to work abroad under bilateral contracts with foreign governments are subjected to forced labor and reportedly face government reprisals if they try to escape or complain to outsiders; thousands of North Koreans, including children, are subjected to forced labor in prison camps

    tier rating: Tier 3 — the government of North Korea does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; during this reporting period there was a government policy or pattern of forced labor of adults and children in prison camps, labor training centers, and through its imposition of forced labor conditions on North Korean overseas contract workers;  proceeds from state-sponsored forced labor fund government functions and illicit activities; the government has made no effort to address human trafficking (2020)

  • Kuwait

    current situation: Kuwait is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and, to a lesser degree, forced prostitution; men and women migrate from South and Southeast Asia, Egypt, the Middle East, and increasingly Africa to work in Kuwait, most of them in the domestic service, construction, and sanitation sectors; although most of these migrants enter Kuwait voluntarily, upon arrival some are subjected to conditions of forced labor by their sponsors and labor agents, including debt bondage; Kuwait’s sponsorship law restricts workers’ movements and penalizes them for running away from abusive workplaces, making domestic workers particularly vulnerable to forced labor in private homes

    tier rating: Tier 3 - Kuwait does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making sufficient efforts to do so; although investigations into visa fraud rings lead to the referral of hundreds of people for prosecution, including complicit officials, the government has not prosecuted or convicted any suspected traffickers; authorities made no effort to enforce the prohibition against withholding workers’ passports, as mandated under Kuwaiti law; punishment of forced labor cases was limited to shutting down labor recruitment firms, assessing fines, and ordering the return of withheld passports and the paying of back-wages; the government made progress in victims’ protection by opening a high-capacity shelter for runaway domestic workers but still lacks formal procedures to identify and refer victims to care services (2015)

  • Kyrgyzstan

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Kyrgyzstan and Kyrgyzstanis abroad; Kyrgyz men, women, and children are exploited in forced labor in Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey and other European countries specifically in agriculture, construction, textiles, domestic service, and childcare; sex traffickers exploit Kyrgyz women and girls domestically and in India, Kazakhstan, Russia, South Korea, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates; problems with police misconduct and corruption include allegations that police threaten and extort sex trafficking victims and accept bribes from alleged traffickers to drop cases; street children who beg or do domestic work are vulnerable to traffickers

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Kyrgyzstan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government adopted a National Referral Mechanism (NRM) that established formal policies on victim identification and the provision of social services;  the government established an interagency focus group to accelerate implementation of the NRM and improve law enforcement investigations; authorities increased investigations but did not prosecute or convict any traffickers; the government conducted limited training on the NRM; some officials reportedly  dropped charges or tipped off suspects and allowed victims to be pressured or paid to drop charges against alleged traffickers; the government’s written plan, if implemented, would meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, Kyrgyzstan was granted a waiver per the Trafficking Victims Protection Act from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 (2020)

  • Laos

    current situation: Laos is a source and, to a lesser extent, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Lao economic migrants may encounter conditions of forced labor or sexual exploitation in destination countries, most often Thailand; Lao women and girls are exploited in Thailand’s commercial sex trade, domestic service, factories, and agriculture; a small, possibly growing, number of Lao women and girls are sold as brides in China and South Korea and subsequently sex trafficked; Lao men and boys are victims of forced labor in the Thai fishing, construction, and agriculture industries; some Lao children, as well as Vietnamese and Chinese women and girls, are subjected to sex trafficking in Laos; other Vietnamese and Chinese, and possibly Burmese, adults and girls transit Laos for sexual and labor exploitation in neighboring countries, particularly Thailand

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Laos does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; authorities sustained moderate efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders; the government failed to make progress in proactively identifying victims exploited within the country or among those deported from abroad; the government continues to rely almost entirely on local and international organizations to provide and fund services to trafficking victims; although Lao men and boys are trafficked, most protective services are only available to women and girls, and long-term support is lacking; modest prevention efforts include the promotion of anti-trafficking awareness on state-controlled media (2015)

  • Lebanon

    current situation: Lebanon is a source and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and a transit point for Eastern European women and children subjected to sex trafficking in other Middle Eastern countries; women and girls from South and Southeast Asia and an increasing number from East and West Africa are recruited by agencies to work in domestic service but are subject to conditions of forced labor; under Lebanon’s artiste visa program, women from Eastern Europe, North Africa, and the Dominican Republic enter Lebanon to work in the adult entertainment industry but are often forced into the sex trade; Lebanese children are reportedly forced into street begging and commercial sexual exploitation, with small numbers of Lebanese girls sex trafficked in other Arab countries; Syrian refugees are vulnerable to forced labor and prostitution

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Lebanon does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Lebanon was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; law enforcement efforts in 2014 were uneven; the number of convicted traffickers increased, but judges lack of familiarity with anti-trafficking law meant that many offenders were not brought to justice; the government relied heavily on an NGO to identify and provide service to trafficking victims; and its lack of thoroughly implemented victim identification procedures resulted in victims continuing to be arrested, detained, and deported for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked (2015)

  • Lesotho

    current situation: Lesotho is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and for men subjected to forced labor; Basotho women and children are subjected to domestic servitude and children, to a lesser extent, commercial sexual exploitation within Lesotho and South Africa; some Basotho women willingly migrate to South Africa seeking work in domestic service only to be forced into prostitution; some Basotho men who voluntarily migrate to South Africa for work become victims of forced labor in agriculture and mining or are coerced into committing crimes

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Lesotho does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so, therefore it was downgraded to Tier 3; positive steps included partnering with an NGO and an international organization in awareness-raising activities, participating in a regional data collection tool, and training 27 diplomats on trafficking in persons; however, authorities did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any traffickers or officials complicit in trafficking and did not investigate concerns of official complicity in trafficking crimes restricted law enforcement actions; fewer victims were identified and received no protective services; no standard operating procedures for victim identification or implementation of the national referral mechanism; the government did not finance  the Victims of Trafficking Trust Fund or the Child and Gender Protection Unit; front-line responders to trafficking crimes are inadequately trained; penalties for human trafficking are not stringent enough to serve as a deterrent (2020)

  • Libya

    current situation: Libya is a destination and transit country for men and women from Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution; migrants who seek employment in Libya as laborers and domestic workers or who transit Libya en route to Europe are vulnerable to forced labor; private employers also exploit migrants from detention centers as forced laborers on farms and construction sites, returning them to detention when they are no longer needed; some Sub-Saharan women are reportedly forced to work in Libyan brothels, particularly in the country’s south; since 2013, militia groups and other informal armed groups, including some affiliated with the government, are reported to conscript Libyan children under the age of 18; large-scale violence driven by militias, civil unrest, and increased lawlessness increased in 2014, making it more difficult to obtain information on human trafficking

    tier rating: Tier 3 - the Libyan Government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, the government’s capacity to address human trafficking was hampered by the ongoing power struggle and violence; the judicial system was not functioning, preventing any efforts to investigate, prosecute, or convict traffickers, complicit detention camp guards or government officials, or militias or armed groups that used child soldiers; the government failed to identify or provide protection to trafficking victims, including child conscripts, and continued to punish victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; no public anti-trafficking awareness campaigns were conducted (2015)

  • Macau

    current situation: Macau is a destination and, to a much lesser extent, source for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and possibly forced labor; most victims come from the Chinese mainland, but others are trafficked from China, Russia, and Southeast Asia; victims are lured in by false job offers and forced into prostitution, often being confined to massage parlors and illegal brothels where their identity documents are confiscated and they are threatened with violence; Chinese, Russian, and Thai criminal organizations are believed to be involved in recruiting women for Macau’s commercial sex industry

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Macau does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government trained police, customs, and social welfare officials on human trafficking, funded an awareness campaign, and provided services to victims; authorities convicted three sex traffickers but did not sentence anyone to significant prison terms; authorities investigated only one potential trafficking case and made no prosecutions; the government provided no assistance to any victims, and officials did not initiate any prosecutions or sentence convicted traffickers to significant terms of imprisonment; Macau was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)

  • Malaysia

    current situation: Malaysia is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a source and transit country for women and children subjected to conditions of forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; Malaysia is mainly a destination country for foreign workers who migrate willingly from countries including Indonesia, Nepal, India, Thailand, China, the Philippines, Burma, Cambodia, Laos, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Vietnam, but subsequently they encounter forced labor or debt bondage at the hands of their employers in the domestic, agricultural, construction, plantation, and industrial sectors; a small number of Malaysian citizens were reportedly trafficked internally and to Singapore, China, and Japan for commercial sexual exploitation; refugees are also vulnerable to trafficking; some officials are reportedly complicit in facilitating trafficking; traffickers lure Rohingya women and girls residing in refugee camps in Bangladesh to Malaysia, where they are coerced to engage in commercial sex

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Malaysia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government identified more victims, increased the number of trafficking-specialist prosecutors, drafted victim identification standard operating procedures, identified two volunteer victim assistance specialists that worked with more than 100 victims, and co-hosted the first national conference on anti-trafficking; however, authorities prosecuted and convicted fewer traffickers and investigated few trafficking cases; despite the issue of corruption, insufficient efforts were made to prosecute officials’ complicity in trafficking-related crimes or to report the results of investigations into such crimes; insufficient interagency coordination and victim services discouraged foreign victims from participating in criminal proceedings; no resources were devoted to a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards; Malaysia was granted a waiver per the Trafficking Victims Protection Act from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 (2020)

  • Maldives

    current situation: Maldives is a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and a source country for Maldivian children subjected to human trafficking within the country; Bangladeshi and Indian migrants working both legally and illegally in the construction and service sectors face conditions of forced labor, including fraudulent recruitment, confiscation of identity and travel documents, nonpayment of wages, and debt bondage; a small number of women from Sri Lanka, Thailand, India, China, the Philippines, Bangladesh, Eastern Europe, and former Soviet states are trafficked to Maldives for sexual exploitation; some Maldivian children are transported to the capital for forced domestic service, where they may also be sexually abused

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Maldives does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts included convicting two individuals for trafficking-related offenses, convening the National Anti-Trafficking Steering Committee for the first time in two years; drafting and finalizing a 2020-2022 national action plan; however, efforts to hold employers accountable for trafficking did not increase, non-payment of wages and of the retention of migrant workers’ passports continued; standard operating procedures for victim identification, protection, and referral were not adopted; insufficient resources were devoted to the national action plan; Maldives was granted a waiver per the Trafficking Victims Protection Act from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 (2020)

  • Mali

    current situation: Mali is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; women and girls are forced into domestic servitude, agricultural labor, and support roles in gold mines, as well as subjected to sex trafficking; Malian boys are found in conditions of forced labor in agricultural settings, gold mines, and the informal commercial sector, as well as forced begging in Mali and neighboring countries; Malians and other Africans who travel through Mali to Mauritania, Algeria, or Libya in hopes of reaching Europe are particularly at risk of becoming victims of human trafficking; men and boys, primarily of Songhai ethnicity, are subjected to debt bondage in the salt mines of Taoudenni in northern Mali; some members of Mali's Tuareg community are subjected to traditional slavery-related practices, and this involuntary servitude reportedly has extended to their children; reports indicate that non-governmental armed groups operating in northern Mali recruited children as combatants, cooks, porters, guards, spies, and sex slaves; slaveholders use some members of the Tuareg community in hereditary servitude where communities rather than individuals or families exploit the enslaved

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Mali does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; government efforts included prosecuting hereditary slavery cases, increasing convictions, continuing training and awareness raising activities, releasing all children associated with the Malian armed forces (FAMa) to an international organization for care, training law enforcement officials on protection of children in armed conflict, identifying 215 children used by armed groups and referring them to international organizations for care; however, the government did not stop all use of children in the FAMa; the government continued to provide support to and collaborate with the Imghad Tuareg and the Allies Self-Defense Group, which recruited and used child soldiers; authorities did not investigate any suspects for child soldier offenses or make efforts to prevent it; law enforcement lacked resources and training about human trafficking; services for victims remained insufficient; therefore, Mali was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)

  • Marshall Islands

    current situation: The Marshall Islands are a destination country for women from East Asia subjected to sex trafficking; foreign women are reportedly forced into prostitution in bars frequented by crew members of fishing vessels; some Chinese women are recruited to the Marshall Islands with promises of legitimate work and are subsequently forced into prostitution; wealthy or powerful families use traditional cultural practices to exploit impoverished Marshallese from outer islands as indentured laborers on their property; Marshallese children are transported to the United States and subjected to sexual abuse

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — the Marshall Islands does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts include its first trafficking prosecution since 2011 and opening an investigation into an immigration official for alleged trafficking complicity; however, no efforts were made to identify trafficking victims and no assistance was provided to victims; the government has not convicted any traffickers since 2011 (2020)

  • Mauritania

    current situation: Mauritania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to conditions of forced labor and sex trafficking; adults and children from traditional slave castes are subjected to slavery-related practices rooted in ancestral master-slave relationships; Mauritanian boys  are trafficked within the country by religious teachers for forced begging; Mauritanian girls, as well as girls from Mali, Senegal, The Gambia, and other West African countries, are forced into domestic servitude; Mauritanian women and girls are forced into prostitution in the country or transported to countries in the Middle East for the same purpose

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Mauritania does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so and was upgraded to Tier 2 Watch List; the government convicted five hereditary slaveholders, drafted new anti-trafficking legislation and a national action plan, raised awareness on child forced begging in Quranic schools with imams and religious leaders by establishing an inter-ministerial committee, published a child protection guide, and operated a cash transfer program; however, the government rarely imprisoned convicted slaveholders and did not identify any victims; government agencies lacked resources; government officials refuse to investigate or prosecute political offenders (2020)

  • Mauritius

    current situation: Mauritius is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Mauritian girls are induced or sold into prostitution, often by peers, family members, or businessmen offering other forms of employment; Mauritian adults have been identified as labor trafficking victims in the UK, Belgium, and Canada, while Mauritian women from Rodrigues Island are also subject to domestic servitude in Mauritius; Malagasy women transit Mauritius en route to the Middle East for jobs as domestic servants and subsequently are subjected to forced labor; Cambodian men are victims of forced labor on foreign fishing vessels in Mauritius’ territorial waters; other migrant workers from East and South Asia and Madagascar are also subject to forced labor in Mauritius’ manufacturing and construction sectors

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Mauritius does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, the government made modest efforts to address child sex trafficking but none related to adult forced labor; law enforcement lacks an understanding of trafficking crimes outside of child sex trafficking, despite increasing evidence of other forms of human trafficking; authorities made no trafficking prosecutions or convictions and made modest efforts to assist a couple of child sex trafficking victims; officials sustained an extensive public awareness campaign to prevent child sex trafficking, but no efforts were made to raise awareness or reduce demand for forced adult or child labor (2015)

  • Namibia

    current situation: Namibia is a country of origin and destination for children and, to a lesser extent, women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; victims, lured by promises of legitimate jobs, are forced to work in urban centers and on commercial farms; traffickers exploit Namibian children, as well as children from Angola, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, for forced labor in agriculture, cattle herding, domestic service, fishing, and street vending; children are also forced into prostitution, often catering to tourists from southern Africa and Europe; San and Zemba children are particularly vulnerable; foreign adults and Namibian adults and children are reportedly subjected to forced labor in Chinese-owned retail, construction, and fishing operations

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Namibia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; Namibia was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; in 2015, the Child Care and Protection Bill passed, criminalizing child trafficking; the government’s first sex trafficking prosecution remained pending; no new prosecutions were initiated and no trafficking offenders have ever been convicted; accusations of forced labor at Chinese construction and mining companies continue to go uninvestigated; authorities failed to fully implement victim identification and referral processes, which led to the deportation of possible victims (2015)

  • Nicaragua

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Nicaragua and Nicaraguans abroad; women, children, and migrants are most at risk; women and children are subject to sex trafficking within the country and its two Caribbean autonomous regions, as well as  in other Central American countries, Mexico, Spain, and the United States; traffickers used social media to recruit victims with promises of high-paying jobs in restaurants, hotels, construction, and security outside of Nicaragua where they are subjected to sex or labor trafficking; traffickers exploit children through forced participation in illegal drug production and trafficking; children and persons with disabilities are subjected to forced begging; Nicaragua is also a destination for child sex tourists from the United States, Canada, and Western Europe

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Nicaragua does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so and was downgraded to Tier 3; the government identified slightly more victims than in the previous reporting period and prosecuted a trafficker; however, no traffickers were convicted and victim identification remained inadequate; authorities did not  investigate, prosecute, or convict government employees complicit in trafficking; the government provided no victim services; prosecution, protection, and prevention efforts in the two Caribbean autonomous regions of Nicaragua continued to be much weaker than in the rest of the country (2020)

  • Nigeria

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Nigeria along with victims from Nigeria abroad; internal trafficking involving recruiting victims from rural areas for commercial sex  and forced labor in domestic work, street vending, mining, agriculture, begging and textile
    manufacturing; traffickers operate “baby factories” where women held against their will are raped and children are sold into forced labor or sex trafficking or rented to beggars to increase their profits; women are often taken to other West and Central African countries, South Africa, Europe and the Middle East for commercial sex; Boko Haram and ISIS-WA forcibly recruit, abduct, and use child soldiers as young as 12 as cooks, spies, messengers, bodyguards, armed combatants, and suicide bombers; they abduct women and girls in the northern region of Nigeria for sexual slavery and forced labor

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Nigeria does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government is continuing to train officials and raise public awareness; the government established anti-trafficking task forces in Borno and Ekiti states and used new technology to collect victim testimony; authorities prosecuted three government officials complicit in human trafficking; the government is drafting a memoranda of understanding that will improve coordination between government agencies; however, security forces used at least two children in support roles; some security officials were involved in sex trafficking; no criminal charges were made against military officials or members of the Civilian Joint Task Force for sex trafficking or the use of child soldiers; no protections were given to female and child trafficking victims allegedly associated with insurgencies; fewer traffickers were convicted; Nigeria was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)

  • Pakistan

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Pakistan and Pakistanis abroad; the largest human trafficking problem is bonded labor, where traffickers exploit a debt assumed by a worker as part of the terms of employment, entrapping sometimes generations of a family; bonded laborers are forced to work in agriculture, brick kilns, fisheries, mining, textile manufacturing, bangle- and carpet-making; traffickers buy, sell, rent, and kidnap children for forced labor in begging, domestic work, small shops, sex trafficking and stealing; some children are maimed to bring in more money for begging; Afghans, Iranians, and Pakistanis are forced into drug trafficking in border areas and Karachi; Pakistani traffickers lure women and girls away from their families with promises of marriage and exploit the women and girls in sex trafficking; militant groups kidnap, buy, or recruit children and force them to spy, fight, and conduct suicide attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Pakistan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; government efforts include convicting traffickers under the comprehensive human trafficking law, convicting more traffickers for bonded labor, and increasing registration of brick kilns nationwide for the oversight of workers traffickers target; more trafficking victims were identified; authorities initiated eight investigations against suspected traffickers of Pakistani victims overseas; authorities collaborated with international partners and foreign governments on anti-trafficking efforts; however, the government  significantly decreased investigations and prosecutions of sex traffickers; bonded labor exists on farms and in brick kilns in Punjab province; no action was taken against officials involved in trafficking; several high-profile trafficking cases were dropped during the reporting period; resources were lacking for the care of identified victims; Pakistan was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)

  • Papua New Guinea

    current situation: Papua New Guinea is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; women and children are subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude; families may sell girls into forced marriages to settle debts, leaving them vulnerable to forced domestic service; local and Chinese men are forced to labor in logging and mining camps; migrant women from Malaysia, Thailand, China, and the Philippines are subjected to sex trafficking and domestic servitude at logging and mining camps, fisheries, and entertainment sites

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Papua New Guinea does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; despite remaining at Tier 3, the government continued to identify some trafficking victims and a prominent trafficking case was advanced; however, the government did not provide protective services for victims and did not systematically implement its victim identification procedures; corruption among officials in the logging sector remains a problem, and they continue to facilitate sex trafficking and forced labor; no alleged traffickers were convicted; the government dedicates little financial and human resources to combat trafficking, and awareness of trafficking is low among government officials (2020)

  • Qatar

    current situation: Qatar is a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor, and, to a much lesser extent, forced prostitution; the predominantly foreign workforce migrates to Qatar legally for low- and semi-skilled work but often experiences situations of forced labor, including debt bondage, delayed or nonpayment of salaries, confiscation of passports, abuse, hazardous working conditions, and squalid living arrangements; foreign female domestic workers are particularly vulnerable to trafficking because of their isolation in private homes and lack of protection under Qatari labor laws; some women who migrate for work are also forced into prostitution

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Qatar does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government investigated 11 trafficking cases but did not prosecute or convict any offenders, including exploitative employers and recruitment agencies; the primary solution for resolving labor violations was to transfer a worker’s sponsorship to a new employer with minimal effort to investigate whether a forced labor violation had occurred; authorities increased their efforts to protect some trafficking victims, although many victims of forced labor, particularly domestic workers, remained unidentified and unprotected and were sometimes punished for immigration violations or running away from an employer or sponsor; authorities visited worksites throughout the country to meet and educate workers and employers on trafficking regulations, but the government failed to abolish or reform the sponsorship system, perpetuating Qatar’s forced labor problem (2015)

  • Romania

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Romania and Romanians abroad;  Romania remains a primary source country for sex and labor trafficking victims in Europe; Romanian men, women, and children are subjected to forced labor in agriculture, construction, hotels, manufacturing, domestic service, commercial sex, and forced begging and theft; Romania is a destination country for a limited number of foreign trafficking victims, including migrants from Africa, Europe, and South and Southeast Asia, exploited in the construction, hotel, and food-processing industries

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Romania does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government identified more trafficking victims during the reporting period, participated in more international investigations, and conducted awareness campaigns; however, authorities investigated, prosecuted, and convicted fewer traffickers; officials complicit in trafficking crimes, especially with minors in government-run homes or placement centers, were not prosecuted; government funding of services for child trafficking victims remained inadequate (2020)

  • Russia

    current situation: Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking, although labor trafficking is the predominant problem; people from Russia and other countries in Europe, Central Asia, Southeast Asia and Asia, including Vietnam and North Korea, are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Russia’s construction, manufacturing, agriculture, repair shop, and domestic services industries, as well as forced begging and narcotics cultivation; North Koreans contracted under bilateral government arrangements to work in the timber industry in the Russian Far East reportedly are subjected to forced labor; Russian women and children were reported to be victims of sex trafficking in Russia, Northeast Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East, while women from European, African, and Central Asian countries were reportedly forced into prostitution in Russia

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Russia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, is not making significant efforts to do, and remains in Tier 3; the government took some steps to address trafficking by convicting some traffickers, facilitating the return of Russian children from Iraq and Syria, and identifying some victims, including foreign nationals; however, there was a government policy of forced labor, the number of victims identified was negligible, and authorities penalized potential victims without screening for signs of trafficking; the government offered no funding or programs for trafficking victims’ rehabilitation, prosecutions remained low compared with the scope of Russia’s trafficking problem, no national anti-trafficking strategy has been drafted, and government agencies have not been assigned roles or responsibilities (2020)

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    current situation: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; some children under 18 are pressured to engage in sex acts in exchange for money or gifts; foreign workers may experience forced labor and are particularly vulnerable when employed by small, foreign-owned companies; adults and children are vulnerable to forced labor domestically, especially in the agriculture sector

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government for the first time acknowledged a trafficking problem, launched an anti-trafficking public awareness campaign, and conducted anti-trafficking training for law enforcement, immigration, and labor officials; in 2014, authorities initiated three trafficking investigations, two of which were ultimately determined not to be trafficking cases, and did not prosecute or convict any trafficking offenders; the government did not identify or refer any potential trafficking victims to care (2015)

  • Saudi Arabia

    current situation: Saudi Arabia is a destination country for men and women subjected to forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution; men and women primarily from South and Southeast Asia and Africa voluntarily travel to Saudi Arabia to work in domestic service, construction, agriculture or other low-skilled jobs, but some subsequently face conditions indicative of involuntary servitude (many are forced to work months or years beyond their contract term because employers withhold passports and required exit visas); women, primarily from Asian and African countries, are reported to be forced into prostitution in Saudi Arabia

    tier rating:

    Tier 2 Watch List — Saudi Arabia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, but is making significant efforts to do so and was upgraded to Tier 2 Watch List;

    the government enacted the country’s first-ever national referral mechanism (NRM) and increased the number of prosecutions and convictions under the anti-trafficking law; victims are identified and referred for care; the government convicted and sentenced two Saudi officials complicit in trafficking crimes; however, the government continued to fine, jail, and/or deport migrant workers for prostitution or immigration violations who may have been trafficking victims; authorities regularly misclassified potential trafficking crimes as labor law violations rather than as criminal offenses (2020)

  • Senegal

    current situation: Senegal is a source, transit, and destination country for children and women who are subjected to forced begging, forced labor, and sex trafficking; traffickers subject Senegalese children to forced labor in domestic service, mining, and prostitution; some Senegalese boys from Quranic schools and boys from The Gambia, Mali, Guinea-Bissau, and Guinea are forced to beg; Senegalese women and girls are forced into domestic servitude in neighboring countries, Europe, and the Middle East, while others are sexually exploited in Senegal; women and girls from other West African countries are subjected to domestic servitude and sexual exploitation in Senegal; Ukrainian and Chinese women are exploited for sex trafficking in bars and nightclubs; North Korean workers are forced to work in construction

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Senegal does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts include establishing an anti-trafficking database; planning the third phase of its program to remove vulnerable children, including trafficking victims, from the streets of major cities; launching an emergency campaign to place vulnerable children and forced begging victims in shelters due to COVID 19 pandemic; however, the government rarely proactively investigated or prosecuted traffickers exploiting children in forced begging; authorities did not take action against officials who refused to investigate such cases; officials only applied adequate prison terms in accordance with the 2005 anti-trafficking law to two convicted traffickers; authorities did not identify any adult trafficking victims; government officials continued to have a limited knowledge of trafficking; Senegal was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)

  • Seychelles

    current situation: Seychelles is a source and destination country for children and women subjected to sex trafficking; Seychellois girls and, to a lesser extent boys, are forced into prostitution in nightclubs, bars, guest houses, hotels, brothels, private homes, and on the streets by peers, family members, and pimps; foreign tourists, sailors, and migrant workers contribute to the demand for commercial sex acts in Seychelles; some of the large population of foreign migrant workers reportedly experience the underpayment of wages and substandard housing

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Seychelles does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; the government allocated an operational and programmatic budget to the National Coordinating Committee on Trafficking in Persons, signed a bilateral agreement outlining procedures for employment and repatriation in Seychelles of migrant workers from Bangladesh and established a hotline to report forced labor concerns; however, no victims of trafficking were identified; efforts to address sex trafficking remained inadequate, its standard operating procedures for victim identification and referral to care services were not implemented; there are no shelters or care facilities for trafficking victims; investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of traffickers decreased; Seychelles did not establish a secretariat to support the Coordinating Committee, hindering the committee’s ability to direct anti-trafficking efforts across government and drive national policy; Seychelles was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)

  • Solomon Islands

    current situation: the Solomon Islands is a source and destination country for local adults and children and Southeast Asian men and women subjected to forced labor and forced prostitution; women from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines are recruited for legitimate work and upon arrival are forced into prostitution; men from Indonesia and Malaysia recruited to work in the Solomon Islands’ mining and logging industries may be subjected to forced labor; local children are forced into prostitution near foreign logging camps, on fishing vessels, at hotels, and entertainment venues; some local children are also sold by their parents for marriage to foreign workers or put up for "informal adoption" to pay off debts and then find themselves forced into domestic servitude or forced prostitution

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – the Solomon Islands does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, the Solomon Islands was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; the government gazetted implementing regulations for the 2012 immigration act prohibiting transnational trafficking, but the penalties are not sufficiently stringent because they allow the option of paying a fine; a new draft law to address these weaknesses awaits parliamentary review; no new trafficking investigations were conducted, even after labor inspections at logging and fishing companies, no existing cases led to prosecutions or convictions, and no funding was allocated for national anti-trafficking efforts; authorities did not identify or protect any victims and lack any procedures or shelters to do so; civil society and religious organizations provide most of the limited services available; a lack of understanding of the crime of trafficking remains a serious challenge (2015)

  • South Sudan

    current situation: South Sudan is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; South Sudanese women and girls, particularly those who are internally displaced or from rural areas, are vulnerable to forced labor and sexual exploitation in urban centers; the rising number of street children and child laborers are also exploited for forced labor and prostitution; women and girls from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Democratic Republic of the Congo are trafficked to South Sudan with promises of legitimate jobs and are forced into the sex trade; inter-ethnic abductions continue between some communities in South Sudan; government forces use children to fight and perpetrate violence against other children and civilians, to serve as scouts, escorts, cooks, and cleaners, and to carry heavy loads while on the move

    tier rating:

    Tier 3 — South Sudan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so: the government’s efforts include forming and staffing an anti-trafficking inter-ministerial task force, releasing 286 child soldiers, and identifying 19 potential trafficking victims; however, the recruitment of child soldiers by security and law enforcement continues and neither was held criminally responsible; authorities did not investigate or prosecute forced labor or sex trafficking crimes and made no effort to identify and protect trafficking victims; authorities continued to arrest and imprison child sex trafficking victims without screening for indicators of trafficking (2020)

  • Sri Lanka

    current situation: Sri Lanka is primarily a source and, to a much lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the majority of trafficking cases involve traffickers forcing Sri Lankan workers into labor overseas; men, women, and children are subjected to forced labor in the Middle East, Asia, Europe, and the United States in construction, garment manufacturing, and domestic service; authorities have identified labor trafficking victims among Sri Lankan female migrant workers who seek employment in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Japan, and South Korea; traffickers force children, individuals with physical deformities, and those from socially vulnerable groups to beg or engage in criminal activity in Sri Lanka’s largest cities

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Sri Lanka does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts include convicting traffickers under its trafficking statute, identifying victims, and working on anti-trafficking training and raising awareness; however, some officials reportedly complicit in trafficking are inadequately investigated; fewer victims were identified in country and abroad; social and legal assistance for victims remained inadequate and inconsistent; the Sri Lankan Bureau of Foreign Employment did not refer potential trafficking cases to police for criminal investigation; police continued to arrest  trafficking victims for prostitution, vagrancy, and immigration offenses; child sex trafficking victims remained in government detention centers (2020)

  • Sudan

    current situation: Sudan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; traffickers exploit homeless children and unaccompanied migrant children from West and Central Africa in forced labor for begging, public transportation, large markets, and in sex trafficking; business owners, informal mining operators, community members, and farmers exploit children in brick-making factories, gold mining, collecting medical waste, street vending, and agriculture; children are exposed to threats, physical and sexual abuse, and hazardous working conditions; criminal groups exploit Sudanese women and girls from rural areas in domestic work and in sex trafficking; Sudanese Armed Forces and the Rapid Support Forces, a semi-autonomous paramilitary branch of the government, recruited child soldiers; Eritrean, Ethiopian, and other Africans refugees at government encampments risk exploitation

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Sudan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; authorities prosecuted more suspected traffickers and launched an awareness campaign; the government streamlined its national anti-trafficking mechanism and focused resources on the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking; a national action plan was drafted, finalized, and approved; Sudanese Armed Forces officials launched a unit for child protection efforts in conflict areas and trained more than 5,000 members of its military on child protection issues; however, the Rapid Support Forces, a semi-autonomous paramilitary branch of the government, recruited child soldiers; the government has not developed a system to identify, demobilize, and rehabilitate victims; officials’ denial of trafficking, smuggling, and kidnapping for ransom impeded anti-trafficking efforts; investigations and convictions of trafficking crimes decreased; Sudan was granted a waiver per the Trafficking Victims Protection Act from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3; Sudan remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year (2020)

  • Suriname

    current situation: Suriname is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and men, women, and children subjected to forced labor; women and girls from Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, and the Dominican Republic are subjected to sex trafficking in the country, sometimes in interior mining camps; migrant workers in agriculture and on fishing boats and children working in informal urban sectors and gold mines are vulnerable to forced labor; traffickers from Suriname exploit victims in the Netherlands

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Suriname does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Suriname was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; authorities increased the number of trafficking investigations, prosecutions, and convictions as compared to 2013, but resources were insufficient to conduct investigations in the country’s interior; more trafficking victims were identified in 2014 than in 2013, but protective services for adults and children were inadequate, with a proposed government shelter for women and child trafficking victims remaining unopened (2015)

  • Syria

    current situation: due to Syria’s civil war, hundreds of thousands of Syrians, foreign migrant workers, and refugees have fled the country and are vulnerable to human trafficking; the lack of security and inaccessibility of the majority of the country makes it impossible to conduct a thorough analysis of the impact of the ongoing conflict on the scope and magnitude of Syria’s human trafficking situation; prior to the uprising, the Syrian armed forces and opposition forces used Syrian children in combat and support roles and as human shields

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Syria does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government does not hold any traffickers, including complicit officials, criminally accountable for trafficking; no trafficking victims were identified or received protection during the reporting period; government and pro-Syrian militias continued to forcibly recruit and use child soldiers; the government does not prevent armed opposition forces and designated terrorist organizations from recruiting children; authorities continued to arrest, detain, and severely abuse trafficking victims, including child soldiers, and punished them for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit (2020)

  • Tanzania

    current situation: Tanzania is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; the exploitation of young girls in domestic servitude continues to be Tanzania’s largest human trafficking problem; Tanzanian boys are subject to forced labor mainly on farms but also in mines, in the commercial service sector, in the sex trade, and possibly on small fishing boats; internal trafficking is more prevalent than transnational trafficking and is usually facilitated by friends, family members, or intermediaries offering education or legitimate job opportunities; trafficking victims from Burundi, Kenya, Bangladesh, Nepal, Yemen, and India are forced to work in Tanzania’s agricultural, mining, and domestic service sectors or may be sex trafficked; traffickers transported Tanzanian children with physical disabilities to Kenya to work as beggars or in massage parlors; girls forced to donate a kidney to pay for supposed transportation fees to the United Arab Emirates; traffickers subject Tanzanians to forced labor, including in domestic service, and sex trafficking in other African countries, the Middle East, Europe, Asia, and the United States

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Tanzania does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts were made to  identify and refer victims for care; investigations and convictions of traffickers, training for officials, and public awareness campaigns were increased along with a National Guideline for Safe Houses; however, the government did not amend its law to remove sentencing provisions that allow fines in lieu of imprisonment; fewer prosecutions were initiated; the government did not implement the 2018-2021 national action plan; officials did not fully implement the creation of the anti-trafficking fund nor disperse funds; no formal victim identification and protection was provided (2020)

  • Thailand

    current situation: Thailand is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; victims from Burma, Cambodia, Laos, China, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, and India, migrate to Thailand in search of jobs but are forced, coerced, or defrauded into labor in commercial fishing, fishing-related industries, factories, domestic work, street begging, or the sex trade; some Thai, Burmese, Cambodian, and Indonesian men forced to work on fishing boats are kept at sea for years; sex trafficking of adults and children from Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and Burma remains a significant problem; Thailand is a transit country for victims from China, Vietnam, Bangladesh, and Burma subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Russia, South Korea, the US, and countries in Western Europe; Thai victims are also trafficked in North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Middle East

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List - Thailand does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, authorities investigated, prosecuted, and convicted fewer traffickers and identified fewer victims; some cases of official complicity were investigated and prosecuted, but trafficking-related corruption continues to hinder progress in combatting trafficking; authorities’ efforts to screen for victims among vulnerable populations remained inadequate due to a poor understanding of trafficking indicators, a failure to recognize non-physical forms of coercion, and a shortage of language interpreters; the government passed new labor laws increasing the minimum age in the fishing industry to 18 years old, guaranteeing the minimum wage, and requiring work contracts, but weak law enforcement and poor coordination among regulatory agencies enabled exploitive labor practices to continue; the government increased efforts to raise public awareness to the dangers of human trafficking and to deny entry to foreign sex tourists (2015)

  • Timor-Leste

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Timor-Leste, and traffickers exploit victims from Timor-Leste abroad; traffickers exploit Timorese women, girls, and occasionally young men and boys from rural areas in sex trafficking or domestic servitude; Timorese men are exploited in forced labor in agriculture, construction, and mining; families place children in bonded domestic and agricultural labor to pay debts; traffickers deceive young men and women with promises of a scholarship or employment opportunities in Indonesia, Malaysia, and other countries in the region only taking them to a different county, taking their passports, and forcing them into labor, including domestic servitude; sex traffickers in Timor-Leste prey on foreign women from East and Southeast Asia; traffickers also recruit Timorese women to send them to China, Indonesia, or Malaysia for commercial sex

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Timor-Leste does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts include re-establishing funding to NGOs for victim services and integrating an anti-trafficking curriculum for officials; however, authorities decreased investigations and convictions; victim protection services were inadequate, and no government-wide standard operating procedures for victim identification were implemented; understanding of trafficking remains low among officials (2020)

  • Trinidad and Tobago

    current situation: Trinidad and Tobago is a destination, transit, and possible source country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; women and girls from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Guyana, and Colombia have been subjected to sex trafficking in Trinidad and Tobago’s brothels and clubs; some economic migrants from the Caribbean region and Asia are vulnerable to forced labor in domestic service and the retail sector; the steady flow of vessels transiting Trinidad and Tobago’s territorial waters may also increase opportunities for forced labor for fishing; international crime organizations are increasingly involved in trafficking, and boys are coerced to sell drugs and guns; corruption among police and immigration officials impedes anti-trafficking efforts

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Trinidad and Tobago does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts decreased from the initiation of 12 prosecutions in 2013 to 1 in 2014; the government has yet to convict anyone under its 2011 anti-trafficking law, and all prosecutions from previous years remain pending; the government sustained efforts to identify victims and to refer them for care at NGO facilities, which it provided with funding; the government failed to draft a national action plan as mandated under the 2011 anti-trafficking law and did not launch a sufficiently robust awareness campaign to educate the public and officials (2015)

  • Tunisia

    current situation: Tunisia is a source, destination, and possible transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Tunisia’s increased number of street children, rural children working to support their families, and migrants who have fled unrest in neighboring countries are vulnerable to human trafficking; organized gangs force street children to serve as thieves, beggars, and drug transporters; Tunisian women have been forced into prostitution domestically and elsewhere in the region under false promises of legitimate work; East and West African women may be subjected to forced labor as domestic workers

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Tunisia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; in 2014, Tunisia was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented would constitute making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; in early 2015, the government drafted a national anti-trafficking action plan outlining proposals to raise awareness and enact draft anti-trafficking legislation; authorities did not provide data on the prosecution and conviction of offenders but reportedly identified 24 victims, as opposed to none in 2013, and operated facilities specifically dedicated to trafficking victims, regardless of nationality and gender; the government did not fully implement its national victim referral mechanism; some unidentified victims were not protected from punishment for unlawful acts directly resulting from being trafficked (2015)

  • Turkmenistan

    current situation: Turkmenistan is a source, and to a much lesser degree, destination country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Turkmen in search of work in other countries are forced to work in textile sweatshops, construction, and domestic service; some Turkmen women and girls are sex trafficked abroad; Turkey is the primary trafficking destination, followed by Russia, India, and other countries in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and Europe; labor trafficking occurs within Turkmenistan, particularly in the construction industry; government officials require employees in private sector institutions, soldiers, and public sector workers to pick cotton without payment under the threat of penalty, such as dismissal, reduced work hours, or salary deductions to meet government-imposed quotas for the cotton harvest

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Turkmenistan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government approved the 2020-2022 national action plan, continued anti-trafficking awareness campaigns, worked with international organizations on combating trafficking, provided training to its diplomatic corps on human trafficking, and identified potential trafficking victims at the international airport; however, the  government used forced labor in the cotton harvest and public works projects; no officials were held accountable for their role in trafficking crimes; authorities did not prosecute or convict any traffickers; no victims were identified and offered protection or assistance programs (2020)

  • Uganda

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Uganda, and traffickers exploit victims from Uganda abroad; young Ugandan children are exploited in forced labor in agriculture, fishing, forestry, cattle herding, mining, stone quarrying, brick making, carpentry, steel manufacturing, street vending, bars, restaurants, gold mining, and domestic service; traffickers exploit girls and boys in commercial sex; most are children from the northeastern region and are exploited in forced begging, commercial sex in brothels, or sold in markets; traffickers compel  children from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi, Kenya, Tanzania, and South Sudan into forced agricultural labor and sex trafficking in Uganda; young women most at risk for transnational trafficking seek employment as domestic workers in the Middle East and then are exploited in sex trafficking; traffickers subject Ugandans to forced labor and sex trafficking in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq, Iran, Egypt, Turkey, Algeria, Malaysia, Thailand, Bahrain, Jordan, China, Kenya, and India; traffickers are often relatives, friends of victims, or religious leaders who receive a fee per worker from recruiters

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch list — Uganda does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts include investigating allegations of complicit officials, implementing the protection and prevention provisions of the 2009 anti-trafficking act, convicting alleged traffickers, developing a plan for an anti-trafficking department within the police force; however, the government reported the lowest number of investigations in the past five years and a substantial decrease in prosecutions; authorities provided no training for law enforcement and immigration officials and identified fewer victims; the Coordination Office for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons is severely underfunded, stifling efforts to coordinate and combat trafficking; no systematic procedures to refer or assist victims have been developed, and the government provides no resources to NGOs for protective services; Uganda was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List (2020)

  • Ukraine

    current situation: Ukraine is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Ukrainian victims are sex trafficked within Ukraine as well as in Russia, Poland, Iraq, Spain, Turkey, Cyprus, Greece, Seychelles, Portugal, the Czech Republic, Israel, Italy, South Korea, Moldova, China, the United Arab Emirates, Montenegro, UK, Kazakhstan, Tunisia, and other countries; small numbers of foreigners from Moldova, Russia, Vietnam, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Cameroon, and Azerbaijan were victims of labor trafficking in Ukraine; Ukrainian recruiters most often target Ukrainians from rural areas with limited job prospects using fraud, coercion, and debt bondage

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List – Ukraine does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so; the government’s focus on its security situation constrained its anti-trafficking capabilities; law enforcement efforts to pursue trafficking cases weakened in 2014, continuing a multi-year decline, and no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials were made, despite reports of official complicity in the sex and labor trafficking of children living in state-run institutions; fewer victims were identified and referred to NGOs, which continued to provide and to fund the majority of victims’ services (2015)

  • Uzbekistan

    current situation: Uzbekistan is a source country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; adults are victims of government-organized forced labor during Uzbekistan’s annual cotton harvest; local officials in some instances force teachers, students (including children), private businesses employees, and others to work in construction and other forms of non-cotton agriculture and to clean parks, streets, and buildings; traffickers exploit Uzbek women and children in sex trafficking in the Middle East, Eurasia, and Asia, and internally in brothels, clubs, and private residences; traffickers subject Uzbek men, and to a lesser extent women, to forced labor in Kazakhstan, Russia, Moldova, Turkey, and in other Asian, Middle Eastern, and European countries in the construction, oil and gas, agricultural, retail, and food sectors

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Uzbekistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; government efforts included addressing the use of forced adult labor during the cotton harvest by increasing pay to laborers and improving working conditions for voluntary workers and ceasing the forced use of students, teachers, and health care workers; third-party monitors were allowed access to the harvest to view changes; the government created a National Commission on Trafficking chaired by the regional governor in every area of the country; however, reports continued of corrupt officials requiring public sector employees to pick cotton or pay for a replacement worker with extorted penalties paid to them; fewer cases of traffickers were investigated and prosecuted, fewer victims of trafficking were identified, and fewer convictions carried a prison sentence; authorities conducted no investigations against corrupt officials extorting money during the cotton harvest (2020)

  • Venezuela

    current situation: Venezuela is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor; Venezuelan women and girls are trafficked within the country for sexual exploitation, lured from the nation's interior to urban and tourist areas; women from Colombia, Peru, Haiti, China, and South Africa are also reported to have been sexually exploited in Venezuela; some Venezuelan women are transported to Caribbean islands, particularly Aruba, Curacao, and Trinidad & Tobago, where they are subjected to forced prostitution; some Venezuelan children are forced to beg on the streets or work as domestic servants, while Ecuadorian children, often from indigenous communities, are subjected to forced labor; the government provided support to FARC dissidents and the ELN, which grew through the recruitment of child soldiers and exploitation of children in sex trafficking and forced labor; Illegal armed groups lure children in vulnerable conditions and dire economic circumstances with gifts and promises of basic sustenance to later recruit them into their ranks

    tier rating: Tier 3 — Venezuela does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government created a specialized prosecutor’s office to oversee trafficking investigations and prosecutions; authorities began legal proceedings against three complicit officials in a notable case; however, the government did not assist any victims or investigate, prosecute, or convict any traffickers; little effort was made to curb the forced recruitment of Venezuelan children by Colombian armed groups operating illegally in Venezuela; authorities made little effort to screen Cuban medical professionals for trafficking indicators as the Cuban Government may have forced them to work by withholding their documentation, and coercing them to falsify medical records (2020)

  • Vietnam

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Vietnam, and traffickers exploit Vietnamese abroad; Vietnamese men and women who migrate abroad for work may be subject to exploitation and illegally high fees from recruiters trapping them in debt bondage; traffickers subject victims to forced labor in construction, fishing, agriculture, mining, maritime industries, logging, and manufacturing, primarily in Taiwan, Malaysia, Republic of Korea, Laos, Japan, and to a lesser extent, some parts of Europe and the UK; traffickers mislead Vietnamese women and children with fraudulent employment opportunities and sex traffick them to brothels on the borders of China, Cambodia, Laos, and elsewhere in Asia; traffickers use the Internet, gaming sites, and particularly social media to lure victims; domestic traffickers are sometimes  family members or small-scale networks exploiting Vietnamese men, women, and children - including street children and children with disabilities - in forced labor as street beggars or in brick kilns and mines; child sex tourists from elsewhere in Asia and other countries exploit children; prisoners reportedly are forced to work in agriculture, manufacturing, and hazardous industries, such as cashew processing

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Vietnam does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so; efforts include providing trafficking victims the right to legal representation in judicial proceedings, increasing the amount of shelter time for victims by one month, providing financial support, continuing large-scale awareness campaigns in vulnerable communities and to workers going overseas, and training law enforcement; however, fewer victims were identified or assisted and procedures remained slow and ineffective; provincial officials unfamiliar with anti-trafficking law impede anti-trafficking efforts; labor recruitment firms extorted illegal high fees from workers looking for overseas employment putting them at risk for forced labor; no investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of officials complicit in trafficking offenses were made (2020)

  • World

    current situation: approximately 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked annually across national borders, not including millions trafficked within their own countries; at least 80% of the victims are female and up to 50% are minors; 75% of all victims are trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation; almost two-thirds of the global victims are trafficked intra-regionally within East Asia and the Pacific (260,000 to 280,000 people) and Europe and Eurasia (170,000 to 210,000 people)

    Tier 2 Watch List:  (44 countries) Armenia, Aruba, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belize, Bhutan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Fiji, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Hong Kong, Ireland, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Macau, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Zambia

    Tier 3:  (19 countries) Afghanistan, Algeria, Belarus, Burma, Burundi, China, Comoros, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Lesotho, Nicaragua, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Russia, South Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Venezuela (2020)

  • Yemen

    current situation: Yemen is a source and, to a lesser extent, transit and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking; trafficking activities grew in Yemen in 2014, as the country’s security situation deteriorated and poverty worsened; armed groups increased their recruitment of Yemeni children as combatants or checkpoint guards, and the Yemeni military and security forces continue to use child soldiers; some other Yemeni children, mostly boys, migrate to Yemeni cities or Saudi Arabia and, less frequently Oman, where they end up as beggars, drug smugglers, prostitutes, or forced laborers in domestic service or small shops; Yemeni children increasingly are also subjected to sex trafficking in country and in Saudi Arabia; tens of thousands of Yemeni migrant workers deported from Saudi Arabia and thousands of Syrian refugees are vulnerable to trafficking; additionally, Yemen is a destination and transit country for women and children from the Horn of Africa who are looking for work or receive fraudulent job offers in the Gulf states but are subjected to sexual exploitation or forced labor upon arrival; reports indicate that adults and children are still sold or inherited as slaves in Yemen

    tier rating: Tier 3 – Yemen does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; weak government institutions, corruption, economic problems, security threats, and poor law enforcement capabilities impeded the government’s ability to combat human trafficking; not all forms of trafficking are criminalized, and officials continue to conflate trafficking and smuggling; the status of an anti-trafficking law drafted with assistance from an international organization remains unknown following the dissolution of the government in January 2015; the government did not report efforts to investigate, prosecute, or convict anyone of trafficking or slavery offenses, including complicit officials, despite reports of officials willfully ignoring trafficking crimes and using child soldiers in the government’s armed forces; the government acknowledged the use of child soldiers and signed a UN action plan to end the practice in 2014 but made no efforts to release child soldiers from the military and provide them with rehabilitative services; authorities failed to identify victims and refer them to protective services; the status of a draft national anti-trafficking strategy remains unknown (2015)

  • Zambia

    current situation: human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Zambia and Zambians abroad; most trafficking occurs within Zambia’s borders, with traffickers exploiting women and children from rural areas in cities in domestic servitude or forced labor in agriculture, textile production, mining, construction, small businesses, such as bakeries, and forced begging; Jerabo gangs force Zambian children into illegal mining operations, such as loading stolen copper or crushing rocks; truck drivers exploit Zambian boys and girls in sex trafficking in towns along the Zimbabwean and Tanzanian borders, and miners exploit them in Solwezi; Zambian boys are exploited for sex trafficking in Zimbabwe and women and girls in South Africa; traffickers exploit victims from Tanzania and Malawi in the Zambian timber industry

    tier rating: Tier 2 Watch List — Zambia does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making efforts to do so; efforts included increasing law enforcement training, establishing two fast-track human trafficking courts, conducting awareness campaigns about human trafficking, slightly increasing prosecutions and convictions, and strengthening prison sentences given to traffickers; however; investigations of trafficking crimes and funding to shelters and other victim assistance programs decreased; authorities did not proactively screen for trafficking among vulnerable populations, including foreign nationals and those involved in commercial sex; authorities detained and deported potential trafficking victims involved in smuggling; the national inter-ministerial committee is weak in overseeing national anti-trafficking efforts and trends (2020)

  • Zimbabwe

    current situation: Zimbabwe is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking; Zimbabwean women and girls from towns bordering South Africa, Mozambique, and Zambia are subjected to forced labor, including domestic servitude, and prostitution catering to long-distance truck drivers; Zimbabwean men, women, and children experience forced labor in agriculture and domestic servitude in rural areas; family members may recruit children and other relatives from rural areas with promises of work or education in cities and towns where they end up in domestic servitude and sex trafficking; Zimbabwean women and men are lured into exploitative labor situations in South Africa and other neighboring countries

    tier rating: Tier 3 - Zimbabwe does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so; the government passed an anti-trafficking law in 2014 defining trafficking in persons as a crime of transportation and failing to capture the key element of the international definition of human trafficking – the purpose of exploitation – which prevents the law from being comprehensive or consistent with the 2000 UN TIP Protocol that Zimbabwe acceded to in 2013; the government did not report on anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during 2014, and corruption in law enforcement and the judiciary remain a concern; authorities made minimal efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims, relying on NGOs to identify and assist victims; Zimbabwe’s 2014 anti-trafficking law required the opening of 10 centers for trafficking victims, but none were established during the year; five existing shelters for vulnerable children and orphans may have accommodated child victims; in January 2015, an inter-ministerial anti-trafficking committee was established, but it is unclear if the committee ever met or initiated any activities (2015)