Trafficking in Persons Report 2020

While the actual is report is about 580 pages (which you can read in full here), we're going to break down Canada, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa, and United States. If you'd like a breakdown of another country, please contact us.


Tier Rankings:


Tier 1: government has acknowledged the existence of human trafficking, made efforts to address the problem, and complies with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA)'s minimum standards.


Tier 2: governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance


Tier 2 Watch List: governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards and:

  • The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; or

  • There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or

  • The determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.

Tier 3: governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.




CANADA: Tier 1


Profile

While most traffickers are male, female traffickers are becoming more common, as well as male and female traffickers younger than 18.


Progress

  • Increased investigations, prosecutions and convictions.

  • Identified more victims and increased funding for victim services.

  • Launched a national hotline.

  • Created a new government team to combat human trafficking in federal procurement supply chains.

  • Increased public awareness campaigns to vulnerable populations.


Potential for Improvement

  • Stronger prosecution on convicted traffickers.

  • Increase proactive identification of victims, through screening among vulnerable populations and training of first responders in victim-centered techniques.

  • Increase trauma-informed specialized services and shelter available to all victims

  • Increase training for government officials, particularly for prosecutors and judges

  • Increase partnerships with the private sector, including financial institutions, to prevent trafficking.




Democratic Republic of the Congo: Tier 2, Watch List

Profile

After 3 years on Tier 3, the DRC made significant progress to make the Tier 2 watch list.


Most trafficking is internal and involves forced labor in artisanal mining sites, agriculture, domestic servitude, or child recruitment by armed groups or sex trafficking. Trafficking subjects some children to forced labor in the illegal mining of diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, tungsten ore, tantalum ore, and tin, as well as the smuggling of minerals.

Progress

  • Increased number of investigations and prosecution of trafficking cases, specifically on sex trafficking and forced labor - crimes that had previously been unaddressed in the justice system - while still investigating and prosecuting child soldier crimes

  • Convicted former colonel in the Congolese National Army and the leader of an armed group for trafficking crimes and sentenced them to adequate penalties

  • Ordered restitution for over 300 victims from the leader of an armed group

  • For the first time, the government drafted quarterly progress reports on human trafficking.

Potential for Improvement

  • Increase efforts to address all forms of trafficking

  • Improve measures to actively identify trafficking victims, including training for front-line officials

  • Cease unlawful use of children by the FARDC and collaoration with armed groups that recruit and use child soldiers.

  • Pass legislation that criminalizes all forms of trafficking

  • Take concrete steps to provide protection services to victims and ensure they are not punished for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit




Democratic Republic of the Congo: Tier 2, Watch List

Profile

After 3 years on Tier 3, the DRC made significant progress to make the Tier 2 watch list.

Most trafficking is internal and involves forced labor in artisanal mining sites, agriculture, domestic servitude, or child recruitment by armed groups or sex trafficking. Trafficking subjects some children to forced labor in the illegal mining of diamonds, copper, gold, cobalt, tungsten ore, tantalum ore, and tin, as well as the smuggling of minerals.

Progress

  • Increased number of investigations and prosecution of trafficking cases, specifically on sex trafficking and forced labor - crimes that had previously been unaddressed in the justice system - while still investigating and prosecuting child soldier crimes

  • Convicted former colonel in the Congolese National Army and the leader of an armed group for trafficking crimes and sentenced them to adequate penalties

  • Ordered restitution for over 300 victims from the leader of an armed group

  • For the first time, the government drafted quarterly progress reports on human trafficking.

Potential for Improvement

  • Increase efforts to address all forms of trafficking

  • Improve measures to actively identify trafficking victims, including training for front-line officials

  • Cease unlawful use of children by the FARDC and collaoration with armed groups that recruit and use child soldiers.

  • Pass legislation that criminalizes all forms of trafficking

  • Take concrete steps to provide protection services to victims and ensure they are not punished for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit





South Africa: Tier 2

Profile

After 2 years on the Tier 2 Watch List, South Africa made significant progress to make Tier 2.


Traffickers recruit victims from poor/rural areas of South Africa to more urban areas. Syndicates, often dominated by Nigerians, facilitate trafficking in the commercial sex industry. NGO's estimate 10 to 15 victims of labor trafficking disembark each month in Cape Town aboard fishing vessels.

Progress

  • Increased investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of traffickers

  • Increased training of national and provincial front line responders

  • Increased protective services for victims

  • Launched national policy framework on trafficking

Potential for Improvement

  • Increase human trafficking training to South African Police Service (SAPS) officers throughout the country.

  • Increase resources and training to identify trafficking victims

  • Extend the availability of drug rehabilitation services to trafficking victims

  • Accredit or establish additional trafficking-specific shelters for male and female victims


United States: Tier 1

Profile

Traffickers compel victims to engage in commercial sex and work in hospitality, traveling sales crew, agriculture, janitorial services, construction, landscaping, restaurants, factories, care for persons with disabilities, salon services, massage parlors, retail, fairs and carnivals, peddling and begging, drug smuggling and distribution, religious institutions, child care, and domestic work. The top 3 federally identified in the fiscal year 2019 were the US, Mexico and Honduras.


Advocates reported a growing recognition of trauma bonding in human trafficking cases, which occurs when a trafficker uses rewards and punishments in cycles of abuse to foster a powerful emotional connection with the victim.

Progress

  • Increased number of investigations

  • Increased amount of funding for victim services

  • Increased enforcement of the prohibition of imports made wholly or in part by forced labor.

Potential for Improvement

  • Increase investigation and prosecution of labor trafficking cases.

  • Reduce obstacles for victims to appropriately obtain trafficking-specific immigration options.

  • Increase access to victim services for men, boys, LGBTI individuals, and labor trafficking survivors, and improve stable housing for all victims.

  • Develop and implement early intervention services approaches and inclusive government policies that reduce the vulnerabilities of marginalized and disadvantaged communities that traffickers often target.

  • Increase survivor engagement including by more systematically incorporating survivor input when forming policies, programs, and trainings



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