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Minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking
(The fifth annual Trafficking in Persons Report (2005)

   Minimum Standards     Penalties      Tier Movement

 

Minimum Standards

The "minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking" are summarized as follows. Governments should:

Prohibit trafficking and punish acts of trafficking.

Prescribe punishment commensurate with that for grave crimes, such as forcible sexual assault, for the knowing commission of trafficking in some of its most reprehensible forms (trafficking for sexual purposes, involving rape or kidnapping, or that causes a death).

Prescribe punishment that is sufficiently stringent to deter and that adequately reflects the offenseís heinous nature for the knowing commission of any act of trafficking.

Make serious and sustained efforts to eliminate trafficking.

The Act also sets out seven criteria that "should be considered" as indicia of the fourth point above, "serious and sustained efforts to eliminate trafficking." Summarized, they are:

Whether the government vigorously investigates and prosecutes acts of trafficking within its territory.

Whether the government protects victims of trafficking, encourages victimsí assistance in investigation and prosecution, provides victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they would face retribution or hardship, and ensures that victims are not inappropriately penalized solely for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked.

Whether the government has adopted measures, such as public education, to prevent trafficking.

Whether the government cooperates with other governments in investigating and prosecuting trafficking.

Whether the government extradites persons charged with trafficking as it does with other serious crimes.

Whether the government monitors immigration and emigration patterns for evidence of trafficking, and whether law enforcement agencies respond appropriately to such evidence.

Whether the government vigorously investigates and prosecutes public officials who participate in or facilitate trafficking, and takes all appropriate measures against officials who condone trafficking.

If a government is not in compliance with the minimum standards, the Departmentís determination of whether that government is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with these minimum standards dictates its placement in Tier 2 or 3. The Act sets out three mitigating factors which the Department is to consider in making such determinations. Summarized, they are as follows:-

The extent of trafficking in the country; the extent of governmental noncompliance with the minimum standards, particularly the extent to which government officials have participated in, facilitated, condoned, or are otherwise complicit in trafficking; and what measures are reasonable to bring the government into compliance with the minimum standards in light of the governmentís resources and capabilities.
 


Penalties

According to the Act, the governments of countries in Tier 3 in the report for this and subsequent years could be subject to certain sanctions, notably withholding of non-humanitarian, non-trade-related assistance. (Countries that receive no such assistance would be subject to withholding of funding for participation in educational and cultural exchange programs). Consistent with the Act, such governments also would face U.S. opposition to assistance (except for humanitarian, trade-related, and certain development-related assistance) from international financial institutions, specifically the International Monetary Fund and multilateral development banks such as the World Bank. These potential consequences regarding bilateral and multilateral assistance sanctions would take effect at the beginning of the next fiscal year, or October 1, 2003 for countries in Tier 3 of this report.

All or part of the Actís sanctions can be waived upon a determination by the President that the provision of such assistance to the government would promote the purposes of the Act or is otherwise in the national interest of the United States. The Act also provides its sanctions shall be waived when necessary to avoid significant adverse effects on vulnerable populations, including women and children. Possible reasons for which a waiver may be considered would include that a country is being placed on Tier 3 for the first time this year. These sanctions also would not apply if the Department finds that, after this report and before the imposition of sanctions, a government no longer qualifies for Tier 3, i.e., it has come into compliance with the minimum standards or is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance.

Tier Movement

Several governments increased their efforts to combat trafficking since issuance of the Departmentís 2002 report. In some cases, the increased efforts justified moving the country to a higher tier. As an admirable example, the United Arab Emirates has demonstrated a clear commitment to eradicate trafficking and made great strides to strengthen its efforts throughout the year. Since the government now fully complies with the minimum standards, it moved from Tier 3 to Tier 1. Although they do not yet fully comply with the minimum standards, each was determined this year to be making significant efforts to do so.

Several other governments that were placed in Tier 2 on the 2002 report improved to the degree that they now fully comply with the minimum standards, and they are in Tier 1 of this yearís report. These countries are Benin, Ghana, and Morocco. Some governments, whose efforts disappointingly lagged over the last year, dropped from Tier 2 in 2002 to Tier 3 this year or from Tier 1 to Tier 2. In some cases the shifts occurred because of new information not available in prior years. For others, new information or information not available in prior years indicated that there were countries with significant numbers of victims of severe forms of trafficking. Many are included on the report for the first time, some in Tier 3.

Regardless of tier placement, there is more that every country can do. No country placement is permanent. All countries must maintain and increase their efforts to combat trafficking.

               Return to: The fifth annual Trafficking in Persons Report (2005)


View related links at:

Trafficking in Persons Report (2005), United Arab Emirates


'Camel Kids'  The Camel Jockeys of United Arab Emirates !

The Shocking Violations of Children's Rights ! (Special Reports - 2004)

'Human Trafficking', United Arab Emirates!

The Shocking Violations of Children's Rights ! (Special Reports - 2003)

The Emissaries of The Shaytans!  (The 'Satanic influence')

 Documents: Dubai: Migrant Workers at Risk ; The UN MW Convention & Campaigns
 

Updated: May. 12, 2005



 


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