Curaçao back on watchlist human trafficking

 During the past year, the government of Curaçao has been unable to prove they made more efforts in tackling human trafficking and slave running compared to 2009. Therefore, the US had placed the country back on the ‘TIER 2 watchlist’.

Last year, the country stood on “TIER 2’.
Therefore, a step backwards from light to dark grey, it appears from the annual Trafficking in Persons report from the US State Department. The report on Curaçao was drawn up by the American consulate.

The case for Curaçao namely regards that the new legislation on this field, included in the new Penal Code, has still not been approved. Subsequently, tracking authorities cannot take sufficient action against perpetrators of human trafficking. Approval seems nearby now that the Central Committee of the parliament is to submit a final report to be discussed in a public meeting of the States. Apart from the legislation, one is to work on trainings in recognizing victims and assisting in the aid and protection or such. A multi-disciplinary work group has been set up on the island to tackle human trafficking.

Aruba now stands on ‘TIER 2’. Although human trafficking is punishable in this country, no cases have been brought before the judge yet. However, this was not the case on Curaçao where the public prosecutors are to focus on indictments such as blackmail, extortion and abduction. Aruba is also to improve their screening process in order to recognize victims of human trafficking and formalize protection programs for victims.

As in previous reports, Curaçao is mentioned as destination or transit harbor for adults and children – victims for forced labor or prostitution. There are also indications of child prostitution and victims repaying a debt in the form of unpaid labor. These people come from Asia, Dominican Republic, Haiti and Columbia. The report also mentions the government should take more preventative measures against human trafficking, forced labor and prostitution by launching an awareness campaign.
Four categories
The list has four categories: TIER 1, if the country complies with the minimum requirements of the Trafficking Victims Protection Acts (TVPA). TIER 2, if the country makes significant efforts to comply with the requirements. TIER 2 watchlist, if insufficient visible efforts are made. A country is place on TIER 3 if it does not comply with the requirements and if no efforts are made. According to the most recent report, Somalia and Saudi Arabia are listed somewhere at the bottom. Possible consequences are that no loans from for example the World Bank are issued to these countries.

29 June 2011

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