SL does not fully comply with minimum standards for elimination of trafficking – US State Dept

SL does not fully comply with minimum standards for elimination of trafficking – US State Dept

SL does not fully comply with minimum standards for elimination of trafficking – US State Dept

Written by Bella Dalima

21 Jun, 2014 | 7:52 pm

For a third consecutive year, Sri Lanka has been placed in The tier 2 watch-list of the Trafficking in Persons Report compiled by the US State Department.

The report notes that the Government of Sri Lanka does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and that  however, it is making significant efforts to do so.

The Trafficking in Persons Report 2014 notes that despite taking significant efforts the Sri Lankan  Government has failed to demonstrate evidence of increasing overall efforts to address human trafficking.

Adding that the government made very limited law enforcement efforts to address human trafficking; the report notes that Sri Lanka is primarily a source and, to a lesser extent, a destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced  labour and sex trafficking.

It notes that some Sri Lankan men, women and children who migrate to Middle East countries are subsequently subjected to forced labour while  some Sri Lankan women are subjected to forced prostitution in countries such as  Jordan, Singapore and Maldives.

The State Department report highlights that provisions for victim protection were inadequate in Sri Lanka. The Trafficking in Persons report also charges that  Sri Lankan authorities rarely enforced  labour recruitment regulations and increasingly denied young Sri Lankan women the legal permission to migrate for work, increasing the likelihood that women would use unregulated  recruiters who are more likely to exploit migrant workers.

The report also states that many recruitment agencies were politically connected and that  some  sub-agents worked with government officials to procure forged or modified documents, or real documents with false data, to facilitate travel abroad.

The annual report notes that allegations have been levelled that police and other officials accept bribes to permit brothels to operate, adding that boys in the coastal areas are at times exploited for child sex tourism.

The US State Department has also issued a number of recommendations which they believe would help the Sri Lankan administration combat human trafficking and other related offenses.

Some of the recommendations are as follows:

* Improve efforts to investigate and prosecute suspected trafficking offences, convict and punish offenders

* Investigate and prosecute government officials suspected of complicity in human trafficking.

* Promote safe and legal migration rather than imposing discriminatory policies

* Expand the Bureau of Foreign Employment’s mandate to include the regulation of sub-agents.

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