Secretary of State Kerry Releases 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report – Curaçao still in Tier 2
WASHINGTON - On June 30, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released the 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, the U.S. government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue.
In the TIP Report, the Department of State places each country onto one of four tiers based on the extent of their governments’ efforts to comply with the “minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” found in U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and the UN Protocol on human trafficking.
Curaçao continues to be in Tier Two while for the first time, Sint Maarten has been highlighted as a Tier One country in the Secretary’s report, meaning that the Government of Sint Maarten fully met the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking during the reporting period. During the reporting period, In 2015, the government conducted one of the largest human trafficking investigations in Sint Maarten’s history, which led to the arrest of six suspects on charges of human trafficking; the rescue of 14 sex trafficking victims; and, following close cooperation with authorities in the Dominican Republic, identification of 35 additional victims previously employed by the brothel. The government continued to implement a victim-centered approach for providing services to identified trafficking victims and increased efforts on awareness programs to prevent human trafficking.
In the report, the U.S. Government recommends Curaçao to increase efforts to identify and assist potential victims of sex trafficking and forced labor; finalize formal victim identification, referral, and protection measures to guide officials, including health workers, on assisting victims of forced labor and sex trafficking; vigorously prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish traffickers; complete and implement the new national anti-trafficking action plan; provide targeted training and resources to local officials to conduct outreach in migrant communities and identify potential labor trafficking victims; raise awareness among migrant workers about their rights, trafficking indicators, and available resources; and continue to implement multilingual public awareness campaigns directed at vulnerable groups, the general public, and potential buyers of commercial sex acts.
One of the reasons that Curaçao continues to be in Tier Two is because the government made limited efforts to identify and assist trafficking victims. It did not identify or assist any victims in 2015, which is a decrease compared with seven identified in 2014 and six in 2013.
The government did not report any new investigations, prosecutions, or convictions for trafficking offenses, a decrease from its prosecution and conviction of three traffickers during the previous reporting period.
Click here for the complete report.