The State Department of the USA recently released the Trafficking in Persons Report 2011

The USA categorizes the world into four tiers.  Barbados was put into the third category, Tier 2 Watch List, and the same as last year.

Tier 2 Watch List is the same as China. Uganda received a better rating of Tier 2,  while Venezuela was slapped with the worst rating, a Tier 3! The USA gave itself the highest rating, a Tier 1. (Source:  CNN: Slavery report names weak link nations)

Highlights of the Barbados Report

Here are some quotes from the report. The full text can be found at the bottom of this article.

“Barbados is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.”

“Evidence suggests there are foreign women forced into prostitution in Barbados.”

“The prostitution of children is known to exist in Barbados; a high risk group is Barbadian and immigrant children engaging in transactional sex with older men for material goods. There is also evidence that some foreigners have been subjected to forced labor in Barbados, with the highest risk sectors being domestic service, agriculture, and construction.”

“The Government of Barbados does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so …”

“The government did not report data on any investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of trafficking offenders or public officials complicit in human trafficking during the year.”

“The government did not demonstrate progress in protecting victims during the reporting period. …  the government did not report identifying any victims during the year. ”

“The government made limited progress in efforts to prevent human trafficking in Barbados.”

Tier Placements

Source: Tiers: Placement, Guide, and Penalties for Tier 3  Countries

Tier 1
Countries whose governments fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

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

Tier 2 Watch List
Countries whose 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:

a) the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing;

b) there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year, including increased investigations, prosecution, and convictions of trafficking crimes, increased assistance to victims, and decreasing evidence of complicity in severe forms of trafficking by government officials; or

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

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

Details of Barbados Report

Source: Country Narratives: Countries A Through F

BARBADOS (Tier 2 Watch List)

Barbados is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. In a welcomed move over the last year, officials spoke more openly about the likely profile of human trafficking in Barbados, which is similar to those of other countries in the region. Evidence suggests there are foreign women forced into prostitution in Barbados. Legal and illegal immigrants from Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and Guyana appear to be the most vulnerable to trafficking. The prostitution of children is known to exist in Barbados; a high risk group is Barbadian and immigrant children engaging in transactional sex with older men for material goods. There is also evidence that some foreigners have been subjected to forced labor in Barbados, with the highest risk sectors being domestic service, agriculture, and construction.

The Government of Barbados does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these efforts, the government has not shown evidence of increasing efforts over the previous year; therefore, Barbados is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. The main obstacles to anti-trafficking progress in Barbados were: the new legislation’s failure to criminalize all forms of trafficking in persons; the government’s absence of formal procedures to guide officials in victim identification and assistance; and the absence of a formal mechanism to coordinate government and NGO actions on trafficking issues.

Recommendations for Barbados: Amend the new legislation to prohibit all forms of human trafficking and prescribe penalties that are commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes; implement procedures for law enforcement officers to proactively identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as people in prostitution and migrant workers; enact protections for victims of trafficking, including provisions that provide foreign victims with relief from immediate deportation and ensure victims are not punished for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked; increase funding to the NGO shelter and crisis center to ensure adequate assistance is available to human trafficking victims; establish a formal inter-ministerial coordination group; and raise awareness of all forms of human trafficking – including domestic servitude, other forms of forced labor, and commercial sexual exploitation of children – in partnership with NGOs through the use of radio or other media.

Prosecution

The Government of Barbados made significant efforts in its anti-trafficking law enforcement activities during the reporting period. Barbados enacted the Transnational Crime Bill (pt.III) in February 2011. Inconsistent with international standards, this law requires migration as a necessary element of human trafficking offenses and apparently does not criminalize the forced labor or forced prostitution of Barbadian citizens and residents, only of persons who enter, exit, or are received into Barbados. The law prescribes maximum penalties of 15 years’ imprisonment. These prescribed penalties are sufficiently stringent but are not commensurate with penalties for other serious crimes, such as rape, and are lower than the separate crime of human smuggling. Low awareness of human trafficking among law enforcement officials, as well as the absence of legislation criminalizing all forms of trafficking, were significant limitations in the government’s ability to address human trafficking in Barbados during the reporting period. The government did not report data on any investigations, prosecutions, convictions, or sentences of trafficking offenders or public officials complicit in human trafficking during the year. Barbadian officials contributed in-kind assistance to an OAS-sponsored human trafficking awareness training.

Protection

The government did not demonstrate progress in protecting victims during the reporting period. Greatly hindering its ability to rescue victims, the government did not include victim protection provisions in the new law and did not have a formal policy in place to guide officials in how to identify victims of sex trafficking and forced labor proactively; the government did not report identifying any victims during the year. Officials drafted a formal protocol to guide authorities in the identification and protection of victims, though this document had not yet received cabinet approval. In the past, police have referred suspected victims to the Bureau of Gender Affairs for support services. The government provided funding for an NGO shelter and crisis center providing security and services primarily for domestic violence victims but also for women and children who have been in human trafficking situations. Despite significant financial strain, this organization provided very high quality services, had staff trained to handle trafficking cases, and has assisted trafficking victims. The government provided funding to another NGO that could provide temporary shelter to adult male trafficking victims though there were no reports that any victims were assisted. The government did not have in place any specific policies to encourage victims’ assistance in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking. It also did not offer foreign trafficking victims legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they would face hardship or retribution. The government did not have formal provisions in place to ensure that identified victims would not be inappropriately punished for unlawful offenses committed solely as a direct result of being trafficked.

Prevention

The government made limited progress in efforts to prevent human trafficking in Barbados. There was no formal awareness campaign, but various officials raised awareness of human trafficking through the public debate surrounding the introduction of anti-trafficking legislation to the parliament. The Bureau of Gender Affairs distributed materials from IOM and worked with regional and local NGOs, religious organizations, and community advocates to raise awareness. The government did not have a formal mechanism for coordinating government and NGO action on trafficking issues or a national action plan. The government funded the operation of a hotline staffed by professionals from the women’s crisis center who were trained to identify human trafficking. The government did not report any efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government has not identified a problem with child sex tourism. Barbados is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.


Related: Barbados Free Press - Environmentalists puzzled as Barbados added to Ethical Traveler’s Best 10 List