US State Department unveils 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report

US State Department unveils 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report
# 20 June 2012 11:22 (UTC +04:00)
Baku. Victoria Dementieva – APA. The US State Department unveiled the 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report. As required by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the TIP Report assesses governments around the world on their efforts to combat modern slavery.

Azerbaijan was included in the list of countries, which don’t completely reach the level of TVPA (Trafficking Victims Protection Act) standards, but make serious efforts to improve situation in this field.

The report reads: “Azerbaijan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and women and children subjected to sex trafficking. Men and boys from Azerbaijan are subjected to conditions of forced labor in Russia. Women and children from Azerbaijan are subjected to sex trafficking in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Russia, and Iran. Women and children from Azerbaijan are subjected to sex trafficking and children are subjected to forced labor, including forced begging, within the country.”

The report also contains Recommendations for Azerbaijan:

- Strengthen efforts to identify victims of forced labor by improving implementation of the national victim referral mechanism and by training labor inspectors on proactive victim identification techniques;

- demonstrate and report on efforts to vigorously investigate, prosecute, convict, and criminally punish government officials complicit in both sex and labor trafficking;

- improve quality of labor inspections at construction sites in order to identify victims of forced labor; consider amending legislation governing labor migration to require work permits for migrant construction workers from all countries;

The report also reads that the Government of Azerbaijan demonstrated some anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The government reported two new labor trafficking investigations and 17 new sex trafficking investigations in 2011, compared with three labor trafficking investigations and an unknown number of sex trafficking investigations in 2010. The government reported prosecuting 20 individuals – nine of which were new prosecutions – for sex trafficking crimes in 2011, compared with 38 individuals prosecuted for such crimes in 2010. The government convicted 10 sex trafficking offenders in 2011, a decrease from the 28 and 58 trafficking offenders convicted in 2010 and 2009, respectively.

The report also says that the Government of Azerbaijan made progress during the reporting period to protect and assist victims of trafficking, although victim identification remained a concern. In 2011, the government identified 29 female victims of sex trafficking, including one child.
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