U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sri Lanka
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||5 June 2006|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sri Lanka, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d8b05f.html [accessed 29 December 2014]|
Sri Lanka (Tier 2)
Sri Lanka is a source and destination country for men, women, and children trafficked for sexual exploitation, and domestic labor, especially to the Middle East, China, and South Korea. Internal trafficking of women, girls, and boys for commercial sexual exploitation also occurs. An unsubstantiated number of women from Thailand, China, Russia, and other former Soviet Union countries are trafficked to Sri Lanka for commercial sexual exploitation. Sri Lanka is also considered a popular destination for child sex tourists. In areas controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, children have been forced to become child soldiers.
The Government of Sri Lanka does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Over the last year, the Government of Sri Lanka passed an amendment to the criminal code to bring its laws in line with international standards for the prevention of trafficking in persons. The government also dedicated human resources to the Anti-Human Smuggling Investigation Bureau and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs continued to assign Welfare Officers to Sri Lanka missions abroad to aid and assist women who are victims of trafficking. Officials remained vigilant toward the potential of increased child trafficking in the wake of the December 2004 tsunami, and there was no significant increase in reports of trafficking following the tsunami. Nonetheless, Sri Lanka should increase prosecutions of traffickers and improve its protection services for internal trafficking victims. The government should also improve its law enforcement efforts against travel agencies facilitating child sex tourism.
Sri Lanka made some progress in its law enforcement efforts this year. In February 2006, Parliament passed an amendment to the Criminal Code that brings its legislation in line with the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. In particular, the amendment criminalizes the "kidnapping, abduction, procuration, sexual exploitation of children, trafficking, debt bondage, serfdom, forced or compulsory labor, slavery, compulsory recruitment of children for use in armed conflict, offenses related to adoption, and soliciting a child." The government investigated and arrested some people for cases involving trafficking during the past year, but did not distinguish these cases from prosecutions and convictions of people involved in migrant smuggling, pedophilia, and prostitution. The government does not provide centralized training to law enforcement officers, though individual divisions of the police such as the Anti-Human Smuggling Unit and Women's and Children's Bureau conduct annual anti-trafficking trainings for their staff. The government should improve its data collection system to disaggregate trafficking prosecutions and convictions from other crimes and institute anti-trafficking training programs for law enforcement officers in government-controlled areas of the country.
The Government of Sri Lanka's efforts to provide protection for trafficking victims improved slightly over the year. Although the government operates rehabilitation camps and community centers that offer some medical and psychological services to internal trafficking victims, it relies primarily on international organizations and NGOs to provide victim protection services. Furthermore, some suspected victims who may have been trafficked into Sri Lanka have been arrested and released after paying a fine. The Bureau of Foreign Employment appoints labor attachés to Sri Lankan missions abroad to assist Sri Lankan victims of trafficking. Sri Lanka should allocate more resources to victim protection, particularly for child victims of trafficking and repatriated Sri Lankans exploited abroad. The government should also ensure that foreign victims of trafficking are not jailed or fined.
During the course of the year, Sri Lanka improved its trafficking prevention efforts. The National Child Protection Authority, as part of its overall efforts to address child welfare, included child trafficking as part of its educational campaigns. Most public awareness programs, however, are initiated by IOM and ILO, such as dance-drama troupes and information workshops to educate the public on the dangers of trafficking.