U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Honduras
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||11 June 2003|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2003 Trafficking in Persons Report - Honduras, 11 June 2003, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7c9c.html [accessed 6 October 2015]|
Honduras (Tier 2)
Honduras is a source and transit country for trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation. Most Honduran victims are young women and girls, who are trafficked to Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. Women and children are trafficked internally, most often from rural to urban settings.
The Government of Honduras does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making efforts to do so despite limited resources. It acknowledges that trafficking is a problem, is aware that Honduran children are particularly vulnerable, and has a national plan to combat the sexual exploitation of children. Many of the government's anti-trafficking measures are conducted in the context of combating the illegal movement of migrants. Honduras has been open to NGO engagement and international cooperation. The government worked with Mexico to identify and repatriate more than 200 Honduran minors working as prostitutes in southern Mexico. Honduran officials have also cooperated with American authorities on U.S. trafficking investigations in 2002. Further attention to issues of corruption and rule of law will strengthen the government's anti-trafficking efforts.
The government has not undertaken public information measures against trafficking, but it has tried to raise awareness of children and women's rights and risks associated with illegal migration. A national commission attempts to combat child labor abuses and seeks to reincorporate working minors into educational programs. Several government agencies, international organizations and NGOs have nearly completed developing a national plan against the sexual exploitation of children, which is an important first step in developing an overall anti-trafficking national plan. Finalization and implementation of this plan will be among the important indicators of the government's progress in eliminating trafficking.
Government law enforcement efforts are inadequate. Honduras has no comprehensive anti-trafficking law, but assorted penal, child exploitation and immigration statutes criminalize trafficking and would enable the state to prosecute traffickers. Officials, however, have prosecuted very few traffickers. In 2002, the government arrested and prosecuted eight "coyotes," some of whom were smuggling minors. It is unclear if any of these cases involved trafficking. Corruption is a serious problem and renders obtaining court convictions difficult. Some officials have been investigated and dismissed for corruption. The Immigration Director fired 35-40 officers for corruption in 2002, but further efforts to address corruption are needed. Honduran Frontier Police have worked with U.S. officials to construct a border control inspection facility that can be used against traffickers, but more steps need to be taken to control the country's borders.
The government does not provide any assistance to foreign victims of trafficking, nor does it provide funding for NGOs helping victims; however, while constrained by a lack of financial resources, government officials are open to cooperating with NGOs where they can. Officials work closely with a local NGO, for example, to help Honduran children. Honduran consular officials are aware of trafficking issues when abroad. Foreign trafficking victims in Honduras are subject to arrest for residency violations.