Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Iraq
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||24 February 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Iraq, 24 February 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b8e7a7423.html [accessed 18 September 2014]|
[From the introductory text accompanying this report on the U.S. Department of State website: "In most cases, the Interim Assessment is intended to serve as a tool by which to gauge the anti-trafficking progress of countries that may be in danger of slipping a tier in the upcoming June 2010 TIP Report and to give them guidance on how to avoid a Tier 3 ranking. It is a tightly focused progress report, assessing the concrete actions a government has taken to address the key deficiencies highlighted in the June 2009 TIP Report. The Interim Assessment covers actions undertaken between the beginning of May – the cutoff for data covered in the June TIP Report – and November. Readers are requested to refer to the annual TIP Report for an analysis of large-scale efforts and a description of the trafficking problem in each particular country or territory."]
The Government of Iraq has made minimal progress in combating trafficking in persons since the release of the 2009 TIP Report. The government has not yet enacted a law drafted in January 2009 that criminalizes all forms of trafficking. The draft law reportedly is stalled in a special committee within the Shura Council. An inter-ministerial committee (comprised of members from the ministries of Human Rights, Foreign Affairs, and Labor and Social Affairs) will continue to serve as a coordinating body on human trafficking issues with no special authority to implement its recommendations. During the last six months, however, the Iraqi government initiated both a criminal and a human rights investigation into an alleged labor trafficking crime that resulted in the issuance of two arrest warrants.
The Iraqi government has yet to provide protection services to victims or to encourage their assistance in prosecuting offenders. The government has been unable to provide even temporary shelter to trafficking victims, though government authorities reportedly detained some foreign trafficking victims while their country of origin assists them to obtain new passports to return home. In August 2009, however, the Iraqi government's efforts led to the successful repatriation of 14 women to Uganda after they were apparently trafficked into Iraq for the purposes of labor exploitation.
Iraq has not yet trained officials in methods to identify victims or considered measures to reduce abuse of migrant workers. Abuses of foreign workers who are trafficked into Iraq under false pretenses are often not investigated by the police. Some of these victims may be working on activities associated with the U.S. presence in Iraq.
The Ministry of Human Rights, working in tandem with the Ministry of Youth and Sports, initiated a public awareness campaign aimed at educating children at schools and youth centers across the country about trafficking, though the government has not yet created an effective mechanism to disseminate awareness information to front-line law enforcement officers.
Iraq has not taken steps to end the practice of forced marriages and curb the use of temporary marriages that can result in situations of sexual and domestic servitude; nor has it regulated recruitment practices of foreign labor brokers to prevent practices that facilitate forced labor.