U.S. Department of State 2002 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 2002|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sri Lanka, 5 June 2002, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d7ad2.html [accessed 30 July 2014]|
Sri Lanka (Tier 2)
Sri Lanka is a country of origin and destination for trafficked persons. Internal trafficking of persons for purposes of sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and child soldiers also takes place in Sri Lanka. In many cases, Sri Lankan women go to the Middle East in search of work, only to be put into situations of coerced labor, slave-like conditions, or sexual exploitation. A small number of Thai, Russian, and Chinese women have been trafficked to Sri Lanka for purposes of sexual exploitation. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) abduct and hold children against their will for purposes of forced labor, military conscription, and in some cases, sexual exploitation. A ceasefire with the LTTE has been in place since December 2001.
The government of Sri Lanka does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The Sri Lankan Penal Code specifically criminalizes trafficking in persons, and law enforcement authorities have undertaken some investigations of traffickers. The government has established a Police Women's and Children's Bureau, and the National Child Protection Authority, which works closely with the police to combat trafficking. Limited specialized training is provided to members of these units. The LTTE controls territory in the north and east of the country and the government is unable to investigate or prosecute traffickers in these areas. The government has undertaken several initiatives to provide protection and services to victims of internal trafficking, including supporting rehabilitation camps for victims. Foreign women trafficked to Sri Lanka are sometimes arrested and released upon paying a fine. The National Child Protection Authority provides medical and psychological assistance to Sri Lankan victims of trafficking and child soldiers. The government has assigned welfare officers to countries in the Middle East to focus on the rights of women who may have been trafficked there. The government's Overseas Employment Bureau works with Sri Lankan embassies abroad to resolve problems that domestic workers encounter. In terms of prevention, the government, together with NGOs, has conducted some public awareness campaigns regarding child labor, and created hotlines for reporting child labor abuse. In January 2002, the government signed the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Convention on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution.