Last Updated: Monday, 30 May 2016, 07:59 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sri Lanka

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 14 June 2004
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2004 Trafficking in Persons Report - Sri Lanka, 14 June 2004, available at: [accessed 30 May 2016]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Sri Lanka (Tier 2)

Sri Lanka is a source country for women who are trafficked to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Qatar for the purposes of coerced labor and sexual exploitation. A smaller number of Thai, Chinese, and Russian women were trafficked to Sri Lanka for commercial sexual exploitation. Women and children are trafficked internally for domestic and sexual servitude. Boys and girls are victims of commercial sexual exploitation by pedophiles in the sex tourism industry. The Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) forcibly conscript children for purposes of forced labor and military conscription. Although a formal cease-fire has been in place since February 2002, the LTTE continued to forcibly conscript children, abducting at least 75 children in the September-October 2003 period alone.

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. The LTTE controls territory in the North and East, and in these areas the government is unable to investigate or prosecute traffickers. Sri Lanka should increase its cooperation with foreign governments and it should take greater steps to investigate and prosecute labor trafficking, sex tourism and pedophiles.


Sri Lanka's law enforcement efforts against trafficking improved with the introduction of a computerized immigration system that expands the number of officials that can input names of suspected traffickers or sex tourists who are subjects of an investigation and prevent them from leaving the country. The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) instituted a CyberWatch Project to monitor suspicious chat rooms. Sting operations were conducted based on information gathered in these chat rooms, leading to several trafficking arrests. The Penal Code specifically criminalizes trafficking in persons. There were 190 investigations by the police into trafficking cases, which resulted in 33 prosecutions and six convictions. For those convicted, the sentence was one year of rigorous imprisonment and a fine of Rs 100,000 (about $1,000). Authorities conducted four investigations into alleged child trafficking; two cases were prosecuted and convicted, resulting in the deportation of the foreign individuals involved. Evidence collected by Sri Lankan authorities has assisted the United Kingdom in prosecuting a man for actions related to child sex trafficking. The government has extradition agreements with other Commonwealth countries.


The government runs rehabilitation camps, which offer medical and counseling services for victims of internal trafficking. The NCPA provides similar assistance to victims of commercial sexual exploitation and former child soldiers. The government provides a monthly food supplement to child victims registered with NGOs, and the government encourages victims to testify against their traffickers. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs assigns welfare officers to Sri Lanka's foreign missions to aid and assist women who may be victims of trafficking in the Middle East.


The NCPA includes child trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of children in their information and public awareness campaigns. Some hotels in tourist areas known for commercial sexual exploitation of children now refuse to allow unaccompanied minors on their premises. The Ministry of Employment and Labor together with the ILO and IOM supported an educational campaign informing women intending to work in the Middle East of their rights and available remedies.

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