Last Updated: Friday, 19 September 2014, 13:55 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Peru

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 3 June 2005
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Peru, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d85d2a.html [accessed 20 September 2014]
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.

Peru (Tier 2)

Peru is primarily a source country for women and children trafficked internally for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced domestic labor. Most victims are girls and young women moved internally from rural to urban areas or from city to city and forced or coerced into prostitution in nightclubs, bars, and brothels. Some victims are trafficked to cities for involuntary domestic servitude and some children are forced to beg. Narcotraffickers and terrorists hold rural families for forced agricultural labor in remote areas. Peruvians are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Western Europe, particularly Spain, and Japan, and for forced labor to neighboring countries such as Ecuador. Illegal migrants originate in and transit Peru; migrants use clandestine alien smuggling operations that increase their vulnerability to trafficking.

The Government of Peru does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Government officials in 2004 stepped up efforts against the sexual exploitation of children and worked with NGOs to educate officials and the public on the dangers of trafficking. The government should vigorously pursue prosecutions of trafficking-related crimes, increase protections for victims, develop better data collection and law enforcement training, work with NGOs to warn potential victims, and expand efforts to cooperate with destination countries.

Prosecution

Peru improved its law enforcement efforts against trafficking over the last year but needs to ensure that trafficking-related arrests result in prosecutions. The government does not have a comprehensive law against trafficking, but the penal code covers trafficking-related crimes such as slavery, pimping, sexual exploitation of children, and forced labor. In May 2004, a new law increased penalties for sexual exploitation of children. The government continued efforts to stop sexual exploitation of minors but the slow legal system resulted in a lack of convictions and only one prosecution is ongoing. Authorities investigated three cases of trafficking of Peruvian women to Japan and Africa for sexual exploitation; two of the cases remain pending. A joint operation with Ecuador disrupted a network moving forced laborers from Peru to Ecuador. Law enforcement officers conducted hundreds of raids of brothels, hotels, bars, and restaurants in Lima and six other regions to interdict commercial sexual exploitation of children. In the Lima region alone, police removed 81 underage victims from raided premises. Nationwide, police arrested dozens of pimps, of which 18 were held for trial. There was no evidence of government involvement in trafficking, but individual officials were suspected of tolerating underage sexual exploitation through prostitution, unregulated brothels, and migrant smuggling.

Protection

The government lacked the resources to provide adequate protection for trafficking victims over the last year. Legal assistance was almost nonexistent; the general lack of witness protection for victims of crime applied to trafficking victims as well and discouraged victim participation in prosecutions. The government funded repatriation for four Peruvian victims and developed procedural guides for police on handling trafficking victims. Law enforcement officers referred some victims to domestic violence shelters; no shelters exist specifically for trafficking victims. Authorities typically returned underage victims to their families or referred them to NGOs; adult victims were interviewed and released. The government provided some support for NGOs assisting trafficking victims.

Prevention

The government relied largely on NGO efforts and international assistance to educate the Peruvian public about trafficking over the last year. The Ministry for Foreign Relations launched a campaign about the dangers of transnational trafficking and an annual anti-trafficking course for consular officials. The Ministry of Commerce and Tourism initiated an anti-trafficking campaign. Government ministries also hosted major public conferences with NGOs and coordinated with NGOs on drafting legislative improvements.

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