U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Paraguay
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||12 June 2007|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Paraguay, 12 June 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/467be3d03bd.html [accessed 23 July 2014]|
Paraguay (Tier 2)
Paraguay is principally a source and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Paraguayan victims are trafficked mainly to Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, and Spain; this transnational trafficking trend appears to be growing. Poor children are also trafficked within the country from rural to urban centers for sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude. Trafficking of Paraguayan and Brazilian women and girls, mainly for sexual exploitation, remains a problem in the Brazil-Paraguay-Argentina tri-border area.
The Government of Paraguay does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued a modest level of law enforcement activity. In the coming year, the government should intensify its efforts to identify, prosecute, and punish traffickers, especially in light of the country's increasing trafficking problem. It also should commit more resources for victim protection and anti-trafficking training for key government personnel. The government also should examine whether existing laws are sufficient to combat all forms of trafficking, including internal trafficking.
The Paraguayan government sustained its past record of modest law-enforcement actions against traffickers during the year. Paraguay prohibits most, but not all forms of trafficking through provisions of the country's 1997 Penal Code; these carry penalties of up to 10 years' imprisonment, which is commensurate with penalties for grave crimes such as rape and is sufficiently stringent. The government cooperated with neighboring and destination countries to disrupt trafficking networks, investigating 18 international trafficking cases last year. In 2006, authorities prosecuted and secured convictions in two cases against traffickers. No cases of official complicity with human trafficking were substantiated during the reporting period.
The government's efforts to protect victims of trafficking remained modest and inadequate. It does not directly operate or fund centers that provide shelter or other services to trafficking victims. Instead, the government relied heavily on NGOs and outside sources to provide shelter and other services to trafficking victims, particularly outside the capital. The government did show evidence, however, of its implementation of procedures to identify and refer victims of trafficking to NGOs that provide victim services. Paraguayan authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. There were no reports of victims jailed, deported, or otherwise penalized. Paraguay does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution.
The government conducted trafficking prevention activities during the reporting period, but efforts remain inadequate for a source country with a growing trafficking problem. The Secretariat of Women's Affairs led seminars to warn potential victims about the dangers of trafficking and conducted courses for law enforcement personnel. Posters distributed by government authorities also raised public awareness. The government relies on NGOs and other sources for the bulk of its prevention efforts.