U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Paraguay
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Author||Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons|
|Publication Date||5 June 2006|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Paraguay, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d8a747.html [accessed 21 September 2014]|
Paraguay (Tier 2)
Paraguay is a source and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Paraguayan victims are primarily trafficked to Argentina, Spain, and Brazil. This transnational trafficking appears to be increasing; authorities in Spain have identified a growing number of Paraguayan victims exploited in prostitution and forced labor. Poor children are also trafficked within the country, from rural to urban areas for sexual exploitation and involuntary domestic servitude. Recruiters of all types of trafficking are typically Paraguayan. Trafficking of Paraguayan and Brazilian women and girls, principally for sexual exploitation, remains an ongoing problem in the tri-border area of the Brazil-Paraguay- Argentina border.
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 worked with governments of destination countries to disrupt trafficking networks, conducted local investigations related to the movement of Paraguayan victims abroad, extradited one trafficking suspect, and raised trafficking awareness. The government should increase activity focused on investigating and prosecuting traffickers, commit more resources for key agencies leading the fight against trafficking, and expand services to victims, particularly outside the capital.
The government made modest law enforcement progress against traffickers over the past year but needs to do more in the face of the country's growing trafficking problem. Authorities prosecuted one case resulting in the upholding of convictions against two of three traffickers convicted in 2004. Three additional first-time prosecutions were pending at the end of the reporting period. Officials identified 20 new international trafficking cases and extradited one suspect from Spain. Several agencies tracked transnational cases, but no agency tracked actions against internal trafficking. Paraguay's basic anti-trafficking statute prescribes up to 10 years' imprisonment for trafficking offenses. Laws are adequate to address most forms of trafficking and sexual exploitation of minors, but more aggressive enforcement efforts are required. No substantiated case of officials complicit in trafficking was reported over the last year.
The government's modest investment in victim assistance remained inadequate over the reporting period, failing to assist victims outside the capital. The government provided victims with legal, medical, and psychological services in Asuncion; such assistance ended once they returned to their home communities. The government did not operate any shelters, and NGOs were the principal source of assistance outside the capital. The Secretariat for Repatriations facilitated the return of 64 Paraguayan victims of transnational trafficking, largely through identifying non-governmental funding sources. Local authorities in Asuncion and Ciudad del Este screened potential victims and referred them to NGOs.
The government initiated national trafficking prevention activities but efforts were inadequate for a source country with a growing trafficking problem. Seminars were conducted by the Secretariat of Women's Affairs in five cities for judges, prosecutors, police, and community activists to improve victim detection. Posters distributed by government authorities also raised public awareness. The government should train more officials to identify trafficking and work with local communities to protect victims and deter their recruitment.