U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - El Salvador
|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 - El Salvador, 12 June 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/467be3ae23.html [accessed 1 April 2015]|
El Salvador (Tier 2)
El Salvador is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Salvadorans are trafficked to Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States. Salvadoran women and girls are also trafficked internally from rural to urban areas of the country. The majority of foreign victims trafficked to El Salvador are women and children from Nicaragua and Honduras trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation.
The Government of El Salvador does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government took steps to improve victim assistance, and demonstrated more vigorous and better coordinated law enforcement efforts against traffickers. In the coming year, the government should intensify its efforts to convict and punish traffickers for their crimes. It also should provide more victim assistance and promote greater awareness of the trafficking problem, especially among judges and law enforcement personnel.
The Government of El Salvador made strong efforts to prosecute traffickers during the reporting period, but did not secure many convictions over the past year. Article 367B of the Salvadoran Penal Code prohibits all forms of human trafficking and provides for penalties of up to eight years' imprisonment, which are commensurate with those prescribed for rape and other serious offenses. Sentences may be increased by one-third in aggravated circumstances, such as when the victim is a child. The government prosecuted 67 individuals for trafficking in 2006, a nearly four-fold increase from the number prosecuted during the previous year. Prosecutors obtained four convictions with sentences ranging from three to eight years' imprisonment. The police conducted undercover trafficking investigations and secured search warrants to raid brothels and other establishments. In 2006, 74 victims, mostly children, were rescued from trafficking situations. The government should dedicate more resources to such operations. The government should also intensify its efforts to assist and prepare trafficking victims for trial and increase training for judges and other criminal-justice officials on human trafficking. No credible reports of government complicity with trafficking were received during the reporting period.
The Salvadoran government committed more resources to assisting trafficking victims during the last year. A local NGO, which receives assistance from the government and IOM, sheltered 82 trafficking victims in 2006; this shelter is guarded continuously by police. Children who have been trafficked are referred to ISNA, a national agency that runs a shelter for minors. Both shelters are staffed with doctors, psychologists, and other victim services. Salvadoran authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. There were no reports of victims being charged, jailed, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a result of their being trafficked. Foreign victims are not deported; they face voluntary repatriation with government assistance, though the government provides no legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they face hardship or retribution.
The Salvadoran government sustained prevention efforts during the reporting period. The National Committee Against Trafficking in Persons, an inter-agency task force, sponsored information campaigns, press conferences, and trafficking awareness training across the country. Police and other government officials spoke in schools and other forums about the dangers of human trafficking.