Last Updated: Tuesday, 24 May 2016, 11:51 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - El Salvador

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 - El Salvador, 5 June 2006, available at: [accessed 24 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.

El Salvador (Tier 2)

El Salvador is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. El Salvador is also a source country for forced labor. Salvadorans are trafficked to Guatemala, Mexico, and the United States. Salvadoran women and children are also trafficked internally from rural to urban areas for exploitation in prostitution. The vast majority of foreign victims are women and children from Nicaragua and Honduras trafficked for 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. Authorities maintained momentum in implementing anti-trafficking laws and improving efforts to protect victims and work with countries of origin to achieve safe and orderly repatriations. The government should expand victim protection, improve cooperation between police and prosecutors to achieve better success against traffickers, and work with NGOs and the media to sustain public awareness of the trafficking problem.


The Government of El Salvador made modest law enforcement progress against traffickers during the reporting period. Salvadoran law criminalizes all forms of trafficking in accordance with international standards and specifies penalties of up to eight years' imprisonment that are increased by one-third in aggravated circumstances. During the reporting year, police arrested 17 individuals for trafficking and prosecutors obtained four convictions with sentences ranging from three to eight years in prison. The government also demonstrated its commitment to cooperate in international trafficking investigations by working with the Governments of Belize, Guatemala, and Nicaragua on trafficking cases throughout the year.


The government made notable improvements in victim protection, particularly in the treatment of foreign victims, during the reporting period. Victims' rights were generally respected; all victims had access to medical and psychological care; and foreign victims were not deported. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs worked with its counterparts in countries of origin to effect orderly repatriations, or offered refugee status to foreign victims with a credible fear for their life should they return home. The Government of El Salvador signed memoranda of understanding with Mexico and Guatemala to facilitate repatriation of trafficking victims. A lack of resources prevented the government from funding NGOs that work with victims. Child victims were placed with child protective services and offered shelter, counseling, and medical assistance. The social services unit of the police service operated a provisional shelter and returning Salvadoran victims received temporary shelter through a program that assists recently deported Salvadorans. The government still needs to address the lack of both adequate witness protection and long-term shelter for victims.


The government made little progress in its prevention efforts during the reporting period. New efforts focused on training consular officials. In early 2006, the government hosted a regional trafficking conference to train consular officials on identifying and assisting trafficking victims. The government also developed a trafficking handbook for its consular officers. The government relies heavily on NGOs, the ILO, and IOM for anti-trafficking initiatives but usually funds a small portion of project costs.

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