Last Updated: Monday, 30 May 2016, 07:59 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Uruguay

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 - Uruguay, 12 June 2007, available at: [accessed 30 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.

Uruguay (Tier 2)

Uruguay is principally a source country for women and children trafficked within the country, particularly to border and tourist areas, for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Reports also indicated that some poor parents turned their children over for forced domestic or agricultural labor in rural areas.

The Government of Uruguay does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. While official reports of trafficking are few, the government has strengthened programs to educate and warn potential victims. The government should consider updating national laws to criminalize all forms of trafficking, increase efforts to train government personnel throughout the country to identify and investigate potential trafficking situations, and provide greater assistance to victims.


The Government of Uruguay showed limited progress in its anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts over the last year. Uruguay prohibits some forms of trafficking pursuant to a 2004 anti-trafficking law and a series of older statutes, which provide a range of penalties from 1 to 12 years in prison. However, Uruguay's anti-trafficking laws do not address trafficking of adults; most trafficking-related crimes fall under commercial sexual exploitation of children, fraud, or slavery laws. The government made limited progress in investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases during the reporting period. Police arrested two individuals in separate cases of exploiting children for pornography, and investigated three other cases of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. The government cooperates with neighboring and European authorities on international trafficking cases. There is no evidence of official facilitation of human trafficking.


The Government of Uruguay continued to lack the capacity to assist all possible trafficking victims during the reporting year. The government provided some assistance to NGOs working in the area of trafficking, but the availability of services remained uneven across the country. The government encourages but does not force victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers. Victims' rights are generally respected, and there were no reports of victims being jailed, deported, or otherwise penalized. Uruguayan law provides legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims to countries where they face hardship or retribution.


Government efforts to raise public awareness, particularly among groups most vulnerable to trafficking, remained steady during the reporting period. The Ministry of Education continued to air hard-hitting anti-trafficking commercials on national television, and maintained its program

of including anti-trafficking segments in its sex education curriculum. The government relies on NGOs and other funding sources for additional anti-trafficking prevention efforts.

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