U.S. Department of State 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report - Uruguay
|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 - Uruguay, 5 June 2006, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d8b91f.html [accessed 30 July 2015]|
Uruguay (Tier 2)
Uruguay is principally a source country for women and children trafficked within the country, and particularly to states bordering Brazil, for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Prostitution rings may also exploit children in popular tourist areas of Maldonado. Reports were received of poor parents turning over their children to third parties for domestic service or agricultural labor in conditions of involuntary servitude. Authorities have identified no transborder trafficking cases since the discovery in January 2005 of a group of Chinese migrants exploited in forced agricultural labor.
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. Official reports of trafficking are few, but the government has made a good faith effort to investigate allegations of trafficking while strengthening programs to educate and warn potential victims. The government should update national laws to criminalize all forms of trafficking, and increase efforts to train government officials throughout the country to identify and investigate potential trafficking situations.
The Government of Uruguay made limited progress in investigating and prosecuting trafficking cases during the reporting period. Authorities successfully prosecuted and convicted three traffickers in a forced labor case uncovered in January 2005, initiated prosecution of one trafficking ring, and investigated one case of an alleged child prostitution ring operating near the Argentine border. Uruguayís anti-trafficking laws do not address the trafficking of adults and most trafficking-related crimes fall under commercial sexual exploitation of children, fraud, and slavery statutes. There were no reports of officials complicit in trafficking during the reporting period.
The Government of Uruguay continued to lack programs for assisting trafficking victims during the last year. Social services for all victims of crime were generally under-funded. The government funded some assistance to NGOs working in the area of trafficking, but legal, medical, and psychological care for victims was not available in all parts of the country. Shelters for victims of abuse were also mandated to assist trafficking victims but could not provide accommodations to all those requesting shelter and did not keep records that identified whether any individuals they assisted were trafficking victims.
Government efforts to raise public awareness, particularly among groups most vulnerable to trafficking, increased during the reporting period. The Ministry of Education produced public service announcements aired on national television. The Ministry also began to incorporate anti trafficking segments in the sex education curriculum at all levels taught. The government disseminated information and trained police forces on new legislation including anti-trafficking provisions, but these efforts were weakly felt outside the capital, where almost half of the population resides.