Last Updated: Monday, 22 December 2014, 21:54 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Venezuela

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 3 June 2005
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2005 Trafficking in Persons Report - Venezuela, 3 June 2005, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4680d86fc.html [accessed 23 December 2014]
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.

Venezuela (Tier 3)

Venezuela is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. Women and children from countries in the region such as Colombia, Guyana, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic are trafficked to and through Venezuela and subjected to commercial sexual exploitation. Venezuelans are trafficked internally – typically moving from rural to urban areas – and to Western Europe, particularly Spain, and countries such as Mexico and Trinidad and Tobago, for commercial sexual exploitation. Traffickers lure victims with promises of lucrative jobs or educational opportunities and take advantage of lax border controls or move victims using illegally obtained Venezuelan or false travel documents. Venezuelan children in border areas risk trafficking to mining camps in Guyana for sexual exploitation, or forced soldiering or sexual exploitation by Colombian armed insurgent groups. Venezuela is a transit country for illegal migrants, including Chinese nationals; some are believed to be trafficking victims.

The Government of Venezuela does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government has devoted insufficient attention and resources to combating human trafficking. It should strengthen law enforcement efforts, educate the public, and develop protection mechanisms for trafficking victims.

Prosecution

Efforts to address trafficking-related crime remained inadequate during the past year. The Naturalization and Immigration Law passed in 2004 contained provisions that could be used to prosecute transnational trafficking crimes. Other laws, such as the Child Protection Act and various articles of the penal code, could also be used to prosecute traffickers. However, there were no reported arrests related to commercial sexual exploitation of minors and no trafficking cases were prosecuted during the reporting period. The Criminal Investigative Police (CICPC) worked with Interpol on three cases of trafficking of women and girls for commercial sexual exploitation to Mexico, Trinidad and Tobago, and Spain. Police and intelligence forces arrested two suspected alien smugglers in a case with possible trafficking implications. Although there was no evidence that the government participated in or condoned human trafficking, corruption among immigration, identification, and border patrol officials is widespread and could facilitate trafficking.

Protection

The government provided no specialized assistance for trafficking victims during the reporting period and funded no NGO programs geared toward victims of trafficking. Authorities assisted in the repatriation of four Venezuelan victims. In theory, victims could seek civil action against their traffickers, but laws made no provision for victim restitution.

Prevention

The government launched no anti-trafficking public awareness campaign and prevention efforts were inadequate throughout the year. There were no attempts to study the extent of trafficking within the country. In the absence of government action to educate the public about the dangers of trafficking, most of Venezuelan society remained uninformed about the issue. Some government officials were aware of trafficking as an international problem and acknowledged the problem in Venezuela. The government activated an interdepartmental anti-trafficking working group, led by the Ministry of Interior and Justice, that designed a National Plan of Action and tasked each agency in the working group with creating its own anti-trafficking training and programs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs hosted IOM and the Organization of American States for anti-trafficking workshops in January 2005 to raise public officials' and NGOs' awareness of the problem. Consulates were tasked to report on Venezuelan trafficking victims but had received no previous training regarding the issue.

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