Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Sri Lanka
|Publisher||United States Department of State|
|Publication Date||24 February 2010|
|Cite as||United States Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Interim Assessment - Sri Lanka, 24 February 2010, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/4b8e7a6b23.html [accessed 23 September 2014]|
[From the introductory text accompanying this report on the U.S. Department of State website: "In most cases, the Interim Assessment is intended to serve as a tool by which to gauge the anti-trafficking progress of countries that may be in danger of slipping a tier in the upcoming June 2010 TIP Report and to give them guidance on how to avoid a Tier 3 ranking. It is a tightly focused progress report, assessing the concrete actions a government has taken to address the key deficiencies highlighted in the June 2009 TIP Report. The Interim Assessment covers actions undertaken between the beginning of May – the cutoff for data covered in the June TIP Report – and November. Readers are requested to refer to the annual TIP Report for an analysis of large-scale efforts and a description of the trafficking problem in each particular country or territory."]
The Government of Sri Lanka has made limited progress since the release of the 2009 TIP Report. It reported no convictions for trafficking or for trafficking-related offences. Under the 2006 Anti-Trafficking Amendment, however, the Attorney General's Department initiated prosecution of two suspected trafficking offenders between April and November 2009 (one under trafficking and one under sexual exploitation of children). Despite the lack of criminal prosecutions of labor trafficking offenses, the government took some preventive actions since the release of the 2009 Report. The investigative arm of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) conducted a total of 119 raids on unlicensed employment agencies between March and August 2009; the government made 275 cases among those arrested, charging them under section 398 of the Penal Code (fraudulent promises). These cases have not yet been tried. The SLBFE has taken administrative action against some employment agencies, including cancelling the licenses of four local agents and charging fines of US $250 (an average month's wage for many Sri Lankans). Parliament passed legislation on September 24, 2009, which expanded the powers of the SLBFE to go after job agents who break the law. The new legislation increases fines, allows for imprisonment, regulates employment agents, and makes aiding and abetting illegally operating employment agents a crime.
Sri Lanka has not yet developed and implemented formal victim-referral procedures. Since its inauguration in June 2009, however, the National Counter-Human Trafficking Resource Centre of the Sri Lankan Department of Immigration and Emigration has conducted two training sessions (with a total of 50 immigration officers) in detecting trafficking victims. The SLBFE conducted training sessions for police in Sri Lanka's Eastern Province between April and November 2009. The training included information on legal actions, investigations, and victim identification.