Last Updated: Monday, 22 January 2018, 12:53 GMT

2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Cuba

Publisher United States Department of State
Publication Date 27 June 2011
Cite as United States Department of State, 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report - Cuba, 27 June 2011, available at: [accessed 23 January 2018]
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.

Cuba (Tier 3)

Cuba is a source country for adults and some children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Some Cuban medical professionals assigned to work abroad have claimed that their passports were retained as a means of keeping them in a state of exploitation, thus preventing them from traveling freely. Prostitution of children reportedly occurs in Cuba as prostitution is not criminalized for anyone above 16 years old. The scope of trafficking within Cuba is particularly difficult to gauge due to the closed nature of the government and sparse non-governmental or independent reporting.

The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. The government did not publicize information about government measures to address human trafficking through prosecution, protection, or prevention efforts during the reporting period.

Recommendations for Cuba: Investigate reports of involuntary labor of Cuban citizens; in partnership with trafficking victim specialists, ensure adults and children have access to specialized trafficking victim protection and assistance; take measures to ensure identified sex and labor trafficking victims are not punished for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked; and publicize measures to address human trafficking through prosecution, protection, or prevention efforts.


The Government of Cuba did not report discernible progress on investigating or prosecuting trafficking offenses or convicting and punishing trafficking offenders during the reporting period. Cuba appears to prohibit most forms of trafficking activity through various provisions of its penal code; however, the use of these provisions could not be verified, and prostitution of children over the age of 16 is legal, leaving children over 16 particularly vulnerable to commercial sexual exploitation. The government did not share official data relating to Cuban investigations, prosecutions, and convictions of trafficking offenders, including any officials complicit in human trafficking, in 2010 or any other year. The government did not report any anti-trafficking training provided to officials.


The government did not publicize official data on protection of trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government did not report any procedures in place to guide officials in proactively identifying trafficking victims in vulnerable groups (such as people in prostitution) and referring them to available services. The government operates at least two well-regarded facilities for the treatment of children who have been sexually and physically abused. In addition, the government operates a nationwide network of shelters for victims of domestic violence or child abuse, but the government did not verify if trafficking victims received treatment in these centers. Adult victims reportedly reside in these shelters voluntarily. The government provided no evidence that it encouraged trafficking victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking offenders. The government did not report on the existence of any procedures to ensure identified trafficking victims were not punished for crimes committed as a direct result of being trafficked.


To date, the government has made limited anti-trafficking prevention efforts. The government did not implement any known public awareness campaigns to prevent forced labor or forced prostitution. The government did not report the existence of an anti-trafficking task force, monitoring mechanism, or anti-trafficking action plan. Transparency was lacking in the government's trafficking-related policies and activities; it did not report publicly on its efforts. The government made no known efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex. The government has not reported identification of a child sex tourism problem involving its nationals or within Cuba. Cuba is not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.

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