U.S. Department of State 2002 Trafficking in Persons Report - Russia

Russia (Tier 3)

Russia is a country of origin for women and children trafficked to many countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and North America for purposes of sexual exploitation.

The Government of Russia does not yet fully comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. There is no law specifically against trafficking. Recruitment for prostitution is illegal but not a criminal offense. The government of Russia recognizes there is a trafficking problem and the Duma has asked the United States for cooperation in drafting anti-trafficking legislation. Existing laws which can be used against traffickers include border crossing violations, document fraud, kidnapping, forced sexual activity, fraud, organized crime and pornography statues. The government of Russia rarely vigorously investigates trafficking cases of adults and only a few related cases have been prosecuted. Given the relatively low age of consent (14 years), it is difficult to prosecute trafficking cases when the victims are minors above that age absent threats or acts of violence by the traffickers. Resources for law enforcement are very limited. No specialized anti-trafficking training is provided by the government, but officials have participated in international and domestic training programs when available. The government tries to monitor its extensive borders. The government cooperates with foreign law enforcement on investigations in their countries, including a recent case successfully prosecuted in Alaska with evidence collected with the help of Russian law enforcement. Victim services and protections of rights are available and include compensation awards and rights to participate in prosecuting offenders at trial. Victims are not jailed, prosecuted for prostitution or detained upon repatriation. A new witness protection program has been developed but not yet implemented. Consulates in foreign countries have not assisted in repatriating victims. In terms of prevention, in February 2002, the Interior Ministry's Federal Migration Services office was established to handle refugee and immigration issues and to serve as the lead agency on trafficking. Although some regional governments are working with NGOs on prevention activities, the national government has not been involved in information campaigns or other prevention programs.


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