U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Peru

Peru (Tier 2)

Peru is primarily a source country for women and children trafficked within the country for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Most victims are girls and young women recruited from rural areas and lured or coerced into prostitution in urban nightclubs, bars, and brothels. Peruvians also are trafficked for sexual exploitation to Spain, Italy, Japan, and the United States. The government acknowledges that child sex tourism exists, particularly in the Amazon region of the country. Children and adults also are trafficked into conditions of forced labor in Peru's mining, logging, and brick-making sectors, and as domestic servants.

The Government of Peru does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. In early 2007, the government passed a comprehensive law which prohibits all forms of trafficking in persons. The government also made solid progress in law enforcement actions against traffickers and conducted widespread anti-trafficking training for key officials. In the coming year, the government should intensify its efforts to expedite and prosecute trafficking cases and increase protection services for victims.


The Government of Peru demonstrated solid progress in investigating and prosecuting traffickers over the last year. In January 2007, the Peruvian Congress passed Law 28950, which criminally prohibits all forms of trafficking and prescribes tougher penalties against traffickers, while authorizing undercover and covert police operations and providing greater protection for trafficking victims and witnesses. The government now is drafting implementing regulations for the new law. It prescribes penalties of 8 to 15 years' imprisonment for convicted trafficking offenders, with increased penalties of 20 to 25 years' imprisonment in cases with aggravated circumstances. Such penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other grave crimes. In 2006 and early 2007, the government opened 11 trafficking cases, which represents a solid increase over 2005, when it opened four cases. A total of 13 trafficking cases are now pending before Peruvian courts. In December 2006, a Peruvian judge sentenced a trafficker to 10 years in prison. The government also launched a computerized case-tracking system, and conducted more than 2,750 raids of brothels, finding and removing almost 400 minors from commercial sexual exploitation. The government, with NGO assistance, also conducted anti-trafficking training for 1,389 law-enforcement and social-service officials across the country. There were no confirmed reports of official complicity with trafficking.


The government made limited progress in its efforts to protect victims during the reporting period. It did not penalize victims for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked. The government showed modest efforts in identifying victims and referring them to government-funded domestic-violence shelters, although these facilities lack specialized services for trafficking victims. In March 2006, the government, with NGO assistance, initiated a toll-free hotline for potential trafficking victims and for referring cases to police. Peru provides similar legal rights to foreign victims as it does to its citizens, and also allows foreign victims to remain in Peru to escape hardship or retribution in their own countries. Although Peru encourages victims to assist in the prosecution of traffickers, the uneven application of witness-protection laws continues to prevent some victims from doing so.


The government took strong steps to expand its anti-trafficking training and prevention efforts during the reporting period. The Women's Ministry conducted all-day anti-trafficking workshops for more than 2,000 municipal officials and community leaders across the country. The government also trained more than 700 teachers and school directors on how to prevent trafficking and incorporated anti-trafficking instruction into school programs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs shows anti-trafficking videos to passport applicants and disseminates videos and brochures to embassies and consulates worldwide. The Ministry of Tourism initiated a campaign for hotels to sign a "code of conduct" against child-sex tourism, which is prevalent in tourist destinations such as Iquitos and Cuzco.


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