Human Trafficking

07 September 2015

The 2015 report on Trafficking in Persons is an annual report by the US Department of State. The latest version maintains Peru in the category 'tier 2', along with the majority of Latin American countries. Of these, only Bolivia, Costa Rica and Venezuela are ranked below this level. Only Chile in the Latin American group is ranked as ‘fully compliant’. The categories implement the Trafficking Victims' Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) and the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. The protocol covers debt bondage, forced labour and trafficking for sex. Tier 2 countries are ranked as ‘less than fully compliant’ with TVPA minimum standards but making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance.

The report covers child sex tourism in areas such as Cuzco, Lima and the Peruvian Amazon, and the recruiting of children and adults by Sendero Luminoso "to serve as combatants and in the illicit narcotics trade". It signals the growing danger of forced labour as illegal gold mining and logging flourish. "Peruvians working in artisanal gold mines experience forced labor, including through deceptive recruitment, debt bondage, restricted freedom of movement or inability to leave, withholding of or nonpayment of wages, and threats and use of physical violence." This is corroborated by the International Organisation of Migration, an intergovernmental network; its Peru officer says: "around mines, small towns sprout up providing services for miners, including restaurants, bars and brothels, where many of the victims of sexual exploitation are. They often come from the poorest areas of Peru looking for work" (interview by Thomson Reuters Foundation) http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/09/01/latam-mining-trafficking-idUSL5N1124T720150901

The government's efforts to control the problem receive moderate praise: the number of convictions for trafficking was only 19 in 2014, down from 41 in 2013. The government is described as making "uneven progress in prosecution efforts". It is seen that "in some areas, a lack of government presence, absence of victim services, and officials’ fear of traffickers hampered law enforcement efforts". The Peru report is available at page 278 of http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/243561.pdf

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    The Peru Support Group exists to promote social inclusion, sustainable development and the observance of human rights in Peru. To that end the PSG highlights shortcomings in observance of established norms, whether international or local in nature, in its research, advocacy and publications. In so doing, it underscores the relationships that exist within the political system, how institutions work, and the effectiveness of policies that aim to reduce poverty and inequality within the context of sustainable development.

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    Over the past century Peru has suffered a series of autocratic governments and a civil war in which nearly 70,000 people died. Many of the country's ongoing political and social problems are a legacy of its somewhat turbulent past. 

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