Colombia is the only country in Latin America that, according to the U.S. government’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2010, meets the minimal international standards in its fight against human trafficking. However, the country remains a major source for the forced prostitution of women and girls abroad.
According to the report, Colombian male and female human trafficking victims are forced to work in sweatshops in Latin America, while Colombian women are forced to prostitute themselves in “Latin America, the Caribbean, Western Europe, Asia, and North America, including the United States.”
“During the reporting period, the government increased law enforcement actions against trafficking offenders, enhanced prevention efforts, and continued to offer victim services through an inter-agency trafficking operations center and through partnerships with NGOs and international organizations. The significant number of Colombians trafficked abroad, however, reflects the need for increased prevention efforts and victim services,” the State Department report said.
The reports ranks Colombia as one of the top “Tier 1” countries that comply with regulations.
Despite its praise, Washington advises Colombia to “dedicate more resources for victim services provided directly by the government; increase efforts to encourage victims to assist with the prosecution of their traffickers; enhance efforts to assist and repatriate the large number of Colombians trafficked overseas; institute formal measures to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable populations; and continue to raise public awareness about the dangers of human trafficking, particularly among young women seeking jobs abroad.”
The U.S. warns Latin American countries like Cuba and the Dominican Republic they may face sanctions if they don’t improve efforts to fight human trafficking.
Venezuela, Panama, Nicaragua and Guatemala are on a “watch list” and are expected to do more against the trafficking of humans.
According to Washington, the U.S. itself faces a “serious” human trafficking problem.