[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 239 (Wednesday, December 12, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 74045-74048]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-30004]


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DEPARTMENT OF STATE

[Public Notice 8111]


Request for Information for the 2013 Trafficking in Persons 
Report

SUMMARY: The Department of State (``the Department'') requests written 
information to assist in reporting on the degree to which the United 
States and foreign governments comply with the minimum standards for 
the elimination of trafficking in persons (``minimum standards'') that 
are prescribed by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, (Div. 
A, Pub. L. 106-386) as amended (``TVPA''). This information will assist 
in the preparation of the Trafficking in Persons Report (``TIP 
Report'') that the Department submits annually to appropriate 
committees in the U.S. Congress on countries' level of compliance with 
the minimum standards. Foreign governments that do not comply with the 
minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so may 
be subject to restrictions on nonhumanitarian, nontrade-related foreign 
assistance from the United States, as defined by the TVPA. Submissions 
must be made in writing to the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking 
in Persons at the Department of State by January 31, 2013. Please refer 
to the Addresses, Scope of Interest and Information Sought sections of 
this Notice for additional instructions on submission requirements.

DATES: Submissions must be received by the Office to Monitor and Combat 
Trafficking in Persons by 5 p.m. on January 31, 2013.

ADDRESSES: Written submissions and supporting documentation may be 
submitted to the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons by 
the following methods:
     Facsimile (fax): 202-312-9637.
     Mail, Express Delivery, Hand Delivery and Messenger 
Service: U.S. Department of State, Office to Monitor and Combat 
Trafficking in Persons (J/TIP), 1800 G Street NW., Suite 2148, 
Washington, DC 20520. Please note that materials submitted by mail may 
be delayed due to security screenings and processing.
     Email (preferred): tipreport@state.gov for submissions 
related to foreign governments and tipreportUS@state.gov for 
submissions related to the United States.
    Scope of Interest: The Department requests information relevant to 
assessing the United States' and foreign governments' compliance with 
the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons in 
the year 2012. The minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking 
in persons are listed in the Background section. Submissions must 
include information relevant and probative of the minimum standards for 
the elimination of trafficking in persons and should include, but need 
not be limited to, answering the questions in the Information Sought 
section. These questions are designed to elicit information relevant to 
the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons. 
Only those questions for which the submitter has direct professional 
experience should be answered and that experience should be noted. For 
any critique or deficiency described, please provide a recommendation 
to remedy it. Note the country or countries that are the focus of the 
submission.
    Submissions may include written narratives that answer the 
questions presented in this Notice, research, studies, statistics, 
fieldwork, training materials, evaluations, assessments, and other 
relevant evidence of local, state and federal government efforts. To 
the extent possible, precise dates should be included.
    Where applicable, written narratives providing factual information 
should provide citations to sources and copies of the source material 
should be provided. If possible, send electronic copies of the entire 
submission, including source material. If primary sources are utilized, 
such as research studies, interviews, direct observations, or other 
sources of quantitative or qualitative data, details on the research or 
data-gathering methodology should be provided. The Department does not 
include in the report, and is therefore not seeking, information on 
prostitution, human smuggling, visa fraud, or child abuse, unless such 
conduct occurs in the context of human trafficking.
    Confidentiality: Please provide the name, phone number, and email 
address of a single point of contact for any submission. It is 
Department practice not to identify in the TIP Report information 
concerning sources in order to safeguard those sources. Please note, 
however, that any information submitted to the Department may be 
releasable pursuant to the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act 
or other applicable law. When applicable, portions of submissions 
relevant to efforts by other U.S. government agencies may be shared 
with those agencies.
    Response: This is a request for information only; there will be no 
response to submissions.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Background

    The TIP Report: The TIP Report is the most comprehensive worldwide 
report on foreign governments' efforts to combat trafficking in 
persons. It represents an updated, global look at the nature and scope 
of trafficking in persons and the broad range of government actions to 
confront and eliminate it. The U.S. Government uses the TIP Report to 
engage in diplomacy to encourage partnership in creating and 
implementing laws and policies to combat trafficking and to target 
resources on prevention, protection, and prosecution programs. 
Worldwide, the report is used by international organizations, foreign 
governments, and nongovernmental organizations alike as a tool to 
examine where resources are most needed. Freeing victims, preventing 
trafficking, and bringing traffickers to justice are the ultimate goals 
of the report and of the U.S Government's anti-human trafficking 
policy.
    The Department prepares the TIP Report using information from 
across the U.S. government, U.S. embassies, foreign government 
officials, nongovernmental and international organizations, published 
reports, and research trips to every region. The TIP Report focuses on 
concrete actions that governments take to fight trafficking in persons, 
including prosecutions, convictions, and prison sentences for 
traffickers, as well as victim protection measures and prevention 
efforts. Each TIP Report narrative also includes a section on 
recommendations. These recommendations are then used to assist in 
measuring progress from one year to the next and determining whether 
governments comply with the minimum standards to eliminate trafficking 
in persons or are making significant efforts to do so.
    The TVPA creates a three tier ranking system. This placement is 
based more on the extent of government action to combat trafficking 
than on the size of the problem, although that is a consideration. The 
Department first evaluates whether the government fully complies with 
the TVPA's minimum standards for the elimination of

[[Page 74046]]

trafficking. Governments that fully comply are placed on Tier 1. For 
other governments, the Department considers the extent of efforts to 
reach compliance. Governments that are making significant efforts to 
meet the minimum standards are placed on Tier 2. Governments that do 
not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making 
significant efforts to do so are placed on Tier 3. Finally, the 
Department considers Special Watch List criteria and, when applicable, 
moves Tier 2 countries to Tier 2 Watch List. For more information, the 
2012 TIP Report can be found at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2012/index.htm.
    Since the inception of the TIP Report in 2001, the number of 
countries included and ranked has more than doubled to include 185 
countries in the 2012 TIP Report. Around the world, the TIP Report and 
the best practices reflected therein have inspired legislation, 
national action plans, implementation of policies and funded programs, 
protection mechanisms that complement prosecution efforts, and a 
comprehensive understanding of the issue.
    Since 2003, the primary reporting on the United States' anti-
trafficking activities has been through the annual Attorney General's 
Report to Congress and Assessment of U.S. Government Activities to 
Combat Human Trafficking (``AG Report'') mandated by section 105 of the 
TVPA (22 U.S.C. 7103(d)(7)). The United States voluntarily, through a 
collaborative interagency process, includes in the TIP Report an 
analysis of U.S. Government anti-trafficking efforts in light of the 
minimum standards to eliminate trafficking in persons set forth by the 
TVPA. This analysis in the TIP Report is done in addition to the AG 
Report, resulting in a multi-faceted self-assessment process of 
expanded scope.

II. Minimum Standards for the Elimination of Trafficking in Persons

    The TVPA sets forth the minimum standards for the elimination of 
trafficking in persons as follows:
    (1) The government of the country should prohibit severe forms of 
trafficking in persons and punish acts of such trafficking.
    (2) For the knowing commission of any act of sex trafficking 
involving force, fraud, coercion, or in which the victim of sex 
trafficking is a child incapable of giving meaningful consent, or of 
trafficking which includes rape or kidnapping or which causes a death, 
the government of the country should prescribe punishment commensurate 
with that for grave crimes, such as forcible sexual assault.
    (3) For the knowing commission of any act of a severe form of 
trafficking in persons, the government of the country should prescribe 
punishment that is sufficiently stringent to deter and that adequately 
reflects the heinous nature of the offense.
    (4) The government of the country should make serious and sustained 
efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in persons.
    The following factors should be considered as indicia of serious 
and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking in 
persons:
    (1) Whether the government of the country vigorously investigates 
and prosecutes acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons, and 
convicts and sentences persons responsible for such acts, that take 
place wholly or partly within the territory of the country, including, 
as appropriate, requiring incarceration of individuals convicted of 
such acts. For purposes of the preceding sentence, suspended or 
significantly reduced sentences for convictions of principal actors in 
cases of severe forms of trafficking in persons shall be considered, on 
a case-by-case basis, whether to be considered as an indicator of 
serious and sustained efforts to eliminate severe forms of trafficking 
in persons. After reasonable requests from the Department of State for 
data regarding investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and 
sentences, a government which does not provide such data, consistent 
with the capacity of such government to obtain such data, shall be 
presumed not to have vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted, or 
sentenced such acts. The Secretary of State may disregard the 
presumption contained in the preceding sentence if the government has 
provided some data to the Department of State regarding such acts and 
the Secretary has determined that the government is making a good faith 
effort to collect such data.
    (2) Whether the government of the country protects victims of 
severe forms of trafficking in persons and encourages their assistance 
in the investigation and prosecution of such trafficking, including 
provisions for legal alternatives to their removal to countries in 
which they would face retribution or hardship, and ensures that victims 
are not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized 
solely for unlawful acts as a direct result of being trafficked, 
including by providing training to law enforcement and immigration 
officials regarding the identification and treatment of trafficking 
victims using approaches that focus on the needs of the victims.
    (3) Whether the government of the country has adopted measures to 
prevent severe forms of trafficking in persons, such as measures to 
inform and educate the public, including potential victims, about the 
causes and consequences of severe forms of trafficking in persons, 
measures to establish the identity of local populations, including 
birth registration, citizenship, and nationality, measures to ensure 
that its nationals who are deployed abroad as part of a peacekeeping or 
other similar mission do not engage in or facilitate severe forms of 
trafficking in persons or exploit victims of such trafficking, and 
measures to prevent the use of forced labor or child labor in violation 
of international standards.
    (4) Whether the government of the country cooperates with other 
governments in the investigation and prosecution of severe forms of 
trafficking in persons.
    (5) Whether the government of the country extradites persons 
charged with acts of severe forms of trafficking in persons on 
substantially the same terms and to substantially the same extent as 
persons charged with other serious crimes (or, to the extent such 
extradition would be inconsistent with the laws of such country or with 
international agreements to which the country is a party, whether the 
government is taking all appropriate measures to modify or replace such 
laws and treaties so as to permit such extradition).
    (6) Whether the government of the country monitors immigration and 
emigration patterns for evidence of severe forms of trafficking in 
persons and whether law enforcement agencies of the country respond to 
any such evidence in a manner that is consistent with the vigorous 
investigation and prosecution of acts of such trafficking, as well as 
with the protection of human rights of victims and the internationally 
recognized human right to leave any country, including one's own, and 
to return to one's own country.
    (7) Whether the government of the country vigorously investigates, 
prosecutes, convicts, and sentences public officials who participate in 
or facilitate severe forms of trafficking in persons, including 
nationals of the country who are deployed abroad as part of a 
peacekeeping or other similar mission who engage in or facilitate 
severe forms of trafficking in persons or exploit victims of such 
trafficking, and takes all appropriate measures against officials who 
condone such trafficking. After reasonable requests from the

[[Page 74047]]

Department of State for data regarding such investigations, 
prosecutions, convictions, and sentences, a government which does not 
provide such data consistent with its resources shall be presumed not 
to have vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted, or sentenced 
such acts. The Secretary of State may disregard the presumption 
contained in the preceding sentence if the government has provided some 
data to the Department of State regarding such acts and the Secretary 
has determined that the government is making a good faith effort to 
collect such data.
    (8) Whether the percentage of victims of severe forms of 
trafficking in the country that are non-citizens of such countries is 
insignificant.
    (9) Whether the government of the country, consistent with the 
capacity of such government, systematically monitors its efforts to 
satisfy the criteria described in paragraphs (1) through (8) and makes 
available publicly a periodic assessment of such efforts.
    (10) Whether the government of the country achieves appreciable 
progress in eliminating severe forms of trafficking when compared to 
the assessment in the previous year.
    (11) Whether the government of the country has made serious and 
sustained efforts to reduce the demand for (A) commercial sex acts; and 
(B) participation in international sex tourism by nationals of the 
country.

III. Information Sought Relevant to the Minimum Standards

    Submissions should include, but need not be limited to, answers to 
relevant questions below for which the submitter has direct 
professional experience and that experience should be noted. Citations 
to source material must also be provided. Note the country or countries 
that are the focus of the submission. Please see the Scope of Interest 
section for detailed information regarding submission requirements.
    1. How have trafficking methods changed in the past 12 months? 
(E.g., are there victims from new countries of origin? Is internal 
trafficking or child trafficking increasing? Has sex trafficking 
changed from brothels to private apartments? Is labor trafficking now 
occurring in additional types of industries or agricultural operations? 
Is forced begging a problem?)
    2. In what ways has the government's efforts to combat trafficking 
in persons changed in the past year? What new laws, regulations, 
policies, and implementation strategies exist (e.g., substantive 
criminal laws and procedures, mechanisms for civil remedies, and 
victim-witness security, generally, and in relation to court 
proceedings)?
    3. Please provide observations regarding the implementation of 
existing laws and procedures.
    4. Is the government equally vigorous in pursuing labor trafficking 
and sex trafficking?
    5. Are the anti-trafficking laws and sentences strict enough to 
reflect the nature of the crime? Are sex trafficking sentences 
commensurate with rape sentences?
    6. Do government officials understand the nature of trafficking? If 
not, please provide examples of misconceptions or misunderstandings.
    7. Do judges appear appropriately knowledgeable and sensitized to 
trafficking cases? What sentences have courts imposed upon traffickers? 
How common are suspended sentences and prison time of less than one 
year for convicted traffickers?
    8. Please provide observations regarding the efforts of police and 
prosecutors to pursue trafficking cases.
    9. Are government officials (including law enforcement) complicit 
in human trafficking by, for example, profiting from, taking bribes, or 
receiving sexual services for allowing it to continue? Are government 
officials operating trafficking rings or activities? If so, have these 
government officials been subject to an investigation and/or 
prosecution? What punishments have been imposed?
    10. Has the government vigorously investigated, prosecuted, 
convicted, and sentenced nationals of the country deployed abroad as 
part of a peacekeeping or other similar mission who engage in or 
facilitate trafficking?
    11. Has the government investigated, prosecuted, convicted, and 
sentenced organized crime groups that are involved in trafficking?
    12. Is the country a source of sex tourists and, if so, what are 
their destination countries? Is the country a destination for sex 
tourists and, if so, what are their source countries?
    13. Please provide observations regarding government efforts to 
address the issue of unlawful child soldiering.
    14. Does the government make a coordinated, proactive effort to 
identify victims? Is there any screening conducted before deportation 
to determine whether individuals were trafficked?
    15. What victim services are provided (legal, medical, food, 
shelter, interpretation, mental health care, health care, 
repatriation)? Who provides these services? If nongovernment 
organizations provide the services, does the government support their 
work either financially or otherwise?
    16. How could victim services be improved?
    17. Are services provided equally and adequately to victims of 
labor and sex trafficking? Men, women, and children? Citizen and 
noncitizen?
    18. Do service organizations and law enforcement work together 
cooperatively, for instance, to share information about trafficking 
trends or to plan for services after a raid? What is the level of 
cooperation, communication, and trust between service organizations and 
law enforcement?
    19. May victims file civil suits or seek legal action against their 
trafficker? Do victims avail themselves of those remedies?
    20. Does the government repatriate victims? Does the government 
assist with third country resettlement? Does the government engage in 
any analysis of whether victims may face retribution or hardship upon 
repatriation to their country of origin? Are victims awaiting 
repatriation or third country resettlement offered services? Are 
victims indeed repatriated or are they deported?
    21. Does the government inappropriately detain or imprison 
identified trafficking victims?
    22. Does the government punish trafficking victims for forgery of 
documents, illegal immigration, unauthorized employment, or 
participation in illegal activities directed by the trafficker?
    23. What efforts has the government made to prevent human 
trafficking?
    24. Are there efforts to address root causes of trafficking such as 
poverty; lack of access to education and economic opportunity; and 
discrimination against women, children, and minorities?
    25. Does the government undertake activities that could prevent or 
reduce vulnerability to trafficking, such as registering births of 
indigenous populations?
    26. Does the government provide financial support to NGOs working 
to promote public awareness or does the government implement such 
campaigns itself? Have public awareness campaigns proven to be 
effective?
    27. Please provide additional recommendations to improve the 
government's anti-trafficking efforts.
    28. Please highlight effective strategies and practices that other 
governments could consider adopting.


[[Page 74048]]


    Dated: December 6, 2012.
Luis CdeBaca,
Ambassador-at-Large, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in 
Persons, U.S. Department of State.
[FR Doc. 2012-30004 Filed 12-11-12; 8:45 am]
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