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05SANTODOMINGO1257 2005-03-04 21:59:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Santo Domingo
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E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: 04 STATE 273089

1. The following is Embassy,s response to the questions
raised in reftel.

2. 2005 Dominican Republic Trafficking in Persons Report


A. The Dominican Republic is a country of origin, transit
and destination for trafficking victims. It is a country of
origin for female prostitutes, as well as cabaret dancers and
domestic employees, who work abroad generally in urban
centers in wealthier countries. The number of such
prostitutes/workers recruited since 1991 is estimated by the
International Organization for Migration (IOM) and NGOs to be
between 50,000 and 100,000 based on fragmentary data. It is
not clear how many of these are or were trafficking victims,
but one report estimated that at least one third of these
women may have been victims of trafficking. It is not known
how many women are trafficked through the Dominican Republic
to other countries, some of them obtaining false documents
while in transit. For instance, there are indications that
Peruvian women have been trafficked through the Dominican
Republic to Italy. The Association of Domestic Workers
estimates that 1500 women in domestic service jobs within the
Dominican Republic are victims of internal trafficking.

Human rights observers say a number of men who migrate to or
live in the Dominican Republic are engaged in forced labor,
including in the sugarcane plantations and the construction
industry. There are no reliable estimates about the number
of adult male trafficking victims in the Dominican Republic.

Observers estimate that 25,000-30,000 children under 18 years
of age are involved in prostitution in the Dominican
Republic. Some elements in the tourist industry facilitate
the sexual exploitation of children, particularly in the
tourist areas of Boca Chica, Puerto Plata, and Sosua. Some
foreign agents overseas market tours by suggesting that young
boys and girls can be found as sex partners. IOM and UNICEF
estimate that 2,000 Haitian children smuggled into the
Dominican Republic annually provide street services (such as
shoe shining), work in agriculture, or are involved in the
sex trade. The ILO estimates that 48,000 children are
engaged in child labor nationwide.

B. The principal source country for individuals trafficked
to the Dominican Republic is Haiti, which shares a long and
porous border with the Dominican Republic. Both countries
lack effective border controls (see Section II.G.).
Principal destinations continue to be Europe and Latin
America, and include Spain, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands,
Belgium, Switzerland, Greece, the Netherlands Antilles,
Argentina, Costa Rica, and Brazil. Australia has been
mentioned with increasing frequency as a destination for
women trafficked from the Dominican Republic.
Many economic migrants attempt to travel to the United
States, mainly via flimsy wooden boats called "yolas" used to
cross the Mona Passage between the Dominican Republic and
Puerto Rico. Many of the migrants pay smugglers to take get
them to the United States. An unknown number of these
migrants may have been victims of trafficking. The
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) estimates that almost
12,000 illegal migrants attempted to cross the Mona Passage
in 2004, nearly twice as many as the year before.

C. Local NGOs and international organizations have noted
an increase in trafficking to Brazil, Colombia, the Czech
Republic, and Australia, as well as through Cyprus. There
were also reports of new trafficking rings linked to Belgium
and Italy, with traffickers using travel agencies as fronts.
The extent of the trafficking problem has remained
substantially unchanged from last year.

D. The government, international organizations, and NGOs
have conducted studies over the past several years that
highlight the major problems and trends in trafficking. A
summary of these studies was compiled into an easy-to-read
format by the Foundation for Institutionalism and Justice
(FINJUS), a local NGO.

USAID/Haiti sponsored a study by consultant Glenn Smucker and
Professor Gerald Murray of the University of Florida of the
trafficking of Haitian children. Presented in December 2004
before publication, the study describes the ways in which
children are trafficked, including across the Dominican
border, and the ways in which they are and are not being
exploited. For example, the report did not find any
verifiable data that children smuggled to the Dominican
Republic were being exploited through forced labor, although
it did find evidence that they were being used for
prostitution. It discusses in lesser detail the use of
Haitian labor in the Dominican Republic generally.

IOM has funded a study on internal trafficking for purposes
of prostitution. As of the end of February 2005 the report
was substantially complete, but the results have not yet been
published. The study is expected to conclude that most women
working as prostitutes in the Dominican Republic are
trafficking victims. Very few prostitutes are from the areas
where they work. Rather, the data indicate, women are
brought to sex tourism areas and deceived about the kind of
work, the extent of prostitution required of them, or the
amount of money they will receive. In addition, the owners
of brothels threaten children of prostitutes or take physical
custody of the children in order to ensure the mothers,
compliance. Some hook the women on drugs to make them more
dependent. Researchers have indications that many
prostitution rings involving internally trafficked women have
close connections to organized crime, including
The government provides the U.S. Government with an annual
summary of anti-trafficking efforts for use in the
trafficking in persons report.

E. IOM and UNICEF estimate that 2,000 Haitian children are
smuggled into the Dominican Republic annually and provide
street services, work in agriculture, or are involved in the
sex trade. Young children plant sugar cane in the sugar
plantations, and 14- and 15-year olds have been spotted
cutting sugar cane. Generally, these children live in
substandard housing, lack adequate nutrition, and have
virtually no access to healthcare services. The majority of
them do not have identification documents.

There was also evidence that some Haitians working in the
sugarcane fields were victims of trafficking. In various
sugarcane industry shantytowns, called "bateys," field guards
were reported to keep workers' clothes and documents to
prevent them from leaving until the end of the harvest.
Employers commonly withheld wages to keep workers in the
fields. Human rights NGOs, the Catholic Church, and
activists described life in the bateys as "modern-day
slavery." In most bateys, living and working conditions were

F. Traffickers target vulnerable populations, including
women and children. The main methods used to recruit women
include family networks and fake contracts to work as
dancers, artists, or domestic employees. Many trafficking
victims travel using bona fide legal documents, including
non-immigrant visas, which are taken from them on arrival.

G. The Dominican government, particularly the Fernandez
government that took power in August 2004, has demonstrated a
commitment to fighting trafficking in persons and the
government is making a good faith effort to address
trafficking and trafficking-related corruption. President
Fernandez emphasized repeatedly at public events that his
administration would proceed against traffickers, leading up
to the March 2005 conviction of Congressman Guillermo
Radhames Ramos Garcia for alien smuggling (see Section
III.D.). In February, Fernandez submitted to the Dominican
Senate for ratification the Optional Protocol to the
Convention on the Rights of the Child concerning the sale of
children, child prostitution, and child pornography.

At a conference on trafficking hosted by the IOM in October
2004, Attorney General Francisco Dominguez Brito called for
the stiffest possible sentences for traffickers and pointed
out the need for quicker resolution of pending cases. This
conference was attended by a number of senior officials and
investigators (see Section II.F.). Assistant Attorney
General for Trafficking and Alien Smuggling Frank Soto also
spoke out in the press against trafficking and alien
The government has demonstrated that it is willing to
investigate, prosecute and fire corrupt government officials
(see Section I.H.).

H. There are no verifiable reports of institutional
involvement in trafficking; however, corruption is a problem
in the Dominican Republic, and certain officials have been
directly involved in alien smuggling operations. In
addition, some officials have benefited from bribes directly
or indirectly related to alien smuggling and trafficking.

Some agencies have taken steps to reduce corruption. The
Migration Directorate has removed a number of inspectors and
supervisors to purge the organization of elements that
contributed to trafficking and illegal alien smuggling.

In addition, authorities have made significant efforts to
investigate and prosecute corruption by high-ranking
officials, including obtaining a conviction against
Congressman Ramos Garcia for alien smuggling (see Section
III.D.). For example, in late 2004 the government indicted a
former Secretary of the Armed Forces, a former Secretary of
Interior and Police, and others for payoffs and embezzlement
from a government-backed loan program for public transport
during the previous administration. In addition, the
National Drug Control Directorate arrested a retired military
officer for trafficking 1,387 kilograms of cocaine, and the
suspect was successfully extradited to the United States on
drug charges in February 2005. Because of the size of the
seizure and the political connections of the suspect, this
case has potentially far-reaching repercussions. It is an
example of the government,s willingness to take on cases
that could implicate powerful people, a significant change
from years of impunity for well-connected individuals.

In February 2005, President Fernandez announced the creation
of a National Commission for Ethics and Combating Corruption,
to be composed of representatives from the government, civil
society, religious groups, and the business sector. The
Commission will be responsible for creating, executing, and
following up government initiatives to fight corruption. The
President swore in the members of the Commission on February
28, 2005.

I. The government,s resources to address trafficking in
persons were and are limited. The economy and national
finances were severely affected by massive bank failures in
2003, and the government is operating on a budget of strict
austerity, as agreed with the International Monetary Fund.
Salaries for public employees are low, a situation that
contributes to corruption. Most of the resources and
training for anti-trafficking activities come from foreign
donor sources.

Corruption and deeply rooted attitudes complicate the
government,s response to trafficking. The culture is
tolerant of official corruption, which many low and mid-level
officials use to supplement their income. Many officials are
inclined to look the other way rather than help a victim, and
some try to profit from exploitation. A historically
negative attitude toward Haitian migrants makes many
officials reluctant to assist Haitian victims of trafficking.
The Dominican justice system is slow, faulty, and
under-resourced, factors which significantly affect the
prosecution of traffickers. Although a new Criminal
Procedures Code implemented in September should help deal
with the problem, 70 percent of the prisoners nationwide were
held without being charged or while awaiting trial. The
average pretrial detention throughout the country was more
than 6 months. In an estimated 75 percent of all cases, the
suspects were detained without action until the statute of
limitations expired, leaving no action for the courts to
take. Only 10 percent of those charged with a crime were
actually convicted. The remainder were acquitted or released
without judgment. A large backlog of criminal cases remained
in the National District and throughout the country. There
were more than 300,000 cases pending when the new Criminal
Procedures Code took effect, although many of these cases had
exceeded the statutory limitation and may be removed from the

In addition, it is a significant challenge for prosecutors to
bring complex trafficking cases to completion. There is no
integrated electronic record keeping. Institutional memory
is generally lost from one administration to the next because
many government offices retain only paper files, if any at
all. Even when personnel are trained and competent, they are
subject to transfer to other sections or may lose their jobs
due to political patronage.

Although the national anti-trafficking units are familiar
with the law and can differentiate between alien smuggling
cases and trafficking in persons, many local law enforcement
authorities have not received training on this issue. Local
authorities may misidentify trafficking cases as lesser
offenses, for example as cases of document forgery or as
violations of immigration laws.

J. The government occasionally makes available to
international organizations and to the Embassy assessments of
its anti-trafficking efforts. It is responsive to requests
for information. Various agencies with anti-trafficking
responsibilities work closely with Embassy counterparts. For
example, the Directorate of Migration works with DHS to
monitor smuggling activities and makes available reports of
arrests. Dominican Migration officers also bring suspected
illegal aliens they intercept at ports of entry/exit for
interviews with consular fraud prevention investigators for
document and identity verification. This provides the
consular section critical information for the input of
lookout entries into the Department,s computer database
regarding alien smuggling and fraud, as warranted. The
Navy, through the auspices of Naval Intelligence (M-2),
coordinates regularly with the Coast Guard Attache regarding
interdictions at sea.
Government agencies generally cooperate with each other on
trafficking cases, although the mechanism for doing so is not
well developed, and some agencies are at times reluctant to
share information. This problem was the subject of a
DOJ/OPDAT workshop held in February 2005 (see Section III.G.).

K. Prostitution is not prohibited by law, although it is
illegal for a third party to derive financial gain from
prostitution. The operation of brothels is illegal. The
Government usually did not enforce prostitution laws, but
there were some crackdowns where minors were involved.
Authorities closed down brothels engaged in child
prostitution in Santiago, Monte Cristi and Boca Chica (see
Section III.D.).


A. The Government acknowledges that trafficking is a
problem and has formed specialized anti-trafficking units in
the Attorney General,s office, the National Police, the
Migration Directorate, and the Foreign Ministry. The
Attorney General,s anti-trafficking unit has three
components: investigation, education, and computer crimes.
Senior officials have spoken out about trafficking both
publicly and in private communications. See also I.G.

B. Several government agencies share responsibility for
anti-trafficking efforts. The primary agencies involved in
anti-trafficking efforts include:

- Office of the Attorney General
- Secretariat of Women (SEM)
- Directorate of Migration
- Naval Intelligence Unit (M-2)
- Secretariat of Foreign Relations (SEREX)
- National Police
- Secretariat of Tourism
- Secretariat of Labor
- National Council for Children and Adolescents (CONANI)

The interagency group Committee for the Protection of Migrant
Women (CIPROM) is the lead agency on trafficking issues.
CIPROM consists of SEM (the chair), SEREX, the Secretariat of
Labor, the Directorate of Migration, the Secretariat of
Tourism, National Police, the Attorney General, IOM, the
National Hotel and Restaurant Association (ASONOHARES), and
several others. CIPROM was created in 1999 and charged with
developing plans and strengthening government programs and
measures to protect migrant women, especially those
trafficked to other countries for sexual exploitation. IOM
reports that CIPROM has effectively been expanded to consider
trafficking generally (see Section II.H).

C. There have been a several government-supported
education campaigns against trafficking and sexual
exploitation. The campaigns tend to focus on identifying
victims of trafficking rather than on addressing the demand
for trafficking. Law enforcement officials held two
town-hall style meetings on trafficking in Boca Chica, a
hotspot for sex tourism. The meetings brought together
participants from the Attorney General,s office, SEREX,
National Police, Tourist Police, and other organizations with
community leaders to discuss the dangers of trafficking and
to encourage community involvement in identifying and
reporting suspected traffickers and victims. The education
section of the Attorney General,s anti-trafficking unit is
developing a plan to expand this program to every province in
the Dominican Republic.

SEM held eight workshops designed to promote local networks
to prevent trafficking and to assist victims, as well as
three other workshops to educate communities about the
anti-trafficking laws and their implications. SEM also
coordinated the production of two radio spots with the
objective of preventing trafficking and illegal migration.
The Ministry of Education held two workshops attended by 80
teachers on the topics of trafficking and illegal migration.

D. The government provided support to other programs to
prevent trafficking. The Ministry of Labor, in collaboration
with the ILO's Program for the Eradication of Child Labor and
other international labor rights organizations, continued
programs to combat child labor. These included programs to
eliminate child labor in the tomato-producing Province of
Azua, in the coffee-growing Province of San Jose de Ocoa, and
in the agricultural province of Constanza, and a program to
combat the commercial sexual exploitation of minors in
popular tourist destinations. The Ministries of Labor and
Education continued to support the program Combating Child
Labor through Education, which established several camps that
hosted more than 1,000 children and adolescents. An
ILO-Ministry of Labor program in Boca Chica against the
commercial sexual exploitation of minors provided
psychological support and medical assistance, returned
children to classrooms, and reunified children with their
families and communities whenever possible. The Armed Forces
sponsored a program to rescue children from abuse, known as
the the General Directorate of Shelters and Residences for
the Civic Reeducation of Boys, Girls, and Adolescents
(DIGFARCIN). DIGFARCIN provided educational programs, after
school projects, and recreation opportunities to children at
risk for abuse, mainly in the Boca Chica area. DIGFARCIN
also operated a home for abused children in San Jose de las

E. The government is able to support its own prevention
programs, but funding is limited (see Section I.I.).

F. The government has strong relationships with NGOs that
work on trafficking. NGOs and international organizations
are included on CIPROM. Authorities received training on the
anti-trafficking laws from FINJUS (see Section III.G).
Representatives from all of the trafficking-related agencies
attended and participated in the IOM Conference on best
practices to combat trafficking in October in Boca Chica,
which also included representatives from a number of foreign
governments, foreign and local NGOs, international
organizations, and international police, such as INTERPOL.
SEM is a partner of local NGO Center for Integral Orientation
and Investigation (COIN), the primary NGO source of
information on trafficking victims. COIN and IOM cooperate
with the Attorney General,s office in identifying
trafficking rings.

G. The Armed Forces is responsible for control of the
borders; however, it is in practice relatively easy for
traffickers to smuggle victims into and out of the Dominican
Republic. The land border between the Dominican Republic and
Haiti is more than 240 miles long and extremely porous. In
addition, yolas and other vessels can launch from almost
anywhere along the 1000-mile-long coast, which borders three
sides of the country.

The Armed Forces made a significant effort to deter illegal
immigration and trafficking. The Dominican Navy worked
closely with the U.S. Coast Guard to prevent illegal voyages
and to interdict illegal migrants, although it is known that
some members of the Navy turned a blind eye to smuggling or
engaged directly in the activity. The Navy says that it
detained nearly 7,000 illegal migrants in 2004, including
more than 1,700 in January alone. Nearly 200 of these
migrants were from third countries. The U.S. Coast Guard
intercepted more than 6,000 illegal migrants, including more
than 100 stowaways. The Dominican Air Force sent personnel
trained to identify illegal migration to several ports and
airports as well as to the frontier. The Air Force flew 117
patrol missions in conjunction with the Navy to help counter
illegal voyages.

The government has increased the security of its passport
through an anti-fraud department in the National Police.
Increased passport security may make it more difficult for
certain traffickers and alien smugglers to move Dominicans
and third country nationals from or through the Dominican

H. Although there is no task force dedicated solely to
trafficking, CIPROM takes the lead on the Government,s
response to trafficking, particularly with respect to the
trafficking of women overseas (see Section II.J). The
Attorney General named Assistant Attorney General Soto to
lead the interagency prosecution effort, which includes
elements from the National Police, Migration Directorate,
Navy, and other agencies. The Fernandez administration has
revitalized a government office under the authority of the
Attorney General that oversees the investigation and
prosecution of corrupt officials.

I. Following the IOM conference in October, which brought
together Dominican officials with members of the
international law enforcement community (see Section II.F.),
the Attorney General,s office developed lines of
communication with INTERPOL, although they have not yet
collaborated on any trafficking cases.

J. CIPROM is the lead interagency group for addressing
trafficking in persons. Although CIPROM was dormant for the
early part of the year, it has become more active under the
Fernandez administration. CIPROM has begun to take on
additional responsibilities for trafficking beyond its
original mandate to assist migrant women. According to IOM,
CIPROM is in the process of creating a national plan of
action to address trafficking in persons and has already
produced a draft.

K. There is no single entity in the government responsible
for developing anti-trafficking programs. Rather, several
agencies, including the Attorney General,s Office, SEM,
SEREX and others, develop anti-trafficking programs within
the scope of their responsibilities. The various agencies
have begun to better coordinate their efforts through CIPROM
and through other, less formal channels.


A. Any of several laws may be applied to prosecute
traffickers, depending on the elements of the crime and the
identity of the victims. Taken together, these laws are
adequate to address the full scope of trafficking in persons,
and they cover both domestic and international forms of
trafficking. In 2003 the Dominican Congress passed a
comprehensive Trafficking Law (Law 137-03), promulgated
subsequently by the President. The definition of trafficking
is based largely on U.S. definitions and covers trafficking
for sexual exploitation as well as for non-sexual purposes,
including forced labor. A law against alien smuggling was
already in force, but the Trafficking Law carries stricter
penalties. In addition, a new Code for Minors (Law 136-03)
came into effect in 2004, with penalties specifically for the
sexual exploitation of children.

B. The Code for Minors establishes penalties for sexual
abuse of children of 20 to 30 years' imprisonment and fines
from 100 to 150 times the minimum wage. The Code for Minors
provides for a penalty of between 2 and 5 years'
incarceration and a fine of 3 to 5 times the minimum wage for
persons found guilty of abuse of a minor. The penalty is
doubled if the abuse is related to trafficking. The
Trafficking Law also covers sexual exploitation, but the Code
for Minors established more severe penalties for this crime.

The Trafficking Law provides penalties of 15 to 20 years'
imprisonment and a fine of 175 times the minimum wage for
traffickers, including traffickers of persons for labor
exploitation. The law includes provisions against alien
smuggling, establishing a 10- to 15-year prison sentence and
a fine of 150 to 250 times the minimum wage.

C. The Law Against Domestic Violence (Law 24-97) includes
penalties for rape, incest, sexual aggression, and other
forms of domestic violence that range from one to 30 years in
prison and fines ranging from 5,000 to 500,000 pesos
(approximately US$175 to US$17,500). The penalties for
committing rape are 10 to 15 years in prison (or 10 to 20
years in case of rape against a vulnerable person or under
other egregious circumstances) and a fine of from 100,000 to
200,000 pesos (approximately US$3,500 to US$7,000).

D. There are two trafficking cases that are currently
being prosecuted. In October 2004, police in Santiago and
Montecristi closed down bars that were fronts for
prostitution rings, rescuing a number of children, including
four from the Casa Blanca bar in Santiago. In the Casa
Blanca case, authorities have filed charges against two
individuals for violation of the Trafficking Law and other
provisions. The accused traffickers are free on bond, and
the next hearing date is tentatively scheduled for March 17,


In June 2004, based on a tip from NGO International Justice
Mission, authorities rescued more than 20 children from
prostitution in Boca Chica and arrested at least seven
individuals, five of whom are being charged with violating
the Trafficking Law. Three of the accused traffickers are in
jail awaiting trial and two others are free on bond. The
next hearing date is scheduled for March 18, 2005.

On March 2, 2005, Congressman Guillermo Radhames Ramos Garcia
was found guilty of having smuggled 16 Asian immigrants
across the Haitian border while he was serving as consul in
Cap Haitien, Haiti. The case was heard in the Supreme Court
because subsequent to his arrest in 2002, Ramos Garcia became
a member of the House of Representatives, entitling him to
limited Constitutional immunity. Ramos Garcia was convicted
under the alien smuggling law in force at the time of his
crime and sentenced to 18 months in prison. He was taken to
Najayo prison immediately after the sentence was announced on
the direct order of the Attorney General. Two Asian
co-defendants were found guilty and sentenced to time served,
and another defendant, a former migration official, was

In December 2004, an alien smuggler in the southwestern town
of Neyba was sentenced to three years in jail and a 1500 peso
fine under the Trafficking Law, the first such conviction
under that law since it came into effect in 2003. The
smuggler was convicted of bringing Haitian economic migrants
across the border, charging them $200 each. The smuggler was
reported to authorities when instead of taking several
migrants to Santo Domingo as promised, he took them to a
remote location and robbed them.
In November 2004, authorities arrested a U.S. citizen on
charges of alien smuggling. The U.S. citizen is accused of
allowing smugglers to use his boat to carry illegal migrants
to Puerto Rico. Several migrants died when the boat capsized
in open water. As with most cases of alien smuggling in the
Dominican Republic, it is not known whether any of the
migrants were or would have been trafficking victims.

Accused alien smuggler Maria Martinez Nunez has been in
detention awaiting trial since August 2003.

The government has taken new actions to prosecute alien
smugglers and boat captains. In at least one case,
authorities successfully used evidence collected by the U.S.
Coast Guard to support arguments for the pre-trial detention
of the organizers of a smuggling operation.

E. According to COIN and IOM, trafficking organizations
are typically small groups. Smuggling rings in the Dominican
Republic are loosely organized, and it is likely that profits
from trafficking go directly to individual group members.
Usually there is a contact at the destination who works with
recruiters in the Dominican Republic to locate the victims
and provide them with travel documents. There were no
reports of trafficking profits being channeled to armed
groups, terrorist organizations, judges, banks, or the like.

F. The Government investigates allegations of trafficking
primarily through the anti-trafficking unit in the Attorney
General,s office, headed by Assistant Attorney General Soto.
The government has named a prosecutor in every judicial
district as a special prosecutor for TIP cases. In addition,
special prosecutors detailed to M-2 handle cases of alien
smuggling by sea routes. These prosecutors routinely
investigate possible trafficking links when they interrogate
illegal migrants.

Although resources are limited, the authorities use active
investigative techniques when possible, including the
monitoring of Internet pornography sites. The police are not
prohibited from engaging in covert operations.

G. The Government has established anti-trafficking
training as a permanent part of the required curriculum at
the Diplomatic and Consular School, and SEREX has offered the
course eight times. Local NGO FINJUS has provided intensive
training on the application of the anti-trafficking laws to
27 participants, including 9 judges, 3 prosecutors, and 10
other government officials.

In February 2005, DOJ/OPDAT sponsored an anti-trafficking
training workshop to help Dominican authorities draft an
operations manual for combating trafficking in persons and to
improve interagency cooperation on trafficking cases. The
manual is being written by an interagency working group and
will be distributed to the various law enforcement agencies
when completed. The workshop was attended by representatives
from the Attorney General,s office, the Migration
Directorate, the National Police, the Navy, SEREX, local
NGOs, and IOM.

H. The government signed a cooperative agreement with the
government of Colombia to share information on trafficking.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court signed an agreement
with his Latin American and Iberian counterparts for the
Network of Ibero-American Judicial Cooperation (IberRed) to
conduct studies and collaborate on trafficking projects. The
government is not currently engaged in any international
trafficking investigations.

I. There are no known cases where the government has
requested the extradition of persons charged with trafficking
in other countries, nor has it received any requests to
extradite any of its citizens to another nation on charges of
trafficking. Extradition between the United States and the
Dominican Republic is governed by the June 9, 1909
Extradition Treaty. The government responded positively to
United States extradition requests, extraditing 26
individuals to the United States in 2004 for a variety of
crimes, including drug trafficking, homicide, and money

J. See response in Section I.

K. See response in Section I.

L. In February 2005, the government deported a U.S.
Citizen who is accused of sexually abusing children in New
York while he was a teacher/principal at a local school. The
government cooperated with the U.S. Marshal Service in
ensuring that the accused pedophile was deported efficiently,
and he was taken into custody immediately on arrival in the
United States. The child sexual abuse laws do not provide
extraterritorial coverage, although Dominicans are not known
to travel overseas to engage in child sex tourism.

M. The Government has taken action on the following
international instruments:

- ILO Convention 182 (ratified November 15, 2000)
- ILO Convention 29 (ratified December 5, 1956)
- ILO Convention 105 (ratified June 23, 1958)
- Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of
the Child on the sale of children, child prostitution, and
child pornography (submitted to the Senate for ratification
on February 8, 2005)
- Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in
Persons (signed December 15, 2000; not yet ratified)


A. Under the Trafficking Law, victims of trafficking are
guaranteed adequate housing, medical attention, and access to
education, training, and employment opportunities. The law
requires that victims receive legal assistance as well as
psychological and other evaluations. In practice, many
victims do not receive help under the law because they do not
seek help and because of a lack of resources.

According to NGOs such as COIN that work with trafficking
victims, many victims are too embarrassed or frightened to
take legal action against traffickers. COIN, with assistance
from SEM, provides low cost or free health services,
psychological counseling, judicial assistance, and job
training to women returned from trafficking situations to the
Dominican Republic. COIN provides tests for HIV/AIDS and
other sexually transmitted diseases. COIN also operates a
reception center for returned women, offers counseling for
potential victims, and conducts limited public service

B. The government partners with local NGO COIN and
provides support to a women,s refuge in Bani. SEM
cooperates with COIN to identify and rehabilitate victims of
trafficking, especially those returned from trafficking
overseas. SEM works with IOM to identify victims and refer
them for assistance.

The government provides some assistance to the Adoratrices
Center, a religious organization that is conducting an
IOM-sponsored pilot program to rehabilitate internally
trafficked women and to provide them with health care,
childcare, and vocational skills. Twenty women are currently
enrolled in the program and five have finished the program
and set up small, privately owned enterprises. The
organization operates in Santo Domingo and La Romana, and it
receives some assistance from several government agencies to
run a small health clinic, a day-care center, and vocational
workshops. With IOM support, the Adoratrices Center expanded
these services to provide specific treatment and programming
to trafficked women.

C. There is no screening system to transfer victims
detained, arrested, or placed in protective custody by law
enforcement authorities into the care of NGOs. Victims are
generally referred to NGOs such as COIN and IOM if
authorities recognize that they are victims of trafficking.

D. The government generally respects the rights of
trafficking victims and does not detain or jail them unless
there is evidence that they have committed a crime, such as
drug smuggling. Authorities often arrest prostitutes in
raids, some of whom are probably victims of trafficking, but
in general the authorities do not make an effort to
investigate whether the women are victims of trafficking
except when there is evidence of child prostitution.

E. Victims can file civil suits against traffickers, but
there is little incentive to do so and victims may be
unwilling to face the social stigma. In addition, many
illegal migrants are reluctant to file charges against
smugglers because the victims are considering attempting
illegal migration again in the future.

F. The government does not provide protection for victims
and witnesses as a matter of course, although the government
has at times provided limited protection to victims when an
active threat is perceived. The government provides some
support for a reporting center in Bani that provides limited
services, including protective services, to women and
children who are victims of abuse.

G. The government provides training through its diplomatic
school on recognizing trafficking and assisting victims. The
administration has established anti-trafficking training as a
permanent part of the required curriculum at the Diplomatic
and Consular school, and SEREX has now offered the course
eight times. Dominican officials overseas work with host
governments to identify and assist Dominican victims, to
collect information on trafficking patterns, and to identify
traffickers. This information is shared through SEREX with
the other agencies that fight trafficking. COIN publishes
pocket-sized books with addresses of Dominican consulates
overseas that are distributed to at-risk women.

H. See Response in Section IV.A.

I. International organizations and NGOs that work with
trafficking victims all receive good cooperation from local
authorities. Such groups include:

- Center for Integral Orientation and Investigation (COIN)
- Foundation for Institutionalism and Justice (FINJUS)
- International Organization for Migration (IOM)

3. Embassy human rights officer Jay Raman is the point of
contact on trafficking issues. He may be reached by
telephone at (809) 731-4203 and by fax at (809) 686-4038.
Beginning in approximately June 2005 the point of contact
will be Neda Brown, reachable at the same phone and fax

4. Trafficking is an issue of primary importance to the
Embassy, and involves the year-round active participation of
nearly all sections and agencies. The Embassy human rights
officer spent approximately 200 hours preparing for and
drafting this report. The Embassy Economic and Political
Counselor and Political Section Chief spent in excess of 30
hours each attending trafficking-related meetings and
reviewing this report. The Ambassador and Deputy Chief of
Mission spent more than 20 hours each attending
trafficking-related meetings and reviewing this report.