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2006-03-01 20:43:00
Embassy Bridgetown
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DE RUEHWN #0386/01 0602043
P 012043Z MAR 06




E.O. 12958: N/A


1. (U) As requested in reftel, below are Post's responses to
questions regarding Barbados for the annual Trafficking in
Persons Report.

Paragraph 21 - Overview


2. (SBU)

-- A) Is the country a country of origin, transit, or
destination for internationally trafficked men, women, or
children? Evidence suggests that Barbados is a destination
for trafficking, and may be a source and transit country for
trafficking as well. The country has a growing sex tourism
industry with a number of strip clubs and brothels, many of
which are staffed by women from the Dominican Republic and
other Caribbean islands. There have been anecdotal reports
that women have been trafficked internationally and minors
have been trafficked internally to work in the sex industry.

-- B) Please provide a general overview of the trafficking
situation in the country and any changes since the last TIP
Report. In June 2005, the International Organization for
Migration (IOM) released its Exploratory Assessment of
Trafficking in Persons in the Caribbean Region, identifying
Barbados as one of several countries in the region to which
people were trafficked. The IOM report suggested that
persons were primarily trafficked to Barbados to be
commercial sex workers and domestic workers, but showed
evidence to support that persons are being trafficked to work
in the booming construction industry as well. The report
criticized the government for deporting illegal migrants and
laborers without investigating whether or not they were
victims of trafficking. In November, the government deported
14 individuals who had been trafficked to Barbados from
India. According to press reports, the unskilled laborers
said they arrived in Barbados in October to work for Larsen
and Toubro Limited, an India-based construction company with
a high-profile contract to redevelop the Barbados national
cricket stadium in preparation for Cricket World Cup 2007.
The migrants claimed they paid an employment agency in New
Delhi US$4,500 each to get them the jobs and provide all
necessary legal documents including passports, visas, and
work permits. They stated that Larson and Toubro Limited
supplied their airline tickets and that two individuals
involved with the construction project facilitated their
clearance through Barbados Immigration. These same
individuals took the migrants' passports, claiming work
permits had been acquired when in fact they had not. The
workers walked off the job in November to protest their low
pay (approximately US$5 per day), poor living conditions, and
the inadequate food provided by their employer. They were

deported several days later amid a flurry of news reports and
criticism of the government from the Barbados Workers Union
and private attorneys for punishing the victims and not those
who trafficked them. In a February 22 newspaper report, a
spokesman related to the construction project, which will be
bringing in 37 artisans and skilled laborers from India over
the next month, made excuses for the actions of Larson and
Toubro Limited, justifying the debt bondage of the original
laborers. An investigation is currently underway, but
prosecution will be difficult in the absence of testimony
from the deported victims. (Note: Recent news reports
confirm that a civil and criminal lawsuit claiming US$2
million in compensation for the deported 14 will be filed in
the high courts by mid-March. End Note.)

-- C) What are the limitations on the government's ability to
address this problem in practice? The government has very
limited resources with which to address trafficking.
Understaffed law enforcement agencies have no training in
exploring the links between illegal prostitution and
potential trafficking. The legal system is equally strapped
with a huge caseload and not enough prosecutors to handle the

-- D) To what extent does the government systematically
monitor its anti-trafficking efforts? The government has no
system to monitor anti-trafficking efforts. Officials
monitor illegal immigration, but are still in the beginning
stages of addressing trafficking issues in Barbados.

Paragraph 22 ) Prevention


3. (SBU)

BRIDGETOWN 00000386 002 OF 004

-- A) Does the government acknowledge that trafficking is a
problem? The highly publicized plight of the 14 Indian
laborers has brought the issue of trafficking to the
forefront and government is beginning to acknowledge that a
limited amount of trafficking may be occurring.

-- B) Which government agencies are involved in
anti-trafficking efforts? The Office of Gender Affairs in
the Ministry of Social Transformation has been the lead
contact for IOM anti-trafficking seminars and training.

-- C) Are there or have there been government-run
anti-trafficking information or education campaigns? Yes.
In fall of 2005, the Business and Professional Women's
Association, an NGO affiliated with the Bureau of Gender
Affairs, conducted three education/sensitization sessions to
assess awareness and understanding of trafficking in Barbados.

-- D) Does the government support other programs to prevent
trafficking? No.

-- E) Is the government able to support prevention programs?
No, the government does not have the resources to carry out
programs other than the training mentioned above and basic
law enforcement efforts.

-- F) What is the relationship between the government, NGOs,
and civil society on the trafficking issue? NGOs and civil
society are involved with the government in the Barbadian
Coalition, a group of 15 governmental and non-governmental
organizations committed to combating trafficking in persons,
which received a small grant from IOM to conduct a campaign
to raise community awareness and understanding of the nature
and dynamics of trafficking.

-- G) Does it monitor immigration and emigration patterns for
evidence of trafficking? Do law enforcement agencies screen
for potential trafficking victims along borders? No.

-- H) Is there a mechanism for coordination and communication
between various agencies, internal, international, and
multilateral on trafficking related matters, such as a
multi-agency working group or a task force? The Barbadian
Coalition is the only mechanism for communicating between
agencies at this time. It is still developing programs to
educate and sensitize key players, such as law enforcement
and vulnerable communities, who are not necessarily party to
the Coalition.

-- I) Does the government participate in multinational or
international working groups to combat trafficking? Yes.
Government representatives have received trafficking related
training from IOM.

-- J) Does the government have a national plan of action to
address trafficking? No.

Paragraph 23 - Investigations and Prosecution of Traffickers



4. (SBU)

-- A) Does the country have a law specifically prohibiting
trafficking in persons-*both trafficking for sexual
exploitation and trafficking for non-sexual purposes? No,
traffickers could potentially be charged with labor
violations, immigration violations, or violations of the laws
against pimping and pandering. There have been no
trafficking cases prosecuted. Current laws are inadequate to
cover the full scope of trafficking in persons.

-- B) What are the penalties for traffickers of people for
sexual or labor exploitation? There are no specific
penalties for traffickers of people for sexual or labor
exploitation. They could, however, face penalties for
immigration or labor violations that include criminal

-- C) What are the penalties for rape and sexual assault?
The penalty for rape is up to life imprisonment. The penalty
for sexual assault is up to five years in prison.

-- D) Is prostitution legalized or decriminalized? No,
prostitution and pimping are illegal.

-- E) Has the government prosecuted any cases against
traffickers? No.

-- F) Is there any information or reports of who is behind
the trafficking? In the case of the 14 Indian laborers, the

BRIDGETOWN 00000386 003 OF 004

government knows the companies involved and is reportedly
investigating. However, while the government was embarrassed
regionally by the incident, it also has a vested interest in
maintaining the pace of construction, already behind schedule
for the March 2007 Cricket World Cup events. Thus, it is
unlikely that any substantive investigation or legal action
will be launched until the construction project is finished.

-- G) Does the government actively investigate cases of
trafficking? Officials are investigating the high-profile
case mentioned above; however, education on trafficking is
still in the beginning stages, so reports of trafficking are
very limited.

-- H) Does the government provide any specialized training
for government officials in how to recognize, investigate,
and prosecute instances of trafficking? No.

-- I) Does the government cooperate with other governments in
the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases? No
such cases have arisen.

-- J) Does the government extradite persons who are charged
with trafficking in other countries? No such cases have been

-- K) Is there evidence of government involvement in or
tolerance of trafficking, on a local or institutional level?
There were two isolated anecdotal cases reported, one
involving an Immigration official who apparently allowed
illegal Guyanese laborers in the country as long as they
worked on his house for free on the weekends, and another of
a police officer who brought in young women to work as
prostitutes, keeping their passports as collateral.

-- L) If government officials are involved in trafficking,
what steps has the government taken to end such
participation? The police officer was dismissed and the
Immigration official is under investigation under the Corrupt
Practices Act.

-- M) If the country has an identified child sex tourism
problem, how many foreign pedophiles has the government
prosecuted? While it is believed that minors may be engaging
in prostitution, there is no evidence of child sex tourism.

-- N) Has the government signed, ratified and/or taken steps
to implement the following international instruments:

a) ILO Convention 182 on worst forms of child labor.

b) ILO Convention 29 and 105 on forced or compulsory labor.

c) Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of
Children. Did not sign or ratify.

d) The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking
in Persons, especially Women and Children, supplementing the
UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.

Paragraph 24 - Protection and Assistance to Victims



5. (SBU)

-- A) Does the government assist victims? The government has
no facilities to assist victims. As the case of the 14
Indian laborers shows, victims are normally deported for
immigration violations.

-- B) Does the government provide funding or other forms of
support to foreign and domestic NGOs for services to victims?

-- C) Is there a screening and referral process in place? No.

-- D) Are the rights of victims respected, or are victims
also treated as criminals? Victims are treated as criminals
and deported.

-- E) Does the government encourage victims to assist in the
investigation and prosecution of trafficking? No, but the
high-profile coverage of the 14 Indian laborers' case may
change that.

-- F) What kind of protection is the government able to
provide for victims and witnesses? The government has a

BRIDGETOWN 00000386 004 OF 004

shelter for victims of domestic violence that could
potentially be used to protect victims of trafficking. The
victim or witness could also be detained for their own

-- G) Does the government provide any specialized training
for government officials in recognizing trafficking? No, the
government does not provide training. IOM began conducting
seminars and training in 2004 that were attended by
government officials from a variety of social welfare and law
enforcement agencies.

-- H) Does the government provide assistance to its
repatriated nationals who are victims of trafficking? There
has only been one anecdotal case of a Barbados national being
trafficked to work in the tourism industry in Colorado. It
has not been determined if this was an actual trafficking
case, and the individual's family financed the repatriation.

-- I) Which international organizations or NGOs, if any, work
with trafficking victims? IOM is working in Barbados with
the Bureau of Gender Affairs and the Business and
Professional Women's Association to educate the public on
trafficking in persons.