U.S. Recognizes Chile’s Efforts to Combat Trafficking in Persons

The fourteenth annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, released by the U.S. Department of State on June 20, 2014, acknowledges Chile’s efforts in the fight against trafficking in persons and has designated Chile, for the first time, as a Tier 1 country. A Tier 1 designation means that Chile, along with the other countries in this category, fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of serious forms of trafficking in persons.

During the reporting period, the Government of Chile strengthened anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts through building police and prosecutor capacity and achieved the country’s first convictions for labor trafficking. The Government of Chile also increased victim protection and prevention efforts in the past year, including the development of a comprehensive national action plan to combat human trafficking and increase interagency coordination.

The Chilean government also published an interagency victim assistance protocol, with guidelines and responsibilities for government agencies in trafficking victim care.  This protocol was implemented in the capital region during the reporting period, with plans to expand it to other regions in 2014. Chilean authorities increased prevention efforts by launching a national awareness campaign to fight human trafficking and maintained ongoing awareness campaigns regarding the commercial exploitation of children. The government also provided anti-trafficking training to Chilean troops prior to their deployment abroad for international peacekeeping missions. However, the report notes that Chile remains a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.  This is a reminder that authorities and civil society should remain vigilant and maintain their efforts against TIP.

With regard to this year’s report, U.S. Ambassador to Chile Michael Hammer said that “Chile’s upgrade to Tier 1 status recognizes the dedication and hard work of the Chilean government, institutions and Congress that are working to fight against this grave violation of human rights to ensure respect and dignity for all.”

Each year, the U.S. Secretary of State is required  to submit a Trafficking in Persons Report to Congress, as required by the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), which is compatible with the United Nations Protocol on trafficking in persons. The goal of the report is to stimulate action and create partnerships around the world to fight against trafficking in persons.