Viewing cable 09BRIDGETOWN109
Title: TIP SUBMISSION - ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09BRIDGETOWN1092009-02-13 19:11:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Bridgetown
VZCZCXRO2477
RR RUEHGR
DE RUEHWN #0109/01 0441911
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131911Z FEB 09
FM AMEMBASSY BRIDGETOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7113
INFO RUCNCOM/EC CARICOM COLLECTIVE
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 07 BRIDGETOWN 000109 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR G/TIP, G, INL, DRL, PRM, AND WHA/CAR STATE PASS 
TO USAID/LAC/CAR-BOUNCY 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: KTIP XL PHUM KWMN ELAB SMIG ASEC KFRD PREF VC
SUBJECT: TIP SUBMISSION - ST. VINCENT AND THE GRENADINES 
 
REF: STATE 132759 
 
¶1. (U) As requested reftel, below are Post's responses to 
questions regarding St. Vincent and the Grenadines for the 
annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. 
 
------------------------------------- 
PARA 23 - THE COUNTRY'S TIP SITUATION 
------------------------------------- 
 
¶2. (SBU) 
 
-- A. What is (are) the source(s) of available information on 
trafficking in persons?  What plans are in place (if any) to 
undertake further documentation of human trafficking?  How 
reliable are these sources? 
 
There are three primary sources for TIP information: the 
Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (GOSVG), which 
includes the police and the Ministry of Gender Affairs; the 
press; and the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Human Rights 
Association (SVGHRA).  The SVGHRA and the press are reliable, 
however the GOSVG can be selective in the information it 
releases and is less timely and reliable.  Both the 
government and civil society are sensitive to TIP issues, but 
neither consider TIP to be a critical problem in the country. 
 Both entities are understaffed to take vigorous additional 
steps to increase TIP documentation. 
 
-- B. Is the country a country of origin, transit, and/or 
destination for internationally trafficked men, women, or 
children?  Does trafficking occur within the country's 
borders?  If so, does internal trafficking occur in territory 
outside of the government's control (e.g. in a civil war 
situation)?  To where are people trafficked? For what 
purposes are they trafficked?  Provide, where possible, 
numbers or estimates for each group of trafficking victims. 
Have there been any changes in the TIP situation since the 
last TIP Report (e.g. changes in destinations)? 
 
St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) is a small multi-island 
nation with a population of 110,000.  There have been no 
reports of TIP from the government or the press during the 
reporting period.  In conversations with TIP contacts, the 
only TIP issue is the possible trafficking of young women for 
prostitution, although there have been no confirmed reports 
of any women being trafficking victims.  SVG has the 
potential to be a country of transit and destination for 
persons, primarily young women, from the Dominican Republic, 
Guyana, Venezuela or other countries in the region.  There 
are no reports of trafficking victims within the country's 
borders.  There are no sources of TIP statistics and 
estimates point to a minimal problem if any.  There have been 
no changes in the TIP situation since the last TIP report. 
 
-- C. What kind of conditions are the victims trafficked into? 
 
There have been reports of women traveling to SVG to engage 
in prostitution, but no reports that these women are victims 
of TIP.  There have been no reports of sexual slavery or 
trafficking of children for prostitution. 
 
-- D. Vulnerability to TIP: Are certain groups of persons 
more at risk of being trafficked (e.g. women and children, 
boys versus girls, certain ethnic groups, refugees, IDPs, 
etc.)? 
 
Young women are the most venerable group in St. Vincent and 
the Grenadines, but there is currently no evidence that they 
are being trafficked. 
 
-- E. Traffickers and Their Methods: Who are the 
traffickers/exploiters?  Are they independent business 
people?  Small or family-based crime groups?  Large 
international organized crime syndicates?  What methods are 
used to approach victims?  For example, are they offered 
lucrative jobs, sold by their families, or approached by 
friends of friends?  What methods are used to move the 
victims (e.g., are false documents being used?).  Are 
employment, travel, and tourism agencies or marriage brokers 
involved with or fronting for traffickers or crime groups to 
traffic individuals? 
 
There have been no reports of TIP by the press or the 
government.  Small business owners of establishments such as 
 
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bars and/or brothels may offer women employment as 
prostitutes, however there is no evidence any women have been 
trafficked against their will.  There is no indication that 
employment, travel, tourism agencies, or marriage brokers are 
involved in TIP. 
 
 
----------------------------------- 
PARA 24 - SETTING THE SCENE FOR THE 
GOVERNMENT'S ANTI-TIP EFFORTS 
----------------------------------- 
 
¶3. (SBU) 
 
-- A. Does the government acknowledge that trafficking is a 
problem in the country?  If not, why not? 
 
The government does not deny that TIP may occur in isolated 
incidents, but does not acknowledge TIP is a serious problem, 
and there have been no reports of TIP. 
 
-- B. Which government agencies are involved in 
anti-trafficking efforts and which agency, if any, has the 
lead? 
 
The police force and the Ministry of Gender Affairs are the 
two primary government agencies dealing with any TIP issues. 
The police have the lead in combating TIP as a law 
enforcement matter, typically as part of routine enforcement 
measures against prostitution.  The Ministry of Gender 
Affairs is able to support TIP victims with assistance, but 
did not report any victims of TIP. 
 
-- C. What are the limitations on the government's ability to 
address this problem in practice?  For example, is funding 
for police or other institutions inadequate?  Is overall 
corruption a problem?  Does the government lack the resources 
to aid victims? 
 
Almost every government agency in SVG lacks sufficient 
resources, including both funding and staffing.  The 
government's primary deficiency in addressing any TIP problem 
is an inability to patrol their borders.  St. Vincent and the 
Grenadines is a multi-island nation with an extensive 
coastline.  The coast guard is undermanned, underequipped, 
operates only one vessel and is unable to remain at sea 
overnight.  It would be possible for a TIP victim to enter 
and leave SVG without the government knowing. 
 
-- D. To what extent does the government systematically 
monitor its anti-trafficking efforts (on all fronts -- 
prosecution, victim protection, and prevention) and 
periodically make available, publicly or privately and 
directly or through regional/international organizations, its 
assessments of these anti-trafficking efforts? 
 
The government does not take specific measures to monitor 
potential trafficking and has no official reports or 
statistics. 
 
 
--------------------------------------- 
PARA 25 - INVESTIGATION AND PROSECUTION 
OF TRAFFICKERS 
--------------------------------------- 
 
¶4. (SBU) 
 
-- A. Existing Laws against TIP: Does the country have a law 
or laws specifically prohibiting trafficking in persons -- 
both for sexual exploitation and labor?  If so, please 
specifically cite the name of the law(s) and its date of 
enactment and provide the exact language (actual copies 
preferable) of the TIP provisions.  Please provide a full 
inventory of trafficking laws, including non-criminal 
statutes that allow for civil penalties against alleged 
trafficking crimes (e.g., civil forfeiture laws and laws 
against illegal debt). Does the law(s) cover both internal 
and transnational forms of trafficking?  If not, under what 
other laws can traffickers be prosecuted?  For example, are 
there laws against slavery or the exploitation of 
prostitution by means of force, fraud, or coercion?  Are 
these other laws being used in trafficking cases? 
 
There are no existing laws prohibiting TIP.  There are laws 
 
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prohibiting slavery, prostitution, child labor and 
kidnapping.  There are no accounts of these laws being used 
to prosecute TIP cases. 
 
-- B. Punishment of Sex Trafficking Offenses: What are the 
prescribed and imposed penalties for trafficking people for 
sexual exploitation? 
 
There are no laws prohibiting TIP, so there are no specific 
penalties for trafficking people for sexual exploitation. 
 
-- C. Punishment of Labor Trafficking Offenses: What are the 
prescribed and imposed penalties for trafficking for labor 
exploitation, such as forced or bonded labor?  If your 
country is a source country for labor migrants, do the 
government's laws provide for criminal punishment -- i.e. 
jail time -- for labor recruiters who engage in recruitment 
of workers using knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers 
with the purpose of subjecting workers to trafficking in the 
destination country?  If your country is a destination for 
labor migrants, are there laws punishing employers or labor 
agents who confiscate workers' passports or travel documents 
for the purpose of trafficking, switch contracts without the 
worker's consent as a means to keep the worker in a state of 
service, or withhold payment of salaries as means of keeping 
the worker in a state of service? 
 
There are no laws prohibiting TIP, so there no specific 
penalties for trafficking people for labor exploitation. 
There were no reports of TIP for labor exploitation. 
 
-- D. What are the prescribed penalties for rape or forcible 
sexual assault? (NOTE:  This is necessary to evaluate a 
foreign government's compliance with TVPA Minimum Standard 2, 
which reads: "For the knowing commission of any act of sex 
trafficking . . . the government of the country should 
prescribe punishment commensurate with that for grave crimes, 
such as forcible sexual assault (rape)."  END NOTE) 
 
The penalty for rape or forcible sexual assault is 10 years 
to life in prison. 
 
 
-- E. Law Enforcement Statistics: Did the government 
prosecute any cases against human trafficking offenders 
during the reporting period?  If so, provide numbers of 
investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences 
imposed, including details on plea bargains and fines, if 
relevant and available.  Please note the number of convicted 
traffickers who received suspended sentences and the number 
who received only a fine as punishment. Please indicate which 
laws were used to investigate, prosecute, convict, and 
sentence traffickers.  Also, if possible, please desegregate 
numbers of cases by type of TIP (labor vs. commercial sexual 
exploitation) and victims (children under 18 years of age vs. 
adults).  If in a labor source country, did the government 
criminally prosecute labor recruiters who recruit workers 
using knowingly fraudulent or deceptive offers or by imposing 
fees or commissions for the purpose of subjecting the worker 
to debt bondage?  Did the government in a labor destination 
country criminally prosecute employers or labor agents who 
confiscate workers' passports/travel documents for the 
purpose of trafficking, switch contracts or terms of 
employment without the worker's consent to keep workers in a 
state of service, use physical or sexual abuse or the threat 
of such abuse to keep workers in a state of service, or 
withhold payment of salaries as a means to keep workers in a 
state of service?  What were the actual punishments imposed 
on persons convicted of these offenses?  Are the traffickers 
serving the time sentenced?  If not, why not? 
 
The government did not prosecute any cases against human 
trafficking offenders.  St. Vincent and the Grenadines is not 
currently a labor destination country, and there were no 
cases of labor agents confiscating workers' travel documents. 
 
 
-- F. Does the government provide any specialized training 
for government officials in how to recognize, investigate, 
and prosecute instances of trafficking? Specify whether NGOs, 
international organizations, and/or the USG provide 
specialized training for host government officials. 
 
The government does not provide specialized training for 
government officials in how to recognize, investigate, and 
 
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prosecute instances of trafficking.  SVGHRA is the only NGO 
active in the TIP arena, and their activity is minimal.  They 
do not provide any specialized TIP training to the 
government. Both groups, though, would be amenable to TIP 
training sponsored by outside agencies. 
 
--G. Does the government cooperate with other governments in 
the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases?  If 
possible, provide the number of cooperative international 
investigations on trafficking during the reporting period. 
 
There are no such cases on record. 
 
-- H. Does the government extradite persons who are charged 
with trafficking in other countries?  If so, please provide 
the number of traffickers extradited during the reporting 
period, and the number of trafficking extraditions pending. 
In particular, please report on any pending or concluded 
extraditions of trafficking offenders to the United States. 
 
The government has never extradited or charged anyone with 
TIP related crimes. 
 
-- I. Is there evidence of government involvement in or 
tolerance of trafficking, on a local or institutional level? 
If so, please explain in detail. 
 
The only reports of the government's potential involvement in 
the tolerance of TIP are local police officers tolerating 
prostitution by women from countries other than SVG.  Usually 
police will shut down prostitution when citizens report it. 
 
-- J. If government officials are involved in trafficking, 
what steps has the government taken to end such 
participation?  Please indicate the number of government 
officials investigated and prosecuted for involvement in 
trafficking or trafficking-related corruption during the 
reporting period.  Have any been convicted?  What sentence(s) 
was imposed?  Please specify if officials received suspended 
sentences, or were given a fine, fired, or reassigned to 
another position within the government as punishment.  Please 
indicate the number of convicted officials that received 
suspended sentences or received only a fine as punishment. 
 
There is no evidence suggesting government officials are 
involved in TIP, and no government officials have been 
charged or prosecuted for TIP offenses. 
 
-- K. Is prostitution legalized or decriminalized? 
Specifically, are the activities of the prostitute 
criminalized?  Are the activities of the brothel 
owner/operator, clients, pimps, and enforcers criminalized? 
Are these laws enforced?  If prostitution is legal and 
regulated, what is the legal minimum age for this activity? 
Note that in countries with federalist systems, prostitution 
laws may be under state or local jurisdiction and may differ 
among jurisdictions. 
 
Prostitution is illegal, as is the facilitation of 
prostitution, such as pimping or running a brothel. 
Government efforts to enforce these laws are weak. 
 
-- L. For countries that contribute troops to international 
peacekeeping efforts, please indicate whether the government 
vigorously investigated, prosecuted, convicted and sentenced 
nationals of the country deployed abroad as part of a 
peacekeeping or other similar mission who engaged in or 
facilitated severe forms of trafficking or who exploited 
victims of such trafficking. 
 
St. Vincent and the Grenadines does not generally contribute 
troops to international peacekeeping efforts. 
 
-- M. If the country has an identified problem of child sex 
tourists coming to the country, what are the countries of 
origin for sex tourists?  How many foreign pedophiles did the 
government prosecute or deport/extradite to their country of 
origin?  If your host country's nationals are perpetrators of 
child sex tourism, do the country's child sexual abuse laws 
have extraterritorial coverage (similar to the U.S. PROTECT 
Act) to allow the prosecution of suspected sex tourists for 
crimes committed abroad?  If so, how many of the country's 
nationals were prosecuted and/or convicted during the 
reporting period under the extraterritorial provision(s) for 
traveling to other countries to engage in child sex tourism? 
 
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St. Vincent does not have an identified problem of child sex 
tourists coming to the country. 
 
--------------------------------------------- - 
PARA 26 - PROTECTION AND ASSISTANCE TO VICTIMS 
--------------------------------------------- - 
 
¶5. (SBU) 
 
-- A.  What kind of protection is the government able under 
existing law to provide for victims and witnesses? Does it 
provide these protections in practice? 
 
The Ministry of Gender Affairs is able to provide some 
assistance to trafficking victims if necessary, however this 
assistance is limited to counseling and shelter in a battered 
women's shelter.  This assistance does not include financial 
support.  No TIP victims requested such assistance during the 
reporting period. 
 
-- B.  Does the country have victim care facilities (shelters 
or drop-in centers) which are accessible to trafficking 
victims?  Do foreign victims have the same access to care as 
domestic trafficking victims?  Where are child victims placed 
(e.g., in shelters, foster care, or juvenile justice 
detention centers)?  Does the country have specialized care 
for adults in addition to children? Does the country have 
specialized care for male victims as well as female?   Does 
the country have specialized facilities dedicated to helping 
victims of trafficking? Are these facilities operated by the 
government or by NGOs?  What is the funding source of these 
facilities? Please estimate the amount the government spent 
(in U.S. dollar equivalent) on these specialized facilities 
dedicated to helping trafficking victims during the reporting 
period. 
 
SVG operates a battered women's shelter.  The government has 
indicated women who are victims of trafficking are welcome, 
however there have been no reports of TIP victims using this 
shelter.  A local NGO, Marion House, provides victim care 
services that could be accessed by trafficking victims. 
Foreign and domestic victims of trafficking have the same 
access to these services.  Children of women housed in the 
shelter would be housed with their mothers.  Children without 
parents would usually be placed with relatives, and there is 
one facility for teenage boys.  There is no specialized care 
for males and females. There are no facilities dedicated 
specifically to trafficking victims. 
 
-- C.  Does the government provide trafficking victims with 
access to legal, medical and psychological services? If so, 
please specify the kind of assistance provided. Does the 
government provide funding or other forms of support to 
foreign or domestic NGOs and/or international organizations 
for providing these services to trafficking victims?  Please 
explain and provide any funding amounts in U.S. dollar 
equivalent.  If assistance provided was in-kind, please 
specify exact assistance.  Please specify if funding for 
assistance comes from a federal budget or from regional or 
local governments. 
 
The government does not provide access to legal and 
psychological services, but would provide medical services to 
victims of TIP through the state run hospital.  The 
government does provide some funding for Marion House. 
 
-- D. Does the government assist foreign trafficking victims, 
for example, by providing temporary to permanent residency 
status, or other relief from deportation?  If so, please 
explain. 
 
The only assistance available to TIP victims is temporary 
shelter in the battered women's shelter and limited medical 
care.  These services are available to all victims of crime 
and are not specific to TIP victims. 
 
-- E. Does the government provide longer-term shelter or 
housing benefits to victims or other resources to aid the 
victims in rebuilding their lives? 
 
No. 
 
-- F. Does the government have a referral process to transfer 
victims detained, arrested or placed in protective custody by 
 
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law enforcement authorities to institutions that provide 
short- or long-term care (either government or NGO-run)? 
 
No. 
 
-- G. What is the total number of trafficking victims 
identified during the reporting period?  Of these, how many 
victims were referred to care facilities for assistance by 
law enforcement authorities during the reporting period?  By 
social services officials?  What is the number of victims 
assisted by government-funded assistance programs and those 
not funded by the government during the reporting period? 
 
There were no reports of TIP victims during the reporting 
period. 
 
-- H. Do the government's law enforcement, immigration, and 
social services personnel have a formal system of proactively 
identifying victims of trafficking among high-risk persons 
with whom they come in contact (e.g., foreign persons 
arrested for prostitution or immigration violations)?  For 
countries with legalized prostitution, does the government 
have a mechanism for screening for trafficking victims among 
persons involved in the legal/regulated commercial sex trade? 
 
There is no system in place to proactively identify TIP 
victims. 
 
-- I. Are the rights of victims respected?  Are trafficking 
victims detained or jailed?   If so, for how long?  Are 
victims fined?  Are victims prosecuted for violations of 
other laws, such as those governing immigration or 
prostitution? 
 
Since there were no reports of TIP victims, this information 
is unavailable. 
 
-- J. Does the government encourage victims to assist in the 
investigation and prosecution of trafficking?  How many 
victims assisted in the investigation and prosecution of 
traffickers during the reporting period? May victims file 
civil suits or seek legal action against traffickers?  Does 
anyone impede victim access to such legal redress?  If a 
victim is a material witness in a court case against a former 
employer, is the victim permitted to obtain other employment 
or to leave the country pending trial proceedings?  Are there 
means by which a victim may obtain restitution? 
 
Since there were no reports of TIP victims, this information 
is unavailable. 
 
-- K. Does the government provide any specialized training 
for government officials in identifying trafficking victims 
and in the provision of assistance to trafficked victims, 
including the special needs of trafficked children?  Does the 
government provide training on protections and assistance to 
its embassies and consulates in foreign countries that are 
destination or transit countries?   What is the number of 
trafficking victims assisted by the host country's embassies 
or consulates abroad during the reporting period?  Please 
explain the type of assistance provided (travel documents, 
referrals to assistance, payment for transportation home). 
 
The government does not provide any specialized TIP training 
for any of its officials or embassies, but would be amenable 
to training offered by outside sources.  There were no 
reports of TIP victims. 
 
- L. Does the government provide assistance, such as medical 
aid, shelter, or financial help, to its nationals who are 
repatriated as victims of trafficking? 
 
The government does not provide any special services specific 
to TIP victims.  If nationals of SVG that are victims of TIP 
are repatriated, only the normal social services are 
available. 
 
-- M. Which international organizations or NGOs, if any, work 
with trafficking victims?  What type of services do they 
provide?  What sort of cooperation do they receive from local 
authorities? 
 
SVGHRA is able to provide legal services and limited aid. 
 
-------------------- 
 
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PARA 27 - PREVENTION 
-------------------- 
 
¶6. (SBU) 
 
-- A. Did the government conduct anti-trafficking information 
or education campaigns during the reporting period?  If so, 
briefly describe the campaign(s), including their objectives 
and effectiveness.  Please provide the number of people 
reached by such awareness efforts, if available.  Do these 
campaigns target potential trafficking victims and/or the 
demand for trafficking (e.g. "clients" of prostitutes or 
beneficiaries of forced labor)?  (Note: This can be an 
especially noteworthy effort where prostitution is legal. End 
Note.) 
 
The government did not conduct anti-trafficking for education 
campaigns. 
-- B. Does the government monitor immigration and emigration 
patterns for evidence of trafficking? 
 
The government does not monitor immigration and emigration 
patterns for evidence of trafficking 
 
-- C. 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? 
 
There are no specific mechanisms for coordination and 
communication between various agencies on trafficking related 
matters aside from normal communication on criminal activity 
among government agencies.  Nothing specific to TIP. 
 
-- D. Does the government have a national plan of action to 
address trafficking in persons?  If the plan was developed 
during the reporting period, which agencies were involved in 
developing it?  Were NGOs consulted in the process?  What 
steps has the government taken to implement the action plan? 
 
There is no government plan of action to address TIP. 
 
-- E: What measures has the government taken during the 
reporting period to reduce the demand for commercial sex 
acts?   (see ref B, para. 9(3) for examples) 
 
The government undertakes routine action to stop prostitution 
as part of its regular law enforcement responsibilities. 
 
-- F. Required of all Posts: What measures has the government 
taken during the reporting period to reduce the participation 
in international child sex tourism by nationals of the 
country? 
 
There is no evidence of participation in international child 
sex tourism by nationals of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. 
HARDT