US downgrades SL in human trafficking

US downgrades SL in human trafficking report The US has downgraded Sri Lanka in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report which was released on Thursday. The report said the Government of Sri Lanka does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. “However, it is making significant efforts to do so,” it said. The 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report said some of the efforts taken by Sri Lanka included convicting more traffickers than previous years, including the first conviction under the trafficking statute in five years.

“The Government has identified more potential trafficking victims and continuing to conduct numerous anti-trafficking training and awareness-raising events for Government officials and civil society,” the report said. However, it said the Government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period.

“While it convicted more traffickers, it issued suspended sentences to some of those convicted and initiated significantly fewer prosecutions. Despite numerous training, officials did not make adequate efforts to screen individuals arrested or charged for prostitution, vagrancy, or immigration offenses for indicators of human trafficking; the Government detained child sex trafficking victims and did not provide appropriate care. Complicity remained a serious problem and the Government did not initiate any new investigations into allegedly complicit officials, despite multiple reports of official complicity in trafficking. Therefore Sri Lanka was downgraded to Tier 2 Watch List. In 2018, Sri Lanka was categorized in the Tier 2 group

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