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Radio and intimacy members aired public service girls to find awareness about powering and sex porn in Old, Ladies, and Hindi. Law jargon passion against suspected directing resulted from government agency and NGO promises as well as banners on hardships.
NGOs were the main providers of limited medical care and psychological counseling for victims. The government encouraged victims to assist in investigations by providing witness trqde and coordinating lodging; court delays and fear of retaliation by traffickers may have led foreign national victims to decline or withdraw cooperation with law enforcement and return to their home countries. Seex government had a policy to grant temporary residency status to victims willing to cooperate in investigations or prosecutions, seven potential trafficking victims received this benefit in ; one foreign victim identified in remained in the country and participated in a prosecution.
Its anti-trafficking council met quarterly and reportedly began work on a new national action plan; the anti-trafficking national strategic plan remained largely unimplemented. The government, in partnership with an NGO, expanded its awareness campaign through television, posters, and billboards in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. Authorities continued to disseminate public service announcements on child sexual exploitation and the links between tourism and the demand for commercial sex, but did not investigate, prosecute, or convict any child sex tourists.
The government did not make efforts to tradd the demand for forced labor. The government did not provide anti-trafficking training for its diplomatic personnel. The UN Special Rapporteur Be,ize Trafficking in Persons reported family members facilitate the sex trafficking of Belizean women and trdae. In tourist regions, foreign child sex tourists, primarily from the United States, exploit child sex Brlize Belize sex trade. Sex trafficking and forced labor of Belizean and foreign sx and girls, primarily from Central America, occur in bars, nightclubs, brothels, and domestic service. LGBTI men, women, and children are vulnerable to Bekize and labor trafficking. Foreign men, women, and children—particularly from Central America, Mexico, and Asia—migrate voluntarily to Belize in search of work and are often exploited by traffickers who recruit victims using false promises of relatively high-paying jobs.
Victims were penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being subjected to trafficking. The Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Act criminalized sex and labor trafficking and prescribed penalties of a minimum of eight years imprisonment for the trafficking of adults and a minimum of 12 years imprisonment for the trafficking of children, which were sufficiently stringent, and with regard to sex trafficking, commensurate with other serious crimes, such as rape. The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Prohibition Act criminalized the facilitation of prostitution of children younger than This law, however, did not prohibit adults from engaging in sexual activity with and year-old children in exchange for remuneration, gifts, goods, food, or other benefits if there was no third party involved—leaving children of this age group vulnerable to sex trafficking.
The government reportedly investigated nine trafficking cases—three for forced labor and six for sex trafficking—compared to 10 inbut for the third consecutive year did not initiate any new prosecutions. Authorities continued two prosecutions from The government did not convict any traffickers for the second consecutive year.
It had Belzie seen in Adult One is a particular from the paved year, when two fired trafficking offenders received at least one why jail time.
Observers reported that a lack of communication and coordination between law enforcement tradf prosecutors hindered law enforcement efforts. The government did not provide detailed information on the tarde investigations or prosecutions. Law enforcement Beliize against suspected trwde resulted from government agency and NGO referrals as well as raids on brothels. Despite having created a specialized police anti-trafficking unit inauthorities uncovered few trafficking crimes due to limited intelligence-gathering, inconsistent application of formal victim identification procedures, and ttrade complicity among some law enforcement officials.
The government attempted, but was unable to end the practice of allowing off-duty police officers to provide security for brothels, which may have inhibited police from investigating allegations of trafficking in brothels and may have dissuaded victims from reporting trafficking. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government employees complicit in trafficking offenses; however, corruption and official complicity in trafficking crimes remained significant concerns, inhibiting law enforcement action during the year.
The government cooperated with two foreign governments, which resulted in the arrest of traffickers in their country of origin. The government provided limited funding to NGOs for anti-trafficking efforts, provided anti-trafficking training to some law enforcement and immigration officers, and law enforcement and prosecutors attended workshops financed and delivered by foreign governments and international organizations. The government reported it prosecuted and convicted two trafficking offenders during the reporting period; however, no trafficking offenders received a custodial sentence.
This is a decline from the previous year, when two convicted trafficking offenders received at least one year jail time. In another case, the government convicted a resort owner for subjecting a child to sex and labor trafficking for five months. Despite the child being 14 years of age, the length of time she was held in servitude, and her being subjected Belize sex trade repeated rape and beatings, the court did not sentence the trafficking offender to any jail time but rather only to a fine. One trafficking offender was tried in absentia after fleeing the country, but the government did not provide the specific sentencing information for this convicted offender.
Five human trafficking prosecutions from previous years remained pending. Trafficking-related complicity remained a serious problem. The prosecution of a government official, reported in the TIP Report, who allegedly raped a victim in the course of a trafficking investigation remained pending trial before the Supreme Court. The government provided in-kind assistance for anti-trafficking training for law enforcement and labor officials from many different ministries during the reporting period. Protection The Belizean government sustained its efforts to protect trafficking victims during the reporting period.
Officials reportedly identified 13 new trafficking victims, a notable increase from two victims identified the previous year.
The government reported it assisted seven trafficking victims incompared with 12 trafficking victims assisted during the previous year. Law enforcement and other officials did not systematically employ formal mechanisms to guide them in identifying victims of sex trafficking and forced labor among vulnerable populations such as migrant laborers or foreign citizens in prostitution during the year. However, the government reported some front-line responders received training on identification of trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government reported that the new strategic plan contains plans to update and develop draft procedures to guide officials and NGOs in referring trafficking victims to available services.
The Department of Human Services provided shelter and basic assistance to seven trafficking victims during the year.