[ Human Trafficking, Country-by-Country ]

HAITI (Tier 2 Watch List) Extracted in part  from the U.S. State Dept 2023 TIP Report

The Government of Haiti does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts to do so. These efforts included initiating two prosecutions under the anti-trafficking law, along with assigning investigative judges in one high-profile case against one defendant under the anti-trafficking law and another high-profile case with strong trafficking indicators under other laws. The government also identified 11 adult trafficking victims and provided them with support services; it also provided support to an unknown number of child victims and conducted an audit of judicial and child protection cases. However, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, even considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, if any, on its anti-trafficking capacity. Impunity and complicity, particularly in high-profile cases, remained serious problems. The government lacked sustained law enforcement efforts and did not consistently pursue investigations following victim identification. The government did not disaggregate anti-trafficking law enforcement or victim protection efforts for the reporting period, making improvements from prior year efforts unclear, and government anti-trafficking agencies did not all cooperate effectively. The government did not make sufficient efforts to combat situations of child domestic servitude (restavek). Because the government has devoted sufficient resources to a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards, Haiti was granted a waiver per the Trafficking Victims Protection Act from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3. Therefore Haiti remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year.

Prioritized Recommendations

Vigorously investigate and prosecute trafficking crimes and convict traffickers, including complicit officials, gang members, and those responsible for domestic servitude – including situations involving children – and child sex trafficking.

Improve the quality of services for adults.

Educate the public with both traditional and social media about children’s rights to freedom and education and implement measures to address the vulnerabilities leading to domestic servitude, including the establishment of a minimum age for domestic work and protection of child victims from neglect, abuse, and violence.

Improve evidence-gathering, investigate all cases where a victim is identified, and reduce pre-trial detention and judicial backlog.

Develop Haiti’s nascent foster care system and alternative residential care for children, and ensure orphanages are properly accredited, registered, and monitored.

Improve coordination of anti-trafficking agencies.

Improve law enforcement and victim case tracking and documentation.

Fully implement the national identification program and expand it to cover children.

Regularly screen returned migrants and Cuban medical workers for trafficking indicators and refer victims to services.

Ensure a victim-centered approach for the treatment of victims-witnesses during investigations and court proceedings, especially to ensure they are not coerced into testifying.

Continue to train police, prosecutors, judges, and victim service providers on the SOPs.

Train more labor inspectors in trafficking indicators, increase worksite inspections for indicators of labor trafficking, and increase collaboration with law enforcement to prosecute labor trafficking cases.

Develop laws or policies to regulate foreign labor recruiters, ensure workers are not required to pay recruitment fees, and raise awareness among potential migrant laborers.