Torture in  [Palau]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Palau]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Palau]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Palau]  [other countries]

Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

In the early years of the 21st Century                                            

Republic of Palau

The economy consists primarily of tourism, subsistence agriculture, and fishing. The government is the major employer of the work force relying heavily on financial assistance from the US.

Business and tourist arrivals numbered 85,000 in 2007. The population enjoys a per capita income roughly 50% higher than that of the Philippines and much of Micronesia.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Palau

Palau is a transit and destination country for a small number of women trafficked from the Philippines and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) for purpose of commercial exploitation, and for a small number of men from the Philippines, the PRC and Bangladesh for the purpose of forced labor. Some employers recruit foreign men and women to work in Palau through fraudulent representation of contract terms and conditions of employment. These foreign workers willingly migrate to Palau for jobs in domestic service, agriculture, or construction, but are subsequently coerced to work in situations significantly different than what their contracts stipulated – excessive hours without pay, confiscation of their travel documents, and the withholding of salary payments as a means of controlling their movement; these conditions may be indicative of involuntary servitude. Some workers are also threatened by their employers, and some women expecting to work as waitresses or clerks, are forced into commercial sexual exploitation in karaoke bars and massage parlors. Since the late 1990s, the Philippines government banned its nationals from migrating to Palau to serve as domestic workers.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   [full country report]



CAUTION:  The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Palau.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.

*** ARCHIVES ***

Man convicted of human trafficking ‘luckiest person in the world’

Bernadette H. Carreon, Horizon news staff, Palau News, Marianas Variety, January 9, 2008

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 10 September 2011]

Ting Feng Chiang “is the luckiest person in the world” for getting out of jail despite his 20-year sentence for human trafficking and advancing prostitution, according to his former attorney, Johnson Toribiong.  On Dec. 28, Associate Justice Lourdes Materne ruled in favor of Chiang who filed a petition for habeas corpus.  Chiang has argued that Toribiong failed to provide him effective representation and that he was deprived of his right to have an interpreter during the trial.

Human Rights Reports » 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 6, 2007

[accessed 15 December 2010]

WOMEN - Prostitution is illegal, but it was a problem. There were reports of women being trafficked to the country from the People's Republic of China (PRC), Taiwan, and the Philippines to work in karaoke bars as hostesses and prostitutes (see section 5, Trafficking). There was one conviction for trafficking for prostitution during the year.

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – The Divisions of Immigration and Labor and the Office of the Attorney General are involved in combating trafficking; however, the government lacked the resources and expertise to address the problem in practice. There was no formalized assistance available for victims, and victims normally were detained, jailed, or deported if they committed a crime such as prostitution. No nongovernmental organizations specifically addressed trafficking.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 26 January 2001

[accessed 15 December 2010]

[54] The Committee expresses concern at the absence of adequate labour laws to protect children from economic exploitation. In the light of the increasing number of school drop-outs, the lack of a minimum age for employment and the increasing number of children living and/or working on the streets, the Committee is concerned about the lack of information and adequate data on the situation of child labour and economic exploitation in the State party.

[58] The Committee expresses its concern about the inadequate legal protection of children, particularly boys, against commercial sexual exploitation, including prostitution and pornography. Concern is also expressed at the insufficient programmes for the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims of such abuse and exploitation.

The Protection Project - Palau [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE TRAFFICKING INFRASTRUCTURE - One of the major factors that contribute to trafficking into Palau is the country’s no-visa policy for foreign visitors. This policy attracts recruiters, who commonly use it to lure victims to Palau.

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - There are reports that migrants from the Philippines may be trafficked to Palau for the purpose of forced labor. After being recruited at home, these typically unskilled Filipino workers usually arrive to Palau as tourists and end up being exploited and abused. The practice continues despite a ban on employment of Filipinos in Palau that was issued by the Philippines Overseas Employment Administration. According to the victims, the average “recruitment” fee amounts to US$1,500, which is deducted from the worker’s monthly salary of approximately US$200. An average victim repays the fee in 10 months and is required to set aside the salary of the final 2 months of a typical 1-year contract for the purchase of a return ticket. Consequently, the victims are rarely able to bring any money back to the Philippines.  Child labor is not considered to be an issue in Palau, and no evidence exists that children are forced to work under unsafe or unhealthy conditions.

Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 1   Civil Liberties: 1   Status: Free

2009 Edition

[accessed 27 June 2012]

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Palau",, [accessed <date>]



Torture in  [Palau]  [other countries]
Human Trafficking in  [Palau]  [other countries]
Street Children in  [Palau]  [other countries]
Child Prostitution in  [Palau]  [other countries]