Cuba Remains Major Human Trafficking Violator

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
The State Department has just released its 2012 Trafficking in Persons Report.

Once again, Cuba received the lowest ranking (Tier 3), as a country that does not comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

Here's the Report's Cuba summary:

CUBA (Tier 3)

Cuba is a source country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Prostitution of children reportedly occurs in Cuba, and the country’s laws do not appear to penalize prostitution of children between the ages of 16 and 18. There have been past instances of Cuban citizens forced into prostitution abroad. There have also been allegations of coerced labor, particularly with Cuban work missions abroad. Some Cubans working abroad have stated that postings are voluntary and well paid; however, others have claimed that their passports have been withheld by Cuban authorities and movement restricted. The scope of trafficking involving Cuban citizens is particularly difficult to gauge due to the closed nature of the government and sparse non-governmental or independent reporting.

The Government of Cuba does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so. Although media sources reported the government prosecuted and convicted three sex traffickers in 2011, the government did not respond to requests for information on such sex trafficking and forced labor prosecutions or on trafficking-specific victim protection and prevention efforts that occurred during the reporting period.