Curacao gets negative review in Trafficking in Persons Report

POSTED: 06/26/11 9:17 PM

WILLEMSTAD – There is an expectation that Curacao will be moved from the light gray list to the dark gray list in the Trafficking in Persons Report that will be issued by the United States Department of State on Monday. The downgrade, which is part of a confidential memo sent to the Netherlands and leaked to the press, states the downgrading will happen because the new Penal Code, which criminalizes trafficking has not yet been approved.

Without the new code enforcement agencies still don’t have enough power to fight trafficking. An agreement by the Ministers of Justice of the Netherlands, Aruba, St. Maarten and Curacao to jointly fight trafficking and smuggling comes too late to stop the downgrading.

The 2009 report on Trafficking in Persons identified Aruba and the Netherlands Antilles, which consisted of Curacao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba as transit and end points for people who were smuggling men, women and children to work in prostitution and other types of forced labor. An example of that forced labor is Middle Eastern and Asian people who are forced to work in restaurants and pay high fees for having their jobs. One of the report’s specific recommendations was to do more on criminalizing trafficking and smuggling.

The downgrading that’s coming Monday means Curacao will not be able to access loans from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The U.S. Consulate had expressed an interest in having a meeting on the report and the leaked memo on Friday and asked the government to be ready to provide a response.


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