TBILISI, DFWatch – A new report by the U.S. State Department paints a dire picture of victims of human trafficking in Georgia.
The 2012 report, which covers 186 countries, states that Georgia is “a source, transit, and destination country for women and girls subjected to sex trafficking and men and women subjected to conditions of forced labor.”
The report says that even though Georgia improved prosecution and prevention of trafficking in 2011, it still satisfies only minimal standards for the elimination of this activity. According to the report, women and girls are victims of sexual trafficking within the country as well as in Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. While men and women are victims of forced labor in Georgia, Georgians themselves are forced to work in Russia, Turkey and other countries.
Aside from these facts the report also pays attention to the issue of so called street kids as some children are exploited in theft or begging by third parties, including parents. It also clearly indicates and blames the lack of labor inspectors and a weak labor code for contributing to workers’ vulnerability to abuse and forced labor.
The report also draws recommendation for Georgia advising to improve the methods of detecting the trafficking victims, especially of those who are victims of non-physical forms of coercion, involving NGOs in provision of assistance to victims and not to punish children who were forced to commit a crime.
“Continue awareness campaigns for government officials and the general public about trafficking and its links to prostitution as well as forced labor; and continue the government’s active information campaigns targeted at vulnerable groups,” the report concludes.