The US State Department stated that “the Government of Sri Lanka does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” in its annual ‘Trafficking in Persons Report’.
Released this week, the report placed Sri Lanka on the’ Tier 2 Watch List’ for a third consecutive year, noting that it was only granted a waiver from dropping even further as the “government has a written plan” to combat trafficking. The report noted that it has not yet been implemented.
The report also stated that “for the fourth consecutive year, authorities failed to convict any traffickers under Sri Lanka’s trafficking statute—indicative of a continued lack of understanding of trafficking and inability to adequately investigate these crimes”.
Despite Sri Lanka’s inter-ministerial anti-trafficking taskforce continuing to meet monthly, “the government made minimal progress in its efforts to prevent trafficking,” the report added.
“The bottom line is that this is no time for complacency,” said US Secretary of State John Kerry, as he released the report. “Right now, across the globe, victims of human trafficking are daring to imagine the possibility of escape, the chance for a life without fear, and the opportunity to earn a living wage. I echo the words of President Obama and say to them: We hear you, and we will do all we can to make that dream come true.”