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Trinidad and Tobago is a destination, transit, and source country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Women and girls from the Dominican Republic, Guyana, Venezuela, and Colombia are subjected to sex trafficking in brothels and clubs, often lured by offers of legitimate employment, with young women from Venezuela especially vulnerable.
NGOs noted the availability of children for commercial sex through classified ads and that children are subjected to trafficking for commercial sex by Trinbagonians and foreign sex tourists. Economic migrants from the Caribbean region, especially Guyana, and from Asia, in particular those lacking legal status, are vulnerable to forced labor in domestic service and the retail sector.
Immigration officials note an increase in international criminal organizations' involvement in trafficking, and NGOs report young boys are coerced to sell drugs and guns.
New brothels continue to open across the country, particularly in the east where they are incorporated into small bars and rum shops and are difficult to detect; NGO and police sources note that both prostitution and trafficking are historically dependent on police corruption. Law enforcement and civil society organizations reported some police and immigration officers facilitate trafficking and some law enforcement officials exploit sex trafficking victims.
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite these measures, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore, Trinidad and Tobago is placed on Tier 2 Watch List for the second consecutive year.