The United States Department of State published the 2023 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. The report is a critical tool for analysing trends and incentivising effective government action to address human trafficking.
This year’s report devotes a special chapter to how partnerships between governments, civil society, front-line workers, and the private sector can contribute to more effective prevention, protection, and prosecutions.
The report shows an increase in the number of identified victims, as well as prosecutions and convictions of traffickers compared to the previous year but broadly in line with the trend before the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Report also places countries in one of four “tiers” depending on their compliance with the minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking outlined in the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act. There were no changes in the tier placements of LSI countries compared to 2022. Most countries in Western Europe remain in Tier 1, which means that they are meeting the minimum standards, except for Italy and Ireland, which are in Tier 2. Most countries in Central and Eastern Europe remain in Tier 2, which means that their governments are not meeting the minimum standards but are making significant efforts to do so. Exceptions are Chechia (Tier 1) and Bulgaria and Serbia (Tier 2 Watch List).
LSI is pleased to see that the recommendations to LSI members’ countries are broadly in line with our advocacy priorities. They include improving identification of trafficked persons, especially among refugees and asylum seekers; providing reflection period and assistance to all (potential) trafficked persons regardless of their cooperation with the authorities; improving trafficked persons’ access to compensation and training prosecutors to bring in compensation claims during criminal proceedings against traffickers; ensuring that trafficked persons are not criminalised for crimes they were forced to commit as a result of their trafficking situation; allowing formal identification to be performed by diverse actors, including NGOs and labour inspectors; supporting civil society; and more.
The Department of State also introduced the 2023 TIP Heroes – individuals who have devoted their lives to the fight against human trafficking. This year there wеre no TIP Heroes from Europe.