IOM

Comparative Matrix:

RCM Member State Legislation relating to

 Trafficking in Persons

 

 

Presentation:

 

The comparative matrix of legislation relating to trafficking in persons in RCM member countries is a result of an analysis of information collected through ongoing monitoring of electronic data bases and reports from our local offices in the region.  The offices, in turn, receive updates from relevant institutions in each RCM member country.

 

The topics and sub-topics included in the matrix were selected based on concerns expressed by several representatives regarding the importance of an instrument which reflects all aspects of criminal activities relating to trafficking in persons and migrant smuggling in each country’s regulations and at a regional level.  The information was summarized by experts on the topics in question, recording only the most relevant data for the individual and collective analysis of the legal expressions of criminal, immigration, and executive provisions, among others, which guide actions to combat the above mentioned crimes in our countries.

 

We hope that the information that has been analyzed, organized, and summarized is useful to lawyers, authorities, researchers, judges, fiscals, police officers, heads of institutions, strategic authorities, and a wide array of experts or persons interested in gaining further knowledge about this crime and facilitating key decision-making processes when facing situations relating to trafficking in persons.

 

 

ACRONYMS

           

CC                   Criminal Code                     

CCP                Code of Criminal Procedure

IL                    Immigration Law

OC                  Organized Crime

Rat.                Ratified

TP                   Trafficking in Persons

TPP                 Trafficking in Persons Protocol

UAP                Under-Age Persons

UNCTOC         United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

V.                    Victims

V&W               Victims and Witnesses

 

 

PREVENTION

 

 

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

Panama

Dominican Republic

PROGRAMS

Intergovernmental Agency Task Force on Trafficking in Persons: Coordinates institutional efforts.  However, specific prevention programs are not mentioned.

Comprehensive assistance program for victims of trafficking in persons under 18 years of age, by NGOs (Casa Alianza).

 

Casa Alianza

National Coalition Against Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking.

Coordinates programs to prevent trafficking in persons through the Technical Secretariat.

Law Against Sexual Exploitation. No. 16-04, Article 21.  Developing public policy for prevention, Technical Secretariat of CONAPREDES.  National Plan for Prevention and Eradication of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Under-age Persons 2008-2010.  Prevention components, pp. 30-34.  Immigration Law 3-08, Article 83.  Preventative actions such as educational and awareness-raising campaigns.

Immigration Law: National Immigration Service shall promote the  prevention of the crime of trafficking in persons (Article 83).

Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons. “Llama y vive” (Call and Live) Program, Ricky Martin Foundation and the Government.  Attorney General’s Office, “La Law pega duro” (The Law Hits Hard) Program.

 

PGR Dpto Trata de Personas ::

Governing Body

To Combat Trafficking in Persons

Intergovernmental Agency Task Force on Trafficking in Persons. The Government of Belize  has established an inter-governmental task force, in accordance with the Law Against Trafficking in Persons, to coordinate efforts to prevent trafficking in persons and to design a national law enforcement strategy. The task force consists of representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation; Ministry of Finance and Home Affairs; Ministry of Housing; Ministry of Human Development, Labor, and Local Government; Department of Police; Department of Immigration and Nationality; Department of Human Services; and National Committee for Families and Children. 22 The task group includes representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Ministry of Finance and the Interior, Ministry of Housing, Ministry of Human Development, Labor, and Local Government; Police Department of the Immigration and Nationality Department, Human Resource Department, Services, and the National Committee for Family and Children.

 

National Coalition Against Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking.

Led by the Technical Secretariat of the Ministry of the Interior, Public Security.

National Commission for the Prevention of the Crimes of Sexual Exploitation (CONAPREDES).

 

(37PN)

(40PN)

Inter-Institutional Commission Against Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling (CITIM).

Means of Dissemination

Intergovernmental Agency Task Force on Trafficking in Persons: Coordinates and promotes dissemination campaigns in the media.

Movilidad Humana” (Human Mobility) Pastoral Program:  brochures, leaflets, press, radio, and children’s games.

http://www.iglesia.cl/conferre/ hondurastrata3

National Coalition Against Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking.

Coordinates dissemination campaigns in the media, sponsored by national and international organizations.

A campaign in the media and online. (www.ministeriopublico.gob.pa/Conapredes.aspx)

University forums, movie screening.

Radio and television,

Llama y vive”, 2006, and educational activities implemented by the State Secretariat of Education and Labor, 2008.

Training

The Government has provided training, especially for immigration officers and police officers in general.

 

Movilidad Humana” Pastoral Outreach Program:  Training workshop in border regions. http://www.iglesia.cl/conferre/ hondurastrata3

 

National Coalition Against Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking

Training program for public servants, especially for police and immigration officers.

Attorney General’s Office and CONAPREDES. Training for public prosecutors, immigration and police officers.

The Inter-Institutional Commission Against Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling coordinates training efforts.

 

 

PROTECTION

 

 

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

Panama

Dominican Republic

Specific Actions to Protect Victims of Trafficking

The Law Against Trafficking in Persons of Belize establishes, in Section 11, the guiding principles for trafficking in persons:  reasonable protection of the victims and their families from traffickers.

 

(53BZ)

The legislation does not mention specific actions for victims of trafficking in persons.

Law No. 8720 on the Protection of Victims and Witnesses, Article 15, includes specific provisions for the protection and assistance to victims of trafficking in persons.

 

 

(27CR)

Law Against Trafficking No. 16-2004, Chapter IV, Article 18.  Establishes the obligation of identifying and providing special protection to prevent revictimization and to protect victims against threats, retaliation, or intimidation.

Law No. 3-08, Article 82. An immigration treatment of protection until the matter has been resolved.  Law No. 63-08, Article 333.  Use of an electronic bracelet for the accused, revoking permits to carry firearms, employment relocation.  Special police protection, changing the place of residence, and confidentiality.

 

(37PN)

(40PN)

(39PN)

Law No. 137-03, Articles  9-11.  Protect the privacy and identity, confidentiality in legal actions and regarding a new risk of victimization.

 

(43RD)

General Legislation for the Protection of Victims and Witnesses

Findings from the sources that were examined do not show that regulated protection programs exist in Belize.

Decree No. 63-2007, Law for the Protection of Witnesses in Criminal Proceedings.

Decree No. 9-99E, Code of Criminal Procedure, Articles 5 and 237.  Establishes the obligation to protect victims and witnesses.

 

(49HND)

Law No. 8720 (2009),

Protection of Victims and Witnesses and Other Subjects Involved in Criminal Proceedings.

 

(27CR)

Law No.63-08, Code of Criminal Procedure, Articles 69, 331, 332, 333, and 336.  Protects victims, witnesses, persons reporting the crime, and other persons involved in criminal proceedings.

 

(39PN)

Law No. 76-02, Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 84, Paragraph 2. Receiving protection for their safety and the safety of their families.

The Dominican Republic has established a Special Unit for the Protection of Victims and Witnesses of the process, including support and protected shelter (2009).

 

(45RD)

 

AID/ASSISTANCE

 

 

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

Panama

Dominican Republic

PROGRAMS

No specific assistance programs are mentioned in the legislation that was analyzed.

A network for comprehensive services for victims of migrant smuggling and trafficking.  International CHF Agreement, Honduras, and Casa Alianza, Brigadas de Amor, Proyecto Victoria, Instituto Salesiano, San Juan Bosco Training Center, and others.

National Coalition Against Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking:  proposes and coordinates assistance programs for victims of trafficking.

 

National Plan for the Prevention and Eradication of Commercial Sexual Exploitation.

Immigration Law:  Establishes an Assistance Unit for Regular or Irregular Migrant Victims collaborating in criminal proceedings (Article 82).

 

(40PN)

Plan of Action of the National Commission Against Trafficking in Persons.

Attorney General’s Office:

A telephone line to ask for help, “Llama y vive”, and to report cases of trafficking in persons:  1-809-200-7393

PGR Dpto Trata de Personas ::

Shelters

The Government of Belize has shelters for under-age persons and two shelters for adults (2009).

Only Casa Alianza, only for under-age persons (“Querubines” Home), 2009.

The National Coalition Against Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking and the Office for Assistance to Victims of the Attorney General’s Office work together with NGOs to provide shelter to victims.  No specialized shelters exist.

To date, 43 shelters for under-age persons exist on national territory.  Adults are placed in hotels.

 

Albergues

Temporary homes for under-age persons.

A receiving center for victims of trafficking and migrant smuggling (Centro para personas objeto de trata y tráfico) (COIN).

Coordination with NGOs

 

The network for comprehensive services includes several NGOs. Casa Alianza and support from IOM Honduras.

The Rahab Foundation has a program to assist victims of trafficking.

Incorporated into the National Plan for Prevention.

 

Law No. 137-03, Article 10.  Establishes cooperation between the State and NGOs to assist and advise victims.

 

(43RD)

Specific Actions to Assist Victims of Trafficking in Persons

The Government of Belize has provided health care and legal assistance to victims of trafficking.

No information about this topic was found in the legislation that was analyzed.

Law No. 8720, Article 15.

§    Language assistance

§    Not including them in special registers

§    Granting permits for temporary residence in the country

Health care and psychological, social, and legal assistance.

 

General Immigration Law, Article 90.

A special immigration status for victims of trafficking.

(27CR)

(26CR)

Law No. 16-04,

Article 17.  The Ministries of Education, Women, Children, and Family and the Defensoría del Pueblo shall provide legal assistance to persons who know about cases of the crime of trafficking in persons and are obliged to report the crimes in order to be a part of the process.

Law No 3-08, Article 82. Comprehensive assistance, privacy and identity, and confidentiality in legal actions.

 

(37PN)

(40PN)

 

 

Criminal/Administrative PENALTIES

 

 

Country

 

Belize

 

Honduras

 

Costa Rica

 

Panama

 

Dominican Republic

Criteria

Penal Type, Trafficking in Persons

 

Criminal Code:

 

The Criminal Code (Article 49.a) prohibits recruiting or attempting to acquire a woman under 18 years of age who is not habitually a prostitute or of recognized immoral condition, with the intention of having sexual intercourse, within or outside Belize. Punishment for the offense is 5 years’ imprisonment. 5 The penalty is 5 years imprisonment.    

 

The code prohibits procuring any female with the intent that she become a common prostitute in or outside of the country, 6 that she leave the country to become an inmate of or frequent a brothel, 7 or that she leave her place of abode in Belize for the purpose of prostitution. 8 Punishment for the offense is imprisonment for 5 years. 9 The Code punishes (Article 49.b) any person recruiting a woman with the intention to turn her into a prostitute within or outside the country, or force her to exit the country to be kept locked up or be forced to frequently visit a brothel or leave her place of residence in Belize for prostitution purposes.  The penalty for this crime is up to 5 years imprisonment.

 

“Trafficking in Persons (Prohibition) Bill”.  In force since 2003. Penalizes traffickers with penalties of 1-5 years imprisonment and a fine of $5.000.

This applies in the cases where a person participates or conspires with additional help, organizes, or leads other person to trafficking in persons (Section 3).

 

(53BZ)

 

Decree 234-2005, August 30, 2005, Article 149, Criminal Code:  The crime of trafficking in persons is committed by any person facilitating, promoting, or recruiting, retaining, transporting, transferring, delivering, sheltering, or receiving other persons within or outside national territory for commercial sexual exploitation purposes.  The penalty is 8-13 years imprisonment and a fine of 150-250 minimum wages.

The above mentioned penalty shall increase by half in the following cases:

 

1) When the victim is under 18 years of age;

2) When the active subject uses force, intimidation, deception, or promises of employment;

3) When the active subject provides drugs or alcohol to the victim;

4) When the active subject takes advantage of his/her business, occupation, or profession; and,

5) When the active subject takes advantage of the trust of persons with authority over the victim or makes payments, loans, or concessions to obtain their consent.

Article 144.  Any person who removes or retains another person for sexual purposes and by force, intimidation, or deception shall be sentenced to 4-6 years imprisonment.  When the victim of this crime is under 18 years of age, the above mentioned penalty shall increase by half.

 

(48HND)

Reform to Article 172 of the Criminal Code through Law 8720, Protection to victims, witnesses and other subjects involved in criminal proceedings, published on April 22, 2009.

Article 172, Trafficking in Persons.

“Any person promoting, facilitating, or fostering the entry or exit or movement within national territory of persons of any sex for one or several acts of prostitution or to subject them to exploitation or sexual or labor servitude, slavery similar practices, forced labor or services, servile marriage, beggary, illegal extirpation of organs, or irregular adoption shall be sentenced to 6-10 years imprisonment.  The penalty shall be 8-16 years imprisonment if, in addition, any of the following circumstances are present:

1) The victim is under 18 years of age or is in a vulnerable situation or is disabled;

2) Deception, violence, or any means of intimidation or coercion;

3) The perpetrator is a spouse or up to third degree blood or first degree affinity relative of the victim;

4) The perpetrator takes advantage of his/her relationship of authority or trust with the victim or members of the victim's family, whether a relative or not;

5) The perpetrator takes advantage of his/her profession or role.

6) The victim suffers serious harm to his/her health;

7) The crime is committed by a criminal group comprised of two or more members.

 

(25CR)

Law 14, May 22, 2007. New Criminal Code, Panama.

Article 177.  Any person facilitating, promoting, recruiting, or organizing in any form the entry into or exit of the country or movement within national territory of a person of any sex to subject this person to illegal commercial sexual actions or sexual servitude shall be sentenced to 4-6 years imprisonment.

This penalty shall  be increased by half under the following circumstances:

1. The victim is 14 years of age or older and under 18 years of age.

2. The victim is used for acts of exhibitionism, through photographic means, films, or obscene recordings.

3. The crime is executed through deception, coercion, removal, or retention of immigration documents or personal identity documents, or hiring under conditions of vulnerability.

4. The crime is committed by a close relative, tutor, or caretaker in charge of guarding, raising, educating, or teaching the victim.

5. Some of the above behaviors are carried out in the presence of third persons.

6. The active subject makes arrangements to offer those services as commercial sexual exploitation.

Article 179.  Any person promoting, favoring, facilitating, or executing the securing, transport, transfer, shelter, or reception of under-age persons within or outside national territory for purposes of sexual exploitation or to subject them to sexual servitude shall be sentenced to 8-10 years imprisonment. Article 202. Any person selling, offering, delivering, transferring, or accepting a boy, girl, or adolescent in exchange for remuneration, payment, or reward shall be sentenced to 5-10 years imprisonment.

The same penalty shall apply to any person offering, possessing, consenting to, acquiring, or inducing the sale of a girl, boy, or adolescents for purposes of illegal adoption going against applicable legal instruments in matters of adoption.  When the sale, offer, delivery, transfer, or acceptance of a boy, girl, or adolescent is made for purposes of sexual exploitation, extirpation of organs, forced labor or servitude, the penalty shall be increased by one third, up to half of the maximum penalty.

Article 203.  Any person removing, transferring, retaining, or attempting to carry out these actions with an under-age person through illegal means such as kidnapping, fraudulent or forced consent, making or receiving illegal payments or benefits with the aim of achieving the consent of parents, persons or institution in charge of the under-age person, shall be sentenced to 8-10 years imprisonment.

Executive Decree No. 97, March 31, 2004.  A High-Level Intersectoral Commission has been established to propose specific policies, programs, and strategies to combat various forms of trafficking in persons.  The Commission is currently known as CONAPREDES.

 

(38PN)

 

 

Law No. 137-03 on Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking.  In force since August 7, 2003.

 

Article 1.  Considers that the crime of trafficking in persons involves securing, transport, transfer, shelter, or reception of persons through threats, force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power for exploitation purposes.

 

Article 2.  Any person promoting, inducing, restricting, financing, transporting by land, sea, or air or collaborating in any form  with the illegal entry or exit of persons into or out of the country commits the crime of trafficking in persons.  The perpetrator is sentenced to 10-15 years imprisonment and a fine  of no less than 150 nor more than 250 minimum wages.

 

 

Article 3.  Any person securing, transporting, transferring, sheltering, or receiving men, children, adolescents, women by use of threats, force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power for purposes of exploitation commits the crime of trafficking in persons and shall be sentenced to 15-20 years imprisonment and a fine of 175 minimum wages.

 

As an initiative of the Office of the First Lady ascribed to the State Secretariat of Foreign Affairs, the National Commission Against Trafficking in Persons was established in 2007, named Inter-Institutional Commission Against Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling (CITIM) in May 2009.

 

 

(43RD)

Means

The penal type does not mention specific means.

Article 149, Criminal Code.  Force, intimidation, deception, or promise of employment, drugs or alcohol, the trust of persons with authority over victims or payments, loans, or concessions.

 

 

(48HND)

Article 172, Criminal Code.  Deception, violence, any means of intimidation or coercion.  If the perpetrator takes advantage of the authority or trust relationship with the victim or his/her family.

 

(25CR)

Article 177, Criminal Code.  If the crime is committed through deception, coercion, removal or retention of immigration documents or personal identity documents, or hiring under vulnerable conditions.

Article 203, Criminal Code.  Illegal means, such as kidnapping, fraudulent or forced consent, making or receiving illegal payments with the aim of achieving the consent of parents, persons, or institutions in charge of the under-age person.

 

(38PN)

Articles 1 and 3, Law Against Trafficking: Threats, force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power.

 

(43RD)

Consent

The consent of the victim is not relevant (Section 8 (1), Trafficking in Persons Prohibition Act).

 

(54BZ)

Is not mentioned as a justifying cause, is mentioned as aggravating circumstance:  Article 149, Paragraph 5), Criminal Code.  When the active subject takes advantage of the trust of persons with authority over the victim or makes payments, loans, or concessions to achieve their consent.

 

 (48HND)

Is not mentioned; therefore, the justification included under Article 26, Criminal Code must be considered.  Consent of the holder of rights, for adults.

 

(25CR)

Article 203, Criminal Code.  Establishes a penalty when the active subject carries out the behavior through illegal means such as fraudulent consent, a contrario sensu it could be interpreted that if the under-age person gave his/her voluntary consent, there is no crime.

 

(38PN)

Given the means required as established in Articles 1 and 3 of the Law Against Trafficking, apparently it absolves the active subject from criminal liability when the victim’s parents have given their consent, in some cases, but it is penalized even with the consent when it is about the victim him/herself.

Aggravating Circumstances

 

Decree No. 234-05, Criminal Code, Article 149.

The penalty increases by up to half if:  the victim is under 18 years of age, the active subject uses force, intimidation, deception, or promise of employment, provides drugs or alcohol to the victim; takes advantage of his/her business, occupation, or profession;

and takes advantage of the trust of the persons with authority over the victim or makes payments, loans, or concessions to obtain their consent.

 

(48HND)

Article 172, Criminal Code:  If the victim is under 18 years of age or in a vulnerable situation or disabled; deception, violence, or any means of intimidation or coercion; if the perpetrator is a spouse or up to third degree blood or first degree affinity relative of the victim; the perpetrator takes advantage of his/her authority or trust with the victims or their families, whether a relative or not; takes advantage of his/her profession or role, the victim suffers serious harm to his/her health; and the crime is committed by a criminal group comprised of two or more members.

 

(25CR)

Law No 14-2007 Criminal Code

Article  177.  If the victim is 14 years of age or older and under 18 years of age, is used for acts of exhibitionism through photographic means, films, or obscene recordings; the crime is executed through deception, coercion, removal or retention of immigration documents or personal identity documents, or hiring under conditions of vulnerability; the crime is committed by a close relative, tutor, or caretaker in charge of guarding, raising, educating, or teaching the victim; some of the above behaviors are carried out in the presence of third persons; the active subject makes arrangements to offer those services as commercial sexual exploitation; the victim is under 18 years of age or disabled, the perpetrator is a spouse or up to third degree blood or first degree affinity relative, the perpetrator is repeating the crime.  Any person fabricating, altering, producing, or forging travel or identity documents, providing or facilitating possession of such documents or, through such documents or any other documents, promotes or illegally obtains visas.

  

(38PN)

Law Against Trafficking No. 137-03, Article 7.  If death of the victim occurs or the victim suffers temporary or permanent physical or psychological harm, one or several of the perpetrators is a public servant, elected or not, a member of the Armed Forces or the National Police Force, or if the crime is committed by a national or international criminal group, and when multiple aggrieved persons exist.

 

(43RD)

Penalty for the Crime of

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS

Penalties of 1-5 years imprisonment and a fine of $5.000.

 

Article 149, Criminal Code.

8- 13 years imprisonment and a fine of 150-250 minimum wages.

 

Under aggravating circumstances, the penalty increases by up to half.

 

(48HND)

Article 172, Criminal Code.

Under aggravating circumstances, the penalty increases to 8-16 years.

 

(25CR)

Article 177, Criminal Code.

4-6 years imprisonment if the victim is an adult. Aggravating circumstances: the penalty increases by half.  Article 179, 8-10 years imprisonment if the victim is under 18 years of age.  Article 202, the penalty increases by up to half or one third.  Article 203, 8-10 years imprisonment.

 

(38PN)

Law 137-03, Article 2.

10-15 years imprisonment and a fine of no less than 150 and no more than 250 minimum wages.  Under aggravating circumstances, the primary penalty increases 5 years.

 

 

(43RD)

Attempt

As established according to the type of trafficking (Section 3) of the Law Against Trafficking, attempt applies.

Decree 144-83, Criminal Code, Article 15.  Penalizes attempt in general as carrying out unequivocal actions  which are interrupted due to causes beyond the control of the active subject.

 

(48HND)

Article 24, Criminal Code.

Establishes attempt in general when execution of the crime is initiated by actions oriented toward consummation and this does not occur due to causes beyond the control of the active subject.

 

(25CR)

Law 14-07, Criminal Code Article 17.

When the Law mentions the crime, this includes the consummated crime and the attempt.  Article 48.  Attempt in general:  execution of the crime is initiated by suitable actions oriented towards consummation and this does not occur due to causes beyond the control of the active subject.  Article 82.  The penalty for attempt shall be no less than half of the minimum penalty nor more than two thirds of the maximum penalty.

 

(38PN)

Law 137-03, Article 5.

Attempt is penalized in the same way as the actual crime.

 

(43RD)

Complicity

As established according the type of trafficking (Section 3) of the Law Against Trafficking in Persons, persons "assisting" the perpetrator are penalized.

Article 154, Criminal Code.

Any persons with an influence over the victim, tutor or teacher, or any person cooperating as an accomplice through abuse of authority or commission shall be penalized in the same way as the perpetrator.  

 

 (48HND)

Article 47, Criminal Code.

Penalizes accomplices in general:  any person assisting or cooperating with the perpetrator(s) in any way in committing the crime.

 

(25CR)

Articles 44 and 45, Criminal Code.

Establishes any person participating in the crime or providing assistance without which the crime would not have been perpetrated as a primary accomplice, and any other assistance provided as a secondary accomplice, in general terms.

 

(38PN)

 

Law 137-03, Article 6.

Accomplices of the crime are penalized in the same way as the perpetrator of the crime.

A penalty of 10-15 years imprisonment and a fine of no less than 150 and no more than 250 minimum wages.

 

(43RD)

Trafficking: 

An Organized Crime

 

Not specified as an organized crime in the analyzed legislation.  However, it is a crime that is investigated by the Government Attorney’s Office Against Organized Crime.

Law Against Organized Crime (2009).  Includes trafficking in persons as an organized crime.  This enables using special investigation techniques, confiscation of assets, among others, according the bylaws to this Law.

 

(28CR)

NO INFORMATION ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Law 137-03, Article 7, Paragraph c.

Establishes this as an aggravating circumstance when the crime of trafficking in persons is committed by a criminal group that can be considered national or international organized crime.

 

(43RD)

The Crime of Conspiracy

As established according to the type of trafficking in persons (Section 3) of the Law Against Trafficking, conspiracy in committing the crime applies.

Conspiracy does not apply, according to the analysis of legislation.  

 

NO INFORMATION ABOUT THIS TOPIC

NO INFORMATION ABOUT THIS TOPIC

Connected or Related Crimes

The Criminal Code  penalizes forced marriage or marriage due to coercion with 2 years imprisonment.

In addition, it is illegal (Article 50) to use threats, fraud, false representations, or administering drugs for the acquisition or attempted acquisition of a woman for purposes of illegal sexual intercourse.  The penalty is 3 years imprisonment.

Forced abduction:  When a person abducts a woman with the intention of marrying her or for sexual intercourse for themselves or for others, up to 13 years imprisonment (Article 57).

 

(53BZ)

 

Law No. 234-2005, Reform to the Criminal Code.

Article 44

Similar to trafficking since it mentions sexual purposes through violence or deception, in addition to removing or retaining a person.

Article 149-A

Penalizes exhibiting under-age persons in sexual exploitation centers.

Article 149-E

Penalizes sexual tourism.

Article 154-A

Defines commercial sexual exploitation.

 

(48HND)

Criminal Code:

Article 374:  Penalizes international organizations involved in smuggling slaves, especially women and children.

Trafficking of under-age persons to sell them (Article 376), illegal adoption (Article 184 bis); and organ trade (Article 377);

removing under-age or disabled persons (184); and committing the crime of kidnapping under-age persons (215bis).  Abduction (Article 189) penalizing servitude; procuring (169); trafficking in persons (Article 245 of the Immigration Law, in force since 2009).

 

(25CR)

Article 333, Illegal Association:

A penalty of 6-12 years imprisonment if the purpose of the association is child pornography, trafficking in persons, terrorism, or smuggling of firearms, among others.

Gangs:

Article 324.  Any person establishing or participating in a gang.

7-14 years imprisonment if the purpose of the gang is trafficking in persons, child pornography, terrorism, or smuggling or firearms, among others.

Law No 14-2007,

Article 149.

Coercion and extortion.

Article 155

Concealing or retaining legal or forged passports or illegally acting as the employer.

Article 178

Being financially supported by a victim of sexual servitude.

Article 180

Organized crime for child pornography.

Article 186

Sexual tourism involving an under-age or disabled person.

Article 187

Owner or landlord of the venue or location used for sexual crimes.

Article 202

Trafficking of under-age persons for purposes of sexual exploitation, organ extirpation, forced labor or servitude.

 

(38PN)

Criminal Code, includes Articles 153-155.  Forged passports.

Articles 265-268. Criminal groups.

Articles 274- 282. Penalizes various modes of beggary.

Article 330.  Sexual assault.

Article 334.  Procuring, Paragraph 7 is relevant, considering that any person disturbing the action of prevention, assistance or reeducation of the victims through threats, scheming, etc. is a procurer.

Law No. 136-04, Code for the Protection of Children and Adolescents,

Article 25. Prohibition of commercialization, prostitution, and pornography of under-age persons.

Article 396.  Penalizes abuse when perpetrators negotiate or traffic or are linked to the crime with traffickers or traders of children.

Article 406.  Penalizes illegal transfer:  any person promoting or providing assistance, supporting, or acting as an accomplice in transferring under-age persons abroad with financial gains or for other illegal purposes.  Article 410.  Penalizes commercial sexual exploitation.

 

(44RD)

(47RD)

 

Penalizing Carrier Companies

Belize Immigration Act (BIA). Section 30 (2),

Section 32 (5).  Loss of values and a fine of up to $5000.

Section 5 of the Law Against Trafficking in Persons of Belize penalizes any person transporting, conspiring, or attempting to transport persons for exploitation purposes.

Immigration Law No. 208-2003, Articles 93-99.

Obligations and penalties for carrier companies.

Article 103.

Penalizing carrier companies.

 

(50HND)

The penal type of trafficking in persons is penalized (Article 172, Criminal Code).

 

(25CR)

Regular transport:

A fine for carrier companies in accordance with the characteristics of entry.

Irregular transport: Typified as the action of an accomplice.  Subject to a criminal penalty.

 

Law 285-04, Immigration Law.

Articles 118-128.  Penalizes carrier companies organizing, coordinating, or participating in transporting persons from and to the Dominican Republic in a clandestine manner.

 

(46RD)

Penalizing Establishments

 

Decree No. 234-2005, Criminal Code, Article 149-A.

Penalizes exhibiting under-age persons in sexual exploitation centers.

Law No. 208-2003,

Article 102.

Penalizes hotel owners.

 

(48HND)

(50HND)

A specific penalty for trafficking in persons or migrant smuggling was not identified.   Civil liability or fines through municipalities would apply.

Law No. 14-2007,

Article 187.

Penalizes owners or landlords of a venue or location used for sexual crimes with 10-15 years imprisonment.

 

(38PN)

Law Against Trafficking in Persons No.137-03, Article 4, Paragraph e). Closing an establishment owned by a juridical person which was used to commit the crimes in question.

 

(43RD)

Penalizing Juridical Persons

 

Penalties for juridical persons are established in the Law against asset laundering, which only mentions the crime of trafficking in persons in the catalog of penalties (Decree No. 45-2002).

A specific penalty for juridical persons was not found in the legislation that was analyzed.  Civil liability applies in some cases.

Law No. 14-2007,

Article 51.

Penalizes juridical persons benefiting from the crime.

 

(38PN)

Law 137-03, Article 4. Penalizes juridical persons with actions such as five times the fine for physical persons, dissolution, prohibition to carry out one or several activities, subjection to judicial surveillance, and confiscation of assets ant publication of the sentence in and through any means of communication.

Immigration Law 285-04, Article 128.  For illegal entry or exit by any means of transportation of juridical persons, the penalty of imprisonment shall apply to representatives of the juridical person.

 

(43RD)

(46RD)

Document Forging, Use, Retention, or Destruction

Immigration Law of Belize,

Article 34 (1).  Forging or use of false identity documents to enter or exit Belize.

Penalty, Section 34 (3).

A fine of 1000 - 5000 dollars or 6 months to 2 years imprisonment.

Criminal Code Belize,

Articles 178- 183.  About forging, use, possessing, and stealing identity documents and similar, penalized with up to 2 years imprisonment.

Section 3 Law Against Trafficking in Persons, penalizes employers, supervisors, etc. removing, destroying, or confiscating passport or immigration documents of others with 6 months to 1 year imprisonment, a fine of $500-$1,000, or both.

Criminal Code, Article 280.

1-5 years imprisonment.

Article 282. 

2-5 years imprisonment.

Article 283. 

Removal from the position for 2-10 years.

Law on Population and Immigration Policy,

Article 42.  Imprisonment of aliens.

Article 93.

A fine of 100- 1,000 Lempiras.

Article 94.  

A fine of 100-1,500 Lempiras.

 

(48HND)

Criminal Code

Article 359.  

Forging public and legitimate documents.

Article 360.  

Ideological falsehood.

Article 365.  

Use of false documents.

General Migration and Immigration Law,

Article 179, Paragraph b.  Deportation of cases of use of false documents for immigration procedures.

Articles 121 and 123, Paragraph h. Consequences of the use of false documents for immigration procedures.

 

(25CR)

(26CR)

New Criminal Code,

Articles 358 and 359. Forging documents; Article 363, concealing or destruction of documents, Article 365, use of false documents. 

New Immigration Law,

Article 31.  

Revoking the temporary or permanent residence permit due to the use of fraudulent documents.

Article 50.  

Preventing entry into Panama due to use of altered documents.  

Article 155.  

Any person acting or pretending to act as an employer, supervisor, contractor, employment agent, or client solicitor or who obtains, destroys, conceals, retains, or possesses a passport or another public identity document, whether real or false, pertaining to the person hired to provide services, shall be sentenced to 3-5 years imprisonment.

 (38PN)

Law 137-03, Article 7, Paragraph h. Considers fraudulent documents an aggravating circumstance of migrant smuggling or trafficking in persons.  A penalty of 5 years in addition to the main penalty.

 

Law No. 285-04, Article 68, Paragraph b.  The entry of aliens who entered into national territory with false or incomplete documents is illegal.

c.  Entry into the country with legitimate documents but which have been obtained in a fraudulent manner.

Criminal Code, Articles 153-155.  Forging; penalizes fabrication and use, inserting false data.

 

(43RD)

(46RD) (44RD)

 

 

PROCEDURAL PROVISIONS

 

 

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

Panama

Dominican Republic  

Prosecuting Organ

Office of Judicial Prosecution.

Public Prosecution.

Law No. 234-2005,

Article 152.

A public action, corresponds to the Attorney General’s Office.

 

(48HND)

Attorney General’s Office:  Code of Criminal Procedure.

 

(29CR)

Law No. 63-2008, Article 68. 

Attorney General’s Office.

 

(39PN)

Law No76-2002, Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 29. 

Attorney General’s Office.

 

(45RD)

Non-Penalization of

Victims for Crimes Committed during Trafficking in Persons

 

Are punishable, except if the criterion of opportunity applies, Paragraph 5), Article 28, Code of Criminal Procedure, Norm 9-99E.

Organized crimes, complex crimes, etc. and if collaboration is provided in investigation, identification, and criminal proceedings for other perpetrators, provided that the penalty for the crime committed by the cooperating person is less than the penalty for the other perpetrators.

 

(49HND)

In Costa Rica, victims of trafficking in persons committing crimes as part of this crime are punishable.

Law No. 16-2004,

Article 19.   

The victim shall not be criminally liable for punishable acts relating to trafficking in persons.

 

(37PN)

Law 137-2003, Article 8.  The victim is not punishable provided that he/she collaborates or identifies traffickers with certainty, an order by the Attorney General’s Office.

 

(43RD)

Prescription

With the maximum penalty.

Decree No.144-83, Criminal Code, Article 97.  For a period equivalent to the maximum penalty for this crime.  Regarding trafficking in persons, 13 ½ years.

 

(48HND)

The crime prescribes with the maximum penalty for the simple or aggravate type, no more than 10 years.  

Articles 31, 32, 33, Code of Criminal Procedure.

In the case of under-age persons, prescription initiates when the victim reaches the age of 18 years.  Article 32,  Code of Criminal Procedure.

 

(29CR)

Law No.14-2007, Criminal Code, Article 93.  Under-age victims, when they reach the legal age.

Law 63.2008, Article 116.  After a term equivalent to the maximum penalty.  If trafficking in persons is considered a crime against humanity, prescription does not apply.

 

(38PN)

Law No 76-2002, Code of Criminal Procedure Article 45.  After a term equivalent to the maximum penalty, no more than 10 years.   Article 49. Does not prescribe if considered a crime against humanity in international treaties.

 

(45RD)

Special Investigation Techniques

 

The principle of probation prevails in criminal proceedings in Honduras. 

For the principle of probation, any available method is applied to prove the commission of a crime.  However, the new Law against Organized Crime specifically enables the use of some techniques such as tapping telephones.

Law No. 16-2004,

Article 16.

Authorizes undercover operations, tapping and recording telephone conversations, e-mail, or conversation forums.

 

(37PN)

Law 76-02, Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 192 relating to Article 369.  Authorizes tapping telecommunications in cases of complex procedure.

 

(45RD)

Victim Compensation and/or Civil Action

Section 6 (1) of the Law Against Trafficking in Persons:  the judge may dictate compensation by the trafficker for the victim for the damage caused.

Law No. 234-2005 Article 153:  Compensation for health care, psychological counseling, therapies, emotional perturbation, pain, suffering, and any other loss suffered by the victim.

 

(48HND)

Code of Criminal Procedure:  

Victims of trafficking may request compensation for damages suffered, within criminal proceedings or through civil law.

 

(29CR)

Law No. 16-2004, Article 20.

Compensation for the victim as soon as possible, applying the confiscated assets as a priority.

 

(37PN)

Law No. 137-03 Article 11

Compensating the victim with income generated by the payment of fines under the law, includes physical, psychological, moral, and material damage.

 

(43RD)

 

Immigration Provisions

 

 

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

Panama

Dominican Republic

Repatriation[1]

La Immigration Law mentions repatriation (Section 20.1).

Immigration Law, Article 44 and following, repatriation of refugees, Protocol for the Repatriation of Boys, Girls, and Adolescents (IOM).

(50HND)

Protocol for the Repatriation of Boys, Girls, and Adolescents (IOM).

Panama and Costa Rica signed a Protocol for the Repatriation of Boys, Girls, and Adolescents in 2008.

The Immigration Law of Panama regulates some aspects relating to repatriation.

 

Temporary Stay of Victims

The Directorate of Immigration has established that victims may obtain a special temporary residence permit, although this does not specifically apply to victims of trafficking.

 

The new Immigration Law (2009) establishes a special migration status for victims of trafficking, Article 90.

Immigration Law No. 3-08, Article 81.

Any person cooperating shall granted immigration protection.

 

(40PN)

The Law Against Migrant Trafficking and Smuggling establishes that shelter, assistance, and employment and education opportunities shall be provided to the victim. This involves a temporary stay in the country (Articles 9-11).

 

(43RD)

Temporary/

Permanent Stay of Victims

Victims of trafficking may be granted this benefit through normal immigration procedures, if eligible.

Decree 208-03, Immigration Law, Article 42 relating to Article 44. 

Resettling or repatriation of refugees victims of sexual violence.

 

(50HND)

In accordance with the Immigration Law, through procedures applicable to all aliens.

 

Law No. 3-08, Article 82.  Comprehensive assistance to migrants, regular or irregular.

 

(40PN)

 

Period of Reflection and Recovery for Victims

Not specified in the legislation that was analyzed.

Not specified in the legislation that was analyzed.

Not specified in the legislation that was analyzed.

Not specified in the legislation that was analyzed.

Not specified in the legislation that was analyzed.  However, the Law Against Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling tacitly allows a temporary stay for assistance and recovery.

Actions for Dependants of Victims

The Law Against Trafficking in Persons establishes reasonable protection for the victim and his/her family (Section 11).

Decree No. 63-2007,

Article 2.

Protection includes spouses, partners, family members, or other persons connected to the victim.

 

(51HND)

 

Law 16-04, Article 18. Establishes the obligation of protecting the family when the victim lives in  Panama.

Law No.63-2008, Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 336, Paragraph 8).  Authorizes the victim and his/her family to live in a different domicile in order to maintain confidentiality.

 

(37PN)

(39PN)

Law No. 76-02, Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 84, Paragraph 2.  Receiving protection for their safety and the safety of their families.

 

(45RD)

 

COOPERATION

 

Country

Belize

Honduras

Costa Rica

Panama

Dominican Republic

National

Intergovernmental agency task force on trafficking in persons.

Decree No 63-07 Protection of Witnesses, Article 16.  Collaboration by the public sector.

 

(51HND)

National Coalition Against Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking, coordinates joint efforts by public and private institutions.

Law No. 3-08, Immigration Law, Article 83.  National cooperation to combat illegal actions, includes trafficking in persons.  

 

(40PN)

The Inter-Institutional Commission Against Trafficking in Persons and Migrant Smuggling (CITIM) coordinates institutional efforts.

International

Belize has only ratified the following two instruments for criminal cooperation in matters of trafficking in persons:

 

Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons,

ratified in 2003.

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, Central America: Requesting evidentiary elements.

 

Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters.

Nassau, 1992.

 

Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons,

ratified in 2006.

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, Central America: Requesting evidentiary elements.

 

(CA1)

 

Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons.

Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, Central America: Requesting evidentiary elements.

 

Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters, Nassau, 1992.

 

Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons,

ratified in 2001.

 

Immigration Law: The National Immigration Service is enabled for national and international cooperation to combat the crime of trafficking in persons (Article 83).

 

(40PN)

Articles 155-159, Code of Criminal Procedure:

Establish regulation for the Attorney General’s Office and the judge regarding international criminal cooperation.

 

Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime and Palermo Protocol on Trafficking in Persons.

 

(45RD)

Extradition

Governed by the agreements signed by Belize.

The Code of Criminal Procedure (Article 150) mentions that extradition, imputed and sentenced persons shall be governed by international treaties signed by Honduras and by the country’s legislation.

 

(49HND)

International Convention on Extradition, Caracas 1981.

Extradition Law (1976): Describes the legal and diplomatic extradition procedures.

International Convention on Extradition, Caracas 1981.

Code of Criminal Procedure:  

As established under Title IX of the Code of Criminal Procedure (2008).

Code of Criminal Procedure, Articles 160-165.  Describe the extradition procedures.

 

(45RD)

Protection of Victims and Witnesses, Regional Cooperation

Regulations do not establish specific agreements for regional cooperation relating to victims of trafficking in persons.

Regulations do not establish specific agreements for regional cooperation relating to victims of trafficking in persons.

Regulations do not establish specific agreements for regional cooperation relating to victims of trafficking in persons.

Regulations do not establish specific agreements for regional cooperation relating to victims of trafficking in persons.

Regulations do not establish specific agreements for regional cooperation relating to victims of trafficking in persons.

 



[1] Regional Guidelines for Special Protection in Cases of the Repatriation of Boys, Girls, and Adolescents Victims of Trafficking, RCM 2007.  This document establishes the guidelines for cases of repatriation of under-age persons.  Applicable in all member countries.