Despite some improvements, Georgia’s anti-trafficking law enforcement “efforts remained low” in 2013, according to the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report released on June 20.
The new report says that the Georgian government “does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.”
As a result Georgia remains in tier 2, where it was relegated for the previous, 2012 reporting period after six straight years in tier 1 – the highest ranking, which although does not mean that a country has no human trafficking problem, but indicates that its government undertakes efforts to address this problem and meets minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. Tier 3 is the lowest ranking assigned to countries whose governments do not fully comply with minimum standards to eliminate trafficking and are not making significant efforts to do so.
“Georgia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically the forced prostitution of women and the forced labor of men, women, and children,” reads the report. “Women and girls from Georgia are subjected to sex trafficking within the country, as well as in Turkey, and, to a lesser extent, the United Arab Emirates and Russia. Women from Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and other countries are subjected to forced prostitution in Georgia’s commercial sex trade in the tourist areas of Batumi and Gonio in Adjara province.”
According to the report the government sustained efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims, “but there were deficiencies in the protection of children subjected to forced begging, and women and girls subjected to sex trafficking.”