The Government of Georgia “fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking,” however the country remains the source, transit and destination for sex trafficking and forced labor, according to the U.S. Department of State’s annual report released on June 28.
The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which covers the developments in 2017, places Georgia in “Tier 1” – the highest in the three-tier system of evaluation – meaning that although a country might have human trafficking problem, its government is making efforts to address them.
According to the report, Georgian women and girls are subjected to sex trafficking in Georgia, Turkey, China and the United Arab Emirates; both men and women are subjected to forced labor in Georgia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Cyprus, and Iraq; while Georgian, Romani, and Kurdish children are subjected to forced begging and coerced into criminality in Georgia.
“The government demonstrated serious and sustained efforts by updating law enforcement guidelines for victim identification, including on the treatment of victims, screening for indicators at border posts, and victim-centered interview practices,” the report underscores.
However, it further emphasizes that victim identification remained “inadequate for children in exploitative situations on the street” as well as the native and foreign workers in “vulnerable labor sectors.” It particularly notes, that the labor inspectorate operates with “an unclear mandate, which inhibited inspectors’ ability to effectively investigate employers.”
The report also notes that the government was unable to conduct anti-trafficking efforts in the occupied Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, underlining that internally displaced persons from these occupied territories are considered to be “particularly vulnerable to trafficking.”