Georgia in U.S. Human Trafficking Report 2021

The Georgian Government “continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts” for the elimination of trafficking, says the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) 2021 report published today.

Georgia remains a tier 1 country in terms of combatting trafficking, a process for which the Georgian Government “fully meets the minimum standards,” according to the document.

The authorities’ efforts, throughout the year marred by the COVID-19 pandemic, included convicting more traffickers and providing comprehensive victim assistance, including robust pandemic mitigation efforts at government-run shelters, the TIP report notes.

Also, the document says the Georgian Government adopted a 2021-2022 national action plan and guidelines for mobile victim identification units on identifying child victims, and established a Labor Inspection Service (LPS), which has a special unit dedicated for forced labor.

The report notes that the Georgian Government maintained law enforcement efforts, several specialized traffickings units, and protection efforts of trafficking victims, all the while increasing prevention efforts.

But the State Department report highlights some key shortcomings, including lack of staff, training and resources at the LPS. It says Georgian authorities investigated and prosecuted fewer suspects and identified fewer victims. Also, the Government did not establish a work permit system for migrants, and did not license and monitor recruitment agencies, the report highlights.

Police conducted some ad hoc raids on commercial sex establishments without a clear strategy or victim identifications, the State Department highlights.

The document says women from Azerbaijan and Central Asia are exploited in the Georgian cities of Tbilisi and Batumi, in saunas, brothels, bars, strip clubs, casinos, and hotels. Also, it adds that Georgia serves as a transit country for women from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan exploited in Turkey.

As for the Russian-occupied regions, the State Department says although there was no information available about Abkhazia and Tskhinvali Region/South Ossetia, anecdotal evidence points to migrants being subjected to forced labor, including North Koreans working in Abkhazia that “may have been forced to work by the North Korean government.”

See the full report here.

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This post is also available in: ქართული (Georgian) Русский (Russian)


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