Youssef El Kaidi
Youssef El Kaidi
Morocco World News
Fez, June 22, 2013
Historically, people have constantly moved across borders in search of better life conditions in other countries or escaping war, conflicts and persecution at home. This fluid human mobility was voluntary and done out of personal will. Another facet of this mobility is a rampant underground phenomenon and lucrative industry known as human trafficking; which is the cross-national trade in humans, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labor or the extraction of human organs. The U.S. State Department has recently released its annual report on human trafficking which is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking.
The 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report which is based on global data tries to give a comprehensive picture of human trafficking around the world. The recent report places each country onto one of three tiers (tier 1, tier 2 and tier 3) based on the extent of their governments’ efforts to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking found in Section 108 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA). This report concludes that “Only 46,570 out of an estimated 27 million victims of human trafficking were identified in 2012.”
The report places Morocco onto tier 2 Watch List. That is to say, Morocco is among the countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards. For Morocco, the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing;and there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or the determination that Morocco is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.
As press reports in Morocco continuously indicate, there is a considerable number of Moroccan girls who were trapped by human trafficking networks to work as prostitutes in the Gulf Arab States. The ways these networks use are diverse ranging between deception and coercion. The report quotes a sex trafficker who confesses: “in one hotel I know in Amman, you can find Russian, Tunisian and Moroccan women that are forced to work and stay here until their contracts end because their passports are taken from them and they are threatened and beaten. But this only happen to foreign women not Jordanians. Their contract does not state they have to provide sexual services but they must know what they were coming to do here. They did not think they were coming to pray, did they?.”
When an adult is coerced, forced, or deceived into prostitution that person is a victim of trafficking and the perpetrators involved in recruiting, harboring, transporting, providing, or obtaining a person for that purpose are responsible for trafficking crimes. Unfortunately, the phenomenon is still pervasive in Morocco and more girls and women are trapped in prostitution networks after immigrating, particularly to the Gulf countries. More efforts and action from the part of the state need to be maintained and increased to combat this phenomenon to reach compliance with the TVAP’s minimum standards.
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