- A human trafficking corridor
- Belize is a corridor for human trafficking in Central America.
- Belize is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children who are victims of human trafficking. Belize is a Tier 2 Watch List country according to the US government’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2010.
- Under Belize’s adopted Trafficking in Person’s Prohibition Act 2003, its government is obligated to: investigate and prosecute trafficking offenses and convict and punish human trafficking offenders, including any allegedly complicit public officials; maintain law enforcement efforts against forced labor; and provide penalties for sex trafficking crimes.
No human trafficking convictions
Belize maintains an extremely poor record with respect to protecting human trafficking victims and does not vigilantly pursue or prosecute criminals responsible. Significantly, Belize has not reported a conviction for human trafficking since 2005. Belize claims that prosecution is difficult given few victims are willing to testify. However, if victims were protected, as the TPPA provides, more cases would come to trial.
Immigration system supports entrenched human trafficking
Belize’s immigration system, punctuated by porous borders, is central to a long-standing and entrenched human trafficking system. Corruption is also well entrenched within the immigration department and is the foundation of the human trafficking problem. Corruption examples include accepting payments for expediting visa applications, 30-day tourist stamps and the like.