Jamaica a Tier 2 in U.S. State Department’s 2009 Trafficking in Persons Report

WASHINGTON – “The ninth annual Trafficking in Persons Report sheds light on the faces of modern-day slavery and on new facets of this global problem. The human trafficking phenomenon affects virtually every country, including the United States.

In acknowledging America’s own struggle with modern-day slavery and slavery-related practices, we offer partnership. We call on every government to join us in working to build consensus and leverage resources to eliminate all forms of human trafficking.”–Secretary Clinton, June 16, 2009

Jamaica is a Tier 2.

Jamaica is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor. The majority of victims are poor Jamaican women and girls, and increasingly boys, who are trafficked from rural to urban and tourist
areas for commercial sexual exploitation.

Victims are typically recruited by persons close to them or newspaper advertisements promoting work as spa attendants, masseuses, or dancers; after being recruited, victims are coerced into prostitution. Jamaican children also may be subjected to conditions of forced labor as domestic servants.

Child sex tourism in resort areas has been
identified as a problem. Reportedly women from the
Dominican Republic, Russia, and Eastern Europe who
have been trafficked into Jamaica’s sex trade have also been forced to transport illegal drugs.

Some Jamaican women and girls have been trafficked to Canada, the United States, the Bahamas, and other Caribbean destinations for commercial sexual exploitation.

The Government of Jamaica does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.

During the reporting period, the government of Jamaica made strong progress in the prosecution of trafficking offenders and continued solid efforts to prevent human trafficking, although its services to trafficking victims remained
largely inadequate.

Recommendations for Jamaica

Expand efforts to investigate, convict, and punish traffickers for their crimes; extend training on human trafficking issues among law enforcement agencies; increase funding for shelter services and other assistance to victims; and continue awareness campaigns aimed at vulnerable populations, especially young people.


The Government of Jamaica took significant steps to apprehend, investigate, prosecute, and convict trafficking offenders during the last year. The government prohibits all forms of trafficking through its comprehensive victims of trafficking among high-risk populations they are likely to encounter, and to refer these victims to NGOs for short- or long-term care.

Pursuant to its anti-trafficking statute, Jamaican authorities encourage victims to assist in the investigation and prosecution of their traffickers.

Victims may also independently file civil suits or take other legal action against their raffickers.

One victim assisted in the investigation and prosecution of traffickers during the reporting period. Victims are not penalized for immigration violations or other unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked. The Jamaican government allows foreign trafficking victims
participating in a law enforcement investigation or prosecution to stay in Jamaica until their cases have been completed and their safe return to their home countries is certain.


The government made steady efforts to further raise the public’s awareness of trafficking during the reporting period. The government conducted anti-trafficking education campaigns in schools and rural communities.

Local NGOs used videos and live theatrical performances to highlight the dangers of trafficking, and also included anti-trafficking components in outreach to vulnerable populations, especially in popular tourist destinations.

The campaigns targeted potential trafficking victims. Having previously eliminated their use in nightclubs, the government further tightened issuance of “exotic dancer” permits for Jamaican hotel establishments by increasing the permit fee significantly beyond the financial reach of the hotels.

This may be effective in preventing sex trafficking. Increased government collaboration with Jamaica’s hotel and tourism industry would assist efforts to prevent child and adult sex tourism in resort areas; despite reported sexual exploitation of Jamaican children by foreign tourists, no investigations or prosecutions of such suspected criminal activity committed by foreign tourists were reported by the government.

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