According to press reports, 2.3 million Ukrainians resided in Russia, including more than 1 million who went east to escape Russian aggression in Ukraine. Some government officials noted an allowance for the extension of contracts for North Korean laborers who had valid contracts as of September 11, 2017 and were still in Russia, while a government spokesperson stated new workers were arriving if authorities had finalized their work authorizations prior to the adoption of UNSCR 2375. Russia is ranked the sixteenth in prevalence of human trafficking among all countries, with more than a million people estimated to be living in slavery in Russia today. Without specific legislation differentiating trafficking victims from victims of other crimes, government agencies claimed they had neither the means nor authority to provide assistance programs specifically for trafficking victims. Russian government officials stated they were taking steps to fulfill its obligations under the relevant UN Security Council resolution to repatriate all of these workers by the end of 2019, and reported the number of DPRK workers in Russia declined steadily throughout 2018 from 30,023 to 11,490 by the end of 2018. ISIS was known to use child soldiers and perpetrate other forms of trafficking. As reported over the past five years, human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Russia, and victims from Russia are exploited abroad. These ties include people with alleged ties to the mob, to Putin, and to human trafficking. In July 2018, local authorities worked with NGOs to remove Nigerian sex trafficking victims from their exploiters; the victims had entered Russia with promises of employment and World Cup fan identification documents from their exploiters. The government maintained limited efforts to prevent trafficking. The government reported three acquittals. According to official government statistics, nearly 5,000 foreigners who entered on Fan IDs remained unlawfully in Russia at the beginning of 2019, including 1,863 Nigerians. Authorities denied an NGO’s request to put up billboards advertising hotlines in advance of the World Cup. Authorities lacked a process for the identification of victims and their referral to care. Driving the trade is the demand for commercial sexual exploitation. • Ensure screening among children returned from Iraq and Syria for child soldiering indicators and provide with rehabilitation and reintegration support. Coordinator for the Arctic Region, Bureaus and Offices Reporting Directly to the Secretary, Office of the Coordinator for Cyber Issues, Office of the U.S. Similar to the previous reporting period, the government took steps to limit or ban the activities of other civil society groups, including some dedicated to anti-trafficking activities. An NGO reported that tens of thousands of trafficking-related cases were reported to authorities, but the government processed most under different articles, which suppressed statistics and masked the scale of the problem. The Government of the Russ Sex trafficking occurs in brothels, hotels, and saunas, among other locations. Employers sometimes bribe Russian officials to avoid enforcement of penalties for engaging illegal workers. While estimates vary, the Russian government reported the number of North Korean workers in Russia declined from 30,000 to approximately 11,500 in 2018. The government did not have a body to monitor its anti-trafficking activities or make periodic assessments measuring its performance. • Create a central repository for publicly available information on investigation, prosecution, conviction, and sentencing data for trafficking cases. With Russia’s political focus being anywhere but human trafficking, the fight will be a difficult one. Russian women and children are reportedly victims of sex trafficking in Russia and abroad, including in Northeast Asia, Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the United States, and the Middle East. Prior to 2018, the DPRK sent approximately 20,000 North Korean citizens to Russia annually for work in a variety of sectors, including logging in Russia’s Far East—an estimated 11,490 North Korean citizens are believed to be present in Russia; many of these North Korean citizens are subjected to conditions of forced labor. – The Huffington Post, https://borgenproject.org/wp-content/uploads/The_Borgen_Project_Logo_small.jpg, 10 Facts About Human Trafficking in Russia, 10 Facts about Renewable Energy in Costa Rica, criminal cases against government officials. “The Borgen Project is an incredible nonprofit organization that is addressing poverty and hunger and working towards ending them.” Russian women and children are reportedly victims of sex trafficking in Russia and abroad, including in Northeast Asia, Europe, Central Asia, Africa, the United States, and the Middle East. An unknown person attacked and stabbed the leader of an anti-trafficking NGO, inflicting non-fatal wounds. In Russia, where an estimated one million people are living in what’s known as modern slavery, the politicized nature of human trafficking is also evident but deployed differently, as the Russian government has made the task of assisting trafficking victims a political one. In recent years, criminal cases have involved Russian officials suspected of allegedly facilitating trafficking by enabling victims’ entry into Russia, providing protection to traffickers, and returning victims to their exploiters. Whether or not the numbers have increased dramatically during the 2018 World Cup, Russia is no stranger to human sex trafficking. Prevention campaigns were hampered by a law that made it a crime to talk to children younger than 16 about sexual issues and exploitation. Although human trafficking in Russia is a massive problem, there are tangible steps that can be taken to relieve the extent of this issue. TRAFFICKING PROFILE As reported over the past five years, Russia is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. • Implement a formal policy to ensure identified trafficking victims are not punished or deported for unlawful acts their traffickers compelled them to commit. It is a destination country for migrant labor from Eastern Europe, Central Asia, and the Caucasus, making it second in the world for migration. International organizations estimate up to 40 percent of these migrants were working unofficially and vulnerable to both forced labor and sex trafficking. Cover Photo Credit, celynek, Flickr Creative Commons Further, the government’s efforts to exert pressure on NGOs through the implementation of restrictive laws also targeted those providing protective services for trafficking victims; the government continued to designate two locally registered NGOs working on trafficking issues as “foreign agents” and blocked one of these NGOs from a government-linked social media site in 2018. Human trafficking, the third largest international crime, following illegal drugs and arms trafficking, is believed to be worth billions of dollars each year. This may encompass providing a spouse in the context of forced marriage, or the extraction of organs or tissues, including for surrogacy and ova removal. Moreover, DPRK authorities reportedly arrested, imprisoned, subjected to forced labor, tortured, and sometimes executed repatriated trafficking victims. In the 1990s, the spotlight fell on thousands of women and minors trafficked out of Russia into prostitution, particularly … In limited instances, Moscow city police informally provided “permit letters” valid for one year to individuals the police determined were trafficking victims. With continued external and internal pressure, we can work towards a world where slavery in Russia does not exist. – … Subcontracting practices in Russia’s construction industry result in cases of non-payment or slow payment of wages, which leave workers at risk of labor trafficking. As in previous years, the government did not draft a national strategy or assign roles and responsibilities to government agencies. • Develop formal national procedures to guide law enforcement, labor inspectors, and other government officials in identifying and referring victims to service providers, particularly among labor migrants and individuals in prostitution. NGOs conducted limited trafficking training for local officials. Although labor trafficking remains the predominant human trafficking problem within Russia, sex trafficking continued. It did not report comprehensive data on trafficking criminal cases, making it difficult to assess the adequacy or effectiveness of law enforcement efforts. Labor trafficking remains the predominant human trafficking problem within Russia, accelerating in the context of Russia’s significant increase in labor migration. Russia did not have a national action plan, nor was there a designated lead agency to coordinate anti-trafficking measures; legislation that would implement such a framework continued to languish at the highest levels within the presidential administration. In February 2019, the government agreed to allow the Kyrgyz Republic Ombudsman to appoint five special representatives in Russia to monitor for violations of human rights of Kyrgyz citizens, including trafficking. Instances of labor trafficking have been reported in construction, manufacturing, logging, saw mills, agriculture, sheep farms, brick factories, textile, grocery stores, maritime industries, and domestic service, as well as in forced begging, waste sorting, and street sweeping. NGOs provided all protection services, including shelter, food, legal services, language interpretation, facilitating the return of documents or wages, and assisting in the resettlement or repatriation of victims. Authorities punished child victims of forced criminality. Many of these migrant workers experience exploitative labor conditions characteristic of trafficking cases, such as withholding of identity documents, non-payment for services rendered, physical abuse, lack of safety measures, or extremely poor living conditions. Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar enterprise, and it’s one of the fastest-growing illicit industries in the world. Although government representatives publicly stated authorities asked DPRK workers to leave voluntarily, it was not evident that authorities screened workers for trafficking indicators or offered them options to legally remain in the country. The State Department ranks countries according to the efforts they make to fight human trafficking and Russia, China and Uzbekistan all fell to the lowest level, Tier 3, in the new report. Wives and children of foreign fighters were sold after their spouse or father was killed in action. However, the number of victims identified by the government remained negligible and authorities routinely deported potential forced labor victims without screening for signs of exploitation and prosecuted sex trafficking victims for prostitution offenses. The Supreme Court publicly reported 18 convictions of persons under article 127.1 and three convictions under article 127.2, compared with 26 convictions under article 127.1 and one under 127.2 in 2017. In October 2018, the government signed an agreement with Uzbekistan on the organized recruitment of Uzbek citizens for temporary employment in Russia. An official website of the United States government, Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization, Office of the U.S. This is mostly because of the unbearable economic situations in the country and a punishment should be given to those who engage in human trafficking. Russia’s federal-level Investigative Committee publicly reported 14 investigations, 11 under article 127.1 and three under 127.2, a decrease from 19 reported in 2017. Corruption and official complicity remained significant concerns, inhibiting law enforcement action during the year. • Ensure victim identification and protection measures are not tied to the prosecution of a trafficker and allow all first responders to officially identify potential trafficking victims and refer them to care. The offer of US$ 500 for her help in bringing back merchandise to sell in the Russian Federation seemed lucrative. Human Trafficking in Russia Today Most human trafficking in Russia today takes the form of forced labor, and its victims largely are migrant workers from Central Asia, Ukraine, Vietnam, China, Nigeria, and North Korea. Media reports indicated Russia had begun to repatriate the laborers whose permits had expired. The government did not provide funding or programs for protective services dedicated to trafficking victims. Despite the lack of formal procedures, observers reported some working-level officials referred potential victims for assistance on an ad hoc basis. From the limited available information, authorities prosecuted trafficking suspects through Articles 127.1 and 127.2 of the criminal code, which criminalized “trade in people” and “use of slave labor.” These articles prescribed punishments of up to five years of forced labor or up to six years of imprisonment for “trade in people” and up to five years’ imprisonment for “use of slave labor.” These penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with punishments prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. NGOs reported a significant number of cases go unreported due to the lack of a formal referral mechanism, victims’ fears, and the lack of government assistance to victims. Authorities reportedly prosecuted Russian citizens returning from Syria and Iraq, where some were subjected to trafficking, under anti-terror laws without being screened for indicators of trafficking. Russia passed the law in 2003 under President Vladimir Putin but it does nothing other than label human trafficking illegal. The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts or forced labor. Media reports and publicly available data revealed some details on trafficking cases investigated and prosecuted, including some conviction information, during the reporting period, although the limited number of cases reported did not constitute an adequate law enforcement response compared to the scale of trafficking in Russia. There are reports of Russian citizens facing forced labor abroad. • Create a national anti-trafficking action plan and establish a central coordinator for government efforts. Authorities did not screen other vulnerable populations, such as migrant workers or foreign women entering Russia on student visas despite evidence of their intention to work or other vulnerabilities to trafficking. 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