SRI LANKA: Tier 2
The Government of Sri Lanka does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore Sri Lanka remained on Tier 2. The government demonstrated increasing efforts by identifying more potential trafficking victims and partnering with an international organization to launch a national awareness campaign and train hundreds of local, district, and state officials and civil society members on victim identification and referral procedures. The government also amended legislation to allow diplomatic missions to record evidence and take statements from victims or witnesses overseas, which resulted in the referral of 29 statements related to alleged human trafficking to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) for further investigation. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. For the fourth consecutive year, the courts did not convict any traffickers under the government’s trafficking statute, although they continued to convict potential trafficking cases under the procurement law for obtaining a person to become a prostitute. Only one person convicted for procurement served prison time; two other convictions were suspended. The capacity of local officials to proactively identify victims was low and observers reported authorities did not make adequate efforts to screen for indicators of human trafficking among individuals arrested or charged for prostitution, vagrancy, or immigration offenses. The government provided no specialized services to male victims and maintained specific requirements for migration of female migrant workers and those migrating for domestic work, which observers stated increased the likelihood women would migrate illegally and therefore heightened their vulnerability to human trafficking. Complicity remained a problem; while the government secured a conviction of one official for preparing forged documents and sentenced him to one year in prison, the government did not initiate any new investigations or prosecutions of allegedly complicit officials during the year.