The government maintained efforts to protect trafficking victims. The government identified no trafficking victims during the reporting period. The government did not develop or employ systematic procedures for victim identification among at-risk groups, such as migrant workers or women in prostitution. The government continued providing victim identification trainings for law enforcement. Tongan police utilized an Asian liaison officer trained to speak Mandarin Chinese to engage with Chinese citizens living in Tonga who may be vulnerable to trafficking. The government provided 60,000 pa’anga ($28,380) to an NGO for operations to assist women and children victims of crime, including shelter, counseling, and legal services, an increase from 50,000 pa’anga ($23,650) in 2016. Although none were identified, adult female and child victims of trafficking would be eligible for these services. The government had procedures to refer victims of crime, including potential trafficking victims, to the NGO. There were no shelter facilities available to male victims older than 15 years old. Under the immigration act, the principal immigration officer had broad discretionary authority to grant trafficking victims permits to stay in the country for any length of time necessary for their protection. Victims could be granted asylum in Tonga if they feared retribution or hardship in their country of origin, although no trafficking victim has ever requested asylum. Victims could file civil cases against their traffickers. There were no reports officials penalized trafficking victims for unlawful acts committed as a result of being subjected to trafficking.