Belize is the worst human trafficking offender in Central America . That is according to the US State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report. The report, released on Monday June 26th, says that
“Belize is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor“.
It also says that,
“Sex trafficking and forced labor of Belizean and foreign women and girls, primarily from Central America, occur in bars, nightclubs, brothels, and domestic service.”
While that is bad news, the report speaks of complicity of government officials in the human trafficking trade. It refers to “Trafficking-related complicity by government officials, including those at high levels.” And says that
“ The Government of Belize does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so.”
As for Belize’s prosecution of sex trafficking crimes, the report says that for 2016 only 6 persons suspected of being involved in trafficking were identified and
“government did not investigate or prosecute any public officials for alleged complicity in human trafficking-related offenses, despite reports of a significant level of official complicity.”
This is the second year in a row that Belize is listed in the lowest tier, Tier 3 and is the only Central American Country in this category.