The Ministry of Defence, as the Chair of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force (NAHTTF) of Sri Lanka, is pleased to announce that the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2022 released on 19 July 2022 by the United States Department of State has upgraded Sri Lanka to Tier 2. Sri Lanka has remained in the Tier 2 Watch List for the last three years raising concerns about being downgraded to Tier 3 and being subject to certain restrictions on US assistance as well as assistance from multilateral development banks.
The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, prepared as required by the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), is termed as the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also noted as the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-trafficking efforts.
The US Department of State while observing that the Government of Sri Lanka does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking (required to be placed in Tier 1) has recognized that the country is making significant efforts to do so, having demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period, considering the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its anti-trafficking capacity.
The members of the NAHTTF consists of Senior Officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Ministry of Justice; Ministry of Labour; Attorney General’s Department; former State Ministry of Foreign Employment, Promotion and Market Diversification; State Ministry of Women and Child Development; Ministry of Tourism; State Ministry of Samurdhi; National Child Protection Authority; Human Trafficking, Smuggling and Maritime Crimes Investigation Division of the Criminal Investigations Department; Department of Immigration and Emigration; Department of Labour; Bureau for the Prevention of Abuse of Children and Women; Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment; Department of Probation and Child Care Services; National Authority for the Protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses; Criminal Intelligence Analysis & Preventive Division; Colombo Chief Judicial Medical Officer and the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission worked with utmost commitment and a spirit of togetherness, under the Office of the Chief of National Intelligence which is the lead of the Board of Officials appointed by the Secretary Defence, General Kamal Gunaratne (Retd)-Chairman (NAHTTF), towards monitoring and combatting human trafficking in Sri Lanka, in accordance with the National Strategic Action Plan 2021 - 2025.
The TIP Report has also provided a prioritized set of recommendations, which the NAHTTF is fully committed towards attaining, having observed that these are ultimately geared towards effectively eradicating the heinous crime of human trafficking from our country.