The 2017 edition of the annual Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report from the US State Department lists Palau again as country that makes effort to combat trafficking, but have failed to meet the standards.    

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Palau remains on Tier 2  in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report 2017, stating that although the  Government of Palau does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to fight trafficking.

The State Department calls the TIP report “the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts.”

Countries are sorted based on the standards of the Trafficking Protection Act .  Tier 1 countries have recognized their human trafficking problems and taken measures in order to meet the minimum standards of the act. Tier 2 countries are making an effort to combat trafficking, but have failed to meet the standards.

Tier 2 Watch List by the United States of Palau said that the  government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period.

“Increasing efforts included the conviction of a corrupt official whose actions could have been permissive of trafficking. The government also reconvened the National Human Rights Working Group intended to consolidate government efforts in the promotion and protection of human rights, including through as yet unimplemented anti-trafficking awareness-raising campaigns.”

But the 2017 report, pointed out Palau’s shortcomings in meeting the standards, one of them is that the   courts failed to secure convictions under trafficking provisions and issued light penalties for trafficking-permissive violation.

It also stated that the Palau government did not increase funding for or access to victim protective services, nor did it develop a national action plan to combat trafficking.

The report recommended that Palau increase efforts to investigate and criminally prosecute trafficking offenses, convict sex and labor traffickers, and impose sufficiently stringent penalties on convicted traffickers—including complicit officials.

It also recommended that Palau develop and implement formal procedures for front-line officers to identify trafficking victims among vulnerable groups and increase the availability of protective services for trafficking victims.

Palau for years has been  “described in the report as a destination country for women subjected to sex trafficking and for women and men subjected to forced labor.”

Palau’s foreign population, about one-third of the country’s population of 17,661, is the most vulnerable to trafficking.

Filipino, Bangladeshi, Nepali, Chinese, and Korean men and women is said to pay a huge amount of money or thousands of dollars in recruitment fees.

The foreign nationals is said to choose to work in   jobs in domestic service, agriculture, restaurants, or construction.

However, once they get in Palau, the report said , some are forced to work in conditions substantially “different from what had been presented in contracts or recruitment offers, and some become trafficking victims.” [/restrict]