The government initiated 35 prosecutions during the reporting period, 10 under article 360(C), which included three forced labor and seven sex trafficking cases, and 25 under the procurement statute.
This was a significant increase compared to the previous reporting period, which had 12 prosecutions, five under 360(C) and seven under the procurement statute.
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR SRI LANKA While respecting due process, improve efforts to investigate and prosecute suspected traffickers, including complicit officials, and convict and punish offenders with sentences commensurate with other serious crimes; increase efforts to proactively identify trafficking victims and train officials on victim identification and referral procedures, especially to ensure victims are not detained or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts, such as immigration violations or prostitution, committed as a direct result of having been subjected to human trafficking; improve protection services to ensure identified victims, including men and children, receive specialized care services; take steps to eliminate all recruitment fees charged to workers by labor recruiters and instead ensure they are paid by employers; expand the bureau of foreign employment’s (SLBFE) mandate to include the regulation of sub-agents; promote safe and legal migration and ensure migration regulations do not discriminate on the basis of gender; and increase efforts of the task force to meet regularly with all members to enhance government coordination efforts.
PROSECUTION The government increased its law enforcement efforts to address human trafficking.
During the reporting period, the government created two new trafficking investigative units.
In October 2016, it created an anti-trafficking unit in the CID, and in April 2016, the SLBFE created a special unit to investigate trafficking-related complaints.
Courts also ordered two of the convicts to pay restitution to two victims of 100,000 LKR ($670) and 500,000 LKR ($3,340).