New Zealand remains a destination country for forced labor, sex trafficking and child sex
[The US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2016]
New Zealand is a destination country for foreign men and women subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking and a source country for children subjected to sex trafficking within the country, according to The US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2016.
“Foreign men and women from China, India, the Philippines, countries in the Pacific and Latin America, South Africa, and the United Kingdom are vulnerable to forced labor in New Zealand’s agricultural, construction, and hospitality sectors, or as domestic workers. Some foreign workers are charged excessive recruitment fees, experience unjustified salary deductions, non- or underpayment of wages, excessively long working hours, restrictions on their movement, passport retention, and contract alteration. Some migrant workers are forced to work in job conditions different from those promised during recruitment but do not file complaints due to fear of losing their temporary visas.”
Foreign women from Asia are at risk of coercive or forced prostitution. Some international students and temporary visa holders are vulnerable to forced labor or prostitution.
“A small number of Pacific Island and New Zealand (often of Maori descent) girls and boys are at risk of sex trafficking in street prostitution. Some children are recruited by other girls or compelled by family members into prostitution.”
[Clearly, “the minimum standards” have made not one iota of difference. —Moderator]
“The government increased prosecutions of traffickers, but the punishments imposed were insufficient given the seriousness of the crimes.”
- [Quote] The government, however, did not consistently identify trafficking victims in vulnerable sectors and continued to treat possible forced labor cases as labor violation.
- The government did not operate any shelters specifically for trafficking victims.
- There were no reports of victims being detained, fined, or jailed for unlawful acts committed as trafficking victims; however, some may have been as a result of inadequate government efforts to identify victim.
- The government reported providing legal alternatives to the removal of foreign victims of crime to countries where they may face hardship or retribution, but no trafficking victims received this benefit in 2015.
- [NZ Government] did not report training prosecutors or judiciary officials. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of government officials complicit in human trafficking offenses. [End Quote]
Paying Lip Service
“In 2015, the government completed its first trafficking prosecution under the crime act, involving 18 victims from India and two defendants. While this case marked the first time the government used the provision to prosecute suspected traffickers, no evidence of forced labor was found. The defendants were found guilty of immigration fraud and sentenced to 25 months’ imprisonment and 10 months’ home detention, respectively. The government reported convicting one sex trafficker in a case involving two victims brought into the country under false employment agreements. The court found the defendant guilty of providing false immigration information and inciting employees to breach visa conditions and sentenced her to 27 months’ imprisonment. In two separate cases involving six and four Indian victims of forced labor in restaurants, three defendants were sentenced to home detention and reparation payments to victims; these penalties were not sufficient…”
“The government did not make efforts to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts. The government provided anti-trafficking training to its diplomatic personnel. The government continued to cooperate with foreign governments to identify child sex tourists in New Zealand and to prioritize the prevention of child sex tourism abroad by its residents, although these efforts did not result in any investigations or prosecutions [despite the millions of visitors who arrived in New Zealand in 2015, and millions more who traveled abroad for child sex tourism.]”