The US State Department 2018 report on Trafficking in Persons (TIP), has said that Saint Lucian children are among persons subjected to sex trafficking, while documented and undocumented migrants from the Caribbean and South Asia, including domestic workers, are vulnerable.
“Government officials, civil society, and educators reported Saint Lucian children from economically disadvantaged families are vulnerable to unorganized commercial sexual exploitation, often encouraged or forced by caretakers in exchange for goods or services,” the recently published document observed.
It stated that as reported over the past five years, Saint Lucia is a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.
According to the report, ‘local adolescents are the groups most vulnerable to trafficking.’
It stated that foreign women who work in strip clubs and in prostitution are also vulnerable to sex trafficking.
“NGOs report disadvantaged young women from rural areas are vulnerable to sex trafficking. According to the government, business owners from Saint Lucia, India, China, Cuba, and Russia, are the most likely trafficking perpetrators in the country,” the US report noted
It said civil society has also reported women, or in some cases older teenagers, recruiting younger adolescents to provide transactional sex with adults at street parties.
Nevertheless, the US State Department asserted in its mixed review, that the Saint Lucia government demonstrated increasing efforts aimed at addressing the problem compared to the previous reporting period and therefore remained on Tier 2.
Tier 2 includes governments that do not fully meet the minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.
Tier 1 is the highest category.