Marshall Islands Placed in TIP "Watch list"

Contributed by YokweOnlineon Jul 18, 2013 - 12:55 PM

The U.S. State Department last month released its annual global analyses of trafficking investigations, prosecutions, convictions, and sentences. Of 188 governments, only thirty continued to address the problem meeting the minimum compliance standards of Tier 1. Ninety-two countries in Tier 2 did not fully comply. From that group, forty-four nations, including the Republic of the Marshall Islands which was identified as adestination country for sex trafficking of East Asia women, were downgraded even further to the Tier 2 Watch list.

The watch list literally is, “Watch out, you might be on your way to Tier 3,” Luis CdeBacaAmbassador-at-Large,Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons,said during the Report's briefing.

In 2011 and 2012, the Marshalls was placed in Tier 2 ranking.

The Tier 2“Watch List”downgrading indicates the following:

a) Theabsolutenumber of victims of severe formsof trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; b) There isa failure to provide evidenceof increasing effortsto combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year, including increased investigations, prosecution, and convictions of trafficking crimes, increased assistance to victims, and decreasing evidence ofcomplicityin severe forms of trafficking bygovernmentofficials; or c) The determination that a countryis making significant efforts to bring itselfinto compliancewith minimum standards wasbased on commitments bythe countryto take additional steps over the next year.

According to the Report, the Marshall Islands government needs toadopt pro-active procedures in victim identification, law implementation,and prosecution of trafficking offenders.

The final level, Tier 3, could be applied if:

the country is a countryof origin, transit, ordestination for severe forms oftrafficking;. the country’s government doesnotcomply with the TVPA’s minimum standards; the government’s officials or employees havebeen complicit in severeforms oftrafficking; and, thereis not compliance with the minimum standards in light of the government’sresourcesand capabilities to addressand eliminate severeforms oftrafficking in persons.

The 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) includes the following Country Narrative for the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI):

The Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) is a destination country for women from East Asia subjected to sex trafficking. Foreign women are reportedly forced into prostitution in bars frequented by crew members of Chinese and other foreign fishingvessels; some Chinese women are recruited with the promise of legitimate work, and after paying large recruitment fees, are forced into prostitution in the Marshall Islands. Little data on human trafficking in the Marshall Islands is available; the government has not made efforts to identify victims proactively, especially among vulnerable populations, suchas foreign and local women in prostitution and foreign men on fishing vessels in Marshallese waters.

The RMI government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. Despite this limited performance, the government did not provide evidence of implementing the trafficking legislation enacted in 2011; therefore, the Marshall Islands is placed on Tier 2 Watch List. Since achieving two trafficking convictions during the previous reporting period, the government has not reported any new trafficking investigations or prosecutions. The government did not take steps to identify proactively and protect victims of sex trafficking or educate the public about human trafficking.

Recommendations for the Marshall Islands: Train law enforcement and judicial officials to implement new anti-trafficking laws; increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders and apply stringent sentences to convicted offenders; take steps to prosecute public officials when there is evidence they are complicit in trafficking activities or hindering ongoing trafficking prosecutions; work with NGOs and international organizations to provide protective services to victims; make efforts to study human trafficking in the country; adopt proactive procedures to identify victims of trafficking among vulnerable groups, such as foreignworkers and women in prostitution; develop and conduct anti-trafficking information and education campaigns; and accede to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol.


The RMI government made negligible anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Article 251 of its criminal code, enacted in 2011, prohibits all forms of human trafficking and prescribes penalties of up to 35 months’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine for the trafficking of adults, and up to 10 years’ imprisonment and a $10,000 fine for the trafficking of children. The penalties for the trafficking of children are sufficiently stringent, but the penalties for trafficking adults are not,and neither penalty is commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. In addition to trafficking, Article 251 also criminalizes other activities, including labor violations and promotion of prostitution. The RMI government did not report any trafficking investigations, prosecutions, or convictions during the year, in contrast with the two trafficking prosecutions and convictions reported during the previous reporting year. The government did not identify any victims of trafficking, investigate any trafficking cases, or prosecute any offenders under the 2011 legislation during this reporting year.

In 2011, local sources reported that an immigration official who allegedly had provided entry permits for Chinese women coming to the RMI to engage in prostitution for a Chinese national who owns several businesses in Majuro. The government did not, however, report any efforts this year to investigate, prosecute, or convict government employees for trafficking or trafficking-related offenses. The government also did not provide training to law enforcement or court personnel on the provisions of the 2011 legislation, or training on how to identify trafficking victims and prosecute trafficking offenders.


The RMI government made no efforts to identify trafficking victims or ensure their access to protective services during the year. Law enforcement and social services personnel do not employ systematic procedures to identify victims of trafficking proactively among high-risk populations with whom they come in contact, which is arisk factor for victims being punished for acts committed as a result of being trafficked. The government also does not have any mechanisms in place to ensure that trafficking victims receive access to legal, medical, or psychological services, and did not make efforts to identify or reach out to international organizations or community groups to provide such assistance. The government does not provide legal alternatives to the removal of victims to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.


The government made no efforts to prevent trafficking during the year. It did not conduct any public campaigns or take other steps to raise public awareness about the dangers of trafficking. The government did not provide general human trafficking awareness training or guidelines to government employees, nor did it take steps to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts among RMIresidents. The RMIis not a party to the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. – The 2013 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, US State Department


  • Its the Chinese businesses that are involved in bringing Asian prostitutes to the islands. Couple of yrs back this Asian lady who own a store on Majuro was busted when one of her victim a Chinese women informed the police that she was forced into prostitution by this lady. The Chinese lady said that some of her clients were well known Marshallese business owners and what she called part of the "Marshallese elite". The case was dropped cause lack of evidence.
  • IlThat is sad cause from the looks of things it look like someone in the RMI government is involved and is getting paid to ignore this issue.
  • Just cause the Asians are the prostitutes in the Marshall's don't make it o.k idiot! Its immoral plus someone in their government is involved. Years ago in Guam a couple of whore from chuuk were forced into this kind of business.
  • All it takes is one IDIOT(BLAZE) to talk shit,and one RETARD(PAWNSTAR) to start a war of words. Both you dick wat grow the fuck up. Get a joint and smoke it and get laced and chill the fuck up. Fucking Morons.
  • Who you calling a retard u Fukker? That chuukese bitch started it. Your government is corrupt cause someone in it takes money from the Asians.
  • edited July 2013
    Dude you obviously are a little kid. He is chuukese and you a pohnpeian and you are both in the wrong. You guys are under the federation and represent that unity and make every body from the federation look bad. I ain't a FSMer but im ashamed of both you baboons. Both you didn't get enough hugs when you were kids.
  • Hey I think PawnStar got point in here by bringing this threads in this forum .... This news is on the Marshall Islands newspaper the Marshall Islands Journal even our own marshallese website such as Yokwe.Net and I think we RiMajol have take this kind of news in consideration about what what is happening in our own country...I think maybe PawnStar is right, maybe some of our leaders our behind this or may becoues our businesses are sold to the Chinese and that's what happen when you when the Chinese run the businesses in the island thing like this happen... We Marshallese should to something before things get worse by them Chinese and Phillippinos... Maybe we should make sure who do we put them in our own Natijela for the better of our own country....
  • The lady who run the business told the chief judge the she's the government because she got the money.. this is a real problem.. be ware..
  • Damn last time I was on Majuro the biggest problem was the cocaine biz. Man now you dummies just realize that some one or body in the government is involved. I found that out on my last trip. This coke dealer I knew on Majuro well most of his customers were government officials and some member of the well known families on Majuro. That's why I don't trust some of the bastards in the RMI GOVERNMENT.
  • Stonez ain't you related to some of them folks in the government?
  • Let me count. 2 senators,1judge,2 council man, 1 mayor and a police superintendent of these 1 is a alcoholic,another a womenizer ,haggard that's why I don't trust em.
  • LOL.. damn!..hahahah
  • edited July 2013
    well if we dont do anything about them, then that means we want them to do what they're doing! making our nation look even worst as if it already aint!!
  • its hard to fight back when the authority to do so is at their possession. the only way is to create a movement to wipe clean the government., not all of them , there are few of them who have been there for too long, the are involved.




  • "Wipe them out" sounds too radical a statement. If I was you're lawyer cha-nin-way I would advise you to use the phrase "kick them out". Other then that its G-double-O with a D at the end with me.
  • edited July 2013
    Wipe them out, Kick them out.... still ends with "Them Out" :)
  • Bahahaha.
    That how a sheep laugh. Komman kōjak.
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