The Current Situation
The Dominican Republic is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Reports indicate that large numbers of Dominican women and children are subjected to sex trafficking throughout the Dominican Republic, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, the Middle East, and the United States. A recent study conducted by the United Nations Population Fund revealed that tens of thousands of Dominican women are presently victims of trafficking worldwide. Additionally, the commercial sexual exploitation of local children by foreign tourists is a problem, particularly in coastal resort areas of the Dominican Republic, with these child sex tourists arriving year-round from the United States, Canada, and European countries. Dominican officials and NGOs have documented cases of children forced into domestic service, street vending, begging, agricultural work, construction, and moving of illicit narcotics. The large populations of working children and street children are highly vulnerable to forced labor and sex trafficking. NGOs have increasingly reported cases of forced labor of adults in construction, agricultural, and service sectors. The large population of undocumented or stateless persons of Haitian descent in the country is particularly vulnerable to trafficking. Dominican and foreign women in exotic dancing and in prostitution in the Dominican Republic’s legalized sex trade are highly vulnerable to sex trafficking within the country.
~ Excerpt from Trafficking in Persons report (2013)