This Congressional Research Service (CRS) report discusses human trafficking in Latin America and the Caribbean and how people are trafficked to the U.S. each year. "Trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation or forced labor, both within a country and across international borders, is a lucrative criminal activity that is of major concern to the United States and the international community. While most trafficking victims still appear to originate from South and Southeast Asia or the former Soviet Union, human trafficking is a growing problem in Latin America and the Caribbean. Countries in Latin America serve as source, transit, and destination countries for trafficking victims. Latin America is also a primary source region for the up to17,500 people that are trafficked to the United States each year. In FY2007, victims from Latin America accounted for 41% of trafficking victims in the United States certified as eligible to receive U.S. assistance. The State Department issued its eighth congressionally mandated Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report on June 4, 2008. Each report categorizes countries into four tiers according to the government's efforts to combat trafficking. Those countries that do not cooperate in the fight against trafficking (Tier 3) have been made subject to U.S. sanctions since 2003. The group named in 2008 includes a total of 14 countries. While Cuba is the only Latin American country ranked on Tier 3 in this year's TIP report, seven other countries in the region (Argentina, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Guyana, Panama, and Venezuela) are included on the Tier 2 Watch List and, without significant progress, could receive a Tier 3 ranking in the 2009 report."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33200