TIP Award Year:
The director of the Beirut Bar Association's Institute for Human Rights, Elisabeth Sioufi has been a tireless advocate for victims of trafficking, for better policies and legislation, and has built awareness in and outside of her country's borders. Lebanon passed its first anti-trafficking law in 2012, and Ms. Sioufi was incredibly influential in the entire process of the bill's passage. There have been several national committees formed on the topic of trafficking, and Ms. Sioufi sits on several. She works to prevent human rights abuses, including torture and child protection issues, and is the Secretary of the Human Rights Commission of the International Union of Lawyers. Two plans were drafted in 2013 and await approval: a National Strategy to Combat Trafficking in Persons and the National Action Plan for Combating Trafficking in Persons. She helped draft both plans, and has advocated for their success. She has attempted to improve victim identification through round tables and trainings, and helped to create a government issued manual about human trafficking. She continues to train other lawyers, law enforcement, army personnel, and other civil society actors about modern slavery. In 2014, she was honored as a "TIP Report Hero Acting to End Modern Slavery" in recognition of her efforts to combat human trafficking
In the 2014 TIP Report, Lebanon was listed on the Tier 2 Watch List. It is a source, destination, and transit country for both forced labor and sex trafficking. Domestic servitude by migrant workers remains a problem, as does sex trafficking through Lebanon's adult entertainment industry. While the government is prosecuting some offenders, victim identification is poor and there are no government provided victim services. Similarly, some officials who have been complicit in trafficking have not been held responsible.
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