FSM Congress Adopts Human Trafficking Act

The Seventeenth FSM congress passed the Human Trafficking Act during its third Regular Session on March 5, 2012

Speaker Issac V. Figir of Yap introduced Congressional Bill 17-78 during the First Special Session of the 17th congress, early last August. As reported in a previous TFB article, the FSM was listed as a “source country” for recent incidents of trafficking of women for sex to the U.S. and Guam.

The act defines persons guilty of human trafficking as “a person who knowingly recruits, transports, transfers, harbors, or receives another person for the purpose of exploitation, by threat, use of force, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability…”

Passed as Congressional Act (CA) 17-37, the act allows prosecution of those guilty of human trafficking within the FSM. The legislation comes as a needed step to improving the FSM trafficking issues.

When US State Department published its 2011 Traffic In Persons (TIP) Report last June, the FSM was as a Tier-3 nation—the lowest tier to possibly place. As a Tier-3 nation, the FSM failed to comply with the minimum standards for traffic set forth by the US’ Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

According to the TIP report, the FSM failed to “investigate or prosecute any trafficking cases, made no efforts to identify or assist victims of trafficking, and failed to make efforts to prevent trafficking or increase the general public’s awareness of trafficking during the year.”

Being in Tier 3 can come with penalties including sanctions that would allow the US to withhold. The penalties can be waived however by the President.  

The FSM also became a participant nation of the UN’s Palermo Protocols as of November 2, 2011.

It is a welcomed sight to see the nation take steps to help raise the FSM’s tier level and address the issue of human trafficking. It should be noted that Tier-1 does not mean human trafficking does not exist, but that the government has recognized the problem, and has taken steps to combat it in continuous and considerable manner.


For more information regarding the act:


 For more about US State Department's 2011 TIP Report: