NEW YORK — The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) and Cuba Archive have submitted an urgent report on the immense scale of human trafficking in Cuba to Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, the U.N. special rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

Apr 14, 2017

The report was sent earlier today to coincide with Giammarinaro’s scheduled meeting with Cuban authorities to “determine the progress made and the challenges Cuba faces in addressing trafficking for sexual and labor exploitation.”

The report, authored by Cuba Archive Executive Director Maria Werlau and former U.S. Ambassador-At-Large for Combating Trafficking in Persons Mark Lagon, documents several human trafficking schemes conducted by the government of Cuba and states: “Cuba’s human trafficking business has been growing exponentially in the last decade and includes export services of temporary workers, forced migration, forced labor and sex trafficking, and export sales of human blood and body parts. … Cuba as a country, in fact, derives its main source of revenues from the first two.”

Giammarinaro’s visit to Cuba, which is the first by an independent expert of the U.N. Human Rights Council in ten years, has been trumpeted by the Castro government. According to the Cuban Foreign Ministry, “the U.N. representative will carry out activities that will allow her to confirm the commitment of the Caribbean island to the fulfillment of its international obligations towards this global problem.” HRF submitted the report to ensure that the special rapporteur obtains an accurate picture of the scale and gravity of human trafficking in Cuba.

“Contrary to fighting human trafficking, the Cuban government is likely one of the largest and most profitable traffickers in the world,” the report states. “What makes the Cuban case unique — and astounding — is that human trafficking is an operation run by the government through numerous state enterprises and often with accomplices, participants, sponsors, and promoters all over the world.”

Read the full report here.

The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.

Contact: Prachi Vidwans, (212) 246-8486, [email protected]

Take Action:

Call on the UN special rapporteur to hold the Cuban dictatorship accountable for its dismal human trafficking record.

Contact Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, U.N. special rapporteur on the human rights of victims of human trafficking, especially women and children.

United Nations at Geneva
8-14 avenue de la Paix
1211 Geneva 10
Email: [email protected]

For more information and media requests, contact Selma Vadala at the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights. Telephone: +41 79 444 3702 and +41 22 917 9108. Email: [email protected]