Cuba is a source country for adults and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor. Information on the scope of sex trafficking and forced labor in Cuba is limited. Child sex trafficking and child sex tourism occur within Cuba. Cuban authorities report people from ages 13 to 20 are most vulnerable to human trafficking in Cuba. Traffickers also subject Cuban citizens to forced prostitution in South America and the Caribbean. In the Cuban economy, the government is the dominant employer, including in foreign medical missions, which employ more than 51,000 workers in over 67 countries and constitute a significant source of Cuban government income.
Some participants in foreign medical missions as well as other sources allege that Cuban officials force or coerce participation in the program; the Cuban government denies these allegations. Some Cubans participating in these work missions have stated the postings are voluntary and well paid compared to jobs within Cuba. There have also been claims that Cuban authorities coerced participants to remain in the program, including by allegedly withholding their passports, restricting their movement, or threatening to revoke their medical licenses or retaliate against their family members in Cuba if participants leave the program.
There are also claims about substandard working and living conditions and the existence of "minders" to monitor victims outside of work. Some medical professionals participating in the missions are in possession of their passports when they apply for and obtain special United States visa and immigration benefits, indicating passport retention is not a consistent practice across all work missions.
The government arranges for high school students in rural areas to harvest crops, but claims this work is not coerced.
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