Belarus is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labour. Belarusian women and children are subjected to sex trafficking within Belarus, and in countries such as Russia, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, Poland, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the UAE. Belarusian men, women, and children are found in forced labour in the construction industry and other sectors in Russia. The Government of Belarus restricts Belarusian workers in state-owned wood processing factories and construction workers employed in modernization projects at those factories, from leaving their jobs. Belarusian men seeking work abroad are subjected to forced labour. Workers are recruited through informal advertisements and notice boards and then taken by minibuses from employment centres to foreign countries, such as Russia. Some Belarusian women traveling for foreign employment in the adult entertainment and hotel industries are subsequently subjected to sex trafficking. Women from Ukraine may be subjected to sex trafficking in Belarus.
Belarus is rated a Tier 2 Watch List Country by the US Department of State’s 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report, indicating that the Government of Belarus does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. It is on the Watch List because, despite these efforts, the government did not demonstrate evidence of increasing anti-trafficking efforts. Belarus was therefore placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for a fourth consecutive year. Belarus was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because its government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is devoting sufficient resources to implement that plan.