Bhutan Issues - 2023


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Disputes - international

Bhutan-China: Lacking any treaty describing the boundary, Bhutan and China continue negotiations to establish a common boundary alignment to resolve territorial disputes arising from substantial cartographic discrepancies, the most contentious of which lie in Bhutan's west along China’s Chumbi salient.

Bhutan-India: none identified

Trafficking in persons

tier rating:

Tier 2 Watch List — Bhutan does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making efforts to do so; the government increased convictions of traffickers and the number of victims identified and referred to services; officials drafted and launched an anti-trafficking National Action Plan; however, the government did not demonstrate overall increasing anti-trafficking efforts compared with the previous year; the government reported only one investigation and did not initiate any new prosecutions, and the overall identification efforts remained insufficient; because the government has devoted sufficient resources to a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards, Bhutan was granted a waiver per the TVPA from a downgrade to Tier 3; therefore Bhutan remained on Tier 2 Watch List for the third consecutive year (2022)

trafficking profile:

Trafficking profile:  human traffickers exploit domestic and foreign victims in Bhutan and exploit victims from Bhutan abroad; unregistered foreign employment recruitment agencies increasingly operate through social media to target unemployed or economically disadvantaged individuals; Bhutanese citizens working in hospitality, retail, and services sectors in the Gulf, including in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE, and in India, Thailand, and the United Kingdom, reported indicators of trafficking; in recent years traffickers sent Bhutanese women to Iraq and Oman for forced labor in domestic work; traffickers have exploited Bhutanese women and girls in sex and labor trafficking, including in forced domestic labor and caregiving; reports indicate an increase in commercial sex by Bhutanese and Indian women in the Bhutan-India border’s growing hospitality and entertainment districts—including hotels, massage parlors, and nightclubs—some of which might be forced; traffickers reportedly have exploited Indian child domestic workers and male Indian migrants working in the construction and hydropower sectors; rural Bhutanese transported to urban areas may be involved in forced domestic work, and child labor in restaurants and automotive workshops may involve forced labor (2022)

NOTE: The information regarding Bhutan on this page is re-published from the 2023 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Bhutan 2023 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Bhutan 2023 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 06 Dec 23, Copyright © 2023 ITA all rights reserved.