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The government took no discernible steps to decrease the demand for forced labor and, in fact, cut its labor inspection force from to Additionally, labor inspectors at headquarters lacked any vehicles with which to monitor field conditions. In efforts to reduce participation in child sex tourism, the government arrested Nigerian nationals for child sex tourism in the Philippines during the reporting period. The government, with foreign donor support, provided anti-trafficking training to Nigerian troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

Norway is a destination and, to a lesser extent, a transit and source country for women and girls subjected to sex trafficking and for men and women subjected to forced labor in the domestic service and construction sectors. Children are subjected to forced begging and forced criminal activity, such as shoplifting and drug sales. These victims usually travel to Norway on Schengen visas issued by other European countries, and transit several countries, such as Italy, Spain, and Morocco. African trafficking offenders often coerce victims into prostitution through threats to family at home and threats of voodoo.

Traffickers from Eastern Europe are typically members of small family mafias; offenders seduce young women in their home countries and convince them to come to Norway, where they are forced into prostitution. Men from the United Kingdom have been forced to work in construction in Norway. Some foreign au pairs, including those from the Philippines, were victims of trafficking in Norway. The Government of Norway fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The Norwegian government has adopted a victim-centered approach to victim protection, offering generous and diverse victim services through specialized NGOs and local governments.

The government successfully concluded labor trafficking prosecutions involving atypical trafficking scenarios. Nevertheless, services to and identification of male victims of trafficking remain less developed than those for women. NGOs report that referrals to care by the police reduced this year. The Norwegian government sustained its law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. The Coordination Unit for Victims of Trafficking — the police unit specializing in human trafficking offenses — was made permanent in Major cities, including Oslo and Bergen, also had specialized police officers trained to investigate trafficking offenses.

Norwegian authorities initiated 32 sex trafficking investigations and 12 labor trafficking investigations in , compared with 26 sex trafficking and 11 labor trafficking investigations initiated in The government prosecuted a total of at least seven alleged trafficking offenders — six for sex trafficking and one for labor trafficking — under Section , compared with 11 sex trafficking offenders and no labor trafficking offenders in At least seven trafficking offenders were convicted in , compared with eight offenders convicted in In , all of the convicted trafficking offenders received jail sentences.

The highest sentences awarded were 4. NGOs report that the duration of a criminal trafficking trial from initial review to conviction is approximately three years. Norwegian law enforcement investigated a few high profile labor trafficking cases during the reporting period, including the alleged forced labor of hospital workers from the Philippines and the alleged forced labor of British men in construction in Norway. The police coordination unit completed a study during the reporting period surveying possible victims of forced labor to update labor identification criteria.

Norwegian authorities collaborated with several European governments to investigate trafficking cases, including Estonia and Finland. The Norwegian government did not report the investigation, prosecution, or conviction of any government employees for complicity in trafficking in persons.

The Government of Norway sustained strong victim protection efforts during the reporting period. The Norwegian government provided protection to trafficking victims through government-funded NGOs, church associations, and municipalities. These NGOs offered both foreign and domestic victims a generous range of assistance, including shelter, legal aid, stipends for food, psychological care, medical assistance, fitness facilities, and Norwegian language classes.

An NGO specializing in caring for trafficking victims who have received a reflection period offered vocational programs, education, and sponsored internships for victims who had completed a reflection period. Although some of the specialized NGOs primarily offered services to women, a few programs opened new facilities, including apartments, for men.

By law, Norwegian municipalities were obligated to offer trafficking victims shelter, regardless of their immigration status. One of the main government-funded institutions for trafficking victim care received contacts from trafficking victims in , in contrast to contacts in Nineteen of these initial contacts were men. Of these initial contacts, 44 trafficking victims ultimately were housed by the victim care institution, including one man. NGOs report that some trafficking victims reside in shelters for long periods of time; 22 victims lived more than a year in trafficking shelters.

In , the Norwegian government reported providing services for trafficking victims, including women and 51 men, compared with trafficking victims in NGOs observed that there was a need for more longer-term shelter options for the rehabilitation of trafficking victims no longer in trauma situations. The government empowered and trained a diverse set of actors to proactively identify and refer victims of trafficking, including municipal authorities, police, international organizations, and NGOs.

In , however, NGOs reported that the number of persons in prostitution or sex trafficking victims referred by the police for care dropped dramatically. Although the majority of trafficking victims identified by the government were sex trafficking victims, the government and NGOs suspected that labor trafficking victims were more likely to escape their detection and identification as trafficking victims. Victims were permitted to stay in Norway without conditions during a six-month reflection period, a time for them to receive immediate care and assistance while they consider whether to assist law enforcement with the prosecution of their case.

Under new regulations adopted in , the Norwegian government also offered a permanent residency permit for victims facing retribution or hardship in their countries of origin, on the condition that they give statements to the police outside of court. Any victim of trafficking, regardless of potential retribution or hardship at home, who made a formal complaint to the police, could remain in Norway for the duration of trial; victims who testified in court were entitled to permanent residency.

NGOs reported some difficulties in obtaining permanent residency for Nigerian trafficking victims who had testified in court, due to Norwegian government skepticism about the validity of the Nigerian identity documents. At least eight trafficking victims supported by the government-funded NGO testified in three separate trafficking trials in Only 17 out of the 44 victims cared for by the government-funded NGO project chose to report their situations to the police.

According to the NGO, some of the victims chose to use the six-month reflection period, some feared reprisals of traffickers during trial, and others were advised by their attorneys not to report their trafficking case, either because of absence of information or because the victim was struggling with mental illness. NGOs did not report the detention or punishment of any identified trafficking victims.

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The Norwegian government sustained its trafficking prevention efforts during the reporting period. It framed many of its anti-trafficking prevention efforts in terms of preventing trafficking from the source countries. The Norwegian government continued to be a leading international anti-trafficking donor, significantly supporting victim care throughout the world, including in Nigeria, Kenya, Malawi, and Mozambique. Norway named human trafficking as its priority during its chairmanship of the Council of Baltic Sea States, leading other countries in high-level policy discussions on coordinated trafficking responses.

The Norwegian government funded an anti-trafficking hotline that offered information to potential trafficking victims, government officials, and other NGOs. The government undertook steps to address the demand for commercial sex acts, including through investigating cases involving the purchase of sexual services of an adult. Norwegian law enforcement authorities collaborated with United States and Italian investigators on potential child sex tourism cases in Europe. The Norwegian national criminal investigation service mapped the situation of Norwegian nationals travelling to child sex tourism destinations.

The government did not, however, fund any broad-based national trafficking awareness campaigns targeting labor or sex trafficking. The head of the Norwegian National Advisory Group Against Organized, Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing took efforts to raise awareness about potential for forced labor on fishing vessels. The government provided anti-trafficking training to Norwegian troops prior to their deployment abroad on international peacekeeping missions.

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Oman is a destination and transit country for men and women, primarily from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, and Indonesia, who are subjected to conditions indicative of forced labor and, to a lesser extent, forced prostitution. Some subsequently face conditions indicative of forced labor, such as the withholding of passports and other restrictions on movement, nonpayment of wages, long working hours without food or rest, threats, and physical or sexual abuse.

Government sources note that runaway domestic workers are also susceptible to coercion into forced prostitution. Oman is also a destination and transit country for women from China, India, Morocco, Eastern Europe, and parts of South Asia who may be forced into commercial sexual exploitation, generally by nationals of their own countries. The majority of women identified as sex trafficking victims are from countries in East Africa, namely Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, and Burundi. Male Pakistani laborers and others from India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and East Asia transit Oman en route to the UAE; some of these migrant workers are exploited in situations of forced labor upon reaching their destination.

The Government of Oman does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued to prosecute suspected sex trafficking offenders and sentence convicted sex traffickers to imprisonment; however, it failed to ensure that some trafficking victims were not punished for prostitution they that may have engaged in at the outset of their victimization by sex traffickers.

The government failed to report any criminal prosecutions or punishment of labor trafficking offenders. The government continued to refer and assist victims of trafficking to a government-run shelter for trafficking victims. Nonetheless, Omani authorities continued to lack formal procedures to proactively identify trafficking victims among those detained for immigration violations.

As a result, the government may not have adequately identified victims of forced labor or punished their traffickers. The government continued to provide anti-trafficking training to its law enforcement. The Government of Oman sustained modest anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts during the reporting period.

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Through its Royal Decree No. These punishments are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape. Although the circular does not specify penalties for noncompliance, courts frequently enforced this prohibition by requiring employers to return passports to their employees; the government did not report the number of such cases during the reporting period.

The government failed to report on investigations and prosecutions of trafficking offenses in this reporting period that did not lead to convictions or acquittals. During the reporting period, the Government of Oman prosecuted and convicted twelve individuals for sex trafficking offenses, an increase over the number of convictions for sex trafficking reported last year. Despite these convictions, the victims in these cases received six-month prison sentences for prostitution and were then deported.

The government did not report any prosecutions or convictions of labor trafficking offenders. All Royal Oman Police officers receive training as cadets on human rights issues, including how to recognize trafficking in persons. The Royal Oman Police continued to operate and fund a permanent shelter, which opened in January , that can accommodate up to 50 men, women, and children who are victims of forced labor or sex trafficking. Victims in this shelter may not leave the premises unchaperoned, but they can readily access shelter employees to accompany them offsite.

The shelter remains underutilized due to strict government entry requirements; most victims are cared for by shelters run by the embassies of their home countries. The Public Prosecution only refers trafficking victims to the government shelter if it determines the case against the alleged offender s will go to trial; it remains unclear where the victims are housed prior to this decision. During the reporting period, the Public Prosecution — the only entity who can refer victims to the shelter — referred 14 identified victims of sex trafficking to the government care facility for assistance, a decrease from the 24 victims the government referred to its shelter last year.

There were no reports of child victims or victims of labor trafficking referred to the shelter during this reporting period. The government continued to lack formal procedures to proactively identify victims of trafficking among all vulnerable groups, including migrants detained for immigration violations and women in prostitution. Due to a lack of comprehensive victim identification procedures, the Government of Oman failed to ensure that migrant workers subjected to forced labor or sex trafficking were not inappropriately incarcerated, fined, or otherwise penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of being trafficked.

The government encouraged suspected trafficking victims to assist in trafficking investigations and prosecutions, but it did not provide them with a standard legal alternative to removal to countries in which they may face retribution or hardship. Some victims, however, were permitted to stay in Oman on a case-by-case basis.

Victims were not permitted to work while awaiting court proceedings. The government sustained modest efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. It continued to distribute brochures in numerous languages, highlighting the rights and services to which workers are legally entitled, to source country embassies and to new migrant laborers upon arrival in the country at airports, recruitment agencies, and in their places of work.

The government continued to operate an anti-trafficking hotline, but the government did not report how many calls the hotline received during the reporting period. The government also requires that all employers post labor law regulations in the languages of their workers in prominent locations at worksites. In addition, the government continued its public awareness campaign, which included the placement of at least one article or editorial about the labor law and trafficking issues in the press each month.

There were no reported efforts by the government to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts in Oman. Pakistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. Bonded labor is concentrated in the Sindh and Punjab provinces in agriculture and brick-making, and to a lesser extent in the mining, carpet-making, glass bangle, and fishing industries. Bonded labor also exists in the fisheries, mining, and agricultural sectors of Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces. Estimates of bonded labor victims, including men, women, and children, vary widely.

The Asian Development Bank estimates that 1. In extreme scenarios, such as when bonded laborers attempt to seek legal redress, landowners have kidnapped them and their family members, holding laborers and their families in private jails. Boys and girls are also bought, sold, rented, or kidnapped to work in organized forced begging rings, domestic servitude, and prostitution. NGOs report increased public visibility and awareness of the issue of violence in child domestic servitude, including sexual abuse, torture, and death. Illegal labor agents charge high fees to parents with false promises of decent work for their children, who are later exploited and subjected to forced labor in domestic servitude, unskilled labor, small shops, and other sectors.

Children and adults with disabilities are forced to beg in Iran. Non-state militant groups kidnap children or coerce parents with fraudulent promises or threats into giving away children as young as nine to spy, fight, or die as suicide bombers in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The militants often sexually and physically abuse the children and use psychological coercion to convince the children that the acts the children commit are justified. Many Pakistani women and men migrate voluntarily to the Gulf states, Iran, Turkey, South Africa, Uganda, Greece, and other European countries for low-skilled employment such as domestic work, driving, or construction work; once abroad, some become victims of labor trafficking.

Employers abroad use practices including restrictions on movement, nonpayment of wages, threats, and physical or sexual abuse. Moreover, traffickers use violence, psychological coercion, and isolation, often seizing travel and identification documents as a means to coerce Pakistani women and girls into prostitution. There are reports of child sex trafficking between Iran and Pakistan.

Pakistan is a destination for men, women, and children from Afghanistan, Iran, and, to a lesser extent, Bangladesh, who are subjected to forced labor and prostitution. Religious minorities, often in the lowest socio-economic stratum, and Afghan refugees are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. The Government of Pakistan does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so despite the severe floods the country experienced in and The government incorporated information about the differences between trafficking and smuggling in its routine anti-trafficking training, but did not criminally convict any bonded labor offenders or officials who facilitated trafficking in persons.

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The lack of adequate governmental protection for trafficking victims continued. The Government of Pakistan made limited progress in responding to human trafficking offenses through law enforcement means over the last year. Several sections in the Pakistan Penal Code criminalize some forms of human trafficking, such as slavery, selling a child for prostitution, and unlawful compulsory labor, prescribing punishments for these offenses that range from fines to life imprisonment.

Pakistani officials have yet to secure a conviction under this law. Under the devolution process that started in , federal laws apply to provinces until corresponding provincial laws are enacted. In , the government passed the Anti-Women Practices Act, which, among other things, prohibits forced marriages in which women are used to settle debts.

Prescribed penalties for the penal code and PACHTO offenses are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those for other serious crimes, such as rape. The government did not report any trafficking convictions under the penal code. The government prosecuted at least 55 traffickers in compared with at least 68 traffickers in under the penal code: However, since PACHTO also prohibits non-trafficking offenses, and since some government officials conflate trafficking and smuggling, the actual number of convicted trafficking offenders is unknown. A regional anti-bonded labor unit in Mirpurkhas, Sindh, established in , continued to operate, but did not result in prosecutions or convictions for bonded labor offenses.

Some feudal landlords are affiliated with political parties or are officials themselves and use their social, economic, and political influence to protect their involvement in bonded labor; a recent ILO report asserted that those who use bonded labor have been able to do so with impunity. Additionally, media and NGOs reported that some police received bribes from brothel owners, landowners, and factory owners who subjected Pakistanis to forced labor or forced prostitution, to ignore these human trafficking activities.

There were media and NGO reports that some low-level officials in the FIA anti-trafficking unit, including police, did not register trafficking cases in exchange for bribes or out of concern for their personal safety. The government did not report prosecutions or convictions for officials complicit in human trafficking. In these trainings, the FIA incorporated teachings of the differences between smuggling and trafficking. The Government of Pakistan made little progress in the protection of victims of human trafficking during the reporting period.

Pakistani authorities continued to lack adequate procedures and resources for proactively identifying victims of trafficking among vulnerable persons with whom they come in contact, especially child laborers, women in prostitution, and agricultural and brick kiln workers. However, the FIA identified and referred some transnational victims to protective services. There were no credible data on the number of victims identified by the government. NGOs reported that trafficking victims were sometimes detained, fined, or jailed as a result of crimes committed in the course of their trafficking.

Some victims were also detained in jails due to a shortage of appropriate shelters. Various government-run shelters are available to female trafficking victims, but there is no information as to how many such trafficking victims were assisted in shelters in ; furthermore, there were reports of abuse and lack of freedom of movement in the shelters. In partnership with NGOs, the government continued to provide some services to rehabilitate child laborers, some of whom may be victims of forced labor.

The FIA reported that in partnership with NGOs, it provided some medical support, transportation, shelter, and limited legal services to victims of trafficking. There was no information as to how many trafficking victims received this support. The government did not provide information on whether it made progress in implementing its National Plan of Action for Abolition of Bonded Labour and Rehabilitation of Freed Bonded Labourers.

There was no information on whether the Sindh provincial government continued to implement its project providing protection for freed bonded laborers, as noted in the TIP Report. There was no information on whether the government encouraged victims of trafficking to participate in investigations against their traffickers. The government did not report providing foreign victims with legal alternatives to their removal to countries where they may face hardship or retribution.

The Pakistani government made limited progress in its efforts to prevent human trafficking. FIA officials also gave speeches at universities and did radio and television interviews. Many of the district vigilance committees to curb bonded labor, mandated by law, are either inactive or ineffectual.

As a measure to establish the identity of local populations, the National Database and Registration Authority continued to register women in rural areas and internally-displaced people. In , various governmental academies reportedly provided training for all Pakistani UN Peacekeeping Mission forces, including in combating human trafficking, prior to their deployment abroad for international peacekeeping missions.

The government took measures to reduce the demand for commercial sex acts by prosecuting some clients of prostitution. Palau is a destination country for women subjected to sex trafficking and for women and men subjected to forced labor. Some men and women reportedly are recruited for legitimate work from their home countries through fraudulent representation of contracts and conditions of employment. Excessive hours without pay, threats of physical or financial harm, confiscation of travel documents, and the withholding of salary payments are used as tools of coercion to obtain and maintain their compelled service.

Some men and women from the Philippines, China, and Bangladesh pay thousands of dollars in recruitment fees and willingly migrate to Palau for jobs in domestic service, agriculture, restaurants, or construction, although upon arrival are forced to work in conditions substantially different than what was presented in contracts or recruitment offers. Women from China and the Philippines migrate to Palau expecting to work as waitresses or clerks, but subsequently are forced into prostitution in karaoke bars and massage parlors. Recent reports indicate that some Indonesian men who voluntarily migrate to Palau for work on fishing boats face fraudulent recruitment, altered working conditions, and the withholding of salaries.

Noncitizens are officially excluded from the minimum wage law, and regulations make it extremely difficult for foreign workers to change employers once they arrive in Palau, consequently increasing their vulnerability to involuntary servitude and debt bondage.

Trafficking in Persons Report Country Narratives -- Countries A Through F

The Government of Palau does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. During the year, the government investigated several cases of forced labor and assisted victims in obtaining new employment and housing. However, it failed to provide any training for law enforcement officials on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking. Continue efforts to proactively investigate, prosecute, and punish trafficking offenders; continue publicly to highlight the issue and to recognize and condemn incidences of trafficking; increase resources devoted to address anti-trafficking efforts; prohibit the confiscation of identity documents of foreign workers; develop a national plan of action to combat human trafficking; continue to make vigorous efforts to combat corruption by officials involved in regulating the immigration and employment of foreign workers; monitor employment agents recruiting foreign men and women for work in Palau for compliance with existing labor laws to prevent their facilitation of trafficking; establish formal procedures for front-line officers to identify and refer trafficking victims to protective services; continue to develop and implement anti-trafficking information and education campaigns; and accede to the UN TIP Protocol.

The Government of Palau demonstrated increased law enforcement efforts to address human trafficking during the year. The government reported investigating four suspected trafficking cases, one of which remains ongoing and involves the forced labor of a Filipina domestic worker. Two other investigations were completed and determined not to be human trafficking.

Investigation of the fourth case was not completed because the victims — three Indonesian fishermen subjected to exploitation on a fishing boat — returned to Indonesia before they could be further interviewed. The government did not train law enforcement officers to proactively identify and assist victims or to identify victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign workers or foreign women in prostitution.

During the reporting period, the former director of the Bureau of Immigration was charged with participating in a scheme to assist irregular migrants in avoiding standard immigration procedures, but the case was dropped due to insufficient evidence. The Government of Palau made modest efforts to identify and protect victims of trafficking during the reporting period.

With the help of the Department of Labor, victims in ongoing trafficking investigations — specifically the three Indonesian fishermen involved in one of the four reported investigations of suspected human trafficking — obtained new employment. The government sustained partnerships with local churches to offer shelter, food, and housing to potential trafficking victims; however, no victims were assisted through these partnerships during the year.

The Government of Palau sustained its efforts to prevent human trafficking during the reporting period. During the reporting period, the government appointed an ombudsman dedicated to labor issues and trafficking in persons. The Philippines Embassy regularly and formally notified the Palau government by diplomatic note when it added an employer to the blacklist. In addition, administrative as well as legal action is taken against employers suspected of labor abuses, including sanctions by the Bureau of Labor and Human Resources against the recruitment of new workers.

The government did not provide any training for law enforcement officials on how to recognize, investigate, and prosecute instances of trafficking. The government made no discernible effort to address the demand for commercial sex acts or the demand for forced labor during the reporting period. Panama is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.

Although Panamanian women and girls reportedly have been subjected to sex trafficking in other countries in the Western Hemisphere, most Panamanian trafficking victims are exploited within the country. Most foreign trafficking victims found in Panama are adult women from Colombia and, to a lesser extent, from neighboring Central American countries and the Dominican Republic. Some victims migrate voluntarily to Panama to work, but are subsequently exploited in sex trafficking through the entertainment industry or in domestic servitude. During the year, authorities identified several East European women working in nightclubs as potential sex trafficking victims.

NGOs report that some Panamanian children, mostly young girls, are subjected to domestic servitude. Some Chinese men and women have been smuggled into the country to work in grocery stores and laundries, apparently in situations of debt bondage. The Government of Panama does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so.

During the year, authorities passed comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, increased the number of sex trafficking investigations, and identified a significant number of potential trafficking victims. The government, thus, treated trafficking victims as criminals or illegal immigrants; trafficking victims were frequently subject to arrest, detention, and deportation. Furthermore, the government lacked adequate measures to identify and provide protection services to victims of trafficking. The government minimized and denied trafficking in the face of evidence to the contrary from civil society and others.

The Algerian government made minimal efforts to address human trafficking through law enforcement means. Algeria prohibits all forms of trafficking under Section 5 of its criminal code, enacted in March These penalties are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as rape.

The government did not have an effective system to collect and report anti-trafficking law enforcement data, and government officials had difficulty distinguishing between human trafficking and smuggling data. Though the government reported prosecuting trafficking offenders in this reporting period, it did not provide details on such cases to indicate whether they were human trafficking cases, distinct from smuggling or other similar crimes. For another year, the government did not report any convictions of trafficking offenders. By law, Algerian courts must hear testimony from the victim in order to convict the trafficking offender; courts are thus unable to secure a conviction if a victim has already left the country.

The government did not report efforts to investigate or punish government employees complicit in trafficking-related offenses. In June , the government, in coordination with an international organization, partially funded and provided the space for an anti-trafficking training—for Algerian judges. The government made no discernible progress in protecting victims of trafficking; proactive victim identification efforts remained weak. It did not develop or employ systematic procedures for the identification of trafficking victims among vulnerable populations, such as foreign women arrested for prostitution or undocumented migrants; government officials relied on victims to self-report abuses to authorities.

Likewise, the government did not have a formal victim referral procedure in place to provide victims with appropriate protection and assistance. Some trafficking victims were jailed for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being subjected to human trafficking, such as engaging in prostitution or lacking adequate immigration documentation.

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