News / USA

Russia, China Downgraded in US Trafficking Report

Russia, China Downgraded on US Trafficking Reporti
X
June 20, 2013 1:22 PM
The U.S. State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons report Wednesday, and both Russia and China were downgraded to the lowest Tier 3 ranking. VOA's Suzanne Presto in Washington has more.
Suzanne Presto
The U.S. State Department released its annual Trafficking in Persons report Wednesday, and Russia, Uzbekistan and China were automatically downgraded to the lowest Tier 3 ranking.  

In total, the State Department says 21 of the 188 countries in its report do not fully comply with minimum standards to address trafficking and are not making significant efforts to do so.  

Modern-Day Slavery

Human trafficking is a worldwide problem, with an estimated 27 million people trapped in modern-day slavery. Only a small fraction of them, about 46,000, were identified last year, said Secretary of State John Kerry.

"It's no understatement to say that we are working to tackle an issue that millions of people assumed had been dealt with a long time ago," he told assembled officials and human rights' advocates at the State Department on Wednesday. "But the problem unfortunately persists, and I hate to say in some places can grow, and the challenge continues."  

Kerry said a recent study shows that countries are twice as likely to take some kind of action once they receive the Tier 3 designation.

"And we're going to keep engaging with governments on this issue because modern day slavery affects every country in the world, including the United States. And every government is responsible for dealing with it, and no government is yet doing enough," he said.

Heroes

While calling attention to the issues of trafficking and exploitation, the State Department also recognized nine individuals for their efforts to combat trafficking and help victims.  

Among them was Mohammed Bassam al-Nasseri of Iraq, who pressed for the passage of his nation's anti-trafficking law. He personally helped 34 Eastern European construction workers who were trafficked into and then abandoned in Baghdad, without their promised pay or proper housing.

"Imagine for a minute if you got a good job offer, received a good job offer that ended up as a degrading job with no decent or dignified salary. Without wages, you ended up eating dried bread. You have no access to clean water to drink or to bathe," said al-Nasseri.  

He said this is the harsh reality for trafficking victims who can find themselves cut off from all they know, trapped in forced labor, involuntary domestic servitude and prostitution.

Challenges

The State Department says the countries that rank lowest in dealing with human trafficking are Algeria, the Central African Republic, China, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

Countries were downgraded when officials determined they had not taken ample steps to fight trafficking. Both Russia and China had been on the Tier 2 Watch List for the past nine years.

The 2013 report says Russia has established a committee to address human trafficking, but the committee has not yet met. It also says prosecution in Russia is low compared to the severity of the nation's trafficking problem.  
 
This year's Trafficking in Persons report notes the Chinese government recently unveiled a national plan to increase protections for trafficking victims and improve cooperation with international organizations. But the report also says the government did not show significant efforts to prosecute traffickers.

Uzbekistan had been on the Tier 2 Watch List for the past six years and was downgraded this year. According to the report, there is government-organized forced labor during the annual cotton harvest, and internal labor trafficking is prevalent during that season. It says the government took steps to reduce forced labor among children, but subjected older teenagers and adults to forced labor during last year's harvest.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs