News / Asia

US Downgrades Thailand, Malaysia Human Trafficking Status

US: Thailand, Malaysia, Venezuela Fail on Human Traffickingi
X
Aru Pande
June 20, 2014 10:32 PM
Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela, ranked among the world's worst for combating modern slavery, were downgraded in the State Department's 14th annual report on human trafficking released Friday. VOA's Aru Pande has more from Washington.
VIDEO: Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela, ranked among the world's worst for combating modern slavery, were downgraded in the State Department's 14th annual report on human trafficking released Friday. VOA's Aru Pande has more from Washington.
VOA News
The United States has downgraded Thailand, Malaysia, Venezuela, and Gambia to lowest-level status in its annual report on human trafficking, exposing them to the possibility of sanctions and putting them in the same category as Iran, Syria, and North Korea.

The U.S. State Department released its 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report Friday at an event led by Secretary of State John Kerry, who said human trafficking should not go unreported or unpunished.

Thailand said Saturday it was disappointed with Washington's decision, but vowed to keep fighting the human trafficking scourge.  A Thai official said the country has stepped up its efforts against the trade, and urged the U.S. to reconsider its action.

Thailand's status was downgraded following reports that tens of thousands of migrants from neighboring countries were coerced into human trafficking markets inside Thai borders. Possible U.S. sanctions on Thailand could damage its lucrative seafood trade with the U.S.

Thailand's status was downgraded following reports that tens of thousands of migrants from neighboring countries were coerced into human trafficking markets inside Thai borders. Possible U.S. sanctions on Thailand could damage its lucrative seafood trade with the U.S.

The State Department assessed 188 countries, including the United States, in hopes of propelling governments to act on behalf of the 20 million victims of modern slavery — whether by increasing law enforcement efforts or by raising public awareness.

"This is a call to action," Kerry said. "It is a call to conscience. It is a reminder of what happens in many dark places that need light. And we have a responsibility to try to bring that light to these individuals and these places."

The report placed Thailand in Tier 3 — the lowest category — among 23 countries that the United States says are not meeting minimum standards to address modern slavery. The Southeast Asian country's status was downgraded despite a concerted effort by Bangkok to counteract reports that tens of thousands of migrants from neighboring countries were coerced into human trafficking markets inside Thai borders.

Possible U.S. sanctions on Thailand could damage to its lucrative seafood trade with the U.S.

Officials noted some positive trends in this year's report.

This year's report upgraded China's status, citing Beijing's attempts to wipe out labor-driven "re-education" camps. China had been among the lowest-level nations, but was moved up to a "watch" list.

The State Department also named 10 heroes of global anti-trafficking movement, including Beatrice Jedy-Agba, head of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking, for her efforts to return and reintegrate Nigerian victims and collaborate with other African nations to address trafficking in the region.

Nations in the bottom level can be subjected to U.S. restrictions on forms of assistance and funding for cultural and educational exchange programs. The U.S. may also oppose International Monetary Fund or World Bank financial assistance for those nations.

U.S. President Barack Obama now has 90 days to decide whether to apply sanctions to the downgraded nations.

Aru Pande contributed to this report from Washington.

You May Like

Sydney Hostage-taker Failed to Manipulate Social Media

Gunman forced captives to use personal Facebook, YouTube accounts to issue his demands; online community helped flag messages, urged others not to share them More

UN Seeks $8.4 Billion to Help War-Hit Syrians

Effort aimed at helping Syrians displaced within their own country and those who've fled to neighboring ones More

Who Are the Pakistani Taliban?

It's an umbrella group of militant organizations whose objective is enforcement of Sharia in Pakistan 'whether through peace or war' More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Joey from: USA
June 21, 2014 6:59 AM
Unfortunately this list is used as a means to punish countries for reasons other than what is covered in this program too. It is not unbiased.


by: marcos from: san francisco
June 20, 2014 3:06 PM
physician, heal thyself.


by: Sahib from: Toronto
June 20, 2014 12:26 PM
According to UN ,India i s #1 in Human Trafficing for Prositution.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Yearsi
X
December 18, 2014 5:13 PM
Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Putin: Russian Economy to Rebound in 2 Years

Russian President Vladimir Putin held his annual end-of-the-year news conference Thursday, tackling questions on the Russian economy, the crisis in Ukraine and Russian relations with the west. VOA's Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid