News

    US Report Cites 13 Countries for Human Trafficking

    US State Department's anti-trafficking coordinator, Luis CdeBaca, 14 Jun 2010
    US State Department's anti-trafficking coordinator, Luis CdeBaca, 14 Jun 2010

    A U.S. State Department report released on Monday lists 13 countries - including Iran, North Korea, Burma and Cuba - as failing to meet minimum international standards in the fight against human trafficking.  The 10th annual global human trafficking report rates the United States for the first time.  

    The massive State Department report assessed the anti-trafficking efforts of 177 countries, including the United States where it says that despite strong enforcement efforts there are cases of forced labor and prostitution, and debt bondage.

    Countries covered in the report are placed in three categories, according to anti-trafficking performance.

    Those lowest rated, in Tier 3, are subject to U.S. sanctions, where applicable, including cuts in non-humanitarian aid.

    There are 13 Tier 3 countries this year, four fewer than in 2009, reflecting what U.S. officials say is growing awareness and anti-trafficking enforcement.

    Eleven holdovers from last year remain in Tier 3 - Burma, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Kuwait, Mauritania, North Korea, Papua-New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

    The Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Dominican Republic joined Tier 3, while five countries - Chad, Fiji, Malaysia, Niger, Swaziland and Syria - were credited with progress and upgraded from the bottom category.

    At a State Department event to release the report, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the survey is not about finger-pointing or casting blame, but about encouraging and prodding countries to act against what she called the "scourge of modern slavery."

    She noted that the report cites cases of sexual slavery and labor bondage in the United States, despite its overall Tier-One rating.

    "In some cases, foreign workers, drawn by the hope of a better life in America, are trapped by abusive employers," said Hillary Clinton. "And there are Americans, unfortunately, who are held in sexual slavery.  And this report sends a clear message to all of our countrymen and women - human trafficking is not someone else's problem.  Involuntary servitude is not something we can ignore or hope doesn't exist in our own communities."

    Briefing reporters, the State Department's anti-trafficking coordinator, Luis CdeBaca, highlighted strides by several countries, including Egypt, Syria, Pakistan, Malaysia and most notably Bosnia-Herzegovina - a longtime Tier 3 country - which climbed to Tier 1 this year.

    He said U.S. officials see the beginning of anti-trafficking action in Persian Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, although they remain in Tier 3.

    CdeBaca dismissed a suggestion that the U.S. dislike of Cuba's communist government played a role in that country's Tier 3 ranking.

    He said Cuba still has no anti-trafficking law and that the communist North Korean government might be complicit in forced labor practices against its own workers sent abroad.

    "Is the government sending police or security services or others with them in order to keep them in line?  We've expressed concern as have some of the governments of Western Europe," said Luis CdeBaca. "The Czech Republic actually terminated their contracts with the North Korean labor export company because of their concerns of the type of abuse that was happening with the exported North Korean laborers."

    The State Department envoy said 116 countries have anti-trafficking laws and that labor-abuse convictions tripled last year.

    But he said it is hard to gauge whether the overall number of persons trafficked has begun to decline, given that so many cases are undocumented.


    Related video report by Elizabeth Lee:

    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.
    Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limitedi
    X
    Katie Arnold
    May 04, 2016 12:31 PM
    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.
    Video

    Video Elephant Summit Results in $5M in Pledges, Presidential Support

    Attended and supported by three African presidents, a three-day anti-poaching summit has concluded in Kenya, resulting in $5 million in pledges and a united message to the world that elephants are worth more alive than dead. The summit culminated at the Nairobi National Park with the largest ivory burn in history. VOA’s Jill Craig attended the summit and has this report about the outcomes.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora