Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

United States says Myanmar no longer among worst on human trafficking

AP sources: US to say China among worst on human trafficking United States says Myanmar no longer among worst on human trafficking
Andrew Cummings | 28 June, 2017, 03:40

China has been demoted to a list of countries failing to meet minimum standards for the prevention of human trafficking, according to an annual report released Tuesday by the U.S. State Department.

It was not immediately clear what led Tillerson to downgrade China in the State Department's annual assessment of human trafficking that covers more than 180 countries.

The report rates various nations on how successfully they deal with the problem of human trafficking within their jurisdiction. This year, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had the power to grant another one but has opted not to.

Tillerson commended the work of survivors and victims' advocates for their efforts to combat trafficking, and pledged U.S. support, including through the State Department's new Program to End Modern Slavery.

A major theme of this year's report is that governments bear responsibility to criminalize human trafficking and hold offenders accountable.

Also present was Ivanka Trump, who has hosted a White House roundtable on fighting human trafficking and met in Rome with African women who were trafficked into prostitution.

The report said Burma had made progress in ending the recruitment and use of child soldiers and prosecuted some government officials for human trafficking. Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang told reporters that "no country is immune from this problem and China does not appreciate being judged according to USA domestic laws and standards", NPR's Anthony Kuhn reported on Morning Edition.

The State Department is required by the Child Soldiers Protection Act to identify countries that recruit or use child soldiers, Human Rights Watch notes.

"They work for 12 to 14 hours a day and are allowed only day off each month, but they can travel back to North Korea by bus on their days off".

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North Korea receives hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from forced labor sent primarily from China and Russian Federation, he said.

It is the first time since 2013 that China has been lowered to Tier 3 status.

But anti-trafficking efforts were impeded by a lack of interagency coordination, unfamiliarity among local officials with anti-trafficking laws and victim identification procedures, and underdeveloped data collection, the State Department said. "I look forward to continuing our efforts to establish an even larger leadership role for the United States as we work to end this plague on mankind once and for all".

His public service-minded daughter spoke Tuesday about "conservative estimates" that describe 20 million people being trafficked worldwide for slave labor and the sex trade.

"China resolutely opposes the US side making thoughtless remarks in accordance with its own domestic law about other countries' work in fighting human trafficking", he told a daily news briefing.

In September 2015 - the same year that camps involving many boatpeople, plus a report on slave labour in the food sector emerged, Prayut's government vowed to put human trafficking at the front of its agenda.

Iraq, meanwhile, was downgraded to the watch list.

Countries placed in the third tier of three in the report - including North Korea, Sudan and Venezuela - can lose non-humanitarian aid.

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