U.S. to List China Among Worst Human Trafficking Offenders

Marie Harrington
June 28, 2017

The designation applies to countries the USA sees as failing to meet minimum standards to prevent human trafficking or making significant improvement efforts.

Ivanka Trump, the senior White House adviser and daughter of President Donald Trump, said ending human trafficking was in both the moral and strategic interests of the U.S., describing the effort as a "major foreign policy priority" for the administration.

The report rates various nations on how successfully they deal with the problem of human trafficking within their jurisdiction.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has chose to lower China's rating to "Tier 3", which is the lowest level. Thailand was upgraded past year from the lowest level, Tier 3, in a decision which proved controversial with human rights defenders working in the kingdom. This year, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had the power to grant another one but has opted not to.

The US Department of State released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report on Thursday, and downgraded China to one of the worst offenders.

Tillerson commended the work of survivors and victims' advocates for their efforts to combat trafficking, and pledged USA support, including through the State Department's new Program to End Modern Slavery. "That's why we must pursue an end to the scourge of human trafficking", he said. Beijing criticized the USA for "speaking irresponsibly", arguing that its efforts to fight human trafficking "obvious for everyone to see".

The department dropped Iraq and Myanmar from a list of countries that recruit and use child soldiers, a change from 2016.

Beijing says it has abolished state-sponsored forced labor, but gaps in the law allow traffickers to operate.

"Human trafficking is a pervasive human rights issue", she said.

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Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content - we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. By complying with the United States' ban on products made with forced labor, US importers and their overseas suppliers can and should put protections in place to ensure that workers overseas are not enslaved.

Vice news did a video report in 2011 documenting North Korean logging camps in Siberia.

"The government's determination in fighting human trafficking is unwavering and outcomes are there for all to see", spokesman Lu Kang said.

Trump met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday at the White House and made a point of noting that the United States, India and Japan would be joining together in naval exercises soon in the Indian Ocean, a point that seemed aimed at India rival Beijing. The Tier 3 rating can trigger sanctions limiting access to United States and worldwide aid, but USA presidents frequently waive such action. Earlier this month, the State Department called for China to release three labor activists who were arrested while investigating conditions at factories that manufacture Ivanka Trump-branded shoes.

Human Rights Watch said removing Myanmar was premature, and undermined U.S. credibility in ending the use of children in warfare.

Several other countries also were downgraded to Tier 3 status: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea and Mali.

Senator Corker is a leader in efforts to end modern slavery at home and overseas.

Tier 1 The governments of countries that fully meet the TVPA's minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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