Monday, March 10, 2008

US to Step Up Pressure with TIP Report Changes

From Ukrainian News Online:

The Unites States has urged Ukraine to step up the fight against human trafficking. Ukrainian News learned this from a statement by the press service of the Ministry for Affairs of Family, Youth Policy, and Sport.

On Wednesday, First Deputy Minister for Affairs of Family, Youth Policy, and Sport Ilia Shevliak met with Michael Scanlan, the Head of Law Enforcement Section at the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine.

Scanlan said that within an annual Trafficking in Persons Report by the U.S. Department of State, a list is drawn up dividing countries into three groups depending on the level of fight against human trafficking. He said Ukraine was in the second group. The countries of the group are defined as countries with drawbacks in their legislation on the matter, but making efforts to fight human trafficking.

Scanlan said his government was drawing up a bill stipulating that a country in the second group will be automatically transferred to the third group of countries if such a country stays in the second group for two years (the countries of the third group do not receive technical aid).

He also said that information about the work of the Ukrainian government agencies in 2007 gave grounds to expect that the bill could address Ukraine.

Shevliak said in turn that the interdepartmental coordination council would convene for a meeting in March to draw up measures improving the fight against human trafficking.

As Ukrainian News earlier reported, in 2007, the U.S. Department of State said Ukraine had not improved the protection of victims of human trafficking.

The State Department's TIP report and the economic repercussions of falling into the Second Tier Watchlist or Third Tier have prompted some response in countries that face either the withholding of aid or putting forth a stronger effort in the fight against human trafficking. Israel stands as
one example of the effective use of pressure from the U.S.

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