Tuesday, June 16, 2009

2009 US TIP Report Released

From AP:

US expands human trafficking watchlist
By Matthew Lee

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Tuesday expanded the U.S. watchlist of countries suspected of not doing enough to combat human trafficking, putting more than four dozen nations on notice that they might face sanctions unless their records improve.

The State Department's annual "Trafficking in Persons Report," the first released since President Barack Obama took office, placed 52 countries and territories — mainly in Africa, Asia and the Middle East — on the watchlist. That number is a 30 percent jump from the 40 countries on the list in 2008.

Several previously cited nations were removed from the list, but new countries cited for human trafficking problems include Angola, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Iraq, Lebanon, Nicaragua, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Senegal and the United Arab Emirates.
The report also placed the Netherlands' Antilles, a self-governing Dutch territory in the Caribbean, on the watchlist.

"With this report, we hope to shine the light brightly on the scope and scale of modern slavery so all governments can see where progress has been made and where more is needed," Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said as she released the 320-page document.

Inclusion on the watchlist means those countries' governments are not fully complying with minimum standards set by U.S. law for cooperating in efforts to reduce the rise of human trafficking — a common denominator in the sex trade, coerced labor and recruitment of child soldiers.

If a country appears on the list for two consecutive years, it can be subject to U.S. sanctions.
Seventeen nations, up from 14 in 2008, are now subject to the trafficking sanctions, which can include a ban on non-humanitarian and trade-related aid and U.S. opposition to loans and credits from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The penalties can be waived if the president determines it is in U.S. national interest to do so.

Those 17 countries include traditional U.S. foes like Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan and Syria, but also American allies and friends such as Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
Malaysia, another U.S. partner, was added to the list of worst offenders as were Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Mauritania, Niger, and Swaziland.

"The ninth annual Trafficking in Persons Report sheds light on the faces of modern-day slavery and on new facets of this global problem. The human trafficking phenomenon affects virtually every country, including the United States. In acknowledging America’s own struggle with modern-day slavery and slavery-related practices, we offer partnership. We call on every government to join us in working to build consensus and leverage resources to eliminate all forms of human trafficking."--Secretary Clinton, June 16, 2009

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:40 AM

    If Qatar wins the right to hold the World Cup, keep in mind that the stadiums will be built by a "slave labour" work force, mostly coming from poor countries such as Nepal, Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. The workers will be paid about QR 800 per month (about $200) and will have to live in labour compounds where the living conditions are horrific. All this talk of air conditioned stadiums is so misleading. The tens of thousands of workers imported to built these stadiums will not benefit from any air conditioning.
    Qataris are both the richest and also the laziest people on earth. They basically do no work at all due to the creation of a welfare state.
    The very fact that such a rich country treats their labour force so inhumanely is the very reason why it would be so wrong to give Qatar the right to host the World Cup. Money must not be put in front of basic human rights - please wake up FIFA officials and think carefully. Do not fall into the trap being planted by the corrupt royal family members - the Al Thani's, who basically control everything that goes on in this tiny country.