U.S State Department just released its annual Human Trafficking Report which rates 188 countries on their efforts to stamp out trafficking in persons and it shows some countries that do the most to battle human trafficking conveniently on top of the list. The report which is made of three tiers – including Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 puts the countries that fight human trafficking the most on Tier 1 and the worst on Tier 3 while Tier 2 includes a Watch List for countries in danger of dropping to Tier 3.
In this year’s report, 18 countries were placed in higher ranks while another 18 were demoted. Those demoted from the Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 3 included Belarus, Belize, Burundi, Comoros, the Marshall Islands and South Sudan. Egypt, Ghana and Bulgaria are also doing really bad at fighting human trafficking.
Countries that upgraded from Tier 3 to Tier 2 Watch List include Malaysia, Cuba, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Papua New Guinea, and Uzbekistan. Kenya and Saudi Arabia are doing better too according to the latest annual report from the U.S. State Department, ranking 188 countries according to their efforts to eradicate human trafficking completely.
Kenya that recently housed Barack Obama during his first trip since becoming U.S. President took back on the Tier 2 list. This is because Kenya followed advice that was dished out to her telling the country’s government to hike the number of prosecutions, raids and inspections of potential trafficking centres.
Saudi Arabia also walked away from the bottom Tier after it followed suggestion given to it last year to “significantly increase efforts to prosecute, punish and stringently sentence trafficking offenders, including abusive employers and those culpable of sex trafficking.
Malaysia fell to Tier 3 last year after two consecutive years of not being able to do enough to address the issue, but it is now raised to Tier 2 Watch List from Tier 3. While Malaysia upgraded, Thailand remains on the list of worst-performing countries. Both countries are part of human trafficking route for Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar. Note that countries can get an automatic downgrade in compliance with rules introduced by the State Department in 2013 that dictate a country has to move up or down after two years on the Tier 2 Watch List. Both Thailand and Malaysia were given automatic downgrades to Tier 3 after two years on the Tier 2 Watch List for the rules provided in 2013 but Malaysia was raised while Thailand remains on Tier 3, a clear indication of inconsistency that is likely to annoy activists who were pushing for both countries to remain on the blacklist.
Last year, 89 countries were listed as Tier 2 which is the most volatile Tier because they are regarded as countries that are not doing enough to stamp out human trafficking. Another 44 countries were on the Tier 2 Watch List — an indication that unless more was done, they could be downgraded to Tier 3 — a category for the least compliant nations
There are penalties for countries demoted to Tier 3 and they are at the discretion of the U.S. President. It could include restrictions on non-humanitarian assistance and funding.
Glance below to see the 2015 report that analyzes the efforts of 188 countries to comply with minimum standards required to erase smuggling of men, women and children for sexual exploitation or forced labor as released on Monday to see the countries that are on danger line and are likely to fall in status, the ones that have improved, the most compliant and the ones that are never improving.