US State Department releases 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report
The United States Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons released last week its 2013 annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The report includes stories of trafficking victims, country portraits, estimates on numbers of victims, and evaluations of government efforts to combat human trafficking. It also outlines the major forms of human trafficking, including for sexual exploitation, forced or bonded labor, involuntary domestic servitude, among others.
"When we help countries to prosecute traffickers, we are strengthening the rule of law," said Secretary of State John Kerry during the launch event. "When we bring victims out of exploitation, we are helping to create more stable and productive communities. When we stop this crime from happening in the first place, we are preventing the abuse of those who are victimized as well as the ripple effect that caused damage throughout communities into our broader environment and which corrupt our global supply chains. We all have an interest in stopping this crime. That's why President Obama is so focused on this issue. And that's why, as Secretary of State, I will continue to make the fight against modern-day slavery a priority for this Department and for the country."
In the report countries around the world are categorized into tiers:
Tier 1 is the highest ranking, but it does not imply that a country is free of human trafficking, rather that a government recognizes the problem and has made substantial efforts to address it and that its policies fully comply with the minimum standards outlined by U.S. law.
Tier 2 is given to countries whose governments have not fully complied with the minimum standards but nonetheless are making considerable efforts to become compliant.
Tier 2 Watch List is assigned to countries where the government does not fully comply nor is the government making clear efforts to become compliant and either the number of victims of severe human trafficking is significant, there is evidence of decreasing evidence of complicity, or a previously tier-3 country has made commitments which will be evaluated over the next year.
Tier 3 is the lowest ranking and given to countries who neither fully comply with the minimum standards nor are they making any efforts to do so.
Beyond the ranking of countries according to their efforts to comply, the report also highlights how individuals can take personal action to help in the fight to end human trafficking, including the use of new social media platforms to organize grassroots efforts.
Watch the launch event in its entirety here:
To read the report, click on the following links:
-Country Narratives: A-C
-Country Narratives: D-I
-Country Narratives: J-M
-Country Narratives: N-S
-Country Narratives: T-Z and Special Case
-Relevant International Conventions/Closing Material