New report criticizes four countries for refusing to fight slavery
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/20/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
Four countries have been singled out by the U.S. in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report for failing to take sufficient action against the human trafficking that plagues those countries.
Many slaves in Thailand are forced into the sex industry or are forced into manufacturing or fishing.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - These nations are Thailand, Malaysia, The Gambia and Venezuela, and were targeted in the report published on June 20. The State Department downgraded their status to Tier 3, the lowest possible ranking given to a country for their response to fighting modern-day slavery.
The TIP report says that there is evidence that forced labor and sex trafficking in Malaysia and Thailand is prevalent, involving the numerous Asian immigrants that work on farms and factories, and are then trapped when their passports are taken away and wages are withheld.
In Thailand, tens of thousands of migrants from neighboring countries are being exploited for commercial sex, fishing boats and as domestic servants.
In Venezuela, females are often lured into tourist centers from the poor interior regions with false job offers; when they arrive they are forced in prostitution.
The three rankings are based on a governments perceived efforts to acknowledge and combat these modern forms of slavery, including reforms and programs aimed at prevention, protection and prosecution.
Luis CdeBaca, ambassador-at-large of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, cited Thailand and Malaysia's repeated noncompliance in meeting the bare minimum anti-trafficking standards.
"Malaysia continues to have a victim care regime that basically locks up the victims," he said. "In Thailand, we have a lot of beginnings that will hopefully come to fruition, but the report doesn't look at promises. It looks at results.
There are four other countries which face the possible downgrades to Tier 3, including Afghanistan.
"In Afghanistan, for the first time now, we're seeing 14 traffickers were convicted. We're even seeing the conviction of soldiers," he said.
The International Labor Organization estimates that more than 20 million people are living in some form of slavery.
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