Wednesday, July 29, 2015

US State Department Releases 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report

Each year, the U.S. State Department prepares a report on the progress being made by countries around the world in the fight against human trafficking. Earlier this week, the U.S.  State Department released its 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report.  Both Cuba and Malaysia have been upgraded from Tier 3 Watch List countries to Tier 2 Watch List countries due to their increased efforts in combating human trafficking. Twenty-three countries remain in Tier 3, meaning they do not comply with minimum international standards to fight human trafficking and are not making significant efforts to do so. On a more positive note, thirty-one countries are fully in compliance with international standards.

In addition to various country reports, the TIP Report defines human trafficking, both sex trafficking and labor trafficking, and describes various industries and practices that are more likely to give rise to the practice. It also features eight women and men who are honored as this year's TIP Report Heros for their devotion to the fight against human trafficking: Betty Pedraza Lozano (Columbia), Ameena Said Hasan (Iraq), Gita Miruskina (Latvia), Norotiana Ramboarivelo Jeannoda (Madagascar), Catherine Groenendijk-Nabukwasi (South Sudan), Parosha Chandran (United Kingdom), Tony Maddox (United States). 

Also of note, this year marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (the Palermo Protocol).  Thre are currently 166 countries that have joined the Palermo Protocol.  Seven countries joined between 2014 and 2015: Afghanistan, Angola, Barbados, Czech Republic, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, and Sudan. 


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