US Human Trafficking Watchlist Grows to Include 52 Countries
After the State Department issued the 2009 Human Trafficking Report yesterday, the Obama administration also released a watchlist of countries that are not taking appropriate measures to reduce and end human trafficking. The 52 country list is 30 percent larger than the 2008 list. Countries added include Bangladesh, Cambodia, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, and the Phillipines.
Countries who appear on the list for two consecutive years face losing US support and aid as well as opposition to loans from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. The current list of 17 countries subject to sanction includes Cuba, North Korea, and Sudan. After releasing the report, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said, "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," according to the Associated Press.
The State Department's Human Trafficking report found that 5,212 incidents of human trafficking were prosecuted globally in 2008, the lowest number since recording began in 2003. Of these cases, there were 2,983 convictions.
Media Resources: Associated Press 6/16/09; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/16/09; US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report 2009