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
10/31/2014 Federal Judge Exempts Another Catholic University from Birth Control Coverage - A federal judge ruled Tuesday that Ave Maria University, a Catholic university in Florida, does not have to comply with federal rules meant to ensure that covered employees can exercise their right to obtain birth control at no cost.
The Affordable Care Act requires all new health insurance plans to cover all FDA-approved contraceptives - such as the pill, emergency contraceptives, and IUDs - without charging co-pays, deductibles or co-insurance. . . .
10/31/2014 Women of Color in Tennessee Are United in Opposition to Amendment 1 - Just days before the general election in Tennessee, a coalition of community leaders, clergy, and advocates led a press conference encouraging women of color to vote no on Amendment 1, a dangerous and far-reaching measure on the state's ballot.
SisterReach, a grassroots organization focused on "empowering, organizing, and mobilizing women and girls in the community around their reproductive and sexual health to make informed decisions about themselves," organized the press conference "to call attention to the unique concerns Black and poor communities throughout Shelby County and across the state of Tennessee face on a daily basis" and to emphasize how the upcoming election "could further limit [black women's] reproductive, economic, political, and social autonomy."
"We assemble today to impress upon black women and women of color, many of whom are heads of households, to get out and vote," said SisterReacher Founder and CEO Cherisse Scott at the event.
SisterReach has been educating voters about the particularly dangerous impact of Amendment 1 on women of color. . . .
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .