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2013 TIP Report Released

By Lazarita Chumpitazi

The U.S. Department of State recently released the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. Secretary of State, John Kerry, delivered the report stating,

When we help countries to prosecute traffickers, we are strengthening the rule of law. 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…

The report is one of the U.S. State Department’s most important contributions against combating modern-day slavery and a very powerful tool in persuading nations to take action.  The TIP report describes forms of slavery in individual countries and current efforts to end them.  The countries are ranked based on whether they meet certain standards set out in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).  The TIP Report ranks a country’s anti-trafficking efforts on a three-tier scale.  Tier 1 countries are deemed to meet minimum standards in preventing human trafficking.  Tier 2 nations are making significant efforts to meet those standards, while Tier 2 Watch List countries are making such efforts but require special scrutiny.  And Tier 3 countries are making no significant efforts.

In 2008, changes made to the TVPRA mandated that nations on the Tier 2 Watch List for four straight years, without having demonstrated any progress, must be automatically downgraded to Tier 3 and face sanctions.  Sanctions may include the withholding of assistance from the United States, the World Bank, and/ or the International Monetary Fund.  However, the President is able to fully or partially waive sanctions for reasons that include U.S. national interest.

China, Russia, and Uzbekistan were all downgraded to a Tier 3 as a result of the 2008 TVPRA’s mandate and face possible sanctions.  President Obama has 90 days to decide these countries will actually be subject to sanctions.  The complete report is available for review on the U.S. Department of State’s website.

Link to 2013 TIP Report http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/

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