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Human Trafficking Still a Major Concern in Asia

Posted By Olivia Enos On June 26, 2013 @ 6:30 pm In International | Comments Disabled

human-trafficking-woman-sitting-alone [1]


The release of the State Department’s latest Trafficking in Persons Report [2] (TIP) revealed that Asia is home to some of the worst perpetrators of illegal human trafficking.

China has now joined the ranks of Russia, North Korea, Iran, and a handful of other countries as Tier 3 violators of human trafficking laws. Afghanistan, Burma, Cambodia, Malaysia, Maldives, Micronesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand were placed on the Tier 2 Watch List for their lack of compliance with human trafficking laws.

China’s designation as a Tier 3 country authorizes the U.S. to place sanctions on non-humanitarian and non-trade-related aid. Whether President Obama imposes such sanctions will be determined over the next 90 days [3]. Sanctions could impact U.S. support for aid from the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund [4] as well as some aid coming directly from the U.S. to China.

China has been on the Tier 2 Watch List for nine years [5]. The past two years, China has a received a waiver and maintained its Tier 2 Watch List status due to efforts at implementing new anti-human trafficking laws [6]. This year, due to its failure to take remedial action, it slipped to Tier 3.

China is a source, transit point, and destination for trafficking victims. Forced labor has been documented at an estimated 320 state-controlled [6] Chinese re-education camps [7]. According to the TIP report, Chinese women were trafficked to every continent.

North Korea has long been designated as a Tier 3 country due to its labor camps that imprison 200,000 or more people [8]. These prisoners are subjected to both forced labor and unimaginable brutality. Women and children trying to escape into neighboring countries are often trafficked as sex workers or brides [9], making freedom nearly unattainable.

Worldwide, there are an estimated 27 million people [10] caught in the mire of human trafficking—including an estimated 1.2 million children [11]. From persecuted religious minorities in Burma (such as the Rohingya [12]) to sex slaves [13] in Cambodia, the atrocities are innumerable.

It is important that the U.S. maintain pressure on countries that violate the dignity of their people and keep a spotlight on human trafficking victims in Asia. To that end, a team of analysts at The Heritage Foundation are currently engaged in a major study of ways to improve American efforts to stem human trafficking.

Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/06/26/human-trafficking-still-a-major-concern-in-asia/

URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://blog.heritage.org/wp-content/uploads/human-trafficking-woman-sitting-alone.jpg

[2] Trafficking in Persons Report: http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2013/index.htm

[3] next 90 days: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/20/world/us-accuses-3-countries-of-abetting-human-trafficking.html?_r=0

[4] World Bank and the International Monetary Fund: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/06/a-fascinating-map-of-the-worst-countries-for-modern-slavery/277037/

[5] nine years: http://www.voanews.com/content/russia-china-downgraded-in-us-trafficking-report/1685514.html

[6] new anti-human trafficking laws: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/210738.pdf

[7] re-education camps: http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/03/world/asia/china-labor-camps

[8] 200,000 or more people: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/03/no-exit-inside-look-at-a-prison-camp-in-north-korea/

[9] sex workers or brides: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/03/25/north-korea-a-neglected-human-rights-crisis/

[10] 27 million people: http://ijm.org/our-work/injustice-today

[11] 1.2 million children: http://www.unicef.org/protection/57929_58005.html

[12] Rohingya: http://blog.heritage.org/2013/02/01/burma-refugees-face-discrimination-human-trafficking/

[13] sex slaves: http://www.irinnews.org/report/97979/analysis-southeast-asia-s-human-trafficking-conundrum

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