United States: UN Expert Says Victims of Labor Trafficking Neglected by Authorities

The US should do more to detect and prevent trafficking in persons for forced labor, according to the UN Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, especially women and children (“Rapporteur”). The Rapporteur, Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, praised the many laws the US has enacted to deter human trafficking, but said the country has “mostly focused on sexual exploitation” while neglecting victims of other forms of trafficking. Even with regards to sexual exploitation, the Rapporteur said the US should stop punishing persons engaged in prostitution because many are victims of trafficking, particularly women and girls. The Rapporteur also called on the US to harmonize its approach to immigration and trafficking, because “[w]alls, fences and laws criminalizing irregular migration do not prevent human trafficking, . . . they increase the vulnerabilities of people fleeing conflict, persecution, crisis situations and extreme poverty, who can fall easy prey to traffickers and exploiters.”

The Rapporteur issued her end of mission statement after her first official visit to the US.  

 

 

Compiled from: UN expert calls for continued efforts against trafficking in persons in the US, with a stronger focus on labor exploitation, UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights News (December 20, 2016).