U.S. Blacklists 10 Nations In Anti-Trafficking Report
Wednesday, June 16, 2004 1:00 PM

In its annual report on human trafficking, released yesterday, the United States cited 10 nations for not doing enough to fight the crime and introduced the possibility of sanctions against them but dropped five other nations from last year's blacklist.

As in past years, Cuba, Myanmar, North Korea and Sudan were singled out. This year they were joined by newcomers Bangladesh, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Guyana, Sierra Leone and Venezuela. Those nations could see their non-humanitarian and non-trade-related U.S. aid cut off unless they show progress trying to curb trafficking by October, the U.S. State Department said.

Among nations removed from the list were NATO allies Greece and Turkey, both of which had protested their inclusion in the 2003 Trafficking in Persons report, as well as anti-terrorism allies Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan.

Belize, Bosnia, the Dominican Republic, Georgia and Suriname were also dropped after having recorded improvements in fighting trafficking, according to the report.

Haiti, which also appeared in last year's survey, was placed in its own category to reflect that its new government, which took over after the Feb. 29 ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, has not had time to address trafficking.

The 10 blacklisted countries appeared in the category "Tier 3" for countries that have not taken "significant efforts" to prevent the trade in people, particularly women and children. Nations determined to comply with U.S. anti-trafficking efforts were put in "Tier 1," while those making "significant efforts" are given "Tier 2" status.

This year's report also created a "Tier 2 watch list" for nations that are not yet in compliance with U.S. standards but have pledged to take steps toward meeting the requirements, officials said.

The watch list included by far the largest number of the 140 nations surveyed. Japan, Greece, Turkey, India, Thailand appeared in this category along with 37 other countries (Agence France-Presse, June 14).

Cited from U.N. Wire, June 15 2004, available here. Copyright, National Journal Group, 2004.