U.S. Department of State Releases Trafficking in Persons Report
Thursday, June 18, 2009 4:16 PM

The U.S. Department of State released the ninth annual Trafficking in Persons Report in June. United States law requires the Department of State to submit the report to Congress each year to increase awareness of human trafficking and the efforts being made around the world to end the practice.


The TIP Report ranks countries based on their level of compliance with The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which established minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking. Those minimum standards require governments to prohibit trafficking in persons, to recognize sex trafficking as a severe crime deserving of the most serious punishment, and to make serious and sustained efforts to eliminate human trafficking. 


Tier 1 is composed of countries that fully comply with TVPA.  Tier 2 is made up of countries that are not in full compliance but are making significant efforts to reach full compliance.  The Tier 2 Watch List includes countries in which the number of victims is significant or increasing or where there is failure by the country’s government to provide proof of efforts to reach compliance.  Finally, Tier 3 includes countries that are not in compliance with minimum standards to combat trafficking and are making no efforts to reach compliance.  Tier 3 countries face penalties such as economic sanctions from the U.S. Government. According to the 2009 report, Burma, Chad, Cuba, Eritrea, Fiji, Iran, Kuwait, Malaysia, Mauritania, Niger, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Swaziland, and Syria are all Tier 3 countries. 


The 2009 report included reports on topics of special interest, including “Debunking Common Trafficking Myths,” an article debunking the myth that a person’s initial consent, prior work history, or wage payment excludes them from status as a victim.  Another topic of special interest, “Legal Assistance for Trafficking Victims,” called on NGOs that assist trafficking victims to provide them with education regarding their legal rights and with legal assistance in order to gain immigration relief.  Another topic, “Domestic Violence and Human Trafficking,” acknowledged that suffering domestic abuse increases a woman’s risk of being trafficked.  One reason for this is that women who are victims of domestic violence may feel an urgent need to escape their homes, making them especially vulnerable to traffickers who entice their victims by offering jobs in foreign countries.


To access the full report, please click here. (PDF, 320 pages).


Compiled from: “Trafficking in Persons Report: June 2009,” U.S. Department of State (June 2009). (PDF, 320 pages).