Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

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Contesting the TIP Report

 

Eritrea

Eritrea rejects US Country Report on Human Trafficking

Embassy of Eritrea, Washington DC, 18 June 2009

www.ethiopianreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=13627

[accessed 16 July 2013]

The Embassy of Eritrea finds the US State Department’s Human Trafficking Report on Eritrea to be subjective and inaccurate, not based on well defined evidentiary standards or fact, and therefore rejects its findings and conclusions.   Eritrea is a country whose citizens have been deliberately lured and victimized by certain quarters and as such, the ranking is meaningless as it seeks to punish the victim for crimes committed by others.

Due to the covert nature of the crime, accurate statistics on the nature and prevalence of human trafficking are difficult to calculate and many cases of human trafficking go undiscovered and unreported. Trafficking is often associated with organized crime; therefore, gaining access to traffickers and information about routes, key persons involved, and practices is severely limited, if not impossible. When such crimes are discovered and reported, the Government of Eritrea conducts full investigations and prosecutes perpetrators when apprehended.

Guyana

Guyana denounces US human trafficking lash

Editor, Stabroek News, 27 June 2012

www.stabroeknews.com/2012/news/stories/06/27/guyana-denounces-us-human-trafficking-lash/

[accessed 28 June 2012]

“The Ministerial Task Force on Trafficking in Persons finds the content of the US State Department’s most recent assessment of the Government of Guyana’s efforts to combat trafficking in persons, to use a local parlance, ‘a difficult pill to swallow’.  The Report fails to establish not one single fact. The Task Force notes several inaccuracies and misrepresentations in the Report that must be addressed. What is clear is that the architects of this Report have not made significant progress in improving the veracity, coherence and validity of their annual assessments.

“The Ministerial Task Force denounces the Report since it comprises unsubstantiated generalisations and repetitive uncorroborated claims. The Task Force strongly recommends that the US State Department seek to improve its methodology, establish proper baselines to guide comparisons, avoid use of anecdotal claims and develop a consistent, understandable, transparent and logical tier ranking system if countries are to benefit from these rituals.

“The plethora of uncorroborated claims made in the Report can only result in a distorted view of the Guyanese reality as regards the national trafficking in persons’ situation.  Further the Task Force considers the Report an affront to its members, frontline government staff and over one hundred (100) citizens who have been trained to identify and report trafficking in persons and have been doing so along with NGOs such as Help Shelter, Food for the Poor (Guyana) and the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) all of whom partnered with Government in responding to trafficking in persons matters.

“While we were encouraged by what we felt at the time was meaningful dialogue between the Ministerial Task Force and US Embassy Officials, this Report raises significant concerns over the efficacy of these engagements.   A perusal of the Report reveals two inescapable inferences; one, the architects had already decided what they wanted to put in the Report and two, the architects gave little or no credence to the   information presented by government in partnership with NGOs.  Consequently, those two factors begs the question of the usefulness of such engagements in future.

“The danger of these unfounded claims and anecdotes that are replete in the US Report is that even though they are not the product of systematic research nor  critical analysis they have never-the-less been published in the local media thus influencing public opinion. The US Report’s misrepresentation and scaremongering must be refuted because of its impact on the country’s image and the perpetuation of stereotypes and fears.  Worst yet, it can lead to a waste of resources and energy, and a reduction in traditional opportunities for personal economic development and educational advancement.”

 

 

India

India rejects U. S. criticism for inability to control human trafficking

Media Release, Jun. 6, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 6 September 2011]

The Indian ministry statement said India and the United States have an ongoing dialogue on the trafficking in persons, and the annual report "certainly is not helpful to furthering our dialogue."

Rep. Christopher Smith, a Republican author of the 2000 law that established the annual trafficking reports, said in Washington that the Bush administration went too easy on India by placing it on the watch list instead of among the dozen worst offenders.

 

 

Kuwait

Kuwait lashes U.S. human rights report

Xinhua News Agency, Kuwait City, 28 June 2007

www.twocircles.net/2007jun27/kuwait_lashes_u_s_human_rights_report.html

[accessed 17 February 2011]

Rejecting the accusation made by the U.S. report saying Kuwaitis running human trafficking in an excuse of reducing global joblessness, the committee said in the statement that "The State of Kuwait opens its arms to those incoming workers and even provides them with all available job opportunities, unlike many other countries which combat and deport them on the grounds of fighting illegal immigration."  "By doing so, Kuwait ought to be commended, appreciated and even placed on an honors list," it added.

 

 

Malawi

Malawi’s rating on human trafficking ‘mistake’

www.dailytimes.bppmw.com/article.asp?ArticleID=7543

[access date unavailable]

Malawi’s rating as Tier 1 in this year’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report is misleading and does not reflect the reality on the ground, officials from the Centre for Social Concern (CFSC) have said.

However, officials from CFSC briefing the press in Lilongwe last week said the Tier 1 classification is a mistake because Malawi has not done much in human trafficking to warrant first position.  Christopher Boyer of CFSC said in the first place Malawi has no anti-trafficking legislation in place and neither does it have shelters for trafficked victims.  Boyer also criticized the report for commending the Malawi government for recruiting 400 child protection officers who work in all the districts and recognizing victims of trafficking because these officers are not actually doing the work.

 

 

Myanmar

Myanmar rejects U.S. report on anti-human trafficking

Xinhua News Agency, June 20, 2006

english.people.com.cn/200606/20/eng20060620_275589.html

[accessed 25 January 2011]

Noting that Myanmar passed an anti-trafficking in persons law in September 2005 that covers sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, servitude and debt bondage, the release said during the year, the government prosecuted 426 traffickers in 203 cases under the new law and identified 844 victims.

 

 

New Zealand

US report on NZ challenged

ECPAT News, 17 June 2004

www.ecpat.net/eng/ECPAT_news/US+report+on+NZ+challenged+.htm

[accessed 9 September 2011]

ECPAT spokeswoman Denise Ritchie says the US report implies New Zealand has a serious problem with child trafficking, but that impression results from the distortion of her organisation's report.   Ms Ritchie says that unless the US report authors offer an alternative source for their information, they are being unethical in making assumptions about the severity of the New Zealand situation.   The report also states the Government is complying with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but Foreign Minister Phil Goff says it is doing much more than required.

 

 

Russia

Russia charges U.S. report on human trafficking is biased

Emily Alpert, Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2012

latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/06/russia-fired-back-monday-after-the-united-states-put-it-on-a-watch-list-for-human-trafficking-for-the-ninth-year-in-a-row-ar.html

[accessed 26 June 2012]

Russia fired back Monday after the United States put it on a watch list for human trafficking for the ninth year in a row, saying the American government's report was biased and driven by politics.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said the report is soft on the U.S. and its allies, painting them as "straight-A students" while vilifying its opponents, RIA Novosti reported.

Lukashevich singled out the anecdotal claim of forced labor at the Sochi construction sites, saying it “confirms this document’s generally biased and politicized nature,” according to the Interfax news agency.

 

 

St Vincent & the Grenadines

Guyana, St Vincent object to human trafficking report

Caribbean360 News, Kingstown, St Vincent, June 19, 2009

www.caribbean360.com/news/guyana-st-vincent-object-to-human-trafficking-report

[accessed 10 September 2014]

Vincentian Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves told Parliament yesterday that he was so upset by the country being placed in the second tier watch list in the department's 2009 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, that he had written to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton expressing the government's displeasure and had also held discussions with the Chargé d'Affaires of the United States Embassy to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Brent Hardt.

"There is no evidential basis for the placement of St Vincent and the Grenadines on any such watch list," he said, adding that the State Department had acted unfairly and arbitrarily and that whoever prepared the report did so based on "hearsay, unreliable information and some mischief making possibly by some busy-bodies".   "St Vincent does not have trafficking of persons," Gonsalves insisted.

 

 

Saudi Arabia

U.S. human trafficking report misses progress: Saudi

Reuters, RIYADH, Jul 8, 2007

www.reuters.com/article/idUSL0814554520070708

[accessed 21 December 2010]

"Examining the American report on human trafficking, we felt that it was misleading ... It contains descriptions, opinions and understandings that are not necessarily true," Turky Al Sudairy, head of the government's Human Rights Commission said in a statement published in Saudi newspapers.

"While we accept that there are some who mistreat (domestic) workers, and this is not acceptable, there are laws that stipulate punishment and the Commission will not hesitate to reveal practices and violations."  Around a third of Saudi Arabia's 24 million population are foreign residents, mostly blue-collar workers from Asian countries. Over a million work as housemaids, and reports of abuse are common. Saudi employers often retain their passports.

Sudairy said the authorities had taken stringent measures to regulate the labor market, which he said was subject to abuse by recruitment agencies. He said Saudi Arabia has laws to prevent child labor.  "The efforts being exerted have not finished yet and we cannot claim such a thing," Sudairy said.

 

 

Singapore

Singapore slams US report on human trafficking, maid abuse

Agence France Presse AFP, SINGAPORE, August 30, 2004

www.singapore-window.org/sw04/040830af.htm

[accessed 22 December 2010]

Singapore on Monday, Aug 30, strongly rejected a US government report alleging that an illicit trade in Asian prostitutes and the "involuntary servitude" of some foreign maids exists in the city-state.  "While Singapore is not spared from vice activities, forced prostitution is very rare here," the Ministry of Home Affairs said.

"A small minority of foreign domestic workers face seriously abusive labor conditions," it said, adding that "in a few such cases, these circumstances may amount to involuntary servitude."

 

 

United Arab Emirates UAE

US Report on Human Trafficking in UAE a Lie

Khaleej Times, Abu Dhabi, 6 May 2009

www.thefreelibrary.com/US+Report+on+Human+Trafficking+in+UAE+a+Lie.-a0199157394

[accessed 6 January 2011]

[scroll down]

Dr Mohammed Anwar Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the National Committee to Combat Human Trafficking, has dismissed a US State Department report that the UAE has around 10,000 victims of human trafficking as a mere lie.   Speaking at the Federal National Council (FNC) session on Tuesday, the minister said the report has political motivation and is a reflection of the political philosophy of the US State Department.

 

 

Venezuela

Venezuela's Record in Combating Human Trafficking

VenInfo.org, 2006

www.libertadlatina.org/LL_EN_News_06_2010.htm

[accessed 16 January 2011]

[scroll down]

IS VENEZUELA'S TIER 3 DESIGNATION POLITICALLY MOTIVATED? - According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) many countries with many more human trafficking violations than Venezuela have been assigned Tier 1 or Tier 2 status while others with less serious records receive Tier 3. Michael Shifter of the Inter-American Dialogue notes in an opinion piece published in the New York Times that “in the State Department’s 2003 Human Trafficking report Venezuela did not even appear among the five worst offenders in the Western Hemisphere” and that “the Bush administration has not provided compelling and persuasive evidence that warrants singling out one country.”

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