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28 Jun 2017

Carol Morello, Washington Post

State Department reprimands China over sex trafficking and forced labor

The State Department on Tuesday listed China as one of the countries with the worst records on sex trafficking and forced labor, a downgraded designation that Beijing labeled irresponsible and which could complicate Washington’s efforts to further isolate North Korea over its nuclear weapons. China was dropped one notch on a watch list to Tier 3, the lowest ranking, in the State Department’s annual human trafficking report. The report said China had made no meaningful efforts to curb forced labor and human trafficking, and suggested the country had backslid by decreasing law enforcement efforts. Tier 3 is reserved for countries deemed not to meet minimum standards. Theoretically, the rating could result in sanctions, although presidents often waive that step. In remarks introducing the report, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said China’s downgrade was partly due to its use of North Korean workers whose salaries are remitted directly to the government in Pyongyang...Also present was Ivanka Trump, who has hosted a White House roundtable on fighting human trafficking and met in Rome with African women who were trafficked into prostitution. The president’s daughter and adviser has a fashion line with many items made in China. This month, the State Department called for China to release three labor activists who were arrested while investigating conditions at factories that manufacture Ivanka Trump-branded shoes...