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US demotes Thailand, Qatar, Malaysia in Trafficking in Persons report – cites modern-day slavery among migrant workers

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Article
17 August 2015

What the State Department’s Human Trafficking Report Means for Business Supply Chains

Author: Kilian Moote, Project Director, KnowtheChain, in Triple Pundit

This year, the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP Report) had the opportunity to send a strong message to the private sector about combating human trafficking: Forced labor happens in your supply chains, and the U.S. federal government is paying attention. With this issue as the report’s central theme, the goal was to further the conversation with both companies and governments on effective solutions...

The political discourse that followed [the report's upgrading of Malaysia's ranking] has overshadowed the TIP office’s attempt to call on companies to pay attention to the issue of forced labor in supply chains. The report dedicates more than 20 pages to the issue — covering important themes like exploitative recruitment tactics, supply chain transparency and market dynamics that contribute to human trafficking.

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Article
19 September 2014

US waives sanctions against Malaysia & Thailand despite downgrading both in 2014 Trafficking in Persons report

Author: Associated Press

“US waives human trafficking sanctions on Malaysia and Thailand”, 19 September 2014

President Barack Obama has decided not to impose sanctions against Malaysia and Thailand for failing to meet minimum standards in combating human trafficking. In June, the two Southeast Asian nations were downgraded in State Department’s annual assessment of how governments around the world have performed in fighting the flesh trade and other forms of exploitative labor. The president can block various types of U.S. aid and withdraw U.S. support for loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund for governments that are blacklisted. But the U.S. often chooses not to, based on its national security interests…

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Article
21 June 2014

Tackling Thailand's human trafficking problem

Author: Sophie Brown, CNN

…Many [accounts in the US report are of] foreign migrants who report being forced into labor or prostitution; some face physical abuse or even death…The downgrade means Thailand could see the withdrawal of non-humanitarian U.S. assistance, and its opposition to funding from international institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund…According to the State Department, Thailand's efforts to address trafficking are being hampered by "corruption at all levels."…It also warned that the use of harsh criminal defamation laws to prosecute those who researched or reported on trafficking "may have discouraged efforts" to combat the practice…"We're concerned about the Rohingya -- the refugees and asylum seekers. We are concerned that some of them have been subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor," said CdeBaca [the U.S. Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons]…

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Article
20 June 2014

Trafficking in Persons Report 2014

Author: U.S. Department of State

"We each have a responsibility to make this horrific and all-too-common crime a lot less common. And our work with victims is the key that will open the door to real change—not just on behalf of the more than 44,000 survivors who have been identified in the past year, but also for the more than 20 million victims of trafficking who have not…This year’s Trafficking in Persons Report offers a roadmap for the road ahead as we confront the scourge of trafficking." -- John F. Kerry, Secretary of State…The 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report report is available in PDF and HTML formats…

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Article
20 June 2014

US demotes Thailand, Qatar, Malaysia in Trafficking in Persons report – cites modern-day slavery among migrant workers

Author: Katie Hodal, Annie Kelly & Dan Roberts, Guardian (UK)

"US demotes Thailand and Qatar for abysmal human trafficking records", 20 June 2014

The US has signalled its mounting concern over modern-day slavery in Thailand and Qatar after it downgraded both countries on its human trafficking watchlist following revelations of appalling maltreatment of migrant workers. Thailand was relegated to the lowest rank in the state department's Trafficking in Persons (TiP) report – meaning it is now considered no better than North Korea, Iran or Saudi Arabia in the way it treats workers and protects them from abuse. Qatar was demoted to a watchlist one rung above, and will join Thailand if it doesn't improve its record in the coming years. Malaysia was also downgraded... The report said that…"many" of [Qatar’s] 1.2 million migrant workers faced conditions of modern slavery when they arrived to work there…

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