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US says Myanmar no longer among worst on human trafficking

28 June 2017

Between 50,000 and 80,000 North Koreans are forced to work overseas, mostly in China and Russian Federation, he said, and their wages are used by the North Korean government to fund its illicit weapons programs.

Specifically, the report found that "local officials in Xinjiang coerced Uighur men and women to participate in forced labor in and outside the province", despite the local government announcing in early 2017 that the practice was outlawed.

Laos was granted a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3, allowing the country to remain on the Tier 2 Watch List for a fourth year, because the government devoted sufficient resources to a written plan that the TIP report said would constitute significant efforts to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. China's communist government is likely to register strong protest on the report, The Guardian reports.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that '50,000-80,000 North Korean citizens are working overseas as forced laborers, primarily in Russian Federation and China, many of them working 20 hours a day'. He also noted that trafficking "breeds corruption, undermines rule of law, erodes the core values that underpin a civil society". Countries on such a list are then subject to reduced military aid from the US without a presidential waiver.

The report was compiled using information from United States embassies, government officials, nongovernmental and global organizations, published reports, news articles, academic studies, research trips to every region of the world, and tip-offs.

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"It is both our moral and our strategic interests", she said.

'It is our hope that the 21st Century will be the last century of human trafficking.

"On Twitter, Ivanka Trump wrote she would be joining the Department of State for the release of the 2017 TIP report, adding it was time to "#EndTrafficking". In years past, reasonable experts within the State Department have disagreed on whether a particular country meets the law's evidentiary threshold, forcing the Secretary to make a decision on the basis of the evidence put in front of him. In an interview with CBS news she explained that her organization has done significant work with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Department of Homeland Security to drive down child sex tourism.

"As a mother, this is much more than a policy priority", she said at a ceremony to unveil the report.

The aim of the Act is to prevent and combat human trafficking, protect and assist victims of trafficking, investigate and prosecute offenders of human trafficking, collaborate and promote cooperation among stakeholders and civil society groups. "That's why we must pursue an end to the scourge of human trafficking". But it said that the Asian power hadn't increased its anti-trafficking efforts from the previous year.

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Bangladesh, Nicaragua, Madagascar and Guatemala were among other countries downgraded in the report.

Fourteen countries, including Bangladesh, Iraq, and Nigeria, were downgraded to the Tier 2 watch list, putting them at future risk of being dropped to Tier 3. The brand says it stopped using the factory months ago.

Some human rights activists were critical of the report.

"Tillerson reportedly overruled his own staff and usa diplomats to take Burma and Iraq off the list this year. We have not seen any real change on the ground".

Human Rights Watch said Burma did not deserve to be upgraded because the use of child soldiers continues.

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