The US State Department’s 2012 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report was released yesterday. It ranks each of the world’s nations for their compliance with US and global anti-trafficking laws using a three tier grading system, and aims to broaden understanding of ‘trafficking in people’ to include adults and children forced into work or servitude.
Anti-trafficking laws are aimed at tackling this global trade in people, which, according to the latest estimate by the International Labour Organization, is accountable for at least 9.1 million people living in modern-day slavery; trapped in jobs into which they were deceived or coerced and which they cannot leave.
This year’s TIP report documents Syria’s descent into the 3rd and lowest tier, placing it with Cuba, Iran, North Korea and Zimbabwe, and reflecting its appalling human rights record. The report claims that trafficking victims remain trapped in Syria as the conflict escalates, including thousands of women from several different nations working as forced domestic servants. Syria is also a transit country for Iraqi women and girls, South East Asians and East Africans being trafficked for a life of prostitution in Europe.
Seventeen nations – mainly in Asia and North and Sub-Saharan Africa – were placed in the lowest tier in the 2012 report.
Most countries in the report were ranked in Tier 2, meaning that they were judged to be in breach of anti-trafficking laws whilst making notable efforts to end those breaches.
Nicaragua made its first appearance amongst the countries promoted to Tier 1.
Much of Western Europe and North America is regarded in the report as ‘Tier 1’ territory; made up of countries whose governments fully comply with the minimum standards enshrined in anti-trafficking instruments.
However, the annual report highlighted once again that even these top-tier nations often lack a victim-centered response to human trafficking. Whilst the prevention and prosecution of human trafficking remain relatively high on these countries’ agendas, victim protection measures are lacking in some cases.
A specific problem is ensuring that survivors are not penalised for acts committed as a result of their crime, but receive adequate protection as victims who have suffered grave human rights abuses.
Both the TIP report and the International Labour Organisation report reflect the global scale of human trafficking. Whilst an increase in reported trafficked individuals does not necessarily mean an increase in human trafficking globally, these figures bring to light the persistent enormity of the problem.
STOP THE TRAFFIK is pleased to see that our Warning Notice has been incorporated into this year’s TIP report. This poster encourages communities around the world to spot the signs of human trafficking and expose traffickers; to work together to match the scale of trafficking and eliminate it.
How could you use this poster in your communities? Put it up and let us know!
Read the report in full at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2012/index.htm