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United States lists China among worst human trafficking offenders

28 June 2017

The report also said there were indications that China's government was still complicit in forced labor, including in some drug rehabilitation centers.

Ivanka Trump spoke Tuesday about defending the rights of human trafficking victims, helping the State Department launch this year's annual report on the crisis - whose highlight is a scathing indictment of China's record.

USA allies Ukraine and Qatar were among the states upgraded from the Tier 2 watch list to Tier 2, in both cases due to "increasing efforts" by government officials to take on traffickers. Theoretically, the rating could result in sanctions, though presidents often waive that step.

The U.S. credited Beijing with taking "some steps" to address human trafficking. "Responsible nations simply can not allow this to go on", he added, in a nod to the fact that money from that forced labor in China is used to fund North Korea's nuclear program.

China is among the worst offenders of human trafficking, according to the Trafficking In Persons report. She gave a perfectly anodyne speech calling the end of human trafficking a "major priority" for the Trump Administration and honored several individuals who have fought against exploitation.

Daehung, a company based in North Korea's coastal Rason Special Economic Zone, had contracted with the Chinese firm to pay each worker 800 yuan (U.S.$126) per month along with room and board, but then promised the workers only 300 yuan (U.S.$47) of that amount, the source said.

The State Department on Tuesday also removed Iraq and Myanmar from a list of countries that recruit and use child soldiers.

The report praised the Burmese government for its "continued progress to eliminate the recruitment and use of child soldiers" as well as action to improve anti-trafficking law enforcement and prosecutions.

The department's annual assessment of human trafficking includes more than 180 countries and has four categories.

Several products produced by countries with low TIP Report rankings are now on the Department of Labor's list of goods produced with forced labor, yet they continue to be imported into the United States in large quantities, including sugar from the Dominican Republic, where the United States imports over 99 percent of the country's sugar export; agriculture from Mexico, where the United States imports 79 percent of the country's agricultural export; and coffee from Colombia, where the United States imports nearly 47 percent of the country's entire coffee export. It comes as President Donald Trump seeks China's help in dealing with North Korea.

China has consistently been placed on the State Department's "Tier 2" watch list over the past decade, except for a drop to "Tier 3" in 2013.

This confirms reports this week that China was expected to be downgraded.

Ivanka Trump, the senior White House adviser and daughter of President Donald Trump, said ending human trafficking was in both the moral and strategic interests of the U.S., describing the effort as a "major foreign policy priority" for the administration.

Afghanistan, Malaysia and Qatar were each upgraded to Tier 2, a list of nations making significant efforts to comply, from the Tier 2 Watch List. She was instrumental in arranging a White House meeting with anti-trafficking activists that Trump attended in the first few weeks of the administration.

United States lists China among worst human trafficking offenders