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U.S. Puts Brunei and Sudan in Worst Tier for Failing to Stop Human Trafficking

U.S. Puts Brunei and Sudan in Worst Tier for Failing to Stop Human Trafficking
U.S. Puts Brunei and Sudan in Worst Tier for Failing to Stop Human Trafficking

The U.S. State Department has upgraded Brunei and Sudan to Tier 3 in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. This means these countries aren’t doing enough to stop human trafficking and aren’t following U.S. laws on protecting trafficking victims.

They could face sanctions or less help from the U.S. for not meeting these standards. Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed that human trafficking affects about 27 million people worldwide, often targeting the most vulnerable.

The report highlights Brunei’s lack of human trafficking convictions over the past seven years and suggests that victims may face prosecution or deportation instead of receiving protection. Sudan’s downgrade from Tier 2, where it was making efforts to comply with the TVPA, to Tier 3 reflects a lack of sufficient progress.

The report categorizes countries into different tiers based on their efforts and compliance with anti-trafficking measures, with Tier 1 representing full compliance and active efforts to combat trafficking.

U.S. Puts Brunei and Sudan in Worst Tier for Failing to Stop Human Trafficking

Antony Blinken

Countries listed in Tier 3, including Sudan and Brunei, could face U.S. sanctions or restrictions on certain types of assistance. The State Department identified 13 countries with state-sponsored trafficking policies, including Afghanistan, China, North Korea, and Russia.

The report also pointed out significant human trafficking issues within the Western Hemisphere, noting that governments often fail to address forced labor effectively and provide inconsistent protection for victims.

The 2024 TIP Report discusses the role of digital platforms in facilitating human trafficking, with traffickers using online job listings, dating apps, and social media to lure victims.

The report emphasizes the need for comprehensive efforts involving governments, law enforcement, the financial sector, NGOs, and technology companies to combat trafficking. It suggests that regulating tech companies to prevent trafficking must be balanced with concerns about privacy, security, and innovation.

At the report’s release, Edith Murogo, a Kenyan anti-trafficking advocate, was recognized as one of the 2024 TIP Report Heroes. Murogo, along with other honorees, was celebrated for her efforts in combating human trafficking.

She outlined five key actions to address the issue: raising awareness, supporting survivors, strengthening legislation, promoting economic opportunities, and building partnerships. Murogo’s call to action underlined the need for immediate and collective efforts to combat trafficking.

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