US downgrades Pakistan in human trafficking, China upgraded

Alleging that the Pakistan government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, the US has downgraded Pakistan to "Tier Two Watch List" in its latest annual Trafficking in Person report for the year 2014.

Washington: Alleging that the Pakistan government does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, the US has downgraded Pakistan to "Tier Two Watch List" in its latest annual Trafficking in Person report for the year 2014.

In the previous annual report for the year 2013, Pakistan was placed with India in Tier 2, which is for nations whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards Trafficking Victims Protection Act`s (TVPA) minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

Pakistan is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking, said the annual report released by the Secretary of State, John Kerry yesterday.

"A large percentage of trafficking that occurs within the country, particularly of children, is due in part to Pakistan`s deteriorating security situation and weak economy. Counterterrorism and counterinsurgency efforts monopolised the Pakistani government`s resources and attention," it said.

The report, however, upgrades China from Tier 3 to Tier 2 Watch List. Tier 3 is for those countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.

"This year`s rankings include deserved downgrades for countries like Laos and Pakistan. We should ask why China`s placement on the TIP Report was upgraded from Tier 3 to the Watch List when China continues to fail on the three core areas of protection, prevention, and prosecution," Congressman Ed Royce, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee said.

In its annual report, the State Department alleged that Chinese men, women, and children are subjected to forced labour in brick kilns, coal mines and factories, some of which operate illegally and take advantage of lax government supervision.

"Forced begging by adults and children occurs throughout China. There are reports that traffickers are increasingly subjecting deaf and mute individuals to forced labour. Media reports indicate that children in some work-study programs supported by local governments and schools are forced to work in factories," it said.

"State-sponsored forced labour continues to be an area of significant concern in China. "Reform through labour (RTL) was a systematic form of forced labour that had existed in China for decades," the report said, adding that the Chinese government reportedly profited from this forced labour, which required many detainees to work, often with no remuneration for up to four years.

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