The US government released the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report today (June 30, 2016) at a ceremony hosted at the Department of State.
US Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking at the event, pointed out that the challenges of human trafficking remain tremendous with over 20 million victims globally being held against their will at any given time.
The report, while being an important tool, has also drawn widespread criticism with Thailand being taken off the blacklist. Having just recently moved into the spotlight, there are widespread reports of exploitation in the fishing industry in Thailand, as well as the continuous sexual exploitation of women, men and children, especially in tourist areas. The report has previously already caused controversy in 2015 when the upgrade of Malaysia was widely perceived as a political move to strengthen the US-Malaysian relations in the light of the Trans-Pacific Trade Agreement.
While there have been real improvements in some countries, many have been downgraded to the blacklist, such as Uzbekistan, Djibouti, Haiti, Suriname, Turkmenistan, Sudan, Papua New Guinea and Myanmar (Burma).
TRAFFICKING.TODAY will review the entire report and provide a more detailed analysis soon.
In the meantime, you may view the entire report on http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/258876.pdf