Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on June 27 released the U.S. Government’s annual assessment of efforts to combat trafficking in persons around the world, the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report. The Report covers nearly 200 countries and jurisdictions.
The U.S. Congress requires the U.S. State Department to assess annually government efforts around the world to combat trafficking in persons. The 2017 Report suggests actions that governments, businesses, and consumers can take to fight trafficking and help victims regain their lives. Using a four-tier system, it ranks governments on how closely they conform to best practices for combating trafficking in persons. In addition to ranking other governments, the report ranks and proscribes recommended actions for the U.S. Government to combat trafficking.
In this year’s report, Hong Kong’s ranking remained listed on the Tier 2 Watch List, and Macau fell from Tier 2 to Tier 2 Watch List. Governments listed on the Tier 2 Watch List do not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but are making significant efforts to do so. However, the government did not demonstrate increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period. A full explanation of the Tier rankings and methodology can be found in the report at Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.
The Report’s recommendations for the Government of Hong Kong include the enactment of a comprehensive anti-trafficking law that criminalizes all forms of trafficking, including sex trafficking and forced labor without trans-border movement, in accordance with the definitions set forth in the 2000 UN TIP Protocol. For Macau, the report’s recommendations are to significantly increase efforts to investigate, prosecute, and convict sex and labor traffickers and improve identification of victims of trafficking. The United States looks forward to continuing its close cooperation with the Hong Kong and Macau governments to combat trafficking in persons.
The full report is available here: Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons