Report: More Countries Failing to Fight Slavery; Notes US Faults

Jun 27, 2011 4:18pm

ABC News' Kirit Radia (@KiritRadia_ABC) reports:

The State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report is out today and it faults 23 countries for not doing enough to combat modern slavery, a designation that could lead to U.S. sanctions. That’s nearly double the 13 countries cited in last year’s report. This year’s report also warns over 40 other countries they are in danger of slipping onto the black list.

Making the so-called Tier 3 list again are perennial human rights violators Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Burma, Zimbabwe and Saudi Arabia. Newcomers to the list include Libya, Yemen, and Venezuela. The Dominican Republic was the only country to get off of last year’s Tier 3 list.

Last year Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had the State Department rate the United States’ performance for the first time, and they did so again this year. While the U.S. scored the best possible rating for combating slavery, the report found that the U.S. is “a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to forced labor, debt bondage, document servitude, and sex trafficking.”

“One of the innovations when I became Secretary was we were going to also analyze and rank ourselves, because I don’t think it’s fair for us to rank others if we don’t look hard at who we are and what we’re doing,” Clinton said in releasing the report today.

The report found vulnerabilities in visa programs for temporary and domestic workers and recommended that federal, state, and local governments keep better data on trafficking victims.

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