U.S. Department of State released its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, but will Turkmenistan and Uzbekhistan cover Up the Facts?

Dear Kevin,

Demand integrity for the TIP Report!

A week ago today, the U.S. Department of State released its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report. This important tool for advocates, activists and policymakers compiles information on governments’ efforts to combat human trafficking, and assesses them by placing each country into one of four tier rankings based on their efforts to eliminate human trafficking.

There is much in this report to be commended, most notably that Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were once again designated with the lowest ranking, Tier 3, for ongoing use of systematic, state-sponsored forced laborin each country’s annual cotton harvest.

But along with this good news came several alarmingly high rankings for countries that, based on weak government efforts to stem rampant trafficking of migrant workers, should also be at Tier 3. Since reports in 2015 of political interference with TIP Report rankings, advocates have been calling for measures to strengthen protections against  politicization of this vital tool. That is why this Fourth of July we are calling on you to help us maintain the independence of the TIP Report by telling your Senators you support the TIP Report Integrity Act!

The TIP Report Integrity Act is a bi-partisan effort led by Senators Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) to bring greater accountability to country rankings and strengthen U.S. Government action against governments that fail to adequately address human trafficking within and across their borders. The act would:

  • Require the State Department to specify how the concrete actions (or lack thereof) undertaken by the country contributed to the change in ranking
  • Allow civil society organizations to provide more input on countries’ anti-trafficking efforts and the actions countries need to take to get on Tier 1
  • Require any country whose government sponsors forced labor to be ranked Tier 3.
  • Ensure the U.S. Government makes informed, transparent, and inclusive decisions based on comprehensive risk assessments when assessing loans from international financial institutions (IFIs), introduce strong trade and IFI-related sanctions, and increase governmental accountability for exercising waivers on those sanctions

Please take a moment today to support an independent, accountable TIP Report by telling your Senators you support this important legislative effort. You can also see a full read-out of the ILRF response to the 2017 TIP Report in my latest blog.

Have a wonderful holiday,

Abby McGill
Campaigns Director


About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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