Despite international effort to stop human trafficking, the U.S. State Department’s data shows a staggering reality. The report shows 27 million people live in slavery in the world’s hot spots and countries going through transition.
It’s not easy to come to terms with what the U.S. human trafficking report showed. For the most part, we don’t even pay attention to the subject, but when such big numbers are put in front of us it’s hard to simply ignore it. With the 150th anniversary of the United States’ abolition of slavery, the human trafficking report is ever more important.
“The end of legal slavery in the United States and in other countries around the world has not, unfortunately, meant the end of slavery” said U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “It is estimated as many as 27 million people around the world are victims of modern slavery” she said, “women and men, girls and boys” with “stories (that) remind us of the kind of inhumane treatment we are capable of as human beings”.
The report shows that only 33 of the 185 analyzed countries have complied with the regulations that would stop human trafficking. Meanwhile, 5 countries have been removed from the black list. Myanmar and Venezuela are now on a watch list after regulators considered they made considerable efforts to reduce and stop human trafficking.
However some states went the other way. Syria for instance is for the first time on the blacklist and experts say that would mean the end of U.S. aid. The report reads Syria isn’t complying “with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so”. Lybia, North Korea, Saudi Arabia and Algeria are also on the blacklist.
The twelfth annual U.S. human trafficking report shows there is a rise in the number of victims identified. Luis CdeBaca, Ambassador-at-Large and head of the trafficking division, said “this increased identification is a good thing – not that there are many more victims, but that we’re more successful in identifying them”.
Although there are more identified victims, government prosecutions on this type of cases have plunged over the past few years. In 2004, there were 6,885 such prosecutions, and 7 years later the number dropped to 5,694.