2013_TIPReport_cover_150_1The United States Department of State just released its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report for 2013. This has a bit of political influence, but I think its teeth are growing dull after years of hedging on certain countries.

Even so, this year China actually got bumped down to tier 3 from its seemingly solid rank of tier 2 watch list for too many years. Russia and Uzbekistan also got the boot down to tier 3. It remains to be seen if the mandated sanctions that accompany the ranking actually get implemented.

Thailand, although according to the “rules” should also have moved down to tier 3, maintained the tier 2 watch list because “the government has a plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking…” The key word is “IF”. I have posted more locally relevant evidence (such as this report on the Thai fishing industry) regarding trafficking in Thailand on the Facebook page. Thailand hasn’t even signed on to the United Nations Trafficking in Persons Protocol.

The USA, of course, rates itself as tier 1, but the government could of course do much more. You may be surprised to see where other countries rank. Switzerland, for example is only tier 2.

The TIP Report has other general information about TIP which you may find helpful. Do keep in mind that rankings continue to be politically influenced. Furthermore, the focus and rankings are heavily influenced by the law enforcement/prosecution approach to addressing human trafficking preferred by the US government.