July 07, 2018
Last week, the U.S. Department of State released its Trafficking in Persons Report for 2018. The full, 486-page report can be found here. The annual report contains assessments on global progress fighting human trafficking. First published in 2011, the report offers one of the more systematic global views of trafficking in persons as well as the charting of progress from year to year.
In the report, countries are evaluated into three tiers. Tier 1 consists of “countries whose governments fully meet the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards.” Below Tier 1, Tier 2 contains countries that may not meet the TPVA standards, “but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.” A “Tier 2 Watch List” consists of countries that are similar to Tier 2, but have other issues, such as an increasing number of trafficking cases or a lack of improvement on previously-implemented anti-trafficking efforts. Tier 3 countries are those “whose governments do not fully meet the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.”
We know that the garment industry, from the cotton field to the factory, is one of the top industries plagued by human trafficking. The Atlantic even declared “All your clothes are made with exploited labor.”
The cotton campaign has developed statements for both Uzbekistan which was upgraded to tier 2 http://www.cottoncampaign.org/us-decision-fails-forced-labor-victims-in-uzbekistan.htmland Turkmenistan which remains at tier 3 http://www.cottoncampaign.org/turkmenistan-remains-in-the-lowest-possible-ranking-in-the-annual-tip-report.html. Catholic News Agency covered the report here, noting that trafficking remains a problem in the U.S.