The annual Trafficking in Persons Report ranks countries based on their governments' efforts to fight modern-day slavery.
Around the world, as many as 27 million men, women and children live in modern slavery. In its Trafficking in Persons Report for the year 2013, issued in mid-June, the Department of State analyzed conditions in 188 countries and territories, including the United States, and ranked their governments based on their efforts to fight modern-day slavery.
The Report is guided by a set of minimum standards set forth in the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of the year 2000. In a special briefing prior to the Report’s release Ambassador-at-Large to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Luis CdeBaca explained minimum standards: “Is this illegal? Is holding someone in a condition of compelled service a crime? Is the punishment for that commensurate with other serious offenses like rape, kidnapping and extortion? Are there protections for the victims?”
The countries evaluated in the Trafficking in Persons Report fall into one of three tiers. Thirty countries comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s, or TVPA, minimum standards, and therefore are classified as Tier One.
The 92 countries that fall into Tier Two “are doing a lot, but haven’t quite gotten there yet,” said Ambassador CdeBaca.
Forty-four Tier Two countries are on a watch list. A Tier 2 Watch List ranking is a warning that countries need to increase their efforts to avoid a downgrade.
Tier Three is home to the 21 countries that are taking few steps to fight human trafficking.
“The United States will continue to partner with any government working to address this challenge,” wrote Ambassador CdeBaca in his introduction to the Report. “Our successes must be measured by the number of lives restored -- the number of men, women, and children who can live without the fear of exploitation and with the freedom to choose their own futures.”