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US Condemns Algeria and 16 Other Nations for Failing to Combat Human Trafficking

The Biden administration warned the 17 countries face potential US sanctions for failures to disrupt ongoing human trafficking organizations within their countries.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken revealed the Biden administration’s “Trafficking in Persons” report today, addressing the efforts of different countries in ending human trafficking operations around the world. During his statement, Blinken revealed the US had designated seventeen countries as “ not doing enough to combat human trafficking and warned them of potential US sanctions,” according to AP. 

Algeria has faced criticisms from numerous governments and nonprofits for its apathy towards the rampant trafficking crisis ongoing in the country. In a report from The Borgen Project, an NGO dedicated to fighting poverty, the Algerian government reportedly only dismantled 100 trafficking operations in 2019, and prosecuted even fewer cases in 2020. 

The countries that the new US government report has listed as “Tier 3” states include Algeria, Afghanistan, Burma, China, Comoros, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea, Russia, South Sudan, Syria, Turkmenistan, Venezuela, Malaysia and Guinea-Bissau. 

The US State Department introduced the tier system to “indicate how well other governments complied with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking,” according to the official state department website. US law mandates that the “United States shall not provide non humanitarian, non trade-related foreign assistance to any government of a country that is ranked on Tier 3.” 

After today’s report, the seventeen mostly authoritarian countries now face severe penalties and cessation of US aid if no action is taken by their governments to fight human trafficking operations. These states could see potential cuts in assistance from groups such as USAID, the United States’ primary agency for distributing assistance to developing countries. 

During his statement, Blinken cited statistics that assert almost 25 million people, mostly women and children, are currently victims of the trafficking crisis.

Besides the seventeen countries, Blinken also denounced six US allies: Cyprus, Israel, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal and Switzerland. These countries were criticized for “backsliding” in their anti trafficking commitments and were moved from the Tier 1 to Tier 2 categories. While there are no penalties for Tier 2 countries, failure to improve conditions before a set time period will cause an automatic downgrade to the Tier 3 category. 

Morocco, which was designated as Tier 2 in last year’s report, has actively combatted smugglers transporting vulnerable people from other parts of Africa into Europe. Although the 2021 report stated that Morocco did not yet meet minimum US standards to combat trafficking, the country was still commended for “making significant efforts to do so.” 

 

Source: Morocco World News.

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