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China, Russia demoted to bottom tier in terms of human trafficking

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
June 21st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Both Russia and China have been placed on the third, lowest tier along with 19 other nations in terms of human trafficking, considered by many as 21st Century slavery. It marked the firs time the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, established in 2001, China was relegated Wednesday to its lowest ranking for compliance with efforts to eliminate the practice sometimes dubbed "modern-day slavery."

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Both Russia and China have been called down for failing to act sufficiently against a scourge that affects an estimated 27 million people around the world.

Releasing its annual Trafficking in Persons, or TIP Report, the State Department's Office To Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons cited several reasons for China's and Russia's downgrading.

The report identified China as a source, transit and destination country for people subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking. A key factor there is the demand for foreign women as brides for men in a country where there are fewer women than men. China's sex ratio has been artificially skewed by the government-enforced "one-child" system, alongside a cultural preference for baby boys.

The Chinese government was found to have perpetuated human trafficking in at least 320 state-run institutions, compared to just seven institutions where victims were helped.

"China remains a significant source of girls and women subjected to forced prostitution throughout the world," the report reads. "During the year, Chinese sex trafficking victims were reported on all of the inhabited continents."

"We come across Chinese victims here in the United States, and our embassies actually come across Chinese victims in countries around the world," Luis CdeBaca, the ambassador-at-large who heads the State Department office says. "And we have gone out of our way to help them, to make sure that they are safe, make sure that they have a voice in the process."

The report also found Russia to be a source, transit and destination country for forced labor and sex trafficking. It's estimated that one million people in Russia were exposed to exploitative practices characteristic of trafficking, "such as withholding of documents, nonpayment for services, physical abuse, or extremely poor living conditions."

Russian women and children were reported to be subjected to sex trafficking in Russia and abroad, while foreigners were also forced into prostitution in Russia.

The 21 tier three countries in the 2013 TIP report are Algeria, the Central African Republic, China, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, North Korea, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe.

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