Malaysia, Cuba taken off US human trafficking blacklist: Report
July 27, Washington: US State Department report rates 188 countries on their efforts to stamp out human trafficking.
Secretary of State John Kerry formally launched the annual U.S. assessment of how 188 governments around the World have performed in fighting the flesh trade and other forms of exploitative labor.
Malaysia and Cuba are off its blacklist of countries failing to combat modern-day slavery while Thailand remains on the list of worst-performing countries. Both are part of people-smuggling route for Rohingya Muslims fleeing persecution in Myanmar.
The report raises Malaysia to the Tier 2 Watch List from Tier 3, where it fell last year, after two consecutive years of failing to do enough to address the issue.
The fall was an automatic downgrade, in compliance with rules introduced by the State Department in 2013 that dictate a country has to move up or down after two years on the Tier 2 Watch List.
Thailand was also demoted for the same reason, but this year remains on Tier 3, an apparent discrepancy likely to anger activists who were pushing for both countries to remain on the blacklist.
Globally, more than 20 million people are believed to be affected in industries such as mining, construction, the sex trade, and domestic service.
The Oslo Times