On July 1, 2021, the U.S. Department of State released the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report (TIP) that documents the global effort towards combating human trafficking.
In the Report’s opening remarks, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that
“Through this Report, we call on governments to join the United States in improving our collective efforts to address human trafficking comprehensively. Doing so requires us to mitigate harmful practices and policies that cause socioeconomic or political vulnerabilities that traffickers often prey on.”
Summarizing Key Points
The TIP is an annual 600-page report broken up into several parts. The Report starts by addressing human trafficking in the context of the Covid-19 Pandemic; next, it addresses human trafficking in a broader view and the Report’s methodology. The Report dives into the data into categories, the global law enforcement data, and the country tier placement regional map. TIP also features preventive efforts and strategies.
Among the notable features of the Report is the country tier placements and regional maps. The three-level tier list includes countries based on their efforts to combat human trafficking. Higher ranked countries indicate that a country is not meeting the standards to eliminate trafficking. Among the higher ranked or Tier 3 countries are Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Iran, Malaysia, Russia, South Sudan, Syria, and Venezuela. The countries in Tier 2 watch list are Guinea, Chad, Ireland, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam, and Zambia. Tier 2 includes the majority of the Middle Eastern and South American countries and some countries in Asia. Tier 1 consists of the United States of American, and majority of European countries, and a mix of countries across the globe.
Country tiers are accompanied by detailed country narratives that provide a breakdown of their efforts and explain and justify their tier placement.
Analysis and implications
While the Report provides useful data, analysis, and information, it undoubtedly has its shortfalls. Namely, the tier breaks down more likely than not had some political influence when it comes to the placements. Politics cannot divorce itself from bringing an objective report. Though the Report could have some politics intermingled with it, it provides a useful tool for addressing human trafficking.
The Report also failed to address and prioritize the ever-increasing issue of online sex trafficking dominating the internet ever since its creation. While the Report provides a brief paragraph on online sex trafficking, it fails to provide a comprehensive section solely for this issue. The Report does mention it in its country narrative parts but does not go far enough to provide more details.
The July issue of the IELR will have a more comprehensive discussion of this topic