Human traffickers earn a profit of around $150 billion per annum, said an official of the US State Department on Thursday.
An estimated 25 million people are subjected to Human trafficking, the official, preferred not to be named, told the FE while highlighting the challenges of the problem.
The US government is going to publish the Trafficking in Persons Report 2022 next week, he revealed saying that this will be the 22nd time the US is releasing the report, covering 188 countries, including the United States.
The report is crucial to the countries, that performed badly in eliminating human trafficking as the US has a policy to restrict some of its assistance to those countries.
The report highlights areas of progress, promising best practices, and also gaps where we recommend the government step up its efforts.
“You'll see that countries are ranked in three separate tiers,” the official said.
The first tier is for countries that are fully meeting the minimum standards to eliminate trafficking. The second tier is for countries that are not meeting those minimum standards to eliminate trafficking, but are doing significant efforts to meet those standards.
And then countries that are not meeting the minimum standards but are also not trying to meet those minimum standards are not trying hard enough. Those are tier three countries.
Asked about the position of Bangladesh the official declined to disclose it but pointed out that in between tier- 2 and tier-3, there is a sort of watching list. We call it the tier-2 watch list. And that is for countries that have been going in the wrong direction and may be relegated to tier three.
“And that's where Bangladesh was from 2017 to 2019. And then in 2020, they graduated to tier 2, so that was a positive very positive improvement. And you'll have to wait to see next week's report to see what tier Bangladesh is in this year,” the official mentioned.
Countries that are on tier 2 watch list are in danger of being downgraded to tier 3 and that comes with some very serious ramifications. Countries in tier three have restrictions placed on the funding for non humanitarian and non trade related foreign assistance.
“So it can cut off a lot of the assistance the US can provide to a country if a country goes down to tier -3,” the official said.
“The Trafficking in Persons Report is the world's most comprehensive report on government's anti trafficking efforts, and reflects our commitment in the United States to global leadership on this human rights issue,” he said.
The US government produces the report because, in 2000, Congress passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. And that requires the Secretary of State at the Department of State to submit a report every single year to Congress on human trafficking.
The report is based off of material sent to the US embassy from foreign governments.
“So a lot of what you'll see in the report comes directly from the Government of Bangladesh. We can talk more about that in the question and answer session at the end” the official said.