This year’s report “serves as a call to action for governments around the world to embrace the full meaning of the Palermo Protocol and implement their domestic laws in a manner that protects all victims and punishes all traffickers.” The Palermo Protocol defines human trafficking by its three elements—a trafficker’s action taken through the means of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of exploitation. Understanding it as such leaves little room for interpretation based on the incidental attributes of the victim or the trafficker, such as gender, age, nationality, legal status, or occupation, or on other circumstances surrounding the crime, such as movement or connection to organized crime.
Cambodia, Afghanistan, and Vietnam are all in the Tier 2 Watch List category according to the 2019 report. The Tier 2 Watch List signifies:
- Countries whose governments do not fully meet the TVPA’s minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring
themselves into compliance with those standards, and for which:
- the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing;
- there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the
previous year, including increased investigations, prosecution, and convictions of trafficking crimes, increased assistance
to victims, and decreasing evidence of complicity in severe forms of trafficking by government officials; or
- the determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring itself into compliance with minimum standards
was based on commitments by the country to take additional steps over the next year.
“We strongly believe that the work we do as survivors matters. Our work on the Council is grounded in hope and integrity and a shared mission that meaningfully calls upon each of its members and the agencies with which we collaborate.”
-Tanya Street, Survivor Advocate and Member of the U.S. Advisory Council on Human Trafficking
Each country highlighted in this year’s TIP report has a human face. We see these faces, we hear their stories, and we are committed to their healing and freedom. We want to walk alongside them for the whole journey. To read the TIP report in full, click here.