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2010 Human Trafficking report reveals how immigration policies impede anti-trafficking progress

LatinaLista — This week the State Dept. released the The 2010 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.

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The release of the report also marks the 10th anniversary of the fight against the 21st Century version of slavery.

In 2000, the United States enacted the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), and the United Nations adopted the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, also known as the Palermo Protocol.

For the first time, the report includes how the United States ranks with the other countries of the world in complying with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards.

The United States ranks in the first Tier or Tier 1 which means the U.S. complies with the minimum standards and is working to improve.

On the other hand, Cuba is ranked in Tier 3 — “Countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.”

An interesting point made in the report is how immigration policies actually impede progress in combating human trafficking.

The use of this approach in detaining and deporting trafficking victims is most often the outgrowth of immigration policies or archaic laws that have yet to fully appreciate the phenomenon of modern slavery.

The report’s authors point out that governments too quick to deport usually deprive the victims of needed psychological counseling and the opportunity to challenge their assailants in court.

With personal stories, recommended solutions, facts and information on how to define and identify victims of human trafficking, the report covers the globe to highlight the different forms of human trafficking that takes an emotional, psychological and physical toll on its victims.

“More people are trafficked for forced labor than for commercial sex. The crime is less often about the flat-out duping and kidnapping of naïve victims than it is about the coercion and exploitation of people who initially entered a particular form of service voluntarily or migrated willingly.

Trafficking can occur without movement across borders or domestically, but many countries and commentators still assume some movement is required. Men comprise a significant number of trafficking victims. And traffickers often use sexual violence as a weapon against women to keep them in compelled service, whether in a field, a factory, a brothel, a home, or a war zone.” — The 2010 Trafficking in Persons Report

For further reading, check out Latina Lista’s Puerto Rican contributor, Natalia Bonilla-Berrios’ post entitled Human trafficking not recognized as a crime on island

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