U.S. State Department releases 2016 Trafficking Report

The 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report has been released by the U.S. State Department, and is available online. The TIP Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It provides a snapshot into the ways that 190 governments are fulfilling their obligations to combat this crime. Further, it helps us to gain insight and find more effective ways to stop it. Information from these reports is critical in our work with companies. By identifying regions where human trafficking is pervasive, corporations can help to prevent it by taking such steps as focusing supply chain audits, evaluating alternative product sources, conducting key training programs, and developing partnerships with labor ministries and social service agencies.

Countries are placed in Tiers 1 through 3 based on their anti-trafficking efforts, with Tier 3 reserved for the worst human trafficking offenders — countries making no significant effort to meet minimum U.S. standards. That list includes Burma, Haiti, Iran, North Korea, South Sudan, Syria and Venezuela. In a controversial move, Thailand moved from Tier 3 up to the “Tier 2 Watch List” for countries that do not meet the minimum U.S. standards for the elimination of trafficking, but are making significant efforts to do so.

We will be sharing and discussing the report with companies in our portfolio, including Target and Thai Union: human trafficking in the seafood supply chain; Campbell Soup: human trafficking in the palm oil sector; Macy’s: child labor in the apparel sector; and Wyndham and United: child sexual exploitation in the tourism sector.