|Child workers among the|
Executive Director (Women’s Rights Division) of the International Human Rights Watch LaShawn Jefferson said the US State Department failed to give hard figures on the number of persons being trafficked.
The report, for the third consecutive year, “gives undue credit for minimal effort and ignores government practices, such as summary deportation and incarceration that effectively punish trafficking victims," it said.
Greece, one of the countries on the blacklist, rejected as unjustified its inclusion in it.
"The picture given in this report does not correspond to reality," a foreign ministry spokesman said.
The United States has cited 15 nations, including NATO allies Greece and Turkey, for failing to adequately fight human trafficking.
The others are: Belize, Bosnia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Georgia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, Liberia, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Suriname and Uzbekistan, the state department said in its third annual "Trafficking in Persons" report.
The countries named will be subject to cutoffs in non-humanitarian US assistance unless they take steps to improve their performance by 1 October or receive a waiver, officials said.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell said, “countries can avoid sanctions by working with us and taking prompt action to improve their policies and practices.”
The 15 blacklisted countries have been placed into three tiers. The “Tier 3” is a group of countries that is not making "significant efforts" to combat the trafficking of human beings, particularly of women and children. This is the group liable to attract US sanctions.
Nations deemed to be complying with US and international efforts to fight trafficking are placed in "Tier 1," while those making "significant efforts" are placed in "Tier 2."
Several countries in the Tier 3 category of last year, including some in the Middle East and Southeast Asia, have moved up to either Tier 1 or 2 this year.
Among these were Cambodia, Indonesia, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Russia.
Trafficking in human beings involves the exploitation of men, women and children for forced or underpaid labour. But the main driving force behind this activity is injection of women and children into prostitution.