The Trafficking in Persons Report is the United States government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking.  Although other trafficking reports exist around the world, the TIP Report is considered the most comprehensive resources of governmental anti-trafficking efforts.  Annually, the TIP Report “ranks” each country’s efforts to comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.  Tier 1 indicates that a government fully meets the TVPA’s standards, which the U.S. achieved for the 2020 TIP Report.  However, several civil society organizations expressed concern that the United States ranked itself Tier 1 again even while acknowledging in the report that protection efforts decreased, and that there was a “continued lack of sustained effort to address labor trafficking, increased obstacles for foreign nationals to secure victim protections, and a systemic inability to prevent traffickers from using employment-based and other non-immigrant visa programs.”  Of particular note, research was done in the U.S. of the intersection of foster care and human trafficking and also of prison labor.  It is a definite step in the right direction that the U.S. narrative in this report acknowledged that children in foster care are vulnerable to trafficking and that the Department of Health and Human Services has dedicated resources to finding children missing from foster care and providing services to children in foster care who are survivors, or at risk of becoming sex trafficking victims.  However, the U.S. narrative did not acknowledge forced labor in the U.S. prison system, even though the issue was included in detailed statements to the State Department earlier this year.  I have included the full report here, and the U.S. narrative begins on page 522.  2020 Trafficking in Persons Report – United States  June, 2020

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