2017 Trafficking in Persons Report Released

By Sara Nadelman

On June 27th, 2017, the United States Department of State (DOS) released their 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report. Since 2001, the DOS has been giving countries around the world a report card of sorts tied to each country’s anti-trafficking efforts. 

The DOS has developed a 4-tier system that rates countries on their adherence to the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. A Tier 1 country is one that fully complies with the TVPA’s minimum standards. Tier 2 and Tier 2 Watch List are countries that are not compliant with the TVPA, but are making some efforts to improve. The Tier 3 countries are TVPA non-compliant and are not making significant efforts to improve and there could be significant impact on the funding from the U.S. to these countries. In addition to the tiers, there is a “Special Case” designation, where certain countries require special attention in regards to trafficking and other complicating factors.

  • Thirty six countries, including the U.S., are in Tier 1
  • Eighty countries are listed as Tier 2
  • Forty eight countries are Tier 2 Watch List
  • Twenty four countries are in Tier 3
  • Three countries are Special Cases:  Libya, Somalia and Yemen

In addition to the country rankings, the report also highlights stories of human trafficking around the world, issues that need to be addressed more fully (ex. trafficking of men and boys, child soldiers) and descriptions of the various forms of human trafficking.

While the authors of the report consider it a diplomatic tool, there has been strong criticism about the ranking methodology  and politicization of the rankings themselves (i.e., U.S. political allies receive better ratings and their failings are overlooked). 

So what does this mean for Colorado’s anti-trafficking movement? Trafficking is a global problem, but it also happens here, in Colorado, in every county across the state. Creative methods to combat trafficking worldwide are being developed and tested. We are lucky to live in a state with strong cross-jurisdiction, cross-discipline anti-trafficking groups and advocates where new and novel approaches are the norm.  

About the Author:
Sara Nadelman is the Colorado Department of Human Services new Human Trafficking Specialist tasked with supporting county departments of human services in ensuring federal and state law and rule compliance around juvenile sex trafficking and providing technical assistance in this area. 

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