Wednesday, June 5, Colin Powell released the second annual report on human trafficking in persons that put the annual number of victims between 700,000 and 4 million persons. According to the report, the United States, which was not barred from scrutiny, trafficked 50,000 persons between April 2001 and March 2002. The report, which is issued annually, was prepared in response to legislation approved in October 2000 to highlight the problem of persons being taken across international borders to work in sweatshops and brothels.
This year's report examined 89 countries and categorized them in three different tiers. Nineteen countries have been placed in the unacceptable "Tier 3" category. These countries include Bahrain, Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Afghanistan, Armenia, Belarus, Bosnia, Cambodia, Greece, Indonesia, Kyrgyz Republic, Lebanon, Myanmar, Russia, Sudan, Tajikistan, and Turkey. Another 52 countries have been listed in the "Tier 2" category, which means they are "not meeting the minimum standards," but making "significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance." Eighteen "Tier 1" countries are described as complying fully with the standards. Countries with less than 100 cases involving transit or destination of trafficking victims were excluded from the report, and other countries were excluded due to lack of information. For more information regarding this story, viewers may access the first three news links listed above. The fourth link is a copy of the hearing on the implementation of the trafficking victim's protection act held before the House Committee on International Relations. Finally, links five and six are copies of Secretary Colin Powell's and Ambassador Nancy Ely-Raphel's remarks, respectively, concerning the release of the 2002 report at the special briefing held in Washington, DC.