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US removes India from human trafficking ‘Watch List’

Washington: After a gap of six years, the United States has taken India off the human trafficking ‘Watch List’ for making significant efforts in combating the menace.

In its annual Trafficking in Persons report, the State Department has upgraded India to Tier 2 countries after keeping it on a ‘Watch List’ for six years. The Watch List is for those countries where the number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing and there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat it.

Tier 2 is for those countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) but are making significant efforts in this regard. “The Government of India does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so,” the State Department said in its report justifying its decision to upgrade India’s position.

The report analysed conditions in 184 countries and ranked them in terms of their effectiveness in fighting the human trafficking. It has identified 23 nations as failing to meet minimum international standards to curb the scourge, which claims mainly women and children as victims. That’s up from 13 in 2010. Another 41 countries were placed on the “watch list” that could lead to sanctions unless their records improve.

“All countries can and must do more,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said while releasing the report. “More human beings are being exploited today than ever before.”

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