The United States government maintained on Thursday Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and China on its “blacklist” of countries that “are not doing enough to fight human trafficking,” and warned of problems in countries like Israel and Saudi Arabia , according to the new State Department report.
“This crime is an affront to human rights and human dignity,” said Antony Blinken, Secretary of State, during the presentation of the annual report.
Blinken also claimed that human trafficking has “a disproportionate burden” on those “oppressed by other injustices” in developing countries and warned that the pandemic has “exacerbated” problems among the most vulnerable.
The list, out of a total of 17 countries, is completed by: Afghanistan, Algeria, Myanmar, Comoros, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, North Korea, Malaysia, Russia, South Sudan, Syria and Turkmenistan.
– State Department (@StateDept) July 1, 2021
Being on the “blacklist” on human trafficking may result in the imposition of sanctions such as the freezing of non-humanitarian and non-commercial aid to sanctioned countries or the exclusion of loans from institutions, such as the Fund. International Monetary Affairs (IMF) if US President Joe Biden so decides.
Regarding Cuba, the report underlined the “tendency of the government to take advantage of labor export programs with strong indications of forced labor, in particular its medical missions program.”
This is an argument raised by Washington since the previous administration of Donald Trump, which has been refuted several times by Havana, which defends the “humanist and united” value of its collaborations in health, and assures that such accusations of the part of the United States is part of a “campaign of discredit and lies” against the island’s medical cooperation.
Cuba, which sent dozens of health brigades to around 40 countries during the COVID-19 pandemic, claims to maintain a policy of “zero tolerance” with human trafficking and to fight it both on its territory and in Cuba. international, cooperating with organizations such as Interpol and the United Nations, such as ratified this week by its representative at the Human Rights Council, in Geneva, Switzerland.
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Regarding Nicaragua, the State Department stressed that the Nicaraguan government “continues to downplay the seriousness of human trafficking in the country despite civil society reports indicating an increase in the number of victims in 2020” .
In the case of Venezuela, he warned that the “authorities provide a support and a permissive environment for non-state armed groups,” including illegal Colombian organizations “recruiting and using child soldiers for armed conflict and sex trafficking while ‘they operate in Venezuelan territory with impunity. “
As for China, the US State Department has highlighted Beijing’s “heinous” actions against Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in the western province of Xinjiang, where, according to the report, nearly a million people are subject to forced labor.
Cuba: State Department report on human trafficking illegitimate
The State Department report also points to problems in countries seen as traditional allies of the United States.
For example, Israel, where, according to the report, the authorities’ efforts to combat trafficking in human beings “are neither serious nor supported”; or Saudi Arabia, which it says does not meet “minimum standards of protection” for foreign workers, many of whom are victims of this crime.
The State Department estimates that approximately 25 million people worldwide suffer under the yoke of this scourge.
EFE / ONCUBA