The United States today included Bolivia and Burma on its “black list” of countries that do not do enough to combat human trafficking, a measure that can lead to the imposition of sanctions, and in the one that kept Venezuela, Russia, Iran, Belize and North Korea.
“Human trafficking is a global problem, but also a local problem, and human trafficking can occur in a restaurant, a hotel, on a farm, or in a neighbor’s house,” said the US Secretary of State. , Mike Pompeo, in the act of presenting his annual report on human trafficking.
In the “black list” of the report appear 22 countries, a figure similar to the 23 last year, although their members changed with the entry of Bolivia, Burma, Gabon, Laos, Papua New Guinea; and the departure from the Central African Republic, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sudan and Uzbekistan.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump
now has 90 days to decide whether to apply sanctions to the countries of the “black list”, such as the freezing of non-humanitarian and non-commercial aid or the refusal to receive loans from multilateral institutions.
Bolivia had been on an observation list for four consecutive years and, in compliance with a law against trafficking in persons in 2010, this year the State Department had to include the country in its “black list”, although it has the characteristics to follow on notice, according to the report.
However, the State Department warns that “the Government of Bolivia does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking and did not show a general increase in its efforts to do so in comparison with the previous period”.
Specifically, the United States assures that the government of Bolivian President Evo Morales “did not sufficiently finance” its national plan against human trafficking and, moreover, did not devote the necessary resources to the prosecution of those guilty of those crimes and the protection of his victims.
With regard to Burma, the State Department explained that it has decided to include the country in its “black list” due to the aggressions of the Burmese Army (Myanmar) against ronhiyá in the state of Rakáin, home of this ethnic group for centuries. from where they began to flee in August of 2017.
A State Department official, who requested anonymity, cited “the illegal recruitment of child soldiers” by the Burmese army as one of the causes that has led Washington to tighten its stance on human trafficking in Burma.
On this occasion, the presentation of the report was involved in the controversy because it includes warnings about the psychological damage that children can suffer when they are separated from their families.
In his report, the US Department of State gives advice to other countries in the world about the use of government facilities to detain children, but does not comment on the “zero tolerance” policy of the Trump government, which led to the separation of 2,300 immigrant children from their families.
Specifically, the report states that “even in the best of cases, residential institutions can not satisfy a child’s need to receive the emotional support that he or she usually receives from family members or caregivers with whom the child can develop. a link”.
The Trump government officially began in April to implement its policy of “zero tolerance”, which leads to criminally prosecute adults who arrive irregularly, which has led to the separation of families because children can not be deprived of liberty for long periods of time.
Last week Trump signed a decree to end the separation of families
although he wants to change the laws to be able to detain minors for extended periods of time.In the presentation of the report was the daughter and adviser of the president, Ivanka Trump, who has identified as one of her priorities the fight against human trafficking.
During the ceremony, Ivanka and Pompeo paid tribute to ten individuals, including the Salvadoran Yanira Violeta Olivares Pineda, leader of the unit specializing in human trafficking in El Salvador and to which the United States. described as “a figure without fear” in the fight against this scourge. EFE