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AKIPRESS.COM - In a new report, the U.S. State Department says Belarus, Iran, Russia, and Turkmenistan remain among the worst offenders of human trafficking and forced labor, RFE/RL reported.
The department’s annual Trafficking In Persons report, which is aimed at curbing human trafficking, was unveiled in a ceremony in Washington on June 28 by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump.
It evaluates 187 countries and territories and ranks them into four tiers (Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2 Watch List, and Tier 3), with Tier 1 being the best and Tier 3 the worst.
Russia, Belarus, Iran, and Turkmenistan were among 22 countries ranked as Tier 3. Others included Burma (also known as Myanmar), China, North Korea, Syria, and Venezuela.
The report said Turkmenistan, which remained on the Tier 3 list for the third consecutive year, continued to use “the forced labor of reportedly tens of thousands of its adult citizens in the annual cotton harvest and in preparation for the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games” that the country hosted in September 2017.