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Rubio: State Department’s Human Trafficking Report Should Be Based On Reality Not Politics

Jul 27, 2015 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy and Human Rights, issued the following statement regarding today’s release of the U.S. State Department’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report:
“Human trafficking is a significant human rights problem around the world. The United States has a moral responsibility to advocate for victims, highlight the world’s worst violators, encourage reform and commend those who are on the right path to combating this modern day slavery.
“The Annual Trafficking in Persons Report has been the gold standard for evaluating governments’ efforts to combat trafficking. It is important that this report be a true reflection of the trafficking situation on the ground and that a country’s rating not be determined by political considerations but by the country’s record on this issue. For example, I find it difficult to believe that Cuba has been elevated this year from Tier 3 to Tier 2 Watch List solely based on the Cuban regime’s record.
“A major problem that I’ve highlighted to the State Department is human trafficking committed by foreign diplomats. Naming and shaming these violators is critical, as the participation of high ranking government officials in such cruel and inhumane behavior must not go unpunished. Turning a blind eye sends the wrong message to those countries and the world. Trafficking victims and those at risk of being trafficked in the future deserve better.
“While today’s report highlights human trafficking problems around the world, we must take to heart the recommendations to improve our own efforts to end this form of modern day slavery right here in the U.S. We also cannot ignore the human trafficking tragedy that takes place right in our backyards, including in my home state of Florida.”