U.S. Department of State releases 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report;
Suriname downgraded to Tier 3
PARAMARIBO— Today, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released the 16th annual trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report in a public event at the State Department in Washington, D.C. Suriname is a source, transit, and destination country for women and children subjected to sex trafficking and men, women, and children subjected to forced labor. In the 2016 report, Suriname was ranked as a Tier 3 country, indicating that Suriname does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and did not demonstrate overall increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period.
Under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), any country ranked Tier 2 Watch List for two consecutive years must be ranked Tier 3 in the third year unless it shows sufficient progress to warrant a Tier 2 or Tier 1 ranking. Suriname has been ranked Tier 2 Watch List since 2012. If the Secretary has already waived the automatic downgrade of a Tier 2 Watch List country for two consecutive years, which he did in 2014 and 2015, and the country’s anti-trafficking efforts do not warrant a Tier 1 or 2 ranking, a waiver is not statutorily available and the country must be downgraded to Tier 3. While the report recognizes that the Government of Suriname has taken positive steps in the last year, including reconvening its anti-trafficking working group and devoting more office space to the police anti-trafficking unit, the Government of Suriname did not make sufficient efforts to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking that would raise its ranking to Tier 2 or above. The full TIP Report narrative contains specific recommendations for the government to consider implementing over the coming year and can be accessed here: http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2016/index.htm
The TVPA requires the Secretary of State to submit an annual report to Congress. The goal of this report is to stimulate action and create partnerships around the world in the fight against modern slavery. The U.S. government’s approach to combating human trafficking follows the TVPA and the Palermo Protocol. The Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. It is also the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts and reflects the U.S. Government’s commitment to global leadership on this key human rights and law enforcement issue.
More information about the Department of State’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons can be found at http://www.state.gov/j/tip/.