Eight EU nations 'could do more to stop human trafficking'

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Eight EU nations 'could do more to stop human trafficking'

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Eight EU countries have been told by the United States that they could do much more to combat human trafficking.

In the US State Department’s annual report on the issue, it ranks those countries as Tier 2 on a three-tier system to assess how they stand up to American anti-trafficking norms. Listed as Tier 2 on the list are Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Greece and Romania. This means that the US believes they do not comply with its own minimum standards on preventing trafficking but are making “significant efforts” to do so.

Non-EU Switzerland is also listed as Tier 2.

EU island nations Malta and Cyprus as well as Estonia appear on a Tier 2 ‘Watch List’ along with – among others – Russia, Afghanistan and Belarus. The Watch List signifies that they do not comply with US norms and while they are making significant efforts to do so, there is little or no evidence that these efforts are proving effective.

The report recommends that both Cyprus and Malta punish human trafficking offenders more harshly. In the case of Malta it suggests, among other measures, that it should do more to identify victims and that it should punish them less.

Twenty three countries are listed as Tier 3, compared to 13 last year. Tier 3 regroups those countries that the US believes do not comply with its standards and are doing nothing significant to change that fact. Those countries include Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Iran and Lebanon.

The report lists six countries that the US says are violating laws forbidding the use of child soldiers. They are Myanmar, Chad, DR Congo, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen.

Read the full report here