5 Jul 2014

Marshalls face human trafficking sanctions

3:04 pm on 5 July 2014

The Marshall Islands could face economic sanctions by the United States after being placed on a human trafficking watchlist for the second year in a row.

The US State Department has the Marshalls' on a Tier 2 Watch List, a designation that indicates the need for improved preventative action on trafficking.

The Marshall Islands president, Christopher Loeak has previously said that human trafficking does exist in the Marshall Islands and that efforts were being made to address it.

But the State Department report says the country has not increased efforts to protect victims and has provided no evidence that its 2011 anti-trafficking legislation is being implemented.

It says little effort has been put into identifying victims such as people being forced to work on foreign fishing vessels or women being forced into prostitution.

It also suggested that government officials were complicit in human trafficking, but provided no specific details

However, the Marshall Islands Foreign Minister, Tony deBrum, has completely dismissed the report.

The report can be found here: http://www.state.gov/j/tip/rls/tiprpt/2014/index.htm