U.S. Department of State Releases 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report

U.S. Department of State Releases 2018 Trafficking in Persons Report

This week, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) released the 2018 Trafficking in Persons (TiP) Report, providing companies and stakeholders with insight into country-specific challenges associated with human trafficking and slavery.

According to the State Department, the annual TiP report is “the world’s most comprehensive resource of governmental anti-human trafficking efforts.”

The report includes a profile for 187 countries and territories, each containing an overview of human trafficking risk areas specific to the country, and how susceptible nationals are to being trafficked abroad.

For companies assessing modern slavery risk, the report allows them to identify and deploy mitigative action to the most vulnerable segments of their supply chain.

Learn more about how to combat human trafficking and slavery in our eBook: Human Trafficking, Slavery & Your Supply Chain

The DOS publication sorts countries and territories into four tiers. Rather than rank the severity of the problem, each tier reflects government efforts to meet the minimum standards for preventing and prosecuting trafficking, and protecting victims. As such, even a Tier 1 ranking does not indicate the country has no human trafficking problem; on the contrary, the report asserts that every nation on the planet is vulnerable to modern slavery.

Every year, the report upgrades and downgrades some countries based on their progress. The 2018 publication includes 29 upgrades and 20 downgrades. Notable changes include the downgrade of Armenia and Ireland from Tier 1 (countries that are meeting the minimum standards) to Tier 2 (countries that have not met the minimum standards but are making significant efforts to do so). St. Maarten also moved from Tier 1 to Special Case, due to massive devastation from Hurricane Irma and its impact on the government’s ability to report on efforts.

Other notable details include:

  • Argentina, Aruba, Bahrain, Cyprus, Estonia and Japan joining Tier 1 due to key achievements.
  • Bolivia, Burma, Gabon, Laos and Papua New Guinea dropping to Tier 3, which “could elicit sanctions from the US and restrictions on international aid.”
  • Mixed progress in Asia.
  • Positive regional movements, such as 14 African countries receiving upgrades.

While the report shows the importance of the fight against human trafficking to the U.S. government, it also exposes the immense task that remains.

Download the Corporate Social Responsibility Platform Guide to find out how Assent can help your company take a broad approach to due diligence.

The Assent Human Rights Module

Assent’s Human Rights Module works in synergy with the TiP report as companies identify and mitigate risk associated with the entities they do business with. The module integrates with the Slavery & Trafficking Risk Template (STRT), an industry-standard tool that helps companies survey their supply chains for risk. It supports compliance with key legislation such as the U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulation, the California Transparency in Supply Chains Act, the UK Modern Slavery Act, the French Corporate Duty of Vigilance law, and more. The STRT draws from the TiP rankings, and will be updated to reflect changes from the 2018 report.

For more information on identifying, assessing and mitigating risk of trafficking and slavery in your supply chain, get in touch with our human rights subject matter and regulatory experts at info@assentcompliance.com.