The US trafficking in person report
The letter by the Minister of Human Services and Social Security, “The govt. has always said there is no evidence to prove claims that there are large numbers of TIP victims”, (SN June 28, 2010) states, “Guyana does not have trafficking on the scale that should attract the attention of the United States….” She cites Section 110(3) of the TVPA to determine what she calls the “scale of the problem”.
The Minister is the lawyer in this exchange but I will like to draw her attention to Section 108 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (Public Law 106-386) which the “Minimum Standards for the Elimination of Trafficking’ in subsection (a) refers to a significant number of victims” as a criteria to include a country in the TIP classification, but this reference was struck out by the 2008 amendment titled the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victim Protection Reauthorisation Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-457). Sec 106 (1) states “Section 108 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2002…is amended — (1) in subsection (a), by striking “a significant number of ….”
Before 2009 the 2000 Act was interpreted by the US State Department as meaning at least 100 cases of trafficking, but since the 2008 amendment this has been lowered (less than the 100) to identify TIP countries.
Also, Section 107(a) (D)(i) of 2008 Act amends Section 110(b) (3) of the 2000 Act as follows, “A country that is included on the special watch list described in subparagraph (A) for two consecutive years…shall be included on the list of countries described in paragraph (1)(C).”
That is, they will be placed on Tier 3 and subject to sanctions including termination of non humanitarian, non-trade related assistance and loss of US support for loans from international institutions. To avoid these sanctions, these countries have 90 days to improve their performance from the date of publication of the Report or if they are granted a waiver.
Guyana has been placed on the Tier 2 Watch List two consecutive years, in 2009 and 2010, and therefore can be sanctioned.
Finally, I agree with the overall objection that the methodology used by the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons in the State Department to determine who is a victim leaves much to be desired. But I am certain the State Department cares little for my opinion or any other person’s characterization of the 2010 TIP Report or the United States government.