The report highlights many countries where human trafficking in the fishing industry is evident. As one example, the report cites two boys in Ghana: Emmanuel and Isaac’s mother struggled to care for them and keep them safe. When she could no longer afford to feed her boys, she sold them to a man who put them to work on a fishing boat. This man was abusive, often hitting Emmanuel and Isaac with the boat paddle. Emmanuel and Isaac would often split one meal a day between them. The brothers were able to escape when their trafficker heard authorities were arresting people who had children working on the boats. Emmanuel and Isaac now live with a neighbor who sends them to school.
The report is the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking. The Department of State places each country onto one of three tiers based on the extent of their governments’ efforts to comply with the “minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking” found in Section 108 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. While Tier 1 is the highest ranking, it does not mean that a country has no human trafficking problem. On the contrary, a Tier 1 ranking indicates that a government has acknowledged the existence of human trafficking, made efforts to address the problem and complies with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards. Each year, governments need to demonstrate appreciable progress in combating trafficking to maintain a Tier 1 ranking.
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