China among worst countries in US human trafficking report

Taipei [Taiwan], July 4 (ANI): China among worst countries in human trafficking following its increasing repression of Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang and Tibet and forced labour, revealed the latest US report.

Taiwan News reported that the US Department of State has released its 2021 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report on Thursday (July 1), revealing a worrying overview of global human trafficking.

Countries are placed into three tiers in the TIP report. Apart from China, Russia and Malaysia are among those categorized in Tier 3, with state-sponsored trafficking or failure to hold traffickers accountable.

China’s actions in Xinjiang and Tibet and forced labour in countries hosting Belt and Road Initiatives (BRI) put it in Tier 3 for the fifth consecutive year.

The TIP report further stated that China has used surveillance technologies and trumped-up criminal charges to abduct and detain more than one million Muslims, including Uyghurs, ethnic Hui, ethnic Kazakhs, and more, in up to 1,200 state-run internment camps.

In addition, more than 500,000 rural Tibetans were reportedly placed in military-style vocational training. These Tibetans often have little ability to refuse participation and are subject to forced labour in factories.

Beyond its border, numerous Chinese workers are employed in large-scale BRI projects in mining, transportation, or manufacturing in African and Latin American countries. Here they face poor working conditions, debt bondage, and denial of access to urgent medical care.

The TIP report sheds light on other human trafficking crises, including a 2018 survey showing one-third of Indonesian workers in Hong Kong were asked to sign debt agreements as part of their employment. Also, traffickers in Malaysia use corrupt recruitment practices to lure Rohingya women and girls out of refugee camps in Bangladesh to Malaysia, where they are coerced into prostitution.

Taiwan was placed in Tier 1 in the TIP report. It said insufficient staffing and inspection still hinder efforts to eradicate forced labour on fishing vessels.

China has been rebuked globally for cracking down on Uyghur Muslims by sending them to mass detention camps, interfering in their religious activities and sending members of the community to undergo some form of forcible re-education or indoctrination.

Beijing, on the other hand, has vehemently denied that it is engaged in human rights abuses against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang while reports from journalists, NGOs and former detainees have surfaced, highlighting the Chinese Communist Party’s brutal crackdown on the ethnic community.

Early this year, the United States become the first country in the world to declare the Chinese actions in Xinjiang as “genocide”. In February, both the Canadian and Dutch parliaments adopted motions recognising the Uyghur crisis as genocide. The latter became the first parliament in Europe to do so.

In April, the United Kingdom also declared China’s ongoing crackdown in Xinjiang a “genocide”. (ANI)