By Mr. Sentinel
The United States has revealed that 13 African countries are among the 23 worst offenders for human trafficking.
In its 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report that was released on Tuesday, Uncle Sam clustered countries in three tiers with the worst being Tier 3 nations whose governments are yet to meet the minimum standards contained in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and have shown no significant attempt to do so.
Going by the list, Burundi, Central African Republic, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, South Sudan, and Sudan are all grouped together with China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia as the worst human trafficking offenders in the world.
The countries listed in Tier 2 as making significant efforts to comply with the standards but are yet to fully meet the minimum include Angola, Botswana, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Morocco, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, and Uganda.
Two African women, Cameroonian Vanaja Jasphine and Amina Oufroukhi from Morocco, were honored alongside six other heroes the U.S. Department of State said have dedicated their lives to the fight against human trafficking.
“As we honour these heroes, we remember that everyone – everyone – has a role to play. Governments, NGOs, the private sector, survivors, and, most of all, the American people all must continue to work together to make human trafficking end in the 21st century,” said U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during the release of the report.
Jasphine, who is the coordinator of the Kumbo Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace in the Northwest Region of Cameroon, facilitated reintegration assistance to survivors and offered legal assistance to victims after initiating numerous trafficking-related court proceedings. As for Oufroukhi, who is a judge with the Moroccan Ministry of Justice’s Directorate of Criminal Affairs and Pardons, she was at the forefront in establishing special protection units in Moroccan courts for women and juveniles before drafting new legal procedures that would see these protections extended to all trafficking victims.