Human Trafficking: China and Russia Attack U.S. Report

Mike O'Brien

China and Russia have slammed a U.S. State Department report that said both countries among the world's worst in fighting sex trafficking and forced labor.

In its annual report on human trafficking, the U.S. government gave Beijing and Moscow its lowest possible rating, putting them at the same level as North Korea and Iran.

The report said about one million people work under "exploitative" labor conditions characteristic of trafficking cases in Russia.

Those conditions include non-payment for services, physical abuse and very poor living conditions.

It added that China was a "source, transit and destination country" for men, women and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking.

A spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry on Thursday described the report "arbitrary," saying Washington should take an "objective and impartial" view of its efforts to fight human trafficking, Voice of America reports.

It also said the Chinese government’s one-child policy has resulted in a ratio of 118 boys to 100 girls, which has led to a demand for the trafficking of foreign women as brides and for forced prostitution.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said America was just ranking countries according to their degree of sympathy with Washington. It threatened to retaliate against any sanctions that could come from the report’s designation.

Uzbekistan was downgraded to the worst level, known as Tier Three, because of what the report said is its state-sanctioned use of forced labor in its annual cotton harvest.

The other countries in Tier Three are Iran, North Korea, Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe.

In the report, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. has a moral obligation to meet the challenge of ending human trafficking. He said trafficking was an assault on freedom and basic human dignity.

President Barack Obama will determine by September what sanctions if any to take against the offending countries.

There will be a Human Trafficking Workshop at IDGA’s Counter Narco-Terrorism and Drug Interdiction summit in September. For more details go to