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US says Thailand, Malaysia, Venezuela among worst centres for human trafficking

Published on Jun 20, 2014 9:13 PM
 
Rohingya people from Myanmar, who were rescued from human traffickers, react from inside a communal cell at Songkhla Immigration Detention Centre (IDC) where they are kept near Thailand's border with Malaysia on Feb 13, 2014. The United States State Department downgraded Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela on Friday, June 20, 2014, to its list of the world's worst centres of human trafficking, opening up the countries to possible sanctions and dumping them in the same category as North Korea and Syria. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States State Department downgraded Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela on Friday to its list of the world's worst centres of human trafficking, opening up the countries to possible sanctions and dumping them in the same category as North Korea and Syria.

The three countries were all downgraded to the lowest "Tier 3" status in the US State Department's 2014 Trafficking in Persons Report as they did not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

Thai officials repeatedly expressed confidence their country would be upgraded, submitting a 78-page report to the US government in April to make its case.

The downgrades could cause some multinational companies to reconsider investments in industries accused of using trafficked labour such as fisheries, a lucrative business in Thailand, the world's largest exporter of shrimp.

 
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