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US adds Saudi Arabia to human trafficking blacklist

Human trafficking [File photo]

The United States yesterday added Saudi Arabia to a blacklist of countries that do not play a sufficient role in fighting human trafficking.

According to the US’ annual report on human trafficking, Saudi Arabia has failed to prevent large scale violations committed against its foreign labour force, Lebanese newspaper the Daily Star reported.

The US also accused Cuba of human trafficking under the guise of a program to send doctors abroad, pointing out that similar action has been taken against 22 countries.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, said of the countries named in the report: “If you don’t stand up to trafficking, America will stand up to you.”

Countries that remained at Tier 3 – the lowest classification according to the report – included China, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela. A Tier 3 designation means that the US can restrict financial assistance or withdraw support for that country in global institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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