Originally posted by Zach Carter on July 8, 2015 for HuffingtonPost.com—
“The Obama administration will remove Malaysia from its official list of the world’s worst human trafficking offenders, according to Reuters, a move human rights advocates fear will damage U.S. credibility.
The maneuver would allow the administration to continue negotiating a controversial trade agreement with Malaysia and 10 other Pacific nations. Legislation authored by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) effectively bars the U.S. from enacting trade deals with countries deemed “Tier 3” violators of human trafficking standards — the worst of the worst in the State Department’s formal reckoning of governments that facilitate modern-day slavery.
Malaysia earned its spot on that list, alongside Iran and North Korea, from years of human trafficking, including rampant sex slavery and forced labor in the agriculture and the textile industries, according to 2014 State Department documents. Malaysia’s electronics industry also is rife with forced labor. This year, mass graves for trafficking victims were discovered in Malaysia near its northern border with Thailand.”
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