11.10.2020 Author: Vladimir Danilov

The United States and Human Trafficking

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In the beginning of October, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order about imposing sanctions on countries that, in Washington’s opinion, “do not put forth sufficient efforts to combat human trafficking”. The list of countries put together by Washington specifically includes Russia, China, Iran, Syria, Cuba, and the DPRK. In addition, US representatives in the IMF and multilateral banks have been ordered to vote against certain projects in which funds will be provided to Russia, China, Cuba, the DPRK, Iran, Syria, and several other countries.

However, it must be noted that recently in the US debate over the topic of human trafficking by other countries has taken the shape of a national epidemic, even though in the US itself, according to some specialists, 300,000 children and teenagers are affected by this kind of danger each year. The US State Department prepares voluminous annual reports on this issue, the latest of which was published on June 25th this year. The last report, in particular, analyzed the situation in 188 countries and subnational entities around the world, and pointed to a significant number of people prosecuted for human trafficking in various countries, but not one word was mentioned about any similar penalties meted out in the United States. During the virtual presentation of this report, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, US Ambassador-at-Large John Richmond, and US presidential adviser Ivanka Trump even highlighted the tireless efforts of ten people in different countries who were recognized this year as heroes in the fight against human trafficking.

Addressing the ceremony’s participants on June 25th, the head of the State Department stated that today there are 25 million adults and children in the world who have become the victims of human trafficking for the purpose of sexual and labor exploitation. “The United States throughout our history has stood in defense of human rights like no other nation,” said the Secretary of State. “America was founded on a promise: a promise to uphold unalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And the Trump administration’s work to end human trafficking is an important part of that noble tradition”. Along with that, the US Secretary of State stressed that if certain governments in the world do not take sufficient measures against human trafficking, then the United States will not stand on the sidelines.

However, the so-called “ratings” that are given by the US State Department are done so rather arbitrarily, proceeding from criteria that are spelled out in US laws to protect the victims of human trafficking. But along with that the fact that in the United States itself, even according to official statistics by the US Department of Justice, over the past two years quite a few thousand cases of “trafficking” have been identified, with thousands of those cases concerning human trafficking that have involved children, is conveniently ignored. The propagandistic “humanitarian and human rights” crux of these reports is dissolved in slogans and labels, which are apparently very necessary in Washington for its political PR and attacks on countries that are adversaries.

It is also noteworthy that, despite the stirring rhetoric by the US Secretary of State in public on June 25th that “if certain governments in the world do not take sufficient measures against human trafficking, then the United States will not stand on the sidelines”, its own political elite, which according to repeated publications in various media participates in human trafficking, continues to remain outside the jurisdiction of US society, the international community, and the voluminous documents put out by the US Department of State.

For example, just recently the American publication National Review accused the family of Trump’s main rival in the November election – and the leader of those fighting against Russiagate – Joe Biden of actively participating in human trafficking. Specifically, the publication indicated that Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, received a total of more than 4 million USD following “dubious financial transactions” with foreigners that have extensive political connections. He transferred funds to foreign nationals living in the United States who were “allegedly associated with an Eastern European network of prostitution and human trafficking”.

Another U.S. publication, the New York Post, also shared information with readers regarding a September 23rd US Senate report that links Hunter Biden to “prostitution and human trafficking”, and that he allegedly transferred “thousands of dollars” to people who appear to have something to do with the sex industry. According to the publication, these allegations are contained in a footnote in one section of the report, which provides details of the likely “criminal activities and threats of extortion” that involved Hunter Biden and other members of the Biden family. At the same time, the publication notes that this Senate report also contains links to “numerous publications that talk about the likely complicity of Hunter Biden in the sex trade.”

In the conditions stated above, it seems worthwhile to submit that the US Department of State, instead of publishing politically biased reports on alleged human trafficking by other countries and imposing U.S. sanctions on them, should first deal with the problem in its own country, and impose sanctions on US citizens convicted of these kinds of crimes. As, by extension, of the murder of innocent civilians in the Middle East and in the other zones with armed conflicts unleashed by Washington. Although, is it really possible to hope for fair punishment for these offenses in the United States, when the country is cutting off its relations with the International Criminal Court in The Hague to help prevent the international conviction of American criminals? Or, when the United States itself commutes the sentences of its citizens who have already been proven of committing wrongdoing, as occurred in 2019 in particular when a court in Washington reviewed the verdict against three former employees with the private security company Blackwater in a case involving the murder of Iraqi civilians in 2007, and cut their sentences by almost half?

Vladimir Danilov, a political observer, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 


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