U.S. to withhold funding to Burma, N. Korea, etc. over human trafficking
U.S. to withhold funding to N. Korea over human trafficking: White House
By Hwang Doo-hyong
WASHINGTON, Sept. 15 (Yonhap) — The United States will withhold funding for North Korea and several other countries for their poor human rights record involving human trafficking, the White House said Tuesday.
In a memorandum, President Barack Obama said, “Consistent with section 110 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, I hereby make the determination provided in section 110 of the act with respect to Burma, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Zimbabwe not to provide certain funding for those countries’ governments for fiscal year 2010 until such government complies with the minimum standards or significant efforts to bring itself into compliance as may be determined by the Secretary of State in a report to the Congress.”
Also affected are Iran, Cuba, Eritrea, Syria and Fiji, the memorandum said.
In June, the State Department issued the “Trafficking in Persons Report 2009,” the ninth annual report presented to Congress, listing North Korea as one of the worst countries in human trafficking, along with 16 other nations.
Financial sanctions and a ban on humanitarian aid are imposed on the countries listed.
The countries include Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, Sudan, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Chad, Eritrea, Mauritania, Niger and Swaziland.
“Victims may suffer physical and emotional abuse, rape, threats against self and family, and even death,” the State Department report said. “But the devastation extends beyond individual victims; human trafficking undermines the health, safety, and security of all nations it touches.”