India slams US report on human trafficking
India sharply rejected a US report on human trafficking that criticises New Delhi for not doing enough to stop what it calls "modern-day slavery".india Updated: Jun 06, 2006 19:30 IST
India on Tuesday sharply rejected a US report on human trafficking that criticises New Delhi for not doing enough to stop what it calls "modern-day slavery".
"On the subject of trafficking in persons, as with other areas, we reject judgemental and prescriptive approach by a foreign government," external affairs ministry spokesperson Navtej Sarna said in response to a question on a state department report on trafficking in persons.
The sixth annual report on trafficking, which was released in Washington on Monday by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, has placed India in the Tier 2 Watch List that includes countries whose "governments do not fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act's minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards."
A country where the number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is "very significant or is significantly increasing" and where the government has not provided evidence of increasing efforts to combat this practice is included in the Tier 2 Watch List.
Much to the chagrin of India, the report starts with a chilling account of how a girl from Nepal was sold into a brothel in New Delhi and goes on to document rampant child labour in India.
Taking strong objection to the US' tendency to issue reports based on "preconceptions," Sarna said, "The US has a practice of issuing global reports on a wide variety of subjects, from human rights and religious freedom to narcotics and trafficking in persons."
"Such reports are, by their very nature, based on US viewpoints and preconceptions," the spokesperson said even as he stressed that this prescriptive approach may affect the ongoing dialogue and cooperation between India and the US in this area under the Global Issues Forum.
"The approach of the 2006 report does not reflect the active cooperation on this subject between the two countries. It certainly is not helpful to furthering our dialogue in that regard," the spokesperson added.
According to the state department, the report aims at raising global awareness "to highlight the growing efforts of the international community to combat human trafficking, and to encourage foreign governments to take effective actions to counter all forms of trafficking in persons."
The Tier 3 includes those countries whose "governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so" and may be subject to certain sanctions by the US government.