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India not singled out on trafficking issue: US

India has been placed in the 2006 watch list report for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking in persons.

india Updated: Jun 07, 2006 09:28 IST

While asserting that human trafficking remains a serious problem in India, the Bush administration has said the US did not have any specific problem with any country and had not singled any one out for attention in its latest Trafficking of Persons report.

Trafficking is a "very serious problem" and is taken seriously by the US President and Secretary of State, US State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Tuesday.

"Our Trafficking in Persons office tries to gather the best information that they possibly can working with host governments on this issue and what you see is their best judgement based on an objective set of criteria," he said.

While noting that significant moves were made by India to comply with minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, the report makes clear that major shortcomings still remained - especially pertaining to enforcement of laws and the menace of corruption.

India has been placed in the Tier Two watch list of the 2006 Report for its failure to show evidence of increasing efforts to address trafficking in persons.

McCormack said the fact that "friends and allies" of the US ended up on the watch list against trafficking is a "real demonstration" of America's commitment to the "hard issue".

"We are going to speak out clearly and in public on it," he said. "The whole idea behind listing the various countries and the governments in terms of what steps they have taken on to fight trafficking in persons is to try to solve the problem."

"What we want to do is work with governments to try to resolve the problem - so that they can take steps, they can change their laws, they can change their regulations to fight trafficking in persons," the spokesman said.

First Published: Jun 07, 2006 09:28 IST