The State Department has added Russia and Belarus to its list of state sponsors of human trafficking

US State Department
US State Department / Photo: Free Press Archive

Russia and Belarus, along with North Korea, Turkmenistan and Syria, were on the list of 13 countries whose governments finance human trafficking, according to the latest Trafficking in Persons Report 2024.

The report was launched last night by Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.

- Digital instruments have increased the scope, size and speed of human trafficking. (Traffickers) use online platforms to sell illegal sexual content. They use encrypted messages and digital currencies to avoid detection, Blinken said.

According to estimates by the International Labor Organization, in 2021 27,6 million people worldwide were subject to forced labor, or 2,7 million more compared to 2016. Of those 27.6 million, 6,3 million people were subject to forced commercial sexual exploitation, and 3,9 million were subject to state-imposed forced labor.

Blinken noted that the use of online tools has helped traffickers expand their reach.

- Human trafficking is a problem that no country can solve alone, added Blinken.

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