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President Donald Trump looks at his notes before speaking during an event on human trafficking. President Donald Trump looks at his notes before speaking during an event on human trafficking in the Cabinet Room of the White House, in Washington, Feb. 1, 2019 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

How Trump Is ‘Destroying Protections’ for Victims of Human Trafficking

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

The State Department recently released its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which it describes as “the U.S. Government’s principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking.” The report assigns every country to one of three tiers based on its government’s efforts to combat human trafficking, with Tier 1 being the best and Tier 3 being the worst. Under the Obama administration, the U.S. began grading itself in the report, and since then, it has always been assigned to Tier 1. But according to Martina E. Vandenberg, the founder and director of the Human Trafficking Legal Center, the Trump administration’s own policies toward trafficking victims calls that rating into doubt. In an interview with WPR, she explains why. The following transcript was lightly edited for length and clarity.

World Politics Review: The Trump administration has assessed the U.S. as a Tier 1 country in its annual Trafficking in Persons Report. Was that justified? ...

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