Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bush Penalizes Countries for Trafficking

by Anne Gearan and Ben Feller from The Associated Press

President Bush on Thursday punished two perennial adversaries - Myanmar and Cuba - for alleged "human trafficking," the forced labor and prostitution that the United States calls a modern-day form of slavery. He approved partial punishment, in the form of financial sanctions, against Iran and other nations where the United States holds out hope that limited cultural or educational outreach may deter abuses ... Countries on the list are subject to sanctions for not doing enough to stop the yearly flow of some 800,000 people across international borders for the sex trade and other forms of forced and indentured labor. About 80% of those people are female, and up to half of them are children. Bush waived all sanctions against eight countries: Algeria, Bahrain, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Uzbekistan - all on the same grounds that doing so would serve the United States' strategic interests with these countries.

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