Who would have guessed that Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar are among the world's worst in the sale of people into the sex trade? These are allies of the United States, and the U.S. may slap them with sanctions if they do not improve in the next three months. Will this put a crimp in Washington's cozy relationship with these countries?
The United States accused its Arab allies Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar on Tuesday of being among the world’s worst offenders in permitting the sale of people into the sex trade and indentured servitude.
In an annual report on human trafficking, the United States included the four in a list of 16 countries subject to possible U.S. sanctions, including the loss of U.S. aid and U.S. support for loans from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. [snip]
The others in this category were Algeria, Cuba, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Malaysia, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Uzbekistan and Venezuela.
Under U.S. law, these countries have three months to improve their record before being slapped with sanctions. The Bush administration can also choose not to impose sanctions if it deems this appropriate.
“Trafficking in persons is a modern-day form of slavery,” U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in an introduction to the report. “Perpetrators prey on the most weak among us, primarily women and children, for profit and gain.” (Reuters via Peace and Freedom)