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ICC NOTE: Myanmar has been riddled with human rights violations for decades from religious and ethnic persecution to human trafficking. In the latest human trafficking report, Burma has been downgraded according to the recent State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. Among the more commonly trafficked people in Burma are children through the military placing the new democratic government in a precarious position. While they continue to push for reforms after the half century rule of the military, the former head of the government maintains a quarter of the parliamentary seats. There is no question among those trafficked into the military and in other slave like professions, ethnic and religious minorities are among them.  

6/29/2016 Myanmar (Radio Free Asia) – The United States has downgraded Myanmar in its annual human trafficking report, citing the Southeast Asian nation’s failure to reduce the practice of using child soldiers primarily by the government army, the head of Myanmar’s anti-human trafficking force said Tuesday.

“The U.S. pointed out some points that we police have been working on. It also pointed out the child soldier issue, which the military is working on,” said Lieutenant Colonel Thet Naung, national head of the police Anti-Human Trafficking Team.

The U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, to be released Thursday, ranks 188 countries on how they handle human trafficking and assigns them one of four rankings—Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2 Watch List, and Tier 3—based on whether they meet the minimum standards for the elimination of human trafficking, as mandated by the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA).

The minimum standards under the U.S. law include a government’s prohibition of and punishment of severe forms of human trafficking, and serious and sustained efforts to eliminate such trafficking.

Myanmar’s use of child soldiers was also cited in last year’s TIP report.

“Some military personnel and some armed ethnic groups continue to be involved in the recruitment and use of child soldiers, particularly in conflict-prone ethnic areas,” the 2014 TIP report said.

It noted that although monitoring groups, such as the United Nations International Labor Organization (ILO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), had reported that the incidence of forced conscription had been decreasing, the government army and some armed ethnic groups continued to force Myanmar men and boys to serve in their outfits through the use of intimidation, coercion, threats, and violence.

U.S. no longer pleased

Myanmar had been listed as a Tier 3 country for 10 years in the TIP until 2010, and then as a Tier 2 Watch List nation for four years up to 2014 before reverting back to Tier 3 status this year, Thet Naung said.

“We heard that a country will automatically fall into Tier 3 if it stays on the Tier 2 watch list for three years, but the U.S. kept us under Tier 2 Watch List last year because it was pleased about what we had done regarding human trafficking,” he said.

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