The United States has sharply increased, from 13 to 23, the number of nations said to be failing to meet international standards in the fight against human trafficking.

Lebanon, Libya, Venezuela and several African countries are among the countries new to the list of the world’s worst offenders on the State Department’s annual report on trafficking.

In the releasing the findings Monday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said all countries can and must do more. She said more people than ever are being exploited — as many as 27 million men, women and children.

She said while governments have taken important steps such as passing laws, further action is needed. She said the number of prosecutions worldwide has remained “relatively static.”

The other countries new to the list this year of worst offenders are Algeria, the Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea,Guinea-Bissau, Madagascar, Micronesia, Turkmenistan, and Yemen.

The State Department noted improvements in the Dominican Republic, taking the country off the list of worst offenders and placing it on a watch list of countries that are taking steps but some issues remain.

The other countries on the list of worst offenders are Burma, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kuwait, North Korea, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Zimbabwe.

 

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