WASHINGTON, DC—Representative Eliot L. Engel, the top Democrat on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, today made the following statement regarding the Department of State’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report:
“The Trafficking in Persons Report is a thorough and far-reaching assessment of government efforts to fight modern slavery, and I'm confident that most of the 2015 report provides the honest analysis we've grown accustomed to.
“However, the report's true strength has always been the willingness to tell hard truths about this crime and what governments are or aren't doing to stop it. In this regard, I have some serious concerns about this year’s report.
“Most notably, the report upgraded Malaysia from Tier 3 to the Tier 2 Watch List despite reporting and evidence showing that Malaysia had earned its placement on the lowest rank. This reality was echoed by 160 Members of Congress, 19 Senators, and a chorus of anti-trafficking activists. I'm eager to know more about why the Department made this decision.
“I look forward to the opportunity to address questions about this section and others to the State Department with the aim of achieving the strongest possible TIP Report in years to come. In my view, just a handful of bad rankings is enough to threaten the credibility of this report, which has long been the gold standard on this issue.”