Belarus Downgraded to Tier 3 in Annual Trafficking in Persons Report

On July 19, the Department of State released the 2022 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, the most comprehensive global resource of governmental anti-trafficking efforts and the United States’ principal diplomatic and diagnostic tool to guide international governments on combating human trafficking.  The Belarus Country Narrative, which explains why Belarus was downgraded to the Tier 3 category, is found on pages 117-119 of the full TIP Report, which is available here: 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report – United States Department of State.

In his message accompanying the 2022 Trafficking in Persons Report, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken wrote:

“Everyone should be free. And yet, through force, fraud, and coercion, human traffickers violate this most basic right. Traffickers’ exploitative practices affect every country in the world, including the United States, by diminishing and destroying our communities, sense of security, and the global economy. This year’s Trafficking in Persons Report turns the spotlight to more clearly illuminate the impact of human trafficking on our global community and on actions we can take as individuals, and as a society, to combat this deplorable crime everywhere it occurs, especially in the most at-risk communities.

“The pages that follow highlight the incredible strides and achievements of survivor leaders and individuals with lived experience of human trafficking, including their role as valued anti-trafficking experts. They built, and continue to sustain, the movement to combat human trafficking in a manner that reflects the realities and needs of those currently experiencing exploitation. However, much work remains to create opportunities for responsibly engaging and elevating survivors’ expertise. Their voices are critical to crafting successful anti-trafficking responses, and we hope the report’s introduction serves as a resource for our global partners seeking to improve their anti-trafficking efforts by integrating survivors’ expertise.

“This year’s report is released in the midst of an unprecedented humanitarian crisis. Russia’s senseless continued invasion of Ukraine and its devastating attacks across that country have inflicted unfathomable pain and suffering and forced millions of Ukrainian citizens and others to flee seeking safety. We are deeply concerned about the risks of human trafficking faced by individuals internally displaced by the war, as well as those fleeing Ukraine, an estimated 90 percent of whom are women and children. The food insecurity and other broader effects of Russia’s war exacerbate trafficking risks around the globe.

“Let us stand together and press for accountability from those leaders who condone and support human trafficking, create conditions ripe for mass exploitation, and perpetuate this fundamental insult to human dignity. Those that perpetrate, condone, or support this crime must be held accountable.

“Throughout the report, a unifying theme emerges—human trafficking affects us all. Its impact ripples across the fabric of our global community. We must work together, and in partnership with survivor leaders, to effectively address this crime.”