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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT: Dan Sullivan, <dsullivan@endgenocide.org> (202) 556-2109

Rights Group Assails Obama Administration for "Selling Out


Victims of Human Trafficking
Calls Malaysia Upgrade, Lack of Burma Downgrade in State Dept. Trafficking in
Persons Report Outrageous and Indefensible"
Washington United to End Genocide, a U.S. based human rights advocacy group, criticized the Obama Administration
for fueling human suffering with todays State Department announcement that it will upgrade the status of Malaysia in
its annual Trafficking in Persons Report. The State Departments just released Trafficking in Persons report upgraded
Malaysia from the lowest Tier-3 ranking to a Tier-2 Watchlist ranking, removing the threat of sanctions and opening the
way for Malaysias participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. Burma and Thailand maintained
their Tier-2 Watchlist and Tier 3 status respectively.
Former U.S. Congressman Tom Andrews, President of United to End Genocide, stated:
"Money talks and today corporate profits have shouted down the cry for justice for the desperate victims of
human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Lets be clear, human trafficking victims have been sold out today. The State
Department announcement will help to fuel the growing epidemic of modern day slavery in Southeast Asia. With
this announcement, the US joins the governments of Burma, Malaysia and Thailand as enablers of slave traders and the
scourge of human trafficking. It is inexcusable that countries that are at the heart of this crisis could be rewarded in the
State Departments Trafficking in Persons report.
The world witnessed the consequences of this scourge just weeks ago with the discovery of mass graves and in the cries
of thousands of Rohingya Muslims trapped at sea after fleeing the march to genocide in Burma.
Malaysia has failed to crack down on traffickers and to take steps to protect trafficking victims, clearly falling short of the
minimum standards required by the Trafficking in Persons designations. An upgrade can only be interpreted as allowing
political and economic interests to override human rights. Burma, the source of an overwhelming number of trafficking
victims with its relentless persecution of the Rohingya minority, avoided falling to the lowest tier. President Obama
has personally criticized the government of Burma for denying its role in the regional trafficking epidemic.
By taking this step the Obama Administration is destroying the credibility of a powerful tool in the fight against atrocities
and leaving the worlds most vulnerable populations to suffer the consequences.
United to End Genocide has traveled to Burma, Malaysia, and Thailand meeting with Rohingya asylum seekers and civil
society groups that have been documenting human trafficking in the region. To read United to End Genocides report,
Marching to Genocide in Burma visit: http://endgenocide.org/marching-genocide-burma-2/
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United to End Genocide is an advocacy organization dedicated to preventing and ending genocide and mass atrocities
worldwide. For more information visit: endgenocide.org.