(KHARTOUM) - The Acting Principal Deputy Director of the U. S. Department of State Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons Joel Maybury has urged Sudan to continue its efforts to prevent human trafficking.
In its 2017 Trafficking in Persons report, the U.S. Department of State retained Sudan on Tier 3, saying the Sudanese government “does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so”.
However, Maybury has praised Sudan’s efforts to combat human trafficking, urging Khartoum to continue these efforts irrespective of its rating on the U.S. report.
Speaking at a forum organized by the Organisation of Sudanese Expatriates Affairs (OSEA) in Khartoum on Tuesday, Maybury said Sudan’s efforts would be included in the semi-annual report that will be submitted to the U.S. Congress for approval.
According to an OSEA bulletin seen by Sudan Tribune, the U.S. official pointed out that combating human trafficking requires the various concerned bodies to bear their responsibility through implementing a number of measures in coordination with the civil society organizations.
He added Sudan could improve its rating on the U.S. report by exerting more efforts, stressing the importance of concerted popular and official efforts to combat this crime.
For his part, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Khartoum Ambassador Steven Koutsis said human trafficking could adversely impact on peace efforts in Sudan, pointing to armed militias’ recruitment of child soldiers.
On the other hand, the secretary-general of the OSEA Karar al-Tuhami stressed Sudan keenness to continue its efforts to combat human trafficking, calling on the civil society organizations to support government efforts in this regard.
He called to take advantage of the visit of the U.S. Department of State delegation to Khartoum to establish a sustainable partnership to combat human trafficking.
Sudan is considered as a country of origin and transit for the illegal migration and human trafficking. Thousands of people from Eritrea and Ethiopia are monthly crossing the border into the Sudanese territories on their way to Europe through Libya or Egypt.
In January 2014, the Sudanese parliament approved an anti-human trafficking law which punishes those involved with human trafficking with up to 20 years imprisonment.
Also, Khartoum in 2014 hosted a conference on human trafficking in the Horn of Africa, organised by the African Union (AU), the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Sudanese government.
The East African nation has also forged a strategic partnership with several European countries and the EU to combat illegal migration and human trafficking.