Groups demand President Obama put human rights before trade
Trade watchdogs will protest downplaying of human trafficking during TPP negotiations
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Friends of the Earth and other concerned groups will demand answers as to whether Malaysia’s human trafficking ranking was raised in an attempt to facilitate the United States’ negotiation of the Trans Pacific Partnership. Groups will demonstrate on Thursday at 9 a.m. before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing on the Trafficking in Persons Report recently released by the State Department.
Recent media reports indicate that senior American diplomats meddled in the compilation of this important State Department publication that rates governments on their efforts to combat human trafficking. While the Obama administration recently obtained Fast Track authority to negotiate the Trans Pacific Partnership, Congress restricted negotiations with countries that have the worst records in combating human trafficking, like Malaysia, a critical player in the TPP trade deal. Mass graves of human trafficking victims were recently discovered along the Thai-Malaysia border; however, on the eve of the latest TPP negotiating round, the State Department took Malaysia off its human rights blacklist.
What: Demonstration against Malaysia’s human trafficking ranking upgrade
Where: Dirksen Senate Office Building, Corner of First St. NE and Constitution Ave. NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
When: Thursday, August 6 at 9 a.m.
Visuals will include pictures of the mass graves discovered and cardboard boxes representing coffins.