- Josh Romney swipes Harry Reid with photo tweet of dad paying taxes — ‘your paycheck’
- Despite Obamacare problems, some Dems want Sebelius to run for Senate: report
- Angry New Yorkers shred gun registrations in deadline day protests
- Uninsured rate dropping faster in places that embraced pillars of Obamacare, survey shows
- Hawaii, D.C. give residents two more weeks to sign up under Obamacare
- Climate change causing fish to lose their minds, researchers say
- Great Britain tops World’s Most Sexist Nation list
- Aaron Hernandez investigated for threatening to kill prison guard
- Putin tells Merkel that Ukraine is on the brink of civil war
- San Antonio mayor to Obama: Give amnesty to illegals with legal families
U.S. raps Saudi Arabia, 3 Arab allies for ‘slavery’
The United States criticized Saudi Arabia and three other Gulf Arab allies yesterday for allowing modern-day "slavery" to continue, a move the Bush administration hopes will prompt human rights reform in the Middle East.
The annual U.S. report on human trafficking also cited Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), placing them in the same category of rights violators as Sudan, North Korea and Cuba.
In all, 14 countries were singled out as nations that "do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so."
Eight countries were added to the list: Bolivia, Cambodia, Jamaica, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Togo and the UAE.
Six other nations that were already on the list remained: Burma, Cuba, Ecuador, North Korea, Sudan and Venezuela.
Practices include the de facto imprisonment of domestic workers, the brutality of sexual slavery and the indentured servitude of child laborers.
"Trafficking in human beings is nothing less than a modern form of slavery," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in releasing the report.
"The United States has a particular duty to fight this scourge because trafficking in persons is an affront to the principles of human dignity and liberty, upon which this nation was founded," Miss Rice said.
The Bush administration estimates that 800,000 people were forced into some form of involuntary work last year, up to half of which were minors. Women and children account for close to 80 percent.
The State Department's "Trafficking in Persons" report examined the records of 150 nations and put 14 of those on notice that their human rights records were falling short of U.S.-mandated human rights norms.
If these countries do not take steps to improve within three months, the administration may impose sanctions against them.
The Bush administration, which spent $96 million to combat human trafficking in 2004, has stepped up efforts to combat such practices in recent years, using multilateral treaties, bilateral pressure and other tactics to curb a practice it sees as financing terrorism, spreading AIDS and violating its victims.
Put on warning, or the report's "watch list," were China, Greece, Haiti, India, Mexico, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa and Ukraine.
Saudi Arabia was cited in the report for "its lack of progress in anti-trafficking efforts, particularly its failure to protect victims and prosecute those guilty of involuntary servitude."
The UAE is a land of forced labor and child labor, such as the use of young Southeast Asian boys as camel jockeys who are beaten and poorly cared for, the report said.
Countries on last year's list but removed this year were: Bangladesh, Equatorial Guinea, Guyana and Sierra Leone.
Congress ordered the annual reports beginning in 2000.
By returning to Christian roots, the nation can achieve greatness once again
- Fuel-filled wings, ability to swarm: Pentagon offers glimpse at future of drone fleet
- Secret U.S. assessments show Afghanistan not ready to govern on own
- CARSON: Recovering Tocqueville's vision of American exceptionalism
- 'Culture of intimidation' seen in Nevada ranch standoff
- GOP writes legislation to deny Attorney General Eric Holder his salary
- WEBER: Obamacare cuts home healthcare for millions of seniors
- PHILLIPS: What did Harry Reid know and when did he know it?
- HURT: Wilson and Obama ... 100 years apart, but so alike
- U.S. Navy to turn seawater into jet fuel
- HHS nominee Sylvia Burwell entangled in MetLife lawsuit
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes