UCF Global Perspectives


Saudi Arabia on Worst Human Trafficking List

Alex Rister, Bok Fellow, Human Trafficking Awareness

June 25, 2019

This week, the United States added Saudi Arabia to its list of worst offenders on human trafficking. Saudi Arabia joins 21 other “Tier 3” countries on the U.S. State Department’s 2019 Trafficking in Persons Report, released on June 20 (State). According to the report, a Tier 3 country does not meet minimum standards for eliminating human trafficking and does not make efforts to do so (CNN). Other Tier 3 countries include Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela.


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the publication of the report on Thursday and called human trafficking a “stain on all humanity” (CBS). In previous years, Tier 3 status resulted in sanctions by the United States. Pompeo said of those sanctions, “That action and the message that goes with it is very clear – if you don’t stand up to trafficking – America will stand up to you” (The Globe).







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