Eyes Wide Shut? Know Your Destination’s Human Rights Record1 min read
We’ve linked tolerance with health in the past. Now the unexpected outburst of ethnic violence in the Kyrgyz Republic is a vivid reminder of how tenuous the grip we humans have on tolerance, dignity, survival and health. With the Kyrgyz atrocities as a backdrop, the U.S. State Department yesterday released its annual report on human trafficking around the world, highlighting especially those countries whose efforts fall far short of complying with the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000. Of the 177 countries surveyed (including the U.S.), fifty six, or 32%, are on a watch list because recent progress toward compliance is deemed at risk. Another thirteen, or 7%, are making no compliance efforts whatsoever. The remaining 60% are either in compliance or moving steadily in that direction. See charts below for a listing of countries falling into these categories and see the State Department’s interactive map and the full report.
As our readers circle the globe, we hope they pause to understand their host countries’ human rights record. There are unpleasant realities in many destinations, and some surprises for me in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia. Even developed countries such as Russia, Singapore and Thailand are called out. We aren’t suggesting you should avoid travel to these countries. We are recommending that as your horizons expand they encompass a commitment to promoting tolerance and dignity. We will all be healthier for it.