29 Jul 2013

US defends human trafficking report on Marshall Islands

5:31 am on 29 July 2013

The United States ambassador to the Marshall Islands is defending a report which has placed the island nation on a watchlist and says it lacks action to prevent sex trafficking.

According to last Thursday's Marshall Islands Journal, the US Ambassador Thomas Armbruster said the US government stands by the recently-released report, despite the Marshall Islands Foreign Minister Phillip Muller calling the report totally baseless.

Mr Armbruster says trafficking is a serious issue and says the Embassy has done due diligence in writing an objective report, based on multiple sources.

The State Department's annual Trafficking in Persons report says the Marshall Islands' government made no effort to prevent trafficking during the year and did not take any steps to raise public awareness about its dangers.

Mr Armbruster says the Marshall Islands will continue to work with the government in identifying ways to combat the problem.