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HK strongly opposes 'groundless' US report on human trafficking

ANI | Updated: Jun 26, 2020 17:34 IST

Hong Kong, June 26 (ANI): The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) government on Friday expressed strong opposition to a U.S. report on human trafficking having "groundless and biased findings".
The report released by the US Department of State, called the United States Trafficking in Persons Report 2020, contains allegations made by unidentified sources and without specific case details, and much of the analysis appears to be based merely on hearsay, a HKSAR government spokesman said in a statement cited by Xinhua news agency.
The spokesman said the findings are groundless and the rating of Hong Kong at the tier-2 watch list is biased and not substantiated by facts.
The government "firmly rejects the findings and rating on such a sloppy and prejudiced basis," the spokesman said.
The spokesman said Hong Kong has been making proactive, all-out and multi-pronged efforts to combat human trafficking.
The government set up a high-level steering committee chaired by senior officials to provide high-level policy steer on actions against human trafficking in March 2018. An action plan was then swiftly promulgated, which comprises a series of measures on multiple areas, including victim identification and protection, law enforcement and prevention.
In 2019, over 7,500 initial victim screenings were conducted and only three people were identified as human trafficking victims, which has proved that human trafficking has never been a prevalent problem in Hong Kong and there has never been any sign of Hong Kong being actively used by syndicates as a destination or transit point, the spokesman said.
The spokesman said attacking Hong Kong for lagging behind in anti-human trafficking is grossly unfair and illogical. Hong Kong's intensified efforts and notable improvements in recent years, including dedicated efforts both in policy steer and front-line enforcement, should have been duly recognized, the spokesman said.
The government will continue to foster a constructive partnership with the civil society in combating human trafficking on all fronts, the spokesman added. (ANI)

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