The failure of the White House to enforce threatened sanctions against countries that the State Department has accused of doing little to control human trafficking is “appalling,” with the Obama administration • much like the George W. Bush administration before it — using “every loophole possible” to issue waivers to avoid punishing the offending nations by cutting U.S. aid, according to elected officials, human rights activists and others.
Of the 23 countries cited by the State Department
in a June 2011 report as having failed to meet minimum standards in
fighting human trafficking, whose victims are usually women and
children, President Obama granted full waivers in September to 13 —
including Algeria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Sudan and Yemen — and partial waivers to seven others, including Cuba, Iran, Myanmar and Venezuela. Only three countries faced the full force of the sanctions — Eritrea, Madagascar and North Korea — which were not anticipated to get the types of foreign assistance that could be restricted.