Press Release

AFL-CIO Condemns State Department Upgrade of Malaysia on Trafficking List

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka in response to reports indicating the United States is prepared to upgrade the Malaysian government in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report:

We are outraged by this clearly political decision, which undermines the integrity of the TIP Report and signals that the U.S. is willing to turn a blind eye to modern slavery and grave human and labor rights abuses in order to advance its trade agenda.  

The situation in Malaysia has not improved: forced labor, human trafficking, and exploitation remain pervasive. If Malaysia is rewarded with greater market access under the Trans-Pacific Partnership without having to first undertake fundamental reforms, there will be little incentive for Malaysia to end this brutality. Unfortunately, the administration appears to be resolute in forging a flawed trade agreement with countries that currently violate fundamental labor and human rights while continuing a global race to the bottom in wages and working conditions.

Contact: Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018