Myanmar is taking a series of steps to achieve its own vision of a more perfect union and to bring democracy, justice and human rights to the nation. Towards this end, the incumbent government has been addressing the issue of trafficking in persons as a national concern and making tangible progress in various aspects.
We are astonished at the US decision to drop Myanmar to Tier 3 with the release of its annual human trafficking report, a move that could ban the flow of international aid at a time when the government is sparing no effort to protect its migrant workers and victims of human trafficking and forced labour. We understand that while Myanmar meets the criteria for the Tier 2 Watch List, having remained at that ranking for the last four years, a further extension is no longer possible.
The downgrade has put Myanmar on so-called Tier 3 which is the worst human-trafficking level. Keeping Myanmar entangled in the human trafficking imbroglio is a bad option which could turn catastrophic, and this might not prove to be a better alternative. It could add to the nation’s inability in the fight against human trafficking and even make a profound impact on aid to be provided by the IMF and World Bank.
The traditions of friendship and cooperation between Myanmar and the US are long-standing and historic ones that are being further consolidated through mutually beneficial cooperation based on independence, equality and mutual respect. The US has done what it could to support the people of Myanmar during the heartbreak and tragedy after Cyclone Nargis. This is a reflection of the importance of a bilateral alliance with the US.
As the move was mostly about domestic issues and was relatively light on foreign policy we will continue to be a good friend and reliable partner of the US and build the union, while working for freedom, justice and democracy.