Thursday, July 30, 2015

J. Herbert Responds to TIP Report

Originally shared by Public Citizen 
Excerpts from Press Call: Faith Leaders and Human Rights Advocates Respond to State Dept’s Upgrade of Malaysia in its Trafficking in Persons Report
Monday, July 27, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC— Faith leaders and human rights advocates hosted a media conference call to respond to Malaysia’s upgrade from its Tier 3 ranking in the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TiP) report, released Monday. Since reports of the potential upgrade surfaced earlier in the month, human rights advocates in the U.S. and Malaysia responded with disbelief and outrage and 160 Representatives and 19 Senators sent bipartisan letters to Secretary of State Kerry, urging the State Department to not allow the TiP report to be manipulated simply to facilitate Malaysia’s participation in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  Congress barred fast track treatment for trade deals with countries with a Tier-3 designation in recent Fast Track legislation.
Reverend Dr. J Herbert Nelson, Director, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Office of Public Witness
Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director, NETWORK, a National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Phil Robertson, Human Rights Watch, Deputy Director - Asia Division
Tom Andrews, President of United to End Genocide and former Member of Congress
Susan Greer Burton, Director of Women’s and Children’s Advocacy, United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society

Reverend Dr. J Herbert Nelson, Director, Presbyterian Church U.S.A., Office of Public Witness
“It becomes very difficult to understand how we can continue with trade partnerships with nations that are violating basic human rights and certainly engaging in the struggle for human dignity.”
“139 mass graves shocked this nation – and this world – with regards to its conscience, to the issues of human trafficking, the sale and trade of people, and certainly a shameful act of profiteering. Therefore, our faith calls us to stand against this type of denial of human dignity, of in many ways murder, and in the usury mill of individuals who have been ordained by God with such great potential to make a difference.”
“We are calling for transparency, we are calling for the Obama administration and the U.S. Congress to truly move forward with an understanding that there has to be not an elevation from one tier to another of countries like Malaysia, where it is very clear that they’re involved in this type of framing around human dignity that not only denies but takes life.”
“We are calling on this administration to step back for a minute for this ‘no Fast Track for human trafficking’ amendment. We are asking that that be attached to this particular arrangement and that we look very closely at Malaysia’s participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade talks based on what we have recently discovered. Again, this is about the integrity of our nation. For people of faith, it is about the integrity of our faith. It is very difficult for us to say we are one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, and see the kind of atrocious actions that have taken place in the last few weeks regarding Malaysia.”
“We are calling upon our country, the United States of America, to be just that – the United States – on this particular issue, and to enforce the issues of liberty and justice for all around the globe as we have done in so many other cases.”