This report highlights trafficking in persons as a human rights issue; it can also be viewed as related to fundamental issues of civil liberties. Research has shown corruption of public officials to be a key impediment to progress in addressing modern slavery. A review of publicly available indexes on civil liberties and corruption around the world shows governments that rank poorly in the 2010 TIP Report also rank poorly on indices assessing the governments’ protection of civil liberties and their perceived corruption. Of the 175 countries ranked in the 2010 TIP Report, all but two were ranked in this year’s Freedom House report, “Freedom in the World.” Similarly, all but nine of the 175 countries have been assessed and given scores on Transparency International’s “Corruption Perception Index.” Freedom House assigns a numerical value to a country’s civil liberty performance, measuring “freedom of expression and belief, association and organizational rights, rule of law, and personal autonomy without interference from the state.” This scale for civil liberties runs from one to seven, with one being the highest level of freedom and seven being the lowest. Transparency International assigns a numerical value to a country’s “perceived level of public sector corruption in a country/ territory,” using a scale of one to 10, with one representing high prevalence of perceived corruption and 10 representing the least prevalence of perceived corruption.
By looking at the assessments of these products against the rankings of the 2010 TIP Report, it appears governments ranked Tier 3 and Tier 2 Watch List more closely track Freedom House’s low-performing civil liberties scale than do those countries ranked Tier 2 and Tier 1. These poor-performing governments, on average, rank significantly “higher” on this scale, reflecting lower freedoms.