(Reuters) – The United States is set to remove Cuba from the bottom tier on its list of worst human trafficking centers, U.S. sources said, in what will be another step in the historic rapprochement between the former Cold War foes.
The upgrade would lift Cuba to the so-called “Tier 2 Watch List” from Tier 3, where it has languished for 12 years due to allegations of sex trafficking and what U.S. authorities have previously described as “coerced labor with Cuban government work missions abroad.”
The upgrade was contained in a draft report that could be modified by the time of publication, expected this month, said a Congressional aide with knowledge of the report. A second source confirmed the upgrade. The sources requested anonymity.
They attributed the upgrade to better cooperation between Washington and Havana on human trafficking issues and better treatment of victims, but they declined to provide specifics before the State Department publishes the annual Trafficking in Persons report.