The Republic of Korea, in the 2013 Trafficking in Persons Report, was again placed under the highest Tier 1 category. The US Department of State publishes the Report on an annual basis to present an updated, global look at the nature and scope of trafficking in persons and government actions to confront and eliminate it.
The ROK has remained on the top Tier since 2002.
The inclusion of the ROK in the Tier 1 list is seen to reflect strong and continued efforts of its government to uproot human trafficking. Such efforts include amending its criminal law on April 5, 2013 to tighten indictment and punishment of those involved in human trafficking; offering better protection to the victims by providing them with shelters and issuing G-1 work visas to foreign victims; stepping up diplomatic efforts to counter the issue; tightened investigations into human rights violations against foreign seamen aboard a Korean fishing vessel operating in the waters off New Zealand.
The Report states that the ROK fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking in persons. The US government commends the aforementioned efforts of the ROK government as an exemplary model for other countries.
The ROK, as a responsible middle power country, will continue to address such global challenges as human trafficking and contribute actively to global peace and advancement. It is also expected to continue working closely with the US in preventing human trafficking and punishing those responsible.
In the Joint Declaration in Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the ROK-US Alliance adopted at the bilateral summit talks on May 7, the two countries agreed to make joint efforts to address global challenges and to promote human rights.