The US State Department on June 28, 2018, categorized North Korea as the “worst human trafficking country” for the 16th straight year in its annual ‘2018 Trafficking in Persons Report’. North Korea has been named in the lowest ranked Tier 3 category along with China, Russia, and Iran. However, South Korea has been ranked as the highest category in the list of Tier 1 countries for the 16th consecutive year along with the US, UK, France, and Canada.
1. North Korea used state-sponsored forced labor to fund government functions as well as other illicit activities.
2. It does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so.
3. The North Korean government continued to use forced labor in prison camps and labor training centers and even encouraged forced labors of students and exported forced labor to foreign organizations.
4. It did not monitor or protect potential trafficking victims when they were forcibly sent back from China or other countries.