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U.S. Cites Countries for Human Trafficking

June 5, 2006

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The United States warned key ally Germany on Monday that it should do more to stop a tide of sex workers arriving for this month’s soccer World Cup, and accused 12 nations of failing to do enough to stop the modern-day slave trade in prostitutes, child sex workers and forced laborers.

``The U.S. government opposes prostitution,″ which is legal in Germany, a State Department report on global human trafficking said. ``These activities are inherently harmful and dehumanizing.″

A U.S. congressman and other anti-trafficking advocates estimate that thousands of foreign women, many from Eastern Europe, will be forced into sex work during the four-week tournament that begins June 9.

The United States called Germany a ``source, transit and destination country″ for sex workers and other victims of exploitation. The 2006 Trafficking in Persons Report still gave Germany its highest overall rating for compliance with effort to stop trafficking, and noted German efforts to combat exploitation during the World Cup.

``Nonetheless, due to the sheer size of the event, the potential for increased human trafficking during the games remains a concern,″ the report said.

As many as 800,000 people are bought and sold across national borders annually or lured to other countries with false promises of work or other benefits, the State Department said in its annual survey of international human trafficking. Most are women and children.

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