"Secretary of State Tillerson apparently believes the list is subject to backroom political calculations, rather than facts on the ground and US law", said a statement by Jo Becker, children's rights advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.
The Department of Commerce is expected to take action against detrimental foreign steel imports later this week, which is likely to upset China other.
It said Beijing sends North Koreans across the border to their homeland without checking to see if they were trafficked to China in the first place.
The U.S. State Department says more than 20 million people were victims of human trafficking worldwide - and that China is one of the world's worst culprits. According to Reuters - citing a congressional source and a person familiar with the matter - this is a "step that could aggravate tensions with Beijing that have eased" under USA president Donald Trump.
David Abramowitz, managing director of Humanity United, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ending human trafficking, described "serious concerns" about this year's report, which he said "included unjustified upgrades to Burma, Malaysia and Qatar and a failure to downgrade Thailand". But it said that the Asian power hadn't increased its anti-trafficking efforts from the previous year. But the president tweeted this week that Xi and China's efforts to help with North Korea have "not worked out". Migrants traveling through the region are also susceptible to forced labor and other human trafficking-linked activities, according to the report.
Daehung, a company based in North Korea's coastal Rason Special Economic Zone, had contracted with the Chinese firm to pay each worker 800 yuan (U.S.$126) per month along with room and board, but then promised the workers only 300 yuan (U.S.$47) of that amount, the source said.
The department dropped Iraq and Myanmar from a list of countries that recruit and use child soldiers, a change from 2016. The report said China had made no meaningful efforts to curb forced labor and human trafficking and suggested it had backslid by decreasing law enforcement efforts.
"Human trafficking is one of the most tragic human rights issues of our time", he said in a statement accompanying the report.
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Today's ruling reinforces same-sex couples' right to parent and to have their names on their children's birth certificates. In this undated photo provided by Jana and Leigh Jacobs, the Jacobses pose with their sons Finch, left , and Yogi.
An annual report on the global state of human trafficking suggests that the majority of Latin American countries still do not fully comply with USA standards for combatting the crime.
In the past, the impact of a Tier 3 downgrade has pressured United States companies to more closely examine their supply chains, as seen when Thailand was downgraded to Tier 3 on the 2014 report.
Specifically, the report found that "local officials in Xinjiang coerced Uighur men and women to participate in forced labor in and outside the province", despite the local government announcing in early 2017 that the practice was outlawed.
Human Rights Watch called on Tillerson to return both Iraq and Myanmar to the list, saying their reclassification to a less severe category "harms children".
Some 45 countries are in the "Tier 2 Watch List" with Bangladesh including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Pakistan, Thailand, and Hong Kong.
Two other downgraded countries - Mali and Guinea - are also neighbors.
Haiti, which also moved up to the Tier 2 watch list, was highlighted for "creating a post-Hurricane Matthew emergency working group to address human trafficking".