WASHINGTON (AP) - The U.S. has added Syria to the countries that may face American sanctions for not combatting human trafficking.
The State Department also removed seven nations from its annual list of those failing to make a significant effort to meet minimum international standards to curb the scourge. They include Venezuela and Myanmar.
The report says Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime doesn't punish offenses or offer protective services to victims. It says the government's focus on cracking down on protests has further endangered trafficking victims.
Venezuela may still fail to meet international requirements, but the report says it's making significant efforts.
It says trafficking in Myanmar by government officials and private citizens remains a "significant problem." But it has taken "unprecedented" steps to address forced labor and conscription of child soldiers.
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