Our Bureau

New Delhi, Feb. 25

MR STEVEN J. Law, Deputy Secretary, US Department of Labour, has expressed the US Government's concern over the issue of trafficking in persons by India and cautioned that the US State Department may downgrade India's rating in terms of its trade engagement in dealing with the issue.

The impact of the State Department's report scheduled for release in June 2005 is bound to be serious as it will determine how the US votes on its financial commitment to the World Bank and IMF, Mr Law addressing a meeting organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry.

The US official noted that of far greater consequence was the threat that the opponents of unhindered trade between India and the US would tend to exploit this situation and try to stigmatise Indo-US trade relations on this score.

Mr Law said his visit to India would enable him to make an assessment of the enormity of the problem of child labour in projects nurtured by the US in four different States of India. He advocated the need to deal responsibly with the problem.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated February 26, 2005)
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