US lawmakers to demand full accounting on human trafficking report

WASHINGTON - Senior U.S. lawmakers expressed concern on Tuesday about whether the State Department's annual global report on human trafficking may have been watered down due to political considerations and vowed to demand a full accounting at a Senate hearing this week.

Human rights groups called for an investigation into why strategically important countries such as Malaysia and Cuba were upgraded from the list of worst offenders in human trafficking, after a Reuters article chronicled how senior U.S. diplomats repeatedly overruled State Department human rights experts.

The State Department denied that the country-by-country ratings in the latest report had been politicized.