US hits 17 nations for not combating human trafficking

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is identifying 17 countries as not doing enough to combat human trafficking and warning them of potential sanctions. It’s also calling out several U.S. allies and friends, including Israel, Norway and Portugal, for backsliding in efforts to stop the practice. And, in the first such criticism of a NATO member, it’s slapping Turkey for supporting armed groups in Syria that use child soldiers. The designations came Thursday in the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report, which cited the coronavirus pandemic as a cause for a surge in human slavery between 2020 and 2021.