The United States released its annual human trafficking report Thursday and added eight countries, including Uzbekistan and fledgling democracy Myanmar, to the blacklist of those not doing enough to halt it.
Djibouti, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Suriname and Turkmenistan were also added to the now 26-strong blacklist of governments the State Department believes are not fighting people smuggling or slavery.
Kuwait and Thailand found themselves promoted from this "Tier 3" list of worst offender to the "Tier 2 watch list" of countries making some kind of effort to combat the trade in persons but still under scrutiny.
Libya, Somalia and Yemen were judged special cases whose governments are in too much chaos to be judged.
Human rights watchdogs welcomed the demotion of Myanmar and Uzbekistan, which they felt had been unfairly protected from scrutiny for political reasons in last year's report, but expressed regret that Thailand and Malaysia were not being held to account.