Tourists and business travelers take note, because the U.S. government has added a new destination risk category.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden signed an executive order called “Bolstering Efforts to Bring Hostages and Wrongfully Detained U.S. Nationals Home.” And as part of that move, it will introduce a new risk indicator — “D” for wrongful detention — to the State Department’s travel advisories.
These advisories exist for all countries around the world to warn Americans of risks they may face in traveling to particular destinations.
To start with, six countries will be issued the latest “D” category, which is aimed at deterring and punishing wrongful detention of U.S. citizens abroad by authorizing government agencies to impose sanctions and other measures.
They are Myanmar, China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and Venezuela, which are all deemed to be places where there is elevated risk of wrongful detention.
The indicator joins the existing “K” for kidnapping indicator that covers the risk of kidnapping and hostage taking by non-state actors as well as a range of other existing risk indicators.
“We are eager to share how the Biden-Harris administration is expanding the toolkit that the U.S. government uses to help bring home American hostages and wrongful detainees” said a senior administration official.