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Thailand remains on tier 2 of Human trafficking

In the most recent Trafficking in Persons report (2023 TIP Report), which the U.S. State Department released earlier today (Friday), Thailand continues to be ranked in Tier 2, along with 104 other nations and territories that were evaluated globally.

Based on the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), the report assigns each nation a grade based on how successfully or poorly they are addressing the issue of human trafficking.

Being in Tier 2 signifies that although the Thai government falls short of the TVPA’s minimal requirements, it is making considerable efforts to comply.

Switzerland, Norway, New Zealand, Japan, Brazil, Mexico, Italy, and Indonesia are just a few examples of Tier 2 nations.

The report includes accounts of employees who were trafficked across nations, particularly Thailand. One such instance included a 20-year-old Uzbek who was hired to work in IT in Thailand. But he was compelled to work for an online fraud organization after being smuggled to Myanmar alongside many other people. Another instance was a Cambodian guy who was convinced to take a flight to the Philippines, but who was instead forced to operate bitcoin frauds online while being trafficked to China via Thailand.

According to the report, organized crime groups based in China are increasingly using social media to recruit East African and Asian workers who are fluent in English or have technical backgrounds. They promise them lucrative jobs in what they claim to be Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, and other countries in the region. When they arrive, victims are taken to sizable buildings known as “scam factories,” where their passports are taken away and they are subjected to physical and sexual abuse. Traffickers coerce their victims to commit fraud against complete strangers through online cryptocurrency, romance, and unlawful gaming schemes.

The Thai Foreign Affairs ministry has released a statement in response to the report, stating that fighting human trafficking has long been a top priority for Thailand and that the government is “fully committed and will continue to improve relevant laws and regulations, enhance operational efficiency, and strengthen partnerships with all stakeholders, including the private sector and civil society, as well as international organizations, neighboring countries, and civil society organizations.”

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