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US rewards Thailand for action against human trafficking

IT TOOK A WHILE, but Thailand has climbed to an eight-year high, earning a Tier 2 ranking in the latest US Trafficking in Person (TIP) report launched by the US State Department.

 

While many are heartened by the Thai government’s success, a labour rights advocate notes that there is still room for improvement, especially concerning corruption and the victim screening process.

The annual report, released on Thursday in Washington, said that the Thai government had demonstrated increased efforts to address slavery and human trafficking.

Increased prosecutions, convictions of traffickers and a decrease in prosecution time for trafficking cases through the use of a specialised anti-trafficking law enforcement division were positively cited in the report.

Authorities also increased the number of investigations of suspected official complicity in trafficking crimes and had convicted 12 complicit officials in 2017, including 11 officials involved in the trafficking of Rohingya migrants, the report added.

Top officers such as PM General Prayut Chan-o-cha, his deputy and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai were all hailed for the latest ranking, a boost from the Tier 2 Watchlist the Kingdom received from 2016 and 2017 reports.

Thailand was downgraded to the lowest Tier 3 in the 2014 and 2015 reports, which were launched during the first two years of the junta rule.

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