Thailand hopeful of ‘Tier 2’ in US human trafficking report

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Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan expressed confidence on May 11 that Thailand’s ranking in the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report this year would improve to Tier 2.

Speaking at a press conference at Government House, Prawit said the government has done a lot to suppress human trafficking and to improve workers’ conditions as suggested in the last US TIP report.

As a result, he is confident Thailand would be taken off the Tier 2 Watch List and included in Tier 2 this year.

On July 1, 2021, the State Department report downgraded Thailand to the Tier 2 Watch List, down from Tier 2 the previous year.

Also present at the press conference were Social Security and Human Security Minister Juti Krairiksh and Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin.

Prawit said the government realised the seriousness of human trafficking so it announced suppression and prevention of the crime as a national agenda in 2015.

Since that announcement, all government agencies have integrated their operations to fight human trafficking with the help and advice of international organisations.

This year, the government also announced national mechanisms for management of human trafficking legal cases and for providing remedy to victims, as well as tackling unfair employment practices, Prawit said.

The mechanisms served to upgrade the standards of operations to suppress human trafficking to meet international standards, he said.

As part of the government’s successful operations, 188 human trafficking cases were wrapped up last year, the deputy prime minister pointed out.

He said the government also introduced online methods for managing cases and helping victims.

From last year until now, the government has been carrying out operations to prevent and suppress human trafficking according to five suggestions in the last TIP report, and the operations have seen concrete results, Prawit said.

For example, the government issued an operations manual for officials who deal with such cases.

The government has also developed mechanisms to check and detect human trafficking, while employers are required to draw up labour contracts both in Thai and the language of immigrant workers.

Prawit said the government has additionally set up a national centre for separating victims from human traffickers and has even issued measures to prevent children from becoming victims.

“All these operations clearly show the Thai government is trying its best to prevent and suppress human trafficking sustainably,” he added. “So Thailand deserves to be upgraded to Tier 2 this year.”

THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK