PM vows to increase efforts against human trafficking following 2019 TIP report
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha is satisfied that Thailand remains on Tier 2 of the US State Department’s 2019 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report and has vowed to continue tackling human trafficking until it is resolved.
The report, released on Thursday, said Thailand did not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, although it is making significant efforts to do so.
According to government deputy spokesman Lt-Gen Werachon Sukondhapatipak, the Prime Minister said that Thailand remaining on Tier 2 shows the US is aware of the Thai government’s efforts to address human trafficking with progress in several areas.
Weeachon said the Prime Minister thanked all who are involved in the efforts to address the problem and vowed that his new government will increase efforts to fight human trafficking.
The TIP report said, essentially, the Thai government demonstrated overall increased efforts, compared to the previous reporting period. These efforts include identifying more victims, sentencing convicted traffickers and complicit officials to significant prison terms, developing manuals in partnership with civil society to standardize anti-trafficking training and policies.
For the first time, labour inspectors identified and referred potential victims to multi-disciplinary teams, resulting in the identification of trafficking victims.
However, the report said the Thai government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas. It added that the government prosecuted and convicted fewer traffickers and investigated only 43 cases of labour trafficking, restricted the movement and communication of victims residing in government shelters and official complicity continued to impede anti-trafficking efforts.
The State Department made some recommendations, among them are:
- Improvement of law enforcement’s capacity to prosecute and convict traffickers and identify trafficking victims
- Enforcing regular payment of wages and ensuring the rights of employees to retain possession of their identity and financial documents
- Increasing potential victims’ access to government services before they are formally identified
- Fostering an environment conducive to reporting human trafficking without fear of criminal prosecution