Thailand defends human trafficking record

Thailand yesterday defended its human trafficking record and hit back at US accusations that the illegal transportation of people is a critical national problem.

A Thai delegation, led by Chettaphan Maksamphan, director-general of the Department of American and South Pacific Affairs, met with US Department of State officials in Washington last week to discuss the matter ahead of the 2022 annual Trafficking in Persons Report.

Thai officials insisted human trafficking is a regional issue, not a national problem, and urged the US not to target individual countries.

Police Lieutenant General Surachate Hakparn, assistant chief of the national police, who is in charge of combating human trafficking operations, says Thailand is not an origin or destination country as mentioned in the previous TIP report and human trafficking should not be blamed on one specific country.

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“Thailand is only a transit point, and the Thai government has made a serious effort in stamping out human trafficking.”

The Thai delegation in Washington updated US officials on its efforts to tackle the illegal transportation of people, including the prosecution of trafficking suspects and the provision of assistance to victims.

Surachate admitted Thailand witnessed a sharp rise in human trafficking cases between October last year and May this year, with 193 trafficking cases and 200 cases involving the sexual abuse of children. He also revealed assets valued at 142 million baht were seized during the period.

Surachate added US authorities were satisfied with Thailand’s suppression of human trafficking, specifically the rescue of 200 people duped to work illegally in neighbouring Cambodia.

US officials made several recommendations to combat trafficking victims and asked Thailand to submit documents on six topics, including the number of rescued victims and its details.

Thailand was demoted to the Tier 2 Watch List in last year’s TIP report. The government hopes it will be upgraded this year for addressing problems mentioned in last year’s report.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Bob Scott

Bob Scott is an experienced writer and editor with a passion for travel. Born and raised in Newcastle, England, he spent more than 10 years in Asia. He worked as a sports writer in the north of England and London before relocating to Asia. Now he resides in Bangkok, Thailand, where he is the Editor-in-Chief for The Thaiger English News. With a vast amount of experience from living and writing abroad, Bob Scott is an expert on all things related to Asian culture and lifestyle.

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