Thailand is to get tough on people smugglers, according to deputy PM Prawit Wongsuwon in a Bangkok Post report today. The government aims to upgrade the country’s 2022 ranking in the US Trafficking in Persons Report, after being downgraded to the Tier 2 Watchlist in this year’s report.
Being given a Tier 2 Watchlist ranking means a government is deemed to not be in full compliance with minimum standards, but is making significant efforts. If Thailand succeeds in being upgraded to Tier 2, this ranking indicates that a country is taking important steps in dealing with human trafficking and is on the way to becoming fully compliant with international laws and standards.
Kongcheep Tantravanich, spokesman for Prawit, says tacking human trafficking is a national priority and the deputy PM wants to see more being done.
“The number of criminal actions against these illegal activities is in decline, while traffickers are taking advantage of online technologies to recruit victims. Identifying victims is sub-standard and alleged involvement of state officials in trafficking and the use of forced labour remains.”
In related news, the Bangkok Post reports that in the southern province of Ranong, a total of 63 Burmese workers have been detained after a car was stopped and 21 men were found crammed inside. The driver admitted he was taking them to an oil palm plantation, where another 21 migrants had already been dropped off. It’s understood the workers were trying to get to the Hat Yai district of Songkhla province, while others were heading to Malaysia.
Meanwhile, there have been additional arrests in the eastern province of Sa Kaeo, where 32 Cambodian nationals have been detained for entering the country illegally. The workers say Cambodian agents smuggled them into the country and they had hoped to get work in Bangkok, Samut Prakan, Rayong, Chon Buri, and Chachoengsao.
The Bangkok Post reports that the increase in migrants crossing into Thailand is being attributed to the government’s deadline for illegally hired workers to register and be given permission to remain and work legally.
SOURCE: Bangkok Post
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