Thailand needs to step up its fight against human trafficking

Photo courtesy of The Nation

Thailand remains in Tier 2 on the US Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, indicating a determined effort to combat human trafficking.

The US authority remarked that although Thailand has not met the minimum standards for eradicating trafficking, the government is making significant strides.

“The [Thai] government demonstrated overall increasing efforts compared with the previous reporting period. These efforts included increasing the number of trafficking investigations and prosecutions, and the number of victims identified and referred to services.”

However, the report also highlighted areas where Thailand falls short.

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“Inconsistent and ineffective interviewing practices during labour inspections and victim identification interviews left many trafficking victims unidentified and without care, especially those exploited in forced labour. Police did not make sufficient efforts to identify and protect trafficking victims exploited in forced criminality in online scam operations in neighbouring countries.”

Commenting on the report, Social Development and Human Security Minister Varawut Silpa-archa acknowledged the mixed results.

“Thailand can maintain its Tier 2 position, for which I thank all related parties, including the Justice Ministry, the Royal Thai Police, and the ministry’s officials, who have worked hard in the past year.”

Minister Varawut added that his ministry has been coordinating with US authorities and submitting detailed reports on human trafficking investigations. He concurred with the US report that Thailand still faces challenges, particularly in suppressing online scams and improving the effectiveness of victim interviews. He emphasised the ongoing collaboration with government agencies and civil society to enhance anti-trafficking efforts.

“We hope to see Thailand advance to Tier 1 next year. The fact that Thailand was not downgraded proves that the government and related agencies have maintained their efforts continually in the past year.”

A Tier 1 ranking is awarded to countries that fully comply with the minimum standards of the United States’ Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA), reported The Nation.

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Puntid Tantivangphaisal

Originally from Hong Kong, Puntid moved to Bangkok in 2020 to pursue further studies in translation. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Hong Kong. Puntid spent 8 years living in Manchester, UK. Before joining The Thaiger, Puntid has been a freelance translator for 2 years. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and listening to music, as well as writing short fiction and poetry.

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