Connect with us

Thailand

US downgrades Thailand to be among worst human trafficking hubs

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published 

 on 

US downgrades Thailand to be among worst human trafficking hubs | The Thaiger
  • follow us in feedly

PHUKET MEDIA WATCH

– Thailand news selected by Gazette editors for Phuket’s international community

Thailand downgraded to be among worst trafficking centres
The Nation / Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: The US State Department yesterday downgraded Thailand to the lowest level in its annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report – a move that could trigger sanctions by the United States.

After years of warnings, the US dumped Thailand, Malaysia and Venezuela at the bottom of a list of countries accused of failing to tackle modern-day slavery, AFP reported from Washington.

Thailand had been on Tier 2 watchlist for four years for poor law enforcement before it dropped to the lowest rung – Tier 3.

The three countries, plus Gambia, found themselves added to a nations such as Iran, North Korea and Syria, which have already been languishing on the lowest tier of the State Department’s annual report into human trafficking.

“We each have a responsibility to make this horrific and all-too-common crime a lot less common,” US Secretary of State John Kerry wrote in the 2014 TIP report, denouncing what he called “the evil of human trafficking”.

Tens of thousands of the world’s trafficking victims end up in Thailand as migrants from neighbouring countries “who are forced, coerced, or defrauded into labour or exploited in the sex trade”, the report said. The TIP survey was carried out before the military coup.

“Anti-trafficking law enforcement efforts remained insufficient compared with the size of the problem in Thailand, and corruption at all levels hampered the success of these efforts,” the report said.

Earlier yesterday, the Commerce Ministry set up a working panel on trade and labour to increase efficiency in solving labour and related trade problems. Srirat Rasrapana, permanent secretary at the ministry, said the panel was made up of representatives from government, plus the public and private sectors.

“All sectors are waiting for the US [anti-trafficking] report. Thailand will move forward to solve labour problems no matter what the report comes out with. The committee will be a deep trilateral collaboration and will show Thailand’s seriousness in resolving the [people smuggling] problem,” he said.

The new working committee will raise efficiency in countering illegal labour and clearly communicate its unity with the international community in doing this. The panel will also support the work of the National Council for Peace and Order’s committee on illegal migrant workers.

Srirat said the Thai government and private enterprises had continuously worked on labour problems.

The ministry had also assigned Thai trade representatives in Washington DC and Brussels, as well as trading partners to send clear letters of explanation to increase understanding about its efforts to solve labour problems.

The ministry also expects that the US will keep Thailand at the same level when it unveils its Worst Form of Child Labour report in September this year. Thailand is considering proposing to the US that five Thai products be withdrawn from exports because producers here allegedly use child or forced labour.

The five products are shrimp, garments, sugarcane, pornography, and fish. The proposal will proceed in August.

In a bid to alert Thai enterprises about issues of social concern, Srirat warned that the EU had serious environmental concerns over unregulated fishing, timber regulations, emissions trading and the greenhouse effect (global warming).

Junta chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha said last night that concern about a possible downgrade led to the junta’s ongoing moves against illegal labour. He said this aimed at improving Thailand’s image on the international stage in regard to human rights and labour.

Prayuth made the remark during the live broadcast of his weekly TV programme “Returning Happiness to the People”.

He blamed criminal gangs preying on migrant workers for the rumour that the military was brutally cracking down on foreign labourers, particularly those from Cambodia. The rumour led to an exodus of over 100,000 Cambodian workers. He said those gangs could make more money smuggling the illegal labourers back to Thailand.

Meanwhile, Democrat Party leader Abhisit Vejjajiva said yesterday that the downgrade would hurt Thai exports, as there could be punitive measures by other countries. He spoke after meeting US Ambassador Kristie Kenney at the party’s headquarters. Abhisit called on the envoy to help create mutual understanding in order to ensure good mutual ties.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Thailand. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Economy

“Protests could affect the economy” – Bank of Thailand

Caitlin Ashworth

Published

on

“Protests could affect the economy” – Bank of Thailand | The Thaiger

The ongoing political protests could have a negative impact on Thailand’s already crippled economy by weakening domestic consumption and tourism even more, according to the Bank of Thailand. The bank’s newly appointed governor Settaput Suthiwart-Narueput, who started this month, says they need to keep a close watch on the situation.

“Basically, the political factor is one of the uncertainties… It could affect the economy, particularly consumer confidence and tourism. The central bank has been monitoring the situation closely especially how all the parties concerned handle the protests.”

The halt of foreign tourist arrivals over the past 7 months have heavily impacted the economy. Thailand lost 1.6 trillion baht, or 10% of the GDP. Around 40 million foreign tourists visited Thailand last year while this year is only expected to have a total of 6.7 million. The bank’s governor says it’s going to take some time for the economy to recover.

“It will take at least 2 years for the economy to return to pre-pandemic levels… From now on, the economy is likely to see a continuous contraction on a quarterly basis. It is expected to begin to show a positive growth rate in the second rate in the second quarter of 2021 and be back to normal growth in the third quarter of 2022.”

President of the Tourism Council of Thailand Chairat Tirrattanajarasporn also says the continuing pro-democracy protests could negatively impact the tourism industry and is urging government officials to engage in dialogue with the protesters. He also says that people tend to save their money during protest movements rather than spending it on trips.

Those interested in travelling to Thailand on the Special Tourist Visa are not concerned with the political climate and ongoing protests, according to Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Yuthasak Supasorn.

“It is too early to assess the impact on tourism as mass gatherings have occurred recently and there has been no violence.”

While monitoring the protests and the potential effect they have on the economy, the governor says the Bank of Thailand will also tackle the debt crisis. Debt relief measures, put in place by the bank to aid businesses battered by the pandemic, are lifting this month. The bank is now working on debt solutions.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

Catch up with the latest daily “Thailand News Today” here on The Thaiger.

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Politics

Former Pheu Thai chair to challenge legality of emergency decree

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Former Pheu Thai chair to challenge legality of emergency decree | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Nation Thailand

Thai politician and former chair of the Pheu Thai Party, Khunying Sudarat Keyuraphan, has confirmed she plans to challenge the legality of the emergency decree in court. She joins a number of opposition MPs and other activists who are petitioning to have the decree lifted. Bangkok awoke to a state of emergency declared by PM Prayut Chan-o-cha in the early hours of last Thursday, amid growing political unrest.

Posting on her Facebook page, Sudarat points to the PM himself, who she describes as, “the source of the problem”. She says the current political protests are a result of him using a military coup to take control from the people, and then drafting a charter that supported the transfer of power to Thailand’s military.

“Other politicians and I have followed the situation with concern and tried to prevent the government from applying their power. We had a discussion yesterday and agreed that we should use the right in the court to protect the protesters.”

Two MPs from the Pheu Thai Party have also expressed their intention to sue the PM for having invoked the emergency decree. Cholnan Srikaew and Jirayu Houngsub are calling on the Civil Court to rescind the state of emergency and guarantee the protection of anti-government activists.

Nation Thailand reports that former judge, Kasem Suphasit, and former Democrat MP, Watchara Petchthong, have also confirmed they are taking legal action against the PM, claiming the implementation of the emergency decree is unlawful.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading

Protests

Letter calling for Thai PM’s resignation signed by over 1,000 academics

Maya Taylor

Published

on

Letter calling for Thai PM’s resignation signed by over 1,000 academics | The Thaiger
Anusorn Unno, anthropology lecturer at Thammasat Universit. PHOTO: www.db.sac.or.th

A petition calling for the resignation of Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha, has been signed by up to 1,118 academics and delivered to Government House. The petition was created by the Thai Academic Network for Civil Rights. Nation Thailand reports that a group of university lecturers and students have marched to Government House to deliver the letter. They include Anusorn Unno, anthropology lecturer at Thammasat University, and Thamrongsak Petchlertanan, a lecturer in Political Science at Rangsit University.

In the letter, academics slam the government’s clampdown on an October 16 rally in Bangkok, when police used water cannons, allegedly laced with blue-dyed chemical irritants, to disperse protesters at the Pathumwan intersection.

Anusorn claims the action injured several people and only served to ignite further anger at the government. He is calling on the administration to refrain from violence when dealing with protesters, to stop the gagging of government critics, put an end to laws that infringe on freedom of speech, and to cede to the protesters’ demands.

Those demands are outlined in a 10-point manifesto and include the PM’s resignation, the dissolution of parliament, and a call for fresh elections. The manifesto appeared at a protest in early August and has since provided a consistent ‘script’ for the protest movement. Protesters are also calling for a re-write of the 2017 Thai Charter (Constitution) and for reforms to the role of the Thai Monarchy.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand

Keep in contact with The Thaiger by following our Facebook page.
Never miss out on future posts by following The Thaiger.
Continue Reading
Thailand News Today | Media censorship, Thai parliament to meet, STV flight arrives | October 20 | The Thaiger
Thailand21 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Media censorship, Thai parliament to meet, STV flight arrives | October 20

Thailand News Today | Protest update, Samui wants cheap flights, Isaan croc hunters | October 19 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 days ago

Thailand News Today | Protest update, Samui wants cheap flights, Isaan croc hunters | October 19

Thailand News Today | Bangkok protests, Special Tourist Visa, Prisoners slippery escape | October 16 | The Thaiger
Thailand5 days ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok protests, Special Tourist Visa, Prisoners slippery escape | October 16

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency, Pattaya ‘online’, Veggie Festival plea | October 15 | The Thaiger
Thailand6 days ago

Thailand News Today | State of Emergency, Pattaya ‘online’, Veggie Festival plea | October 15

Thailand News Today | BKK protest update, Chiang Mai ‘quiet’, Baby klong crocs | October 14 | The Thaiger
Thailand7 days ago

Thailand News Today | BKK protest update, Chiang Mai ‘quiet’, Baby klong crocs | October 14

Thailand News Today | No STV tourists, Boss in Dubai, border fears in Tak | October 13 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | No STV tourists, Boss in Dubai, border fears in Tak | October 13

Thailand News Today | Land bridge project, “Thai Bridge”, Chaing Mai black widow | October 12 | The Thaiger
Thailand1 week ago

Thailand News Today | Land bridge project, “Thai Bridge”, Chaing Mai black widow | October 12

Thailand News Today | Army v Twitter, Tourism interrupted, Thailand World’s #6 | October 9 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Army v Twitter, Tourism interrupted, Thailand World’s #6 | October 9

Thailand News Today | Tourist arrivals postponed, Will Boss return?, deadly centipede | October 8 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Tourist arrivals postponed, Will Boss return?, deadly centipede | October 8

Thailand News Today | Poll-Keep borders closed, quarantine exemption, heavy rain | October 7 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Poll-Keep borders closed, quarantine exemption, heavy rain | October 7

Thailand News Today | Business people exemptions, road checkpoints, Phuket delay | October 6 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Business people exemptions, road checkpoints, Phuket delay | October 6

Thailand News Today | Live from Thammasat, Sacked teacher sues parents, Pattaya eating contest | October 5, 2020 | The Thaiger
Thailand2 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Live from Thammasat, Sacked teacher sues parents, Pattaya eating contest | October 5, 2020

Thailand News Today | Prison release?, Pattaya Makeover, 6 new Covid cases | October 2 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Prison release?, Pattaya Makeover, 6 new Covid cases | October 2

Thailand News Today | Waiting for vaccine, new face of Thailand expats, teacher complaints | Oct 1 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Waiting for vaccine, new face of Thailand expats, teacher complaints | Oct 1

Thailand News Today | Phuket re-opens, TripAdvisor review saga, Samut Prakhan chem spill | Sept 30 | The Thaiger
Video & Podcasts3 weeks ago

Thailand News Today | Phuket re-opens, TripAdvisor review saga, Samut Prakhan chem spill | Sept 30

Follow The Thaiger by email:

Trending