Phuket officials say no human trafficking cases found in island province

Photo by PR Phuket.

Thailand is notorious for its human trafficking problems, but a Phuket government sub-committee says it has found no human trafficking cases on the island province. The sub-committee works with the Phuket Provincial Trafficking Prevention and Suppression Action Center.

At a meeting at City Hall yesterday, Phuket’s vice governor said the sub-committee’s efforts are focusing on five key areas of human trafficking: labour, prostitution, people living in poverty, and migrants, especially Rohingyas from Myanmar. Vice Governor Anupap, who is also the centre’s chairman, says officials have inspected fishing boats and ports, and have found no cases of any type of human trafficking.

Anupap said the finding is a positive sign. He said the reason officials haven’t found trafficking cases is because measures have been taken continuously. He stressed, however, that officials can’t ditch their efforts to fight trafficking, and all departments are continuing to surveil for any trafficking cases.

Last month, the US promoted Thailand from the “Tier 2 Watch List” up to “Tier 2” in their annual Trafficking In Persons Report. However, Thailand still has a long way to go, according to the report.

One point the report said Thailand needed to improve on was inspections of fishing vessels. This year, officials conducted at-sea inspections of 671 fishing vessels but did not identify a single violation. The report said that inspections did not include sufficient checks for labour violations and did not consistently have interpreters available for foreign crew members.

Time will tell if any new details emerge following the Phuket officials’ claim that they found no human trafficking on the island province.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.