PM presides over the opening ceremony of “2015 National Anti-Human Trafficking Day”
Royal Thai Government: Government News on 5 June 2015, at 09.00 hrs, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha (Ret.) presided over the opening ceremony of the “2015 National Anti-Human Trafficking Day,” at Santi Maitree Building, Government House. Gist of the Prime Minister’s speech is as follows:
PM Prayut expressed appreciation towards Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, Chairman of the Human Trafficking Prevention and Suppression Committee, for monitoring and mobilizing suppression of human trafficking activities, as stipulated in the Human Trafficking Suppression and Prevention Act, B.E. 2551. He also thanked ministers, executives and officers in all provinces of Thailand for putting related policies into practice, both at central and regional levels, and to act against trafficking in persons in a sustainable and efficient manner. Trafficking in persons affects liberties and seriously violates human rights of the people. It also has an impact on the confidence in trade and exportation in the industrial sector, affecting the national economy as a whole. Most importantly, it pertains to humanitarian principles.
The Government has recognized the perils of this prevailing problem, and has therefore placed the issue as a national agenda. It is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately through stricter law enforcement. The Government gives priority to prevention and suppression of human trafficking and aims at eliminating “human traffickers”, regardless of their influence or status. Thailand stands ready to cooperate with all concerned countries (of origin, in transit, and destination) in order to protect human trafficking victims of all genders, ages and nationalities. The Government has intended to tackle trafficking in persons in a comprehensive manner through strict law enforcement, punishment, prevention, protection, and cooperation with other agencies including NGOs, private development organizations, the private sector, civil society sector, the academic sector, and mass media both inside and outside Thailand.
The Government is not only addressing the issue of human trafficking, but also other relevant problems, such as reorganization of alien workers, prosecution against those involved in child sexual exploitation, and the beggar problem. For this purpose the government has accelerated the amendment of laws, regulations, and ministerial regulations. Further, all concerned agencies were ordered to be stricter on law enforcement, and to create understanding and knowledge of officers whose works are related to prevention and suppression of trafficking in persons.
The Prime Minister hoped that the Government’s efforts in preventing and suppressing human trafficking had been well demonstrated through law amendments to enhance punishment on the culprits, improvement of laws related to pornography, and the organization of alien workers and beggars. The Thanyaburi Model Project exemplifies Government’s efforts in comprehensively addressing the beggar problem, which also aims to tackle the root causes of the human trafficking problem.
The Government has also implemented a number of new policies, such as streamlining working process of concerned agencies in judicial administration, to ensure faster and more efficient collaboration, as well as to increase people’s confidence in the process of justice. Strict law enforcement is also prioritized. The Prime Minister reiterated once again that any person or group who committed human trafficking and exploitation must have no place in Thailand.
On punishment, especially for influential persons and government officials, PM Prayut stated that the Government had put its effort to bringing culprits to justice regardless of their influence or status. These individuals would go through a just and transparent prosecution process, and if convicted, they would be punished.
The Prime Minister had hoped that human trafficking situation will improve by this year. However, the problem cannot be eradicated within a short period of time, due to its complex nature and association with some long-rooted problems, such as illegal immigration, illegal fishing, and corrupt government officials. These problems have affected the security and economy of the country, and have undermined confidence in Thailand. Today, the Government has expressed its clear intent to prevent and suppress human trafficking in the most serious and effective manner. All concerned agencies must therefore put their utmost effort in combating this problem.
The Government would like to hear from the public and the press, including youth members in all provinces. Everyone should be aware of the issue, and help monitor the situation to break the cycle of human trafficking.
The Prime Minister also thanked many countries that had been cooperating with Thailand in solving the problem in this region. He thanked the press and media for reporting factual and constructive information, which is an encouragement to officials who have been working actively to eradicate trafficking in persons from Thailand.
At the end, PM Prayut gave moral support to all concerned officials who have dedicated themselves in the fight against human trafficking. He hoped for more awareness from the Thai people of the seriousness of the problem, and their cooperation in monitoring and surveillance in order to eliminate trafficking in persons in Thailand.
The Prime Minister called for trust and unity in solving the problem together with the Government and eradicating “human traffickers”. Campaigns against human trafficking have officially been launched, such as the short film presented earlier which is being broadcasted on TV and in social media. All agencies are demanded to take serious actions as human trafficking goes against humanitarian principles and has negative impacts on many aspects of the country.
This year, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security has implemented the “Thailand AGAINST Human Trafficking” project, providing various donation channels to raise funds for foundations that are helping human trafficking victims. Donations in the project can be made until September 5, 2015. Under the project, t-shirts and postcards with a barcode are given away/sold to donors who can scan the barcode and donate at Counter Service. Donors can also transfer money to KTB account no. 021-0-17650-4, which has been arranged specifically for this project.
Individuals and corporate donors can keep the transfer slip or other donation evidence for use in tax deduction. The Revenue Department is considering providing tax deduction for both individual and corporate donors supporting human trafficking victims. More information will be released on this at a later date.
PM Prayut took the initiative by donating 50,000 baht to the “Thailand AGAINST Human Trafficking” project. He also presented awards to outstanding government officers and press members for their outstanding performances in prevention and suppression of human trafficking.
After the opening of the “2015 National Anti-Human Trafficking Day”, the Prime Minister gave an interview on the human trafficking issue. He stated that the Government strived to solve the problem, and is ready to collaborate with international organizations. He hoped that the Government’s effort in preventing and suppressing human trafficking had been well demonstrated to the global community, and that Thailand’s tier in human trafficking would be adjusted accordingly.
For more information and updates about Thailand’s policies and actions against trafficking in persons and related issues, visit www.thaianti-humantraffickingaction.org