Country committed to fighting trafficking, PM says

By Wasamon Audjarint for The Nation on 27 June 2017,

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha on Tuesday stressed that Thailand is committed to fighting human trafficking, as the US State Department released its 2017 Trafficking in Persons report late tonight (Bangkok time).

Speaking hours before the Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report was released, Prayut said he did not mind how Thailand was graded by the US in the report as it was now part of the national agenda to tackle these concerns.

In September 2015 – the same year that camps involving many boatpeople, plus a report on slave labour in the food sector emerged, Prayut’s government vowed to put human trafficking at the front of its agenda.

But the government’s subsequent actions to tackle modern slave trading have seen the country elevated from the lowest Tier-3 level in 2015 to the Tier 2 Watchlist last year, signifying the country’s improved efforts to eradicate the problem.

In January, the Foreign Ministry submitted a report to the State Department on Thailand’s 2016 performance in battling modern-day slavery, for the TIP report.

Citing several improved figures, the Ministry emphasised five strategic dimensions or “five Ps” – policy, prosecution, protection, prevention and partnership – that Thailand has relied on to tackle human trafficking.

Earlier this month, Government House also hosted an event for National Anti-Human Trafficking Day, where Prayut said his administration had so far uncovered and investigated 333 cases, 75 per cent of which involved prostitution.