USAID Announces Project to Help Counter Trafficking in Persons in Thailand

REPORT from US Agency for International Development on Reliefweb,

BANGKOK, January 31, 2018 – Today, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced a five-year, $10 million initiative to assist the people and Government of Thailand in their ongoing efforts to counter human trafficking. Implemented by Winrock International and partners, the USAID Thailand Counter Trafficking in Persons (USAID Thailand CTIP) project will examine the scope of trafficked labor, empower at-risk populations and help strengthen victim protection systems.

Drawing on international best practices and local knowledge, activities will include partnerships with the private sector to reduce labor exploitation; behavior change communications to address discrimination of at-risk groups; and information, services and support networks for the vulnerable and for trafficking survivors.

“The U.S. Government remains committed to collaborating with countries around the world to better understand the causes of human trafficking and take concrete steps to end this scourge,” said U.S. Ambassador to Thailand, Glyn Davies. “Working in partnership with Thai authorities and the private sector, we look forward to this promising new activity that will help protect the vulnerable and care for all who have been victimized by this deplorable crime.”

In the first year, the project team will launch fact-finding activities initially in Bangkok, Chiang Rai, Sakaew and Surathani, focusing on the agriculture, construction and fishing and seafood processing sectors. In addition, the project will collaborate with the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and government officials at the national, regional and local level to identify gaps in systems and services for victims of trafficking. USAID Thailand CTIP will also engage with businesses and employers who are actively working to mitigate human trafficking risks to explore opportunities for partnership and cooperation.

Thailand’s reliance on migrant workers and reported abuses in several export-oriented industries has heightened international and domestic attention to trafficking in persons and labor exploitation. This has spurred action to improve enforcement of relevant international and domestic policies and laws. This project will work with local organizations and the private sector to encourage Thai producers and suppliers to comply with labor standards. It will also work with the Royal Thai Government to improve rights-based protections for those suffering abuse and address U.S. Department of State’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report recommendations.