War on sex traffickers to continue, pledges PM

PRIME MINISTER General Prayut Chan-o-cha has confirmed the government’s commitment to keep cracking down on human trafficking crimes as a national priority. His comment came as the Cabinet was yesterday updated on the progress made last year in preventing and suppressing human trafficking.

There were 304 human trafficking cases during (fiscal year) 2018 – these comprised 258 cases of sexual exploitation, 35 of forced labour, eight involving human trafficking of street beggars and three involving extortion. More than 75 per cent of these cases had been solved and processed by the justice system, said assistant government spokesman Athisit Chainuwat, citing the report by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS).

Athisit also said the number of victims of human trafficking who received protection at shelters under the MSDHS had been on the rise and that the human trafficking prevention and suppression fund had paid a total of Bt6.15 million in compensation to victims in the same period, a slight increase over the previous year’s Bt5.64m.

The report also noted that the mission also received a budget of Bt3.8 billion for the current year, a 4.53 per cent increase over the previous year’s Bt3.64bn.

Thai authorities have also been trying to legalise foreign migrant workers, check on their national identity/working status and provide skills training in order to stop them from being exploited by human traffickers, he said.

Even as policymakers were discussing this in Bangkok, operatives on the ground continued to wage war on human traffickers.

Source: The Nation
Photo Credits: The Secretariat of the Prime Minister Government House