Thailand’s Position on the U.S. State Department’s 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report.
On 1 July 2021 at 13.00 hrs. (EDT), the U.S. State Department released the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report (2021 TIP Report), ranking Thailand in Tier 2 Watch List, down from Tier 2 in the previous year.
Noting such ranking, Thailand finds it disappointing that the Report does not reflect fairly the significant efforts and concrete progress Thailand has made in combatting human trafficking. The TIP Report, after all, unilaterally makes an evaluation from the U.S.’ very own view and by no means represents any international standard.
The Royal Thai Government attaches great importance to combatting human trafficking, which is the national agenda. All measures taken by Thailand are meant for the betterment of Thai society, raising our standards in protecting and preventing Thai citizens and foreign nationals in Thailand, including migrant workers, from falling victims to human trafficking. Over the years, progress has evidently been made and sustained efforts have borned tangible outcomes. In 2020, despite the widespread of COVID-19 pandemic, Thailand’s achievements in key areas include
(1) Prosecution – Efficacy has increased, with a decreasing trend in the length of time spent for the completion of prosecution process. More than 90 percent of the submitted cases were adjudicated by the Court within one year while more than 67 percent of offenders were handed down severe sentences, i.e. imprisonment of 5 years or more. Complicit officials were also punished and online human trafficking, a rising form of trafficking during the pandemic, was cracked down;
(2) Protection – Victim-centred and trauma-informed care approaches continue to be undertaken to protect victims of human trafficking while partnership with the civil society orgnizations in supporting victims with shelters and services were encouraged and strengthened;
(3) Prevention – Migrant workers from Cambodia, Laos PDR, and Myanmar were granted extended period of stay in Thailand until 31 March 2022 as a part of the COVID-19 pandemic measures. 240,572 migrant workers who registered under this provision had received protection and welfares in accordance with relevant laws and regulations; thus minimizing their risks of falling prey to human traffickers. New laws were also enacted to, among others, raise the standard of living and facilities of fishing boats as well as facilitate the seabook registration process for migrant fisheries workers. Capacity-building and training programmes were held regularly through various channels to enhance the efficiency of law enforcement officers and promote awareness among the vulnerable groups about risks of human trafficking and possible exploitation in different forms.
The Royal Thai Government remains resolute to advancing their efforts in prevention and suppression of human trafficking to safeguard human dignity in line with the human rights and humanitarian principles which Thailand has long cherished and upheld. Thailand stands ready to enhance cooperation with various partners in a constructive manner, both domestically and internationally, with a view to ultimately eradicating the scourge of human trafficking and forced labour in all forms.