Deputy Prime Minister Prawit: Thailand to Continue Anti-Human Trafficking Efforts Despite Pandemic
Deputy Prime Minister emphasized the integrated efforts among agencies, capacity building, clear standards and procedures, and continued efforts in combatting human trafficking, despite the ongoing pandemic, in the latest inter-agencies meeting.
On July 23, 2021, Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwan, chaired the 3/2021 virtual Meeting of inter-agencies Anti-Human Trafficking Committee.
The Meeting acknowledged the latest U.S. government’s Trafficking-in-Person (TIP) Reports 2021, which mentioned the significant efforts of the Thai government to eliminate human trafficking, including (1) improving coordination with civil society in trafficking investigations and victim protection, (2) organizing training and workshops for prosecutors and judges on trauma-informed procedures, (3) initiating investigations of nine officials allegedly complicit in trafficking crimes, (4) creating working groups to consider adopting a reflection period for victims and a national referral mechanism and (5) institutionalizing the police division dedicated to combatting the online sexual exploitation of children (TICAC). The TICAC Taskforce, established under Royal Thai Police HQ, is considered a model for many other countries in Asia.
The Meeting also took note of shortcomings mentioned in the Report, especially under the challenge of the pandemic, and discussed the Report’s recommendations, the accuracy of information taken from NGOs, as well as the methods used in the evaluation that may not represent international standard.
However, the Meeting approved the 2021-2022 Action Plan on Anti-Human Trafficking with flagship projects that covers efforts in prosecution, protection, and prevention.
Deputy Prime Minister emphasized the integrated efforts between relevant agencies in order to enhance anti-human trafficking efficiency in a sustainable way. He also approved the setting up of subcommittee on officers’ capacity building and urged relevant parties to establish the multidisciplinary teams’ operational standards expeditiously – focusing on identification of victims of labor trafficking and victims of forced labor or services in order to support the migrant worker management and forced labor prevention measures.
Deputy Prime minister reiterated that Thailand attaches great importance to combatting human trafficking in all forms, which is a national agenda. He instructed all relevant agencies to implement the measures under 3 P (Prosecution, Protection and Prevention) for the successful and concrete outcomes and emphasized the importance of capacity building, as well as having the clear standard and procedures with the aim to meet international standards in all facets. He also warned of severe punishment for officials complicity and encouraged all agencies to continue their good work in combatting human trafficking in accordance with human rights standards.