Thai Govt Certain Its Work Against Trafficking Will Up TIP Status
This confidence was expressed by Labour Minister Suchart Chomklin at the Thai National Anti-Human Trafficking Day event held in Government House on Monday. The day normally falls on June 5 but was marked on June 6 this year.
Suchart said the Labour Ministry has been implementing measures in line with requirements necessary for an upgrade in the TIP ranking.
Among the measures implemented, the ministry has published a standard operating procedure (SOP) for officials to use when screening for possible forced labour or victims of human-trafficking gangs, Suchart said.
He added that copies of the guideline have been sent to Labour Ministry officials in all 76 provinces to screen for human-trafficking victims.
The minister expressed confidence that his ministry’s operations would contribute to the government’s efforts to eliminate the scourge of human-trafficking crimes so Thailand’s TIP rating can be upgraded.
The US State Department downgraded Thailand to Tier 2 Watchlist on July 1, 2021, down from Tier 2 in 2020.
Meanwhile, the event marking National Anti-Human Trafficking Day was held under the theme of “No Victims No Tears”. The event was organised by the Social Development and Human Security Ministry with cooperation from other relevant agencies.
Social Development and Human Security Minister Juti Krairiksh said in a speech that the government realises that human trafficking is an international crime and severely violates people’s rights. Hence, he said, the government set June 5 as anti-human trafficking day.
He added that the government has been taking legal action against traffickers, enforcing laws to punish them severely and has been helping trafficking victims.
In 2021, the government took legal action against suspected human traffickers in 188 cases, up by 55 cases from 2020, Juti said.
The 188 cases included 107 online scams, he added. In some cases, government officials were caught over links with human trafficking, he said, without elaborating.
He added that during the Covid-19 pandemic, human traffickers used online platforms to con victims and trafficked them to become forced labour overseas.
Juti said the government has also granted migrant workers their rights in line with international conventions to protect them from human traffickers.
He said the PM’s Office has also issued directives from to prevent officials from getting involved in trafficking.
Over the past year, Thailand has helped 354 victims of human-trafficking gangs, up by 123 persons from the previous year.
The “No Victims No Tears” event at the Santi Maitree Building was opened by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
In his speech, Prayut said human trafficking was a complicated crime that severely violated human rights and posed severe threats to national security. It also adversely affects the country’s image, he said.
Hence, Prayut said, his government considers the issue very important and added the fight against human trafficking to the national agenda in 2015.
The PM added that his government has also come up with a 20-year strategic plan to fight human trafficking and boost efficiency in the battle against crimes.
He said the government is also implementing measures to protect women and children from being lured by human traffickers into pornography or forced labour.
Prayut said his government is also now focusing on helping victims first in its battle against human trafficking.
After completing his speech, Prayut handed out awards to officials, government agencies and youth for their outstanding work against human trafficking gangs.