United Nations Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons Joy Ngozi Ezeilo will visit Thailand from Monday to August 19 to appraise the government’s efforts to curb the illicit trade, DPA reported.
“During my mission, I wish to reach out to a wide range of stakeholders and trafficked persons themselves, so that their voices are heard and can be considered in the national laws, policies and measures related to trafficking in persons,” Ezeilo said in a statement.
Thailand is a major hub for illegal trafficking in humans, mainly from neighbouring countries including Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar.
In June, the US State Department Trafficking in Persons Report blasted the government for failing to live up to its commitments in ending the illicit trade and placed Thailand on its Tier Two watch list, along with other countries such as Afghanistan and Zambia.
“Despite significant efforts, the government has not shown sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to address human trafficking over the previous year, particularly in the areas of prosecuting and convicting both sex and labour trafficking offenders,” the report concluded.
Ezeilo, an independent expert mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to investigate trafficking issues, will be in Thailand at the invitation of the government.
“We are concerned about being on the Tier Two watchlist,” said Foreign Ministry spokesman Thani Thongphaksi.
“We have made serious efforts to address the human trafficking problem and we feel that a lot of progress has been made,” he said.
While in Thailand Ezeilo will visit Bangkok, Chiang Mai,Chiang Rai, Mae Sot, Samut Sakhon and Songkhla