BANGKOK – Thailand is still on Tier 3 in the latest US Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, released Monday by the U.S. State Department, which rates 188 countries on their efforts to stamp out trafficking in persons.
Thailand was downgraded to Tier 3 last year, partly because of labor abuses in its seafood sector. Although the country has made efforts to change things, not enough has been done, states the report.
Thai officials where hoping they had done enough to be upgraded, but the report from the US state department is clear.
The Report Stated
“The Government of Thailand does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, and is not making significant efforts to do so. Thailand investigated and prosecuted some cases against corrupt officials involved in trafficking but trafficking-related corruption continued to impede progress in combating trafficking,”
According to the Bangkok Post, The Thai Government has played down the TIP report for some time, especially Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, who said the country has done its best to meet the US’s concerns, including rounding up trafficking networks.
Panitan Wattanayagorn, an academic from Chulalongkorn University’s political science faculty, said the Prayut government has made progress in dealing with human trafficking in line with recommendations from the US side, such as intensifying law enforcement that led to the arrests and indictments of human trafficking rings, including high-ranking officers.
Mr Panitan said if Thailand remains at Tier 3, it would show there are some weak points in the system that needed to be improved, concerning the victim screening process and legal proceedings in particular.
However, he said the credibility of the report could be brought into doubt if the report’s findings are exploited as diplomatic and political tools to pressure countries, or used to pursue bargaining on trade issues.
Read Full Article: Government Girds for TIP Rating