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Unfazed by TIP, minister cites progress made on trafficking


Social Development and Human Security Minister Pol General Adul Sangsingkeo has said government efforts to curb human trafficking will continue regardless of Thailand’s ranking on the United States’ annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.

Ministry spokesman Narong Khongkham quoted Adul as responding to Tuesday night’s announcement that Thailand remains on the US Tier 2 Watch List by vowing to continue the fight against traffickers.
He said Adul pointed out that it is government policy to prevent and suppress trafficking. Such trans-national offences are serious violations of human rights and combating them is a national agenda item, Adul said. 
The minister noted that the government had in the past year attempted to curb the problem by integrating the work of various agencies under the collaborative “Pracha Rath” concept. 
This had resulted in legal action in 333 trafficking cases last year – in which 54 state officials were punished, suspects’ assets worth Bt784 million were seized, and 561 victims had been rescued, both foreigners and Thais. 
Adul was quoted as saying that the government allowed the rescued foreign victims to remain in the country for two years after their cases were closed and 196 were allowed to find jobs, up from 47 the previous year. 
He said the government had registered migrant workers in the fishery industry and service establishments and even street beggars to try and prevent at-risk people from falling prey to traffickers. 
“No matter what Thailand’s rank is [in the TIP report], the government via the Social Development and Human Security Ministry and related agencies will continue working against traffickers with determination and protecting the victims, while upholding humanitarian, human rights and human dignity principles and ensuring the participation of all sides for the effective prevention and suppression of trafficking crimes,” Adul said.
Thailand’s placement on Tier 2 of the four-level assessment suggests that Washington acknowledges significant efforts to tackle trafficking are being made, but indicates the Kingdom still doesn’t comply with US standards.

Published : June 28, 2017

By : The Nation