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Thailand pushes for promotion in US people-trafficking report

Thailand has laid out its case for promotion to tier 1 in this year’s Trafficking in Persons Report as the government seeks to remove US restrictions on key exports.

The government delivered a report on Thailand's anti-human trafficking performance (TIP report) for the year 2020 to the US Embassy on February 2, followed by a progress report on April 3.

Thailand has been in tier 2 of the US TIP report for three years in a row, having been promoted from the tier 3 blacklist after tightening measures against human trafficking in its seafood and textile industries. However, seafood, sugarcane and garments remain on the US list of Thai exports suspected of being produced using child or forced labour.

In its latest report in 2019, the United States said Thailand had made a moderate advance in eliminating the worst forms of child labour, but found children were still working in the garment, agricultural and seafood-processing sectors.

Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had given serious attention to solving the human trafficking problem covering all dimensions, government spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek said on Tuesday.

This year’s report shows Thailand has stepped up measures against the problem by using statistics on arrests and legal punishment, and by passing Asia’s first National Plan of Action on Business and Human Rights, said Ratchada.

Meanwhile, human trafficking cases are being prosecuted faster with the investigation timeframe reduced from 118 days in 2015 to 70 days in 2020, she added. Thailand had also worked with civil society networks to establish a centre to help migrant workers who encounter problems at work, Ratchada said.

On Monday, a dozen Thai industry associations signed non-binding pacts to eradicate child and forced labour from their supply chains.

Published : April 06, 2021