Thailand has submitted a report to the US detailing its anti-human trafficking efforts in the hope of being upgraded from Tier 2 to Tier 1 in Washington’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, due for release in June.
Deputy government spokeswoman Rachada Dhnadirek said the government was aiming for Tier 1 after being ranked in Tier 2 for three consecutive years.
Tier 1 lists countries whose governments fully comply with the minimum standards set out in America’s Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA), while Tier 2 applies to governments that do not fully comply with the minimum standards, but which are making efforts to bring themselves into compliance.
In 2018, Thailand was upgraded from Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 in recognition of significant strides made compared to the previous year.
Before that, Thailand was ranked in Tier 3, which is for countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.
Thailand submitted the 2020 TIP Report on 2nd February and a report on progress in its anti-human trafficking operations from January to March of this year to the US embassy on 3rd April, according to Ms Dhnadirek.
This year’s submission includes statistics on arrests and punishments for human-trafficking offences as well as the implementation of the National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights. Thailand is the first Asian country to introduce such a plan, she said.
The country is processing human trafficking cases more quickly by shortening the investigation time from 118 days in 2015 to 70 days in 2020, Ms Dhnadirek added.
The country has also developed procedures to help human trafficking victims with differing sexualities and set up centres to help migrant workers with work-related problems.
Another important achievement was the use of the PROTECT-U application developed by the Social Development and Human Security Ministry, she said.
Available in seven languages, the app receives complaints from human-trafficking victims and provides them with access to protection.
Ms Dhnadirek said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha thanked all sectors, particularly the civil sector, for working together to prevent and suppress human trafficking in Thailand. Their cooperation had contributed to concrete achievements in the country’s anti-human trafficking efforts, she quoted him as saying.