Thailand is getting ready to provide an update of its efforts to fight human trafficking in the hope of winning a better ranking from the US in the next Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.
Last year, the Kingdom was placed in Tier 2 and included among countries whose governments do not fully meet the United States’ minimum standards but are making significant moves towards them.
Thailand’s move to Tier 2 marked an upward trend after it was stuck in the lowest tier, Tier 3, between 2014 and 2015.
During 2016 and 2017, the country fared better by climbing to Tier 2 Watch List.
Tier 1 is the best ranking in the TIP report, which the US uses to engage foreign governments in combating human trafficking.
“We are going to highlight the latest legal progress in the additionฌal report for TIP,” Social Development and Human Security Minister General Anantaporn Kanjanarat said recently.
Anantaporn said Thailand has submitted its 2018 report on antihuman trafficking efforts for the US to consider and has decided to file an additional report as well. “We will submit the additional report by April 5,” he said.
He added that the AntiMoney Laundering Office has, for example, promised to expedite the introduction of a legal tool that will allow authorities to not just seize illgotten gains from human traffickers, but also spend these funds on helping victims.
“On prostitution offences, we are planning to ensure we can take action against offenders even before the crimes take place. The law, which we are working on, will focus on their intention – if they intend to do wrong, then they will face legal action,” Anantaporn said.
He added that the new, improved labour law, which has already been given the green light by the National Legislative Assembly, will also provide better protection against human trafficking.
The minister pointed out that Thailand’s antihuman trafficking operations were clearly improving, and the country should at least be able to hang on to its Tier 2 ranking.
“We may do even better once the legal process is completed,” he said.
The US usually releases its annual TIP report in June.