Agencies are aiming to end human trafficking
Following the media coverage of the report on human trafficking, child labour and forced labour by the US Department of State, Thailand was designated under the Tier 2 Watch List for three years in a row. The allegation has strongly affected the country's international reputation as well as causing economic harm to certain industries/products, i.e. fisheries.
As a monitoring agency for trade disruption, the Department of Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Commerce of Thailand, has been actively and closely working with agencies concerned with a view to solving the problem.
The Ministry of Labour in collaboration with related government agencies and the private sector came to an agreement to put together a memorandum of understanding to ensure that human rights-related rules and regulations are strictly upheld, to prevent the exploitation of child labour and human trafficking in Samut Sakhon province. At the same time, the agencies concerned also assure that proper educational channels are made available to the children of migrant workers. The police have also set up an operation centre to suppress and prevent human trafficking. Additionally, the government and private sectors in Samut Sakhon province have come together to incorporate provincial strategies.
The following activities have been carried out:
Promotion and and support for the provision of education for children, to prevent children from the worst forms of child labour, by carrying out a survey on migrant child labour within Samut Sakhon province. A survey on the children of migrant labourers' demand for education has also been made. As required, the province will provide educational support for the fundamental 12 years of schooling. Samut Sakhon has set up 11 childcare centres, a long-distance learning and educational centre for children of migrant labourers to accommodate 855 children. This provision is vital to prevent children from prematurely entering the workforce, and to prepare them for future legitimate employment.
Current aims are to: provide capacity building on child-related laws and regulations, enforcement, and encouragement for the employment of labourers; and promote the prevention and eradication of the worst forms of child labour, coupled with the establishment of an operation centre for women and child labourers.
With a large number of migrant workers in the area, a Samut Sakhon pilot project was drawn up in collaboration with concerned agencies, with the intention of systematically eliminating the threat of human trafficking and child labour by establishing a working group on proactive planning and integrated labour inspection. This will provide knowledge and promote understanding of prevention, remedy and the impact of the worst forms of child labour. Thwe aim is to impose measures keeping children out of business establishments and to provide schooling/nursery care for children with the cooperation of NGOs and provincial educational institutes.
As such, the efforts made by the Department of Foreign Trade, the Ministry of Commerce and Thai agencies concerned outlined above demonstrate Thailand's determination and sincerity in alleviating the problem of child labour, forced labour, and human trafficking amomg the illegal workforce.
Department of Foreign Trade
Ministry of Commerce