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Modern-day slavery in Thailand

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In fight against sex trafficking & forced labour no progress made last year, 305 cases in 2012 but only 27 prosecuted & just 10 convictions. 

A file photo from Dec 2012 shows five Thai women returning home after being rescued from a brothel in Bahrain. A total of 21 Thais were recently rescued from forced prostitution in a coordinated effort by Bahraini authorities and the Thai embassy in Bahrain. But the US State Department has warned that Thailand is doing too little to prevent human trafficking into the sex trade, fishing-related industries and domestic servitude.

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HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Report documents 'slavery' in Thailand

20 Jun 2013
Lauren Higgs

The government is doing too little to stop tens of thousands of trafficking victims being forced into "modern slavery" in the sex trade, fishing-related industries and domestic servitude in Thailand, the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report by the US State Department has warned.

The US government report, which grades 188 countries and territories on their efforts to tackle trafficking, places Thailand on its Tier 2 watch list for a fourth consecutive year. 

This means the Thai government is failing to comply with America’s minimum standards for eliminating trafficking and is yet to show sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to address the problem. The report describes Thailand as "a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.

Thailand was granted a waiver from an automatic downgrade to Tier 3 this year, because government has written a plan that could mean it soon meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, if implemented.

But the country will not be eligible for another waiver in 2014, so has just one year to make progress on the issue.

The TIP report argues that demand for sex tourism in Thailand fuels trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, including the trafficking of children, warning that women and girls from the north of Thailand and migrants from neighbouring countries are particularly vulnerable to be lured into the sex trade.

The report also criticises the government for failing to provide specialist services for child sex trafficking victims, and for doing too little to protect the rights of those rescued from the trade, citing the case of a 12-year-old Karen girl who was enslaved in a Thai couple’s home for five years as an example of how the treatment of young victims is woefully inadequate.

"Police officials allowed media outlets to publish the girl’s name and take semi-nude photos of her while in police custody,” the report says.

As for victims who are trafficked for forced labour, the TIP report says significant numbers are being exploited in commercial fishing, echoing previous reports of Southeast Asian men being trafficked onto Thai fishing boats, where they remain at sea for several years, unpaid and beaten into working 18 to 20 hours per day, seven days a week.

The report also highlights serious flaws in the identification of victims of trafficking and with prosecutions of traffickers and says corruption remainswidespread among Thai law enforcement personnel, creating an enabling environment for human trafficking to prosper.

The government reported investigating 305 trafficking cases in 2012, compared to 83 in 2011, but initiated prosecutions in only 27 cases during the year and obtained just 10 convictions.

"Allegations of trafficking-related corruption persisted during the year,” the report says. “There were credible reports that corrupt officials protected brothels, other commercial sex venues, and seafood and sweatshop facilities from raids and inspections, colluded with traffickers, used information from victim testimony to weaken cases, and engaged in commercial sex acts with child trafficking victims."

In addition to what it describes as the “well known corruption of local-level police officers”, there is also evidence to suggest “protective relationships between central-level specialist police officers and the trafficking hotspot regions to which they were assigned”, it says, adding that “Thai police officers and immigration officials reportedly extorted money or sex from Burmese citizens detained in Thailand for immigration and sold Burmese migrants unable to pay labour brokers and sex traffickers.

Luis CdeBaca, the US ambassador responsible for combating human trafficking, said there are 44 countries on the Tier 2 watch list this year. But only six of those countries – Thailand, Afghanistan, Barbados, Chad, Malaysia and the Maldives – will be subject to an automatic downgrade next year unless they improve.

The ambassador said the US planned to work with the six countries to improve their ability to tackle human trafficking and achieveresults on the ground." 

This year, China, Russia and Uzbekistan were downgraded from the Tier 2 watch list to Tier 3, for failing to make greater efforts to combat human trafficking. But China rejected the report calling it "arbitrary." 

"We believe that the US side should take an objective and impartial view of China's efforts (in fighting human trafficking) and stop making unilateral or arbitrary judgements of China," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

The US estimates that about 27 million people remain enslaved around the world.

(Source: Bangkok Post, HUMAN RIGHTS, Report documents 'slavery' in Thailand, 20 Jun 2013, Lauren Higgs, link


Human Trafficking Vocabulary


human trafficking - the business of buying and selling people, most commonly for sexual slavery, forced labor or for their organs การค้ามนุษย์ (See Wikipedia)
human trafficking in Thailand - (See Wikipedia)

trafficking
- the business of buying and selling things illegally
trafficking in persons - Same as "human trafficking"
sex trafficking

child sex trafficking

trafficker
- a criminal who does trafficking as an illegal business ผู้ค้าขาย

annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report - a report on trafficking in countries around the world (See Wikipedia & website & free download of report)
annual - happening once a year ประจำปี

forced labour -
unfree labour, when people are forced to work under bad conditions and are not allowed to leave, "work relations in which people are employed against their will by the threat of destitution, detention, violence (including death), lawful compulsion, or other extreme hardship to themselves or to members of their families" (See Wikipedia)
subjected to forced labour


slave - a person whose life is controlled and owned by another person  ทาส
slavery -
the state or condition of being a slave

document (verb) - to provide a description or explanation of something and how it works or operates
report documents 'slavery' in Thailand

victims - people who are killed injured or harmed in some way from an accident, natural disaster, crime, etc.
trafficking victims
child trafficking victims

trafficking
victims being forced into "modern slavery" in the sex trade

Tier 1 - countries whose governments fully comply with the TVPA's minimum standards.

Tier 2 - countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards.

Tier 2 Watchlist - countries whose governments do not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards AND: a) The absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; or b) There is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or c) The determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.

Tier 3 - countries whose governments do not fully comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.

US State Department - the US government agency responsible for the relations of the US with other countries (See Wikipedia)
the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report by the US State Department

The government is doing too little to stop tens of thousands of trafficking victims being forced into "modern slavery" in the sex trade, fishing-related industries and domestic servitude in Thailand, the annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report by the US State Department has warned.

consecutive - following one after another in order ติดต่อกัน อย่างต่อเนื่อง  ที่ต่อเนื่องตามลำดับ
fourth consecutive year

places Thailand on its Tier 2 watch list for a fourth consecutive year.

prostitution - the business of selling sex การค้าประเวณี
forced prostitution
rescued from forced prostitution

authorities - government officials เจ้าหน้าที่ (ตำรวจ หรือผู้มีอำนาจ)
Bahraini authorities

embassy
- a group of officials who represent their government in a foreign country สถานทูต
the Thai embassy in Bahrain

coordinated - working together to achieve a goal ทำงานร่วมกัน
effort - an attempt to do something ความพยายาม

a coordinated effort
a coordinated effort by Bahraini authorities and the Thai embassy in Bahrain

trade - 1. business; 2. the buying and selling of things การค้าขาย
the sex trade

doing too little to prevent human trafficking into the sex trade

domestic - within the country ภายในประเทศ
servitude - being a slave or a person who is completely controlled by another person
domestic servitude - a person working as a maid in another person's house who is treated as a slave

A file photo from Dec 2012 shows five Thai women returning home after being rescued from a brothel in Bahrain. A total of 21 Thais were recently rescued from forced prostitution in a coordinated effort by Bahraini authorities and the Thai embassy in Bahrain. But the US State Department has warned that Thailand is doing too little to prevent human trafficking into the sex trade, fishing-related industries and domestic servitude

tackle
- solve a problem; to make an organised and determined attempt to deal with a problem แก้ปัญหา จัดการกับปัญหา
tackle trafficking

efforts - people trying to accomplish something, achieve a goal; the work done towards achieving some goal ความพยายาม
efforts to tackle trafficking

grade - give a grade (as in school) that shows how well you are doing
a report that grades countries on efforts to tackle trafficking

The US government report, which grades 188 countries and territories on their efforts to tackle trafficking, places Thailand on its Tier 2 watch list for a fourth consecutive year.

comply - follow and obey rules and regulations ปฏิบัติตามกฎระเบียบ  การปฏิบัติตามกฎ
standards - a rule for behaving which should be obeyed บรรทัดฐาน, กฎเกณฑ์, กรอบ an acceptable level of quality or achievement มาตรฐาน
comply with standards

minimum - the least possible; the smallest number possible
minimum standards

comply
with America’s minimum standards for eliminating trafficking

evidence
- information that shows and proves something to be true หลักฐาน
sufficient - enough
show sufficient evidence - show enough evidence to prove that something is true

address a problem - to deal with a problem, to try to solve a problem จัดการปัญหา

This means the Thai government is failing to comply with America’s minimum standards for eliminating trafficking and is yet to show sufficient evidence of increasing efforts to address the problem.

source - the place or person something comes from or starts at, or the cause of something ต้นกำเนิด, แหล่งกำเนิด
source country

destination - the place where someone or something is going จุดหมายปลายทาง
destination country

transit - the act of moving from one place to another การเดินทางผ่าน
transit country

The report describes Thailand as "a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking.

granted - officially given ให  มอบให้
granted a waiver

downgrade - to reduce someone or something to a lower rank or position ลดความสำคัญ
automatic downgrade
an automatic downgrade to Tier 3

implemented - when a plan is put into action, actually doing the things in a plan

Thailand was granted a waiver from an automatic downgrade to Tier 3 this year, because government has written a plan that could mean it soon meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking, if implemented.

eligible - meet the conditions necessary for ว่าง meet the requirements needed to receive something; allowed by rules or laws to do something or to receive something มีสิทธิ  มีสิทธิตามกฎหมาย
eligible for a waiver
eligible for another waiver

progress - improving and developing over time; completing tasks that move you towards achieving a goal ความก้าวหน้า พัฒนาการ
issue - a problem that needs to be considered; a subject that people discuss or argue about ประเด็น
make progress on issue

have one year to make progress on the issue.

But the country will not be eligible for another waiver in 2014, so has just one year to make progress on the issue.

demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
demand for sex tourism in Thailand

commercial - for business purposes
exploitation - unfair treatment of someone, or the use of a situation in a way that is wrong; using something in a harmful way for personal gain การใช้หาประโยชน์อย่างไม่ถูกต้อง
commercial sexual exploitation

migrants - people who travel to a different region or country to live and work ผู้อพยพ ในที่นี้หมายถึง คนต่างจังหวัดที่อพยพเข้ามาหางานทำที่กรุงเทพ
migrants from neighbouring countries

vulnerable - easily damaged or harmed ซึ่งถูกทำลายได้ง่าย ที่เปราะบาง ที่ล่อแหลมต่อการเกิดภัยภิบัติ
lured - to get someone to do something by making it look very nice and attractive
particularly vulnerable to be lured into the sex trade.

The TIP report argues that demand for sex tourism in Thailand fuels trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation, including the trafficking of children, warning that women and girls for the north of Thailand and migrants from neighbouring countries are particularly vulnerable to be lured into the sex trade.

criticise - to find fault with, to point out mistakes or things that are not correct or right
criticise the government

child sex trafficking victims

provide - to give someone something that they want or need
services - บริการต่างๆ 
provide specialist services
failing to provide specialist services for child sex trafficking victims

rights - something you are legally or morally allowed to do or have สิทธิ์ (See Wikipedia)
doing too little to protect the rights of those rescued from the trade

citing - mentioning as a reason ให้ อ้างอิงเหตุผล
citing the case of a 12-year-old Karen girl

couple - two people who are married or are involved in a romantic relationship คุ่รัก
enslaved in a Thai couple’s home for five years

inadequate
- not enough, or not good enough for a particular purpose อย่างไม่เพียงพอ
woefully inadequate

treatment -  การรักษา
treatment of young victims

an example of how the treatment of young victims is woefully inadequate.

It also criticises the government for failing to provide specialist services for child sex trafficking victims, and for doing too little to protect the rights of those rescued from the trade, citing the case of a 12-year-old Karen girl who was enslaved in a Thai couple’s home for five years as an example of how the treatment of young victims is woefully inadequate.

media - public ways of communicating news and information: television, radio, newspapers, magazines, the internet สื่อ
outlets - ways in which emotion or energy can be expressed or made use of ทางออก
media outlets

nude - not wearing any clothes เปลือยกาย
nude photos - photos of people who are not wearing clothes 

semi - partially, not completely
semi-nude - photos of people who wearing just a little clothes (almost nude)
semi-nude photos

in police custody - in jail (police have arrested them and put them in a jail cell)

Police officials allowed media outlets to publish the girl’s name and take semi-nude photos of her while in police custody.

significant - large enough to be important or have an effect ที่สำคัญยิ่ง
significant numbers

exploited - use someone for your own personal gain and possibly harm them 
exploited in commercial fishing

echo
- when something said or done repeats, for a second, third, fourth .... etc time
echoing previous reports

beat
- hit with a stick, hands or other object to harm or injure
unpaid and beaten into working 18 to 20 hours per day

As for victims who are trafficked for forced labour, the TIP report says significant numbers are being exploited in commercial fishing, echoing previous reports of Southeast Asian men being trafficked onto Thai fishing boats, where they remain at sea for several years, unpaid and beaten into working 18 to 20 hours per day, seven days a week.

flaws - mistakes, things that are not perfect about something
serious flaws

highlights - shows
highlights serious flaws

identification - the process of finding out what or who someone is การชี้ตัว การหาตัวผู้กระทำผิด
identification of victims of trafficking

prosecution - การฟ้องคดีอาญา, การฟ้องร้อง, การดำเนินคดี, การดำเนินถึงที่สุด
prosecution of traffickers

law enforcement - what police do, making sure a law is obeyed and punishing people if it is not obeyed  การบังคับใช้กฎหมาย
personnel - people who work for a company or organisation
law enforcement personnel

widespread - happening or existing in many places, or affecting many people อย่างแพร่หลาย
corruption remainswidespread

corruption remainswidespread among Thai law enforcement personnel

environment -
enabling environment

prosper -
to grow and get bigger, to be sucessful and do well
an enabling environment for human trafficking to prosper

It meanwhile highlights serious flaws in the identification of victims of trafficking and with prosecutions of traffickers and says corruption remainswidespread among Thai law enforcement personnel, creating an enabling environment for human trafficking to prosper.

initiated - created; started ริเริ่มโดย
initiated prosecutions

convictions
obtained just 10 convictions

The government reported investigating 305 trafficking cases in 2012, compared to 83 in 2011, but initiated prosecutions in only 27 cases during the year and obtained just 10 convictions.

allegations
persisted - continue doing something for a long time, even when there are problems  ยืนกราน
allegations persisted

"Allegations of trafficking-related corruption persisted during the year,” the report says.

credible - able to be believed or trusted น่าเชื่อถือ
credible reports

brothels - a place where people go to have sex with prostitutes
corrupt officials protected brothels

venues
- places were public events or meetings take place สถานที่ชุมนุม พบปะสังสรรค์ สถานนี่จัดงาน
commercial sex venues

sweatshop facilities

colluded
colluded with traffickers

used information from victim testimony to weaken cases, and engaged in commercial sex acts with child trafficking victims."


facilities - the buildings and equipment for an activity (for example, athletics facilities) สถานที่และสิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก สิ่งอำนวยความสะดวก
colluded - work together for bad purpose, like breaking the law
victim - someone who has been affected by a bad situation, such as an illness or an accident เหยื่อผู้เคราะห์ร้าย
testimony - a formal statement about something that you say, know or experienced, usually given to a court of law คำให้การ
engaged - actively involved in what you are doing
acts - actions การกระทำ

“There were credible reports that corrupt officials protected brothels, other commercial sex venues, and seafood and sweatshop facilities from raids and inspections, colluded with traffickers, used information from victim testimony to weaken cases, and engaged in commercial sex acts with child trafficking victims."



local - in or related to the area that you live, or to the particular area that you are talking about ท้องถิ่น
local-level police officers

hotspot - an important place
trafficking hotspot regions

immigration - 1. people coming into a country to travel, live, and work there, 2. the controls that governments place on flows of people into the country
immigration officials

extorted
detained

extorted money or sex from Burmese citizens detained in Thailand for immigration

In addition to what it describes as the “well known corruption of local-level police officers”, there is also evidence to suggest “protective relationships between central-level specialist police officers and the trafficking hotspot regions to which they were assigned”, it says, adding that “Thai police officers and immigration officials reportedly extorted money or sex from Burmese citizens detained in Thailand for immigration and sold Burmese migrants unable to pay labour brokers and sex traffickers.

ambassador - an official who lives in a foreign country as the senior representative there of his or her country ทูต เอกอัครราชทูต
the US ambassador responsible for combating human trafficking

improve - to get better ดีขึ้น
will be subject to an automatic downgrade next year unless they improve

Luis CdeBaca, the US ambassador responsible for combating human trafficking, said there are 44 countries on the Tier 2 watch list this year. But only six of those countries – Thailand, Afghanistan, Barbados, Chad, Malaysia and the Maldives – will be subject to an automatic downgrade next year unless they improve.

results - what is produced in the end by an activity or task
achieve results on the ground

The ambassador said the US planned to work with the six countries to improve their ability to tackle human trafficking and achieveresults on the ground." 

downgraded - reduced, lowered to a lower status or level 
downgraded from Tier 2 to Tier 3

combat - 1. try to solve a problem (like you are fighting a serious war); 2. fighting during a war การต่อสู้
combat human trafficking

This year, China, Russia and Uzbekistan were downgraded from the Tier 2 watch list to Tier 3, for failing to make greater efforts to combat human trafficking. But China rejected the report calling it "arbitrary." 

objective - what you plan to achieve; goal; aim; purpose เป้าหมาย
impartial - fair; not connected to or influenced by one particular person or group เป็นกลาง ไม่เข้าข้างฝ่ายใด ยุติธรรม
an objective and impartial view

unilateral - one country acting by itself
stop making unilateral or arbitrary judgements of China

ministry - a government department dealing with an area of activity กระทรวง
foreign ministry spokeswoman

"We believe that the US side should take an objective and impartial view of China's efforts (in fighting human trafficking) and stop making unilateral or arbitrary judgements of China," said foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying.

estimates - guesses of what the size, value, amount, cost, etc. of something might be การประมาณค่า
enslaved
The US estimates that about 27 million people remain enslaved around the world.

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