US pledges to help deter trafficking
Kingdom still on Tier 2 in latest TIP report
United States ambassador Michael George DeSombre on Thursday pledged to assist Thailand in achieving its goal to be upgraded from Tier 2 in the US Trafficking in Person Report (TIP) to Tier 1.
The annual report divides nations into tiers based on their compliance with standards outlined in the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000. Tier 1 refers to countries whose governments fully comply with TVPA minimum standards.
Tier 2 is for countries whose governments do not fully comply with TVPA minimum standards but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance.
Speaking after a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon on Thursday, the US ambassador said Washington stands ready to support Thailand in the ranking elevation, as requested by Gen Prawit.
They discussed various topics during the meeting and the TIP report was one of them. Gen Prawit said he has already seen the TIP Report 2020, in which Thailand remains on Tier 2.
Thailand is determined to continue working hard to tackle the human trafficking problem, Gen Prawit said, adding the issue is high on the country's priorities and it involves cooperation from all sides to tackle.
"All parties involved in this work are ready to fully cooperate with the US in the continued fight against human trafficking," he said.
According to the report, the government of Thailand does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but is making significant efforts.
The government has generally demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period although the country remains on Tier 2, said TIP Report 2020.
The efforts include providing anti-trafficking training to judges and working with non-governmental organisations to arrange trauma-informed care training to police, prosecutors and shelter staff, said the report.
The government investigated more suspected cases of labour trafficking compared to the previous reporting period while convicted traffickers faced stiffer penalties, it said.
It also increased the amount of compensation provided to victims through the anti-trafficking fund and handed out restitution to victims of trafficking for the first time during the reporting period, said the report.
However, it did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas, said the report.