Prawit urges more effort on trafficking

Prawit urges more effort on trafficking

Deputy Prime Minister Prawit Wongsuwon has instructed agencies to increase their anti-human trafficking efforts after he met with officials from the US State Department.

Gen Prawit gave a range of instructions yesterday during a meeting of related committees at Government House after he met with representatives from the US State Department Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons.

His spokesman Gen Kongcheep Tantravanich said US officials offered a range of suggestions for how Thailand can tackle the issue such as having labour inspectors work more efficiently with police and establishing processing centres for trafficking victims.

The US report "2020 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor" showed that some children in the kingdom were still found to be sexually exploited on the internet and others were forced to work. Thailand has yet to also meet international standards on minimum age employment.

In response, Gen Prawit reiterated government policy on tackling human trafficking with all agencies involved and told them to take on board the issue and how to address it.

"Efforts need to be expedited to help all victims broadly, especially in the labour sector and in regards to the sexual exploitation of children for commercial gain," the spokesman said. "Included in this is defining a minimum age of employment and improving how victims are treated."

The meeting agreed to establish a processing centre for human trafficking victims and to reform the Anti Human Trafficking Act 2008 so to allow frozen assets of human trafficking-related cases to be used in the government's human trafficking prevention and suppression fund. It also saw assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Surachate Hakparn named as chairperson of coordination committees on human trafficking.

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