Ministry hopes to impress US

Ministry hopes to impress US

Proof of anti-trafficking measures

A report on Thailand's efforts to improve its Trafficking in Persons (TIP) ranking will be complete by next April, says the Labour Ministry.

Arak Phrommanee, deputy permanent secretary and spokesman for the ministry, said the government hopes to persuade the United States to lift Thailand's Tier 3 status, a rating reserved for countries with the worst records on human trafficking.

The US monitors countries for four years, before assessing their tier status. Thailand was added to the Tier 2 watch list in 2010. In June this year it was downgraded to Tier 3, the lowest level, for its lack of progress in combating human trafficking.

Mr Arak said the ministry's report focuses on the fishing industry, labour, anti-human trafficking measures, law enforcement and legal action against offenders.

The Labour Ministry is carrying out final revisions to the report and having it translated from Thai into English, he said.

After that the report will be sent to the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, which oversees solutions to the problem of human trafficking.

Mr Arak said Thailand has been working hard to deal with illegal migrants in the country, which is a contributory factor in human trafficking.

The authorities are putting in place stringent measures to crack down on illegal migrants, he said.

Labour Minister Gen Surasak Karnjanarat said employers must play a leading role in solving human trafficking.

Gen Surasak said he had ordered authorities to educate employers about the government's human trafficking measures.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has instructed fishing operators to install GPS tracking devices on their vessels to avoid straying into neighbouring countries' territorial waters and sparking a conflict.

He made the comments last week at a meeting of state agencies involved in human trafficking prevention.

He also said every fishing vessel owner must register their boats and install a vessel monitoring system.

The system allows officials and boat owners to monitor a vessel's movements and position at sea.

Gen Prayut has also ordered five sub-committees to tackle problems related to human trafficking. The panels cover the fishing industry, labour, child labour, migrant workers, female workers, and legal affairs and public relations.

Each sub-committee is required to report its progress to the prime minister on a monthly basis. They must submit working plans to Gen Prayut by Jan 7.

The premier will also chair a committee on human trafficking policy.

Defence Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwon will serve as the panel's deputy chairman.

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