Thailand praised for fight against human trafficking in US TIP report
As expected, the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2016 upgraded Thailand’s ranking on human trafficking, while unexpectedly lowering the ranking of neighboring Myanmar.
The report was officially released on Thursday, 30 June but Reuters had previously reported that Thailand was likely to receive an upgrade to the State Department’s Tier 2 Watch List, for countries “making significant efforts” against human trafficking, but still short of a Tier 1 ranking, which the State Department reserves for countries that meet minimum U.S. standards.
In its TIP report, the State Department said the government of Thailand “made significant efforts to eliminate trafficking during the rating period [1 April, 2015 to 31 March, 2016], but still does not fully meet the minimum standards for doing so.”
“The Tier 2 Watch List ranking underscores that the problem of human trafficking in Thailand remains large and requires additional, substantial, and effective government leadership,” the State Department said in a press release. “We encourage Thailand to make further, sustained progress in fighting trafficking and enforcing Thai anti-trafficking laws. The report includes a list of recommendations specific to the trafficking issues in Thailand that we believe will help the government make progress.”
The government of Thailand issued a press release through its embassy in Washington D.C. praising the move.
“Thailand welcomes the evaluation in the State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2016, which recognizes the progress and significant efforts made by Thailand in the fight against human trafficking,” it said. “This acknowledgement will go a long way to encourage men and women who have worked tirelessly to keep up their good work in the future.”
In the press release, Thailand said it will “intensify cooperation with partners to combat human trafficking.”
“We have been working closely with the Trafficking in Persons Office of the State Department and other U.S. agencies, U.S. Congress, NGOs, international organizations, and other stakeholders to achieve our common goals of combating human trafficking and better protection of victims,” it said. “We look forward to intensifying these partnerships.”
Countries that received downgrades in the report to Tier 3, which is reserved for “countries that are not making significant efforts in fighting human trafficking,” are: Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Djibouti, Haiti, Papua New Guinea, Sudan, Suriname and Turkmenistan.