With release of the U.S. State Department's 2014 Trafficking In Persons
(TIP) report, it is critically important to focus on facts and tangible
progress made on the ground in order to put into perspective the
assessment made on each country in combating the global problem of human
"We are obviously disappointed and respectfully disagree with the State
Department's decision. In 2013, Thailand made significant advances in
prevention and suppression of human trafficking along the same lines as
the State Department's standards. While the latest TIP report did not
recognize our vigorous, government-wide efforts that yielded
unprecedented progress and concrete results, Thailand remains committed
to combating human trafficking. It is a national priority. Human
trafficking is anathema to our nation's core values. For Thailand, this
is not just about the TIP report tiered rankings. It is about protecting
people. As our Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs made clear in his
recent letter to Secretary John Kerry, we have every determination to
build upon the progress already achieved, and look forward to continuing
our close collaboration with the United States on this shared mission,"
stated H.E. Mr. Vijavat Isarabhakdi, Ambassador of the Kingdom of
Thailand to the United States of America.
2013 Thai law enforcement statistics show significant progress in
investigations, prosecutions and convictions of perpetrators, including
674 trafficking inestigations by Thai officials in 2013 - more than
double from 306 similar investigations in 2012, 483 trafficking
defendants prosecuted in the Thai judicial system in 2013 - five times
more than 93 similar prosecutions in 2012, and 225 trafficking
defendants convicted in the Thai judicial system and punished for their
crimes in 2013 - a more than four-fold increase from 49 similar
convictions in 2012. Investigation of Thai officials alleged to be
complicit in cases related to human trafficking noticeably increased in
2013. At least 33 police and 5 high-ranking police officials were either
punished or are now under civil and/or criminal processes.
The Royal Thai Government took legal action against 155 illegal job
broker companies. The Royal Thai Police conducted 28,280 inspections in
high risk locations in 2013. Another 40,963 inspections were undertaken
by Thai government officials of large- and small-scale workplaces in
2013. The Royal Thai Marine Police and Navy conducted routine and
un-announced boarding and inspection of fishing vessels 9,590 times in
2013. Increased regulation and oversight of job brokers in Thailand
saved nearly 15,000 Thai workers from paying unnecessary job broker fees
Bilateral agreements now in place with Thailand's neighboring nations
are helping protect Southeast Asian migrant workers from exploitation.
"There is acute awareness throughout Thailand of the need to better
identify and help victims of trafficking, and there is strong commitment
from the nation's leadership and all Ministries working together as a
team. Evidence of that commitment and the undeniable progress on
combating trafficking in Thailand was submitted this year to the U. S.
State Department," commented Director General Songsak Saichuea, Ministry
of Foreign Affairs.
Thailand attributes its recent anti-trafficking success to a strategic
plan centered on the 5P's: Prosecution and Law Enforcement, Protection
and Recovery, Prevention, Policy and Mechanisms to drive policy, and
Partnerships. This multi-pronged approach attacks the issues that
surround human trafficking from a variety of angles. It involves the
coordination of numerous government ministries, the Thai law enforcement
community, private sector industry leaders, other foreign governments,
international organizations and NGO partners. To empower this strategic
plan, the Thai government has more than doubled the budget for
anti-trafficking efforts, which further highlights the country's
commitment moving forward.
"While there is still much work to do-and we will not rest until
trafficking is ended-Thailand is on the right track. Thailand has made
clear progress in combating human trafficking, and we stand ready to do
more, in keeping with our firm belief in humanitarianism and the dignity
of every individual," commented Ambassador Isarabhakdi.
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