ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Anti-human trafficking efforts in Thailand achieves success
BANGKOK, Jan 31 -- Measures to curb human trafficking in Thailand have achieved considerable success in 2014, and senior government officials are optimistic that the country’s efforts will earn recognition from developed countries, especially the US.
Accompanied by four high ranking officers, Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Don Pramudwinai told a press conference on Friday that a report on human trafficking problem in Thailand in 2014 has been completed.
Mr Don said the issue had been named by the government as an urgent national agenda while Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had ordered concerned government agencies to help resolve the problem and to punish officials found involved in the illegal business.
Related government agencies have been instructed to follow five strategic measures in solving the problem, said Mr Don.
They include imposing criminal charges against those found guilty of human trafficking, providing assistance and protection to victims, and setting up a policy committee to solve the issues of illegal migrant workers, child and forced labour, and illegal fishing problems.
So far about 1.6 million illegal foreign workers have been registered with 87 registration offices nationwide, he said, adding that an urgent telephone hotline has also been set up to accept complaints from the public round-the clock.
Mr Don said he was confident the report would show that considerable success on human trafficking suppression had been achieved which would help improve Thailand’s ranking.
On last June 20, Washington downgraded Thailand in its annual report on Trafficking in Persons, dropping the country to “Tier 3” after holding the kingdom on the Tier 2 warning list for four consecutive years.
The US has accused five Thai industries - shrimp, textiles, sugarcane, pornographic materials and fisheries - of using child and forced labour.
Echoing Mr Don’s remarks, Vichien Chavalit, permanent secretary for the Social Development and Human Security, said prostitution, fishermen and panhandlers had been suppressed on a regular basis during the past year.
The problems were ironed out in line with universal standards and enjoyed success, Mr. Vichien added.
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