Top Stories : Thailand Responds to the U.S. Department of State’s Placement of Thailand in Tier 3 in the Annual Trafficking in Persons Report (2014)
Thailand Responds to the U.S. Department of State’s Placement of Thailand in Tier 3 in the Annual Trafficking in Persons Report (2014)
On 21 June 2014, Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs and in his capacity as Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, briefed the press on the result of the 2014 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report which was unveiled by the Secretary of State of the United States of America on 20 June 2014. The Report is an assessment of each country’s attempt to prevent and combat human trafficking between 1 April 2013 and 31 March 2014. The evaluation period does not cover Thailand’s current political situation and reflect only the human trafficking issue.
The latest report placed Thailand in Tier 3[*], the lowest ranking in the unilaterally imposed report. The Permanent Secretary expressed his deep regret and disappointment. He also respectfully disagreed with the U.S. State Department's decision despite the fact that Thailand has made significant progress in many areas over the course of the assessment period. Thailand attributes its anti-trafficking progress to a strategic plan centered on the 5P's Approach: Prosecution and Law Enforcement, Protection and Recovery, Prevention, Policy and Mechanisms to drive policy, and Partnerships.
The Permanent Secretary stressed that Thailand had extended full cooperation with every relevant US agencies,both with the Embassy of United States in Thailand as well as the TIP Office at the State Department. We had sent correct information and results of our actions and progress as well as continued dialogue to ensure correct information is passed to the US side. In addition in May 2014, a group of Thai delegates, headed by Director-General of Department of American and South Pacific Affairs had met and explained in details with the US authorities. All of these actions reflected Thailand's true commitment and determination in tackling and suppressing human trafficking.
Lastly, the Permanent Secretary affirmed that Thailand will continue to intensify its concerted efforts to rid the country of human trafficking. The National Council on Peace and Order (NCPO) gives utmost importance and support to integrated efforts against human trafficking. Indeed, Thailand’s effort is not a reaction to the TIP Report or any particular country, but is the reflection of the country’s firm commitment and respect to human rights, internationally accepted standards, and humanitarian values. Moreover, Thailand views the need to address human trafficking immediately as it is a scourge on mankind.
21 June 2014
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[*] The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) does not allow a country to remain in Tier 2 Watch List for more than 4 consecutive years.