THAILAND moved up a notch in the US State Department’s Trafficking In Person (TIP) Report, climbing to Tier 2 from the Tier 2 Watch List last year, while a Thai woman was among six “TIP Heroes” 2022 chosen for the honour from around the world, Matichon newspaper quoted VOA Thai-language service as saying today (July 22).
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who presided over the launch of this year’s TIP Report in Washington, pointed to the importance of this report as a diplomatic tool for the US government as it presents information about the efforts of various governments around the world in tackling human trafficking.
Altogether 21 countries, including Thailand, made progress because their government had ramped up efforts to combat human trafficking but 18 other countries were downgraded because they either did not make attempts to correct this major global problem or the government itself supported human trafficking, he said.
Nearly 25 million people worldwide have been victims of human trafficking with the US having a mission to combat this problem because it erodes the economy and harms workers.
As for Thailand, the upgrade this year from Tier 2 Watch List to Tier 2 reflects the efforts of both the public and private sectors in solving this problem.
The Thai government showed increased efforts to combat human trafficking under limitations of the Covid-19 pandemic with this including expansion of investigations into these cases, amending relevant laws and punishing offenders, establishing a new human trafficking assitance centre and setting guidelines for workers to better identify the victims.
However, Thailand still does not meet the minimum standards set by the US government in many areas, for example, the number of people prosecuted and punished in human trafficking cases has declined. Officials also lack the knowledge and understanding to identify these victims.
Blinken also announced six anti-trafficking fighters from around the world as “TIP Heroes” 2022 with Mrs. Apinya Tajit from Stella Maris Organisation of Chanthaburi Diocese being among them.
The report said she has been dedicated to fighting human trafficking in Thailand for over seven years, especially helping hundreds of workers in the fishing industry, and aside from Thailand also those in Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar and Bangladesh.
She has also focused on child labour trafficking making numerous trips to educate over 10,000 students on this problem each year while also assisting the Thai authorities in idenifying these victims in the fishing industry.
Mrs Apinya Tajit receiving a “TIP Hero” certificate from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Photo: Reuters and published by Matichon