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Thailand May be Downgraded in TIP Report

May 18, 2012

In June, the U.S. State Department will release its Trafficking in Persons report, and Thailand is at risk of being downgraded from a Tier II Watch List country to a Tier III country. The objective of the TIP Report is to discuss various aspects of human trafficking, report on new findings and data, and rank 184 different countries on governmental efforts to combat human trafficking. In short, it is a summary of what trafficking in persons is, what is actually being done about it on a political and governmental basis, and what needs to be done in the future.

According to the State Department, a Tier 2 Watch list country’s government like Thailand’s:

“[does “not fully comply with the TVPA’s minimum standards, but are making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with those standards, AND: a) the absolute number of victims of severe forms of trafficking is very significant or is significantly increasing; b) there is a failure to provide evidence of increasing efforts to combat severe forms of trafficking in persons from the previous year; or, c) the determination that a country is making significant efforts to bring themselves into compliance with minimum standards was based on commitments by the country to take additional future steps over the next year.”

After two years, if a country has not made these improvements in a satisfactory manner, they are downgraded. A Tier 3 country has a government that does “not comply with the minimum standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.” (Tier 1 countries “fully comply with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s (TVPA) minimum standards.”) If Thailand drops to a Tier 3 country, it will be in company with Cuba and North Korea. Read further at the State Dept’s website.

In 2012, the TIP report summarized Thailand’s effort as such:

The Government of Thailand does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. The government continued implementation of its comprehensive anti-human trafficking law that came into force in 2008, continued training on the law, and conducted awareness-raising activities on human trafficking. Despite these significant efforts, the government’s overall effort to address forced labor and forced prostitution of foreign migrants and Thai citizens did not make adequate progress; therefore Thailand is placed on Tier 2 Watch List.

Read the full TIP report on Thailand here. (Keep scrolling down.)


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Frank permalink
    October 20, 2012 8:24 am

    So…what is THE SOLD PROJECT’S position on this? Do you believe Thailand should be downgraded to Tier 3 or not?

  2. Frank permalink
    April 21, 2013 4:06 am

    About six months ago I asked for your organization’s position on a possible downgrade of Thailand on the TIP Report. There has been no response from you. My strong impression, based upon your organization’s ‘body language’, is that you do indeed favor a downgrade, but for political reasons, you do not wish to comment. Do I have the right impression here or not?
    I think that if and when Thailand is hit with US sanctions because it does not abide by US law, it is incumbent upon ALL Americans residing in Thailand to take a public stand on this issue, especially amongst their Thai interlocutors.

    • April 22, 2013 10:54 pm

      Dear Frank,

      Thank you for your comments. The SOLD Project does not have an “official” position on Thailand’s status in the TIP Report, though we have discussed the potential ramifications of U.S. action with our friends at the American Consulate. In general, one might note that economic sanctions are a very blunt policy tool and one would hope the U.S. would do all it could to engage with Thai leadership before potentially fracturing relations.

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