“Thailand Fails to Tackle Human Trafficking and Abuse: Rights Group”
Reuters, February 17, 2015
“Thailand’s efforts to combat human trafficking in its multi-billion dollar fishing industry have been ‘wholly inadequate’, and it has failed to end officials’ involvement in trafficking and labour abuses, a rights group said. The U.S. State Department last year downgraded Thailand to its ‘tier 3’ list of worst offenders – alongside 22 other countries including North Korea, Iran and Central African Republic – in its annual ranking of countries by their counter-trafficking efforts. While Thailand’s military-backed government said last month it was ‘confident’ it had met the minimum standards to improve its ranking, the London-based Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) said on Tuesday that the country was still failing to prevent trafficking and rights abuses in the fishing industry. … EJF said in a briefing paper that Thailand was failing to enforce laws and crack down on corrupt officials involved in trafficking, and to identify victims of trafficking and forced labour aboard fishing vessels, even though it launched inspections at sea last year. The government is also not protecting victims who have escaped or been rescued from modern-day slavery, EJF said, citing its interviews with victims who described threats at gunpoint and severe injuries from beatings by staff at government shelters designated to protect victims.”
Quickie Analysis: Not exactly surprising but disappointing nonetheless.