Labour Ministry positive the US will not shun imports from Thailand

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BANGKOK, 29 July 2015 – Permanent Secretary for Labour Nakorn Silpa-archa was positive that the US government would not impose sanction on Thai exports although Thailand was classified in “Tier 3”, the lowest place in the 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report published on Monday. 

“The US is Thailand’s true friend and home to a great number of Thai nationals. Banning Thai products sold in the US market is unlikely to happen. It always takes time for dealing with human rights matter but we must demonstrate our serious efforts to the EU and the US,” said Nakorn.

In response to the disappointing ranking in the report, Mr.Nakorn insisted the Thai government has done its best in as many approaches as possible to tackle the alleged human trafficking in Thailand’s fishery industry.

Mr.Nakorn said meetings have been held continuously among officials concerned with a very close and high attention of Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha, and also with participation of the private sector to eliminate human trafficking. “Such an allegation does not discourage us. We vow to pursue the same measures we have done,” stressed Mr.Nakorn.

According to him, the Thai government has made numerous changes to upgrade its position in the US’s TIP report. It has enforced existing laws and regulation more seriously in parallel with enacting newly updated laws. Working hours and employment contracts have been improved to meet international standard. Officials found involved in the offense must be prosecuted with criminal charge.

The government has registered over 1.6 million illegal migrant workers in Thailand and imposed legal measures to enhance the welfare of migrant workers. They are enabled to receive healthcare and insurances from the government. However, Thailand would import only migrants who comply with MOUs on Labour Cooperation between Thailand and neighboring countries.

Labour Minister Gen Surasak Karnjanarat has ordered the Department of Labour Protection and Walfare to hold a seminar on integrated procedures for labour legalization, hoping to prevent future offense against labour law. The seminar’s participants will learn some important procedures such as inspection of factories and fishing boats.