U.S. says Thailand better at fighting child labor

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BANGKOK, 8 October 2013  – The Department of Foreign Trade has announced that Thailand is this year ranked in the list of ten countries with significant advancement in combating child labor by the U.S., an improvement from last year’s moderate ranking. 

Director-General of the Department of Foreign Trade Surasak Riangkrul said Thailand moved from “moderate advancement” in 2011 to “significant advancement” this year in the 2012 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor report conducted by the U.S. He pointed out that the ranking showed that the U.S. had recognized Thailand’s efforts and sincerity in tackling the problem of child labor.

Despite Thailand’s achievement, Mr Surasak suggested that the government and the private sector still needed to cooperate in preventing and solving the problems of child labor, forced labor and human trafficking. He believed the country’s better labor situation would benefit its exports, especially fishery exports which were often alleged to involve illegal labor.

The U.S. is currently Thailand’s third largest trade partner after Japan and China. From January-August of 2013, the total Thai-U.S. trade value was 759 billion baht. Thailand exports fishery products to the U.S. the most, followed by Japan.