Govt wants TIP ranking lift

Thailand is confident that the progress it has made in the prosecution of human trafficking cases over the past year will be enough for the United States to give the country a good ranking in its Trafficking In Persons (TIP) report due out next month, a senior ministry source says.

The source said law enforcement officials in Thailand such as the police, prosecutors and judges have acted quickly during legal cases to bring human traffickers to justice. This has in part been helped by the government's decision to separate real victims of human traffickers from those who choose to be smuggled abroad to seek jobs or a better life.

Under the TIP system, countries are ranked in three tiers. Tier-1 countries that meet all the minimum standards, Tier-2 countries that do not meet the minimum standards but are making significant efforts to do so, and Tier-3 countries that do not meet the standards and are not making significant efforts to do so.

The US government imposes restrictions on non-humanitarian and non trade-related foreign assistance for Tier-3 countries.

Thailand has been in the Tier-2 bracket for four years and it was feared the country would be moved to Tier-3 this year, because last year's TIP report expressed dismay at Thailand's slow progress in prosecuting human trafficking cases.

The source said Thailand also hopes to receive fair consideration from the US TIP office since it has tried to make progress in the five Ps — prosecution, protection, prevention, policy and partnership.

The government sent Thailand's TIP report to Washington in late March.

The report claims anti-human trafficking efforts from January 2013 to January 2014 have improved.

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