NCPO vows to improve ranking

Thailand's downgrade in the US 2014 human-trafficking report was automatic under a new rule as the country could not improve itself enough to qualify for an upgrade, according to the junta.

The US revised its ranking system in 2008 to automate its ranking. A country on the Tier 2 Watch List that fails to qualify for a higher tier will be relegated automatically to the lower tier, according to Col Winthai Suwaree, a spokesperson of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO).

According to the US State Department website, the US ranks countries in four tiers: Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 2 Watch List and Tier 3.

Trafficking and exploitation had been a chronic problem in Thailand long before the NCPO seized power in May, and the latest ranking was based on the country's performance from April 2013 to April 2014, he said.

The colonel added that the NCPO was determined to make significant improvements to anti-trafficking law enforcement, protect trafficked victims and punish perpetrators. A committee has been set up at the policy level to address the issue.

The NCPO is speeding up regulating foreign labour, especially in terms of benefits and human rights protection, he added. It is also toughening law enforcement to penalise human traffickers, those who use child labour and slavery.

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