U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Thailand

Thailand (Tier 2)

Thailand is a destination, source, and transit country for trafficked persons. Victims are primarily young women and girls who are trafficked for sexual exploitation, although a significant number of men and women are trafficked for farm, industrial and domestic labor. The trafficking is both international and domestic. Persons from Burma, Cambodia, and Laos are the primary trafficked persons to Thailand. Within the country, trafficking is chiefly from the poor North and Northeast regions to Bangkok. Women are trafficked internationally to Japan, Taiwan, Australia, Europe, and the United States, chiefly for sexual exploitation and, to a lesser degree, sweatshop labor. Persons from China are trafficked through Thailand to a number of developed countries and more prosperous neighboring countries.

The Government of Thailand does not yet fully meet the minimum standards; however, the Government openly admits that Thailand has a trafficking problem and is making significant efforts to combat the problem despite resource constraints. A trafficking in persons law provides for penalties similar to those for rape. In addition, there are other laws that could be used against traffickers. However, enforcement of both sets of laws has been weak. There is little training for officials in law enforcement or in providing assistance to trafficking victims. Corruption is pervasive, and in 2000 there was broad and blunt public discussion of the corrosive effect of corruption on Thai society. The Government works with NGO's. Among other efforts, it has a National Committee on Trafficking in Women and Children with representatives of government agencies, and both Thai and international NGO's. It cooperates with other governments through a Mekong Sub-regional Project Committee and has established some prevention programs and provides assistance to victims. However, these efforts are restricted due to the lack of funding. Victims from neighboring countries usually are deported quickly, but efforts are made to assist underage victims.


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