30 July 2020
London. UK. On World Day against Human Trafficking, the Seafood Working Group, of which Human Rights at Sea is a member, has put out a statement in response to Thailand’s ranking in the 2020 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report. The SWG is a coalition of over 60 labor rights, human rights, and environmental non-governmental organizations.
The SWG statement demonstrates that the Thai government did not make sufficient progress in the areas of prosecution, protection and prevention of human trafficking in 2019 to warrant the Tier 2 ranking. The evidence in the U.S. State Department’s TIP report is more in line with the criteria for Tier 2 Watch List. The U.S. therefore missed an opportunity to send a clear message to the Thai government that its efforts to combat trafficking need to be more robust.
The Seafood Working Group makes the following three recommendations:
- The TIP office should make public the Implementation Guidelines for the TVPA Minimum Standards, used by J/TIP analysts to evaluate governments’ efforts in Protection, Prosecution, and Prevention, including any revisions. In addition, it should continue working to increase transparency on how ranking determinations are made, including greater clarity on how distinctions are made between Tiers 1, 2, Tier 2 Watch List, and Tier 3. This would lead to more objective rankings and help organizations compile more appropriate and strategic data.
- In assessing whether a country is demonstrating “serious and sustained efforts” to eliminate trafficking, the TIP Report should ensure equal consideration is given to prevention, protection, and prosecution. It is important to not disproportionately focus on criminal justice responses, given the importance of preventing human trafficking from occurring and affording remedy to victims to prevent re-trafficking.
- The J/TIP office should strengthen direct communication with non-governmental and civil society organizations to ensure that independent research and documentation is utilized as effectively as possible to support the TIP report process each year.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
Be Slavery Free
Center for Alliance of Labor and Human Rights (CENTRAL)
Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI)
The Freedom Fund
Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum (GLJ-ILRF)
Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF)
Human Rights at Sea
Human Rights Watch
Lawyers’ Rights Watch Canada
Mark B. Taylor, Independent Human Trafficking Consultant and former J/TIP staff
Migrant Working Group (MWG)
Download the Seafood Working Group statement in response to Thailand’s ranking in the 2020 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.
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