The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has affirmed Thailand's commitment to combating the issue of human trafficking after the United States maintained the Kingdom's status at Tier 2 wish list on its latest Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT) said today.

It said the newest TIP report kept Thailand at Tier 2 for a second year while demoting China to Tier 3, grouping it with countries that include Iran, North Korea, Syria, Congo, Guinea and Mali. Thailand was originally at the bottom standing of Tier 3 and remained there 2 years before serious work by the current government helped to improve its situation.

In a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the office characterized the latest TIP report as underlining Thailand's determination to seriously combat human trafficking as well as its readiness to work with other organizations to constructively tackle the issue and improve its own capabilities against people smuggling. It noted nonetheless that the government's work on human trafficking is not for an improved standing on any ranking but rather for the protection of Thailand and its visitors and for the preservation of human dignity.

The statement went on to say that the Tier 2 listing was not reflective of Thailand's achievements against human trafficking over the past year, which extended from policy changes to concrete action against those involved and rehabilitation for victims.

Ahead of the report's issuance, Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-ocha voiced an affirmation of Thailand's determination to remedy human trafficking, a statement reiterated by Deputy Prime Minister Gen Prawit Wongsuwan, who elaborated the government's work encompassed human trafficking as well as labor abuse in the fisheries sector, an aspect that is set to be reviewed by the European Union.

Source: Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

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