Thailand may be removed from US watch list: Labour permanent secretary

Permanent Secretary for Labour Ministry Jirasak Sukhonthachart said Tuesday that the US government was pleased with Thailand’s on-going efforts to eradicate human trafficking and may remove Bangkok from its second-tier watch list of human trafficking countries.

Jirasak said he had learnt of the latest US stand toward Thailand from Kristina Kvien, the economic counselor of the US embassy.

Kvien visited Jirasak Tuesday to introduce herself upon assuming duty in Bangkok.

Jirasak quoted Kvien as telling him that the US government was pleased that Bangkok treated the issue as a national agenda and enforced some measures to fight against human trafficking.

In particular, the US government was pleased that the Labour Ministry set up a co-ordination centre to oversee fishing workers so that all fishing crews and owners of fishing boats were registered and fishing crews were hired with written contracts. This allowed the fishing workers to realise their basic rights, Jirasak said.

Moreover, the US government was pleased that owners of fishing boats were encouraged to register their workers into the social security system.

Anyway, Kvien expressed concern about the human trafficking situation along the borders with Thailand’s neighbouring countries, Jirasak said.

He said he informed her that the joint border committees of Thailand and those countries were already taking care of the problems.