Comments Concerning the Ranking of Thailand by the United States Department of State in the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report

Publication Date: 

March 30, 2017


The U.S. Department of State upgraded Thailand from Tier 3 to the Tier 2 Watchlist in the 2016 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, despite the objections of numerous civil society organizations[1] and evidence that the Thai government was not making significant efforts to prevent human trafficking and forced labor among its migrant worker population.[2] Evidence from throughout 2016 shows that despite legal reforms made in 2015 and 2016, the reality on the ground has changed little for migrant workers, who are still vulnerable to trafficking. High recruitment fees, limited freedom of movement, degrading and illegal working conditions, and other indications of human trafficking remained prevalent not only in Thailand’s seafood sector[3], but in construction[4], domestic work[5] and food processing.[6]

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[1] Hodal, Kate, and Annie Kelly, The Guardian, “Thailand's improved status in US human trafficking report sparks fury,” June 30, 2016,

[2] International Labor Rights Forum, “Comments Concerning the Ranking of Thailand by the United States Department of State in the 2016 Trafficking in Persons Report,” February 23, 2016,

[3] Errughim Lorenza, Ivanka Mamic and Birgitte Krogh-Poulsen, International Labour Organization Asia-Pacific Working Paper Series, “Global Supply Chains: Insights into the Thai Seafood Sector,” April 2016,

[4] Napier-Moore, Rebecca, and Kate Sheill, International Labour Organization, “High rise, low pay: experiences of migrant women in the Thai construction sector,” 2016,

[5] Anderson, Bridget, International Labour Organization, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific “Worker, helper, auntie, maid? : Working conditions and attitudes experienced by migrant domestic workers in Thailand and Malaysia,” 2016,

[6] Hodal, Kate, The Guardian, “Thailand: poultry workers cry fowl amid claim they 'slept on floor next to 28,000 birds'’, August 1, 2016,