Comments Concerning Ranking of Thailand by U.S. Department of State in 2020 Trafficking in Persons Report

Publication Date: 

March 10, 2020


International Labor Rights Forum on behalf of the Seafood Working Group

In 2019, the Government of Thailand amended and enacted laws and policies to bring Thai law in compliance with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Protocol of 2014 to the Forced Labor Convention (P29) and ILO Convention on Work in Fishing (C188). While the policy changes are welcomed by the Seafood Working Group (SWG) coalition members, there has been little actual change on the ground. Even with the legal improvements made over the past year, Thai workers and migrant workers are still vulnerable to forced labor and human trafficking.

The SWG is a coalition of over 60 labor rights, human rights, and environmental non-governmental organizations. The coalition recommends that Thailand be downgraded to the Tier 2 Watch List ranking since it does not fully meet the minimum standards as set forth in the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) of 2000. This report will show the government’s failure to make progress in key areas, including:

  • Identification and prosecution of forced labor;
  • Labor inspections and complaint processing;
  • Addressing widespread debt and document retention practices, and inability for workers to change employers;
  • Protecting workers and labor rights defenders who report abuse from retaliation and the use of defamation and other lawsuits; and
  • Protection of workers’ fundamental rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining.