Reprinted from The New York Times by The Associated Press on February 2, 2017.
Thailand’s military government says it made progress in fighting human trafficking in 2016, aiming for a favorable review from the US State Department in its annual report on modern-day slavery.
The Foreign Ministry said Thursday that 268 people were convicted of human trafficking during the year, the highest number since the government began instituting tougher policies in 2014.
“No matter which government would like to inspect us, if they look at our efforts for the past three years, they should have a good feeling,” Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said at a news conference.
Thailand has come under heavy scrutiny in recent years. In 2014, the US demoted Thailand to “Tier 3” status, the lowest category indicating a failure to combat trafficking. A March 2015 report by The Associated Press and other investigations have showed continued slavery and labor abuses in Thailand’s fishing industry. …