Hundreds of human-trafficking cases are recorded in Thailand every year despite its concerted effort to tackle the problem in a bid to improve its status in the US Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report.

Thailand was demoted from Tier 2 to Tier 2 Watchlist last year in the annual evaluation and the government hopes its efforts to combat this problem will help get the country reinstated to Tier 2 this year.

Countries are placed on Tier 2 for failing to fully comply with minimum standards of the US Trafficking Victims Protection Act but are making significant efforts. Countries on Tier 2 Watchlist fail to curb the number of trafficking victims and fail to prove they are serious about combatting severe forms of trafficking.

In 2015, Thailand recorded 223 human trafficking cases and was promoted to Tier 2 Watchlist from Tier 3 the following year, according to the Justice Ministry’s data.

Tier 3 countries in the TIP Report are those that fail to comply with any of the minimum standards and are making no notable efforts to do so.

In 2018, Thailand was further promoted to Tier 2, which was the best status the country has achieved so far. However, the number of human trafficking remained high – 745 in 2016 and 732 in 2017.

Thailand was demoted to Tier 2 Watchlist again last year, even though the number of cases has been gradually falling from 662 in 2018 to 637 in 2019 and 499 in 2020.

Last year saw 402 cases, and there were 277 cases in the first three months of this year.