THAILAND TOUGHENS HUMAN TRAFFICKING PENALTIES
Last Thursday, Thailand’s National Assembly passed several amendments to the current anti-human trafficking laws that will make the penalties for engaging in such crimes more severe. The new laws allow prosecutors to pursue life prison sentences for individuals convicted of human trafficking. They also “open the way for more robust factory and industry inspections, especially in the fishing and seafood industry.” These amendments come days after an Associated Press report revealed that Thai seafood caught by men working in slavery-like conditions is often mixed in with other seafood at certain suppliers’ processing plants, making the slave-caught fish virtually untraceable.
Over the past few years, Thailand has been internationally criticizedfor their rampant human trafficking problem and overall inability to address the root causes. In 2014, Thailand received the lowest rating in the United States’ annual Trafficking in Person’s report, Tier 3. Since then, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has proclaimed that human trafficking is one of the key problems the country is working to address. Although these new laws seem to be a step in the right direction, not all Thai citizens are convinced that they will have a significant impact.
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