Edition: English | 中文简体 | 中文繁体 Монгол
Homepage > World Video

Thailand hotspot for slave trade

Reporter: Tony Cheng 丨 CCTV.com

06-06-2016 19:34 BJT

The Walk Free Foundation in Australia has released its Global Slavery Index for 2016. It estimates around forty five million people are currently enslaved around the world. That's up 10 million on last year's figures.

Thailand is in the top ten of the worst offenders for slavery and human trafficking. But the report's findings are in stark contrast to the celebratory mood at Government House in Bangkok, where Thai officials were hailing successes made in the fight against slavery.

Thai Prime Minister General Prayuth hands out prizes to those involved in the crack down on human trafficking. The prizes were for individuals and organizations that had done outstanding work in the anti trafficking field. Most were high ranking policemen, military officers or civil servants.

At times it was hard for General Prayuth to stay awake…this has hardly been his governments top priority. But he also pleaded with the world for more time to resolve the trafficking issue…

"Don't put too much pressure on us. We are trying to do this for Thailand, for neighboring countries and for all other countries too, be they in the east or west, because we are human beings. We have to take care of each other," said Prayuth Chan Ocha, Thailand's Prime Minister.

But does Thailand really have much to celebrate? A ban on Thai seafood is still hanging over the fishing industry after it was found that slavery is still common in processing plants and on fishing boats.

The European Union has differed a decision on the ban, but has also made it clear that the current reforms are not enough. And the world was shocked last year when the conditions of Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Myanmar was revealed.

Jungle camps where inmates were beaten and starved, the unlucky ones tossed into mass graves.  Arrests were made, including several high level military officers, but prosecutions have been rare…and the human trafficking continues, albeit along different routes.

And the Thai government has done little to stop trafficking in other areas especially those right under its nose.

Modern slavery can exist in the most mundane of places like an ordinary suburban street, where domestic workers can be trapped by poverty, lack of proper documents and unscrupulous employers.

"People still being trafficked, for example in the fishing industry and in other situations of exploitation, so its still an enormous problem here in Thailand. There is still a huge amount of work for the authorities to do. And I think it would be premature for the authorities to be padding themselves on the back," said Matthew Smith, director of Fortify Rights.

But that self congratulation was much in evidence on Monday. Officers and civil servants taking smiling selfies at government house. The anti traffickers even have a beaming mascot. Small consolation to the hundred of thousand of men women and children living in slavery across Thailand.

Follow us on

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Instagram

  • Please scan the QR Code to follow us on Wechat