Tag Archive for: Thailand


CLC Joins other NGOs in Applauding Downgrade of Thailand in 2014 Trafficking Report Rankings

Letter to Secretary of State John Kerry regarding Thailand’s downgrade in the 2014 TIP Report
Publication Date:
June 20, 2014

Dear Secretary Kerry:

We write today to applaud the U.S. State Department’s decision to downgrade Thailand to Tier 3 in the 2014 Global Trafficking in Persons Report. This decision is justified and an important step in international efforts to persuade the Royal Thai Government to begin making the difficult, but necessary, changes needed to bring themselves into compliance with the minimum standards of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

We also believe the Tier 3 ranking, as well as the research and recommendations contained in the report, will be an important informational tool for international and Thai institutions, companies and investors that continue to press Thai authorities to move beyond their current approach. It comes at an opportune time. In the last year, reports from, CNN, BBC, Reuters, The Associated Press and The Guardian have drawn unprecedented attention to the issue. To truly make sufficient progress in addressing human trafficking, the Thai Government should implement reforms in the areas highlighted both in the 2013 TIP Report and our last letter to you. These reforms have been repeatedly recommended by the U.S. State Department, other governments, NGOs, trade unions, and international bodies: improving victim identification and protection; fighting corruption; reforming immigration policies; and revising labor laws.

Given these priorities, we believe the United States should also emphasize to Thailand the importance of ratifying the International Labour Organization’s new legally-binding protocol to Convention 29 on Forced Labor in its upcoming discussions with the Thai Government. If Thailand were to ratify the protocol and bring its laws into compliance, it would help address many of the issues above, and be an important tool for those on the ground working to bring justice to victims of human trafficking. The United States should also press Thailand to amend the Labor Relations Act of 1975 to allow non-Thai nationals to organize and lead labor unions, and participate in collective bargaining, so that migrant workers would be in a better position to defend themselves against exploitative employers, and ratify ILO Conventions 87 (Freedom of Association and Protection of the Right to Organize) and 98 (Right to Organize and Collective Bargaining).

We thank you for your efforts at combating human trafficking, as well as the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor; the Ambassador at Large and Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons; the East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok for your ongoing efforts to raise these issues with your counterparts and bring about the change needed on the ground to prevent human trafficking in Thailand.

American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO)
Child Labor Coalition (CLC)
Fairfood International
Fair World Project
Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA)
Green America
Human Rights Watch
Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility (ICCR)
International Labor Rights Forum (ILRF)
National Consumers League (NCL)
Slave Free Seas
Synod of Victoria and Tasmania Uniting Church in Australia


Thai government urged to stop using child soldiers in militias

Posted : Thu, 03 Mar 2011 10:08:49 GMT
Asia World News | Home

[from www.earthtimes.org]

Bangkok – The Thai government is exposing children to “significant risks” by recruiting them in the war against Muslim insurgents in the south of the country, a coalition of humanitarian non-governmental organisations alleged on Thursday.

The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers and the Justice for Peace Foundation (JPF) said children between the ages of 9 and 17 were taking part in weapons training under the government-established Village Defence Militias, known locally by the Thai initials Chor Ror Bor.

“Children under the age of 18 are exposed to significant risks due to their association with Chor Ror Bor,” the coalition said.

“The militias are armed with a mixture of shotguns and automatic weapons,” the coalition’s Arachapon Nimitkulpon said at a press conference. “On occasions the militias are required to take part in military operations,” including searches for insurgent suspects.

Over the past four years, more than 4,000 soldiers, militia members, police, Muslim insurgents and civilians have been killed in violent incidents in Thailand’s three southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Pattani and Yala.

The Village Defence Militias were set up in 1985 as a successor to a network of local village volunteer groups established in the 1960s to combat communist insurgents.

In a report issued Thursday, the coalition and the JPF said field research in southern Thailand in mid-2010 found children were formal members of the government militias or were performing some duties associated with militia membership in 13 of the 19 villages visited by researchers.

“They patrol the village, man checkpoints and guard sites vulnerable to attack. They may also be required to assist the local police or the military to identify suspects, including suspected members of armed groups, and on occasion are required to participate in military operations in the surrounding area,” said the report.

It called on the government to “explicitly criminalize” the use of children under 18 by the armed forces, paramilitaries and Village Defence Militias.

Coalition director Victoria Adam cited an incident in which two children were killed in a military operation.

She said evidence indicated Muslim insurgents also were using child soldiers “in a range of different scenarios and activities” related to the southern separatist insurgency.

“Children have suffered greatly because of the armed violence in the south and a more comprehensive strategy is needed to protect them,” Adam said. “Any military activity is detrimental to children.”


Organizer of child sex ring in Thailand sentenced to 25 years

New York (CNN) — A Canadian man who admitted to running a sex ring involving young boys at his home in Thailand was sentenced by a federal judge in Newark, New Jersey, to 25 years in prison, court officials said Monday.

John Wrenshall pleaded guilty to three counts, including conspiracy to engage in sex tourism, conspiracy to produce child pornography and distribution of child pornography, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said in a statement.

“John Wrenshall created a place where innocent children were sexually brutalized as a vacation pastime,” Fishman said. “It is fitting that a man who has condemned children to live with unimaginable scars for his pleasure and profit should spend decades of his own life in a prison cell.”

Wrenshall’s attorney could not be immediately reached for comment.

Since January 2000, court authorities said the 64-year-old Canadian arranged illicit trips for Americans and others who paid him to engage in anal sex, oral sex and other sexual acts with Thai boys, according to the statement.

His customers were permitted to videotape and photograph their abuse, the statement said.

Wrenshall also personally victimized the boys in an effort to “train” them for his customers, it added.

Some of the boys were as young as 4.

London’s Metropolitan Police arrested Wrenshall at Heathrow Airport in December 2008.

Three of his clients — Wayne Nelson Corliss, Burgess Lee Burgess and Mitchell Kent Jackson — already have pleaded guilty and were sentenced on sex tourism and related charges, the statement said.

Corliss was sentenced to 20 years in prison in November 2009, while Burgess and Jackson each received 6½-year sentences.

“Criminals who prey on children are committing unspeakable acts, causing irreparable harm and robbing the innocent of their innocence,” said Peter T. Edge, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. “(Homeland Security Investigations) will track down these criminals, wherever they think they can hide, arrest them and bring them to justice.”

In 2009, 2,888 people were charged with having sex with children under the age of 15 in Thailand, which has become a destination of choice for sex tourists looking to prey on children.

Their targets are often the thousands of homeless and impoverished migrant children who end up working on Thai streets or in bars every year where they fall prey to traffickers and pedophiles, according to the Human Help Network Foundation Thailand, a nongovernmental organization charged with social and economic development in Thailand.

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