Thailand must stop sex trafficking – UN Watch testimony at UNHRC

Statement by UN Watch
Item 3, UNHRC 35th Session
12th June 2017
Delivered by Elisa Alloul

Thank you, Mr. President.
UN Watch thanks the Special Rapporteur for her report.
In 2015, I served as a volunteer to alleviate human trafficking in Thailand. In Bagkok, there are brothels on every corner, yet the government fails to take action to stop trafficking. Why is this so?
In part, this is due to the complicity of many law enforcement officials in this gross violation of human rights.
I witnessed how those who volunteer to fight trafficking face opposition from both gangs — and law enforcement.
Despite trafficking being prohibited in Thailand, the government fails to enforce its own laws.
Last year, a raid on a large brothel in Bangkok uncovered a log book detailing payments to local police, known as “tea money.” Yet police are rarely fired or imprisoned for such transgressions.
In a more recent scandal, as reported on May 2nd by Agence France Presse, four Thai police officers are suspected of procuring teenage sex slaves for influential officials. At least eight other people, including three high ranking police officers, are under investigation as suspected pimps.
In light of the above, UN Watch would like to ask the Special Rapporteur: Will you consider a visit to Thailand, to follow up on the report of your predecessor from 6 years ago?
Your report today recalls that all states are bound by international human rights law to protect citizens from third party abuses within their borders, and to prevent, suppress, and punish trafficking in persons.
As your report makes clear, the eradication of trafficking requires state action. When states make verbal and legal commitments, yet—as in the case of Thailand—fail to act, how do you recommend achieving accountability?
Thank you, Mr. President.


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