Long-standing worker abuses get some serious attention
Bangkok, Mar. 2.─ The government in Thailand will not be looking forward to June, when America's State Department releases its annual report on the trafficking of humans. As in recent years, Thailand's section will make for nasty reading. It will, yet again, prove to be an embarrassment for America's oldest ally in the region.
The country likes to think of itself as a civilised and sophisticated society. But according to the State Department, when it comes to problems of illegal immigration and forced labour, Thailand is on a par with Afghanistan, Chad, Iraq and Niger. Thailand sits on the "Tier 2 Watch List", a notch above the worst of the worst. If it slips down this year, as it might, it will join a rogue's gallery including Eritrea, Sudan, Syria and Zimbabwe. If America's usual procedures were followed, relegation would trigger sanctions against Thailand, including the blocking of relations with the IMF and the World Bank. That almost certainly will not happen—Thailand's goodwill is too important to America. But that the possibility even exists is extraordinary enough.
The Thai government has long overlooked abuses. About 2 million legal immigrants and perhaps as many illegal ones keep several labour-intensive parts of the Thai economy afloat. Add a comment Leer más...