2014 TIP report: Letter to the Editor

On the same day the 2014 Trafficking in Persons report (TIP) was released my letter which follows was printed first, top left in my local newspaper, the Bangkok Post.  

I believe it is worth repeating and I wish the whole world could consider it too – – 

Behind the TIP report    

Renamed as:  TIP reports not gospel

Today we will hear about Thailand’s Tier in America’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.  Never forget the TIP report is also a programme.  (Converted to British-English)  America makes demands under TIP and countries like Thailand, ignore their own sovereignty, and comply.  TIP demands that countries change laws, speed up justice (a conflicting thought), and set aside special treatment for one class of victims that the US can never find enough of.  Every TIP report whines about the need to find more victims and prosecute more traffickers and then throw away the key.  But the Somaly Mam expose‘ in the BKK Post on June 1st and around the world has shown us that this issue has suffered extreme exaggeration by those who need funding and by media who benefit from sensational stories.  Read a few blogs about trafficking and you too will quickly learn that “facts” about trafficking often defy common sense.  
Every resident of Thailand, Thai and farang, should read TIP reports and see what it is really about.  On page 10, under heading Law Enforcement: On the front lines of victim identification of the 2013 TIP report the United States offers up Taiwan as an example for other countries to follow.  TIP tells us Taiwan has detention centers at their borders to hold new arrivals until they can be investigated as possible trafficking victims.  Detainees are offered long-term immigration status and release from detention (a kind of bribe)  in exchange for agreeing to claim to be victims and turn on people who helped them get a job in Taiwan.  I am shocked, even scared, that my country encourages this.  Scared because that is not the country I know from my youth.  
Dropped from my original submission which is understandable since it was unusually long for a letter to an editor:  
Thailand should consider Russia’s response to TIP as reported in the Bangkok Post on June 21, 2013.  Russia’s Foreign Ministry said, their “authorities will never follow instructions worked out in another country, let alone fulfill conditions presented in the form of an ultimatum.”  
And I think it is in America’s best interest if many countries, including Thailand, respond to TIP with the same answer.    TIP is clearly imperialistic behavior and American people have always rejected imperialism as if that is something other countries do, but not the USA.   

########################################The TIP program is dressed up in a very professional manner as you would expect when there are almost unlimited funds to spend to conduct a War on Trafficking.   But it helps to read between the lines and think about what these demands which TIP makes on other countries really mean to them.   


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