Thailand: Human traffickers fail to compensate victims of 99% of decided cases due to difficulty in seizing their assets
Author: Nanchanok Wongsamuth, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Published on: 20 October 2019
"Exclusive: Thailand's human traffickers flout 99% of court orders to compensate victims," 15 October 2019
Human traffickers in Thailand have ignored court orders to compensate victims in more than 99% of cases in recent years, fuelling fears that many survivors could be re-trafficked, data obtained exclusively by the Thomson Reuters Foundation revealed.
Thai courts have ordered traffickers to pay their victims more than $4.3 million for damages caused in about 1,335 cases since 2014...
But the money was only paid in five cases...- excluding cases settled out of court...
Trafficking victims are automatically compensated through a government fund - which provides living and rehabilitation expenses and lost wages - but Tangworamongkon said these sums of money were not sufficient for victims to rebuild their lives.
While Thai law allows victims to claim compensation from convicted traffickers, offenders have refused to pay in more than 1,000 cases - for which there is no legal punishment.
Sugunya Rattananakintr, a public prosecutor who focuses on human trafficking cases, said court rules should be amended to require offenders who were ordered to pay compensation to do so before they were allowed to appeal their sentences and fines.
“The problem is the enforcement of compensation orders since the ministry doesn’t have knowledge in this area,” she said.
“If you wait until the case reaches the highest court, the offenders will transfer all their assets, leaving them with nothing left to pay (in compensation to victims).”