Thailand’s foreign minister, Surapong Tovichakchaikul, urged his US counterpart, Secretary of State Kerry, not to downgrade the southeast Asian country in its latest review of the human trafficking situation during his visit to the United States, Thai News Agency reported on Friday. Surapong said on Thursday on his return from a Monday Washington DC visit said he highlighted the Thai government’s efforts in dealing with the problem of trafficking. He cited the example of Thailand’s newly- established One-Stop Crisis Centres on assistance and protection for various target groups, including victims of human trafficking. The minister said he hoped the efforts would be reflected positively in the upcoming U.S. State Department Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report, which is to be published next month. The TIP report has put Thailand on the Tier 2 Watch List, a not yet compliant to the maximum standards to combat trafficking, for three consecutive years and the government is concerned that the country may slip into Tier 3 if no meaningful action is taken to deal with the human trafficking problem. Kerry said he would consider Thailand’s request and effort, but expressed concern over Thailand’s lengthy judiciary procedures in tackling human trafficking cases, Surapong said (Source).