Thailand claims progress in combating human trafficking

Thailand's military government says it made progress in fighting human trafficking in 2016, aiming for a favorable review from the U.S. State Department.

The Foreign Ministry said Thursday that 268 people were convicted of human trafficking during the year, the highest number since the government instituted tougher policies in 2014.

Thailand has come under heavy scrutiny in recent years over reports of slavery and labor abuses, especially in its fishing industry.

Officials say they've made efforts to enact new legislation, prosecute trafficking cases more stringently and provide more support for victims.

A summary of Thailand's progress will be submitted to the State Department for its annual Trafficking in Persons Report, which assesses the efforts of 188 countries to combat modern-day slavery. The report is expected to be released in June.