[Stop-traffic] News/THAILAND: 4HUMAN TRAFFICKING / SEX CRIME...

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/THAILAND: 4HUMAN TRAFFICKING / SEX CRIME...
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Tue Nov 21 2000 - 09:22:33 EST


08-11-2000 THAILAND: 4HUMAN TRAFFICKING / SEX CRIME...
BANGKOK POST (MAIN SECTION) PAGE 4HUMAN TRAFFICKING / SEX CRIMEBureau urges
visa restrictionsSex slaves can only be protected with the backing of
agenciesAnjira Assavanonda The Immigration Bureau has renewed calls for a
visa clampdown to tackle human trafficking.
Pol Col Banjongsin Raksatman, of the bureau, said the Tourism Authority of
Thailand should be involved in any plan to tackle trafficking.
The authority's policy of opening the country to foreigners worsened the
problem. It was harder to take action when trafficking had its origins in
transnational organised crimes.
"We allow citizens of 97 countries to enter Thailand by asking only for a
visa, and those from 56 countries to enter without visas.
"This means 90% of the world's nations can get into our country freely,"
said Pol Col Banjongsin.
The National Project Committee on Trafficking in Women and Children in
Mekong Sub-region has been working on a 10-year national anti-trafficking
plan which will go to cabinet in a few months.
Chairman Saisuree Chutikul said Thailand was involved as a receiving
country, a transit country and a country of origin.
The plan was debated at a workshop organised by the Mekong Region Law
Centre in co-operation with the National Youth Bureau and Unicef.
Social Welfare's deputy director general, Wanlop Ploytabtim, chaired the
drafting panel. He said the plan was not confined to Thai women, but would
also help foreign women and children, including those who entered the
country illegally.
Families had to be strengthened, victims protected and culprits prosecuted.
Victims would be re-integrated into society and national and international
networks would be set up.
Those involved include the Social Welfare Department, police, Immigration
Bureau, Office of National Security Council, Ministry of Education and the
Public Health Ministry.
Ms Saisuree said the plan could fail unless everyone got behind it.
Repatriation of the victims to their homeland would not work if it lacked
co-operation from the country of origin.
Sompob Chandraka, from a community centre in Chiang Rai, said risk areas
where trafficking was rampant should get a special mention.
In Chiang Rai, 17 entertainment venues were known to offer sex services.
The number of sex workers in the province was about 258, with 109 of them
aged below 18.
BANGKOK POST 08/11/2000
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