In Focus : Signing of an Arrangement on Counter-Trafficking Cooperation between Thailand and Australia news3

In Focus : Signing of an Arrangement on Counter-Trafficking Cooperation between Thailand and Australia

           On 28 November 2018, H.E. Mr. Virasakdi Futrakul, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, witnessed the singing of “Subsidiary Arrangement between the Government of the Kingdom of Thailand and the Government of Australia relating to the ASEAN – Australia Counter-Trafficking (ASEAN – ACT) Program” by H.E. Mr. Paul Robilliard, Australian Ambassador to Thailand, and Mrs. Suphatra Srimaitreephithak, Director-General of Thailand International Cooperation Agency, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Also in attendance were representatives from relevant Thai agencies such as the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, Royal Thai Navy, Department of Special Investigation, and the Royal Thai Police’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division and Marine Police Division.

           ASEAN-ACT is a 10-year program, implemented in 7 ASEAN countries: Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines and Vietnam, which aims to improve the criminal justice response to Trafficking in Persons in ASEAN at both national and regional levels. The program focuses on capacity building projects for law enforcement officers in the investigation, prosecution and trials of cases related to human trafficking. Thailand is the first country in ASEAN to sign such an agreement with Australia on the program.

          Thailand and Australia have cooperated on anti-human trafficking for the past 15 years under 3 programs, namely, Asia Regional Cooperation to Prevent Trafficking Program (ARCPPT) in 2003 - 2006, Asia Regional Trafficking in Persons Project (ARTIP) in 2006 - 2012 and most recently the Australia - Asia Program to combat Trafficking in Persons (AAPTIP), which started in 2013 and will be concluded by the end of this year.  ASEAN - ACT Program offers a seamless cooperation between Thailand and Australia on anti-human trafficking efforts and is scheduled to commence on 1 January 2019.