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From yatra@del2.vsnl.net.in Fri Nov 17 10:21:37 2000
Date: Thu, 16 Nov 2000 22:57:08 -0600 (CST)
From: Child Labur News Service <yatra@del2.vsnl.net.in>
Subject: Child Labour News Service Release - 15 November 2000
Organization: Child Labour News Service
Article: 109291
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
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Joint effort agreed to curb trafficking

Child Labor News Service, 15 November 2000

Thailand and Cambodia have agreed to sign their first bilateral memorandum to combat trafficking in women and children, a measure expected to help protect those targeted by human smuggling syndicates.

The basics for a draft memorandum of understanding were discussed at a two-day workshop on ending trafficking in women and children organised by the Mekong Region Law Centre, the National Youth of Thailand and the Coalition to Fight Against Child Exploitation.

The sketch draft requires both governments to provide education and vocational training along with job opportunities to protect women and children vulnerable to trafficking; provide better social welfare services for the underprivileged; exchange information and develop a legal framework for prosecution of traffickers; treat people being trafficked as victims and repatriate them safely through diplomatic channels and; facilitate the recovery and reintegration of victims into their communities.

Saisuree Chutikul, Chairperson of the Sub-committee on the Elimination of Trafficking in Women and Children, National Youth Bureau, said the memorandum was inspired by the increasing number of children and women from Cambodia who have been lured into working illegally in Thailand.

The Cambodians are lured and forced into work as prostitutes and beggars in Thailand. Some are beaten and abused when they refuse to work. The draft will be a mechanism and channel to facilitate the suppression of syndicates, to prevent them from continuing their work, Saisuree said.

According to the draft, the trafficking category would include those people smuggled into the country for purposes of prostitution, forced domestic labour, servile marriage, false adoption, sex tourism and entertainment, pornography and forced begging.

Saisuree stressed that women and children who are found to have been trafficked into Thailand tend to be deported at the earliest opportunity, thus preventing police from obtaining key information and evidence directly from the victims. Those victims are excellent sources for police and the concerned authorities. So they should stay in shelters in Thailand to provide information about the syndicates before being sent back, Saisuree said.

It is not certain when the memorandum would be completed or when it would become effective. It is up to both countries to decide.

Once the memorandum goes into force, it could be a model for further agreements Thailand could have with other countries.