Thailand Calls for Regional Cooperation in Easing Irregular Migration Problem
The Government Public Relations Department, Office of the Prime Minister on 16 May 2015:
Thailand has called on countries in the region to cooperate in tackling the problem of irregular migration, which has been on the rise in recent years.
Deputy Government Spokesman Major General Sansern Kaewkamnerd cited this problem, especially concerning Rohingya migrants, as a serious and complicated one, saying that it is an urgent issue in this region.
Thailand is a transit country and it cannot solve this problem alone. Therefore, he called for cooperation from other countries to deal with human trafficking and irregular migration, particularly in the Bay of Bengal.
As part of efforts to ease this problem, the Thai government will host a special meeting on irregular migration in the Indian Ocean on 29 May 2015 in Bangkok. The special meeting is an urgent call for the region to comprehensively work as one to address the unprecedented increase of irregular migration across the Bay of Bengal.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the increasing complexity of the problem demands a multi-faceted approach. Countries of origin, transit, and destination must work together to address the problem by addressing the root causes as well as all the contributing factors along the way.
Thailand is firmly committed to this cooperative and coordinated approach and the upcoming ratification of the ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP), to be signed at the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur in November 2015. The ASEAN Plan of Action will serve as a testament to Thailand’s commitment to this cause.
The one-day meeting will be attended by senior officials from 15 affected countries, such as Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. The United States, among others, will serve as observers. Also participating in the meeting will be relevant international organizations, namely the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).
The meeting will build on the progress of the Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime. It will also follow up on the existing work done on this issue, particularly the Special Ministerial Conference on Irregular Movement of Persons held in Jakarta in 2013.
The meeting will be opened by Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn and chaired by Permanent Secretary for Foreign Affairs Norachit Sinhaseni. It will provide a forum for exchanges of information and intelligence on the current situation of irregular migration by sea and its challenges.
For more information and updates about Thailand’s policies and actions against trafficking in persons and related issues, visit www.thaianti-humantraffickingaction.org