New Lao-Thai centre to help tackle trafficking

Thailand to help build rehabilitation centre in Vientiane

THAILAND and Laos have decided to set up a social development centre to help tackle human trafficking, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said yesterday.

After the 20th Thai-Lao Joint Commission meeting at a Chiang Rai hotel, Don told reporters that he had signed a memorandum of understanding for the establishment of the centre at Ban Phon-Hong in Laos capital Vientiane to provide rehabilitation to persons victimised by human trafficking.

He said Thailand would sponsor construction of the centre’s building and human-resource development, as this facility would be helpful in suppression of human trafficking in the two countries and the region.

Don said the meeting also agreed to host a meeting of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam this year to decide on how to launch a cross-border bus service linking the three countries. Besides, both Thailand and Laos have expressed readiness to sign a border-security agreement, he said, which would promote orderliness along the border area for the peace of Thai and Lao people.

Cross-border travel

During the joint commission meeting, attended by 100 representatives from both sides, Thailand proposed adjustments in the agreement on Thai-Lao cross-border travel, he said. It was aimed at better accommodating people and enabling Thai and Lao workers living in border areas to cross the border for work on a daily or seasonal basis.

The two countries also discussed drafting an MoU on Thai-Lao employment and another MoU on labour protection and skill development for Lao workers hired by Thai employers, Don said.

He also said this year marked a special occasion – the 40th anniversary of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic and the 65th anniversary of Thailand-Lao diplomatic ties. Invited as a guest of Laotian Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Thongloun Sisoulith, Don will also attend a foundation-laying ceremony for a 60-bed hospital building named “Lao-Thai’s 65th Anniversary” at Bo Kaew Hospital in Laos today.

Thongloun, who co-presided over the meeting, said the two sides also agreed to complete a survey soon demarcating the border to promote peaceful co-existence and to assist operations of on-field officials. Laos expressed its readiness to host the next joint commission meeting in Vientiane next year, he added.

In related news, Thai Defence Ministry spokesman Maj-General Khongcheep Tantrawanich said Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister General Prawit Wongsuwan, during the Defence Council meeting yesterday, urged troops along the border to implement stricter measures against drug smuggling, human trafficking and illegal entry of people.

Source: The Nation October 27, 2015 By Nanthida Poungthong

Photo credit: National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT)

For more information and updates about Thailand’s policies and actions against trafficking in persons and related issues, visit