Thailand, Myanmar, Indonesia meet in Pattaya to tackle human trafficking problems in fishing industry

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Officials from Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand met in Pattaya to try ease cooperation across borders to fight human trafficking in the fishing industry.

Organized by a four-person team from Australia, the Australia-Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons convened June 4 as the Dusit Thani Hotel with trafficking and other transnational crime on the agenda. More than 30 representatives from the Thai Department of Special Investigation and the other three nations attended.

The goal of the meeting was to provide clear understanding of the abilities and limits of law enforcement units in each country. The hope is it would result in a consensus regarding the most efficient means of international communication and cooperation.

Officials from Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand met in Pattaya with a four-person team from the Australia-Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons to discuss ways to cooperate in the fight against human trafficking in the fishing industry.Officials from Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand met in Pattaya with a four-person team from the Australia-Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons to discuss ways to cooperate in the fight against human trafficking in the fishing industry.

DSI Director-General Suwana Suwanjuta said most human-trafficking cases involve more than one country, often leading to complications and delays in solutions. Thailand, she claimed, was merely a transit country. She used the two-day meeting to report all details of the trafficking situation here.

She said it has taken time for Thailand to tackle its people-smuggling problem because many factors and agencies were involved, including those in Myanmar and Indonesia.

While Thailand signed an agreement with Myanmar in 2007 to fight human trafficking, this meeting was the first on coordinated efforts with Indonesia, Suwana noted.

The session did not address the touchy situation of Myanmar’s Rohingya Muslim minority of Rakhine State, who are most often the victims of human trafficking. Myanmar has refused to officially recognize the Rohingya as a Burmese minority and denies them citizenship.

Myanmar delegation head Brig Gen Win Naing Tun said the scope of the meeting was limited to discussion of human trafficking in the fishing industry and law enforcement efforts between countries.