Conrad Hotel – Bangkok, Thailand
November 29, 2017 – Through a grant to the Thailand-based Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) and working closely with Senior TIP Experts, the U.S. Government through the ASEAN-U.S. PROGRESS project conducted research and drafted a study assessing the current state of restitution for victims of human trafficking in Thailand. The study identifies potential opportunities and interventions, including recommendations for legal, policy, procedural, and other changes, aimed at improving implementation of Thailand’s commitment to remedies for victims of trafficking.
In order to validate the findings and recommendations drawn from the draft study, HRDF in collaboration with PROGRESS organized a workshop to bring together over Thai stakeholders from civil society and government, including from the national anti-trafficking taskforce to discuss, debate, and ultimate provide inputs to inform a revised study on the current state of victim restitution in Thailand.
Once finalized, the study will be presented to relevant ASEAN bodies, including but not limited to the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection on the Rights of Women and Children, and will feed into current ASEAN efforts supported by the U.S. Government through PROGRESS to develop regional guidelines and procedures to address the needs of victims of TIP victims across ASEAN Member States.
In his welcoming remarks, Mr. Somchai Homlair, HRDF President, indicated that for the past 20 years, Thailand has seen tremendous progress in terms of partnership between agencies and governmental and civil society in tackling trafficking. However, the form and shape of the problem has evolved and while Thailand already has in place requisite laws and systems address victim restitution and compensation, challenges remain. He also expressed his hopes that through continued discourse, stakeholders will continue to improve understanding of the issues and inform more effective implementation of laws and policies.
In her opening remarks, Karolyn Kuo, from USAID’s Regional Development Mission for Asia, expressed her hopes for a successful gathering and looked forward to the study’s application more broadly: “Building upon the valuable inputs and suggestions from today’s workshop, onward iterations of the study will also explore and draw out potential lessons that can be shared and applied throughout ASEAN.”