Bandar Seri Begawan - Thailand is looking forward to signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Brunei in tackling human trafficking. Thailand has signed similar MoU with other Asean member countries such as Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia in the past aimed at helping curb human trafficking.
Ambassador of Thailand to Brunei Darussalam, Apichart Phetcharatana, said this in an interview during the handing over of donation to the Welfare Home, Community Development Department yesterday.
According to Mr Apichart, the Thai side has already set up a working committee to draft the MoU and it's now up to the Brunei side. He added it might take time because it's a long process.
"We proposed the matter during a meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Brunei several months ago. I think we have more to do.
In Bangkok we have contacted the ministry and the authority concerned and now they are setting up a working committee for the MoU," said the ambassador.
"The MoU we are working on will basically have two objectives. Firstly, it is to strengthen the implementation of rules and regulations and laws between the two countries in terms of enforcement.
"Secondly, it is about media - working with the media, not only private media but all - which relates to bringing awareness through campaigns to inform the people on the dark side of human trafficking, especially for the victims and to avoid this activity.
"This matter is not yet finalised with Brunei but this should be done. It has been done with other countries such as Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia as the number of Thai nationals who are victims of human trafficking are on the rise, not just in Brunei but all over the world," he said.
The ambassador who has been in Brunei for oneand-half years now said, "More and more Thai girls are becoming victims of human trafficking either by their own will or otherwise. The numbers are increasing and we are quite concerned," said the ambassador.
Mr Apichart pointed to the root cause in Thailand, which is some organised gangs that traffic people. "So, we are trying to tackle the root cause," said the ambassador adding that in Brunei the people are being treated well and the point of signing the MoU is to have laws enforcement and awareness campaigns. Basically, the awareness campaign should be done in Thailand to warn people not to fall victims to human trafficking, he added.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin