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Cablegate: Nomination for the Department of Labor's Iqbal Masih Award

VZCZCXRO5106
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHBK #3081 2881103
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 141103Z OCT 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4665
RUEHC/DEPT OF LABOR WASHDC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 5713
RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS BANGKOK 003081

Department for DRL/IL MJunk and G/TIP MTaylor
Labor for ILAB/OCFT

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ELAB PHUM KTIP TH
SUBJECT: Nomination for the Department of Labor's Iqbal Masih Award
for the Elimination of Child Labor

REFS: A) STATE 99123 B) Bangkok 6093 C) Bangkok 5990

1. Embassy Bangkok in coordination with Consulate General Chiang
Mai enthusiastically nominates TRAFCORD for the Department of
Labor's Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor.

Nomination Package -- Data Summary
----------------------------------
2. Organization Name: Anti-Trafficking Coordination Unit - Northern
Thailand (TRAFCORD)
Executive Director: Ben Svasti
Street Address: 5th floor, Chiang Mai Provincial Administrative
Center, Chotana Road, Chang Puek Sub-district, Muang District,
Chiang Mai 50300
Telephone and Fax Numbers: (66)53-121809, (66)53-121908
Email addresses:admin@trafcord.org, report@trafcord.org,
trafcord_cm@yahoo.com
Website: www.trafcord.org/about_eng.php

Nomination Package -- Executive Summary
---------------------------------------
3. Established in 2002 in response to a marked rise in cases
involving the trafficking of women and children from the Mekong
region, TRAFCORD, the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Unit, was set up
in upper Northern Thailand. TRAFCORD acts as a coordination center
between government and non-government agencies active in addressing
human trafficking (TIP) cases, particularly involving women and
children. Sponsored by the USG, the Asia Foundation, and UNICEF, the
unit has been at the forefront of the successful
"multi-disciplinary" approach to trafficking cases in the region.
When TRAFCORD employees suspect the presence of child prostitutes
(often in a brothel or karaoke bar), they work with police, social
workers (public or private), prosecutors, and other relevant
government and NGO officials to rescue, rehabilitate, and repatriate
them. By coordinating government and private agencies prior,
during, and after raids on suspected establishments, they help
ensure that victims receive improved treatment and access to
services, and that criminal cases have a better chance of being
successfully prosecuted.

4. TRAFCORD's multi-disciplinary approach has been adopted by other
organizations in Thailand, including through formal memorandums of
understanding (MOUs) signed with relevant officials representing
seventeen Northern provinces in Thailand. As such, TRAFCORD has
catalyzed the updating of procedures for dealing with TIP cases and
coordinated their implementation, often providing training in the
process. TRAFCORD's work therefore also informed the key change to
Thailand's national anti-trafficking legal framework: a new,
comprehensive anti-TIP law that came into force in June 2008 (Refs
B-C).

5. TRAFCORD's multi-disciplinary team approach, as explained in
various international forums (from Hawaii to Rome to Geneva), has
generated positive international attention in support of the most
effective ways to fight against child prostitution and other TIP
crimes. Many, such as the Director General of the International
Organization for Migration, have praised the unit and its staff for
"providing useful insights and guidance." By TRAFCORD's own
estimation, their education efforts have also significantly reduced
police involvement in trafficking by informing the authorities about
the exploitative nature of the practice. Similarly, TRAFCORD's
comprehensive anti-child labor/TIP activities, including its public
relations and media efforts, have raised awareness about the worst
forms of child labor and inspired other organizations and
individuals to adopt more effective multidisciplinary strategies to
end them, particularly by establishing youth clubs and a network of
community volunteers who provide valuable information about unusual
activities in their area that could be related to TIP. Much of this
success has come at significant personal risk; accompanying police
on raids against brothels and karaoke bars is dangerous, and many
investigators have pressed on despite pleas their families to
resign.

6. Due to these factors, Embassy Bangkok and Consulate General
Chiang Mai strongly believe TRAFCORD is deserving of the Department
of Labor's Iqbal Masih Award for the Elimination of Child Labor.

ENTWISTLE

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