13 YEARS OF SUCCESS!
Our very first case: Across multiple borders trafficking in Malaysia – We began operation in the middle of 2003 and soon after received a case of Vietnamese trafficked to Malaysia through Cambodia and Thailand via a large network of multinational organized crime.
Development of victim protection in Thailand and, by using the Vietnamese case, campaigning for recognition of human trafficking of Vietnamese by the Vietnamese government. Victims were considered illegal migrants and jailed at the women’s prison in Songkhla.
- A case in N. Thailand was sent Sungai Kolok Immigration to be returned to the border of Malaysia. Immigration recognized her as victim and escort her to the protection shelter of Bangkok.
- Negotiations with the government shelter to collect other victims from jail and send them to a protection shelter in Bangkok.
- Worked with the Thai government during the first trade agreement meeting between Thailand and Vietnam to share about the situation Vietnamese victims sheltered in Thailand, in order to encourage the Vietnamese government to recognize human trafficking.
- First official repatriation of Vietnamese victims from Thailand to Vietnam.
- As a result of successful campaigning in 2004, the Government of Vietnam officially recognised human trafficking and began active engagement. In July AAT signed an agreement with the National Women Union to set up a national centre to receive victims of trafficking in Can Tho, South Vietnam.
- Development of individualised repatriation according to victim’s needs as several undocumented Vietnamese were living in Cambodia. We successfully repatriated them in Cambodia with the support of local communities.
- Installed a parallel network with NGOs to monitor the family tracing.
First legal procedure success in Thailand and establishment of a regional task force for protection in Malaysia and Singapore
- Due to the action of our team, Cambodian victims rescued from Peadang Besar won their court and received compensation for witness protection. It is the first time AAT had used this channel of the law and it was a successful case for foreign women victims of trafficking in Thailand.
- During the same case working jointly with our network, we dismantled and arrested the network of traffickers from Peadang Besar up to the Cambodian border, including court conviction of the main transit trafficker (Cambodian nationality and his wife (Thai nationality) located in Lopburi.
- In March 2006 we set up a task force with NGOs from Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam and Thailand as well as the Commission of Human Rights of both Malaysia and Thailand.
- First protection and repatriation channel in Malaysia: With the Save Our Daughters (SOD) network – Friends Of Women, Mr. Sampasit Koomphapan, AAT( Thai), Tenaganita, Thai liaison police in Malaysia and the Malaysian police D7 – we established the first temporary protection and repatriation system between Thailand and Malaysia, even though Malaysia had not yet officially recognised human trafficking.
SOD being advisers and change Thai police structure
As a result of a rescue operation in Sungai Kolok, we became advisers concerning women issues of the National Sub Committee of Human Rights of Thailand, to the Governor of Chonburi and to the Royal Thai Police. SOD organized a meeting in sharing our opinion concerning women’s protection. We combined plans with the police who added mechanisms in its structure concerning women’s protection.
Taskforce at the Thai-Malaysian border and initial actions in Laos
- With Friends Of Women and relevant government networks, we set up a task force between Sadao sides and the Malaysian sides of the border to address human trafficking and deportation in the no-man’s-land. This enabled us to regularly send a team to the Immigration depot inside Malaysia to interview Thai detainees to screen who were victims of trafficking.
- Our primary actions in Laos.
New mechanisms to combat human trafficking and corruption in Thailand
- AAT and Network campaigned to obtain the creation of the Department of Special Investigations, a special unit separate from the police structure able to investigate on special legal cases such as corruption.
- AAT obtained an agreement to work in Laos with the Lao Women Union. We established a bilateral women empowerment and working alternative development pilot project according to women’s choices beginning in Thailand and continuing in Laos. Through this project, AAT obtained the authorization from the Thai government to bring foreign victims out of shelters for this activity.
AAT actions with the immigration of Sadao awarded at national level and being a good practice
The multi-disciplinary team model we established in the immigration detention centre of Sadao to protect victims of trafficking enabled the Immigration police of Sadao to receive an award as the national project of the year in human trafficking issues. We then developed the same model at Immigration Phibun Mangsahan (Ubon Ratchathani) and Ranong. In Ranong the team now operates independently of AAT.
National policy for victim identification and protection system at the Lao border
- The southern immigration pilot project received interest from the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security and they adopted a policy that one social worker will work in each Immigration depot to identify victims of trafficking among detainees.
- Officially opened our Coordination centre at Vangtao, on the Lao together with the Lao Federation of Trade Unions. The centre receives deported migrants from Thailand to protect and safely repatriate most vulnerable groups.
Women from the grassroots level shared women’s situation with the Prime Minister
ATN established a women’s network and facilitated the network to meet with the Prime Minister three times to expose and give suggestions about women and children trafficking prevention – twice with Prime Minister Abhisit and once with Prime Minister Yingluck.
Development of legal measures in Thailand, new Learning centre in Ubon and project in Myanmar
- Our team worked with government networks to utilise unexplored parts of the law to get compensation from traffickers for victim damages. Case in Lopburi was successful. AAT worked with the National Human Rights Monitoring Commission to cancel Rohingya deportation and to assist them to access to their rights (only partially successful).
- Built a Learning centre on the Thai side of the Lao-Thai border. The centre provides basic rights services to most vulnerable groups and vocational training and work alternatives to Lao and Thai women and girls.
- Began operations in Myanmar.
Establishment of a special court for human trafficking cases only
- Our team together with Friends Of Women Foundation and the ATN met with several government agencies to propose the establishment of a special court that will focus on cases of human trafficking only.
- Friends Of Women Foundation and AAT met the Prime Minister and gave him a recommendation letter regarding the special Court. In June 2015, the special court was established by the Thai government.
A. Extension of visa for foreign victims of human trafficking
- Following actions to encourage the Thai government to allow foreign victims of trafficking to leave government shelters, AAT with Friends Of Women Foundation met with several government agencies in order to propose a long term visa to enable foreign victims of trafficking to work in Thailand.
- AAT together with Friends Of Women also met the Thai Prime Minister and gave him a recommendation letter for this purpose.
The Thai government advised in March 2016 that foreign victims would be granted a one year visa to allow them to stay and work in Thailand.
B. Enforcement of an article of law to increase victims’ compensations received by perpetrators
Most actions were undertaken jointly with government and NGOs networks as well as networks from other countries – The Anti Trafficking Network (ATN): (Friends Of Women, Labour rights Promotion Network, Mirror Foundation, Human Rights Development Foundation and AAT)
Following the pilot case of Lopburi of 2014, AAT worked with Friends Of Women Foundation and met several government agencies in order to propose an article that will enable victims of trafficking to receive compensations for the physical and mental damage they endured while being victims. The said compensation will be provided directly from the perpetrators. The law was enforced in April 2016.