The Bali Process on People Smuggling, Trafficking in Persons and Related Transnational Crime

Friday, 19 Nov 2021
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RSO participates in multi-stakeholder consultative meeting to operationalize legislation on smuggling of migrants in Thailand

19 November 2021


Today, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Thailand and the Thai Office of the Attorney General (OAG) jointly hosted its first multi-stakeholder consultative meeting to discuss the Royal Thai Government’s plan to operationalise its new law on smuggling of migrants. The meeting, attended by representatives of the Royal Thai Police, Department of Special Investigations, the Thai Maritime Enforcement Command Centre, the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Labour, the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security, the Office of the National Security Council, and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), among others, was held at the Eastin Grand Hotel in Bangkok.


The Regional Support Office of the Bali Process (RSO), represented by Dr Marika McAdam, International Law and Policy Advisor, had the privilege of speaking at the consultative meeting. Dr McAdam outlined key obligations set out in the international law on migrant smuggling, as addressed in Understanding the Smuggling of Migrants Protocol, a 2021 publication jointly developed by the RSO and UNODC, which is available in Thai and other languages. She also offered attendees some points for consideration in the operationalization of the draft Thai legislation. 


Thailand’s robust draft law sets out a multi-agency approach to the prevention and suppression of smuggling of migrants. It prescribes a raft of measures to cooperate internationally to confront the smuggling of migrants – including in relation to migrant smuggling at sea. The draft legislation also provides for the use special investigative techniques, and outlines a range of aggravating circumstances, as well as measures to repatriate and protect smuggled migrants.


The Bali Process RSO looks forward to further engagement with the Office of the Attorney General and other Royal Thai Government stakeholders, alongside IOM and UNODC, to support ongoing efforts to operationalize its legislation to prevent and combat the smuggling of migrants.