GLO.ACT participates in second academic seminar for over 100 judges representing every juvenile and family court in Thailand 

Bangkok, Thailand -   11    October  2018 The Thai Central Juvenile and Family Court invited the GLO.ACT Project Officer, Ms. Snow White Smelser, to speak at the second academic seminar for over 100 judges on 12 June 2018 at the Government Complex in Bangkok, Thailand. This session replicates  the child trafficking awareness raising session given in northern Thailand  in February 2018 to nearly 2,000 Thai judges, with a focus on judges in the Bangkok Metropolitan area.     

                     

The objectives of the  seminar were to broaden the perspectives of chief judges from every Juvenile and Family Court in Thailand on protective measures and best practices available, as well as to improve the compliance of the procedural rules of these courts with standards prescribed in the Thai Constitution and international conventions on eliminating all forms of discrimination against women and children . Importantly, the seminar raised issues and  impacts arising from the sexual abuse of children, including the production and  possession  of child sexual abuse material.       

Thai authorities found that most cases of child trafficking for sexual purposes involve the production and possession of child sexual abuse photos and videos.  Chief Justice of the Central Juvenile and Family Court Mr.  Chartchai   Kositwatanarerk , stated, " Possessing child sexual abuse material is one of the worst crimes against children since such material can be used in various ways to exploit and con trol children, especially when it has been shared on the Internet. Child victims are groomed, shamed, and scared into silence.  This is a serious crime, so  it demands  a serious response."                       

Chief Justice  Chartchai  went on to say, "Our  children are our most valuable assets. We  have to  raise awareness of child exploitation among various public sectors to promote a holistic response. We  have to  help children reach their full potential. We have to start now.  

Mr. Sven Philip Sorense n, co-founder of  World Childhood Foundation  with Her Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden, emphasized that " Thailand's future depends on a healthy new generation. Although we may not see an immediate loss or gain in the short term  of  implementing new laws to protect children from sexual exploitation I  believe  that in the very near future  Thailand will prosper from our effort to ensure that all children grow up healthy and strong .  

                      

Mr. Santi  Siritheerajesd Child Protection Offic er  representing  UNICEF Thailand , stated, " Online child sexual exploitation is a new child protection concern for Thailand. The judiciary will be an important partner and has a role to play to end this violence against children ".    

The GLO.ACT Project Officer presented the topics of online child sexual exploitation, child trafficking and the impact of child abuse.  Ms. Smelser highlighted the linkages found between child sexual abuse and consequent depression, drug and alcohol addiction, obesity, and early death. The solution, she suggested, is to consider the roots of these symptoms and rebuild the victim's social fabric by fostering healthy relationships.  Additionally, she introduced the  UNODC Case Law Database , where actual prosecuted and convicted cases of child sexual exploitation from around the world can be studied by criminal justice practitioners - and by the general public.

The GLO.ACT Project Officer  also met with officers from the Department of Special Investigation of the Ministry of Justice of Thailand and INTERPOL for a briefing on child trafficking cases and interagency cooperation on such cases. 

The Global Action to Prevent and Address Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants (GLO.ACT) is a four-year (2015-2019), €11 million joint initiative by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The project is being implemented in partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). GLO.ACT aims to  provide assistance to  governmental authorities and civil society organizations across 13 strategically selected countries: Belarus, Brazil, Colombia, Egypt, Kyrgyz Republic, Lao PDR, Mali, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine.  GLO.ACT works with the 13 countries to plan and implement strategic national counter-trafficking and counter smuggling efforts through a prevention, protection, prosecution, and partnerships approach. It supports the development of more effective responses to trafficking and smuggling, including  providing assistance to  victims of trafficking and vulnerable migrants through the strengthening of identification, referral, and direct support mechanisms.  

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