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Thailand hots meeting on ASEAN 'open skies'

Thailand hots meeting on ASEAN 'open skies'
With the launch of Southeast Asia’s free-trade area just months away, Thailand hosted a meeting last week of more than 100 aviation experts to spur progress on integrating the aviation market and creating “open skies” among the 10 nations of the region.
 
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Economic Community (AEC) will create a united market of over 620 million people.  As barriers to trade, investment and labor fall, the already increasing air travel within the region and among neighboring countries is likely to grow exponentially.

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Searching for new habitats for growing elephant population

Thailand’s success in protecting its elephant population has created a dilemma for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which needs to find new habitats as the number of elephants has begun to expand.
Thailand’s success in protecting its elephant population has created a dilemma for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, which needs to find new habitats as the number of elephants has begun to expand. 
 
The elephant is a national symbol for Thais, and more than a century ago, as many as 100,000 of the beasts roamed the country’s forests.  But as agriculture expanded and industrialization gathered pace, forest cover disappeared taking with it the elephants’ natural habitat.

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Bill to strengthen anti-human trafficking law passed first reading, fishing trawlers inspection moves forward

The government-sponsored amendment to strengthen Thailand’s anti-trafficking in persons law sailed through the legislative body in the first reading, promising harsher penalties for traffickers, and greater protections for witnesses and victims in trafficking cases. Meanwhile, government officials began inspecting fishing trawlers last week as a key part of Thailand’s stepped-up campaign against human trafficking.
The government-sponsored amendment to strengthen Thailand’s anti-trafficking in persons law sailed through the legislative body in the first reading, promising harsher penalties for traffickers, and greater protections for witnesses and victims in trafficking cases.

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Campaign against trafficking progressing on several fronts

Thailand’s government took several significant steps last week in its campaign to eradicate human trafficking, including setting up anti-trafficking centers in 37 provinces, banning youths under 18 years old from Laos from entering the Kingdom unless escorted by an adult, rounding up illegal migrants from Myanmar and holding coordinating meetings with civil society and with private sector members of the fishing industry.
Thailand’s government took several significant steps last week in its campaign to eradicate human trafficking, including setting up anti-trafficking centers in 37 provinces, banning youths under 18 years old from Laos from entering the Kingdom unless escorted by an adult, rounding up illegal migrants from Myanmar and holding coordinating meetings with civil society and with private sector members of the fishing industry. 
 
The government also released its annual Trafficking in Persons Country Report.

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Forestry Department reclaiming land from resorts and plantations

The Royal Forestry Department began taking actions last week to reclaim over 11,000 acres of land in two provinces from a resort and plantation owners who the Department said have encroached on state land and forest reserves.
The Royal Forestry Department began taking actions last week to reclaim over 11,000 acres of land in two provinces from a resort and plantation owners who the Department said have encroached on state land and forest reserves. 
 
 
Since coming to power in May, the government has waged a strong campaign against those who have illegally occupied and built on state-owned plots of land and protected forest areas as part of its agenda against corruption and other abuses.

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Thailand disputes trafficking report by NGO

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed deep disappointment last week with the slant and conclusions of a report on human trafficking in Thailand’s fishing industry, issued by the Environmental Justice Foundation, a UK-based nongovernmental organization.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed deep disappointment last week with the slant and conclusions of a report on human trafficking in Thailand’s fishing industry, issued by the Environmental Justice Foundation, a UK-based nongovernmental organization.  
 
The report Broken Promises: Why Thailand should stay on Tier 3 in the 2015 U.S. Trafficking in Persons report, alleges Thailand of taking insufficient actions to combat trafficking in persons, including with regard to unregulated labor brokers, victim identification, and protection of victims.

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U.S. supports Thailand as research hub for HIV

Thailand has gained the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to become the center for research on HIV and efforts to curb the epidemic, the Thai Red Cross said last week.
Thailand has gained the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) to become the center for research on HIV and efforts to curb the epidemic, the Thai Red Cross said last week.
 
 
USAID will help the Thai Red Cross in developing its research capacity and to become a regional knowledge-management hub as part of their Inform Asia initiative. 
 
Inform Asia was launched last week at a ceremony at the Thai Red Cross headquarters in Bangkok.

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Arrests in trafficking Rohingya and men to fishing boats

The Department of Special Investigation arrested two Thai men last week for luring other Thai men to work on fishing boats where they were subjected to forced labor and abuse, while police in southern Thailand arrested a man allegedly involved in the trafficking of nearly 100 Rohingya migrants from Myanmar.
The Department of Special Investigation arrested two Thai men last week for luring other Thai men to work on fishing boats where they were subjected to forced labor and abuse, while police in southern Thailand arrested a man allegedly involved in the trafficking of nearly 100 Rohingya migrants from Myanmar.  
 
The arrests were part of a crackdown on traffickers by the police, an essential component of the government’s wide-ranging response to the human trafficking problem.

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Thailand Focus January 12th, 2015: PM vows more action against human trafficking

Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed last week that his government would step up its efforts against human traffickers, including taking action against government officials and police involved in the crime. The Prime Minister said he had set up a committee to oversee 23 areas that the United States Department of State cited as in need of improvement in Thailand as part of its last annual report on human trafficking around the world. The State Department dropped Thailand to Tier 3, the lowest ranking, claiming previous governments had not done enough to stop the problem.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed last week that his government would step up its efforts against human traffickers, including taking action against government officials and police involved in the crime. The Prime Minister said he had set up a committee to oversee 23 areas that the United States Department of State cited as in need of improvement in Thailand as part of its last annual report on human trafficking around the world.

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Solar power bringing energy to isolated Thai islands

Inhabitants of two small islands in southern Thailand have seen their lives change for the better with a reliable source of energy thanks to solar power technology and training supplied by Thailand King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi.
Inhabitants of two small islands in southern Thailand have seen their lives change for the better with a reliable source of energy thanks to solar power technology and training supplied by Thailand King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi. 
 
The project by the university has succeeded in bringing power to Koh Hung in Krabi province and Koh Mak Noi in Phang Nga province.  As with many remote islands off Thailand’s southern coasts, the two locales do no have an electrical system.

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