#Thailand #joins #UNODC in #human- #trafficking #clampdown

25 August 2014 (NNT) – Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) has officially entered an agreement with the United Nations to step up the clampdown on human-trafficking.

DSI chief Pol. Gen. Chatchaval Sooksomchit, on Monday, joined Mr. Jeremy Douglas, representative from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in the signing of an agreement to step up the cooperation to prevent and crack down on human-trafficking.

The DSI has been entrusted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice to sign the agreement which will lead to the organising of a workshop and the appointment of counsellors to an anti-human trafficking centre as well as the procurement of essential equipment for it.

Such a move is said to require two years to complete, with the U.S. government offering 15 million baht to go with Thailand’s allocation of 6 million baht to carry out the task.

Mr. Douglas said that the agreement is a good opportunity for both sides to step up the anti-human trafficking movement in ASEAN region before the cooperation moves on to take care of other problems in the future.

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RCSS new booklet report, “Journey of RCSS Anti-Narcotic Activities” (2013)

RCSS Anti Narcotic Division publishes a new report called “Journey of RCSS Anti-Narcotic Activities” in three languages – Shan, Burmese and English. A press conference about it is to be held soon with additional information on narcotic drugs, however, the date and location has not yet been confirmed.

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The report states about RCSS Anti-Narcotic Activities both before and during the ceasefire. RCSS has been adopting the anti-drug policy since its founding as its military wing “Shan State Army” had initiatively been combating on narcotic drugs and destroying several drug refineries along the Thai-Shan border.

And during the ceasefire, it continues to adopt anti-drug policy and pledges to cooperate with the government and all the stakeholders both inside and outside Shan State. As a token of its “Good Relationship and Cooperating Information in Anti-Narcotic”, both before and during the ceasefire, RCSS received a “Golden Eagle Award” conferred by Privy Counselor, General Pijit Kullevanich of Thailand on 23 June 2012.

Therefore, this is a collection of some of the activities taken by RCSS in the form of a booklet to be shared with the public and raise awareness on narcotic drugs. Narcotic drug is dangerous to all in the world and RCSS believes that total eradication of narcotic drugs can be achieved only through cooperation from all the stakeholders concerned.

Thus it urges sincere and full cooperation from all in working together to address the urgent need for total drug eradication through drug eradication plan and crop substitution projects while at the same time political negotiation to find the right solution is also in the process.

CREDIT TAIFREEDOM

Joint Statement by UNODC Country Manager and UNDP Country Director on the International Anti-Corruption Day, 9 December, 2012”

UNODC Executive Director Meets Daw Aung San Suu KyiIn his first ever official visit to Southeast Asia, UNODC Executive Director Yury Fedotov met today with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Member of Parliament, Chair of the Parliamentary Committee on Rule of Law and Tranquility, and Nobel laureate, at her residence in Nay Pyi Taw.

Mr. Fedotov congratulated Daw Aung San Suu Kyi on her election and recent

 appointment and pledged UNODC’s support and technical expertise in support of Myanmar’s reforms – particularly in anti-corruption and in establishing the rule of law, in HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, and in contributing to the development of peace by providing alternative development support in drug-conflict areas and by promoting dialogue between all parties in the conflict.After noting Myanmar’s efforts to resolve ethnic conflicts and create the peace and stability necessary to create sustainable, licit jobs and markets, and the country’s steps to strengthen rule of law institutions, Mr. Fedotov urged the international community to find the courage to act in support of Myanmar’s future.

“There is much to be done and, as Daw Suu noted, this difficult time of transition is not the time to be complacent,” said Mr. Fedotov. “We must have the courage to sustainably invest in Myanmar’s present for the sake of its people’s future, or else this future, now shining with so much hope, will not be realized.”

“Daw Suu and I agree that clean, effective, trustworthy governance institutions are critical to the sustainable development of peace and security in Myanmar,” said Mr. Fedotov. “Without an investment in rule of law institutions, the economic and social development which Myanmar citizens so desperately crave can not easily be achieved. A key step in this process is Myanmar ratifying the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC).”

“Reform is real,” said Mr. Fedotov, “and the courage which enabled these reforms needs to be supported. More needs to be done – now – for these changes to be durable.”

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Myanmar signed the UNCAC in 2005 but is the only country in ASEAN yet to ratify it. The government

has made its intention to ratify and implement the UNCAC clear. Myanmar is also in the process of

adopting a new Anti-Corruption Law

think they already passed the law in parliament. Think they are trying to clear it.

Burma:Tripartite Agreement reached in Tachilek (Unofficial translation)

MONDAY, 29 OCTOBER 2012 14:10 S.H.A.N.
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Tripartite Agreement reached in Tachilek 
(Unofficial translation)
(28 October 2012)

  1. Government, UNODC and RCSS will undertake survey in Mongnai and Mongpan townships
  2. Based on the data gathered, government, UNODC and RCSS will choose the sites for crop substitution pilot project
  3. Plans for the crop substitution pilot project will be jointly drawn up, explained to the people, obtained their suggestions and then implemented
  4. The crop substitution pilot project at the chosen sites will be implemented by government-UNODC-RCSS as soon as possible*
  5. UNODC will render technical assistance to the government-RCSS crop substitution project sites
  6. UNODC will discuss with international donors for the provision of immediately needed funds for the project
  7. RCSS will keep the local people as well as its members informed on protection against dangers of drugs, reduction and total eradication of opium cultivation, cooperation in the control of drugs and implementation of the crop substitution project
  8. For effective implementation CCDAC, Shan State Police Force and RCSS will each appoint contact persons and exchange information through emails, telephones and other appropriate means
  9. Security issues in the joint CCDAC-UNODC and RCSS crop substitution project sites will be presented to the higher authorities**

UNODC = UN Office on Drugs and Crimes
CCDAC = Central Committee for Drug Abuse Control
RCSS = Restoration Council of Shan State

*The UNODC wants the project to be implemented by the end of 2012
*The RCSS has requested that its members are allowed to carry arms in the project areas

UNODC REP IGNORES ‘YA BA’ by Professor Desmond Ball Strategic and Defence Studies Centre ANU

The letter by Gary Lewis from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in PostBag last Sunday, written in regard to a Spectrum article the previous week, is palpably disingenuous. Let me make four points. First, Mr Lewis notes that the elimination of poppy crops in 2011 occurred mainly in areas subject to ceasefire agreements. This is hardly surprising. For more than a decade, more than 95% of drug production in Myanmar has been in ceasefire areas. Indeed, implicit in the ceasefire agreements, beginning with the agreement with the United Wa State Army in 1989, has been the right to essentially untrammeled drug production with appropriate payments to Myanmar army officers and other officials who have expedited the trafficking.

Second, Mr Lewis neglects to point out that while opium production in Myanmar decreased from 1996 to 2006, there was an enormous surge in the production of methamphetamines (ya ba) during this period. Many of the chemists and laboratory facilities previously used for the conversion of opium into heroin were re-employed in the production of ya ba, making Myanmar the largest producer of methamphetamines in the world. By 1998, the annual flow of ya ba into Thailand had reached around 600 million tablets a year. Over the next decade, it averaged around 800 million tablets a year. In 2010, it reached nearly one billion tablets.

Counting both opium/heroin and methamphetamine production, Myanmar can fairly be called the largest producer of illegal narcotics in the world. The UNODC reported in November 2011 that no methamphetamine manufacturing facility in Myanmar has ever been seized. However, there is not a single mention of methamphetamine production in Mr Lewis’ letter. Continue reading “UNODC REP IGNORES ‘YA BA’ by Professor Desmond Ball Strategic and Defence Studies Centre ANU”

THAILAND: New drug crackdown raises concerns

Thai officers examine seized yaba pills

CHIANG MAI, 18 October 2011 (IRIN) – Thailand’s new government has unveiled plans for an ambitious crackdown on drugs, with an emphasis on rehabilitation and compassion.

Officially announced on 3 October, the policy includes placing some 400,000 drug addicts in rehabilitation programmes within the year, as well as arresting some 10,000 known dealers.

But while the planned focus on rehabilitation is seen as a step forward in a country where nearly 3,000 people were killed during the 2003 controversial war on drugs, human rights groups and activists remain sceptical.

“An ambitious and worrying target has been set to ‘rehabilitate’ 400,000 drug users within one year,” says Human Rights Watch (HRW) spokesman Sunnai Pasuk.

“Concerns remain about the potential arbitrary arrests and detention of drug users in compulsory drug ‘rehabilitation’ centres, mostly run by the military and Interior Ministry, where ‘treatment’ is based on military-style physical exercise, with little medical assistance for drug withdrawal symptoms,” he added.

HRW is not alone in its concern.

“We need to ensure that in working with the government that full respect for human rights is maintained and that the treatment provided to drug users is voluntary, evidence-based and rights-based,” Gary Lewis, regional representative for East Asia and the Pacific in the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), said.

In 2010, more than 80 percent of all persons who received drug treatment in specialized treatment facilities and correctional institutions reported methamphetamine pills as the primary drug of use.

Thailand is one of the few countries in the region that provides specialized treatment for amphetamine-type stimulants (ATS) usage, according to the UNODC’s 2011 Global ATS Assessment.

That is due, in large part, to the alarming increase in drug seizures in the region in recent years. UNODC reports that the number of methamphetamine pills seized in South-East Asia leaped from 32 million in 2008 to 133 million in 2010, with Thailand remaining one of the largest markets.
Continue reading “THAILAND: New drug crackdown raises concerns”

Pervasive drug production linked to rebel groups: UNODC

Friday, 26 February 2010 13:23 Sai Zuan Sai

Chiang Mai (Mizzima) – The eradication of drug production in Burma is contingent upon a reduction in the number of ethnic armed forces, stipulates a United Nations Office of Drug Control (UNODC) report.

According to the report, drug cultivation and trafficking is critical to the survival of ethnic armed forces.

Shan State is said to be the biggest region for drug production, an area which is also home to a score of ethnic armed forces.

But Shan State Army (South) spokesman Major Sai Lao Sai defended his army, saying the group is implementing anti-narcotic and narcotic suppression programs.

“We have nothing to do with this drug cultivation and drug trafficking and we don’t want them [the drugs]. So I’d like to say we are not involved in the drug trafficking business,” contends the Major.

The UNODC report continues, “The major producers of heroin and ATS (amphetamine-type stimulants) tablets in Shan State are the largest armies in Shan State, the United Wa State Army (UWSA), Shan State Army (South) and forces in the Kokang region.” Continue reading “Pervasive drug production linked to rebel groups: UNODC”

UNODC(Drug Report) would only point it out as “the handiwork of ceasefire groups”, while in fact the Burmese junta military is a key player and is behind the whole business, according to a veteran ceasefire leader.

Junta accused of involvement in drug trade

Anytime the drug trade is reported from Burma, most people including the United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) would only point it out as “the handiwork of ceasefire groups”, while in fact the Burmese junta military is a key player and is behind the whole business, according to a veteran ceasefire leader.

The former Laogai Regional Operation Command Commander (ROC) Brig-Gen Win Maung for one had been heavily involved.

According to him, the general detained and executed all drug dealers who used to work with him in order to shut down information and then put the blame on Kokang when the group refused to accept the Naypitaw’s proposal to transform their force into Border Guard Force (BGF).

Since April, the Burmese military junta has been pressurizing all ethnic ceasefire groups to transform into a border guard force under the regime’s control ahead of its proposed general elections in 2010.

On 24 August, Kokang was raided by the Burma Army for allegedly having an illegal arms factory and a drug refinery in its area. Actually, the Kokang region was already recognized as drug free zone by the Burma Army in 2002. It two allies: Mongla aka National Democratic Alliance Army –Eastern Shan State (NDAA-ESS) and the United Wa State Army (UWSA) were also recognized as drug free in 1997 and 2005 respectively. Continue reading “UNODC(Drug Report) would only point it out as “the handiwork of ceasefire groups”, while in fact the Burmese junta military is a key player and is behind the whole business, according to a veteran ceasefire leader.”