The United States has granted US$260,000 (Bt8.1 million) to the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Unit in Northern Thailand (Trafcord) to help its fight against human trafficking.
As part of our global efforts to combat human trafficking, the U.S. Government is committed to working with the Royal Thai Government and the people of Thailand to prevent trafficking activity in Thailand, to prosecute perpetrators, and to assist victims. Toward that end, on October 5, Acting U.S. Consul General Todd M. Bate-Poxon presented a grant of USD 260,000 to TRAFCORD, a non-governmental coordination unit for anti-human trafficking operations in northern Thailand.
This grant from the U.S. Department of State will allow TRAFCORD to continue to coordinate governmental and non-governmental activities to combat human trafficking in the nine provinces of the upper northern region of Thailand and their associated Burmese and Lao border regions. The project will raise community awareness of human trafficking, provide direct assistance to trafficking victims, and support police and prosecutors in the investigation and prosecution of this crime.
Acting Consul General Bate-Poxon said, “The U.S. Mission in Thailand has a long history of cooperation with TRAFCORD. We admire the work they do on behalf of the victims and salute the Thai law enforcement agencies and centers for protection and recovery with which they cooperate. This grant reflects the continued importance that the United States places on stopping trafficking and our confidence in TRAFCORD’s operation.”
Overview:The US Consulate General in Chiang Mai is the sole US consular presence outside Bangkok. The original Consulate was established in Chiang Mai in 1950 and was upgraded to a Consulate General in 1986. In addition to Department of State employees, staff from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the US Air Force’s Technical Application Center are stationed in Chiang Mai associated with the Consulate; the Centers for Disease Control operates a field station in Chiang Rai. Approximately a dozen Peace Corps Volunteers work in northern Thailand, primarily in projects concerning education.
Principal Officer: Susan Stevenson, Consul General
Management Officer: Todd Bate-Poxon
Political/Economic/Public Diplomacy Officer: Dean Tidwell
Regional Security Officer: Corey Ford
Consular Chief: Andrew Veprek, Consul
District: The Chiang Mai consular district covers fifteen provinces: Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Kamphaengphet, Lampang, Lamphun, Mae Hong Son, Nan, Petchabun, Phayao, Phichit, Phitsanulok, Phrae, Sukhothai, Tak, and Uttaradit.
Other Americans: The US community of north Thailand numbers in the thousands; US citizen residents and long-term visitors are encouraged to register with the Consulate at . The U.S. community in Chiang Mai dates to 1867, when American missionaries, doctors and teachers first started efforts that led to the establishment of medical and educational institutions in the north. Today those institutions include McCormick Hospital, McKean Rehabilitation Center (formerly a leprosy asylum), Prince Royal’s College, Dara Academy, Chiang Mai University medical school and Payap University.
Diplomats: The consular presence in Chiang Mai includes Chinese and Japanese Consulates General as well as an Indian consulate. France, United Kingdom, Germany, Canada, Austria, Finland, South Africa, Australia, Peru, Bangladesh, Sweden and Italy have appointed Honorary Consuls. An honorary consul for Belgium resides in Lampang.
Major activities: In addition to American citizen services and non-immigrant visa adjudication, the Consulate promotes educational and cultural exchange, environmental partnerships, and efforts to combat trafficking in persons. The US Government has made substantial contributions to and continues to support Royal Thai Government programs to eradicate opium cultivation and to encourage opium growers to cultivate substitute crops. The Consulate General closely monitors developments along the Thai-Burma border, including the welfare of over 150,000 displaced persons from Burma, and actively promotes US economic interests, including potential participation by US firms in the Greater Mekong Subregion. A US Air Force detachment monitors seismic activity in conjunction with the Royal Thai Navy.