Support for Security Initiatives in Thailand and Southeast Asia

Bangkok, Thailand
24 March 2012

The Government of Canada is committed to ensuring the safety and security of Canadians and their interests abroad, helping partners address the threats of terrorism and organized crime, and protecting the integrity of Canada’s borders and immigration system.

Yesterday, on March 23, 2012, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra witnessed the signing of a Letter of Understanding (LOU) on security cooperation initiatives. The LOU was signed by Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird and Royal Thai Police Commissioner Priewpan Dhamapong.

Highlighting Canada and Thailand’s shared commitment and close cooperation in addressing security-related issues and combating crime and terrorism, the LOU provides a framework to guide and facilitate future security capacity-building programming between the two countries.

The Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program

Launched by Prime Minister Harper in 2009 and managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT), Canada’s Anti-Crime Capacity Building Program (ACCBP) provides training, equipment, and technical and legal assistance to enhance the capacity of countries to prevent and respond to threats posed by transnational criminal activity, and address these threats before they reach Canada’s borders. 

Through the ACCBP, a new $12 million funding envelope has been allocated over two years (2011-2013) to detect and prevent human smuggling operations abroad. The ACCBP’s human smuggling-related efforts will initially focus on Southeast Asia, but are designed to adapt to emerging threats and priorities elsewhere. 

Prime Minister Harper announced on March 24, 2012, that $7 million within the $12 million funding envelope will support projects in Thailand and Southeast Asia in order to help fight human smuggling. Of these allocated funds, $2.5 million has been committed for projects developed in collaboration with Thailand to strengthen the capacity of the Royal Thai Police to detect and prevent human smuggling. Another $4.5 million will support anti-human smuggling programming in Southeast Asia.

The funding announced today through the ACCBP builds on previous and ongoing efforts to support security and stability in the region, such as projects through the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program (CTCBP).

Since 2005, Canada has invested more than $4 million for regional initiatives in the fight against the threat of global terrorism, including $1.2 million for initiatives in Thailand, through the Counter-Terrorism Capacity Building Program.

Created in 2005, and managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the CTCBP provides training, equipment, and technical and legal assistance to help other states prevent and respond to global terrorist activity. Through this program, Thailand has directly benefited from projects aimed at improving air travel security, providing equipment for explosive ordnance disposal and delivering maritime security training for Thai authorities. As well, Thailand is part of ongoing projects in Southeast Asia to help build capacity in responding to chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats.

ACCBP Projects in Thailand

Enhancing the Capacity of Thai Police to Counter Human Smuggling
Implementing partner: Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and Canadian Commercial Corporation
Timeframe: December 2011-March 2013
Cost: $1,930,000
This project will provide communications and navigation equipment to the Royal Thai Police, including its marine units, and provide them with a database to track and investigate major cases. These contributions will be supplemented by specialized training over two years to support the Royal Thai Police in detecting and preventing future human smuggling ventures. The RCMP will support the delivery of training which will take place in Canada and Thailand.

Improving Detection and Analysis Capacities of Thai Immigration Officials
Implementing partner: Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and Canadian Commercial Corporation
Timeframe: December 2011-March 2013
Cost: up to $481,000
This project will provide equipment and advanced training for the detection of fraudulent travel documents and the analysis of immigration and border information to the Immigration Bureau of the Royal Thai Police. This initiative will build the capacity of Thai authorities to detect and interdict future human smuggling operations. CBSA will support the delivery of training to be conducted in Thailand.

ACCBP Projects in Southeast Asia

Advising and Assisting Frontline Officers in Immigration, Border and Identity Management through the Document Examination Support Center (DESC)
Implementing Partner: International Office on Migration
Timeframe: January 2012-January 2013
Cost: $178,147
Recognizing the need for post-training support to frontline officers in travel document examination, this project will provide additional on-the-job training for Southeast Asian immigration officers in Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Malaysia, Thailand, and Vietnam. To facilitate this training, the International Office on Migration will create a Document Examination Support Center (DESC) that will be based in Bangkok, Thailand. The DESC will provide ongoing support to Thai and other regional immigration officers in the identification of fraudulent travel documents. 

Strengthening Border Management and Intelligence Capacity of Thai Government Officials
Implementing Partner: International Office on Migration
Timeframe: January 2012-January 2013
Cost: $350,000
The project will provide capacity building training for Thai frontline immigration officers on identifying and assisting smuggled or trafficked persons at borders. The project will also facilitate the creation of a well-coordinated system of gathering, analyzing and using intelligence on migrant smuggling in Thailand to provide immigration officers with the skills to more effectively investigate and counter human smuggling operations.

Enhancing the Capacity of Southeast Asian Law Enforcement to Prevent Human Smuggling through Training and Connectivity to INTERPOL Systems
Implementing Partner: INTERPOL
Timeframe: January 2012-March 2013
Cost: $1,295,267
This initiative will train up to 110 law enforcement officers from seven Southeast Asian states (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Thailand, The Philippians and Vietnam).  Areas of advanced training include: methods to detect and prevent illegal migration operations; techniques to enable increased sharing of tactical criminal information in the region to foster closer co-operation and collaboration; and, the use of INTERPOL’s various secure networks and databases to assist in the identification and disruption of human smuggling networks and operations.

Establishment of Multi-Agency Port Intelligence Units in Thailand, Cambodia and IndonesiaImplementing Partner: United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
Timeframe: January 2012-March 2013
Cost: $1,200,000
The project, managed by the UNODC, will create inter-agency Port Intelligence Units (PIUs) with a tactical intelligence gathering and analytical capacity to prevent human smuggling operations in Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand. The units will be situated in order to allow them to respond effectively to maritime migrant smuggling activities in Southeast Asia.  The PIUs will be multi-disciplinary and will include immigration officials, criminal police, maritime police, and where appropriate, liaison from national navies. 

Frontline Officers’ Awareness Training on People Smuggling for Indonesia (FLOAT)
Enhanced Capacity to Combat People Smuggling in Vietnam
Implementing Partner: International Office on Migration
Timeframe: February 2012-February 2013
Cost: $119,888
This project is designed to raise awareness and enhance Vietnam’s capacity to combat human smuggling through the facilitation of a regional technical workshop and the provision of frontline border control officer training.

Implementing Partner: International Office on Migration
Timeframe: February 2012-February 2013
Cost: $756,300
This project will reach out to the local levels of Indonesian Police in remote locations to enhance frontline officers’ knowledge of efforts and mechanisms in place to counter human smuggling activity in Indonesia. Previously identified gaps will be addressed by focusing on the Indonesian police officers most likely to have first contact with groups being smuggled into, through or out of Indonesia. By focusing on officers on duty in remote locations and during late hours, the project can increase awareness in the group most likely to have first contact.

Enhancing the Capacity of the Lao PDR Government to Combat Smuggling of Migrants in/through Lao PDR
Implementing Partner: International Office on Migration
Timeframe: February 2012-February 2013
Cost: $109,981
The project aims to enhance the Lao PDR Government's ability to combat human smuggling and related crimes. The project includes the development of a guidebook on identifying and handling migrant smuggling and training for frontline law enforcement officials.

Institutional Capacity Building of Frontline Immigration and Border Officers and Law Enforcement Agencies of Malaysia to Combat Smuggling of Migrants
Implementing Partner: International Office on Migration
Timeframe: February 2012-February 2013
Cost: $349,452
This project will build the capacity of the Malaysia’s Immigration Department and law enforcement agencies. The Immigration Department is the target beneficiary in the establishment of a national document examination structure in Malaysia, while the law enforcement agencies are the target stakeholders for the creation of a cadre of officers with the skills necessary to conduct effective interviews and investigations into cases of potentially smuggled peoples.

Strengthening National Capacity to Respond to Migrant Smuggling in Cambodia
Implementing Partner: International Office on Migration
Timeframe: February 2012-February 2013
Cost: $149,941
A five day training module on Enhanced Capacity Building for Frontline Border Control Officers to Combat People Smuggling will be delivered in three provinces: Sihanoukville, Koh Kong and Banteay Meanchey. These provinces were targeted given their proximity to both land and/or sea borders, as well as high rates of cross border mobility.

Enhanced Capacity to Combat People Smuggling in Vietnam
Implementing Partner: International Office on Migration
Timeframe: February 2012-February 2013
Cost: $119,888
This project is designed to raise awareness and enhance Vietnam’s capacity to combat human smuggling through the facilitation of a regional technical workshop and the provision of frontline border control officer training.

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