Rick Snelsire, INL Director, U.S. Embassy in Bangkok

The director of the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) at the U.S. Embassy in Thailand talks about victim assistance training in Thailand.

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So my name’s Rick Snelsire and I’m the director for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs here at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. And, basically, my office funds training programs for prosecutors and judges and also law enforcement officials for Thailand and also the other countries in the region.

In Thailand most of our programs recently have been focused on trafficking in persons, which is a big issue in Thailand. And trafficking—both labor trafficking, sex trafficking—is a problem in the region and in Thailand. So we’ve focused a lot on that.

It is a big sea change. The Royal Thai Police, they have a pretty robust training program. But much like law enforcement, I think in the U.S. probably 40 years ago, there wasn’t a lot of training on victims’ needs and how to deal with victims. I mean that’s something that is a relatively new evolution in the United States.

So that is kind of where were at now in this part of the world so we’re able to kind of share the growing pains and the challenges that we went through, I guess, in the law enforcement community in the United States and share that experience with them.

It’s important for us that the Thai’s have expressed a desire for this and a commitment from their top leadership. And if it’s successful then we can perhaps even look at expanding it to other countries in the region because this problem is not unique to Thailand. It exists in many other countries in the region.

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