February 05, 2015
Thailand Attorney General Trakul Winitnaiyapak
Courtesy of the Thailand Attorney General’s Office
The Attorney General of Thailand, Trakul Winitnaiyapak, a Tulane Law graduate, is set to discuss law enforcement efforts to combat human trafficking in his country during a public lecture Feb. 10 at the school’s New Orleans campus.
Winitnaiyapak (LLM ’75) has spent more than a decade in Thailand’s Office of the Attorney General and was elevated to the top job in mid-2014.
The public is invited to his address, which is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. in the Wendell H. Gauthier Appellate Moot Court Room 110 in John Giffen Weinmann Hall, 6329 Freret St.
The visit is especially timely, as Tulane Law initiated a multidisciplinary class on human trafficking law this semester. It is taught by Kara Van de Carr (L ’98), a former U.S. diplomat and the founder of Eden House, a haven for women who have survived lives of prostitution and violence. Course exercises include preparing a plan to help an immigrant child detained for prostitution navigate the legal system, and holding a mock legislative hearing to debate proposed legislation to bar renting hotel rooms by the hour.
Thailand has made eliminating human trafficking a national priority, and Winitnaiyapak has said the problem must be urgently addressed, according to reports in Thai news media. Though Thailand’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act was passed in 2008, it’s not well understood by some members of law enforcement, he said at a November seminar.
Among other reforms, the Thai government’s Institute of Justice has proposed assembling a database of cases and human trafficking litigation; conducting seminars on judges’ roles in suppressing human trafficking; and training for police and prosecutors to ensure justice for victims.
Thailand is a magnet for millions of migrant workers. The U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report 2014 estimated that tens of thousands of victims in Thailand are forced into exploitative labor or the sex trade. The report recommended a number of improvements in Thailand’s anti-trafficking programs, including more prosecutions, seizing of traffickers’ assets; improved services for victims; and increased anti-trafficking awareness efforts.