Thailand hosted the Countering Child Sexual Exploitation Regional Dialogue (CSERD) 2023 from October 23 to 27 at the SAii Laguna Phuket hotel, Phuket province.
On October 24, Pol. Gen. Surachet Hakpal, the Deputy Commissioner-General of the Royal Thai Police, Dr. Angela Macdonald, Australian Ambassador to Thailand, and Helen Schneider, Australian Federal Police (AFP), Commander Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation and Human Exploitation, welcomed law enforcement officials and NGO representatives from nine countries, including Thailand, Australia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam.
Pol. Gen. Surachet stressed that the purpose of the meeting was to enhance cross-border cooperation in the fight against child sexual exploitation and various forms of child exploitation.
He also highlighted the successful collaboration between the Royal Thai Police and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) in various areas, such as Taskforce Storm operations, the establishment of a cross-border crime prevention and suppression network through Case Management and Intelligence System – CMIS, the establishment of the Thai Centre of Excellence to counter trafficking in persons (TIP) in Thailand, and support for training courses in digital currency and digital forensics for the Royal Thai Police staff in Australia.
Additionally, Australia supports Thailand in hosting the 1st Thailand International Dialogue to address human trafficking issues in the ASEAN region.
Pol. Gen. Surachet also shared statistics on the number of child exploitation cases and reported that in the first nine months of 2023, there were 411 cases, an average of 45 cases per month, an increase of about 11.25 percent compared to 2022 when there were 482 cases, an average of 40 cases per month.
Most cases involved possession of child pornography (164 cases), followed by sexual exploitation of children (154 cases) and human trafficking (75 cases), which accounted for 18 percent of the cases.
In addition, the Royal Thai Police has launched the Child Safe Friend Tourism project, which trains tourism industry staff and business owners to work together to protect and care for children and young people in potentially risky situations.