Kanchana PatarachokeAugust 30, 2018
Ms. Patarachoke is the Director-General at the Department of International Organizations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Thailand. She earned a Master of Arts in International Relations from the University of Chicago. Under her leadership, the Department seeks to ensure that Thailand plays a constructive role in the international arena, actively contributes to the global community, as well as benefits and learns from others. In the past three years, she has focused more on the areas related to sustainable development. One of Ms. Patarachoke’s major concerns is the problem of refugees and asylum seekers in Thailand. Currently, since Thailand has no official screening mechanism for these individuals and refugees, it has de facto allowed the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees to undertake the screening process to determine refugee status. This lengthy endeavor often leaves open the possibility of individuals getting involved with criminal networks or becoming their victims, or of inadequate assistance to those in genuine need of protection, especially women and children. Recently, the January 2017 cabinet resolution tasked the Royal Thai Police and the Immigration Office with studying and setting up a formal refugee screening mechanism.