Academic journal article International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences

Collaborative Border Management in Thailand and Neighboring Countries: Needs, Challenges and Issues

Academic journal article International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences

Collaborative Border Management in Thailand and Neighboring Countries: Needs, Challenges and Issues

Article excerpt

Introduction

Border crossing management has become increasingly important because the sheer volume of global travel puts border management systems under constant pressure. The total number of international tourist arrivals worldwide surged from 69.3 million in 1960 to 687 million in 2000 (Koslowski, 2011). The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimated that in 2012, there were about 200 million emigrants from all over the world and most of the emigrants migrated through illegitimate crossed-borders immigration which is guessed of 20 to 30 million people (The International Organization for Migration Policy Development, IOM 2007, 2008).

Even as international travel has increased exponentially, border management systems especially in land border checkpoint3 areas have been confronted with additional risks associated with these movements. Mass-causality terrorist attacks; rising illegal immigration and human trafficking have exposed weakness in the states' ability to manage their borders effectively. Increased security has slowed the flow of goods and people and increased frustration of businesses and travelers. These disruptions are serious because they threaten to undermine economic opportunities in the border region. As a result, in the last decade there has been a huge government investment to implement new border management frameworks and collaborate across borders to accomplish several competing aims: the facilitation of legitimate travel and trade, the prevention of terrorism and transnational criminality, and reductions in illegal migration flows.

In Thailand, in 2010, in the border area of the north and northeast of Thailand from January - December 2010, a total of 1,379,234 foreigners from Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar entered (Bureau of Migrant Workers, Department of Employment, Thailand). It could be classified into legal and illegal migration. Legal immigration was only 3.14 percent (43,272 people). The proportion of illegal immigrants was 1,335,962 people or 96.86 percent, which was the critical problem of cross-border management (Department of Employment, 2010, p. 18) coupled with this, it is worth mentioning that the measures to prevent the immigration control of Thailand are still not efficient. This is because Thailand has borders with their neighboring countries over a distance of approximately 8,167 kilometers. These frontiers are divided over land crossing Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia over 5,462 kilometers which means that foreigners can travel across border easily. However, after the 9/11 incident in U.S., the issue of security has been back to be the key flow of the policy implementation in each country and has had a great impact considerably on Border Crossing Management. Therefore, building an infrastructure and coordinating policy to cope with huge numbers of people entering and exiting through a multitude of ports of entry is no small challenge in itself.

Laissez-faire approach is a form of management that nowadays can be observed from developing countries across the world. Now that the consideration of economic benefits is crucial, the selection of ways to generate free movement of people and goods in the border area is the easiest thing for Border Crossing Management. The border security for crime prevention problem is to be taken into account at a lower level. Additionally, the management is possible after the crime has dropped out of the border area already, but could be arrested in the interior area of the country subsequently. However, collaborative border management (CBM) is and development guideline to become a balance approach because CBM enables border management agencies to work in close collaboration with each other, forming an 'inter-agency approach'. CBM can be achieved under the jurisdiction of a single border management agency. However, the creation of a single agency in itself is not necessarily the only or the best solution. Typically, an overarching governance body is created charged with facilitating the establishment of an overall border management vision and ensuring that all stakeholders are involved and are working together to achieve the common vision. …

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