Thursday, January 31, 2013

Thailand: DFAT Provides Helpful Info on Victimization of Aussies, More So Than Other Governments

According to a piece in today's issue of The Phuket News, the 100 Australians who died in 2012 accounted for one in eight of the 791 deaths on foreign soil.

Greece, which boasts a large numbers of dual Australian citizens, was the next most likely destination for Australian passport holders to die, with 58 deaths.

Tragically, an Australian citizen  dies in Thailand every four days on average and hundreds others more require consular help in one form or the other.

It should be noted that DFAT is one of the most transparent foreign affairs departments of any government. 

COMMENT: Australian consular officials globally generally refer to motorbike, power-ski accidents and alcohol-related incidents as a typical issue that supports Australians abroad. Disputes over jet-ski rentals with claims of damage leading to demands for large amounts of compensation, are also a frequent occurrence

Interestingly, about a third of  the 875 incidents reported to consular officials in Thailand in 2011 happened in Phuket. 

In 2012, 146 Australians sought help after being taken to hospital in Thailand, 57 were arrested, 15 were attacked and nine reported child abduction or custody problems. 

Most arrests involved drugs, theft and assault, with Aussies often facing penalties or jail, even for seemingly minor offenses. Consular officials also investigated 82 missing person reports last year. 

To assist the Australian Department Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) in keeping Australians safe abroad, consider the following:

1. Register your itinerary with DFAT @: 
https://www.orao.dfat.gov.au/orao/weborao.nsf/Homeform?Openform 

2. Go to DFAT and review the travel guidance for your travel destinations:
http:www.orao.dfat.gov.au/geo

3. Consider subscribing to international medical treatment and evacuation coverage in the event you are injured or become ill abroad, as you may be forced to pay for treatment in advance if you don't have such coverage. Normally, such cover runs no more than $8 a day. I can provide a list of providers at no cost. Contact me @: ed@sbrisksolutions.com.