Opening Keynote Speaker
Chiang Mai UK Honorary Consul & Executive Director of FOCUS – Mr. Ben Svasti Thomson
Chiang Mai’s UK Honorary Consul, Mr. Ben Svasti Thomson, has been awarded the Point of Light award by British Prime Minister Theresa May, in recognition of his outstanding individual charitable dedication to improving the lives of those in need in Northern Thailand.
Over the last six year, Mr. Thomson has been involved and created a range of volunteering and charitable organisations including ‘Women Against AIDS’ to educate and empower women, ‘the Mother and Child Concern Foundation’ for families affected by HIV/AIDS, ‘Grassroots’ which supports former sex workers into alternative livelihoods and ‘the Anti-Trafficking Coordination Unit’ working with Thai government agencies and civil society groups to fight trafficking and support its victims.
Mr. Svatsi Thomson is also the Executive Director of FOCUS, the Foundation of Child Understanding, which works on issues of human trafficking and child protection in our region, which he will be talking on behalf of for this CMMUN Conference.
Closing Keynote Speaker
Partner and Head of Lanna Lawyers & Co Founder/Director of Babseacle and Asia Pro Bono Consortium and Conference – Mr. Bruce Lasky
Bruce Lasky, J.D.; LL.M. is a Partner and Pro Bono Head of the Thailand based law firm Lanna Lawyers, which has a strong and fervent pro bono focus and practice. He also is the Co-Founder/Director of BABSEACLE and a Co-Founder, and International Organizing Committee Member of the regionally and globally led Asia Pro Bono Consortium and Conference. This initiative has helped to co-organize and hold globally attended pro bono events in Laos (2012), Vietnam (2013), Singapore (2014), Myanmar (2015) Indonesia (2016) and now in Malaysia (2017). He has over 26 years of work experience in assisting pro bono initiatives, legal aid, clinical legal education, and justice training work.
He began his career in 1991 as a practicing criminal legal aid attorney, and Intern Supervisor at the University of Florida, College of Law Clinical Legal Education in the USA. He has more than 18 years of experience working in developing countries and countries in transition, implementing education and community empowerment projects, including much of that work focusing on pro bono, clinical legal education, access to justice and legal aid.
He has worked as both an academic and/or as the Director of BABSEACLE with universities in Myanmar, Indonesia, Singapore, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, the Lao PDR, the Philippines, Indonesia, Australia and the United States, to assist in the development or expansion of clinical legal education and pro bono programmes. This has included the research and evaluation of such programs and the offering of evidence-based suggestive CLE and pro bono advocacy guidance based upon the results. He is also a Steering Committee member and Board of Director for the not for profit network organizations, SEALAW and The Global Alliance for Justice Education and a Co-Founder/Director for the international not-for profit organization Sustainable Cambodia.