CHIANGRAI TIMES – Thailand and Myanmar’s joint hard work to tackle human-trafficking is continuing with Yangon establishing more anti-human trafficking centres along border towns such as Myawaddy and Koh Song.
However, the human-trafficking situation in Thailand continues to worsen, with more young people becoming victims.
Despite the implementation of the 2008 Prevention and Suppression of Human Trafficking Act, Thailand was included in the United States’ “Tier two Watch List” in 2010 and 2011, with the human-trafficking situation getting extreme in the North.
The crime of human-trafficking has evolved in different ways, including forcing ladies to become surrogate mothers, luring them in to hard labour or prostitution abroad by marriage to foreigners and luring men to become forced labourers on fishing boats. The victims now include ladies and children from Uzbekistan and Vietnam as well as minorities from mainland China.
Police Captain Yin Yin Aye, chief of the Thai-Myanmar border coordination centre against human trafficking in Tachilek Township, said the centre, which was built in 2006, has handled 11 major cases. They said most of the victims were ladies, and the centre had rescued and rehabilitated them before returning them to their families and helped with inquiry in to the cases. They said Myanmar was building more centres in border towns, including Myawaddy and Koh Song.
Cooperation in jogging anti-human trafficking centres continues on both sides of the border, with Thailand having set up in Chiang Rai’s Mae Sai district.
Social Development and Human Security permanent secretary Wichien Chawalit said his office had also carried out plenty of measures to control human trafficking. They also urged members of the public to participate by keeping an eye out and providing knowledge by the 1300 24-hour hotline.
Mae Sai immigration police inspector Pat Pantanapon said Chiang Rai was known as the “starting point” for trans-national human-trafficking gangs to lure people, minorities and people from neighbouring countries, in to prostitution and other exploitative trades. Hence, they said, the countries have joined forces to tackle the issue.
Department of Special Inquiry (DSI) inspector of the anti-human trafficking centre, Pol Major Jatuporn Arunreukthawil said his office would take up cases that were more complicated, tied up with other countries or cases handed over to them by others. They said cases within the human-trafficking frame included gangs smuggling workers over the border, luring ladies in to prostitution, forcing ladies to become surrogate mothers and purchasing children from their parents and forcing them to beg on the street. They revealed that some children refused to return home as their parents had sold them off so plenty of times.
Saying that human-trafficking cases in the upper North had been rising every year, manager of the Foundation of Infant Understanding, Duan Wongsa, said Thai children became victim to prostitution gangs at the age of 13 to 18, but these cases received less attention that those involving foreigners.
The comments and knowledge were introduced at the Social Development and Human Security Ministry’s workshop