YANGON – Officials of Myanmar’s Central Body for Suppression of Human Trafficking reported that it is renewing its efforts in cracking down human trafficking and mulling revising the Anti- Human Trafficking in Persons Law, enacted 10 years ago, in a bid to bust more human trafficking cases nationwide.
The Central Body for Suppression of Human Trafficking said the amendment of the law is due to the loop-holes of the legislation.
The law will be re-drafted in cooperation with local and foreign experts and the Australia-Asia Program to Combat Trafficking in Persons will offer technical assistance in the move.
Myanmar enacted the Anti-Human Trafficking in Persons Law in September 2005.
The Myanmar Government is also drafting and implementing a sub-regional action plan for the year 2014-18 in collaboration with Asean members and China in its increased effort to curb human trafficking.
According to the government, human trafficking cases jumped to 124 in 2014 from 102 the previous year.
Shan state topped the chart with 56 cases, followed by Yangon and Mandalay.
The anti-human trafficking body rescued 241 victims, mostly females, the authorities said, adding that 220 victims were released in 2013.
A total of 245 human traffickers were arrested in 2014.
Most victims were sold as fraudulent marriage partners and forced labors in neighboring countries.
As part of its anti-human trafficking efforts, Myanmar has also taken part in the program of the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (CoMMIT) in cooperation with other Greater Mekong Sub-regional countries: Thailand, China, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
The plan is being implemented in addition to Myanmar’s second five-year plan of the fight against human trafficking from 2012-16.
In October last year, Myanmar hosted an Asean-US seminar on trafficking in persons, adding new momentum to the battle against human trafficking in partnership with local and international non- governmental organizations and the United Nations.
According to the Myanmar Police Force, at least five liaison offices have been opened in the border areas with China and Thailand and a temporary shelter for human trafficking victims is also established in Kawthoung, Myanmar’s Kayin state, with the assistance of Japan.
Plans were also underway to open a new temporary shelter in Myanmar bordering Thailand’s Maesot.
According to police records released late last year, Myanmar witnessed a dramatic decrease in the number of forced marriages, beggars and child adoptions, thanks to the concerted efforts with neighboring countries.