Pattaya Daily News

02 October 2007 :: 13:10:59 pm 20582

New draft law seeks to protect all human trafficking victims Including males

According to an article by Pennapa Hongthong, in The Nation, a new draft law, under consideration by the National Legislative Assembly, will allow the prosecution of all forms of human trafficking, including protection to male victims of the trafficking trade.?If passed, it will be Thailand?s first, comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation.
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Suwaree Jaiharn, of the Ministry of Social Development and Social Security?s Bureau of Anti-Trafficking in Women and Children, said that she hoped the law?s enactment would send a strong message to the international community that Thailand was sincere in combating all forms of human trafficking, not only sexual exploitation.

Although Thailand already has laws against sex trafficking, international groups have said that they aren?t sufficient because they do not combat labor trafficking or protect male victims who are often trafficked into forced labor. Currently, when women and children are rescued by Thai authorities, they?re transferred to one of seven government shelters. Most boys, or male victims, are deported as illegal migrants.

Annually, Thai women and girls are trafficked to various countries for sexual exploitation. At the same time, women from other countries, including Uzbekistan and Russia are trafficked here. At the same time, men, women and children are trafficked into Thailand into forced labor and to work as beggars. Each coin dropped into a cup, held by a pitiful child or parent, may actually end up in the pockets of crime syndicates that forced them to beg in the Land of Smiles. These beggars can often earn 800 ? 1,000 baht, daily, for their handlers. In addition, children are often forced to sell candy, flowers and trinkets at night time.

Thais are also trafficked within Thailand. According to Eaklak Loomchomkhae, head of the Center for Missing Persons and Anti-Trafficking, an NGO, many Thai men and teenagers are drugged at bus terminals, and wake up on a fishing boat in the middle of the ocean. They?re than forced into hard labor on the boats, for extended periods. Some fishing boats only come ashore every five years. Eaklak believes that there are thousands of men trafficked to work on fishing boats.

Eaklak believes that trafficking within Thailand exists because corrupt, influential people were involved in it. Trafficking humans into forced labor on fishing boats was already illegal, but corrupt state officials allowed these operators to exist. He demanded demanded that the government not only prosecute human traffickers, but protect the victims and end the corruption behind the trafficking, as well.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Legal

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