Human Trafficking and Prostitution Still Rampant in Thailand, Report Says

Despite a host of laws and crackdowns targeting human trafficking–primarily for prostitution–by the ruling military junta in recent years, the problem is still widespread, according to rights groups.

The two rights groups who did the report, Human Rights and Development Foundation (HRDF) and Anti-Labour Trafficking Project (ALT), found that government self-reported numbers are much lower than the actual cases of human trafficking in Thailand.

Official statistics reported by the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security said that authorities had prosecuted just 333 human trafficking cases in 2016 and another 302 a year later. The vast majority of those cases involved women being forced into the sex trade.

But the rights groups point out a variety of factors that are leading to very few cases being officially reported.

For one, labor human trafficking numbers are much lower due to the remote and obscure nature of fishing and agriculture jobs that are rife with worker exploitation and trafficking, making it nearly impossible for authorities to track it down and prosecute it.

On top of that, the report shows that meager human trafficking numbers can also be blamed on poor record-keeping, rushed cases, and lack of inter-agency cooperation.

Read the full story here.

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