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Trafficking: Burma-specific material

Websites/Multiple Documents

Title: Central Body for Suppression of Trafficking in Persons (CBTIP)
Description/subject: "...Human Trafficking, commonly referred to as a modern form of slavery, is widely spread across in almost all countries around the world. It is estimated that 1.2 million People are forced and trafficked into prostitution, entertainment sector, production sector, fishing industry and agricultural sector. In Asia, South East Asia is identified as a sub-region with the highest prevalence of human trafficking. It is learned that in the six countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region about three hundred thousands of women and children are being trafficked each year. This problem is being combated regionally as well as nationally with plans and programs that enjoy priority. However, we learnt that this problem is still thriving and growing. Myanmar considers the problem of human trafficking as a national concern and has strived to prevent at all cause since 1997. We have not only cooperated with regional organizations and projects such as ASEAN, BIMSTEC, COMMIT and ARTIP but had also signed bilateral agreements with neighboring countries like China and Thailand for cooperation in combating trafficking. In 2004, Myanmar became a member of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime and its protocols. The Anti Trafficking in Persons Law was promulgated in 2005, and the Anti Trafficking bodies were established at all levels and vested authorities to act accordingly. Myanmar laid down a Five-Year National Plan of Action to Combat Human Trafficking (2007 - 2011) to undertake preventive interventions and has increased measures, step by step, in taking legal action, protecting trafficked victims and in building the capacities of key actors..."..... News Article... Initiatives... Resources (no content)... Events... FAQs... Contact Us.....Since there is no Burmese version visible, one wonders who the target audience is.
Language: English
Source/publisher: (Myanmar) Ministry of Home Affairs
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 February 2012

Title: Human Trafficking.org's Burma page
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Trafficking.org
Format/size: html, pdf
Date of entry/update: 28 May 2005

Individual Documents

Title: US to downgrade Myanmar in annual human trafficking report (text and video)
Date of publication: 29 June 2016
Description/subject: "The United States has decided to place Myanmar on its global list of worst offenders in human trafficking, officials said, a move aimed at prodding the country’s new democratically elected government and its still-powerful military to do more to curb the use of child soldiers and forced labour. The reprimand of Myanmar comes despite U.S. efforts to court the strategically important country to help counteract China’s rise in the region and build a Southeast Asian bulwark against Beijing’s territorial assertiveness in the South China Sea. Myanmar’s demotion, part of the State Department’s closely watched annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report due to be released on Thursday, also appears intended to send a message of U.S. concern about continued widespread persecution of the Rohingya Muslim minority in the Buddhist-majority nation. The country’s new leader, democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi, has been criticized internationally for neglecting the Rohingya issue since her administration took office this year. Washington has faced a complex balancing act over Myanmar, a former military dictatorship that has emerged from decades of international isolation since launching sweeping political changes in 2011. President Barack Obama’s diplomatic opening to Myanmar is widely seen as a key foreign policy achievement as he enters his final seven months in office, but even as he has eased some sanctions he has kept others in place to maintain leverage for further reforms. At the same time, Washington wants to keep Myanmar from slipping back into China’s orbit at a time when U.S. officials are trying to forge a unified regional front. The U.S. decision to drop Myanmar to “Tier 3,” the lowest grade, putting it alongside countries like Iran, North Korea and Syria, was confirmed by a U.S. official in Washington and a Bangkok-based official from an international organisation informed of the move. Another person familiar with the matter said: “I’m not going to turn you away from this conclusion.” All spoke on condition of anonymity..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Reuters UK
Format/size: html, pdf, Adobe Flash
Date of entry/update: 29 June 2016

Title: Women of the Kachin Conflict: Trafficking and Militarized Femininity on the Burma-China Border
Date of publication: 26 July 2015
Description/subject: "Trafficking and Militarized Femininity on the Burma-China Border Kachin State is an ethnic region in northern Burma that has long been in conflict with the central Burmese government.1 In 2011, a seventeen-year cease-fire was broken, resulting in the resumption of active warfare between the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO)—the political arm of the Kachin people—and the Burmese military, at the government’s behest. In spite of ongoing attempts at peace negotiations, the Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand has documented an alarming number of atrocities—including rape, arbitrary arrest and torture—against civilians (Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand, 2013). The area has been documented to be an active conflict zone resulting in one of the worst humanitarian crisis’ in the Mekong Sub-Region (Human Rights Watch, 2014). According to a report by the prior Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Burma, over 120,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) have fled to border areas of Burma and China to escape the fighting (Quintana, 2014), and these communities suffer from a lack of basic necessities and little to no foreign aid. These desperate conditions have left civilians—women, in particular—very vulnerable. As a result, trafficking in women – often to Yunnan Province as forced brides – is on the rise. This form of trafficking, however, has not been made a priority on the policy agendas of the Burmese or Chinese governments, and there is currently no official anti-trafficking policy operating within Kachin State..."
Author/creator: Erin M. Kamler
Language: English
Source/publisher: International Conference on Burma/Myanmar Studies: Burma/Myanmar in Transition: Connectivity, Changes and Challenges: University Academic Service Centre (UNISERV), Chiang Mai University, Thailand, 24-­26 July 2015
Format/size: pdf (161)
Alternate URLs: http://rcsd.soc.cmu.ac.th/web/Burma/home.php#
Date of entry/update: 08 August 2015

Title: Trafficking in Persons Report, July 2015 (Burma section)
Date of publication: July 2015
Description/subject: Burma/Myanmar remains on Tier 2.
Language: English
Source/publisher: United States Department of State
Format/size: pdf (253K-extract on Burma ; 20.8MB-full report)
Alternate URLs: http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/245365.pdf
Date of entry/update: 03 August 2015

Title: Brokers tricking Rohingya children onto trafficking boats
Date of publication: 18 May 2015
Description/subject: "...After the country of 50 million started moving from dictatorship to democracy in 2011, newfound freedoms of expression lifted the lid off deep-seated hatred of the dark-skinned religious minority, making them even more vulnerable. Up to 280 Rohingya have been killed since mid-2012, and some 140,000 were chased from their homes by machete-wielding extremist Buddhist mobs. They now live under apartheid-like conditions in camps where they can't work, get an adequate education or receive medical care. They have been told there's little chance they will be allowed to vote in upcoming general elections and that those who cannot prove their families have been in the country since it gained independence from Britain in 1948 could face deportation or indefinite detention in camps. As result, more than 100,000 Rohingya and neighboring Bangladeshis have fled by boat in the last three years, the biggest exodus of boat people in the region since the Vietnam War..."
Author/creator: Esther Htusan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Associated Press (AP)
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 19 May 2015

Title: Nightmare island where traffickers imprison Burma's Rohingya
Date of publication: 08 August 2013
Description/subject: "Beaten, imprisoned and sold into slavery - Channel 4 News reveals the fate of Burma's Muslim Rohingya refugees, who flee conflict only to end up in the clutches of brutal human traffickers..." On Tarutao Island which is a Thai national park.
Author/creator: John Sparks
Language: English
Source/publisher: Channel 4 News
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 10 August 2013

Title: Pushed to the Brink - Conflict and human trafficking on the Kachin-China border
Date of publication: 05 June 2013
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "The Burmese government’s renewed war against the Kachin has exponentially increased the risk of human trafficking along the China-Burma border. New documentation by KWAT indicates that large-scale displacement, lack of refugee protection and shortages of humanitarian aid have become significant new push factors fuelling the trafficking problem. Burma Army offensives against the Kachin Independence Army since June 2011 and widespread human rights abuses have driven over 100,000 villagers from their homes, mainly in eastern Kachin State. The majority of these refugees have fled to crowded IDP camps along the China border, which receive virtually no international aid. Desperate to earn an income, but with little or no legal option to pursue migrant work in China, many cross the border illegally. Their lack of legal status renders them extremely vulnerable to exploitation by traffickers, who use well-trodden routes to transport and sell people into bonded labor or forced marriage as far as eastern provinces of China. Although ongoing attacks and massive social upheaval since the start of the conflict have hampered systematic data collection, KWAT has documented 24 trafficking cases from Kachin border areas since June 2011, mostly involving young women and girls displaced by the war, who have been tricked, drugged, raped, and sold to Chinese men or families as brides or bonded laborers. The sale of women and children is a lucrative source of income for traffickers, who can make as much as 40,000 Yuan (approximately $6,500 USD) per person. While some manage to escape, and may be assisted by Chinese authorities in returning home, others disappear without a trace. Kachin authorities and community-based groups have played a key role in providing help with trafficking cases, and assisting women to be reunited with their families. No trafficked women or their families sought help from Burmese authorities. The Burmese government lists an anti-trafficking border liaison office at Loije on the Kachin-China border, but it is unknown to the community and thought to be non-functional. Far from seeking to provide protection to the internally displaced persons (IDPs) and mitigate trafficking risks, the Burmese government has continued to fuel the war, block humanitarian aid to IDPs in Kachin controlled areas, and even attack and destroy IDP camps, driving refugees into China. It has also closed some of the immigration offices on the Kachin-China border which could provide border passes for refugees to legally seek work in China. It is thus ironic that in 2012, Burma was recognized in the U.S. State Department’s Annual Trafficking in Persons Report as increasing its efforts in combating human trafficking, resulting in a rise from its bottomlevel ranking for the first time in the history of the report, and a corresponding increase in financial support to Burma’s quasi-civilian government. It is urgently needed to address the structural problems that have led to mass migration and trafficking in the past and also spurred the recent conflict. The Burmese military’s gross mismanagement of resource revenues from Kachin State over the past few decades, and ongoing land confiscation, forced relocation, and human rights abuses, have pushed countless Kachin civilians across the Chinese border in search of peace and the fulfillment of basic needs. These problems led to the breakdown of the 17-year ceasefire between the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the military-dominated government in 2011. Refusing to engage in dialogue to address Kachin demands for equality and equitable development, the government launched attacks to seize total control over the wealth of resources in Kachin State. Resolving the current conflict via genuine political dialogue would not only be a step towards peace, but also a concrete move towards curbing human trafficking from Kachin areas. Launching a range of reforms dealing with the political and economic factors driving people beyond Burma’s borders is critical to addressing trafficking. Therefore, KWAT recommends the following:..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women’s Association Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB-OBL version; 1.37MB-original...Press release: Chinese, 90K; Burmese, 40K; English, html)
Alternate URLs: http://www.kachinwomen.com
Date of entry/update: 05 June 2013

Title: Snap Shot Stories from Invisible Victims of Trafficking in Thailand (English)
Date of publication: October 2011
Description/subject: "Thailand is well-known for its pristine beaches and spicy food. But this is not what attracts low skilled migrants from neighboring countries into the country. Prospects of work and security, higher wages than they can earn at home and an opportunity to explore new places and people instead pull migrants from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and even China into Thailand. Thailand’s rapid economic growth has created wealth and opportunities. Development has resulted in increased demand for labour, or to be more precise, cheap low skilled foreign labour to do dirty, dangerous and difficult work that Thais often will not themselves do. To sustain a growing economy and in order to compete in international markets for low cost export of goods, Thailand continues to be dependent on a cheap migrant workforce of more than 2 million people. However for more than two decades since the early 1990s, policy makers in Thailand have not, at least until more recently, been willing or able to effectively regularise migration flows into the country. As a result, and left without legal and official means to enter Thailand, migrant workers, employers and industries employing migrants turn to smugglers to get workers into the country to fill significant gaps in the labour market. These smugglers, usually referred to as ‘brokers,’ may be complete strangers to the migrant workers themselves. But sometimes they are closely linked to friends and relatives. Links with officials on both sides of Thailand’s borders is an undeniable reality. The push factors in migrant home countries that bring them to Thailand include poverty, a lack of opportunities for work and earning money and repressive political environments - sometimes even physical repression from their own governments. When migrants hear stories from friends and relatives about well-paid jobs in Thailand, their decision to migrate is inevitable. Yet without legal documents, knowledge about Thailand’s employment system and an inability to read and speak the Thai language, migrants rely on brokers not only to smuggle them into the country but also, unless they already have strong networks in Thailand, to find them work, accommodation and a new life. For too many, this position of vulnerability means that before they even realise it, migrants have been sold into a situation where they are working long hours without rest or pay on a fishing boat, their freedom of movement is restricted on a Snap Shot Stories from Invisible Victims of Trafficking in Thailand 7 construction site, they have been turned into a virtual slave or, in the most extreme cases, forced to provide sexual services against their will. Migrant workers who find themselves in such situations of exploitation often report fear in approaching the police or other Thai government officials for assistance as they are undocumented and fear they will be arrested, extorted, abused or deported. All of these outcomes lessen a migrant’s opportunity to earn money for their families back home, burden them with more debt or even, in some cases, increase their risk of human rights abuses further. For others, seeking assistance from the police sees them sent back to their employers where severe punishment or even death awaits them. Workers who are victims of exploitation report that police appear as a key enemy and perceive many officials as deeply involved in systems of exploitation of which they have become victims..."
Author/creator: Andy Hall (editor)
Language: English
Source/publisher: Mahidol Migration Center (MMC)
Format/size: pdf (861K)
Date of entry/update: 11 October 2011

Title: Snap Shot Stories from Invisible Victims of Trafficking in Thailand (Thai)
Date of publication: October 2011
Description/subject: "Thailand is well-known for its pristine beaches and spicy food. But this is not what attracts low skilled migrants from neighboring countries into the country. Prospects of work and security, higher wages than they can earn at home and an opportunity to explore new places and people instead pull migrants from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and even China into Thailand. Thailand’s rapid economic growth has created wealth and opportunities. Development has resulted in increased demand for labour, or to be more precise, cheap low skilled foreign labour to do dirty, dangerous and difficult work that Thais often will not themselves do. To sustain a growing economy and in order to compete in international markets for low cost export of goods, Thailand continues to be dependent on a cheap migrant workforce of more than 2 million people. However for more than two decades since the early 1990s, policy makers in Thailand have not, at least until more recently, been willing or able to effectively regularise migration flows into the country. As a result, and left without legal and official means to enter Thailand, migrant workers, employers and industries employing migrants turn to smugglers to get workers into the country to fill significant gaps in the labour market. These smugglers, usually referred to as ‘brokers,’ may be complete strangers to the migrant workers themselves. But sometimes they are closely linked to friends and relatives. Links with officials on both sides of Thailand’s borders is an undeniable reality. The push factors in migrant home countries that bring them to Thailand include poverty, a lack of opportunities for work and earning money and repressive political environments - sometimes even physical repression from their own governments. When migrants hear stories from friends and relatives about well-paid jobs in Thailand, their decision to migrate is inevitable. Yet without legal documents, knowledge about Thailand’s employment system and an inability to read and speak the Thai language, migrants rely on brokers not only to smuggle them into the country but also, unless they already have strong networks in Thailand, to find them work, accommodation and a new life. For too many, this position of vulnerability means that before they even realise it, migrants have been sold into a situation where they are working long hours without rest or pay on a fishing boat, their freedom of movement is restricted on a Snap Shot Stories from Invisible Victims of Trafficking in Thailand
Author/creator: Andy Hall (editor)
Language: Thai
Source/publisher: Mahidol Migration Center (MMC)
Format/size: pdf (1.1MB)
Date of entry/update: 03 January 2012

Title: Statement released by Central Body for Suppression of Trafficking in Persons, Ministry of Home Affairs, The Union of the Republic of Myanmar on allegations of US State Department in its Trafficking in Persons Report 2011
Date of publication: 04 August 2011
Description/subject: "The US Department of State issued 2011 Trafficking in Persons Report on 27 June 2011. The report placed Myanmar in Tier 3 as a country thai does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so by using the standards of US's Trafficked Victim Protection Act 2000 (TVPA). The tier placement is made without recognizing the efforts and progress made in combating human trafficking. Myanmar has been placed in Tier 3 for 11 years, continuously...the Central Body for Suppression of Trafficking in Persons, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs strongly rejects the allegations and statements mentioned in 2011 US Trafficking in Persons Report that do not reflect and recognize the significant efforts made in elimination of trafficking..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Myanmar Union Government
Format/size: pdf (110K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.myanmarbsb.org/news/03-08-2011.pdf
Date of entry/update: 16 August 2011

Title: Trafficking In Persons Report 2011 (section on Burma)
Date of publication: 27 June 2011
Description/subject: "Burma is a source country for men, women, and children who are subjected to forced labor and for women and children subjected to sex trafficking in other countries. Burmese children are forced to labor as hawkers and beggars in Thailand. Many Burmese men, women, and children who migrate for work in Thailand, Malaysia, China, Bangladesh, India, and South Korea are subjected to conditions of forced labor or sex trafficking in these countries. Poor economic conditions within Burma have led to increased legal and illegal migration of Burmese men, women, and children throughout East Asia and to destinations as far as the Middle East, where they are subject to forced labor and sex trafficking. For example, men are subjected to forced labor in the fishing and construction industries abroad. Some Bangladeshi trafficking victims transit Burma en route to Malaysia, while Chinese victims transit Burma en route to Thailand. The government has yet to address the systemic political and economic factors that cause many Burmese to seek employment through both legal and illegal means in neighboring countries, where some become victims of trafficking...".....Along with Cuba, North Korea and Sudan, Burma has remained in Tier 3 since 2004.
Language: English
Source/publisher: US Department of State
Format/size: pdf (325K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2011/index.htm
Date of entry/update: 15 August 2011

Title: Stolen Lives: Human trafficking from Palaung areas of Burma to China
Date of publication: 14 June 2011
Description/subject: Executive Summary: "The Palaung Women’s Organization (PWO) has documented 72 cases of actual or suspected trafficking involving 110 people, which took place along the China-Burma border, mostly during the past six years. The majority of those trafficked were young Palaung women from tea farming communities in Namkham, Namhsan and Mantong townships. PWO surveys in villages from which women have been trafficked show that up to 41% of the population have migrated to work elsewhere. Large scale migration began after the surrender in 2005 of the Palaung State Liberation Army, which had controlled Palaung areas under a ceasefire agreement since 1991. There has been a surge of Burma Army troops and proxy militia into the area since the surrender, who have imposed increased controls and taxes on agriculture and trading. Together with rising prices of food commodities from Central Burma, and increasing costs of health and education, this has meant that tea farmers can no longer earn a living and young people have to leave home to survive. This has led to an alarming increase in the incidence of trafficking of women, men and children, mainly to China. Most of those trafficked were tricked into travelling to China by being offered well-paid jobs on farms or in factories. In 25% of the cases, women were forced to marry Chinese men, with brokers receiving up to 25,000 Yuan (approx 3,800 USD) for the transaction. 10% were forced into the sex trade. Some ended up being used as live feed for leeches. Known destinations were mainly in Yunnan province, but some ended up as far east as Shandong. A disturbing trend is that eleven of the cases were children under ten, fi ve of whom were under one year old. Most were boys. Some of these children were simply kidnapped from their homes, but others were sold by parents who were alcohol or drug users. As highlighted by PWO in earlier reports, opium cultivation in Palaung areas has skyrocketed in recent years due to the profi ts being made by the Burma Army and its militia from the drug trade. This has led to increasing addiction among Palaung men, who not only sell off all their possessions to buy drugs but also their children. In only eleven cases were the traffi cked persons able to escape, some after years of forced marriage to Chinese men. Family members seeking to trace traffi cked persons sought help in vain from local Burmese authorities and social organizations. In some cases perpetrators were arrested and jailed, but several paid bribes or fines and were then released. The Burmese military regime has passed anti-trafficking legislation since 2005 and set up special anti-trafficking units, including at Muse on the China-Burma border. However, these measures appear to have had little effect, due to failure to address the structural root causes driving human trafficking. The situation looks set to worsen following the November 2010 elections. Burma’s military rulers ensured that their cronies won in the Palaung areas, including well-known druglord Kyaw Myint, who is now an MP for Namkham. Militarization has continued unabated, and new military offensives by the regime against ethnic ceasefi re groups have ignited fighting once again in northern Shan State. Even before the new parliament was convened, a new national budget was approved which continued to prioritize military spending far above education and health. Radical structural political changes are thus urgently needed to address the problem of human trafficking and migration in Burma. PWO therefore makes the following recommendations:..."
Language: English, Burmese
Source/publisher: Palaung Women's Organization
Format/size: pdf ( English); 2.3MB - OBL version; 4.26 - originaL Burmese: 2.5MB - OBL version; 3.4MB - original)
Alternate URLs: http://www.palaungwomen.com/Report/StolenLives-final%20Eng.pdf
Date of entry/update: 15 June 2011

Title: Is the Anti-Trafficking Framework Really for the ‘Victims’? –Reflections on Burmese victims of human trafficking and non-trafficked migrants in Thailand
Date of publication: March 2011
Description/subject: ABSTRACT: "Since the year 2000 when the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, human trafficking has been regarded as one of the egregious violations of human rights, and global efforts have been made to eradicate it. The anti-trafficking framework has multiple dimensions, and the way the anti-trafficking framework is constructed influences its impact on the victims and non-trafficked migrants. This paper will analyze the impact of the anti-trafficking framework on the experiences of Burmese victims and non-trafficked migrants in Thailand. I will question the conventional framework of anti-trafficking, and seek to construct a framework more appropriate for addressing victims’ actual needs. In conclusion, the anti-trafficking framework should serve the best interest of the victim; still, it should not be one which might adversely affect the interest of the would-be victim who is not identified as a victim according to the law."... Keywords: Human trafficking, Anti-trafficking, Framework, Law, Thailand
Author/creator: YAMADA Miwa
Language: English
Source/publisher: Institute for Developing Economies (IDE) Jetro (IDE DISCUSSION PAPER No.No.289)
Format/size: pdf (84K)
Date of entry/update: 17 October 2011

Title: Burma Human Rights Yearbook 2008 - Chapter 6: Trafficking and Smuggling
Date of publication: 23 November 2009
Description/subject: The increase in the rates of trafficking and smuggling from Burma in 2008 is testament to the seriousness of the economic crisis that threatens to destabilize the country. More importantly perhaps, it is also indicative of a country in which corruption is widespread and lawlessness is pervasive. Lawlessness is especially apparent in ethnic rural areas suffering from conflict and in remote mountainous areas. Transnational crime is estimated to be a multi-billion dollar industry; however, Burma’s “extra-legal economy, both black market and illicit border trade, is reportedly so large that an accurate assessment of the size and structure of the country’s economy is unavailable.” Live animals, commodities, drugs, arms, and people, particularly women and children, were all trafficked or smuggled within and from Burma in 2008. Known trafficking and smuggling destinations included: Thailand, China, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Macau, South Korea, Pakistan, India, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam, and Japan.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Human Rights Docmentation Unit (HRDU)
Format/size: pdf (793K)
Date of entry/update: 05 December 2009

Title: NOWHERE ELSE TO GO: An examination of sexual trafficking and related human rights abuses in Southern Burma
Date of publication: August 2009
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "This report documents sexual trafficking and human rights abuses committed against Burmese women and children from 19 Townships in Mon State, Karen State, Tenasserim Division, Pegu Division, Rangoon Division and Mandalay Division. From 2004 to July 2009 the (Mon) Woman and Child Rights Project (WCRP)—Southern Burma documentation program compiled 40 separate incidents totaling 71 victims. This number represents only a small percentage of the instances of sexual trafficking from Burma to Thailand and other bordering nations, though the case studies of this report provide an important lens through which to view the present-day situation. Sexual trafficking and related human rights abuses are pervasive and arguably growing problems systematized by a harsh economic reality under the military rule of the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC). Whereas the illegitimate junta has become a signatory of anti-trafficking protocols from the United Nations and founded internal regulatory committees to deal with such issues, the last decade has seen flagrant corruption along the border of Burma and Thailand. Government-organized NGOs dedicated to defending the ‘rights’ of its people serve more as roadblocks than as catalysts for social advancement and equitable access to state resources. Facing a broken educational system most likely to betray them, women and girls inside Burma are left with few employable skills and must seek money in any way they can. A reeling marketplace stunted by the government’s economic mismanagement, increased militarization in rural and especially border areas, and the ear-ringing echoes of Cyclone Nargis and price fluctuations from a global economic downturn leave the women of the mainly-agrarian regions of Southern Burma with a glaring ultimatum: migrate or starve. The draw of being able to send money back to their home country in the form of remittances often cannot be tempered even by stories of corrupt traffickers, arrests, or dangerous and abusive living conditions upon arrival. Most of the incidents detailed in this report point to violent sexual abuses that took place during the trafficking process or upon arrival in Thailand, Malaysia, and other destinations. The interview subjects often narrate the types of factory and domestic jobs they were promised to contrast the illegal sex work and other exploitive labor they were forced to perform."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Women and Child Rights Project (WCRP); Human Rights Foundation of Monland (HURFOM)
Format/size: pdf (1.4MB - reduced version; 3MB - original version)
Alternate URLs: http://rehmonnya.org/data/nowhereelsetogo.pdf
Date of entry/update: 31 August 2009

Title: Hostages and Slaves
Date of publication: July 2009
Description/subject: "The underground world of human trafficking on the Malaysian-Thai border is one of corruption and broken dreams... ALOR SETAR, Malaysia — “Malaysian migration officers sold me to a human trafficking gang located near the Thai-Malaysian border,” said Lwin Ko, one of thousands of victims of human trafficking in Malaysia. Like many other Burmese migrant workers and refugees in Malaysia, he was arrested for illegal entry into the country. After processing in an immigration detention center, he said, immigration officers transferred him directly to a gang of human traffickers, who treated him as a “hostage,” or slave, to be held for a lucrative ransom. Migrant workers are apprehended and led to an open area by civilian security volunteers to have their documents inspected during an immigration raid in Kuala Lumpur in 2005. (Photo: AFP) If no ransom was forthcoming after a few weeks, Lwin Ko would be passed on like many others to work as a crewman on a fishing boat or, for women, to work as household servants or as prostitutes in brothels..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 4
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 11 August 2009

Date of publication: 03 April 2009
Description/subject: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: "In 2007, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee began receiving disturbing reports alleging the trafficking and extortion of Burmese and other migrants in Malaysia and from Malaysia into Thailand, for personal profit by some Malaysian Government officials, among others. Committee staff conducted a year-long review of the trafficking and extortion allegations. The committee has an active interest in the treatment of Burmese migrants in Malaysia. Many of the approximately 40,000 Burmese refugees who have resettled in the United States since 1995, have come via Malaysia. Malaysia does not officially recognize refugees, due in part to concern by the Government that official recognition of refugees would encourage more people to enter Malaysia, primarily for economic reasons. Also, Malaysian officials view migrants as a threat to Malaysia’s national security... Many Burmese migrants travel to Malaysia to register with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), for resettlement to a third country. Typically they profess fear of persecution by the repressive Burmese military junta. Once in Malaysia, Burmese migrants are often arrested by Malaysian authorities, whether or not they have registered with the UNHCR and have identification papers. Personal belongings confiscated at the time of arrest are usually kept by Malaysian officials. Burmese migrants are reportedly taken by Malaysian Government personnel from detention facilities to the Malaysia-Thailand border for deportation. Allegations received by the committee from migrants, spanning years of personal experience, are similar to reports issued by NGOs and human rights activists. Upon arrival at the Malaysia-Thailand border, human traffickers reportedly take possession of the migrants and issue ransom demands on an individual basis. Migrants state that freedom is possible only once money demands are met. Specific payment procedures are outlined, which reportedly include bank accounts in Kuala Lumpur to which money should be transferred. The committee was informed that on some occasions, the ‘‘attendance’’ list reviewed by traffickers along the border was identical to the attendance list read prior to departure from the Malaysian detention facilities. Migrants state that those unable to pay are turned over to human peddlers in Thailand, representing a variety of business interests ranging from fishing boats to brothels. The committee has received numerous reports of sexual assaults against Burmese women by human traffickers along the border. One NGO official states that ‘‘Most young women deported to the Thai border are sexually abused, even in front of their husbands, by the syndicates, since no one dares to intervene as they would be shot or stabbed to death in the jungle.’’... Statements are continuing to come to the committee from Burmese and other migrants who were taken to the Thailand-Malaysia border and threatened with violence, or being handed over to human traffickers unless extortion demands were met... The allegations of mistreatment by Malaysian Government officials and human trafficking syndicates in southern Thailand are not restricted to Burmese migrants, including refugees. However, the preponderance of complaints received by the committee are from ethnic minority migrants who fled Burma..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: [US] Senate Committee on Foreign Relations – 111th Congress
Format/size: pdf (115K)
Date of entry/update: 24 April 2009

Title: Eastward Bound
Date of publication: 05 August 2008
Description/subject: Summary of key findings: The report documents 133 verified and suspected trafficking cases, involving 163 women and girls, which occurred between 2004 and mid-2007 . As political and economic conditions inside Burma continue to deteriorate, more and more Kachin women are migrating to China in search of work, and are ending up as forced brides of Chinese men. . Most of the forced brides were transported across China to marry men in the eastern provinces, particularly Shandong Province. Women described being shown to many men, sometimes in marketplaces, before being chosen. The husbands, predominantly farmers, paid an average of US$1,900 for their brides. . About a quarter of those trafficked were under 18, with girls as young as 14 forced to be brides. Several cases involved traffickers attempting to buy babies. . The continuing high incidence of trafficking indicates that the regime's new anti-trafficking law, passed in September 2005, is failing to have any impact in curbing the problem. Provisions in the regime's new law to protect the rights of trafficking victims are not being adhered to. Women are also being falsely accused of trafficking under the new law. . Women report that Chinese police have been helpful in assisting them to return to Burma, but have sometimes demanded compensation from Burma border officials for repatriating trafficking victims...... Growing numbers of Kachin women trafficked as brides across China Forced by deteriorating political and economic conditions in Burma to migrate to China, ethnic Kachin women are increasingly ending up as forced brides, according to a new report by an indigenous women¹s group. ³Eastward Bound² by the Kachin Women¹s Association Thailand (KWAT), documents the trafficking of 163 women and girls between 2004 and mid-2007, almost all to China. While 40% of the women have simply disappeared, most of the rest were forced to marry men in provinces across eastern China. About a quarter of those trafficked were under 18. Most of these girls, as young as 14, were sold as brides for an average of about USD 2,000, usually to farmers. The report highlights how the Burmese regime¹s new anti-trafficking law, passed in September 2005, is failing not only to curb trafficking, but also to protect the rights of trafficked women. Victims have been refused assistance by the Burmese Embassy in Beijing, denied entry back to Burma, and falsely accused of trafficking themselves. One woman accused of trafficking was raped in detention by a local official. ³Anti-trafficking laws are meaningless under a regime that systematically violates people¹s rights, and whose policies are driving citizens to migrate,² said Gum Khong, a researcher for the report. While international agencies have raised the alert about increased trafficking in Burma following Cyclone Nargis, KWAT cautions against indirectly endorsing the regime¹s heavy-handed attempts to control migration. ³International agencies must look holistically at the trafficking problem, and not be complicit in any efforts by the regime to further abuse people¹s rights under the guise of preventing trafficking² said KWAT spokesperson Shirley Seng. KWAT first exposed the trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border in their 2005 report ³Driven Away.² The new report can be viewed at http://www.womenofburma.org For hard copies of the report, please contact: kwat@loxinfo.co.th For further information contact: Gum Khong +66 84 616 5245 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +66 84 616 5245      end_of_the_skype_highlighting Shirley Seng +66 84 485 7252
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association, Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (1.7MB, 2MB - Alt. URL))
Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/EastwardBound.pdf
Date of entry/update: 04 August 2008

Title: Migration and trafficking: putting human rights into action
Date of publication: 22 April 2008
Description/subject: Across Myanmar people are on the move, both inside the country and across its borders, either pushed by necessity or pulled by the prospect of a brighter future. For many, these hopes are at least partially fulfilled. For some, however, this migration brings them face-to-face with exploitation, abuse, disease and even death.
Author/creator: Nikolas Win Myint
Language: Burmese, English
Source/publisher: "Forced Migration Review" No. 30
Format/size: pdf (English, 390K; Burmese, 225K)
Alternate URLs: http://www.fmreview.org/FMRpdfs/FMR30Burmese/38-39.pdf
Date of entry/update: 30 November 2008

Title: Driven Away: Trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border
Date of publication: 15 May 2005
Description/subject: "An alarming trend is developing in ethnic Kachin communities of Burma. Growing poverty, caused by failed state policies, is driving increasing numbers of young people to migrate in search of work. As a result, young women and girls are disappearing without trace, being sold as wives in China, and tricked into the Chinese and Burmese sex industries. Local Kachin researchers conducted interviews in Burma from May-August 2004 in order to document this trend. "Driven Away: Trafficking of Kachin women on the China-Burma border", produced by the Kachin Women's Association Thailand (KWAT), is based on 63 verified and suspected trafficking cases that occurred primarily during 2000-2004. The cases involve 85 women and girls, mostly between the ages of 14 and 20. Testimony comes primarily from women and girls who escaped after being trafficked, as well as relatives, persons who helped escapees, and others. About two-thirds of the women trafficked were from the townships of Myitkyina and Bhamo in Kachin State. About one third were from villages in northern Shan State. In 36 of the cases, women were specifically offered safe work opportunities and followed recruiters to border towns. Many were seeking part-time work to make enough money for school fees during the annual three-month school holiday. Others simply needed to support their families. Those not offered work were taken while looking for work, tricked, or outright abducted. Women taken to China were most often passed on to traffickers at the border to be transported farther by car, bus and/or train for journeys of up to one week in length. Traffickers used deceit, threats, and drugs to confuse and control women en route..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Kachin Women's Association, Thailand (KWAT)
Format/size: pdf (3.3MB), 2.2MB
Alternate URLs: http://www.womenofburma.org/Report/Driven_Away.pdf (original, authoritative)
Date of entry/update: 17 May 2005

Date of publication: 14 July 2004
Description/subject: I. Executive Summary; II. Introduction; III. Thailand: Background. IV. Burma: Background. V. Project Methodology; VI. Findings: Hill Tribe Women and Girls in Thailand; Burmese Migrant Women and Girls in Thailand; VII. Law and Policy – Thailand; VIII. Applicable International Human Rights Law; IX. Law and Policy – United States X. Conclusion and Expanded Recommendations..."This study was designed to provide critical insight and remedial recommendations on the manner in which human rights violations committed against Burmese migrant and hill tribe women and girls in Thailand render them vulnerable to trafficking,2 unsafe migration, exploitative labor, and sexual exploitation and, consequently, through these additional violations, to HIV/AIDS. This report describes the policy failures of the government of Thailand, despite a program widely hailed as a model of HIV prevention for the region. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) findings show that the Thai government's abdication of responsibility for uncorrupted and nondiscriminatory law enforcement and human rights protection has permitted ongoing violations of human rights, including those by authorities themselves, which have caused great harm to Burmese and hill tribe women and girls..."
Author/creator: Karen Leiter, Ingrid Tamm, Chris Beyrer, Moh Wit, Vincent Iacopino,. Holly Burkhalter, Chen Reis.
Language: English
Source/publisher: Physicians for Human Rights
Format/size: pdf (853K)
Date of entry/update: 19 July 2004

Title: Trafficking: The Realities for Burmese Women
Date of publication: November 2003
Description/subject: "...In 1993 Human Rights Watch published a report, ‘A Modern Form of Slavery – Trafficking of Burmese Women and Girls into Brothels in Thailand’. The report was compiled through interviews with 30 Burmese women working in brothels in Thailand. Most were from remote rural villages in Shan state, entering Thailand via the Tachilek/Mae Sai border in Northern Thailand, and most were from peasant or agricultural labourer backgrounds. They ranged in age from 12 to 22, with the average age being 17. All but one had been lured to Thailand by the prospect of improving their economic situation. Only four knew they would be working as prostitutes and even those four had no idea what the actual work would be like. With no reliable sources available from the information-repressed vacuum that Burmese media operates in, the realities of life in Thailand are never seen. Individual laws applicable to migration and other valuable information that would allow women to make an informed choice are simply not available. The situation of deception, coercion and abuse detailed in the 1993 report appears to have changed little in the last ten years. Kidnappings of young women at the Tachilek/Mae Sai border who are then taken to work in brothels in Chiang Mai are not uncommon and the phenomenon of young women and girls being sold by relatives and forced to work as sex workers continues to this day. But what of adult women who choose to come to Thailand as sex workers? Women who choose to work as sex-workers need to be distinguished from women who are trafficked – as not all women working as sex-workers have been trafficked. What then defines trafficking? – for one definition there is the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime. This protocol covers recruitment, transportation and harbouring of trafficked persons. It also includes the various means of acquiring the trafficked person and describes various forms of exploitation..."
Author/creator: Jam Juree
Language: English
Source/publisher: "Burma Issues" Newsletter Volume 13 , Number 11
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 28 November 2003

Title: Trafficking Report Says Burma's Military Uses Forced Labor. Also cites sexual exploitation
Date of publication: 12 June 2003
Description/subject: "The State Department designated Burma as a Tier 3 government in its third annual Trafficking in Persons Report due to the Burmese government's lack of significant efforts to meet congressionally set standards for combating human trafficking. The report, released June 11, faults Burma's military rulers for continued extensive use of internal forced labor. "The military is directly involved in forced labor trafficking," the report says. The report acknowledges that the military junta ruling Burma has taken steps to combat trafficking in persons for sexual exploitation, but it describes Burma's record as "inadequate." "The Government of Burma does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and is not making significant efforts to do so," the report says. The State Department is required to report to Congress annually whether foreign governments fully meet the minimum standards set for the elimination of trafficking as detailed in the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of October 2000. Governments that are not making significant efforts to meet the standards are placed on the Tier 3 list.
Language: English
Source/publisher: U.S. Dept of State
Format/size: html, pdf (4.52 MB)
Alternate URLs: http://www.state.gov/g/tip/rls/tiprpt/2003/
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2010

Title: MIGRATION & TRAFFICKING OF WOMEN & GIRLS (Chapter from "Gathering Strength")
Date of publication: January 2002
Author/creator: Brenda Belak
Language: English
Source/publisher: Images Asia
Format/size: PDF (567K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour (IPEC) Thailand-Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand-Myanmar Border Areas Trafficking in Children into the Worst Forms of Child Labour: A Rapid Assessment
Date of publication: November 2001
Description/subject: Executive Summary" Chapter I: Introduction 5 1.1 Definitions 5 1.1.1 The Convention on the Worst Forms of Child Labour 5 1.1.2 Trafficking 6 1.1.3 Target Groups 6 1.2 Background 6 1.3 Structure of this Report 7 Chapter II: Background Information from the Literature – Child Labour in Thailand 9 2.1 Decreasing Numbers of Ethnic Thai Child Workers 9 2.2 Minors From Lao PDR Working in Thailand 9 2.3 Minors from Myanmar Working in Thailand 10 2.4 Sectors of Child Labour 10 2.5 Foreign and Ethnic Minority Child Workers 11 Chapter III: Methodology 13 3.1 Rapid Assessment 13 3.2 Child Respondents 13 3.3 Gender, Ethnicity and Legal Status 14 3.4 Key and Other Informants 15 3.5 Research Approaches 15 3.6 This Research and its Limitations 16 3.6.1 Strength of the Methodology 16 3.6.2 To What Extent Can We Draw General Conclusions from this Study? 16 3.6.3 Where does this Study Shows Specific and Not General Results 16 3.6.4 Recruitment and Transportation Systems 17 3.6.5 Source Communities 17 3.6.6 Change Over Time 17 3.7 Possibilities for Future Research 17 Chapter IV: Origins of Trafficking and Risk Groups 19 4.1 Why Do Minors Leave Their Village to Work in Thailand? 19 4.1.1 Financial Motivation 19 4.1.2 Lack of Purchasing Power 19 4.1.3 Lack of Job Opportunities and Educational Attainments 20 4.1.4 Parents’ Role in the Decision to Leave 20 4.1.5 Trafficking and Household Decisions 21 4.1.6 Following Others, Seeing the World and Experiencing Life 23 4.1.7 Personal Problems and Difficulties in the Community 24 4.1.8 Oppressed Communities 25 4.2 Risk Groups 25 4.2.1 Hill Tribes From Thailand 25 4.2.2 Refugees and Displaced Persons 26 4.2.3 Stateless Persons 26 4.2.4 Laotians 26 4.2.5 Minors From Myanmar 27 Chapter V: Transportation into Thailand 29 5.1 Information About Work 29 5.2 Initiative and Decision to Seek Work 29 5.3 Organizers of Transportation into Thailand 30 5.4 Means of Transport 31 5.5 Entry into Thailand 31 5.6 The Special Border Zones 32 5.7 Immigration Policies and the Movement of Minors 32 Chapter VI: Recruitment into the Worst Forms of Child Labour 37 6.1.1 Immediate Entry into the Worst Forms of Child Labour 37 6.1.2 Delayed Entry into the Worst Forms of Child Labour 37 6.1.3 Information Obtained in Thailand About Work 38 6.1.4 Getting into Work 38 6.2 Profit Made From the Recruitment Process 38 6.3 Awareness and Deception 40 6.4 Networking and the Danger of Trafficking 41 6.5 Ethnic Minorities and Burmans 43 6.6 Gender 44 Chapter VII: Conditions of Child Labour 47 7.1 Industries 47 7.2 Extent of Child Labour at the Border Sites 48 7.2.1 Factories Employing Minors in Mae Sai 48 7.2.2 The Sex Industry 50 Muk Dahan 50 Mae Sot 51 Nong Khai Province 52 Mae Sai 53 7.3 The Worst Forms of Child Labour 54 7.3.1 Slavery and Practices Similar to Slavery 54 7.3.2 Prostitution and Pornography 54 7.3.3 Illicit Activities 54 7.3.4 Work Endangering the Health, Safety or Morals of Children 55 Physical, Psychological Abuse 55 Work Underground, Under Water, at Dangerous Heights and in Confined Space 55 Work With Dangerous Machinery, Equipment and Tools 56 Manual Handling or Transport of Heavy Loads 56 Unhealthy Environment, Hazardous Substances 56 Work in Difficult Circumstances, Including Long Hours and During the Night 56 7.4 Payment 57 7.5 Assessment of the Worst Forms of Child Labour from the Minors’ Perspective 57 Chapter VIII: Prospects after Trafficking into the Worst Forms of Child Labour 59 8.1 Continuation in Exploitative Industries 59 8.2 Ways of Leaving Employment 59 8.3 Aspirations for the Future 60 8.4 Young Adults who Consider Themselves Successful 60 Chapter IX: Conclusion 63 Annexes 67 Annex I: Findings at a Glance 67 Annex II: Questionnaire 75 Bibliography 81.
Author/creator: Christina Wille
Language: English
Source/publisher: ILO (IPEC)
Format/size: pdf (1.54MB)
Date of entry/update: 08 May 2004

Title: Breaking Through the Clouds: A Participatory Action Research (PAR) Project with Migrant Children and Youth Along the Borders of China, Myanmar and Thailand
Date of publication: May 2001
Description/subject: 1. Introduction; 1.1. Background; 1.2. Project Profile; 1.3. Project Objectives; 2. The Participatory Action Research (PAR) Process; 2.1. Methods of Working with Migrant Children and Youth; 2.2. Implementation Strategy; 2.3. Ethical Considerations; 2.4. Research Team; 2.5. Sites and Participants; 2.6. Establishing Research Guidelines; 2.7. Data Collection Tools; 2.8. Documentation; 2.9. Translation; 2.10Country and Regional Workshops; 2.11Analysis, Methods of Reporting Findings and Dissemination Strategy; 2.12. Obstacles and Limitations; 3. PAR Interventions; 3.1. Strengthening Social Structures; 3.2. Awareness Raising; 3.3. Capacity Building; 3.4. Life Skills Development; 3.5. Outreach Services; 3.6. Networking and Advocacy; 4. The Participatory Review; 4.1. Aims of the Review; 4.2. Review Guidelines; 4.3. Review Approach and Tools; 4.4. Summary of Review Outcomes; 4.4.1. Myanmar; 4.4.2. Thailand; 4.4.3. China; 5. Conclusion and Recommendations; 6. Bibliography of Resources.
Author/creator: Therese Caouette et al
Language: English
Source/publisher: Save the Children (UK)
Format/size: pdf (191K) 75 pages
Date of entry/update: May 2003

Title: Beyond Trafficking Jams (Japanese)
Date of publication: February 2001
Description/subject: Trafficking in women stems from society's failure to recognize the valueof certain forms of labor, leaving women engaged in them open to every imaginable form of exploitation. Trafficked women need more than pity, argues Jackie Pollock: They need room to find their own solutions to the problems facing their respective professions.
Author/creator: Jackie Pollock (Tr. Tetz Hakoda)
Language: Japanese
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 26 December 2010

Title: Beyond Trafficking Jams: Creating a Space for Trafficked Women
Date of publication: February 2001
Description/subject: Trafficking in women stems from society's failure to recognize the valueof certain forms of labor, leaving women engaged in them open to every imaginable form of exploitation. Trafficked women need more than pity, argues Jackie Pollock: They need room to find their own solutions to the problems facing their respective professions.
Author/creator: Jackie Pollock
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy, Vol. 9. No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Sex for Export
Date of publication: February 2001
Description/subject: The flesh trade is flourishing along the Thai-Burma border, where the wages of cheap sex are adding to the toll taken by decades of poverty and military conflict. Tachilek, a border town in the Burmese sector of the Golden Triangle, has a reputation for many things, few of them good. Most recently in the media spotlight as the center of a pitched battle between Thai, Burmese and ethnic insurgent forces that has claimed lives on both sides of the border, Tachilek is best known as a major conduit for opium and methamphetamines flowing out of Burma. It also has a Thai-owned casino and a thriving black market in everything from pirated VCDs to tiger skins and Burmese antiques. But stroll across the Friendship Bridge from Mae Sai, Thailand, and would-be guides will waste no time making sure you don’t miss the main attraction. "Phuying, phuying," they whisper in Thai, clutching photos of Tachilek’s very own Shwedagon pagoda and other local sights. "Phuying, suay maak," they repeat: "Girls, very beautiful."
Author/creator: Neil Lawrence
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Victims Or Players?
Date of publication: February 2001
Description/subject: "Are young Burmese girls working in the brothels of Thailand victims or players in the lucrative sex trade? Perhaps a look at two typical cases can shed light on this question..."
Author/creator: Aung Zaw in Mae Sai, Chiang Mai & Min Zin in Ranong
Language: English
Source/publisher: "The Irrawaddy", Vol. 9. No. 2
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Small Dreams Beyond Reach: The Lives of Migrant Children and Youth Along the Borders of China, Myanmar and Thailand
Date of publication: 2001
Description/subject: A Participatory Action Research Project of Save the Children(UK)... 1. Introduction; 2. Background; 2.1. Population; 2.2. Geography; 2.3. Political Dimensions; 2.4. Economic Dimensions; 2.5. Social Dimensions; 2.6. Vulnerability of Children and Youth; 3. Research Design; 3.1. Project Objectives; 3.2. Ethical Considerations; 3.3. Research Team; 3.4. Research Sites and Participants; 3.5. Data Collection Tools; 3.6. Data Analysis Strategy; 3.7. Obstacles and Limitations; 4. Preliminary Research Findings; 4.1. The Migrants; 4.2. Reasons for migrating; 4.3. Channels of Migration; 4.4. Occupations; 4.5. Working and Living Conditions; 4.6. Health; 4.7. Education; 4.8. Drugs; 4.9. Child Labour; 4.10. Trafficking of Persons; 4.11. Vulnerabilities of Children; 4.12. Return and Reintegration; 4.13. Community Responses; 5. Conclusion and Recommendations... Recommendations to empower migrant children and youth in the Mekong sub-region... "This report provides an awareness of the realities and perspectives among migrant children, youth and their communities, as a means of building respect and partnerships to address their vulnerabilities to exploitation and abusive environments. The needs and concerns of migrants along the borders of China, Myanmar and Thailand are highlighted and recommendations to address these are made. The main findings of the participatory action research include: * those most impacted by migration are the peoples along the mountainous border areas between China, Myanmar and Thailand, who represent a variety of ethnic groups * both the countries of origin and countries of destination find that those migrating are largely young people and often include children * there is little awareness as to young migrants' concerns and needs, with extremely few interventions undertaken to reach out to them * the majority of the cross-border migrants were young, came from rural areas and had little or no formal education * the decision to migrate is complex and usually involves numerous overlapping factors * migrants travelled a number of routes that changed frequently according to their political and economic situations. The vast majority are identified as illegal immigrants * generally, migrants leave their homes not knowing for certain what kind of job they will actually find abroad. The actual jobs available to migrants were very gender specific * though the living and working conditions of cross-border migrants vary according to the place, job and employer, nearly all the participants noted their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse without protection or redress * for all illnesses, most of the participants explained that it was difficult to access public health services due to distance, cost and/or their illegal status * along all the borders, most of the children did not attend school and among those who did only a very few had finished primary level education * drug production, trafficking and addiction were critical issues identified by the communities at all of the research sites along the borders * child labour was found in all three countries * trafficking of persons, predominantly children and youth, was common at all the study sites * orphaned children along the border areas were found to be the most vulnerable * Migrants frequently considered their options and opportunities to return home Based on the project’s findings, recommendations are made at the conclusion of this report to address the critical issues faced by migrant children and youth along the borders. These recommendations include: methods of working with migrant youth, effective interventions, strategies for advocacy, identification of vulnerable populations and critical issues requiring further research. The following interventions were identified as most effective in empowering migrant children and youth in the Mekong sub-region: life skills training and literacy education, strengthening protection efforts, securing channels for safe return and providing support for reintegration to home countries. These efforts need to be initiated in tandem with advocacy efforts to influence policies and practices that will better protect and serve migrant children and youth."
Author/creator: Therese M. Caouette
Language: English
Source/publisher: Save the Children (UK)
Format/size: pdf (343K) 145 pages
Alternate URLs: http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/en/54_5205.htm
Date of entry/update: May 2003

Date of publication: 06 July 2000
Description/subject: "...Human traffickers bring destitute Bangladeshi and Burmese women into Pakistan on the promise of getting them decent jobs, but once here they are sold to third parties, mostly for the purpose of prostitution. These women are escorted all the way through India, some distances on foot, to reach Pakistan..."
Author/creator: Ahmar Mustikhan
Language: English
Source/publisher: Frontier Post, Peshawar, Pakistan, via World Net Daily
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 06 January 2011

Title: Trafficking in Burmese women
Date of publication: 19 November 1999
Description/subject: Interview by Samuel Grumiau, ICFTU Online..., 214/991116/SG, 18 November 1999 "Every year, thousands of Burmese women fall into the hands of mafias who force them into prostitution in Thailand. How is this traffic organised? Hseng Noung Lintner, an activist in the "Shan Women Action Network", an NGO that assists women from the Shan ethnic group, explains..."
Author/creator: Samuel Grumiau
Language: English
Source/publisher: ICFTU
Format/size: html
Date of entry/update: 27 July 2003

Date of publication: November 1999
Description/subject: The plight of Rohingya women from Burma trafficked in Pakistan “We have come all the way here, not just because we were trying to escape poverty and find a way to earn a better living like the Bangladeshis, but because it was our only option to save our lives.”(Interview with a Rohingya woman in Karachi on 22.11.99)...Rohingya women from Burma are trapped. In Burma they are deprived of citizenship, and face wide-scale atrocities committed by the military regime. In Bangladesh they are unwanted refugees, threatened with repatriation or deportation, and unable to meet their most basic needs. For many, the only option left to them in order to survive is being trafficked to Pakistan to face an uncertain future that often holds further abuses. During the journey across the subcontinent they can be caught in the web of ruthless traffickers. At every stage of the trip they are vulnerable to sexual violence, physical abuse, as well as other forms of exploitation, whether in the hands of the trafficker, the police, border guards, or while in detention. In Pakistan, some have been sold into slavery and prostitution, while many more survive as illegal immigrants in extreme poverty in the squalor of the Karachi slums. Others have spent many years in jail, detained under the Pakistan Foreigners Act or under the Zina section of the Hudood Ordinance. Wherever they are, Rohingya women are denied protection as well as assistance, and suffer the worst human rights abuses..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Images Asia
Format/size: html (300K)
Date of entry/update: 01 June 2005

Title: "MIGRATING WITH HOPE": Burmese Women Working in Thailand and The Sex Industry
Date of publication: July 1997
Description/subject: "...This report, "Migrating With Hope: Burmese Women Working In Thailand and The Sex Industry" attempts to present and highlight the needs, interests, and realities of undocumented migrant women from Burma working as sex-workers in Thailand. We look at the lives of women in Burma, the migration processes, processes of entry into the sex-industry, and factors which govern women's wellbeing or suffering during the time of migration in Thailand. The authors hope that the documentation presented will provide useful information to prospective migrants from Burma. We also hope that it can be used to instigate programmes to protect the rights of and to provide the necessary services for undocumented migrant workers, and by doing this, prevent more Burmese women from being exploited. This report is written in the knowledge that women can become empowered to make informed choices about their lives. It is also hoped that this report will provide the general public with information not only about Burmese migrant women, but also about the situation of undocumented migrant workers who flee from Burma, a country ruled by a military regime..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Images Asia
Format/size: pdf (284K)
Date of entry/update: 19 May 2005

Date of publication: August 1993
Description/subject: A substantial and important report. ""Lin Lin" was thirteen years old when she was recruited by an agent for work in Thailand. Her father took $480 from the agent with the understanding that his daughter would pay the loan back out of her earnings. The agent took "Lin Lin" to Bangkok, and three days later she was taken to the Ran Dee Prom brothel. "Lin Lin" did not know what was going on until a man came into her room and started touching her breasts and body and then forced her to have sex. For the next two years, "Lin Lin" worked in various parts of Thailand in four different brothels, all but one owned by the same family. The owners told her she would have to keep prostituting herself until she paid off her father's debt. Her clients, who often included police, paid the owner $4 each time. If she refused a client's demands, she was slapped and threatened by the owner. She worked every day except for the two days off each month she was allowed for her menstrual period. Once she had to borrow money to pay for medicine to treat a painful vaginal infection. This amount was added to her debt. On January 18, 1993 the Crime Suppression Division of the Thai police raided the brothel in which "Lin Lin" worked, and she was taken to a shelter run by a local non-governmental organization. She was fifteen years old, had spent over two years of her young life in compulsory prostitution, and tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. "Lin Lin" is just one of thousands of Burmese women and girls who have been trafficked and sold into what amounts to female sexual slavery in Thailand. In the last two years, Thai NGOs estimate that at a minimum, some twenty thousand Burmese women and girls are suffering Lee's fate, or worse, and that ten thousand new recruits come in every year. They are moved from one brothel to another as the demand for new faces dictates, and often end up being sent back to Burma after a year or two to recruit their own successors..."
Language: English
Source/publisher: Asia Watch and the Women's Rights Project (Human Rights Watch)
Format/size: html (394K)
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003

Title: Sacrifice: the Story of Child Prostitutes from Burma
Description/subject: 2 minute 37 second extract from a film by Ellen Bruno. "Screened at Sundance, the film examines the social, cultural and economic forces at work in the trafficking of Burmese girls into prostitution in Thailand. The site also has linked resources - organisations, films, publications, calls to action etc.
Author/creator: Ellen Bruno
Language: English, Thai
Source/publisher: .brunofilms
Format/size: Adobe Flash
Date of entry/update: 03 June 2003