By: Janice Tjeng
We often think that victims of human trafficking are forced, sold and tricked into working in demeaning and dangerous jobs. However, Sonomi Tanaka, Asian Development Bank’s Lead Gender Specialist, claims that most trafficking happens while people are migrating. In a search for a better life, victims end up being deceived by their employers.
For example, in Mae Sot, a district in western Thailand that shares a border with Myanmar, migrants are often told that there are good jobs available in Bangkok or other big cities. Once they arrive, things are not what they expected. Men are taken to fishing boats where they work as slaves in the sea. Labor trafficking victims are abused if they are slow in their work or if they do not understand what is expected of them. Oftentimes, they are given little time to rest and they may be beaten or killed if they try to escape.
Similar situations are common across Asia and the Pacific regions. As such, national governments have been taking actions to address this issue. In Afghanistan, the Ministry of Women’s Affairs is improving its capacity to care for survivors of human trafficking. Papua New Guinea passed its first human trafficking law in July 2013 and Maldives passed an anti-trafficking law in December 2013. In July 2013, the presidents of the Republic of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and the Republic of the Marshall Islands collaborated as a regional effort to address human trafficking.
Janice Tjeng is a third year Biology major at the University of San Francisco. She is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine. She looks forward to applying to medical school where she can learn the skills to provide healthcare for disadvantaged people.
“Human Trafficking Continues to Haunt Asia.” Asian Development Bank, 22 May 2015. http://www.adb.org/news/features/human-trafficking-continues-haunt-asia. Date accessed, 26 May 2015.
Photo Credit, Tang Chhin Sothy/AFP. http://www.adb.org/news/features/human-trafficking-continues-haunt-asia
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