Human Trafficking In Thailand

First I saw this today from AFP:


Thai policeman charged over rape of Rohingya refugee

BANGKOK, June 28, 2013 (AFP) – A policeman has been charged with trafficking after a Rohingya woman was allegedly lured from a shelter in southern Thailand and subsequently raped by a man from the refugee Muslim minority, police told AFP Friday.


It is believed to be the first time a Thai official has been charged with trafficking of Rohingya boat people, despite probes into alleged people smuggling by authorities including the army.


The officer is accused of driving the 25-year-old victim along with her daughters, aged 12 and nine, and two other women, from the shelter in Phang Nga in late May.


The woman was told she would be taken to Malaysia to be reunited with her husband, who is also from the minority group, but was instead held at several places in the region in an ordeal lasting several weeks, police said.


The woman was allegedly raped repeatedly by the Rohingya man, believed to have worked as a translator at the shelter, who has been charged for the assault.


The victim and her children were found on a roadside and returned to the shelter last week when she contacted the police.
"The officer has been charged with taking part in human trafficking and abuse of his position", Police Colonel Weerasin Kwansaeng, commander of Kuraburi Police Station told AFP.


"The victim said he drove the car from the shelter," he said, adding it was the first time charges had been brought against police over the trafficking of Rohingya.


Dozens of Rohingya women and children who fled communal violence in Myanmar, are housed at the shelter while hundreds of men from the ethnic group are being held at an immigration detention centre in the same province.


Rights groups have repeatedly voiced concerns over the treatment of destitute Rohingya refugees by Thai authorities, saying they are held in poor conditions and are vulnerable to exploitation.


The rape "demonstrates the vulnerability of Rohingya women to human traffickers — even when they are living in government-run shelters where they should be protected," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch.


In January Thai authorities opened an investigation into allegations that army officials were involved in trafficking Rohingya.


Then I saw this from MCOT:


Thailand upset by human trafficking Watch List

Sek Wannamethee, director general of the America and South Pacific Department, said the US recently released its Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report which placed Thailand on the Tier 2 Watch List for the fourth consecutive year.

The US granted Thailand a waiver from an otherwise required downgrade to Tier 3 because the government has a written plan that, if implemented, would constitute making significant efforts to meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.

Mr Sek said he has discussed with related agencies including the Courts of Justice on the possibility of speeding up trials of human trafficking cases.

Thailand will update the TIP on development of the country’s trafficking solutions in November this year and January next year while a TIP delegation will visit the kingdom in August – an opportunity for Thailand to thoroughly explain the issue.


"We hope that Thailand will be lifted from the unfavourable list next year," Mr Sek said. (MCOT online news)

So what is the Thai government upset about here?

You hear these reports all the time.

Bottom line is, human trafficking is still a huge issue in Thailand and in the neighboring countries.

But when you have their own police and military involved (granted not all of these guys are exactly the salt of the earth), you have nobody to blame but yourself.

Until next time, enjoy yourself!

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