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The Trafficking Situation
Thailand is a source, transit and destination country for human trafficking. It is a destination-side hub of exploitation in the Greater Mekong Sub-region, for both sex and labour exploitation.
Both internal and cross-border trafficking occur in and from Thailand, for sex and labour exploitation. Male and female migrants from neighbouring countries are trafficked into Thailand; Thais are trafficked to wealthier countries in Northeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe; and there is rural-urban risky migration and trafficking as well.
According to the record of the Ministry of Social Development and Human Security (MSDHS) in 2007, the Ministry provided 363 foreign trafficked victims with shelter and assistance. However, since victims are often unwilling to disclose their identities or file official complaints against traffickers for various reasons, the scale of the problem is likely to be greater than this.
Who are the perpetrators?
As the nature of trafficking varies, so too does the profile of traffickers, both Thai and non-Thai nationals, male and female. They range from those in organised networks able to produce or buy fake documents, avoid immigration requirements, and conduct trafficking operations spanning thousands of kilometres, to individuals seizing an opportunity to profit from cheating or coercing someone into a situation of exploitation18. Perpetrators of human trafficking include anyone complicit in any stage of the deception, movement or exploitation of a person. Traffickers use sophisticated means of transporting Thai nationals on fraudulent travel documents and use various land, sea and air routes.
Trafficking networks in and from Thailand can be well-structured and work across the borders through the use of brokers. However, the majority of trafficking cases are facilitated by individual and local level networks of friends, family members and former victims, and often begin with voluntary migration.
According to the Children Juveniles and Women Division (CWD) of the Royal Thai Police, 112 people were arrested on human trafficking charges from October 2006 to July 2007. Four years’ imprisonment was the minimum sentence for traffickers.
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