Armed conflicts should be eliminated to address human trafficking: VP U Henry Van Thio

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Vice President U Henry Van Thio observes documentary photos at the ceremony to mark the fifth Anti-Trafficking in Persons Day in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday. Photo: MNA

Vice President U Henry Van Thio has called for eliminating armed conflicts in Myanmar to address human trafficking, stressing that eliminating armed conflicts plays a special important role in the government’s anti-human trafficking endeavor.
The remark came at the ceremony to mark the fifth Anti-Trafficking in Persons Day in Nay Pyi Taw yesterday.
“In conducting anti-human trafficking activities, root causes of human trafficking need to be effectively addressed,” said the Vice President.
“Only when the state is stable and peaceful, social lives of people can be peaceful and they can be outside of the danger of human trafficking. Therefore, an emphasis must be placed on peace building which is directly related to reduction in human trafficking,” he added.
He also warned that workers migrating elsewhere due to difficulties about their livelihood are facing the danger of human trafficking. Lack of good education also increases possibilities of being trafficked.
Myanmar has been suppressing and combating trafficking in persons as a national cause for over 20 years since 1997.
Human trafficking continues to be happening in Myanmar due to such causes leaving people vulnerable as shortage of employment opportunities, low income, natural disasters and armed conflicts.
Myanmar is encountering forced marriages connected with China; labour exploitation and forced prostitution connected with Thailand; forced prostitution and forced begging connected with Malaysia and forced labour in the off-shore fishing industry connected with Indonesia; and labour exploitation and forced prostitution in Myanmar.
In order to suppress and combat the aforesaid human trafficking activities, the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law has been promulgated and Anti Trafficking in Persons Police Division formed. Moreover, five-year plans have been drawn and implemented in a fashion involving all sectors. In this regard, the third five-year plan spanning from 2017 to 2021 has been confirmed and approved. Implementation is under way of the four components comprising this third year plan, namely, policy and cooperation,
prevention, prosecution and protection.
Myanmar ratified ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children in January, 2017.
“It is still necessary to enhance effectiveness in taking actions under the Anti-money Laundry Law against money and assets obtained through human trafficking. Only then will human trafficking networks be uprooted,” said Vice President U Henry Van Thio.
The bi-lateral Standard Operating Procedures related to repatriation, reintegration and rehabilitation of trafficked victims have been signed between Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement of Myanmar and Ministry of Social Development and Human Security of Thailand.
Signing of the MoU between Myanmar and India has been initiated whereas the MoU between Myanmar and Thailand is under review.
In respect of recruitment of children as soldiers, the committee for preventing minors from performing military duties has been formed since January 5, 2004.
“Just as the Tatmadaw is effectively undertaking measures to eliminate the child soldier issue, so also should other armed organizations do. This issue should be addressed with an emphasis on discussions in the peace process,” U Henry Van Thio said.
In respect of elimination of forced labour, Myanmar has been a signatory country to International Labour Organization (ILO) since May 17, 1948 and undertaking its obligations.
With a view to enhancing effectiveness in taking actions against human trafficking, just as guidelines have been conveyed to prosecutors, so also the guidelines related to cooperation between the station police and Anti Trafficking in Person Task Force (ATTF) police have been published and distributed.
An initiative is in place to establish a special fund for supporting trafficked victims and enabling conduct of effective anti-human trafficking activities.
In the 2016-2017 fiscal year, a total amount of Myanmar Kyats 73,350,000 (Kyats Seventy Three Million and Three Hundred and Fifty Thousand) was given as financial support to 57 male victims and 291 female victims, totaling 348 persons.
In the current 2017-2018 fiscal year, a total amount of Myanmar Kyats 18,700,000 (Kyats Eighteen Million and Seven Hundred Thousand) has been given as financial support to 6 male victims and 23 female victims, totaling 29 persons.—GNLM

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