Public awareness needed to fight human trafficking

Human trafficking is not something we think of as being a major problem in Myanmar, but the truth is that a majority of women who illegally migrate to neighbouring countries for jobs fall prey to the trafficking form of forced marriage and forced labour.
Adults and youths are being forced into prostitution and unpaid labor in our own backyard at an alarming rate.
The Sixth Anti-Trafficking In Persons Day of Myanmar we observed on Thursday has alerted us to increase awareness and encourage more efforts to fight the trafficking in persons, one of the worst scourges of humanity.
The trafficking of people for the purpose of enriching the traffickers is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world. The victims are recruited from our most vulnerable community.
As Myanmar is a source country and overwhelmed by grievances arising from trafficking persons, we must work hard to educate the public, to find and punish human traffickers and protect their victims.
This year’s motto of Anti-Trafficking In Persons “The entire public needs to participate, Trafficking in persons to eliminate…” has underlined the important role of the people in fighting the crime.
We do believe that only with collective strength resulting from the participation of the entire public will trafficking in persons be combated.
According to the global report released on 19 July, 2018, it is found that Myanmar ranks the eighteenth in position among 167 countries; 575,000 people, which is approximately equivalent to 10% of the country’s population are living under modern slavery.
The types of modern slavery identified by the report include, apart from normal slavery, human smuggling, forced labour, slaves purchased with money, forced marriage and having the under-aged do work and selling them.
According to the 2017 data, it is found that in 73.34% of the cases people were trafficked into China, in 4.37%, they were trafficked into Thailand and in 0.29%, they were trafficked into Malaysia, 21.28% of the cases took place in the domicile.
The trafficking of men, women and children for the purpose of exploitation is a horrendous crime that has no place in our society.
In response to this growing epidemic, necessary activities are being conducted to revise and approve the 2005 Anti-Trafficking In Persons Law, in the horizon of the third five-year (2017-2021) plan
The book on cooperation guidelines between Station Police and Anti-Trafficking In Person Task Force Police and the book on victim-centred approach and victims of trafficking identification process were distributed to police officers across the country this year.
No single piece of legislation will end human trafficking, but every bill brings greater attention to this problem hiding in plain sight and further empowers victims to regain control of their lives.
Together with the efforts of the public, community leaders and organizations nationwide, we can curb the horrific damage caused by human trafficking and child exploitation.

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