We remain committed to fighting human trafficking during and after COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has created new risks and challenges to victims and survivors of trafficking around the globe, making more people vulnerable to human trafficking.
Due to COVID-19, there are fewer employment opportunities, creating more vulnerabilities and increasing the need to migrate elsewhere for job opportunities, which in turn may lead to increased cases of human trafficking.
The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic has also worsened the vulnerabilities of at-risk groups, especially women and children, to trafficking in human beings.
Like other small countries, Myanmar is not free from the menace of human trafficking, as agents of the criminal word are luring innocent people into their trap with false promises of better lives and occupations with higher salaries in wealthier countries.
The Union Government remains committed to delivering justice and human rights throughout the country during its second term and our country’s anti-human trafficking central committee is implementing the tasks of the five-year anti-human trafficking programme giving it a national-level priority.
However, the most important role that anti-trafficking agencies can play in accepting the victims, reintegration and their rehabilitation is to clearly understand their respective roles and responsibilities and the importance of cooperation with each other in providing effective remedies to survivors and victims.
Anti-trafficking bodies in our country should note that factors from COVID-19 restrictions and job losses to border closures could undo our achievements in tackling human trafficking in recent years.
Myanmar is facing both cross-border and domestic human trafficking, but cross-border trafficking is four times larger than within the country, as the business of selling people abroad brings in more money. Moreover, the number of women who fall victim to human trafficking is four times larger than that of male victims.
We can turn this tide by encouraging cooperation among community-based anti-trafficking bodies and authorities.
We would like to call on community-based anti-trafficking bodies, authorities concerned and survivors of past trafficking events to come together to take a role in helping not only those who have survived trafficking but also those who are still experiencing it.
While fighting against human trafficking, promoting a human rights based, gender and age-sensitive, trauma-informed, and victim-centred approach now and after the pandemic is a must.

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