Thailand is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking into the sex and labor industries. Ethnic minorities, highland persons, and stateless individuals are extremely vulnerable to human trafficking in Thailand. Thai children, as well as, children from Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia are trafficked into brothels, massage parlors, karaoke bars, hotels, and private residences throughout Thailand especially in larger tourist-oriented cities like Bangkok, Pattaya, and Nonthaburi.
Children are lured into sex trafficking through chat rooms, dating applications, and social media platforms. Children whose parents are unemployed and children who have been abandoned in orphanages are at extreme risk of trafficking. Nearly 200,000 Thai children are trafficked into forced labor in such industries as auto repair, fishing, agriculture, and hospitality with approximately 50% working in unsafe conditions and at high-risk of sex trafficking.
The government of Thailand allocated $134 million dollars in 2020 to promote its anti-human trafficking prevention programs. These programs consist of awareness campaigns through social media, television, newspapers, and radio. Additionally, outreach activities are conducted at schools and villages throughout Thailand to educate students, teachers, and community members on the signs and dangers of human trafficking.
Myanmar is a source and transit country for human
trafficking victims. Many victims are transported through Myanmar to destination countries such as Thailand and China. Economic pains combined with political instability have fueled the conditions for increased human trafficking activity in both the sex and labor industries. Women and children are commonly trafficked into the sex industry, as well as, indentured servitude and garment manufacturing. Men and boys are typically trafficked into the labor industry to include fishing, manufacturing, and construction.
Children are consistently trafficked into forced labor by the Burmese military in conflict zones throughout Myanmar including Rakhine and Kachin states. The military has consistently sourced labor and supplies from local communities which is a contributing factor to both labor and sex trafficking among Burmese children.
In 2020 the government of Burma issued a directive under the United Nations joint action plan to prohibit the use of children in armed conflict zones to prevent death, injury, and/or sexual exploitation of children. The government maintains an action plan to prevent human trafficking through awareness campaigns via forums, media, billboards, pamphlets, and in-person trainings.