Tailandia - Migrant labour still at peril in Thailand (2012)

There are more than 2 million migrants, mainly from Burma, working in Thailand. On 19 August, UN special rapporteur on human trafficking Joy Ezeilo said that corruption and poor law enforcement had undermined Thailand’s efforts to crack down on human trafficking, which remains rampant. Migrant labourers were trafficked and placed in bonded labour in Thailand’s fishing industry.

Thai immigration officials and Burmese brokers were reported to have extorted Burmese migrant workers as they fled the epic flooding. Workers without documentation were especially at risk of exploitation. First, brokers charged workers exorbitant fees (3,000-4,000 baht) to get to Mae Sot, a major border crossing between Thailand and Burma. Many thousand Burmese workers were reportedly held at an immigration detention centre there. Police and immigration officials detained them and shook them down for cash before deporting them into Burma in the middle of the night where combat between the government and ethnic armies is on-going. Burmese officials also sought to collect from workers returning to Burma.

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