Gains have been made in tackling sexual exploitation and forced labour, but much work remains for Myanmar authorities
MYANMAR police uncovered 16 cases of human trafficking in October, rescuing 35 victims – among whom five were children. The victims had beensold into forced labour and forced marriages in Thailand, Malaysia and China, according to Myanmar’s Anti-Trafficking in Persons Division.
Authorities arrested 24 traffickers, while another 17 suspects remain at large. Authorities are also hoping to locate one man and four women who have reportedly fallen prey to traffickers.
According to official figures, 105 police investigationswere launched during the past 10 months; which is 11 more cases than the same period last year.
Twenty-nine investigationswere undertaken in Shan State, while Mandalay and Yangon were the next highest, with 17 and 15 respectively.
There were more than 10 cases of human trafficking investigated in Kachin State, Bago, Sagaing, Magway and Ayeyawady regions, while in Kayin, Mon and Rakhine states the number of cases was less than 10. There were no reports of human trafficking occurring in the capital city of Nay Pyi Taw and in southern Taninthayi Region.
Authorities arrested a total of 301 traffickers since the beginning of the year and another 100 suspects are on wanted lists.
According to official figures, the number of trafficking cases nationwide since 2006 to October this year stands at 1,228.A total of 2,443 people were rescued and 2,227 traffickers brought to justice.
Forced labour and sexual exploitation are considered among the most pressing international crimes taking place in Myanmar, with women being at particular risk of being trafficked to China for forced marriages.