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July 05, 2020

Firm commitment key to protect victims, vulnerable migrants in IDPs

Despite efforts being taken to fight human trafficking, in accordance with the 2005 Anti-Human Trafficking Law, trafficking-in-persons cases have not declined significantly year by year.
Trafficking is occurring in different forms — from exploitation of internal migrants and migrants crossing the border, and from sexual exploitation to forced marriage in neighboring countries.
Now is the time for the country, which is grappling with internal armed conflict and natural disasters, to strengthen the protection of victims (VOTs) and vulnerable migrants (VMs) in camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs).
It is our national duty to support and protect victims by creating a safe environment for them, expose the crimes committed against them, and assist legal institutions, including police, which are playing an essential role in fighting and protecting people from crimes against humanity.
It is worth noting that the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement plans to launch a project to protect and support vulnerable migrants in Kachin, Shan, and Rakhine states.
It would be a further step forward to achieving our commitment of addressing the root causes of trafficking-in-persons in Myanmar.
The main reasons for human trafficking in Myanmar include poor socio-economic conditions, natural disasters, and internal armed conflicts. Legal and illegal migrants to foreign countries can also fall victim to trafficking.
We are confident that implementing the project for vulnerable migrants would help speed up current efforts for closing down IDP camps and helping the internally displaced return home.
The five major causes of human trafficking in Myanmar are forced marriage, forced prostitution, forced labour, trafficking in children, and debt bondage. Of the total human trafficking cases in 2018, 75.24 per cent involved forced marriages, 13.59 per cent forced prostitution, 8.74 per cent forced labour, 1.94 per cent surrogacy, and 0.49 per cent illegal adoption. By countries of destination, 79.61 per cent cases were related to China, 1.46 per cent to Thailand, and 18.93 per cent were from within Myanmar.
Ending trafficking in persons requires a firm commitment, and not just at the institutional level. It also requires a broad involvement of international civil society organizations which are working tirelessly with governmental organizations at large. And, most of all — we need the involvement of men.

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