Trafficking in persons sees improvement, but still more needs to be done

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  • By Aye Min Soe
  • Myanmar has seen improvement in fighting human trafficking, rising from a Tier-3 ranking to the Tier-2 Watch List.
    The achievement has brought pride to the country and we thank those who involved in the drive.
    However, Myanmar is not yet out of the woods in combating this scourge.
    According to statistics released by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the country exposed 143 cases in the first eight months of this year, an increase compared with the same period last years.
    Awareness campaigns against trafficking in persons have been carried out, with 1,609 educative talks and more than 17,500 instances of handing out pamphlets to the people in the first eight months of this year.
    Still, we have a long way to go to reach the goal of eliminating the crime.
    The deportation of illegal Myanmar migrant workers from foreign countries has alerted us that we need to create more job opportunities and to carry out systematic management for sending workers overseas. Only then can the country prevent trafficking in persons.
    It should be noted that the problem has its root in poverty. In some cases, it has been found that previous victims of human trafficking turned into traffickers. So we should not turn a blind eye to the socio-economic life of the victims that forces them to travel to other countries for employment and, in some cases, become traffickers themselves. We need to educate all Myanmar people about the dangers and corrosive effects on our society.
    Women are trafficked across other borders too, to Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
    Meanwhile, the statistics released by the Ministry of Home Affairs shows that the number of cases in which Myanmar women are trafficked into China and forced to marry strangers there is increasing.
    Trafficked women are exploited as sex workers or labourers. Men are tricked into accepting jobs for low wages and forced to work long hours.
    The situation is very serious and getting worse. Authorities concerned in regions and states are obliged to carry out preventive measures against trafficking in persons effectively. Indicidually, we must accept the education efforts and do our best to combat this growing menace. It is our national duty.
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