Article (Opinion): “Law makes a mockery of human rights”

In response to being placed on the Tier 2 Watch-list by the U.S. State Department’s 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, the Thai government issued an emergency decree on migrant labour management. The decree included “harsh” penalties for the recruitment of undocumented workers, and for undocumented workers themselves. These new penalties have triggered fear and panic among both employers and migrant workers; in the days since the decree was issued more than 30,000 migrant workers, the majority from Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos, fled Thailand or were repatriated to their home countries. This opinion piece from the Bangkok Post questions the new labour law and whether targeting employees and workers, rather than brokers, will be effective in combating human trafficking, especially when a large number of the undocumented workers are victims of trafficking themselves. Says the author, the penalties show “…that lawmakers overlooked or rejected the fact that human trafficking involves corruption within the Thai bureaucracy and among influential people. The law bypasses the need for human rights to protect trafficking victims.” The article calls for more open registration and pathways to legal employment for migrant workers in Thailand, so that they are not forced to rely on underground methods of migration, which place them at a higher risk of being trafficked.

Free To Shine works to prevent human trafficking and educate the community about the risks of migrating to places like Thailand for work. Our Social Workers hold classes for the rural communities in which we work on topics such as “Safe Migration” and “Sex Trafficking Prevention”. Learn more about Free To Shine’s community education projects here. By donating just $70, you can fund one of our community training sessions!Below is a photo of San, a social worker from Free To Shine hosting a community education class about the importance of education and the protective factors that result from higher learning.