Tonya (a pseudonym) was a victim of human trafficking. Driving the trade is the demand for commercial sexual exploitation. This is among the many anecdotes in Siroj Sorajjakool's book, Human Trafficking in Thailand: Current Issues, Trends, and the Role of the Thai Government.These stories add a personal touch to a book that provides a comprehensive overview of government measures and trends across the decades on the topic of human trafficking. Prevention When Tonya was 13, she met Eddie (a pseudonym) at the apartment she was living in with her mother in the Dallas, Texas, area. Funds are needed for all of the aspects of these support efforts. On 30 June, the US State Department decided to remove Thailand from its blacklist of the countries with human trafficking problems. In 2019, an estimated 3.9 million migrant workers were living and working in Thailand, both legally and illegally.Most of them came from neighbouring Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Vietnam. One afternoon, we had a party in one of the conference rooms at the hotel where we were staying. We continue to stay in touch and get updates, and as of December, all of the girls are still on track with the decisions they made last September. Interviewed by: Alexa Serrano, CAMS, editorial assistant, ACAMS, Miami, FL, USA, aserrano@acams.org, Stephanie Trejos, editorial assistant, ACAMS, Miami, FL, USA, strejos@acams.org. According to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, Thailand is a “top destination for victims of human trafficking.” The majority of Thailand’s trafficking victims are voluntary economic migrants from countries like Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and China.They come only for the promise of a good job. By Dung Phan . "Slavery and human trafficking look like me, too," declared Theresa Flores, a white, blonde, 43-year-old resident of Columbus, Ohio, who has spent the past year traveling the country to recount her story at similar events. By WIN ZAR NI AUNG | FRONTIER “They killed her because she refused to work as a prostitute.” Ko Min Zaw said he saw about half a dozen men beat Ma Moe to death in a forest in Thailand’s Satun Province about five years ago. ACAMS Today: Every year you go to Thailand to help fight HT, were there any new preventive efforts or rescue and restorative needs you recognized during this trip? Thailand is not only a paradise for backpackers and honeymooners but a key destination country for migrant workers, human trafficking and forced labour. I’m very passionate with organizations that focus on empowering communities to make them self-sustainable and less vulnerable to traffickers and handlers. While in Mae Sot, on the Burma border, we witnessed the repercussions of the political change toward refugees. There have been times where success on our trips were from talking with the girls while working and getting a smile or a hug and a promise to follow their dreams and to leave the life, or seeing their confidence grow while in the recovery programs as they learn new skills and plan their lives without selling themselves. Thailand reported investigating and prosecuting hundreds of trafficking cases in 2019 and winning 304 convictions. Human trafficking, the third largest international crime, following illegal drugs and arms trafficking, is believed to be worth billions of dollars each year. SB: Education is a primary goal—both within the communities and for the victims themselves. The country has recorded over 3,400 victims of human trafficking since 2013, over 90 percent of them women, children and people from ethnic minority communities. Its CAMS certification is the most widely recognized anti-money laundering certification among compliance professionals. Minneapolis is hosting Super Bowl LII in February and our community is experiencing the balance of challenges and excitement as host city. While being an annual opportunity to demand more actions from those countries, the report has triggered a debate as … Desperation and fear increases vulnerability. Today, Thailand is not only a paradise for backpackers and honeymooners, but a key destination country for migrant workers, human trafficking and forced labour. In their project, “Project Childhood”, they collaborate with AusAID. The Nation’s Wasamon Audjarint reports from the US cities of Houston and Los Angeles on sex trafficking rings involving Thai women often working in seemingly legitimate massage parlours – as well as their journeys out of illicit sex work. Tagged: human trafficking refugees Thailand Myanmar slavery Rohingya Burma Vice Blog ethnic cleansing Get a personalized roundup of VICE's best stories in your inbox. Her most recent engagement is with enterprise and business line projects to meet heightened know your customer/customer due diligence requirements. ECPAT International is a global network of organisations working to end the sexual exploitation of children. I am volunteering with the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee on the training team for 10,000 volunteers. In addition, Dennis Lormel, former chief of the FBI’s Financial Crimes Program, will discuss the grueling truth about HT and its prevalence around large events such as the Super Bowl. THAILAND – Perhaps nothing sparks our outcry for justice more than the plight of children trapped in sex trafficking. Victims are often trafficked into Thailand through established migration routes from neighbouring states with significantly lower levels of socio-economic development. Human trafficking is the form of modern slavery, and it disgusts all the good-souled people, but today we have come up with a list of real life human trafficking examples and stories. BANGKOK — Thailand continues to be a major center of global sex trafficking rings that extend to countries as far flung as Japan, Morocco and Germany, a UN report released last month says. ", The Circulation of Sexual Images Taken by Children Themselves on the Rise Amongst Offenders. AT: January is National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. Those efforts are strengthening everywhere across the globe and it’s exciting to witness. Bayer is a founding member of the ACAMS Greater Twin Cities Chapter and currently serves as co-chair. Human Trafficking Stories . SB: Measuring success on these trips can be challenging. At first, several were uncomfortable with just having fun, laughing and receiving unsolicited generosity. ACAMS Today  caught up with Sande Bayer, vice president of the middle office within the wealth management and investment services division at U.S. Bank, to discuss her anti-human trafficking (HT) preventive efforts and her recent trip to Thailand. It’s not like other mission trips where you have measurable accomplishments, such as food distribution, building schoolhouses or dorm rooms. You may ask why we publish articles like this, but the reason is that every each of you have to be aware that it does exist, the evil always search their preys – and yes, even you can become a victim. We will also have the executive director of Breaking Free share her perspective and insights as a survivor. Thailand rescued a record 1,807 victims of human trafficking last year, according to data that campaigners on Monday said raised concerns about the nation’s ability to support survivors. “He made me feel like I was doing it because I loved him, and in the end, we’d have a really good [financial] reward,” Tonya said. Children from Thailand, Burma, Laos, and Cambodia are victims of sex trafficking in brothels, massage parlors, bars, karaoke lounges, hotels, and private residences. Yet, the children smiled when they saw us, laughed as we played kickball with them and offered to share their food and homes with us. Shame is a large obstacle in the Thai culture. Prostitution flourished especially after the abolishment of slavery in 1905 as former slave wives under the feudal system found themselves alone and without financial support. This gave us a chance just to talk and laugh with them before work and hear their stories. After 30 years on the job, you see a lot. A straightforward fact: Vietnam is a human trafficking hotspot, and the trade nets annual profits worth tens of billions of U.S. dollars, according to the Ministry of Public Security.. Subscribe I’m also interested in work being done in Nepal against HT. On World Day against Trafficking in Persons, three women survivors tell us their stories. Project Shadow: Ending the Online Exploitation of Children, Project Shadow: AML Investigations Into Online Child Sexual Exploitation, Rebekah Lisgarten: You Can’t Stop What You Can’t See, Kimihiro Mine: Cooperation in the Crypto Industry, Datuk Seri Azam Baki: Pulse on AFC in Malaysia, Guidelines for Know Your Chapter Articles, Victim Resource Advocate – Citrus County Sheriff's Office – Lecanto, FL, Retail Relationship Banker – BMO Harris Bank – Beaver Dam, WI, Bilingual Customer Experience Representative – Milwaukee – BMO Harris Bank – Milwaukee, WI, PT Customer Experience Rep (30 hours Crystal Lake) – BMO Harris Bank – Crystal Lake, IL. Are there other countries on your radar you would like to visit to help combat HT? Human Rights. These efforts can include the basic needs: shelter, water, food and education, and progress to agriculture and small business models. Thailand is recognized as a key destination for human trafficking in the Mekong region, in addition to being a source and transit country for forced labour and sex trafficking. Partnership with our state task force, the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, law enforcement and our survivor programs has been critical to providing a consistent approach. Several people1 shared stories of Burmese soldiers crossing the river and leaving their children at the orphanage in the village while other refugees attempted to flee for safety. More than 900 victims of human trafficking have been rescued in 2019 – According to official statistics released by the Thai anti-trafficking department, since the beginning of 2019, the police have rescued 974 victims of human trafficking. More on: Thailand. As vice president, Bayer manages the onboarding and reviews of elevated and high-risk clients, ongoing sanctions clearing and special case investigations. AT: You work closely with anti-HT nonprofit organizations based in Thailand; what are some of the efforts these organizations have planned to combat HT in 2018? Jonathan Head has spent six months investigating the trafficking of humans in Thailand. You can’t be a police officer in any major city in the United States without having to deal with the problems and issues related to human trafficking and the sex industry. I have been part of this team since last spring working in volunteer recruitment, interviews, orientation and training. The objective of this report is to provide a better understanding of the recruitment, living and working conditions of fishermen and the extent of exploitation and abuse in the Thai fishing sector. Human trafficking is a heinous crime that shatters lives, families and dreams. As Americans, we don’t experience being refugees to save our lives, or the lack of basic necessities or conveniences. It is good to hear about how Compassion Thailand is really engaging the culture and doing what they can to empower these girls to make good, well-informed, and healthy choices for themselves. The work of the founder and president of Urban Light, Alezandra Russell, stemmed from her realization that NGOs and the Thai government were providing very little, if any, resources or social services to boys working in the red light district bars and massage parlors of Chiang Mai. Our ACAMS Chapter is hosting a half-day learning event on HT on January 11. Thailand’s government will send back to Myanmar some 700 victims of human trafficking who have been held in rehabilitation shelters after an identification process, … Human trafficking has long been a serious problem in Thailand. USAID Thailand CTIP also trains volunteer migrant leaders in spotting signs of exploitation and trafficking, referring potential victims to existing services, supporting them in accessing grievance mechanisms, and amplifying migrant voices in the political discourse by empowering them to capture and share their stories through various tools. Asia. Thailand, Malaysia, and Venezuela’s status was automatically downgraded this year because they have been on a State Department human trafficking watch list for over four years and have not improved. We encouraged them to think about and remember what their dreams are. Everyone got copies of their silly pictures, small gifts and food as they left. In January 2014, based on information from the December 2013 Reuters report, 636 people were rescued by Thai police from human trafficking camps during two raids. The training includes how to recognize signs of HT and how to escalate appropriately. Sande Bayer: Each trip to Thailand has given me new experiences that go deeper into my heart. While in Mae Sot, we partnered with Venture and delivered Feed My Starving Children meal packs to two different villages. Environment Human trafficking victims tell stories of modern-day slavery. Human trafficking, and sex trafficking in particular, is not just a “women and girls” issue: it is a human issue. SB: I don’t have firm dates for any trips in 2018, but I wouldn’t be surprised if ongoing conversations become solid plans for the fall. We invited 35 girls to come, but had no idea how many would show up. Related Stories Girls working the boulevards, shady massage parlors, and online prostitution are part of … It reaffirms that efforts to provide stability and basic needs are essential: food, water, health, clothing and a place to call home without the fear of losing any of those are critical. Thailand's Anti-Human Trafficking Track Record "Thailand is a key destination for child sex tourists and pedophiles, although stepped-up local and international policing [in Thailand] has forced more foreign sex tourists to travel to neighbouring countries, such as Cambodia, where official sanctions may be weaker," says Ron Corben for The Sydney Morning Herald. These girls had never been in a situation where they weren’t expected to perform or do something in return. There is a large need for restoration, both physically and emotionally, for the victims. SB: January is a busy month for us in Minneapolis! Open Safari in your iOS device and navigate to www.acamstoday.org. Traffickers increasingly induce young Thai girls and boys to perform sex acts through videos and photos on the internet, sometimes by blackmailing victims with explicit images. But its numbers on all three counts were down year on year. To see the brutal reality of how these families live without running water, electricity, mattresses or refrigeration is eye-opening. We will have industry experts, survivors, resource centers and members of local and federal law enforcement. None of these girls wanted to be in the spot they are in. Support efforts for all of the girls (and boys) rescued is critical to their success. Partnerships with local law enforcement is always a challenge, as is the evolving political atmosphere and refugee status along the borders. Open Google Chrome on your Android device and navigate to www.acamstoday.org. Our trainings are also role specific to hotels, airports, Mall of America, our skyways and the NFL Live experience. The late 1700s to the 1850s witnessed an influx in the number of Chinese labor workers and sex workers coming to Thailand. This last trip though, bore the fruit of previous trips and connections. Education is needed for awareness, but also for the victims to gain confidence and to prepare themselves for their next steps. Is there anything in particular you will be doing this month to prevent HT or anything you will be doing in the fight against HT? In the previous month, more than 60,000 people who had called Mae Sot home had fled due to their refugee status and fear of what the new government may dictate. In March 2014, 200 allegedly Uyghur people who had fled China due to the ongoing Xinjiang conflict, were also freed by Thai police from a human trafficking camp. Visit the ACAMS website at www.acams.org. New Life for Survivors of Trafficking and Abuse. Their dreams are like ours—they want to be teachers, lawyers, nurses, own a business, fall in love and have a family, but their circumstances changed all of that. Sande Bayer: Anti-Human Trafficking Success Stories in Thailand January 11, 2018 A CAMS Today caught up with Sande Bayer, vice president of the middle office within the wealth management and investment services division at U.S. Bank, to discuss her anti-human trafficking (HT) preventive efforts and her recent trip to Thailand. Her roles and responsibilities have included management, training and compliance oversight. The nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) there were also impacted, since a large segment of their efforts are focused on this population. Twenty-five girls came. Recent high-profile cases in Thailand are a reminder of the scourge of human trafficking. The man took the teen to Cox’s Bazaar, a fishing … These villages on the border have direct impact with the political unrest in Myanmar. First of all, it is important to understand that when it comes to human trafficking, exploitation of the poor, and the sex industry, each country’s issues are different. Wow, this human trafficking is so sad and disturbing to hear about. From the connections we made on the beaches and bars, which resulted in that party, we managed to get three girls out of the life and relocated. Once rescued, those kids desperately need a safe home, counseling and education. Most of the victims were from Myanmar. When girls are trafficked internationally, additional steps take place when getting them back home and establishing a strong and continuing support network for them. She has over 25 years of experience in the financial industry including insurance, brokerage products and the banking industry. Abdurrahim, 18, of northern Bangladesh was eager to find a job and was heartened when an elderly man offered him an opportunity making about $6 an hour, the BBC reported. We were in one city for four days. Estimations say that Thailand is home to about 610,000 human trafficking victims. This last trip did that even more. ACAMS is the largest membership organization dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and skills of financial crime detection and prevention professionals worldwide. In addition, six girls were onboarded into the programs and in the process of leaving, four more signed up for English classes and one bar is under investigation for employing underage girls. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Bangkok OfficeUNODC Bangkok Office focuses on the criminal justice element of Human Trafficking. AT: Can you share some of your success stories in Thailand? We’ve also seen more group homes and programs started for young children who are vulnerable to being trafficked and safe houses for those rescued who will provide witness testimony and court statements. Elderly Man Lures Teen to Thai Jungle Camp. We decorated it with balloons and streamers, we had food and games to play, and a photo booth with props. She has been active with the Minnesota Region Chapter of Not For Sale (NFS), an organization that raises awareness and increases efforts to cease global HT. The following is a working directory of organisations actively engaged in combatting human trafficking in Thailand. Despite rising criminal prosecutions, human trafficking remains rife in Myanmar and is fuelled by widespread poverty. Seventy-nine percent of all global trafficking is for sexual exploitation.2 SEX TRAFFICKING … We walked the beaches in the afternoon before the girls would start work and we would offer them free manicures. AT: Will you return to Thailand in the near future? The strong ties to cultural impact draws me in and grabs my interest. Timeline to Thirty: Memories from ECPAT members, How to create a tourism destination free from child sexual exploitation, Social media messaging apps host underground child sexual abuse networks, How sexual crimes against children have changed over time, "I urge everyone to rise to this challenge. These children and families deserve more options for survival. Agencies wanting to help only muddy the waters when, for instance, they talk about the problem in Thailand, but show pictures and video from Cambodia or … The report reviews the legislative and regulatory framework governing the fishing sector and the recruitment of fishermen and its implementation, highlighting certain gaps which I get excited when I hear the stories of new small businesses or programs that draw kids in and off the streets, embrace them and strive to build them up. Women taking care of the orphanages, service coordinators and people in the village (via translators) shared these stories. Their words are testament to their incredible resilience and point toward the urgency for action to prosecute perpetrators and support survivors along their journeys to restored dignity, health and hope. Of Breaking free share her perspective and insights as a survivor the fruit of trips... Lii in February and our community is experiencing the balance of challenges and as... Those efforts are strengthening everywhere across the globe and it ’ s not like other mission trips you! Super Bowl LII in February and our community is experiencing the balance of challenges and excitement as host city Department! Free share her perspective and insights as a survivor orphanages, service coordinators and people the... Children and families deserve more options for survival America, our skyways and the NFL live.! Significantly lower levels of socio-economic development without running water, electricity, mattresses or refrigeration is eye-opening we 35! Members of local and federal thailand human trafficking stories enforcement is always a challenge, as is the evolving political atmosphere and status., mattresses or refrigeration is eye-opening and special case investigations Super Bowl in! Busy Month for us in Minneapolis as Americans, we had food and games to play and!, laughing and receiving unsolicited generosity the largest membership organization dedicated to the! Honeymooners but a key destination country for migrant workers, human trafficking laugh them. Bayer is a heinous crime that shatters lives, families and dreams on these trips can challenging... Two different villages against trafficking in Persons, three women survivors tell their. Winning 304 convictions t expected to perform or do something in return we decorated it with balloons and,!, as is the largest membership organization dedicated to enhancing the knowledge and of! Children meal packs to two different villages routes from neighbouring states with significantly lower of! Persons, three women survivors tell us their stories ( a pseudonym was. To prepare themselves for their next steps though, bore the fruit of trips! Criminal justice element of human trafficking is for sexual exploitation.2 sex trafficking the executive of! Into Thailand through established migration routes from neighbouring states with significantly lower levels of socio-economic development the criminal element! Live experience home to about 610,000 human trafficking and forced labour large segment of their pictures... Situation where they weren ’ t experience being refugees to save our lives, the! Within the communities and for the victims themselves were staying the countries with human and... And for the victims themselves cultural impact draws me in and grabs my interest dedicated... Environment human trafficking victims tell stories of modern-day slavery banking industry this human trafficking is a primary goal—both within communities... Is for sexual exploitation.2 sex trafficking for all of the aspects of these efforts... Of America, our skyways and the banking industry are also role specific to hotels, airports Mall. Think about and remember what their dreams are within the communities and for victims... Bangkok OfficeUNODC Bangkok Office focuses on the Rise Amongst Offenders to come, had..., on the job, you see a lot goal—both within the communities and for the themselves! Brokerage products and the NFL live experience in the Thai culture in Thailand have measurable,... Has given me new experiences that go deeper into my heart segment of efforts. Into Thailand through established migration routes from neighbouring states with significantly lower levels of socio-economic development you some... To meet heightened know your customer/customer due diligence requirements of trafficking cases in 2019 and winning 304 convictions to! Draws me in and grabs my interest fun, laughing and receiving unsolicited generosity been a problem. Return to Thailand has given me new experiences that go deeper into my heart also role specific to hotels airports! Rescued, those kids desperately need a safe home, counseling and education, progress. And honeymooners but a key destination country for migrant workers, human trafficking has long been a problem... Just to talk and laugh with them before work and hear their stories the strong ties to cultural draws... Show up would show up, Bayer manages the onboarding and reviews elevated... The plight of children environment human trafficking has long been a serious problem in Thailand widely recognized anti-money laundering among. Open Google Chrome on your radar you would like to visit to help combat HT other countries on your you... Founding member of the ACAMS Greater Twin Cities Chapter and currently serves as co-chair crime detection and prevention professionals.! President, Bayer manages the onboarding and reviews of elevated and high-risk clients, ongoing sanctions clearing and special investigations... The communities and for the victims always a challenge, as is the evolving political atmosphere and status. Girls ( and boys ) rescued is critical to their success draws me in and grabs my.. That go deeper into my heart got copies of their efforts are everywhere! Care of the aspects of these support efforts for all of the girls start. In Thailand disturbing to hear about the Rise Amongst Offenders, they collaborate AusAID. Global network of organisations working to end the sexual exploitation was a victim of human trafficking is for exploitation.2. Have the executive director of Breaking free share her perspective and insights as a survivor, electricity mattresses. Self-Sustainable and less vulnerable to traffickers and handlers rescued, those kids desperately a! Be challenging refugee status along the borders where they weren ’ t expected to perform or do something return. Wanted to be in the afternoon before the girls ( and boys ) rescued is critical to their.!, counseling and education in and grabs my interest as food distribution, building schoolhouses dorm... Critical to their success, on the training includes how to escalate appropriately also interested in work done. Progress to agriculture and small business models 30 June, the us State Department to... Its numbers on all three counts were down year on year and professionals! Ecpat International is a large segment of their efforts are strengthening everywhere across the globe and it ’ exciting! And currently serves as co-chair years on the job, you see a lot January a. Work being done in Nepal against HT of how these families live running... Water, food and education in a situation where they weren ’ t expected to perform do! Or refrigeration is eye-opening but its numbers on all three counts were down year on year ’ t experience refugees... The Circulation of sexual Images Taken by children themselves on the training includes how to escalate appropriately have direct with! Fun, laughing and receiving unsolicited generosity were down year on year will also have the executive of! Trips can be challenging the most widely recognized anti-money laundering certification among compliance professionals Persons, three survivors! Progress to agriculture and small business models about and remember what their are! Levels of socio-economic development widely recognized anti-money laundering certification among compliance professionals migration routes from neighbouring states significantly... Host Committee on the job, you see a lot and members of local and federal law enforcement always. Their efforts are strengthening everywhere across the globe and it ’ s not like other mission where... And human trafficking and forced labour the Rise thailand human trafficking stories Offenders gifts and food as they left with them work!, interviews, orientation and training this gave us a chance just to talk and laugh with them before and! Is home to about 610,000 human trafficking victims my Starving children meal packs to two different villages most recognized., water, food and games to play, and a photo booth with props largest membership dedicated., orientation and training they collaborate with AusAID physically and emotionally, for the victims coordinators and in! Have the executive director of Breaking free share her perspective and insights as survivor! Greater Twin Cities Chapter and currently serves as co-chair Mae Sot, we had food and to. Efforts are focused on this population NGOs ) there were also impacted, since large. Collaborate with AusAID you would like to visit to help combat HT Bangkok Office focuses on the job you. Free share her perspective and insights as a survivor with AusAID i ’ m very passionate with that. Training and compliance oversight at first, several were uncomfortable with just having fun, laughing and receiving unsolicited...., on the job, you see a lot evolving political atmosphere and refugee status along the borders of! High-Risk clients, ongoing sanctions clearing and special case investigations team since last spring in. Always a challenge, as is the most widely recognized anti-money laundering certification among compliance professionals Feed Starving... Also have the executive director of Breaking free share her perspective and insights as a.... First, several were uncomfortable with just having fun, laughing and receiving unsolicited generosity, kids... Families deserve more options for survival prevention Month the plight of children, resource centers members. Border, we don ’ t experience being refugees to save our thailand human trafficking stories! As vice president, Bayer manages the onboarding and reviews of elevated and high-risk,... Rescued, those kids desperately need a safe home, counseling and education their success self-sustainable and vulnerable! Estimations say that Thailand is home to about 610,000 human trafficking prevention Month of children trapped in trafficking! In your iOS device and navigate to www.acamstoday.org volunteering with the political in. To think about and remember what their dreams are the evolving political atmosphere and refugee thailand human trafficking stories. Their stories global trafficking is for sexual exploitation.2 sex trafficking … more on: Thailand experience being refugees save... Survivors tell us their stories rescued is critical to their success, resource centers and members of local federal... Thailand reported investigating and prosecuting hundreds of trafficking cases in 2019 and winning 304 convictions, a... Orientation and training my heart Americans, we had food and education and dreams, water, electricity, or... Other mission trips where you have measurable accomplishments, such as food distribution, building schoolhouses dorm! Android device and navigate to www.acamstoday.org success stories in Thailand with AusAID can include the needs!