Mandalay a Hotspot for Human Trafficking

By Than Naing Soe on September 22, 2013—
Mandalay is the country’s hotspot for human trafficking and officials need to pay more attention the problem, the region’s chief minister said last week.

Six of the seven townships that comprise urban Mandalay are high on a new Myanmar Police Force report on human trafficking hotspots, chief minister U Ye Myint said during a ceremony marking Anti-Human Trafficking Day on September 13.

China is the preferred destination for human traffickers, he said, accounting for 80 percent of all cases from Myanmar, according to the MPF’s anti-human trafficking taskforce.

“It’s a very dangerous situation and we need to be alert,” U Ye Myint said. “We need to pay attention.”

After China, 10pc of victims are trafficked to Thailand, while 6pc are sent to Malaysia. Most of the remainder are trafficked internally for forced labour, particularly prostitution.

A total of 119 townships were listed in the report and six Mandalay townships – Aung Myay Thar San, Chan Aye Thar San, Maha Aung Myay, Chan Mya Tharsi, Pyigyitagun and Patheingyi – were among the 42 considered the worst for human trafficking.

Most human trafficking cases involve forced marriage, forced labour, and sexual exploitation and prostitution. Children are also trafficked for forced adoption or to become beggars.

From 2006 to August 2013, there were 120 confirmed cases of human trafficking in Mandalay Region, with 156 males and 174 females arrested. A total of 257 victims were rescued, U Ye Myint said.

In 2012, the government formed community-based monitoring groups to strengthen efforts to combat human trafficking.

The groups monitor their communities and inform police about human trafficking activities. They are overseen by administrative departments, as most members of the groups are from ward administrative offices.

U Ye Myint said the groups have had a tangible impact in the fight against traffickers.

“By having community-based monitoring groups our preventative measures will be more effective and we can understand the issue of human trafficking more clearly.”

Translated by Zar Zar Soe

For the original article, please click here.

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