Thousands of Thais trafficked to Japan for prostitution each year

Stock photo by Hermes Rivera for Unsplash

Thousands of children and women are trafficked from Thailand to Japan for prostitution every year, a recent study shows. A senior Thai police officer says he found that Japan has been the largest market of Thais trafficked into the sex industry.

“In the case of illegal trafficking of women and children for prostitution, Japan has been the largest market for trafficked Thais in the last 10 years, with about 10,000 to 15,000 sent annually. ”

The study led by Pol Lt Col Dr Pongnakorn Nakhonsantiphap covered both domestic and international human trafficking, finding that the main targets were poor women and children, many in school or university. Many of those trafficked into the sex industry had been promised jobs, like work in a factory, but had been tricked into sex work.

The study also found that each year around 30,000 Thais labourers were trafficked overseas, many to Taiwan.

Concerns of human trafficking in Thailand rose after the 2015 case where authorities found a worker camp and mass grave for Rohingya migrants in Songkhla. A number of senior officials and “influential” people were said to have been involved, including an army general who was sentenced to prison for conspiring with traffickers. Due to the number of influential people allegedly involved in the operation, the lead investigator fled to Australia for his safety.

In the recent study by the Thai police, officers found that trafficking networks had five main roles: agents, dealers, navigators, receivers, and supervisors. Agents would contact and transport victims. Dealers would then house victims and forge documents. Navigators would then transport victims to receivers, who would then send the victims into work in prostitution or into other industries, like fishing. Supervisors forced the victims to work.

SOURCE: Nation Thailand


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