[ ‘SHARE’ Mar-Apr 2015 ] STEP INTO THE WORLD
“One day, a staff of ours saw a group of bewildered-looking Lahu girls loitering at the bus stop,” Pastor Prasang, head of Thai-Lahu Foundation (TLF), CEDAR’s partner, told us, “so the staff stopped a woman who appeared to be the contact person and asked where the girls were heading. The woman only knew that she was supposed to take them to an unknown destination, and she did not know what they were taken there for.” In fact, the bus stop was only a transit for these girls. In the end the TLF staff took details of the contact person and the girls and then arranged for them to be taken back to their villages.
That is only one of the tens of thousands cases of human trafficking that occur every year. It was fortunate that the girls were seen by the TLF staff, otherwise they, too, would fall prey to the traffickers. In Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand, many teenage girls sell flowers to tourists on the streets, but how many buyers would realise that the girls are forced labourers that do not get paid?
Ethnic minorities living in Northern Thailand are prone to be targets of traffickers. Since they speak little Thai, have no identity card and academic qualification, they have great difficulty finding employment. TLF strives to combat human trafficking: it sets up workshops in villages to raise awareness and alertness against human trafficking; and forms community networks to link up ethnic minority groups, so together they may petition the government regarding daily and social issues, fighting for a better living environment.
Please support TLF’s work in helping the ethnic minorities in Northern Thailand to find security and employment.
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