Thailand is at Tier 3 of the 2015 Trafficking in Persons Report. It is among the worst countries in human trafficking which often fail to protect their victims. The number of victims was speculated to be in the range of 3-4 million since accurate accounts of actual incidents were near impossible for both the Thailand authorities and foreign organizations. People were trafficked from Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, etc. to Thailand to work in the sex industry. Thailand also acts as the proxy of people trafficked from China, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, South Korea, etc., where they are either sold as sex workers or laborers (U.S. Department of State).
On February 15-16, 2016, US President Obama hosted 10 government leaders from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) for a summit in California.
For decades, the US has continued to forge closer ties with ASEAN. However, most of ASEAN’s members have extraordinarily poor human rights records. Problems include lack of basic freedoms of expression, association, and peaceful assembly, failures on women’s rights, the political use of courts, high-level corruption, lack of protection of refugees and asylum seekers, and human trafficking.
Labour legislation is common in many areas around the world, they provide some protection to labour. However, there are many swindlers in the world who exploit labour in different ways.
It is not uncommon to see groups of foreign domestic helpers gathering at public area in Hong Kong every Sunday. Usually they will meet fellow countrymen on this day when they can take off from work.
There are over 300,000 foreign domestic helpers working in Hong Kong now, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia, with a smaller number from Thailand and other places. They cook for Hong Kong families, take care of their elderly and children and do the housework. Most of them will wire transfer their salary back home to provide a better living to their own families in homeland.
Unsustainable consumption and production are among the major causes of continual deterioration of the global environment. In early years, the Lahu ethnic minority living in northern Thailand gave up their traditional agricultural practices, and started using pesticides and chemical fertilisers massively to plant cash crops in order to meet the agricultural market demand. They were making profit initially, but as the market price and oil price fluctuated, and the farmland became infertile, their harvest gradually dropped to a point where it could no longer support their living. What was worse was the negative impact on the health of villagers, whose bodies were found to contain too much residual chemical toxins as a result of prolonged consumption of crops with high levels of pesticides and chemical fertilisers.
[ ‘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.”