Human trafficking has a broad agenda. According to the UN, most of the world’s 2.5 million trafficked victims are in Asia and the Pacific. Its underground network not only targets young women and children and makes them victims of sexual exploitation, but also makes them victims of forced labour and organ removal.
The Office of Drugs Control and Crime Prevention (ODCCP) of the United Nations defines child trafficking as:
“The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of abuse of power of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation.”
Regardless of the fact that many people believe that slavery no longer exists, the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that there are 78 million children who are forced to work in the worst forms of child labour are in the Asia and the Pacific region. Many of those children are in the Mekong region. Children in Thailand continue to be found in the worst forms of child labour including agriculture, and the shrimp and food processing industry. There bitter fate remains mostly hidden from the eyes of the public.
Human traffickers usually operate in well organised syndicates. Experience teaches us, these organised syndicates know that Governments are slow to react. Corruption, bribery and even blackmail are tools of their trade. Any person who has any involvement in human trafficking is committing a serious crime. Such persons include anyone who is in the direct human traffic train — recruiters, agents, brokers, transporters, traffickers, enforcers, exploiters.
Victims of human trafficking are often unwilling to disclose their identities or file official complaints against the traffickers for various reasons, but the primarily reason is for fear of reprisal.