Over 1,000 Human Trafficking Victims Get Assistance from Bokeo Police

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Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Bokeo Province taken from Thailand (Photo: Slleong)
Golden Triangle Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Bokeo Province taken from Thailand (Photo: Slleong)

Local police are helping more than 1,000 people who fell victim to human trafficking until September.

During a meeting on Monday, the Deputy Director General of the Police Department at the Ministry of Public Security, Major General Kanchanh Phommachack provided an update on the issue.

Mr. Kanchanh mentioned the processes in place for victims of human trafficking to receive assistance through police forces at both the central and local levels. He also stated that 1,255 workers, including 493 women, who were at risk of commercial sexual exploitation were looked after by law enforcement in August.

Additionally, District Management Committees provided support to 869 people of 13 nationalities and Bokeo province’s Foreign Affairs Department took care of 138 people of eight different nationalities. The regional Police Department was also able to rescue 248 people hailing from eight other nations.

Due to its geographical location with Myanmar in the north and Thailand in the South, Laos is quite susceptible to human trafficking as people can cross borders quite easily. This is especially true for a place like Bokeo which is located in the golden triangle area.

There are many people in the country, especially women, who get lured into forced labor, and are forced to provide sexual services, male, and female nudity and sex are also often broadcasted live on social media.

While rescuing victims, cops discovered that some of them were exploited and not paid fairly for their work. Some companies sold workers whose contracts had expired to another company, many were unable to complete their tasks due to bad working conditions and long hours, and there were people whose health deteriorated during this time as well.

Some workers with no passports were in the country illegally and those who even had passports didn’t go through immigration while coming to Laos. This made it even more difficult for them to leave the country on their own.

Employers also denied requests from some workers to return to their country and demanded a refund of their Covid tests, quarantine, work permits, and other fees.

The Lao government has instructed the Ministry of Public Security to guide Bokeo’s Police Department through its National Anti-Trafficking Commission in preventing human trafficking in the province.

It also suggested appointing a task force to formulate a plan of action to deal with such problems in the province.

In the recent past, neighboring countries like Malaysia, India, Pakistan, and several others have reportedly rescued their citizens from the clutches of human traffickers in Laos.