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116 Thais who were trafficked to neighbouring countries have been provided government assistance.

On 20 October 2023, MP Kannavee Suebsang of the Fair Party revealed that 116 Thai victims of human trafficking are currently under the protection of the governments of Thailand and neighbouring countries. Kannavee noted that the names of the countries could not be disclosed due to the sensitivity of the matter and the safety of the victims.

He stated that Thai authorities need to expedite assistance in providing accommodation and food for the victims so that they can return safely to Thailand.

Kannavee discussed the matter in parliament on 19 October. He said he was told of  65 men and 46 women human trafficking victims, who were lured by the promise of high incomes through social media platforms, but the work was not what they were promised. They had their phones confiscated, were physically abused, and were forced into sexual exploitation.

Most of the victims, ranging from 14 to 40 years old, lacked the opportunity to find jobs in Thailand.

Kannavee noted that this case is connected to ‘grey’ Chinese businesses which are still active in the northern provinces. Last month, the construction of a bridge connecting Thailand, Lao PDR and Myanmar was proposed to PM Srettha Thavisin, following his visit to Chiang Rai.

Kannavee remarked that Thailand must carefully consider the impacts of this bridge as it could facilitate human trafficking.

He added that it may lead to reduced immigration controls. He suggested that the government needs to address the root causes of the problem, or tens of thousands of Thais may become victims.

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