It is estimated that an average of 20 children per month are trafficked across the Thai-Burmese border, said Aung Myo Min, the director of Human Rights Education Institute of Burma, speaking in Rangoon at an anti-child-trafficking ceremony held on Wednesday, December 12, the official International Day Against Child Trafficking—the first time it has been held in Burma.
|Children in a Rangoon slum play among the debris. (PHOTO: AFP)|
In the ceremony, held in the Excel Tower Hotel in Bahan Township, Rangoon, police officer Aye Myint said that there were a total of 22 child [under 16] trafficking cases uncovered in Burma in 2012.
Thirteen child victims were forced into marriage, nine child victims were put into forced labor, eight were forced into prostitution, and one was forced to work as a beggar.
Seventy percent of human trafficking victims from Burma were sold to China; 20 percent were sold to Thai fishing boats; and 10 percent were forced to work as prostitutes and beggars, said Aye Myint.
UN protocol to prevent and punish child trafficking was signed by several countries in Palermo, Italy, on December 12, 2000, and the date has since been observed as the International Day Against Child Trafficking. Burma signed the agreement in 2003.
In 2004, Burma signed and ratified the Convention against Transnational Organized Crime as well as the protocols on trafficking and smuggling of persons.
In 2005, Burma laid down the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Law, and formed an anti-trafficking unit. In 2012, the country established quarter level and village level anti-trafficking units; and six Mekong countries vowed cooperation in the fight against human trafficking.
In Burma, a total of 885 human trafficking cases were confirmed from 2006 to November 2012; a total of 1,938 victims were rescued, and 2,453 human traffickers were punished.