This report details the experiences of a number of Myanmar migrant women and girls from Mon State at the southern Myanmar-Thai border who were trafficked to Thailand. Many of the women and girls were promised work in factories or restaurants but were instead trafficked into prostitution. The report uses a number of individual case studies to highlight the abuses and sexual exploitation suffered by a number of Mon women and girls. The report uses the Trafficking in Persons Protocol definition.
The qualitative research method relies on a number of interviews and case studies with women and girls who were trafficked. In total, 40 interviews were conducted by the Women and Child Rights Project team in partnership with the Mon News Agency from 2003 to 2004. The team interviewed survivors and witnesses of trafficking in persons and sexual violence and Myanmar women who had worked as sex workers in Thailand.
The report contains a number of in-depth case studies taken directly from the interviews with the trafficking victims. The case studies detail the interviewees’ experiences associated with recruitment and the abuse and exploitation suffered in their Thai workplace.
The main finding of the research is that many women and girls who wanted to migrate to Thailand for the purpose of work were ultimately trafficked into sexual exploitation. It is often the case that the only means for Myanmar women and girls to migrate to Thailand is by using the services of a smuggler or trafficker. Regular migration is impossible for many women and girls (and indeed Myanmar men and boys) because of the Myanmar Government’s restrictions on providing travel documentation. Many women and girls are promised work in restaurants or factories in Thailand but often end up forced into prostitution. Many are deceived by their traffickers with false promises of factory or restaurant work. Those who are trafficked into Thailand to factories or restaurants are also frequently exploited and abused in their workplaces, including sexual abuse.The report does not directly contribute knowledge on migrant smuggling. It focuses on the trafficking of women and girls from southern Myanmar to Thailand and how traffickers exploit and abuse them in the trafficking process. The report gives some valuable insight into why Myanmar migrants employ the services of smugglers or traffickers to facilitate their migration to Thailand.