Today, Thailand is not only a paradise for backpackers and honeymooners, but a key destination country for migrant workers, human trafficking and forced labour. In 2019, an estimated 3.9 million migrant workers were living and working in Thailand, both legally and illegally. Most of them came from neighbouring Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar and Vietnam. 480,000 were estimated to be stateless, while 100,000 were refugees and asylum seekers.
According to the Global Slavery Index, Thailand is home to about 610,000 human trafficking victims.
For more than two and a half decades, the labour migration to Thailand has continued to increase and it seems unlikely that it will change in the coming years. The majority of the identified victims for the past year came from Myanmar, but historically Thai nationals have also been forced, coerced, or deceived into labour or sexual exploitation. Victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation domestically and to a number of countries internationally. Even though migrants from neighbouring countries constitute a large proportion of identified trafficked persons in Thailand, it is also clear that there are many more that have yet to be identified. The Thai Government needs support in doing so.
Read the full report here.