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Southeast Asia: Demand for cheap labour in factories in Malaysia propels human trafficking in Thailand to record heights

Author: Thomson Reuters Foundation, South China Morning Post, Published on: 28 July 2019

"Malaysian demand for cheap labour propels human trafficking in Thailand to record heights", 22 July 2019

The number of human trafficking victims rescued in Thailand is set to hit a record high this year, according to government data, with demand for cheap labour in neighbouring Malaysia causing a jump in the illegal trade.

Thai police have rescued 974 trafficking victims – mostly from Myanmar – for the year to date, compared to 622 for the whole of last year and a previous annual high of 982 in 2015, according to data released...by the Thai government's anti-trafficking division.
Thailand has come under scrutiny in recent years for slavery and trafficking, especially in its seafood and sex industries.

...[M]ost of the rescued trafficking victims were recruited by middleman and agencies for 20,000-30,000 baht (US$650-US$975) to work in factories in Malaysia....

The most recent case by sea was...when a fishing boat carrying at least 70 Rohingya Muslims was found stranded on the southern island of Koh Lipe....

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