There are many misconceptions surrounding human trafficking and what it entails. According to the 2017 Trafficking in Persons Report, human trafficking is the ‘act of recruiting, harbouring, transporting, providing or obtaining a person for compelled labour or commercial sex acts through the use of force, fraud or coercion’ (TIP).
For a number of years, Thailand has remained a source, destination, and transit country for victims of human trafficking (TIP).The 2017 TIP report classifies Thailand on the Tier 2 watchlist, whereby the minimum standards for the eradication of human trafficking are not reached.
It is estimated there are approximately 40.3 million victims of modern slavery worldwide (Council on Foreign Relations). This figure is likely an underestimation, as reliable statistics surrounding human trafficking are challenging to find. Many victims are not accounted for due to fear and a lack of understanding as to what has occurred (TIP).
Below are some common myths vs. facts regarding human trafficking.
Myth: The human trafficking industry involves movement or some sort of transportation across borders or countries.
Fact: Human trafficking often occurs close to home. Border crossing or movement is not required for human trafficking to occur (OTIP).
Myth: Human trafficking involves the physical and ongoing restraint of a person.
Fact: Physical capture of human trafficking victims does occur. More often however, people are controlled psychologically (OTIP). Promises of an income, safe home or debt bondage are often used to lure and control victims.
Myth: Sex trafficking is the only form of human trafficking.
Fact: Sex trafficking is just one form of human trafficking. Forced labour, trafficking of children, debt bondage, domestic servitude, and some cases child marriage are all other common forms of modern day slavery.
Myth: If a person initially consented to the work, or accepted some form of payment, it is not classified as human trafficking.
Fact: Initial consent or payment has no connection to the trafficking of a person (Polaris).
Myth: Human trafficking is the physical kidnap of a person.
Fact: Modern technology has drastically changed the nature of human trafficking. The use of mobile phones and social media is commonly used to contact and lure victims. Live video streaming is also used in the online exploitation of children (TIP).
Myth: Only women are victims of human trafficking and only men are human traffickers.
Fact: Men, women and children from all races and socio-economic statuses can be victims of human trafficking or human traffickers.
Myth: After victims of human trafficking are rescued, they go on to lead happy lives.
Fact: Survivors are faced with stigma and shame, and are often ostracized from their families and communities. It is important to provide survivors with the resources and assistance they need to empower themselves and not feel ashamed for what happened to them.
Center for Girls is committed to eliminating human trafficking and the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC) in the Chiang Rai province. We collaborate with local NGO’s, businesses, and government to expand and improve a network to report and help prevent the trafficking and exploitation of persons. If you suspect a case of human trafficking, CSEC, or exploitation you can contact CFG on Line @CENTER4GIRLS.