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Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 2000 to 2025                             

Union of Myanmar (Burma)

Burma, a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government controls, inefficient economic policies, and rural poverty. Despite Burma's increasing oil and gas revenue, socio-economic conditions have deteriorated because of the regime's mismanagement of the economy.

The September 2007 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, including thousands of monks, strained the economy as the tourism industry, which directly employs about 500,000 people, suffered dramatic declines in foreign visitor levels. [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Burma

Burma is a source country for women, children, and men trafficked for the purpose of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation. Burmese women and children are trafficked to Thailand, the People's Republic of China (PRC), Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and South Korea for commercial sexual exploitation, domestic servitude, and forced labor. Some Burmese migrating abroad for better economic opportunities wind up in situations of forced or bonded labor or forced prostitution. - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009    Check out a latere country report here or a full TIP Report here



CAUTION: The following links have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Burma. Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false. No attempt has been made to verify their authenticity or to validate their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include possible precursors of trafficking such as poverty. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Remarks at Swearing-in Ceremony

Mark P. Lagon, Director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, Washington DC, July 9, 2007

[accessed 13 June 2013]

Last week in Southeast Asia, I met Aye Aye Win, a young Burmese woman who dared to search for work beyond her own tortured country. A recruiter painted a beautiful picture of work in a neighboring country. Aye Aye assumed substantial debt to cover up-front costs required by the recruiter for this job placement.  Together with some 800 Burmese migrants, many children, Aye Aye was "placed" in a shrimp farming and processing factory. But it wasn't a job. It was a prison camp.

The isolated 10-acre factory was surrounded by steel walls, 15 feet tall with barbed wire fencing, located in the middle of a coconut plantation far from roads. Workers weren't allowed to leave and were forbidden phone contact with any one outside. They lived in run-down wooden huts, with hardly enough to eat.  Aye Aye is a brave, daring soul. She tried to escape with three other women. But factory guards caught them and dragged them back to the camp. They were punished as an example to others, tied to poles in the middle of the courtyard, and refused food or water. Aye Aye told me how her now beautiful hair was shaved off as another form of punishment, to stigmatize her. And how she was beaten for trying to flee.  Beaten. Tortured. Starved. Humiliated. Is this not slavery??

Thai families partners in child sex trade - Border area's products are drugs and daughters

Andrew Perrin, San Francisco Chronicle, Mae Sai, Thailand, February 6, 2002

[accessed 16 August 2012]

When Burmese migrant Ngun Chai sold his 13-year-old daughter into prostitution for $114, his wife, La, had one regret -- they didn't get a good price for her. "I should have asked for 10,000 baht ($228)," La Chai said. "He robbed us." She was angry that the agent who bought her eldest child, Saikun, in 1999 took her to Bangkok, some 460 miles away, rather than a nearby city as promised. It did not concern La Chai that Saikun would be forced to have sex with as many as eight men a day.

With prices varying from $114 to $913 -- the latter figure equal to almost six years' wages for most families -- parental bonds in impoverished households are easily broken. In fact, child prostitution is so established that many brothel agents live in the village, and are often friends or relatives of the family from whom they buy the children - htcp


*** ARCHIVES ***

Trafficking of Myanmar College Student Sparks Probe Into Fishing Industry Abuses

Radio Free Asia RFA, 27 November 2019

[accessed 1 December 2019]

Myanmar’s top human rights body said Wednesday it will investigate the domestic fishing industry’s use of workers sold to operators by human traffickers following a case involving a university student who went missing for weeks after being abducted by alleged traffickers.

Myat Thura Tun, a history major at Dagon University in Yangon, was trafficked by brokers on Oct. 2 and sold for 700,000 kyats (U.S. $456) to the operators of a fishing raft in Kha Pyat village, Pyapon township, in Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady region, according to local media reports.

He had worked on the raft for about 45 days when his family tracked him down and secured his release last week after paying 800,000 kyats (U.S. $521).

Myat Thura Tun indicated that he had been tortured by a supervisor on the raft, local media said. The boy was physically and mentally traumatized, with the upper part of his left ear cut off and injuries on the rest of his body.

In recent weeks, more reports of abuse and forced labor have emerged, concerning workers made to labor long hours on traditional bamboo kyar-phaung (tiger rafts) during peak fishing season and who are often given fatal punishments by foremen.

Trafficked: Three survivors of human trafficking share their stories

I no longer feel alone

UN Women, 29 July 2019 - originally published on

[accessed 30 July 2019]

Khawng Nu, now 24 years old, is from Kachin, a conflict affected and impoverished state in northern Myanmar. There are few job opportunities, so when a woman from her village offered her work in a Chinese factory, Khawng Nu accepted the offer. However, upon arriving in China, Khawng Nu quickly learned that she had been deceived. The situation wasn’t at all what she was told it would be.

Khawng Nu had been trafficked to birth babies, a type of trafficking that accounts for 20 per cent of the trafficking of women in Myanmar. Khawng Nu recalls seeing more than 40 women on the floor of the building where she was kept, some as young as 16.

“They give pills to women and inject them with sperm for them to carry babies for Chinese men,” explains Khawng Nu. They were beaten and bullied at any sign of resistance.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Burma

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 13 May 2021]


The military’s use of forced labor declined, although the 2020 Secretary-General’s Report on Children and Armed Conflict noted an increase in use of children by the military with indicators of forced labor in conflict-affected areas in Rakhine State. The military continued to compel forced labor by civilians as porters, cleaners, and cooks in conflict areas. Although the military and the government received complaints through the complaints mechanism about the military’s use of forced labor, no military perpetrators were tried in civilian court, and it was not possible to confirm military assertions that perpetrators were subjected to military justice.

Prisoners in the country’s 50 labor camps engaged in forced labor.


In cities children worked mostly as street vendors, refuse collectors, restaurant and teashop attendants, and domestic workers. Children often worked in the informal economy, in some instances exposing them to drugs and petty crime, risk of arrest, commercial sexual exploitation, HIV/AIDS, and other sexually transmitted infections (also see section 6). Children were also vulnerable to forced labor in teashops, agriculture and forestry, gem production, begging, and other fields. In rural areas children routinely worked in family agricultural activities, occasionally in situations of forced labor. Child labor was also reported in the extraction of gems and jade, as well as rubber and bricks.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 24 April 2020]


Men and women formally enjoy equal rights on personal status issues, though there are restrictions on marriages of Buddhist women to non-Buddhist men. Laws that might protect women from domestic abuse, workplace sexual harassment, and rape are weak and poorly enforced, and such violence is an acute and persistent problem. The army has a record of using rape as a weapon of war against ethnic minority women, and security personnel typically enjoy impunity for sexual violence.


Human trafficking, forced labor, child labor, and the recruitment of child soldiers all remain serious problems in Myanmar, and the government’s efforts to address them are inadequate. Child soldiers are enlisted by the military and ethnic rebel groups, which also recruit civilians for forced labor. Various commercial and other interests continue to use forced labor despite a formal ban on the practice since 2000. Trafficking victims include women and girls subjected to forced sex work and domestic servitude, as well as the expanding practice in several ethnic states of being sold as brides to men in China. People displaced by conflict are especially vulnerable to exploitation.

2017 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2018

[accessed 15 April 2019]

[accessed 24 April 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 218]

Children in Burma engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in commercial sexual exploitation and armed conflict. (1; 2)

In 2017, Burmese armed forces—the Tatmadaw—forcibly recruited children and used children as combatants in armed conflict. Since 2012, there have been 856 verified reports of child recruitment, including 49 cases in the first half of 2017. (2) Military and civilian brokers are reported to use force and coercion to formally recruit children into the armed forces. Children are deployed as combatants to the front lines of armed conflict, and they also serve as guards and messengers. (2) In addition, in conflict areas Burma’s armed forces use children for forced labor to porter goods, cook for battalions, and clean barracks. During the reporting period, there were at least 13 documented cases of children working in these types of support roles, one of which involved over 200 children. (1) Further, the military’s “self-reliance” policy requires local military units to procure their own food and labor supplies, which has led to the use of forced labor, including forced child labor, to produce goods and provide support for the armed forces. (1) Children are also recruited and used in armed conflict by non-state armed groups, including the Karen National Liberation Army, the Kachin Independence Army, the Karenni Army, the Shan State Army–South, the United Wa State Army, and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army in Kachin, Kayin and Shan States. (2; 1)

Children from the Rohingya ethnic minority in Burma’s Rakhine State were also vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor. Since August 2017, an estimated 690,000 Rohingya people fled from Burma to Bangladesh due to the continued violence and acts of ethnic cleansing, perpetrated by the Burmese military in Rakhine State. Nearly 400,000 of those displaced are children, many of whom are subjected to hazardous work, forced labor, and commercial sexual exploitation in Bangladesh. (29; 30; 31) There are reports that Rohingya children are exploited in bonded labor in the fish drying industry, while other Rohingya boys work on farms, in construction, or on fishing boats. (32; 33; 31; 30) Girls are often sent to work in domestic service for Bangladeshi families, where some are physically and sexually abused, and others do not receive payment. Also, some young girls are forced into commercial sexual exploitation, in some cases after they were promised job in domestic service. (34; 33; 32; 35; 31; 36; 30) Rohingya children internally displaced in Rakhine State as a result of the violence are also vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor, including in the extractive industries in Burma’s Kachin State. (37)

Rohingya Women Flee Violence Only to Be Sold Into Marriage

Chris Buckley and Ellen Barry, International N.Y. Times, Gelugor, Malaysia, 2 Aug 2015

[accessed 3 August 2015]

The young woman had been penned in a camp in the sweltering jungle of southern Thailand for two months when she was offered a deal.

She fled Myanmar this year hoping to reach safety in Malaysia, after anti-Muslim rioters burned her village. But her family could not afford the $1,260 the smugglers demanded to complete the journey.

She joined the hundreds of young Rohingya women from Myanmar sold into marriage to Rohingya men already in Malaysia as the price of escaping violence and poverty in their homeland.

While some Rohingya women agree to such marriages to escape imprisonment or worse at the hands of smugglers, others are tricked or coerced. Some are only teenagers.

Thai fishing industry turns to trafficking: 'We witnessed girls being raped again and again'

Chris Kelly, Annie Kelly, Claudine Spera, Irene Baqué, Mustafa Khalili & Lucy Lamble,, 20 July 2015

[accessed 20 Ju;y 2015]

One year on from the Guardian's expose of slave labour in the supply chain of Thai prawns sold in supermarkets across the world, a new investigation has linked Thailand's fishing industry with the vast transnational trafficking syndicates profiting from the misery of some of the most persecuted people on earth. Hundreds of Rohingya migrants were sold from jungle camps on to Thai fishing boats producing seafood sold across the globe. As Thailand's fishing sector faces crisis, fishermen are also moving closer to the traffickers, converting their boats to carry people and facilitating huge off-shore trafficking camps.

Suffer the children

Danielle Bernstein, Asia Times Online, Yangon, Nov 6, 2010

[accessed 25 January 2011]

Recent interviews with underage deserters from the Myanmar army conducted by the Karen Human Rights Group in 2009 found that minors were still among those civilians forced to carry military equipment for the army and allied armed groups, or forced to march in front of troops to clear the path of antipersonnel mines.

Burmese brides for sale

Way Yan, Mizzima News, Ruili, 28 October 2008

[accessed 20 August 2014]

[accessed 24 April 2020]

Wah Wah was one of the women that Ma Phyu and her gang had sold into slavery. Wah Wah was sold to a Chinese man living in Sandong, near Beijing, at the price tag of Chinese RMB 20,000 (approximately US$ 2,900). A few weeks later, Wah Wah managed to flee from the clutches of her buyer and made her way back to Ruili earlier this month. The hapless young lady had nowhere else to go but to return back to her perpetrators, and Ma Phyu was happy when her commodity arrived back in her hands for resale. However, when she tried to sell her to another Chinese man, Wah Wah vehemently refused. But the traffickers, having already struck a deal and received some advance money, tried to force Wah Wah to accept her newest companion. As dusk fell over Ruili on that fateful day, Wah Wah was taken by taxi along the road to Namkhan, Burma, a few miles away. Accompanying her in the vehicle were several members of the human trafficker's family. Eventually, they stopped the taxi next to a paddy field beside the highway in the vicinity of Man Heiro, still in Burmese territory and about 20 miles from Ruili. "Before leaving Ruili, they were drunk with beer. She was taken to a paddy field near the highway. Then Kyaw Swa started raping her. After that, Bo Bo stabbed her repeatedly. She died from five stab wounds. Then her corpse was left in the nearby drainage," recalls a source from the Chinese police investigation team of the incident.

KWAT: Women enslaved due to economic hardships

Phanida, Mizzima News, Chiang Mai, 05 August 2008

[accessed 20 August 2014]

Economic hardship and poverty have caused several young women in Burma, particularly in regions where ethnic minorities are residing, to be an easy prey of human trafficking, an ethnic Kachin women group said in a new report. The Thailand based Kachin Women's Association of Thailand (KWAT) in a new report release today reveal that several young women from northern Burma's Kachin state are being sold by traffickers to Chinese men, who forcibly marry them or use them as maids and slaves. The report titled 'Eastward Bound', which is based on interviews with 163 human trafficking victims from 2004 to 2007, said nearly 37 per cent of the trafficked women ended up as wives of Chinese men, while about 4 percent are sold as housemaids or to the sex industry.

US Senate 'Trafficking of Burmese Migrants' Report Holds Malaysia and ASEAN Responsible and Demands Immediate Action

Member of Parliament Klang Charles Santiago, Malaysia Today, 24 April 2009

[accessed 20 August 2014]

The report suggests that Malaysian authorities are in cohorts with human traffickers in Southern Thailand:   "Burmese migrants are reportedly taken by Malaysian Government personnel from detention facilities to the Malaysia-Thailand border for deportation. Upon arrival at the Malaysia-Thailand border, human traffickers reportedly take possession of the migrants and issue ransom demands on an individual basis. Migrants state that freedom is possible only once money demands are met. Specific payment procedures are outlined, which reportedly include bank accounts in Kuala Lumpur to which money should be transferred. The committee was informed that on some occasions, the ''attendance'' list reviewed by traffickers along the border was identical to the attendance list read prior to departure from the Malaysian detention facilities.   Migrants state that those unable to pay are turned over to human peddlers in Thailand, representing a variety of business interests ranging from fishing boats to brothels.

Human Traffickers Get Free Rein with Burmese Migrants in Malaysia

Original reporting in Burmese by Kyaw Min Htun. Written for the Web in English by Luisetta Mudie, Radio Free Asia RFA, February 8, 2008

[accessed 25 January 2011]

Burmese migrant workers in Malaysia live at the mercy of international human-trafficking gangs who sell them back and forth as slave labor with the full knowledge of Malaysian and Thai immigration officials, RFA's Burmese service reports. Thousands and perhaps hundreds of thousands of Burmese find themselves stuck in a human rights no-man's-land after losing their legal status, often because employers withhold passports or refuse to pay their return airfares.

Several secret jails or deportation camps exist around the country to hold foreign nationals found without papers. From there, officials take them to the Thai border, where trafficking gangs have close ties to Malaysian officials and have been tipped off to their arrival.

Economic Crisis Fueling Child Labor, Trafficking

Saw Yan Naing, The Irrawaddy, December 18, 2007

[accessed 24 April 2020]

The economic crisis and instability in Burma is driving waves of Burmese children into hard labor, begging and the sex trade, claims exiled Burmese rights groups.

Meanwhile, the results of child trafficking has had a huge impact on the education of many Burmese migrant children, forcing the children into hard labor in factories, sweat shops and even into the sex trade, according to Burmese migrant education groups. Many victims under the age of 18 have become street beggars and sex workers instead of studying at school, said Paw Ray, the chairperson of the BMWEC, which operates nearly 50 schools for children of Burmese migrant workers in Mae Sot.

China claims progress fighting human trafficking

Ben Blanchard, Reuters, Beijing, December 12, 2007

[accessed 25 January 2011]

There has been a rise in trafficking cases involving Myanmar women in China in particular in recent years. The women are mostly smuggled through the porous border into the southwestern Chinese province of Yunnan and then taken to central and north China, where poverty and a skewed sex ratio means many farmers cannot find wives. Late last year, China jailed six Myanmar nationals for selling 23 Myanmar girls to Chinese peasants as wives.

Governing Justly and Combating Human Trafficking: The Linkages

Mark P. Lagon, Director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Dept of State, Remarks at the Freedom House-SAIS "Human Trafficking and Freedom" Event, Washington DC, December 3, 2007

[accessed 21 July 2013]

The Burmese people represent a case study of repression at home and then vulnerability abroad. Facing a cruel regime, bleak economic conditions and the prospect of forced labor at home, millions of Burmese have had to flee. Among these most vulnerable are girls and women from Burma's ethnic minorities. Rape is widespread in Burma. Shan, Karen, Chin, Mon and other ethnic minority women and girls live in daily fear of sexual violence by their military oppressors. After successfully escaping slavery in Burma, another cruel fate awaits too many Burmese. They are preyed upon by traffickers and exploitative employers. They are pushed into the sex trade or into highly predatory economic sectors in neighboring countries. Fleeing literal enslavement at home, they face extreme exploitation in neighboring countries-these women, migrants and refugees are regularly dehumanized.

Myanmar rebel group denies child soldier claims

Agence France-Presse AFP, Bangkok, Nov 25, 2007

[accessed 25 January 2011]

In a statement released Friday, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that both the military government and rebel groups continued to violate children's rights by recruiting underage soldiers. Citing a recent UN report, he said that the government was picking up street children or those without national identity cards and offering them the choice of arrest or joining the army.

Myanmar's military government officially denies using child soldiers and has passed a law to outlaw the practice. But human rights groups say child soldiers in Myanmar remain alarmingly common, with boys as young as 12 recruited to fight the ethnic rebel armies in the country's border regions. - htsc

The Burmese Junta's Hidden Victims

Mark P. Lagon, Director, Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U.S. Dept of State, The Wall Street Journal, November 2, 2007

[accessed 21 July 2013]

Burma's ruling generals systematically employ forced labor to maintain their repressive grip on the country. The regime forces men, women and children to work for its benefit -- providing rice to feed the huge parasitic military force, constructing roads and buildings, and serving as porters for military convoys and human mine sweepers in the battlefields in the border regions. As the regime continues its gross mismanagement of the country and economic and social conditions deteriorate further, the number of victims of trafficking can only be expected to grow.

Facing bleak economic conditions and the prospect of forced labor at home, millions of Burmese have had to flee their homes and villages, usually without legal documents, making them even more vulnerable to human trafficking and the predations of corrupt officials.

Human trafficking helps spread HIV/AIDS in Asia: UN

Ranga Sirilal, Reuters, Colombo, Aug 22, 2007

[accessed 25 January 2011]

"Trafficking ... contributes to the spread of HIV by significantly increasing the vulnerability of trafficked persons to infection," said Caitlin Wiesen-Antin, HIV/AIDS regional coordinator, Asia and Pacific, for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). "Both human trafficking and HIV greatly threaten human development and security."

Major human trafficking routes run between Nepal and India and between Thailand and neighbors like Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar. Many of the victims are young teenage girls who end up in prostitution. "The link between human trafficking and HIV/AIDS has only been identified fairly recently," Wiesen-Antin told the International Congress on AIDS in Asia and the Pacific.

Myanmar sentences 33 human traffickers to life imprisonment

Xinhua News Agency, February 19, 2007

[accessed 25 January 2011]

According to the report, the human traffickers deceived 49 young Myanmar women to work in a neighboring country, promising them that they will be well paid. In lasts September, Myanmar authorities also nabbed a 30-member human trafficking gang on the Myanmar-China border in cooperation with the Chinese police force for trafficking 180 Myanmar young women to Ruili in southwest China's Yunnan Province by means of forced marriage and fake marriage, according to the Home Ministry.

Myanmar court sentences woman to 12 years for human trafficking

The Associated Press AP, Yangon, Myanmar, October 28, 2006

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

A Myanmar court has sentenced a woman to 12 years in prison for selling two young Myanmar women into prostitution in Malaysia, state-run media said Saturday.  The court in Tachileik, opposite the Thai town of Mae Sai, sentenced Nang Aye Naw, 41, on Oct. 3 under the anti-trafficking in persons law, the New Light of Myanmar newspaper reported.  The report said the woman enticed two young women with false promises of finding a job at a restaurant in Mae Sai but instead sold them at a border town in Malaysia for prostitution.

Senior Officials Meeting for the Coordinated Mekong Ministerial Initiative against Trafficking (COMMIT) opens [PDF]

"The New Light of Myanmar", Yangon, 27 Oct 2004 -- page 16

[accessed 18 February 2013]

[scroll down] INTERNATIONAL RELATION - SENIOR OFFICIALS MEETING FOR THE COORDINATED MEKONG MINISTERIAL INITIATIVE AGAINST TRAFFICKING (COMMIT) OPENS - In Myanmar, we have, as of last year, formed a Specialist Anti-trafficking Police Unit and Anti-trafficking Task Forces around the border and other hot spot areas. At the same time, we are of course aware, of the absolute need to provide psycho-social support to the victims of trafficking, undertake and improve repatriation and reintegration systems, and provide rehabilitation services for the victims of trafficking and vulnerable groups.

Myanmar exposes 748 human trafficking cases in past four years

Xinhua News Agency, August 05, 2006

[accessed 25 January 2011]

Myanmar authorities have exposed 748 human trafficking cases since the work committee for human trafficking prevention was formed in July 2002 to June 2006, according to Saturday's official newspaper The New Light of Myanmar.

During the period, subordinate committees at different levels in 14 states and divisions were able to expose and arrest 1,484 persons -- 815 males and 669 females, and also rescued in time 3, 694 persons -- 1,904 males and 1,790 females, the paper disclosed.

Three Women Arrested in Muse for Human Trafficking

Narinjara Independent Arakanese News Agency, 7/23/2006

[accessed 20 August 2014]

According to confirmed sources, some human trafficking syndicates have been dispatching young women from Burma to China, where they are sold for large sums of money.

Myanmar rejects U.S. report on anti-human trafficking

Xinhua News Agency, June 20, 2006

[accessed 25 January 2011]

Noting that Myanmar passed an anti-trafficking in persons law in September 2005 that covers sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery, servitude and debt bondage, the release said during the year, the government prosecuted 426 traffickers in 203 cases under the new law and identified 844 victims.

Mekong region govts to co-op against human trafficking

Xinhua News Agency, Phnom Penh, May 7, 2006

[accessed 25 January 2011]

[accessed 21 January 2018]

Since the signing of the historic COMMIT Memorandum of Understanding in Yangon, Myanmar in October 2004, by Ministers of the six countries, the Governments have been active in laying the foundation for a network of cooperation to stop traffickers and prosecute them, protect victims of trafficking and assist them return safely home, and launch efforts to prevent others from sharing the same fate.

Rice Names 'Outposts of Tyranny'

The Associated Press AP, Jan. 19, 2005

[accessed 21 July 2013]

Condoleezza Rice named Cuba, Myanmar, Belarus and Zimbabwe as "outposts of tyranny" requiring close U.S. attention. The United States accuses the junta ruling Myanmar of human rights abuses including the use of slave labor and forced labor, and the persecution of pro-democracy activists and ethnic minorities.

Diminished ILO Visit Spells Trouble

Larry Jagan, Bangkok Post, 03 March 2005

[accessed 25 January 2011]

When the high-level delegation cut short its visit and left Rangoon a week ago, it left the regime with a four-point plan of action: the issuance of clear instructions to the army, and publicity for a campaign, to stop the use of forced labor; a renewed commitment to the previously agreed plan of action on forced labor, after the regime has dragged its feet over the past year; the granting of freedom of movement to the ILO liaison officer in Rangoon, which has been curtailed significantly for some time; and the extension of an amnesty to the third of three people convicted of high treason essentially for having contact with the ILO.

18. Allegations On Exercising Forced Labor in Myanmar [PDF]

OKKAR, Union of Myanmar , August 21, 2000

[accessed 25 January 2011]

[accessed 29 May 2017]

[scroll down to … 18. Allegations On Exercising Forced Labor in Myanmar]

This allegation has been widely and conveniently used against the Government of Myanmar by certain quarters to disseminate disinformation in the attempt to portray her as a cruel and wicked regime. Myanmar since ancient times enjoys the tradition and practice of voluntary contribution of labor in the religious and social sectors.

U.N.: Myanmar Must Stop Forced Labor

Jonathan Fowler, Associated Press AP, Geneva, 25 Mar 2005

[accessed 25 January 2011]

[accessed 24 April 2020]

"For years we've had a contradictory message," she said following a meeting of the ILO's governing body. "There is always a promise to do something, a few little steps, then a terrible backlash."

Sex Trafficking Growing In S.E.Asia

Fayen Wong, Reuters, Singapore, April 26, 2005

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 20 August 2014]

Girls from the villages of Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines are lured into cities or neighboring countries with promises of lucrative jobs as waitresses and domestic helpers, only to end up in massage parlors and karaoke bars. Others are flown as far as Australia, Japan, South Africa and the United States to be kept as slaves in brothels -- beaten, drugged, starved or raped in the first days of their reclusion to intimidate and prepare them for clients, the experts say.

4 Myanmar Officials Get Jail Over Forced Labor

Kyodo News International, Yangon, Feb. 3, 2005

[accessed 25 January 2011]

Four local officials in Myanmar were sentenced to prison terms from eight to 16 months last Monday, for using forced labor in public development projects, a U.N. official said Thursday. ''This is a very significant development because this is the first time anybody has ever been found guilty of imposing forced labor in Myanmar,'' said Richard Horsey, a liaison officer from the International Labor Organization in Yangon.

Travel Guides and the Burma Debate

Nov 6, 2004

[accessed 25 January 2011]

The Burmese democracy movement, led by Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, has asked that tourists not visit Burma because it helps fund the regime and because forced labor and child labor is used to develop tourist sites and infrastructure for tourism.

Big Business Keeps Eye on Historic Human Rights Case

Anna Sussman, Pacific News Service, Nov 19, 2004

[accessed 4 September 2011]

[accessed 29 May 2017]

One of the plaintiffs, Jane Doe, has testified that her husband was shot when attempting to flee forced labor on the pipeline, and that her baby was killed when thrown into a fire in retaliation for his attempted escape. All 12 plaintiffs remain anonymous for fear of repercussions against them and their family members.

Harsh Policy Towards Burmese Refugees

Sam Zia-Zarifi, Deputy Director of Human Rights Watch/Asia, Special to The Nation (Thailand), January 27, 2004

[accessed 25 January 2011]

[accessed 24 April 2020]

The Thai government made this decision, despite the fact that the horrendous conditions in Burma have not ceased. Burmese continue to flee abuses such as forced labor, persecution of dissidents, conscription of child soldiers, rape of ethnic minority women and children by government troops, and forced relocation.

Conscripts - Soldiers of misfortune

Alex Perry, Reported by Robert Horn/Karen state, Burma, TIME-Asia, 2006

[accessed 29 August 2011]

For years, sein win's job in the burmese army was to guard citizens who had been forced into hard labor, building the nation's roads, railways, helipads and barracks. "We threatened them with guns to make them work," says Sein Win, now 20, who recently deserted from the military. "No soldier would dare be kind to the villagers because the officers would beat us if we showed them any mercy."

Now Program on Burma and the Alien Torts Claims Act

Posted by Randy Paul in weblog Human Rights and weblog International Law, January 12, 2004

[accessed 20 August 2014]

Last week on NOW with Bill Moyers, there was a segment that dealt with this issue and the specific case in Burma in which several Burmese citizens are suing the oil company, Unocal over allegations of complicity with slave labor that the Burmese military (which provided security for a oil pipeline that Unocal was building).

Oral intervention delivered by Anti-Slavery International on 6 April 2004

Anti-Slavery International, Oral intervention, UN Commission on Human Rights 60th session, 6 April 2004

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 20 August 2014]

ITEM 13 RIGHTS OF THE CHILD - Restrictions of freedom of movement, as Rohingya children and their parents are virtually confined to their village tracts. The need to obtain travel passes limits their access to health, education and employment, thus severely affecting the livelihood of the family.

In the field of health and education, they are particularly neglected. Sixty per cent of the Muslim children of Northern Rakhine State are said to suffer from malnutrition and the level of illiteracy is extremely high.

Restriction of access to food through a series of constraints, including arbitrary taxation and extortion, is the main strategy of the regime to encourage departure, and a major root cause of the ongoing exodus to Bangladesh.

Increasingly, measures are being imposed to control birth and to limit expansion of the Rohingya population. Unlike other people of Burma, the Rohingyas must apply for permission to get married, which is only granted in exchange for high bribes and can take up to several years to obtain. To register their children's birth, parents are charged fees that significantly increased in 2003. Moreover, building a new house or repairing or extending an existing dwelling also require authorisation, resulting in overcrowded and precarious living conditions, affecting women and children.

Many Rohingya children are subject to forced labour. Cultural practices in the Rohingya community prevent women from participating in activities outside of their homes. As male adults are busy earning the daily wage to feed the family, the burden of carrying out forced labour duties often falls on children.

Solar Health Clinics in Burma

Geoffrey Schöning, SEI Newsletter Issue 17 - May 2004

At one time the full article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

[scroll down to Solar Health Clinics in Burma]

BACKGROUND - The Eastern area of Burma (often referred to as Myanmar), along the border with Thailand is a zone that has been under siege for the past several decades. The Burmese military have been constantly oppressing the indigenous peoples of this area, burning villages and crops, forcing men and women into slavery, raping, and killing.

In the past, it was possible to escape to refugee camps within the Thai border, and currently there is a string of refugee camps along the border with Thailand, the largest of which houses 45,000 people. However, political developments between Burma and Thailand have made it increasingly difficult to come to Thailand. Consequently, about 1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) live in hiding surrounded by landmines without health care and permanent shelter

US House of Reps. Extends Burma Sanctions in Landslide

United States Campaign for Burma, Washington DC, June 14th, 2004

[accessed 19 April 2012]

[accessed 29 May 2017]

[scroll down]

The regime's brutality is well-documented. According to credible nongovernmental organizations, it has imprisoned over 1,500 political prisoners, conscripted up to 70,000 child soldiers, carries out a modern form of slavery, and uses rape as a weapon of war.

Case Study: Corvée (Forced) Labour

Adam Jones, Gendercide Watch

[accessed 25 January 2011]

FOCUS (4): MYANMAR (BURMA) TODAY - Forced labour in Myanmar/Burma involves large numbers of children and women as well as adult males. In 1998, the Special Rapporteur of the Commission on Human Rights "specifically addressed the issue of women victims of forced labour. ... He noted that increasing numbers of women, including young girls and the elderly, had reportedly been forced to work, without receiving remuneration or being provided with food, on infrastructure projects and to act as porters in war zones, even when they were pregnant or nursing their infants. ... They had been reported to have been used not only as porters, but also as human shields and had been sexually abused by soldiers" (para. 190). Frequently, women, along with children of both sexes, are conscripted into corvée labour when male heads of household must work to provide the family income: in most cases, the military insists that one or more persons from a household be turned over for forced labour, but places no restrictions on gender or age. An exception to the general willingness to draft female labour is the corvée imposed upon the Rohingya people from the Rakhine State in northern Myanmar, one of the ethnic groups most extensively targeted for the practice. Among the Rohingya, "the burden of forced labour ... fell entirely on the male members of the household."

"Trading Women" Filmmaker Shatters Myths about Human Trafficking

Vicki Silverman, Washington File Staff Writer, U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Information Programs, 11 September 2003

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

IDENTIFYING THE PROBLEM IN ASIA - "One thing our research showed, for a highland girl in Thailand -- not from across the border -- the single greatest risk factor to being trafficked or otherwise exploited is lack of citizenship. If you don't have citizenship, you cannot get a diploma nor are you allowed to travel outside your area. It creates vulnerabilities and there are between 400,000 and 500,000 hill people in Thailand who are not citizens, meaning they are vulnerable," Feingold said.

"If you look at where the key problem of trafficking is (in this area of Southeast Asia), it is in Burma. The majority of girls who are trafficked come from Burma. For the Shan women, the way they express their choices are to stay home and get raped by the Burmese army for free, or come down to Thailand and do sex work for money. This is not a choice anyone should ever have to make," he said.

Thailand struggles to halt human trafficking

Asia Child Rights, October 2, 2003

[accessed 25 January 2011]

Local migrant advocacy groups say the Chiang Mai raid, like other actions taken against human trafficking, had netted Burmese women voluntarily engaged in prostitution. Now, they say, those women may be worse off than before.

These groups accuse the US-funded anti-trafficking task force that led the raid of steamrolling women's rights and treating all sex workers as victims. "The women didn't feel like they were rescued because they lost their money.... They felt like they were trapped," says Hseng Noung, of the Shan Women's Action Network (SWAN), who interviewed ethnic Shan women detained in the raid. "Being forced to work physically is one thing, but these women were forced to work by their situation."

Oil-gas giant faces landmark trial over slavery in Myanmar

Kathy George, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, December 1, 2003

[accessed 25 January 2011]

The soldiers' true role was to force villagers in the pipeline region to work without pay -- a modern form of slavery, the 9th Circuit opinion said. And Unocal knew, both before and after investing in the project, that the military was enslaving the people, the opinion said.

Unocal's own consultant, former military attache John Haseman, reported to Unocal in December 1995 that the soldiers were committing "egregious human rights violations" along the pipeline route. "The most common are forced relocation without compensation of families from land near/along the pipeline route, forced labor to work on infrastructure projects supporting the pipeline ... and imprisonment and/or execution by the army of those opposing such actions," Haseman told Unocal in a report quoted in court records.

New Coalition urges UK Government to stop investment in Burma

Anti-Slavery International, 18 March 2002

At one time the full article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said: "Burma's military has put millions of civilians into forced labour, imprisoned hundreds of political prisoners, has created more child soldiers than any other country in the world, and has forcibly 'relocated' half a million ethnic people".

Millions Suffer in Sex Slavery

United Press International UPI, Chicago, April 24, 2001

[accessed 20 August 2014]

Statistical estimates indicate 300,000 women have been sold into the sex trade in Western Europe in the last 10 years, and since 1990, 80,000 women and children from Myanmar (formerly Burma), Cambodia, Laos and China have been sold into Thailand's sex industry.

Silver Cos. needn't look far to find some slave-museum artifacts

Rick Mercier, The Free Lance-Star, December 1, 2001

[accessed 25 January 2011]

[accessed 24 April 2020]

Last year, the ILO condemned the Burmese military's "widespread and systematic" use of forced labor as "a modern form slavery," and called on governments, labor unions, and employers to take steps to ensure they were not helping to sustain the Burmese junta's practice of enslaving its citizens.

There are a couple of ways that Burmese imports enrich Burma's slavemasters and contribute to their ability to continue enslaving people, according to the Free Burma Coalition. First, Burma's military dictatorship charges a 5 percent tax on all exports from Burma, and much of that revenue goes straight to the military. Second, the junta retains partial ownership of most factories in Burma, with profits going largely to the military. Moreover, the coalition says, Burmese imports never even would have made it to places like Central Park had it not been for roads and other infrastructure back in Burma that were built with slave labor.

ILO team completes mission to assess forced labor in Myanmar

Agence France-Presse AFP, Rangoon, 27 October 2000

[accessed 25 January 2011]

An International Labor Organisation (ILO) team has completed a six-day mission to Myanmar to assess the junta's efforts to stamp out forced labor, officials said Friday.

"They are not completely happy with what they have seen so far, and want to see more progress being made (on ending forced labor)," the source said. "However, there are signs of goodwill on the part of the Burmese, who were cooperative. The team managed to see everyone they wanted to see."

2000 Update on Forced Labor and Forced Relocations

United States Department of Labor, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, 2000

[accessed 25 January 2011]

Since the Department of Labor's 1998 report, there has been little change in the situation with regard to the use of forced labor in Burma. However, there has been some significant action by the International Labor Organization (ILO) on this matter. Forced labor continues to be used with impunity by authorities throughout the country for infrastructure development projects and to support military operations. Reports also suggest that people continue to work under very poor conditions and suffer from human rights abuses. There is little new information with regard to allegations of forced labor related to the Yadana Pipeline. Available information suggests that forced relocations are becoming a growing problem in Burma, and forced labor often goes hand in hand with the policy of forced relocations. While the circumstances in Burma may not have improved greatly, the international community has taken an additional action against the current regime through the ILO's adoption of an emergency resolution on forced labor in Burma, which resulted in the exclusion of Burma from almost all participation in the ILO.

UK firm linked to Burma slavery

Maggie O'Kane, The Guardian, 27 July 2000

[accessed 25 January 2011]

The Burmese have been accused of using "security" issues in the pipeline area of Tanasserim to drive ethnic Karen people from the land. There are now 120,000 Karen living in refugee camps and human rights groups say at least 30,000 Karen have been killed. The army's tactics include rape and summary executions.

The report says the army was extorting money from local people and using children and forced unpaid labour - described by the special UN rapporteur to Burma as a modern form of slavery - to build military barracks. "The harsh conditions of those carrying out the labour, including young children and the testimony of local people, belies the government claim that such work is voluntary," said the report.

Welcome to Free Burma

Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Xiamen University, 2007

[accessed 25 January 2011]

[scroll down]

The country of Burma is lush, rich in natural resources and home to dozens of peoples and cultures. But due to a military government of isolationist economic mismanagement, the 45 million people there live without their human rights and in extreme poverty. The country of Burma has been under military dictatorship since 1962.

The Boston Tea Party Revisited:Massachusetts Boycotts Burma

Robert Stumberg and William Waren, "State Legislatures Magazine", National Conference of State Legislatures NCSL, May 1999

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 4 September 2011]

Political repression. When the military government of Burma lost more than 80 percent of the seats in parliament to the National League for Democracy in 1990, it repudiated the election and began closing NLD offices and jailing the party's legislators. The government has waged war against rural ethnic minorities, who supported the NLD commitment to create a federal system with regional self-government.

Forced labor. Burma is building its commercial infrastructure with labor forced at the point of a gun. In the previous decade, more than 5.5 million people have been forced to work on construction of airport runways, railroads, highways and agricultural irrigation systems. Seven percent of Burma's economy is based on this slavery.

Rape and brutality. The most common form of forced labor is military portering. Even old people, women and teenagers are required to carry military supplies on their backs. Porters are forced to walk ahead of troops to detonate mines and act as human shields in combat against Burma's own ethnic minorities. Soldiers often beat porters with rifle butts and have forced teenagers to execute other porters who could no longer work. Women porters are separated at night from the men and are frequently raped by the soldiers.

Displacement of populations in Western Burma (Myanmar)

Anti-Slavery International, UN Economic & Social Council Commission on Human Rights 55th Session

Item 14(c) Specific Groups and Issues - Mass Exoduses and Displaced Persons, Geneva 19 April 1999

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly also be accessible [here]

[accessed 20 August 2014]

In Burma, the widespread repression of ethnic minorities and the countrywide practice of forced labour as documented in the ILO Commission of Inquiry report dated 2 July 1998, have led to an unprecedented displacement of populations.

So-called "development programmes" consist mostly of infrastructure projects carried out with unpaid forced labour and extortion from the local population. New roads are built to facilitate military penetration and to control border trade for the economic interest of the military. These projects have thus provided little improvement to the inhabitants of these regions, but rather persecution and impoverishment.

In Sagaing Division, Naga villagers are used as forced labour to upgrade roads for military purposes, and are forced to become porters and recruits for the troops.

In the Kabaw Valley in Sagaing Division, a resettlement programme for landless families from Central Burma was implemented, but the local Kuki villagers were forced to clear the land.

In Sagaing Division, a series of dam projects for irrigation has led to land confiscation, destruction of sacred sites and forests, as well as extensive forced labour.

The Kalay-Pakkoku railway was built with the forced labour of thousands of villagers and prisoners.

In Chin State, similar demands for forced labour, portering, extortion, as well as increased religious persecutions against Christians have spread fear and put a toll on the economic survival of the people.

In Arakan State, Rakhine villagers have not been spared from the so-called "development policies" of the regime. They are constantly used as forced labour on road constructions, tourism projects, plantations and shrimp farms for the commercial benefits of the army.

These military practices have meant that many people are no longer able to grow enough food or otherwise earn enough income to support their families. They have been impoverished to such an extent that they have no other option than leaving their homes in search of a means of survival.

Unwanted and Unprotected:Burmese Refugees in Thailand

Human Rights Watch, Burma/Thailand, Vol. 10, No. 6, September 1998

[accessed 20 August 2014]

SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS - At almost no time since Burmese asylum seekers started arriving on Thai soil in 1984 has the need for protection of this group been greater.1 Human rights violations inside Burma continue almost a decade after the State Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) seized power in Burma in September 1988. The announcement on November 15, 1997 that SLORC had been dissolved and replaced by the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has done nothing to improve the situation, and refugees continue to flow into Thailand. As of September 1998, there were over 110,000 refugees in camps along the Thai-Burmese border and hundreds of thousands more in Thailand who were unable or unwilling to stay within the refugee camps but who had suffered clear abuse at the hands of the Burmese government. Deportations of undocumented Burmese migrants, some of whom would have a clear claim to refugee status had they been permitted to make one, were also on the increase.

Modern Form of Slavery: Trafficking of Burmese Women and Girls into Brothels in Thailand

Human Rights Watch, Asia Watch and the Women's Rights Project, August 1993

[accessed 4 September 2011]



THE MONEY - For all but two of the twenty-six Burmese women and girls trafficked through Mae Sai, the cash transaction that sealed the recruit's fate took place in the town of Mae Sai itself, the point of entry into Thailand. (In the other two cases, the "small agent" made direct payments to the girl's family in her village.) In most cases, the girls, accompanied by parent, brother, aunt, friend or teacher, met the agent on the Thai side of the border, where the agent gave the girl's companion a sum ranging from 1,000 to 20,000 baht ($40 to $800). The average seemed to be about 5,000 baht ($200). It is not clear whether this payment was understood by the recipient as a recruitment fee, a gift, a purchase (of the woman or girl), reimbursement for travel expenses or a cash advance to buy clothes and other necessities. The terms of the payment were never explained to the woman or girl. It only became clear once she was in the brothel that the owner perceived it as credit against future earnings that she must work off, with interest. In at least one case, it seemed as though the Mae Sai agent functioned as a regular moneylender; while the daughter was working in a brothel in Klong Yai, the agent who had originally given 5,000 baht ($200) to the father reportedly loaned the father another 20,000 baht ($800) at his request. The daughter was to be kept in thrall to the brothel owner until the additional loan was paid off.

Once the money changed hands, the Mae Sai agent often arranged through the local police to send the woman or girl, usually with two or three other new recruits, sometimes with as many as ten, in a truck or van directly to a brothel or to another agent at a way station en route to Bangkok -- usually Chiangrai. Of those we interviewed, twenty ended up in Bangkok. Two went to brothels in Samut Sakhorn; one to Klong Yai near the Thai-Cambodian border; one to Prachinburi; one to Kanchanaburi; one to Chiangrai; one to Mae Lim (Chiangmai province) and three to Ranong.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 24-01-1997

[accessed 25 January 2011]

[24] Furthermore, the Committee expresses its regret that insufficient measures are being taken to address the problems of child abuse, including sexual abuse, and the sale and trafficking of children, child prostitution and child pornography. It is especially concerned by the fact that a significant number of girls, and sometimes boys, are victims of transnational trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation in brothels across the border.

The Protection Project - Myanmar [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[Last accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Women and children are trafficked from Myanmar to Thailand primarily for the purpose of prostitution. Most of the victims are kept in Thai brothels. An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Myanmar women and girls are prostituted in Thailand; however, in 2002, it was estimated that 10,000 women and children from Myanmar enter into prostitution in Thailand every year alone. In fact, women and children from Myanmar constitute the largest number of migrants forced or lured into prostitution in Thailand.

Reportedly, Myanmar women and girls are commonly sold to Chinese men as mail-order brides and for the purpose of forced marriage. More than 100 Myanmar women are reported to be living in the Chinese province of Anhwei alone, where they are exploited by their Chinese husbands sexually and forced to work on farms and as housemaids.

Human Rights Overview by Human Rights Watch - Defending Human Rights Worldwide

[accessed 25 January 2011]


Freedom House Country Report - Political Rights: 5   Civil Liberties: 5   Status: Partly Free

2018 Edition

[accessed 24 April 2020]


While the government has made increased efforts to identify and prosecute human trafficking, it remains a serious problem. Child labor is widespread. Various commercial and other interests continue to use forced labor despite a formal ban on the practice since 2000. Trafficking victims include women and girls subjected to forced sex work and domestic servitude.

2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 20 April 2018

[accessed 18 March 2019]

[accessed 25 June 2019]


Reports of forced labor occurred across the country, including in conflict and cease-fire areas, and the prevalence was higher in states with significant armed conflict. Forced labor reports included forced portering and activities related to the military’s “self-reliance” policy. Under the self-reliance policy, military battalions are responsible for procuring their own food and labor supplies from local villagers--a major contributing factor to forced labor and other abuses.

The ILO received reports of forced labor in the private sector, including excessive overtime with or without compensation by workers at risk of losing their jobs and also by bonded labor. Domestic workers also remained at risk of domestic servitude.


Child labor remained prevalent and highly visible. Children were at high risk, with poverty leading some parents to remove them from schools before completion of compulsory education. In cities children worked mostly as street vendors or refuse collectors, as restaurant and teashop attendants, and as domestic workers.

Children often worked in the informal economy, in some instances exposing them to drugs and petty crime, risk of arrest, commercial sexual exploitation, and HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (also see section 6).

Children were vulnerable to forced labor in teashops, agriculture, and begging. In rural areas children routinely worked in family agricultural activities, occasionally in situations of forced labor.

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 7 February 2020

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS - The government made limited progress on trafficking in persons during the year. The government's pervasive security controls, restrictions on the free flow of information, and lack of transparency prevented a comprehensive assessment of trafficking in persons activities in the country. While experts agreed that human trafficking from the country was substantial, no organization, including the government, was able or willing to estimate the number of victims. The government did not allow an independent assessment of its reported efforts to combat the problem.

Trafficking of women and girls to Thailand and other countries, including China, India, Bangladesh, Taiwan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Japan, and countries in the Middle East, for sexual exploitation, factory labor, and as household servants, was a problem. Shan and other ethnic minority women and girls were trafficked across the border from the north; Karen and Mon women and girls were trafficked from the south. There was evidence that internal trafficking generally occurred from poor agricultural and urban centers to areas where prostitution flourished (trucking routes, mining areas, and military bases) as well as along the borders with Thailand, China, and India. Men and boys also reportedly were trafficked to other countries for sexual exploitation and labor. While most observers believed that the number of these victims was at least several thousand per year, there were no reliable estimates.

Human traffickers appeared to be primarily free‑lance, small‑scale operators using village contacts that fed victims to more established trafficking "brokers".

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use. PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES. Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery - Myanmar (Burma)",, [accessed <date>]