Thai police and a Myanmar nongovernmental organization that helps migrant workers have rescued 19 trafficked Myanmar fishermen forced to work aboard a fishing boat in slave-like conditions, the director of the NGO said.
The Myanmar Association in Thailand (MAT) and the Anti-Human Trafficking Division (AHTD) of the Royal Thai Police found the men on Sunday in a boat moored off the southern Thai city of Pattani, said MAT director Kyaw Thaung.
They range in age from 13 to 34 and are from southern Myanmar’s Mon and Tanintharyi region and from western Rakhine state, he told RFA’s Myanmar Service.
“We found and saved the 19 Myanmar fishermen in the Pattani region near the Thailand-Malaysia border,” he said.
“They were locked inside an Indonesian fishing boat and couldn’t go anywhere,” Kyaw Thaung said.
“A police officer from Dawei [in southern Myanmar’s Tanintharyi region] called me and gave me this information,” he said. “We asked the AHTD for help, and together we found the victims.”
The men will be sent to immigration camps in Thailand and return home after six months or a year, he said.
MAT has collaborated with the AHTD for several years to crack down on human trafficking.
Full story: rfa.org
Reported by Zarni Htun for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.
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