Fighting Trafficking at its Roots in Thailand

Last month, Not For Sale Thailand Director Kru Nam took part in a national forum for Human Rights, representing her home region in Northern Thailand in the debate on the rights of the stateless child living on the Thai-Myanmar border.

The forum, which brought together representatives from regional government, as well as a select group of non-profit organisations and social research bodies, is just the latest in a series of events that NFS Thailand staff have participated in over the past year to bring child rights and trafficking prevention to the forefront of both the local community and national leadership.

For years, Kru Nam has strived to bring justice to the most vulnerable children trafficked and exploited through work, begging and even prostitution on the Thai-Myanmar border. Since the project began in 2007, Not For Sale’s support has enabled hundreds of children, almost entirely of the stateless Akha tribe, to be assisted towards freedom and a new life. However, rehabilitation is not the only focus of the project. “Getting the kids off the street is not where it stops”, said Kru Nam speaking to abolitionists at an event several months ago. “We must fight to make their voices heard”.

Earlier this year, Kru Nam was invited to share valuable research conducted at the project, on the incidence of statelessness in the north of the country and the subsequent repercussions on children’s discrimination, access to rights and vulnerability to traffickers. By bringing this issue to light, Kru Nam hopes to enable more groups working for the benefit of these children to access government support that can sustain their work and bring new opportunities beyond exploitation.

Equally important for the NFS Thailand team, however, is action within the community, to help prevent those most vulnerable families from losing their children to traffickers. This New Year, staff at NFS Thailand hosted the third annual community holiday event, which brings together local families for the purpose of raising awareness and sharing information about the dangers of traffickers in the area and ways that families can protect their children from those who wish to exploit them.

This Saturday is National Children’s Day in Thailand, a day for celebrating children and their significant role in the development of the country. Kru Nam and NFS staff will be taking the kids from the children’s home to join the local festivities and using this opportunity to educate local families on child rights in Thailand.

To bring an end to injustices against children and adults exploited around the world, we must continue to target trafficking at its roots. Give now and help end slavery in our lifetime.

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