Forced into Crime: Trafficking Survivors in Thailand Tell Their Stories. Ahmad, a skilled IT professional in Indonesia, fell victim to a fraudulent scheme promising a lucrative job in online marketing in Thailand.
Unaware of the deceit, he found himself forcibly taken across the Thailand-Myanmar border. Exploiting the economic impact of COVID-19 and the turmoil in Myanmar, trafficking syndicates increased operations, targeting educated and tech-savvy individuals.
Ahmad, along with over 230 victims referred to the IOM in Thailand between 2022 and June 2023, was forced to engage in fraudulent activities, posing as an attractive woman on social media to scam people. Conditions in these scam centers were brutal, with Ahmad working up to 19 hours daily, facing punishments like electrocution and physical exercises.
Forced into Crime: Trafficking Survivors in Thailand Tell Their Stories
Sinta, another victim, endured reduced wages and threats of organ trafficking when she couldn’t meet targets. A group of victims, including Sinta, staged a ‘strike,’ leading to their confinement. A viral video exposed their plight, prompting the authorities’ intervention. After release, IOM and the Indonesian Embassy provided support.
This emerging trafficking trend emphasizes the need for enhanced coordination and screening measures to protect victims effectively. Ahmad and Sinta, back in Indonesia, aim for positive futures while sharing their stories to raise awareness and prevent others from falling into similar traps.
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