The United Nations and Laos have agreed to join forces to strengthen the fight against transnational human trafficking, as more and more Lao youths and women have fallen victims of the crime.
The agreement was reached during a recent three-day seminar in Vientiane, hosted by the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare. The Lao government also calls on Laotian media to play a greater role in the effort to fight human trafficking.
Meanwhile, Thai experts say Lao youths and women are being trafficked to Thailand at the rate of 300 persons per day via the Thai province of Ubol Ratchathani, which brings an income of roughly 90,000 Baht a day for traffickers. Most of the victims came from the Lao province of Champassack.
Champassack province officials say, just in the month of January 2006 alone, over 23,000 people left Champassack to work illegally in Thailand, and over 50% were girls who risked being forced into prostitution or to work in sweatshops.
Listen to our Laos Today report for details.