Trafficking, exploitation and migration on the Thailand-Burma border: A qualitative study

Sarah R. Meyer, W. Courtland Robinson, Nada Abshir, Aye Aye Mar, Michele R. Decker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Migrant workers from Burma often experience exploitation, abuse and violations at various stages of travel to and within Thailand and in workplaces in Thailand. Guided by Zimmerman et al.'s conceptual framework, which identifies the potential risks associated with trafficking process, this article presents findings from in-depth interviews with 61 migrant workers living and working in and around Mae Sot, Thailand, on the Thailand-Burma border, to describe the broader context of irregular migration from Burma to Thailand, and trafficking-related risks in this context. Results demonstrate that use of transporters ("carries") and brokers in order to travel to Thailand and find employment can enable trafficking. Moreover, migrant workers are exposed to a range of exploitative experiences in workplaces in Thailand, including violence, coercion, and economic exploitation. This article explores dynamics of migration that can enable trafficking in this context, as well as exploitative working conditions consistent with forced labour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)38-50
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Migration
Volume53
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography

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