On June 19, 2018, Thailand’s Department of Special Investigation (DSI) arrested an accused Cambodian trafficker and broker based in Thailand who is a key player in a network responsible for the trafficking and enslavement of hundreds, if not thousands, of Cambodian men into the Thai fishing industry.
International Justice Mission (IJM) has supported a group of human trafficking survivors over the past two years in building sustainable lives of freedom after exploitation and collaborated to bring this case to Cambodian and Thai authorities.
With swift action from the DSI in Thailand and the Anti-Human Trafficking & Juvenile Protection police (AHTJP) in Cambodia, this case demonstrates a growing, results-based collaboration between Thai and Cambodian law enforcement to identify trafficking networks, interview repatriated victims and follow through with arrests and prosecutions. Additional leaders in this criminal trafficking network have already been arrested and tried in Cambodia.
“This arrest in Thailand and related prosecutions in Cambodia sends a strong message to traffickers seeking to exploit migrant workers: You will be held accountable for your crimes,” said Andrew Wasuwongse, IJM Bangkok, Deputy Field Office Director. “It also signals momentum building in the fight against cross-border trafficking.”
This marks the first operation IJM Bangkok has supported because of the investments by the Walmart Foundation and the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Office made to fund the opening of the office.
“The recent operation proves that collaboration between businesses, government and NGOs is vital in the protection of victims of human trafficking in the Thai fishing industry,” said Karrie Denniston, Senior Director of the Walmart Foundation. “The implications of this arrest underscore the possibilities of creating real and sustainable change for the workers in the seafood supply chain.”