Published: Jun 27, 2012
By Kathryn Reid
Myanmar: Trafficking reforms recognized
©2012 Khaing Min Htoo/World Vision
World Vision is working to increase the protection and resilience of at risk families in Myanmar.
Myanmar, also known as Burma, received a boost to its international standing with last week’s release of the U.S. State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons report.

The country moved up from the ranks of “tier three” — those nations that don’t meet minimum standards or show significant effort to improve — to the “tier two” watch list.  

With the lifting of international sanctions that accompany a “tier three” rating, Myanmar is expected to make progress in addressing economic hardships that make migrants more vulnerable to abuse.

While the Myanmar government was praised for at long last enacting laws that prohibit forced labor; it was noted that enforcement of anti-trafficking laws lags far behind.

In fact, the worst offenders work for the state, according to the report.

Government and military officials conscript men, women, and children for laborers in state-run farms and businesses and as porters for the military.

Burmese victims of trafficking also include child soldiers, women and girls forced into prostitution or marriages in China, and migrant workers deprived of their rights.  

Minority ethnic groups that make up one-third of Myanmar’s population are at greater risk for exploitation than the majority Burmans.  

Ethnic Rohingyas are denied the protections of citizenship, making them more vulnerable to trafficking.   

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