Human Trafficking in the Mekong region

A talk by Virginia Comolli, Lindsey Kennedy, Nget Thy, Kaoru Yamagiwa and Thi Hoang
TePonui, Cambodian Centre for Protection of Children's Rights (CCPCR), Laos Counter Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Project, Winrock and GI-TOC

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About this talk

The COVID-19 pandemic, and related travel restrictions, have had a significant impact on trafficking activities, including of human beings. With the reopening of borders, and in the midst of the post-pandemic economic downturn, trafficking networks operating across Mekong countries are diversifying their methods to exploit victims for the purpose of, primarily, forced labour and modern slavery, sexual exploitation and forced marriage.

The GI-TOC has recently produced a number of studies highlighting changing patterns in these criminal practices, especially centred around casinos and Special Economic Zones in countries such as Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar. Here, the convergence of multiple crime types, from human trafficking to the illicit trade in environmental commodities, from money laundering to drug trafficking, points to the criminogenic nature of these places and to the challenges to both disrupt criminal networks and rescue and support survivors.

In this webinar, the speakers will explore regional trends and case studies based on recent field research. They will also discuss the work done by civil society actors to support and reintegrate survivors of trafficking.

Virginia Comolli

Research Manager, Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime

Lindsey Kennedy

Investigative journalist and Director

Nget Thy

Executive Director, Cambodian Centre for Protection of Children's Rights (CCPCR)

Kaoru Yamagiwa

Deputy Chief of Party, Laos Counter Trafficking in Persons (CTIP) Project, Winrock

Thi Hoang

Analyst, Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime; Managing Editor, Journal of Illicit Economies and Development (JIED)

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