Myanmar migrant workers prepare a fishing boat in the Thai coastal province of Samut Sakhon. Thailand’s labor market remains home to widespread human trafficking and blatant exploitation, rights groups say. (Photo: AFP)
Thailand figures prominently in human traffickers' maps as a preferred destination in Southeast Asia, government data shows.
The kingdom is home to about 610,000 human trafficking victims, and 60 percent of them are females who are forced, coerced or deceived into labor or sexual exploitation.
Most trafficked victims begin their ordeal domestically and end up in a foreign country. In the case of Thailand, most victims rescued last year were from neighboring countries like Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.
Thailand has drawn criticism in recent years for its failure to stop trafficking routed through the country's lucrative multi-billion-dollar textile and seafood sectors and the sex trade.