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TRAFFICKING D-Day set for new law


April 22, 2008

'D-Day' set for new law

Thailand is set to issue a law on June 6 prohibiting human trafficking, following the tragedy in which 54 illegal Myanmar job seekers suffocated to death in a truck in the southern province of Ranong, senior officials said Monday.

The decision was made after a meeting earlier Monday between six government agencies and representatives from private organisations.
Currently, the Kingdom has a more modest law barring the trafficking of children and women and  the new law which prohibits the activity will replace the current one, they said.
Participants at the meeting told a press conference that the 66 surviving Myanmar workers from the April 10 tragedy would be charged with illegal entry and given a suspended jail term and be fined 2,000 baht (US$63) each.

Workers without money to pay as fine were instead jailed for 10 days, said  Immigration Police commander Pol. Lt-Gen. Chatchawal Suksomjit.

The survivors would also be asked to testify as witnesses against those who had been apprehended and initially charged in the case with negligence causing death to others, said Pol. Lt-Gen. Chatchawal.

Six Thai nationals – five men and a woman – have been arrested to date, while it is believed that several others, now still at large, are behind the illegal activity.

The April 10 incident has drawn great attention, nationally and internationally, to the plight of migrant workers who are willing to risk their lives escaping the hardships in their country in search of what they believe to be a better life.
And in economic terms it is, unless that life ends altogether, as it did for 54 women and men in search of something better.

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