From 2000 – 2008, this ILO project has been busy working with research partners to develop a more accurate picture about the causes and consequences of human trafficking in Southeast Asia.
While most anti-trafficking research focuses on the link to sexual exploitation, this ILO project has widened the scope of its enquiries to place a greater emphasis on the other outcome of human trafficking – labour exploitation.
What is now clear is that human trafficking for labour exploitation is a serious problem, rooted in the vulnerabilities created by ill-prepared migration of the region’s young people – especially girls and women – when they move into under-regulated and under-inspected labour markets.
The Mekong Challenge Series provides a sharp focus on the inequalities and exploitation young migrants face across the Greater Mekong Subregion. From child labourers in Thailand’s seafood processing industry, to the biases faced by young migrant women from rural areas of Yunnan, China, to the vulnerabilities of young people crossing borders in Lao PDR and Cambodia. The Mekong Challenge Series “challenges” not just preconceptions, but also makes recommendations to Governments and social partners to improve migration management and better protect young people from trafficking related labour abuse.