Background and Justification:
Across South-East Asia millions of people are on the move. For most it is a positive and rewarding experience. However, sub-regional trends toward uninformed and ill-prepared migration have created a dangerous vacuum in which human traffickers are able to exploit migrants, especially children and women. Adult migration, and how to regulate it to the advantage of both the migrants and the sending and receiving countries, is becoming an urgent priority for many ILO member states. Preventing the trafficking and labour exploitation of children and young people is an obligation of ILO members which have ratified Convention 182 on the Worst Forms of Child Labour.
In the Greater Mekong Sub region (GMS), children and women, often as a result of unprepared and ill-informed migration, are at a heightened risk of being trafficked within their own countries and across international borders. Some victims are abducted from their communities or sold to traffickers by family members. However, most are deceived by false promises and offers of fictitious jobs in major urban areas.
Those at a higher risk of encountering human traffickers are often from poor, under-educated, unskilled, debt ridden, and/or socio-economically excluded backgrounds. Many also come from dysfunctional or single parent households.
Children and women from ethnic minorities and tribal groups whose host countries have refused them the right of citizenship also face a higher risk of exploitation. Effectively stateless, barred from owning land, and with limited access to government services, the children and women from these families are particularly vulnerable to the lure of traffickers and subsequent labour exploitation.