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Irin Asia - Domestic Trafficking in Laos

Domestic trafficking is under-reported in the Lao PDR due to lax law enforcement, stalled anti-trafficking legislation and lack of knowledge about how to define trafficking, says the UN.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare reported in July 2010 that 1,634 human trafficking survivors had been returned – mostly from Thailand – and reintegrated over the past decade.

But this is only part of the picture. “There are low [reported] numbers of actual reported trafficked victims, because many people don’t know that they’ve been trafficked,” said UN Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP) coordinator in Laos, Xoukiet Panaya.

Most of those trafficked within the country are younger than 18, migrant workers, and eight out of 10 are female, says the UN.


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