Chonburi enlists teachers to battle human trafficking

Friday, 20 May 2011 From Issue Vol. XIX No. 20 By  Pratchaya Kerdthong

Pattaya and Chonburi officials have enlisted 100 area teachers to help them prevent students from becoming victims of human trafficking.

At a May 12 workshop at Pattaya City Hall, Deputy Mayor Wutisak Rermkitkarn, Kuiburi Police Station Superintendent Col. Chalit Ketsrimet, Janjira Thaibandit, head of Chonburi’s Social Welfare Department and Pattaya Social Development chief, Somchai Sirorat, gave city Education Department chief, Jintana Maensurin, and teachers background on the trafficking industry and advice to give kids to keep them safe.

Pol. Col. Chalit Ketsrimet, superintendent of the Kuiburi Police Station, provides background on the trafficking industry and gives advice to teachers to pass on to students to keep them safe. Pol. Col. Chalit Ketsrimet, superintendent of the Kuiburi Police Station, provides background on the trafficking industry and gives advice to teachers to pass on to students to keep them safe.

Officials said Pattaya, with its lucrative tourist base, is a popular destination for trafficked immigrants, with 346 illegal aliens arrested in just two months last year.

However, Pattaya is also dangerous for young Thais, as traffickers view it as fertile ground for recruiting new prostitutes and child beggars. Chalit said children and teens are lured in by the promise of money they see pass so frequently in Pattaya, not realizing they’re actually asking the broker to enslave them.

The police chief also urged teachers to educate their pupils not to support trafficking by, for example, giving money to beggars. He said that while they might look pitiful, funding them only encourages their handlers.

Chalit said that isn’t easy to do, but reminded teachers that beggars with young children, for example, actually drug their little ones to make them skinnier and sleepier, which helps them collect more coins.

Officials pointed out that anyone can anonymously call authorities by dialing 1300 if they spot a case of suspected human trafficking.

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