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The intensity of human trafficking victims in the ASEAN region has raised concern that counter-human trafficking strategies at the national and regional stages are deficient. At the regional level, ASEAN has failed to create a sufficient anti-human trafficking law, structure, or human rights bodies because they have not provided equal protection for all trafficking victims. Cambodia, Thailand and Vietnam will be studied at the national stage to address their insufficient anti-human trafficking laws (namely non-prosecution of trafficking victims, appropriate housing, age, gender, and special needs of trafficking victims) and practices (including protection of male victims, victim identification, and criminalization of human trafficking perpetrators).
To tackle the scourge of human trafficking, ASEAN must not only reform its anti-human trafficking laws, it also needs to create a new regional anti-human trafficking law, namely the ASEAN Declaration on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Trafficking Victims (ADTV) which will emphasize victim-centered approaches or equal protection of all victims. ASEAN also needs to form the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Trafficking Victims (ACTV) because the region lacks a significant anti-human trafficking human rights body that specializes in preventing human trafficking, promoting equal protection of all trafficking victims, and prosecuting human traffickers. The ADTV and ACTV can help ASEAN address the strengths and challenges of its member countries’ national strategies and policies against human trafficking that can alleviate human trafficking growth in the region.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Naparat Kranrattanasuit is a lecturer at IHRP. She has served as the legal consultant for Anti-Slavery International-Asia. Her research interest involves anti-human trafficking in ASEAN and human rights of marginalized groups.
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