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Teenager in Myanmar Rescued From Labor Trafficking

SAFE MIGRATION TRAININGS TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO AVOID THE RISKS OF LABOR AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

Star Light Htoo works with the Samaritan’s Purse migration education and trafficking awareness program in Myanmar.

I recently met U Maung Thet who had participated in the Samaritan’s Purse migration education and trafficking awareness training in Myanmar. He shared the following story with our team about a teenager he was able to help.

Kyaw Min is a 15-year-old who went missing from his village in East Bago. Kyaw Min is Karen, one of the many ethnic groups in Myanmar. Two strangers came to his village and offered him financial help. Kyaw Min trusted them, and told his grandma that he was going away during the New Year holiday. But he never returned.

OUR TRAININGS HELP FAMILIES LEARN HOW TO PROTECT THEMSELVES FROM BEING DECEIVED BY TRAFFICKERS.

Worried, his grandma searched for him, but she could not find him or find out where he was taken. She soon asked U Maung Thet, a community leader and former participant of the Samaritan’s Purse migration education and trafficking awareness trainings, to help her.

U Maung Thet told the Samaritan’s Purse team that he remembered what he learned during the Samaritan’s Purse training. He quickly collected all the information he could and called the anti-trafficking police numbers provided during the training. The national-level police referred him to the relevant local police and together they followed the case.

The local police helped him talk with Kyaw Min’s neighbor, who knew the two strangers who had come to the village and who had information about where Kyaw Min had been taken. The police mandated that the neighbour and the strangers bring the child back to the village. Afraid they would get into deeper trouble with the police, the recruiters quickly let Kyaw Min go. Nearly one month after Kyaw Min disappeared, he was finally sent home by bus.

“I was sent to a rubber plantation. There were a lot of people there who were the same age as me,” Kyaw Min explained. “They were planning to send me to another place within two days. But I think when they were warned by a contact that the police were following them, they sent everyone back home.”

U Maung Thet is grateful for the training he received from Samaritan’s Purse. “I was able to help Kyaw Min because of the training he received from Samaritan’s Purse and the encouragement to stand up for his community,” he said.

“Many people still need to learn about what human trafficking is, how we need to prepare if we have to migrate, and how to have a backup plan for emergency situations. I am grateful that I can share this education with my village.”

Unfortunately, trafficking cases such as Kyaw Min’s are common in this post-conflict, rural, and ethnic minority area of Myanmar. More community members need to be equipped and supported to act and intervene in cases by speaking out or involving authorities.

Please support the work of Samaritan’s Purse to educate and empower communities to stop human trafficking.