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Media slammed over trafficking coverage

The Centre for Protection of Children's Rights Foundation (CPCR) yesterday slammed news media for treating reports on human trafficking as routine.

"The routine pattern of news will make audiences feel that these cases are just what happens every day and not issues of real, social importance," said Wassana Kaonopparat, the centre's director.

She said news reports on human trafficking tended only to emphasise who did what and where, with few details of real relevance.

"In fact, the media should also give information on the relevant laws involved and the channels through which members of the general public can offer to help victims of human trafficking," Wassana said.

She emphasised that such information would enable people to play a role in preventing trafficking.

Wassana was speaking around the same time as the Social Development and Human Security Ministry was holding a seminar, "With Media Support, Human Trafficking Will End", in Ranong. About 100 reporters attended the event.

Preecha Sornwisutra, the ministry's inspector-general, who presided over the seminar, said it was high time for the press to get involved in helping to stop trafficking.

"The media can make the general public more aware of the seriousness of human trafficking."

He added that the government was committed to fighting the scourge of human trafficking, which for many consecutive years had kept Thailand on the US Tier 2 Watch List.

Porntip Suksaran, Ranong's social-development and human-security chief, yesterday said human trafficking was becoming more complex as perpetrators hired an ever-increasing network of recruits to evade capture.

"As Rayong experiences greater economic growth, there are more and more human traffickers portraying themselves as honest recruitment agents, but in fact what they are doing is luring young girls and women into the flesh trade," she said.

Some of the victims, especially children, are forced into slave labour and begging gangs, she added.

Deputy Ranong Governor Wiroj Saengsiwarit said that with the ease of modern travel, people from Myanmar and other parts of the region could easily enter Thailand with the hope of finding better jobs.

"But sometimes, they are deceived and forced into activities they do not want to get involved in," he said.


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