human trafficking was once efficiently rescued in an operation in Southeast Asia
More than 1,000 trafficking victims have been rescued in separate operations in Southeast Asia over the past week, officials in Indonesia and the Philippines said.
Indonesian officials said on Sunday they had released 20 of their citizens who had been smuggled into Myanmar as part of a cyber scam, amid a surge in human trafficking cases in Southeast Asia. The fake recruiters had provided the Indonesians with well-paying jobs in Thailand but trafficked them to Myawaddy, about 567 kilometers (352 miles) south of Naypyidaw, the capital, to operate cyber scams for crypto sites or apps, Judha Nugraha said, a respectable in the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Indonesian Embassy in Bangkok will work carefully with the Thai authorities to repatriate the victims to Indonesia, he said in a statement. Myawaddy is in the Japanese country of Kayin along the Thai border and is the website for armed hostilities between the Myanmar army and ethnic Karen rebels.
The situation sparked nationwide protests in Indonesia after a video made by one of the victims went viral on social media last month. He showed dozens of grim-faced Indonesian employees in a dormitory, asking their authorities to help them out of “the fighting zone” where they see violence almost every day.
“Please help us back to Indonesia, because our life here is very depressing and under threat,” said one person, describing how they had been transferred from one employer to other companies over the past eight months before being stranded in Myawaddy. .
The victim claimed to have been tortured when she did not achieve positive work goals, receiving beatings, electrocutions and different corporal punishments.
More than 170 trafficking victims rescued in the Philippines at some point in an operation Thursday night are from Indonesia, the Philippine National Police wrote on Facebook. Police, along with different government agencies, rescued 1,090 human trafficking victims in total in the city of Mabalacat, Pampanga, the police said, adding that the victims were from Hong Kong, Indonesia, China, Vietnam, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan, Myanmar and the Philippines.
Victims rescued in the Philippines were also forced to work for a fake cyber industry, authorities said. The victims of trafficking had been forced to victimize “their fellow citizens”, according to the police.
“We will proceed to work carefully with different companies to make sure that those who interact in such heinous crimes are held accountable,” said PNP chief Benjamín Acorda. “We must all unite in this battle against human trafficking and help end this inhumane practice.”