VIENTIANE, Jan. 20 (Xinhua): A total of 108 people were reported as victims of human trafficking in Laos in 2021, marking a significant drop from the 142 figure recorded in 2020.
Laos is vulnerable to human trafficking and is both a source of and transit country of human trafficking due to the country's many shared borders, which provides traffickers with easy access and travel routes, local daily Vientiane Times reported on Thursday.
A report on the issue was presented at a meeting held on Wednesday between officials from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism and Xaysomboun province.
Statistics show that in 2017 a total of 83 women fell prey to traffickers, while in 2018 the number of incidents was 61, including 57 women, and in 2019 a total of 146 people were trafficked, of whom 142 were female.
Most of the victims are tricked into forced labor, with figures for 2016-2018 showing they were illegally employed in tourism, the sale of goods, serving food, marrying foreigners, and other illicit activities, while figures from 2019-2020 record cases of trafficking in persons by pregnancy, otherwise known as employment pregnancy.
The meeting outlined the current anti-trafficking activities in Laos and the region, especially in relation to tourism.
Participants also discussed ways to protect the rights and interests of migrant workers. - Xinhua