USAID Trafficking in Persons Programs in Asia

“Human trafficking is one of the largest criminal activities in the world today. Every year
throughout South and South East Asia, individuals fall victim to both sex and labor
trafficking both within their countries and after crossing international borders. The large number of Asian migrants searching for better opportunities provides a breeding ground for traffickers and illegal labor brokers. Many individuals begin their journey safely, only to later be ensnared in trafficking. In some countries in Asia, the extent of sexual exploitation has been exacerbated by demand from foreigners in tourism sites. Child sex tourism is a serious and, according to some reports, growing problem. Labor trafficking takes place in various settings including in the garment, construction, logging, fisheries, and agricultural industries. Trafficking not only undermines the security of communities but also violates the human rights of victims, who often experience physical and emotional suffering, trauma, rape, threats, and in some cases, death.

To combat this scourge, since 2000 the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has supported more than 30 anti-trafficking programs in eight countries in South and Southeast Asia: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Nepal, the
Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. USAID has helped to bring human trafficking to the attention of all levels of society in South and Southeast Asia, building political will and public awareness, and helping governments, communities and local non-governmental groups take action against traffickers and assist trafficking victims. Many individuals, primarily girls and women, were able to avoid being trafficked as a result of these efforts. This report serves as a desk review of these programs.”

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