RANGOON — Three trafficked and raped Burmese women were rescued from their captors by Thai police in Bangkok on Friday.
The victims told The Irrawaddy they were repeatedly raped and forced to work without pay for three months after being captured in January.
Five people have been detained by Thai police related to the incident, including the father who allegedly pretended to be an army officer to maintain their obedience.
The police seized weapons and an army uniform from the house.
The three women, two aged 15 and one 18, are from Thayet Choung in Tenasserim Division.
They escaped from the house where they were held on April 2.
Mar Le, the women’s interpreter, said: “They were forced to work and to have sex by a son of the family and even the family let Lao workers have sex with them.”
Another girl tried to escape at the same time as the others, on April 2, but was caught by the family and taken back to the house.
“They told me their friend would be killed. This is why I asked help from the police and even spread this news to media in order to help the girl,” Mar Le said.
Thailand ranks high on international indicators of human trafficking. According to the US government’s Watch List, Thailand does not comply with some international standards relating to human trafficking.
Last year, to combat the level of human trafficking between Burma and Thailand, the two governments set up two anti-trafficking centers in Kawthuang and Tachilek.
The Burmese government has also opened offices in Thailand to issue temporary passports to Burmese nationals so that they can legally work in the neighboring country.
Official figures show that 1.2 million Burmese migrants have been issued with temporary passports, while nearly a million workers are still in the process of obtaining legal documents. However, labor rights groups estimate that there are between 2.5 and 4 million Burmese migrants working in Thailand, many of them illegally.