Alleged Myanmar Migrant Rape Victim Demands Justice in Thailand

By The Irrawaddy 15 May 2023

A 16-year-old migrant worker from Myanmar, who worked at a restaurant in Tak Province, western Thailand, was allegedly confined and raped by her employer for seven months.

The victim, who is from near the Thai border, said she started work at a Phop Phra noodle soup in May 2022 and was asked by the owner to live with him and was repeatedly raped. She has filed a complaint with Phop Phra police.

KTG Helping Hand, a Mae Sot-based labor organization, is involved.

“The girl is poor and she was confined for several months at the noodle shop where she worked. [The employer] raped her and threatened her life. She was gripped by fear. She attempted to flee several times and met citizens from Myanmar who gave our details,” said Ko Thar Gyi of the group.

KTG Helping Hand helped her complain in February but the police have taken no action and the organization complained again on May 8, he added.

A Thai man claiming to be a police officer has sent threatening texts to a Thai family which is caring for the victim, said Ko Thar Gyi.

“The messages say ‘take 100,000 baht [US$3,000] or be harmed’. They say a Thai guy has no business taking care of a girl from Myanmar. They threaten to kill the girl if she refuses to take the money. She is being followed by cars and motorbikes,” he added.

The employer has reportedly offered 80,000 baht, then 100,000 baht and 1 million baht. But the victim refused and wants him punished.

The victim said: “I will see him in court. He must get what he deserves for what he has done to me. Some say I may lose because I am a migrant but I have full confidence because of the people who are helping me.”

The results of sexual assault forensics and a DNA test are pending, according to the victim.