I have important messages to pass on to the readers of this report. First, the findings of this particular research on Combating the Trafficking in Children and their Exploitation in Prostitution and Other Intolerable Forms of Child Labour in Maekong Basin Countries lead me to an even clearer picture of trafficking. They help me realise and understand factors contributing to the fact that trafficking can be voluntary and trafficked victims frequently make their choices upon entering the trafficking world. Truthfully, trafficking is a form of violence and we all need to continue the fight against it. I am learning, however, that there are certainly different degrees of trafficking, and some of them violates trafficked victims' rights more than others. Over the past 6 years of my interest on the issues of trafficking and transnational migration, I have gathered repeated findings, reflected them in the Trafficking Continuum (figure 9.1), and described it in chapter 9 of this report. It is the heart of my conclusive analysis on the trafficking in the Maekong Basin Countries. For it being entirely my own conceptual findings and conclusion, it could present some overlooked facts and create different perspectives. I wholeheartedly appreciate any comments, feedback, suggestions, and opinions you may have.
Second, I would like to sincerely thank the following individuals and organizations for making this regional report happen. Special thanks to the Director of Institute for Population and Social Research (IPSR), Dr.Bencha Yoddumnern-Attig for her full-scale support of our research team and her persona] and endless couragement she has given to me. I would also like to express my appreciation to the administrative staff at IPSR for their continuous hard work for the project. I am grateful that I have such intellectual research partners namely the Research Center for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED) from Vietnam and the Institute of Sociology, Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences from China. Big thanks for their country reports and exchange of ideas and experiences. I would also like to thank Mr.Mar Sophea for his Cambodia country report. My extremely special thanks also go to the two researchers on the Thailand team, Wanna Jarusomboon and Pornsuk Koetsawang. Without their contribution in the country report, I would not have been able to put together this Maekong regional report. I would also like to convey my sincere appreciation to my friend and colleague, Kanokwan Tharawan for her organization of the research project's regional workshop held on January 31, 1998 and for her sincere comments and feedback on the regional report. Finally, I would like to thank ILO/IPEC for their financial support in conducting such important research as this one on child trafficking.
I hope that this regional report which you now have in your hands is informative and helpful and that you could consequently use it to build further understanding of the issues of trafficking and child trafficking.

Kritaya Archavanitkul
June 1998, summer in Thailand


Project Organization


The working group of this regional research project consists of four teams. The Thai team serves as the Director of a core team in conducting research covering three countries: Thailand, Myanmar and Lao PDR. The team from Vietnam, Yunnan Province of China and Cambodia is each responsible for their respective country study. Names and organisations involved in this regional study are as follows:

1.  The Thai Team

Dr Kritaya Archavanitkul Principal Investigator
Pornsuk Koetsawang Research Associate
Ms Wanna Jarusomboon Research Associate
Mr Nyi Nyi Lwin Interpreter

Mr Thant Naing

Ms Hseng Muay Interpreter

Institute fur Population and Social Research (IPSR), Mahidol University
Puttamonthon 4 Road, Nakhonpathom 73170, Thailand.
Phone 66 2 441 0201-4; Fax: 66 2 441 9333;


2.  The Vietnam Team

Prof Le Thi Nham Tuyet Principal Investigator
Mr Hoang Ba Thinh Research Associate
Loung Thai Thu Hang Research Associate
Ms Le thi Thanh Ha Research Associate
Ms Le Thi Chien Nghi Research Associate

Research Centre for Gender, Family and Environment in Development (CGFED)
32 A Dien Bien Phu Hanoi, Vietnam.
Phone/Fax: 84 4 823 3130; e-mail:

3.  The Yunnan Team

Assistant Professor He Zhixiong Principal Investigator
Associate Professor Qiao Hengrui Research Associate

Institute of Sociology, Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences
45 Qixiang Road, Kunming, Yunnan, P.R. China 650032.
Phone: 0871 415 4718; Fax: 0871 414 2394;

4. The Cambodia Team

Mr. Mar Sophea Principal Investigator


National Programme of IPEC in Cambodia,
c/o Ministry of Social Affairs, Labour and Veteran Affairs,
POB 1263, Central Post Office, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Fax: 855 234 21632; e-mail:

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