Underground Mon Migrant Union Frees Female Migrants

November 26, 2009

WCRP: An Underground Mon Migrant Union, which operates in southern Thailand, has freed several migrant women.According to the Union’s advisor, the organization was established in 2002 to protect Mon migrant workers, although recently it has been focusing efforts on rescuing endangered Mon women.

On November 17, the Union went to 7 of the 30 brothels in Phang-nga, Kuraburi, Thailand, and purchased 19 Mon prostitutes’ freedoms.

The Union had been contacted by a man who was missing his sister.

The man suspected that she was working as a prostitute in Phang-nga, but the Union could not locate her. During the search, members met numerous desperate and trapped women, which inspired them to organize the rescue mission.

Before liberating the women, members of the Union held secret meetings with Mon prostitutes. Members then separately negotiated costs and release terms with brothel owners. In total, the Union paid 1.4 million baht, to various brothels, for the 19 women.

The President of the Union said, “Over the past 7 years we have only helped 12 women, this is the first time we have saved so many troubled women.”

The Union currently has 400 members and each pays a 500 baht monthly fee, which goes towards rescue missions and management costs. Over the past 7 years, over 70 of its members have died during excursions.

The Union plans to continue rescuing female migrant workers as well as protecting them from being unknowingly sold to brokers Laos.

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