Empower have written an open letter to the Thai Prime Minister protesting against anti-trafficking raids and the appalling human rights abuses perpetrated against migrant sex workers by the state.
The background to this story can be read in much more detail in 'Hit & Run', Empower's recent research report. In particular the report contains a case study (Raid and Rescue 2 - Mae Sot, pages 79-85) in which 17 Burmese nationals were arrested as part of an 'anti-trafficking' raid in March 2011. The case study documents how the women were provided with poor interpreting, denied proper information about the reason for their detention and their rights, and how they have been held for over a year in a 'rescue' shelter as victims of trafficking and potential witnesses in a prosecution - despite their assertion that they were working in the entertainment venue voluntarily. The women were also subjected to mandatory and invasive medical examinations and tests and denied proper access to support and advice.
The full text of the Open Letter follows: