Thailand is now offering classes to help women avoid instances of human trafficking amid a rising number of interracial marriages in the country.
In a 2004 government study, it’s reported that about 15,000 women from one of Thailand’s poorest regions married foreign partners as a means of improving their economic status.
A portion of those interracial marriages in the country could leave women susceptible to human trafficking as well as a variety of scams. According to Reuters, the Thailand social development ministry is trying to lessen such cases by enlightening women of their legal rights.
While the day course also offers help to women in overcoming culture shock in the countries of their respective foreign partners, an attendee admits that she’s more interested in the legal aspect of the course.
Ploynisa Duangdararungrueng, who is married to a German man, explained the importance of learning the legal aspect through these courses since she believes that Thai women are often “soft-spoken and submissive.”
“They must learn to respect themselves and their culture,” Duangdararungrueng added. Her husband, Ralf Wacker, explained that most Thai women might be fooled into thinking that living overseas means a better life, but reality it seems to differ from their expectations.
“For a lot of women, life in the West is like a fairy tale, but in reality it can feel extremely isolating,” Wacker added.
Meanwhile, Thai residents leaving the country aren’t the only victims of human trafficking; foreign nationals entering Thailand illegitimately seem to be an apparent problem as well.
According to Bangkok Post, migrants from Myanmar and Cambodia enter Thailand illegally and are susceptible to “deception, coercion, violence and exploitation” when they arrive.
The most common reason they are brought into the country is for labor trafficking purposes, but cases of sexual exploitation are also prominent.