Title: Reintegration of Thai Returnees in the Context of Sex Trafficking
Author: Aatcharaporn Chaowahem
Keywords: INTEGRATION/TRAFFICKING/TRAFFICKED RETURNEES/ MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH
This research aims to describe and analyze the reintegration process of Thai trafficked returnees from abroad. It relies upon documentary research as well as field i research, using the case study method. Data collection techniques include in-depth interviews, group discussion, and non-participant observation. This research examines how trafficked returnees perceive their own reintegration processes and factors that increase the likelihood of their reintegration. These factors can be divided into individual level factors, which includes health (physical and mental), economic, and legal situation, along with social level factors, which includes family relationship and community relationship.
The nine returnees were selected from returnees who returned from Europe and originated from Northeastern Thailand. Six returnees were trafficked to Italy, two to the Netherlands, and one to Germany. Stigmatization associated with sex work continued to impact all returnees after they returned home to Thailand. Some returnees still have problems with family and community acceptance of their trafficking experiences, sometimes forcing them to leave their hometown and resettle in Bangkok or surrounding provinces. These returnees who have resettled have found themselves working in low-paying jobs as daily laborers. Most returnees face problems in many areas of reintegration while two returnees have some problems and other two do not have any problems.
Strong mental health to overcome individual and social stigmatization was found to be the most significant factor in increasing the likelihood of reintegration of the nine case study returnees because strong mental health helps returnees cope with other difficulties in their reintegration processes. Other than overcoming stigmatization, having a supportive, accepting family that does not reject or discriminate against a returnee, and having secured employment and income are also found to be of importance for the successful reintegration of these nine returnees.
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