China and Burma jointly open anti-trafficking offices on border

Police officials from Burma and China today opened two offices of the "China-Burma Border Anti-trafficking Officer Office" side by side in its territories on the border of the two countries' in northern Burma, said border sources.

The police from both countries jointly opened the offices. The China-side office in Jiang Phong (Jiang Hkong) in Longchuan township in Dehong Dai prefecture in Yunnan province was opened at 10 a.m. China Standard Time while the office on the Burma-side was opened in Lweje also called Loije in Kachin in Bhamo district at 1 p.m. Burma Standard Time, said residents of the two border cities.

Missing Kachin women in China from northeast Shan state in Burma since 2006.In short opening ceremonies for the special anti-trafficking offices in the two cities, Burma's police chief Brig-Gen Khin Yi and a senior police officer from China's central government addressed the gathering and stressed on eradicating human trafficking on the two borders and improvement of relations between the two countries, said locals who participated.

From Burma, about 30 representatives were led by Brig-Gen Khin Yi including the junta's Anti-Trafficking Chief Col. Tit Aye, police officers in Kachin state, local INGO workers, personnel in government Social Security whereas about 20 Chinese representatives were headed by a senior police officer, according to participants.

Mrs. Shirley Seng, one of founders of Thailand-based Kachin Women's Association – Thailand (KWAT) and current advisor to KWAT said, "It is too early to say that the border anti-trafficking offices of the two countries will check increasing trafficking of women into China.  The root problems of women trafficking are abject poverty of civilians which is increasing day by day under the military rulers in Burma."

The KWAT has already published two special reports on Kachin women trafficking into China called "Driven Away" in 2004 and "Eastward Bound" in 2008.  Currently, the KWAT is also implementing anti-trafficking awareness programmes in different ways for people in northern Burma and rescuing trafficked-women in China as much as is possible, said KWAT.

Mr. Awng Wa, chairman of Kachin Development Networking Group (KDNG) based on the Sino-Burma border said, "The two countries' anti-trafficking offices on the border will not stop women trafficking because the length of the border between the two countries is too long."

He added, "Mainly women from poor-families in Kachin state and the rest of Burma are trafficked into China by human traffickers while they are seeking jobs on the border and China.  The problems will not drop without changing the political system—military dictatorship to democracy."

Last year, the two governments of Burma and China opened anti-trafficking offices on the border side by side in China's Ruili (Shweli) and Burma's Muse, which are also the biggest border trade zones of the two countries.