Slavery Verdict A First For Thailand

Thailand’s anti-slavery law has been enforced for the first time in over 50 years.

“Despite slavery being a criminal offence punishable by up to 10 years in prison, the law has never been applied. According to reports, this is largely due to there being no legal precedent to follow and police reluctance to recognise cases where people are in slave-like conditions without being chained as slavery.” (

The woman sentenced, Wipaporn Songmeesap, received 7 years for slavery and 3.5 years for inflicting sever physical harm. A 13-year-old girl was held captive by her and forced to work from 4:00 AM until Midnight, seven days a week without time off. She received no pay, was fed rice and leftovers twice daily, was not allowed to leave the house and was regularly beaten.

This is indeed a positive step forward. Perhaps this is a signal of more to come. I hope so.

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