Lamyai Phooton

Sa Kaeo


Lamyai, aged 46, is currently a Village Health Volunteer and a Social Development and Human Security Volunteer (SDHSV) in Khlong Hat district located in Sa Kaeo province. Working with World Vision Thailand for the past four years as a volunteer, she focuses on child protection services for Thais and Cambodians . World Vision Thailand is one of USAID Thailand Counter Trafficking in Persons Project partners, working to strengthen the capacity of community leaders and volunteers to support multidisciplinary teams managing human trafficking cases in their provinces.

As the SDHSV, Lamyai established a close relationship with many of the children and their families in her neighborhood learning of the high risk of human trafficking at the Thai-Cambodian border area. Subsequently, Lamyai attended training sessions run by World Vision Thailand on human trafficking, including victim identification.

“I attended human trafficking training by World Vision in Chiang Rai province….I also participated one in 2021, in Aranyaprathet district where many Cambodian migrant leaders attended, as they highlighted border areas with high-risk of human trafficking.”- Lamyai mentioned.

Since receiving this training, she has worked closely with her community to help address and identify potential human trafficking cases. Although there have been no official reported cases, Lamyai continues to work hand-in-hand with her team of volunteers to ensure that information on trafficking in persons is disseminated throughout her community.

“There were no human trafficking cases reported in my community recently, however, we had a volunteer field visit to collect data from children and parents and monitor potential human trafficking victims. As COVID-19 broke out in their area, we continued monitoring potential threats by phone calls.”        

Lamyai mentioned that there were several human trafficking cases in her area several years ago.  Smugglers hid illegal migrant workers in the bushes of sugarcane plantations then quickly moved them out before anyone noticed. At one time, approximately 30 – 40 persons were packed in the back of a pick-up truck. Today, the situation has improved due to the collective efforts from local government staff, NGOs, and local volunteers. 

Lamyai works diligently in the hopes that trafficking never occurs in her community again. She thinks about why migrant workers are at risk of being exploited and trafficked and provides support to efforts that fight against human trafficking in her community.

“I had never thought that human trafficking was possible, and wondered if poverty was the constant drive behind it all? It’s not close to us but not that far as well. It has been good to have various agencies help to address this problem.”

Photo by Suthep Kritsanavarin

Kyaw Win Htay


Kyaw Win Htay