The Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in cooperation with ASEAN-ACT, published two studies on labor migration and trafficking in human beings in Thailand and Vietnam. They analyze the extent to which political economy factors increase migrant workers' vulnerability to exploitation and trafficking, and constraints that mitigate opportunities for prevention, protection, and prosecution. While the research report on Thailand examines the risks migrants face in the country as a destination country for labor migration, the study on Vietnam highlights the country as a source country for labor migration and analyzes the vulnerabilities of labor migrants at all stages of the migration cycle.
In both reports, the researchers conclude that the biggest obstacle for fighting trafficking and exploitation remains the fact that a variety of actors benefit from maintaining the status quo. While Thailand's development model relies in significant part on lower-skilled migrant workers due to an aging population and rapid economic growth, Vietnam uses workforce dispatch as part of their development strategy, which also benefits the field of formal and informal recruitment agencies.
In order to help reduce the vulnerability of trafficked persons and strengthen the position of migrant workers from the countries covered by the research, recommendations for action are made in each case for national legislation and policy, NGOs, and international cooperation.