Lao Migrants Fleeing Poverty Defy Dangers to Work in Thailand

Lao workers, many of them young and some still in their teens, have poured in growing numbers this year into neighboring Thailand, braving exploitation and unsafe work conditions in search of employment to help support families back home, sources in the Southeast Asian nation say.

Many are encouraged by their parents to go abroad for work, sources say. Others are trafficked and held in debt-traps, or are killed in accidents at work or on the road.

On Monday, the bodies of nine Lao migrants killed on Aug. 18 in a head-on collision while traveling to a border town to renew the tourist visas on which they had entered Thailand were returned to their families. A tenth was cremated in Thailand.

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