of children in America are waking up to watch Saturday morning
cartoons, children of the same age in Thailand are waking up to a new
strange sexual partner in bed with them. A main problem faced by
children in America is deciding on what kind of ice cream they want
to eat. In Thailand the children are faced with what STD have they
encountered? Thailand has the worlds largest commercial sex industry.
These child prostitutes will be joining the millions of older
established prostitutes. Together they will lead a life of drug
addictions, crime, violence, disease, and unhappiness. Why should any
human be subjected to this kind of tragic lifestyle?
Thailand is in
the heart of Southeast Asia bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of
Thailand. Thailand comparatively is slightly more than twice the size
of Wyoming. They have a population of 60,037,366 (July 1998 est.).
The Thai economy is in a deep recession. It’s odd to think that a
country so small could have problems as big as theirs.
cause of prostitution is poverty. Poverty caused through drought, low
wages, especially for women and debts make many women and children
vulnerable to being forced into prostitution. The rapid growth in
population, the slow growth in agriculture and the spread of market
economy in the rural areas encourage migration to the cities, where
many unskilled female and child laborers can easily be deceived or
forced into the sex business. In many rural areas there are starving
people, who have insufficient shelter, and no money but have
children. They are apt to sell them to pimps for a small fee. The
children can be sold for as little as five hundred dollars or even
alcohol. Due to the severe famine in many rural villages of Thailand
a child might try to provide for his or her family and turn to
prostitution. These are the most common scenarios of why poverty
leads to prostitution.
description of the problem would entail over two million women and
children in prostitution, of which 800,000 are children aged 15 or
under. Twenty percent of these children are boys (World Health
Organization) these people are victimized by sexual exploitation.
They are being enticed; coerced and sold into sexual abuse, the vast
majority from desperately poor families who may not be aware their
children are trafficked across borders, taken to brothels and bonded
into debt. Seventy five percent of all Thai men visit prostitutes on
a regular basis (WHO). Twenty percent of Thailand’s prostitution
takes place with foreign men (WHO). From these facts one can conclude
that prostitution in Thailand is as common as “Wall Street” in
cause of prostitution in Thailand dates back to the Vietnam War.
During the war the Thai sex industry provided American soldiers with
prostitutes and “for rent wives”. By the time the soldiers left,
Thai men had found that they liked this new availability for sex. Men
no longer needed to sneak off to brothels they now went openly.
Another long-term cause is the Asian belief that sex with virgins
rejuvenates a man, and can also heal venereal disease. Men and women
were never viewed as equals in Asia. From ancient times men
mistreated and disrespected women. So many men have no remorse for
their actions. They feel that the women some how owe this to them.
These long-term causes have just kept building up to produce the out
of control prostitution of today.
prominent short-term affect that triggers prostitution is the
poverty. Another affect is the demand. There is a great demand for
prostitutes, recruiters recruit both boys and girls as young as
seven. Sex tours are popular for tourists. These tours go through all
of Thailand and let the tourist sample prostitution of all ages from
many different regions. These sex tours are easily accessible
especially through the Internet. Sex tours begin at only 2,000 US
dollars for seven days and nights. These short-term effects make
prostitution so routine.
before Thailand is in a great recession. A recession is when the
economy shrinks and there is a negative growth. Since the country as
a whole is not making any money, poverty is the conclusion.
Politically Thailand is unstable. They are filled with corrupt
officials who do not enforce the laws (prostitution is one.). These
factors are definite causes of the prostitution
prostitution, as well as sex with minors is illegal. Law enforcers
and the government commonly overlook these laws. This quote further
describes the importance of keeping prostitution alive and running:
Boontryuth, who started a refuge for Thai girls called the Daughters
Education Program, has said, “It’s not safe in this (Thai)
society to try to improve women’s lives because there is big money
in prostitution. Some locals are agents and middlemen; the police and
politicians are involved; also businessmen and owners of hotels,
guesthouses and bars – whoever can use the services of these girls.
The flesh trade is very profitable and there appears to be a lot of
vested interest in keeping it alive and well. In this article in
Newsweek magazine (dated June 29th, 1992) entitled “Fighting A
Killer”, Ron Moreau writes, “Reliable studies show that more than
400,000 Thai men visit prostitutes each day, and at least 75 percent
of all Thai men have paid for sex. … In an alarming new study, 73
percent of new recruits in the Thai army said they had lost their
virginity to a prostitute.”
officials overlook prostitution is in hopes of economic growth. After
the Vietnam War ended Thailand wanted to boost its tourism. Having
thousands of prostitutes did boost the tourism. Tourism boosted the
local economy. In all this growth, the government made no attempt to
limit prostitution. It is also hard to control the prostitution when
many of the officials are corrupt. Since there are so many pimps and
madams they will often pay the officials a large sum of money so that
they will not stop the business. These are factors that contribute to
why prostitution is not slowing down.
effect on Thailand’s society is that children’s child hoods are
being stolen from them. Children are not safe in their own home.
Neighbors, parents, or strangers can sell them into prostitution, or
they can be kidnapped into it. Children are in such demand because
younger children are believed to be less susceptible to aids and
other STD’s. But that is untrue since their bodies are so small and
not used to sex with many men, their bodies get injured internally
and it takes longer to heal. The open wound is a breeding ground for
STD’s. These children grow up with a STD and have sex with hundreds
of more men, then these men spread the disease, and results in a
killer chain reaction.
to the out-break of the AID’s epidemic, which also has a huge
effect on all of human society. Over 1.5% of Thailand’s population
is infected with the AIDS epidemic. Since it is overwhelmingly
Western sex offenders who come to have sex with these prostitutes
they too contract the disease. Then after their vacation they go back
to their own country and infect others. The only way to slow down the
disease is to get rid of the prostitution, and stop it from infecting
millions of others. A task which is easier said then done.
All long- term
consequences of prostitution are negative. By the year 2000 an
estimate of 3.5 million Thai women will be HIV positive, and so will
one third of their children. Millions of prostitutes will be
dependent on drugs. More children’s lives will be ruined. There
will be a vast increase in suicides to try and escape the abusive
lifestyle they lead. If we don’t take serious action to stop the
prostitution soon Thailand will be lost in a downward spiral. Luckily
the government is trying to take action in controlling the
prostitution and many non-government organizations have been formed.
One of, which is
called EPCAT (End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism) It is an
international organization, founded in 1991, with headquarters in
Thailand. The organization’s goal is to eradicate child
prostitution worldwide. It has launched a four-part action plan that
has had remarkable results in just five years. The core of ECPAT’s
plan is lobbying governments to persuade them to enact laws
protecting children. The group then works to make sure the laws are
enforced. Further ECPAT works with rural leaders to convince parents
not to sell their children into prostitution. The organization also
campaigns to dissuade tourists from the sexual exploitation of
children and publishes the names of foreign pedophiles found in Asian
countries. Other major non-governmental organizations tackling the
problem of child prostitution include: UNICEF, the International
Labor Organization (ILO), and the World Tourism Organization.
Although the royal Thai government and other non-governmental groups
are trying their best to put an end to prostitution, it still is a
huge problem. It will take years to resolve.
To show an
example of how out of control the problem is I will share with you
this story that took place on January 30th 1994. A fire broke out in
a brothel in Phuket in southern Thailand. The charred bodies of five
young girls aged between 9 and 12 were discovered in the basement
ruins of the brothel. They had been chained to their beds and locked
in to prevent their escape.
(http://www.jubileecampaign.demon.co.uk/children/tha1.htm). That is a
complete violation of human rights. No one should be treated like
Another story is
about a girl named Fon. She was born on the outskirts of Bangkok; Fon
left school when she was 12 years old. She wanted to earn money to
help her family and herself, so she went to Bangkok and got a job in
a restaurant. She was lured to another city about 60 miles away,
supposedly to work. But she ended up in a brothel where the owners
kept her as a prisoner and forced her to have sex with a succession
of different customers each day. Once when she and a friend tried to
escape they were caught and severely beaten by the owners. Later, Fon
found that she was pregnant. She never recovered truly from the
beating and became increasingly sick. The brothel owner realized
there was no more profit to be had from her and released her. It was
later discovered after a blood test that Fon was HIV positive. About
a month after the blood test she gave birth to a baby boy.
Unfortunately the baby died of AIDS-related illnesses when he was l8
months old. These stories are only a few of the stories shared by the
prostitutes of Thailand. It’s a shame that anyone has to live
through what these women live through.
a life of drugs, crime, disease, violence, sexual exploitation, and
unhappiness. The women, boys, and girls do not deserve to live in
that kind of lifestyle. The people of Thailand should not have to
constantly live in fear of contracting some deadly disease. The
children should be leading normal child hoods. The poverty must be
stopped. That is the only way the prostitution can be stopped.
Prostitution in Thailand is out of control. If it is not stopped soon
I’m afraid of what the outcome might be. The problem is not only
faced in Thailand but it causes a chain reaction that effects the
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