Women trafficking is one of the fastest increasing criminal industry in the world today. Women trafficking or “modern-day slavery” is illegal trade of human beings for forced labors and prostitutes or for sexual exploitation. Presently, Thai society also faces many problems, which related to women trafficking and prostitution. Prostitution has always been a worldwide serious problem for every country in the world, especially in Thailand. While Thailand is a beautiful country with rich natural resources with lots of beautiful attractions and sceneries that can encourage more than 14 million of foreign tourists to come and visit each year; however, the country has gained international notoriety among travelers from many countries as a sex tourism destination. Many foreign tourists from the different countries around the world take flight to Thailand to experience the famous sex tourism from Thai prostitutes.
Even though prostitution is punishable and illegal in Thailand, it is hardly enforced and there are high numbers of woman choose to do this career. The major cause of prostitution is poverty, since few of any would want to work in this field just for amusement. Some prostitutes enter this field by choice but others are sadly forced. Prostitution is a big money maker as millions of baht are spent on sex services in Thailand in each year. Although prostitution is illegal in Thailand, most of the tourists have given attentions directly to nightlife and prostitution in Thailand rather than the quality of Thai natural attractions. Currently, according to the Thailand Government Public Health Department, there are approximately 75,000 prostitutes in Thailand. Also, non-governmental organization (NGO) group estimated that the number of prostitutes at any given time is close to 2 million ranging in age 12 or older. *
Many reasons that people turn to prostitution are a direct result of the Thai economy and the lifestyle of Thai citizens. There is great poverty and a willingness of a deprived family to do anything to get money. These are the main reasons for the increase number of prostitutes. Some rural families sell their daughters to the agents in order to clear the debt and also for their survivals. These children are willing to show the gratitude to their parents; however, they choose the wrong way to do so. The second reason is the lack of employment for uneducated women. The maximum wage that the women without the diploma or degree can earn is very low. It might not be enough for their survival. Many young uneducated women choose to be a prostitute in order to earn more money and to have a better life. The third reason is that many young women are tired of living their life in the rural area. They are willing to take a chance with a new happy life given by the agents.
Therefore, they decide to move to the city. These women picture themselves with a big house and luxurious life. They get such idea from the mass media. Once they enter the city, they know that the easiest way to get money and make their dream comes true is to be a prostitute since prostitution is an easy work. These women can make a great amount of money by just sacrificing their body without hard work. Thailand is known as a land where the sex industry thrives. Moreover, the number of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) is quite high. As of 2012, Thailand has the highest HIV/AIDS level in Southeast Asia, and also the third country in Asia. Not just in Asia but also Thailand ranked in the 16th countries among 193 countries with the highest total HIV/AIDS infected.
Thailand has an HIV/AIDS infection rate of 0.87 percent of its population of 60,617,200 people, which estimate approximately 530,000 people with HIV/AIDS infected in Thailand. An estimated 28,000 people have died because of HIV each year and many more are expected to die in the upcoming years. The main cause of the high number of HIV/AIDS infection is because of prostitutions and drug abuse. The statistic shows that a third of HIV positive patients are the prostitutes. Nowadays, Thai prostitutes do not just cause problems in Thailand but also in other countries, such as Japan and Malaysia. Prostitution can lead to another problem such as human trafficking, therefore, the governments from every country are trying to solve the problem since prostitution will cause the serious problems to their country.
* Japan is recognized as a destination country for the trafficking of women maily from Southeast Asia, Latin American, and increasingly from Eastern Europe. According to CATW-Asia Pacific Newsletter, There are more than 150,000 foreign women working in prostitution in Japan; more than half are Filipinos and 40% are Thai. Many women from Thailand are brought to Japan by the agents to work as prostitutes. The majority of women trafficked to Japan appear to be adult women, although there is some evidence that some are under 18 years of age, probably traveling with illegal passports. *
Many Thai prostitutes tend to cross the border illegally to go work in Japan. Some Thai prostitutes make a fake identification card and fake passport in order to travel to Japan. These people are breaking the law and it is dangerous for they can cause further problems such as drug trafficking and many more. The government in Japan is trying its best to prevent those people from entering the country as well as from causing trouble to their country. * Ms. Thanadda Sawangduean is one of the prostitutes who used to work in Japan for more than 2 years before arrested by the Japanese officers. Currently, she is an awarded writer. She wrote a book about her life experience while she was working as a prostitute in other countries.
* She once said about her two years spent in Japan,“It was like a nightmare for me. The agents told me that my work was to be a waitress in the restaurant but it was completely different when I arrived Japan. They forced me to work as a prostitute. I had to have intercourse 50 times per day and 20 minutes per one time. I didn’t have a choice since I had to pay them back for the airplane ticket. If I don’t do the work, they will beat me up.” *
* In Malaysia: * Malaysia is a major country known for woman and children trafficking for sexual exploitation. Sex workers are coming to Malaysia from all over the world but most of them are Thai. In Malaysia, they mostly separate prostitutes into 2 different classes, which are High end and Low-end sex market according to the age of the prostitutes. According to the World Health Organization, there are between 150,000 and 200,000 sex workers in Malaysia, most of them are Chinese and Thais. Recently, Malaysian government survey found that there were 76,000 to 77,000 adult prostitutes in registered entertainment industries; however, NGOs believed there were between 200,000 and 300,000 prostitutes.
Although centres such as Bangkok (Patpong, Soi Nana, and Soi Cowboy), Pattaya, and Phuket are often known as main tourist prostitution areas, with Hat Yai and other Malaysian border cities providing to Malaysians, prostitution takes place in nearly every major city and province in the country. Malaysian government declared that Malaysian males should beware of STDs that can be transmitted from prostitutes. According to the book named “Kon Glai Baan”, written by Mr. Pattana Kitiarsa, the professor from National University of Singapore, once wrote story about the victim named Ms. Ploy based on her true experience. Ms. Ploy is a woman from Buriram Province, Thailand who wanted to share her experience when she was working as prostitute in Malaysia. She said that she had to have intercourse with 10-20 male workers per day in the jungle with no water and no shelter. Most of them didn’t wear condom, so now she is suffering from HIV disease.
* In conclusion, as we all know that being a prostitute can bring up a bad image for the country as a whole, therefore, the government should provide education for younger generation about the bad affect they might get if they choose to work in this field. The government should make sure that women in rural area are educated and encourage them to work in better fields rather than being a prostitute. Also, the mass media should show and broadcast more about the consequences of having a sexual intercourse without using a protection, which will bring awareness to the people. Even though the media is trying its best to broadcast about the danger of not using protection, however, it needs to work harder to encourage people to use protection and beware of STD. With the help of the government and mass media, the number of prostitutes would decrease and it could change the image of Thailand from the land of sex into a better one.
Courtney from Study Moose
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