Human trafficking is a crime that preys on society’s most vulnerable people.
With an increase in tourists seeking entertainment, including commercial sex, there increases potential risk of exploitation and human trafficking. Sex trafficking is one of the major types of human trafficking in which a commercial sex act is inducted by force, fraud or coercion particularly of women and children. What are the root causes that allow sex trafficking to flourish amongst popular tourist destinations, such as Thailand? Here are a few:
- Poverty: Thousands of uneducated Thai women from impoverished rural villages or dysfunctional low socio-economic background migrate to the cities each year in search of work to support their families. Lack of basic job skills, employment awareness and education make them highly volatile to sexual exploitation and involuntary servitude.
- Gender discrimination and inequality; some cultures accepts (particularly that of Asian) treating people, especially women and children, as objects that can be bought and sold
- Weak Legislation and political will: Thailand have relatively undefined law and judiciary when it comes to human sex trafficking. They have been accused of remaining complicit and according to the US State department (2915) are unable to make sufficient efforts “to fully comply with the minimal standards for the elimination of trafficking.”
- Affluence in the greater Sub-Mekong region: some majority of females subjected to trafficking to Thailand come from overseas, particularly from the Sub-Mekong region (Mynamar, Lao, Cambodia and Southern China) who are without documentation, have little to none language skills and understanding of their rights under Thai Law. The ‘statelessness’ of ethnic minorities in Thailand’s poor areas are denied citizenship and are also at risk of being trafficked.
- Globalisation of the sex industry; there are increasing demands for commercial sex hence an increase pressure into prostitution and trafficking in and out of Bangkok to sustain an increasingly global network