Mrs. B’s story
Mrs B was 16 years old when she was coerced into human trafficking. At such a tender age she lost her father and was forced to drop out of school to help her mother earn an income. One day, one of her family’s friend (who later was found out to be a broker*) mentioned a good job prospect as a housekeeper at the border between Thailand and Malaysia. The broker also shared the same story with the other families in the village and as a result four families agreed to send their daughters to the border with the promise that they would be safe and well paid. The broker said she would pay for and arrange all of their documents and transportation as well as personally guide them across the legal border to bring them to Bangkok.
When the girls and Mrs. B arrived at their final destination they did not see a home but instead a karaoke/ massage bar. The next day they received massage training but not to just work as a masseuses, they had to provide sexual services. At first the girls refused but the broker told them they would have to pay back all the expenses including their transport, documents and transfers which would be 30, 000 Baht each (almost 1000 USD). Since it was impossible repay, they were forced to work as sex workers.
Four days after their arrival Ms. B lost her virginity. She knew that customers paid 25, 000 Baht (830 USD) to have sex with a virgin, but she did not receive any of that. Eventually the girls were able to contact their families who then contacted the Laos police. After the Lao broker was arrested, the girls were immediately sent back to the Lao-Thai border and stayed at a VFI shelter. There she discovered, through her health check, that Ms. B was suffering from serious reproductive health problems. She may not be able to bare children.
*A broker is the ‘middleman’ in the human trafficking system who is employed by a trafficker to recruit workers. They debt and deception that brokers often introduce to the recruitment process create critical vulnerabilities to trafficking