THAIS EXPLOITING CAMBODIAN CHILDREN – Recently a large number of Cambodian children were arrested by Thai Police on the holiday island of Phuket.
One of Phuket’s most famous areas, if you are into sex tourism, is Soi Bangla, a filthy, sinking hell-hole packed full of bars with prostitutes readily available for $30 a night.
According to Thai Officials there is not prostitution in Thailand as it is illegal and yet hundreds of thousands of men and women flock to Thai for cheap and easy sex, including paedophiles.
The darker side to the Thai Authorities lack of willingness, often due to brides being paid, is the growing number of children roaming Soi Bangla and its seedy bars each night looking to either sell flowers or beg foreigners for money.
Most of the foreigners ignore them – they often appear far more interested in being entertained by what Thai Officials refer to as ‘bar hostesses’ which by its very term removes the possibility of prostitution.
Most foreign tourists are blissfully unaware, or simply do not care, that these children are in fact not Thai but Cambodian or Laos. They are often shipped in by human-traffickers offering their parents money and with the promise more money will come.
Often these children are abused physically, mentally and sexually by their ‘handlers’ and the police regularly turn a blind eye; due to corrupt payments being make to the police.
In the recent ‘crackdown’ is was reported, as stated above that Thai Police, had arrested and deported a number of Cambodian children but a well-informed source, who is unable to be named for safety reasons, has told a local newspaper that these children have miraculously returned to Soi Bangla and are once again back on the streets begging for their ‘handlers’.
The depravity of the Thais appears to have no boundaries and while many reports mention that this further shames Thailand reputation it has to be said that it has long ago hit rock bottom and the only thing the Thais care about is the money that can be generated from tourism – how that money is generated is irrelevant and often involves scams and the abuse of children and endangered or protected animals.
Wildlife Officials have continuously asked the Thai Police to arrest anyone touting tourists to have photographs of themselves taken with species such as Slow Lories. The perpetrators are often arrested and after paying a bride are let go to continue their illicit trade.
As for the Cambodian children; these are often seen by the Thai Authorities as nothing less than a way to extract money from foreign tourists and if that means selling one of them for sex then they have no compunctions about doing so.
The child beggars range in ages from 4 to about 9 years of age and this appears to be the preferred age band that the Thai Human-Traffickers go for. It is perceived that a very young child is able to garner far more sympathy from the tourists.
The Thais have come to understand foreign compassion as we often look on those less fortunate than ourselves and therefore give. Our compassion is driving an illegal trade of enforced slavery and child prostitution and yet the Thai Authorities refuse to take measure to eradicate the problem – often because they are directly involved in this heinous crime.
While the local newspapers tread carefully about what they report, I am not bound by such restrictions.
Local newspapers last year, after the murder of a high profile local journalist; who was gunned down in broad daylight; the Governor held a closed door meeting with both Thai and Foreign Press members. The details have never been disclosed but it is long suspected that the Governor gave them a stark realization – either curb what you report or face deportation or the same consequences.
Many child protection groups have called upon local and central government to stop the illicit trafficking of children, however no such steps have been taken and regardless of how bad it gets the Thai Authorities are convinced that tourists will still flock to Thailand due to what it is able to offer.
While this may be true to some extent many local hoteliers have reported a sharp downturn in occupancy rates over the last few years and heavily disputes the Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) report that tourism is on the increase.
Some child protection groups are now so exasperated with the situation and the lack of action by the government are now turning to the media in order to gain wider public awareness of what is going on in Thailand and how the Thais are exploiting children for their own greed.
It is hoped that tourists will show the Thai Government that it needs to change its ways an stop this illicit trade by abandoning Thailand as a holiday destination until child slavery and prostitution have been eradicated.
Human Rights organisations also continuously try to appeal to the Thai Government’s sense of decency and moral fortitude in stamping out the problem and this often falls upon deaf ears.
One thing remains crystal clear; while tourists continue to visit Thailand this practice will also continue as tourist money is the only reason these children are on the streets of Thailand.
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