TED Case Studies

Myanamar Sex Trade

Trafficking of Burmese Women and Children into Thailand

Case Number:   426
Case Mnemonic: MYANSEX
Case Name:     Myanmar Sex Trade

A. IDENTIFICATION

1.  The Issue

     Trade in human beings for sex industry work and the continued
trafficking of women and children into Thailand from Myanmar is a
major human rights violation and also a serious health issue.  In
a given year, thousands of Burmese women and children are bought
and sold as commodities, destined to become prostitutes.  In
Thailand, ever younger girls are being lured and abducted into
forced prostitution, because they are thought to be safe from AIDS
(acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).  The expansion of the sex
market to include this safe commodity (young girls) has resulted in
the creation of activist groups against the exploitation of
children.  These local and international groups, particularly
nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), have been effective in
informing the world about the problem of trafficked women and
children.

2. Description

       Although the illegal trafficking in women and girls
possesses distinct characteristics in each country or region where
it occurs, certain patterns have emerged that cut across
geographical boundaries.  In a typical situation, a women or girl
is first recruited by an agent who promises a good job in another
country or province.  In the case of Thailand, the common practice
is to lure young Burmese women to Thailand with promises of
employment as a waitress or domestic servant -- but instead, the
girls are tricked into working as prostitutes.
     As part of their recruitment or abduction, the women and girls
are controlled through debt bondage.  The initial debt is usually
a payment to the woman's family at the time of recruitment, which
she must repay, with interest, by working in a brothel.  This debt
also includes the brothel owner's normal charge of food, clothes,
medicine and other expenses.  Escape is virtually impossible
without repaying the debt.  Leaving the brothel without repayment
puts the woman at risk of punishment by the brothel owner, or
pimps.  Also retribution against the prostitutes' parents and other
relatives for defaulting on her debt is not uncommon.  To make
matters worse, police can and do arrest the trafficked woman on
illegal immigrant charges.  The distance from home, lack of
familiarity with local language or dialect, and inability to find
local support networks further reinforce the women's and girls'
dependence on the brothel owners and pimps.
     Many thousands of women and children from Myanmar are lured,
abducted or sold into brothels in Thailand.  They are bartered at
prices that vary depending on their age, beauty and virginity. 
Women and children who have been trafficked can rarely escape, and
are victims of exploitation.  While it is true that heavy
trafficking of persons, particularly women, has taken place from
the Shan State in Myanmar for an extended period, the present
situation sees women from all over Myanmar being lured into
prostitution because of economic difficulties.
     The number of Burmese women and girls recruited to work in
Thailand brothels has soared in recent years as an indirect
consequence of political repression in Myanmar by the ruling State
Law and Order Restoration Council (SLORC) and because of improved
economic relations between Myanmar and Thailand.  After the 1988
crack down on the pro-democracy movement by the Burmese military,
many countries around the world responded with economic sanctions
and withdrawal of foreign aid, resulting in the shortage of foreign
capital and exchange for Myanmar.  Desperate for foreign exchange,
SLORC turned to Thailand which offered a range of economic
concessions.  Such economic links led to official openings along
Thai-Myanmar border, allowing both Thai and Burmese citizens to
cross the common border easily (1).
     This opening of trade and border crossings has facilitated the
rise in trafficking of men, women and children from Myanmar.  The
same routes which are used to transport drugs and goods are now
also used to transport people.  Although trafficking in women and
girls has become a lucrative and expanding cross-border trade,
which routinely escapes effective national and international
sanctions.  This is due to corruption among police and immigration
officials at borders who aid the illegal passage of traffic in
persons.
     A border boom brought about by the increased trade with
Myanmar, coupled with the profitable tourist industry in Thailand,
has increased the demand for women in the sex industry, especially
for younger girls.  Tourism in Thailand generates some US$4 billion
annually, and sex is one of its most valuable sub-sectors(2).  
Combined with the tourist demand for prostitutes, the local demand
is also high and helps sustain the sex market in Thailand.  It is
estimated that 75 percent of Thai men have had sex with prostitutes
(3).  
     In addition to economic ties with Thailand, Myanmar's
suppressive military regime has led many members of ethnic minority
groups to become economically desperate enough to be recruited into
prostitution.  Myanmar continues to be ruled by a highly
authoritarian military regime, (SLORC), which is widely condemned
for its serious human rights abuses.  There continues to be
credible reports, particularly in ethnic minority areas, that
soldiers commit serious human rights abuses, including
extrajudicial killing and rape.  Disappearance continues, and
prison conditions remain harsh, with the members of security force
randomly beating  or otherwise abusing prisoners.  Arbitrary
arrests and detention continue for expression of dissenting
political views, resulting in a few thousand students and
dissidents remaining in exile in Thailand.
     According to a US Department of State Report on Myanmar,
approximately 90,000 people were residing in ethnic minority camps
along the Thai-Burma border, among these are thousands of new
arrivals driven out by army attacks in the ares controlled by the
Karen and Karenni ethnic minorities.(4)  SLORC is suppressing
ethnic minority groups that are fighting for autonomy, and
consequently, women belonging to these groups, such as the Karen,
face difficulties because of militarism and the resulting economic
hardship.  Discrimination against women and ethnic minorities,
violence against women and child prostitution, as well as
trafficking in women and girls in border areas remains a serious
problem.(5)  Many women and children of the ethnic minority groups
in border areas, and particularly in the Shan State, were forced or
lured into working as prostitutes in Thailand.  
     The main center for trafficking in Eastern Myanmar is
Kengtung, in Shan State, Northern Burma.  Thousands of Burmese
women of Akha, Lisu, Wa, Shan, Tai Yai and Burman ethnic origin are
bought, recruited and then sent on to Northern Thailand.  
     The following factors help to encourage the trafficking of
women from the Eastern Shan State.  Shan women face severe
economic, physical, religious, cultural and political
discrimination.  They are expected to find work that will support
their parents and families, as well as to work the fields and do
the house work when at home.  Religious discrimination takes place
in the context of Theravada Buddhism.  Shan women are not
considered pure enough even to enter the temples in central pagoda
areas.  At an official level, there is little participation of Shan
women in the local decision making process.  
     The adverse socioeconomic conditions in Myanmar increase the
likelihood that women and girls will be lured into forced
prostitution.  Notably in rural areas, women and girls have little
education and few economic opportunities.  Myanmar is a poor
country, with an estimated average per capita income of US$200 to
US$300 per year on a cash basis or about US$600 to US$800 on a
purchasing power parity basis.(6)  The complete lack of development
in the Eastern Shan State have also contributed to migration.  In
many areas there are no roads, let alone cars, schools or clinics. 
The vast majority of Shan women never had the opportunity to go to
school.  Those who decide to cross the border into Thailand often
know nothing about AIDS.  It is widely understood that prostitution
is an employment option where they can raise more money than
through any other work, given their limited education.  Thus, the
burgeoning trade in women and girls is linked fundamentally to the
women's unequal status.   
     Disturbingly, some of these agents who recruit young women for
the brothel gangs in urban centers in Thailand are ordinary people
who are known by the women.  Sometimes trusted villagers and towns■
people or even friends and relatives have been known to lure
unsuspecting women to leave their homes with promises of jobs with
high wages, such as waitressing, in Thailand.
      Once they arrive in Thailand, these victims rarely stay in
one location.  While some women stay in one brothel for a year or
more, many are frequently moved around by the owners to avoid being
caught or found by the women■s family members who want them back. 
Many Burmese women end up in brothels in Ranong province which are
usually owned by Thai businessmen and employ both Thai and Burmese
women.  Brothel owners use a combination of threats, force, debt
bondage and illegal confinement to control the women and girls, and
force them to work in deplorable conditions.  This eliminates any
possibility of escape.  In many cases, the women especially those
from Myanmar are forced to work in conditions which amount to
nothing short of slavery.  Most of them are confined to their rooms
and only occasionally allowed to go out under the guard of a pimp. 
For example, one brothel from which prostitutes were freed was
surrounded by barbed wired and an electrified fence (7).
     Procurement and trafficking for the purpose of forced
prostitution are not only widespread in Thailand, but in many
instances occur with the direct involvement of the Thai police or
border guards.  Police and immigration agents at the border not
only aid in the passage of Burmese women and girls, police
involvement extends to maintaining forced prostitution after the
women and girls enter the brothel. Brothels in Thailand are
officially illegal, but they continue to flourish.  Brothels
routinely operate with police knowledge and police protection.  For
instance, the Crime Suppression Division of the police force raided
houses suspected to be brothels in Bangkok and found account books
listing protection payments to Thai government officials (8). 
Furthermore, police also are frequent clients at brothels.
     Women and girls from brothels in the Ranong area who are
arrested as illegal immigrants are normally deported back to
Myanmar by Thai police and immigration officials.  In most
deportations, many victims are met by agents offering to take them
to Bangkok for sex work, again (9).  Or, the deported victims go
straight into the arms of SLORC officials who, in turn, charge them
of illegally leaving Myanmar and send them to prison. 
     The young women who are trafficked internationally are
especially victimized because of the language barrier in their
destination country.  This creates a situation where they are
easily exploited by customers, are at the mercy of brothel owners,
are at disadvantage seeking help if they run away, are unaware of
laws that might protect them.  Besides being forced to work off
their debt, which can take years, the women are charged for all
their expenses at the brothel.  It is believed that some 20,000
women from Myanmar are presently in Thai brothels,  with 10,000 new
recruits each year.  The total number of prostitutes in Thailand is
estimated between 800,000 and 2 million (10).
     Victims of forced prostitution are particularly exposed to
health risks, especially sexually transmitted diseases (STDs),
including AIDS, because they are not allowed to negotiate the terms
of sex.  Aside from the risk of infection through sexual
intercourse with many clients, the growing popularity of
contraceptive injections in brothels also contributes to the spread
of disease, since brothels owners often use the same and possibly
contaminated needle several times.  Other women have become
infertile due to STDs and, thus, unmarriageable.  This is a great
stigma in cultures where the primary purpose of marriage is
procreation (11).   Upon returning to Myanmar, these victims are
shunned by SLORC for being both minority ethnic members and
prostitutes and many are thrown into jails allegedly for illegal
migration to Thailand.  Some are forced to return to prostitution
back in Thailand in order to support themselves.  Many Burmese
prostitutes, who were known to have AIDS, are murdered by Burmese
soldiers when upon returning to Myanmar (12). 
     A report from the United Nations International Drug Control
Program states that 74.3% of all tested drug users, 9% of the
prostitutes, 0.5% of blood donors and 1.4% of pregnant women in
Myanmar were HIV-positive (13).  The AIDS virus is spreading at an
extreme pace among prostitutes in Asia.  Thailand could have up to
800,000 people infected with the virus, and Myanmar -- where
condoms were banned until 1992 and are still rare -- has some
400,000 infected people (14).  
     In Thailand, which has a high prevalence rate of HIV, the
clients fear of infection has led traffickers to recruit younger
women and girls, sometimes as young as ten.  Many come from remote
areas in neighboring countries which are perceived to be unaffected
by the AIDS pandemic.  This ensures their "purity" or virginity
which increase their value (15).  Child prostitution in Thailand
refers to children under fourteen.  Although pedophiles have always
sought out young children, the AIDS scare has escalated the use of
children by all consumers.  Young children are sometimes marketed
as 'virgins' in order to attract customers who believe that
children are not exposed to AIDS, and thus can provide safe sex.
     Moreover, virgins are in great demand among Chinese from
Taiwan, Singapore and Hong Kong.  Chinese men prize sexual
intercourse with young girls for the rejuvenating properties they
believe to be associated with the act.  According to O'Grady,
"there are surprisingly large number of aging and wealthy Chinese
businessmen who believe that they must deflower a virgin at least
once a year to gain the energy needed to be successful in their
business enterprise and have a long life"(16).  However, the idea
that a child is safer than an adult in terms of transmitting STDs
and AIDS is only fallacy.  In fact, children are at greater risks
because of youth: their vaginas and anuses are easily torn,
creating sores and bleeding that permit the AIDS virus to spread
quickly. 
     Dr. Werasit, director of AIDS research at the Anonymous Clinic
run by the Red Cross and World Health Organization (WHO) in
Bangkok, completed his tests of prostitution in the Chiang Mai area
in December of 1992.  Four out of five prostitutes tested in the
Chiang Mai area were HIV-positive.  He estimated that 50 to 80
percent of prostitutes in Thailand are infected.  According to the
WHO, between 125,000 and 150,000 Thais will have died from AIDS by
1997.  The Population and Community Development Association of
Thailand estimates that AIDS could infect as many as 5.3 million by
the year 2000, with more than a projected million dead from AIDS
(17).  Thailand, as a developing nation, does not have the health-
care infrastructure to deal with an epidemic of this impending
size.  It will be easy for prostitutes to become part of a
disposable population that receives little, if any, health care.  
     The epidemic could eventually throttle the country's economic
boom, which has exported its way to an annual growth rate averaging
7.5 percent over the last decade.  Since rapid economic growth has
already created a shortage of technically skilled Thais, losses
from AIDS will add a still greater cost to the work force.  "The
center of gravity of the AIDS epidemic in the world is moving to
Asia," says David E. Bloom, professor of economics at Columbia
University in New York (18).  The gravity of the AIDS crisis has
begun to wake up Western transnational and Asian corporations. 
These companies facing a scarcity of skilled labor in many parts of
Asia could face more problems if they suddenly began to lose
experienced staff to AIDS.  
     Health-care costs are sure to skyrocket, a labor shortage will
emerge, and foreign investment could dry up.  Treatment for AIDS,
excluding expensive drugs, costs $1,000 a year, or 50 percent of
the annual income for an average family.  Each death due to AIDs,
which usually strikes victims in the peak of their productive
years, equals a loss in future earnings of $22,000 per person. 
This is compounded by the slacking off of the $5 billion tourism
industry, in part from the impact of AIDS (19).
     The virus spreads rapidly from country to country in part
because of trafficking of prostitutes across borders, but also
because customers tend to hop from place to place.  Sex tours
started in Japan, allowing groups of men to visit brothels in South
Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand.  Now South Korean and Taiwanese men
are prosperous enough to travel on sex tours of their own to places
like Bangkok or Manila.
     Southeast Asia is now the world's number one destination for
tourists looking for sex.(20).  Many sex tourists are from the
West, but a great number of Japanese and Chinese are also drawn by
the low prices, easy access to prostitutes of either sex at any age
and the lack of enforcement of laws.  Without doubt, the rising sex
tourism is contributing to the spread of AIDS everywhere.  It is
also true in Thailand that prostitutes who use condoms with their
clients do not necessarily use them with men whom they are have
personal relationships, and, hence, intimate relationships
currently present a great danger in contracting STDs and AIDS (21). 
At the same time, those Thai men who frequently visit prostitutes
also present the same danger to their wives and girlfriends at
home.
     Sex tourism in Asia is fed both by the use of local women and
children and by international trafficking in persons.  Sex tourism
is closely tied to economic development in Thailand. The enormous
increase in sex tourism in Thailand in the 1970s and 1980s is
directly tied to the Vietnam War.  Bangkok became a major center
for Rest and Recreation (R & R) leave, commonly known the by GIs as
I & I (Intoxication and Intercourse).(22)  A large and steady
stream of dollars entered the local economy through the sex
industry.  When the war ended, the Thai government, the military,
and business, needed to continue the flow of foreign exchange
earnings. To this end, they promoted sex tourism, to such an extent
that a group of high-ranking military general■s wives created a
travel agency to organize the tours.  After the war, many Americans
chose not to go home.  The saying was that there were no MIA in
Vietnam; in reality they were all MIBs -- Mischief in Bangkok.(23) 
From 1965 to 1993, the number of tourists grew from 250,000 to over
5 billion (24).  
     Tour agencies in industrialized countries, especially Japan,
Australia, Europe, North America, and recently, Korea, organize
tours to major sex industry centers for men explicitly for sexual
activity.  Cities and resort areas specialize in particular types
of sex or certain nationalities of men.  For example, a city in
northern Thailand is a noted homosexual center.  Various areas in
Bangkok are set up to serve men from different countries.  Patpong
is the famous area for Western tourists.  Several island resorts in
Thailand are specifically for pedophiles, and their remote nature
makes them that much more difficult to be found in order to protest
their acts.
     The exploitation of boys and girls exemplify the single most
unsavory element of the worldwide growth in the sex trade: an
explosion in child prostitution, driven in part by the fear of
AIDS.  Since 1985, child prostitution has escalated dramatically
worldwide.  In the developing world the number of child prostitutes
are staggering: an estimated 800,000 underage prostitutes in
Thailand, 400,000 in India, 250,000 in Brazil and 60,000 in the
Philippines.(25)  The newest international sites for child
prostitution are Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China and the Dominican
Republic.
     In recent years, religious groups, and feminist organizations,
and nongovernmental organizations have begun to press for an end to
sex tourism.  For example, in Thailand, the recent government
efforts to curb the sex industry can be viewed, in part, as
facilitated by the growth of female tourists, new social movements
against women and child prostitutes, and of the increasing
awareness of AIDS.
     Example of the newly emerged social movement group is The End
Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (ECPAT), founded in 1990 by
Asia-based Christian groups, now has offices in 14 nations and
extensive links with religious and social organizations around the
world dedicated to fighting child prostitution.  Pressure by ECPAT,
and groups like it has already had some impact; in 1992 the
Philippine government adopted a Child Protection Code to guard
against child abuse.
     Another effective fighter against sexual exploitation of
children is the Task Force to End Child Exploitation in Thailand,
a coalition of 24 government and private agencies dedicated to
exposing links between Europe and the child sex trade in Bangkok. 
In 1991, the group disclosed the existence of a Swiss network of
airline-ticket agencies catering to European pedophiles.(26)
     Local, regional and international nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs) have been at the forefront of efforts to raise
awareness of trafficking and to press for accountability.  NGOs,
particularly local groups, are carrying out desperately needed
programs to warn girls and their families of the dangers of
trafficking, shelter those who have managed to escape, provide
urgent medical and psychological care, assist in repatriation, and
press governments to strengthen domestic laws against trafficking.
     The work of NGOs has filled the gaps left by government
inaction and, at times, has led to governments■ improving their
behavior.  For example, in Thailand, NGOs working alone find that
after they rescue girls and send them back to their country, they
often come back again, especially those from Myanmar and the border
areas, where the ongoing political conflict meant there was no one
to take care of the children sent back across the border.  Thus,
NGOs have sheltered Burmese women and girls and found safe,
undisclosed ways to return them home over the borders.  In
addition, Thai NGOs have advocated that their government adopt the
necessary legislation and ratify the relevant international
instruments to improve projections for trafficking victims.  
     From the international level, according to the American-based
human-rights group, Asia Watch, the Thai government turns a blind
eye to the traffic in women and girls brought from Myanmar to
Thailand in forced prostitution.(27)  Furthermore, the border
controls that exist between Thailand and Myanmar are evaded by
corrupt police on both sides. According to the Asia Watch, despite
clear evidence of direct official involvement in every stage of the
trafficking process, no Thai officer has been prosecuted, except in
one highly publicized case of murder.(28) 
     Due to the NGOs demand, in March 1994 the United Nations
Commission on Human Rights adopted Resolution 1994/45 calling for
the elimination of trafficking in women for the purposes of
prostitution.  The appointment of a U.N. Special Rapporteur on
Violence Against Women and the work of the U.N. Special Rapporteur
on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography,
in particular, have helped put pressure on the U.N. and its members
to recognize the seriousness of the trafficking problem.  U.N.
Specialized agencies, including UNICEF, UNDP and WHO, have begun to
analyze the issue of trafficking and prostitution in relation to
their education, development, and relief work.  The International
Police Organization (INTERPOL) has also held several conferences on
trafficking and has attempted to coordinate cross-border efforts of
law enforcement agencies to curb trafficking in children, as
mentioned earlier.
     The International Labor Organization (ILO) launched a program
to combat the trafficking of children and their exploitation in
prostitution and sweatshops in Asia in the beginning of 1997.  In
Southeast Asia, Thailand appears to be the center of the problem
according to ILO International Program on the Elimination of Child
Labor (IPEC) for Asia.  In addition to prostitution, surveys by ILO
and NGOs found foreign boys and girls, mainly from Myanmar, in
factories, construction sites, gas station and sweatshops in
Bangkok and across the country.(29)  Economic progress and
development in Thailand may have actually contributed to the flow
of children from other countries of the Mekong River region, where
many face poverty and underdevelopment, political instability and
civil war. 

3. Related Cases

THAIAIDS case
CIGAR case
THAITOUR case
CANALTH case
TEAK

   Keyword Clusters
     (1) Trade Product = HUMAN beings
     (2) Bio-geography = TROPical
     (3) Environmental Problem = Health

4. Draft Author: Kalaya Chareonying (April 3, 1997)

B. LEGAL Clusters

5. Discourse and Status: DISagreement and ALLEGation

6. Forum and Scope: Thailand and REGION

7. Decision Breadth: 2 (Myanmar, Thailand)

8. Legal Standing: Law

      Thailand historically has addressed the problem of
trafficking of women by adopting several international laws
concerning this issue.  Thailand ratified three international
agreements that ended the sanction of prostitution by the
government. These three agreements are:
     1. The international Agreement for the Suppression of the
White Slave Trade of 1904.
     2. The International Convention of the Suppression of the
Traffic in Women and Children of 1922.
     3. The International Convention for the Suppression of the
Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of
Others of 1950.     
     Under the terms of the third agreement, state parties "agree
to punish any person who, to gratify the passions of another,
procures, entices or leads away, for purposes of prostitution,
another person..."(30)  Furthermore, Article 5 of the Traffick
Convention requires state parties to sanction any person who runs
or finances a brothel.
     Additionally, the 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) also reiterated the
state parties to take all appropriate measures to suppress the
traffic in women.(31)
     Despite the passage of the Suppression of Prostitution Act,
the Thai government■s commitment to eradicating prostitution was
called into serious question with the introduction of the
Entertainment Places Act of 1966 (the R & R treaty).  This act
regulates nightclubs, dance halls, bars and places for massage or
steam baths which have women attend to customers.  This law
basically allows prostitutes to operate under the disguise of those
entertainment establishments.  Thus, Thailand has contributed to
both the trafficking of human beings and forced prostitution by not
enforcing laws that it has ratified. 
     
C. GEOGRAPHIC Clusters

9. Geographic Locations

   a. Geographic Domain: Asia
   b. Geographic Site: Southeast Asia
   c. Geographic Impact: Thailand and Myanmar

10. Sub-National Factors: NO

11. Type of Habitat: TROPical

D. TRADE Clusters

12. Type of Measure: Regulatory Standard

13. Direct vs. Indirect Impacts: INDirect

14. Relation of Measure to Environment Impact

    a. Directly Related: YES Human beings
    b. Indirectly Related: NO
    c. Not Related: NO
    d. Process Related: YES Health

15. Trade Product Identification: Entertainment 

16. Economic Data   

     With the existing law enforcement officials, Thailand already
has the human resources to carry out the Anti-Trafficking Law,
given those involved are not corrupt.  In addition, Thailand has
the economic resources generated from the tourism industry to carry
out anti-child prostitution and anti-AIDS campaigns.  However, the
alarming data about the possible number of AIDS cases by the year
2000 has worried not only the Thai government, but also foreign
investors who must rely on a good standing labor force for economic
progress of the country.

17. Impact of Measure of Trade Competitiveness: HIGH

18. Industry Sector: Services

19. Exporter and Importer: Myanmar and Thailand

E.  Environmental Clusters

20. Environmental Problem Type: Health

21. Species

22. Impact and Effect: HIGH and REGULatory

23. Urgency and Lifetime: HIGH and about 60 years

24. Substitutes: Ecotourism

F. OTHER Factors

25. Culture: YES

     A double-standard code of conduct reinforces and reflects the
demand for prostitution.  In Thai society, while strict rules of
sexual conduct are applied to women, men can maintain their sexual
freedom, and in many cases promiscuity is taken as proof of
manhood.  A demonstration of heterosexual orientation by having sex
with a female prostitute is an important rite of passage for some
groups of Thai men.(32)  For example, it is a common practice for
second-year university students to take freshmen to the local
brothel.(33)  One study has shown that many Thai men, around 73%,
have their first sexual experience with a prostitute.(34)  In
addition, according to Harvard researcher Hnin Hnin Pyne, 75% of
Thai men frequently visit prostitutes (35). 
     Furthermore, many Thai people accept as the norm sexual non-
restraint for males.  In a recent study by Deemar Corporation, 80%
of the males and 74% of the females responded that it was ■natural
for men to pursue sex at every opportunity■ (36).  Many Thai men
continue visiting prostitutes after marriage and their spouses
accept this as an alternative to having an affair.  Since divorced
Thai women end up alone, many are forced to stay with their
irresponsible husbands.  Thus, the promiscuity of Thai men and the
mentality that leads to this promiscuity are key reasons for the
enormity of the prostitution problem.  
      
26. Trans-Border: YES

     Trafficked victims are not only sent to Thailand for
prostitution, but Thailand is also used as the main route for
sending prostitutes to other countries.

27. Human Rights: YES

     It does not matter whether trafficked victims are men, women
or children, with or without STDs or AIDS, they are human beings,
and thus deserved to be treated as human.  Many victims who carry
the AIDS virus are shunned by society and the government and are
left to die.

28. Relevant Literature.

(1) "New Border Checkpoints Open," Bangkok Post, 7 October 1992.

(2) Steven Schlosstein, Asia■s New Little Dragon (Chicago:  
Contemporary Books, 1991), 196-197.

(3) Aaron Sachs, "The Last Commodity: Child Prostitution in      
the Developing World," World Watch (July/August 1994), 28.

(4) "Burma Report on Human Rights Practices for 1996,"      
Department of State Human Rights Country Reports (1997 U.S.
Department of State, February 1997). 

(5) Ibid.

(6) Ibid.

(7) "An International Trade in Sex Slavery," Bangkok Post, 18    
July 1991.

(8) "89 Suspected Call-girls Arrested," The Nation (Thailand), 28
July 1993.

(9) Bertil Lintner, "Immigrant viruses," Far Eastern Economic    
Review, 20 February 1992, 31.

(10) "The Slaves from Myanmar," Economist 330, 5 February 1994: 32.

(11) "Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its Causes and
Consequences," U.N. Document E/CN.4/1995/42, (Geneva: United
Nations, 22 November 1994), 50. 

(12) Michael S. Serrill, "Defiling the Children," Time, 21 June
1993, 53. 

(13) Bertil Lintner, "Burma: Plague Without Borders," Far Eastern
Economic Review 157, 21 July 1994: 26.

(14) Nicholas D. Kristof, "Children for Sale -- A special report;
Asian childhoods sacrificed to prosperity's lust," New York Time,
14 April 1996.

(15) Marlise Simons, "The Sex Market: Scrounge on the World's    
Children," New York Times, 9 April 1993.

(16) Ron O'Grady, The Child and the Tourist (Bangkok, ECPAT: 1992),
80.

(17) Steven Erlanger, "A Plague Awaits," New York Times     
Magazine, 14 July 1991, 24.

(18) Ibid., 54.

(19) Joyce Barnathan, "The AIDS Disaster Unfolding in Asia: Nations
are Ill-equipped to Manage the Onslaught," Business Week, 22
February 1993, 53.

(20) "The Lost Children," Asiaweek, 7 February 1997, 36.

(21) Cleo Odzer, Patpong Sisters (New York: Blue Moon Books,     
1994).

(22) Ibid., 2.

(23) Ibid.

(24) Statistical Yearbook for Asia and the Pacific, Economic and
Commission for Asia and the Pacific (Bangkok: United Nations,
1994). 

(25) Michael S. Serrill, "Defiling the Children," Time 21 June
1993, 52-56.

(26) Ibid., 52.

(27) A Modern Form of Slavery: Trafficking of Burmese Women      
and Girls into Brothels in Thailand (New York: Human Rights Watch,
1993).

(28) Ibid.

(29) "ILO Program to Combat Child Prostitution and Trafficking,"
Agence France Presse, 6 December 1996.

(30) Trafficking Convention, Article 1.

(31) CEDAW, Article 6.

(32) Steven Erlanger, "A plague awaits," New York Times     
Magazine, 14 July 1991, 26.

(33) "Thailand: Sense about sex," Economist, 8 February 1992,    
33.

(34) Tawesak Nopkesorn, Suebpong Sungkorom, and Rungkan Sornlum,
HIV Prevalence and Sexual Behavior among Thai Men aged 21 in
Northern Thailand (Bangkok: Thai Red Cross Society, 1991).

(35) Aaron Sachs, "The Last Commodity: Child Prostitution in the
Developing World," World Watch (July/August 1994), 28.

(36) Deemar Corporation, Presentations of Findings. Knowledge,
Attitudes and Practices. Study on AIDS in Urban Thailand    
(Bangkok: Deemar, 1990), 2; quoted in   Mark J. Vanlandingham,
"Sexual activities among never-married men in northern Thailand,"
Demography 30 no. 3 (August 1993): 297-311.

May, 1997