November 14, 2008



  • Around 80,000 women and children have been sold into Thailand's sex industry since 1990, with most coming from Burma, China's Yunan province and Laos. (Mahidol University's Institute of Population and Social Research, "Trafficking of children on the rise," Bangkok Post, 22 July 1998)
  • In Thailand, trafficking is a 500 billion annual business, which is 50%- 60% of the government's annual budget and more lucrative than the drug trade. (Authorites and activists, Kulachada Chaipipat, "New law targets human trafficking," The Nation, 30 Novermber 1997)
  • Women from Thailand are trafficked particularly to the Netherlands and Germany of the European Union, Japan, Australia, India, Malaysia and nations of the Middle East. ("Trafficking of Women to the European Union: Characteristics, Trends and Policy Issues," European Conference on Trafficking in Women, (June 1996), IOM, 7 May 1996) and (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)
  • Thailand is a staging point for the international trade in prostitutes and illegal workers, with facilities for the production of false travel documents and processing of foreign nationals to third countries. (Chulalongkorn University, "There’s money everywhere for Thai police," The Nation, 25 February 1997)
  • In Thailand, the new Measures in Prevention and Suppression of Trafficking in Women and Children Act only issues authorities the right to detain suspected victims of trafficking, not the suspected traffickers. (Kulachada Chaipipat, "New law targets human trafficking," The Nation, 30 November 1997)
  • Prostituted women who are illegal immigrants when found by police are deported and blacklisted. (Police Colonel Sanit Meephan, deputy chief of the Tourism Police Bureau, "Thailand popular haunt for foreign prostitutes," The Nation, 15 January 1997)
  • Reduced punishments for prostituted women and harsher penalties for pimps and brothel owners has not curbed the problem of trafficking into Thailand. Officers in charge of enforcing the law, particularly immigration police do not take the matter seriously, or fail to take immediate action against violators. (Senator Keerana Sumawon, Sirinya Wattanasukchai, "Flesh trade shrugs off new risks," The Nation, 1 May 1997)
  • Number of persons engaged in prostitution per type of sex industry establishment: 11,665 persons in restaurants; 9,397 in traditional massage parlors; 7,338 in karaoke bars; 5,964 in massage parlors; 5,743 in cafes; 5,229 in beer bars; 5,155 in brothels; 3,340 in go-go bars; 2,555 in cocktail lounges; and 1,936 in gay bars. Survey conducted nationwide in January 1998. (Thai Public Health Ministry. Aphaluck Bhatiasevi, "Vice purge hinders campaign as prostitutes go underground," Bangkok Post, 17 June 1998)
  • Half a million women are in sexual slavery, accounting for 18-20% of all Thai women aged 18-30. (Pino Arlaccki, Head of UN International Drug Control Programme, in charge of UN efforts to fight organized crime, Associated Foreign Press, 13 November 1997)
  • Thailand is now one of the world's AIDS capitals. The crisis is most severe in the North, where it is recommended that a state of AIDS emergency should be imposed. Suggested strategies include the immediate closure of all brothels in the region because the main route of transmission of AIDS is prostitution. ("Opening our eyes to the Aids problem," The Nation, 20 May 1997)

  • The Thai Government was placed in Tier 2 in the 2007 U.S. Department of State’s Trafficking in Persons Report for not fully complying with the Trafficking Victims Protection Act’s minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but making significant efforts to do so.
  • There are reports of local government officials who are complicit in trafficking. (2006 US Department of State Human Rights Report.) Since the September 2006 military coup, Thai government efforts to combat trafficking remain uncertain.
  • The 1997 Prevention and Suppression of Trafficking in Women and Children Act criminalize trafficking for sexual exploitation. Penalties range from imprisonment for a year to life and fines of $50 to $1000. Penalties for trafficking of children between the age of 15 to 18 range from 3 to 15 years of imprisonment and a fine. Penalties for trafficking children under the age of 15 ranges from five to 20 years of imprisonment and a fine. (2006 US Department of State Human Rights Report)
  • The Government of Thailand reported 88 arrests in cases brought against traffickers in the period from September 2005 through February 2007, involving a total of 100 victims. No public officials or law enforcement officials were arrested for being complicit in trafficking in 2006. (2007 US Department of State Trafficking in Persons Report)


The Netherlands...acknowledges that prostitution—called "sex work"—is an inevitability, and has regulated the sex industry by legalizing brothels and creating official zones for street prostitution. The term "trafficking" is used only to designate forced prostitution, and traffickers are duly prosecuted.

Dutch police reports suggest that, as a result, prostitution has become both easier to regulate and socially acceptable. Rights-based organizations like the Network for Sex Work Projects applaud the creation of a safer workplace for most women in the Dutch sex industry, though they criticize the lack of protections for many trafficking victims, including non-EU citizens who are in the Netherlands illegally.

But despite its successes, a Netherlands-style approach has been flatly ruled out by the Bush administration. A State Department fact sheet on trafficking declares: "It is a vicious myth that women and children who work as prostitutes have voluntarily chosen such a life for themselves." Likewise, USAID has announced that "organizations which advocate or support the legalization of prostitution are not appropriate partners for USAID anti-trafficking grants or contracts."

  • In Amsterdam, Netherlands, 80% of prostitutes are foreigners, and 70% have no immigration papers, suggesting that they were trafficked. (Marie-Victoire Louis, "Legalizing Pimping, Dutch Style," Le Monde Diplomatique, 8 March 1997)
  • In the Netherlands, 33% of the prostitutes come from countries outside of the European Union, this increases to 50% in the larger cities (Altink, 1995) ("Trafficking of Women to the European Union: Characteristic, Trends and Policy Issues," European Conference on Trafficking in Women, (June 1996), IOM, 7 May 1996)
  • Policy and Law The definition of prostitution in the Netherlands is now based on whether there was any coercion. Dutch authorities have even proposed a new concept: "full consent to exploitation of the self." Dutch policy has been held up as an example at almost every international conference. The Hague played a crucial part in drawing up the European action plan in preparation for the Beijing conference in September 1995, where the concept of "forced prostitution" was established for the first time a European government level. (Marie-Victoire Louis, "Legalizing Pimping, Dutch Style," Le Monde Diplomatique, 8 March 1997)
  • The Netherlands government, in response to increasing trafficking in women, amended its criminal law in 1991. The maximum sentence for trafficking was raised from 5 to 6 years, and to 10 years for the trafficking of children under 16 and/or accompanied by serious physical violence. (Marie-Victoire Louis, "Legalizing Pimping, Dutch Style," Le Monde Diplomatique, 8 March 1997)
  • The maximum penalty for alien smuggling in the Netherlands is one year. (Tass, 1995, "Trafficking and Prostitution: The Growing Exploitation of Migrant Women from Central and Eastern Europe," IOM, May 1995)
  • Official Response and Action Although trafficking in women to the Netherlands and Belgium has risen police and immigrant authorities do not consider it a large problem. ("Trafficking and Prostitution: The Growing Exploitation of Migrant Women from Central and Eastern Europe," IOM, May 1995)
  • There are an estimated 30,000 prostitutes in the Netherlands ("Sex tax Ticks off Dutch," Associated Press, 14 October 1997)
  • The Phillippines, Thailand, South Korea, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong are some of the primary Asian destinations for organized sex tours from the Netherlands. (CATW - Asia Pacific, Trafficking in Women and Prostitution in the Asia Pacific)

  • The government of the Netherlands promotes itself as the champion of anti-trafficking policies and programs yet cynically has removed every legal impediment to pimping, procurement and brothels. With the decriminalization of brothels in October, 2000, the Dutch government took a final step in making the prostitution industry fully legal in the Netherlands.
  • In the year 2000, the Dutch Ministry of Justice argued for a legal quota of foreign “sex workers,” because the Dutch prostitution market demands a variety of “bodies” (Dutting, 2001: 16).
  • Also in the year 2000, the Dutch government sought and received a judgment from the European Court recognizing prostitution as an economic activity, thus enabling women from the EU and former Soviet bloc countries to obtain working permits as “sex workers” in the Dutch sex industry if they can prove that they are self employed. NGOs in the Netherlands have stated that traffickers are taking advantage of this ruling to bring foreign women into the Dutch prostitution industry by masking the fact that women have been trafficked, and by coaching the women how to prove that they are self-employed “migrant sex workers.”
  • One argument for legalizing prostitution in the Netherlands was that legalization would help end the use of desperate immigrant women trafficked for prostitution. A report done for the governmental Budapest Group* stated that 80% of the women in the brothels in the Netherlands are trafficked from other countries (Budapest Group, 1999: 11).
  • As early as 1994, the International Organization of Migration (IOM) stated that in the Netherlands alone, “nearly 70 per cent of trafficked women were from CEEC [Central and Eastern European Countries]” (IOM, 1995: 4).

  • The Netherlands is a primary country of destination for victims of human trafficking. Many of these are led to believe by organized criminals that they are being offered work in hotels or restaurants or in child care and are forced into prostitution with the threat or actual use of violence. Estimates of the number of victims vary from 1000 to 7000 on a yearly basis. Most police investigations on human trafficking concern legal sex businesses. All sectors of prostitution are well represented in these investigations, but particularly the window brothels are overrepresented.

  • An article in Le Monde in 1997 found that 80% of prostitutes in the Netherlands were foreigners and 70% had no immigration papers, suggesting that at least some were victims of sex trafficking, forced prostitution.

  • An article in the New York Times in February 2008 stated that officials estimate that sexual transactions in Amsterdam account for about 100 million US dollars per year. The red light district is also a popular tourist attraction, so the revenues that Amsterdam earns in tourism can be partly linked to brothels and the unusual appeal they bring to city. Recently however officials have noticed an increase in violence centered around this irregular industry and have blamed this increase on the illegal immigration of individuals into Amsterdam to participate in the sex industry. There were 142 licensed brothels in Amsterdam, with about 500 window displays. Seventy-five percent of Amsterdam’s 8,000-11,000 prostitutes immigrated from Eastern Europe, Africa and Asia. When the Dutch government legalized prostitution in 2000 it was to protect the women by giving them work permits but some fear that this business cannot be normalized.

1 comment:

Jeff Lewis said...

There is a growing number of well respected researchers, journalists, scientists, professors, that have concluded in their research that the sex trafficking, sex slavery concept is based on emotion, morals, and monetary funding rather than facts, evidence and proof. They state that very few kidnapped, forced against their will, physically abused, raped sex slave prostitutes for profit have been found throughout the world. Their research concludes that women who enter into this type of work do so of their own free will. They also state that there are many anti-prostitution groups who simply do not like the idea of consensual adult prostitution and have distorted the facts in order to push their agenda and receive funding and money into their organizations in the form of donations, grants and to change the laws about prostitution. They state that these anti-prostitution groups use made up child sex trafficking statistics which they have no proof or evidence of in order to gain public acceptance for their cause. Which they then pass onto media outlets as press releases.
Here are some good links about this: