The life of a sexually trafficked woman in Southeast Asia is almost unimaginable. The majority is tricked into leaving their homes, even in foreign countries, by the promise of a conventional, well-paying job that would allow them to support their families. The traffickers take their identification and travel documents, and the women are told they owe the traffickers for all travel expenses.
“Victims of sexual trafficking are subject to physical and psychological torture. The traffickers will threaten them, that they’ll kill their family if they don’t work,” said Aimee Torres, president of Majestic Dreams Foundation.
The number of adults registered as commercial sex workers is around 70,000, based on reports from the 2009 Human Rights Report: Thailand, produced by the US Department of State. However, many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) believe that this is an underestimation and that there is more than 300,000 engaged in commercial sex work.
Prevention is still the most effective strategy for combatting sexual trafficking as a whole. “We need education in the rural communities – this will lead to prevention on the supply side on a community level … it’s more difficult to rescue women than to prevent it in the first place,” says Executive Director of Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific. “We also need to educate young men so they don’t want to contribute to the market… and educate young women to reduce vulnerability to being recruited for prostitution.”
Article Title: A Mental and Physical Hell
Al Jazeera, November 27, 2011.
Author: Renee Lewis.
Student: Beatriz Alcazar, Sonoma State University
Evaluator: Christine Castillio, Executive Director of Verity ( Sonoma County Rape Crisis and Trauma Center).
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