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By: Eric DeGood, NIck Testa, Tyler Crandon, Jennifer Fredericks, Michelle Lee


An Australian, Bradley Pendragon, was charged with beating and raping two Thai girls, aged 8 and 11 in a Bangkok hotel room in October 1993. Pornographic photographs made of the assaults show the youngest girl crying as she was orally raped. Pendragon was arrested after a series of pictures was sent to a Bangkok child protection agency by a photo-processing laboratory in Chiang Mai. Captain Soontorn told the Bangkok Southern Criminal Court that he rescued the girls, who had been sold into prostitution by their family, after they had been working in Bangkok's Patpong bar district for about four months in November 1993. The Thai pimps were allegedly paid between $250 and $500 by foreign clients, but the mother and grandmother received only $20 or $40 a time. Pedragon is already serving a sentence for the rape of a nine-year-old mentally handicapped girl in the northern city of Chiang Mai - the first conviction of an Australian for sexual assault of a minor in `Thailand.


In Thailand, trafficking is a Bt500 billion annual business, which is 50%- 60% of the government's annual budget and more lucrative than the drug trade.
For traffickers in Southeast Asia, Thailand is a land of opportunity. Trafficking in this tourist hotspot is a roughly $12 billion industry — a bigger cash earner than the country’s drug trade, according to the International Labor Organization. Simple economics drive the boom: In Thailand, per capita income is $6,900; in the surrounding states of Cambodia, Laos, and Burma that figure hovers in the $1,500 to $1,700 range. Inadequately funded law enforcement and relaxed visa regulations have traditionally guaranteed the traffickers’ trade. To keep the supply steady, Thai crime groups also collaborate with mafia syndicates from China, Russia, Japan, Burma, and elsewhere, Human Rights Watch reports. The Japanese yakuzas (mafia groups) in particular have a strong presence in Thailand.


There are currently two patterns of sex trafficking that exist in Thailand.
The oldest pattern is called the two-step pattern and is trafficking a woman or child from their village to a larger town and then to a foreign country. Women who have never been a part of the sex industry tend to partake in the one-step pattern of trafficking.
o  The newer one-step pattern is directly taking a person from their village to a foreign country.
 o  The Foundation for Women found that the women in the one-step pattern are more likely to be exposed to harsher forms of sexual exploitation.[2] Once the women and girls are trafficked into their destination country, they are forced into prostitution, serving both locals and sex tourists.




Sex trafficking has been a persistent issue around the world for quite some time. Since the early 1990's, Thailand has been the main landing place for stolen women forced into the sex trade. Each year thousands of women are kidnapped and sent into Thailand to be used for sex. These women are beaten and raped by the men who purchase them, and have no hope of ever escaping from their captivity unless people like you and I take action.


One fourth of Thailand’s estimated 200,000 commercial sex workers are believed to be Burmese.
With limited options for work in Burma, Cambodia and Laos, the chance to go across the border to work on a “fruit farm” or other alleged business is a chance to earn money for a family’s clothes, food, education, and medicine. In Burma, ethnic Shan women are often rape targets for army troops — a claim denied by the ruling junta.

What is Human Trafficking?

The United Nations defines human trafficking as the “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of deception, of the abuse of power or of position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.”