The inexorable quest for trafficking hotspots along the Thai-Lao border

Sverre Molland*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

I am sitting with Thou, an official working for an anti-trafficking programme in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic. We have just discussed several case studies from my fieldwork on trafficking into the commercial sex industry along the Thai-Lao border. The case studies point to a common phenomenon on both sides of the border: occasionally sex workers use deception and debt bondage to recruit acquaintances into the industry, and in a minority of cases the recruiter and/or the recruit are under the legal age of 18. While Thou reacts with a mixture of excitement and surprise to my case studies, she is also familiar with the narratives I reproduce. She has heard similar stories from Vietnam. Unlike many other informants, however, Thou immediately sees the implication for law enforcement: How can we deal with this? The perpetrator might be a young woman from the same village, even underage? And, as both the victim and perpetrator come from the same community, even the same village, what does this mean for anti-trafficking programming?.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLabour Migration and Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis Ltd.
Pages57-74
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781136328015
ISBN (Print)9780415665636
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012

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