Being in Chiang Mai for the past week I’ve made many interesting connections from all the activities that we’ve done. The one most interesting thing to me was the discussion about human trafficking. Learning about human trafficking from ajahn Catherine and ajahn Linda helped me gain a better understanding that it’s a major universal issue. However, I’ve never really experience or come across any person who’s been traffic or know someone who had.
After doing some research about human trafficking I found out that Thailand is one of the top countries known for trafficking girls into sex trade. Some of the reason why Thailand is a main target for human traffickers is because of high poverty rate and little opportunities for people to be successful. Thus, in some cases families will sell their daughters or force their daughters into prostitutions and possibly leading them into sex trafficking.
My first real experience witnessing prostitutions and human trafficking was in a restaurant in Chiang Mai. The first thing I notice coming into the restaurant was two girls standing by the stairwell in the restaurant, but I didn’t think anything was odd until I saw a man approach them and stood next to them. I saw one of the women and the man chatting and then a second man approached them. Afterward the women went upstairs with the second man. As I kept observing the whole restaurant I notice an older white male in his 40’s sitting alone drinking and keeping his eyes on the ladies who were standing by the stairwell. Then I realize that the older white male must be the pimp and the guy who was talking to the girls was probably a watcher. This made me felt uncomfortable and confuse because I didn’t want to assume anything about this situation, but I had a strong feeling that it was sex trafficking.
In the U.S human trafficking is a huge issue too, but it’s not very visible or apparent. I think in Thailand a majority of people here know or had experience human trafficking because it happens so often and in local clubs, bars and restaurants. As for the U.S the human traffickers seem to be more on the down low where they operate secretly and quietly. I had many questions that rise during the human trafficking discussion and being at the restaurant. My main question is how can all the countries come together to find a solution to this issue, especially since this is a universal problem.