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It's just another dark day in Thailand.
Earlier this year, the United Nations Office of Drugs and Crimes stated in its Global Report on Trafficking in Persons that 79 percent of all global trafficking is for sexual exploitation, one of the world's fastest-growing crimes. The report stated that the proportion of minors involved in the various forms of human-trafficking increased from about 15 percent to nearly 22 percent between 2003 and 2007. This past June, the Obama Administration expanded the U.S. watch list of countries suspected of not doing enough to combat human-trafficking, putting more than four dozen nations on notice that they might face sanctions if their records don’t improve.
ECPAT International’s recent report also warned that the number of children and young people trafficked within their own country is increasing. Such trafficking frequently involves movement from rural to urban areas or from one city or town to another without the need for travel documentation.
Purchasing sex, whether from children or adults, creates huge monetary incentives for human traffickers, according to Siddharth Kara, a board member of the Washington-based NGO “Free the Slaves” and author of the 2008 book “Sex Trafficking.” Even within the exploding slavery industry, which according to Kara generated $152.3 billion in revenues in 2007, trafficked sex workers are by far the most profitable of slaves.
It’s because of these huge revenues that destination countries often turn a blind eye to sex tourism. The International Labor Organization says it contributes as much as 14 percent of the gross domestic product of Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.