The number of exploited women in Thailand is great. Some of the women are forced into exploitation by economic hardship, some by cultural circumstances, and some sold or coerced in other ways. Many of the women come from broken families and relationships, and many of them have children who are left behind with their grandparents or other relatives. The devil plants lies in their minds that go along with their marred situations and makes them believe that this is all that they are worth, that this is all that they can do, and that this is the easiest way out of their problems.
The boom of the commercial sex trade in Southeast Asia started with the U.S presence in Vietnam. There were approximately 20,000 prostitutes in Thailand in 1957. By 1964 (only seven years later), the United States had established seven bases in the country, and the number of prostitutes had skyrocketed to more than 400,000. In 1967, there was a pact in place between the U.S and the Thailand government to provide soldiers with “Rest and Relaxation.” The military personnel, however, did not refer to these times as rest and relaxation, but rather referred to them as “intoxication and intercourse.” Just knowing this leads one to believe that prostitution was common a way of life during the Vietnam War.
•Thailand – high estimates say that 75% of men have purchased sex at least once
•Sex Tourism – In 2002 the number of prostitutes rose to about 10,873,000.6
•Out of all the tourists that visit Thailand each year, approximately 60% are male, and NGOs estimate that up to 70% of male tourists in Thailand are sex tourists
•That means that in 2002, about 4,560,000 male tourists came to Thailand specifically for sex!
•2015 – 29.88 million tourists = 12.5 million sex tourists. It’s tripled in just over 10 years!