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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 971

7,000 student sex workers in Udon Thani, say activists

Mayuree Akkrabal:

Bangkok, Feb. 17: The problem of school-girl prostitution has become a serious issue in Udon Thani, where thousands of high school students are involved in the flesh trade, according to a children’s rights activist.

As many as 70 per cent of schoolgirls who regularly visit night entertainment venues are involved in prostitution, Nisit Sakayaphan, coordinator of the Network for Children, Women and Families in Udon Thani, said yesterday.

Many girls offered themselves for sale, while others acted as procurers, she said, adding that some of the girls were as young as 14.

Nisit estimated that at least 7,000 high school girls were involved in the flesh trade, citing the findings of a focus group study of 17 cases conducted between 2000 and 2003. The subjects of her study were aged between 14 and 18.

“In most cases the girls decided to sell themselves in order to be able to afford luxuries like motorcycles, cell phones and nightlife activities,” Nisit told a meeting on how to help victims of the flesh trade at the Kaen Inn hotel in Khon Kaen.

She also blamed sexual abuse by men close to the girls as a factor encouraging them to enter the flesh trade. After losing their virginity, she said, the decision becomes much easier.

Nisit said the reason why she chose Udon Thani was that many reports of child prostitution in the province had appeared in the media recently.

- The Nation -

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