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Underage sex trade: Thai border officials as much to blame as anyone

The finger of blame has been pointed as much at corrupt Thai border officials as operators of bars and karaoke shops for the underage sex trade.

An official at a human trafficking organization said it was often Thais in border areas who were responsible for promoting the trade in underage women.

TNA reported that it has been revealed by justice department officials that more than 400 cases of human trafficking have gone to court in Thailand over the last three years.

Most of these cases involved women aged between 14 and 18 from Thailand’s neighbors.

The worst single area with 53 cases was the border area with Cambodia around Surin.

Ranasit Preuksayachiwa representing an organization that helps in cases of human trafficking said that there was no sign of the problem abating.

“It is not just a problem of people running restaurants, karaoke and go-go bars that employ these girls,” he said.

“The problem exists because of corrupt officials at border areas who effectively promote the trade by allowing girls to cross into Thailand and who take bribes”.

TNA reported that out of  around 400 cases in three years 140 were in Bangkok with the rest being up-country.

The country has been rocked in recent weeks by several high profile cases of children being exploited in the sex trade including one allegedly involving several state officials in Mae Hong Son.

Thai VisaThai News Agency

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