FBI in Thailand: Confronting the Child Sex Trade
The FBI, along with the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security's Homeland Security Investigations, has partnered with the Royal Thai Police to address child exploitation in Thailand and to focus more attention on victims.
It’s not that Thailand is a beautiful country—a country of smiles, good food—it’s not that thing.
It’s about cheap sex and where the demand and the supply meet.
We’re talking about thousands of children. And, you know, people often say teenagers. Yes, maybe teenagers are sold for sex up north, but in Pattaya we’re talking about young children. We’re talking about children 12 and under.
Trafficking crime is serious. It is crime against human dignity. But when they do this to our children then it’s even worse.
This is one of those opportunities where we can discuss a problem that the world knows is a problem. There aren’t two sides to the child exploitation issue. There’s not two sides to taking case of victims and witnesses. This is a situation where we’re able to do something that’s 100-percent right, that has to be done . Anybody you talk to about it says, well, of course you should be doing this.
But even though it’s an obvious thing it’s still difficult. For the Thai police this is a huge change for them.
As the victim-centric approach takes hold, as victims gain more trust and confidence in the system I think you’re going to see, like we did in the United States, a tremendous response, and even a greater number of these cases being investigated and prosecuted and victims really feeling that they received justice through the process.
When they come here there’s police here that would build trust with them, so they’re willing to work with the victims, with the law enforcement. And I think it creates a new view of the justice system when the police ate more, like, child-friendly and victim-focused.
I think the Thai government realizes that the magnitude of the problem is massive, that they’ve got a big job on their hands. And they’ve begun to apply themselves in, I think, very important and useful ways.
We hope that we can signal a clear message to some Thai or some foreigner that are traveling to Thailand and think Thailand is a safe haven for them. We want to let them know that that’s not true anymore.
I grew up here. I feel at home here. I cannot stand when people do a bad thing here in my home. Right?
I feel like having snake in your home. So you’ve got to do something.
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