International Sex Trafficking Trail Leads to the US

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hillary Clinton delivers remarks with U.S. Secretary of Treasury Tim Geithner. (Paul J. Richards/Getty)

From Thailand, to Vietnam to Queens, to Boston and San Francisco. It may come as a surprise that sex trafficking takes place within the United States and not just abroad. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report yesterday.

Philip Martin is a senior investigative reporter for WGBH in Boston. He recently embarked on a project exploring the relationship between sex tourism and sex trafficking from Thailand to the United States. It’s taken him across the world talking to police, U.N. members, and victims of sex trafficking.

Phillip Martin, WGBH
Entering Pattaya, Thailand, a sexual playground for tourists
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Phillip Martin, WGBH
The famous walking street in Pattaya where tourists worldwide solicit for sex.
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Some of the so-called sex workers are underaged and that by law is considered human trafficking.
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Palissorn Noja, who runs the anti-trafficking and child abuse center outside of Pattaya, discusses his center's role in the arrest of Gregory James Miller of Illinois.
The center has rescued hundreds of children, though adult customers also include Asians and men from the Middle East.
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Sex trafficking victims live on a couple of acres of land in a tiny sheltered community run by local volunteers
Phillip Martin, WGBH
There is tremendous poverty surrounding Pattaya and sex tourism is regarded as an alternative means of survival by many.
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Duean Wongsa, a lawyer for the anti-trafficking group TRAFCORD at the headquarters in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Ben Savasti, the executive director and founder of the anti-trafficking group TRAFCORD at the headquarters in Chiang Mai in northern Thailand.
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Chaing Mai's entertainment district is a magnet for sex tourism and human trafficking.
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Young "entertainment" workers in Chiang Mai. A great deal of prostitution in Thailand is voluntary and the result of limited options for eking out a living.
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Under Thai law, any person who is sold or is selling him or herself for sex who is under 15 is considered a trafficking victim.
Phillip Matin, WGBH
Phillip Martin, WGBH
In Chiang Mai's entertainment district
Phillip Martin, WGBH
Phillip Martin, WGBH

Guests:

Phillip Martin

Produced by:

Paul R. Smith

Comments [2]

Listener from NYC

Ed, that comment is so ridiculous I don't know where to begin. Depravity is not the result of the number of women and children "available," as if they were some commodity whose scarcity leads to supply-and-demand behaviors in adults. By the way, women are not chattel who exist simply for men to marry and have sex with.

Jun. 20 2012 08:34 AM
Ed from Larchmont

One cause of sex trafficking is the shortage of women in China (and other countries to a lesser extent) as a result of the one-child policy and sex selection abortions: not enough women for the men who want to marry. Hilary Clinton is supporting policies lead to support sex trafficking.

Jun. 20 2012 05:48 AM

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