This is not childhood: the child sex-trade in South-East Asia

One million children mostly girls and a significant number of boys enter the multibillion dollar commercial sex trade in Asia every year (UNICEF, 2001). The trafficking of women and children into the global sex trade is the third largest criminal activity internationally, and a multi-billion dollar industry. While other children are sleeping, playing, going to school and enjoying the innocence of their youth, child sex workers in East Asia are dealing with the devastating realities of their exploitation – AIDS, malnutrition, psychological trauma and sexually transmitted disease.

In Southeast Asia, the issue of child prostitution is closely related to child trafficking where children are abducted from neighboring countries or from poor areas to where there is a demand for commercial sex. It is a multibillion dollar industry affecting countless numbers of victims operating with impunity.

There are three categories of children entering child prostitution in Thailand. Children trafficked or kidnapped from neighboring countries, children sold or debt-bounded by parents, and “free children‟ who live with their parents and work as prostitutes on a part time basis.

The church has a mission to work for the liberation of all oppressed people. Christ is the foundation of this mission. We should be working hand in hand, and should study the problems of society to find solutions together, encouraged by prayer and study of the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.


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