sex trafficking

The latest collab: Thai anti-trafficking measures prove controversial by Bear Guerra

We traveled to Bangkok and Chiang Mai this past Summer on a fellowship from the International Center for Journalists  to work on a few stories about the U.S. Evangelical influence in anti-human and sex trafficking activities in Thailand. Here's one of the stories, which aired on Deutsche Welle.

Listen to the radio story. 

 

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Notes from the Field: Bangkok, Day 12 by Bear Guerra

Bangkok | July, 2013  (photo by Bear Guerra)

Bangkok | July, 2013  (photo by Bear Guerra)

Many young and typically upwardly mobile Thai women look to the West for models of beauty. Much like in Japan, or Korea, Thai girls in Bangkok covet very pale, almost translucent skin, and wide, almond-shaped eyes—either through whitening serums, make-up or surgery.

But this beauty fad aside, Thai gender identity is much more complicated; a product of a mix of tradition, class status, and economics.

And so it is that the fashionably dressed office girls, zipping through Bangkok traffic on a moto-taxi, have so little in common with the young women who work at factories by day and dance at bars by night.

They may regularly drive past the go-go bars peppered throughout central Bangkok’s red light districts, without stopping to think about what many other young girls their age have to do to make a living, whether they were trafficked into this line of work—or not.