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Asia Watch and the Women's Rights Project. Research for this report was undertaken by an Asia Watch staff member who must remain anonymous, with additional research by the Women's Rights Project.
It was written by the Asia Watch researcher together with Dorothy Q. The report was edited by Thomas and Jones. We would like to acknowledge with gratitude and admiration the help of many people in Thailand, both Thai and Burmese, who cannot be named. For the next two years, "Lin Lin" worked in various parts of Thailand in four different brothels, all but one owned by the same family. The owners told her she would have to keep prostituting herself until she paid off her father's debt. If she refused a client's demands, she was slapped and threatened by the owner.
She worked every day except for the two days off each month she was allowed for her menstrual period. Once she had to borrow money to pay for medicine to treat a painful vaginal infection. This amount was added to her debt. On January 18, the Crime Suppression Division of the Thai police raided the brothel in which "Lin Lin" worked, and she was taken to a shelter run by a local non-governmental organization.
She was fifteen years old, had spent over two years of her young life in compulsory prostitution, and tested positive for the human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. In the last two years, Thai NGOs estimate that at a minimum, some twenty thousand Burmese women and girls are suffering Lee's fate, or worse, and that ten thousand new recruits come in every year.
They are moved from one brothel to another as the demand for new faces dictates, and often end up being sent back to Burma after a year or two to recruit their own successors. These Burmese women and girls are only a fraction of the estimated , to two million prostitutes currently working in Thailand. We focus this report on the Burmese trafficking victims because of the range of violations of internationally-recognized human rights that they suffer, from debt bondage to arbitrary detention, and because government officials, particularly form Thailand, are complicit in these violations both by direct involvement in the brothels and by failing to enforce Thailand's obligations under both national and international law.