Bangkok is home to a tourist’s delights–travel, adventure, fun in the sun–but it is also fueled by a certain $2-billion trade; Human trafficking in Asia exploits the poor and often unemployed migrants. They are taking high risks in hopes of finding better lives elsewhere. The human trafficking routes also spread off the continent of Asia to other well known travel destinations like Europe, Australia, North America and New Zealand. Human trafficking in Asia–particularly Southeast Asia–has been well known for decades, yet it still goes unchecked. Malaysia and Thailand pose the largest profits and human numbers according to the U.S. State Department.
Where can the human trafficking in Asia be stopped? Many people living in war torn areas or countries riddled with poverty and human rights abuse turn to high risk human trafficking in hopes of a better life.
Sex tourism is another part of the puzzle to blame, with some being trafficked to other countries under false pretenses that they will be maids, only to find themselves enslaved in a brothel often located in a highly populated travel destination. The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) have warned against the risks people take when attempting to be smuggled to a distant country.
Women are at higher risk in the human trafficking in Asia trade, often in desperate search of a new start for them and their children. Women are in part the most vulnerable since they often have little skilled work experience and/or education. They are left to the rules of their smugglers since they have no rights in the countries they have been trafficked to. Women are subject to physical and mental abuse after being smuggled from their home country. They are treated as lesser beings, with their documents, and sometimes their children taken away from them. They are then forced to work as indentured servants. Rape and molestation is a common theme that these women have to endure with no one to help them and no where to go. Organizations and non-profits have developed programs to help women escape their debt bondage, but the numbers are too high and the human trafficking in Asia trade is too secretive and profitable to effect.
Traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, its happier, beautiful parts are the parts that disguise any part in the human trafficking in Asia trade. Still, it is essential to be as well-informed as possible: