Every child who is sold and exploited is surrounded by adults earning money from their misery. Sompop calls it a ‘bloodsucker cycle’ where adults suck every penny they can get out of their children.
• Parents often get an ‘advance’ on the children’s ‘wages’, which the children need to work to pay off. But high interest levels mean that the debt quickly grows and can never be paid back. The children become debt slaves.
• Agents, people in the villages, give tip-offs on vulnerable children, and also get paid to turn a blind eye.
• Taxi drivers take the victims to the border, and also get paid to drive customers to brothels and bars.
• Traffickers who are linked to criminal gangs earn money by buying and selling children like commodities.
• Pimps and owners of brothels and bars take almost all the money the children earn.
• Some local guides take tourists to bars and brothels and get a percentage of the money they pay. Many global travel companies also earn money from child sex tourism.
Some taxi drivers take the victims to the border, and also get paid to drive customers to brothels and bars.
Text: Carmilla Floyd
Photo: Kim Naylor