Travel, Trafficking and Sex trade

As P came back to her family free from her husband travelling all alone through the dangerous border areas of China it was not just her family rejoiced. Ben was there along with her mother who finally saw her daughter again. A daughter she had probably given up the hope to see. Others like me were also there updated through regular posts from Ben. While the drama of her escape and getting out of contact was running high, all of us were waiting to know what would be fate of this girl; who was kidnapped and sold across the border married to a Chinese man.

A fate most of us in the civilized world would rarely imagine for anyone around, though we know bad things happen. Such things happening at a scale where every few days someone looses a daughter or son to dark hands of human trafficking is not something easily imaginable. Beauty of the mountains starts scaring you when you loose your loved ones to their shadows, as they are smuggled across the passes and the same mountains become an insurmountable barrier.

Many of us try to travel with least possible environmental impact and we love to immerse ourselves in culture but this is a place where we should be causing an impact.

Those who would shun prostitution do not mind referring to a thriving sex industry,  so much so that in India, Thailand is not a budget backpacking destination it is a place to get a quick release in numerous parlors around the country. To believe that the government and authorities are completely uninformed of all this would be a big lie, they know it exists maybe they take steps to stop it but till there will be a demand someone will try to feed the supply chain. A sex tourism heaven within a culture that still thinks sex as taboo should be an alarm bell but none of it matters as good time weighs above everything else.
Matt did and article on Thailand’s sex tourism, was interesting but the comments were what engaged me enough to spend almost 30-40 minutes on the page. Even though everyone agrees that they do not support trafficking and forced prostitution, they all agree they are nobody to judge and neither am I. My social moral rests on a very simple question-
Would I want it for my family? 
No, none of it.  The I wonder is  many people who are in the trade, (from the children being trafficked to the people who traffic them or run the camps) started out simply with a desire to support their family.
When I twist the question to –
Will I do it if my children were starving? 
The balance swings towards Yes and I do not have children yet let alone starving.
It is not just sex trade or forced marriage that is the final destination of all those trafficked many end in labor camps working unimaginable hours to produce or create something we might have used sometime in our lives.
What appalls me are the people who see no wrong in putting others into situations which strip them of their basic human rights and in many cases will lead to their untimely death. Is it just the mentality of ‘Better them than me’; or do some of us don’t see human life and dignity as something to be respected.
Anyways I do have a few questions for those who have availed paid sex services.

Do you know for sure that your partner was not forced or trafficked to share your bed?
Would you have walked out if you came to know they were forced or trafficked?

Life and your perception of crime can take a completely different hue when you are one of the people affected by any crime in the world from something as simple as a pick-pocketing. This is probably what happened when Ben found out that one of the girls in the paradise he had come across in his travels was trafficked, and then to know there were not just one but two he knew and more he could only hope to support and help with his documentary SisterForSale.

If you want to contribute to the project head over to their site or follow them here on twitter.

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