Stolen innocence: An examination of child prostitution in Thailand
LE3 .A278 2009
Bachelor of Arts
This research examines child prostitution in Thailand focusing on how Thailand‟ s unique cultural, economic, political, religious and social conditions make it such an ideal environment for the ongoing sexual exploitation of children. This thesis seeks to provide an account of the deep- seeded history and modern continuity of prostitution in Thailand, while highlighting the underlying factors of why and how children became prominent figures in the industry. The method used for this Research was a rethinking of existing literature. This thesis argues that the introduction of globalization in Thailand, plus the nation‟ s existing societal acceptance of prostitution, coupled with the influence of Theravada Buddhism and the state‟ s restructuring of development programs all had disastrous effects on the country. Theravada Buddhism plays a strong role in the lives of many in Thailand, and one of its central teachings is that children must make merit for their next life and show gratitude towards their parents by providing for them financially. Daughters especially are expected to support their parents and prior to the advent of capitalism, they had been able to use the family‟ s farmland to do so. The effects that the land reform programs had on Thailand‟ s agricultural north will be examined very closely. This Research will argue that it was the confiscation of farmland, coupled with certain doctrines of Theravada Buddhism that led many young girls to turn to prostitution as a way to fulfill their filial duties.
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