The word "trafficking" is tricky. Both in the US and abroad, it's become a catch all for the buying and selling of sex, whether forced or voluntary. The reality is that the majority of women working in the sex industry at home and abroad are not trafficked (i.e. led into their line of work by force, fraud or coercion). They choose to work in the sex industry as the best financial option for themselves and their families.
But for many young girls in Thailand, sex trafficking is still very much a reality. Horrifyingly, the age of girls being trafficked in northern Thailand is getting younger and younger. And traffickers are relying on deception to keep the industry growing.
Connect with an Activist
Meet Noel Gomez. She was turned to prostitution as a teenager and since exiting "the life" has become an advocate for others who have been sexually exploited. She'll join us for a live Google Hangout on Thursday, May 21 at 4:30 pm ET. Start the conversation here.
In our next video of our series, we'll talk with a child sex trafficker about the network of people he works with to traffic a girl from a village in northern Thailand to Chiang Mai's sex industry.
Check out our previous videos below.
Part 3: Breaking down the economics of a sex worker
Part 2: Supporting a family through sex work in Thailand
Part 1: Sex trafficking in Thailand... it's complicated.
From PRI's The World ©2015 Public Radio International