Thailand: Sex Tourism, Exploited Women

The vast economic disparities between Thai locals and Thailand's tourists have long enabled affluent foreigners to request massages with "happy ending specials" or "rent a girlfriend/boyfriend" for a holiday. Now, the global economic crisis has spawned a more twisted form of entertainment. Unlike brothels or strip clubs, "ping pong shows" do not lure clients through promises of sexual arousal, but promises of sexual perversion and sexual torture. One older woman with a scar across her belly from a c-section confides after her freak show performance, "I don't like being here because I feel dirty." She adds, "I left my village when my factory closed."

Nobody knows exactly when Ping-Pong Shows began and Thai women were reduced to circus animals, but these shows are increasingly raunchy and dangerous as tourists' threshold for shock increases. "Thailand: Sex Tourism, Exploited Women" exposes how the economic crisis has changed the nature of sex tourism in Thailand. This is a story where the messy intersection of class, race and sexuality are taken to their disturbing, but logical, extremes.

International NGO Warns Global Recession Will Increase Human Trafficking

In August 2009, ECPAT International released a global report on the trafficking of children for sexual purposes around the world. The global recession will only increase the vulnerability of children to traffickers, according to the new report. "The recent economic downturn is set to drive more vulnerable children and young people to be exploited by the global sex trade," said Ms. Carmen M. Madrinan, Executive Director of ECPAT International.