Kontakt / contact     Hauptseite / page
                principale / pagina principal / home     zum Asien-Index
<<          >>

Sex slaves: trafficking of women in Asia

Chapter Four: Seasoning - part 1

Part 1: 4.1: Girls forced into prostitution - Asian men like girls 'without experience' - virgins  -- 4.2: Seasoning: Re-education methods with torture, rapes and extortions converting girls and women into a 'willing' prostitute -- 4.3: Brothels -- 4.3.1: Brothels in Bangladesh -- 4.4.2: Brothels in India -- Mumbay: Kamatipura brothel district with women waiting on benches in the street or in closed brothels -- Mumbay: Falkland Road and surroundings - big rooms with curtains between the beds - also oral and anal -- Brothels in Calcutta: Sonagachi District -- Brothels in Delhi in GB Road -- 4.3.3: Cambodia with brothels in wooden huts and sheds -- 4.3.4: Northern Thailand with virgin trade in hotels in Mae Sai -- 4.3.5: Thailand's brothels with Burmese women and women of hill tribes  -- 4.3.6: The brothels in the Philippines -- 4.3.7: The brothels in Japan with slavery in the 'snack' system

by Louise Brown

presented and with subtitles by Michael  Palomino (2013)



4.1: Girls forced into prostitution - women 'prepare' the victims - and Asian businessmen like girls 'without experience' for superstitions

Few experiences in the world can be quite as bad as being a poor virgin girl in a cheap Asian brothel. It is the stuff of nightmares. Every day thousands of girls and women are initiated into prostitution through acute physical and psychological violence [mostly by their mothers who are selling the daughters, and then by brothel bosses who are torturing, manipulating and extorting the girls, also mostly WOMEN (mama-sans)]. And every day men are willing to pay to enjoy the violence of this initiation. What do these appalling facts tell us about the real substance of Asia's dual sexual codes?

Perverse Asian men like girls without sexual experience - perverse Asian men are afraid from women with sexual experience

Experience is considered to be an advantage in most occupations. Paradoxically, the value of the average sex worker in Asia is greater the less she has plied her trade and the more ignorant she is of sex. This does not find a clear parallel in the Western sex trade. In general, female sex workers in the West have to be young and sexually attractive but they also have to have a good idea about techniques and what the customers enjoy. In Asia many sex consumers find the prospect of a knowledgeable and sexually experienced woman highly intimidating. They do not wish to buy a woman's sexual experience as most of their Western counterparts do. They would far (p.97)

rather buy sex with a girl they can control and dominate.

[WRONG: Asian wives don't know about good sex - vagina inflammation - they reject good sex at home - sending men to the brothels
It's not a question of domination, but the perverse mentality in Asia prohibits a good sexuality at home because they don't know about good sex and don't know about lubricants and hot oils so there are many vagina inflammations but the woman does not say anything. Thus Asian women at home are rejecting good sex - and send the men to the brothels].

Perverse Asian men pay high prices for virgins - with a guarantee without AIDS - superstitions

A virgin is best of all. She is largely clueless, almost always frightened and she is also likely to be supplied with an Aids-free guarantee. Such thrilling sexual privileges come at a price ... and it is an expensive one.

[WRONG: Superstition of crazy businessmen leads them to the belief that virgins would bring a long life and good luck in business
Some rich Asian men like businessmen are taking life as a perverse "joke" and buy virgins in the belief that they will be younger and will have a longer life and will have more success in business at the end. Only some Asian businessmen have the money to pay for virgins, and the brothel owners and the family of the virgin earn a lot of money with it laughing at the businessmen. And when there is a good surgeon this game with virginity can be repeated two or three times - see later in this chapter...].
Big business in Asia is working with sex with virgins...

Sinking Shanghai[1]  Business meal
                        in Shanghai[2]  Thailand, a virgin[3]
Sinking Shanghai [1] - business meal in Shanghai [2] - Thailand, a virgin [3]

and mothers are selling their daughters and women brothel prison bosses are preparing the virgins and selling the virgins to the Asian businessmen. For this superstition that virgins would bring "luck" the businessmen are making larg trips too poor countries, see later...

4.2: Seasoning: Re-education methods with torture, rapes and extortions converting girls and women into a 'willing' prostitute

A high degree of coercion is needed in order to supply the large numbers of girls and women required by mass-market prostitution. This is especially true in societies such as those in South Asia that have very rigid rules of sexual conduct for women. It is not a form of work that women would flock to if they had many alternatives. A thorough process of re-education is necessary in order to turn the average woman into a 'willing' prostitute. It is called 'seasoning'. It is rather like preparing a piece of meat for the dinner table - or in this case the clients. At the end of the process the reluctant prostitute will accept sex work as her profession. In many places she will have absolutely no alternative.

Seasoning methods: arrived girls and women are sometimes forced to sell sex - sometimes torture - sometimes raped by many men - breaking their resistance and self-esteem

Seasoning is achieved in different ways according to the sex establishment, the way the girl arrived there and her own personal character traits. Almost all seasoning, however, involves some form of coercion. Sometimes the girls are physically forced to sell sex and are tortured in order to make them compliant [obedient]. They are raped repeatedly by numerous men until their will to resist is broken. In highly traditional societies the rape of a woman can lead to a destruction of self-esteem. Women may therefore accept prostitution as their way of life because they cannot escape from the psychological prison created by their experience of rape and its associated shame.

Seasoning methods: debts are enslaving the girl [debt bondage extortion] and women forcing them to sell sex [debt bondage extortion]

Other women are forced to sell sex because of the economic pressure created by debt. Once they have been sold to a brothel, the brothel owner will demand that the girl repays this outlay by servicing customers. She thereby becomes enmeshed in a highly exploitative system of debt bondage that, in its worst forms, is indistinguishable from slavery.

Seasoning locations: red light districts, private houses or hotel rooms

The initial exposure to prostitution and the seasoning process (p.98)

takes place in a variety of locations. Sometimes it is in traditional red light areas but, increasingly, young girls are initiated into the sex business in other more low-profile venues [locations], perhaps in safe houses or hotel rooms.

Principle: trafficked girls are for the brothel sector - the cheapest and poorest sector of sex industry

The physical environment in which the girls and women first find themselves varies according to the country. Victims of trafficking for prostitution are usually recruited for the brothel sector. That is to say, they will be used in one of the poorest parts of the sex industry and they will cater to those sex consumers who have the least spending power. Understandably, the poorer the country, the poorer the environment in which prostitutes live.

Example of northern Thailand in Chiang Mai: girls and boys are sold to brothels and have to sell flowers for 'seasoning'

Mothers sell their children to brothels in the town. Selling flowers is one of the first steps how a brothel is "educating" girls and boys for reaching a complete obedience. The children without connection to their home are not accepted when they do not sell all flowers. Thus the children learn with with gesture they sell most handling the "customers" by flowers first. Later being pubescent the big action will follow: the Thai girl will be sold to rich Asian businessmen as a "virgin" several times, and the boy will be operated and will be sold as a ladyboy. The brothel is their "surrogate family". So there are the questions
-- why the Asian governments are not eliminating the superstitions in connection with virgins?
-- why the Asian governments are not installing industries for good jobs also in the countryside?
-- why the Asian governments are not installing good administrations also in the counryside installing social networks thus families with bad luck will not be forced to sell their children?
-- why the Asian governments are tabooing sexuality at home yet chasing men into brothel prisons where children are sold?
-- and why no NGO has detected all these simple connections and why NGOs are not working with Asian governments eliminating these slave systems by installing social networks?
Asia has to save itself from schizophrenia. See the report:

Thailand, a girl
                        selling flowers in Chiang Mai in a bar
A girl selling flowers in Chiang Mai in a bar [4], often girls like this are sold
to brothels for "seasoning" and can hardly see their family any more...

Here is the report about the "seasoned" children "selling flowers" in Chiang Mai. This is an example. These seasoning processes are performed also in other Asian countries like Cambodia, in Bangladesh, in Mumbai etc. And there are much harder methods yet. Selling flowers is in some kind a "soft" method yet. All in all selling children and "seasening" them for customers seems to be a "crazy Asian tradition"...

<Sold into the sex trade


Map of Thailand with the railway
                                  systems with Chiang Mai in the north
                                  as one of the final stations
Map of Thailand with the railway systems with Chiang Mai in the north as one of the final stations [5]

"We had dinner at the night market near the Red Light District of Chiang Mai. In the middle of our meal, a young girl approached the table selling jasmine. She was going through a process calling "seasoning". This meant that she was already owned by a brothel, and through this job, they were prepping her for interaction with strangers. They were preparing her to be a prostitute.
She wouldn't be able to return "home" that night until she had sold all of her flowers, so as I was pondering how to actually help her, I wondered if buying all of her flowers and sending her back to the brothel early would really even be better. I offered her food, but she declined. As I was racking my brain for a solution for her, her glassy eyes looked around in fear and desperation and she slipped away. The hint of jasmine lingered.

We walked through the market. A young boy quickly caught my attention. He too was selling flowers. He too was being seasoned. He too was a slave; a soon-to-be sex slave, and no matter how he felt, his identity would soon be stripped and he would be transformed into a "ladyboy", sold as a woman.

The sound of the girl sobbing brought me back to my senses and I realized that I was staring. Most of my team was further ahead, but they had stopped at this point as well.

Her world had just come crashing down. I wondered if it was her first time. I knew it wouldn't be her last. Even if it was her first experience, I knew that she would be sold as a virgin yet again. They would send her to the doctor, stitch her back up, and resell her like she was new, just to make more money off of her. This process would continue as long as her body would allow.

She wore her hair long. It was beautiful and dark and flowed down her back. She looked so young, so innocent, so heartbroken, so hopeless. She stood in the arms of a woman next to a man on a motorcycle and she was sobbing hysterically. The woman wrapped her arms around her, but she had a smirk on her face and the other women simply snickered in the background. They got their money out of her, and they knew that it was only a matter of time before she would become accustomed to the business. She hid her face in the woman's arms, but he continued to speak to her.

"Are you okay? Are you feeling any better? I hope it doesn't hurt too bad. Well, at least you can go home now."

I wanted to run back, grab her out of their arms, and throw any amount of money at them just to save her. I wanted to scream and tell her that she was loved.

"You are precious! You are beloved! You are NOT alone! You are still pure! You have a heavenly Father that has NOT abandoned you, so don't give up hope!"

I choked back the tears and kept the prayers flowing from my lips as we continued to walk down the street." [web02]

4.3: Brothels

4.3.1: Brothels in Bangladesh

Poor brothels in Bangladesh with women in the street - brothels without bath room

Poor brothel in Bangladesh with a file of
                        prostitutes, nobody is smiling
Poor brothel in Bangladesh with a file of prostitutes, nobody is smiling [8]

For example, it is tough to live in Bangladesh under the best of conditions. It is difficult to be a poor Bangladeshi and it is even more difficult to live the life of a poor Bangladeshi woman. Imagine what it must therefore be like to be a poor Bangladeshi prostitute.

The physical conditions under which these women work are the worst I have ever seen. Quite simply, they defy [to be impossible] imagination. Brothels are overcrowded and unsanitary. Street prostitution takes place in the gutter [at the water channel] and the women do not even have a place to bathe and clean themselves. Although the squalid [dirty] surroundings of brothel prostitution in developing Asian countries are atrocious [terrible] they are comparable with the living conditions of many other poor people, and for some young prostitutes they may even be an improvement on what they had known before.

Perverse Asian men come for sex and then laugh at the prostitutes

In the midst of so much general poverty the environment in which brothel prostitutes live is unremarkable. What is remarkable, however, is that so many men should visit these miserable places to buy sex and should then heap scorn upon [laugh at] the women who pleasure them there.

Example: brothel "Joinal Bari" in the town of Faridpur near Dhaka in Bangladesh

Prostitution in Bangladesh is going on under poorest circumstances.

Bangladesh, a mama-san with
                                "her" partly enslaved girls is
                                waiting for customers in the brothel of
                                "Joinal Bari" in Faridpur in
Bangladesh, a mama-san with "her" partly enslaved girls is waiting for customers in the brothel of "Joinal Bari" in Faridpur in Bangladesh [6]
                              prostitute in "Joinal Bari"
                              brothel in Faripur waiting in the poor
                              staircase without painting
A young woman in "Joinal Bari" brothel in Faripur waiting in the poor staircase without painting [7]

Here is the report about "Joinal Bari" brothel in Faridpur just with similar facts like writer Louise Brown is also telling in her book:

<Inside Bangladesh's Biggest Brothel - About 800 women and girls live and work inside the bustling  Joinal Bari brothel in Faridpur, central Bangladesh, comprised of four buildings situated on an important trading route on the banks of the Padma river. Many of chowkri (bonded sex workers) are underage. Some of the girls are runaways who leave home to escape a bad situation or marriage, and end up on the brothels when they have no where else to go. Many others have been kidnapped and are sold to a madame by a parent or relative. They must take on 5-10 clients per day, and most receive no pay because they must repay their debt to their madame…> [web03]

Thus for many girls this brothel is a brothel prison. And it can be admitted that for one floor there is only one toilet and shower is even luxury. And sexy clothes seem to be forbidden in Bangladesh...

Brothels in Asia are the home for the poor and women with bad luck

See this case of a young Bangladeshi woman who had fled from her cruel husband: her oncle cared her and said she would be enrolled in a dance school - but he sold her to the brothel "Joinal Bari" - perhaps by command of the cruel husband:

<“I am 22 years old and I have been working in this brothel for two years. I was married for four years but my husband was crazy so I ran away. When I moved back in with my parents my uncle took me to Dhaka. He told me he was going to enroll me in a dance school but instead he sold me to a madame [so she is in a debt bondage]. I am not scared of anyone. Sometimes this place is okay, sometimes it’s not, but anything is better than living with my husband. I don’t talk with my parents anymore. I miss them, but what can I do? I feel like Alyea (my madame) is my own mother. I love her and this is like my family. I dream of being a madame someday.” – Pakhi (meaning “Bird” in Bangla).> [web03]

4.4.2: Brothels in India

Indian brothels around bus terminals and railway stations - Indian brothels along the highways - and brothel districts in big towns

India has a large brothel sector. There are red light areas in virtually all towns and cities. Brothels crowd around bus terminals and railway stations. Behind teashops and dhabas (highway restaurants) are little rooms where a handful of women will be available for purchase. Boys may also be offered in the same dhabas. The brothel (p.99)

quarters in the big cities are well established and some have been in existence for centuries.

Mumbay (former Bombay): film industry and prostitution industry

Mumbay ([former called] Bombay) is the commercial heart of India and the center of its exuberant film industry. It is therefore entirely logical that it is also the capital of its sex industry. Kamatipura and the area around Falkland Road are the most closely watched, researched and written about red light areas of the city.

Mumbay: Kamatipura brothel district with women waiting on benches in the street or in closed brothels

Streets in Kamatipura in Mumbai
              with prostitutes in front of their sex cells
Streets in Kamatipura in Mumbai with prostitutes in front of their sex cells [9]

The streets of Kamatipura are lined with brothels. Most of these are small. There is an open-fronted room looking out onto the street and this is lined with small benches. Perhaps six to ten girls sit or stand around in this entrance waiting for customers.

Sex in little rooms on a mattress

Behind the reception room are tiny cubicles that are usually constructed of wood. Most of these are around a meter wide and two meters long. There is just enough space for some unimaginative sex on a thin, bare mattress. A light bulb hangs from the ceiling and, in some more prosperous establishments, there might be the luxury of a fan.

Pictures and flowers in the little room - loud practice of sex in Indian brothels

The sex workers have usually made an effort to make the surroundings more inviting. Pictures of plum Indian films stars are pinned to the wooden partitions and there may be a bunch of plastic flowers and some little ornaments next to the mattress. For modesty's sake the cubicles have a door or a curtain but sound travels fast and easily in these places and the practice of sex is a loud one, especially when there is a surge in demand and a number of customers are buying simultaneously.

Closed brothels in Kamatipura with a ward and a bell - a prison for the girls and women

Other brothels are a notch [step] more sophisticated. They are also more of a prison for their inmates. There are some brothels that do not have an entrance room but only a gate with a guard and a bell. Girls in these brothels do not come out. And they do not sit on benches waiting for the customers. It is for the customers to come to them. In total, two thousand women work in the brothels of Kamatipura [1].

[1] Information from the staff of Prerana, Mumbai

Mumbay: Falkland Road and surroundings - big rooms with curtains between the beds - also oral and anal

Falkland Road, and its surrounding warren of lanes, lies close to Kamatipura. The two red light areas form one large, almost continuous commercial sex market. In the brothel hierarchy, however (p.100),

Falkland Road and surroundings: Curtains between the bed

Falkland Road and its environs occupy an even lower rung than Kamatipura. Here the women may not necessarily have the benefit of a cubicle in which to service the clients. A shabby curtain divides the beds and some rooms resemble a closely packed dormitory.

Falkland Road and surroundings: Women and girls in the streets for oral and anal sex

Desperate women and girls stand on the streets shouting out to passing men to whom they will sell budget-price oral and anal sex. Some will offer services for as little as 5 rupees (7 English Pennies). It is rare to find lower prices or a sadder product.

Falkland Road and surroundings: special rooms for virgins - children in the attic as slaves

In the interior lanes off Falkland Road, and in the more inaccessible brothels, there are special rooms reserved for newly procured women. Children are kept in attics. It is very hard to prove this because the business  is so highly secretive. The best sources of information on this subject are the sex workers themselves. I have heard reports of child prostitution from completely independent informants. Some of these reports were from the children involved and at other times adult women, some of them practicing sex workers, would express their anguish [pain] at the lives that these prostituted children lead.

Example of enslaved children in Mumbai Falkland Road: girls playing on the roof terrace - girl hidden in a hole under the floor

A Nepali prostitute who had worked in Mumbai for several years told me this:

<Most of the time you never see the very young girls - the children. They are kept separate from the rest. For a long time I never saw any really young ones but then I began to see them sometimes at night. I could hear them. They were allowed to go and play on the roof [a kind of roof terrace]. I could hear their voices and they were just little girls. Whenever we asked about them we were told that there was no one there and that we had made a mistake ... Then another time there was a girl with us who was young - about eleven. She was always kept inside and if the gharwali thought there was going to be a raid she was squeezed into a little hole under the floor. She was told that she would be killed if she made a noise.>

Brothel with little girls in Kamatipura and Falkland Road: often from Nepal - in brothels with water and air condition

Girls and young women are often kept in 'closed' brothels in Kamatipura and Falkland road. This is particularly true when they are very young, when they have been trafficked and when they are physically coerced into prostitution. Nepali girls form a significant proportion of this category. The brothels in which they are kept are frequently of a superior standard: they have running water, maybe air conditioning and, most importantly, a reliable supply of fresh teenagers.

... - in brothels with guard and grilles at the windows - girls for years in the manipulation 'seasoning' process

The inmates of this type of brothel are commonly described as the 'caged prostitutes' of Mumbai. They do not literally live in cages but the analogy is apt [precise]. There is a narrow and dark staircase leading up from the street, there is a guard at the door and there are iron grilles at the window. Occasionally you can see the girls peeping out between the bars. That is as near as they will get to the outside world until their process of seasoning is completed. It is a process that, for many girls, will take years.

Brothels in Calcutta: Sonagachi District

Brothels in big Indian cities are little more than variations on the same unpleasant theme. Conditions are marginally better in Calcutta although the money a sex worker can earn here is generally less than her counterpart in Mumbai.

Brothel Sonagachi District: three classes: A for young and pretty - B for established girls

Sonagachi is the largest brothel area in Calcutta. Sex workers in Sonagachi are divided into three classes. 'A' class is the highest and 'C' class is the lowest. The 'A' class girls are young and pretty and have rooms with decent furniture and sometimes even adequate sanitation. Girls, however, do not stay in the 'A' class for long as there is always competition from new and younger girls coming on to the market. When this happens the established girls are downgraded to 'B' class and then to 'C'.

B and C class: curtains between the beds - or the room is used in turns

Women in the lower classes usually share a small room measuring six feet by ten feet. Two or three women will share this space with a far greater number of rats. It is both their home and their workplace. Their beds can be separated by little curtains and, when this is not possible, the women and their clients take it in turns to use the rooms. As the sex for cash transaction is often a very hasty function, they do not have to wait very long (p.102).

Alleys and lanes with dark and humid conditions

Sonagachi is a maze of alleys and lanes flanked by two- and three-storye building. Dark passages with uneven floors and more uneven steps lead into lots of tiny rooms. Each decrepit building is constructed around a dark, dank [cold and humid] courtyard in which there is a central tap or water pump that all the inhabitants use for washing. There is usually one toilet for around twenty women, and they cook their food in their own rooms. Just as in the other red light areas of the city, women stand in lines in the streets and passageways in bright saris and Western dresses, their faces heavily made up even in the early morning. They call to clients, encouraging them to go inside.

Pimps organizing clients for young girls kept separately

Pimps lounge around watching and looking for customers. They explain that upstairs, in one of the back rooms, is a very young girl who can be had for a knock-down price. Some people will tell you that the horrors of child prostitution are a thing of the past in Sonagachi. This is wishful thinking.

Listen to the words of one of these children:

<I was sold to the brothel when I was twelve and I started work right away. There were other young girls like me but the malkin (brothel manager) used to hide us. She made us say that we were eighteen. There were some that were a lot younger than me. They were like small children but they were kept separately and we only saw them sometimes.>

Brothels in Delhi in GB Road

Delhi presents a slightly different picture but it illustrates the direction in which the sex market is moving in South Asian cities. GB Road is the traditional red light area and its three- and four-storey buildings contain around four thousand girls in eighty-five brothels [2].

[2] Information from the staff of the Joint Women's Program, Delhi

Architecture: narrow staircase - big room with 'platform' - toilet - kitchen - tiny rooms - 25 to 35 girls and women

Typically each brothel is reached from the road by a narrow, badly lit and dangerous staircase. Upstairs there is a room about twenty-five meters square and this has a sleeping platform above it. There is a toilet and a kitchen and, around the outside of the main room, there are six to eight tiny, and usually windowless (p.103),

rooms that are just big enough to take a small bed. Around twenty-five to thirty-five girls and young women are crammed into this space, which functions as a living area and also a viewing arena for the customers. Girls it on the floor while clients come in to look them over and to make their selection. It put me in mind ofdealers coming to select and buy some colorful animals in a cattle market. The women and the clients then disappear for a few minutes into one of the small rooms. For this service the customer pays about 70 rupees (1 English Pound).

No seasoning in Delhi in GB Road brothels - diversification of prostitution in Delhi - development to middle-class suburbs

New recruits to Delhi's sex industry are not often seasoned in GB Road. Trafficked girls may end up there but they are increasingly broken in elsewhere, in places that are safer and where there is less likely to be interference from NGOs or the police. This is consistent with a new trend in the industry. Prostitution is becoming more diversified and sophisticated and it is expanding out from its customary locations. In many ways this makes it more difficult to assess. It also makes the perpetration of abuse considerably easier because fewer people are on hand to witness it and the victims are almost totally isolated.

No one is even aware of their existence. Commercial sex, even at the lower end of the market, is no longer confined to traditional red light areas but is moving out and dispersing throughout the cities. It is found in 'respectable' areas. Brothel no longer necessarily look like traditional brothels. But for the sex slaves that fill them, the experience of being seasoned must be much the same whether the establishment is in GB Road or in some more salubrious middle-class suburb. This diversification of prostitution, even within the lowest tier [level] of the industry, is repeated all over Asia.

4.3.3: Cambodia with brothels in wooden huts and sheds

Arquitecture: large room  with waiting girls - little rooms around

A good example of the growing complexity within the industry can be seen in Cambodia. Many Cambodian brothels are little more than hastily constructed shacks [sheds, wooden cabins]. They have the same utilitarian design. There is  large room in which the waiting girls can be observed and then selected. And behind this are a number of (p.104)

cubicles. Often these cubicles are the girls' home as well as their workplace. Some areas of Phnom Penh are well known for providing fresh new girls - or whatever else should take the consumer's fancy.

Phnom Penh: Svay Pak District with Vietnamese girls

Svay Pak (a Vietnamese village in Russey Keo District in Phnom Penh, at kilometer 11 [web01]), just outside the city [center], is unbeatable for Vietnamese teenagers - a fact attested to by the cars streaming out of the city. On my visits to Svay Pak it was noticeable how many groups of Chinese and Japanese men arrived in expensive cars and minibuses because there was frequently a problem with parking.

(Wikipedia gives more information about Svay Pak District:

Vietnamese young women are considered with more energy and fantasy in sex than Cambodian women. Rural poverty in Vietnam is the reason Vietnamese women come to Svay Pak. Girls and young women are lured, or girls are pushed by their families, or girls are going by themselves concealing their aim of sex work. Trafficked women begin with the depths because they have to pay back the costs for the transportation from Vietnam to Svay Pak District and the lodging. Some stay after having paid back the debts [leaving the debt bondage] and become successful. Child prostitution in Svay Pak is a scandal because the youngest girls are only 5 years old. Additionally there is surgery reinstalling hymen pretending girls to be virgins... [web01]

Wikipedia says about Svay Pak District that children are systematically sold there:

Children make up most of the population of sex workers that came to Svay Pak involuntarily. Sold by families or neighbors in severe poverty, kidnapped off the streets, tricked into working in the sex trade, children are the shame as well as financial pride of Svay Pak. Brothels are able to get away with abusing the children and keeping all of their earnings in order to pay for the cost of taking care of them. Children are serviced out to customers for many days at a time for a fee and are usually not given a choice in regards to safe sex. Some child sex workers have reported being gang-raped and mentally abused at the hands of their clients. Those that are lucky enough to escape are in a limbo about what to do next. Many are too ashamed to return home or cannot return home because they have no evidence of nationality (Vietnamese victims). Others see their salvation in marrying the foreigners they had sex with. They write love letters to their clients in hopes that one day they will return and give them social, economic, and physical security.> [web01]

In the last 10 years Cambodian government and militaries have raided Svay Pak District very often shutting down brothels with child prostitution and taking prisoner brothel owners and girls. In some cases Cambodian police and military forces also raped the Vietnamese girls. Military actions in collaboration with NGOs provoke more and more chaos because girls and women are afraid from arrests. Brothel owners also had to pay bribes to get released their sex workers, and the bribe was another dept for the woman. In other cases foreign customers were detained and were presented with big media headlines internationally as "bad men", but the local customers of child prostitution in Svay Pak District were hardly ever detained or presented. Presence of police and military provokes that customers don't come any more. Thus Vietnamese girls and women are trafficked to other locations now (2013) evading the coward and brute raids of Cambodian raping police and military forces not solving any problem of poverty in Vietnam [web01]).

[With raids there is no change of anything but the structures in the country side have to change so poverty is eliminated].

Phnom Penh: Seventh of January market with Khmer virgins

The Seventh of January market in the center of Phnom Penh specializes in Khmer virgins.

Phnom Penh: Toul Kork for anything

Toul Kork, a muddy, potholed track [street with many holes] bordered by dozens of small shed-like brothels, offers just about anything. Guards and pimps monitor the girls and there is little opportunity for escape.

Cambodia: virgins in separate locations - businessmen purchasing a virgin for one week in the hotel

The Cambodian sex industry has perfected a lucrative means of initiating its young recruits without having the painful process undertaken within the brothel itself. The youngest girls - those under thirteen - plus older virgins who possess considerable sexual charms, are kept in separate locations. These act as a form of holding pen. The brothel management then negotiates deals with clients and will deliver the girls to them for defloratino. Typically a businessman will purchase not just a girl's virginity but also her services for a few days and perhaps a week. During this time he has frequent sex with her secure in the knowledge that she is not infected with HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. A senior employee in one of the biggest luxury hotels in Phnom Penh said it was common for businessmen, and particularly ethnic Chinese businessmen, to purchase a girl and have her brought to the hotel. She remains in his room, often under guard, until the week is up. Most of these girls are village girls between twelve and fifteen years of age and their customers are usually wealthy middle-aged men. The hotel staff know of these arrangements because they are obliged to clean the rooms and to take food to the girls. This is not a one-off occurrence: it is absolutely typical of Cambodia today. It is also a phenomenon (p.105)

observable throughout the rest of the region. The girls these men enjoy are destined for the mass market. They are not elite prostitutes but, for a while, they are of interest to the more discerning consumer. While they remain virgins they are of value and their sale can command a high price. Once they have been initiated into the pleasures of sex their value plummets.

Cambodia: the price for a virgin

A virgin in Cambodia costs approximately 500 "US" dollars. Sex with a girl in her first two months of prostitution may cost around 10 "US" dollars. After that she will command a price equivalent to that of a bottle of beer. Wealthy and respectable men would not dream of visiting the kind of low-class brothel these girls will eventually work in. They would consider it beneath their dignity. However, it is quite within their dignity to purchase here virginity and enjoy the triumph of its possession in a well-appointed room in a luxury hotel. [And eventually there is also a surgeon working with a second or third hymen behind it...]

4.3.4: Northern Thailand with virgin trade in hotels in Mae Sai

Sexy town of Mae Sai with Burmese virgins

It is useful to describe the sex trade in Mae Sai in northern Thailand in order to amplify this point [of virgins sold to businessmen]. Mae Sai is a charmless frontier town on the border between Thailand and Burma. The only reason people could possibly have for going there is to shop in the markets on either side of the border, which sell cheap merchandise and rather crude handicrafts. The other kind of shopping is sex shopping and the goods are Burmese virgins.

Sexy town of Mae Sai with Burmese women escaping poverty in Burma

The town is an important entry point into Thailand for Burmese girls and women fleeing from poverty and a vicious military regime. Some of these women are illegal migrants, some are refugees and some are the victims of trafficking. No one is quite sure where the boundaries between these categories are to be drawn and, very often, women fall into more than one category. Some, confusingly, fall into all. Lots of these young women end up in the sex trade. Even those who intended to sell their bodies, however, rarely realized the dreadful conditions under which they would have to work.

From Burna to Mae Sai to Thai brothels in Chiang Mai, Bangkok or Phuket

Mae Sai is a breaking-in station. Some girls go directly to brothels further south but many spend around six months in the town before being moved to sex establishments in Chiang Mai or (p.106)

Bangkok and Phuket. There are no sex workers older than twenty-two in Mae Sai because there is absolutely no demand for them [3].

[3] Interviews with the staff of the World Vision HIV / Aids intervention program, Mae Sai, Thailand

Sexy Mae Sai: hotels with sexual services

Mae Sai is a magnet for men wanting to buy virgins, and at the time of writing a girl could be purchased for around 25,000 to 30,000 Baht (420 to 500 English Pounds).  Commercial sex does not happen in the brothels or bars. Instead it happens in hotels. The town has six main hotels and guesthouses and the more organized of these have separate floors. Some are for the tourists seeking nice views and a bit of local culture and the other floors are for Thai men and those tourists seeking a bit of bought sex with girls from the local brothels.

Sexy Mae Sai: Burmese virgins for Thai men, white foreigners, and Japanese foreigners

Who buys Burmese virgins? The question elicited laughs from women involved in the management of Mae Sai's sex trade. 'Everyone', one of them said. 'Thai men ... And of course foreigners including Westerners. But especially Japanese. Japanese are number one.'

4.3.5: Thailand's brothels with Burmese women and women of hill tribes

Principle of 'closed brothels'

Closed brothels exist all over Asia. There is not one Asian country that does not have a substantial brothel sector and many establishments within this sector will be 'closed'. That is, they are open for customers but closed should the inmates wish to escape.

Burmese women and women of hill tribes in sexual slavery in Thailand

Thailand's brothel sector is dominated by Burmese women and those from Thai hill tribes. These women are the main victims of sexual slavery in Thailand. Ethnic Thai women work in the better class clubs and bars - although this does not necessarily mean that they escape from physical abuse and exploitation.

[Parents send them to prostitution for being exploited, or traffickers lure them with faked job offers for being exploited].

Brothels vary in size from those employing a handful of girls to those employing a hundred or more. Although the physical environment in which the girls find themselves is often a lot better than that of South Asian sex workers the methods of control and the economic and sexual exploitation are remarkably similar.

The 'room for opening virgins'

Just as in South Asian brothels there is a 'room for opening virgins'. The new recruits sit on a bench in a back room. Their health is guaranteed and their price is very high.

4.3.6: The brothels in the Philippines

'Casas' for local Filipino men

Casas are the closed brothels of the Philippines. They differ from the 'a-go-go' bars and karaoke clubs in that they cater specifically to (p.107)

local men. Foreigners can be admitted only if they are introduced by a regular local client.

4.3.7: The brothels in Japan with slavery in the 'snack' system

Japanese men like intimidated Thai or Filipina women

Japan's closed brothels are slightly different but they too are closed to foreigners. Japanese brothels like to pretend to be something better: a club for successful executives, for example, or a karaoke bar or a cabaret. Something to make the client think - momentarily - that he is heir to those powerful men of the past who were graced by the company of geishas. Yet, rather than a highly trained geisha, the modern-day samurai is much more likely to be paying for an intimidated Thai or Filipina woman who was duped [tricked] into the job.

Japan: sex slave in the "snacks" in small towns and around hot spring resorts

Women who are trafficked to Japan and those who are held in sexual slavery are not concentrated in the main red light areas. Kabukicho, Tokyo's principal and very loud commercial sex market, is reported to house a few sex slaves but most are scattered liberally throughout the Japanese islands in what are known as 'snacks'. there are 'snacks' everywhere: in small towns and especially around onsen (hot spring resorts). Some of these are small, and offer the services of only six or seven girls but some can provide as many as fifty.

Japan: brothels with high standard - but seasoning, control, manipulation and debt bondage are the same like everywhere

The physical surroundings in these establishments are totally unlike those in South Asia: the Japanese are fastidious people and it would not be good for business to offer sex for sale in a hovel [shed]. However, if we strip away the veneer [facade] provided by greater affluence [wealth], the processes of seasoning and control, and the manipulation of the debt bondage system are remarkably similar whether we are in India, Cambodia or Japan.

<<          >>



[web01] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svay_Pak
[web02] http://www.sethbarnes.com/?filename=sold-into-the-sex-trade
[web03] http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/i-am-chowkri-bangladesh-biggest-brothel/

Photo sources
[1] sinking Shanghai: http://www.chinanews.ch/2013/01/06/shanghai-will-mehr-elektroautos/
[2] business meal: http://asiapacific.blogs.ie.edu/archives/tag/global-executive-mba
[3] Thailand, virgin: http://myphotos.nudists-forum.info/i/thailand-virgin-women.html
[4] Thailand, girl selling flowers in Chian Mai: http://www.myspace.com/devilducky75/photos/57067652
[5] Thailand, map with railway systems: http://www.nationmaster.com/country/th-thailand
[6] Bangladesh, brothel "Joinal Bari" in Faridpur in Bangladesh, mama-san waiting with some young prostitutes:
[7] Bangladesh, brothel "Joinal Bari" in Faridpur, staircase without painting: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2012/01/i-am-chowkri-bangladesh-biggest-brothel/
[8] brothel in Bangladesh with a file of prostitutes, photo by Dan White / CARE international: http://www.danwhite.org/Photography/Portraits_of_Slavery.html