Thai Religious warn of World Cup sex trade

Thailand’s  Catholic women Religious have intensified efforts to prevent human trafficking of local women during the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

“During the 2006 World Cup in Germany, many women were trafficked as sex workers,” Sacred Heart Sr Kalaya Trisopha, Thai representative of the International Network of Consecrated Life Against Trafficking in Persons, told

The Federation of Women Religious of Thailand has been campaigning on this issue since 2005.

“The root cause of human trafficking is poverty. Women believe that they will earn a lot of money abroad and help their families escape from poverty and debt,” Sister Kalaya explained.

“We have organized several campaigns, providing information through brochures and community radio, to warn at-risk women of the dangers of working aboard and the tactics of agents.

“We also provide vocational training for unemployed women to enable them to obtain work here. This helps protect women over the longer term,” Sister Kalaya said.

Good Shepherd Sr Sutisa Utalun, who works in collaboration with the UN Economic and Social Council, told that her congregation has assisted 4000 at-risk women in Thailand.

“We have opened vocational training center around the country to train in several skills, including cooking, sewing, pottery, handicraft, traditional massage, etc.,” she said.

The women, including widows, and those without education, can then earn income without coming to Bangkok or other big cities.

“A number of agents are visiting poor communities to promote work for women in South Africa,” she continued. “We need to alert women against cheating agencies.”

Recent international media reports that South African police rescued eleven Thai women aged 23-27 trafficked for sexual services during the World Cup show that the fears of the women Religious are well founded.

Source: UCAN News

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