ASIA/THAILAND-Alarming phenomenon of child trafficking: forced to sell flowers and to beg

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Pak Kred (Agenzia Fides) - In Bangkok, about 1 thousand children are given for "rent" for very little money from the poorest families to traffickers who force them to beg and sell flowers on the streets. According to the Thai NGO Stop Child Begging, which deals with child trafficking, most are not from Thailand but are Burmese and Cambodian. Estimates speak of at least a thousand little one who beg and sell flowers in cities and places around the country. The phenomenon is particularly alarming in the capital, since the authorities do not consider it a problem that concerns the future of their children and their society. They consider them just beggars, while there are also boys and girls forced into prostitution or become traffickers themselves. The agency of the United Nations, United Nations Inter-Agency Project on Human Trafficking (UNIAP), said that no one knows exactly how many children are involved but that the problem is significant. According to the UNIAP responsible for Southeast Asia, children are hired or sold by family members or guardians, and then checked if they have brought money. Also often, with or without their permission, they become victims of trafficking who is none other than the recruitment for the sole purpose of exploitation. The most common fee for a young child is $ 25 per month. According to the U.S. State Department, Thailand remains a source, destination and transit country for human trafficking, men, women and children. Most of the identified victims are from neighboring countries like Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 05/06/2012)