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Pattaya Daily News

22 July 2009 :: 21:07:00 pm 1418

Positive Solutions to the Paedophile Problem

Pattaya, unfortunately, has long acted as a magnet for the sex trade, not least under-age sex. However, to counter such offenders, the Children, Juvenile and Women’s Protection Division, Region 2, has been doing sterling work helping to track down and bring to justice sex offenders, especially paedophiles and other exploiters of the young. It has also been instrumental in exposing would-be exploiters of paedophiles,
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as in the case of Bancha or Kung Wansanor, reported in PDN on 12 June 2009. It also monitors cases of under-age, and in some cases, effectively slave labour, but most of all the organisation, along with the Child Protection and Development Centre, is intent on its rehabilitation and after care of young victims.

After having reported on so many cases of paedophilia and the often harrowing accounts of young boy prostitutes in Pattaya, we would like to share our experiences of becoming deeply involved in the situations which surround this industry.

The PDN team had been supporting the Children, Juvenile and Women’s Protection Division Region 2 for long enough to learn that we are trapped in the apparently endless cycle of painful truth. The boys are willing to work in the sex-trade for money to help their families and themselves, all suffering from poverty, and denied the opportunity of a wholesome life, education or culture; the same as female prostitutes.

It is a question of supply and demand, no buyers no sellers. Although this may be too glib an explanation, as many of the boys we interviewed had no wish to have the farangs, who had been supporting them, arrested.

However, the parents, for one, must also take some of the blame. If they didn’t have such large families, they would be more able to feed them and otherwise take care of them, including monitoring their recreational activities more closely. The community can also help by insisting family planning, family management and sex education be made a compulsory part of the educational curriculum, instead of shying clear of such sensitive areas. If needs be, both the school management and education department need to be reminded that we are now living in the 21st century.

The sad truth is that the sex-trade in the form of prostitution, child abuse, paedophilia etc. is phenomenally lucrative. As such it acts as a magnet often more often than not for the unscrupulous, including corrupt police officers who do not forgo the many opportunities to make money. On the other hand, the more honest police have their work cut out; they must often feel they are swimming against the tide, only hoping that one day the situation will improve, while they continue to make whatever contribution they can.

It is common among Thais to blame the whole sad situation on karma, accepting it, but in reality it is a structural problem, which ultimately means it is for the government to do something positive about it.Now, the government could impose draconian penalties, like exorbitant fines, chemical castration or life imprisonment, as some of our readers have suggested, but this is not particularly enlightened, or well-considered, nor necessarily effective. ตำรวจแถลงข่างการจับกุม

A more positive approach would be to close down those bars which manifestly encourage under-age sex, dramatically increase police patrols, who would act as a deterrent to offenders, as well as monitoring the activities of under-aged youths obviously soliciting. Closer liaison could also be made with Interpol to monitor the movements of known paedophiles and if caught at the borders, immediately deporting them.

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More important, however, is the need to tackle the problem at root by educating the poor, offering them greater life chances, and opportunities for alternative employment and alleviating their impoverishment by funding in the right quarters. Then the supply would diminish, noticeably, forcing the demand to go elsewhere. It won’t be eradicated, human nature being what it is, but at least inroads would be being made.

We encourage our avid readers not only to follow our coverage, but also to make constructive comments, rather than by venting their spleens in vociferous obscenities, which we don’t need! We also encourage you to follow the video coverage of the excellent work of the Children, Juvenile and Women’s Protection Division as well as the Child Protection and Development Centre to get a better understanding of what positive steps are being taken by the relevant authorities.

Warina Punyawan

Reporter : Warina Punyawan   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Editorial

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