If anyone has seen the riveting movie “Taken” or sat through the “The Hangover 2”, you have a small peek into the global problem of sex trafficking. These movies are great in their eye catching, dramatic and hilarious plot lines. In “Taken” a man’s daughter is kidnapped on a trip to Paris and is abused, drugged and almost sucked to a global trafficking web. And in the “Hangover 2”, the scene portrays the incredibly visible sex industry in Thailand. They offer a small and a slightly sensational window into how sex trafficking is perceived by the popular media. But with my research this year, I have fortunately had the chance to understand sex trafficking at a deeper level. Specifically, I have looked at sex trafficking through a lens of gender and human relations.
While I have looked at the initial problem of women getting involved in sex trafficking, I have focused my project on the inevitable relapse of women back into sex trafficking. Police raids and planned escapes can physically displace a female victim from the brothel, however, that is not the end of the story. For example, she may have an emotional or economic attachment to the certain brothel. Another possibility is that she might have a drug addiction that is satisfied at a certain supplying brothel. Whatever it may be, these detracting problems of drug abuse and attachment are compounded by various different factors. In countries such as Thailand, gender inequalities in Thai culture can affect a woman’s self-perception, power and niche in society. Often times, these compounded factors can send women back into sex trafficking in spite of efforts to free them.