Child Prostitution in Thailand

15 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2013 Last revised: 12 Jul 2013

See all articles by Farnoosh Milde

Farnoosh Milde

Uppsala University - Department of Cultural Anthropology; Human Rights

Date Written: February 12, 2013


Thailand has received the most publicity as being the major center of child prostitution (TAT, n.d; Cowan, 2001). Estimates by ECPAT (2009), an international organization, revealed that some 30,000 to 40,000 children under eighteen years of age are exploited as prostitutes in Thailand.

There are three categories of children entering child prostitution in Thailand according to Montgomery (2001a). Children trafficked or kidnapped from neighboring countries, children sold or debt-bounded by parents, and "free children" who live with their parents and work as prostitutes on a part time basis. In this paper we are concentrating on the third category of children. I especially look into the cases of child sex tourism which foreign customers come to Thailand to have sexual relationship with Thai children.

The aim of this paper is to look at the international and national legislations to protect human rights of children working as prostitutes. I also look at underlying causes of this issue as well as what prevents existing legislations from working. Finally I will discuss the role of social worker in this issue.

Keywords: Thailand, child prostitution

Suggested Citation

Milde, Farnoosh, Child Prostitution in Thailand (February 12, 2013). Yale Human Rights and Development Law Journal, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: or

Farnoosh Milde (Contact Author)

Uppsala University - Department of Cultural Anthropology ( email )

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Uppsala, 756 45

Human Rights ( email )

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