Year after year innumerable young girls from North Thailand and the surrounding countries are sold into prostitution. Bangkok, Pattaya and other centres of sex tourism, brothels and massage parlours in Japan, Germany and elsewhere are in constant need of “fresh goods” for this filthy trade.

Northern Thailand is known for its poverty, particularly in rural areas, where girls have few job opportunities. When they finish elementary school at age 12 or 13, many girls are sold into prostitution by their parents. Tempted to go to Bangkok by the false promises of human traffickers, they end up in a brothel or massage parlour. Children from the ethnic minorities, especially northern mountain tribal groups, are at particular risk. In this way, thousands of underage girls and boys are forced to prostitute themselves.

Germany plays more than a minor role in this dirty business. It’s one of the countries that have significantly contributed to the surge in Thailand’s sex trade. Every year more than a quarter of a million German citizens visit Thailand. One can only guess how many of them go there in search of the promised sex paradise. In any case, in the red-light districts of Bangkok or Pattaya, German is one of the common languages. What remains is an unfathomable human tragedy, peopled by psychologically and physically damaged children, teenagers and adults. No wonder Thailand has one of the highest rates of teenage suicide worldwide.