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A 16-year-old girl has been freed from trafficking at a karaoke bar in Thailand, her trafficker arrested

By July 15, 2022December 28th, 2022No Comments
representative image of Kavita from Operation Back Room

The walls of the karaoke bar were a dingy, peeling white, haphazardly covered in old vinyl records.

Red pleather booths lined the way into the back of the bar, where thin wooden walls partitioned off a room barely larger than a closet. A thin mattress lay directly on the tiled floor.

This was where Amara* was forced to work.

At just 16 years old, Amara met an older woman who promised her a job. Eager for the stability and independence that steady income could bring, Amara accepted it. That was how she found herself pulled into the nightmare of forced sex work. Amara was trafficked.

The owner of the karaoke bar had structured her business with cold, calculated efficiency. Men had to pay $40 for time with Amara, and an additional $8 fee to use the back room. Despite how quickly the profits from those hours added up, Amara never saw any of it. The bar owner kept the earnings for herself.

That situation would have continued for who knows how long. But The Exodus Road’s Thai team intervened.

The Exodus Road investigators and social workers with Thai law enforcement at the scene of the karaoke bar where Amara was made to work

They initially received the tip from local law enforcement, who requested investigative support. Our investigators pursued the case, building proof that Amara was 16 and was being sold for sex. That gave police what they needed to enter the karaoke bar, moving through the decaying storefront into the tiny back room where Amara was waiting beside the battered mattress.

Amara was overwhelmed, unsure who to trust. Police connected her to government aftercare services where she can receive support as she heals from the trauma of exploitation.

Meanwhile, the bar owner who profited from the abuse of a child is facing up to 20 years in jail and a fine as high as $55,000. The back room that hosted so much suffering is now empty. The karaoke bar is closed.

Amara is why your support of The Exodus Road matters so much. Will you be a part of freedom for the next girl like her?

*Name representative

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