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The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025        

Union of Myanmar (Burma)

Burma, a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government controls, inefficient economic policies, and rural poverty. Despite Burma's increasing oil and gas revenue, socio-economic conditions have deteriorated because of the regime's mismanagement of the economy.

The September 2007 crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, including thousands of monks, strained the economy as the tourism industry, which directly employs about 500,000 people, suffered dramatic declines in foreign visitor levels.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Description: Burma

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Burma.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Child prostitutes available at $100 a night: the human cost of junta's repression

Kevin Doyle in Rangoon, The Guardian, 30 October 2007

[accessed 13 April 2011]

This is a side of life the Burmese military junta might prefer you did not see: girls who appear to be 13 and 14 years old paraded in front of customers at a nightclub where a beauty contest thinly veils child prostitution. Tottering in stiletto heels and miniskirts, young teenage girls criss-crossed the dance-floor as part of a nightly "modelling" show at the Asia Entertainment City nightclub on a recent evening in Rangoon.

Prostitution, particularly involving children, is a serious crime in military-ruled Burma, but girls taken from the club would have no problem with the authorities, the waiter assured the company, but did not explain why not.  It would seem that prostitution is one of the few things the Burmese military, fresh from its recent crushing of pro-democracy demonstrations by Buddhist monks, is still willing to tolerate.

Thai families partners in child sex trade - Border area's products are drugs and daughters

Andrew Perrin, San Francisco Chronicle, Mae Sai, Thailand, February 6, 2002

[accessed 16 August 2012]

When Burmese migrant Ngun Chai sold his 13-year-old daughter into prostitution for $114, his wife, La, had one regret -- they didn't get a good price for her.  "I should have asked for 10,000 baht ($228)," La Chai said. "He robbed us."  She was angry that the agent who bought her eldest child, Saikun, in 1999 took her to Bangkok, some 460 miles away, rather than a nearby city as promised. It did not concern La Chai that Saikun would be forced to have sex with as many as eight men a day.

With prices varying from $114 to $913 -- the latter figure equal to almost six years' wages for most families -- parental bonds in impoverished households are easily broken. In fact, child prostitution is so established that many brothel agents live in the village, and are often friends or relatives of the family from whom they buy the children - htcp


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020

[accessed 23 August 2020]

PROHIBITION OF CHILD LABOR AND MINIMUM AGE FOR EMPLOYMENT - Children often worked in the informal economy, in some instances exposing them to drugs and petty crime, risk of arrest, commercial sexual exploitation, and HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections.

2018 Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor, 2019

[accessed 22 August 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[page 267]

Between August 2017 and August 2018, over 700,000 people, primarily from the Rohingya minority, fled from Burma to Bangladesh following acts of violence and ethnic cleansing perpetuated by the military in northern Rakhine State. (1,35-37) While the displacement of Rohingya people abated in 2018, conditions in Rakhine State were not conducive to the safe and voluntary return of refugees in Bangladesh. (37) As a result, an estimated 350,000 Rohingya children live in refugee camps in Bangladesh, at sites in which they are vulnerable to the worst forms of child labor. (37,38) Rohingya girls are trafficked from refugee camps for commercial sexual exploitation in Bangladesh, India, and Nepal. In some cases, girls are promised jobs in domestic service but are instead forced into commercial sexual exploitation. (39,40) There are also reports that some girls are forced into domestic service, sometimes as a result of human trafficking, and are abused by their employers. (35,41,42) Rohingya children recruited to work outside of the refugee camps, such as in shops, fishing, and transportation, are reported to be underpaid or unpaid, unable to communicate with their families, and subjected to excessive working hours. (35)

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 24-01-1997

[accessed 25 January 2011]

[24] The Committee expresses its regret that insufficient measures are being taken to address the problems of child abuse, including sexual abuse, and the sale and trafficking of children, child prostitution and child pornography.  It is especially concerned by the fact that a significant number of girls, and sometimes boys, are victims of transnational trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation in brothels across the border.

[25] In light of article 39 of the Convention, the Committee is worried about the insufficient measures taken to provide physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration to children victims of any form of neglect, abuse and/or exploitation, particularly victims of armed conflicts, sexual exploitation and child labor.

The Protection Project - Myanmar [DOC]

The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), The Johns Hopkins University

[accessed 2009]

FORMS OF TRAFFICKING - Women and children are trafficked from Myanmar to Thailand primarily for the purpose of prostitution. Most of the victims are kept in Thai brothels.  An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 Myanmar women and girls are prostituted in Thailand; however, in 2002, it was estimated that 10,000 women and children from Myanmar enter into prostitution in Thailand every year alone. In fact, women and children from Myanmar constitute the largest number of migrants forced or lured into prostitution in Thailand. 

Reportedly, Myanmar women and girls are commonly sold to Chinese men as mail-order brides and for the purpose of forced marriage. More than 100 Myanmar women are reported to be living in the Chinese province of Anhwei alone, where they are exploited by their Chinese husbands sexually and forced to work on farms and as housemaids.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action [DOC]

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – MYANMAR – The Government of Myanmar is not participating in the UN Inter-Agency Project on Trafficking in Women and Children in the Mekong Sub-Region. However, trafficking victims from Myanmar have been repatriated with the help of international organizations such as the IOM.

Report by Special Rapporteur [DOC]

U.N. Economic and Social Council, Commission on Human Rights, Fifty ninth session, 6 January 2003$FILE/G0310090.doc

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[57] Following ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Child Law was promulgated in 1993 and a National Committee on the Rights of the Child was formed the same year.  Under the Child Law, a “child” means a person up to the age of 16, and a “youth” is aged between 16 and 18.  Prostitution involving children comes under section 66 of the Child Law which criminalizes those who allow girls under 16 and under guardianship to earn a livelihood by prostitution, or who permit a child under their guardianship to live with or consort with a person who earns a livelihood by prostitution.  There have been no prosecutions in Myanmar related to child prostitution.

NGO Stresses Rights of Child in Mon State

Written statement by the Transnational Radical Party (TRP), a non-governmental organization in general consultative status, submitted to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, E/CN.4/2005/NGO/269, 10 March 2005

[accessed 12 Aug  2013]

According to the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), many prostitutes working in Mon State in Myanmar are under the age of 18. In interviews gathered for their website UNPO quotes a business man as saying that “about 30 percent of [prostitutes] are children”. He also added that in Ye Township alone, there are over ten brothels, each of which approximately has about 8 prostitutes working, where men can easily buy alcohol and sex at a cost of 5-10 dollars (5,000-10,000 Kyats).

New Global Treaty to Combat "Sex Slavery" of Women and Girls

U.N. Dept. of Public Information, DPI/2098, February 2000 -- Tenth United Nations Congress On The Prevention Of Crime And The Treatment Of Offenders

[accessed 13 April 2011]

Legal experts are putting the final touches on a landmark international treaty that would take nations a huge step forward in the fight against trafficking in women and children.  For many trafficked women and girls, forced prostitution has proved fatal, leaving them with the HIV virus, which causes AIDS.  Human Rights Watch recently interviewed 19 women and girls from Myanmar who had been trafficked into Thailand.  Some 14 were found to be infected with the dreaded disease.

Sacrifice - The Story of Child Prostitutes from Burma

Bruno Films

[accessed 12 Aug  2013]

The 50-minute film Sacrifice examines the social, cultural, and economic forces at work in the trafficking of Burmese girls into prostitution in Thailand. It is the story of the valuation and sale of human beings, and the efforts of teenage girls to survive a personal crisis born of economic and political repression.

New Weapons Against Child Trafficking In Asia

International Labour Organisation ILO, WORLD OF WORK, No. 19, March 1997

[accessed 13 April 2011]

In recent years, large numbers of children from Cambodia, China, Laos and Myanmar have been forced to work as prostitutes in Thailand. Both girls and boys from poor rural areas are lured by professional recruiters and traffickers with promises of legitimate jobs in Thailand's booming economy. The trafficking routes are well known, but are difficult to close down. Girls from Myanmar are brought into Thailand through various border checkpoints.

Trafficking of Burmese Women and Children into Thailand

Kalaya Chareonying, TED Case Studies,  April 3, 1997 -- Case Number: 426, Case Mnemonic: MYANSEX, Case Name: Myanmar Sex Trade

[accessed 13 April 2011]

Many thousands of women and children from Myanmar are lured, abducted or sold into brothels in Thailand.  They are bartered at prices that vary depending on their age, beauty and virginity.  Women and children who have been trafficked can rarely escape, and are victims of exploitation.  While it is true that heavy trafficking of persons, particularly women, has taken place from the Shan State in Myanmar for an extended period, the present situation sees women from all over Myanmar being lured into prostitution because of economic difficulties.

Child Sexual Expolitation Statistics

Indian NGOs

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 13 September 2011]

In 1996, there were almost 200,000 foreign children from Burma, Laos and Cambodia who had been trafficked into Thailand for prostitution and work at construction sites and sweatshops.  The number of Burmese women and girls traveling to Thailand through Mae Sai to enter the sex industry is increasing.  60% of them are under 18 years of age.

8.3  Policies and Implementations at the National Level

Kritaya Archavanitkul, Combating the Trafficking in Children and their Exploitation in Prostitution and Other Intolerable Forms of Child Labour in Mekong Basin Countries

[accessed 13 April 2011]


First, Education and Vocational Training for Children and Women

Second, Set up Strict Regulations in Controlling Legal Women Migration

Third, Plan of Organizing a Committee Suppressing Trafficking in Children and Women

Fourth, Response to the Problem of AIDS Spreading

Fifth, Rehabilitation Activities




Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 7 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Child prostitution and trafficking in girls for the purpose of prostitution‑‑especially Shan girls who were sent or lured to Thailand‑‑continued to be a major problem. In Rangoon and Mandalay, diplomatic representatives noted widespread employment of female prostitutes who appeared to be in their early teens and for whom there was reportedly a high demand. Additionally, some brothels offered young teenage "virgins" to their customers for a substantial additional fee. The June 2004 UN Committee on the Rights of the Child report commented: "The committee is concerned over the increasing number of child victims of sexual exploitation, including prostitution and pornography, especially among those engaged in child labor and street children. Concern is also expressed at the programs for the physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of child victims of such abuse and exploitation which remain insufficient and inadequate.”

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