The parents of Chanya (17) from Thailand got a divorce when he was very young. When he was twelve, his mother abandoned him and left him to his fate. He was forced to roam the streets and beg. An older man from Switzerland approached him there.
‘That old man was very kind to me at first. I met him at a bar in Pattaya. He was very friendly, which was unusual. By this time, I had been out on the streets for three years, after my mother abandoned me when I was twelve. It was tough on the streets for me, hardly anyone is nice to you.’
The man told me he was from Switzerland and had been living in Thailand for quite a while. He took me to the beach. He bought me nice things, including clothes. It made me happy. I hadn’t worn new clothes for a long while. I was very grateful for his help. We started to meet on a regular basis and he often gave me gifts.
One day the man asked if I wanted to come with him to his house. I don’t like to think about this, it makes me cry again. The Swiss kept wanting to touch me. He made me hug him and kiss him. He made me do other things too. It was horrible. I was increasingly forced to do these things.
This stopped when I was approached on the streets by people of Terre des Hommes. They helped me and sheltered me. Now I am temporarily staying in a shelter and am learning a trade. I want to become an engineer when I grow up! Thanks to the help of Terre des Hommes the Swiss grandpa could be arrested. Thankfully, he can no longer hurt any other children.
The Swiss man who abused Chanya has been arrested due to help of Terre des Hommes. He appeared to be organising sex tours for western tourist for quite some time. He lured children to his home, where he would make them swim in his pool naked. He photographed it and sold the photos over the internet. He has made 197 victims this way. After three months of imprisonment in Thailand, he was released on bail. The Swiss fled to his homeland where he was arrested once again. He is currently imprisoned in anticipation of his trial. Chanya will testify against him from Thailand.
Children who are victims of exploitation need protection and help. Together with partner organisations and our donors we provide shelter, care and education. Chanya got help and the Swiss perpetrator could be arrested. Let's also help the other children that are exploited. Will you help?
The people on this picture are actors