Tima, now seventeen, had to live with his elderly grandfather when his parents had an accident and passed away when he was eleven. They lived in the  tourist coastal area of  Pattaya in Thailand. Due to his age, Tima’s grandfather was unable to work, and adequately  take care of him. Tima had little choice but to work as beggar for money to buy food for him and his grandfather. This made him extremely vulnerable for exploitation.

Sexual exploitation

Meeting an American tourist

In July 2015, Tima was sexually abused by an American who visited Thailand periodically to abuse children. The American worked as English language teacher during his stay in Thailand. He accessed children by contacting a broker in Pattaya to bring vulnerable children to him. Tima was very vulnerable, unprotected and knew nothing of the dangers posed by predatory adults. He was convinced by the broker to meet the American with a promise of some money.

Arrested

In 2016, the Anti-Trafficking and Child Abuse Center (ATTC), a member in a consortium supported by Terre des Hommes Netherlands and led by the FACE Foundation, met Tima as he was begging on the street of Pattaya. ATTC’s staff build rapport and trust with Tum, and discovered that he had been abused. ATTC worked closely with Tima and contacted the Thai police to carry out an investigation and collect evidence. With support of the U.S. police, the American was arrested in Oklahoma state, USA.

A ‘child dealer’ convinced Tima to meet up with the American tourist

Courage

Since that time, Tima has been under the protection of ATTC and receiving ongoing support. He was enrolled for non-formal education, including literacy classes, and as a result, he can now read and write. To ensure justice for himself and other children abused by the American, Tima will travel to the US to attend the trial of the abuser. Tima has demonstrated immense bravery and courage to fight for justice, and take control over his life.  

Still a long way to go

Children that become victim of exploitation need help and protetcion. Together with our partners and donors Terre des Hommes offers shelter, care and education. We were able to help Tima and the perpetrator was arrested, but there still many children that are being exploited and need help. Will you join our fight against child exploitation?

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