From the outside, Bee’s house looked like any other house in the slums of Rayong, a popular tourist destination on the coast of Thailand. From the inside, Bee’s house was not. At first, when his father abandoned the family, Bee struggled to believe he was worthy of love. The kid, severely beaten by his parents for years, thought it was his fault. He deserved punishment, no matter how harsh.
Later, when his mother and her new partner left Bee in his Aunt’s house, Bee was shocked thinking something was wrong with him. Far from being protective and caring, Bee’s Aunt did not take proper care of him. Bee lost all his solid role models in the family. In exchange, he got insecurity and fear. Bee was devastated.
The slums of Rayong are surrounded by construction sites for high-rise condominiums and mall complexes. Expensive cars and local tourists having fun contrast with children living in the streets. This is where Bee found a new family seeking for love and protection, in abandoned children like him living desperate lives marked by physical, sexual and emotional abuse.
Bee left school and started begging in Ratbamrung Road. The Rayong City Center is still the kind of place where sex tourism thrives in pubs, bars and nightclubs with stage shows and strip dancers concentrating tourists. Here is where Bee started cadging money and met a German man who sexually abused him.
Vulnerable children like Bee are highly exposed to perpetrators who abuse unprotected children taking advantage of their power position. When children are in need of real love, care and security, their odds to become victims of sexual exploitation are high. This is why Terre des Hommes Netherlands and FACE, our local partner NGO are joining forces to stop child Exploitation in Thailand providing protection to children like Bee and prosecuting perpetrators.
When Bee was found begging in the streets by our partner’s social workers, he was much in need of shelter, food and basic aid. Psychological and emotional assistance came immediately to prepare him in the hard process of assisting the police, testifying, and serve as a court witness against the perpetrator. By building mutual trust making Bee feel safe and protected, specialized staff helped Bee to be on the road to recovery.
In the meantime, looking for Bee’s mother and younger siblings to have Bee’s official documents is the lawyers’ priority to return Bee his basic right of justice. Bee is receiving medical treatment and education as a fundamental part to help him defeat his trauma. With the help of social workers and psychologists, little by little, Bee is changing and becoming a happy 12 year old boy playing with his friends in the Anti Human Trafficking and Child Abuse Center near the city of Pattaya, and knowing that he is safe now.
The future we want
In Thailand, an average of 52 children are abused each day, but Bee is no more one of them. Today, as any other boy in Thailand, Bee stands at 8 AM in front of the Thai National flag before classes and he is feeling protected, loved and supported. Terre des Hommes Netherlands is committed to ending child abuse and exploitation in Thailand and thanks to your help we are achieving it.
Help us continuing offering opportunities and protection to children. Join us against child exploitation.
Senior Regional Communication Officer Asia
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
+855 23 222 553 I +855 77 680 812