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Mae Baans: One way trafficking happens
February 12, 2015

From the Field

On my personal website I’ve been documenting my efforts to find a nanny to help out with my son here in Thailand, and I’ve mentioned that we are going through an agency that helps place mae baans (literally “house moms” – a term for housekeepers & nannies) with houses needing their services.

Yesterday, in a meeting with the owner of the agency, the owner told me stories of families coming to her agency to drop off their underage daughters, seeking work for the girls in hopes of bringing home income for the family. She was caught in a terrible bind: wanting to help the girls find a tenable situation and escape potentially abusive family situations where girls are so undervalued, but obviously not wanting to put them in illegal working situations or contribute to trafficking.

I’ve put her in contact with our network of professionals to help advise her on how best to handle these cases. In the meantime, this is just one window into the hidden ways girls are sold.

This is why The SOLD Project tries to combat trafficking by tapping into both poverty and barriers to education. Poverty is one major reason children are trafficked into servitude, and by keeping kids in school we can help ensure they rise above their current situation and help ensure the cycle of poverty is broken so future generations don’t end up with the same circumstances. We hope families never have to choose between the wellbeing of an individual and the wellbeing of the family. They should be one and the same.

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