Reading Sunday DN* is an almost religious experience for me. A cup of tea, my favourite bread and a newspaper hot off the presses filled with articles. A little bubble of cosiness envelops me and takes me through what is otherwise the most boring day of the week.
But it so happened that this Sunday there was something that stabbed and clawbed and pained my heart. DN introduced us to sex tourism in Thailand in an article ‘The hunt for a happy ending’.
DN tells the story of Kit, who thinks it is hard when the johns choke her; and about Lin, whose greatest dream is to move back to the little village where she comes from in the North of Thailand. But above all, the article tells the story of people who haven’t been reduced to being just prostitutes.
We need to be courageous enough to see that behind every prostitute there are dreams of something better.
Despite our different circumstances, our needs and desires are common. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is, quite simply, universal. These women (and girls, boys and men) chose prostitution as a path to something different. It is a means for survival and a way out of poverty. Despite the fact that they say they hardly get any money and that it instead goes straight into their pimps’ pockets.
Once you understand the deep poverty that causes of prostitution you understands why it is so difficult to stop. I believe that a large part of the solution lies in fighting poverty which we must try to prevent and fight. Fair trade, aid and education can all contribute. It also demands that we share technological innovation in order to break the cycle.
But above all, we can start by taking the important step and fight prostitution and sexual abuse! Taking a stranglehold on sex tourism and making the buyers take responsibility for what they have done is an important first step. We can then combine this with new opportunities and create something worthy.
Sign up for the campaign FOR FAIR SEX and we will take care of poverty next. First, however, let Kit, Lin, Pim and all the other millions of people burdened by the sex trade have a chance to lead the life they dream of and deserve.
Matilda Almelöv for Realstars
Matilda studies Social Studies at High School.
* DN (Dagens Nyheter) is Sweden’s largest selling broadsheet newspaper.