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Ou, once a street youth and now a volunteer for the Volunteer for Children's Development Foundation (VGCD), waits while others talk with prostitutes near Tha Pae gate in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Volunteers work the streets near the sex worker bars, talking with young prostitutes and street children about the opportunities their organization offer such as counseling, life skills training, emergency assistance, and temporary shelter. Many of VGCD's volunteers have been or still are sex workers who, while working, will watch for sexual and commercial exploitation of minors. According to VGCD members, children are often sent to beg or sell flowers to tourists in the bars; exposure to a highly sexualize atmosphere until the early hours of the morning puts the children at risk for exploitation and many wind up working in the sex industry either as juveniles or later as adults..
- © Copyright 2007 Tim Matsui, All Rights Reserved
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