These things do unfortunately happen in Thailand but it is not a significant part of the Phuket sex tourism scene.The human traffickers are generally sending Thai girls to work in brothels abroad.The fact is, it is a big money earner for Thailand.Sex tourism attracts a large number of visitors from all over the world and a huge amount of foreign currency.This gives the authorities leeway in allowing what is clearly a thriving business to operate while still having the legislation to control it if they think anyone has crossed the lines.Clearly they are happy with most of what happens at the major tourist destinations as it is so openly on display.If you are not offended then it is a great place to drink and people-watch. If you go as a couple or make it clear that you do not want the attention of the girls then they will leave you alone (eventually).However if you want to talk to the girls in the beer bars they will be happy to have a chat or play bar games such as connect-four or dice games.
Pattaya became a favourite destination for the GIs.
The girls may have started working on farms or in factories from as young as eleven years old.
There is a common perception that girls working in Thailand's sex industry start at a young age.
They may also use Thailand as a transit point for girls from neighbouring nations such as Laos and Cambodia.
The girls working in Phuket are mostly Thai and mostly working by choice - although certainly through force of circumstance.
Couples, families and tour groups mingle with the sex tourists wandering around the bars.