Washington International Law Journal


Vickie F. Li


The proliferation of child prostitution in Thailand has been closely linked to the explosive growth of the sex industry. Political, economic, and cultural factors internal to Thailand alongside external forces from foreign sex tourism, have all contributed to the rising number of prostituted children. In September 1994, the United States enacted an amendment to the Mann Act to prosecute citizens for traveling or conspiring to travel abroad with the intent to engage minors in sexual activities. This Comment traces the development of child prostitution in Thailand and examines the effect of U.S. law in deterring sex tourism abroad. Comparisons to the laws in Europe and Australia demonstrate the procedural difficulties of establishing extraterritorial jurisdiction and meeting evidentiary standards. Consequently, law enforcement measures, educational campaigns, and ratification of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child should supplement the United States' legal actions in deterring the demand for prostituted children in Thailand.

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