Many poor minority groups living on the Thai-Burmese border are considered stateless. Unable to attain jobs many turn to illicit work; selling and using drugs, forcing their children to beg or selling their children to traffickers. Not For Sale educates and protects children rescued from exploitation.
Starting in 2007, Not For Sale constructed and has since expanded a children’s home, which offers shelter and long-term housing for youth rescued from exploitation. We provide the children safety, stability, nutritious meals and medical care. Legally classified as stateless, these children are denied access to healthcare and education. Not For Sale helps the children legally obtain formal identification documents, providing them access to social services and increased opportunities for future employment. We aim to restore the childhood these children deserve by creating an environment in which they can learn, play and feel supported. We create consistent opportunities for therapeutic activities such as art, music and sports.
Education is the most powerful tool for protecting children from human trafficking. Not For Sale enrolls all children at the home in primary, secondary or university education. To ensure their success, we operate a home learning program to equip children with the literacy levels needed to enroll in school. Not For Sale expanded the home to include a library and computer center, granting them life-changing access to information and technology. We provide a variety of life skills to equip the children to become self-sufficient, contributing members of the community. An organic farm on the premises allows the kids to learn how to grow fruits and vegetables and to raise chickens, pigs and fish.
In Thailand, we work to create a self-sustaining environment that allows us to provide both safety and stability to those in need and long-term access to economic opportunities. For example, excess produce, eggs and fish grown on the farm are sold in the local market to generate a consistent stream of income. To reduce costs and environmental impact, the home is entirely powered by solar energy. Not For Sale also operates a modest business to sell art and jewelry produced by the children and their mothers. Working-age youth are responsible for running the business and learn the important skills of time management, customer service, and basic financial operations. Similarly, Not For Sale works within the community to arrange internships and jobs for working age youth in local restaurants, hotels and more.
Thailand is a ranked as one of the worst countries in the world for human trafficking. Conservative estimates place the number of victims forced into labor or exploited in the sex trade in the tens of thousands. Migrant workers, ethnic minorities and stateless children are the most at-risk populations of trafficking. Internationally recognized as a sex tourism destination, Thailand is often more visibly associated with sex trafficking. However, labor trafficking is also rampant in the country with a large portion of victims operating in commercial fishing, low-end garment production and domestic work.