In Her Words

I am from Palang Village in Chiang Rai district.  I belong to the Mien hill tribe.  In June 2004, a woman came to our village.  Her name was Daow, but she changed her name often, and later she was called Deun.  She was well dressed and told me that “hill tribe people are stupid and need help to find work.”  She told me she could get me a job as a cleaning lady in Singapore, but I told her I would not go.  She came back many times and said the job was not hard, and I would be paid a lot of money.  She said, “Whatever you need for your home, you can buy it, a refrigerator, power generator, anything.”

Many other girls had gone from my village to work abroad.  Those who returned said they had worked good jobs in restaurants and made good money.  Eventually, I thought I would go for a few months and make a good salary.

From Chiang Rai, I went with Daow on a bus to Bangkok.  In Bangkok, we took a double-decker tour bus with thirty-five other girls to Haat Yai. There were two men on this bus; one was the owner of the tour, the other was the driver.  The other were women, including Daow.  Most were younger than me.  Every few hours, the bus stopped and the men bought food for us.  We did not talk much, but the girl next to me also said she was going for work as a cleaning lady.

In Haat Yai, we stopped for the night and slept on the bus.  There was only one toilet and one shower in the bottom of the bus that we had to share.  The next morning, we drove for two days to Singapore.  At the border, the police stopped us, but the driver paid them one thousand baht ($25) for each girl on the bus, and we passed through the border.

When we came to Singapore, we stopped at a bus station.  Two vans were waiting for us.  We went in these vans, and girls were dropped at hotels in the city.  I was sent with five girls to one hotel and we were locked in two rooms.  At this time, Daow gave us very short skirts and tops and told us we could not wear underwear.  She said we would have to make sex with clients each night.  I told her, “I will not do this kind of work.  I came to work as a cleaning lady,” but Daow said if we did not do this work, we would not eat.

I told the other girls we should run away, but we were locked inside for two days without food.  On the third night, a man said we could have food if we would work.  We agreed.

We were taken by a Thai man and woman five hundred meters from the hotel into the forest.  There was no light, and we could barely see.  The woman took down the man’s pants and showed us how to put on a condom.  She showed us how to make the man erect with our hand.  She showed us six cubicles with brick walls.  Each had a curtain in front, and no ceiling, and also a cot with a plastic sheet on top.  She said we must stand in front of these cubicles and the men will come from eight at night until two in the morning.

The men came from the hotel to the forest every night.  Each man paid twenty Singapore dollars for twenty minutes of sex.  When they finished, there was a line of men waiting to be next.  After each client, we had to put the used condom on the plastic sheet.  We also had to clean the man’s penis and clean ourselves for the next client.  There was no water, so we used tissue, which we also threw on the plastic.  At the end of the night, the owners threw the plastic sheets in a dumpster.

The clients were Malaysian men, Thai men, Chinese, Arabs, and a few Westerners.  I do not know how long I was in that hotel.

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