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Thailand’s booming tourism industry and skyrocketing prices impacts poverty-stricken children

Peace and Freedom

By Iskhandar Razak in Phuket

Phuket’s booming tourism industry has caused an increase in the amount of young boys and girls that need to be rescued from poverty, say child protection workers on the frontlines of effort on the popular Thai island.

“The demand I believe is higher and higher,” said Vilaiwan Dienel, a director at the Phuket Sunshine Village Foundation.

“The parents are getting poorer and they cannot support their children — especially at the moment with the economic crisis.”

The foundation in Koh Sireh, on the opposite side of Phuket’s more famous beach and tourist hot spots, takes care of up to 100 children from the ages of 2 to 18.

Tourism has become the region’s biggest industry, driven by more than 3 million visitors every year. But it isn’t just foreigners that come to Phuket.

Thais from across the nation were drawn to the island looking for…

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