May 5, 2011 - 9 comments

Child-Begging Ring: Snapshot

Not only does ZOE combat child trafficking by rescuing children before and after they are sold into commercial and sexual exploitation, but we also combat another heinous form of trafficking and child exploitation

Did you know that begging is a widespread problem in Thailand?

Begging rings are extremely lucrative for the ringleaders.  The average college graduate in Thailand earns between 10,000 and 15,000 baht a month (US$335 to $500).  A professional beggar can earn between 500 and 1,000 baht per night.

However a beggar with a baby will always bring in more.  A very conservative estimate is that a beggar with baby going out every other night would bring in 10,000 baht per month.  A begging ring with 10 beggar-baby teams would easily “earn” 100,000 baht ($3,350) a month for the ringleader.

With minimum expenses -- low rent for a 2-bedroom shack housing 20 or 30 people, rice and vegetables -- the ringleaders are living like kings.  And begging rings have been known to have up to 40 or more beggars going out nightly.

When the children are old enough (4 or 5), they are sent out to beg directly.  They are given nightly quotas and dare not come back until they’ve met their quota.  Because the collecting is better after dark in the bar areas, the children are often on the streets until 3 or 4 a.m. to meet their quotas.

Suffice it to say they do not go to school during the day.  If they fail to meet their quota they are beaten or otherwise abused.  In addition, one study has indicated that almost 9 out of 10 children who work in begging rings will eventually fall victim to sexual exploitation and abuse.

As for the ringleaders themselves, prosecuting them is more challenging as they are seldom caught. The leaders have so conditioned their “family” of beggars through fear, intimidation, and abuse, that the beggars, when arrested, will not reveal the location of their leaders.  Prosecuting the leaders is one of the challenges facing law enforcement.



Published by: ron in Human Trafficking Articles


Jessica Dodd
May 11, 2011 at 7:58 am

I love that we are talking about this and getting it out into the open. So many times, as we are walking down the crowded streets here in Thailand, we are approached by little children. When I look into their eyes, I can see that they live a hard life. A hopeless life. And ZOE is here to change that!

Lynne Ginoza
May 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm

It is such a shocking and sad thing for these kids. Many of them are my son’s age…can’t imagine having to live like that. Pray for the little ones! Pray that we can help them!

May 15, 2011 at 1:57 am

It makes me sick when I remember the amazing and beautiful and precious little ones that we met begging on the Laos border. You are so torn, wanting to help them, but not their ring leaders…I am so thankful knowing that there IS hope for them. There IS hope for rescue and a future and FREEDOM for those uniquely gifted, incredibly special little ones!

Dave Hoshiwara
May 16, 2011 at 10:09 am

We are so thankful for ZOE’s ministry and heart for these children, we feel so privileged to pray for and be a small part of encouraging this message forward!

May 16, 2011 at 10:39 am

It’s so amazing the ways people try to make money in our world. I had no idea that beggars were part of the trafficking ring. I can’t imagine little kids having to meet quotas. So sad.

May 16, 2011 at 10:43 pm

How terribly sad to think that a ringleader would dare to ‘earn’ his livelihood at the expense of someone’s childhood…

Vickie McCoy
May 17, 2011 at 4:50 pm

Having the privilege to be a part of three different short term missions trips to Thailand I have seen this happening and wanted to help. Even more so because of the American dollar able to go so far. When the Zoe staff or Ministry Students would say don’t help them and explain why, my heart would just break for them. I want to snatch them up and rescue them. When asked what can we do…the answer was pray. Being the Type A personality that I am, prayer did not seem like enough or quick enough for my blood. I heard God say..”really with that” prayer changes everything! Of course He is right, so on my knees I go and begin to pray. Prayer is enough for whatever you are going through and God is more than enough to take care of all of our needs. So let us pray together to see change take place.

    Ron Boyer
    May 25, 2011 at 12:58 am

    Vickie, my prayer is that more people would discover the truth in what God has told you: Prayer changes things! On our knees to victory!

Jim Day
May 26, 2011 at 8:48 pm

Ron, good for you my friend. I wish you continued success. After I read this and a few other articles you wrote I checked on YouTube and found information on child trafficking right here in the U.S. A real bummer folks like that exist!! :-/



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