Thai police corruption leads to sale of pre-teens into sex trade

In this little town on the Burmese border, parents sell their young daughters into sexual slavery for less than the cost of a toaster oven. These little girls, 11 or 12 years old, are forced to serve in brothels and are not permitted to leave.

This has been going on for many years. I know this to be true. I was here before, in 2001.

Back then, brothel agents visited the schools to look over the fourth graders. They offered cash down to parents of 8-year-olds for the right to buy their daughters when they finished the sixth grade.

Government watches as developers evict poor

Joel Brinkley, for the Pulitzer Center
Andoung, Cambodia

Well past the city limits, beyond the sign that says "Bon Voyage; See You Again," after the paved roads end, down a rutted dirt track, Un Thea sits in the mud outside her shanty house, peeling bamboo shoots - and seething.

In Cambodia, becoming the story

Joel Brinkley, for the Pulitzer Center
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Cambodia is a complex place; the boundaries between what the government considers fair reporting and libelous commentary are not always distinct. So it was that I wrote my first column from here, published in about 20 newspapers in the United States last week and even more Cambodian blogs and Websites.

From Burmese in Thailand, muted protests

I am a syndicated columnist, and with the Pulitzer Center's help I am reporting from Thailand, Cambodia and Laos this month. In Thailand I am writing primarily about human trafficking -- Thai mothers who sell their children into sexual slavery. In Cambodia, where I covered the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime in 1979, I am writing about what life is like today. My first column from the region, for the McClatchy-Tribune News Service, covers President Bush's visit to Thailand and the Burmese exile movement.