An Australian tribunal has awarded compensation to a Thai woman who was forced to work as a prostitute in Sydney when she was 13.
It is the first time a victim of sex trafficking has received damages from the tribunal. Jetsadophorn Chaladone was brought to Australia with her father's permission in 1995 and had hoped to be employed as a nanny.
Instead she was put to work in a brothel by a gang of traffickers and was told she had to pay off a AU$28,000 debt. The New South Wales Victims Compensation Tribunal has recognized the depression and post-traumatic stress she suffered as a result. The tribunal has ordered that Jetsadophorn be paid compensation from a government fund for crime victims. The amount has not been disclosed.
She now lives in northern Thailand and has said the money will help pay for her son's education. Australia introduced laws against sex trafficking and slavery in 1999.
The government in Canberra has signed anti-trafficking agreements with Cambodia, Burma, Laos and Thailand to improve international cooperation.
Adapted from: "Thai Woman Wins Landmark Compensation in Australian Sex-Trafficking Case." www.voanews.com. 1 June 2007.
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