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Participatory action research among Thai women and girls involved in prostitution

Nicharee Thiemklin, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study of participatory action research (PAR) among Thai women and girls involved in sex trafficking and prostitution demonstrates ways to: (1) educate women and girls; (2) empower women and girls through the process of reconstructing and using their own life experiences; (3) generate a body of popular knowledge and action plans derived from their own experience which is more relevant to the problem solutions; and (4) raise their consciousness as of the process outcome in order to improve in their lives. The process of PAR including (1) problem defining, (2) data collecting and analyzing, and (3) action plans was undertaken by the participant group. These women and girls were residing at the Kredtrakarn Protection and Occupational Development Center shelter; and I took the role of facilitator. Sixteen group discussions were conducted for the PAR process at the shelter and a one-time interview of the stakeholder group consisting of politicians, government officials, police, international and domestic NGOs and etc. was implemented so as to add to the generation of popular knowledge. Learning, empowering and raising consciousness are the process outcome. Evaluations were conducted by means of the process of PAR to produce the PAR process outcome. All participants stated that they all learned much about the issues related to sex trafficking and prostitution and increased their self-confidence. Findings include: (1) two sets of in-depth people knowledge, and (2) two sets of short-term and long-term plans. Findings explore contributing factors such as family with problems, running away from home, poverty, insufficient education, drug usage, peer pressure, consumerism, gullibility, and the role of agents. Findings of this study provide more relevance related to issues of sex trafficking and prostitution because they were derived from people who had been directly involved. Findings were analyzed and consolidated within the context of Thai socio-economic-cultural views. Key concepts for implications include: (1) family issues, (2) educational efficacy, (3) law enforcement and revision, and (4) an agent. Findings related to all of these concepts can contribute toward social reform and policy development, practice within the nursing profession, and ground theory generating.

Subject Area

Womens studies|Nursing

Recommended Citation

Thiemklin, Nicharee, "Participatory action research among Thai women and girls involved in prostitution" (2007). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3275818.