Karl Grenet: Documenting Sex Trafficking in Northern Thailand

Poverty is a major issue for the residents of Ban Mae Sam Laeb, as villagers are only able to conduct business within their own village and are not permitted to leave to seek greater opportunities in larger towns.  In most cases, a family's home is also their workplace - in this household, three generations of women make roof pieces from leaves for local houses.

Poverty is a major issue for the residents of Ban Mae Sam Laeb, as villagers are only able to conduct business within their own village and are not permitted to leave to seek greater opportunities in larger towns. In most cases, a family’s home is also their workplace – in this household, three generations of women make roof pieces from leaves for local houses.

All images by Karl Grenet. Used with permission.

Photographer Karl Grenet is an Australian documentary and street photographer with a deep love of traveling to remote areas, especially in Asia. He’s a late starter and picked up a camera at 27. Soon afterward, he realized that what he wanted to do was tell stories with his camera instead of trying to captivate a person with a landscape. This year, he was a Sony World Photography Awards winner. Part of this spurred him to travel to Thailand and do a project on sex workers. In Thailand, it’s common for a family to sell their children into the work because it can bring in income for the family.

“For the past year, I have been based in Chiang Mai, Northwestern Thailand, focusing my time on a range of projects throughout Southeast Asia and in India.” says Karl. We talked to him about getting access for a story like this and his intentions with the project.

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