Gendering Cross-Border Networks in the Greater Mekong Subregion: Drawing Invisible Routes to Thailand


  • AKM Ahsan Ullah The American University in Cairo, Egypt
  • Mallik Akram Hossain Rajshahi University, Bangladesh



Trafficking, Borders, Geopolitics, Greater Mekong Subregion, Thailand


This article discusses human traffi cking within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) in relation to the strengthened inter-state economic and infrastructural co-operation and connectivity, taking the life history of sex workers in Thailand into account. Over the last decades, Thailand became known as a hub of entertainment sectors. Traffi ckers often use socio-economic integration in the GMS to their advantage. A large number of traffi cked women ends up in the Thai entertainment industry doing sex work in confi ned conditions similar to slavery. Poor women are often lured by false promises of well-paid jobs abroad and pay exorbitant fees to agents for such an opportunity. Intermediaries introduce family members to agents who promise to make arrangements for the relevant documentation and transportation across borders. Traffi ckers use their own marked routes to transport their prey which are more invisible than generally could be imagined.

Author Biographies

AKM Ahsan Ullah, The American University in Cairo, Egypt

AKM Ahsan Ullah is Associate Director at the Centre for Migration and Refugee Studies, and Assistant Professor at
the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.

Mallik Akram Hossain, Rajshahi University, Bangladesh

Mallik Akram Hossain is Associate Professor of Geography at Rajshahi University, Bangladesh.






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