The World Bank, Tourism, and Sex Work
"...International Travel, Tours and Vacations to the Philippine Islands, Services and Assistance to Single Individuals Seeking a Romantic Relationship plus Assistance with U.S. Immigration Visa Requirements...." (M-H Travel, 1).
This sex tour is just one example of the direct links of tourism associated with sex work in Asia. While specifically analyzing the implications of tourism on prostitution/sex work supported by organizations such as the World Bank, which is profit seeking and economically focused, Thailand and the Philippines seem to be two very affected nations struggling with the issue. There is significant evidence, such as official documents, personal accounts, interviews, and scholarly work, which strongly indicates that the World Bank knowingly promoted tourism in Thailand and the Philippines in order to generate large economic profits. Mass tourism increases and further fuels the sex industry, which forces and degrades poor women into being objects to ensure their survival.
To further understand the World Bank and its goals and policies, I explored their official web page. I was first greeted with their slogan, "Our dream is a world free of poverty". It seems like a noble statement that should be endorsed by the general public. Almost immediately I wondered why then did thousands of people from around the globe gather in Washington D.C. on April 16th and 17th to protest against the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. On April 17th, CNN reported "The demonstrators, from dozens of different groups, include environmentalists, anti-free trade lobbyists, and human rights activists". That does cause one to question whether or not the World Bank’s motives are as virtuous as they first appear. Continuing my reading, I came across some of their overall objectives found on their homepage, "help each developing country onto a path of stable, sustainable, and equitable growth. The main focus is on helping the poorest people and the poorest countries, but for all its clients the bank emphasizes the need for: Promoting reforms to create a stable macroeconomic environment, conducive to investment and long term planning. Equally important is whether developing countries are able to put into place the policies and structural reforms which can provide the basis for strong growth" (World, 1). These official statements from the World Bank help to better explain their mentality. Their capitalist discourse is apparent in their aim for a "stable macroeconomic environment". Every document that I read, which was well over fifty documents, published by the World Bank, contained an economic discourse, oftentimes capitalist, which also seemed to assert that the Bank undeniably knew what was right. They define "poor" as people with no money and thus they feel the need to help "develop" a "poor" nation with certain policies and structural reforms, which they believe, are fitting. They do this without...