Lured to Norway with promises of riches and a secure life, many Thai women are instead abused or dumped by their husbands, often in favour of other women from their home country, according to the Church City Mission (Kirkens Bymisjon).
The charitable organization, which runs a support centre for prostitutes, said that 70 percent of the 59 massage parlours it visited recently in Oslo offered sexual services to clients, Christian newspaper Vårt Land reports.
A large proportion of the people working at the massage centres are Thai women who are desperate for work, speak little Norwegian, and are often pressed into selling sex against their will, the Church City Mission said.
“Thailand is a very poor country where it is difficult to find a job, and the women think a lot about their responsibilities towards their families,” said Kornchawan Thorsen, who heads the Thai Women’s Association in Norway and also works with the Nadheim support group.
Nadheim has now begun contacting the women in question to inform them of their right to assistance from the authorities.
Thorsen stressed that, of the 15,000 Thai women living in Norway, only a very small minority work in prostitution.