Note: Reporter Manichanh Phimphachanh of RFA’s Lao Service traveled with Lao farmer Boune to the Thai capital Bangkok and observed his encounters with police and traffickers as they searched for and rescued his daughter, Kai. Both the farmer and his daughter’s names have been altered to protect their privacy and safety as the trafficking case is prosecuted by Thailand.
Boune was a desperate man.
For six months Boune, a poor Lao rice farmer, had lived a parent’s worst nightmare. His 13-year-old daughter was missing.
In late June, Kai disappeared from the Vietnamese store in their village where she worked to help support the family.
When she didn’t come home Boune searched Phondaeng village. He checked in the stores and other places where a 13-year-old girl might hang out, but Kai wasn’t in any of them.
She wasn’t in the stores. She wasn’t with a friend. She was just gone.
He had no idea where to look, …