The cultural context that Montgomery points out was conveyed when she shares the quote: “Even though Buddah showed his mother the way to Englightenment, he could not pay back the debt he owed her for giving birth to him” (Montgomery, pg. 89). The message that there is nothing more sacred to a child then their mother; because of their strong kinship, the children feel like they have a filial obligation/debt to support their mothers. In Montgomery’s case study she states that with the poverty level in Baan Nua, the wages of the children could make the difference between survival and going under for a family/community. To make money, children had the options to be beggars, scavengers, or sellers. These jobs listed had many cons and often resulted in incredibly low wages for the child. But besides these, there is an alternate job that relatively makes a larger amount of money (approximately fives as much) and that is child prostitution. Being pushed to a corner and having to make money, the only reasonable choice they have would be to take this alternate route. Though this would be the social norm in Thailand, it is still very much frowned upon by everyone in the community. When asked about it, the parents never have any knowledge of their children doing so, or the children would respond by calling prostitution “having guests”. This shows again that in this context, prostitution is still frowned upon, but yet it is still the best option they have due to the fact that their choices are already constrained by so much.
The cultural context of the Baan Nua’s child prostitution is a prime example of the limits of universal rights. Article 34 of the Convention of Rights states that “States Parties undertake to protect the child from all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse.” Basically none of children of Baan Nua even classify what happens to them as sexual abuse, let alone call what they do prostitution. As for the reason of doing what they do, it is all a decision that they are making on their own to support not only themselves but also their family, so therefore “exploitation” would be an incorrect classification of the matter. These rights that were made in the Declaration on the Rights of Child, yes were made to protect children, but according to Montgomery how western society and Thailand society views prostitution are completely different. I once again state that