One of the most significant ongoing scourges that befalls humanity worldwide is the ongoing exploitation and sexual abuse of over two million girls and boys through sex trafficking. UNICEF estimates that two and a half million children, most of them girls, are tricked or forced into the multibillion dollar global sex industry.
The struggle to save, protect and defend the safety and well-being of children at risk for this type of travesty is and will remain an ongoing, sometimes uphill battle. Yet it is, obviously, a necessary fight.
One of the individuals fighting this battle is Nepalese writer and journalist Kamala Sarup. In one of her articles, Lost Daughters-An Ongoing Tragedy In Nepal, Kamala describes the situation in Nepal as follows: “Nepal girls are cheaper to buy, much more cooperative and much easier to control and enslave. Girls from the rural regions are known to be much more obedient and considered more attractive for brothel owners who may want to resell them.” In relation to this problem, Kamala has organized activities addressing issues of HIV/AIDS and sex trafficking in Nepal.
Another recent media expose covering the issue of sex trafficking in Nepal, and India was CNN’s Nepal’s Stolen Children, which highlighted and exposed, particularly to U.S. viewers, the plight of South Asian victims of sex trafficking. Southeast Asia is another location where large numbers of girls are forced into the sex trafficking industry. Indeed, there have been ongoing reports of girls in the north of Thailand being sold into prostitution by one or both parents. Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia also have many girl victims of the child sex trade. For example, one of Cambodia’s victims of sex trafficking named Somaly Mam was sold into prostitution at age twelve and, after more than ten years of ongoing abuse, escaped. Her story can be found in her unforgettable book, The Road of Lost Innocence, a must-read for everyone.
Trustlaw (www.trust.org/trustlaw) ranks the most dangerous countries for women and girls are Afghanistan, Congo and Pakistan, with India and Somalia ranking fourth and fifth. HUMAN TRAFFICKING: THE FACTS website states that 56% of those trafficked are in Asia or the Pacific, 10% in Latin America and the Caribbean, 9.2% in the Middle East and North Africa, 5.2% in sub-Saharan countries, 10.8 % in industrialized countries and 8% are in countries undergoing major transitions.
The men and the occasional women who participate in the abuse and victimization of children are unconscionable people whether serving as their rapists, pimps or enablers. They must be stopped whenever and wherever it can be done!
Suggested reading: Half The Sky, by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, The Road Of Lost Innocence: The True Story Of A Cambodian Heroine, by Somaly Mam; Media For Freedom at mediaforfreedom.com – Kamala Sarup’s website.
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