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CHILD PROSTITUTION


Prostitutes wait for customers in Mae Sai, Thailand.jpg
Prostitutes Wait For Clients In Mae Sai, Thailand


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SEX TRADE FUELED BY SUPPLY AND DEMAND

An estimated 2 million women and children are held in sexual servitude throughout the world, and between 800,000 and 900,000 are trafficked across international borders for the purposes of sexual exploitation each year. These women and children make up the "supply" side of sex trafficking.

This supply has been created to meet a demand. Without this demand, there would be no need for trafficked women and children. The demand side of the trafficking equation includes those (mostly men) who buy sexual services and/or consumer goods (videos, Internet pornography, etc.) created from the sexual exploitation of trafficked persons. Little attention has been given to the demand created by those people and organizations that benefit from the commercial sexual enslavement of women and children.

To combat sex trafficking, much more information is needed to understand the root causes and conditions that create a need for a supply of trafficked women and children. Without this information, those who are motivated to exploit and use trafficked victims will continue to remain a mystery. By understanding the dynamics of demand, we can develop the legal and political policies necessary to control and end this horrific practice.

SEX TOURISM: A LEARNING MODEL

[Captive Daughters Fights Sex Tourism – 1999]

Philippine Adventure Tours (PAT), of Ventura, California, specialized in sex tours to the Philippines. The individual cost was $1,645, for a package that provided round trip airfare, hotel, and guided tours to bars where one could purchase sex from prostitutes working in the bars as entertainers." The cost of prostitution, called a " barfine," is approximately 750 pesos (U.S. $24). The tour guide assists the tourist in negotiating the sexual transaction with the "mamasan" (manager) of the prostitute-entertainer.

Allan Gaynor, owner and tour guide for PAT, promised prospective sex tourists that they would "never sleep alone on this tour," and recommended sex with a different girl every night -- "two if you can handle it."

Mr. Gaynor routinely used his web site to deceive the public as to the true activities of PAT. His April 1998 web site used such words as "girl, lover, topless, breast, nudity, sex, arrange" and the telltale word "barfine," which indicates to sex tourists that girls/women are for sale for sex. The words were designed to blend with the blue background of the site. By dragging the mouse through the background, the words were revealed. No reputable tour agency would ever incorporate these search mechanisms in their advertising.

After an April 18, 1998 protest at LAX against a PAT departure, the web site underwent various transformations in an effort continue business , but continued to deceive the general public as to their true activities. Still, there were numerous images of young girls and women in minimal clothing and seductive poses.

Unfortunately, PAT is not the only American sex tour operator to Asia. According to Business Week more than 25 other U.S. companies offer such tours. Since December of 1996, Equality Now has been calling for the prosecution of Big Apple Oriental Tours in Bellerose, New York, a sex tour business that also promotes tours to the Philippines. The Philippine Government has banned owner Norman Barabash from entering their country.

Many of the prostitutes exploited by sex tourism and other forms of sex trafficking are young girls. The 1994 Child Sex Abuse Prevention Act makes it a felony for United States citizens to travel to another country for the purpose of engaging in sex with persons under age 18 years of age.

Regardless of the age of girls, prostitution is illegal in the Philippines. Sex tours also violate state laws prohibiting the promotion of prostitution. The United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women obliges governments to "take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and the exploitation of prostitution of women. In June of 1998 Equality Now, Captive Daughters and GABRIELA filed complaints with the California Attorney General against, PAT, citing false and misleading advertising. On November 4, 1998, a second protest was held at LAX against a PAT departure.

Keywords from Philippine Adventure Tours' Web Site

Asian, asia, asians, filipina, adventure, adventures, attractive, cute, enjoyable, erotic, exciting, exotic, fashion, video, taipei, tokyo, seoul, models, filipinas, friendly, hospitable, lovely, online, orient, oriental,orientals,party, petite ,philippine, pretty, night, life, barfine, bar, fine, beautiful, nudity, nightlife, penpals, companion, asean, bikinis, photography, camera, cameras, photo, video, photos, photograph, sex, sexy, manila, picture, pictures, print, prints, angeles, city, breast, women, arrange, bride, female, females, girl, girls, ladies, lady, lover, match, mate, miss, soul, mate, spouse, wife, barrio, barrretto, topless, olongapo city, woman, field, fields, city, avenue, subic bay, subic, adult, bay, ave, san miguel beer, penpal, bangkok, thailand, korea, japan, taiwan, hong kong, vietnam, ho chi minh city.

On February 24, 1999, on KABC-Los Angeles, Mr. Gaynor announced that he was bowing to public pressure and discontinuing Philippine Adventure Tours.

COMPREHENDING CHILD SEX TOURISM

To many governments around the world, international tourism provides an answer to economic growth and development. As tourism begins to overtake traditional sources of employment, children and young people are encouraged to migrate to tourist areas, in hopes they can earn an income for themselves and their families. The commercial sexual exploitation of children parallels the growth of tourism in many parts of the world. Tourism is not the cause of child sexual exploitation, but it does provide easy access to vulnerable children. In some instances, the marketing of certain destinations, particularly within Asia, portrays an image of women and children who are passive, submissive and exotic.

These false images reinforce many of the beliefs of sex tourists. Tourism also brings consumerism to many parts of the world previously denied access to luxury commodities and services. The lure of this easy money has caused many young people, including children, to trade their bodies in exchange for T-shirts, walkmans, bikes and even air tickets out of the country. In other situations, children are trafficked into the brothels on the margins of the tourist area and sold into sexual slavery, very rarely earning the money to escape.

Profiles: Sex tourists may be solo travelers or part of an arranged group. They may be Preferential Abusers, who have clear and definite sexual preferences for children or Situational Abusers, offenders who may not have planned to have commercial child sex while abroad, but took the opportunity when it presented itself. They use the "why not" approach and might consider it a bit of holiday "fun" not considering adolescents as children, even though many of the bar girls and boys are under 16 years of age.

While the majority of child sex offenders are male, it is also known that women are involved, and in some cases, male and female offenders travel as a couple to avoid discovery. Child sex tourist persuade themselves that in another country, normal social and moral restraints can be discarded, along with the belief that one will not be held responsible for his or her behavior. It is within these circumstances that child sexual exploitation thrives. The fact that most organized international child sex abuse occurs in developing countries indicates that child sex offenders exploit the economic hardships which many families endure. Offenders prefer to believe that the children they abuse are professional prostitutes, which allow the perpetrators to feel exonerated or justified in their actions. The fear of contracting AIDS through unprotected sex with older prostitutes has increased the demand for virgins and young children.

WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO WOMEN AND CHILDREN?

SUPPLY

* Devaluation of the girl child and discriminatory practices.
* Perceived responsibility of women and children to support families.
* Lack of educational, employment and vocational opportunities.
* Fragmentation of families: death of parent/s, husband, increases homeless women and children.
* Economic conditions, especially rural poverty, fueled by economic development policies and the erosion of agricultural sectors.
* Rural to urban migration and the growth of urban industrial centers.
* Move from subsistence to cash based economy and increased consumerism.
* Lack of laws and law enforcement.

DEMAND

* Criminal networks who organize the sex industry and recruit the children.
* Law enforcement /governmental complicity in the sex trade.
* Demands of foreign sex industries creating international trade in girls and women.
* Fear of AIDS, leading customers to demand younger girls.
* Early marriage and child marriage.
* Traditional and cultural practices, including the demand for virgins, the cultural practice of men patronizing prostitutes, inter-generational patterns of girls entering prostitution.
* Employers using the debt-bond (slavery) system, forced labor and child labor.
* Demand of sex tourists, pedophiles and the migrant labor force.
* International promotion of the sex industry through information technology.

Visit CAPTIVE DAUGHTERS


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CHILD PROSTITUTION A WORLD-WIDE PROBLEM

Of particular concern to the Royal Thai Government is the exploitation of children for the purpose of commercial sex. Young girls and boys too often are lured or forced into working in brothels and other sexually oriented establishments by profiteers.

While child prostitution is hardly unique to Thailand, its existence is repugnant to the Thai people. Thai society and culture are based on close family ties and religious values that are in direct conflict with the forced exploitation of individuals -- particularly children -- for sexual or any other purpose.

A GROWING PROBLEM

Child prostitution is a growing problem worldwide. In Asia alone, according to experts on the subject, more than one million young boys and girls are engaged in commercial sexual activity. And indications are that in every part of the world the number of children being harmed in this way is growing. Child prostitutes are found in virtually every country, including the United States, France, United Kingdom, Germany and Japan. There is an apparent increasing demand, globally; part of it fed by the fear of AIDS and the naive belief that younger sex partners are free of disease.

NEW INITIATIVES IN THAILAND

Prostitution is illegal in Thailand. Nevertheless, like all crime, it exists. Sexual contact with minors is a criminal offense; sexual intercourse with a minor is statutory rape and is punishable by imprisonment.

In 1996, Thai laws were strengthened by new legislation which significantly increased the penalties for those caught engaging in sex with a minor. The law targets customers, procurers, pimps, and owners and operators of brothels as well as parents who sell their children to profiteers. The Thai law also provides for prison terms of up to ten years and heavy fines for anyone convicted of being involved in international commercial sex trade. The new legislation also eased restrictions on the police, making it easier for them to enter and search suspected brothels and make arrests.

The Royal Thai Government also works closely with government and law enforcement agencies in other countries and with international organizations to attack the problem from the outside. Part of these efforts is aimed at preventing known sex offenders and publishers of pornography from entering Thailand. The Government also monitors the activities of tour agents abroad who promote "sex tours," in an attempt to prevent their customers from entering the country.

Foreign nationals are not exempt from Thai law. Those who engage in sexual activity with minors are subject to arrest and imprisonment. The Thai police have stepped up surveillance of suspected child molesters and have made numerous arrests resulting in convictions and long-term prison sentences. Information is now disseminated to all tourists visiting Thailand advising them of the law and the penalties for violating it.

GETTING AT THE ROOT CAUSES

Poverty is probably the most important factor contributing to the growth of child prostitution. Children offer themselves or, in some cases, are sold for sex in return for money. In developing countries particularly, the lack of viable economic opportunities, particularly in rural areas, combined with rising expectations and the desire to acquire modern goods, contributes to the potential for exploitation.

To counter this, the Royal Thai Government has taken initiatives which are designed to provide training and economic opportunities to youngsters who may be tempted or lured into prostitution. To reach these vulnerable children, the Department of Public Welfare has opened vocational training centers in every region of the country. These centers, aimed particularly at young women, provide job skills training and other services to more than 5,000 annually.

The Department also distributes information to households throughout the country, alerting parents to the dangers of prostitution and the scams employed by procurers and "recruiters. Additional government efforts are aimed at locating women and children who have been forced into prostitution and assisting former prostitutes. Rehabilitation shelters, run by the Department of Public Welfare, offer counselling and vocational training for some 1,200 former prostitutes each year.

Nor is the Government alone in these efforts. End Child Prostitution in Asian Tourism (ECPAT) is an international organization, founded in 1991, with headquarters in Thailand. The organization's goal is to eradicate child prostitution worldwide. It has launched a four-part action plan that has had remarkable results in just five years. The core of ECPAT's plan is lobbying governments to persuade them to enact laws protecting children. The group then works to make sure the laws are enforced. Further, ECPAT works with rural leaders to convince parents not to sell their children into prostitution. The organization also campaigns to dissuade tourists from the sexual exploitation of children and publishes the names of foreign pedophiles found in Asian countries.

ECPAT has convinced several countries to adopt new extra-territoriality laws that permit prosecution of citizens who sexually abuse children in another country. Under these laws, foreign visitors from Germany, Australia, Sweden, France and the U.S., for example, can now be convicted in those countries, for using a child prostitute while "on vacation" in Thailand.

Other major non-governmental organizations tackling the problem of child prostitution include: UNICEF, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the World Tourism Organization.

The Center for the Protection of Children's Rights, an international human rights group, disseminates information to parents in poor, rural areas about the horrors suffered by children that are sold into prostitution. This group uses print, radio and television as well as staff visits to rural villages to deliver its messages.

The Thai Business Initiative in Rural Development (TBIRD) is an organization that encourages businesses to create job opportunities in remote areas.

THE COMMITMENT

The Royal Thai Government is committed to eradicating the abomination of child prostitution. The combined efforts of the Government and non-governmental agencies and organizations is beginning to turn the tide. The growth of child prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation in Thailand is slowing. Over time, we will prevail.

Thailand's overall economic development and new programs in health care, education and the delivery of social services will all contribute to the elimination of this problem. As one example, the minimum number of mandatory years of education has been raised to keep children in school longer and prepare them better for the challenges of the future.


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Brothel Keeper And Her Slaves In Mumbai, India


CHILD PROSTITUTION IN INDIA

 

By Sarika Misha

Child labour is not a new phenomenon. It has existed in one form or the other in all historical periods. What is new, however, it its perception as a social problem and its being a matter of social concern. In older days the child was viewed with a tender feeling and treated with warmth, mercy, and compassion. But the fund of knowledge about the psychophysical needs and the environmental influence impinging on his growth and development was rather meager. The mechanics and dynamics of child development were not adequately and scientifically understood.

Today on scientific grounds it can be asserted that work as a direct fulfilment of child's natural abilities and creative potentialities is always conducive to healthy growth but work when taken up as a means for fulfilment of some other needs becomes enslaving in character of a social problem in as much as it hinders, arrests, or distorts the natural growth processes and prevents the child from attaining full blown personality.

The lions share of the value generated by it is appropriated by some one else and the child is left with a fraction that can not meet comfortably even the survival needs. Child labour is thus defined as work performed by children that either endangers their health or safety, interferes with or prevents education or keeps them from play and other activity important to their development. Child labour of this kind is considered a social evil.

The problem of child labour is a multi-dimensional one as the children from a large segment of the total population. Child prostitution involving both boys and girls is very common today but female child prostitution is more common than male child prostitution. Termed as the oldest profession, prostitution has become an integral part of “all sorts” that make the world. Women who resort to this rarely get a sympathetic word from the society and their life is wasted away selling momentary pleasures for a meal and existence in cubby holes called “cages.” If their plight is pathetic, worse still is that of the child prostitutes.

Today there is existence of “kid porn” where children and not adults are chosen for sexual exploitation. Ironically child prostitution is a special category of rigorous case of child labour and it raises more troubling ethical problems than child labour in general.

II. Extent

Many surveys have been conducted to find out the extent of child prostitution. Dr. Gilada's paper on perspectives and positional problems of social intervention shows that,

"70% of women are forced into prostitution and 20% of these are child prostitutes."

Statistics of the survey done show:-
City Population -- Prostitute Population

* Bombay 10 million -- 100,000
* Calcutta 9 million -- 100,000
* Delhi 7 million -- 40,000
* Agra 3 million -- 40,000

A survey conducted by Indian Health Organization of a red light area of Bombay shows:-
1. 20% of the one lakh prostitutes are children.
2. 25% of the child prostitutes had been abducted and sold.
3. 6% had been raped and sold.
4. 8% had been sold by their fathers after forcing them into incestuous relationships.
5. 2 lakh minor girls between ages 9yrs-20yrs were brought every year from Nepal to India and 20,000 of them are in Bombay brothels.
6. 15% to 18% are adolescents between 13 yrs and 18 yrs.
7. 15% of the women in prostitution have been sold by their husbands.
8. Of 200 million suffering from sexually transmitted diseases in the world, 50 million alone were in India.
9. 15% of them are devdasis.

III. Cases

There are several causes of child prostitution but some of the most important ones are as follows:-
1. Devdasi system:- many of the devdasis are the girls who were dedicated to the Goddess Yellamma by their parents at a very young age. They are the servants of God as they are married to the Goddess. This ceremony takes place twice a year. The main one is during the second fortnight of January at Karnatakas Saudatti village in South West of Miraj. Once the girl is married to a Goddess she cannot marry a mortal.

The procurers frequent the place in order to get the fresh supplies of girls as 4000 to 5000 girls are dedicated every year to the Goddess. Attaining puberty is a secondary thing as there is a ceremony known as heath Lawni (or touching ceremony) whereby the girl is made over to the highest bidder.

A study revealed that one third, of which three fourths are under fourteen years, are in Bombay's cheapest brothels. They belong to the low castes like Mahars, Matangs, etc. who give low priority to education. They are so poverty stricken that Fathers, brothers and husbands do not hesitate to sell their daughters, sisters and wives.

Prevention of devdasis Act has been in the statute book since 1935 and amended recently but the system continues even today despite governmental ban. Still the girls are dedicated to the Goddess and forced into virtual prostitution and made to entertain males in order to invoke the blessings of the deity.

It was estimated that in Delhi 50% of the prostitutes are devdasis and in Bombay, Pune, Solapur and Sangli. 15% of them are devdasis.

(2) It is also noticed that young and old men prefer young and new girls.

(3) Growing poverty, increasing urbanization, and industrialization, migration, and widespread unemployment, breaking up of joint family system etc. are also responsible for the prevalence and perpetuation of the child prostitution.

(4) The influx of the affluent and not so affluent people from Gulf countries in India has boosted the flesh trade in cities like Bombay, Hyderabad etc. The parents are forced to part with their daughters for as little as 2 rupees to two thousand in the fond hope that they would get two square meals in the moneyed new world.

(5) Quick marriages without proper knowledge of the bridegroom's family.

background leading to a divorce initiates the gravitation of girls to the red light area.

(6) Another inaction is after rape. A fifteen years old girl was brought to Dr, Gildas Clinic as she was suffering from the symptoms of an STD she had been raped and sold by a self styled social worker. The poor girl was forced into silence by the threats of dire consequences.

(7) The children are not lured into it but are thrust into it. There was a case of a sixteen years old girl who was sold to a brothel owner by her father following incest. 8 per cent of these girls are victims of incest because of the myth that one of the causes for an STD is intercourse with a virgin.

(8) Many a times when a child who has lost both his parents is looked after by the relatives and these relatives too force the child into prostitution.

(9) Child marriages are a common phenomenon even today and the bride is very much younger to the bridegroom so the husband drives the innocent wife into prostitution. There is a case where a girl of 13 was married off to a man of thrice her age three months later he abandoned her and married another girl. She returned to her poor parents and three months later a man promised her a good job and took her to Bombay from where he went and sold her to a middle aged woman at Kamatipura for rupees ten thousand and did not come back to take her.

(10) Some of them are lured to Bombay the tinsel town. They dream of stellar roles in films and mostly end up as prostitutes in the cages.

IV. Who are these girls, where then they procured from? How and why?

Tribal Kolta women and girls from Garhwal hills are compelled to become prostitutes to rescue their family from debt bondage. Poverty stricken young girls from Bengal and Nepal are lured with promises of attractive jobs and marriage. The agents came to know about the existing condition in the areas of U. P. Tehri Garhwal. Dehradun etc. The local Rajputs used to keep the men as animals and exploit their wives, sisters and daughters too. The agents were successful in convincing these women well and hence brought them to Delhi and Agra and sold them to the brothels there.

The phenomenon of commercialized trafficking of their girls found an easy acceptability among kollas as Nadeem Hasnain, an anthropologist researched the Socio-economic and cultural variables responsible for the bondage. In his book Bonded for ever (1982) says. "… Centuries of exploitation and extreme degrees of material and non material deprivation and the resultant wretchedness have taken the fight out of them and they can hardly resist the temptation of getting some hundred rupees even at the cost of selling their offsprings and wives. It is an economic battle for life."

Nearly 5,000 teenagers and women in a Tehsil of sangli district in South Maharastra wait for the month of June when the Arabs come and the year long poverty and hunger of these women, children, and babies is dispelled over night. The flesh trade flourishes from June to September and makes all the people connected with it happy.

In Rajashtan teenage prostitution is catching up as men sit and smoke hukkas while women fix bargains years after passing of the suppression of immoral traffic of women and children act. The children of the age group between 12 yrs to 20 yrs practice prostitution after school hours. Most of these children are later sold to the brothels of Agra and Delhi.

In big cities women procures are on a lookout for girls and they get girls from Basti, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Shahjahanpur, which are particularly notorious areas. Trilokpur police said that in a period of a year one thousand girls were sold in Doomariyaganj tahsil alone. Nepal has a very large female population and majority of them are illiterate and are very gullible and can be lured under any pretext. They are very religious and succumb to the promises of being taken to temples in India. They are fair skinned and attractive and a promise to get them into films tempts them. There is widespread unemployment in Nepal and the girls are totally unexposed to the outer world.

About 40 per cent of these girls are habitual bidi smokers so a little bit of the soporific can be mixed in the cigarettes for e.g. Ganja, Charas before abducting them. The Government of Nepal plans to ban smoking for women for this reason. The procurers find new ways of abducting them. One of the ways is giving them the “magic paan'”(betel) which is cocaine mixed, as most of the girls are abdicts of paan and beedi fall an easy prey to the cocaine intoxication.

Another bait is that of dowry which exists in reverse from in Nepal. A man can buy a bride and then he brings her to Bombay or anywhere and sells her at a brothel. Bombay seems to be an end of the rainbow when the daughters disappeared, the parents did not try to find out because they neither had the resources nor the ability to do so. They are assured that each girl can look after herself and if she does not reach so far. But when the girls started disappearing more frequently the rumours filtered back to the villages the neighbours were told that she was working in Bombay.

The parents do not accept the girls back but the money they send to them 8 per cent of the girls crossing the Indo-Nepal border fall victims to racketeers who include Government officials of the two countries. Girls are also brought from Karnataka, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh and are assaulted and raped till they submit to this shameful life.

V. Conditions

In the seamy and sordid world where each painted faced hides its own talk of abduction coercion an submission the “gharwali'” or the “madani” rules by force and is helped by “Goondas.” The prostitute is deprived of her earnings till the price which was paid to buy her is procured. If she utters a word of dissatisfaction she is whipped. They are kept in sophisticated cages by their owners. The child prostitutes who are minors and virgins are kept under strict vigil in reserve as they are in great demand. The Arabs and Koreans are used to paying thousands for these girls. The girls are never lodged at the same place permanently and they are shifted occasionally to a dozen of brothels owned by the procuress of their own country to avoid familiarity with the customers or police detection.

The procurer first rechristens the girl and the cautions them against revealing their real names and also disclosing there true addresses to the customers. Thereafter they are trained on the ethics of flesh trade never to turn away any customer, to treat all customers well equally courteously and superficially and never to discuss personal matters and keep themselves clean. They are also given one weekly holiday. The brothels where minor girls are kept, have two entries so as to escape during the sudden raids.

The girls have to live in a really unhygenic condition with very little food. A dozen girls have to live in a 10 x 10 room and that too without any medical check ups. These girls are forced to work round the clock. They are excused only when they are physically very weak. Madams have quacks to treat them who dispense debilitating remedies and also use dangerous and unhygenic methods of abortion. The quacks inject coloured liquid in the infected areas as the treatment for various sexually transmitted diseases such as syphilis, scabies, venereal wart etc. making the children never totally cured thus extending their hold on them. The girls are seldom taken for treatment as sex with a minor girl is a crime so the madams are scared of the criminal proceedings.

For decades the most important red light areas have been enjoying the police protection. The policemen themselves go to the brothels for tea snacks and girls. They inform the brothel keepers in advance about the raids which are scheduled to take place. The police, the brothel keeper, and pimps share the major part of the earnings of the prostitutes and the rest of it that percolates down to the prostitutes is a mere pittance. It is alleged that the police and abet the running of the brothels. They accept the hospitability, money and free use of the girls. The police helps the brothel keeper even by bringing back the ones who have run away. In a case where a girl named Geeta who was ten years old was rescued by a hawker after many attempts, was returned back to the brothel keeper by the inspector himself on the same day. The escapes by the victims and recovery by the police are rare. The recoveries do not account for even 2% of the actual number of girls procured it different places.

Child prostitution does not exist only in India but also in other parts of the world.

"60 sex salves all from impoverished Dominican republic were found hidden in sealed containers unloaded at the port St. Thomas in U. S. Virgin Islands. 28 of these died and survivors were weak with no identity papers. They work for 18 hrs in a day and get only 20 dollars per client. Millions of third world young women and children are sold. Sexual slavery is becoming increasingly international and industrial in character.

An organization of Manila which exports girls had 18 girls between the ages of 10 yrs to 17 yrs ready to be exported with same sign tattooed on the right thigh. In Thailand child prostitution is relatively discrete and tolerated by police.

VI. Effects

Practice of child prostitution is economically unsound, psychologically disastrous, and morally dangerous and harmful on even and individual child. One can hardly imagine the extreme trauma that a child under goes. There is a case of a child prostitute who lost her speech after being raped by one who had hired her. She is now placed in a deaf mute school for speech recovery.

The case of Tulsa a Nepali girl is more pathetic. Since the age of 13 she was sold and brought by many people and shifted from brothel to brothel and was forced by five to seven men every day. In this process she ended up with many diseases. She was taken to J. J. Hospital at Bombay. She was said to be suffering from meningitis, tuberculosis of brain, bone and chest and had an STD in advanced stage. The police took over sixteen months to file a charge sheet. Finally she was repatriated to Nepal. The culprits in the Himalayan Kingdom were tried and imprisoned for 20 years.

Child prostitutes become ready recruits for flesh trade for they are rendered unfit for any other trade or calling not being educated or having any knowledge of any other trade. Child prostitution itself is a criminal activity and serves as a catalyst for further criminal association in other fields. The helpless children are turned into mere pawns in the criminal syndicates which lead to a steady deterioration of morals.

50 million of the worlds 200 million prostitutes who suffer from STD are in India and they are mostly found to be affected by tuberculosis, meningitis scabies, chronic pelvic injections anaemia, syphilis, chaneroid, tineacrutis, vevercal war etc. These are the scars that the child prostitution leaves on the child prostitutes can not be erased but to a certain extent can be minimised by the medical help.

VII. Law and child prostitution

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act passed by both houses of parliament last August come into force from Monday 26th January 1987. Under the amended act detention of a woman for purposes of prostitution is punishable with a minimum of seven years of imprisonment and maximum of life imprisonment Equally Stringent punishment will be awarded to those procuring children for prostitution. Earlier, the act was known as suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act (SITA). The name of the act has been changed and it has been made more effective and stringent. The definition of prostitute itself has been changed to include persons of both sexes. Earlier it included girls and women only. The amendment takes into account the growing menace of male prostitution especially that involving young boys.

Under the new act there are three categories of victims:- children, minors and majors. The children are those upto 16 years and minors are those between 16 to 18yrs and majors are those above 18 yrs. The earlier act recognized only women and girls -- a women being one who has reached 21 years of age. Punishment for offences committed against these categories differ in severity Offences Committed against children and minors will be dealt with more severely than those against majors.

The new act provides for the appointment of a special police officer for investigating offences with inter-state ramifications the women who are resended by the police during raids will be questioned only by women police officers and if none is available they can be interrogated only in the presence of a female representative of a recognised welfare institution or organisation. To make a search or conduct a raid too the police officer has to be accompanied by at least two policewomen.

VIII. Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation of the prostitutes is a big problem because people donate for different causes like handicapped people, blind etc but when it comes to helping these girls not many are willing. There is a stigma attached to this profession once rescued the girls are sent to the Remand houses or the protective houses which are overcrowded, mismanaged, without facilities or vocational training and living conditions threadbare. The Government gives an aid of just Rupees 75 per girl per month. So the girl realises that the life before was better and so when the pimp comes to claim them as a brother or a sister she readily goes with him or her to the old life.

IX. Conclusion

Our society has not only turned a blind eye to minor girls being enticed into prostitution but also is directly responsible for the continuance in growth of child prostitution. First the demand for virgin prostitutes, and secondly it abets child prostitution by failing to provide adequate facilities for orphan and destitute children. Unless so called respectable sections of the society rise in revolt against exploitation the future of younger generation looks bleak. We have to forget the idea of once a prostitute for ever a prostitute and think how can a child help what has been done her by an unthinking adult?

We have to overlook their past and rehabilitate them as one of the agencies in Bombay called Savadhan headed by Mr. Gupta is doing. They have got 30 prostitutes who were rescued married to respectable people of the society. The IHO has been clamoring for women police to patrol red light area because policemen themselves exploit the inhabitant of the Red light area. The Government should divert more funds for rehabilitation and private charitable institutions should also contribute what we achieve in science and technology will be negated if we cannot protect our minor girls who are being exploited. The Government should severely punish the people connected with this inhuman practice should be totally banned for the good of the future citizens of our country.



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Children Of Burmese Migrants In Thailand Fishing Industry


INITIATIVE AGAINST SEXUAL TRAFFICKING

 

The Initiative Against Sexual Trafficking (IAST) is a distinctive partnership of organizations (spearheaded by The Salvation Army National Headquarters) united in their desire to abolish the sexual trafficking of women and children -- one of the largest and most destructive routes into slavery in the world today.

We exist to create and equip a new abolition movement for the eradication of sexual trafficking, protection survivors, and prosecution of traffickers and exploiters.

The global phenomenon of sexual trafficking involves the recruitment, transportation, harboring, provision, or obtaining of persons for purposes of prostitution or other forms of commercial sexual exploitation such as the production of pornography, nude dancing, or live sex shows. Prostitution and related activities, which are inherently harmful and dehumanizing, significantly contribute to the phenomenon of trafficking in persons.

Each year sexual traffickers lure, coerce, trick, drug, kidnap, and sell millions of vulnerable women and children into the multi-billion dollar sex trade. In their daily lives victims of sexual trafficking endure unspeakable acts of physical brutality, violence and degradation including rape by so-called customers and pimps; undergo forced abortions; acquire drug and alcohol dependencies; live in fear of their lives and in fear for the lives of their family and friends; suffer acute psychological reactions as a result of their extreme physical and emotional trauma; and contract sexually transmitted diseases which all too often bring life-long illness or hasten death. If they survive, the physical, psychological and spiritual impacts of these experiences on victims are devastating and enduring.

Read full article HERE

Picture: Children of Burmese migrants working in Thailand's commercial fisheries industry lead particularly precarious lives. They are subject to economic hardship, discrimination, entrapment into child labor and deportation back into the very conditions their parents fled. Burma is a Tier 3 country in the TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS REPORT

Visit the website: INITIATIVE AGAINST SEXUAL TRAFFICKING


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SEX TOURISM ON THE INCREASE IN CENTRAL AMERICAN COUNTRIES

By W. E. Gutman

TEGUCIGALPA -- When Nicaraguan police gingerly opened a stray piece of luggage at Managua Airport last month, fear turned to indignation. What they found were photos of children and adults engaged in explicit sexual acts. A Nicaraguan woman was arrested when she returned to claim her bag. Shot in Nicaragua and developed in multiple copies in Miami, the photos were destined for a select clientele of pedophiles throughout Central America.

Interpol has linked the spread of child pornography with the rise in child prostitution in the isthmus. In December 2003, acting on a tip from Casa Alianza, INTERPOL agents and Honduran police patrolling the border with Nicaragua rescued several underage girls who had been secreted in the cabs of large trucks. Police later raided a "party" where four Honduran girls --- the youngest 13, the oldest 15 --- were being sexually exploited. Videos shot with minicams were confiscated. Nearby, in El Triunfo, three juveniles were taken in protective custody. Two women suspected of pimping the girls were arrested.

Last month, in Tegucigalpa, 30 young girls were plucked from various legitimate businesses, among them a pool hall, a tavern and a snack bar that operated back-room brothels.

A REGION OUT OF CONTROL

The sexual abuse of children by adults to satisfy their own perversions is a global problem and a growing horde of "sex tourists" travel from country to country in pursuit of easy prey. While Southeast Asia remains the hub of world sex tourism, Central America, racked by poverty and stunted by diminishing opportunities, is rapidly gaining in popularity.

Belize. Although comprehensive data regarding child prostitution in Belize are not available, sex tourism is being blamed on an increase in HIV/AIDS cases among minors and adults. Ambiguous statutes, slipshod investigations and short prison terms are turning Belize, which balks at signing the UN Protocol against the trafficking of children, into a burgeoning haven for pornography and child prostitution.

Costa Rica. Flagged by INTERPOL, Costa Rica is fast rising as the hemispheric capital of sex tourism. According to Casa Alianza, more than 3,000 girls and young women work in San Jose’s 300 brothels.

Rivaling Thailand and the Philippines as the world's leading sex tourism destination, Costa Rica, where possession of child pornography for personal use is not considered a crime, is also credited with having the region's largest child prostitution problem. Commercial sexual exploitation of minors in Costa Rica is said to draw as many as 5,000 tourists a year. Most children who succumb to prostitution do so before they turn 12.

Headquartered in Costa Rica, Casa Alianza has filed about 400 criminal complaints with the office of the special prosecutor. Owing the apathy and inefficiency of the judicial system, which is being blamed for hindering efforts to put an end to child prostitution, most of these cases have not been prosecuted.

El Salvador. Tiny and densely populated El Salvador is a country of origin and destination for the commercial sexual exploitation of minors. Sex tourism is becoming ever more lucrative. Interpol has discovered a network that shuttles children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and forces them into prostitution in bars along the El-Salvador-Guatemala border. Agents have rescued at least 50 girls in the past two years. Police recently raided the house of a former congressman and found a large stash of child pornography. The man, a candidate for a seat on the Supreme Court, was arrested and is awaiting trial.

Guatemala. Known as the Land of Eternal Spring, Guatemala is a country of destination for children trafficked for sexual exploitation. This has not prevented scores of Guatemalan minors from being sold to Europe and the US. At least 5,000 minors live in the streets and many have turned to prostitution to survive. Attributed in part to Guatemala's dismal economy, this phenomenon is also blamed on an alarming rise in the use of crack cocaine among homeless youth, a practice that further prejudice them in the eyes of trigger-happy police who often rape, torture and murder them. Guatemalan brothels have been identified as a supply source of infants destined, through illegal schemes, for adoption into the US.

Honduras. Notorious for its sex industry and exploitation of street children, Honduras has not ratified Article 182 of the ILO Convention, which aims at eliminating the worst forms of child labor. Promised jobs and scholarships, Honduran girls, some as young as 13, are routinely being trafficked by crime syndicates and sold to brothels in Guatemala, El Salvador and Mexico. As many as 200 Honduran minors have been smuggled overland to Canada by a professional drug ring and forced to work as indentured couriers. Most of the street girls rescued by Casa Alianza are victims of prostitution. All who engaged in "survival sex" in exchange for basic necessities, were first sexually abused at home. Most had contracted at least one sexually transmitted disease.

Honduran courts often tolerate sex abuse. "If the victim is older than 12," says a judge on condition of anonymity, "if he or she refuses to file a complaint and if the parents clearly profit from their child's commerce, we tend to look the other way. 'Private crimes' are very rarely, if ever, prosecuted."

Based on warrants issued by Casa Alianza, Interpol has effected a number of rare if spectacular arrests. Several pedophiles, some with dozens of outstanding charges of child pornography and molestation, remain imprisoned in Honduras. All face extradition and prosecution in their countries of origin.

Mexico. According to Bruce Harris, "the weakness of legal controls and intractable poverty have turned Mexico into a 'paradise' of prostitution and child pornography. More than 16,000 children are sexually exploited through networks involving foreigners and military, police, government and business officials. In Juarez alone, nearly 1,000 children are being sexually exploited, and in Guadalajara, officials report 750 cases of child prostitution."

The US-Mexican border is one of the main centers for child sex tourism. Thousands of Americans cross into Mexico daily looking for cheap sex with underage prostitutes. Mexican authorities, who admit that about 18,000 minors were used to produce child pornography, have taken little if any action.

More than 2,000 girls and young women have been sold to Japanese brothels. Traffickers belong to criminal syndicates operating along the US border and associated with Japanese "yakuza" gangs. Organized Mexican cartels smuggle girls as young as 14 into the US. The Cadena network has smuggled many young Mexican girls to south Florida. Despite the arrest of a number of key players by US authorities, the head of the Cadena hydra remains at large. US investigators have also apprehended several employees of the California-based Chamblee Agency for trafficking laborers into the US, some of whom were forced into prostitution and debt-bondage.

Nicaragua. Little information is available on the trafficking of children in Nicaragua. Nevertheless, sex tourism is a growing and lucrative enterprise for criminal networks operating in Central America's largest and poorest nation. According to Casa Alianza, between 1,200 and 1,500 girls and young women work the brothels of Managua. Almost half are under the age of 18. Every night, hundreds of teenage girls line the Masaya Highway commercial corridor on the capital's south side. A study of 300 street children by the Nicaragua Ministry of Family reveals that more than 80 percent admitted to engaging in prostitution to support their drug habits.

Panama. Little is known about the sexual exploitation of minors in Panama. Massage parlors are said to be employing underage girls, mostly from Colombia and the Dominican Republic. According to INTERPOL, 10 percent of the 300 illegal migrants intercepted recently in Panama were minors.

HUGE PROBLEM, SCARCE ASSETS

Honduras Security Minister Oscar Alvarez, who oversees his country's law enforcement apparatus, acknowledges that child prostitution is out of control. He attributes his agency's unexceptional successes to "acute" understaffing. "We are stretched to the limit. Our entire crime fighting effort --- from the theft of chickens to murder --- is in the hands of 300 investigators and 8,500 police officers. We just cannot be everywhere at the same time."

Congresswoman Rosa Adelinda Pavón has a more holistic view of the problem. She blames "poverty, foreshortened opportunities, growing national discontent and a culture of indifference" for Honduras moral decay. "We are all contaminated --- lawmakers, the judiciary, law enforcement, religious institutions, the media. We enact laws that are unenforceable. We punish but do not rehabilitate. We preach and threaten and castigate but we fail to motivate, educate and inspire." Shortly after Deputy Pavón, made these dcomments, Congress voted unanimously to raise prison sentences for sexual crimes against children.

"We are heartened by this positive development," says Bruce Harris. "But we still have a long way to go. It is time for Congress to enact laws that shield children from exploitation. Studies by Casa Alianza show that most children who are being sold for sex, were sexually abused in their own homes at a very young age. We must work on prevention and bring about a more secure legal climate that champions children's rights." The next day, shortly before dawn, 15 minors were rescued in a raid on Tegucigalpa bars, discotheques and nightclubs doubling as houses of prostitution.

[W. E. Gutman is a veteran journalist on regular assignment in Central America since 1991. He lives in southern California.]


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SEX TOURISM IN BRAZIL

In Brazil's cities, thousands sell sex to Western tourists Child prostitution rackets operate in almost 1,000 municipalities in Brazil, according to a government study mapping the underground industry. Almost one in five of the country's large cities harbours well-organised under-age sex rings, officials say. Activity is especially rife along the triple border where Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina meet.

The study was published by Brazil's Human Rights Secretariat and the UN children's organisation, UNICEF. "By 2006, we want to reduce by half the number of municipalities involved in this, and reduce the number of children and adolescents who are victims of exploitation," said Brazil's Human Rights Secretary, Nilmario Miranda. The government says it cannot put a figure on the number of children and adolescents involved in the industry.

SEX TOURISM

Mr Miranda added that, until recently, the issue was not taken seriously by authorities. The country's megacities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo are home to about a quarter of the total number of child prostitution rings, Mr Miranda said. And nearly a third of all rackets are located in the impoverished north-east of the country.

Brazil's poverty -- nearly 15% of the population live under on under a dollar a day and its relatively youthful population -- some 40% of people are under the age of 18 - contribute to making it a hub for sex tourism. Mr Miranda said Brazil was working with authorities in Germany, Italy and the Netherlands -- the principal source of sex tourists -- to fight the problem.


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NO FREE SEX IN ZIMBABWE -- PAY UP OR ELSE

Deep poverty, fuelled in part by runaway inflation, has pushed great numbers of vulnerable Zimbabwean women living in the country's towns and cities to enter commercial sex work or “transactional” sexual relationships. The exchange of gifts or money for sex is now common among women aged between 15 and 45 years. It is less gifts like perfumes, dresses, haute cuisine dining and jewellery -- as in richer and more sophisticated societies -- than cash for basics like groceries, rent and school fees for the children of single mothers. Some have dared to demand cars in exchange for sex.

The phenomenon, in a culture where all social indicators indicate catastrophic decline, reflects something that Uganda's minister of youth and children’s affairs Jimmy Kinobe has said about transactional sex -- affection and warmth between the sexes has become “something for something love” and a threat to Uganda’s battle with HIV/Aids.

The desire to obtain luxury items, such as designer clothing, jewellery, fashionable hairstyles, accessories and make-up, has always motivated many women in Africa to engage in transactional sex. But in Zimbabwe, because of the dramatic economic decline since 1999/2000, which has caused extensive extreme poverty, some parents have pressurised their own children to engage in transactional sex to finance their education and the family's household necessities.

Innumerable families are being sustained by groceries and money provided by their children’s “sugar daddies.”

A prominent Harare lawyer told IWPR, “How do you think women are surviving in the high density areas like Mbare, Mabvuku and Epworth [poverty-stricken working class suburbs of Harare]. It is guys who sell foodstuffs, the combi taxi drivers and touts, the guys who get stuff, who are getting the sex in exchange for food. The situation has worsened and life is just unaffordable even for professional people like me.”

Poverty and HIV/AIDS infection are deeply intertwined. With the burden of caring for the sick, the dying and the orphaned forcing thousands of Zimbabwean women deeper into poverty and draining their energy and self-esteem, so it increases the pressure to resort to high risk transactional sex, with older sugar daddies offering the daydream of material security.

One single mother of a 16-year old girl told IWPR that she expects her sixth-form daughter to supplement her parent's income. “What do you want me to do?" said the mother sorrowfully. "I am an unemployed, single mother and my two children need to go to school. How do you expect me to raise the money for school fees, groceries, uniforms, clothes and other basics? My only income comes from renting out the main part of my house.

“So my daughter has been helping me. I don’t ask where she gets the money from, as long as she brings something home.” But, the mother then admitted, she knows her daughter's income comes from selling sex. The woman's husband died from an AIDS-related illness and she also tested HIV-positive. She knows that her daughter is exposed to HIV infection from her chosen method of raising money for the family.

The mother allows men to pick up her daughter from her home at night and has also been pushing her to have a sexual relationship with a pastor at her church. “I don’t ask where she goes and what she does," she said. "I am just happy that she is able to bring something to the table. How did you think I could afford expensive clothes for her and her brother and the mountain bike my son has?”

Rentals now range between 30,000 and 250,000 Zimbabwe dollars [121 to 995 US dollars] a month for a bed-sitter or two-bedroom flat, while three-bedroom houses range from 100,000 to 300,000 Zimbabwe dollars in middle-class suburbs. Rents and other prices increase almost daily, with the International Monetary Fund predicting that Zimbabwe's current inflation rate of 1,200 per cent will top 4,000 per cent next year.

The increasing demands by women for material rewards in exchange for sex is beginning to have another social impact. Married men interviewed by IWPR said it was becoming prohibitively expensive to engage in extra-marital affairs. “Women, especially those we refer to as the 'youth policy', are unmanageable, even for the so-called rich," said one financial executive. "The other day a 17-year-old girl whom I had just started dating asked me for 200,000 Zimbabwe dollars to buy her grandmother drugs.

“I automatically dumped her and told her that I was not there to look after her grandmother. I know this was just a way to ask me for money for other things.”

A top civil servant said women expected a lot from him because of his post in government. He said the highest amount a woman paramour had asked him for was 500,000 Zimbabwe dollars -- on top of three trolley-loads of groceries. “Women have gone mad," he said. "They take you to a supermarket and ask you to pay. A friend of mine was shocked when his girlfriend asked him for 100 000 Zimbabwe dollars to pay rent and deposit for a one-bedroom flat, and when I showed him the demands I received from a woman I had just dated he almost fainted.

“Before the introduction of the new currency, a lot of men had to move around with travel bags full of money just to meet their girlfriends’ demands. Our biggest problem is what we call ‘youth policy’. These young girls want money – it’s understandable because hairstyles, clothes and everything else are now expensive.”

In a cosmetic exercise which did nothing to slow inflation, but reduced the weight of banknotes Zimbabweans carry with them in bags and boxes, Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono knocked three zeros off the currency last month and issued new notes.

One struggling married businessman who keeps a mistress said, "When a text message appears saying 'I need a huge favour,' you just know the issue is about money. These women are draining us and those days of having girlfriends are over because you will just work for them and be stressed for life.”

One man asked to buy groceries for his youth policy said that when he brought two small carrier bags containing single items of basics, the woman threw them out of her flat window, saying that when she asked for "groceries" she expected to be given things she cannot normally afford.

A young secretary for an insurance company told IWPR that her days of having sexual relationships for nothing with men, especially married men, were over. Looks do not matter, she said, as long as he has a nice car and a fat bank account. “You want me to have sex with a man for nothing?" she said. "The man has to show me what he can do in terms of providing for me, and my children, before I can even consider sleeping with him. Age is not a factor – it’s how fat his pockets are.”

This fast developing social trend also flows in the opposite sexual direction. Young men are having transactional sexual relationships with rich married women, some of whom refer to their young lovers as “pain killers.” One young man clashed with his parents and decided to move in to his friend's up-market flat, unaware that the rent was being paid by a “sugar mommy”. He was shocked when his friend told him to leave because the "big mama" did not want visitors sleeping there who might disturb her visits when she sneaks out of her matrimonial home.

“Some of these guys you see driving fancy cars and staying in flats are being looked after by older women," said the young man. "The older women who feel deprived by their husbands but also believe in a youth policy of their own are now very aggressive and will do everything to get a younger man.”

The consequences of transactional sex, bolstered by a culture in which male infidelity has often been explicitly or implicitly sanctioned, are catastrophic. Zimbabwean women now have the shortest lifespan in the world, according to the World Health Organisation. Largely as a result of HIV/AIDS, Zimbabwean women now have a life expectancy of 34 years and men of 37, said WHO in its annual report for 2006. According to the United Nations Children's Fund, three babies in Zimbabwe become infected with HIV every hour.

"But Zimbabwe needs support more than outrage," commented UNICEF spokesman James Elder. "It is constantly inspiring the way Zimbabweans continue to support each other amid desperate economic times, and 90 per cent of the country's 1.5 million [AIDS] orphans are still cared for by extended family. But the stress that a Zimbabwe family is under is becoming unbearable."

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