Last night I sat glued to my TV watching a BBC news special report. The report was on child slavery and prostitution. Child prostitution and slavery is a worldwide problem that we all know about but so many of us do little about it. We sit back and shake our heads at the stories and tales that are told on TV. We condemn the people who trade children into prostitution and slavery but again our actions are non existent.
Last night I sat open mouthed listening to the stories of kids, innocent kids whose lives have been taken away from them. They had been sold by parents, grandparents or even relatives for what we would consider a good night out for dinner, between 50 to $150. How anyone could sell their own flesh and blood, is beyond me.
In the report, the reporter speaks to a young Cambodian girl who was tricked into prostitution, she was 12 years old and told she could go and work in a garment factory. She was sold for $150 in the capital of Phnom Penh. She suffered threats to her life, had a gun put to her head, starved, locked in a cage, beaten by the brothel owner just to name a few things. She was eventually saved by AFESIP which is run by an amazing lady, a former child prostitute.
The report then moved onto India, where the largest number of child slaves are in work than anywhere else in the world. This story was shocking; the owners of the boys were ignorant and said they didn’t care he was breaking the law. He said without the boys their industry, the textile industry, wouldn’t exist.
This story was about a 12 year old boy, sold by his grandmother for £12 ($25) to a loom owner. The boy is made to work 7 days a week, 12 hours a day minimum, in the report they said many times they work throughout the night when they are really busy. He is paid .15 pence a day or 30 US cents.
He works in dark conditions and his eyesight is being affected because of the intricate patterns in the fine silk. They interviewed the grandmother who sold the boy and she said “He is working like a slave, but what can I do? Whether it is good or bad I don’t know. “Everyone who lives around here does the same. It doesn’t matter whether you have a boy or a girl, we send the children to work. We have no other choice.” This, my readers is so very sad!
Here in Thailand it is well known that many young girls are sold from a border town called Mae Sai. Just across the river is Burma and “agents” as they are known travel from Bangkok or Pattaya to fill orders for Thai, Westerners, and any other nationality looking for this service. Yes, it is like ordering a pizza and the agent goes and collects the girl and delivers to your door. Here is a good story about Mae Sai.
Then there is this story from Thailand of an undercover reporter, who purchases two 14 year old Burmese girls. They negotiate with the ‘Mama San’ or owner of the girls for the price of 41,500 Baht. This is also a really attention-grabbing read.
My take on all of this is simple: it is a disgusting and despicable act; these people are taking away a child’s innocence, taking away their faith in life, in people, in the world. Kids look up to adults in trust; they look for advice and help, not to be sold like a commodity.
The laws for such acts need to be severe across the globe.
I personally believe that agents or people buying kids for slavery or prostitution should be sentenced to death if caught.
People who buy children and use them as slaves and prostitutes should be jailed for life and never be released.
People using the services of child prostitutes should be cat and nine tailed until they are deceased. There is no where on the world for these people. They do not deserve to breathe the air we breathe. But this is just my opinion; I would love to hear your feedback and views.
Here is another interesting article about child prostitution in Thailand.