Where is the Coverage?
One social issue that doesn’t get as much coverage as it should is the sex trafficking that occurs all around the world. The sex traffic business continues to loom large yet the atrocities involved never quite see the day light. Somehow someway the industries manages to keep it hush hush.
Sex trafficking revenue of people is estimated to be between $5 billion to $9 billion dollars. Often it is misunderstood as something people do voluntarily due to money or debt issues when in actuality many girls are abducted and kidnapped from an early age and forced into prostitution by force and torture. Up to 50% are minors. Sex trafficking occurs not just in notorious countries like Cambodia, Japan, Russia and Eastern Europe but here at home in the United States.
One recent “opinions” article that speaks of the issue and is highlighted below. (Why it an opinion article? Shouldn’t this be headline world news!?)
Full Article – Excerpts Below
Sina is Vietnamese but was kidnapped at the age of 13 and taken to Cambodia, where she was drugged. She said she woke up naked and bloody on a bed with a white man — she doesn’t know his nationality — who had purchased her virginity.
After that, she was locked on the upper floors of a nice hotel and offered to Western men and wealthy Cambodians. She said she was beaten ferociously to force her to smile and act seductive.
Again, I want to emphasize that many prostitutes found in third world countries are there not because they need to make money or chose to do it for a living. Many, if not most are there by force, trapped unable to escape. Others were deceived at a young age with promises of one thing only to find the old bait and switch. Below you’ll find a graphic description on what kind of “methods” are used to keep the girls in check.
As in many brothels, the torture of choice was electric shocks. Sina would be tied down, doused in water and then prodded with wires running from the 220-volt wall outlet. The jolt causes intense pain, sometimes evacuation of the bladder and bowel — and even unconsciousness.
Shocks fit well into the brothel business model because they cause agonizing pain and terrify the girls without damaging their looks or undermining their market value.
After the beatings and shocks, Sina said she would be locked naked in a wooden coffin full of biting ants. The coffin was dark, suffocating and so tight that she could not move her hands up to her face to brush off the ants. Her tears washed the ants out of her eyes.
She was locked in the coffin for a day or two at a time, and she said this happened many, many times.
Often when these girls are finally freed, they have the courage to stick around to help others who are in need, but at a tremendous cost. In many countries the sex trafficking is managed by large criminal organizations with immense power. Other countries, the law enforcements and infrastructure is not stable or strong enough to do anything about it. Often times the law enforcement themselves are corrupt.
Finally, Sina was freed in a police raid, and found herself blinded by the first daylight she had seen in years. The raid was organized by Somaly Mam, a Cambodian woman who herself had been sold into the brothels but managed to escape, educate herself and now heads a foundation fighting forced prostitution.
After being freed, Sina began studying and eventually became one of Somaly’s trusted lieutenants. They now work together, in defiance of death threats from brothel owners, to free other girls. To get at Somaly, the brothel owners kidnapped and brutalized her 14-year-old daughter. And six months ago, the daughter of another anti-trafficking activist (my interpreter when I interviewed Sina) went missing.
I hope this article and perhaps many more to come will offer some insight into the wrongs still found in our world that often goes unnoticed.
Thoughts? Comment Below.
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