09 Aug 2008 05:17
Subject: Child Trafficking
Occasionally you get another draw dropper appear in the media–“A staggering 600,000 to a million girls are trafficked each year in the region.”
I wonder what really happens to them?
" ‘It was one of the most devastating experiences,’ she (Penelope Tree) says. ‘In Cambodia you realise very soon that this is a country that has been completely raped and people are still living in fear.’ She talks vividly about the poverty she encountered, visiting refugee camps where sex trafficking is so common it has almost become accepted, where families are so desperate they will sacrifice one daughter to unscrupulous agents in the mistaken belief that her earnings will look after the rest of the family. In reality parents receive a fraction, if any, of the money that agents promise and if they do see their daughters again they are invariably emotionally and physically scarred.
Many disappear forever and of the few who do eventually return home it is because they’re HIV-positive and of no more use to their captors. ‘I remember a village where, as a sex tourist, you could pick up a five-or six-year-old boy or girl. Camps where agents would offer families $80 for one of their daughters and then sell her on for $500,’ she says, plainly still affected by what she saw. A staggering 600,000 to a million girls are trafficked each year in the region. (Observer Woman Aug 2008)