Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Sex Slaves

Forget your sci-fi fantasy stories like the Chronicles of Counter Earth. There is a sex slave market here on Earth. Cambodia probably is not the only country where this market exists.

2005-01-16 / New York Times / By Nicholas D. Kristof
We've had narco-trafficking states; Cambodia may be becoming the first sex-slavery state.
The good news:
One aid program continues to try to help these girls. It is called Afesip and is financially backed by Spain. They run a shelter that has attempted to house these girls. Last month, 83 girls were housed there after a police raid was made on the brothel, Chai Hour II hotel, where they supposedly worked as masseuses and entertainers - not prostitutes.

The bad news:
An attempt to run Afesip out of the country is being made by those who control the brothel. Death threats have been made on Afesip workers. A counter-raid was made on the shelter by men dressed in military uniforms & driving a vehicle with a military license plate to retrieve the 83 girls and return them to the brothel. An Afesip staff member was beaten up in the process.

The story explains that a top-ranking female police officer in Cambodia ordered the raid on the brothel to begin with. After the shelter was raided and the girls returned to the brothel, that same female police officer was not only reprimanded but also suspended from her post for a time period.

I have to question: Who controls who?
Sounds like dirty policemen exist higher up in the ranks. Dirty policemen who either accept bribes to be bought off or get "free services" when they attend Chai Hour II themselves.

What needs to happen first before these sex traffickers can be quashed is to remove the dirty officials from their posts. Weed them out. That'll be a chore all on its own and would require some espionage work. Probably entice them with certain dark luxuries and see who bites. Once they've bit, they're caught on camera or documented somehow. Then remove them.

Promote that top-ranking female officer and have her involved in the hiring process of some new clean and sound police officers.

But nothing will happen unless we get higher-level outrage in Washington and other foreign capitals.

U.S. President George W. Bush has done more than his predecessors in making sex trafficking an issue, and his State Department has done a first-rate job exerting pressure - but there's so much more that we could do. The Bush administration could put a real dent in sex trafficking if we were to treat it as firmly as we do, say, pirated movies.
Get the work started in-country. Teach Cambodia's officials how to deal with this kind of garbage within their own country. The United States has its hands full with Iraq and North Korea right now. Other countries need to stand up and take a stand against the deprivation of people's liberties - whether they be man, woman, or child. Sexual abuse, assault, force, and exploitation should be an international crime involving all nations. The United States plays "international police officer" to many crimes around this globe. It's time that other countries stand up to do good and get rid of crimes like these.

Besides AIDS, who knows what other viral diseases and unsanitary conditions breed within walls like the Chai Hour II.

If you feel compelled to help AFESIP, click here for information on how to donate or here on how to be a volunteer.

AFESIP exists to combat trafficking in women and children for sex slavery; to care for and rehabilitate those rescued from sex slavery; to provide occupational skills and to reintegrate those rescued into the community in a sustainable and innovative manner. AFESIP also seeks to combat the causes and effects of trafficking and sex slavery through outreach work in AIDS prevention; through advocacy and campaigning; through representation and participation in women’s issues at national, regional and international forums.

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