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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Secrets of a 5-year-old prostitute

sold into prostitution at the age of 5
Yes you read the headline correctly. This blog is written by a surviver of extreme child abuse. She's sharing her stories to raise awareness and, I'm linking to her for the very same reason.
Some facts:
UNICEF estimates that 1,000 to 1,500 Guatemalan babies and children are trafficked each year for adoption by couples in North America and Europe.
Girls as young as 13 (mainly from Asia and Eastern Europe) are trafficked as “mail-order brides.” In most cases these girls and women are powerless and isolated and at great risk of violence.
Large numbers of children are being trafficked in West and Central Africa, mainly for domestic work but also for sexual exploitation and to work in shops or on farms. Nearly 90 per cent of these trafficked domestic workers are girls.
Children from Togo, Mali, Burkina Faso and Ghana are trafficked to Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Cameroon and Gabon. Children are trafficked both in and out of Benin and Nigeria. Some children are sent as far away as the Middle East and Europe.
Surveys indicate that 30 to 35 per cent of all sex workers in the Mekong sub-region of Southeast Asia are between 12 and 17 years of age.
Mexico’s social service agency reports that there are more than 16,000 children engaged in prostitution, with tourist destinations being among those areas with the highest number.
In Lithuania, 20 to 50 percent of prostitutes are believed to be minors. Children as young as age 11 are known to work as prostitutes. Children from children’s homes, some 10 to 12 years old, have been used to make pornographic movies.

False believes
Who hasn't heard the story of families being so poor that they have to sell their children? But that's all in the third world countries and, could never happen in the civilized part of the world, right? Wrong! This is the story of a girl, who grew up in a middle class home and, who should have had a perfectly safe childhood. Instead she was living in hell, being trafficked by the man she called daddy.
It is estimated that 14,500 to 17,500 children, are sold into prostitution in the U.S. annually and, the statistics are no better for western Europe.

Sexual exploitation
Trafficking in children is a global problem affecting large numbers of children. Some estimates have as many as 1.2 million children being trafficked every year.
Sexual activity is often seen as a private matter, making communities reluctant to act and intervene in cases of sexual exploitation. These attitudes make children more vulnerable to the sick wishes of the pedophiles. Myths, such as the belief that HIV/AIDS can be cured through sex with a virgin, technological advances such as the Internet which has facilitated child pornography, and sex tourism targeting children, all add to their vulnerability.
But whether we're talking about child rape, or other types of child abuse, there is also another problem that can't be addressed often enough and, it's other peoples tendency to look the other way.

cowardly behaviour
There are a number of excuses for not taking action against child abusers, the excuse winner usually being: it is not my place to get involved; it is not my problem. When in fact all you're saying is that you're too lazy to care, or too much of a coward to report people who don't deserve the blessings of little children.
We often hear news stories about abused children found dead or alive and, every time there's someone saying: "I saw it coming", or "Someone should have reported those people". They always fail to explain why they didn't pick up the phone and turn them in them themselves however..
Please explain this to me, cause I'm apparently not enough of a coward to understand the following: If it's not your place to save somebody's children, no matter who's they are, if you know or suspect that they are being: neglected, abused, or even raped, or that their parents are getting stoned around them, or in any other way is behaving in a manor where she or he, is putting the children at risk, then who's place is it?!
Keep in mind that The child could end-up as one more statistic and perhaps become the subject of another newspaper article, all because you couldn't spare 5 minutes to make an anonymous phonecall.

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