There are orphans all over the world but there are many issues in this world that children are suffering from. There is poverty, orphans, abuse, suicide, drugs, incest, and the sex slave trade plus I’m sure there are many more horrific issues for these children of this world.
Prostitution is one of the fastest growing components of today’s world economy.
“The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC) is a fundamental violation of children’s rights. It comprises sexual abuse by the adult and remuneration in cash or kind to the child or a third person or persons. The child is treated as a sexual object and as a commercial object. The commercial sexual exploitation of children constitutes a form of coercion and violence against children, and ammonts to forced laour and contemporary form of slavery.”
Prostitution, There are mainly five types of CSEC, including child child sex tourism, early marriage, child pornography and trafficking in children.
1) Child Prostitution: The use of a child in sexual activities for remuneration or any other form of consideration, as stated by Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
2) Child Sex Tourism: The commercial sexual exploitation of children by persons who travel from their own country to another usually less developed country to engage in sexual acts with children.
3) Early Marriage: The marriage of the children and adolescents below the age of 18 years. There are some common examples of early age marriage, such as: forced marriages, temporary marriage, false marriage and marriage with the Hindu deity.
4) Child Pornography: Any representation, by whatever means, of a child engaged in real or simulated explicit sexual activities or any representation of the sexual parts of a child for primarily sexual purposes, as stated by Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
5) Trafficking in Children: Trafficking consists of all acts involved in the recruitment or transportation of persons within or across borders, involving deception, coercion or force, debt bondage or fraud, for the purpose of placing persons in situations of abuse or exploitation, such as forced prostitution, slavery-like practices, battering or extreme cruelty, sweatshop labour or exploitative domestic services.
Situation in South Asia
Prostitution, which is also included in human trafficking, is an intolerant social reality and a major issue in South Asia.
The countries making up the South Asia region support about one-quarter of the planet’s population, with a large number of people unemployed and living below the poverty line. This socio-economic situation has helped increase social crimes, especially human trafficking of women and children.
Each year more than one million children worldwide are reportedly forced into child prostitution, trafficking and sold for sexual purposes or used in child pornography. The children in the commercial sex industry are living like slaves and have no means to come out of this vicious cycle.
India has more than 100,000 child prostitutes in the only six metropolitan cities: Mumbai, Calcutta, Channai, Dehli, Hyderabad and Banglore. These are one third of a total of 300,000 child prostitutes in the country according to the statistics presented in the Stockholm Conference, 1996
With an untested estimate of 270,000 child prostitutes, the problem of child prostitution in India is widespread and quite visible.
Some studies estimate that more than 6,000 girls are being sold to India each year, which adds to the huge number of 172,0000 girls, mostly from Nepal, working as prostitutes in India (Naqvi, 2005). According to a report (A World to Win News Service, 2005) there are 400,000 to 500,000 child prostitutes in India. Many are trafficked from Nepal and Bangladesh.
Pakistan has some of social taboos in which discussion on an issue like child sexual abuse is prohibited. Culture and traditions do not allow the exposure of such issues. But a study by ANLAAP Indian NGO said that Karachi is notorious for receiving a million Bangladeshi and more than 200,000 Burmese women.
Bangladesh like some of other South Asian countries is having the custom of early marriage of the young girls. This custom is so deeply rooted in the minds and attitudes of the people that it has destroyed the whole social setup. It is so difficult to end this custom because generations after generations are so strictly attached to this custom.
According to the estimates taken by the UNICEF, 51 percent girls in Bangladesh get married before the age of 18 years (ECPAT, 2005).
In the decade from 1988 to 1998, 200,000 Bangladeshi girls were sold into the sex industry in nations including Pakistan, India and Middle East (Ibid, 2005).
Sri Lanka is having the problem of child prostitution primarily among boys, which is highly visible in beach resort areas. The first scientific study on the scale of child sexual exploitation in Sri Lanka has concluded that 100 children are sexually exploited every day on the island (Ibid, 2005).
Nepal is having the growing trade of child trafficking. Every year thousands of young women – some barely in their teens – are smuggled out of their homes in the mountains of Nepal to the plains of India.
Nepali welfare agency says that there are about 200,000 Nepali girls in red light areas of Indian cities at any given time (Ibid, 2005).
It is reported that child prostitution is a growing problem in Nepal. No clear numbers exist but approximations are very high. The NGO Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN) alleges that 2000 brothels exist in Nepal and a high percentage of the prostitutes working were children (Ibid, 2005).
The trafficking of children is a considerable problem. While accurate numbers are not available, it is estimated that 5000-7000 Nepalese girls are annually trafficked out of Nepal to India, and increasingly, to the Gulf States for prostitution purposes. As an illustration, it is believed that 200,000 of the prostitutes in India are Nepalese. Twenty percent are thought to be under 16 (Ibid, 2005).
In 2000, Child Workers in Nepal (CWIN) recorded 240 cases of girl trafficking – 30% of them were below 16 years of age. 66 girls returned home through various means, and in 97 cases the police were able to arrest traffickers (Ibid, 2005).
What makes children vulnerable to sexual exploitation? We can declare poverty as the catalyst for the sexual exploitation of the children. But poverty is not alone the root cause of this heinous crime.
Population Growth Rate and Poverty
South Asia is having countries with the higher annual growth rates; India and Pakistan. Therefore, it is very hard for the developing countries with the limited resources to fulfill the needs of its population, especially the children. The economic deprivation of the children and their families is the biggest cause of CSEC.
India has around 2.3 million prostitutes working in the region. Most of the girls are driven to this ‘profession’ due to poverty, marriage or adoption.
Demand and supply, the most commonly used economic terms now in command socially. As human beings, human feelings are for sale like a trade show in the form of commercial sexual exploitation of children.
There is a network of criminals involved in the CSEC; these criminal elements provide the services in the sex market on the demand of customers, mainly men, who seeks unlawful sexual gratification with children.
There are several reasons for human degradation in the form of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children, such as: demand by the adults (usually the economically well off or well to do men) to satisfy their sexual desires and the economic deprivation of the victims or poverty.
These statistics sound insurmountable but there are people working in the slave trades to protect and get women, and children out of this life that they live.
There are so many issues all over the world, and it is so easy to live our lifes in a little bubble, only seeing our cushy lives of security and having so much. Having clean drinking water and the chance to live a good life of wealth and security. Only turning to God when we loose our job or have sickness. We are so blessed and are constantly pleading with God to give us more.
I personally can not do this anymore. Going to China and falling in love with the people, seeing their dignity, even in the face of those living in poverty and degradation. How small our issues seem, of always asking for more and never having enough.
More to come later!