In poverty stricken Southeast Asia, every day children become trapped into the prostitution industry. Strangers or even close family members and friends deceive children into sex trade. Once trapped, chances of escape are low. With the sex industry growing and thriving, countries in Southeast Asia continue to tolerate the retail of children for sex acts.
The origin of the sex industry is not exact, but the demand for women sold as sex slaves in Asia skyrocketed in 1932. During WWII, the Japan government set up so called “comfort stations,” holding women against their will to work as prostitutes. While held prisoner, any chance of escape was limited. The prisoners, from across Asia, lived in horrid conditions, where diseases, malnutrition, exhaustion, and suicide occurred daily. The Japanese government claimed that comfort stations was to “prevent rape crimes in public, prevent spread of STDs, and to provide comfort for soldiers, so they wouldn’t tell military secrets” (“Timeline of Human Trafficking”).
Today, the child sex exploitation flourishes because of the high demand of young or virgin girls and the growing tolerance of sex with young teens in some Asian cultures. Once a girl enters the sex industry, she may be forced into porn or prostitution. The work a girl is succumbed to may be visible, such as street prostitution, or hidden in spas, massage parlors, or in another business (“Sex Slavery/Trafficking: Frequently Asked Questions”).
Unfortunately, one can enter the sex trade in multiple ways. Traffickers could lure a girl by a promise of a better life, or one could be sold by their parents because of economic reasons. Once sold, captors will keep the prisoners’ official document and move their prisoners to different countries, shifting further away from their home country and increasing dependency on the captors. After arriving at the destination, girls are “broken in” by torture and rape. They undergo appalling conditions, such as no access to food or water for long periods of time (Sex Slavery/Trafficking: Frequently Asked Questions”).
Although mostly women and girls fall victim to the sex trade, many overlook male victims. According to “Boys, Too: The Forgotten Stories,” male victims enter the sex trade from rural areas, where they lack the proper government papers required for legal employment in the city. In an effort to make enough money for their families and themselves, boys work in the sex industry as a last resort. At times, these boys are advertised on websites, serving mostly the gay community even though they are not gay themselves. Sadly, because of traditional views of “male dominance and invulnerability,” male prostitutes are seen as trash and are not eligible for the help female prostitutes receive from the government and NGO’s. Urban Light Hopes, one of the few organizations that help young male prostitutes, provides housing, education and health care for those who fall victim to the sex trade.
As cases of child...