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Teenage Prostitution in Asia
1. Introduction by: 1) identifying and describing your topic and 2) purpose of the paper. (10 pts)
The term teenage prostitution refers to the exploitation of underage girls as sex workers. Teenage prostitutes are considered child sex workers because they have not yet attained the age of adult consent, hence woman under the age of 18 engaging in prostitution is considered a child prostitute. The main difference between adult prostitution and child prostitution is the aspect of forced labor. The Asian continent has been viewed as a notorious area for child prostitution. Countries like Thailand are known for being a popular sex tourist attraction in Asia (Lau 2008). This is the reality young teenage children have to live with every day of their lives. Teenage prostitution has been fuelled by well internationally organized rime syndicates who specialize in child trafficking. For as long as child trafficking continues then this vice is unlikely to end. Child prostitution is a vice that is prevalent the world over, however, the purpose of this paper is to show the plight of the girl child in Asia paying attention to teenage or child prostitution in Asia. The term child prostitution can be used interchangeably to refer to teenage prostitution in this paper.
2. How common is the issue, trend, or problem? (8 pts)
It is estimated that over a million children around the world are forced into commercial sex labor every year. Most of the children forced into this trade are female women. The number of child sex workers may have reached the tens of millions. The year 2000 saw close to 2 million children being sexually exploited worldwide. In the same year, the number of children thought to be in the trade was at 590000 children in the Asia-pacific region. Recently, the number has closed in to almost 1 million children in Asia. The highest statistics are recorded in India and Thailand with 400-500 000 in India and about 200 000 in Thailand (Lukman 2009). The issue is so rampant in Asia such that Malaysia has been said to offer sex a part of their tourist appeal.
In Thailand, hundreds of factories have closed down owing to the global economic downturn. This has left many workers unemployed. This, in turn, means that children are vulnerable to trafficking into forced sex labor. This is because the adults will want to compensate for the loss of their jobs by contributing to the 2-14 percent GDP of the sex trade in the country. The lust for adult men wanting to have sexual intercourse with children has to stop. This demand is driving the business higher posing a danger to the young children.
The prevalent nature of the vice has mainly been occasioned by the high poverty levels in the countries involved (Lau 2008). The countries where these activities take place do not have effective policies put in place that could protect children from slave sex labor. A long as there is little the government will do safeguard their youth population, the issue is unlikely to die soon. Child prostitution is also cheaper as compared to adult prostitution hence the high demand. The demand for children should not be there in the first place (Lukman 2009). The international community and the parties involved have to work together to ensure that the supply of this unacceptable trade is cut off. The profitable nature of the business also makes it impossible for the traffickers to stop engaging in the trade, hence more child workers are being trafficked every year.
3. What are the negative effects of this issue or trend on the individual, family, and society? (8 pts)
Several negative effects can arise from the issue of teenage prostitution. The effects span from individual, family and society. For the individual, the child is robbed of their innocence and the child faces a traumatic childhood (Lukman, 2009). The trauma arises from the fact that the children are forced to have sexual intercourse with men who could well be their fathers. They also run the risk of getting pregnant at an early age. In addition, the child future prospects have also been lost the moment they have been trafficked into the child sex slave trade. This is because the child no longer has the chance to pursue education and improve their lives. In truth, most of the young girls are lured into the trade with false promises of education and a better life. Therefore, the poverty levels of the individuals put them more at risk for being recruited into the sex salve business.
Children who have been trafficked for the purposes of prostitution always end up being held captive in rooms, and are watched by armed men to prevent their escape. The children have to endure all that happens to them even to the extent of sodomy and violent sex. The children end up being addicted to drugs and alcohol. The drugs and alcohol are use to numb the pain the teenagers have been inflicted upon by the violent men. They also offer an escape from the sickening act that they have been forced to do. The child prostitute ceases to be a child the moment they are forced into sex labor (Lau 2008).
Child prostitution is dependent on child trafficking. This has negative effects on the family. Child trafficking breaks up homes and causes children to lose contact with their families. In most cases, the children are taken into foreign countries where they have no idea of the language spoken in the country. The possibility of reuniting with the families is also limited since they have no way of getting help. In most cases, the children are illegal immigrants who have falsified documentation or none at all making it extremely difficult for them to get help from the relevant authorities.
Child sex labor also has negative effects on society. For example, the young mothers who where forced into sex labor pass on the trade to their children. This is because prostitution has been the mother’s entire knowledge for survival (Lukman, 2009). As their children grow up, they are inculcated into the ways of their mothers and the cycle continues. The effects of this are that the society continues on a downward spiral economically and educationally since the parents, and their children do not see a need for school anymore. Setting aside the communities these children come from, people from elsewhere around the world believe that children who have been subjected to prostitution are doing so out of their own free will. However, these children are raped, beaten and forced to have sexual intercourse several times a day (Piper 2005). The term prostitution therefore denotes that they are willing parties yet the opposite is true. The society has to grasp the full situation the children are put in for them to respond appropriately.
4. Describe how two other cultures and/or countries view this issue or trend. (8 pts)
The western culture considers such practices as going against the rights of the child. In the United States constitution, for example, the rights of the child are enshrined in the constitution as outlined in the UN charter on human rights. The UN charter believes that a child has a right to education, parental care among others all of which are being denied to the young girls of Asia because of child prostitution. The child should also be free from sexual abuse from anyone. The United States also have strong legislation that protects the child from sexual predators (Ensalao & Majka 2005). One notable yet controversial law is Meagan’s law that requires police post a sexual offenders list for the residents of a neighborhood in which a sexual offender lives. With such strong and protective laws, it will be difficult for individuals to come up with criminal syndicates that exploit young girls as it is in Asia. This is not to say that the United States does not have a teenage prostitution, but effective laws are capable of containing the situation n.
In Mexico, the country is listed as being one of the worst nations experiencing teenage prostitution. Like most Asia-Pacific countries, Mexico does not have any laws against child prostitution. This has significantly contributed to the state of affairs of the country. Again, the country has legalized prostitution hence the culture continues to fester as more teenagers continue to engage in prostitution. To curb child prostitution, countries must develop stringent laws that make it possible for the eradiation of the child labor in these countries.
5. Choose an approach (best practices) that you feel best addresses and/or solve the issue or trend and describe why this method is better. (8 pts)
The best approach to be used in arresting the situation is by enforcing legislation that is aimed at tackling the vice in Asia. The first piece of legislation will be to curb trafficking across the countries in which the sex slave trade and tourism takes place (Pusurinkham 2002). It would be beneficial for the Asian governments to come together and a draft a similar law that will be directed at stopping the illegal trade in the countries. Effective laws equip law enforcement agencies with the ability top ensure that offenders are arrested and convicted. Why child prostitution is on the rise, is the lack of political will in the countries to stop the vice. Good legislation will make sure that the children are safe and that they can be able to lead normal lives jut like other children. The second part of the legislation would be to stipulate clearly the rights of the child with regard to sexual abuses and the penalties that accompany infringement of the rights of the child.
To couple effective legislation, the Asian countries such as Nepal, India, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam among others have to come together and sensitize the society about the importance of upholding the law. It will be counter effective if legislation is passed, yet the society does not support the measures the government has taken to safeguard their children’s future. The society must understand the futility of this practice and embark on ideals that are more constructive. Therefore, it is vital for the Asian governments to appeal to the masses to shun child prostitution so that the children can have better lives. However, poverty is a crucial factor for child prostitution. For legislation to be effective, governments must also respond to the plight of the people by ensuring that it creates an enabling environment for alternative businesses.
6. Describe at least two community resources that are available for this issue or trend by including the following information: name; address; phone; a brief description of available services, materials, and so on; and your opinion of the organization. (8 pts)
Name: Daughter’s Educational Program
Address: PO Box 10, Mae Sai, Chiang Rai, Thailand 57130
Phone: 66 (53) 733 186
Daughter’s Educational Program (DEP) is a non-profit formed by the government of Thailand. The organization has realized the detrimental effects of child prostitution. The organization endeavors to rescue children from child sex labor and offer the children rescue education. The sad story told by this organization is of the fact that children are bought or rented from their parents because of high poverty levels. The organization is dependent on well-wishers to cater for their financial needs.
Name: Child Wise
Address: PO Box 451, South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3205
Phone: +61 3 9645 8911
Child Wise is an organization that is the intent on protecting the rights of children by protecting them against sexual abuse and exploitation. The organization also believes in protecting children against abuse even before it happens. The organization works in Australia, the Pacific and Asia. The two organizations are examples of initiatives that are focused on making the world a better place by preventing the unthinkable ordeals children have to go through all over the world.
7. Conclusion and recommendations for further study and thinking in human sexuality (10 pts)
Human sexuality is a strange phenomenon that has not been fully grasped. For one, the reasons why people feel the need to exploit a child sexually has not been fully uncovered. Future recommendations into human sexuality should explore the human drive into pedophilic tendencies and why in societies such as the ones found in Asia such tendencies are not considered vile and are practiced openly. It leaves little doubt as to the traumatic effects left in the minds of child sex workers. It should be studied, whether the proponents of this business are solely motivated by profit or other motives.
The plight of the child in Asia is beyond what any child should go through. In addition to poverty and lack of proper schooling, the Asian child like many in the world has to endure the gruesome experiences of a child sex worker. The perverted morals of the world are destroying the innocence of the children. It is necessary for people to revert to social morals that cultivate young minds into productive people in the world, instead of creating a society devoid of moral standing and unaware of its social obligation for future generations.
Ensalaco, M., & Majka, L. C. (2005). Children’s human rights: Progress and challenges for children worldwide. Lanham, Md: Rowman & Littlefield.
IRIN (24 October 2012) ASIA: Global Recession Boosts Child Prostitution and Trafficking. IRIN News. Retrieved from http://www.irinnews.org/Report/86335/ASIA-Global-recession-boosts-child-prostitution-and-trafficking
Lau, C. (January 01, 2008). Child prostitution in Thailand. Journal of Child Health Care, 12, 2, 144-155.
Lukman, Z. M. (July 01, 2009). Misunderstanding on child prostitution and prostituted children in Malaysia. European Journal of Social Sciences, 9, 1, 7-17.
Piper, N. (January 01, 2005). A Problem by a Different Name? A Review of Research on Trafficking in South-East Asia and Oceania. International Migration, 43, 203-233.
Pusurinkham, S. (January 01, 2002). Tourism and Child Prostitution in Thailand. Contours Bangkok-, 11, 32-33.
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