Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Cambodian Sex Trade: "70 per cent of local demand rather than sex tourism"

I was interested to read today's news article by Al Jazeera on the child sex trade in Cambodia. I had pointed out in an earlier post "Sex trade in Cambodia, Childish Khmers and the Blame Game" (10 April 08) how local demand and the participation and complicity of local authorities is driving the sex industry in this country. But here are excerpts from Al Jazeera's report, which can be found in its entirety here:

"Mu Sochua, a politician with the opposition Sam Rainsy Party and a former minister for women's affairs, told Al Jazeera that most of Cambodia's sex industry was supported "by local customers".

"And some of these local customers are high-ranking officials. You have the military, the police and civil servants. you have rich businessmen who have lots of money," she said.

The involvement of high-ranking officials has been one reasons, NGOs say, that the sex industry has thrived in Cambodia.

"Very often these brothels and criminal networks are being supported and protected by high ranking officials," Mark Capaldi, from Ecpat International, an orgnaisation working to eliminate child prostitution, said.

"The problem is not just as abusers but also the impunity and lack of law enforcement in closing down these brothels and karaoke bars."

Daniela Reale, an advisor from Save the Children, told Al Jazeera: "The reality is that we do know local demand is the force driving this abuse.

"We also know it is around 70 per cent of local demand rather than sex tourism"....

...But while the arrest and conviction of foreigners make the headlines, most child sex trafficking supplies local demand, Mu Sochua said.

"It is easier to catch a foreigner and also the government wants to have showcases to make itself look good - that Cambodia is actually taking care of this problem of human trafficking, which is really not the truth," she told Al Jazeera.

No comments:


Blog Widget by LinkWithin