I saw a repeat of Dateline NBC's 2003 undercover investigation into the sex trade and child trafficking in Cambodia last night on MSNBC. It featured reporters with hidden cameras going into the country with one of the highest child prostitution rates. It disgusted me in seeing how young girls, some as young as eight, being sold for sex by men, women, and even a 15-year old hustler. The reporters went to nightclubs in the heart of a city and to a small village in the outskirts, but it made no difference: the sex trade was booming.
Prostitution is disgusting as it is, but involving minors? What morals do we have if we do not stop this kind of sick activity? What pains me even more is that Westerners, especially rich American males, often go there to be involved in this activity. Are they not ashamed of taking away the innocence of poor, underprivileged girls?
However, there is some hope. In 2003, Pres. Bush passed a law that made it illegal for any American tourist to engage in sexual activities abroad with a minor. The Cambodia government has also begun a long and arduous process of reducing the activity. Hopefully we can one day go to Cambodia for sightseeing, and just that.
MSNBC transcript of "Children for Sale"