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2007-01-24
David
*Weep and Pray

Girl, 6, embodies Cambodia's sex industry

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (CNN) -- At an age when most children might be preparing for their first day of school, Srey, 6, already has undergone trauma that is almost unspeakable.

She was sold to a brothel by her parents when she was 5. It is not known how much her family got for Srey, but other girls talk of being sold for $100; one was sold for $10.

Before she was rescued, Srey endured months of abuse at the hands of pimps and sex tourists.

Passed from man to man, often drugged to make her compliant, Srey was a commodity at the heart of a massive, multimillion-dollar sex industry in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

"It is huge," said Mu Sochua, a former minister of women's and veteran's affairs who is an anti-sex trade activist.

The precise scale of Cambodia's sex trade is difficult to quantify. International organizations -- such as UNICEF, ECPAT and Save the Children -- say that anywhere from from 50,000 to 100,000 women and children are involved. An estimated 30 percent of the sex workers in Phnom Penh are under the age of 18, according to the United Nations. The actual figure may be much higher, activists say.

[...]

Srey was rescued from the life of a sex slave by Somaly Mam, a former prostitute who runs shelters for the victims of Cambodia's sex trade. Somaly has rescued 53 children, so far. Many of them have profound psychological trauma. Some clearly are mentally ill.

[...]

To help sex workers transition to a more normal life, Somaly is hoping to expand her refuge in the countryside outside Phnom Penh, where former sex workers attend school and learn skills like weaving and sewing.

Asked what the future holds for Srey, Somaly stroked the girl's hair and paused.

Srey is HIV-positive, she said. (read full article)


Meanwhile...

Bob Unruh
*12-year-old called 'seductive' in movie 'rape'
Ted Baehr
*'Hounddog': Fanning the flames of perversion

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
*Documentary on bestiality premieres at Sundance Film Festival (This article is completely neutral, which makes the point even better than an opposing article.)

I wanted to post this, but I didn't want it on my front page; so here you go, an OnTheWeb exclusive. Weep, pray, and guard your children. Goodbye, Shirley Temple. Child stars are no longer limited to Disney. Black Beauty and Old Yeller are no longer safe.

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