Child pornography and prostitution are two of the most disturbing issues in the world today. Millions of children, in virtually every country in the world, become victims of sexual exploitation. Access to child pornography and prostitution in Southeast Asia has increased during the 1990’s due to the lack of government legislation and enforcement protecting children. Japan is the world’s global leader of child pornography on the Internet, whereas Thailand is famous for its sex tourism industry.
The child sex trade has been traditionally identified with underdeveloped third-world countries ;particularly in Southeast Asia, where the cheap prices, ready availability of underage prostitutes and lax law enforcement have ...
Most if the children who fall victims to this horrible industry are forced by their parents to help pay off the family debt. Child pornography is the consequence of the exploitation or sexual abuse against a child. It can be defined as any means of depicting or promoting sexual abuse of a child, centered on a sexual act or the genital organs of children. It exists in three main forms, visual, audio and text. It is
It started out like any other day. Sokha was helping her stepfather beg for money on the streets of Phnom Penh. Unfortunately, neither made a cent. Frustrated and drunk from ...
put to use by pedophiles as a tool to lower a child’s inhibitions and by showing other children in pornographic poses, entice that child into compromising situations. These children range from a few months old to 18 years of age. It is these photographs, videotapes, films and magazines of children in sexual poses and acts that make up the multimillion dollar global world of child pornography. (Missing Children, 1997). Although child prostitution has been around for thousands of years, it has only achieved widespread recognition in the last few decades. One reason for it’s increasing popularity, especially overseas, is the naïve belief that sex with a juvenile prostitute is safer than sex with an adult prostitute. On the contrary, children are more prone to sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and HIV/AIDS, than adults. These children are victims of the most overlooked form of child abuse ;they are vulnerable and crave attention, affection and love. (Missing Children, 1997). Prostitution is illegal in Thailand. Nevertheless, like all crime, it exists. Sexual intercourse with a minor is statutory rape and is punishable by imprisonment. In 1996, Thai laws were strengthened by new legislation, which significantly increased the penalties for those caught engaging in sex with a minor. The law targets customers, procurers, pimps, and owners and operators of brothels as well as parents who sell their children. The Thai law also provides for prison terms of up to ten years and heavy fines for anyone convicted of being involved in international commercial sex trade. The new legislation eased restrictions on the police, making it easier for them to enter and search suspected brothels and make arrests. The Royal Thai Government works closely with government and law enforcement agencies in other countries and with international organizations to attack the problem from the outside. Part of these efforts is aimed at preventing known sex offenders and publishers of pornography from entering Thailand. The Government monitors the activities of tour agents abroad who promote "sex tours", in an attempt to prevent their customers from entering the country. Those who engage in sexual activity with minors are subject to arrest and imprisonment. The Thai police increased surveillance of suspected child molesters and have made numerous arrests resulting in convictions and long-term prison sentences. Information is now given to all tourists visiting Thailand advising them of the law and the penalties for violating it. The Royal Thai Government is committed to ending the problem of child prostitution. (Royal Thai Embassy, 1997). Poverty is the most important factor contributing to the growth of child prostitution. The International Labour Organization says that since the Asian financial crisis 2 years ago, children have increasingly become involved in dangerous and illegal activities such as prostitution and drug trafficking. (BBC News, 1999). UNICEF estimates that approximately 250,000 children are bought and sold for sex in Thailand alone. (BBC News, 1997). Many of these children do not see themselves as victims. Ten years ago parents forced most child prostitutes into it, now many volunteer. The victims are school children who want the money so they can live what they see as a luxurious lifestyle. (CNN, 1999) Japan is the world’s global-leader of child pornography on the Internet. Hundreds of pornographic images of children flood Internet sites with addresses ending in “jp”, meaning they originate in Japan. According to estimates from Interpol, 80 percent of the child pornography on the Internet originates from Japan (see figure #1), that is approximately 1,200 Websites. In his interview with TIME Magazine, Mayumi Moriyama, member of the Lower House of parliament and a former education minister, stated ;“It’s an embarrassment, […] anyone who wants to buy, sell or produce child pornography comes to Japan”. (CNN/TIME Magazine, 1999). Because Japan has no law on child pornography, officers must apply the general code on pornography, which is unclear, but defined as including material showing sexual organs. It is for this reason that most child pornography sites use images that show the abuse or torture of children without directly showing sexual organs. In some cases, the picture is slightly “fuzzy” ;therefore, it cannot be legally called obscene. This makes it extremely difficult for police officers to make arrests