Warping the Future: A look at the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.

Preface

Children are undoubtedly the most vulnerable part of society, and because of this vulnerability they are the most abused and taken advantage of. The purpose of this report is to inform the reader of this issue and to create an awareness of the growing problem of commercial sexual exploitation of children on a global level.

The sale and sexual exploitation of children for the purpose of attracting tourists and making money is a problem that causes both physical and emotional scars on children. These wounds cannot be healed with bandages alone. Child prostitution is an issue that should not be ignored and affects every country in the world. It undoubtedly denies the rights and freedoms of children everywhere. Prostitution is crippling the future by warping the generation who are the future. It is in the best interests of everyone to overcome this issue by giving children all over the world the rights, the respect, and the freedoms that all people deserve.

Table of Contents

Preface

1

Table of Contents

2

Summary

3

Background Information

3-6

The Role of Power

6-7

Case Study #1: Russian Federation

8-10

Case Study #2: Sri Lanka

11-13

Case Study #3: Africa

14-16

Case Study #4: Mexico

16-18

Tying The Issue Back to Canada

18-22

Possible Solutions

22-24

Future Hopes

24

Personal Reflection

25

Bibliography

26-27

Appendices

28-31

 

Summary

This report is compiled of a variety of different sources including books, Internet sources, short articles and encyclopaedia information. Each of the sources were connected and related in that they all dealt with the issue of children’s rights and the evils of commercial sexual exploitation of children.

Hermeneutically speaking this report contains a broad overview of the societal problem of child prostitution and child pornography, as it exists all over the world. (See appendix I). The report provides the reader with meaningful background information on the issue of child prostitution and child pornography. The role of power and the effect that it has on the issue as it existed in the past and as it exists presently, certain individuals namely exploiters have it and, namely victims need it. It narrows in on four specific regions of the world, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America and examines their situations in terms of the causes, characteristics, consequences and possible coping strategies of child exploitation. In each region, there is a common thread of violating children’s rights by exploiting children. The extent to which the issue is prevalent in Canada is also examined so that the reader might be able to understand that it is not a problem unique to countries that are economically unstable. Possible solutions are explored in an attempt to provide hope for the futures of the children, families and countries affected by the issue. This report recognizes that this is a problem that exists all over the world and will not be resolved unless a global approach to solutions is taken.

Background

Child labour throughout the world and in every culture has remained a prevalent issue since the introduction of the factory. In the latter part of the 17th century, child labour and the unfair exploitation of children began. It wasn’t until this point that child labour became recognized, in the west as a social problem. The problem of child prostitution and child pornography has its roots in this time period, called the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution reached its peak in the 18th century in the westernized countries, being most extensive in Great Britain and the United States. In Great Britain owners of cotton mills, mines and factories recruited orphans and the children of poor families and forced them to work between 13 and 16 hours a day in dangerous conditions. They obtained the services of the children, who were often five and six years of age, for the simple cost of maintaining them. The children received no formal education and although the problem was addressed in 1802 and again in 1878, each time establishing a minimum age of recruitment, laws were never enforced and dangerous conditions continued, resulting in illiteracy, furthered impoverishment, and a multitude of diseased and crippled children. The conditions for children and the means of recruiting were very similar in the U.S and in Britain. In the earlier part of the 19th century children between the ages of 7 and 12 years created about one third of the workers in factories in the U.S. For the most part adults cooperated with employers and believed that children should be forced to work in factories, which would eliminate laziness amoung the young. This era went on until the earlier part of the 20th century when effective measures were formally taken. In 1910, the National Child Labour Committee created restrictive legislations, which succeeded in reducing the amount of child employees. In 1924, an amendment to the U.S constitution was made allowing Congress to limit and prohibit the labour of children less than 18 years of age. Between the years of 1924 and 1941 a multitude of laws and legislations were passed to reduce the amount of children working in factories. Other laws were made to improve the conditions and standards of living for those already employed.

It was during this time frame, that sex was no longer seen as a sin and pedophiles, obsessed with small children ran ramped because their lusts could be fulfilled easily. Prostitution was very common; the reason was that the poverty of so many meant that rich men found it easy to buy sex. Children were easy targets for pimps, and other men who were interested in paying for sex. For many children, specifically young girls prostitution was a means of supporting their families when there was no other alternative. The use and abuse of young girls for the purpose of sexual exploitation resulted out of desperation, its roots laying in child labour, beginning in the industrial revolution.

During the 19th century the world became lopsided with richer nations in comparison to the poor nations. It was during this time that the "Third World" more recently known as the developing nations fell behind the westernized countries in their standard of living. There are arguments, which state that the exploitation in the West caused this gap. Child prostitution was not always an issue, but rather, a reaction to the desperation, which rendered the most vulnerable members of society. It was the result of the industrial revolution with which came child labour. The use of children for sexual satisfaction began to develop into the industry that it is today.

" When people say that child prostitution is as old as the hills, they are thinking about something different from the huge industry it has now become. What is in their minds are the cases, rare now in Western countries but still commonplace in much of Asia and South America, where desperately poor and often mentally limited parents sell their children into the service to enable the rest of the family to survive." (Sereny, 10)

In the early part of the 21st century, child labour, and the sale of children for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation remains a very serious problem. It is most relevant in the underdeveloped countries in Latin America, Africa and Asia where living conditions are crude and chances for a good education are minimal. The small amount of income that the children bring in is next to nothing, yet, it is a necessity when one thinks in terms of survival for both the child and the child’s family. It is most often the case that the family lacks the necessities of life, including enough food, clothing and clean water. The use of children in the sex trade is not however limited to developing nations. It occurs wherever poverty exists in urban centers of Europe and North American cities.

 

The Role of Power

When dealing with an issue pertaining to human rights, the role of power is often at the root of the problem. Children are the most vulnerable members of society and therefore have the smallest amount of power. It is because of this vulnerability that children are always the first to suffer and suffer the longest. Children hold no power, and therefore are suffering inevitably unless they are provided with barricades, which protect them from their abusers and in turn grant young people with voices with which they may speak out against their oppressors. Children involved in the child sex industry are not there because they want to be, they are there because it’s the only means of survival or they are forced to.

In the commercial exploitation of children, it is the exploiters and their clients that hold the majority of the power. The exploiters are those who either recruit the child to work for them or buy a child for the purpose of making a profit from selling it’s body to potential buyers. The exploiters use young girls and young boys alike as their sex trade slaves. The children are not entitled to any rights of their bodies or of their actions. A significant amount of power is also in the hands of those who use the services of the young child prostitutes. These clients are predominantly men, and often users of the sex tourism industry, who use the economic instability of the developing countries to their advantage.

Governments inevitably hold some of the power in this issue, however because the sale of children and the commercial exploitation of children is part of organized crime, governments use ignorance as an excuse to avoid dealing directly with the issue. Many governments primarily in developing countries turn a blind eye to the prospering industry of child prostitution and pornography. One may ask, "Where have we gone wrong in our sense of priorities and responsibility?" (Sereny, 251). Most governments claim to be helping to diminish the industry, the fact is; that governments don’t care about the children who are being abused in their countries and choose not to take more action in protecting the future generations. Governments have the power to enforce laws to stop the sex industry from prospering and protect the children of their counties. It is the children who ultimately need power in this issue. They need power over their bodies and their minds so that they may develop into adults with futures free of sexual exploitation. Children need power so that they may survive and in turn grow up to be free, functioning members of society. The only way that they can gain this power that they need is if governments take an initiative and give power to the innocent and vulnerable children.

Case Study #1: Russian Federation; Pay the Right Price and Get the Child of Your Choice.

Would you prefer blond hair with blue eyes, red hair with green eyes or dark hair with brown eyes? Does tiny and petite or tall and slender turn your crank? Wherever the interests of the buyer lay, those of the seller are not far behind. In Eastern Europe, specifically Russia, one of the biggest issues surrounding human rights is the sale of children and illegal adoptions. These adoptions are made under completely false pretences and under corrupt circumstances. Children are treated as if they are worth nothing more than an animal and as a result, they are sold to the highest bidder for the purposes of cheap labour and sex objects.

Causes:

The poor economics in Russia and in some of Eastern Europe are one of the leading causes that surround its growing sex industry and the child labour industry. The act of buying, and selling children for the purposes of prostitution and pornography is a result of sheer necessity.

The main causes buying and selling children illegally in Russia are due to poverty, low employment opportunities, low social status of a child, orphaned children, low education, the need for general awareness of the issue, lack of legislation and lack of enforcement of the current legislations. Children who come from very poor backgrounds and orphans to the state are the most vulnerable to this issue because they live in orphanages and children’s homes and are seen as being a burden to the state already. These children, unaware of their rights become part of a dishonest underground industry. In Russia and throughout Central and Eastern European countries there are organizations, place children, especially young girls in orphanages and in turn receive large sums of money from the future "parents" or guardians. This corrupt industry is simply a reaction to the present day poor economics and extreme poverty in urban centres.

Characteristics:

Most often, once young girls are illegally adopted and paid for with huge sums of money, they are then given false identifications and transported to other countries to work in the huge sex industry in Eastern Europe and Asia. Its not uncommon for potential parents from surrounding countries to choose the child from a catalogue and place an order, before illegally migrating the child back to the home country under completely false pretences.

"Once in Spain they do everything possible to legalize the adoption, even alleging falsely that the minor is ill, in order to be able to adopt it and, in some cases, they use a document that they obtain illegally or by bribery in the country of origin certifying that the adoption has been certified by a court" (United Nations, Internet).

The entire process is corrupt and "intercountry adoptions are the primary source of profit for the criminal organizations involved…" (United Nations, Internet). The sale of children for the purpose of slavery, involving young girls and small numbers of young boys is an industry that is not new. It has been going on for centuries.

Consequences:

There are laws, which oppose the sale, and trafficking of children present in all of Eastern Europe, however it is rare that the perpetrators of the crimes are ever caught. It is also even more rare that those who are caught ever suffer the consequences that are outlined in the country of origin. The laws are rarely enforced properly because there is no clear-cut definition of the "sale of children". The Oxford English Dictionary defines "sale" as "the transfer by common consent of the ownership of a thing or an interest in land, or in incorporeal property, from one person to another in exchange for a price in money." It is however an almost endless task for one to come about to attempt to create a universal definition for the purpose of defining the crime at hand. Mr Vitt Muntarbhorn, "the first special Rapporteur" defined the sale of children as,

"The transfer of a child from one party (including biological parents, guardians and institutions) to another, for whatever purpose, in exchange for financial or other reward or compensation" (United Nations, Internet).

It is imperative that consequences be handed down to these exploiters because it is clear that those involved in conducting these crimes are getting away with murder and the innocence of all the children involved.

Coping Strategies:

At present there is unclear amounts of data concerning this issue anywhere in the world. The data that can be found deals solely with women and children but does not deal directly with the sale and trafficking of children. Accurate statistics must be formulated and the situation must be looked at much more objectively in order to spot cases and in turn set a precedence for the courts to follow. Harsh punishments need to be implemented and background checks done before children leave Russia. these tasks will be very painstaking because the business is underground.

Case Study #2: Sri Lanka; Young Boys Create a Paedophile’s Paradise.

Sri Lanka is unquestionably the favoured destination for paedophiles and sex tourists coming primarily from Britain and the United States. (See Appendix II). In 1998, Western paedophile sex tourists used over 30,000 Sri Lanka boys for satisfying their sexual urges. There were over 600 advertisements promoting Sri Lanka children in the sex trade on the Internet, and it is estimated that "10,000 to 12,000 children from rural areas are trafficked and prostituted to pedophiles by organized crime groups." (Wells. Internet).

Causes:

The problem of Sri Lankan children, primarily young boys being used for the purpose of pornography and sexual exploitation is a direct result of the demands of the tourists. It is Western tourists who come to use and abuse the children of Sri Lanka. They keep the local pimps in business. The sex industry is such an impressive feature in the country, especially in small villages that many foreigners choose to stay in the country and open businesses near poor villages. A Sri Lankan pimp named Suren reported that, " Jim an Englishman, He likes to take three boys to bed with him at night." (Seneviratne, Internet). This prospering industry continues to be successful in spite of,

"High profile police patrols of beaches favoured by paedophiles have done little to stop the trade…Mohamed Nazam, head of the police force’s new child abuse desk in Colombo, admitted some of his men took bribes." (Seneviratne, Internet).

It is evident that the failure to enforce laws is inevitably causing the issue to grow in this part of the world. In one case involving child abuse, its offender was a very rich Swiss man, who resided in Negombo. He was known about for over five years yet never came to justice because of this foreigner’s power.

" The Swiss owns four factories and is a friend of government ministers and high ranking police officers. He has provided jobs and given donations to schools, buying silence from his victims." (Seneviratne, Internet).

It is cases like this one that simply reinforce the fact that, those with money and power are automatically exempt from any form of rules or laws.

Characteristics:

There are men all over the world who participate in the horrors that Sri Lankan children are involved in with the sex trade. Many of the abusers are unaware of their involvement, but the fact is, " Most of the child pornography available in the world- on video tape, in audio and in books, pictures, photographs, illustrations is produced in Sri Lanka. (Seneviratne, Internet). The characteristics of this issue may be found world wide, because of the impact that tourists and paedophiles make every single day, whether they visit the southern tip of India or not. Sri Lankan children are a part of the largest manufacturing country of child pornography in the world. In this country, young men are forced to take drugs and perform sexual acts to grown men for as little as 5 dollars. One pimp spoke of an "Englishman" reporting that, " He makes the boys sniff cocaine, and takes photographs to sell abroad." (Seneviratne, Internet). Men in Sri Lanka are getting away with these crimes simply because they are rich enough and powerful enough to bribe the police and authorities.

Consequences:

The size of the sex industry in Sri Lanka is a direct result of a corrupted government and laws that are never enforced. The industry is also the result of the poor economics in the country. These children suffer tremendous amounts of abuse, both physically and emotionally. They are scared for life, their futures tampered with and their bodies battered. Many contract various diseases including AIDS; as of present there is no cure for the disease, and in Sri Lanka, no adequate health care to treat the children.

Coping Strategies:

Positive measures have been in the past and currently are in the works for the problems in Sri Lanka and for the rest of Asia. In 1996, in Stockholm Sweden a conference was held in order to create laws and attempt to diminish and eventually dissolve the child sex tourism industry in Asia. Although the participating countries adopted the terms and conditions unanimously, results have not occurred and will not be seen until more strict measures are taken in Sri Lanka to enforce the laws. A second world conference is to be hosted in Japan, in December of 2001, where the same issues will be discussed.

"The main objective of the Congress is to review progress on the implementation by states of the Stockholm Agenda for Action. The Congress should also identify the problem areas in implementation of the Agenda, identify new manifestations of the issue, and share good practices in combating CSEC." (ECPAT International, Internet).

In essence the second conference will simply echo the first in format and agenda. It will reinforce the ground that was gained in the first one in Stockholm, Sweden.

Case Study #3: Africa; A Cry for Help!

The problem of the AIDS epidemic is present all over the world, however is running absolutely ramped in Africa. It is not just a major problem in one country in Africa it is a predominant in all parts of Africa.

Causes:

The causes of this epidemic are rooted in the oppression of women in African countries. For example, "married women often don't dare ask their husbands to wear condoms" (Rosenthal, Internet). In Africa, child abuse and child pornography are readily available in all countries; with the crimes that are being committed to these children come the HIV virus that is infecting them. A lack of education is one of the leading components responsible for the infections and deaths of many young girls and their children each year. (See appendix III). A lack of awareness on AIDS prevention is a key element in this problem. One young Zimbabwe prostitute stated, "I can choose to die of starvation now, or of AIDS later." (Rosenthal, Internet).

Characteristics:

The characteristics present in the economy in Africa are what determine why; the young girls there are forced to sell their bodies so that they may survive.

"The child sex industry has become increasingly organized, with children either being forced into prostitution or exploited by their parents to earn money for the family." (Out of the Shadows, Internet).

Child prostitution is on the rise, primarily in Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, the three most prominent cities in South Africa in terms of numbers of exploited children. Like in much of the rest world, child prostitution has become increasingly organized, yet the AIDS phenomenon is not letting up in the least.

Consequences:

The consequences of the young children being exploited in Africa are ones that cannot be cured. "Africa described a holocaust of mind-numbing dimensions." (Rosenthal, internet) everyday children are dying of AIDS and the people feel helpless.

"Fifteen million have already died. Thirty-four million are HIV-infected, including 25 million in sub-Saharan Africa. HIV/AIDS will kill 67% of today's teenagers in some African countries to become infected. Thirty million African orphans are predicted by 2010, life expectancies dropping from 70 years to 30 in some countries."(Rosenthal, Internet).

It is obvious that this problem is one that must be dealt with. Future generations in most African countries are dying because of the abuse that they suffer. The infected girls are also spreading the virus to their clients often sex tourists, which in turn are spreading the virus all over the rest of the world. The consequences for these young girls are grave, as are those to the rest of the world.

Coping Strategies:

"Rulers in both Africa and the U.S. claim that the situation is hopeless, and that millions are doomed." (Rosenthal, Internet). The situation is apparently ceded as being a dead end yet, "the money it would take to provide effective prevention and therapy now ($100 billion yearly) is only a small fraction of what imperialists spent on wars against Iraq and Vietnam. (Rosenthal, Internet). It is obvious that more must be done in terms of helping and educating Africa on the problem of AIDS, especially the young girls who are living on the streets and servicing men in order to provide their families with the basic necessities of life.

"A larger movement must also lead a sharp and prolonged struggle against sexism in order to transform relationships between men, women and children, ending prostitution and sex slavery." (Rosenthal, Internet).

This is clearly a horrible situation that must be dealt with on a large scale immediately. To help these people would be the equal of only a small portion of the amount of African diamonds, copper, rubber, gold and oil that the West has profited from.

Case Study #4: Mexico; Glue Eases the Pain.

Children living on the streets of Mexico have been present in this part of Latin America since about 1940. These "street children" involved in the sex industry suffer the same types of problems as any other child in the industry around the world. To ease the pain and suffering that they endure, children in Mexico have turned to inhaling shoe glue.

Causes:

The sex trade in Mexico became big around 1940 when Mexico City was industrialized and as a result the population increased massively. It was at this time that street children began to be referred to as "zero citizens" (Casa Alianza, Internet). "Those that make the street their only life choice and who survive in unimaginable places. Living in diverse ways, involved in risky activities; with drugs for company and death as a future." (Casa Alianza, Internet). The children that live on the streets of Mexico City and in other cities in Latin America come from rural towns around called "misery belts" or "lost cities". The harsh conditions cause the "street children" to take drastic measures, trying to find ways to ease their pain.

Characteristics:

The children on the streets in Mexico characteristically begin their lives on the streets washing windshields or shinning shoes, however it doesn’t take long before they are recruited into the sex industry, a lifestyle that is said to become an addiction. Life as a prostitute quickly becomes in essence the child, and all that he or she is worth. Virtually all of the children that live on the street lose any sense of self worth, and in order to attempt to deal with that they turn to drugs as the only alternative.

Consequences:

As a reaction to the poor economics in Mexico, the extra income of the child is often needed and as a result of this, "a report by the Centre for Research and Advanced Study in Social Anthropology counted 5,000 minors, 90% of them female, working as prostitutes or subjects of pornography." (US Dept of State, Human Rights Report, 1999). In essence the consequences of living on the streets in Mexico, besides the emotional and physical torment suffered by the street kids are the drug addictions, a result of "the life". "In the US and Europe it's cocaine. For the Central American street children, it's something much more simple. But just as deadly. Shoe glue." (Casa Alianza, Internet) (See appendix VI). Mexican children, inhale glue because it is cheap and readily available, however it kills. Its side effects include, irreversible brain damage and sudden death. The children claim that the glue suppresses their hunger, keeps them warm and helps them overcome the loneliness on the street. (See appendix V).

Coping Strategies:

Industries such as Casa Alianza are attempting to help the children working in the sex trade in Mexico and across Latin America however; their attempts at rehabilitating the children haven’t had much success. Substance abuse has gone up and the amount of children working in the industry has also increased.

"According to UNICEF, there are some 40 million street children in Latin America and more than half of them inhale solvent based glues. Twenty million customers, who consume about 20 million gallons of glue a month. That's a BIG market. And the biggest producers are US multinationals..." (Casa Alianza, Internet).

Action must be taken in order to stop the children from inhaling glue, and invariably destroying their brains.

Tying the Issue back to Canada:

Canadian law recognises the social problem of child prostitution, however in many cases it fails to provide the necessary social programs. Prostitution is not a new social problem it has been present since the Biblical era. It is also not a problem that is easily cured, especially when children are involved. The return of a child from the world of prostitution to society in Canada is a lengthy process that must be supported by social programs in order to be successful. Many Canadians see child prostitutes as "juvenile delinquents" but in reality they are simply troubled children crying out for help.

Many reports concerning child prostitution reveal that most children in Canada on the streets never intended to lead the life of a prostitute however they were forced to, either out of desperation or were products of troubled home lives or families. Their home lives may have sprung their problems from many different sources, be they social or economic. In any case, almost all child prostitutes grow up in an unsatisfactory environment. " For the most part, their backgrounds reflected years of physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. Street life became an attractive alternative for them." (MacInnis, 5). Children who have, had to deal with a parent with a serious addiction problem such as alcoholism often turn to the street as a twisted form of escape. They tend to grow up without the trusting relationships and the sense of security that they need. They in turn suffer from severe cases of neglect, an important cause of child prostitution that is present in almost every case concerning this topic. It would however only make sense that a child that never receives proper care or nurture would seek it elsewhere, it is simply depressing that that elsewhere is only too often, "the street". Dean explains, " For some teens, prostitution is a kind of turned- around way of trying to get the financial support and love that they need, but that their families haven’t been able to provide." (Dean, 7). Perhaps the most important cause of children turning to the street life in Canada however, is abuse. Children that have been severely beaten or abused have trouble with relationships and in general, have, "damaged spirits". This is especially true if the abuser is a stepparent or a friend of the family because it only then instils the idea of neglect on the part of the parent even more. "She learned to cope with the hurtful words by keeping silent. But that wouldn’t satisfy the new man in her mom’s life. He became physically aggressive." (Jessome, 30). It is evident that the causes of child prostitution are recognised. The children unfortunately, in most cases are not reached before the real damage is done. Before the biggest and most dangerous factor of all comes into play, the pimp or exploiter.

The Criminal Code of Canada in itself does not state that prostitution is against the law. However, it does recognise that living off the funds from prostitution (pimping), communicating in a public place for the purpose of prostitution and attempting to obtain the sexual services of a juvenile prostitute are offences. These laws are found in sections 212(2), 212(3) and section 212(4) of the Criminal Code of Canada. Sections 212(2) and 212(3) of the Criminal Code of Canada deal with living off of the avails of child prostitution, the maximum penalty for this is fourteen years in prison. Section 212(4) deals with the crime of obtaining the sexual services of a child under the age of eighteen. "Although it is a crime for an adult to engage in the services of a juvenile prostitute, the young person is not committing a crime by being a prostitute." (Wells, 54). Even though the child isn’t charged with prostitution, they are most often tried under the Young Offender’s Act with the crime of communicating in a public place for the purpose of prostitution. If this is intended to be a way of stopping the child prostitute it is obviously approached in the wrong way. Child prostitutes shouldn’t be charged with criminal offences, they should become engaged in programs providing them with a safety net from the life that they more often than not were tricked into living, and unable to escape.

"There are three common characteristics that are shared by the girls that become involved in prostitution. They have real or perceived fear or fears, a deep need for belonging, and issues surrounding their self- esteem. Preying on such girls, the pimps and predators hone in one, two, or all three of these needs and, with seemingly little effort, turn ordinary young children into prostitutes." (MacInnis, 120).

Once a pimp has obtained a new recruitment for his "stable", there is very little chance that that fresh meat will get away. Not without a fight anyway. MacInnis states, "Our courts sentence bank robbers who only steal our money- to lengthy periods of incarceration, but to those who steal our children, it extends an average of half as much time."(MacInnis, 165). In essence, there really are only two places where social programs can repress the problem of child prostitution; preferably, before the child hits the streets, and the final chance being to help the child escape the tight hold that the pimp possesses. This is crucial and in many cases must be done quickly, before the child suffers the ultimate way out of the life of prostitution- death. The second chance is the most difficult and can be dangerous, but is possible, though extensive teamwork.

The team of people that are preferable in removing a child prostitute in Canada from the life of a sexual slave include; parents, a therapist, the police, and a medical professional. The parents of the child are the most crucial part of aiding the child with recovery. They can either be helpful or destructing- depending on their abilities to control their emotions. The police bring with them the knowledge necessary to ensure that the pimp eventually goes to prison and that the child remains safe. He ensures that the recovery of the prostitute does not result in death due to the actions of the pimp. The therapist must have extensive knowledge of the sex- trade, and be able to relate to the child. " …a chameleon- like character, moving from one culture to another, mediating between the two, in order to facilitate the changes necessary to bring a youngster off the street and back into a healthy lifestyle." (MacInnis, 132). The medical professional must understand "victimology" and be ready to deal with a range of medical problems. The problems can range from sexually transmitted diseases, to pregnancy and AIDS. Most often the problems include drug and alcohol addiction as well. Even if the team of individuals is successful in removing the child from the streets, the most difficult part of the procedure is "coming home". It is very traumatic for both the family and the child in some cases, and if the family is unwilling to accept their child home, just the child to return to the "straight" life. This is another crucial place for the avails of social programs because the recovery stages are perhaps the most important stages of the child’s return to society.

Whoremongers and pimps have been around for centuries. The practice of performing sexual favours for money is one of the oldest forms of making money for forgotten and abused females. It is a cycle that can be difficult to stop. We cannot excuse the actions of women engaged in this type of crime. Punishing these young people and women is similar to putting a band- aid on to a wound that needs medical attention. child prostitutes are victims who turn to this lifestyle in Canada through desperation and a lack of suitable social programs. It is only until one hears the stories of child prostitutes and sees first hand, their invasion into local neighbourhoods, that people see the need for a young person’s safety net. For now, the public is content covering their eyes as they walk past the Jane and Finch Corridor, not even wondering what life is like for these forgotten, abused and scared children. "We have often heard that our children are our future. For these children- we are their future." (MacInnis, 166).

It is obvious that reasons for child prostitutes are often different in Canada than those in the rest of the world, the outcomes are the same. Canada has a role to play in this issue and must implement suitable social programs at home as well as abroad, if this problem is to be stopped. Action must be taken in order to ensure that this global issue is halted in its tracks.

Possible Solutions

The commercial sexual exploitation of children is an issue, which must be dealt with on a global scale, because that is the way that it affects the world. What the last statement means is, that what is being done to the innocent children both at home and abroad affect everyone in the same way. For example, the AIDS epidemic in Africa is being transported all over the world because of sex tourism. Those who practice sex tourism may be seen as the messengers of the issue, they make the issue relevant on a much larger scale.

Presently there are a variety of organizations, most of them non- governmental which are dedicated to protecting the rights of children all over the world. These organizations are working towards the idea of a brighter future for children involved in prostitution and pornography through events like the world conference in Stockholm Sweden in 1996 or the second world congress in Japan, about to take place this year. This however is not enough, more needs to be done and consequently, more serious action taken on the part of those who are responsible for enforcing the laws and consequences.

Adequate protection needs to be given to the victim and his or her family. This protection would include that strong measures regarding witness protection and victim services be its main objective. Within the witness protection procedures, hospitals, clinics and care institutes must be strictly monitored in order to ensure safety of the victim. Hospitals and care institutes need to be built to specialize in this issue at hand to care for the battered children of the streets. These institutes need to be free, therefore the economically unstable countries need to be given help building them and maintaining them.

Laws and the enforcement of them is the second step in the solution of this issue. It needs to be mandatory that all those who are enforcing laws, including immigration and border officials be trained in identifying patterns and methods of the exploiters and those involved in trafficking children so that appropriate measures may be taken immediately. Research on the issue needs to be funded so that this may happen.

World Wide conferences must continue to be held so that the issue at hand and its perpetrators may be condemned. The act of reducing children to mere objects needs to be stopped, but before this can happen everyone needs to be made aware of the atrocities that the exploitation of children causes. Advertising campaigns, against both the exploitation of children and sex tourism must be held. These campaigns must be made all over the world and must not leave one inch of the globe unturned. More publicity must also be given to cases on the media to set precedence and create awareness. Lastly, school curriculum must be developed and used world wide to educate children at very young ages so that they may have a fighting chance at knowing the dangers of a street life.

Future Hopes

It is my sincere hope that every nation in the world can beat this issue that is disrupting and tampering with the future of the universe. I believe that it is an issue that can be overcome, if the children’s rights are restored. I hope that using the solutions outlined above, child prostitution, pornography and trafficking may stop. The children are the future; they are the fate of the world.

Personal Reflection

She cries herself to sleep

She is dying inside

I don’t understand

Who is to blame?

Where was her innocence lost?

When did her life get so out of hand?

Is this her way of saying that she doesn’t care?

Or is it that she cares too much?

She cuts herself until the red blood streams

The poisoned blood

Does she feel the pain?

Or is it relief, a way out?

She tries to hide behind the scars

Why can’t they see past them?

The nights are so lonely and cold

No one understands

Her life will never be right again

No one is there with her

N o one to hold her little hand

The weight of the world on her shoulders

Stop abusing her

She is just a little girl

Does anyone realize?

She needs love

Please love her

Let her know… She is not alone

 

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Appendices