Hollywood star and human rights activist Mira Sorvino joins CNN in Cambodia where sex trafficking is still rife and pedophiles staying in nice hotels want virgin girls.
Sorvino walks through a poverty-wracked town where some residents are known to have sold their children, and meets with the law enforcement team that wants to crack down on the trafficking gangs.
She is shown around by Don Brewster, a local activist who has dedicated his life to saving Cambodia's children.
Watch the trailer above for CNN's "Every Day in Cambodia."
Editor’s Note: Steven Procopio is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker and a member of the Academy of Certified Social Workers. He helps male victims of childhood abuse including a focus on public health, HIV, and homelessness. He is also is a faculty adviser at the Boston University School of Social Work macro practice department.
I recently met with a 15-year-old named Brian - his name has been changed to protect his identity - who had a family history of domestic violence and drug abuse. He also had a desperate need for money - money that he planned to use to escape his abusive home. He found his opportunity online. Brian learned that he could make money selling “Skype sex."
Desperate and in need, Brian started to sell his underage body on the Internet and fell victim to the seedy industry that is the commercial sexual exploitation of children (CSEC).
Buyers usually resort to manipulation of their vulnerable victims with grooming activities such as purchasing clothing, cell phones, gifts, and other products as a way of seducing them into a relationship.
Often, these manipulative activities give the impression to the victim that they are "loved" and "cared for” in ways their biological families may not have been able to demonstrate. This manipulation often keeps victims in the industry for many years.
Brian’s parents eventually found out about his online activity, and instead of disapproving and finding a way to protect him from this exploitation, they feared it was indicative of their son’s sexual orientation, which they did not accept, and kicked him out of his home. FULL POST
By Lauren Hersh, Special for CNN
Editor’s note: Lauren Hersh is New York Director of Equality Now and head of its Sex Trafficking program combatting violence against women and girls. She is a former prosecutor at the Kings County District Attorney’s Office which covers Brooklyn.
Misguided attempts to reduce stigma through legalization mean governments benefit financially from sex trafficking at the expense of people in prostitution.
My friend Rachel Moran describes in her book, “Paid For,” how she was taken into state custody at 14 and within a year, was homeless, hungry and vulnerable. Her lack of choice fed her into the belly of prostitution. For the next seven years, she lived through repeated rapes from buyers and relentless violence. But physical harm and exploitation were not all she endured.
For Rachel and countless survivors worldwide, societal stigma is a concept that they have faced all too often. It arises because society dehumanizes people in prostitution, treating them as second class citizens at best.
Stigma prevents prostituted people from accessing adequate health care and places them at higher risk of violence by abusers who often act with impunity. FULL POST