Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Trafficking in women for the purpose of prostitution by Kathleen Berry

The Hard Facts…

Trafficking in women for the purpose of prostitution is a major, world-wide issue.

Here are some statistics about the Asian continent. It is our hope at S.A. World Services that these statistics will provide you with a global view regarding the issues of trafficking and the sexual exploitation of women and children.

“Female sexual slavery is present in all situations where women and girls cannot change the immediate conditions of their existence; where regardless of how they got into those conditions, they cannot get out; and where they are subject to sexual; violence and exploitation.”

- Kathleen Berry

BANGLADESHEstimates 200,000 women have been trafficked into Pakistan in the last 10 years, continuing at a rate of 200 - 400 women monthly. Forms of trafficking: fake marriages, sale by parents to pimps, auctions to brothels, abduction.
BURMAEstimates 20,000 - 30,000 women are trafficked to Thailand yearly. Forms of trafficking: deceptive job placements that land women in brothels, abduction, sale of daughters from hill tribe farmers. As illegal immigrants in Thailand, prostitutes are arrested, detained and deported back to Burma, with 50% to 70% being HIV positive.
CHINAShangchuandao Island off Guandong is a tourist spot offering drugs and sex casinos with 300,000 women from all over China. In 1994, 500,000 tourists spent HK$55.8 million on legal tourist services alone. There is a resurgence of prostitution all over China. Women are being trafficked for sale as wives to husbands who often resell them.
HONG KONGFake contracts for domestic work land women in brothels that employ Chinese minders to prevent runaways. Influx of East European women in high priced clubs. Macau has Russian Mafia bringing women in. In 1994 a woman attempting to escape was murdered.
INDIAEstimates 2.3 million women in prostitution, of which a quarter are minors. Over 1,000 red light districts all over India where caged prostitutes are mostly minors, often from Nepal and Bangladesh. Forms of trafficking: economic incentives offered to parents to part with their children, fake job or marriage promises, and abductions.
INDONESIAEstimates 65,582 registered prostitutes in 1994. Highest estimate: 500,000 women involved in prostitution. Localized bordello complexes are managed under local government regulations. Estimated financial turn-over of sex industry ranges from US $1.27 billion to US $3.6 billion.
JAPANLargest sex industry accounting for 1% of GNP. Over 150,000 non-Japanese women in prostitution, more than half are Filipinos, 40% are Thai women. One “sex zone” in Tokyo, only 0.34 sq. km. has 3,500 sex facilities such as strip theatres, peep shows, porno shops, telephone clubs, etc. Japanese men constitute the largest number of sex tourists in Asia.
KOREAAround the military bases there are 18,000 registered and 9,000 unregistered prostitutes. Forms of prostitution: escort and call girls, street prostitution from cafes, cabarets, display windows, massage parlors and beauty shops. Women suspected of prostitution can be confined to rehabilitation centres.
MALAYSIAEstimates 142,000 women in prostitution, between 8,000 to 10,000 Kuala Lampur. Almost every town has a red light district.
NEPALEstimates at least 5,000 women are trafficked to India every year. After India, Hong Kong is the biggest market. Organizers in rural areas, brokers and even family members sell girls. Husbands sometimes sell their wives to brothels.
PHILIPPINESEstimates 300,000 women in prostitution, 75,000 of them are children. “Entertainment” is the main channel, but a range of establishments from dirt-floor beer houses to karaoke clubs to beach resorts and expensive health clubs provide prostitution to men of every social class. Government policies favour the export of entertainers and domestic helpers that put women at risk.
SRI LANKA80% of labour migration in 1994 was of women workers. Women going to Korea and Japan for work disappear into underground labour markets, which include prostitution.
TAIWAN40% of young prostitutes in the main red light districts are aboriginal girls. Girls under 13 have been made to undergo hormone injection by brothel owners to hasten their physical development.
THAILANDEstimates 300,000 to 2.8 million women are involved in prostitution, of which a third are minors and children. Thai women are in prostitution in many countries in Asia, Europe and the US. 4.6 million Thai men regularly use prostituted women and 500,000 foreign tourists use them annually.
VIETNAMMost trafficking is to China and Cambodia, including children. Trafficking happens through kidnapping (especially for brothels), deceptive job offers, etc. Prostitution is becoming a feature of the burgeoning tourism industry. Also, business deals are being closed with presents of women.
AUSTRALIAFederal police estimate that prostitution grosses A$30 million annually. International crime syndicates traffic drugs and women with 10 smaller syndicates trafficking 300 Thai women yearly. Recruiters go to Russia to hire women for “table top dancing” in Australia.

As you can see, the battle against sexual exploitation of women and children is immense. At S.A. World Services we believe that our service centres (called S.A.S.’s) have an important role to play in combating the slavery of these women and children.

Just as more information, the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade for Canada has put out a brochure titled, “What no child should endure”. This pamphlet is available at the passport office. The contents say:

Shameful Journeys

Canadians travel for many reasons; business, vacations, adventure and relaxation.

A few Canadians travel for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct with children. In doing so, they take advantage of the poverty and powerlessness of foreign children, expecting to exploit weaknesses in law enforcement.

Such travel exploits children world-wide. Experts estimate that more than a million children are lured or sold into the sex trade each year. Many are forced into prostitution by their parents or by their own homelessness or poverty. Many in rural areas are promised respectable jobs in cities and then forced into the sex trade.

The Canadian government is committed to protecting children from this abuse. Although numbers are believed to be low, some Canadians do travel to other countries for the express purpose of sex with children.

They travel to places where they wrongly assume that sex with children is acceptable or they think there are no consequences. Some seek children with the misconception that the younger the prostitute, the less likely they will be infected with AIDS. Some are seeking new sexual experiences they would not attempt at home. Some don’t even realize their partners are underage.

It’s A Crime

It is illegal to have sexual relations with children, whether in Canada or in another country.

Canada has included in its Criminal Code provisions that allow for the arrest and prosecution of Canadians in Canada for the exploitations of children in foreign countries. Convictions carry a penalty of up to 14 years’ imprisonment. Many other countries have passed similar laws.

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