Pizzagate 2: Child Sex Abuse in Asia
A report on the Asian pedophile network
On Sunday it was reported that up to 400 gigabytes of child pornography was found on the computer of a 19 year old boy in China. The boy, who has been named only as Sun, has led the police to discovering a vast online pedophile network which garnered as many as 20,000 hits and 7000 replies.
Sun posted videos of child sexual abuse on an overseas server and in exchange, received videos of foreign children which he shared with Chinese pedophiles. The children in the videos have been identified as being from rural villages and camps of migrant workers from 25 Chinese provinces.
Following an earlier post on the trending pizzagate theory and how it has highlighted the reality of Southeast Asia becoming a hub for western pedophiles, we delve into the Asian pedophile network and how child sexual abuse begins for most children in Southeast Asia.
In a report by Asia Pacific Research on Pedophilia and Sex Slavery in Cambodia, it is stated that child sexual abuse in these countries is not driven by child sex tourists or the booming sex industry but by poverty. “Child prostitution is powered by a government that overlooks it, poor and desperate families, and a consistent clientele. Although there has been progress in the realms of anti-trafficking bills, Cambodian authorities still do not pay much attention to the issue,” states the report.
Unfortunately this is true for most Southeast Asian countries. According to a report by UNICEF, child sexual abuse ranges from 11-22% for girls and 3-16.5% for boys across East Asia Pacific. In low income countries such as Myanmar and Cambodia, males were more likely to get abused whereas in middle to higher income countries like Indonesia and Japan respectively; girls were more likely to be sexually abused. It is also reported that in most child sexual abuse cases, the perpetrator is known to the child (relatives, neighbors, step parents, highly trusted people).
Cambodia is home to one of the biggest child sex trade industries in the world. Famous for selling virgins, hoards of Western and Asian men including Cambodians, Chinese Koreans and Japanese pay anywhere between $1200 to $2500 for one week with a virgin. The price is dependent on the age and beauty of the virgin being sold.
Cambodia is not the only country that places a monetary value on virginity. There is a general belief among many Asian men that sleeping with a virgin is purifying and can rid them of diseases.
There is a huge societal pressure for girls to remain “pure” before their wedding days. The pressure has become so much of an obsession that it is reported women in China undergo hymen reconstructive surgery so they can appear as virgins on their wedding nights.
In a society where women are seen more or less like a commodity to their parents and a sexual object to men, it is not surprising that children will be prone towards exploitation.
Children living on the streets separated from adults as well as unseparated children have been reported to face some of the highest incidence of sexual abuse and exploitation in South Asia.
Thousands of child sexual abuse cases go unpunished in South Asia largely due to an incompetent justice system, to a lack of knowledge regarding child abuse and child rights and misplaced shame.
In May 2016, a Malaysian man was able to skip a jail sentence for raping a 14 year old girl simply by marrying her. This exposes the child to a lifetime of rape and abuse. Another case sees a 40 year old man marrying his 13 year old victim which drew national outrage and sparked debates about child rights and the criminal justice system. However, little has been done by the government to prevent instances like this from taking place.
Children born to sex workers and growing up in brothels are subject to environments predicated on sexual exploitation. Most of these children also fall victim to sexual abuse by the clients, guards, police and other brothels.
Studies conducted by Pro Con Organization on the percentage of men who solicited sex at least once in their lives, Cambodia was on top of the list with a staggering 80% of men admitting to using the services of a prostitute, followed by Thailand with 75% and Italy with 45%. Both Cambodia and Thailand are notorious for underage sex workers. It is estimated that in Thailand alone, 60,000 children involved in prostitution are under the age of 18.
The Children’s Rights Protection Center in Thailand states that 40 percent of those involved in prostitution in Thailand are below 18 years of age.
Thailand passed an Anti‐Trafficking in Persons Act in 2008 in order to accommodate international Trafficking protocols with Thai law, however the protocol is yet to be ratified and although Thai laws against child abuse are fairly comprehensive, child prostitution still exist in a large scale with little intervention from law enforcement. Furthermore, the 1996 Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act does not expressly state that prostitutes below the age of 18 will not be treated as offenders.
The idea that pedophilia and abuse of children is being allowed to run rampant in civilized societies is as preposterous as it is a reality. The government is partly to blame for the unregulated sex trade and the weak laws that enable pedophiles and rapists to get away with heinous crimes against children.
It is a misconceived notion that most child exploitation occurs at the hands of Western pedophiles. The fact is that majority of child sex offenders are locals.
Although Western pedophiles contribute to the large child sex trade, one cannot solely put the blame on them for the ongoing abuse. As quoted from a report by Asia Pacific Research, “A few foreign pedophiles do not sustain an industry; it needs a large domestic client base, corrupt and ineffective law enforcement, and an ample supply of parents desperate enough to sell their children.”