mardi, décembre 19, 2006

Somaly Mam's Le Silence de l'Innocence

I've recently read this book “Le Silence de l’Innocence” written by Somaly Mam. Former teen prostitute (raped at 12, forced into a loveless marriage, later sold to a brothel etc) in Cambodia, she managed to get out of her hell by marrying a French man with whom she was to set up AFESIP, an organisation that aims to rescue young girls from human trafficking and sexual slavery.*

It is very sad to read about the way young girls and women in general are treated in this country. This is just so inhumane and exasperating. Fancy girls as young as 8 or 9 being sold into prostitution by their own mothers or sisters and then raped, abused, drugged every day of their lives. Many would catch AIDS, STDs, Tuberculosis etc and suffer all the way to their early deaths. Why is there no justice for these poor souls?

And just as exasperating is the physical lack of justice in these countries. The corruption among the judiciary, the Police etc is rampant and the work of associations like Afesip is often ineffective because of that. And the culture of having sex with virgins and young children is sick and to think that those culprits often consider themselves Buddhists or Muslims and lived as righteous individuals in their societies. And not to forget all the men from developed countries like Japan, Germany, the UK etc making their way to Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos etc by the planeloads to abuse young girls, may they grill slowly and painfully in Hell for that.

I know that I sound like a broken record, but please let us not accept the belief that prostitution has to be tolerated because it is the world's oldest profession. Please pressurise Governments into punishing all the pimps and owners of brothels and especially their policemen and soldiers for their part in the trade. Please let us give hell to all the Johns who abuse these women and girls often forced into the trade. Please tell anybody whether they want to listen or not that it is inadmissible to close an eye to sexual abuse in any form and on anybody. And please start in our own homes by educating our own sons and husbands to what it means to respect another person, women in this case.

By the sad state of the world economy, many has been forced and will be forced to sell themselves. But if demand can be reduced if not eliminated, surely the attractiveness of using women in such inhumane ways would also see some decline. It will be a very long and tedious battle, but we have succeeded in warming up the globe in a few generations, I don't see why we can't deal with human slavery and trafficking.

*PS : : "AFESIP exists to combat trafficking in women and children for sex slavery; to care for and rehabilitate those rescued from sex slavery; to provide occupational skills and to reintegrate those rescued into the community in a sustainable and innovative manner. AFESIP also seeks to combat the causes and effects of trafficking and sex slavery through outreach work in AIDS prevention; through advocacy and campaigning; through representation and participation in women’s issues at national, regional and international forums."

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