November 22, 2019

Pizzagate 3: Child Brides and Child Abuse

Ongoing atrocities in India and the Middle East

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Note: The growing theory of Pizzagate, regardless of whether it’s true or not, has highlighted the issue of rampant pedophilia and child sexual abuse as one that needs to be addressed. This article focuses on child sexual abuse in India and the Middle East.

Reports surfaced in the Jeddah city of Saudi Arabia of a video that showed an 85 year old man marrying a 15 year old girl. The video had sparked outrage in the Twitter community with many condemning the act and demanding that the man be punished. It was later clarified by the groom’s son that the man was 75 years old and his bride was 37, not 15.

In this instance, a child may not have been involved. However, child marriages are a common practice among Hindus and Muslims. Girls as young as 5 are forced to marry men considerably older than them.

India has the highest number of child marriages in the world.  Estimates indicate that 47% of girls in India are married before their 18th birthday. In April, a video of a 5 year old girl wailing as she held the hand of her teenage groom went viral and sent shockwaves around the world. Mass wedding ceremonies are held each year where most the girls are between 12 to 18 years of age.

This has been a long standing tradition in India and despite the government’s efforts to monetarily incentivize parents by offering a certain cash reward for girls that are unmarried at 18, child marriages still occur because the problem is a deep rooted one that involves not only economic issues but social and cultural beliefs as well.

According to a report by Girls Not Brides, the reason for the high number of child brides is because “girls are seen as an economic burden and marriage transfers the responsibility to her new husband. Poverty and marriage expenses such as dowry may lead a family to marry off their daughter at a young age to reduce these costs.”

The Syrian crisis has seen the steady rise of child marriages among Syrian refugees. BBC reports, “Almost one third (32%) of refugee marriages in Jordan involve a girl under 18, according to the latest figures from Unicef. This refers to registered marriages, so the actual figure may be much higher. The rate of child marriage in Syria before the war was 13%.”

Michele Servadei, Deputy Jordan representative for Unicef said “The vast majority of these cases are child abuse, even if the parents are giving their permission.”

It has also been reported that men from the Gulf States who, while pretending to be donors, are shopping for child brides among the refugees. “They prey on refugee families, living in rented accommodation, who are struggling to get by,” according to BBC.

“These guys from the Gulf know there are families in need here,” said Amal, a refugee, and mother of four. “They offer money to the family and the first thing they ask is ‘do you have girls?’ They like the young ones, around 14 and 15.”

Rich men from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E have been travelling to Egypt “to purchase women and girls for temporary marriages, facilitated by parents and guardians.” According to AWD News, “Girls as young as 10 have been sold in this manner and later found in the streets of the men’s home countries with no way to return to their families and no one willing to take them in — except for traffickers. These children are throwaway kids, abused, used and discarded when the men are done with them.”

Saudi men were also exposed by Wikileaks of trafficking Mauritanian girls aged 5 to 12 for the purposes of marriage. The traffickers are able to obtain these girls by approaching “poor and ignorant Mauritanian families about marrying their daughters to wealthy Saudi men. Hefty bride prices amounting to 5-6 million ouguiya (approximately $20,000) and promises of better opportunities for the girls lure the families into accepting.”

Aminetou Mint El Moctar, President of the Association of Women Heads of Household launched a campaign against child trafficking in Mauritius. She said that most of the child brides become sex slaves and that pre-pubescent girls are highly prized by Saudi men but, once they reach puberty or become pregnant, they are of no further interest to their husbands.

Experienced western divorce attorneys in Thailand are well versed in both domestic Thai and international divorce law

The problem is added by the Mauritanian government which doesn’t recognize trafficking as a problem. According to Wikileaks, when asked about the trafficking of children to Saudi Arabia, a government representative in the Ministry of Justice stated trafficking of Mauritanian women did not exist and trafficking to Saudi Arabia was not possible because there was a government law that required women to travel with a male family member.

Although child marriages expose the sorry plight of girls in the east, many young boys also face extreme sexual abuse. In the documentary “Dancing Boys of Afghanistan”, an ancient custom called “bacha bazi” (boy for play), was exposed in which rich men buy young pre-pubescent boys from poor families to keep as sex slaves. According to the Guardian, “The boys are dressed in women’s clothes and made to dance and sing at parties, before being carted away by the men for sex.” Owning boys was and in some parts still is a status symbol in many Muslim countries.

Many have pointed out the moral hypocrisy of this system. Shaista Gohir, writer for the Guardian said, “The moral hypocrisy is outrageous in a country where homosexuality is not only strictly forbidden but savagely punished, even between two consenting adults. However, men who sodomise young boys are not considered homosexuals or pedophiles.” When Islamic scholars are posed with a question of why pedophilia is allowed to exist in the guise of marriage, most argue that Islam allows for child marriages because according to religious texts, Prophet Mohammed himself took a six year old girl as his bride.

Many Middle eastern countries and India have seen strong economic and developmental progress, but socially they have stuck to old and inflexible ideologies that allow for children to be raped and abused and afford their women little to no rights.

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Pizzagate 2: Child Sex Abuse in Asia

A report on the Asian pedophile network

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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.

Leading divorce attorneys in Thailand can assist in divorce registration and can consult in other divorce related issues such as child custody as well as division of marital property

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 estimatedthat 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.”

Read Pizzagate and the Western Pedophiles Lurking in Southeast Asia