August 17, 2019

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

Pizzagate and the Western Pedophiles Lurking in Southeast Asia

What we should take from the alleged story taking over the internet

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There has been a major shift in attention from the U.S election and all the controversies that it brought with it to something inherently more disturbing- the discovery of what could perhaps be the most prolific child sex abuse scandal among the Democratic Party leaders.

The Pizzagate theory has taken the internet by storm and has left behind a trail of unanswered questions and searing coincidences. The alleged claims of child sexual abuse and other depravities that the upper echelon of politics are said to have taken part in has resulted in an undeclared war between conspiracy theorists and the major media websites along with those that claim pizzagate is an attempt by right wing fanatics to destabilize the Democratic Party.

Although it can neither be confirmed nor denied, pizzagate has inadvertently shone a light on a topic of conversation that needs to be had and a growing unhealthy situation that needs to be dealt with.

Rumors of child sexual abuse among high standing members of society have not only rocked the U.S. but also the U.K. In 2014, 1400 suspects, among whom were British celebrities, members of parliament and institutions were being investigated by the police for suspected involvement in a major child sex abuse investigation. Going back as far as 1984, reports show that a large pedophile network consisting of top politicians surfaced but went unchecked with judges, law enforcement and even M15 agents blocking investigations.

If, in countries that are said to be the most developed in the world with top notch security and law enforcement, instances of child sex abuse go unchecked and pedophiles can roam free and hold positions of power, what then goes on in poorer and developing countries?

Pedophilia is rampant in Southeast Asian countries. The booming tourism industry has opened a gateway for pedophiles to roam lesser developed nations such as Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Child sex trade remains mostly unregulated in rural areas which have become a hub for pedophiles and sex offenders.

More often than not, registered sex offenders from western countries travel to Southeast Asia and prey on children hailing from poor backgrounds with little or no education. A study conducted by an Australian government funded initiative called Project Childhood on child sex abuse in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia found that both adults and children in these countries “had limited understanding of child abuse and child rights.” They “understood child sexual abuse simply as the penetrative rape of girls.”

The report also stated that “many adults and children appeared to lack a sufficient understanding of child sexual abuse and practical ways to identify, prevent or respond to it.”

Hence these individuals become high risk targets for traveling pedophiles. With the number of tourists that shuffle to and from Southeast Asia, it is unsurprising that a small percentage of those tourists are child sex offenders.

One such offender was Bryan Wright, a U.S citizen from Rhode Island who reportedly fled to Thailand in 1995 after being suspected of sexually assaulting a minor in his hometown. He set up an Immigration Law firm in Pattaya and claimed to have gotten fiancée visas set up for high ranking U.S military men, police and lawyers. In 2014, he was found guilty of raping a 12 year girl in Thailand. He posted bail at ฿400,000 and law enforcement has not been able to track him down.

Perhaps a more shocking example is one revolving around former musician Gary Glitter who had been arrested in London for possession of child pornography and was charged with having sex with an underage girl. However, since the police had insufficient evidence he was never taken to court. After having served four months in jail, the disgraced rocker set his sights on Southeast Asia. He settled in Cambodia but after new allegations of child abuse he found his way to Vietnam. Glitter was eventually charged with the rape of two girls, aged 10 and 11 at Ho Chi Minh and sentenced to a mere 3 years in jail.

What seems to be the common theme in both stories is the attraction of Southeast Asia for sex offenders and pedophiles. Has Southeast Asia become a haven for these individuals?

Richard Huckle, a 30 year old British man who posed as an English teacher in a poor Malaysian community was recently handed 22 life sentences in a London court after he pleaded guilty to 71 child abuse offenses in Southeast Asia. He is believed to have raped up to 200 young victims in Malaysia and Cambodia, the youngest of whom was only 6 months old. He recorded his behavior online and wrote a guide for other pedophiles called “Pedophiles & Poverty: Child Lover Guide”. According to a report, Huckle claimed that the poor people trusted him because he was a white Englishman.

The number of western men arrested in Southeast Asia for child sexual abuse has become too many to count. The children that each of them exploited are in numbers that should not be allowed to exist.

However, the fact is that child exploitation does happen and much like the exposed U.K pedophile ring or the alleged Pizzagate pedophile network in the U.S, child sex abuse is profound and it portrays a sad reality of life: the rich and powerful preying on the weak and poor and oftentimes getting away with it.  This reality needs to change.

Next Read:  Pizzagate 2: Child Sex Abuse in Asia