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Supply and Demand

April 29, 2008

Human Trafficking is a multi-billion dollar a year industry. It is the second largest criminal industry in the world today, just behind drug smuggling and recently having risen above arms smuggling. The selling of children for sex and is a HUGE business, and just like any other business it is driven by supply and demand. Supply, in the case of child sex trafficking and exploitation, is the vulnerable children. The demand is those who choose to pay for sex with these children. Following the simple rules of supply and demand we know that supply would not exist if there was not a demand for it. Child prostitution and commercial sexual exploitation would not exist if men and women were not traveling around the world to have sex with minors, purchasing child pornography, or supporting businesses that do. Demand creates supply. There are millions upon millions of children in high risk of becoming a victim of the sex trade due to poverty, genocide, war, lack of education, or orphaned… and there is a lot of work to be done to prevent, rescue, and restore these children (I won’t ignore that). However, the demand side of this problem is often overlooked. I have read that 25% of child sex tourists are US citizens. How that stat has been proven, I do not know. I would not be surprised if that percentage wasn’t a lot higher.
So now what? It is my belief that the demand side can only be stopped if WE (as in YOU and ME) begin talking about this issue, making it a household reality, and bringing the humanity back to this issue. These men and women who pay for sex with children do not see these children as human beings, but as objects. They may not even realize the damage that they are doing to a young life. I have met countless children in recovery from working the streets in Thailand and here in the US… there is hope, but it is a long and painful journey for them. My hope is that through our film and through educating others that this issue ends, but if that does not happen hopefully the men and women who are thinking about it will think again.
To understand more about the demand side and what the US government is doing about it, visit the Immigration and Customs Enforcement web-site.

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