Posted by Matt Friedman on Sep 14, 2023
Over the years, I have come to conclude there are few things more evil than children forced into prostitution.

During my initial public health work within South Asian red-light districts, we soon discovered to our horror that some brothels offered very young girls to clients.
Some of them were less than 10 years old and were hidden away and lived on the upper floors in rooms protected by a reinforced door.

I felt sick to my stomach when I learned that pedophiles weren’t the only men interested in having sex with young children. There appeared to be three prominent awful myths associated with this practice that exist to this day.

1. Some believed that having sex with young girls would cure diseases such as gonorrhea or syphilis. This is obviously not true.

2. Some believed they could not catch diseases such as AIDS by having sex with someone much younger and seemingly healthy. In reality, the opposite often happened. Since these girls were undeveloped, sex with a child significantly increased their chances of becoming infected.

3. Some men thought that it would rejuvenate their virility as if the girl’s youth would be transferred to them.

For these reasons, and the high prices they could command, the brothels highly valued selling children, but only until they turned 12 years old or so, and only as long as they remained healthy.

The standard rate for sex with a ‘child virgin’ was sometimes more than half the entire price paid to buy the child.

One brothel boasted that rich middle-east businessmen were willing customers for child sex slaves, providing windfall profits for them. There was even an arrangement made that if a new child was brought in, the businessmen would fly in to spend a weekend.

Due to the legal difficulties associated with keeping child sex slaves in brothels, these girls were isolated most of the time, seldom coming in contact with others. If caught and charged by the authorities, the brothel owner could receive up to 20 years in jail.

However, when a child sex slave would be found, arrests almost never occurred. The police could demand enormous bribes for turning a blind eye. The financial burden to the brothel madam could be tremendous.

I never personally observed any of these very young children who had been forced into prostitution. Most brothel owners were careful enough to ensure that if either strangers or the police entered the building, steps would immediately be taken to hide them where they would not be found.

But on a few occasions, I observed a child’s toy like a teddy bear in a brothel room. It is still traumatic and difficult for me to fathom that a girl child could be playing with a doll one minute, and then be forced to have sex with an adult a few minutes later.

What kind of evil allows this to happen?