Prostitution, A Form of Slavery
By Yumna Abbas

July 24, 2006

“We say that slavery has vanished from civilization, but this is not true. Slavery still exists, but now it applies only to women and its name is prostitution” was expressed by Victor Hugo as he referred prostitution to slavery.
Sriy, a thirteen year old girl living in Cambodia, is one of tens of thousands of children in Asia, who are slaves, working in a house of prostitution, commonly known as brothels. Every time she giggled, you could see her beauty of sparkling eyes and white teeth, her laughter drowning out the grunts, moans and cries of a pornographic video a few feet in the distance.
As the brothel owner, a woman in her late twenties, who paid a great deal of money to buy Sriy, walked towards her, she enthusiastically offered Sriy to an interested customer while emphasizing a great deal on her features. The owner was not about to settle the deal with a ten dollar fee and explained to the customer that “she only just lost her virginity” and therefore was worth much more than ten dollars since she would have a very low chance of giving her customers AIDS. What the customer, that was about to buy Sriy, didn’t know, was that Sriy was sold into prostitution two years ago.
In an attempt to sell Sriy, the owner pulled Sriy’s dress downwards to show her left nipple. Sriy is forced to undergo these humiliations, as well as ten customers every night. Sold by her stepfather to a brothel, which then sold her to the brothel she is currently in, she is labeled as the brothels owners’ property. She will most probably work until she gets AIDS from being abused everyday. If she makes any efforts to escape, she will be without a doubt caught, brutally beaten, possibly starved and locked inside her room and will still be forced to have sex with many more customers a night.
A brothel nearby to where Sriy is currently staying, was burned down. It was then discovered that two girls, whose bodies where found in the ruins of the brothel, had shown signs of wanting to escape and were, therefore, locked up in rooms, never allowed out, while being forced to have sex with whoever sent into their rooms.
Europeans assisted North Americans in constructing child prostitution trade in Asia. Due to the partnership of the local owners of the brothels along with the Westerners, the internet notifies sex tourists that Cambodia has children for sale and that "a 6-year-old is available for US$3.00"

Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times

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