Sex work is categorically considered one of the worst forms of child labor, and children under the age of 18 comprise 30% of all sex workers in Indonesia and the total (as of 2011) perhaps is more than 200,000. This number does not include those who are working outside Indonesia.
The EXCEED (Eliminate Exploitive Child labor through Education and Economic Development) project has determined Bandar Lampung as one of the project sites for the issue of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children (CSEC). The reason was the high prevalence of CSEC in this province as it was reported by LADA, a senior local NGO that works for Child Protection issues in this province. LADA has identified 500 children involved in CSEC in the city of Lampung only. The number could be doubling given the presence of the only harbor in the southern part of Sumatra Island and the fact that Lampung is the entry gate for the ground transport from Jawa to Sumatra Island and from Sumatra to Jawa Island.
Human Trafficking In the News
Human trafficking has been receiving an increasing amount of attention in the U.S. and there have been reported cases in all 50 states. Many sex workers and prostitutes face homelessness, destitution, and physical abuse on a daily basis. The prolific Catharine MacKinnon has begun spreading gripping stories about this topic in hopes that real changes will be made. One of her recent presentations “packed a University of Chicago Law School auditorium for a lecture on ‘Trafficking, Prostitution and Inequality.’” Read the full article, Raising Awareness of Sex Trafficking, One Lecture at a Time, from The New York Times.
The men who solicit and pay for sex workers, known as johns, could be as close as neighbors and colleagues. Emerging research has shown that a growing number of men are perpetuating the sex trade, including the exploitation of very young girls. Investigations suggest that many varied aspects of culture have taught men to commodify women, in turn “warping personal relationships and endangering women and girls.” Read the full article, The John Next Door, from Newsweek Magazine.
Corbin Addison brings hope in light of the sex trade with his book, A Walk Across the Sun. After watching a film on human trafficking, Addison was inspired to learn more about this epidemic and make a difference. Despite growing demands of his career and family, he knew in his heart that he wanted to write a novel on the global sex trade, to open reader’s eyes to this reality through storytelling. Once he made this decision, he dived deep in the world of human trafficking- through literature, interviews, traffickers, customers, and even an earth-shattering trip to an actual brothel in Mumbai.
Addison describes his novel as not one of grim or pain, but one of hope: “Human trafficking spans the globe, and so does my story- sweeping the reader from Mumbai to Paris to New York and Atlanta and revealing the many dimensions of the trade. The story is honest; it is hard hitting, and based on the best research available.” Read the full article, The Human Face of Modern Slavery, from the Huffington Post.