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Children’s Abuse in Sexual Tourism Marketing

Children’s Abuse in Sexual Tourism Marketing

Marketing

People travel because “they no longer feel happy where they are, where they work, where they live. They feel the monotony of the daily routine, the cold rationality of factories, offices, apartment blocks, and transport, shrinking human contact…the loss of nature and naturalness” (Nicholson-Lord, 1997, p. 7).

Some travel to visit friends and family, to learn new skills, to relax, to do business. Others seek to find paradise, to experience the sacred and personal change, and to educate themselves…tourism elevates social status and brings prestige and pride to tourists. It is a means of self-discovery. “Tourists who visit the Third World, seek exoticism and nature” (Belk & Costa, 1995, 1).

Travel agencies and tour operators specializing in child sex tourism advertise in travel magazines in the countries of their customers. They highlight the fact that children are available for sex (Johnson, 1994). The Thailand advertising message merges the “available female body with usable nature and with the benevolent creation of employment” (Robinson, L., 1993, p. 4). Other descriptions inform us that Thai women are “slim, sun-burnt and sweet… masters of the art of making love by nature (Robinson, L., 1993, p. 4). Other brochures declare that Thai girls, “love the white man in an erotic and devoted way” (Robinson, L. 1993, P. 4). Thai girls are said to be “little slaves who give real Thai warmth,” thus naturalizing servitude (Robinson, L., 1993, p. 4).

Brochures featuring Thailand promote, “sun, sea and sex.”

They also build on the patriarchal and racist fantasies of European, Japanese, American, and Australian men by touting the “exotic, erotic subservience” of Asian women (Mirkinson, 1997/98, p. 2).

In travel and tourism literature written and paid for by the Thai government, the brothels and bars of Bangkok are described in glowing, exotic terms. It is a promotional effort to lure businessmen from Japan, Germany, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Holand, Australia and the United States to this destination.

A German brochure in 1983 informed their clients that, “If you want extremely young girls, or generally speaking, if you want something for which you could get “hanged” in your own country, you can find it in these places without the risk of getting hanged (Mirkinson, 1997/98, p. 2).

The Internet has enabled information for tourists to find children for sex easily and inexpensively. The Internet website, Ultra Infoseek, advises surfers to “Click on the advisory page and you will see dozens of pictures of nude teenage Asian girls (Rizvi, Inter Press Service). According to Mr. Rivzi, there are over 100 websites that are used exclusively to promote teenage commercial sex in Asia. Site owners charge between $100 and $150 for membership and information on sex workers (Mirkinson, 1997/78, p. 5).

The World Sex Guide, a handbook on international prostitution available on the World Wide Web notes that in Phnom Penh, “a six-year-old is available for $3” (Fighting Child Sex, 1996, p. 3) A Dutch tourist pamphlet promotes sex tourism in Thailand, emphasizing encounters with young Eastern women aged 16 to 24 in a seductive environment. The language implies that obtaining a girl’s company is as effortless as buying cigarettes. Shockingly, it suggests a concerning trend where attractive daughters from impoverished families engage in the sex industry to financially support their families, depicting them as essentially submissive, with the ability to engage in various activities (Mirkinson, 1997/98, p. 5). Groups of pedophiles from the West are flown into Asian countries through organized tours for the express purpose of having sex with children (of either gender), according to taste (Teghrarian, S., 1997, p. 3).

A Dutch tourist pamphlet promotes sex tourism in Thailand, emphasizing encounters with young Eastern women aged 16 to 24 in a seductive environment. The language implies that obtaining a girl’s company is as effortless as buying cigarettes. Shockingly, it suggests a concerning trend where attractive daughters from impoverished families engage in the sex industry to financially support their families, depicting them as essentially submissive, with the ability to engage in various activities (Mirkinson, 1997/98, p. 5). Groups of pedophiles from the West are flown into Asian countries through organized tours for the express purpose of having sex with children (of either gender), according to taste (Teghrarian, S., 1997, p. 3).

A German brochure in 1983 informed their clients that, “If you want extremely young girls, or generally speaking, if you want something for which you could get “hanged” in your own country, you can find it in these places without the risk of getting hanged (Mirkinson, 1997/98, p. 2).

The Internet has enabled information for tourists to find children for sex easily and inexpensively. The Internet website, Ultra Infoseek, advises surfers to “Click on the advisory page and you will see dozens of pictures of nude teenage Asian girls (Rizvi, Inter Press Service). According to Mr. Rivzi, there are over 100 websites that are used exclusively to promote teenage commercial sex in Asia. Site owners charge between $100 and $150 for membership and information on sex workers (Mirkinson, 1997/78, p. 5).          

Why It Happens

“Child sex tourism is part of the widespread exploitation of children, sexual or otherwise. It comes from complex social and economic issues including poverty, debt related problems, the importance of foreign exchange receipts and the subordinate position of children, especially girls, within families and communities” (Barrett, 1998, 11).

Many inquire as to why Thailand is a “notorious destination for sex tourists seeking children” (Barr, 1995, p.2) while to the south, in Malaysia, “child prostitutes are hard to find” (Barr, 1996, p.2). To truly determine the reasons why some families are willing to sell their children into slavery and prostitution and others are not, requires society to “review its perception of children, how men think about sex, and how governments respond to an often-ignored aspect of human relations” (Barr, 1996, p.2).

According to a research study conducted by Dr. Julia O’Connell and Jacqueline Sanchez Taylor (1995) for ECPAT, “Sex tourists to the Dominican Republic, like those found in Thailand, Cuba, and Costa Rica, are preoccupied with issues surrounding their gender, economic and ‘racialized’ power. They image themselves to be at the mercy of biologically determined sexual ‘needs’ or ‘urges’ and thus believe that women control a “resource (their female bodies) which is vital to men’s well-being” (1995, 17).

Sex tourists believe that in third-world countries “Children are portrayed as being in some way responsible for their own abuse and that they are not harmed by sexual contact with adults and are able to consent to or gain benefit from such encounters…” (Beckett, 1994, 67).

© Dr. Elinor Garely. This copyright article, including photos, may not be reproduced without written permission from the author.

This is a multiple-part series. Read previous articles below.

INTRODUCTION

The Dark Side of Globalization: Children Sex and Tourism

PART 1

Role of Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism in Child Trafficking and Tourism

PART 2

Profiting From the Sale of Children

PART 3

Demand for Children

PART 4

How it Started: Part 4

PART 5

Sexual Abuse of Children in Tourism Creates Benefits?

Stay tuned for article 7.
SOURCE: Marketing Abuse of Children for Sex Tourism BY: eTurboNews | eTN  

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