Home 9 Advocacy 9 The Debt of Honor: Unveiling the Harsh Reality of Child Trafficking

The Debt of Honor: Unveiling the Harsh Reality of Child Trafficking

by | Aug 6, 2022 | Advocacy

She isn’t wearing a burka. She isn’t on her knees in the middle of the street, waiting for the first stone to strike her tender flesh and carry her into another world. But she has been sent to her death nonetheless. Those ordering her death are her parents, and the reason is honor.

Instead of a burka, this one is wearing high heels and tight pants. Her red lipstick highlights a shy smile. Tear-stained eyes are masked behind heavy eyeliner and fake eyelashes. A thickly padded bra falsely advertises a grown-up body in place of the real one that has not yet fully blossomed. She was sent to the city to earn a living at the age of 15 with a 4th-grade education. Her parents demand that she works to provide for her family. It is not negotiable. Fifteen years old is too long to expect to be taken care of, after all. She has a debt to repay and an unquestioning obligation to honor her parents, so she enters the sex trade.

Filial piety is a cultural force in Asia that often carries in its wake ultimate destruction. Filial piety is defined as the important virtue and primary duty of respect, obedience, and care for one’s parents and elderly family members.[1] Honoring your parents has been encouraged among various cultures across the world since the beginning of time. The concept, in and of itself, is not a negative one; it is even a biblical one. But broken humanity in a fallen world can take any good thing, and with our selfish lust, we pervert and distort it to our own ends. That is the case in the Asian sex trade, which is fed in large part by parents and elder family members, who, for the sake of being honored, force their children into the beds of predators.

CNN reports that “once girls enter the sex industry, their average life expectancy is seven years, with homicide and AIDS being the top killers.”[2]

This one will likely be dead by the time she is 22. It won’t happen in one dramatic flourish amid furious shouts and wrath poured out. No, these stones cast will subdue her day by day or, rather, night by night. She will bleed to death one drop at a time. She will endure violence and exploitation. Rape, HIV/AIDS, and forced abortions will all become commonplace. Drugs or alcohol might make it all bearable. She will do it without question. She will do it out of love. She will do it for the sake of honor.

[1] American Psychological Association (APA):  filial piety. (n.d.). Dictionary.com Unabridged. Retrieved August 14, 2014, from Dictionary.com website: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/filial piety

[2] A Heavy Toll for the Victims of Human Trafficking: by Adriana Hauser and Mariano Castillo, CNN  August 26, 2013 — Updated 1026 GMT (1826 HKT) website: http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/25/us/miami-sex-trafficking/.

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