I had the opportunity to watch the MSNBC special about the child sex slavery in Cambodia today. It was interesting to watch. The unfortunate thing is that it did not offer any solutions to the problem. The special showed how the government and police forces were compromised by corruption that served to clandestinely support and aid the child sex slave industry. You can not trust the police because many of them receive payoffs from the pimps and pedophiles. They also interviewed a center that rehabilitated young girls who have been pulled out of sex slavery. The worker sadly estimated that over 40% of the young girls brought to the center will run away and go back to prostitution. At first I thought this was outrageous, but after talking with Clay I have a better understanding of why so many girls might run.
Most of these girls come into the centers with drug addictions that have been forced on them by their pimps. They are in a very bad mental state and do not trust anybody but themselves so even though they are in a loving and caring environment, they do not perceive it that way and many will try to escape. The Restoration Center that is operated by AIM has had girls run away as well, but thankfully, all of them have come back. Agape attributes its success to Gods grace and not to their own credentials. Clay also told me that there is a strong connection between all of the centers out there which I did not know up until this point. He spoke very highly of all of the centers and even relayed a story to me of one man who “spent 3 days without sleep trying to find one of the girls that ran away after she had threatened to kill him and his staff.”
There was also an American pedophile that the MSNBC special confronted with video evidence of him confessing to raping 14, 15, and 16 year old girls in Cambodia. The video should have been more than enough evidence to convict (as was stated by Colon Powell in an interview) and yet at the end of the program we find that the man still has not been brought to justice even though he is currently in the United States. The special just gave the feeling of hopelessness. There was no real answer to bringing any lasting change.
In a recent update from Clay, I found out that he recently had the opportunity to represent AIM at a UN summit on child sex slavery in Cambodia. Apparently there were many well funded and educated organizations that are working to end sex slavery at the summit. Each one stood up and, like the MSNBC special, sadly announced that in spite of their best efforts, they are not seeing any progress. Now, in stark contrast to the hopeless reports from MSNBC and the UN workers, Clay let me know that the only organizations at the UN summit to give a “good” report of progress were the few that are led by Christians. It is the Christians who are making an impact. The world has good intentions but no real answers when it comes to combating such evil. It’s not that others are not doing their best, its just that there truly is only one answer and His name is Jesus!
I see this all as exciting news. It is becoming more apparent that we have an opportunity to not merely bring awareness to the horror that is being forced on these beautiful children in Cambodia but also to offer hope that this horror can be stopped. That will be the difference that makes this film project worth every minute.