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Tenaganita found Malaysian children, aged between 15 and 16, involved in child prostitution being held at a Taiwanese detention centre.
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PETALING JAYA, March 7, 2015:
Child sex trafficking is a growing problem in the country and Malaysians can no longer afford to bury their heads in the sand to avoid this ugly truth, says Tenaganita director Aegile Fernandez, adding that the number of cases has been increasing over the years.
She pointed out that based on world statistics 50% of all those who are trafficked are children.
“Over 5,000 children are involved in the child sex trade in the Klang Valley,” she said, citing Bukit Bintang and Chow Kit as the main areas.
She said pimps have been known to openly approach tourists asking them if they wanted “youngsters, teens or children” and paedophiles have added to the problem of child sex trafficking.
Citing the example of Central Market, Aegile said in 2013, there was open recruitment of young boys for sex tourism.
She said most people visiting the area would not realise it because when they see a group of children hanging around they would think that they were just schoolchildren having fun with their friends, but young children could be seen roaming around Bukit Bintang late at night and sleeping in the rough.
Aegile also claimed that the authorities seemed not to be doing anything about the issue, adding that questions must be asked as to who these children were and what they were doing here.
Another sad part, Aegile said, was that Malaysian children were also being sold into child prostitution.
She pointed out that between 2012 and 2014 close to 8,000 children had gone missing in the country.
“We have travelled to countries such as Thailand and Indonesia and found Malaysian children who are sex slaves.”
She added that Malaysian children had also been found in the child sex trade in Taiwan.
“At a Taiwanese detention centre, Tenaganita found Malaysian children, aged between 15 and 16, being held. They were found to be involved in child prostitution.
“They had been lured to Taiwan with the promise of marriage and jobs by their “boyfriends”, but once in Taiwan, they were sold to child sex traffickers.”
She said there was a well-known red light district in Taipeh where child sex workers were available, but they were closely guarded by gangsters.
Because of this, Aegile shared her hopes that the authorities would make human trafficking, especially child sex trafficking, their priority.