A colleague who is a filmmaker recently returned from Pattaya, Thailand, where child sex trafficking is not only rampant but often right in the open. She was there to take secret video footage of wanted pedophiles and report them to Interpol.
Now I don’t recommend that just anyone does this on a day off while visiting Asia. Child trafficking is organized crime and confronting traffickers is extremely dangerous. But I wanted you to read what she wrote so you can understand the depths of what is happening and feel her emotions at what she saw:
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“Diana Scimone had introduced me to a world of atrocities through her experiences fighting child trafficking. Her stories kept me second guessing. Honestly, I couldn't fathom that this “trafficking” business truly existed. How could humans be capable of such detestable behavior? While preparing for my trip, I purchased a hidden camera to film what I would see. My goal was to locate and report any “wanted” pedophiles and report them to Interpol.
“At first I was worried that I wouldn’t find any possible traffickers or pedophiles to film, but it was quite the opposite. There was an abundance of sex tourists. With such a tiny camera, it seemed impossible to film them all. Amidst all the Caucasian men, I quickly realized that, being the only Caucasian woman, just my presence was a threat to them. In fact, later as I reviewed my film, I realized some of them had even followed me.
“After filming for many days, I took a night off to go to a festival with some friends. The trafficking scene was far from my mind. As I was walking back from a fun, carefree night, I passed a dark parking lot adjacent to an abandoned building where two men were talking. With them was a small girl, possibly European and no older than 3 years old.
"The men looked European as well and they fearfully glanced my way. At a time when I least expected, I found myself witnessing firsthand the negotiation and sale of this innocent little girl. I couldn't help but wonder how she got here and who could be looking for her. How did she get into these dangerous hands?
“While the men’s eyes followed me closely as I walked on, the toddler suddenly ran free. My heart was hopeful as she seemed so desperate to escape from them and was making her getaway. But her legs betrayed her and she ran in zig zags. I knew she had been drugged. The men quickly caught her and stole her away into the darkness. There was nothing I could do. My heart broke as this helpless child's freedom was cut short.
“From behind the street light, I searched for her but the parking lot was dark, quiet, and empty. I never saw her again...but I couldn't forget her if I tried. My heart was officially wrecked. This is exactly what Diana had told me about. Children like these who are at the mercy at those strangers who buy them.
“Quickly I ran to my hotel. Once in my room, I fell to the floor against the door and wept uncontrollably. My doubts were no more. None of what I saw that night made it on film, but it is engraved permanently in my mind. Since that night, I feel haunted by the sick memory of greed that would ravage something so innocent as a means of profit.
“Child trafficking is real. It does exist. It happens everyday...every single day...and it needs to end...NOW.”
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Remember, what this abolitionist filmmaker saw is not relegated to Thailand, nor just in Asia, but it is happening all over the world, including throughout the United States.
If you don’t believe me, look at the trailer for the documentary Playground about the child trafficking trade in Atlanta: www.playgroundproject.com.