It's an exotic vacation destination, with ancient cities, bold colors, legendary temples, remarkable beauty — and horrendous crimes that go on behind closed doors. Children, some as young as 5 years old, are being sold as slaves for sex. It's a shameful secret that's now capturing the attention of the world and the White House, a secret that has been exposed by Dateline's hidden cameras. Dateline ventured into this dark place, where sexual predators can gain access to terrified children for a handful of cash. How could this be happening?
Yum Yum | Vietnam - Lonely Planet Forum - Thorn Tree
Buying sex with a year-old girl in Cambodia takes less time and effort than changing money in a bank or paying a telephone bill. In the rough dirt road that runs through the village, two girls in their early teens play badminton. Three younger girls chase a chicken around in circles. Some teenagers in garish tight polyester dresses saunter past, deep in conversation. All of them are for sale.
As we look back on our summer holidays, many of us must stifle a small but nagging sense of guilt. Any thoughtful traveller knows that mass tourism - the world's biggest industry - is not an unmitigated blessing. A few of the negatives: high-altitude pollution from tens of thousands of aircraft; the concreting of once-beautiful coastlines; the swamping of fragile cultures by tourists and their cash. Then there's the truly hellish side-effect of global tourism I witnessed in Svay Pak.