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by Elizabeth Mandel

Selling Children for Sex

As many as 1.2 million children worldwide are trafficked for sexual exploitation every year. In Cambodia, one third of the country’s 55,000 sex workers are between 12 and 17. The just-released documentary film, “Redlight,” focuses on five Cambodian children, four girls and a boy, as they recount their horrific experiences. These children’s stories vary in detail, but share too many things in common: all four girls were trafficked by people they knew, either tricked by a neighbor into thinking they were going to the city to see a sibling or find well-paid work, or sold outright by a parent. Their shared experiences include repeated rape, torture, captivity, subjugation to fear and intimidation, having their hymens sewn and re-sewn to fetch, over and over again, a high price for their virginity.

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