A few months back, I was honoured to have been approached by the Editor of the official magazine for the Australian Federal Police Association Magazine called ‘Blue Star’, about The Sunlight Foundation and the fight to create awareness and action on child sex trafficking. The AFPA represents the professional, industrial, and social interests of the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and law enforcement employees across a range of agencies. Their world and that of the charities that work in this space are a distance from the world of most of us.
For most, a completely different reality exists. Whilst you are ordering your soy latte or making school lunches, a little girl perhaps no older than 5 years old is being brutally trafficked for sex. You may be talking about your next family holiday by the beach with your colleagues at the water cooler, but somewhere else, a child is dying from neglect, starvation, HIV, abuse, drug overdoses, disease, or torture. Thirty children will die today and every day in this evil trade.
The place that offers a morbid reality akin to that of a horror movie is none other than Cambodia, one of the world’s poorest nations where child sex trafficking is thriving. Immoral people from all over the world who have one thing in common, a perverted and psychologically depraved thought process, greedily descend upon humanity and will quite literally sell their souls to the devil out of desperation. Here, the average life span for these children trafficked into sex is just seven years — perhaps a fate less cruel than survival, where, as women, they relive the inhumane horror inflicted upon them as innocent children playing like a newsreel through their minds every day.
It is not my place to determine the true description of “riches in life,” but it is my strong view that every child deserves a childhood, where they play, learn, and are kept safe from harm. The Sunlight Foundation is part of a movement that gives these children their lives back. It is the very least they deserve, as fellow humans on the same planet as you and I.
Our Federal Agencies, like the AFP, already do amazing work with their always limited resources, so the least we can do is raise money and awareness for this terrible reality. This evil trade is a blight on the humanity of all of us and we do have the opportunity to do more than we think we can, about it.
Robert Barclay is patron of The Sunlight Foundation and an Australian author of some of the best Australian crime fiction books. His Australian multicultural novels follow the lives of Katy and Clara Yehonala, his strong female protagonists as they confront the evils of society.