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Contradictory stances on under-age sex and sexual exploitation

Pattaya Daily News, December 16, 2006 

There has been yet another incident reported of under age prostitution reported in Pattaya, resulting in Western Human Rights Agencies such as the International Justice Mission crying exploitation, yet this whole controversy contains certain ambiguities. 

The Thai government passed a law in 1996 Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act, B.E. 2539, essentially due to Western moralistic pressure, making prostitution illegal. Yet, it should be pointed out that the oldest profession doesn't carry the same stigma as it does in the West, which is one of the reasons so many Western men come to Thailand, solely for this purpose.

Traditionally, sex for money, has been regarded as a 
legitimate means of supporting extended families for eons in Asia, the service workers sending money home to their often impoverished kin, which is one of the reasons why the Thai government didn't revoke the 
the Entertainment Places Act of 1966 that exempts special services at Entertainment Places such as beer bars and massage parlours and what's more, legitimises many Western men's sexual proclivities, otherwise 
there would be considerably more incarcerated! Indeed, so entrenched is prostitution in some Asian countries that the Buddhist Sangha, or monkhood has actually endorsed it because it is a valid means of 
substituting for the welfare state!

If one considers the ethos of agencies such as the IJM, one can detect an element of hypocrisy underlying their professed aims. Their mission statement is as follows:

"International Justice Mission (IJM) is a Christian human rights ministry that helps people suffering injustice and oppression who cannot rely on local authorities for relief. IJM documents and monitors conditions of abuse and oppression, educates the church and the public about the abuses, and mobilizes intervention on behalf of the victims. 
IJM advocates get involved in cases of bonded child slavery, forced prostitution and sex trafficking, illegal detention, land seizure, and 
government misconduct."

One wonders what their stance on their own government's conduct in Iraq is!

Initially, the IJM maintained they were combating child prostitution. When it became apparent to everyone that child prostitutes are quite rare, they jumped on the trafficking bandwagon. Once it 
becomes obvious that sex slaves are even less common than child prostitutes, what will be their next excuse to obtain grant money from the US government, one asks oneself? It appears to be yet another cynical instance of Christian Fundamentalists on the one hand, 
highlighting controversial issues to justify their own existence and on the other, yet another attempt by advocates of American Imperialism of trying to foist their value judgements upon the whole world.

As it says in the Bible: "Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thin own eye?" 

Presumably the IJM are not familiar with the psychological phenomenon of projection! They would also appear to be ignorant of the Christian legacy from the Crusades, Inquisition, etc onwards right up to 
the Protestant Ethic's support of capitalism and its exploitation of the proletariat in West and especially in the US during the early years of the last century. Perhaps it would be better if the IJM and kindred 
organisations attended to the cases of exploitation in their own domains, before trying to convert the world to their overly partial weltanschauung!

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