“God knows what this child would be guilty of, that she were enclosed in this lamentable situation and suffered”…I still vividly remember of the terrible story in Austria on an inhuman act of a father who had hidden his very daughter in his house basement in tens of years as his sex slave; in an interview, a minister had to exclaim out: Where was God and had let this so heinous thing happen in this world? I hate to put forward the same question, but hesitate…In Easter days we had rather celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, admire the mystical miracle from above to this world and talk about joyful things. Yes, we enjoy, as we should! And cheerful, yes, it must be, for plenty of time, life is full of sorrows! Not otherwise, if we’re not cheerful, and do not believe in God or justice, how could we live all out our human conditions?
However, my dear readers! There are lives that nearly missing the joy of living have to die out off half of it… or it would be more exact to say they are on the way of dying when merely approaching a quarter of it.
That is the fate of some Vietnamese girls lost or missing in Kampuchea; they had been kidnapped or sold to brothels in Kampuchea by their very own parents.How could it happen? Why a country well known with multitude of pagodas and highly holy religion and beliefs could turn out a worst practice, cruel as well as inhuman as such to girls among whom many ones are not beyond ten years of age? And many others had died merely in their teens because of AIDS.
One Kampuchean monk had to complain:
Though a monk and earthy life left apart, not concerning me any more, I feel saddened when told by many residents here, being so poor and deprived, they had to sell their children to brothels. I consider those acts should belong to inanimate which have neither reason nor feelings… Have I been trilled to hear an infant girl saying that when grown up she would practice prostitution in order to take care of me? They have been taught of those worst things as such…”
Let me pose a question “Killing Fields” under Pol Pot regime, 30 years ago, had thrilled conscience of the world, why self-defenseless tiny girls have been sold as slaves to sex industry by their own relatives and fellow countrymen? Which devils or demons have resided in mind of those who are selling small girls yet incapable to count 4 seasons of the year, springs, summer, fall and winter into dirty places as such in fulfilling sexual desire satisfaction to those pervert disoriented non-human persons?
I could not find any milder language terms when referring to this vicious and inhuman vice and the human traffickers who are gnawing, swallowing and satisfying themselves on carnal bodies of infant girls rather innocent and of small and fragile stature.
Since childhood, I’ve cherished “Prayer of Peace” of saint Francis of Assisi, with such words like “For when we forgive, we’ll be forgiven”… but though being humbly simple as any ordinary person on this world, I’m not perfect anyhow, Oh my God, please forgive me, I couldn’t forgive those such distorted species!
But what can we do in this situation in order to save lives of those girls, rather too young and having not much time to call daddy and mommy in their intimate tongue, not yet being lovely embraced in their parents’ arms, instead having to learn and practice bad slang as “yum yum”, “boom boom” in fixing price invitation with men of sexual disorder. There’re a lot of Whys, why and why… needed to be raised up.
My first and primary decision is to perform a special séance “An evening If You Love Me”, a raising fund book sale for organization VOICE which is directing operations that host Thuy Duong (directing manager) described as “to help girls to enlarge and promote their self-confidence” – among which there’s a project to translate into Vietnamese a teaching guide to educate them, by author Helene O’Sullivan, for a fellow organization, Hagar International which is also working in the same activities and purposes.
So, while taking the same usual daily ordinary job, I had to go to school (assured this time to be behind and get underscore below C grade), to keep contacts with telecommunication agencies, look for sponsorship, ask help from singers as well as do all miscellaneous things.
Till the evening of event (April 26, 2009), I would have been thrown by strong Santa Ana winds up to the top of file of trees on the “Bolsa Newspapers Street”. Anyway, above all, it was stressed upon the importance of crowded attendance from everyone, highly motivated and devoted to the poor girls in Kampuchea.
I was moved in front of a large audience and generous contribution to the fundraising event- from toddlers of 5 or 6 year old up to elders of 70s or 80s –all came and shared to our young girls in Kampuchea. Noted that it was still a time of economy downturn and of high unemployment, open arms and images of great participation would be engraved in my heart forever.
I was very impressed when seeing coming from fundraising boxes bills of 1 dollar; this proved that participants had taken the last bills they had in their pockets to send to the girls.
Who could resist emotion erupting when listening to Mrs. Net, mother of youngster Thuy, young actress in movie “Holly”; she retold the audience of her trip accompanying her daughter (a minor) playing role of an infant girl in trade to brothel across the borders and into Kampuchea… she had met girls of the same age as her child, and described abuses they suffered in those earthen hells.
She said her tears dropped in abundance while collecting a lot of rubber condoms right at the site the movie was shot (the real places as reported) in guise of hiding them from the eyes of her daughter.
Holly is the name of a Vietnamese girl, of 12 years old, victim of devils disguised as humans. She had been traded into Kampuchean brothels. The painful journey of an innocent girl was used by an American movie director, Guy Moshe, in his movie that bears the same title and was issued in November 2007. This film of 113 minutes could ask any tears from any Vietnamese who are still longing for their country, their fatherland and concerned with Vietnamese youth or childhood. “Holly” was played by Thuy Nguyen beside American actor Ron Livingston (in role of Patrick).
Most of local girls and women were inflicted with AIDS. Mrs. Net recounted she had saved daily allowances provided by the movie crew and helped a woman affected with this deadly disease to quit what she’d been doing as her profession to return to the country Vietnam in order to redo her life.
Please look for and see the movie “Holly”, because language could not describe all real sufferings that happened to the Vietnamese youth. The movie could make you feel sad because of its realism, too real to hurt. But please let’s follow desperate eyes of Holly near the ending episode and take these eyes into your life so that we’ll bring out our finger to do something to help these innocent children, to give them back somehow their innocent time and age robbed from them in utmost atrocities.
Who could hold back tears when hosts Thuy Duong and Dinh Quang Anh Thai talked about kilometer posts numbered 11, 12 and 13 in Kampuchea, places where girls are asked by family to learn the career of a prostitute in order to have gold pasted all over their bodies?
It is deeply painful to state that young girl (in some case under 10 years of age) traders are truly our compatriots; they speak the same language as the girls’ and exploited girls’ bodies to meet their needs.
It’s surely us – by all our capacities, we have to save them from holding arms of those immoral compatriots – and don’t step aside and let Patrick bring in help in front of all indifferent Vietnamese inland as well as abroad.
The trafficking of women and children has presently ever expanded greatly in Vietnam so that Hanoi has to admit that they could not cope with this really evil trade (???). From time to time in order to soften public concerns, the police force had arrested any possible suspects, but mostly accused by victims not by any patrol campaigns conducted by the government. E.g. 5 criminals accused of women trafficking to Kampuchean brothel for prostitution. This ring had traded 18 young girls to Kampuchea. This human trading business was unearthed because 3 of victims, persuaded before and lured to Kampuchea, had succeeded to escape returning to the country and blew whistle to the police.
Tricks women and children traffickers used were done in many various forms. They take advantage of the uncontrollable frontier area, scarcely populated, and richly dotted with easy passage paths across rivers and streams. Day by day the trend of Organized crimes is going to be seen clearer by interconnection, plotting together among criminals previously sentenced of penal acts, patrons, domestic and foreign intermediaries or go-in-betweens… Aiming at psychology of actually present Vietnamese women readily convicted to go long away from home for a better life, traffickers take pain to go deeply into countryside area and make contact to poorer and broken families to lure them with above suave persuasion.
Very often they say they’ll bring girls to cities to work with high pay to support the family. But when falling into their hands most of the girls have to be sold or resold in a network of intermediaries and finally into brothels. They’re always ready to use bad turns to push women and children into seduction path and compel them to follow their intent orders.
The operating of intermediary groups becomes more sophistically organized. Meanwhile criminal groups operate more smartly to over pass the government, women and children trafficking anti-crime and preventive operations were found in many difficulties.
For the government, they excuse themselves on arguments that, first of all, due to their psychological complex and discrimination from community, victims do not like to bring forward their cases of accusation of such crime and totally cooperate with the government and in many cases, threatened, they dare not accuse the criminals.
The women and children trafficking from Vietnamese Mekong area into Kampuchea and Red China becomes more and more a worse problem, in some instances the charge fees get down to only 100 US dollars/per person.
Actually the fact is there are tens and tens of thousands of Vietnamese infant girls who are not having innocence age right in Kampuchea land. That has proved of turning head away from action from both governments, Vietnamese as well as Kampuchean, and of their inaction and corruption when confronting this accusable tragedy. The painful fact is so huge; however, the high ranking officials in the Police force had merely declared that it would be a “multifaceted and unsolvable” crisis. Beside there is no tight inter connection from the central down to local concerned offices; there is no leading agency that could take full responsibility to set up an inter-office structure, for the scale of investigating and uncovering human trade of this type is still at very low level in comparison of what had happened in reality. The international coordination between countries and agencies among concerned countries zone is still limited.
The statistics from the UNICEF state that Kampuchea is one among the countries most inflicted with prostitution and endures a development of this trade in uncontrollable complexity; in particular, only “Red Lantern” zone of Svaypak approximately has 20 “boarding houses” with thousands of Vietnamese women and young girls forced to practice the prostitute profession, most part of them are under 18 years of age. Nearly all of them had been sold from provinces in the Mekong Delta area like An Giang, Dong Thap, Can Tho, Kien Giang…
The evil act, when not being considered an important thing, of course it becomes a right thing! A good thing when not having stirred up everyone’s awareness, won’t lead people’s heart to right place to carry out good deeds.
I only hope my calls would be small logs and implore everyone else bring in theirs to set up hearths that could warm up cold lives bearing inside frozen souls of the young girls deprived of human feelings and solidarity… after they had been robbed off from innocence and trust in humanity and in life itself.
Truly, after the “If You Love Me” evening event, I am wondering whether I am helping the voluntary operations or otherwise, voluntary agency is helping me. Because somehow I must admit, it did call me off from my personal pain to mingle myself into popular joy. Please restore or resurrect lost innocence of our lovely Vietnamese children who are being abused right in our neighboring land of Kampuchea.
Easter April 2009
Ngo Tinh Yen