CHANNEL4 CUTTING EDGE: CHILD SEX TRADE PART 2 OF 3
Each year, some 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide, according to the United Nations. The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe estimates that 200,000 individuals are trafficked annually from eastern Europe, a significant proportion being children. Some become unpaid domestic servants, or work in sweatshops, but many more—boys, girls, teenagers—are forced into prostitution and crime.
A Channel Four television documentary, “Cutting Edge: The Child Sex Trade,” screened recently in Britain, showed how the authorities largely ignore the trafficking of children from eastern Europe.
Romanian filmmaker Liviu Tipurita returned to Bucharest, where he met up with 15-year-old Laurentiu, who has lived on the streets for most of his life. Three years earlier, Tipurita had filmed the boy living in a cardboard box with only a sweatshirt to wear. Laurentiu and his friends have a precarious existence. Of the little money they earn, mainly from begging and selling sex, much is spent fuelling their addiction to sniffing glue.
The documentary exposed how Western pedophiles were coming to Romania posing as tourists, and were then procuring boys for underage sex. “Tom,” from Britain, had originally come to Bucharest in the aftermath of the collapse of the Ceausescu regime to work in an orphanage. Using hidden cameras, Tom was shown discussing his Internet business—a web site offering to introduce men to Romanian boys. His clients came from throughout western Europe—Britain, Holland, Switzerland. He boasted that he had even supplied boys to a German judge.
From Bucharest, Tipurita travelled to Milan. In one district of Italy’s most prosperous city, the film showed how Romanian boys, some as young as 10, were being pimped for underage sex, often by their own fathers,