Fight against child prostitution

“There is always a moment in childhood when a door opens to let the future in.” (Graham Greene)

One of the worst crimes committed, I have no doubt, is the exploitation of minors. And as there are also degrees of atrocity, of the execrable, the highest degree of atrocity is carried by the sexual profit of people under twelve years of age. Child prostitution is a social reality in the criminal sphere and a buoyant business for tricksters who use a minor to give pleasure to an older person in exchange for material, economic or any other benefit. It is an outrageous abuse. In Mexico, this criminal practice is on the rise and we occupy the alarming second place in child sex tourism. It is estimated that there are more than twenty thousand victims.

It is very unfortunate that Mexico is identified as a popular destination for sex tourism, and worse that it is a favorite place for depraved people who come to have fun at the expense of our little ones and who arrive with the intention of hurting our girls. It is very sad to learn that like the vast majority of crimes in the country, cases of child prostitution are not reported due to fear, public exposure, and stigmatization. There are hundreds of excuses. It is clear that there is mistrust in the authorities in charge of investigating and administering justice, and even due to the lack of accessible and safe mechanisms to report them. But, we have to stop.

The phenomenon is on the rise, not only in Mexico but in the world. The Parisian newspaper Le Monde reports that the growth of this crime in fifty years has had a progression of seventy percent in the world. However, it is in our country where this type of entertainment has become popular among people who in their places of origin would not dare, but given the facilities, they come here to violate and exploit our children. Respectable people in their daily lives who cheer up when they feel away from home. The little ones lose their innocence at an age when they should be playing, growing up, studying and not working in such despicable conditions. We as a society are fully obliged to protect the rights of infants, to ensure the best interests of children. In addition, it is one of the international commitments that have been signed before the Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Protocol on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and the Use of Children in Pornography. But, the reality is that we are doing little.

The truth is that we have to put our finger on the yaga and not loosen the pressure. It is necessary to have trained and well-trained professionals to attend to these types of cases. Nowadays, if someone dares to report these crimes, instead of protecting the victims, they are dismissed, blamed, or everyone is done except to give them protection to rescue them from that life situation. This is the case with all victims of any type of crime and this is aggravated when we are referring to the most defenseless. Of course, it is urgent to have better sex education and a sensitive and active society in the face of these issues. The problem is complex and a comprehensive child protection program is needed. To leave children to their fate is to condemn the future of humanity. But, we are doing it.

The evidence is clear, if our country is the second destination to which people who come to tour and instead of coming to appreciate the beauties of our country, come to mistreat our most precious treasures, we are doing our job badly. And, as the popular saying goes: “the Indian is not to blame, but the one who makes him compadre.” It is we, the Mexican society, who must be vigilant. It is our responsibility to stop this practice, be careful with our little ones and attack the root problem. But, if we let them come to visit us to harm and allow them to return to their homes so happy and content, we are doing something very, very wrong.

Pablo Neruda used to say that a child who does not play is not a child. Child prostitution takes away their essence and throws them into an abyss in which evils do not come alone: ​​there will be vices, corruption, evil. I cannot imagine the sadness of a child subjected to an old man for money or the bitterness of a girl who lost her innocence for pleasing a criminal. The terrible thing is that we turn a blind eye and prefer to look the other way.

If the figures do not move us, we are made of wood. If we realize that there are people who come to our country to corrupt the best of our society, we have already become stones. If we do not take care of our childhood, if we unprotect it, it is because we are already in free fall. We cannot ignore that childhood is the door to the future.