The trafficking of children for the purposes of prostitution has been called the ugliest, most preventable man-made disaster in the world. One brave person who has seen the realities of this desperate, depraved underworld up close is CNN international reporter Christiane Amanpour.
Christiane says she has witnessed instances in which parents or guardians sell girls—some as young as 10 years old—into prostitution. Sometimes they do so with the full knowledge of what is to come. At other times the parents or guardians are unaware, believing that the girls will simply be working in some other way to support their families.
According to World Vision, an international children's watch group, a quarter of all who travel internationally so that they may solicit sex from children are U.S. citizens. "As awful as it sounds, that is true," Christiane says. "Of course it's not just American citizens. It's Europeans and, in many parts of the world, it's the local people. Europeans [travel] a lot to Asia and Southeast Asia for that kind of sex service, but the majority, the bulk, is the local community."